My Ten Skincare Commandments

skincare

Skincare woes. Let’s be honest here, I’ve had quite a few! Though in recent years, I’m happy to admit, I’ve been getting much better at looking after my skin and really paying attention to what works for me. At this time of year though, what with the drop in temperatures, cranked up central heating and post-party season fatigue, my routine could still do with an extra helping hand!

So, what’s a gal to do? Well, recently, I spent the afternoon at Debenhams St Enoch Centre and picked up some tips to take me through January and beyond. As well as browsing the range of luxury skincare brands at the beauty hall, I also made an appointment with the in-store Clarins Spa for a chat with one of their therapists. After almost napping during my super relaxing facial treatment (there’s something intoxicating about a dark room, a vibrating chair and being submerged in the aroma of essential oils on a Friday afternoon, I tell you!), I received a full diagnosis of my skin’s needs.

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Bare-faced and armed with a few new product reccomendations, I started to think about the simple steps I could take to help keep my skin in tip-top shape. The small things that make a big difference. While cruising on the escalator, I pledged to myself that I would make an effort to stick to these steps and couldn’t help but laugh when I realised there were ten of them! A theme was forming. I COULDN’T RESIST, you guys.

Want to hear my ten skincare commandments for the new year? Read on…

Thou shalt always take thy makeup off (even at 3am!). Oh, that’s right. I don’t care if it’s chips and cheese time, mama – don’t forget to remove that face before you fall into bed with your shoes on. Make it an easy job with the Clarins Cleansing Milk with Alpine herbs. At 400ml, it’ll last you ages too.

Thou shalt exfoliate, but not too much. Apparently you can have too much of a good thing – and that includes exfoliating! At my appointment, I discovered that you can over-exfoliate, which isn’t great for your skin as it’s not given time to repair itself. Yikes! 3 times a week is PLENTY, so take note.

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Thou shalt never forget to wear SPF all year round. This old chestnut? You betcha. Incorporating sun protection into your daily skincare is so important, even I knew this one. I’ve been giving the Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution a whirl and it’s ideal for city living (even when it’s still ‘taps oan’ weather). It’s light, non-greasy AND sits perfectly under makeup. No more excuses!

Thou shalt perk up thy tired eyes. Sometimes we don’t get that eight-plus hours sleep that we know we’re meant to have (and SOMETIMES that has a link to commandment 1, yes?), so that’s when we need to fake it ’til we make it! A Perfect World For Eyes by Origins helps to diminish dastardly dark circles and do a little firming and toning around the eye area too.

Thou shalt open thy mind to advice from experts. The way I see it, unless you’re some kind of skincare guru, you never really know it all. I’ve had the same face for 31 years now, but I STILL enjoy getting a second opinion on what I’m using and how often. The beauty hall at Debenhams is bursting with consultants who know their stuff and I promise they don’t bite! Plus if you DO pick up something new while you’re there, you can rack up some points by swiping your St Enoch Rewards card!

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Thou shalt avoid dry, cracked lips. Ah, that creamy, dreamy, matte-effect liquid lipstick you’ve been eyeing up. It’s finally yours! But you know what it doesn’t look so creamy and dreamy on top of? Flaky, dry lips! In fact, it looks a bit scaly and gross. Avoid disaster by picking up an ultra-conditioning lip balm – this one by Burt’s Bees, enriched with Kokum butter, is perfect.

Thou shalt boost, when boosting is necessary. I’m not talking about hurrying to catch that bus (though you can if you wish!). No, I’m talking about a skin booster. Clarins have recently released 3 new Skin Boosters in highly-concentrated formulas to target skin that is in need of some TLC. I picked up the Detox booster which is ideal for combatting pollution, overeating (ahem, there was no cheese left in M&S at Christmas because I ATE IT ALL) and late nights.

Thou shalt stay hydrated (from the inside out!). Invest in a good moisturiser and drink lots of water! And extra water on top of that just for good measure. It’s that simple.

Thou shalt wear a mask. If your skin is extra thirsty (see above), extra tired, extra freaking out, or just generally throwing in the towel, it’s time for a mask. That leftover one from Halloween isn’t going to cut it though so, instead, why not comfort your poor face with a cream, gel, clay or hilarious (and coincidentaly, almost Halloween-like) sheet mask? The HydraQuench range from Clarins offers intensive care for dehydrated skin in the form of a cream mask – my dried-out winter skin is rejoicing!

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Thou shalt not underestimate a cheeky 2-for-1. Well, a 2-in-1, to be exact. If you’re a busy bee, why make time to cleanse AND exfoliate when you have a  product that’ll do both for you at once? The Pep-Start range from Clinque includes this nifty 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser, freeing up more time and more space on your bathroom shelf.

I hope this list helps any of you looking to kick-start your skin routine this year! Are you going to try any of these out? Do you have any tips (or if you’re feeling as chatty as me, a list of commandments!) to share? Let me know!

Love,

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This post was made possible thanks to the awesome folk at St Enoch and Debenhams 

Beauty Hit List: September & October 2016

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Well, well, well – look what the wind blew in! It’s only time for another beauty hit list, and if you’re anything like me, your cosmetic choices are starting to reflect this time of year. From nourishing skincare to uber-glam makeup, it’s a truly autumnal selection this time around!

Let’s jump in and see what’s made it into my September and October must-haves…

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Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask by The Body Shop

Is there anything more satisfying than slathering on a face mask and letting it do its thing? Yes! Slathering on a face mask and FEELING it work its magic on your skin. I’ve been using this one from The Body Shop’s new range of masks for just over a month now and not only do I love the end result (super clear, glowing skin) but I also really enjoy the tingling sensation of wearing it.

This mud-textured mask is packed with bamboo charcoal which means it’s also exfoliating and gives your face a good scrub when rinsing it off Ahh! I also recently learned that it’s 100% vegan so it’s suitable for most beauty lovers too.

beauty hit list

Aveda’s Tulasara Radiant Awakening Ritual 

While we’re on the topic of skincare, at this time of year it becomes even harder to avoid dull skin – most mornings I want to just (gently!) slap my cheeks and tell ’em to wake up! Over the last year, I’ve discovered facial oils and started using them in my daily routine. No, they don’t make your face oily (though it’s an easy assumption to make!), but they DO shrink pores, banish zits and protect your skin.

Aveda recently released their latest oleation oil and facial brush combo as a powerful combination to awaken the skin and restore its radiance. Talk about a power couple! In true Aveda style, this technique is designed to be a daily ritual and Tulasara is all about boosting microcirculation and nourishing the skin at the very start of your day. If this doesn’t wake up my skin, nothing will!

beauty hit list

Instant Confidence Stick by Bobbi Brown 

This handy little line corrector from Bobbi Brown is like having the eraser at the end of a pencil, smoothing out and blurring fine lines before I dive into my makeup bag.

With the same kind of silky, weightless formula you’d find in your favourite primer, this is a great on-the-go tool to keep in your handbag and use whenever you need to touch up your makeup and blot out shiny patches. It might not do that work presentation for you, but it WILL help you feel your best so that you can go forth and kick ass! Instant confidence indeed.

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Dolly Rocks nails by House of Holland x Elegant Touch 

We’re moving towards party season quicker than you can say Cha-Cha Slide which means the diaries are bound to start filling up with dinners, parties and (if you’re lucky!) all-night karaoke sessions. But what about those impromptu do’s? Those ones that seem to ambush you at say, 4pm on a Friday? It’s good to have a few things in your emergency glam arsenal just in case you have 20 minutes to get ready (and let’s face it, maybe even in a public loo?!), and Elegant Touch’s press-on nails are just the fellas for the job.

HOWEVER. I really don’t think I’ve seen any nails that scream party time quite like these Dolly Rocks ones, specially designed by House of Holland for Elegant Touch. Gloriously pink, suit-anyone almond shaped and encrusted with gems, I just can’t help but smile when I look at them. They’re also super easy to apply and will last up to 10 days if you look after them. One for karaoke queens everywhere. Let’s go, girls…

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Glastonberry

Fun fact: I picked up this rich, blackcurrant-hued lip colour about 4 months ago on a trip to Selfridges, and for a couple of months I’ll be totally honest and tell you that it didn’t see the light of day. But now? Well, I’m wearing it at least two or three times a week – in fact even as I write this I’m wearing Glastonberry right now!

Unlike a lot of matte effect lipsticks, Charlotte Tilbury’s colours have softening and hydrating properties – no sign of dry, flaky lips here! The colour is also very buildable, depending on how bold you want to go. The actual shape of the lipstick itself makes it easy to apply without liner, as the square tip mimics the shape of a lip brush. Plus, the colour is super vampy, perfect for Halloween and beyond.

beauty hit list

What I love even more than sharing my latest beauty obsessions is hearing all about what products you recommend I check out so be sure to let me know on Twitter or in the comments below: what’s been rocking your beauty routine lately? And if you were doing karaoke, what is your song of choice?

Love, wide-awake skin and berry lips,

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Kiehl’s

Kiehl's

When it comes to skincare, it’s fair to say that Kiehl’s pretty much changed the game for me. A couple of years back, having a skincare regime seemed like a far-fetched idea – something that surely only people with far too much time on their hands were able to do each day. Who has THAT kind of time, anyway? I used to wonder.

I scoffed at the very idea of having a daily routine with more than two steps (AKA washing and drying), but fast forward to today and I’ve got my application of lotions and potions down to a fine art AND multiple steps…and FYI in reality it takes less than 10 minutes to crack through them all, so it turns out that everyone can actually find that kind of time (picture me looking a bit sheepish right now).

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My skin, which was never previously a team player, has never looked better. So what changed? There was no epiphany, or anything quite so dramatic – but a couple of trips to Kiehl’s helped me to understand what type of skin I have, and how to treat it better!

Kiehl’s might have helped me battle with my own skincare woes, but that’s a drop in the ocean compared to the other work being carried out by this classic cosmetics company. Recently I went along to an event with their flagship Buchanan Street store to learn a bit more about this year’s campaign with MTV Staying Alive Foundation, and hear about the brand’s other successes since their humble beginnings.

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Today, I’d love to share a little bit of what I’ve learned – so here are 5 things you didn’t know about Kiehl’s*…

  1. The white lab coats that the team at Kiehl’s wear aren’t a gimmick or a flashy uniform – they are a key part of the company’s history, as they started as a small pharmacy in NYC in 1851. They were the first company to put fluoride into their tooth treatments AND the first to widely distribute penicillin.Kiehl's
  2. One of Kiehl’s best-selling products is their Creme De Corps body moisturiser, but did you know that they sell enough bottles of Creme De Corps every year to build a wall higher than the Empire State building? Now that’s a lotta creme!
  3. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial cream happens to be my all-time favourite moisturiser (especially for parched winter skin!), and picking up a pot will support MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation, which helps to empower and educate young women to protect themselves from HIV. Kiehl’s also help many other worldwide charities targeting help for children, wildlife / the environment and HIV / AIDS prevention… Kiehl's
  4. …but it’s not just international charities: Kiehl’s also do a lot to support their local communities too! In fact, our Buchanan Street store have been raising funds to donate to Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity – most recently by taking part in a 5k with Alfie the dog and his friends. Over the next few months the store will be working on other initiatives to provide even more donations, so be sure to pop in during your next shopping spree and see how to get involved!
  5. The Mayor of New York City declared November 12th to be Kiehl’s Day back in 2003, so if you happen to visit any Kiehl’s store around the world on that date, there’ll be some sort of celebration going down. Kiehl's

So, if you’re a fan of Kiehl’s, I hope you enjoyed this opportunity to geek out a little bit with me and, if you weren’t too aware of them, maybe this will tempt you to go in store or online and check them out!

Do you have a skincare routine that would put me to shame? What’s your must-have product from Kiehl’s?

Love,

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*- or maybe you DID know?! 5 things you probably didn’t know didn’t have the same ring to it!