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 

Glitter Eyes with Cult Classics at St Enoch

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen it comes to this year’s Autumn and Winter beauty looks, most of them leave me, well…a bit cold. Glossy, Vaseline-slicked skin? No thanks. Androgynous eyebrows? Not for me, my friend.

But sparkling glam rock-inspired eyes? NOW you’re speaking my language! Let’s just say that sequins practically flow through my veins and I’ve never met a tube of glitter that I didn’t like.

So when St Enoch Rewards recently asked me to create a makeup look based on one of the new season’s beauty trends, I agreed quicker than you can say Cosmic Dancer!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith the challenge well and truly accepted, I headed to St Enoch to pick out an arsenal of products to help me feel less blah and more Bowie. Armed with £100 and the new St Enoch Rewards app, I decided to head for some cult favourites at the centre’s beauty counters.

If you happened to be following along on my Instagram Stories, you’ll know that I made a beeline for The Body Shop. Any bold makeup look is all about that base (’bout that base…) so I made sure that the first item in my basket was their best-selling Instablur primer to help keep my face in place!

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Next up, I visited Urban Decay at Debenhams – AKA glitter heaven! Before I ran face-first into the pixie dust though, I picked out another primer product. The Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion has been a long-time favourite of mine and, as someone who used to think primers were a huge swindle, I just can’t believe the difference it makes, ensuring that eye makeup stays put.

After that, I chose one of the brand’s new Moondust eyeshadows in the shade Stargazer, which looks like liquified gold and is packed with iridescent sparkles. It was love at first sight!

Not satisfied with the metallic shimmer on my lids I spied Heavy Metal liquid eyeliner in Amp and decided to layer it over my usual eyeliner – can you REALLY ever have enough glitter? The answer is no, no you can’t.

While at Urban Decay I finished my look with some Naked Skin concealer to help correct dark circles and the Naked Illuminated powder to sweep over my cheeks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt the checkouts, I scanned my St Enoch Rewards card and checked the app later that day to make sure that my points were adding up (they were!). Unlocking different “levels” of points means increased rewards like discounts and extra freebies – who doesn’t like to get more bang for their buck these days?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you can see, it didn’t take too long until I was experimenting with my new products to create some glamtastic eye makeup! I just love any excuse to break out this kind of look and, even though it’s ideal for nights out and special events, I don’t think I’ll be able to resist sneaking this eyeshadow into my everyday makeup bag from time to time.

You can find out more about St Enoch Rewards here – be sure to pick up a swipe card at the centre on your next shopping trip.

So yay or no way: would you rock a metallic glittery eye? What are some of your favourite cult products?

Starry eyed,

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Thanks to St Enoch Rewards for encouraging my glitter addiction!

Take One Princess Skirt: Daytime

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With Christmas just a handful of weeks away (!!) and an ever-bulging diary, it’s the time of year where we feel like we need to be in multiple places at once. Catch ups with family, Christmas soirées, festive events…it’s no wonder they call it ‘party season’, right?

I don’t know about you, but I often don’t have time to go home and plan a whole new outfit in between being out and about during the day and scooting off to wherever the night is taking me. I’ve not got the greatest track record with the whole “day-to-night” thing when it comes to fashion, either. Throwing on a party dress at 6am SOUNDS amazing and very girls just wanna have fun on the face of it, but it’s more likely that the guy in Starbucks will think I’m nuts / still out from the night before as he eyes me suspiciously and takes my order.

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So, what’s a gal to do?

When the team at St Enoch challenged me to show you guys how I take my seasonal style from daytime to dancing time, it gave me the perfect opportunity to finally up my game and think about how to do this realistically. And friends, I think I’ve cracked it: it’s all about having one versatile piece! Something you can comfortably wear during the day and then dress up after dark (ooh, la la!). So, in other words, not turning up in layers and layers of tulle for meetings all day then? Well, maybe not EVERY day…

Luckily, when it came to finding this elusive multi-functional piece, St Enoch had me covered with their range of stores.

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When I laid eyes on this black skirt by ONLY at Debenhams at St Enoch, it seemed to scream princess at me. Longer than a midi, yet shorter than a maxi skirt, floating out in all the right places and generally looking like something a Disney character might wear, I immediately dubbed it a “princess skirt” (there’s probably is a proper name for it, but let’s just go with it…).

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This is exactly the kind of item that can be dressed down or jazzed up, and I couldn’t wait to take it on a test drive.

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Look 1: Daytime 

For a relaxed weekend look, I wanted to show off how great this skirt looks with simple pieces. I layered it with a Topshop shearling denim jacket, a pink tee by NINE by Savannah Miller at Debenhams and a hat from H&M (all at St Enoch). I’m also wearing my Cambridge Satchel Company neon satchel, Sugar and Vice key necklace and Primark sneakers.

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Cute accessories are my favourite way to add a pop of colour to a black skirt AND keep warm on chilly days, and I couldn’t resist picking up these adorable pink gloves from H&M at St Enoch. They make me smile instantly when I look at them, which to me is what fashion should always be about.

It was the kind of easy-breezy Sunday outfit that was made for brunch and shopping – which is exactly what we did that day!

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Photo from my Instagram

After a mooch around Merchant City and spying the finishing touches being put on the Christmas Market, we hopped over to Wilson Street Pantry for some food. Sourdough toast, poached eggs and avocado with lemon and smoked salt made for a dreamy brunch indeed.

We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping and making the most of being outside in the short bursts of sunshine. But, how do I plan to style up this swishy princess skirt for night time? Stay tuned to find out in part two…

Here’s to Sunday sunshine and poached eggs fit for a princess!

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With thanks to St Enoch