I’ve been sent the latest and greatest products to try and test and have been lucky enough to meet some of the industry’s top makeup artists, hair stylists, doctors, dermatologists and facialists (here’s looking at you, Nicola Joss – Meghan Markle’s facialist FYI!).
Having been a Beauty Editor for the last five years, and worked on a number of glossy magazines, I’ve seen and attended some of the most amazing beauty events, from the newest spa openings to launches and everything in between.
With all of these perks, it’s my job to try everything and find out what works, what doesn’t work, and to report back. Needless to say, I take it very seriously (and love every minute of it). So, with around 15,000 beauty products having been sent to me over the years, here’s everything I’ve learnt:
Don’t buy expensive cleansers
I absolutely swear by micellar waters when it comes to cleansing. It’s partly because they’re easy and don’t require 10 different steps and, most importantly, don’t overload the skin. Nothing is more of an irritant for skin than using thick heavy cleansers that block your pores. These lightweight waters are great for all types of skin; I suffer with dry, dehydrated skin (attractive, I know) and these are perfect at getting rid of all the impurities, thanks to the microscopic oil spheres. If you’re not already, I guarantee you’ll become addicted. My personal faves include:
Bioderma H20 Micelle Solution, www.bioderma.com
We like to call this the OG micellar water, it’s been an industry fave forever.
La Roche-Posay, Micellar Solution, www.escentual.com
This is strong enough to remove long-wearing foundation. Need I say any more?
Garnier micellar cleansing water, www.boots.com
This self-proclaimed all-in-one micellar water removes makeup, cleanses, and freshens up the skin, radiance-boosting that gives maximum hydration, yes please!
Don’t overcomplicate your skincare routine
Using more products doesn’t always mean your skin will be better. I’ve met beautiful glowing women and men who have had everything from one step (a face wipe) to 10-steps in their morning and evening regimes. It’s about finding what works for you and addressing your areas of concern. When I’ve spoken to dermatologists in the past, they made a very good point in that you’re probably repeating a step twice or even three times without realising. For instance, you don’t always need to double cleanse every day, instead try cutting it back to three times a week. Also swap cleansing brushes for a good exfoliator – they can work just as well at removing dead skin cells. It’s much better to streamline your skincare regime and invest in a couple of hero products such as:
A godsend for anyone with dry dull skin, wanting more of a supple plump feel. My go-to’s are: Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Hydration Booster, www.cultbeauty.co.uk & Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum, www.cultbeauty.co.uk
Great for anyone with anti-ageing concerns but do your research, start low and build yourself up to high percentages – trust me!
For an instant shot of hydration pop one of these on for 10 minutes and skin is more supple. Plus they’re great for travelling as skin becomes parched by flying. My hero: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair sheet mask, each pack holds over 20ml of the cult fave serum.
Buy a mist
I promise, they’ll be your new beauty best friends and your secret new weapon. Whether you’re looking to set, prep, hydrate or give your make-up a new lease of life, facial mists can do it all. To get the best out of them, hold approximately 5cm away from your face and spritz between 3 to 5 times. Some come in handy purse sizes which are perfect for on the day touch ups or when travelling and in need of a hit of hydration. My top tip – pop in the fridge and thank me later.
Book in regular facials
If you’re already happy with your skin, then you may ask why you should get a facial? The truth is, consistent upkeep of your skin prevents future concerns i.e. breakouts, ageing or fine lines. It’s also a great excuse to give yourself a break and have an indulgent hour to yourself. One of the best facials I’ve ever had is the Sunday Riley Fire and Ice facial at Hershesons in London. The first (and only) signature facial from the brand worldwide. It starts off like any other normal facial with cleansing, extraction, toning and massaging, but then the cool bit (literally) is that it includes cryotherapy, which blasts freezing cold air around your face that helps reduce inflammation and remove redness. Then comes the fire aka the LED light which destroys any bacteria on the skin and prevents further breakouts and infection. For something a little more relaxing – book yourself in for a Smooth & Glow facial at Decleor. All facials have been curated by Nicholas Joss, the woman behind Meghan Markle’s perfect skin, so you know they’re going to be good.
SPF is not a myth
Protecting your skin is important every day of the year. One of the biggest reasons many people forego SPF is because of the so-called thick white textures and photography flash back. Confused? Let me explain. The SPF technology that protects you from the sun is built to reflect light. So, when a camera flash goes off directly in your face, the result (flashback) can make you look like you’ve dipped in a pot of baby powder. This is never a good look but, on the flipside, neither is sun-scorched cheeks. Dr Marko Lens, of skincare brand Zelens says: “You can avoid flashback by avoiding sunscreens containing physical (aka mineral) sunblock’s, the most common being zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.” As well as stopping you looking ghostly in your photos, these formulas won’t clog your pores or cause your make-up to slide off, making them ideal for every day.
Blusher is a great contour
If you’re loving the ‘no make-up, make-up look’ (who isn’t) then try using a little blusher to carve out your cheekbones instead of the usual heavy contour products. A gel blush is great for blending and adding a subtle sheen. Try warming the product up on your fingers so it melts onto skin when applying.
Bright eyes and lash curlers
To make your eyes pop, take a white eye pencil and line the inside rim of your lower eyelid – a great secret used by all makeup artists to make eyes stand out. For ultra-curly luscious lashes – run your eyelash curler under warm water (or blast it with your hair dryer for a couple of seconds.) The heat sets and holds your lashes making them considerably curlier.