It’s #NoMakeUpDay – and if the thought of leaving the house without cosmetics makes you want to stay in, your skincare approach probably needs a bit of a shake up. As formulas become more targeted and sophisticated, it’s getting easier to be confident in your complexion. There are great products that help ease the look of acne, pores, fine lines and uneven skin tone, all of which we’ve been guilty of ‘solving’ by caking them in heavy foundation and concealer in the past. Beth Squires – blessed with all those previous skin concerns – shares the products she’s tried that will help you feel more confident barefaced, whether you have a spot or not!
“Up until a month ago, I’d worn makeup nearly every time I left the house for most of my adult life. I am #blessed with hormonal outbreaks, fine lines (some not so fine), uneven skin tone and a really oily t-zone to boot, so since my adolescence ushered in spots, which dented my skin confidence, I’ve been a fan of the approach of ‘all makeup, all the time’.
Recently, I made some changes. I added the time that I used to spend covering my handful of blemishes to my skincare routine. And now I totally understand why so many makeup artists I’ve interviewed in the past say working on the canvas – aka good skincare – is the most important thing. Listen, my skin isn’t “perfect” after all these changes, but it has improved in evenness and tone so much that I genuinely feel happy going out with no foundation or concealer. This is what’s worked for me.
I used to rush this step at the end of the day, and sometimes skipped it entirely in the morning. I know. If my makeup was visibly removed at night? Fine. Done. On to the next thing. But all this talk of the double cleansing trend, and a recent cleanser purchase instructing me to massage it in for a full minute before washing off, I realised I needed to up my game.
When I committed to a slightly longer cleanse with two products, my skin quickly started to show a difference. Could it be I haven’t actually been fully cleansing my skin for a really long time?! Ugh. Embarrassing. My evening routine now is this – I use Bobbi Brown’s Soothing Cleansing Oil (£8.50) to take my makeup off (ophthalmologist tested, so it’s fine for your eyes), and then I use Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (£16.50). This classic cleanser feels so luxurious, with its creamy texture and cleansing ritual featuring a muslin cloth. I was previously trying a foaming cleanser that was over-stripping my skin, so do notice if your skin feels tight and dry after cleansing. If it doesn’t feel comfortable after you pat your skin dry, I recommend that you try something new.
Want radiance and to get rid of dull skin? Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel (£16.50) is fantastic for cell renewal, as well as aiding exfoliation. Peels like this one have made such a difference to my confidence in going foundation-free. They help even skin tone and texture (inc. the appearance of pores), and have an effect on fine lines too. The best thing for me is that they seem to have helped to even out darker patches from previous bad skin days that caused minor scarring. (Note: Definitely use SPF if you’re using any acids, but definitely use SPF anyway every day. But you knew that, right?)
You don’t need three hours and a bath by candlelight to feel the benefits of a facemask. There are amazing 10-minute and slap-on-and-leave overnight masks out there.. For an overnight does-it-all problem solver, try the 10-minute Origins Out of Trouble (£25) followed by an overnight application of Origins Drink Up Intensive (£25). After that combo, I’m always happier with how my skin looks, especially if I’m mid-breakout. I also have started using Pixi’s T-Zone Peel-Off Mask (£18) (which only takes 10 minutes) as I have a pretty oily t-zone, and this helps keep it under control if I use it once or twice a week.
What if you haven’t got time to mask and your skin’s just looking a little dull and blah? Add some radiance with a a little vitamin C – Ren’s Flash Rinse 1-Minute Facial (£33) or lixirskin’s Vitamin C Paste (£32) – they’ll brighten your skin, leaving a healthier complexion. Also so great if you have a hangover…
Lotions + Potions
Along with the oily t-zone I mentioned, I have pretty dehydrated skin on my cheeks, so in terms of moisturisation I take a two step approach. At night I’ll use a hyalauronic-acid-rich moisturiser like Fresh’s Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream (£35) all over my face and neck. To amp it up – since I’m in my mid-30s now – I either precede this step with an anti-ageing serum like Esteé Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair (£75) (the multi-peptide-packed The Ordinary’s Buffet Serum (£13) is also ace) or follow it with a few drops of radiance-promoting Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (£38).
For daytime hydration, I use the aforementioned Buffet Serum followed by Clinique’s Stay-Matte Hydrator (£29.75) over my t-zone – the reason why’s in the name, and it works – plus a touch of Bobbi Brown’s Extra Repair Moisturising Balm SPF25 (£68) on the rest of my face. This combination works for me, but just one on its own might work fantastically for you, depending on your skin type. And, as always, make sure your day moisturiser has SPF, or add an SPF before you go out.
When You Need A Little More
For those days I need an extra boost, I’ve switched from full coverage foundation to a very light base – Origins GinZing SPF40 Tinted Moisturiser (£30) is fantastic. It is one gentle shade for all, super light, and also has the added benefit of a strong SPF too. A semi-regular lash tint on my blonde lashes and a brow shape and tint negates the need for mascara, and also helps my makeup-free confidence too.
Skincare can take some time to get right, and skin concerns obviously fluctuate – hormones and stress and life will sometimes affect the results of your routine. But once you know what generally works for you, you’ll be able to adjust accordingly when those moments arise. My extra couple of minutes spent on cleansing has really proven that technique – and actually taking that time for myself – is as important as product. I’ve also learned there’s absolutely no point worrying about pore size or a spot if you’re out and about, and no one else will notice it like you do. Do what you need to feel confident, but don’t stress over it. Life’s too short!
All of these items are available to Click & Collect to your nearest CollectPlus Point, which makes online shopping so much easier. Say goodbye to staying in all day waiting for your order and hello to freedom.
July 18th 2018 - by @CollectPlus