make-up free selfie

This is me. I’m 34. In my mid-thirties can now say that I’m confident in my own skin. I regularly go make-up free and not just on good skin days. No concealer. No filters. Just me.

Of course it does help that my skin is in its best condition since my pre-teen days. I’m aware that’s a pretty bold statement since my pre-teen years are over two decades past.

My skincare regime from 2012 to early 2016 was a basic double-cleanse I.e. washing twice (Neutrogena 2-in-1), applying a thin layer of La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo all over my face, and finishing with a light moisturiser. The Effaclar Duo has single handedly improved my skin condition and kept it spot free. I repeated twice daily, at dawn and dusk. If I remembered, I’d use eye cream but this was probably only 50% of the time.

In April 2016,  I added a serum to my routine, and have stuck religiously to applying eye gel daily. I’ve also managed to phase out the Effaclar Duo and now only use when I get the occasional spot, or if I’m travelling to London for work (oh the grime). This simple routine has really added vitality back to my skin and the eye cream is helping with skin elasticity and (so far) preventing crows feet.

So… here are my current skin heroes.

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Face cleanser:
La Roche-Posay Make-Up Remover Micellar Water Gel
Price £12 for 195ml

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This is intended for use as a make-up remover but I use it as both a make-up remover and face wash. I apply a 10p-sized blob to my hands and massive into wet skin. If I’m removing make-up, I’ll leave for 30 seconds to a minute before rinsing off with cool water. I then repeat once then pat my face dry.I’ve been ‘double-cleansing’ for about 4 years now and it’s really improved my skin. All I mean by double-cleaning is to wash twice. The first wash gets rid of most of the make-up, oils, impurities, pollution, and the second removes the last traces that would normally clog pores and cause spots.

 

 

 

 

 

Serum:

The Body Shop Drops of Light serum
Price £25 for 30ml

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I apply 2-3 drops of this onto my fingertips and gently massage all over my face. I apply this in the morning and again at night. I’ve been using this since April 2016 and have only just finished the bottle this week. £25 may seem expensive but one bottle goes very far indeed. I have noticed my skin is more hydrated, and clearer, amongst other benefits (see full review here). Applying the serum before my moisturiser and other skincare enables the skin care products to really penetrate the skin and work deeper.

 

 

 

 

 

Eye gel: Simply Professional Eye Gel
Price £7.50 for 30ml

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This eye gel is a salon or pro-only product that I initially trialled before adding to my kit. I’ve been using it for about 2 years now, but only using regularly for the past 12 months. The cucumber extracts help cool and soothe the eyes, and the gel can also be put in the fridge for extra soothing of sore or puffy eyes.

I take a small drop on my ring finger and gently pat around the eye socket. Not rubbing or massaging in, but patting lightly. Also note that you shouldn’t apply eye cream directly to the undereyes as that can lead to puffy eyes. If you pat gently around the eye socket, the moisture will be absorbed around the socket and into the undereye without overloading it with product.

 

 

 

Toner: La Roche-Posay Serozinc

Price £8.50 for 150ml

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This has been a staple in my skincare routine since it launched in the UK in December 2014. It works as a skin refresher and toner, with the active ingredient, Zinc Sulphate reducing oilyness in the skin.

Application is simple. Just spritz and wait to absorb into skin. That’s it. Nothing more. I said in my 2015 review, I would wait to see the cumulative benefit. It has indeed had cumulative benefit over time and my skin is less prone to blemishes and spots.

 

 

 

 

 

Moisturiser: Clinique Dramatically Different Gel
Price £30 for 125ml

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I have heard many good things about this cream prior to trying it myself. I had it on very good authority that this was suitable for all skin tones, light enough for everyday use, and also buildable for those that need more hydration. Why it took me so long to try it I have no idea. In fact I only tried it after getting a small sample bottle with a magazine.

Once I used it, just wow, I realised why people love it. It is indeed very light and absorbs quickly into the skin, and you can apply make-up after a minute or two. I now stock this in my make-up kit and have used it on pretty much every client I’ve had over the last 12 months.

I still have the tiny sample bottle and keep it in my gym shower bag, topping up when it runs out. It’s definitely an essential for me now.

 

This little routine takes about 5 minutes as I do each step in between getting dressed and coiffed. That saves time but still allows each product to absorb into the skin before I apply the next.

Over the past six months, with this routine, the natural glow has returned to my skin, and I couldn’t be happier.