19 January, 2015 Beauty Rules To Live By
One facet of blogging that fills me with absolute joy is when people ask me for advice and recommendations. After around 8 years of using and buying beauty products, I’d like to think I’ve amassed a fair bit of sage wisdom on what and what not to do to your face, so below are a few beauty rules and guidelines that I swear by, and think you should too.
1) If you wear makeup, do not, under any circumstances, use makeup remover wipes. I used to use them constantly throughout my teenage years, chuck them in the bin, and think I was really clever for remembering to take it all off before flopping into bed after a night out. I would always have these annoying, under-the-skin spots, and never correlate removing makeup half-heartedly with these insipid lumps and bumps. Luckily, I saw the error of my ways about two years ago, and only use oils, creams and micellar lotions to remove all that gunk at the end of a long day. Micellar waters are great for those who don’t want the faff of a long routine, but I would always recommend an oil, gel, cream or balm if you’ve had heavy foundation and eye makeup on. Face wipes don’t penetrate the skin deeply enough to effectively clean your skin, and can most often cause clogged pores. Here is a post on my makeup removing cleansers if you’re now terrified of face wipes: Top Six: Makeup Removers.
2) Exfoliation is the key to radiant, youthful skin. It can speed up the process of healing spots and remove dead skin cells that build up and leave you looking dull and tired. I don’t use harsh scrubs anymore as they make me feel like I’m being tortured by apricot kernels (St. Ives, I’m looking at you), but I do love using acid exfoliants. Acid exfoliants (or toners, as they are often labelled) are often more gentle and more effective, as they dissolve dead skin using a combination of glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid, depending on your skin type, and help refine the skin, promoting an all-round happier complexion. My current favourites are the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (review here, £20.50 here), The REN Clarimatte Clarifying Toner (review here, £12 here), and the Pixi Exfoliating Glow Tonic Toner (review coming soon, £18 here).
3) Oils, in moderation, are your friend – I have very oily skin, and until recently I was always under the impression that oils should be avoided at all times. Whilst that’s true for makeup and complexion products, oils in skincare can often improve your skin’s appearance and texture. Oils can clarify, rehydrate and balance, and there’s a huge range of them on the market. My favourite is from Clarins, and it’s the Lotus Face Treatment Oil (£32 here). This regulates oil production with astringent Rosemary, Geranium and Lotus, whilst moisturising and nourishing with Hazelnut. Skin overcompensates when oil and moisture is stripped from the face, producing more oil which can cause breakouts. This calms and soothes skin by balancing the amount of oil on the skin, and when applied overnight, my skin feels fresh and plump the next day. Clarins do a range of oils for different skin types, and it’s one of the best additions to my routine in the last few years!
4) Use the products you have – We’re all guilty of stashing makeup and saying ‘it’s only for really special events’, but it’s there to be used and played with. There are some products I’m trying to use everyday that I would otherwise save for special occasions (like my Filmstar Bronze & Glow from Charlotte Tilbury), as it makes an everyday makeup look a bit more fun and luxurious.
5) Wash your makeup brushes once a week – I have found that any shampoo works, but ones for coloured hair are the most effective at removing heavy makeup such as creams and liquid foundations. Baby shampoo works in a pinch if you can get past the smell!
6) However much water you’re drinking, drink more – Keep a bottle of water with your wherever you go. Bad skin becomes worse through dehydration, and it helps to flush out toxins which can cause spots. It’s the only skincare staple that’s truly free, so take advantage of it.
7) Invest in effective, not expensive, beauty products – Being knowledgeable of the best brands around might mean spending a bit more (or less) money than you’re used to, but you’ll reap the rewards when you find that product you’ve been missing from your collection. Liz Earle, Sanctuary Spa, Mario Badescu, La Roche Posay, Bioderma, Soap & Glory and The Body Shop are just a few of brands I use everyday, are mid-range, and offer incredible products that make great additions to my beauty routine. Seventeen at Boots do a nude lipstick that rivals any high-end brand (Beehive, £4.19 here), but I also think you can’t beat MAC eyeshadows. As long as the product makes you happy, you’re not getting yourself in debt, and you use it well and often, you can’t really go wrong.
8) Beauty, makeup and skincare should be enjoyed – If you hate wearing makeup, feel uncomfortable using it, or find it tedious, there’s no need to wear it. It sounds cliche, but real beauty comes from within, and if you’re confident enough to leave the house bare-faced, I salute you – just promise me you’ll wash your face when you get home!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my little ramble and my advice on beauty – let me know your beauty rules in the comments below, as well as any questions or suggestions you have for me!