Arriving in London with a makeup bag that had apparently been packed by a drunk baboon forced me to be a bit creative with my products. I honestly have no idea how I ended up with four bronzers and two foundations but absolutely no brow stuff, no lipstick and only one (quite dark and punchy) eyeshadow.
But here’s what I did with what I had. It’s been a few weeks since the “WTF did I pack?” incident but I’ve actually kept up with the same routine, because I like it, and here’s the video to prove it. I’ve written a description with product links below.
So: in with the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation. For a full review with before and after photos, please click here. I won’t repeat myself – it’s virtually faultless for a longwear, grown-up face base.
I then used Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow to contour and bronze myself up, applying far too much and then having to buff it out for approximately twelve minutes. It was the makeup equivalent of making a toddler meal: heat it for two minutes, cool it right down again for ten. Go forwards and then almost right back to the start.
Bronze & Glow is an excellent investment if you can possibly make it. There are many “dupes” but none give quite the instant glam this contour and highlight duo does. You can find it online here at Charlotte Tilbury* – I use shade Light-Medium.
A touch of blush – this one is from Valentino (shade 9, here) and is lovely, but there’s no massive need to spend so much. Just a good flush of something optimistic and pinkish will do!
And then eyes. Here’s where it gets revolutionary. I use the same Tilbury Filmstar palette on my eyes – the contour to, er, contour and the highlighter to gild the lids. It works so well! It really helps to shape the eye, subtly, and the highlighter gives lift and brightness to the eye area. I’m so impressed with this and I like that it keeps all of the tones on my face very uniform and tied together.
I then stuck a Vieve Eye Wand in Coffee* into the corners of my eyes and dragged it up towards the eyebrow end a little bit, to give myself the customary “eye lift”. If you’ve never done this before then you’re in for a treat. It’s not necessary to put the product into your eye socket in the way I do, which is borderline violent, but the Vieve Eye Wand is chunky and soft and just seems to lend itself to fitting right in the outer corner. It’s very malleable and blendable so I use a small amount, I don’t apply to the upper lid, but I take a small smudge brush and blend the little line of product out so that it’s soft and hazy and what leftovers I have I smudge into the lower and upper lashline, just at the outer edge of the eye.
Rather than me explain it in a thousand words, it’s probably better to take a look at the video, if you’ve never seen me do my little eye lifting trick. It properly, properly works – you just have to make sure you follow the curve of your lower lashline to get the flick in the right direction!
The mascara I use here is the faithful L’Oreal Telescopic, which I just think is one of the best mascaras you can buy, regardless of price. I rate the one in the dull gold tube and it’s usually about eight quid when you catch it on offer, which is almost always and it has a fine, narrow comb that’s flexible and mess-free. You can wiggle right to the base of the lashes and then pull through to coat each one and they are left looking chic and separated. I very rarely deposit product onto my lids (happens with just about every other mascara) and I don’t get fallout or smudging. I buy this mascara constantly – usually from Amazon Prime, see here*, but you can get it in Boots and Superdrug and it’s always in stock.
At time of writing L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara is £7.07 here*
I use hairspray and a brow brush for my brows because I’ve misplaced all of my brow products (I sorted every single one of them into a small bag and then promptly lost it within the office avalanche) and I do my lips with a simple lipliner outline (Rare Beauty liner in Creative, see here*) patted in and topped with lip balm.
And that’s it. It’s quite a pared-down routine, product-wise: I wish I had a fancy little picture of the products but I don’t, and anyway the Tilbury palette is almost finished so it’s not looking its photogenic best. I’ll finish with a few extra links for bits and bobs featured in the video, including the skincare prep and the blouse I’m wearing. I say, what a lovely blouse!
Olay Retinol Eye Cream is currently 60% off here*
Aveeno Calm and Restore Serum is here*
Skin Rocks The Moisturiser is online here
The Francine Floral Blouse I’m wearing is from Wyse London here
The post Current Makeup Routine: Spring 2023 appeared first on Ruth Crilly.
I was slightly nervous about the fact that the epic Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear foundation had been reformulated. And I say epic with not even a hint of irony because it was just that: very few high coverage, ultra longwear foundations came close to it in terms of the quality of finish, ease of application, shade range and longevity. The original Teint Idole covered every blemish and imperfection – no concealer needed – but it somehow managed to not obliterate all of the life from your skin at the same time. It looked flexible, comfortable, slightly juicy, but also gave that perfect, flawless, airbrushed sort of finish that completely removes redness, dark circles, areas of pigmentation. And it had a subtle glow, an expensive luminescence, yet the finish was velvety-matte.
And the feel! Oh the feel of the thing. It was cushiony, it didn’t settle into lines, it moved with your skin…if ever there was a full coverage foundation for grown-ups then this was it. And so: my nervousness over the reformulation. What would Lancome tweak? What aspect of the original formula would us diehard fans sob over? How could Lancome improve upon perfection and a face base that had been around – successfully – for decades?
Well, let me tell you; they have. Lancome have taken their Teint Idole Ultra Wear foundation and made it just as comprehensive in coverage, just as cushiony to apply and just as long in wear-time, and they’ve somehow added a load of skincare ingredients into the mix along the way. And do you know what? You can actually feel the difference.
Buy Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear*
After a week of daily testing, with the old formula on one half of my face and the new formula on the other (how I suffer for my art) I can categorically tell you that the new side of my face feels continuously hydrated throughout the day. More plumptious. The other side doesn’t feel dry, as such, it just feels…normal. There’s a definite difference. I was sceptical beyond all polite reason about the hydrating skincare element of the relaunched formula but it’s there. And it works. My new face side is juicier and more springy to the touch but with the same amount of coverage on the skin.
I really don’t think that many (if any) Teint Idole users will be disappointed with the new version. It’s the same marvellous foundation, plus a (very) slightly more hydrating feel. I personally welcome the additional plumptiousness because I still get the same coverage but now it feels even more comfortable and flexible on the skin.
This newly reformulated Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear is not to be confused with the new Teint Idole Ultra Wear Care & Glow. It’s incredibly confusing and I wish that Care & Glow was just a totally different product line, in a way – it’s less coverage, more dew – but you can easily tell the two foundations apart by looking at the lids. White for the lighter coverage Care & Glow* and black for the higher coverage Idole*.
Interestingly, I prefer the feeling of the high coverage Idole on my skin to the Care & Glow. But Care & Glow does give an exemplary level of high-wattage luminosity – it’s the sort of glow level where I personally feel I don’t need a highlighter. (Though as a disclaimer, I do feel as though highlighter is one of the most overused and misused products in the entire makeup world. Looks great for the gram but honestly, in real life, some people look absolutely wild. Like robots. At the very least it just looks incredibly unnatural, which is surely the opposite of the desired effect.)
I should add, because it’s pretty important, that I use very little product when I’m applying Teint Idole. It really doesn’t need to be trowelled on and I think it looks best when it’s applied very lightly, from the centre of the face, and built up only if needed. One light coat is enough to knock back most blemishes, dark circles and areas of redness – take a look at the before and after photos:
The single layer of foundation, applied very wispily with a small powder brush and not a flat-topped foundation brush, even part-conceals the glasses marks on my nose. Those are always a nightmare to disguise, when I’m filming, because they are red and indented and just a general pain in the arse to deal with. No problem for the Teint Idole. And if I’d gone back over with another little light coating then I’d have obliterated them completely.
The photos do a pretty good job of showing the finish too: it looks quite velvety-matt but there’s a real luminescence that isn’t glittery or shiny but just…expensive looking. It’s the kind of base that really is a base, coming into its own as the bronzer goes on, then the blusher… it’s the perfect starting canvas, flawless and smooth.
You can find new Teint Idole Ultra Wear online at Lancome here*, LookFantastic here* and Selfridges here*. There’s a whopping range of 45 shades and Lancome have also improved on the pigments to create tones that are always flattering and enhancing on the skin. No ashy undertones. I use shade 220C – I used to use 02 in the old formula which was ever so slightly warmer in tone. I’ll do some experimenting next time I’m near to a counter!
It suits all skin types and doesn’t slide from oily patches or settle in fine lines. Here’s a little quickfire video if you’d like to see application:
The post New Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation Review appeared first on Ruth Crilly.
Eye cream really divides opinion in the beauty world. Some people swear by it (the usual argument being that skin around the eyes is different – thinner – than elsewhere and so you want a dedicated formula to suit) and some people think that you should just use whatever you’re using on your face and take it right up around the eyes. Why spend on a separate product that is going to do virtually the same thing, especially when eye creams are notoriously more expensive per ml than the equivalent face version?
I have now been in both camps. I started off very firmly in the Eye Cream Supporters Team, defected to the other side for a while and then meekly crept on back to my original people hoping they’d never notice I’d left.
I had been a solidly pro-eye cream since my modelling days. I used to love the way that the makeup artists would pat-pat-pat it in, give it a little de-puffing massagery, take it lightly onto the lids, push up the eyebrows to waken you up and give everything a little lift. And of course they could have done this whole routine using a face cream, and often did, but it was notable that they gave such care and attention to the eye area. And that’s because if there’s one place that’s going to look haggard/hungover first then it’s around the eyes.
The skin is thinner, the area is altogether more delicate – prone to puffiness, to circles, to sensitivity. Which brings me onto my next pro-eye cream argument: formulation. The eye needs are significantly different to the face needs, a lot of the time. You can have puffy eyes when the rest of your face looks fine. Why would you de-puff the whole thing with a cooling gel? The eyes will be fine but the face will feel tight and uncomfortable. You might want to blast your face with high-strength retinoid, but that same product under the eyes might be drying or too strong to tolerate.
And so there you have, in a nutshell, my two main reasons for using a dedicated eye cream: application, formulation. If I use a separate product then for some unfathomable reason it does make me pay particular attention to the way that I pat-pat-slide the product on. If I just treat my eye area as another part of my face then I don’t tend to do any sort of special love, I just sweep over it at the same time as my cheeks. It’s a cheek extension.
And if I have an eye cream with the perfect formulation, day in, day out, for my eye area then why would I not use that? Then the rest of my face can do what it wants – be radically exfoliated, be filled to bursting with hyaluronic acid, be self-tanned or retinoided – and my eyes will have a steady, appropriate treatment that tackles whatever the concern might be. For me it’s fine lines and, er, deeper lines. Lines, basically.
The reason I defected to the anti-eye-cream camp, momentarily? Research. And laziness. I was honing my routine (morning: vitamin c serum/moisturiser/SPF, evening: retinoid every other night, or hydrating serum/moisturiser on the “off” days) and the eye cream seemed a step too many. (Never mind all of these mists and essences that are all the rage: I simply cannot see how they could have much more benefit than a good serum and moisturiser combo. Maybe that’s my next bit of research.)
So I started using whatever face stuff I had to hand all over rather than using an eye cream and then the serum, moisturiser, whatever. But I’ll tell you what started happening, and I noticed this after around three months or so: my eyes were significantly more crepey and dry. It was a marked difference. And I realised that not only was I not really taking the products into the eye area with the same thoroughness as I would a separate eye cream (really tired of typing eye cream at this point, please make it stop), if I used a strong retinoid or an exfoliating face product then I was missing out the eye area almost completely!
And so, without really realising it, I had gone from giving my eyes a twice-daily mini-facial of their own to giving them…not much at all. My eye cream routine was a (little ten second) workout, my “eyes as part of a face” routine was the equivalent to doing no exercise whatsoever. Walking to the car from the front door. Some effect, but really, negligible.
I’m back using an eye cream, safe to say. Every night, at the very least. Sometimes in the morning I skip it, because I am far more pressed for time and my eyes tolerate vitamin c serum very well anyway, so it’s not so much of an issue. But in the evening: eye cream ahoy. And it’s almost always one with retinol. Why? Well. It’s pretty much the top rung of the ingredients ladder and, when it comes to eye creams, you can almost guarantee that the retinol will be easily tolerated and the formula gentle. So if you’re seeing fine lines creeping in around the eyes, the skin is starting to crease or go fine and papery, then retinol is your friend. Smoothing, firming, plumping. Won’t help massively if puffiness is your problem, but there are great eye creams for that, too. That’s a whole separate post, when I’ve recovered from having to type out “eye cream” so many times.
Here are three retinol eye products worth the spend:
Olay Retinol Max Eye Cream – £44 but currently £19.55 at Amazon here*: a beautifully formulated, non-greasy eye cream that absolutely does the trick if you want to see a difference in skin texture. Olay test to the high heavens to make sure that products are easy to use and suitable for the mass market so you can be pretty sure you’re not going to make your eyes fall out with this one. Though start carefully – once every few nights – just to ease yourself in.
Beauty Pie Super Retinol Eye Cream, £13 with membership here*: this contains slow-release retinol and loads of hydrating ingredients so it’s a comfortable cream that’s nourishing in feel but – like Olay’s – non-greasy. Use the code RUTHSENTME for money off annual membership – you can find out more on how the membership works here*.
Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum, £82 here*: the priciest option, but Murad really go to town with their retinol range, combining three types of retinol and formulating a product that is as effective as humanly possible whilst minimising adverse reactions. The eye serum (which feels more of a light cream) can be used all around the eyes and on the lids. Seems slightly weird and scary, but I have tested that claim thoroughly and it’s fine and it works. Bravo. It’s a very good investment, if you can make it.
Here’s a video of me saying all of the above:
The post Why I Use An Eye Cream (Again) appeared first on Ruth Crilly.
It’s favourites time, but this time they’re supercharged. The first favourite thing has changed my life and I’m not being dramatic and clickbait-y about it, either; the second favourite is a book that had me audibly cheering as I read it (in just two sittings) in bed last week. The rest of the favourites are also brilliant but it was the first two that inspired my latest video (bottom of the page) and therefore this, the accompanying post. And so without further ado:
I’m sick of saying and writing the word Waterfall; the video took me three attempts, then I spent an hour editing it, now I’m writing about it. I’ve said Waterfall more times in the past day than in the entire rest of my life. But all is forgiven because honestly, these little chewable D-Mannose tablets have changed my life.
Waterfall D-Mannose Peppermint Tablets*
You know how I had constant cystitis? You can read the odd post here and there, I think I tailed off with talking about it because it was frankly depressing and I had a cystoscopy which was horrible and I just didn’t want to share anymore, but – in short – it’s something I had suffered with since late teens. Triggers include winter, sitting down for long periods, not sitting down for long periods, getting a cold back, sex, any alcohol, no alcohol, no sex, holidays, breathing. You get the picture.
After numerous tests, both NHS and private and with no discernible outcome, I had just resigned myself to a lifetime of antibiotic bouts and not being able to drink wine and/or have raucous sex. But two of the things I had been recommended by both consultants was to a) up my fibre and b) try out regular intake of D-Mannose. I tried with the upping of the fibre but the D-Mannose intake was one of those things I – for unknown reasons – resisted. I think it was maybe because the cheap tablets I had were SO big (I have to break them in half) and when I wasn’t actually getting any cystitis warning symptoms I’d simply forget to take them.
Well after my third consecutive cystitis knock-down before Christmas I was desperate to find a way to reduce the occurrences. Also one of the courses of my usual antibiotics had failed to work, which terrified me, and so I ordered a whole load of different D-Mannose products to try them out. Powders, pills and these: the Waterfall Peppermint chewable tablets (here*).
Now I don’t really know whether they are any better than the others out there on the market, in terms of strength or ingredients, but it’s the pure fact that they are like a sweet that keeps me eating them. I have six a day and increase it on the rare occasion I’m going to be doing one of my “cystitis danger activities”, and because I have them on me, whether they’re in my handbag or on my desk or in the car, I know I’ll remember to take them.
They are very pricey compared to my usual ones but – touch wood – I haven’t had a problem since mid-December. Not only that, my usual “irritable bladder” symptoms, – ie always feeling I need to go for a wee, a constant feeling of dread, etc – have almost entirely disappeared.
All of this is completely my own experience and obviously I’m not even remotely a medical expert or advisor, but it’s actually not an expensive outlay to give D-Mannose – regular and consistent taking of D-Mannose – a go. You can get far cheaper options than the Waterfall peppermint ones, it’s just that they make me take them more regularly. Because it’s like chomping sweets. Which has been the gamechanger, I think.
(Realise suddenly chomping six more sweets a day has its own drawbacks but they’re not big. And anyway, preferable to constantly feeling as though your bladder is about to self-combust.)
Anyway, give D-Mannose a Google. There’s plenty of NHS stuff about it – it’s basically a sugar that stops E-Coli bacteria from growing in the urinary system. I wish I had taken it more seriously years ago, it would have saved me a hell of a lot of aggravation and upset!
You can find the peppermint tablets here*.
Enough of my bladder and urethra, though – let’s talk books!
Rarely have I read a book that resonated with me more. Which is weird because (mild spoiler alert) it’s about a mother who is turning into a dog. But of course that’s not really what it’s all about: it’s about losing your identity in stay-at-home-motherhood and (whispers!) boredom in stay-at-home-motherhood and it’s also all about the trade-offs and anxieties and losses of identity for mothers who don’t entirely stay at home, or who are barely at home. It’s a raw, almost feral examination of transformation after childbirth and also of inequalities in relationships with regards to childcare and nurture and – oh God, just read it.
There were parts that didn’t resonate with me, of course, but there were entire passages, pages, chapters that just had me agog with how accurate they were and how in any other hands the subjects being discussed would perhaps make the protagonist sound ungrateful, spoiled, self-indulgent, mad, all of the above. But you just know what she’s about. It’s great. I loved it and have been recommending it to all of my friends, even if most of them have given me an odd look and said ‘wait, you’ve only just read Nightbitch?’
Nightbitch in paperback is online here*
Alas, sold out now in black but there’s an incredibly funky lighter one here*, I’ve found my perfect chunky winter cardicoatigan. It has distinct seventies ski lodge vibes, which is a vibe I can get along with, and it was from The Outnet so had money off. Always a bonus.
You may recall that I’m on a constant search for good long cardis – just found this post from years ago! – because they are so versatile and a dream for lazy dressers like me. I think my love of cardigans will follow me to the grave.
I’m massively pleased with my latest haircut. And I know I’ve said this for the past few, since it’s been shorter, but it’s something of a new era for me. I’ve finally managed to get past my obsession with having to tie it up all the time. I’ve become accustomed to the feeling of it hanging loose and the odd tickle around my face no longer irritates me quite so much. Interestingly I’ve also had less stress headaches since I’ve stopped pulling my hair back into a bun for 90% of the time.
Curing my own ailments, one favourite at a time!
I get my hair done at The Suite in Bath – usually by Mathilde but currently with Cassie Permial, if you’re in Bath and want to ask for her! Both are brilliant.
Final favourite, or “fave” or “favorite” depending on your age and geographical location: the Support Equilibrium Bath & Body Oil from Aromatherapy Associates. It’s just gorgeous. I’ve always been a die-hard Deep Relax blend person (and so is my Mum, we both find it so effective when we need to de-stress and get a good sleep) but recently I started experimenting with other blends and Support has almost immediately placed itself right up there with Deep Relax on my leaderboard.
It’s far more floral and optimistic than Deep Relax but still with a very grounding, deep sort of base. Ooh, I’ve just Googled: it has Frankincense in it! No wonder I bloody love it. Anything with Frankincense usually worms its way into my stash quite quickly.
Harrods currently have this on sale, for some reason – no idea why as it’s full price elsewhere but I’m not complaining! It’s £38.50 instead of £55 here*. AA oils are expensive but for a reason: I haven’t found any better for the bath and body yet and I’ve been testing hundreds of them over the course of thirteen years.
Added to my bargain basement Epsom Salts (here*) it’s the best luxurious bathing experience money can buy! I like to think that the savings on the salts justify the price of the oils, but in fact the oils are so good they need no justification and you need the teeniest bit each time.
Marvellous: here’s the video for extra info and enthusiasm and drama.
The post You Won’t Believe How Much I Love These Things… appeared first on Ruth Crilly.
I’ve made some little tweaks to my makeup routine and committed them to video: one of the changes involves my eyebrows, and you might already know about that one, but the other four are relatively new and snazzy. I know that the suspense will be killing you, so let’s get cracking.
My first makeup tweak is so puny and weird that I’m almost embarrassed to be writing about it, but seeing as though social media’s USP is people sharing things so mundane it makes you want to lobotomise yourself with a corkscrew, I’m going to go right ahead. The makeup update, if you could even call it that, is that I’ve only been putting foundation or tinted moisturiser on the centre of my face rather than all over it.
See, I told you it was fascinating.
It’s more of a convenience than a tweak and it has evolved from my habitual wearing of roll-neck or high-necked jumpers. For who wants foundation all the way down their neck when their neck is going to be smothered in wool? Equally, who even wants foundation on their chin, when their chin is permanently rubbing on the woollen roll-neck? Not I.
So I use the face base sparingly and lightly and only in the central part of the face rather than right up to the edges which, in truth, is the only place that tends to need foundation anyway. Facial perimeters rarely have a lot of bothersome bits going on.
This approach to skin-perfecting is best done with a sheerer foundation or tinted moisturiser, something forgiving and ultra-blendable. If you try to do it with a longwear opaque base then you’ll probably run into trouble. My tint of current choice? Still ILIA Skin Tint (I use shade ST7) with it’s mega-glow. You can find it here online*.
My next little fancy twist to the makeup tale is using blusher on my eyes. I know! What’s come over me? I saw Katie-Jane Hughes (amazing makeup artist) do it on Instagram to tie her eyes in with the blush and it was just so easy and fun and fresh, and the pink isn’t actually directly around the eyes so you don’t look like a rabbit from Watership Down… It’s just a quick bosh with the brush at the outer edges and then blend – watch the video below to see this in action.
You can use whatever’s left on the brush from doing cheeks. Doesn’t matter particularly whether it’s a cream or powder blush but I used the amazing Freshfaced Cream Blush from Beauty Pie here*. (Remember to use RUTHSENTME if you’re a new customer signing up and you’ll get a bit off the membership.)
Not even a tweak, so I’m starting to feel as though this entire exercise is a lie, but I’ll plough on. It’s just a clumsy, crayon-y splodge of dark eye colour at the outer corners in an upwards-facing wedge, blended in, to lift the eyes and make them look less tired. All this does (and again, you need to watch the video for the how-to) is bend the lashline upwards so that the outer corners look as though they sit a few mm higher than they did before. Tiny, subtle change but it’s vastly effective. If you want a stronger optical illusion then do it with a solid line of eyeliner but it’s trickier to get right than the splodge-of-wedge-and-blend-it method. I used the excellent suit-all Vieve Eye Wand in Coffee, here*.
I genuinely can’t even remember what this was and have to go back and watch the video. Please hold. I only had five bloody things to remember! I’d be rubbish at Kim’s Game now. Used to be almost champion-level.
OK the fourth tweak is the gluing of the eyebrows using Brow Freeze. You know about this already, if you’ve read the previous makeup post but you must watch them being laminated and waxed and glued into place in the video. This Brow Freeze stuff is amazing – my eyebrows end up about half an inch further up my face! Some might think this is a bad thing, I quite like it for a change. It’s a bit like when you move your bed to a different wall and it’s as though you don’t even know who you are anymore. But reordering your facial features instead. Facial Feng Shui.
You can find Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Freeze here* – I would, and I surprise myself here, recommend getting the dedicated applicator that you have to purchase separately. Because my way of dunking the brow brush at an awkward angle is not massively convenient.
The gloss in a stick. Apparently these Revlon Super Lustrous Glass Shine lipsticks have gone viral on Tiktok. If I could use Tiktok without crashing Tiktok, having to log out of Tiktok and having to then reset my Tiktok password each and every time, then I’d spend a lot more time on Tiktok, but as it stands I just don’t have the energy for it. I’m constantly told I need to use it and upload videos there but it’s just so…chaotic. And noisy. Everyone is pointing at things on the screen, or talking loudly, or dancing. It feels like being stuck in an arcade game.
So I’ll take everyone’s word for it that these lipsticks are the new craze – it also makes sense, because they really are excellent. As glossy as a gloss but without the stickiness, they actually do properly plump and shine the lips without any effort whatsoever. And they’re moisturising. Genuinely. I felt the effects long after the colour had slinked away.
My favourite shade is the Strawberry one – find it at LookFantastic here* and just about nowhere else because everywhere seems to be out of stock!
Marvellous, we raced through those tweaks didn’t we? Now you just have the video to watch. Get to it…
I have my hair cut and coloured at The Suite in Bath (not an ad, I have always paid, just like to give them a shout-out and I always get asked!).
My pink jumper was a kind present from my friends at Scamp & Dude
The post I Updated My Makeup Routine: 5 Favourite Changes appeared first on Ruth Crilly.
First post of 2023 and it’s straight in with my current makeup routine and some incredible new makeup discoveries. I don’t use the word incredible lightly, either: some of these products have completely changed my makeup routine and had my husband asking questions such as “what have you done to your eyebrows? I mean, why are they pointing upwards like that? Like bird’s feathers stuck on?”
“It’s the fashion,” I replied.
And it is. Or was, at least. Feathery eyebrows: I have grown to like them. Just in time for them to seemingly slide back out of fashion in favour of the nineties groomed-and-narrow brow. I like that the featheriness takes the weight out of the brow and lifts my eye area but equally I can see why that’s not for everyone. But that is the beauty of makeup – you can simply change your mind and do something different the next day.
New discoveries then – and do watch the video at the bottom of the page to see these in action. Very briefly.
I don’t think I’ve ever had so many compliments on my skin since using this tinted moisturiser (for that is what it is). It has such a heft of illuminator in it that you cannot fail to glow. The coverage is light but capable, making skintone look more even and the finish is dewy and feels comfortable and flexible on the skin.
The ILIA skin tint is massively hydrating and I apply straight over serum (ironically, because this is also called a serum) for a one-stop daytime low-key look. A bit of cream bronzer and blush over the top and a lick of mascara and I’m good to go, if I’m after the bare minimum. The skin tint really does give a superstar sort of finish that looks perfect, but real, but glowier than real, but also undone, but still polished. I suppose what I’m saying is that it looks effortless but is actually working really hard on the light-reflecting front.
If you have lots of fine lines or quite crepey skin then be aware that illuminating products tend to also illuminate lines (usually not so much of a problem with dedicated highlighters as you would apply them both sparingly and in targeted areas) but I’ve found that a bit of pore-filling primer on the forehead and around the eye area does wonders. (Benefit Porefessional is always a good one.)
This Skin Tint sits at a premium price-point – it’s £46 at Sephora here* – but I’d say that you’re absolutely getting a premium product. This is the sort of face base you can rely on to always look good and make you look fresher and perkier. I’d say it’s slightly better for drier skin rather than oily as it doesn’t set completely and I do get a little movement in the t-zone if I don’t powder but you could always use a primer, as mentioned.
If I had to compare it to another product then I’d say that it’s quite similar to NARS Tinted Moisturiser with perhaps less coverage and more glow. I’m not mad-keen on the pipette dispenser but it’s so good that I forgive that.
Find ILIA Skin Tint here* – there are 30 blendable shades (this isn’t the sort of face product that requires an identical tone match) and I wear ST7.
Let’s return to the feathery brows and this, the Anastasia Brow Freeze, is the ultimate product to make them with. It’s a wax but also a gel – sort of like one of those eighties hair gels that came in the big sticky pot – and it coats the brow hairs so that they are instantly shapeable and moveable. If Dali had seen this stuff he’d have been in his element – God only knows what his tache would have looked like. He’d probably have been able to shape whole words out of it. Sentences!
You’re supposed to use a special applicator but I don’t have that and I don’t feel I need it. The wax does clog up all of my brow brushes but a quick wash in boiling water melts it off and leaves them as-new. Ish. Maybe I should get the applicator!
I haven’t found another brow product that can shape and hold like this one; it’s like using glue, but a friendly one that won’t make your brows clump together and then fall off. On my very fair brows it gives them massive definition without needing to add any colour and I love the way I can feather the hairs upwards so effectively – I’m a big promotor of using hairspray on brows for a quick fix and I stand behind that tip… but honestly, Brow Freeze takes things to a new dimension.
You can find Brow Freeze online here* – it’s £23.
Every time I mention the Kajal eyeliners from Victoria Beckham I get asked if there are dupes. And understandably, because the price is pretty punchy for an eyeliner. (£26 at VBB here.) Yes there are other soft liners that hold fast (one of the best is the Avon one in my opinion, Gel Paint Eyeliner here*) but if you’re after the on-trend shades that VBB brings out then it’s more difficult to find them on the high street, especially with the right texture and staying power.
I’m using Copper in the video below and I think that it’s a really lovely alternative to plain brown if you want to add some sparkle and zing. I don’t think that it looks over the top as a daytime effect, either. The Kajal is really soft and so you get enough time to blend the lines out if you want a smokier effect, but it’s not out-of-control smudgey and it sets fast without budging until it’s time to remove it. The Olive shade is also marvellous and slightly more unusual, FYI.
New from the ever-expanding Tilbury makeup empire: Pop Shots. These are more about the glimmer than imparting lots of colour – think of the glittery “top coat” you get in her eye quads that you press onto the lids as a final light-reflecting hit. That’s what these are, but without the rest of the quad. I use Sunlit Diamond which is a very warm, coppery gold and slightly more modern than the classic yellow version. I thought that these would have limited appeal after the festive season was finished (and they are limited edition) but I’ve been enjoying adding something fun and frivolous to my makeup routine. You have to get your kicks where you can in January.
Find Hypnotising Pop Shots online here*.
Final new find: Ruby Hammer’s Lip Serum Balms. They’re utterly beautiful. Buttery soft and spreadable and comfortable and you feel the effects even when the colour has disappeared. Possibly Red isn’t the wisest choice for a soft and buttery balm – it can be a disaster on the teeth! – but I couldn’t resist this one. It’s glossy and rich and such a true, true red – you wouldn’t want to wear it for kissing under the mistletoe as it would be everywhere but you’ve missed that boat anyway. And for all other situations, it’s just cheery and great. You can blot it down to a more muted lip stain if you like, but it’s just such a good shade I think it’s a shame to clip its wings.
Ruby Hammer Lip Serum Balm is £18 at Sephora here*.
Right, here’s the vid (if you can’t see it then you’ve managed to land on this page whilst it’s uploading!). I also used Charlotte Tilbury Cream Bronzer in Shade 1 (here*) and Beauty Pie brown mascara and red lipliner (here*). The cream roll-neck jumper is Wyse London but seems to have sold out!
The post My Makeup Routine: January 2023 appeared first on Ruth Crilly.
Haircare is the category that’s most likely to let me down, beauty-wise. It tends to give me heated tools that I can’t manage to operate, “moisturising” shampoos that leave my hair feeling like wire, styling foams and mists and mousses that need to be blow-dried in by someone who can actually blow-dry hair, which most definitely isn’t me…
So when I find hair products that work well for me I feel almost jubilant about it and also feel the need to shout the product names from the rooftops. Luckily I have a blog so I don’t actually need to get onto the rooftops, I can just shout about the products here.
(My village would absolutely hate me if I started shouting from the rooftops. We already have incredibly noisy owls here and a weird animal that sounds like a dragon that breathes out raspy, massive breaths across the valley all through the night – I’m convinced it’s some sort of top secret military project – and so we don’t need me adding to the wild nighttime soundtrack.)
The first of these wonder new hair product discoveries is the Kerastase Blond Absolu Masque Cicaextreme. This is actually a rediscovery and by God, what a stroke of luck that I delved in again. It’s absolutely magnificent on bleached, fried hair. I knew from the second I began rinsing out that this was special; my hair didn’t even feel like hair. It was both weightless and slippery, it felt as though it might just slide off my head and down the plughole with the water.
I used it again and again – and again just to check – that it was indeed this masque making miracles on my head and yes. This was no one-shot wonder. My hair had that expensive weighty feel that I’ve always tried to explain at the hairdressers but people look at me like I’m mad; I don’t want soft hair, I don’t want greasy hair, I want it to have the weight and smoothness of silk. I want it to drape and slide over the back of my hand like a hair advert.
And I didn’t just take my own word for it either; I did a number of jobs and events where the respective hair stylist commented on the condition of my hair – I’d like to say they were wowed, but they just commented. Let’s not overegg the pudding here.
Buy Kerastase Blond Absolu Masque Cicaextreme*
I don’t even leave this on as a mask; shamefully I plonk it on, massage in and rinse off all within a few minutes. If I left it on then my hair would no doubt win some sort of award, or be put forward for scientific research.
You can find Kerastase Blond Absolu Masque CicaExtreme at Amazon here* (currently almost a tenner off) and LookFantastic here*. It’s a pricey little morsel so here’s my recommendation: squeeze as much water from your hair as you can after shampooing. Almost towel dry it a bit. Then the product won’t just slip off, it’ll actually stick to your hair and you can use less and massage it in more. Leave on for as long as you can, even overnight – or, if you’re me, for two minutes, then rinse.
Next on the honours list; JVN Instant Recovery Serum. Now I know a lot has been said about the Air Dry Cream but I find that a little too robust on my very fine hair. It just weighs a little heavy on the ends and never quite seems to disappear on in. The serum is like a lighter, more repairing version – it feels like (and is) a treatment rather than a styling product. You don’t get so much in the way of “texture” but you do get a smooth finish with no grease or residue.
The jar packaging isn’t ideal for me when it comes to application as I rarely want to dollop my fingers into something messy when I’m in the final stages of my glamourising but I’ll forgive it.
You can get this in two sizes at Space NK* – the bigger one is much better value and, at £25, isn’t so bad considering you’ll be hard pushed to get through it in a year.
Buy JVN Instant Recovery Serum*
And to the finale and a star buy for the kids: Garnier’s Apricot No Tears Easy Detangling Solid Shampoo Bar. No packaging save for a simple cardboard box, the bar is shaped like a lion’s paw (it’s Lion King themed, they’ve thought of everything!) and you just lather it in your hands (or directly on their hair) and it instantly produces a mass of shampoo.
I thought that this would be a horror show; I was almost going to hide it because I knew the kids would want to use it if it was shaped like a paw and I couldn’t bear the idea of having to comb out the resulting bird’s nest of wiry, dried-out hair. But – hurrah! No dryness. This did what it said it would; detangled and shampooed. I don’t know what else to say about it, I was just very pleasantly surprised.
Buy Garnier’s Solid Shampoo Bar for Kids*
If you’re trying to cut down on unnecessary packaging and want to keep things simple with the kids’ hair-washing routine then this is great.
You can find it at Boots here* – it’s £7.99 and so far multiple uses have not even remotely made a dent in the size of the paw, so I expect it to far outlast a bottle. Do you think? I’ve just written that with no way of knowing. I’ll update you. Maybe it’ll be neck and neck.
The post These New Haircare Discoveries are Brilliant appeared first on Ruth Crilly.
Well, here’s something I was expecting to hate but ended up loving: the Babyliss Cordless Hot Brush. I realised, through a bit of self-therapising (basically just me staring at the window for a while, pondering stuff) that the reason I took instant dislike to the thing was because it had lots of short, completely rigid bristles. It reminded me of the little brushes you used to get in the eighties to do hairdressing on the mannequin head’s plastic, knotted hair and it also reminded me of a certain type of mascara wand that I very much dislike.
So yes, I judged this particular book by its cover. (I don’t mind admitting that I judge nearly every single beauty and grooming product by its proverbial cover, because products are not people and they can’t be offended and so on the “moral offences” scale it’s pretty tame.)
But how wrong I was. The rigid bristles are there to slide and glide through the hair so that nothing gets tangled and it makes the whole process, if you’re simply sleeking everything down as I was, effortless and speedy. I had no idea what the Babyliss Cordless Hot Brush was supposed to do because I didn’t do any research before I turned it on, but I began brushing my hair with it and it was instantly smoothed. I then decided to mix things up a bit and brushed it from the underneath, like the hairdressers do, turning the brush as I went, and it gave a little bit of volume through the lengths and then a rounded-under finish. A very smooth, swanky, expensive-looking long bob.
I realise that in the age of “gadgets needing to do more than one thing” this isn’t the most all-singing all-dancing hair tool; it doesn’t use air like the Dyson things and it you can’t do fancy twists and turns with it like you can with a pair of straighteners (I mean I don’t think you can…again: haven’t read the instructions) but for me, it’s an absolute Godsend. Because I have that particular length of hair that looks excellent styled but that makes me look like a medieval lute player if I don’t do anything with it. And most of the time I really can’t be bothered to do anything with it. The Babyliss Cordless Hot Brush offers me a sort of “midway effort option”: three minutes brushing through, wearing silly heatproof gloves because I can burn myself on anything, and my hair looks just slightly more…purposeful. As though it’s actually in a style. All of the hairs point the same way and kick under at the bottom and, with some makeup thrown onto my face, I can get away with looking as though I’ve made a hell of a lot more effort than I actually have.
So there: mind changed on this one. I dismissed it straight out of the box but in just three or four minutes it had become the hair tool that might just convince me to keep my hair at the length it’s at. I don’t find it very heavy, though I’ve just looked at some reviews and a few others do – it’s not the sort of tool you have to hold up in a perfectly still position for ages (like a wand) but anyway, I didn’t find it noticeably cumbersome. Especially as it doesn’t have a cord – cords usually causes me all kinds of grief.
On another practical note, it takes around three hours to charge up for a forty minute use on maximum heat. Again, not a problem for me – it took seven minutes to do my entire head twice on max power and charging it up isn’t exactly a hardship. I’m not sure where exactly I’ll take it that will necessitate cordless styling but it’s nice to know there’s the option!
You can find the Babyliss Cordless Hot Brush online, RRP £180 but most places seem to have it at £120-ish – it’s currently £126 at LookFantastic here*. Watch me using the Hot Brush for the first time – the shirt I’m wearing, by the way, is from Boden here* and the hair oil used as a final finish is the excellent L’Oreal Professional Absolut Repair Oil, online here*. Brilliant, cheap as chips Elnett hairspray can be procured from just about anywhere in life, but if you need a quick link then click here*.
The post The Babyliss Cordless Hot Brush: Any Good? appeared first on Ruth Crilly.
If you’re trying to save money on your skincare but don’t want to compromise on the quality of your routine then I have some good news for you: I’ve rounded up some of the best budget cleansers and they’re all products I happily use (and repurchase) on a regular basis.
I’ve set the “budget” threshold at ten pounds and under for this skincare favourites post. I realise that the word budget means different things for different people – and also that there are cheaper cleansers out there – but I think that the products I’ve picked offer some of the very best quality for the price.
Five budget cleansers that’ll satisfy all skin types – there’s something here for everyone, whether you have oily skin or sensitive skin or, indeed, oily and sensitive skin. The packaging might be rather more pared-back than what you’d get wrapped around a more spendy cleanser but all of the formulations are utterly lovely, cleanse really thoroughly yet won’t strip your skin or leave it tight.
The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser, from £5.50 at Space NK*
This brilliant cleanser from The Ordinary is great for absolutely all skin types and is a particularly good choice if you just want one cleanser to do all jobs; it removes makeup, including eye makeup, has enough slip to really massage into the skin and then leaves the skin hydrated once it’s removed with a washcloth. I don’t need a separate makeup remover when I use this – it’s fresh in feel (a gel cream texture) but mighty in performance.
It’s probably my overall top pick just because it suits everyone, is conveniently packaged and has that silky cream-to-oil texture that I usually associate with far more expensive products.
Cerave Hydrating Cleanser, £8 at Cult Beauty*
Again, a suit-all choice, but this errs on the side of a wash that you can splash off rather than a more unctuous balm or cream that you can luxuriously massage in. It comes in a big bottle so is the sort of product you could leave out in the shower for the whole family to use. Cerave are all about strengthening and protecting the skin barrier so it’s brilliant for those with sensitive skin.
Superfacialist Rosehip Creamy Cleanser, £6 at Amazon*
For those who prefer a cream over a more balm-like product, this tube of rose-scented cleanser is outstanding. I’ve loved it for many, many years and I’m so pleased it’s still in existence. So many things I love get discontinued! This has the feel of an old-fashioned cold cream, in a way, but it’s handily packaged in a tube and has a beautiful smell. Like the Squalane cleanser, I’d massage this in and remove with warm water and a washcloth/flannel rather than trying to splash off like a wash. It’s very satisfying seeing all of your makeup come off onto a flannel – if you’re not cleansing with a cloth then bring one into your life immediately! The regular, gentle exfoliation it gives is a big enough perk but you’ll find that your cleansing is so much more thorough and effective.
Buy Superfacialist here*
Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm, £8.79 at LookFantastic*
Another cleansing balm at a very good price; Inkey List’s Oat one is far more a traditional balm texture than the Squalane, which is a lighter sort of gel-cream. Or cream-gel. Same thing. In my opinion, the more balm-like it is (sort of like a gritty butter or solidified goose fat texture, for want of a more appealing description) the better the cleanser is at removing eye makeup. Because you can melt it down into an oil over the eyes but it takes longer to turn liquid than other forms of cleanser and so you really get stuck in over the lashes and lids. Great stuff.
Those with oilier skin might not like this so much as it instinctively feels as though it might add oil to the skin and maybe clog pores, but it doesn’t. It washes off (with a cloth, again!) completely clean and doesn’t leave a residue. I’d say it’s good for all skin types but dry will particularly love.
Aveeno Calm + Restore Oat Cleanser, £5.30 at Amazon*
A great option for sensitive skin, as with the Cerave. Aveeno’s Calm + Restore range contains Aveeno’s prebiotic oat, something existing fans will no doubt be familiar with as the products are so popular for their soothing effect on sensitive skin. Again as with the Cerave you can rinse or splash this one off, but I genuinely think that nearly every cleanser is made more efficient when you add a flannel into the mix!
I work with Aveeno making content around this skincare range and so I know it inside out and I’ve used this cleanser loads; it’s a great option if you have oilier skin and want a “fresh wash” sort of texture but also have sensitive skin and don’t want anything harsh or aggravating.
Do you have any other suggestions to add into the best budget cleanser broth? Let me know in the comments! Here’s a short and sweet video chatting through my own favourites:
The post 5 Favourite Budget Cleansers appeared first on Ruth Crilly.
This trend for the dribbling of skincare products directly onto the face really bemuses me. Ditto foundation dribbling. Pipettes are enough of a faff to use when you drop the product into the palm of your hand, why on earth would you ever attempt to pipe the product straight onto your face? Nobody does this in real life.
Nobody sits at their dressing table and says to their partner,
“Hang on a second, Brian. Here I am holding this little glass tube filled with foundation, a product that needs only one dropeth spilt to ruin an entire cream carpet, and yet here I am carefully squeezing it onto the back of my hand before applying with a brush.”
‘Well yes, Deirdre, that makes sense to me. You have to be careful when you’re brandishing a pipette loaded with what is, to all intents and purposes, paint.”
“No, Brian! You’ve got it all wrong! What I should be doing is tilting my face at an absurd angle, holding the pipette precariously above my cheekbone and then squeezing it directly onto my skin!”
“But….Deirdre…what about the cream carpet?”
“Oh Brian, to hell with the carpet. The thrill I’ll get from not knowing whether any product will actually land on my face will more than make up for any large insurance claims we have to make.”
“As you wish Deirdre. But it does make you look rather foolish, I’m at pains to say.”
“Brian don’t you see? I like looking more foolish than I need to when I’m applying my makeup. I’m not content with the fact that mascara application makes me look like a demented puffer fish, I want to drop my foundation onto my cheeks and force my eyes to focus on something unnaturally close so that they completely cross over.”
“Fine Deirdre. But look. I don’t want to be crass, and forgive me if this is overstepping the mark…does it not look a bit sexual?”
“Does what not look a bit sexual, Brian?”
“The dribbling liquid, Deirdre. It’s as though a very small glass-penised gnome is lazily ejaculating onto your face.”
Anyway, this was supposed to be a skincare post. For crying out loud – stay on task, Crilly! For this morning’s skincare routine I used:
Rose Inc Micellar Cleanser (Space NK here*)
The packaging instantly appealed to me when I was first testing this cleanser. The bottle is short and stout, like a little teapot but with no handle and no spout. It’s cute. The mechanism inside is one of those push-down-and-product-spurts-out ones, which are useful when you’re doing things one-handed.
(This could be an episode of innuendo bingo, it really could.)
The micellar cleanser itself isn’t your usual clear liquid, it’s a sort of cream-gel. Really soothing, very fresh in feel and does a grand job of makeup removal. Or in my case, a grand job of a quick morning cleanse. I rarely do a balm or cream cleanser at the sink if it’s morning – I do all the heavyweight stuff in the evening and so the micellar is to rid any residue from the products the night before and just have a clean canvas to work on.
Sali Hughes Must-C Daily Serum (currently £10 at Boots here*)
I use a vitamin c serum pretty much every morning. Dose of antioxidant protection and a bit of brightening, can’t go wrong. It really works for me – I realise there are a plethora or different ingredients you could be opting for in your staple morning serum, whether it’s peptides or niacinamide or something for clearing your blackheads, but my focus is on protecting and brightness. It’ll no doubt change, but for the past few years I’ve been unwavering in my vitamin c dedication!
The Sali Hughes Must-C is potent, non-irritating and is currently a tenner at Boots. You can’t go far wrong.
My all-time favourite, however – if you’re asking – is the Kiehl’s Powerful Line Reducing Concentrate. It’s £55 so way more spendy, but it has this lovely dry texture. Not oily, not watery, just…like velvet but spreadable. I have used it for years and come back to it again and again. You can find it online here*.
Dove Derma Series SPF30 (Superdrug here)
Straight in with SPF on top of the serum because I had no need for extra moisturiser this morning. Dove’s new launch is pleasing: a silky, sophisticated texture with a skin-calming formulation. If you have sensitive skin and struggle with finding the right non-aggravating sunscreen, this could well be worth a try.
Here’s a video that takes less than a minute and a half to watch so it’s the least you can do for me:
PPhoto by Jen Theodore on Unsplash
The post The Glass-Penised Gnome: How (Not) To Use A Pipette appeared first on Ruth Crilly.