Everyone seems to be enjoying my more eclectic mixes of favourites, rather than exclusively beauty, and so this month I give you everything from interiors to – er – linseed. You need to watch the video, really, to get the proper lowdown on the linseed, but I’ve waxed lyrical about my other favourites below.
This has been on my wishlist for years – I have a sort of ongoing “fantasy” wishlist with things on that I don’t really need, but would really very much like. It always has some improbably-priced art on it, a bit of jewellery that I know would be a waste as I’m not a big jewellery-wearer, and then the odd ridiculous dress that would never get worn. But I’ve always wanted a bit of Liberty-print dressing gown because a) I love the prints and b) I know it’s something I will wear daily.
And here it is. This is the Rachel Tana Lawn robe and it is almost brilliant enough to wear as a robe, at a ball or something. I love it. The shoulders are perfectly cut with a bit of a glamorous edge, the cotton is crisp as anything and the print just brings me absolute joy. Yes, pricey, but I’m hoping to get decades – decades I tell you! – of use out of it.
You cand find the Rachel Tana Lawn robe online at Liberty here*.
Oh God, the story behind this flaxseed is for another time entirely. Honestly, it’s so long and drawn-out. But to precis it: a urologist looking into my weird old bladder (I feel as though I always need a wee when I don’t) said that sometimes slow bowel movements can affect your bladder. Or something. Anyway, he recommended a bit of flaxseed every day to “get things moving”. (One of my most hated terms and also subjects.) I’ve been taking these on my porridge or yoghurt every morning. They don’t seem to taste of much – annoying texture as they get in your teeth, but one must endure.
Charlotte Tilbury Hyaluronic HappiKiss
Have you always wanted the high-laquer shine of a lip gloss but not the stickiness and for all of this to be in a convenient, mess-free stick rather than a tube? Here you go then – Charlotte Tilbury’s Happikiss, which is online here*. I’ve been using Crystal, which is a barely-there pink, but there are a few different shades. I’m not sure that intense colour is the aim with these, it’s more the outrageous levels of shine and the impressively moisturising formula. Seriously, I still feel the effects well into the evening after just one application!
If you could bottle sex then this would be it: Amber from Laboratory Perfumes. I’ve narrowed down my favourite “masculine” scents to three now and I’m going to do a video on them. I won’t reveal too much but I can say that none of them are really from mainstream brands, it’s all rather niche.
Anyway, Amber is, as I said, sex in a bottle. Which for me is the scent of an incredibly skilled MI6 spy/assassin who has just finished trekking through the desert, hunting down an evil overlord. Sleeves rolled up, tanned forearms, he’s very cross about the fact that the evil overlord has nabbed the controls to the missile launcher, yet he still has enough energy to think about a quickie on the hot sand. Actually not on the sand, that would be a gynaecological nightmare.
Mad About The House Planner
Last of the “faves” for this month – the new planner from Kate at Mad About The House. This is Kate’s third interiors book and they’ve all been bestsellers for good reason – if you’re thinking about doing any sort of home renovations, re-jigging of layout or even just decorating then you need to read her books first. They are here* online and they are easy to understand, totally non-judgey and – almost uniquely for interiors books – free from titillating house images. Why would that be a bonus? Because her books don’t presume to either know your style or dictate it – you read her advice and your own imagination runs free, without being led by images of rooms you think you should be creating. She guides rather than tells.
The planner continues along this vein and it’s more of a workbook than an actual book – there are sections with great advice, with lists and so on, but the majority of it provides spaces to mess with floorplans or mock up colour schemes and the whole completed book forms a really lovely keepsake to remember the befores and afters and so on.
A lovely idea. The lady can do no wrong if you ask me! You can find the new planner online here*.
And that is it for March – do watch the video if you feel like you need to experience a small injection of springtime; I filmed outside and the birds were singing and the brook was a-babbling. Light at the end of the wintery tunnel…
My skincare routine for what shall forevermore be known as The Winter of Discontent. Obviously, in true Crilly style, I am posting this just as we pip over into springtime, but as I’ve said before, this is more of a journal post recording my skincare routine rather than anything that’s responding to seasonal changes or trends. I like to look back on them. And, in the future, when everyone is Googling stuff from their Google glasses as they lounge about on floating hoverboards in their Martian villas, they will be able to access these posts and use them as historical documents.
“Look what shit they were chatting back in 2021, Brian! Arguing about scotch eggs and the EU when all that time the planet was about to implode! Ha ha ha!”
This skincare routine could really be subtitled The Retinol/Moisturiser See-Saw. I’ve been working my way up to some stronger retinoids (I really want to try the Crystal Retinal 10 and 20 from Medik8!) but every time I get too overly confident my skin revolts and starts going all itchy and tight on me. And yes I know there’s often a period of discomfort before you get to all the good stuff, like a smooth and shiny-glowy face that can be seen from the moon, I just can’t be doing with it. I’m the sort of person who feels cross all day if a gusset is too seamy, so having an itchy face is just not tenable.
What I do, therefore, is absolutely lard my face in between retinoid applications. (Hence the retinol moisturiser see-saw.) I find the strongest, most emollient balms and creams I can and slather them on and massage them in as though I’m one of those outrageously expensive turkeys you can get from the farm shop. I massage and pummel and when it has all soaked in I massage over another layer.
And “layer” is another key word this season; I’m usually one for keeping things very simple, with a cleanse, a serum and a moisturiser (the retinoid or whatever active I’m using would slot into one of those categories, whether it was an antioxidant serum in the morning or an all-in-one retinol+whatever moisturiser at night); this winter I’ve been adding in the odd extra coating of something just to try and banish the tight feeling.
One very good discovery (and I’m not usually one for mists or spritzes, unless it’s Emma Hardie’s one* or the LRP Toleriane 8 here*) is the Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator (here*) which is brilliant for boosting the effects of whatever is piled on over the top.
Then it’s a serum (antioxidant in the morning, something hydrating at night, unless it’s a retinol night in which case straight on with that after cleansing) and a moisturiser to seal it all in. I’ve even been known to add a drop or two of oil into my moisturiser, though I forgot to mention that in the video!
The easiest way for me to show you the current skincare routine is to put it below in a list form. So here it is – beneath that you have a video with full explanation and whole joyous minutes of waffle.
I use a quick micellar water sweep-over! Naughty but all I can be arsed with – currently using this*: https://bit.ly/2MkViiy
Skinceuticals Discoloration Defense Serum*: https://bit.ly/2MgaIos
SkinGredients Skin Protein: https://skingredients.co.uk/products/skin-protein-vitamin-a-serum
Arden Great 8 (discontinued?!): https://www.amodelrecommends.com/the-fresh-summer-sunscreen-that-feels-barely-there/
Some other favourite sunscreens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4pzGoALxlU&t=161s
Dermalogica Active Clay Cleanser*: https://bit.ly/3r0uQcS
Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cleanser*: https://bit.ly/2ZM9UKV
BeautyPie Cleansing Balm*: https://bit.ly/2NXoRY5
Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator*: https://bit.ly/2ZOqZnI
Emma Hardie Pump and Glow Spritz*: https://bit.ly/3qV225G
LRP Toleriane 8 Spray*: https://bit.ly/3aPTNT6
Murad Retinol Eye Cream*: https://bit.ly/2ZLWlLt
Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream*: https://bit.ly/2ZYeCak
Kiehl’s Powerful Line Reducing Eye Serum*: https://bit.ly/3gwo9dg
Retinol (once every two or three days)
Murad Night Cream*: https://bit.ly/3khXnZj
Kate Somerville Retinol VitaC Serum*: https://bit.ly/3klOluf
Medik8 Crystal Retinal 3 and 6*: https://bit.ly/2ZK5btl
Rich Night Moisturiser
Weleda Skin Food Light*: https://bit.ly/3aQ0lRG
Lumene Night Balm here
REN Evercalm Overnight Balm*: https://bit.ly/2ZKgOQL
Darphin 8 Flower Necar Oil-Cream*: https://bit.ly/3klfYU9
Two posts in quick succession this week – ambassadors I am really spoiling you! Total misquote there, but if you were born earlier than – I don’t know, about 1985? – then it’s pretty much mandatory to reference the classic Ferrero Rocher ad if you ever use “spoiling you” or “spoiling us” in a sentence. True fact.
If you have no idea what I’m on about, regardez. It’s simply exquisite.
I could do a whole post about this advert and how ridiculous adverts were in general when I was a child, but I need to save that for another day. I’m time poor this week, but thankfully (and unusually) energy rich. It must be the prospect of the schools reopening! Anyway I’m typing like the clappers and working my way through a backlog of posts that need tidying up before my motivation wanes.
February favourites. I’ve tried to keep it eclectic for you again and so we have wood flooring samples alongside cable-knit tights. I know that you appreciate a little variety. I’ve listed the items below the video pane for those of you who want to skim through. If you want to follow my interiors and renovation updates then you need the @casacrilly account on Instagram, here.
YSL Mascara in Brown – is amazing, find it here*: https://bit.ly/3qfC8bY
Flooring samples are from Kahrs in Louisiana and Oregon, they send them for free and you can find loads of places that stock them online!
Hush dress, bought this a few weeks ago and they still have stock*: https://bit.ly/3tpQlWi
Cable-knit tights, again bought a few weeks ago and still in stock here
Robot hoover bought from Amazon, it’s this one here*: https://amzn.to/3qIuhUH
Shirt is by Me+Em, find it here*: https://bit.ly/2O6hgGp
I think that this may be my most pared-back What’s In My Makeup Bag video ever: really just the very bare minimum, with the few products I did use tested to the absolute nth degree. I filmed it quite a few weeks ago now and I still hadn’t really unpacked (catch up on house news here) and so I had been using the same makeup bits over and over again. I can’t actually believe that any of them are still going, but there’s loads left in my Chanel foundation and I barely made a dent in the Trinny cream shadows!
Anyway, this is one to watch rather than read about so that you can see the products in action. I’ve done a full review on both the Chanel Les Beiges foundation (here) and Trinny London’s cream shadows (here) if you fancy a more in-depth read on those. The Victoria Beckham lipstick is a new discovery in just the right shade of bright peachy-neutral for me and I’ll be back with a post on that when I’ve done a bit more playing around. The texture is superb!
Chanel Les Beiges Foundation in B30*: https://bit.ly/3i9DjqN
L’Oreal Back to Bronze, shade 2*: https://amzn.to/3p9Q9bk
Beauty Pie One Powder Wonder*: https://bit.ly/397PuBC
Jillian Dempsey Cream Blush in Bloom: http://www.jilliandempsey.com/shop/cheek-tints
Trinny Cream Shadows in Virtue and Fortune*: https://bit.ly/2XO41we
Chanel Mascara in Ecorces*: https://bit.ly/2KDfGdU
Victoria Beckham Lipstick in Pout: https://www.victoriabeckhambeauty.com/products/posh-lipstick
Vieve Lipliner in Brat*: https://bit.ly/3pObxn2
Gimme Brow Shade 2*: https://bit.ly/355fXxQ
Five favourites from the month of January, in the year 2021, which will surely go down in history as the longest month on record. It’s like when they say on the weather forecast, “the temperature will be at around eight degrees but will feel like two” because of the wind chill factor or whatever it is. Well this month has been thirty one days but has felt like a hundred and thirty one. I thought that it was February about two weeks ago!
My least favourite things of the month have been, in no particular order: homeschooling, making up a Betty Crocker Vanilla Sponge Mix that was inexplicably in my baking cupboard (you mix the powder with oil!) and getting back on my Peloton exercise bike after a two month hiatus.
I’m not a big exercise fan. I do it because I want to retain a good fitness level, not because I’m one of those people who gets a kick out of it; I do walk quite long distances every now and then, and that is all very well and good, but it doesn’t exactly get the heart pumping. The only reason I even remotely tolerate the Peloton is that I can get it done and dusted in twenty minutes, no faffing around in gym changing rooms (if gyms were even open) and trying to find a car parking space and all that nonsense.
I have a thing about gym changing rooms. Did I ever tell you about the time a woman was drying her muff in front of me with a hairdryer? You can tell that it was a good while ago, because who sports a muff now? Nobody, that’s who. Everyone, seemingly, is bare as a burger down there. I feel quite left out with my seventies ‘do.
I digress: this is supposed to be about favourites, not un-favourites, and so let’s get cracking. If you would rather watch me chat this through then scroll down the page immediately and click play on the video screen!
My new glasses. Crikey, these have been a rigmarole. I wanted some the same as Rosie Byrne’s in the TV series Mrs America (she plays Gloria Steinem) and it has taken me five months to track down the right ones, with a central bar and retro feel.
As everything is closed, I had to order them online, get them posted to check I liked them and now I’ve sent them back again to have – get this – light-sensitive brown-tinted ultra-thin prescription lenses put in. I know! I’m going to look like an actual walking time capsule from the seventies.
My glasses are these Givenchy frames – I bought them from Fashion Eyewear in London.
A couple of beauty favourites now, things I’ve used over and over to the point of mild obsession. I had a little flutter yesterday when they weren’t in their usual place in the bathroom and didn’t calm down until I realised I’d been shooting them for this video and they were in the spare room on the windowsill. The first item is the brilliant Discoloration Defense Serum from Skinceuticals, £85 here*, which is pricey in comparison to general beauty pricing levels but not for a Skinceutials product. This helps tackle dark spots and discolouration and worked a treat on my patches that came up along my cheekbones last spring/summer. There’s a whole post about that here if you want to read more!
The other beauty bit is Dermalogica’s Active Clay Cleanser (£35 here*) which does a great job of keeping skin clear and deeply-cleansed with absolutely no aggressiveness or tendency to dry out the skin. Great for those who are suffering a little with congestion from wearing a mask or being stuck inside eating Jelly Babies for two of their meals a day or combination of both, it’s a soft alternative to using one of those proper deep-cleansing clay masks and a lot more pleasant and convenient to use. Just apply a layer, let it sit for a while (I do thirty seconds) and then remove with a warm flannel. I use it every other night when I’m in the bath and have become quite attached.
Sleep Salts from Aroma Active Laboratories, £15 here*. Now I know I’ve been very vocal about the benefits of buying Epsom Salts buy the 20-kilo and adding your own essential oils (please read my detailed post here, if you want to save some money and have the world’s most relaxing bathing experience) but these pre-mixed salts have a very clever aromatherapy blend going on. Not surprising seeing as though the brand-behind-the-brand is It absolutely knocks you for six, so don’t use them before you’re about to go to your job in, I don’t know, heavy engineering or open heart surgery. Do use them, however, if you’re constantly anxious and find it hard to unwind before bed. They are the business.
Back to fash-un and this remarkably simple-but-clever jumper from Me+Em. It doesn’t have to be this particular jumper, it’s more a category of Me+Em jumpers called “all the ones with the removable snoods”. What a great idea! You start the day off by putting on a jumper that to the rest of civilisation looks like a roll neck, or polo neck, or whatever it is called when your jumper has one of those big, high necklines that tickles your chin. It’s chilly, you want full coverage, the neckline makes you feel cosy and great. But by 10.30am the neck is pissing you right off, for want of a more polite phrase – it’s making you feel claustrophobic and itchy and generally so irritated that you can’t function. No problem – you can whip that neck right off! The knitted one, obviously! So these Me+Em jumper+snood combos are an incredibly good idea. And with the heavier weight jumpers the snood part just sits atop the jumper, anchored by its own bulk. No buttoning needed.
You can find a whole load of examples on their website here* – deep breath, they’re definitely an investment, but the quality, cut and general execution of everything Me+Em make is just superb.
I’m sorry, but the part of me that likes things to be in order has to post this video despite it being a whole season old. (Admittedly it’s only a very tiny – tiny – part of me that likes things in order, because mostly I live in chaos, like one of those long-bearded inventors from the movies, with piles of books everywhere and mugs on the windowsills and holes in the ceiling where my experiments have gone wrong.
Or the beauty equivalent of all of this.)
Anyway, I’m about to post up the contents of my winter makeup bag and it just wouldn’t do to have a season missing, so here’s What’s In My Makeup Bag: Autumn 2020. God that feels like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it? When we were planning for the family Christmas – the festive “light at the end of the tunnel” – and laughing off suggestions that things “might not be back to normal” by spring…
Highlights of this video – because it’s all still relevant, it was only eight weeks ago! – include the Soft Matte foundation from NARS, which everyone seemed to rave about but didn’t float my boat that much, and the Vieve makeup range. Enjoy – product list is below the video pane.
You can find the whole back catalogue of What’s In My Makeup Bag posts by clicking here.
NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation £28.00*: https://tidd.ly/2J4e2kA at Boots
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow Palette £49*: https://bit.ly/2UOI8uL at Feelunique (I chose shade Fair/Medium)
Vieve Makeup*: https://bit.ly/3pObxn2
My Kit Co at Beauty Bay*: https://bit.ly/2UQAsZe (I’m using the 1.15)
Tilbury Eye Colour Magic Liner Duo in ‘Copper Charge’ £21*: https://bit.ly/3pUFORw at Feelunique
Real Techniques Eye Shade & Blend Brush Set £8.99*: https://bit.ly/3l0w0BO at LookFantastic
Guerlain Maxi Lash Mascara £28*: https://bit.ly/3fqWnPV at Feelunique
Hourglasscosmetics Ambient Lighting Powder Palette £61*: https://bit.ly/3pRCfvm at Cult Beauty
Glossier Boy Brow Grooming Pomade £14.00*: https://bit.ly/2UP1Q9L at Glossier
Tilbury Lip Cheat Lipliner in ‘Iconic Nude’ £17*: https://bit.ly/2ULX4tP at Cult Beauty
Becca cosmetics Pearl Glow Lip Tint in Rose, £19*: https://bit.ly/2URNzJm
Chanel Les Chaines de Chanel Illuminating Blush Powder in ‘Rosebud’ £52.00*: https://bit.ly/2UMRRld at Feelunique
The jumper is quite old now, sorry, it was a limited edition Boden one!
This photo is completely unrelated to the video content but it’s been a while since Mr Bear has pulled one of his classic “unamused” faces here on the blog and so I hope all is forgiven. Also I have taken to filming my Youtube videos on my iPhone, for ease and because the microphone is so much better than on any of the snazzy expensive cameras, but it means that I keep forgetting to take thumbnail pictures to use for the posts.
So cat it is. And a witch’s hat.
Five favourites for you again and it’s a relatively eclectic mix of vintage chairs, mad dresses and beauty products that have wowed me. You can find links and more details below the video pane!
@teenytinyemporium on Instagram for vintage finds, Vichy Neovadiol Rose Platinum Eye Cream*: https://bit.ly/321a4Q5, Living Proof No Frizz Vanishing Oil*: https://bit.ly/3mH0UAq, SpaceNK Beauty Joy Gift*: https://bit.ly/2VjWoi0 Maje Dress (Sold Out) from The Outnet*: https://bit.ly/3244xsd
In what might be considered the rebrand of the century, the monthly 5 Beauty Favourites feature has now become…
…5 Favourites. It took me a hell of a long time to come up with the new title format and so please do show your appreciation in the comments below. Ha. In response to your overwhelming positivity on the matter (and also my own ever-increasing boredom) I have expanded the monthly favourites to include things I’ve loved from all manner of categories. Food, clothing, lifestyle, interiors, health; the list will, I am sure, go on and on.
And so I bring you 5 Favourites: September 2020 (catchy!) with something for just about everyone. There’s a video at the bottom of the post if you hate reading words and there are words for those who hate the sound of my voice. If you’re a glutton for punishment then you can read the post and watch the video!
Favourite 1: The Peloton
At time of filming I hadn’t had the new Peloton Bike+ delivered and so here I refer to the original home spinning bike which has had its price cut to a still quite astonishing £1750. It’s eye-watering, I know, but it would be no exaggeration to say that this futuristic exercise bike has completely changed my fitness life. In that before I had the Peloton I was doing nothing towards my health and fitness and now I can cycle almost six miles in twenty minutes.
I bloody love it. I actually look forward to getting on the saddle, choosing my class (or you can join live ones) and working so hard that my vision goes blurry. I love it so much I’ve returned the original Peloton and gone for the new one which is even more hideously expensive, but with both the adults in the household using it daily and looking and feeling a million times better for it, I can’t actually think of a better investment we’ve made in recent years.
I’m about to do a review video on the new Peloton Bike+ so make sure you’re following on Instagram – you can find my video on the original bike on IGTV here.
Favourite 2: Clipper Sleepy Tea
It’s not actually called Sleepy Tea at all, it’s Sleep Easy, and it smells a bit like old cow dung when you open the foil pouch, but persevere and you’ll find a delectable bedtime infusion with orange, chamomile and valerian. I think I’ve tried the majority of sleep teas on the mainstream market and this is my repeat buy – I do like the Tea Pigs one for the big lumps of actual apple and whole blossoms inside the bag (it’s like someone has wrapped up a fairies’ tea party in a hurry!) but Clipper’s pips it to the post.
I like to drink a mug of it whilst I’m in one of my special Epsom Salt baths. Double whammy. I can’t even read a sentence of my book when I get into bed before falling asleep!
Favourite 3: Louis de Poortere Antiquarian Rug
I’ve bought four rugs from Louis de Poortere now but this is the largest and most extravagant – it needed to be because the floor it covers is in “the new room” and is quite expansive. But it’s absolutely one of my favourite home purchases since we moved to this house – it’s amazing how some pattern and warmth can suddenly pull a room together and make a large space feel cosy.
You can find this particular rug online here, they do loads of different sizes. It has a traditional, slightly distressed feel to it but it’s actually new. Which usually I’d hate, but I couldn’t be doing with trawling through loads of old rugs to find “the one” that just happened to be a) authentic and b) the right size and c) the right colour! I like buying second hand and I’d say that way more than half of my furniture and home stuff is vintage but sometimes I have to draw the line…
Favourite 4: StricVectin Daily Reveal Pads
You’re going to be hearing a lot about these one-swipe wonder pads – they’re seriously impressive. They contain four different exfoliating acids for that immediate look of brightness we’re now quite familiar with, but the difference is that they also leave your skin feeling really moisturised. They have that instant “fresh” feel that you tend to get with acid peel pads (usually the alcohol evaporating) but just seconds after you finish wiping your face, the skin develops an almost oily layer. Not greasy or unpleasant, but certainly enough that I wouldn’t bother with serum and moisturiser afterwards!
The ultimate one-step facial, then. I think they’re great – you can find them online here*; they’re £39 for 60 pads which is a few months’ worth if you use two or three times a week, which would be my personal preference.
Favourite 5: Simple Protect n Glow Rest & Reset 72h Hydrating Gel
A cheeky little bargain for you; I think that this little pot of lightweight, fresh-feel gel moisturiser is as good as the pricey ones. Thing Moisture Surge on a budget. If you hate oily or heavy face creams but have skin that’s slightly dehydrated then give this a try, it’s a pretty safe investment! Ditto if you want something to layer on beneath your SPF. You can find it at Boots here*, it’s £6.99.
You might well point out that I’m a bit late to the party with this particular seasonal makeup update, but apparently we’re in for a little heatwave next week, here in the UK. So there. I refuse to let go of summer! At any rate, why be so rigid about the seasons? I don’t consider it to be Autumn Proper until at least October.
(The meteorological calendar has yesterday, 1st September, down as the start of Autumn, but what does Mr Meteorology know? Although I do prefer that version of events, because if you go by the astronomical calendar then autumn doesn’t end until two days before Christmas. And that just won’t do. The run-up to Christmas must be wintery – Home Alone and frosted windows, not pumpkins and falling leaves!)
Anyway, I’m a spring-summer person through and through and (barely) tolerate the colder half of the year through gritted teeth and about seven layers of knitwear. I basically go into a mild form of hibernation from October until May, where my brain works at half speed and my body stores an inordinate amount of fat.
So what’s in my makeup bag? Here’s a rundown and it’s pretty pared down and straightforward; one of the best tinted moisturisers ever made followed by a couple of insta-glam base products and a slick of something sexy on the eyes.
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser (here*) has been around for years and, unlike the Laura Mercier classic, hasn’t been tampered with. It’s really very hydrating and has surprisingly full coverage for a tinted moisturiser – watch the video below to see it going on. It’s light and fresh to apply but robust in terms of finish and longevity.
Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar Bronze & Glow Palette (here*) is another cult classic – a sculpting duo that has instant impact, creating razor-sharp cheekbones where before there were none. Even if the whole contouring thing isn’t quite your bag, a light touch with the bronzing shade will give a proper grown-up finish to your face. A hint of chisel. Which sounds a lot less glamorous than intended.
I often skip concealer, but not if my base is sheerer than usual – my current concealer squeeze is the Vanish Airbrush from Hourglass, online here*. It’s creamy and easy to pat in but sticks fast and is virtually opaque, though never cakey or heavy looking. Again, watch the video for a little demo – Hourglass make such brilliant base products, whether you’re after full coverage foundation or lightest touch skin finishing powders.
And now for the off-piste part: lipstick as blush. With the benefit of hindsight perhaps this wasn’t the best lipstick to use as a blusher – it has far too much sheen – but it gives you an idea of how easy it is to finish off a makeup look by matching cheeks to lips. Obviously if you’re going in hard with the lip colour, like a neon orange or something, then perhaps don’t get carried away with the matchy-matchy, but if it’s a neutral with a peach or pink lean, or even a brighter red or purple, just pat a small amount of it onto the cheeks and blend for an instant flush. Most creamier, traditional lipsticks in a bullet will work nicely, just tread carefully with the bright shades.
I used L’Oreal’s Color Riche Shine in 658 (here*) which is a light, warm beige with the most beautiful juicy finish. As I said, not ideal as a blush, but if you’re looking for something wearable and foolproof that sits between a pigmented lipstick and a sheer tinted lip balm, the Color Riche Shine will definitely float your boat. It’s basically YSL’s Volupté Shine but without the fancy golden packaging and the fancy pricetag.
What next? Eyes! Some Trinny Eye2Eye Shadow on the lids (Truth, here*) and then I used my summertime barely-there mascara for low-key lashes, the Suqqu Natural Curl (was here*). It’s very good, but actually it’s been replaced with the Eyelash mascara*, which also seems to be very good. I shall report back with a better review, because that was very lame and noncommittal wasn’t it?
Brows have been shaped all summer long with either Gimme Brow from Benefit (here*) or Glossier’s Boy Brow (here*): I’ve compared these dozens of times in videos and posts and so you’ll probably be able to trot out my line that the Boy Brow is waxier but the Gimme Brow is easier to handle. Both are just excellent and well worth every penny for brows that are just a bit fuller and more shapely – this is about as easy as “doing your brows” gets.
Right. You’ve read my words, now see it all in action. Any questions, leave them in the comments box below.
*UPDATE: If you’re reading this on the 2nd September and considering buying the NARS Tinted Moisturiser, Hourglass Concealer and/or the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Palette, know that Space NK have a mega gift with purchase* running for those spending £175 or over. It’s worth over £250 and includes a full sized Sunday Riley Ceramide Cream, which is one of the richest and buttery moisturiser launches of the year. You can find more info on the gift here*.
My summer skincare routine is here and it’s slightly juicier than usual because a couple of months ago I had to do an almost unprecedented SOS u-turn on my whole beauty routine. I know you’re ready to hear about it. We all love a bit of a disaster.
Actually it wasn’t quite a disaster, but nearly. And anyway it was all the weather’s fault – who knew we’d have a month-long heatwave IN SPRING? There I was, merrily spending all of my time in the garden (from dawn til dusk, almost), not really tweaking my skincare routine to suit my environment because IT WAS STILL SPRING. It simply didn’t occur to me that I should have been shelving all of my usual spring products (that I was using because…it was spring) and adapt a routine more suited to a four week trek through the Sahara. I just don’t really associate my garden with high-high temperatures and dangerous levels of sun exposure (classic Brit mistake, I think) and so although I was always slathered in SPF, something untoward happened: I started getting bits of pigmentation on my upper lip and along my cheekbones.
I realise that was something of an anti-climax for those of you waiting for stories of skin blisters, ice packs and a trip to A&E, but no – just some pesky pigmentation beginning to creep over my face. Which isn’t something that’s ever really happened before. And I was slightly bemused until it occurred to me that I’d been carrying on with my usual retinol-hydrate-retinol-hydrate drill, using a strongish retinoid one night and then giving my skin a real moisture boost the next, without really thinking about what was happening in the daytime.
It’s not like me to overlook this sort of thing, especially when it comes to my face (once a model, always a model: your face is what pays the mortgage) but I have to say that I was a little distracted during lockdown, what with the world ending and supermarket shelves being emptied and the fear of death and also having two small children tearing about the place 24/7 with no relief in sight.
Anyway, as soon as the little freckly patches appeared I did a total 360 on my skincare routine and for the first time used my “big guns” antioxidants twice daily in an attempt to stop the discolouration in its tracks. I pulled back on the retinol, mainly because I can’t cope with thinking about more than one thing at once, and AHAs were temporarily abandoned.
It’s important to note that I didn’t reduce the retinoid usage because of the dark spots – I’m not suggesting that one caused the other – it’s just that it has always been a natural reaction for me to simplify things if I run into any kind of beauty bother. And although I’ve read dozens of articles quoting dermatologists who say that it’s absolutely fine to use retinol during periods of increased sun exposure (aka “summer”), there are others who warn to tread carefully. Who tell you to wear a LOT of sunscreen. (This post by the experts at Medik8 is good.) And if the caveat to using an ingredient is that you need to be really, really careful and slather on your SPF repeatedly and preferably move to a dark cave then it’s my instinct to retreat from it temporarily. I think that I probably play things fairly safe and boring in these days of needle-covered rollers and peels that require fans so that you don’t self-combust and competitive acid percentages and imaginative actives layering. I just really, really don’t enjoy my face falling off.
But back on topic: my antioxidants of choice were from Skinceuticals, a brand well-known for its antioxidant power players. Although their CE Ferulic is perhaps their hero product in this category, I actually chose the Resveratrol BE for nighttime use and the new(ish) Discoloration Defense for the morning. I’ve used the Resveratrol BE before with great results, so it was a natural choice and I’d been meaning to try the Discoloration Defense since its launch, but had never really had any discolouration to test it out on!
(Before I continue, I must say that these serious serums come with a serious price-tag – the Resveratrol BE is £135 here* and the Discoloration Defense is £85 here* – but Skinceuticals always really impress me with their meticulous clinical trials and their ability to formulate ultra-potent stuff without making my skin irritated. And although I have dozens of antioxidants waiting to be tested, I would purchase the Discoloration Defense serum when this one inevitably runs out. Always a good sign. And please note that I have suggested an alternative antioxidant in the product list below.)
So the BE at night at the DD in the morning, although I could have used the DD serum both day and night, which would make the routine a hell of a lot cheaper than adding the Resveratrol in! Did I bring back my skin from the brink? Yes, most certainly. And it looked brighter, more radiant, too. I’ll tell you what I did notice, though, after abandoning my retinol-moisture-retinol habit: my skin didn’t feel quite so bouncy and plumptious and elastic. Glowing, yes. More even-toned, definitely. But there’s a real boing quality to skin that’s loving its retinol products and I must admit I miss it.
Of course the organised person would do antioxidants in the morning, retinol at night and wear a great big hat in the garden. Easier said than done – my hat invariably gets used as a fairy village (filled with soil and weeds and shells), picnic basket (filled with food) and dog’s emergency water bowl in any one day. But once I get into the Antioxidant-Retinol-Hydrate groove this autumn I genuinely think I’ll have hit the skincare sweet spot…
For now, here’s my full skincare routine on video. I’ve also listed the products I’ve been using below, for those who hate video – it’s pretty self-explanatory, but do let me know in the comments if you have any questions.
Curel Foaming Facial Wash*: http://tidd.ly/f83e3054
Inkey List Oat Cleanser*: https://bit.ly/30h50pf
The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser*: http://bit.ly/2rjRByY
Skinceuticals Discoloration Defense Serum*: https://bit.ly/3bMhLMV
Paula’s Choice Triple Algae Pollution Shield*: https://bit.ly/3jbO2kP
Skinceuticals Resveratrol BE Serum*: https://bit.ly/32o7NQ1
Kiehl’s Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Eye Cream*: https://bit.ly/3gwo9dg
Toleriane Fluid*: https://bit.ly/30iglW4
Dr Roebucks No Worries Face Cream*: https://bit.ly/2Cj42AD
Retinols (occasional) –
Kate Somerville +Retinol Vita C Serum*: https://bit.ly/2DGHDxw
Murad Retinol Serum*: https://bit.ly/30esN9j
Rich Night Creams –
Lumene Nordic Hydracare Rich Day Cream, £26.90 here*: http://bit.ly/2PQ3aqS
REN Overnight Balm*: https://bit.ly/30jxfn1
Kate Somerville Delik8*: https://bit.ly/3hesvWV
Three Favourite Sunscreens Video: https://youtu.be/f4pzGoALxlU
Elizabeth Arden Great 8 SPF35*: https://amzn.to/32sIUTh
Beauty Pie Fruitizyme Five Minute Fix Mask*: https://bit.ly/3j6uCO6