My Beauty Arsenal: Skin & Hair: Part 1

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Warning: Extremely in depth skincare chat about to take place!

So  I decided to round up the troops and get a little photosesh in with my skincare routine. My Beauty Arsenal will be a 2 part post (so as not to overload you with beauty stats), the first one being dedicated solely to my skin care routine.

I was actually really surprised at how many products I use, but then as women our skin goes through monthly cycles reacting differently depending on our hormones, boozy nights out and the environmental factors like weather and pollution. So don’t be overwhelmed by my arsenal as everything has a purpose depending on my skins needs.

Lets start with cleansers. A cleanser is a really integral part of your skin routine. Not only is it responsible for washing away the days grime but also removing all the makeup we slap on our faces. For years I used Simples Cream Cleanser, probably because it was what my mum bought us when I was a teenager but as an adult it just wasn’t cutting the mustard.

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My daily go to cleanser is Bioderma Solution Micellaire. This is nothing new and all you beauty gurus will have seen MUA’s sing gospel about this product. Micellar waters have been a French beauty staple for years. The UK only caught on recently and brands have started to develop their own Micellar cleansers. I have tried a few including; B Miceller water by Superdrug and Loreal’s Miceller solution and they all suck in comparison to Bioderma. I also feel like the brand takes your skin needs seriously. I have sensitive skin so the pink and white coloured range is the one for me. Also there is no need for rinsing after using this product, great if you are bloody lazy! My friends, it is as brilliant as everyone says, so if you still haven’t tried it go here to find the Bioderma Micellar cleanser that’s right for you and you might just find you skin soulmate. Available at most good pharmacies from between £5-10.

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When I have done a particularly adventurous eye makeup look for a night out I like to use a specific eye makeup remover to make sure I’m getting all my mascara off. This product was sent to me, I gave it ago recently and fell in love! The Klorane Floral Lotion, Eye Makeup Remover, is another French brand and great product. Again, it’s for sensitive skin however if you are going to use an eye makeup remover I don’t know why you wouldn’t pick a sensitive product because your eyes are absorbent organs so you don’t want to risk irritating them! What is gorgeous about this product is the SMELL; it is the most gorgeous summer bouquet aroma because it is packed full of cornflower water. Also a bit of fancy science; the lotion has a pH identical to that of tears, so it is perfectly tolerated and does not sting the eyes, even those of contact lens wearers!  Klorane a fabulous brand which I really urge you to explore, especially if you have sensitive skin because the products are extremely gentle.

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Mario Badescu – what a clever gent! He really knows what he is doing when it comes to glycolic acid. You guys know I love a bit of glycolic in my skin care routine! I use this Glycolic Foaming Cleanser (twice a week for sensitive, dry skin, 3-4 times for oily skin) when I want to do a bit of chemical exfoliation. Apply before you get into the shower, rubbing it into your skin in small circular motions. I leave it on until I feel it tingling for maximum effect.

Back when I was young and dumb I used to think that in order to “exfoliate” one must employ the grittiest, sand packed product on the market and rub my face until I had arm ache. Oh jesus, what was I thinking!? Sloughing off dead skin is important but if you aren’t targeting the dirt and oil inside your pores then you are only doing half the job. Marios Bedescu’s glycolic cleanser gets into your pores, cleans them out and tightens them up. It also leaves my skin plumped up and silky SILKY soft creating the ideal canvas for flawless makeup application.

The packaging for all Marios products are dead simple, in fact they aren’t even that nice but sometimes it’s whats on the inside that counts and this is truly one of those products. Available at Beauty Bay for £14. GET INVOLVED!

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Okay, there may be a theme occurring here, Le Roche Posey Effeaclar Clarifying Micro-Exfoliant Astringent (£11), another French brand, this is my go to toner at the moment. If I’ve been outside in the city or my skin is acting a bit hormonal, aka oily, then I swab this on those areas to avoid break outs. Used after washing, this product helps to eliminate remaining excess oil, unblock pores and visibly reduce their size. Contains LHA’s (Lipo-Hydroxy Acid) as well.  A great product you can see the grime come off on the cotton pad and as you can see I have used it all! Available at all good pharmacies and Boots chemists.

I was unsure whether to include this product in my kit list only because it just seems too damn good to be true? Let me explain; me and my friend Emily were having a gander around Covent garden last summer and got stopped by one of those annoying sales people. You know the types; they are holding a product and want to smother your hands in it whilst trying to sell you the world in a crazy, high speed sales pitch? Usually I brush these people off and hurry away but it was one of those lazy days and we had time to spend, so we indulged this lady and we actually ended up buying this from her; Radiance Repair Peeling Gel by Obey Your Body.

Why did I buy? Well, I was taken in by the fact that this product literally peels your skin off. I know, sounds totally gross, but someone who is slightly obsessed with skin renewal I watched in awe as she pumped a little gel onto my inner wrist and gently rubbed. The result was loads of little balls of dead, greyish skin coming away to reveal fresh new epidermis. It’s one of those you gotta see it to believe it so I showed everyone for about a week. She sold it to us at a whopping discount (£20). I have just looked on the website as this product sells for £94.11 but you can get 30% if you sign up to the newsletter. It’s not worth £94, but if you are walking through Covent Garden and see this lady doing her thing, buy it and wangle that discount!

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Right my face is squeaky clean now so it’s time inject a little moisture back in. My go to serum at the moment is YSL Youth Liberator which I talk more about it in my Serum Science post here. It’s a great product, albeit a little on the pricey side but the pearlescent milky gel is super absorbent and has a definite glowing effect. I would recommend buying the small one because I think my skin has become a little lethargic towards it.

My daily face cream is a no frills product. Steamcream (£11)is a great Japanese brand offering pure, lavender oil infused products. I love this product because it is supper light and absorbs quickly so I can put my makeup on. More about steam cream on my Shower Essentials Review.

I prefer something richer for nighttime so I am using Clarins Multi-active Youth Recovery Night cream, £34 from Escentual.  I have long been a Clarins fan because of my mum’s life long devotion to the brand. This product is rich, creamy and not too heavy. Clarins pitches this product as a night-time skincare solution for dry skinned women around the age of 30. I always use the age bracket above my age when picking skincare because I have dry skin so I figure a little extra TLC won’t hurt. The cream claims to “boost cellular renewal at a time when skin renewal is at its optimum pliancy and efficiency” – whatever that means. I don’t tend to pay much attention to the beauty jargon associated with antiaging creams. I am a firm believer that it is the other products you use that are going to have the biggest effect on your face. What I like from my face cream is a comforting, rich and luxurious product which has the feel good factor rather that scientifically proven results. This is a lovely product which I totally rate.

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There is nothing exciting about hand cream… It is one of those cosmetic extras you forget to use and when you do you never really notice the benefits. This Wild Rose Hand Cream, SPF 15 (£5) by The Body Shop is not only a bargain but the only hand cream I have ever paid money for. It is packed full of rose hip oil and marketed at a mature audience to use against brown spots, but I just love the scent and it is a total pleasure to use. As you can see I will need a new one soon!

That’s the round up guys I hope you found a new product to try as well! My Beauty Arsenal: Makeup Part 2 -coming soon.

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