I’m no beauty guru. Nor am I a makeup master. And my skin was only introduced to the luxury of a daily cleanse, tone and moisturise the day I turned 30 (is that a new wrinkle? Quick, do something!). So, for me, skin care or products that I believe make a difference in how I look and feel (however slight), have to be zero fuss, quick and easy to apply and can’t break the bank. I still can’t bring myself to spend hundreds on a face cream. However, I have discovered a few products that I now insist are in my makeup bag at all times, which for me – a girl who used to use whatever moisturiser I could find lying around the house – is kind of a big deal.
So, when I turned 30 (and was forced to look through the Facebook collages my friends kindly created of 20-year-old me partying, holidaying, being young and wearing zero makeup), I decided not to bother trying to tackle wrinkles – they’re a part of ageing that I’ve (almost) come to terms with – but aim to glow. I wanted that healthy, youthful glow, the glow that had naturally beamed from my face when I was 21 – I wanted it back. Yes, it may take a little more effort and kindness towards my skin than it did 8 years ago (when it was lucky if it was acquainted with water on a daily basis), but I was happy to put the work in. So, these are the products that have been working with me to achieve that result. We have our bad days – I don’t look 26 today, you better work harder tomorrow you lazy-arsed moisturiser – but on the whole, we’re proving to be a pretty good team. So, I thought I’d share them with you too.
***this blog post contains some affiliate links and products that have been created by my family***
The first step to that youthful glow is to find a cleanser that removes all of the daily ickiness. This Balancing Cleanser by West Barn does exactly that. I splash it on my face while I’m in the shower, enjoy the scent of limes, and then using the organic cotton and bamboo cloth that comes with it, I wash it off. It’s a self-toning cleanser, so you can skip the toning part (perfect for the serial sleeper-inners) and head straight to your moisturiser afterwards. You and your skin will feel refreshed, clean, and uplifted once you’re done.
This is a product that I’m particularly proud to shout about as it’s a brand founded by Boy Dom’s Mam and sister. They’ve worked tirelessly over the last year to produce a range of skincare that’s wholesome, fair, natural and that puts the benefits of the product before the shelf life (so no nasty chemicals), and West Barn is the end result. I’ve been employed to be their guinea pig for months now (oh, such a hard life), so me and my skin have been well-acquainted with the entire range. All of the products that they sell are natural, vegan, 100% cruelty-free (they’re only tested on daughters), are hand-made in small batches in their kitchen in Durham and are pretty amazing. So, if you’re keen to support a small, upcoming business then these are your guys.
On one of my skin-saving missions, I popped into Lush, and while the girls were distracted by exploding, glittery bath bombs, I wandered off to the skincare section. And that is when I discovered the most mind-blowing product; the Million Dollar moisturiser. I saw the tester of this cream (shimmering at me), I rubbed a bit of it onto my hand and immediately sprinted towards the counter to buy it. Whatever this stuff has just done to my hand, I wanted it to do to my face. Of course, once I was two tubs in and fully addicted they discontinued it (oh, the swines!), but when I asked one of the store assistants about it she pointed me towards this – the Feeling Younger skin tint. This cream is basically a healthy glow in a tub and to mimic the Million Dollar moisturiser I simply mix the tint with any moisturiser to give the same glowing effect. Apply before your makeup, on its own, or just when your needs a skin pick-me-up.
I’m always reluctant to fall for the hype that surrounds any new-to-the-market ‘magic’ cream, but this time, I’ve fallen hard for the aptly named Magic Cream by Charlotte Tilbury. Every night is glides across my skin, leaving it feeling nourished, supple, radiant and causes me to constantly demand Dom to ‘touch my face, touch my face!’ each time I put it on.
Furthering my quest for that glow, this was recommended to me by my sister-in-law who also doubles as my make-up artist (meaning I rope her in to do my makeup whenever I can). And who better to take advice from than a makeup artist, right? With just a few drops of this magical oil (which I believe to be fairy wee or some other magical sourcery) your cheeks, forehead, wherever you decide to apply it, will suddenly have a dewy, (dare I say) catwalk style glow. Essentially, it does what it says on the tin. So, glow drop.
The second of my West Barn faves. I spray this over my face once my make-up is finished, it sets it in place, gives me a healthy, dewy glow and smells of delicious coconuts. It’s like they’ve bottled up summer in a spray and are allowing us all to spray a bit on our faces. I sometimes spray it on my face throughout the day to give my skin a refreshing little coconutty boost (and to transport me to the Caribbean when I’m actually just surrounded by dirty washing in the bedroom).
Sanoflore are a recent discovery – they’re a French brand and their products are certified organic; all the good things really. I’m going to prove my lack of skin care knowledge when I say that I wasn’t entirely sure what this product was meant to do, but it looked interesting and smelt divine, so I went ahead and slapped it on. Turns out, not only does it smell great, but it also leaves your skin feeling remarkably clean and super refreshed. But, just so you know the real purpose of it, I did check the website. It’s an essential oils bio that boosts radiance, gets rid of skin impurities (told you, clean and fresh), tightens pores and brightens the complexion – all things I’m happy to sign up for.
There’s nothing quite like a spot to ruin our psyche and our glowing complexions, is there? During my early 20s, my skin never misbehaved, which is odd, considering my diet and alcohol intake. Fast forward to my 30s, and although I’m pretty lucky to have fairly well-behaved skin, I am prone to those under-the-skin spots that you know you shouldn’t squeeze (that are, in fact, unsqueezable) but you do it anyway, knowing that you’re only making it worse. If you’re prone to these or the common kind of spots, then this cream is worth having at hand. If you feel one brewing – usually before a special occasion or night out – then apply the cream each day and instead of the spot erupting, it runs away scared.
This one was recommended to me by Sara (me_and_orla), and she wasn’t kidding when she said it was magic. Personally, I like my complexion to be clear; however, I don’t like any foundation that feels too heavy, but they’re also days where I don’t want to go bare-faced – this bridges that gap. I slap it on, it blurs my face, and I go about my day feeling
like a supermodel pretty darn good.
I love a good scrub, me. And this is the one that’s doing it for me right now. Rub it on, scrub away the dull skin, and walk out of the shower glowing. Quite often daily scrubs feel too harsh on my skin, however, this one – which uses fine wheat powder and natural Jojoba beads – is gentle and creamy. Last time I used this my face actually squeaked, so I can officially say that my face was squeaky clean.
And if all of the above fails, don’t fret, this little bottle of shiny, illuminating goodness (the best illuminator/highlighter I’ve ever had) has got you covered. I pop it onto my cheeks every morning to shimmer