Skin Care for Basic Bitches

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My bathroom looks NOTHING like this

Just lately I’ve been feeling like an old lady, with an old face to match.

It might sound ridiculous to most that a 38-year-old may feel this way but I feel like it’s natural to be looking at yourself in a new light as you approach significant junctions in life.

As a result of my navel (or rather ugly mug) gazing, I’ve taken a few steps towards skin care with a view to waking up looking like a wee baby one day soon (or Cara Delevingne, I’m not fussy).

My friend Darren is a skin care and product aficionado who’s only too happy to share his favourites so, based on some of his recommendations (and some of my own finds), I’ve put together a very simple skin care regime. All I have to do is stick to it, sit back and wait for people to start commenting on how goddamn radiant I’m looking.

For the purpose of this post: I think I have normal skin with a propensity towards dryness around the edges. My routine before this involved Simple Facial Wash and a no-name cleanser. If you’re lucky, I might remove my eye makeup before bed but it’s really hard to do as all my products are waterproof (and therefore would survive the Apocalypse).

If I’m honest, my lacklustre complexion may have kicked off this new campaign but a night of heavy drinking last week brought me out in a horrible alcohol rash (anyone else get these following a binge drink?) and that did not help my self-esteem one bit!

It’s been a week now and I’m really trying to stick to it. What I’m using at the moment:

8878808334366Nip+Fab Dragons Blood Fix Cleansing Pads

I usually stock up on these bad boys when they’re on offer, which thankfully they seem often to be. They might be hard on sensitive skin but for me they seem fine. I like how they clean the skin but also seem to leave a slight sheen on the surface, which is better than it sounds. I feel clean when done, and do this before bed and first thing in the morning.

A couple of these products contain acidic properties and this one contains Hyaluronic acid which hydrates the skin, making it plumper (funny how plump is acceptable when it comes to the face and mouth!). I likes it, though, I likes it a lot.

Nip+Fab Glycolic Overnight Purifying Gel8940456083486

This one sounds a bit scary but I love the idea of my skin working overtime as I sleep. Again, this contains some heavy-duty acids that work together to exfoliate (I don’t get how without me physically helping it along – it’s a beauty miracle!), hydrate, purify and resurface my tired old skin.

This has a sort of grapefruit-y smell to it which I enjoy but when I first used it it really warmed the skin, almost to an uncomfortable degree. It’s not been quite so bad since so I’ll put that down to getting used to the acids. Sensitive skinned lovelies might have to exercise a little caution if they try this product.

8906053648414Superdrug Simply Pure Hydrating Serum

This is Darren’s pick which came after he read this article. Apparently it’s something of a miracle for its tiny price tag and that couldn’t appeal to me more (I’m cheap, what can I say?).

I apply this in the morning before primer and make-up, and I’m counting on this to change my life. I definitely have less dry skin around the nose and chin now and its lovely and light, so the skin drinks it up without too much effort. I like that. Providing it doesn’t disappear again (due to insane demand), I’m happy to give this a permanent place amongst my essentials.

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Reliefs1084805-main-Lhero

I should admit that I got a sample of this free with a lipstick when I popped into the Big Boots on a week day off. The sales girl persuaded me to buy a matching lip scrub for the free moisturiser and she was nice, so *why not*, right?

I love the name because it implies exactly what my skin needs, a lovely nourishing drink of something cool for the face. It’s a nice consistency and isn’t so rich that it causes breakouts, which is what I get from heavier night creams. Although I tend to pop it on after the serum in the morning and before the rest of my face (is over hydration a thing?).

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So there you are, my current recommendations. I’m really no expert in anything beauty but I know what I like. I’d also like to be better educated – perhaps this is my time and my late thirties and beyond will be where I finally start to shine!

What are you loving right now? ❤

Make Up Your Own Rules

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Marilyn knew

After spending quite a lot of time away from home with family over the Christmas period, it was really lovely to be back in our own flat. I’ve talked about being a homebody before and this is never truer than in the Winter months when it’s cold and wet outside, and my sofa is willing to hold me while I watch Netflix.

But this is not a post about home comforts, it is a post about warpaint, or lack thereof. On returning home on the 27th, I half-arsedly unpacked my fluffy cat shaped travel bag, only to find that my make-up bag wasn’t there. No need to panic, I thought, it’s obviously in my handbag, where it normally lives.

Why I was expecting to find it in my luggage, I don’t know. Except, it wasn’t in my handbag either…

Not that long ago, this discovery would have send me into a tailspin, or at least straight to the nearest make-up selling establishment. I did send a text immediately to my mother, suspecting that it had fallen into the boot of her car (it had) but then I really started to think about make up and why I needed it so much.

I came up with this. I need it because I love and want it. I don’t need it because I can’t conceive of leaving the house without it. This is not something I would ever have been able to do a decade, even five, three, two years ago but now I can and do.

There is a freedom in being able to operate without having to think about your face, it’s true and weekends are usually spend bare-faced and slouchy. I like the feeling of being fresh and clean. I don’t run from people I know should I bump into them in the street.

But, and here’s the big but (tee hee); I love make up and really enjoy wearing it. When people describe it as warpaint, I know exactly what they mean. I’m just not myself without my signature liner (even when I’ve fucked it right up).

That can never be a bad thing as far as I’m concerned, knowing what works for you and which bits you love, therefore want to play up. It’s not vanity to want to present the best of yourself. Plus, for me, it’s about ritual and I have a pretty non-negotiable one:

Wake up at 7am
Hula hoop in front of the TV for 30 minutes
Do make up with a cup of tea
Get dressed
Brush teeth
Watch about 20 minutes of bad TV (I live ten minutes from work)
Leave for the day

My make up applying session is the only time I really spend with myself. It’s just about the only time in the day that I really look at myself and I think it’s important.

I mean, I wear glasses all the time and I love how cute (and smart!) they look but I do miss my face. I haven’t really shown it to the world without specs for two years and on the rare occasion that I have been caught off guard without them, I’ve been complimented on my eyes or make up, and that feels bloody great. Like I’m no longer invisible.

Continue reading “Make Up Your Own Rules”

Kiss and Make-up: A History of My Face

Photo via Google. Not me!

Following a chat with my team this morning about make-up, I thought it might be natural to turn it into a blog post.

A lot of you know about my relationship with nail polish – how obsessed I have been in the past with the latest products, trends and my own designs; how I had thought seriously about turning this into a business. How I still might.

But make-up on the whole has always been a part of who I am and talking about it this morning has brought back a lot of memories. I think the sensible place to start is at the beginning (right?)

My first memories of wearing my own make-up come quite late in the day, maybe around twelve or thirteen. My mum didn’t often wear it (though looking back she was definitely emphasising her peepers with super 80’s mascara), so there wasn’t much around the house. She had a small selection of ‘sensible’ basics that I had a good nose through but nothing too crazy.

So I didn’t really think about it much. I was a tree climbing tomboy though so it makes sense that I didn’t start looking at myself as a girl until adolescence hit.

Having said that my aunt, Sine has these red high heels that I insisted on putting on and clacking about her front room in for years. Until she gave them to me, to own, the best day ever! So I had some notion, I suppose.

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Click to enlarge

My first memories are of over using blue and brown mascaras and being rather heavy handed on the Coffee Shimmer. A metallic brown lipstick by Rimmel, I can’t imagine this shade particularly suiting anyone but yet there it was. Switched up with it’s subtler sister, Heath Shimmer pretty much all my lippy needs were covered.

I wish I had been more experimental with red. There’s a rumour that there’s a shade to suit every person (not going to limit this to just women), but I don’t know. I’ve always felt I look overdone every time I’ve tried a strong lip.

So I’m an eye girl. It’s all about that for me. As I shuffled into my teenage years I found black kohl and I’ll never give it up completely. It’s my signature and maybe it’s old, maybe it’s not cool anymore, I don’t care.

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The greatest compliment I have ever received from a stranger was, “You’ve got eyes like Bridget Bardot”. I credit my kohl for that one. I do know that it’s a strong look though and if I need to look a little less like I woke up in somebody’s bush (ding dong), I’ll skip it. I will never skip the liquid liner (also black).

As I’ve aged, I’ve learned that less is more. My mother always did say this would happen, as I caked my terrible skin in crud and layered on the spider lashes. She was spot on (pun intended).

I never really liked the feel of foundation on my skin, but it always felt like a never-ending battle. You were damned if you covered your face, damned if you didn’t. As I was growing into a woman, having bad skin made me feel inferior; less than a real person. There were times that I didn’t leave the house at all just because I felt so hideous.

Now I wear a primer, minimal concealer/foundation (thankfully I finally grew out of the adult acne of my twenties, I think it was down to stress), a subtle liquid flick and a coat or two of black mascara.

Kohl is optional but I only really leave it out of my routine if it’s mega hot or I have to lookEEMAbsoluteBlackLiner_tn smart. I will always love make-up, I think it’s an incredible tool for so many reasons, I’m just glad I don’t need to lean on it as much as I did.

So what are your favourite brands, products, styles? Do you remember Coffee Shimmer? Do you have any recommendations? Hit me up!