Pampered skin routine

After a long hard day of smashing life, every so often I like to come home and really go to town on my skincare routine as a treat. This usually happens over the weekend and is one of my favourite ways to unwind and prep my skin for the week ahead.

Here is my step-by-step routine for perfectly pampered skin:

Cleanse

If I have makeup on then I’ll double cleanse, otherwise I’ll just use my second cleanser. For a more luxurious first cleanse I love using the Beauty Pie Plantastic Apricot Cleansing Balm. It’s a super rich texture that feels beautiful when massaging into the skin to break down your makeup. It feels super smooth and washes off really easily.

To carry on the facial massage, I love using the Pretty Athletic Cool Down Cleanser. It is a gel cleanser that cools down the skin and feels amazing. You’re supposed to massage it in for 30 seconds before rinsing off. Because of the soft gel consistency and the cooling sensation, it feels so luxurious and leaves my skin completely clean and my mind relaxed.

Exfoliation

I always see exfoliation as a treat to myself. My favourite at the moment is the Fresh Sugar Face Polish. Made with brown sugar and strawberry seeds, it’s strong enough to exfoliate away any dead skin cells but gentle enough to not feel like the exfoliants are ripping into your skin. As it’s made of sugar, the grainy particles will eventually exfoliate away into the skin, leaving you with baby smooth skin. There’s something super relaxing about not only massaging the face but feeling the grains dissipate away to nothing…

Mask

My favourite mask to use is hands down the Sjo Skin Happy Honey Mask. This brand is all over Instagram and is a firm favourite of influencers because it is the ultimate multi-tasker mask. I use this mask mostly to calm my skin and to make it smoother. I usually keep this on for an hour at least (if I can) and my skin emerges smooth as anything and feeling really rejuvenated. If I’m feeling really boujee then sometimes I will double mask and use something like the Farmacy Honey Potion Mask before the Happy Honey Mask (Clearly there’s something about honey that I like!)

Essence

This might not be an essential product for everyone, but it’s become a step in my evening routine that I don’t like to go without. Essences prepare the skin for the next products you apply to your skin and helps them absorb more easily. I find that it is just a good base to have that makes my skin feel more hydrated and makes it easier to spread other product out across my skin. I use the Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence.

Serum

If I’m treating myself, I will always use my Kiehls Re-Texturising Hydro Plumping Serum. This is very gel like in consistency and makes my skin feel unbelievably smooth and as though I’ve had a big glass of water.

Moisturiser

This one is a bit of a tricky step. If I weren’t to apply an oil after the moisturiser, I would hands down use Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream because it is the most beautiful, thick moisturiser. I love thick moisturisers because I have fairly dry skin and I don’t find that the thinner moisturisers give me any long lasting moisture. The only problem with this one is that it pills sooooooo badly. One I have been enjoying recently before I apply the oils is the new Dermalogica Intense Moisture Balance. It’s quite a thin moisturiser, but still is thick enough to really back a moisturising punch and more importantly doesn’t pill when I put oils on top of it.

Oils

Because I’m extra, I really like to apply two oils. The first is The Ordinary Rosehip Oil and the second is Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I ran out of the rosehip oil recently and noticed that my skin was not as soft as before, so quickly repurchased it. I probably saw the biggest change in the texture and feel of my skin with the Kiehls oil, so I’ve never turned away from this product. It makes me feel so relaxed to massage this oil over my face (it’s a very smooth oil, the rosehip oil is a little thicker and sits a little heavier on the skin) and I like to hold my hands over my nose for a few seconds and breathe the lavender scent it. Lavender aids with sleep so this is always my last step before turning in for the night.

To add to the pampering mood, I love to burn candles. My favourites are super budget friendly – they’re from Home Bargains and cost just Β£2.99 for a massive one! They do various different scents, but my favourite hands down is the Gingerbread one. It makes me feel all cosy and ready to relax.

I hope you found my pampering routine useful. Let me know how you wind down and treat yourself!

Xo

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Christmas gift guides – the skincare fanatic

Following on from my previous gift guide post, this one is for the skincare fanatic. I’ve created this one so that there are options for all budgets because hyped up skincare can often fall in the premium budget category, and frankly that isn’t accessible to everyone. So here’s a mix of my high and low skincare suggestions suitable for a mixture of skin types!

REN – Stop Being So Sensitive kit – Β£22 (Cult Beauty, Fabled, Selfridges, Naturisimo)

I’ve tried a few things from the REN EverCalm range now, and it’s all amazing. It’s so nourishing for the skin and is amazing quality. In the UK, REN is not an overly expensive brand, and this little kit gives you a great introduction to the brand. The EverCalm range is their line that targets sensitive skin, but anyone with normal-dry skin can also use it and love it. The day cream will become your new favourite, and their cleansers look absolutely beautiful. I’m pretty convinced that after trying something from this line, you will repurchase the full size.

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Emma Hardie Skin Cleansing Kit – Β£30 (Cult Beauty, ASOS, Marks & Spencer)

If you have never tried the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm and have always wanted to, this is a great way to test the product out without shelling out for the Β£50 full size. Not only do you get the cleansing balm and a super soft cloth (which will change your life), but you also get the Rosehip exfoliating seeds that even out texture and tone the skin.

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Fresh Beauty – Masks for Miles – Β£69 (fresh.com/UK)

If you are a mask obsessive, you will love this gift set by Fresh. This set includes the Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask, the Lotus Rescue Mask, the Rose Face Mask and the Sugar Face Polish. These are the mini size products that are 30ml each, and if you were to purchase these individually, it would come to Β£92 (Β£21 each for Lotus, Rose and Sugar Polish, Β£29 for Black Tea). So you get a massive saving of Β£23! You basically get a mask for free which is fab!

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Yu Ling – Jade Facial Rollers – Β£12 (Cult Beauty)

I have been wanting one of these for ages! Rollers have loads of uses, from helping to boost circulation and de-puff the eye areas to eliminating toxins and relieving stubborn headaches. I’ve seen a lot of people use these rollers over sheet masks to work the essence a little deeper into the skin and to add to the self care element and give yourself a little massage – joining skincare and self-care!Yu Ling Rollers Jade Facial Roller (Small)OMOROVICZA – Christmas Intro Set – Β£65 (Cult Beauty, Space NK, Lookfantastic)

Omorovicza is a super high end Hungarian skincare brand that looks absolutely beautiful, but lets face it, is not accessible to everyone. BUT, this minis set lets you try out a lot of their products and get a good feel for the brand without going bankrupt! In this set, you get the Thermal Cleansing Balm, Deep Cleansing Mask, Cleansing Foam, Elemental Emulsion and the famous Queen of Hungary Mist. The set is valued at Β£112, so it’s pretty good value! If you are someone that likes to dabble in high end skincare but have always been priced out, then here is your opportunity to give it a go!

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Sjo Skin – Happy Honey Mask – Β£42 (Sjoskin.com)

If you spend any time at all on the gram, you will 100% recognise this mask. Beauty addicts across Instagram and the world swear by this and herald it as the best mask out there. This Swedish brand really encourages love and positivity in the beauty community and is one of the nicest, socially aware brands on Instagram at the moment. This is definitely one on my wish list!natural skincareOskia – Deluxe Travel Collection – Β£55 (Spacenk.com)

Oskia is another one of those brands that look gorgeous and are faves for people in the beauty industry… and they have the price tag to match! I love gift sets for trying out more high end brands as it gives you a great chance to try more products for a really good price. I really want to pick this one up for myself! This set contains Nutri-Active Day Cream, Renaissance Cleansing Gel, Micro Exfoliating Balm, Renaissance Mask and Super 16 Pro Collagen Serum, all in travel size and it comes in a really lovely bag.

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Mario Badescu – The Brightening Kit – Β£34.50 (Beauty Bay)

Mario Badescu is a really great brand for people with acne prone skin and loved by loads of celebrities. When I had acne, their Glycolic Foaming Cleanser was my go-to product to keep my acne in check and I would always notice it worsen when I didn’t use it. I chose this kit specifically because it had the glycolic cleanser, also because it’s a brand that I had so much faith in when my skin wasn’t at its best. The products in this kit can be used by any skin type, especially the glycolic products and the vitamin C serum.Mario Badescu The Brightening Kit

Kiehls – Holiday Skincare Set – Β£47.50 (Kiehls.co.uk, Selfridges, Feelunique)

If you’re a newbie to Kiehls, or are a harcore lover (like me), this is a great gift set for you, your mum, your auntie, your hairdresser, ANYONE. It contains loads of amazing minis to try, including my faaaavourite product ever (Midnight Recovery Oil) which you definitely need in your life. Kiehls’ products are so beautiful and high quality, and if you have never tried them before, they are GREAT with samples if you order from them directly. There are a few other sets on the websites for your body and hands, so pick the one that’s best for you!

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Dr Jart+ – Ceramidin range – Β£5.50 – Β£35 (Selfridges, ASOS)

If you are a dry skin babe, then Dr Jart’s Ceramidin range is perfect for you. It has been developed for extremely dry skin and whenever you apply anything from them, it feels like your skin is saying ‘aaaaaah’ with a cocktail in a bathrobe. If you are on a bit of a tighter budget, then the Dr Jart Ceramidin face mask is only Β£5.50 and will give your skin an instant moisture boost. Alternatively, if you’re after a great, fairly thick moisturiser, then the Ceramidin Cream is your gal.

Beauty Pie (beautypie.com)

I know the idea of a subscription service can leave some people cold, but Beauty Pie is exceptional. If you are a self-proclaimed skincare addict, this is definitely something you want to try out. You can cancel your subscription for free after 3 months and you get access to an amazing range of top quality products. The Japanfusion line is heralded as the best one (which I’ve tried and it is good), but my absolute favourite is the Plantastic Apricot Cleansing Balm.

BEAUTYPIE_Plantastic_Apricot_Butter_Cleansing_Balm_968500_460_1I hope this guide has been useful for all you skincare fanatics out there! Maybe don’t buy anything until Black Friday now, because I’m sure you can get a better deal then! Let me know which skincare bits and pieces you’ll be picking up this Christmas!

Xo

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How to get super soft skin

Ever since I got rid of my acne, I’ve found some ways to get the softest skin. Here are the my go-to tips for super soft skin:

1. Use a cleansing balm

Cleansing balms are so gentle on the skin and don’t strip it of all moisture like some other cleansing products do. Cleansing balms work essentially by melting away your make up, starting as a solid balm that quickly transforms into an oil upon application. My favourites are the Clinique Take the Day Off Balm and the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. Makeup wipes are ineffective at removing all makeup and micellar waters do not work well for me — They leave my skin screaming for moisture and ready to crack. But the cleansing balms I have used have removed all my makeup, left my skin soft and feeling well moisturised.

2. Use a konjac sponge

Or a muslin cloth if it works for our skin type. When I had acne, using a muslin cloth broke me out even worse. Whereas a konjac sponge would lightly exfoliate my skin and leave it feeling really smooth (even with cystic acne). I always use a konjac sponge when I remove my cleansing balm and it gives me an even better cleanse. As well as removing all traces of makeup, Konjac sponges massages the skin to stimulate blood flow and cell turnover. They are made of plant fibres and are great if you have more sensitive skin, or even more reactive skin. I buy these in bulk and couldn’t recommend them more!

3. Don’t over do it!

Don’t feel that you need to really scrub your skin to make it soft. Chances are you’re actually doing more harm than good. Likewise, don’t use really strong, abrasive cleansers/exfoliators/face washes if they aren’t right for your skin. Even if you have acne or oily skin, you do not need to scrub and clean your skin until it squeaks for it to be clean. You’re just stripping your skin of all moisture and to combat this your skin will produce even more oil to moisturise the area. Be kind to your skin!

4. Consider using an acid

I have noticed that on my skin, it is always smoother and softer once I have used glycolic acid. I use it in a cleanser form and I always find that my skin feels beautifully soft afterwards. I used the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Foaming Cleanser when I had my cystic acne and it would leave my skin feeling tamed and smoother (if you’ve had cystic acne, you’ll know how your skin can feel soft and mountainous at the same time). I continue to use it now, but less frequently and I always notice a significant difference in the texture of my skin. Make sure you do your research on which acid suits your skin type the best, but generally speaking they offer a whole host of benefits – from smoothing out your skin’s texture (Glycolic acid); loosening dead skin cells to alleviate clogged pores and blackheads (Salicylic acid); and strengthens the skin barrier so your skin appears smoother, softer and more plump (Hyaluronic acid).

5. Use a mask

I don’t have the time to use masks that regularly, but I try and use them as often as I can – usually on a Sunday to relax before a busy week. I really love the bubble masks because I they just make my skin SO soft. The one I used recently was the Rodial Snake Oxygenating & Cleansing Bubble Mask and my skin was so smooth while I was washing it off that I thought I still had bubbles on my face. This mask removes the dirt, dead skin cells and excess oil whilst also cleansing and unclogging pores for smoother looking skin. Do some research into which mask will work best for you. I hate clay masks as they are super drying for my dry skin, but masses of people love the Sand and Sky Pink Clay mask and claim it gives miracle results (it didn’t for me unfortunately).

6. Use a serum

My skin always feels silky smooth after I use one of my serums. My go to is the Kiehl’s Hydro Plumping Re-texturising Serum, which leaves the skin feeling plump whilst smoothing our texture and fine lines. I remember being absolutely amazed how smooth my face could be after trying a sample of this… it’s safe to say I have the full size one now.

7. Try a night oil

The star of the show in my skincare arsenal is theΒ Kiehls’ Midnight Recovery Concentrate. This makes my skin so much softer and smoother than it’s ever been before. and I repurchase this as soon as I start to run low. It boasts that it will give you more toned and radiant skin as the formula works by enhancing your natural night time recovery process. By morning, my skin feels silky smooth and beautifully plump.

I hope these tips have been helpful! I have never been someone who has naturally smooth skin and always used to envy my Mum’s baby smooth skin… and now I have it too!

Xo

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