Saturday, 20 October 2007

#54 Ace Base

Now that the mercury has plummeted from fine to freezing, my skin has already started to misbehave. I haven't yet had the dry cheeks, though my lips have been chapping more than usual, but I've noticed that my complexion tends towards blotchiness far more easily. I use base only when utterly necessary, but this week, it's been necessary twice. My staple favourite (which I stash in my wardrobe and only whip out on special occassions) is SK-II's Air Touch Foundation. I've raved about it before - yes it can take some getting used to and it's mightily expensive - but once you get the hang of how to mist evenly and lightly, you'll feel as though you have a mini make-up artist stashed away in your bag - skin looks unquestionably airbrushed and unreal. But it is inarguably a foundation - and despite the fact that it feels and looks untraceable, I cannot always overcome the mental awareness that my skin is coated in a thick layer of cosmetic colouring. Which is why I'm more of a tinted moisturiser sort of girl (even though, t.m's are of course just the same - lotions packed with cosmetic colouring). Logic, however, doesn't prevail here - I always have and always will feel more comfortable and confident in a tinted moisturiser, over a foundation. That's just me.

Clinque do tinted moisturisers well and their new Supermoisture Makeup has a pretty flawless formula. It blends like a face cream - sinking in, leaving skin plump and soft. The coverage can be anything from super-sheer to medium, depending on how much you use - I like to rub it over my nose and chin, when skin is still almost damp from my face cream and blend it all in together. Great for drier skins in winter too. I also love (and the Bliss girls are going to go crazy at this, because it's on constant back order and almost always sold out) Remede's Translucent UV Coat. It's about as watery and light as it's possible for a formula to be, but it leaves a sheeny soft-focus behind. While it won't cover your spots, it'll certainly lift grey and lacklustre complexions - and with an SPF30 built in, feel as though you're wearing nothing more than the lightest lotion. Which is why you can't get hold of it for love nor money. Groan.

Chapping lips call for a thicker formula in winter. The Sainsbury's Organic Softening Lip Balm (95% organic) was lovely in summer - peppermint scent, sheeny, light - but hasn't cut the mustard this October as it slides off rather than stays put - not the guard against the elements I was hoping for. I've therefore shifted back to a staple - Crabtree & Evelyn Jojoba Oil Conditioning Lip Balm (which I hasten to add is only £1.50) and the new Origins Organics Soothing Lip Balm (not launching till Jan 2008 - but I'll be pre- and re-viewing the new Origins Organics line and a couple of new Jurlique launches in my next blog), which have a pleasing cocoa butter base that feels nice and creamy on lips and stays put for at least an hour.

Winterproofing? So far, so good. If only I could apply the same logic to my cotton dress, mini-skirt and suede-shoe filled wardrobe...

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

#53 Mid-Week Delivery

Oh lord. Head. Ache. Muscles. Ouch. Soles. Sore.

So what does it take to get back on track? To obey the morning alarm call? Well, I couldn’t even muster the energy to shampoo my hair when I got in – gross but true – but last night’s hairspray had given it atypical thickness and the morning-after matte look was sort of working for me. So I went with it – just slapped a thick headband across the front – and focused on the face instead. Two slices of very cold cucumber helped take my eyes down a bit. Skin washed with Jurlique Replenishing Foaming Cleanser – which I’m using because the postal strike has meant that my Liz Earle goodies are being held at ransom at the local depot. In fact, the strike might have had an odd upside. It’s forced me to dig into the drawers again and, thankfully, skin is still looking as good as it has been and this non-drying, effective foaming cleanser hasn’t scuppered the spot-free run that I’ve had for over a month. I also recommend Jurlique’s Herbal Recovery Eye Gel – lovely, light, full of hydrating botanicals with none of the residual stickiness that lesser gels are prone to creating. Then a quick facial massage with Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant and a hop into the shower with a super thick layer of Laura Mercier Hydra Soothing Gel Mask still on skin (my current replacement for Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque, which is once again, still ‘in transit’) but which does pretty much the same job. A freezing water splash, a spray of Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic, a little pat of Darphin’s camomile oil and then a dab of Organic Glam’s new Antioxidant Foundation to even out the odd red patch and I was feeling not too bad. Until I turned around, lost my balance and head-butted the jutting partition wall in my bedroom. Cocktail complexions you can conceal. Heavy heads you cannot. Note to self: Tuesday nights are not the new Friday.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

#52 Time Management

Travelling, working late, planning a big event – the diary’s been jammed – which has led me to downsize almost all of my routines and focus on one simple and very effective skincare solution instead. I was on the Stella Care line for a month. Reviews are mixed. Textures are great and the scent is amazing. The 5 Benefits Moisturising Fluid and two elixirs always sank in without a trace, left my skin feeling very soft (minus oiliness – which I’m often prone to) and definitely boosted brightness and radiance. BUT, and it’s rather a big but, I also broke out a lot more during those four weeks than I normally do. Not angry, hormonal spots, but little, sensitized areas – blotches – which I’m unfamiliar with. I can only attribute it to the extremely high level of essential oils – it’s potent stuff this, and it would seem that my somewhat sensitive skin couldn’t quite cope. So the solution was to stop, pare down (again) and let things get back to normal. My new night treatment is as simple as can be – a thorough cleanse, steam and splash with icy cold water, followed by a massage with either Darphin’s Camomile Aromatic Care (which has done wonderful things for my wind-whipped cheeks) or the new Darphin 8 Flower Nectar over face, neck and eyes. That’s it. Nothing more. Good things have already happened in the last week – skin is calm, temperate and – I do not chuck this word around lightly – glowing. I’m using either Liz Earle’s Skin Repair Light or more of the camomile care during the day and that is it. It’s suiting me, suiting my skin and most importantly, suiting my schedule.