Wednesday, 23 February 2011

# 141 Good Skin

I have good nails. I've been approached by several different people re a spot of hand modelling, but, well, I'm far too lazy and clumsy... I've never had a manicure that's outlasted the week, couldn't be bothered to shield mes mains in mitts, I don't care for my cuticles or take calcium supplements. My good nails and long fingers are a genetic gift, just like my odd teeth and propensity to gain weight around the bootie area. I've gotten so used to answering on autopilot, 'what, these old things, they take care of themselves,' that it was only a matter of time before Monsieur Ironique decided to serve me a kick in the chops - in the form of peeling nails that attracted the pitying glances of my manicurist. Once we established the fact that I was 6 months post-pregnancy she sighed, 'J-yes, I zee zis all zee time. You muzt luke after your nails better. Your vitaminzez were leached away by bebby; you breztfeed? J-yes, me too. So, zis is why your nails, they look like zhits.' I may have paraphrased that last bit, but, well, you get zee gist. What was once naturally perfect now requires a (ahem) helping hand. So, it's been Decleor treatment oil, CND Solar Oil, Philosophy's new hand & nail cream, no polish for a bit, and, yes, those supplements (I'm trying Healthspan's NURTURE range). I'm only a week in, but things are already looking up. I want to give the supplements etc 6 weeks though, so ping me back if you want to know how it went (and if I remember, I'll follow up here).

Onto the skinfront, which was also looking decidedly washed out. Yes, yes, I'm tired. No, no, I haven't had a full 8 hours for a full 7 months. But, that's okay. My body seems to have lain down and accepted it... well, I'd quite frankly pass out anywhere. To be fair to my face though, the skin really isn't doing that badly. I'm not spotty or ridiculously grey or dry as a coconut biscuit... but, I was lacking glow, a thing I used to have rather too much of (and needed regular t-zone wipes to rectify). What's helped? At the moment a combination of 2 cleansers - Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel, because it takes make-up off very quickly and rinses cleanly away; and then a quick scrub with Tata Harper's Regenerating Cleanser (which will go on sale in Space.NK in the UK in, I believe, April). I tried using the Tata Harper line exclusively for 2 weeks, but my skin got very very dry and just seemed to feel sticky all the time. It's weird, because I was layering on all of her serums and spraying the mist and doing all the massage - and I have to say, I had the very very highest hopes for this line - but it turned my skin into a bit of a confused mess - a bit spotty around the chin, dry around cheeks, and the undereye area wasn't served any favours by the serum either... my dark circles began to border on blue. Now, I know what you're thinking: I only gave it 2 weeks (which I chide others for doing over & over)... 2 weeks is not a fair trial, and because it is not, I do intend to return to it in the future at a time when the appearance of my skin is not so damn crucial. I'm a beauty director for chrissake, if the face doesn't look good, I have no value.

I need products that really work; really improve; really leave skin feeling balanced and moist and plump and radiant.

So, the two cleansers are working well together at present (Tata's cleanser smells divine) and because it's also gently exfoliating, it leaves a lovely dead-cell free base for my serum, which is Revive Moisture Extreme. This is really really good stuff. In just one week it's cancelled out every bit of dryness I was doing battle with, and really is injecting radiance back into the old mug. I just wish the tube were bigger as this baby is not going to last me another month. And it's really expensive. £220 expensive. Of course. It's also far from 'natural', which is what my skin routine always was, until I reached 30 and started to see a bit of a 'situation' in the mirror. So, it's one of the first very serious serums I've used - alongside Prevage Eye (with idebenone - very good stuff); and Creme's Radiant Serum (which did indeed make my skin look glowier, but after 2 months had not left it better hydrated, which I do so desperately need at present). It's grown-up skincare, and the results sure do make everything else look like a kid in costume.

Oh, and now for the thing I never thought I'd say (or type). I love the new Benefit face cream. As the PR's a good friend I did promise not to blog about it until March, but, well, we're almost there right? And I have no doubt that Brit Beauty Blogger got their first anyway! So, the Be Radiant line made its way onto my bathroom shelf DESPITE containing artificial fragrance (I hardly ever, ever, ever use perfumed products); despite not being natural or organic in any way (or even trying to be); despite being from a cutesy, quirky brand that I had never, ever once associated with skincare. So, words eaten, because I've been using the Face Cream for 2 weeks and it's one of the loveliest formulas out there. It's silky, velvety, completely absorbed, amazing before make-up, banishes dry patches like nothing else (no, not even Creme de la Mer felt more moisturising!). I've had no adverse reactions to it, I'm not spotty or stinging or red or sensitized, I just have softer, brighter-looking skin. People have commented. I'm happy as Larry. And that scent, well, let's just say, it's good enough to make me eat my hat (and a lovely, flowery hat at that). Now, that really is a surprise.