The dreaded moving out season has finally begun and a recent peak at my girlfriend’s bathroom stash got me thinking about her take on all things beauty. A small snort exerted when I remembered that she is in fact the least interested woman that walks this earth when it concerns the cosmetics world. In fact she only looks confused whenever she hears the words ‘makeup’ and ‘Boots’ and she’s been known to turn around and walk the opposite direction when I mentioned ‘Space NK’. To be fair my purse wishes it could do the same thing.

Writer's girlfriend grimaces.

Did someone say Clinique?

It has to be said this is all irrelevant when it comes to face masks. Oh she loves face masks! She’ll happily throws on 2 or 3 after another during a face mask sesh… She has a particular fondness for those Montagne Jeunesse gems that come in just about every scent in the world. But her day to day routine consists of a dab of whatever body or face moisturiser she has on hand being slathered onto her face, along with a splash of whatever freebie sized perfume is kicking about and she’s out the door, leaving me shaking my head in bemusement and swapping said questionable moisturiser for an appropriate replacement in her absence.

Since moving in together –don’t gasp just yet it’s just for the summer!- she’s been exposed to all sorts, the ‘triple-threat-Sunday-night facials’, the 30 minutes evening skincare routine and bedtime beauty ritual and even the unsightly facial hair removal (and she’s yet to pack up and leave –score). The accumulation of these events plus the endless pottering around John Lewis, Boots and the rest has made for some seriously entertaining one-liners from her part. Watch out for those gems later on, but for now I’ll let you in on some beauty basics. Think of it as a “beauty for beginners” lesson, and with skincare being my favorite topic of all, grab a coffee and get comfy!

It’s been a long while since I’ve been trying to perfect some kind of routine which works for me –but suffice to say that some basics apply to all, regardless of skin type, texture, colour etc. I’ve mixed things up A LOT since my addiction began, it’s the same but different with a few well-placed newer addictions in there. So if your skin is still battling it’s way to ‘normal’, with the odd spot of dryness around the eyes and oiliness on the T-zone, this current combo of products (which I might add take approx. 6 minutes to throw on without any snack breaks in between) might just help keep everything in check. My mantra is hydration, no grease pools! Niiiiiice!

The Basics:


Cleansing balm. I use the Emma Hardie one and I’m in love with the stuff. I’m on the 2nd tub in about as many months and let me tell you it’s not going anywhere! Any decent cleansing balm would do the job just as well to be fair, but this one happens to smell and feel amazing on the skin and when you flannel it off your skin feels nourished but clean: the winning combination in my books! Take a pea-sized amount, rub in between hands and really go to town with it! Work it in! When that’s done, run a flannel under some warm water, massage it off and voila.


Spray toners are so much less faffy to use than liquid bottled toners, no cotton pads required, just spray on your skin, inhale the goodness and boom, the end. The one I’m currently loving at the moment is the La Roche Posay Serozinc spray, it’s a zinc-sulphate solution  (check me out going all chemical on you) which is known for its mattifying and purifying properties. If you’re more of an oily gal like myself def don’t skip this step out, think of it as the VIP step. The blurb on the back even says you can use it for nappy rash… Read into that what you will :s


Serum is an absolute must if you’ve got even the teeny tiniest bit of dehydration. And let me tell you, unless you’re somehow necking down 3L of water daily (and if you are tell me how!) then chances are you will be. A good readily available option is Hydraluron, it contains a shed-load of hydraluronic acid molecules –the key to skin hydration. That dewy glow is only 1 Hydraluron tube away.


The grand finale. This is the step where you can really mix it up a bit depending on your exact skin type, if you’re having a no makeup day etc. For oilier skins I’d recommend straying far far away from anything with the words ‘rich/nourish/deeply penetrating’ on the box. Keep it simple and aim for an oil-free matifying counterpart, something like Garnier Moisture Match ‘Shine be Gone’. Cute name too. If you’ve got more ‘normal’ skin then this category is your playground! And if your poor skin is starting to dry up then search high and low for something with natural oils and essences. Origins make fab ones with millions of plant extracts and then some.

PS: If you’ve managed to read this far, congrats! You deserve this final piece of knowledge… SPF. Whether you’re staying, going out, shaking it all about, apply that SPF!!! There are different textures out there to suit every skin type, as a rule of thumb I’d stick to spray ones for oily skins, light textured creams or gels for the in-betweeners and whatever takes your fancy for you drier skinned girls. And whatever you do, pleeease don’t buy into that SPF 8 ridiculousness. SPF 50 on your face only! Check out my cool rhyme: sun is your skin’s archenemy, so use fifty!

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