Skincare routine

Before the past three to four weeks of fifteen hour workdays and five hours’ sleep per night caught up with me, my skin was in great condition. And when I say great, I meant that each time I washed my face I was constantly surprised at how soft and smooth it was. I wanted to do a skincare routine documenting what I was using at the time because: 1) I’m not sure exactly which product it is that gave such results, and often it’s probably a cocktail of products and not just one that results in a noticeable difference; and 2) let’s be real, six months down and 13835789 new products later, I’d forget the combination of products that I was using no matter how good it is. Although three weeks only, my skin’s not looking so great, I do think that when I was keeping normal hours of work and sleep, the products worked wonderfully. So it’s not a very involved routine, but here we go.

Morning

I cleanse my face with either the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser or the L’occitane Brightening Foaming Cleanser.

Using my ring fingers, I pat a tiny dab of Pai Echium & Argan Gentle Eye Cream around my eyes. Next I use the Origins Make A Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating Serum. I give it a minute or so then I spread the Omorovicza Illuminating Moisturiser all over my face.

That’s all for my morning routine!

Night

When I get home, I use the Bioderma Sensibio Micelle Solution and a cotton pad to remove my eye makeup. The rest of my makeup I remove in the shower – I massage the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm onto my dry face, and after I step into the shower I use a warm damp flannel or muslin cloth to take off the rest of my makeup.

After my shower, if I am not going immediately to sleep, I spray about three spritzes of the Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner on my face. If I am going to sleep quite soon after, I skip the toner and go straight into cleansing again. For this I’ve been using Lush Angels on Bare Skin, which my skin LOVES. I use the Pai Echium & Argan Gentle Eye Cream again, followed by the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum and the Omorovicza Revitalising Night Cream.

That’s all I do – maybe once a week I use The Face Shop Raspberry Roots Sleeping Mask, but that’s about it. I haven’t used exfoliants, chemical or physical, in some time because I think my skin is a little too sensitive to them. I’ve noticed that something else that really affects my skin is alcohol, so I’ve consciously been trying to imbibe less of the stuff. Other than that, sleep really does make a tremendous difference, so I’m going to take some of my own advice and be off to bed now.

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2013 favourites

I thought I’d just make a record of my favourites of 2013. I haven’t got something from every category as I only want to put in stuff that I truly did enjoy and not have to force something out just so that I’d have something for that category. Without further ado:

Song: Sweater Weather by The Neighbourhood. I found this song through Arden Rose’s Youtube channel. Listened to it and absolutely fell in love. I just love the whole vibe of the song. It makes me feel like that is exactly what I want out of life.

Music: The Neighbourhood. Of course, having fallen in love with Sweater Weather, I had to check out the rest of The Neighbourhood’s music as well, and proceeded to fall in love. Particular favourites are Wires, Afraid, Female Robbery and West Coast.

Book: Atlas Shrugged. I don’t agree with all the ideas espoused in the book, but I enjoyed the book very much. The story is incredibly absorbing, and it really made me re-think concepts which I took for granted. Definitely a book which has shaped my outlook on life, and I absolutely recommend it.

Lifestyle: Exercise. I started exercising more regularly sometime mid this year and, I have to say, I really enjoy it. Call me strange, but I especially like feeling my muscles ache for days after a gruelling workout.

Makeup: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (in Custard). Concealer is the most important item in my makeup arsenal because it just makes the BIGGEST difference to my face. The NARS one is the only concealer that I’ve found which is effective in covering my really dark under eye circles. It’s kind of expensive but I would not hesitate to buy it again and again.

Obsession: Skincare. Some years are fashion years, some are makeup years, 2013 was skincare year. It could be because now that I’m in the latter half of my 20s, I’ve noticed that my skin is drier and more easily irritated. Whatever it is, some of my favourite Youtubers – such as ViviannaDoesMakeup and A Model Recommends – have really made me interested in skincare. Thanks to Pixiwoo, I also discovered Caroline Hiron’s blog, which is a treasure trove of skincare tips. To be perfectly honest though, despite purchasing a lot of skincare and reading a lot about it, I’m still quite lazy when it comes to actual application. I do the proper double cleanse (this was also the year I discovered cleansing balms, which I now can’t do without), serum and moisturiser, but not much else. I try to do a mask at least once a week but sometimes I’m just too lazy.

Shopping website: Cult Beauty. Apart from feeding my skincare obsession, this website has wrecked havoc on my bank account this year because it is just so relaxing and wonderful to browse. I like the idea of a collection which has been curated so only the best products of a particular brand have been included. Plus I am a sucker for samples, and Cult Beauty do the best sample bags, which they come out with every couple of months.

Event: My engagement! I got engaged in 2013! That was probably the biggest and best thing which happened to me this year. Coming in second was my trip to London and Paris, which I enjoyed immensely. It cemented London as my favourite city to visit 🙂

To be honest, 2013 hasn’t been the best year, work-wise, and 2014 looks equally bleak/busy. And work takes up about 80% of my time, sadly. However, I’m going to try my best to be positive and take things as they come. Here’s to an amazing 2014!