I was always a bit of a lucky cow when it came to my skin, even as a teenager I never got spots but as you hit the mid twenties and into the dark shadows of 30 it becomes increasingly difficult to keep that dewy youthful glow you read about in magazines and begin to wonder whether it really exists.
The effects of years of binge drinking could no longer be hidden under a pair of sunglasses and double hair of the dog- It soon dawned on me that your mush (my childhood word for face not some bad genitalia pun) and your mop are quite important. There’s no point having the arse to rival a pornstar if your face is flaking an off shade of grey and your straggling hair looks like you’ve developed alopecia.
I was beginning to look rough and tired. Not just my flabby body but even my eyes had started to look dull and my only achievement was that my stomach was a suitable size to prop up my watermelon chest and prevent premature sagging – fit.
So in March I started a one woman quest to ‘save face’ trying out a number of products I’d either read about, seen on social media or sniffed out in the beauty isle. There was no point deciding on the life savers by April, they could have been one trick pony’s or I could have just been having a particularly better than average day.
So now in June, having experienced all ends of the emotional and hormonal spectrum- out of all the stuff I tried, here are the keepers!!
Please note: I am not a goddess/health practitioner/ hair dresser/ beauty professional or dermatologist – these are just things that helped with my skin and body type
Stila Perfecting Concealer
Sometimes all you need is a decent concealer to save the day. I’ve never been a fan of the super heavy ones but this little angle is full coverage with light perfecting qualities. Perfect for if you need to look your best after a sleepless night, it’s squeezy silver tube is pocket friendly too in case of the od emergency zit cover up on the go. £15 from Stila online I got my little miracle worker for just £5.99 from Cosmetics Inc (opposite Asda Merry Hill for the midlanders amongst us)
Soap & Glory Speed Plump: All-Day Super Moisture Marvel
I’ve always been a big time fan of S&G’s bath n body treats but their skin care was never quite there for me, until this new kid on the block fell into my boots basket. For Dry/Dehydrated skin this silky soft moisturiser also acts as the perfect make-up primer. Marketed as ‘a full-throttle attack on dry skin’ I wouldn’t say it was an instant cure but I certainly felt a boost for my ‘thirsty’ skin. Loaded with watermelon extract it also smells pretty fit! £13 from Boots, it’s often on the 342 offer so worth looking out for.
Nu Skin Epoch Glacial Marine Mud Mask
Right so this probably has to be one of the best accidental purchases I’ve ever made. Being a bit of social media addict I always have a little peak when people start selling stuff on facebook. There were a few pics of celebs using this ‘miracle mask’ so I thought why not. I have to be a bit careful with my skin as though oily on the nose and chin the rest can get dry and flakey when using certain products, even Simple has been known to give me a rash. But this was a dream. Admittedly I felt like a bit of a sea witch lathering on this green stuff but within seconds as it began to dry I felt the moisture leaving my pores without leaving the rest of my skin leathery. As it got hard I noticed the oil in my pores where it had sunk in extracting it out. I begin to wonder whether I was mutating X-Men style or if the small glass of wine I’d had with it had gone straight to my head. But the results were the same time and time again. Soft skin and reduced oil from my problem areas (which is a shame as I used to enjoy a good black head pick. now there aren’t any 😉 )I now only use it once every 1-2 weeks but have seen a noticeable difference in my skin bringing back a more peachy glow. I bought mine direct from a Nu Skin distributor- Lauren Copper who has her own dedicated Facebook Shop- Lauren’s Beauty Parlour
Tigi Urban Antidotes Resurrection Shampoo
Marketed as ‘hair rehab’ this magic bottle helps to restore fine and worn down hair from chemical damage. This stuff isn’t cheap, but it lasts and you start to feel a difference straight away. My fine and delicate hair had started to snap away from years of bleach, clip in extensions and going to bed with it wet when I was tired and stressed. The best treatment is prevention but if like me you need hair A&E, this bad boy is just the ticket- AND IT SMELLS FANTASTIC! I got mine from a local hairdressers but it’s on offer with 12% off at Feel Unique.
Boots Essentials Cucumber Face Wipes
I think I’ve tried every facewipe going from Pampers baby wipes to bank breaking No7 luxury but these fresh and simple cleansing wipes at £1.50 are the best ever, take everything off with one wipe and doesn’t sting. Usually on offer it’s great to bulk buy them and leave a packet wherever (not promoting floozy behaviour ha) but if like me you’re on the go a lot between family/friends/BFs houses we all know there is nothing worse than waking up to your face on the pillow and having to apologise with a bottle of vanish.
Unique Touch Liquid Foundation
Another buy from the world of network marketing, I was drawn to this by the before & after photos, marketed as ‘liquid photo shop’ along with the fact it had been out of stock for months (can only mean a good thing right?) and so I made a spluge and purchased this new brand of foundation. Initially I wasn’t sure , did I actually look any different? Was it staying on? My sister tried it and decided it was the best coverage she’d ever had an bet Chanel hands down, we discovered the key was to let it set and not apply any further make up to the skin until a few minutes afterwards. And gee does it have staying power! It manages to cover imperfections without masking your skins natural beauty like those 24hour foundations that end up looking tacky if you apply to much. So it still has a bit of a ‘glow’ to it and for extra bonus points it didn’t transfer to the pillow when I fell asleep without face wipes- win win! I purchased mine from Kate Bowen @ Bow’s Unique Beauty who has lots of other Glamour Puss style products on offer to compliment this one.
Nivea For Men Post Shave Balm
Yes you read it right- Men’s skin care. Hear me out on this one. We’ve all had that moment of dating someone where you haven’t packed the right stuff and if you’re not careful might spend the day looking like the undead. Moisturiser is key to good foundation coverage and I accidentally discovered that this bad boy is THE BEST primer. Keeps your make up bang on and fresh, locking in moisture, which I guess you’d expect from something designed to sooth someone who’s just taken a razor to their face… Anyway me and my sister now swear by it. Forget spending loads on beauty counter primers, this boyfriend hack is your new best friend… £5.35 and good for sensitive skin, it’s a win win situation!
Back to the mop I read once more that beauty comes from within so thought I’d add more greens to my diet. Turns out avocado gives your hair that extra glossy vibe and there are loads of online recipes to make your own hair mask with it (this is the one I used) True it may be one of the fattiest foods out, but it’s good fats and certainly beats rubbing a KFC bucket on your head… smells better too 😉
Nu Skin Renu Hair Mask
Another of my Nu Skin purchases was this luxury hair mask. I’ll be honest to begin with I didn’t see a huge difference other than feeling good from soaking in the bath while it soaked in. BUT using once a week I began to notice a real difference after a fortnight and to check it wasn’t just the effect of the other products I stopped using it for two weeks and rediscovered the benefits when I went back to it. Now my hair is stronger I’ve been able to indulge in micro bond hair extensions (which don’t give the same damaging qualities as lazily sleeping in clip ins) and have found this hair mask to be excellent at resetting the natural hair the extensions are made up of before restyling. Good for bleached hair and doesn’t leave a residue which is super handy if like me you’re a lazy mermaid when it comes to taking care of hair! My hair care purchase was matched to my requirements by Lauren @ Lauren’s Beauty Parlour
Sound’s daft doesn’t it? But the cheapest and most effective beauty product on the market is hydration. I am awful for drinking water but when I cut down on my alcohol intake, I noticed that the days I drank in comparison to when I didn’t left my skin feeling tighter the next morning and the times I went on nights out without hydrating properly during the day, my hangovers were worse. Water is your friend, always keep a bottle to hand! If you’re like me and would rather pick up a bottle of Fanta than spring water I’d recommend Volvic- touch of fruit. Still contains sugars but far more hydrating than a soft drink (says my kidneys)
Fake Bake Beyond Bronze Instant Tan
Who doesn’t want an instant full body lift? I’ve always been a believer that a bit of colour always helps you look slimmer- so much so that me and my friend looked a bit like baked beans at uni, convinced it was better to look dirty than pale. But this stuff, unlike the shimmery orange rimmel rubbish I used to cake myself in give a more natural brown rather than orange) instant glow AND ITS FAKE BAKE- as in the best fake tan ever but washes off the moment you throw your lovely little self in the shower. Far better than the biscuit scented Johnson’s ‘summer skin’ and as good a break up cure as Taylor swift on repeat and chocolate cake – give yourself a ‘tan-over’ and feel awesome! I got mine reduced to just £3.99 online at Sensational!
L’Oreal Super Gloss Shampoo
I have a confession to make, this isn’t a new discovery, I used to use it when I was 18 (and soaking my hair in it smells like cheeky monkeys & the lite bar – both of which now closed) but I rediscovered it and soon discovered that next to the pricey ones I’d been using (Lee Stafford, Tony & Guy etc) this was the best shampoo for me. Cleansing but nourishing this stuff smells amaze and helped de-straggle my hair. I’ll never get back the luscious locks of my 18 year old self , but this stuff is an excellent consolation prize.
Sounds corny doesn’t it? But when I’m happy and calm my skin and hair reflects it, sometimes it’s hard but even in the darkest moments, heartache, anxiety, depression, if you take time for yourself with a green tea anything is possiable. What would Beyonce do?
Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle…