Minimal effort, with maximum results…
In recent times I’ve found a new zest for self-care – who hasn’t? Let’s attempt sourdough whilst we’re at it, eh? I usually keep to quite a basic beauty routine during my Monday to Friday whenever I’m working from home, but seeing as all I’m doing these days is working from home, I’ve found a little more time in my schedule to do the extra bells and whistles that I’d normally squeeze into a Saturday or Sunday, more frequently. It’s meaning that I’m actually using stuff up instead of stockpiling things ‘for best’, and my skin is reaping the rewards. So today I thought I’d detail the extra bits and bobs I’m doing that are making me feel somewhat polished, even if I haven’t shaved my calves for a month…
GIVE A SHEET.
If you’re anything like me then you’ve been collecting sheet masks like you’re a kid collecting Pokémon cards in the late nineties. I don’t consider myself a wasteful person, but with sheet masks I love buying them, always put them aside whenever I’m sent them and never, ever get round to using them. If you looked in our fridge and took a peek at the top drawer you’d think I cracked one out every morning. They are kept in there because have you ever put a sheet mask on your face fresh out of the fridge? On the one time a year I actually do that it’s HEAVENLY. But now is the time to work through the stockpile. Keep them cold if possible for ultimate de-puffing and leave them on as long as possible for ultimate absorption. If we’re just talking eye masks which are the easiest to use as they don’t require you to basically lie down for the duration of the masking, then the Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Revitalising Eye Masks* are my favourites; I’ve used/hoarded them for years. The one full-facial sheet mask that I feel actually makes a difference is the Dr Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Biocellulose Brightening Treatment Mask*, which on me visibly brightens things and feels like it’s worth the faffing and repositioning it on my face every 15 seconds (plus it’s biodegradable!). A new discovery for me is a foot sheet mask. You soak your feet in little plastic bag booties for an hour and then over the next week your soles peel off in large wedges much like a snake shedding it’s skin. It sounded almost too good to be true, but I’ve been there, worn the booties and now I’m shedding left, right and centre whilst Mark follows me around with a hoover. I used the Tony Moly* ones which seem tricky to find in the U.K, but the Patchology Poshpeel Pedi Cure Pedicure* looks like the same thing in new clothes.
SHEER IT OUT.
If you don’t fancy walking around looking like the Hannibal Lecter, then a sheer face mask is the answer. Now this is a step that I’ve been doing for years. If you’re hunkering down for the day and know that Vitamin D won’t be getting anywhere near you, then skip the SPF for an hour or two and slap on an invisible mask instead. Along with necking a pint of water, it’s one of the best things you can do for hydration and I have a couple up my sleeve that I return to time and time again. The Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask* is a classic and definitely one of the less heavy of my picks, so good if you find yourself more combination (and it’s pretty reasonably priced). On the other end of the scale is the Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask*, which feels like absolute heaven but is priced like gold, something similar though is the Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask*; both apply like a thick moisturiser and benefit from an hour or so of sitting on the skin before you massage in anything that’s still remaining. My favourite favourite? The Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask*, which is so good it feels like you’re cheating. A thick balm, I take the tiniest amount and warm it up in my hands apply it all over and leave it on either overnight or throughout the day and you just GLOW when you have this on. It’s not the cheapest purchase, but it’s the best value for money – it’s my most used hydration mask and I’ve not even used a third.
THE EXTRA STEPS.
I’ve been using these extra pockets of time to do extra steps in my routine that I would normally just crack out every couple of weeks even though they only take an extra 10 minutes or so everyday (so really I am just a lazy B normally). They aren’t that time-consuming, but I’m really noticing the difference in my skin. First up I’m gua-sha-ing every day. You know facial massage with one of those scraping stone things? I use this method, and this stone* and I feel like day by day I’m gradually carving out some kind of jawline. I either do it in the morning or the evening, whenever I have the energy and it really feels quite wonderful and is definitely something that I’ll continue. I’m also masking way more than I usually do – the Tatcha Violet-C Vitamin C Radiance Mask* and the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Maque* (ad – gifted), are my current go to’s. If you win the lottery anytime soon then I also recommend the Dr Dennis Gross DRx SpecraLite FaceWare Pro*, which means that you can do LED treatments from your very own bathroom. 6 minutes a day – 3 minutes with the red light to reduce sun-damage and redness and 3 minutes with the blue light to prevent breakouts – and I really feel like my skin hasn’t looked this good in a long while. And there’s one non-skin related one too. A layer of the good ol’ gradual tanner here and there. I know that no-one is actually seeing me, but it’s amazing what a layer of the sun kissed stuff can do for my general happiness levels, (which is perhaps the most vain thing I’ve ever typed), but it truly does lift my mood. The Tan-Luxe Gradual* is the only one for me.
MINIMAL MAKEUP FAVES.
Usually when I’m working from home I go completely makeup free, but there’s something different about not wearing makeup 24/7 when you’re not really leaving the house at all. It’s not the same rules, so I’ve been wearing the teeny tiniest amount of makeup on weekdays and I know it sounds dumb but it’s one of those small steps that helps with the division of weekdays versus weekends. My base is something real sheer like the Origins Ginzing SPF 40* – who remembers this? I restocked recently and have fallen back in love with this slightly bronzing, super glossy base that’s packed with SPF. It’s perfect. If I’ve been up late the night before watching early episodes of America’s Next Top Model – YES – then I’ll tab a little of the RMS Beauty Un Cover-Up Concealer in 11* under my eyes. Then I sweep the CHANEL Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Base* over my cheeks, curl my lashes, brush through my brows, put on a little lip balm and Bob’s your Uncle. DONE. Enough to make me feel a little polished, but not so much that it feels like a faff to remove later on or needs touching up throughout the day.
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Photos by Mark Newton