So I’m new to this whole blogging thing and thought I’d start with some posts about my favourite things!
Whether that’s make-up, skincare or shoes, I will be writing about my most loved items or ‘couldn’t live without’ products. I love reading product reviews and always read them about a product I’m thinking of buying before I buy it. I just like to find out other people opinions first and prefer buying things that have been highly recommended.
I’ll start with skincare as I have that many favourite skincare products that I could happily rave about, but for now I have narrowed it down to just a few that are my everyday essentials…
Avene Eau Thermale Spring Water
I discovered this when I was having some trouble with my skin. It suddenly became really sensitive to certain products (especially perfumed products) and I still can’t pin point exactly what started it. But it was quite red under my eye area for a while and becoming sensitive to my usual products.
I started researching about sensitive skincare ranges and came across the Avene range. After reading nearly all the reviews on it I could find, I bought a few products from their range: the Eau Thermale Spring Water, Skin Recovery Cream and the Extremely Gentle Cleanser. I was amazed by the results! All products felt gentle and soothing on my skin and from first use really calmed my face.
They all contain ‘Avene thermal spring water’ and ‘anti-irritating properties’ and are mild enough for sensitive skin. I used all these products together for a while until the redness went away, and now I just use them as and when needed, but, I use the Eau Thermal Spring water daily and LOVE it!
This has become one of my favourite products that I now use in place of a toner. The toners I use to use started to sting my face a bit when I was having skin trouble, so I replaced them with this and have been using it as a toner ever since. It says you can use it for: facial redness; irritations; razor burn, after exercise and to complete makeup removal along with many other uses.
But I just find it perfect to spray on either a cotton pad and wipe my face after cleansing or you can spray it straight on your face then wipe with a cotton pad. It’s just great for my skin, especially when it’s being quite sensitive as it feels really soothing and calming and most importantly doesn’t sting around the eye area. It’s also ideal for travelling as you can buy miniature 50ml bottles to put in your beach bag and spritz over your face to cool down during hot weather.
I also love the Extremely Gentle Cleanser as well, but will review it another time as I don’t use it everyday so it’s not an ‘essential’.
Nivea Soft Refreshingly Soft Moisturising Cream
I’ve been using Nivea products ever since I can remember and have always just remembered my mum using them, so I suppose I must have started with using her products at some stage and fell in love with their face creams. I’ve been using this particular one since my teens and it has always been great for my skin.
It says it is for face, body and hands and is probably great for all three, but I just use it as an everyday face moisturiser and also in the evenings after putting on a serum. I just find it so smooth and moisturising and its only lightly fragranced so doesn’t irritate around my eyes as they can be quite sensitive sometimes.
I have tried different moisturisers in the past just to see if I’m missing out on something, but eventually I always come back to this as it’s the only cream so far that I have found to soften and smooth my skin and also keep it feeling soft afterwards (I hate creams that make your skin feel tight shortly after using it).
Its also paraben free (always a bonus!) and doesn’t feel sticky or greasy (I also hate creams that make your skin feel sticky). It’s probably my most repurchased item over the years and even when I do try new creams or use facial SPF’s, I always start with this as a base as I love how soft my skin is after using it.
No 7 Protect and Perfect Advanced Serum
This is a recent discovery of mine and so far I am really impressed! As usual, I was influenced by its rave reviews and decided to give it a try. I use the Advanced Serum which is for ages 25-35 (there’s also Intense Advanced for ages 35-45).
It is targeted especially for fine lines that may start to appear between ages 25-35 and help reduce them and also help protect skin from future signs of ageing.
I bought this as prevention and use a very small amount all over as a serum before moisturiser at night, but I specifically use a larger amount of it on my forehead and between my eyebrows as I feel that that area will benefit more from staying frown line free!
It has done an amazing job at smoothing out any fine lines (or those lines you get after squinting) and I have definitely noticed an improvement in the smoothness of my skin and will definitely continue using it.
bareMinerals Active Cell Renewal Night Serum
I absolutely love this product! I see it as a more luxury skincare item and it really does feel like luxury on the skin! I have always been a bit apprehensive about using anything that looks like oil as I am always worried about it causing breakouts.
But after getting a sample of this and using it sparingly at first to test it out, I have been hooked ever since! It is a really lightweight serum that just glides across the skin beautifully and you only use a pearl sized amount as that’s all that’s needed to cover the face. I let it sink in for a few minutes then use my usual moisturiser on top and in the morning I wake up with such soft and healthy looking skin.
It is one of my more expensive skincare items that I have as its £39 for 30ml but I really do feel like it is worth it as you only use a tiny amount so it lasts ages. Since I have bought the No 7 Protect and Perfect serum I have been alternating between the two products as my night time serum, but I really do love the effect of both of them too much to stop using one or the other!
More often than not I will use this in the evening and the No7 serum in the morning. The product says it contains ActiveSoil Complex combined with a unique moisture boost technology that together maximises cell renewal and hydrates skin overnight. All sounds quite complicated but I can’t argue with the results, as for me my skin does feel healthier and more hydrated in the morning.
Lancaster Suractif Fill and Perfect Anti-wrinkle Eye Cream
Finding an eye cream I liked was the bane of my life; I tried loads and they either stung, made my eyes water or made the skin around my eyes feel tight. But I have been using this for about three months now and love it!
I love Lancaster Sun products and use their face and body sun creams, so I thought I would try some of their skin care range. I just got to a point where I felt like I needed to start introducing a good eye cream and get use to using it day and night.
The area around the eyes is so delicate and I wanted to start using a good cream that is specifically for the eye area rather than just relying on my everyday moisturiser. Sometimes I get quite dark circles and the outer corners use to get a little dry and those were my main concerns, so I chose this as it says it reduces dark circles and puffiness as well as filling in wrinkles and smoothing the eye contour.
So it actually covers a lot of the main concerns when choosing an eye cream. What I love about this product is that the texture is so lightweight and sinks into the skin without leaving it feeling sticky, tight or sensitive.
Three months is the longest time I’ve ever stuck with an eye cream, I usually give up after a week or sometimes even after first use if it doesn’t agree with my skin. I use it morning and evening and gently tap it around the eye area – never rubbing – and just leave it to be absorbed.
You only need a tiny amount for each eye as the skin around the eyes is thinner and absorbs cream quickly, so less is more in this case. I put the cream about half an inch under each eye and on the brow bone and never directly under the eye or on eyelids, because eye cream travels as it seeps into the skin so if you apply it too close to the eye near the lash line it could irritate it.
So as it is soaking in, the cream travels to where it needs to be targeting the right areas with the right amount of product. Since using this cream I’ve noticed how smooth the areas around my eyes are but especially the outer corners which use to get quite dry.
Benefit Dream Screen SPF 45
I’m obsessed with anything that has SPF in it and will always try to buy face creams with SPF wherever possible. I use SPF daily, whether it’s in a facial sun cream, an everyday moisturiser or a primer.
So I use one of these depending on the weather or where I am. Everyday I will use something with factor 30 in at the least, so a primer or face cream with SPF 30, but if I’m on holiday (or when we have a few rare hot weeks of British summer) then I use facial sun cream with SPF 50.
I never use less than factor 50 on holiday or when it’s really hot out and I’ll use either of these over my usual Nivea Soft moisturiser; as it doesn’t contain an SPF but I always use it as a first step as it really softens and hydrates my skin.
I think it’s so important to use something with an SPF in it daily, as it helps prevent premature aging, wrinkles and sun damage. Don’t get me wrong, I never use to be this strict with always using an SPF and in the past probably only used it on holiday, but I got really badly burnt once and it really scared me so I have made sure I’ve used it ever since. This is why I love Benefit Dream Screen as it has the benefit of such a high factor of 45 but also moisturises and doesn’t feel like a sun cream on the face.
So no sticky residue or shiny skin – it absorbs quickly, dries invisible and has a matte finish. It’s so lightweight that you really can’t feel it on your face and it sinks in quickly so it’s convenient too for applying make up a minute or so after using it.
I’ve used plenty of sun creams in the past which take that long to sink in or leave your face super shiny and its so annoying waiting for it to absorb before you can apply your make up, so this is ideal for me and has definitely ticked all the boxes for the perfect high factor facial sun screen. It is £25 which may seem pricey, but I do think it’s worth it as you get a 45ml bottle and only need to use a small amount to cover the face – it’s ultra-lightweight and a small amount spreads really evenly all over.
I just save this for my face though and use a body SPF or a different facial SPF for my neck, as I feel like it will last longer that way. I mainly use this for when I’m going to be out in the sun all day or when the weathers particularly hot and use something with SPF 30 in it for just warm or cooler weather. I’m going on holiday soon (yeay!) and I’m looking forward to using this abroad along with my usual Lancaster facial sun creams and see which I prefer.
bareMinerals Prime Time BB Primer Daily Defence SPF 30 in Light
As I’ve said before, I like to use something with SPF in it daily and on warm or cooler days I will wear SPF 30 and save SPF 45 and higher for hot weather or holidays.
I absolutely love bareMinerals products and this is a particular favourite as it has the convenience of combining a primer with an SPF, which also feels moisturising and dries matte. So I alternate using this or Benefit Dream Screen depending on the weather.
I have been a fan of bareMinerals primers for years and love the Prime Time Brightening primer too, but when this BB primer came out I was really excited as it is a really multi-tasking product. It feels silky smooth on the skin so helps with dryness and also has a hint of colour.
I use Light which is perfect for my pale skin tone. When you first use it, it looks quite yellowish and at first I thought it would be too dark for me but it blends in perfectly and gives a hint of colour. It is a BB primer so it primes, evens the skin tone and imperfections but with the added benefit of SPF 30.
This is a great all rounder in my opinion as it covers many factors in one cream – SPF, primer, hint of colour and evens out the skin tone prepping it for foundation.
What are you favourite skincare essentials?