Forgive me as I should have shared this with you pre-Christmas - I got caught up in a glitter and tinsel tangle - what can I say? There have been a few tweaks to my routine since then as some of these products ran out and I started testing others - my thoughts on them remain the same and will hopefully be helpful to some of you.
First up, this is my routine post make-up removal, which I normally do using a cleansing oil - favourites include Bobbi Brown, DHC Pore Cleansing and Una Brennan Superfacialist. (Gonna pick up The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil to try next as I’ve been meaning to for ages). If you’ve never tried a cleansing oil, I can’t recommend them enough as the quickest, easiest way to break down make-up and get rid of it fast.
Make-up out of the way, I go in with a cleanser that can now access my pores and deep cleanse my skin. You may have seen me rave about Skinesis Ultimate Cleanse in my Top 14 of 2014… deeply luxurious, this slightly oily balm feels heavenly massaged into my skin and leaves it feeling pampered and completely clean (minus the squeak, not a fan of squeaky skin). It’s not the cheapest, but it’s the best cleanser I’ve tried to date and if budget allowed, I’d choose it every time. I bought it during a QVC offer, so worth keeping an eye on there. The closest I’ve found on a similar level is REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Balm, also beautiful and less spendy.
After cleansing I go in with an eye cream, in this case one of the priciest I’ve been sent to trial, Elethea Eye Architecture Cream. I love this brand’s ethos and pretty packaging and the cream helped keep my eye area well hydrated. It’s packed with an impressive ingredient list including peptides, tamarind seed extract, rosehip oil and omegas, so was it worth 3 times what I’d normally pay? I had a couple of niggles… that it pumps out more product than needed and takes a long time to sink into my skin. Not massive issues and didn’t interfere with product performance, but worth noting. In all honesty, I think there are equally good eye creams out there for less cash.
Now for a product that’s worth every penny... oh Antonia you can do no wrong. In fact I’m going to do a separate feature on Antonia Burrell’s line up as this brand is one of my best discoveries and I want to share the love. Radiant Light Facial Oil Serum can be used as a final step in your routine, or below moisturiser if you feel it’s needed. The texture leans more towards oil than serum and a drop or two does the job. It’s quite a bright yellow, which I feel shows up on my pale skin, hence restricting it to evening use (I’m guessing this is due to carrot seed extract/ oil - of course the colour disappears when absorbed into skin!). Made with 18 pure plant extracts, frankincense and rosewood, this gives my dull winter skin back its glow and leaves it looking revitalised and healthy, as if it’s had a vitamin fix!
Speaking of vitamins, a couple of nights a week I’d swap this for Flavo-C Serum, another radiance-inducing product with an extremely rare stable vitamin C formula that stays active for 10 hours. 30% ginkgo biloba adds a powerful antioxidant punch (and herbal scent). This does leave my skin slightly tacky and although the addition of moisturiser helps with that, I prefer to save it for night time use rather than top with make-up.
There are times when I feel a facial oil is enough nourishment for my skin, but 8 out of 10 nights I’ll add a moisturiser - and Merumaya Overnight Recharge Night Cream is just gorgeous. I love the pump bottle and rich texture of this cream, which leaves my skin feeling deeply moisturised with a plumped up, velvety finish. Some rich skincare seems to induce those under skin bumps on my face, but this doesn’t clog or irritate in any way.