So these days I’m a little bit married to my skincare favourites – it takes quite a bit for a new entrant to muscle its way into my makeup kit. You have to test it, first on yourself, then on a few shoots, then on a few more and most of the time they don’t make the final cut.
Not so Alpha H’s Liquid Gold, which I’ve been using more and more lately. It’s a liquid glycolic acid skin polisher, which I’m starting to swear by as part of my skin prep on jobs. I first came across it some time ago through the UK makeup artist Kenneth Soh
Models always look like they have amazing skin, don’t they? Well I’ll tell you a secret – they often don’t. That’s what makeup is for! Quite often models have the same skin concerns that the rest of us do – spots, hormonal breakouts, hyper pigmentation, excessive oiliness, excessive dryness, rosacea – you name it, makeup artists have to deal with it. One of the trickiest things is when a model doesn’t take good care of her skin and it’s all weirdly dry yet congested, and a big part of the problem is that just don’t exfoliate enough.
Before Liquid Gold I’d use a YSL or a Dermalogica scrub – I’m talking a full facial with hot water, applying the product, buffing it off and then clearing all the product off to leave baby soft skin beneath. This works really well but does take quite awhile, which so often you don’t have on a hectic day’s shoot. Now I keep a bottle of Liquid Gold in my skincare bag, and actually pretty much everyone who sits in my chair these days is getting a quick buff over with it on a cotton pad. It takes off the dead skin cells, leaving the nice juicy new skin cells ready for makeup. And yes, it gives you THAT glow.
So skincare bags get ready, there’s a new product in town.
It’s been a loooong time in between mask uses for me – as in I think the last time I used one, Bridget Jones’ Diary was on at the movies and Beyoncé was still in Destiny’s Child. Definitely before I had children, that’s for sure. Having kids will do that to you – radically cut into your self-care and pampering time, that is! So given that my son is bigger, and I’m not getting any younger, let’s face it, I thought my skincare routine should pick up a bit.
Enter a fabulous all natural 100% vegan mud mask from the US called Stimul8, by Gr8ful Skin Couture. I love that it’s a natural alternative to some of the more, ahem, chemical anti-agers out there. It’s mud! All natural, and vegan, and it’s converted me back to mask use again.
The first time I used it, it was WARM – I have no idea what’s in that mud but it’s like chilli for your face! It doesn’t hurt but you can definitely feel a tingling whilst it works its magic. Rinse it off and your skin looks fresher, brighter and more rested. The best thing to do is use for three days in a row to make you look as young as you did when Bridget Jones was around (I’m talking pre-Facebook, so that’s pretty young). Although I’m still not one of those natural pampering types who loves getting her bath on, I liked the effects of this mask so much that I intend to do it again. And soon. And not leave it quite so long in between masks that Beyonce can have a whole solo career. And get married (to one of the world’s richest and most influential rappers, no less) And have five Number 1s. And get 11 Grammys. And have a sold out world tour. And star in three movies. And sing for the President. And have a baby. Damn, what that woman can do in a decade! The least I can do is make time for a mud mask.
But I digress. As it’s a dark mud it’s too messy for clients at work, but I don’t want to let it out of my bathroom anyway. Now for more time to relax with a glass of wine and some Skin Couture…
PS I also love this product as it doesn’t test on animals, and every component is derived from plants – even the lactic acid she uses is sourced from sugar beets and cane sugar. It’s nice to know that choosing natural products doesn’t mean skimping on performance.
I was very excited to hear that one of my favourite makeup artists (and mentors), Florrie White, is now NUDE Skincare’s brand ambassador. Florrie is an amazing makeup artist and has quite the celebrity clientele, working regularly with Alexa Chung, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Emily Blunt, Rose Byrne and Kate Bosworth – how’s that for a cool crowd of clients?
She has magical hands and would always choose exactly the right blend of skincare to address what her client’s skin required, unfailingly achieving a beautiful, hydrated skin as a base for her lovely makeup. I’m not surprised she is now working with NUDE as they are a wonderful luxury organic skincare brand, and perfect for Florrie’s effortless, cool aesthetic.
Nowadays it feels like every week there is a new “organic” or “natural” skincare range being released as people increasingly are becoming aware of the toxic nature of many products which we put everyday onto our biggest organ, our skin. But as NUDE started back in 2007, they were one of the first to market in this area. Synthesising all natural ingredients to create truly luxurious and effective skincare (and the packaging to match) wasn’t easy, but founder Brian Meehan insisted that they get it exactly right. Cult products from the range include the Perfect Cleansing Oil and the Radiant Day Moisturiser.
I can’t wait to see more of Florrie and NUDE Skincare!
Happy New Year! I love having a fresh start – and let me tell you, 2013 is only a few days old and already it’s looking like it’s going to be a good one.
I’m not going to talk about New Year’s Resolutions and all that business, although I have a few, “ahem” improvements that I’ll be making – namely, being less of a makeup pack rat and getting more into organic products. So I thought I’d use my first post of the year to tell you about one of my favourite new natural finds, which is Dr Hauschka’s beautiful new Sandalwood and Lavender Bodymilk. This is the loveliest body moisturiser I have tried in ages. I’m usually pretty loyal to standard old Nivea or Kieh’s Crème de Corps (the Rolls Royce of body moisturisers), but I’m telling you, Dr Hauschka’s might just be taking that crown. I love not only what’s in it (ie no nasties, and lots of good moisturising oils), but the packaging as well. It’s a beautiful glass bottle with a pump that actually works, so using it is enjoyable (unlike tipping bottles of moisturiser everywhere – not mentioning any brand names!)
Having had something of a health epiphany in 2012 I’m now keen to find more gentle and non-toxic alternatives to some of my every day makeup and beauty staples. But they need to function AND be as fun to use as their more chemical cohorts, so this year I’m planning to explore some more organic brands, and I’m happy to report there is lots of gorgeous, non-toxic and chemical-free products out there. I want my outsides to be as healthy as my insides!
The Dr Hauschka Bodymilk a mix of macadamia nut, apricot kernel and avocado oils with wood sorrel and lemon balm to heal parched skin. And, as its name suggests it has sandalwood and lavender oil so it smells divine, and it melts into the skin leaving it non-sticky, non-greasy (even in pretty hot weather as I’ve been testing it through summer. My legs get a delicious lizard like appearance without daily slatherings of some sort of body unguent), and it even, as an added bonus, makes the skin look sort of sheeny and expensive. Unfortunately it can’t make you thinner – but that’s what those New Year’s resolutions are for.
In my line of work, I get to try a LOT of skincare. Some good, some OK, some breaks me out. Some goes in my kit, some goes next to my bed, some goes in my makeup bag and some goes in a drawer for a rainy day.
This is my winter skin savior this year. I get super-dry and even (dare I say it) a bit flakey when it’s really cold. Kiehl’s new Rosa Arctica cream has been my base for makeup for myself all winter long. It’s really thick and creamy – and if you have dry skin you know how key that is.
It’s made with Haberlea Rhodopensis, which is also known as Resurrection Flower and it grows in extremely dry conditions. As it is able to survive 31 months without hydration, it was this hardiness and its regenerative properties that intrigued Kiehl’s and encouraged them to look more closely at the properties of this unique flower. When proper hydration is restored, it returns to life within hours. The nutrients responsible for the regeneration of this flower are enriched the Rosa Arctica cream. All I can tell you is it works!
You have to sort of push it into the skin, but once you get it in there, it’s intense hydration. And the hydration stays all day, which you don’t get with a lot of skincare. It also gives the skin this amazing glow – I don’t know how as there’s no luminisoity in the cream itself, but it must be the power of those arctic flowers!