Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream

Kiehl's Rosa Arctica

Kiehl's Rosa Arctica

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!

www.kiehls.com.au – www.kiehls.co.uk

Secret Weapon: MAC Matte

mac matte

I have had this incredible mattifying gel in my kit for about a decade now, and it’s what I rely on for clients with oily skin. It’s the best product I’ve ever used for eliminating shine (and believe me, I’ve tried a few). It’s a clear gel in a small tube that you pat onto the skin either over moisturiser or instead of (for very oily clients) through the T-zone. Voila! No more shine.

It’s a must have for makeup artists for male grooming as well (or for male MM readers who struggle with shine). For women it’s great to throw in your handbag for those hot summer afternoons when your forehead looks like a disco ball. Foundation then goes on like a dream as this primer seals the surface without looking fake or heavy, and it means you can use a lot less powder. No more afternoon cake face!

Mac Cosmetics UK
Mac Cosmetics Australia

 

Right Now: Alpha H Skincare

Alpha H Skincare

I have pretty sensitive skin, so I tend not to mix up my skin routine too much, and keep it simple. I cleanse, and then I rotate my moisturiser depending on the weather. At the moment my skin feels like an old dessicated sea sponge, so I’ve been getting into Liz Earle’s Superskin moisturiser, as it’s very rich and emollient. It has lots of calming Shea Butter and Avocado, and my skin just drinks it in. The Liz Earle range isn’t strictly organic (as it has parabens to preserve the ingredients), but it’s organic enough for me!

However sometimes when one gets to a “certain age” *cough cough puts on Miss Havisham creaky voice, starts calling people “dear”* – your skin needs a little extra kick to get it glowing. And lately I’ve discovered a little Aussie wonder company, called Alpha H.

I first heard about it through Twitter via lovely London makeup artist, Kenneth Soh, as he swears by Alpha H. So when my skin started to look more troglodyte and less Giselle, I decided to call in the Glycolic Big Guns.

I’ve used glycolics before, but not like this. They were usually too much and after two days used I looked like someone had flayed me with a paint stripper. But Alpha – H should be called Amazing H as that’s exactly what it is.

I used their Liquid Gold, the Clear Skin Wash and the Hydrator Gel and I didn’t react badly to anything – no breakouts or weird skin responses. On the contrary my nasty dry sea sponge skin started to look younger and behave better – I got my glow back!

Their Liquid Gold product really is as miraculous as everyone says – I just use it at night when I need it, and it takes off all the dead skin cells, and leaves it feeling soft and plump. I also use the Clear Skin wash, which even though I don’t have acne prone skin I really like from time to time as it has tea tree oil and eucalyptus in it which is a great disinfectant and really boosts my skin. I’ve been alternating that with my Aesop cleanser, depending how my skin feels that day.

The Hydrator Gel would be fabulous for those with combination or oily skin – my skin is very dry, so I can use it for a day or so before I need to dive back into a vat of Liz Earle Superskin. I think it would be a great moisturiser for the hotter months as well as it is very soothing and provides moisture without extra grease (good when you’re already feeling like a greasy bear, first thing in the morning). I plan on bringing this back into my routine in summer.

For me I found using the products for a month and then having a break for a couple of weeks is the best way to use them. That way I can have fresh Giselle skin, and not get too dry. Alpha H is a bit like a spa in a jar. No need for a holiday!

www.alpha-h.com

Right Now: Aesop’s World Domination

Aesop SkincareMy favourite Aussie skincare brand, Aesop, is basically taking over the world at the moment with a gorgeous new counter at Selfridges in London, and four new stores to open in New York by the end of the year. Look how beautiful this installation in Selfridges is – if this doesn’t make you want to go and dive in to their skin loving treats, I don’t know what does.

I am currently loving their Geranium Leaf Body Scrub – it’s one of the few body products I use on a regular basis. It contains pumice and bamboo plus geranium which smells amazing first thing in the morning, let me tell you.

I’m not generally a massive body product fan, mostly due to lack of time. The products in my shower have to be quick and effective, and this not only polishes my skin, it’s even managing to compensate for the fact that I’ve given up coffee (and you know anything that can do that, must be good).

www.aesop.net.au

Aesop Selfridges

In My Makeup Kit: Biotherm Aquasource Skin Perfection Moisturiser

Sasha Pivovarova BiothermI think I mentioned before what a skincare orgy it is at the moment at MM HQ. From being distinctly unimpressed about most skincare and sticking to my faves, I have discovered some absolute gems lately – Aesop as you all know, and also Biotherm’s Aquasource moisturizer, new to my kit.

I actually worked on the commercial for this in London, with Kay Montano doing makeup on the unbelievably gorgeous Biotherm spokesmodel, Russian Sasha Pivarova. Statuesque, gorgeous and glamorous in towering boots, Sasha was everything you’d like your supermodel to be. At lunch I discovered she was lovely as well – very down to earth and nice, an unexpected bonus. Two things I will tell you – she loves her coffee, and yes, her eyes really are that blue!

When I got a chance to try the new Aquasource moisturizer I was slightly trepidatious as often moisturizers that have offered a high water content actually leave your skin feeling drier than it started, as the water evaporates and seems to take more water from the skin. But new technology has radically improved these and Aquasource not only feels like water on the skin (which is lovely and refreshing in summer), but my skin really retained the moisture and in the morning it still felt hydrated, and not like a dried up old walnut. And happily, no breakouts which I can sometimes get when I switch skincare. In addition, it’s such a nice base for makeup that I’ve slipped some in my kit (sorry Kiehl’s, for the first time in nearly a decade, you’ve been relegated!)

Here is the lovely Sasha P in one of her European Biotherm campaigns (I love it when she talks about kung-fu! So awesome with her Russian accent.)

www.biotherm.co.uk