“Equate your skincare spending to what you would spend on a handbag or shoes. If you would spend more on a bag than your face – you’re reading the wrong blog.”
As soon as I read that, I blushed. She was talking about me! I’m more than happy to spend £100 on a good quality handbag, but I balk at spending even a third of that on beauty products. I’m spending more on bags than I am on my own face! It’s a travesty! So I set myself a budget, read up on a range of products and started making a list. Then I clicked over to feelunique.com (a great site for high-end beauty at cheaper prices), paid a visit to Space NK (a dangerous, dangerous place where I inadvertently spent £35 on a single foundation) and restocked my bathroom cabinet. Here’s what I bought…
Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser and Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel
First on the list was a new cleanser. After reading great reviews of the Origins Zero Oil range on Lily’s blog, I decided to give it a go. At £16 it wasn’t too expensive but promised to be kinder to my skin than my previous Clinique cleanser. On first use the smell was a little jarring – a bit like liquorice – but I soon got used to it. This cleanser foams up really nicely (I know foam is just a chemical reaction to make you think it’s working – but I do love a good foam!) and washes away most of my makeup. Of course, I couldn’t resist impulse-purchasing the Blemish Treatment Gel when the sales lady told me it’s Origin’s best selling skincare product. £12 is quite a high price for such a small bottle, but you really do need the tiniest amount. I apply this to any burgeoning blemishes at night and by morning they’re significantly smaller and don’t develop further. It’s also supposed to help with scarring (of which I have lots) so I’m hoping to see some fading too.
REN Anti-Blemish Clay Cleanser
I have oily, blemish-prone skin and clay has always been a key ingredient in my skincare, as it draws out impurities, balances oil and calms redness. The REN Clay Cleanser is a dream – I use this after washing my face, applying it to slightly damp skin and massaging for a few minutes. Then I wipe off with a muslin cloth and a splash of warm water. It feels utterly luxurious and leaves my skin spotlessly clean, soft and matte. And at £18 for a huge bottle it’s not too pricy either.
Elemis Balancing Lavender Toner
One key word I look for in skincare products is ‘balancing’, so the Elemis toner seemed like a good choice. After ravaging my skin with a Clinique toner (which smells like nail varnish remover – go figure) I wanted something gentler, so the lavender appealed too. Again, I’m not fond of the smell – bit old lady – but this does a great job of refreshing my skin and keeping shine at bay. This was £19.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir
I had to sneak the Caudalie Beauty Elixir into my shopping basket – all the beauty bloggers are raving about it and at just under a tenner, it was worth a shot. I really like this product – I spray it all over my face after toning in the morning and it really wakes me up. I suffer with terrible dark circles under my eyes but I find this takes some of the depth out of them and injects a bit of life into my face – much needed on weekday mornings!
St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan Face – Light/Medium
After my holiday I had a rather nice tan, but I always keep my face out of the sun so there was a weird ‘moon’ situation going on. I am absolutely terrified of self-tanning my face so chose a gradual tanner in a very light shade by St. Tropez. It’s a nice, lightweight formula that doesn’t block pores and just adds a hint of colour – probably not enough really, as I didn’t notice much difference after a week of using it! At £12.25 it wasn’t too much of an investment and I’ll keep soldiering on with it.
Bliss Fat Girl Scrub
Fat Girl Scrub is a product I’ve wanted to try for years – I’m such a sucker for clever copywriting so the name drew me in, while the cellulite-busting benefits prompted the purchase. This is a thick, grainy scrub that sloughs off dead skin with ease and really improved my tan. £26.60 is A LOT to pay for an exfoliator but so far I’m not feeling too guilty about it.
Caudalie SOS Thirst Quenching Serum
The Caudalie serum was in a recent GlossyBox. I don’t suffer from dry skin at all, if anything the opposite is true and I have an abundance of oil. But I do get that ‘tightness’ after cleansing and my skin was looking very lacklustre. This featherlight serum glides across skin without feeling heavy or thick, but gives skin a real moisture injection and leaves it bright and healthy-looking. Very nice, this one.
Bumble and bumble deeep protein masque
I’ve lamented about my hair many times on this blog, but I’ve been so busy worrying about its thinness that I’ve neglected its condition. Curling my hair has really damaged it and it was looking very sorry for itself (as you can probably see in recent posts). The Bumble and bumble (that second lower case letter REALLY bugs me) ‘deeep’ protein masque is very thick and smells delicious – I applied it to freshly washed hair, covered with a shower cap and left for 20 minutes. When I washed the product away, my hair felt silky smooth, soft and very nourished. For £21.50 I’m hoping it’ll last a while, too!
I’ve very conscious about what I put in my hair as the slightest thing can weigh it down and make it look greasy. MoroccanOil is far too heavy for me to use during the day, but I’ve been running a few drops of it through my hair every night and it’s worked a charm. It smells amazing, smooths flyaways and brings out shine. This huge bottle was a gift in a goody bag last year – it’s lasted ages and is still going strong!
Bumble and bumble texture creme
My second Bumble and bumble beauty. I really rate the BB thickening range – I also use the shampoo and conditioner – and this texturising creme is one of my miracle products. I use a little bit through wet hair then blowdry for a messy, unstructured look that has volume and texture. Another pricy one at £21.50 but it lasts well and really works.
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer
Finally, another beauty blog cult product. Elasticizer is a hair masque designed to breathe life back in to tired locks – I use this in the shower instead of conditioner and let it do its work for about 10 minutes. The result is very soft, shiny hair – not great for styling, so I use this on an evening and let my hair rest overnight.
So, although I’ve banned myself from all branches of Space NK for the foreseeable future, I’m happy with my purchases and can already see the difference a good product makes to skin, hair and body. What about you? When it comes to beauty, are you a big spender or do you see the benefit in budget buys?