After a few enquiries, here’s a quick look at my beauty essentials during lockdown – nothing very exciting, I’m afraid.
I have been wearing precisely no makeup – until this week’s Instagram takeovers. I’m not one of those people who gets a nice warm feeling when I’ve got my face on. If anything I’m a bit of a clean freak.
I like to use two cleansers and lots of nurturing serums. I’m trying to only wash once a day. I’m not wearing makeup. Plus we’ve mostly been in a warm, enclosed environment and I just don’t want to dry out. In short, I’m not subjecting my skin to the usual pollution and, well, makeup. It doesn’t need to be squeaky twice a day. It probably never did anyway.
To start with I use an oil cleanser first. I massage it into my skin after warming it in my hands. Superdrug’s B. Pure Micellar Oil, £3.48 (was £6.88) is my current pick. It’s vegan and it’s effective. I clean it off with a warm, damp cloth and then I use their Simply Pure Face Wash, £2.99. This product was bought entirely because both me and Child 1 can use it. It’s a gel foaming cleanser. It’s not my favourite but it’s fine for now.
Next I use Arbonne Instant Lift Gel (now RE9 gel, £43) – but not every wash. Maybe twice a week is fine for me. It’s very expensive and Eucerin produces something similar in the form of Hyaluron Filler Moisture Boost Facial Gel, £24.99. If you aren’t worried about ageing, skip this step – it’s far too expensive to shell out for these products under furlough.
My favourite stage of my skincare regime is once again from Superdrug. They can do no wrong with their entire Vitamin E range and the Vitamin E Face Serum is fantastic. I usually use their Radiance Face Cream in the morning but, as I mentioned, I no longer have a day skincare routine. That aforementioned radiance cream is basically a Touche Eclat knock off and I am here for it.
Instead, now, I use lovely night cream. The Simple Age Resisting Night Cream is a light night cream so it’s basically just an all day and all night buffet for my skin. If you feel any tightness as the warmth increases and your skin starts to dry, you just apply another layer. Honestly, it’s not like you’re getting dirty. Wash it off before bed, rinse and repeat basically.
Creighton Sunshine Blonde Silver Shampoo and Conditioner are a great pair if you have blonde hair like mine. They’re purple so they act like toner and get rid of that delightful ‘chicken fat’ colour. They cost £1 each at Poundland – but their stock comes and goes. They do an entire range and they are full of argan oil. However, they aren’t Curly Girl approved. Word of warning for those of you who follow that regime.
My shower gel is Palmolive So Luminous Shower Gel, £1 (was £2.49) – and I like macadamia and peony. It smells like spring. Basically, if I’m clean, I want to smell rich. I am unapologetic on this fact. My bathroom may need regrouting sooner, rather than later, but nothing about my fragrant personage would let that fact slip.
Calcot Spa kindly provides me with both my bubble bath and The Lazy Evening Body Oil (£5) – that is available from Tesco so, if you can get a delivery slot, you can put it in your basket with confidence. I’ve reviewed Calcot Manor products in the past and I stand by my opinion. They are as close to luxury as you’ll get in your own bathroom – for a furlough price. They’re a mid price treat but they really last.
After I’ve washed and covered myself in various emollients, I have to use antiperspirant. Because, despite appearances to the contrary, I am not a goddess. I use Soft and Gentle 48 hour protection antiperspirant scented with lavender and patchouli. However I can’t find it anywhere at the moment so I recommend Mitchum Gel, £3.99. It smells like clean washing and it lasts 48 hours too. Like I said, I’m minimal in the lockdown life effort stakes.
Superdrug Artiscent Atelier Lily Amour is the best fragrance hack I’ve found. It’s £9.99 so it’s at the upper end of the High Street rip off price range but it’s long lasting and it’s a pretty good substitute for Chanel Chance – which I love. It’s cheeky to copy anyone’s product but I don’t see Chanel going bust and nobody has splash out money to spare on high end stuff.
If I’m doing my face at all right now, it’s got to be super easy… My kids have been encouraging me to do more exciting things but we really only do them for variety. If I had to nail it down to the holy trinity, I’d pick Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet as it lasts forever. Plus lipstick makes me feel ‘dressed’, I guess.
My absolute bare minimum makeup essential is mascara – because my eyelashes are invisible. And because that natural a look tends to scare people. I use Make Up Revolution Big Lash. Nothing special about it really. I use the black, waterproof version and it goes on and comes off easily. You need two coats for max effect. Well, I do. Although my tastes may be dramatic. I wear sequins for day. That’s all I can say on that.
Seche Vite Clear Crystal Base Coat (£5.99-ish) is my clear nail polish of choice. As base coats go it’s fancy for the price. You can spend a couple more quid and get their clear gel top coat too. I have reasonably elegant hands – that I clearly like – and I can live with seeing my actual nails all the time. However, I probably will be painting my toenails. Because I like too. And it makes me happy.
As a quick closing note, I’d like to say something about jade rollers because I just tried them for the first time recently. Honestly, the point of them eludes me. I think they’re supposed to tone your face or some such but I can’t get the science to match the intention in my logic. That said, they are incredibly relaxing. I have trouble sleeping and I used mine last night. I slept like a baby and woke up full of beans.
Reader tip – pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes before use for the full on Swiss Health Farm experience. Brrrr.
Right now, that’s all I want. I suspect it’s the best I can hope for. All any of us can hope for.
On that note, dear readers, I want to wish you all god speed. I’ll keep in touch. Content will probably be mixed but these are strange days and maybe I need a little bit of different. Maybe not. Who knows?
Just look after yourselves. You’re all amazing – but we all need a little TLC sometimes. Even if it’s only laughing at stupid pictures of me and my kids (taken badly because I am without stylist, full wardrobe, photographer or decent backdrop – but that hardly matters) or having a lovely long bath or doing the garden or being absolutely silent and contemplative.
Virtual hugs and kisses,