My love of beauty and skincare started a long time ago. Reading magazines like Mizz (shout out if you’re old enough to remember that) and playing with my Mum’s makeup peaked my interest in all things beauty from a young age. I remember discovering a Shiseido eye cream and the Clinque Clarifying Lotion (albeit, way too strong) in the bathroom cabinet and started giving myself weekly facials from the age of 13. The love affair with beauty has continued well into my twenties, especially now I understand my skin so much better and know what it does and doesn’t need.
As a blogger, I’m incredibly lucky to be able to receive a lot of press samples to try. From newly discovered ingredients, to premium products I could never afford and budget brands that out do their luxury counterpart. I love this aspect of blogging as it’s always a treat when you discover a new product that you now can’t live without and get to share that positivity with my audience. Of course there are products I receive that really don’t work for me and my skin and those get gifted to friends and family. Then there are the products which I purchased before I started blogging and continue to do so, along with products I’ve been gifted in the past and as a result, now regularly purchase.
From products I’ve used for years to newly discovered miracle workers, here’s the list of my ride or die beauty, skincare and hair products that I can’t live without.
I think the toner stage is probably my favourite, because even though you’ve double cleansed and can’t fathom any grime or makeup being left behind, the trusty toner always sneaks it out and proves you wrong. Plus, I love the fresh and clean feeling my skin has post toner sweep.
This is hands down, one of my favourite products of all time. It’s one of those products that for me, gave results in 24 hours. It seriously cleared up the breakouts on my neck and around my jawline and banished rough texture. Containing Saw Palmetto, Mint and Salicylic Acid, this BHA filled baby instantly reduces shine and removes excess oil. This is one of those miracle products that I have stock piled in bulk because I’m so scared of going a day without it! My only regret is not trying this sooner.
A firm staple on my dressing table and a cult favourite among the beauty industry, this Glycolic Acid toner is the business. With 5% Glycolic Acid it gently exfoliates and brightens, whilst Ginseng improves circulation and Aloe Vera soothes and hydrates. For me I prefer a chemical exfoliation (AHA) rather than a physical one from a scrub and this ticks all the boxes. I’ve been using it for about four years and never looked back.
I used this brand as a teen and then stopped when I naively though acne didn’t follow you into your 20’s, how wrong was I. Recently I was kindly gifted some products from Dermalogica and I was over the moon. The iconic Daily Microfoliant was a part of the package and I’m in love. This unique Rice-based enzyme powder microfoliates debris away and instantly leaves skin noticeably smoother and brighter. Now I know I just said I don’t enjoy a physical scrub, but I was talking about St Ives Apricot level kind of scrub. This one from Dermalogica is so gentle, it’s safe to use every day and leaves my skin so soft. I really like using it on my chest and back after a sweaty gym session to really cleanse my skin and prevent bacne.
Espa has to be one of my favourite brands. Having first discovered them in spa treatment rooms when I was younger, the brand truly defines enjoying a spa at home. Having bought Espa in the past, I was overjoyed when I received a gifted parcel in the post and in it containing their Optimal Skin ProCleanser. It’s an effective gel cleanser, exfoliator and mask that will nourish and visibly brighten the complexion. Moringa Seed Extract cleanses and removes all traces of makeup, whilst gentle Jojoba Spheres buff away dull cells, revealing a radiant, youthful glow. It’s the most gentle, yet effective, multitasking cleanser I’ve ever had the pleasure to try and seriously smells like a spa in a tube.
My go to for eight years when it comes to taking my makeup off. I can be a few glasses of wine in and still remember to take my makeup off because it’s so easy with this stuff. Gentle and effective, it smells amazing, removes mascara with no need to scrub and doesn’t sting my eyes. Plus it smells like a dream. Enriched with cocoa butter to soften, smooth and moisturise, and rosemary, chamomile and eucalyptus to tone, soothe and purify, this cleanser works wonders. I really enjoy using the muslin cloth with it too as I feel it gently exfoliates too.
A new favourite, this beauty effortlessly removes makeup with no irritation. Gentle yet effective it’s super ingredients soften skin and remove every inch of makeup. Budget friendly, this is a great entry option for your first cleanse.
Back to my trusty Espa. This oil based serum is such a luxurious treat. I use it in the evening, after a water based serum and mix it with my moisturiser for a really hydrating treat. This intensely nourishing serum strengthens skin’s natural moisture barrier whilst enhancing elasticity to minimise signs of ageing and evens skin tone. Echium Oil and Sunflower Concentrate replenish, White Lupin smooths and firms, while Turmeric brightens the complexion for beautifully revitalised skin. I like adding it to the palm on my hands with my Espa Optimal Skin ProMoisturiser and inhale for 30 seconds of mindfulness.
Another one that I have used for years, six to be exact. Although this is technically designed for the evening, I love using it in the day time before my makeup because it brings a really subtle glow and nourishes my skin all day. A few of the key ingredients include Lavender Essential Oil, Primrose Oil, and Kiehl’s-signature ingredient squalane, derived from olives, all of which combine to pack a powerful punch of skin loving ingredients. I also love that it doesn’t have a greasy texture, despite being oil based and sinks in straight away.
I discovered this about a year ago when Elemis kindly sent me some products to try. This is just my kind of day cream. Gorgeously lightweight that sinks in like a dream, no irritation and offers super duper moisturised skin. My skin just gets better and better when using this and I’m pretty sure it’s working miracles at keeping premature wrinkles at bay.
The perfect night cream for me. I layer a lot of products on in the evening, ready for them to work wonders as I sleep. This luxe cream is rich and delicious, yet still sinks in quickly. It doesn’t feel greasy and I don’t get that stuck to the pillow feeling. Bonus, it smells like a spa and the packaging is oh so pretty to look at.
This non-comedogenic (doesn’t block pores) SPF is my everyday go to when it comes to suncare. I wear this all day every day, even if it’s cloudy outside or if I’m staying in the house. It’s designed for oily skin, so sinks in like a dream and doesn’t leave a greasy film, it also doesn’t leave that horrible white cast that you get with so many SPF products. The best part, it protects your skin from the sun, my face has never burnt whilst wearing this and I burn easily.
One of my ultimate, most favourite ingredients EVER. I started using this acid around five years ago and never looked back, but to date this is my preferred brand. Reasons being, the consistency’s fab, a little goes a long way and it’s incredibly high quality for the price of £6. Good Molecules also offer a Niacinamide Toner which is equally as fab. I really notice a
The other of my essential skincare routine acids, the Alpha-H Hyaluronic 8 Serum. This intensive treatment which boasts a concentrated combination of eight multi-weighted hydrating ingredients, plumps and smooths, while building a moisture reservoir in the skin to ensure lasting hydration. It also acts a pretty wonderful makeup primer and when a product is a 2-in-1, I’m all for it.
Not technically a cream, but this supercharged Vitamin C eye serum is seriously magical. It outsmarts visible premature skin aging caused by daily eye movements and environmental stress. Filled to the brim with hydrating, energising and age-combating ingredients, it works to brighten, tighten and depuff the delicate skin around your eyes. Dermalogica claims you’ll see results in 24 hours, something I’m always skeptical about seeing on a product, but this genuinely did give me eye-widening results, which only get better with time.
Infused with honey and botanical oils, this balm works miracles on chapped lips and also on any other dry patches you may have, such as elbows or knees. This balm contains no peppermint, so doesn’t dry the lips and calms any areas of irritation with the calming, 90% natural ingredients. This comes everywhere with me and mild panic ensues when I’m running low.
Masks are a difficult one for me, for some reason, my skin loves to react to a face mask and it’s always a gamble applying product from a new tub. There are however, two power products that I absolutely adore and have used for a year now.
First up for clearing up breakouts and minimising excess oil production, you can’t go wrong with the Tata Harper Clarifying Mask. It’s a slightly pricey option, but the smallish tub honestly lasts months. Filled with a salicylic acid trio to minimise the appearance of blemishes, plus a superfruit blend to refine pesky pores and quartz sand micro-crystals to gently exfoliate and soften skin. Topped with chlorella, the mask hydrates with essential vitamins and fatty acids to ensure that skin is cool, calm and collected.
I’m not too fond of a physical exfoliating on my face. The thought of St. Ives apricot scrub sends shivers down my sign and now I’m a much bigger fan of a chemical exfoliation instead. However, this Kielh’s mask formulated with cranberry & turmeric is invigorating yet gentle. Formulated to help visibly even the look of skin tone, crushed cranberry seeds gently exfoliate for smoother, brighter, illuminated-looking skin. I love the fact this is a massive tub, because I do enjoy slathering this on my chest too.
Beauty devices are something I never knew I needed until I tried them. From microcurrent to light therapy, there are so many to choose from, but these two are my go-to’s and the one’s that I notice a really visible difference from.
This device uses microcurrent and nanocurrent to help with a multitude of skincare concerns. From pigmentation to contouring and helping to banish acne and dark circles, this truly is your very own facialist in the palm of your hand. I love it so much I even dedicated a whole blog post to showcase it’s amazingness.
A tool that I didn’t even know could work so powerfully before I tried it, but this really works wonders. Based on the ancient Chinese benefits of Gua Sha, which traditional would involve scraping a tool, made from stone or jade over areas of tension. I use this on my face and neck every morning in the shower, with an oil cleanser and it really helps to dissolve any tension in my jaw and neck after sleeping. Works amazingly if you grind your teeth and clench your jaw in your sleep!
This cult classic, wonder product contains seven glorious botanical oils, including anti-ageing Tsubaki oil, softening sweet Almond oil, moisturising Camellia oil, anti-wrinkle Borage oil, soothing Hazelnut oil, nourishing Macadamia oil and repairing Argan oil. As you can imagine, it smells amazing, but it’s a dry oil so sinks in like a dream, meaning you can get dressed straight away without the dreaded sticky feeling. My skin feels so soft after using this, even on days I don’t use it, I can still feel the amazing, skin softening effects.
An old favourite but a product I don’t think you can go wrong with. We all know this works wonders on scars and stretch marks, but I love using this as a leave on face treatment every once in a while. I have some delightful scarring and pigmentation from acne and Bio Oil really helps to clear this up.
What are your ride or die beauty products? Let me know in the comments below.
Post not sponsored but contains some affiliate links, meaning if you decide to purchase, I may receive a teeny amount of commission from the retailer, at absolutely no cost to you.