I feel like the transition from summer to autumn always feels so much more sudden than going from winter into spring; abruptly it's getting dark really early and you're turning on the heating when this time last month it was still t-shirt weather! So, I already feel like I can share with you my favourite beauty products of the season...
Let's start with cleansing; this is naturally the most stripping part of a skincare routine, so as the weather gets cold and your skin barrier becomes a little more temperamental, I recommend switching to something gentle like the Cultured Biomecare Vitality Cleansing Milk* | £29. This is a lightweight milk formulated with ingredients to boost up your skin's microbiome and hopefully contribute towards a healthy barrier function. It's a wonderful softening, moisturising morning cleanse but also works to remove light makeup or can act as a one-step cleanse on sunscreen-only days if you're not wearing a waterproof formula. If your skin is feeling dry and tight after cleansing: try ditching the foaming cleansers and going for something more like this.
To really lock in the moisture, I like to use a milky toner and an absolute classic is the Laneige Cream Skin | £26.50. K-beauty brands really know how to do a hydrating layer and this is such a wonderful formula. Sometimes, if my skin is a little sensitive: I'll do a gentle cleanse, slap on this and follow it with a ceramide moisturiser to really help get things back on track. It's a simple but moisturising and replenishing formula with glycerin and meadowfoam seed oil, but it's fragrance-free and always perks up my complexion when things are looking and feeling a bit dry and lacklustre.
A really great antioxidant for your winter skincare routine is Vitamin E and I love the Zelens Power E Vitamin E Concentrate* | £90. It's pretty pricey (I always stock up on Zelens during their Friends & Family sale or if Caroline Hirons has a discount code!) and you can get Vitamin E for less, I just like this formula in particular for its cosmetic elegance and for how well-rounded it is (Alpha-H do a mid-range alternative to this and there's always the Body Shop or Superdrug for something more affordable). Vitamin E of course has the power to neutralise free radicals (given it's an antioxidant), which can cause premature ageing to the skin. But it's especially great during the colder months because it's a fat-soluble skin vitamin so has that added moisturising, replenishing quality to it - this particular serum combines numerous forms of Vitamin E for increased effectiveness. I also love that it's lightweight, milky, moisturising and calming on my skin with added lipids, plant oils and squalane for nourishment, then soothing sodium PCA and glycerin to draw hydration into the skin.
Then I also have to mention the Zelens Emulsion D Fortifying Moisturiser* | £65. This is an incredible barrier support moisturiser that comes in a lightweight but still satisfyingly-softening formulation. There's a lipid base with ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids - the fundamental components of your skin's lipid barrier - alongside microbiome-boosters, Vitamin F (rich in replenishing linoleic acid), glycerin, Vitamin E, Vitamin D (for the skin barrier) and occlusives to lock hydration in. It's amazing on sensitised skin or even just as a preemptive measure if you know your skin is prone to reacting to the colder weather. It's substantial enough for nighttime use but is still light and under-makeup-friendly enough for day use. It's just a gorgeous all-rounder!
I'm an oil person, but I'm especially an oil person during the colder months; there's just something I love about that slight sealing effect they have of locking in hydration and the fact they mean I wake up in the morning with my skin soft and happy as opposed to dried-out! My love of the season is the Alpha-H Golden Haze Face Oil* | £40 | which I'll review in more depth soon, but essentially: I opened this a couple of weeks back and have used it every night since! It's packed full of omega fatty acids and Vitamin F to replace that goodness that cold weather kind of sucks out of your skin! Jojoba and camellia seed oil are also amazing for softening the skin and leaving it glowing. This has been great for taking the edge off my ‘tight skin, central heating’ face.
Of course I also like to add more glow to my skin through makeup and I recently rediscovered an old favourite: the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter* (Tan) | £36. This is a kind of luminous highlighter-primer, so applied under makeup it gives a real subtle glow to the skin without any shine or glitter. On a day-to-day basis, I’ve mostly been reaching for my Trinny London BFF De-Stress Tinted Serum* (Leslie) | £39 | because it’s one of those great skincare-makeup hybrids that makes your morning routine that bit quicker and adds some extra hydration and glow. It’s perfect if your skin can get a little dry and dull around this time of year, because it’s kind of a ‘your skin but better’ effect. It evens things out, helps conceal redness and adds glow but it doesn’t cover up the skin. It’s also long-wearing and doesn’t break up on my skin, get too shiny or settle into fine lines.
Of course we need a highlighter in the mix and I personally pretty much always reach for creams and liquids. A gorgeous shade and formula for tying in with my autumn makeup looks is the Charlotte Tilbury Glowgasm Beauty Light Wand in Goldgasm | £29. This is a liquid highlight that comes out through a little sponge so you can just dab it into the skin and blend it out. There are no big chunks of glitter, it’s nothing too metallic or ‘tin man’-esque; it just gives a gorgeous pearly luminous effect and this particular shade is a light gold colour. For blusher, it also has to be a cream for me, given my dry skin! I have so many shades in this because it’s a favourite formula of mine but for autumn, my pick is the Nudestix Nudies Bloom All Over Dewy Colour in Rusty Rouge | £30. As the name suggests, this is a sort of red terracotta colour that really does remind me of autumn leaves, and the formula makes it so wearable. You can use this on your cheeks, your lips and even on your eyelids, so it’s great for mornings when you’re in a rush and is great for throwing in your handbag. The colour goes on evenly and this has a fresh, glowing finish that lasts throughout the day (though you can lock it in with a little bit of translucent setting powder if your skin needs it).
I have another product from Nudestix that I always go back to and is perfect for autumn makeup looks. The Nudestix Magnetic Luminous Eye Colour in Copper Foil | £20 | is a creamy eyeshadow crayon that actually looks really dimensional on the eyes, almost like you’re wearing more than one colour. This is a warm, deep amber-gold that’s perfect for this time of year. It has decent longevity but I recommend using an eye primer underneath to ensure it stays crease-proof on longer days.
Lastly: we have lip options. Something everyday-friendly that can live in your handbag is the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Spice | £19.50. This is a moisturising lip balm that’s perfect if you’re feeling a bit dry and chapped but you want to add a hint of colour too. This gives off a nice wash of warm brown nude. As my matte lip option for evening wear, I love the Vieve Modern Matte Lipstick in Power Suit | £12. I really like this formula because it’s not too dry and goes on smoothly but is also pretty transfer-proof and long-wearing. For me personally, this is pretty much a perfect warm brown mid-toned nude for autumn.
The lip balm I’ve been using pretty much every night before bed for ages is the Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm | £21. It comes in this handy little tube but is actually a gorgeously-rich formula with oils and butters that will soften and smooth dry lips overnight. Another product I apply before bed is the NAF! Stuff Salted Caramel Cuticle Oil Pen | £8. To be honest, I’ve always tended to have quite dry cuticles and I’ve always meant to look after them more, but putting this with my pre-bedtime products in my bedside table is the thing that’s made me actually use it. My cuticles are so much softer and the yummy salted caramel scent keeps me reaching for this product.
Speaking of scents I’m obsessed with, I have a brand new fragrance favourite for this autumn: the Kayali Lovefest Burning Cherry Eau de Parfum* | £67. This is so yummy with notes of burning black cherry and raspberries, caramelised praline and a woody base to add this wonderful smokiness. It smells delicious and lasts really well on my skin; it's an EDP it’s a little stronger once applied, but I personally love that!
Rounding things off, there are a couple of products keeping the skin on my body happy too. The Malin + Goetz Vitamin B5 Body Moisturiser* | £30 | is still an absolute favourite; it’s not too thick or heavy but can soften, smooth and moisturise even my super-dry skin! It’s packed full of amazing ingredients to protect and repair your skin as the elements become harsher on it: Vitamin B5 and sodium PCA are great for soothing the skin and helping it retain moisture, shea butter is deeply nourishing and glycerin draws in hydration (whilst the occlusives in here lock it in). I feel like I can finally share my love for the Skinfix Eczema+ Hand Repair Cream | $20 | because Skinfix has been announced as one of the brands coming to Sephora UK (so I’ll update and price the link once Feelunique officially becomes Sephora). This is one of the only hand creams that’s really worked for me when my hands are dry, cracked and peeling with dryness. And it doesn’t work by just slathering them in slippery oils, it’s formulated with colloidal oat, which is clinically proven to be amazing for dry skin, shea butter, soothing ingredients like aloe and allantoin as well as moisturising non-fragrant plant oils. It works and it’s not thick or greasy, so you can use it AM or PM!
What are your most-used products of autumn so far?