Party season is almost upon us, and for many people: this will be the first proper party season in a couple of years! Today we're walking through my essential skincare, body care and makeup products to get me through the festivities...
Of course we want glowing skin all the time, but I think it's especially important when you're wearing a little more makeup than usual and possibly staying out late and indulging more to incorporate a peel once or twice a week. My personal favourite is the Algenist Blue Algae Vitamin C Dark Spot Correcting Peel* | £80 | full review. This is a cocktail of acids targeting texture, breakouts, dull skin, dry skin and uneven skin tone. Plus, there are plenty of tyrosinase-inhibitors in here to help stop the overproduction of melanin that leads to dark marks after big spots. It leaves my skin smooth, glowing and baby soft. It's perfect for the night before a big event when I want my skin to look its best, but it's also great for improving my complexion after I've been out having fun.
A product that's both a great skincare product and a great makeup prep step is the Pixi Rose Glow Mist* | £16. This is a dual-phase oil-in-water mist, so you give it a good shake before spritzing to ensure you get a healthy mix of both elements. The water-based formula contains antioxidant fruit waters and glycerin to draw hydration in. The oil-based formula is packed full of plant oils, rich in replenishing omega fatty acids. The result is dewy, glowing skin and a great base for makeup (or you can use it over the top to refresh your complexion during the day).
At the moment I’m really enjoying the Trinny London Energise Me Niacinamide Moisturiser* | £42 | under makeup. I will review it in more depth alongside some other newer launches from the brand soon but it’s become an everyday staple for me already. It has a kind of creamy-lotion texture that has enough richness to it to plump and soften dry winter skin but isn’t thick or heavy. It also contains some active ingredients so that when you’re doing your makeup for the evening, you can just cleanse then pop this on and still reap some great benefits. Niacinamide helps with discolouration and also boosts the skin barrier (extra important during winter when your skin is being assaulted by the elements), there’s cica in here which is very soothing and calming for the skin and hyaluronic acid is great for drawing much-needed hydration in.
Obviously we also need something to take our makeup off at the end of the night and I really recommend the Alpha-H Melting Moment Cleansing Balm* | £38. This is a gorgeous formula that's incredibly effective at removing sunscreen and - most importantly - makeup at the end of the day (or night). It melts down full coverage foundation, matte liquid lipstick and waterproof eyeliner easily, as you massage it into your skin. Then, once it's melted into an oil and you've lifted up all of that: splash your face with water to emulsify everything and wipe it away with a cloth. It's effective and actually quicker than using something like a micellar water or a makeup wipe. If you absolutely have to, you can get away with just doing this and hitting the sheets!
A remedy for dry, dull winter skin that I reach for every year is the Algenist Genius Sleeping Collagen* | £88. This is a deliciously rich and buttery face cream that ensures I wake up to soft, plump skin by morning, even when the cold weather and central heating are sapping me of moisture. It's packed full of glycerin, to draw water into the skin, occlusive ingredients to help trap it in and plenty of moisturisers to soften and condition the skin, such as topical collagen and fatty alcohol. There are also ceramides in here, a fundamental part of your skin's lipid barrier, which often needs some extra help during the winter months. This is such an amazing replenishing formula and even if you're home late and only have the energy to cleanse and slap some of this on: it's probably still going to be a good skin day the following morning!
In terms of body care: I'm keeping it simple, but if you're going to get your limbs out: I have a couple of recommendations for keeping the dry skin under control! The first is the First Aid beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub with 10% AHA* | £27. This contains microdermabrasion particles for the physical action, but also chemical exfoliants in the form of AHAs to really help smooth out the skin. It's incredible if your KP (those dry, red, often itchy bumps on your arms and legs) flares up during the colder months or even just if you're noticing that ashy layer of dry skin that the winter often causes. After exfoliating in the shower, pat your skin with a towel and it's time to moisturise. My current favourite for that is the Ole Henriksen Firmly Yours Dry Body Oil* | £36. I love a body oil on my very dry skin and this one smells amazing, plus is a dry oil so doesn't leave behind a slippery or greasy finish. At the same time, it leaves my arms and legs silky, soft, smooth and completely devoid of dry patches!
Now we're moving on to the fun stuff: makeup! My skin is always in need of an additional glow boost so I like to use the MAC Strobe Cream in Goldlite | £28. This light lotion has a gorgeously subtle iridescent sheen to it and mine is in Goldlite, so that shift has a warm golden tone to it. You can use this underneath makeup like a primer, over makeup like a highlighter or my preferred method is actually to mix this in with my foundation (a great method if you choose to use a more matte base for its longevity but want to add some glow back in). My staple 'proper' foundation is the Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Hydrating Foundation* (7 Neutral) | £36. This is pretty much the perfect balance for my skin; it has a hydrating, satin finish that's flattering but doesn't create any surface shine, it has great longevity but isn't too heavy and it gives a nice medium coverage that evens everything out but doesn't mask the skin too much. It doesn't settle into fine lines and is a great all-rounder. If you're a tinted moisturiser person (like myself): this is the ideal foundation to try for nights out and special occasions.
It wouldn't be festive glam without highlighter and I'm a huge fan of the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand in Goldgasm | £29. This is a pearly liquid cushion highlighter in a warm peachy-gold tone that adds a dewy, but still quite natural highlight. It's a smooth formula that can be patted in with the fingertips and it doesn't contain any large chunks of glitter. Another essential for me when I want some glitz and glam is the Huda Beauty Empowered Eyeshadow Palette* | £58. Huda's formula never disappoints, in my humble opinion! I have several of her full-sized palettes and many of her minis and they all have the same wet, metallic shimmers that are opaque with one swipe and pigmented but easy-to-blend mattes. This palette also contains some long-wearing cream shadows, which are really unique and unlike anything else in my collection. This is a warm-toned palette with your essential mattes but it's really the shimmers that get me excited! They just look incredible on the lids and you can opt for a more restrained gold-toned or copper look, or go all out with purple. This palette is a really wearable take on festive glam. Let me know if you'd like me to do a festive glam look on Instagram using it and the other products I've mentioned in this post...
Lastly, we obviously have something for the lips and I absolutely love the Vieve Modern Matte Lipstick in Power Suit | £21. This is a creamy, non-drying matte that will glide on without clinging to dry patches. It has an opaque finish with one swipe and offers a matte-look, long-wearing finish. Power Suit is a gorgeous warm brown nude that I personally love for my skin tone. It's great because it also never looks patchy or streaky; as it fades through eating and drinking, it still looks even so you don't have to worry about any potential mishaps.
What are your beauty essentials for the festive season?