How To Prevent Your Tired Skin From Looking Like Badly Poached Chicken.

I must apologise for my lack of written posts recently. This week has slammed me in a major way, thus rendering me completely incapable of doing anything except for swimming up a metaphorical stream like a salmon whacked on speed, falling into bed, not being able to sleep and then spending all night filling theoretical shopping carts on Net-A-Porter. HOWEVER… I’m not writing this to play the ‘NO ONE understands how BUSY I am!‘ game, that no one ever wins. Can I just assume we’re all tired, over-worked and in need of a holiday? Good. Let’s continue.

I have a friend. A very close friend. For the purpose of this article I’ll call her Sfliss because that’s what she thinks her name is after 4 glasses of Sauv Blanc. So Sfliss has this marvelously dramatic saying that she flings about whenever she’s feeling less than fresh. She’ll throw herself down on the couch in her ugg-boots and trackies and declare with utmost desperation I just feel… (pause for effect)… HAGGARD! Haggard by time!‘.

That’s exactly how I feel right now. Haggard by time. Objectively I probably don’t look any different to the public than I did last week when I was clocking 8 hours of sleep per night but I can notice a whopping difference in my face. I don’t have that fresh glow and my skin looks kind of grey. Like badly poached chicken. This evening I went into a weird frenzy with my face and thought I’d share with you a few bits and pieces that have been rocking my beauty boat and making me appear semi-alive for public outings.

Nivea Stay Clear Purifying Toner

RRP – about $9.

I used to use toner when I was a teenager for no other reason than because Dolly magazine told me to. Some time in the last ten or so years I forgot about the existence of toner all together, until I read Zoe Foster’s Amazing Face and she reminded me that I should in fact be using toner. Why? Extra cleansing capabilities! Have you ever swiped a toner soaked make-up pad over freshly cleansed skin? It’s like one of those toilet bacteria commercials – there’s a world of grime you didn’t even know was there. I feel like it tightens everything in a convenient little non-surgical, at-home face lift. Love it.

Dermalogica Skin Refining Masque

RRP – about $70

I love to tighten my skin and then moisturise the shit out of it. I’m masochistic like that. I used to use a Ten-O-Six clay mask years ago but I haven’t seen it in stores for ages. This Dermalogica one is a rather beautiful and more grown-up replacement. It tightens, smoothes and sends pimples whimpering back to where they came from. It’s also does wonders for a slightly shiny forehead. 

Santorini Sun Nature’s Facelift Oil

RRP – about $30

Once I figured out what serums were, about a year ago, I have not gone to bed without using some kind of treatment on my skin. This is the first oil treatment I’ve used and I’m converted. It soaks in deep while I’m sleeping and is really hydrating. Don’t use this during the day though – sun and oiled skin is not a good combo. Note: I find this product particularly effective when applied drunk. It eases that hung over ‘pickled’ skin feeling the next morning. Just FYI.

I also have a veritable BEVY of make-up products that combat that undead look that we all sport from time to time. I’ll cover them next week. Until then…

Tell me… do you have products that lift you up when you’re feeling haggard by time?

Dermalogica and Santorini products were kindly sent to me for editorial consideration and the toner was purchased with my weekly groceries at Coles.


Carly is the founding editor of Smaggle which launched in 2007 back when blogging was weird. She has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Cosmopolitan and Cleo magazines. Hoop earrings are totally her thing and she almost got run over by Myf Warhurst while out jogging one day.


  1. Jasmine 4 years ago

    I swear by Dickinson’s Witch Hazel toner, and earlier this year I discovered Trilogy’s Calming Fluid – that stuff has been a freaking revelation for my skin! My skin is all haughty and gets offended at the smallest of provocations (air conditioning? How dare you! Heating? Rude! Wind? NATURE? BRIGHT SUNSHINE? – cue redness, blotchiness, little bumps everywhere), and the calming fluid has definitely calmed shit down.

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      Ah Witch Hazel! I used to use that when I was a teenager!

  2. Amzsullivan 4 years ago

    About 2 years ago I was introduced to an Aussie company called B’itch Body Oils.
    My skin is super sensitive and I can’t use a lot of products but these are soap free and natural.
    There’s 4 ‘flavors’ in the range and my favorite is ‘Hot Bitch!’ not only for the name but the fragrance. I use the body cleanse, body butter and oil – it always picks me up after a hard day or even wakes me up after a sleepless night.
    Highy recommend! 🙂

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      I’ll admit I’m extremely lazy when it comes to body skin maintenance. I’ve been using a tea tree scrub and moisturiser that beautician recommended but oil sounds awesome.

  3. Joy F 4 years ago

    Rose water. I use it instead of toner because I have wacky skin that freaks out at the slightest change (and now with pregnancy it’s all hormonal). I also bought a seaweed clay mask powder from this lovely hippy at the farmers’ market who actually waded into the ocean to source the seaweed for it. 

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      I’ve heard rumours about Rosewater! Must get on to that.

  4. IKnowHaggard 4 years ago

    I am a pale, pale, pale lady with very delicate skin. Therefore, anything that is going on internally (including mentally) shows up on my face like a neon sign. Dark circles, sallow skin, murky eyes, dryness.

    If I am feeling particularly ‘haggard’, there a few things I’ve figured out that sound deeply weird, but why not confess under internet anonymity?!

    The first thing I try to do is have a cry. I know that is rather odd, and believe me, I don’t get off by sitting around the house in the dark bawling my eyes out, but if I’m looking like shit it’s usually because there is too much goin’ on. So I try to burst that gross little internal pimple by crying. Put some moving music on, watch a stirring film…and sook. I look like I’ve been punched in the face afterward.

    Then I have a hot shower and use my regular cleanser – which is pretty much made of nothing because my skin truly is so sensitive that I have to use 100000% natural stuff.

    Then I make a homemade mask that I was told to use when I had dreadful acne as a teen, by an old lady in a health store 10 years ago. It’s a mixture of Manuka Honey and almond meal, whipped up vigorously into a paste. Spread goo all over your face like a mask and rinse it off after about 15 mins. It is awesome, and when I was 16 it totally changed my skin (I was doing it every day then). Then I make sure I get a really bloody good sleep. 10 hours, with my comfiest pjs and bed socks. Next morning, splash with cold water, do the honey mask again, and presto – haggard no more. Strange but true…!

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      So true, I like a good cry or big sweaty run. So cleansing.

  5. Louise Coad 4 years ago

    OMG. I’m feeling exactly the same. Lush do a peppermint facial mask called Magnaminty (or something like that) – it’s great because it’s a mask that draws out all the yucky stuff outta your pores, but then it has rough bits in it so as you wash off the mask, you can give yourself an exfoliation routine all at the same time. Amazeballs. I love using it when my skin is feeling less than ideal (My skin is tough and can take the double treatment but I know people with sensitive skin might find it too much for their delicate, gorgeous skin). I’m not quite up to needing serums yet, it’s made my skin break out! 

    My sensitive-skinned cousin swears by Nivea that comes in the blue tin for when she has flare ups, and my grandma used to slather herself in the stuff before bedtime, and looks mid-60s (she’s 73!). Does anyone else still use that?!

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      I LOVE Lush! I went mental for their Angels on Bare skin cleanser last year. Might add it back into my routine.

  6. sharne 4 years ago

    Caudalie Beauty Elixir, is what I reach for when my skin is starts looking how I feel.  Its a minty oil in water toner spray type thing.  And just peps my up no end.   Its quite inexpensive here in the UK, but think it will zillions of dollars for you guys.  Whty are beauty products so much more expensive in Australia compared to the rest of the globe? 

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      Oh minty sounds amazing! I think we can blame import tax on the reason why beauty prods are so much more expensive here. 🙁

  7. Adrienne Jones 4 years ago

    These aren’t traditional beauty products, but I love to take a hot bath with a capful of bleach in it. You feel super clean afterward and a bit like it’s blown away all the bad mental mojo that’s crowding your head.
    I also love to mix about a tablespoon of honey with a drop or two of water and let it sit on my face and neck for 10 minutes. It sounds odd, but it’s super-moisturizing.

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      Bleach? Really? I feel like you need to be a witch to pull that off…

  8. jameswillow 4 years ago

    nice blog

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