‘Whoa! You’re wearing foundation! I’ve never seen you wear proper make-up before!’
I arrived at my best mate’s house for lunch but I’d been shooting a commercial that morning. I had the FULL shebang of proper make-up on. Like my face was a whole different colour. On camera, I looked natural AF but in real life I looked like I had totally abandoned any semblance of a skin care routine and decided to instead rub my face in a bag of Cheetos. The thick layers of foundation were cracking around my mouth and I could actually smell the liquid eye-liner the make-up artist had liberally applied to my eyelids. It all felt awful and I clearly didn’t look like myself.
TBH, I’ve never been big into make-up but I’ve certainly had my moments. When I was 13 my best friend and I took these two-for-one vouchers we found in Dolly magazine and bought matching pressed powder and brown lipstick which we diligently wore every day for months. Hot. In my early 20s I went through a Naked palette full-eye-make-up-every-day phase. After that I watched one too many Wes Anderson films and went through a heavy navy blue eye-liner period. You know when you decide the New You is totally Margot Tenenbaum? Yeah. That.
Recently though (and by recently I mean the last decade), I’ve scaled my make-up routine waaaaaay back. These days I slap on a handful of sunscreen, primer, tinted moisturiser and mascara. Maybe a quick dab of concealer under my eyes if I care about looking like I slept the night before. I might groom my eyebrows but only if I’ve been lazy haven’t had them tinted in a while.
Skin care is a whole different kettle of fish though. I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with skin care but I’ve had a whole routine going for most of my teenage/adult life and you know what? As a result, my skin doesn’t suck. I’ve been cleansing and moisturising since I was about 13 years old and I’ve slowly added a few other vital elements over the years.
I’ve teamed up with Voeu to bring you these skin care routine tips. To celebrate the launch of their new Hydrating Tissue Masks and their other affordable skin care prods I’ve popped together a list of killer skin care tips (there’s also a competition for you win these prods so stay tuned!) These tips aren’t super glamorous, but they’ll do the trick to help your skin not suck. The thing that changed the whole skin care game for me was that I low-key stopped caring about it. I used to freak out about finding the perfect combination of products for my skin and you know what? A good skin care routine doesn’t have to cost a fortune so why bother wasting money and time on ultra-fancy stuff if it’s not something you really care about that much? Your skin care routine doesn’t have to cost a weeks wages and it also doesn’t have to take up hours of your time researching different regimes and shopping online for that oh-so-magical miracle product.
9 Totally Unsexy but Very Excellent Skin Care Routine Tips
1. Drink water… drink all the water
Yep that ol’ chestnut. Drinking water is super boring. It tastes boring, you wish it was wine and it makes you need to pee all the time but it’s unbelievably vital – not only for your survival but also for your skin. Which is obviously a secondary concern to general survival but also a pleasing side effect. The actual science behind water having an effect on your skin is a bit wishy washy but a study published in 2007 in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science found that drinking 2.25 litres of water per day for four weeks altered skin density and thickness. Results were inconsistent but the main takeaway was that regularly drinking water can improve your skin – basically making it all thick and bouncy like toddler skin. So obviously do that. If you need help to remember to drink water you can use the Daily Water app. It’s just a good way to remind yourself to drink water if you tend to forget.
2. Wear sunscreen… every single day
Even in winter. In the colder months I use a moisturiser that has a sunscreen in it but in summer I’m a bit paranoid and I make sure I use a proper 50+ sunscreen under my moisturiser and make-up. Hot tip – physical block sunscreens go on last, chemical sunscreens go on first. Check out this article if you want more information about the difference between chemical and physical sunscreens. I tend to mainly use sport/waterproof sunscreens because I’m a sweaty Betty and I move around a lot so in summer it’s head to toe sunscreen every morning straight out of the shower for me. Most waterproof sunscreens are chemical, so they go on bare skin.
3. Dry body brush
This is a relatively new addition to my routine but since I gave up sugar and started eating low-carb high-fat about a year ago, the skin on my body has been super dry. Which has never been an issue for me, but all of a sudden my skin, especially on my legs is super flakey. About once every three days, while I’m waiting for the shower to warm up I give myself a quick scrub all over my body with my dry body brush. It’s best to do it when your skin is dry because the hot water steals your moisture if you do it in the shower. There’s no hard proof that dry body brushing helps with cellulite or digestion (both popular claims) but it’s definitely one of the better ways to exfoliate so you get more bang for your buck out of your moisturiser. I have the Iris body brush from Funkis and it’s great.
4. Go light
In winter, I use moisturisers that feel like butter but they’re waaaaaaay too heavy and thick for summer. I go with more milky textured creams in summer. The Voeu Age Regeneration Day Cream is pretty ace for in-between seasons and it’s got liquorice root extract which is anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant which is perfect if you’re like me and you have what I call selectively sensitive skin that is fine for months on end and then all of sudden chucks a whopping tantrum for no reason, when I haven’t even changed products. My skin is such a drama queen… twice a year and the rest of the time she’s cool as a cucumber. A little consistency wouldn’t astray, just saying.
5. Wear natural fibres
This is more for body skin but seriously wearing synthetic fibres in summer makes me feel like a walking swamp. Particularly under my arms which can end up red and bumpy if I don’t wear cotton or linen in summer. I can handle synthetics in winter but summer is all about the natural fibres or blends of natural fibres. Below is my favourite dress from Jericho Road Clothing. 100% cotton and super comfy.
6. Add a once weekly regime
I think most people have their daily routine down pat – cleanse, serum, moisturise, make-up – repeat at night. It’s the other stuff that tends to get forgotten like weekly exfoliations and deep treatment masks. I’ll admit I’m a bit slack with this kind of stuff myself and I used to only use cloth masks and weekly facial treatments if I was going to a wedding or a few weeks before Christmas in the vain hope I’d look refreshed in front of my grandparents instead of looking like a swamp creature whose main source of sustenance for past month as been wine and pub chips. I tend to paint my nails on Sunday night and now while I’m waiting for them to dry, I do a face mask of some description, because honestly? I really think they make a massive difference. Cloth masks are horrifying to look at – see image below – but they’re designed to give your skin a big whopping load of serum or moisture that you can’t deliver in cream form. I can remember reading about sheet masks years ago in an interview with Cate Blanchett who was the face of some fancy sheet mask brand. When I looked them up I nearly choked on my sun-dried tomato focaccia (that’s how long ago it was – I was eating carbs AND sun-dried tomatoes – it must have been the 90s). It was something like $90 for a single use sheet mask. If I’m paying $90 for a skin thing, there better be a softly spoken woman in a pale pink fake-medical looking uniform applying it to my face and her name better Krystal or I want a refund. Also, can you imagine trying to apply a $90 mask to your own face? That’s too much pressure. I’d get so nervous I’d probably drop the damn thing on the floor. I’m stoked that you can now get affordable sheet masks and at Woolies no less. The Voeu Hydrating Tissue Mask is infused with a hydrating formula with witch hazel, aloe vera extract and sodium hyaluronate that nourishes the skin. The best part though? You can buy them from Woolies (soon!) for just $4. This is my favourite thing because often I’ll be at Woolies at night and all the chemists are closed and I’m hell-bent on having an at-home facial and I can just grab everything I need with my groceries. Bonza.
7. Go easy on the alcohol
I know… It pains meet say it as much as it pains you to hear it but I regularly go for three-month stints without alcohol and my skin vastly improves every time I do this. Full disclosure – I ditch the booze for energy/weight loss and the skin thing is just a bonus. To be fair, my skin is okay most of the time but when I ditch the booze, I look like a freaking supermodel. For real, my skin goes clear and bright, my under eye area plumps up again and I don’t have to use an anti-reddening primer like I usually do. If you think your nightly glass (and Saturday night bottle!) of cab sav might be doing damage to your mug, try going without alcohol for a month and see what happens. Incidentally though, when you’re hungover, tissue masks are BRILLIANT! Chuck one on in the morning before your usual routine and you’re good to go. Hot tip: If you have a feeling you MIGHT be hungover, pop your tissue mask in the fridge for the next morning. Holy refreshing Batman. Nothing will wake you up faster than ice cold tissue mask. Boom.
8. Use age-appropriate prods
Have you ever read Zoe Foster-Blake’s Amazing Face? It’s totally brilliant. If you don’t have this book you really should get it. Especially if you’re not super into beauty and you just want the facts. Zoe worked in beauty magazines for her whole career and gives solid, tried and tested advice in this book. Can’t recommend it highly enough. She has this mad section where she goes through the ingredients you should be using at different stages of your life. I’m in my 30s so I’m concentrating on sun protection, moisturising, regular exfoliation, looking after my under eye area and generally encouraging brightness in my skin. The thing is, I’m super lazy and I almost never shop anywhere but my local supermarket. I do a lot of evening shopping which means most malls and chemists are closed so if I run out of mascara, I’m buying it at Woolies. Since I turned 30 I make sure I always pop on a night cream and an eye cream before bed. For the last few weeks I’ve been using Voeu Age Regenerate night cream and Age regenerate eye serum combo and they’ve been fab so far. The night cream has pink pepper extract which is a purifier (something Foster-Blake highly recommends for your 30s) and the eye serum is gentle enough to be used in the morning and at night. I bloody love a two in one product. Who needs a different eye cream for the morning and night? Not me. Total side note but I also love the size of these products, they’re compact enough to just chuck in my toiletries bag when I go away. Which is often.
9. Don’t go to bed with your make-up on
Seriously, don’t do it. I’ve been fanatical about this to the point where I can’t actually put my face on my pillow if it’s still covered in make-up. I mean I still do it occasionally but I really hate myself when I do it. I keep a packet of face wipes in my bedside table for those nights when I didn’t end up having a shower (sometimes I skip a shower – sue me) so I can quickly get my make-up off and slap moisturiser on before I fall asleep. I have weirdly sensitive skin which just randomly decides to flare up for no real reason so I’ve had some trouble with make-up wipes in the past. The Voeu Micellar Cleansing Wipes are super gentle and they have Vitamin E in them which stops the stingy feeling you get from other wipes. They just gently cleanse away your makeup and leave your skin feeling refreshed before bedtime. Sweet.
To celebrate the launch of Voeu’s Hydrating Tissue Masks (and basically their whole affordable, no fuss skin care range you can discover at Woolworths) I’m giving away 3 Voeu starter packs to 3 lucky readers.
Pack includes –
- Micellar Wipes
- Age regenerate day cream
- Age Protect Night Cream
- Hydrating Tissue Mask
- Age regenerate eye cream
- Exfoliating Scrub
All you have to do to enter is comment on this blog post, telling me about your skin care routine. This is a game of skill so creative, funny or extra informative answers will increase your chances of winning. Competition is only open to people living in Australia.