This month has been long. Which is frustrating when you realise THAT FEBRUARY IS THE SHORTEST MONTH OF THE YEAR! Between the countless blood tests and ultrasounds, and work picking up again after the post Christmas lull, I am, to put it mildly, exhausted. Self care went out the window some time around Thanksgiving and I’ve not had time to do anything important like fix my nails or wax my legs (TMI, I’m sorry). I did sneak off on my birthday to get my hair done, but I left the salon so disappointed. If I’m going to pay top dollar for a colour treatment, at least style my hair after you’ve dried it. Hmmph. I left, to go out for a Galentine’s Day celebration no less, looking like a hermit. A hermit with incredible highlights, mind.
February has been grey and dull, as has my skin. As I’m counting down the days until our trip back to England (45!), and not wanting my skin to spiral too far out of control in that god-awful recycled air on the 4 – or is it 5?- flights I have in total, I’ve been stepping up my skin care regimen. Thanks to hormones, hard water and a general lack of not giving a damn over the last couple of years, my skin has yet to settle on a “type”, but during these harsher months, it has fallen quite contently into “combination, erring on the side of dry”. Those pesky Nor’ Easters have a tendency to strip my skin of any luminosity and moisture, leaving my skin tight, itchy, and prone to the occasional bout of adult acne. Yup, just turned 32 and I’m still battling those deep, sore spots. So with this wintry weather in full effect, I’ve had to take a long hard look at my skin care routine, do away with astringent toners that have helped my t-zone in the past, and look, now, to the oils, serums, and exfoliators that my skin needs, not the same ones I’ve been using on rotation since my teens . I’m talking about you St Ives Apricot Scrub.
Having read such rave reviews of The Ordinary from bloggers such as Lily Pebbles and The Anna Edit, I knew it was high time to try something from this range. “Buffet” ticked most, if not all, of the boxes I needed a serum to do. Fight dryness. Ward off fine lines and wrinkles. Sort out dullness and uneven texture. It’s primary motive, clearly, is to target multiple signs of aging, something that I am now acutely aware my skin is doing. Long gone are the blackheads and oily chins, I have fine lines around my eyes in skin that is paper thin and sensitive. My pores are, thankfully, not as big, but my skin tone is uneven thanks to persistent acne that lasted well into my twenties, and the occasional flare up of rosacea. Buffet, as with all Ordinary products, is clean, neat, and modern. It has no scent, and leaves my skin bouncy and soft. The more sensitive parts of my face (cheeks especially right now), do tingle slightly, but the effect this product has had on the overall quality of my skin has been remarkable.
The best exfoliator I’ve come across recently is this gem from Kate Somerville. Sweetly called “ExfoliKate“, it really is an intensive exfoliating treatment. It warns that the product may cause skin to tingle and flush, which it does, meaning I have yet to have it on for the desired 2 minutes. That said, even 30 seconds worth of gentle circular motions gets your skin smooth and radiant. The only downside for me, is that it sticks like glue to eyebrows and collects there, so be weary where you rub. The herbal scent is incredible- heaps of bergamot and lavender. The colour may well put you off- but don’t be. This stuff WORKS. I am inclined to agree with the results listed on her website, that “94% of women tested showed highly significant improvement in skin texture.” Girls, if you haven’t already, get some.
PIXI has long been a beauty brand I covet. Their colour ranges are very me, their cleansers incredible, and everything very budget friendly. So it’s not at all surprising that I fell for the Rose Flash Balm, which I use religiously as a primer. The scent is ambrosial and light, and it goes on beautifully, leaving skin plump and radiant. It does have a tendency to pill, so no rubbing. Just pat on for a boost of hydration before your foundation.
I’ve started finishing my make up look – which in the winter is really just concealer , brows and mascara- with a pop of Benefit’s Sun Beam. Sure the sun comes out every couple of days, but this product is the closest I’m going to get to sun-kissed until at least June. As I vehemently steer clear of silver tones in my make up, this golden highlighter gives my skin a shimmer more akin to a light dusting of bronzer than anything else. It’s build-able and subtle, something I like my products to be. I dot along my cheekbones, under my brows and on my cupids bow. If it’s date night, I’ll build it up on the “C’s” around the outside of my eyes, and run a little bit down my nose for definition.
So gang, these are my February faves. The two conditioning treatments featured in the photos have yet to be tried, but given my love of all things coconut- and yay for Garnier producing a fully vegan formula- I’m sure I’m going to adore these little pots. I picked up the coconut extract Nourishing Treat Hair Mask to help with my dry ends, and the papaya extract one to help with damaged hair. I endeavor to report back soon!