My Skincare Routine

As a makeup artist skin care is an extremely important factor for achieving a perfect, flawless makeup application. In fact it is THE most important factor. Without good skin care your makeup will not sit as well and it will not last as long. Fact. If you find that your makeup melts off your skin within a couple of hours, or it clings to patches on your face, don’t assume that you have a bad makeup product, it is most likely your skin that is causing it to react like that. And the good news is, it really doesn’t take much to fix!

I get asked a lot about my skincare routine so here it is!

In this article I will list all the products I use, how I use them and also why I love them.

A couple of things to note before we dive in is I am not affiliated with any of these brands, I am not being paid to talk about them, I purchase all of these myself because they work for me and I love them.

Also, I am not a dermatologist I am just a keen skincare lover. These products perform well for me and these are just my opinions. If you have any serious skin complaints you should consult your doctor or skin specialist before spending your money on products that may not work for you.

Okay, lets talk about skincare!

Firstly, let me tell you a little bit about my skin. I have always had that awkward ‘combination’ skin. Dry in areas and really oily in others. No one products fits all and when I was younger my skin was also super sensitive so I would react to pretty much anything. I didn’t really suffer from acne as a teenager but spots were definitely a common nuisance. When I was I my 20’s I seemed to suffer a lot more with spots which I think is just unfair! I used to stare at people my age that seemed to just have effortlessly gorgeous skin and be so jealous.

The oily side of my skin has always been what I struggled with the most, I tried sooo many different products to try to dry it out which never seemed to work but of course made my dry areas worse. After wasting a scary amount of money on the latest must have face wash or moisturiser I finally had enough and decided to do some research into skincare and find a solution.

And I am so glad I did!

Having taken the time to work out what my skin actually needed as made a huge difference to the feel and appearance of my skin and I can finally say I HAVE GREAT SKIN.

So what did I learn? Well the biggest thing I learnt was that my oily skin was only oily because it was actually dry. What?! Confused? Let me explain.

Dry may be the wrong term, my skin was actually dehydrated. When your skin is dehydrated it can often overproduce oil to compensate for the lack of moisture. So when I was applying all those drying products on my skin to reduce the oiliness, I was actually making things worse and my skin was fighting back by producing more oil!

Another thing I discovered was to stop letting my skin ‘breathe’ or what I thought was letting it breathe. I often avoided night moisturisers, thinking they were too heavy for my oily skin so after cleansing in the evening I would often just leave my skin be, thinking it needed a rest from any products, but actually, when skin is left bare after cleansing the air immediately starts sucking moisture right out of it – causing further dehydration.

So after discovering that my skin was possibly not really oily after all, I decided to switch up my routine completely and try out more hydrating products. And Wham Bam it worked!! It actually worked!

My skin has never looked so good and I would now say my skin is ‘normal’. Not combination or oily, just effortlessly gorgeous skin. Yay! (well not completely effortlessly obviously, I stick with my routine but it now feel effortless to me and maybe there’s people out there checking out my skin and thinking it looks effortlessly gorgeous 🙂

So, lets get on to what I use now….

My Morning Routine

  1. Superdrug B. Pure Micellar Water. As I do a big cleanse the night before I find the ease of using a micellar water in the morning for a quick refresh is all I need. I just pop it on a cotton pad and give my face a quick wipe over.
  2. Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Tonic 5%. I love this stuff! It is not a toner (like the drying ones I used in the 90’s), it’s an exfoliating tonic that removes dead skin cells (thanks to the Glycolic) from the surface of the skin. It has seriously made my pores less noticeable and my skin a little brighter.
  3. Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Eye Cream (I swear it’s not all from Superdrug!). I don’t actually use this every day as I like to get the next products up near my eye area and using a cream first would stop other products penetrating as deep. But when I do use it I like to massage it in with a cool rollerball (from a previous empty eye cream) as it definitely makes me feel more awake.
  4. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% +B5. The king of hydration. Hyaluronic acid, or HA is naturally found in the skin and holds water. Adding a HA to your skincare routine makes your skin attract more moisture which helps keep it hydrated and plump.
  5. The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder mixed into The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold Pressed Rose Hip Oil. Vitamin C (the L-Ascorbic Acid) is one of the biggest players in the anti-ageing game. It is an antioxidant which means it protects your skin from further environmental damage plus it helps to lighten hyperpigmentation and brown spots, even out skin tone, reduce fine lines and enhance skin radiance. What’s not to love?! The rose hip oil has a tonne of benefits too but I what I notice the most is the extra moisture and a smooth and bounciness to my skin. I use 4 drops max.
  6. The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA.  This moisturiser has no added perfumes or fancy claims. It is just a great moisturiser that suits most skin types. This one made it in to my professional kit too.
  7. Purito Centella Green Level Unscented Sun(spf). So so so important! There is no point is using any anti ageing products if you are not going to protect your skin from ageing further. I wear this spf 50 everyday. It took me a long time to find a good facial spf and this one in particular is not heavy or greasy, leaves no white film and does not affect my makeup at all (very important to me). An spf also locks in all the creams and serums that you have just put on which otherwise would start to evaporate out of the skin.

I tend to rub any excess products on the back of my hands which is an area that gives my age away.

Then I pop on a lip balm (I love Dr Pawpaw) and I am done! It may seem a lot but once you’re in a routine it takes no time at all and just becomes habbit.

I usually wait a few minutes (do my hair or get dressed) before I apply makeup and always finishing with a hand cream – I’m currently loving a pink grapefruit one from The Body Shop.

£5.00
£6.95

My Evening Routine

  1. The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter. This stuff is the dream! It literally melts makeup and dirt away, I can not praise it enough. Take a small amount and massage it on to dry skin, watch it do its magic then remove with a damp muslin cloth or flannel. No need to scrub at your eyes to remove mascara or eyeliner, it comes away so easily.
  2. Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser. I use this as a second cleanse (which is important if you wear makeup or spf – otherwise you won’t remove those products which are designed to stay put). Whilst my skin is still damp, I massage this in and again remove with a soft damp cloth. The cloth acts like an exfoliator too so be sure to rub over your lips!
  3. Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Tonic 5%. As morning routine.
  4. Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Eye Cream – sometimes I use an eye cream here, sometimes I don’t.
  5. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% +B5. As above.
  6. The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% in Squalane. Retinol is a vitamin A and another bigwig in the anti-ageing gang. After the first 2-3 months of adding a retinol to my routine I noticed a very significant reduction in the lines on my forehead and around my eyes. I will now not be without retinol. I should also say that retinol can be an irritant but I worked my way up from the lowest % to 0.5% and have not felt any irritation at all.
  7. The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA.  I have decided not to use a heavier night moisturiser (I may do when we hit the winter months) as the retinol I use is in an oil so anything I put on after that won’t really penetrate through. But I do like to pop a little of my day moisturiser on as to me I feel like it seals in the retinol and everything before.

Any excess goes on the back of my hands and my neck. Pop on my lip balm and hand cream and I’m ready for bed.

I honestly wake up with super soft, plump, bright skin that I could only have dreamed of a few months back.

Once A Week

£6.30

Every now and then, when my skin doesn’t seem as bright as I’d like I use an acid peeling solution to really give it some glow!

I LOVE The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution 30ml, it gives results instantly! It is a 10 minute mask that gives a great exfoliation. My skin looks tighter, brighter and a lot smoother. It is a dream in a bottle and perfect if you need a little skin pick me up.

All the products I use are from cruelty free brands and are all vegan friendly. They are all reasonably priced too, the most expensive being £17, so having great skin really doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg, as my Nan would say. I am fortunate to get discounts sent to me from some of the brands mentioned above (and others) and I always try to share them with you. Keep notified on my Instagram @makeup_by_nichola or visit the Links page for the latest offers.

I am so pleased that I have finally discovered a routine that works for me and that I feel happy and confident in my own skin, something I’d never thought I’d say!

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