January skin reboot

January skin reboot

Don't know about you but every one around me (women obviously) is doing dry January, detox, fasting, dieting etc. It's actually quite fun to watch in the office: men are having their usual greasy sandwiches, or fatty indian curries and bringing gummy bears and chocolates to share, while women are starving themselves on raw leaves and tofu and drinking lemon and ginger teas. Not sure we will ever be able to beat the battle of the sexes when it comes to food. Anyway, although I am sharing the same chromosome as all these reasonable, sensible ladies, I honestly have not been able to change my very bad food habits which started even before Xmas. I actually can (sometimes) (over)restrict myself but not unless I have some dream beach holiday planned (currently not in the cards....) or not until I have had that awful moment of truth with THE scale. But I am not talking to the scale at the moment, let alone stepping on it, for obvious reasons. And so I am carrying on with my own diet, the post Xmas food junkie, can't live without a drink in the evening diet (am actually binging on crisps and red burgundy wine while writing to you. I know it's bad and it probably explains why I am being so flippant). But, one thing I have been able to do (possibly just to get rid of part of the guilt) is compensate with some overkill beauty routine.

The above picture is actually (and sadly maybe) a wrap up of all the products I am currently using to get some sort of skin glow back (not all at the same time of course). I am not going to pretend that using more than a £100 worth of beauty products is making me look 10 years (or even one year) younger but I kind of feel like I don't look so greenish at the moment. Of course, it could be that it's just the wine that is bringing some colours on my cheeks. But usually it looks more like a broken capillary / rosacea kind of skin tone. So not the sort of glow that I would ever consciously fancy. So based on my current experiment consisting of (a) pretend that you are pregnant and if you fancy fries, burgers or cheese (or all of these at once) then just go for it, (b) don't pretend you are pregnant and if you need one, two or three glasses of wine to get through the day, then just open that bottle, (c) these products smell so good I could cover my face with them, then just do it and (d) see what happens, eg am not actually looking so bad in the mirror today; I would say there is some hope that looking good and feeling good is not just about self deprivation, although it might involve some steep, unwanted cash outflows at the expense of some other pleasure (food maybe?)... 

In terms of the routine itself, let's just say it is as complex as what you will read in any female magazine: 1. Cleanse & Tone 2. Apply mask 3. Hydrate and 4. Take pills. So I guess it's all in the actual choice of products. I am a huge fan of Fresh (US brand), most probably because their shop in Marylebone looks like an apothecary store and more importantly because I love the texture and smell. So there is a lot of Fresh listed below. But I also use a lot of the Aesop range (particularly the parsley seed series) and that's clearly because all their products remind me of fancy hotels from improbable beach resorts (think Maldives couples spa retreat), as well as pharmaceutical type brands like Avene. And being Japan obsessed I top this all up with some Muji touches.

So here it goes. 

1. Cleanse & Tone

Muji Mild Cleansing Cream, £9.95. Milky texture (and colour) that feels incredibly soft on the skin. For a minute of kindness every day.

Muji Mild Cleansing Cream, £9.95. Milky texture (and colour) that feels incredibly soft on the skin. For a minute of kindness every day.

Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser, £10.50 (at Boots). When I feel too lazy to put water on my face, this is the most tolerable make up remover I have ever tried (and believe me I have tried many as I tend to have allergic reactions to any chemicals applied on my eyelids, just the eyelids weirdly).

Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser, £10.50 (at Boots). When I feel too lazy to put water on my face, this is the most tolerable make up remover I have ever tried (and believe me I have tried many as I tend to have allergic reactions to any chemicals applied on my eyelids, just the eyelids weirdly).

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel, £22.95 (normally £32) at The Beauty Store. For a deeper cleanse, and to be used a couple of times a week as this is a rather deep, dead skin cell eating treatment. Definitely worth using when you are intending to indulge in me time with some evening face mask .

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel, £22.95 (normally £32) at The Beauty Store. For a deeper cleanse, and to be used a couple of times a week as this is a rather deep, dead skin cell eating treatment. Definitely worth using when you are intending to indulge in me time with some evening face mask .

Avene Gentle Purifying Scrub, £7.12 (normally £9.50) at Escentual. Also a deeper cleanser but cheaper... My fall back option therefore when I am running out of Elemis and have spent all my money on clothes.

Avene Gentle Purifying Scrub, £7.12 (normally £9.50) at Escentual. Also a deeper cleanser but cheaper... My fall back option therefore when I am running out of Elemis and have spent all my money on clothes.

Fresh Rose Floral Toner, £31. The beauty product I no doubt use the most: to finish off the cleansing, to fix my make up, to moisten Muji's compressed face masks (below) or even on top of certain face masks. I have been buying this (very gentle) face toner for the last 5 years on repeat.

Fresh Rose Floral Toner, £31. The beauty product I no doubt use the most: to finish off the cleansing, to fix my make up, to moisten Muji's compressed face masks (below) or even on top of certain face masks. I have been buying this (very gentle) face toner for the last 5 years on repeat.

Masks

Fresh Vitamin Nectar Face Mask, £56. New product, new discovery. It feels like covering your face with zesty crushed fruit only without being as messy.

Fresh Vitamin Nectar Face Mask, £56. New product, new discovery. It feels like covering your face with zesty crushed fruit only without being as messy.

Oliver Bonas Cucumber Detox Face Mask, £2. A nice quick fix filled with anti-oxydants.

Oliver Bonas Cucumber Detox Face Mask, £2. A nice quick fix filled with anti-oxydants.

AESOP Blue Chamomile Facial Hydrating Mask, £33. Perfect for cold harsh weather to revive the skin (I know this sounds like an add but true: used it under -10 degrees on a trip to New York, would have likely lost my skin without it). I often use it in combination with the Fresh rose toner  to clear off the excess after 15 minutes.

AESOP Blue Chamomile Facial Hydrating Mask, £33. Perfect for cold harsh weather to revive the skin (I know this sounds like an add but true: used it under -10 degrees on a trip to New York, would have likely lost my skin without it). I often use it in combination with the Fresh rose toner  to clear off the excess after 15 minutes.

Muji Compressed Face Mask x20, £3.95. Absolutely essential if you are into the whole face mask thing: apply whichever mask on your face then to ensure it gets absorbed put one of these things on. I never use tap water to activate them though but again something like the Fresh rose toner.

Muji Compressed Face Mask x20, £3.95. Absolutely essential if you are into the whole face mask thing: apply whichever mask on your face then to ensure it gets absorbed put one of these things on. I never use tap water to activate them though but again something like the Fresh rose toner.

Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Eye Patches, £27.09 on Amazon and £11.40 on Farmaline (but never heard of this website...). Because psychologically at least I need a product that is clearly aimed at targeting the eye area (with every other beauty product telling you you should avoid the eye area) and these patches from French mainstream brand Klorane are supposed to be even more effective once refrigerated which makes you feel like you are really doing something about those dark circles and wrinkles.

Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Eye Patches, £27.09 on Amazon and £11.40 on Farmaline (but never heard of this website...). Because psychologically at least I need a product that is clearly aimed at targeting the eye area (with every other beauty product telling you you should avoid the eye area) and these patches from French mainstream brand Klorane are supposed to be even more effective once refrigerated which makes you feel like you are really doing something about those dark circles and wrinkles.

3. Hydrate

Fresh Peony Brightening Essence, £58. I normally hate serums. They feel sticky  and like they are doing the opposite to what you are trying to achieve by putting face cream, masks etc. This one is the one I tolerate the most.

Fresh Peony Brightening Essence, £58. I normally hate serums. They feel sticky  and like they are doing the opposite to what you are trying to achieve by putting face cream, masks etc. This one is the one I tolerate the most.

AESOP Parsley Seed Anti-Oxydant Eye Cream, £59. The texture is a bit thick and if you don't massage well it leaves some white cream traces around the eyes but I tend to think that's because it is actually a rather rich shielding effect which I need very much at my age apparently.

AESOP Parsley Seed Anti-Oxydant Eye Cream, £59. The texture is a bit thick and if you don't massage well it leaves some white cream traces around the eyes but I tend to think that's because it is actually a rather rich shielding effect which I need very much at my age apparently.

Fresh Deep Hydration Face Cream, £35. Because I like to leave home in the mroning feeling like I smell of roses.

Fresh Deep Hydration Face Cream, £35. Because I like to leave home in the mroning feeling like I smell of roses.

Natura Bissé Diamond Extreme Oil, £127 on Net-a-Porter. Hugely expensive. Never actually bought it but got some samples once from Net-a-Porter and I am using them preciously every week. Combined with the Diamond extreme mask (below) this takes the art of skincare to a whole new level. I may actually consider buying it when I run out (that is if Net-a-Porter is not kind enough to send me more to try...).

Natura Bissé Diamond Extreme Oil, £127 on Net-a-Porter. Hugely expensive. Never actually bought it but got some samples once from Net-a-Porter and I am using them preciously every week. Combined with the Diamond extreme mask (below) this takes the art of skincare to a whole new level. I may actually consider buying it when I run out (that is if Net-a-Porter is not kind enough to send me more to try...).

Natura Bissé Diamond Extreme Mask, £87 on Net-a-Porter. Have only tried in combination with the diamond oil so would not be able to judge if it is worth buying stand alone. But again, major crush on Natura Bissé although I do hate their price range.

Natura Bissé Diamond Extreme Mask, £87 on Net-a-Porter. Have only tried in combination with the diamond oil so would not be able to judge if it is worth buying stand alone. But again, major crush on Natura Bissé although I do hate their price range.

Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask, £77. Does not really feel like a mask which is why it is featuring in the hydration step of my beauty routine. Very rich texture. Quite pricey but lasts for ages. Bought it more than 1.5 years ago and still have some left although I use it every single night (and not very parsimoniously).

Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask, £77. Does not really feel like a mask which is why it is featuring in the hydration step of my beauty routine. Very rich texture. Quite pricey but lasts for ages. Bought it more than 1.5 years ago and still have some left although I use it every single night (and not very parsimoniously).

From inside

Natures Aid 100% Pure Marine Collagen Beauty Formula 90 capsules, £19.95 on ocado.com. My current skin food supplement. Alternatively, they also have a liquid version but I really hated the taste so much prefer the capsules option (one a day).

Natures Aid 100% Pure Marine Collagen Beauty Formula 90 capsules, £19.95 on ocado.com. My current skin food supplement. Alternatively, they also have a liquid version but I really hated the taste so much prefer the capsules option (one a day).

BLOOM Ultra Cleanse Matcha, £8.49 (normally £17) on ocado.com. Because I cannot live a day without a huge dose of both white and green tea and because, like everybody else, I currently am in my match phase. Tried this one because it was half price (matcha can be very expensive) and I have one cup a day of this matcha. Makes me feel like I am compensating all the junk food I am eating with something healthy. Wishful thinking...

BLOOM Ultra Cleanse Matcha, £8.49 (normally £17) on ocado.com. Because I cannot live a day without a huge dose of both white and green tea and because, like everybody else, I currently am in my match phase. Tried this one because it was half price (matcha can be very expensive) and I have one cup a day of this matcha. Makes me feel like I am compensating all the junk food I am eating with something healthy. Wishful thinking...

Fresh Semi Fine Jewellery

Fresh Semi Fine Jewellery

Best of the Sale

Best of the Sale