Beauty File: An intervention for my tired and neglected complexion
It doesn't seem that long ago since the start of January dawned and I, all bright-eyed and optimistic, vowed that 2014 would be different.
The plan was to enjoy cosy nights in with my BBFs (best beauty favourites). And the result was, of course, that my hair and complexion would repay my kindness and consideration by acting on their best behaviour. I think my new regime lasted a week, possibly two. So it's just two months in, and already I'm in need of an intervention. Thankfully these BBFs are happy to step in and repair my bad behaviour.
Eau Thermale Avène Cold Cream for Hands, €9.66
My hands really hate the cold, turning white and then red at the slightest dip in temperature. Sometimes I fancy I can actually see them ageing. But a slick of this soothing cream definitely revived them. Afterwards they felt soft and hydrated, and definitely looked a lot better too. Available in a convenient handbag size.
Bobbi Brown's Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm, €90
Deeply moisturising, this surprisingly light formulation has a much less greasy texture than you'd expect from a balm. My skin can be quite dry at this time of year, so I find this really good as a foundation base, but oilier complexions may prefer to let it do its work at night. Available with SPF 25 too.
Aveda's Damage Remedy Restructuring Shampoo, €19
The snooze button seems to be extra alluring lately and my morning regime has been somewhat curtailed. The result is less time spent drying my hair and more time spent straightening it. This is obviously a Very Bad Thing. My locks are desperate for a bit of TLC and this definitely helps, especially if combined with its fellow conditioner. The result is much softer, yet stronger and healthier hair. It's quite concentrated so don't use a lot.
By Terry's Baume de Rose, €46, from SpaceNK
A lot of products coat your lips, but this properly hydrates them, leaving them plump and nourished. Although it has the texture of a thick balm, it feels light. And once it has absorbed, it wages war on all vestiges of chapped flakiness. It comes in a sheer pink but, be warned, it definitely smells strongly of roses. Works on cuticles too. Bonus marks for SPF 15 and gorgeous packaging, but it doesn't quite make up for the hefty price tag.
Clinique's Deep Comfort Body Butter, €21
I love the ric,h luxurious texture of this unscented cream, which is super moisturising and long-lasting. It's particularly good on those rough, often-neglected areas, such as heels and elbows. But there isn't a huge amount in the tub, making it a relatively expensive option, although it's worth a splurge.
L'Occitane Ultra Rich Face Scrub, €21.95
Gentle and effective – a winning combination that left my skin soft and super-clean, but thankfully without that tight feeling. Make sure to thoroughly wash all the tiny beads off though.
Lush The Sacred Truth Facemask, €8.90
An antioxidant-rich blend of wheatgrass, ginseng and green tea with a blast of refreshing papaya, this has a smooth texture and a strong scent. It's a fresh mask so make sure to keep it in the fridge (it freezes well too), and although it's a bit fiddly to remove, it does leave skin feeling revived.
THIS WEEK. . .
If you only do one thing this week, give your looks a lift by tidying your eyebrows. Of course there are specific products to help, but some Vaseline and an old toothbrush will do the trick. Brush it over your brows and you will instantly look more groomed.
Actress Eva Mendes really loves Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation (€53, available from perriconemd.co.uk). "It's a moisturiser with SPF and sheer coverage, just one essential product. I'm not big on make-up, I can't do fake eyelashes or fake hair so base is it. I'm really lucky to have big hair actually – my father is so hairy he's like a bear."