Banishing Blemished Skin
Beauty is one of my main hobbies and interests not because I'm insecure and want to conform to society's unrealistic standards of beauty, but because it's fun, creative and feels good to indulge. For me, going about my everyday skincare and makeup routines is ritualistic and therapeutic, and less about how I present myself to the world and more about how it makes me feel. In saying this, I can't deny that correcting my blemishes isn't a nice perk about beauty and although I don't let my skin concerns get to me too much (I'm totally fine to leave the house makeup free), that doesn't mean I can't address them. In today's post, I've compiled a list of the different types of skin blemishes that concern me and under each one, gone into detail about the products I use to reduce, conceal and remove them. Nobody's skin is perfect, but this is what comes pretty damn close for me.
Breakouts and hyperpigmentation
Since coming off the pill six months ago (I wanted to take a little break from the hormones), breakouts and hyperpigmentation have made an unwelcome return into my life, and I've needed my skincare to diminish them as soon as possible and my makeup to disguise them as effectively as possible.
Whether it's a fresh spot or a stubborn old one, I love treating my skin with the Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack and upon washing it off, my skin is left feeling clean, soothed and purified. A clay-based mask made with vitamin-rich leafy greens and superfruit antioxidants, it's not at all stripping or drying and I love the fresh and clarified feeling I get after using this.
For serums, Glossier Super Pure (I've unfortunately run out, but will be replacing it with The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% soon) and Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair are my two standouts. The former's two key ingredients are niacinamide and zinc, which work to remove excess sebum and calm blemishes, and when applied at night, I wake up in the morning with my spots visibly reduced.
As for the latter, this has been a part of my skincare routine going on seven years now and I can't imagine life without it. I've raved on about it a countless amount of times on my blog, but basically, it's a miracle worker for hyperpigmentation and nothing evens out my skin tone quite like it.
When it comes to disguising pesky spots with makeup, I like to work in layers and still keep things lightweight because too much coverage can often have the reverse effect. For large, angry spots, MAC's Studio Finish Concealer (not pictured because I've completely annihilated my pot and it's not photogenic enough!) is my most heavy duty and will almost completely erase them. I am, however, feeling a little bit bored of it as I've used it for years, so once I've finished it up, I'm looking forward to trying the NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer next. Speaking of NARS, I still have a soft spot for their Radiant Creamy Concealer and whenever I don't need as much coverage or I'm in a rush, I'll reach for this one as it's lighter and I find tubed concealers less time consuming than those in pots. My spots are instantly camouflaged and I never have to worry about it looking cakey either.
Dark circles and redness
My under eye area isn't all that dark and because of my medium skin tone, I don't suffer from a lot of redness either, so thankfully, my foundations can do most of the work when it comes to covering up these imperfections. I've never used colour correctors before as I've never felt I needed them (the skin around my eye area is also too sensitive for potent eye serums), but when I do need a little more oomph, I go for lightweight concealers that are brightening and illuminating.
I recently raved about Glossier Stretch Concealer and the By Terry Touche Veloutée Enlightening Concealer Brush in my Best Beauty Products of 2017: Makeup & Nails post and I know I can rely on these for an instantly revived and refreshed complexion. The YSL Touche Éclat is more or less the same product as the By Terry offering, but less concealing and more lightening. A staple in my makeup collection going on five years now, I use Touche Éclat over the of top concealer and it's also great for bringing back luminosity into shadowy places like the sides of the nose, corners of the mouth and the inner corners of the eyes. When those three aren't packing enough punch, however, I'll reach for the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Concealer. For a concealer that's a little more on the lightweight consistency, it's surprisingly high coverage for what it is, yet it seamlessly blends and blurs into the skin. It works a treat on my dehydrated skin and is a product I even consider holy grail.
Every now and then, my complexion can look a little sallow and sluggish, so to perk things up again, I turn to exfoliating treatments, brightening serums and subtle bronzers for added glow and warmth. My exfoliating treatment of choice is Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, which is cult classic amongst beauty aficionados and now I see why because it's honestly the most effective exfoliating toner I've ever used. A beautiful and intelligent blend of AHAs, BHAs and PHAs, not only does it shrink spots and fade hyperpigmentation, but it'll reveal a glowy and youthful complexion. I will have a more in-depth review of this at some stage, but the general consensus online is that this stuff is liquid gold.
You can't go past vitamin C to brighten things up and after trying out the mini version of Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, I'm in love. It's formulated with L-ascorbic acid vitamin C (the most effective of its kind), antioxidants and fruit enzymes, and I even noticed that I wasn't breaking out as much after introducing this into my routine too. In addition, it's hydrating, enhances sun protection and I can't wait to pick up the full size.
Since finishing up C-Firma, I've moved onto the Antipodes Apostle Skin-Brightening Serum* for now; a water-based treatment that helps to correct dull and uneven skin. Certified organic, the exfoliating enzymes from kiwi will give glow to the complexion, while grape soothes, and both mamaku black fern and Reishi mushroom help boost cell renewal. The viscosity of the serum is lightweight and with consistent use, my skin looks so much more awake and fresh. As for the fragrance, it's sweet and fruity, but derived from plants, making it suitable for sensitive skin types.
For years and years, I never really got what was so great about bronzer and I even found it quite intimidating, but now I've become someone who can't do their makeup without it!
When my skin is looking lacklustre and dim, the warmth of bronzer brings so much life back into it and at the moment, I'm loving the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light. With a hint of shimmer, it illuminates the complexion slightly more than my matte bronzers and I find it quite pigmented too, so this pan is going to last me a lifetime.
I'd say dehydration is perhaps my number one skin concern because if it's well hydrated and plump, masking other blemishes and looking youthful comes more easily. Thankfully, dry and dehydrated skin isn't so much of an issue for me in the summer (one of the many reasons that makes it the best season ever!), but it's nevertheless something I take care of all year round.
When my skin is feeling parched, I know I can rely on the Glossier Moisturising Moon Mask to instantly replenish it. Packed full of amazing ingredients including hyaluronic acid, aloe, honey and plant-derived squalene, it's refreshing and cooling upon application, feels pillowy soft against the skin and is so dreamy, it's almost like you're sleeping on a cloud. It's the best hydrating mask I've ever used. In terms of serums, I'm currently using the Antipodes Hosanna H2O Intensive Skin-Plumping Serum*, which protects and builds resistance to damage caused by environmental aggressors and pollutants. Formulated similarly to the Apostle Skin-Brightening Serum*, my skin drinks this stuff up and my makeup applies really beautifully over the top of it. In fact, I think it does a much better job of hydrating than the Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel does and I love using it both day and night.
Another hydrating Antipodes product I'm enjoying is the Manuka Honey Skin-Brightening Light Day Cream* (this came with the Apostle Skin-Brightening Serum* in their Skin-Brightening Minis* set). Manuka honey addresses skin blemishes, while kiwi and peony flower brighten, and the texture of this moisturiser is so silky and smooth, it's unique from anything else I've tried. It feels lightweight and airy, yet so nourishing, I'd be completely happy to use this during the night too. The honey fragrance is a bit too intense for my liking, but seeing as it's plant-based and not artificial, I can live with that.
While my skincare does most of the work to rehydrate my skin, I also love going in with a moisturising primer to further plump things up. The Marc Jacobs Invisible Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer is my go-to for dry skin as it smooths things over and feels like an added layer of moisture. I love it all year round, but it's particularly a life saver during the dry, cold winter months. As well as primer, you also can't go past a good face mist for hydration. I always have a few on rotation because I use them daily and at the moment, I'm loving the Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist. Although I've only just started using it, I'm still allowing myself to review it as I don't think face mists are one of those products you need to trial for a lengthy time and it was pretty much love at first use too.
As you all know, I'm quite partial to my rose scents, especially when they're as subtle and fresh as this one and while it can be used as a toner, I mostly use it to set my makeup. It instantly cools the skin, takes away from the horrible cakey look and between this and MAC Prep+Prime Fix+, I've found my two holy grails.
Oiliness very rarely makes an appearance in my skin, but there a few factors such as over-exfoliating, hot weather and breakouts that can sometimes set it off. When things are looking a little greasy and shiny, I use La Roche-Posay Serozinc as a toner and this helps mattify the skin, while also doubling up as a soothing and refreshing face mist. Designed to target key signs of oily, acne prone and irritated skin, I wouldn't say Serozinc is life-changing by any means, but it does help calm things down and I nevertheless enjoy having it in my skincare routine.
In terms of makeup, I keep my base in place with MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Natural. A lightweight powder that never looks cakey, this beautiful mineralised formula takes away shine and sets makeup all day without ever completely flattening the complexion. Keeping in mind my skin is on the dry side of the spectrum and I'm all about the dewy skin, I never have to touch up with it either. I've been using Mineralise Skinfinish Natural for years and it's an integral part of my everyday makeup routine.
What are your favourite products for banishing blemished skin?