One of the things I very, very much enjoy is when followers of this Blog or my Instagram write to me for advice. Over the last couple of months, some very interesting questions have popped up, so I thought I’d share one or two of the beauty questions you’ve asked. No names no pack drill, natch. Next time, perhaps I’ll share some of the fashion questions.
Question: Are those jade rollers worth using?
I am a big fan of rollers, whatever they’re made of. But I don’t currently use a jade one. Mine is a knobbly old thing from Methode Jean Piaubert, glorying in the name, ‘Stimuloval Roller Toning Massage for the Face and Throat’. It’s not pretty but it works. I have used it, more or less religiously, day and night for six months and, while I can’t say I’m being scouted for L’Oreal ads, I DO think my skin looks brighter and more toned.
Methode Jean Piaubert Stimuloval Roller, Amazon.co.uk, £25.90
But I have looked into jade rollers and their magical powers of lymphatic drainage and making skin tone even and clear. I’m afraid I rather dismissed them as what we marketing experts call, “a gimmick”.
I can see that they might feel nice and cooling on the skin. Plus they are quite pretty in a Chinese souvenir shop kind of way. But I honestly can’t see how they are different from my bumpy, old Jean Piaubert. And being a naturally clumsy individual, I know it would be just a matter of minutes until it was a pale of jade fragments on the bathroom floor.
If you’re interested there are plenty around. This one appears in quite a lot of beauty blogs – it’s by Yu Ling and it’s available online for around £18. And, breaking news, apparently jade is SOOOO 2017. It’s all about rose quartz now. Sigh!
More interesting to me….oh, alright, already sitting in my bedside cabinet…. is this strange item: the Hayo’u Beauty Restorer Destress Face Tool. It’s also in jade. I’ve had it for 2 weeks and haven’t broken it yet. I justified it to myself in that it’s more of a facial massage tool than a stimulating, get the blood flowing kind of thing. Hmmm. You may well sound sceptical. There really is no end to the amount of hocus pocus I’m prepared to believe in when I really want to try something. It’s a rather expensive £35 but I like the way it works. I believe it may be tightening my jaw line. If it does that, well, roll on that L’Oreal contract!
Hayo’u Beauty Face tool, Victoria Health, £35
Question: is it worth spending money on a cleanser?
I once saw a dermatologist who advised me to spend as little as possible on cleansers and save my pennies for more effective products (Actually, he advised Botox and fillers). That was fifteen years ago. Since then cleansing has got all exciting: it’s not enough to take off your make up, it has to do something too.
I prefer cloth-based cleansers and I can confidently claim to have tried almost all of them: Liz Earle; Eve Lom, Clinique Take The Day off balm; Soap & Glory Ultimelt; Caroline Hirons for Pixi double cleanser; Shu Uemura cleansing oil (no longer available in the UK, sadly); Dr Haushka; Neals Yard, Elemis, DLC cleansing oil; Neostrata… You name it, it’s lodged on my bathroom shelf at some point.
My conclusion is that they’re all pretty good. There is something out there at any price point that will do the job, especially if you have other steps to your regime which are delivering solutions. So, I like to exfoliate after I’ve cleansed and since I’ve added that extra step I’ve been a lot less picky about what I used to clean off my make up. If it smells nice and leaves my face clean, my skin relaxed and not liable to break out, that’s good enough for me. Currently I’m using products from either end of the spectrum: Neostrata Ultra Brightening Cleanser and Soap & Glory’s “Scrub Your Nose In It” salicylic scrub to try to sort out my pore issues.
Soap & Glory Scrub Your Nose In It £9
NeoStrata Ultra Brightening Cleanser from £22
Question: how do I use Vitamin C and is it worth using?
Vitamin C is a hot ingredient nowadays – hotter and somehow less problematic than Retinol. I use it because I once met a cosmetic surgeon and she told me Vitamin C solution is the only skin care product she uses – she used Obagi. I used it fairly religiously for a while but drifted away when it didn’t knock ten years off me in as many days. Now I’m back using it. What it promises is pretty attractive: skin-brightening, pigment diminishing, collagen-enhancing – basically, all the things. Most people suggest using it in the morning but recently I’ve been using my serum at night. I would say I use it two or three times a week with my microneedler/dermaroller. I wouldn’t say it’s transformative but then I am a little haphazard about these things.
There are downsides. Don’t be tempted to start out with the strongest formula you can find, unless you want to feel as if you’ve rubbed your face in stinging nettles. Some formulations may give you a strange yellowish colour and a surround-smell fake tan. That’s because the Vitamin C has oxidised and can discolour the skin. To get round this you need a stable form of Vitamin C, which usually would mean, a more expensive form, or a form that isn’t water soluble. The Ordinary of course has some great formulations that don’t break the bank. Their Vitamin C suspension 23% + HA spheres 2% is a little gritty when first applied, but is a hard working and high concentration cream. AND it’s only a fiver. I find some vitamin c formulations a little bit drying so I’ve switched to Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F 30ml (see below) which is oil-based so suits my parched old fizzog a little better.
THE ORDINARY ASCORBYL TETRAISOPALMITATE SOLUTION 20% IN VIT F, £15
DCL’s C Scape High Potency Night Booster 30% is a hugely concentrated night treatment. It is breathtakingly expensive but much beloved by beauty bloggers. Worth a go if you have a special event in mind and want to look drop dead gorgeous.
DCL C SCAPE HIGH POTENCY NIGHT BOOSTER 30 £108
Finally, perhaps the form I like most is the LIXIR Vitamin C Paste. It isn’t super strong, but it’s a great daily introduction to the wonders of Vitamin C. Use it in the mornings while you’re washing your face. Leave it on for a couple of minutes and the rinse or flannel it off. I bet you’ll see the difference.
LIXIR VITAMIN C PASTE £32
Question: How do you find a foundation that doesn’t roll off in this heat
I hate wearing foundation in Summer. Time was when a sprinkling of freckles was all my skin required to look good in the sun. Now definitely needs something more remedial. Obviously you can go the primer/light foundation route – and I’m certainly up for that for a special occasion. But for every day? Nah!
I am a convert to the Trinny London BFF cream (I wear light) which gives you a primer-like glow and a very little colour. It’s illuminating so deflects attention from the uneven bits. And it has an SPF of 30.
TRINNY LONDON, BFF CREAM, VARIOUS SHADES, £35 BUY HERE
Then some concealer or the Trinny London ‘Just a Touch” foundation strategically placed, will get you through. I also like the Origins GinZing tinted moisturiser . But it’s a stronger colour than BFF. One for post holiday tans.
I mourn the passing of L’Oreal’s Nude Magic Cushion foundation which gave a dewy, light glow and crucially covered up the dodgy bits on my face, but it is nowhere to be found in stores these days. You can buy it online but you can’t be sure of the colour you’ll need being available. Still. It was £6 and had a lovely finish.
STILL AVAILABLE FOR £8 HERE
Finally, I am a recent convert to IT Your Skin But Better CC cream. There are two formulations of this available on the website. One is a little matt for my Summer tastes – I prefer the Illumination variant for Summer days. The level of cover is phenomenal – enough to disguise the sun damage on the side of my nose – it stays in place and it has a mega SPF of 50.
CC+ Illumination £30 BUY HERE
More questions please!!