Using the right products at the right time will make a difference to your beauty budget.
Walking the aisles or browsing online to find the right beauty products can be a little daunting. There’s so much out there, all promising to make you look and feel younger, more beautiful, give you that perfect dewy glow and banish all imperfections from sight. Plus – new products trend constantly, promising mysterious benefits and boasting about ‘being a well-kept secret… until now!’ Maybe you should be adding some of them to your beauty routine, either as a new step or as a replacement, but maybe there are some you should be leaving out altogether.
Know your skin
Many products seem to offer the same, or very similar, benefits. This begs the question: Is your skin routine perhaps a little overcomplicated? Are you jeopardising a perfectly smooth make-up look by applying too many products that may not actually work together? Most frustrating of all, have you been duped into over-spending by clever advertising and sales pitches?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple yes or no answer to any of these. Perhaps you’re lucky enough to be able to pop on some moisturiser and have glowing, healthy looking skin throughout the day. For most of us, however, there are certain skin issues we expect our products to address or conceal: dryness, blemishes, wrinkles and fine lines, dark eye circles or dull, lacklustre appearance. It’s important to identify your type of skin before you buy products, to
avoid worsening any issues or wasting your hard-earned cash.
Serum vs moisturiser
Serums and moisturisers benefit your skin in different ways. Sometimes a moisturiser or a serum alone will be enough, depending on the condition of your skin, but they’re often used together.
The major difference between the two is serums are generally lighter and have a more fluid consistency than moisturisers, allowing them to penetrate deep into your skin to deliver active ingredients. Serums are usually a little pricier than moisturisers, but you’ll only use very small amounts at a time so they should last you a while.
Moisturisers are creamier than serums and are designed to prevent water loss and hydrate your skin. Many moisturisers include anti-ageing ingredients, as do serums. However, serums can be used in conjunction with moisturisers for a variety of other issues too, for example skin brightening serums and acne prevention serums.
Do you need both?
It’s a good idea to use both a serum and a moisturiser to make sure your skin is looked after and hydrated on every level. Just make sure you’re using the correct serum and moisturiser for your skin type.
Night and day
It may feel like applying a day cream and a night cream means your skin never gets a chance to breathe, but the ingredients of each play very different parts in looking after your skin.
Your skin has a lot to deal with during the day, including pollutants, UV rays and environmental stress. This is where day creams come in – they give your skin the support it needs and help to prevent damage. A good day cream will usually provide SPF protection and be light and non-greasy to accommodate make-up.
During the night, your skin is hard at work repairing and regenerating itself. Night creams help this process with high concentrations of anti-ageing ingredients and powerful moisturisers.
Do you need both?
If your main concerns include dry or ageing skin, then yes. If you can’t bring yourself to extend your beauty routine any further, make sure you wear a good day cream that includes an SPF.
As clean as can be?
Cleansing tends to be where most of us overdo our beauty routines, wiping off and then slathering on one product after another in an effort to feel squeaky clean before bed. You should avoid rubbing your face or cleaning too vigorously though, as you may end up irritating your skin and causing damage. Dr Ben Johnson, founder of Osmosis
Skincare, advises that by cleaning your face by over-buffing, rubbing or exfoliating, you’re actually removing your skin’s protective barrier and putting it at greater risk of sun damage and ageing. Be as gentle as possible.
Matchmaker, make me a match
A good foundation is probably the most difficult make-up item to find. It can be a real challenge to track down a shade that disappears into your skin,goes on smoothly and covers blemishes without appearing ‘cakey’. There’s even more to consider if you have dry, oily, blemished, textured or deeply lined skin. For some, a light layer of liquid foundation is enough, while for others the morning make-up ritual is a little more complicated. Between liquid and foundation powder, there’s a lot to consider if you want a flawless face.
Once again, it comes down to what your skin is telling you. Liquid foundation provides even coverage, which is great for those with blemishes or uneven skin tone, as long as it’s properly blended. It generally lasts longer than powder foundation, but may not stay perfect throughout the day – depending on your skin type and the environment, it could end up looking greasy or melted within a few hours. Powder foundation provides less coverage, it’s generally a little lighter and easier to apply. It won’t clog pores and can easily be touched up throughout the day.
Do you need both?
Many women use both liquid and powder foundation, as powder can be used to mattify and set liquid foundation. Be careful if you’re using two foundation products though – make sure your colours match and the powder is very light.
If your primary issue is dry or ageing skin, liquid foundation alone is probably your best option, as it provides a natural dewy glow. For porous or oily skin, a light powder foundation will settle on your skin better, giving a more even look.
Tip: For as flawless a face as possible, wear a primer underneath your foundation.
Highlighting and hiding
If you’ve ever watched an online makeup tutorial, you’ve probably seen women drawing lines all over their faces to ‘contour’, and following up with a lot of concealer and highlighter. While it might look great on Instagram, it’s best not to overdo it when it comes to light-reflecting make-up.
The difference is in the name really, concealer conceals and highlighter highlights! However, many concealers work by lightening areas of the face to reflect light away from shadows and blemishes. In this way, concealer can actually end up highlighting some areas by brightening them, so it’s best used sparingly and only where needed.
Highlighter actively promotes shine on areas of the face, usually along the cheekbones and sometimes the tip of the
nose and chin. Apply over a delicate blush. This gives the face a bit of sparkle, but, as with concealer, don’t overdo it – go for a natural glow.
FEATURE: CAITLIN GENG PHOTO: STOCK.ADOBE.COM