As has been documented dutifully on this very website, the last few years have been a treacherous battle with my skin.
It’s not only dry and sensitive and at times congested, but it’s also prone to looking really sullen and dull.
Like you know when people return from holiday with that sun-kissed complexion that gives you a healthy glow all over.
Yeah, well mine never looked like that.
And I suppose got a bit fed up.
Because as much as I’ve resolved myself to the fact I will NEVER look as dewy as Gigi Hadid – er, how is she human – I did want to restore an equilibrium so that I could be somewhat happy about it’s condition.
And so I went on a year long journey to put every old wives tale, device, cream and supplement to the test.
I even went a month smelling like a stale fish and chip shop because I read somewhere that cleansing with vinegar helps with dry patches.
I wish I was joking.
Spoiler, it didn’t work.
Oh and there was also that time that I made a home face-mask prior to a snazzy event and turned up with a chunk of avocado in my hair.
Someone asked whether I’d had avo on toast for lunch and the penny dropped.
I didn’t do it again.
Anyway, to save you from going through the above mishaps, I thought I’d let you in on a few very simple, embarrassment-free beauty tips that I wish I’d discovered sooner.
1. To Dab Rather Than Smear
For years, I would try to smear my foundation on with my fingers, before switching to beauty blenders and brushes – only to be bitterly disappointed by the coverage or the streaky brush strokes that definitely didn’t match the look I was aiming for.
Plus my dry skin, which was prone to flaking – regardless of how many layers of moisturiser I’d opt for – would cake the foundation in certain areas and leave me feeling very self-conscious.
There was even that one time that I was in such a mad hurry that I forgot to dab my foundation in properly and turned up at my friends still with the blobs dotted onto my forehead.
Anyway, the life changing tip that I figured out fairly recently during my Bobbi Brown masterclass was to dab the foundation on using whatever your preferred tool, rather than smearing it on.
Not only will this give you more even, natural coverage but it will also reduce the foundation collecting in pores and on drier areas.
If you fancy seeing this in action on a PRO, you’ll definitely want to head to this video where I give you full permission to laugh at me and my first ever attempt at a make-up tutorial.
Holly Boon, I am not.
But I promise it works.
It’s a beauty tip I wish both 13-year-old me and 21-year-old me could have done with figuring out sooner.
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2. To Get My Facials At Home
As much as I LOVE heading to the spa for a good old facial, my bank balance won’t permit it very often.
Plus, while the idea of lazing around in a snuggly robe somewhere else is sometimes fab, I actually much prefer doing it in the comfort of my own home.
Where said robe has only been worn by me and it may or may not have last week’s fake tan remnants, followed by yesterday’s breakfast.
Anyway, when I discovered that you didn’t actually need to leave your home and there was in fact a magical device that could give you a cleanse, massage and brightening facial all-in-one, I couldn’t wait to put it to the test.
The Philips VisaPure Advanced is a three-in-one home facial device that combines deep, yet gentle cleansing, a revitalising massage inspired by Japanese massage techniques and refreshing eye care.
The snazzy, yet sleek looking device has been created with the help of Japanese massage experts and tested on more than 300 women to bring us a beauty tool that assists in revitalising your skin for added radiance, giving your usual cleanse, tone and moisturise routine a huge boost.
The cleansing brush attachment is ten times more effective at cleansing your face than just a bog standard cleanse by hand – and better yet, it takes one-minute to complete in the device’s short and sweet treatment programme.
17,000 ultra-fine, silky soft bristles give you an invigorating but comfortable facial, whisking away dirt and making sure you get the best results from your skincare products by improving the absorption of serums and creams into your skin.
“It’s 10 times more effective at cleansing your face”
Admittedly when I first gave it a whirl I was a little worried it was going to feel scratchy and stingy. Having had a full body brush before, I envisaged I wouldn’t find it pleasant.
But actually it feels a lot like someone stroking your face or if I was going full Enid Blyton on you, like thousands of tiny dancing fairy feet gently running over your smooth skin.
Then, as if that wasn’t a treat enough – you then switch over the attachments to the massage head, which has been created with the help of Japanese facial experts and is inspired by the renowned massage technique called Petrissage.
It’s designed to increase blood circulation, help to relax your facial muscles and boost your natural glow.
Plus again, it feels wonderful.
Once the Intelligent Head Recognition notifies you that you’ve been using the massage head for the correct length of time, you’ll move onto the third and final attachment – the fresh eyes head, which works to cool the temperature below your skin, encourage lymphatic drainage (as uses 120 nano-vibrations per second) and leave your eyes bright, cool and fresh.
While I would normally do a ‘pamper routine’ in the evening, I love the fresh eyes attachment if I’m feeling really sleepy in the mornings as it really helps to wake me up – and reduce those under eye bags.
The 3 step home facial is easily integrated into your daily routine, allowing you to experience that added touch of pampering in just under five minutes.
Plus, the device looks very high tech on your dressing table and is a definite conversation starter with guests.
You can also personalise your skincare routine by choosing the right brush head for your skin type.
I change up my routine between the normal brush head that comes with the VisaPure Advanced and the sensitive brush head depending on what I think is best for my skin that day.
If you fancy trying one out for yourself, I have a special code for you which entitles you to £50 off the Philips VisaPure Advanced from the online shop here.
Just pop SCARLETT150 in at the checkout – it’s valid until Dec 3rd!
3. To Go Dairy-Free
“I couldn’t live without cheese, chocolate and ice-cream.”
If I had a pound for the number of times that phrase had been directed at me, I’d be able to afford that new Gucci bag I’ve got my eye on.
I might even be able to have a super duper Asos haul without worrying about whether I’ll have to live off beans on toast for the next month too.
Unfortunately though, that isn’t how the world works.
And while I do understand the sentient of the phrase, it bugs me because anyone can live without any food, it just depends on your reasoning.
For me, it was entirely health-related to eliminate dairy from my life – and having seen the results in both my digestive health and my skin, I can assure you I’d never go back.
I wish I’d known sooner just how much we put into our bodies, can have an affect on our bodies physically.
We are what we eat, as they say.
For me, and so many others – we lose the ability to produce an enzyme called lactase (which digests lactose) once we pass the nursing age of six.
Then, any dairy we consume essentially just sits in our gut and ferments, causing irritation and inflammation in many parts of the body.
My skin had a permanent rash because of dairy – a week in to elimination, it had disappeared.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going completely cold turkey if you don’t need to – but it’s something to consider if you’re having problem skin.
And if you do go ahead with it, don’t just avoid dairy – you need to cut it out altogether.
Because if Sally has 10 cats, thinks she may be allergic to cats and so she re-homes 9 of them – she’s still not going to figure out whether her symptoms get better without cats in her proximity.
Spoiler, I’m actually also allergic to cats. Woop, woop!
4. To Detox My Bathroom Shelf
Back when I was 15, if you routinely cleansed, toned and moisturised with anything other than Boots own products – you were some sort of mythical goddess at my school.
We didn’t have the snazzy skincare that we have now.
And looking back, my skin was better for it.
So when I was going through a bit of trouble with skin recently, I figured I’d take it right back to basics and start again.
As a beauty blogger, I’m very kindly sent an awful lot of incredibly swanky products to try out and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to do so.
However I do only have ONE face and there’s only so many creams you can pile onto it before it screams ENOUGH!
So I took everything down a notch, stuck to natural ingredients and tried my best to only use what I felt my skin REALLY needed.
And to be honest, this in itself helped soothe the irritation and reduce the dryness.
It also made me really ruthless in picking products I knew had fared well in the past or had had rave reviews online.
So I’d whole-heartedly recommend a bathroom shelf detox.
“You were some kind of mythical goddess”
Photography by Kaye Ford
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Do you have any tips for boosting your skincare? Or have you tried any rather embarrassing things in the name of beauty?
This post is a paid for advertorial in collaboration Philips VisaPure but all opinions and words are entirely my own.
Use SCARLETT150 (valid until Dec 3rd) at the checkout on the Philips online store for £50 off your VisaPure Advanced.
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