Your new summer skin saviour

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Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase, £41

Do you know what I think the problem is with choosing a new face serum? You don’t know what your skin needs until you start using the right product.

One day you can be happily applying your trusty old face serum, thinking that every application is taking off 10 years. The next day no matter how much you apply your face looks like it’s put the 10 years back on plus another eight.

Now, this happened to me last week and as I change my face serum constantly there was no way I could tell what wasn’t delivering the results I wanted…erm, the 25 year old me!

So I racked my brains to try and remember what I was using this time last year, because I definitely looked younger in last year’s selfies. Yes, ok I admit it I do study old pictures of myself to see how I’ve aged. Sad I know, but doesn’t everyone do that?

What was it? Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase, £41, a light serum that has a fluid texture. What does it do? It rescues seriously dehydrated skin by acting in two ways. Firstly it replenishes the skin’s dermal water reservoir and secondly it sits on top of the skin holding in the moisture. What are the results? Skin that looks plumped and glowy, oh yes that does mean the wrinkles plump out too. Bonus.

You know what – I realise now that (it’s fine you can click off here if you don’t want to read a cliché) I was dehydrated. I hadn’t been drinking my bottle of water a day, and my face had suffered for it.

In this weather I would say forget about using a serum to battle skin tone, sagging, lines and wrinkles. Leave that to winter. What matters now is putting water into your skin from inside and out. Lesson learnt.

Do you have a summer skin saviour? I’d love you to tell me what it is.

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This waterproof make up remover works

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Smashbox It’s A Wrap waterproof Mascara, £16.60

What I’ve learnt this past week is that when you switch your old mascara for a new one, that just happens to be waterproof (it was the new MAC False Lashes Waterproof, if you’re interested) you’re usual cleansing wipes…don’t get all of the mascara off.

In fact they don’t even remove half of it!

Of course I persevered, you see I’m a cleansing wipe fan and believe they can take anything off. Not this time. After two days of waking up with old mascara still on my lashes I admitted defeat and searched the house for a waterproof make up remover.

Ta dah! I found this, the new Smashbox It’s A Wrap Waterproof Makeup Remover, £16.50. As instructed I shook the bottle to mix up the dual-phase remover, soaked a cotton pad with it and swiped over my eyes.

I’ll be honest the waterproof mascara didn’t all come off in one swoop but it had disappeared completely after the second swipe.

And that is more than good enough for me and I think it will be for you too.

A face firming must have

Murad Age Diffusing Firming Mask
Murad Resurgence Age-Diffusing Firming Mask, £59.50

It surely can’t be a coincidence that since I’ve been using this anti-ageing, face firming, wrinkle busting face mask, my friends have been telling me how radiant I look.

Well, It could also be because I’m not doing the daily commute at the moment, but let’s not go there!

Back to the serious business of age-defying skincare.

Now, I’m at the age where I look in the mirror and see more problems with my face than plus points. There’s the dull complexion, the daily new wrinkles around the eye area and (actually it’s quite hard to admit this) a saggy jaw line. Gasp!

What have I done about it? Seek out and start using a firming face mask, Murad’s Resurgence Age-Diffusing Firming Mask, £59.50, in fact.

It contains Murad’s FirmQ2 formula which firms and lifts skin, Brazilian Fruit Extract to promote collagen production that results in a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles and Shea Butter to hydrate skin giving it a luminous glow.

I’ve been slathering it on for about three times a week over the last month and I can honestly say my face definitely looks more, lifted, plumper and glowy. I know, good hey!

Clinical trials say that even after one use this Murad face mask increases skin firmness by 42% and I love the results so much that I want to use it every day.

And in my book that means it’s worth trying, don’t you think?

Love this face primer

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MAC Prep+Prime Natural Radiance, £28

I’m going to say this quietly – I’ve never seen the point in face primers. I know, but hang on a minute, that was before I found this one, MAC Prep+Prime Natural Radiance, £28, that delivers what it promises.

Now, let’s not underestimate how many I’ve tried over the last few months (oh about 20) to find one that I can actually be bothered to apply, after my moisturiser and before my foundation.

Well, far from just about being bothered to apply this MAC one, I’m now a bit obsessive about it and won’t even wear my weekend BB cream without applying it first.

What’s so great I hear you ask? It has a silky gel formula that contains oil-controlling ingredients (yeah no mid-day shine) along with caffeine to calm redness and golden pearl powders to deliver an illuminated glow to skin.

Which is why I now see the point of using a good face primer. Because, even just a thin layer of this magic gel applied under foundation, leaves skin prepped, flawless, shine free and ‘selfie’ ready – all day long.

This cleansing balm works

Image | Elemis | Cleansing balm | The beauty hit list
Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

I’m obsessed with cleansing balms that work and I have used – well you know the ones – the Eve Lom Cleanser, Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and the Sanctuary Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser.

And to be honest I’ve loved every one of them, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t ditched them one by one as soon as the next cleansing balm came along.

Say hello to, Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, £39.50, which I have to admit, I’m slightly obsessed with and I can’t be wrong as QVC has over 7,000 people on a waiting list for it!

For anyone interested in the science bit, it’s a mix of Starflower and Elderberry oils with Mimosa and Rose waxes, which break down make-up particles leaving skin squeaky clean and glowing.

Now, I’ve been using this every morning for the last two months and my skin has never felt and more importantly, looked this good. I slather it on and then take it off with a hot cloth and so far, I’ve had no breakouts and my skin looks, clearer.

It’s even cleared my daughter’s teenage spots up, not that I was overly impressed that she’d been using MY cleansing balm though!

I reckon this is well worth buying if like me you love the whole process of hot cloth cleansers as it feels luxurious, cleanses skin of grime and gets rid of make-up without leaving a waxy residue. Oh it lasts for ages too.

Time to lock my bathroom cabinet so no one else uses it!