I have been a makeup artist for six years and whilst freelancing in the industry, have worked across a huge variety of brands. Whilst I am not a dermatologist or skin expert, I have applied skincare and makeup to a gazillion (somewhat close) amount of people. No matter what age or background, the questions rarely alter. Below are some of the most common skincare concerns answered.
These images are completely unedited and natural. That’s a big thing for me because over a decade of my life was spent with severe acne. I wouldn’t leave my house without full foundation and concealer.
Do you need to buy expensive products?
Funnily enough, this question is asked by people who continually buy expensive products. It’s a very debatable topic and it’s often placed into two different categories. The first, drug-store brands such as L’oreal and Neutrogena. The second, luxury brands that range anywhere from Clinque to the big fashion houses.
What you have to bear in mind when it come luxury brands, you are purchasing luxury. You are paying for the packaging, the indulgence of having the name of a particular company, the texture and the smell. When you head to the counter, you will most likely have the product applied to your hand. You may believe this is purely for you to get a feel of the cream or lotion etc – it’s actually part of the selling technique. The assistant may say “feel how smooth it is. It contains this plant extract and it makes your skin so soft”. You may think, wow – this does work! The cream itself may not be that worthwhile, but you are caught up in selling of it.
My straight answer is no, you don’t need to splurge to take care of your skin. Generally, if you are going for a drugstore brand, you want skin care that promotes itself more towards the natural side which means less nasty ingredients. If you are buying more high-end, you want the good ingredients high up on the list. If you pick up a moisturiser claiming it contains seaweed for example, if seaweed is at the bottom of the ingredients list, you know the product will contain a small percentage.
There is an exception nevertheless, the more specific you want your skin care, the most likely the results will be obtained in a more expensive product.
What are the best brands to go to?
Again, another very debatable question. You can go to any successful makeup artist or dermatologist and be told something completely different. Through my experience, I would focus on looking more at dermatologist skin care brands – think Dr. Seba for example, and less at high-end department store.
Even the more unknown brands which I will get into, can do far more for your skin than the most popular. Generally, I like companies that focus on dermatology, because they are more focused on results, rather than whether you like the fancy packaging. You want to look at percentages and facts instead of just whether something contains some kind of rare plant extract.
In addition, I like natural brands. Be careful with the word natural as it is becoming a dirty word in the industry that is overused and not always correctly. By natural, I do not necessarily mean no parabens or chemicals; I look for products that have many good ingredients at the top of the ingredients list.
What skin care do you use?
So I have tried I believe, just about everything. Going through acne was incredibly difficult – especially being a makeup artist, people were brutal. I was working in an extremely luxurious department store and customers would say to me, “is this product really going to work because you have spots?”. Or they might look past me and go to someone with clear skin.
Before I delve into my products, don’t assume someone takes care of their skin because it is clear. People really are lucky sometimes and they can use just about anything and avoid imperfections. Taking good care of your skin however, will always give better results than if you don’t.
I adore the brand Apivita. For those unaware, it is a Greek brand and I highly suggest you read their about page to realise why it is amazing. Some quick facts: they are heavily plant-based and use Hippocrates Botanical Garden where they planted plants known to have been used by Hippocrates in his medical practice, they really support the environment and this is shown in their packaging, they take a holistic approach and clinical studies are conducted in close partnership with research institutes and universities.
I am a huge fan of their cleansers which range from £15-16. If I haven’t ordered or stocked up on them, I will always keep Simple in my bathroom. I only use their cleansers though. In terms of moisturisers, anything promoting hydration. Recently I (don’t laugh) have fallen in love with Garnier miracle night cream which I use in the day. So crazy because I have oily skin but it really helps keep my skin smooth and I don’t get any shine.
I would say a minimum spend of around £6 for a decent moisturiser and then going up depending on skin concerns.
How do you take care of skin?
Products are only a small percentage. I believe in avoiding wipes and always washing with water – not a fan of those quick removing cleansers unless taking a client’s makeup off. In addition, lifestyle makes a huge impact. Taking care of myself and cutting down on dairy has given me the best results.
What’s important is basics like removing makeup and exfoliating but also I recommend cleansing twice. Using your knuckles to really press into the skin and spend a few minutes massaging. The same with moisturiser – spend a few minutes massaging it in and avoid rubbing!
If you do suffer from acne or spots, buy tools that can remove them. I purchased this ElleSye kit off of Amazon. I’ve noticed if I have a spot, removing it correctly with these tools results in less damage and the spot disappears faster.
Do you need a primer?
Each to their own. I had extremely oily skin and I never liked primers. If you do suffer from oily skin, I suggest using a powder puff to apply pressed powder and using as little product as possible on your T-zone areas.
I have done many posts relating to how to treat the different skin care types and what to look out for when purchasing. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. In fact, if you want to ask anything on makeup or skin, maybe just lifestyle, feel free to ask.