It’s simply been too long! Since there’s so much I could have written about since our last meeting, I’ll cut to the chase and tell you what I should have been writing about:

I should have told you about Sinners Playground @ The Horn in St Albans

I should have told you about The Vintage Emporium off Brick Lane

I should have told you about Frisky and Mannish’s Christmas Mess…age

But of course, having the excellent taste that I attribute to all my readers I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you about them at all! So let’s skip all that in favour of something of a more personal (and one hopes) a more informative note;

BEAUTY

Since raiding the dressing-table drawers of my mother as a little girl, suitably admiring her honey-scented pale lipstick from the Sixties and caking on enough ridiculously dark foundation that I fumbled into my first dealings with ‘fake-tan’; make-up and the beauty products that aid their application have been my utter undoing. Now whilst I have done my reading on vintage beauty products favoured for decades by luminescent young beauties with a penchant for red lipstick and a victory roll, I do not profess myself to be an expert and so instead will stick to telling you about some of the products and techniques that I find work for me (since in that I am an expert!).

Starting as I do with a blank canvas, I will begin with a post dealing with some of those products that help us cleanse, tone, moisturise and do some of the camouflaging that our base will thank us for. In terms of facial washes L’Occitane make a delightfully airy foam wash that cleanses deeply but gently, though sensitive/ dry skins be wary of over use and be sure to moisturise well afterward. If you do find your wash too drying then try a few alternatives to get the balance between clean and dried-out-sponge. As a quick fix Champney’s Moisture Mask and Soap and Glory’s Energy Balm help give your skin a lift. My current daily facial wash is Soap and Glory’s Face Soap Vitamin C daily detox (no soap despite the name) followed by a light Garnier day cream, (Avene make great products for a sensitive face) too rich a cream and my skin can become overwhelmed and my pores clogged.

The solution? A facial steamer is a worthwhile investment for skin problems and blocked noses alike, though take care when steaming with a chest infection as you could very well make it worse. I use two drops of Tea Tree oil for a great purifying steam and one drop of Olbas oil for a cold. Steaming works on opening your pores (great when they’ve been blasted by pollution and slathered in creams and make-up). To close them up again use an astringent (witch hazel swabbed over the face will do if you don’t mind the medicinal smell) or take the opportunity of using a face mask with lots of yummy nutrients and vitamins that will really absorb into the skin. It’s also a great time to pluck eyebrows!

When it comes to removing make-up at night I always use Simple Eye Make-up Remover and at a push Johnson’s Baby Lotion (for heavens sake not oil!) makes for an effective and inexpensive cleanser. Another favourite is L’Oreal’s DeMaq Milk to Toner make-up remover which makes light work of even grease-paints. For those who want a more luxurious method of removal, Soap and Glory’s Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser is a must. Those suffering with redness may find using Eucerin’s Anti-Redness Night Cream helps to calm skin, having used it in the past I’ve found the results so good I’ve almost been afraid to wash my face in the morning!

Now, I’m quite fortunate that I don’t suffer from a great many spots (though blemishes I feel is a much nicer word) so when I am afflicted by such an affront to my pursuit of perfection I wage an all-out war against them!

First up, if they can be squeezed they will, though if not then so much the better as a good steam and a cube of ice may well be their salvation; as to the former however, once squeezed I’ll apply a good dose of Garnier’s SOS pen which contains salicylic acid to purify the blemish site and dry it out but good; be warned though as it can become very sticky on your face. When it reaches the stage where the surface of the skin is flat aside from an unsightly sticky patch, I begin the second wave of the attack, a bombardment of Sudocrem! Rubbed daily into the blemish with a heavy-duty treatment before bed (lovers and dark-coloured pillow cases beware!), continue until all sight of the blemish is gone, though it may look worse before it gets better as it becomes saturated with the Sudocrem, this is still the solution I swear by for effective combat.

As with most treatments it’s really a question of trial and error to tailor a routine that works for you, and as skin changes the products that it needs will undergo countless overhauls. The best way to test out products (though admittedly their long-term effects or grievances will not be apparent) is to use trial sizes before investing in the full-size versions to give you some idea as to how they will react with your own skin. I honestly couldn’t list half the beauty products I’ve tried out over the years, not to mention the money wasted buying lotions and potions in full-size that were used a handful of times before being shelved. Never underestimate the powers of a hot wet flannel and an ice cube to brighten the complexion!

One essential piece of advice passed down from my mother is to always apply the same to your neck as you do to your face, who wants a youthful face atop a scaly old neck? Not me certainly! Remember to take care of your skin and apply all methods of beautification with caution, I like to think a lot of the mistakes have been made for us in the past but our granddaughters may yet think the same of our generation, so tread with care!

More to follow…

Tiara x