Now that I have precisely twenty-eight seconds to get ready in the morning, I tend to gather together little groups of staple beauty products that I can rely on to get me through the day. The windowsill in my en suite is my “essentials” storage area – all of the bits and pieces that I know I’ll need on a daily basis, including scissors and cotton buds and tweezers, because when can you ever find tweezers in a hurry?
Most of the products in today’s post are old favourites, but there are a couple of new things I’ve been testing out. The first is Institut Esthederm’s Intensif Hyaluronic serum, a deeply hydrating treatment for very dry skin that leaves it feeling softer and plumper. I’m really into face creams and serums with hyaluronic acid – it’s amazing how a lot of fine lines disappear when the skin is no longer dehydrated. It’s like instant youth! I’m testing loads of hyaluronic things, all at different price-points (this one is on the expensive side) so I’ll do a round-up post soon.
The second new thing I’ve been using is Sure Maximum Protection antiperspirant*. A big one, for me, because I rarely change my essentials and I’m quite picky about my underarm protection. This is the brand’s most powerful sweat protection, trusted by 9 out of 10 women** – it lasts for a whopping 48 hours!
My usual way to test antiperspirants used to be to put on quite a few layers of clothing, preferably made from nylon or viscose or some other man-made sweat-inducing fabric, and then hot-foot it into London to meetings, making sure to run up all of the escalators in the tube stations. (Holborn and Angel are particularly good for getting a sweat on, but don’t attempt them if you have reduced fitness levels, because you’ll need medical assistance by the time you get halfway up! If you don’t like escalators then the steps at Covent Garden are also great for making you swear like a trooper and leak sweat like some sort of human pasta-drainer.)
Now I have a baby, and a pram, and about three thousand bags full of stuff, so I don’t even need to wear nylon to start to sweat. I just need to leave the house and walk ten metres up the driveway. I can tell you that Sure Maximum Protection did the trick very nicely – trustworthy in the extreme. I like the easy to apply, cream-stick format – the formula feels very gentle and moisturising and the scent (I’ve been wearing Confidence) is clean and fresh and reminds me of the Sure antiperspirant I wore all of the way through my teens. Although of course that was a different product, because I was a teen in the days when the SEGA Megadrive was the height of technological sophistication and very few people owned a mobile phone. (Ah, I still remember my Mum buying me my first antiperspirant – I really had to persuade her that my armpits smelt, even though they didn’t. Not really. I can’t believe she actually sniffed them, to be honest.) You can find Sure Maximum Protection Confidence at Boots – it’s £4.99.
And now for some more familiar things, starting with my favourite everyday radiance booster. My fondness for Hylamide Glow has been well-documented; I promised I’d test out some alternatives for you, just to mix things up a bit, but I’m afraid I’m back to this one. It’s just so gradual and so believable – no orange pores or weird, browned fine lines on my forehead. You can read the full review here.
In terms of makeup, I’ve been relying on a juicy layer of Laura Mercier’s Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser (full review here), a bashing of Guerlain’s wonderful Joli Teint powder (see here) and Chanel’s Le Volume de Chanel mascara in Rouge Noir, which was a special edition late last year and has a deep brownish-purple hue. It’s gorgeous, especially if you have blue eyes, but it’s unlikely you’d still be able to find one online. Let me know in the comments if you see it, I’d definitely stock up on an extra one.
My final morning essential, if it’s not a dry shampoo day (or even if it is, thinking about it) is a quick slick of Toni & Guy’s Radiating Tropical Elixir on the lengths and ends of my hair. I’ve been using this for years, now, and it works really well to smooth my dry, bleached ends without weighing them down or making them look greasy.
It has the most summery smell and is quite a good little holiday hair companion, if you’re jetting off, as it has UV filters to help protect from the sun. It’s currently half price on Amazon here if you fancy it.
*this post has been sponsored by Sure Maximum Protection.
**based on a survey of 208 UK women who tested the product.