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Never get a cortisone shot to get rid of a pimple. I was warned by a make-up artist about this years ago. She told me about an actress who had a big scene coming up but had a pimple she needed to get rid of. So, she went to the dermatologist to get a cortisone shot to get rid of it and it left a huge crater (which looked much worse). Stupidly, I didn't follow this advice and a year later got it done myself – and I can confirm it does leave a hole! So, avoid it if you can. I’ve managed to massage it away over time but it’s probably one of my biggest beauty regrets.
Find a hardworking serum and stick with it. Mine, naturally, is from The Outset and it’s definitely my most used beauty product. It’s crazy – it’s one of those products that when I stop using it, I really notice a difference. I asked one of our facialists here why this happens and they explained that it’s because the serum prepares your skin to receive the moisture and goodness of any products you apply afterwards, so when you skip this step, the results are really noticeable. When creating this product, it was really important to me to formulate something that was contributing to my glow and working as a prep step, and this is exactly that.
Great products don’t have to be pricey. One of my all-time favourite products is the Lancôme Bi-Facil Eye Make-Up Remover; it’s hands down the best eye make-up remover of all time and costs less than £12. I have sensitive eyes, and this doesn't irritate or burn them while I’m taking off my eye make-up. And yet, it takes off everything – from eyelash glue to waterproof mascara. Plus, it leaves your skin feeling really fresh, too.
Develop a routine you can stick to. I think I've got mine down now, and the key is to keep it streamlined. The first thing that goes on my skin in the morning is a cleanser, followed by a serum. I’ll wait until after I work out or drop my daughter off at school to use any moisturiser. I’ll shower first, sometimes using an exfoliating polish if my skin needs it, and then I’ll go back in with my serum and finally a moisturiser. I won’t always apply a product to my skin before bed, but if I need it, I’ll apply a night cream – especially in the colder months – or our boosting oil.
Maintain the health of your skin barrier. Interestingly the poor health of my skin barrier was one of the reasons why I started The Outset. I struggled with acne forever and the idea of a healthy skin barrier simply wasn't in the zeitgeist yet. The messaging was much more about ‘stripping away grime’ or ‘resurfacing the skin’. Unknowingly, I got caught in a constant circle of drying out my acne and having red, irritated skin. This went on for years, until I completely overhauled my routine and went for something gentler and more moisturising. Within a week I saw a difference. I wondered whether there was a consistent, trusted, stress-free, transparent brand out there that could offer this to others who were also suffering like me – and that’s how it all started.
Prioritise good sleep over everything. I’m really particular about my sleep conditions: the room has to be pitch black, it has to be cool and I have to put on my white noise machine. The white noise machine is probably one of my weirdest rituals. My mum has always used one to go to sleep and I must’ve gotten used to it. When my husband and I first got together it was a bit of a process to introduce it but I swear by it for good sleep.
If you’re going to invest in beauty products, buy good haircare. It can be misleading – a hairdresser once told me that the less expensive hair products are usually the ones that make your hair feel the best but only because they have a tonne of silicones in them which coat your hair to give it that soft and silky feel. But really, this doesn't help your hair in the long term. For me, if I'm going to spend a little extra money on beauty, I’ll spend it on a good hair serum or some Olaplex treatment products.
Good fragrances go a long way. I was recently gifted the Fueguia 1833 Gabriella Hearst fragrances, by my husband. There are two – ‘New York’ is woody and fresh with balsam, fir, tobacco and gourmand notes, while the other, ‘Paysandú’, is lemony, with floral notes and lots of jasmine.
Shopping for beauty should be enjoyed. That’s why I love Sephora – it’s like being in a playground. There’s so much to discover in terms of brands, plus I do find you can browse without being bothered by the staff too much – although they are really knowledgeable if you do have questions. My biggest fault though is going in needing one thing and leaving with much more – I’m so guilty!
Not all trends are fads. I know there are plenty out there to sift through, but I’ve found some are actually worth the hype. I know I’m quite late to the game, but I recently tried soap brows and I really love it. Anastasia Beverly Hills does a great pommade to get the look. I particularly like the brush it comes with, as it properly gets all the hairs in place and works the product in.
Embrace your natural beauty. I know that’s not a new idea, but I find it’s something people only get behind in theory – not entirely in practice. But I hope the movement helps people be gentler with themselves. The push for natural beauty and a differently perceived beauty standard is more prolific now and we’re less surprised when we see it, which is a step in the right direction – but there's still plenty of work that can be done.