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There’s one skincare product I’m never without. The Alpha H Liquid Gold is an overnight glycolic treatment that I’ll always go back to. It has a formula that’s quick and easy to use as you sleep, removing all the dead skin cells that sit on the surface, so you wake with a brighter complexion come morning. I’m also never without my Jordan Samuel skincare – his products have changed the way I look at my skin over the past two years and are the mainstay of my routine. Particular favourites include The Aftershow Cleanser, The Performance Eye Gel and The Performance Cream.
Now I’m older, I am less of a sucker for beauty marketing. My routine has changed so much over each decade, but one thing I’ve learnt is not to flit between brands so much. I used to love anything sparkly which gave the promise of ‘eternal youth’, but I never had a fixed routine. In recent years I’ve learnt to understand more about my own skin, focusing on what products actually do and what’s appropriate for my needs – and, also, what’s not. I’ve learnt after decades of experimentation that consistency is key – changes don’t happen overnight but, with the right products and patience, a better complexion is possible.
Helena Rubinstein make-up is my earliest beauty memory. My grandmother used to get lots of it from a friend who worked in Elys of Wimbledon back in the Seventies – I didn’t come from a family that was particularly into make-up or had money to spare for it, so at the time it seemed very luxe and exciting. It totally influenced my fascination with make-up, and I still close my eyes and remember the amazing smell of those products. I also loved the Ultraglow Bronzer which I discovered in about 1981 from my mother. On reflection, it was less bronze and more orange. I do remember loving her dressing table, too, a place where I would have a play and enjoy all the items she had on there.
It’s a cliché, but less is more. Make-up wise, this is the motto I follow. For years I tried to cover up every imperfection and hint of natural skin tone, but now I’ve changed my thinking and, instead, I’ve opted for tinted formulas – think SPFs and CC creams – and I only ever use liquids for blushers and bronzers. These formulas are so much more forgiving now that I’m in my 50s. The lesson for me is that make-up is about making the most of what you love.
I wish I had learned the importance of SPF earlier. You could have the best skincare routine in the world but, unless you’re protecting your skin daily with SPF, everything else is a lost cause. I wish someone had told me this earlier in life, but you’re never too old to learn and start practising it daily.
All my inspiration comes from online. That may sound typical for the era we now live in, but what you can find and learn online is remarkable. I joined the Caroline Hirons Skincare Freaks group and Nadine Baggott’s pages on Facebook, too. I’ve always picked up invaluable advice and product information from there. Other places I’ve picked up inspiration from are both Instagram and YouTube. Everything on there is very informative and often the tutorials cover so many bases. A few names I am a fan of include Katie Jane Hughes, Lisa Potter-Dixon, Jordan Samuel, Lisa Eldridge and Antonia Burrell.
Facial massage is essential for better-looking skin. I am a big believer in taking the time to massage your face while doing a morning cleanse – whether that’s with your fingers or facial cups. Doing this gives your skin a real boost, helps with lymphatic drainage and works away any overnight puffiness. I love the Antonia Burrell facial cups and try to use them three or four times a week. Simple and effective, they give my skin such a boost, leaving it looking soft, supple and more lifted. I like to combine this with her Natural Glow Cleanser for best results.
Double cleansing is – and always will be – essential for me. It gets rid of everything, helps promote better radiance and boosts suppleness within the skin for a bouncier effect. I love to do a double cleanse with a flannel – I use two a day and they’re perfect for gentle exfoliation as you sweep away your make-up. As well as this, I’ll always run the rest of my skincare down my neck and décolleté – something I regret not doing much earlier in life, but I always make sure I do this now. Another tip is when you’ve finished applying acids to your face, use the pad – or whatever you’re using – to give your elbows a quick rub, too. This will keep them soft.
The advice I’m glad I followed was to leave my brows be. I am lucky that my mum never plucked her brows, so I didn’t grow up in a house where it was the thing to do. My first ever attempt was so painful that I never tried it again – though they’re quite fair, I have reasonable brows now despite being older. I keep them looking as natural as possible by just brushing them up and using a small amount of pencil. I love the Fenty MVP Brows and Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Brow Freeze to lock hairs in place.
Space NK is the best place to find cult buys. I’m a huge fan of the store. Being in Italy for the past two years has meant I’ve missed out on all it has to offer. Brexit has made things slightly more complicated but I’m heading back to the UK over Christmas and I plan to have a good look around then and make up for lost time.
My make-up bag always has the same items. Don’t get me wrong, I love to experiment, but I also like to stick with the products I know have a youthful, glow-boosting effect. This includes La Roche Posay’s Tinted SPF50, as well as Erborian’s cult CC Cream. I love the Pai Skincare Impossible Glow drops, too, for a really quenched, glossy complexion. As for blusher, I am never without Westman Atelier’s Baby Cheeks Petal or Honest Beauty’s Crème Cheek in Peony Pink. For lips, I love a good nude, like Kiko’s Universal Nude or Westman Atelier’s Lip Suede. The Makeup Forever Wherever Walnut Artist Colour Pencil is incredible for shaping the lips subtly. As for eye make-up, I love Daniel Sandler’s Waterproof Velvet Liner in Brown, Surratt Relevee’s Lash Curlers and Perricone MD No Makeup Mascara – a must try if you want a feathery finish. Finally, brushes are key for good coverage. Both Artis’ Palm Brush and Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Complexion Brush are staples in my bag.
Finally, I don’t believe in trends, it’s about what flatters you. Far too many of us try things because it’s on trend, but you know more than anyone what flatters you best. Remember that there’s no age limit – young or old – to looking after your skin or putting something on it that makes you look good and more confident. And, as long as you feel happy, the rest will follow.
Follow Jacki on @MyOver50Skin