Well this post has been sitting in my drafts for far too long so it’s time for me to stop procrastinating and tell you why you should care about vitamin C in skincare.
Vitamin C’s having a real time at the moment, helped by the proliferation of vitamin C and vitamin C-adjacent serums in The Ordinary’s lineup. It’s a complicated ingredient, though, and it’s fickle—not all types of the molecule are created equal, so it’s important to know what you’re buying. Even the wrong type of packaging can make your vitamin C product a total dud.
So who should use vitamin C in skincare? Oh, you know, everybody. It’s one of the most versatile skincare ingredients, having measurable effects for preventing and repairing signs of aging, preventing and repairing dark spots and other pigmentation, minimising inflammation… it’s a comprehensive list, basically.
Everyone has a soft spot for miniature-sized beauty products. The subscription box industry is built on this fact. Loyalty programmes are built on this fact. Smaller products are a marketer’s way to get people to try something expensive without having to buying the full size.
Ever wonder why cheap products don’t come in deluxe mini sizes? It’s because most peoples’ impulse spending threshold is high enough that we’ll just buy the full product. Like, you know, I’ll buy the full size of a Neutrogena or Goodness product untested because it’s only $20 if I don’t like it—but it’s only these Drunk Elephant minis that could get me to try the brand when the full-sized B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel is $82. (I haven’t even caved and bought the Drunk Elephant minis yet… but it’s only a matter of time.)
Anyway, more and more brands are making baby-sized products and my cynicism will step aside and make room for them every time. Tiny foundation bottle that looks like the full size? Yes please. Teeny powder jar, sifter and all? Get into my hands.
Powder cleansers have come to my attention recently. Dermalogica launched the Daily Superfoliant* as a kind of dialed-up version of their ever-popular Daily Microfoliant, and Clinique’s new Fresh Pressed Vitamin C-based range includes a powder cleanser. Upon remembering I had a bunch of sachets of the Nude Brightening Fizzy Powder Wash that I’d never used either, I figured I should give them all a go and see how I feel about them. Is the powder cleanser format shelf-stable genius or over-complicated moisture magnet?
If you’re unhappy with your current skincare routine, the one change I would recommend over anything else is switching to a cream cleanser. Dry skin? Perfect. Oily skin? It sounds counter-intuitive, but I promise my oily skin responds so much better to a cream cleanser than a foaming one.
Cleansers spend such little time on your skin, it’s hard to justify spending a lot of money on them. With that in mind, here’s a selection of seven cream cleansers, from cheap to less cheap (and you can buy ALL of them in stores in New Zealand!)
Peptides! What are they? Good question. Plenty of skincare products use them—you might have seen Clinique’s new Pep-Start eye cream, as an example—but no one has ever really explained to me what they are or what they do. I’ve done a bit of research and I’ve got some answers, so if you’re wondering whether peptides are good for your skin, whether they’re anti-aging or just another marketing buzzword, I’m here to help.
If there’s one thing worse than oily skin, it’s dehydrated oily skin. It sounds like an oxymoron, but dehydrated oily skin is really common, and the dehydration can be making your oiliness look and feel worse.
It took me a while to figure out that my skin was dehydrated and oily, and that these were two different concerns I needed to address. From my time working at Clinique I’ve learned how to identify dehydrated oily skin, and three different techniques for addressing it.
I didn’t work for Clinique for six months without developing a pretty sound knowledge of every damn product they market – and there’s a lot of them. I started writing a Clinique Top 5 list, which expanded quickly into a Top 12, but I’ve chopped it back down to 5 (just as long as you don’t count the individual lipsticks).
Like Ruth from A Model Recommends, I’m not a huge fan of the traditional Clinique 3 Step system: I like a cleanser that can remove my makeup, I like a toner without alcohol, and I like a moisturiser that doesn’t break me out (but that’s my weird skin’s fault, not Clinique’s). I have managed to cobble together my own functional alternative system instead, although I’ve left cleansers out of this post because they’re fairly interchangeable.
2015 was a weird year of change and discovery for me. I left a job to study makeup artistry at Weltec in the first half of the year, and after gaining my qualification I became Assistant Counter Manager for Clinique at Farmers Lambton Quay. In December I handed in my resignation after working for Clinique for six months.
Last time I properly checked I had eleven lipsticks loose in the bottom of my bag, and I suspect I’m not the only person who does this. I want to be able to have a quick rummage to find my lipstick for a top-up, so bags-within-bags don’t make a lot of sense to me; or, they do when I’m trying to be tidy and organised, but they don’t function so well in real life. What this means is that I spend a lot of time groping around for a lipstick, finding a tube, then pulling it out and uncapping it or scrutinising the little sticker on the bottom to see if it’s the one I want. I think you can see where I’m going with this.
Lipstick tubes that are the same colour on the outside as the product on the inside are both enchantingly cute and mind-blowingly simple. Need your dark red lipstick? It’s the dark red one! Genius.
You know when you’re really busy but you feel like you’re just managing to stay on top of things? That was me, until I got hit with a ruthless cold this weekend. It’s one of those vibes where I can’t get my temperature right and I feel like I might choke on my own mucus if I lie down. Sorry. I haven’t been able to get my shit together enough to blog properly – today has been spent chugging orange juice and drawing face charts while watching Top Chef. I figured I can at least write about some things that I have been vibing on, though. And I though I better update you on how and why I broke my no buy resolution.