I own a lot of skincare and generally, I’m fine with that. I do, however, go through buy-purge cycles on a regular basis. More than spring, autumn is when I feel like organising my stash and getting rid of stuff. And then, inevitably, buying new stuff, because autumn is when many skincare launches happen. This year, I have an added incentive: work is tough, so I want to have things figured out and an edit of outstanding products always on hand and ready to use. I will still experiment and change things up, but that’s not a priority for the moment.
Therefore, I’ve taken a long hard look at my skincare products and selected my absolute favourites – and also identified what I still need (I use the word „need“ loosely here) to buy. I haven’t given everything else away (although I have given away a rather scary amount), just made sure I have what I want in every category and it’s visible and easy to reach. I plan to do – and have already started – the same process with makeup, clothes and perfumes and I’ll write about that in the coming weeks as well.
1. First cleanse. I seem to prefer oils to balms these days and De Mamiel Pure Calm Cleansing Dew is my current favourite. I love it – the texture, the smell, the performance. I have also ordered the new Eve Lom Gel Balm Cleanser: the original is great, but I have a feeling I’ll like this one even better (hybrid texture!).
2. Second cleanse. Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser and Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser have been my favourite second cleansers for a while and they are very difficult to beat. I might get the new Drunk Elephant Beste Jelly Cleanser, though (if my agent is successful), as I cannot resist a jelly. There is also a cheap one I really like, I will tell you about it in the upcoming cheap skincare post.
3. Acid toner. When in London recently, I bought the Biologique Recherché Lotion P50 PIGM 400 version that is great. I need to have options, however, and after my daughter used an almost full bottle of The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution for mysterious purposes, I do need an everyday acid in my stash. I have ordered the First Aid Beauty Facial Radience Pads and will probably get a bottle of Pixi Glow Tonic, too.
4. Mist. Mists aren’t something I use too often and I haven’t found anything nicer than May Lindstrom’s Jasmine Garden, so this is still my go-to. For travel, JOIK Rosewater mist is lovely: great size and not expensive.
5. Essence. The reason I don’t use mists much – at least as skincare, not just a refreshing spritz – is that I use essences or (Asian-style) toners instead. Omorovicza Omoressence and La Prairie Cellular Refining Lotion* are the two main ones in rotation at the moment. Both are nice and VERY expensive, but I suspect I’ll ultimately return to SK-II essence and Whamisa toner.
6. Retinol. My current favourite retinol is NeoStrata Retinol + NAG Complex. Caroline Hirons says it’s too strong for her, but it works great for me (2-3 times a week). I will, however, also order The Ordinary Granactive Retinol 5% in Squalane, as I love the 2% and the new version sounds pretty phenomenal. But why are they trying to drive us crazy with the names?
7. Vitamin C. As you know, I like my active products REALLY active. I’ve been using NIOD’s Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid 30% Network (that’s Seriously Strong Vitamin C in normal language) for several months and will keep going until I run out. As an alternative/replacement, I’ve ordered DCL C Scape High Potency Night Booster 30 that Carline Hirons has been raving about.
8. Just a normal (antioxidant) serum. Some nights – and most days – I need a less active serum and currently, that’s African Botanics Cell Recovery Serum. It is good, but not as good as De Mamiel Intense Nurture Antioxidant Elixir (De Mamiel is also cheaper, although not cheap by any standards). The Ordinary EUK 134 is also on my TO BUY list.
9. Oil. With Vintner’s Daughter, I’ve gone from „I’m really not too sure about this“ to „well, this is pretty amazing“ in the space of a couple of months. I still don’t like it on its own, though. I mix the oil with my serum or cream and the result is heavenly. I especially enjoy it with De Mamiel serum and the Sisley Black Rose cream. The latter combination is probably the nicest thing I’ve ever had on my face.
10. Moisturiser. It hurts me to admit, but I’ve been completely obsessed with Sisley Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream. This cream is glorious. It has only two faults – the price and the size. I’m almost out of it already and preparing mentally for a repurchase. I’m also planning to get Dr Jart Ceramidin Gel-Cream as a cheaper alternative and I guess I need another jar of Sunday Riley Tidal once my travel size runs out.
11. Eye Cream. I recently bought Chanel’s Le Lift and it should last me a while. It’s beautiful and nourishing, but still relatively light. Compared to some of the niche stuff, it also seems almost affordable! Because it doesn’t have retinol I often use Medik8 Retinol Eye TR serum underneath.
13. Mask. I cannot pick only one, as masks do different things. For exfoliation, I’ve got The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution; for clarifying, Tata Harper Clarifying Mask; for hydration, Laneige Water Sleeping Pack, for everything, Biologique Recherché vile-smelling Masque Vivant. I have also dispatched my agent to get the Tatcha Violet-C Radience Mask, for… radiance.
14. Balm. This is not really my category, but I do like to have a balm ready in case of an emergency or for some extra nourishing action. May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon is always good to have and my new Leahlani Bless Beauty Balm is lovely as well.
15. Extras. I had to mention NIOD CAIS, even if I couldn’t find a category for it. Still not sure what it does. Still think it’s working. Another extra that I absolutely love and will not be without is the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. It seems entirely unnecessary, but I would recommend it to anyone.
Once I get the few remaining gaps filled, I intend to go on a buying freeze for at least a month. What do you plan to use and buy this autumn? See anything interesting here?
*I just wanted to make a point that while the La Prairie lotion is, obviously, not cheap, it comes in a humungous bottle. So it turns out that Omorovizca is MUCH more expensive at 105 euros for 100 ml versus La Prairie’s 80 euros for 250 ml. And in fact, many other toners that seem much cheaper at first glance actually cost more per ml.