Friday

Top 10 Ride Or Die Skincare Products

Right, here goes the blog post I've been meaning to write for about 3 years. Last weekend whilst doing an enormous sort out of my flat I finally managed to put together a list of "can't live without" products for you. Moving forward, this kind of content will sit on my YouTube - I've got an enormous list of reviews, topics and top 10s to get through from the feedback you gave me from Instagram. There are already some good recommendations there, my "favourite face masks video" is very good if I may say so... Check out my channel here and expect exciting things to come.


So here are my top 10 best ever, can't function if I don't own, skincare products. It took some serious decisions and I do obviously have more to add to the pile. But when I really sat down and thought about out it these are my go-to things whenever I have a particular issues or want a particular results. Also, I cheated there are 14. Sorry. It's a long one so settle in, I'll list them by their name and purpose so you can scan through at your own leisure. Ooh and I have absolutely no idea if any of the below are vegan. I know they don't test on animals. As awful as it sounds, I choose my products purely on results (must do better)... Lets go!

1. Rodial Dragon's Blood Sculpting Moisturiser - Anti Aging, Firming, Plumping...

I find it hard not to just go "they're amaaaaaaaazing" when it comes to Rodial products. I'm a fairly recent convert, I started using them a year ago. Before that I found the brand a bit intimidating and now knowing more about them that's kind of what I love about them. The brand is bold, results driven and works. Simple. My sister and I swear by this moisturiser. It brightens, it plumps (plumping doesn't mean you look fat by the way, it means it pushes out fine lines and makes everything look like it did when you were 24). It's a great texture, and if I've been using it for 3 or 4 days I start to get compliments. It's not cheap but neither should it be, this product is worth the investment. 

2. L'Occitane Immortelle Night Serum - Revitalising and collagen boosting..

Before this I wouldn't have thought of this brand for skincare at all, more trusty hand creams and super scents. I first tried this serum back in June and was instantly taken with it as was the whole team in the office. We were so gobsmacked by the results, we ran a campaign at work where we asked a few influencers to try it out over 30 days and simply post the results. Everyone loved it and looked a billion times better. It works. Don't ask me why it does, but there is a little used hero ingredient in this stuff; marjoram. It essentially wakes up lazy, tired skin cells and makes them work again. The formula also is massively collagen stimulating too (collagen is the "firmer" in our skin cells that, when full and plump, won't age) which is just quite brilliant.

3. Elizabeth Arden Retinol Capsules - Anti wrinkle, firming, hydrating...

Ok, I'm going to attempt to explain retinol in my picked-up-along-the-way best manner. Essentially it's a wrinkle smoother, and highly sensitive to light and air. For that reason, only use at night as it may cause a flair up during the day. But our skin can only really benefit from it if it's "ripe and ready" so Arden (the first brand to launch retinols into the market, and the complete experts) have painstakingly created the formulation (including ceramide) to ensure our skin drinks all the benefits up. I cannot rate this enough, I use them once or twice a week before bed instead of a night moisturiser. Also, this product is too strong for your eyes - hence the product below for that. 

4. Beauty Pie Retinol Eye Cream - Removes fine lines, crows feet, etc

Fancy paying less than £7 for a product worth £65 elsewhere? If you haven't heard of Beauty Pie, please get out of the cave you're living in and click here. Yes I work with them, but yes I'm also a fully fledged, fully paying member and squeak with excitement every month when my spending allowance kicks in. It's just genius. GENIUS. For £10 a month (Ok, I have the £20 membership because I need all the skincare) you can get all the best formulations - instead of ripping you off with crazy mark ups (did you know 90% of the price of a beauty product can be mark up to cover advertising, packaging etc?) Beauty Pie makes it's money from charging for membership. Take my money now. There are a couple of Beauty Pie products in this edit and I won't go through the concept again, but if you fancy having a go you can get £50 extra spending allowance with my code ANNASENTME.

Their retinols are from the same places as all of the luxury grade brands. So, it's not that it's similar, it's that it's the same. In fact, sometimes their products are better because they are so well respected in the industry the labs call them first. This eye cream is the NUTS and the formulation is second to none with equal measures of hyaluronic acid to ensure it really penetrates the skin properly. I've been using it for a month the start of crows feet have disappeared. Like, actually gone. Buy it. That is all.

5. Sunday Riley Luna Serum - Anti aging, firming, depuffing...

Sunday Riley have had a lot of flack recently which is a shame because they're really very good. Hailing from Australia, in my mind the climate means brands that come from there really understand about products that can repair the skin from sun damage/life. I've been using this for over a year now, I have no idea whats in it but can tell you I wake up looking much, much better. It also smells like playdough and it bright blue - the child in me really enjoys that. It's not cheap, but once again neither should it be, it works. My skin looks brighter, almost as if it's been buffed. 

6. Balance Me Collagen Boosting Serum - Specifically for wrinkles 

Ok, so I lied when I said I didn't know if products were vegan. Balance Me's whole identity is natural beauty. I hate to admit it but for that reason I sort of ignored them for years; assuming "natural" meant "ineffective." However, this product proved me wrong and I'm now enjoying testing a load of stuff from the brand. I use this alongside the serums below when I don't have a collagen booster going on my skin from a moisturiser. It's really very good and an absolute steal for £26. It also has blackberry leaf in it, so this product is good for anyone who heavily commutes or lives in the city as it's a brilliant ingredients for protection against fumes and environment damage. 

7. Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum - For the summer glow all year round

One of the challenges of this post was not putting in half a ton of Derma products. I can't explain how good they are and if anyone I know has a skin complaint I send them off to a Dermalogica counter to have their skin mapped (essentially analysed by one of their specialists, their free service). I was so, so late to the game and swear by 10+ of their products but one thing I think they do really well is Vitamin C stuff. 

I swear by this in darker months because it means I keep that "summer glow." The formulation means the vitamin C is really able to get into the skin and works its magic - I think it's the best C serum out there and I've tried a lot. It also has Palitoyl in it, great for anti aging. I use this almost as a barrier cream alongside my SPF in the morning - in fact I often mix them together. 

8. Malin and Goetz Sulphur Paste - For spot removal, overnight

Moving on to spot removers... Simply dab a tiny bit of this on a spot, you'll look like you've put toothpaste on your skin, and wake up and it'll have if not gone - massively reduced. I use it on hormonal break outs and those random red clangers that appear from nowhere. Some critics say you can get sulphur over the counter in a drug store but quite frankly I don't want anything other than a meticulously formulated product when the made ingredient is also used to solder off paint in house renovations. I've had my little bottle for 2 years too, so it goes a long way. 

9. The Ordinary Niacinamide and Zinc Serum - For speeding up hormonal breakouts, broken pores and as a decongestant. 

Say what you like about their bat sh*t crazy owner, but when all the stuff went down with the Ordinary a couple of weeks ago sales for this product went up 3000% out of fears it would no longer exist. This serum, for me, stops hormonal meltdowns and also really helps stop stubborn blackheads around my nose where my pores were a teeny bit enlarged. Very good for stressed skin too. Did I mention it's £5? Buy it here, by the truckload. 

10. Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Glow Tonic - Liquid exfoliator for deep cleans

The final zit-buster product is a goodie. Rodial's little sister Nip+Fab benefits from all the expertise from it's older sibling, but as a fraction of the price. Aimed at the teenage market, it means you can expect quick results (because name me a 16 year old with any patience) at a decent RRP. People get nervous of the word "acid" but if you're happy to swallow a load of vinegar on your chips then how can you not be happy to use a carefully balanced formulation on your skin? Glycolic is a liquid exfoliator, I use this when I've been on the tube a lot, travelling or just want a good old thorough clean out. What's really good about this product in particular is that it's balanced with hyaluronic acid meaning, firstly your skin doesn't dry out and secondly it allows the acid to work it's magic even more deeply. Strongly recommend.

11. Beauty Pie Apricot Butter Cleansing Balm - Cleansing, softening, moisturising

Firstly, if you aren't into a cleansing balm as you're worried about it being too oily for your skin think again. Oil based cleansers are actually what you need. Oil attracts oil, meaning balms like this pull the grease out from your pores. Plus, this is £13 so a really good one to test (see how and why in the other Beauty Pie mention above).

It smells good enough to eat. Truly. It has all the buzz words in for when it comes to moisturising; rosehip (anti flammatory), vitamin E and apricot. Furthermore, it is really good for getting into the pores and removes residue. I absolutely love it, going from my Elemis Collagen Balm which I use just as much. When I use the Beauty Pie one I use the Balance Me collagen cream (above) afterwards as a replacement to the Elemis' ingredient and have to say I think it's actually better.

12. Kiehls Turmeric and Cranberry Mask - Depuffs, clears and gives glow

I love this product. Whats more I love telling other people about this product and then when they call me up and go "oh my god." If you're pulling all-nighters of either the work or play variety, you need this stuff. It buffs, tones, wakes up and boosts the skin. It is perfect for this time of year with central heating and cold weather. In fact, I've got it on as I type this. Just trust me on this one.

13. Clinique Vitamin E Overnight Moisturising Mask - Exactly what it says on the tin

I'd never have thought I'd still be such an avid Clinique fan at 34. I totally thought it was the "first" beauty brand for people, but I keep going back to their products (my make up faves comprise of a lot of Clinique) especially for quick fixes. Back to my theory about the impatience of teenagers meaning that brands who focus on this age range need to deliver quickly - their products really do work their magic. This one does overnight. I wake up looking refreshed and hydrated and my make up sits so much better on my skin for a good few days afterwards. Note, this product shouldn't be used around the eyes - it's too rich and will cause puffiness as the delicate skin tries to take in all the properties of it (common mistake for dry eyes; heavy moisturiser, it'll make them worse).

14. REN Glycolactic Mask - Radiance, holiday-rested skin

Saving my ultimate ride or die favourite product till last. I nearly had a heart attack last week when this went into the sale, not sure what I'd do without it (they currently have it on sale, here). I have a little joke with friends that I'm "off on holiday" when I put this on because that's exactly what it does. It makes you look alive, it makes you glow, it gets rid of dullness and fine lines. If I haven't done enough to convince you to stock up in this post, for god's sake go to a beauty counter and ask for a sample of this. I bet you £100 you'll go back for more. Get the full size here, or if you have no faith in me whatsoever they've done a little one for Marks and Spencer here

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