Obvious Beauty – The Basics

Over the years, I have bought and used a lot of beauty products. And over the years, I have managed to still have a face. This seems like as good a reason as any to inflict my trumped up views on beauty on the lot of you.

Therefore, I will occasionally write up reviews and ramblings on the tools of the beauty trade to share with you. Plus it’s an excellent way to fill those periods of time when I have literally nothing else to write about. It’s just the sort of nice chap I am.

My remit is obvious beauty – the things I think you need to know and the things you shouldn’t ever speak of.

But every good series needs an intro! The standard pilot show, the gallop through the basic plot, background, characters and tone, so we all know what we’re letting ourselves in for and can confidently drift along with the episodes to come.

So here is my basic started guide of tried and tested beauty tips, suitable for boys and girls.

Please use these tips to judge whether or not my approach to skincare suits your particular skin type. If what works for me has proven disastrous for you in the past, you may not find my reviews helpful. But feel free to ask me any questions.
I am not an expert, and my advice is based on experience, research and guidance from those in the know. And I’ve learned from plenty of errors in the past, including painful allergic reactions and spending far too much on marketing gimmicks. God that YSL Manga pink lipstick was fun, though…
Obvious beauty - skincare
My essentials. For this month, any way
  • Be sure of your skin type before forking out for expensive products. I used to think I had oily skin, until an expert showed me I was actually sensitive with patches of dryness – years of money spent on the wrong products. For a professional verdict, I recommend Dermalogica’s skin analysis and facial service Find a participating salon here >>> 
  • Moisturise. Cleanse first, then moisturise. Face and neck, twice a day, every day. For ever. Until your dying day. I don’t care whether you die bed, in a blimp accident or on a battlefield – your final act with your last ounce of strength should be to put on more moisturiser.
  • You need less product than you think. Pea-sized blob, dot it around your face and neck, and massage in. This will sound obvious to some, but until a beautician showed me how, I was wasting a LOT of product
Obvious beauty - how to apply moisturiserObvious beauty - how much moisturiser
  • Organise all your facial beauty products in a row. How many products are you using in total over a week? Are they all for the same skin type? How often do you use them? How old are they? Why did you buy them and have they delivered? When did you last clean the applicators, or your make-up brushes? It could be time to start whittling…
  • With skincare, you get what you pay for (mostly). Put the best that you can afford directly on to your skin (cleanser, moisturiser, masques, and foundation/powder) and save on the rest of your makeup (pencils, lipsticks, eyeshadow, blusher, mascara, liquid liners).
  • Don’t strip breakouts with cheap astringent. More often than not, sensitised or angry skin needs a rest and a gentle touch. I put oils on my face when I am blemished, but I make sure they are working for me.
  • Don’t use toothpaste on spots, it does nothing.
  • If you suffer from aggressive acne, don’t waste your money on over the counter products. Save up the cash and visit a good dermatologist instead. 
  • Body lotion should be a daily habit. The oil below (see? see?) is luxurious, great for freshly shorn legs, and I slap it on my face for an occasional nighttime treat.
  • Obvious beauty - Neals Yard Jasmine Oil
  • Drink lots of water, you know it works. Probably because the amount of time you spend running to the loo or fighting the urge to piss yourself distracts you from smoking or eating a tray bake.
  • Whether you use your cleanser or a separate lotion, your eye make-up should come off easily. If you are pulling and rubbing repeatedly, you are giving yourself wrinkles. Oil based ones are often best, just make sure you gentle clean off excess. 
  • Make sure you apply eye cream in the right place. Take a look >>>
  • For a face exfoliator, do the following: go to a supermarket’s baby section, pick up a bag of muslin squares for about £5, cut each one in half (or smaller), use as a face cloth. Bosh – a brilliant exfoliator that’s gentle enough to use every day. I won’t go anywhere without one. Even to the opera. And I don’t even go to the opera. 

  • Django the cat

    This is a picture of my cat Django.
    I ran out of stuff to photograph

  • While that super-light youthful lotion won’t work forever, beware of therapists forcing anti-aging creams on you once you pass 30; most are designed for already wrinkled skin and can be too rich for younger flesh. If in doubt, insist on a sample.
  • Speaking of which…if you buy regularly from decent brands, you’ll never need to fork out for those luxurious serums because you’ll clean up on samples. I have a mountain of Genifique, Dior and Dermalogica serums, and they go a long way. Money in the pocket, my friends. (My sister once tried to throw out a full sample eye cream from La Prairie. I nearly died)
    Free samples from good brands

    All of them, all of them FREE

  • Consider making your own face oils and masques. Plenty of recipes online, using all natural ingredients, and they usually give great results. Try this one from Miscriant >>>
  • Olive oil and avocados may be classed as fatty foods, but they are better for your skin, hair and nails than ten diet packaged products. Never banish them.
  • Blend your various lipsticks to find the right shade. If you ever find one that is perfect alone, buy ten of them.
  • ALWAYS use an SPF and stay out of the sun if you want to stay wrinkle free. The sun will fuck you up. Have you seen the size of it? Don’t try to take it on, you’ll lose.
  • If you get a fake tan, be prepared for many, many disasters before success.

    Always remember the golden rules

      1. Your skin is going to change, even if you don’t see it. And it IS going to age. Work with it, not against it.
      2. Back the fuck away from your skin when it needs space. Your body and your skin is designed to survive and its objective is to protect you, not to look pretty. Don’t hinder it when it needs to breathe or heal. The more you pollute it, the more it will poison you.
      3. Treat skin like (I can’t believe I’m about to write this) your favourite garment – care for it gently. Don’t expose it to excessive heat, don’t overload it with chemicals, don’t pull and pick and pester it, don’t leave it crumpled and parched. It will never look as good as it did when it was brand new, but it’s not old – it is vintage. And it needs care, because it’s one of a kind. I’m going to go and slap myself for a bit, even though I’m right.

      4 thoughts on “Obvious Beauty – The Basics

      1. I spy some products I swear by! Great post – well researched and still full of DG humour. My skin started to look really good when I had the revelation that oily skin needs oil on it to stop producing excess oil. I whack (not literally, that would be stoopid) Neil's Yard Rose Oil on my face every other night, and the Neil's Yard Rose Beauty Balm (another oil based product) on the nights in between and suddenly my skin was totally balanced. You are right that spending a bit more on the stuff that goes straight on your face is essential. It also tends to last 3x as long as the cheaper stuff as you need less of it so you are actually being more economical. Also cannot echo enough your points about moisturising – I've moisturised my entire body twice a day (sometimes more) since I was 14 and I'm now in my 30's and yet to find a wrinkle. It works!


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