Guest Post: Perfect Skincare on a Budget by Kate Lambie

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Skin care has been a part of my morning and evening routine since I was about thirteen. I remember reading an article in ELLE magazine with Heidi Klum, who said her mum had instilled a regimented skin care routine in her from a young age and that it played a part in her youthful appearance as she got older. That was enough for me, off I went and invested in the Clinique Three Step System, which turned out to be slightly paint stripper-ish on my baby face skin. But still, I had dipped my toe into the skincare pool and I've never looked back since.

As a Makeup Artist, your skin is my canvas to work on. That means it needs to be as prepped and perfected as possible to ensure a beautiful end product, and obviously to make your makeup last as long as possible. Since working in the makeup industry, it has come to my attention how many girls and women don't have a skincare routine. The amount of times I've asked somebody "what skincare routine do you follow?" and they've looked at me blankly and replied, "oh nothing just baby wipes in the morning, then I put my foundation on straight away" is alot more times than someone reeling off all the skincare products they use.
I'm the first to admit I am a big spender when it comes to skincare. It's part of my job and I've never had an issue splurging on it. However, I know plenty of my friends cringe when I tell them how much this was and how much that was. Here's the thing though - skincare doesn't have to be expensive. With the beauty industry now booming, more inexpensive brands are bringing out the big guns in terms of skincare and you can pick up a variety of incredible lotions and potions on the high street now.
The mantra of skincare is 'Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise' - now repeat that back to me, and without further ado here are some of my favourites from each category...

Cleansing is the nice word for getting all the daily grime off of your face in the evening and waking your sleepy self up in the morning. I'll be honest, I don't find it as important in the morning, and alot of the time i'll just give my face a quick wipe over with a Micellar Cleanser such as Bioderma then go onto moisturising, but in the evening it's a biggie.

My 'lazy girl' remover will always be Simple face wipes. Great for bedside "whoops I forgot to remove my makeup" nights when you're too shattered to be arsed. I keep them in my handbag for late train journeys home from work. I try to find a quiet carriage to save any poor commuters from seeing my mouth wide open mascara removal, but sometimes it can't be helped.

My new make up remover favourite when I'm at home are oils. Alot of people think oils can't be used on combination or oily skin but they actually regulate the oil in your skin. Oils are fantastic for all skin types and can remove all your make up in a relatively luxurious way. A few pumps straight onto dry skin - down your neck, all over your face and including your eyes then cotton wool off and presto. My favourite high street version is the L'Oreal Skin Perfection 15 Second Miracle Cleansing Oil. I was a die hard Dermalogica Precleanse oil fan until I bought this to keep at my boyfriend's house and it really does the same. Easy removal and leaves my skin feeling very comfortable at a great price of £7.99, ready for my second cleanse. Another favourite is the MAC Cleanse Off Oil. £8.50 for a travel size, so nice to try if you want something a little more 'designer'.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish - where oh where would my skin be without you? If I had to write an Ode to any skincare item, it would be this. Best part is you can buy it in loads of different sizes, all which come with the muslin cloth to exfoliate it off with. I'm sure you girls and guys have had C&P shoved down your throat enough to know the basics, but if you're looking for a new cleanser and haven't tried this, do it. It's very natural and extremely kind to your skin, it exfoliates and can be used on the eye area as well. It's the most repurchased item in my skincare cabinet by a mile. Prices for Cleanse and Polish start at £8.50 so try a small size before you splurge on a biggie, but I bet you will.


Toning is to close up your pores and I use it to remove any trace that's left after my double cleanse. Thankfully there's never that much left, but I find it refreshing after a hot bath or shower. I use Bioderma alot of the time but I've recently found a fantastic high street dupe for it. So much so, I've bought another bottle to put in my make up kit to use on clients. The product I'm talking about is the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. Let's face it, Bioderma is like blinking gold dust to get hold of and at £4.99, I am more than happy to substitute that for this. Sometimes I actually find Bioderma really irritates my eyes and this never does. For the price you get 400ml which is a huge amount that will last you ages.

My other favourite toner is Eau Roma Water from Lush. I actually got this as a gift at Christmas and would never have picked it up myself, so it was a nice discovery. It contains Rose Water to calm and reduce redness and Lavender to soften and balance the skin. As you can imagine, this stuff smells amazing and I really like the spray mechanism as you can spritz it straight onto your damp skin after a shower. You can also use this to refresh your make up throughout the day. 250g will set you back £7.50, which is slightly more than the Garnier, but if you like a bit of extra luxury then plump for this one. Let's face it, it's still cheaper than Bioderma.

I'll let you into a little secret. I have a rather expensive moisturising routine. My two favourites are Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil which comes in at £30 and Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream which comes in at an eye watering £70. It's the one part of my skincare routine I am more than happy to spend a little extra on, as it does soak into your skin and stay there. I do however have a couple of cheaper alternatives which I go back to when my pennies are stretched.

Do not underestimate the power of a Sudocrem face mask. Keep it to a two weekly treat for normal skin and a monthly treat for oily/combination as you don't want to clog your pores with it. But leave a thin layer on overnight and cleanse off in the morning and your skin does feel wonderfully smooth.
A slightly thinner treatment for the skin that can be used more than once a week, especially if you have dry skin, is e45 cream. During the winter my skin really suffered due to the heating at work and blasting my face with hot air in my car. It became rather 'scaly' and a not very pleasant base for makeup, so I popped into Boots and picked this up. It does leave abit of a residue on the skin so I would only use this for night use unless you're incredibly dry but it really helped clear up my dryness and now is a firm fixture in my drawer for those just in case moments.

A slightly cheaper alternative to Magic Cream is my last skincare product on the list, and it's Steam Cream. It's an unsung hero of the beauty world, plus it comes in the cutest tins ever. But that's not the hallmark of a good moisturiser, it's what's on the inside that counts. A creamy, lightweight emulsion which is created with a steaming process that melts into the skin and adds gorgeous luminousity. You can purchase it in Selfridges, online and strangely enough, on lots of duty free trolleys on flights. It's around the £12 mark and it's a really high quality product which doesn't get enough praise. Super oily skin might find this too rich but for anyone else I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

 So that's that then. I hope this was 'budget' enough, as I'm a little bit of a high end skincare lover. But there really is nothing nicer than finding a fantastic product at a fraction of the price of the product you're currently using.
Hopefully you found this post helpful if you're stuck in a slight skincare rut, or are looking to set up your routine for the first time! Thanks so much to Corrie for allowing me to be a guest blogger on here too, I've thoroughly enjoyed it. I have a blog which is incredibly neglected but this has motivated me to start up again, so pop over and say hello - I'm a lot more vocal on twitter so any questions you may have please feel free to give me a tweet - @katelambiemua

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