It’s so weird when you go away around September time. In those few days, everything seems to have changed. The glowing green leaves on my favourite tree in the garden (the glorious Parrotia) have developed a burgundy tinge, and although it’s still warm, there’s a different feel to the air, especially first thing in the morning (the best time for walkies, as far as Lyra is concerned). That’s not to say that I’m unhappy, though, I LOVE autumn, and everything that she (it?) brings. I’m already stockpiling scented candles and have just bought a gorgeously soft new pompom throw for the sofa. Lyra and I love a snuggle almost as much as we love a brisk, crunchy walk through the autumn leaves. Throw in a hot chocolate and a marshmallow or two (or a nice velvety glass of red) and I’m a happy bunny. Skincare-wise, though, I’m feeling a bit scrunchy and crunchy too, after our wonderful heatwave and a couple of trips away. I know I’ve had too much sun, and my hair is feeling dry too, so I’m ready for a bit of TLC. I thought I’d share with you a few new discoveries of mine from M&S that will take your beauty routine from summer into autumn, and quench that parched summer skin at the same time.
Ever since I’ve taken my blonde hair back to brunette, I’ve been struggling with keeping the colour. After a few weeks, my blonde ends start to peek through again. I know a lot of the problems with colour retention are due to the condition of your hair, so I’ve been trying to pamper mine. One of my recent discoveries is the Percy & Reed range. I took the travel sizes when I was travelling this summer: the Wonder Balm is miraculous if you suffer from frizzy Monica hair in the heat. It’s £18 but it lasts ages (ooh, and buy it at the moment in M&S and you get a free free Percy & Reed Dry Volumising Spray). Now I’m home, I’m finding that I’m still loving it as a smoothing treat before I blow dry – it doesn’t weigh down my fine hair. I’m also treating it to Wonder Overnight Recovery every other night before I go to bed. It’s such a clever product. You just work it through your dry hair before you go to bed (I concentrate on the ends) and it adds protein, helping it to retain moisture, and conditions while you sleep. You’re supposed to shampoo it out the next day, but I leave it in and just put my hair up if I’m not doing much. It’s not at all greasy and doesn’t come off on your pillow.
Add in an acid
I’m not a great one for complicated beauty routines, but after listening to experts like Caroline Hirons tell me how important it is to include an acid toner in your skincare regime, I’ve gone back to one I liked before. Glycolic acid is great for exfoliating, revealing younger, fresher skin (perfect to remove all that frazzled, sun damaged stuff and get it ready to rehydrate), and boosting collagen production. Caroline recommends the Pixi Glow Tonic and says it’s perfect for use as a morning toner, and who am I to argue?!
Now you’ve got a beautiful, smooth surface, it’s time to rehydrate. After cleansing and swiping a cotton pad soaked in Pixi Glow Tonic over my face, I’ve been spritzing on an extra, hydrating layer in the shape of my new favourite Balance Me Hyaluronic Plumping Mist. I find it really refreshing in the morning, and I just gently pat it into my skin. It’s a great way to get more moisture without any added greasiness. Also, I’m not sure if everyone gets the same offers, but I got a 20% Balance Me offer in my latest Sparks email too.
I’ve been skipping moisturiser and just using a tinted moisturiser over the summer, but now I’m taking my little beauty routine from summer into autumn feeling like I should be pampering my skin with a proper moisturiser (and as my tan fades, I’m leaning more towards proper foundation again). After trying the Origins Ginzing Energy Boosting Gel Moisturiser in the M&S Summer Beauty Box, I liked it so much I went out and bought the full size. I hate greasy things and this feels really hydrating without being greasy. It’s great under makeup too.
Last but not least, for night cream, the M&S Formula Absolute Ultimate Sleep Cream continues to be a cult classic and I can see why. It feels rich and creamy going on, and in the morning your skin feels plump and dewy. I absolutely love it and have lost count of how many times I’ve repurchased it. I’ve diverted a couple of times to try other things, but always come back to this one, and the rich feel is perfect when you’re feeling a little dehydrated. I also think it’s a really good price (plus it’s got something like 98% five star reviews on the M&S website). Gorgeous.
Have a wonderful weekend!