Clever coverage can only get you so far; the secret to radiance is great skin, says makeup artist and GTG columnist Wendy Rowe. Here's how to achieve it (even after a big night out)
I’m passionate about having good skin and I’ve always taken care to exercise regularly, eat well and I always make sure to use great skincare too. It’s not just about what you put on to your skin, it’s a lot about what you put inside your body too. When I lived in Paris in my twenties, you couldn’t really buy processed food, you had to cook meals fresh from scratch using the seasonal, organic ingredients that were available from the market and I really noticed the difference that eating well had on the way my skin looked. Achieving great skin isn’t something that happens overnight, so you have to get into a good routine. This is what works for me:
1. Feed your skin from the inside
Even if I’m busy, I always try to eat fresh, seasonal food with lots of green vegetables and I like to work out too – something like tennis is great in the summer as it’s outdoors in the fresh air. I have a very disciplined routine with my skincare too – I’d never dream of exercising or going to bed with makeup on, no matter how tired I am. Make sure to include omega oils in your diet, either from oily fish, or by taking a natural collagen boosting supplement – I always recommend Skinade supplement to boost the skin, or if you don’t like the taste of fish. Eating lots of green vegetables and avocado makes a big difference too, and I take magnesium and organic MSM which helps to reduce inflammation and boost collagen production.
Sometimes, if I really need to give my body a kick start when I’m super tired or coming down with something, then I will have an IV drip at Revivme.com in London or New York to replenish the minerals and vitamins that I’m low on.
2. Keep your routine simple so you stick to it
My skincare routine consists of cleansing in the evening using a cream cleanser, then followed by a toner and sometimes I’ll use a healing moisturiser or the Decléor Aromessence Neroli Essential Night Balm £30.60, which I apply as a nourishing healing balm. In the morning, I just wash my face with water as it’s lighter than using a cleanser which is better for the day. After I’ve cleaned my skin, then I tone and moisturise and I’ll use different moisturisers depending on where I am, and what is happening with my skin and the weather. An anti-pollution gel is great for the city in summer, and something richer is better for winter months.
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3. Have a plan for flare-ups
I can get irritations redness or dry patches if I’m stressed or tired. A mask is always good to help boost the skin. I love the Decléor Aurabsolu Hydrogel sheet mask £10.20 - it’s super-hydrating and it really fits the face properly so that you can move around with it on.
I always make sure I have the Decléor Aromessence Neroli Essential Night Balm £30.60 to hand, both in my bathroom cabinet and at work, it’s so good for healing any irritated, dry skin and it works wonders on spots too.
4. When skin is dry, dehydrated or hungover - hydrate inside and out
After a big night out I often take milk thistle which helps to detox the liver. A fresh vegetable juice that I make myself always makes me feel great whether it’s after a night out, or when I’m back from a hectic time travelling for work. I make up vegetable juices from scratch without any fruit or added sugars, containing celery, cucumber, turmeric, ginger, flax seed, cucumber, lemon, mint and beetroot – it always makes me feel amazing and really clean.
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If I’m really dehydrated, I will have organic coconut water and I’ll make sure to drink plenty of water as well as taking minerals such as magnesium, which is great for the skin. In the summer months when my skin is dehydrated, I love to use a mist containing essential oils to rehydrate the skin during the day. Decléor’s Aurabsolu Mist £18.70 is my favourite
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Hydration is the main issue in summer. As the skin gets tanned it dries out, so you need to remember to always moisturise and keep hydrated from outside and inside. You need to be kind to skin and use calming products in summer – make sure to really religiously remove makeup and sunblock in the evening too as that can clog pores and lead to irritations. Using a cream cleanser to really work into the skin is the best way to get it really clean. Try Decléor’s Aroma Cleanse Youth Cleansing Milk £22.10 – it’s super gentle but really effective.
When clients come to me with really unhappy skin, but they need to look great immediately, I always try to get the skin into a good place first and I always cleanse, tone moisturise so that I can assess the skin first before I apply any makeup. I always massage cream cleanser into the skin to remove any dryness, and then I use the appropriate moisturiser, or I apply the healing balm if I’ve got time and it’s necessary. I love Decléor’s Aroma Lisse 2-In-1 Dark Circle And Eye Wrinkle Eraser £28.90 cream as it’s great for softening any lines around the eye area. If I’m working with the person for a while, then I will give them a hydrating sheet mask to put on in the evening so that their skin is in a better place the next day. Once I have done as much as I can with skincare, I just have to fix the skin with makeup. Everyone is different, that’s why I always carry 60kg of different makeup options with me, as you never know what you might need!
5. When breakouts strike - check your phone, your hair, your pillow...
To avoid spots firstly, don't wear makeup when you work out or when you sleep and make sure to get your skin really, properly clean.
Around the nose and chin are often a key area for breakouts, around the nostrils and the side of the nose particularly and the cheeks and forehead too. Basically, everywhere on the face at certain times! Different areas often relate to different problems in the body. Cheek spots could be related to a dirty phone or pillow, but could also be related to the lungs for example. Breakouts around the chin are normally hormonal or could also be down to a dirty phone and dirty hands. You need to change your washcloths regularly, change pillow case regularly. Try to avoid touching your face too much and carry a natural hand sanitizer. I also think it’s good to tie your hair up at night, otherwise, it rubs on pillows and can make the skin dirty. I also have a silk pillowcase myself which is more skin-friendly.
My book, Eat Beautiful , Nourish Your Skin From The Inside Out, has a herbal pharmacy section which lists lots of natural remedies that you can include in food that have antibacterial, healing properties so that’s always a useful guide for any skin complaints.
Decléor Aromessence Neroli Essential Night Balm £30.60 is my ultimate healing balm, so if I can, then I try to apply that and leave it on for as long as possible to draw out impurities and take down redness; it’s 100 per cent natural and it really works. I’ve been using that for years.
6. Get your skin 'fitted' like a wedding dress
Everyone is different and really you need to go into a store and have your skin “fitted” to the right skincare routine so that you can get a specialist to help work out the best thing for you. There’s no one size fits all, it’s like a wedding dress, you order your site but then you’d have it fitted and tweaked to be perfect for your body and it’s the same with skincare. If you can, go into a boutique where they offer treatments and facials so that you can really work out what suits you. Decléor have opened a great new boutique on Westbourne Grove in London and they do tailored consultations with loads of product options available; I always recommend people to go there.
7. The non-surgical treatments that make a difference
I love LED lights and think they really make a difference. In London, I go to the Harvey Nichols Light Salon , the Skin Laundry Light Therapy Bar in Liberty and Sarah Chapman. I also love the NuFace travel-friendly mini.
Massage makes a big difference and I always massage my skin when I cleanse at night; it’s so easy to do to yourself and actually, at the Decléor Boutique in London on Westbourne Grove, you can get a Face Shots massage done, which is in front of a mirror that records your bespoke treatment. You’re then emailed a download of the massage treatment so that you can keep it up at home yourself as part of your daily routine.
8. Fake it flawlessly
Fake tan can be good to give you a boost before a holiday or a big event, but if you are going to fake tan, then get it done properly by an expert. I don't think it's a thing to do at home yourself as you can’t really get a good finish. I often tan models at work, but it’s always just for a photo so I don’t do anything permanent. If you want a fake-tan-free way to make yourself look more golden, without using a darker foundation that will be obvious and look wrong, Burberry’s Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base in Golden Radiance £34 is amazing. It suits everyone and just gives the skin natural-looking luminosity. I often apply on the face, neck, hands and all over the body at work.