Back to Basics – The Skincare That Works For Me

Between the middle of January and the end of March, my skin started having the biggest breakout that it had for years. I couldn’t pinpoint the cause – it could well have been wedding stress, it could be hormone changes from new pills I was taking, it could have been that I ran out of my fave cleanser that I lovingly refer to as skin magic. So I took it all back to basics with the skincare I know has really worked for me in the last year and my skin couldn’t be happier.

Garnier Micellar Water – where would I be without this stuff? I probably go through a big bottle of this on average a month (I also use it to clean makeup products prior to photographing, as well as cleaning my vanity down, so I run through it a little faster than if I was just using it on my face). Budget friendly, agrees with my skin, and removes makeup incredibly well. There’s only been a handful of products which struggle to be removed by this – but that’s more down to the stubbornness of them rather than the performance of the Micellar Water. I’ve tried just about every version of this I think, and they all work well for me.

Next up, my skin miracle worker, Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Lotion, where do I start? This cleanser is what I’ve credited all of last year on having the best skin of my adult life with, I had completely clear, spot free skin for months and months on end. I used this every time I showered, massaging into my skin for 15-20 seconds before leaving on for up to a minute as a mask. It’s not very good at removing makeup, so I either follow up before or after with a Micellar Wipe. It’s either a coincidence that since became part of my routine again after finishing my last bottle up just after Christmas, and deciding, “I don’t need to re-buy that now, do I?” and worked on using up a few other things, but since I decided I had to bring it back into my routine my skin has gone back to normal, it’s clearing up any residing healing spots, and I’ve had no knew ones where I was getting them every 2-3 days. I can not go back to life without this now I don’t think. Skin magic in a bottle.

I’m really lazy when it comes to moisturiser – actually immediately as I write that I take it back, there’s not many that I ever find that I like enough that inspire me to keep using them frequently. My oily skin means a lot end up not working for me under makeup, and when they’re really heavy I end up hating the feeling of them on my skin. When I went to the Kiehl’s event a few weeks ago I repicked up the Ultra Facial Cream which was a total standout for me last year, I picked up the smaller sized tub for it to be a travel friendly size for me to take away with me but I have been using it most days since getting it and my skin is already thankful for having it back in.

Getting a bit Kiehl’s heavy here (prepare for one more after this), but the Creamy Avocado Eye Cream is the eye cream I go back to over and over. There’s a trick to this eye cream where you have to massage it between your fingers before patting it down, but it breaks it down to a silky watery thin cream which really nourishes my undereyes.

In terms of Face Masks there’s two which I have been going back to over and over for the past year, they both give me kind of similar results, but I still love them both to be able to say both would be warranted in your collection. First up, probably my favourite face mask of all time, a strong statement if you know me – is The Body Shop’s Blue Corn Mask. This stuff is gorgeous, it’s thick and has a weird seedy texture from the blue corn husks, it dries down to a clay and over time dries out. Washing away it gently exfoliates the skin and nourishes. It’s a purifying mask which shifts blackheads almost instantly. I’ve told just about everyone about this mask and all of my closest friends are as hooked on it as I am.

Second mask is the Kiehl’s Cranberry and Turmeric Mask, this also has a creamy seedy texture that dries to a clay like texture too, this one feels tingly on the skin. Again the seeds in this act as a gentle exfoliaant, this time leaving effects which brighten and plump the skin. This is pegged as pre-makeup, 10 minute mask for the morning, if you have time for that, well done – you’re doing life right. But I like leaving this on for about 30 minutes in the evening which will give me glowing skin for the next morning.

2 Fairly new ones and whilst I wouldn’t want to class either of these as something I’ve only been using properly over the past few weeks. Glycolic Acid, I’ve been a fan of the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Cleansing Pads as they sit by my bedside and if all else has been forgotten I do these just before going to bed as it’s so quick and easy. I also really like the Ordinary 7% Glycolic Acid, which I have been using 2-3 times a week, I tend to try and use this when I get home from work if I end up taking my makeup off straight away and leaving it on my skin for a few hours. 7% is pretty intense for a Glycolic Acid and it stings a little for the first 30 seconds or so, but together neither seem to have been causing any irritation, and seem to be fitting into the rest of my routine well.

Apart from the new Glycolic Acid products which I’m still making my mind up on, I’ve written full reviews on most of the mentioned in the past, if you’re interested in hearing more on them you can click one of the links below:
Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleanser // Kiehl’s Creamy Avocado Eye Treatment // Kiehl’s Cranberry and Turmeric Face Mask // The Body Shop Blue Corn Face Mask

What are your favourite skincare staples?


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Helpless Whilst Drying




  1. colourfulmishmash
    May 4, 2017 / 7:31 am

    Really loving the Garnier Micellar water to remove my makeup!

  2. May 4, 2017 / 9:45 am

    I got the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream in Stashy’s giveaway and it is a gem! That mask from TBS sounds good too, wish I opted for that instead of the honey and oat. Maybe I just need to give the honey and pat another go lol x

  3. May 4, 2017 / 12:37 pm

    I always love a good skincare post & you have some really great reviews here 😄 I reallyyy need to try the micellar water, everyone’s loving it!

  4. Ella May Garrett
    May 4, 2017 / 12:37 pm

    Everyone raves about Kiehls but I have never tried anything! I really need to check them out! My skin has been suffering so bad recently and I have no idea what to do about it! xxxx

    • Up until around this time last year I hadn’t tried anything, I went to an event with a bag full of goodies and basically haven’t looked back since! If you have a Kiehl’s counter near you pop in, they do free skincare consultations and base their marketing model on giving people samples to try! xx

      • Ella May Garrett
        May 4, 2017 / 1:13 pm

        That’s fantastic – thank you so much for letting me know! I definitely will stop by some time soon 🙂 xx

  5. rinkydinkyrhi
    May 4, 2017 / 2:12 pm

    I’m in such a skincare buying mood at the minute so thanks to your post I’ve just added 3 new things to my shopping list! Top of the list is definitely the Mario Badescu cleanser. Great posts, thanks for the tips xx

    Rhi |

  6. Sophie in Wonderland xo
    May 4, 2017 / 2:17 pm

    I’m always dubious to try new skin care when you know you have a routine that works! I really want to try the seaweed soap and the body shop mask now! xxx

    • I know, it’s catch 22 being a blogger, you always want to try something new to review, but equally could disrupt your routine! Those are two HG items for me, will never be without them! x

  7. May 4, 2017 / 4:04 pm

    I love the Ultra Facial Cream, and it seems to work for a variety of skin types! The avocado eye cream looks awesome, I’ve never noticed it before. Do you use it for day and night?

    • I tend to use it more for day, and use the mighnight recovery at night, but I would happily use it at night time as well! You do have to rub it down and break down the fattiness of the avocado before you apply though otherwise it’s really heavy feeling!

      • May 4, 2017 / 4:58 pm

        Ha, interesting! I use the Midnight Recovery for day…would be interested to see if this one could work on me for night!

  8. May 4, 2017 / 5:37 pm

    The seaweed cleanse sounds amazing, I need some skin magic. I rarely get big break outs but I have pesky acne around my t zone that never seems to leave. Mircellar water is such an essential for me too.

  9. May 4, 2017 / 5:40 pm

    I’m betting it’s stress! And I think seasonal changes. I’m not a dermatologist or anything… 😛
    But good for you to stick to the basics. You know me, I’m often tempted to try the next new thing or someone else recommendations.
    Whenever my skin freaks out, I dial back on doing any treatments or frills – sometimes good ol’ cleanser + moisturizer is what my skin needs.

    • I’m the same! I think I got a bit too complacent with being able to mix anything into my routine and not have a problem. I did make an active effort to stop letting myself get stressed out and it seemed to have helped a little bit! It’s actually really nice to know I have a whole heap of products that I can effectively call holy grail items that work as a routine that I can always come back to!

  10. May 4, 2017 / 6:58 pm

    I have tried most of these products and they are all so good! Great post

  11. jennengblog
    May 4, 2017 / 8:55 pm

    Really awesome post and reviews! 🙂 I definitely want to try the miceller water to remove makeup. I have acne prone skin and I’ve heard this works much better at removing makeup than makeup remover wipes!

  12. giuliainwonderland
    May 5, 2017 / 11:26 am

    I really love Kiehl’s product! I feel like once you’ve tried them you can’t live without

    • Me too, it’s been a quick turn around for me in a year – I’d only just tried them this time last year, now have loads of favourites from Kiehl’s!

  13. May 5, 2017 / 1:20 pm

    i’d like to try the face mask from the body shop. It sounds great and I bet it smells good too.

  14. erinalice
    May 5, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    I’ve just started using Garnier Micellar Water and I agree, it’s amazing! Who knew there was so much gunk on my face and it’s soo easy to use!

  15. May 5, 2017 / 1:51 pm

    What a lovely range of products I like the sound of the Kiehls ultra facial cream, it sounds really good.

  16. May 5, 2017 / 3:52 pm

    That Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Soap sounds really wonderful! I’ve not heard of this before but I’m going to look into it now. The Kiehls Radiance Masque sounds lovely as well x

  17. May 5, 2017 / 4:35 pm

    I love Garnier products and it is one range I do always go back to, I have a love hate relationship with body shop as some of their products cause a reaction to my skin so I have to be careful x

  18. everinmay
    May 5, 2017 / 9:25 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this as I have been eyeing up the turmeric masque for ages (and the eye cream!) I haven’t heard of the body shop masque before but I think I’ll pop in and pick on up to, what a great post! xx

    • Thank you! I’d never heard anyone talk of the body shop mask and just saw it one day and thought oh that looks different! I’m so glad I did it’s such a staple now!

  19. alisonrost
    May 6, 2017 / 6:49 am

    It’s so much fun to hear what products other women use care for themselves. I’m really into face masks as of late and I’m going to be giving the Kiehls Radiance Masque a try x

  20. Dannii
    May 6, 2017 / 3:12 pm

    I think there is a lot to be said about keeping your skin care routine pretty basic. People can really over complicate things sometimes.

  21. May 6, 2017 / 9:51 pm

    I like to use Micellar Water to take my makeup off, it does a really good job at it

  22. serena
    May 7, 2017 / 9:11 am

    I love your basics! I really want to try Kiehl’s cosmetics! They look amazing! I feel like the bodyshop is killing it lately with their face masks xx

  23. May 7, 2017 / 6:58 pm

    Great selection! I love most of these products and use the Garnier Micellar water on a daily basis x

  24. May 7, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    I really like that Garnier Micellar Water! I swear by Avene products, they really work for my skin x

  25. May 7, 2017 / 9:45 pm

    I LOVE so many of these, the Ultra Facial Cream from Kiehls is amazing and the Glycolic Fix Pads are brilliant. xxx

  26. May 7, 2017 / 10:14 pm

    I love the Garnier water too, it is a great alternative to Bioderma! I’m currently using the L’oreal one and definitely don’t think it is as good! gorgeous photos as always 🙂 xxx

  27. May 8, 2017 / 8:21 am

    I’d never heard of this seaweed cleansing soap, but really want to give it a go now! X

  28. May 8, 2017 / 11:20 am

    It sounds like everyone who’s tried the Micellar Water says it does a great job, I’m going to have to pick some up!

  29. cheskaaanels
    May 8, 2017 / 1:34 pm

    Anything kiehls is a win!!! I actually had the seaweed cleaner and I’m not a fan I might give it another go now just to make sure but for me it made my skin break out so much!

  30. May 8, 2017 / 11:48 pm

    Loved your skincare routine. Few of products are in my daily routine too. I wanted to try the kiehl’s turmeric mask for so long. I think it’s time to invest in it.

  31. Whitney Abigail
    May 9, 2017 / 12:05 am

    I need to try the mario badescu products I keep hearing good things. Also what do you take your photos with they’re fab x

  32. May 9, 2017 / 1:08 pm

    ooh I love garnier which reminds me I am running low! Thanks for some other suggestions of products to try!

  33. May 9, 2017 / 3:28 pm

    It is so important to find good skincare products that work for you. I also like many of the Kiehl’s products.

  34. rainywonderlandblog
    July 2, 2017 / 6:09 am

    Thank you for the post! ❤️ I particularly love the Garnier Micellar Water and Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream! 👍🏻

  35. July 5, 2017 / 2:36 pm

    ! I love most of these products and use the Garnier Micellar water on a daily basis x

  36. August 5, 2017 / 11:53 am

    ! […] had much time for properly trialling stuff out this year, and in terms of skincare I pretty much went back to my old holy grail items to prevent any pre-wedding skin freakouts (which worked!

  37. nivienbeauty
    August 18, 2017 / 9:06 pm

    Great post! I love the Micellar Water and Mario Badescu products!

  38. July 8, 2018 / 8:32 am

    Great post! I’ve always wanted to try the Garnier brand of Micella water. Thanks for the review.

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