I have to admit that by beauty editor standards, my beauty routine is relatively low-key. Don't get me wrong—I love an at-home beauty treatment just as much as the next person, but finding the time to sit down and spend hours upon hours tending to my skin, hair, nails and makeup isn't so easy. And besides the time aspect of things, I also find myself getting bored very quickly. If you ask me, I'd say that my daily beauty routine is just like any other person's, but perhaps with just a bit more product variety.
Then, every so often, I get a reality check. It turns out that actually, for most, a structured beauty routine doesn't go that far beyond a daily cleansing (often just with a face wipe or micellar water) and moisturising. But that was before. Now, everyone seems to be itching to invest some of their recently freed-up time in their beauty routines.
As a result of this, I have been inundated with messages from friends and family wanting to pick my brains on exactly what beauty products I'm using during this trying time. And while I haven't massively switched up my daily beauty line up, I have been taking advantage of having an extra couple of free hours in the day for a bit of pampering. Along with the rest of our lives, it's reasonable that over the past few weeks, our beauty priorities are starting to shift too. For instance, I have pared my daily makeup routine right back and have found myself reaching for moisturising formulas that I would never usually favour.
So for those looking to expand their beauty horizons (or simply if you're feeling a little nosey), keep scrolling for my current working-from-home beauty routine, from the minute I wake up to the minute I hit the hay.
I take three of these beauty supplements as soon as I wake up, and three before I go to sleep. I am by no means a huge supplement fan, but I have seen a few people rave about these on Instagram and thought I would give them a go. They are packed with skin-loving ingredients such as firming COQ10 and brightening vitamin C. I'm about three weeks into the four-week course and I can definitely say that my skin is in good shape at the moment. However, it is worth noting that I stopped my pollution-filled commute a few days after I started taking these too. As far as how I feel about supplements, in general, I'm still on the fence, but if my skin is happy while I'm taking them, then I'm happy.
I always opt for a more gentle formula for my morning cleanse than I do for my evening one. I have naturally very congested pores so I need a cleanser that will work against grime and buildup but won't leave my skin feeling dry and tight. This jelly oil cleanser is one of the best I have tried in a seriously long time. With some firm massage, the thick balm-like formula turns into sumptuous oil that leaves skin glowing beyond belief. Plus, the added massage really helps to plump and firm.
My eyes are plagued with dark circles, even at the best of times. At the moment, with my sleep pattern all out of whack, my eyes are in a really bad way first thing in the morning. To help take down puffiness and boost radiance, I pop these super-affordable tissue masks on straight after cleansing and leave them on while I drink my morning cup of tea. Just 15 minutes later my eyes are visibly brighter and appear less sunken in.
I have really sensitive skin and my skin absolutely loathes vitamin C. I, therefore, get incredibly jealous when I see the out-of-this-world radiance and glow that it gives to other complexions. This morning mask, however, is pretty much the only vitamin C product that doesn't leave my skin red and patchy. It's a thick balm with exfoliating granules, and while I wouldn't usually do a morning exfoliation, this leaves my skin so radiant it would be a crime to go to sleep and waste it.
With a distinct lack of vitamin D, my skin is looking a little dry and lacklustre at the moment. This super-lightweight serum doesn't clog my pores but gives my skin a well-deserved drink of hydration. Jam-packed with hyaluronic acid and glycerin, it's one of the best affordable hydrating serums I've ever got my mitts on.
People seem surprised when I tell them that I'm still wearing SPF every day during the lockdown. I can't stress enough how important it is to wear SPF. At the moment, I'm working from my lounge, facing towards to big windows that the sun is shining right through. Sure, the UVB rays responsible for tanning (and burning) skin can't penetrate the glass, but the UVA rays that cause ageing can pass straight through. This new formula from The Body Shop has fast become my daily favourite thanks to its second-skin, non-greasy finish.
After one week of going sans perfume, I recently picked up my daily spritz in a bid to make me feel a bit more human, and boy did it. This particular perfume is by far my most worn and most complimented since I discovered it last summer. It smells exactly like the name would suggest: fresh skin. Smelling as though I've just stepped out of the shower and wrapped myself up in a fluffy, freshly washed towel, a few spritzes first thing in the AM gives off the vibe that I'm a little more pulled-together than I really am—and that's making all of the difference.
I'd be lying if I said that I've been wearing a base every single day. However, for days when I have a few more Zoom calls than normal (or for our weekly Who What Wear UK Dress-Up Fridays), I like to give myself a hint of coverage. One pump of this skin tint makes my skin look juicy and dewy while helping to blur blemishes and pigmentation at the same time.
New concealers come and go, but I will never, ever be without a pot of this stuff. I would never go to work without at least dabbing some of this heavy-duty concealer under my eyes, and why should that change just because I'm working from home? If you have dark under-eye circles like I do and hate the way that so many concealers create an attention-drawing sheen under the eyes, I urge you to try this. In fact, I urge everyone to try this. No concealer compares.
Every beauty editor that I know has one particular product that they are so set on, any other samples that come their way in the same category get ignored. Mine is this. This matte bronzer is so perfect that I really don't care for any other powder bronzer on offer. Lightly dusting this around the hairline and under the cheekbones in the morning gives skin a bronzed depth that I firmly believe only the actual sun itself could also achieve. Seeing as I'm not going to be basking in direct sunlight any time soon, this compact and I have never been closer.
I'm not sure if you've guessed yet, but my current makeup situation is all about breathing some life back into my isolation complexion, and this liquid blush is no exception. It gives skin a dewy, glossy finish that looks so natural, it could just be real.
I have never been one for pencilling in my brows, but with salon trips for waxing or threading totally out of the question, I'm using this putty-like gel to fix my unruly brows and get them under control.
My eyelashes are naturally poker-straight and quite short. While the majority of my days are spent inside, I won't be spending too much time on my mascara application. However, this super voluminous mascara only requires a couple of layers to make all of the difference. After just one zig-zag through my lashes delivers the boost of confidence I need to get started with the day.
Throughout the Day
If I'm going to be washing my hands countless times a day, you can bet I want it to be an enjoyable experience. This cannabis hand wash might sound a little odd, but it smells incredibly citrusy and fresh and also contains amino acids to help prevent drying.
With excessive hand washing comes dry, cracked hands. I'm trying to apply hand cream whenever I can to help soothe them and get them back to how they once were. This thick, nourishing cream from natural brand Haeckels not only smells absolutely heavenly and calming, but it's also formulated with the brand's signature seaweed extract for ultimate hydration.
While I'm not usually a huge misting fan (I try to avoid putting any unnecessary product on my congestion-prone skin throughout the day), I can always make an exception for this stuff. Perfect for those with irritated skin or skin prone to redness, a few sprays of this mist over your face will offer instant relief. It's calming sure, but it's also full of moisturising goodness that leaves skin refreshed and dewy.
I love this lip cream. It's so calming and really helps to inject some moisture into my dry, chapped lips. However, my biggest gripe with it is that it's a white cream which leaves behind a very unsightly cast. Since working from home, however, I have been slathering a thick layer over my lips at every given chance.
My evening bath is seriously important to me. Not only does it give me an excuse to indulge in my most luxe beauty products, but it also ensures I set aside some relaxing alone time before I go to bed. My favourite bath salts for this are Goop's The Martini. However, with everyone running themselves baths right now, it's proving a little tricky to get hold of.
To help fill the Goop-shaped hole in my heart, I thought I'd give these pre-bed salts a go instead. It's safe to say I have not been disappointed. Filling the room with the most calming lavender and sandalwood aroma, leaving me totally zen, I never want these salts to run out.
I know I said that I usually reserve my evening bath time for the more luxe products in my collection, but I make an excuse for this stuff. Costing just a tenth of the price of most other sleep-inducing body washes, this affordable option smells heavenly and leaves skin equally as soft and supple.
My hair is long. It was already too long when I had to cancel my cut and colour appointment that was booked in two weeks ago. Now it's out of control. While this range actually promotes more hair growth (not something I need right now), it also offers strands unrivalled nourishment without any unwanted weight. It's like it was made for me.
I really don't enjoy moisturising my body, but I know I have to do it if I want soft, supple skin from head to toe. I find so many fragranced body creams irritating and other hypoallergenic formulas to be too thick and uncomfortable. This gem, however, as the three bears like to say, is just right. Post-bath, I massage a small amount of this into my limbs and it leaves them soothed, comforted and glowing. Plus, it fully sinks in with no greasiness by the time I climb into bed, which is more than I can say for some others I've used.
I'd love to say that this is the most expensive beauty product I own, but there is some ludicrously overpriced skincare out there. The Airwrap, however, is not overpriced. While the brush and cylinder attachments offer an extraordinary at-home blow-dry finish, it's the smoothing brush attachment that I use every single day. After I have washed my hair, I give it a quick blast with the dryer attachment until it's more or less dry and then I finish it off with the smoothing brush. It takes down any frizz and means all I have to do come morning is run a hairbrush through my lengths and I'm good to go.
Have I mentioned that my skin is super congested? While I do appreciate a great detoxifying mud mask and a gentle scrub from time to time, without using an effective salicylic acid cleanser in the evening, my blackheads get out of control. This particular cleanser has virtually cleared up my blackheads, helped reduce the size of my gigantic pores and costs under a tenner.
Sensitive skin and glycolic acid don't tend to gel too well, and my complexion is no exception. These clever pads work to gently exfoliate the skin using probiotics and natural extracts instead of aggravating acids.
I am so pale right now that I am slathering on virtually anything and everything that promises glow. This new launch from St. Tropez has wormed its way into my daily routine thanks to its natural-looking finish and stellar hydration ingredients. Because I'm looking for all of the bronze that I can get, I apply this directly to my face and neck and let it sink in. Come morning, my skin looks so glowing I have to remind myself that I haven't actually been to St. Tropez. Sob.
If you haven't heard of Curél before, I won't shun you. However, I urge that you look it up as it's Japan's leading skincare brand for sensitive skin, and it's wonderful. I have been working my way through this giant bottle of moisturiser for at least a month or two now and I've barely made a dent in it. Not only does it house my favourite hydrating and sensitive-skin-friendly ingredient ever (ceramides), it's also excellent value for money.
With the skin on my hands feeling particular sore right now, it's prone to cracking around my knuckles. To keep cracked skin free from infection and to help soothe it, I apply a slather of Sudocrem to affected areas every single night.
Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous.
Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics.
While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best.
When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.
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