Hello lovelies! Here's the first installment of Desi Wedding Blitz series. Pre-wedding skin care sends the best of us into jitters. All of us have to hear about the "roop" and the "noor" of brides from mothers, aunties, sisters, friends - everyone. Check out how you can be a glowing bride-to-be by loosening the pocket strings a little.
It's hard to classify all products as "high-end" in the post because we tend to calculate by converting dollars into local currency and sometimes, even a US drugstore product can be expensive for us in PKR. :-( Hey, that's what wishlists are for! :-P You don't have to use all of them together. Watch out for promotions/sales, value sets, and deluxe sizes. Save up a little and make your move - you know the whole drill :-) Now the good stuff:
You've known the secret to glowing skin all along - Cleansing + Exfoliating + Moisturizing. Your basic skin care requires deep cleanse followed by an exfoliation of dead skin cells. Up next, the moisture retention is needed for keeping your skin fresh. This routine can be further modified into addressing your skin type (dry/combination/oily) and your specific skin concern (blackheads/acne/dullness/pores/redness).
As a bride-to-be, most of us encounter a pre-wedding rush of shopping trips, frequent guests, job timings, university schedule, dieting/exercising, etc. It's common to neglect special cleansing. Having a cleansing face wash is a lazy girl's guide. Murad's cleansing products can be your high-end helper. My pick would be the bestsellers: Clarifying Cleanser or the Essential-C Cleanser. You can also check out more options for your skin concern at Murad. They're best known for their acne solutions.
For exfoliation, I regularly use and swear by The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion. It's not coarse gritty scrub, so this is gentle on skin while removing the dead skin cells. My skin feels the smoothest for 4-5 days after using it. Make it a habit to use this once a week with gentle massage for 15 minutes and you'd notice improvement in texture & radiance. For daily exfoliation, Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant is the cult favorite. It's a finely milled powder you mix with drops of water to create a paste-y soapy stuff to massage on your skin. Scrub your way to glow.
Now the hybrid products - the products that Cleanse AND Exfoliate (that's the dream). The highest on the splurge wishlist would be Clarisonic Cleansing Systems. With the sonic brush technology, you get the deepest cleanse while gently exfoliating the skin. Happy pores, Happy skin. Look it up on Google for better/in-depth reviews. Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser does the duo job with great results by unveiling smooth, radiant skin.
Toning, I consider, is an "optional" step. It's usually dependent on the season and the skin type. For instance, the residual dirt/makeup is cleaned by toner after you have cleansed your face. It clarifies and mattifies skin. Sometimes soothing toner is also recommended for the sensitive skin. Ole Henriksen Grease Relief Face Toner and The Body Shop Seaweed Clarifying Toner are best for the girls having combination/oily skin in Summers to control the sebum.
Brides (and aspiring candidates), one rule: Your skin needs moisture irrespective of the type and season. Don't make it a thing to put lotion/cream ONLY when dry patches appear. Although moisturizers seem benign to people, you must use the best one for your budget, skin type and concerns. It's the base on your skin before you put anything on, so if you have a choice - splurge on this. Clinique offers some of the best moisturizers out there - I have three of my faves listed for daily usage, skintone correction, and overnight radiance. Philosophy Hope In A Jar is a perfect all-rounder for every skin type.
There's a weird habit. We read on the bottle/jar to avoid applying regular moisturizer on delicate eye area. We stop. And skip the eye contours. What we fail to realize is, eye area NEEDS moisture as much as the face. The skin is delicate and very much prone to first signs of ageing. A good cream that keeps your eye area moisturized is a pre & post-BRIDAL-MUST. While I'll share desi-totkas in another post, the Holy Grail eye cream for me is Clinique All About Eyes. There are other picks from Clinique, L'Oreal, Philosophy, and Origins. Don't expect miracles because dark circles can be due to your habits, genetics, or health reasons. If you can't fight 'em, hide 'em. :-) These eye creams are best for coping with wrinkles, puffiness, hydration and minor improvements in dark circles.
Your weekly skin schedule must include a mask to purge your skin of blackheads and clogged pores. There a quick boost in the clarity and appearance of skin with a mask that suits your skin. Origins and Kiehl's masks have raving reviews and cult following for all skin types. I'll be posting a review on Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask soon. Trust me, it's one gift you MUST ask that relative/friend of yours visiting from abroad.
Honestly, I love the serums - Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate and Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair - but, for younger brides it's a splurging overkill. It's for those people who wish to go an extra mile. For me, that extra mile would be towards bankruptcy :-P. These serums are truly premium favorites for maintaining youthful glowing skin. Since they have anti-aging qualities, the target market should be 30+. However, ladies of all ages who're exposed to these goodness become a FAN. These top my wishlist of skin care habits. If you can get them, go can't go wrong. They're the genie in the bottles. Oh, and out of my raving excitement, I forgot to mention that you massage drops of the liquid/serum onto your face at night and live the true beauty sleep. The results are visible with maintained usage for few weeks - supple, glowing, petal-fresh, even-tone skin :-)
Must-Have "Extras" - Bio Oil and GNC 100% Tea Tree Oil. Blogging community is filled with success stories of Bio Oil uses. It's the absolute essential to reduce appearance of certain scars, blemishes, and stretch marks. Will be reviewing it soon after testing over my scars (yes, clothes-Iron was my toy-of-choice when I was a kid). Tea Tree Oil was recommended to me by Fatima, my friend. She'd been using it since forever to treat zits and bumps. It has drying and antiseptic properties, so it was first used by me when I developed a bad zit on my upper lip. Gross, I know. It prevented the spread of germs and healed it within days after I hadn't had much luck with physician's recommended balms and ointments. After that, I keep a bottle handy for occasional breakouts, blemishes, etc. since I am very particular about what I put on my face.
While the list may seem a little too "high-maintenance", if you wish to splurge on your lovely self for the big day, these picks won't fail you! You're welcome to leave me a comment below or contact on Facebook for more detailed recommendation. I'd love to know what product do YOU splurge on in skin care?