British blogger Emma Hoareau of Lolita Says So has an amazing eye. As a working photographer, she shoots all her own content, documenting her dreamy travel diaries, chic outfits, and enviable beauty product collection. When her vanities caught the eye of us here at Byrdie, we needed to know what her entire routine was, and quick. Below Hoareau spells out her skincare must-haves.
I work as a photographer in London while also running my beauty blog. I didn't mean to end up working in the beauty industry—I had always imagined going into fashion writing. But I was offered a job as beauty editor straight out of university and I quickly became obsessed with all things skincare.
I grew up in Paris, so I definitely follow the philosophy that before even thinking about makeup, you need good skin—a great canvas which you can then add a red lip or eyeliner to rather, than layering on makeup to hide what’s underneath.
Having run my blog for nearly six years now, I've tested a lot of products and think I can safely say I've got my skincare routine down to a tee.
In the morning, I use a cleanser that allows me to massage my skin to reduce puffiness and get the blood flowing. I love using upwards motions to lift the skin, too. The Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser is great because it turns into oil on the skin that allows for a good amount of massage before washing it off. If I feel like my skin needs a scrub, I’ll use the Omorovicza Cream Cleanser, which offers a very gentle but effective exfoliation. Once I've cleansed, I like to spritz my skin with Zelens Prebiotic & Probiotic Mist to balance out the pH of the skin and replenish moisture. I live in London, which is a really polluted city, so using antioxidants is really important.
In the morning I use four drops of SkinCeuticals and leave it to absorb while I make a cup of tea. I've got quite sensitive skin and this is the one vitamin C product that doesn't irritate. Once that’s absorbed, I’ll go in with my La Mer Eye Gel and another hydrating serum. Depending on how my skin feels, I’ll use either Biologique Recherche Placenta Serum, Avène Hydrance Serum or Dr. Sebagh Serum Repair, which is basically straight hyaluronic acid. I pat my serum in with my hands and will sometimes apply it several times to give myself the level of hydration I need.
If I'm breaking out, I want to nourish my skin rather than dry it out. I’ve found a good rosehip oil is great for this, Pai and The Ordinary do the best ones. I'll finish my routine with a light moisturizer like La Mer Soft Lotion or Peter Thomas Roth Hydra Quench, both of which absorb really quickly into the skin and don't leave me feeling (or looking) greasy.
I always apply SPF before my makeup as this is one of the primary causes of ageing. Recently I’ve been using Tom Ford Face Protect SPF50.
Every morning, I also take the Oskia MSM tablets, as they help my skin stay balanced and prevent breakouts, thanks to their anti-inflammatory and skin strengthening properties.
In the evening, I love taking my time to remove my makeup and cleanse the skin. For me, it’s a really lovely time for self-love and care. It relaxes me to look after my skin.
To remove my makeup I use the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. It melts into the skin and allows you to massage the product into the skin before removing it with a muslin cloth, which I’ll run under warm water beforehand. For a second cleanse, I like to use the Dermalogica Clay Cleanser, which makes my skin feel super clean and is a great way to get some clay in my routine every day without drying the skin out.
Once my skin is dry, I’ll go in with an exfoliating acid. The Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating pads are great to give you an immediate glow. In terms of serums, the best all-around serum I’ve tried is the Advanced Night Repair serum from Estée Lauder. It helps cell renewal overnight (a time when your skin is naturally renewing itself, too). I've used this every night for three years and can’t imagine giving it up! Elizabeth Arden also has an amazing foil sheet mask of this product, which I love using before a special occasion as it gives you a post-facial glow.
My eye cream at night is a thicker, creamier one than the one I use in the morning. Recently I’ve been using Sisley Sisleÿa Integral Eye Cream, which fights against behavioral factors as well as environmental. It comes with a mini eye massage tool that is really cooling. I’ll massage the eye area with this before applying the cream itself.
In terms of moisturizer, if my skin is breaking out, I’ll use the Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer, and if it feels dry and tight, I reach for Nuxe Crème Fraiche which feels rich and comforting and smells amazing too.
I’ve never been a huge fake tan user, but I discovered Tan Luxe this year and its products are basically great skincare with the added bonus of including a drop of tan. I use a couple drops of the Sleep Oil in my evening routine to give myself a healthy glow.
I often get asked about retinol and how and when to use it. I think it’s a great way to avoid congested skin and fight wrinkles. I’ve tried a whole load and the really strong ones are just too much for my skin even when I introduced it into my routine slowly, especially since I’m still in my late 20s. Earlier this year, I stumbled across Luna Sleeping Oil from Sunday Riley, which uses retinoid oil mixed in with other nourishing ingredients, and I’ve found this to be the perfect mix for me.
I’m a big mask junkie and probably use one almost every day! I used to think this was excessive, but a facialist once told me that as long as it's not a clay mask, then it's totally fine to use a mask daily. Every Sunday night, I use the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask to renew my skin before the start of the week. I’ll also use the Biologique Masque Vivant two times a week; it's full of vitamins to nourish the skin and also lactic acid to renew. For moisturizing masks, I love the Rosehip Bioregenerate Mask or the Perricone MD Cocoa Moisture Mask.
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