More than makeup.
To many, it may seem like a boring chore (and I won't pretend I don't skip the full routine every now and again when I'm feeling super-lazy) but I think there's something really luxurious about high-end skincare. It's taking a moment to entirely focus your energy and time on yourself. And it sure is an easier way to take care of yourself than exercise or avoiding eating deliciously bad-for-you things.
Consistency is key with skincare so I never change my routine hugely. I swap out moisturisers or cleansers or rotate a few at any one time but the steps remain the same, if somewhat refined as I go forward.
Morning is very simple. I don't use cleansers and instead use plain water to wash my face because, unlike in the evening, my skin doesn't have a night of healing ahead of it. I don't want to strip it first thing. After washing my face, I use Lush's Tea Tree Toner and then Ren's Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Oil* to make sure the last of the impurities are cleansed and moisture is immediately returned to my face. Then I use a little of Ren's V-Cense Youth Vitality Day Cream*. To finish, I use a high SPF suncream.
The evening routine is more elaborate. I cleanse with VOYA's Cleanse and Mend* most nights but a couple times a week I use Yes To Carrots Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, applying and massaging it very gently into the skin so as not to damage it. The same toner and oil come into play at this stage and then Ren's V-Cense Night Cream*. On top of this I apply Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Eye Gel and then a dab of pure tea tree oil to any blemishes I might have. Lastly, as I get into bed, I moisturise my hands with Laura Mercier's Ambré Vanille handcream (so lovely it makes drunk people stop in the street and demand what the smell is...several times) and apply a little of Eve Lom's Kiss Mix to my lips.
Other than this, I also regularly use Lush's Catastrophe Cosmetic and Mask of Magnanimity masks to try and keep hormonal blemishes in check, alongside Ren's Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial* to brighten the skin.
And there we have it!
I won't say I have anywhere near perfect skin but it's certainly better behaved, softer and more well cared for. And I can attribute that to nothing more than the awesome products I use and research and time put into figuring out a routine that works for my skin - which is combination with dryness around the nostrils and an oily t-zone as well as being prone to hormonal breakouts.
I would also say that you can probably devise a more inexpensive system but I'm personally cool with spending a bit more, especially for products that are more natural...also, all products marked with a * have been sent or gifted to me so I'm a wee bit spoiled...