Monday, 22 August 2011


For my first official Beauty Girl's Guide post, I thought it would be apt to start at the very beginning with the most important aspect of beauty: skincare.

In order for your make-up to look it's best, you must provide it with the best possible starting base. The best way to do this is to find a skincare regimen that suits your skin type and budget and stick to it religiously. Now, when I say religiously, I mean religiously. Regardless of how much vino you had at dinner or how busy you are; it is vital that you cleanse your skin at the beginning and end of each day. If you cleanse at the end of each day, it is still important to repeat this in the morning as the natural oils on your skin's surface will build up overnight.

Moisturising is also as important as cleansing. When you cleanse, you are stripping the skin of oils, and it is necessary to moisturise in order to re-balance your skin. If you have oily skin, there are oil-free moisturisers available which will not make your skin overly greasy.

The skincare regimen that I am currently using is Clinique's 3-Step Skincare which can be found at most department stores across the U.K.

3-Step is exactly as it sounds; a three step system that promises to cleanse, tone and moisturise your skin. I find that a regimen with 3 steps like this works best for my skin. (I previously used Olay products which are also good and much cheaper).

Clinique have designed 3-Step so that you can customise it to your skin's requirements. The first step, cleansing soap, is available in a liquid or bar form and there are four different clarifying lotions for each skin type and two types of moisturiser; a liquid for dry skins and a gel for oilier skins. My skin type is dry/combination and so I use clarifying lotion number two and the moisturising lotion. If you are unsure of your skin type, the assistants at the Clinique counter will be able to provide you with a skin consultation in order to select the correct products for you.

The mild facial soap is lovely to use. It does not lather much but it does not leave my skin feeling tight. I remove my eye make up with Simple's Kind to Eyes Eye Make-Up Remover prior to this as the soap is too mild to effectively remove waterproof make-up. Following the soap, the clarifying lotion acts as a toner which gently exfoliates to remove dead skin cells and encourage cell rejuvenation. The lotion tingles and feels cool as you apply it (I prefer a cotton wool pad) which is refreshing both first thing in the morning and after a long day. The moisturising lotion is a perfect end to the system. I find that it is very soothing on my sometimes sensitive skin and it also provides a nice base to start applying make-up.

I noticed results upon the first use of 3-Step. My skin was a lot smoother and brighter, and make-up application was easier. I feel that it thoroughly cleanses my skin whilst simultaneously providing it with the nourishment it requires. I have now been using these products for about three weeks and I LOVE them. I am always trying new products, yet I feel that this regimen may just be good enough to re-purchase!

The best thing about Clinique is that they often have free gift offers when you purchase the full 3-Step system which enables you to try other products from within their range. Who doesn't love a freebie?! The staff are always very friendly and knowledgeable and they are keen to make you feel as comfortable as possible! I recently took my mother to a counter for a full skincare and make-up consultation as she had a big birthday coming up and she deserved a treat! The assistant was so helpful and made my mother feel so special and valued as she spent over an hour and a half talking her through everything and making her over. At the end of her consultation, she felt no pressure to purchase anything (even though she did) and the assistant kindly noted down every product discussed for future reference.

Another thing worth noting is that all products within the 3-Step are available to purchase in different sizes to suit your needs. There is also a starter kit available with all 3 products if you wish to try it on a smaller scale before you invest. The starter kit versions are also a great size for travelling so you don't have to mess around with decanting your products into smaller bottles!

All in all, I cannot praise Clinique enough for both their service and skincare system!

What are your thoughts? Have you tried Clinique before and have you found something even better? Let me know!

A xo

Image courtesy of Clinique

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