What is your daily skin care routine?
I’m a beauty junkie – I like to chop and change products as I research the latest technology. I trial new products A LOT! My skin is sensitive with an oily t-zone (read: large pores) and dryness around the eyes (too much squinting at a laptop).
I never leave home without my La Prairie skin caviar eye complex which is the only product that seems to truly rehydrate the fine lines around my eyes. My sunscreen of choice is Cosmedix reflect SPF30 which is natural, totally disappears on the skin and doesn’t block pores. For the hormonal zit, which arrives right on schedule every month, you can’t go past Dermalogica Overnight Clearing Gel.
The best Lip product I’ve tried (and which I use every night) is YSL re-plumping concentrate. I also use a chemical exfoliant (glycolic acid) once or twice a week: Alpha H Liquid Gold is the BOMB. Every beauty editor I know swears by it, and it helped one finally rid herself of acne after trying everything. It’s an overnight ‘facial in a bottle’.
You travel a lot. What is your in-flight beauty routine?
Some months I feel like I’m living on a plane! If I’m taking an overnight flight I make sure I remove all of my makeup on board, I have a great travel sized bottle of the Shu Uemura cleansing oil, then I slather on the Clarins Blue Orchid face treatment oil for dehydrated skin. Basically I look like a massive oil slick on the plane!
If it’s a shorter trip I make sure I regularly spritz with the Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist which can be used over makeup. If my eyes have that tight, dry feeling I use Darphin Eye Sorbet Mask which sinks right in and really refreshes your eye area. That plus my trusty Visine eye drops help you to look like you haven’t been trapped in air conditioned hell for the previous 4, 6, 14 hours. Perfect if you have to get off the plane and go straight into a meeting.
Favorite dermatologist treatments?
When I moved to the Middle East in 2010 I started to read about a treatment called Omnilux – which is a non-invasive LED light treatment for the treatment of a wide range of dermatological conditions including, acne, photodamage, non-melanoma skin cancers, skin rejuvenation, vitiligo, and post-surgical wound healing. You basically sit under a red (or blue for acne) light for 20 mins and that’s it. No heat, no pain, nothing. I thought it sounded too good to be true till I tried it. My skin is brighter, is less red, has smaller pores, is firmer, its just overall better.
Dermatologists recommend a course of 6-8 treatments over a 4-6 week period. Many people I know use it before special occasions and it’s perfect for brides to be, I’m lucky enough to live in Asia (where it’s cheap!) and have one session per week. I also have one session of Microdermabrasion deep cleaning per month and an RF (radio frequency) facial for special events. It’s firming, which is great, albeit temporary.
I’m a frowner – I frown when I read, when I concentrate, I squint in my sleep, when I’m watching TV and right now typing this on my laptop my face is scrunched, so to stop me looking constantly angry, I botox 1-2 times per year. It’s not going to make you look younger; it’s going to make you look fresher. I love my dermatologist.
If you had only five minutes in the morning for your skin routine, what are your essentials?
Wash my face with Philosophy Purity Made Simple one step facial cleanser which takes literally 10 seconds, spritz face with Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist (which also serves as my moisturizer), La prairie eye serum, Dermalogica Skinperfect primer SPF30 (no need for sunscreen or foundation with this!), concealer where needed (Bobbi Brown corrector is great!), bronzer (Nars Laguna Bronzer – perfect for all skin colors! ) Mascara (Bobbi Brown smoky eye mascara rocks. I like a plumping lip gloss – I’m loving Mac Plushglass in Fulfilled or Ample pink. Finally, can’t forget brows – I’m using Laura Mercier brow powder duo in Soft blonde – perfect for blondes!
Best luxury beauty product indulgence?
I have a lot of beauty products (A LOT) both high end, cosmeceutical, pharmacy and supermarket brands. Not very well known is that many brands are owned by the same company (and are manufactured in the same factories) – for example L’Oreal owns high end brands like Giorgio Armani, Lancome and Yves Saint Laurent, trend led brands like Urban Decay, lower end brands like Maybeline, pharmaceutical brands like Vichy, La Roche-Posay and Skinceuticals and they own The Body Shop. So most of the stuff is actually the same stuff in different bottles! That said I will save my pennies for luxury fragrance.
What are your favorite pharmacy brand/ budget skin care buys?
Skincare by Olay – especially their Pro X range – is outstanding and Bio Oil should be in every bathroom cabinet. I love Philosophy products and think the ‘Purity Made Simple’ is the best cleanser on the market (it can be used on face and eyes and doesn’t sting) I use it with the Clairsonic Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing brush and my skin has never been clearer. I have been telling everyone I know to invest in one.
For the coffee/alcohol drinkers – what are your tips for hydrating abused skin?
A totally clichéd answer but I drink lots of water, and then drink some more. Use a hydrating spray regularly throughout the day (especially if you live/work in air conditioning), exfoliate (to get rid of the dry dead skin), slather on a moisturizing oil (NUDE Skincare does a fantastic one), cleanse your skin with an oil (never use a foaming cleanser if you have dry dehydrated skin) coconut oil does a great job. Sleep in a moisturizing mask (instead of a night cream) I can highly recommend Chantecaille Jasmine and Lily Healing mask and Ahava Hydration Cream Mask.
My desert island must have mask is the SKII Facial Treatment Mask which is a cloth style mask (which looks scary – think Jason in Friday 13th) but is the best mask on the market. I use it weekly and it’s especially great after flying or facial laser/microdermabrasion treatments. It’s perfect for all skin types, especially sensitive. If you have oily skin a good weekly clay based mask (to suck up all of that oil) is The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask. For acne prone skin, Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask is still the best and it’s a bargain!
What is your best tip for achieving the ‘dewy skin’ look?
Other than a great moisturizer and luminous foundation, a cream highlighter is your best friend when you want a dewy skinned look. I like Becca Luminous Skin Colour. Use on cheekbones, down the center of your nose and on your cupids bow. There are so many on the market that are great. Benefit has many – High Beam, Watts Up, Girl Meets Pearl to name a few, but my number one, all time, favorite is RMS living luminizer. It’s organic, all natural with a coconut oil base – it’s my desert island must have.
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Kimberly Fisher Horan, 43, is an Australian freelance fashion and beauty editor/ stylist/ writer and previous Founder and Editor in Chief at VOX Magazine, Qatar. She has lived in six countries in the last twelve years including the Netherlands, UK, Hungary, Qatar and Indonesia, and has recently moved to Manila in the Philippines.