Yes, we might well be in the middle of a bank holiday weekend that's turned out to be an unexpected scorcher, but that doesn't changea the facts: The end of August is rapidly approaching, and with it, the final days of summer. I've made no secret of the fact that hot weather and I aren't compatible, so I'm gleeful at the thought of replacing my sandals with ankle boots and returning my cosiest knits to the heart of my wardrobe.
But while we're already obsessing over the best autumn/winter fashion trends, there's one seasonal switch that most of us are less clued-up about: our beauty routines. Yep, just like you switch up your wardrobe for the arrival of cooler climes, there are certain changes that we can all make to our skincare, makeup and haircare to help us transition into autumn with ease.
From swapping out lightweight skin tints (my summer base product of choice) for full-on foundations to prepping my hair for the onslaught of central heating and drizzly weather by way of switching my favourite air-dry products for nourishing treatment masks, there are certain steps that I take every year to prepare my beauty stash for autumn's arrival. Keep scrolling to discover the six product swaps that I'll be making next season, and then shop all of the very best autumn beauty products.
#1: SPF < Blue Light Protection
While most people remember to reach for it during the summer months, SPF is important all year round, so I won't be switching this product out entirely. Instead, I'll be opting for one that also contains blue light protection too. After all, during autumn and winter, I'll be spending way more time at home in front of my laptop and mobile and all of that screen time can be doing your skin more harm than good. In fact, just like UV rays, blue light can penetrate all the way down into the dermis of your skin to weaken your natural collagen and elastin—eventually causing a lack of firmness and elasticity in the skin. Luckily, plenty of new SPF products contain blue light shields so your skin will be protected against the sun while you're outside and your Netflix binges when you're inside.
A clean, vegan formula that's ideal for sensitive skin as well as oily complexions who want a shine-free finish. This layers brilliantly under makeup and contains both UVA, UVB and blue-light protection.
A gentle, mineral skincare made from 99% natural ingredients that protects the skin from all kinds of damaging rays.
#2: Gel Cleanser < Balm Cleanser
When choosing a cleanser, it's important to consider two things: your skin type and the time of year. Why? Well, while I love lightweight gel cleansers during summer (when I'm wearing less makeup and want something to refresh and de-slick my complexion), come autumn, I want something that's going to offer a little more hydration, exfoliation and elbow grease for removing the heavier makeup I often gravitate towards.
Enter: balm cleansers. With a richer texture than gels and creams, there's something so luxurious to me about cleansing with a balm. They tend to be oil-based (although oil-free options do exist) and many leave behind a comforting layer of product on your skin, which really helps to protect and soothe the complexion during colder weather.
I adore the original Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm formula for the way that it removes every trace of makeup, dirt and grime from my skin without any tugging or scrubbing required. In fact, it melts into the skin to dissolve everything on the surface in seconds. I've been saving this enormous limited-edition one for this autumn, as it smells incredible. It has the added benefit of neroli oil, so it basically feels like you're treating your skin to a spa treatment. Plus, my face loves it.
A new launch for Drunk Elephant this year is this buttery-rich balm. While it's probably best suited to dry skin types, the thing I love most about it is the little pot of ultra-fine bamboo and charcoal spheres that can be sprinkled in to provide some gentle exfoliation when your skin needs a boost.
I come back to this fragrance-free cleansing balm every single year without fail for its simple, no-fuss approach to cleansing. Perfect for sensitive skin, it transforms from a balm to an oil on contact with your skin and removes every trace of eye makeup without irritation.
#3: Air-Dry Product < Heat Protection Spray
Blow-drying my hair has to be my most-dreaded of beauty rituals, so I take full advantage of warm-weather season to channel my inner Jennifer Aniston and leave my hair to air-dry more often than not. However, once autumn hits, there's no way I'm going to be lounging around my drafty living room with wet hair. So it's time to put away those texturising air-dry products and replace them with the one product hairstylists want us to start using: heat protection sprays. If I can find formulas that speed up the blow-drying process as well as protect my hair from the effects of heat styling, that's always a bonus.
The name says it all with this one—it's a bit of a wonder product. Spray it over damp, freshly washed strands, and not only will it strengthen and repair damaged hair (effectively acting as a leave-in conditioner), but it also provides heat protection and reduces drying time by up to 50%.
Another product that does a bit of everything comes in the form of this multitasker from Living Proof. It delivers impressive levels of heat protection—up to 230°C, to be precise—as well as delivering hydration, smoothing flyaways and improving your hair's elasticity.
If you find that your hair can often fall a bit flat after styling, then this heat protection mist will be right up your street. It has the added benefit of providing texture through your lengths and lifts at the roots for a volumised, cool-girl finish.
#4: Conditioner < Hair Mask
Even in the summer, my hair guzzles conditioner like I drink water. But when autumn hits, my usual weekly formulas just don't cut it anymore. Between central heating, overcrowded tube journeys and getting blown all the way to the office in the wind and rain, my hair seeks something even more hydrating when the season changes. Which is why I tend to swap out my usual conditioner in favour of a weekly hair mask. Yes, they can be a little more time-consuming (generally you'll have to sit with one on for about 10 minutes to reap the strand-swishing benefits), but my hair always looks and feels so much healthier after investing the time.
This treatment differs from other hair masks in that you apply it to damp hair before your shampoo, rather than after. I've honestly never found anything that makes such a drastic difference to my hair. It always looks more bouncy and shiny after applying it, and I wouldn't be without it for autumn.
Sienna Miller swears by this haircare brand, and honestly, that's good enough for me. This is a hair mask that means business. It contains alpha keratin 60ku—a protein that's identical to the keratin in your own hair, allowing it to bind and fill areas of damage to genuinely restore frazzled hair. Genius.
#5: Skin Tint < Foundation
This summer has undoubtedly been the season of the barely there base. I've been forgoing my usual foundations for tinted moisturisers, skin tints and lightweight layers, but there have been a whole host of new foundation drops recently that are just begging for me to wear them in autumn. Plus, there's something about the seasons changing that always makes my skin break out, so if I'm being totally honest, I'll be opting for a heavier base to disguise breakouts.
A new launch from Milk Makeup comes in the form of this on-the-go foundation stick that is available in 36 shades. It has a medium coverage that manages to cover any areas of skin you want to conceal but still looks decidedly natural. And as the name suggests, it flexes to your skin, so there's no caking or creasing.
This is a classic liquid foundation that has really impressive staying power. Urban Decay claims it lasts for up to 24 hours, which I can't attest to, but I can say that it lasted amazingly from when I left the house at 8 a.m. to when I got home at 9 p.m.—and that's good enough for me. Available in 50 shades, it really minimises pores and evens out the skin tone without looking artificial. I'm into it.
Celebrities and Who What Wear editors alike swear by Charlotte Tilbury's cult product, Hollywood Flawless Filter, so I was seriously excited when a foundation dropped in the same range. It's moisturising (perfect for autumn weather), provides weightless coverage and gives a dreamy soft-focus finish to the skin. Plus, it's available in 44 shades.
#6: Highlighter < More Highlighter
I love wearing highlighter all year round, but it can look a little much during the summer months when the sun shines on your skin. In autumn, however, the gloomy weather means that I literally double up on the amount of highlighter that I wear to give my skin some life. Generally, I'll apply a cream or liquid highlighter, and then layer a powder formula on top to increase longevity, but these look beautiful worn alone (especially if you're not as extra as I am).
I love this liquid highlighter so much that I've been known to apply it all over my face before my foundation as well as over the top to add a sheen to cheekbones. It's moisturising, glowy and naturally illuminating, so go for this if you don't like highlighters that look too glittery.
This is the highlighter of choice for London girls on the go thanks to its easy twist-up applicator. It comes in an array of shades, so you'll be able to find a glow to suit your tone. I love G-Spot (a rich rose gold) for adding a luminous flush to autumn skin.
This is officially the best-selling highlighter in America, and I can see why. You can apply it lightly for a subtle glow or layer it up for a full-on strobe effect. It lasts all day, looks good on everyone and is my go-to on mornings when I look totally lacklustre.