I Don't Wear Much Makeup Thanks to These Skincare Buys

Confession: I have a bit of an ambivalent relationship with beauty. Having worked in magazine journalism for around 8 years, I've been exposed to the inner workings of this lucrative industry, and even now, as I watch it from the safety of my fashion bubble, it can feel somewhat intimidating. The sheer number of products is overwhelming, the price points so wildly varying and the advice so often conflicting. Do I need to double cleanse? What's the right SPF to wear? What's the deal with toners? It's a lot to take in.

Fashion editor beauty essentials


Joy Montgomery for Who What Wear

Personally, I've always been quite lazy when it comes to makeup (which, I appreciate, is a luxury) and for about a decade now under-eye concealer, mascara and eyebrow pencil have been my go-tos. This has, however, meant that I've ended up becoming more invested in skincare, specifically creating a routine which allows me to spend as little time as possible applying product in the morning. It's also worth noting that I am a bad sleeper, so it's often a battle to keep my skin from looking dull and tired, and in the past have struggled with the odd low-level, stress-induced bout of acne (mostly on my cheeks). Although these days this is mostly caused by wearing face masks.

It's only in the last year or so that I have refined my routine down to a winning edit. I do tend to rotate certain products every month or so, hence the reasonable number of products below. However, I feel like I have finally worked out what my skin does and doesn't like. What has been the biggest revelation has been discovering the holy grail of vitamin C, retinol and SPF. Since I've incorporated this trio into my routine, I've found that my skin has been more consistently happy. 

Fashion editor beauty essentials


Joy Montgomery for Who What Wear

Of course, while we don't like to admit it, a lot of how our skin behaves is down to genes, and I am conscious that I am lucky that, on the whole, mine is quite well behaved. Essentially, everyone needs to use products that work for them and their needs. However, all of the below are tried and tested by yours truly, and I've purposefully included a selection of buys that I've loved over the last year, so you can pick and choose according to what your skin needs right now. Scroll down to see my full edit.

Scroll down to shop my beauty essentials

With its light, serum-like consistency, this feels so nice on tired morning eyes. 

Rich and creamy, this Body Shop hero is fab for a good facial massage. 

I'll use these muslin cloths in conjunction with my favourite Body Shop cream cleanser in the morning and evening. 

This is one of my hero products. I use it whenever I have a breakout and it works every time.

It took me years to find an SPF that doesn't make me look either super-shiny or ghost-like. This formula is light and has all the right credentials. 

WWW's beauty editor recommended this vit C serum to me, and I'm now obsessed. I apply in the morning before moisturiser and SPF.

Another recent discovery. I'll use this just before bed and sometimes in the morning for a moisture-boost. 

My friend bought this for me when I was experiencing maskne and I'm now a convert.

This is the cartridge I've been using with the above moisturiser to combat breakouts. 

My skin can be a little sensitive, so I only use this once a week to exfoliate. 

I used this once a week throughout lockdown before I applied my face masks. 

Affordable and effective, I use this before cleansing and applying serum. 

This smells heavenly and feels so good afterwards. I usually steam my face first then leave on for 20 minutes as a weekend treat.

Retinol has been another game-changer in my beauty routine. I'll use this once or twice a week just before bed. 

This is another retinol product that I've used and loved in the past.

I never thought that oil would be good for combination skin, but this little gem proved me wrong. I'll use once a week and massage in just before bed. 

I used Emma Hardie's cleanser last year and loved it, so I wanted to test out this clay mask. It's tingly when applied but works like a dream. 

Another winning product in my fight against maskne.

Related Stories