This final sweep of lockdowns and tiers in 2020 has really affected us all mentally (let alone all the other implications of restrictions) we are well and truly drained of it all. With the seriousness of what has gone on this year, it seems ridiculous to talk about the benefits of facial products on our mood but quite often, when we look better, we feel better and quite frankly, even if it is just achieving a bit of a facial glow, isn’t it nice to just be in control of something this year??!! After the November lockdown, I noticed I was beginning to look very sallow in the face – I didn’t know if this was due to lack of fresh air or simply down to being well and truly fed up with it all. Either way, I took back some control and set about getting my glow back – we’ve had a tough year and we deserve to shine! So, these are the little treats I’m backing right now….

Coco & Eve Bronzing Face Drops, 30ml £22.90, are exactly what my pasty, post-lockdown face needed! I never have a great result when I’ve used regular fake tan on my face – especially when I am very pale to start with. I always find it very drying; it clings to spots and dry patches (developing much darker there and making them more noticeable) and even my most favourite brands tend to look ‘orangey’ on my face.

So, I converted to face-specific tanners a while back and have had varied success. However, I am pleased to report that Coco & Eve have passed every test; the 100% natural DHA, skin-kind hyaluronic acid and coconut water formula plump and hydrate the skin, it’s easy-to-apply, non-greasy and can be mixed in with any of your existing skincare products, is non-drying and dermatologist approved to boot! Huge thumbs up.

Forever a sheet mask devotee, I treated myself to these regularly throughout 2020, but not all masks are created equal! My new faves come from BOG skincare with the most interesting backstory I have heard in a long time (I love when beauty products arise from the most unlikely situations!). An Irish farmer found the body of a young man in the bogland of his farm – it turned out that the (totally in-tact) body was 2000 years old! Lain in the nutrient-rich, organic peat for all those years had preserved his body perfectly, defying deterioration. So, Bog was born (what else could they have called it?!) using the same detoxifying and collagen-boosting organic peat in their masks alongside antioxidants, essential oils and fatty acids to create 2 of the most beautiful sheet masks I have tried in a long time! You have a choice between the Energise & Detoxify mask, or the Hydrate & Revitalise mask but, to be honest, after the year we have had, I seriously felt like I need both masks and everything they had to offer me! At £12 each, they are slightly more expensive than some other sheet masks, but these ones come with a clinical seal of approval (i.e, they have been clinically proven to actually work) they are also gluten free, 100% organic, paraben free and cruelty free with 5% from every sale donated to Friends of the Earth – I think this also qualifies them to be guilt-free pampering too!

Lastly, one of the positives I will take from 2020, is the discovery of Venn Skincare, I have tried, tested, trained in and worked with many, many different products over my 20+ year career in beauty and very rarely have I been so impressed/taken aback by a brand. I started using the cleanser, concentrate and cream mask during lockdown 1 (I can’t believe we have to number them now!!!) and I fell in love with them instantly – they are shockingly good! So, of course I was keen to try the newest addition to the range, Age-Response Compound K Hyaluronic Booster (there was a lot of pressure on this little booster though; I had zero expectations with the first Venn products I tried, whereas I expected the earth from this lil’ fella!) I needn’t have worried – this product is flipping incredible! As powerful an antioxidant as Vitamin C but without the (sometimes) irritation plus it is full of peptides, polyamines, vitamins and of course, Hyaluronic Acid – in short, everything you need for long-term skin health and youthfulness. I decided to use this directly after an at-home dermaroller treatment (I realise this won’t be part of a high-percentage of people’s skincare routine but it was a good way for me to quickly gage it’s effect good or bad on my skin) and let me tell you, it was ALL good! Marks from recent spots almost disappeared overnight, my lines looked all plumped up and my skin was radiant – my 9-year-old thought I had makeup on when I got up in the morning! (I mean, she could have been doing some last-minute grovelling before Christmas, but I was definitely glowing!). Generally, you would apply this before your moisturiser, it contains vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) so, personally I wouldn’t use it with another product containing B3 as too much can be irritating on some skins, then apply your eye cream and spf and watch yourself start to Benjamin Button! Which it seems is perfectly fitting now because all birthdays in lockdown didn’t (un)officially count anyway!

Coco & Eve Sunny Hunny Bronzing Face Drops, £22.90

Bog sheet masks, £12

Venn Age Response Compound KHyaluronic Booster, £115

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