My Skincare Routine

I’m so glad that I am finally sitting down to put this post together. My skincare routine is probably one of the most common things that I get asked about, so this post is going to include any and all products I use and exactly when and how I use them. 

I had considered a video for this topic, but I want this to be something that people can refer back to, so a post is much easier than having to watch a video of me yapping over and over. I wasn’t exactly sure how to go about this post, and I think that’s why it has taken me so long. When I lived in New York I had a very strict routine, but since coming home I have switched up my products a few times. I have been a lot more open to trying and testing new brands and this is partly because I’m lucky enough to occassionally be sent new things to try by incredibly generous brands, and partly because I’m finally at a point where I feel comfortable enough in my skin to try new things and not be terrified that I’ll have a breakout.

I probably should open by talking about where my obsession with skincare began. When I first moved to New York in October 2015, I was lucky enough to land myself a marketing role on the North America Marketing Team in Clinique!!! This was a brand that I grew up watching my mum use and seeing in magazines but it wasn’t a brand that I had used a whole lot myself. I was a year out of college and my skincare routine was nothing more than make up wipes and moisturiser. I genuinely never gave my skin a second thought, I felt as though that was something I would worry about later in life. So anyway, to cut a long story short, I learned more than I ever thought possible during my time with Clinique. They have most definitely got at least 200-300 products and I came in contact with every single one of them. Everyone in the office would always swap skincare tricks and at the beginning I was like a sponge soaking up all of the information. I hate to say it, but I think I learned more about skincare than I learned about marketing in this job!

My skincare routine was made up of 100% Clinique products at this point in time and I will always trust them as a brand having seen how things work in there, but since then, my personal routine has moved on to different brands and products based on my current personal needs.


Step 1 – Remove make up

I remove all of my make up with Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water and large oval cotton pads. I do really want to try the Cleanse Off Mitt by The Skin Nerd though, so if I do I’ll be sure to update this point!

Step 2 – Cleanse

I cleanse with Simple Face Wash or Estée Lauder Perfectly Clean foaming face wash. I honestly put my skin clearing up down to a foaming face wash twice a day. It’s the best way to make sure you don’t leave any residue on your face, and you can’t deny the benefits of a good splash of water.

Step 3 – Tone

I always tone after cleansing with either Skinician Purifying Toner or the Kiehls Herbal Extract toner. I find it makes my skin feel really smooth after cleansing and closes all of my pores.

Step 4 – Serum

This is a new introduction to my nighttime skincare routine. I have two serums that I swap between and they are both from Reform Skincare – Vitamin C serum and Vitamin C & E serum.

Step 5 – Eye Cream

Eye cream is probably the most important part of my routine for me. If I forget to use eye cream, I will 100% get up in the middle of the night and put it on. If you’re not using it then I need you to start immediately, it’s the best thing for keeping crows feet at bay. I use the Skinician Advanced Eye Repair cream at the moment.

Step 6 – Moisturise

Depending on how my skin feels, I’ll use different moisturisers at night. If I feel like my skin is about to flare up, I’ll try and use the simplest moisturiser I have which for me is Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream. If my skin is feeling normal I’ll use the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Oil. If it’s feeling overly dry, I’ll use the Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask or if I feel like it needs some serious TLC, I’ll use the L’Occtiane Immortelle Divine Cream – I got this as a gift and it is SO luxurious.

Step 7 – Lips

This was a point that I almost excluded but I actually always put a lip balm on before bed. I can’t keep track of how many times I’ve yawned in the morning and split the side of my lips, it’s so painful! I always swap between Vaseline, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, and Dr. Paw Paw.


Step 1 – Cleanse

This is the exact same as my nighttime routine, I always use a foaming face-wash – the Simple Face Wash or Estée Lauder Perfectly Clean foaming face wash. It’s the last thing I want to do in the morning but I always feel the need to wash off any moisturiser residue from the night before. Plus, it’s a great way to wake you up!

Step 2 – Tone

Toning, as I mentioned, is just a ritual for me after cleansing. I use the same products here as the night before, the Skinician Purifying Toner or the Kiehls Herbal Extract toner.

Step 3 – Eye Cream

As I mentioned, my eye cream goes on at nighttime and in the morning religiously. I wish I started using this earlier, I genuinely have noticed a massive difference in how plump my eyes look in comparison to how dried out they looked around my eyes before using it. I use the same in the morning as I do at night, the Skinician Advanced Eye Repair.

Step 4 – Moisturise

For my daytime cream, I try and keep this as light and moisturising as possible. This is usually the base to make up that will sit on my skin all day. At the moment I am using the Skinician Advanced Time Delay Day Cream.

Step 5 – SPF

I always, always, always wear SPF moisturiser on my face every single day. I’m absolutely terrified of my skin ageing and looking older than I am. The sun is the worst thing for you if this is a concern of yours too. I had a few very bad burns on my face when I was younger and I always remember how dry my skin felt afterwards and how long it took to recover, not to mention how sore it was! At the moment, I use the Reform SPF 30 Sunscreen.

My experience with hormonal acne

I’m stressing the words “hormonal acne” in the heading here because while I personally feel like the spots that I am sometimes graced with are the worst in the world, I would never compare myself to someone who suffers from full on acne. I don’t think it’s fair to bucket myself in the same group as someone who needs full courses of heavy medication and who has to live with troubled skin every single day. I have been in the position where I haven’t been able to leave the house because my spots have been so incredibly “active” that my make up won’t sit on them and cover it, but like I said, it’s hormonal – so it’s only an issue 1 week out of the month. TOUCH WOOD I am in a seriously good groove with my skin at the moment and I genuinely am putting it down to the following.

  • Plenty of solid sleep
  • Less alcohol
  • More whole foods
  • And most of all: feeling genuinely so much happier in my life

I do have to mention the products that I reach for when my skin does decide to act up though. I genuinely feel the need to have a range of different products because I feel as though I can tell the difference between different types of spots. My absolute go-to is the products in the Acne Repair Kit by Mario Badescu, I use and love each product equally.

When I was living in New York, I regularly got facials in Mario Badescu to try and control the aforementioned hormonal acne. My skin was exposed to so much pollution, lack of sleep and lots more not-so-fab things over there so a regular deep clean was more than necessary. I also got hooked on the products which were all that I used over there. Since moving home I am using a much more varied selection of brands, but I absolutely swear by their acne products. I don’t know if I’ll ever find any other brand that compares!


As I mentioned above, I religiously went to the Mario Badescu salon in New York (Irina was my go-to girl, she is the best in there hands down!). Thankfully I haven’t felt the need to go as much here, but I did have one of my best facials ever in Clear Skin Clinic in Sandyford. I got the 5in1 Facial which is tailored specifically to your skin, but I have to say it was one of the deepest cleans that I have ever gotten. It is worth every cent and promise you that I would not say that lightly.

Where should you start

I genuinely cannot stress the importance of looking after your skin enough. I was lucky that I fell into my obsession through my job, but if this is something that you want to know more about, then I would highly recommend that you speak to a skin specialist. You need to figure out exactly what it is that your skin needs every day in order to get it looking the way that you want. I could sit here and tell you what has worked for me all day long, but your skin is (obviously) so personal to you.

I really hope you found this post useful, if you have any questions at all then please don’t hesitate to ask!

Niamh x

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