In my bag: Autumn skincare edit

In my bag: Autumn skincare edit

So I don’t actually keep my skincare in a bag, but I had no idea what to call this post.  In my bag? On my shelf? You get the idea.

I’m always trying new things so that I can give my clients recommendations on products that I have tried and loved, and most importantly, that give results.  I’ll try and do a current routine post with product reviews every few months so I can tell you all about new finds. Any products that I use/review are purchased by me and I get no financial gain by recommending anything.

Before I dive in here’s a bit about me and my skin.

I’m 43, with fairly normal skin, although I’m definitely seeing signs of ageing – my skin needs lots of TLC otherwise it gets quite dry, and I’m starting to see lines develop around my eyes, and as someone who spent a lot of time outside without sunscreen I do have lots of freckles and hyperpigmentation.  My skin tends to look dull when I’m in heating, or air conditioning, or I if I don’t get enough sleep (or any other reason that it can find to freak out).


I’ve been a fan of oil cleansing for years.  Using an oil or a cream based cleanser will remove makeup, oils and dirt from the skin without stripping it dry.

This is the step in my routine that I’m most fickle with.  As long as the cleanser doesn’t strip the skin of natural oils and it cleans well I’m happy to try it.

I’m currently using Eve Lom Cleanser which is available from Mecca.

What I loved

4 aromatic oils help nourish and soothe the skin – clove oil for clear skin and to reduce redness, eucalyptus oil to drain toxins, hops oil to tone and Egyptian chamomile softens.

It smells amazing

Using the Eve Lom Cleansing Technique is relaxing, and helps with lymphatic drainage.

If you prefer to steer clear of mineral oils the Eve Lom Gel Balm Cleanser is a great alternative 

Eve Lom Cleanser


Pyunkang Yul Essence

An essence, while not an essential part of my routine, really helps to deeply hydrate the skin, and helps prepare my skin for any serums that I am using.

Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner is a Korean Beauty ‘cult product’ that is a lightweight, hydrating gel, that is absorbed by the skin without leaving it feeling sticky. 

When I have a little extra time to do my routine I use this for the K-Beauty 7 Skins treatment, which means using a tiny amount of product, and using the fingers pat onto the skin.  Then repeat this 3-7 times.  When I take the time to do this (which is really only an extra 3-4 minutes) my skin feel super refreshed and hydrated.

I purchased this at the Sydney Beauty Expo, but it’s available from iHerb as well as other online retailers

What I loved

It’s super hydrating, and great for sensitive skin

Restores skin to its correct pH balance after cleansing

It features milk vetch root extract (91.3%) an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging extract to hydrate and strengthen skin.


Vitamin C Serum

I love using Vitamin C serums in my skincare routine (if you don’t know why read more about Vitamin C here).

I’m currently using Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum available from Mecca.

As well as having 15% 15 per cent L-Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) it also contains  ferulic acid and Vitamin E to help improve skin tone and texture.

It does have a bit of a strange smell (which is normal for Vit C and E) but it goes away quickly and absorbs well into the skin.

What I loved

It makes skin brighter and firmer.

Pumpkin ferment and pomegranate extracts, C-Firma™ enzymatically dissolves dead surface skin cells for smoother texture

Helps to plump and hydrate the skin

Drunk Elephant C-Firma
Hylamide Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid is a moisture-holding molecule that helps to deeply moisturise the skin (it can hold up to 1000x it’s own weight in water!)

 It helps to plump up the skin to help with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and also has antioxidant properties to protect your skin from the environment, sun exposure and harsh chemicals.

 I’ve been using the Hylamide Low-Molecular

You can find this on the Deciem website or other Australian retailers. If you order directly through Deciem there is a 365 day return policy which is amazing.

I prefer applying this to a slightly damp face, as I feel it spreads and absorbs better.

What I loved

Hylamide is an affordable brand, especially for those just entering the world of skincare

Different sized molecules to penetrate the different skin layers which helps to hydrate deeply

Suitable for all skin types



Retinol (a form of Vitamin A) is one of the most powerful anti-ageing ingredients currently on the market.

I’m just about to finish up my bottle of The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane and I’m not going to repurchase.  I haven’t been blown away by this product, and feel like there are more effective products that I could use.

 It would be a good product for someone who is just starting out using Retinol products as it is really gentle, and being in a Squalane Oil formulation it helps to counteract some of the drying effects of the Retinol.  It’s still recommended that you  introduce this product slowly to help acclimatise your skin to the product, and always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen.

I purchased this through the Deciem website, but it is also available from retailers throughout Australia.

 What I loved

Price Point – at under $10 it’s a great entry level retinol product

Gentle oil based formula that *I* didn’t have any adverse reactions to 

The Ordinary Retinol in Squalane


Squalane Oil

I love using oils in my skincare routine.  I’m on my second bottle of The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane and this has a place in my personal stash and in my professional kit. You only need 2-4 drops for the entire face – if you look greasy after applying you are probably using too much.

It’s fantastic for hydration, and absorbs well into the skin.  It’s gentle enough even for super sensitive skin and it can be used on hair to help add shine, reduce breakage and to add some heat protection.

It helps to balance oil production, and is non-comodogenic so can be used on oily and acne prone skin without having to worry about blocked pores.

I order this from the Deciem website, but it is also available from retailers throughout Australia.

What I loved

Squalane has been clinically proven to be non-irritating, making it great for people with sensitive skin conditions.

Non-comodegenic so it doesn’t block pores

Can help speed healing of cracked or chapped skin, and soothes eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.

It has anti-bacterial properties

REN Youth Vitality Day Cream

Day Moisturier

Ren is a brand that I’ve only become familiar with in the last few months.

It’s classified as a ‘clean beauty’ brand, which means that they look for their products, ingredients and packaging to be good for the skin and good for the planet.  Ren has committed to being a zero-waste brand by 2021.

I’m about halfway through my bottle of Youth Vitality Day Cream and I’ve found it to be hydrating enough to keep my skin looking fresh all day, without being too heavy. 

It’s part of the Ren anti-aging line and they say that it will help protect your skin from premature ageing, while hydrating, protecting it from free radical damage, boosting skin energy and elasticity and reducing fine lines and imperfections.

I got this from Mecca but it’s also available online from other retailers

What I love

Lightweight, despite how thick it initially feels

Keeps my skin hydrated all day

Airless pump keeps product fresher and more hygienic

Night Cream

I’ve been using the Janssen Cosmetics Night Replenisher, which is part of their dry skin range.

Janssen is a German cosmeceutical company that is sold through salon stockists.

The night replenisher contains hyaluronic acid for intense hydration, avocado oil to keep the skin supple,  white lupines to improve barrier function and Vitamin E which is an antioxidant.

While some people say they use it during the day as well, I don’t think it is suited for that at all.

 What I loved

Thick, rich formula that is super hydrating

My skin feels noticably smoother the morning after using it

Helps with dryness, tightness and flakiness which sometimes happens to me, especially during winter

A little bit goes a long way so it’s great value for money

Janssen Cosmetics Night Cream

Have you tried any of these products? Have a great recommendation for me to try? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

Do you know someone who might love this article? Share it with your friends

Sally is a makeup artist, a beauty junkie and a coffee addict, who loves finding new products and techniques and using them to give her clients an amazing experience – every time.

To book in for makeup, hair or beauty services contact me and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can

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