This week we're joined by 24-year-old Vanessa Bramfitt, a media planner based in London…
‘I don’t have time to faff around with my hair’, says Vanessa Bramfitt who has recently swapped an extensive beauty routine for a longer commute to work. With the balance shifted to shorter snoozes and long train journeys she’s now a firm believer in getting the base complexion right so less make-up is required. With dark, poker straight hair and a Malay-British complexion, she’s spent time researching products that not only work but are affordable. Here’s how a week of body admin shapes up for Vanessa:
6.40 am: My alarm goes off, I roll out of bed and drag myself to the bathroom.
6.50 am: I recently moved outside of London so commuting in-and-out of leaves me feeling grime-y. I Tresemme Deep Cleansing Shampoo [£5.49] and Condition [£5.49] to strip it squeaky-clean. The perks of having full-body laser hair removal is that I don't waste any time shaving my gorilla-like hair anymore, but I still do a quick scan over for those pesky strays. I like Wilkinson Sword's Intuition razor as it has a built-in moisturiser shaver head [£4.48] so I don't need to waste time faffing with shaving gels — win! A pump of Soap and Glory's 'Clean On Me' shower gel [£6.50] and brush my teeth with Colgate's Whitening Toothpaste [£5.98] (in the shower, yes, I know I'm weird) and then I'm out to brave the day.
7 am: I put my hair up in a towel and speed through my skin and body care routine. During a recent trip to Melbourne, I lost my mind in the pharmacies and bought lots of organic skincare products that I've been using religiously ever since. Thanks to Calendula's Cream [£5.39] I've not had a single break out. I also use a couple of drops of La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen [£12.37] on my face and arms and grab a tub of The Body Shop's Coconut Body Butter [£20] to tackle any dry patches.
7.05 am: While my body cream dries, I sit down to apply my face. First I use my trusty Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer [£8.99], this is a God-send for tackling any dark circles. Next, I run some Glossier Boy Brow gel [£14] over my eyebrows in an attempt to tame the un-tameable, before carving out some definition with my Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick [£31] in Warm Almond followed by a quick swipe of Nars blush in Orgasm [£24]. Once my face is beat, I'll unwrap my damp hair and run two of my holy grail products through it: Redken's All Soft Mega HydraMelt Leave in Cream [£12] and Innisfree Camellia Hair Serum [£11.16]. I use a few extra pumps of this on the end of my hair and run out the door with my hair still damp.
7.40 am: I'm sat on my train to London. I have about 40 minutes until I get to Waterloo so I take out my trusty Beauty Blender [£17] to sort out on any bad-blending and swipe on my favourite super-affordable liquid lipstick by MUA Luxe in Dash [£3].
4 pm: The temperamental office air-conditioning has turned me into an oily grease ball. Not ideal.
8 pm: I am home, hurrah! I smother my dog in kisses and get straight into my jammies. I set aside some time in the evening to remove my make-up. I use my Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm [£24] to remove any trace of make-up and then double cleanse with Clinique's Liquid Facial Soap [£17.50] (both super gentle, no fuss). I tone my skin with Innisfree's Green Tea Balancing skin care [£12.49] with a facial pad (which still manages to come out dirty despite double cleansing, nasty) and then moisturise with Calendula Cream. Once that has sunk in, I'll tap my face gently with Innisfree's Green Tea Seed Serum [£19.59] and then apply Clinique's All About Eyes Eye Cream [£27.50] (which I keep in the fridge).
8.30 pm: Time to make dinner. Minimal effort is made. I wolf down a bag of Sensations Sweet Chilli Crisps while it's in the oven (SO addictive).
11 pm: Time for bed. I brush my teeth and rub some Skin and Tonic Lavender Calm Balm [£23] on my wrists to send me to sleep.
6.40 am: Alarm wakes me up. Still raining! Meh. This is going to cause havoc for my hair. Since I know I washed my hair yesterday I grant myself another 15 minutes in bed.
6.55 am: I roll out of bed, tie my hair in a bun and brush my teeth. I use a Soap and Glory's Facial Clarity Soap [£8] to prep my face for the morning. It's the kind of face wash that stings, but in a good way. Different day, same facial regime. I squeeze a dime sized amount of Ouai Finishing Creme [£20] into the ends of my hair — this stuff is MAGIC for second-day hair.
12 pm: I have my laser appointment [£110] in an hour, so I make my way to the clinic (Mayfair Aesthetics in Moorgate, if you're wondering). I can't wear any perfume or body lotion before the session starts so I use a Johnsons Baby Wipe [£7] to clean off any leftovers.
3 pm: I'm finally free. Why was I born with my Dad's gorilla gene?
5 pm: Heading home. Time to wash off the London grime off my face and put a hair mask in that I can leave in overnight. I melt some Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil [£2.29] and about a tablespoon of Castor Oil [£4.99] in a bowl, give it a good swirl and rub it into the ends of my hair. I make a conscious effort to not lean against anything unless I want a giant oil stain on the wall.
7 pm: I've rediscovered The Sims 3 on my boyfriend's desktop. I pop on a sheet mask from The Face Shop [£11.86] that I stockpiled when visiting family in Malaysia. I choose the Mung Bean one which supposedly does wonders for pore care. I also try out a Crest 3D Whitening Teeth Strip [£24]. It leaves a weird metal taste in my mouth and I actually find myself drooling slightly. I catch a glimpse of myself in the reflection on the desktop computer and wonder why I look so ridiculous.
11 pm: Brushing the remnants of the whitening strip film off my teeth. My dog has taken the opportunity to steal my space in the bed. We compromise. She still sleeps in my space and I tolerate it with minimal comfort.
6.30 am: Dog sleeping on the bed did not warrant a good night's sleep. I jump into the shower in an effort to wake myself up. I wash my hair with L'Oreal Phytoclear Shampoo [£4.99] and Conditioner [£4] for something not too heavy after that over-night hair mask.
8.30 am: I need a caramel latte asap or I will die.
11 am: Elevenses has arrived. A colleague at work has baked two incredibly delicious gluten-free cakes. I wolf both slices down. #noregrets.
6 pm: I head into central London for dinner with some girlfriends. I have about 10 minutes before we get off at our stop so I spruce up my make-up on the tube. A quick spray of Kiehls Cactus Flower Mist [£29], a swipe of MAC's Ruby Woo lipstick [£17.50] (I double it up as a blusher by using what I blend out on my lips on my cheeks too) and Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer [£4.19] under my eyes.
1.30 am: Nearly missed my train home. Why do I live so far out of London? Too tipsy to properly remove make up properly so I rub off what I can with Clinique's Take The Day Off Wipes [£16]. I also forget to brush my teeth and fall asleep.
10 am: I treat myself to a lie-in and head downstairs for a nice cuppa to start my day right. I'm trying out the Twining's Mango and Lychee Green Tea. It smells AMAZING.
12 pm: I get ready to go out to a family meal. I spritz on my favourite perfume, Si by Giorgi Armani [£51.50]. Mmmm.
8 pm: Being out all day without bringing my trusty bottle of hand cream is my worst nightmare. My hands feel like a crusty old lady's feet. I lather my hands in the thickest cream I can find which is The Body Shop Cocoa Butter [£15]. Crusty fingers crossed it'll help. I settle down for the evening and watch Pitch Perfect 3.
6 am: I wake up to sunshine! Today will be a no make-up day. My face would melt in the heat and I want to soak up as much Vitamin D as I can.
9.30 am: Someone has already commented that I am looking tired. I run to the bathroom to apply some Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer and Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in Roly Poly [£20] to look more alive.
6 pm: If there is hell on Earth, it would be Waterloo train station during rush hour.
8 pm: Signalling failures and no seats on the train means I come home tired, hungry and wallowing in self-pity. I light my Mahogany Teakwood candle by Bath and Body Works to chill out to.
6 am: I wake up early to go for a 30-minute morning run while the weather is nice.
6.45 am: I am drenched in sweat (very attractive) and hop into the shower. I use my trusty Mitchum deodorant [£1.42].
1 pm: The girls at work and I head to our local Superdrug to pick up essentials during lunch break. I browse and pick up some Mixa Body Lotion [£6.49] that sounds like it will help with the eczema flare-up on my arms. So far, so good for sensitive skin!
3 pm: Have to stop caving into nibbling the team's biscuits at work. The sugar is causing havoc on my skin.
5 pm: I'm going to the cinema after work but still feel the need to spend 10 minutes in the bathroom re-doing my make-up…to sit in a dark room… where no one will be looking at me. #logic
9 pm: A Quiet Place is an amazing film, go watch it! Also, considering I had my hands over my eyes in fear during a few of the jump-scare scenes, my Eyeko mascara [£19] did not budge, hurrah! No panda eyes for me.
9 am: It's my anniversary with Harry so we wake up early and make breakfast together. I have smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and know that it is going to be a good day.
11 am: We set off on the train to Plymouth seaside for the day. While standing on the platform I can feel the midday sun getting warmer on my skin so I rub Nivea Sun Lotion [£4] on my forearms.
3 pm: Note to self: do not attempt to romantically walk on pebbled beaches barefoot. It feels like knives stabbing you in the bottom of your feet.
5 pm: Re-spritz of my Si perfume by Giorgi Armani and a spray of my travel-size Mitchum deodorant [£1.50] before dinner. I am ready to eat my weight in carbs.
10 pm: Finally home from our day out at the beach. With travelling, the sun and frolicking (I say that lightly) in the ocean, my make-up has worn away. I need to invest in a good setting spray. I try out the Garnier Micellar Water [£3.29] on a cotton pad instead of the balm and am really impressed. I make a cup of tea and take out my Cosmetic Warrior face mask by Lush [£7.50] from the fridge. While that's working its magic, I sit in bed and read Past Mortems by Carla Valentine in a bid to relax.
Cost of Skincare : £165.49
Cost of Make-up : £158.68
Cost of Body Care : £359.28