Autumnal Attitude

4th October 2019

As this season marks the transition from summer to winter, it also signals a time for re-evaluating our skin, hair and beauty routine, writes Lisa Botwright…

I know that many people adore autumn, and the tableau of golds, reds and russets that nature presents us with is certainly very beautiful, but there’s a melancholy in losing the brightness of the summer sunshine – that time when beauty-wise, all we really need is a light covering of tinted moisturiser and sweep of bronzer – and the curtailing of those long light evenings where everyone is more sociable. On the plus side, now is the time to have fun with fashion, to be more experimental with our makeup and to enjoy pampering ourselves during those darker evenings.

We need the pampering as we lose the heat and humidity in the air outside, and the central heating gets turned on inside; our skin gets drier, and even oilier skin can become very dehydrated. While summer is all about lighter textures, at this time of year the focus is on richer, creamier, ultra-soothing formulations.

Invest in cleansers and moisturisers full of antioxidants and active ingredients that have been proven to really work. Let’s be clear, there are no instant miracles when it comes to skincare (Victoria Beckham recently and rather refreshingly called-out products that claim to get rid of wrinkles as ‘bulls–t’) but there are ingredients that are definitely our friends, that can help us look our ‘best selves’.

Retinol is one (look out for a feature coming soon about this), peptides are another, and of course, hyaluronic acid. These are all about replicating and boosting the already naturally-occurring building blocks that keep our outer layer and largest organ of the body plump and firm. Peptides are proteins that teach the skin to do what’s required to help to regenerate and protect itself, and hyaluronic acid acts like a magnet to bind moisture to the skin – it can retain over 1,000 times its weight in water within tissue cells.

I tried the moisturiser from Wildsmith Skin, a young luxe brand framed as ‘modern skincare for those who want natural products and expect cosmeceutical results’. Its hero ingredient, aside from hyaluronic acid, is copper peptide, something that’s currently creating a buzz for its skin ‘resilience-building’ properties. The result is a super-nourishing, deliciously-scented cream that makes my skin look plumped up and rosy.
Another new product that is utterly addictive as a luxury autumnal pampering treat is the new Velvet Sleeping Mask from Sisley. Full of ingredients that sound just as romantic as its name suggests (thyme honey, saffron flowers), it can be smothered on as a sticky ten-minute SOS mask or applied sparingly in place of a regular night cream, once or twice a week, for wake-up-with-velvety-soft-skin satisfaction.

If frizz-prone hair needs some tlc too – try celebrity hairdresser Jen Atkin’s OUAI (pronounced ‘way’) award-winning haircare treatment that contains keratin to repair damage and smooth the hair’s surface and smells utterly intoxicatingly of rose and white musk.

With restored and protected skin and hair, we can turn our attention to autumnal makeup, so much more fun than its summer cousin. The changing light saturation – dimmer and cooler now – modifies the way colours and textures look on our skin. The plums, russets and berry tones that echo the countryside’s palette now seem to work much better and be more flattering than the acid-pink lipgloss that popped while on holiday.

Applying a fuller face of makeup makes me feel armed and ready for winter, and among the bewildering array of lip colours online and on beauty counters, Bobbi Brown’s ‘Red Berry’ (above, centre of the trio) stands out for me as the shade that epitomises this season. I also love Charlotte Tilbury’s new concept lipsticks in glamorous, collectible and refillable bullets.

So, yes, summer’s over, and that’s a little bit sad – but enjoy those long, pampering baths and cosy nights in. Enjoy packing away the summer dresses for another year, to make room for your winter wardrobe – and relish the excuse to update your makeup to match.

Now I’ve found my new favourite shade of lipstick, I’m ready for everything the season has to throw at me. Where’s my umbrella?

Luxe Lip Colour, £28 (each)

Velvet Sleeping Mask, £93

Active Repair Copper Peptide Cream, £100

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