I’m not the best at managing my time. Many days I’m running on the bare minimums. Cleanse, tone, serum, moisturise. Primer, foundation, concealer, mascara. Out the door.

Then there’s times I’ve got a little more time on my hands, and I can go beyond just the bare minimum and take a couple extra steps. Not completely necessary, and maybe they don’t make a hugely significant difference, but they’re a nice extra step. Even if I might be the only one who notices.

Here’s to the extra steps, and why we love them.

REN Extra Firming Beauty Shot

It’s not a serum, or a moisturiser. The closest thing I think of is maybe an essence, an enigma of the asian beauty world, that doesn’t really know what it is but is generally a more concentrated, active product. I’m not sure if this at the same level, but it’s up there. It’s a light, gel, packed full of hydration, and promises to deliver both an immediate and a long term benefit of plumper, happier skin. That, and it smells like roses. I already use upwards of 6 products in the evening on any given day, but when I feel like an extra treat, a couple drops of this goes a long way – especially if I’m using something like Alpha H or a glycolic treatment, a light layer of hydration helps keeps things mellow. If I want a little more oomph to my base, this goes on before my primer, especially if it’s been a little while since I put on my moisturiser.

Benefit Puff Off

Part skincare, part makeup – this little iron-on brightening fluid was a surprise hit when it launched. A light pink, gel-like (seeing a trend here?) concealer/corrector hybrid, that’s like a little wake-up call for tired eyes. If you’re sporadic with your eye cream usage the smoothing, hydrating action will be welcome relief as will the cooling and de-puffing sensations. In terms of the cosmetic side of things, I’ve found, especially on minimal-makeup days, that it reduces my need for undereye concealer and I only need a light dab of concealer in the inner-most corner – which also glides on better thanks to the satin-like, freshly primed skin it leaves behind. If I was running out the door, I might skip it purely out of habit – but it’s something I try to pick up more and more because I really like it, as it makes things easier on the eyes.

Boots Bontanics Radiance Balm

Few reviews go by without the words “strobe cream” or “skin perfecter” mentioned in the same sentence. For those who go for the glow, this style of iridescent primer will be nothing new.  Especially now as I’m using a little more powder to combat my skins new notions of oiliness; I like to keep as much glow going on as possible. The best way I heard this described was on Beaut.ie when Laura wroteit looks like good skin, not good makeup.” – don’t know about you, but I’m all for that.

Like the Puff-Off, as well as being a key player in makeup application, the Radiance Balm is also something of a skincare step. The “instant radiance of course comes from the shimmer, however it’s brightening properties overtime helps reveal the shimmer within as, coming from the Hibiscus range, the natural AHAs help dry, dull skin get a move on and over time skin looks naturally brighter and smoother. I regularly use glycolic in my skin care, but almost exclusively at night; I like knowing I’m keeping my chemical exfoliation topped up between treatments and as long as I’m good with my SPF it’s an excellent extra step.