The Hardest Working Beauty Products For When You Have Approximately 18 Seconds For Results - The Grace Tales

The Hardest Working Beauty Products For When You Have Approximately 18 Seconds For Results

I recently spent 17 minutes and 57 seconds watching Madelaine Petsch's 38-step beauty routine on Vogue's YouTube Channel.

That’s almost 18 minutes that I will never get back, spent staring at a 25-year-old whose job it is to look flawless. I watched this video on my phone in bed, after spending precisely 18 seconds on my own beauty routine.

I’ll hand it to Madelaine; that routine really is working for her. In fact, can’t stop looking at her. But a 38-step process really will not work for me. Not now, not ever. I don’t have 18 minutes (shush, YouTube in bed doesn’t count). I need products that work from trusted brands that deliver the results I so desperately need.

Here’s my round-up of the fastest, hardest-working must-haves for the start of the new decade …  

A cream that pays attention to what we often ignore

If you’re anything like me, you essentially forgot that your neck and decolletage existed up until about 5 minutes ago. But alas, there are those lines that suddenly show what you have been frantically avoiding on your face. Ah!

Clarins is to the rescue with this product that is made to visibly reduce horizontal and vertical neck wrinkles, skin slackening and age-related dark spots. The neck firming cream’s youth-preserving formula, which is powered by the Sunflower extract firming complex, provides an immediate lift effect to sculpt the fragile area, making skin visibly firmer, smoother, more toned and even with results that improve day after day. 

Clarins Extra-Firming Neck & Decollete – $112

A collagen-producing (natural) serum

Jurlique’s Nutri-Define Supreme Rejuvenating Serum provides a natural solution to anti-ageing; creating radiant and re-energised skin (thank goodness). Natural active ingredients penetrate below the skin to deliver advanced anti-ageing benefits, like increased collagen and improved loss of elasticity, uneven skin tone and wrinkles. The perfect catch-all.

As well as being scientifically proven to reduce the appearance of ageing, what I love most about this gorgeous Nutri-Define Supreme Rejuvenating range might just be the story. Grown in the nutrient-rich hills of Jurlique’s Adelaide farm, Spilanthes Flower and Horseradish Root Extract are Nutri-Define’s two primary ingredients, which both assist in plumping the skin and infusing it with a hydrated, youthful glow. But most interestingly, Jurlique only harvest the Spilanthes flower on days when the moon passes through the “Air and Light” signs of Libra, Gemini and Aquarius (yes, really). Flowers, substance, and colour thrive during these stages of the moon cycle, making it the optimal time to harvest. Look, if it works for the flowers, I’m happy for it to work for my skin.

Jurlique Nutri-Define Supreme Rejuvenating Serum – $165

An A-lister eye cream

If you haven’t heard about iS CLINICAL, you must not have been paying attention, because it seems to be the only brand the A-listers are talking about (Rosie Huntington Whitley, Kristen Bell and Sophie Turner, to name but a few). Having just launched in Australia, this luxury cosmeceutical skincare brand bridges the gap between science and beauty, and is dedicated to producing highly effective, clinically-validated skincare products that deliver dramatic physiological improvements to the skin. Sign. Me. Up.

Their eye cream was the first item on my to-try agenda, which is smoothing, hydrating and illuminating – reducing all the lines I wish to ignore, penetrating hydration and increasing firmness and elasticity. The formula also visibly brightens the under-eye area to keep skin moist, smooth and protected all day long. 

Most importantly - a barrier against future problems

You don’t need me to tell you about SPF, I know. But let’s talk SPF. Long gone are the days of ruining makeup with a thick white sunscreen, or only stepping outside with a layer of grease upon your face. 

Ultra Violette has reinvented the game, and I couldn’t be happier. Their Queen Screen SPF 50+ Luminising Sun Serum is a broad-spectrum SPF, in the form of an anti-ageing serum that makes your skin glow. The formula is oil-free, packed with native antioxidants and even smells of roses. No, it really doesn’t get any better. 

Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF 50+ Luminising Sun Serum

A solution from the inside out

I’ve been taking Vida Glow’s Anti-G-Ox for two months now, and I believe it may be the only reason my skin didn’t start to melt off my body thanks to the insanity of the Christmas school holidays. Formulated with a blend of natural antioxidant and anti-glycant ingredients, it helps to support the body against damaging environmental and lifestyle factors that affect cellular health.

I was lucky enough to hear Vida Glow’s powerhouse founder Anna Lahey talk in person about oxidative stress (a condition that occurs when our bodies are overburdened and imbalanced by exposure to free radicals from radiation, pollution, pesticides, smoke and some food) and how they can break down collagen, causing inflammation and premature signs of ageing. So Anti-G-Ox’s advanced formula of natural, active ingredients creates a defence system against those cell-damaging conditions. 

With daily use, Anti-G-Ox enhances skin regeneration and supports collagen health for a brighter, more youthful-looking complexion. Health from the inside out? I’m on board.

Vida Glow Anti-G-Ox – $79.95

Faking it (easily)

When all else fails, there really is nothing better than a healthy glow. But as someone who picks a foundation shade based on “the fairest colour you have,” fake tan is not a fabulous look for me. I’ve tried a lot, and inevitably end up looking a little too 2009 Lindsay Lohan. But that hasn’t stopped my hunt for a tan (in a bottle) that can make me look a little less ghostly in this 11-month-long Sydney summer.

However, I think I may have found my elixir. This beauty from Sunescape may be positioned as a tan extender, but for me, it’s perfect. It acts just like a moisturiser (cue: all the time-saving benefits) – with coconut, macadamia but, avocado and argan oils – but gives a subtle hint of colour with naturally derived tanning agents. After applying the product for a few days in the evening, I woke up one morning wondering why I looked a bit healthier. It wasn’t a noticeable colour (and even better, no giveaway patchiness), but was the ideal pop of summery glow. I’m hooked.

Sunescape Tan’s Gradual Tan Extender – $33

Finally, the fastest (in-salon) treatment

If the in-home products aren’t cutting it, a salon treatment doesn’t need to be an hours-long exercise. In fact, HydraFacial uses patented Vortex Fusion technology to cleanse, extract, and hydrate in just 30 minutes. While it’s not entirely relaxing, it’s not at all painful and does deliver noticeable results.

The HydraFacial super skin serums are made with nourishing ingredients that give your skin an instantly noticeable glow, and the multi-step treatment cleanses, exfoliates and extracts to get rid of impurities and dead skin cells, while at the same time quenching skin with vital nutrients like antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid. The results are both instant and long-lasting, so your best skin can be revealed.

(And if you’re anything like me – the most exciting part is not just seeing your skin at the end – but the bucket of impurities they reveal to you afterwards, full of everything that has been extracted from your face like a pressure cleaner. The satisfaction is unmistakable.)

Find a HydraFacial clinic