Name: Steph Sparks
City: Sydney, Australia
Occupation: Creative Director, Blogger, and Photographer
Me, in sentence: Wild at heart, creative and always trying to be kind.
Where I’m at with my skin right now: At the moment it’s all about “glow” for me, and managing any dullness / lack of luster. Having great skin can be such a confidence boost or killer, so making sure I manage stress levels, get enough sleep, eat right, drink lots of water and use the best skincare products is a big focus for me at the moment. It’s also one of those things you can’t fake.
I approach skincare through diet and lifestyle: I noticed a huge difference in my skin when I started eating a varied range of vegetables, as well as increased my good fats (think: avocado, nuts, olive oil etc.), and upped my water intake. I’m one of those people who are inclined to skip a meal if I’m busy and forget to drink water, so it took me a good year or so to get into better habits. But it was worth the hard work. Now it comes naturally to me, and starting the day with a big glass of water with lemon and a shot of apple cider vinegar gives me a good start to the rest of the day. Cutting down on both caffeine and booze has also helped massively, instead of ploughing through three or four coffees a day I will have one every other day or so, and a glass of wine only happens on the weekends now, where as before it was a way to unwind after a busy day—which was pretty much every day.
I'm using these products: I just can’t go to bed without taking my makeup off with a gentle foaming cleaner, a toner and following with a gentle moisturizer—anything from a light creme to my The Buff oil, depending on my skin at the time, as it changes with seasons. I also love to finish with a balancing mist, my current one is infused with jojoba which I am absolutely in love with. I also use this in the morning about an hour before putting any make up on. A good scrub once a week is also key for me, sometimes I increase this to every third or fourth day or so, if I feel I need it. I like to use a gentle scrub but something that still feels like it’s getting the dirt off, at the moment I’m using the Avène Gentle Exfoliating Gel Scrub, which is working really well for me over summer. I’ve used it for the past four months and came recommended from a friend. Key is to re-hydrate after a scrub, and I never put makeup on after having recently done a scrub. Instead I nourish the skin with my The Buff customized face oil and try to give my skin a rest. Weekends are also for hydrating or cleansing masks, I find that I use the hydrating ones more as my skin is generally quite clear, but could often use an extra hit of hydration to maintain or improve the “glow” I’m always chasing!
A few thoughts on going natural: I see better and longer-lasting results when I use natural products. I try to seek out skincare that have natural active ingredients, as I’ve found that my skin responds really well to a cleaner approach. Results seem to take a little bit longer to appear, but they are much easier to sustain. Key ingredients that I’m loving at the moment are jojoba (great for softening and evening out the skin), and kakadu plum which increases collagen production and skin elasticity and is great for fine lines and damaged skin.
The best at-home treatment, IMO: What I do at home is a three-step exfoliate and mask system called “Power Peel" by Ole Henriksen, which I probably get to every two months or so. It’s a very basic step-by-step exfoliate, light peel and then cleanse mask, which I find really helps brighten and clean my skin.
I mist my way through everything: I’m a sucker for mists, and though they can often be relatively inexpensive, I tend to stock up on these and take them everywhere. I’m currently loving the Rosewater Balancing Mist by Jurlique, as well as the Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray Thirsty Skin Relief.
My weapon against dark circles: My other indulgence is eye cream, dark circles and puffiness under my eyes has always been a concern of mine. I swear by the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix. It's a total splurge at around $115 a bottle, but it lasts forever and actually works.
Calculating your results!