Astin Maisie On Embracing Your Natural Look

I’m Astin Maisie. I’m 20 years old, born and bred in London. I’m a Fashion PR and Communications student at the London College of Fashion, and I’ve been modelling since I was 15. In between modelling, I’m either at university or interning somewhere. My skincare routine has been a wild ride. I’ve finally got to a stage where my skin is clear, but it hasn’t always been that way. I’m hoping the products I share can help people out a little. I’ve included what actually saved my skin (a product called Duac), so I’ve got some medical products in there, too. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, because when I do, I feel trapped, and I hate being able to feel makeup on my face. I’ve also ditched the dark eyebrow tint to let the natural, sparse, blondish colour of my brows shine through. Two years ago I would have thought I looked gross, but now I love my patchy, see-through, fluffy brows. I feel more natural, and it’s just one more step on my journey to self-love.

  • Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

    This Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is a life-saver when I’m in need of saving. I’ve finally got to a stage where my skin is pretty clear, but my skin is sadly not 100% blemish-free. When I do have a breakout, I use this to help get rid of it as quickly as possible. Just dip a cotton bud into the solution and dab it on your face where the spot is. This doesn’t work well for blackheads, but works wonders for getting rid of white heads and those rude, under-the-skin spots. I usually put it on overnight and then repeat the night after that. In the morning, it will have disappeared. Also, the packaging is cute, which is a plus. On top of this, my advice to acne or blemish-prone guys and gals is:

    1. Don’t overdo it with your products. Keep it simple. A gentle cleanser and a good moisturiser are all you need. I found that when I had bad skin, and I was cleansing, toning, moisturising, exfoliating, masking, and wearing makeup all at once, my skin was worse than ever, even though I was working with what I thought was a good skincare routine, with good and well-known products. Find what works best for you. Stay away from weird, harsh perfumes and chemicals that are sneakily put into our skincare products.

    2. Let your face breathe. Girls, if you wear makeup daily (even if it’s just foundation), try and stop for a while. At least just on weekdays. I stopped wearing makeup for 6 months when I first started modelling and my face cleared up like crazy. Congestion gone.

    3. If you’re in the UK (and possibly abroad—don’t quote me on that), beg your doctor to give you a product called Duac. It was the only thing that cleared my skin up. I recommended it to my best friend who had pretty bad acne, and she’s now 90% blemish-free.

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    Davines Nounou

    Davines’ Nounou was first used on me as a treatment when I went to my hairdresser (Foster London). My hair had never felt softer. I’ve been growing the colour out of my hair for the past year, and still have that last bit of bleach in my ends, which are so dry and tangle easily. After using this, my hair was shiny, soft, and tangle-free. I use the shampoo mainly on my roots, and try to avoid using anything on the ends, as I don’t want to dry them out too much. Then I use the conditioner, focusing on the ends of my hair and running the last bits up to the top of my head. I leave the conditioner on for about 5 minutes, then wash it out. Hair masks are good to do weekly. I’ll leave this one on whilst I’m shaving (for about 15 minutes) and then wash it out. If I don’t use this, I use Herbal Essences, which is surprisingly amazing. I’ll also massage some olive oil into my scalp maybe once a week. It keeps the new hair growing all fresh and healthy.

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    Jo Malone London English Pear & Freesia

    I love most Jo Malone perfumes, but English Pear & Freesia is my all time favourite. It was the perfume my mum used to (and still does) wear. My favourite scents are ones that remind me of others and make me a lil’ nostalgic. Most of the perfumes I’ve ever owned have been discovered through friends and family—even Britney Spears’ Fantasy, which I discovered through a friend when I was 13. I feel like every teenage girl in 2009 owned that perfume. My other go-to is Emporio Armani Diamonds Violet. I usually alternate between the two. Again, I think this was one my mum owned. It’s slightly more flowery and sweet, but still such a lovely perfume. Jo Malone is always a nice place to get someone a present if you’re stuck for ideas. The candles are amazing and smell as good as the perfumes, and the packaging is nice enough that you don’t need to wrap it.

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    Simple Kind To Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser

    The most basic of basics, but, at the same time, the queen of all queens: Simple’s Kind To Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser. I’ve been using this beauty since I first started moisturising. It’s not oily, not too thick, not too thin, sinks in beautifully, and doesn’t leave your face tacky or congested. Super inexpensive. I can’t say much about this product because it honestly speaks for itself. The only downside is that the bottles don’t have a great… aesthetic. I decant it into my own pots (from Superdrug). Extra.

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    Something different

    Something you can do for free: sleep with an open window. I live in a ground floor flat, so I can’t open my main window wide, because, well, burglars—but I open the little top window wide whilst I sleep. Mainly, because I hate sleeping in a hot room, but also because sleeping in a cold room decreases your chances of waking up with a puffy face. When I have a puffy morning face, it takes so long to go down. If I get up and have to be at a shoot within an hour, I still feel puffy when I’m sitting in the makeup chair, which is not something I want. Also, sleeping in a cold room is meant to have health benefits. Google it! I’m not saying make your room an ice chamber by opening the window wide when its -20 degrees outside, but a lil’ breeze to keep the room cool won’t hurt. I’m never cold sleeping because I’m warm under my duvet, but if I do get cold, I just shut the window. Voila!

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    Words and photography, Astin Maisie.