Belfast Telegraph

Make-up masterclass: 5 tips for a healthier complexion

Paddy McGurgan is one of NI's best-known beauty experts and each week he explains all you need to know about latest make-up techniques and trends

Beauty expert Paddy McGurgan shares his skincare tips
Beauty expert Paddy McGurgan shares his skincare tips
Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth (£20, Make Up Pro Store)
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate

With the new year comes an array of new year’s resolutions.

What I would encourage you to do for 2019 is make it the year that you invest in your skin. The better care you take of your skin, the more it will reward you in years to come.

It is often a misconception that skincare is only for people aged 40-plus, but I could not disagree more — the earlier, the better, because prevention is always better than cure. So, here are the hero skincare and good-skin practices I recommend for 2019.


Your routine should begin with your trusty cleanser. For wintertime, I recommend a gentle product with a small exfoliate to rid the skin of dead cells. Opt for a cleanser with a low pH in winter, purely because of the temperature difference from the cold outside to the heating inside. This is what can often lead to chapped lips and excess patches of dryness in areas such as the nose, chin and forehead. Your cleanse will exfoliate the areas that you find this in.

There are two amazing exfoliant cleansers I recommend for this. Up first is Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth (£20, Make Up Pro Store), a trio of shea, mango and cocoa butters, which are rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins that plump and nourish the skin.

Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth (£20, Make Up Pro Store)

The other is EVELOM cleanser 200ml (£85), which cleanses without drying or stripping and removes the most stubborn make-up. It helps drain toxins, and, combined with the included muslin cloth, exfoliates, tones and improves circulation.


Again, this is so dependent on your skin type, but if you have dry or dehydrated skin, hydration is key to your moisturising routine. Your moisturiser needs to be quick to apply, fast-acting and not thick in texture, so make-up can be applied instantly as part of your morning routine. I love The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA 100ml (£6.80).

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

Deeply moisturise thirsty skin with the natural moisturising factors and HA from The Ordinary, a non-greasy formula with a protective coat responsible for maintaining the hydration of the outermost part of the epidermis. It delivers a direct topical supplement of multiple amino acids, fatty acids, hyaluronic acids and other compounds that work in tandem to saturate the skin's outer layers with immediate hydration, giving lasting results and a brighter, healthier-looking complexion.


This is another taboo product often misunderstood. The purpose of a serum in your skincare regime is almost like when you have a car that has the option of a sixth gear - your skin will work fine and at a normal speed in fifth gear, but when you use a serum (sixth gear), the serum instantly accelerates the rate of action.

Serums are smaller molecules that penetrate deeply into the skin to deliver a high concentration of active ingredients, which is why they should be tailored to you - for example, anti-ageing or adding a particular active ingredient to your skin. A serum is so highly concentrated that the skin will absorb it far quicker than your normal skincare products. A few examples of my favourite skincare serums are Mario Badescu Rose Hip Oil (£20, Make Up Pro Store), Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate (£30) and Sarah Chapman Skinesis Age-repair Serum (£52).

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Paddy's top tips for achieving a healthier complexion

1. Speak to a skin specialist

If you are seriously considering revamping your skin, speak to a specialist to tailor your needs and give you a full skin analysis. There are so many skin clinics across the country, including Therapie Clinic, Younique Aesthetics Newry and so many more, so do your research and choose what suits you best.

2. Skincare on a budget

Products with hard-to-find ingredients such as specific anti-ageing ingredients can be pricier. However, professional and high-end skincare products are usually in a reasonable price bracket. If you are on a budget, invest in the staples of your skincare routine such as cleanser and moisturiser, but leave the serums and masks until pay day. Avoid the temptation to buy massively cheaper entire skincare brands - often the ingredients can be high in alcohol, which can irritate the skin.

3. Avoid self diagnosis

So many times I have had clients self-diagnose that they have acne when in fact they have been undergoing hormonal changes and have not been allergy-tested to rule out intolerances. Super-strong skincare or medication is a last resort, because the skin is so sensitive to a variety of lifestyle changes. So, although you may think your skin is in a really poor condition, always trust your reputable skincare specialist.

4. Help your skin

Lifestyle, stress, food intolerance and so many more factors are a huge influence in the condition of your skin and how it reacts throughout the year, so ensure you are doing the things you know you need to such as food allergy or intolerance-testing. I am a massive advocate for this. Add Vitamin C to your diet to boost hydration in the skin and to increase the production of collagen.

5. Water, water, water

I cannot stress the importance of water in the diet enough. The skin is an organ that is made up of cells, and without water these cells do not perform at their best. If your skin is not receiving enough water, it will become dry, tight and will show signs of ageing.

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