When my friends at Peach & Lily asked me if I wanted one of their Aestheticians to create a custom skincare routine I felt totally VIP*** and jumped at the chance. It feels like everyday I hear about some new amazing thing and I wanted to know - how do I put it all together? What would a pro tell me to do, instead of my own folksy brand of shop girl/internet/common sense wisdom?

I was totally undaunted by the idea of a 10-step system, having reconciled myself already to the fact that I get great pleasure from 20 minute morning me-time ritual. But now, I wanted to supercharge it and see if I really could get my skin any better than it is (it's pretty freaking amazing right now - I probably just jinxed myself and will end up with some kind of horrible rash.)

So they emailed me a list of questions and I wrote them a small novel back about my skincare concerns (let me know if this is of interest to you and I will post it!) Then I received a gorgeous box in the mail, packed with a ton of products and detailed instructions on how to use each thing, why it was awesome, and in what order to apply them. I kept only my "cannot-live-without-VIP-products" and ditched everything else.

So here's what my routine looked like:

wash with Milky Jelly
tone with P50
tone with Be the Skin Botanical Nutrition Toner (which smells amazing and covers the campfire smell) 
prep with Mizon Water Volume Ex Essence which helps to prep the skin for all the other amazing ingredients
Nuface + Aromatic Organic Aloe Vera Gel 
treat with (in this order) Kiehl's Refining Micro Peel +  Aromatic Argan Intensive Hydrating Serum & Eye Cream & Kiehl's Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate 

moisturize with Glossier Priming Moisturizer
protect with Murad Invisiblur Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
boost with Jenu Ultrasonic Infuser

Double cleanse with Aromatica Coconut Cleansing Oil + Shangpree S Energy Mousse Cleanser
one with P50
tone with Be the Skin Botanical Nutrition Toner
prep with Mizon Water Volume Ex Essence 
treat with (in this order)  Aromatica Argan Intensive Hydrating Serum & Eye Cream & Kiehl's Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate & Epiduo prescription Retinol + BP
moisturize with Aromatica Rose Absolute Vital Cream - which I was scared of at first because it said "whitening" but which (as the last one I added in) had the most dramatic impact on how freaking awesome and bouncy my skin looked 
Jenu UltraSonic Infuser (when I wasn't too exhausted, this is usually the first one I skip, wah wah)
shown on my beloved Icon Rose Gold Stool

I have to admit, the results are amazing. My skin is dewy, bouncy and fresh looking. My pores are shrinking. My skin feels petal soft to the touch but also looks radiant, glowing and healthy. My fine lines are almost non-existent and I've noticed a reduction in the larger creases (mostly the marionette lines around my mouth, I smile more than your average Kardashian and I'm not stopping!) 

I used the products for two weeks before writing this, and tried to slowly add new products in (not as slowly as they recommended! I'm just asking for trouble...) but once I started to see results I couldn't help myself. Plus everything looked so pretty and smelled so good and felt so good when I patch tested. 

Another big takeaway for me was that I don't need cotton pads to apply my toner. Not only do I not waste products, but I'm not producing as much waste, which makes me feel good. I also love how many of the products are natural or organic. Plus, now that I know the steps I find I can do it  quickly and easily, and the extra five minutes I more than make up for in not doing my makeup (get it?!?)

**Turns out I am not VIP - you too can have a custom routine created for you by emailing hello@peachandlily.com. They will also send you detailed answers to all kinds of questions about their products - they have the best customer service. They also have awesome kits already curated for common skin concerns.

But of course, the proof is in the pudding. So below, you'll find some very close up pictures of my face wearing minimal makeup and with absolutely no photo retouching - I put the makeup on in the morning at around 12, ran around all day, took a nap without washing my face (bad Dena!) then woke-up and took these pictures, reapplying only a little bit of stretch concealer around my nose and mouth, some haloscope in Quartz on my cheekbones, peri peri cushion blush and some extra eyeliner.