My desk-side grooming essentials

[This is not a paid post. The products are gifted press samples. Links marked * are affiliate.]

Anyone working an office job knows the daily grind can soon take its toll. But never mind the midweek slump, because all it takes is a couple of hours sat in the same spot, staring at the same screen, and you feel like you haven’t slept in days. There’s no age limit or lifestyle factors at play – working a 9-5 is intense, and if you’re not careful it’ll soon show.

I spend around 10 hours at my desk working each day – which is a long time. I start at 7am, and usually wrap up between 5-6pm, and then most nights I head out in the evening. That makes for a long day, so it’s important I keep myself looking and feeling as awake as I can – not only for appearance’s sake, but so I feel motivated too. Hence, there are a few products I always keep close by to help me stay at my best at all times.

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There were originally going to be a few more items in this post, and I was going to call it something like The products I take everywhere with me, but then I realised there were some I do carry in my bag at all times, and others – like these – that I tend to leave in one place. So I don’t want to call this a ‘part 1’ or anything like that, because it’s not a series, but there will be a What’s in my bag – grooming edit kind of post in the near future – so keep your eyes peeled for that. Anyway, let’s get cracking…

Face mist

I LOVE a face mist. I remember when I was about 14 and took my first visit to Selfridges with friends, I splurged on a La Mer mist – and it was divine. Well, until I realised that, in reality, I could have got something very similar for a fraction of the cost. And that was before they hiked up their prices!

Mists are great not only for when your skin’s not at its best and needs a pick-me-up, but also when you’re just feeling sluggish in general and feel like you need perking up. The Hydro Mist from Neutrogena* is one of my favourites and one I’ve been using constantly for the past month, and it’s still going strong. In the summer months, I tend to lay off the heavy moisturiser and use just a serum instead, and I feel like frequent top ups throughout the day with a hydrating mist kind of round off that routine. It’s also rich in hyaluronic acid, so you could probably get away with using this instead of a serum – and it’s far more affordable! #budgeting

I don’t know whether it’s the European heatwave or if I’m just (prematurely) perimenopausal, but I’ve been sweating to no end lately, and this has been a godsend. You could, of course, pick up a set of those mini travel sprays fairly cheaply and use water to cool you down instead, but where’s the luxury in that?

Crystal roller

This is my favourite little thing and I use it all the time. It’s the Crystal Facial Roller from Kitsch, and it’s honestly the most soothing thing when you’re hot, bothered, or just done with the day after 2 hours. It’s actually designed as a cleansing tool, and you’re supposed to use it to work in your serum post-cleanse, but I’ve never tried that – I’ll get round it it eventually. However, just rolling it along the cheekbones, jawline, under eyes and across the forehead is enough – it’s soooo good.

If you have one of these, take my advice – try putting it in the fridge. Oh my, it’s amazing! When it’s cold, it’s also good for reducing eye bags and puffiness, if you hold over the area for a while. I guess it’s like the old spoon trick, but who wants to sit in the middle of a crowded office with two ice cold teaspoons glued to their face?

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Deodorant

Ok, so who doesn’t have a supply of deodorant on their desk, right? It’s a must if you’re heading from the office to a party or event, or even for when you get in first thing and a want to freshen up after being crammed into public transport for however long. Honestly, there’s no worse feeling than starting your day sweaty – it’s only going to get worse.

Obviously, working from home I don’t have this on my desk per se, because the bathroom is literally in the next room. However, when I was in the office I used to always have a roller deodorant by my side, and the Jack Black Cool CTRL Natural Deodorant was my product of choice. It’s effective, it’s kind to skin (and aluminium free), and it also looks nice – because a can of Lynx Africa just doesn’t cut it, sorry…

Teeth whitening gel

Yes, I’ve had my teeth whitened, and they’re pretty much the brightest shade they’ll naturally go. However, after a coffee they’ll easily look quite dull, and if I’m heading out straight from work I want an effective way to bring them back to life that’s fast and delivers results. So, I always have this whitening gel handy just in case (another bathroom product, but let’s pretend I’m in an office).

I use the Pearl Drops Strong & White Overnight Serum*, and it works a treat. I know it says ‘overnight’, but you’re supposed to leave it on for a minimum of 30 minutes, which is enough to have a significant effect. I use this right before leaving, and the time it takes to get from A to B is usually enough to bring my teeth back to their pearly white best.

Sunscreen

I always keep my tube of Lancaster Sun Beauty SPF 30* – one of my all time favs – on my desk, and with good reason. Because I work from home, I often don’t leave the flat until later in the day. So, there’s no point in applying SPF when I do the rest of my skincare routine, as I’ll need to add more by the time I’m heading out. So, by keeping it close by, I’m constantly reminded that I need to do it before I go to wherever it is I’m heading.

When I was in the office, I’d keep one there and one at home – and often one in my bag too. I know, I know, I’m banging on about it again, but because I consider SPF more of a health thing than anything else, I just don’t like to be without it. Also, if you buy a couple and leave them dotted around, you’re never going to get caught short. Which, if you have the palest of pale skin that burns after 5 seconds in the sun (*points to self*), you’ll be thanking me later!

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