Beauty, Featured, People of Joburg

Quarantine beauty 101: Expert tips for at-home self-care with Tori from Kiss, Blush & Tell

May 4, 2020, Author: Candice May

While skincare and makeup blogs launch all the time, we continue to go back to Kiss, Blush & Tell over and over again. Joburg-based qualified esthetician Victoria Duckitt – better known as Tori by her incredibly loyal readers and followers – has been a pillar of the beauty community for a long time, and her expert knowledge is simply unrivalled. 

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If you follow Tori on Instagram, you know that she advises that you always follow a dedicated skincare routine for your specific skin type. With no need to rush out the door every morning during quarantine, you can take your time and develop a skincare routine that works for you. 

These are Tori’s top tips to look after your skin – and keep yourself together – until you can get back to your favourite salon, spa or self-care facility. 

Let your skin breathe 

The one perk of being in self-isolation is that it’s a great opportunity to let our skin have a break from the usual makeup we may wear to the office or on our daily errands,” Tori says. She advises allowing your skin to be makeup-free and, as an added benefit, loading on those hydrating products. “Layer essences, hydrating serums and juicy, balmy face creams and let your skin drink these up throughout the day.” 

Get into a retinol routine 

Tori explains that vitamin A, the ultimate anti-ageing ingredient, can sometimes result in flakiness, slight redness and tight skin.Use this downtime to get into a good routine with your retinol product at night. Without any big events or social commitments, it’s the perfect chance!She recommends building this up very slowly: Use your retinol once a week for the first month or two, twice a week for the third month and three times a week thereafter. “There’s no need to use it more than this unless your skin can tolerate it, in which case you should use with caution. Oh, and thank me later. 

Apply a face mask – often 

“Nothing feels quite as indulgent as a face mask. I’ve always been a huge fan for a quick pick-me-up and reach for one virtually every single day,” Tori says. Before deciding which mask will be suitable, she explains that you should have a close look at your skin. “Is it red and dry? Pop on a soothing, hydrating mask like the Eau Thermale Avène Soothing Radiance Mask. Is it spotty and full of blackheads? Go for the GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment. Is it dull and lacklustre? Try the REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask.Check out the KBT Instagram page for more recommendations. 

Never skip sunscreen! 

We all know that a good SPF for your face is vital. In fact, Tori often says to her readers and followers that everything else is pointless if you’re skipping this step. Being in our homes a lot more than usual and not out and about might leave you feeling that you don’t need this step. This is very wrong as we’re still exposed to UV rays throughout the day – inside or outside; in sunny, cloudy or rainy weather. It’s super-important not to skip this step!” she stresses. 

Give yourself a facial massage 

You know that glow you get after having a facial at your favourite salon? Well, a lot of that glow is thanks to massage, which is so beneficial in getting that blood flowing,” Tori says. She explains that blood flow equals increased collagen production, and that this gives a healthy, natural glow to the complexion. There are loads of easy-to-do tutorials on YouTube. Otherwise, simply ensure you drain the face in a gentle motion towards your lymph nodes. This helps with puffiness and de-stressing too, which we could all do with now! 



Facials and pedicures have fallen wayside – and massages may be a pipe dream until we come out of quarantine – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start thinking about the spoils you’ll be booking yourself in for when beauty salons and spas reopen. 

Tori shares the skin and other beauty treatments that she’ll be getting done at her favourite local spots when self-isolation and social distancing is no longer. 


Micro-needling is one of the most popular in-salon treatments with endless results, according to Tori. “I also love recommending this to my readers as its suitable for nearly all skin types, conditions and agesbar a few, so be sure to get a professional’s advice if you’re unsure,” she says. The treatment is really mild in terms of pain level because your skin is numbed beforehand. The downtime is about three to five days and you’re left with plumper, firmer skin.” 

Book it: Tori’s favourite spots for micro-needling are Aesthetics on 5th in Hyde Park and Urban Escape in Bryanston. 


There are loads of options when it comes to peelsfrom very mild ones that can be done in your lunch break with zero downtime or discomfort, to much more extreme ones that result in visible peeling and redness,” Tori explains. Either way, she says that once you find the peel that suits your needs, this is a fab go-to treatment to kickstart taking tired, dull looking skin to fresh, glowy skin. 

Book it: Tori’s favourite spots for peels are Aesthetics on 5th in Hyde Park, Urban Escape in Bryanston and Exclusively You Aesthetics in Rivonia.   


Tori describes microdermabrasion as ‘the perfect pre-party pick-me-up’ that’s generally pretty cost-effective. “Microdermabrasion ensures that the skin is deeply cleansed, rid of all those dead skin cells and feels renewed afterwards. The treatment is lovely on its own and can also be combined with a peel for an added boostjust be sure to speak to your salon of choice, as this may not be something they offer.” 

Book it: Tori’s favourite spot for microdermabrasion is Aesthetics on 5th in Hyde Park. 

Brow shape and tint 

Well, need I say more?! A good brow shape and tint is one of the first things I’ll be booking myself,” Tori says. In the meantime, she’s using her time in quarantine to let her brows grow out. “It’s a good opportunity to get a fuller brow, so don’t be tempted by getting over-zealous with those tweezers at home! 

Book it: Tori’s favourite spot for a brow shape and tint is The Brow Studio in Melrose Arch. 


Top tip 

Need help with your skincare routine and skin goals? Tori has her own skin analysis offering that’s helped over 1,000 KBT readers. The online consultation is tailored to your needs and concerns as well as your budget. Go to the ‘skin analysis’ highlight reel on the KBT Instagram page for more details. 

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