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/ November 13, 2013

My Skincare Routine + Favorite Products

Skincare!  So important.  Your skin is your canvas.  And For What is makeup without the perfect canvas??

Ok.  Enough philosophy.  I don’t want Aristotle or Plato to feel their place in history is being challenged by my Deep Thoughts.

I have tried so many products over the years and used a ton that are totally wrong for my skin.  I want to make it easier for you to find the right products so you don’t waste time and money.

To start:  I use products that go along with my skin.  I have dry skin and am in my 30’s.   I’m starting to see some fine lines around my eyes and on my forehead.  I wear makeup on almost a daily basis, but try to not wear it while I’m working out.  What this means:  I moisturize and use a lot of oils.  If you have combination or oilier skin, some of the products I use might be too heavy for you.

Make up free!
Make up free!

The best thing you can do to prevent/slow your skin from aging:

The number one thing you can do to keep your skin in shape, in my opinion, is to wear sunscreen.  I know dermatologists always saaaay this and someone people listen and others don’t.  BUT, I will say that when I moved to California 10 years ago, I didn’t wear sunscreen on my neck, chest, and arms/hands for the first two years.   But I did wear it on my face every day.  After two years, I noticed that I had broken blood vessels and my chest and neck were always red.  SUN DAMAGE.  In only two years of casually getting sun while out running errands and driving, in two short years my skin showed pretty heavy damage.  That was all I needed to become a sunscreen believer.

Also, I use La Roche Posey Ultra Light SPF 45 sunscreen, which runs about $36 a bottle.  Pricey for a sunscreen, right?  But compare that to a fancy face cream.   I’d rather spend a little more now to prevent the damage then try to play catch up later with $200 creams and lasers, etc.


I’ve been using Bio Oil on my neck, chest, and hands for awhile now to counteract that sun damage and I love that it sinks in quickly and works.  Bio Oil is the little engine that could.  It’s affordable, $10 for 2 ounces, and actually works.  I use it daily and it looks like it’s time for another bottle!


My routine:


1.  I wash my face in the morning with a creamy, gentle cleanser, preferably organic or without a ton of chemicals and parabens.

2.  I use a toner, also try to use more organic or all natural when I can.

3.  If I have a shoot or a big event coming up, I use a serum.

4.  Then I dot an eye cream gently around my eyes.

5..  If no events are coming up, I skip right to using Jergen’s Daily Glow face moisturizer.  This has a light amount of SPF in it.  If I am gong to be outside, I use additional sunscreen with a higher SPF.

6.  My skin is really dry, so I usually follow up with Garnier BB Cream.  It adds more moisture and evens out my skin so I can use less foundation when I start my makeup.


1.  If I’m wearing makeup (most days I am) I use a cleansing oil all over my face, gently working it into my skin in circles and into my eye makeup last before rinsing.

2.  Toner.

3.  I use a serum all over my face, including my eyes.  I pat around my eyes so I don’t pull my skin.

4.  I layer an eye cream over the serum.

4.  Then I put on an oil or heavier night cream.

Favorite Products:


Cleansing oils:  If you wear makeup, you must use a cleansing oil.  It takes off every trace of makeup and gets all the gunk out of your pores.  I will not go to bed without using this.  Cleansing oil also makes my life easier because I used to use a separate eye makeup remover and now I don’t have to.  It also takes off your makeup super, super fast so there is no excuse not to wash your face before bed.  Cleansing oils are good for both dry skin and oily skin.  I know, seems crazy, but it’s the truth!

How to use cleansing oils:  Rub the oil into your skin while your skin is dry with dry hands.  When you feel  like you’ve “loosened” up all your makeup, then rinse with warm water.

DHC Cleasing Oil

I like DHC Deep Cleansing Oil because it’s really substantial and incredibly effective.  One pump, smoothed over you whole face and your skin is clean.  This was the first oil I ever tried for cleaning my face and it remains one of my favorites.  The only downside is that you have to buy it online as it’s not sold in stores.  $28 for 6.6 ounces, plus $5 economy shipping.

I recently tried Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil as part of my monthly maven box, $19.99 for 3 products.  The oil normally retails for $28 for 3.5 ounces, with a 20% discount and free shipping if you are a maven.  I like this oil because it also gets your face very clean without making your skin feel tight.  However, I think it has added fragrance and takes me about 4 pumps to get my face completely covered as it’s a bit thinner than the DHC oil.

Face Wash:

I like creamy, organic or more all natural face washes.  Burt’s Bees makes a good face wash in their Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser, $10.

Also, ALBA Botanica makes a great Deep Cleansing Coconut Milk face wash, $13.  It smells amazing and leaves your skin clean, but cushion-y.

I like these cleansers because they both work well, are affordable, don’t have junk in them, and can easily be found in drugstores.  However, they are not good at taking makeup off.  So I tend to use these as part of my morning routine instead of in the evening.

Powder Cleansers:

These are perfect for travel as they can’t spill and any size can be taken in carry on bags if you are flying.  I bring them on every trip, road trip or flight, for this reason.  You put a dime size amount of powder in your hand, add a few drops of water, and you have a cleanser.

DHC makes a great one,Washing Powder, such a good cleanser.  $11 for 1.7 ounces.  I adore a lot of DHC products, they are excellent quality and incredible prices considering the quality you are getting.

Also, Eminence has their Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant, which is all natural and smells INCREDIBLE.  I got a deluxe sample in my blush mystery box and want the full size when I run out.  It retails for $48 for 4.2 ounces.


I use the Bliss Mask mostly in the summer, or in the winter if I’ve been wearing heavier makeup.  The moisture mask I do once a month year round.  I need to start doing it once a week, but sometimes I get lazy with leaving it on for 20 minutes.


Bliss Steep Clean Pore Purifying mask, $55 for 3.4 ounces.  I bought mine as part of a gift set a few years ago and it’s lasted me a looong time.  I don’t use it that often, but when I do it does help clean out my pores.

Skin by Ann Webb White Tea Hydrating Clay Mask, $10-$23 for 1.7 ounces.  My friend Candace gave this to me, and I am obsessed.  The day after I used it for the first time, my skin GLOWED.  I had never used a hydrating mask before and now I really need to start making myself do a hydrating mask once a week.  It helped give my skin the boost it needed.

Eye Creams:

Eye creams might be my favorite products to use.  They are literally my hope in a jar.  I think a good eye cream is one of the best investments you can make because eyes are where your skin starts to show age first.  But I get it, they are expensive.  If you’re a baller, then go big and you can skip the next couple of sentences.  If you are watching your budget, Nordstrom Rack usually has good products super discounted.  I got my $98 eye cream there for $28.  You just have to know what brands you like.  Also, I tried the Lancome Absolue eye cream, which is PHENOMENAL, when I bought mascara.  It came in a gift kit.  It was half the size of the regular container and completely changed my under eye area.  Baller on a budget, baby, do whatchu gotta do.

eye creams

Caudalie Premier Cru eye cream, $98 for .5 ounces.  An exceptional eye cream, without chemical junk in it.  Apparently, it took 7 years and 300 trials to get the product to work the way the company wanted.  I love statistics.

Lancome Absolue Eye Premium Bx, $102 for .5 ounces.  As mentioned, my crack dealers (Lancome) put this in a gift set, a very generous gift set, thank you crack dealers and now I’M ADDICTED SO YOUR PLAN WORKED.  If you want your under eye area to look as smooth and wrinkle free as they did at 15, then give the crack dealers your money.


DHC is one of my faaaaavorite companies for skin care and I do not say that lightly.  I tried a sample of their Deep Cleansing Oil and Olive Virgin Oil for skin (sensing a pattern here?  Yes, give me samples and I’m yours forever) and was so impressed that I ordered a few different products from them.  Their packaging is clean and simple.  No thrills or whose-its and whats-its galore.  And you know what?   I like that.  I don’t want thrills and crazy packaging.  I want nice skin.  And DHC products will change your skin.

One of my absolute favorite, this-will-change-your skin forever products is their Extra Concentrate, 1 ounce for $45.  It comes in 5 small .2 vials that you twist open and put the stopper back in.  I use this across my forehead and under my eyes, especially if I have photos or an event coming up.  It’s the only time I’ve used a serum and watched my skin transform before my eyes.  It’s a miracle product.  I’ve even put in on a pimple once JUST FOR FUN JUST TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS and guess what?  The next day it was gone with no scars.  Your fine lines diminish while you are using this.  You have to keep using it though, or else those fine lines come back from their little vacation.  Each vial lasts me about two weeks.  So is it super cheap?  Ugh.  Not exactly, but considering that it gave me results comparable to many of the $200++ products I’ve tried, it is a deal.  I am a life-long, forever, forever, forever fan of this product.

DHC are mail order skin products FROM JAPAN which makes my hands shake as I write it.
DHC are mail order skin products FROM JAPAN which makes my hands shake with excitement as I write it.
And then there was one...time to reorder!
And then there was one…time to reorder!
She's beautiful and she knows it.
She’s beautiful and she knows it.

Night Creams:

I have tried a gazillion night creams.  There are a ton of great products out there, that do so many fancy and wonderful things for your skin that sometimes I forget that I mostly just need them to moisturize.  In the past year, I’ve leaned heavily on oils.

Again, DHC leads the pack with their simple, but effective Olive Virgin Oil, $42 for 1 ounce.  It sinks in fast and you wake up with glowing skin.

For a cream, I just tried Lancome’s High Resolution Refill-3x.  It starts at $82 for 1.7 ounces.  It was so amazing, that I switched to another cream for a week just to make sure I wasn’t imagining things.  I was not.  It works wonders.  I always woke up looking like I’d slept a full night.

I have also used Bio Oil on my face and it is lovely, see above for more info on it, but it can be a bit light for me as my skin is dry.  But it is an effective and very affordable oil!


I was first in line when Olay came out with their Pro-X spin brush and have been using it ever since, it retails for $20-$30.  I have friends that love their Clarisonic brush, and maybe someday I’ll switch, but gosh darn I love my Olay brush.  When I first got it I used it twice a day, everyday before realizing that is too much exfoliating for my skin.  So now, I use it every other or every 3rd day in the morning to get my skin really smooth before makeup.  OR, I’ll use it at night to help get all the makeup off.  It is hard to make myself do the “OR.”  If you don’t think a brush makes a difference, try this one.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

olay brushPore Refiners:

I’m not sure if these Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner and Gel are technically for pore refining, but that what I use them for.  In the summer or when I’ve been super heavy with makeup, I use this toner and gel and wake up with smooth, smooth skin.  In the winter, I do have to use and oil or cream over the gel, or my skin gets too dry.  I’ll use the gel in place of a serum at night.  I use the toner in the A.M. & P.M.

The gel is $25 for 2 ounces and the toner is $18 for 8 ounces.

mario badescu glycolic mario badescu glycolic

My Everyday Moisturizer:

For everyday I use Jergen’s Natural Glow moisturizer for face.  I like to use a moisturizer that has a bit of self-tanner in it.  Jergen’s works, is under $10, and has spf 20 in it.  Done & done.

Last Thoughts:

My other two recommendations have also been said a billion times, but are worth repeating.  I drink a TON of water every day.  If I don’t have a bottle of water on me, I get a dry throat within 30 minutes.  I’m a water addict.  Also, I try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.  Partially for my skin, because I definitely notice a difference in how my skin looks if I sleep less, but also because I’m very grumpy when I’m tired.


By the way, my mom has the most gorgeous skin I’ve ever seen and she washes her face every day with….soap & water.  I mean, you have to laugh at that right?  I’m putting All The World’s Most Advanced Science on my face and then adding my own Hopes and Prayers and she’s over there giving her gorgeous skin a splash of water.  There’s humor in there.

Thank you for reading!  Feel free to leave any comments or questions below!!

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