Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Current Skincare Routine

I've been in dermatological heaven for the last few months. As previously mentioned, I've been taking prescription antibiotics for my acne, and it has really cleared up my breakouts. I still tend to get the occasional pimple, but its such a rare occasion that it's okay. Here's my topical routine for maintaining clear skin. The principles are simple: remove all traces of makeup and dirt, and follow up with a cleanser and/or exfoliator that encourages cell turnover. Cell turnover not only helps fade acne scarring, but can also prevent and fight fine lines and wrinkles, so this routine should work for a wide variety of skin types.

1. If I am using liquid foundation, I first take every thing off with MAC Cleanse Off oil. I skip this step if I'm using powder foundation because by the end of the day, the poor thing has worn off by itself.

2. I remove all my eye makeup with the wonderful Boots Botanics Soothing Makeup Remover. It has icelandic moss (yay for exotic ingredients!). This is so effective that I simply have to hold a dampened cotton square over my eyes and it melts all my waterproof makeup.

3. To cleanse, I use Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. Although this is technically an exfoliator, the rice particles are so fine that you can use it every day and not worry about over-exfoliation. It's pricey ($50) so I'm glad I won it in a giveaway, but I'm so in love with it that I may repurchase...may...**wrings hands**
4. After cleansing, I tone with Olay Refreshing Toner with witch hazel. This drugstore gem lives up to its name--its so refreshing! And it takes off every trace of remaining dirt and makeup. I also love that for a small price, you get a LOT of toner.

5. Finally, I spread a small amount of tretinoin gel on my cheeks. Tretinoin is a prescription gel for fading post-acne spots. I love this stuff--it has really diminished some of my most stubborn hyperpigmentation marks. 

And that's it. Although it looks like a lot of products, my skin has always been troublesome, and I find that a regular skincare routine combined with a bit of Western medicine has led to the best skin I've had since my pre-teens. 

What is your current skincare routine? Any product recommendations pour moi?  

PS. I purchased all of these products with my own moolah. The only thing I didn't buy was the Dermalogica exfoliator, which I won in a giveaway.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

August Favorites and 1 Regret

August was a month of makeup minimalism for me. I have decided to henceforth channel my inner Padma Lakshmi by focusing on flawless, glowing skin and favoring fresh blush and lip colors instead of over-done eyes. It's just what works for my skintone and sense of style. On to the current obsessions:

First up is YSL Rouge Volupte in #23:
After wringing my hands many times over the sticker price ($34!), I finally bought this lipstick thanks to my husband, who loved how it looked on me and talked me into it. And although I'm a proud frugalista, I have to admit that this lipstick covers so many bases that it's well worth the price and hype. It's full of moisture, yet it dries to a matte finish so it is smooch-friendly. The pigmentation is so great that a few dabs on my lips gives me a my-lips-but-better look. A few more dabs and we're in a peppy bright mode.  The packaging is of course heavenly and has finally taught me that packaging. does. matter.

In keeping with my minimal makeup look, I've been loving Benefit's Georgia beauty powder. I love using this as a blush substitute because instead of making my cheeks pink, it just lightens up that area by a few shades. That looks like a genuine radiant glow because I've noticed that after a solid workout, my cheeks are lighter, not necessarily pinker. I love this stuff. Tan ladies, seek this out.

This month I finally figured out how to conceal my undereye circles! I put a small amount of Smashbox photofinish foundation primer on my undereye area, and then blend thin layers of MAC select cover up on top. The primer prevents the concealer from settling into my fine lines. I set the whole thing with a loose translucent powder or MAC Studio Fix powder foundation. The look stays put without settling into fine lines.

As for my regret, I completely regret buying Rimmel's Gentle eye makeup remover. It's like having a Smart Car when you want a Rover. Ugh. This stuff did take off my eyeshadows with ease, but throw ANY waterproof formulations at it, and it quakes in its pants and runs home to its momma. I have been tugging and pulling at my eyelashes trying to get off my mascara, and it just does not budge it. "Gentle" would be the understatement of the year for this mascara. Stay away. My top recommendation for an eye makeup remover is, and will always be, Boots Eye-Makeup Remover with Icelandic Moss.

Sorry this was an uber long post, but I thought I'd come back with a bang. That, and I didn't want to have a backlog of 10 products I need to write about, so I thought I'd get them all out of the way so I can let new ideas take the stage soon. Thanks for reading chicas.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Aaand, I'm back

Hey guys, a thousand apologies for my absence from the blogosphere. I MISSED YOU GUYS SO MUCH! I have missed blogging, and I've missed the community. I've of course been a silent viewer of all your blogs, so the hype of MAC Face & Body  and UD Naked has not eluded me. No worries there, I want them very badly. But now onto an explanation.

At first, I had to slow down because my computer died on me. After that, I had my in-laws stay with me for the summer, which was lovely because they are so easy-going, but that meant that I chose to spend my evenings and weekends with them rather than blogging. But neither of those excuses really can stop me from blogging if I'm REALLY passionate about saying something. To be honest, at the core of my writer's block was a fundamental shift in my attitude towards make-up. I don't want to get too deep and serious about this, because its only makeup, but honestly, I am just not a makeup collector. I will never be like those YouTube gurus with walk-in closets filled with MAC pigments. I'm more like a makeup curator. I believe that a small but carefully edited collection of products is far more valuable and enjoyable than owning every NYX Jumbo Pencil under the sun. So this summer, I parted with a huge amount of makeup, most of which I shared with my sister and friends but some of which went into Mr. Garbage. I was so happy to give away these items because they were just not working on me or I didn't use them, so it was nice to spread the love. If I show you guys my makeup collection now, you'll probably all laugh (it all fits into regular traincase with room to spare). But I'm happy because having a small collection with no duplicates means that I finish up products while they are fresh, and I can guiltlessly buy new products to replace them if they are not HG material. Case in point: I've hit pan on my Studio Fix Powder Foundation  and my Colorstay is about to run out as well. I will probably repurchase the SF, but Colorstay may be replaced with something new, like Face & Body now that my skin has cleared up (separate post on that to come soon!).

Anyway, I have finally gotten around to taking pictures of some wonderful July/August favorites, so stay tuned for that post, which will be coming out very soon. Thanks for sticking with me guys. :-)