Friday, January 15, 2016

My Beauty Routine

.... bwhahaha! Lately I've been paying more attention to a dedicated skincare routine and even wearing makeup! - I've found some great stuff that I want to share with you.

First and foremost I've been using Retin-A and finally following Quenby's advice to LET YOUR FACE DRY COMPLETELY. I wash my face, apply toner, exfoliant, serum + booster, let dry for 15-20 minutes (yoga/Get To Work Book/pack lunches/mindless scrolling/I just joined Skillshare and omg I can't wait to fall down that rabbit hole), then Retin-A and moisturizer. Letting my skin dry and being consistent with daily or every-other-day application has mitigated dryness, redness, and flaking considerably.

I enjoy the ritual of it all.


Cleansers and such: It turns out I really love rubbing oil on my face. Remember how oil and fat were anathema for so long but now everything is bacon, prime rib, grassfed butter, argan and essentials oils? Well I love it. It's probably terrible for my skin type but I adore Josie Maran's cleansing oil and its drugstore counterpart (absolutely the same, I'm certain -- see a discussion of the phenomenon that drives my every purchase here). I'm using the Paula's Choice advanced kit for wrinkles + breakouts (the kit pictured below plus the weekly foaming treatment, moisturizer, and antioxidant serum). I've used up the exfoliant in this kit and am using another PC exfoliant that was a gift with purchase (still going at -- I like the face-feel of the Resist product more but as I'm applying this at night, no big deal.

images via Sephora and

I add a few drops of C15 booster (ferulic acid + vitamins C and E) to the antioxidant serum and moisturize either with a PC moisturizer or oil (a sample that I like but don't feel strongly enough about to purchase). [For a description of how to use PC products with a retinol/retinoid, click here].

Other cleansers: My sister gave me a Clarisonic that I use several times a week in the morning. Beautypedia (a Paula's Choice website) raved about First Aid Beauty's Milk Oil Conditioning Cleanser. I like it but the pump struggle is real.  

Sun protection and makeup: I wear at least SPF 30 everyday on my face. My new fave is Perricone MD's Photo Plasma which despite being rather heavy doesn't translate to shininess. Bonus points for titanium dioxide. Maybe I'm hook, line, and sinker for the tagline - No Makeup Makeup - but I love the No Foundation Foundation, No Lipstick Lipsticks (other colors only available as a kit), and No Eyeshadow Eyeshadow -- my enthusiasm for which even confounds me because it's freaking invisible. I'm not saying it makes sense, folks. I like most of the PC facial sunscreens - all are available as single use samples for $1. So much of sunscreen is desired finish and acceptable texture and this is great way to try out several.

** IMPORTANT NOTE: I'm not a dermatologist, just a gal who's enthusiastic about smearing things on her integument. None of this is advice - it's just reporting from the front lines of my medicine cabinet. **

Lipsticks: Armani sheers all the way.

Armani CC Luminessence cream remains my all-time favorite. It has a low Beautypedia rating but I don't care. I love it. On the rare occasion that I apply makeup to go out at night, I use Armani Luminous Silk - beyond fabulous. On a typical day I'll wear sunscreen and add a bit of coverage with the Luminous Silk compact and that's it.

Beautyblender and Blotterazi: a real upgrade from the finger-schmear application technique I usually employ. I like that I use more product because I have so many little bottles hanging around. (Following Gretchen Rubin's advice to use it up!) Blotterazi is a fantastic upgrade from those little papers.

images via

Other Paula's Choice products that I love: the eye cream, body butter (not greasy and a tube not a tub - this stuff is awesome), heavy duty moisturizer/mask (I used this heavily post-laser treatment... more on that later), body lotions with 10% AHA and retinol.

Neurotoxins and laser blasts: I've gotten Botox about every 8-12 months since age 30. Once I'm able to establish a routine I'll increase that to 2-3 a year. Botox is the greatest. I have my forehead, crow's feet, and glabella (the 11 crease between eyebrows) injected. I had my first ablative and non-ablative laser treatment two months ago - upcoming post!

Now for the best part! Click on over to Paula's Choice for $10 off your first order!* I love this company -- their customer service is fantastic and the products are domestically sourced and made in the USA. No animal testing. No fragrance. No bogus claims. There are frequent sales, free shipping promotions, a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and free samples with each purchase.

*if you use this link and purchase items, I receive $10 toward PC products. SO GET SHOPPING. I kid. Then you can refer-a-friend and get money money money.

As I read over all this, I think wow, that's a lot of stuff and wow, that's a lot of money. I suppose some people spend a lot on makeup - actual colors of makeup - and while I have some of that too, I focus on looking like the best barefaced version of myself, both au naturel and made up. I will never, ever buy a contouring kit, for example. That is too much time/effort/skill level in a way that a seven-step-in-under-three-minutes skincare routine isn't to me. I live by the 'ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure' maxim -- prophylactic Botox, sunscreen and hat use, retinoids, laser for wrinkles/skin tone - and because I'm actually kind of lazy - I've enjoyed eyelash extensions and keratin treatments by the same principle of investing 2 hours on a Saturday in order to greatly streamline getting ready each morning for several weeks to months.

Happy long weekend, lovers! I'd love to hear about the products, potions, and procedures you swear by.

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