In the hot summer months my pores get hella clogged and I have to cut back from using the heavy creams I love to use and switch them out for lighter versions. One of my favorite products to use during these times is the Decléor Aromessence Ylang Ylang Purifying Night Balm (and under $30 you can't go wrong). As it's a waxier balm texture, it still lets me have the feeling of putting on something rich all while purifying and detoxing my skin. It smells like heaven with notes of Ylang Ylang, Clary Sage, Clove, Rosemary, and Lavender. I wake up in the morning with the most radiant skin - pores minimized, blemishes lessened, and such softness. If I feel my skin can handle it, I layer my Clarins Multi-Active Night Cream (All Skin Types). I've been alternating or layer the 2 for about a month now and its been making my skin so much happier during these hot summer months.
I would say that I was having a pre-travel mask night but I do masks 3-5 times a week, so I was just having a special 2 Part mask night. Multi-Masking is my favorite because I just feel like I accomplished soooo much. I started my night with the TaTa Harper Moisture Mask as I knew my skin would be drying out from flying, but my pores have been so clogged from heat and sweat, so I used the The Face Shop Blackhead Out Nose Strip to rip out some black heads.
After I rinsed the mask off I noticed how tired my eyes looked and that the pores on the sides of my nose were super clogged too. I grabbed the Skinfood Egg White Pack Peel Off which includes strips for nose and in the same box, strips for forehead and chin, but since I have facial hair, the chin triangle won't stick in my chin, so I cut it in half and used it on the congested sides of my nose (shown in the pic) which ended up working out really good! The Skin Food Carrot Collagen Eye Sheet is another favorite of mine since it's so inexpensive and works great, I buy them 10 at a time (they are NEVER in stock because everyone buys them up!).
While I let those masks do their job, I laid back on my Heavenly Acupressure Mat. If you don't have one, and you have back pain, you need to get one immediately. My friend Nina recommended it to me and I lay on it at least 15minutes every night before bed and it knocks me right out! If you've never had any type of acupuncture or have a low tolerance to pain, just lay with your shirt on the first few times, after that you'll be so hooked you'll crave it, I've fallen asleep on it a few times. I especially love the head piece, it's like someone giving you a scalp massage.
Woke up looking fresh faced and poreless, ready to pack my suitcase in the 30 minutes I allocated to getting ready for TX after hitting snooze 8 times... I'm clearly not a morning person...
There are few things I hate more than washing my hair. The actual act of washing my hair I love, it's the drying of the hair and style that I loath. My hairs looks so good on day 3 and 4 I just want it to look like that all the time! Enter Dry Shampoo. Dry shampoos work by absorbing oils and odor leaving hair with a cleaner feeling (even though it's really not...). Here are some of my favorites.
Klorane Dry Shampoo w/ Nettle Oil Control $11.90 or $20.71 x2 (Cheapest price on Amazon!) - This is the Oil Control version of the cult classic French Dry Shampoo and it's totally my jam. It really absorbs oil, even heavy yoga class sweat! Adds amazing texture, volume, and really refreshes my hair style. The only problem I have with it is that it leaves a lot of powder on my scalp, like sand after the beach, the grit of it starts to build up and feel pretty gross, so this guy usually only gets me to day 3 before I feel the need to wash. Still one of my favorites! 4.5/5 Stars
Alterna Bamboo Style Cleanse Extend $22 - I'm a huge fan of Alterna (The Caviar line is magic) but this was a huge miss for me. I've tried using this multiple times, but for me, it literally does nothing. No oil absorbed, no texture added, nothing. Just an aerosol spray of air. I guess is smells kinda good? 0/5 Stars.
Verb Dry Shampoo $14 - I got this one at a conference a few months ago and found it in my bag while on another trip that I had forgotten to bring my regular dry shampoo on. Now the squeeze bottle applicator is kind the worst. If you try and put it directly on your hair you either get no product or WAY too much. So I squeeze some into my palms, rub it together, flip my hair over and massage it into my roots and scalp. It absorbs the oil, adds volume (I've even liked this one on clean hair for texture), and it also helps to protect the hair. Great formula doesn't leave hair white, but the applicator isn't my favorite. 3.5/5 Stars.
Milk Makeup Dry Shampoo $14 - How I could talk about dry shampoo without a shout out to my company! This guy uses cotton fibers and rice starch to absorb oil and add texture, it leaves a soft white tea scent that's not at all overpowering (I hate heavy feminine fragrance in dry shampoo, I have my own cologne thank you). I put this one to the test while on a trip to Chicago and lasted 4 full days without washing, and my hair looked great! Absolutely no powder build up on my scalp, which is much appreciated. At $14 you really can't go wrong. 4.5/5 Stars.
Speaking of second day hair, I was in Texas a few weeks ago, I had just washed my hair and as always, it looked like frizzy ass. While I was in Sephora I found this product from REVERIE that smelled like happiness and dreams, so I figured my hair couldn't look any worse and threw some in. I quickly became very obsessed, the RAKE Styling Balm has a blend of oils and butters to hydrate, protect, soften, and provide lightweight hold. The blend of essential oils smell earthy, like a cologne I would wear. It gives me second day hair on day 1 making washing my hair not so awful. Apply to damp hair or on dry hair to add texture. 5/5 Stars $36.
The sun is the leading causes of skin aging, it leaves dark spots, encourages wrinkles, and causes cancer. Enough to make you want to avoid it at all cost, right? Yeah, maybe not. My desire for a rich-even tan during the summer outweighs all that. Here's how I've achieved a super dark tan over my past few weeks of travel, but in the safest (kinda) way possible.
Leading up to my vacation I boosted my omega intake. Omegas are shown to boost your skins natural defenses against the sun. This in combination with sunscreen can help prevent burning.
With only a few shirtless hikes on Runyon under my belt, I headed to St Thomas on a family vacation without a base tan. Generally I like a little colour to prep my skin for the intense island sun, but I just didn't have the time for it. So during my first day in the sun I did the Sun Bum SPF 50 Clear Zinx Oxide on my face and a L'Oreal Quick Dry SPF 30 on my body. I got hardly any colour, but I didn't burn, so that was a plus.
Day 2 I kept the Sun Bum SPF 50 on my face but switched to Kate Somerville Body Glow SPF 20 for body, I had received it a few months prior and was excited to try it. I was even more excited when I realized it had gold shimmer in it, cause nothing says "vacation" like gold shimmer. Now the second day of sun was slightly more booze fueled than the first and I may not have been reapplying my sunscreen correctly. *You should always reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or after a lot of time in the water*. Since it's usually only my shoulders that burn, there's where I was reapplying. This vacation was an exception to that, I burned my stomach around where my sternum is, so random, but it got super red. I brought along with Kate Somerville Tan Maximizer, I applied this liberally every evening to calm down the redness. It has that distinct sunscreen smell, which I'm not a very big fan off, but whatever, I needed the hydration.
Day 3 Since I was still feeling a bit burnt, I kept using the Kate Somerville SPF 20 on body and switched to my favorite Jurlique Sun Specialist SPF 40 for my face, it just smells so damn good and feels rich and hydrating. I wear it on the daily even though its designed for beach use, its just so good.
Day 4, I needed a break from the sun and pretty much slept all day, had a quick workout, and bathed in after sun lotion.
Day 5 Still feeling a bit worried about my not yet peeling burn, I bought some Sun Bun SPF 50 for my body so I wouldn't get anymore burnt. My tanning had haulted, but I wasn't peeing yet. I stopped by a shop in St John and got Solar Recovery - Save Your Skin that has a concoction of natural oils to stop burns. The label even said something to the effect of "We don't know how it works, it just does" sounds good to me! My skin looked better over night, it is such a nice light hydrating spray and smells amazing. I'm still spraying it on myself when I get out of the shower every morning.
Day 6 I wasn't about to leave this island without a dark tan, time to call in the big guns! I busted out my absolute favorite Lancaster SPF 6 Tan Deepener, and proceeded to bake in the sun, seriously nothing is better! Without fail it got a beautiful tan and my burn didn't get any worse, woo-hoo!!
I continued using the Solar Recovery Spray to prevent my tan from fading, but I knew my tan would start fading if I didn't find something heavier for hydration so I grabbed the Coola ER+ Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion and instantly fell in love. Almost 100% natural ingredients, an emollient formula designed to prolong your tan and reduce inflammation. It's been my body moisturizer since.
The following week I was working in Vegas, my sister was kind enough to get me a cabana at the Caesars Venus Pool for my bday. I laid out for about 4 hours using the Lancaster SPF 6. I would have stayed out longer, but when you're getting free drinks and they're the size of a big gulp, nap time comes a bit sooner than normal.
And the week after that I went in Hawaii for work, I took full advantage of the little sunny free time I had (about 4 hours total in 2 visits) and again used the Lancaster SPF 6. This stuff is legit a tanning miracle, every time I use it I get amazing colour without burning. Only problem with it is the sheer tint is a bit staining on white clothes. Being that I was sporting my white AussieBum booty shorts, it can be a bit of a problem.
In case you couldn't figure it out, here's my formula for tanning. Start off with a high SPF to get your skin use to the sun and gradually lower your protection to get darker once you've built up a tolerance. Always use hydrating and anti-inflammatory after sun products, this will calm down your skin, prevent peeling, and help maintain your tan for a longer period of time. It's been 2 weeks since I've been in the sun and the tan on my body hasn't faded at all. My face does get a little lighter due to all the exfoliants and retinoids I use, but a few drops of the Clarins Radiance Plus Glow Booster helps fix that problem. This is my routine all summer long, then come winter it's time to break out the chemical peels and heavy retinals to get rid of all that sun damage I just caused...
I have a massive obsession with Korean beauty products, if you've ever tried them, you understand why. They have texture down, always lightweight, soft, and layer-able allowing for the amazing 10+ steps. While Korean beauty products are becoming more and more mainstream, there are so many amazing brands not yet over here, and a lot of times the prices are jacked up. Here are a few of my favorite places to purchase K-Beauty and what you should grab there.
Bisou Beauty Bar I found through Instagram, it's an amazing online boutique that contains a curated assortment from multiple brands, and is always adding fun new products. I discovered the brand illi here, a branch of the Amore Pacific Group, focuses on body products and has some of the most amazing sheet masks. I'm on my second bottle of the Total Aging Care Body Oil, it makes my skin so soft and firm, I apply it while still in the shower as soon as I turn the water off, and don't feel the need to apply a body cream afterwards. I just got the LeeJiham White-P Zyme Enzyme Powder Cleanser is a great less expensive alternative to the Amore Pacific Enzyme Peel I love. The Lindsay Rubber Masks are a really fun and bizarre treatment worth giving a try (and they're on sale right now!). They also carry a few of the Innisfree ranges. Free shipping for purchases over $65, so stock up! Shipments come from Canada, not Korean, so you get your products a bit sooner.
RoseRoseShop was the first Korean shop I ordered from after I client told me I needed to get the Innisfree Fermented Soybean Eye Cream (which I still have, it's huge, I can never finish this stuff). Shipping can take a little while, but they have a huge assortment of the lesser expensive Korean brands, and everything is always on sale. If you're in need of the oh so popular Mizon Snail Cream, get it here, all Mizon products ship for free! They have Dr Jart 20-40% less than you can buy over here, all the Laneige products you can't find here, Nature Republic, Petitfee (love the eye gels), SkinFood (many products at a discount wholesale cost of you feel like stocking up), TonyMoly (I'm Real Sheet Masks $0.72 each vs US $7.50x2), The History of Whoo (I don't know this history yet, it's a bit expensive, but I want some) and so many more. Definitely the largest assortment of any of the K-Beauty sites.
Peach and Lily is like the Neiman Marcus of K-Beauty sites, selling only select curated brands and products. They have become so successful they have even opened a shop inside of Macy's Herald Square. I met the founder at CosmoProf last year and she was just the most lovely person (and gave me samples of the Dr Dream cream which is quite dreamy). P&L is definitely a trend setter in the K-Beauty world, carrying brands before anyone else, I've seen retailers start carrying her brands after they're seen how successful they are. Now can someone please by me this $200 topical Botox? Kthanks
Jolse is another site with similar brands to RoseRoseShop, but they also carry the prestige Sulwhasoo (Koreas #1 brand, also part of Amore Pacific Group) with a nice discount on their hefty price tag. Sometimes I'll jump between them and RoseRoseShop to see who has the best price on items before making my purchase.
If you're in Hawaii like I just was, be are to swing by one of two TonyMoly stores, I go to the one near Ala Moana mall. It's legit product heaven. First time I went I spent $150 on sheets masks and random products. They always have free gifts when you spend over a certain amount, I got an essence and my current favorite sunscreen the first time, and a body wash this time when I spent $40. Most the prices are cheaper than what you will find in US stores, so stock up while you're there!
So where do you start? I recommend you order a bunch of sheet masks, an essence, and an eye cream, if you don't fall in love, well just blame me. You really can't go wrong with how affordable most of these products are and how quality their ingredients are. Pretty soon you'll be getting monthly packages from Korea you don't remember ordering from nights of too much wine and online shopping, or that could just be me...
t's every cosmetics junkies favorite time of year, the bi-annual Sephora VIB Discount weekend! With 15% It's the best time to make your big purchases and stock up on your essentials. These are my recommendations for this season, so add them to your cart so you don't forget!
Milk Makeup Sunshine Oil $38 > $32.3 - Gotta plug the new company. This oil has a beautiful bright citrus scent with essential oils of grapefruit peel, lemon peel, mandarin orange peel, and hydrating oils like avocado and grape seed. Great lightweight feel in a super portable-glass roller ball.
Clarisonic Smart Profile $265 > $199 > $169.15 - This set is already on sale, and I love me a sale on sale. The Smart Profile can use any of the Clarisonic brushes, face, body, and feet. At this price it's definitely a steal.
Foreo Luna2 $199 > $169.15 - For those who don't want to buy replacement heads, the Foreo is a great investment. Holds a charge for an entire year and uses vibrations and super soft silicone tips to cleanse. I always bring this one along when I travel.
SK-II Facial Essence $99-$290 > $84.15-$246.50 - One of my all time favorite skincare products, contains the miracle ingredient Pitera, it legit will change your skin. Hydrates, brightens, and makes your skin GLOW. Definitely in my Top 5 favorite products.
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil $105 > $89.25 - In my current evening routine, this oil contains exfoliating and revitalizing oils as well as anti-inflammatory oils for a very well balanced treatment. Totally my jam and a great retinol alternative for sensitive skin and normal skin alike.
Shiseido Facial Cotton $9.50 > $8.07 - I use these with all my toners, they make them stretch so much further, so when VIB times comes around I always stock up with 2 or 3.
Fresh Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask $140 > $119 - Definitely a skincare splurge, this mask smells and feels like happiness and dreams. As I'm obsessed with anything containing honey, this is one of my all time favorite masks for hydration and soothing skin. The Crème Ancienne Eye Cream is my current PM eye cream and is amazing for dry skin.
AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel $60 > $51 - My go to exfoliant, uses natural enzymes to break away dead skin, leaving skin feeling super smooth and look bright and radiant. If you haven't tried it, you are seriously missing out!
Iluminage Sleeping Beauty Deluxe Set $99 > $84.15 - Being one to try anything that claims to be anti-aging, I fell in love with the Iluminage Eye Mask. I've yet to get the pillow care, but this set is a steal, and I really really think I need it...
Nude Skincare only has a few products online, but in store they have the entire brand and it's currently 30% off! If you find some pieces you love (ProGenius oil is my jam!) take advantage of getting that additional 15% off!
What's on your VIB list??
Been a bit crazy with the new job, but I’ve added some great new products to my skincare routine that I’m sure you’re just dying to hear about.
Dior Capture Total Le Sérum $165-$225 4/5 Stars– Now I haven’t used Dior skincare since I used the No Age range 3,000 years ago (it smelled like nana and I loved it), and I was a little hesitate to use Dior skincare as they are known for using a lot of fragrance. The active ingredient is Longozo of Madagascar Extract, the Dior Researchers have boosted the Longoza extract enhancing its properties, making is capable of synchronizing cells, including stem cells, in every layer of the skin. Dior reports say that when used twice a day for a month, 92% of users noticed fine lines and wrinkles smoothed, 88% noticed facial features were firmer, and 92% said their skin reflected light better. Now I don’t know how a serum can turn my face into a light reflective prism, but I’m into it. I’ve been using Le Sérum for 2 months now and while I thought I would hate it, I really really like it. It absorbs easily after my essence and doesn’t have a strong fragrance. My skin is noticeably smoother and is definitely glowing, so maybe it does turn skin into a prism…
Odacité Green Tea-Lemongrass Serum Concentrate $39 – I just started using this guy 2 weeks ago and I LOVE the smell! I had previously used the Wild Carrot-Vital Glow which I really liked, so I’m just as excited about this one. This serum only has 2 ingredients, Camellia seed oil (Green Tea) and Lemongrass oil. Green Tea is a powerful anti-oxidant great for protection and adding radiance, Lemongrass has tightening properties and also helps refine sluggish, lackluster skin. I mix 3 drops in with my moisturizer in the morning, now if you don’t like the smell of Lemongrass, you won’t like this, I however love the smell of Lemongrass. I did lightly notice the smell throughout the day, which was invigorating. I’ve definitely seen it perking up my skin as I’ve been crazy tired lately.
Kate Somerville CytoCell Dark Circle Eye Cream $75 3.5/5 Stars – This eye cream has a huge cult following and I had been hearing about it for so long I just hand to get some. Its an all in one anti-aging eye cream with a focus on fighting dark circles. It contains 2 peptides to refresh, hydrate, and smooth, plus Vitamin C and Light Diffusing Pearls to brighten the eye area. I find it funny that on the Kate Somerville website they list 4 user studies, none of them mentioning dark circles (I mean, it’s a Dark Circle eye cream…) then I look to the Sephora website and see they do have a user result but its only 60% of users that said is dramatically reduced the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. Dark Circles are one of the hardest concerns to treat, probably why there is such a low number. I’ve been using this for just over a month, and I have noticed my eyes looking brighter, it definitely hydrates instantly and with the smallest amount. I give it a 3.5 because I've noticed more of a difference in hydration and firmness than dark circles, and that's really what I wanted out of it. I do really like it though.
Boscia Sake Balm $46 3/5 Stars– The texture on this one is just the coolest. It’s this weird gel that bounces back into place like a memory foam mattress (If you ever used the Mizon Returning Starfish Cream, its similar to that). This lightweight balm contains Sake, which is loaded with antioxidants to help with loss of water, radiance, hyper-pigmentation, and pretty much every other skin concern. Glycolic Acid helps with texture, fine lines, and hyper-pigmentation. Vitamin C to help brighten and protect the skin, as well as boosting collagen. Lastly a botanical blend of Jojoba Leaf and Willowherb to fight free radicals and help with inflammation. I’m on week 3 of using this every morning, I like that its so light weight, making it great for layer with other products, but I can’t help but feel it’s a bit too light weight for dry LA weather. The texture definitely makes it ideal for combo to oily skin, but I feel drier skin types probably won’t love it. To see results from the actives in this, it usually takes a little time, so I plan on finishing the jar to see if it can fade some of my sun damage.
Skin Medica Retinol 1.0 $93 – Retinol is one of the only ingredients proven to fight fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and improve texture, so everyone needs one. I recently finished a tube of my favorite A313 and decided to give the SkinMedica a try. Going from using an Rx strength retinol to OTC strength, I’ve definitely noticed less irritation, but I’m still getting similar smoothing results. Skin Medica makes their retinol in 3 strengths, .25, .5, and 1.0, so if you’re not use to using a retinol product, definitely start on the lower end; Start by using it every 3 nights working your way up to every night. The nights I haven’t used this I see why I definitely need to keep using a retinol, its smoothes out the texture of the skin and helps sloth off the dead skin so my cleanser can remove it all in the AM. If you’re in the market, I definitely recommend the SkinMedica Retinol range.
Elizabeth Arden-Prevage-Clinical Lash + Brow Serum $100 – So I may not be the best at taking before and afters (getting the same lighting is so hard!) but you can see by the photo of week 1 vs week 4 that there’s definitely an improvement in length of the lashes and thickness of the brows. Being that I tweezed the fuck out of my brows as a young gay, they just don’t grow anymore, that arch is permanent. I won’t say that I noticed a lot of new hairs in my brows, but they look MUCH thicker than they did before. My brows normally disappear in photos with a flash, but now I can actually see them! My lashes also are much fuller. I’ll definitely continue to use it, I’m happy with the results.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Sleeping Cream $38 – I’m slowly becoming more and more obsessed with First Aid Beauty. The brand is really clean, meaning no harsh chemicals, no parabens, colourants and the such. I was always under the impression that the products were designed for the most sensitive of skin (which they are) and that they wouldn’t be active enough for someone wanting more. This has definitely proved that theory wrong. I’m so obsessed with this Sleeping Cream, and its only $38, seriously?? It has peptides to boost collagen, ingredients to firm and improve elasticity, as well as Hyaluronic Acid, Colloidal Oatmeal, plant butters, and waxes for tons of hydration. The texture is creamy, but not heavy, and the hydrating and calming ingredients make it ideal for anyone using retinols, chemical peels, or with sensitive skin. Give is a try, and experience some of the other products in their range (I’m loving the Vitamin Hydrating Mist right now as well!)
The one thing I can always count on to making my stressful day all better, is coming home at night, going to the gym, showering off, smoking a bowl, and cooking a great dinner. I love to cook, its in my DNA, everyone in my family can cook, I just didn't learn till later in life. Trying new recipes is always a fun challenge for me, as I have one of those typical LA "I eat rice and ice cubes" diets. No Meat, No Gluten, No Dairy when possible (I do cheat here), Organic when possible, No Artificial Ingredients, Minimal Sugar, just as healthy as I possible can. I do eat eggs (organic) and fish, though mostly only Wild Alaskan Salmon. So I like to take normal recipes and switch out ingredients to fit my diet, which forces me to think outside the box, and I always have fun no matter the outcome.
You know those 15-30 clips everyone posts on Facebook with the areal shot of what they're doing? I'm obsessed with them cause they always make everything look so good, but rarely do the ingredients fit my diet, so I change them around. Tonight I made one that just looked so fun and I immediately knew all the ingredients I could use. You can check out the original here Tastemade Cheeseburger Stuffed Mushrooms, I followed the recipe exactly, just switch out to these ingredients.
- 24 baby bella mushrooms (I accidently used Organic Cremini)
- 2 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Butter Stick
- 1 bag on Beyond Meat-Beyond Beef (I mixed the Beefy Crumble and Feisty flavours)
- 1 Organic Shallot, diced
- 2 tbsp Daiya Vegan Cream Cheese
- ½ tsp Whole Foods Organic Worcestershire Wauce
- 1 tsp Annies Organic Ketchup
- 1 tsp Organicville Organic Yellow Mustard
- Daiya Montery Jack Non-Dairy Cheesy, cut into small squares
- 4-5 Organic Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
- 2 tbsp Organic Butter Lettuce, thinly shredded
- Organic Salt and Pepper, to taste
I am so happy with how this turned out, I mean it taste like happiness and dreams. I was meant to make it for some friends who were coming over for facial night, but they had to cancel, so its my dinner. The only thing I would change for next time is get the shredded Daiya Cheddar Cheese, the one I got didn't melt, and I think cheddar would taste even better on this.
Check out the rest of the recipe at Tastemade.com
One of the biggest questions skin questions people ask me is how to help their oily/combination or acne prone skin. There are so many different ways to answer this, so I’m going to address the most common concerns I’m asked.
1. Are You Oily?
Most people have a little oil in their t-zone by the end of the day. This is normal; it doesn’t mean you have oily skin. Truly oily skin will be shiny on the t-zone (forehead, nose, chin) and cheeks within a few hours of waking up. Combination skin will be shiny in the t-zone by mid-day, but shouldn’t be too shiny on the cheeks, or may even be dry there. Normal skin will have a slight shine to the nose maybe forehead by early evening. Dry skin will look like the Sahara from the moment they wake up. Your skin type probably changes based on where you live, visit, and time of the year. I’m Oily on the East coast 8 months out of the year and on the West coast I’m Combination with a little dehydration all year. Ugh the struggle.
Oh you wash your face with your shampoo and wondering why you have clogged pores? Well no shit brah, shampoo may get the beard nice and shiny but it isn’t going to help get your skin glowing. Cleansing may be the most important part of an oily skins routine. You need to find a perfect balance between detoxifying and exfoliating without stripping your skin completely. Your skin should feel smooth and slightly tight after it has dried off, not dry and patchy (sometimes you’ll see white flaking, no bueno). If you strip your skin of all its natural oils, it may over compensate by creating even more oil. I’ve used about 1,000 different cleansers, it definitely takes some experimenting to find which one works best for your skin, here are a few of my favorite oily/combination skin cleansers (some are good for all skin types as well)
Erno Laszlo Deep Sea Mud Soap $45 – Legit one of my all time favorite cleansers. I started getting acne for the first time when I was 26, and my pores were massive. A girlfriend told me to get this, and it changed my skin almost instantly. Mr. Laszlo creating an special cleansing method: Fill your sink with warm water, dip soap in water, massage soap on face, rinse soap back in water and set aside, lather face, splash face 20 times with water in the sink, then 10 more times with clean running water. I still do this cleansing method with most every cleanser I’ve used. Great for Normal-Oily Skin
Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip $45– I hated this the first time I tried it as I was so use to a lather. After tossing it aside for a few months, I revisited and fell in love. You have to get use to a very mild cleansing feeling, but trust that your skin is clean and balanced. It tightens pores, boosts radiance, stimulates circulation, and helps with irritation. Great for Normal-Combination Skin
Milk Makeup Charcoal Cleanser $28 – Yeah I work for them now, so I gotta do a plug, but I have been using this for 2 weeks now and I’m liking it more than I thought I would. This sulfate free cleansing contains charcoal from the Japanese Ubame oak tree + vitamin E, cleanses the skin gently without over drying. Great for All Skin Types.
I’ve used toner since I was 12, so I’ve always felt it a very necessary step in my skincare routine. Oh your cleanser has a built in toner? How? That’s never made sense to me. I apply my toner to a cotton square (Shiseido makes the best, you use less and makes your bottle last forever) and sweep it all over my face, excess cleanser and any remaining debris is seen on the square. So how exactly is your cleanser doing that? Yeah… I have a very hard time finding a toner I like, there haven’t been many, these are the exceptions.
Erno Laszlo Light Controlling Lotion $55 – I grabbed this after I fell in love with the soap. When my skin is on the oilier side I love a little alcohol in my toner. This one tightens pores, exfoliates, controls shine, and also has added humectants to bring hydration to the skin. Great for Combo-Oily skin.
Belif Eucalyptus Herbal Extract Toner $28 – More recently I discovered this guy on a hunt for a less expensive toner. Fell in love, even purchased a second time (which never happens). This toner contains a blend of herbal extracts to control sebum and shine without stripping. Great for Combo-Oily skin.
4. Targeted Concerns
These are those black dots you seen on your nose, forehead, and chin. What causes them is excess sebum and bacteria; these can turn into blemishes, so its good to take care of them. I usually steam my face and squeeze my skin (works great on the sides of the nose) to get the blackheads out. If done wrong though, it can leave some redness and scarring, so best to get a professional to do this. Pore Strips are a great quick fix (I love the ones from SkinFood), but it’s best to maintain by cleansing and masking regularly.
Pores are where these black heads are chilling out. Oily skin will have larger more visible pores, this is how the oil gets to the surface of your skin. You can’t make pores smaller, you just can’t, sorry. You can keep them clean though, which makes them look smaller. Keeping good about your skincare routine helps, so cleanse, exfoliate, and mask regularly. Now I have heard there are certain lasers that can help make pores smaller, but I’ve yet to experiment with them, have you?
These will be those pesky bumps on your skin that you want to pop, don’t, that’s how acne scars are formed. For emergencies I like to use a Benzoyl Peroxide based spot treatment (Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix works great) but using them too frequently causes irritation, sun sensitivity, and your skin can build up a tolerance. Stick to using it directly on blemishes and not on large areas. Salicylic Acid is milder and great for more regular use to control blemishes and is usually in a gel texture that’s easy to smooth over acne prone areas and large pores (Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel). If you have an event tomorrow and need that mammoth zit to shrink overnight, Sulfur (Mario Badescu Drying Lotion) is the way to go. If you had chicken pox as a kid, this clearing method won’t look so strange to you. Dip a cotton swab in the formula and apply the pink stuff directly to blemishes before bed. This will shrink blemishes overnight allowing you to cover them more easily with makeup.
Cystic Acne is that crazy painful blemish you get that you can’t pop and hurts like hell when you touch. I get these on my forehead and the tip of my nose a few times and year and I hate them so much. I mean I’ve gone as far and sticking sterilized needles into them to pop them (I DO NOT recommend doing that, lesson learned). Cystic acne comes from an internal bacteria (in most cases). If you have severe Cystic Acne, topical products alone will not help, you need to see a dermatologist. Anyone trying to sell you a topical saying it cures Cystic Acne is just throwing you a sales pitch and doesn’t know what they’re talking about. In mild cases I’ve seen taking probiotics help (I take Natures Sunshine Bacillus Coagulans), but for severe cases a Dermatologist prescribed antibiotic is necessary. They will usually prescribe a retinoid (Like my favorite A313) to apply at night to smooth at the skin and help with the scarring.
So many people with oily skin don’t moisturize because they think it will make them even oilier. Note that I listed this topic as “Hydration”, Hydra=Water, oily skin can also be dehydrated, making it produce even more oil. There are also tons of environmental aggressors and free radicals floating around you need to protect your skin from; this is where a moisturizer comes in. I could list a million different moisturizers here, but unless oil control is your only concern, you should pick a moisturizer based on your skin concern, be it brightening, anti-aging, age prevention… Just look for lighter weight formulas, usually water based formulas or products listed as lotion vs a cream. Below are a few products I’ve used when looking to re-balance my skin and calm down the oil, these I’ve used as incremental treatments, then go back to my normal skin routine.
Clarins Lotus Treatment Oil $54 – I talked about this in a previous post. It was the first all over oil I ever used and its still a favorite of mine. Use every night directly after toning (while skin is still wet) for 3 months at a time to help rebalance. Great to use as your night treatment in the hot summer and underneath clay masks as a booster.
Decleor Aromessence Ylang Ylang Purifying Night Balm $42 – Even when my skin is oily, I love a rich texture on my skin! This night balm is an emollient oil/wax blend that smells like happiness and leaves the skin feeling fresh and brightened in the morning. Cleanses and purifies, re-balances, and reduces imperfections and inflammation. Great for that dry-acne prone skin as well. Also available in a purifying Serum/Oil that can be used during the day.
More than any other skin type, masking is most important for oily and congested skin. Cleansing and toning can only go so far without being to aggressive on the daily, that’s when adding that masking boost comes to play. I love clay based masks and have gone through 100s of them. These are best when trying to combat blackheads, control oil, and maintain clear skin. Sheet masks are great for adding treatment into the skin, but they don’t pull anything out, so when you’re looking for that quick detoxifying fix, reach for the clay masks. Use as needed, but not more than 3 times a week. To add an extra boost to your mask, mix a drop or 2 of Tea Tree Oil with your toner right before masking.
Apivita Face Mask with Green Clay $21.70 - I grabbed one of these at a pharmacy in Spain and instantly fell in love. Its not at all drying, but leave the skin feeling fresh and the pores diminished.
Bliss Steep Clean Pore Purifying Mask $55 - This is one I've used for years! Dispense the dual pump product into your fingers, warm it up, massage it in, and in 15 minutes your skin will look poreless! Definitely must have!
Granular exfoliation stimulated the skin, which can make oily skin produce even more oils. It can also spread bacteria around creating more blemishes. I'm a big fan of chemical and enzyme exfoliants. These work by breaking down the proteins holding dead skin cells to your skin.
Amore Pacific Enzyme Peel $60 - I talk about this one all the time cause its so damn good. The powder foams up and removes all dead skin, leaving your face fresh and glowing. A definite must have, and it last forever.
First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Blemish Control Pads $30 - These are like your old school Stridex pads, only they won't rip your skin apart. You can use them after each time you cleanse to gently exfoliate while helping control oil and tighten pores.
You have all your skincare on and want to cover up some of your blemishes and/or control oil, but are scared that foundation will clog your skin. There are definitely some foundations that should be avoided for oily/acne prone skin (I won’t name names, but it won’t “Fix” anything), but there are plenty of foundations that are amazing for your skin type. Look for something oil-free, mattifying, liquid or powder based on your preference. Personally, I like the flexibility of a liquid, you can work it into hard to cover blemishes, and adjust the coverage as necessary. My favorite for oily-acne prone skin is the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid to Powder Foundation, yes I use to work for them, and I’ve seen it completely transform people’s skin. I even wore it myself on an occasion as a spot treatment to hide blemishes and pores and my skin looked better when I look it off than before I had applied.
When you do get shiny through out the day, be sure to have some blotting papers handy. Just press onto the areas of concern to absorb oil. I'm loving the Milk Makeup Roll + Blot, they're made out of hemp and double as rolling papers, whats not to love!
If you’ve ever met me I’m sure you’ve heard me mention 1,000 times how my mom is a Naturopathic Dr and how many supplements I take. If you haven’t, my mom’s a Naturopathic Dr and I take a shit ton of supplements. Years ago I started working for this company called Glowelle (which is unfortunately no longer) they created a drink that contained a ridiculous amount of nutrients and and anti-oxidants for the skins benefit. I was 24 at the time I started working for the company and back then I even noticed how hydrated it kept my skin and how “glowy” I looked. This was back in 2008, the economy was in the crapper, and people didn’t understand “beauty from within” and couldn’t afford $120 for a 30 day supply. Now That I’m a bit older and definitely seeing signs of aging, I wish and pray every day that this product comes back. Until it does, I’ve endlessly researched different types of supplements to keep my skin in top shape from the inside out. You are what you eat, and what I don’t get from my diet I supplement with supplements :) Here are a few new and old that I can’t live without.
In August last year I decided the Man Bun was fading out of style a bit too quick and I wanted my long hair back, but damn was it going to be a bitch to grow my sides out to match the top of my hair. It was time to buy some Biotin! I first started with the Maxi-Hair for Men from Country Life as it was the most popular one I could find. I went through about 3 bottles of this and wasn’t very impressed. I noticed a little faster hair growth, but it wasn’t anything outstanding. When I was going to replenish one day I ran across the Irwin Naturals Biotin-6000 with Bamboo Extract, being a sucker for packaging this one really appealed to me. I’m on my 3rd bottle of it and I’m SOOO happy. My hair has been growing much faster and much healthier, my nails, which have gotten brittle as I’ve gotten older, have been growing much stronger, even my lashes have been staying healthier! I’ve also noticed it helping my skin as it contains ingredients to help with elasticity, hydration, and free radical protection. The only slight issue I have with the pill is that they do tend to leak just a little, so be careful not to get them on anything white, there’s usually 1 pill in the bottle that isn’t totally sealed, these pills are however easier to swallow than a lot of other ones I take. 2x a day the bottle will last you 1 month. Irwin Naturals Biotin-6000 4.5/5 Stars $16.49 a bottle (I usually buy 2 so I don’t have to pay shipping)
Now my mom, being the loving and caring person that she is, loves to help out my neurotic beauty habits by sending me over any skin and health related articles and information she receives. She also loves to send me different supplements she thinks may help my skin. Regeneplex is definitely the best beauty supplement I’ve taken, Momma bear sent it to me a few years ago and I can’t stop taking this miracle pill. After 2 weeks of taking Regeneplex I was trying to figure out why I was getting so many compliments on my skin, it looked brighter, plumper, rested, and just all over glowing, then I remember of yeah, that new pill I’ve been taking! Whenever I run out its like okay, sad face, I need it ASAP. It’s rich in Carotenoids -Lutein, Beta Carotene, Lycopene- help fight free radical damage, fight photo-aging, and even improve skin smoothness. Also high in Zinc and Vitamin C to boost collagen and fight free radical damage. A proprietary blend of a bunch of other ingredients like Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin B, and Camu Camu just add to this amazing supplement. 90 Pills in a bottle 2x per day for best results. Now, the only problem is its not exactly easy to find, you have to buy it through an authorized retailer, non of which are online (I found one bottle on Amazon for $130). Standard Process Regeneplex 5/5 Stars, If you want to get a bottle and can’t find a retailer, hit me up and I can order some for you, its $42.50 a bottle just shoot me a message firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve recently become fascinated with Ayurvedic medicine, one of the worlds oldest holistic healing systems. Turmeric is probably the most well known of these herbs. Its mostly used as an anti-inflammatory, which is why I originally bought it, I do so many peels and aggressive skin treatments that my skin does get inflamed and irritated, as well as my muscles being inflamed from either stress or exercise. Turmeric has also been show to help detoxify the liver, inhibit growth of skin cancer, help with psoriasis, speed up the healing of wounds, help with depression, aid in weight management, natural painkiller, it pretty much does your laundry and makes you dinner. I’ve been taking it for a few weeks now and noticed less redness in my skin, my body aches have definitely gone down, and one friend said that its made my skin look more tan? I guess eating a lot of something thats yellow can make the skin more yellow, but I can’t find any studies on that. I’m enjoying the Gaia Turmeric Supreme 4/5 Stars $20.99 for 120 pills per bottle, 1 pill 2x a day with food.
Being one to buy anything that says it’d good for the skin I’ve decided to give He Shou Wu a try. This ancient Chinese secret is said to nourish the blood, hair, skin, nervous system, shen (Spirit), and Jing (primary essence/life force). The last 2 I clearly copied from their website cause I have no clue whats thats all about, but count me in. People are said to have had their grey hair turn back to black and hair grow stronger from this. It’s also said to help with liver and kidney tonifying. It tastes a bit like earthy sadness, so I recommend mixing it in with your favorite tea and a little honey. I’ve only just started taking this, so the verdict is still out, but I’ve found great reviews for it online, and I mean, when has an ancient Chinese secret ever been wrong? Sun Potion He Shou Wu available cheapest through Thrive Market (a new favorite store of mine) at $32.95 vs $55 check them out for 15% off your first order.
In addition I take a few other skin beneficial supplements from my favorite herb brand Natures Sunshine, which I’ve been taking for some 20 years.
Coenzyme Q10 100mg 2pills a day in the AM $41.95 retail, $27.95 member cost- Protects against photo-aging, stimulates cellular activity, stimulates collagen production, and free radical protection.
Super ORAC 1 or 2 pills a day $53.85 retail or $35.90 member cost, also available in the Super Trio daily supplement pack (thats how I take it) - Contains a whole slew of anti-oxidants to fight off free radical damage including Green Tea/EGCG, Mangosteen, Resveratrol, Acai Berry, Turmeric, Quercetin, Selenium, and Apple Fruit Extract. These are actually all the ingredients that were in the Glowelle drink I use to take.
These can be purchased through Natures Sunshine, hit me up if you want the details on how to get them at member cost (or just follow the link above), it doesn’t cost anything to join, email@example.com
Have you found the potion to give you eternal youth? Let me know, I want to start taking it!
I remember as a kid there was this small red bag in our pantry that had this amazing berry/floral smelling loose leaf tea my mom had brought back home from Germany. I may have only had it once or twice (I think I could never find an infuser to make it with) but the smell and taste are something I will never forget.
My obsession with tea is similar to my obsession for essential oils. You’re extracting the essence of a plant and using it to benefit your health. Be it great taste or medicinal properties, tea is one of my favorite go to beverages. I finally decided to get delivery water service (because I go through like 8 $5 a gallon bottles a week and its getting to be a pain in my ass) and I think I’m most excited about the fact that I have a water cooler with a hot water spicket! Now I don’t have to boil water to make my tea!! I had like 8 cups last night, oh the things that excite me… Anyway, here are some of my favorite teas.
While I was in Paris for 24hour I legit stopped into any store I hadn’t seen before just so I could buy random things I couldn’t get back home. I saw the Kusmi Tea store shortly before I headed to out on my flight to Ibiza, and being that I love tea… Well they have 2 teas in a Jean Paul Gaultier collection, and I clearly needed it. Jump to a few months later and Gilt City was having a sale on Kusmi tea, so I purchase the highest amount and order a bunch of teas from their site. I found out that the have this BB Detox Tea that has a huge cult following (apparently Kendall Jenner loves it). Tell me anything is good for my skin and I’ll buy it, but have it taste great too? I’m a customer for life. Its blend of maté and green tea detoxify while rooibos and dandelion give anti-oxidant benefits, guarana for energy, and grapefruit scent is added for a light fruity flavour. This has been my go to tea lately and I have at least a cup or 2 every day (I'm drinking it right now). Kusmi BB Detox Tea 5/5 Stars 4.4 Ounce Loose Leaf $21.20, 8.8 Ounce Loose Leaf $35.70, 24 Pack Individual $24.50
I also really like the Kusmi Thé Vert á la Rose for a little floral flavour
Whenever I get a sore throat I run out and grab the Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat Tea w/ Lemon Echinacea. After a few cups of this my throat always feels better and it definitely helps speed up the healing process. It contains Echinacea to boost the immune system, Licorice Root for soothing and expectorant properties, Marshmallow root and leaf for its soothing properties. I steep it for 15min and usually squeeze a little lemon and add Manuka honey in for added anti-bacterial benefits. Throat Coat Tea w/ Lemon Echinacea $4.39 5/5 Stars
If you need help with bowel movements, the Smooth Move Tea is caffeine free and has a great chocolate taste!
My sweetener of choice is Manuka Honey. If you’re not familiar, Manuka honey come from honey of bees that forage on the Manuka Tree (related to the Melaleuca Tree – Tea Tree Oil?) native only to Australia and New Zealand. This honey has anti-bacterial properties making it a go to for so many seeking natural anti-bacterial remedies. I’ve used everything from skincare and lipgloss to cough drops containing this magically honey. It has a distinct rich and thick texture, and all the great sweetness you expect from honey. Its potency is given a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) rating, the higher the rating, the stronger its unique properties (and cost), the best quality will be in the 10-25 UMF. Check out Manuka Honey UMF Active 10+ 5/5 Stars $43.09
Other Tea Tips
- If you suffer from allergies, try using local honey. Honey from the same local plants causing your allergies acts like a natural vaccine helping your body learn to defend itself from allergens.
- If you like ice tea, throw boiling water into a French coffee brew with loose leaf in the bottom, put into the refrigerator after steep time, until cool, then boom, about 3 glasses of iced tea.
- If you’re in France, please stop by La Maison Du Miel, it’s the coolest honey shop, they have so many different amazing flavours of honey, I’m so upset I can’t get it delivered to the US!
- If you’re in Australia, T2 has a HUGE selection of amazing loose leaf teas, the Japanese GMC Sencha is my favorite (green tea with toasted rice)
Ever since working for Clarins 100 years ago, I've been obsessed with facial oils. Think about it like this, most cosmetic products are water based, which our skin needs, right? Okay, but what does our skin naturally produce - oils. When you mix oil with water what happens? They separate. So while water based products can be absorbed into the skin, they don't always penetrate the deepest. Now when you mix oils with oils they blend together. So if you take a bacteria fighting oil and mix it with your greasy face, its going to cut that bacteria right down and create balance. On the flip side, if your Sahara like dry ass skin has no oil (but obviously still has sebaceous glands as tiny as they may be) putting omega rich oils on top of it will make it very happy. What cosmetics companies can't really claim (but like, its kinda common sense-ish) is that oils penetrate deeper than any other topical treatment because they can mix with our natural oils and enter the skin through those sebaceous glands.
The other reason I love plant oils and essential oils is that they are the core essence of a plant, all the nutrients from a flower, nut, roots, or leaf squeezed out into a beautiful texture. When applied, you’re getting all the beautiful actives from that plant, omega fatty acids, and vitamins, they penetrate so beautifully into the skin. People always ask why my skin is glowing, it’s usually because I have a bunch of oils on. My skin feels so naked without them.
I’ve used most all of the facial oils on the market and even make my own (hint hint…). Here are the 2 I’m currently living for.
Korres is an amazing apothecary brand out of Greece that’s specializes in using natural ingredients to create effective skincare products. I’m a huge fan of their Wild Rose range (I use the Daily Brightening & Refining Buff Cleanser and Vitamin C Petal Peel), when I heard they were launching a Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil I was like “Put it all over my body”. This oil contains their signature Wild Rose Oil (one of the brands original ingredients) rich in Vitamin C, omega 3, 6, 9 as well as Vitamin A. The brand also added a Super C active that increases the skin Vitamin C absorption by 1000%. All these actives promote collagen synthesis, brighten the skin, offer antioxidant-rich free radical protection (making it my choice for my AM routine), and has anti-inflammatory properties. I’m obsessed with the earthy floral scent and its fast absorbing texture. I’ve been using this lightweight oil over my serums every morning for a few weeks now and have noticed my skin glowing more and more; I need so little that I’ve barely put a dent in the bottle. Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil 5/5 Stars $54
After hearing all the hype, a friend gifted me the Sunday Riley Luna Oil, while I really wasn’t expecting to even like it (I’m always disappointed when people talk about how amazing a product is) I ended up living for this oil. This deep blue oil contains Trans-Retinol Esters which help to fight fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity. I’m a huge fan of any type of retinol products, but its pretty rare to find retinols in an oil base. It also has ingredients rich in Azulene, and powerful anti-inflammatory, able to help calm down redness, even redness associated with blemishes; this is also what’s helping calm the skin from any irritation from the retinol. Luna has other oils that are rich in Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E as well as Omega 3, as well as sebum regulating properties making it ideal or all skin types. Waking up after an evening of Luna I notice smaller pores, softer skin, less irritation (especially since I’m always doing peels and lasers) and the fine lines on my forehead look a lot softer. I’ve been using it just under 2 months but it’s a new favorite and I’ll continue to use it! I apply it over my PM serums before my night cream and retinoid. Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil 5/5 Stars $105.
Let me walk down memory lane to the first facial oil I ever used, Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil. Clarins started with 3 body oils and later developed 3 facial oils, all 6 oils are still part of the brand today (the Tonic Body Treatment Oil is my JAM and great for pregnant women to help prevent stretch marks). When I worked for Clarins back in 2003 I was young and very oily. The Lotus Oil is designed to be used as a rebalancing routine, use it every evening for 3 months to calm down oily skin and make the skin act more “normal”. Night after night it made my skin softer, pores smaller, skin less oily during the day. I think my favorite part of the oil is the smell, it’s so herbal its just amazing. I purchased the oil recently when I was passing through Duty Free and was reminded how much I love it. I still use it under clay masks to do some extra detox. For the rebalancing routine apply 2-4 drops to skin still damp from toning and allow it to soak in for a few minutes before going to bed. To boost your masks, press a few drops onto the skin and apply a clay mask directly over top. Clarins Lotus Treatment Oil 5/5 Stars $54
In my 15 years in the Cosmetics industry I've seen it all, the bad habits people have that don't know any better and the bad habits that they keep on doing even though they know they're bad. Most the bad habits are ones I've personally had and over the years and regretted, but seen results from quitting. Here are a few things that you should and shouldn't be doing
1. I Don’t Wash My Face At Night
Oh you thought sleeping with a full face of makeup on was good for your skin? So did Paris Hilton in her book Confessions of an Heiress, but I highly doubt she still is 11 years later. I can't tell you how many girls sit in my chair, I'm removing their 17 layers of built up mascara and lash glue and all their lashes are falling out. "Why do my lashes keep falling out"... Um... Well princess, the tar from your waterproof mascara and the lash glue you keep re-applying are clogging the hair follicles, making the hairs weak, and they're falling out. Remove it every night. Oh and those layers of foundation and colour you're wearing all day? Pollution from the environment sits on top of their and when you sleep with it on, it all absorbs into your skin, leaving the skin red, blemish prone, and blotchy looking. Even if you're not wearing makeup, remember that everywhere you've been during the day, a little bit of that is left on your face. For those oh so lazy, buy some wipes (Ole Henrikson Makeup Removing Wipes are great and remove waterproof makeup) leave them by your bed and wipe away your sins before bed.
2. I Don’t Use Eye Cream
So you wear eye makeup, tug and pull at the eyes applying and removing it eh? Well that’s aging your eyes. The skin around the eyes is super thin, which means it will age faster than the rest of your skin with no fat or collagen under it to make it look plump. I started using eye cream at 15, because I’m pretty neurotic about these things, but I recommend anyone over the age of 18 use an eye cream for preventative measures, day and night to help keep the skin hydrated and soft. Try Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Eye Cream is a good starter
3. I Go Tanning
We all know better than to go to tanning beds, but I know, they feel like happiness and dreams, I had a tanning membership off and on from ages 16-26 and I’m fully paying for it now. In our younger years we don’t think about the consequences, but so maybe of out parents can attest to the fact that sun damage doesn’t rear its ugly face until much further down the road. You may love that deep brown skin now, but the deep brown sunspots will be an evil reminder in 20 years. Now I love the beach, and will not stop going out in the sun all summer, there are “safe” ways to tan, use sunscreen and reapply every 2 hours. The quicker you burn without sunscreen, the high the sunscreen you should be wearing. I have medium olive skin, and don’t really burn, so I start my summer off with SPF30 on my face and SPF15 on my body, as the summer goes on I move to SPF15 Face and SPF6 body (Lancaster Sun Tan Deepener SPF6 is my JAM). Am I still getting some sun damage? Of course, but Istvan likes his colour and will burn off the sun damage with lasers and retinoids all winter.
4. I Don’t Wear Sunscreen
Did you know you get more sun damage in your daily activities than laying out by the pool all day? When you’re in the sun for an extended period of time your skin puts up its natural defenses giving you some natural protection (especially if you have a good amount of Omegas in your diet), but intermittent sun exposure causes the skin to only take in the bad. I recommend wearing an SPF30 daily. Now I am definitely a culprit of this bad habit, at 12 years old I would wash, tone, and moisturize w/ SPF15 every day, as an adult I NEVER wore sunscreen. Only until about 2 years ago did I start using a sunscreen regularly, and its made the biggest difference in my skin. I hate the texture of most suncreens, they either burn or make my skin itch like fire ants are crawling all over. Experiment, see which works better for you skin either mineral or chemical or a combo of both. Mineral sunscreens reflect light (Titanium and Zinc) and last longer, but sometimes the small particles can irritate the skin. Chemical sunscreens (Those crazy names you can’t pronounce) absorb light so it doesn’t hit your skin, and lose potency after 2 hours. My skin reacts best with a combo heavy on the chemical side, I love the Tony Moly My Sunny Watery Sun Gel SPF30, it feels like water that goes on and disappears.
5. I Don’t Moisturize
I can’t tell you how many people I have told me “Oh I have oily skin, I don’t need to moisturize” um yeah you do. Remember me talking about all the pollutants in the air? They all sit on your skin throughout the day causing free radical damage, aging, acne, redness, and irritation, basically jacking up your skin. If you balance out your oily skin by adding a little water based moisture (Dr Jart+ Water-Sure Gel is great) it won’t produce so much oil and your skin will feel balanced. I’ve also heard a lot of people saying nothing has worked for them and they’re using coconut oil as their moisturizer, all the people who have said this to me have the worst black heads I’ve ever seen, like black black black blackheads, its gross. If you’re going to use coconut oil, don’t skimp; buy that $30 bottle from Whole Foods.
6. I Eat Like Crap
When I was 19 I moved out on my own, and like every child on their own I ate exactly how I wanted, McDonalds, Pizza Rolls w/ Ranch, and Haagen-Dazs. Now I did know to get a bottled water with my McDonalds order, I quit soda at 15 and the small amount of acne I had immediately went away. The saying “You are what you eat” does have a lot of merit. A diet rich in Omegas (salmon), Good Fats (olive oil, avocado), lots of water, and Anti-Oxidants (think of eating an entire rainbow of colourful fruits and vegetables) helps keep your body happy and your skin glowing from within. I completely understand that this isn’t so easy to do every day, especially if you travel a lot and have a busy schedule. I make sure to get all my missed nutrients in pill form, having a mother who’s a Naturopathic Doctor has definitely helped with this! I take vitamins, omegas, an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity aka anti-oxidants), minerals, herbal supplements, and probiotics every day to keep my health up and my skin refreshed. If you’re interested in a supplement regime I’m more than happy to help you out, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my Natures Sunshine page to scout out the supplement brand I’ve been taking for almost 20 years.
7. I Don’t Exfoliate
You can have the most expensive face cream in the world, but if you have a bunch of dead skin piling up, the moisturizer won’t make it past the first layer of your skin. It’s important to sloth off those dead layer 2-3 times a week, this stimulates the skin and reveals a brighter more radiant complexion, and also allows for your products to work so much better! I’m personally a fan of enzymatic and chemical exfoliates vs. a physical/granular exfoliatant. The Amore Pacific Enzyme Peel is my favorite exfoliator, the $60 bottle will last at least a year, I had a bottle for 2 years once, I swear it replenishes itself.
8. I Don’t Get Facial
Sometimes all the steps you’re doing at home just don’t cut it and you need to boost up your routine. A visit to the estheticians office can help you get your skincare routine back on track! I love to go get a facial massage, chemical peel, and micro current facials. These are great supplements to your routine, if you can afford them, go once a month, if its something you can’t do all the time, save up and go twice a year, your skin will thank you.
If you’re in SoCal go visit my girlfriend Jessica at Definitions Salon and Spa 951-371-3410 she’s taught me so much about skincare and tools I can’t even begin to explain
9. I Overdraw My Lip Liner
So this doesn’t have to do with skincare, it’s just a faux pas that annoys the shit out of me. When you overdraw your lip liner the only person you’re fooling is yourself, save some time (and embarrassment) and go get some filler.
Ever since I can remember, I've had an obsession with lip balms. As a kid I always had the newest chap stick I could find at the drug store, I just needed a cure for dry lips. I believe I have found some of the most life changing lip products, and I'm always trying new ones. Here's a mix of my staples and new finds.
Moving to the dry West Coast with Hourglass Cosmetics, from humid East Coast, cracked and deflated my Restylane plumped lips and I was not thrilled. After being trained on the brand, I had to try the No 28 Lip Treatment Oil. The applicator is plated in 24k Gold, I needed it based on that alone! It's base is made up of 14 Essential Oils, 10 Lipid Rich Plant Oils, and 4 Vitamins + 3 additional anti aging actives. The Lip Oil boast redefining the lip line, plumping out fine lines, and 1 ingredient (Saliporine-8) even claims to boost hydration levels in the lips up to 6000% when used twice a day for 28 days. I will testify that yes, it does all of this. I use this every night before bed and every morning as the last step in my skincare routine, because it works, and my lips always look great and feel hydrated. It has a very thick and glossy texture, so it stay put, great as a clear gloss throughout the day as well. I always said I would buy this even if I didn't work for the company, well now I'm going to have to, ugh... Hourglass No28 Lip Treatment Oil 5/5 Stars $42
Skinn is a top selling TV exclusive brand which focuses on creating effective products by using all their resources on formulations, not packaging. Their Lip Lip 6x Balm is no exception. I got my hands on this balm a few months ago and I'm so hooked! It's packed with a bunch of plant butters and oils as well as anti aging actives to help hydrate and plump fine lines. I love the texture, it's this unique wax like balm that isn't terribly glossy, so it's great for men or anyone who wants a really natural looking lip treatment. This has been one of my go to out and about lip balms as I love a lip treatment in a compact (vs a twist up), it slips right in my pocket and I can apply as much or as little as I want. It definitely helps with the long term appearance of the lips. Skinn Lip 6x Balm5/5 Stars $24.95
When I was headed to Paris I looked up all the must buy products and the Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm was on a lot of them. Honey is one of my favorite ingredients, be it as a sweetener or in my cosmetic products, it's such an effective multi-taskers, I'd put it all over my body, and probably kick it off. This balm comes in a little glass jar, which I love, except when I want to run out the door with it, it's not really pocket friendly. But I definitely don't lose this one as easily as my others! The balm has a very lightweight hydrating texture, stays on well, but it does have a slight gritty texture, which is usually from the Shea Butter. I've been using this one before I run out the door to go on errands cause it stays on and I don't have to worry about reapplying. Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm 4/5 Stars $19
As I'm in Whole Foods like 3 times a week, I usually find myself browsing the cosmetics section for for products I don't need. I happened upon the Weleda EVERON Lip Balm on one trip when I was going out for the night and couldn't find my other lip balm. One of the best purchases I've made at Whole Foods! It has all your basics, Shea butter, jojoba oil, beeswax, but my favorite is the Rose wax and oil it has. This lip balm smells like happiness and dreams!! It stays on great, is affordable, and is a favorite of my friends (they always use mine) and I. Weleda EVERON lip Balm 5/5 Stars $4.69
Lip scrubs are honestly all pretty much the same. Sugar, flavor, oils, it's not too complicated, here are a few I like.
The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ $24 - Comes in a bunch of really fun flavours, she always has seasonal and limited ones (I loved the Red Velvet Cake!) larger sugar granules in this one, probably not the best for sensitive lips, but I like it and use it twice a week.
Fresh Sugar Lip Polish $24 - Probably the most popular and well known scrub out there. Smaller sugar granules, gets the job done, not recommended for sensitive lips.
Bite Beauty Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub $18 - A lip scrub you can eat off, I'm sold. Hydrating wax beads are gentle enough for the most sensitive lips, the brands signature Resveratrol for anti-aging, and a bunch of oils for hydration. A definitely must have!
Do you have any favorites I should try?
A friend of mine who lives in Paris and came home for holidays and asked if I needed anything. Clearly I took advantage and asked him to pick me up a few tubes of A313. I've decided to be nice and share the wealth in my first contest! On top of the A313, I'll be throwing in 2 of my favorite Skin Food Carrot Collagen Eye Sheets and an Ageless Radiance Mask from Cosmetic Supply Innovations! There are 3 ways to enter, do 1 or all 3 for bonus entries!
1. Like and tag 2 friends in the Instagram post
2. Like and share your favorite Youth Is A Choice blog post, be sure to leave a comment with your email address in the same post.
3. Repost the Instagram post, be sure to @istvanh1 and use the hashtags #forever27 and #youthisachoice
Contest winner will be announced 2/1! Good luck! Available to US residence only :)
While we take such great care of the skin on our face, often times we neglect the rest of the skin on our body. Nothing worse than face 25 body 55, you know what I mean, smooth tight face, and a sun damaged, wrinkly decollete, or a dull dry looking tummy. These are the fears that keep me up late at night. I extend most of my skincare (and definitely sunscreen) down my chest, but I always worry that while I exercise regularly, the skin on my body will start to age. Here's a few body products I'm currently obsessed with that keep my skin soft and supple.
If you're a product junkie, chances are you've used Kate Sommerville's Exfolikate, I recently discovered she makes a body version! I've been looking for a product like this for a LONG time, and nothing else has come close. This body scrub contains some amazing exfoliating and refining ingredients such as Lactic and Glycolic acids, Papaya and Pumpkin Enzymes, exfoliating beads, plus Vitamin E to hydrate, and Caffeine to tighten the skin. I've been using this twice a week for a few weeks now and I'm totally hooked. Use after cleansing, while still in the shower, scrub all over the body (don't use on your face) and leave for 2 minutes. The steam from the shower helps activate the enzymes for deeper exfoliation. This has really smoothed out the texture of my skin and my body moisturizers absorb so much better. Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Body 4.5/5 Stars (only cause the beads can be a little difficult to wash off) $65.
I've been following Bisou Beauty Bar on Instagram for a little while now, and she always gets some of the coolest products from the newest brands! On my most recent purchased, I picked up the Illi Total Aging Care Body Oil, and I'm super obsessed. It has the most beautiful smell (which disappears after applying) and such a soft lightweight texture that moisturizes without feeling greasy. It contains Ginseng, Green Tea, and Camellia Oil which are anti-inflammatory and offer free radical protection. Illi is a division of the Amore Pacific Group that focuses mostly on body products (thought I tried their sheet masks and wow, definitely a new favorite) I've noticed the skin on my stomach looking smoother and tighter, and all the skin on my body absolutely glowing. Apply as a last step before leaving the shower, while skin is still wet, it absorbs best that way. Illi Total Aging Care Body Oil 5/5 Stars $22.56 (its cheaper on Bisou than all the other sites I've checked as well!)
When it comes to cleansing I love me a good bar soap. The Zum bar soaps are one of my favorites, made with hydrating Goats Milks, natural oils, and no sulfates, this bar cleanses while leaving skin hydrated and lightly fragranced. Since I'm a total hippie, I love the Patchouli soup, even when I don't wear cologne I get compliments on how I smell. Zum Bar Goats Milk Soap Patchouli 5/5 Stars $5.35
During the winter months I use my peels, retinals, and brightening product to help get rid of the sun damage I've accumulated over the years (why did I think a tanning member was good a good idea as a teenager...). But all this lightening leaves my olive skin looking like the ghost of the Jolly Green Giant. With all the layers of products I apply, self tanner doesn't exactly sink in over top. When I saw the Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster, I was like oh yes, this is the one. Now back in 2004 I started working for Clarins, and I was already the self tanning King, Clarins self tanner is some of the best. A little science on self tanner: All self tanners use DHA (dihydroxyacetone) a sugar from beets that oxidizes on the skin giving you colour. Now Clarins was the first to discover and use Erythrulose, a sugar from raspberries, that is used in combination with DHA and counteracted its orange shade, developing a more natural and longer lasting shade.
So back to the Booster. This product is my new favorite. Whenever my skin is looking a bit too pale, I add 3 drops into my moisturizer, apply like normal, wash my hands, and within a few hours I have a natural sun kissed effect. I use it a few times a week, and multiple days in a row if I want darker colour. Great for all skin types, all ages and can be used morning or night. 5/5 Stars $30 also available for body (which I haven't tried yet) $45.
After Christmas is always the best time to buy left over gift sets, because they always go on sale, and Sephora is having a sale on their sale items! Here are a few items you should probably be buying while you can get them at a discount. Use code EXTRA20 at checkout!
Foreo LUNA for Men Ultimate Grooming Collection with PRORASO - I just ordered this one! Everyone has been saying how much they love their Foreo, I love my Clarisonic, but the Foreo are nice for travel as they hold a charge for 365 day! I've never tried the PRORASO skincare products, but at this price you can keep them, I just want the Foreo! Value $269 - Sale $169 - Sale on Sale $135.20!! Can't beat that!
Tria Age Defying Laser Bundle - I just got the laser for eyes (I've been using it for 3 days) this one is good for the entire face. My friend Patrick came up to me and said "Girl, I stopped Botox" and his forehead was super smooth from using it. #sold. Value $549 - Sale $495 - Sale on Sale $396
Ole Henrikson Lift & Glow - If you're in the market for a good skincare starter kit, this is it. Cleanser, Eye Gel and Cream, Vitamin C Serum, and Day/Night cream all in one set! Ole Henrikson products are natural and effective at a great price point. Value $104 - Sale $45 - Sale on Sale $36
Bliss Steep Clean - This has always been a favorite mask of mine for clearing black heads, I just did it last week! Retail $55 - Sale on Sale $33
Algenist The Best of Algenist Collection - Another fantastic brand, I mean they make renewable energy that fuels battleships, they're pretty smart. Using their signature Alguronic Acid to support cell regeneration, this set includes a cleanser, facial oil, anti aging face cream, and one amazing eye balm (its one of my favorites). Retail $120 - Sale $96 - Sale on Sale $76.80.
Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book - I also use to work for Kevyn Aucoin for a brief time. His artistry has inspired millions even after his death, his makeup line is his legacy. This set includes some easy to use products for contouring. Retail $59 - Sale $40 - Sale on Sale $32
Check out the sale page and see if any of your favorites are on there! Remember to use discount code EXTRA20 to get the extra discount, hurry it only last for a few days!
When it comes to crazy weather that changes 3 times a day, as it does in LA, I have absolutely no clue how to layer clothes. But when it comes to skincare, I am the master at putting on as many layers as possible. I love to layer products of all different kinds to get my skin glowing and I rarely use 2 products with the same actives, I want all my products to be doing different things, like, why use a toner, serum, and face cream that all have the same actives? Shouldn't you be getting enough out of just one of them? If your skin can handle it, switch it up and give it a little of everything. Here's how to get all those products on your face without feeling weighed down, I've provided some products that I have or am using that work great in these steps.
1. Cleanse - As someone with combination skin, I like bit of a deep clean, then add all the nutrients and oils back in afterwards.
AM Jurlique Clarifying Deep Cleansing Gel $28
PM Bellatora Exfoliating Cleanser $95
2. Toner - I find a lot of people don't use toner, but I love it. It balances the ph of your skin and removes any excess cleanser leaving your skin fresh for products.
AM/PM Erno Laszlo Light Controlling Lotion $55
3. Essence - Applied directly after toner, facial essences add water light actives into the skin that are immediately absorbed. Warm and press into skin.
AM/PM SKII Facial Treatment Essence $99-290
AM/PM Belif Hungarian Water Essence $42
*If you are doing a sheet mask do it here, skip step 4 and maybe step 6 if you feel the serum in the mask was on the heavier side.*
SKII Facial Treatment Mask $135 for 6
Dr Jart Brightening Infusion Hydrogel Mask $7.50
Freeset Donkey Milk Skin Gel Mask Pack $37 for 10
4. Ampoule/Serum #1- Ampoules (as they're called in Korean beauty) are lightweight, gel-like, watery serums that easily absorb in the skin. Warm and press into skin.
AM/PM Cosrx Propolis Light Ampule $23.98
AM/PM Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate $78-175
*If you're experiencing breakouts, now's a good time to add a spot treatment*
Murad Acne Spot Treatment $18
5. Eye Serum/Gel - Eye serums and gels absorb the fastest, they're typically used for dark circles, puffiness, and lifting. Press all around orbital bone using a firm pressing (not rubbing) motion to stimulated lymphatic drainage.
AM/PM La Mer Luminous Eye Gel $145
AM/PM Dr. Perricone Acyl-Glutathione Eyelid Serum $120
*Wait 30 second for these step to absorb*
6. Serum #2 - This is going to be your heavier serum, usually your most active one. Heavier serum usually have glycerin or silicones in them to help carry in active ingredients such as peptides. Warm and tap all over the face
AM/PM Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum $59.50-$154
PM Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment $105
7. Eye Cream - This will be your richer eye product, used for hydrating/firming. Take a small amount and warm between 3 fingers, press around the orbital bone.
AM/PM AmorePacific Future Response Dual Eye Cream $150
AM/PM Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm $65
*Wait 30 Seconds for those products to absorb*
8. Facial Oil - Facial oils can be used so many ways, it really depends on what you're using it for. You can use before, after, or mixed in with your cream. Use before if it's a lighter weight oil after if it's thicker. Ether can be mixed with a cream. Oils can penetrate creams, that's why they can be used after. To apply all over, warm in the palms of your hands and press all over the face.
AM/PM African Botanics Neroli Infused Marula Oil $85
PM Sunday Riley Luna Oil $105
AM/PM Odacité Wild Carrot Serum Concentrate $55 (great for mixing with your moisturizer)
*Wait 60 seconds (I usually brush my teeth, put on the coffee, turn on the iron here, throw on my body cream, or put some product in my weave here)*
9. Cream or Lotion - Choose a texture for your skin type, if you're oily, you obviously don't want a heavy texture over all these layers. Drier skin types may like a richer cream to lock in moisture. Warm in hands and sweep outwards.
Dry Skin - Caudalie Premier Cru La Crème Riche $158
Normal Skin - Natura Bisse Essential Shock Intense Retinol Fluid $105 (Currently trying this one out, its suppose to be great for men, can be used around the eyes, and can be used as a serum or a day/night lotion)
Oily or Acne Prone Skin - Clarins Truly Matte Hydra-Matte Lotion $45
Sensitive Skin (Redness/Irritation) - First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream $6.50-$30
*Wait 60 seconds for the moisturizer to absorb, throw your clothes on, chug the rest of your coffee, reply to some emails...*
10. AM - Sunscreen is a must. Mineral sunscreens (zinc and titanium) work by reflecting UV rays away from the sun and last the longest, chemical sunscreens absorb UV preventing it from hitting the skin. Mineral sunscreens sometimes make my skin itch, other have the same problem with Chemical. Find a texture you like, I use a creamy one in the winter, and water light in the summer. Always use SPF 30 (anything more than that doesn't really do much). Warm in hands and sweep all over the face, be sure to focus on high points, forehead, nose, and cheeks they all get the most sun (or your left temple you're in the car as much as I am...).
Thicker - Jurlique Sun Specialist SPF40 High Protection Cream $38
Thinner - TonyMoly My Sunny Watery Sun Gel SPF30 PA++ $15.99
*Now you can apply your primer, foundation, and the rest of your makeup, or just have bare glowing skin*
10. PM - Retinoids - These are one of the only truly proven anti aging ingredients. A retinoid is different from what we can but from a store, these need to be prescribed by a dr. You can use them alone, but I like using them as my last step to reduce sensitivity as they can be pretty aggressive. The closest I've found without a prescription is the A313 Vitamin A Cream that you can purchase OTC in France or from the link below.
A313 Vitamin A Cream $33.75
10. PM Option 2 - Sleep Masks are so much fun to use! I can cater to my skins current needs by having a variety of sleep masks to choose from. These mostly help by adding extra moisture into the skin, especially helpful during dry seasons or when you have heating or a/c on at night drying your skin. Warm and press into skin as a final step. Wait about 10-15 minutes before putting your face on the pillow.
Dr Jart Water-Max Sleeping Mask $48
AmorePacific Moisture Bound Sleeping Recovery Mask $60
11. Lip Treatment - Lip balms are my crack, they always have been, I've been using them longer than I've been using eye cream (15 years old). Always leave the house with some good balm in your pocket, never know when you'll need to 😘. Apply liberally as needed.
Hourglass No28 Lip Treatment Oil $42
Nuxe Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm $18.50
See 10 step skincare really isn't that difficult (even if you add in 2 or 3 more steps). When in doubt, just remember thinnest to thickest. Have you had success with this? Are you doing more than 10 steps? I'd love to know!
Often I'm asked what products I'm using, so I'll try to keep you up to date with my latest trials and obsessions. Here's my current routine in the evening.
1. Clarisonic Mia2 w/ Deep Pore Cleansing Brush $119 - My long time friend and esthetician, Jessica, gifted me this for my birthday this year, how I never had one I have no idea, but it's quiet amazing for cleansing the skin. My only qualm is that it stops after 1 minute, what if it want to over wash my face for 5 minutes? It's my life, let me live it. 4/5 Stars, everyone needs one, just get the appropriate brush for your skin type.
2. Bellatorra Exfoliating Facial Cleanser $95 - I've been using this for about a month, and I'm really enjoying it. Bellatorra is a new line sold at Barneys, the lines main benefit is its 48hour time release ingredients, mostly in its leave on products (the facial mist feels like happiness). This cleanser smells like grapefruit (which I love), it gently exfoliates, cleanses, protects, and reveals a smoother complexion. All skin types 4/5 Stars.
3. Belif Eucalyptus Herbal Extract Toner $28 - I'm very picky about toners, and I'm on my second bottle of this one. I like to feel very cleansed without being stripped. This toner removes any leftover cleanser and sebum, leaving my skin feeling balanced and super fresh. 4.5/5 Stars.
4. SK-II Facial Essence $99-$205 - Thank God I got a sample of this cause I've been out for awhile. This is THE BEST facial essence you'll ever use. To sum it up, I first purchased this 10 years ago because my friend Nathan called me up and said "I showed up to work with no sleep after a 3 day bender with only this on my skin and my coworkers asked if I had just gotten off vacation" enough said 5/5 Stars.
5. Lancôme Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Serum $78-$175 - You can read a little further down (a previous post) my thoughts on this lovely hydrating serum.
6. Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum $58.50-$154 - I just started using this a few days ago, I love the texture, very light, absorbs easily, and blends well with my 10 Step skincare routine. I'll report back on results.
7. Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil $105 - Just started this one a few days ago as well, but I'm kind of obsessed already. I LOVE facial oils, especially in the cold dry weather. I'll report back after a few more weeks of use.
8. Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Eye Lifting Balm $62 - You can see my review on this one in a previous post, mostly just finishing this one up so I can try a new one.
9. Amore Pacific Future Response Age Defense Dual Eye Creme $150 - I received these deluxe size samples quiet awhile back and started using it about 2 months ago, there's a cream for the am (with SPF25) and one for pm. These small samples are never ending, like every other Amore Pacific product I've ever used, it's like they regenerate themselves, making them totally worth their higher price. These creams have kept my eyes smooth and hydrated. 4/5 Stars, I highly recommend the duo for anyone late 20s+ who are needing some extra loving around the eyes.
10. Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Night Infusion Cream $76 - You can see my review in a previous post, I've been using this since the beginning of October and I'm liking how it's lightweight texture hydrates and layers well with my other steps.
11. A313 Pommade $33.76 - Everyone needs a retinol/vitamin A cream, it's proven, it works, you'll love it. I use it 5-6 nights a week as the last step in my nightime routine. Check out my previous post for full details
12. Hourglass No28 Lip Treatment Oil $42 - When I first started working for Hourglass, I moved from the humid East Coast to dry ass LA. Never had my lips felt so dry, ever. As a lifetime chapstick/lip balm junkie, this is the answer. It's repaired my dry lips to the point that when I don't have anything on my lips still feel hydrated and smooth. Apply in the am and before bed at night, it will change your life. The 24karat gold plated applicator is also quiet the conversation piece to pull out of your pocket, my friends always ask if I have "the gold one" on me as I always have a lip balm in tow. 5/5 Stars, you need this, I can't live without it (and not just cause I work for them, I would buy this if I had to). Its also available in a very wearable sheer red for the holidays.
13. Iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Eye Mask $35 - This copper infused eye mask claims it can reduce wrinkles in as little as 4 weeks. I'd be lying if I said I noticed a big difference in my skin from it, but I will say that I bought a second one after leaving my first one on a flight to Paris. Why? Because it's so soft and comfortable, it blocks out all light, and I get some of the best sleep I've ever had with it on. I feel it's satiny smooth fabric prevents sleep lines on my eyes from sleeping on my sides. As for its wrinkle reducing properties? Every little bit helps and I want the matching pillow case. 4/5 Stars.
14. Dr Jart Water-Max Sleeping Mask $48 - On the 1-2 nights a week I'm not using the A313 I like to use a sleeping mask for a boost in hydration. I've only used this one a handful of times so far, but I like its lightweight and easily absorbed texture. It gives some nice hydration, but I'll give my full report after I've used it a bit longer.
15. Elemental Herbology Facial Soufflé Overnight Cream $84 - The lovely girls at Mecca in Sydney Australia bought this for me as a going away gift after I told them how obsessed I was with the texture and smell. It's one of the thickest creams I've ever felt and has this amazing herbal aroma from all the essential oils. I use this maybe once or twice a week as my night cream, when my skin is feeling especially dry, like day 2-3 after a chemical peel or during this random super dry LA nights. 4.5/5 Stars
I'd love to hear your thoughts on any other these, have you tried them? Love or hate them? Have any other questions? I'm all ears.