The skincare edit

After dishing two of my go-to makeup routines (here and here), I decided it’s time to reveal my skincare, or “get unready with me”, routine. Experimenting with makeup is tons of fun, but I don’t feel 100 percent comfortable with it unless I take care of my skin first.

Although I am a firm believer that beauty comes from within, certain products are definitely necessary, too. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I tend to gravitate towards natural beauty remedies, but there are definitely some other products I love just as much.

On any given day, I follow Glossier‘s “order of operations” routine and swap out different products as my skin’s needs change.

Step 1 – Makeup removal: Removing makeup before cleansing is super important! If you skip this step, you’re not actually cleansing your skin; you’re just moving the makeup around your face.

Simple’s Micellar Makeup Remover Wipes (prices vary, drugstores) are gentle on skin and don’t leave a yucky “film” on your face like other brands do (cough, Neutrogena). I keep my makeup to a minimum on most days, so I love that I only need one of these to remove everything. If necessary, I use a little coconut oil to remove stubborn mascara around the eyes.

Step 2 – Cleanser: I’ve seriously been using Olay’s Daily Clean Wipes, 4-in-1 Water Activated Cloths (prices vary, drugstores) since I was 13 years old–and they’ve never failed me! They give me a deep clean (and a gentle exfoliation) without leaving my skin feel stripped.

Step 3 – Mist: Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea ($7, Ulta) soothes skin after cleansing. Plus, it can also be used to refresh the skin throughout the day without disturbing makeup!

Step 4 – Toner: Since discovering Pacifica’s Cactus Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic ($12, Ulta) in November, I have gone through three bottles! Micellar water acts like a magnet to remove makeup, dirt and impurities left behind by cleanser. This formula also tones skin–and the best part is, it is quick, easy and mess-free.

I also started using Thayers witch hazel (prices vary, drugstores) earlier this year after discovering it through Lauren Elizabeth, my favorite YouTuber. In addition to toning, witch hazel is excellent for shrinking the size of pores.

Step 5 – Serum(s): Glossier’s Super Pure ($28, Glossier) quickly combats blemishes, breakouts and redness, while Super Glow ($28, Glossier) evens out and brighten skin’s tone–it is the perfect pick-me-up for tired, dull skin.

Step 6 – Moisturizer: Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer Rich ($35, Glossier) is intensely hydrating, so for my normal-to-oily skin, it definitely serves as a night cream.

Glossier’s Moisturizing Moon Mask ($22, Glossier) also doubles as a moisturizer when only a thin layer is applied. It soothes skin, smooths fine lines, restores elasticity and helps to brighten and even out the complexion.

Clinque’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel ($14.50-$27, Ulta) is my everyday go-to. It feels light on the skin and absorbs quickly, but definitely gets the job done and allows for smooth skin and better makeup application.

Step 7 – Eye cream: Currently, I am on the hunt for a hydrating and firming eye cream; I’ve just been using a little extra PM Rich under my eyes until I invest in something I can really trust. Earlier this month, I tried Mario Badescu’s Ceramide Eye Cream because I love the facial spray so much. But, to be honest, I did not like this product at all, and I ended up returning it after two weeks. It irritated my eyes like crazy, and I honestly felt like it was making my fine lines more defined and my bags heavier.

Step 8 – Lips: Glossier’s Balm Dotcom ($12, Glossier) is a long-lasting multi-use balm. It keeps my lips intensely hydrated for hours on end, but it also works great on cuticles, elbows and any other rough patches–including those on the face. You can’t go wrong with the original, but I’m also obsessed with the coconut flavor!

When it comes to skincare, masks are also essential to my routine. I love taking the time once or twice a week to really pamper my skin with a good at-home mask. Traditional masks are my fav because they always leave my face feeling the softest and cleanest, but lately I’ve been getting into peel-off masks and sheet masks, too, because they are so convenient.

Deep cleansing: As I mentioned in my recent all-natural beauty remedies post, I absolutely love Aztec Secret’s Indian Healing Clay. When mixed with apple cider vinegar, this all-natural powder becomes a strong and super effective facial mask. As the label states, I literally feel my face pulsate every time I use this combo. Natural clay goes deep into the pores to draw out dirt, oil and toxins, while ACV leaves your skin even and toned.

Glossier’s Mega Greens Galaxy Pack is also a great option. It is much more gentle than Aztec Secret’s, but still contains essential clay that detoxifies skin by drawing out excess oil, impurities and buildup, according to its description on Glossier’s website. The multi-tasking formula also includes antioxidants to fight against pollution and cell damage.

While I’ve tried just about every fresh face mask Lush has to offer, the only one that really works for me is Brazened Honey. While the others definitely left my skin feeling nice, this mask was the only one that left me with noticeable results in terms of appearance. It deep cleans, exfoliates and remedies what Lush refers to as “congested skin” (i.e., skin with a lot of buildup) after just one use.

Anti-aging: A couple months ago I discovered two great anti-aging masks while browsing at Ulta–and, at $3 each, they’re a total steal. Ulta’s Pollution Defense Pomegranate Instant Defense Peel Off Mask is an easy-to-use mask that contains antioxidant-rich pomegranate to protect skin, as well as witch hazel to refine pores and Vitamin E to soothe skin.

Ulta’s Anti-Aging Papaya Skin Revitalizing Sheet Mask includes skin firming papaya extract, hydrating hyaluronic acid and antioxidant Vitamin C to brighten the skin and leave it glowing.

I also raved about Etude House’s sheet masks in my Korean beauty haul + review. Their collagen sheet mask specifically has a ton of anti-aging benefits. Not only does it improve elasticity, it hydrates skin, plumping it up and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. This protein also strengthens skin, allowing it to better retain moisture long after you take the mask off.

Hydrating: Etude House’s hyaluronic acid sheet mask, on the other hand, is intensely moisturizing; it is perfect for replenishing skin after a long flight or a night of drinking. Sheet masks are convenient, and this one delivers a ton of hydration instantly, making it the perfect travel companion for a busy or on-the-go gal. At $1.30 each, I always keep a couple of Etude House’s masks in the house incase a skincare dilemma arises!

As I mentioned earlier, I am a huge fan of Glossier’s Moisturizing Moon Mask, which also contains skin-plumping hyaluronic acid, as well as aloe and honey to attract and retain moisture.

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