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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As a Glossier Rep, I am obsessed with nearly all of their products. They are truly everyday favorites, and I constantly find myself reaching for them. So, it only makes sense that most of my makeup looks feature quite a few Glossier goodies.

When I saw fellow Rep Amy Serrano post a face full of Glossier on Instagram earlier this month, it inspired me to dish my Glossier go-to’s for all my followers, too! To recreate my look, begin with your favorite primer and foundation, then follow the steps below. Always remember to finish with a trustworthy setting spray.

Thankfully, all of Glossier’s products are super easy to use, so this look is definitely a casual go-to when I am in a rush to get ready. It instantly makes me look healthy and awake–not over done.

And, as always, you can save 20 percent on your first Glossier purchase, plus enjoy free shipping every time you spend $30 when you shop through my link!

Products I used:

  • Balm Dotcom in Coconut, $12
  • Stretch Concealer in Medium, $18
  • Cloud Paint in Haze, $18
  • Boy Brow in Brown, $16
  • Haloscope in Moonstone, $22

Step 1: Apply Balm Dotcom to freshly exfoliated lips. I use a combo of equal parts petroleum jelly and granulated sugar to exfoliate my lips, then I rinse with warm water to wash the dead skin away. Pat dry.

Step 2: With the forefinger apply Stretch Concealer to any blemishes, redness or dark circles. Instead of rubbing it in, try tapping it into the skin for more coverage.

Step 3: Cloud Paint is extremely pigmented, so apply several small dots of Haze to the apples of the cheeks and gently tap until blended. Then, add more if a bolder look is desired.

Step 4: Starting in the middle of each brow, apply Boy Brow outwards, then use the applicator to brush the inner “sprouts” upwards.

Step 5: Gently apply Haloscope to the cheekbones and orbital bones around the eyes, as well as the brow bones and cupid’s bow. Tap the outer edges with the fingers to blend seamlessly.

Step 6: Comb and curl the eyelashes, then finish with 1-2 coats of your go-to mascara. Mine is Roller Lash by Benefit Cosmetics or Voluminous Miss Manga by L’Oréal.

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Korean skincare and makeup has become so popular over the past few months! At first, I was super skeptical to jump on the bandwagon; I had never heard of–let alone used–any of the Korean brands I saw all over blogs, YouTube and other social media platforms. But, a video by fellow Glossier rep Amy Serrano definitely piqued my interest earlier this month. I completely fell in love with two things she showed: Holika Holika’s Pig Nose and TONYMOLY’s Water Bar.

When I explored a local Korean beauty shop, I also picked up several other products I discovered on my own. Missha’s Coloring Tint Balm in Joy to You, as well as collagen and hyaluronic sheet masks from Etude House, officially joined my beauty stash.

Poppy & Daisy on Fayette Street in Morgantown, West Virginia

Pig Nose: Pig Nose by Holika Holika is a 3-step series of pore-cleaning strips, like the ones by Biore. This 3-step system, however, allows for a much deeper clean and more effective blackhead removal than its Biore counterpart. Then, it soothes skin afterwards–a step Biore completely lacks. $3, Peach & Lily

Coloring Tint Balm: While Morgantown’s Poppy & Daisy stocks plenty of TONYMOLY, I could not find the one product I had on my mind: the Water Bar lip tint. Serrano raved about this nourishing, long-lasting lip stain in her aforementioned video, and it sounded right up my alley. As I continue to search for a good deal on this product online, I picked up Missha’s Coloring Tint Balm, a similar product. I got the color Joy To You, a bright reddish-orange hue perfect for spring and summertime.

The color isn’t as bold or harsh as a traditional lipstick or a liquid lipstick, but it is definitely enough to turn heads. This formula wears like a moisturizing balm (as the name suggests) with a fresh, blotted lipstick look–without the tricky, time-consuming blotting. I love wearing Joy To You with soft whites and frilly, feminine blouses (a huge trend this season). But because this tinted balm gives you that just-ate-a-popsicle look, it honestly wears well with just about anything. Missha’s Coloring Tint Balm is a comfortable and practical warm-weather alternative to lipstick. $11, Missha

Etude House sheet masks: If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I am a total face mask junkie! Mud masks, sheet masks–I love them all! Sheet masks are huge in the Korean skincare realm, so of course I had to pick up a couple on my trip to Poppy & Daisy. While there were so many great options, I chose Etude House’s collagen mask and hyaluronic acid mask.

Collagen has unparalleled 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 the mask is gone.

Hyaluronic acid, on the other hand, is intensely moisturizing. It is perfect for replenishing skin after a long flight or a night of drinking. Overall, you really cannot beat the convenience of these easy-to-use sheet masks. $1.30 each, Etude House

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If you are active on Instagram, a photo-centric social media platform, it is highly likely you’ve seen your favorite celebs and influencers promote FitTea: an online-based brand known for its tea detoxes, i.e., “teatoxes,” that the brand claims promote weight loss. Kylie Jenner and big sis Kourtney Kardashian (with 90.5 million and 55.2 million Instagram followers, respectively) are two of the many well-known FitTea promoters.

According to The Fashion Law, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) began investigating FitTea last year, “after receiving complaints from consumers regarding [the company’s] posting of disclosure-less endorsements and unsubstantiated health claims.”

“Upon initiating an investigation of FitTea, NAD claims that the company modified its website to include the ‘#ad’ disclosure on the paid-for Instagram endorsements, and vowed to require paid endorsers to disclose their connection to the company and to monitor posts to ensure compliance,” The Fashion Law continues.

“Moreover, the NAD held that FitTea should separate its endorsements and testimonials from its authentic product reviews on its website, as well as to prominently distinguish which reviews on its website are authentic user reviews and which are not.’”

Source: [Instagram user @kyliejenner]

But, proper advertising practices and transparent disclosures are only half the battle. FitTea is also under fire for false weight-loss and other health-related claims.

“The NAD criticized the content of some FitTea’s paid for endorsements, namely ones that assert that consuming FitTea helps to promote with weight loss,” according to The Fashion Law.

Per The Fashion Law, the NAD decision states, “While the diet and exercise program that FitTea promotes to customers who purchase FitTea might result in weight loss or other weight-related health improvements, there was no evidence in the record that drinking FitTea by itself will boost metabolism, boost immunity, burn fat or otherwise result in weight loss.”

Upon its findings, the NAD stated that FitTea should abstain from publishing or re-publishing the false weight-loss testaments on its website.

Despite the issues at hand, “none of the influencers at issue, such as the Kardashian/Jenners, actresses Ashley Benson, Vanessa Hudgens, Bella Thorne, Lindsay Lohan and Sarah Hyland, among others, [as well as] the huge array of Instagram famous models, were named in the action,” according to The Fashion Law.

“As such, the burden falls exclusively on the advertising company [i.e., FitTea] to ensure that the individuals it is paying disclose properly.”

Kourtney Kardashian promotes FitTea [source: The Fashion Law]

Detox teas are not the only web-based brand falsely promoting such claims. In fact, Galore points out that diet pills like QuickTrim, Instagram-famous waist trainers and body wraps (such as those from It Works!) are all guilty of deceptive advertising.

“Nowadays there are endless diet tips and weight loss supplements out there, all promising to help us lose weight and live happier, healthier lives. It’s tough to figure out what’s the real deal and what isn’t. But there’s one marketing ploy that’s always a red flag, and it looks like this: ‘When combined with a healthy diet and exercise,’” Galore writer Kayla Jackson points out.

“If a product will only help you lose weight ‘when combined with a healthy diet and exercise,’ then guess what? That product isn’t doing jack shit. It’s the healthy diet and exercise that are making you lose weight, not [whichever] garbage product you’re combining it with.

Jackson spoke with exercise physiologist and nutritionist Dr. Bill Sukala to confirm the issue.

“Just because something is sold over the counter does not automatically mean that it’s been vetted by health authorities and has been deemed safe or effective,” Sukala tells Jackson.

“Losing weight the natural way through exercise and eating healthy is and always has been the smartest and cheapest way to ensure success.”

Jackson specifically explains the problem with body wraps from pyramid schemes like It Works! While they do in fact promote weight loss on their own (i.e., sans diet and exercise), all of it comes from water weight.

“Once you rehydrate the weight that is lost comes right back,” Jackson says.

“This product is a quick fix if you want to lose weight immediately, but the results do not last long at all.”

However, both Jackson and Sukala find detox teas the most problematic of all the Insta-famous dieting fads.

“Once a person has lost weight from a ‘detox’, [he or she] will inevitably gain it back in short time,” Sukala says.

“This is because most of the weight loss was in the form of feces and fluid. If the person was dieting and drastically cutting calories, then there might have been some fat loss, but probably also a loss of valuable metabolism-boosting muscle.”

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When shopping for new beauty products, I am always on the lookout for natural ingredients; I tend to avoid putting chemicals into and on my body or face whenever possible for obvious reasons. So, after Lexi Ioannou, the blogger behind Boho Chicken, published a list of her natural must-have products, I felt inspired to do the same.

I’ve been using the following all-natural products for months, and in some cases, years, so I am living proof their results are like magic. Plus, nearly all of them are available at drugstores and/or supermarkets–you don’t even have to make a trip to Ulta or Sephora for glowing, smooth skin and thicker, silkier hair.

Coconut oil: Coconut oil is super popular, and for good reasons. Not only does it smell ah-mazing, it is the ultimate moisturizing agent for hair and body. Once a week, I massage coconut oil throughout my scalp and mane–the best part is, this oil is all-natural, so it can be safely kept on for hours on end. Typically, I leave coconut oil in my hair anywhere between 1-12 hours at a time.

After shampooing and conditioning my hair as normal, I towel off and use some coconut oil as moisturizer on my legs, abdomen and arms. The result is soft, healthy hair and baby-like skin. It has a natural SPF of 4, making it a great alternative to sticky, store-bought tanning oils, and it is perfect for protecting your hair from the sun’s rays.

Spectrum essentials unrefined coconut oil, prices vary, select drugstores & grocers

Apple cider vinegar: ACV, like coconut oil, has so many uses; but unlike coconut oil, it has a super strong, not-so-pleasant smell. Don’t let that scare you, though; it can instantly be rinsed away with your go-to soap or shampoo. I love using apple cider vinegar as a toner before I go to sleep at night (the smell is gone by morning!), or mixed in my favorite facial mask (like I said, the smell is gone as soon as the mask is washed off).

You can also use ACV to rid your hair of buildup. So that it does not irritate your scalp (ACV has a slight sting to it), mix some apple cider vinegar with a little warm water in a spray bottle, spray your hair thoroughly, and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then, wash your hair as normal. Ta-da!

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.

In addition to reducing breakouts and blackheads, this mask’s tightening effect reduces the appearance of pores. The best part is, 1 pound of this facial, composed of 100 percent calcium bentonite clay, goes for about $11 on Amazon.

Bragg apple cider vinegar & Aztec Secret Indian Healing clay, $21.99, Amazon [source: Pinterest]

Cotton: I had to include 100 percent cotton on this list because I love using it to dry my hair. If you’ve got an old cotton t-shirt lying around, swap your post-shower hair towel for it, and your hair will dry noticeably less frizzy.

Tea tree oil: If you have oily or acne-prone skin, tea tree oil will quickly become your savior. I love using Lush’s Tea Tree Water toner spray to refresh my face throughout the day without disturbing my makeup. Plus, it instantly soothes irritated post-shaved or post-waxed skin.

Or, you could use 100-percent pure tea tree oil as a stronger supplement to your favorite facial cleanser during your nighttime skincare routine.

Tea tree water toner, $10.95-22.95, Lush [source: lushsg.com]

Witch hazel: YouTube star Lauren Elizabeth introduced me to witch hazel in a skincare video a couple months ago, and I really wish I had heard of this miracle product sooner. Not only does it deep clean pores, it minimizes their appearance big time!

While you can buy witch hazel extract at the drugstore, I first decided to try Ulta’s Pollution Defense Pomegranate Instant Defense peel-off mask, which contains witch hazel, on my most recent trip to the beauty retailer. The results could not be beat! For $3, my pores became virtually invisible (seriously, it was like I constantly had a blur filter on my face), and thanks to the antioxidant-rich pomegranate, the fine lines on my forehead disappeared, too. I would recommend this mask for all skin types.

Castor oil: This is the newest addition to my natural beauty arsenal! A couple months ago I discovered castor oil’s hair-thickening properties while browsing Pinterest and decided to give it a go. However, no one warned me how thick this oil itself is, so my first time using it was a complete mess.

Once I got the hang of it, however, this product was exactly what my beauty routine was missing. A little is great on the scalp and ends to promote hair growth. With a cotton swab, you can apply small amounts of castor oil to your brows and lashes before bed to thicken those up, as well.

Instant Defense peel-off mask, $3, Ulta

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