There have been a lot of changes in my life the last year and one big one has been my skincare routine. Maybe it was because I had a little more time for myself as the world around us slowed down or it’s because I am getting a bit older and can see firsthand how important it is for me to take really good care of my skin. At night and most mornings, if I am going makeup-free, I’ve been applying a serum before I use a moisturizer. At first, I just started to use a serum because I read it was good for the skin. Now that I’ve been using a serum consistently I can see a difference in my skin. A good serum drenches your skin with ingredients that your skin needs to look smooth, healthy, and glow that you may not get from a moisturizer.
Here are some of my favorite serums I’ve used over the years that I love love love!
If you are new to serums and don’t know where to start, I’d recommend a drugstore version first. I’ve always been a big believer that just because something is more expensive does not mean it will work better than something you can pick up at Target. I love using the Loreal Hyaluronic Acid Serum because it has hyaluronic acid as the main ingredient which helps make your skin look smoother and reduces wrinkles. This serum is great for dry skin in the winter as it instantly hydrates skin without your skin feeling sticky or greasy. Easy to layer under a moisturizer and makeup too! /// L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Hyaluronic Acid Serum, $29
FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
I discovered the company Beekman 1802 through a product campaign a few years ago and I’ve been a big fan ever since. The Beekman 1802 Milk Drops are a probiotic ceramide serum. The goal for using a serum is to to instantly get hydrated looking and feeling ski. I’ve found that each serum is made differently since each skin type is different and needs different ingredients to glow. Beekman 1802 is famous for their goat milk products and create products for sensitive skin.They keep their key ingredients simple and use natural ingredients with sensitive skin in mind. I love using the Milk Drops in the summer because they help keep my skin looking dewy and radiant when going makeup free. Be sure to check out Beekman 1802’s other products because they are so so good! I highly recommend the Milk Drops if you know you have sensitive skin and are nervous about adding another skincare product to your routine.
I’ve always had a love hate relationship with retinol since I was in my mid-teens when I was prescribed a heavy dose by a dermatologist to help with acne scars. My acne scars went away but my face retaliated with bright red splotches. Since then I have had to be very intentional where I apply retinol because it dries my skin out very quickly leaving it angry and red the next day. Is the Sunday Riley A+ Serum my new solution?? Yes. Yes it quickly became the solution to getting the benefits of retinol and keeping my skin hydrated. It’s a bit pricey but a little bit does the trick and it can last for a long time. I always recommend using a moisturizer after applying retinol and avoiding sensitive areas like around your eyes.
I’ve been using a lot of different products that have vitamin C as a key ingredient in the last year and I love the results. Summer Fridays CC ME Serum is a vitamin c serum so instead of mixing a ton of different products together to get brighten my skin and hyrdrate, I have it all in one product! I’ve talked about the importance of vitamin C before on the blog a few times because it instantly brightens your skin. Think of it like applying a natural looking highlighter on your cheekbones and forehead. You also look like you got a ton of amazing sleep the night before and that isn’t usually the case for me. What I love most of all of the Summer Fridays CC ME Serum is that it multitasks; naturally brightens, improves skin texture, and reduces dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
Let’s start off with the fact that not all lip balms are equal. How do I know this? It’s because I have about a dozen or so lip balms around my house so I can easily grab one when my lips feel dry. That’s not counting the two I have in my car and the black hole that is my purse that accumulates lost lip balms! I feel like lip balms are not talked about enough and we just grab the three-pack at the register at Target. In October Origins sent me a Drink Up Nourishing Avocado Lip Butter and I didn’t think much of it. I have so many lip balms so what could make this one so * special *. Well, it’s been weeks and this lip balm has been the one I have been grabbing the most. With most lip balms once the product dries, my lips go back to being dry. This is why I LOVE the Origins Lip Butter because just a little bit of product lasts practically all day because of the formula and it locks in the moisture so my lips never feel dry. Most other lip products can feel like you just lathered icky sticky product on your lips and hope for the best. I’m constantly reapplying and reapplying because once the product dries up, my lips are still dry. The Origins Lip Butter has ingredients that actually work like avocado oil and 8 plant-derived oils and butters – not chemicals to temporarily fix the issue.
This winter, do yourself a favor and run to the store to pick up an Origins Lip Butter. I promise you will notice immediately a difference in the product texture and your lips will notice a change after one use!
I think we create a narrative in our heads sometimes about certain brands. We know they are high quality and popular but tell ourselves that they are out of our budget. That is how I used to think about Tarte cosmetics until I “treated” myself to buying an eyeshadow palette kit last year as a gift to myself. When I checked out I thought I got such a good deal because I spent way less money than I was expecting. Turns out those prices aren’t just for the holidays. But are for every day!
What I love most about their eyeshadow palettes besides the perfect size of them, is that I can create a day and night look with endless possibilities. Perfect for taking on vacation because I just have to take one with me without feeling limited with shades. I alternate through three eyeshadow palettes, Tartelette lil’ juicy, Tartelette lil’ toasted and Tartelettelil’ bloom. However, now that I’m on the website I want to add a few more things to my cart!! HA!
And no eye look is complete without a really good eyeliner. Liquid eyeliner can be a little intimidating and with very little practice, I can make the perfect cat eye with Tarte Sex Kitten liquid eyeliner. The felt tip makes it easy and my eyeliner never smudges or fades throughout the day.
Be sure to take advantage of the holiday sales this month and treat yourself to high-quality and affordable makeup products! Check out their holiday gift guide page to get the best deals on gift sets for all of the gals on your shopping list!
Winter is here which means I need all new products to keep my skin feeling hydrated and looking radiant. I’ve been reaching for my jar of No7 Radiance+ Vitamin C Moisturizer in the morning after I wash my face. Even with my expensive cleaners, I can feel my face get dry when I wash my face in the morning so I like to give it some moisture right away! Right away my face looks brighter and glowy when I put it on. Secret ingredient?? Well luckily for us it’s not that much of a secret! The moisturizer has your daily boost of vitamin C in the formula giving you that radiant look. I love using a moisturizer with vitamin C in it because it is an antioxidant that helps protect your skin from environmental factors. Which our skin desperately needs right now as we go from our heated homes to the cold outdoors and then blasting the heat in our cars to warm up again! Give your face the right product to deeply hydrate for instant nourishment.
During the day, I gently massage the No7 Radiance+ Vitamin C Daily Brightening Moisturizer into the skin and then apply a layer of foundation. The moisturizer is quickly absorbed and makes a good primer for my foundation. Another sign that the moisturizer is quickly absorbed is by hour 12 of my day, my face is not greasy because of the moisturizer.
At night, I use a cream with retinol in it but since my face can be sensitive to retinol, I like to use the No7 Radiance + Vitamin C Daily Brightening Moisturizer around my eyes so the retinol does not dry out those areas. The next time you are looking for a moisturizer during the winter months, be sure to pick up one with the right ingredients to give you hydrated skin and protect your face from the harsh winter environment. Also, it’s very affordable!
So now that I’m back to work, I’m spending a lot of time doing things that can ruin a good manicure! Luckily, OPI set me a package in the mail of their new Nature Strong line of nail polishes. It’s a vegan nail polish line that lasts longer than any other nail polish I’ve used! With 30 shades to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one. I personally hate chipped nails and never have the time to sit down and do a full manicure. OPI Nature Strong makes it easy because the nail polish dries very quickly and lasts for more than two weeks. Seriously, it lasted two weeks even after I spent my mornings typing away on my laptop and then afternoons in the classroom!
Early fall is weird because it’s not always cold right away and I’m not ready to wear dark colors just yet! Which is why I loved the pink shades because they are good neutrals to transition into fall with. Have you seen the new line of nail polishes in store yet? For me it was life changing because I don’t have time to wait for my nails to dry these days!!
I love the summer months because the sun gives my face a hint of color. Any imperfections are hidden by that sun glow I get even when I wear SPF. We spend more time outdoors in the summer and get a good daily dose of vitamin D. Then fall comes around and we slowly start to turn up the heat, spend more time outdoors and our skin is exposed to harsh cold winds. Naturally, your skin is going to react to this big environmental change so be sure to be prepared this year with the right tools to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.
Drink Water All Day
My first sign that my skin was feeling the affects of the seasons changing was that I was thirsty all the time. My lips felt chapped, my mouth dry and I could tell that my body needed more water intake. During the summer months, I am constantly drinking water or some beverage to keep cool in the heat. But during the fall, I just forget to keep a water bottle around me at all times. Now I fill up a big tumbler of water and keep it with me throughout the day as a reminder to keep drinking water.
The Lazy Version of an Organic Diet
You won’t find me shopping exclusively in the organic section of the grocery store, but I do try to buy fresh food always. If 2020 taught me anything, it’s how to cook with fresh ingredients because I had the time to experiment in the kitchen. Now we cook almost all of our meals from scratch and stay away from processed foods. To stay healthy, we also limit our dairy intake and use dairy alternatives whenever we can. Our fridge has chopped up vegetables for easy snacks and always have a stocked fridge so we have easy dinner options instead of ordering in.
I go to bed every night with dewy skin because of the amount of products on my face to keep it hydrated and healthy. It took a while but I finally found a nighttime routine that got me ready for bed in under 5 minutes that worked for me and my needs. At night before bed, I wash my face, brush my teeth and apply toner, serum and a moisturizer before bed. A lot of this is for preventative care knowing I will appreciate this 5 minutes of self care a night in 10 years. It’s a lot more difficult to correct skin damage and make it healthy again than a few minutes a day of preventative care. Create a routine that works for you to apply a face moisturizer at night on your face, neck and chest and your future self will thank you for it!
Create a Healthy Lifestyle
Lack of sleep, stress, anxiety are just a few things that can make your face look tired and dull. A few years ago I started to set an alarm at night as a reminder when I should be getting into bed. Some days I need that little reminder that it’s time to unwind and get into bed. Sleep is so important for skin health and for calming anxiety throughout the day. (Almost) Everything is possible when you are well rested! Change your sheets weekly, use the Calm App to become less anxious and journal to release those strings of thought that can add to a stressful mind.
Besides taking my daily vitamin, I also have a scoop of Vital Proteins collagen in my morning coffee every day. If I have the time, I love to make a fruit and spinach smoothie in the afternoon to get my daily dose of fruit and vegetables. We need to be mindful of what we put into our body and I have seen big drastic improvements in my skin when I take certain supplements. However, always do your own research and do what is best for you and your lifestyle.