I am, for better or worse, not a make-up gal. So if you’re on the hunt for a laundry list of the best foundations, eyeliners or mascaras, you’ll have to turn to some of our (very talented and knowledgeable!) contemporaries. I was a relatively lazy skincare girl for a long time—think a quick rinse with a bar of dove soap—until one day I woke up and thought, “ugh, am I getting old!? Did I miss the preventative window?” And so began my initial exploration into the big bad world of skincare. It’s intimidating don’t you think? Especially when you’re a total newbie.
Let’s start with a few things: 1. I feel like I remain a total newbie. There is just so. Much. Out there. So, I am not an expert, just here to share what tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way. 2. I have relatively tolerant skin, so if you’re super sensitive, just keep that in mind. 3. I am always looking for new things to try, so send suggestions my way!
Here’s a rundown of my basics….
- Quick Cleanse with warm water (mostly because I’m too much of a baby for anything else).
- Ursa Major Vitamin C Serum- I love the consistency, not goopy or sticky at all and with a really nice orangey smell.
- Image Skincare Daily Moisturizer with SPF 32. SPF EVERYDAY!! I cannot go back in time and make up for old sun damage, but I spend a lot of energy keeping my face out of the sun now. And when that fails, I know I will always have a little back up protection in place, no matter what time of year. This moisturizer is light with a nice, faint scent.
- Chapstick brand Classic Chapstick- because…is there anything better?
- I am an afternoon/evening fitness gal (when I manage to make it happen) which inevitably leads to evening showers and thirsty skin. Enter Tata Harper Reparative Moisturizer. This guy leaves my skin feeling a little glowy but not sticky and has a lovely, fresh smell. Works either as a jumping off point for a little glam up or just pre-jammies at 7 PM kind of night.
- If I have been cozy in my jammies all evening and have recently applied my Tata Harper, I head straight into the next step. However, if I’m coming off a full day or an evening out, another quick rinse (this is where I admit I’m still very lazy when it comes to actually cleansing my face, only happens sporadically in the shower).
- Every other night I apply retinol (Expecting mama’s stay away). I have been down a few routes here.
- I started with Drunk Elephant’s A Passioni and…my face almost fell off. Power to the people out there who can handle it, sadly, that is not me.
- For a while I was using Skin Ceuticals 0.3 Retinol. I really liked it! Light and layers nicely.
- Then I gave Olay Retinol 24 a try—this is a combined moisturizer with retinol, very silky to the touch. I liked it but found I wanted to use the same nighttime moisturizer each night and didn’t always want retinol (it’s too drying every day and I try to avoid the night before I spend an extended period of time outside).
- Currently I am using Sunday Riley’s A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum. Pretty much scent free and a light, creamy serum. So far, so good!
- Next up, my queen: Image Skincare Hyaluronic Serum. Man is this stuff great. I *think* hyaluronic serum almost always = hyaluronic serum. Which is just to say, this is not an item where you need to buy the priciest option. I have tried a few including Ghost Skincare and Glossier but I keep coming back to Image because there is no sticky residue left on my skin. Any time my skin is extra dry, I work this guy in 2 or even 3 times a day and always on an overnight flight.
- Then, we’ve got our night cream. I’ve really been waffling here lately.
- Right now, I am using Caudalie’s Resveratrol-Lift Firming Cashmere cream and oooh baby does it smell lovely. Makes me feel like I’ve been dropped in the middle of an English rose garden with a light breeze. Light and airy, it’s heavenly.
- I landed here after trying Caudalie’s Brightening Glycolic Night Cream but that was too heavy for me.
- Last but not least, another all-star—Sunday Riley’s Auto Correct. Honey, do I love you. I am always pretty self-conscious of the dark circles under my eyes. This guy works wonders, just makes my eyes brighter and lighter and I am completely smitten. I will also apply half an hour or so before I start getting ready for a big night out. Remember those!?
Other Favorites of mine that don’t necessarily fit into a daily routine…
- Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask -🤤 this mask goes on clear and tightens on your skin as it dries. It makes my face feels clear and perky and ready for anything.
- Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask- This is usually my go to after a long weekend of too much activity. Helps my skin bounce back and feel clean and fresh.
- Bloom Effect’s Tulip Tint- I am a *gloss girl.* I really love lip gloss and have one clear gloss that I love. This long lasting tint is the prefect pre-layer.
- Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask- Chlo recommended this one to me. It’s a nice little fruity lip topper. I glob it on at night when my lips are feeling particularly chapped (and rub the excess on my cuticles). And honestly… it looks kind of lovely on, so wouldn’t hesitate to use as a stand in for gloss on a night out
- Sunday Riley Good Genes- Not a daily use for me, but a lovely pick me up for my skin when I’m looking to perk things up a bit. It’s got a fresh, almost tangy smell.
- Ouai Wave Spray- I have a light natural wave in my hair that tends to look great after one night’s sleep in a twisty bun, but can feel a little meh if things just air dry. This salty spray has helped bring a lil pick me up to the waves.