UPDATED: Nighttime Skin Care Routine

Since we last left off, my foolish self routinely used solely coconut oil (a known pore-clogger) on my face as a moisturizer. Granted, it was the only ingredient that didn’t feel like a thousand knives on my skin (I had a few bad incidents with over exfoliating).

Over the past eight months, I’ve developed a skin care routine that works for me, is relatively easy, and keeps my acne-prone skin as clear as it can be.

1. Coconut Oil – Gets the award for ‘Most Gentle Makeup Remover I’ve Ever Used’ (wipe off with toilet paper or wash cloth).

2. Lush Dark Angels Facial Cleanser– Gets all the coconut oil remnants off.

3. Lush Smuggler’s Soul Multipurpose Scrub – Gets any left over Dark Angels off, buffs skin, kind of harsh- usually focus on nose/T-zone.4. Lush Tea Tree Water Toner– Spritz on cotton ball and wipe whole face (takes three-ish cotton balls), leaves a squeaky clean face for acne medication application.

5. Epiduo/Tea Tree Oil – I use Epiduo (you need a prescription to get it :/, but Neutrogena On-The-Spot Treatment works just as well) on more cystic acne and use straight tea tree oil on any other pimples (I KNOW straight Tea Tree Oil is bad for your skin but I use half of a drop MAX on my whole face and it works for me so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).

6. Lush Full of Grace Serum– Let Epiduo dry or Tea Tree Oil set in before applying this all over the face and rubbing in with clean hands.

And then I go to sleep.

I know the whole “I Just Drink Lots of Water” to cure acne is annoying to hear if you have chronic acne (trust me, I know) but if you’re dedicating yourself to a detailed skincare regimen and don’t stay hydrated, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

I hoped this helped and as always, feel free to message me with any comments or questions, I would love to hear from you.

xo

Lia

Skincare Routine

I apologize deeply for not posting regularly, I’ve been incredibly busy with school for the past month and haven’t been able to salvage the time to write up a whole article. The grading period ends in two days so I’ve been cramped with retakes and projects and have barely had time to sleep. Speaking of no sleep, lack of sleep (and water and vitamins and a whole bunch of other stuff) is really bad for your skin. I’ve known for years that poor hydration is a main cause of dull, dry skin. Did this knowledge make me more inclined to drink water all day? Yes, for about a week and then I gave up because I had to pee during every class and my teachers wouldn’t let it slide (public school, amirite, guys?). Just for the record, my skin GLEAMS during the summer, I eat plenty of fruits and drink more than the recommended amount of water (8 glasses a day, btw).  Once school hits, my skin dries out like no other and my acne makes a major comeback.

If you’re like me and you suck at remembering to drink water and have trouble getting the recommended value of nutrients per day, then you need to take extra special care in your skincare.

I’m proud to say that my skin has drastically improved since freshman year of high school and I credit this to a combination of prescription medication and a consistent routine. Here’s my daily skincare routine.

MORNING:

STEP ONE: WASH

First I wet my hands with warm water and splash (*not like the commercials at all, btw) my face with warm water (get your eye boogers out too).

Then I take my Mario Badescu Acne Cleanser and put a dime sized amount on my fingers tips (if you’re not from the United States and you don’t know how big a dime is, it’s approximately the size of an M&M. If you don’t know how big an M&M is, I’m sorry but there isn’t much I can do for you), and rub it gently on my face.

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Mario Badescu Skin Care, Acne Facial Cleanser, $15.00, available at Ulta

Then I just wet a wash cloth and rinse off the cleanser. Not hard at all.

STEP TWO: MOISTURIZE

Before I leave, I just put a dime/M&M sized amount of moisturizer on my skin, a bit more in the winter especially – my skin dries out because of the cold air outside and the hot air in my car.

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Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture – Sensitive Skin, $10.99, available from Neutrogena (and Target)

That’s it. That’s all I do.

NIGHT:

Here’s where it gets real. If I could put “Extremely Committed To Nighttime Skincare Routine” on my resume, I would.

STEP ONE: REMOVE MAKEUP

I use coconut oil to take off my makeup but I’ve heard it’s not recommended to put coconut oil on your face. It works well for me and I wash it off in a minute or two so it doesn’t clog my pores or anything else that other websites claim it does. I take a small amount (maybe the size of a Swedish fish candy, I’m hungry, can’t you tell?), let it melt a bit, rub it around on my fingertips and then put it directly on my eyelids to take off my mascara/eyeshadow/eyebrow pomade/etc. If you have contacts, I’d recommend taking them out first but honestly, I usually don’t because I’m lazy and willing to risk temporary blindness.

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365 Expeller Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil, ~$18.00, available at Whole Foods, Amazon

STEP TWO: WIPE OFF MAKEUP

Theoretically, you could put coconut oil on a cotton pad and use that to take your makeup off but if you’re like me, you can just use a piece of toilet paper (clean, duh) and wipe off the oil/makeup residue. I have fancy toilet paper that doesn’t feel like sandpaper (thanks, Mom!) but if your TP feels like rubbing your hand on a cinder block, I would not recommend using it.

STEP THREE: RINSE OFF REMAINING OIL

Back to what I said about coconut oil clogging your pores- we want to avoid this. Therefore, I use this 365 Cleanser to get the remaining oil off. I just wet my hands/face and rub a generous amount on my face.

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365 Daily Facial Cleanser, $5.99, available at Whole Foods

I have super sensitive skin, (which is why I originally started using coconut oil, because it didn’t feel like acid on my skin) and I’ve found that this cleanser is VERY gentle and if you just use your fingers to wash your skin, it’s not irritating and won’t cause over-drying.

STEP FOUR: (OPTIONAL) WASH WITH MARIO BADESCU ACNE CLEANSER

If you have really dry skin, I wouldn’t recommend washing your face more than once, but also I’m not a dermatologist nor your mother so you can do whatever you like.

If my face feels particularly oily or I notice some breakouts coming on, I’ll just wash my face once more with the Mario Badescu Acne Cleanser (a Kylie Jenner accredited brand, btw).

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Mario Badescu Skin Care, Acne Facial Cleanser, $15.00, available at Ulta

STEP FIVE: SPOT TREATMENT

Personally, I use EpiDuo, a prescription spot treatment from my dermatologist but Neutrogena’s On-The-Spot Acne Treatment works just as well.

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Neutrogena On The Spot Acne Treatment, $4.49, available at Target

****DO NOT OVER USE SPOT TREATMENTS. It will dry your skin out and make it flake which 1) is super hard to cover with makeup and 2) leaves you more prone to infection/scarring. Use them once every few days for small pimples and possibly every other day for more intense acne but NEVER TWICE A DAY. I did this once and gave myself an acid burn so please don’t overuse it. Do you see that “Maximum Strength Effectiveness”? Yeah, that means you don’t need a lot.

STEP SIX: MOISTURIZE

I cannot stress how important moisturizer is, especially if you aren’t properly hydrated in the first place.
It takes just a second to do, so you might as well just do it.

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Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture – Sensitive Skin, $10.99, available from Neutrogena (and Target)

Hope this helps,

xo, Lia

6 Tips to Keep Your Glow All Winter Long

Everyone knows it: the dry, dull winter curse that affects the best of us, leaving your skin looking as unsupermodel-like as possible, making you dream of a Caribbean vacation or simply for summer to make a rather quick return. It’s awful having dry skin and I don’t want you to suffer any longer. That being said, I’ve complied a list of tried-and-true methods to maintain your summer glow all winter long.

1. Tea Tree Water

Lush Tea Tree Water

Lush Tea Tree Water, available at Lushusa.com, $10.95

Alright, hear me out on this one- this stuff is a blessing in a $10.95 bottle. If you have oily skin but still look dry and dull (I know right? The best of both worlds!) this stuff is magic. Here’s how you use it- put on your foundation like you regularly do, set it with some powder, (tinted or not, it doesn’t matter) and then spritz a few pumps all over your face and DON’T touch it, just let the water soak in and do it’s thing. I’m sure there’s some wonderful science behind this and you are more than welcome to email Bill Nye, but all I know is that this magic water leaves your skin looking dewey and avoids that powder-y, cake-y look you try to avoid.

Available at Lushusa.com

2. Aquaphor Lip Balm

Aquaphor

Aquaphor Healing Ointment, available at Aquaphorus.com and local drugstores

Lip balm is obviously one of the most crucial parts of winter and you’re lying if you say you didn’t get a million over the holiday season. But, I’m going to put all your lip balms to shame (sorry, EOS, you know I love you.). I love my Burt’s Bees, my EOS and my Vaseline, but nothing does the trick like Aquaphor. This liquid gold is long-lasting, and especially fantastic if your lips are already chapped and struggling.

Available at Aquaphorus.com

3. Humidifier

Vicks Germ Free Humidifier

Vicks Germ-Free Humidifier, available at Target.com, $46.99

Humidifiers will become your best friends during the winter. Put a small one of these blessings in each room in your house and get ready to glow! When you have the heat cranked up in your house, whether it be your radiator, your fireplace or you just jacked the thermostat up because your feet were cold, your skin is going to dry out. Putting a humidifier in each room is best but not necessary; if you just want to have one going in your room while you sleep, that’s a great option too!

Available at Target.com

4. Hand Lotion

L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Lotion, available at Loccitane.com, $12.00

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Lotion, available at Loccitane.com, $12.00

Let me give you a tragic scenario: you’re sitting in a cute little coffee shop (Isn’t that how all love stories start?), and the most beautiful person walks in and sits down right next you. They ask you your name and you hit it off, sadly they have to leave so they take your hand and ask for your number, BUT, your hands are chapped and crusty! Oh no! How tragic! This could’ve all been avoided if you brought your L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream! Ugh, avoid this tragic occurrence by buying some hand lotion! Plus you keep your hands glowing and chap-free!

Available at Loccitane.com

5. Liquid Foundation, Concealer, Highlighter– basically all your makeup

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation, available at Sephora, $39.00 (shown in Honey)

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation, available at Sephora, $39.00 (shown in Honey)

Obviously if dry skin is what we’re trying to avoid, we have to find the opposite of dry, which (if you didn’t know already) is wet. So liquid makeup is what we’re going for here. Cream based blushes, highlighters, concealers, contour sticks- it’s all fantastic. The curse of liquid products (because isn’t there always a curse?), is that you have to set them with powder so they don’t slide around all over your face, making you look like a Barbie on a bonfire. BUT! Have no fear and go back to number 1! Use that tea tree water! Don’t let your fear of looking like a slip-n-slide scare you away from owning that dewy skin you deserve!

Available at Sephora.com

6. Fuzzy Socks

It's a Shore Thing -Shea Infused Lounge Socks, available at bathandbodyworks.com, $8.50

It’s a Shore Thing -Shea Infused Lounge Socks, available at bathandbodyworks.com, $8.50

Real name, Lounge Socks, these amazing foot-baskets of warmth and love usually go by their code name – fuzzy socks. If you haven’t heard of fuzzy socks, I’m sorry you haven’t really lived yet.

“Fuzzy socks are the key to more success.” -DJ Khaled, (probably).

These bringers-of-joy are practically as popular and loved as Girl Scout Cookies. But how do they help your feet have that summer glow? Let me tell you. As soon as you hop out of the shower (You have a 3 minute window, btw. Thanks, WebMD.) you slap some lotion on your feet, but you obviously don’t want to go walking across the floor with slick feet so what do you do? PUT ON SOME FUZZY SOCKS. These babies keep all that lotion inside them so you don’t have to worry about cracked heels AND keep you from sliding across the floor so you don’t have to worry about cracked skulls! Plus, these beloved fuzz monsters of happiness come in a bajillion different colors, patterns, textures- you name it! And if you’re a giant baby prone to falling every 10 steps, like me, you can get some with little textured dots on the bottom to help you grip the floor and not look like you learned to walk yesterday! Bonus points if you use Shea-infused socks for double softness!

Available at bathandbodyworks.com

Your Winter Solution To Dry Skin

Apparently, the East Coast decided to get it together and move into winter and as a result, my skin is suffering. It’s hard to find a good, heavy moisturizer that isn’t greasy or just plain gross but I’ve found the solution! Avon’s Nutura Replenishing Creme is the end of all your winter woes, your defense against dry skin.

 

Avon Solutions Nutura Replenishing Cream

This moisturizer is silky- but not oily and works amazingly on all skin types. I have very acne prone skin so I was hesitant to try this out, but it actually worked great and even slightly cleared up my skin (considering acne treatment isn’t it’s main purpose, I wasn’t disappointed). I used it morning and night for 2 weeks, instead of my Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer and WOW! It was so much better! Other moisturizers are just too thin but with this, I can swipe some on, go out into the blistering cold and not feel like my face is made of ashes! It’s great! AAAAAAAND the best part- IT’S ONLY $4! FOUR freaking DOLLARS (…on sale but shhh…get it now.)! You can buy it on Avon.com or from your local Avon-seller-person-representative-whatever. (I got this from the woman who’s dogs I walk, and she’s 95 years old so this cream might’ve been expired, who knows? )

Overall, it works great, it smells great (It does have a scent. It’s not purposefully scented so I can’t tell you it smells like Jasmine or Piña Coladas, but it definitely has a makeup-y smell to it.), I have no clue if it tastes great and I don’t want to find out, but it is a great product and I would highly recommend it as a swap for your new go-to winter moisturizer.

December Favorites!

It’s officially the season of cinnamon, string lights and my empty wallet. I love spoiling my family even if it’s a punch to my bank account’s throat. But after ordering everyone else’s gifts online, I definitely like to treat myself to some nice things (even if my budget doesn’t agree).

My first wonderful, splendid, decadent, fantastic item is “That Gal” Brightening Face Primer by Benefit. Okay, real talk, you need to follow my instructions VERY CAREFULLY. Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT use this product all over your face. This “Face Primer” is not the best for use all over the face. It’s a tad pink and if you have fair skin, makes you have a pinkish undertone, even under foundation. However, this primer is PERFECT for those days when you had to stay up all night writing a paper (or a blog post) and have dark circles (FOR REALS) the next morning. The pink helps counter blue hues under your eyes and lasts all day. It’s silky smooth and doesn’t have a silicon-y feel and it’s great. for oily skin. It’s perfect alone or with concealer but this versatile product is definitely a favorite.

Blog_Makeup_Benefit_EyePrimer

This next product is still in the area of brightening and highlighting, because as Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid have proven recently, harsh contouring is out (but Mama Kim K still slays), and natural highlight is in. The Benefit High Beam Face Highlighter This stuff is great to use on your nose, cheek bones, cupid’s bow, literally wherever you want and you don’t need a lot of product, just a smidge. It works great with the “That Gal Brightening Face Primer” (just under the eyes!!!), if you want a “natural”, woke-up-like-this, goddess-that-you-are look.

Blog_Makeup_Benefit_Highlighter

Okay, real talk, I bought the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette out of pure love of it’s smell. Fun fact, it’s made with real cocoa and SMELLS UH-MAY-ZING. Yeah, I didn’t even evaluate the colors before I bought it, yes, it was an impulse purchase, but boy, did it work out alright. I like to use Salted Caramel in my crease/outerlid/just put it towards the outside of your eye, with Hazelnut layered on top, just in the crease. With Marzipan patted on the inner lid if I’m feelin’ fancy. It’s a great palette for natural looks but I love using Cherry Cordial and Black Forest Truffle for nights out or for a fall-evening look. Considering the great pigmentation and variety and flexibility of the colors in this palette, I would 10/10 would recommend.

Blog_Makeup_TooFaced_ChocolateBar

Okay, if you’re an avid Sephora shopper, you know that NARS Rikugien is part of the birthday lip sets Sephora gives out. Yes, I got mine for my birthday. BUT, if I didn’t LOVE this color I would definitely not recommend it. That being said, I fell in love with this Satin Lip Pencil and I’m devastated it’s gone already. I haven’t bought a new one because 1) the holiday spirit was upon me and I bought everyone presents and 2) I’m cheap and use a little brush to get out the last remaining product in this tiny sample. ( @ Mom, hmu with NARS Rikugien for Christmas 😉 xoxo) This color is magnificent for everyday makeup (as you can tell by the theme we’ve been going on) and great for special occasions. It has pretty good wear time but it definitely isn’t a lip stain. It isn’t too drying but I recommend lip balm before application, just so it goes on smoothly. I haven’t found a drugstore alternative yet, but I’m only the lookout, don’t you worry.

Blog_Makeup_NARS_LipPencil

Finally we have the wonderful, Cover FX Calming Primer. Now almost all the aforementioned products have been samples (okay, all except one) but I am the mother of all things sample and have BOXES of samples waiting to be tested. This last item I received when I bought some Cover FX Drops (which I’d 6/10 recommend and I’ll be sure to review later), and I think the Primer deserves an 7/10. It’s long lasting which I love but it doesn’t actually work too well without the Cover FX Drops. So if you have sensitive skin and are interested in the Cover FX Drops, I recommend this Primer to go along with them, however if you already have a ride or die foundation/BB Cream/CC Cream/whatever, and are just looking for a new primer, this is not for you. Maybe it works fantastic for you and your foundation, but for me, I found it works best if you mix it with a little foundation and then apply. All in all, this primer is 1) not irritating, 2) doesn’t have a strong smell (like I saw some reviews said), 3) is long lasting. 7/10 would recommend (depending on how you plan to use it). If you just want to try it out, stop by Sephora or Ulta or your fav beauty store and ask for a sample. I always do ;).

Blog_Makeup_CoverFX_Primer

(Featured Image Text Credits to www.bythebutterfly.com)