Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Our Skincare Essentials

If you're looking to revamp your beauty routine for the New Year, we're all for it! After I (Molly) asked Jodi about her foundation a few weeks ago, we thought it would be fun to share our routines and see what products our readers love as well.

So, we're starting with the base of any good beauty routine: skincare! It is never too late to change up your routine because—and I get way too excited about this—your skin constantly regenerates, and is completely new about every 27 days, so you always have a chance to improve it.

Since we each have different skin types and have found different things that work, we've broken down our separate skincare must-haves below. Be sure to let us know in the comments what skincare products you couldn't live without!

Molly's Picks

I have pretty good skin, other than being super fair and having to slather on sunscreen all the time. I only get pimples one week out of the month (thanks, Flo). And, yes, I know how incredibly lucky I am for this. Up until a couple of years ago, I never did much about skincare other than cleansing, toning and moisturizing daily. I'm ashamed to admit that up until that time, I didn't even wash makeup off my face at night, and never really had any issues. However, when I started seeing some fine lines show up in my mid-20s, I started taking skincare a little more seriously, and now it's become a huge part of my routine. I'm prone to dry spots in the wintertime and I'm always looking to minimize the pores on my cheeks, so I've found masks to be really helpful (and fun) to solve some issues. Here's a rundown of my essential items below.

1. St. Ives Apricot Scrub
This scrub is the absolute backbone of my skincare routine. In high school, I used to have small white bumps on my cheeks, and since using this scrub daily for the last decade, I haven't seen them since. Remember than skin cell regeneration thing I'm all jazzed about? Exfoliating is so helpful at sloughing off dead cells to help make the way for new ones! It also increases blood circulation, and allows other products to absorb more effectively. This is my secret weapon to smooth skin.

2. Micellar Cleansing Water
This is my new favorite eye makeup remover. It has no smell and it's super gentle on sensitive skin around the eyes, without leaving an oily residue. This stuff removes Lipsense and waterproof makeup better than anything else I've found.

3. Witch Hazel Toner
Pore-minimizing toner has always been a must-have for me after cleansing but for the past year or so, I've exclusively used witch hazel and I love that it's natural and still does the job. The smell is a little funny at first, but once you get used to it, you don't even think about it.

4. ThisWorks Mask, Moisturizer and Primer
While I switch out moisturizers all the time, I really love this one that's a mask and primer as well. It leaves a slight texture that my makeup seems to stay on super well. What's not to love in a 3-for-1 product like this? I may keep rotating, but this is one I'll be getting again for sure.

5. Glamglow Gravity Mud (shown below)
In addition to this being a silver mask (srsly how cool is that), this gravity mud is a great peel off mask that leaves your face feeling tighter, firmer, glowing and almost silk-like.

6. Hanalei Lip Scrub
Especially during the winter, I feel like my lips peel like crazy and if I don't constantly moisturize them, I look like a little kid who drank red kool-aid from the dry area around them. This lip scrub not only gets rid of that peeling skin, but has an oil-based residue that stays on after you wipe the scrub off that really treats the dry areas. I try to do this scrub once a week in the winter, or however often I feel like my lips are straight up falling off my face.

7. Activated Charcoal Mud Mask 
The hype is real when it comes to activated charcoal masks, and for good reason. These seem to pull out impurities and tighten my skin better than about any other mask I've tried. Feel a blemish coming? No prob, just dot a bit on the spot overnight, and it will almost always disappear. This is pretty magical stuff. It's also magic because a little bit goes a long way. My husband and I typically do this mask once a week or every other week, and after a year, I still have almost half of the container left.

8. Good & Clean Mini Peel
This mini peel is perfect detox for a mid-week pick-me-up. It's incredibly inexpensive and makes my skin ridiculously soft. It doesn't actually peel off, it's just a gel you leave on for a few minutes after cleansing and rinse off. It tightens pores and is made with fruit acid, so it's natural and smells refreshing!

9. Mario Badescu Rosewater Spray
After reading interviews with skincare experts, they all had one thing in common in their beauty routine: rosewater spray. To be honest, I didn't notice a huge difference right away when I started using it. However, when I used up the bottle and it left my routine, I missed it immensely. I seemed to have an onset of blemishes and my skin felt more dry overall.

I won't go without it now. I mist my face with 3 spritzes after toning, and I feel like it really seals in moisture before I put on moisturizer. The rosewater also acts as a disinfectant and anti-inflammatory agent, clearing pores and reducing redness. It can also be used to set makeup, or just as a refresher throughout the day. And it smells great! PS-it's like $7, so what have you got to lose?

10. No 7 Serum
This serum has been a game-changer for me. A couple of years ago, I went to Ulta, asking for something to work for my fine lines, this is what was recommended. Reviews have said it takes weeks of daily use to notice a difference, but I was staring at my face that first day in disbelief. It wasn't dramatic, but noticable to me. The lines seem to be reduced and my face just feels tighter and more supple. I simply apply one pump to my face after my rosewater mist, but before moisturizer and it works wonders.

11. No 7 Night Cream
This night cream is a perfect partner to the serum. It goes on somewhat thick, but soaks in and feels light in no time. I love having a product that moisturizes well overnight without feeling greasy and heavy.

Jodi's Picks

My skin has been a problem for me pretty much my entire life. I had horrible acne through middle school, high school and parts of college. So bad, in fact, that I went on Accutane, which is another story for another day. There was also a point in time when I got huge, gross boils on my nose. So, needless to say, I was super popular in my adolescence. ;) Anyway, if anyone has tried every skincare trick in the book, it's me. I actually have had pretty clear skin since my early 20's, however, I have to be super careful with what I put on it, lest I risk a breakout. Now that I'm in my early 30's, I have also started noticing some minor wear and tear on the ol' epidermis, so over the past few years, I've also added in a few more steps to keep my skin looking bright and tight. The big things that help me are to make sure my skin is exfoliated and moisturized properly. Here's what I use to keep my skin looking clear, fresh, glowing, and protected. 

I'm ashamed to say that I haven't always been diligent about wearing sunscreen. Like, at all until real recently. As I've gotten older, I have noticed a few sun spots on my face that don't go away like they used to. I also have scarring and dark spots from acne that won't budge. About a year ago I started using the Lift & Luminate day cream from No7 and haven't looked back! I can immediately tell that it brightens my complexion as soon as I put it on in the mornings. It also gives a nice lift to my skin. I also use the Lift & Luminate night cream. 

This stuff is like liquid gold. I use it in the evenings as a toner and I can always tell a difference in my skin right away. It also has a really nice tingling sensation after you use it, which, let's be honest, is reason enough to try a new product. 

I have a major problem with blackheads and this is the only thing that helps to keep my skin clear. I use this in the mornings in the shower and Neutrogena Deep Clean Daily Cleanser at night to wash all of my makeup off. I religiously wash my face every night and have since I started wearing makeup. If I don't, it's breakout city, so it's very important to me to have a face wash that cleans off all of my makeup and really gets down into my pores to clear out all of the gunk. These two items are a winning combo for me. 

I use a combination of this, BB cream and CC cream (below) under my foundation. It's a triple threat! I love this liquid illuminator because it gives my skin just the right amount of dewy glow. 

I just recently started using a beauty blender to apply liquid creams as part of my makeup routine and I will never go back to just using my fingers. It gives my makeup a beautiful finish and makes all the difference when it comes to makeup application. I love this blender because it is easy to hold and you can use both ends for different areas of your face. 

This sucker is a game changer. I'm OBSESSED with it. I only use it every other day in the winter, otherwise my skin gets red and irritated, but it is the best at cleaning out my pores and exfoliating my skin. I've noticed a huge difference in the look and feel of my skin since I started using it. It also feels amazing and super tingly and clean! It is a bit pricey, however, I would say it is most definitely worth it AND they run deals on them all the time. I got mine in a Christmas sale at Ulta last year. 

This is the second component of my triple threat combo. This BB cream is a great primer for foundation and pairs nicely with the illuminator and CC cream that I use. It's also great on it's own if you're short on time! 

As I said, it's just been recently that I have started thinking more about wearing sunscreen daily. I wanted a sunscreen with a higher SPF that also doubled as a makeup item and found Aveeno's CC cream. This cream is tinted and is also a moisturizer. It helps to even out my skin tone and protect my skin from the environment. It's also the third and final component of my triple threat cream combination! 

I have always had dark circles under my eyes and as I've gotten older, they've gotten worse AND I've noticed that if I don't use a daily eye cream, it looks like I've been awake for a week straight. As with the other No7 products that I use, I can definitely tell a huge difference as soon as I put this cream on in the mornings. I never leave home for a trip without it! 


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