Beauty Routine

It’s been a while since I did a whole breakdown of my skin routine, and truthfully there haven’t been too many changes (I’m a creature of habit, and why mess with a good thing?). Because I’m sure you are all dying to know exactly how I make myself look human and presentable for the public, here is an exhaustive look at everything I use. Warning, this is heavy on the self-centered blabber.

1. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser / 2. Clinique Clarifying Lotion #3 / 3. Clinique Even Better Moisturizer / 4. Clinique Turnaround Overnight Moisturizer / 5. Softlips Vanilla / 6. Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Blemish Stick / 7. Dove Sensitive Skin Bar Soap / 8. & 9. Kevin Murphy Hydrate-Me Shampoo and Conditioner / 10. Smashbox Photo Finish / 11. Nars Blush / 12. Covergirl Lashblast Mascara / 13. Anastasia Brow Duo / 14. Smashbox Brow Brush

I used to think that the way to better skin was to use an abrasive, scrubbing cleanser. False. Cetaphil is pretty much the exact opposite, it feels more like a watered down moisturizer than soap but somehow cleans my skin better than anything I’ve ever used without drying it out or irritating it. I swear by it. I’ve also been a Clinique fan since the womb, my mom has been using it her whole life. Up until a few weeks ago, I used Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion #2, the purple toner that you use after washing your face to remove any residue or other grossness that regular cleansing can miss. But suddenly my skin started reacting really poorly to it (chalk it up to body chemistry; I used it for close to 13 years without a problem), causing my skin to break out and burn. I switched to #3, made for Oily Combination skin, and my face did a total 180 after the first use. No more burning (which is nice considering there is a small amount of salicylic acid in it to control breakouts) and it doesn’t dry me out.

A few years ago I switched to Clinique’s Even Better Moisturizer, and I love that it has SPF 20 in it (so does my all-time favorite lip balm, from Softlips. I carry a tube with me everywhere). Pale kids unite! It’s fairly expensive, but also pretty thick meaning you don’t have to use a ton. This may sound gross, but up until recently I didn’t wash my face at night. Again, another one of those body chemistry things, sometime around when I turned 25 I couldn’t get away with falling asleep in my makeup without consequences. At night now, I swap the Even Better moisturizer for the lighter, oil-free Turnaround Overnight moisturizer and wake up with dewey soft skin. Like a modern day Disney Princess. Despite my best efforts at good skincare, even princesses are not immune to the occasional blemish. A dab of The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil blemish stick before bed and the spot is gone by morning. I don’t know how, I’m assuming it’s magic.

I’ve been using Dove bar soap in the shower forever, it’s soft, mostly scent-free, and good for sensitive skin. As far as haircare, I switched from John Frieda’s Brilliant Brunette line to Kevin Murphy shampoo and conditioner at the recommendation of my new hair salon a few months back. I can’t entirely justify the $60 price tag for the set, but this is one of those girl-extravagances we make in the name of beauty, right? It smells like plums and the packaging is nifty. Stop judging me.

As far as a makeup routine, I don’t really have one. My mom took me for a professional consultation when I turned 13, and I’ve kept a lot of the tools and tips she taught me then, but mostly I’m just lazy about makeup on a daily basis. I use Smashbox Photo Finish to smooth everything out and add a little bit of a dewey sheen to my skin, and a touch of Nars blush in “Orgasm” to my cheeks. It’s long been a favorite by beauty magazines and editors, and I totally get why now. It’s universally appealing and looks natural. Considering all the SPF I use and how averse I am to contact with sunlight, I need all the color I can get. Covergirl Lashblast mascara is the only mascara I’ve used that doesn’t flake or leave giant black smudges under my eyes. The wand is massive, but it hits every lash. And I know I’m not the only girl out there guilty of being tweezer-happy in high school. Despite the fact that I haven’t waxed or touched my eyebrows in years, the ends are still a little thinner than I’d like, so I use a small amount of Anastaia Brow Powder with a Smashbox brow brush to fill them in a little bit. Not too much, though. You don’t want to look like Groucho Marx or Joan Crawford or anything.

Well that was the most indulgent post I’ve ever written. I don’t expect any of you to have read that entire thing. But I’m curious, what’s your beauty regimen look like? Is it longer or shorter than mine? What do you use that you swear by?

15 thoughts on “Beauty Routine

  1. I’m a total Clinique fan too- I bought it when I was a teenager due to the nice packaging (this was back in the day when Bonne Belle was all neon and Lip Smackers were THE go-to lip choice) thinking it was “proper grown up” and just stuck with it! I use the blemish wash, the no. 3 toner (twinsies!) and the plain old yellow lotion they’ve been making unchanged since the 60’s that totally smells like nannies. Lately though my skin has been annoyingly blemishy. I’ve been thinking of trying that Cetaphil- all I hear is how good it is. I think you may have convinced me!

    Any horrendous breakouts will now be blamed on you, by the way. Hur.

  2. Cetaphil is so totally great and it does work for all skin types. I use it my nightly cleaning routine. And by routine, I mean I just wash my face

  3. OMG I use so much more make up than that! My main problem is dark circles. Hereditary and horrid. So I apply tons and tons of Bobbi Brown’s concealer and corrector. It’s a miracle product, and I’ve tried them all. It’s only one that is thick but doesn’t try and sit in all the creases. I also wear eye liner.

    I keep hearing about that smashbox stuff, I must try that.

    I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t like nars orgasm. I find it too orange. I use their sexy (or something like that) and deep throat though. They do the best blushers in the world. bar none. Try their bronzer in Laguna. Totally natural, jsut makes you look a little healthy, I love it in the summer.

    I’m using decleor at the moment which has totally turned around my skin. No more dryness. It’s fabuloso for skin more mature than yours.

    I never wash my face in the morning, just with water. That really helped the dryness.

    If I honestly believed all that stuff would give me skin like you showed yesterday, I’d snap it all up! Sadly for me I think that’s a) genetic and b) age related.

  4. Oh! (Claps hands!) Fun post! I need to try the Smashbox stuff too. I sense another trip to Sephora in my future. And I wear way more make-up than that too! Dang. I must be getting old. I use Shiseido cleanser and moisturizer mostly (how funny is it that I almost wrote “moistly”?!). I fight the fight between dry and oily every single day and with these guys I seem to have found a good balance. Still, I have an annoying tendency to break out, so maybe onto Cetaphil I’ll go. At night I use a Body Shoppe Nighttime Moisturizer (the one Neel got me for Mother’s Day) and it’s really lovely. Bare Escentuals mineral powder before I leave the house and a Laura Mercier eye shadow and brown or sometimes purple eyeliner. I’m a pretty neutral gal, but I feel so blah without. I never wear blush. I feel like my skin is really pink, and blush just emphasizes that.

    This was fun! I love reading what everyone uses! xo

  5. Hey, thanks for the shout out! Back at ya with your tip a few years ago on lashblast. The higher end brands are expensive and make my eyes itch….terribly! I swear by it as a lens wearer.

    Every time I tweezed my brows as a teenager, my father would yell, “Let your sister tweeze your eye brows. You look like a plucked chicken!” You came by it honestly!

  6. Ok, so I’m very pleased to say that I’ve always had good skin and like you, my skin pretty much bursts in to flames in the sun. Though lately, my skin has been acting out – not sure what changed but all of a sudden I’m breaking out and my skin just feels dirty. Not a sexy feeling, let me tell ya! I’m very good about removing my make-up every night ( I don’t really wear too much of it anyway) and washing my face but clearly something in my routine has to change. I think going back to basics might be the key. When I was younger, I swore by the Clinique three step system, I think it might be time to go back to it!! Oh and I totally understand about splurging on hair care…my shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner and Moroccan oil cost waaaay more than I care to admit.


  7. I can never find a regiment that I can commit too. I’m somehow always convinced that I’m not using the right thing. Having said that, I am currently using Cetaphil (and have been for over a year!) AND I recently went back to Clinique’s moisturizer. Every once in a while I try to adopt a makeup routine…never lasts- but your post is making me think I need to get on that and stick to it.

  8. I like your regimen very much, may have to look into a few of your items. I think our regimens are similar in steps. As it stands, I don’t currently use a toner. There was a time when I did, not sure why I stopped. I do like how it makes your skin feel.
    I also once used ProActive…Not because I had particularly bad acne (I have the normal break outs), I just really like the way ProActive makes your skin feel – really clean, but not dried out.
    Lately, I’ve been using either Fresh soy face or Neutrogena healthy skin cleanser. At night I use Garnier face cream and during the day I use L’Oreal face cream with SPF 30.
    On the days, I wear makeup, I start (and swear by) Laura Mercier products – primer, mineral pressed powder with SPF, eye shadow, and caviar eye liner that you apply with a brush. Add to that a little Great Lash mascara, a red lip, and I’m good to go.
    Oh, and for hair I use Aveda Shampure shampoo and conditioner. Smells heavenly.

  9. A comprehensive list. I’ve been a Clinique girl in my time, I try everything skincare wise – Nivea, Clarins, Loreal Revitalift, No.7. If there’s something new on the scene, then I’ll try it. I’ve always had a more rugged complexion, nothing as delicate and dewy as yours dear.

    It’s the same for makeup too, any mascara and blusher and a bit of Benefit and Clarins tinted moisturiser thrown in for good luck and an aim for youthfulness :-)

  10. love it! always great to read about what other people are using. i have such a complicated relationship with my skin. i’m a huge believer in sticking to a mild cleanser even if you break out. i tried cetaphil a few years ago and it just wasn’t removing all my makeup so i switched to the purity cleanser by philosophy, and i’m probably on my 6th bottle or something at this point. i tried oil cleansing (huge mistake) and harsh cleansers (even bigger mistake). my skin savior was ultimately benzoyl peroxide. i went from have a face full of adult acne to no blemishes at all. and i love clinique’s toner and oil-free moisturizers. so. good.

  11. That’s it? That’s all you use?!? I’m very jealous. After I got a tan, I was really happy because I only had to wear foundation around my eyes and problem spots rather than my whole face. But maybe that’s why Cetaphil doesn’t work for me, it sounds like you don’t have much that you need it to take off. I still swear by Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub.

    I decided to try the CoverGirl mascara, I hope that I’ll like it! I haven’t found a trusty mascara yet.

    I use Brilliant Brunette and I really like it. Why’d they recommend that you switch? Too much crap in it?

    1. Cetaphil barely feels like its working, that’s how gentle it is! I think it only works for certain skin types, definitely. A lot of people I know use and love that Aveeno scrub! I hope I don’t lead you astray with that mascara, but I absolutely love it and it’s the best I’ve tried. Good luck!

      I think the salon recommended I switch to make money, honestly! It’s like $30 a pop per bottle, and I ran out last week and switched back to my Brilliant Brunette without noticing a humongous shift. If anything, the list on the back of the Kevin Murphy bottle is longer than the John Frieda one. Go figure!

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