New Year New You ~ How To Build Your Skincare Wardrobe

Just as your sartorial wardrobe is built upon staple pieces that are timeless building blocks, immune to fads and the moving tides of fashion (a great pair of black pants, the LBD, a killer blazer), so should your skincare wardrobe be built with staple pieces, tailor made for your specific skin type.


If you read yesterday’s blogpost on pairing down and thinning out your exisiting products (click here) and hopefully acted on it, now you are ready to build your skincare wardrobe.

This is a list of the building block products that make up a great skincare program. For those who prefer a minimalist approach there is the option to pare down, for those who like me can never have enough products or steps in the skincare treatment plan there is the option to add in.

Where it begins:

1. Eyemakeup Remover
This one lets overlooked far too often. Eyemakeup remover is designed to dissolve and remove all eye makeup products, even the most stubborn waterproof mascara, and do it gently. The skin around your eyes is the thinnest most delicate skin on the body, and the quickest to show signs of aging. Rubbing away at it with the wrong products will make you look older, faster.
You choose.
There are plenty of good ones out there. I use Makeup Forever’s SensEyes because it’s for even the most sensitive of skins, it dissolves everything, and it doesn’t leave a filmy barrier on the skin that stops treatment products from penetrating.

2. Cleanser


You would be amazed at how many girls and women get this one wrong. You need a cleanser specific to your skin type. Which means you need to know your skin type first. Most of us get a little shiney in the T Zone, but this doesn’t mean we are oily – for the most part it means we are normal or normal combination. 
Oily skin is generally oily all over, or has significant oil residue sitting on the surface of the T Zone. If you really are oily then you should use a foaming cleanser. If you are not actually oily, or if you have a normal or dry cheek area using a foaming cleanser can strip your skin and make it super dry.
I love oil cleansers for everyone, and cleansing milks for normal to dry skins. If you really are super dry and don’t want to use an oil cleanser a cleansing cream works well.

3. Toner or Refresher
If you are oily a toner is a great rinse cycle product, if you are normal to dry then a refresher is a better choice.
Toners lift away excess oil while refreshers prepare the skin for the next step. Both lift away any residue from your cleanser.

Daytime products

Katie Bunn by Eric Cassee, makeup by Corinna Cooke

4. Serum
Add in a serum to address specific concerns. Maybe you need help with acne, maybe you’re looking for anti-aging help or a barrier against environmental pollutants. Whatever your skin needs there is a serum for you.
I love Rhonda Allison serums. Actually I love all her products.

5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C provides potent antioxidant protection, shielding the skin from free radicals and environmental damage.
It makes skin healthier and brighter, boosts collagen, increases the effectiveness of your sunscreens and boosts your skin’s defense against UV exposure.

6. Eyecream
The eye area needs it’s own moisture product. If you need less help opt for an eye gel, if you need more hydration around the eyes go for an eye cream.

7. Moisturizer
Make sure your daytime moisturizer is specific to your skin type. Most of us don’t need a really heavy product during the day, but we all need to address the hydration equation.

8. Facial Oil
The greatest thing ever. A few drops of a good facial oil make an incredible diference especially to normal and dry skins. Facial oils make the skin glow and have all kinds of benefits. My favorite is Nude Pro genius Facial Treatment Oil. I’ve used it daily for several years now (read about it here)
I love to put on a couple of drops before applying makeup, to make the skin glow and to make foundation look amazing.

9. Facial SPF
Don’t be tricked into thinking the SPF in your moisturizer or your foundation is sufficient to protect you from melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, sun damage, fast tracked aging of the skin or anythinng else.
There isn’t enough in there and you would have to put a super thick, opaque layer of it on to get even close to the SPF number on the lable, which is typically low.
You need SPF protection 365 days per year, so use a freestanding broadspectrum facial SPF product. I use Neutrogena Dry Touch with Heliopex in the highest SPF the store has, every day of the year. Its has a dry finish that makeup goes on beautifully over.

Night Time Products


Night time is when your skin does all it’s repair work, so it needs a specialized set of products to help it along and to boost the turnover of cells.

The huge advances in skincare all stem from Korea. One of my favorites is the incredible essence products. In fact Korean women, with their absolutely sensational skin, will tell you that essence is the most essential step in any skin care plan.
It is a concentrated formula that treats skin on a cellular level, targeting fine lines and wrinkles, dull and uneven skin tones.
Korean essences have a special ingredient that optimizes the skin’s natural turnover rate (regeneration). You will definitely notice a substantially smoother, brighter, more vibrant skin. 

The Missha Time Revolution Essence is super popular and less than half the price of the $100 SK II Essence. 

Like day time serums, night time serums tackle specific needs. I can never get enough serums! You can go more high tech, super boosted by using an ampoule in place of a regular strength serum.

Retinoids are the gold standard in skincare when it comes to evening out skin tone, reversing sun damae, shrinking pores and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. 
Simply put, everyone needs to use a retinoid.
I’ve written about them often, but for more about retinA click here

Eye Cream
I use the same one day and night, but you can also get specific nightime eye creams.

Night Cream
Unless skin is super young or oily, (or for myself if I am somewhere humid),  I like to use a really enriching, emollient, heavy hitting night cream. I love skin to look glowy with all the extra hydration at sleep time.

Ancillary Products

There are a few additional products that boost and support your main skincare items, but that you don’t use daily.

I don’t care for exfoliating scrubs. I always think they rough up and scratch the baby skin underneath, so I prefer enzyme masks to exfoliate. Ideally you only want to exfoliate every week or two.

Sheet Masks


I love these! When I have the time I like to use them at least once (or twice) per week. You look a bit like Jason from the Friday the 13th movies, but the sheet actually forces the skin to absorb the product better than if you just applied it to the surface.
I often buy the cheapie sheet masks at the asian market – there are so many to choose from, from brightening to tightening, hydrating to collagen boosting. They are fabulous.

On the Aeolian Island of Lipari with Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydrating Lifting Mask

When I really want to feel luxurious I use the Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask
I travel with these single serve masks. They breathe new life into tired, dehydrated skin, and work like magic after a long international flight.

10 Carry On Essentials For International Flights

I spend a lot of time on planes. I’m always flying somewhere.
I like to travel light, but when it comes to long haul international flights I have a list of essentials that absolutely must come in my carry on with me.

In light of the fact that I’m about to lead the first ever 
Corinna B’s World Glam Italia Tour, and that these items have made it onto the list I’m giving the ladies on my tour, I thought you might like to check them out as well.


1. My Pashmina.
Actually, I have a few. But this giant pashmina is the one I travel with. I recommend buying real pashmina instead of a big scarf. Pashmina is super light and thin, so it packs down well, but it is also incredibly warm. 
Airlines give you blankets, but they are nasty. My son’s airline blanket last year was full of moth eaten holes – it was awful! So I circumvent any potential problems or violent skin disorders by bringing my own.
My pashmina is big enough to use as a blanket, but also can be a chic accessory or great option instead of a bulky jacket.

2. Compression Hose/Socks
Before you die laughing, know that 20 years ago I was given a pair of these by a major model prior to embarking on a trans world flight. It was one of the best gifts ever.
The theory is that on long flights when you are stuck sitting there for hours, blood, lymph and other fluids pool in your calves, ankles and feet. It can be painful, the swelling is definitely ugly, and getting into your shoes can be really tricky. 
Compression socks/hose keep the fluids moving. Deep vein thrombosis is a definite risk with long flights, and compression hose are recommended by doctors to lessen that risk.
You can actually get full hose that come up to the waist, but that looks like too much drama for me, so I just use the sock version, and swear by them. 

3. Bose headphones.


Mine aren’t the noise cancelling ones, but they are still brilliant, both for their Bose audio quality, and for their ability to knock out an enormous amount of cabin noise.

4. Travel Sized Lysol Spray

I’ve just added this one in for all airline travel, both domestic and international, after sitting for 5 hours on a plane with someone’s hair grease all over the window.
And a flight attendant told me that women routinely pull down the tray  table and change babies diapers on them, and they are seldom cleaned in between flights.
Gag me.
Now at least I can lysol down anything that looks iffy.

5. Facial Cleansing Wipes
These are essential beauty wise. I don’t fly long trips with makeup on  (you’re going to look hideous on landing if you start the trip with makeup on) but I still like to be able to cleanse my skin, especially towards the end of the flight.

6. Nude Pro Genius Treatment Oil


This is one of my all time favorite skin care products. Ever.
When you fly you lose an extra 8oz of water for every hour you are up there, which wrecks havoc on your skin. You are also stuck for hours in dirty, recycled air.
Just as I don’t want to arrive to my new destination with cankles and swollen feet, I also don’t want to arrive with dried out, lifeless, grey skin. I want my skin to glow. 
So I use Nude Pro Genius Treatment Oil several times during the flight. It is full of good stuff including Omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9, and instantly hydrates your skin as well as providing nutrients and keeping it smooth and glowing.
I wrote about this wonder oil last year. You can check out all the amazing things it does here.

7. My Stephanie Johnson Miami Cosmetic Bag


I always travel with Stephanie Johnson makeup and toiletry bags – they are the best bags I’ve ever found. They not only look super chic and are endlessly functional, but they are well built too, which means all your goodies arrive at your destination in one piece, and not leaking all through your carry on bag or suitcase.
I’m in love with the Miami collection for travel because they are see through, so they sail through the TSA X-ray machines without you having to take out all your liquid and cream based beauty items or put them into ziplock bags. I love how efficient they are, as well as the fact that I can see everything inside.

8. Oribe Cote D’Azur Hair Refresher, Travel Size

Nothing on earth smells like Oribe hair products! They are divine.


This one is an essential carry on item because after a long international flight your hair not only looks trashed, but with 8 hours+ of recycled air, it smells awful too.
A quick spritz of Oribe Cote D’Azur Hair Refresher not only cuts static in your hair and makes your hairdo recoverable (so you don’t get off the plane looking awful) but it makes it smell glorious. So if the most handsome man in the world comes in for a hello kiss and a cuddle, he won’t have to pull his head away when he catches a whiff of your hair…

9. Emergenc-C
I always have packets of Emergenc-C onboard with me. I buy a couple of bottles of water before I board my flight, and make sure I drink at least 2 packets of Emergenc-C at some point during the flight. I am convinced it helps me to circumvent jet lag.
It’s all part of my theory that when your flight lands you are feeling refreshed and lovely and looking great, so that you don’t miss one minute of your trip.

10. A Journal.

I buy these leather bound journals every year in Florence. I keep track of my world and all the magnificent people I encounter in them, as well as buying them as gifts.
This year I might do a Corinna B’s World giveaway of a leather bound journal from Florence. Would you want to enter to win one?

Nude Pro Genius Treatment Oil

Ever wonder how models get just gorgeous, dewy, glowing skin?
Do you covet a delicious, vibrant complexion?

NUDE Pro Genius Treatment Oil is a makeup artist must-have and a beauty aficionado’s secret weapon.


It smooths and corrects, hydrates and nourishes and creates the most beautiful complexion.
NUDE Pro Genius Treatment Oil is a 100% pure and active treatment oil that gives a perfect balance of vital nutrients, creating luminous and healthy looking skin.
A blend of 10 precious oils ( black cumin, camelia, camelina, borage, sea buckthorn, macadamia, sweet almond, crambe abyssinica, jojoba and apricot) rich in Omega 3, 6, 7 and 9 absorb instantly and give long lasting deep cell nourishment.

Omega 3 reduces redness and irritation (and helps enormously after too much sun, wind or dry air)
Omega 6 works on deep hydration and moisturizing (keeping your skin hydrated slows the aging process)
Omega 7 works on renewal and repair
Omega 9 both protects the skin and nourishes it.

Its super easy to use too. You only need 2 drops, and can use them either alone or mixed in with your moisturizer. The beauty of it is that it absorbs deep deep into your skin, so there is no slimy, oily feel, or residue on the surface.
You can also use it as a treatment at night.

Beautiful Taormina, Sicily

Here on the beautiful island of Sicily, NUDE Pro Genius Treatment Oil is keeping my skin looking dewy, even though the weather is roasting hot, and I’m alternating between the drying effects of ocean water and the dehydrating effects of the wind from riding around the island on scooters and days spent sailing.
And all that lusty Sicilian wine….