New Year, New You! This Is My Skincare Routine

Hello Everyone!!

Have you had that ghastly cold/flu that has been everywhere this winter? I have. Twice. How does that even happen? Anyway, if you have been wondering where the blog posts have been the past couple of weeks, they’ve been sidelined while I have been trying to get better!

I’m nearly back to 100%, so better late than never!

Friends and clients and readers are always asking me about which skincare products I use. I am obsessed with skin care, I believe that to look our most gorgeous, whether we have a full face of makeup on or none at all, our skin must be in its optimum condition, so I really put a lot of effort into my complexion.

skin care essentials

I have products that I use daily, products that I use weekly and products that I just use as needed. (Not shown here are all the sheet masks I use and the Reves de Sabine Rose Clay mask that I got from a photo shoot, and my eye cream, the tube of which is too beat up to photograph!)

I am a huge proponent of Korean skin care products and the multiple step Korean skin regimen, but it often confuses people when I try to explain the steps I do and how it all works. Invariably I get asked which specific products and brands I am using. I decided while I was cleaning out my skincare cabinet this weekend and getting everything ready for 2018 that I should photograph the skin care products I am using and put them in a step by step order so that you can see what has been working for me.

I buy my Korean Beauty products through Memebox. They now use Amazon as their fulfillment center, so I am putting Amazon links where I can .

I also get products sent to me by companies for my magazine work, and get others from my Zoe Report Box of Style and FabFitFun subscriptions. Some of those products make it in to the skincare favorites, others not so much! I don’t like to speak badly about anyone’s products, so if I don’t like something I just don’t talk about it.

I am a huge Tatcha fan and love love love their entire product line, but as a single mom they don’t always fit my budget.

skin care essentials

My Daily Skincare Routine

I think one of the most important components of your skincare wardrobe is your cleanser. If you are using the wrong cleanser for your skin type it sets off a chain reaction of everything going wrong. If your cleanser is too drying (think foaming cleansers and bar soaps) it strips your skin, leaving it looking parched. For oily girls a cleanser that is too drying actually makes your skin create more oil. If your cleanser is too heavy or greasy for your skin type it can make your skin feel slimy and slick.

Cleansing Oil

I'm Cleansing Oil

A cleanser should dissolve away your makeup and cleanse your skin without leaving a film on it. I have been using Memebox I’m Cleansing Oil  for several years now. I use the formulation for normal to dry skin, but they also make I’m Cleansing Oil for Oily Skin. You can find it online here at Amazon.com

I only cleanse my skin at night and just rinse it in the mornings, but in the official K Beauty system you double cleanse both morning and night.

All of these Korean products are super concentrated, so you only use a tiny amount of any of them.

CosRX Snail Mucin Essence

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

The next step is to apply an Essence. I use CosRx Advanced Snail Mucin Power Essence. It took me a long time to get on board with using products containing something called snail mucin, but am so glad I finally did! I had been reading about it but wasn’t game to try it, and then I saw one of my girlfriends skin looking sensational, and when I asked her what she had changed she told me she was using products with snail mucin. You should have seen how fast I got online and started ordering!

This is the most amazing ingredient and my skin has never looked so good since adding products containing it into my skincare plan. Now I buy everything I can that contains snail mucin.

This essence from CosRx is nutrient dense and makes your skin glow. It boosts your skin’s brightness, hydration and overall tone. I buy it online here at Amazon.com

Scinic All In One Snail Ampoule

 Scinic Snail All in One Ampoule Serum

Morning and night after cleansing (or rinsing) I apply the essence followed by this next product, The Scinic Snail All In One Ampoule Serum. Don’t be put off by the name! My skin loves this product more than anything, and I always re-order it once I am half way through a bottle so that I am never without it! Again just a tiny amount goes a long way.

You probably don’t need to use both products, but I do and I like to layer them. This ampoule further boosts the skin’s hydration and its glow. It helps your skin to repair itself, diminishes redness and uneven color. When you have something working on hydration that goes this deep, your skin looks amazing all day. It also prevents and minimizes the fine lines and wrinkles that either show up or get worse because of skin becoming dehydrated. I find that makeup looks so much better when I have this on under my moisturizer, foundation looks super smooth.

Oolu Orchid Emulsion

During the day my next step is emulsion. This is a lighter texture of moisturizer that still is nutrient rich but doesn’t have a heavy finish to it. The essence and the ampoule are busy working away underneath, super boosting the skin’s hydration, so during the day I just use the emulsion. At the moment I have the Oolu Orchid Emulsion but you can find a similar product

I follow this with my Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum Spf 100 It is important that you use a broad spectrum SPF product every single day. Broad spectrum SPF’s block both the UVA aging rays and the UVB burning rays and keep you looking youthful and pretty for longer!

MIZON Snail Repair Cream

At night instead of emulsion, after essence and ampoule I use MIZON All In One Snail Repair Cream. This is a lightweight but powerful ultra-nourishing gel-cream moisturizer. Your skin does all of its repair work while you sleep, so it is important to use products that help improve cell regeneration and recovery. This one also helps reduce pores, acne scars and blemishes. It is wonderful. And it is ridiculously inexpensive.

Osea Essential Facial Oil

Osea Essential Hydrating Oil

Osea Facial Oil. I got this in my Zoe Report Box Of Style. I love facial oils, especially in the winter months, or if I’m somewhere hot and dry in the summer. Of course I live in Phoenix, so my summers are both hot and dry, so I use facial oils during those months, but if I’m going to be somewhere more humid I don’t bother.

I don’t know a lot about this company (Osea) but their facial oil is wonderful. I use it after the moisturizing step.

Donkey Milk Yogurt Sleeping Pack

SKIN CERAMIC Donkey Milk Celluminator Mask Pack (Donkey Milk Yogurt Sleeping Pack)

The final skin care step at night is a sleeping pack. This has the texture of a gel-cream, so is quite lightweight. Its job is to hold all the skin care products you just applied against your skin. It’s like the sealing product, holding everything where it is supposed to be, and keeping them all working. It also gives your skin some more moisture, and moisture is the key to youthful looking skin!

As for the Donkey Milk part? I have no idea what it does – I just bought it because the name sounded so funny! I have never bought a Korean skincare product that has been less than amazing, and this one did not disappoint!

The Add Ons

I have several products for exfoliating. I rotate them and only use them once every week or two. Exfoliation should be based on your skin’s needs.

SNP Peeling Gel

SNP Advanced Peeling Gel.

Once every week (or sometimes every other week) I will exfoliate my skin to keep the surface clear of dead skin cells and debris and to keep it nice and smooth. I don’t believe in using scrubs on your face. I think they scratch off the dead cells on the surface of the skin but then also scratch the baby skin underneath, keeping your skin in a perpetual state of roughness and grittiness. So instead I prefer to use enzyme treatments like this peeling gel. You pop it on after cleansing and let it set for 15 minutes, then rinse it off and you have gorgeous, smooth skin!

ORG Mineral Peel

O.R.G. Skincare Mineral Peel

This one is a Korean product that came in my FabFitFun box last spring. You can use it daily before makeup to keep your skin smooth, or less if you don’t need daily exfoliating. You spray it on and then using circular massaging motions with your fingers lift away the top layer of your skin. It’s pretty cool! I often use this on shoots when I need to smooth out a model’s skin.

Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder

Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder.

I have used this one for ages. Right when my previous jar was running out this full sized jar arrived in my Zoe Report Box Of Style, the timing could not have been more perfect! This is a water activated enzyme cleanser and exfoliant that gently clears away any dead skin cells and debris from the surface of the skin, leaving you with a lovely, glowing complexion. You only use a small amount, so a jar lasts a really long time.

ExfoliKate

ExfoliKate by Kate Somerville.

This exfoliating mask has been around for years and is a celebrity favorite. It just arrived in the winter FabFitFun box so I have only used it a few times, but it is really lovely and very quick. You only put it on for 2 minutes then rinse it off, and you are left with beautiful glowing skin. You can find ExfoliKate at Sephora.

I have actually had several really amazing products from FabFitFun. The box is only $50 per quarter and they give you some really outstanding full sized skin and makeup products. You can read about their subscriptions here

Sunday Riley Luna Oil

Sunday Riley Luna Oil

I bought this one at Sephora a few months ago after hearing a lot about it from other people in the beauty industry so decided to give it a try. This is a nighttime retinol oil designed to work on fine lines and wrinkles, rough patches and dryness. I quite like it but it is expensive. Sunday Riley products are available at Sephora.com

Sunday Riley Tidal

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream.

This one was also in a Zoe Report Box of Style. It is a really lovely, intense water drench for the skin. It is quite lightweight so is a great option if you don’t like the feel of heavy moisturizers. I often use it before makeup to make foundation look extra gorgeous. The trick is rather than rubbing it in like a lotion, lightly drum your fingers across your skin. You will almost feel water beads on the surface of the skin. I will do this about 5 minutes before I want to put makeup on. It’s fabulous! I also really like to travel with this product when I’m going somewhere humid. You still need to hydrate the skin in humidity, but most moisturizers just feel slimy. This one is magic.

You can find Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream online at Sephora  and you can read about the Box of Style subscriptions here

Sonia Roselli Water Balm

Sonia Roselli Beauty Water Balm Skin Prep

Sonia Roselli Water Balm. This one is a makeup artist secret and as far as I know is only available on Sonia’s website and Amazon. Developed for makeup artists, it is the ultimate pre-makeup treatment. It plumps up the skin, softening fine lines and wrinkles and giving it the most amazing hydration so that makeup looks gorgeous. You apply this one with a drumming of the fingers too and almost get a wet finish to the skin. You let it sit and soak in for a few minutes and then start the makeup application. Foundation looks absolutely beautiful when you use this product first. You can find it on SoniaRoselli.com and also here on Amazon.comhere at Amazon.com

Tatcha Indigo

Tatcha Indigo Soothing Renewal Treatment.

A few years ago I did a shoot in Colorado and somewhere between the altitude and the cold dry air my skin took a beating! I even had windburn on the tops of my cheeks. I bought the Tatcha Indigo Renewal Treatment because it literally heals damaged skin. Indigo has fantastic healing properties. I have kept this product on hand ever since and use it as a rescue product.

Inside each Tatcha product there is a story written on a vellum scroll. I learned with this one that the ancient Samurai would wear cotton soaked in indigo next to their skin so that if they were cut with a sword the healing process would begin immediately as the indigo went to work. Tatcha has an entire line of indigo products, perfect for winter skin that needs healing. The indigo products from Tatcha are endorsed by the National Eczema Association. They are just that good!

This product isn’t available at Sephora, you need to get it directly from Tatcha.com

I think it’s a good idea to have a core group of products that you use every day and then have others that you rotate through, depending on your skin’s needs. When you find the products and the system that makes your skin look amazing, use just those until your skin stops looking amazing. I am super loyal to my skincare products and hardly ever try new things because I my skin looks incredible, it took a while to find the perfect regimen, and why would I change a thing?

I think Korean women demand an enormous amount from their skin care products. If a product isn’t performing extremely well and giving amazing results, the Korean woman will replace it with something that does. As such their products are extremely high performance.

American women tend to make their purchasing decisions based upon whichever celebrity is endorsing a product line, and don’t have such high expectations for their skin care products. If your skin isn’t looking amazing then you need to make some changes in the products you are using. You work far too hard to be wasting your hard earned money on products that don’t perform for you!

I hope you found this post helpful, and will try out some of these items next time you feel your skin needs some extra lovin!

If you have skincare products that you absolutely love, please tell us about them in the comment section below.

xo

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Product Spotlight ~ Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

This week’s Product Spotlight is on Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil:

Every fall I re-tool my skincare lineup, adding in some heavier serums and facial oils to give me a pre-emptive strike against the cooler weather’s harsh, drying effects.

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

This post contains affiliate links. See Disclosure

I love facial oils. Anyone with a normal to dry skin can see the instant benefit of adding a facial oil to their skin care routine. If you have been reading this blog for a while then you will already know that I am obsessed with Korean skin care and with Tatcha skin care products from Japan. My skin has never ever looked better than it does since moving into these products. I haven’t felt any need to change anything out, so instead of trying new things I just keep reordering what works.

I needed to order some more facial oil, but this time instead of going back to my usual products I decided to try one from a brand that I have been reading about for ages, Sunday Riley. One of my favorite bloggers, Nikki de Roest swears by Sunday Riley, I’ve been hearing so much buzz about the brand in the beauty media, I figured I might as well give it a look too. I bought the smaller bottle ($55) to try it out.

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

The Sunday Riley Luna Oil is a night-time oil, that does all of its hard work while you sleep. It works on fine lines and wrinkles, soothes the skin, evens out rough spots, nourishes and hydrates. It also gives you visibly younger looking skin.

One of its key properties/ingredients is trans-retinol ester, a retinol product that works with skin elasticity as well as (I assume) the usual retinol benefits for smoothing skin. I found this info in a review I the London Evening Standard

The fun part is that it is a dark and mysterious blue-green in color as a result of deeply pigmented blue tansy oil (strong anti-inflammatory properties) and German chamomile (treats irritation). Avocado oil is a superfood for the skin, rich in vitamins A, B, C, D and E, while chia seed oil (omega 3) and Cape chamomile sink in deeply and encourage speedy absorption of all the actives. But the star turn is trans-retinol ester, which fights skin elasticity and is so powerful that you can’t use it during pregnancy. When you are over 35, retinol is the game-changer.

Sunday Riley products are cruelty free and contain no Parabens, Sulfates or Phthalates. I have read so many wonderful things about it and am super excited to start using it tonight! You can find Sunday Riley products online at Sephora.com

 

Sephora.com, Inc.

A Few Of My Favorite Things

I’m always being asked about my favorite things. 
I was given some amazing products in the lead up to Christmas, and I bought some really great items, and some of it got lost in the holiday madness and didn’t make it to the blog, but today I want to show you an assortment of my absolute favorite beauty items of the moment.

I have been hearing so much about Sunday Riley products for a while now. My winter Rachel Zoe Box Of Style had a full size jar of Sunday Riley’s uber celebrated Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream.

Sunday-Riley-Tidal-Cream

This is the cream that everyone is raving about and I can totally see why! This is a next generation super hydrating cream that holds water and nutrients to the skin, plumping it up and making it look youthful, all the while brightening it and getting rid of that dull, lifeless winter complexion. It is really, really fabulous.
(Tidal is going to be an amazing product to travel with this year too.)
I seriously want to try out the Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil which I hear is just amazing. It’s going to be the next new skin care product that I buy.

Sunday-Riley-Juno-Oil

You can find Sunday Riley products online at Space NK.

From my Bloomingdale’s Beauty Box, which was a birthday gift from Bloomingdale’s, I fell in love with the new Tory Burch fragrance, Love Relentlessly.

Tory-Burch-Love-Relentlessly

I have worn it every day for the past month and just adore it. It is pure romance.

Bloomingdale’s also gave me my new favorite mascara too. 
It’s from Clarins and is called Supra Volume Mascara.

clarins-supra-volume-mascara

In it’s tube it is quite unassuming, and I really thought it would just be a “nice mascara”, but this one is an absolute powerhouse lash builder! It makes my lashes huge, but not gunky. They stay defined, separated, long and thick all day long. I am convinced that Supra Volume Mascara is the french girl’s secret weapon. 
I was sent so many mascaras last year, most of which I never wrote about as I only talk about the products I love. This one is the real deal.

I am always looking for concealers that I can love. Most either don’t hold all day (my days are looooong! I’m constantly leaving home at 8 am and not getting back til 11 pm) or they are too heavy, which just makes you look old and tired, or they don’t color correct out the dark shadows well enough.

Nars-Radiant-Creamy-Concealer

I am obsessed with Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I bought mine at Nordstrom before Thanksgiving and have worn it every day since. My shade is Honey, but they have tons of them, all calibrated with different undertones to color correct out your under eye demons. (10 I think?) They also have a fantastic color selection, so you can be the palest girl or the darkest goddess and they still have you covered.
They don’t crease, have a luminous finish that bounces light off, making your eye look refreshed, last all day long, and frankly are the best concealers I have used in years. Love.

From Stila I have been enjoying Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush

stila-aqua-glow-watercolor-blush

The colors are fresh and pretty and the product is buildable. 
I love really glowing, gorgeous complexions so often I find that powder blushes can either look heavy on the skin or deaden the glow. This one breathes life into the skin and gives it a gorgeous radiance.

Lastly, my new favorite lip product is Sephora’s Lip Stain.
They have a creamy texture but a matte finish, the colors are fabulous, and they only cost $14!!

 sephora lip stain
image via Modern Maires Blog

Every time I walk past a Sephora I go in and buy another one. They are gorgeous!

Space NK