Morning Skincare Routine

Hey there! Today I’m bringing to you my basic morning skincare routine. In my Curology post, I mentioned that I wanted to dial-back with the products I use and really start from scratch. A little background on my skin; I have always battled with acne. When I was a teenager, it was definitely worse. Looking back now, I don’t how I survived without makeup, lol. But back then us girls didn’t know about good foundation or concealer! Entering my 20’s, my skin started to get better. And honestly, I wasn’t doing anything special and certainly no products that come to mind. However, now that I’m in my late 20’s (say whatttt), I’ve started to get those pesky pimples again. And even though I know how to “control” it, I still have scars. And in all seriousness, I’m just not comfortable in my own skin.

With all that being said, I’ve tried countless products and regimens. High-end, drug-store, EVERYTHING. So finally I decided to stop trying everything, and just stick with the basics. Keeping my routine to a minimum has helped for sure, simply because I do have sensitive skin.

Typically in the morning I don’t use that many products. Cleanser, moisturizer, DONE.

Cleansers – CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser / BeautyCounter Nourishing Cream Cleanser – I’ve talked about my favorite BeautyCounter products before, including this cleanser. I love using this in the morning because it is so gentle and nourishing.  I use the CeraVe cleanser at night as well, so sometimes I alternate. This cleanser is a great drugstore option and I again, can only say positive things.

Moisturizers – BeautyCounter CounterMatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion / Olay Daily Moisturizer with sunscreen – Back in January I said that this lotion from BeautyCounter was “meh”, but after using it for months I’ve really grown to loving it. I love how lightweight it feels, especially in the morning. I used to use this Olay Moisturizer way back in the day. For some reason I decided to grab it one day, and now I know why I used to love it. It’s a great option when you’re looking to add sunscreen to your routine. By now, we all know that you should be wearing sunscreen every day. And while I admit that I do slack in this dept, this moisturizer helps.

Honorable Mention – CeraVe Hydrating Tinted Sunscreen – This is a fairly new product for me, so I don’t have a strong opinion yet. However, I do like using this when I’m not wearing makeup. It has a sheer tint to it, which smooths out your skin (if that makes sense). I’m heading to the beach next week, so I know I’ll most likely be wearing this everyday.

And that’s pretty much it! Like I said, keeping my routine simple has helped tremendously with my skin. And although it’s nowhere near perfect, it’s a lot better than before!

Links: CeraVe Cleanser | BeautyCounter Cleanser | BeautyCounter Moisturizer | Olay Moisturizer

My Honest Review of Curology

If you watch countless Youtube beauty videos or scroll through Instagram on the daily, I’m sure you have heard of this company, Curology. Curology is custom skincare that’s available online. In other words, you can get a prescription cream catered just for you, based on what your needs are and what you’re looking for. So without going to the dermatologist, you can get this custom skincare within a matter of weeks.

Dealing with adult acne I’m always looking for the next best thing and what can help. Some weeks are better than others (as far as pimples) but I also have scars that I desperately would like to be faded. So when Curology kept popping up (thanks to their abundance of ads) I was intrigued.  Since they have a 30 day money back guarantee (just pay $5 shipping), I figured I’d give it a shot.

Cleanser – They suggest using this morning and night. Honestly? There is nothing special with this cleanser. Nothing that made me go “WOW” but yet nothing that was wrong. Just your basic cleanser. With that being said, I would pass on getting this and just go for something at the drugstore (CeraVe is my fav).

Rich Moisturizer – The suggestion is to use this at night because of how thick it is. Having dry skin, I did enjoy using this. But yet again, I feel like there are better options out there.

Now to the custom part… On the Curology website, you take a short quiz about your skin. You also send pictures (yep, up close and personal) of your skin (obviously without makeup) to see what your problem areas are. Then a dermatologist will come up with a formula tailored to you. Here’s the formula I received: Niacinamide 4%, Clindamycin 1%, Azelaic Acid 2%. Honestly? I’m not really sure what these “ingredients” are but I gave it a go anyways. I applied this nightly for about a month and unfortunately didn’t see any results. Luckily it didn’t make things worse, but didn’t improve anything either.

With all that being said, I would not recommend Curology. I think it’s a interesting concept, but I ultimately think you need to physically go to a dermatologist to get examined and better results. Another turnoff is that there are so many ads for this company. I understand you have to have marketing, especially with an online company, but with so many ads and reviews crammed in your face, it’s a major turnoff for me.

As far as my skincare goes, it’s always an on-going process. Lately I have been keeping it simple and trying not to stress out my skin with new products. I will do an updated routine in the near future once I feel comfortable with the progress – fingers crossed!

BeautyCounter Favs

As I continue to get older (I’m looking at you 3-0), I’ve become more aware of what I’m actually putting on my face. Long gone are the days where I can slap on a cheap moisturizer and call it day. Now you can find me at the sink for what feels like an hour and partake in a multiple-step process morning and night. Night routines are the worst, amiright?

A little backstory on my skin… I’ve always struggled with acne. Some years worse than others. And unfortunately for me, I’m in a bit of a rough patch right now. Quite literally. I have dry, acne-prone skin. So when I get can get my pimps under control, that’s when the dryness flares up.  But, instead of getting mad and frustrated like I usually do, I’m trying a new approach. I’m being more intentional of the products I’m using and truly giving them a shot. Instead of trying loads of new products (all at the same time) like I have done in the past, I’m using what I have, seeing the difference and slowly introducing new products. And while my skin is nowhere near great and how I want it to be, I do see some improvements and I’m hopeful.

With that being said, I have started using more BeautyCounter products in my routine. If you don’t know, BeautyCounter is a skincare/cosmetic line that sells safe and cleaner products for your skin. They use natural ingredients, are cruelty-free, and ethically sourced. Now I know that the brand can get a bad rep because just like any other multi-level marketing company, you’re going to get a bad taste in your mouth. However, I do not use a sales rep and I don’t sell it. Meaning, any Joe Schmo can go on the website and order. You don’t need to go through a sales agent or anything like that. And if you do happen to love the products, you can actually join with a membership (I have not done this…yet) and for like $29 a YEAR, you can get some good discounts and free shipping. Which, I think is a total no-brainer because shipping costs suck. Most of the products have great reviews and are extremely helpful. Of course, everybody’s skin is different, so you really just have to try for yourself and go from there. But based on other reviews and similar skin types, I decided to try some products that I think would help my skin. I’ve been using these products for months, so I truly can give my opinion on them. And again, I don’t “sell” BeautyCounter and this post is not sponsored in any shape or form.

Here’s a list of my current favorites!

Nourishing Cream Cleanser – Like I said, I have dry skin so I tend to lean towards cream cleansers for daily use. I actually love this one too! It’s not harsh at all, def cleans the skin, and I don’t feel like my skin is being stripped every time I use it. I use this in the morning and night.

Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion – This is a nice lightweight moisturizer that doesn’t clog my pores. I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I’m head over heels with this product, but I will continue to use it. I use it in my morning routine.

Toner Pads – For years I didn’t use toner. Like, what’s the point right? WRONG. I stopped using these toner pads for a while and totally noticed a difference. I know this might seem like a pointless step in your nightly routine, but it definitely is not. Swipe one of these suckers across your face and you’ll see the excess makeup that your cleaner just didn’t get.

Lotus Glow Cleansing Stick – In addition to the nourishing cream cleanser, this is a great alternative cleanser. I keep this one in my shower and use it sparely. I have no true negatives about this product, but I’m not jumping out of my seat either.

Overnight Resurfacing Peel – If you take away anything from this post, take this…. get this product! This is like the holy grail of BeautyCounter. So many rave reviews and hardly any negatives. After washing your face, take 1-2 pumps of this and massage into your face. Take note, it might sting a little bit. It’s supposed to! I mean, you won’t wake up with a new face but you’ll def notice a difference. I use this about twice a week.

Charcoal Facial Mask – This is my second favorite!! In all honesty, I don’t do masks a heck of a whole lot, but this one is on my face on a weekly basis. Charcoal is known to take out all the icky stuff out of your face and I feel like this product does just that. This is a great addition to your nightly routine about twice a week as well.

There ya have it! Those are just a few products that I’ve been using and liking lately. All in all, I will continue to use BeautyCounter for sure.

Drunk Elephant Review – Is it really worth the price?

After reading numerous reviews about Drunk Elephant, I decided to take the plunge and order a set of the Littles. The Littles package includes a travel bag filled with travel-sizes of their best and most popular products. This is a great way to test out the products and see what works for you before investing in the bigger sizes. Drunk Elephant roots themselves on tackling the “Suspicious 6” skin issues (essential oils, fragrance/dyes, silicone, sodium lauryl sulfate, drying alcohols and chemical screens) and caters to all skin types. Drunk Elephant consists of cruelty-free and natural products, which means it comes with a hefty price-tag. So again, this was a great way to learn about the products and see if it’s really worth it.

Below are a list of the products and my quick thoughts about each.

Beste No 9 Jelly Cleanser – I really enjoyed using this! It wasn’t harsh or drying at all. The suggested use is to only use this at night (no need for a morning wash). I wouldn’t use this to take off my makeup, but definitely afterwards. Usually I use a makeup cleansing wipe first, then I would go ahead and use this stuff.

C-Firma Day Serum – They suggest to use this in the morning, on clean and dry face, neck, chest, and back of hands. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure if this made any difference or not. Just seemed like another step in their process.

B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum – Just like the day serum, you can basically slap this stuff wherever needs hydration. You can easily mix this with another other lotion or oil. When I did use this alone, I noticed how hydrating it actually was.

T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum – After washing your face at night, they recommend mixing this with the Marula Oil for maximum effectiveness. I did experience some tingling (which is common) but that quickly resided. Similar to the C-Firma serum, I’m not sure if this product made any difference.

Shaba Complex Eye Serum – I’ll be honest, I don’t use eye creams. Don’t judge me! I’ve bought and tried them, but I just haven’t found one that really worked. Luckily I don’t suffer from major bags or dark circles (yet) so I still have time to be on the lookout. This eye serum felt nice around my eyes, but again, no difference.

Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 – Typically I like to find a day cream/moisturizer that has spf in it so I most likely would not this. I did mix this with the C-Firma a few times and it was refreshing.

Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil – I used 2-3 drops of this at night and my skin really absorbed the oil. I’m not sure if it’s worth the price tag itself, but in a kit like this, it was probably the most used product.

Lala Retro Whipped Cream – This is a thick cream. But if you have dry skin, like myself, your skin will thank you. I used this product mostly at night, but a few times in the morning. My skin felt so nourished after using this stuff. I would definitely buy this product again.

Overall, I don’t think I’d stick to this regimen. These products range well over $50 to $100 bucks, and I personally just can’t justify spending that much for okayish products. But everybody’s skin reacts differently, so what works for me might not work for you. And vice versa! That’s the beauty of finding a skincare regimen, everyone’s is different.