Cleansing Water is the first, and probably the most essential step in my skincare routine. Cynthia introduced me to it recently, and I have not looked back since. These gentle waters remove makeup without stripping the skin of its natural oils. I rotate through these three staples at any given time, but always have smaller sizes for when I travel. All you need a little bit of the cleansing water on Muji's Layered Cut Cotton (or Shiseido's Facial Cotton if you want to go a little bit more lux) and just gently wipe away on your skin.
The next step is to use a cleansing wash. This is the first step I take in the mornings, or the second step at night (after cleansing water). I've tried a good round of cleansers, but these two have both succeeded in making my skin feel squeaky clean, but still soft and moisturized.
I use an enzyme powder (after washing my face) every other day, or an exfoliating scrub in its place once a week. Enzyme powders help brighten and even skintone without chemical abrasives. I went through two bottles of the AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel probably over the last 2-3 years (so it does last awhile!), but purchased the Tatcha Enzyme Powder recently and have been absolutely loving it. I started using enzyme peels everyday (as it is gentle enough) a few months before my wedding in 2012, and found it to be very effective and continue using it religiously to this day. Aesop's Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste is really great for exfoliating the skin, and I recommend Dr. Brandt's Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant which also leaves miraculous results as well.
In addition, I use a mask like the above once a week to give my skin that extra glow. Radical's Revitalizing Mask helps regenerate and repair the skin and the Kiehl's Deep-Pore Cleansing Clay Mask helps eliminate debris and dead surface skin-cell accumulation that can clog pores and leave skin dull-looking.
Sheet masks are my absolute love. I use it at least once or twice a week. There is certainly a wide range of them out there in the market, but I find Dr. Jart is priced well and works well, so I stock up on them as you can see. Koh Gen Do and SK-II Masks are absolutely amazing however and do their price worth if you really want to treat yourself. Definitely recommended before a special event and you want to be glowing. I know I'll be using them a lot more this upcoming holiday season!
After the washing of the face ritual, I spritz my face with Caudalié's Beauty Elixir. I swear by this part-toner, part-serum mist. It claims to "smooth the skin, tighten the pores, and provide an instant burst of radiance, as it stimulates microcirculation."—and it most definitely does. I always have a bottle of the regular size, but have the smaller one to carry with me, especially for travel. The Cremorlab Essence is also great for adding a pre-hydrating layer to the skin before applying serum. Trusty serums I've been using as of late is the Dr. Jart Pore Medic Serum and Be The Skin's Purifying White Waterful Serum, that clarifies and brightens the skin with botanicals like mushrooms, green tea extract and albutin. Mind you, all of these products also smell really amazing—it literally smells like great skin. (Imagine that!)
In the summertime, I usually apply either serum or moisturizer, but as it gets colder and the air gets dryer, I apply both. So, after serum, I apply one of these creams. They are all really moisturizing without suffocating the skin. I have normal skin, so anything too heavy can feel super sticky and heavy, but these dry really quickly after application, all while locking in the moisture. They all work really hard to protect, recover, and rejuvenate. I have noticed my skin is noticeably smoother and "glowier" after I've started using these.
Body care has become very important to me. It always feels like a mini spa when I'm in the shower. I'll rather treat myself to nicer products like these that brighten up my everyday than actual spa trips. I love anything Aesop, especially their Geranium line. It just smells so delicious and does wonders for my skin. I use the cleanser everyday and the scrub once or twice a week. The scrub is really important for healthy skin, to slough away dead surface cells—all year round. For summer because you'll be showing off that body and for winter when your skin is extra dry!
I have always disliked body lotion because of how sticky it is. When I discovered body oils, it was a revelation. Now all I use are body oils, and I vow to never go back to body lotions again. Oils actually dry faster than lotions and leave it tons more moisturized. The skin just soaks it up and I just feel like it just works harder to leave your skin in its best shape. I've experimented with quite a few, but I found these two to be my favorite. The L'Occitane one comes with a spray top, so it's super easy to use. I just apply right out of the shower after dabbing myself with the towel. They both smell wondrous and leaves a really beautiful sheen to the skin which I love, especially in the summer time paired with a subtle bronzed look.
Aside from the fact that I have the thinnest hair a person could have, I have grown to invest a lot in my hair care. As I get older, I'm actually really scared of losing all my hair so I've become to pay a lot more attention to it lately. Oribe products are pricey, but are really amazing and worth it. I haven't tried too many of their different lines, but the Signature Collection is my favorite thus far. I also use Bumble & Bumble's Sunday Shampoo... well, every Sunday. It detoxes the hair and living in New York, I think it's necessary.
These products give my hair a little oomph in the volumizing department. The Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray sounds absolutely extravagant, but never fails to make me smile because of the absurdity of the name every morning. It's essentially a protectant for your hair, and if you blow dry your hair every day like I do, it's important to give it some sort of barrier from the heat. It also helps to repair split ends, nourish, soften, and strengthen the hair. The Volumista Mist is great for giving thin hair some extra bounce and movement. I've heard great things about Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray and I can't wait to try that next. I also love Bumble's Dry Spun Finish which is kind of like a dry shampoo, but I use it to give my hair a bit of extra volume as well.
I feel like I stay pretty loyal to my favorite brands (skincare mostly being Asian brands, as I feel like they suit my skin best), but am always seeking out new products to try as well. Skincare is a funny thing because it's always a little scary to venture out of your comfort zone as there's a risk that your skin may react in a not so favorable way, but we are always wanting the next best thing.
Never forget that beauty is on the inside, but you've only got one face, so take care of it!
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