so i recently took on an entirely new beauty routine, due to the fact that i had a sort of come to jesus moment. one bare-faced morning after a spin class on my way to sephora i was stopped by a woman standing in the doorway of a shop with tea samples. she quickly whisked me inside, sat me down in a plush white leather chair and took out a syringe like plastic tube which she held up under my left eye. she asked me what fillers or botox i had tried (in a way that implied that i was old enough to have been using them for years), and told me she could sell me a product that would do the same thing for a mere $700 (but she’d give it to me for $500– winking face emoji). i walked out of the store feeling stunned and covered in a particular kind of shame, the kind where someone talks to you about flaws that you have that weren’t exactly obvious to you as if they are the most common of knowledge.
i took a look at the one eye that she had squirted pricey goop on, all strangely perky and bright and showcasing how dark and droopy the other eye-area was and i vowed then to do something about my skin. just not what she was suggesting, because eff her! right about that time i discovered the wonderful caroline hirons. in my skincare come to jesus moment, this video served as the holy grail. multiple light bulbs went off above my head until it all culminated in my mind exploding. i proceeded to buy pretty much everything she suggested. i tried new things and ventured into some new territories, and i’ll break it down for you in a bit.
to preface this i’ll say that i’m approaching 39 years old, i have a child, and after turning 35 and having a baby my skin took a maje turn into scary town. i have fair, very sensitive skin that is acne prone, and on the oily side instead of the dry side. because i was so prone to breakouts i believed daily exfoliation was necessary, and i had no idea what using a cleanser with beads in it and a clarisonic was doing to my sensitive, thin skin. my skin was red, irritated, and also dull, ruddy and pretty darn saggy. i switched out just about everything, got rid of the harsh stuff and after about a month, my skin is pretty much transformed. the play by play is below:
- firstly i started washing my face in the morning with sunday riley’s ceramic slip cleanser. as caroline suggests, i do this after the shower, i apply the cleanser and remove it with a warm wash cloth (avoiding water on my face has actually made it way less dried out, by the by). this cleanser is gentle, it’s tightening and awesome for pores but it doesn’t dry out my skin at all. it smells lovely too.
- next i use the amazing biologique recherche lotion p50. believe the hype on this stuff because it will change your skin. it’s an acid ‘”toner” that exfoliates and balances the skin, sort of like a mini chemical peel without the peeling. it will make your skin glow, and it tears down years of roughness. it also pretty much takes care of any hormonal acne or frozen yogurt pimples that come up for me. i put it on a cotton pad and apply it to my face in little flicks (like so). the cons are that it stinks (like listerine), and it burns a little after putting it on. it is expensive, and it goes quick when you use it twice a day, but it is worth it. i buy it from rescue spa and they’re great. you can log in with your amazon account and pay that way, and shipping is free & fast. highly, highly recommended.
- i have been using may coop’s raw sauce as a toner/essence for a few months and i plan to keep it in my routine. it’s hydrating and a little firming, and super gentle. it’s good at calming post p50, and it’s also a good skin-prepper for the magic stuff.
- next up is eye cream, aka the bane of my existence. caroline suggested indeed laboratories eyesilix, and i would agree that for a drug store level eye cream, it’s better than the rest. i think it’d be good for someone with minor eye aging issues like fine lines and light puffiness/dark circles. if however you are like me and have zombie eyes, it’s just not enough. i also tried the drug store brand roc retinol eye cream, and it was pretty effective on fine lines and worked okay on puffiness, but didn’t do much for my dark circles. i bought peter thomas roth’s laser-free eye serum because i saw a difference immediately. it took care of fine lines, crows feet, and made a big dent in my dark circles. i also tried kate somerville’s retinol firming eye cream and feel like it might be the best one out there (and i’ve tried everything). it is super pricey, but i immediately saw drastic improvements in dark circles, fine lines and firmness and it is incredibly brightening.
- for a face serum i bought peter thomas roth’s laser-free resurfacer. i saw an immediate difference in my skin tone and texture with this serum, it’s also very smoothing, and makes my skin look super bright. the laser-free line is also red and contains something called “dragon’s blood” which is obvs cool. i have also been using chanel’s hydra beauty serum for about a year and totally recommend it as well. it has hyaluronic acid and feels like a moisture shield, and i definitely notice a glow when i use it.
- for a moisturizer i bought la roche-posay’s toleraine double repair uv moisturizer. it soothes any redness that the p50 lotion and the laser-free resurfacer cause and makes my skin subtly dewey and smooth. it also has spf 30. i love this product.
- i’ve been using la mer’s reparative skin tint for a few months now and i’m totes in love with it. it’s a little plumping and silky smooth and the tint looks amazingly natural. hands down my favorite tinted moisturizer ever, even if it is tre pricey.
- for night-time i am still using bioderma’s sensibio as a makeup remover, although i must admit mostly because it’s french and pink. i do like that it’s gentle enough to use on eye makeup.
- for a night cleanser i finally got my hands on emma hardie’s moringa cleansing balm after being on a backorder waitlist for over a month (another charming side-effect of venus retrograde), and wow, was it ever worth the wait. this shit is bananas. it has a texture almost like petroleum jelly, and you mix just a little bit with warm water in your hand and spread over your face, then remove with the super soft cleansing cloth that comes with. i cannot believe how well it cleans, it pulls out every last ounce of makeup and grime and leaves your face feeling freaky smooth and creamy. it also smells wonderful.
- after cleansing i do the p50 lotion again, then eye serum, and then i bust out the retinol. i’ve been using dermologica’s overnight retinol repair. i would say this is a good intro to retinol, it comes with a buffer cream that you can mix with the retinol cream (they recommend 3 parts buffer cream to 1 part retinol) to ease your skin into it. that only lasted about a week for me, and i use just the retinol cream now with no irritation. i’ve seen a big difference in elasticity, firmness and in dark spots and discoloration with this stuff.
- i finish with clarin’s extra-firming night cream. i’ve been using this cream for a couple of years and it’s never irritated my skin (night creams typically make me break out like a tween). it’s super creamy and leaves my skin feeling baby soft.
- lastly i added a neck cream, because whoa. i started getting weird lines in my neck that showed up big time in photos. first i tried tarte’s maracuja neck cream, mostly based on the price. i like this cream for smoothing, it definitely improves the texture of the neck and gets rid of any chicken skin action. i didn’t find it to be very firming or to help much with lines, so i tried the incredibly expensive strivectin tl advanced tightening neck cream. this one does all the smoothing stuff that the tarte cream does, but it also firms and tightens. although very pricey, it really does make a difference in firmness around the jaw.