Navigating skincare as we age can be challenging. In my 30s I realize I am needing to address issues that I never had before, such as fine lines, melasma, sun damage, and wrinkles. As I have stated in previous posts, my skin is on the drier side, but the days of simply needing a good moisturizer are gone. Now my skincare routine is a multiple-step process that my husband does not understand but patiently waits for me to complete every night before bed. Since I am always trying new products, I am sure that by the end of the year my routine will change slightly, but for the past couple of months/years I have been using these products and I have noticed that my skin looks more even and hydrated. In addition, my makeup is applying better and I do not feel like I need as much of it. Below I will go over the products I am currently using. I will mention the products I have been using for years, but I will not go into great detail since I have already written about them in a previous post. As a disclaimer, I am not professionally trained in skincare and learn mostly through trial and error. What works best for me will not necessarily work for others, but I can say that I am a fan of the following products.
These two Tatcha products have been staples in my routine for years now. I simply love this oil cleanser on its own or mixed with this rice powder when I want to exfoliate or take off heavy makeup. I never use the rice polish on its own, but it is possible to do so. As soon as it is mixed with water the granules dissolve, which is why I mix it directly with the oil, scrub my face and THEN add a little water to emulsify it rinse it away.
This daily peel is something I have tried from time to time when I received it as a sample, however, I have never used it consistently until now. I decided to purchase the big box of them when Sephora was doing their big sale earlier this year. It has been over a month of using these every day and I have noticed an improvement in my skin texture, hydration, and evenness. It is an extra step that I was not doing before, but since these come as a duo of saturated wipes, the application is quick and easy. These are great for travel too!
I took a break from this SKII Essence for about a year to try the Tatcha Essence Plumping Skin Softer, but I recently brought it back into my regimen, because I think it is more effective. As much as I love their products, I did not see or feel any difference in my skin while using the Tatcha one. I would recommend getting this kit since it costs the same as the 2.5oz bottle, but includes a sheet mask and trial size of the toner as well.
Serums and eye creams are something that has never been consistent in my routine. I am constantly trying new ones, which brings me to these three products. I also purchased these during the Sephora sale after reading a bunch of positive reviews. I have been using this Dior one during the day because it also works as a primer and the Caudalie one at night. I love how both of these feel on my skin and the fragrance is pleasantly light. The eye cream is very hydrating and I have noticed an improvement in the crepiness around my eyes. It may be a coincidence given that I have started using the peel at the same time as these products, but I love how my makeup has been applying regardless of what foundation I use. At this point, I would repurchase them.
This moisturizer and sunscreen are both formulated by a local medical spa that I have been going to for years for more invasive skincare treatments. I just finished my first jar of this moisturizer and plan to repurchase it at my next appointment. I have the tinted sunscreen, but it is available in clear as well. I love how lightweight it is and that it can also be used as a primer for makeup. I am very conscientious of my sun exposure and ALWAYS protect my face, hands, and decollate. It is possible to sign up for a subscription of these products and pay a discounted price!
I love being tan, and I was no stranger to tanning beds throughout high school and college. As I reached my later 20s, I started the negative effects of that and decided to steer clear of those, opting for actual sunshine and SPF. When that is not possible, I turn to this self-tanner. I have featured this in a previous post and have been using it for well over a year. It is the most user-friendly and real-looking tanner I have ever used. I apply this regularly on my face, neck, and decollate since they are often a couple of shades lighter than the rest of my body. My husband loves this stuff too and uses it more than I do! This is a much better alternative to a tanning bed when prepping for a vacation in the middle of winter. Originally I used these tanning drops, but now I prefer the spray because I find it to be an easier and more even application. It allows me to apply all my different body and lotions first, then I spray this all over my body and pat it into my skin with a mitt. I just discovered that they make these refills for the bottle too! This kit is a great option to try both the drops and spray, but honestly the mitt kind of sucks. I like this higher quality mitt much more because it is dual-sided and thicker so the tanner does not seep through and stain my hand.
In addition to topical skincare I receive a few skin services/treatments regularly. If interested in knowing more, comment below and I would be happy to share!
To know me is to know that I absolutely LOVE makeup! I wear it every day, although at different levels depending on what I am doing. My gym makeup is understandably very light and understated compared to my date night makeup. Regardless, it is incredibly rare that I leave the house without it. Even if I never leave the house, I still like to wear a little so that I feel more put together, because I am more productive that way. I have tried lots and lots of makeup over the years. If you scroll down to my first post on this page you will see a stitch in time of my makeup collection. I have since used up some of those products and have tested newer ones. There are many items that have come and go in my vanity, but there are a few that I love and have repurchased several times.
Makeup is very personal to each of us in terms of what works best on our skin type. So, what works for me may not be best suited for you. In this post I am sharing products that I swear by, listed in categories. I will continue to expand on this in the coming weeks. Click on the pictures for a direct link to purchase any of these items and give them a try!
I wear false lashes almost every day. I love them because of how beautifully they enhance the eye. I am often asked why I don’t get extensions. I tried them for about six months and realized that they are not for me. The amount of time and the cost of the upkeep is not worth it to me when I can easily pop on a pair of false lashes that look fresh every time. I am someone that needs to take off all my makeup and jewelry before going to bed. I found that in being a side sleeper the lash extensions would start to look a little funky after a few days and also start to fall out more on one eye than the other. False lashes I can wear when I want, and if they get to be annoying at the end of the day, I can just take them off. It takes practice to get good at applying them. Check out my Instagram for videos on how to it easily. The two key tips are to make sure the lashes are not too long for your lid (so you may need to trim them from the outer corner) and to make sure the glue is tacky before applying them so the lash band does not slide around. After getting good at applying them, make sure that they are comfortable to wear and the glue is not irritating to the eyes. The following products are the ones I have found to be the most comfortable, flattering, and user friendly.
How many different eyeshadows do any of us use in a given day? How often are we really wearing greens, blues, or fuchsias on our eyes? I have about 10 different eyeshadow palettes and only reach for 2 of them regularly. Of those two palettes, there are only a couple shades I use in each. I tend to stick to light browns, mauves and creams in mattes or shimmer. What I recommend is creating your own palette with single pan shadows that you know you will use. This way, you only have to replenish the colors you use up versus buying a whole new palette. That being said, if I were to only keep 3 of the palettes I own, it would be these.
Filling in my brows is a crucial part of my makeup routine, regardless of whether I am doing minimal makeup or full glam. However, brow pencils do not matter that much to me in terms of the brand name. I blow through them so quickly that I see no point in spending a lot of money on them. I usually grab a bunch at the grocery store and don't think I ever pay over $8 because frankly, I don't see enough of a difference between those and the $20+ ones at Sephora. I have tried the "best sellers" from Smashbox, ABH, and Benefit, but I am not impressed. As long as a brow pencil has a fine tip, a spoolie, and is mechanical (so I don't have to use a sharper) it's good enough for me. Color is pretty unimportant to me as well. I will buy any color from dark blonde or taupe to light brown. I don't have a favorite per se, but these are some honorable mentions that I often buy.
It is a common joke that you should never question a girl with winged eyeliner why she is late. That is because it can take FOREVER to get both eyes even. It seems like one eye always turns out lovely while the other wing goes in a different direction. Before you know it, you're going back and forth to try and even it out, and in the end, look like Amy Winehouse (RIP). I have been wearing liquid eyeliner probably since I was in middle school, and I have become VERY particular about it. I prefer liquid to pencil or kohl liners because I feel like I have more control, the pigment is more intense, and it is less likely to smudge. These are the ones I can confidently recommend.
Sorry ShapeTape, but you are not my favorite concealer! Although great for spot concealing I do not like it for under my eyes to brighten or conceal. I know it is highly rated and very popular, but I have others I love more. This is not to say I won't continue to use the ones I still have in my vanity, I am just not planning to repurchase ShapeTape once I run out. Here are the ones that I have found to work best for me as I see the effects of age creeping in around my eye area.
Makeup primer is really just an extension of skincare. As I have said before, not even the best makeup products or application will look good if the skin is not properly cared for first. Therefore I look for ones that have skincare properties in them.
While I enjoy wearing the occasional bold red lip, I mostly stick to more natural colors. Each of these products is fantastic on it's own, but combining them makes for the most beautiful pout that is the perfect finish to any makeup look!
For a while, it was very on-trend to have a cheekbone highlight that could blind people. While that can be pretty with certain makeup looks, it is not practical every day. Here are three highlighters with various degrees of shine and price points that I will continue to keep in stock in my vanity.
I believe finishing sprays are crucial to bringing a makeup look together and assuring everything stays in place throughout the day. Of all the ones I have tried over the years, these are the only three I have loved enough to repurchase and recommend to friends.
Going to get beauty treatments at a salon or spa is a luxury I think everyone should treat themselves to from time to time. However, it is also fun to have a spa day at home. I have a few self care indulgences and beauty routines that I'd like to share with you. Below is a list of my go-to products for when I am in between salon appointments or just want to have a day of self care at home. You can click on any of these images to purchase the product.
Skincare has always been an important part of my daily regimen. I always make sure to wash off my makeup before bed, no matter how tired I am! In the morning I reapply my makeup to a freshly cleaned face. Not even the most luxurious makeup products applied by a celebrity makeup artist will look good if your skin is not taken care of. When I worked in a spa, I realized the importance (and joy) of getting routine facials, and now I try to get one every couple months. It is so important to take care of not only your face, but your body as well! I have several different lotions and potions that I put on every single day or night to keep my skin glowing and moisturized. I love trying new products, and when I travel, I bring samples of various products with me. However, there are a few products that have become staples at home and have been using for years. You can click on any of the pictures to be redirected to purchase the product.
Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash
Why I Love it:
Exfoliating my skin is something I must do since I wear makeup everyday. I keep this cleanser in the shower for both my husband and I to use. It is gentle enough to use everyday without overly drying my skin. It has been a staple in my skincare routine for the past 3 years!
Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil
Why I love it:
I started using this as soon as it was introduced to our local Sephora a few years ago. It takes off all of my make up gently while hydrating my skin. It is gentle enough to take off eye makeup and washes away leaving no residue. I use only two pumps for my entire face, so the bottle lasts me a few months. It is meant to be applied to your face while your skin is dry and then add just a touch of water after you have worked it into your skin for a minute or so.
Tatcha Classic Rice Enzyme Powder
Why I love it:
I have been using this regularly for about three years now. The price of this may seem high, but since you only need to use a small amount of product it will easily last you six months or more. I use this two to three times a week to exfoliate my skin or when I want to take off a heavier application of makeup. I mix it with the Tatcha Camellia Oil in my hand first before applying it to my dry face. After rubbing it in for a few minutes, I add warm water to soften the grains and then wipe it off with a wet washcloth. This is my favorite exfoliate I have ever used, and it leaves my skin baby soft!
BioDerma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water
Why I love it:
I use this as an eye makeup remover. In the morning, I use to wash my face if I need to get ready quickly. It is very gentle and does not feel greasy or drying on the skin. The pump top makes it very user friendly!
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
Why I love it:
I am currently on my 4th bottle of this. I cannot say that I know exactly what it does, but I did notice a difference in my skin when I ran out of it and therefore did not use it for a while. I apply this directly after cleansing my skin. The instructions say to soak a cotton pad with 5-10 splashes then press it into the skin, but since it is so expensive I use 3-4 splashes directly into my palm and press it into my skin with my hands. The mini bottle on its own cost $99 but on Sephora's website they offer a package that includes the mini size bottle, a sheet mask and a travel size of the Facial Treatment Clear Lotion.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
Why I love it:
I have tried out a lot of moisturizers at all different price points, and I come back to this every winter. Dry skin mixed with allergies leads to flakey skin around the nose that is only magnified when wearing makeup. This is the only moisturizer I have used that keeps my skin from itching, and that annoying flakiness from happening! I sent my uncle a tube because he has really bad eczema and I could not believe how much better his skin looked when I saw him a few weeks later! It absorbs quickly, and the price point is amazing. A little goes a long way, so I rub the excess into my elbows and hands.
Kopari Coconut Lip Glossy
Why I love it:
I mentioned this in my prior post on lip products, but it is too good not to mention again! It is the best lip moisturizer I have ever used! As part of my nightly routine, I put this on after all of my other face products. In the morning I wake up with lips that are soft and hydrated.
Hempz Original Herbal Body Moisturizer
Why I love it:
I first bought this lotion during some promotion at a tanning salon over fifteen years ago. It has that classic freshly tanned from a tropical vacation smell. For a while, it seemed that tanning salons were the only place you could buy this, so when I stopped tanning, I started buying less expensive lotions at the grocery store like Aveeno and Nivea. I liked them, but between my husband and I, we went through them pretty quickly. A few years ago my husband discovered that you can buy gallon jugs of it on Amazon for less than $50, so that's what we have been doing ever since! It is super cost effective, and we use the gallon jug to refill the smaller bottle. I use this on my upper body, arms and lower legs.
SOL de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream
Why I love it:
This lotion smells soooo good, like vacation! I only use it from the waist down since it is kind of pricey. It is very hydrating, and there is a slight shimmer to it which looks nice in the summer sunshine. I have the full size at home and a mini size that I keep in my travel bag. I wish I could buy it in a larger volume with a pump bottle as we do with the Hempz lotion!
Supergoop Forever Young Hand Cream
Why I love it:
I love to cook, so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and I am constantly washing my hands, which dries them out. I have always used hand cream to keep my hands soft, but now I feel like I need an anti-aging one. No matter how young our faces and bodies may look, our neck and hands will always reveal the truth. After searching and reading a lot of review on products, I found this and decided to give it a try. I bought the mini size to keep in my purse and the larger pump bottle that I put at the kitchen sink to use after doing dishes. I like that it has an SPF to protect my hands from daily sun damage, it absorbs quickly and does not feel greasy.
Gold Bond Softening Foot Cream
Why I love it:
I keep this next to my bed and put it on at night before going to sleep. I like that this absorbs quickly so I do not have to wait for it to dry before putting my feet under the covers. I wear high heel shoes often, and when I take them off, I am usually barefoot. Therefore, I am conscious of how my feet look. When I have the time I will get pedicures, but in the interim, I try to keep my feet looking as nice as possible by using a foot file in the shower and foot lotion at night – because dry, cracked feet is not fashionable on anyone! You can find most likely find this at any grocery or drugstore.
Several perfumes sit on my vanity, but there are only a couple of them that I reach for regularly and will continue to repurchase. Perfume changes slightly once it is on the body from how it smells in the bottle, and can differ from person to person. For example, I love the scent of Chanel Mademoiselle as well as Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue. They both smell the same to me no matter who is wearing it. However, as much as I enjoy them on others, I do not care for how they smell on me. I do not always like to wear the same scent every day and prefer some of them during different seasons when they may suit me better. Here is a list of my favorite scents to wear in the summer – or at least make me think of summer when I wear them! You can click on any of their images to be redirected to Sephora and purchase them.
When I was younger (before treating myself to Invisalign in my early 20's) I rarely smiled. When I did smile, however, I was sure to do so without showing my teeth. Even though I loved to wear makeup, I avoided lipstick because I was self-conscious of my smile and did not want to bring any extra attention to it. This was not a sensible tactic I realize, but when dealing with insecurities, how one tends to rationalize things can be rather illogical. Now that I am no longer embarrassed by my smile (and still love makeup), I always wear lipstick or gloss! In general, I stick to nudes, mauves, and pinks, but every girl has to have the perfect red lipstick for those extra glamorous moments! If you have seen my makeup collection, you know that I have enough lip products to last me well into the next decade of my life, but there are only a few that I use regularly. With a lot of trial and error, I have found the perfect colors for me. Following my favorite lip balm, I have listed 7 colors I wear regularly that I highly recommend trying! I linked all of the pictures to Sephora in case you want to purchase any of them. Please let me know of any favorites you may have, I always love trying new things!
Admittedly, my makeup collection is a little out of hand. This is the result of Sephora coming to our local mall simultaneously with my discovery of makeup tutorials on YouTube. It was a dangerous and expensive combination! I am now a proud VIB Rouge member at Sephora and own enough makeup to last me through the next few years. Here is a peek in the drawers of my vanity and how I keep the chaos organized.
The top drawer is dedicated to my primers, illuminators, foundations, concealers, setting sprays, and my beauty sponges. I have several different shades of foundation and concealer to accommodate my frequently changing skin-tone albeit from a self-tanner, a suntan, or complete lack thereof. My color-match ranges from dark bronze to ghost. My undertone changes along with it between yellow and pink. I use different primers depending on what my skin needs or mixes well with each foundation. For example, my skin gets dehydrated in the winter and need extra moisture before putting on foundation.
In the second drawer, I keep all of my bronzers, blushes, highlighters, and setting powders. It is so full that though it may look like a mess, it is quite orderly. I know where everything is. I have many options to accommodate the range of tones my skin can be from summer into winter, but this amount is unnecessary. I would repurchase only about 15 items in this drawer – if I ever run out! I am currently at my most pale and trying to embrace it but finding it more difficult to do my makeup. The lighter formulas seem to apply and set differently. I have been experimenting with new products to figure out how to bring color to my face without looking orange, pink or completely washed out.
The third drawer down has all things concerning eyes and brows. The divider tray helps keep items categorized. I own many eyeshadow palettes that were recommended or created by YouTubers. I only use a few colors in each one, so I do not anticipate repurchasing any of them besides the "Tarteltte in Bloom" palette. It has a pretty range of shimmers and mattes in neutral colors. Not one to do a crazy colorful smokey eye, my sons get more use of the bold colors than I do when they decide to make themselves up as zombies or WWE wrestlers! Items I repurchase most are brow pencils and mascara. I buy these at the drugstore since they have great dupes for the more expensive designer brands at Sephora or department stores.
The fourth and final drawer is dedicated to lip products. In here I also store extra false lashes & beauty sponges. As you can see, I pretty much only wear various shades of nude or pink. In trays, they are categorized by liquid lipsticks, lipsticks, and glosses. I prefer to wear liquid lipsticks since they do not transfer and wear longer. Again, many of these products I bought based on the recommendation of YouTubers, but some were gifts with purchase or samples. Even though I have so many, there is only a handful that I will repurchase when they run out.
Most of my makeup brushes are by Morphe, an extremely affordable brand made famous by YouTube makeup artists. A few are by MAC, Sigma, Sephora, and La Mer. Some are by other brands that were a gift with purchase. I keep all the eye brushes in one holder together. My face brushes are stored by height and how they fit in the holders. I use only a handful of these brushes regularly, and I have some that I found work best for particular products.
When I need to clean my brushes, I use Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner. Day to day I spray them with tea tree oil to kill bacteria that can cause breakouts. My beauty sponge, however, I clean with Blvd. Cosmetics Makeup Brush shampoo and Conditioner every time I use it. It is a much less expensive alternative to the Beauty Blender Cleanser.
So there you have it!
Leave a comment with some of your favorite makeup products!
Welcome to my vanity! This little corner of our home is all mine, and it's where I get ready everyday. There used to be a tub in this space, but since we only used it for the kids when they were little, I convinced my husband to take it out to create a beauty area. There is a lot of natural light that comes in through the windows during the day which is ideal for applying makeup. My table and drawer set is from Ikea, the mirror is from Vanity Girl Hollywood, and the chair is one we already had. I keep a little crate with paper towels and cleaning spray underneath since makeup can get messy. Both the crate and the white cabinet to the left are from Marshalls. I bought that cabinet to set up a little tea station with an electric kettle. I also keep a Sonos controller there so I can listen to French radio stations like CherieFM or France Info while I get ready. This is my own little haven within my home!
I like to have fresh flowers in the house whenever possible, and having them on my vanity makes me feel even more glamorous!
My makeup brush holders are from HomeGoods. The tissue box cover, magnified mirror, and garbage can are from Bed Bath & Beyond.
In the morning I love to drink hot lemon water or tea, so I set up a tea station next to my vanity. This cabinet is stocked with tea, mugs, bottled water, lemons, a cutting board, a knife, a juicer, and an electric kettle sits on top. It's so convenient!
I hope you enjoyed this little tour. Come back soon to see my makeup collection!
Makeup & Me
I have been obsessed with makeup since I was young. However, my mother never wore makeup so I learned how to apply it on my own through trial and (a lot of) error. Youtube has recently changed the makeup world. I love to watch tutorials for application tips and recommendations on products.