I’ve touted my love for skin care products before on the blog, but let me just reiterate—the obsession is real, you guys. I’ve been going through a phase lately of really, really focusing heavily on getting my skin to a place where I feel 100% comfortable with it. I don’t often wear much makeup unless I’m heading out with friends or on a date (and if I do wear it at all to work, it’s just a bit of Bare Minerals tinted foundation, a dab of Stila’s convertible color and Benefit’s amazing RollerLash mascara). Because of this, ahem, aversion to makeup (in a sense, I guess), I really want to be proud of the way my skin is looking while prepping it for the long term (aka avoiding wrinkles and sun damage). On top of tons of water throughout the day and previously mentioned favorites (see here and here), these are a few products I’m loving lately:
Origins By All Greens Foaming Cleansing Mask // You sip your greens smoothie style, so you might as well put them on your face too, right? Well, that’s kind of the thought behind this new mask from Origins. It’s a bit of a hybrid product—part cleanser, part face mask and, like one of my other favorites from Origins (their Activated Charcoal Mask <holy grail product right there!), this mask is meant to declog pores, reduce oil and leave skin feeling fresh and deeply cleansed. I like it because I find it’s a bit gentler than their charcoal mask, which I can only use about once every ten days. This has been a great in-between mask for the times where I’m noticing a little buildup in my pores (Gross, I know—but totally a reality in a city like New York!). You squirt a few pumps of the foam onto your finger tips, then massage into your dry skin in a circular motion. Leave it on for a few minutes (about two), then “reactivate” the formula with wet fingertips, working again in circles, then rinsing dry. I like to use it a couple mornings during the week, following it up with a hefty moisturizer (I’ve used Drunk Elephant’s Marula oil for years now and absolutely love it. It’s pricey, but the bottle will last me about eight months with daily use).
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate // There are really not enough good things to say about this serum. For the longest time, the only thing I was applying to my skin at night was an acne cream. Great for when I was experiencing a breakout, but when I wasn’t, the only purpose it served was to dry my skin up real quick. Still, I figured something was better than nothing, right? Wrong. Turns out after talking to a beauty editor friend that I was doing more damage than good using acne medication when I didn’t necessarily need it and essentially irritating my skin constantly and upping my skin’s oil production (I now realize I should just be spotting it on blemishes and treating unblemished skin with something different). Not good. So after a bit of research into the right type of night serum/cream/balm/elixir/magical potion for me, I decided to try out Kiehl’s highly-touted night serum. And let me tell you. Best. Decision. Ever. Not only does it smell amazing (it boasts lavender essential oil as one of its ingredients) but it really really does work. Almost immediately I noticed that I was waking up with skin that was less oily, more fresh in appearance and generally just in better shape than when I went to bed. I was a bit worried at first as it is an oil, and I have a tendency to break out when first starting an oil-based product, but my concerns were baseless. Not only is their formula completely gentle, but it’s actually one of those rare skincare products that has no acclimating curve (I don’t know about you guys, but I have to give most products at least two to three weeks to notice a difference/let my skin adjust to them). After cleansing at night, I coat a few drops onto my face and neck—a little goes a long way, and in nearly four months of use, I’ve hardly made a dent in the bottle. I will be buying this again and again—it has definitely become a can’t live without it product!
Replica Beach Walk Rollerball by Maison Martin Margiela // True life: I am suckered in by good branding. Let’s just call it my kryptonite, shall we? And there is no better example of that then the fact that I bought this perfume. I am super scent sensitive and have been wearing the same perfume for like, five years. I literally never even venture into the perfume section of stores because it’s just not worth it to me—I never buy anything, so the only thing I come away with is a headache. Still, even I couldn’t resist the siren’s call of the Maison Martin Margiela Replica display in Sephora recently—the branding on the bottles is just that good. After (cautiously) smelling a few of the scents, I decided to step out of my comfortable, headache-free zone and try out a rollerball of one of their most popular scents, Beach Walk. Mostly because it literally smells like a vacation—salt, sand, sunscreen, coconut, all that goodness rolled into one crisp, clean, summery scent. I haven’t worn it much, yet (I only got it a few weeks ago) but I’m looking forward to bringing it on a trip to Charleston in a few weeks. It seems like the type of scent that would be right at home there! One thing I did notice: it doesn’t have a ton of staying power, at least compared to my typical favorite, so you may find yourself reapplying it more often than you would other perfumes.
Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser // I’m not sure about you, but when I get a gift certificate to Sephora, I love to use it to spring for something I’ve been wanting to try but otherwise might not buy for myself typically. There has been so much talk about “clean” beauty products lately, and I’ve been looking for ways to slowly work some products into my skin care routine (I always like keeping up with Grace’s picks—she’s very into natural beauty and was the first place I heard of Tata Harper’s line). I decided to try out Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser because A) It was one of her less expensive products (no shame) and B) I had recently run out of a product of the same type that I loved (Arcona’s Brightening Gommage—see my review here). The cleanser is essentially a very fine-grained exfoliator, meant to polish skin free of dead cells while still leaving it hydrated and glowing, thanks in part to natural ingredients like apricot seed powder, willow bark and pomegranate enzymes. I apply it to dry skin, then cleanse in small circles, reactivate it with a bit of water, then cleanse a bit more and rinse. You can also leave it on a bit longer for an extra “deep” clean, but I haven’t done that yet (mostly because I usually use it in the morning when I’m in a rush). Overall, the biggest difference I’ve noticed is in my skin’s texture. It is SO smooth and soft, yet I don’t feel like the cleanser is abrasive in any way (something I’ve experinced in the past with exfoliators like St. Ives). I really love the whole mission behind Tata’s line—all-natural, all-organic and non-toxic. I’m totally getting the hype behind her line, and I really enjoy not worrying about what I’m using on my skin. I’d love to invest in more of her products someday soon!
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser // I picked up this sample (ish? It was billed as a sample but seems large to me—hey, not complaining!) a few weeks ago when I was in need of a quick down-and-dirty face wash to use before yoga class. I often go after work, so I like to do a quick wash of my face in the office bathroom before I go—not sure if there’s any merit to it, but I like the idea of rinsing away the day’s dirt and grime before getting all hot and sweaty on the mat. I have noticed I’ve been breaking out less since starting this habit, but that could be attributed to many things (including all of the other products I just mentioned above, haha). Still, this is a relatively inexpensive product (my bottle was $12 I think?) that gets the job done!