Archive | Beauty RSS feed for this section

My 30’s Beauty Revelation

9 May

I’ve been a beauty junkie for as long as I can remember. From the moment I cracked open my first Allure magazine when I was 10 or 11, I was hooked. Thanks to my devoted magazine consumption throughout my adolescent years, I amassed an incredible amount of information about skin care, products, and hair tips. At 13, I knew to slather myself in sunscreen to delay wrinkles and had gleaned enough insight from the pros to know that there isn’t a product that will reverse aging — just temporarily lessen its appearance.

This has informed so much of my approach to beauty and aging, in addition to my own mother’s “less is more” approach. As I’ve gotten older and busier and become a mother myself, I’ve noticed drastic changes in my skin, but NOT due to aging, which is where my ah-ha moment comes in.

After I started working for myself and working from home more, I found myself wearing less and less makeup and my skin actually started to look better. I’ve always had combination/oily skin but suddenly, I was drier and the acne flare ups weren’t happening.

I’ve always loved skin care but found it tedious to prioritize after an exhausting day of work and childcare. I never went to bed without washing my face, but I didn’t stick with my usual six-step: toner, essence, serum, moisturizer, etc parade of products. I removed my makeup then slathered on whatever acne-fighting product my face flair up required, and dabbed on some eye cream and hopped into bed later than I should have.

Then I read a book about French beauty that put everything into perspective. French women don’t slather themselves in foundation — they just take meticulous care of their skin. (And on a side note, the French as a whole also make a point to dress beautifully even while lounging around their homes and don’t feel guilty utilizing “la creche” — the national day care system. There is far more value placed on mom’s mental health and managing stress than we see here in the US where the more frazzled and run down the mother, the bigger the imagined “Good Mom” badge when we’re all silently competing with one another.)

Anyways, my point is that since really adopting this less is more makeup approach AND prioritizing not only my skincare routine, but my own wellness, which encompasses how much sleep I’m getting, what I’m eating, how much I’m exercising and what I’m doing to de-stress, my skin has improved dramatically.

It’s not easy with a two-year old, but my nightly routine now consists of cleansing and makeup removal regardless of whether I’ve got more than mascara on, a quick swipe of a toner to remove any makeup or soap or daily grime residue, a press-in of SK-II Facial Essence, some eye cream and then a moisturizer that I seal in with some sort of light facial oil. I’ve been a Rodin devotee since it came out but recently ran out, so Josie Maran light Argan oil has been my go-to. The difference in my skin is noticeable. Now, if only I had had this insight into what my skin (and self!) needed back in my early 20s!



Beauty Musings: Skin Secrets for Your 20s

1 May
antioxidants great skin secrets spf anti-aging
I recently read that beauty experts generally agree that signs of skin aging typically begin at 29. Since I’m less than a week from my 29th (sob!), I’ve been thinking more about this and the preventative routine I maintained in my 20’s.
I’ve always been very interested in skincare, health, wellness and beauty, but I remember the exact day that I became more conscious about the cumulative affects of protecting my skin. I was in my early 20’s and a gorgeous, female friend and co-worker shared that she was a few years older (much to my surprise, since she looked so young). She impressed upon me the need to use eye cream NOW, not at 25-26 when she’d started.

my preferred eye cream: Patricia Wexler 3-in-1

I started to live by the mantra: It’s easier to prevent than erase. I remember taking vitamins like Fish Oil, B12, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and CoQ10 and using broad spectrum sunblock every day on my face, neck, chest and hands. I avoided the sun between 10 and 2 PM and always wore sunglasses (and a hat, if I was going to be in full-sun for long periods of time). It killed me to give up my killer tan every summer, but I became an expert self-tanner in no time. I exfoliated with AHAs, used retinol at night, used antioxidant serums and applied eye cream religiously.

Do Matcha green tea - best brand of green teaobscene amounts of matcha green tea happen over here

But I’ve always believed in an holistic approach to health and beauty thanks to my family and always believed that what happens IN your body matters more than what you put on your skin. My grandmother always advised that the best thing I can do for my skin is to drink LOTS of water but I was also lucky to have parents who grew a lot of our food, cooked meals at home, and made sure my siblings and I developed really diverse, nutrient-rich palates. Beets, brocolli, swiss chard — they were on all on the menu. Today, it’s a breeze to get those skin-saving antioxidants via green tea, berries and leafy greens.

All in all, I feel really lucky to have taken such a pro-active approach to my skincare and health from an age when many may take it for granted. I feel like my skin is in pretty good shape thanks to faithfully following and tweaking a solid skin care routine for so many years. Although I’ve only dabbled in chemical-free, natural product alternatives up until now, that’s another area I’m going to really start to think about as I look ahead to my 30’s.

But first, bring it on, 29!

Valentine’s Day Beauty Prep

11 Feb


Skincare, hair, and beauty are a few of my favorite topics so it’s probably not surprising that I love prepping for special occasions weeks in advance. This Valentine’s Day I’m focusing on clear, glowing skin and soft, touchable hair. I haven’t decided whether I want to go with a smoky eye or a red lip, but I’ll have a perfectly prepped canvas to start with thanks to my “Valentine’s Day Beauty Prep” routine.

How To

Valentine’s Day Beauty Prep Routine

Monday AM:
– Before showering, dry brush all over the body starting at the feet and moving up to stimulate blood flow and exfoliate skin.
– Wash face with Clarisonic Mia and usual cleanser, apply skin treatment products, then sunscreen.

PM: Use a fruit acid exfoliant like Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate before applying skin treatment products and eye cream.

Tuesday AM:
– Before showering, dry brush whole body again.
– In shower, use a fruit-acid exfoliant all-over body to slough off dead skin.
– Wash face with my usual cleanser, then once dry, apply skin treatment products (for my breakout-prone skin, this means benzoyl peroxide), and sunscreen. Apply Am-Lactin body lotion, $13, all over. (It’s an alpha-hydroxy packed body lotion that will help slough off even more dry, flaky, dull skin.) Apply hand cream. I love the one pictured above from CVS because it also has alpha-hydroxy acid as well which is wonderful for conditioning raw cuticles and nails.

– Wash face with Clarisonic Mia using a glycolic acid face wash.
– Then apply glycolic acid peel pad to exfoliate skin (these Avon ones are my favorite), and eye cream.
– Next, use a lip scrub or try a DIY version: Dip a wet finger into a little brown sugar or raw sugar. Rub on your lips to exfoliate. Apply lip balm.

Wednesday AM: Wash face with my usual cleanser, apply skin treatment products, then sunscreen


– Wash face with Clarisonic Mia using usual cleanser.
– In-shower, use a hair mask for 20-25 minutes. Moisturize with Am-Lactin afterwards.
– Apply a fruit acid face peel like Earth Science’s Gentle Skin Peel, $9  to deep clean any lingering impurities. After thoroughly rinsing, apply Retin-A cream (I have a prescription through a dermatologist — this makes my skin GLOW, I swear), then eye cream and hand cream.

Thursday AM:
Wash face with my usual cleanser, apply skin treatment products, then sunscreen.


– Wash face with Clarisonic Mia and glycolic acid cleanser. Apply body lotion to dry spots (elbows, knees, ankles) before applying self-tanner all-over. *Let dry completely before changing for bed. And remember to sleep in dark clothes!*

Friday AM:
Shower and wash face with my usual cleanser. Wash and blow dry hair.
– Apply any gradual daily self-tanner/lotion to even out and boost self-tanner color a bit more before the evening. *Remember to wash your hands!*
– Apply Philosophy face serum, then sunscreen.

PM: Moisturize face and body, apply foundation primer, and apply makeup. Ta dah!