This is embarrassing but here is a split shot of me one year ago on the left and me one week ago on the right.
The difference in my skin is frightening!
I’ll admit, a year ago I was the last person you wanted to talk to about skin care! My body was still recovering from my fitness competitions which meant I still hadn’t gotten my period back. My lack of estrogen and imbalance of hormones meant that I rarely, if ever, broke out and I completely took advantage of my skin. I slept with my makeup on nearly every night and washed my face once, maybe twice a week. The reason my skin looks dry, dull and even wrinkly on the left is because I never exfoliated and there was a constant build up of old skin under the makeup. I know. I have oily skin and for whatever reason I had a fear of moisturizer thinking it would only make me oilier therefore all I did was dry out my skin with harsh zit cream some nights. Occasionally I would rub a packet of sample eye cream around my crows feet. As for makeup, I basically just rubbed the darkest bronzer I could get my hands on ALL OVER the entire surface of my face and call it a day.
Then I started working in the city. Five days a week in the most polluted air takes a toll on your skin very quickly. I’m talking within the very first few weeks. Plus, I sweat from teaching multiple classes. Yea, you cannot live this life and sleep with makeup on every day AND have clear skin. I realized I needed to overhaul my routine. I started with using face wipes after class and washing my face at night and gradually, through trial and error came to my current routine.
I now wash my face with Cetaphil Gentle Face Wash as soon as I wake up. Then, I moisturize with Kiehl’s Abyssyne Cream with SPF 30 (during the day, at night I use the same cream without SPF). I also rub Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate around my orbital area and my upper forehead (I’ve always used eye cream on those harsh forehead lines, I’ve always felt that they need the extra moisture too). Then I go to work…yes, completely makeup free. I no longer wear any makeup during the week on days that I teach, it clogs my skin and isn’t worth it when I teach multiple classes a day. I now bring a face care kit to work every day so I can cleanse between classes. It contains a travel size Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash (I also use this to wash my face before bed) which I use to wash my face after class and a packet of Neutrogena Oil Free Grapefruit wipes which I use after taking the subway on my commute home. I also keep travel size vials of all my daily moisturizers, lip balms and eye creams in there, which I always use after washing my face. Once I get home I wash my face one last time after I take a shower and slather on my night time moisturizer which includes the Abyssyne cream without SPF, Kiehl’s Creamy Avocado Eye Treatment, Kiehl’s Midnight Serum and Aquaphor on my lips. I also exfoliate twice a week and do 2 masks a week, one for moisture and one for break outs.
In all honesty, my skin FREAKED out at this initial change! I think it was so used to having its own oils that when I started cleansing it regularly it became insanely sensitive! I’ve never, ever had sensitive skin, but all of a sudden it would break out from anything and get red and irritated from ANYTHING. Now, whenever I try a new product I know immediately if my skin likes it or not. If it doesn’t, my skin will turn red, burn or break out in hives. However, when it likes a product it drinks it in and looks unreal. So, I stick with what it knows and make sure to keep it clean and happy. Oh, and I also take my makeup off EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, without fail. I don’t know why it took me 26 years. I’m sorry, skin.
So, when my skin first freaked out my oils went nuts and I broke out EVERYWHERE. That’s when I started wearing foundation. I only do my makeup on the weekends and I needed to cover up my new break outs. I packed on the foundation and concealer to hide my skin but noticed that foundation actually looked really nice in photos. I went on a foundation buying binge and bought a slew of different ones from drugstore to high end. As my skin cleared up and settled into my new routine I continued to use foundation, realizing that on clear skin it simply looked infallible. I was taking selfies like crazy amazed at how glowy my skin looked. I knew the change was significant when my husband commented on my skin and told me I looked different and was “reflecting light”. I interpreted that as him seeing my new glowing skin.
Now I want to share all these awesome glowing tips with you! Before we get into makeup though, know that your skin will look its ULTIMATE best if you take care of it first!! Cleanse it daily, moisturize like CRAZY!!!, even if you’re oily (find what works for your skin–dry oils are GREAT for us with oily skin-oil helps oil, who knew?) and DRINK LOTS OF WATER!! If my water consumption isn’t up to par I notice it in my skin immediately.
Ok, here’s the makeup! First, start with removing your makeup. I always remove mine with Jojoba Oil. It takes off everything and leaves my skin looking hydrated and dewy.
Next, I moisturize. I’ll go read some blogs and wait about 20-30 minutes to let the moisturizer completely soak in before I start with my makeup routine.
Next, prime, prime, prime!! Primer is SO important for smooth even skin!! If I’m going for a dewy look I use the L’Oreal LUMI primer which is very shimmery. On my oily days I stay away from this stuff and use MAC’s Strobe Cream. The Strobe Cream still gives you a glowy look but is much more matte than the LUMI.
Moving along is foundation and concealer. I ALWAYS apply both with a damp beauty blender. This prevents you from using too much product and looking cakey. The dampness of the blender dilutes the product and allows for effortless, even application. If the foundation is too sheer for you using this method, just go over it with a second layer or use a foundation stippling brush. I use a concealer several shades lighter than my complexion to create a highlight. I highlight my under eye area, bridge of my nose, my cupid’s bow, chin and center of my forehead.
Then, I exaggerate my highlight further with some illuminators. I use the rosy NYX highlight on my cheekbones so it blends evenly with a warm blush. I use the Stila highlight and MAC Shroom powder interchangeably on my forehead, nose and chin. I almost always use Shroom as a brow highlight.
Finally, I finish my whole look off with MAC’s Fix+. This is the step you do NOT want to skip, this is what makes your skin look PERFECT! I’m telling you, this stuff is the secret. Once I’m finished with everything, even powders and bronzers I spritz this ALL OVER my face and neck. I may overdo it, but I spray on a ton and it makes you look seriously dewy!! Ugh, it’s literally my best friend.
And there you have it!! Hope you enjoyed these tips and feel free to share any makeup or skincare products you’re loving!
PS – To make your skin look extra flawless in a selfie, use good lighting!! I always stand in front of my window for selfies to make sure I take advantage of the natural light–that’s what your skin looks best in! :)