Monthly Beauty Favorites: Skincare

October 2, 2015

Happy October everyone! I hope you had a great September. It’s officially fall but we’re still having really warm sunny days in the high 70s and it feels like fall weather will never arrive. September brought about a number of new beauty discoveries, in particular new lipsticks. I think I fell in love with every single new lipstick formula I tried from Charlotte Tilbury (hands down one of the best mattes ever), Louboutin (oh so luxurious), Buxom Cosmetics (so many good colors with an amazing formula) and Tom Ford (how can you not love TF lipsticks?).

I decided to do a different favorites roundup this month and focus on skincare loves. Smooth clear skin has been a focus lately and I’ve been trying new things over the past few months. It takes time to see visible results – so here are some things I’ve been putting to the test and absolutely love. My skin has improved a lot – even my husband has commented on it. As always if you have any skincare recommendations I’m all ears! I just picked up this AmorePacific Moisture Bound Set because so many of you raved about the Enzyme Peel in the comments.

Here’s what I’ve been loving this month (the bag above is one of the pouches from the MAC Clearly MAC Trio):

My go-to moisturizer all throughout the summer has been the Eve Lom Brightening Cream ($110 for 1.7 fl oz). It’s described as a hydra-cream designed to “correct pigmentation and boost luminosity to reveal beautifully radiant and even-toned skin.” It has a brightening ingredient called Dermapep™ that corrects hyperpigmentation – after using this I’ve noticed my skin is visibly more bright, complexion is smooth and dark spots become less noticeable. I would say it’s better as a daily lightweight moisturizer rather than a spot corrector – but it has kept my skin smooth, lightly hydrated and works well with all the foundations I use. Even with daily use for months I still have a good portion of the jar left – so I’m thrilled it’s lasted a long time.

Last month I had the opportunity to receive a complimentary facial at the Kate Somerville Clinic on Melrose (more on this soon). It was hands down the best facial I’ve ever had and I highly recommend the clinic. Since then I’ve been slowly incorporating some Kate Somerville items in my routine. On your first visit they provide a detailed questionnaire for you to fill out on your skin type, preferences and goals. Mine included dark spot correction, texture improvement, anti-aging prevention, help with wrinkles on my forehead, brightening. The facial and products are used in various treatment processes in concentrated formulas based on your needs. Three things I’ve been loving:
  • The Daily Detox Cleanser ($34 for 4 fl oz) is a really good deep-cleaning cleanser for everyday. I use it with my Clarisonic. It helps fight acne and removes impurities from the skin. It’s helped to rebalance my skin and even with the heat we’ve been having my skin is less oily. It contains phytic acid which helps fade post-acne scars and reduce inflammation. I can’t rave about this enough.
  • Dermal Quench Liquid Lift Advanced Wrinkle Treatment ($95 for 2.5 oz) was recommended as a replacement for my regular toner. It’s a product that helps combat all my skin issues: aging, wrinkles, uneven skintone. It also helps with dryness – and I’ve seen a big improvement in my skin. Forehead lines have started to soften and using this helps prep the skin for serums or moisturizers.
  • RetAsphere 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream ($85 for 1 fl oz) is something I’ve been experimenting with as well. It’s been recommended by many that I incorporate some kind of retinol treatments into my routine. I have super sensitive skin and things I’ve tried in the past have been too strong for me. This one is ultra gentle and as a night time treatment, I’ve noticed it’s helped smooth the skin while increasing firmness. My skin looks more glowing and soft. I’ve tried this every other night for several weeks and I’ve had no irritation.
The Aesop Parsley Seed Mask ($39 for 60 ml) still remains a tried and true favorite. It’s my go-to cleansing and clarifying mask that really draws out all the yuck from your skin. It’s recommended use for 2x per week, but I’ve found it gentle enough for me to use 4x per week on trouble spots. I love how effective it is while still being suitable for sensitive skin.

I’ve tested a number of cleansing oils and have several favorites. These days I’ve been loving the SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil ($70 for 8.4 oz). It has a lightweight pleasantly refreshing scent to it. It has a good medium thickness to it – it’s fluid but not too fluid. I love how it blends into the skin easily and seamlessly. It emulsifies well with warm water and removes all trace of makeup (I still remove my waterproof mascara/eyeliner with a cotton pad first though). Leaves the skin feeling completely clean, soft and hydrated with no greasy residue.
Tatcha is always a favorite in my regular skincare routine. The Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35 ($68 for 2 fl oz) is my holy grail face sunscreen. It has a smooth texture that disappears completely into the skin (no white cast). It helps control oil on me and doubles as an amazing primer for foundation. The Indigo Soothing Silk Hand Cream ($38 for 2 fl oz) is a staple for sensitive or dry skin. I’ve bought many tubes and given them as gifts to friends. The entire Indigo line is phenomenal. If you’re new to the line, there is a mini set that I also recommend.

I’ve featured the MAC Prep + Prime Blemish Control Gel ($22 for 05 fl oz) before and it’s still a staple. It’s one of the few acne spot treatments I can use during the day without it making the skin look weird and goopy (others leave a weird clear film that is noticeable). It’s also one of the few that really works to help acne spots disappear without making the skin super red by the next day. I think I’m on my third tube – I also recommended my husband try it and it’s strong enough for his skin.

Last but not least for lips, I’ve been loving the Glossier Coconut Balmdotcom ($12) and Dior Crème de Rose ($28). Both are super hydrating and make the lips feel smooth without that greasy feel. My lips are super sensitive and I’ve gotten reaction to several lip balms (they go numb and then tingle and swell up). These are perfect for my sensitive lips and keep the dry flakes away.
I hope everyone has a great Friday and will have some time to enjoy the weekend! As always I’d love to hear about your current beauty favorites. It’s a great way for me to learn about new things 🙂
Press samples featured in this post include items from Kate Somerville, Eve Lom, Tatcha and Glossier. All other items purchased by me.

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  • Emmys Beauty Cave October 2, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    I really want to try some more skincare products from mac! x
    Emma | Emmys Beauty Cave

  • Anonymous October 2, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    I started using Tatcha's sunscreen pore perfecter after reading your positive review on it and I have to say I really love it! So thanks for the recommendation!

    I've used my fair share of creams, oils, essences, and serums, and what I've been using nowadays is the Son & Park Beauty Water, Klairs Vitamin C Serum, Peter Thomas Roth Oilless Oil 100 % Purified Squalane. I also still love my Biologique Recherche p50v 1970 lotion.

  • Ashley Elizabeth October 2, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    I have used the Dior Creme de Rose lip balm for a long time and absolutely love it. It leaves my lips baby soft.


  • Rachel Polansky October 2, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    I've been loving the new Body Shop oils of life skincare range!


  • Cheryl October 2, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    I love SK II's cleansing oil. It's a staple for me and I must be on my 3rd or 4th bottle and about to purchase another. I've tried pretty much every brand of cleansing oil out there and this is the one I will stick with!

  • Annikky October 2, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    This is a very nice selection of products and we share several favourites: I adore the Eve Lom cream (just finished a jar), love Tatcha and have just bought the Glossier balm. My absolute skincare favourite for a year now as been Sunday Riley Good Genes (I prefer it to their Luna oil) and the Start Over eye cream is excellent, too. Also great: Tata Harper cleansers, Hylamide SubQ products (and the price!), Verso dark spot corrector, Liquid Gold, and many other things but I'll stop now before I'll embarass myself completely.

  • Clever Girl Reviews October 2, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Everything sounds great, I'm all up to trying the Tatcha sunscreen after so many rave reviews.

  • Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed October 2, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    I love lip balms so much, some of my favorite products. Thanks for sharing your favorites!

    New Follower 🙂
    Nereyda│ This Girl Is Obsessed

  • boka October 2, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Like your products!

  • mika October 4, 2015 at 7:16 am

    So glad you're loving Kate's Daily Detox Cleanser! I just ordered it and I can't wait to start using it!


  • Eileen October 4, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Kate Somerville's clinic is a real treat for anyone who likes facials. When it comes to facials, I'm more of a DIY sort of gal, but a friend and I occasionally treat ourselves to a pampering session at Kate's and I can't say enough good things about them. They're sublime and they never irritate my sensitive skin.

    The SKII cleansing oil was my favorite (love the rose scent!) until it was dethroned by Tatcha. My "old lady" skin needed something lighter and yet equally efficacious which led me to Tatcha.

    The Amore Pacific Enzyme Peel used to be another favorite, but once again, as my skin aged, I found that I needed something gentler. Tatcha become my HG of exfoliants. I started with the gentle formula and now use the indigo one. Slow and steady wins the race is a motto I fully embrace when it comes to skin care 🙂 I had to give up the Clarisonic for the same reason I had to give up the AP Enzyme Peel. It had become too harsh for my mature (Ahem! Old!) skin to handle and so I switched to a konjac sponge.

    I'm glad you've found a retinoid that works for you, Sabrina. It's one of the few ingredients with solid science–and not marketing hype–behind it. Any dermatologist will tell you that in the fight against aging, you need sunscreen during the day and a retinoid at night. Even though I have mild, well-controlled rosacea, I am able to use the special prescription strength retinoic acid product I get from my dermatologist. Despite the fact that it is significantly stronger than anything OTC, it doesn't irritate my skin the way those products do. I use it 3-5 nights a week and have been doing so for over 20 years without any problems.

  • Ellen Rozalia October 5, 2015 at 2:26 am

    I've been wanting to venture into the Kate Somerville line for quite some time now and also the Aesop Parsley Seed mask. Definitely on my "To Buy" list 😉 x

    Ellen Rozalia | http://www.ellenrozalia.com

  • Adia G October 6, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    I would also recommend the Quench serum from Kate Somerville. It helps with moisture and radiance. Love all your recommendations!

  • A Little Dose of Makeup October 9, 2015 at 2:10 am

    I want to try that Daily Detox Cleanser- it sounds amazing!

    A Little Dose of Makeup

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