Givenchy recently launched their new Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm ($36 each) and I’m completely obsessed! I hauled a few shades from Sephora including 001 Perfect Pink, 30 Vital Glow, 23 Solar Pink, 17 Nude Chill and 14 Nude Soul. These are smooth cushiony tinted liquid balms that have a very smooth feel. The balms have shea butter, cranberry oil and pink pepper extract. They’re not weightless as they are balmy but they feel comfortable on the lips, are nicely hydrating and have a floral fruity sweet smell.
There is a very subtle plumping effect but it seems to be very natural and I didn’t notice any tingle on the skin.
Pigment is sheer-medium on these. It’s natural but color is visible. There’s one color-shifting shade 001 Perfect Pink which is similar in concept to the Dior Addict Lip Glow. The rest are tinted balms that don’t shift in color once applied. I think the Liquid Balm is much better than the original twist up stick Le Rose Perfecto Balms. I reviewed them a little over a year ago and hated them – they applied on me so patchy! These Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balms have much better application with the color payoff.
Colors have names and numbers, on the actual tube label there are just the numbers:
001 Perfect Pink
001 Perfect Pink doesn’t always look the same on me. Sometimes the pink is a softer pink, other times it turns into a vibrant flushed pink color. (Also worn here.)
30 Vital Glow is a soft medium peach-orange cream.
23 Solar Pink
23 Solar Pink is a coral pink with a very slight hint of shimmer. On the lips the shimmer isn’t visible.
17 Nude Chill
17 Nude Chill is a brown beige nude with a subtle golden shimmer.
14 Nude Soul
14 Nude Soul actually looks more like a soft muted rosewood plum rather than a nude.
Bottom line love! These make for some really lovely tinted lip balms. They’re the perfect hybrid of a balm and gloss to me. If I had to compare the texture of the Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balms to another product I would say they have a similar feel to the Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Gloss, but just not as shiny and slippery feeling. Lasting power is pretty good – I found they stayed put as long as I didn’t touch my lips to any food or drink. Hydration seems to last on the skin even after they’ve faded.
I bought mine from Sephora. Have you tried these yet? Do you have any favorites from Givenchy Beauty?
By popular request I’m doing another updated roundup for my favorites in skin, body care and hair from Sephora! In putting together my list it I discovered that most of these are tried and true repeats. I’m a creature of habit when it comes to skincare although I love trying new things. I always try to scout out the minis or travel sets to try first. While there are quite a few brands I love that aren’t carried at Sephora (ie Oribe, Chanel, 111skin, etc). Most of what I love can be found at Sephora.
Quick recap on the spring Sephora April sale dates/details (use code SPRINGSAVE):
Rouge Members – Save 20% off 4/17 to 05/01
VIB Members – Save 15% off 4/21 to 4/29
Insider Tier – Save 10% off 4/23 to 4/27
To help give some context on my routine and what I use I have normal/combination skin and in my late 30s. Since moving to Florida I’ve experienced a wider range of climate changes compared to what I experienced in California. The dry season is very dry and then there are humid days where outdoors feels like a wet blanket. And there’s everything n between.
Product rotation and routine changes depending on season and also time of the month as skin oil production changes with climate (ie humidity or lack of) + hormones. I also have different products for morning vs afternoon or evening. Morning routines are pretty much the same. The afternoon/evening routine is different depending on if I have makeup on, if I just worked out, if I just went to the beach and have sunscreen + sweat on etc.
When it comes to finding a good a routine I think it depends on so many factors. If what you’re using works, no need to change it! No need to have a complicated routine but beauty is my job so I don’t mind trying out new launches and products.
I had such a rough time with sunscreen last year. I really wanted to try a wider range of brands because so many of you asked how it held up in the Florida sunshine. I had so many allergic reactions, I’m scared now to try new brands. My tried and true from Sephora are from Supergoop! and Sol de Janeiro.
Hope you found this helpful! I’m picking a giveaway winner from my last giveaway today. Also I’ll be hosting another one soon at the end of the week so check back! I’m going to try my best to have the NARS summer picks and Natasha Denona haul swatched before the end of the sale.
It’s our third winter in Florida and I cannot believe how the time has flown! It feels like it was just a short while ago that we were driving across the country to start a new chapter of our lives. Most of the year we find Florida to be sunny and warm but we’ve had a cold winter (it’s been colder than I remember it being in past years) and everything is significantly more dry. My skin has definitely felt it and so I’ve changed up my routine. Here are some things I’ve been loving recently for lips, hands and body to combat the dry weather.
Hydrating Lip Favorites
I’m still recovering from shock that Bite Beauty discontinued my holy grail lip mask and I know many of you are too. They’ve done some sneak peeks of their brand revamp on social and they’re launching their new Agave+ Intensive Vegan Lip Mask on January 10th at Sephora. I will be ordering it to try out. In the meantime, what I have in rotation now:
NARS Afterglow Lip Balms* are my most reached for balms these days. I always keep one in my purse! The original Orgasm shade swatched here. New spring shades swatched here. I’m constantly asked for an alternative to the Dior Addict Lip Glow because they often shift to an unflattering color. The ones from NARS have a more subtle color change and are nicely hydrating. I can wear it to the gym, use it for touch ups or on low-key makeup days.
By Terry Baume de Rose (mini size shown which was limited-edition) is the thickest most lush hydrating pot lip balm I’ve tried. It’s also one of the most expensive lip splurges I’ve made and repurchased several times over because I do think it’s 100% worth it. I will need to repurchase the full size very soon as I’ve nearly finished all the minis I’ve kept on hand.
EM Cosmetics Lip Cushion in Magic Hour* is more of a color product rather than skincare, but it’s the most hydrating lipstick I’ve ever tried! It feels lush and hydrating and smooth on the lips and is very comforting. I feel like it is a truly universally flattering color (as described) and it comes in the prettiest peachy pink nude with a lush shine. I hope they will launch this in more colors! Full review + swatches soon.
Hourglass No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil in any of the tinted shades are the best lip oils I’ve tried. There are a number of “oil-infused” launches this spring and I will be doing an updated lip roundup soon. Many of them just don’t hold up to my expectations for hydration. A lot of them will add a nice shine to the lips like a gloss but don’t have the same hydrating properties like a true oil. As expensive as the Hourglass ones are I think they’re among the best. You can see the tinted versions swatched in my last year’s balm hits and misses here.
Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment is a balm I always find myself gifting away. I accumulate a lot from GWPs, press samples and various sets so I’m always splitting them up and sending them off to friends, family and readers. I finally decided to keep one and try it for myself and WOW! This is significantly more hydrating than the regular Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments (ones with tint) and I absolutely love it. It’s hydrating, smooth, smells delicious and prevents peeling. Also available in mini size in various sets like this 6-piece Travel Size Set, Travel Duo, On-The-Go Set to name a few.
Body + Hand Care
For the body I’ve been loving a few unscented body creams or super light oils. As much as I love a good fragranced body lotion or cream, sometimes I just want something that won’t interfere with my perfume or one I can sleep in easily. Sometimes heavily perfumed face products or body creams prevent me from falling asleep.
Two body creams I’ve been loving are the Necessaire Body Lotion in the Fragrance Free version. I ordered it over the holiday as I’ve seen it everywhere on Instagram and I was influenced to buy it. I really like that it’s hydrating, smooth and has a soft velvety dry down. It absorbs into the skin nicely and doesn’t feel too heavy. I think it’s reasonably priced. (On the nails is the new Chanel Le Vernis in Daydream, review soon.)
I’ve also loved the Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Nude Cream which I reviewed last November when it launched (it made my favorites list). It’s now also available at Sephora. I still use it almost every day and love how it’s hydrating, soothing and smooths out the skin. I’m not the biggest fan of the packaging because I find it a little bulky but it’s not a deal breaker and I actually do like the pump. It has a soft velvety dry down so it’s not greasy feeling. I feel like this is like the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream in body cream form (many of my friends have told me they’ve used the face cream as body cream).
I also wanted to mention that the Kate Somerville Dry Skin Saver is another great unscented body cream that works for my skin. Both Andrew and I really like it.
For body oils the Chanel Gentle Oil for Body and Hair* has been at the top of my list for body oils. It’s lightweight, absorbs beautifully, makes the skin ultra soft and has the most beautiful lightweight fresh scent. If you’re familiar with the Fresh Body Cream version, the oil smells the same.
I’ve also really been loving the Augustinus Bader Cream and Rich Cream which I bought in the mini 15 ml sizes directly from their website. The minis run at $85 each but they have a Discovery Duo on their website for $150 for 2 x 15 ml. They also have the 2 x 30 ml for $305 available on their website, Nordstrom, Saks, etc. I’ve been testing the Augustinus Bader Cream, Rich Cream and Victoria Beckham Cell Rejuvinating Moisturizing Primer for several weeks now. The Rich Cream is the best for winter or very dry skin. The Cream is my favorite for year round for my skin type. Both of these made my skin look significantly smoother and healthier. I think the Victoria Beckham version is nice for summer but it is the lightest out of the three and didn’t add a significant amount of moisture for my skin.
I will most likely be purchasing the regular Cream in the larger size once I’ve used up the mini.
For a more affordable option that works I’ve also been loving the Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream. The rose scent is subtle and isn’t overpowering once it absorbs into the skin. I like that it really is super hydrating without feeling heavy or greasy. It calms my skin on the days it has flare ups from allergic reactions. It soothes when it’s super dry and itchy. I think it’s a nice one to try!
For night time I usually let my skin breathe naturally without product except lip balm or eye cream, but I have started using the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate Oil again and love it. It helps balance out the skin overnight and is a great moisturizer that absorbs into the skin. You can also find it in a mini size in their Nourishing Essentials Set that comes with their Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado.
For eyes I’ve been rotating between the Tatcha Silk Peony Melting Eye Cream* and the Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado. Both are super hydrating and have helped smooth out those tiny little lines that creep up when my skin is dry. I alternate between the two for day or night. They are on the rich/heavy side so when the hot humid weather returns to Florida these will most likely only be used at night for me.
For face-mists I’ve been loving the Chanel Sublimage La Brume for extra moisture but with a super fine mist. I feel like a broken record raving about it but I truly love it. I never want to be without it.
For sheet masks my I feel like my favorites will forever be the 111Skin ones. I have tried a few other ones recently (roundup soon) and really love the Joanna Vargas Forever Glow Anti-Aging Face Mask for a hydrating calming one and the Twilight Face Mask for deeper moisture and softening. The Forever Glow feels fresh and hydrating while the Twilight is heavier and makes the skin feel like baby’s skin. She has a Glow to Go Mask Set that has one of every sheet mask formula if you want to try them out before buying a full set.
That wraps up my winter skincare favorites! Would love to hear what yours are right now. I know Florida has a mild winter compared to other places, but it’s still dry and I hope this roundup gives you some ideas on what to try in case you’re looking for extra moisture for your skin.
Chanel has some new additions to their Sublimage Skincare line and after putting them to the test for the past couple of months I have a review to share today. The Chanel Sublimage line has been one of the most luxurious lines I have ever tested. I’ve loved the Eye Cream, Face Mist and Texture Fine Cream in the past. New items to the collection have launched and I’ve been getting so many messages from you to review. I’m thrilled to have been able to put the new launches to the test:
There is also a new Sublimage Le Savon de Soin that launched recently as well but I have not tested it. If you have, I’d love to hear your thoughts! It’s been a long time since I’ve tried a bar soap for the face.
The Sublimage line is best suited for normal to dry skin types (in my opinion) but there are some great products for normal combination skin too. It’s an excellent anti-aging line and comforts the skin in the most luxurious beautiful way. My thoughts on each product below along with some alternate suggestions in case you don’t have dry skin. Mine is more normal to dry right now.
Sublimage L’Huile en Gel de Demaquillage
The Sublimage L’Huile en Gel de Demaquillage is their Ultimate Comfort and Radiance-Revealing Gel-to-Oil Cleanser. It’s super gentle and hydrating and dissolves makeup when you rub it into the skin. It contains antioxidants and purifying ingredients to leave the skin feeling extra soft and clean. This is the most hydrating gel-to-oil cleanser I’ve tried. I really like it – it makes my skin feel so soft!
Long-time Chanel lovers might remember the Le Blanc line had a similar product which was reformulated to the current Le Blanc Tri-Phase Makeup Remover cleanser (which I have tried and loved but haven’t repurchased in a while). If you have more oily or combination skin I would recommend opting for the Le Blanc version or the L’Huile Anti-Pollution Cleansing Oil which is a very soft cushiony cleanser more along the lines of a traditional cleansing oil remover.
Sublimage Ultimate Comfort and Radiance-Revealing Gel-to-Oil Cleanser vs L’Huile Anti-Pollution Cleansing Oil, on the nails is Le Vernis in Organdi
Sublimage L’Eau de Demaquilllage
The Sublimage L’Eau de Demaquilllage is their Refreshing and Radiance Revealing Cleansing Water. This is also a very hydrating makeup remover and does just as the name implies: refreshes and adds radiance. It won’t take off waterproof eye makeup but it’s great for regular face, lip or eye makeup. It has a very soft fluid feel and is very moisturizing.I found it gentle and soothing on the skin. It has a small rubber opening at the top to control how much product you dispense. A little goes a very long way!
I think it’s a beautiful product but best suited for normal to dry skin. For other cleansing waters I’ve really loved the Lancome Eau Fraiche Micellar Cleansing Water and the Chanel L’Eau Micellaire. I feel either of these will be better for normal or combination skin. I’ve gone through a full bottle of the Chanel L’Eau Micellaire and liked it enough to repurchase. It’s a really nice one!
Sublimage Les Grains de Vanille
The Sublimage Les Grains de Vanille is the fanciest face scrub I’ve ever tested and the most gentle one too! If you have ultra sensitive skin that can’t handle most abrasive scrubs this is one I think you might want to look into. It has Vanilla and Jojoba seeds that are super fine and suspended in a gel base. It has a smooth feel and while I can feel some subtle exfoliation it is very gentle. I love the Sublimage scent and wish it came in a body cream form. It’s the most calming and soothing vanilla scent I’ve ever smelled.
I wish I could compare it to something else but this is a unique scrub in my experience. It’s so gentle and soft, it almost doesn’t feel like a scrub.
Sublimage La Creme Texture Supreme
The Sublimage La Creme Texture Supreme now comes in a mini form that is the perfect size for travel or to try out the formula. It’s still quite spendy at $125 but the 0.5 oz format is perfect to me! I hope they consider launching the other formulas in this size too. Right now you can find regular La Creme in a travel size only in their Sublimage Le Voyage Set.
With the Sublimage La Creme Texture Supreme there’s a little spatula to help keep the cream itself clean. Every cream comes sealed to preserve the product. A little goes a long way and it’s ultra hydrating and smoothing. Skin is instantly calmed, tightness is removed and it gives the skin a luminous finish. I’ve been wearing this one at night more often than for day time because it’s so hydrating.
This year my most-used moisturizer has been the Hydra Beauty Camellia Water Cream. It’s the perfect lightweight texture for my skin. It’s a lovely one to try if you have normal skin.
Sublimage La Brume Intense Revitalizing Mist
One last mention is the Sublimage La Brume Face Mist which is still one of my favorite face mists ever. This is quite the splurge at $200 but it does come with three refills which made the price easier for me to stomach. It dispenses a super fine mist and refreshes the skin without feeling heavy. Even if you have normal or combination skin I don’t think you should let the “intense” part of the name intimidate you. I feel it’s suitable for all skin types.
For those of you who have been asking for the Sublimage review I hope you found this helpful! If you’ve tried the Sublimage line I’d love to hear your thoughts! If not, have you tried any other Chanel skincare products?
You can find all the new Chanel Sublimage launches online now at Chanel.com.
I’m excited to share some new skincare I’ve been incorporating into my routine over the past few months! A number of you have expressed interest in seeing more Korean skincare reviews on the blog and I’m thrilled to partner with Soko Glam to put one of their 5-Step skincare routines to the test. I have a full review of all the products I tried. They’ve curated some great sets to help you address your specific skin concerns by skin type.
I took their Skin Quiz and connected with one of their Soko Experts for a skincare consultation to find the best products for my normal but sensitive late 30’s skin.
The 5-Step Normal Skin Set was recommended for my skin type and it was very easy to incorporate into my regular routine. It’s priced at $95 (valued over $139) and includes things you can use both day and night:
If you have different concerns or skin type, they also have other 5-Step Bundles (and 10-Step) for Brightening, Combination Skin, Dry Skin, Oil Control and more.
My thoughts on the 5-Step Normal Skincare Routine below! You can find the full list of ingredients on each specific product page.
5-Step Korean Skincare | Step 1: Oil Cleanse
I love solid makeup removers and the Botanic Farm Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbert is one that contains rice, rice bran and soy bean to gently break down makeup for cleansing. It melts like butter into the skin! I found it super gentle but effective and it left my skin super soft.
Step 2: Water Cleanse
The Acwell Bubble Free pH Balancing Cleanser is a gentle gel cleanser that is lightweight, effective and calming. I had a few skin flare ups over the past month and this helped calm down the skin. It has a hydrating finish and leaves the skin feeling clean and soft. The texture has no foaming/bubbling action which is really nice!
Step 3: Toner
I use toner religiously and have a few staples I rely on. Trying new formulas always makes me nervous with my sensitive skin. The Missha Time Revolution Clear Toner was mild enough to use 2x per day after cleansing and left the skin brighter, more even and softer. It contains their fermented yeast extract to help cellular turnover. I will definitely repurchase this one after it’s used up!
Step 4: Essence
I often neglect essence but anytime I add it, I find my skin is significantly more balanced. With the cold dry weather here for the fall/winter adding the Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Essence Mist has been a lifesaver. It dispenses a super fine mist (one of the finest I’ve seen!) to evenly spritz the skin. It’s fragrance free. I also find it makes a nice setting spray for makeup.
Step 5: Moisturizer
The SkinRX MadeCera Cream has such a high number of rave reviews and I was interested in seeing if it lived up to the hype. It 100% does! I was so impressed by this – especially for winter! It’s a great moisturizing cream that is perfect for sensitive or normal-dry skin. It sinks into the skin nicely and hydrates, soothes and reduces redness. On super tender skin days it helped calm the skin. There is also a Sheet Mask Pack available from the same line which I want to try next!
Additional skincare tries
I tested a few other things from Soko Glam for acne. I’ve really loved the CosRX Acne Pimple Master Patch for a hydrocolloid treatment so I restocked! They come with different sized patches which is convenient since I usually have different size pimples whether it’s a whitehead or blackhead. I find these work best on whiteheads to absorb excess oil and pull the debris to the surface. The Missha Speedy Solution Anti Trouble Patches were recommended to me by a few readers so I bought a pack to try. These contain salicylic acid and tea tree oil and work to reduce redness and penetrates the skin to dissolve the debris that is clogging your pores.
Overall I’ve really enjoyed the 5-Step Normal Skincare Set. All 5 products are winners and easy to incorporate into my routine. The SkinRX MadeCera Cream is the highlight for me. For cleansing I also love solid makeup removers and the Botanic Farm Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbert has been really nice to use for an effective cleanser. If you have any skincare lovers you’re looking to gift skincare to, I think either the cream or sherbert cleanser would be great for any skin type.
You can find all the products I reviewed at Soko Glam. They have a wealth of information on their blog and you can easily navigate recommendations by skin concern or skin type! They’ve started Cyber Week early with some savings! From 11/15 through – 12/1 @ 11:59 PM EST save 30% off most things with code: SGBF19. In addition all orders $135+ will receive a Soko Glam branded jade roller Note: Code SGBF19 is valid between 11/15/19 at 12:00PM EST through 12/1/19 at 11:59PM EST. Exclusions apply: not applicable on purchase of sets (including 5- and 10-Step sets), gift cards, Then I Met You products and The Little Book of Skincare. Not valid with other promotions or discount codes. Gift with purchase available while supplies last. Purchases of $135+ after 30% discount applied.
Do you have any Korean Skincare favorites? Have you tried anything from Soko Glam? What do you recommend?
The Sephora Holiday Bonus Event opens up for all beauty insider tiers today! I rounded up my top makeup favorites last week. Today I’m rounding up the skin, hair and body care favorites you can find at Sephora. The weather is still warm here but has definitely shifted to cooler temperatures. My skincare routine has changed up a little with more hydrating creams and lotions. If you’re shopping online use code HOLIDAYSAVE (some exclusions apply). Details for all tiers are as follows:
Rouge Members can save 20% off 11/1 to 11/11
VIBs can save 15% off 11/7 to 11/11
Beauty Insiders can save 10% off 11/7 to 11/11
Press samples featured have a * next to them below. All others purchased and often repurchased by me.
Cleansers + Makeup Removers
My favorite brands are Kate Somerville, Farmacy and Tatcha. I also really like SK-II but haven’t restocked on them in quite some time as I’ve found more affordable alternatives.
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil – the best night time oil to help replenish moisture and repair skin overnight, I just discovered Andrew uses this too (he “borrowed” mine and put it in his bathroom cabinet, lol) – also available in this Midnight Must-Haves Set which I hauled yesterday
Sunday Riley Good Genes – probably the best lactic acid night resurfacing treatment I’ve tried, I use it sparingly though, around 1x per week, sometimes 2x! For those who don’t want to splurge on the full size, I highly recommend you try in smaller trial sizes available in the holiday sets like the Power Trio (just ordered), Power Couple or the Flash Fix Kit
Treatments: Mask, Acne, Resurfacing
Treating spot acne is something we’ve had to do more frequently over the summer. I stopped using any kind of acid over the summer but occasionally do a light peel.
Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum – I don’t often use brightening serums, but this is the one I’ve liked the most, when I use it consistently I notice a huge difference in texture and brightness
Hair Styling Favorites
I’m obsessed with Living Proof and IGK for hair styling products. Shampoo loves have been Olaplex, Briogeo and Christophe Robin in the past but these days I’m really obsessed with Sisley and Oribe (which aren’t available at Sephora):
Living Proof Flex Hairspray – I asked readers on Instagram stories about a year ago what the best hairspray at Sephora was and this was the one most recommended, I 100% agree, it holds hair in place but doesn’t leave it crunchy!
Living Proof No-Frizz Instant De-Frizzer – frizz is such a huge issue in Florida humidity, even with blow-dry treatments or serums there is still frizz! This saved my life this summer, I spray it and brush it through and it works like nothing else I’ve tried
This is the category I use up the most frequently as Andrew and I share a lot of our body care products.
Sol de Janiero Brazilian 4 Play Shower Cream – I used the sunscreen oil in this scent during a trip to Miami and ever since then it reminds Andrew of being on vacation! I love this because it’s hydrating and smells amazing!
That wraps up my lengthy favorites list for skin care, hair care and body care! I realize it’s a lot – but I put a lot to the test and rotate frequently. I hope this gives you some ideas by category if you’re in search of something specific. Always happy to answer questions if you have any. The skincare sets are so good this year – it was hard for me to narrow down my picks but I stocked up on some Kiehl’s, Farmacy Beauty and First Aid Beauty.
Let me know what you ended up hauling!
I’ve put together a giveaway with some favorites. To enter use the widget below and complete at least THREE of the steps in the widget below. It’s open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to enter. Giveaway will run through Monday 11/11 11:59PM EST. I’ll email the winner within 24 hours and they must respond within 24 hours or another winner will be selected in their place. Not sponsored or affiliated.
One winner will be selected via the widget to win: Kosas Wet Lip Oil in Fruitjuice, Urban Decay On the Run Palette, ABH Glow Kit in Sweets, Pat McGrath Mini MatteTrance Trio, Pat McGrath MatteTrance in Guinevere, Tatcha mini Water Cream, Tatcha mini Dewy Cream, Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Glow Powder + Brush, Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick Cocoa, Laura Mercier Primer, Urban Decay Setting Spray, Hourglass Minis x4.
I have an updated skincare routine roundup today with everything I use and love right now! I rotate and switch things up as seasons change or as I use products up. Out of all the skincare categories I run through bottles of face wash, makeup removers and face masks up the fastest so there are a lot more formulas I’ve used this year but I’ve rounded up the ones I consider favorites right now. Most of these I’ve bought on my own, any press samples featured have a * next to them.
For a little background on my skin type and routine, I have normal combination skin I consider to be sensitive. There are of course varying degrees of sensitivity – overall I’d consider my skin to be normal. I live in hot climate in Florida but do experience dryness during the dry months, especially being exposed to a lot of air conditioning. Humidity and weather fluctuates on a daily basis here and some months are clearly more wet than others. I am in my late 30s and have minimal wrinkles right now – primarily on my forehead. My main concerns are improving texture and keeping skin clear. I don’t have a lot of acne scars anymore – they’ve faded over time with regular exfoliation and light peels.
Cleanser and Makeup Removers
I have a different cleansing routine for morning vs night because I add an extra step for makeup removal at the end of the day. For regular traditional face wash my favorite right now is the Farmacy Clean Bee Ultra Gentle Facial Cleanser. I’ve used up so many bottles and love how gentle but effective it is. I recently started trying out some products from Revive and was so impressed so I bought the full size Gel Cleanser Purifying Wash and Foaming Enriched Hydrating Wash. I think both are excellent and 100% worth the splurge, right now I prefer the gel version.
Exfoliation is super important but I’ve kept it light this summer. Flare ups from allergic reactions to sunscreen, face sweat and heat have made my face more sensitive than normal. The gentlest face scrub I’ve been able to use no matter what condition my skin is in is the Fresh Sugar Face Polish.
For toners my top 2 are the Sisley Floral Toning Lotion and Bioderma Sensibio. Since I’m nearly out of my Sisley toner I decided to order something new and bought the Revive Balancing Toner which I’ve really been enjoying. The Bioderma one is the most gentle, Sisley makes the best everyday one for me and Revive’s offers more hydration. I use toner religiously after cleansing the skin to make sure all the soap and any remnants are removed and skin is rebalanced.
This year has been a challenging one for sunscreens for me. I put quite a few highly rated ones to the test but my skin reacted very badly to ones from Dr. Barbara Sturm, Elta MD, Neutrogena and Kopari. My skin had red bumps all over within a few hours which caused a great deal of irritation and flare ups that lasted a week before it returned to it’s normal state. In Florida weather I won’t use anything super thick or super hydrating because most formulas are simply too thick for this heat. I have four that I have in rotation right now that I can use under makeup, don’t have a thick texture, practically no white cast and are easy to remove at the end of the day.
By Terry UV Base with SPF 50 is one of my favorite face sunscreens, this one is currently empty, but I plan on repurchasing again, active ingredients are Avobenzone 3%, Octinoxate 6.8%, Octisalate 4.5%
Chanel UV Essentiel with SPF 50* is the newest Chanel sunscreen that replaced all the other formulas, it is lightweight but not as fluid/thin as previous version, it is highly fragranced but non irritating, it does leave a very slight white cast but blends out well on the skin, active ingredients are Octinoxate 7.5%, Titanium Dioxide 3.8%, Zinc Oxide 17.1%
For eye creams and treatments I have yet to find THE one but I’ve been enjoying the Fresh Black Tea Firming Eye Serum which has a nice lightweight texture and reduces puffiness. It has a smooth texture so it doesn’t make my under eye feel greasy or heavy. Tatcha’s latest The Silk Peony Melting Eye Cream* is one of the most emollient eye creams I’ve tried, it literally melts into the skin. I’ve been using this for a few weeks now and find it ultra rich so like it at night, a little goes a very long way.
For night time it’s been recommended I use retinol or Vitamin C but my skin simply can’t handle most skincare with these ingredients. The only retinol-based products I’ve tried that I love have been the Kate Somerville RetAsphere 2-in-1 Retinol Cream and RetAsphere MicroPeel. They really help with fine lines and help smooth the skin. I do want to try Botox in the near future, especially for my forehead lines. I’m still building up the courage as I’m deathly afraid of needles.
Acne and Mask
Acne has been an issue for both Andrew and I this year. I’ve managed to get mine under control but the extra heat, sweat and moving (we did it all ourselves) caused some issues for my face. My absolute favorite acne treatment from MAC Blemish Control with 1% salicylic acid was discontinued years ago so I’ve been trying dozens trying to find a replacement. With acne treatments the best ones will depend on what kind of acne you have.
Salicylic acid is the best to unclog pores. It helps dissolve dead skin and remove excess oil. For us the most effective one has been the Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Spot Treatment with 2% Salicylic Acid. It won’t leave any red marks on the skin and it’s a clear gel. It also has other ingredients to soothe, absorb excess oil and reduce shine. A lighter weight version that I can use on wider areas of my face is the Kate Somerville EradiKate Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment. It has 2% acid but also has other ingredients to offset the dryness that is often caused my pimple treatments.
I recently tried the REN Clearcalm Non-Drying Acne Treatment Gel* with 0.5% Salicylic Acid which also is effective but for me the Kiehl’s works better. If you need a lower concentration of the acid the REN is a good option to try. I found it’s name well suited as it definitely is non-drying.
Benzoyl peroxide is another anti-acne ingredient that helps kill bacteria. We’ve loved the Neutrogen Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Gel with 10% benzoyl peroxide. It’s actually a white gel but will disappear when you blend in and it works to reduce pimple size and redness like nothing else. If I catch a pimple forming quickly and apply this immediately the pimple disappears within hours. The only downside is it will bleach and discolor clothes. If it comes in contact with towels, shirts or anything else it will bleach them! Make sure to thoroughly wash hands/fingers with soap and water. Simply wiping fingers with a towel isn’t sufficient.
Hydrocolloid patches are clear stick on dots that we’ve found are best for white heads. They absorb excess oil and help draw out the center of the pimple by drying out the skin without any harsh pulling or squeezing. We’ve used the Mighty Patches the most and have gone through so many packs I’ve lost count. CosRX also makes good ones and they come in different size dots which can be handy. While they are clear dots they’re not really invisible. Each brand has an “invisible” version but in our experience you can still see them on the face so we use these at night or if we’re at home all day. You can find them at a number of places, we order ours on Amazon. To us they both perform the same.
I used to use face masks and sheet masks religiously. We’ve had a busy year and summer this year and this is one area I’ve neglected. I can’t believe it’s already September! I’ve had more skin clogging issues and acne so my go-to skin clearing masks are the Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment and Drunk Elephant TLC Sukari Baby Facial Treatment to help resurface skin with a light peel. I use both as needed. Sunday Riley’s Good Genes is a good resurfacing lactic acid treatment I used at night for a long time but I’ve used it up and haven’t repurchased. It’s not really a mask, but more of a treatment. I used this maybe 1 to 2x per week so I’ve put this in the treatment section.
I hope you enjoyed this roundup! I realize it’s a lot but I have a complex skincare routine especially since I put a lot to the test. These are the items I’ve loved the most this year and consider to be products I have in my routine. Both Andrew and I have put in a lot of work to find things that work for us. We both love trying new things even though skincare testing takes a lot of time.
This is more of a roundup rather than detailed review on every item. If you have any questions let me know in the comments! I’ve put a lot more to the test this year than what’s in this post.
What are some of your favorites in your routine right now?