There’s no easy way around the trial and error that accompanies a beauty uniform. Lately I’ve been doing my homework and researching up a storm, slathering my face with potions, and taking notes. This post is a bit of a mid-progress report of how things are going. Lots of you commented on my initial post with your own beauty favorites and recommendations (or similar states of clueless-ness). I added your suggestions to a long list of products I had jotted down, screenshotted, or pinned along the way. As far as research goes, more is more! I especially liked seeing which products popped up in multiple places.
Then I ran all those products through the filter of what I was hoping for (from my last post) to narrow it down:
- A few things that work, and stop there. I don’t need to know all the secrets or tutorials.
- An expert/teacher is valuable.
- Focus on my skin first, then makeup.
- Natural, rosy, glowy.
I evaluated the products that were already taking up space in my bathroom and started adding some new things. While I would love quick results, the reality is this part takes time. You should only try one new product at a time for a truly scientific approach AND it takes awhile to use up a product before moving on to the next one. If you’re like me, you can’t afford to just throw out a $20 moisturizer, so opt for trial sizes whenever possible while experimenting. A teacher is really valuable, because I feel clueless. Thankfully, the internet has a host of available teachers, so I started by trying out some products on their recommendations. If I’m honest, the minimalist in me really wants to just stick to one brand or line of cosmetics. But in reality, almost all women I’ve talked to seem to use a smorgasbord of products – and I’m no different. I am still planning on a trip to the Nordstrom beauty counter and an appointment with my dermatologist down the road to get some advice tailored just for me. Until then, here’s an update on what I’ve been trying:
After realizing that the acne skincare system I had been using was most likely too drying for my adult skin, I needed to start from scratch. On the recommendation of many people, I swapped the acne foam cleanser for Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. I am so happy with it, plus it is super affordable.
Since high school, I’ve been using Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes to take off makeup but my face never felt very clean afterwards. While I was in the beauty aisle, I decided to switch to a new brand – POND’S Original Fresh Wet Cleansing Towelettes. My skin feels cleaner and glowy, instead of greasy afterwards. I really like them!
Moisturizing my skin always made me nervous about breaking out. However I could feel how dry my skin was and at 30, I am losing that natural youthful glow, which has always carried me in the past. As I stood in the beauty aisle paralyzed, I decided to just pick two moisturizers – one for day, one for night – and start to get in a routine of taking care of my face morning and night. Done is better than perfect. I grabbed CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM , since I had heard great reviews of the brand. Unfortunately, this version has a zinc sunscreen included, so the lotion is a white paste that definitely feels more like sunscreen than moisturizer. I’m saving it for summer days. I like the CeraVe Moisturizing Facial Lotion PM, which I just bought this week, SO much better.
I also picked up Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream, and I’ve been using it for about two weeks now. The strong scent is a turn-off for me (wish I had grabbed a trial size), but I’m surprised how much I crave the nightly ritual of opening the little pot and using a rich moisturizer. I can definitely see an improvement in my skin. Especially in this season of caring for a newborn and waking at all hours of the night, it’s nice to do something just for myself. I’m not sure if I’ll try a different night moisturizer, or just use the CeraVe PM in the mornings and evenings. I also tried a little tube of CeraVe Eye Repair Cream, since I’m short on sleep. I can’t see a huge difference, but I’ll keep trying it at night. I read on the SkincareAddiction reddit page that eye cream may be a superfluous product, and that night moisturizers work just as well. I would still like to sample Kiehls Midnight Recovery Eye someday though.
Lastly, I took a few days to try out oil cleansing and moisturizing. I bought a $5 bottle of sweet almond oil at Target, and tried it a few ways. First, I washed my face with it …. and then broke out. Not for me. Moisturizing my face with a drop or two of oil wasn’t any better. A bit got in my hair and made it all greasy. It just felt overall messy. I was so hopeful because it would be the simplest routine, right? But, I did really like using sweet almond oil as a body moisturizer. I put some on all over right when I get out of the shower about once or twice a week and let it soak in for a few minutes before getting dressed. You can also put it on about ten minutes before showering, and then hop in the shower and exfoliate dead skin with these gloves. I have never really liked the feel or smell of many body lotions, and this makes my skin super soft even in the winter.
p.s. A trick for tightening your facial muscles, practice saying the vowels: A, E, I, O, U
My makeup changes coming up next time! Do you wash your face at night? Favorite night moisturizers? Anyone else tried oil cleansing?