- A facialist once told me that my foaming cleansers were too harsh and causing my skin to produce excess oils because of excessive drying - as you can imagine, that caused a lot of problems. Since then, I've been using mostly cleansing milks or lotions. You can use them either dry by applying like a lotion and wiping off with cotton wool or in the shower and rinsing off as usual. Recently I've been using La Prairie Cellular Comforting Cleansing Emulsion and I'm a big fan though it's quite pricey. For gals on a budget, try the cleasning milk by Guinot, another favorite.
- Honestly, sometimes I'm lazy and don't exfoliate as much as I should, but when I do, there are two ways I exfoliate. If I'm in a hurry, I use St. Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub, a very affordable product I've been using since high school. When I have a bit more time, I prefer to use my Clarisonic Mia with a gentle foaming cleanser, focusing on my forehead which is the driest area on my face.
- A good eye make-up remover is very important as it can reduce tugging and pulling the skin while trying to get your eyes clean. Some people are all about oil-free eye make-up removers, but I find the oily ones keep my eye area from getting too dry. The best I've tried is the Nars Eye Make-up Remover, however if you're on a budget, L'Oreal and Rimmel make great ones too!
Sprays & Toners
- Thermal water sprays are great for keeping skin irritation at bay and sealing in moisture. You can also use them to sooth the skin after exfoliating, to calm down a sunburn or to keep cool in the summer. I'm a big fan of Avene Thermal Water.
- La Mer The Mist is perfect for spritzing on your face first thing in the morning. The scent is refreshing, it's hydrating for your skin and it just makes you feel good!
- I've probably used every toner in the world and I find a lot of them dry out my skin. Eau Roma Water from Lush is my favorite - I've been happily using it for a year now.
Moisturizers, Serums & Eye Creams
- Thanks to the lovely folks at Creme de la Mer, I've been using The Eye Concentrate and Creme de la Mer Moisturizer for a few months now and I honestly can't say a bad word about either. They are AMAZING! Yes, they are expensive, but I've had them both since the beginning of August and I'd venture to say they will last me the rest of the year if not longer. Both products are well worth the price tag and the differences in my skin and eye area are astounding!
- I also really love Avene Hydrance Optimale Rich Hydrating Cream and for a girl on a budget, this is an excellent alternative. I still use it occasionally when I'm on the go. For an alternative eye cream, try Kiehl's Cryste Marine Eye Firming Cream - it's another favorite and a bit cheaper as well!
- I only recently started using Weleda Pomegranate Firming Serum which was recommended to me by Kal Di Paola - honestly, I'm new to serums, but I like this one.
- I use BioOil all over; on my face, my knees, my feet, my chest, my neck and elbows. It really works! About 2 or 3 times a week, or any time I'm feeling dry, I skip night cream and coat my face in BioOil before I go to sleep. It works wonders for dryness. It's also great for treating scars, stretch marks and I've been known to put it on a sunburn to prevent peeling. It's great stuff and very affordable!
- I've been using Kiehl's Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Mask for about 3 years now. I only use it when my skin is looking particularly dull or my pores are looking a bit nasty since I'm prone to dryness. While living in the Caribbean and prone to oiliness & breakouts, I used it 3 - 4 times a week and it helped loads. Either way, I love this product. It really does make your skin glow if it's looking dull and dirty from city grime!
- For major emergencies, I break out the big guns and use Boscia Black Mask - it's slightly torturous I'll admit, but if you have blackheads, need serious exfoliation or have a flaky problem, it will sort it out. It's a peel off mask and it's serious business - it hurts to pull it off and if you get it in your eyebrows, consider them waxed! Because of this, I only use this mask on my t-zone.
- For extra moisture, I turn yet again to a favorite brand - the Avene Soothing Moisture Mask does what it says on the bottle. It soothes irritation of any kind and leaves the skin feeling like it's had a gallon of water leaving it soft, supple and very smooth. I try to use this once a week especially in the winter, but sometimes I don't get around to it.
- I find having the right foundation keeps the skin you've worked so hard on nice and accentuates the positive, while covering up the negative. For me, this is Nars Sheerglow Foundation when I want a full coverage look and Nars Tinted Moisturizer in the summer or on more casual days. Both are amazing, provide great coverage without being too heavy and give your skin a gorgeous glow!
- I've used every concealer imaginable and while there are many amazing ones out there, I find YSL Touche Eclat is easy to use, easy to carry in your bag and it does the job.
- For a final glowing touch, I am a big fan of highlighters and shimmer powders. A light touch along the cheekbones, the chin, the bridge of the nose and across the forehead can really wake up your face. I'm a big fan of Nars Albatross, which I use all over my face as well as Dior Shimmer Star Pressed Powder.
These products aren't really skin care per say, but having smooth lips is just as important!
To keep my lips nice and smooth, I exfoliate them as I would do my face - I use Lush Mint Julips. You just put it on your lips, rub them together and lick it off. It's basically mint flavored sugar, so it tastes lovely and does the trick! It's particularly helpful in combatting wintery chapped lips.
I don't go anywhere without my Kiehl's Lip Balm, especially if I'm not wearing lipstick or gloss. My favorite is Mint, but it comes in loads of other flavors and it's literally the best lip balm on the planet!
So, I'd love to know, what skin care products do you use? Do you have any tips or tricks you'd like to share?