Fall Makeup: 90’s Edition

Break out your plastic chokers and find the brown lipstick in the bottom of your Caboodle because the 90s are back!  And they’re back just in time.  Summer is over, tans are fading, leaves are changing color, and it’s time for makeup to change, too. Fall colors + 90’s makeup revival = match made in beauty heaven.

cindy chic stylista

Photo Credit: chicstylista.com

Eyes
Typical fall colors tend to be on the warm side – burgundy, orange, and every shade of bronze and brown imaginable. Brown seemed to have been THE color when it came to 90’s makeup, from lips to eyes.  Popular eye looks in the 90’s used matte shadows but I need a little shine in my life, so naturally I’ve fallen in love with Makeup Geek’s Roulette:

roulette temptalia

Photo Credit: temptalia.com

This shimmery, copper shadow is gorgeous on the lid and blends easy with matte colors in the crease.  And thanks to colors and science and light and all that good stuff, the orange tones in the shadow make blue and green eyes pop something fierce.  TL;DR – Roulette is October in eyeshadow form.  And it’s only $6.

Lips

90s


I know, I know.  Dark lip colors in the fall is the makeup equivalent of “Florals for spring? Groundbreaking.” For my 90’s inspired fall makeup, I’m veering away from the traditional wine and berry  autumn lip colors.  I’m all about matte and brown.  In the picture above I’m wearing my new lipstick of life: Urban Decay’s 1993.

1993 phyrra.net

Photo Credit: phyrra.net

1993 has just enough red tones to not be completely brown, thankfully, because no one wants to look like a corpse unless it’s actually Halloween.  1993 has a matte formula, always applies smoothly and doesn’t dry out my lips.  Pair this with the 1993 lip liner and you’ll feel like you’re an extra on My So-Called Life (I mean that in a good way).

Keep the monochromatic 90’s trend going with some matte bronzer and warm toned blush, and you’re all set.  Happy Fall!

Treat Yo Self Essentials

It’s the end of a long week and you know what that means: it’s Treat Yo Self Time.  Everyone needs a pamper day or night and being the Queen of Relaxing that I am, I thought I’d share my tips on what you need to have the best Treat Yo Self experience ever:

TYS

Treat. Yo. Self.
  1. Candle or incense

Scent is essential in setting the mood for a relaxing pampering session.  Before you do anything else, light a candle or some incense.  I’m a fan of incense because 1. I’m a huge hippie deep down inside and 2. No open flame to worry about potentially burning your apartment/house down.  Light a stick of lavender or rose incense or, if you’re a candle person, light whatever smells closest to a cupcake.

incense_buddha-h480
Photo Credit: dharmarose.com
  1. Music

Music is definitely a matter of personal preference so I won’t tell you what to listen to, just put on whatever relaxes you and makes you feel luxurious as hell.  Spotify has a million great “chill out” playlists (or you can listen to my Mellow Music playlist).

  1. Bath Time

There is a law on the books somewhere that states one must take a bath (or at least a very long shower) during a Treat Yo Self session.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Body Scrub – Yes, it is pretty gross to think about shedding your dead skin cells but try to put that out of your mind and just focus on how smooth and soft you’ll feel post-soak.  I’m a huge fan of the Body Shop’s Shea Sugar Scrub.

scrub

Photo Credit: amazon.com
  • Sheet Face Mask – If you’re going to scrub your dead skin off, why not wear a terrifying-looking mask at the same time? Throw on a sheet mask while you soak and your face will be hydrated, brighter and plumped up by the time you step out of the tub.

mask

Photo Credit: essencious.com
  • Hair Mask – We’re sticking with the mask theme and moving on to hair. Treating Yo Self is all about taking an absurdly long time to focus on you, and hair masks are meant to be worn for a good amount of time, so it’s a win-win.  My favorite is the One N’ Only Argan Oil Hydrating Mask.

hair mask

Photo Credit: ulta.com

Other essential items you’ll need:

  • Wine. Duh.
  • Robe. Fluffier the better.
  • Chocolate/ice cream/cake/chocolate ice cream cake.
  • IDGAF attitude.

Now go out there  stay inside and Treat Yo Self!

Tailgating: Makeup, Hair & General Tips

GET UP. IT’S GAME DAY.  Wipe the crust out of your eyes, put on your team colors and grab a beer because we’re talking tailgating.

It’s finally almost fall and that means it’s finally time for football.  With football comes the storied tradition of tailgating and acting a fool pre-game.  And I don’t know about you, but I like to look cute when I’m acting a fool.  So, here are my best tailgating beauty tips.  And if you’re interested in my overall tailgating tips, and you should be, check out the end of this post:

Waterproof Everything

You’ll be sweating to death at the first few games of the season and wiping the snow off your face during the last games.  You need waterproof everything.  Ok, maybe not everything, but at least waterproof mascara and eyeliner. My recommendations: CoverGirl Super Sizer mascara and Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner.

CG

Photo Credit: walmart.com

Hair

Tailgating and football games usually involves many hours of standing outside in the elements so why waste time trying to actually style your hair?  You have beer to drink and opposing fans to taunt.  My advice is to braid your hair and or/wear a hat. The braid makes you look all put together and sporty (is that a word?) and the hat reps your team while keeping the sun off your face.  Win-win.

braid

Primer

Similar to Waterproof Everything, you’ll want to use a primer.  Tailgating can be sweaty business and you don’t want all of your makeup to melt off before kickoff.  Put on a layer of primer (with sunscreen!) before the rest of your makeup to give it extra staying power.  I’m a bit of a primer hoarder so I recommend the Benefit Porefessional, Smashbox Photo Finish or L’Oreal Lumi.

 tailgate

Here we see the author in her natural habitat.

General Tailgating Tips

Listen. I’m not a great dancer.  I can’t cook really at all.  I’m pretty terrible at math.  There are a number of things I’m just not good at.

But do you know where I shine?  What I am good at? I am good at tailgating like I was placed on this pale blue dot spinning in the infinite blackness of space for the sole purpose of drinking a cold Miller Lite and eating a hot dog at 10:00am on a crisp Saturday autumn morning.  That’s what I’m good at. (And makeup).

What I’m trying to say is, this is not my first rodeo.  Tailgates can be a tricky mistress so, learn from me:

  • Tip #1
    Start the day with some form of food.
    You can drink a beer or Bloody Mary with this food if you want (and I usually want), but get some food in your stomach before you hop on the booze express.  As the incredibly accurate saying goes – This is a marathon, not a sprint.  You need a base for all of that delicious beer you’re about to drink.  Burger, brat, cheez balls, cold pizza, whatever.  Food.  Eat it.
  • Tip #2
    Drink a few well-placed waters.
    Now, 21 year old Chelsea would’ve rolled her eyes and shotgunned a beer at this tip, but hear older and wiser me out.  Alcohol dehydrates you. Playing beer pong in the sun for 3 hours dehydrates you times a thousand.  If you want to actually make it to the game and enjoy the game, drink some damn water every hour or so.  Your skin and body will thank you the next day.
  • Tip #3
    Take one shot.  Time it impeccably.
    This can, quite literally, make or break your tailgating and game day experience. I’m talking about The Shot.  Laettner style. Take a shot too early in the day and you’re liable to start knocking ‘em back one after another and punching an opposing fan, and we don’t want that.  You want to take your shot (of probably Fireball, let’s be honest) when there isn’t a ton of time left until kickoff.  You want to be pleasantly lifted but still v. together when you take the shot.  It’s the cherry on the sundae and helps you carry your buzz through at least the 3rd quarter.  Savor the shot; use it wisely.

Go Team!

Best YouTube Beauty Channels

I am not ashamed to admit that almost everything I know about makeup, makeup application and beauty in general I’ve learned from YouTube.  YouTube is such a weird and magical place where you can literally learn how to do ANYTHING, and then after all that education you can watch compilations of early 90s TV commercials or old people falling down.

I’m toying with the idea of filming my own makeup tutorials and adding to the never-ending catalog of YouTube. While I deliberate, check out this list of the best beauty YouTubers in the game right now:

Leighannsays
My absolute favorite channel is Leighannsays, and probably because I feel like we are…the same person?  We’re both super tall, our faces look somewhat similar, we both love makeup and all things beauty, and we’re both a little weird (in a good way).  I’m a fan of all of her videos but especially her makeup tutorials.

If Leighann recommends something, I try it.  And 99% of the time, I end up loving it, too.  She uses a mix of drugstore and high-end products in her tutorials and she has the great gift of explaining everything in a way that makes the whole process easy and fun.  Aside from tutorials, she posts a lot of fashion and beauty product hauls, outfit of the day’s and all kinds of awesome stuff.  (Alright, I’ll stop fangirling now)

Lisa Eldridge
Queen Lisa is on a whole other level.  She is untouchable.  Her videos are oddly calming, her British accent is like buttah and the woman has unparalleled makeup skills.  I also really like that she filmed the majority of her videos while she was in her 30s.  Visually seeing skin that is near the same age as mine and watching how it reacts to/wears different products is invaluable.

Lisa’s channel has tutorials for any type of look, and I really enjoy her videos on the history of makeup.  She’s incredibly thorough and knowledgeable.  If you’re a fan of no-nonsense, clean, calming videos, worship at the altar of Eldridge.

Wayne Goss
Wayne is the king of how-to and tips & tricks videos.  If you’re not a fan of long, full-face makeup tutorials, check out Wayne’s channel for short videos on specific topics.  Stumped on how to contour? Ask Wayne.  Unsure of how to shape and fill in your brows? Wayne’s here for you.  Plus, he’s cute and has a great accent.  What else do you want?

Pixiwoo
These two British sisters are accomplished makeup artists and their brushes, Real Techniques, are incredible and affordable.  Their videos mainly focus on tutorials – my favorites are the celebrity recreations and off-the-wall/Halloween makeup.

Their everyday looks are also top notch:

Bonus: Random assortment of great videos

Easy Up-do:

Cat Eyes for Hooded Lids:

Classic Hair & Makeup:

Hopefully you have a few hours to spare because the YouTube beauty vortex will suck you in!  Enjoy.

Tips for Maintaining Dyed Blonde Hair

I am not, and never will be, a natural blonde. Everyone knows blondes have more fun and if you know me personally, you know that one of my main priorities in life is having fun at all times.  Thanks to science and bleach, I’ve been having my hair dyed and highlighted blonde for a good 15 years and I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever go back to my natural brunette color.  Blonde just suits me.

However, anyone who regularly colors their hair knows that the process can be expensive, time consuming and very harsh on your hair.  Thankfully, there are a few easy tips and products you can use to maintain bleached/dyed blonde hair and stretch out your money and time between trips to the salon:

  1. Stay near your natural color

This one kind of goes without saying, but, trying to go platinum blonde if you naturally have jet black hair is going to be a very long, very expensive, and probably physically painful process.  We’re talking about bleach here.  That shit does NOT play around and can sting like a thousand wasps are burrowing into your scalp.

curls

My natural color is a fairly light brown so I stick to a honey-colored blonde dye with a half-head of bleach (platinum) highlights thrown in every 3 or 4 months.  Every six weeks I have only the new growth (roots) touched up with the dye and that helps keep the rest of my hair from being colored/damaged more than it needs to be.  Which brings me to my next point…

  1. Condition. Deep condition.

aussie

Bleach and dye are incredibly drying and damaging to the hair. That’s just the way it goes.  You can help slow and repair that damage with weekly deep conditioning treatments.  My absolute favorite is the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioners.  The bottle says to leave it on for three minutes but I’m a “Go big or go home” kind of person so I typically apply this conditioner post-shampoo, throw a raggedy shower cap over it (sexy!) and let it sit for an hour while I rot my brain with the latest episode of Real Housewives of NYC.

10

Another conditioning product I love and use religiously is the It’s a 10 Blonde Miracle Leave-In Treatment.  This leave-in smells great, protects your hair during heat styling, detangles, enhances shine and helps keep color treated blonde from turning orange and brassy.  This stuff is legit.

  1. Use a purple shampoo

Another ally in the fight against brassiness, purple shampoo helps balance the yellow tones in blonde hair to make them brighter.  John Freida makes a good purple shampoo but I’m cheap and buy the generic Clairol Shimmering Lights Shampoo online or from Sally’s.

purple
Photo credit: thethriftygirlsguide.com

As you can see, this shampoo is extremely purple so a little goes a long way.  If you use it too often or leave it on too long it can actually give your hair a purple tinge.  If that’s your thing, rock on.  If not, only use it once or twice a week.

  1. Don’t wash your hair so often

batiste
Photo credit: berenicebeauty.wordpress.com

This is a tip for really anyone but especially for us bleach blondes.  Unless you’re getting crazy sweaty, there’s no need to wash your hair daily.  Washing every day strips your scalp of its natural oils and when you’re dehydrating your hair with bleach and color, you need all the moisture you can get.  It may take your hair and scalp some time to get used to not being washed every day, but you hair will thank you once it adjusts.  Plus, color won’t fade as fast when you’re not stripping it with shampoo chemicals every day.  Get some dry shampoo (Batiste is my hands-down favorite) and learn to embrace the natural body and shine slightly dirty hair can give you.

Hope this helps all of my other faux-Marilyn Monroe’s out there!

Top 5 Eyeshadow Palettes

When it comes to makeup in general, I try to use a mix of mostly drugstore products with a few high end products. When it comes to eyeshadow palettes, I tend to drop some cash and get the good stuff.  Why?  Because a great palette is worth it.  A great palette is versatile enough for a variety of day and night looks, it’s perfect for travel and having multiple shadow colors in one product/case saves you from wasting time digging through your makeup stash looking for individual shadows.

So without further ado, here are my top 5 eyeshadow palettes:

n1

Naked Palette – Urban Decay

The first palette I ever purchased and the OG of the Naked line, the original Naked palette is basically perfect.  You have your standard matte blending and lid colors, shimmery highlight shades, and a plethora of darker shades.  There is no limit to the amount of work-appropriate AND night combinations you can create with these colors.  If you’re looking for a place to start with eyeshadow and don’t have this palette in your arsenal, what are you doing with your life?

Meet Matte Nude – The Balm

matte

This is my go-to palette for work days.  If the name didn’t tip you off already, all shadows in this palette are matte.  If you’re not in your 20s anymore or have hooded eyes (I fall into both of those categories), matte shadows are your best friend because they don’t accentuate lines or wrinkles.  The actual shadows in this palette are HUGE (I’ve had mine for over a year and have barely made a dent in them) and the color range flatters any eye color.  If you don’t want to spend your hard earned dough for the entire palette, at least get your hands on the peach shade, Matt Singh – it is the perfect crease blending color, in my self-proclaimed expert opinion.

singh

Naked 3 Palette – Urban Decay

n3


Yep, another Naked palette.  The Naked 3 is all about the rose gold color family with lots of mauves, gold, purple and pink tones.  The colors in this palette make blue and green eyes look absolutely amazing so if you’re a light-eyed person, You Need This.  I tend to use this one almost exclusively in the fall and winter months (it pairs very well with a dark, red wine-colored lip) and usually layer it over the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk to give some extra staying power.  As with all Naked palettes, the shadows blend extremely well and have fantastic color payoff.

Naked Basics 1 or Naked Basics 2 – Urban Decay

basics

Can you tell that Urban Decay palettes are my favorite?  The Naked Basics 1 and 2 are small, no nonsense and great for travel because they take up so little space.  If you don’t want to mess with any shimmery or bright colors and just want to put together a quick everyday look, these palettes do the job and do it well.  Basics 1 focuses on warm toned colors while 2 is all about cool tones.

basics2

Both palettes offer enough versatility to give you a neutral look for work or a smoky eye for night.  It’s all up to you.  I highly recommend picking up one of the Basics palettes if you don’t want to spend the $$ for a full Naked palette.

Vice 2 – Urban Decay

vice 2

Everyone needs at least one fun, weird palette.  I admittedly don’t use this palette nearly as often as the rest, but whenever I do, it’s always a good time.  This palette is great for experimentation and creativity with several dark colors for smokey eyes, bright 80s pinks and purples, edgy blue tones and warm bronze shimmery shades.  Nothing wrong with having an impractical, straight-up play around palette. It’s good for the soul.

Am I missing anything?  What are your favorite palettes?  Let me know!

Beauty Tips for When You’ve Been…Overserved

Well, isn’t this just the worst.  You, my friend, have been overserved.  You have a hangover.

Your mouth tastes like (and somehow has the texture of) an old rug soaked in beer.  Your head is bumpin’.  That jerk of a sun is up and you gotta be, too. You likely feel AND look terrible but you’re required to interact with other humans today and want to look less undead.  I’m no miracle worker, but here are some makeup and beauty tips to help lessen the damage:

  1. Shower
    For the love of God, shower. A good drinking session has the power to leave you waking up smelling like a rotting muskrat covered in Doritos so, wash up.  Bonus: The water will wake you up and make you feel better because it is a 100% proven fact that showers help ease the pain of hangovers (based on personal research).  Wash off any remaining makeup from the night before and get that blood pumpin’.
  1. Perfume/Cologne
    Perfume is needed because, well, see above. Now you don’t want to go overboard with this step because an overserved nose is highly susceptible to any smells which can increase the lovely nausea you’re trying to shake.  Stick with a clean, fresh, not too overpowering scent.  This is no time for anything flowery or musky.  We’re just trying to lessen the stank emanating from your body.
  2. Moisturize
    You may think this is the perfect time to just throw every makeup product you own on your face in an attempt to cover the half-dead corpse decaying within and call it a day.  You would be wrong. The first and most important thing you need to do is moisturize!Alcohol dries out the skin something fierce so slather moisturizer on your face (and body, if you can stand up that long) to plump up the skin.  The rubbing motions will get the blood flowing and also help drain the puffiness from under your eyes.

    For extra de-puff power, throw a couple spoons in the freezer for a few minutes.  Once they’re nice and cold, place the spoons over your eyes, lie down for 5 minutes and contemplate why you ever even attempt to drink tequila.

  1. Makeup
    You’re struggling to put sentences together so there’s no way you’re putting on a full face today. Thankfully, just a few products can make a big difference.Use a BB cream or tinted moisturizer as your base.  Don’t waste time with foundation or powder today, you need the hydration and smoothing benefits of a BB cream. Next, skip the eyeshadow.  Dark colors can weigh those tired eyes down even more and make you look worse, so stick to just a bit of eyeliner and lots of mascara to open up the eyes.  Finish up with a glossy or bright lip to fake a fresh-faced look.

    Pro Tip: Use a flesh-colored eyeliner on your lower waterline to cancel out the redness and make eyes look whiter, brighter and less, well, hungover.

  1. Hair
    Let’s be frank – your hair probably looks pretty horrific.  No worries!  Pull that hair up in a high ballerina-style bun.  This serves two crucial functions – you look polished and put together, plus you get a mini face lift. Win.

Now go forth and conquer this day!  (And by “conquer” I mean drag yourself out the door and begin counting down the seconds until you can reunite with your bed.)

Throwback: Best Beauty and Style Trends from the TRL Era

In the beauty blogger world, I am a bit of Ye Olde Person.  I was a teenager back in the late 90s-early 00s, aka the days before widespread internet use, which meant that a huge portion of my beauty and style influence came from TRL music videos.  I didn’t spend hours scrolling through Instagram posts and Twitter hashtags but instead would race home after school, throw my bag down and park myself in front of the (non-HD) TV to find out what was ~*cool*~ (while staring adoringly at Carson Daly).

So let’s take a walk down memory lane and revisit the beauty and style trends of the TRL era:

Britney Spears – You Drive Me Crazy
Britney was the undisputed queen of TRL and “Crazy” is when she really started hitting her stride and setting trends. A tiny part of me wanted to actually be her back in the day, and I definitely wasn’t alone in that sentiment. Britney’s aesthetic spawned several late 90s/early 00s style trends – super tanned skin with smokey eyes, crop tops showcasing the supremely cool bellybutton piercing, and the ever-present chunky hair highlights.  Ricky Bobby likes to picture his Jesus as Christmas Jesus, I always like to picture my Britney as TRL Britney.

Christina Aguilera – Come On Over (All I Want Is You)
Everyone knows it is sacrilege to mention Britney without mentioning Christina, so here she is.  She may always have been second in command to Britney but don’t think that Christina didn’t also give us some beauty and fashion trends while ruling the TRL countdown.  In this so-year-2000-it-hurts color explosion video, there are almost too many trends to count – the Bedazzled….everything, the lace up pants and shirts, overplucked and super-thin eyebrows, butterfly clips (!!) and two-toned hair.  Just click play and let the nostalgia wash over you like a warm, rhinestoned blanket.

Beyonce ft. Sean Paul – Baby Boy
Oh, you thought the current “strobing” highlighting trend was something new?  Nope.  Beyonce was rolling around on some sort of pelts (?) wearing enough highlight and body shimmer to be seen from space back when you were still learning how to read.  Baby Boy was one of the Queen’s first post-Destiny’s Child songs and a TRL staple.  Early-aughts trends to spot in this video – dangerously low-rise jeans, those weird handkerchief shirts that barely covered anything, the aforementioned highlighting and body glitter, and Sean Paul (anyone else really miss him? Just me?).

Mandy Moore – Candy
If you have ever wanted to know exactly what the year 1999 looked like, just watch this video.  It’s a bit overwhelming how many trends are packed into it, so I’ll break it down for you:

  • Discman CD player and headphones
  • Poker-straight hair parted down the middle, with bonus points for it being up in that spiky bun style we all attempted
  • Arm ribbons!
  • Inflatable furniture
  • Shit-ton of belly shirts
  • Cargo pants (ugh)
  • Candy-coated VW Bug
  • Abercrombie model-type bro skateboarding to impress the LaDieZ
  • A jukebox/ancient artifact
  • Large, choreographed dance with 15 friends (we all did that, right?)

Hope you enjoyed this TRL flashback and I’ll see you back here in 10 years so we can make fun of skinny jeans and contouring.

Quick & Easy Makeup for Work

There are few things that can rival my love of makeup, but one thing that can is sleeping.  I’ve always been a world-champion sleeper and thoroughly enjoy sleeping in until the absolute last minute before it’s critical that I get up and start the day.

Like many people, I have to get up early in the morning to go to work.  How do I combine my true loves of sleeping and having enough time to put my makeup on?  Easy.  I keep my look simple, but impactful, and only focus on three things:

  1. Skin

A full face of foundation, contouring and powder? Ain’t nobody got time for that in the morning.  Instead, I use a flat top kabuki brush to apply Tarte Full Coverage Powder Foundation all over my face.  This foundation gives excellent coverage and helps control shine, no need for extra powder.  I’ll also quickly throw some Maybelline Fit Me concealer under my eyes to camouflage any darkness or puffiness, and I’m set.

  1. Eyes

If you can spare 1 minute, apply some light brown eyeshadow to your crease, but feel free to skip this if you want or are really pressed for time.  Instead, focus on your lashes and your brows.  Shaped and quickly filled-in brows make the face look “finished” (even if that face was just drooling onto a pillow 4 minutes ago).  A couple coats of mascara will help eyes look more open and awake.

  1. Lips

This is the key.  Wear a bright lipstick or balm.  My go-to color is red (in the photos below I’m wearing the Revlon Balm Stain in 045 Romantic) because I think it makes my teeth look crazy white, but a vivid pink also does the trick.  A bright lip pulls everything together, gives your face a pop of color and can distract from tired-looking eyes.

               red 1               red 2

(Confession: I have blush on, too)

This face takes 5 minutes max. It’s my go-to look on Monday mornings when I hit snooze once or thrice.  Plus, it’s appropriate for work, school….anything, really.  Hope you enjoy!

Skin Care 101: My Routine and Favorite Products

I have a confession.  Up until a couple years ago, I had no skin care routine whatsoever. Zero. Maybe I’d splash some water on my face in the morning and use whatever soap in the shower to do a mediocre job of washing off my makeup in the evening, but that was it.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that my skin was dull with an uneven tone, fine lines were starting to form and, due to my naturally oily skin (thanks, Mom!), I had my share of acne.  Thankfully, I’ve learned a lot since then and now I actually get compliments on my skin, which still throws me off from time to time.  Take my advice and don’t wait 28 years to start caring for your face!

me
This is my face. And maybe a filter.

There are three basic steps to skin care: Cleansing, Exfoliating and Moisturizing.  Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Here is my current skin care routine and favorite products:

  1. Makeup Removal 

 1

I’m an evening shower person so we’ll start the routine with makeup removal. Removing all of your makeup before cleansing is a crucial step on the road to great skin. Before getting in the shower, I take off my makeup with a Neutrogena makeup remover wipe. The CVS brand of these wipes is great, too (and cheaper).  If I have some heavy-duty eye makeup on, I’ll soak a cotton ball with Neutrogena eye makeup remover and gently rub everything off.

  1. Cleansing and Exfoliating 

  2

I keep a rotation of several cleansers in the shower but usually mix together my all-time favorites of Cetaphil and the Garnier Blackhead Eliminating Scrub for Oily Skin.  Cetaphil is super mild and helps remove any remaining bits of makeup the wipe might have missed while the Garnier scrub removes dead skin and is gentle enough to use every day.  Plus, the charcoal in the scrub helps control acne and oily skin because, science.

3

Once or twice a week I’ll mix together a pump of Cetaphil with a small amount of my secret weapon: Skin Obsession Microdermabrasion Crystals.  These crystals are incredibly finely milled and a minute or two of rubbing this mixture all over your face will leave your skin baby soft and radiant.   Exfoliating is KEY in keeping skin soft, generating new skin cells and evening out skin tone. A smooth, even canvas gives you a fantastic base for applying makeup.  Exfoliating is also a necessity for keeping “mature” a.k.a over 30 skin, like mine, all glowy and youthful.

  1. Toning & Anti-Aging

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Toner seems to be one of those things that people are on the fence about when it comes to skin care.  Do I think it’s a huge factor? No. Do I think it helps in my fight against oily skin? Yep. Once my skin is all cleansed, exfoliated and I’m out of the shower, I’ll soak a cotton ball in toner and wipe it all over my face.  Done.

Next it’s time for anti-aging. I’ve been using the Avene Retrinal 0.1 Cream ever since my dermatologist recommended it two years ago when I asked her what would help slow time from marching across my face.  The price is a little steep but you only need to use a pea-sized amount each night, so a tube will last months.  I apply this all over my face and neck. It has never made me break out, it doesn’t give that lovely sting that other retinol products can have and I think it’s done wonders for evening out my skin tone and plumping everything up a bit.  I highly recommend it.

While letting the Retrinal sink in and do its thing, I’ll apply a dot of Epiduo to any pimple that might be starting to show up and this stops it in its tracks.  I’m fairly certain that Epiduo is prescription only so ask your dermatologist for a sample.  It’s strong, effective stuff and can be very drying, so use a tiny dot only on the spot itself or you’ll risk the skin around it becoming dry and flaky.

  1. Moisturizing 

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Anti-aging and acne prevention products can dry out the skin, so it’s time to put that moisture back in.  I like to use a combination of the classic Olay Night Cream with a few drops of Tarte Maracuja Oil mixed in. Yes, I have oily skin and yes, I put an oil on my face and I genuinely believe it’s one of the most important steps in my routine.  Maracuja oil has many benefits and is loaded with Vitamin C to give you a brighter, firmer complexion.  This oil is not cheap but when you only use 2-3 drops a day, it’s going to last.  I can’t say enough good things about it (although it smells a bit like french fry grease, but…who doesn’t love fries?).  For daytime moisture, I use the Olay Complete Moisturizer with SPF 15 after cleansing and before applying makeup.

Last, but certainly not least, I pat Olay Eye Lifting Serum underneath and around my eyes.

And that’s it!  This might sound like a ton of products and a lot of steps, but once I got into the habit, I got it down to a science and it only takes me 5-7 minutes, tops.

  1. Optional Step: Face Masks 

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I don’t lead a particularly taxing life, but I still live by the “Treat Yo Self” motto.  Part of that treating is face masks.  I loooove them.  And you should, too, because they’re inexpensive, helpful for a range of skin issues and you’ll feel like a queen (or king, no judgement) waiting to be fed grapes while you lay around with your mask on.

Once or twice a week I’ll use one of the following masks, depending on what my skin’s doing or needing.  Bonus: All Freeman masks are inexpensive and sold at every drugstore:

  • Freeman Oatmeal & Avocado Clay Mask gets all the gunk out of your pores, leaving your skin extra clean and smooth. I like to use this mask at the end of the weekend since I’ve typically been wearing a lot of makeup and acting a fool for the past few days, so I need that deep clean.
  • Freeman Peel-Off Cucumber Mask is an old school, peel-off cucumber mask. Truthfully I just love this one for the Patrick Bateman-esque style of peeling the mask off once it’s all dry, but it does have actual skin smoothing and impurity-removing benefits.
  • Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Polishing Mask is a must for my fellow oily skin people because it contains our friend charcoal. This isn’t a mask exactly, but more a yummy-smelling paste.  Spread it all over your face, let it sit for a couple minutes, rub it all around your face for a minute or two, wash it off and voila! Glowing, smooth skin is yours.

My number one skin care tip? Be consistent. A solid routine and great products won’t help much if you’re only using them sporadically.  Carve out a couple minutes in your day to take care of your skin and I promise, your face will thank you for it.