I’ve never been big on makeup – I abide by the general, “less is more” rule when it comes to what I put on my face. I am, however, a huge fan of makeup products that enhance natural beauty and I’m also low-key obsessed with skincare products.
I’m 29 years old and only recently started to notice a few wrinkles creeping in so now, more than ever, proper skincare is super important to me. I’ve had a few makeup and skincare products gifted to me recently and I decided to round up a few of my current obsessions as well as some of my all- time favorites!
For Brightening, Highlighting and Concealing:
My face is extremely fair skinned which means the bags under my eyes, have bags under their eyes. As such, I love a good concealer or brightener! These three products are my current “must haves” for all things bright, light and concealed.
- (top left) IT Cosmetics: Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination™ Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer. This concealer was something that Sephora suggested I purchase and I couldn’t have been happier with my decision to “add to cart”. With multiple color options you can find the concealer color that best suits your skin tone and will literally be saying “Bye Bye” to those bags under your eyes.
- (top right) Clinique: Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight. I’ve never been the biggest fan of the contouring and highlighting (I’m still not) but this fun little “chubby stick” was the perfect way to add to my minimalist makeup routine. One sweep of the stick and a few blots flor blending and I was high-lighted and ready to go!
- (bottom middle) Benefit Cosmetics: Puff Off! This under eye gel can be used under or over makeup but I opted to put it on my bare skin before concealer and it removed the puffiness my busy lifestyle and lots of travel have succumbed me to (hopefully not for life). I saw almost instant results with this “iron on” gel and it had a cooling effect that was super soothing.
For Cleansing, Exfoliating and Cleaning:
Being that I’m not big on a ton of makeup, I have no choice but to be big on cleansing, exfoliating and cleaning my skin. I’m super picky about what I use to clean my face, so these recommendations aren’t coming with a grain of salt!
- (top left) La Mer: The Refining Facial. Have you ever wanted to be dripping in diamonds? Well, with La Mer’s “Refining Facial” – you can do just that. Comprised of fermented sea mud and pure diamond dust this treatment gently exfoliates leaving skin to appear instantaneously rejuvenated, smooth and radiant. There is a pretty hefty price-tag of $95 (USD) with this product but a little goes a long way! And this product only needs to be used about once a week to freshen up the skin.
- (top right) Nature’s Valley: Tea Tree Oil. What does tea tree oil have to do with skincare? Welp, everything. Tea tree oil is an antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, fungicide, insecticide (along with a slew of other benefits) and thus is an awesome treatment for blemishes and oily skin. I have combination skin so I like to put a drop of tea tree oil on a cotton swab when I feel (or see) a pimple coming in and just like that! It disappears. You can even use tea tree oil in a toner for added cleansing effect.
- (bottom right) Kenzo: Amazing Cleansing Water. Really. Seriously. Literally… the best name ever for this product. This ginger essence and yuzu extract micellar water purifies, moisturizes and revitalizes skin while gently removing makeup (including waterproof mascara!). After using this to clean my skin my face felt so smooth and so soft. I don’t believe there could’ve been a more appropriate name for this particular product, if they tried.
- (bottom left) Lush: Dark Angels Face and Body Cleanser. Fun fact, I had no idea this was a body cleanser, as well, until I looked the product up on the Lush website. I was in Florence when I realized I had left my charcoal face cleanser in Cinque Terre (#fail). I strutted (and by strutted, I mean stumbled and almost fell face first in a frenzy) into lush and used my broken ass Italian to muster out “nero sapone” (black soap) as I couldn’t bear the thought of not cleansing my face with charcoal. I was walked over to a table and given a sample of the gritty black sugar and charcoal facial (and apparently body) cleanser and was sold (even though I couldn’t decipher 87% of the label as it wasn’t in English)! It’s gritty enough to exfoliate but not too-gritty that it can’t be used on a daily basis.
For Restoring, Hydrating and Anti-Aging:
Who doesn’t love to quench their thirst? These products will leave your skin feeling as if it chugged a tall glass of ice water on a hot and humid day.
- (top left) Patchology: FlashPatch® Restoring Night Eye Gels. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve only recently become aware of my wrinkles that are peeking in and I’ve been obsessed with everything anti-aging, restoring and soothing ever since. Patchology’s Night Eye Gels are all of that with a heaping dollop of retinol on top of a youthful, brightening boost cake. There were a few things I loved most about testing out these hydrogels – the gel consistency being one and the ease of using the product was the other. Most eye patches are thin paper drenched in serum but these gels are literally a thick gel consistency. Even better? Unlike the paper-thin under eye patches, these don’t need to sit on your skin for 15-20 minutes but instead work their wonderful magic in just five minutes before bed.
- (top right) It’s All Good Organics By Deb: While You Sleep, Happy Face. Made up of a bundle of organic oils this facial crème is high in vitamin E and antioxidants which not only boasts anti-aging (aka anti-wrinkle) properties but is also great for improving your skins elasticity. Typically, products containing oil can make my skin, well, oily. Something about the way Deb blends and mixes these oils is magical because it leaves no greasy residue on my face while simultaneously moisturizing and soothing.
- (bottom right) Caudalíe: Vinosource Intense Moisture Rescue Cream. Another desperate pick up abroad – I acquired this at a small pharmacy in a tiny town named Melk in Austria. I thought I had been headed to Europe in Spring but it turns out that Winter was on its way for a comeback and the weather went from sunny and 70 to snowy and dry. My skin was so dry that it was cracking and the nice attendant at the pharmacy told me that I needed this product and after looking it up online, she couldn’t have been any more correct. This moisturizer is “the ultimate rescue remedy, designed to restore, comfort and heal skin” and that is EXACTLY what it did for me.
- (bottom middle) Boots Botanics: Organic Facial Oil. As I mentioned above, sometimes my skin can get so dry that it quite literally, cracks. It’s not only unattractive to look at, it also hurts! I picked up this awesome organic facial oil at Target and it has been my go-to during the cold New York winter months. The rosehip oil is rich in omegas and fatty acids which keeps skin hydrated for hours.
- (bottom left) Kiehl’s: Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream. A good friend suggested this eye cream when those pesky wrinkles started peeking in and I am now, subsequently, obsessed. I didn’t notice immediate results but after just FIVE DAYS of using this eye cream before bed I did see a difference in the wrinkles around my eyes. Packed with micronutrients, copper PCA and calcium PCA – this eye cream has serious wrinkle reducing properties.
For Enhancing your Eyes:
As I mentioned, a few times, I’m not the biggest fan of a ton of makeup but I sure do love my eye enhancing products. From eyebrow pencils to eye highlighters and mascaras – I love it all.
- (top left) Clarins: Supra-Volume Mascara. This powerful little mascara stick added volume and length to my lashes with just one swipe. What I loved even more about it was how I was able to swipe the mascara on my lashes a few times without it getting clumpy – the more I applied, the thicker my lashes became! Added bonus? The ingredients (Cassie Flower wax, Carnauba wax and a Volume Boosting complex) not only volumizes and thickens but also protects lashes.
- (top right) Yves Saint Laurent: The Shock Volumizing Mascara. This mascara didn’t clump when I applied a few coats on and definitely lived up to its “volumizing” title. The hourglass shaped brush makes it easier for the wand to apply the ‘shock’ formula to lashes. While it is super volumizing – I didn’t notice a huge difference in length so it may be best when paired with another mascara.
- (bottom right) Wander Beauty: Frame Your Face Micro Brow Pencil. Oh, where would I be without a good eyebrow pencil? Nowhere. Because, I don’t leave the house without penciling in my eyebrows. I’ve tried countless eyebrow pencils from drugstore brands to top designer brands and this Wander Beauty Micro brow pencil is now officially my go-to. The precise pencil makes it super easy to fill in my eyebrows while enhancing my natural shape. The built in spoolie on the opposite end of the pencil was an added bonus to ensure a natural-looking brow.
- (bottom left) Benefit Cosmetics: High Brow (glow). Before filling in my eyebrows I always use either Benefit’s High Brow (for a day look) or High Brow Glow (for a night look). What is it? A creamy eyebrow highlighting pencil that blends easily to instantly lift the appearance of eyebrows. Applied before fanilling in the eyebrows, High Brow masks stray hairs, accentuates arches and brightens and boosts the eye area giving a youthful look.
Bonus: A Specialized, Three Part, Serum Kit:
The Renovita LUME Revitalizing Serum is a three-part process that starts with balancing. The first part, a Revitalizing base, balances and calms skin while regulating to limit inflammation and irradiation. The second part, a Regenerating Booster, boosts with Renovita’s patented RGF-Extraction Month which extracts the Regenerative Growth Factor jumpstarting skins ability to regenerate while boosting your body’s natural collagen production. The third and final part is the Purified Factor used to nourish and being that each kit is personalized this final step will vary depending on each user, but it is designed to provide your skin with the exact nutrition it needs.
How does it work? You add the Regenerating booster and your unique Purified Factor into the Revitalizing Serum, shake-shake-shake your custom blend and apply to your entire face before moisturizer. I found that my skin felt super smooth and extra hydrated. I loooooved adding the Three Part Renovita serum under my moisturizer, especially during the cold, harsh, dry winter months in New York it felt so great to have a product helping to keep my skin moisturized while looking and feeling fresh.
*Disclaimer: I was gifted some of the above-mentioned products from Influenster, Octoly and the brands: Patchology, Kenzo, Clarins, Wander Beauty, Renovita and Yves Saint Laurent themselves. I am under no obligation to write positively about any of the products listed here and as always – my opinions remain my own. If I didn’t love these products, I wouldn’t suggest you use them!