My favorite moment of my day is when I wash off my makeup and just let my skin breathe. This is why I have a very simple rule, “Once the makeup is off, I am in for the night.”
I don’t care if Prince Harry is waiting in the lobby to whisk me away to a land of 24-hour room service and long chats about fashion with my new BFF Kate Middleton, he’s just going to have to come back another time. I reapply for no man. Here is how I care for my skin at the end of the day:
Step One. Wipe off makeup using Say Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Towlettes ($8 for 30).
Step Two. Remove Eye Makeup with Clinique Naturally Gentle Eye Makeup Remover ($17). I used to think that this was an unnecessary extra step. Then, my eye doctor took me to the woodshed about the amount of flaked mascara she saw on my eyeball. Mind changed.
Step Three. Wash face using African Black Soap ($11). Do not rub off the soap, this is a mistake that I used to make frequently. Instead, using tepid water splash the face 20 times (20!) until all of the soap is removed.
Step Four. Dry face with a clean, white washcloth. Remember to pat dry. Do not wipe, it tears the skin.
Step Five. Wipe the puddle of water off of the counter. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, or at least that’s what my Nana keeps telling me. Throw washcloth in the laundry bin. (Do not reuse washcloths. Towels, sure. Wash cloths, no.)
Step Six. Apply iS Clinical Active Serum ($128) to entire face. At this point, you could stop. You don’t really need moisturizer when using the serum, but I’m getting on in years and need night cream.
Step Seven. Apply Eucerin Aquaphor ($4) to the under eye area using a gentle patting motion. I use the ring finger on my right hand to apply it, since it’s the weakest finger. This is supposed to prevent any tearing or damage to the delicate tissue.
Step Eight. Apply Ole Henriksen Pure Perfection ($48) to face. I like this cream because it improves cell turnover and doesn’t have sulfates, dyes or parabens. Whatever those are.
Step Nine. Apply Ahava Mineral Foot Cream ($19) to feet and hands. Put on cotton socks to speed effectiveness. I’d put gloves on my hands as well, but in the immortal words of Bernie Mac in Ocean’s 11, “They interfere with my nocturnal activities.” Specifically, typing this blog.
For more information on Belle’s Weekly Beauty Routine, also known as my Sunday Night Ritual, click here. And if you want to know what products I recommend religiously, I have a Pinterest board for that.
Do you buy the Say Yes to Blueberries wipes in DC or online? I can never find them at the store near my apartment or office!
Elle: I buy them online. SOAP.com let's you set up an autodelivery and save 15% or 10% (can't remember which) on frequently purchased products. So I order those, detergent and toilet paper for auto delivery.
Belle, could you give us an update on how the iS Clinical Active Serum is working for you?
Belle, can you elaborate a little on using the Eucerin Aquaphor for under your eyes? I have terrible dark puffy circles (not sleep related, I've been getting 8+ hours a night for the past 2 years and it hasn't changed them at all, and not allergy related since I have none), and I've tried a couple of expensive eye creams with no noticable effects. Looks like this isn't specifically recommended for under eye circles, but I assume it's working for you? For $4, I guess I have nothing to loose by trying it!
Is there a reason you use the clarisonic in the am rather than pm? I had imagined it would be better to use in the evening to ensure that all makeup is removed and to prepare your skin for the serum. Just ordered one yesterday! I cannot wait for it to arrive!!
MM, I have the same problem. In my case (maybe yours too?) it's all genetic – some people just have thinner skin under their eyes, which is more prone to looking bruise-y and puffy. Thanks, parents. I get pretty good results from the “mega mushroom eye serum” (morning and night) and “no puffery” (morning, and I keep it in the fridge for extra cooling power), both from Origins. I would love to hear about cheaper products if anyone has suggestions!
Melissa: I still use the Active Serum, I still love the active serum. But as I think I've said before, it works 3 weeks per month. Nothing can beat the hormones, nothing.
MM: I haven't found an eye cream that I like well enough to spend the money on yet. So I do the Eucerin just to moisturize and hopefully stave off wrinkles, it's not good for anything else. I'm still looking for something for undereye circles.
Laura: I can only use it once a day without getting too dry. Your argument makes sense, but I really like the way it brightens my skin in the AM.
Just ordered the african black soap and a clarisonic! i've been thinking about both for a while and decided that having clear skin is my new years resolution
Re: eye cream–I have had success with L'Occitane's Shea Butter Ultra Rich Eye Balm. I have dry, sensitive skin to begin with but the undereye area was even worse, and most other eye creams and even regular moisturizers seemed to irritate instead of soothe. The L'Occitane product, in conjunction with Trish McEvoy's Line Refiner either underneath or mixed with my concealer, has really helped the dryness and also improved dark circles.
Emme Gee says:
Can you link to the Sunday night ritual – link wasn't there. Thanks!!
So you need a separate eye makeup remover even when using cleansing wipes? I've just been using the wipes to remove eye makeup. What was your eye doctor's, or derm's, take on this?
LT: The wipes get 90-95% of the eye makeup. But the eye remover gets ALL of it. So I use the wipes on my face and the gentle eye makeup remover on my eyes, and the fact that I don't have to rub that delicate skin makes me happy.
My eye doctor basically said, “Mascara is sticky, your eyeball is sticky, so when the mascara gets in your eye it takes a long time to work its way out.” And with that, I resolved to do a better job removing makeup from my eyes.
EmmeGee: The link is in the post, now.
Between the morning and evening routines, this seems like a ton of products. What do you bring with you when you travel? All of them? Or are some more essential than others?
Sal-I'm lucky that about the only place I ever go is to visit my parents, and there are doubles of all this stuff in my bathroom cabinet at home. When I do travel elsewhere, it's serum, moisturizer, night cream, a travel size aquaphor, wipes and soap.
Just to be clear – you are using the Eucerin as an under eye cream? Is it gentle?
I have been looking for a general under eye cream – I too am getting on in years and have started to notice fine lines forming around my eyes! yikes! So far, I have been too scared to shell out big bucks for something fancy…this seems like such a simple and lovely solution!
YellowRose: Aquaphor is just a petroleum jelly like product to moisturize, which can help with wrinkles. If I were you, I'd look for an inexpensive Retinol Eye Cream to fight the wrinkling and then use the aquaphor to keep the tissue well hydrated.
Have you considered using the Clarisonic Opal for your eye routine? It's supposed to make your eye cream regimin work more effectively and the serum is pretty awesome. I'd be interested in a review from you as your skin is similar to mine. I have girlfriends who have been using it to fabulous results.
Tori-Miss M got one of those awhile back, maybe I should ask her for a review. I don't even know if she's used it yet though…hmmm…
I've been stalking these posts all week, so I suppose I should drop a note to say thank you for your recommendations! It's also nice to know that there are other adult females with the same skin problems I have. I thought acne was supposed to go away after puberty!
I've used Aquaphor on my lips at night for years, it is AMAZING!! I'll have to try it on my eyes too!
@Elle – I'm in Arlington, but I have found that Target and Walgreens have Say Yes to Blueberries wipes. No one else in town does, though! 🙂