Last week, we were doing some New Year cleaning when I inadvertently exposed my secret shame to my boyfriend. He opened up the hallway cupboard–also known as the “blog cupboard”– and discovered a large plastic crate filled with hundreds of beauty samples. Next to it, was a pile of black and white striped Sephora bags. And behind it, another box filled with full-size beauty products that I’ve either been meaning to try or give away to friends.
As I explained to him, I do not have a Sephora problem. Sure, I check their new arrivals multiple times per week. And sure, I get every free extra they will allow me. And sure, I might be two lotions away from being able to open my own skincare pop-up shop, but I am completely in control. Or something like that.
Since I’ve changed up my skincare routine a bit over the past year, let’s talk about the six other products that are the stars of my medicine cabinet (besides this one, since I sang its praises last week).
Need to remove your makeup without overdrying your skin? This Boscia Makeup Breakup Cleansing Oil ($32) will even remove waterproof makeup without overtaxing your skin. I’ve given up on makeup-removing towelettes (because they’re expensive, and I just end up washing my face, anyway), and I just use this cleanser and a muslin cloth to remove my makeup at the end of the day. I like the muslin because it doesn’t exfoliate like a washcloth would.
If there’s one product that has eluded me over the years, it’s the perfect moisturizer. My heart belongs to Tammy Fender, but I simply can’t afford to keep that relationship going. And so I fall in and out of love without cheaper brands faster than a teenage starlet. My latest crush is La Roche Posay Intense Light Hydraphase ($36). It has hyaluronic acid to combat dry skin, and is formulated to provide all day moisture. I still write Belle ❤️ Tammy on my notebooks, but this relationship should last at least until the spring.
Several years ago, my old dermatologist told me I was exfoliating too much. So while I was enjoying my daily Clarisonic cleansing, my skin wasn’t getting the time it needed to replenish itself. I still use my Clarisonic on my neck, décolletage and shoulders, but I’ve switched to the Luna Foreo Mini ($99) for my face. First off, you only have to charge it every 300 uses. Second, the silicon tips and oscillation provide a mild exfoliation without overdoing it. And last, it is so much easier to clean, and there are no brusheads to buy. I use it to give my gentle morning cleanser a boost.
Late night? Early morning? Avoid sallow, tired skin with the Tony Moly Banana Sleeping Pack ($17). It smells divine and it really works. I find it too heavy for every day use, but once a week or so, I treat myself. I don’t know how this product works, but it absolutely works.
When I have a breakout that is getting away from me, Dr Jart’s Clearing Sheet Mask ($9) is the product that starts moving my skin back in the right direction. Made with salicylic acid and tea tree oil, this sheet mask treats breakouts and nourishes skin. I also bring one with me when I travel so that I can limit my liquids and gels to TSA approved sizes. Also, when I’m done with it, I’ll cut it up and use the pieces on my chest if I’m having a breakout there.
This Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Firming Serum ($55) is the newest addition to my beauty routine. My dermatologist recommended that I look for a serum with copper in it to stimulate skin renewal and firmness. So I immediately went to the product line that I love most. I’ve only been using it two weeks, so I’m not ready to render a final verdict on effectiveness, but I like it so far. I’ll post a deeper review once I’ve emptied the bottle.