Mastering Your Skincare Routine – The Essentials

I have friends that fall into every level of the skincare interest scale. Some of my girlfriends have had great skin their entire lives and suddenly in their twenties are now struggling with this uninvited guest called ‘adult acne’.

Queue the facepalm.

On the other end, I just took my mother to purchase her first eye cream at age fifty-six after she expressed her frustration with her dark circles. (Pro Tip: A great eye cream is important at any age)!

And then there are the gems like my best friend, who’s Vietnamese skin is radiant and perfect while she refuses to do anything other than stick to her quick and easy soap and water regimen.

Life can be so unfair!

As for myself, I have lotions and potions spilling all over my countertops, my obsession with great skin increasing exponentially as I grow older. This blog is meant as a basic guide for women of every age and product-knowledge that are interested in starting their own skincare routine or maybe just looking to add something missing from their current one.

The Basics Everyone Should Be Doing:

The following are necessary for all skin types and what I like to call “the essential four”. The great thing is they can be customized in various ways depending on each individual’s needs and preferences.


Most women think that cleansers are the least important step in a routine and that all they do is rinse the face of dirt and oils similar to soap. While a cleansers main purpose is to ‘cleanse’ the skin of course, they are meant for so much more as well! You can tailor your cleanser to your skin type to begin targeting your concerns from the very start! For example, there are oil-control cleansers for our oily girls or hydrating cleansers for the dry-types, and you can get even more in depth from there with clarifying cleansers for acne-prone skin or foaming cleansers for deep but gentle penetration. Don’t make the mistake of just picking up the first cleanser you see without doing a little research to find out which is the best for you and your skin needs. Let’s help our skin work smarter not harder!


Another necessity you may not be doing is exfoliating! You need to be getting the dead skin off of the surface of your skin to keep it healthy and glowing but fear not sensitive skin ladies, you don’t need a harsh facial scrub to do it! There are two main types of exfoliants, mechanical and chemical; either will get you to the same end goal just using a different method! I’m partial to a mechanical exfoliant, which uses a scrub or buff of some sort to polish the skin. Even though there are several types of mechanical exfoliants with varying degrees of ‘intensity’ you may feel that approach too abrasive for you which leads us to chemical exfoliants. A chemical exfoliant uses an acid or enzyme-based formula to dissolve those dead skin cells instead, leaving your skin clearer and brighter. Consult with a dermatologist if you’re not sure but most exfoliants should be used 2-3 times a week and over-exfoliating can dry skin out and cause more problems than they solve!


Treating your skin is where a lot of variations can come into play and it is important to pay not only attention to your skin type but also your skin goals! This is where skincare becomes the most exciting! There are toners, serums, oils, peels, the list goes on and on and each product is targeted toward different results. Keep an eye out for an upcoming in-depth blog devoted specifically to at-home skincare treatments and how to choose the best one for you.


The fourth and arguably the most important steps in any routine is moisturizer! Having a hydrated, moisturized surface is the foundation for great, healthy skin whether you take a minimalist approach to makeup or rock out your full face on the regular. Like all products, moisturizers come in all shapes and sizes. Gel-based moisturizers are great for oily girls because they balance the skin while still being lightweight, while creams can be ideal for dry-types as they tend to penetrate deeper leaving the skin feeling hydrated for longer.

My personal favorite is a moisturizer with SPF. I prefer including sun protection in my moisturizer to nix another product in my daily routine, which is especially great being on the go so much. My personal favorite is the: Murad Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Pa+++ which has Vitamin C to help with any existing dark spots while protecting from any further damage.

This leads me to a bonus product and a MUST for everyone.

Ask any woman with great skin what beauty secret she wishes she paid more attention to when she was younger and you will almost always hear about sunscreen!

It’s an obvious one right?

Everyone knows that sunrays are dangerous for our skin; UVA and UVB rays, hello – cause cancer! In addition, aesthetically, sun exposure rapidly ages the skin, it can create premature wrinkles, sunspots, blotchiness and discoloration, all difficult to treat once you have them but so easy to prevent if you just put on sunscreen! Remember, you need sunscreen every day, even if you won’t be in direct sun exposure and even if it’s cloudy. It’s really a no-brainer and with all the products out there that include SPF already built in like moisturizer, makeup, even lip balm, us lazy SPF gals can still stay protected. Pick one with at least an SPF of 30 to truly protect yourself, anything lower is basically pointless.

So there’s your essential four with a bonus to mastering your skincare routine. Add a missing step or create an entirely new regimen towards the radiant skin of your dreams!


Makeup Addicts, Are You Missing this Essential Step in Your Beauty Routine?

If you’re like me you’re a regular in the makeup aisle. Perusing the shelves, sampling the latest in lipstick formulas, eyeliners, and foundations in search of a flawless finish. Some of us fell in love with makeup while making a mess at our mother’s vanities and ladies, some of us never grew out of it.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

But being the makeup junkies we are the process of taking it off is just as important if not more than the process of putting it on. An impeccable beat starts with a perfect base which can only be the result of skin that has been properly prepped by removing dirt, oils, and residue every day.

That is why a great makeup remover is KEY!

As someone who loves a full face of glam, I learned the hard way that all makeup removers are not created equal. I used makeup remover wipes every night before cleansing and would ignore the smear of foundation that would be on my towel after drying off, not thinking that if there was makeup there then there was still makeup left over on my face as well, seeping into my pores and leaving room for bacteria to grow.

Luckily there are tons of methods for makeup removal aside from remover wipes including cleansing balms, oils, gels, dissolving sprays even makeup removal sticks.

So after a stint of breakouts, I decided to upgrade my approach and went with a recommendation from a trusty Ulta employee. Sister to the cult-classic Lancôme’s Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover, the Lancôme Bi-Facil Face Bi-Phased Micellar Water Face Makeup Remover & Cleanser has totally changed my skincare and makeup game.

I know, it’s a mouthful, but this baby is seriously powerful! The oil dissolves any makeup on the skin, then the micellar water cleanses and removes excess residue before you even rinse with your cleanser, which means no more leftover makeup on your towels.


Don’t get me wrong, I still keep makeup remover wipes by my bedside or in my purse for those nights I’m too tired to do my whole routine. My favorites are the Sephora Collection Green Tea Cleansing & Exfoliating Wipes for the skin, which are soothing, meant to be mattifying and great for acne-prone skin. I also love the Too Faced Mascara Melt Off Cleansing Oil for eye makeup, which works for regular or waterproof mascara!

In the end, it doesn’t matter which method you choose, find the best products that fit in with your lifestyle, just make sure you have one that removes all leftover residue, trust me, it’s game changing!