Thursday, March 31, 2016

Three Innovative Cleansing Methods To Try, ASAP

Collage courtesy of Polyvore. 

I'll cut to the chase: If you're someone who has been using the same Cetaphil or Clean & Clear cleansing wash since you were in the third grade, I urge you to try something new—like right now. You see, I definitely heard somewhere that change can be a good thing, and well, I promise you guys that this is one of those cases. Sure, your basic cleanser might be getting the job done, but how can you not wonder what else is out there? I mean, I sure do. I personally used your basic Noxema original wash for nearly 10 years before I decided to branch out, but boy am I glad that I finally did. 
In short, the ways in which you can cleanse, exfoliate, and tone your skin are nearly innumerable. However, today I'll be detailing three techniques I recently had the pleasure of test-driving. Herein, the low-down on each. 

Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser ($28): Fancy yourself a deep clean feel? Well then look no further because Boscia's cult-favorite detoxifying wash is right up your alley. It contains charcoal as one of its active ingredients, which works by essentially vacuuming out the pores, leaving them clean and tight. It also contains glycolic acid to improve texture and tone, as well as vitamin c to help brighten and defend against damage caused by free radicals. Finally, the best part is that it warms up on the skin as you use it, so you can truly feel it working.
The MakeUp Eraser ($20): This crazy-cheap makeup-breakup cloth is ideal for all my lazy girls out there who want to be able to take the day off in one simple step. Comprised of a woven polyester blend, this kitten-soft cloth—which is reusable in case you were wondering!—truly sweeps away any and all of your makeup, including stubborn waterproof mascara. And, all you need is WARM WATER. Anyone else mind-blown? I highly recommend this 5-star method. 

Drunk Elephant JuJu Bar ($28): Albeit bar cleansers have been around for awhile now, this one by Drunk Elephant, a notable non-toxic brand I adore, has proved the only one that's sat well with my easily-irritated epidermis. Not only is it super-gentle, but it also helps to heal the skin with ingredients like Heilmoor Clay and Virgin Marula Oil. Case in point: Every time I bring out this elephant-imprinted bar, my complexion always looks and feels much happier post-cleanse. 


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

3 Steps To A Flawless Base: The Dry Skin Edition

As I'm sure most of you know, perfect skin is a feat that can often be difficult to attain—unless you were #blessed with all-star skin genes, that is. But in reality, the majority of peeps will struggle with at least some aspect of their epidermis over the course of their lives. Amirite over here? For instance, my issue happens to be excessive dryness, which means my makeup can easily look cracked, cakey, and well—just rough. That being said, through trial and error, I've found a foolproof face makeup routine that leaves my complexion looking clear, even-toned, and not the least bit parched. Read on for the lowdown on my simple, three-step regime.

Step One: Prime Thyself — First things first, I ALWAYS start off with good ole primer. I used to think primers were gimmicks, but I'm here to report that I've found one (see above!) that truly makes a difference in how my foundation applies and wears throughout the day. Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer  smooths beautifully over any dry areas and injects a healthy dose of hydration into the skin that allows it to stay looking supple and plump for longer. I usually apply a pump or two of this to my face and wait 30 seconds or so for it to sink in. Then onto foundation!

Step Two: Foundation — Now I happen to be someone who prefers a medium-to-full coverage foundation as I deal with quite a bit of redness in my skin, but if that's not your jam, then I highly suggest a lightweight tinted base such as Glossier's Perfecting Skin Tint or Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer, both of which offer a light layer of coverage, sans the makeup-y feel. However, if medium-to-full is your thing, then Tarte's Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation will be right up your alley. I've tested my fair shade of foundations, but for some reason I always come back to this one. With a weightless feel, spectacular coverage, and superior longevity, it earns an A+ in my book. Quick tip: Try applying with a damp sponge (I use a Beautyblender), as this well help to sheer out the product and make it appear more natural-looking.

Step Three: Seal It — After you have an even canvas that you're happy with, you can obviously go in and add bronzer, blush, or any other face products you may fancy. Once you're done, it's time to seal everything in. My biggest tip for dry skin is to use a setting spray in lieu of a face powder, which can often leave behind a chalky or cakey appearance on drier complexions. Instead, try a setting spray (like this one by Urban Decay), which will leave the skin looking ultra-hydrated and smooth. Plus, it'll keep your makeup in place for hours.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Four New Face Masks You Should Add To Your Sunday Rotation

Sunday has consistently served as my pampering day for probably the past five years or so—and it'll likely stay that way forever, tbh. There's something about the relaxing, lazy-day feel that never fails to get me in the mood to #TreatMyself, which I'll be real, almost always involves slapping on a face mask. In case you're not familiar, there's myriad different face masks on the market, running the gamut from acne-banishing, to redness-calming, to thirst-quenching, and many more. They work by penetrating your epidermis with a crazy-potent blend of powerful ingredients, and the best part is that most of them have a luxurious, spa-like feel. Ed note: Korea has most definitely been behind some of the major mask trends in the past year or so, but I'm going to save that subject for an all-Korean skin care post I'll be writing in the near future. As for now, read on to find out which one of these fabulous face masks you need to add to your regime.

Kiehl's Cilantro & Orange Pollutant Defending Masque ($32): Live in a city or town that's laden with harmful pollutants? Then you need this protective treatment mask in your life, now. The impressive blend of cilantro and orange extract works to strengthen the skin, combat impurities, and enhance radiance overall. It's a must-try.

Dr. Andrew Weil for Origin's Mega-Bright Dark Spot Correcting Mask ($56): If you suffer from acne scars and stubborn hyperpigmentation, then trust me when I say this mask will be your jam. The rundown: It feels like your favorite nighttime moisturizer (meaning it's ultra-rich and hydrating), but it truly works overtime to reverse skin damage, reduce dark spots, and improve the complexion's tone and clarity. Case in point: It's so worth its slightly hefty price tag.

Herbivore Botanticals Herbivore Blue Clay Spot Treatment Mask ($22): One of my more niche faves, this natural mask comes packed with blue clay, white kaolin clay, and rose geranium oil to detoxify and soothe the skin in record time. It banishes zits crazy-quickly and leaves my skin feeling super-clean, sans that dreaded 'tight' feeling.

Peter Thomas Roth Blue Marine Algae Intense Hydrating Mask ($52): If you're looking to seriously boost the hydration and combat dry spots, then you need to take this amazing mask for a test-drive. Nutrient-rich blue algae soothes and defends against dehydration, while microalgae, sea water, antarcticine, and tea from the Jeju Islands of Korea provide—and help maintain—the moisture levels in your skin. Pretty impressive, no? A must-have for drier skin types.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

How To Amp Your Skincare Game For Spring

Spring is just around the corner, and lucky for us, that means good things for our skin. I'm sure many of you know from experience, but the harsh winter weather tends to wreak some serious havoc on our complexions. The frigid temps and über-dry air essentially suck the moisture from our skin, making it more susceptible to things like irritation and dry patches. Now, though, as the days get warmer and the flowers start to bloom, our epidermises will start to calm down — but that doesn't mean we should slack off. Ahead, I've laid out a few super-simple ways to keep your skin in check and ensure it's glowing and clear as we head into the new season.

1. Exfoliate: During the winter months, it's actually better to cut down on how often you exfoliate your face, as it can strip even more moisture from your skin if you do it too often. That said, using a gentle exfoliating mask like this one by Herbivore a few times a week will get the job done, sans any irritation or dryness. Thanks to skin-loving ingredients like soothing pink clay, your complexion will be left looking brighter and feeling softer.

2. Don't Slack On SPF: This is a HUGE one. Protecting your skin from the sun's harsh ways, especially as it starts to show itself more and more, is incredibly crucial for optimal skin health. Something I don't suggest is only relying on whatever SPF is in your makeup, whether that be a foundation, BB cream, or tinted moisturizer. Your best bet is to use a cream that also has other skin care benefits, like this one by Clinique.

3. Always Remove Your Makeup: This one should go without saying, but the fact is, so many of us fall asleep with our faces still on mid-Netflix-binge. Amirite? But in all seriousness, it's super important to remove your makeup as often as you can. My lazy girls, micellar water, like this one by Garnier, will be your best friend, as it's crazy-gentle and so easy to use. You can even use it in the morning in lieu of cleanser, as it's a quick and simple way to re-reshen your face after a night's sleep.

4. Invest In An Eye Cream: Even if you're only in your early twenties like I am, it's still a good idea to start using a quality eye cream. Why, you ask? Well because prevention is everything. You certainly don't have to splurge on one, but this one by Origins is well worth its slightly hefty price tag.

5. Try A Cleansing Brush: If you really want to take things up a notch, go ahead and try any of the awesome cleansing devices on the market. Some can certainly get pretty pricy, but all the experts swear by their skin-cleaning powers. This one, created by Proactive, will dig deep into those pores and vacuum all the bad stuff out, and it's under $40. Not too shabby.