I’ve already extolled all the many and wondrous virtues of loving your face in its purest form. But that doesn’t mean I’m some angry feminist who thinks wearing makeup is betraying my true beauty, kowtowing to the patriarchy or something. I own makeup (a shameful amount, actually); I wear makeup, and by some people’s standards I’m sure my “skin care routine” borders on nutty. But hey, you’re already here, why not humor me?
YouTube is packed to the gills with “morning routine” and “night routine” videos, wherein teenagers act like their life is perfect and show off all their cool skin care shit and make it all look really easy. What, bitter? Me? Yeah, I had crappy skin as a teenager. In fact there was nothing worth broadcasting to the world about any of my routines at the time, unless people wanted to see an angry teenager listening to 90s post-grunge full blast while attempting to render Get Up Kids album art on the walls of her room. It wasn’t a good look.
Although abstractly that does sound kind of entertaining. Either way.
I don’t know what to say about that, really. There’s no good answer for how I got from there to where I am now in regards to my skin except growing out of acne, becoming financially independent and deciding maybe my skin might be nicer to me if I started treating it nicer first. I stumbled on an article on Man Repeller not too long ago by “the woman who saved Cara Delevigne’s skin“.
Yes, I’m listening.
And it gave me the extra kick in the pants to really prioritize my face, start doing less harm, more good.
Now, I’m not in any position to add “reenacting a more flattering version of real life on video” to my repertoire, so pictures seem the next best thing. So let’s just get into this thing, shall we?
Le Night Routine
- Kiehl’s Photo Age Corrector Deep Action Exfoliating Cleanser. The article mentioned above insists that I scrub my face. This product is honestly just what I had lying around. It has uniformly shaped scrubbing grit (not hunks of seashells or something), so it’s supposed to keep from scarring my face on some molecular level. #science
- CVS Oil Free Acne Cleansing Towelettes, Pink Grapefruit Flavor. These are rough, take-no-prisoners kind of wipes, which I love. I don’t trust myself to scrub everything off my skin completely, much less actually rinse off the scrub completely, so I follow up with a wipe that may or may not remove my top layer of skin. This one is cheap, and it gets the job done.
- RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream. Retinol is kind of amazing. I would write a poem about it if I were prone to such things, but instead I’ll say for all the digging and scraping I’ve done to my complexion over the years, this stuff forgives a lot of sins. Sure, nothing is going to grant you 100% amnesty from all the cruelty committed to your skin, and you will see all the demons leaving – they don’t just disappear, they bubble to the surface – but it’s pretty close to magic. And this stuff is pretty cheap, too.
- SK-II Cellumination Cream EX. Speaking of cheap, this is also cheap. Sike! It’s absurdly expensive. But I’ve learned a few things in my days of shopping for skin care, and here they go:
- With champagne tastes on a prosecco budget, you’d better choose your splurges wisely.
- Some products really are worth the price (unfortunately). And
- Girl, get you some coupons. I used Amazon points from my credit card as well as these weird points we accrue at work for doing nice things for each other to knock my last re-up on my SK-II cream down from $160 to around $18. Never underestimate the power of perks.
Note: I make sure to let all those things have their respective times to soak in, usually long enough to brush my teeth or comb my hair, nothing crazy. Then, I sleep.
[Cue shot of me waking up to my cutesy alarm clock in my adorable PJ’s and acting grumpy about it with a full face of makeup on – Flawless]
In the morning, all I can think about is the shortest distance between me and caffeine. So I work to keep my morning routine pretty simple.
Le Morning Routine
- Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil. After splashing my face daintily with water – and confronting the fact that I am, indeed, awake – I dry off and put a few drops of this stuff in my hand. A few. Three, to be clear. I overdid it the first time I used it and ended up like a greased pig. Treat this stuff like when your yoga instructor comes over during savasana and presses oil onto your shoulders (AKA the only part of yoga I actually enjoy) where you’re just left with the aura of the oil. Great job. Now you’re one step closer to thinking you’re better than everyone else. JOKES!
- Next I hit up that tub of highbrow moisturizer again to remind my skin that it is special to me. Seriously though, this stuff has some kind of magical anti-inflammatory powers. I wouldn’t joke about something this serious.
- Jergens Natural Glow Face Daily Moisturizer. Yup. This is my go-to moisturizer-plus-sunscreen. It’s so light in actual pigment I’m pretty sure I actually scrub any color it deposits off my face every night, but I figure, why not? I need sunscreen (Retinol makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight), and my face is a good bit lighter than the rest of my body anyway. Plus it’s under $10.
What’s next, you ask? Often, nothing. I usually go to work barefaced and let my loud-ass shoes do the talking. But then, last Wednesday, around 4 am, I awoke to find myself in the throes of an especially terrible case of food poisoning. By the time I felt well enough to actually drag my corpse to work, I still looked a lot like an extra from The Walking Dead. It’s moments like these that remind you of the importance of a backup plan.
- Bobbi Brown Corrector In Porcelain Peach. I don’t have the duo with the powder because, gosh darn it, I hate that powder-finished look on me. I feel like it makes me look unfairly old. I like the sort of supple texture the concealer leaves under my eyes, and it blends instantly to look like my own skin.
- Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip & Cheek Creamy Oil. Dewy finish: check. Natural color: check. Minimal coverage: double check. This adds just the essential color to my face to look like, y’know, maybe I didn’t spent three hours dry heaving that morning.
- Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop. This is a limited edition color by a YouTuber with more makeup talent in her index finger than I have in my whole person, and it’s absolutely worth the splurge. It doesn’t put GLITTER! all over your face (it’s the regular Becca formulation if you’re familiar with it), and it’s a nice way to add some brightness to your face.
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel. I’ve used the NARS before, and there isn’t really any marked difference between the two, but this one’s cheaper, and Anastasia is just the brow authority. In regards to what’s in style right now, brow-wise, mine require little to no help, just a little grooming, so this is just right to keep them from getting all mussed during the day.
AND I already feel like you think I’m nuts. But there’s one more thing: I am that bitch with the lemon water. According to the aforementioned skin expert with her ten skin-saving tips, warm lemon water on an empty stomach helps “alkaline the body” in the morning and keep your skin clear. And so far so good. Again, #science, but I’ve taken to shoving a lemon in my purse on the way out the door before work, and squeezing it into a mug of hot water to enjoy while my latte waits patiently for me to alkaline.
Excuse me, I’m alkalining.
And that’s it! That’s as far as I’ve gotten in pursuit of mastering my skin. Do look at that article for some quality “life in general” skin tips, and let me know IN THE COMMENTS BELOW, YOU SILENT READERS YOU, what your go-to products are – splurges and drugstore gems – so we can all disseminate some knowledge and stuff.
Seriously though, my mom is the only one who has commented so far.