Last year I resolved to use up all of the skincare and makeup I had been hoarding during the last few years. Some of it went in the garbage but most of it was used up to the point where my stash got pretty lean, something the old Carla would have hated. The current Carla is pretty happy with the size of her stash, there is plenty of room for new green additions.
I worked my way through quite a few cleansers, exfoliators and moisturizers. Along the way, I developed an interest in oil cleansing. I was reading everything I could on essential oils and carrier oils until I finally started using my own blends to remove my makeup and moisturize my skin. There was a period of adjustment but I found that I really preferred oil cleansing to how I use to cleanse my skin, it was relaxing and left my skin feeling better than ever. I was hooked but more on that later…
As for makeup, there are two things I have not purchased recently: foundation and concealer. I know a lot of you can relate to this, I had so many bottles of foundation and tubes of concealer that I forbid myself from buying any more. For the most part, I stayed the course. Small samples don’t count, right? I still have some foundation to work through but I’m almost at a point where I’m ready to scoop up some products I’ve been dying to try. I’m looking at you, Gressa and Kjaer Weis!
Do you know that feeling when you’ve gone for a long walk and you realize the end is in sight? That’s how I feel about this foundation/concealer “no buy” of mine, I’m glad it’s nearly over!
Right now I feel like my skincare routine is working for me but there are a few things I will do differently once I work through the products I’m using now. The issues I do have will only improve with changes in my diet and perhaps a prescription from a dermatologist, changes I do plan on making soon.
Here’s what I’m doing now:
- Cleansing Oil – the brown bottle shown here is my cleansing oil blend, it includes castor oil, jojoba oil and tamanu oil with clary sage, geranium and tea tree essential oils mixed in. I take 2 droppers full and massage my face with it for a few minutes melting my makeup away. Then I take a clean washcloth, soak it in hot water and let it sit on my face for as long as I can, almost steaming my face clean. I repeat this process a few times and at the end, my skin feels super soft.
- Moisturizing Oil – the blue bottle is my moisturizing oil blend, it includes grapeseed and tamanu oils with roman chamomille, clary sage, geranium and tea tree essential oils. I take a couple drops of this and smooth it over my skin when it is a little damp right out of the shower in the morning. It is a little heavier and took some getting use to at first but I’ve noticed my skin is not as oily as early on in the day as it use to be.
- Ren Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser – I picked this up for my birthday in October. I have heard good things about this line and I liked the idea of a creamy, rose scented hot cloth cleanser. So far, no complaints with this one. I feel like I have a better handle on how much cream to use compared to the oil, I tend to use a bit too much so this product seems like a faster cleanse to me. As with my oil blend, the cream does a good job of breaking down my makeup and this also leaves my skin feeling soft. For me, the best part of using this product is just the sensory experience it gives me. It is more of a treat for me than anything else.
- Eucerin Gentle Hydrating Cleanser – this is my go to cleanser when I’m feeling a little lazy or don’t have time for the whole steam and repeat process. It is surprisingly effective and totally underrated as a cleanser. It is gentle and does a good job of removing my eyeliner and mascara. I tried it for the first time after receiving a sample from a trip to Eucerin’s headquarters in Connecticut in 2013 and it has been on hand ever since.
- Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant – this is my main source of exfoliation right now and I use it every day after I get out of the shower in the morning. I think I’ve been a bit harsh on my skin in an effort to try and smooth it along my jawline. I love exfoliators like this where you can customize the amount of exfoliation you receive by either watering down the product or using less water. It is the kind of product you can work into any skincare routine flawlessly. I received this as a sample from iFabbo and will do a full review on it soon.
- Astara Skin Care Blue Flame Purification Mask – I reach for this about once a month, mainly when my hormonal break outs need attention. I dab this on the offending pimple(s), leave it on overnight and most of the time, I wake up to an eradicated pimple. This mask is packed with good ingredients for oily/acne prone skin. Astara is also a highly underrated line, one of my favorite scrubs of all time is from Astara.
- Sanitas Zapper – when I have a pimple crisis that the Astara Blue Flame mask doesn’t solve, I reach for this. I’m now on my 3rd roll on, Sanitas is also another brand that is under the radar. I have learned my lesson the hard way not to over use this product, a couple times a day on the offending pimple is enough to deliver doses of glycolic and salicylic acid. Otherwise, I irritate my skin and it just turns into a dried out, flakey mess. That is no bueno, my friends.
- Algenist Advanced Anti-Aging Repairing Oil – after removing my makeup at night with the cleansing oil, I typically do not use any other products but if my skin is feeling particularly dry afterwards, I reach for this at night. I also use this when I feel the need for something a little lighter during the day. I can’t attest to its anti-aging repairing prowess, I feel like my skin is in pretty good shape aside from my hormonal issues, but I do love how this oil treats my skin. It absorbs quickly and softens my skin.
I have not used chemical exfoliators all that much in the last few months. From my time at Nordstrom, I had boxes upon boxes of Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads and I finally ran out of those years later. While they were good quick fixes for my flare ups when I used them consistently, in the end I felt like I may have gone a little overboard using them every night. I feel better about using a gentler exfoliator on my skin right now, my skin feels just as smooth.
When it comes to my oils, I will make some changes here and there. I plan on switching out castor oil for avocado oil and replacing jojoba oil with rosehip seed oil in my cleansing oil. I still have to do a little more research on the essential oils I’ll use. There’s still a lot of research to be done but one thing is for sure, I’m fascinated by all of this and plan to continue collecting oils. If you’re interested in this as well, let’s chat! I’d love to have more people I can talk to about this.
Since I value my sleep above all else in the morning, right now I’m all about a “less is more” look. I have my morning makeup routine down to 10 minutes and I’m happy with it. You’ll notice the lack of eyeshadow here. This is because my lids get super oily and any product applied to them, even with a primer, just ends up creasing up within a few hours. It just is not worth the time spent on it in the morning. I’d rather go with a little eyeliner, lots of mascara, a little blush and some color on my lips.
Here’s what I’m reaching for every day:
- IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream – out of all the recent foundations I have gone through recently, this one is among my favorites. You can see from the tube that I have gone through plenty of it. It covers a multitude of sins and it does it all why keeping skin hydrated and providing SPF 50 coverage. It is pretty light considering the coverage it provides and it keeps any redness on my skin under wraps.
- Make Up For Ever Full Cover Extreme Camouflage Cream – I use this concealer as my base along my jawline then layer the CC cream on top. I’ve spoken about this before, but my hormonal acne is my primary concern when it comes to my makeup. This cream blends well and most importantly is long lasting. I carry this with me for touch ups throughout the day. A little goes a long way!
- NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder in Crystal – this setting powder is part of my morning routine, my favorite part of my morning routine. I take a big fluffy brush, swirl it in the cap of this powder and set my foundation and concealer. These days I shy away from any powder with shimmer or glitter in it but the amount on this powder is so small, it gives my skin just the right amount of light.
- The Balm Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent Powder – this powder goes with me everywhere and is by far, my absolute favorite anti-shine powder ever. It’s the one I stock up on anytime I see it on Hautelook as it is often on sale for 50% off. I’ve gone through quite a bit of blotting powder and I really believe this is one of the most under-rated blotting powders out there. It puts MAC’s, Becca’s and Make Up For Ever’s to shame.
- Tarte Emphaseyes High Definition Eye Pencil in Black – confession time: I love the winged eyeliner look but I can’t do it myself to save my life. I’ve found that if I have a finer tipped pencil, I have a better shot at pulling it up. The super fine tip this eyeliner has is exactly what I need to ease my way into that winged look. With small strokes, I’ll get there one day. 🙂
- W3ll People Expressionist Bio Extreme Mascara – this is my favorite mascara right now and I’m working on a separate post where I sing its praises. This is one mascara I will definitely purchase again and again. I love how nicely it wears, it doesn’t clump up or make my lashes stick together. No lash crunchiness here, it just leaves them looking luscious and dark.
- Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in #42 Nude – I’m keeping it neutral with my blush right now and recently came across this sample I had received a long time ago. The shade was discontinued but it is such a good neutral for me that I hung on to it, it is a fantastic shade for pale/light skinned gals like me. It is just the right amount of color for cheeks and this shade is versatile to go with any look.
- NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anna – I’m a little blonder right now so I’m wearing cooler shades on my lips, this cool rose shade is one of my go to shades at the moment. It’s also the first Audacious lipstick I’ve worn and I’m hooked on the formula. It is super light weight, super pigmented and very long wearing. The magnetic caps are also a bonus!
- Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Balms in Petal and Tulip – when I need something a little more neutral or bolder than NARS Anna, I reach for one of these two tinted lip balms. Petal gives my lips a little warmth with fuller coverage while Tulip gives me bolder, brighter color.
Replacing my tube of IT Cosmetics CC Cream is right around the corner and my plan is to pick up Kjaer Weis foundation in Paper Thin. I’m also planning to order some lip color from Gressa. I cannot express how excited I am to finally get my hands on these brands. Whole Foods carries Gressa’s skincare but not her color line. Speaking of, Gressa’s Rejuvenating Mist is also on my shopping list. I spritz this on every time it is within arms reach and it is like spritzing on calm and serenity, love it.
I have to admit, I didn’t plan this comeback very well. I gathered the products shown in this post and went to shoot them when I realized that my lighting game left a lot to be desired. Sorry about that! Please bear with me while I work on that… and my “styling” of the products themselves. I’m working on upgrading my camera, lighting and everything else that goes along with this. Hopefully you will see an improvement soon, I’m hoping this will be “on fleek”, as the kids say, in no time. I’m also going to make some tweaks here and there to the layout. This is a work in progress.
With that said, what’s in your makeup bag right now? What’s on your bathroom counter right now? How do you feel about oil cleansing? I want to hear from you, I miss you!