I think I am the only person in the world who hates going to Sephora. It’s sensory overload: a million different brands, associates selling you stuff left and right, catching a glimpse of myself in harsh lighting surrounded by 15-year-olds who know way more about makeup than I do. Lucky for me, I’ve nearly given up makeup completely. Some people who have followed me for a while may remember my eyeliner, brow pomade, and lipstick days, and I can say with absolute certainty that I was hiding underneath all of it — it’s funny how an identity crisis can shine through in the strangest ways.
I am confident in saying that I am 100% happy with my face. It’s weird to admit, but sometimes I look at my face in the mirror in excitement because I am just so content with everything about my face — my eyes, brows, lashes, skin, nose, jawbone… I have zero complaints about my face, and that is something I am grateful for. The only pain is keeping my skin balanced.
My life is very chaotic and stressful, especially when school is in-season, so I have a tendency to break out from a variety of factors: stress itself, late-night cramming sessions (or late work hours), or even impulsively ordering GrubHub at 3am. The biggest key to my skincare routine is simple: consistency and quality. As long as I stick to a routine with the same products that work for my face, with specific products for night and specific ones for mornings, as well as some for once a week, my face stays in equilibrium and only improves over time.
Finding a brand you identify with and love is so important for your skincare routine to work: find something that not only works for your skin, but also gets you excited and makes you want to use it (you’re going to be putting it on your face twice a day, after all). For me, that brand is Dr. Jart — it is difficult to find a brand that is inclusive to everyone and is clearly developed for the sake of quality rather than profit margin. Dr. Jart’s products run a little higher than usual ($36 for their Water Drop Moisturizer, and $42 for their Micro Milk Peel), but it is 100% worth it.
Here are all of my current favorites leading into summer, from left to right in this badass illustration by @sydneyanncisco:
Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater, $7: I originally bought this product in the winter to help with dullness and dryness that I was experiencing mid-day, and I use it for everything now. Some uses are toning, setting your makeup, just freshening up your face, or I even use it to freshen up my hands when they feel a little chapped. It’s really refreshing and restores your glow almost immediately.
Dr. Jart Dermaclear Micro Milk Peel, $42: This is by far one of the greatest skincare investments I have ever made. First, of all the bottle is freaking adorable! Aside from the design being amazing, I use it in the morning daily after washing my face and before applying serum and moisturizer. When I first got treatment for my endometriosis, my face developed a bunch of dark spots under my cheekbones. After a couple months of using this peel, my spots have subsided drastically and are nearly gone. It also reduces redness, keeps your glow, and gently exfoliates your skin! (please note: only do intensive exfoliation once a week on your skin, whether it is physical or chemical! the micro milk is super gentle and not a traditional exfoliant, which is why I use it daily.)
Dr. Jart Dermaclear Micro Water, $32: I used to use the cult favorite Neutrogena facial wipes, but I always felt there was something off about them, especially after my sister (@maddie_ballard) had her eyes swell shut after using them. I switched over to this micro water and it works better than facial wipes (and is more eco-friendly!). You can use it to remove makeup or even just as a quick little cleanup if your face feels dirty.
Dr. Jart Trans-Foam Clay Trio, $35: I actually just started using these and they’re really fun! They are a cleanser-mask hybrid, meaning you apply the clay mask to your face, let dry, and then massage with water as a cleanser afterwards. I like to use these weekly or biweekly, usually when I feel my face needs to reset after a long day at work or if I fell asleep without washing my face the night before (lol shame).
“The Supers” by Glossier serums, $65 for pack of 3: I like to use these in the morning, specifically Super Bounce and Super Pure (the third is Super Glow, which is okay), but I would recommend these for just minor refreshes. I would argue that these serums are good for people who are just starting to use serums in general, and if they work for you, you can invest in higher-quality ones later. For the price and the length of time they last, they are worth it, but I would recommend finding another serum that is your go-to for your morning or nightly routine. Super Pure is my favorite though because I am constantly battling stress and eating food that I shouldn’t be, and this one fights breakouts before they even happen by purifying the skin.
Dr. Jart Water Drop Moisturizer, $36: In all honesty, I was skeptical when I first used this moisturizer. I was so used to using rich moisturizers in the past, and I was worried that a moisturizer that is so lightweight wouldn’t be effective on my dry skin. I ended up loving it, though! When you apply it to your face, it feels so light and watery and soaks into your face easily, and I enjoy it more than creamy moisturizers now because I live in the desert, and my face doesn’t feel gross and heavy in the hotter months.
Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask, $5.99: I know what you’re thinking: it’s weird that I invest in everything else in my skincare routine, then abruptly have a drugstore cleanser. I am loyal to this cleaner for a few reasons, so hear me out: 1) I’ve used it for about four years now and my face is adjusted to it; 2) it has benzoyl peroxide, which is found in a lot of medicated acne cleansers and does wonders for your face; and 3) it also has menthol, which is soothing and permeates the pores. I’ve never had a bad reaction to this cleanser, so I continue to use it because it works for me. Also, that’s more money in my pocket to try a new skincare product or save for the next time I need to buy a new bottle of something. I’m open to suggestions, though, so if you have a suggestion for a better cleanser, send me an email!
Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich, $35: This moisturizer is the BOMB. I highly recommend using this before bed as a night cream paired with your fave nighttime serum so you wake up a GLOWING MERMAID. It also works great in the morning on days you know it is going to be windy or raining. It also smells amazing, and I would argue this is one of Glossier’s best products.
Dr. Jart Sheet Masks, ranging from $6 to $12 each: I’ve done a little tour of sheet masks across different brands, from organic ones tucked in the skincare section at Sprouts (future blog post for sure) to the cult favorite k-beauty ones in the magical skincare section at Sephora (where I go to hide from all the 15-year-olds). I love the ones from Dr. Jart because the natural ingredients in them are super helpful, they smell amazing, and the results are immediate! My favorite one that I have tried so far is the Pore Minimalist sheet mask. Also, I want to try out their Rubber Masks next because they look so cool and I love seeing the results on other bloggers!
Caudalie VinoSource Radiance Serum, $49: This is my night serum, and it is also one of the best things to happen to my face. The price is a little steep (but, I mean, not exactly the price point of some of those crazy L’Occitane anti-aging serums), but it is so worth it because it simultaneously repairs and moisturizes the skin. I never thought I would be willing to drop $50 on a serum, but the bottle literally lasts forever (I had a sample of it before buying the real thing, and the sample itself lasted me like two months) and it adds that extra boost of moisture before following up with a night cream.
I know that this looks like a lot, but if you are anything like me and don’t wear a lot of makeup, it won’t feel like a huge budget because you’re saving money not buying expensive foundations or concealers! If you want to know about the makeup products I use, let me know in the comments. 🙂
Well, this is what I am up to with my skin right now! I’m hoping to share some more fun skincare posts with you soon, so leave a comment below if you have something specific that you would like to see!