The Year I Learned to Love My Skin

12:00 PM

My security blanket has always been a full coverage foundation. I couldn't fathom going out of the house without it. Taking my make up at the end of the day was always something I dreaded. I didn't want to see the spots, the unevenness, the redness of my cheeks, or feel the rough texture dry in certain places, oily in others. Using a full coverage foundation gave me the face I wanted: even, poreless, and blemish free.

That being said, I'm not a big make up person. I like to play with makeup, but I'm definitely no expert. The only thing I can do without hesitation is a perfectly flicked cat eye, courtesy of my Stila Stay All Day eyeliner. Despite my novice make up skills I knew that I needed a flawless base achieved by slathering on a layer of foundation and the rest would sort itself out.

When I decided to transition my beauty products over to cruelty free I also started thinking about how much makeup I use and put on my face. I wanted to like my face not hide it, and I was sad that I spent a lot of time covering it up. I thought back to when I read The French Beauty Solution by Mathilde Thomas and her findings on how American women wanted quick fix products or procedures that instantly solve a beauty problem and tended to spend more money on makeup. French women, on the other hand, considered beauty to be a pleasurable part of their day and a lifelong investment that makes you look and feel good, therefore they would spend more on skincare. The French mentality was what  I was looking to achieve.

Recently I tossed my foundation along with a slew of other heavy makeup and have been exclusively wearing Glossier Skin Tint and a dab of concealer on the odd spot and under eyes and surprisingly I don't feel insecure. If you're interested, here are the three main products that have been helping me achieve my ~*best skin ever*~. Naturally you should find what works for you and COMMIT - good skin doesn't happen magically. None of these products have been overnight miracles but with regular ritual use, I have seen drastic changes and improvements.

Herbivore's Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask was my first expensive skincare purchase. I was wary buying this as it seemed like such a tiny jar for such a steep price. I bit the bullet after reading glowing reviews and figured what do I have to lose? (I also used the excuse of - its a birthday gift to myself!) The Blue Tansy mask is a clarifying gel mask that gently exfoliates, smooths and resurfaces skin. It's all natural, made in small batches, and cruelty free. The ingredients are great for reducing redness, soothing irritated skin, unclogging pores, and ridding your skin of dead cells. I used this mask as directed: the first five days using every other day. After the fifth day the recommend using 2-3 times a week however I use it once a week. Out of everything on this list, THIS, changed my skin dramatically. With regular use after about 4-5 months I was breaking out less, my face felt softer, and brighter.

On "off days" when I'm not using the Blue Tansy mask I opted for The Ordinary's Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum. It's great for reducing skin blemishes and congestion. It also is effective in brightening skin tone. I've seen a lot of former acne scars fade thanks to this little guy. The Ordinary is a great option if you are interested in investing in skincare without breaking the bank. I also highly recommend their Rose Hip Seed Oil. Both products are under $10!

I had been on the hunt for a  good exfoliator for a while. Biologique Recherche P50 seemed to be everyone's holy grail but honestly the $100 price tag for 8oz scared me off. I nearly broke down and said FINE I'LL BUY IT when Glossier came in and saved the day with their AHA BHA and PHA product Solution. At $24 for 4oz that felt more in my price range and figured if it didn't work I'll just use it up and buy P50. I've been using Solution nightly and have definitely seen my face look glowy and more even. One thing I will say is be careful with this stuff. If using during the day make sure to apply sunscreen as it can make your skin more sensitive to sunburns. Also moisturize!! These acids made my skin a bit dryer than usual so I made sure to use a little extra oil moisturizer. Lastly, I'm not sure if anyone else experienced this but I opted to use it at night (for the aforementioned reasons) but also because it left a sort of sticky film on my face. Since I use it before I go to bed it doesn't really bother me but I can image it may make make up application tricky in the AM.

Some other products I've been using in rotation are Biossance's Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil, Mario Badesco's Flower and Tonic Mask, Mario Badesco's Hyaluronic Eye Cream, Olivine's Love + Roses Beauty Mist, and lastly Burt's Bees Herbal Complexion Stick if a spot shows up.

It's been wonderful to have an extremely simple and quick beauty routine in the morning and for my skin to look like my skin! It's definitely not perfect, yet, but I do feel more confident going out without a thick layer of foundation which is a step in the right direction. Now I'm full blown skincare obsessed and genuinely love the end of the day where I can "pamper" myself with my skincare ritual. While I've definitely found a good amount of products that are my ride or dies I'm always on the hunt for something better. These are a few products I have my eye on for the future (aka when I use up some of my other stuff).


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