Saturday, June 14, 2014

My Nighttime Skincare Routine

I try to keep my skincare routine down to about 5-10 mins at night, because honestly I don't think I would commit to much more than that at the expense of sleep. Here are the products I've been using lately. Keep in mind that I have dry skin and usually wear only light makeup (including nonwaterproof mascara). I'm probably also not as thorough as many of the other bloggers out there in terms of cleansing, but so far this has been working well.

I have only four steps in my routine: 1) Cleanse, 2) Eye cream, 3) Face Treatment Cream, and 4) Moisturize. I will rotate out products in these four steps, especially the face treatment as I run low on things, but generally I stick closely to this regime. I'll also be away from home for much of the summer, so here are the products I will pretty much be using for the next three months:

Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser: I got this on a whim, and am surprised at how much I've been using it. I love that it foams, because it makes it feel so much faster and easier to just give it a quick pump and immediately slather it on the face. I will say that this is not great at removing makeup, and on days when I do wear more makeup I have to resort to a cleansing balm instead. However, for light summer days, this is good, and also generally effective at getting my mascara off.

Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Eye Cream: I like this the best of the eye creams I've tried. It's rich but easy to rub in, and it also doesn't cause millia unlike many other creams I've tried. I just wish it were more moisturizing.

Sulwhasoo Timetreasure Renovating Cream: I got this as a sample, and so far I like it. It has a nice herbal scent, and I think I do notice a slight difference in my skin texture and general glow after a few uses. But it's not quite enough to justify the $400 full-size price tag - yikes!

Kiehl's Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream: This was also a sample, and I use it on days when I don't use the Sulwhasoo. I like the smell and the light texture, but after continual use I'm not sure it's all that effective, as I haven't noticed any significant changes to my lines. But it is pleasant to use.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream: This has been my nighttime moisturizer for quite some time now (reviewed here), and I find I keep going back to this. It's just so easy to use and really is very effective at keeping my dry skin hydrated. But it contains parabens, so I'm going to need to find a replacement after I finish it up.

In terms of how I use these products, I always make sure to gently pat them in and avoid rubbing, which causes premature wrinkles. I also try to be gentle when cleansing. I see so many girls tugging harshly at their faces while cleansing, and it makes me wonder if by being so thorough they're doing more harm than good. Thus, my philosophy is to stay as minimal and delicate as possible with my skin. I won't kill my face to try to get every last scrap of makeup off, but I will do as much as I can. It's a balancing act.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

What's in my Bag: Summer Edition

I definitely aspire to be a minimalist in terms of what I allow in my bag. I find that no matter how small or light the bag, your shoulders will end up tired after a day of carrying it, so it's critical to shave everything down to the bare essentials. This is a peek into my current summer bag, which I use for running errands and shopping.

The current bag I'm using is an old Coach purchase from their factory stores. It's a baby blue patent leather, which is pretty much made for summery weather. I like it because it's the perfect crossbody size, holding all of my things without allowing for overstuffing. It zips easily and the patent leather has proven to be extremely durable, as I've taken it out for long days of traveling in extreme humidity, rain, and heat.

My one qualm is with the shoulder strap. Unlike the rest of the bag, it's made of a cloth fabric, which is easily stained and starting to fuzz up with wear. However, the pro is it's the right length to rest on my hips. 

The top row contains:

Mini Notebook: I'm the most forgetful person, and need to scribble reminders to myself constantly. I also find that I have a habit of continually dwelling on what I need to get done. When I write it down though, it helps me refocus on what's at hand, because I know I'll get to it later. This is a small leather notebook I got from an event.

Sunglass case + Sunglasses: The case is from Aldo, and I love that it's super light yet structured and durable. Much better than the hefty cases most designer sunglasses come with. The sunglasses are from Urban Outfitters.

Bottom row:

Missha Deep Moist Lip Essence in Ample Berry with SPF 10: This is from Korea, and to be honest I'm not in love with it. This might be unique to my dry lips, but I find I can't use this by itself or it'll leave my lips completely chapped. It leaves a subtle red gloss on the lips and has a nice sweet taste. SPF in the summer is also essential, which is why I take this even if I prefer some of my other glosses.

Bite Agave Lip Mask: Reviewed here, I can't go anywhere without this.

Blistex Deep Renewal with SPF 15: I keep this purely for the SPF. My routine is to start with the Bite lip mask, apply a layer of this, then top off with the Missha gloss. Perhaps excessive, but a good way to ensure moisture + SPF + shine.

Earplugs: Yes, that's what those weird neon green cones are. I literally do not go anywhere without these, because you never know when you'll be stuck in a loud place and wishing for a reprieve. I'm also paranoid about hearing loss (my grandpa's almost completely deaf), and it's always good to have this in case.

Vera Bradley Keychain Zip Wallet: This needs replacing as I've used it for years, but there's nothing more portable than a keychain holder that doubles as a wallet. I keep all my cards + cash in here. It also makes it harder to lose your keys. If anyone knows of a better-looking alternative, please let me know!

Not Shown:

Hat: This definitely doesn't fit into my bag, but I pretty much never step outside without a wide-brimmed hat (per the reasons stated in my sunblock post). This one is from Nordstrom, and technically it's more of a winter hat due to the wool material. However, I find it works all seasons, and I've received tons of compliments. It's also held up its shape extremely well; I hate it how most wide-brimmed hats start to droop after a few wears. I do try to take care of it by keeping it on my lap and trying not to fold it up if at all possible. 

Water: Also not shown, but make sure to stay hydrated and go out with a full bottle!

Hope you found this post helpful!