Two weeks ago, I wrote about my lifelong status as the “natural” girl — the girl not particularly known for makeup or hair prowess. As I explained in the essay, it’s important to note that I’m not anti-these things; they’ve just always felt incredibly foreign to me. WELL, things have since changed — so much so, that I just did an Into the Gloss Top Shelf.
But I did start thinking a little more about the products I use — and even developed a (very new, still in development) skincare routine. It all started with my very first trip to Glossier, and yes, I realize how behind I am on that, but you’re talking to a girl who, up until a few weeks ago, used an old tub of St. Ives that I perpetually left open for the better part of a year.
As of late, I’ve been using this very simple routine to have some semblance of structure and glamorous womanhood in my life. Some of the products on this list are wishful thinking, and some of these are what I’ve been using IRL. I can say with full confidence that I think my new routine is doing good things for my skin — not that my skin has magically been cleared of hormonal acne, but I’ve noticed that my skin has fluctuated less severely between that dry, pulled-tight feeling and oily.
Ok, so, $18 is a bit more than I’d care to spend on a face wash, considering I typically spend less than half that amount. That being said, Glossier’s cleanser seems fully worth it, if simply for the rose-scented smell alone. It smells like roses crushed into sea water, a glorious aromatherapy-inducing smell when I’m showering in the dark (my bathroom light has been out all of this week.) It’s one of the few cleansers you’ll use that leaves your skin feeling clean without that tight, dry sensation most washes leave behind.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t start moisturizing daily until my beauty come-to-Jesus moment a few weeks ago. Before, I would slap on some St. Ives every few days (maybe) and that tub of moisturizer sat on my bathroom counter in a semi-opened state for the better part of six months. Mario Badescu’s moisturizer is the moisturizer virgin’s best friend. For my combination skin, it’s super-lightweight, non-oily, and makes your skin feel delicious. A few weeks of using this made my skin feel more balanced and healthy — it brought equilibrium to the random patches of dry and rough skin that were par for the course before.
Buying NARS Illuminator (in Hot Sands, for yours truly) was a spontaneous purchase that I don’t regret. I had little idea what illuminator was, but I associated highlighting with the Kardashians and skin that glowed like Instagram, so I figured it was a worthwhile purchase, particularly considering New York’s winter months are upon us. NARS illuminators really do make your skin glow, and you don’t have to be a makeup artist to apply it. I apply it with my fingertips (Is this bad? I have no idea.) to the highest points of my cheekbones and around the furthest corners of my eyes.
Wearing lipstick intimidates me almost as much as attempting to do a winged eye — burgundies and deep reds and frosty pinks always look so chic and juicy, but I’ve never considered myself one to pull off a strong lip (read the first part to this piece that explains why.) Usually, I’ll stick with drugstore lipgloss or Burt’s Bees, but with the ~new me~ (sort of), I decided to experiment. MAC’s Versicolour Stain is a blend of gloss and stain, which is ideal for the lipstick avoidant — it gives your lips some color and shine without the heaviness of lipstick.
Speaking of things that don’t feel heavy, Clinique’s Almost Powder is a lifesaver — it gives your skin a smooth, flawless sheen without weighing you down. Too much powder can have a grandma effect, but this mineral powder blends and smooths without calling too much attention to itself. In my experience, it has also lasted the entire day without needing reapplication. I had it on my face from 8:30 am to 3:00 am at a Bushwick bar, and it still held up.
The fragrance of your choice (but I have a few suggestions!)
This isn’t something you put on your face, per se, but I’ve found having a fragrance — even the simple act of spritzing something on — ties you together in a way little else does. It’s a good final act, if you will, of the getting ready process. Whether you have a signature scent or change it up based around your mood (I tend to fall in the latter category), investing in one or two bottles of a smell that simultaneously perks you up and chills you out is a worthy investment. Glossier’s new fragrance adapts beautifully to your body chemistry, and another favorite right now is Kai’s Rose Perfume Oil. Also, if you’re interested in diving into the world of perfumes, subscribe to The Dry Down, Rachel Syme and Helena Fitzgerald’s newsletter about perfume and its histories and mysteries.
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