My current daytime skincare routine (dry/sensitive skin)

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Solidifying my skincare routine has probably been one of the longest personal processes I’ve ever went through! I have dry, sensitive skin, and am allergic to a lot of ingredients that are in heavy moisturizers, so finding a routine that works for me has taken a lot of trial and error.

I have been using my current routine for the last 6-8 months, and I finally think that I’ve found the perfect combinations! It’s a mix of budget K Beauty and high-end products from Sephora, but everything works together extremely well. My skin is calmer, more hydrated, and less prone to irritation than it has been in several years.

Toner: Mizon Intensive Skin Barrier Toner — This product has been the most recent addition to my routine. Before this, I was using a rich toner by Lancome that was good but, honestly, not the best thing for my skin. I decided to take a chance on this and ordered it from Amazon (bless Prime 2-day shipping). This toner contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which are both essential for hydrating the skin and repairing its moisture barrier. The results weren’t seen overnight, but after roughly 6 weeks of daily use, I can say the texture in my skin has diminished, my face is not as red, nor is it as easily irritated.

Essence: Mizon Water Volume EX First Essence — This is another amazing product by Mizon. It is a hydrating essence that contains snow algae extract, hydrasalinol, and moringa extract, and ceramides to hydrate, calm, repair, and soothe the skin. This product has been hard to find recently, and I’ve heard rumors that it has been discontinued, but I’m hoping Mizon will re-release it in the future! It’s a wonderful product and the best essence I’ve tried. I would hate to have to use something less effective.

Serum: Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum — This serum has been in my routine for about 4 years now! It’s packed with hyaluronic acid and grape seed extract, which hydrate and protect the skin from free radical damage. At $49 a bottle, it’s a bit on the pricey side, but one bottle lasts me 2-3 months and the benefits of using this serum are more than worth the price tag!

Ampoule: Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule — This ampoule contains 80% snail mucus extract, which has anti-aging properties and helps skin regenerate. Peptides and vitamin 5 round out this powerhouse formula to nourish, brighten, and firm the skin. I have also used this product for years, and I definitely notice a change in my skin when I don’t have it in my routine.

Moisturizer: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion — This is perhaps one of the best moisturizers I have ever used, and I’ve used it since I first started experimenting with a more complex skincare routine! It’s thick enough that it keeps my skin hydrated all day, but it doesn’t contain fatty alcohols, which is so rare in a moisturizer formulated for dry skin! It does, however, contain mineral oil, so be aware of that in case you are sensitive to it.

Oil: Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil — Finding the right oil for my routine has probably been the most difficult part of solidifying my routine. Some oils are too greasy, others clogged my pores and caused breakouts, and some just weren’t rich enough for my skin. But this oil by Drunk Elephant is a holy grail product for me. It’s not a particularly heavy oil, but it delivers a lot of hydration nonetheless. I mix 2-3 drops into my Clinique moisturizer to apply it. It really helps “seal in” the many layers of my routine and helps my face stay hydrated all day long! This oil is $72 per bottle, so there are cheaper options out there, but I do have a certain level of brand loyalty to Drunk Elephant. I respect their vision and I trust their products, so it’s well worth the price to me.

Please comment below and let me know what you think of my routine, and feel free to share yours too! I am also happy to answer any questions you might have about these products.

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May Favorites!

Happy Sunday, everyone! May was such a great month for makeup. There were so many new releases that I’ll be posting soon. In the meantime, here are some of my personal favorites from the past month.

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  1. Becca Cosmetics x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Glow Face Palette. I recently posted a full review on this palette but I’m still crazy about it! The packaging, the blushes, the highlighters… Everything about it is A1. I highly recommend purchasing it.
  2. Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil. Since I have super-dry skin, I’m a big fan of mixing a few drops of oil in with my moisturizers. It helps keep my skin hydrated throughout the day. At $72, this oil is a bit pricey, but a little goes a long way. This oil is also 100% pure, unrefined marula kernel oil and contains no chemicals or added fragrance, making it great for sensitive skin. It’s also high in antioxidants and Omegas 6 and 9 and is great for hydration and healing your skin.
  3. Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Gemini. I’ve talked about how awesome Jeffree Star’s liquid lipsticks are in the past, but I am really feeling this shade for summer. It’s a really nice warm nude that’s extremely flattering.
  4. Jordana Sweet Cream Matte Liquid Lip Color. I picked this up on a whim when I was at KMart a couple weeks ago and I am very impressed by the formula! It’s been hard for me to find a drugstore liquid lipstick that dries completely down, but this Jordana one is great. It applies smoothly and evenly and has comparable lasting power to my other liquid lipsticks. The shade I got, Strawberry Cheesecake, is a beautiful coral pink. At only $5 each, you can afford to stock up on all the shades!
  5. Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara. I have had this deluxe sample for a while but only recently decided to start using it. It’s become one of my favorite mascaras, possibly even a holy grail! It gives me the length and volume that I get some Too Faced’s Better Than Sex, but this wand keeps my lashes from looking clumpy. I am definitely going to be purchasing a full-size after I use this up.
  6. Wet N Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder in Precious Petals. I’m sure you’re all tired of hearing about these highlighters, but I am really impressed with the quality! I ended up purchasing this one on eBay for around $10 but it’s completely worth it to me. The formula is very creamy and pigmented, applies well and is very glowy! Crown of my Canopy, the darker shade, is of the same quality. If you can find these anywhere, I highly recommend getting them.

That wraps up this month’s favorites! What were some of yours? Let me know in the comments below ❤

April Favorites!

Hello, everyone! Another month is in the books once again. I can’t believe it’s already May. 2016 is flying right by!

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This month I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to try several new makeup and skincare products. While most of them were awesome, these are the few that were at the top of my list.

  1. Tom Ford Bicoastal Sheer Cheek Duo. I purchased this on a whim from Nordstrom. I wanted to try the TF Soleil Contouring Compact, but since it was sold out, I decided to order this instead. I was really wowed by the quality when I received it! The colors are sheer, but I was impressed by the even pigmentation and how easily I could achieve the perfect springtime glow using these colors. The pans are narrow, but I’ve found that when using my MAC 135 brush, I can apply just one color with ease. Or both, if I would choose.
  2. Sleek Makeup Solstice Highlighting Palette. Like many people, I first heard of this product via Jaclyn Hill’s snapchat. Her highlight was so intense that I had to have this palette, especially after I saw the price! The palette is just under $15 for 4 highlighters—one cream and three powders. All four colors are very glowy and have an excellent formula. I love that the colors in this palette are all so different. It’s rare that you would get purple, yellow, AND gold highlighters all in one palette, but Sleek has done it. I received my palette in a little over a week, which I thought was relatively fast for international travel.
  3. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum. Where to begin with this amazing product! I first saw Drunk Elephant in my local Sephora several months ago. I was attracted by the packaging, but the high price tag gave me pause. Over the past few months, I have seen a lot of beauty bloggers talking about DE’s skincare line and raving about the quality. After hearing KathleenLights’ review of the Glycolic Night Serum, I knew I had to try it. Having super dry skin, exfoliation is essential because flaky skin is just not cute. Exfoliation is also important in the fight against fine lines and wrinkles, something I already have to deal with. I got some samples of this product and was really wowed by it. I noticed immediate improvements in the texture of my skin and a reduction of hyperpigmentation which has plagued me all my life. Although other AHAs have caused excess dryness, this DE serum actually made my skin feel more hydrated! Let me be the first to say that a $90 serum is not a necessity. It’s clearly a luxury item. For me, however, it’s important to listen to my skin and buy what works for it due to the sensitivity I have to deal with. This product is 1 ounce, which is standard. I only use it twice a week, though, so I expect it to last quite a while.
  4. Mario Badescue Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater. I have had this sample bottle for a while but started using it more recently to add some additional hydration to my skincare routine. The spray contains aloe and rosewater, both of which nourish skin and help calm irritation. I have noticed an improvement in my skin since I started using it. It also works as an excellent substitute for MAC Fix+ when setting makeup! As you can see, I’m almost out so I’ll be purchasing a full-size bottle soon, which is only $7. What an amazing deal!
  5. Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette. Everyone and their mother has been lusting after this palette since before it launched! I was fortunate enough to get my hands on it and have been in love ever since. The formula is great, the colors are amazing, and it smells amazing. This palette will be perfect for creating some warm looks for spring and summer. I hope Too Faced makes this palette permanent so everyone can get one! (P.S.: I included a Sweet Peach Palette in my latest Instagram giveaway. Go to my account to learn how to enter!)
  6. Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Crush. Crush is one of the new releases in the ABH liquid lipstick collection. I bought this a few weeks ago from my local Ulta when I was testing out the new shades. Crush is the perfect pinky nude lip for me. It applies smoothly and dries down to a transfer-free finish. I’ve dealt with some inconsistencies in the ABH formula in the past, but this one looks like a very solid product. I hope to buy more of the new colors soon!
  7. Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Cream Bronzer. The Soleil Tan de Chanel bronzer is one of Chanel’s most popular products. I bought this recently because I was still on the hunt for the perfect bronzer, but I think my search has finally ended! At $50, this product is pricey. But since you get a full ounce of product, this makes it a better deal than the Too Faced bronzer I discussed in my February favorites post, which weighs in at 0.35 ounces. I used my Wet N Wild Large Stippling brush to apply Soleil Tan and it went on seamlessly. It is pigmented but easy to control and very buildable. It adds the perfect amount of warmth to my complexion, making this a new staple in my routine and another great product for spring and summer.

That concludes my list of favorites for April! What were yours? Let me know in the comments below ❤