I’ve always wanted to be “good” at makeup and have glowing skin. After going through what feels like a million hormonal changes in the past few years - being pregnant, having babies, postpartum - I was feeling pretty fed up with my skin.
I tried a bunch of products, and I think I’m finally down to a cleansing, moisturizing, and makeup routine that works for me right now. The best part is that none of it is overly expensive, though I do invest in certain products that I really like. I've also gotten some things on major sale during Black Friday. Also, not all of the products I use are technically “pregnancy-safe.” I haven’t had issues using them during any pregnancy, so I’m not going to make myself crazy hyper-analyzing it. However, I do not use my retinol serum while pregnant.
Jen Reed is a blogger and instagrammer, @thesisterstudioig, and recently, she shared what she uses for her cleansing routine. What I love is that it is all drug store and budget-friendly, so I gave it all a try because I figured I had nothing to lose with such a small financial investment.
The first thing I have been doing is washing my face less. I was doing it morning and night, but I think perhaps that was too stripping for my face. Now, I only wash my face at night when I shower, and things are greatly improving.
First, I cleanse with Cerave Hydrating Cleanser to remove my makeup and get an initial cleanse, then I use the Biore Rose Quartz and Charcoal cleanser as a second step. I am planning to start using Makeup Eraser cloths as a first step to remove my makeup before cleansing, but I’m waiting for them to be available from back order at Costco. I don’t think you necessarily need to cleanse twice, sometimes I skip the second one.
Next, I use the Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser 3-4 times per week. Even Kyle likes this one! I feel like it has made my skin glow over time and helps prevent breakouts. The last thing I do is use the No. 7 Microdermabrasian Exfoliator, and I only use this once a week if that. This one really polishes my skin!
After I cleanse at night, I’ll occasionally use Thayer’s Witch Hazel, but usually I just go straight to my night cream. I’ve been loving the Cerave Skin Renewing Night Cream.
In the morning, I go straight for my moisturizers again to prep my skin for makeup. I got a great Black Friday deal on the IT Cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream, and this little pot is lasting forever (I love this brand in general)! Definitely worth the investment if you’re looking for a great product to help protect and improve the delicate skin around your eyes. I use this first, then follow it with a my base moisturizer, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream. This one was what my dermatologist suggested would be part of a good regimen for me. So far, it hasn’t let me down, and I’ve been using it for almost 2 years! Last, and most important of all, I apply SPF to my face every single day unless I know I’m not going outside at all. I just got a new one that I’m so excited about - it’s Supergoop Glow Screen SPF 40. It works as a highlighter and makeup primer, too, so you can use it instead of a foundation or as the base for your foundation! I do both, depending on the day.
Ok! So finally to the makeup routine! I really love doing makeup, and I think it’s fun trying to find that balance of using just enough to make it look like you’re wearing none at all. I think that is what this routine achieves!
Here’s what I do…it very loosely follows celebrity makeup artist Carmindy’s basic 5-minute face.
After applying my moisturizers and SPF, I often use Monistat Chafing Relief Complete Care Powder Gel as foundation primer. Yep! It is miraculous. I was completely weirded out by this at first and terrified it would turn my face into pizza, but I promise it is gentle and comparable to the expensive Smashbox primers I was using! Call me crazy if you want, but for $6, this stuff is BOMB. Read the reviews on Amazon, I’m not alone!
Next, I use IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream Illumination with SPF 50. I don’t use this every day, but on days where I am going out or seeing people, I love the coverage I get and the slight shimmer. A little goes a long way, so just one pump on a foundation brush or beauty blender is all you need. I blend this over my whole face and into my hairline, ears, and down over the edge of my chin to prevent any harsh makeup lines.
Then, I move to concealer. I recently started using the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Full-Coverage Concealer because I wanted something that would help treat problem spots and provide coverage at the same time. This is another one of my absolute favorite products! After that, I apply my ride-or-die favorite under eye concealer, IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer. This stuff highlights and instantly covers those dark circles! I love this one.
For bronzer, I kind of try to semi-contour my face by strategically brushing the bronzer under my cheek bones, on my nose, and the sides of my forehead. Then, I brush a very small amount of IT Cosmetics Ombre Radiance blush on the higher part of my cheek bones.
After that, I use a highlighter! This one is a random discovery, and now I will never go back. I’ve been told my skin glows when I use this. I apply it on my nose, above my eyebrows, and on my cheek bones, then blend with a finger. I also sometimes use this Laura Geller Swirl highlighter on the inner corner of my eyes.
Eyes are last. Another one of my Black Friday finds last year was this Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, and oh my goodness it is worth the hype. Love the shades, so many combinations, and it stays on.
Typing this all out makes it seem like it’s a pretty complicated process, and maybe it is to some, but I promise the whole makeup routine only takes about 5 minutes, especially when I skip the CC+ cream.
So that is what I’m working with for my face this summer! Bottom line - protect your skin with SPF and do what works best for your skin. Everyone is so different, and my skin has changed so much in the last few years alone!
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