Sephora, you say? Really? We’re going to talk about Sephora today? Just stick with me for a minute. We’ll get there.
Back when we used to be able to leave our houses and walk down the streets, smiling at people, our faces not yet covered by mask, strangers used to stop me to compliment me on my skin. They’d say, “You have the most beautiful skin! What’s your secret?” And I’d try to respond graciously and say, “Thank you! That’s so kind. I’ve been blessed with very good genes.”
And that is mostly true. But the rest of the truth of that is that I also spend a lot of time and money trying to keep my skin as beautiful as God intended. So much product and money (and sometimes needles) go into perfecting my skin. Essences, serums, oils. I get botox. Several times a week I rub what looks like blood but is actually acid onto my face for ten minutes to burn off the lop layer of my skin so that my face is always soft and textureless. It’s all so ridiculous, but it works.
But suddenly, out of the blue and thanks to the coronavirus, we are living in a completely different world. The sky is falling! The world is ending! Who cares if my skin looks good? Why bother putting on makeup or curling my hair? Everything is awful, and no one will see me anyway.
I lived like that for the first week of lockdown last month. Spending my days wearing sweat pants and no makeup, all the while reading about the importance of self care during this difficult time. I read that I should be taking up a new hobby like needlepoint, or that I should be coloring or taking long luxurious baths every night. But none of those ideas of self care resonated with me.
Then that first Sunday I did my hair and makeup for virtual church and felt like me again. And that’s when I realized – looking good is my form of self care. Putting on my face every day so that when I walk past a mirror in my house I really like what I see. That’s what makes me feel like I’m taking care of my self right now, as silly as it may sound.
I figured that if I’m feeling this way, probably some of the rest of you are as well. And I’ve also heard from friends who are having tons of random skin issues right now, triggered by the stress of our current worldwide predicament, so I thought now seemed as good a time as any to finally share my morning and evening skincare routines.
And the best part of this? Beauty items rarely go on sale but are on sale at Sephora now through April 29th thanks to the magic of the Sephora Spring Savings Event. VIB members will get 15% off through April 29th, and Beauty Insiders will get 10% off through April 27th. And if you don’t already have status with Sephora, you can easily sign up online today to become a Beauty Insider.
Now this will all just drag on wayyyy too long if I do a run through of my makeup routine as well. But I don’t want you to miss out on getting some of my favorite makeup products on major sale at Sephora so I’ve rounded up some my favorite makeup and tools here for you to check out.
Before we get started, let me provide a disclaimer – what works for me will not necessarily work for you! I have dry and fairly sensitive skin so my number one skincare focus is moisturizing. This routine might not work for those of you with very oily or acne prone skin. It’s just what works well for me!
My Evening Skincare Routine
CLEANSING & EXFOLIATING
I start by putting on a headband to keep my hair out of my face. Then I remove my makeup with a reusable makeup remover cloth. You just get the cloths wet and they remove so much more makeup than any disposable makeup wipe. Plus you get to decrease your waste at the same time – a win/win! Next I wash my face first with an oil based cleanser, and then with a water based cleanser, to get every ounce of grit, grime, and makeup off my face.
Then I exfoliate. I use a prescription strength Retin-A three days a week. On the days that I don’t use that I use this peeling gel (I’ve gotten so many friends hooked on this over the years – it’s just so fun to use!), these resurfacing pads, or this acid peel which is a complete and total dupe for Drunk Elephant’s Babyfacial at only one third of the price. (I love that Sephora offers so many great products at a lot of different price points so people can get into skincare without breaking the bank!)
The final step in cleansing and exfoliating is to apply toner so that your face is really the perfect canvas for all of the products you’re going to put on next. My skin just feels so velvety smooth after I apply this toner, and the applicator is fun and different, too.
ESSENCE & SERUMS
Next up I spray on this essence. (It comes in a large bottle but I’ve decanted mine into a small spray bottle for easier application) Afterwards, if I have the time, I’ll do a sheet mask for half an hour. If you don’t use a mask, pat on some serum instead.
I’ll be real. I have yet to find an eye cream that I totally love, one that has made a noticeable difference on my face. But for now I use and like this one. Do you have recommendations for great eye cream? Please let me know!
If it’s a night when I haven’t already exfoliated my skin using one of the products above, this is when I’ll apply my prescription strength Retin-A (yes you can get drugstore retinol products but I promise you it’ll be ten times cheaper if you just get a prescription from your dermatologist) and wait 30 minutes for it to sink in to you skin before applying anything else.
Next, apply a face cream. I rotate between several different moisturizers based on how dry my skin feels on any given day and how much I am treating myself! Most days I’ll use this unless I’m feeling fancy and will use this instead (just the smell of it alone is enough to put me to sleep at night – so yummy!). Then I seal all that moisture in with a few drops of this wonderful facial oil.
My Morning Skincare Routine
ESSENCE & SERUMS
Next up I spray on the same essence as in the evening. Then I apply a Vitamin C serum. Vitamin C products should be used during the day instead of at night to protect you from sun damage, pollution, etc.
Now the eye cream, and sunscreen moisturizer. Sunscreen is another thing I haven’t totally figured out. I’ve been searching for years to find a great affordable sunscreen and just can’t find something I love! Can you help me on this quest?
My At-Home Facial Routine
A couple of nights a week I get real extra and give myself a little at-home facial. After I’ve washed my face and before I’ve applied toner I use this steamer for ten minutes. Afterwards I’ll use this to apply a hydrating or exfoliating mask based on how my skin feels that day. If I’m feeling extra fancy I’ll follow that up with some depuffing eye and face masks and some ice rolling!
And that’s it! I know, a little excessive, but if you follow this regimen, soon strangers will be stopping you on the street and complimenting your skin, too!
I hope you find some great stuff you need in the Sephora sale! Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram to let me know what you get!