Getting to radiant

In the midst of a bad breakout a couple months ago, I was busy whipping up an at-home mask for myself when I thought, “Dear Lord, what will I do if my skin is this fussy on my wedding day?” Total lightbulbs going off. The reality is, I know all the things I need to do to make my skin glowing and gorgeous. It’s just, it’s sometimes hard to do them. For me, the key to a glowing mug is lots of sleep, gallons of water, eating like a rabbit, and staying very regimented in the products I use. Oh, and going easy on the booze and cheese. Yeah, sometimes it’s just not a possibility.

I decided that when I was about 4 to 5 weeks out from my wedding day, I’d stop being lax about my skincare and take it very seriously until the big day. I mean, I’m normally pretty good about taking care of my skin, but during these weeks, I told myself, I’d pull out all the stops and utilize every trick in the book. Whaddya know? The time has arrived, and the regimen has begun. But beyond having great skin for a special occasion, I thought these tips would be useful for any gal looking to guarantee a glowing complexion. Here’s what I’ve been doing, and will continue to do for the next several weeks:

Let the record show that as best as possible, I try to base my skincare routine in more natural based products. As many of you know, I made the switch last year and it’s something I strongly believe in. The least ‘natural’ of the cleansers I use is the Origins Checks and Balances, but I can’t resist its minty smell and milky, frothy texture on my skin. I use this as kind of an ‘everyday’ cleanser, morning or night, whenever I don’t use one of the others. It’s good at removing makeup and leaving your skin feeling clean, but isn’t overly drying.

The ‘others’ include Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser, which is a non-foaming cleanser that has a looser texture than one might expect, but smells fruity and divine. It very lightly exfoliates, so I’ll use this whenever I want a quick scrub down. When I want a bit deeper exfoliation, I turn to Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub. I normally use this one in the shower, and will even let it sit on my face for a few minutes while I soap up or shave my legs. It has sea kelp in it, so I use it almost like a mask, then rinse off in the shower. This scrub is amazing and will leave you feeling squeaky clean!

Morning and night, I’ve been using Tata Harper’s Rejuvenating Serum. This stuff is pricey, but luckily, all you need is a single pump of it to spread a thin layer around your face. It’s amazing at smoothing the skin and prepping it for moisturizer. A little warning: the serum has a strong floral scent, so I can see how that could bother some people. However, the fragrance is made completely from natural extracts — no synthetic or added fragrance, if that’s what normally bothers you!

In the mornings, I’ll use Andalou Naturals Probiotic +C Renewal Cream as my daytime moisturizer (it soaks in fast and performs great under makeup). At night, I go for something heavier and use Weleda’s Skin Food. Sometimes, my cheeks can get a little dry, so I’ll roll on a little of Tata Harper’s Replenishing Nutrient Complex, which is basically just a mix of oils.

My moisturizer routine changes somewhat based on the time of year, but I find the Andalou and the Weleda work well for me in cooler weather (which is SF 75% of the year!).

To be honest, this is probably the most important part of ensuring good skin — diet. Eating foods high in omega-3 can help reduce inflammation (and really, if you’re having a breakout, that’s often what it’s about — inflammation due to poor diet, stress, etc). I like to take a multi-vitamin that provides plenty of zinc, which can help clear up any cystic acne. I also like to take a skin specific vitamin that contains vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid, which can help reduce inflammation and promote better skin texture. Also, like every supermodel ever interviewed has said, WATER. Water, water, water. You can do nothing for your skin and if you drink a lot of water, you’ll still be ahead of the curve. I also try to avoid excess dairy and wheat products if I want perfect skin. I find the two (especially when combined) can break me out if I eat them too often. If you suffer from breakouts, try monitoring your diet — more often than not, your food is the culprit.

I don’t splurge on facials too often (read: like, not ever), but I figured for my big day, it might make sense to purchase a little extra insurance. I had a facial when in the desert two weekends ago, and will have another one in a few more weeks. One, they’re excellent for de-stressing, and two, it’s a good way to ensure my pores are sparkling clean!

Two other random things I’m trying out: cleaning the screen on my phone more, and also, doing everything I can to not touch my face without clean hands. It’s kind of gross if you think about all the bacteria that you might be putting on your face with just your phone and your fingers. Blech.

What other tips do you have to ensure perfect skin?


{Image Credits and a note: Kate Bosworth: In Style, November 2011, found here; Other intro photos: Into the Gloss here and here; Salmon: Martha Stewart; Facial: Huda Beauty. Tata Harper provided me with the Tata Harper products mentioned in this post free of charge, however, this is not a paid post and all opinions are my own.}

Leave a Comment


  1. 10.1.12

    I need to get my act together when it comes to skin care. I need to suck it up and invest in quality products. I could definitely eat less cheese, that would be a serious hill to climb. Can’t believe your wedding is SO close!

  2. 10.1.12

    My skin is super sensitive and freaks out when I change products. I use Cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer and it seems to do the trick for me. I really need to add an anti-aging regimen since I am approaching my 30’s (in a few yrs)…your regimen seems so great though!

  3. 10.1.12

    OH my goodness, I’ve never thought of how dirty my phone screen is!! I have got to get better about my skin care regimen. I’m just so darn lazy. For awhile I was paraben free and then I ran out and just went to the drug store.
    I also dont take a multi-vitamin (hangs head in shame…)

  4. 10.1.12
    caitlin said:

    I’ve been wanting to get facials regularly, but the cost always scares me away. Maybe it’s worth it though!

  5. 10.1.12
    rita said:

    love this! i am a big proponent of natural skin care as well, but my current line appears to be in the midst of being discontinued so i’m excited to try some of these out!

    dairy is a huge one for me! when i cut dairy, my skin is so much better. one thing i would say is to be careful what you cut out if you plan to indulge at all the week of your wedding (welcome party, rehearsal, etc. if you are doing that!) – i find that if i cut dairy completely for a longer period of time, i will breakout a little the first time i eat it again… you wouldn’t want that to happen wedding week!

    also, don’t worry too much! you will be so happy you’ll be glowing and a great makeup artist can cover up anything!

  6. 10.1.12
    Evann said:

    Kate Bosworth’s eyes are so stunning.

  7. 10.1.12

    My skin has been much better since I started working with a nutritionist. Fish oil seems to be a very good thing. Also, couldn’t live without my Clarisonic and a good face oil. My friend Emma made me her own custom, all organic blend and I’m obsessed – I slather it all over.

    • 10.1.12
      vmacandcheese said:

      It’s those omega-3s!! Can’t overstate how good it is at
      reducing inflammation, which is all ‘bad skin’ is! :)

  8. 10.1.12

    Skin is a touchy subject for me lately–actually going to the doctor today because of it =(

  9. 10.1.12

    This is a great post! I am a little bit obsessive about my skin, but you had a lot of tips I don’t follow. I can’t agree more, diet can fix so many skin problems!

    xx Jen

  10. 10.1.12

    omg – i can’t believe you’re using tata harper, too! met her a few weeks ago for a media event and she intro’d me to her products… i’m obsessed! writing a second post about the line on my blog wednesday.

    aren’t the products amazing?! i can’t believe they’re natural b/c they actually work. where did you hear about them, v?

    • 10.1.12
      vmacandcheese said:

      They’re kind of the holy grail in luxury naturals. I first learned
      about them when I read No More Dirty Looks last year.
      Spirit Beauty Lounge sells the entire line so I saw them there a lot

  11. 10.1.12

    oh, ps: do you have the clarisonic? that has made a huge difference in my skin. also, buy raw apple cider vinegar and put a few teaspoons in your water every morning. it detox’s and makes you glow! i’m not making any promises about the taste… but plug your nose and make it work ;) x

  12. 10.1.12
    viv said:

    I love hearing about other people’s skincare regimens. I may need to try that Tata Harper serum.

  13. 10.1.12

    Love love this post (obviously). I highly recommend a fish oil supplement..Green Pastured brand is the ONLY one I’d recommend (everything else is filled with additives, yuck).

  14. 10.1.12

    I love reading skincare posts from a fellow San Francisco girl. I was amazed at how dry my skin became once I moved here, when it used to be so oily in the south. I feel like I’m constantly moisturizing head-to-toe and it only sort of works – looking forward to giving your picks a try!

  15. 10.2.12
    brighton said:

    well if this isn’t good enough motivation for me, I don’t know what is! Thanks for inspiring me! haha. I REALLY needed it!

  16. 10.2.12
    Randilea said:

    I’ve been looking for some new facial cleaners! I’ll have to try these.

  17. 10.3.12
    Cyndi said:

    I had to wait and reply after I had posted the results of my Whole30 experiment:

    I highly recommend you consider this. It’s about as close as you can get to a 100% guarantee of clear, bright, luminous skin…and great sleep and energy…for your big, beautiful day! Victoria at her best!

    See what you think.

  18. 10.3.12
    chrisbean said:

    getting a facial is pretty huge. I’d avoided it because I don’t want hippies rubbing me with bark and berries.

    But I found a great place in my hometown (skoah!) that calls itself a “personal trainer for your skin,” and they are very unfussy: it’s clinical/professional and also relaxing/destressing. (new age music and frilly things stress me out!)

    Plus, their products are packaged super-simple: clean lines + clean typography, which I am visually OCD enough to care about.

    Incidentally, I’m moving from Boston to SF in a few months, and hope this means I can bump down from a seasonal rotation of 8 different moisturizers to just 2 or 3?