Current Beauty Faves

my current beauty routine, including a must try serum that's only $20!

Happy Thursday! It had been a while since I’d shared a full beauty routine with you guys, and what with several great products making me happy each and every morning, I figured it was high time to spill. Truth? My routine is pretty pared down these days, which is why I’m not regularly sharing more beauty finds. I’ve been in the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” camp when it comes to skincare as of late! I switch things up a little bit depending on the season, but otherwise, it’s a pretty standard routine. Though, I could definitely apply the label of “oldies, but goodies” to my current favorite products — many are ones I’ve used before and have returned to using, and some I’ve never STOPPED using, they’re just that good! Here are the basics:

Cleansing

I’m still using Herbivore’s Pink Clay soap and I just love it. Using a bar soap doesn’t bother me at all! I love this particular soap because it’s not drying, and I find it leaves the skin really, really soft. Plus, a bar (when used only on your face) lasts months and months. On some days in the shower I will use Acure Organic’s Brightening Facial Scrub. This is a scrub I came across several years ago and all but forgot about until one day a few months ago, when it was on sale at Whole Foods. I picked up a tube and remembered why I like it so much — it’s the best exfoliator.

// Shop Pink Clay Soap · Shop Brightening Facial Scrub

Tone

After I wash my face or hop out of the shower, I always apply a toner of some type, and then a serum. After more than a year of using May Lindstrom’s The Jasmine Garden (which is amazing!), I’ll admit, I did start to blanch at the price, especially given how much I like to spray on twice per day! I mentioned in this post that I’ve been experimenting with mixing my own version. First pass? Total fail. I added a product that had too much glycerin to my recipe, and I broke out. I need to sit down and rework the recipe (because I think I was onto something!), but in the meantime, I’ve been using Thayer’s Witch Hazel with rose petals, a rosewater spray, or both. I know Thayer’s is super popular, but believe it or not, I had never jumped on the witch hazel bandwagon until recently, when I realized it was in so many products I’ve enjoyed! Witch hazel is great for soothing the skin, shrinking pores, and smoothing everything out. Plus, it’s SUPER gentle. Upon smelling the Thayer’s version, I realized it’s the exact stuff my New York eyebrow waxer used to apply after a wax or thread job! I’ve also been using this rosewater spray and I adore it. It’s super affordable and smells amazing. As you’ll see based on my skincare, I love the smell of roses! Oh, a note on rosewater products: always check the ingredients. There are lots of high end rosewater sprays that are not only expensive, but they can be filled with random chemicals, dyes, and preservatives.

// Shop Witch Hazel toner · Shop rosewater spray

Serum

The toner is super important because it helps the particular serums I’ve been using really sink into the skin and do their work. In February, I mentioned finding and loving a hyaluronic acid serum from Susanne Kaufmann. That stuff did not disappoint throughout the spring and early summer, let me tell you. It’s an absolutely amazing serum! One of the things that the brand touted was how pure it was — the only 3 ingredients are water, hyaluronic acid, and citric acid (which adds a light scent and also helps the serum penetrate the skin). When it came time to repurchase, I got to thinking about this and wondered if purity was such a big thing, why not find pure hyaluronic acid? Would it work? So I started digging around and found this serum on Amazon. Incredibly, it has 6000 reviews and is very highly regarded. Even more incredible is that for the same volume of serum, it was $20 — about eight times LESS expensive than my beloved Susanne Kaufmann. Worth trying, right? I’ve been using it for about a month now and I can tell you it’s COMPLETELY worth trying. In fact, dare I say I like it better than the Susanne Kaufmann serum? The TruSkin formula has vitamins C and E in it, so it works to brighten the skin while also providing intense moisture and plumping with the hyaluronic acid. However, note that you must apply it to skin that is damp (hence the toner) to see the best results. Regardless, I’ve been pretty blown away by the results. My skin is consistently smooth, very even toned, and with zero dryness or redness. I don’t like to wear powder or foundation anyway, but this has made me feel like I absolutely don’t need it, even when I wear more makeup on eyes or lips for a night out.

Things I don’t love about it: it is thinner than the Susanne Kaufmann serum, so I’ve used more of it faster. But even with that, because the price is so much less expensive, I’d still save money on it even if I repurchased more times per year. I also don’t love the way it smells. There’s not really a fragrance to it other than “natural,” but I guess it makes the fragrance of the rosewater that much more necessary and enjoyable. TruSkin apparently has a major following (how had I never heard of this brand?) with a ton of cosmeceutical grade products available on Amazon for really good prices. Check it out.

// Shop TruSkin Vitamin C Serum

Moisture

I’ve mentioned Andalou Naturals several times in the past on this blog, especially as a great, affordable natural skincare option. In keeping with my rose theme, I’ve been using creams from their 1000 Roses line for quite a while now. I love the 1000 Roses Beautiful Day Cream — it soaks in fast and makes your skin feel plump and smooth. The rose fragrance is there, but super light. I will switch off using the 1000 Roses Heavenly Night cream in the evenings, with the Trilogy Ultra Hydrating Lotion (depending on how dry I’m feeling). Andalou sells at so many places now — you can find it at Whole Foods, Target, and Ulta pretty easily.

On days where my skin is feeling very dry (or I want to treat it extra nice and also don’t have anywhere to go), I’ll mix in a couple drops of Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C oil into my creams. I’ve talked about squalane oil here, and this is a great one! It just adds that extra boost of moisture for me. I’ve tried using it on its own and it does a decent job; I tend to be dry in my cheeks though, so I nearly always need another moisturizer besides a facial oil. It can make you a bit more shiny, so I try not to use this one if I’m going out.

// Shop Day Cream · Shop Squalane Oil

Hair

I’m almost 33 years old and what can I say, my hair is still the bane of my existence. Most days it ends up in a top knot, but if I want to make it nice, I’ll make up a mixture of the leave-in conditioner I mentioned here, along with a couple drops of Kerastase Elixir Ultime (the original oil). I can air dry it this way and get big, voluminous waves (my hair is naturally very thick, I have a TON of it, and it’s wavy). To calm the waves down and give them a bit of hold, once dry I’ll spray in this wave spray from Ouai (pronounced “way”). A friend of mine gave this to me last year and I love it! It provides a good amount of hold and texture, but doesn’t feel greasy or sticky or wet. Styled this way, I can get a few days of wavy, beachy hair, no problem. Having such a specific hair type, I’m not sure how this would translate on finer hair, but I think Ouai’s wave spray would be a great finishing spray after you heat style any curls into your hair!

// Shop Wave Spray

Makeup

It’s interesting to me that the older I’ve gotten, the less makeup I’ve worn. I think it’s a (very desirable!) side effect of feeling more comfortable in my own skin, both literally and figuratively. If I’m going to do my “bare minimum” makeup look, I’ll brush out my brows and apply some of this brow gel (remember when I talked about it here?). Some days I’ll curl my lashes and put on some mascara; others I leave the eyes totally bare. But to really look alive, I like brushing on a bit of Jane Iredale’s Sunbeam Bronzer. I’ve mentioned this particular bronzer on the blog several times before, but after MANY years of using this product, I still get asked by friends what blush I use, so I felt it was worth mentioning again. Jane Iredale’s makeup line is all-natural/non-toxic. The “sunbeam” shade of the bronzer suits my medium toned skin very well, but there are plenty of other palettes for all skin types (I think the Moonbeam and Rose Dawn colors look so pretty)! Her bronzer quads last for-freaking-ever. I probably repurchase maybe once every 18 months? If that?

Lipstick I often skip, but I still swear by Kari Gran’s Lip Whip line. It’s such a godsend!

// Shop Bronzer

Nutrition Shiz

As discussed many times before, I think what you put into your body has an enormous effect on how you look — and of course, how you feel. I’ve been trying to increase my water intake significantly lately (this cute new glass water bottle is helping matters), and it never ceases to amaze me how much hydration impacts your skin texture and tone. I can’t emphasize that enough — stay hydrated if you want good skin (and want to wear less makeup). I’m also still on my supplements grind!

//

This has been my routine for probably the past 6 months or so, save some of the products being swapped in and out for the less expensive dupes! What about you? Any new beauty goodies on your radar that you’ve been obsessed with lately?

 

Shop my beauty favorites:

Lead image taken by Jake Thacker, via Unsplash

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7 Comments

  1. Robyn wrote:

    This post was great and super helpful. I’ve been trying to revamp my beauty rountine and just ordered my first cleanser/moisturizer from Beautycounter. I still feel like there are so many things I should be doing for my skin. I just ordered the serum – thanks for the tip!

    27 Jul 2017 · Reply
    • Victoria wrote:

      I’m so glad you liked it! I haven’t tried a ton of Beauty Counter’s skincare products for face, but I’ve used their shampoos, conditioners, body wash, and their body butter. Their body butter is truly amazing. A savior in winter if you have dry skin (and it smells great!).

      27 Jul 2017 · Reply
  2. Lindsay wrote:

    That LASHFOOD is no joke! My eyebrows haven’t looked this good since college. And I agree – I have been wearing less makeup. Maybe it is my brows!

    28 Jul 2017 · Reply
  3. Cheryl wrote:

    Great recommendations, looking into trying several at the moment. What about SPF my friend? Any suggestions?

    29 Jul 2017 · Reply
  4. Kirby Todd wrote:

    I bought that Vitamin C serum a few months ago and love it! Now I need to get on the supplement train.

    1 Aug 2017 · Reply
  5. Erin wrote:

    I’ll definitely be checking out that serum! Thanks for sharing!

    3 Aug 2017 · Reply
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