5 Must Have Beauty Products

Ever since I hit puberty, I have constantly been struggling with my skin.  I have that annoying combination skin that is highly prone to break outs – despite all of the different products I’ve used. However, over the past few years, I have become laser focused on perfecting my skin care/ beauty routine.  While my daily skin care routine involves a variety of products and steps, there are five products that, without a doubt, have made a major impact on the quality of my skin.

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1. La Mer The Cleansing Foam

In the past year, I have been told repeatedly by my dermatologist and several beauty professionals how terrible it is to exfoliate every day.  The way that they explained it to me was this – exfoliating daily is the equivalent of taking microscopic sand paper to your skin each day – YIKES!  Exfoliating should only be done around once or twice a week (if you have oily skin like me) or less if you have dry skin.  Of course, here I am using a Kiehl’s exfoliating face wash morning and night! However, it took me years to find a face wash that worked on my skin without causing me to break out.  So I decided to do some serious research which lead me to La Mer.  Now, I know La Mer is extremely expensive and for years I have always wanted to give it a try – to see if it really is worth the amazing reviews.  So, after saving up some of my Nordstrom notes, I took the plunge and bought The Cleansing Foam face wash – and man oh man is this stuff amazing! I now only use my Kiehl’s in the shower (about two to three times a week) and I stick to La Mer for my morning and nightly routine.  Unfortunately, now I have to ration this stuff out to make it last!

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2. Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Essence

Another product that I had heard about for years is an essence.  I always thought the concept of an essence sounded silly, but everyone kept telling me it was worth a try.  What finally convinced me to take the plunge, was reading about how Asian women have been using an essence as a part of their beauty routine for years now and they consider it a critical step to maintaining youthful and healthy skin.  I have always thought that Asian women have the most amazing skin, so I decided to give it a try.  You can see in the picture above that I have only used about a quarter of the bottle – despite having bought it close to five months ago!  I pat this onto my skin, twice a day, after washing my face and applying my toner.  Not only does it give your skin a boost of moisture, but it also helps to activate whatever products you apply afterwards. Basically, by adding an essence into your beauty routine, your other products will work better and last longer!

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3. Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM

I have been using retinol for almost a year now, but I didn’t discover this stuff until this past July.  I was previously using a Sunday Riley retinol and I had every intention to continue using that product.  However, when I went into Sephora to buy another bottle, the man working there started to tell me about Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM.  I must add that he had amazing skin.  He told me about how this was the strongest retinol formula on the market, without a prescription, and that you only had to let it sit for about two minutes before adding your moisturizer.  With the Sunday Riley retinol, you have to wait 15 minutes before applying anything else on your skin – which is a pain in the a$$ when your routine is already 20 minutes long!  I have now been using this retinol formula for about 10 weeks and it has made a tremendous difference in my skin.  Not only does it keep my breakouts to a minimum, but it also gives me firmer skin and an even skin tone. This is truly a must have product!

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4. MAC Prep + Prime

I have never worn a ton of makeup, so I never cared much about using a primer.  When I was given my first set of makeup in high school, a primer was included.  I went to the Bare Minerals counter and they showed me how to apply each product in the kit.  I remember being told how important primer is and that it would help your makeup go on smoother and last longer.  However, I never felt as if it made a difference for me so, I eventually stopped using it.  Years later I wanted to give it another try – so, I went to Ulta and bought the latest and greatest Bare Minerals tinted primer.  Once again, I wasn’t a fan.  After trying my hardest to make it work, it slowly faded to the back of my makeup cabinet.  Then, this past Spring, Nordstrom sent me a deluxe sample of this MAC Prep + Prime.  I wasn’t expecting much, but I was thrilled to discover what an impact it made!  There is no oily glow associated with this primer and my makeup still looks great at the end of the day – it may have taken years, but I finally understand the importance of a good primer!

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5. The Beauty Blender

As I previously mentioned, I don’t wear much makeup.  I simply use a primer, a touch of concealer under my eyes, foundation, bronzer, and a highlighter, if I am feeling fancy.  Well, maybe that is a lot – but it’s all relative!  Anyways, I have always applied my concealer with my fingers, which I know is not the best idea.  Not only are your hands covered in germs, but they aren’t meant for evenly blending makeup.  I had tried makeup brushes in the past but I never felt that they made any noticeable difference.  Then last week, for some reason, I decided to try this Beauty Blender that everyone seems to be so obsessed with.  I now totally understand the obsession.  You are supposed to get the blender wet and then towel it dry before you blend your concealer, or whatever liquid product you are using.  I swear to you that this little blender is the most important product that you can add to your makeup routine.  I never knew that my makeup could look so natural.  It really does blend your makeup into your skin – whereas without it, your makeup just kind of just sits on top of your skin.  Whatever the science is behind this perfect pink blender, it is amazing!

I truly believe that taking care of your skin is essential to aging gracefully and each of these products is a must have addition to your routine.  Regardless of your skin type, I know you will love each product as much as I do!

XO