You may or may not know, but I love all things beauty and makeup and skincare. I could go into Sephora and drop a pretty penny and still want more. It all just excites me that I can not even put it into words! But, for some reason, I barely feature beauty on my blog and I don’t even think I have a full extensive post on my entire winter skincare & makeup routine. So today, I am sharing a very in depth post on all of the products I use in the morning and at night.
I use a ton of different products so as I was writing this, I kept thinking “oh crap, what about this one?” but I tried to narrow it down and only feature products that I’m currently using. I’ll be sure to work on update posts if I switch up my routine, especially when seasons change or smaller favorites post featuring new products!
MORNING WINTER SKINCARE ROUTINE
CLEANSE: While I’m in the shower, I use the Tula Purifying Face Cleanser. Growing up, I had really bad acne prone skin so I always used a face wash with salicylic acid, like the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash. Now that I’m older and understand my skin more, I no longer need the harsh salicylic acid so this Tula face wash has been a heaven sent for me transitioning out of my old one. I’m really picky about my face washes because I find that some leave your skin feeling too squeaky clean and some leave you feeling too moisturized so you feel like you still have product on your face. I feel like this one is perfect and a good balance between the two extremes.
ESSENCE: The first thing I do when I get out of the shower in the morning is reach for my AmorePacific Essence. I received a deluxe sample of this from a Sephora Play Box that I purchased and it is so amazing that I don’t know what I ever did without this in my life. I wrote a whole post on what an essence is, the benefits of using one and why you should be using one if you would like a more in depth post. But, basically I use a few drops and pat it into my skin and my neck in an upwards motion.
FIRST SERUM: Next, I reach for my Tula Illuminating Serum. Another product that I first tried as a sample and can not live without. I use just one pump of this and apply it all over my face. This has really balanced my skin and given it a radiant glow.
SECOND SERUM: A new product that I’ve been trying lately that again I received as a sample in my Sephora Play Box is the Caudalie Radiance Serum. I’ve been using it for a few weeks and while I like it, I haven’t seen a massive difference so I probably won’t purchase the full size. Plus, I can not get past the smell. It’s hard to describe but it just smells like product. Not good, not bad, just there.
The last step of my morning skincare routine is to moisturize. Out of all my skincare products, I’m most open to trying new moisturizers so at the moment, I’m rotating between three different ones.
FIRST MOISTURIZER: My number one favorite is the Tatcha Pore Perfecting Water Gel Moisturizer which I believe is targeted specifically for oily skin. I love the feel of this one and it really has done wonders for my oily skin. There are small flecks of gold in the formula that makes your skin look radiant. It’s also great as a base before applying makeup because it leaves your skin feeling slightly tacky. I love this one so much that I’m almost finished with this bottle and need to repurchase!
SECOND MOISTURIZER: I’ve also been using the Glow Recipe Watermelon Pink Juice Moisturizer. I love their watermelon nighttime face mask that I’m almost finished with the entire jar. If you’re a beauty lover, you know how crazy it is to be done with certain products because you’re constantly trying new things. This is another formula that is targeted to those with oily skin. It smells great, feels great on the skin and also leaves that slight tacky feel which is nice for applying makeup.
THIRD MOISTURIZER: And lastly, a somewhat new favorite for me is the Belif Aqua Bomb. I received a sample of this and actually hated it the first few times I used it. I had such high hopes because everyone raves about this product so I was disappointed. I took a break from it and then one day decided to randomly give it another go and for some reason loved it, especially as a base before applying makeup. I like the packaging, the formula and the scent. I know I keep saying it (lol) but this one is really great as a base for makeup because it leaves your skin a bit tacky.
JADE ROLL: Not pictured, but the last thing I do when all of my products have been applied is jade roll. I received a jade roller in a PR bag a while ago and would do it every now and then because it was fun and made me feel good. After doing some research on the benefits of jade rolling and how to properly do it, I am sold and have to do it morning and night. I like to keep my jade roller in the fridge to keep it extra cold. But, a tip I learned is that the roller should naturally be cool to the touch if it is authentic jade. So I don’t recommend buying any old one on Amazon and if it’s not cool to the touch, it’s probably not a real roller. But, basically I roll to my pressure points to de-puff my face and to ensure my skincare items are really soaking into the skin.
WINTER MAKEUP ROUTINE
I used to think primer was a huge waste of time. Anytime someone said you had to start off your makeup with a primer base, I would laugh, roll my eyes and move on. But, in 2018 I found some amazing primers where I can actually see a difference so I’m officially sold.
FIRST PRIMER: Surprise, surprise, I received a sample of the YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer in a deluxe Sephora sample box and realized I couldn’t live without it once I ran out of the sample. It’s definitely pricey, but it lasts a long time, plus the packaging is great, it feels great on the skin and helps your makeup go on so well. I use one pump of this and it instantly blurs my pores, makes my skin so smooth and leaves me with a radiant finish.
SECOND PRIMER: This was a bit of an impulse buy. At my local Sephora, they have a section with all of the popular K-Beauty items and I swear I can spend hours there. I’m a sucker for packaging so I loved how this one was packaged and was impressed that it was only $18. This is amazing for blurring pores and makes my skin feel so smooth and soft after applying that my foundation always looks great when I used this as a base.
THIRD PRIMER: OMG this is my current obsession!! Again, I received this as a sample in my Play Box and was so excited to try this. One of my favorite makeup artist on YouTube is Gianna Fiorenze and she used this in a video once and it made her skin look amazing. Even though this is a sample, it has lasted me such a long time that I still haven’t purchased the full size even though it’s on the top of my wish list. This makes my skin look so radiant and I always have a great makeup day when I use this. The first time I tried this, I got so many compliments and so many people telling me that my makeup looked good that day. I pretty much do the same thing every single day so I know it’s the primer really shining through.
FOUNDATION: I’ve been using the same foundation for about a year now. It’s just so good that I keep coming back to it, plus it’s from the drugstore so it’s about $6! It feels very lightweight on the skin which is great because I’m so picky about foundations. I will not use a foundation if it feels heavy on my skin. This one is about medium to full coverage and is very buildable. I have oily skin and this lasts on my skin for most of the day. I do want to try something new and more high end and I have my eye on the Too Faced foundation from their Peaches and Cream line and the Fenty one that literally everyone raves about and the new BeautyBlender bounce foundation. But, in the meantime, I’m loving this drugstore one.
BEAUTY BLENDER: I am embarrassed with how dirty my BeautyBlender looks in this photo! Anyways, ever since I started playing around with makeup, I’ve tried many different kind of tools to apply foundation and concealer. Everything between sponges and brushes and honestly my favorite way to apply is with a BeautyBlender and I always go back to it. In case you don’t know, you’re supposed to wet the sponge before you use it and because of that, it really gives you the most natural finish and really helps the product blend into your skin. They’ve been coming out with all different colors and honestly it excites me so much that I try to buy as many of them as possible! I will say, it’s kind of pricey being $20, but it’s so worth it and it’s worth it to buy the cleansing soap to really clean the makeup out of it and preserve the sponge.
CONCEALER: Another drugstore item! I’ve been using this concealer for about a year as well and since it’s from the drugstore, it’s about $12. In my opinion, it’s not the best for concealing under eye bags or blemishes. But, it does conceal the redness near my cheeks and looks great on the skin and is great for highlighting and adding light back into the hight points of your face. I am dying to try the Tarte Shape Tape since literally everyone and their mother and grandmother raves about it.
SETTING POWDER: Probably one of the most raved about products in the beauty community. I have been using this translucent setting powder for years. It really helps set my makeup and control my oily skin. It doesn’t keep me matte all day long, but it does last a decent amount of time so I keep coming back to it. The product itself lasts a long time as well so I only have to repurchase every few months. I decided to switch it up and I’ve been using the Hourglass setting powder since it’s a brand I love and honestly I’m on the fence about it. I find the packaging hard to dispense the product and it doesn’t keep me matte for very long so I’m not the biggest fan. I really want to try the Too Faced one from their Peaches and Cream line next.
HOURGLASS FACE PALETTES: I am obsessed with the Hourglass brand, which is why I’m so disappointed that I don’t love their setting powder! For the past four years, they have come out with a full face palette in their holiday collection. It typically features a bronzer, two or three blushes, a highlighter and a finishing powder. The finishing powder is hard to explain, but it is basically a very light setting powder and highlighter combo that you can brush lightly all over your face or in certain areas to give you an amazing radiant finish. I brush mine under my eyes, around my cheeks and in the center of my forehead. If you have dry skin, you can get away with brushing this all over your face.
I missed last years palette and was devastated and this year they came out with two and I only managed to pick one up. The palette is pretty pricey coming in at $80, but Hourglass is an expensive brand overall so for 6 powders, it really is worth it. I use these all the time because they are amazing. I switch up my bronzer, blushes and highlighters most in my makeup routine but I always find myself going back to these palettes. They’re also great for traveling so you don’t have to carry that many products with you. They sell out super quickly so I would suggest picking them up early. I think holiday beauty collections hit the stores around August/September.
And you can always pick up the individual powders if you don’t get the palette. My favorite bronzer shade is luminous bronze light, my favorite blush shade is luminous flush and my favorite finishing shade is dim light.
SEPHORA BLUSH PALETTE: I picked this palette up during one of Sephora’s flash sales. I had heard great reviews plus I have a weakness for palettes. They just look so aesthetically pleasing. This retails for $28 and I think I got it on sale for $15. I love the variation of shades in this palette and the pan size is pretty big. I think this is definitely worth the money and it’s not even that pricey for 6 shades. This palette is great if you like blushes or if you’re new to makeup and want to build up your collection. They blend out really well so you don’t have to worry about having clown cheeks if you’re heavy handed.
JACLYN HILL HIGHLIGHTER: My all time favorite highlighter and if you’re familiar with YouTube beauty gurus then you know Jaclyn Hill is a legend and Champagne Pop is a beauty staple. This was created with her collaboration with Becca which is an incredible brand. I love their foundation and any of their highlighters. This one is a universally flattering champagne color and so buildable. This specific one in the photo was a limited edition anniversary item, but the shade itself is part of their permanent collection.
COLOURPOP PALETTE: I picked up this mini palette last year when Sephora carried ColourPop. I don’t believe they do anymore, but Ulta carries some of their products, but I prefer shopping through their own stand alone website. I don’t typically do a full eye look everyday since I usually don’t have time, but I like having small palettes like this, just to use a darker shade to deepen my crease and a soft shimmery shade to go all over the lid for a simple look. ColourPop is an amazing brand that has high quality products plus a wide assortment and they are always coming out with new launches. The best part is their price point is incredible with their palettes ranging from $9 to $20 and lip products being about $6-$8.
NAKED BASICS PALETTE: I am embarrassed with how gross and worn out my palette looks. I don’t even think they sell the original Naked Basics anymore since I only saw the second version on Sephora’s site. Again, it’s just a great everyday palette for a quick look. I use the darker shade for my crease, the lighter shade for all over my lid and the darkest shade to reinforce my eyeliner so it doesn’t fade. *An update since taking these photos, I actually switched out for the Naked Basics 2 and prefer it so much more over the first one!*
MASCARA: I feel like out of all beauty products, I switch up mascara the most. It has a shelf life of only three months so I typically try to switch it up. One of my favorite high end mascara brands is Benefit. I used to use the They’re Real mascara religiously, but after trying the Roller Lash, I prefer it over the They’re Real one. It adds length and volume without clumping up. I will say though, mascara is one of the products that I think you can get a really great drugstore one so you don’t have to break the bank. One of my favorites is the L’Oreal Lash Paradise which is really raved about.
EYELINER: I wish I was talented enough to do a wing liner, but I can’t do one to save my life. So instead I stick to placing my eyeliner on my waterline. I feel like putting eyeliner on your waterline isn’t a common technique in makeup anymore, but I’ve been doing it for years and I like how it looks so I’m gonna stick to it. I’ve found this NYX one really does last a long time and applies really pigmented. I take a black powder and go over it to ensure it last even longer. I also really like the Sephora brand as well and it comes in a ton of colors if you want to play around with your makeup. I used to do blue eyeliner when I was feeling feisty.
BROW PENCIL: I only recently started filing in and shaping my brows. I’m still not 100% confident in my skills, but I’m definitely better than when I started and I can tell a difference when I use this product and when I don’t. I haven’t tried many brow pencils, but I’ve been loving this one because it applies naturally, is buildable and is pretty easy to use.
BROW SETTER: Love this product. I use it after I fill in my brows, but I also use it when I don’t just to tame my eyebrows. It lasts all day long and doesn’t feel crusty at all.
I’ve tried a ton of different brushes and these have become my tried and true ones that I use every single day. I wash them regularly and they’ve held up so I really believe in the quality of these. I listed them in order from left to right below with what I use them for. Some are no longer available so I’ve linked identical alternatives.
SETTING POWDER BRUSH: It Cosmetics makes amazing brushes. They are so soft and fluffy and even though they are definitely pricey, I think they are so worth it. I use this brush to apply my setting powder and it helps the powder blend into my skin, but also brush away any excess if I get too heavy handed. I’m loving this 5pc kit from them.
CONTOUR BRUSH: I’ve played around with a ton of contour brushes, but this one is by far my favorite and it’s only $6! The quality is great for being that inexpensive and it blends out powder products amazingly.
FINISHING POWDER BRUSH: This specific brush pictured is no longer available. I got it a while ago from a holiday kit, but I really like using these flat and fluffy brushes for taking finishing powders like the one from Hourglass and brushing it under my eyes and around my cheeks and in the center of my forehead. This one seems the closest to the one that I have and I really like Morphe brushes.
BLUSH BRUSH: I love this tapered shape for applying blush. This brush is the right balance of fluffy and dense so you can really control how much product you pick up and easily blend it out. I’ve found that if brushes are too dense it picks up way to much product and if they are too fluffy then you have no product so this one is really the perfect balance between the two.
HIGHLIGHTER BRUSH: This brush is only $3 and is perfect for applying highlighter. I can use this to lightly dip it in my highlighter for a natural look or really get into the product for a blinding highlighter.
NOSE CONTOUR BRUSH: This brush is technically an eye brush and is great for putting on crease colors, but I’ve been using it to contour my nose and I think it’s the perfect size and density for it.
EYE BRUSH: Since I opt for a simple eye look during the week, I really only use one brush. I use this fluffy brush to blend a darker color into my crease and then sweep a lighter color all over my lid. When I’m doing more intricate eye looks, I like to use this brush to sweep a light transition color into my crease.
EYELINER BRUSH: The one pictured here is no longer available since I got it from a kit a while ago. But, this one is pretty much the same. After I apply eyeliner to my waterline, I take this brush, dip it in a black eyeshadow and go over the eyeliner to make sure it lasts all day.
NIGHTTIME WINTER SKINCARE ROUTINE
CLEANSING OIL: I used to take my makeup off with a makeup remover wipe and after switching to oil, I will never go back. I think oils take off your makeup so much better, it forces you to wash your face and is so much more gentler on your skin than rubbing and tugging with a wipe. I use about three pumps of this and apply it to dry skin with makeup on and rub it all over, even on my eyes and lips and then rinse it off.
CLARISONIC: Not pictured, but after I rinse off the cleansing oil, I go in with the same face wash from my morning routine and my Clarisonic. When I first started using the Clarisonic I had really acne prone skin so I would use it morning and night. But, now that I have a better hold of my skin, I only use it at night so as to not dry out my skin. I like using a tool other than my hand to get a really good clean and make sure I have no makeup residue left on my skin. If you read my last Friday Favorites and saw what I got for Christmas than you know that I just got a Foreo to replace my Clarisonic. I’m loving it so far and planning on writing a post comparing the two.
TONER: Also not pictured, but after my cleansing oil and face wash, I go in with a toner. It’s kind of my last “removing” step to ensure that every last bit of makeup is off of my skin. Toners are also great for oily skin to really pull out that excess oil and balance your skin. So if you have dry skin, I would avoid a toner. I listened to a podcast with a dermatologist and she basically said, if you have dry skin and you use a toner and then go in with moisturizing serums, it’s kind of redundant. You pulled the moisture out of your skin and now you’re trying to put it back. So when I’m feeling super dry in the winter, I skip this step. After the toner, I follow it up with my essence and serum from my morning routine.
Besides the lip scrub below, the next three products are alternative ways I take off my makeup if I don’t have my cleansing oil or just want to switch it up.
EYE MAKEUP REMOVER: There was one time where I ran out of my cleansing oil and didn’t realize until I got home and had a full face of makeup on. I keep a train case on my desk with a bunch of samples and try to incorporate them into my current routine every now and then. So I grabbed this eye makeup remover to try out and was so impressed. I put a little bit on a cotton pad and brush it over my eyes to remove all of my eye makeup. I use one cotton pad per eye. I really like this formula because it doesn’t irritate or sting my eyes like some others do.
MICELLAR WATER: I also tried this out when I had no makeup remover and was so impressed. I’ve tried a few drugstore micellar waters and didn’t really love them, but this Sephora one is great. It took me about 4 or 5 cotton pads to get every trace of makeup off my skin, but my skin was absolutely makeup free once I finished so I was really impressed. The reviews on the Sephora site aren’t great, but I actually liked this when I tried this. But, if you’re on the fence, they try out the Bioderma one. If you’re familiar with 2006-2008 beauty gurus then you know this was a staple back in the day!! But, it really is a great product, really inexpensive, gentle so all skin types can use it and a nice intro if you’ve never tried micellar waters. If you have dry skin, you can use this after washing your face rather than a toner. And if you don’t typically wash your face in the morning because it’s too drying, you can use this to freshen up.
COCONUT MELT: I’ve wanted to try this product for a while because I’ve heard you can use it in so many different ways because coconut is amazing. I used this for taking off my makeup and while it’s not my favorite way to take off makeup, I do like this product. If you don’t like the smell of coconut, you obviously won’t like this product. When I first used it, it was a thick balm so I had to really get in there to get the product. The second time I used it, I had left it in my bathroom so it had melted so I was trying to scoop out the liquid. And the third time I used it, I had moved it out of my bathroom so it was a softer consistency and easier to work with. I will say, it’s weird because you have to constantly keep dipping your fingers into the container to pick up product so my foundation would get into it. And by the time I was finished trying this out, it was so dirty inside so I don’t know if I didn’t use it right or it’s just not that sanitary. I will say, this does seem great as a travel makeup remover because I never want to travel with my cleansing oil because I’m nervous it would spill.
LIP SCRUB: I feel like lip scrubs are so underrated, but so essential. I don’t care how good you are with making sure your lips are moisturized, we all have crusty lips every now and then. Plus I really love lipstick, especially red lips so making sure my lips are smooth are an essential. I use my lip scrub pretty consistently, but I’ve found that using it after wearing a lip color not only helps smooth my lips, but helps the lip color come off my lips. There are some darker shades that kind of stain your lips and it takes a while to get the color off and I’ve found that lip scrubs help to get them off. I really like this one because there are some brands that are too dry and some that are too oily and this one is really the perfect medium.
SLEEPING MASK: After I wash my face, use a toner, use my essence and my serums, then I moisturize. At night I’ve been opting for a sleeping mask instead of a typical moisturizer. This smells like watermelon and moisturizes your skin. Truly, what more could you need? This smells so good and you can either slather it on heavy and rinse it off or you can do what I do and put a generous amount on, rub it in, leave it overnight and you wake up with baby smooth skin.
LIP SLEEPING MASK: This smells so good that I just want to eat it!! I’m all about sleeping products that do the work at night so I wake up moisturized and radiant. I slather this on my lips generously. I probably overdo it sometimes because it smells so good. And when I wake up my lips are so much softer and smoother and ready for the day. I will say, if you have dry, crusty lips, it’s not gonna get rid of that. You definitely have to use a lip scrub first then apply this product to really see results.
RENEWAL OIL: This product is so expensive so I’m really stretching this sample out! I love oils because you can really use them so many different ways. I apply this every now and then if I have a super dry spot on my skin from the winter weather or on my nails when they need a little TLC.
PORE STRIPS: I’m obsessed with pore strips and try to use one at least once a week. I have oily skin, my nose especially gets oily, so I try to use this to make sure I don’t have any clogged pores or blackheads.
We’re at the finishing stretch here! I don’t use a mask every day, I try to do one at least once a week. I love doing them on the weekends especially because it relaxes me and really makes me feel like I have my life under control. So I wanted to share a few I’m currently using.
ORIGINS MASK: Charcoal masks are great if you have oily and acne prone skin because they really work to clear out the gross stuff from your skin. I especially love clay masks because I think they work wonders. You apply a generous amount of this, let it dry for about 30 minutes and then rinse it off.
BOSCIA MASK: This a peel off mask which some people love and some people hate. I used to love them, but I used this one recently and omg it hurt so much trying to peel off!! I think I applied it too thick. But, my mom loves them. This is great for refreshing your skin and adding some radiance back in. Plus it’s pink so it looks really cool. You apply a generous amount of this, let it dry and then peel it off. They also have a black charcoal version which I like.
GLAMGLOW MASK: This one smells so good, is silver so it looks cool and is great for firming your skin. It comes with a brush for application which I think is so helpful. It’s a peel off mask, but it’s definitely gentler than the Boscia one.
GREEN SEPHORA MASK: I really like the Sephora masks because they have one for every skin type and are pretty reasonable in price. This a clay mask so you apply it, let it dry and then rinse it off. This green one is for cleaning out your pores to ensure you have no clogged pores.
PINK SEPHORA MASK: And this pink one is more of a brightening one.
Such a long post today! But, I’m really passionate about beauty products and really wanted to share an in depth post of everything I use and why. Even if you’re not a makeup lover, I highly recommend establishing a good skincare routine. Your future self will thank you!
A few items I’m looking to incorporate into my current routine is a sunscreen that won’t make me break out, look greasy or feel heavy because sun protection is the absolute best thing you can do for yourself. And I also want to add a hyaluronic acid, a retinol and look into more serums so I’ll keep you updated on my quest.
I’m by no means an expert, I’ve just struggled with bad skin growing up and have tried a lot of products until I found a routine that works for me. It’s a lot of trial and error to find out what works for you and what you like so just be open to trying new products and pay attention to how your skin looks and respond. I really recommend signing up for a monthly subscription of some sorts, you guys know I love my Sephora subscription because it allows me to try different products without breaking the bank and so I don’t invest in something that won’t work for me or I don’t like. No sponsored, just something I love and believe in!
Thank you so much for reading! If you have any skincare/makeup tips, tricks, thoughts or product recommendations, I would love to hear.
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