Complexion Care: My Skin Care Routine

Look at me being productive and writing another post within a decent amount of time! Yay, a gold star for me! I hope that you all have had a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year! I spent Christmas here in Austin this year with my family and we enjoyed all the festivities. Today’s post is going to be dedicated to my skin care routine. I often get many compliments on my clear complexion, so I thought I would share my routine in case you are interested in how I keep my skin maintained.

By no means do I think that any of these product are miracles “cure-alls” to unruly skin, however I do believe you have to put work into your skincare to get the desired results. I was blessed to have a good complexion in the first place, but I do believe it is important to treat your skin well. In addition to a good diet, lots of water, and essential vitamins, using the combination of the right products goes a long way for targeting a multitude of different issues. This post is not sponsored, meaning these are the actual products I have discovered, tried, and liked without any outside bias on my opinions.

Morning Routine

I am one of those people who wake up with minutes to spare, so I need something quick, easy, and effective. This morning routine takes on a couple of minutes and leaves my skin feeling fresh and ready to take on the day.

  1. Every morning I make sure to start  by washing my face to ensure I have a clean “palette” for my morning routine. I started using a foaming cleanser from The Face Shop as recommended by my best friend about a month back and I am definitely enjoying how light it feels. Its formulation (enriched with rice water and vitamins A, B, E, and ceramide to hydrate skin) is perfect for my sensitive skin and the scent is not overwhelmingly strong. I use circular motions to remove any impurities and thoroughly rinse my face afterwards. ($14.00The Face Shop)
  2. Once my face is dry, I use just one drop of Hyaluronic Acid 2% (hydration support) on my nose and chin only and rub it in. I had previously used it on my entire face, but it seems to be too strong for my sensitive skin around my eyes and forehead, so I stopped using it on my entire face and now only add it once a day to those specific areas. ($6.80, Ulta)
  3. After adding the Hyaluronic Acid, I add a couple drops of a peptide serum called “The Buffet” (an anti-aging and hydrating serum) and cover my whole face and neck with the serum. ($14.80Ulta)
  4. The last step to my short morning routine before applying my makeup is adding my sunscreen moisturizer. This sunscreen doesn’t have an obnoxious scent and is non-greasy. It’s formulation is actually like using a moisturizer instead of a sunscreen, which I love. I am not a fan of sunscreens, so it takes the right product for me to use one! ($14.99Amazon)

Evening Routine

My evening routine is a bit more complicated than my morning one given the fact that I usually have more time and have to wash my makeup off for bedtime. However, it is not too bad and I always enjoy smooth skin!

  1. To start the process off, I again use my rice brightening cleanser to start washing off my makeup. I usually do this process in the bathtub or shower as I find it more convenient. Word of caution, if you do purchase this cleanser, make sure not to get any in your eyes, ever. It’s like pure jalapeno juice being squirted in your delicate eyes. ($14.00The Face Shop)
  2. After rinsing, I do a second wash with my essential oil cleanser. I love the smell of this product (it’s rose) and I feel like it is a necessary step in removing any built up dirt, sweat, and make-up from the day. I previously used this entire skin care line, but it became too costly, so I limited it to one of my favorite products. Not only does this product remove impurities, but it also balances my skin’s natural oil production! ($31.50, Kari Gran)
  3. After drying my face thoroughly, I use Thayer’s Witch Hazel Lemon Astringent to soothe and cleanse my face. I love that this product is all natural and works on the most stubborn of makeup and the scent makes my skin feel energized and refreshed. ($10.95Ulta)
  4. To be absolutely certain all my makeup is removed, I also use micellar 3 in 1 makeup removing wipes. These wipes are perfect for sensitive skin and made with repurposed cotton; they have 99.5% natural ingredients, so you can feel good about what’s going on your face. ($4.99, Target)
  5. Now that my face is makeup free and cleansed, it’s time to progress to the next steps. I use two different serums at night to leave my face feeling hydrated and young. I start with Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% which is formulated to brighten skin and reduce signs of aging with the help of its ingredient, vitamin C. ($12.90, Ulta)
  6. My second go-to serum is Retinol 0.5% in Squalene by The Ordinary. This water-free solution is one of my favorites to use as it leaves my skin feeling hydrated and fresh. It is formulated to provide anti-aging and refines skin texture. The best part of using the ordinary is that you are paying a low price for the ingredients alone and not all the “extra” added fragrances and products that other skincare lines love to charge the wazoo out of. ($5.80, Ulta)
  7. My skincare routine is nearly complete! To finish off, I added a moisturizer and vitamin C crystals right before I call it a night! I use The Ordinary’s natural moisturizing factors + HA moisturizer and mix in Comedix Pure C Vitamin C mixing crystals. This combination helps even skin tone, reduce pigmentation, aids in anti-aging, improve elasticity, and leaves my skin feeling hydrated. (Moisturizer – $7.70, Ulta, Mixing Crystals – $32.40, Amazon)

This completes my skin care routine! I love trying out new products and am always open to suggestions in improving my routine. So far I have loved the results from my current routine. My skin issues usually include dry skin and black heads. I try to include a clay mask or face mask and deep cleansing blackhead strips at least once every week or two. I don’t have a preferred brand when it comes to face masks, but I am a fan of Pacifica products and use the clay mask to target dirt build up in pores. As for my blackhead strips, I use Bioré’s deep cleansing nose and face strips to target blackheads on my nose and chin! These strips are designed to bond to only blackheads and not the skin, so it doesn’t rip off skin cells! (Clay Mask – $5.99, Target, Blackhead Strips – $7.99, Target)

I hope you enjoyed a little snap shot of daily my products and feel free to leave a suggestion on what else I should try below!

Happy New Year!



Makeup & Beauty Routine: WIMB?


After receiving positive feedback on my last What’s In My Bag post, I decided to do another version: makeup style. I don’t wear makeup everyday, but when I do, I have specific order on which products I use and I always ensure that the products I use are cruelty free. As an animal lover, vegetarian, and advocate for animals, using cruelty free brands is essential to my lifestyle. I hope you enjoy this post as I uncover my beauty secrets.

Note: None of these companies are sponsoring my post

Before applying makeup, I make sure that my face is clean. I am currently using a micellar cleanser, a gentle face wash, and curology (in the evenings) for outbreaks.

Step 1:

  • I use either Exceptionoil or Very Useful Face Cream to hydrate and moisturize my skin. My favorite out of these two products by Go-To Skin Care is the Exceptioil, it smells like roses and is a light non-greasy oil perfect for skin and nails. I usually use the face cream if I feel like I need extra moisture later on in the day.
    • “Smelling approximately 92% better than everything else that exists or ever will, Exceptionoil is a do-it-all, do-it-oil that nourishes, soothes and conditions the skin, nails, heels, cuticles and hair. Saturated with 100% natural oils and butters, including certified Monoi de Tahiti, your skin will very much appreciate the deep nourishment of this balm, proving it by instantly gobbling Exceptionoil up and leaving no greasy residue whatsoever. Exceptionoil is outstanding when traveling, doubles as a lush body fragrance, is a must-have during winter AND summer, and will do a heckload more for dry, thirsty skin and all those ‘rough bits’ than that $4 body lotion you’re using. No offence to that lotion, of course, but we’ve definitely smoked him.” –Go-To Skin Care
    • “An ultra-hydrating and lightweight daily moisturiser that defends your skin against premature ageing, and smells pretty alright, too.This is face cream that is as much about anti-oxidants as it is moisturisation, because anti-oxidants are just as important. They stop free radicals (found in UV rays, smoking, environmental pollutants, toxins) attacking your skin, which is the main cause of ageing in the shape of wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity and suppleness. And since we get 50-80% of our free radical damage before we turn 21, there’s good reason to be incorporating anti-oxidants into your skin care as early as possible, (and for as long as possible.) Very Useful Face Cream boasts powerful anti-oxidants CoQ10 and the dazzling Amla Berry, known to have 30x more anti-oxidants than oranges, as well as many lovely replenishing oils and butters. Your skin is thoroughly hydrated, supple, smooth, soft and most crucially, shielded from those havoc-causing free radical bastards.” –Go-To Skin Care

Step 2:

  • Wet n Wild Photo Focus™ Face Primer – I apply my primer before applying any foundation to smooth my skin out and so that my makeup wear lasts longer. I have been impressed with this formula so far. It’s non greasy and helps application of makeup.
    • “Remember when you were a kid, watching fairy tales, wishing you had a magic potion to transform yourself instantly into a glamorous princess? Well, we’re here to make your dreams come true! This miraculous primer can be used all over your face to minimize the appearance of pores, fill in fine lines and wrinkles, even out skin tone, prevent your foundation from caking, and brighten your complexion for ultra-vibrant color that lasts all day. Magic! How does it do this? Because we basically put diamonds in a bottle! No, really, we did. The key ingredient in this miracle primer is white sapphire, formulated into a smooth, silky cream that glides on effortlessly, leaving behind a crystal complexion. Just think of us as your fairy godmother!” -Wet Wild       

Step 3:

  • Wet n Wild Photo Focus™ Foundation (in Bronze Beige) – Using my Oil & Wind Silicone Beauty Applicator, I apply this newly formulated foundation by Wet Wild. I had previously been using the creme foundation, but stores stopped selling this foundation, so I transitioned to the Photo Focus™ Foundation. I end up using a lot less product because it comes with a built in spatula to apply to your face and goes on smoothly. The silicone applicator has replaced my beauty blender because it doesn’t loose its shape or get torn apart. This applicator is also much easier to clean and it feels more sanitary.
    • “Your skin, only better. Our new high-performing, skin-perfecting foundation underwent major road testing under seven different photo lighting conditions to deliver flawless camera-ready makeup every time. Specially made with a matte, light-diffusing complex to give your skin #nofilter perfection. High-performing, breakthrough formula. Featuring light-adjusting complex to help prevent white cast in photos. Tested under 7 light conditions with and without the use of flash.” –Wet n Wild

Step 4:

  • Wet n Wild Photo Focus™ Concealer (in Light/Medium Beige) – After foundation is applied, this concealer is applied under my eyes and any concerning areas that need just an extra touch. I use my silicon applicator to blend in the formula. Perfect for covering my bags!
    • “Let your natural beauty shine with our selfie-tested creamy and luminous concealer. Tested to be white cast-free under seven different photo lighting conditions, this high coverage concealer allows only your best features to get noticed. Gorgeous skin will be your only look.” -Wet Wild

Step 5:

  • Wet n Wild Photo Focus™ Pressed Powder (in Warm Beige) – After canceler is completely blended in, I use my BH Cosmetics Brush vegan brush to apply the powder for full coverage. Once I have all these steps completed, my face is almost ready to go!
    • “Your smartphone just met its makeup match. Pack this genius pressed powder in your bag for endlessly amazing photos every time. Light-diffusing pigments give your skin a veil of silky natural looking perfection in photos and IRL. Wear it alone, on bare skin or over Photo Focus foundation for a flawless finish. Sets makeup with an unbelievably soft, satin finish. Reduces shine throughout the day. Each shade covers a range of skin tones.” –Wet Wild

Step 6:

  • Dusty Girls Natural Mineral Blush (in Golden Delicious) – I love adding a bit of bronze color into my cheeks. Thanks to Cass and her Be Kind To One Another Boxes, I was gifted this amazing pigmented blush and have used it constantly ever since. Never tested on animals, this mineral blush goes on so smoothly and looks flawless.
    • “Softly contour your cheeks with this versatile shade for a flawless, matte finish. Pressed with a blend of gold and terracotta tones to brighten your smile and enhance your complexion.” –Dusty Girls

Step 7:

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz (in Dark Brown) – I had my eyebrows microbladed back in June by the wonderful Little Linda who runs Koneko Studio. She gave me the perfect shape to fill in and I require a lot less product than before thanks to the procedure. I plan on doing a future post on microblading as it has completely changed my look and given me confidence. I use my Eyebrow Duo Brush from e.l.f. cosmetics to help brush my eyebrows up and smooth them out after applying the brow wiz.
    • “An award-winning ultra-slim, retractable pencil that creates precise, hair-like strokes. Use Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz®‘s fine tip to spot-fill areas where brow hair is sparse, and the custom spooley end to blend for a flawless finish. Mimics natural hair. Long-wearing, smudge-proof formula. Glides on effortlessly. Available in 10 shades.” -Anastasia Beverly Hills
    • “This convenient dual-sided brush includes a dense angled brush on one end to precisely fill in and contour brows while the wand side combs and shapes hair into place. Perfect to use with powder, cream, and gel formulas for a polished look.” –e.l.f. cosmetics     

Step 8:

  • Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara – This mascara is the perfect addition to make my lashes pop. I, however, wish that I had an everyday use mascara (I have my eyes on this one!) that wasn’t waterproof because it is hard to get off! I love the way my lashes look, but they can get clumpy and the formula is hard to get off off of anything!
    • “Go ahead and cry happy tears, Better Than Sex Mascara is now WATERPROOF! Our iconic hourglass-shaped brush unlocks the volumizing formula that thickens, lengthens and curls for the most extreme, mind-blowing lashes. One coat and lashes are full, defined, and stretched to unbelievable lengths. Two coats and lashes look even more luscious, curled, and dramatic. Three coats and you’ve achieved the most intense, voluminous, waterproof lashes possible!” -Too Faced

Optional Steps for Night Out looks:

  • If I was going out to an event or something a bit more glamorous, I would add in highlight and contouring for a more dramatic look. I use NYX’s Wonder Stick (inWS01 Light/Medium) to achieve a fierce look. This highlight/contour is a bit more sticky than I would like, but it gets the job done.
    • “The Wonder Stick is our ultimate dynamic duo: One side for a brilliant highlight, the other for a sleek contour. Now available in two more highly pigmented color combinations! Each couple is creamy as can be, which allows for beautiful blending. Available in six color-coordinated shade pairings.” -NYX Professional Makeup
  • I would also use Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner to complete a more dramatic eye. This paired with my Naked 2 Urban Decay Palette (not pictured), which would never fit in my makeup bag, and some false lashes, helps take my daytime look to a hot nighttime look! Depending on the event and time, I can use different shadows to create different looks. I also like to add in some shades (especially Dubai!) in from the Burgundy Palette from Kylie Cosmetics (not pictured) to give my eyes that extra pop they deserve. Last but not least I would apply some liquid lipstick in either Mary Jo K, Leo, or Candy K by Kylie Cosmetics. These lipsticks have been my absolute favorite: they smell like vanilla cupcakes, go on smoothly, and last a long time without smudging. I am planning on getting more in the future!
    • “LINE IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT. Nothin’, we mean nothin’, makes whipping out a killer Kat Eye easier than Tattoo Liner. This brush-tip liquid liner is the magic wand of makeup. Kat uses it every single day, and we really aren’t sure how we would get along without it ; ) Why, you ask? The highly pigmented, 24-hour-wear formula is waterproof and transfer-resistant. That means those lines aren’t goin’ anywhere…Insane days and sleepless nights can’t touch our Kat Eyes! The precision brush tip is the key to super-fine lines. No less than 325 flexible bristles come together in a tight, crisp point, ready to unleash invincible lines. The supple, saturated brush glides across lids in silky, smooth strokes, making Tattoo Liner the ultimate tool for both makeup newbies and beauty pros alike. We often marvel at how amazing it is that a teeny-tiny tip can contain so much possibility—wings, fine lines, detailwork…we could go on all day! Choose from raven-black Trooper or rich, chocolate Mad Max Brown for all your Kat Eye needs! We ❤ seeing all our KVD Beauties killin it in Tattoo Liner! Share your wild & wonderful creations with #kvdlook! #VeganAlert! 100% Cruelty Free Forever!” –Kat Von D Beauty
    •  “You demanded “MORE NAKED!”—and Naked2 delivers. From luminous shades with shimmer and sparkle to the smoothest mattes imaginable, Naked2 is packed with 12 never-boring taupe-hued neutrals (including a gorgeous grayish brown, a glittery copper and our lewdest, blackest black). Expand your Naked range to create even more sultry neutral looks, smoky dramatic looks and everything in between. The case has an art-school inspired look with a hinged lid—taupe metal with embossed chocolate brown artwork. It’s smooth, modern and cool to the touch—a real tactile experience. Naked2 includes a professional-quality, cruelty-free double-ended shadow/blending brush.” –Urban Decay
    • “The #KylieCosmetics Kyshadow pressed powder eye shadow palette is your secret weapon to create the perfect Kylie eye. Each Kyshadow Kit comes with 9 pressed powder eye shadows that can be used together to recreate Kylie’s favorite looks or customize your own.” –Kylie Cosmetics
    • “The Matte Liquid Lipstick has high intensity pigment for an instant bold matte lip. The extremely long wearing lipstick contains moisturizing ingredients for a comfortable, emollient and silky feel that does not dry your lips out. Mary Jo K is a true blue red. Leo is a true deep burgundy. Candy K is a warm pinky nude.” –Kylie Cosmetics                                                                            

That completes my makeup routine and skin care routine! It’s so important to remove your makeup every single night to prevent bacteria build up on your skin! I again use a sensitive face wash after using a micellar cleanser to take off my makeup. If I need spot treatment for break outs, I use acnedote by Alba Botanica (which has a large selection of acne products that are all cruelty free) and this skincare tool by Tweezerman.

I added a short video I put together of my beauty routine to go along with the products described above. I hope you all enjoy my efforts!


I hope you enjoyed a look into my routine and beauty product secrets.

Until next time!




e.l.f. Skin Care Routine


So, you may not know this, but Eyes Lips Face, more commonly referred to as e.l.f.,  released a new skin care line available at Walmart recently, and I was one of the lucky few to get my hands on the trial edition last weekend. I also snagged some night cream from the line, but the cashier I had was a rather old, mean lady that refused to sell it to me because it was not in the system. The cashiers I’ve had previously that came across this problem would simply asked me, “how much did the item cost”, and I would give my answer and then they would simply enter into the cash register that they sold item for such amount. Obviously, this lady wasn’t going to take anybody for their word and said, “well I can’t sell this to you, sorry.” Honestly, even if I tried to debate this, it would literally take forever for some night cream, so I figured to the heck with it!

First off, I like the simplicity of the packaging and the neutral color choice, it just gets across that it’s here to clean your mess of a face up. I have used this now for about two weeks and it makes my face feel fresh and definitely moisturized. My face is baby smooth and I really love that e.l.f. Is a cruelty-free company, so I know that animals are not being tested on for selfish esthetic needs. The price definitely appeals to me as well, as expensive skin care lines beg you to sign up for an automatic reorder (when a trial hasn’t even started). I was hesitant about and illuminating eye cream in the skin routine care, but now I have noticed how my bags are slowly fading and I look much more rested, whether I get the needed rest or not!

My few complaints are that the face wash bottle has a faulty cap that sometimes doesn’t secure properly, leading to spilt dreams. Also, the pump for the moisturizer doesn’t pump the right amount of product very well. I often have to take it off completely. Other than the mechanical set backs, the products are well made and smell great. I can tell a difference in my skin, including the disappearance of dark under bags, a brighter and clearer complexion, and less oil buildup. Overall, I think that this skin line is a definite try.

e.l.f. Skincare Starter Kit:

  • Daily Face Cleanser, 3.71 fl oz; Daily Hydration Moisturizer, 2.53 fl oz; Illuminating Eye Cream, 0.49 oz
  • Daily Face Cleanser gently cleanses and hydrates
  • Illuminating Eye Cream helps moisturize delicate under-eye area
  • Daily Hydration Moisturizer hydrates and nourishes