The biggest thing I stressed about in the lead-up to the wedding was trying to get my skin in its best shape. Over the winter my skin was probably the worst it's ever been, so I was starting to freak out. During the spring, I finally started finding a good routine to stick to, and for about a month or a month and a half leading up to the wedding, I stuck to it to a T. I think the strict routine without swapping different products in and out really helped my skin in the long run.
For my evening routine I really wanted to focus on cleansing all the makeup and dirt from the day off my skin without stripping it, and loading it back up with moisture and nutrients it had lost. I stuck to fairly simple products and didn't go for many actives - I didn't want to risk any kind of reaction.
I started each night by massaging the Caudalie Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil* over dry skin, makeup and all. It easily broke down all my makeup and washed away cleanly, leaving my skin cleansed and moisturized rather than stripped. To make sure all the dirt and makeup was really washed away, I went in with a second cleanse of the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser* and massaged it in with the Wyld Skincare Pink Konjac Sponge.* This duo was perfect - the Soy Cleanser is super gentle and quite soothing, and the soft konjac sponge really gently exfoliated my skin.
Next I went in with toner, but instead of swiping it over my face with a cotton pad, I patted in a few layers with my hands. The Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner* has been a favorite for quite awhile now, and my love for it is still going strong. It makes my skin feel nicely hydrated and soft, and it's quite soothing from the rose as well. As you'll see, I use this product morning and night.
Next for my serum step I used a product that can be either a moisturizer or a serum, Stratia Liquid Gold. This is one of my favorite finds - it contains fatty acids and cholesterol to mimic the skin's moisture barrier, so it's excellent for repairing and soothing. Any time my skin is feeling itchy or tight, I reach for this, and it sorts it out right away. I didn't remember to use eye cream every single night, but when I did, it was the Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb. This is still one of my favorite eye creams - it's incredibly moisturizing and leaves my undereyes super smooth, but it's still lightweight, non-greasy, and doesn't clog my pores.
I then massaged a healthy dollop of the Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream.* This has quickly become one of my favorites - I've been using it off and on for about a year, but using it consistently has really proven what a great product it is. Not only does it pump the skin full of hydration, but it also really helps to soothe my skin and leave it super soft come morning. My last step every night was basically marinating myself in facial oils - most nights I combined two. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know I've been obsessing over the Leo Oil for the past two months. It's really worked wonders for my skin, really helping to clear it up and maintain balance. I used the Leo Oil without fail every single night, and sometimes I mixed in a few drops of the Caudalie Vine[activ] Overnight Detox Oil.* This was one I especially loved using at night after my kickboxing classes. Not only did it keep my skin moisturized and glowy, but it really did make my skin feel cleaner and more "detoxed" in the morning.
My focus for my morning routine, like my night routine, was simplicity and hydration, as well as brightening. I was finding I was waking up with a bit of dullness (because it's allergy season), so I reached for products that would help combat that.
I've been trying this new thing where I don't wash my face in the morning, but rather wipe it down with toner on a cotton pad. My skin's really been loving it, actually. I've been doing this with the Pixi Glow Tonic every morning, and after years and years it's still one of my favorite products. It smooths out my skin over time but is gentle enough to use every day. Next I would go back in with the Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner, patting in a few layers with my hands like I would do at night. This added lots of hydration and got my skin ready for makeup.
For serum I was using the Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum* each morning, and again, it quickly became a staple. It really brightened up my skin over time, and it always made me look so lit-from-within-glowy. I made sure to use this before doing my makeup on my wedding day, because it always made my skin look so nice right off the bat. Even though I was wishy-washy with eye cream at night, I never forgot it in the morning. I was using the Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream, and it really does make a difference in my undereyes. It's a gorgeous almost balmy formula that sinks in without being greasy, sits well under makeup, and it instantly brightens up my undereyes. Seriously, I think I need to use less concealer after using this.
While at night I would split up my moisturizer and oil steps, in the morning I was almost always rushing out the door, so I mixed a few products together. I started with a bit of the Fresh Vitamin Nectar Moisture Glow Face Cream,* added a couple drops of Leo Oil, and then added a couple drops of the Dr. Jart+ Camo Drops.* I got a nice dewy glow from the cream, the soothing and healing power of the Leo Oil, and the color correcting capabilities of the Camo Drops - a win, win, win. This left my skin perfectly prepped for makeup. Lastly, and I'm sorry for forgetting to include it in photos, was always the most important part: sunscreen. I went for Glossier Invisible Shield every morning - it's still my favorite because I love that I can't feel it on my skin at all.
Once per Week
I'm a face mask fiend, but I really toned it down leading up to the wedding, just because I was afraid of overdoing things and giving myself a reaction. I picked out three masks that covered all my bases and aimed to use them once a week, spaced out throughout the week. In reality, I think I ended up using them slightly less often than that - maybe once every week and a half.
The first mask I really needed was a good detoxing clay mask. Even though my skin isn't oily, I can still feel it getting congested with buildup from time to time. I went for the Caudalie Instant Detox Mask* here. I love that it sucks everything out of my pores, but it doesn't leave my skin feeling super dry. Using this always helped to shrink breakouts and made my pores appear smaller.
The next must-have mask was something deeply nourishing and moisturizing. I have quite dry skin, and every once in awhile I need to give it a kick when all my regular hydrating skincare isn't quite cutting it. Here I always reached for the Fresh Creme Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask.* My skin just loves anything with honey (let me know if you'd like to see a post rounding up all my favorite honey skincare products), and this is one of the most beautiful masks I've ever tried (and it should be, for the price). It's a thick, creamy consistency that spreads over the skin easily without being sticky, and it stays put without dripping. I like to apply this and really let it sit for a good hour or so. My skin is always deliciously smooth and plump afterwards. This is dangerously making me want to try the rest of the Creme Ancienne line.
The last mask I felt like I needed was a good exfoliating one. I almost picked Babyfacial, but in the end I was afraid of overdoing it and picked out the Pixi Peel & Polish.* I like that it only takes two minutes, doesn't sting, and instantly makes my skin feel bright and baby-smooth. I'd use this every night if I could - I love it that much.
Throughout this month of using the same products over and over, I admittedly did get extremely bored (I just love trying new products and product combinations), but I think my skin really thanked me for sticking to a routine. It's something I'm still trying to hold onto now that the wedding is over.
What skincare products would you pick out to use before a special occasion? Would you stick to a routine like this?
Products marked with an asterisk (*) have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.