Sephora VIB Sale: My Recommendations

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Who else gets thrown off by Sephora having an extra VIB sale in the summer now? I thought I was safe until November! I’m making an effort not to buy anything in the sale this time, but I still wanted to talk about some of my favorites that are worth checking out if you are looking to shop the sale.

Roen Beauty Eyeshadow Palettes - This is a new product to me, but after just a week of wear I’m sold. These are quads of cream/powder eyeshadow hybrids (I still can’t decide what I think the formula is) in either a warm or a cool tone. I have the cool-toned one, and I’ve worn it every day since I got it. It’s perfect for an undone, easy look - I find the shadows apply best with fingers and blend out easily. They’re quite sparkly, but to me they don’t look like “too much” for an everyday/office look. They’re creamy to the touch and have that effortless, glossy look on the eye that cream shadows give. They crease a little on me, even with a primer, but they smudge back into place easily. I personally prefer a more lived-in, effortless look, so the creasing doesn’t bother me at all. If you’re looking for a quick way to pull off a polished eye, check these out.

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Milk Makeup Flex Foundation Stick - This is officially my new favorite foundation. I’ve been such a fan of the Flex Concealer for years, and I’m so excited that the Foundation Stick is really working for me as well. It has a natural satin finish on the skin, glides on super easily, and blends out flawlessly just with your hands. It seems to just smooth over my skin so effortlessly, leaving a perfected finish that still looks like skin. It lasts well throughout the day without becoming greasy, cakey, or patchy too.

Primera Alpine Berry Water Cream - Primera is a new brand to Sephora, and I was very interested in trying something from them when I first saw the line. I grabbed the Alpine Berry Water Cream and have been absolutely loving it. It has a “cloudlike” consistency, somewhere between a gel and a cream. It’s lightweight and yet extremely hydrating. It leaves the skin feeling so soft and smooth, and it gives a lovely glow. I’ve been using it morning and night, and it works well either way.

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Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen - This is one of my go-to sunscreens. It’s a clear gel that has a bit of a silicone slip to it, but once it’s rubbed into the skin you don’t feel that at all. It makes the skin smooth and works excellently as a makeup primer. I love that it not only contains SPF 40, but it also protects against blue light exposure. If this one isn’t right for your skin type, I highly recommend any SPF by Supergoop!

Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara - This is truly the best mascara I’ve ever tried, and I have no desire to ever use another one. I’ve been through two tubes already and can’t get enough - it fans out and thickens the lashes, lengthens them, holds a curl, and stays put all day without smudging. It meets every requirement I have for a mascara, so I can’t imagine myself reaching for anything else.

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask - This might be my favorite mask by Fresh now. It comes in a tub with two halves: you first apply the gel mask, which sinks into the skin quickly and gives a burst of hydration. Then you seal it in with the cream side of the mask, which has a similar consistency to their Rose Face Cream (another favorite). It doesn’t feel heavy on the skin, but it does keep me moisturized all night. I always wake up to such plump, dewy, soft skin the morning after applying this.

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Calming Mist - This is another new favorite! I love the Dr. Jart+ Cicapair line, so I was super excited to try the new mist. It really is the most soothing face mist I’ve tried. It feels cooling and refreshing, the mist isn’t too aggressive, and it leaves my skin feeling hydrated and not sticky. It helps to bring down redness, too.

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Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer - This is probably one of the most unique products in my collection. It’s water-thin out of the bottle, but as you pat it into your skin it really feels like you’ve added a moisturizer. I always reach for this when my skin is feeling tight or dry, but it’s a pleasure to use any time. I load up a few layers of this and my skin stays hydrated all day. I use moisturizer on top, but if your skin is more oily than mine, you could probably get away with using this as your moisturizer.

Amika Supernova Moisture & Shine Cream - I’m kind of lazy about styling my hair. More often than not, I just let it air dry and then pin it back instead of dealing with it. But this hair cream helps to tame frizz and puffiness of my freshly-washed hair, so I actually like how it looks when it’s air-dried. I always work a nickel-sized amount of this through my hair after the shower, and it makes all the difference without weighing my hair down.

Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion - I have no idea why I decided I needed to try this, but I’m glad I did. It’s an exfoliating toner containing glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids to slough away dead skin and clear out the pores, and it also contains niacinamide and reishi mushroom extract to hydrate and soothe the skin. I go back and forth on exfoliating toners - usually after a while, they just dry my skin out and I have to take a break. But I’ve been able to consistently use this one for months with no issues. It’s helped make my skin smoother and clearer, and although I still get my usual hormonal breakouts, this seems to make them clear up faster.

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Kosas Weightless Lip Color Lipstick in Rosewater - If I had to get rid of all but one of my lipsticks, I think I would keep this one. The formula is one of the most comfortable I’ve tried: not too slippy and shiny, yet not too matte. It’s super creamy but lasts a long time without sliding or fading. All the shades I’ve tried are beautiful, but Rosewater is my favorite. It’s the most perfect pink neutral/nude with a slight cool tone. It looks quite similar to my natural lip color, but you can still tell there’s something there.

Laura Mercier Caviar Chrome Veil Liquid Eyeshadows - I almost forgot to mention these, but I wear one of these just about every day. They give the eyes a glossy wet look, but the formula itself is weightless and sets down so you don’t feel it at all. It stays all day without creasing on me, which is almost unheard of. I usually wear the shade Gilded Fresco, which is a shimmery pink-beige that goes with any look. I’ll even use it as an eyeshadow primer, and it keeps other products on top from creasing, too.

What are some of your favorites from Sephora?

Rouge: 20% off August 19-27 with code SUMMERSAVE

VIB: 15% off August 20-27 also with code SUMMERSAVE

I will update with Beauty Insider info once I find it!

Some products mentioned have been gifted, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

2018 Favorites: The Skincare

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I’m back with Part 2 of my 2018 Favorites - all things skincare! I realized after taking the photos that I actually didn’t include any cleansers or moisturizers, but then I remembered I wanted to keep my picks to things I discovered in 2018, and my most-used cleansers and moisturizers were older, tried-and-true favorites (Glossier Milky Jelly, Priming Moisturizer Rich, Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream, and Fresh Rose Face Cream mostly).

TONERS

Glossier Solution - I spent a good portion of the year not sure how I felt about this, actually. At first it really dried me out, but then I tried it again once my skin was more normal and less reactive and it’s been amazing. It keeps my skin (mostly) clear, super smooth, and hasn’t been too harsh.

Fresh Vitamin Nectar Antioxidant Glow Water* - I love a good continuous mist. This instantly perks up my skin and makes me look awake and healthy and glowy. It gives a good burst of hydration and smells like oranges.

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SERUMS

Venn Skincare Age-Reversing All-In-One Concentrate* - This technically isn’t a serum, but I guess I use it as one. It’s incredibly moisturizing (I go right in with oil afterwards, rather than moisturizer + oil) and makes my skin plump and juicy for hours and hours, so it’s always a go-to if I’m feeling a little lazy and want to skip steps.

Farmacy Honeymoon Glow - I love a good exfoliating serum, and this one blew me away this year. I love that it contains Farmacy’s signature honey and Echinacea GreenEnvy so it doesn’t feel harsh or strip my skin. I always wake up to the smoothest, glowiest skin the morning after using this.

Peach & Lily Glass Skin Serum - When Peach & Lily dropped their own skincare line last year, I knew I had to try at least a few things for myself. This serum does what it says - gives that glass skin effect. It helps tone down my redness and gives a good boost of hydration without feeling sticky.

Stratia Liquid Gold - Again, this isn’t technically a serum, but I use it as one. If I had to strip my routine down to as simple as it could get, I would make sure I still included this. It’s chock full of ceramides, fatty acids, and cholesterols to protect and heal the skin barrier - I’ve noticed my skin has become less dry/more normal and a lot less sensitive since I started using this. I use it every single night without fail!

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum* - The loveliest serum. This has Caudalie’s patented Viniferine, which claims to be more effective than Vitamin C at brightening and evening skin tone. It’s a thin, milky formula that sinks into the skin quickly. I used this religiously leading up to my wedding and feel like that’s one of the reasons why my skin was so glowy and smooth!

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EYE CREAMS

Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream - I wasn’t a dedicated eye cream-user until this one. It has a beautiful, soft, balmy formula that’s a pleasure to apply and really has brightened up my undereyes. I use it every morning and feel like I might be using less undereye concealer now (??).

Caudalie Premier Cru Eye Cream* - This one made me a dedicated night-time eye cream-user. Most would make my eyes puffy by morning, but this one sinks in and moisturizes without being heavy. Although I don’t need much of its anti-aging benefits yet, I really do think this has helped to diminish some fine lines around my eyes I was starting to notice.

MASKS

Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Honey Mask - I had always wanted to be a regular user of the original charcoal mask because it really helped to keep my skin clear, but it was just too drying to use often. This one, however, is absolutely beautiful. My skin loves anything with added honey so it loves this hydrating take on a clay mask.

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask - I purely got this one for the packaging, but stayed for how plump and glowing it makes my skin every time. It works especially well at depuffing my eyes - it’s my go-to before special occasions when I want my skin to look perfect.

Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask - I only just got this in December, but I’m blown away. It has the nicest consistency - thick and creamy but sinks in with no stickiness. It smooths out my skin and keeps it moisturized and soothed all night.

Renee Rouleau Rapid Response Detox Masque - This is the one I reach for when the hormonal breakouts are taking over. It’s soothing and hydrating and yet really helps to make those stubborn zits go away. It also really reduces redness for me, too!

Peach & Lily Super Reboot Resurfacing Mask - This reminds me a lot of the Herbivore Blue Tansy Mask, but even better. It’s a slightly runny jelly consistency that gets to work eating away at dead skin cells and leaving you with a beautiful, glowing complexion. There’s also ingredients in there to soothe the skin so the AHAs don’t irritate it. My skin feels more soothed/less red after this mask than before it!

Caudalie Instant Detox Mask* - When my skin is throwing a tantrum, this is the one I reach for. It sucks everything out quickly, is easy to remove, and doesn’t dry me out terribly. It really reminds me of the Aesop Parsley Seed Mask, which was an old favorite of mine.

Caudalie Moisturizing Mask - This is a good, basic go-to for me. It deeply moisturizes my skin, leaving it plump and smooth, and it smells nice (but not in an “this is definitely going to be irritating” kind of way).

Fresh Lotus Rescue Mask* - Maybe my favorite mask of the year? I’m working my way through my second jar now. It feels hydrating and leaves me with the smoothest, most plump skin without any redness. I always reach for it before a special occasion - I used in on the morning of my wedding to make my makeup go on as smooth as possible.

Fresh Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask* - This is one I’m dipping into more and more in the cold weather. It’s incredibly luxurious and deeply hydrating. I love honey masks because they feel like they’re helping to clear my skin, too.

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OILS

Paula’s Choice Moisture Renewal Oil Booster* - An unsung hero of the year - I’ve gone through almost the whole bottle and I’m not sure if I even mentioned it once. It contains nine plant oils as well as ceramides so it really helps to keep my skin moisturized and fortified. It’s quite lightweight, so it’s good for night or day.

Leo Oil - If I had to choose one favorite product for the entire year of 2018, it would hands-down be Leo Oil. This beautiful blend of Rosehip, Meadowfoam Seed, and Blue Tansy Oils has absolutely changed my skin for the better - believe the hype! I started using this almost one year ago and saw such transformation in my skin. I’ve always used oils, but I think Dena got this one perfect. It’s nourishing, calming, and balancing. It’s drastically reduced my breakouts, calmed redness, and kept flaky skin at bay. I give full credit to this for clearing up my skin for my wedding so it’s something I’ll never be without!

What were your skincare favorites of the year?

Products marked with an asterisk (*) have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

How to Look More Awake on Early Mornings

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I’ve been getting up earlier and earlier lately - not only do I try to get in to work by 7am (and my commute is at least 40 minutes), but I also like having some spare time in the morning to sit with Olive while she’s sleepy and cuddly. So while I’m getting in more prime puppy cuddles, I’m also having to work a little harder to not look absolutely exhausted. I’ve found this quick 6-step routine always makes me look a little more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Cooling/Depuffing Eye Cream

When I’m tired, it mostly shows in the puffiness of my eyes. I like layering a cooling and depuffing eye cream on before I start my makeup. Usually these are quite lightweight, so they work well underneath concealer. My favorite is the Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb - it’s lightweight yet still creamy, and it works incredibly well at depuffing for me. I even find it helps to minimize dehydration lines under my eyes with just one use, so concealer applies more smoothly on top.

Undereye Corrector/Brightener

My biggest problem is puffiness rather than dark circles, but I do find my undereyes get a bit more shadowy when I’m tired. I like layering a lightweight brightener/corrector under my concealer to cancel out any darkness. I love the Ohii Wake Up Pen* in the shade Peach - it’s a sheer peachy tone that counteracts blue undereye circles, and it has a soft sheen that diffuses and reflects light, making the area look less dark. It has a thin consistency that blends into the skin easily and sits well underneath concealer.

Hydrating, Skinlike Concealer

There’s nothing worse than cakey undereyes when you’re trying to look more awake and alert. A hydrating and skinlike concealer will sit better on dryness and fine lines. Usually these formulas aren’t full coverage, but paired with the brightener/corrector, it shouldn’t be a problem. I really like the First Aid Beauty Bendy Avocado Concealer* for my undereyes - it’s very creamy and hydrating and mimics the look of skin, and it still has pretty good coverage. I’d say it’s medium coverage rather than full. It also works well all over the face, if you were wondering.

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Invisible Powder

Sometimes more hydrating concealer formulas tend to settle into undereye creases, but this can be remedied by setting with powder. Since you’re taking so much care to keep the undereyes hydrated, though, you’ll want a formula that’s weightless, invisible, and non-cakey. The Ohii Glass Powder* is one of the best I’ve tried - you truly can’t see it on the skin, it doesn’t dull a glow, it’s incredibly blurring (further helping any fine lines you may have under your eyes), and it really does set the makeup. (Heads-up, right now there’s a duo available with the Wake Up Pen & Glass Powder!)

Brightening Champagne Eyeshadow

Now that the undereyes are taken care of, another thing you can do is choose a reflective, brightening eyeshadow in some kind of champagne shade (or perhaps a gold/bronze if you have a deeper skintone) - basically, something that’s a similar tone to your skin but shiny. This will make you look more awake and help to open up the eyes. I like Liar Liar by Colourpop - it’s cheap but a beautiful buttery formula, and the shade is the most perfect slightly pink champagne tone for me. Another tip is to bring it into the inner corners of your eyes to really brighten things up.

Lengthening/Defining Mascara

Speaking of opening up the eyes, the last step is to curl your eyelashes (if you’ve never done it before, it makes SUCH a difference!) and use a lengthening mascara. This combo really gives the illusion that your eyes are open wider, making you look more awake. My favorite mascara for this is hands-down the Glossier Lash Slick - it gives crazy length and definition and looks like you have eyelash extensions in, and it doesn’t smudge at all. This is the only mascara I can use on my bottom lashes, and on days I want a more dramatic mascara, I’ll still layer Lash Slick over the top to make sure every lash is separated and defined, and it keeps everything from smudging.

What are your top tips for looking more awake?

*Products marked with an asterisk have been sent to me, but all opinions are my own.

This post contains affiliate links.

What to Buy in the Sephora Sale | 10 Recommendations

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I feel like I only just wrote a Sephora recommendations post, but there are so many more new favorites that I need to tell you about before the next sale! Sephora seems to have bumped up their VIB Sale - it's usually in November, but it starts August 24th for VIB Rouge and August 30th for VIB/Beauty Insiders. If you're like me and are panicking a bit because you thought you had more time to save up, here are a few current favorites that I think are worth picking up in the sale.

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Fresh Vitamin Nectar Antioxidant Glow Water* | I've only had this for a week, but I'm already hooked. I love a good fancy face water, and this one amps up the glow, smells like oranges, hydrates the skin, and gives it a good refresher throughout the day. The mist is beautiful and fine, delivering a fine veil rather than a sticky stream. It's alcohol-free so it won't dry you out over time, and I've really noticed it giving me a brighter and peppier appearance than other face mists. There's also a mini that's perfect for throwing in your bag for on-the-go refreshers.

Smashbox Photo Finish PrimerizerThis isn't a new release, but something I've been using consistently since I first bought it and would repurchase again and again. It's a thin, serum-y consistency that instantly plumps up the skin and leaves a moisturized, glowy finish. It makes my makeup go on so much better on top - nothing ever looks dry or cakey when worn over this primer. This is the primer that turned me into a primer-believer, too, so that's saying something. It really does make my makeup last longer, because my issue with longevity was always my skin getting dehydrated and drinking up my foundation. Now this hydrates my skin enough so that doesn't happen.

Bite Beauty French Press Lip Gloss in Dirty Chai | I've seen people raving about these glosses lately, and for good reason. They're one of the most non-lipgloss-feeling lipglosses I've ever used, if that makes sense. They feel more like a balm on the lips than a gloss, but they still give a beautiful shine. All the colors look beautiful, but I'm head over heels for Dirty Chai, a warm rose that is quite similar to my natural lip color. It's more pigmented than I was expecting it to be, but it still lets a little of my natural lip color show through, so it looks very natural. I've been pairing it with the Bite Lip Pencil in 016 too, if you're looking for a perfect match.

Origins Mega Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Face MaskThis quickly became one of my favorite masks after I bought it in the spring. It's a creamy mask (it feels like a thick moisturizer) that feels so comforting and soothing on the skin. It's not exactly cooling, but it takes away redness and irritation right away for me. This has been so great for summer mornings when I wake up feeling a little dehydrated and heat rash-y. I love popping it on on a weekend morning, going about my chores, and then rinsing my face with cool water to get rid of any remaining mask that hasn't sunk into my skin. It leaves my skin plump, clear, and hydrated.

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Caudalie Instant Detox Mask* | This has to be my favorite clay mask I own. It uses a combination of papaya enzymes, pink clay, coffee, and grape marc to detoxify, brighten, and purify the skin so pores appear smaller and skin is smoother. This really does give instant results for me without drying out my skin like other clay masks I've tried. It actually really reminds me of the Aesop Parsley Seed Mask - it looks, smells, and feels so similar. It's a thinner consistency than other clay masks, forming a flexible film as it dries rather than a thick, caked-on layer, so it doesn't feel super tight as it dries, and it's easy to rinse off. If you're in need of a new clay mask that won't strip your skin, look here!

Milk Makeup Kush High Volume MascaraI don't know how this didn't get included in my last recommendations post, because it's been tied for my #1 favorite mascara since it came out. I was skeptical because I usually don't like fiber mascaras (the fibers usually fall into and irritate my eyes), but the fibers in this stay put and give the lashes a super fluffy, full appearance. It really looks like I've gotten a nice set of fluffy lash extensions when I wear this mascara. I'm going to be repurchasing this in the sale. 

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Amika Polished Perfection Straightening Brush* | I just got this for free through Octoly recently, but it's already become such a staple in my haircare routine that I wanted to recommend it to you, too. Since it's a pricier item, it's definitely a good idea to get it during the sale! My hair is quite frizzy and in between wavy and curly, but I'm too lazy to really do any styling. Most days I would just put it up in a messy bun and call it a day. But the Straightening Brush makes it so easy - it would normally take me at least 20 minutes to straighten my hair, but I can now get it done in 5. Instead of dividing my hair into four sections to work through, I only need to do two. It straightens my hair easily, and while it doesn't leave it as pin-straight as a flatiron would, I actually prefer the way the brush makes my hair look - like I didn't try too hard. 

Herbivore Botanicals Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask* | This is another product I got free through Octoly and fell in love with. It's a thin, jellylike consistency that you can really feel working (read: it tingles a lot). It's a mask full of natural AHAs (fruit enzymes) and BHA (willowbark), as well as calming ingredients like blue tansy oil and aloe leaf, so it is a powerful chemical exfoliator that won't irritate your skin. Despite the tingling, I find my skin is much less red after I remove this mask than it is before I apply it. It leaves my skin super soft and smooth, and I find it doesn't feel as sensitized as it does after I use something like Babyfacial. 

Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter EyeshadowIf you're like me and have been pouring one out for the Dior Fusion Mono Eyeshadows, hop on over to Hourglass and pick up one of their newest releases. These have the same not-quite-cream, yet not-quite-powder consistency and are filled with the most beautiful sparkles that don't feel chunky or gritty. I have the shade Aura right now, which is a beautiful pink shade, but I've got my eye on the champagne shade and will definitely get it in the sale if it doesn't sell out! These apply easily with a finger for a sheer wash of color, or they can be built up to be quite dramatic and metallic with a brush. They also stay very well on my creasy eyelids - I do need to prime them, but this lasts all day even when I just use concealer and powder to do that.

Pat McGrath Labs Lust Lip GlossI know I already put a lipgloss on this list, but I'm really having a gloss moment and this has to be one of the most beautiful gloss formulas I've ever tried. It's creamy, not too thick, not sticky at all, and it smells like frosting. They have just the perfect amount of pigmentation too - pigmented enough to show up over more pigmented lips, but not so much that it looks goopy or collects in lip lines or the corners of the mouth. I have the shade Flesh Fantasy which is the perfect everyday pinky-brown, and I already have two more sitting in my cart for the sale - a more rosy shade as well as the pink duochrome one.

What do you think you'll get in the Sephora Sale?

Info via Trendmood: The Sephora Sale starts on August 24th for VIB Rouge - 20% off with the code YESROUGE, and it starts on August 30th for VIB & Beauty Insiders - 15% off with YESVIB and 10% off with YESINSIDER.

Products marked with an asterisk (*) have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Wedding Skin Prep | The Routine I Followed for a Month Before the Wedding

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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.

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Evening Routine

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.

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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.


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Morning Routine

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.

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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.


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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.

A New Favorite Mask Duo | Caudalie Instant Detox Mask & Origins Mega-Mushroom Soothing Mask

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One of my favorite ways to really treat myself is to take some time to myself and do some back-to-back masking. I've always loved following up some kind of detoxifying clay mask with a hydrating mask - it leaves my skin feeling super clean, fresh, and baby smooth. I'm always looking for new combinations to pair together, and I've stumbled upon a great one recently.

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I've wanted to try the Caudalie Instant Detox Mask* for such a long time, so I cracked into it the day I received it in the mail. It uses pink clay and coffee to pull out excess oil and dirt, grape marc to detoxify and drain the pores, and papaya enzymes to gently exfoliate and brighten the skin. It's quite a thin consistency that spreads over the skin easily and is even easier to wash off once dry. I leave it on for about 10 minutes to dry before washing off - it gets pretty tight on the skin, but it doesn't feel like it dries me out too much once it's washed off. This is a mask that definitely has instant results for me - my pores instantly appear smaller, and my skin looks clearer and brigher immediately upon washing it off. This reminds me so much of the Aesop Parsley Seed Mask, so if you're a fan of that you'll love this, too.

My skin is on the dry side so while the Caudalie mask doesn't dry my skin out like other clay masks do, I still like to follow it up with an extra dose of moisture with a hydrating mask. Right now I'm really loving following up with the Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Face Mask. I just got this in the Sephora VIB sale and I'm already hooked. It's a thick, creamy consistency that starts off opaque on the skin and slowly becomes more transparent as your skin drinks it in. It contains reishi mushroom as well as fermented chaga and coprinus mushrooms to reduce redness and calm the skin. This is another one that gives instant results - this totally clears up all of my redness and really soothes and comforts my skin. It's the perfect followup to a detoxifying mask because it really feels like it strengthens the skin and adds the perfect amount of moisture. The instructions say to leave it on for 10 minutes, but it feels so nice on my skin that I sometimes leave it on for up to 30. My skin really drinks this stuff up, and although it's a newer addition to my collection, it's already a firm favorite. Side note - I've noticed it gives me very similar results to the Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask!

Have you tried either of these masks? What's your favorite masking combo?

Products marked with an asterisk (*) have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.