The Best Glow-Inducing Masks for Morning

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I know I'm constantly complaining about my skin being a little dull for my liking, but I swear it gets even worse when the weather cools down. I'm no stranger to dehydration and dryness, and they make the dullness even worse. To fix this, I love a good mask that will amp up the glow, and it's even better when they're suitable to use in the morning - they're instantly-gratifying, not too harsh, and will give a glow that lasts all day long.

The Clay One | I've sung praises of the Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay over and over, but it really is one of my favorite masks ever. I love how clean and purified clay masks make my skin feel, but normally they strip my skin of all moisture and I end up even duller than before. But not this one - it contains jojoba beads that burst as you wash the mask off, so you not only get a bit of exfoliation from the beads, but also some moisture. This is my favorite to use after a super late night - it instantly makes my skin look a lot more "well rested."

The Honey One | I can already tell this is going to be a godsend on cold mornings - the Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask* is one of my favorites because it gently warms up as you massage it over your skin. It's full of Farmacy's Echinacea GreenEnvy Honey, which has all the purifying and hydrating benefits of honey and is chock full of antioxidants. I love honey masks because they're a bit of a two-in-one - they not only hydrate the skin, but the natural antibacterial properties of honey also keep the skin feeling cleansed and renewed. This gives my skin an insane amount of glow, and it makes it nice and pillowy for makeup application.

The Fifteen Second One | If you're a morning shower person, then you need to try the Blithe Energy Yellow Citrus & Honey Splash Mask. Splash masks are so intriguing to me - basically you're supposed to dilute them with water, either in a big bowl or in the shower, and just splashing it on your face for fifteen seconds will give you results. This yellow version is meant to brighten the skin and exfoliates with lactic acid, and the scent alone will wake you up - it's so lovely and citrus-y! I was skeptical of the fifteen second claims, but it truly makes my skin instantly feel smoother and plumper - I'm converted. 

The Super Quick Peel | I've talked about this sort of recently, but my main go-to in the mornings/if I want to make sure my makeup goes on smoothly is the Pixi Peel & Polish.* It's quite strong and effective, but it doesn't leave my skin red or sensitized. It resurfaces the skin with natural fruit enzymes, lactic acid, cellulose, and sugar extract, and it does it super efficiently in about two minutes. It leaves my skin smooth and really glowing - it's quite the pick-me-up for sure. If I'm in a rush but still need to give my skin a bit of TLC, this is the one I reach for,

The One That's Like a Facial | If you want the results of the Pixi but in a more gentle but less efficient form (that sounds negative, but I just mean it's going to take you more than two minutes), then I'd recommend the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask. This goes onto the skin like some kind of marmalade, and it leaves you with baby-soft skin when you wash it off. It doesn't even feel like it's doing anything when it's on my skin, so the results are even more surprising. This gives an instant glow and is the best to use before makeup. I'm most definitely going to be using this the morning of my wedding to prep my skin. It's just beautiful.

The Moisturizing One | I'm pretty sure I can't write a post about my favorite masks without mentioning one of the Glossier ones. The Moisturizing Moon Mask is the first one I turn to when my skin is feeling dehydrated or dry, and it's also great for energizing and depuffing the skin because it's so cooling. It deeply nourishes with sweet almond oil, squalane, and hyaluronic acid, and it also works to brighten with licorice root and lemon fruit extract. My skin just drinks this up, and when I've got a lot of time to just relax, I like to apply a thick layer and just leave it to sink in for a few hours. This is another one that's great before a special occasion because it really plumps up the skin and makes makeup apply like a dream.

Do you ever use masks in the morning? What are your favorites?

*Products mentioned have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information. This post contains affiliate links.


October Favorites

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When I sat down to write this post, I named it "September Favorites," so you can really tell where my head is. Like I say every month, October went by so quickly! This month's favorites is yet again a mix of new and old favorites - just the way I like it. I haven't been as strict about my spending this month, but I'm going back on my low-buy now to save money for Christmas. So next month's favorites may be more rediscoveries than new products.

Glossier You* | You had to guess this would be here, right? This has only been out for about a week, and I had only been trying it a week before that, and yet it's already become a firm favorite. You can read my review for my full thoughts on it, but I just love that it's a subtle, "skinlike" scent that sits close to the skin and isn't heady or overpowering. Usually I like my perfumes to have a bit of rose in them, but this doesn't and I'm still in love. I don't think I've ever gotten more compliments on a fragrance as I have on this.

Jordan Samuel Skin etOILe Facial Oil I also wrote a review on this oil this month, and it's been a daily staple for most of the month. My skin absolutely loves this oil blend - it's become more balanced, even, and radiant this month after consistent use. I use it every night without fail, and sometimes in the morning too. I need to check out the retinol version next!

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NARS Powermatte Lip PigmentsI fell so head over heels in love with these this month. I thought I was over the liquid lipstick trend, but I guess not. These feel so lightweight on the lips like a stain, and although they're quite a flat matte, they don't make my lips shrivel up. I love how easy they are to wear - on an everyday basis, I've been tapping a little onto the center of my lips and blending it out for a more stained effect. Starwoman is now the only red I want to wear forever and ever, and American Woman and Save the Queen are perfect everyday shades. I think I'm getting Walk This Way from my sister soon, too, so there's no end in sight for this obsession. You can check out my review for swatches of the three shades I have, too.

Pixi Glow TonicThis is a rediscovery this month. After using The Ordinary's Glycolic Acid Toner for awhile, I just really missed the Pixi Glow Tonic. It's so much more pleasing to use, and I think it has much better effects on my skin. I've been using it every morning to wake up my skin, and it's been keeping it smooth and (aside from some hormonal breakouts) clear. I'm fully back on the Glow Tonic train, and I won't stray again anytime soon.

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder FoundationSpeaking of breakouts, I've been actually wearing foundation this month as opposed to a smattering of concealer. While I'm not happy about the breakouts, I am happy I've rediscovered my love for the Light Wonder Foundation. It gives good coverage for me, and it leaves my skin looking so glowy and healthy. It also seems to smooth over any texture and blur my pores. It lasts throughout the day on me, and it looks beautiful both on its own or mixed with other products like the Glossier Skin Tint.

What were your favorites in October?

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Dealing with Breakouts | The Gentle Skincare Routine

For two glorious months I was blessed with the clearest skin I've ever had. And now this month, the hormonal breakouts that normally plague me for about a week each month have returned with a vengeance. My chin and jawline are currently speckled with angry red spots, and they're so painful that I just want to use the most gentle, soothing skincare on them instead of beating them into submission and risk making them angrier.

When I'm wearing makeup, I've been going in with the Pixi Double Cleanse.* It's super gentle and non-irritating, and it gets all of my makeup off without too much fuss. The cream cleanser side has been great for soothing my skin as well. In the mornings, or at night if I'm not wearing makeup, I've been cleansing with the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser. It conditions the skin and keeps it clean, but not stripped. This is my all-time favorite facial cleanser, and I think I'm on my sixth or seventh bottle by now.

I also like using a mask to gently clear out my pores and cleanse my skin, and the gentlest of them all is the Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack. It's a thick, creamy clay mask that doesn't totally dry down or strip the skin. It really helps my skin feel cleared out, but not in a totally-vacuumed-and-squeaky way. I've used charcoal/clay masks over breakouts before, and sometimes they're just too harsh for me. This one is just perfect.

I've never had much luck with dedicated spot treatments, but what's really been helping me is a BHA toner. I had heard nothing but good things about the CosRX Blackhead Power Liquid, and it really has been helping. I sweep it over my chin and T-zone with a cotton pad most nights, but I make sure to never skip out on it when I'm breaking out. Despite implying it's only to treat blackheads (and they have a whitehead version), it's really been helping clear up any and all breakouts. Usually my breakouts are aggravated by dehydration, so I'm sure to pat on a few layers of a lightweight, hydrating toner like the Mizon Intensive Skin Barrier Toner after using the BHA toner.

When my spots are particularly angry, I look no further than the Glossier Super Pure Serum.* This niacinamide and zinc serum instantly feels cooling and soothing on the skin. It doesn't cure my breakouts, but it definitely helps with redness and the pain. I usually just concentrate this where I'm breaking out and go in with a hydrating serum elsewhere. My go-to hydrating serum is the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid. It feels so soothing on the skin, and I can just feel it smoothing and softening any dry patches. It's a watery fluid, so it never feels too heavy or clogging on the skin.

I always seal it all in with the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream. After falling in love with the Liquid, I just had to get myself a tube of the cream. It's just as good, and they work beautifully together as a pair. I could see these helping the driest of dry skin. They're both packed full of ceramides, which hydrate and repair the skin barrier. so they're really so good for your skin. Maybe it's the clinical-looking packaging, but they just feel so healing on the skin, so they're always the serum/cream duo I reach for when I'm breaking out.

What products do you reach for when you're breaking out?

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*Products mentioned have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information.


Skin Focus | Products for Glowing, Luminous Skin

If you've read any posts on the blog before, you'll know what a broken record I am when it comes to how I like my skin to look. My skin is quite dry, dehydrated, and dull naturally, so anything I can do to add a glow, I'm in. Lately I've been taking extra care to really prep my skin to make it look its best when it comes time for makeup, and today I'm rounding up some of my favorite products to get that super luminous, dewy base.

Skin Prep

Prepping the skin for makeup is probably the most important step here. A painter wouldn't paint a masterpiece without properly preparing their canvas, so why should you apply your makeup without preparing your skin first? When I have time in the morning or for a special occasion, I love using the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask as a pre-makeup step. It has instant results, giving you that just-got-a-facial glow. It gently exfoliates the skin, leaving it super smooth but never red or irritated. Because of my skin type, I love loading up on moisturizers before makeup to ensure my base goes on as smoothly as possible - you would think this would decrease a foundation's longevity, but it actually helps keep my skin from drinking up the foundation, making it last longer. My favorite moisturizers for underneath makeup are both from Glossier - the original Priming Moisturizer and the Priming Moisturizer Rich. I've been using the Rich version all winter to help with my dry skin, but the lighter original version is my go-to in the warmer months. Right now I've actually been loving using both - the Rich version has a bit more of a velvety finish on my skin, so I apply that all over and then apply the original, which has a dewier finish, on the high points of my face. Another way to make skin really glow is to apply a facial oil underneath your makeup - Rosehip Oil is my favorite, as it's lightweight and sinks in quickly. As a finishing touch, a face mist is perfect - it locks everything in and helps amp up that glow. I've been using the Pixi Glow Mist* a lot since I received it last week, and it's already becoming a staple in my routine.

The Base

Once your skin is all prepped and primed, picking the right base product is next. I usually go for really lightweight, glowy bases, like the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint, for a natural, glossy-skin look. When I want slightly higher coverage I've fallen back in love with the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation - it's the glowiest, most beautiful foundation ever and will give you Victoria's-Secret-model skin. On special occasions when I want my makeup to last a long time, or if I just need even more coverage, my holy grail is the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. This really is worth all the hype it gets - it's absolutely stunning on the skin. To make it a little less "makeup-y" looking for everyday, it is beautiful when mixed with the Glossier Skin Tint. Concealer is also important - I like using a light layer of foundation all over and then going in with concealer where I need more coverage, rather than wearing full coverage all over my face. The NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer is still my number one at the moment, and despite having "matte" in the name, it really lends itself well to this look. It isn't overly matte on me, but rather has more of a skinlike finish. The areas of redness that I usually need to conceal tend to be in oilier areas of my face as well, so something more matte is perfect. A 2-in-1 product like the Wander Beauty Dualist Matte and Illuminating Concealer* is perfect, too - one end is a matte stick concealer, while the other is a brightening, illuminating concealer. It's so convenient to have both products in one, so you're covered whenever.

Finishing Touches

You can't talk about luminous skin without mentioning highlighters, right? I think creams work best for this look, as they're usually more toned down and mesh well with the skin, making it look like you're just glowing from within. I can't go a minute without proclaiming my love for the Glossier Haloscope in Quartz - it's just the best in my opinion. It adds just the perfect amount of dewiness to the skin, but can still look quite intensely glowy. If you're looking for something with no shimmer whatsoever, take a look at the new Ciate London Dewy Stix. This is literally just a skin gloss/balm in a stick. It adds a glossy sheen to the skin that looks like you've been eating right and sleeping well your entire life. I prefer to dab it on with my fingers rather than striping it on straight from the tube, and it looks beautiful dabbed on the eyelids as well. Adding a bit of a flush to the skin is important, too - it adds to the healthy look we've been building here. My favorite is the Glossier Cloud Paints* - they're the most natural-looking blushes I've tried. They blend effortlessly into the skin and look just like a natural flush. My favorites for my skin tone are Puff and Dusk, especially mixed - they make the perfect neutral pink. If you haven't tried at least one of these yet, you need to.

What are your necessities for a glowing skin look?

I mentioned a lot of Glossier products in this post, and you can get 20% off your first Glossier order here. I do make a small commission on orders placed through my rep page, but all that money earned gets invested back into this space on equipment and products to review!

*Products mentioned have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information.