pink bathroom with gold lamp

Everyday Skincare + Makeup Routine.

*Image above via The Grace Tales. Wouldn’t it be dreamy to get yourself dolled up in that sunny spot every morning? Also — proof positive that a good mirror changes a space.

What are some of your daily skincare and cosmetics heroes?

I’m in a good spot with my current routine, in no small measure thanks to the input and suggestions from so many Magpie readers in comments over the past few months. Below, thought I’d share what’s been working for me…

Morning Skincare Regimen.

Wash with Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser — I am addicted to this citrus-scented scrubby cleanser. It leaves skin thoroughly cleansed and awake. One trick I have learned is to really apply the cleanser for a good minute before rinsing to get the most out of the scrub. A few of you have reached out in search of more affordable cleanser options and I always recommend Indie Lee’s Brightening Cleanser, which I use while traveling. It doesn’t have the Tata scrubbiness but it cleans and brightens.

Apply vitamin c serum. I place three drops of the serum directly onto my forehead and each cheek and then blend in. I’ve been using this instead of Vintner’s Daughter for the past few months and I absolutely love it and see a lot of the same effects.

Apply fluid sunscreen. I’ve used this for years now — glides right in, leaves no white cast, and does not pill or anything under additional layers of skincare/cosmetics.

Moisturize with Avene Eau Thermale Legere. I love this for summer — extremely lightweight, non-greasy, and yet hydrating. I will switch it out for La Mer and/or Belif The True Cream in the cooler months — I usually alternate between those two.

Apply undereye cream. I’m currently using Olay Eyes Ultimate Cream, which is richly hydrating and enjoyably gel-like in texture, and you can’t beat the price. I’m still not evangelical about it like so many of you are — I don’t know. I’ve never really met an eye cream that’s gotten me crazy excited.

*I keep all of these morning skincare products organized in these and these inside my medicine cabinet — they are both the perfect depth and help me keep everything tidy and organized.

Daily Cosmetics Routine.

Apply either Chantecaille tinted moisturizer or Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick. I’m full on obsessed with the latter (full review here), so I tend to be reaching for that most mornings. I apply these products with an Artis Oval 6 brush (note that Artis has some incredible deals on select sets of brushes — thanks to a reader for pointing this out!).

Apply concealer — currently using Kosas, which is good but not as good as my beloved CDP. I also apply this with my Artis brush.

Apply bronzer — I love this Guerlain stuff. It is so natural and — odd to say, but I never have the problem of the powder breaking/crumbling in the case, which tends to happen with a lot of other brands (ahem, NARS). I apply to cheeks and around my hairline.

Apply blush — I am into Tata Harper’s volumizing lip and cheek tint in the Very Popular color. A little goes a long way and you kind of have to learn how to do it, trial and error style. I apply small dabs with my fingers.

Swipe on Laura Mercier eye basics in flax. I apply with my finger and it brightens and evens out the eyelid. I usually don’t even wear eye shadow on top.

Slick on some eyeliner — this $7 pen is unbelievably good. It’s just like Stila’s formula but a fraction of the price.

Add mascara — will never go back from Giorgio Armani. The absolute best. So much gentler on my lashes than DiorShow (which I used for maybe a decade?) but just as dramatic and dark. Love a good dramatic lash.

Swipe on Hourglass Volumizing Eyebrow Gel. I am so indebted to the readers who recommended this product — it’s exactly what I was looking for. Easy to apply, it sort of covers up any sparse spots and keeps everything in shape. I love love love this and have turned several close friends onto it as well.

Apply Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream and then, when absorbed, one of my go-to everyday lipstick colors.

If I am feeling myself, I’ll dab a little bit of Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter on the tip of my nose, underneath my brow, on my cupid’s bow, and on my cheek bones. It adds the softest most beautiful glow. I think there are a lot of different approaches to applying this complexion booster, but this is my favorite way to use it — as a highlighter.

*When applying cosmetics like blush, eye shadow, etc, I use exclusively Laura Mercier brushes. I’ve slowly acquired a wide collection of them over time, but this would be a great starter set. I find good brushes have been well worth the investment — they absorb less product and apply it more evenly. I have been so bowled over by the Artis brush I have though, I think I may slowly swap LM out for Artis.

**For cosmetics storage — I’m currently short on space in my Manhattan bathroom, so I keep overflow cosmetics/skincare in these inexpensive clear cosmetics bags, organized by type (i.e., one bag for eye shadows/primers, one for blushes, one for lipsticks). I like that these are clear because they are easy to find. I keep all of these in a big bin underneath my sink (BTW, those white bins are amazing for organizing linen/utility closets — I use them also to stow bulky things like lightbulbs, dog stuff, etc, all labeled with my labelmaker). Then I keep all of the cosmetics outlined above — the ones I use every single day — in my leather cosmetics kits, which I nestle into one of my drawers. I find this makes everything I need easy-to-access, and — bonus — when I travel, everything’s already packed.

When I had more space, I kept my cosmetics organized in one of these acrylic cubes, which I also found very handy. I’ve since repurposed that cube for medicine/first aid in our linen closet, labeling each drawer with things like “Oral Care,” “Allergy,” “Pain Killers,” etc. It’s amazing because everyone knows where to find everything now! (More linen closet organization ideas here.)

Also — if you are on the hunt for cosmetics bags, these are similar to my Cuyana set but can be purchased separately if you’re only after one size, and I love these punchy blockprint ones (a steal — two for $32) which are lined (great news for cosmetics).

Nighttime Skincare Regimen.

At the end of the day, I remove all makeup using a Billie wipe. I’ve raved about this to the high heavens, but I absolutely love these.

Every other night, I pat my face with a glycolic acid pad. I know some of you have asked whether applying additional products/wipes/etc removes all of the efficacy of the serum-packed Billie wipe, but I see this step as just layering products on top of one another. I then finish with a few drops of Sunday Riley’s Luna Retinol Sleeping Oil.

If I haven’t used the acid pad, I’ll apply a thin layer of Peter Thomas Roth’s Rose face mask and leave it on overnight.

I also apply a little more eye cream.

I find this cocktail of nighttime products leaves my skin soft and glowy in the morning.

What about you? Share your current routine must-haves! What am I missing?

P.S. Interesting to think back on some of my early thoughts only a few weeks into this pandemic.

P.P.S. Remember what it was like to get your driver’s license?

P.P.P.S. Are you a numbers person?

17 Comments

  1. Ah I always love these posts! I have two gold nuggets to pass on that have recently upped my game. First, I love those glycolic pads as well and saw someone recommend cutting them in half— brilliant! I always felt like I had extra product that was going to waste and half is perfect. Second, I loved Caroline Hirons’s new skin care book and she preaches that eye cream should be the first product applied after toner. She likens it to putting on underwear; it has to go on first or its useless, haha. I never would have thought of that even though it makes so much sense now that I think about it! I’ve never been thrilled with an eye cream either and so now I’m hoping it’s because I was never giving it a proper chance and it’s about to wow me hehe xx

    1. LOVE the idea of cutting the glycolic wipes in half – so brilliant! I totally agree that I feel I don’t use all the product on each. Thanks for that tip, and the one on undereye cream!! Going to switch up the order.

      xx

  2. i’m a big fan of VD but it’s so hard to justify buying it. I’m currently using another oil so thank you so much for the rec for the mad hippie serum!

  3. Another vote for retinol – I have definitely noticed a difference. Just make sure to start slowly and use a rich cream or face oil after (Vintners or Weleda Skin Food are both perfect for this)

    I am in love with the Supergoop CC cream. It is great coverage and SPF. I sometimes use it solo or with a little foundation on top- it’s awesome either way!

    And OBSESSED with the Billie wipes and Artis brushes! Xo

    1. YAY so glad you love the wipes and brushes as much as I do. Total hero products!

      Thanks for the tip re: retinol. Just scheduled my dermatologist appointment and will be asking about it then!

      xx

  4. I have a pretty simple routine. I have super sensitive skin, so my immunologist and dermatologist helped me come up with a skincare routine that works best.

    I wash my face with Cetaphil Daily wash (I use their baby wash on my body). Next, I apply Differin, an OTC retinol. If my skin is particularly dry, which is rare, I will moisturize with Cetaphil moisturizer. My final skincare step and first makeup step is to use colorescience Sunforgettable Total Shield Glow. I try to only use mineral sunscreen and keep their Sunforgettable Total Shield brush-on sunscreen with me for touch ups throughout the day.

    I adore colorescience Total Eye Renewal Therapy, which functions as my concealer and an additional SPF product. Once my skin is ready, I apply blush (currently using NYX blush stick in Total Rose. I use IT cosmetics brow pencil and Wet n Wild Mega Length mascara. Lately, I’ve been using tinted Burt’s Bees lip balm in lieu of lipstick.

    My evening skincare routine is identical to my morning one. I stop after Differin or moisturizer. My dermatologist and immunologist told me not to waste my money on eye cream. Sun protection is more important. If I want, I mix a little Cetaphil moisturizer with Differin and apply that closer to my eye.

    I try to use all cruelty free brands and prefer to not spend a lot, if possible. I never skimp on sun protection though! I keep all of my makeup and skincare in a pouch since it’s a pretty minimal arsenal. I bring that and my simple human lighted mirror into bed. Doing makeup in bed is one of my guilty pleasures.

    1. Love this routine – so many brands/products I’d never heard of! Thank you so much for sharing. I remember my first dermatologist INSISTING that Cetaphil was the only thing I needed to properly cleanse my face. I’ve never forgotten that! xx

  5. I, too, love reading skincare & makeup routines — and this post is no exception! We have pretty different approaches — I literally just use mascara and tinted lip balm on most days (!) — but I am all about skincare and have found so many good suggestions from you over the years 🙂 When I did wear more makeup (living in NYC and working in an office), I adored Guerlain bronzer!

    I’m currently so intrigued by the Mad Hippie serum — and at that price, it’s so easy to try. Love that you’ve found it a good runner-up to Vintner’s Daughter. I typically use Glossier Super Bounce serum in the morning and Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate at night, and like both, but am not in love with either, if that makes sense. Maybe I’m bombarding my face? Haha. I’m also so curious about retinol but don’t really know where to start :-/

    xx

    1. I hear you, MK – I think I’m going to ask my dermatologist when I go in for my next skin check, which is actually coming up in the next few weeks. I keep hearing about retinol but it sounds intense? But also intrigued if it does in fact erase wrinkles. xx

  6. Love reading other people’s makeup/skincare routines! I’ve been debating adding Vintner’s Daughter for… years(?) now into my morning routine – which currently consists of just splashing my face w water & spf/moisturizer – would you still recommend?

    I recently started using la roche posay’s adapalene (a retinoid) at my derm’s recommendation and switch off every other night with either adapalene or those glycolic pads (thanks to you!). Definitely have noticed a difference from rotating both products and taking a night off in between.

    Also, thx to you, I have carts at Artis and J Brand now – agh! Thinking the Artis brush sets on sale could be a great early/stow-away-in-prep Christmas gift for friends and sisters…

    1. Hi!! I do LOVE Vintner’s Daughter. It assuages my shopping guilt to alternate between pricier products and less expensive ones, and I think VD is AMAZING, and the $31 Mad Hippie serum a very good second-place, so I swap between the two of those. I do the same thing with moisturizer in the winter — alternate between La Mer ($$$$) and Belif ($). Would def recommend trying VD if it is in your budget!!

      Totally agree on taking a break in between using the more intense products at night. It’s been working really well for my skin.

      YES to those Artis brushes!! ULTIMATE gift.

      xx

  7. I would incorporate retinol into your routine. I found it made a huge difference in the way my skin looked. I use the one from SkinCeuticals (love their products). Start with the smaller percentage and work your way up. When I first started using retinol, I applied it once the 1st week, twice the 2nd, etc and built up to every other day. My only regret is that I waited until I was 30 to start using it. Wish had I started in my 20s!

    1. Very intrigued – thanks for the rec. A girlfriend of mine just messaged me the same thing, describing it as an eraser for age! Wow. Thanks!

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