I’ve become quite the Westman girlie these days. Gucci Westman’s products are bux-deluxe but worth it. I’m obsessed with my Westman contour stick. It blends better than Rare Beauty AND Fenty. The color is the perfect cool tone without looking ashy on my fair/pink skin. I also LOOOOVE her highlight stick which gives an extremely dewy finish. I know these foundation drops will round out my collection nicely.
I’m gonna need you to pretend that this isn’t $1,900. My building just contacted me to let me know they’re raising my rent by 10%. Even with that inflation, my rent still costs less than this face mask!!! I really love red light and I want to believe it works. I always select it as an add-on when I get a facial. Also….that reminds me — I need to book a facial.
The chokehold!!! Jen Atkin has over me!!! I guess I’m collecting all the Ouai perfumes. I have Melrose Place (my fave. it’s very rosy) and Dean Street (sometimes I love it and sometimes it smells too much like clean laundry). Now I want Rue St Honoré. The packaging is so adorable! These perfumes look so good lined up on my vanity. They’re 20% off!! How could I not?
The dental hygienist complimented my skin today. Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve noticed that it’s been looking more glow-y and even recently.
I’d love to share my new fave products with you, but before I do you should definitely know your skin type for best results.
For example, my skin is dehydrated (NOT dry), sensitive and acne-prone. I also have rosacea.
If you DO NOT have any of those things, I don’t know that these products will benefit you in any way! Maybe they will, but that can be your science experiment and I don’t want any part of it/any blame if it goes wrong. Also, I know I said I have sensitive skin, but if your skin is the type of sensitive skin that gets a rash from anything that isn’t 100% pure idkwhatthefuck, consult a dermatologist before using any of this!!
Secondly, I am not claiming that any/all of these products are affordable. Some of them you can definitely find at a drugstore and are under $30, but some of them aren’t!
Basically, this list won’t be for everyone.
We love an author that alienates their audience in the intro!
If you’re still reading….. I am going to list my routine in reverse. Nighttime first. Why? Because chaos is fun.
Do you ever have a skincare product that you look forward to the scent of? This cleansing balm smells SO good. I love its marigold color. I love its melty texture. I love the way it gently but effectively dissolves any and all makeup on my skin. I don’t love how whenever I need a new one, it’s always out of stock!! But when I have this in my rotation, it’s bliss.
I get the best results by doing a few passes over my face with a cotton pad soaked with micellar water (any kind will do), rubbing a nickel-sized portion of this balm all over my face then removing with a water soaked cotton pad (or several), then washing with a cleanser like the one I’m going to tell you about below.
This cleanser is soooo beyond extremely gentle. I have stopped cleansing with a product in the morning (Charlotte Palermino taught me), so I keep this in the shower to cleanse with after a workout/before bed.
Allow me to be tragically honest with you. I don’t like the way this product smells or feels. I DO love how it works. When I wake up, my skin feels so freakin hydrated and soothed (V good product for this someone with rosacea) after I go to sleep with this weird goo slathered on.
If you were a kid who sunburned their face a lot and their mom made them go to bed wearing an aloe mask, it feels like that and smells stranger. But this works. Effectively.
OKAY NOW THIS IS THE MORNING STUFF.
As previously mentioned, I no longer cleanse my face in the AM with a product. Typically, I wet a wash cloth and gently rub it all over my face. Then, while my face is wet, I apply the following:
This toner is one of the main reasons my skin has been looking brighter and more even. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm, but I can always use Banila Clean It Zero in a pinch. I think this purple-milky toner is my new must-have. The blend of acids LIGHTLY exfoliates my skin without burning or stripping it. I get hormonal acne AND mascne, and this product has helped prevent it and clear any dark spots up.
Hands down, this is my favorite moisturizer. Tragically, I ran out and currently don’t feel like spending $50 to replace it. I am going to try a La Roche-Posay cream in the interim, and I’ll let you know how that goes. But really, this moisturizer strengthens the F out of my skin barrier and plumps my skin to baby cheek goodness. It’s worth the money. I’m just currently broke!
Be sure to make sure your face is still a little wet when you apply this, it will trap the moisture in (a MUST for dehydrated skin). If your face isn’t a little wet, don’t be afraid to splash a LITTLE water on. Then apply product.
What started as a sample in my Blue Mercury bag has become a staple in my routine. I am a big fan of facial massage/lymphatic drainage every morning and I can’t even imagine doing it without this oil. I guess I love peptides and squalane, babes.
As someone in the skincare cult of Charlotte Palermino, I love an occlusive. Is this step overkill? Maybe! Is it locking in all my face products when I use smaller than a pea-sized amount? Yes! Is it hurting anybody? NO! IT GROWS THE ECONOMY.
Seriously use like…half a pea-sized amount, rub it between your hands and then gently pat it into your face. I have noticed a DRASTIC difference from doing this. Plus, it’s under $10.
This is one of my favorite sunscreens. I am pale as hell. Something other white people LOVE to point out to me. This is tinted so when I wear it, I don’t wear foundation (or honestly even concealer). It’s SPF 50 so I feel protected. Because I am not typically wearing other makeups with it, this is super easy to reapply without worrying that I am messing up the makeup masterpiece that is my face. The only con is that it WILL stain your clothing should you get any on it before it dries.
My other fave sunscreen rn is from Saie, but it’s a lower SPF. I know I upset some people last time when I said you should be wearing sunscreen indoors, but the Saie one is a good option for every day if you aren’t planning on being outside all that much.
LMK if you have comments, questions, concerns.
I am not a derm or an expert. Just a human being with skin on their face who has tried some things and liked them.
If you think there aren’t 27 year old women on this app, you’re probably on the wrong side of TikTok. This video app (which has completely ruined taken over my life) is influencing the crap out of me to buy things.
There are so many makeup artists touting must-have setting sprays, hair stylists with holy grail conditioners and just cool/smart people who have put me on to products that “actually work.”
But do they?????
Because I am a complete and total sucker, I have bought some of these things. Here’s what is actually good:
The Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer
I bought this at Ulta after a bunch of women that I follow on TikTok used it to give themselves DryBar-worthy blowouts.
Full disclosure, I am a DryBar ADDICT. I used to go every other week because it was in my building at work. Shoutout Burbank. I fully believe that if I were to have even the faintest whiff of a DryBar candle right now, it would give me a full body orgasm.
But not only do I miss DryBar, my frizzy little head misses it too. My hair has not been sleek or bouncy in the months? years? That we have been here.
I am fairly okay using hot tools. I have been flat ironing my own hair since I was 13 (humblebrag).
This hair-drying round brush isn’t difficult to use, but it is definitely bulky. I had to section my hair into smaller portions than normal to get the strands as sleek as I wanted to because I just couldn’t get in there, on account of how big the brush is.
I did love how quickly it dried my hair, even when it was wet-wet. It’s a great tool for creating sleek/flipped ends. I DON’T love that I can’t get as close as I want to to my roots, like I typically would be able to with a flat iron.
It gave me lots of volume. I had to go back over the top with my flat iron 😦
8/10 — Excellent hair tool. Probably easier to use if you have thin to medium hair and aren’t a total chia pet like me.
Essence Lash Princess Mascara
This mascara was $5 at CVS and worth every penny. That’s 500 pennies so…that means a lot. This mascara will give you black-blash lashes with lots of buildable volume and length. HOWEVER!!! due to the heaviness of this mascara, it won’t hold a curl no matter how many times you attack your lashes with a curling wand.
7/10 — a great drugstore mascara, especially if you have naturally curly lashes.
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid
This product from The Ordinary is all the rage on Skincare-Tok. Normally, I am slightly afraid of this brand because I have no fucking clue what anything does or is for. BUT!!! After seeing too many TikToks where teens AND adults used this acid to help fade acne scars, I knew I needed to try it out.
Actually holy grail for me??? I have scarring, largely from my dermatillomania (chronic skin picking!), and after only a week of using this, my marks have faded dramatically. Plus, it was $7 at Ulta. THANKS TIKTOK!
NYX Powder Puff Lippie
1000000/10. It’s like dream matte mousse but for your LIPS!! And in so many gorgeous shades. It’s budge-proof, it’s light, it’s pigmented, it smells good….it’s perfect. AND IT IS CHEAP!! If you wear lipstick, get it.
There are some pretty amazing artists/designers/creators on TikTok. These are some of the ones I’ve made purchases from. I know these aren’t like….products I can give feedback on exactly, other than to say they were all so pretty and I love them/supporting small business!
When I was in college, I genuinely believed that I would die of embarrassment if a boyfriend saw me without makeup. My mother once told me that Dolly Parton’s husband had never seen her without her full glam on, (which, who knows if this is true lol) so I dedicated myself to always carrying around concealer, a lipstick and of course– mascara.
We could go into the patriarchal structures that put me (and my mom and Dolly) here, but that seems time consuming. Instead I will just say, I feel better with it on. Especially on my eyes.
I have lost probably hours of my life — if you were to add up all the time I spent from ages 14 to 24 — curling my lashes and mascara-ing them in whatever waterproof version of “blackest black” I could find.
This is just facts, okay? My natural lashes are stick straight. They barely hold a curl. They are also that sort of nothing-y “bronde” color that was so popular with celebs in 2016. My sister has eyelashes like a camel (please google camel eyelashes to see that this is a compliment). When she wears mascara, she doesn’t look like she has little sticks jutting out of her eyes, she looks like one blink could carry her away.
ENTER LASH EXTENSIONS
The first time I decided to try lash extensions was because of the rapper Kreayshawn. I was following her on Instagram and couldn’t stop noticing her long, fluffy, perfect inky-black lashes. One day, she tagged the salon. I made an appointment a few clicks later.
That was two years ago. TWO. And I haven’t looked back. The times I have had my normal lashes in between then and now have been because I messed up booking appointments or because I ran out of money and had to wait until the next paycheck to get them.
What’s so good about them???? I wake up and I have lashes. I don’t have sushi rice grains, I have fucking curtains. I don’t have to wear mascara ever expect for when I paint some on my very blonde lower lashes. I just get up and go. It’s so easy!
I feel polished when I have them. I feel pretty. I feel confident. I feel like myself.
While I realize it’s not THAT deep, they’re just tiny hairs glued to my even tinier hairs — CUE CORONAVIRUS
I didn’t have time to book a lash appointment before we were all told to social distance and my lash tech stopped working. I knew my days of perfect lashes were numbered so I tried to enjoy them.
Eventually, I had to remove the 4 that remained stuck to my face (jojoba oil on a cotton round, very gently). It was personally very devastating! And tbh I felt like crying a lot! These lashes — although a luxury — feel like a part of my face.
I guess the only way I can make it make sense to you is this: Imagine one day you woke up and someone had shaved off your eyebrows. While there is a chance they won’t grow back, typically they do. So while you know it’s not the end of the world, you still have to adjust to being like HOLY FUCK I HAVE NO EYEBROWS!!!
Sure you can paint them on but wouldn’t you rather have the eyebrows you actually want???? Wouldn’t you feel a little less like yourself when you look in the mirror, because who is that person? And why don’t they have eyebrows???
(I realize that there are people in this world who are also very self conscious about their white blonde eyebrows/lack of brows. I apologize for using this as an example.)
My boyfriend thinks I’m psychotic because of this. He tutted at me when I over-nighted a lash curler and a new mascara from Sephora once my lashes were totally bare.
But this is the reality I am going to have to live in until April 19 (and probably after then because WTF IS GOING ON). I need to become comfortable with my face. I am not even going to pretend I can get to a place of even partial confidence being bare-lashed. So mascara will just have to do.
I haven’t had to apply it or curl my lashes in TWO YEARS. I feel like a newborn. And there are lots of ups and downs. For some reason, the lashes on my left eye lay much more nicely than on my right eye and will all slip easily into the curler. The lashes on my right eye are pieces of shit and like to fuck up my face! It’s fun having sisters who never seem to have met each other, not twins.
I am so so so so lucky and privileged to be healthy and to be able to work from home and to afford groceries and to even complain about this. But honestly, much like every other part of being alive in this 2020 hellscape, it sucks and I’m just going to have to get over it and move on.
I’ve tried to focus on other parts of my face that I like and that’s been nice.
Turns out I quite like my cheeks. My eyebrows aren’t bad either. No one please go and shave them off though. That’ll really throw me.