My Current Skincare Routine

I have a lifetime of experience with difficult skin. I had cystic acne from the age of 8 until I was 24, and now in my 40s I have melasma and occasional breakouts. But in the last couple of months, my skin has never looked better! People actually tell me that I have a nice complexion and are surprised to hear my age. I don’t think they’re blowing smoke up my you-know-what, so my current skincare routine is working a treat. Here’s what I’m using:

1. An old-fashioned Dove Beauty Cream Bar. I use this in the morning to wash my face and at night to wash off my makeup. Dove Beauty Cream Bar

2. Giovanni D:Tox Purifying Facial Cleanser – I use this at night after I’ve washed my makeup off. I reviewed it here.
Giovanni D:Tox Purifying Facial Cleanser

3. Giovanni D:Tox Purifying Facial Scrub – I use this every morning in the shower. It’s not so abrasive that I can’t use it everyday, yet grainy enough to be effective.

Giovanni D:Tox Purifying Facial Scrub

4. Makeup Artist’s Choice Mandelic Acid Toner – This has made a huge difference with my skin tone. The melasma on my cheeks has faded quite a bit. I reviewed it here.
Makeup Artist's Choice Mandelic Acid Toner

5. Lucy Minerals Ambrosia Serum – I still think it’s strange that I put oil on my face when I’m already oily, but heck, it works at keeping the wrinkles at bay.
Lucy Minerals Ambrosia Serum
6. Avon Ideal Flawless CC Color Corrector Cream – I didn’t love it when I first got it, but then I started using it daily. I put this on my face right out of the shower, no moisturizer, no primer, just this. It’s not enough coverage for me on its own, but it’s fantastic as a base for my mineral makeup.
Avon Ideal Flawless CC Color Corrector Cream

7. Shakeology – I have always resisted the idea that what you eat has an effect on your skin (because nothing I ate or didn’t eat made a difference with my cystic acne), but a daily dose of superfoods sure does make my skin look nice. The vegan Tropical Strawberry is my favorite flavor. Shakeology Vegan Tropical Strawberry

What’s your current skincare routine?


My Top 5 Beauty Items of 2013

Have you seen these Top 5 Beauty Items of 2013 lists floating around the blogosphere? Everyone’s list is different and I love reading what items have become someone’s Holy Grail product.

Here’s my Top 5 Beauty Items of 2013 list:

Giovanni D:Tox Purifying Cleanser, Makeup Artist's Choice Mandelic Acid, Lucy Minerals finishing powder, Lucy Minerals Juicy Peach, Lumiere Cosmetics Cashmere Foundation

1. Giovanni D:Tox Purifying Facial Cleanser – read my review of this cleanser here. It’s definitely helped clear my pores without stripping my skin or making it feel dry.

2. Lumiere Cosmetics Cashmere Foundation in Light Medium Golden – read my review of this foundation here. I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a mirror the other day, and I was surprised how even my complexion looked thanks to this foundation. I waffle between Light Medium and Light Golden, so I have a jar of each on hand.

3. Lucy Minerals Oil Control Silica Finishing Powder and Juicy Peach blush (okay, that’s two; I’m cheating). The finishing powder is so smooth and soft and just perfect. PERFECT. The blush is pretty and makes me look – dare I say it – youthful.

4. Makeup Artist’s Choice 5% Mandelic Acid Toner – I stopped using this toner over the summer because I was worried about sun exposure on my chemically-exfoliated face, but I started using this again a couple of weeks ago. It took about 3 days for my skin to look smoother and fresher. I’ll just buy a stronger sunscreen next year. And a hat. I need this in my life no matter what the season.

5. Makeup Artist’s Choice 25% Mandelic Acid Peel – I was a bit intimidated by an at-home chemical peel! But mandelic acid is both gentle and effective. The brown blotches on the side of my face have faded considerably. Like the toner, I stopped this over the summer – I won’t make that mistake again next summer.

What’s on your Top 5 Beauty Items of 2013 list?


Facial Friday – Makeup Artist’s Choice haul

A couple of years ago I got a chemical peel at a salon and I was happy with the result! But peels need to be done on a regular basis and at ~$150 a pop, I can’t justify it even though my skin is pretty bad.  I’d read about at-home cosmetic peels so I had to give it a try. A little bit of internet research revealed that Makeup Artist’s Choice was probably the best place to buy these items.

Here’s my order!

20130718-220819.jpgPacked in this cute bag! I thought it was a nice touch.


20130718-220859.jpgHere’s what I ordered:

  • Mandelic Acid (5%) toner – I’ve never been much for toners; I didn’t see what was the point? But I tried Mandelic Acid toner earlier this year and I am now a toner convert. I stocked up with two bottles.
  • Mandelic Acid (25%) Peel – MUAC customer service suggested I start with this based on my particular skin concerns (hyperpigmentation, breakouts, uneven tone). I really like this. I don’t actually peel with this so there’s no downtime. I really noticed the results after about a month using it once a week – my skin cleared up, my brown patches faded, and I just looked smoother.
  • 5-Acid Body Peel – I’ll review this once I’ve used it a few times. I’m hoping this evens out my decolletage a bit, and I’d be thrilled if it fades bacne scars. I’ll wait until autumn to try it out when I won’t be in the sun as much.
  • Transforming Anti-Aging Eye Repair cream – I was in desperate need of a good eye cream. I will review this after I’ve used it a while longer.
  • MUAC threw in a sample of French Green Clay Mask. Cute! I’ll report back on this once I’ve tried it.

Truthfully, I was a little intimidated by the idea of at-home chemical peels and had no idea where to start – MUAC’s website has so, so many options. I sent a few emails to MUAC before and after I made my purchases and customer service is incredible (and I’m not just saying that because the customer service rep’s name is Wendy). The peels also come with a handy instruction guide.
If you’re considering trying chemical peels on your own, definitely email customer service for recommendations. I’m really happy that I did.

Have you had chemical peels? What’s up for the weekend?