For the past year I have been really focused on improving my skin, getting a regimen down and also finding products that will be staples in my collection. I’m not really the type of person that likes to use A LOT of different products, mainly because I breakout in hives really easy so I don’t want to test a lot of things at once and not know exactly what’s causing me to breakout. I try to test a product for at least 6 months before I say if I love it or hate it. A lot of the products above I’ve been using for moooonths and they haven’t let me down so I wanted to share with you all some of my current beauty favorites and products I will always reach for!
This is going to be a long one friends, so grab a snack… or two!
So, I mentioned above that I have been spending the last year focusing on improving my skin and learning what works for me. I read an article on XONecole last year that changed the way I looked at skincare. I began with changing the face wash I was using to a low ph cleanser, which at the time was the CeraVe foaming face wash (today I’m using the Cetaphil Gentle Wash), and then slowly adopting the Korean Skincare method. I also started using sunscreen again, and over the year I have been seeing some amazing improvements not only to my hyperpigmentation, but also the overall texture and brightness of my skin. The products below have aided in how little makeup I wear these days and how skin-like it looks when on. I have basically improved my “makeup no makeup” look by focusing on my skin instead of technique, so I’m geeked!
So let’s get into the products!
From L to R:
Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner: This toner is LIIIIFFFEEEE! Omg! This was one of the first products I purchased when I started researching and getting into Korean skincare. If you don’t know what a BHA is, it stands for beta hydroxy acid and it’s a gentle liquid exfoliant that is better suited for acne prone skin and helps get rid of dead skin, lighten dark spots, unclogs pores and again improves the overall texture of your skin.
Using a toner in your skincare regimen is important because it helps to not only clean away what your face wash left behind, but it also adjusts the ph of your skin after cleansing. Before I was using the Aloe BHA toner I was using witch hazel, and while it was ok I was still finding myself breaking out often and my skin would be soooo tight after toning, so that had to go! What I love about this toner first is the consistency. It’s a watery gel like liquid and goes on so smooth. A little goes a long way, but I tend to use a lot of it because I like the way it feels on my skin. After I started using this toner, I noticed that it was helping to improve how overactive my then oily skin was, and I was getting less and less breakouts as time went on.
If you’re dealing with breakouts, try this!
CosRx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence: Ok so let me be honest. I tried this product once, didn’t really care for it and let it sit for at least 8 months before I picked it up again. The bottle you see above is a new one because after I picked it up again, I was like oh girl!, you HAVE to keep using this.
CosRx is another brand that I first purchased from when I jumped on the K-beauty train. Their products are not only raved about, but super inexpensive. So if you’re looking to get into K-beauty or add a few products to your collection, start with CosRx.
An essence is important because it helps to add hydration back into your skin while working at the same time to repair it. I like to use an essence as the last step in my nighttime routine. It’s sort of like a moisturizer for me, and when I say when I wake up in the morning my skin looks flawless, girl! You really have to wake up and cue Beyonce’ after using it.
Not only does my skin LOOK great the next morning, but it FEELS great and that’s important to me considering I’m really focused on improving the texture of my skin.
CosRx BHA Power Liquid: We’ve already learned about BHA’s, so I’ll just say this, girl… go buy this! If you’re dealing with acne prone skin and you’re trying to keep breakouts at bay, use a BHA. I use this in my nighttime routine and follow it up with a toner and the CosRx Snail Essence.
Nip+Fab Glycolic Daily Cleansing Pads: Ok, another honest moment… I’ve only been using these for about a month now, but hear me out… I love them. So much that I ordered the Nighttime Cleansing Pads they offer. This purchase was the result of a skincare thread on Twitter I was following. All these beautiful black girls were sharing the one skincare product that helped improve the overall health of their skin and these cleansing pads were mentioned more than twice so I hopped on Amazon and made that purchase. I know they say daily cleansing pads and are meant to be used in the morning, but I use them every other night, and the nights when I’m being completely lazy but know I need to use something to deep clean and exfoliate.
I can say that in the month that I have been using these my dark spots have been fading faster which… thank God! I want to continue to use these for a few months and come back and give a full review because I have a feeling these are going to really change the game for me!
Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen: I started using this sunscreen last year and it has really changed my skin. An important thing to note here is that if you start using BHA’s (or even AHA’s) you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO WEAR SUNSCREEN OR YOU WILL BURN AND RUIN YOUR SKIN! And yes, I meant to type that in all caps. I didn’t have to worry about that because when I was researching K-Beauty, I made sure I ordered everything that was essential at once. I don’t know much about sunscreens or different ones (well, I used a Neutrogena sunscreen a few weeks ago and I broke out in two days so yea) but I know I love this one. It’s super thin, light weight, and goes on perfect with out without makeup. Also it has an SPF of 50+ and I know people usually go for 30, but because I use exfoliants, I need all the protection I can get. I also love that a little of this goes a loooong way… you don’t need a lot at all and it’s inexpensive. I pay about $8 for this on Amazon BUT it takes about 2 weeks to get to you because most of the sellers are in Korea or Japan, so whatever you do, order two!
I’m a perfume girl to the fullest! I looove perfume, it’s something that I HAVE to put on everyday or I just don’t feel right. I get that from my grandma, she has an amazing perfume collection so I typically try to sneak one away from her when I can.
The Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Now and Zara’s Joyful Tuberose are two that I have been reaching for the most lately. Let it be known, I love Zara fragrances! I actually believe they make some of the best beautifully scented, long lasting and inexpensive fragrances in the game. If you don’t have a lot to spend on perfume, because let’s face it, it can really get expensive… just go to Zara. The bottle above cost me $9.90 and lasts me around 2 1/2 months… good investment for someone who wears perfume everyday like myself.
I’ll be honest that I’m typically not a fan of body mists, or anything fragrance related from Victoria’s Secret, but they were having a semi-annual sale, I stopped in, liked the scent and purchased it. I actually purchased two.
Both scents are very light and flirty. I think I have been loving them this Summer because they both remind me of what I think peace and serenity should smell like… like the islands! Also, I’m a big fan of mixing scents (I know that’s forbidden for some, but I like for my scents to work together), and anytime I mix these two, I always get compliments on how great I smell. Also, my guy literally will sit, sniff me and keep telling me how great I smell when I wear these together, so I call these a win!
So these are three products that are ALWAYS in my possession! I love the Elf Cleansing Cloths because they are suited for sensitive skin, remove everything with ONE wipe and are so inexpensive. I get this 20 pack at Target for $3 and because I don’t wear makeup everyday at all, these typically last me a few months. I love how moist these cleansing cloths are as well because it’s the WORST when your makeup wipe dries out really fast and you’re forced to use multiple wipes. Also, sometimes I can be kind of lazy, I’ll remove my makeup and go right to bed and I never wake up the next morning with a breakout mainly because these wipes have Aloe in them which we all know is good for both breakouts and hydration.
Another Elf product I love is the Makeup Mist and Set Setting spray. Again, if you don’t have a lot of money for makeup products, go with Elf. This also cost me $3 at Target. Although this is a setting spray, I like to spray this on my foundation brush before I begin to blend. I believe it gives my makeup a more dewy and skin-like look. I started doing this step in maybe February and I can’t do my makeup without it now. I’m not a big fan of packing on too much, especially because I have acne prone skin, so the less products I can use and the more flawless I can get my makeup to look without too many products, the better. I do still have to set my face after I’m finished because girl, it’s hot and I don’t want my makeup melting off, but for setting everything I use the matte version of this spray.
And last but not least, Blistex Lip Medex… this is literally the only thing I use on my lips when I’m not wearing lipstick… THE ONLY! The Lip Medex has been a staple for me for yeeeeaaarrrssss! It keeps my lips extremely moisturized, I love the slightly medicated scent and it’s thin. There is nothing worse than STICKY ASS LIPGLOSS! Ugh! If I don’t have this on me for whatever reason (rarely ever happens), and I ask a friend for gloss, they always have something on them that’s thick and sticky… not for me sis. Who wants their hair sticking to their lips all day? Not me girl! I typically buy 6 or 7 of these at a time when I see them in Walgreens or CVS so that I always have them in my stash.
Comment below with some of your current favorite beauty products right now!