Tuesday, January 24, 2017

My Winter Beauty Routine

Hello, beautiful! For those of you who haven't heard, I'm back at BU after my month-long break. Though it's been difficult getting back into the daily grind of things, I'm really starting to appreciate having a daily routine again after weeks of never knowing how to structure my day.

Without school, I didn't have much of a structure to my day. So, while I was at home, I started creating morning and nighttime routines to help make my days a little more predictable.

One thing I got really good about while I was at home was finally starting to fall into a weekly beauty routine! When I moved away to college, I stopped taking such great care of my hair, skin and body. When I would get home after a long night of work, classes, reading, and the paper, I would barely have the energy to slather soap on my face, let alone follow any of my other typical beauty rituals.

However, now that I'm back at BU, I'm loving how great my hair and skin look and feel after weeks of taking care of myself! In fact, I look and feel so amazing that this semester, I've vowed to stick to the same beauty routine I used at home as much as possible. No matter how tired I am, I want to take the time to pamper myself day and night so I can view myself with confidence again!

By now, you're probably curious about what my beauty routine actually is - so, are you ready to see what's got me looking and feeling so incredible? Let me show you all the squeaky-clean details!


In the morning at school, I vary between waking up ten minutes before class and thirty-to-sixty minutes before class. So, depending on how late I am, I might just wash and moisturize my face before throwing my hair in a topknot - or, I might go all out with my hair, skin, and beauty routine.

First, to wash my face, I'm currently using the Too Cool for School Egg Cream Soap. This product is really cool because it's somewhere between a foam and a mousse, kind of like the texture of shaving cream. I like the way it feels when I slather it onto my skin, and I think it does a great job of extracting all of the dirt and grime from my face with just a few simple ingredients!

After I wash my face, I might throw a little acne spot treatment on any blemishes I'm fighting, or preventatively on any places where it looks like I might break out. I use the 12% benzoyl peroxide treatment from Target; however, I try to use it sparingly, because it's prescription strength and tends to make my combination skin a little flaky when used in excess!

Finally, I finish off with a simple moisturizer. As I mentioned, I have combination oily-dry skin, so while a lot of my skincare routine is focused on fighting acne, it's also about replenishing all the moisture that acne treatments strip from your skin. So, especially because the winter is harsh on my skin, I like to use a rich cream rather than a light or acne-treating moisturizer to replenish all that lost moisture from my skin. 

Currently, I'm in love with the Pond's Dry Skin Cream Facial Moisturizer. It's a hydrating product, but never leaves my skin feeling greasy. I love that I can feel it feeding my skin as soon as I put it on!

Usually when I'm going to class, I don't do much as far as hair and makeup go. However, one product that's always a staple in my life is the Garnier Fructis Curl Renew Reactivating Milk Spray. I have naturally wavy hair, but when I sleep on wet hair at night, it tends to make the texture more frizzy than defined. So, I like to replenish my waves with this curl renew spray every morning before I leave for school! I almost always wear my hair down, but when I don't, then usually it means I've thrown my hair up in a lazy topknot or ponytail because I'm not feeling too great.

Finally, if it's a weekend and I'm going to see Ryan, I'll put a little more effort into my routine by curling my hair with my Vidal Sassoon 1/2 in. curling iron. I heat up the curling iron on high because my hair is thick and wrap small 1-in sections around it away from my face. Then, I finish off with the Curl Renew Spray and comb through the curls with my fingers, for a more natural look rather than a "styled" one.

For makeup, I like to start with e.l.f.'s Complete Coverage Concealer palette on my under-eye area and any blemishes I might have. Usually, this involves me mixing the shades together for a custom color and then dabbing it on with my fingers. Under my eye area, I also try to apply concealer in more of an inverted triangle than a curve, since this gives it a more natural, blended appearance.

Then, I move onto stippling the Maybelline Fit Me! Matte Poreless Foundation in Natural Ivory (probably the palest shade, since I'm white as a ghost...and that's on a good day) onto my face with a foundation brush. 

For blush and bronzer, I'm using the e.l.f. Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder in St. Lucia, which I've heard is a perfect dupe for NARS Orgasm! I don't like a heavy contour, so usually I apply blush upwards from my cheekbones toward my temples, then apply bronzer right underneath that inside the hollow of my cheeks. Like I said, I like a more natural look! 

Brows typically come next. Right now I'm using the Touch in Sol Browza Super Proof Gel Brow Pencil in Choc it Up. I fill in my eyebrows with this pencil using tiny little strokes so they look like hairs, then blot with a tissue. (Sometimes, I use the Anastasia Clear Brow Gel on top just to finish it off, but most of the time I skip this step.)

Most of the time I'd skip straight to mascara. Lately, however, I've been obsessed with my Too Faced Natural Eyes eyeshadow palette. I always look forward to using it when I put on makeup! To start, I apply the shade Silk Teddy (a shimmery champagne shadow) all over my eyelid, from lash line to eyebrow. Then, I contour in my crease with Push-Up and add a touch of Erotica at the corners. Finally, I use the shade Heaven in the exact center of my eyelid and just below my brows to highlight and brighten. 

Then, lastly, I blend with my Sephora eyeshadow brush and apply a liquid liner in a subtle cat eye shape. I used to use (and love) the Milani eyeliner, but I recently left the cap off mine and it dried out - don't you just hate when that happens? So, since I've been loving e.l.f.'s affordable products lately, I picked up their liquid liner. I haven't tried it yet, but can't wait to see how well it works!

To finish off my eyes, I curl my eyelashes using my Sephora eyelash curler. I love my eyelash curler for it's unique shape...you can read all about it in my Day in My Life Post from back in December! Then, after I curl my lashes, I apply several thick coats of BareMinerals' Lash Domination mascara.

My final step in my makeup process is lips. I start off with a simple chapstick - usually whatever's lying in my purse, or some Vaseline - and then top it off with Bite Beauty's Lush Fruit Lipgloss in Raisin (which I guess has been renamed Rambutan, at least from what I can tell online? Someone please update me on this!). I've had this lip gloss for almost a year and a half, but it's only started to become a holy grail product for me quite recently! Now, I don't know what I'd do without it.

So, whether I've thrown my hair in a topknot and run out to class or gone full out with my curling iron and Lush Fruit Lipgloss, this is where my morning beauty routine ends: with a quick spritz of perfume! Currently, I'm using the Bath and Body Works Ultra Fine Fragrance Mist in Magic in the Air. This smell was SO attractive to me that I just had to buy it during their semi-annual sale! I had literally NEVER smelled anything I loved so much before in my life.

So, now, onto my night routine...


The very first thing I've started doing at night happens about thirty minutes to an hour before I decide to hop in the shower, and that's take off my makeup. (Though if I go to the gym, this step may happen earlier or later in the day - it's SO important to wash off your makeup before working out so you don't trap all those sweat and toxins beneath your foundation!)

I love wearing makeup during the day, but hate letting it sit on my face at night, so I typically wipe it off with a grapefruit-scented cleansing wipe from Target. Wipes are great because they feed my inner laziness, so they encourage me to make sure all my makeup comes off before bedtime, yet only require minimal effort!

Also, I recently rediscovered my love of coconut oil, so I simply take my jar of refined coconut oil (I think I just got this at the Christmas Tree Shops, but honestly I've had it so long I don't even remember), melt it down in the microwave, and run a healthy amount through my ends. This treatment is simple, natural, and great for hydrating your hair before you hop in the shower!

When I'm ready to take my shower, I throw on my little flip flops (shower shoes are so important! Protect your feet from communicable diseases!) and take my shower caddy into the bathroom for a little TLC. 

Usually, I take care of my skin first. I've only very recently started using my Clarisonic again, which was a gift from last Christmas, but I remembered how much I loved it and decided to charge it up! I usually only use this at night because twice a day is a little harsh (and, honestly, labor-intensive) for my routine; however, I love the way it leaves my skin feeling so silky, soft and exfoliated after!

With my Clarisonic Mia 2, I use a little bit of the Target Apricot Scrub (which is basically a perfect dupe of the St. Ives one...St. Ives is my favorite, but I'm unfortunately living that cheap college life, if ya know what I mean). I go for the brightening one rather than the acne-fighting one, since all that benzoyl peroxide isn't too good for combination dry skin - however, if your skin is super oily, I would 10 out of 10 recommend the acne scrub, too! So, anyways, I squeeze that onto the brush and turn it on, then allow the Clarisonic to work its magic! 

After, I rinse my face and pat it dry. (Early in life I learned that you're never supposed to rub your face with a towel, as it's very harsh and can redden and damage your skin, especially if it's dry and flaky already!) Then, I'll use the 12% benzoyl peroxide acne treatment if I haven't already - I try only to use this once a day so it doesn't dry out my skin - and follow up with a moisturizer. Again, Pond's Dry Skin Cream is my go-to at all times of day! 

That pretty much finishes up my face routine, so now onto the shower. In the shower, I start by washing the coconut oil out of my hair with a little shampoo and a LOT of conditioner. I currently use the Garnier Fructis Grow Strong shampoo and conditioner, not only because it strengthens and lengthens my hair (which I am really trying to grow out long again), but also because I love, love, love the scent! 

Usually, I only wash my hair once with shampoo, but I often apply conditioner two to three times to really work out all the tangles in my hair....especially when I wear it in a topknot, because the ends get SUPER frazzled!

After that, I'll shave all the areas that need shavin' with my Venus razor and a little Target shaving cream. I only really use shaving cream on my legs; for my underarms and other delicate areas, the hydrating strip on the razor does the trick. (Plus, as a side note, my gynecologist actually advised me not to use shaving cream "down there," since my skin is so sensitive! It went against all the advice I'd ever heard EVER, but stopping using irritating products like shaving cream really helped me with the chronic yeast infection-like symptoms I'd been having for months.)

Ahem. That being said, now that I'm done shaving, I finish up by washing my body with the St. Ives Even and Bright Pink Lemon and Mandarin Orange Body Wash. This body wash has little particles that gently exfoliate your skin - plus the scent is so bright and so fresh! On the occasions that I shower in the morning, I find that the sheer smell really just does the trick to get me waking up and out of bed in the morning.

Since I'm in a dorm, when my shower is over, I have to bundle up in a towel and walk on over to a bathroom stall to get dressed. While I'm in there, I take a little body lotion and Vaseline with me for the road. 

Before I put my clothes on, I like to start by applying Vaseline anywhere that needs extra-special attention. For example, I like to put Vaseline on things like razor burn and ingrown hairs to keep my clothing from rubbing against them and irritating them. This time of year, too, because I am often sick, I also tend to put Vaseline on my nose to keep tissues from irritating it. Finally, I use the last of the Vaseline on my fingers on my lips as a quick and easy lip moisturizer! Honestly, is there anything Vaseline isn't good for?

Finally, I slather on a healthy dose of body lotion - Bath and Body Works Ultra Shea Body Cream in Warm Vanilla Sugar is the best - get dressed, and head back to my room to finish out my night. 

Once in my room, I brush out my hair and spritz a little bit of the OGX Coconut Oil Weightless Hydrating Oil Mist on my ends from afar, just to give it a little bit of extra moisture and shine. Then, I take out my contacts, put on my glasses, and finish out my night feeling pampered and amazing! 


Speaking of pampering, once or twice a week, I like to get REALLY fancy with it and give my skin a little bit of extra TLC. 

One way I easily do this is by throwing on a CVS charcoal pore strip (a dupe for Biore) to remove any blackheads from my nose. If your nose is super dry and irritated from the wintertime, I seriously would NOT recommend this treatment - ouch! But, if you tend to get oil trapped in the little nooks and crannies around your nose (like I do), this treatment will really help you to clean out all the muck that's hiding inside your pores. The best part is that it's SO quick and easy: you just put on a pore strip while you study, wait for it to dry, and take it off when you're done! 

Another thing I like to do is use a sheet mask. For Christmas, I got a sheet mask set by Too Cool For School. All of their masks are super hydrating and always leave my skin feeling moist and soft. Plus, if you suffer from sensitive skin or skin irritation, the masks are always cool and soothing when I put them on, so I imagine they would be great for chilling red or irritated skin! 

Finally, if I'm not in the mood for a sheet mask, I go for my Formula 10.0.6 Deep Down Detox Ultra Cleansing Mud Mask. This mask is one of my absolute holy grail skin care products! For a mud mask, it's not super dark colored or messy, it has a light citrusy scent, and even gives you that tingly feeling in your pores so you know it's doing its job right! Whenever I take this mask off, I just always feel so happy, glowing, and refreshed. I feel like people can really see the difference in my skin...or, maybe it's just me. Who cares? I still look and feel incredible when I'm done!

So, those are the ways that, as a busy college student, I take care of my skin, hair, and body throughout my week. What's your beauty and pampering routine look like compared to mine? Are there any holy grail products I need to get my hands on? Let me know in the comments below! 

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