Hello from the other side. And by other side, I mean a torrential amount of work, unpacking, decorating, re-decorating, organizing and well, just trying to survive the last two months of the year. Survive seems a little dramatic but I keep wondering where in the hell the year went, and why I haven’t been able to pick up my laptop and blog, make cocktails or share my adventures and misadventures with all of you. Maybe a few of you have deserted me, rightfully so, or maybe you’re hanging hoping and wishing I would resume. But I’m back and I’m going to try my best to share more to finish the year with a bang.
Just to fill you in (abbreviated version), we moved to LA from Long Beach– we are now close to some of my favorite restaurants, shops, bookstores, and museums. Our business, Big Butter & Egg Man is growing, growing, growing, we celebrated our third wedding anniversary and 14 years together, my husband is turning 31 in a few days, I decided to give up shaving for good (more about that later) and its November… WHAT.IN.THE.WORLD?!
I haven’t made the time to blog because most days I’m too busy baking, snapping photos or trying to strategize our next business move. Its delightful and stressful, and fun, and stressful.
Prior to the big move, after spending months and months (January-June) agonizing over my skin thanks to stress, aging, travel, pollution and some poor diet decisions I decided to do a skincare overhaul. I said goodbye to a few products I was using that weren’t really doing the trick and spent quite a bit of time researching, sampling and trying out what works for my 31 year-old combo skin.
I’ve always been quite fortunate, with a pimple here and there, and a few allergic reactions, my skin otherwise, is quite resilient. But after spending at least 30 minutes a day agonizing over my blackheads, my pores, and my lackluster complexion I realized I needed to make a few changes. Skincare is expensive (with a capital E) and I couldn’t justify spending my money on everything all at once. I had to identify my biggest concerns and little by little start finding the right products. First on my list, finding the right cleanser that didn’t strip my skin and help deep clean removing makeup and start helping my skin rid itself of years of congestion. Next was finding a great exfoliator to help shed dead skin cells. Then a great moisturizer, then a toner, then a serum… And finally five months later I’m happy to say I’ve amassed a collection go skincare products I happily use every (single) day, I’m excited to take my makeup off at the end of the day and I find myself getting more and more compliments about my skin.
I’ve always had a bit of skincare obsession after my grandmother shared her beauty secrets with me and my sister when we were little. My mom is the exfoliator queen and probably has never had a pimple in her life (true story). My sister has the most flawless skin and always reminds me to take care of my lips, hands and cuticles. Needless to say, I was and am surrounded by women who take their skin very seriously.
My new routine is a bit of a commitment so it does mean I’m spending more time in the bathroom in the morning and evening, but trust me, it’s worth it. And I can finally stop feeling guilty about all those nights I slept in my makeup. I think the Dines/Hale/Hale-Jones women would be proud.
1. Makeup Remover |PM only|. Tatcha Pure Camelia Cleansing Oil. If you haven’t tried Tatcha, you won’t be disappointed. This helps breakdown my makeup without leaving my skin feeling dry or too oily.
2. Makeup and Impurity Remover II |AM and PM, daily|. Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water. This is probably my favorite find. Ever. It helps remove any makeup or impurities that like to hang on. It’s magical.
3. Cleanser |AM and PM, daily|. Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser. Sunday Riley is another fantastic brand. She really understands skin and her products are chock full of with amazing ingredients to help detoxify and transform your skin. The first two months of using this my skin was a little congested, which means I experienced a few breakouts but hang in there, your skin will start to change.
4. Exfoliator/Skin Polish |PM only, 3x week|. Tatcha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder. A gentle and effective exfoliator to help soften skin to remove dead skin cells without stripping the skin. Again, Tatcha is amazing. This exfoliator comes in three formulas depending upon how sensitive your skin is, but all three will help buff away imperfections, dullness and help balance skin.
5. Exfoliator/Treatment |PM only, 3x per month|. Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask. Tata Harper products have a cult following and rightfully so. This will instantly brighten and detox your skin. You can sleep in the max, you can use it more often to combat breakouts and oil or you can spot treat pimples and blemishes with the mask.
6. Exfoliator/Treatment |PM only, 2x per month|. Ole Henriksen Power Peel. I’ve never (ever!) found a product that helps reduce the size and appearance of a breakout or a pimple so quickly and so effectively. This was the second skincare item I invested in and I haven’t looked back.
7. Toner |AM and PM, daily|. Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel.. This is a staple and something my grandmother, great-grandmother and great-aunt swore by. Witch hazel is incredibly effective and a beauty cabinet must-have for a number of reasons. It’s always the last step before I apply serums and creams.
8. Serum/Treatment |AM and PM, daily|. May Coop Raw Sauce. Where have you been all my life you slightly sticky wonder in a bottle?! I apply this post toner to ensure my skin effectively absorbs my moisturizer. It makes my skin incredibly soft and sometimes makes me put the foundation down for a makeup-free day.
9. Serum/Treatment |PM only, daily|. Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment. Two pumps help brighten my skin, exfoliate and increase circulation for a brighter more even skin tone and complexion. Another plus, you can combine with the Ceramic Slip cleaner for a DIY mask.
10. Beauty Oil |PM only, daily|. Korres Black Pine Active Firming Sleeping Oil. Wake up to the most incredible, glowing skin with this product. Your skin will feel nourished and instantly lifted, especially if wrinkles are starting to sneak up on you.
11. Moisturize |AM and PM, daily|. Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturizer. Finding a concentrated moisturizer that doesn’t break me out or make me like it disappears in 30 seconds was tough. This, by far has been my favorite moisturizer. A little goes a long way.
12. Eye Cream |AM and PM, daily|. DERMAdoctor Kakadu C Eye Souffle. An eye cream that works for the entire eye (don’t forget your brow bone and your outer eye area!) that doesn’t irritate my eyes or give me small bumps after application. *I’m hunting for something to help with the redness around my eyes to start using during the evenings, but will keep the Eye Souffle as my daily eye cream.
13. Lip Treatment |PM only, 2x per week|. Glam Glow Fizzy Lip Exfoliating Treatment. This is definitely a splurge but I love the minty tingle and I keep the pot of lip balm in my purse to apply throughout the day.
14. Lip Treatment |PM only, daily|. Hourglass Lip Treatment Oil. In lieu of using my Glam Glow lip balm at night, I use Hourglass Lip Oil, to help moisturize my lips and help with fine lines. This treatment oil is great for anyone who uses matte lipstick more than once per week– this treatment oil will protect lips with early signs of aging with short-term and long-term benefits.
15. Skin Mist |3-4x per week|. Tatcha Luminous Skin Mist. This is more of a treat so I only use as needed sometimes after makeup or sometimes for a makeup free day. If I really want to refresh and revive my skin, I will place the bottle in the fridge for 15 minutes before use.