My Top Skincare Picks

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I can't do a complete skincare routine post because I'm still playing with what I'm putting on my face to get rid of my horrendous cystic acne. The ones I've reviewed earlier (here and here) work really well, but after a while, my pimples just come back--I swear the damned things are regenerative.

So instead I thought I'd write about my skincare MVPs--my tried and tested products that I keep coming back to, no matter what. I don't know that makeup remover is technically counted as skincare, but it's a crucial part of looking after your skin, so I included it here anyway.

*Apologies for the incredibly annoying tilted picture! Won't happen again! (Hopefully!)*

1. Clinique All About Eyes Rich: I've done a whole post on this before (link), because it is seriously the richest, creamiest most hydrating eye cream you will ever encounter. The incredible texture of this product makes putting it on my absolute favorite part of my nighttime routine. I've gone through at least 4 tubs of it by now--it's just that good. Go to Sephora, a Clinique counter and just touch it--I promise you won't be sorry! (But make sure it's All About Eyes Rich and not regular All About Eyes, there's a big difference!)

2. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel: This, for me, and probably a lot of other oily-skinned folk, is my all-time favorite moisturizer because it leaves my face perfectly hydrated but not at all greasy. That's probably because of its consistency which is less of a gel and more of a gel-cream so it really delivers the perfect dose of moisture for normal-to-oily skin. I don't wake up excessively shiny in the morning, and there's something really skin-softening about it--it makes my face look really supple and smooth. I believe this is my 5th bottle which is really saying something, because the gel spreads so the product lasts a long time.

3. Burt's Bees Pore Refining Mask: I've done a whole post on this one too (link) because it's really a standout item. A lot of clay-based face masks tend to work the same on me but this was the only one that really made a difference on my acne and even temporarily shrank my enormous pores. Unfortunately, this particular item has been discontinued (which I really don't understand because they terminated one of their few amazing products instead of one of their many crappy ones) but it should still be available online. I still have a few more stocked up but when they're gone, I'll be back on the hunt for a good mask--I'm thinking of looking into some Origins ones.

4. The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion: I picked this up in a haul a little over a month ago, so it hasn't quite stood the test of time like all the rest of these, but believe me, I know this will keep its Holy Grail status for a long time. I love a good face exfoliator that has very small scrubby bits that can be gentle but also get the job done and this one is just perfect. It's a sort of cream that dissolves into handfuls of the most finely milled sand for a completely non-abrasive but very thorough exfoliation. The one thing I don't love about this is that it's just a facial scrub--it's not a cleanser which means you have to take the extra step of washing your face before using it. For this, though, I almost don't mind.

5. Boots No 7 Quick Thinking Wipes: I think these were the first things I ever reviewed on my blog (link), and 8 months later, they're still how I take off my daily makeup. They're perfect for stashing on your nightstand for lazy, potentially drunken nights, or just for a quick refresher on a hot summer day. These guys manage to get rid of all of my everyday makeup (concealer, powder, blush, mascara) but on days when I'm wearing a more heavy-duty look, I switch to the products below.

6. Bioderma Crealine H2O: I picked this up in Paris over the summer (link) after hearing so many rave reviews from fellow makeup lovers, and of course, they were absolutely right. This magic elixir can get rid of the heaviest makeup without irritating my skin or eyes but it takes on pretty much the exact form of water. Unlike just about every other makeup remover out there, there isn't the slightest trace of an oily residue and it doesn't leave my skin tight or uncomfortable after using it. On full-on makeup days, I'll drench a few cotton pads in the solution and take off my eye makeup first and then wash my face with this to get rid of foundation and the like. The one thing I could fault it for is not being readily available outside of France--but I'm looking into ways around that!

7. Sonia Kashuk Remove: I know it's a bit excessive to have two eye makeup removers, especially as this isn't as good as the Bioderma (what is?) but it's actually really useful to have a cheap remover around. On days when I'm just playing around with my makeup to try out different looks, this takes everything off really easily without me having to worry about "wasting" my precious Bioderma. But it's also what I use to wash off the mascara from my false lashes, clean my makeup brushes in a hurry and any other not-really-face-related cosmetic removal. In terms of getting rid of eye makeup, this definitely gets the job done, though it does leave my skin a little stripped and have a slightly toxic smell. You might be wondering why, then, it's made my "top" list, and the answer is very simply that I need both makeup removers, and this is number 1 at its price point ($10).

I know that might not seem like very many products, but it takes a lot for me to regard something as a "top" item and I'm extra finicky about skincare.

You'll have noticed that I didn't include a cleanser or toner, though I use both religiously, and that's because everything I use seems to perform just about the same. So if you have any recommendations for cleansers and/or toners for oily, acne-prone skin, please let me know!

My cousin's wedding is coming up in just 4 days so things are incredibly hectic here, but there'll be wedding and special occasion makeup posts soon featuring, for the first time on my blog, eyeshadow!

I'd like to think you're as excited as I am.

Good night!

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