FaceTime: Fresh Tips for a Fresh Face

One of the perks of having a boyfriend is that he’ll never let you go to bed without first cleansing your face. At least mine does. There are days that I get so lazy and tired, and the only thing I want to do when I get home is jump in the bed and forget that I’m still wearing makeup from 10 hours ago. My boyfriend won’t let that happen. He’ll nag and nag until I show him a fresh face ready for bed. In an effort to appease him (and my skin) I thought it might be helpful to share my AM and PM skin care routine. Just to note: I have normal combination skin. It’s not too dry, and not too oily. Plus, I’ve technically never had an acne breakout before. When I do get a pimple, it’s always just one pimple due to stress. It’s always in the same place – on my forehead or below my chin. Thanks, mom!

The first thing I do every morning is splash ice cold water on my face. It gets pretty puffy overnight so the cold water really helps with this. Next, I’ll scrub my face with my Tea Tree Squeaky Clean Scrub or Tea Tree Foaming Cleanser from The Body Shop. They have a whole line of products, but the Tea Tree line is great for preventing acne and pimples. There’s a slight tingle and tightening feeling afterwards, but it doesn’t dry out my face at all. I follow up this routine with my Tea Tree Toner. Do I sound like a Tea Tree addict yet? The toner helps to remove any additional dirt on my face and minimizes my pores. I use my toner every other day because I don’t want to dry out my face.

Using a serum was never an important part of my skin care routine until I met celebrity dermatologist, Dr. Brandt last month. I learned that a serum should really be a part of everyone’s routine because of its many benefits when compared to moisturizers. Serums can reach deeper into the skin layers than a moisturizer can. Depending on the serum you use, it’ll target a specific issue that moisturizers can’t. For instance, redness, fine lines and wrinkles, and dark spots. The serum I am currently using is Dr. Brandt’s Laser FX Bright Serum, targeting dark spots.

I am rotating between two eye creams right now, but my favorite one is ROC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream. After two weeks of daily applications, I’m already seeing a difference in the appearance of my dark circles. It’s also supposed to help with puffiness, but I use my moisturizer for that. Here’s a tip: I leave my Clear Clinic Moisturizer in the fridge and apply it every morning. Cold water and cool moisturizer works great together to reduce puffiness. Some moisturizers suggest that it be kept room temperature, so check with the brand first. Also, don’t forget to moisturize your neck! No matter how youthful your face may look, I’ve been told (by many men) that your neck will always give away your age. Always SPF! SPF is your friend.

My AM routine is not that much different from my PM routine. At night, I’ll add my Shiseido Power infusing Concentrate before applying my Dr. Brandt Laser FX Serum.

You’re probably thinking what I already thought months ago when I started taking care of my skin… that’s too many products, right? I was once told that every woman needs a serum, eye cream, and a moisturizer. It’s the core essential for a healthy skin care routine. This routine has been working well for me so far and has been great for my skin. Find the product that works well for you. I try to be conscious about not creating too much activity for my skin. So switching up between products and constantly trying the next best thing is certainly counter-intuitive. Don’t try every product that raves about how it will solve all your skin’s issues. Chances are, it may not be what your skin needs. Your skin is the largest organ of your body, so give it what it needs, and protect it.

My Top 5 Beauty Items

Last week, my friends tagged me on a challenge to pick my top 5 beauty items that I can’t live without. My list is not that long, but the number of products that I own has tripled in size ever since I started blogging. Some products have rotated off my dresser, and others have made it into my daily regimen. It’s actually kind of embarrassing because I’m always carrying 3 or 4 makeup bags around since I never know what I will need, and when I will need it. I’m still trying to figure it out, but I do have a couple of products that I absolutely love. Here are the five products that I use on a daily basis…and figuratively speaking, I probably could not live without:


Tea Tree Squeaky Clean Scrub (The Body Shop)

Laser FX Bright Serum (Dr. Brandt)

Prep & Soothe Daily Moisturizer (Clear Clinic)

They’re Real! Mascara (Benefit Cosmetics)

Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus (Burt’s Bees)

When I first started this beauty journey, I was pretty lost about what to try, when to try it, and sometimes, even how to try it. I have not been blogging for very long, but I have one very strict rule that I abide by since I’ve started –  cleansing my face twice a day. For some people, it’s suggested that they only wash their face once a day, in the evening, to prevent dryness. But I have fairly normal skin (holla!) and my skin benefits from two thorough washes a day. Read More…

Skin Care 101 with Dr. Brandt

Waking up every morning looking flawless is difficult, but it can be achieved with proper skin care. Shut up, Beyonce. Yesterday night, I had the pleasure of meeting celebrity dermatologist, Dr. Fredric Brandt at an event hosted by Birchbox. He gave an insightful speech about what women can do to improve their look, and told us about his new LaserFX Serums. There are 3 different serums, each priced at $78 (1 oz.): the Perfect Serum (targets lines and wrinkles), the Lift Serum (targets sagging skin), and the Bright Serum (targets dark spots). Each blogger was given the option of choosing one item they wanted in their goodie bag. I opted for the Bright Serum since the wrinkles and sagging skin will come much, much later in my life.

I was able to grab Dr. Brandt for a quick interview before the event was over. Here’s what he had to say:

L-R: Dr. Fredric Brandt, me, and Stephane Colleu. He is the president & CEO dr. brandt® skincare

L-R: Dr. Fredric Brandt, me, and Stephane Colleu. He is the president & CEO dr. brandt® skincare

What is the most common problem you see with the patients in your office?

I would say pigmentation issues and discoloration in the face, either broken blood vessels or brown spots. It usually starts in the 30’s and up. That’s also a good age to consider Botox.

What is the most important skin care routine that most women don’t know about or forget to do?

Most women are still not applying sunscreen every day, believe it or not. They’ll spend all this money on all these creams and they don’t wear sunscreen! So they’re trying to repair their skin but they keep damaging it. You got to remember sun light goes through windows, goes through car windows, and house windows, every day in your life, the sun hits your skin. I think most women are not consistent in their skin care.

I’m guilty of that. I do wear SPF powder though, sometimes. Can I get away with wearing the powder if I miss the cream?

The SPF in the powder, I think, is harder to distribute evenly on the skin. I like the lotions and the creams better because it can absorb into the skin.

Tell me five interesting things about you that I couldn’t find when I looked you up before this event:

I’m very health conscious. I do yoga 6 times a week. I eat very healthy, juice a lot. I do practice what I preach! I collect art, and I am heavily involved in research.

One of my favorite moments from yesterday was getting a consultation and hand massage from Julie Concepcion, who offered me the ultimate “mom advice”, saying:

Everyone should have a serum, moisturizer, and eye cream. You are never too young to use eye cream. My daughter is 16, and she wears it. You want to prevent it early, you know? You use your eyes – you blink every day, you smile, you laugh, you cry, it affects your eyes. Always protect.

Slap on some serum and moisturizer, and start waking up flawless*