Chalk it up to being hella insecure in my youth, but for many years, I rarely left the house without at least ten products spackled on. I'm talking about a smokey eye during the day! These days, I'm much more comfortable in my skin and have no problem running errands or showing up to a coffee meet-up bare-faced. I love makeup, but like a bra, I can't fully relax until it's off.
I start my P.M. routine pretty quickly after getting home if I'm in for the night, and the first step is always removing makeup. If I've got a lot to take off, I'll start with a swipe of a pre-soaked wipe. Favorite brands include Bliss (now re-branded and sold at Target), Neutrogena, and Simple. Because pulling the skin can cause wrinkles, I use wipes very gently as a preliminary step to loosen everything up and don't worry about how much comes off.
Another option is this luxurious Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm from the goddess Sunday Riley. It's the most soothing shade of Caribbean blue and is subtly scented. The balm turns into a milky cleanser that gently exfoliates while it removes makeup and clarifies. You can even leave it on as a mask if you like! I like options, people. It's pricey, but I've made the jar I got for Christmas last until now.
Next, I use a cleanser made especially for makeup removal. My go-to is Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser. The texture is divine, it smells clean, and though it's gentle, it's a champ for getting off stubborn mascara and heavy foundation. And of course, the bottle looks adorable in the shower. Their package design never disappoints! At $18, it's far less than many high-end brands. It's safe to open your eyes while using Milky Jelly, so feel free to check for monsters and murderers as often as you like!
Next up is a foam cleanse. You'd be surprised how much can linger on your face after a wash, so I lather up with the super effective Lancome Mousse Radiance Clarifying Self-Foaming Cleanser. It gets errthang off, and smells lovely. If the price point makes you cringe, I also recommend Too Cool For School's Egg Mousse Soap. It's affordable and works just as well!
I was given Thayers Witch Hazel for Christmas by a pal who swears by it, and though I was skeptical, I'm now a convert! The rose petal scent is intoxicating, and the alcohol-free formula tones without drying or over-tightening the pores. It's a steal of a deal at $7.49 for 12 ounces (at Target), so there's no guilt in fully soaking a cotton pad. I use it even when my skin is feeling a little sensitive because it's not harsh or irritating the way that some acid-based formulas can be. This toner is ethically produced, as well as vegan, organic, and cruelty-free. What's not to like?
If you're into skincare at all, then Sunday Riley is already on your radar. The brand is hyped beyond belief, but it's well-earned. Luna Sleeping Night Oil is their signature product, and it's a miracle! A miracle, I tell you! The oil's scent is soothing and its texture is silky. Don't be frightened by the color! It's a natural pigment that disappears right into your skin. Luna is a retinoid that has visibly evened my skin tone (I really struggled with redness and irritation), shrunken stubborn pores, helped out with my hormonal acne, and smoothed my face's texture. It's a one-stop shop and I can't recommend it enough. But wait! There's more! Luna has a best friend!
After waiting the recommended 20 minutes for Luna to fully absorb, I apply one pump of Sunday Riley's Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment to my entire face. These two products together are the cornerstone of my routine and I will sing their praises to my grave, where I will obviously still look great. Good Genes will improve the appearance of your skin in three minutes. You read that right. It tightens, it brightens, it does ALL THE THINGS. It's reduced the stubborn hyperpigmentation on my forehead and makes my whole face glow. A little goes a long way, so don't go overboard and make sure to wear sunscreen the mornings after you use it.
I have oily skin, but that doesn't stop me from moisturizing like crazy. I have a few lotions that I love, but the one I've stuck with the longest is Belif's The True Cream Aqua Bomb. It's feather-light but packs a punch. My skin feels refreshed, supple, moist (Chill. It's just a word.) but never greasy. It layers well over the previous products and is a lovely shade of blue. Don't forget your neck and chest!
Every few days, I end my routine with this Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial. It is the best sleeping mask I've ever encountered. I apply it just like a moisturizer on my entire face and neck then wake up to skin that's positively radiant. There's a significant difference after using this pink goodness, and the rose scent is just a plus! I've noticed a more even skintone and a healthy glow after using this. I've repurchased it 3 times, so you know it's a winner.
My final touch is a generous swipe of any of these lip balms. Smith's Strawberry Lip Balm is a classic and I love its sheer formula. I also recommend the brand's Rosebud Salve if you're not into the fruity flavor. Glossier's balm dotcom (I use rose and cherry) is thicker and great for an extra shot of overnight moisture. Laneige's Lip Sleeping Mask was my first encounter with a mask for the mouth, and I'm a convert! I didn't expect much, but I found my lips were plumped and smoothed by morning after one use. It's thick and smells a bit like bubblegum in a way that makes me reminisce about middle school lip glosses.
Sweet dreams, folks! For a little extra bedtime comfort, check out this weighted blanket we've been using for over a year now. It's great for folks with insomnia or anxiety and feels like a hug while you sleep (or try to!). Combine that with some lavender pillow spray and you're that much closer to snoozetown.