Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
I bought a mini of the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser in the impulse section at Sephora, and after just a few uses I was hooked; I jumped online and ordered the jumbo size well before the mini ran out. It’s a super mild cleanser with a milky-gel consistency that lightly lathers and removes every trace of sunscreen, base, mascara, and eye makeup without drying or stripping the skin. I use it in the evening as a first cleanse: I apply a quarter-sized dollop to my dry skin, massage it around to dissolve all my makeup (it’s gentle enough to use on the eyes) then add a little water to get things foaming before removing everything with a warm wet washcloth. It’s so quick and easy to use, and I’m a big fan of the mess-free tube. It’s replaced my beloved ‘Take the Day Off’ cleansing balm, so you know it’s good.
Biossance Squalane + Micronutrient Fine Mist
I can’t get enough face mists these days. Caroline Hirons recommends using them to sandwich in extra hydration between your skin care steps, so I usually spritz them on after cleansing and toning, before I go in with serums and treatments. They’re also great as a last step in your makeup routine to melt all your powder products into your base for a glowing, seamless finish (a good pump with a fine mist is key here; otherwise you’ll end up with random glops of liquid that will ruin your makeup). I tend to get a little too enthusiastic with face sprays, so I go through them pretty quickly; when I killed a bottle of this luxury luminous skin mist in less than 5 weeks, I knew I needed to find something less expensive. (Although I did replace that luxury mist because it’s fantastic.)
Biossance recently released a Squalane + Micronutrient Fine Mist, and since their peptide eye gel is a staple in my daily routine I thought I’d give it a try. I really enjoy it! It has a great pump that delivers a super-fine mist, and the squalane is really moisturizing; I find it a little heavy to use as a makeup finishing spray, so I use it exclusively as a hydrating skin care step (I use either the luxury mist or MAC Fix+ over makeup).
Farmacy Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Treatment
I haven’t met a Farmacy product I didn’t like; their Clean Bee cleanser, Makeup Meltaway and Honey Potion are all favorites in my skin care collection. So when they released their new resurfacing night treatment, I ordered it right away. It contains a “blend of AHA from lactic, glycolic, citric and fruit acids, and BHA from salicylic acid, reduce the appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles; and flower acids that act as gentle exfoliators, smoothing, and retexturizing skin.” Yes to all of that, please. (Bonus: It’s half the price of Good Genes, a popular lactic acid night treatment, and about $30 less than Drunk Elephant’s glycolic night serum that contains a similar mix of AHA and BHA acids.)
I use the Honeymoon Glow 2-3 nights a week: I cleanse my skin and mist it with the Biossance Squalane + Nutrient Fine Mist; wait 20-25 minutes to let my skin dry completely before adding 1-2 pumps of the Honeymoon Glow to my face and neck; then wait another 15-20 minutes to lock it in with my favorite intensely-hydrating nighttime moisturizer. The drier your skin between steps, the less tingling, burning and irritation you’ll experience with AHA (and retinoid) products; damp skin is more permeable, so products could penetrate deeper into your skin and lead to over-exfoliation.
If you’re new to AHA products, start slow: use a small amount once a week for a few weeks, then gradually increase frequency as your skin can tolerate it; good skin is a marathon, not a sprint.
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
A good plant-based beauty oil is a skin care staple I wouldn’t want to live without; the natural fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants work wonders to repair and protect skin and add a lovely glow. I was happily working through a $10 bottle of marula oil from The Ordinary until I saw Gothamista (one of my favorite skin care gurus online) compare it to the Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil and rave about its light texture, quick absorption and serious glow factor; in her opinion, the quality and performance justified the higher price tag. On my next trip to Sephora, I put it in my cart and I haven’t looked back; I literally use it every day.
My favorite way to use it is to mix 4-5 drops into my vitamin C serum and apply it to clean skin in the morning.
Other budget-friendly marula oils that Gothamista recommended in her video: Acure Organics Marula Oil ($11 on Amazon) and Shea Terra Organics Cold-Pressed Namibian Marula Oil ($16 on Amazon).
bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Defense Radiant Protective Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 30
We all know I’m obsessed with my Tatcha Silken sunscreen, but when I saw an Instagram ad about the new bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Defense that promises protection from the sun, pollution and the damaging effects of blue light from phone and computer screens, I hopped onto my Ulta app and ordered it. (I had no idea I had to worry about blue light!) I’m a longtime fan of their Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer, so I knew chances were good that I’d love this to, and I do. This is the perfect lightweight SPF product for people who hate sunscreen: it’s not greasy, doesn’t leave a white cast on the skin, and doesn’t smell like sunscreen.
This product also gives the skin a really lovely ‘lit-from-within’ glow that’s more subtle radiance than glittery shine. The effect is so pretty I often skip foundation on the days I use it; I dab my favorite concealer under my eyes and on areas I’m prone to redness (chin, around my nose, and between my brows) and dust some bronzer on the high points of my face, and my complexion is good to go. Quick tip: for a similar radiant effect, add a few drops of this illuminating drugstore ‘glotion’ to your favorite liquid sunscreen before you apply it.