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It’s the beginning of a whole new year. Time to start fresh with new goals, dreams, and good habits. But that’s easier said than done.
I get it. We all clutch lists of resolutions 10 miles long, determined and overwhelmed at the same time. We go hard for the first two months of the new year, “This is going great!”
But then it starts feeling like too much, and we decide to take a break. You know what that means… the party’s over.
But that will not be the case this year, ma’am!
I want to help you start the new year off on the right track, beginning with what I like to call your “first impression maker” i.e. your face.
I’ve gathered together all of the best skincare and makeup products that will help keep your skin looking good in the harsh winter (and beyond.)
And stay tuned until the end of the post, where I’m sharing some bonus wisdom from other online resources I’ve discovered. If you’re into learning the why behind your beauty, then this is perfect for you!
Let’s talk makeup
Because this is why most of us are here, right? It’s no secret- I love makeup. And I love discovering products that make my skin look good while they’re on, but also keep my skin looking fresh when they’re off. What I mean is, I don’t want products that look amazing while they’re on, yet destroy my skin and leave it looking terrible and unhealthy when they’re off. So I must keep applying more and more, and it becomes one endless loop of makeup.
That’s no fun. Let’s avoid that.
That’s why I always stick to face products with good ingredients, and that are only just heavy enough to cover what I need covered.
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation
Surprise, surprise, Too Faced Born This Way is still my favorite foundation.
I like it because the consistency is super adaptable to what you want it to be on any particular day. I tend to apply it thinly using my favorite E.l.f. Ultimate Blending Brush for just a bit of evening-out. But on days when I’m feeling especially splotchy, the same foundation builds up beautifully to a full coverage using a BeautyBlender.
Hey, hey! In case you haven’t see, I have a full review and demo of Born This Way on the blog! Here’s the link to learn everything you’ll ever need to know about it >> Too Faced Born This Way Foundation Review
Not to mention, the formula is comprised of high-quality ingredients that don’t break me out, and don’t leave my skin feeling out-of-whack when I remove it. If you’re looking for a great foundation this year, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this one!
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation >> Purchase at Sephora
BeautyBlender Original >> Purchase at Sephora
E.l.f. Ultimate Blending Brush >> Purchase at Elfcosmetics.com
it Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream
I know you’re super busy getting started on your big goals for the year- I know I am. An all-in-one product working as your primer, moisturizer, foundation, and sunscreen is so, so helpful. But of course, it has to be good!
Ever since my favorite CC in the entire world became discontinued, I’ve been on the hunt for something just as fantastic to replace it.
The it Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream steps up to the plate. Although the consistency isn’t exactly the same as my beloved Cover FX CC cream, the coverage is just as good. Plus, in all honestly, it is much easier to blend. Not to mention, I feel totally comfortable skipping the separate sunscreen thanks to the SPF 50+.
it Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream >> Purchase at Sephora
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
Okay, so I can’t exactly say how healthy this concealer is. BUT what I like about it is the amazingly smooth coverage it gives while still remaining super lightweight.
It disappears into the skin beautifully, and leaves almost no visible product layer. Yet it does a beautiful job of brightening and camouflaging dark circles. It’s magical, girl.
When you don’t have time to waste blending a finicky concealer, Maybelline Fit Me Concealer has your back.
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer >> Purchase on Amazon
Cleansing is the key
What is the most important rule of makeup? Say it with me — “Removing it.” Very good.
If you want to have great skin this year, you’ll need great cleansers as much as you need great makeup.
I enjoy cleansers that give me lots of suds. If not, I just don’t feel clean. Exfoliators are great, but do try using a foamy face wash that really breaks down any left over makeup, makeup remover (especially oily ones,) and creams.
The last thing you want is leftover product hanging around causing irritation and clogging your pores.
These two face washes are my absolute favorites. They’re foamy, tingly and refreshing, and skin feel completely rejuvenated afterward.
Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash
When I’m feeling splurgy, Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash is my go-to. It’s frothy, just like it says, plus it smells lightly of mint, and maybe rosemary. (Perhaps don’t quote me on that, I’m not great with scents.)
It does a great job of synchronizing my combo skin. It’s not too drying on the drier areas, yet it helps clarify the oily areas. I think it’ll be awesome for almost all skin types, and I definitely recommend it. I’m on my third tube and I’m still not sick of it, so that’s saying a lot.
Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash >> Purchase at Sephora
Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser
This one is a newer find that I picked up on a whim, but I ended up really liking it! Like the Origins Checks and Balances, the Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser plays nice with all areas on my combo face, and it foams up to a luxurious, creamy lather.
It even gives me a similar, menthol-y tingle when I use it. In addition to clearing my pores, I feel like it clears my sinuses too. Okay, TMI…
Plus, the black color is intriguing and makes me feel badass when using it.
Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser >> Purchase at Ulta
Masks are more than just a luxury
I used to make the mistake of viewing face masks as a luxury, not a necessity. I’d use them when I had time, sporadically at best.
That worked when I was younger, but as I’ve gotten older, my skin seems to be growing more finicky, and it requires more intentional care to stay in good shape.
I’ve started using masks consistently about 2 times per week, and I’ve noticed quite significant results. I sprout fewer random breakouts, I have less super oily and super dry patches, and my skin just feels more balanced overall.
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
Clearly, I’ve been very into the charcoal products lately. Charcoal is said to help draw out impurities from your skin, and I really think it does do that. I notice my skin feels softer and looks brighter after using a charcoal mask.
This one from Origins is my favorite. The texture is very cooling and smooth going on, and it dries relatively quickly for how dense it is. It is a bit of pain to wash off, but I look at it like I’m getting a teeny bit extra exfoliation when I’m rinsing.
I promise, you’ll feel extra clean after using this mask.
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask >> Purchase at Sephora
Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque
If I’m in the mood for something less intense, I reach for good ol’ Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque.
Everybody’s heard about this one, right? It’s pretty lightweight and it dries very fast, so it’s great for a quick refresher when you’re in a hurry. I’ll often use this as a bonus mask before makeup on mornings when I’m tired and feeling dull.
It’s minty, (duh,) and cooling, and it makes my skin feel super soft.
Plus, it’s inexpensive, so I don’t feel bad going ham with it all the time! Sometimes you just need a product where you can live a little.
Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque >> Purchase on Amazon
The one brand theory
Using products from the same line provides benefits that sometimes don’t exist when mixing and matching.
Only a particular brand knows exactly how much of what is in it’s products. Only it knows how to create the best possible companion for said product. By using products from the same brand (at least in one category,) you can be sure that the product’s ingredients aren’t canceling one another out, or creating some not-so-healthy combinations.
I’ve found that Clinique offers some of the best skincare products out there when it comes to variety for different skin types, price, and living up to claims.
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil
I am extremely lazy when it comes to makeup removers. Oftentimes, I’ll try to get away with not using one just because I feel like getting out the cotton pad and applying the makeup remover to my face is about as much effort as running a marathon. Then, you’re left feeling as slick as a freshly greased frying pan. Ridiculous, I know.
The Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil eliminates every excess step, so I actually use it. You simply massage a pump of two on your dry face with your fingers, and rinse it off with water. You’re left with smooth, clean skin that’s not oily and nasty.
It’s seriously incredible, and I can’t recommend it enough for all you time-crunched ladies out there.
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil >> Purchase at Sephora
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+
What to say about Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+? It’s an oldie but a goodie. The stuff has been around forever.
I’ve been using off and on since high school, which means it’s gotten me through bouts of acne, sunburns, peeling, and oiliness, and it’s always gently guided me back to where I need to be.
If you’re looking for a great starter moisturizer to kickstart your skincare routine, I highly recommend this one.
Even if you don’t go for this particular variety, Clinique has some of the all-around best skincare available, in my opinion.
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ >> Purchase at Sephora
Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream
If I’m being completely honest, I don’t have extremely dark circles or eye-area problems for eye creams to fix. So I’m unsure how well this one will work for that.
For me, I just enjoy the experience of applying the Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream. The cooling applicator tip and peppy orange tube just put a spring in my step each morning.
Sometimes that’s what counts. Having great skin this year isn’t all about finding the absolute best skincare and makeup in the world- great skin comes from within, first.
Yes, that definitely means drinking more water, but it also means that when you’re happy and enjoying yourself, it’ll show on your face. So buy something you enjoy!
Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream >> Purchase at Sephora
Remember to give your skin a break
This one probably needs to be a resolution in itself!
I know we all love makeup, but we really do need to give it a rest sometimes. That goes for me too.
I make it a point to go makeup-free at least one day per week, and it’s been beneficial is a multitude of ways.
First, less makeup equals less removing and scrubbing. Makeup removers and abrasive cleaning methods are necessary, because hey, you have to get the makeup off somehow, but it can be drying and damaging to your skin. Wearing less makeup overall gives your skin time for some much-deserved R&R.
Secondly, I’ve actually become more comfortable being out an about with my naked face, or just wearing very minimal makeup. I used to feel like I needed to pile on a full face before I looked remotely presentable, but I now realize that’s not the case at all.
I look just fine without makeup. Like a human being. And so do you.
Want more help choosing the best skincare & makeup?
I’m like, super nerdy, and I love learning the whys and hows of life. So it’s no surprise I went on a wild goose chase for information that could help me, (and you!) learn how to select the best products so I never have to worry about my skin freaking out and misbehaving again.
For help with picking the most flattering foundation/base for your skin type, check out my posts all about foundations and concealers!
For even more valuable info, this post from About Style is super comprehensive and tells you basically everything you need to know. >> How To Pick the Perfect Foundation Makeup
That’s all for today!
Like this post all about the best skincare, makeup, and tips for beautiful skin this year? You’ll want to check this one out too >> How To Choose the Best Foundation For Your Skin
If you find this post interesting, informative, or just plain entertaining, tell me about it in the comments below! And don’t forget, sharing is caring. Share this post!
Till next time. ♥︎
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FTC- Not sponsored by any brands mentioned. I purchase all products myself. All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliated.