december 7, 2015 | by: mercedes | filed under: skincare
The second part of this little series I decided to do, let’s chat my top skincare picks. So think of this as both my current skincare essentials/recommendations, as well as gift ideas – because really all of these would make lovely individual gifts. I covered all the steps of a skincare routine I personally think are essential: cleanser, toner, eye product, serum, moisturizer, and mask (and for some I give a couple of options). Please keep in mind that these recs come from my own experience and ergo my own skin type – which is mostly normal with a tendency towards dryness and dehydration, and I’m focused on balancing, brightening, reducing redness, and anti-aging (apparently Caroline Hirons hates this phrase. I might consider a phrase change as well, given the energetic connotation?). Anyhow, on with the capsule selections:
If I had to pick just one cleanser to recommend to people, this would be it. It’s pretty universally loved across skin types, and after #reformulationgate it’s now back to its original state and as perfect as ever. I’m so happy to have a bottle back in my life after a little swap with Ru (Short Small Sweet) – she took my Blissoma Mild Rice Cleanser from the Petit Vour box off my hands, in exchange for this. You could also gift this with a pack of white washcloths, which is a really nice way to remove this cleanser and get a nightly mini-facial steam in the process. I like the Tranquility washcloths from Bed, Bath + Beyond.
This is my favorite face toner to date. Bam. I said it. And it’s for two main reasons (because frankly I don’t think toners make THAT much of a difference to the skin, they’re mostly an experience product): this one smells insanely good (kind of a light vanilla marshmallow sort of scent), and the mist is UNPARALLELED in its fineness. It’s like a micro mist. I personally really enjoy this, and find it just distributes the product supremely well. Could not recommend more. Sadly I’m out, but will be replacing at some point soon.
The two eye products I’d recommend aren’t ones I currently own, but have owned the Arcona Eye Dew, and am working on a sample of the Suki Eye Balm. I picked these because of performance and price point. Eye products can be so EXPENSIVE (Oculus, you’re amazing but I’m looking at you) and for someone just starting out, I’m not sure I’d say you need to drop $70+ on an eye product. Arcona’s eye dew is SO hydrating and cooling and I just adore it. And Suki’s eye balm is a great evening product, very moisturizing and I kind of prefer a balm texture to an oil I think.
So I mention this combo because I think they work *really* well together, but it’s the Vitality Elixir that’s my serum pick. If you were to invest (for yourself or for a gift for someone) in ONE skincare product, I would recommend a high quality serum. If you find one that is targeted at your particular skin concerns, I think it can have the biggest impact on your skin above and beyond anything else in your routine. I’ve truly seem great results from the Mahalo Vitality Elixir – it has evened out and brightened my skin, reduced redness, and just really enhanced the overall quality and appearance of my complexion. OBSESSED. The Mahalo Balm is just icing on the cake – if you can get used to the initially strong smell of these products, you might find you CRAVE them, as I have! If you want more info, I did a whole video on the Mahalo line, and talk more extensively and from an updated perspective in my Current AM/PM Skincare Video.
So to me this is a bit of a superfluous product because I’d rather use a facial oil or a balm, but if you or someone you know loves moisturizers, my pick would be the Odacité Beautiful Day Moisturizer. It’s by far the nicest facial moisturizer I’ve ever tried, experience-wise. It’s very cooling to the skin, absorbs quickly but really does leave the skin moisturized and protected, and is unscented but also pleasant at the same time if that makes sense. It’s just lovely! Nothing more to say.
Any for good measure, I have two mask recommendations. The Osmia Organics Protein Exfoliating Mask is just SO good at sloughing off dry patches and revealing BEAUTIFUL, smooth, even skin. This is my favorite mask find from the last year. If you want a more hydrating, nourishing mask I’d suggest the affordable Leahlani Mermaid Mask. It’s really pleasant when it’s on (smells like citrus) and all the green algae that’s in it makes me feel like it’s a topical antioxidant boost. Skin feels really soft and well-moisturized after.