Friday, May 22, 2015

Skincare: My Exact Routine + Answering all of your FAQ's

After my first two skincare posts (how to properly wash your face and a roundup of my miracle products), I received a lot of questions. Rather than answering them all in the comment section, I figured let me tackle them all in a separate post! So, lets get right to it!

What is your exact routine & in what order do you use the products?
I should probably preface this by saying that I enjoy the process and don't like to rush through it. I know we're all busy, but it's one thing I make a conscious effort to do. You get one face and if you want it to look good as you get older and older, it takes work. Sure, genetics play a major part, but if there's something else I can do, I'm on board.

My routine can seem like a lot, but it's what works for me! I wake up, cleanse my face. I don't normally use a cloth in the morning, but I'll use a milky cleanser on a dry face, massage in for a minute so I can really get the circulation going and rinse off. Right now I'm using the Lait from Biologique Recherche. After I cleanse and dry my face, I use an exfoliating toner. Depending on what my routine is going to be later that night, I'll decide if I want to go with something a bit stronger, like the P50 or something milder, like the CircCell pH Perfector. Either way, I'll reiterate that I'll always use an exfoliating toner. It helps prep your skin for the next stage and as Caroline Hirons says, not using one is like putting on a coat of paint without a primer.  I let that absorb into my skin for a few minutes (3-7 minutes, depending on how much time I have) and in the meantime, apply my eye cream. Lately, I've been alternating between one from Skinceuticals and my other favorite, which is way too expensive (but I really love it) so I use it sparingly, the YSL Temps Majeur.

After cleansing, toning and eye cream, I apply a serum or an oil. Remember, it's all about layering and sealing in that moisture! Don't be scared of natural face oils… they're your friend and food for the skin! I alternate between some of the amazing serums from Biologique and lately, Sunday Riley's Juno. I've been using the Juno for the last month and I have to say, I absolutely love it. It makes my skin glow and just makes me look well rested. I like to switch up my products, so some days I'll reach for one and some days I'll reach for the other. On days I feel like I need some extra moisture, I'll apply a bit to my entire face (let it soak in for 2-5 minutes) and on some days, I'll mix into my moisturizer. As far as my moisturizer, during the day I've been using one from Goldfaden MD and have been really happy with it. During the colder months, or when my skin needs an extra pick-me-up (read: if I drank too much the night before…) I'll finish it off with the Fluid VIP 02 from Biologique. The Fluid VIP is an incredible product, but because it's so expensive, I reach for it when I really need it. During the warmer months, it's not a must, whereas once it gets cold, it's back in the rotation on a daily basis. It helps seal in the moisture and protects your face from extreme weather conditions and pollution.

At night, if I've been wearing makeup all day or sunblock, I'll do two cleanses. I'll start with the Emma Hardie cleansing balm. Apply on a dry face, really work into your face to breakdown all the crap and then wipe off with a muslin cloth that I wet under warm water. After that, I'll gently use the Biologique Lait cleansing milk again to use get all the excess stuff off. Once my face has been washed and dried, lately, I've been going one of two ways: I'll follow the same routine as the morning: P50, serum, moisturizer or for my second routine, I'll skip the P50, use a milder toner like the CircCell and use Sunday Riley's Good Genes, another product I've been using for the last month absolutely loving. I cannot rave about it enough! I'll then follow with Sunday Riley's Juno and Biologique's Creme Dermopurifiante

I'm also very into masks and use them about 3-4x a week. I alternate between Biologique's Masque Vivant and VIP 02 and I also love Alpha-H Liquid Gold Mask. For the Alpha H Mask, since it's has a fairly strong percentage of glycolic acid, I don't use the P50 with it but again, one of my milder toners. 
On nights when I'm doing a mask, I do it before my entire routine. It's gotten to a point where I have to warn my husband "PS: doing a mask today, so don't be scared!.." he'll comment and complain to which I reply "do you want an ugly wife? I don't think so.." 

Something to keep in mind: for those of you who are wondering why I don't use the P50 at the same time as some other treatments (like Alpha-H products or the Sunday Riley's Good Genes), it's because while so many people consider the P50 a miracle in a bottle, which it is, it's strong and you don't want to go overboard. When using the P50, I let that be the hero acid/exfoliating product during my routine. Does that make sense?

How do I use the P50 and why does it smell funny? 
When I first started using the P50, I followed the directions on the bottle and gently patted my cotton pad all along my face, neck, and chest area. After a week and after realizing that my skin already had a very high tolerance for acids, I now generously wipe the pad versus just a gentle pat. Also, I never use cotton balls as they soak up way too much product. I prefer cotton rounds.

For those of you who emailed me or commented about the smell, in general, Biologique products don't smell that great. That's just the simple truth! But from all of the P50's, the original '1970' formula smells the worst of them all due to the phenol ingredient. It smells like burning rubber bands and if it was my favorite version, I wouldn't even care, but personally, I prefer the newer formula, which has no phenol. It's extremely effective, yet somewhat gentler than the 1970. I will say, some people prefer the original 1970 formula, so it's a matter of finding out which is best for your skin. If you still have any questions, I recommend calling Rescue Spa and speaking to someone about which one might be best for you. 

To Sum Up…..
So, I know that's a lot of info (once again) and I use a lot of stuff, but it's what works for me! My skin has never looked better and while I still get a breakout right before my period or when I fly (so annoying), it's night and day compared to how it used to be. I'm happy with my texture, I'm more confident, I'm not freaked out to be at a lunch meeting in the bright light and my skin has a much healthier glow. On most days, I'll just use a little concealer as I don't feel the need to wear foundation. This WAS NOT the case a year ago.

With all that being said, my skin is still not 100% where I want it to be. I still have some light marks that were left over from some nasty breakouts and while the use of acids have helped tremendously, some marks just wont go away. They're very light, easily covered by a bit of makeup and possibly not noticeable to anyone else, but what can I say, they bother me. I've been speaking to some extremely knowledgeable friends and some derm's and all suggested I get a peel or two to really get deep in there. So, I'm thinking about it and have been doing lots of research on that. Keep you guys posted on that subject!

In the meantime, let me know if that answers your questions! Hopefully this post didn't bring up a series of new questions but if so, feel free to ask in the comment section and I'll be sure to get to all of them! I know my blog is mostly about fashion, but I've been trying to incorporate a lot more beauty/skincare as it's something I'm so incredibly passionate about!

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

East Village

Blazer: J Crew 'Regent' {color: warm camel} | Denim: Paige | Shoes: Aquazzura (also in black) | Bag: Pietro  | Belt: Club Monaco  | Sunglasses: Krewe 'Julia' | Cuff: ASOS (similar)

Hi! Wanted to share a few things:

1. A lot of you have been emailing me asking me some skincare/product questions pertaining to my last post on that topic and I figured it was easier to just answer a few FAQ's. Stay tuned for that this week!

2. Nordstrom's Half Yearly Anniversary sale starts today! I ordered these espadrilles and another pair of these sandals in cobalt blue. Happy shopping!

Photos by Karen

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

LBD's & Palm Trees

Dress: Cameo (sold out - also own and love this one and this one) | Shoe: Christian Louboutin (similar alternative) | Belt: Chanel

I own several LBD's (little black dresses) and when I say LBD, I don't mean that they're all  necessarily little, but they serve a an easy, go-to, canvas for whatever accessories I want. In this case, a bright red lip and my favorite vintage Chanel belt. My best friend, who found this belt on eBay after searching for months, gave it to me for my birthday, last year (I know, great friend….) and it's one of my favorite accessories in my wardrobe. I wear it so much with dresses and jumpsuits and it adds just the right amount of oomph! Remember it here? If you're on the hunt for one, I recommend sites like Vestiaire and eBay. For eBay, remember to go with sellers who sell lots of similar items and have good feedback to ensure it's authentic. Most importantly, be patient with your searching. Sometimes it can take weeks or months to find your perfect pieces. That's kind of part of the fun!

Photos by Keith Hodne

Monday, May 18, 2015


Denim: Express | Leather Jacket: Maje | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Sweater: Express | Bag: Balenciaga Papier

Hi!  Hope everyone had a lovely weekend! Currently in Puerto Rico had a fresh new post ready to go today, but having a problem with loading photos from my computer, so please check back tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Washington Street

Blazer: Theory (similar style) | Jeans: Rag & Bone | Tee: Vince | Boots: Isabel Marant 'Dicker' | Bag: Givenchy Medium Antigona | Sunglasses: Celine | Bracelets: Brandy Pham Needle Bracelet, Hermes.

I've said it before, but when I don't know what to wear, I'll often reach for an all black outfit. Maybe it's the New Yorker in me, but I just find it one of the easiest ways to look stylish and put together, ripped jeans and all. 

Speaking of ripped jeans, I've come to realize that while so many of you are into them, some of you really are not. The comments I receive on instagram range from "OMG! I need those jeans  in my life.." to "ew. those jeans are horrific.." I never really realized how passionately some people feel about them, one way or another. For me, I happen to love them (obviously), but I realize they're not everyones cup of tea. Sometimes when my outfits feel a bit too girly, or a bit too clean and polished, it's just an easy way for me to add a little edge. I may feel differently in my 40's, when extreme rips are a bit less age appropriate, but in the meantime, I won't stop wearing them. I'm sorry if that disappoints any of you! With these, and most of my jeans, the rips always start out small, but I'm the girl who will sleepily put my entire fit in the knee, causing them to get even crazier. I really have to work on being less of a klutz. 

 So, what's your take on them? Yay or nay?

PS: I got a comment that one of you is having trouble viewing my recent posts on a PC. Anyone else experiencing issues? Trying to figure out what the problem is. Sorry about that!

Photos by Keith Hodne

Monday, May 11, 2015

Black & White Chic

Black & White
Black & White 4_2e
Top: Parker ℅ | Leather Skirt: Zara (similar here) | Shoes: Jimmy Choo 'Anouk' | Bag: Valentino

Hi! Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and Mothers Day!

In the past few months, I've accumulated quite a few cropped button downs and I really, really love how they pair with my high waisted jeans and skirts. Previously, I've worn this skirt with a regular, boyfriend button down, but I'd always hate how I'd get that 'bunchy belly' look, created by the excess shirt material. With these type of shirts, there's none of that! I find the look to be a little crisper and more streamlined.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Eastern Parkway


Blazer: Helmut Lang | Tee: Rag & Bone (similar) | Jeans: Topshop 'Jamie' | Sneakers: Nike Blazer | Clutch: Balenciga 'Arena Giant Pouch' | Sunglasses: Celine

Hi guys,
Currently on my way to Miami with Urban Decay, for the launch of their Summer Nights collection. It's one of my favorite cities for some heat and some Latin flair (the food, the culture, the vibe….) 

Follow along on instagram @brooklynblonde1

Photos by Keith Hodne