Beauty Products I Love: Step-by-Step Guide
By: Wendy Wu, R.D., M.S.
What’s your skin type? Dry, Normal, Combination or Oily? Mine is definitely combination (oily at the T zone-forehead, nose, and chin). The worst part about having combination skin is that it is a breeding ground for pimples! ZITS! ACNE! Ugh! I’ve struggled with acne for what it feels like forever, until recently. Read on to learn my routine.
Step 1. Cleanser. I use a mild cleanser in the morning and a deep cleanser at night.
(Mild Cleansers I like: La Mer Cleansing Fluid and Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser)
(Deep Cleanser: La Mer Cleansing Gel, La Mer Cleansing Foam, Mentholatum Acnes U oil-free cream wash, Neutrogena oil-free acne wash and Cetaphil daily facial cleanser)
Step 2. Toner to cleanse the skin and minimize pores. In the morning after face wash, I spray on the toner. At night, I use a cotton pad to wipe off excess makeup I missed. Remember to always wipe gently. The more you push your skin, the more it wrinkles.
(Toners I like: Ole Hendriksen Pick Me Up Face Tonic and Kiehl’s Calendula or Cucumber Herbal Alcohol Free Toner)
Step 3. Acne Roll on Blemish Stick to zap feisty zits. Now this is tricky. I’ve used many brands of acne medication with disappointing results but atlas I found one that really works (for me). Unfortunately, you can only find it in Asia (If you’d really like to try this, I can ship it over to you (price + shipping) -just email me). I have this in bulk because I’m afraid it’ll be discontinued. Isn’t it a sad day when your favorite product gets discontinued? =( I know the feeling.
Acnes Point Clear by Mentholatum. My Fav!
Step 4. La Mer Hydrating Infusion to saturate the skin with hydration and smoothness. I use this day and night after toner (you don’t have to wait for toner to dry to apply this).
Step 5. Serums and Treatment(s). I alternate a) and b) and use c) weekly. Use any serum that works best with your skin. I’m always trying out different products.
a) La Mer the regenerating serum to diminish the appearance of lines, wrinkles and pores. Use day and night.
b) La Mer the radiant serum for vibrancy. Use day and night.
c) La Mer the concentrate for healing scars. Rub thoroughly on scars twice a day or use once a week for skin renewing benefits. I love this product.
Step 6. Eye Treatments. I use the eye balm to minimize puffiness, lines and wrinkles in the morning and eye concentrate to dissolve puffiness, dark circles, lines and wrinkles at night. The eye balm is less creamy so makeup is applied easier in the morning.
Step 7. Face Cream. To be honest, the first time trying creme de la mer, my face broke out. I decided to give it another try weeks later and I’m in love with the product now (Thanks to Jin Lu and Razi). The creme can be used all year round but if you feel that it’s too rich in the summer time, use the lotions or the gel. Personally, I use the creme all year round. Less in the warmer months and more in the cooler months. Remember to use the special technique which is to warm a small amount between your fingertips and pat onto your face. Don’t sweep or you’ll pull your skin.
Step 8. SPF (Sun Protection Factor)-in the morning. You can use a regular SPF if you have a flawless face but for me, I need a tinted version. I love the la mer fluid tint but my latest discovery is boscia B.B. cream. It is an oil-free, skin-perfecting “Blemish Balm” that creates a flawless finish as it moisturizes and nourishes the skin. I will usually skip foundation and go straight to powder.
Step 9. Concealer and Foundation (Optional). I like clinique acne solutions liquid makeup. I gently smooth it over problem areas when I need extra coverage. I also like bareMinerals foundation. Remember to use a primer (skin rev-er upper) before applying bareMinerals foundation (you can skip step 8 because bareMinerals foundation has SPF 15) .
Step 10. Blush/Bronzer. I like warmth, clear radiance and bare radiance by Bare Escentuals.
Step 11. Powder. I’m a big fan of the translucent la mer powder because of its easy application. The mineral veil by Bare Escentuals is another fav of mine.
Step 12. Lip balm. My latest discovery is Mentholatum Deep Moist (only in Asia) and at night I like to use the lip balm by la mer. It makes your lips super soft in the morning. Apply a liberal amount.
Step 13. Eyeliner. I’ve been using Almay brown eyeliner for years and it hasn’t failed me yet. The eyeliner applicator brush draws a perfect line although I admit, I hate it when it sheds. My friends like the Bobby Brown and Chanel eyeliners but I find it a bit of a hassle to use a separate brush. This eyeliner is perfect. Just twist and apply.
The Bare Escentuals smokey eye duo is very pretty.
Step 14. Eye shadows. Use whatever brand and color you like. I’m currently using sephora and clinique eye shadows.
Step 15. False Eyelashes (optional). Since my eyelashes are non-existent I like to use false eyelashes on special occasions. My current fav is KOJI Spring Heart’s 07 Medium Long false eyelashes.
Step 16. Eyelash curler. Shiseido or shu uemura. I love both.
Step 17. Mascara.
Mascaras I like: Maybelline Volum’ Express, Maybelline Great Lash, shu uemura Precise Volume Mascara and Almay Intense i-Color Mascara in sapphire blue.
Step 18. Lips. For some weird reason my lips get super itchy after wearing certain lipsticks and lip glosses. I’ve found a few brands that I don’t react to which automatically makes them my love.
Lip Sticks by CHANEL(rouge coco) and MAC (viva glam). Lip Glosses by CHANEL (creme gloss lumiere-Canele #78), MAC lip glass (Viva glam), and shu uemura (glittery hot pink)
Other Daily Routines Worth Mentioning:
1) Make up remover. I’ve tried the liquid bottle make up removers but I prefer cleansing towelettes. Just take one moist sheet, remove makeup and toss. My favorite is Neutrogena Makeup remover cleansing towelettes (I stock up at BJ’s).
2) Clarisonic Mia. I use it for one minute every night in the shower with my favorite face wash. Mia truly does cleanse better than my hands alone. I noticed the difference from my toner step at night. Here’s a little background about Mia direct from the Clarisonic website.
Beautiful Skin Begins With Cleaner Skin
Traditional methods of cleansing don’t get your skin as clean as you’d think. Fortunately, the lead inventor of Sonicare discovered a breakthrough in how we cleanse. Using Sonic Technology, Clarisonic’s patented micro-massage motion works within skin’s natural elasticity to gently remove the impurities traditional methods leave behind- leaving skin softer, smoother and more beautiful.
- Cleanses 6x better than with your hands alone in just 60 seconds
- Works with skin, not against it, to gently massage away impurities trapped within pores
- Prepares skin for better absorption of creams, serums and moisturizers
- Gentle enough to use 2x a day
3) Hand, Body and Foot Creams. La Mer hand treatment is rich, soft, smells delightful and doesn’t leave a oily feeling. The La Mer body creme is so rich and powerful but I only use it on my elbows or other very dry spots (it’s too expensive for the entire body). Instead, I use Cetaphil Moisturizing lotion or cream and Aveeno Daily Moisturizing lotion. For hands and feet at night, I love Spa Wisdom Africa Honey & Beeswax Hand and Foot Butter by The Body Shop.
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