7 Products For A Flawless Base That Actually Work
Because skincare comes first
In this post I am going to share my thoughts on some of Sephora hottest, bestselling and new(ish) products, all of which are designed to take your makeup prep game to a whole new level (and show your skin some good ol’ love too). Curious? Then please keep on scrolling.
My Skin: dry, sensitive.
'The Night Before' Rituals
My actual skincare prep starts the night before I do my makeup.
A new favorite in my overnight prep routine is GLAMGLOW BERRYGLOW Probiotic Recovery Mask (49 USD/ 235 AED; Made in USA). Not only does it smell like a delicious berry smoothie, but it also feels like one. One of the key ingredients – Lactobacillus Ferment Probiotic – is supposed to support skin’s microbiome (aka “skin flora”), which is something you don’t come across that often. Mix of berries, beetroot, hibiscus act as a vital antioxidant powerhouse and Jojoba Oil, Hyaluronic Acid (hey bae), Shea Butter plump and restore skin’s natural moisture barriers. But what I am truly grateful for – all of these juicy ingredients are at the top of the list (which essentially means they are exactly what this mask is made of).
BERRYGLOW layers sheer and is a touch watery, instantly hydrating and cooling down the skin. You’re supposed to leave it on for 10 minutes, either smoothing in leftover residue or rinsing it off thereafter. It does have a strong, yet natural sweet berry scent that might linger for a few minutes. Whenever I use it, I prefer to wash my face first (to remove all of the berry bits) and layer a hydrating cream or oil second. You see results right away – skin does feel supple, bouncy, while looking bright and healthy. This mask is a great radiance booster.
Another area, that most of us [mortals] find problematic, is under eye. I love the idea of patches and recently have been enjoying Pixi FortifEYE Firming Eye Patches (24 USD; 132 AED; Made in Korea). Not only do you get a generous amount of 30 pairs (60 patches), but the Botanical Collagen serum these little guys are soaked in also rejuvenates and hydrates delicate skin in no time. I typically wear mine for longer than recommended 10 minutes and still follow up with an eye cream to really lock that moisture in.
As much as I like FortifEYE, I do want you guys to look at these eye masks as a quick fix, extra boost, nice addition (not a complete solution). If you don’t want yours to slide down your face, either lay down while wearing them or push the serum residue back into the jar using the enclosed spatula; the latter technique will also help avoid any potential rolling or peeling of the serum (which can happen sometimes and is exactly why I only use these patches as part of my PM routine). Skin looks healthy, well rested in the morning and for the price – these Pixi patches are a total steal.
Lastly, before you kiss your pillow goodnight, condition your lashes and brows. Because, yes – similarly to your mane, they need love too. Lately I have been hooked on Briogeo B. Well Organic + Cold-Pressed 100% Castor Oil (26 USD; Made in India), which is rich in Vitamin E, omega fatty acids and other wonderful nutrients so perfect for nourishing hair and skin. Great thing about this product is that it is cold-pressed (i.e. seed purity is preserved), as well as organic/vegan/non-GMO/cruelty-free and from my experience – eye safe. I put a very small amount of this cushiony oil onto a disposable mascara wand and run it through my lashes, brows before going to bed. Hairs look reasonably healthier, stronger and fall out much less after only a few days of use.
'The Morning After' Rituals
So, you took real good care of your skin before meditating and counting sheep. What’s next?
After quick AM skincare and breakfast – make sure to add yet another thin layer of moisture right before doing your makeup. Instead of hydrating primers, that do not really nourish your skin, try adding a mist and second lightweight moisturizer.
Once your skin is clean, refresh and prep it with a skin-loving mist. My go-to at the moment is Boscia Rosewater Mist with Witch Hazel (24 USD; Made in USA), for it is a hydrating toner, that can be used in multiple ways. Not only is it clean/green, but there is no alcohol in it. It tightens pores a bit, adds beautiful glow and never looks greasy. I also love how it sets my makeup and thanks to Willowherb and Jojoba Leaf, it additionally fights free radicals and nasty UV rays. I mean, what not to love?
I have been also enjoying Marc Jacobs Youthquake Hydra-Full Retexturizing Gel Crème Moisturizer (59 USD/ 240 AED; Made in Korea). This gel-cream is infused with encapsulated Sodium Hyaluronate, Enzymatic Pineapple Water, antioxidants like Starfruit and Dragonfruit. It smells like a tropical heaven and has a very whipped and smooth texture, getting absorbed in no time. It leaves no heavy/sticky/greasy film – quite the contrary – it adds the perfect amount of slip and moisture for your makeup to just glide right on (plus skin will feel better underneath it well throughout the day). What’s even better - this formula works well with other makeup/skincare products and you do not need to use much to fully benefit from a product like this.
Freshly scrubbed lips do crave hydration, but you don’t want the texture of your balm to conflict with an actual lip product you’re about to use. This is why I adore Fresh Sugar Lip Hydrating Balm (18 USD; Made in France). Unlike your rich overnight lip masks, this formula is reasonably lighter and more cushiony. It is based on Apricot Kernel, Black Currant and Grape Seed Oils that still feel lightweight and non-greasy. I apply a small amount of either Caramel or Peach on my lips (both feel the same, but have different yummy flavors), leave it on while I do the rest of my makeup and blot it down right before going in with my lipstick. These balms are particularly great underneath matte formulas, because they are satin in finish and not at all glossy, hence they will prep your pout nicely, without ruining the velvet look you’re going for.
Finally, never neglect your eye cream – with all of these correctors, concealers and powders your skin can suffocate a little. My current favourite is Caudalie VineActiv Vitamin C Energizing Eye Cream (39 USD; Made in France), because it is lightweight yet extremely nourishing at the same time. This antioxidant rich cream is here to reduce puffiness, get rid of fine lines, boost under eye with much needed vitamins and hydration. Added bonus? Makeup sits perfectly on top of it, which is great news as you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. And since it is Caudalie, rest assured that you are dealing with an effective green skincare that actually works. Unlike with some other overpriced/overhyped/inefficient eye creams (*cough* Drunk Elephant *cough*), I noticed a massive improvement since I started using VineActiv. It does what it claims to do and I couldn’t recommend it enough!
What do you guys think about these products? Let's chat some more in the comments!
PR samples and purchased products; full disclaimer here