stranded icecubes (by diamir8000 – on flickr blog today :-)))

Makeup 101: Skincare essentials

OK, so this isn’t about make-up: It’s about the make-up canvas, your skin.

Obviously, make-up is a lot more fun when you don’t have to camouflage dark circles, blemishes, etc. So, good skincare is really important! And, if you’re like me and about to give up make-up, good skin will be all you have! 🙂 

So, in the tradition of the last two posts, here’s what you need (basically):

  1. Cleanser for your skin type. I tend to use two during the year: a more stringent one during the summer, and a creamier one the rest of the year. Right now I am loving Loreal’s 360 cleansers, which come in different formulas. (I’m using the cream one) This is a lot of fun, plus you get gentle exfoliation, which is always good!
  2. A toner/astringent. Now, if you’re out of college, unless you have super-oily skin, you don’t need astringent. Your skin has calmed down its oil production enough. If you still want something to tighten and tone, use a toner like Lancome’s or Bliss. Clinique also has a very good skin care line.
  3. Eye make-up remover. A must! And it must be oil-free, so that if you are using it to clean up mistakes, you can re-apply over it. Two of my favorites are Target’s house brand, and Lancome’s (you get a sample of Lancome’s with almost every Lancome bonus, it seems like…).
  4. Moisturizer. MOISTURIZE. Please. 🙂 It must have at least an SPF 15 in it. (You must wear sunscreen! All year!) I like Olay for both AM and PM formulations. Night cream, I think, is an add-on as soon as you’re out of college. It helps! I have used fancy moisturizer, and drugstore moisturizer, and really, Olay is my favorite. For the night I use the regenerist night cream, which is a lovely lavender color and really works!
  5. Eye cream (optional) As you get older, like mid-twenties to early 30s, you might want to think about it. If you have really dry skin, use it. If you have normal skin, consider it. (Again, Olay has many nice ones.)
  6. Exfoliator: I use a scrub once a week. My favorite is this one from origins. I usually follow it up with
  7. A mask, for my skin type. Masks are fun! Origins also has some excellent ones. 
  8. And, to have on hand: A blemish treatment (use as needed.) This is my absolute favorite.

As always, if anything makes your skin feel tight, or gives you an unpleasant sensation, wash it off! Don’t use it! If you want to try an expensive product, see if you can get samples first, to see how your skin reacts to the product.

Be sure to wash your face every night using the above products in the above order. In the AM, I usually just wash my face and moisturize. If you are very oily you might have to rewash, or just use toner/astringent, to freshen up in the morning.

Other suggestions:

  1. Drink lots of water!
  2. DO NOT SMOKE. If you do, stop. If you don’t, never, ever start. It is a gross habit anyway.
  3. Get enough sleep (yeah, this is hard for me, too).


Holly Golightly’s apartment on the Upper East Side on a sunny summer day

Pentax Spotmatic / Kodak BWCN