Then & Now: Skin Prep

Being a new mama has brought on many a change in many a way, and not just in my increased number of sleepless nights (despite bragging how my child had been seemingly sleeping through the night) and the fact that I am now responsible for a tiny human life. Every beauty routine I once had, and was accustomed to, has also changed; from the absurd amount of time my hair spends up in a bun and the mere minutes I sometimes have to apply some form of makeup, often with a swipe of my finger and without want, or time, for a blending brush.

Coming from a pre-baby time where I valued, perhaps overvalued, a full face of makeup complete with blended smoky eyes and lashes that extended into the stratosphere, as everyday makeup mind you, I felt a bit saddened with myself when I initially made the realization that this was not of the norm for me with baby in tow. Now, if you are one of there’s powerhouse ladies that still have time, or have mastered the mom routine, and still pull out the perfect blow out and made up face on the daily then I say, more power to you! However, this isn’t working for me presently. I might also add that I’m more and more okay with letting go of my old routines since, yeah, I am quite smitten with my son, but I still crave a presentable appearance, even if it’s just to run into Target to get gas relief drops.

I have always wanted to perfect the natural makeup look on myself. On clients, a piece of cake. On me, not so cake-like. **I promise, I’m getting to the point** Now, I have always, especially over the last few years, been pretty diligent about taking care of my skin as a whole, but I have admittedly neglected prepping my skin in a proper fashion before putting on my makeup. Again, on clients, all aces, on myself, well, I just slapped on that much more concealer if need be.

The point???!?? A perfectly prepped face is the oh so perfect canvas for any makeup look, especially a natural look like the one I am striving for. Beautiful, glowing skin is ideal and I am taking the steps to make it mine.

So, what I’m I doing?? Here’s the routine:

CLEANSE

We all know how important it is to cleanse your skin, and with more than just a makeup remover type of wipe. Not only are you removing any built up impurities, but you are also laying down a solid foundation for your makeup application. I am currently loving Origins: A Perfect World Antioxidant Cleanser with White Tea and alternatively, I do also use the wipes by La Fresh, but it’s of course best to use them supplementally and not primarily. I prefer to cleanse in the morning after getting up and then before I go to bed, at whatever time that may be.

Exfoliate

I might not do this everyday, but to each his/her own. Exfoliating is ideal for removing any dead skin cells as well as promoting circulation, which in turn leads to that glow we all want to see in our complexion. What you use for your body is most likely too rough to use in your face, so opt for something gentler. I like the Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant by Dr. Brandt. This is a pricier exfoliant, but I feel a little goes a long way, and since I don’t exfoliate on a regular daily basis, eventually cost evens out in my book. I just love the way I can feel it cleaning my face, it’s like spa day good!

Tone

Toner is what helps restore pH balance to the skin after you’ve cleanser and exfoliated. It also prepared the skin for whatever you’ll be using to moisturize. I am fond of the Moisture Balance Toner by Exuviance; it’s gentle and leaves my skin feeling more refreshed than tight like some toners.

Moisturize 

This is the step that beats out all others, even though you should really be looking at them all as a sort of team. They hydrate and soften dry skin and add a layer of protection for sensitive skin. A good moisturizer is also crucial to apply right before your makeup routine, as a sort of primer (even before your actual primer). My go-to is Origins VitaZing SPF 15 Energy-Boosting Moisturizer with Mangosteen. I love the way this feels and the way my face already has a glow to it after use. I also keep Garnier Moisture Rescue Gel-Cream on hand. I love the cool gel feel on my skin and the way it adds lots of instant hydration. This one is also good to add a dab or two on top of my finished foundation application for a little added cheekbone glow.

These are 4 simple, basic steps to lock down a great skin care/prep routine. There are of course other things you can add in, like masques and serums, as well as some prescription only products that can be worked in. I have a few of each of these that I line to work in. The point of it all, is that “perfect” skin in the best foundation for any look, particularly those with a natural emphasis. I’m still playing around with the actual makeup looks to lock down my new everyday, but emphasis is definitely on my skin finish versus my eye makeup…well, except for lashes. I love big lashes and I certainly cannot lie!!

Do you have a favorite skin prep product, or go-to product to achieve the perfect natural look?? Comment below!!

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