Bedtime is When Beauty Happens

By now most of us have learned that going to sleep with a full face of makeup can wreak havoc on our skin and do more damage than good. Not only do you get your pillows and bedding filthy, but you can wake up with pimples, encourage wrinkles and so much more. The worst part of this bad habit is that you’re missing out on nourishing your skin while you’re fully at rest and out of the sun and pollution. When you instill a nighttime beauty routine you’re allowing targeted skin care products to penetrate and work their magic. Bedtime is when beauty happens. It is the best time for deep moisturizing, fighting wrinkles and treating other problem areas, such as your lips and heels.

My mother taught me at a young age to take care of my skin and this has become much more important to me now that I’m in my mid-twenties. It’s really never too early to begin an anti-aging regiment. My nighttime beauty routine has evolved over the years, but I’ve become quite comfortable with the products I’m currently using. Overall, it’s pretty simple, but I believe it’s the foundation for building good habits and keeping great skin. Here are some of the staples I use and they’ve helped.

Face Wash

Cleansing your face at night is one of the single most important and basic things you can do to help your skin. Whether you like it or not, your skin is an organ that is aging every day. It’s important to remove any pollutants and makeup from your face to allow the skin to literally breathe and get the oxygen it needs to repair itself.

My favorite cleanser is the Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser. I’ve been using this product for years and it’s never let me down. The cleanser is so soft and gentle, giving your skin a deep cleanse. It includes beta hydroxyl that penetrates the pores, dissolving dirt, oil, and makeup. It also removes dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, and reveals softer, fresher skin.

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Exfoliator

Exfoliation is super important to remove dry and dead skin cells from your skin in a gentle way. Some of the top benefits to exfoliating include improved skin texture, preventing breakouts, and, of course, anti-aging. Regular exfoliation also helps increase blood circulation which makes it possible achieve healthy, radiant skin. It’s generally recommended to exfoliate a couple times a week.

I like to use St. Ives Apricot Scrub once a week. This is another product I’ve been using for years because it works well for my skin type. This exfoliator is somewhat coarse, but if used gently and not in a harsh scrubbing manner, it can deliver excellent results.

Moisturizer

As we age, our skin becomes drier, so moisturizing is an essential part of both your daytime and nighttime beauty routine. When you leave moisturizer out of your routine, you run the risk of developing deep wrinkles – and lots of them. When your
skin is dry, there’s a low-grade chronic inflammation that occurs which can lead to a breakdown of collagen, ultimately accelerating aging.

Moisturizer also gives you a layer of protection against the elements and improves the look of your makeup application.

I learned my lesson about moisturizer a couple years ago when I was breaking out really badly. I stopped using moisturizer because I thought it was contributing to my acne, but come to find out my skin was irritated and acne was part of the result of extremely dehydrated skin which overproduced oil. It was a nightmare, but now I apply moisturizer in the morning and at night no matter what.

Acne Spot Treatment

While this may not be necessary for everyone, this is a no-brainer in my bedtime routine. I suffer from the occasional pimple or two and try to get rid of them immediately, for obvious reasons – no one likes acne. The spot treatment I like to use applies and dries white, so I use it at night and at home. If you do have to use spot treatments, I would recommend moisturizing that area the morning after using this type of product because I find most of them are drying. If you know of a spot treatment that’s not drying, please let me know in the comments below!

Eye Cream

I never believed in eye cream. I always thought it was a way for companies to sell you products you don’t actually need, but after trying the one I received in my February Ipsy bag, I’m hooked. While some eye creams may not work, there definitely are two main benefits to using this type of product, which are anti-aging and deep moisturizing.

Anti-aging eye creams often contain ingredients that promote increased skin cell turnover which decreases the appearance of age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. The ingredients that help replace old skin cells with new ones can often lead to skin sensitivity, so that’s why these are generally used at night, out of sun exposure.

Deep moisturizing eye creams are deep nourishing and restorative. While your skin doesn’t necessarily absorb more moisture at night than during the day, if you find your skin to be drier at the end of the day, you might want to use a moisturizing eye cream.

The eye cream I received is supposed to be nourishing and brightening. I don’t generally notice bags under my eyes because my glasses usually cast a shadow to hide them if they were there – so I’m not sure I’m experiencing the benefits of brightening, but I do see a difference in that the skin seems more supple and my makeup applies more smoothly under my eyes.

Face Oil

A couple Ipsy bags ago, I received a sample of Tarte Cosmetics Maracuja Oil. It’s a facial oil. With all the problems I’ve had with my skin in the past this is something I was not interested in trying – until recently. With facial oils being all the rage lately, I finally looked up the benefits of this type of oil and took the plunge. I’ve seen outstanding benefits in my skin after using this oil daily for a few weeks. Due to the oil’s high dose of vitamin C, my dark spots from previous breakouts have lightened up and my overall complexion has improved.

After dabbling in the world of facial oils I now know they offer a wide variety of benefits. Ancient Egyptians maintained vibrant and flawless skin by using facial oils – and if the Egyptians did it, maybe we should, too! Do keep in mind that not all facial oils are the same and while some may benefit your skin immensely, others may cause irritation. Some of the many benefits to these oils include reducing wrinkles, protecting skin, and improving dry skin.

In conclusion, bedtime is prime time to care for your skin. We now know the importance of cleansing your face at night and using products that provide both nourishing and anti-aging benefits without being exposed to the damaging rays of the sun. By creating a routine that works for you, you can take five to ten minutes before bed to pamper yourself and take steps to improving your skin for the future.

What are some of your favorite bedtime and anti-aging products? What types of facial oils have you found effective?

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My Nail Care Routine

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t have some sort of color on my nails. In my opinion, if you don’t have a perfectly polished manicure, your life is falling apart. I know that’s not true, but I like to have my nails done and present the best possible version of myself.

Without further adieu, here’s my weekly nail routine!

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I begin my nail routine by removing my old nail polish. I’ll use whatever type of cotton ball or cotton pads I have lying around at that time. I try to use safer nail polish remover, but I did go through a phase of acrylic nails, so I still have this 100% Acetone.

After my nail polish is removed and my nails are clean, I wash my hands and file my nails to create my desired shape and size. I like when my nails are to the tip of my fingers, sometimes longer, and in a rounded square shape – squared oval or squoval below.

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Photo from Beautiful You Australia

Once my nail is shaped and sized, I’ll push my cuticles back with my cuticle pen from Avon. Then I apply Sally Hansen Hard As Nails. I love this stuff! It applies smoothly and dries quickly! I like to use it as a base and a top coat.

After Hard As Nails dries, I’ll apply at least two coats of whatever color I’m going to wear for the next week. In the first photo, I have a pale pink color.

When the color is dry, I clean up the edges by dipping a tiny concealer brush in nail polish remover – just like at the nail salon! Once it appears the way I want, I lock everything down with Hard As Nails again.

There you have it! What tips and tricks do you have when you do your nails?

My Daily Beauty Routine

I absolutely love mornings, but I loathe getting out of bed – so weekends are my favorite.

During the week, I start work at 7:00 AM (so early!), but thankfully I work only a few miles from where I live. It generally takes me about 10 minutes to commute. I usually wake up somewhere around 5:50 AM, if I want my coffee, and start my daily beauty routine. I’ve gotten it down the basics and have made my routine pretty quick.

Cleansing

I’m a big fan of Neutrogena and my favorite cleanser has been their Purifying Facial Cleanser, from their Neutrogena Naturals line. Chicago weather is really harsh on my skin, so I needed to make the switch to a gentle, natural cleanser. This one has a great gentle scent and does a wonderful job cleansing.

After, I’m done washing my face, I use witch hazel as a toner. Once that dries, I use yet another Neutrogena Naturals product, the Mutli-Vitamin Nourishing Moisturizer. This has been thick enough for the winter, but not oily.

Makeup

After my moisturizer is all soaked in I apply my concealer and foundation. I use the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser under my eyes, in the triangle shape, and on any blemishes I might have. Then I apply the Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Foundation. I blend everything in and together with a stippling brush.

Once my foundation is blended, I set my under eyes with some loose powder and move onto my brows. I love the e.l.f. Studio Eyebrow Kit. I use the tinted to gel to carve out and line the shape of my brow underneath and flick the brush upward to add the color. Then I shade in my brows some more with a dark brown eye shadow, to make them darker and softer looking. If I make any mistakes, I usually clean it up with a cotton swab and some foundation on a small concealer brush.

When my face is near finished, I add some mascara the old fashioned way – by curling my eyelashes and add some L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga mascara. I especially love the applicator for this mascara!

At the end, I go over my face with a large fluffy brush and some loose powder to set everything.

That’s generally all I do in the morning to get ready for work. In essence, it’s my no makeup makeup look. It’s easy and quick to do when I don’t want to roll out of bed in the morning.