Category Archives: Skincare


A Skincare Chat

May 18, 2015

skincare-routine-1Let’s talk about skincare! I’m constantly buying and trying new products to find my perfect skincare combination. I have very dry, dehydrated skin with an oily t-zone, so I’ve finally figured out that I need to pack on super-hydrating products at night and wear a lighter, oil-free moisturizer during the day. I also use the dual cleansing method for washing my face at night to break down my layers of makeup. I think I’ve finally found the combination that works for me, which is heavily dominated by Philosophy. Below I run through the products I use every morning/night, as well as my must-have weekly treatment for perfect skin! Here we go!

Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil: I’ve recently started using the dual cleansing method for washing my face in the evening, and this cleansing oil is step 1. Before I wash my face, I massage this oil into my skin in circular motions. This rich cleansing oil breaks down the layers of makeup on my face, including my stubborn eye makeup, without leaving my skin feeling greasy.

Clarisonic Mia: This tool has singlehandedly changed my skin. I use my Clarisonic (along with my Cetaphil face wash) to cleanse my skin once a day after rinsing off the Tatcha cleansing oil.

Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water: In the mornings, I like to saturate a cotton pad with this micellar water and swipe my face for a quick cleanse and to remove any traces of mascara under my eyes. As I mentioned in this post, I prefer the Bioderma micellar water, but this one does the job for now.

Philosophy Time in a Bottle: After cleansing my skin the morning, I apply one pump of this vitamin C-8 serum and let it absorb for about a minute before applying my moisturizer.

Philosophy Miracle Worker Retinoid Eye Repair Cream: I take a tiny amount of this retinoid eye treatment and gently pat it under my eyes and on my browbone. I use this treatment twice a day – morning and night.

Philosophy Take a Deep Breath Moisturizer: As always, it is important to use SPF every day in your skincare routine. I like this moisturizer because it’s very light but very hydrating. The formula is also oil-free, making it ideal to wear under makeup during the day.

Philosophy Hope in a Jar Night: Most nights, after cleansing my skin and applying the Miracle Worker eye treatment, I pack on this thick moisturizer. It’s super rich and hydrating, which leaves my skin looking plump and fresh in the morning.

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask: On nights when my skin is feeling particularly dry (usually about once or twice a week), I slather on this mega-rich moisture mask. My skin drinks it up! I wake up looking like a glowing angel-baby.

Philosophy Detoxify: The Oxygen Peel: I use this facial as a once-a-week treat on Sunday nights. This peel leaves my skin looking brighter, my pores are tighter, and my skin looks taught and refined. It also helps tremendously with acne scarring and improving the overall texture of my skin. It is an essential in my skincare routine!

What are some of your skincare essentials?



The Easiest Winter Skin Fix

February 5, 2015


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Gals, how is it February already?! We are now officially in the dead of winter. Hearing about the #SNOWMAGEDDON happening in the Northeast just reinforces my decision to move to California (sorry not sorry)! But even though it’s not freezing temps here in SF, my skin is still flaky and parched. Thankfully, I’ve discovered a new two-product skincare regimen which leaves my face perfectly polished and radiant. Any regimen that only requires two products gets a thumbs up from me!

winter-skin-fixAfter spending a few minutes in the shower (and letting the bathroom get nice and steamy), squeeze a quarter-sized dollop of Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish onto the brush head of your Clarisonic. It’s important to choose an exfoliating scrub that has perfectly spherical exfoliating beads – if they’re not 100% spherical, the granules will cause micro-tears in your skin (looking at you, St. Ives)! I tend focus the Clarisonic on my lower cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead, which are the dryest parts of my face. Once the Clarisonic cycle is complete, rinse thoroughly and slather on a thick moisturizer – I’m loving Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream right now. Try to incorporate this step into your regimen once a week and you’ll blast away that dry winter skin for good!



My New Year’s Resolution

December 30, 2014

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I’m not sure if it’s the dry air, Christmas sweets, or my recent trip to the Northeast (or maybe a combination of all three?) that’s turned my skin into a dull, flaky mess. Therefore, I’ve made it one of my New Year’s resolutions to take better care of my skin. In addition to drinking more water, cleaning my makeup brushes more often, and accepting that I need to wash my face before bed, I also took a few new products out for a spin. The most recent additions to my medicine cabinet are a few goodies from InstaNatural.

Astonishingly, I’d never used any sort of facial serum before trying out the InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum*. The thick, viscous formula (reminiscent of orange juice) absorbs almost immediately into my skin and contains 20% vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, ferulic acid, vitamin E, and rosehip oil. Used underneath the InstaNatural Pure Argan Oil*, my skin has never looked so radiant. I’ve used Argan oil in the past, but the skincare habit became too expensive for me to maintain – sorry Josie Maran! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this MASSIVE 4 oz. bottle of Argan oil for well under $20. I honestly thought it might be too good to be true (p.s. it’s not). For me, this Argan oil is the perfect moisturizer. My skin is never greasy – always perfectly balanced, even-toned, and fresh.

In addition to the skincare goodies, I also tried out the InstaNatural Argan Oil Hair Mask*. My poor, parched strands soaked up that buttery goodness. Wintery weather doesn’t stand a chance now that I have this in my haircare arsenal! Besides the fact that this hair mask contains lashings of Argan oil, it’s also loaded with shea butter, coconut oil, and vitamin B5. So. Good.

Now that you know mine, what’s your New Year’s resolution?


*Gifted PR sample, c/o InstaNatural


New In: Six From Origins

November 11, 2014


Origins is one brand that I’ve heard many great things about but never gotten into. So, as a first foray into the brand, I decided to order this six-piece Origins Bestsellers set from Sephora (now sold out!!!!). I’ve found myself drawn to more skincare products lately and wouldn’t mind actually splurging on the full-sized versions if these products live up to their hype.

I have already blogged about my love for the Origins Clear Improvement active charcoal mask and was thrilled to see it included in the set. I was hoping that the Drink Up – Intensive Overnight Mask would be included as well because I’m dying to get my hands on it. In fact, I even had the full-sized version in my Sephora cart and it sold out before I submitted my order! Way to trash a girl’s heart, Sephora.

Out of the set, I am most excited to try the GinZing moisturizer. I’ve heard great things and I’m always on the hunt for my perfect daily moisturizer. I washed my face with the Checks and Balances face wash and moisturized with High Potency Night-A-Mins cream last night before bed. I woke up this morning with plump, nourished, non-greasy skin. So far so good!

I’m so bummed this set is already sold out at Sephora. Eagle-eyed readers, keep an eye out for its return (perhaps closer to Christmas?).

Have you tried Origins? What’s your favorite product?



How To: Sandal-Ready Feet

June 30, 2014


Long winters with your feet stuffed in socks and boots can lead to some pretty scary toes. Want to know the secret for getting sandal-ready feet? Get your dogs in tip-top shape by trying a foot chemical peel. It’s a Japanese product called Baby Foot (super creepy name…) and it works wonders. Just like a chemical peel for your face, this foot peel gets rid of all (ALL) the old, dead skin on your feet and you’re left with smooth, baby soft feet. However, nothing can prepare you for the intensity of this foot peel. Your skin will peel off in sheets (in a snake-shedding-skin kind of way) for about 7 days. You will wonder why you ever did it, and it may ruin the inside of your shoes, your living room carpet, and your love life. But, be patient… it works better than anything else. A concentrated blend of lactic acid and alcohol gives this foot treatment its one-two punch.

photo 4 (1)Here’s how to do it:

  1. Soak feet in warm water for about 15-20 minutes and wash with soap. Dry feet. Do not skip this step – it is essential for the gel to absorb properly.
  2. Place dried feet into the provided gel-filled plastic booties. Secure booties with tape (provided).
  3. Slide on another pair of socks over the booties and kick back for an hour. Do not attempt to walk around because the gel will ooze out.
  4. After waiting an hour, remove socks and booties. Wash feet with soap and water.
  5. After about 7 days, your feet will start to peel (my toes started peeling first). Resist the urge to peel until you’re at home. You will inevitably get skin everywhere unless you constantly wear socks around the house (probably recommended). It took about 7 days for my feet to finish peeling. In total, it was about a two-week process, so be patient.
  6. Once your feet have completely finished peeling, you’ll be left with soft, smooth soles. I usually have pretty deep heel fissures and they were completely healed after this process. I like to keep my feet looking their best by applying Bag Balm (old school, I know) to my feet every night before bed. This will keep them looking sandal-ready all summer.

photo 4What do you think? Are you willing to try Baby Foot? Let me know in the comments section below!


P.S. I didn’t post any pictures of my peeling process because it was pretty gross, but if you’re interested, there are some Amazon reviewers who have! Also, this is my toenail color.


Product Smackdown: Boscia Black Face Mask vs. Origins Clear Improvement Face Mask

June 3, 2014

Product smackdown-masks For The Wink’s second installment of Product Smackdown, I decided to test out two of the latest face masks on the market: Boscia Luminizing Black Mask versus Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask. Check out my thoughts below and find out which one I liked more!

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask: After showering, I slathered on this tarry mask and waited about 20 minutes for it to harden. Unlike other masks that lighten as they dry, this one stays extremely black (fun to scare your cat with) and you must wait until it turns smooth and plasticky to peel off. Underneath the mask, my skin felt tight and dry. This mask provides mechanical removal of impurities (as opposed to chemical removal), so it was quite painful to peel off my skin. After removal, my pores looked clearer but my skin was red and slightly irritated.

Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask: Right after applying, my skin felt tingly and cool. The mask had a different consistency than the Boscia one and was easier to spread across my face (less sticky/tarry). The mask went on a shark blue color and dried to a dark gray. Once it had fully dried (about 20 minutes), it was very easy to rinse off with warm water and left no residue behind. I felt that it cleared my pores and brightened my complexion immediately.

The verdict? Origins Clear Improvement Mask won hands-down over Bosica Luminizing Black Mask. Not only does it ring in at $10 less for more product ($24 for Origins’ 3.4oz vs. $34 for Boscia’s 2.8oz), my skin felt softer, looked brighter, and was much less irritated than after I’d used the Boscia mask. The Origins mask has become a weekly skincare ritual for me and helps keep my skin looking its best.

Have you ever tried these products? Do you agree with my choice? Let me know in the comments section below!