fashion & beauty

My Favorite Skincare + Cosmetic Products

I’m by no stretch of the imagination a beauty blogger, but I do get a TON of questions about my skincare and cosmetic routine. These posts come few and far between, but I thought it was fitting, given fall is just around the corner and Sephora is having their giant beauty insider sale that starts tomorrow (on Friday). Now is the perfect time to snatch up some of my favorite skincare and cosmetic products if you’re also updating your wardrobe or makeup bag! Click through to see what I use, what has worked for my skin, and the everyday products I can’t live without…

This post is NOT sponsored, but I’ll be shopping the sale and thought you might like too as well! Sephora Beauty Insider Membersthe best deals of the season are happening soon! Get ready to get 10-20% off your favorite products all weekend-long. Here’s how it works:

  • If you’re not already a Sephora Beauty Insider Member, you can sign up for free and get 10-20% off your purchase.
  • First Access: August 24th – 29th // Sephora Rouge members get first dibs to shop top beauty finds at 20% off with code YESROUGE (a week earlier than Beauty Insider and VIB members).
  • The Main Event: August 30th – September 3rd // All VIB members will receive access to shop event products at 15% off with code YESVIB, and Beauty Insider members will be able to shop the same at 10% off with code YESINSIDER.

I’ll start by saying, I had terrible skin up until four-ish years ago. I was on accutane three(!) times, and even that couldn’t solve my acne issues and melasma. Now I get more compliments on my skin than my shelf styling (which I have to admit, is one thing I’m pretty good at). Isn’t that wild? I feel like I’ve finally found a solid routine that works well for me and I’ve tweaked it to perfection these past few years.

I’m thankful I’ve reached a point where I feel comfortable running around without makeup, and I’ve been fully embracing a minimal or more natural cosmetic look thanks to my newfound confidence. Another plus? I’m spending WAY less than I did at the dermatologist… I think I can credit my clear skin to the products and cosmetics I’ve been using that were made for my combination / oily skin.

These are the tried and true items I buy from Sephora. After purchasing the Dyson hairdryer (yup I sure did!!), I’m now a VIP Rouge Insider- and that means lots of perks (including first access to the sale), so I might as well put that to good use. Ha!

Click the items in the roundup below to shop my favorites.

I’m breaking everything down by category below…

H A I R
  • dyson super sonic hair dryer // I have to say- it’s worth the hype. I’ve never been great at blowing out my hair, but this is giving me the motivation to learn. It dries my hair super fast, and obviously I like the way it looks. I hear it’s wayyy better for your hair, too.
  • verb detangling brush // Now that my hair is getting pretty long, it has been getting pretty tangled- especially after a shower. This brush is my new favorite thing!
S K I N C A R E
  • clarisonic mia // My clarisonic and I have had a loving relationship for five(!) years. Basically, I can’t live without it. I pack it with me everywhere and use that baby once a day.
  • deep pore cleansing brush head // This brush head was made for combination and oily skin. It’s deep cleaning and gets all of the grime and pollution out of my pores. My skin starting clearing once I began using this tool.
  • charcoal mask // I use this mask once a week. Do I look crazy for 30 minutes? Yep, sure do… but it’s worth it for clear, glowing skin!
  • la mer firming and anti-aging mask // This is another mask in my weekly rotation. I lovingly refer to it as “miracle in a jar”. I’ve had old friends message me and ask what my anti-aging secret is… it’s this. Shhh, don’t tell! I feel like I look younger now than I did in high school- is that even possible?
  • jade roller // This jade roller is my secret for depuffing. I keep it in the freezer and use it in the morning as needed. I work A LOT… late nights, weekends, ’round the clock. Luckily this thing reverses the fact that I’ve been staring at a computer screen into the wee hours of the night.
  • treatment cleansing foam // I’ve been using this cleanser for a few years now. It keeps my skin clear, balanced, and breakout free.
  • moisture hydrating spray // Since moving to Utah, my oily skin is also dry now? It’s very confusing. This hydrating spray solved the problem and also gives me that dewy look, without clogging my pores and bringing on more oil. It just feels fresh- like I just washed my face.
  • sublime defense sunscreen // I used to have bad melasma, and here’s another fun fact… I’ve had melanoma (scary). I don’t mess around with skin cancer and I wear SPF 50 every single day to avoid another surgery- whether I’m leaving my house or not. This face sunscreen is my favorite, and trust me when I say I’ve tried just about every brand out there.
  • cashmere mist deodorant // I love this deodorant: it smells amazing, keeps me dry, smelling nice, and lasts all day long.
C O S M E T I C S
  • nars light reflecting setting powder // I use this product after foundation. It keeps everything in place and makes my skin glow (in a natural, non-sparkly sort of way).
  • urban decay eye shadow // This product works double duty and is the one I’d take with me if I were stranded on an island! Not only is it eye shadow, but I use it as a highlighter as well. My coveted color? Half baked – golden bronze. It looks good on everyone… just ask my gal pals who always borrow it while on getaway adventures.
  • laura mercier bronzer // I hate switching foundation colors. When my foundation is a shade too light in the summertime, I dust on the tiniest bit of this bronzer to even things out. It gives me the right amount of natural looking color.. again- without any weird sparkles.
  • nars blush // Get this in Amour – Peachy Pink, and you won’t be disappointed. It works for every season!
  • armani luminous silk foundation // This is my go-to foundation. It has nice, buildable coverage, never gets cakey, goes on easily, and looks super natural. It also lasts all day long! It’s my very favorite and I recommend it to everyone.
  • makeup forever liquid matte lipstick // Everyone wants to know WHAT IS THIS MAGICAL LIPSTICK?! on instagram when I wear this. The shade? 105 Rosewood. It stays on forever.
  • armani moisturizing matte lipstick // This stuff feels like you’re wearing chapstick, but makes you look like a million dollars. If I had to choose a favorite lip product, it’d be this one! My shade? 501.
  • nars lipstick // Another instagram fan favorite of mine… this nars lipstick in Anita- Antique Rose.
  • liquid tattoo eyeliner // If I’m going out or to a special event and need to look a little fancy, I use this eyeliner- with a classic winged tip, of course. It stays put, looks nice and black, and is the easiest to apply.
F R A G R A N C E
  • laura mercier bubble bath // This is the best bubble bath, hands down. It leaves my skin feeling super soft, smells amazing, has a pretty package you can leave out styled in your bathroom, and doesn’t gunk up the tub. Win, win, win, win!
  • commodity bergamot perfume // I got this as a sample and had to order the full-size product immediately. It’s my new favorite scent and is perfect for fall! It’s sophisticated and doesn’t smell like every other popular thing on the market.
  • maison louis marie candle // My new favorite candle- enough said. It’s a great scent for fall, has the perfect minimal package, and will be the thing every single one of your house guests will comment on when they walk through the front door!

There you have it… that’s pretty much all of the items I regularly purchase from Sephora. Let me know if you have any questions about any of the products I use or my routine in the comments below.

Hopefully this will help save you guys a lot of money! I always try to stock up during sales. Does anyone else do the same?

You can also shop the products below. Remember, the big sales starts tomorrow for Rouge members! Happy hunting…

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  • Reply
    Peggi
    August 23, 2018 at 4:34 am

    With your glowy cuteness, no wonder people are clamoring to know your secrets! I’ve simplified to the point of sunscreen and brow pencil most days, but I still love a good beauty round up. As a sun-worshipping Leo, I need a serious sunscreen. When I clicked on the Algenist, it was already in my cart?! That seems like a message from the universe. Happy Thursday!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 23, 2018 at 8:44 am

      Thanks so much Peggi! Most days it’s just sunscreen for me too- my brows are microbladed, so luckily I don’t have to worry about brow pencil anymore. I seriously love that SPF- I vote take it as a sign from the universe ;) have a great day!! Xo

  • Reply
    Kate
    August 23, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Pretending to put on makeup while already wearing a full face of makeup. Cute. It’s just like a commercial!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 23, 2018 at 8:33 am

      These were actually all progress shots- I also didn’t retouch my skin, to keep this post raw and honest. I’m thankful my skin is to a point where I feel comfortable doing a ‘no makeup’ look. Most days it’s only sunscreen… having microbladed brows and lashes also help!

  • Reply
    @sarahspy
    August 23, 2018 at 9:31 am

    It’s so comforting to read other folks talk about their struggles with clear skin / accutane, especially as adults! I am only just now figuring out what works for me at 37, similarly after two rounds of accutane in my 20s and a LOT of trial & error around diet, all-natural vs. harder-hitting chemical products, etc. So many of my adult breakouts, I’ve learned, are directly connected to not only what’s going on with my hormones, but with my anxiety level! I have a lot of go-to favorites on rotation now — LOVE a good mask — but one thing I’m 100% loyal to is Cerave’s foaming face wash: https://www.cerave.com/our-products/cleansers/foaming-facial-cleanser
    Anyway I bookmarked a bunch of your favorites & look forward to trying them out :) Thank you for sharing!!!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 23, 2018 at 10:18 am

      Yes! My thoughts exactly… it has been a rough road and struggling through it can take a toll on your confidence. So happy to hear you also figured out what works best for you! I used to use the Cerave face wash- loved it! xo

  • Reply
    Allison Hasserd
    August 24, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Your hair has gotten so long!! so pretty! thanks for the BTS!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 25, 2018 at 11:47 am

      Thanks so much, Allison! I’m debating cutting it all off, ha. I go through phases… long, short, long, it’s a viscous cycle. Have a great weekend! xo

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