Beauty Products that I’m Using (and Loving)

best beauty products


1. Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water: I know what you’re thinking…spa water?  Really?  But it’s just soooo good.  The Cleansing Spa Water is actually Koh Gen Do’s bestselling skincare product and is easy and gentle to use for all skin types. Made with mineral-rich hot spring water, it’s basically infused with six essential herbs to protect and nurture skin. White birch sap, harvested only three weeks each spring, adds minerals and Xylitol as it removes makeup, oils, and residue.  The formula includes the extracts of essential herbs including: rosemary leaf, sage leaf, lavender, artemsia princeps leaf, perilla ocymoides, and ginger root…so yeah, it’s not actually JUST spa water.

2. Jouer Liquid Shimmer Eyeliner: Aside from the awesome animal-themed color names (Panter, Lynx, Fox, Leopard, Mink and Sable), this liquid liner is just ridiculously good…and more importantly, easy to use.  The subtle shimmer in each shade offers extreme wearability while the water-base formula allows for a little extra dry-down time; it’s also rich in vitamins A and E…bonus.

3. Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge: This sponge is serious business.  The Japanese have traditionally used konjac root as a dietary staple that helps to detoxify and calm the skin so it makes total sense that it now comes in sponge form.  Konjac Root is naturally alkaline, and balances the acidity of the skin’s impurities and oils while being naturally enriched with protein, carbohydrate, iron, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and folic acid.  Interesting fact: Konjac was originally introduced to Japan as a medicine in the sixth century, and continues to lend its incredible benefits to health foods as well as skincare. Today, it is grown wild and in farms at very high altitudes, which help to keep the sponge extremely pure and free of pollutants.

4. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara:  First of all, I LOVE that this mascara is inspired by the curves of a woman’s body; the hourglass-shaped brush was designed with extra stiff bristles to maximize the performance of this carbon black, collagen-fueled formula. All it takes is one coat and your lashes are full and defined…this is definitely a mascara winner in my book.

5. Olie Biologique Rejuvenating Oil: I love a good face oil, let me tell you.  This product boasts a blend of eight organic plant botanicals and floral extracts that provide all-natural skin quenching properties with lightweight, healing potency. Anti-oxidants, fatty acids and naturally occurring retinoic acid preserve elasticity, plump lines and improve firmness. Oh, and it’s non-greasy for anyone worried about that.

The Best Gel Moisturizers

the best gel moisturizers


Gel moisturizers.  Ahhh, yes.  I know it’s getting cooler outside, but I just can’t get enough of the cool feeling on my face.  Putting gel moisturizer on after a hot shower is THE BEST, and here are my favorites:

1. Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream: This version is wallet-friendly, yet still really hydrating and soothing.

2. SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel: This gel is enriched with vitamin B5, which is known to help with tissue repair.  I love that it also contains hyalruonic acid (the body’s natural hydrator).

3. Koh Gen Do Moisture Spa Gel: I haven’t tried many products from this line, but anything I have tried has been awesome.  This gel, formulated with mineral-rich hot spring water and botanicals, there’s also emollient capsules that instantly melt into the skin. Yes, please.

4. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream: Kiehl’s is my world, obviously.  This oil-free version helps to reduce excess oil on the skin’s surface and also re-balances the skin’s barrier for a smoother appearance.

5. Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Gel Creme: This lightweight, oil-free formula gives an instant boost of moisture that lasts for 24 hours. It immediately cools and refreshes the skin, leaving it feeling softer, smoother.

6. Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel:  This black gel (yes, it is really black) contains a range of powerful ingredients. Artichoke leaf extract improves elasticity to help tighten pore walls. Charcoal absorbs excess oil and impurities as it detoxifies. Glycolic acid helps clarify skin and smooth rough texture. Vitamin C helps brighten skintone and minimize fine lines as it defends from free radical damage.  It’s basically a jar full of goodness.

Reader Question: How do I simplify my skincare regimen?

Simplify your skincare regimen

One of the most common reader questions that I get is on the topic of simplifying your skincare regimen. What do you REALLY need to use? How often?  In what order?  When?  These are all completely valid questions, especially given the fact that beauty brands come out with dozens of new products every year.  And, here’s a secret, a lot of the “new” products are really just the same formula with a new name and new product packaging!  It’s true.  So here, I break down exactly what you need: a simple skincare regimen with the fewest products possible.  Of course, you can always add treatments (based on your specific concerns) into your regimen but this list is the bare necessities, and a few product recommendations.  I’ve included high-end brands and drugstore brands, so you can decide where you want to splurge.

MORNING (in order of use):

EVENING (in order of use):