Beauty Swap #1: Brief Intro and First Skincare Shake-up
Today I want to introduce a new mini-series I decided to call Beauty Swap. I plan to run with it at least for the month of September, and I may or may not continue beyond that, it depends on whether you guys like it or not.
I was inspired to start this series after following Serein’s Makeup Bag Monday posts for a while. It’s such a great idea to give your beauty routine a shake-up from time to time! Serein focuses on making sure all of the products in her stash get used, and I applaud her for encouraging her followers to do the same. I’m sure there are plenty of people who did it way before she started blogging about her swaps, but she was the one who actually inspired me, so she gets the credit. A few weeks ago Serein officially ended the series, so I feel like now is an appropriate time to start my own without stepping on any toes or being a copycat. I hope this will serve as a tribute to one of my most favorite blog series of all time!
Before we begin, I just wanted to share a quick life update with you so you know what’s going on. Tomorrow my mom and sister are coming to visit from Russia and will be staying with us for a few weeks. Because of that I won’t be able to spend as much time writing posts and replying to your comments on this blog and on social media, so please bear with me for a bit while I spend time with my family. I barely ever get to see them, so we have a lot of catching up to do, and with all the political tensions nowadays it’s been harder and harder for them to travel to the US. So the reason I decided to incorporate Beauty Swap series was because first impression posts are always fairly easy to do, especially when your memory of the products is still fresh. It’s a great way for me to make sure the blog is updated regularly without investing a ton of time.
With that said, unlike Serein’s, my beauty swaps are going to be focused on both skincare and makeup: one week it will be a skincare swap, and another week will be a makeup swap. That means I get to use each set of products for 2 weeks before I move on to something else. I know this doesn’t make as much sense for makeup, but I like using skincare products for at least 2 weeks to experience the benefits. That also means I might actually hit pan on makeup products, which rarely happens.
Exceptions: There are two things I don’t mess around with – eye creams and retinol. You won’t be seeing either on these swaps because I use those products faithfully and won’t be swapping them every 2 weeks, but everything else is fair game!
Skincare may seem confusing, but when you break it down to categories, it’s easier than it sounds. Here are five pillars [and an optional sixth] that make up a good skincare routine:
- Protect in the AM
- Repair in the PM
- Treat (optional) weekly
That’s it! Be sure to choose products that suit your skin type in each category, and you’re golden.
Top to Bottom: Dermalogica Precleanse Balm, Skinfix Foaming Oil Cleanser, Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydrating Firming Serum, Erin’s Faces Peptide SPF30, Erno Laszlo Hydra-Therapy Memory Sleep Mask, L’Oreal Pure-Clay Exfoliate & Refine Red Algae Clay Mask.
BEAUTY SWAP #1:
The first swap did not go so well. Two of the products absolutely hated each other and caused my skin to become red and irritated. When I tried using them on their own I was able to pinpoint the culprit. During my first beauty swap I had to to drop the serum from the rotation, I’ll get into more detail on that below. Other than that, with the stress of having to deep clean every corner of the house, cooking meals ahead, etc, having a streamlined routine all lined up in front of me every day made me feel like at least one part of my life is under control haha.
And here is the list of products I will be featuring in today’s post:
- Dermalogica Precleanse Balm* ($45 for 3 oz) as my oil/balm cleanser and makeup remover
- Skinfix Foaming Oil Cleanser* ($14.99 for 3.4 oz) as my second cleanser
- Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid* ($29 for 4 fl oz) as my daily exfoliant
- Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydrating Firming Serum ($95 for 1 fl oz) as my hydrating pick
- Erin’s Faces Peptide SPF30* ($50 for 4 oz) as my daily skin protectant
- Erno Laszlo Hydra-Therapy Memory Sleep Mask* ($90 for 1.35 oz) as my overnight repair treatment
- L’Oreal Pure-Clay Exfoliate & Refine Red Algae Clay Mask* ($12.99 for 1.7 oz) as my bi-weekly purifying mask
Dermalogica Precleanse Balm* ($45 for 3 oz) is a brand new release, and it’s finally available for sale starting today! Dermalogica Precleanse Oil is one of my all-time favorite products, and I even featured it as the #1 pick in my list of Best & Worst of Dermalogica for Combination Skin. The balm cleans just as thoroughly as the oil, and it even comes with a cute silicone mitt that can reach into all the nooks and crannies, like those areas around the nose, the hairline, and your eyebrows. IMO, this new balm is totally worth the splurge!
I raved about Skinfix Foaming Oil Cleanser* ($14.99 for 3.4 oz) on Instagram a few weeks ago, and I am still absolutely in love with this gentle, low pH, foaming miracle. It feels a little slimey at first, but it leaves my skin feeling so soft and petal fresh afterward, never dry. It’s great as a quick morning wash, and also removes makeup effectively when paired with a washcloth. Definitely check it out at your local Target or Ulta.
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid* ($29 for 4 fl oz) is another one of my current faves. I just didn’t feel like parting with it yet and decided to include it in this beauty swap to give myself another 2 weeks to enjoy the benefits. This daily toner is perfect if you have skin prone to breakouts and clogged pores, and I am on my millionth bottle, give or take. 😉
Another product I am playing safe with this time is Erin’s Faces Peptide SPF30* ($50 for 4 oz), which you are probably tired of hearing about already. This is hands down one of the best physical sunscreens I’ve ever used! You can even skip the moisturizer, because this baby contains a bunch of antioxidant plant extracts and anti-aging peptides to keep your skin protected, smooth, and nourished. Unlike most physical sunblocks, this one doesn’t leave my face with the dreaded white cast. Ultra lightweight formula is super easy to spread and absorbs by the skin in minutes. I won’t lie, Peptide SPF30 is definitely pricey for a sunscreen but so worth the splurge considering all it can do, and you won’t regret it one bit.
Some of you may be shocked to see Erno Laszlo Hydra-Therapy Memory Sleep Mask* ($90 for 1.35 oz) on the “OK” list, because I actually like a lot of products from this brand. Truth is, this overnight mask didn’t feel like it did anything special for my skin. It’s supposed to moisturize, seal in the products underneath, and promote better delivery of active ingredients while you sleep. It did just that, but on its own it doesn’t seem to do anything, and I tried similar collagen’ish gel-type masks that made my skin look amazing in the morning. It was just an extra layer sitting on my face that I could have easily skipped. Sorry, Erno Laszlo, it’s not you, it’s me. So many people love this product, but I am just not one of them.
I think I made a decent choice by picking L’Oreal Pure-Clay Exfoliate & Refine Red Algae Clay Mask* ($12.99 for 1.7 oz) as my weekly treatment. It delivers pretty good results: my skin looks brighter, cleaner, and not super dry, even though this is a clay mask with scrubby physical particles. Two cons: the fragrance is a bit strong for my liking [I don’t know why I’m so sensitive lately], and the paste stung my skin a little bit for the first couple of minutes after the application. Those are the reasons I probably wouldn’t use it more than once a week, but as a once weekly treatment I don’t see why not.
Here’s another shocker for those of you who have followed me for a few years. I remember loving Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydrating Firming Serum ($95 for 1 fl oz) when I first tried it [you probably do, too]. This formulation was so lovely and hydrating, and gave my skin a beautiful glow. I received another bottle as a gift from a friend, finished it about halfway through, and put it away for a few months while I was testing other products. Thing is, our skin changes all the time, and those changes are especially noticeable if your hormones are out of balance, your lifestyle changes drastically, or you move to a new place with a different climate. Long story short, my once favorite Deep Hydrating Firming Serum made my skin look red and irritated. It also didn’t play well with the sleeping mask, which was fine on its own, but combined with this serum it made my skin burn. In the end I had to discontinue use, and finished this Beauty Swap one product short.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s Beauty Swap! I promise, in the future these posts won’t be so wordy. I just got overly excited to introduce you guys to the series and went on a rambling spree. 🙂
And here’s what I have lined up for the next skincare swap. Have you tried any of these?
- 100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm* ($38 for 3 oz)
- Son&Park Beauty Water ($30 for 11.49 fl oz)
- Ever Reveal Biomimetic Peel Pads with LSR10®* ($70 for 45 ct)
- Dr. Hauschka Melissa Day Cream* ($45 for 1 oz)
- Glo Skin Beauty Solar Shade SPF50* ($40 for 1.7 fl oz)
- Eminence Bright Skin Overnight Corrective Cream* ($64 for 2 fl oz)
- PIXI Peel & Polish Resurfacing Concentrate* ($22 for 1.52 fl oz)
* Indicates PR samples.
Do you own multiple skincare products that do the same or similar things? If you do, how often do you swap between them, if ever? Let me know in the comments below!