It's no secret I like getting done up, and I've been know to do a multi-step skincare routine, but there are just some days (or even weeks) that all you've got time for is the bare minimum. My bathroom counter is stocked with potions and serums to turn me into a beautiful goddess, but if we're being honest I rarely have time to sit down and methodically go through each recommended portion of a 10-step Korean beauty routine.
What's that you ask? Don't worry...just keep reading, this one's just for you.
6 Products for your Busy Girl Skincare Routine
You might be so busy you're going to read until just after this paragraph and then scroll through the pictures. I get that. Here's a busy girl summary of the products, just in case you want to give them a try:
1. Peony Cleansing Oil - L'Occitane
2. Vitamin C Serum Capsules - Exuviance
3. Ultra HD Foundation - Makeup For Ever
4. Eye Opening Mascara - Bobbi Brown
5. Overnight Perfecting Mask - L'Occitane
6. Dry Shampoo - Hask
For everyone else that might be more in a pizza, Netflix & web surfing mode, let's get started. Here are my favorite products for a minimal beauty routine. P.S. This can also double as a lazy girl beauty routine, hehe.
01 Peony Cleansing Oil - L'Occitane
If you would have told me a couple years ago that oil could be used as a cleanser I wouldn't have believed you. Because back then I had oily skin that was still pretty acne prone, and was avoiding oil at all costs because I thought it would make the problem worse. Turns out, it's actually a solution.
You see, when it comes to cleansing we've got two basic choices. The first one is to use a detergent-like soap that breaks down the oils to wash them away. While this can work for some, it's usual effect is to strip the oil out of our skin entirely, which leaves it dry and possibly inflamed. We then find ourselves overcompensating with moisturizers and other products.
Now I do understand that some of you will never give up your oil-blasting cleansers because you love the squeaky clean feeling. And that's ok! But for the rest of us, there's another option: Use an oil cleanser.
I know what you're thinking. "But won't using oil on my face cause acne?" Oil alone will not cause blemishes. Pimples are a result of several different factors including hormones, bacteria, dead skin cells and the buildup of them. Oil cleansers essentially work by replacing the "old" oil on your skin with "new" oil.
As you massage cleansing oil into your skin, it helps to dissolve the oil that has hardened with impurities and has become stuck in your pores. Cleansing oil is much more gentle and helps keep your skin feeling soft and hydrated. I find when using a cleansing oil, I am able to eliminate a few steps from my skincare routine, like extra moisturizers.
Why I love it:
The peony cleansing oil is my top pick because it's a non-comedogenic formula and it smells absolutely heavenly. It's a top pick for my skincare routine when I'm busy and don't have time for multiple steps, not only because it cleanses and keeps my skin feeling hydrated in just one step but also because it's an easy way to squeeze in a little luxury even when I don't have much time. Besides being effective, the cleansing oil is gorgeous on top of my bathroom counter, with a clear bottle and actual peony petals inside.
02. Vitamin C Serum - Exuviance
There's one thing I never skip in my skincare routine (besides sunscreen) and it's vitamin C. This classic vitamin has all kinds of perks for your skin, but the most prominent is probably protecting your skin from the effects of aging. This is one active ingredient that everyone should work into their skincare routine, no matter what age or stage you're in.
I'm no professional, but in my research there were a few benefits of vitamin C that kept popping up over and over from a few good sources. The first is that vitamin C helps in collagen production. You may have only recently discovered this essential protein, via the fact that recently, everyone seems to be using some sort of collagen powder...often times in their coffee.
Collagen essentially adds firmness and structure to skin, among other things. Our levels of collagen start to decline as early as our 20's & 30's so adding a little topical vitamin C into our routine is a good way to help your skin produce more.
Why I love it:
I love this serum because it's a little thicker than many, has the maximum strength amount of vitamin C, and also contains amino acids + antioxidants. The Exuviance serum comes in pre-portioned capsules which make it super easy to grab & apply on the go. The capsules also protect the vulnerable ingredients in the product from breaking down.
I've been known to allow pretty packaging to strongly influence my skincare purchases in the past. What I didn't know, was that the type of packaging can go a long way in keeping your skincare products effective & preventing the active ingredients from breaking down. If you're busy, just know it's important. If you want the full scoop on what I'm talking about, you can find it here.
03 Ultra HD Foundation - Makeup For Ever
This product was gifted and to be honest I did't think much of it at first. I was excited to try it, but didn't expect it to be a game changer. Spoiler alert: it is.
Now, I won't pretend I fully understand the struggle when it comes to finding the right match for my skin tone. I have friends that have it way harder than me, and I get that. Even still, finding the right match hasn't been super easy. My skin has an olive undertone to it which means most foundations look overly pink or orange even when their right in terms of lightness / darkness.
I've had a few brief successes with a couple brands in the past like Bobbi Brown and others that offer shades with a more yellow undertone, but those were recently blown away by this Makeup For Ever foundation. Here is the crazy part, I didn't even try it in person! I picked my match off the color swatch card online and it was PERFECT. Maybe it's pure luck, and I guess I probably can't promise the same for you (your chances are good, it comes in 40 shades), but I couldn't contain my excitement.
Why I love it:
This foundation is my top pick for the 'no makeup' makeup look. Which for a while, I didn't understand but now I totally do. This look is for when you're busy and don't have time to put on your face but don't exactly want to field the "Are you ok?" / "You look tired." / "Are you feeling sick?" questions all day. Alicia Keys, I totally respect your actual-no-makeup 'no makeup' look, but for this girl, my days just seem to go a lot smoother when I take 2 minutes to put on a little foundation and a coat of mascara.
Ok back to the foundation. It's got great coverage without looking like you layered it on. It does all the important stuff like blend & build really well.
04 Eye Opening Mascara - Bobbi Brown
Even on the busiest of days, mascara is a must. This eye opening mascara is my daily go-to when I don't need anything crazy like a hi-glam formula or waterproof option. I'm going to be honest, most mascaras for me all kind of seem the same. I mean, sure some of them last longer or have a better brush, but there's never really that big of a difference.
The fact that I'm on my third tube of this stuff means it's stood out as a must-have. I even just bought a travel-size version and was pleasantly surprised to find that it came with the same jumbo brush.
Why I love it:
I really like the jumbo brush. I feel like it helps grab each and every lash and actually coat it instead of just leaving a layer on the front of the lash, but it's also not so big that it doesn't work well like some I've run into. The formula is also long-lasting so I don't have to re-apply. On busy days I just don't have time for that.
05 Overnight Perfecting Mask - L'Occitane
I know I'm doubling up on the Peony Collection here, but I'm just pretty obsessed with it right now.
So this mask makes the busy girl list for obvious reasons: it does it's job while you sleep. I don't know about you, but most of the overnight mask I've tried in the past have been HEAVY. Maybe I'm just doing it wrong, but a goopy face doesn't help me sleep.
Why I love it:
It's non-oily and smells AMAZING. It works overnight so that you wake up with fresh and bright skin that feels hydrated and ready to tackle your crazy to-do list. I'm also a huge fan of the single use pods because they're super easy to travel with and I can also take them on long flights to use while I'm napping on the plane.
P.S. This mask is part of a trio, and both the other ones are super great as well. You can get the variety pack here if you want to test them all out before seeing which you like best.
06 Dry Shampoo - Hask
Dry shampoo is a must-have in any busy girl beauty routine. When there's simply no time for a wash + blowout everyday but you want your hair to look like it's freshly done, dry shampoo can work miracles. It can be a challenge to find a good one, and when you do you don't let it out of your sight (the quote on this tote is totally true). Some are too sticky or too cakey or don't smell great. Hask has got all of those problems beat. Its been my go-to for the past 3 months and I don't see myself switching anytime soon.
Why I love it:
Dry shampoo can be...well, drying. What I really like about the Hask line is that they have a couple products which are infused with oils so that they are more moisturizing, but still effective. My top two favorites are the Coconut Oil formula and the Argon Oil version. They also smell wonderful.