#58 - Skin Edit - The Truth behind "Effortless"

So it's been too long since my last post - I honestly didn't know how long it's been since I was able to really sit down and write something. Day job is absolutely manic - so much that I no longer have energy nor time to mask everyday and you know how much I love my masking! I have still been posting weekly on instagram on products I like/mini reviews if you follow me.

This has been on my mind for a while and it's something that really resonates with the ethos/name of my blog - I Just Want Good Skin. I want to talk about the truth behind those "effortless" looks, specifically the products behind them.

I will start off by saying that no products guarantee success and the basis of good skin lies with good routines and good habits. Why I call this the "truth" is because I felt that this whole effortless thing is really effort-less, i.e. you don't need to put in effort in it. Wow, was I so wrong and you probably already know this but "effortless" isn't truly effort-less, but rather is the appearance of not needing to put an effort in it - that you are naturally beautiful.

The older I get, the more I see that the truth to looking effortless, facially, is good skin.

Good skin allowed me to look effortless because no only did I have to exert less effort in concealing, it's also made my products look like they work more efficiently than they really are (e.g. foundation).

So what am I trying to say?

It takes a lot of effort to look effortless.

Everyone's routine looks different - let's look at how many products it takes for me to look effortless in the mornings

But first, let's define "effortless" - everyone perceives this differently so for me, it's just an everyday look that takes me less than 15 minutes to put on (doesn't mean it doesn't require effort though).

Daylight only, no filter. As you can see, I'm actually not amazing at applying makeup and often skip the lips because it'll just end up coming off anyway within 2 hours!

Daylight only, no filter. As you can see, I'm actually not amazing at applying makeup and often skip the lips because it'll just end up coming off anyway within 2 hours!

 

Evenings

I start off with evenings because I believe in a solid evening routine. One that you can spend most your time on, the one where you not only wash away the day, but also get ready for the next

So let's count - going with the most basic evening (without masking)

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  1. First step cleansing: Mamonde Petal Spa Cleansing balm
  2. Second step cleansing: Heimish All Clean White Foam Face wash
  3. Exfoliant: Skinfood Pineapple Peeling Gel
  4. Toner: Benton BHA Toner
  5. Serum #1: Purito Centella Green Level Buffet Serum
  6. Serum #2: Tosowoong Sparkle Ampoule
  7. Eye cream: Purito Centella Green Level Eye Cream
  8. Face cream: Huxley More than Fresh cream

Number of products (typically): 8 (add a few more when masking/fuller routine)

The next day

My morning routines are really simple because I like to maximise sleep and minimise the time it takes to get ready before I step out the door

  1. Micellar water: Orlane
  2. Toner: Whamisa Original Organic Flower Toner
  3. Eye cream: Purito Centella Green Level Eye Cream
  4. Sunscreen: La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Comfort sunscreen

Number of products: 4

 

Make-up

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  1. Eyeliner: MUA black pencil liner
  2. Eyeshadow: The Body Shop shimmer cubes
  3. Eyeliner: Rimmel Scandaleyes micro eyeliner
  4. Foundation: The Ordinary Serum Foundation
  5. Highlighter: Manna Kadar Glo Illuminator
  6. Eyebrow pencil: NYX precision brow pencil
  7. Eyebrow gel: GOSH brow sculpting brow gel
  8. Mascara: Maybelline push drama mascara 
  9. Light blush/highlighter: Essence Light Up Your Face Luminizer Palette
  10. Light contour: Essence Light Up Your Face Luminizer Palette
  11. Fixing spray: Saat Insight Eleganz Fixer

Number of products: 11

Total number of products: 22 (2 repeated)

22 products in total it takes me to achieve this. Without the evening and morning routine my skin wouldn't be in a good condition, which means nothing, and I repeat, nothing, will stick as well on my face as it does currently, especially the base. I'm also not actually particularly good at makeup either - I understand the theory but in practice is a different thing, so I minimise my routine to something highly manageable in the mornings (and occasionally I still get it wrong!)

Obviously it's not just products, it's time spent on figuring out what works for the skin, maintaining it and having to keep listening to it and feeding it what it needs, and time spent working out what look works best for your face. Everyone is different and I am definitely intrigued to learn and experiment with even more minimal looks.

(The wing liner took me months to master though and even now I get what I call "bad liner days" so I'm not so sure I'm ready to give it up yet.)

Ultimately, my point is, that on one wakes up looking fully polished even if they look like it, and you shouldn't expect yourself to. I say this time and time over again - the skin you work on today is the skin you'll get tomorrow (I should come up with a better catch phrase!).

What do you do to achieve effortless? What products do you use? What does effortless mean to you?

#43 - Skin Edit - AM routine for Busy/Lazy People

Let's just be clear, I am both. Because I'm lazy, therefore I am busy... I prefer to maximize my sleep in the morning (I get up at 6.30AM for my day job and out the door at 7.15AM), I only realistically have 30 minutes to get ready. Which means unlike a lot of other bloggers, I don't go through the whole cleansing and multiple serums and essences and etc. before I put make up on (and by the way, your skin needs a little time for skincare products to sink in first before you apply make up or chances of your makeup sliding is pretty high. Personal experience....)

My day to day AM routine from when I wake up to out the door consists of: 1) getting up; 2) brushing teeth; 3) AM skincare; 4) changing clothes; 5) daily makeup; 6) straightening hair. So really, I only have 5 minutes for each task if I want everything done in 30 minutes, and thus keep my morning skincare really simple, yet effective.

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Unlike many, I don't use a face wash in the morning, nor do I layer serums on my face (occasionally I will use hyaluronic acid, but that is about it) because:

  1. washing in the morning tends to strip my face of natural oils and moisture that I prefer to stay there for the time being. This may not apply for you but because of how my skin is, I tend to be careful about over-cleansing my face.
  2. layering on multiple serums makes it difficult for my skin to have makeup applied and to be absorbed; I have previously had issues with my makeup pilling as well because of the different textures and ingredients that didn't mesh with my foundation, and other products didn't go on as well as they should.
  3. I have no time.

Therefore, my AM routine only consists of the following:

  1. Cleansing: Micellar Water/cleansing water
    Whilst I am not a fan of micellar water for the purpose of evening cleansing/makeup removing, I do like using it for morning cleansing to get rid of all the dust and dirt and any excess oil on my face throughout the night. This is super quick and easy and does the job well (for me anyway)

    I am using: Uriage Thermal Micellar Water - found this at TK Maxx and enjoying it. Contrary to the trend, I detest the Garnier micellar water and only use it because it comes in a small bottle which I can bring to the gym. Once that's finished, I am replacing all that stuff with other cleansing water...! Just cannot get along with it. And Bioderma hasn't worked for me previously.
     
  2. Toning: Toner
    After cleansing, always put moisture back on my face and again, quick and easy. If your skin feels a bit dry - mine does with the cold weather - I will use 3 layers of toner to rehydrate my skin without layering on a lot of products. My skin usually bounces back to being hydrated and soft

    I am using: PyunKang Yul Essence Toner. I really want to love this like everyone else does, but I'm 2 minds about this. This has been okay, but it hasn't been amazing like the world raves. I do like it, especially when the texture is thicker than normal toners, and it basically has no water in it, which is great for hydration. Perhaps my skin is more dehydrated than before, but I don't feel like this lived up to the expectations I have for it, however I am pleased about the price point of this product because if you do want a thicker toner, this would be great if you don't want to splurge on Whamisa
     
  3. Eyes: Eye cream
    Occasionally I skip this step too, but as we age, the skin under the eyes tend to be bit drier than the rest, not to mention this patch of skin is also thinner so I would highly recommend you target this area on a daily basis as a preventative measure

    I am using: Skin Peptoxyl Matryixyl 3000. This has got some great ingredients like Niacinimide, bark extract, nut oils and tea extracts. I bought this in a local chain drugstore (SaSa) in Hong Kong a long time ago and only when I religiously use it every morning have I almost finish using it.
     
  4. Moisturise & SPF: Sun cream, ideally water-based, or good moisturiser and SPF in foundation
    Final step of the routine, to lock everything in. A well moisturised and protected face is important before you head outside. I (almost) never leave home without SPF because of how paranoid I am about skin damage, sun spots, freckles and etc

    I am using: Sunkiller Perfect Water Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
    This has such a great texture, non-greasy so my makeup sits more than comfortably on top. Plus it's got a high SPF and PA++++ a, great for sun protection!

    Also using:Huxley More than moist moisturiser (Oh. My. God. So much love for this right now)
    Occasionally I forget that I have sunscreen (my foundation is SPF15) and I use this as a base. This has been absolutely an amazing product that keeps the skin so soft and supple without the grease despite the thick texture

That's it. 4 steps. Occasionally 3 if I skip the eye cream unintentionally. I will then get changed in order to strategically let the products sink in before makeup application. I don't know about you, but if I try to apply any makeup when the skincare hasn't sunken in yet, it's incredibly hard for me to apply and eventually have to resort to just remove everything and start over. Changing clothes gives the minimal amount of product sink into the skin for a good base. I would recommend using effective products so you don't need to wait forever for everything to sink in.

In a nutshell, this routine is not only great for lazy/busy people, it's also great as a prep for daily makeup and not burdening your skin in the morning with a lot of product. Don't get me wrong though, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using multiple products in the morning and I'm sure that a lot of products are highly effective without affecting makeup. This is really for me because of how well I know my skin - I've tried having serums and other products on before makeup and makeup hasn't gone on well or have pilled.

Also, again, in order to maximize sleep, I no longer have time to complete a routine that is longer than this!

What is your morning routine like? How early do you wake up in order to do your morning routine? Would you try this?