2 Necessities, and a New Product

I have been trying to change things up a bit. I started using my old Canon Rebel to start taking pictures now, trying to revitalize my love of photography and blogging. So, there you have it. I am amping it up.

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Do you ever feel like you need a total change once the season changes, or you come back from vacation? I am in that mood right now. I really want to try new things, and change some of my old habits, and just liven up my life. I am getting over the jet lag (thank goodness), and trying to become more productive. Do you ever find that the more things that you try to do, the less time that you have to do them, and then you feel like you did nothing because you weren’t able to complete that one task? I wanted to bake muffins today, but instead, I found myself taking pictures with my camera and not having the time because I have to leave soon to go to a workout class. Maybe tonight? Lets try for that shall we?

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Now that it is springtime, and getting into summer, my allergies have been brutal. There hasn’t been a morning in the past few weeks where I haven’t woken up sneezing. What saves me? Reactine. I don’t think that I could comfortably go through the day without it to be honest. It has seriously been a life saver, and I just went to the store to pick some up. I know that some people don’t believe in using a type of anti-histamine, but I really find that it helps me get through the day, and if it works, stick with it. (Just as a disclaimer, this is in no way a sponsored post, I just really like this product. And that goes for any and every product on my blog so far).

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On the same note, while I was picking up my trusting anti-sneeze meds, I picked up another L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream. I had just ran out of it, but I hadn’t quite thrown it out yet, so I was just using up the last few squeezes out of the tube the past couple of days, and I really like it for summer. It really feels light, and gives a nice gentle coverage that doesn’t look cakey on my skin. I find with a lot of B.B. creams, that they feel more like a foundation than a moisturizer. I tend to where it a lot when I go to work, and because this cream comes out white, it actually matches your skin tone, so even if you have a bit of a tan, it doesn’t end up looking too dark or too light. Plus, it was on sale so…

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I am really excited about my last purchase. I finally bought the Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in the colour Honey. Chalk it up to leighannsays for this one, but I have been wanting to try this for ages, but never got around to purchasing it. I am so excited to use this. She always talks about this balm stain, and I have always wanted to try it. It really is the your-lips-but-better, type of colour. And it doesn’t have a super distinct taste (just kind of minty), and it feels really like a chap stick more than anything. Let’s just say that I am digging it. I even took my first selfie for this blog while wearing it. Does it look good? The fear has been overcome.

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Let’s keep on this roll shall we? I think that I will talk about my garden that I am so loving right now. Thank goodness for summer. I love being outside and watching everything become green and beautiful again. It’s heaven.

Thanks for reading!

L.

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Getting Older

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Why doesn’t anyone want to get older? I think that it is pretty sad actually. Growing older is totally a natural and normal part of life, but everyone feels like you can’t get older. Heaven forbid you every have wrinkles or grey hair, or look over the age of 25. Obviously, this phenomenon is especially prevalent for women. As a woman approaching the age of 30 (yikes!), I feel this number getting bigger and bigger. It is like I am slowly driving towards the sign that is ever so rapidly getting larger as the days go on.

I know that this really shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but the other day my coworker (who I don’t work with very often, thank goodness) thought that I was 31. Maybe not an insult to most people, but that is 5 years older than what I actually am, and I was horribly offended. I don’t think that I look that old, but I guess I do? I am aging, obviously. I mean, aren’t we all? So now I am really into anti-wrinkle creams and eye cream, especially. Better start early right?

Well, that just leaves the main questions: what do we do about it? I have a list of musts.

Shel Silverstein said it best

Shel Silverstein said it best

1. Embrace it.

Everyone gets older. No one can stay young forever. And the ones who try end of looking super creepy (note: Joan Rivers and Courtney Cox). You want to be able to accept your age, whatever it may be.

Remember when you couldn’t wait to older and get bigger and be a grown up? Remind your kids, or anyone who is younger than you, to never wish this. Being grown up is great, but you want to be able to enjoy every age. Age comes with so many more responsibilities that are not very fun and last for the rest of your life. Enjoy the freedom.

2. Start doing preventative care now.

That means wearing sunscreen. Big time. Don’t spend hours in the sun. Having a tan is not all that it is cracked up to be. Seriously. Those people who were sun worshippers at a young age, end up looking at least 5 to 10 years older than what they actually are. Find a great sunscreen for your face and body and slather that stuff on. Always. I don’t ever not wear sunscreen on my face and chest during the day.

Image Courtesy of www.rocskincare.com

Image Courtesy of http://www.rocskincare.com

3. Eye cream.

Just do it. If anything can help making you look younger, it is those lines around your eyes. You can wear it at night and/or during the day. Paying special attention to your eyes really helps you stay looking younger. I have been trying to find the best one that I can, but I haven’t really found the right one I feel.

I have used the Neutrogena Eye Cream, which did virtually nothing. I used it for 6 months and noticed no difference whatsoever. It claims to have results in 1 week. I used it for like 6 months and noticed nothing. Might work for other people I guess.

I have been using the ROC Eye Cream for sensitive eyes for about 5 months, and I find that it does make a small difference, but not super noticeable. Maybe I should have gotten the full retinol eye cream, and not the milder one, but my skin is sensitive to products that produce a burning effect like this one does. I don’t think that I would have been able to handle the “full strength” product. I bought this product when I went to Ulta in Portland, Oregon. You can read that post here.

Now I am trying the Kiehls Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream, and so far (after only about 10 days) I have noticed a small difference already. I just have the sample right now, but I am asking for this for my birthday in March. I am really liking it.

4. Don’t focus on getting older.

I find that a lot of people (myself included) tend to focus on an age so much that it feels like it becomes a bigger even than it is. I found when I turned 26 that I all of a sudden got older. The age 25 felt so much closer to 20, and 26 feels so much closer to 30. It is only a year, but feels like a leap. Does that make sense?

Honestly, what I am telling you, and what I am telling myself, is that really, you shouldn’t focus so much on something that you can’t change. It will happen whether you like it or not. So this year I am focusing on eating better, taking better care of my skin, not going in the sun (or at least wearing a ton of sunscreen), and embracing myself as a person. These things are so much more important than a number.

This list is all personal, I am not an expert. I just talk about my life.

Thanks for reading!

L.

New Products in January

I have been working this whole weekend, and I should be doing laundry right now, but I got inspired to write a blog post and went with it. Currently, I am watching Zoella on Youtube. I love her. Just is so adorable and I love

In the beginning of January there are always new products that come out and I love that. I like trying new products, because you never know what you are going to like. Also, do you ever feel like when you buy a product, and you keep using it just because you don’t have anything better? For instance, I have been using the Maybelline BB Cream, and to be honest, I don’t really like it a whole lot. It makes my skin look “ok”, and I find it makes me look really pale. It is the BB cream that is supposed to match your skin. Maybe I really am that pale and don’t want to admit it? Maybe.

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1. Anyways, I bought something new that should kind of work like a BB cream, but is actually a foundation. (So, I completely thought that this was a BB cream, but when I started looking more at the package, I realized that it is a foundation. That makes sense. I will explain). I bought the Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation in the the shade 100 Ivory, which turned out to be a perfect colour for me. I always like to match my skin to what I am when I am pale. I don’t tan very well, and I am better off to buy a foundation that matches my skin 70% of the year. I know some people buy more than one to match when they are more tanned. That isn’t me. Why waste your money? When do you know when you become less tanned? You could run into some trouble there.

I should probably talk about the product. I really like it. We can move on now (j/k). It feels very light, but still like you are wearing a creamy moisturizer. A little goes a long way with this product I have found. You can use too much, and you really don’t need to. It blends out really well and I have found that it doesn’t really smudge very easily, like when you wipe your face and you find foundation on your fingers (doesn’t really happen). I really like the packaging as well, and I appreciate that it comes in a tube (I hate bottles), so that you can control how much comes out. Mostly. It doesn’t make my face look greasy, or dry, and the coverage is great. It definitely covered up my red spots quite well. I just used a small amount of light concealer under my eyes and over top some more angry red spots.

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2. I went out and got the much talked about Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser. To be honest, I know that I just bought the Benefit Porefessional not that long ago, but this one came out and I really wanted to try it. I know that people compare the Baby Skin more to the Smashbox primer, and I agree that it doesn’t feel or look at all like the Benefit product. I even used this one on my husband in different areas of his face to try to see the difference between the two (he actually let me, which was pretty awesome). To be honest, the Benefit product did work a little better to blur your pores, but I like the consistency of the Baby Skin. It is a little more lightweight, and doesn’t really feel like you are wearing anything on your skin. It does a decent job of blurring your pores, but it isn’t perfect. I do like that it is less than half of the price of the Porefessional, so I would be more likely to use it on a daily basis and not worry about it running out too fast. Plus, the colour of the tube is wonderful. Actually, both are in a similar colour family. I just like the packaging of products really. What do you need to draw me in? Something nice to look at. There. I said it.

I didn’t really get a huge amount of products, but I did find ones that I had researched a lot and were very interested in trying. I will definitely continue to use them and they are perfect to travel with.

Speaking of travel (nice segway eh?), my husband and I have booked our next trip! We are going to Ireland, Spain, and Portugal in May! I have wanted to go to these places for such a long time. I really didn’t want to stop travelling until I had gone and now we are going! My husband booked the flights yesterday and we will be spending a few days in London, then off to Dublin, and home from Lisbon, Portugal. I will give you more details when the planning gets more intense.

Photo Courtesy of National GeorgraphicPhoto Courtesy of National Georgraphic

Thanks for reading!

L.

November Favourites

What I really should be doing right now is cleaning my house to prepare for people to come over for dinner, but instead I have been watching Youtube videos and drinking coffee (at 5pm). Plus, I was thinking about my blog and how much I have (not) been writing. Really, I have been on a crazy work schedule and have had literally no time to do anything but exercise and work. I was living off of Cliff bars and mandarin oranges for about 2 weeks straight. Talk about healthy…yikes.

This of course got me thinking about my favourite things this month (or I have just been watching too many videos telling me that it is the end of the month where everyone talks about their monthly favourites). Do I follow this regime? Not really. But I will try.

1. Clif bars

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Sounds crazy since I have been eating a ton of them, but really they have been getting me through a lot these past few days so I have to appreciate them for what they are. If you don’t know what they are, they are basically just protein bars that actually taste like food. You can get the crunchy bars (which are like Nature Valley bars) or the chewy bars that I personally enjoy more. My favourite has to be the Chocolate Almond Fudge bar that comes in a pack of 18 from Costco. Generally these bars range from about $1 (on sale) to $2 and up (pretty expensive, I know). In the pack from Costco though they are about $0.83, so I have two boxes that I am working my way through.
I generally keep these bars in my purse and work bag for the times when I am really hungry, but don’t have any food (which happens more often than I would like to admit). I really recommend trying these bars for sure. They are very tasty, and satisfy hunger effectively. My husband and I also took these when we were in Hawai’i on our 7 hour hike on the Napali trail. Since it was so hot and you didn’t want to carry a lot, these really came in handy.

2. Sleep

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Weird? I think not. To be honest, you know there are people who love to sleep? They could just stay in bed all day and sleep for countless hours. I am not one of these people. Personally, I don’t like sleep very much and I only sleep because I have to. But sometimes I feel like I really under-appreciate sleep. Because I work strictly nights only, I can range from sleeping about 4 hours to 7 hours in between nights. That is like sleeping from midnight to 4am. What have you really gained there? Not much.
I have to say that I can definitely function very well for a few days on very little sleep, but when you work 5 shifts in a row, that completes about 60 hours, on 4 hours a “night”, you aren’t really able to sustain that. So I like to sleep when I can, especially on weekends. Appreciate the little things.

3. Coffee

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Have I talked about my love for coffee? Likely not enough, even if I have written an entire post about coffee on this little blog. Hell, this has been running through my bloodstream all month. My husband and I actually have a Nespresso maker (the one that lots of celebrities endorse). It is really popular in Europe, and it makes amazing coffee. You buy capsules, put it in the machine, and out comes a perfect espresso. It is similar to a Keurig, or Tassimo, but better (because what comes out is stronger and tastier, in my personal opinion). Since it is a faster option to having coffee, with that lovely little shot of joy, I definitely haven’t been skimping on having them this month with all of that sleep that I haven’t been getting.

4. Soap and Glory Handfood

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I wrote about this hand moisturizer in My Favourite Moisturizers post, and I do really love this stuff. I have been using it so much that I basically have barely any left. I am scraping the bottom of it for sure. I have to really squeeze the bottle to get a little bit out. Hopefully I get more for Christmas (or else I will have to buy more). My hands have been suffering a lot this month for sure from washing my hands continuously. Hopefully work won’t be so bad this month like it was in November. So I definitely have been enjoying this stuff. Definitely makes a difference and the scent is heavenly. Certainly not too strong, but pleasantly gentle. God I love this stuff.

5. Wunderlist App

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If you haven’t heard of this app, you don’t know what you are missing. This one has been awesome and totally essential to my Christmas shopping. (Yes, I have been Christmas shopping for a few weeks already and I only have a few left to buy). I usually end up forgetting my list somewhere, so having it on my phone has been really helpful (I always have it on me). So, my husband actually got me into using this and it has been really great. It links up from my iPad to my iPhone very easily, and I can add as many categories as I want. If you haven’t checked this one out, go for it. Plus, it is free!

So, this list was definitely the more simple and practical of lists, but I haven’t had too much time to get any new products and really try them out. That will be saved for December. Should I do a gift giving guide for this month?

My Nighttime Skincare Routine

My nighttime routine has really just come into fruition within the past 6 months or so where I do this every night (or morning, depending on when I am going to sleep). Because I work primarily night shifts, I really don’t want that to show as age on my face, as I am getting older (eek!). I have now bought much more expensive creams and such to really take care of my skin so that I can look more youthful for longer. Easy enough right? Not too complicated. Although, for one piece of advice, I really wish that I had started these habits earlier, and not when I started to notice lines on my face. Oh well, c’est la vie!

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If my skin feels like it is very clogged, or just that it needs a really good intense clean, then I use my Norwex Antibacterial Body Cloths for my face. It removes my makeup really well, and also works like a scrub for my face. I really like using these, but I don’t use them everyday because I do find that they can be a little harsh for my skin. These cloths are a very quick way to both scrub and remove makeup from your face. Dual purpose those bad boys are. I am certainly a fast and easy kind of girl, *wink*.

First off, if I have worn makeup during the day (especially if I have used waterproof mascara), then I use the La Roche Posay Gentle Makeup Remover. This has a creamy texture and I find that it works very well at removing most of my makeup. I like to use this product with a cotton pad around my eyes especially. Even when I use this, I still feel like I always find that there is a little bit of mascara that always finds its way to be completely unremovable no matter how much I try to get it off. I really find this with waterproof products, which I only wear when I am going to have a long day at work (or if I am going to sweat a lot). I still want to look respectable and not have a bunch of mascara underneath my eyes. (Not like I usually look which is a bit rough around the edges).

Then, as mentioned in , I use my Spectro Jel cleanser. Not too special, but I love the way that this works; so morning and night, I am devoted. This product is just very gentle, and I tend not to get a lot of breakouts when I use this so…speaks for itself really.

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I then like to apply my Korres 24 hour Brightening Nighttime Cream, which I mentioned in blog post. I really like this product for sure. However, since I bought it in September I am more than half way through it which is pretty disappointing. I think that I am going to have to find another cream that I can alternate it with. I just really like using this product because I really find that it brightens my skin and makes me look less tired. Plus, it doesn’t break me out like a lot of other creams tend to do.

Image Courtesy of www.rocskincare.com

Image Courtesy of http://www.rocskincare.com

Lastly, and definitely not least, I use my ROC eye cream for sensitive eyes. I don’t really know how much this works. I also bought it at Ulta when we were in Portland, but I wasn’t sure if it really worked, so I didn’t write a review on it. I have used it for basically about 2 months since I bought, almost every night, and I am still not sure how much it works. It definitely burns the first few times that you use it, and I find if I have really rubbed my eyes right before I put it on than it still burns, but, you know, the hazards of beauty. I am for sure going to continue using it, but we will see if I buy it again. I did have the Neutrogena * eye cream that I used for about 3 months and I just stopped using it because I think that it did absolutely nothing for me. I will give the ROC cream another month. I did read really good reviews on it, so it should work….what do you think? Is there another brand that I should try?

And that is my ever so complicated nighttime routine. Not too much, just experimenting for now. I am definitely open to more options and opinions about skincare for sure. Thanks for reading!

L.

I Heart Coffee

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If I have one great love in my life that I really couldn’t live without, it would be coffee (that isn’t really true, but jeez I love it). Coffee makes me so, so happy, I can’t even tell you. I don’t mean the sugar-flavoured coffees that you get from Starbucks, I mean the brewed coffee with a little cream and a little sugar. The wake-up-in-the-morning-to-the-sweetness-that-is-life.

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Brewed coffee is by far the best. What is more amazing than being able to refill your coffee with more coffee? You can make it hotter, a little more bitter, and you can just have more by adding it in because it is there. If I am home by myself I could probably drink an entire pot in a day just for me. Those slogans that say “Just give me an I.V. of coffee”, or something silly like that, I always repost because it just rings true. This doesn’t mean that I cannot survive without coffee. I love it, but I won’t die without it. I just REALLY like it. It reminds me of Sunday mornings too…at home, watching t.v. with my husband and making breakfast. I don’t get that many weekends off, but when I do, it is really nice.

When I was little my parents would take us camping in the summer, and if you know anything about camping, it can be cold, even in a trailer, but boy is it cozy. There were 5 people sleeping a trailer built for 3. I loved it. In the mornings my mom would always make coffee on the Coleman stove outside, and I would wake to this beautiful smell of percolating coffee. Just thinking about it brings back wonderful memories of summer, swimming, and the sun. Ahhh…

Sorry about that, lost in my little world there. As you can see, I just have a deep and personal relationship with coffee, and subsequently, coffee mugs. I like drinking coffee in only so many of my favourite mugs (this is very important, no cheap mugs). I really like the nice ones that are fun and colourful, or personalized. When my husband and I travel, we especially like to look for new mugs that really remind us of our trip. (The only exception was when we went to Germany and we bought beer glasses, surprisingly).

Some of my favourites in list form include:

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1. My fox mug that I recently bought in Portland, Oregon. This is currently my go-to mug right now. It is absolutely adorable, and I just feel so happy when I am drinking out of it. I don’t know why, but I love foxes right now – so cute!

2. My “L” mug from Chapters, which I bought at Christmastime last year. I got this mug in a pair with a “K” mug for my husband. It is so simply and cute. It has a small cursive sized letter on one side, and a capital cursive letter on the other side. It is black and white, and small, and very sweet. Plus then my husband and I don’t get our drinks mixed up. Bonus!

3. Next, is my “Little Miss Naughty” mug that I got when I was in New York this year, at The Strand Bookstore, which was by far my favourite bookstore in New York for sure. I think that in total I went in there about 4 times, and spent several hours just looking around and reading. I don’t know, but I loved it. And this mug is equally adorable. Just the name seriously defines me to a “T”. It even has a little saying on it that says, “Looks like a nice day for being naughty!”. It makes me smile.

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4. Last, but not least, my blue Starbucks mug is a favourite as well. I got these mugs at my bridal shower before I was married, and they were the first expensive and beautiful mugs that I had ever gotten. They are this beautiful blue (yes, we got 2 matching ones), and they remind me of my first years of marriage. I love them. Plus, they are perfectly sized and just really sleek mugs.

Did I just write an entire post about coffee and coffee mugs? Yes I did. That is how I feel about coffee. I could go on, and on about it for an entire blog post. Probably more if I let myself. Anyways, thanks again for reading!

L.

My Morning Skincare Routine

I have really gotten into the habit of washing my face in the morning and at night more recently (a little late I suppose), but better late than never! I don’t use anything really fancy on my face, because I really don’t like to use a lot of heavy products. I have pretty much combination type of skin where I have a tendency to get really dry around my nose and on my cheeks, but I can get very oily on my t-zone, especially directly on my nose and sometimes my chin.

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I start with using the Freemans Grapefruit Facial Scrub, which I massage all over my face. I have found since using this that my skin is more smooth and I have less black heads and much fewer clogged pores. I have never had extremely smooth skin, especially on my face, but since using this for sure I have noticed such a difference. This is certainly an abrasive scrub, but not to extent that it is painful. The scrubs in this exfoliator are fine, and I don’t find that it bothers my skin, and I have very sensitive skin. It makes me feel more like I am really cleansing and purifying my skin. Plus, I love grapefruit, so I get the best of everything.

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Next, I use my favourite skin cleanser that I have been using for the better of about 5 years is the Spectro Jel Cleanser for Blemish-Prone Skin, which my husband actually turned me on to using. I have never had much luck with cleansers. I have tried the Philosophy Skin Cleanser with the moisturizer, but this broke me out a lot, so I stopped using it. I am always very hesitant to try new cleansers for this very reason. I think that if you are using something that works really well, why change anything? All that you can do is add to it!

I have yet to really find a toner that I really like, since I find that toners generally are very drying, and I already have fairly dry skin, especially in the winter. I don’t like to keep my morning routine very complicated, and I don’t use very expensive products. You can get the scrub for about $5 at London Drugs (and they usually have them on sale), and the cleanser I can get at Walmart for about $12 for the big pump. Really, I am not spending a lot. I don’t like to keep things very complicated for sure.

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Then I finish off my face with just a simple moisturizer. In the summer I use the Coppertone Oil Free Sunscreen Lotion for the Face. I really like this moisturizer because it doesn’t break me out, it blends in beautifully, and it has the added bonus of being SPF 60. I started using this about 2 years ago, and even on really sunny days in the winter I will sometimes use this for sure. It also doesn’t run in my eyes when I sweat, which I find a lot of face sunscreens do, so that is a big plus for me.

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Every other time I use the La Roche-Posay Rosaliac UV Riche Anti-redness Hydrating Cream for my moisturizer. This is the most expensive product that I use for my face, and I do find that it does reduce the amount of redness in my face. I started using this maybe about 9 months ago because I was really looking for a moisturizer that wasn’t heavy and also kept my skin from becoming very dry. When I was looking for a good moisturizer all of the ones that I was finding really left my skin feeling parched, so when I found this one I was very happy. No, it isn’t overly expensive, and usually London Drugs will have deals so that I can buy it on sale. I love the way that this really soaks into the skin well, and I don’t have to use a lot. I am not totally shut off to other moisturizers, but since I have very red and sensitive skin, I am very picky.

And that is my morning skincare routine. Not overly complicated, even though I seem to go on and on about what I use, but I am just really enjoying my products right now. If anyone has a good suggestion for daily eye cream I am totally for some suggestions! My nighttime routine will be coming soon as well. Thanks for reading!

L.