Glowing skin is always in. It transcends all beauty trends. You can never go wrong if you make radiance your beauty look. Three things I’ve found to help me preserve my glow from the inside out and the outside in: having a solid skincare routine, keeping my makeup style simple, and making time for my mind, body, and spirit.
Just like your eyes are the doors to your soul, your skin is the door to your glow. (OK… so I completely made that up- clearly, I like to entertain myself). Back to the real topic at hand… my routine. My morning skincare routine has relatively straightforward steps- cleanse, tone, protect and moisturize. My night time routine varies a bit and has some additional steps. More details of my routine will come in a future post, but for now here are the basics.
CLEANSE AND TONE
Earlier this summer, I started using the BOLDEN Skin Clarifying Cleanser and Skin Brightening Toner, and my skin sings praises to this combo daily. I tend to have combination skin (as I like to call it “T-zone drama”) and this duo has helped to keep that excitement under control. The cleanser is extremely gentle, and it gives my skin that perfect cleansing and doesn’t leave it feeling dry. The toner has been doing wonders for my skin and is helping to even out my skin tone (again a more detailed product review to come). If you’re looking for a new cleanser and toner, I highly recommended this combination. And of course, it’s always a plus when you can support indie beauty brands offering highly effective products for women of color (double check marks).
PROTECT AND MOISTURIZE
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen-this is the magic step to radiant skin all year round, especially during the summer months (I have an entire post dedicated to sun protection that you should check out). My go-to facial sunscreen products are the MARY-KAY TimeWise Day Solution Sunscreen and the LA ROCHE-POSAY Anthelios 50 Daily Anti-Aging Sunscreen. Although these are two of my favorites, there a lot of other great sunscreen products on the market that provides broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. Of course, it’s always great when you get bonus use from a product like the La-Roche-Posay Anthelios product which doubles as a great skin primer for my foundation.
In the summer months, I often opt for a moisturizer-sunscreen duo to eliminate an extra step especially since I’m constantly on the go (and it’s one less thing for me to forget to put in my gym bag early in the morning). I’m currently using the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer UV, which I love. Check out the post where I cover the essentials for selecting a moisturizer.
EXFOLIATE AND REPLENISH
Exfoliation is an important part of any skincare routine. I often alternate between mechanical exfoliation using my Mia 2 or chemical exfoliation with my all time favorite AHA/BHA blend, Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Framboo Glycolic Night Serum. I also have several different products that I use to “replenish” or “treat” any other concerns. Sunday nights are reserved for my pampering facial mask sessions– I’m currently in love with the SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Masque and the Dr. Jart + brand of sheet masks.
Less is more with makeup
I tend to keep it my entire makeup look light and airy. Foundation wise, I always like to keep it natural, so I will usually use my tinted moisturizer to give me a little bit of coverage. My go-to option for a tinted moisturizer is IMAN COSMETICS Skin Tone Evener BB Crème SPF 15. This product has been a staple in my makeup routine since 2011. Recently, I recently discovered the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Moisturizer while shopping for products for a bridal client this past wedding. Let me tell you it was like love at first sight. It gives me enough coverage with a beautiful sheer, soft-matte finish. No shine. No T-zone drama.
While I love a full coverage finish, I can get from some of my favorite foundations, as I said my personal preference for the summertime is a light coverage. For my night time looks, I will kick it up a notch by using my Makeup Forever Ultra HD liquid foundation- a staple in my makeup artist kit and my go-to-foundation all year round.
LET YOUR HIGHLIGHTER WORK FOR YOU NOT AGAINST YOU
The purpose of a highlight is to elevate your glow, but it appears people sometimes prefer to bathe in it during the summer months. I guess to each their own. I think your highlight should work for you and not against you. By this I mean it needs to be strategically placed with a soft hand to the high points of the face, such as tops of your cheekbones, across the cupids bow of the lips, inner corners of the eye and eyelids. I’ll be honest I’m not a fan of using highlight down the bridge of the nose but that’s a personal preference. Places to avoid highlighting include areas like the apples of your cheeks otherwise you will be too shiny. Also, you also want to avoid blemishes.
Some of my highlighters of choice include MAKEUP FOREVER’s Pro Light Fusion Highlighter (a mix of color 1 and 2) and NARS Multiple sticks in a few different shades. What I love about the Pro Light Fusion is that unlike a lot of highlighters, they are not formulated with reflective pigments that are various sizes which are what usually gives that shimmery, sometimes glitter-like pay off. These highlighters give more of a subtle, radiant glow. With a fan brush, these highlighters glide on like SILK baby!!!
What I love about the NARS Multiple sticks is they’re extremely versatile. You can use it everywhere… eyes, cheeks, lips, AND body. I love to use it alone for reverse contouring or strobing–basically, rather than playing the game of shadows with light and dark colors needed for contouring, I layer my NARS Multiple sticks (in the shades Puerto Vallarta or Maui) both underneath and on top of my foundation to create a radiant glow. I simply glide the stick on cheekbones and browbones and use my fingers to blend it in. It’s a lot more subtle and natural for daily use. If you’ve given up on mastering the “Game of Shadows”, this is less maintenance and definitely worth a try (by the way, can you tell I’m a fan of Game of Thrones?).
Honestly, my day would not be complete without some level of physical activity to get my heart pumping and blood circulating. Whether it’s going for a long-run or a hip-hop cycling class or doing one of the workouts from my favorite fitness apps, I’m always down to work up a sweat. I’m sure you’ve probably read about the many health benefits of physical activity, if not please start here (but I’m hoping you know the information in this link). In general, exercise helps to improve blood circulation to all of the organs in the body, including the skin, the body’s largest organ. What does this mean for your glow-up? Simply put, more blood flowing through your body means more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your skin cells– which can help to elevate your radiance glow. In fact, research shows that exercise may not only keep skin looking younger, but it may also reverse skin aging, and the American Academy of Dermatology agrees as they list exercise as one of the “11 ways to reduce premature skin aging”. So get moving and get glowing.
SHIFT THE STRESS ENERGY TO FAITH ENERGY
And finally, the REAL secret sauce to the glow up. Ever since I made a conscious decision to turn my stress energy into faith energy, my glow up has been real. It all started with me being intentional about creating time for ONLY myself and my thoughts. I’m a doer and I’m always on the move, so this was a huge challenge for me.
To help me keep myself on track, I added journaling back to my morning routine to help me collect my thoughts and set my pace for the day. After praying and meditating, I open up my Evernote app, and for 5-10 minutes, I write whatever comes to mind. Sometimes it’s just an array of thoughts; other times it’s actually cohesive. I’m still in my beginning stages… like toddler status, but the progress I’ve made so far on this spiritual journey has helped to elevate my presence and continues to be the primary source of my intentional living.
Along the way on this journey, I’ve found what I call my charge up words and my power verses. My charge-up words are inspirational quotes or sayings that remind me to keep moving! My power verses reassure all of the spiritual promises and favors that have already been professed over my life, the ones that help to calm my spirit in moments of stress or when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I try to remind myself to speak those verses out loud. I must admit, sometimes I look a little cray-cray (crazy) in the process, but I don’t mind because it works for me.
There you have it, my three principles for preserving my glow. This is what works for me, but I would love to know what works for you. Share yours in the comment section below.