Current Skincare Routine

  • Last updated: 4/23/2019

    Photographs for March skincare by Anna Grace Photography

    This is definitely going to be a post where I update all the time. So you may want to bookmark it cause I’ll keep rotating what I’m using in and out.

    I’ll put a last updated date on this (at the top) so you know when this was updated to know whether it’s current or not. You can also look at my Shop, as I update that often, as well.

    I change up my skincare routine a lot because I am obsessed with trying new products.

    I am not loyal to the same brand in the sense I don’t buy a brand’s entire line (because I don’t think that’s very effective), but I am super loyal to certain products that are my holy grails.

    This is what I’m currently using in my skincare routine.

    I haven’t found an eye cream I totally love so I didn’t include one in this. If you have an eye cream that you love, please drop a hint in the comments below!

    I also don’t tend to do winter vs. summer skin routines as my face is already pretty dry as it is and I don’t think my products are overly heavy (minus the Skin Food at night) that it would be an issue.

    Links to the products below are affiliate links.

    March 17, 2019 update

    Skincare routine – morning and night

    I’m on my second bottle of Indie Lee’s CoQ10 toner. I love the scent; it’s a comforting scent.

    It’s light and I like using it in the mornings sprayed directly on my face or onto facial cotton (these are my favorite; you will never go back to any other kind once you use these. I cut them in half to get more use out of them!).

    It’s refreshing and a great prep-step for your face.

    I recently discovered this Belif toner and it has quickly climbed up to the top of my favorites.

    It sounds like it’d be harsh but it’s the most gentle and moisturizing toner.

    I love using it at night after I’ve showered and washed my face. It really puts moisture back in on my face.

    It’s a milky liquid consistency so it’s slightly different than other toners I’ve used.

    You put a quarter-sized amount into the palm of your hand and use your finger tips to pat it around your face. It is odor-less.

    This SK-II essence is definitely a staple in my skincare routine and actually I mentioned it in the past.

    I’m on my second bottle. One bottle (their largest size) lasts me about a year-ish. I get it at Costco and it’s an amazing price vs. what it usually is at Sephora.

    I like this essence because it’s hydrating and keeps your skin all glowy and pretty.

    This Kat Burki vitamin C intensive face cream (I use this in the morning).

    I initially didn’t love it. It was one of those things that I was like, “ugh this is so expensive, I bought it b/c my friend recommended it, but is it actually effective?”

    This is one of those products where you can’t expect things to happen overnight and see results immediately.

    I believe ALL skincare is like that, though. You can’t just use it for two weeks and expect immediate results.

    So I just kept using it and using it (because I am NOT one to toss away products if I don’t finish them) and to be honest, it has grown on me and I realllly like it. I do feel my skin is slightly brighter and healthier because of it.

    It smells amazing. It’s a light, fresh, scent, but I also love how clean it is in terms of ingredients.

    Kat Burki is one of those brands that you don’t hear of often, if ever, but I think they’re going to make it to the top of beauty editors’ lists soon.

    This goddess serum by Edible Beauty was one of those products that I really didn’t care for initially.

    I got it because it’s a big hydration booster because of the hyaluronic acid and I liked how it made my face feel overall but I wasn’t truly SEEING results. It made me wonder if it was actually doing anything.

    I did notice, though, on days that I do not use it, my face is slightly drier and I actually ended up really loving this serum as an additional hydration boost before my moisturizer. I use it only in the morning.

    Okay, so on Instagram a couple months ago, I shared that I got a tiny sample of La Mer soft cream from an order I placed from Nordstrom.

    I absolutely loved how it felt but I did not love the price of the full size jar. Are you kidding me for charging that much for a jar? Like $500 for 2 ounces?! This better make me look 20 forever.

    I did hear that 90% of La Mer’s ingredients become inactive the second you open the jar so it’s like spending $500 on water lol

    Anyway, I asked on Instagram whether there was a dupe for La Mer and many of you suggested Weleda Skin Food.

    It’s a German product, cheap ($19), and apparently is amazing and raved by many celebrities. It is actually supposedly a hand cream but totally usable on your face, as many use it that way.

    I’ve never heard of it but hey, at $19, it was worth a shot.


    I only use it at night because it’s pretty greasy but I have dry skin so I love greasing up my face before bed, haha

    I bet this is AMAZING to use on flights too. I actually bought Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask when we went to Ireland and omg, it was terrible. More on that below.

    This will last me a very long time because you only need a giant pea-sized amount.

    I mix it together with my facial oil (below) because it makes it easier to spread.

    It has a toothpaste-like consistency so mixing it with facial oil helps it thin out and it also gets your facial oil in your routine to seal it all up.

    Yes, I will admit, your face is pretty greasy afterwards but honestly, my skin soaks it in in about 5 minutes and I can go to bed fine.

    The pillowcase isn’t stained at all.

    I wake up with dewy and hydrated skin.

    Not everyone is a fan of the scent. Lots of people have said they just grin and bear it but I don’t know why?! To me it smells like frankincense and lavender! I love the smell haha

    As mentioned above, I mix the Herbivore Phoenix facial oil with my Weleda Skin Food at night.

    I don’t use facial oil during the day because for me, I don’t like the greasy feeling even though I’m sure it would soak in relatively quickly.

    This bottle (what you see above) has lasted me over a year! So don’t let the price tag scare you.

    I use three to four drops a night and I recently just bought my second bottle.


    Most notably the most important part of your skincare routine!

    I put this on every morning after my moisturizer. We didn’t take a photo of it but this is the one I use. It’s 50 SPF!

    What has NOT worked for me

    I figured if I’m telling you everything that has worked for me, I should also tell you what hasn’t worked for me.

    • Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum: I honestly don’t see much of a difference after using an entire bottle of this. I actually don’t know what its intent even was. They say it’s a plant-derived retinol alternative but I honestly haven’t seen it make a difference. It smells pretty bad, too lol
    • Edible Beauty No. 2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist: This was the first beauty product I couldn’t use the entire bottle of. This smelled DISGUSTING. Like fake citrus. Every time I went to use it, I would gag.
    • Drunk Elephant products: sorry, ya’ll. I truly do not understand the hype for Drunk Elephant. I will give it to them that their packaging is super attractive and they have legit marketing but that’s about it. Their products suck. However, I know everyone has different skin types and it may work for others but it truly did not work for me. It gave me tiny bumps all over my face, especially forehead..when no other product has ever done that to me. I don’t have sensitive skin. Their customer service sucks too. They just keep blaming it on other products and that you should always use all their products to avoid issues. To me, that’s a marketing scam. They just want you to use all their products, duh! And they constantly just blame it on the “suspicious six.” Hard no for me on DE products. I returned all their products. Thankful that Sephora has such a great return policy!
    • Youth to the People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser: Not a fan of this either. I’m sticking through it and using the entire bottle but it’s just a standard face cleanser. It is very gentle but I have to hold my breath when I wash my face with this one. I feel like I’m rubbing spinach and kale extract on my face. I guess I should’ve recognized that ‘superfood’ and ‘daily green juice’ in the product description truly meant that, lol
    • Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask: Again, I am not sure the hype with this product. It is not super hydrating, at all and Weleda Skin Food beats out Jet Lag Mask if you’re looking for a hydrated face all flight. Jet Lag mask pills up and makes it hard to spread around your face. I just wasn’t impressed!

    What I’m currently trying out:

    Like I mentioned above, I like testing out various skin care products when I’m done with a bottle or jar so since I used up the Goddess Serum (Edible Beauty) and returned my A-Passioni from Drunk Elephant and didn’t love the Biossance Phyto-Retinol serum, I picked up these two items to try for the next month or so:

    April 23, 2019 update:

    I do a lot of reading on skincare because it’s something I’m truly passionate about and it’s so fascinating all the different technologies and science behind skincare these days.

    I recently discovered Dr. Sam Bunting, thanks to Gina. She’s like the most sought after and popular cosmetic dermatologist in London. She treats skin from the inside out and uses products that don’t have a lot of frills but just get to the point. She has a product line right now but only sells it in her clinic (or online) so a little hard to get a hold of.

    Additionally, I also discovered Kiki, who is an esthetician up in the Hudson River Valley (Gina actually goes to her spa) who is hyper-focused on ingredient list and gentle skincare. I love her daily skincare tips and aisle raids. She goes to drugstores and picks up products and goes through the ingredient list and tells you which are actually great products and which aren’t. It’s incredibly fascinating and not all drugstore products suck. It’s all about the ingredients!

    If you comb through Kiki’s feed and watch Dr. Sam’s YouTube videos, you will learn an incredible amount and I’ve kind of revamped the way I put on products thanks to Dr. Bunting and I have noticed a difference. Not drastic but there’s definitely a difference.

    I walk by a mirror and I’m like, “wow, is that my skin?” It’s just more dewy and bright.

    I learned from Dr. Sam how to effectively wash my face. Believe it or not, you’re supposed to wash it for one full minute to really get it clean and massage your face firmly.

    I also learned from Dr. Sam the 13-dot technique to putting on skincare. This is what changed my skin recently, I feel. You should give it a watch; it makes so much sense!

    As promised, I mentioned I’d give a review on the products I have been using for about 6+ weeks.

    First up, The Ordinary’s “Buffet.”

    I love this. It’s a light serum that has awesome ingredients in it.

    These active ingredients combined help reduce the look of lines, wrinkles, surface irregularities. They also help improve skin elasticity and firmness. I have heard that The Ordinary has matrixyl on its own but you might as well just get The Buffet because it has matrixyl plus all the other peptides that support healthy skin so it’s like all-in-one.

    • Matrixyl 3000 and Matrixyl Synthe’6 Peptide Complexes
    • Hyaluronic Acid
    • Syn-Ake Peptide Complex
    • Relistase Peptide Complex

    I picked up The Ordinary’s retinoid 2% emulsion because I hated the A-Passioni from Drunk Elephant and I needed to find another retinol to incorporate into my routine.

    This retinoid has given me zero reaction and I didn’t have to slowly ease into it. I alternate it on nights I’m using a vitamin C serum.

    The light version of Weleda’s original Skin Food!

    I had to use it for a while to give a full review.

    At first I didn’t love it because it was so light.

    However, now that the weather is warming up and there’s humidity, I love the light version.

    It’s definitely less heavy and less greasy and just much better to use in the warmer weather.

    So I’ve put the original Skin Food on the back of the shelf to pull out for fall/winter.

    I still mix this with the Phoenix facial oil and I also mix with vitamin C.

    What I recently bought and am testing out

    I can’t give a full review of these yet since I just bought them but thought I’d let you know what’s coming up:

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  • Christina says:

    Thank you for sharing! I checked your shop page, but could you also share what organizer you use for your products that was featured in the photo? Thank you!

  • Natasha Jurebie says:

    Thanks for the reviews, I’m a skincare fanatic too! Definitely been eyeing indie Lee products lately and can’t wait to try their toner. I am currently using belief eye cream, it’s not love but I love how their products smell, or lack of. I’m not a huge fan of fragrance in my products so I’ve been loving their night cream and essense water at night with their eye bomb. I just picked up innisfree orchid eye cream, watched an review online and they highly recommended after testing 12 others.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Oh nice, thanks for the heads up!

  • Karen Beckman says:

    Hi Julie,

    This is slightly off topic. Where did you find the makeup caddie pictured on your post? Have been searching for exactly that!

  • Nicole says:

    Thank you for the honest review. Always looking for new products and nice to see what doesn’t work on someone that also didn’t work for you so maybe those that do work could be just what I’m looking for. I have loved the few things from The Ordinary that I have tried in the past… and the price and simplicity can’t be beat.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Definitely agree with you!

  • Katie says:

    My winter skin is a dry mess. Ordering the Weleda Skin Food right now! Thank you!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Yay! You’ll love it

  • Katie F says:

    JULIE Weleda recently released a Light version of Skin Food and I am LOVING it! It’s thinner and spreads more easily, and absorbs a bit more quickly. It’s my new favorite, especially as winter is wrapping up here in the midwest. It sounds like the original works well for you, but it’s something to check out!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      OMG YES! I saw that on their Instagram account. I just ordered it for summer and their body butter!!

      • Katie Franke says:

        And and and?? How is the body butter?

        • Julie Wampler says:

          Omg! Forgot to talk about that. I like it. It’s super thick and it’s great for those extra dry skin days! Not loving the scent on it though but I use it at night :)

  • Cory says:

    I am so with you on the Drunk Elephant products. They don’t do anything and they are SO expensive! I love the Weleda Body Butter. It has completely saved the dry, itchy winter skin on my body.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      I just ordered the body butter! I can’t wait to try it!!

  • JenJ says:

    I speed read this at work lol! I’ll have to go back again and read in further detail later. I did check out the SPF you mentioned. Of course it’s sold out online at Sephora. I’ll check back later!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      I also use Coola SPF!

  • Nechelle Smith says:

    What are the facial cotton pads that you use?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Sorry, they’re linked in my shop…forgot to link them here. Updated the post!

  • Tracey says:

    I mean, WHY does everyone love the Summer Fridays mask? I don’t like it AT ALL. My skin never felt moisturized or glowly or looked even just ok or ANYTHING. And yes, it pills. I seriously get mad when people rave about it. lol

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Omg, I know. I don’t understand the hype. Maybe b/c prominent bloggers are hyping it up so people feel they have to pretend to like it too?

  • Nicole Ward says:

    So I never usually comment, but you are speaking my language of skincare products. Love Dr. Sam! Have you ever watched Gothamista on YouTube? She is awesome! Has great skin care recommendations and gives the science behind her choices which I love. My new favorite eye cream (since you asked for suggestions ;)) she recommended by Paula’s Choice is the Clinical Ceramide Enriched eye cream. Has 3 forms of vitamin C and retinol. Love it!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Ahh yay!! And yes, Gothamista is the reason why I bought The Ordinary’s Buffet vs. another one I was thinking of. I love learning the science behind it all! Omg, I love that you said that about PC’s eye cream b/c that is in my cart and I’ll be buying it as soon as I finish up my Cerave eye cream.

      • Nicole Ward says:

        You have to! The video she talked about it on was the YouTube channel of Nadine Baggott (another fun, science based person WITH a British accent…does it get any better?!) I pretty much listen to and buy whatever the two of them say. Ha! Enjoy!! Love that you are adding fun skincare posts in addition to your yummy food posts.

        • Julie Wampler says:

          Omg, need to go subscribe to her channel now!! Thank you!!!

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