Skin Over Makeup

Friday, February 20, 2015


       When I was staying in France a while back, the woman I lived with was as chic as they came. Gisele was a waify, blonde law professor in her early fifties. She wore mostly black, had a huge, lofty, antique-laden apartment, hung her La Perla intimates to dry in the kitchen, went swimming throughout the week, (yes, she smoked--her one vice), but, most importantly all without a drop of makeup.

     In fact, she looked even more beautiful to me because she didn't think to wear it. Take a look in her bathroom vanity, though, and you see a slough of hydrating serums, masks, and one iconic, tiny white jar of Crème de la Mer. It wasn't that she didn't care about the face she presented to the world. Not at all. She just had different priorities, and maybe some that you and I could afford to adopt.

       Gisele was not an anomaly in this city. In fact, the approach to beauty in France (as far as I noticed) was much more about a preventative/restorative skin routine than about presenting a perfectly made-up face each day. It has an effortless permanency about it. "I am this, always," it says. If a woman wanted to be made up, she'd swipe on a lip or smudge on eyeliner. "There, this is good." There is much less focus on things like manicured nails, perfectly straight & white teeth, or the look of meticulously airbrushed foundation. It is about an aura, not the details.

       Having a blank canvas that you are comfortable with is suddenly much more important when you want to keep "making-up" to a minimum. That being said, let's delve into a more bare faced, minimalist level of beauty à la Léa Seydoux.


       For some, going out completely bare faced, or close to it, is a daunting idea. We get so used to ourselves looking like the person we create in the mirror every morning, that we forget to embrace our natural beauty and quirks without it. I know it is easiest for me when I am healthy, hydrated, and taking proper care of my skin. On a bad day, someone may remark that I look tired, and everything is thrown off.
       Before I tell you my ideal ways of taking care of my skin for going makeup-less, I have to mention how important it is to understand that the world we live in is extremely oversaturated with unrealistic, edited, highly contoured standards of beauty that we should not feel so pressured to live up to. And while it is nice to see someone who has done themselves up in a lovely way, it is equally as lovely, and even more refreshing, to see someone embracing their natural self or only slightly enhancing it. If you slowly apply less and less, you may find that you don't need full makeup on at all times, and may not even want it. (If you still do, that's also fine! This is all just about trying new things.)
       Here are my ultimate requirements for keeping skin clear and healthy, for minimal makeup days:
  1. Water. I drink a glass right when I wake up, about seven glasses throughout the day, and some before bed.
  2. No coffee. I only drink tea. It is less acidic for your body, and for me, seems to make me look less tired.
  3. Not too much alcohol. Sure I have a glass of wine/champagne once or twice a week. I used to drink more in college, though, and my face is much less puffy and has less red undertones now that I don't really drink. Also, I have way more energy.
  4. Exercise. Living in the city makes you walk a lot, but I also try to go to the gym at least two or three times/week. It clears out your pores and keeps skin taught.
  5. Deep Cleansing. I use Neutrogena's grapefruit exfoliating face wash every day. My pores get way clean and my skin feels so fresh.
  6. Always moisturize. Before bed and when I wake up, I always use a rich, deep moisturizing cream. I use Origins daily moisturizer. It's really thick and soothing.
  7. No makeup to bed. I always wash my face before sleeping. If I want to look even remotely fine in the morning, this is necessary. Leaving makeup, and essentially your whole day, on your face all night will clog your pores.
  8. Sunscreen. I always wear SPF 50 if I know I'll be in the sun for more than half an hour. I've read way too many things about the sun and wrinkles/age spots. No thanks!
  9. Treatments. I do a mask once or twice/week. Bentonite clay when I want my pores to be sucked dry, or I'll put coconut oil on my face during a hot bath and wash it off after for some extra moisture.
      Even if you do want to wear makeup always, trying to maintain a clear canvas is important. You'll thank yourself for the health of your skin & preventing aging later, I promise! I know Gisele did. 

       On another note: A lot of readers (more than half) here are from other countries besides the U.S.. Many of you are from Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, the U.K., and many others! I'm curious if there are any beauty trends or regimens unique to your country that work for you. I love to hear about such things.

47 comments :

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Oh I read your comment on my email and was just about to reply! Wish you hadn't deleted. I saw you had some really interesting things to say

      x

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    2. oh okay, thank you! I just felt like it was a slightly silly question and the more I read over it the more sillier it sounded, you get my feel. I felt like I was babbling hahaha x

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  2. I love how you take care of your skin and keep it healthy all the time. Some people don't understand the point of doing it every day, but the real results are shown years later, when your skin is still beautiful and taken care of. I found it very important too.
    But I have one question: How long do you keep Neutrogena grapefruit wash on your face before you wash it out? I've heard some people wait for like 10 min, and the others take it off after less than 5 min of waiting.

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    1. I actually only keep it on for about a minute. I hadn't thought to leave it on my face for any longer, but now I'll give it a try!

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  3. I was born in Australia but have an Indian ethnicity. Down here skincare is extremely important as the sun is extremely strong so SPF 50+ is a must. Even though I don't get sunburnt (as I have dark skin) I still religiously apply sunscreen (a habit i've only started recently) and I've already noticed a difference! I also use a turmeric mask once or twice a week (an indian thing); it gives my skin a glow and helps fade out my blemishes :)

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    1. Turmeric mask sounds SO interesting! I am definitely going to try that. I've never heard of any such thing. xx

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    2. Ah it's so good for your skin! though beware it does stain it and everything that touches your face so I wouldn't advise using a whole lot. But mix some turmeric powder and greek yoghurt together and you'll get a nice mask :)

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    3. I tried the turmeric mask after reading this! I have acne prone skin so I've been trying hard to get it under control. The mask turned me yellow because I have fair skin, but it washed off. It made my skin feel smooth and glowing and I hope to see more results! Also I used your recipe for toner and have been using it for about a week and I am definitely seeing results. It makes my skin feel amazing!!

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  4. Hello Beautiful! I'm from Italy and here thanks to various circumstances (one of them is 'cartiladolce', a famous italian youtuber who is a bio-chemist and does tutorials on how to create your own beauty products) girls and women (obviously I'm one of them) have discovered what horrible chemicals most of the products we buy are made of so we tend to (if possible) buy all-natural beauty products or to create them ourselves at home, you'll be surprised of how wonderful your skin will feel after a honey-yogurt mask and a honey-sugar scrub! Keep up the great work with the blog, I love it! Kisses from Tuscany, xoxo Beatrice

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    1. I am all for buying all natural beauty products! I'm trying to find an all natural alternative to the neutrogena face wash I'm currently using, but other than that, everything else is pretty free of chemicals. Lovely to hear others are doing the same! x

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  5. Really loved this post! Your posts always have so much depth and really are an enjoyable read! Would be grateful if you would check out my blog,http://amyinthereddress.blogspot.co.uk your recent post on veganism influenced be to go from vegetarian to vegan! Keep doing what you're doing x

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    1. So lovely to hear you've made the switch to veganism! It's such a beautiful thing. Literally and metaphorically. Love to see you're writing about your food experience on your blog :) x

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  6. Where do you get the clay mask? And if you don't mind, how much is it? Also, what are the benefits-what do you notice it does for your skin? thanks!

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    1. The clay mask is from here: http://www.origins.com/product/3857/11588/Clear-Improvement-/index.tmpl. Although a good alternative is: http://www.amazon.com/Aztec-Secret-Indian-Healing-Cleansing/dp/B0014P8L9W.

      Both clear out my pores and make my skin really clean and glowing. If I have a blemish, it's redness seems reduced.

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    2. The Queen Helens Mint Julep Masque is also really great for helping reduce pore size and keeping skin clear; a plus is that it is about $3.99 as well! Would also definitely recommend the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Cleansing mask! Great blog post :)

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  7. you have very very nice skin and ik you posted a photo a while back on IG of you smoking. doesn't that mess with your skin? or are there ways to avoid that

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    1. Oh no I do not smoke! That was for the picture, and actually, the cigarette was not lit :) This is not to say I have not smoked a cigarette before, but I never do now and don't plan on it. x

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  8. Hi love, I've been following you on IG for quite some time now but I've only recently discovered your blog. I'm a bit of an interesting character, being that not many people like the things I like or understand my desire to march to the beat of my own drum. But I can't help but smile every time I open your page to a new blog post because everything you write about is everything I like. From Wes Anderson and skincare to a vegan lifestyle and everything in between, I feel like your page was made for me.

    Anyways I'm from Montreal and halfway through last year I decided to take a stand against my bad skin and cut out makeup for everyday use. After years of waking up and putting on a full face of makeup (foundation, power, bronzer, blush, mascara...the whole 9 yards) I decided to just let my skin breath and be comfortable enough to go without it. I feel so fresh every day and I don't feel the need to run home and wash it all off when I finish school.

    In terms of personal tips I'd say our routines and techniques are fairly similar...
    Though they are pricey I try to get a facial once every few months which makes a huge difference for my skin. For some cheaper home remedies I find anything cold really helps wake up my skin up. I usually rinse my face with freezing water in the morning and on days that I'm feeling especially puffy I wrap an ice cube in a kleenex and rub it across my face. Its super refreshing and makes a huge difference. Also I find that loads of sugar is super hard on my skin so every once in a while I take a break from fruit for a few days and stick to proteins and veggies.

    Xx

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    1. I'm so glad you've found something you like in my blog! It's been hard for me in life to find others who have similar tastes, so I understand how you feel.

      Totally know how you feel about just wanting to run home and wash your face after a day of having full makeup on. It's refreshing to go without, and I realize, people don't give you any less attention or treat you differently without it really, so if YOU don't want it on one day, who are you doing it for?

      I'll try the ice on my face, it sounds lovely xx

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    2. I've read that a green tea ice cube on your face every morning helps wake you up and keep your skin taut. Something about the antioxidants in the tea... But the coldness definitely helps wake me up too!

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  9. Hi! I'd love to feature you in our magazine! Our email is everyonemags@gmail.com. Please let me know if you're interested xx

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  10. My old math professor used to say that after you finish exfoliating and washing your face, rinse your face and don't towel dry! Simply let the water air dry on your face, and your skin will absorb the moisture and you will look a lot more refreshed in the morning. I've been doing it since I graduated high school and it's worked for me ever since :) Although it can be a bit uncomfortable walking around with a damp face everywhere for a few minutes, I've seen great benefits on my skin from this.

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  11. How many times do you wash your face? Because I only commute going to school and I encounter a lot of smoke everywhere. And by the time I get home, I totally forget about washing my face. Honestly, I am not sensitive to my skin like you are but i love how you keep posting when it comes to these stuff. :) It will surely help me in the future :) I'm only 16, so i don't really experience to much acne and pores. But as much as possible i want to prevent it. And i totally agree that you don't have to really wear too much make up on! Simple is elegant. xx

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    1. Once /day at night before bed. I only use toner in the morning and then I moisturize :)

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  12. First of all i wanted to say that i love your blog and find you to be a very admirable young women, be it in the way you dress, your career or your attitude towards skincare. I am from Germany but have spend longer periods of time in the US and have noticed a significant difference in the way German and American women do their makeup and hair. In the US i only very seldom saw women without a complete face of makeup and their hair styled to perfection. Here in Germany it is much more common to wear your hair naturally and wear less makeup, especially foundation, blush, bronzer and eyeshadow. I personally tend to spend more money on skincare (clinique being almost the only brand that does not break me out) and have reduced the amount of daily makeup to some conceiler and powder. I have found that my skin is better if i wear less makeup and completely agree with the idea of "I am this, always".

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    1. Love this! I've only heard good things about Clinique. Maybe that will be my next moisturizer test :)

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  13. Hey, I was just wondering what sunscreen you used everyday on your face? I've been trying to find the perfect everyday sunscreen for a while now but most of the drugstore ones contain 'toxic' ingredients, and the all-natural ones tend to leave a white tint. Thanks and I love your blog. X

    P

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    1. Alba has a great sunscreen that is mostly natural. They sell it at target and online. I have heard great things about La Roche Posay as well, although that I don't use myself. xx

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  15. I'm ashamed in my country people don't really care that much about our skin. I mean I obviously do, but not before getting into college and studying cosmetology so after I knew about how EVERYTHING affects my skin I decided to take care of it. As far as I know people here only mosturize and that's it, and they use sun screen when on vacations and they start using serums and other stuff when it's almost too late (usually when theu see wrinkles on their face) I always tell my mom to take care of her skin, I have LOTS of creams and cleanses and serums, believe me, but she just doesn't understand.
    Anyways, I wash my face with an AHA cleanser, then I apply a hyaluronic acid serum because I have dehydrated skin and because of the same reason I'm using mother cells and then I apply sunscreen. It sounds like a lot of things but it only takes like 5 min. Haha. And my skin feels so good and smooth and I'm sure it would thank me if it could haha.

    I love your blog and since you've talked about how good it is for your skin, body and health, I think I'll give vegan a shot ;) And I'm really sorry if I wrote something wrong, but I actually speak spanish haha have a nice week!

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    1. Ooh how is the hyaluronic serum working for you? I've only heard good things, and I would like to try!

      So glad you're giving veganism a shot. you'll look and feel just so amazing <3

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    2. I'm sorry it took me all this time to answer but I was on vacations haha anyway, the serum feels grait. As I said I have a very dry skin so when I get out of the shower my skin feels as what I think joan rivers felt after applying botox lol and it stops as soon as I apply the serum. After that I just feel refreshed and what I think someone with a normal skin feels haha

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  16. Hello! as a girl who's still trying to find herself, I find you so inspiring.. I've read not all but many of your blogs, I can see that you are beautiful without even trying to be. and I agree so much with this one, keeping it minimal is the way to go, and never to forget drinking water.. I've cut out my soft drinks and other junkies, water really does help with my skin. x

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    1. "Beautiful without even trying".... couldn't have said it better myself! I stayed with a lady in France who was exactly the same! Its rare for me to find someone who has such simmular interests and taste as I... You're blog has defiantly been a breath of fresh air! xx from Canada

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  17. Yea this is great. Your blog has been on point with lifestyle views and such. I enjoy reading!
    I've been having the same idea for a while about skin over makeup. When I was like 15 I decided I wanted to go as long as I could without wearing make up and now I'm about to be 21 and all I wear is mascara so I don't look half asleep/dead! My sister just recently started wearing makeup, and she's my twin so I technically know what I look like with makeup on and it's really not much of a difference at all so it's kinda like "eh what's the point"? Lol in the summer I was looking in the mirror and realized if I'm going to continue with this i'm going need take care of my skin a little better and since then I've developed a little obsession with trying new things for skin care.

    So yea anyways I've always loved the idea of working with your natural beauty by taking care of it. I feel like you overall you can have more confidence with yourself and it's rewarding when you see your discipline of taking care of your skin is paying off. Girls spend a lot of money on make up to cover up and some never think of maybe spending the same amount of money they would spend on makeup on skin care. It can be a start to a new routine that they might be more happy with! So thanks for the mask tips! I'm going to try it.

    Have you tried No 7 moisturizers? I use the night cream and it works wonders!

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    1. I actually have the no 7 night cream! I haven't used it in a while though, as my skin is a little too sensitive for it. It is really rich though and I know others who love it.

      Glad you enjoyed!xx

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  18. Try a fresh yeast mask! I'm from Serbia and that's what everyone told me about and it has worked wonders for me.

    Once a week I just combine fresh yeast with warm water and apply it to my face, and leave it for about 20 minutes. Leaves my skin feeling baby soft and just great.

    xx

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    1. Oh wow that sounds amazing! I will totally try. Never heard of that before :) xx

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  19. I'm from NZ, we have a very casual, laid back kind of lifestyle so it is very common to see us kiwis wearing a natural face. Spf is essential to us, the sun is so strong and sunburn and damage is unavoidable without it! Another skin care product I love to use is Manuka honey. Manuka is a tree native to NZ and the nectar from it is has many beneficial properties which I love to use on my skin, it's antimicribal, moisturing, and other norishing benefits, I use it as a mask...and it also taste delicious. :) love your blog-new fan!

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  20. I live in Ireland where the norm is to slather on foundation (which is often many shades too dark) and wear waaaaaay too much eye makeup, however I wear as little makeup as possible to let my skin breathe. Sometimes i just fill in my brows and that's it! I use Korean skincare, which is a bit weird, I know. A lot of emphasis is put on clear, bright, ageless skin in Korea so their products are excellent and really meticulous. I would recommend Innisfree sheet masks; they're amazing. Love your blog btw xxx

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  21. your blog is so inspiring, i have such bad skin and I'm only young, i tackle such bad breakouts everyday and i have tried everything possible, i really want to be happy with my skin, as it's the one thing which gets me down the most, what key things do you think i should do, or is there a product you use which could help me? thanks so much for your blogs, they really help me xx

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  22. Hi Dayna! I use an all natural Honey&Cornmeal barsoap for my face (you can get it here: http://www.honeywayusa.com/#!beauty--bath/csv5 ) and it's improved my complexion a lot since I started using it. I thought you might be interested!
    Ps. Your blog is very inspiring!

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  23. Hi, my dream is to study fashion design, inspires me fashion of the 40 years, a Los 60s , vegetarian soy But I really want to become a total ! Vegan , I do not drink , do not smoke , not me Maquillo , I love your blog , I admire !! , for me it is very difficult to find people with the same tastes, I am from Chile the country is beautiful but here are all very different, the concepts of fashion , food and lifestyle everything is very different here , it is a great pity , in December I'll go to the US, he begins a new stage in my life, and really inspire me a lot !! good wishes for you

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  24. Hi, Dayna! I absolutely love your blog. While teaching us something new to try, you are also reminding us the importance of embracing our individuality. I've always been one to not wear too much makeup because I've accepted my differences for what they are. However the people I am surrounded by have trouble understanding my vision of beauty. To them, I am doing it all wrong. They've told me that I should follow the makeup trends, do my hair a certain way, dress like other girls, etc. At times, their probing at my appearance really makes me question whether or not I'm presenting myself correctly. But it's people like you who remind me that there is no "correct way" when it comes to beauty. I don't have to listen to them. Beauty is what we make it and no one should criticise me for practicing something different :) So, if you made it through my longgggg story (lol), I also wanted to thank you for taking the time to share your advice and lifestyle! You're truly inspiring xx

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By Dayna Frazer

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