My best friend had a baby four months ago, and her life—or, at the very least, her beauty cabinet—is ten times more organized than mine is. Any given evening, I'm using an oil to double-cleanse my face, removing makeup with micellar water, washing my face, toning, then slapping on blemish patches, retinol, serum, and a moisturizer. So when I recently spent the night at Alice Ann's, I watched in awe as her entire evening routine took a grand total of two minutes compared to my twenty. It honestly didn't even occur to me that it could be that simple and she replied, "Just wait until you have a baby." Her routine has always been fairly minimal—she rarely wears makeup—but she pared it down to be even more basic after having her daughter, prioritizing multi-tasking products that are, for the most part, all-natural and affordable. Her glowing skin is like a walking billboard for simplified skincare, so I asked her to share it here:
1. Wash face. After rotating through several cleansers, Alice Ann now swears by Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser ($24), which effectively removes all traces of makeup. "I love it because it's a really nice, deep cleaning that's not too drying," she told me.
2. Tone (optional). "I toggle between True Botanicals ($48) and Muji's Toner ($12)," she said, depending on whether she feels like splurging (though she prefers True Botanicals, it's four times the price of Muji). "I love True Botanicals because the company is great and from California, and the product is wholesome and organic, but Muji is one of those places where I get suckered in by how beautiful and organized the store is, plus I like the formula. I like to go between the toners to make sure my skin doesn't get used to one." She applies each to a cotton pad, which she uses on her face.
3. Apply serum. My favorite part of my routine is my MAELOVE products," Alice Ann told me, explaining, "It was started by a woman who wanted to make affordable organic products and realized everything was so marked-up." She applies the Glowmaker serum ($28) to her face because it contains Vitamin C, which her facialist told her is best for "brightening, lightening, and tightening" as well as for preventing signs of aging and renewing skin from sun damage. "Vitamin C should be a part of everyone's routine," she insisted. Once that's dry, she applies either the Love 31 oil ($75), which she insists is a similar formula to cult-favorite Vintner's Daughter ($185), which we both love, but at a fraction of the cost, or MAELOVE's Night Renewer ($27.95). "When it's super dry in the winter, I sometimes use the serum, then the moisturizer on top," she added.
4. Brow serum (optional). This is an additional step, but it cuts down on her morning makeup routine. "I use Neubrow both morning and night," Alice Ann told me, "At first, I felt like I wanted to fill them in, but now that I have a solid foundation of growth, I only use it a couple of nights a week and no longer need a brow pencil." If it's any indication of how good her brows have been looking, every one of our friends has invested in Neubrow since Alice Ann started using it (and if this sounds sponsored, it's not! But we're not not open to having our friend group sponsored by a brow serum...) I've also noticed that Neubrow recently went down from $100 to $60, so this post has impeccable timing.
1. Splash water on face, then wash later. You know those ads where a woman wakes up naturally beautiful and splashes water on her face? That's Alice Ann. (I would be the "before" girl in that commercial, complete with an eye mask, retainer, and rat nest of hair.) Anyways, she told me, "I read once that as long as you clean your face before going to bed, you don't need to wash your face right away in the morning—the natural oils are actually good for it. Plus it gives me an excuse not to wash my face right away. Instead, I'll splash my face with warm water first thing, then wash it a few hours later with the Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser. Twice a week, I use Aesop's Exfoliating Face Scrub ($53)."
2. Apply serum and oil or moisturizer. After washing, Alice Ann applies the Glowmaker serum followed by either Love 31 oil or her daytime moisturizer, CeraVe ($15). Because neither has any SPF, she applies either the mineral-based Elta MD SPF ($35) as a final step, or a Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer ($47), which is the only makeup she uses. Since improving her skincare routine and growing out her brows, she hasn't felt the need to wear any!
Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser ($24)
True Botanicals ($48) and Muji's Toner ($12)
MAELOVE Glowmaker serum ($28) and Love 31 oil ($75), or Night Renewer ($27.95)
Aesop's Exfoliating Face Scrub ($53)
CeraVe ($15) or Laura Mercia tinted moisturizer ($47)
Elta MD SPF ($35)
P.S., You may remember Alice Ann from our Oyster and Rosé party and my body positivity post! It's hard to believe I met her through cupcakes and cashmere—she was the first reader to reach out to me when I moved to L.A., and I literally can't imagine my life without her. Thank you for all of your inspiration and advice, Dubs! x
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