Five Products That Are Breathing New Life Into My Tired Old Beauty Routine

I took a few appropriate risks, went out on limb for products I don’t normally use, and landed on a few similar-but-different-enough-from-my-norm products.
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Emma Jeszke
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I took a few appropriate risks, went out on limb for products I don’t normally use, and landed on a few similar-but-different-enough-from-my-norm products.

I’ve been stuck in a beauty rut. I’ve been feeling uninspired by my same old skin care routine, wondering that if, by staying where I’m comfortable, I may be missing out on something awesome. My hair is starting to enter the awkward middle phase, and I can’t decide if I should continue to chop it or suffer through the next several months of fugly hair until one day it’s longer and, well, perhaps less fugly. I’ve been doing my makeup essentially the same way for everyday life for the past year. 

I’m bored.

But, of course, instead of sitting here complaining (which I could do for longer than anyone would be comfortable with), I’ll fast-forward to the part where I did something about my rut. As any good girly girl in a bad mood should do, I went shopping.

I took a few appropriate risks (coral lipstick!), went out on limb for products I don’t normally use (anti-aging stuff!), and landed on a few similar-but-different-enough-from-my-norm products (gray eyeliner!) to help me revitalize my boring beauty routine. Here they are.

Bare Minerals Prime Time Foundation Primer

I am freaking obsessed with this primer and must write a love letter to it.

Admittedly, I haven’t been a big primer user, because I hate the feeling of heavy product on my skin and tend to break out if I go too heavy with the makeup. And yet, I knew I needed one because even though I hate the feeling of heavy makeup on my skin, I often wear it anyway, and primer is only going to help that makeup stay on longer and look better in general.

Makeup-less, primer-less. What’s a gal to do?

Makeup-less, primer-less. What’s a gal to do?

I tried out a lot of water-based and gel primers, but they all felt so vanilla. They seemed to have no staying power, and even the ones promising moisturizing properties made me feel dried-out after applying. Don’t even get me started on my enhanced redness with these products.

But then I saw this adorable little bottle across Sephora, and I just knew. It was one of those fated moments where you meet something that was simply meant for you. (I also felt like this when I had chocolate lava cake for the first time.)

This small but mighty bottle is amazing at resolving skin tone issues, like my redness, for which I am obsessed with finding solutions. I dab it onto my skin before rubbing it to apply it evenly. I notice such a drastic improvement in the look of my skin, that I’m actually using way less foundation and concealer than I used to use.

Even with just primer on, my skin looks better.

Even with just primer on, my skin looks better.

Fair warning: The product smells a little funky, but it’s such a small price to pay for glory.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar Matte in Grandma

I’ve been eyeballing these cute little tubes of liquid lipstick for quite some time, but never just went for it. Until I did just go for it. Which is why I’m writing to gush about them now.

OCC is a cool company to begin with, being that their mission was to create a different kind of cosmetics company that offers nontraditional colors and textures that weren’t available before. Their products are all vegan and cruelty-free, so there’s no guilt associated with using them. And did I mention that their signature Lip Tars are freaking amazing?

$18 each at occmakeup.com

$18 each at occmakeup.com

I decided to go with their shade Grandma, a classic coral, because I needed something to go with my outfit for Valentine’s Day (barf all you want). I’m enamored with the way this product applies — each tube comes with a little brush that you paint the product on with. The lipstick has buildable pigment and just looks so pretty on. It dries comfortably on your lips without any drying, at all, and fades evenly when that time in the night where lipstick fades eventually comes.

I’m working this cute, wearable coral into my everyday routine as much as possible.

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NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Madison Avenue

My life since age 13 has consisted of thick, black, liquid eyeliner. And if I’m being honest, it probably always will. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t branch out!

I love, love, love this creamy, long-wear pencil liner from NARS. The color I got is a slate gray with a slight shine, giving it a softer look than my usual black, while still being bold enough to my liking. And this type of smudgy application gives me the opportunity to experiment with bottom liner for the first time since middle school.

This product stays put and looks oh so purty. Plus, the pencil is twist-up and comes with its own little sharpener, so you need not worry about wasting product.

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Pevonia Botanica Power Repair Intensifier Collagen & Myoxy-Caviar and Ligne Sevactive Rejuvenating Dry Skin Cream

$74.50 at pevonia.com and $59 at pevonia.com

$74.50 at pevonia.com and $59 at pevonia.com

I love this brand and their gorgeous products. So, obviously, they came to mind when I woke up recently and decided that the burden of my 24 years is weighing heavily on my skin, and it was time to do something about it.

I use the Intensifier serum before bed, after I wash my face and before moisturizer. It’s essentially a preventative formula, to make sure that your skin stays hydrated and keeps fine lines at bay. 

After that, I follow up with the Rejuvenating Dry Skin Cream, which is my personal miracle cream. My skin has been so dry this winter — it has been like, flaking off in chunks. This formula stopped that mess in its tracks.

I use these two products together before bed, and the results have been fantastic. I wake up every morning with skin looking bright and fresh (even if I can’t really formulate words until I’ve had two coffees). It also helps eliminate a lot of the puffiness I get around my eyes — hallelujah.

Have you gotten any new beauty products lately that are breathing life back into your beauty routine?