How To Wash Your Face Like You're Some Kind Of Freakin' Princess: An Extensive Guide

If you don't treat your face well, who will?

Dec 5, 2012 at 4:00pm | Leave a comment

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Here's a semi-relevant, semi-recent photo of me staring introspectively into the bathroom mirror of my old apartment. Hello!

I'm a bit of a freak when it comes to skincare. I love to take my time with the process and luxuriate in it all. I like to switch up my regimen so my skin doesn't get bored with what I'm feeding it. Yes, my skin is a separate entity unto its own. I try to treat it well so it pays me back in kind. When I slack off with my skincare, my face rebels. We have a very tumultuous relationship.

I've mentioned my obsession with French women before and one thing I notice is that French women are quite precise with their skincare. They may not be known for slopping on full faces of makeup or spending forever styling their hair in the morning, but they do take their time at night applying all their super-fancy creams and potions, and being all chic in the bathroom is something I aspire to.

So while my skincare routine does change a lot, the steps remain pretty much the same. Remove makeup, cleanse, tone, some sort of serum or treatment, and then moisturizer and eye cream. Dot on Mario Badescu's Drying Lotion if I see some spots popping up. Here I'm going to detail some products I've been into lately for keeping my face fa-fa-fancy.

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Don't they all look pretty laid out like that?

First up, I've been liquefying my makeup and cleansing deep down with Shu Uemura's Fresh Pore Clarifying Gentle Cleansing Oil ($31, shuuemura-usa.com). I like the idea of this oil slinking deep down into my pores, gently nudging out any gross dirt and then sweeping it all away when I rinse. Sounds promising, right? And it removes eye makeup like you wouldn't believe. Melts it right off. But not in a terrifying, burning way. Just gently, I assure you.

Next I added in Tatcha's Polished Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder. I have sample packets but a jar goes for $65 at tatcha.com, or you can get the jar and a set of the travel packets for $78. Anyway, you put a bit of this stuff in your palms and then gently massage it onto your wet skin and all the little enzymes gently polish away dead skin and impurities and leave your skin feeling super soft. The basis of all of Tatcha's skincare is that it's inspired by the routines that geishas use to keep their skin looking flawless. I love a good backstory.

After all my makeup is removed, I get to toning. I'll spritz some of ABL Brands' wonderfully scented and gentle Botanical Toning Mist ($19, abeautifullife.com) onto Shiseido's Cotton Facial Cotton and wipe down my face to make sure I've gotten rid of every trace of dirt and whatever else might be hiding. I'll tell ya, by this point I'm starting to feel pretty darn glamorous.

Once I'm satisfied with the cleanliness of my face, I'm ready for serum. I'm really into serums, they feel like insurance for good skin and they usually feel ultra silky and fancy on my face. Lately I've been using the last dregs of a sample tube of Clarins' Multi-Active Skin Renewal Serum ($63 for full-size, sephora.com) but I'm also a gigantic fan of Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair. I pretty much just like anything that promises to rebuild my face, as if it were the Six Million Dollar Man.

Finally, my dry-ass skin needs some serious moisturizer that's going to nourish it without being full of crap that's going to break me out. REN's Frankincense Revitalizing Night Cream ($55 for full-size, sephora.com) fits the bill. It doesn't contain parabens, sulfates, GMOs, triclosan or any of those other scary sounding chemicals. It smells nice, smooths and soothes my skin, and works well enough that I wake up in the morning still feeling like my skin has retained some of the plumpness from the night before. Win!

I won't write about eye creams right now because those deserve a separate post for another time.

Now, tell me what your skincare routine is like right now. If it involves falling asleep with your makeup on I will quietly cringe and recoil in my chair. I'm sorry, I just really love washing my face!

I tweet about important things, like cookie-flavoured tea: @hannahejo.