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Habitually Chic Guide to Skincare

by habituallychic

02 . 04 . 15


I always forget that I have pretty good skin until someone compliments me. It isn’t something that comes without a lot of effort or products however. Any time I think I use a lot of products though, I am comforted by the fact that Eva Chen, former beauty editor and now editor in chief of Lucky magazine, will always have me beat.  That’s her medicine cabinet above.

To put this in terms many of my design friends and followers will understand, you wouldn’t build a house and expect it to stand for 8o years without routine maintenance like sanding, filling, and painting and that’s how we should regard skincare. Since many of you have asked what products I use, I’ve finally decided to outline them and the aesthetic procedures I’ve tried recently.

I’ll try to follow up with make up and hair care posts later. This post is just about skincare and many of the products I use are unisex so you male readers might learn something too. But if there is one take away you should remember, it’s to always use sunscreen.


Since I work from home, my routine is a little different than most. The first thing I do when I wake up is swipe on Dr. Gross Extra-Strength Alpha Beta Peel Pads.  The key to clear skin is exfoliation but too much scrubbing can lead to breakouts and problems so acids are a great alternative to gritty exfoliators. If I ever run out, and stop using these for a few days, I can definitely see a difference in my skin. I read recently that Rosie Huntington-Whitely also uses these pads but I’m pretty sure that’s where any similarities between us end.



I’m not sure why I’m telling you about this Kiehl’s Photo-Age Corrector Deep-Action Exfoliating Cleanser since it’s discontinued.  It’s the best product I’ve ever used and it gets amazing reviews online. I’m really hoping that if I write about it they might consider bringing it back before my back stock supply is depleted.


Some people say you shouldn’t use alcohol on your face but I love Kiehl’s Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion.  I also tried the infamous P50 original formula toner from Biologique Recherche. The one with phenol that’s banned in the EU but I came back to Kiehl’s. Although I might try it again


After toner, I use Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion on my t-zone to prevent break outs although I just read the description and it can also be used on break outs.



I’m always on the look out for a good eye cream but I always keep coming back to Restorsea Revitalizing Eye Cream. If any of you have eye creams you like, definitely let me know. 8-beauty-habituallychic-clique-smart-custom-repair-serumI was sent a trial of Clinique Smart Custom-Repair-Serum and liked it enough to buy another bottle after the first one ran out.  You should always use serum before your moisturizer.


I read about Avene Cicalfate Post-Procedure Skin Repair Emulsion from a dermatologist in a magazine and picked up a tube at City Pharma in Paris this summer.  It’s great after laser treatments that I’ll talk about later in this post.  I’m not sure if it’s completely the same here in the US but I just placed an order for a new tube so I’ll soon find out.  I plan to pick up a few more tubes in Paris in March just in case.


Every time I see Linda Rodin somewhere, I have to tell her how much I love her Rodin Olio Lusso Face Oil.  It’s the last thing I use before I put on my make up and if I forget, I can always tell.  I don’t exactly know what it does but I just know that it makes my skin look and feel great. I’m afraid to try the Body Oil for fear I will go broke buying all the Rodin products. 11-beauty-habituallychic-mario-badescu-special-healing-powerI have a bad habit of touching things I shouldn’t so I’m extremely thankful for Mario Badescu Special Healing Powder.  It comes with a pad that you should throw away.  The best way to use it is with a Q-tip.  Dab some on a red spot and it disappears almost immediately. It’s great after make up too.



I use almost all the same products at night except I swap out my day serum for Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. Again, I’m not exactly sure what this product does but I just know that I love how it makes my skin look and feel.  It’s another product that if I run out and don’t use it for a few days, I definitely notice a difference. I also use the Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum.


Dermatologists swear by retinols but I find they give me very dry and flaky skin.  You will need a prescription for this Obagi Tretinoin cream but it’s great for lightening sun spots.  My aesthetician Tanya Almazan who works with Dr. Virginia Wade, more on them later in this post, suggested using Aquaphor after to prevent dryness.  I use retinol on spots during the day but all over at night.  You also need to use a sunscreen daily when using retinols.  I ran out of my Restorsea Rejuvenating Day Lotion with SPF 30 so I’ve been using an Obagi sunscreen lately.13-beauty-habituallychic-la-roche-posay-redermicrIf you want to try a retinol that is over the counter, Tanya also recommended Redermic R from La Roche-Posay. It is best used at night and doesn’t make my skin as flaky as the prescription retinol.


After Tanya recommended Aquaphor, I started using it all over my face at night.  I feel like it’s made a huge difference in my skin this winter.  It’s much less dry and looks plumper.  It is a bit sticky however so I don’t recommend using it before going to bed on your expensive bed linens. Aquaphor can be used all over your body so I use it everywhere and then layer another moisturizer over it so it’s a little less sticky.


Twice a week, I use the Mario Badescu Healing & Soothing Mask.  My facialist at Mario Badescu suggested other masks but I always come back to this one.  I have sensitive skin and it relieve redness and keeps my skin clear.  I love that it doesn’t dry out and start to flake before you remove it so you can leave it on as long as you want. 16-beauty-habituallychic-dermalogica-daily-microfoliant

One of my all time favorite products is Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant.  It’s a rice based powder you mix with water so you can make it as thick or thin as you like.  You can use this daily but I prefer to use it just a few times a week.


I have been getting facials at Mario Badescu for at least 10 years. I see Leah who is really sweet and not as rough as some of the other ladies.   Their basic facial starts at $65 and even if you can add on treatments, it’s still an amazing deal. I usually add on the gold mask and as you saw above, I love their products.


In the past two years, I’ve stepped up my skincare game and I’m so happy with the results. I was seeing someone else for Fraxel Clear & Brilliant laser treatments but after they moved out of the city, I found Tanya Almazan at Dr. Virginia Wade‘s office and I’m so happy with both of them.  Tanya has the best bed side manner and has suggested a lot of great products and even Pre-Natal Vitamins to help with my skin, hair, and mood in the winter.  She doesn’t just give you a laser treatment and send you on your way either.  She really takes a look at what’s going on with my skin and will use light therapy treatment when it’s breaking out from traveling.

I just saw Tanya on Monday for a new laser treatment that started with microdermabrasion, then a laser that tightens your pores, followed by the light therapy.  My skin is glowing and I didn’t have any downtime.  I still love the Clear & Brilliant laser though and will definitely go back again for that too.  It’s helped with dark spots and evened out my skin tone.  You will be very red like you have a wind or sunburn so you have go straight home afterward.  The next day my eyes are sometimes a little swollen but the redness is usually subsided.  Your skin will feel like sandpaper for a few days too. I find that it goes away for me in about five days.  It’s one of the things that has made a huge difference in my skin and it’s worth the cost.


Now let’s discuss  Botox and fillers.  Every actress who says she’s not having plastic surgery is probaby telling the truth and hasn’t gone under the knife but I guarantee she’s getting Botox, fillers, and lasers.  I had a crease between my brows from squinting and Botox has almost gotten rid of it. I’ve been talked into getting it done in other places by other doctors but I don’t love the results.

I have hereditory bags under my eyes which were why I made the foray into fillers.  Age isn’t always a factor if you have this issue. I met a younger blogger and even a guy friend who had the same problem and were getting fillers.  I didn’t like the first doctor who did the injections and Dr. Virginia Wade was the only doctor who would reverse the previous work and refill my eyes.  I recommend starting out slow and working up to more if you need it.  I feel so much better about my eyes now and none of my friends could tell I had anything done.


The last thing that I haven’t done but I’ve been talking to Dr. Wade and Tanya about is Thermage.  It is the laser that tightens your skin.  There is only so much filler can do under my eyes so this might be the next step.  It’s also great at tightening sagging jaws and chins.  It lasts about three years so it’s worth the high price tag.  You can do just the eyes, just the jawline, or the entire face.  If you’re going to do it, you might as well do the whole face.

I would definitely recommend asking friends for referrals and even seeing two doctors for a consultation before getting Botox, fillers, and lasers. The goal should not be to look younger or like a different person.  It should be to look like a more rested and refreshed version of yourself.


“Every one of us can find the two minutes it takes to look good.” – Estee Lauder