My Current Routine

For the sake of documenting a moment in time, and perhaps to reflect in five years to ask myself “why on Earth did I use that?”, I wanted to list some of my current skincare favorites. I recently went on a short trip, which is always great for forcing yourself to decide on which products are truly must-haves (and also useful in those moments where you think to yourself, “why did I forget to pack that?!).

Now, of course, I don’t use all of these every single day, but everything listed is in heavy rotation. All of these products have been in my routines for a minimum of five months — some have been in my routine for over six years. I can say that all of these have maintained or improved my sensitive, acne-prone skin. Everyone’s reactions are different, but if I had to recommend products to someone with skin issues, these would all be included in that list.

AM Routine

  • COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
  • Mario Badescu Rosewater Spray
  • Melano CC Gel (although I’m not 100% sold on this one yet…)
  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
  • Rohto Skin Aqua Super Moisture Milk SPF50

PM Routine

  • COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser (I obviously love this)
  • Mario Badescu Rosewater Spray (same with this, I would spritz this every hour on the hour if I could)
  • Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner

PM Exfoliant Options:

  • Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA
  • The Ordinary 5% Lactic Acid
  • Epiduo
  • Derma-E Anti Wrinkle Eye Cream

PM Moisturizer Options

  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
  • Cerave PM

PM Heavy Moisturizers — “Last Step”:

  • Bio-Oil
  • CosRX Honey Ceramide Cream
  • HadaLabo Gokujun Hyaluronic Solution

Makeup

  • IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Illumination – Medium
  • Maybelline Stick Corrector Concealer (under eyes, and on/around eyelids with careful blending)
  • NYX Tinted Brow Mascara in Brown
  • L’oreal Lash Paradise
  • Physicians Formula Eye Booster Pencil Eyeliner
  • Physicians Formula Mineral Glow Pearls in Bronze (used as bronzer)
  • Maybelline Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter in Molten Rose Gold

Rimmel Hide the Blemish Concealer

rimmel hide the blemish

I picked up Hide the Blemish to get away from my usual Maybelline concealer stick. This product is pretty much exactly the same as Maybelline’s, but Rimmel is usually cheaper if you pick it up in drugstores (Rimmel’s is $4-5, Maybelline will run you between $6-8 depending on where you go).

I usually apply this by dotting it under my eyes, and then quickly tapping it in. I use it on my eyelid as well, in hopes of stamping out the all-too-common eyeliner transfer. This does a pretty good job of covering up any blemishes also, even the more serious ones. Side note, I have separate contour sticks for blemishes vs. contouring purposes because… I don’t know, cross-contamination, or something.

I like the color on this — the ivory is very light, without skewing toward beige. This doesn’t oxidize one way or the other, and sets nicely into the skin, albeit with a bit heavier tapping than usual, since the concealer itself is quite tacky. I also weirdly like that the product is more prone to wearing down into a round shape, as opposed to a melting tip — this makes the “dotting” procedure a lot easier.

With some stick concealers I’ve noticed that the product tends to chalk up in between skin creases or wrinkles. Hide the Blemish doesn’t seem to do that too often, which I appreciate. Unfortunately, it seems like the coloration can wear off past the 6 hour mark, and sometimes even quicker if you’ve used it to cover a blemish. Sometimes I want that intentional a little too extreme contrast between cheek contour and undereye effect (which I know is heresy) but this concealer only makes that possible for the first hour or two of application.

Overall, though, I like this, and it’s a staple in my makeup bag right now. It’s pretty cheap, too, which isĀ neverĀ an issue for me! ~A

Perceived efficacy: 4.5/5

Longevity: 3.5/5

How much I actually like this product: 4/5

Dermacol Make-Up Cover

Dermacol

Oh man. Where to begin.

I tried this at the height of my cystic acne. I saw a ton of Youtubers swear by this stuff as the ultimate cover. It is used for stage makeup, after all! Girls with cystic acne, the same and even worse than mine, used this to cover up all of their flaws, no problem.

After hours of scouring the internet to make sure I was buying a real item and not a fake, because naturally the actual Dermacol website/retailer had spontaneously somehow run out of the 207 color, I was able to snag this for $13 a piece (although I think normally it retails for somewhere in the ballpark of $8).

To be on the safe side, I purchased 207, 208 and 209. 207 is darker/yellower than 208 (why it’s ordered like that numerically.. no idea), 208 is basically white, and 209 was way too dark for me. I ended up mixing 207 with a tiny bit of 208.

This stuff comes out of the tube HEAVY. It reminds me of that Rimmel Stay Matte foundation, but way heavier. A TINY, smaller-than-pea-sized amount of this will cover your entire cheek. Don’t even bother with your beauty blender, just smear this stuff on with your fingers and hope for the best. A brush will help blending into your forehead or your jawline, but if you’re hoping to use it for the rest of your face, all it will do is push the product around, further into an area you won’t necessarily want it in. What I’m trying to say is, this foundation/concealer is REALLY hard to work with, and it’s difficult to keep it applied evenly across your face. Probably goes without saying that it needs a good fifteen minutes to fully set.

Oxidation? Absolutely. 207 will skew pink/red and 208 will turn more orange, a few minutes after application. I had to mix the two of them anyway, but I recommend you mix them anyway, for that reason.

But Dermacol does cover, and it covers immediately, even before it sets. All redness and pockmarks on your skin = GONE. It is truly full coverage. I wouldn’t say the finish is “beautiful” — I mean, it’s really just a total concealer, so the finish is very flat, and paint-like. But if the goal is wiping out blemishes, then Dermacol will accomplish that, very much so.

This does not play well with other makeup that needs to be applied directly to skin. I recommend using a setting powder, not a setting spray or finishing spray (except possibly Ben Nye finishing spray), but go VERY lighthanded on the brush to set the powder, or else you’ll smear the foundation. Yes, even after you’ve waited for it to set.

Dermacol will hold up for the better half of the day — around five or six hours — but when it breaks down, it really breaks down. Dry patches will cling. Oil will break through. Entire sections of the makeup will mysteriously go missing (or maybe I just touch my face too much… I don’t know. You get the point, though).

This review was an emotional rollercoaster just writing it. It was so stressful to use, but I so desparately wanted to cover the insane blemishes on my face!! Cause it definitely did. I covered the craziest of cysts and scabs and blemishes that should not have been possible to cover. But it was an art to get this on in the first place — and to keep it on. Rimmel’s Stay Matte foundation (link to my review of that here!) has pretty close coverage to Dermacol, and comparatively less stressful to deal with — I would recommend that, instead.  ~A

Still want to take the plunge? Click here: https://amzn.to/2CfvwmZ

Perceived efficacy: 4.5/5

Longevity: 2.5/5

How much I actually like this product: 2/5