My skin has never been “normal,” much less easy. It vacillates between parched and broken-out, is often both, and is highly sensitive. Finding a skincare routine that works requires a delicate balance of products that has resulted in years of trial and error.
The upside of that reality is that I have become something of a beauty guru and have been sharing my tips, tricks and finds on many a national morning show and beyond for the past decade-plus. The downside is that as my skin continues to change, so does my routine, so I’m forever on the hunt for the latest and greatest products that work for my fussy skin. Although my journey continues, there are a few essentials that perennially remain on my can’t-live-without list. It seemed fitting to kick off the Anchors & Sirens beauty category with the basics – both a literal and figurative foundation — to looking and feeling beautiful.
I actually look forward to washing my face with this posh potion. This cleanser not only smells glorious, but it simultaneously exfoliates, restores moisture and combats breakouts. I love that it makes my skin feel fresh and clean, but never stripped or – even worse — greasy. (Tracie Martyn is also the master of the most fabulous facial in New York City – called the Resculpting Facial — which I splurge on for red carpet appearances and major events, like my wedding. And I’m not alone – I’ve run into Kate Winslet, Diane von Furstenberg and myriad supermodels at Tracie’s penthouse salon.)
2. YonKa Phyto-Contour Eye Cream, $56
The ultimate morning elixir to give you that I-totally-slept-eight-hours look. I swear by this for early morning TV segments when dark circles and puffiness (that can’t be covered by make-up) are simply not an option. I’ve tried dozens and dozens of under-eye creams that claim to do the same, and this is the only one that delivers. The formulation of rosemary and beech bud peptides helps decongest fluid build-up and firm, tone and brighten the under-eye area. I’ve also loaned it to a few model friends before castings, and besides having to remind them to return it, they were instantly hooked.
3. Renee Rouleau Anti-Cyst treatment, $42.50
As I mentioned, my skin is not easy, and I still get painful, not-pretty cystic zits on my chin about once a month (yes, they are hormonal). My emergency fix before events or appearances is a trip to the dermatologist for a cortisone shot, but I was shocked to find that this clear topical gel shrinks these unsightly bumps in about half the time of their usual duration. I’ve also found that daily application in the chin zone has helped decrease the frequency of my cystic acne. (I actually love all of Renee’s products and have incorporate many of them into my skincare routine for the past six years. She also gives the best facial in Texas, and her celebrity clientele is beyond impressive.)
I use this BB cream every single day (in the lighter shade), and because it has everything – moisturizer, UVA/UVB sunscreen, and treatment serum – it streamlines my daily routine and has never, ever caused a breakout. It works flawlessly under make-up, but because its tinted cream formulation evens out skin tone and provides smooth coverage, I no longer wear foundation unless I’m going to be on-camera. It’s that good.
5. Klorane Eye Make-Up Remover, $24 for 13.5 oz
I love this make-up remover because it is gentle, non-drying, non-irritating and removes everything from waterproof mascara to fake eyelash glue. The one-touch pump dispenser is also brilliant – just press once or twice with a cotton pad and you’re done. No opening caps, spilling, over-using. I keep a bottle in every medicine cabinet.