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To quote Will Smith in Hitch:

Basic principles…… there ain’t none…

Uh… wrong! There are basic principles, specially when it comes to makeup!

It is very important to always, always, always to prepare your skin before applying your makeup and continue with your morning routine. I think sometimes we forget the smallest of details can make the biggest of difference on our skin.  It is always very important to find the right face wash, toner, and moisturizer for your skin in order to keep it as healthy as possible. Below I have compiled some of my favorite and least favorite of these basic staple that we should all have.

Face Wash



My personal favorite. I kid you not, I’ve been using this for years, since I was a toddler. It is very gentle on skin and I’ve never had any type of reactions with it. I use this as a body and face wash every day. I just love it. It’s perfect for sensitive skin, and really, it does leave your skin moisturized rather than dry.

Cliniqué Liquid Facial Soap


Ah Cliniqué! I used this for 4 years, faithfully. What I love about this face wash is that it’s “customized” for your skin. But I’d like to use that term very loosely.  I was a number 2, which is for “normal” skin, but they also have facial washes for dry skin and oily skin. I purchased the one for “oily” skin for my mom, who has severe oily skin, and quite frankly it didn’t work for her, so I think this is more of a case to case basis.

St. Ives Apricot Scrub


Ah, the all known St. Ives Apricot. This has been around for ages, ok, not ages but it’s been in the market for a long while. I gave this a try and I liked it, it’s subtle exfoliating particles felt amazing, only problem that I had, is that it overly dried my skin, which caused peeling and break outs. But for one of my good friends, this has been her staple for over 10 years, she swears by it, and I can’t even deny it, her skin is spectacular.


T.N. Dickenson’s Witch Hazel


This has been my secret weapon for the past year. I use this every day, in the morning and at night, after I wash my face at night, and use this to clean my face the following morning to rid it of any accumulated oil and dirt. I also use this for when I make my own Rose Water.  After the first two weeks of using this, I noticed that my “T” Zone was a bit more controlled, oil wise, and my pores started to get smaller. This has been so good to my skin that I don’t see myself using anything else. When prepping a canvas, aka your face, I like to use this because it rids of everything that maybe your facial wash wasn’t able to rid. So far, 2 of my clients have loved this so much that they’ve started using it themselves.

Cliniqué Clarifying Lotion


Another favorite. This clarifying lotion is not a lotion obviously haha (I couldn’t help it). I used this also every day, after washing my face, but unlike with the Witch Hazel, my “T” Zone always seemed the same as with my pores.

Neutrogena Alcohol Free Toner


I was really disappointed in this toner. It is alcohol free, but it felt on my skin as if it had alcohol, my face was just ridiculously dry and tight. I would always have to immediately put moisturizer on because my face felt like it was going to just crack. I don’t know of any one in my circle that uses this, but if you do, please let me know how it works for you.


Cetaphil Moisturizer


Believe it or not I was introduced to Cetaphil through Pinterest, yes, Pinterest. I saw a post where this makeup artist was raving about how light weight it is, how it quickly absorbs into the skin and how anyone, no matter if they have super sensitive or oily skin can use this.  I LOVE this moisturizer. It really truly is everything it states it is. Try it! And trust me when I say, a pea size will go a long way!

Cliniqué Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion


Ah, this is another favorite as well! It really is dramatically moisturizing, sometimes a little too much but it definitly replinshes your skin if it is parched or dry. What I love about it, is that within a week of using it you’ll see that your skin feels a lot more supple What I didn’t like and only downfall of it is that it is too dramatically moiturizing, and I’m not the only person who feels this way either. After a month of using it I noticed that my “T” Zone was a bit more oily than normal.

Garnier Ultra Lift Pro Deep Wrinkle Cream


Now you’re probably asking “why is she including this wrinkle cream?”. Well…. I have this stubborn, I guess, crease, that when I “scrunch” my eye brows, I get a deep line in which slowly but surely, I’ve been seeing it more as a “permanent” fixture on my face, and as a baby 30 year old, I’m definitely not trying to have a wrinkle like that just yet. So I gave this a try. Eh…. if I thought that Cliniqué’s moisturizing lotion was moisturizing, good lord, this is super extra moisturizing! I could only use it for a whole week before I retreated back to Cetaphil. My pores began get clogged and I started to break out. I believe that this moisturizing cream is definitely for more mature skin. Do you use it? Please give me some more insight!

Well here you have it. It is all of this your basic principles to begin with a beautiful canvas that can then become a work of art.

Pro Tip: Always remember to pat dry your face and not rub it. Always let your face fully dry after using the toner, and let your moisturizer absorb fully before starting with your primer and foundation.