The 5 Best Skincare Gifts for Mother’s Day

The 5 Best Skincare Gifts for Mother’s Day

Ok, I love the Avengers as much as the next guy, but let’s face it, there is no superhero out there like a mom. Sure, I never met a mom who was bitten by a radioactive spider, or who could shrink herself to the size of an ant, but moms have their own incredible superpowers that save the day, every day. Half of the universe would for sure be destroyed (by Thanos… any Avengers fans still with me?) if it wasn’t for moms. 

Mother’s Day is a special day that is all about them, and what better way to show our love and appreciation than an indulgent (in quality, not necessarily price!) skincare gift — so that Mom can treat herself. Since we can’t gift Mom an infinity stone (yes, still sticking with the Avengers references), here are the 5 best skincare gifts for Mother’s Day:

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The Best Exfoliators For Sensitive Skin

The Best Exfoliators For Sensitive Skin

I didn’t always have sensitive skin. Growing up, my skin was breakout-free, wrinkle-free and didn’t really react harshly to any of the mostly-harsh products I lathered on it. I didn’t realize how lucky I was, and I definitely took it all for granted. It wasn’t until I started developing cystic acne in my early 20’s that everything started to change. My skin, which was once so easy going, suddenly reacted to almost everything I put on it. Every product I tried would make my skin super dry and flaky. Or red and inflamed. And my acne kept getting worse. And once I started treating my acne with prescription medications, my skin became even more sensitive. And now, many years later, although my acne is gone, it seems that the sensitivity is here to stay.

When my skin started changing and becoming more acne-prone, I thought that maybe my pores were super clogged. I bought all of these harsh face scrubs, and the worse my acne got, the more I’d scrub and scrub. It turns out, this was only irritating my skin, creating more and more breakouts. Exfoliation is extremely important because it gets rid of dead skin cells and encourages the growth of new skin cells, which helps get rid of fine lines and wrinkles, and evens out skin tone, but it’s only effective if done sparingly and gently. No one should exfoliate more than once (maybe) twice a week, and if you have super sensitive skin like me, avoid all harsh face scrubs. Here are my three favorite products that gently exfoliate, and don’t irritate my sensitive skin:

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How To Get Rid of Under Eye Bags

How To Get Rid of Under Eye Bags

It truly doesn't matter how much sleep I get, how much coffee I've had, or how much wine I drank last night. I wake up every morning, with bright red eyes and very (I'm talking VERY) dark circles. I used to think this was a problem I'd just have to live with (i.e. find some heavy duty concealer), but I recently discovered two amazing products that have helped my dark circles genuinely fade, and make me look more awake and alert (even if I'm actually not).

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The Best Drugstore Mascaras

The Best Drugstore Mascaras

When I’m running late (which, let’s face it, is every day), I don’t always have time to do my full skincare + makeup routine. I used to always prioritize my makeup over a lengthy skincare routine because I wanted to look my best in the littlest amount of time (sure, if I didn’t hit snooze five times each morning, I could get a facial and then go to a professional makeup artist every day but, alas, snooze it is). I’ve realized over the years that prioritizing skincare is key, because with great skin, makeup takes less time. But usually by the time I’ve fully cleansed, toned, moisturized, put on eye cream, and dabbed benzoyl peroxide on any spots, I have only a few minutes left to do makeup before I have to fly out the door. My favorite product to apply if I only have time for one thing? Mascara. 

I love mascara. It brightens my eyes, helping me look and feel more awake. It turns my light brown/almost blonde lashes from barely-there to can’t-miss-em. It gives me just the right amount of drama for the daytime. But there are so many mascaras out there, how do I know which mascara to use? Are they all the same? Why are the wands all different and does that actually matter?

I’ve tried what feels like most of the mascaras out there, and I’ve narrowed down the search to the three best drugstore mascaras:

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The Best Products from The Ordinary

The Best Products from The Ordinary

If you don’t know about The Ordinary, you should. It is a brand from DECIEM — a company that has a lot of skincare brands under its umbrella, all of which focus on “functional beauty.” Their website claims that they offer “clinical formulations with integrity” — i.e., they offer a wide variety of incredible skincare products that work, and are affordable. And all of their products are paraben and sulfate free, and are never tested on animals. 

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Sephora's Luminizer To Go REVIEW

Sephora's Luminizer To Go REVIEW

Ok. Let's talk about highlighter. I'll be the first to admit, I was VERY late to the highlighter game. If you're in your upper 20's and beyond, like me, you'll know that contour and highlight was not a thing back in the day. I used to apply blush on my forehead because I thought that made the blush on my cheeks look more natural? Makeup trends have truly changed over the years, and they've changed for the better.

While I'm all about finding a skincare routine that allows me to feel confident without makeup, let's be real, I love makeup. It can enhance your best features, hide little imperfections that you might just not want the world to see that day, or turn you into a glamorous diva for a night on the town. And my all time favorite product? Highlighter.

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Mario Badescu Drying Lotion - The Harry Potter of Skincare

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion - The Harry Potter of Skincare

"Evanesco!"

For anyone not obsessed with Harry Potter, that's the "vanishing spell." i.e. - it makes things disappear. Which is exactly what the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion does. If you have a zit that's just starting to peak out from under your skin's surface, or if you have a fully-formed whitehead, this stuff will make it vanish. It's $17 at Sephora, but this little jar will last you many, many months. Just dip a q-tip all the way to the bottom of the bottle to pick up the pink sediment, and dab a dot of the product on every spot. (This is best if done before bed because you'll have pink dots all over your face.)

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About Me

About Me

Hi, I’m Melanie Rose.

This is my skincare story.

5 years ago, I started getting huge, painful zits. They took forever to go away (I'm talking months), and when they'd finally kick the can, they'd leave behind dark spots of hyperpigmentation, which then stuck around for another 6 months - 1 year. As time went on, I built up quite the collection of zits and marks, and I became increasingly self conscious and embarrassed. 

Growing up, my skin was relatively fine? I remember getting small zits here and there, but going through that awkward stage in life when you hear you're supposed to break out, I was pretty much unscathed. So you can imagine my surprise when, at age 23, it started. And it was bad.

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