WRITTEN BY Lesley Holland Downey
What I’m loving this spring is not my usual lineup of colored products—lipsticks, after all, are mostly hidden behind our masks. Instead, I am focusing on self-care and using products that feel great and work well with active ingredients—bonus points if they smell heavenly!
Spring 2021 is a perfect time to get serious about skincare. With face masks still required in many locations, starting on an anti-aging routine during a pandemic has its upsides—redness and potential irritation as your skin adjusts to a new regimen are mostly covered. These products can also help address clogged pores that cause “maskne.” If you follow any estheticians or dermatologists, you know your skin care must include a quality sunscreen, a retinoid, and an effective Vitamin C product. These are my current favorites.
Find a sunscreen that you enjoy using. One of my favorites is Elta MD’s UV Restore SPF40 which comes tinted or not and is non-irritating to the skin thanks to its sheer, mineral, physical sun blockers. Add a potent Vitamin C to your routine for antioxidant protection and to fight free radicals—I recommend Revision C+ Correcting Complex 30%.
Skinceutical’s CE Ferulic is another gold standard product that has been proven effective in clinical studies. If you are price point sensitive, check out BeautyStat’s Universal C Skin Refiner which also includes L-Ascorbic Acid. But here’s a caveat—if your Vitamin C is brownish in color, it may have oxidized and is no longer as effective.
There are many great ways to start on a retinoid. During the COVID lockdown, when I wasn’t getting out to my trusted stores and go-to experts, I subscribed to Curology which sends me a customized prescription product right to my door. Revision Skincare Retinol Complete 0.5 and Obagi Retivance are both super gentle and non-irritating options.
At your next skin care appointment, ask for a prescription for the lowest percentage tretinoin (0.025%) and then work your way up to higher doses as your skin adjusts over time.
One of my dear friends gifted me an Artis Makeup Brush for touch-free application and blending of facial makeup. These super luxurious brushes feel amazing on the skin and give a smooth finish.
Most days during the past few months, I skip lip color in favor of a potent lip treatment packed with active ingredients that’s like skin care for your lips. Try Dr. Barbara Sturm Lip Balm, Chantecaille Lip Potion, or my personal esthetician’s brand’s Love Skin Hydra Pout + Protect HA + Peptide Lip Treatment. They all add shine and moisture and smooth fine lines. The plumping product temporarily increases volume and enhances natural lip color.
Ever wanted to recapture the after-a-facial glow in your everyday routine? Try Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlight Sticks in Nectar, Brûlée, and Lit on the high points of your face or under your foundation.
For playing up your eyes, try this eyeshadow compact—Chantecaille Butterfly Quartet. This subtle palette takes the guesswork out of what colors to wear together.
Fearful of using colored eye shadow? Toe dip into a pretty spring color by switching up your eyeliner. Try Marc Jacobs Gel Highliner eyeliners which are goof-proof, waterproof, and long wearing.
With your mask covering most of your face, take time to emphasize your lashes. Regular use of RevitaLash has both lengthened and thickened my lashes, making eye makeup application a lot quicker.
Love the idea of longer lashes but don’t want to add the extra step of RevitaLash at night? Try Chantecaille’s Longest Lash Mascara which has growth peptides built in.
Switch up your fragrance for the season with Maison Louis Marie’s scents—the perfume oil in Bois de Balincourt smells both clean and warm simultaneously, and their candle translates to a great home scent too.