the beauty neophyte

I’ll admit it, I still have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to makeup…and I’m now pushing 30! BUT, like most women I know, I do enjoy trying new things from the beauty aisle to determine what works best for me (and what really doesn’t). So, in the coming year, I’d like to share my latest finds occasionally, in hopes that it might be useful to any of my fellow beauty neophytes.


e.l.f. lip exfoliator

I first read about this product in a magazine (I know, I’m a total sucker for marketing), and it seemed like something that would help with my chronically dry lips. Apparently, it’s so popular that most stores are sold out of it, so I just ordered it online (for a whopping $3, with free shipping!). I opted for the grapefruit variety, and it smells pleasantly citrus-y without being sweet, which is a pet peeve of mine in drugstore makeup. I’ve found that it really does make a difference in making my lipstick go on more smoothly if I use the exfoliator first. That being said, I’m trying not to use it every day, as it seems that that might be a bit too damaging, just as exfoliating my face every day is a bit excessive.

Garnier SkinActive micellar cleansing water

When I first heard about this product, I was a bit skeptical–I mean, it’s just water, right? But, having used it for a few weeks now, I can say that those little micelles are pretty magical. I now use it every night to remove my mascara, and it does a much better job than my former method (ahem, wetting a washcloth and rubbing the heck out my eyelids). I have very sensitive skin, and I haven’t noticed any reaction whatsoever to this product, probably due to the fact that it’s just good ol’ H2O. Plus, it’s available pretty much everywhere for just a few bucks. I’m planning on using this nightly for the foreseeable future!

EltaMD UV Clear sunscreen

As I mentioned above, I have sensitive skin, and I’m also quite fair…which means that finding an effective but gentle sunscreen is essential. My dad actually started using this product a few months ago, per the recommendation of his dermatologist. He liked it so much that he gifted a bottle to me and each of my sisters. I’ve been applying it most mornings before I put on my makeup, and I love it. Just as the description says, it’s lightweight, fragrance-free, and, most importantly, doesn’t make my skin throw a hissy fit. The true test will be to see how it handles sweat. I’ve been choosing our home gym over running outside lately, so I have yet to wear it during a workout. My experience with other sunscreens has been that the moment I start to “glisten,” it drips into my eyes and burns like crazy. Here’s hoping this one is a little gentler.

What should I try next? I’m always game for recommendations!


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