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How I Cleanse My Skin

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One of the biggest factors in how my skin stays looking its best is by properly cleansing it each morning and night. For mornings I do a single cleanse and for evenings I adopted a double cleansing method a few years ago and never looked back. I prefer to reserve certain cleansers for each step so I wanted to share with you how I cleanse my skin. 
For evening, I prefer an oil or balm as a first cleanse. Typically these formulations are best at cutting through my makeup and removing every last speck of dirt and grime. And surprisingly when I finally began introducing these types of cleansers into my routine, my skin became less oily. When I apply the oil or balm, I always use dry hands and apply the cleanser directly to a dry face. It takes some getting used to, but now I love the sensation and can actually feel the makeup being broken down on my face. I then add a bit of water to emulsify the cleanser, and rinse it off with my hands or a muslin cloth/wash cloth. Here are a few of my favorite cleansing oils and balms:
Moving on to my second cleanse step – this is when I like to bring in cleansers with any type of additional benefits such as brightening, exfoliating, soothing, nourishing, etc. I typically do not like foaming cleansers (I have a few exceptions – this one and this one being two of the only ones I can tolerate), because they dry the heck out of my skin. That “squeaky clean” feeling is one that I dread. That typically means that I have dried out my skin and it begins to get VERY oily and break out. Many of my favorite gel, milk or cream cleansers also double as great morning cleansers to help give my skin a gentle wake-up. Here are a few of my favorite milk and gel cleansers:

To add to the above list of recommended cleansers, I have been testing out 4 new cleansers and wanted to include a quick review on each. 
1. Orange Cleansing Sherbert – This looks like a thick balm, but is actually quite soft and does a stellar job at removing makeup. It is very emollient and spreads easily on the face, emulsifying to a soft milk with water and leaves my skin feeling clean but not stripped.
2. L’Occitane Shea Butter Cleansing Oil – This. Stuff. Feels. Like. Silk. Liquid Silk. It manages to  be thick enough to cut through the heaviest of makeup, but thin enough that it feels comfortable to use. It glides over my skin so easily with barely any rubbing, and if I needed to skip a second cleanse, I could with this. It gives it a thorough deep clean while still managing to make my skin feel as hydrated as a milk or balm.
3. Guerlain Gentle Cleansing Milk – This is my first foray into Guerlain skincare, but I knew that if it was anything like the quality of the makeup, my face was in for a treat. Typically cleansing milks can be very thin and runny and leave my face wanting a bit more comfort. This is thicker than many other milks I’ve tried and has become a morning favorite because of how nourishing and comforting it is on my skin. I like having that added bit of moisture before I apply my makeup.
4. MV Skincare Gentle Cream Cleanser – I am new to the MV Skincare brand but I have heard amazing things about this cleansing cream. It is an extremely thick cream that feels almost like a treatment rather than a cleanser. I love to rub this in as a second cleanse to a dry face and then give myself a good 1-2 minute face massage. It does not break down as I am moving it around and doubles as a quick mini mask treatment. I then soak my washcloth or muslin cloth in hot water (not scalding but more than tepid) and press the cloth onto my face and hold it there for 10-15 seconds before removing. What is left can only be described as very happy skin. My face looks plump, supple, hydrated and glowing. And the fact that it can double as a both a cleanser and mask treatment is an added bonus.
*pr samples included

For any more cleanser reviews or recommendations, click here to read all my prior posts.
What are your favorite cleansers? Leave me a comment below!
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L’Occitane Hand Creams ARE As Good As Everyone Says

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I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I have never tried the L’Occitane hand creams before now. *runs and hides in shame* I KNOW! Here everyone is having a hand cream party without me all these years, and I’m left off the list. And now that I’ve arrived to the party, I can’t stop applying them all day – 1. because they feel so good and 2. because they smell even better.
The traditional scent has notes of honey, almond and shea butter which is nice for those who want a hand cream that hydrates and protects without any competing fragrance. And hydrate these do! I am not typically a hand cream lover because I very rarely find ones that don’t make my hands feel greasy and icky (technical term). I have found 1 or 2 over the years, but I can’t believe these cult classics have evaded me all this time! The shea butter in them made me nervous at first because I have felt other shea butter hand creams and they were too thick, too heavy, too slippery, too yuck. But the hype for these is warranted because they strike that perfect balance between rich and nourishing, yet lightweight and comfortable.
The three other scents – Jasmin & Bergamote, Iris Bleu & Blanc and Neroli & Orchidee come in a new trio set that arguably has the most beautiful packaging ever. See the set here. See? Told you – that box is like a work of art, and the colors of the tubes are so fresh and spring-like. The Iris Bleu & Blanc is the most delicate of the three, Jasmin & Bergamote smells like spring in a tube and Neroli & Orchidee is the kind of delightful floral that I want to wear all over as a daily scent. I alternate each day carrying a different one, but always need to have one with me regardless. Now that I have gotten my hands used to these, I am not sure they could ever use anything else.
*pr samples

Past Posts

L'Occitane Almond Delicious Paste and Milk Concentrate review

Review: L’Occitane Almond Delicious Paste and Milk Concentrate

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My beauty “wish list” is forever growing, and this duo from L’Occitane has been on it forever. I have heard nothing but glowing reviews on the entire

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Beauty Bits: Rich Face Creams

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This. Weather.  For those of you outside of the US Northeast, we are experiencing a blizzard/snow storm here in NYC.  And to be honest, this entire winter