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The Blog

Approachable inspiration for a stylish life. 


My New L.A.-Inspired Glowy Skincare Routine

Kristen Berry

It has been quite a while since I posted a new makeup tutorial. This is due to a few factors:

  1. When I relocated from the SF Bay Area to L.A., I was living out of a handful of suitcases while everything else was hidden away in storage, including the bulk of my non-essential cosmetics. Once I was reunited with the remainder of my makeup collection, I realized I rarely reached for much of it, and kind of enjoyed the simplicity of my pared-down, essentials-only makeup kit.

  2. I’m still in the process of settling into my new-ish apartment, and haven’t landed on a solid “studio” area just yet for filming.

  3. Now that I’m in L.A., the epicenter of the effortless, glowing no-makeup-makeup look, I’m increasingly inspired to focus less on elaborate face painting, and more on achieving beautiful skin.

So I’ve been experimenting with my skincare routine. This of course takes time, both in proving whether the new products work over the long-term, and finding the right balance of products to create my happiest skin.

I can confidently say I’ve landed on a new routine that’s working great for me, and has made a noticeable difference in my complexion. Below are the current products that I’m loving right now.

Herbivore Botanicals Travel Set for Combination / Oily Skin

Herbivore Botanicals’ all-natural, gorgeously packaged skincare products have been lauded by some of my favorite magazines, blogs and Instagram stars for a few years now, and I’ve been dying to try them. But they have so many amazing-sounding goodies that I didn’t know where to start.

When I came across their well-priced travel-sized set for folks with combination/oily skin like me, I knew I found my ideal entry item. The set comes equipped with several of their popular products – their Lapis Facial Oil, Rose Hibiscus Face Mist and Bamboo Charcoal Face and Body Soap.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that this little set goes a long way – I’ve been using the products every day since the end of January, and still have about a month to go before I’ll use them all up.

I’m in love with this charcoal soap. It has a gorgeous lightweight lather, and makes my skin feel fully cleansed without drying it out. And the Rose Hibiscus Face Mist is like a spa in a bottle. It’s a lightly scented instant shot of refreshing hydration. It’s definitely not designed to be a moisturizer-replacer, and is probably the product that feels the least as though it makes a noticeable difference in my skin, but it’s a wonderful pampering experience. I bet it’s also killer after a long, skin-drying flight.

I’ve been dubious about the whole facial oil thing, given the already oily nature of my skin – even though I’ve heard for some time that using the right oils can actually be incredibly beneficial for someone with my skin type, and help to create the right, healthy oil balance. I’ve found that to be incredibly true for the Lapis Facial Oil. This product was especially formulated for combo/oily skin types, and is designed to reduce redness and clarify the complexion. The product is made from pure plant oils, and it makes my skin feel comfortably, lightly hydrated without clogging my pores.  

Rather than buying all of these products separately, I fully plan to re-purchase this exact same set when it runs out. It has become an essential step in my go-to skincare routine.

Herbivore Botanicals Travel Set for Combination / Oily Skin, $48 at

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Eye & Lip Cream

I’m pretty fortunate when it comes to the whole undereye area. I’ve never really suffered from undereye bags or darkness or wrinkles (knock on wood). But now that I’m in my thirties, I feel like taking preventative measures might be a good idea. And I have begun to notice a bit of dryness in this sensitive spot.

A Sephora sales consultant recommended that I try the Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Eye & Lip Cream. He said that it’s lightweight and hydrating, helps to smooth, moisturize and gently brighten the area, and sinks into the skin for easy makeup application. I’m nearly done with my first tube, and have been pleased to find that everything the consultant said was totally true.

Of course, while I only purchased this product in early February, and I’m already falling in love with it, it’s already been discontinued (though it’s still currently available in limited quantities on Though given my experience with this product, I’m planning to try another Caudalie eye cream next.

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Eye & Lip Cream, $37 on

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment

While completing another recent Sephora purchase, I elected to put a few of my Rewards points toward a sample of Sunday Riley’s Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment. I’ve heard quite a bit about Sunday Riley’s products (and their luxury price points), and I’ve been curious.

I Googled the product that night, and was immediately floored by the price for a full-size bottle – $105 for a single ounce. I balked. I proclaimed that such a price was against everything I stood for. I searched online for dupes.

And then I tried it.

Good Genes is billed as a powerful exfoliator that brightens skin, smooths fine lines, and reduces hyperpigmentation to reveal a more youthful complexion. A major skin-related annoyance of mine is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation – dark spots that linger on my skin long after my blemishes themselves have faded. It’s one of the primary reasons why I reach for my MAC foundation on a daily basis. While I’ve tried a number of over-the-counter products to treat this over the years, nothing has really seemed to speed up this healing process.

After just two nights of using my itty-bitty Sephora sample of Good Genes, I already noticed a difference in my skin. My old spots were fading, and my overall complexion appeared smoother, and more luminous. In short, this stuff WORKS.

A little also goes a long way – it’s pretty powerful stuff, and I’ve started to use it just every other evening. My tiny little sample is still going strong after more than a week of use. The smell is pretty unpleasant – strong and chemical-y – but for something this effective, I’ll suffer through it (it also fades pretty quickly). I decided this was one splurge I’d be willing to make – I bought a full-size bottle this afternoon.

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment, $105 at

What are your current skincare faves?