As someone who suffers from severe eczema, sensitive skin, and dermotagraphia, as well as being in a career that requires heavy makeup, skin care is essential to my daily routine. I take as much care and time to remove my makeup, cleanse, and moisturize as I do in applying my makeup. By now, you’ve probably already heard about the hype surrounding “K-Beauty” and Korean skin care. Koreans really value their skin and go to great lengths to ensure it radiates even without makeup. Below is my everyday skin care routine, which has made a world of difference for me. I hope it helps you, too!


1) Triple-cleanse! I first use micellar water, then I apply the Clean It Zero cleansing balm (I’ve also tried and loved this Innisfree apple-scented cleansing oil), then I rotate a number of cleansers throughout the week. My current favorite is this Boscia detoxifying black cleanser. I know many people just use cleansing wipes, but I find this never gets all of my makeup off. Triple cleansing may seem excessive, but I’d rather ensure all of my heavy makeup is removed.

2) Exfoliate I only exfoliate once a week, but this step is key to removing all the build-up and letting your pores breathe. The Skinfood black sugar scrub is my go-to. I can definitely see the difference after exfoliation, and this product smells amazing.

3) Toner To restore some moisture and balance my pH levels, I apply toner. Since my pores can be annoyingly visible, I use the Wonder Pore toner by Etude House. You can do this step with a cotton pad or with your hands.

4) Essence This is a step many skin care routines miss. Essence, especially the SK-II essence or the more affordable Miisha essence, is the holy grail for many Korean skin care routines because it works to hydrate, brighten, and repair skin.

5) Ampoule There are all kinds of extra treatments and serums to target what you may be most concerned about, such as wrinkles, large pores, and redness. I’m currently using this Propolis Sparkle Ampoule, which is supposed to reduce redness and give the skin a smooth, poreless appearance. It is also paraben-free and great for sensitive skin.

6) Anti-Aging Serum If you’re in your mid-20s or your 30s, you might not be worried about the effects of aging on skin. However, many serums are designed for use starting in your 20s! I apply the Clarins Double Serum to my face and neck before bed and pray this investment now will pay off as I age.

7) Moisturizer This step is crucial for me, especially since, as my brother often jokes, my skin can look more like a cactus at times. I have incredibly dry skin, and I need to lather on moisturizer to get to any semblance of normalcy. This Avene moisturizer is very thick and has been great so far. I use a foundation with SPF in it, but if you don’t, make sure to choose a moisturizer with at least SPF 15.

In between steps six and seven, you can also use sheet masks during the week and apply eye cream. This lengthy routine may seem like a daunting process, but I believe it is an investment for a lifetime of clear, healthy, and glowing skin.

What’s your skin care routine?

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Because I’ve been traumatized by terrible hair experiences in the past, when I find a great stylist, I’m forever loyal. After moving from Georgia back to the Philadelphia area, I had to find a new salon. I discovered Bobby Mack & Co Hair Studio by chance through raving reviews on Yelp. After careful consideration, I stepped into my first appointment with Erin in October 2015 when the studio was still on 17th & South Streets. I’ve never looked back.

Since then, the growth for this team has been exponential; a few weeks ago, they moved to a new, larger location a few blocks away on the corner of 20th & South Streets. It’s a beautiful, open space with a family feel, especially since it’s run by namesake Bobby Mack and his darling fiancé, James. What I love is the authenticity of the team and the service. As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted and offered your pick of coffee, tea, water (and yes, even wine).

Most importantly, they really know hair. I trust them so much that I’ll make appointments with a general idea then let them work their magic. I highly recommend Bobby and also my girl, Erin; they’re the only two who have cut and colored my hair so far. But scroll through their Instagram and you can see all of the stylists are on point. My coloring appointment took about three hours. In short, the process involves carefully hand-painting different sections of hair, wrapping them in foil, letting them melt under heat, rinsing, toning, and applying gloss.

One thing to note: because they are growing so quickly, sometimes colorists double-book (i.e.: apply your color in the time another client has to sit for a good amount of time under the heat with highlights already applied). While just about every great salon does this for maximum efficiency and to make sure they can accommodate every client, if this would bother you, just let them know when booking the appointment. And also make sure to schedule your appointments as far in advance as possible! They are extremely friendly and as flexible as possible.

What do you look for in a stylist? If you end up trying this salon, I’d love to hear about your experience!

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IMG_0496.JPGGrowing up, I had a lot of skin issues; some, like eczema, continue to this day. That’s why I used to want to be a dermatologist (ironically, I never once considered a career in TV as a child, and yet, here we are). Still, caring for my skin became more of a necessity, and I’ve learned a lot about what works best for my ridiculously sensitive epidermis.

Korean skincare is extremely intensive; some women go through twelve or more steps as part of their daily regimen. I probably should make more time for this as an investment into my future aged face, but I’ve been trying to be more diligent about at least the basic steps.

The goal for every woman should be to have lovely skin without makeup, so that it can be used to accentuate – not cover up – features! The other super important part of skincare is proper makeup removal. Because HD cameras catch every “flaw” and require heavier makeup to even show up on-air, I tend to have to wear quite a bit of foundation, blush, and eyeshadow daily for work. It always makes me feel a bit grossed out to wipe all of that off at the end of the night and think about how much would just be caught in my pores if I wasn’t properly cleansing!

To do so, I’ve been using Garnier Micellar Water, which is very cheap at any drugstore, along with Clean It Zero. On top of that, I double-cleanse with two foam cleansers. Very intensive, I know. I also use a black sugar exfoliator once a week and sheet masks when I have time and feel like pampering myself a little bit.

Below, I’ve linked the products I’ve been using and enjoying recently. This is *not* a paid post. Some of these items can get pricey, but skincare is truly an investment worth making.

What’s your skincare routine? I’d love to hear!


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