I don't think there's a certain way one is "supposed to" look or feel in their 30s. I know that aging is a part of life that we all experience, but that doesn't mean that I can't amp up my beauty routine as I progress through life. Some embrace the signs of aging; I've chosen to fight them in the most noninvasive ways that I can for now.
Truth be told, I have always looked young for my age. (Just an example: When I was 11, I was being cast as 7-year-olds in plays.) Even now, at 35 years old, I get carded from time to time and get a lot of comments from strangers about not looking my age when I share it. I like to think that my current skincare routine has something to do with that—at least I hope so, given the amount of time and money I spend on it. (It's worth noting that something I don't often spend money on is facials—I prefer to invest in products I can use again and again).
As you know, one of the most important things you can do to offset aging is to avoid the sun, which I've always done (save for a few of my teenage years…). I wear sunscreen every single day, and if you don't, it's definitely never too late to start. Aside from that, read for the details of my daily beauty routine from morning to night, including makeup, and shop the products I swear by (like my holy-grail sunscreen).
I don't get enough sleep, and my morning routine is usually pretty rushed, so I focus on trying to fake looking awake and protecting my skin from the elements.
I know the price seems high for a face wash, but I've been using this for years, and it's worth it. It's mildly exfoliating and never leaves my dry skin feeling tight.
You've probably heard how important vitamin C—and the antioxidants that come along with it—and ferulic acid are for your skin, so I always start with this. It has a subtle brightening effect, but I mostly use it for the damage-prevention factor.
I love a serum, and this one has so much good stuff in it. And it absorbs instantly, making it a great option for busy mornings. If you're just starting to use anti-aging products, this is a great place to start.
I shake a bit of this into the above serum before applying, and the skin-brightening effects are truly instant. You can shake it into any product, so it's completely error-proof. Plus, antioxidants!
This is the product on this list I've been using the longest by far. It applies like a beautiful lightweight moisturizer and has zero scent. Plus, the SPF is very high, but it doesn't leave a white cast. I've re-bought it countless times over the years.
Can't forget about the sensitive eye area. This cream is very light and sinks right in. I apply it right after my sunscreen. Bonus: It helps combat the signs of aging.
I don't know about you, but my eyes can be very red when I wake up (might have something to do with only getting six hours of sleep). I put one drop of this in each eye, and they're perfectly white and clear in seconds. Plus, it doesn't burn. Not sure how I ever lived without it.
I don't really leave the house without makeup on, but I definitely don't wear a lot of it. I find that heavy, dramatic makeup is aging on me, so I keep things fresh and light with the focus being on rosy cheeks and dewy skin.
I don't know how they do it, but this provides great coverage yet stays really sheer. I can't stand heavy foundation, and this one is light and applies beautifully.
I mix a drop of this serum with my foundation for a little bit of a bronze glow (which I need thanks to that SPF 46). I'd use it even if it didn't have anti-pollution antioxidants, so it's a big added bonus that it does.
This just-released color corrector has already become a staple in my makeup routine (because six hours of sleep). I apply it before my concealer, and my dark circles are basically gone.
You've probably heard the rave reviews about this cult-favorite concealer. Well, they're all true, and I'll never stop buying it.
Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Yep. This stuff is magic when it comes to hiding imperfections, and it blends so well. Plus, my last tube lasted a good two to three years, so there's that.
I always struggle with finding a pressed setting powder that doesn't look chalky. I started using this one a few months ago, and it's nice and sheer and natural, just how I like it.
I love cream blushes and find them to be more youthful and dewier (obviously) than their powder counterparts. Kosas really excels at them, and I love the pretty complementary highlighter it's paired with.
I love light, shimmery eye color, and this one is perfection. It's nice and light but has just enough pigment. I always apply a bit at my lower lash line, too, to brighten things up.
I've tried a lot of the other cult eyelash curlers, and everyone has their favorite, but this one is the best. You can quote me.
Dramatic mascaras and all their clumpy-lash outcomes are not for me. Glossier Lash Slick is my ride-or-die, as it doesn't clump or smudge and makes lashes look impossibly long.
I find black eyeliner to be aging, so brown it is for me. This one is nice and rich and applies easily (which is great for me since I'm terrible at applying eyeliner).
If you like a nice fluffy brow that's just the tiniest bit polished, you must try this. (Take a look at the Sephora reviews if you want further proof.) It also comes in six shades, so finding one that will look natural on you is a cinch.
I've been through multiple tubes of Dior Lip Glow, and I never get tired of it. It has the perfect hint of color and actually stays on even though it feels like a balm.
The focus of my evening routine is on anti-aging and repairing. I have dry skin, so I stay away from anything too harsh, but I've found that my skin can handle more acids and exfoliants as I get older. That said, I've had to find alternatives to strong retinols, as they're much too drying for me.
This is my go-to evening cleanser, as it foams up really nicely, and I feel that it takes the day off. And like my morning cleanser, it doesn't leave my skin with that dreaded tight feeling. Plus, you can get it at the drugstore or on Amazon.
TG for Shani Darden and her gentle retinol products (including Retinol Reform, which I also love). It's the only form of retinol I've been able to use that doesn't make my skin red and flaky, and the results are really noticeable. My lines are undoubtedly softer since I started using it.
Speaking of Shani Darden, this is the perfect lightweight moisturizer. I often apply it over the retinol (or other strong products) when my skin is feeling parched.
A few nights a week, I use this Versed miracle worker, and I wake up with a nice glow whenever I do. It works just as well as (if not better than) its pricier counterparts. It gently removes dead skin cells while hydrating. Genius.
I honestly don't know how or why this serum works, but the second I put it on, my skin is instantly brighter and "glowy." It's a little pricey to use every night, but goals. Plus, it smells AMAZING.
Shaba Complex is really gentle—so much so that you can put it on your eyelids. Just reading the description of this convinced me, and so far, I'm happy with the results: "A satiny eye serum formulated with a powerhouse of ingredients to tackle the major signs of aging under and around the eyes such as fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage for a rested, more youthful appearance."
I think full brows can really be effective in achieving that youthful look, so I've been investing in Revitabrow for years. It works like no other.
This is very hydrating, stays on, and isn't sticky, all of which are requirements for me in a nighttime lip balm. I also love the yummy coconut smell.
Not the prettiest tube but definitely the best hand cream I've ever tried. I wash my hands a lot, and they're one of the first things to show age, so I'll use whatever works. And this works.
Below are a few products that I don't use every night but that I always have on hand and highly recommend.
This cream is rich, but in the winter and post-travel, it's what my skin craves. It really plumps the skin, and when I apply it before bed, my dry patches are gone by morning.
Heads-up: Tatcha's Friends and Family Sale (20% off sitewide!) starts October 13 and goes through October 20. (The only exclusion is sets.) Sounds like a good time to stock up.
This is one of the first skincare products I invested in years ago, and I still use it to this day. It's the perfect exfoliant, in my opinion. It really gets the job done without being harsh and drying.
This is my favorite mask to use before a special occasion or just when my skin looks particularly dull and needs tightening up. It only takes 10 minutes to work its magic, and as the description states, it will leave you with baby-soft skin.
Like I've said many times throughout this story, I love glow-inducing products, and this is one of my favorites. I use it about once a week under my moisturizer for gentle exfoliation and brightening.