AMVG: Guide to Skincare

To say I have an obsession with skin care is like saying that Mississippi in July is just a little warm. My devotion to skin care started at a young age. I would babysit in middle school just so I could make my dad drive me to the local Sally’s Beauty Supply so I could buy Sea Breeze astringent and Clean & Clear everything.

We have all heard about how important it is to take care of your skin, but not everyone knows what to do with that information… So I thought I’d let you in on some of my best skincare secrets! The key is to start early & to keep up with a routine.

Start using anti-aging products as soon as possible (even if you are in your 20’s). I have a pretty aggressive anti-aging skincare regimen, so my skin is used to the acids and strong exfoliants. If you are just starting to use skincare products, or have more sensitive skin, I would be careful about adding some or all of the exfoliating products I use into your routine. Maybe pick one to start with and then go from there!

Here are some of the products that I use and DEFINITELY recommend (and apply them in this order)!



Eminence Lemon Cleanser– My favorite MORNING cleanser! Very gentle and hydrating.


Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser — My favorite NIGHTTIME cleanser! It is detoxifying, so it helps remove the sludge that accumulates on our faces throughout the day.


cf45b094411fda0a8869ed2fd11a1d76Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 1970 — This toner is pretty intense and stinks like crazy, but I love, love, LOVE it! If you have sensitive skin and want to skip the sting, try Lotion P50W. (Product Tip: Wait until it dries on your skin before applying the next product) Read the review and breakdown of all the different formulas on Into The Gloss (looks like I fall into the “masochist” category):
60062Drunken Elephant C-Firma Day Serum — This is my go-to day time serum. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which helps combat environmental stresses such as pollution and damaging free radicals. Unlike other Vitamin C serums, it has a “reservoir effect” which means it stays active on the skin for 72 hours and can not be washed or rubbed off.

(Available at Zoe in Oxford)


Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment — I use this product at night, right after applying the P50 1970. You can also use it as a mask once a week.



Drunken Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil– I love this oil and use it night & day. I also like to use it as an eye cream which makes it the TRAVEL GO-TO.

(Available at Zoe in Oxford)

***NOTE: Because anti-aging products are super exfoliating and slough off old skin to bring up new, ALWAYS wear sunscreen or it could cause hyper-pigmentation (dark spots).

If you spend a lot of your time in the sun or at the beach, still slather on sunscreen during the day, but skip out on applying the exfoliating products in the morning and only use them at night.

Here is one of my favorites!




Eminence Tropical Vanilla Day Cream SPF 32– Always, always, always wear sunscreen (esp with anti-aging products!). This one is my favorite and it smells SO GOOD. It makes your skin tone even and creates a great base and texture for applying makeup.

MUST HAVE accessories:


Eve Lom Muslin Cloths — AMAZING. For normal skin, use hot water– this exfoliating cloth will open up your pores and get your skin ready to receive your toner. For sensitive skin, use tepid water. I love this product! You can see when ALL of your makeup is removed. It makes removing cleanser on your neck and decollete easier as well. The cloth helps me to avoid splashing water all over the mirror and counter top (This is a major plus!). I buy 2 packs at a time.

FlashPatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels Box and Jar

FlashPatch Rejuvenating 5 Minute Eye Gels — Little saviors in a little gel patch. Say bye-bye to puffiness and tired eyes. A must after a night out or an allergy attack.

(Available at Zoe in Oxford)

Cicada Staff Favorites!

  • Lexy: Mario Budescu Aloe Vera Facial Spray (Available at Zoe in Oxford)32583940_000_b
  • Reed Ashton: Zo Medical InvisipeelRelated image
  • Diana: Mario Badescu Super Collagen Face Mask (Available at Zoe in Oxford)closeup_0ee462833067184c009de953583b6d5e2f861912_1493186268_1443_MarioBadescu_WEB


A lot of the items I have listed in this blog post aren’t the cheapest (although I feel strongly about investing in your skin). Since I know that not everyone wants to shell out the cash for their skincare regimen. Here are a few of my favorite budget friendly items!


High Efficiency Face Cleaner - 120ml

Hylamide High-Efficiency Face Cleanser — This is an easy oil cleanser that is removed with water only. Super affordable at $21.00


Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% - 30ml

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% — This product has 5% lactic Acid which provides a gentle exfoliation. Great for sensitive skin and retails for $6.50!


Booster, Low-Molecular Ha - 30ml

Hylamide Low-Molecular HA — super duper hydration booster. Use under your regular moisturizer on by itself. Great for plumping the skin and increasing it’s radiance! 30ml for $20.00




Date: January 10, 2018
Posted by: Anne-Marie Varnell