GLOW Skincare Series | Best Serums of 2017

Best Customized Serum | Kiehl's

There's nothing more personal about a routine than truly customized skincare products. Kiehl's launched their new Apothecary Preparations Personalized Skincare Serum service last fall and I love mine! This is definitely a splurge for a serious skincare enthusiast or someone who really wants an effective products...and Kiehl's always delivers. In fact, it kind of reminds me of their Midnight Recovery Concentrate which I fell in love with first, but with two touches of targeted complexes that are personalized to meet to my skin concerns and needs -- texture refining and brightness for dark spots. This service is only available the Kiehl's boutiques with a specialist who will analyze your skin to help figure out the best complexes to add to the skin strengthening concentrate base (for all skin types). Read about my in-store experience.

$95 (includes concentrate base + choice of 2 complexes) | Available at Kiehl's boutiques only.

Best Overnight Renewal & Anti-Aging| Estee Lauder

It's a really tough to choose my favorite serum for overnight renewal between Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II and the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate...but there are distinct reasons why I reach for one over the other. When I want a thicker, fast-working serum, I easily reach for my Advanced Night Repair. Its main goal is to reduce key signs of aging, but it's great especially if you're in your 20s. Never too early for anti-aging if you ask me! And for my sistas, even though we all know that typically "black don't crack"...we can certainly benefit as well.

$65-185 | Available at and counters at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Ulta, and Sephora.

Best for Ultra Hydration | derma e

Every time I use derma e's Hydrating Serum, I feel like I've splashed my face with water. Plus, the light fragrance is one of my favorites since it doesn't clash when I'm mixing brands in my routine. This serum was one of my go-to's for winter since its main purpose is to hydrate the skin which is amazing for anyone with dry skin. A key ingredient in this formula is hyaluronic acid for intense plumping moisture. I love using it in the morning with the vitamin C especially if I'm using a night serum, but even if I'm using another serum or concentrate, I'll still pair it with the Hydrating Serum. 

$30 | Available at, DERMSTORE and Walgreens.

Best Evening Botanical Concoction | Kiehl's

I live for evening serums (and creams). In fact, the Advanced Night Repair and Midnight Recovery Concentrate were the first two I ever tried. Midnight Recovery is my favorite botanical nighttime concoction for serums. Even though I lost my serum, I still highly recommend it whenever people ask me about my favorite skincare products. I absolutely adore it. Overnight serums plus eight hours of beauty sleep will give you a genuine glow come morning. Evening primrose and lavender essential oils blended with Kiehl's signature ingredient, squalane, renew and restore the skin overnight. Like most natural products, it is multi-purpose. According to Nordstrom's website, the concentrate can even be used for healing minor sunburns, nourishing dry skin or added to bathwater. I actually haven't tried any of those additional uses with this particular product yet, but I will soon!

$46-122 | Available at Kiehl's (online and in stores) and Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Ave, and Neiman Marcus

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GLOW Skincare Series | Best Toners of 2017

Best for Adolescent Skin & Newbies | LUSH Cosmetics

I adore how calming tea tree water is and I've noticed how young some of my readers/followers are. My sister just hit adolescence a few years ago and I even recommend this toner for her as well! Lush's Tea Tree Water was actually one of the very first toners I used besides the super medicated one in the Proactiv kits back in the day. I've mostly veered away from this one just because I've run into other toners I like, but always recommend it to friends and family. A small bottle is fairly inexpensive and if you're not into skincare yet or don't have a toner in your routine, it's a wonderful product to start with.

$10.95-22.95 | Available at LUSH (online and in stores).

Best Inexpensive Drugstore Witch Hazel | Thayers

Skincare can be costly especially if you're building your routine with prestige brands. If you want an effective witch hazel toner that can be easily purchased at your nearest drugstore or grocery store, try Thayers Alcohol-Free Original Witch Hazel Astringent. Firstly, certain alcohols are extremely drying on the skin and this one is totally alcohol-free. Secondly, you won't have to worry about breaking the bank. Thirdly, it's ideal for sensitive skin and contains soothing aloe vera. It's a win!

$11 | Available at and Target & Walgreens.

Best Splurge & For Dry Skin | Fresh

It took a lot of reading for me to decide if I truly wanted to splurge on the Fresh Deep Hydration Facial Toner, but it looked so appealing and I had a 15% off friends and family promotion (perks of signing up for Fresh Rewards). Because $44 is a lot to spend on a product if you're not 100% sure...but I decided to take one for the team and review it. I'm glad I did. This toner is a bit different from other toners I've used and it's evident in the ingredients list. It contains more than a usual toner -- hydrogenated castor oil and rose fruit extracts. So many tend to stay way from castor oil because it's a heavier oil, but the benefits are golden and formulas that contain it aren't even heavy most of the time. Plus, this toner is infused with real rose it's definitely worth the money. I recommend it for anyone who has dry skin and needs extra hydration. Read my full review.

$44 | Available at Fresh (online + in stores), Nordstrom, Sephora and Neiman Marcus.

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GLOW Skincare Series | Best Cleansers of 2017

Best for Dark Spots & Scars | derma e

I honestly think the Purifying Gel Cleanser was responsible for getting rid of some of my worst dark spots. The formula has marine algae and activated charcoal are super amazing for the overall complexion. While it is purifying as the packaging claims, it's also one of my favorite gentle cleansers. If you have sensitive skin, this is a great option. Depending on how my skin is behaving, Last August, after using it for several months, I found that it stopped working for me during a serious hormonal breakout so I had to take a break from it and find a new option (see best for PMS & hormones)...but I still use this cleanser quite often!

$15 | Available at, DERMSTORE and Ulta stores.

Best for Cake Face | YesTo Coconut

Whenever I apply a face full of makeup for a YouTube video, I find myself reaching for the YesTo Coconut Ultra Hydrating Melting Cleanser. It's super thick and packed with virgin coconut and moringa seed oils which help break down makeup, dirt and any other impurities. But if I'm going to use this one to remove makeup, I always double-cleanse with a gel cleanser and the derma e Purifying Cleanser is my go-to. 

$10 | Available at and Ulta.

Best for Sensitive Skin | Fresh

The Fresh Soy Cleanser has always on my radar, but it's pretty pricey and I wanted to make sure I liked it before purchasing a full-size. I've been using the deluxe travel-size for a few months and I've recently decided that this is a gem for any skin type's routine! I specifically recommend it for those with sensitive skin. The cucumber in this cleanser is super soothing and refreshing. It even smells super fresh -- of course.

$15-38 | Available at, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Sephora. Also available in a deluxe travel size. 

Best All-In-One Experience | EVE LOM

I received this cleanser in a special Bloomingdale's beauty box and was surprised to see how expensive it was. Don't let the price deter you! The EVE LOM Cleanser is an all-in-one experience: deep cleanser, exfoliator, and toner. Also, with the oils blended into this formula, your skin probably won't call for any moisturizer afterwards. Egyptian chamomile, eucalyptus, clove and hops oils are a quadruple threat! I recommend using a muslin cloth (for exfoliating) with this cleanser to get the full experience.

$50-135 | Available at, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom. Various sizes.

Best for PMS & Crazy Hormones | Mario Badescu

Now back to my unforgiving PMS/hormonal breakouts last August -- it was terrible! The derma e Purifying Cleanser just wasn't cutting it for the first time ever. Immunity is exactly why I recommend switching up skincare routines. Yes, it happens! Thank God for FaceTune to get rid of the non-stop pimples on my face though. I was on the hunt for a cleanser that would bless me with damn near instant results. I picked up the Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser from Ulta and it saved my complexion! One reason why I really love Mario Badescu is the loving relationship between botanical and clinical strength ingredients. Sometimes you just need a little salicylic acid in your routine.

$8-15 | Available at, Nordstrom and Ulta. Also available in deluxe travel size.

Best Bedtime Cleanser | Kiehl's

Not only is cleansing super important in the morning, but it's important at night as well. One of my favorite nighttime cleansers to use is Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil. I'm pretty sure the reason why I love it so much is because it's in the same collection as one of my favorite serums, the Midnight Recovery Concentrate. It's also a fabulous cleansing oil, so it can breakdown makeup and cleanse at the same time. Usually with cleansing oils, I will follow with a gel cleanser just to make sure I'm 100% cleansed...but I don't find myself doing that with this one since it's considered an all-in-one cleanser and actually feels like it does the work. Like it's sister concentrate, this cleanser has evening primrose and lavender oils for excellent overnight renewal.

$32 | Available at, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Ave, and Neiman Marcus.

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My Current Rose Skincare Routine for Hydrating & Plumping

Whenever I'm having an allergy attack with sore and swollen eyes, my favorite products to reach for are my rose skincare products. They're so soothing and hydrating! I'm sharing my current rose routine that I've fixed up with a few of my everyday favorites. See how I use them in this week's YouTube video:

  • Cleanser | Derma E Purifying Gel Cleanser: One of my favorite cleansers! It's great for sensitive skin and helps get rid of dark spots on the skin with activated charcoal.
  • Mask | The Body Shop British Rose Plumping Fresh Mask: This face mask is one of five from TBS and I've used it the most (almost empty). I keep it in the refrigerator and use it when my eyes are swollen from allergies in the morning. The coolness helps a ton.
  • Toner | Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner: Unlike most rose toners, this one has hydrogenated castor oil (wax) which I believe contributes greatly to the hydration provided by this formula. It has more contents than your typical rose toner/water.
  • Serum | Derma E Hydrating Serum: I love to add this serum to several of my routines regardless of the main, active ingredients. It seems to play well with tons of other products!
  • Eye Cream | e.l.f. Illuminating Eye Cream: Inexpensive and hydrating eye cream. It's probably not the best of the best, BUT it gets the job done and keeps the sensitive skin around my eyes from being super dry.
  • Moisturizer | Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream: A newbie to my routine and the product to complete it (for now)! Like it's facial toner sister, it is also extremely hydrating -- perfect for anyone with dry skin.

I love rose skincare products, so I decided to come up with a routine using some of my favorite rose formulas right now. Enjoy!

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This blog post is not sponsored, but does contain affiliate links. All opinions/thoughts are my own.