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Updated Skincare Routine

Updated Skincare Routine

It has been quite a while since I've done a full update on my skincare routine. I have to start this by saying that skincare is very personal. What works for me and anyone else may or may not work for you. I've tried lots of products over the years and I have refined my routine down to what works for me. This post is pretty long but I want a comprehensive list of everything I use in one place. That seems easier to look back on than several posts! 

My skin is on the drier side and can be highly reactive to so many things. My main goals in my skin routine is to add moisture, even skin tone and prevent aging. As you change or add any products it is important to observe how your skin reacts. I recommend to only change up 1 or 2 products at a time. That way you can see how each product affects your skin.

Over the last year, I have been trying to change many of my products to cleaner versions. I am slowly making some swaps but know not all of the products I share below are clean. 

I've grouped the products I use by their purpose and steps so the different options are explained together. I’m trying to go fairly in depth on each step of my routine to show you my thought process on why I’m using each product and what benefits I see. I am not a doctor or esthetician so what I know has come thru my own research and trying out products to find what works for me.

My routine changes day to day based on what my skin needs. At the bottom of this post I've listed a couple versions of my day and night routines as well. By no means do you need this many products or options to have a good skincare routine. If you are starting out or if this post seems overwhelming, start with a cleanser, serum, moisturizer and oil! Concentrate on one or two main concerns of yours! You can always build from there. Routine is key with skincare so it is better to have a simple routine you do every night than an elaborate routine you only apply every once in awhile!

The first step in any skincare routine is to clean off makeup, oils, bacteria etc. 

Elemis Cleansing Balm - I don’t have a big problem with acne but I do struggle with blackheads on my nose. If I have a lot of makeup on I will start with this Elemis cleansing balm. You take a small amount of the balm and rub it on your dry face. Once you’ve worked it in, you rinse with warm water. This balm, and other cleansing balms, are great for dry skin because they cleanse but don’t strip your face of natural oils. Even if you have oily skin you can use this!

Credentials Deep Purifying Cleanser - If I have worked out that day or if I’m washing my face while I’m in the shower I will use this cleanser instead. It is a gentle exfoliator with that really cleans your pores. If you have dry skin I don’t recommend using it every day.

Mario Badescu Cleansing Gel - A basic refreshing face wash. If you aren't acne prone and just need something to wash your make up off, this does the job. 

Exfoliating Pads - A few times a week I’ll use an exfoliator. I like a product that has both a physical and chemical exfoliator. These pads are pretty gentle and can be used a couple times a week. One side of the pad is gentler to the other so you can decide how much exfoliation you need.

Exfolikate - Every other week or so I will use a more intense exfoliator like this Exfolikate. You leave it on for a few minutes and then scrub it in to your face before you wash it off. It is one of the best exfoliators I have used.  Because of it's strength, you don't have to use this product very often to see a benefit. I especially love to use this product a day or two before a nice event so my makeup goes on smoother.

Versed Daily Brightening Solution - On days I don’t exfoliate, I sometimes use a toner. This has become one of my favorites. When I feel a break out coming or if my skin feels congested, I'll apply it with these reusable pads. I will even spot apply it to certain areas of my face if my whole face doesn't need it. My trouble areas are typically my chin and nose. 

Once my skin is cleansed, it is time for treatment! Many people call this the active part of  a skincare routine. This is where you can focus on what your skin needs and your skin goals. Dry, oily, aging, brightening, dark spots etc… My personal goals are adding moisture, glow and to prevent aging.  I have several serums and creams that I use to do this but I’ll only use one at a time. I’ll reiterate that you don’t need this many serums or products but I want to share all the ones that I use and have found beneficial.

Retin - A -I have a prescription for a Retin-A product from my dermatologist and use this cream twice a week. Retin-A  and retinoids are one of the top products for anti-aging. I’m not an expert on these products but here is a great article on them. When I use a Retin-A product I make sure that I use a gently cleanser, don’t exfoliate that night and add lots of moisturizing products after.

Maelove Glow Maker Antioxidant SerumI’ve just recently started using this serum and am already a big fan. The ingredients focus on hydrating your skin while evening skin tone and targeting fine lines over time. What I really like about the serum is that it absorbs quickly so I don't have to wait long after application before applying makeup. 

Beauty Counter Overnight Peel  - This peel is great for anti-aging, exfoliation and creating a glow. Overtime your skin texture will improve as well. It proves that clean products can be just as effective ad other products.  Apply a small amount of this serum to your face and neck after you cleanse and let it do its magic.

Beauty Counter Tripeptide Radiance Serum - If Retin-A or retinoids are too strong for your skin or you want a clean option, this serum is a great anti-aging product. It works on fine lines, provides moisture and improves elasticity. 

After I’ve using a treatment/serum/active my next goal is to lock in that product and add moisture.

Weleda Skin Food –This is such a good moisturizer. It isn’t stick and soaks in quickly but really moisturizes my skin. It is one of the few clean products that works and is at a great price point.

No. 1 Vitamin C Oil – I love love love this oil. I’ve written about it several times on the blog including here. It is one of the first products I recommend when someone asks for skincare suggestions. It is the skincare product I am most loyal to. If I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to do my entire skincare routine I will cleanse my skin and then just apply this oil!

Vitamin C is a great ingredient for your skin. It brightens skin, helps even complexion and helps your skin glow! It also adds moisture to your skin. Don’t shy away from oils if you have oily skin. You just have to start small and just use a few drops at a time. You can even add this oil to your night cream or moisturizer.

These items don't really belong to another category but have enhanced my skincare routine. 

Versed Vitamin C Powder – I mentioned before how great Vitamin C is for your skin. I have just started using this powder to try to get more Vitamin C into my skincare routine. The powder can be added to any moisturizer before you apply it to your face. It tingles just a little bit but other than that you won’t notice it in your cream. I've been adding it to Weleda Skin food.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – To spot treat any blemishes I have, I will use a q-tip to put a small amount of this drying lotion on them. It is very drying so only apply to the actual blemish.

Zit Stickers - For the underskin zits or more major breakouts, I love to wear these zit stickers overnight. I think they get product under the skin and can help flatten and shrink blemishes. 

Glowscreen Sunscreen - Last week I did a whole post on this item (here) so I'll be short. This is the perfect sunscreen to apply after your skincare but before your makeup. It has a primer built in and 

Once a week I like to do  a mask to target any current concerns. I have tried so many over the years but these are the few I have repurchased.

Ren Clearcalm 3 Acne Treatment Mask - By far my favorite mask, this is what I use the moment I feel a break out coming! After I clean and tone,  apply to any acne prone areas and let sit for 15 minutes. This one can be too harsh to apply everywhere so I use it more as a spot treatment mask.

Arbonne Detox Face Mask - After traveling or when my skin feels congested, I'll apply this mask to clean out my pores. It is gentler than the Ren mask so I can use it over my whole face and it won't dry me out. 

BeautyCounter Balancing Charcoal Mask - This well rounded mask purifies, dries up excess oil and balances skin. It also gently exfoliates and it only takes 10 minutes. I've bought this one for years and is one of my top recommendations for many skin types. 

Colleen Rothschild Hydrating Mask - Deep hydration is the goal of this mask! This one can be applied and then the excess wiped off after 20 minutes but I actually like to apply a think amount before bed and let it soak in overnight. 

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask - This mask is with me amy time I travel. If my flight is over 2 hours, I'll take off my makeup and apply this mask. It helps combat dry airplane air and will soak in by the time I land. It is also great for anytime your skin needs a little extra hydration. 

Night Routine Options

(2x a week)
Retin A

(2-3x a week)

(Other nights)

Morning Routines

Splash of Water

Splash of Water

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Kara Krittenbrink
New Obsession: Supergoop Glowscreen Sunscreen

New Obsession: Supergoop Glowscreen Sunscreen

We all know that we should be wearing sunscreen everyday.I am always good about applying it when I'm going to be outside for a long period of time. What I am not as good at is making sure it is a part of my everyday routine. I've tried several moisturizers with sunscreen and even an oil but have never found a product I really love.  

Supergoop is a sunscreen brand I love and use so many of their products. I've featured several of their products on the blog including this Glow Stick and  Refreshing Mist. I trust that they are safe and not only protect my skin but the products are good for my skin too. Supergoop formulates their products to be clean and to contain other beneficial ingredients, depending on the product. They have so many different products to cater to how you wear sunscreen. When a new product comes out I am quick to try it and the Glowscreen Sunscreen is the product I have been waiting for!  

Glowscreen Sunscreen is a skincare/makeup hybrid! The prouct is a mix of a primer and sunscreen with a pearl finish. It is  It is meant to be the last step in your skincare routine before you put makeup on. The finish of it on your skin is glowy and pearlescent without making you look greasy or too shiny. Even under foundation and concealer your skin will have a subtle glow to it. Since it is part primer it also helps your make up last through the day. But it doesn't feel as heavy as many of the primers I've tried.

While it is meant to go under your foundation, I've found that I love wearing Glowscreen Sunscreen without foundation as well. It is the best product for a no makeup look but you'll still have a glow. It is now my favorite product for days I'm running errands or heading to the gym first thing. It makes me feel confident while also taking care of my skin. I know this summer, when I am outside more and more active this will be the first product I grab in the morning. 

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Kara Krittenbrink
Spring (Dress) Season

Spring (Dress) Season

It is always fun to get to borrow clothes from a friend. It's access to a whole new wardrobe without the commitment or expense. When I am feeling uninspired with my closet, I usually turn to a friend's closet to help me change things up. One of the best parts is how, many times, I end up trying a style that I don't normally wear.

A couple week's ago I borrowed one of my friend's dresses for a baby shower. The dress was the prettiest fall/winter print. What I love the most is the oversize fit and tiered skirt. I typically am not drawn to that silhouette. This dress manages to balance being oversize but also flattering. I loved wearing it so much that as soon as I got home immediately shopped for similar dresses.

Now that I have discovered a new (to me) silhouette I've been loving the many ways you can style these dresses. My go to accessories are booties and a few simple pieces of jewelry. I'm excited to pair these dresses with a jean jacket and tennis shoes for a more casual and laid back style.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 56 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 1011 - 12

This style is a great way to transition into spring weather. You can easily layer a jacket or cardigan over it to keep you warm now and even wear tall boots with it or tights. I ordered this dress this weekend and can't wait for it to come in!

What is one of your favorite Spring pieces? 

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Kara Krittenbrink
OOTD Vol. 4

OOTD Vol. 4

Another round up of outfits I've been wearing lately. These are the outfits I wear on a daily basis so many items are old and sold out. I still like to share them as outfit inspiration and I always link similar items! 

Chauteau Puffer - Turtleneck Sweater, old (similar) - Leather Leggings 
Boots, old (similar here & here)

Puff Sleeve Sweater - Tie Waist Trouser, old (similar here)
Pumps, sold out (similar here) -  Gucci Marmont Purse

Turtleneck Sweater - Ponte Pant - Boots (chanel and not online) (simlar here & here)

Coat BlazerLeather Leggings - Boots (chanel and not online) (simlar here & here)

Shirtdress, sold out (similar here) - Tights
Boots, old (similar here & here) - Gucci Marmont Purse

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Kara Krittenbrink


I've always been intrigued by what drives myself and others to think, act or react a certain way. I've taken many personality tests but typically aren't really satisfied with them. Knowing myself, I can see in different situations or moods I could test differently and I didn't feel like that should be the case for a true personality test. About two years ago a friend of mine told me about the Enneagram. As she was explaining it, the Enneagram seemed like more than just a personality test. It is more of how and why you think and act a certain way. 

The Enneagram is a set of nine distinct personality types, with each number on the Enneagram denoting a type. One number is not better than another but the numbers next to each other do have similarities. It's both a simple and complex system (see more here). Why the Enneagram seems different than other personality tests is it is based on your core motivations and fears. The 9 types can be subgrouped into 3 centers: Instictive, Feeling or Thinking.

The best way to find out your type is to take this test. There are other options but I strongly recommend this one because it is so thorough. Once you are done with the test you receive an email with your results and a pdf with an extensive explanation of the 3 types you scored highest on. There is a structure within each type called Levels of Development. This helps you understand how the random traits that characterize a type relate to each other. When we are in a healthy mindset we exhibit the healthier traits of our type and vice versa.

My test results ranked me pretty high as a 6 (The Loyalist) and after reading the description I felt confident that it was my number! Learning about 6's really made so many things click. My type is summarized as someone that wants to have security, be supported by those around them, have certainty in situations and fight against anxiety and insecurities.

Good or bad, learning about yourself can cause so much growth. As I understand many of my faults I am better able to recognize when they are coming out. I also have learned how some things that I thought were faults actually are helpful and can be used for good. My anxiety has been something that I have struggled with for a long time. There is a lot I do to manage it. As I learned more about myself by researching my Enneagram type, I learned how when my sense of security is threatened or I let my constant thoughts keep turning, my anxiety can get out of control. 

A simple search for enneagram resources will show you hundreds! This test gives so much information with the results that it really is the best first sources. I was eager to learn more about my type and all the others. The book The Road Back to You can provide a great basic understanding of all of the types. I have used it as a resource not only for myself but have learned about close friends and family when I know their types. I understand how to support and communicate with them better. 
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Kara Krittenbrink