Real Talk: Skin Care, DIY Lip Scrub & Makeup Essentials

Things are about to get real here on the blog. Are you ready?

My skin is no where near perfect. In fact, for years I've battled breakouts, some that would literally make me cry. I'd look online and see all these gorgeous women on their blogs with their perfectly creamy skin and think, "if only I could have their skin." Oh, how sad my heart would feel when I would think those words.  Friends, it's been a struggle, but I'm here with really good news! I finally found a routine, products and a healthy diet that have cleared my skin up....I think for good! {crossing my fingers on this!}

I've often thought I surely cannot be the only one with this struggle, so why not share about it and see if I can help other ladies along the way. Below you'll find my skin care routine, makeup essentials (all great for acne-prone skin!) and a DIY lip scrub-- just because it's fun :)

 1. Skin Care Routine: 
My Clarisonic is my lifesaver. I use it every night and it helps exfoliate and deeply clean the skin's pores.  Twice a week I use Dermologica's Skin Prep Scrub in the morning, to exfoliate more and bring a nice glow to my skin. Just last March I was introduced to Arbonne by my friend Kate, a natural, organic and toxin-free line of skincare products. As soon as I started using it, my skin began clearing! I use their face wash and toner. After washing and toning with the Clear Advantage line, I use an oil-free moisturizer with 2% benzoyl peroxide to kill bacteria.

2. DIY Lip Scrub: 
1 teaspoon coconut oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar, 1 squirt of honey (to bind it all together). Mix well then use your finger to scrub on your lips. Wipe off with a wet tissue or washcloth, then finish with vaseline or lip butter of your choice!

3. Makeup Essentials:
1. After washing and cleansing my face using my Clarisonic, I apply this Arbonne Spot Treatment to any breakout areas if needed. Next, I use Smashbox Photo Finish Blemish Control
2. I have dark circles under my eyes, so I just picked up Fake Up Concealer by Benefit. This hydrates the areas under your eye with the clear ring around the concealer (you can see what I mean in the picture above). The moisturizer has vitamin E in it, so it really helps hydrate those dark circles. After concealer, I finish with Jane Iredale foundation.
3. I love a hot pink blush. Lancome's Cosmo Pink is my favorite. 
4. L'Oreal Paris' black liquid eyeliner. I could never find an eyeliner that stayed on my lid without creating a crease on my eyelid. I finally found one!
5. On my bottom lash lines, I use this Almay eggplant colored liner to bring out the blue/green in my eyes.
6. This High Impact Volumizing Mascara by Clinique is my absolute favorite. It does in one layer what most mascaras would take 3 coats to accomplish!
7. In the summer I use a peachy colored lipstick and in the fall, I like to go a bit more "berry".  This one is "talk flirty" by Benefit.

The last thing that has been SO essential in my skin clearing up, and possibly the #1 reason why it has, is getting a facial once a month. I go get a facial at my dermatologist and my insurance covers it. If you struggle with acne, I'd check into this with your dermatologist! I get a soap peel {like microderm}, steam and a mask. It helps keep away the unwanted breakouts AND leaves my skin glowing for weeks. So, tell me: what are your favorite products and have you ever struggled with skin issues?! {please tell me I'm not the only one!}

Happy Monday!
PS. THANK YOU for all the birthday wishes!!! You all are TOO sweet. 


  1. glad you have a found a routine that works for you! it took a while, but i have finally found what works for me too. switching to all natural products was a biggie for me, along with a (mostly 95%) GF diet. i now use coconut oil & sugar to wash my face & love the exfoliation & glow that it gives. i also love 100% pure products,which are completely natural. that's awesome that you can get a facial each month covered by ins. i used to do something similar when i needed it a few years back.

  2. First, you are beautiful. I am one of those fortunate ones, that while I do have sensitive skin, I rarely breakout...even in my teens. However, Elie has more issues like you. I will have to share with her what you are doing to see if any help her as well. Did not know that insurance might pay for her to have facials. I will have to look into that. Then it would just be a matter of her finding time between teaching and coaching! That stress alone is enough to make your face break out! LOL I have to say, I am a huge fan of more natural cleansing products. And, the GF diet has made a huge difference in many areas for myself, Katie and my husband even (who went along to be supportive).

  3. Most of my life I have struggled with acne problems! My mom and I went to countless dermatologists, I had several chemical skin peels (painful!), been on a bajillion products and finally my mom put me on retin-A and that seemed to work while also using the Neutrogina clean face wash with makeup remover. I barely use the retin-A anymore which is awesome because it makes you more prone to sunburn but it really seemed to work for me! But if there's anything I learned through all these trials is that every person's skin is COMLETELY different and what works for one person, more than likely won't work for someone else... unfortunately. haha So happy you found a routine!!

  4. I love that you posted this. I love seeing other peoples routines. I would love to try the arbonne stuff, I have heard great things about their line. And I've been looking for a DIY lip scrub. My lips are so dry in winter! I'll be trying this!

  5. Michaela, you are absolutely not the only one. Try being...ahem...about 10 years older than you...and STILL dealing with this. Cry? Been there...still find myself doing that. As a photographer, I feel like I just want to walk around with a "Photoshopped me" all the time. Lol. I'm so glad that you have finally found what works for you. Tea tree oil seems to help a bit for me. (Put a few drops of water and a few drops of tea tree oil on a cotton pad and wipe away. Smells awful though!) I also find that a pure honey mask helps, too. My husband just loves when I go to bed with honey all over my face. #not #stickymess - Despite your skin woes, you're beautiful inside and out. I've always thought that. :)
    Thanks for sharing your tips. I'm intrigued by the concealer you use. Always on the hunt for a good one and like the fact that it has moisturizer in it. Love the lip scrub, too. I'll probably just lick it off. Who needs a tissue? ;)

  6. I've been battling my skin for years! Acne isn't my biggest problem, it's the scars they leave. They stick around for months and months and just look awful. At the end of my fourth year of university it got really bad and I decided to invest more in my skin. I've been using the even better line from Clinique (as well as a few of their other products), olive oil (makeup remover & moisturizer!) and exfoliating more. I bought a Clairsonic over the summer, and I find it's too much for my skin every day, but every other or every few days it's great! Hope your skin keeps doing better!! It looks gorgeous in these photos! xo



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  8. Ughhhh, yes! I went through a crazy skin phase when I moved back to the states after living abroad. (Location/Stress/Diet?) For the first time in my life, I had crazy sensitive and unpredictable skin...for about 6 months. It was a humbling experience for me. Ok, so the love of my life that helped me out and I always always use even now that my skin is back to "normal:" Black soap! My favorite is locally made here in Portland (Camamu Soap: Black Beauty Bar) So so good. P.S. You are stunning!!! xoxo

  9. As someone who has not so great skin myself, I really appreciate this post! That's really interesting that your insurance covers facials, that is DEFINITELY something I'm going to look into--thanks for the tip! Hope your birthday was wonderful :)

  10. What a great post at a perfect time for me because my face is in the middle of a big rash breakout. I must have come into contact with something I'm allergic to and it will take a week to clear up. You just reminded me that I need to make an appt with the derm to make a facial. Such a great post!

  11. love this! and can totally relate...i'm going to have to try out that wash/scrub you mentioned.

  12. Michaela, I was so excited to read this post when I saw the title! I TOTALLY understand! I didn't have very bad acne as a teenager, but now its out of control! I just got married, and its so embarrassing. I am always thankful for photo editing when it comes to posting on my blog, but in the real world and work, I feel so self-conscious. Thank you so much for posting! I am looking into Arbonne now :)

    PS- your pictures are always beautiful!

  13. Thanks for posting this! What kind of moisturizer do you use? I'm always a shiny ball of oil, and part of the problem is that my skin is dry, so it over produces oil to compensate. But every moisturizer I try just makes it worse.

  14. Love this post! I always struggle with breakouts too and my skin is never clear, but I started using a Clarisonic this year and it has helped a ton!

    Five Minute Style 

  15. First off, you're beautiful! Thanks for sharing your routine! I have struggled with acne since I was 12-13 and I still have breakouts every now and again and I am 28! I always thought I would grow out of it but I guess that sometimes isn't the case. I am definetly going to look into getting facials every month now though especially if I can get my ins. to pay for them (fingers crossed.)

    Jen =)

  16. those post is FULL of beauty! i love it! you are radiant my friend :)

  17. I'm totally with you! I get so many breakouts it's ridiculous! I definitely need to look into some of these products you use and hopefully it will help clear up my skin too!

  18. It is necessary to have healthy and balanced lifestyle to keep up with healthy and beautiful skin.

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  19. The main benefit of natural products is that they are made of natural ingredients and have no side effect. It is quite difficult to find a skin care product which is suitable for your skin and is also free of harmful chemicals.
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