My Morning Skincare Routine: A Beautiful Mess

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Guide To My Morning Beauty Routine

I love “morning routine posts”. I love the morning routine videos, where luxe vloggers traipse around in their chamise robes and completely off-white nu-modern apartment (have they ever heard of red wine?), as if hot water and lemon will clearly subsist them all day.

I love the morning routine posts from beauty bloggers, in which we recommend a “simple concoction” of 800+ beauty products at $80 a piece, and facials and Botox in our free time, and fancy hair-and-skin vitamins that I really wish I could pound like Sour Patch Kids at night watching The Path on Hulu.

I love all of the morning routine stuff… but I just don’t live it. And maybe you love the morning routines as much as me, since you’re now reading this post (sucker!) The big problem? My life just doesn’t work that way.

I don’t wake up like the super cute trainer, Anna Kaiser, in this Elle magazine tweet (yes, follow me on Twitter too) and “love the fresh newness that the morning brings: feeling my body stretch against the crisp sheets, the sun peeking in through the window…”. I normally wake up considering whether or not leg amputation will be necessary since I’ve lost all feeling in my toes from my obese cat lounging overnight. Although I may do a “What I Eat in a Day” post eventually, it will look nothing like her sample breakfast of “smoothie packed with maca, chia, goji, bee pollen, spinach, kale, banana, almond milk, greens powder, almond butter, frozen berries, and ice”, try that I may. If I’m lucky, the remains of my children’s gluten-free frosted pop tarts and a gallon of cheap coffee may be involved… but only the frosted part of the tart, obviously. I have some self respect, guys.

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Even though I am yet to do a morning routine video on my Catching Breath channel, I have recently launched a new channel with a group of sick and salty friends called Our Cystic Fibrosis Journey. And if you’re thinking- wait, didn’t they find out that she is a mutant who doesn’t fit in? You are correct, but all will be explained yet again on the channel. So, yes, we will each be tackling our own morning routines for your viewing pleasure horror, and my hours of treatments, medicines and the like will be documented. Even with this time-consuming part of my life clearly on display, I’d like to think my routine is slightly more glamorous than albuterol and antihistamine alone.

My Morning Routine: The Good, The Bad, and The Bad

I wish I could say that I wake up in the morning to the fresh aroma of organic coffee, my meditative alarm clock, and a softly misting essential oil bong, but unfortunately, the only thing misting is my eyes because a side effect of early mornings is uncontrollable weeping. If the kids don’t wake me up themselves by slamming doors and fighting – which shakes the entire house- my phone vibrating next to my head will… sometimes. I still haven’t gotten a new deaf-woman alarm clock yet, so the system is super super fallible. Anna-the-trainer says that she “takes the time to gently stretch, focus, set my intentions for the day, and snuggle” with her dog. For me, morning is sort of like a reenactment of that scene in Old School when Will Ferrel gets hit with a dart in the neck… it definitely goes without saying, but I’m the person with the dart in the neck. My only intention setting comes in the form of terse, bullet-point orders, called out like Hemmingway at a slam poetry session: “Car keys. Get. Get car keys. Dog. Must Pee. Take Out. Make Your Bed. Stop Fighting. No You Cant Wear A Scuba Mask To Your School Presentation”…. and so on.

I generally throw on a gross hoodie and shorts (because not skipping pants is the highest standard I abide at 7 AM), comb my eyebrows in a uniform direction, and try to put on acceptable Human Being attire by the time I actually interact with adults later in the day. Once lunch boxes, homework, and shoes have been forgotten and then remembered a million times, both babies get delivered to school almost-on-time, while my eldest requests Footloose to be played on Spotify yet again. (On a possibly unrelated note, Kenny Loggins death has been planned in detail, and Dexter would be proud.)

After returning home but before I jump into hours of work and nebbing, I pretend to be a real beauty blogger for awhile. Unfortunately, coffee normally comes from the pot (Peppermint Mocha Coffee Mate is my jam) and my skincare routine is neither practical nor pretentious… it’s somewhere in the middle. I use a mix of products I’ve been drooling over for ages and feel so #blessed to test (not sarcasm, I actually stalk products!), and ones that I’ve pinched and saved and couponed for myself.

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My Skincare

I start off by wiping my face down with Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, which I came to recently and after much resistance, because I tend to deny trends just to be contrarian. Inevitably, I end up loving the establishment (#damntheman) and jumping on the train so hard that I lose all of my hard earned street cred in the process. In this case, I am obsessed with this water. I would roll around in it just for fun if I could (can I?) I use it both morning and night (spoiler alert for future night routine post), and I prefer the waterproof eye-makeup remover formula to get off any remaining gunk. I saturate a cotton pad, hold it over my eyes for awhile, wipe, and then wipe the extent of my face-terrain too.

Next, I apply my new Garnier SkinActive Ultra-Lift wrinle reducer 2-in-1 serum, since I’m on a Garnier kick at the moment. It has retinol but can be used both morning and night, so I do exactly that. I add Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter with SPF 15 all over my face and neck and the top of my hands, because it glides on easily and a little bit goes a long way. I added a Vitamin C serum to my routine because world = bad, antioxidants = good… or so my extensive scientific research has shown. Legit sunscreen (Neutrogena Age Shield Face 110) and bronzer (L’oreal Sublime Bronze Summer Express Wash Off Face Bronzer Cream) are maybe the most important part of my routine in terms of appearance- taking me from zombie to zombie-with-a-soft-glow in 30 seconds- but you can read a bit more about that approach here.

I have honestly never used an eye serum before, or at least not consistently. I’ve always thought that creams meant just for our eyes was a luxury that no one could afford… Why not just use your regular cream all over your face? Well, although I do that too, I am pretty stinking pleased with this Nerium International Age-Defying Eye Serum since it’s arrival. After some trial and error, I realize it is best applied absolutely last in your overall routine, because it freezes your eye crinkles with magic (again, science), so it’s best left undisturbed.

I am somewhat neurotic about my teeth (read: really neurotic) so I often brush with two different toothpastes: Colgate Optic White Lasting White and Luster Power White in that order. This is partially because I’m too lazy to follow dentist’s orders with the appropriate brush time, and also because the latter contains a soft blue undertone that makes teeth look instantly whiter in the same way that the right shade of lipstick can. I also floss whenever I can using those little flossers-with-a-handle, and yes, I do wear a retainer at night, so I forgot to mention taking that out first thing in the morning. Retainers are gross and stupid, and feel like a Dementor died in your mouth when you wake up everyday, but I try to actually wear it unlike my thirteen-year-old self.

Although my up-and-coming morning routine video may show other aspects of the daytime (sometimes I do make a protein shake, and take all my meds, and revel in the newness of life), and I hope to tackle food routines or fitness routines in more detail soon, but I would be disingenuous if I painted a rosy picture that just doesn’t exist. Like Amanda Peet said in her recent essay for Lenny: I care about my looks. Like her, I bleach my teeth, and worry about anti-aging creams, and wish I had the pocketbook for lasers and peels (don’t and haven’t tried them), but I also hope to age gracefully knowing that life is a lot more than just holistic regimes and DNA-boosting sleep packs.

Yes, I want to live a life that’s whole and healthy and balanced… I do. I want to read more Buddhist meditations, and skip the GMOs, and do Yoga until I turn into Christy Turlington, but until my kids go to college or I win the lottery or I don’t feel like I was hit by a bus when I open my eyes, I just don’t foresee my “morning routine post” reading like everyone else’s. Do I want it to? Of course.

But I guess this messy life is mine, and it’s beautiful… even when the mornings aren’t.

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One comment on “My Morning Skincare Routine: A Beautiful Mess
  1. carol burford says:

    I love your honesty in your posts. I’ll bet even those beauty bloggers don’t roll out of bed the way they say they do!! I try to make sure I take care of my face before bed, but often fail and try to make up for it the next day. I’d rather have a few wrinkles than miss a precious, gone all too soon moment with Kyandra! Besides, as my grams used to say, lines and wrinkles mean you’ve laughed, cried and everything in between— which means you’ve LIVED your life as opposed to spending hours on things that take too much time away from that which is more important! You are such a beauty, inside where it counts the most and outside where I know I’m completely amazed when you say you look awful and yet, you’re gorgeous! Thanks for sharing what a lot of us really feel like when we hobble out of bed! When did we start doing that instead of bouncing out on the run?? Lol…

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