January 26, 2021

Skin Care Basics | New Year’s Beauty 2021

Every year I come around to doing a few of these posts where I pick a beauty routine and tell you everything I’ve been using. This year is no different, however, it’s a little bit more exciting. According to NPD, 22% of women switched up their skincare routine in 2020. And Josie and I are not excluded from that statistic. We’ve drastically changed our skincare routines this year and have been taking the time to do a lot of overhauling.

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4 Days of Beauty: Day 1: The Basics: Skincare 101. Blog Banner

The biggest thing that made a difference for me this year was Josie showing me esthetician Twitter and Youtube. I’m kind of hooked. My favorite is Nai Roberts-Smith who is known as the LA Beautyologist and runs the Youtube Channel The Golden RX. I follow a lot of her methodology mixed with some others.

Disclaimer time: I am in no way a clinical esthetician or dermatologist. I just have a passion for skincare and beauty. Everything learned here has been self taught through YouTube, Twitter, and Google and should not be considered medical advice.

I threw a lot of skincare away back in March 2020 when we started this and have found a lot of different products I love, and some that made me break out since. I have sensitive skin that tends to lean towards combination skin. I get oily on my cheeks and forehead and majorly dry in my T-zone. I also breakout if you look at me wrong. I have some psoriasis on my eyelids, behind my ears, and over my scalp, and I have some natural redness on my nose. I like to look for gentle but effective products.

So, I threw out everything I was using in high school and college that was damaging to my skin and started over. This is my new line up and recommendations out of all the skincare products I’ve tried this year.

Brands I love!


Bliss skin care collection in my bathroom featuring 17 products
This is most of the Bliss products I own (I ordered some after this picture was taken) I think it’s my most loved brand.

I discovered Bliss through their rose gold line. My rose gold obsessed butt was in Target one day and saw the Rose Gold Rescue Line on the shelf. Then I saw it was formulated for sensitive skin. A little over a year later and I own upwards of 18+ Bliss products. They make up a huge chunk of my skin care routine.

On top of having packaging that really draws you in (marketing A+) they are really good for your face. Bliss creates all their products free from harmful ingredients like parabens, phthalates, SLS/SLES, and more. They’re also completely cruelty-free and 90% of their products are vegan, with the goal of being 100% vegan in 2021. I also really like how they break down exactly what active ingredients are in each product on their site, effectively demystifying some skincare lingo.

First Aid Beauty

I applied for First Aid Beauty’s Fab Aid program this year (and didn’t win). They do Fab Aid to donate &1.3 Million Dollars to Student Debt Relief. I myself have $93,000 in loans and a good chunk are from companies like Sallie Mae which are (in hindsight) nefarious companies. So, I was looking for any sort of help and panicking about the fact I might never afford my wedding or have kids, when this contest came up. They’re doing it again with even more money in 2021 so keep your eyes open if you need help!

Anyway, around the holidays Josie and I found some really good deals on their products and I tried them. I’m kind of obsessed and I’ll get into them below but their Ultra Repair Cream is saving my skin this winter!

On top of helping with the student loan debt crisis: they are cruelty-free and all their products are free from artificial fragrance.


Flamingo is owned by Harry’s and is a shaving brand (which I think falls into skincare). I was looking over the summer to upgrade my disposable razors into something more adult and I priced Dollar Shave Club, Flamingo, Billie, Harry’s, and Joy razor started kits based on what products they offered (at the time) and how much was it a value for me. Based on my own personal preference I went with Flamingo and I fell in love.

I tried a lot of their products and looked into their company. They have ending stigma built into their brand vowing to talk to women and open conversations up about bodies, body hair, and insecurities. As someone who hit puberty with a PCOS diagnosis and looked like sasquatch overnight, this was a revelation! I like the openness to talk about how body hair is normal and how we can feel our best in our own skin no matter what that looks like.

Flamingo donates 1% of all their profits to two non-profits: Exhale to Inhale, which helps victims of domestic violence and sexual assault work through their trauma through yoga; and Period which is working to fight period poverty. They are also a cruelty-free brand!

Nai’s Skincare Steps

So as I’ve said before, Nai from the LA Beautyologist has been a huge help in giving free information when let’s be honest, I’m broke. Josie got me into watching her sometime in the beginning of the summer and I’ve been following her step outline since. It goes as follows:

  1. Cleanser
  2. Toner
  3. Exfoliate
  4. Toner
  5. Mask
  6. Serum
  7. Toner
  8. Moisturizer
  9. Oils

Yes, you do have to use a hydrating toner, and yes it does make a huge difference. To find out more about Nai’s skincare routine you can check out her video about her night routine here.

Now what?

So that’s the basics of where I’ve been getting skincare advice and techniques. Come back tomorrow for a look into my skincare routine including product recommendations!

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