My lifelong dream has been to write an "edit" for Byrdie or Violet Grey, but since I'm 20 and in college I guess this will do. I've been battling acne since I was a 13-year-old middle schooler with acne, glasses, and braces to match. After going through a barrage of dermatologist topical treatments and taking a bunch of random medicines (I think they had me on a random antibiotic for like a year), I've gotten to a point at age 20 where it's not perfect, but much better.
So, here are my skincare and makeup faves from your favorite acne-hater. I promise they've got you.
I'm a sucker for anything with salicylic acid, and lately I've been loving this Vinopure cleanser by Caudalie. It's non-drying but leaves your skin feeling just clean enough, but not drained at all. The added grape water (Caudalie's signature) really helps retain moisture and keep your skin supple while pulling out impurities and cleaning out your pores.
I think toners are fake. Hate to be the one to say it, but there's no reason for you to have one in your routine unless you're convinced that your cleanser isn't doing enough. In that case, buy a new cleanser.
Hear me out. This stuff costs half a leg, and I wouldn't have bought it if it wasn't on sale. But this cream is magical.
Genuinely so lightweight, non-irritating, and absorbs right into your skin. It leaves a gorgeous sheen after you've used it a couple of times in a row. I'm obsessed with this stuff, but, if you don't want to spend an exorbitant amount of money on facial moisturizer (because duh), this Summer Fridays Gel Cream and this Neutrogena Hydroboost Gel Cream are extremely comparable.
I use dermatologist-prescribed treatments on my skin, but especially during the summer, it gets to be a lot sometimes. I've been experimenting with incorporating a treatment and alternating between my retinols and a different treatment, and that's been making such a difference in my skin texture.
If you're asking yourself right now how the heck I'm spending this much money on skincare, I'll tell you my trade secret: only buy things on sale. You can find a coupon for anything. Especially this Sunday Riley Good Genes serum, which is a lactic acid serum that helps so much with acne scarring and texture on the face. I also used a sample from Sephora for around 6 months, so even the smallest version will last you a while.
Josie Maran Get Even Sun Milk Broad Spectrum SPF 33
No white cast and smells like coconut. If you're super acne-prone, this is a little bit richer because of the Argan oil in it, but it works like a charm and it gives the prettiest glow. An option if you are acne prone (because if you're using retinol you need sunscreen) is this one by Dermalogica.
Merit The Minimalist Perfection Stick
Literally, all you need in your makeup bag. Concealer, foundation, color corrector all in one. And it's super pretty on a vanity.
Physician's Formula Butter Bronzer
A tried and true favorite that we can thank Ms. Sophia Richie for putting it back into the limelight. I think this thing is like $16 and it works better than half the bronzers that cost $30.
Spend wisely, not widely, my friends. If Sophia Richie can use it, you can too.
Blush is probably my favorite part of my makeup routine, so this is a tough one. You're not getting a picture for this one, just a barrage of opinions. I've been loving the Merit Flush Balm in the shade Apres, Patrick Ta's Major Headlines Blush Duo in She's Blushing, the Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Lip + Cheek Blush Stick in Dou Dou, and the Rare Beauty blush in the shade Joy.
@westmanatelier Mornings with @Matilda Djerf 💖 ft. Baby Cheeks in Dou Dou for a naturally rosy flush #westmanatelier #blush #blushhack ♬ original sound - Westman-Atelier
Since I didn't give you a look at the products themselves, here's it-girl Matilda Djerf using Dou Dou by Westman Atelier on TikTok.
I've been loving a subtle, bright pink or cherry lip for the summer because I feel like it brings a little color to the face. What's the fun in a boring lip? How is that summery?
Tower 28 Clean ShineOn Jelly Lip Gloss
This Tower 28 Lip Gloss is to die for. I use the shade "Wild" and it's the cutest little pink. It's not sticky, it's super light, and it's the perfect little tint to make it look like you just sipped a daquiri. I put this on top of Aquaphor and it's so perfect.
Ergo, the edit. Thanks for joining me on my venture into beauty capitalist journalism. Hope this was as helpful for you as it was enjoyable for me.