Happy Friday! This month, we teamed up with a beauty expert who schooled us on all the do’s and don’ts for makeup and skincare. We’ve been seeing so many skincare trends out there, but which ones are actually worth our cold hard cash? How are we actually supposed to clean our makeup brushes?? And do people even learn this stuff?? Don’t worry- our beauty expert is here to answer all your questions!
Alexa Nohely is a beauty and skincare blogger from the Bay Area, California. This beauty queen has is here to spill all she has learned about proper beauty techniques and ways to care for difficult skin.
HG: Thanks for joining us, Alexa! So happy to have you here. Let’s jump in! What is your favorite skincare product?
Nohely: I cannot live without a good moisturizer! I use a lighter one in the morning and a heavier one in the evening, for ultimate moisture.
HG: Do you have a favorite moisturizer?
Nohely: A lighter, daytime moisturizer I love is the Youth to the People Kale + Spinach Hyaluronic moisturizer. This works really well with my oily skin (and it’s really pretty). For night, when I like to ‘oil-slick’ my face with cream, I like the ‘Weleda Skin Food.’ It’s really thick, does it’s job, and is pretty affordable at only $10-15 for 2.5 oz! Another favorite is the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair moisturizer- it has really soothing properties and is pretty affordable.
HG: What is your favorite skincare brand?
Nohely: It’s hard to choose! My two absolute faves are ‘Caudalie‘ and ‘Youth to the People.’ Both of these brands claim to use natural ingredients, which helps to address many types of people with varying skin concerns. They also offer the basics, like moisturizers and serums, which helps. When you get into skincare, you feel you need every product!
HG: I get that! What about your favorite makeup products?
Nohely: I’m really into good foundations to help combat my redness. A great foundation I have found is the It Cosmetics CC Cream. This not only covers my blemishes, but does a great job at moisturizing and has a high SPF (essential!).
HG: Do you use anything on top of the foundation?
Nohely: I always use a setting powder focusing the most on the t-zone and my under-eyes! Some of my favorites are the Laura Mercier Translucent setting powder or Cover Fx Transluscent powder. I then will usually put some blush and bronzer on over my foundation. I love Glossier and Nude Stix! Glossier has some really pretty shades of ‘Cloud Paint.’ My favorites are ‘Beam’ and ‘Dusk.” Nude Stix are amazing- they’re so easy to take on the go! My favorite shades of blush are ‘In the Nude’ and ‘Naughty and Spice,’ and the bronzer is, ‘Bondi Bae.’
HG: I also love the cloud paint! That’s my fave Glossier product. Have you found a good mascara?
Nohely: I haven’t found the perfect mascara for what I’m looking for… But I have found the perfect combination. I love combining both creams and mascara to really get the look you’re going for. I have been using the Glossier mascara to separate my lashes evenly and for lengthening (this mascara has micro-fibers that help with length), and the Lancome Monsieur Big mascara for the volume.
HG: I love the idea of combining different brands to customize your look! What is your overall favorite makeup brand?
Nohely: This is also a tough one to answer, but I love Nude Stix! Their eye, lip, and cheek products are just SO good, and you can use them interchangeably. Plus, they’re easy to take on the go, which is vital for a girl-boss!
HG: So true! How did you get into makeup?
Nohely: Much like all little girls, I learned about makeup through my mom! I would constantly steal her makeup, until she FINALLY bought me an eye shadow pallet for Christmas when I was 7 or 8. I wasn’t allowed to use it because I was too young, but that was still one of the best Christmas presents I ever received.
HG: How cute! Did you learn how to do your makeup from your mom as well?
Nohely: I learned some tips and tricks, but YouTube was my go-to! You can learn anything on YouTube. Just find what type of look you’re going for, and find a YouTuber who shows you just how to do that look. So helpful!
HG: What else should someone do if they’re just starting out in the beauty and skincare universe?
Nohely: First, learn about your skin and the products you’re putting on your face. One way to do this is to get a facial and have them walk you through your skin type (oily, dry, etc). Then choose good basic products without any harmful ingredients to begin using. A basic cleanser and moisturizer is a good starting place, some good drugstore ones you can find are Cerave. Then you can slowly add different types of treatment products, like ones that contain acids for exfoliation, brightening, etc. You definitely want to spot test if you have sensitive skin, or even if you don’t just to be safe. Another tip is to slowly add new products into your routine so you can see if they’re working for your skin.
HG: Can you walk us through your nightly skincare routine?
Nohely: I go all out at night! I first go in with an oil cleanser to get rid of all the makeup on my face. Then I go in with a second cleanse, which will vary based on what my skin needs that day. For instance, if I’m breaking out, I’ll use a cleanser with Salicylic acid. If my skin is fairly normal that day, I’ll use a basic cleanser; my favorite is Cerave.
After I was thoroughly cleansed, I’ll do a mask (I do this 2-3 times per week). My favorites are the Origins Charcoal Mask, or the Aztec Clay mask (you mix this with apple cider and it foams up on your face!).
Then I’ll use a toner. Toner is not something I need to spend too much money on, so a good low-cost toner is Thayers Witch Hazel (you can find this at most drug stores!). After toner, I’ll go in with a serum while my face is still damp from the toner (this is supposed to help the serum sink in better). I love the Caudalie Vinopure Skin Perfecting Serum. Last, I go in with my thick moisturizer and and eye cream. *YAWN* time for bed!
HG: That is quite the routine! You do that every night??
Nohely: I try to. Skincare is super important to me, so I make the time. But if you just don’t have it in you, at least get your makeup off, cleanse, and moisturize!
HG: Tell us more about your favorite drugstore finds.
HG: Yes, let’s talk makeup brushes! This confuses so many people. Do they have to be expensive to be good? How often should you clean them? HOW do you clean them?
Nohely: I personally think you can find great brushes for low prices. And as for cleaning them, yes you SHOULD clean them once a week. Imagine, if you cleaned them more often, the buildup of makeup wouldn’t be so crazy and it would only take a few seconds to clean them!
HG: Yeah yeah, I’ve heard it all before!
Nohely: It’s true! I also don’t believe in those expensive brush cleaners. I use a scent free soap (like Dr. Bronner’s), lukewarm water, and a mat to massage the excess makeup out of the brush. That’s all you need!
HG: Okay, I guess I can try to do it weekly! Anything else you want to share?
Nohely: Makeup and skincare is a learning curve- what works for some people won’t work for everyone. But don’t be discouraged! Just find what works for you and roll with it. Always listen to your skin, it’s probably trying to tell you something!
HG: Thanks so much, Alexa! This is super helpful information. Thanks for being here today!
Nohely: My pleasure. Thanks for having me!