Changes are underway at August Skin. You may have noticed that the posts have started to slow here, but fear not, my appetite for all things beauty is a greedy beast that will stop por nada. Nowadays you can find me at New York Magazine’s The Cut. There I’ll continue to deliver insights on the greatest skincare, makeup, hair, and nail buys on the market. So what do you say? Will you join me?
This post is sponsored by TruAge. All thoughts are my own.
There’s skin, and then there’s my Teflon skin, the latter of which I put through the wringer every day. It’s okay though, because it takes the Jean-Claude Van Damme of skin to saunter from scrub to rub, oil to cream cleanser, and oxygen to clay mask at the drop of a hat.
That’s the skin on my face. The skin on my body, on the other hand, is a lot less Jean-Claude and a little more Jean-Luc, in that it’s incredibly responsive and a bit of a nerd, two attributes you’ll also need to possess in order to understand that “Star Trek” reference. On my legs, mosquito bites balloon into baseballs; burned oil marks my forearms; my torso is often itchy and spotted red for no good reason other than haters gonna hate.
Here’s the trouble with 90% of acne products on the market: most (even the really good ones) only stop breakouts after they’ve begun, and utterly fall flat on prevention. Sure, there are the obvious preventative measures: twice daily washes with a clarifying cleanser; oil free moisturizers; and pore-clearing treatments, but some zits always seem to buzz by with a clear disrespect toward any skincare routine. It’s rare when a product lands at my feet and does a knockout job of denying blemishes their place in the sun (with cod liver oil being by longstanding favorite). Illumask is one of these exceptions, and let me tell you, this thing’s the real deal.
An at-home manicure is all fun and games until you really need to answer that phone sitting pretty in the bottom of your handbag, or you absolutely must refuel on pita chips, or who knows what you did but all of a sudden your index finger nail is seriously jacked up. That’s when a manicure becomes appendage-decorating jail, where each finger is sentenced to 15 to 30 minutes of solitary confinement. So for those of us who have lives to live and shit to do almost immediately after the last polish swipe, let me introduce you to the technological wonder, NaiLuv.
Have you heard of “no makeup makeup”? It’s a fairly straightforward technique in which you apply concealer, color corrector, bronzer, foundation, eyeliner, light mascara, a tinge of blush, highlighter, translucent powder, and nude lipstick to make it appear, in fact, that you are wearing nothing at all. It’s how you look like this, this, or that. I’ll go out on a limb and guess you don’t have the kind of time and practiced patience for this labor of love in cosmetic deceit. But there’s an alternative, Dr. Perricone’s No Makeup Skincare, a new line that is the perfect amalgam of makeup and skincare.
A couple of days ago I turned on the AC, which is a really big deal because I hate that thing. It’s loud and obtrusive—like a metallic Gilbert Gottfried that happens to spew cool air. Anyway, this flick of the switch meant something undeniable—summer is here and with that comes the changing of the guard in skincare, and this one is light on the face and in the wallet.
My skin is out of control oily—a great advantage in the wrinkle-formation long game, but terrible for now—now being June, July, August, and September, living in a city that was once considered a swamp (or maybe not), but still has an undeniable humidity problem. Some of these days I slap on sunscreen and skip out the door, and some days I take a step further. No matter, I’ve earned a PhD in how to make makeup stay put in the muggiest of conditions. Want to learn?
I grew up on clementines, Sunny D, and the untethered belief that vitamin C was the solution to a bell curve of ailments. So when I learned that vitamin C was also the solution to great skin, I jumped on board rather quickly. Nothing is ever that easy, of course. There are imposter vitamin Cs, vitamin Cs that don’t actually work, vitamin Cs that expire at lightening speed, and vitamin Cs that irritate skin. But let’s say you bypass all of that and ask: what does vitamin C really do? When should you use it and what kind should you use? We’ll explore.
Even just a few years ago, shopping for beauty IRL was a lot like fulfilling a hair appointment: you may have left looking better, but sometimes it took several rolls in a barrel of nuanced insults to get there. Something changed. Maybe it was the advent of robust online competitors, or the general widened landscape of beauty retail, but shopping for skincare, makeup, and hair has taken a more comfortable, grassroots approach. I like that, because nothing turns me off more than a sales associate telling me that I absolutely need a certain serum to help with my enlarged pores (hey lady, I just stopped by for a bottle of nail polish, but thanks for the tip).
So I compiled a list of retailers that curate a welcome shopping experience. From online shops with exotic (and enticing) brands, stores you just have to visit for an arresting experience, to beauty destinations that leave plenty of cushion in your budget.