2020 Skincare Arsenal

Obviously, since it’s been a while since I published any content, let alone consistently, it has been a while since I’ve shared my updated 2020 skincare arsenal. Some has changed since I last shared – but there are a lot of fixed elements, too.

Today, I’ll be sharing what products and tools I use regularly as well as how often I use them up and repurchase.

Makeup Removal

2020 Skincare Routine - Makeup Removing Cloths

I haven’t used makeup wipes since 2018. They’re expensive for what they are, wasteful, and not great for my skin. Instead, I invested in some reusable makeup removing cloths and use them with – yes, really – just plain water. I say invested, but that makes it sound like I spent a radical sum; I didn’t. I started with, repurchased (and would again) this $10 pack of two from Ulta (which also often goes BOGO). This single fixture of my 2020 skincare arsenal has easily saved me hundreds since I implemented it.

I’ve since amassed a collection of a few different ones (that’s a whole post to itself) and probably won’t need any for a while. I hear they can last up to five years with proper care. I love that I can throw mine in one of my favorite mesh wash bags and wash them with regular detergent. Mine is a Tide household, but I tend to use Laundress for these and other items that need to be handled gently.

2020 Skincare Routine - Makeup Removal - Garnier Micellar Water

When I’m wearing something more stubborn (like gel liner) I use Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water, $7 [[review]] instead of just water. Simple makes a nice one too; I buy whatever is cheaper-per-ounce when it is time to restock.


2020 Skincare Routine - Cleanser - CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

My 2020 skincare arsenal would be woefully incomplete without CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, $15 is nothing new for me. At this point, I’ve been using this skin pH friendly cleanser for years. If it ain’t broke and is affordable, don’t fix it. I wash my face once per day, in the evening – yes, only once – and go through about three 16oz bottles per year.

It treats me better than Cetaphil used to and is a great, fragrance-free alternative to Philosophy Purity at less than half the price.

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Favorite Hand Lotion: Curel Ultra Healing

Curel Ultra Healing Lotion, $8

Today, I’m sharing my favorite hand lotion – or what helps the skin maintenance of my DIY manicures last – Curel Ultra Healing. With us doing more handwashing than ever (I hope, anyway), we can use all the help we can get.

Hand Lotion Requirements


First, my preference is that lotion – any lotion – be free of fragrance. Fragrance in lotion tends to linger and can become annoying to me after some time. If I choose to wear fragrance, I don’t want my lotion to compete with or compound it. I particularly dislike strong fragrances on my hands – so it is doubly important to not be a thing in my hand products (though some hand soaps get a pass).


Second, the lotion needs to, you know, actually moisturize. If I need to reapply in an hour, that’s a problem. Not only do I not want to spend the time, I do not want to spend the money on a product that I need to use that frequently. The ingredient list reveals to me three different ceramides (which are important for maintaining your skin’s moisture barrier) and a handful of occlusives (which also help moisture leaching)..


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L’Oreal Voluminous Deep Burgundy

Like many mascara-wearing people, black is my go-to. To be precise, my perennial favorite is L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black ($9), is always in stock in my vanity. Last time I stocked up on mascara, though, I decided to try something a little different for me: non-black mascara. L’Oreal Voluminous Deep Burgundy ($7) comes in a washable formula and is a little different, but not shocking.

So Edgy Of You (Not)

We’re not talking Euphoria-level adventurousness, here, though; L’Oreal Voluminous Deep Burgundy does not excude drama the way bright yellow, pink, or blue do. Indeed: I would wear navy but not bright blue.

Burgundy is not generally considered a soft shade, but when applied to lashes it comes across as a neutral. It is just slightly more fun than brown and note even remotely loud.

To most onlookers, it looks like any mascara; for me, a little softer than my usual, but still definitely providing richness and definition to my lashes. To you, the wearer, and to those with an eye for detail, though, it is ever so slightly burgundy.

For those of you living in a video-conference-centric world, most webcams in use by us mere mortals aren’t going to betray your departure from the norm. If anything, L’Oreal Voluminous Deep Burgundy comes across a little softer – so I tend to reach for a black so I look more awake on camera.

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Changed My Mind: Invisibobble

Four years ago, I shared an incendiary opinion on the Invisibobble Traceless Hair Ring. I dismissed it as a gimmick. Since it came out, numerous other companies have adopted the concept in their own, similar telephone-cord-like ponytail holders.



I ended up receiving a pack of six Invisibobble in a FabFitFun box last year. It contained three clear and three light beige/light nude. Recalling my prior assessment, I sneered at them, like an ass.

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Worth it? elf Wow Brow Gel

elf wow browelf wow brow gel, $4

I was browsing through Target’s beauty aisles – as a basic white girl is wont to do – seeking NYX Milk pencils. En route, I happened to spot elf Wow Brow gel. The name is reminiscent of a Benefit product, but this does not phase me. For $4 per 0.12 oz pop, I decide to try this fiber-containing formula even though I’m not currently in the market for brow products (currently using Anastasia Dipbrow Gel ($9-18) that is SO NICE and yes I still need to write about it).


Like all elf products, elf Wow Brow packaging is unassuming in a black cylinder. Some people want to be seduced with packaging – and don’t get me wrong; I swoon over Hourglass like the rest of ’em – but I’m comfortable with simple and practical. The spoolie housed inside does not beat benefit’s in Gimme Brow and Gimme Brow+ but for the price difference, I’ll live. (Hell, I may be able to clean a Gimme Brow+ spoolie and use it if I must).

Color Selection

Examining the five shade selection, I couldn’t decide what I needed; I grabbed two. As it turns out, elf’s interpretation of Taupe differs both from my understanding of the shade as well as most other brow product manufacturers, so I grabbed it and what they deem Neutral Brown. Neutral Brown seems closer to what I expect from a Taupe shade.

Here they are in real life.

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April 2019 Favorites

April 2019 FavoritesApril 2019 Favorites
MAC Paint Pot in Painterly
, $22 / L’Oreal Blow Dry It Thermal Smoother Cream, $6 /
Clarins Glow Booster, $32 / Benefit Gimme Brow+, $24

I’m so, so happy that it is consistently not-cold. My windows have been open. I have been outside. I’m eschewing jackets. It is wonderful! April was a fairly minimal beauty month for me, but details on my April 2019 Favorites are after the jump.

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