Getting my act together with the help of Gee Beauty.
If you follow along at all, you’ll know that I have issues with my skin and I talk about it a lot. What can I say? It’s preoccupying. At this point I’ve resigned myself to the monthly cycle of breakouts that is my skin, but, especially in my line of work where new products are coming into the office all the time, I never stop trying to find that cleanser, toner or mask that will magically make over my skin. Even if I didn’t have samples upon samples available to test and try, you can bet I’d be swayed (by articles like this) to try a million and one miracle products.
As you might imagine, this leads to one very convoluted and scattered skincare routine. In fact, there is no routine at all—I’m loyal to no products or regimens. For the most part, I’m okay with this because experimentation is probably the one thing that makes skincare fun (if it can even be called that), but it does make me wonder if anything is ever really working—and what actually works for my skin type (acne-prone, dry) anyway?
Then I found out that Gee Beauty, a family-run boutique and beauty services source based in Toronto and Miami, offers a customized skincare service using all of the exceedingly luxurious products they sell at their stores. In other words, they take a look at your skin while taking into account your lifestyle and the amount of time you want to spend working on yourself, and then create a routine just for you. I was going to Miami for a number of shoots, and it felt like a sign: it was time to get my skincare shit together. I wanted to shelve the experimentation (for the time being, at least) and see if sticking to one regimen, using products that are really meant for my skin type, would actually offer results.
And that’s exactly what I did. At their temporary Gee Beauty pop-up at Miami’s Soho Beach House (they’re opening a permanent location this fall a few blocks away), Celene and Natalie Gee gave me a full consultation—everything from which products and what order to the exact technique with which to apply (bet you don’t know how to apply eye cream). We recorded the whole thing on Facebook, and you can watch it here to essentially be with me at the appointment.
What I ended up with is a routine constructed by the ultimate experts (the Gees know what they’re doing) specifically tailored to my skin (dry with hormonal and environmental breakouts) and lifestyle (full-contact New York with a lot of travel). Here’s the routine I went home with.
1. Cleanse with Skinceuticals Gentle Cleanser. Think of it as a more substantial Cetaphil.
2. Spritz Caudalie Beauty Elixir for instant hydration. (The Gee sisters swear by this product and persuaded me to carry it around for refreshes throughout the day.)
3. Use Skinceuticals Phloretin CF serum, which helps to protect your skin from pollutants and free radicals (aka everything in New York City).
4. Moisturize with Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3, which is a light yet creamy gel-like moisturizer that helps with cell turnover and minimizing redness (major key) and isn’t tacky, which is especially nice under makeup.
5. Pat on Tata Harper Restorative Eye Cream. I’m one of those who never used eye cream before now, but it is apprently the best thing you can do for yourself, so...
6. Protect with Skinceuticals Physical Matte UV Defence SPF 50, a super-effective zinc-based sunscreen that honestly doesn’t feel like you’re wearing sunscreen.
1. Cleanse with Skinceuticals Gentle Cleanser again.
2. Spray Caudalie Beauty Elixir immediately following washing (and always).
3. Each night, alternate between the following specialty products:
a. Pat on Retinol Reform by Shani Darden twice a week. As you might know, applying retinol is pretty much the best thing you can do for your skin in terms of both anti-aging and treating breakouts, but it can be drying when you first start, so go easy in the beginning.
b. Apply Dr. Sebagh Skin Perfecting Mask, which is deep-cleansing and honestly genius. My skin has never felt or looked better than it does immediately after using it, and I’m pretty sure that prolonged use will make it even better.
c. Apply Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Masque once a week. This mask is cooling, calming and super hydrating. In other words, it’s excellent after travel or just after a long week.
4. Moisturize again with Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3.
5. Again, apply Tata Harper Restorative Eye Cream.
In all honesty, after adhering strictly to this routine for a few weeks, my skin looks great. I still deal with hormonal breakouts from time to time, but the random pimples are fewer and farther between and seem to go away much quicker. Seems to me all I needed was a bit of personalization and consistency. Seriously, though: how adult is that?
The lovely women over at Gee Beauty sent me an extra set of the products that make up this genius routine and we’re giving them away on Snapchat (@thecoveteur) tonight (Tuesday, August 23). Make sure you tune in for a chance to win.