Introducing Leah: Detailed Skincare Routine for Normal to Dry Skin + Best Mascara Ever

Hi, my name is Leah. I’m from Indianapolis but currently live in New York. I am absolutely obsessed with my own face, and I’m here to share my own tips and findings with you!

For the last year, I’ve been really into skincare. I spend a lot of my free time researching ingredients, upcoming brands, and helpful techniques. I follow several estheticians on Twitter, who provide guidance for specific skin types instead of general product recommendations. If you’re getting into skin, I recommend you do your research based on ingredients and formulas so that you can apply that knowledge while shopping instead of relying completely on a brand’s own product descriptions. This way, you are empowered to make the best decisions for your skin!

I naturally have very dry and dull skin, so I do the absolute most to take care of it. My current skin care routine is as follows:

Like I said, I do a lot of research on how products are formulated, so I will likely be doing a separate review on these products to incorporate this research. I put a lot of effort into making sure what I put on my face is safe and effective. Currently, I’m looking for a sleeping mask that can help with texture and hydration, so I will be sure to let you in on my final choice. Note that I have dry, dull skin, so what works for me would work best for those of you with similar skin type, but I want to always expand my knowledge on other skin types and treatments!

Now let’s get into makeup — the fun stuff! My current everyday makeup routine hasn’t changed much from how it was in high school. I’m lucky to have naturally (usually) clear skin, and it has become more consistently clear and radiant with my skincare routine. I love just having to apply some mascara and lipstick before heading to work or class. Recently, I’ve been elevating this natural look with some new products, and I’ve been very happy with the results, so I thought I’d give a quick overview of what I use for lashes, lips, and brows:

My mom recently gave me a sample of the Lancome CILS BOOSTER XL Enhancing Lash Primer. Now, I’ll preface: even with mascara, my lashes are lacking. The curl doesn’t hold, the length is non-existent, and the lashes themselves are sparse. When I first tried this primer, I saw that every lash was coated and was visibly longer. It also amplified the effects of the mascara I was using at the time to make it even thicker and curlier. At this time, I was not happy with the mascara I was using at the time, but based on the utility of the primer alone, I was willing to stick with it. There was definitely a point in my life when I found the idea of a lash primer ridiculous, but now I don’t want to use any mascara without it. This makes a HUGE difference.

For a birthday gift, I received the the Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara, after experimenting with Définicils from Lancome and Better than Sex from Too Faced. I honestly don’t think anything can compete. It’s conditioning, lengthening, and volumizing to the extreme—the name doesn’t lie! Also, the black is really gorgeous and pigmented. Let me reiterate: I am a person with absolutely NO eyelashes, and now people think I’m wearing falsies (with or without the primer described above). I seriously cannot recommend this product enough.

You could probably tell that I love my lips by the sheer amount of product I use on them. They’ve always been my signature feature! I’ve worn lipstick every day for about 5 years. Even my mom barely recognizes me without it! I am ALL about a deep red or purple shade—I’ve tried to get into more nude lippies, but I’ll leave that to Auntie Jackie (Aina). My first love was and always will be the Ultra Matte liquid lipsticks from Colourpop (RIP to my favorite shade Rooch), but lately I’ve been feeling more of a glossy lip. Kiko Milano 3D Hydra Lipgloss has such a beautiful formula, with a slight plumping effect, and a great range of colors. I currently live in shade 15, a rosy red shade, but I am looking into adding to my collection.

I just got the first eyebrow product that I think works for me: Glossier Boy Brow (black). Ever since I started using the Lancome oil (listed above), I’ve seen my once wispy brows grow into something that I can actually style, not just fill in. I love this shade of black, because it’s not unnatural against my brown skin, but it still pops. A while ago, I got this brow pencil in a brown shade, but I find it to be too ashy on its own. I may use it for two-toned brow application—the depth that the two shades create makes for a beautiful 3-D effect.

This is totally new territory for me, but I’m excited to start experimenting! I am really excited to share my knowledge with all of you! Let me know if you tried any of the products I mentioned or if you would like to share any recommendations! Follow me on my personal Instagram page as well — @leeluvsdogs