My Easy 5 Step AM Skincare Routine

Happy Monday, everybody! I wanted get this week started off right with my morning skincare routine. It wasn't until my early twenties when I started to realize how important taking care of your skin is- we have one chance to preserve and protect our skin, we must take care of it! If we're being totally honest here, I am constantly exploring new products (thank you free samples from Sephora ROUGE) so the products that I use vary. However, if you are a complete skincare newbie- this might be a good start for you because these are the products that I continue to go back to over and over again. I have combination oily & dry skin, so many of these products are excellent for all skin types!

Pro tip: I love buying at Sephora online because you get a promo & free samples on every order. Something many people don't know- you can return ANY product ANY time for ANY reason, no matter what. So if you decide you buy one of these products and end up not liking it, you can return it! Sephora is owned by Louis Vuitton so their return policy is AMAZING! They are also offering 2x points for VIB's until 1/22 so now is a great time to get stocked up on your skincare! All images are clickable, which means you can shop the products directly from this post! 

Step 1 // Cleanse

This cleanser is the bee's knees. Does anyone say that anymore? No, okay well I LOVE it! I use it in the morning and at night, it has a way of cleaning the skin that doesn't make your skin feel dry or that 'tight' feeling. When it comes to faces that are both dry and oily, it takes a clever cleanser to balance the two. This gentle, frothy face wash carefully does both jobs without canceling each other out. Skin feels comfortably refreshed after cleansing—never tight, pulled, or parched. Great for all skin types, it’s enriched with aromatic bergamot, spearmint, and lavender to add pleasure to the process. I've tried dozens of cleansers and this one by far takes the cake- the bottle also lasts FOREVER. I probably buy a new one every 4-5 months even though I use it twice a day! 

Step 2 // Tone

Most people are very skeptical of toners, I'll admit I was too. Growing up, I used toners that left your face with that burning feeling- something I learned that you NEVER want to do. You never want to use products that make your skin feel tight or pulled. The key to this is using a toner without alcohol in it. This one has purifying chamomile and linden extracts—to remove every last trace of cleanser, leaving skin pH balanced, de-stressed, and spa-refreshed. Pro tip: Do you ever see acne in your hairline or jawline? It could be because you're not rinsing your face wash off thoroughly! Be sure to rinse well and use a toner on a cotton square to make sure it's ready to go. 

Step 3 // Brush Teeth

I know this isn't technically skincare but I've read that you should let your toner set into your skin for a minute before you apply serum or moisturizer to get maximum performance from it. My dad bought me this toothpaste for Christmas and I'm obsessed! It beats every whitening & freshening toothpaste I've ever tried, really leaving your mouth with that clean feeling for hours! This tube also lasts a long time, I feel like we usually blow through toothpaste within two weeks and we've been using the same tube for about a month now!

Step 4 // Apply Serum/ Moisturizer

Some days I apply a serum and a moisturizer, some days I apply just one or the other depending on my motivation and how my skin feels. If it feels dry, I'll apply both. This is a great time to add SPF - yes we need SPF all year round! I love this super lightweight moisturizer that doubles as a versatile sunscreen to protect from UVA/UVB rays, pollution, and free radicals while improving skin’s texture and tone. 
My thoughts on the anti-aging serum: it's never to early to start anti-aging. This powerful, age-fighting serum visibly improves fine lines and wrinkles in as little as two weeks. The cocktail of ingredients helps give skin the look of resilient bounce while creating the appearance of firmer, more lifted skin. 

Step 5 // Eye Cream

Eye creams are ESSENTIAL- I was so skeptical of these, as I wasn't sure what they'd be able to do for me but they have significantly improved the dark circles underneath my eyes. This one is good for all skin types, even the most sensitive of skin, Bye Bye Under Eye Cream is a luxurious moisturizing treatment clinically shown to address key signs of aging and visibly smooth the under-eye area. 

BONUS: Step 6 // Apply Makeup

Now that your skin is prepped and clean, you are ready to apply makeup! In case you missed it, I recently posted my 7 step natural beauty tutorial on the blog. I also have a video saved to the Highlights on my Instagram page. 

Are you loving these product roundups? Or maybe you'd like to see something different? Please let me know in the comments below! xo

Natural Beauty Gift Guide: What I Use Everyday to Achieve A Natural Makeup Look

Hello, beauties! I've recently received a good amount of feedback asking for my "go-to" makeup look. It's quite funny to me because I don't really think that my "natural/everyday" makeup is anything special because I am so used to getting glam for my job! However, this year I've really learned the importance of "less is more." And now, more than ever, I've noticed that makeup artists have been focusing on the beauty of skin and applying fewer products.  My friend & fellow model Rosa Barney taught me some life-changing techniques that have totally transformed my "natural" beauty routine as well! 

Here are the products that I use every day– whether I am going for a more natural look or going for a more dramatic look, I ALWAYS start with these products. I will be featuring some of these products and how I use them on my Instagram Story so please head on over to @CaralynMirand to see those. I will save them on my profile for a week! Full disclosure: I am NOT a professionally trained makeup artist, I just sit in the makeup chair and LOVE all things makeup. I like to think that I have an "insider's scoop" into what the professionals are using but I am definitely not a professional! I just have a passion for the industry and sharing with you! :)

The font in bold and all images are clickable- so you can shop the products by clicking either one of those!

Step 1 // Prime & Prep

With cleansed and moisturized skin, I first apply a primer. Let's talk about primers for a minute: I was incredibly skeptical about primers- whether they really work or not. Let me tell you, after many trials, I've discover that primers actually do WORK! Especially if you are going for long wear, you'll want to be sure that you're applying an even base to your skin before applying more makeup. This Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer is the one primer that I've seen makeup artists use over and over again. It is worth every penny because it makes your skin feel velvety smooth and one bottle will last you a good amount of time. 

Step 2 // Apply Your Base

BB creams and CC creams or Beauty Balm creams and Color Correcting creams are NOT all created equal. I've had the opportunity to try over a dozen of these products and these are my two favorites. BB/CC creams are great alternatives to foundations because they are buildable- which means that you can apply your desired amount for either light to full coverage.

This Beauty Balm Instant Solutions® SPF 35 by Trish McEvoy has changed my skin. It's an all-in-one skin perfector that instantly primes, brightens, evens, hydrates, controls oil, rejuvenates and protects skin. It's a little pricey but it is truly magic- it works great alone without primer (as it has one build in) or underneath foundation for a full coverage look that will last you ALL DAY LONG! 

If you're looking for a less expensive option, this Your Skin But Better™ CC+™ Cream with SPF 50+ by IT Cosmetics is my second choice.  It applies a little thicker since it was designed to have fuller coverage. This color-correcting cream provides full, flawless coverage and protects skin with SPF 50+ UVA/UVB broad-spectrum physical sunscreen. It is clinically shown to increase hydration, smooth texture, and enhance brightness. The breakthrough formula never creases or cracks and instantly camouflages skin imperfections including dark spots. I like to wear this more during the summer months or on vacation, since I like having a higher SPF on my fave while I'm in the sun!  


Step 3 // Conceal 

Sometimes foundation or BB/CC cream just doesn't cover everything that it needs to! Cue the holy grail of makeup– concealer. I'm not sure what I'd do without it!  Sometimes when I'm feeling REALLY lazy, I'll just apply concealer and curl my lashes. These two concealers have been my longtime favorites, I keep going back to them. One has a creamier consistency and the other is more matte- depending on what look you're trying to achieve. 

Step 4 // Set The Wet

I didn't realize how important it was to SET YOUR FACE! This means you need to set your bb creams, foundation, concealer with a translucent powder. Think of it like this: not using a setting powder is like not using hairspray after doing your hair. Anytime you apply anything wet to your face, you want to make sure you are setting it. Translucent powder locks in makeup for long-lasting wear, without adding weight or texture. You can use a loose powder or a pressed powder- depending on your preference. For travel, I like a pressed one but I keep a loose powder at home too. 

Step 5 // All About The Eyes & Brows

This step really depends on how motivated you are. At the absolute least, I will curl my lashes with my SHISEIDO Eyelash Curler and apply Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift underneath my eyes for a bare (but still awake) look. Next, I apply Trish McEvoy Eye Base Essentials Brighting Eyeshadow Primer. This work really well underneath eyeshadows, to keep them in place all day OR alone just as a nude base for your lids.  From there, I will add in this Intense Gel Eyeliner Pencil in the upper lids underneath my lashes, if that makes sense. I could seriously do a whole blog post on this liner- it has changed my life. Instead of swiping in a line like you normally would, you dot it. Check out my Insta Story for a better visual on how to do this!

Now onto mascara- I recently discovered this lash curling mascara, and to be honest with you I've never gotten so many compliments on my lashes. It is UNBELIEVABLE. Its a better-than-waterproof tubular curling mascara formula that comes off with warm water. It wraps, amplifies and curls each and every lash while resisting moisture so that it keeps its just-applied look until it's intentionally removed. When you're ready to wash it off, the mascara slides off your lashes with only warm water. You have to try it- I cannot go back to regular mascara after that!

For brows, I like to just use this Benefit tinted brow gel to keep the hairs from looking too wild. 

Step 6 // Glow & Bronze

If the winter blues have got you feeling pale and sad- look no further, these two products are my go-to's year round. The Milk Matte Bronzer Stick for the face and body provides instant hydration and a glowing look- all in one. It's so easy to apply and rub in with fingers or a brush. Now, if you're looking for a glow-y palette that DOES IT ALL- look no further. I was extremely skeptical of the BECCA X Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette but it is really amazing. It has a bronzer, blush and two pressed highlighters for you to mix and match with. You can literally apply it anywhere on your face, depending on what kind of look you're going for. I often use the highlighter as an eyeshadow if I'm feeling fancy! 

Step 7 // Add A Lip

I almost always forget this step, especially if I'm in a rush because I am typically just a Blistex Lip Medex kinda girl. I usually apply my lip in the car when I look in the mirror and realize I have a full face of makeup on and a pale lip. These lip products below are a few of my favorites that I have bouncing around in my purse at all times so that I can apply on the go! 

And that is my seven step easy-peasy natural face! Very curious to know what you think about this! Would you be interested in more of these? Please leave a comment below!