When you ask a bunch of beauty editors to discuss anything product-related, you should expect some strong opinions. When you ask a bunch of beauty editors to discuss their own beauty routines—well, let’s just say you should probably carve out a good hour of your day. Case in point: We were recently discussing our nighttime beauty rituals at Byrdie HQ and found ourselves caught up in an intense discussion about the best cleansing oils, serums, and overnight masks. Passionate claims were made, voices were raised, and products were eagerly thrust in other editors’ faces.
The next logical thing to do was to share those exact routines with our readers, naturally. Ahead, you’ll find the beauty rituals of our well-informed and product-obsessed team of editors—and perhaps you’ll even stumble upon a new product (or two) to incorporate into your own p.m. ritual. From natural beauty gems to can’t-live-without serums, keep scrolling to see our nighttime beauty routines!
My nighttime regimen has changed drastically over the past six months or so alone—mainly in that I now actually have a nighttime beauty regimen. It used to be How quickly can I get the majority of my makeup off of my face? followed by collapsing into bed with Netflix. I reformed once I started making myself go through the motions and realized it wasn’t just doing amazing things for my skin (and, in turn, my makeup), but also that doing it is actually extremely relaxing and gets me in the bedtime mind-set. Really, I owe it all to Eve Lom’s cleanser for getting the habit going—the ritual that the cleanser entails is what put me in the groove. After washing my face with Eve Lom Cleanser ($80), if I’m also wearing a decent amount of eye makeup that day, I’ll use One Love Organics’ Skin Savior Waterless Beauty Balm ($49) with a cotton pad to make sure I got it all—it even gets the waterproof stuff without tugging my eye skin, since it’s that gentle.
I’ll follow with a toner—right now it’s Shamanuti’s Seaweed Non-Alcohol Toner ($28)—and then I rub on Sulwhasoo Capsulized Ginseng Fortifying Serum ($150). I don’t generally use face or eye creams—they seem to make me break out for some reason, but if my skin is super dry or if I exfoliated that night, I’ll slather on a layer of May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate ($160), which combats any irritation and intensely moisturizes my face overnight. It’s like the facial equivalent of sticking my feet in balm-filled spa socks; I wake up in the morning to a completely different complexion.
Finally, I’ve always been really prone to both psoriasis and keratosis pilaris, which means that moisturizing the rest of my body is non-negotiable. After years of trying to slather on every cream or lotion known to man, I’ve found that the only thing that works is body oil. I love both Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse ($29) and Indie Lee’s Patchouli Sandalwood Moisturizing Oil ($36) and have actually found that the classic Morrocanoil Treatment ($44) (yes, the one for hair!) works exceedingly well when things are literally quite rough. Lastly, I always like to set the mood (for sleep, to clarify) with a few drops of lavender essential oil on my pillow, and a candle—right now I’m obsessed with The Motley + Life/After/Denim Woodsmoke Candle ($58), which helps transport me from my shoebox apartment to a remote cabin somewhere.
I start by removing my makeup. Which means I wash my hands first (a very important step—you can‘t get your face clean with dirty fingers). If I’m just wearing mascara and brow pencil, I’ll use Almay Longwear & Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Pads ($7). If I’ve put any makeup on my face, I’ll bring out the big guns—Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths ($39) (I save these for full-face days in efforts to save $$$). Next, whatever cleanser I’m using at the moment. Currently, I’m loving Drunk Elephant’s JuJu Bar ($28). I like to give myself a little massage for about a minute before rinsing thoroughly with lukewarm water. And for my second cleanser (again, whatever feels right in the moment), but I can’t go wrong with Renée Rouleau Purifying Face Wash ($37). For step two of my double cleanse, I bring in my beloved Konjac Sponge. I love one with charcoal, like Arithmetic Konjac Exfoliating Sponge ($20). Then I dry off with a fresh, clean towel (I’m crazy-obsessive about my towels).
Then, most nights it’s time for a glycolic acid exfoliating pad, which I use down my neck and chest, too. Cane + Austin Retexturizing Treatment Pads ($60) are great—powerful but not irritating to my sensitive skin. I follow with spritz of Kate Somerville Dermal Quench Liquid Lift Advanced Wrinkle Treatment ($95) and a few passes with my micro-roller. My second serum alternates between La Prairie Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster ($290) (my mother has used La Prairie for as long as I can remember and has great skin—that’s how I justify the price) when I want something really anti-aging and Sonya Dakar Organic Omega Booster ($48) when I need something soothing and moisturizing.
I’m not really picky about moisturizer. I’ll use anything that’s light and made with clean ingredients. I’m over the whole heavy-night-creams thing—all of my heavy-duty anti-aging efforts happen pre-moisturizer. Honestly, sometimes I’m exhausted by the time I get to the moisturizer step, and I just skip it. If I’m being good, I’ll apply eye cream. I use anything that promises to banish dark circles. Though, I haven’t found one that’s made much of difference yet (I suppose my sporadic usage could be to blame). If I have a breakout, I’ll also probably apply a spot treatment somewhere in there before moisturizer or the second serum. But again, I find that time heals pimples better than anything I’ve squeezed out of a tube.
My nighttime routine varies depending on which way I swing in the tired/motivated continuum that evening. On a good night, my routine goes a little something like this: I always light a candle in my room first—my bathroom is connected to my bedroom, and I like emerging into a softly scented space (probably not the best for fire safety, but I smartly choose to ignore this fact). Currently I’m loving Maison Martin Margiela’s Lazy Sunday Morning Candle ($60)—it’s a clean, cozy scent that smells like just that. Then, off to the bathroom I go. I usually remove my eye makeup with Almay’s Oil-Free Gentle Eye Makeup Remover Pads ($8) or pass over my face with Simple’s Micellar Make-up Remover Wipes ($7). Then, I reach for my favorite Tatcha Pure One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($48). It smells divine and gently melts any leftover makeup right off. I’ll follow with another cleanser, usually GlamGlow’s Powercleanse Daily Dual Cleanser ($39)—it’s sulfate-free and leaves my skin feeling fresh. Then, I exfoliate—right now, I’m using Nude Skincare’s Detox Brightening Fizzy Powder Wash ($42). It smells like cereal, weirdly, but I love it.
After cleansing, I follow with an alcohol-free toner—I like Pixi’s Beauty Glow Tonic ($29), or S.W. Basics’ Toner ($22) when I feel a breakout coming—then pat SK-II’s Essence ($105) into my skin. It makes a huge difference in balancing oiliness, and my skin is noticeably duller on days I skip this step. Then, comes the serums. I like Skin Inc’s My Daily Dose ($90) because it’s customized (I’m Ceramide, Licorice, and Vitamin C—in other words, I’m tired all the time and my skin shows it) and gentle. I’ve recently been trying 111 Skin’s Y Theorem Repair Serum NAC Y2 ($350), which smells like licorice and instantly makes my skin feel taut in a good way. I get this random breakout that flares up in the middle of my forehead without warning, which used to be the bane of my existence—luckily, I’ve discovered Medik8’s BetaGel ($68), which literally clears it up overnight. It’s a miracle worker and I’ve gotten all my friends hooked. Finally, I seal it all in with a light moisturizer. I love K-beauty products, and Alicia Yoon at Peach and Lily sent over Cremorlab’s White Bloom Floral Cream ($72), which is fluffy and light, like snow. If my skin is looking tired or dull, I reach for Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum ($185), which I warm up in my palms then pat into my skin. I don’t usually like face oils, but it’s filled with amazing natural ingredients and I know that when I use it, I’ll wake up looking like I got eight hours of sleep, even if it’s far from the truth. I suck at remembering eye cream, but when I do use it, I like Fresh’s Lotus Youth Preserve Eye Cream ($42). At this point, I’m usually more than ready for bed, so I head back to my room, inhale deeply and give a sigh of content, catch up on Kylie Jenner’s Snapchat (thanks for the rec, Deven and Victoria), then hit the hay. Oh, and I usually remember to blow out the candle.
Keeping a consistent beauty routine is extremely important to me. Even if I’ve been out all night and am a little, ahem, tipsy, I still always make sure to take off all of my makeup, brush my teeth, take out my contacts, etc., or I know I’ll regret it in the morning. Before I do anything, I take out my contacts so I’m not rubbing them or getting soap in them when I wash my face. I’m always sure to wash my hands first too, to avoid any unnecessary germs. I generally stick to Bausch & Lomb Renu Multi-Purpose Solution, Fresh Lens Comfort ($11) as my contact solution of choice. Next comes the face washing. I tend to break out, so I’ve been using L’Oréal Paris Go 360 Clean Anti-Breakout Facial Cleanser ($5). Not only does it help protect my skin from blemishes, but it also gets off all of my makeup in just one washing. I don’t use the little silicone scrub brush it comes with, and instead use the Proactiv Deep Cleansing Brush ($45).
Next up, I like to use astringent. I swear that my skin has totally transformed since using it, and love that it gets off any and all leftover makeup and dead skin. My favorite is the tried-and-true Sea Breeze Actives Sensitive Skin Astringent ($12). I like to apply just a few drops to a cotton ball and swipe it all over my face and neck. My current favorite moisturizer is Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream ($27). It’s light enough that it doesn’t make my face greasy but still hydrates like a champ. Some nights when I’m feeling extra fancy, I’ll use a few drops of the Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil ($48) and press it into my skin using my fingertips. It’s made such a difference and doesn’t break me out. Finally, if ever there’s a night where I do sleep in my makeup (I know, I know), I’ll use a Bioré Self-Heating One Minute Mask ($7) to help draw out impurities and get my skin back in shape. It feels so good to apply (it truly does get super warm!) and revamps my skin to a tee.
I’ve taken up running recently, at the suggestion of my mentor from Saint Laurent (now the co-founder behind an inspirational sports and wellness project called District Vision). I usually go for about two and a half miles around sunset because it is so incredibly hot any other time in L.A. Once I got over the initial struggles with breath, I found it to be meditative and a mental exercise to navigate through stress and anxiety. I also love to eat a big dinner, so it’s great for me to get my cardio in at night and then feel good about indulging when my body is still in fat-burning mode.
Because of the recent edit to my fitness routine, I now shower at night. I’m sort of crazy about my shampoo and conditioners since coloring my hair. It’s super dry in L.A., so I wash my hair once every two to three days and alternate Sally Hershberger’s Plump Up Volume Shampoo ($9) and Conditioner ($9) and Bumble and Bumble’s Gentle Shampoo ($25) and Super Rich Conditioner ($27), which is a little easier on the hair for regular use. (When I lived in NY, I used B+B every morning and swore by it.) Recently I’ve also been spritzing on Terax Italia’s Shine Color Locking Leave In Conditioner ($22) before brushing my hair. This helps minimize hair casualties. No matter where I am, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve never skipped running a drop or two of argan oil through the ends of my hair. I use Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil ($48) but found the brand doesn’t matter so long as it is 100% argan.
For face, I am a dedicated Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser ($15) advocate. I love how gentle it is on my skin and that I can find it anywhere in the world. I use Trader Joe’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil ($6) on a cotton ball to remove eye makeup. I have blepharitis on my lids and have found TJ’s oil to be the only thing that doesn’t irritate it. To hydrate, I apply a few drops of REN Rose O12 Moisture Defense Oil ($80) to my entire face. Once it’s absorbed, I use about a dime-size amount of Honor MD’s Medical Grade Hydrate ($70), an intense moisturizer prescribed to me by my doctor. Then I apply a dot of Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado ($29) under each eye; I keep it in the fridge because I love the way it feels cold.
I try to remember to exfoliate and apply a hydrating mask at least twice a week. I am incredibly unfaithful here but currently am into REN Rosa Centifolia No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm ($48) and Glossier’s Moisturizing Moon Mask ($22). When I remember, I apply Graydon’s All-Over Elixir Oil ($32) to my arms and legs before getting into bed. The blend of sunflower-, camellia-, grape-seed oil and vitamin E smells great and feels like silk.
Whew, you made it to the end! Have you tried any of these products? Is your own beauty routine more on the minimal side, or are you a 10-step girl? Sound off below!