Why I'm Passionate About Skincare & A Few New Products I'm Loving


The post was written in collaboration with Sephora inside JCPenney. Though all my opinions and stories are my own. #SephoraInJCP

I haven’t always been into skincare. Truthfully, I’ve only been obsessed with all things skin for about a year and half now. Every few weeks it seems I learn something new and swap out things in my skincare routine. I have always washed my face, mostly when I showered. I’d wash my face once a day and more often than not I’d fall asleep with makeup on. After I had my second baby, my daughter Mila, I poured my heart and soul into her. I was at her beck and call and slowly lost touch with myself. Long story short, I wasn’t taking care of myself and in doing that I was hurting myself and everyone around me. I learned the hard way that in order to be the best mother, wife, friend and human being, I had to first take care of myself. I immediately think back to when flying with my kids. The flight attendant would always stop to tell me, “Be sure to put the air mask on yourself before helping your kids do so.” It is that same concept here, I have to fill my cup in order to fill others.

After my daughter Mila turned a year old, I started to rethink where I was putting my energy. I decided to start re-investing in myself. I thought the easiest way to do so was after Mila went to bed, when I’d start a little self-pampering. I started with taking a hot shower and moisturizing from head to toe. I’d have a little wine or indulge in some ice cream. I’d take about thirty minutes to myself and really soak it all in. After a few months and shortly after my 33rd birthday, I basically craved a more regimented skin care routine. I wanted to be proactive about wrinkles and learn how to lighten up the dark spots that showed up after having my kids. I began with a face cleanser, toner and moisturizer. From there I built on an eye cream, a night time moisturizer and a daily serum. Now I have about five steps in my skin care routine that take place morning and night. Plus, a few various masks I work in a few times a week and special face SPF. My skincare routine has become MY THING. I look forward it every morning and every night. Developing a skincare routine and really taking the time to get to know me and my skin has helped my daily outlook so much. Plus, my skin has never looked and felt better!

I’ve partnered with Sephora inside JCPenney to share with you all about their in-store Free Mini Facials. Plus, I’m highlighting a few of their products that use from the Earth ingredients to help restore our skin. I learned so much during my Free Mini Facial and have been so giddy about incorporating some new products into my skincare routine! The Free Mini Facial takes about fifteen minutes and anyone can walk in and receive one—no appointment needed. I’d definitely recommend this for anyone who wants to learn more about skincare in general or for someone like me who may have a routine already, but wants to learn about a few new products. Or you can just go and enjoy getting pampered! Either way, it is totally worth the trip to Sephora inside JCPenney. My Free Mini Facial began with a short conversation with the Sephora inside JCPenney Education Manager. She asked me questions about my skin and what I currently do for skin care. This way she could pull products that were new to me, but also focused on the type of skin I have. I personally have combination skin—my forehead, nose and chin are oily while my cheeks and temples are more dry. Since I love using natural skincare products, we pulled some of Sephora inside JCPenney’s ‘Wellness Wonders’ skin products. These products use natural, from the Earth ingredients like teas and natural acids to balance skin and give it a radiant glow.

Photos by Lily Ro Photography


We started by cleansing the skin with the Youth To The People Kale Green Tea + Spinach Vitamins Cleanser. I have fallen in love with this cleanser and now use it as my morning cleanser. It is very gentle and helps balance my skin, and it offers a good, feeling clean which I so appreciate in the morning. To further cleanse and prep the skin, we used the Ole Henriksen Truth On The Glow Cleansing Cloths. These cloths were such a surprise, I knew right away I was taking a pack home with me! They are so soft and gently cleanse the skin as well as hydrate it with jojoba seed oil. Since my Free Mini Facial, I’ve used the cloths multiple times a day. I love using them after the gym or at the beach and in between sunscreen applications.


Next, we tested a few masks I had been really excited to try. We ‘Multi-Masked’ which means we put on two masks at once, which I never thought to do but it was really great! Since I do have combination skin it makes sense to do two different masks that apply to my oily skin vs my dryer areas. We used the Tatcha Violet-C Radiance Mask on my forehead and bridge of my nose. This specific mask uses Japanese superfoods to turn over dull, uneven skin to improve clarity and Vitamin C to give an instant glow. Then we used the Korres Pomegranate AHAs & Enzyme Resurfacing Mask on my cheeks. (This mask isn't available online, but they definitely have it in store!) This mask uses pomegranate enzymes to purify the skin and minimize pores. I also love the grainy texture because it helps exfoliate the skin and peel away dead skin cells. You can wear both of these masks all over your face. We mostly wore them both at the same time to save time. I enjoyed both these masks, though I have been using the Korres Resurfacing mask more often. I think because it gives me more of a deeper clean, especially after being outside a ton and wearing sunscreen.


I knew going into this Free Mini Facial that I wanted to test out and learn more about the Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence. It has been on my ‘Must Try’ list for a while now. A great time to apply a facial essence is right after you have cleansed your skin. You are supposed to gently press it into your skin and I have to say, this was my favorite part of the entire facial. This specific facial essence felt incredible on my skin, very hydrating. It uses kombucha, fermented black tea that aids in protecting your skin from pollution and increases your skin’s luminosity with continuous use. I didn’t go home with this product because I wanted a few others more, but I still enjoyed it and will end up buying it at some point when I’m ready.


Lastly (and most importantly) we MOISTURIZE! I can’t stress enough how important it is to moisturize your skin after cleaning it. I used to skip out on moisturizing because I thought it was adding more oil to my face. It is actually quite the opposite. Moisturizing and keeping your skin hydrated is vital. It keeps your skin balanced, reduces winkles and gives your skin a supple feel. I use a few different moisturizers to keep my skin hydrated (but the true secret is to drink A TON OF WATER.) The moisturizer we used during my Free Mini Facial was the Tatcha Water Cream and holy wow it was Heaven! It uses powerful Japanese botanicals like wild rose and leopard lily to tighten pores and control excess oil. It also uses green tea and algae to give a youthful radiance. It has become my favorite moisturizer, though I use it sparingly!


In the end I went home with: Ole Henriksen Truth On The Glow Cleansing Cloths, Korres Pomegranate AHAs & Enzyme Resurfacing Mask, Tatcha Violet-C Radiance Mask and the Youth To The People Green Tea Cleanser. It has been so much fun incorporating the new-to-me products into my current skincare routine! I just adore all things skin and my ‘My Time’ has seriously grown into one of my most favorite parts of the day. I think the most important thing to learn from all this is that we all deserve a little alone time and pampering. It soothes the soul (and for me the skin ;) I’d say if you don’t already have a skincare routine in place, start one slowly and really enjoy the time it takes to care for yourself. You won’t regret it and it will help you become better in more ways than one.