Fall Beauty Essentials {and a happy acne update!}

As the weather gets colder and dryer, it is necessary for me to adapt my beauty routine to the fall. This year, I am looking forward to make more daring choices when it comes to make-up. As to skincare, my priority is to hydrate, nourish and maintain the healthy look of my skin. 

Because, dears, my skin has never looked better! Remember those pesky acne problems I always talked about? They're gone!

I've always envied women who wake up and do not need to spend thirty minutes in front of the mirror applying make-up in order to look presentable. Unfortunately, since my early teens, this was not a possibility for me, given my problematic, dry, acne-prone skin. Being a very feminine woman, I always felt bittersweet towards make-up and beauty, as I loved taking part in these rituals, but part of me wished they weren't so essential. Part of me wished I could go to the gym or the pool or even the supermarket without having to wear foundation, concealer, and powder or look scary. 

This summer, all of this changed. By some miracle, ten days into my trip to Lebanon, my skin became completely blemish-free, allowing me to not wear any make-up. And to think that two days before, I had consulted a dermatologist who prescribed me another round of Accutane. Luckily, I didn't have to think about how I would be allowed to take a six-month supply of the treatment through US Customs, as going through the treatment became completely unnecessary. 

I wish I knew what exactly caused that, if only to advise people who are struggling with acne, but I cannot say that I did something particularly healthy. I ate delicious Lebanese cuisine, hardly fat-free but probably organic and GMO-free, drank alcohol and smoked cigarettes much more than I do here. I cannot say it was the absence of pollution, but perhaps proximity to the sea? Iodine-filled air? Or... simply being happy and away from the stress of my daily life here? 

In any case, I am beyond happy to have this "new" blemish-free canvas, as it allows me to take even more pleasure in those delightful, quintessentially feminine beauty rituals. And at the risk of sounding superficial, I just love it when people tell me how much better my skin is, and how radiant I look! 

Here are the products that I have incorporated in my beauty routine for this fall.

1. MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Invisible Cover Foundation: As I said, I very rarely wear foundation now, but I use this long-time favourite to unify my complexion when needed. 

2. Rimmel London Glam Eyes Mascara: I change my mascara every three months, and the packaging on this one just seduced me completely. I'm a sucker for pink! 

3. ROUGE COCO HYDRATING CREME Lip Color Limited Edition: My lips get extremely dry in the fall, so I make sure to wear a hydrating lipstick close to my natural colour. 

4. Guerlain Khol for Eyes: This fall, I am determined to play up my eyes and make a tribute to my Lebanese roots by wearing black kohl, for that Oriental temptress look. 

5. Aura Cacia 100% Pure Essential Oil Calming Lavender: I've spoken many times about using lavender essential oil on my skin to treat acne and calm redness. I avoid using it undiluted during the warmer months on a daily basis, but in the fall I apply it at night to wake up with a calmed, brightened and unified complexion. I also use it in bubble baths, on burns and scrapes, and my oil diffuser.

6. Boots Botanics Organic Super Balm: This was a recent discovery from Target, and I love that it is not only very affordable, but makes my skin extremely soft (and not oily). I apply it at night, usually, but sometimes in the morning, when I feel that my skin is in need of a little more hydration. 

7. essie® Nail Color - After School Boy Blazer (0.46 oz): I know, I've been raving for ages about how I only wear red nail polish, and my Fifty Shades of Red, but this dark navy blue is the colour that you'll always see on my nails this fall. 

8. Burt's Bees Beeswax Hand Creme Almond: My hands get terribly dry in cold weather, and it doesn't help that I'm terribly OCD with dishwashing and need to wash everything meticulously in boiling water (I wish there were good dishwashers in this country, that wouldn't leave white residues on half-cleaned utensils... And faster trains. And the metric system while we're at it. Yeah, keep dreaming). So I use a thick hand cream that contains beeswax and slip on cotton glove.

9. L'Occitane 'Aromachologie' Repairing Mask: This summer, in Lebanon, I got a keratin treatment that took my hair from dry and damaged to healthy and shiny. It was extremely practical as I did not have the time to blow-dry my hair after spending the day at the beach all the time for it to look acceptable. In order to maintain this healthy appearance, I keep using sulfate-free shampoo and regularly apply a repairing mask. 

10. Spa WisdomTM Africa Shea Butter & Sesame Body Balm: Again, to avoid the problem of dry, flaky skin, that also bleeds profusely - I'm almost exaggerating - when I shave, I use the thickest, most hydrating balm available. Shea butter also helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks, which is good since I am also shedding off the pounds! 

11. Tresemme Fresh Start Volumizing Dry Shampoo: I have noticed that my hair is more oily now that, after the keratin treatment, it is no longer wavy. I try however to shampoo it every other day so not to fade my colour. This dry shampoo allows me to add volume at the roots. 

12. Dr. Bronner's Hemp Pure-Castile Soap Peppermint: I've used this soap for two years now, and in its many different scents (lavender, rose...). However, I find the tingling feel of a peppermint shower very invigorating on these cold mornings when you don't want to get out of your warm bed...



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