Beauty Basics Skin Skin Products Skincare Tips & Tricks

Great Skin is in.

Remember when you were a teenager and you were SUPER excited to be an adult so you  wouldn’t get zits anymore?

I’m still waiting.

So if just growing up worked as good for you as it did for me (or if you haven’t grown up yet) here is my best tips for keeping your skin as clear and as pretty as the “adult” you always imagined you would be.


Normal Skin:
Philosophy Great Skin is In Normal/Combo Full Kit

I am completely smitten with Philosphy’s products. They make my skin feel incredible and I love the simplicity of a 3 product routine. I wash my face once a day in the evening before bed.

Normal Skin on a Budget:
St. Ives Facial Moisturizer Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin
I can’s always afford Philosphy so on weaker wallet days I shoot for the St. Ives Line. GREAT products people. Such a steal too, you have to double take the prices.

St. Ives, Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub

St. Ives Makeup Remover & Facial Cleanser

Sensitive Skin:
First Aid Beauty Fab Faves To Go Kit
I don’t have sensitive skin at all but for my peeps that do I have heard RAVE reviews on this adorable line.

Other stuff:

Don’t scrimp on the moisture! 
Even if you are naturally oily, you need to fight fire with fire and moisturize! It won’t make you greasy or make you break out! I promise!

Keep your little diggers off the skin!
OK, I understand the occasional beheading of your white head or clearing your extra bad black heads but other than that you need to keep your mitts off! You could be causing many more troubles than you are alleviating.

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. Drink up ladies. It does everything good. Including but not limited too your SKIN!

Stop comparing your skin to ANYONE else’s:
There are SO many types of beautiful skin. I am lost and bewildered when a girl tells me to cover her freckles?? Um, I create fake-eyeliner freckles on my face to brighten my day. Or that their skin is too white or too yellow…compared to what? Stop it. You’re beautiful, You’re skin is far, far more flawless than you give it credit for!

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  • Reply
    September 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Your face makeup looks beautiful in this picture! What products did you use?

    • Reply
      September 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      Yes, I would love you know how you did your makeup/What products you used as well!

      • Reply
        June 29, 2014 at 1:45 pm

        I would love to know what you used on your lips here! Love the look.

  • Reply
    September 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    love this! thanks.

  • Reply
    September 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Your skin looks amazing in this picture. Thanks for the budget product suggestions! Some of us are having light wallet years.

  • Reply
    Jessica Haste
    September 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Hey Cara. Great post on skin care. I don’t know if you are familiar with Groupon or not but there is a whole makeup brush set selling for like 18 bucks.

  • Reply
    cass miller
    September 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Cara, do you have a clarisonic? CHANGED MY LIFE.

    • Reply
      September 13, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      No! I neeeeeed to though, it pretty much seems like everyone that has one can’t get enough of it! I better bite the bullet and get one!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm


    • Reply
      February 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      Like you said, that only usually happens when you use something you’re allergic to. Sensitive skin will more likely get red, dry and painful pretty well everywhere. I get the same baggy painful rash kinda thing when I used Proactive, turns out I’m allergic. Use a cortisone cream OTC for the dryness and swelling, cold compresses for the swelling/pain. AND THEN DON’T USE IT AGAIN!! Rosacea is a chronic skin condition, not a reaction to a cream!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    thx for the chin up talk 🙂 ill probably be dealing with adult acne most of my life…genetics 😛 it sucks sometimes, but you are right…we always see ourselves a lot worse than it is in reality!

    • Reply
      September 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm

      oh & i should also mention.. thx to ur blog & all ur tutorials i feel great in my makeup and for the first time i feel like i know what im doing which makes me so much more confidant to face the day even if i do have bad acne. so thank u : )

  • Reply
    September 13, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Cara, My friend who is in cosmetology school says the best advice she got was that St. Ives Apricots use apricot cores, therefore is really bad for your skin. She told me it cuts your skin at a micro level causing damage over time. One other thing is you should check out Dr. Perricones advice on eating a low glycemic index diet to clear up your skin. His advice makes total sense and is the only thing truly to work for my adult acne.

    • Reply
      September 13, 2012 at 7:01 pm

      oh wow, I never heard that until now…something to check out thank you!

      • Reply
        September 15, 2012 at 3:34 am

        St. Ives Green Tea Scrub is amazing! And the particles are a lot smaller so they are less damaging on your skin. Smells good too 🙂

        • Reply
          September 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm

          love St. Ives green tea scrub! It’s my first choice when I can’t afford Purity Made Simple. My skin feels wonderfully clean afterward.

          Ps, Cara- get a Clarisonic! I got the Clarisonic Mia. It’s considered a travel size, but it works just as well. It just lacks the multiple speeds that the original has. Also, the Mia offers pretty colors to choose from 🙂

  • Reply
    September 13, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Sooo, I think I already left you a comment saying how much I love your blog, but I can’t find which post I left it on. Oh well. Mommy brain!

    Do you have a place on here where you discuss the different brushes? I did order that Morphe set, now Im wondering how to use them to their best advantage. Thanks! You rock!

  • Reply
    Jenna free
    September 13, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Your skin looks so great , my problem is redness . What is the best way to get rid of that while still being tanned , when I try to fix it I just look so pale.

  • Reply
    Cathern Brody
    September 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Thanks for putting together all these great resources on Squidoo! Hope to see more soon,
    Squidoo’s Community Organizer

  • Reply
    September 16, 2012 at 1:42 am

    can you do a post soon on how to care for, and what to look for in using lash extensions? i just got some yesterday and LOVE them but have no idea what im doing!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Hi! I noticed your eyes were brown in your most recent post. I LOVE the blue green color of your eyes and was wondering if they are color contacts do you mind sharing what brand and color they are? Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    I was wanting to know your opinion on this blog…I cam across it today and was wondering what you think about her dupes of high end make up.

    I value your opinion and I am very interested in what you think about it.


  • Reply
    Cara Valenzuela
    September 16, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    I went in to Sephora the other day…to get the TooFaced Foundation you recommended. I got a skincare consult as well and she used the FAB line on my skin. It is absolutely AMAZING!!! And yes Cara, you have to bite the bullet and get the Clarosonic!

    <3 The Other Cara

  • Reply
    September 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I’ve heard GREAT things about St Ive’s skin care products. I will have to give them a try. Right now I’m currently using DDF brightening cleanser. It came in my birchbox and I LOVE IT! It seriously is making my dark spots (from using these fingeys to pick apart my face : / ) fade and is keeping my face clear. It’s pretty pricey but you barely use any at all so it lasts for a while. Your skin looks amazing in this picture. And you are so beautiful!

    • Reply
      September 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm

      I use the DDF that I got in my birchbox too. It’s been doing a great job to help lighten the mask I got when pregnant.

  • Reply
    September 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    I have sensitive skin, and b/c of cystic acne I was put on accutane… which did the trick! However, it dried out my face pretty bad. I tried a LOT of stuff in all price ranges. And the First Aid Beauty Ultra repair cream worked the best on the face! My face has never looked better even thought all the moisture is being sucked out of it every minute. For other areas, other lotions work better. Eucerin makes your hands look younger (amazing difference after a week of using it) and Aquaphor is the best lip balm EVER. No taste, lasts longer than anything else I’ve used, even with eating and drinking. And it just heals the lips. Only downfall is no spf. oh well. can’t have it all.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm


    Your blog is so great!! I have always thought that there are a list of things every woman should know how to do before 25 and clean, beautiful makeup and hair are on the list and i never was taught! I’m almost thirty and just started learning!! Thank you for being willing to teach. 🙂 I’ve always had skin issues too and I’ve found that chemical free products are the best for reactive skin ! Makes a huge difference!
    On another note, do you have good volumizer recommendations for fine hair? Would love a suggestion!! Thanks again for teaching us non skilled women these tricks! 😉

  • Reply
    October 15, 2012 at 12:23 am

    I find my skin to be the best ever and I’m 31.. I make a scrub out of some real juice from like half a lemon( never bottled full of preservatives)..I squeeze onto a cotton round and then take some regular organic if possible granulated sugar and sprinkle on top the lemon juice soaked cotton. Before I begin to rub on face I splash warm water to open pores and then use gentle circular motions over my entire face and sometimes neck..this kills any bacteria that can cause breakouts, super easy and u will not believe how SOFT your skin will feel after u rinse and dry..omg like baby soft and as close to the pregnant glow I have even been while not actually pregnant! lol try it ! Ps. I just found your blog and I love it all u have beautiful hair!!! Great advice too, well written..will be a subscriber..plan to start one too soon:) finally

  • Reply
    Jenna free
    October 17, 2012 at 10:14 am

    In this picture are you using that tanning stuff that you’ve talked about before on your face. I use jergens self tanner but it looks blotchy and orange. Help!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Cara, I also have been struggling with adult acne, just randomly and recently, you need the clarisonic. Can you tell me what is your foundation and concealer routine and recommendations? I would love to see a basic video of just foundation and concealer!

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    You look beautiful in this picture! I would love to copy this look.. What products did you use for this photo? Gorgeous!

  • Reply
    December 23, 2012 at 10:36 am

    I just got the philosophy face stuff and love it! Thanks cara!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Alright, so I know this is an old post, but I’ve been going over the whole website and reading all of your old posts, and when I stumbled upon this one I HAD to share with you my most coveted facial cleansing routine. This will work on ANYONE, you just have to get your measurements and oils right depending on your skin. I do not use face wash and I don’t think I ever will again. I use olive oil and castor oil to wash my face. I only use this mixture at night, and in the morning I use a diluted mix of apple cider vinegar and water and splash it on my face while im in the shower. When I get out I splash my face with cold water, and use coconut oil as a moisturizer (a very small amount of coconut oil.. VERY small). and Voila! My skin has never looked better, not even before I got acne! Mind you, I did not come up with this concotion and you can find it on various websites, but i will always back it 100%. You will break out for the first week or two, but fear not, your pimples will disappear leaving behind healthy and moisturized (NOT OILY) skin. just remember, while in the first couple weeks while you’re breaking out, do not… I repeat do NOT use face wash. You will only ruin all of your hard work 🙂 Here’s one website that’ll explain it in more detail:

  • Reply
    July 25, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I use Phyto 5 cleansing milk, and well, it’s the best. It has grapeseed oil extract and a light citrusy scent and makes my pores freakin’ disappear. No product has ever been that successful ever. So, while it costs almost $40 a bottle, I make it happen. Now, for moisturizer, I’ve tried, like, thousands. My recent moisturizer, which I love, is none other that **drum roll** Oil of Olay (their regenerist line). I really like it. I’ve already re-bought it a few times. I just bought their night serum, and I like it too. Oh, and I got the Oil of Olay Spinbrush (like a Clarisonic, but $115 less). I’m pretty thrilled with how my skin looks. Except for when I get the occasional pimple. Happens to us all.

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