Skincare Ingredients for Perfect Skin & My Skincare Routine

What face wash/cleanser/moisturizer do you use daily that works well with this (Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads)? Your skin looks awesome, so I have to ask!! :) -Taylor


Thank you for the compliment, Taylor! It took a lot of trial-and-error for me to figure out what worked for me.  As a former tanning addict, I suffered from hyper-pigmentation (dark spots).  As a lifelong picker, I am constantly battling red marks and scars.  And as a 30-something, I am panicked about fine lines.

When developing a skincare regimen, regardless of the time of year, look for products that contain the following ingredients:

Retinol, Glycolic Acid, Vitamin C and Hydroquinone

If you’re acne-prone, consider adding Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid to your regimen.

After trying entire multi-step regimens- Glytone, Obagi, Clarins, Murad, Clinique, and a slew of others- I’ve settled on the following combination of products (I also wear SPF and drink a lot of water):



  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser  with Clarisonic.  You can score a Clarisonic for 20% during Sephora’s 5 Days of 20% Savings for VIB Rouge and VIB (November 6-10)!

  • Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads
  • Obagi Nu-Derm #3 Clear Skin Bleaching and Correcting Cream (Hydroquinone lightens freckles, age spots, melasma and sun damage)
  • Obagi Nu-Derm #4 Exfoderm Skin Smoothing Exfoliation Lotion
  • Eye cream – love Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Eye Cream
  • Facial oil works well for hydrating the eye area as well. Often, I will use oil, let it to absorb, then apply cream.
  • SPF or a primer with SPF – Laura Mercier Foundation Primer with 30 SPF is a great choice and can be purchased at Sephora.





The event runs November 6-10th.  I am attending the First Access VIB Rouge Holiday Party tonight.  Tomorrow, I will post of list to things to stock up on during the event!

Best Exfoliator for Dull Winter Skin

The cold weather dulls my complexion and enhances fine lines. Which exfoliator do you recommend?

As far as exfoliation goes, trash your facial scrub and start using a product with Glycolic Acid.  I recently discovered and LOVE Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads.


20% Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads
10% Glycolix Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads

star star star star star

Glycolic Acid facial pads gently exfoliate the skin, revealing fresher, clearer, younger-looking skin.

Reduces the appearance of fine lines and lightens freckles and sun spots by removing the outer layer of dead skin cells.

Vanessa’s Review
Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads do what they claim: they gently exfoliate, moisturize and assist in the removal of oils and residue on the skin.

Having used Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads, which didn’t exactly unwrinkle any thing and cost $45, I’m a huge fan of Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads. They are easy-to-use, convenient, the price is right, and the concentration of Glycolic Acid is high enough that I immediately noticed a difference in my skin.

Upon initial application, my face slightly tingled.  I wasn’t sure if I should immediately apply my other products or wash my face first, so I waited around 10 minutes, washed my face with my Clarisonic, then applied my other products.  Interestingly, I felt like my other products penetrated deeper and were therefore more effective. My face immediately felt smoother, my complexion looked more radiant, and my fine lines were less apparent.

Having experimented with them a bit, I now use Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads daily in place of Obagi Toner; I wash, tone with these pads, then apply my other products.

Also, for those of you who are pregnant and struggling to find a safe skincare regimen, glyolic acid, one of the safest Alpha Hydroxy Acids (a natural ingredient derived from sugar cane), is safe to use during pregnancy!

Remember:  use SPF!  Your skin may be more sensitive to sunlight after the use of Glycolic Acid.

Inexpensive ($20-$30, depending on strength), effective, easy-to-use and convenient.

The glycolic acid exfoliates really well, Witch Hazel delivers toning and astringent benefits, and liposomal vitamins A, C, E, Co-Q10 and Green Tea Extract work to protect, sooth and brighten skin.


20% pads may irritate sensitive skin.

Since my skin is no stranger to in-office chemical peels and prescription strength retinoids, I use the 20% Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads. If you have sensitive skin or are a Glycolic Acid virgin, start with 10% Glycolix Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads. Use weekly or bi-weekly use, working up to daily use.

How To Use
Remove a saturated pad from the jar and wipe the textured pad over your face, before or in lieu of cleansing with face wash and water.

There is no wrong way to use these! Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads peel, tone, prime and clean!

In fact, on Scrubby Sundays, I don’t properly cleanse; I forgo water and face wash for one of these pads and call it a day!

Affordable Every Day Designer Handbag

I want to invest in a durable every day designer handbag. What do you recommend and where can I find a durable authentic designer bag for under $500? I’m ok with pre-owned, as long as it will hold up.

Great question! When the supple leather of my Valentino Rockstud Medium Leather Tote started showing signs of wear, I too invested in an every day bag I could beat up without feeling guilty. I’m REALLY hard on my handbags.

I scored a vintage Louis Vuitton Saumur 35 saddle bag for $325.  You can find all sorts of deals at online consignment stores that guarantee authenticity.

My Favorite Online Consignment Shops
LXR& co.
The best deals on pre-owned Louis Vuitton bags.  Join now and receive a $25 gift card.

The code ENJOY20SEPT will get you an extra 20% off; however, I only purchase from this site when they offer 30% off.

Louis Vuitton Saddle Bag

This particular bag is from the early 90s and is STILL in great condition. I love the broken-in feel and vintage look. Also, since it’s a saddle bag, it has two separate compartments, one I use for cosmetics/beauty and the other for my wallet/paperwork. if you’re looking for a durable bag that you can one day hand down to your daughter, I highly recommend a pre-owned Louis Vuitton from one of my favorite online consignment shops.

Louis Vuitton Monogram Saumur Vintage Saddle Bag

As far as new bags go, I usually purchase new bags, like the Valentino mentioned earlier, from:  RueLaLa.  However, Kate Spade frequently offers handbags for 70% off via invite-only private sales.  Sign up to receive Kate’s emails and check out her next sale.  Scroll through some of Kate Spade’s regular sale items, which are affordable, durable and great for every day.




About Arianne Ochre Oxford Shoes  –  BP Lace Camisole  – BP Burgundy Field Tank  –  BDG Cardigan  –  Paige Boyfriend Jeans –  D&Y Straw Fedora Nordstrom in-store only $8

Let’s Talk Eye Shadow Brushes…

How can I apply eye shadow like a pro with as few inexpensive brushes as possible? Do you recommend an inexpensive starter kit for beginners on a budget?

photo 1Eyemakeup1

I achieved this look by applying 3 shadows from Urban Decay’s Original Naked Palette with 2 brushes from Real Techniques Starter Set ($14.79). In fact, although I own a billion brushes that range in price from drugstore steals to $75 for a single brush, I use the Deluxe Crease Brush from this set daily.

To copy this look, first prime your eyelids using your favorite primer. I am loyal to Urban Decay. NYX makes a less expensive version that also works well. Next, use the Real Techniques base shadow brush to apply:

1. SIDECAR, or your base shadow (usually this is my 2nd lightest shadow), to the entire lid
2. SMOG, or a slightly darker shadow, as a transition color above the lid, into and above the crease
3. VIRGIN, or your lightest shadow above Smog, up to the eyebrow

Lastly, to define the crease, press DARKHORSE, or your darkest shadow, into the crease with the deluxe crease brush.

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