Video: My Morning Skincare and Makeup Routine (With Sunscreen)

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Quite a few people have asked me about my morning routine – in particular how I arrange everything to minimise sunscreen disturbance. While I’m sure I’d disturb the sunscreen layer a lot less if I just didn’t put anything over it at all, I like wearing make-up, so this is the compromise I’ve come up with.

I’m not a make-up artist so there’s probably a lot that I’m doing in a weird way, but this routine seems to work for me!

Click here for the video on YouTube – scroll down for a summarised list of the steps and the products I used.

  1. Cleanse: No cleanser, water only to avoid further dehydration of my dehydration-prone skin.
  2. Hydrating Toner: I’m currently using La Roche-Posay Serozinc, although I’ll have to switch to something heavier for dry winter weather.
  3. Sunscreen: Ultraceuticals Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 30 is my favourite. I apply a bit under 1/4 teaspoon (as I worked out from the face measurements in my previous video), and try not to rub it in too much. I wait 15 minutes before foundation.
  4. Foundation: A mix depending on what I’m testing. In the video I was trying out L’Oreal Infallible Pro Glow (Creamy Natural), Designer Brands Luminous Hydrating Foundation (Porcelain Ivory) and Nourish London Illuminating Face Shimmer, and I apply it with a damp Ecotools sponge.
  5. Concealer: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination Concealer (Medium), applied with a finger.
  6. Powder: Jurlique Rose Silk Finishing Powder with powder brush from Ecotools (often with some extra cornstarch mixed in).
  7. Blush and Highlighter: Amaretto, Pampelmousse and Champagne Pop from the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection palette, applied with the Real Techniques Multi Task Brush.
  8. Brows: L’Oreal Brow Artist XPert Mechanical Brow Pencil (Ebony)
  9. Eyeshadow: Etude House Proof 10 primer, Venus and Pandora from the Garbo and Kelly Overnight Sensation palette, apply with Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush and bdellium Pencil Shaped Blending 780 and bdellium Tapered Blending Eye 785.
  10. Eyeliner: Girlee Cosmetics black eyeliner pencil
  11. Setting Spray: Algenist Splash Hydrating Setting Mist
  12. Lips: Synergie Lip Glo in Tea Rose

Video: My Morning Skincare and Makeup Routine (With Sunscreen)

I’m planning to do my evening routine at some point in the future – it’s a lot more complicated with a lot more moving parts, so I’ve been putting off talking about it… but I will try to tackle it as best I can!

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17 thoughts on “Video: My Morning Skincare and Makeup Routine (With Sunscreen)”

  1. I really need help! I been to derms/ skin specialist regular doctor you name it. I finally have my acne under control and my skin is so much darker, hyperpigmentation everywhere and I don’t know what else to do. I tried strong bleaching creams, Retin- a, azaleic acid, Arubtin, TCA peels, microdermabrasion every cream and potion it seems like lol. But, being of African decent my skin gets irritated very easily and further more making the spots darker and more deeper. I’m currently using your steps your recommended;
    Mandalic acid toner
    Vitamin c
    And moisturizer

    Of course I use sunscreen in the morning.

    Generally speaking is this enough along with time to help even out my discoloration? Thanks for always sharing your knowledge with us!

    • Not Michelle, but AHA/retinoids/Vitamin C are generally the gold standard of fading pigmentation. If you find your skin getting irritated, you may be overusing these ingredients (acids and retinoids can be very irritating, especially at high strengths!). Make sure you start off using them at low strengths and slowly build up, otherwise you might damage your skin more. And make sure your sunscreen has high UVA protection and that you’re applying it very liberally for proper sun protection. I hope this helps!

    • It’s always hard to say for individual people, but going slow is the safest for people with darker skin! I would try it out for a few months before stepping it up.

  2. Hi Michelle, I’m glad to see you’ve found your HG sunscreen! I looked up the ingredients for Ultraceuticals SPF 30, and it appears to have Avobenzone and Octinoxate in the same product – I thought that combination of UV filters was typically unstable. If a sunscreen has both avobenzone and octinoxate, how can you tell whether it’s photostable or not? Thanks for your help 🙂

    • It’s impossible to tell unless the company tells you, or if you know that the company know what it’s doing! I’ve been really impressed with the level of research that Ultraceuticals does, so I haven’t officially checked… although I really should.

  3. I should mention that the main reason I’m asking about avobenzone/octinoxate is because I saw this post on Reddit about Supergoop sunscreens:

    I’m really interested in trying Supergoop’s every day sunscreen (, but I’m concerned it’s not photostable. I’m going to email the company to ask, but I’m not really sure how to word the question because I don’t have any science background.

  4. Hi Michelle! This was extremely helpful. I was wondering how you retouch your sunscreen with makeup? I currently live in SE Asia where humidity and sunlight can be a real party pooper. I usually go without foundation but sometimes, I really do prefer a “perfect skin” look. Do you have any suggestions on reapplying? 😀

  5. Very entertaining video, love the dry narration, and I also don’t know how to apply make-up, so the process looked good to me and the end-result very studied but natural.

    I’d kill to have the kind of hair that can withstand a hydrating and a sealing mist, both, plus contact with sunscreen; I’ve given myself over to the realization that healthy skin and a decent coiffure, for me, are incompatible. I liked the way you slapped on the latter. I do the same, but I always feel like I’m punishing myself. How else would one create an effective barrier, though?

    Looking forward to the overnight routine, if you do decide to film one. Like a lot of people with poor skin texture*, it’s very useful for me to see how others apply their products. There’s a whole slightly un-scientific alchemy to determining the appropriate tool (brush, sponge, swab, cotton round, palm, fingers, single fingertip, et al), volume, and method (rub, pat, sink in, slide over, splash or spray on) for each step.

    *porous in weird places, impermeable in others, plus the usual hillocks and valleys and “enlarged” areas, with smatterings of grease pools and generous lashings of dry flakes, a true odds-and-sods kind of landscape

    • Ooh, I agree completely — it’s great to see someone who isn’t a professional makeup artist apply makeup. I also have no idea what I’m doing, so I usually just don’t wear anything other than mascara. I also have some frustrating texture problems, and no matter how hard I try, my makeup seems to highlight these issues rather than camouflage them.

      Loved your video, Michelle — and I’d love to see your evening routine too! And as a former chemist, I love your blog in general.

    • Thank you! Honestly all the make-up is trial and error, and the hair doesn’t really withstand it but I’ve largely given up on ever working out the trick to well-behaved hair.

      Have you looked into hydrating products? It sounds like your skin is partly dehydrated, it might help a bit with the grease vs flakes issue.

      • Oh, yes, staving off the flakes is the bane of my skincare- and beauty-related existence; hydration’s an ongoing issue I try to address, which helps some, but it’s more about irritation, I think, from the well-timed hodgepodge of products I use to combat some scarring and discoloration I acquired from a childhood illness (+ anxiety-related picking). My dermatologists sort of agree: this is the best it’s going to get, provided I swear off all physical exfoliation and limit the chemical sort, without resorting to treatments I’ll never find the resources to afford.

        In the meantime, for skin that actively sabotages foundation: primers. I’ll never get bored reading more reviews of and overviews about them (hint hint). 😀

  6. I enjoyed the video a lot, and I wondered if you could say more about Trichotillomania, I’m a fellow sufferer, and I’ve recently heard that a supplement, namely: N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine may help, do you have an idea if this is true?

  7. Hi Michelle, I asked Supergoop how they stabilized avobenzone in their product and this was their reply:

    “We actually utilize a combination of ingredients to ensure its stability of avobenzone. In the Everyday Sunscreen formula, we use Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate and Polyester-8 along with chelating agents and specific polar solvents to maintain the stability of the formula.”

    The woman I spoke to also let me know that avobenzone and octinoxate are NOT encapsulated.

    What are your thoughts?

  8. Oh gosh the eyelash thing. I usually have enough eyelashes UNTIL I wear mascara–then when I forget and pull a whole clump comes off at once ?


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