Morning Routine – Summer 2017

Waking up in the morning is always hard, and it’s been harder not really having anything to do in the morning. You’d think it’d be the other way around, right? The problem with not having a job is not having any money which then makes it hard to explore my new city, go to new coffee shops, or buy new products to review.

My most recent morning routine is a little bit of a slow start. I roll out of bed usually when my boyfriend, Matt, goes off to work because I’m already awake at that point. I immediately turn the electric kettle on to make some coffee in the french press. While the water is heating up I like to start the shower. These electric kettles are no joke, they heat up so fast!

After I pour the water into the french press it’s recommended the perfect cup of coffee takes four minutes to brew with 4 tablespoons of coffee. I do five because I can’t follow rules and because the last tablespoon is added for love. While this is brewing I try and take the fastest shower possible. Water ain’t cheap in California. I run back into the kitchen, pour myself a cup, and then brush my teeth, wash, tone and moisturize my face while my coffee is cooling down a little.

I know. Why are you brushing your teeth before coffee, Kristen? Real simple. I’ll forget. It’s as easy as that. If I drink coffee and start going on with my day I stop at some point and say, “Wait, did I brush my teeth?” So I avoid that problem all together now.

I’ve been washing my face with CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser recently. I actually got this as a little, tiny, baby sample at Walgreens about six months ago back in Massachusetts. The cashier just threw it in my bag, didn’t even know I had it until I got home. So thank you whoever you are for helping me find a wonderful product.

I was blown away at how much I loved this and I’ve tried a lot of cleansers. I had been using REN’s Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk and just never felt like my face was clean enough especially in the summer months. This stuff is great if you need a little more moisture in your life and when I bought it my skin was very dehydrated, but if you have oily or combination skin like I do it ends up just feeling like a thin layer of natural oil.

CeraVe is a foaming cleanser that I feel cleans deep down into my ugliest pores. I’m left feeling very refreshed without it drying out my skin, not to mention I don’t have that feeling when you’re washing it off like your fingers can’t move down your face because it’s so stiff. It’s gentle, has no scent, and can be used daily. Best part, it’s less than $15 at Target for a huge 12oz. bottle with a pump! I love anything with a pump. It’s great to leave in the shower and make your boyfriend use as well.

I have a love/hate relationship with toners. I still haven’t figured out a natural routine with them. My first experience was with Clinique’s 3-Step system back in high school and I remember absolutely hating it. I had the combination/oily skin type set. The cleanser and toner dried out my skin so badly and the gel moisturizer (recommended for oily skins) left what felt like on my skin. For some reason I kept trying the moisturizer again and again, and it always left my skin so much more oily by the end of the day. I even tried to use it only in the winter when my skin was at it’s driest and it still felt like there was too much build up on my face. It could have definitely been because I was in high school and hormones were changing my skin. It could also have been that I’ve never seen anyone stick to Clinique’s 3-Step in my life.

So, what I was getting to was toners and I have a sticky relationship. I tried Pixi’s Glow Tonic after seeing so many people with sensitive skin talking about it. Rightfully so, it’s amazing. It’s a exfoliating toner that is alcohol-free, hypoallergenic, with glycol acid, aloe and ginseng. It’s supposed to brighten skin, heal texture and complexion, clean dead skin sells and promote healthy skin. Dullness and texture are some of my biggest problems so I was pumped.

I’ve recommended this toner to friends so many times. This toner has a very, very light floral scent and it gives my skin a tiny tingle that I love. It basically feels like there is static on my skin for a few seconds. The formula is not drying at all and I’ve noticed after I use it for about two weeks straight I can definitely see a change in my skin’s texture. I have a ton of texture on my forehead and it’s noticeably softer after using this. It’s a holy grail for me and only about $15 at Target as well for 3.4 fl. oz. I’m running low now and I know before I run out I’ll be getting myself another bottle.

My last facial step is a very light moisturizer. I’ve been trying to keep my routine very simple because it’s summer and my skin already feels too heavy from the oils. I use a different moisturizer at night which I’ll talk about in my Night Routine post. Currently I’m using REN’s Flash Hydro Boost as my day moisturizer. This is a little more expensive at $42 for 1.3 fl. oz. Most things I’ve tried when it comes to REN been worth the investment. I actually got this sent to me by REN to try out, but I’ll probably buy it again once I run out. A little goes a long way, so it definitely it worth the buy.

This is a instant plumping emulsion for all skin types that works with a water-activated hyaluronic acid formula that’s supposed to provide your skins with essential moisture. So basically you add a small amount to your face and neck (I do less than a full pump,) then dip your fingertips in water and massaging it into the moisturizer. It’s a fun, refreshing way to start the morning to be honest. It has a thin cream/gel type of consistency so you don’t need to use much because it spreads easily. It does feel a little tacky after it’s dried especially if you don’t massage it in well enough with the water, but if you give it 5-10 minutes it dries completely and leaves your skin very soft. I’d recommend waiting about 10 minutes before putting on any makeup. As for the scent, it can be very overwhelming. If you are not a fan of patchouli you will not like this at all. I call this my hippie cream because I love the scent of patchouli and it is very long lasting especially if this is your last step of your skincare routine. My boyfriend always knows when I’m wearing it.

After giving my face some love I finally drink my coffee. I do not like things that are super hot which is why I like letting things cool down. I usually drink my coffee while checking out what’s happening on YouTube and my blog, then all the obvious ones – email, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Once I’ve gotten some coffee in my system and maybe snacked on the last donut left from my birthday in this case I do 10 pushups. This is a very recent thing I added to my routine. I read a book called “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy and he talks about fitting in small goals and making them a routine. I thought… 10 pushups every day, easy. Well it’s not. It hurts the first few times when you’re body starts something new. But, I’m still going strong. Try to introduce something little in your day that you can build on.

Finally my morning routine comes to an end when I do one of three things: I either sit down to edit a video for YouTube, write a blog post, or I set up my very low-budget studio. The studio is set up with a tapestry or pretty beach towel, a kitchen stool, and my camera on a small luggage box in front of my bathroom sink. If I want it, I gotta make it happen, right?

After I comfortable starting any one of those things I get to work. Either way I try to improve on what I’m doing and create something each day, even if it’s not shared on the internet.

Check out my morning routine on my YouTube channel:


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