Yes, I got hitched! If you happen to follow me on Instagram (@sarah_glow), you may have noticed some fancier-than-usual posts (pictures courtesy of our wonderful wedding photographer @megcourtney1). To be honest, I am still getting accustomed to being open about my personal life as I’ve always been a fairly private person, and I’m still not entirely convinced anyone is all that interested in what I’m up to outside of the Glow Recipe offices.
That being said, many of you have reached out to ask about my personal favorite products, what my skincare routine is, and more recently how I prepared for my wedding day. I’m so thankful and humbled by your interest and I wanted to take this opportunity to share my Hawaiian bridal beauty journey.
Now I don’t know about you guys, but I confess that sometimes due to work or life, I end up making compromises with my beauty regimen (putting less effort into the application or even skipping critical steps!). As a result, my skin suffers until I climb back on the proverbial wagon. Let me tell you something – there is no better inspiration than a set wedding date to get a girl to up her game. We’re all busy, so I knew I had set reasonable expectations so as to not overwhelm myself. The first goal I set was one sheet mask a day, which we paired with Glow Recipe’s #MondaytoFridayMasking challenge on Instagram. From there, I focused on establishing a simple but reliable routine that helped address my skincare concerns without creating too much risk (the last thing I needed was a last minute skin disaster!). As always, your mileage may vary, but here are some my top rules of the road:
Moisturize after sheet masking.
This holds true especially for those of you that sheet mask often, because I’m sure you (I’m looking at you!) have at some point put a mask on and ended up falling asleep. That’s a big no no. I’ve made this mistake more times than I’d like to admit, and my skin always felt paper-dry the next day. As a general rule of thumb, sheet masks are intended to replace your serum step, so it’s critical that you moisturize (and you can never moisturize enough) your skin to seal everything in once you peel the mask off.
Be adventurous, but know your limits.
As I was sheet masking daily in the weeks leading up to my wedding, I tried to be extra gentle with the rest of my skincare routine. As a beauty junkie, I’m always trying new products and testing them out on my skin. This is such an important part of the curation process at Glow Recipe, but I cannot count the times I had to deal with breakouts and other skin situations (which, after additional testing with our tester panels, would sometimes lead to a product not being curated). When trying new products, it’s important to remember that it’s not just whether a particular product works with your skin type, but also whether it plays well with all of the other products in your regimen. For example, you do not want to exfoliate with lactic AHA and then use a peel-off mask in the same routine as the combination would be overly harsh for most skin types. Or using vitamin C and retinol together as having too many actives on the skin could lead to irritation or sensitization – keeping a balanced routine is important.
Understandably, I was playing it extra safe before the wedding. So even though I was itching to try some new unique forms and ingredients, I limited myself to only a couple of new masks we were planning to launch soon.
If there is a brand I trust will always deliver an amazing sheet mask, it’s Blossom Jeju. The founder of this beautiful brand from Jeju Island sent us new samples of flower petal-shaped sheet masks that introduce a new two-step masking routine in one package. Step One: prep with an application of 100% Camellia Seed Dry Oil, a Glow Recipe cult favorite, Step Two: put on a sheet mask drenched in Blossom Jeju’s star product Pink Camellia Soombi Essence Serum, with a state-of-the-art micro-fiber cotton mask that conformed to my face perfectly.
I have to say this was a secret I was dying to reveal for a while because it not only helped my skin look more radiant and feel plump over time, but the sheet mask is one of the most comfortable I’ve ever worn. Definitely one of the best sheet masks I’ve ever used, and the scent…! My husband LOVED the elegant floral fragrance it left on my face (which lasted into the next morning by the way).
Stick with your happy skincare routine.
There is an optimal skincare routine for everyone. Even with an incredible amount of product testing, I’ve been recently going to back these miraculous products that happen to perfectly work on my skin.
For exfoliation, I absolutely love and keep coming back to using Dr G’s Brightening Peeling Gel and Blithe’s Citrus and Honey Splash Mask. I used each once a week to ensure I’m not exfoliating too frequently, but am getting the most out of the dead skin cell removal as well as retexturizing rough parts of my skin.
Many of you know that I’ve been using Yuripibu’s Artichoke Power Essence and that I’m completely obsessed. I had professed my love in a blog post back in March, and this was a product I couldn’t live without while I was trying my best to improve my skin. I was worried about sagging pores and dullness, and had nightmares of wedding photos that would highlight every little blemish and imperfection forever and ever!
The tip with this product is a little patience goes a long way – you need to use it with consistency for a few days to see results, pairing a smaller application in the morning with a more generous one at night. Keep in mind that when you’ve applied a lot of formula at night, you need to foam-cleanse your skin the next day in order to start your morning routine fresh and clean, and to minimize any pilling. This tip applies to anyone who is new to using this essence. Once your skin becomes accustomed and starts ‘loving’ the formula, you can afford to be more gentle during your morning cleansing. This little bottle of essence was my best friend every single day for a month and a half. I brought it to Kauai and used it continuously even on the big day. You guys…this essence saved my skin.
There is one more product that I can’t not mention – the J.One Jelly Pack. With all of the wedding planning, work, travel…there were too many nights when I slept for 4 hours or less. As many of you know, poor sleep makes makeup application more challenging. This is due to the lack of nourishment and balance in skin caused by fatigue. I always like to think of sleep as food for your skin, and imbalanced ‘nutrition’ leads to dehydration, redness, and/or breakouts. In addition to impacting hydration levels, lack of sleep also causes your pH to go haywire, resulting in glowless skin.
One of my biggest fears was that my makeup would not blend onto my skin and end up looking cakey or unnatural due to the imbalance of my skin’s moisture level and overall nourishment deprivation. In the weeks leading up to the wedding, I would sometimes see the ‘gap’ between my skin and my makeup where my dehydrated skin was simply not ready to absorb a layer of formula that’s not a moisturizer. So having discovered and using this ‘makeup gripper’ to seal that gap was such a relief. The jelly pack grips the makeup while firming the skin. Your first few applications will feel weird, it has a very unique gummy texture and is quite sticky, needing some patting. However, once an SPF or makeup is layered on top, it’s fascinating to see how it helps transform that final layer into a second skin. When I need my makeup to listen to me well, that’s when I would whip out this product! I used this on my big day before a longwearing foundation and it turned out perfect.
My last rule…Live in the Moment
In additional to rigorous skincare, I also adopted some other routines: drinking at least one bottle of lemon-infused water every day (in addition to the standard eight glasses) to help my body detox, taking vitamin C pills and ginseng extracts every morning to help support my immune system, and no snacking (this was the hardest part) for all the obvious reasons! But the most important thing I kept reminding myself was that this is the happiest time of my life, and instead of stressing out and worrying, I should enjoy it. I was marrying the love of my life, with all my favorite people in the entire world coming to the beautiful island of Kauai to celebrate with us. No one would be there to judge me if I had acne or blemishes, or if I had dull-looking skin. At the end of the day, looking good with radiant skin would make me feel confident and beautiful. So that’s what I did. I had fun being disciplined with my skincare and eating healthier. And as much as my skin benefited from all of my hard work, it was so much more important that I was happy.
This turned out to be quite a long diary! I sincerely hope you found this interesting and that it helped, and I’d love to share my bridal skin saviors with you as a value set for a limited time.
As always, I’m here to answer any questions you might have! Please leave your comments below, or email us at love (at) glowrecipe (dot) com.
Thanks for reading guys. Here’s to beautiful brides and glowing skin!