I don't think there's a certain way one is "supposed to" look or feel in their 30s. I know that aging is a part of life that we all experience, but that doesn't mean that I can't amp up my beauty routine as I progress through life. Some embrace the signs of aging; I've chosen to fight them in the most noninvasive ways that I can for now.
Truth be told, I have always looked young for my age. (Just an example: When I was 11, I was being cast as 7-year-olds in plays.) Even now, at 35 years old, I get carded from time to time and get a lot of comments from strangers about not looking my age when I share it. I like to think that my current skincare routine has something to do with that—at least I hope so, given the amount of time and money I spend on it. (It's worth noting that something I don't often spend money on is facials—I prefer to invest in products I can use again and again.)
As you know, one of the most important things you can do to offset aging is to avoid the sun, which I've always done (save for a few of my teenage years). I wear sunscreen every single day, and if you don't, it's definitely never too late to start. Aside from that, read for the details of my daily beauty routine from morning to night, including makeup, and shop the products I swear by (like my holy-grail sunscreen).
I don't get enough sleep, and my morning routine is usually pretty rushed, so I focus on trying to fake looking awake and protecting my skin from the elements.
You've probably heard how important vitamin C—and the antioxidants that come along with it—and ferulic acid are for your skin, so I always start with this. It has a subtle brightening effect, but I mostly use it for the damage-prevention factor.
I love a serum, and this one has so much good stuff in it. And it absorbs instantly, making it a great option for busy mornings. If you're just starting to use anti-aging products, this is a great place to start.
This is the product on this list I've been using the longest by far. It applies like a beautiful lightweight moisturizer and has zero scent. Plus, the SPF is very high, but it doesn't leave a white cast. I've re-bought it countless times over the years.
I don't know about you, but my eyes can be very red when I wake up (might have something to do with only getting six hours of sleep). I put one drop of this in each eye, and they're perfectly white and clear in seconds. Plus, it doesn't burn. Not sure how I ever lived without it.
I don't really leave the house without makeup on, but I definitely don't wear a lot of it. I find that heavy, dramatic makeup is aging on me, so I keep things fresh and light with the focus being on rosy cheeks and dewy skin.
I mix a drop of this serum with my foundation for a little bit of a bronze glow (which I need thanks to that SPF 46). I'd use it even if it didn't have anti-pollution antioxidants, so it's a big added bonus that it does.
I love cream blushes and find them to be more youthful and dewier (obviously) than their powder counterparts. Kosas really excels at them, and I love the pretty complementary highlighter it's paired with.
If you like a nice fluffy brow that's just the tiniest bit polished, you must try this. (Take a look at the Sephora reviews if you want further proof.) It also comes in six shades, so finding one that will look natural on you is a cinch.
I've been through multiple tubes of Dior Lip Glow, and I never get tired of it. It has the perfect hint of color and actually stays on even though it feels like a balm.
The focus of my evening routine is on anti-aging and repairing. I have dry skin, so I stay away from anything too harsh, but I've found that my skin can handle more acids and exfoliants as I get older. That said, I've had to find alternatives to strong retinols, as they're much too drying for me.
This is my go-to evening cleanser, as it foams up really nicely, and I feel that it takes the day off. And like my morning cleanser, it doesn't leave my skin with that dreaded tight feeling. Plus, you can get it at the drugstore or on Amazon.
TG for Shani Darden and her gentle retinol products (including Retinol Reform, which I also love). It's the only form of retinol I've been able to use that doesn't make my skin red and flaky, and the results are really noticeable. My lines are undoubtedly softer since I started using it.
A few nights a week, I use this Versed miracle worker, and I wake up with a nice glow whenever I do. It works just as well as (if not better than) its pricier counterparts. It gently removes dead skin cells while hydrating. Genius.
Shaba Complex is really gentle—so much so that you can put it on your eyelids. Just reading the description of this convinced me, and so far, I'm happy with the results: "A satiny eye serum formulated with a powerhouse of ingredients to tackle the major signs of aging under and around the eyes such as fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage for a rested, more youthful appearance."
This is one of the first skincare products I invested in years ago, and I still use it to this day. It's the perfect exfoliant, in my opinion. It really gets the job done without being harsh and drying.
This is my favorite mask to use before a special occasion or just when my skin looks particularly dull and needs tightening up. It only takes 10 minutes to work its magic, and as the description states, it will leave you with baby-soft skin.