fashion week essentials: facial

Last night kicked off the start of Kansas City Fashion Week. (Okay, technically it kicked off before then, but I wasn't in town until last night. So as far as I'm concerned, the party started when I arrived.) I've never gone to a fashion week before--never even seen a runway show--so I wasn't sure what to expect. Obviously, this isn't a fashion blog. And I'm not a very fashionable person. And originally I had a lot of anxiety about going. I didn't want to look like I didn't belong, but I also wasn't interested in pretending to be someone I'm not. But there's one thing about my fashion week preparations that I wasn't worried about: my face.

In this first of three posts (to correspond with each night of fashion week) I wanted to talk about my go-to facial products. The ones that got packed first. They're probably the most expensive components of my beauty regimen, but I've never regretted paying for them. Some of these items I've mentioned before, and others are relatively new to me. But all of them combine to make up my facial essentials.
 I know I've previously sung the praises of Dr. Brandt's microdermabrasion, but I don't think I've effectively communicated how perfect this is for anyone of any skin type. I gave away a tube of this on the blog awhile ago, and after the winner was randomly chosen and I was reviewing the list of entries, I asked my younger sister why she hadn't entered. She said something like, it's not something I need. Then a few months ago I gave her some to try, and she immediately started gushing about how smooth her skin felt. I didn't want to say, "I told you so," (okay, that's a lie. That's exactly what I said) but I was glad she finally understood. Whether it's this product or another, everyone needs a good exfoliant in their life. It's not something you use every day, and trial and error will tell you how often you need to exfoliate, but it's something you need to incorporate into your beauty routine.

Next I'll talk about what is perhaps my favorite beauty product of all time, Murad's Clarifying Cleanser. I make no secret on this blog of the fact that I have a problem with acne. The problem ebbs and flows, I constantly try new products to try and better combat the problem, but there is nothing that I have found that has the long-lasting effects of this cleanser. And by "long-lasting," I mean that it has remained effective for more than a year now, where most acne products lose their potency or effectiveness over time. It's like my skin develops an immunity or something. That hasn't happened with this cleanser. Except when I'm trying out new products, I use this every day. I still have acne; I still get breakouts. But they're so much less severe than they ever were before.

One thing that has made me love this cleanser even more is using it on the Olay Pro-X. I've never used another electric cleansing brush, so I can't compare this to anything, but I have noticed marked improvement over the last couple of months as I've used this.

Another addition to my routine over the last month are the Murad Acne Clearing Solution and Skin Perfecting Lotion. I originally reported that I wouldn't recommend these products, as I thought they were good but didn't warrant the price tag. I've since changed my mind on that. A lot of acne systems are harsh and you see immediate results. These products are more mild, which means it takes awhile to see their effects but it also means they're well-suited for sensitive skin. As with the Murad cleanser, a little of these products goes a long way, so the tubes last longer than you'd think.

So that's my take on the first step to a fabulous face for fashion week. Makeup is great for enhancing our natural features, but it's important to take care of the most natural party of you--your skin. These products help me do that.

And speaking of caring for your skin, I wanted to share some of last night's highlights from the runway. The show started off with a really neat focus. Guests were asked to wear black to raise awareness of melanoma. Then the show began with models encouraging people to take the tan-free pledge.
You can learn more about the campaign on the #FairAndFashionable hashtag across social media.

But let's backup. When Jen and I arrived at Union Station, I was immediately infected with the energetic atmosphere. Music was pumping, people were milling about, and my fears about not belonging melted away; it's like we were all there to share in this artistic experience. And creativity isn't about exclusion.

Jen was ecstatic to meet Joshua Christensen from Project Runway.

We tried our hand at a selfie stick at the Ulta red carpet, but we didn't love that.

So we stuck with what was familiar to capture the moment right before the show: snapchat.

One of my favorite collections of the night came from Buf Reynolds. It was space-themed, and the hair and makeup was, appropriately, out of this world.


 The other collection tied for my favorite was from eNVe Designs.

 Overall, my first night of my first fashion week was incredible. I'll finish up with some other shots from the evening.
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