Sleeping Beauty: The Overnight Skin Treatment I’m Completely Hooked On (Solange Knowles Is A Fan, Too!)

Here’s the awful truth: Most anti-aging skincare products leave me feeling underwhelmed. There are a few exceptions, but usually I find that they’re more like overpriced moisturizers than the skin-transforming, miracle workers that many of them claim to be. So, I’ve been making a slow transition back to the basics. You know, stuff from indie brands that are heavy on natural ingredients and light on hype. Like the new facial oil that made my skin look way, way more radiant after just a few days.

This magical product is MUN No. 1 Aknari Nighttime Dream Youth Serum, ($95), an organic facial oil made with prickly pear seed oil, argan oil and rose oil. It’s meant to be used at night while your skin is naturally rebooting itself, turning over cells and whatnot. I know what you’re thinking: organic oil = greasy and earthy-smelling. But, no, this one actually smells good (the rose helps with that) and it sinks into the skin pretty quickly.

The bottle is tiny, but I stuck with the “one-pump-is-enough” guideline that the makeup artist who created it, Munemi Imai, gave me and she was right—a little bit gets the job done. I swear, in less than a week I saw a difference. And now that I’ve used up every last drop (sometimes I put it on in the morning as well as before bed), I don’t want to try anything else. I’m done. This is it. Mun is all I need. Seriously, my face looks really even, smooth and healthy. Bet it would do the same for yours. Give it a go, if you’re thinking of dabbling in the wonderful world of face oils.

Which overnight beauty products do you use?

True Story: “I became a model at age 49.”

I went to a photo shoot on Monday and I got to bond with a great lady by the name of Cindy Joseph. She’s been modeling for 12 years, but get this: She was almost 50-years-old when she got discovered. Her story is so inspiring.

Meet Cindy Joseph, silver-haired and proud!

Cindy getting prepped on set.

Before she began working in front of the camera, Cindy was making her living behind the scenes a makeup artist. After 27 years in the biz, she retired and shortly after was approached by a casting agent on the street. “I thought it was a joke. I thought someone was playing a trick on me. But the next day the agent called and asked me to be in a D&G campaign. That was in 1999.” Once the ad hit, a friend encouraged her to get an agent and Cindy signed with Ford Models. She’s still with them today. “I’m doing the same things I did as a makeup artist—travelling and going to shoots—only as a model instead,” Cindy says. How’s that for a second career?

Cindy in More magazine.

And if that’s not impressive enough, Cindy started her own line of beauty products two years ago called Boom! By Cindy Joseph. The collection includes BOOMSILK, an allover moisturizer made with organic honey, olive oil and beeswax and three BOOMSTICKS for shimmer, color and moisture. She sent them to me and I’m so into BOOMSTICK Color ($24), which is like a berry-tinted cream blush stick you can put on your lips and eyelids, too.

One thing BOOM! doesn’t do is prey on women’s fears about getting older.  As Cindy puts it: “My line is not about concealing, fixing or covering things up, it’s about bringing out the way you look naturally when you’re turned on to life and having a good time. I don’t like the words ‘anti-aging.’ I’m pro-age!”

You gotta love this woman. Are you as inspired by her as I am?

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You Never Forget Your First (Sign Of Aging)

Despite what celebrities will have you believe, aging is normal.

There comes a time in every young woman’s life when she notices that her skin is acting…different. Nothing major, but enough to sound a tiny alarm inside her brain. Like the sheet marks that used to disappear in minutes, now hang out on your face for hours. Or maybe you used to pride yourself on never looking tired (or hungover). But lately, when you only get four hours of sleep, it shows. Sound familiar? Take a deep breath and calm down–something really good can come out of this.

Discovering your first sign of aging can be the kick in the pants you need in order to revamp your skincare habits for the better. In other countries like France or Japan, women are trained on proper skin care at a young age and they stick with a consistent routine throughout their lives. Here in the states, we tend to be more reactive–we’re all about fixing problems instead of preventing them in the first place.

For example, I recently met with Adriana Altuve, an Olay research and development expert who has spent a lot of time observing women’s beauty rituals around the world. She told me that there are seven (yes, seven!) steps in the typical Japanese woman’s daily skincare regimen. Think that’s extreme? Adriana told me she met a woman in Japan who splashes her face with water 40 times before she even washes it to make sure her skin gets enough hydration. Now I’m not saying you gotta do all that. I’m just suggesting that we could all stand to learn a lesson from ladies overseas: Put in some work each day and you’ll have less to panic about later on. Your first sign of aging is the perfect motivation.

My conversation with Adriana (and the new faint-but-definitely-there parenthesis lines around my mouth) inspired me to stop being so lazy. I’ve even added two products to my routine that are making a huge difference.  One of them is RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream, which I apply under my night moisturizer. I realize the product is probably more appropriate for an older lady, but I figure it can’t hurt to use it now. And my skin definitely looks smoother since I started using it a few weeks ago.

The other product I’m into right now is Dermalogica Precleanse, an oil-based product that feels amazing on my skin. I used to just do a quick swipe with a makeup remover wipe at night and hop into bed. Now I use this before my face wash and my skin doesn’t have that tight, dry feeling I get sometimes when I use a foaming cleanser. After I wash, I apply my retinol cream and my night moisturizer on top and I’m done. I still have to force myself to do it–old bad habits die hard–but I can see the payoff when I wake up in the morning. And I’m sure when I’m 60, I’ll be glad I spent those extra few minutes on my skin.

What’s up with your face—have you noticed any signs that you’re not 19-years-old anymore? Or are you still getting carded? Let me know the deal in the comments section and include your product picks!