Full Name: Alice Wu
Occupation: Social Media Intern at KraveBeauty, soon-to-be Analyst at SPMB
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Skin Type or Concerns: Combination-oily
Life Motto: You are exactly where you need to be. Everyone is on their own path.
Fun Fact: Boba is my weakness – sadly, I am not committed enough to my skin to give up sugar and dairy :(
My Skin Journey | Let’s start from the beginning
My skincare routine up until my sophomore year of college consisted of a single product: a 10% Benzoyl Peroxide cleanser. Yup. My skin was so dehydrated and dull, yet I had no idea because it was also overproducing oil to the point that I was blowing through packs of blotting paper.
Not to be dramatic, but the catalyst was actually a terrible breakup that forced me to reevaluate my entire life, skincare included. I realized that I had been neglecting myself mentally and physically, and I resolved to start taking care of myself. One of the ways I chose to better my self-care habits was skincare, and on Youtube I searched “control oily skin.” The first video I clicked on was from someone called Liah Yoo, and the rest is history.
I had been posting about skincare and makeup for a while on my personal Instagram when I noticed that no one in my life really cared about it as much as I did. I was following a few skincare Instagram accounts at the time, and I thought, “Why can’t I do that, too?” I started my beauty Instagram on January 1, 2018, and that’s when my skincare journey really took off. Once I gained more followers, I was flooded with skincare products from brands (that I am incredibly lucky to receive!) and felt very overwhelmed. My skin was also hating the constant testing of new products, and burnout was inevitable.
Since that period, I have taken a step back because that’s what my skin deserves. As much as I enjoy learning about and testing new products, I owe it to my skin to be kind to it. I’ve learned to maintain a balance to both fuel my interest in skincare and listen to what my skin needs.
Skincare Products I Can’t Live Without
KraveBeauty Great Barrier Relief: Your skin barrier’s health is essential to maintain, and Great Barrier Relief is such a versatile product to use. I can use it as a serum, a moisturizer, and even an eye cream if I need to! I use it every single day and after two weeks of initially using it, I noticed that my skin did not produce as much sebum as it used to. It was hydrated and plump, and even my boyfriend noticed that my skin was “bing bing”! I didn’t know I needed Great Barrier Relief until I had it, but now, it’s a long-term, committed relationship.
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner: This was a game-changer in my skincare routine. I’ve never experienced anything as hydrating as this refiner – I find myself literally skipping skincare steps because I don’t need them! It contains white leaf tea water, which has amino acids that help rebuild and strengthen the skin barrier (are you seeing a pattern here?).
KraveBeauty Kale-Lalu-yAHA: Kale-Lalu-yAHA took years off my skin, I swear. Every time I use it, I wake up the next morning with glowing, bright skin. Last year, I got severe food poisoning that was so bad that I was almost in the hospital. As you can imagine, I did zero skincare for two weeks and was looking rough in the aftermath. The first thing I did was exfoliate with Kale-Lalu-yAHA and saw an immediate improvement from the dull ashiness that had been my skin. It’s just…*chef’s kiss*
Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil: Indie Lee’s story is incredibly inspiring, and her commitment to her products is evident in how simple yet effective they are. Her Squalane Facial Oil is great for acne-prone and oily skin (meee!) and is intensely hydrating and nourishing. I pat 3-4 drops in at night and my skin just drinks it up.
My Current Skincare Routine
- Cleanse with water
- Primera Miracle Seed Essence
- Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster OR Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster
- Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb
- KraveBeauty Great Barrier Relief (it makes a great moisturizer!)
- The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil
- KraveBeauty The Beet Shield
- DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (only if I’m wearing makeup)
- KraveBeauty Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser
- KraveBeauty Kale-Lalu-yAHA OR Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid
- Laneige Cream Skin Refiner
- Belif Peat Miracle Revital Eye Cream
- Youth to the People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream
- Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
What #PressReset Means to Me
#PressReset means, to me, taking a step back to reevaluate your priorities, where you are, and where you want to be. It is all about self-reflection and refocusing on what really matters.
How I #PressReset Beyond Beauty
It is easy to feel lost in the shuffle of everyday life. I struggle a lot with my mental health, and when I’m not doing well my life tends to descend into a hazy spiral. It is difficult to function normally when I am not doing my best mentally, and that is okay. But after I have passed through the low point of such a spiral, I do certain things to clear my mind and #PressReset on my life.
The first step is to clean my room. I firmly believe that one’s living space is a reflection of one’s mental space, and for me, tidying my room is a physical reflection of decluttering my mind. I take time to write: what had happened, why I was feeling that way, what I can do next time to avoid a mental decline, etc.. It’s nice to read back on what I had written in the past to see how far I’ve come. I also jot down goals I want to accomplish in the following weeks. The goals can be as small as “take trash out” – any accomplishment is a good one. I go outside and I see my friends. I do a face mask and I make myself food. I listen to a podcast and I open the windows. Little steps go a long way.
Beyond beauty, I press reset to be kind to myself. I used to beat myself up after mental health regressions because I blamed myself for being too lazy, too irresponsible, too little. But I cannot be honest with myself if I believe that I can always be on 100% of the time, giving my 100%. Pressing reset means giving myself the time and the space to get myself back to where I want to be, in the direction I want to go. It means to be forgiving and understanding of my mind and body and accepting that life will go on no matter what. Most of all, it means showing myself love.
What I’ve Been Loving
I’ve been crushing hard on cream blushes all month long to get that perfect sunkissed look! Among my favorites are the Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Desired Glow and the Ilia Color Haze in Stutter. Desired is a warm nude and Stutter is a burnt orange, but both are incredible formulas that will give you that I’m-sunburnt-but-not-actually-because-I-use-sunscreen-like-a-responsible-person look.
Lizzo has been my big summer mood – so full of energy and life! I love nothing more than driving along the California highways and belting out Truth Hurts. As for books, I recently finished Becoming by Michelle Obama (lives up to the hype and more!) and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and loved both.
By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be in Europe, wining and dining my way across Dublin, Paris, Seville, and Barcelona! Taking one last big trip before I enter the workforce – traveling has been a big part of my life and I am incredibly lucky to have been able to see the world.