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I get a fair few questions regarding my skincare and foundation base routines so this post will detail my current routine!

Background on my skin:
My skin lies somewhere between combination and normal, my cheeks are drier than my t-zone. I’m not particularly prone to breakouts but I am prone to some redness and I would describe my skin as ‘thin’. I have had sensitivity issues in the past but my minimal routine has eradicated this.

My skincare routine is embarrassingly simple- in the past I’ve overcleansed and overexfoliated, when really, a minimal amount of products suit me best.
In the morning, I rinse with water and apply makeup if I feel like it. In the evening, I remove my eye makeup with Bioderma Crealine and my face makeup is easily removed with my regular night cleanser, Murad AHA/BHA cleanser (review can be found here). If you use a heavier foundation or products that are long wearing, you’ll probably need a separate remover here.
I generally skip moisturiser (don’t kill me!) unless my skin is acting up due to the weather, in which case I’ll use Chantecaille Vital Essence.
About once a fortnight, I’ll exfoliate using Kate Somerville (review here).

And that’s…pretty much it. I believe a lot of people are using more products than they need, resulting in elaborate routines that are not beneficial for their skin. I’m quite well read in the skincare arena so if you have a question or would like some recommendations, feel free to email me at:
and I’d be more than happy to give you my opinion.

Foundation routine:
On a day to day basis, I generally use MAC Mineralized Skinfinish Natural (MSFN) with a stippling brush to give a light coverage- I don’t feel polished without it.
If I’m going to an event where I’m likely to be pictured, I’ll wear a proper foundation as MSFN doesn’t picture very well. In that case, I’ll wear Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk (I’m currently shade 5.5 and a MAC NC20). This is medium coverage, satin finish foundation than can be sheered out and pictures beautifully. I generally don’t set with powder but if you have an oilier skintype, you may want to.
I’m a HUGE fan of Armani foundations, if you’re dry then I suggest Luminous Silk but for other skintypes, Lasting Silk is your best bet.

To give a good indication of coverage and finish of different base routines, here are some photos.

Bare face (eek!):

Skincare and Base routine

Light dusting of MAC MSFN:

Skincare and Base routine

Armani Lasting Silk:

Skincare and Base routine

And that pretty much concludes my current skin and foundation routines! Hopefully I answered any questions you may have but if I’ve missed something, email me or leave a comment in the box below.


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  1. Hey Emi!

    I wore sunscreen daily for many years but removing it daily was irritating my skin. Nowadays, I get little sun so I decided to keep it for days where I anticipate sun exposure (I use anything zinc oxide based, and remove with Fancl cleansing oil, in that case).

    EDIT: Silly me, it’s actually YSL Glossy Stain in 11, Rouge Gouache. These kind of errors remind me that I own too many red lipsticks! The original picture can be found in this post:


  2. omfg!!!! Luminous skin looks absolutely amazinggggggggggg on you!!!!!! I swear if i were you id be attached at the hip to it! i wish that this foundation worked for me…it just doesnt look right! However, thank you so much for the comparisons! What an amazing foundation!

    1. Do you mean Lasting Silk, in the last photo? If Luminous Silk didn’t work for you, Lasting Silk may- it has a less dewy finish. Lasting Silk is my Holy Grail, the only instance where I intend on straying is for the new Armani Maestro foundation (because I just NEED to try it!)

  3. I totally agree with you. We get tempted to try new things all the time, skincare ranges keep introducing more and more steps in their routines and I feel for most people it’s all too much. I have greatly benefited a simpler routine with very bland products. I don’t cleanse in the morning anymore either, I just need to moisturize more than you because my cheeks can get very dry in Winter time, but I don’t use sophisticated things. My only fancy product is Alpha-H liquid gold that I use 3 times a week so I get some AHA against little whiteheads 🙂

    1. It’s true! Marketing can be so convincing and before we know it, we’re using 20 products! Good to hear that others are also benefiting basic skincare routines. What’s the Alpha-H Liquid Gold like? Sounds…luxurious!

  4. Great post and its interesting to see you use so little on your skin because it is perfect!! I’ve only been using water in the morning for a while because I used to over cleanse as well and my skin isn’t as dry as what it was.
    the foundation looks amazing on you even though you can easily go without.

    1. I use so little that it’s almost silly talking about it, but people do ask! Seems like a lot of people only rinse with water in the morning but this took me years to figure out!
      Thank you dear 🙂 much love

  5. i love the new maestro! but they seriously need to work on their color selections for medium-deeper skin. sucks big time. very very green!

    1. That DOES suck 🙁 Armani has been known to introduce new shades after launch so hopefully they fix that. Did the texture creep you out? Reviews I’ve read have said that it’s an unusual application.

  6. Do you know of a foundation that you think would be a close second to Lasting Silk but not quite as pricey? I’m not talking drugstore, though, I’ve heard they destroy your skin; right now I use Lauder. I’ve been eyeing MUFE HD so I was wondering if you had thoughts on that either 🙂

    1. Hey Suz!
      Which lauder do you use? A while back I dabbled with Estee Lauder Double Wear Light and quite liked it. The coverage is higher than the Lasting Silk and the finish is not quite as luminous but I think it’s a great foundation. I’m not a MUFE expert unfortunately, it’s not available in Australian stores!
      Other foundations I’ve tried and liked: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer (good value for money because it lasts forever), Boots Lifting (perhaps more luminous than Lasting Silk) and Chantecaille Future Skin.
      let me know if you’d like info on any of those and I’ll elaborate 🙂

  7. I use Double Wear which does an okay job for me, but I’ve used it for years so I’m just taking my head out of the sand to see if there’s something better out there now. Can you tell me about the Kevyn Aucoin one? I looked it up and it doesn’t seem like a typical foundation. And thanks so much for taking my bombardment of questions! I do have one more, though– do you use a stippling brush to apply your foundation?

    1. Well if you like Double Wear, I say stick to it (if it isn’t broke…)

      Here is a thorough review of Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer:

      And here is a fotd using it as a foundation (can also be used as a concealer):

      Hopefully that answers your questions but let me know if I missed something 😉

      1. You’re probably right, I think I might stay with it for now. Kevyn Aucoin seems interesting but it might be too heavy for me.. I have freckles all over my face but only use foundation on my t-zone, so it looks kinda weird if I cover them up there completely. Thanks for all the help! Also thanks for clearing the brush question up.

      2. Kevyn Aucoin SSE can be sheered down to pretty any coverage level. It’s not matte like EL DW (it’s more satin) so if you like matte, it may not be well suited. My pleasure! I love answering questions!

    1. Good question! I’ll clarify. I use a stippling brush with MAC Mineralized Skinfinish. With liquid foundations, I use a damp MAC 190 to sheer it out.

  8. Hi Karima,

    I am a high end make up enthusiast like yourself and have loved reading your blog as so many others are aimed towards lower end products. I was wondering how you apply the Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk foundation onto your face (brush, fingers…). I generally use my fingers with foundation as I find brushes to be unhygienic but I feel like I am not achieving a flawless finish like you have in your photos. Can you please offer me some guidance? I’d appreciate it very much.

    1. Hey Anjelica 🙂 I generally use fingers too, with a patting motion. If I use a brush, I’ll generally opt for a stippling brush. Are you exfoliating well? I find that helps to create a flawless finish. Hope this helps! xx

  9. Thank you Karima. Yes I am very diligent with exfoliating my skin. I don’t like using scrubs as I find them too harsh on my skin. I use chemical based exfoliators that make your skin flaky and peel away your dead skin.I know that sounds disgusting but it really helps to keep my skin looking bright.

    I think my problem is that I apply my Foundation as I do moisturiser. I don’t pat as you suggested. I’ll have to try that. Where do you start on your face?

    Also do you know any good products to fade or eliminate light freckles/pigmentation?

    Years of using solariums. Naughty, naughty! My skin is actually very good considering I fried it. Thanks for you guidance 🙂 xx

    1. Yes, I’m also a fan of chemical exfoliants. Definitely try patting it on, I don’t really apply any foundations like I do my moisturiser. I start on my nose because I tend to need more coverage there but that will depend on your skin!
      In terms of pigmentation, if you’re using a decent chemical exfoliant- you are treating it already. Are you using an SPF daily? That is perhaps the most important factor when preventing freckles/pigmentation. If you’re doing all that, consider a retinoid: it’s a prescription cream that resurfaces the skin (SPF also very important). Hope this helps 🙂 x

  10. Also if you don’t mind me asking what nationality are you? I love your name. I’m Russian and my husband is Egyptian (born born in Australia) so I love meeting people from all over the place 🙂

      1. Thank you Karima. Yes I use 50+ on my skin daily underneath my make up. I’m considering IPL to remove my feckles as I find facial products only help to fade them. My stepdad is also from the Former Yugoslavia. I never would have picked you are Yugoslavian. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog. It has been very helpful. I have finally found my HG foundation in Giorgio Armani Lasting silk. Forever grateful to you. X

      2. Then you’re doing all the right things 🙂 If you try IPL, make sure you test it on a single spot first (perhaps on your hand or chest) to gauge how your skin will respond. Yep, all my ancestors are from the former yugoslavia (we can date back like…6 generations). SO happy you like the Lasting Silk! Isn’t it awesome!? Much love, Karima.

      3. Ok I will. I’m a bit scared to have it done. I think I’ll do my chest first then if I’m brave enough I’ll try my face. Wow! Then you are definitely Slavik. We are an awesome race. I’m not bias at all. I LOVE lasting silk. I can’t believe I have lived without it until now. It smooths my pores out and looks like second skin. Thank you so very much. Hvala xx

  11. Great post and love the Armani Lasting silk too! Quick question: any (under)eye cream that you could recommend? Thanks Karima! Your blog is awesome! 🙂