On a Kiehl’s Kick

Bows & Sequins shares her beauty routine and favorite Kiehl's skincare products.

This post is long overdue! Last September when I was in London, I popped into Kiehl’s in the Seven Dials area (one of my faves!) and had a proper skincare consultation with the sweetest woman who actually happens to be the employee with the longest tenure at Kiehl’s in Europe… nbd. (This wasn’t the VIP treatment, btw… Just ask for Gillian at the store! She still works there.. I just saw her again a few weeks ago when I was in London in April!) I’ve always had a few Kiehl’s products in my medicine cabinet, but I’ve been on an even bigger Kiehl’s kick for the last 7-8 months. (I think Gillian is in her 50’s or 60’s but her skin looks better than mine, so naturally, I’m all ears to whatever she has to say!) Her #1 tip? Vitamin C.

I also learned that I had been applying eye cream entirely too close to my eyes (um, what?) and that could potentially be causing the bags under my eyes. Spoiler Alert: it was. You’re only supposed to apply (dab with your ring finger, as it’s the weakest finger and won’t tug at your skin) along your orbital bone. As you sleep and throughout the day, it will migrate towards your eye to hydrate that delicate area underneath your lower lashes. Previously, I was getting all up in there. But since I’ve brought my application down a bit, I have noticed a night-and-day difference in the puffiness around my eyes. Gillian, you are a godsend.

Cleansers // Even though I was using a pretty gentle cleanser, Gillian told me my skin was still pretty dry and should be using something even less harsh. She recommended Centella Skin Calming Facial Cleanser and I’ve been a convert ever since. HOWEVER, it turns out this is a UK-only product… Who would have thought?! If you switch your region to the UK on the Kiehl’s website, the cleanser will be available, but the second you go to ship to the US, it’s not in your bag anymore. I’ve checked Kiehl’s stores too… No avail.

But god bless Selfridges! They carry the face wash and ship to the US for a reasonable price, so that’s been my workaround.

When I ran out the first time and hadn’t yet figured out a way to get it in the US, I bought Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash & the Ultra Facial Cleanser. I really like both of them, and still use both of them from time to time! I use the Calendula after workouts or if I’m wearing a lot of face makeup after a photoshoot or something of the sort just to make sure I get a good deep clean. And I use Ultra every time I travel (which is actually more often than not lately 😂) because it comes in travel-sized tubes and I stock up on them!

UPDATE: Kiehl’s now carries Centella Sensitive Skin Facial Cleanser in the US! 🙌🏼

Toners // I hadn’t used a toner for YEARS. Like, since college and the Clinique 3-Step System that I swore by back then. (Looking back, I’m so glad I got in this habit at such a young age. Thanks Mom & Aunt Anne!) If you’re newer to taking better care of your skin, these are the three absolute bare-minimum steps you should be doing day and night… Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize. (And eye cream and taking your makeup off, too… Obvs.)

I really like this gentle Calendula alcohol-free toner for everyday use, both morning and night! It doesn’t come in a travel size, however. So when I’m on the go, I grab the mini bottle of this Ultra Facial Toner… great for all skin types!

Essence // I’m new to essences, but Gillian had nothing but great things to say. Essences have been increasing in popularity as Korean beauty has become more and more trendy in the US. You simply press a few drops into your skin after cleansing and toning, before applying any of your serums or moisturizers. You’re apparently supposed to dab and press the liquid into your skin (with your fingers, no cotton pad necessary) before smoothing it all over. I have the Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence and the bottle has lasted forever… I got it in September and am only a little over halfway through.

The Must-Have for Anti-Aging // This is where the Vitamin C comes in! I’ve used and re-purchased this Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate at least three-four times since September… I use it morning and night in the ‘serum’ spot of my skincare routine. (i.e. After cleansing and toning, before moisturizers and oil treatments.)

Eye Creams // I’ve raved about their Avocado Eye Cream before (see this post!) and I still keeping re-stocking when I run out! It’s super hydrating and I see such a difference in the morning after I use it at night. Like I mentioned in this blog post, I don’t use it as my only eye cream (it’s pretty thick for AM) because it doesn’t have any anti-aging ingredients.

My everyday eye cream is the Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream… Obsessed doesn’t begin to cover it. I keep re-buying it, I’m probably on my 4th jar. I honestly feel like I’ve been a difference in my eye area, probably in part with the technique I mentioned above, but it’s worked wonders on fine lines, too.

Moisturizers // I have three moisturizers from Kiehl’s that I absolutely love and have on constant rotation! Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream (with SPF 30!) is my go-to daily moisturizer… It’s super hydrating, but not too heavy. If I’m washing my face before heading to a workout, I use Ultra Facial Cream (with SPF 30!) because I’m not as concerned with the anti-aging elements since I’ll just be washing my face again after the workout.

I’ve recently fell in love with the new Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream, too! It’s super thick so it’s a nighttime moisturizer for me most of the time. I’ll sometimes put it on in the morning if I’m just working from home and not planning on putting any makeup o give my skin a little extra hydration! While it is quite thick and made with honey, it doesn’t feel sticky once you have it on. I’m about halfway through the jar already!

Others // I recently tried their Butterstick lip products. I love the formula… Super soft and creamy! The rose tinted tube is just a hint of color, too. Great for an everyday lip balm! If rose isn’t your thing, there are quite a few shades if you buy it individually.

When I was in London last fall, I also picked up this Micro-Blur Skin Perfector and used every last drop over the next few months. I really, really liked it, but was sent a few other similar products to try over the holidays and never got around to re-stocking it. I used it in place of a primer, but you could wear it under makeup or totally on it’s own. I wouldn’t say it’s tinted, but it has a slight color that give you a slightly airbrushed look (in a good way!). It’s perfect for those days you’re running around and don’t want to wear makeup. Don’t get it confused with makeup, it is skincare and Gillian also recommended wearing it at night. It’s supposed to improve your skin’s texture over time!

And boys… I know most of you age way more gracefully than us girls do. But good skincare is still important, especially as you’re getting into your thirties. If you don’t know where to start with a skincare regime, just got to Kiehl’s and call it a day. Thank me later.

Any other skincare questions?! Let me know in the comments below!

PS: The above photo was taken at my apartment in Paris this past October! (I miss it soo much!) I was there for almost a month, which explains the moved-in look. If you’ve never used AirBNB, you can use this link for $40 off your first trip!

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  1. 5.22.17

    I’ve heard amazing things about Kiehls! I’ve actually never used any of their products but I’ll definitely check them out.

  2. 5.23.17
    Taylor said:

    I stopped in at Kiehl’s on Armitage two summers ago just to check it out and I walked out with an arsenal of face products. My skin hasn’t looked better since! I owe it all to Kiehl’s.

    My favorites also include the Vitamin C concentrate (use it both day and night) as well as the midnight recovery serum and super multi-corrective cream for night time use. I got a bunch of sample masks last time I bought online and have loved those too, I had never thought about buying their masks before.

    I use the micro blur skin perfector every day in lieu of makeup and I love it!

    I love when others share their love for Kiehl’s products, thanks for sharing!


  3. 5.23.17
    Meg said:

    I’ll have to try that new technique for applying eye cream. I have the wrinkle reducing eye cream and I haven’t noticed a difference yet after a month’s use — maybe its my poor application!

  4. 5.24.17
    August said:

    Kiehl’s avocado eye cream is my everyday hero ! <3

    ‘Share’ by August Harvest

  5. 6.26.19

    Nice article! This brand seems good to try out. I will use these products in my skincare routine. Thanks a lot for sharing.