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Credit: Mario Abad / HelloGiggles / Anna Buckley / HelloGiggles

Welcome to The Beauty Files, where HelloGiggles editors and contributors share what exactly they put on their faces, and why. We want to take you on this voyeuristic journey because we believe makeup means something different for every single person — applying makeup is a conscious, intimate decision we make almost every single day, and there’s usually a method behind the madness. Join us every week as we spill the beans on beauty products, and feel free to submit your own Beauty File. E-mail us at pitches@hellogiggles.com!

Hi there! I’m Mario, a reclusive homebody who spends his days hiding and avoiding human interaction as much as possible. I’m only half kidding. If I’m not binge-watching every season of Sex and the City (the unedited version, of course), I’m probably in bed with my laptop propped open, churning out fashion stories for several outlets, and praying that my editors keep working with me after my pieces get published.

Any freelance writer will tell you how lonely freelance life can be, which is why I MUST keep myself sane by maintaining some sort of skin care regimen. Even though I can technically wear/look however I want when I’m within the confines of my home, having good skin and a clear complexion ensures that I don’t wake up one day and decide to live underground with mole people.

While my day-to-day isn’t particularly groundbreaking or eventful, my morning and nightly skin care routine provide a soothing experience for me. It only takes a few minutes, yet it ensures that I have a radiant glow that belies my antisocial ways. Again, only half kidding!

9:00 a.m. — I will never be a morning person:

Credit: Mario Abad / HelloGiggles

If someone out there knows of an alarm tune that doesn’t increase your heart rate by 52408 percent, yet still gets you up and ready to face the day, please slide in my DMs. Oh, how I’d love to just calmly wake up to the rise of the sun, meditate, make lemon ginger tea, and take a stroll around the neighborhood, but I’ve come to accept that such a life is not meant for me.

Anyway, the first thing I’ll do is lie in bed for several more minutes before I remember my articles won’t write themselves. I slowly get up and pace myself to the bathroom. I open my medicine cabinet and start with the Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser ($18). I love this cleanser for its slippery texture and soothing properties. Mind you, I’m still half-asleep so I need something nourishing that will wake me up without jolting my senses TOO much — this cleanser does just the trick. I have combination skin — my forehead is more oily than the rest of my face, which is normal-to-dry. Next, I’ll use the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner ($16), which helps reduce excess oil on my forehead and absorbs moisturizer more effectively when used after cleansing. I pour a little on a cotton ball and dab it around my forehead, nose, temples, and chin. I highly recommend going to a Kiehl’s store if you have one in your area. They’re like little science labs, and the associates will measure your skin hydration levels and really personalize your skin care regimen depending on your skin type.

For the final two steps, I’ll use a serum and a moisturizer to really hydrate my skin. It leaves me looking dewy but not shiny. The Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate ($59) is basically a fancy name for a serum that really penetrates the outer layer of your skin and nourishes it from deep down, which gives my skin a smoother appearance. The Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream ($29.50) is so soft and silky, and, when used with my serum, it really locks down my moisture for the rest of the day. That’s it! I can now crawl back into bed and write as much as my little lonely heart desires.

9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. — Productivity level is hit or miss, but my skin is looking fab!

Credit: Mario Abad / HelloGiggles

There are very few times I’ll leave the solace and privacy of my cave I mean, abode. Every now and then I’ll squeeze a work-out in at the gym or run a few errands, but those are far and few between. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I don’t believe in applying SPF every day religiously. Do not @ me! I’m of the group that believes getting vitamin D-infused rays once in a while is actually beneficial for you. The way I see it is that I’m not outside all the time.

10:30 p.m. — My nighttime essentials:

Credit: Mario Abad / HelloGiggles

Once I’m done filing copy, catching up on emails, and editing excel sheets, I’ll pull up whatever episode of Sex and the City I’m watching and bask in Carrie Bradshaw’s glory (because it never gets old). However, if for some reason it’s a Friday/Saturday night and I would like the attention to be drawn to me for once, I’ll follow through with a friend’s plans to go out. After a quick shower, I’ll blow dry my hair and apply the BYRD Classic Pomade ($14), part my hair slightly, and comb through it to give it a nice sheen. Next, I’ll dab the Tom Ford For Men Concealer in the medium shade ($42) under my eyes to cover up those dreaded dark circles that decide to pop up whenever I want to interact with human beings. Afterward, I’ll apply some Glossier Boy Brow in Black ($16) to fill in my eyebrows and to make them look more snatched. I learned about Boy Brow from Morgan VonSteen, who’s the assistant to the CEO of Glossier, and she recommended it to me (her brows are killer and it remains my favorite purchase ever). Finally, I’ll spray the Christian Dior Eau de Savage ($95) for that floral, citrus kick. I am now decent and presentable for a night out on the town!

Past Midnight — Crucial nightly routine:

Credit: Mario Abad / HelloGiggles

The last step in my skin care process!

Before I go to bed, I’ll reapply what I put on that morning (Cleanser, Toner, Serum, Gel Cream). However, twice a week, I’ll add a step after the cleanser. I’ll use the Tom Ford For Men Exfoliating Energy Scrub ($49), which helps remove dead skin cells and unclogs my pores. Plus, I love the light scent the apricot seeds give off. After I moisturize, I’ll dab a small amount of the Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream ($58), as I strongly believe prevention is the best medicine. And lastly, I’ll apply the Baxter of California Hydro Salve Lip Balm ($10) to keep my lips moisturized overnight so I don’t wake up with dry, chapped lips.

And there you go! I’ll watch Sex and the City until I fall asleep, and hate my alarm clock the next morning all over again.

Indulge in beauty-themed voyeurism by reading all of our past Beauty Files, here.