Lindsay Mueller: Freelancer at RealBeauty.com
Lindsay's beauty stats: Early 20s; fine, long hair somewhere between wavy and curly, colored often; blue eyes; very fair skin tone.
"After weighing my options — bronzers that only made my skin look dirty, self-tanners that clogged my pores, and cancer-inducing tanning beds — I decided it was finally time to embrace my fair skin. Keeping it bright is hard work, and without the proper maintenance, my face looks dull and sleep-deprived. Here are some tips for maintaining an angelic complexion."
Tazorac, a Retinol Treatment
"I can't tell you how much Tazorac has helped my skin! At first, my skin was more red and irritated than normal, but with moisturizer and persistence, I was pleased with the results. Of course, always consult your dermatologist before beginning any retinol treatment. It increases the rate of cell turnover, leaving me with unclogged pores and a glowing complexion. I use a prescription-strength retinol treatment twice a week at bedtime, but newly available over-the-counter versions can be just as effective."
Tazorac, by prescription only
Remède Alchemy Cleansing Concentrate
"Moving from cold to warm temperatures takes a harsh toll on my skin, especially when it's already prone to dryness. I find that having the right cleanser is the first step to supple skin. I love this product. It cleanses my skin without stripping it of its moisture."
Cleanser, $44, beauty.com
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Gentle Scrub
"Twice a week, I use an exfoliant to unclog my pores and whisk away dead, dry skin. The cool feeling that Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Gentle Scrub leaves behind wakes me up and makes my face feel squeaky-clean every time!"
Facial Scrub, $6.39, ,
Jurlique Lavender Hydrating Mist
"After cleansing, I spritz a toner on my face and let it air-dry while I start doing my hair. I love Jurlique's Lavender Hydrating Mist because it adds that glowy, 'I just slept for a full eight hours' look to my skin, even if I only got a fraction of that!"
Toning Mist, $21, jurlique.com
"I use prescription-strength Duac gel to zap any imperfections, but any acne gel will do the trick! Try On the Spot Acne Treatment by Neutrogena."
Acne Treatment, $7,
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
"My all-time favorite moisturizer is a classic: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. I apply this all over my face and neck, directly over any treated acne (once the acne treatment has fully dried). It keeps my face looking fresh and acts as a great primer for foundation."
Moisturizer, $24, clinique.com
bareMinerals Foundation SPF 15 in Fairly Light
"I love multitasking, and beauty products that can do the same are phenomenal! As a finishing touch, I apply bareMinerals foundation SPF 15 — which is especially important for women who use retinol products — in Fairly Light around my nose and under my eyes as concealer. Afterward, I put a little on a large face powder brush and dust my entire face to even out the tone. Add a little blush and voilà — a flawless face that works for (not against) you!"
Foundation, $25, bareescentuals.com