No Thanks

When Linda Rodin, the OG beauty oil cult leader, said this: "I like to be out the door in no time", I couldn't tell if she was talking about life or beauty; probably all of it. And that has pretty much been my skincare dream since I passed the stage where I wanted to wear makeup to look different, and accepted makeup as what it should be: ultimately, liberation. To be who as we think we are, to do as much or as little as we wish to, to paint ourselves as a choice.

I first became fascinated with beauty oils when coming across a now-dead blog called Beauty Huile, the archives of which you can still view here. For the first time, I felt both a simultaneous layer of authenticity and fantasy to the ritual, the routine, the necessity of beauty and skincare. Finally! An approach to beauty that rang like chimes to me: simple, effective, indulgent and useful. 

Over the years, I've realized that the out-of-the-door beauty dream is possible. It's not just something models say or busy moms do because they have no other option. It's an entirely appropriate and acceptable choice for the rest of us: busy, unfussy, girls who want to look (and feel) our best.

So, I've settled on a skincare routine that works for me, from my acne-prone teens to my way-past-glow oily skin that I had in my early twenties, to the first sign of sunspots from too many years spent out in the sun without sunscreen (oh, the blasphemy) to where I am today: an experimenter who sticks to most of the same things - like the 80/20 rule of life, so goes my beauty routine. 

Here's where I'm at circa summer 2016. I cleanse my face while in the shower with whatever cleanser I'm trying at the moment (always changing). Straight out of the shower, I get dried up and apply 3 drops of Madge beauty oil. I get changed, do all my morning stuff, wait for beauty oil to sink in. Then a few minutes later, I come back in front of the mirror, apply either sunscreen or CC cream from Juice Beauty and uncover-up concealer from RMS if I need it. And the rest, the icing: eyebrows (Alima Pure eyeshadow in Raven), blush (RMS or whatever 2-in-1 stick I have around) and lippy (a stained raspberry is my favorite, and I always have a few shades from Bite). I don't know how long this takes, all that it feels like the right amount of time. 

To many, this is hardly a beauty routine, and to others, it's enough. I play with other things: masks, exfoliants, toners, and serums. But I always go back to this. Berry lips and clear skin: it's my black. 

It's not as if I had perfect skin. I didn't and I don't. I don't have Linda's devil may care attitude, nor Tata's poise and perfection. I had bouts of dull skin, hormonal skin, acne-prone skin, all that stuff. But nothing saved my skin, nothing made it easier, a more pleasant experience, than taking that dropper, and massaging a pure and rich oil and to feel it seep, deep, deep, deeper.

Welcome to ptl (we say petal, also: path to love), where we create skincare essentials made for out-of-the-door beauty. It's not just dream. It's a living, true, real life fantasy for girls like you and me: who see both the opportunity for indulgence and utility to come together in a singular swirl of yumminess, in bottle form. -Ana Wang