It was Nathan W. Morris who said: "Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly—it's your masterpiece, after all." I don't know who Nathan W. Morris is—according to Google, he is either a financial advisor, a wedding and event photographer, or a phantom—but I love him. My life is my masterpiece! Nathan W. Morris makes me feel like no wedding and event photographer has made me feel—like a work of art.

I'm not sure if Nathan was thinking about skincare, but I am never not, so that's where I'm applying his philosophy. I feel John on his polyamorous approach to the products he uses, but I am a man of simple pleasures. An 11 step skincare routine is like, six steps too many. Let's remember the basics: cleanser, serum/treatment, SPF, moisturizer, exfoliant. That's all! Let me show you what it's like to edit your life ruthlessly, but effectively—the skincare routine for minimalists. Follow along with me as I live a simple life during one very festive weekend in Brooklyn and some parts of Manhattan.

Friday, December 9, 2016
Here's a fun way to eliminate an extra step from your skincare routine: Don't wash your face in the morning! Every facialist I've ever seen, plus my mom, insists that a morning cleanse is essential for managing bacteria at all times, but honestly, I don't get it. Plus my skin is prone to redness, which means the minute I try to strip it in the morning, it freaks out and goes flush. Then I need a whole 'nother 10 products to make it calm down. Stop the madness!

Instead, I'll apply fortifying, moisturizing skincare products as soon as I'm awake enough to do so. Because it's winter, this means a moisturizing serum like Natura Bisse's SOS Instant Rescue Serum because I live for the drama of the name. It's a little heavier than an essence—a lightweight gel basically—and it's a good barrier for cold wind. You can use any serum based on skin preference, but I think something mega-hydrating works best for winter. (Caudalie's Thirst Quenching Serum is a great dupe for a lower price BTW.) My moisturizer is the simple, unfussy, perfect-for-oily-skin Bioderma Hydrabio Gel-Creme. I do a layer and then mix a little more in with Burberry Fresh Glow as a guerilla BB Cream.

Tonight's my annual Christmas party hosted at my home—I leave work a little early to start on the hors d'oeuvres. Trader Joe's Mini Quiches take 11 minutes to bake, so right after I preheat the oven, I apply Ren's Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask all over my face and then I put them in and start the timer. This is my pre-soirée mask—a product that makes my skin look better after I use it. It's a fruit cocktail of all my favorite chemical exfoliants; papain, glycolic, and lactic acid. I don't totally believe in brightening products, but my skin tone looks more even afterwards and is smooth as hell.

Then—a little Bioderma where it counts. I don't want to put on makeup because I know I'll get it on somebody's white shirt. At midnight, my skin looks PHENOMENAL. I wanted to embed a photo, but I look a little sauced in all of them. You'll have to take my word for it.

Saturday, December 10, 2016
The hangover of all hangovers. It feels like Satan is tap dancing on the bridge of my nose. The closest ibuprofen is in my kitchen, which is roughly 11254930790 miles from my bed, so I will suffer through it for now. Instead, I put a little Hydrabio on all over my thirsty ass face. Back to bed.

Slightly later that morning
It is time to go out into the world, if only to acquire food. The only thing I do this morning is put on Bioré Watery Essence SPF 50, an SPF I just bought from Oo35mm on my coworker Jessica's recommendation. Lightweight doesn't justly describe it—it's nonexistant. But it's not water, either. The water-based formula feels more akin to a jelly serum than an essence, which makes it a great winter sunscreen. Oh, you didn't think you needed sunscreen in the winter? Let me tell you what.

Well, I didn't drink, so I think that's a skincare feat in itself. I just cleanse with my good friend Hada Labo Hydrating Facial Cleanser. It's got hyaluronic, so I feel moisturized even though I didn't.

Sunday, December 11, 2016
How wonderful it feels to go to bed at 10 and then sleep for a full nine hours! I'm not about to be one of those people who says that sleep and water are the keys to good skin, but they don't hurt. I look well-rested and rejuvenated, like a celebrity leaving Passages Malibu.

I don't have any place to be, so I do the whole thing this morning—hydrating serum, watery SPF, lightweight moisturizer. It's moisture on moisture on moisture, and makeup glides right on. I think that good foundation has nothing to do with the foundation and everything to do with how your skin is prepped and what you're using to apply it. (Beautyblender or Kiko Milano Foundation Brush.) I look like a dewy and fresh Christmas poinsettia.

Saw Moonlight—was very good. I highly recommend to all of you. Not skincare-related, just thought I'd share.

Tonight I washed my face, applied my serum, and then CHEATED by using a sample of Glossier's new Priming Moisturizer Rich. I'm letting you know in the spirit of full disclosure. Maybe everybody needs two moisturizers, one reg and one rich. Is skincare minimalism even possible? Is perfect skincare a meaningless pursuit? What is the meaning of it all? I will let you mull it over while I sleep.

Monday, December 12, 2016
Boom. Skipped right to the eveningtime. You thought I was going to start in the morning and then I tricked you. This is the "ruthless" aspect of Nathan W. Morris' life edit, which I am working on.

Tonight is our company holiday party (I know, my life is full of parties, I am very popular, etc.) so I'm using the Ren mask again—it's effective but gentle enough to use every two or three days, and normally I use it weekly, but I'm jonesing for radiance. Then I apply my serum, and my skin feels great, so I just put makeup on over that; Tom Ford Traceless Stick Foundation, a little Generation G Cake as cream blush, plus Benefit Dallas over that. I'm wearing all navy, so I'm thinking about putting MAC Navy Glitter in my eyebrows. Good idea or great idea?

Late night
It was a fine idea.

—Brennan Kilbane

Photographed by the author.

More skincare diaries: Read about every single product writer Phoebe Lovatt used on her face during New York Fashion Week.

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If someone could give me the luxury of time as a holiday present, I would gladly accept in order to properly prep myself for any and all parties that pop up during the month of December. I'd do the whole relaxing bath with a candle, face massage (effleurage), leisurely dressing shebang everyone talks about in their After Dark interviews... Sounds like a great time! But more likely is the scenario where I'm at the office—or at least on my computer—'til the last possible second and need to build upon that foundation to create a ritzy-enough look.

And hey, I'm not complaining. Give me a dressed-up jean any day of the week and I'll give you access to my iCloud folder full of Alexa Chung inspiration photos. Really, is there anyone more adept at nonchalant glamour or wearing coats? No, so here is my best approximation of what I would do if I were Alexa Chung attending the Glossier holiday party.

Whenever I daydream about me at a holiday party, it's in a slinky black slip dress and I look killer. But there are two problems here: 1. I'm still on the hunt for the perfect slip dress (The Realreal app, you kill me); and 2. It's not warm anymore! My solution is jeans. And not just any jeans. These fake-Vetements Topshop jeans that look really great with a silky top tucked in and hidden behind a big fabulous blanket coat just so. For warmth, but also for drama. The shoes are Gianvito Rossi, and they are fabulous, and I have nowhere else to wear them.

As long as I've gotten a blowout in the last week, I can handle doing something "done" to my hair. In my bob days, I'd've worn my hair down and piecey like Alexa, but right now I'm growing it out just to see what will happen. Now that it's long, my instinct is to pull it back into a twisted chignon, secured with a Blax elastic and five to 10 U-pins, with a little bit of fluff pulled out around my face. My hair doesn't stay controlled for long, so no use in making it perfect from the start—I just used a little Reverie Milk mixed with Ever Oil for grit. It also gives me more time to focus on...

ITG favorite makeup artist Ingeborg told me last year that her favorite trick for dewy makeup was to apply Glossier Priming Moisturizer on top of makeup in addition to using it as a primer. And that's what I do if I'm getting ready at the office. On top of whatever I'm already wearing, I'll pat in a layer of Priming Moisturizer, re-conceal using Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla and a Beautyblender, and then move on to the fun stuff. Namely, Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze and Glow. Yes, I'm finally learning to contour. But only a little, so as not to overshadow my current favorite lip color, the special edition Nars Audacious in Rita. The color is the perfect, not-too-blue red; but the packaging is better. So sleek. And when I do lips, I do very little on the eyes. Just a little brown shadow (from the Tom Ford Nude Dip Palette) under the bottom lashes for definition and a wiggle of Marc Jacobs Volumizing Mascara at the roots.

These are really important. I'm not someone who always has her nails painted. In fact, more often than not, my manicure is old and chipped and I've gotten so used to it on my hands that I don't actively see it anymore. But for a party, you better believe they're done, and done festively. Holidays call for red polish, and my current red polish of choice is the Chanel Rouge Radical (unfortunately it was limited run—find it on eBay!). It's a gloss, so not quite as opaque as your standard laquer, meaning it paints on a whole hell of a lot smoother. Two coats sandwiched between the unimpeachable Smith and Cult top and bottom coats and I'm a brand new woman. Bring on the Champagne.

—Emily Ferber

Emily Ferber photographed by Tom Newton on November 19, 2016. Emily is wearing a Jil Sander coat, 3.1 Phillip Lim top, Topshop Boutique jeans, Gianvito Rossi shoes, a Proenza Schouler clutch, and Kenneth Jay Lane earrings. Styled by Lilli Millhiser. Hair by Clay Nielsen.

Part 2 of our Holiday Party Look series. See how Kim Johnson contours with highlighter—and check back for more.

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"Hairdressing school [in Denmark] is four years long. It's crazy, but that's how I got my start in the beauty industry. Working in beauty was always the goal, but I knew I didn't just want to be a hairdresser. So after hairdressing school, I went to makeup school for a year. It was so bad—I remember I brought in a picture of Kate Moss from an old campaign, and she had this smoky eye, and one of the teachers said, 'Oh, it's done completely wrong!' Like, really? It's Vogue. I was confident that I could do good makeup, but I needed to learn how to do makeup that photographers wanted.

I started working with a hairdresser because I was cutting all of my girlfriends' hair anyway, and that's how I started working with models and photographers. For a time, I was primarily a hair artist—but in Denmark, we did both [hair and makeup]. I got tired of the work because you had to be best friends with the models, and flirt with the photographers... It was too much for me. That's when I started thinking about editorial. I had a job interview with a Danish magazine, total coincidence, and they asked me if I ever thought about being a beauty editor. I was like, 'Yes!' They rang me two days later because their beauty editor had quit and asked if I wanted to come for a talk. Then I just threw it all out and went there. I remember my agent was like, 'Are you fucking crazy? They're going to pay you a third of what you make as a makeup artist.' But I wasn't happy. I was their beauty editor for five years, and about two years ago I went to Cover. I did take up hairdressing and makeup recently, just to make sure I don't get bored. [Laughs]

When I started as Cover's Beauty Director, I had a really bad breakout. Like, really bad. And I remember my Creative Director was like, 'How can she have such bad skin and be a Beauty Director?' I was like, 'Fuck you!' [Laughs] At the same time, I was taking special B vitamins and somebody from the store told me about Ling. I think any girl that has hormonal issues with her skin should really know about that brand. I don't know if it was Ling or the vitamins, or both, but I don't dare stop using them now. I've never seen such a radical change in my skin, ever. The game changer for me was the Ling Dual-Moisturizer—you can also use it with any skin type because it's so light, but it has an oily texture to it.

Then I use the Oxygen Plasma Serum from Ling and that's really good. My rich moisturizer is the Dr. Brandt DNA Time Reversing Cream, which I've been using forever and it's priced like La Mer. I'd had it on my shelf for six, seven months, and when I started using it was magic. It's really expensive but the ingredients are great. It's so dry here [in Copenhagen]. You get a lot of redness and a lot of dry skin, so a rich cream helps. My SPF is Rudolph Care's. Rudolph is some of the best skincare in Denmark.

The Ling Cleanser is also good. I'm really into washing cloths. I have muslin cloths and you just put it them the washer and reuse them. I don't use a cloth every day because skin is sensitive but it gets everything off and you can massage your face. To exfoliate, I use fruit enzyme peels like Ren's Glycol Renewal Face Mask. I get red but it works. It gives so much moisture, too! Sometimes, I'll use this Karmameju Dry Brush. They make body brushes, but they made one for the face, too. You have to use it on dry skin, but I like it.

When I shower in the winter, I always turn the water cold at the end. It's a regular shower, then body oil, and then cold water. And when I wash my hair, I use a shampoo formulated for itchy scalps and I never use conditioner. It's a French pharmacy brand, Ducray, and I like it because it's conditioning and doesn't strip my hair. When I style my hair, I use the Kevin Murphy Anti-Gravity Volumizing Spray and the Less is More Protein Spray. The Kevin Murphy can be a little too much, but when you mix it with the protein spray, it brings the volume a bit down. Then, I use a Remmington Blow Dryer with a small attachment for waves.

Cim Mahony cuts my hair. I always ask for a model haircut because models always have a simple length with layers—that's not the name for it, that's just what I call it. This way you can put in extensions and do whatever with it. It's the perfect cut. Sara Falkenberg, at Cim's studio, colored my hair last night. I never wanted to color it, I always liked it the way it was, but I don't like any redness in my hair. I'd rather it be a little green than red. The color [they add] is kind of like a pâté that we eat. [Laughs]

My desert island beauty product has got to be a foundation, because skin is the most important for me. I have redness, so I use a lot of gold. Usually I mix two MAC Face and Body shades, because I have one for summer and one for winter. When I get really tired, I get pale, so I layer them—but it never looks cakey. Then I use Bareminerals Foundation or Youngblood—it's a makeup artist thing. They all use this combination of Face and Body and Youngblood. I use a powder from the Nars Steven Klein collaboration [ed note: no longer available] to make it a little less shiny. This is actually really good—the Face Contour Cream from & Other Stories. The L'Oreal Cushion, too... I get it a bit darker to put under the cheek. I'm very into contouring.

I don't really use eyeshadow. Sometimes at night I wear a metallic green, and I use this YSL 5 Couleurs Ready To Wear Scandal Collection sometimes on the middle of the lid. I read that Alexa Chung uses MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy and it's the most amazing color because it's brown and black. It really blends well around the eyes. If I'm going out, I'll use the Chanel Black Eyeliner but I'll always mix it with the Teddy just to make it a little more grounded. Then L'Oreal Millions Lashes, and I always buy three at a time. The brush is really good because you can make it look natural but layer it. Every Danish makeup artist uses it.

This is no doubt the best perfume in the world—Christian Dior Bois d'Argent. It's primarily for men but it's amazing. Or the classic Dior Homme, and I wear that as well. It sounds a bit strange, but it's like having a man with you at all times. I also like the Bonpoint fragrance. Madonna uses that, and that's how I found it. I don't know about New York but in Denmark, all the Molecule fragrances are really big and I like to mix them. I always mix perfumes. My favorites to mix are the Dior Homme and maybe Chanel No 19—which in my opinion is the most underrated Chanel perfume ever.

I go to the nail salon once a week. There's one place called Blow, but it's like 500kr for nails. Now I get them done at Classique Nails in Vesterbrogade. I always do a nude, Bubble Bath from OPI or Rouge from Chanel. I hate blue colors. That's the color of dead nails. When you're dead you'll have blue nails—why do you want that now? I don't get it."

—as told to ITG

Liv Winthers photographed by Tom Newton at her home in Copenhagen on August 12, 2016.

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Everyone has their opinions about Botox, Restylane, Coolsculpting… Some are positive, some are hesitant, and at this site, we try to take a neutral position: Everything’s great if it works for you. If not, no worries—keep living your life. That said, there is some middle ground for anyone who’s ever had a momentary daydream about lip fillers and shrugged it off. Maybe injections aren’t totally right for you, but hey! You’ve got options! Mainly, a bevy of spa treatments and facials that can plump, slim, or smooth just about anything you want without needles or side effects. Are all these treatments a luxury? God yes. But if you were already considering an injection or two, they could sound like a bargain, particularly pre-big life event where the pictures are going to be memorialized in one of those DIY photo books for all eternity.

Got recommendations? Leave ‘em in the comments. Knowledge is power.

Fewer Wrinkles, No Botox

Take it from Victoria’s Secret Angel Martha Hunt: If you want plumper looking skin, an oxygen facial is the answer. She and the rest of her leggy brethren are said to see Mzia Shiman for the best facials, but word around town is that she only takes personal referrals. For the rest of us, there’s Intraceuticals, with spas practicing their technique all over the country. The oxygen is applied with light pressure, essentially pushing hydration and nutrients deep into the skin. Emerge brighter, more lifted, and sans any wrinkles for several days.

Facelift Minus The Needles

Meet Tracie Martyn, pioneer of the “Rescuplting Facial” (it’s actually trademarked by her) and facialist to Kate Winslet, Liv Tyler, and Lady Gaga among others. The key here is her micro current machine that encourages the muscles of the face to tighten and lift. With continued use, Martyn says her effects are long lasting, which means more define jawlines, less droopy eyelids, and higher cheekbones for everyone without any invasion procedures.

Similar but for the Biologique Recherché lovers out there, there’s Kariné Kazarian and her The Manual Lift Pinching treatment. She also works out the muscles in your face, but manually. This one is more like a stressful massage, but on your face. Kariné finishes off treatments by rolling liquid nitrogen over the face, essentially freezing the lift. And it feels amazing.

Coolsculpting But Quicker

It is ITG's policy to take any and all body advice from Brazilian ladies. In our neighborhood, that’s the women behind the Maria Bonita Salon. Their version of a lymphatic massage is legendary, promising to take inches and cellulite off your waist or thighs after one session. While the results might not be permanent, no need to try it for multiple sessions and wait several months to see what’s what.

If you don’t live near a Brazilian salon, check your local spa for a body wrap or shaping treatment, à la those you can find the Great Jones Spa or Daphne Spa in New York. Wraps can include targeted areas of firming massage plus heat that can help burn upwards of 1000 calories while you just lay there.

Plumper Lips Without Filler

You know that Ziip Nano Current Device we’ve been talking about? (You can win one in our Gift Guide right now! Don’t sleep on it!) Well, bless Melanie Simon, the founder, because she keeps adding new treatments to the device via the updatable app. Most recently, Ziip now offers a lip treatment—in which you hover the device over your lips for fuller, plumper results. Don't sleep on that either.

Photographed by Tom Newton. More product suggestions in the slideshow above.

Maybe Botox is your thing—we've got a guide to getting the good stuff here.

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The #ITGTopShelfie interview series focuses on the beauty routines of Into The Gloss' lovely, accomplished, and loyal community of readers. Submit your own on Instagram—post your Top Shelfie (tag us @intothegloss!) and include the hashtag #ITGTopShelfie for a chance to be featured on ITG.

"I'm Emma Hutton (@weequizzie) and I'm a copywriter. I live in Camberwell in southeast London, and I get to work from home, which is good and bad. It's good that I can structure my day to be more productive, plus I can hang out with my cat and I don't end up spending all my cash at coffee shops. Some days, though, I’m in my pajamas from the moment I sit at my desk until the moment my boyfriend comes home from work. I always look forward to ‘Freelancer Fridays’ with my best friend. We both work for ourselves so we sneak occasional Fridays where we meet up, watch movies, drink coffee and laugh until our faces hurt.

As somebody who works from home, I try to stick to a routine—it always starts with coffee. I don't, however, stick to many routines for beauty. Every day is different and our moods change, so I just go with how I feel. Some days I just need to wash my face and other days I need the whole shebang and that’s cool. As long as I spend some time taking care of me and checking in with what I need to feel good then that’s enough. The one thing I do consistently is apply Bio-Oil after every shower or bath, as a kindness to myself. I'm a hot cloth face washer so I've got a load of balms that I switch between... My favorites are the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm, Sunday Riley Blue Moon Balm and Eve Lom’s Morning Time Cleanser. I also love a really good lip balm, but I want a matte finish. I've stuck to Nuxe Reve de Miel for a couple of years but I jumped on the By Terry Baume de Rose bandwagon lately and now I get it. It’s so good.

I'll tone with acid–Glow Tonic by Pixi or Dr. Gross' Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel-and then a I use a good serum and moisturizer. I'm really into the The Ordinary Buffet and Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serums from Deciem at the minute. Moisturizer is Tidal by Sunday Riley or Clinique Moisture Surge and then Zelens Daily Defence Sunscreen or Clinique Super City Block on top. At night I love an oil and right now I mix it up between my old faithful Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate with Luna by Sunday Riley and The Ordinary’s 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil.

Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Face Primer is the best. THE BEST. It gives you just enough luminosity to make you look alive when you're dying inside. I use Chanel Vitalumière Aqua or regular Vitalumière Foundation depending on the time of year and how my skin is feeling. I apply with my fingers and blend out with a Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki Brush. Using a brush for foundation application has changed my life, the finish is just so much better. If I'm heading out in the evening or need a little more light in my face I’ll add Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl to the tops of my cheekbones. It’s magic. On my lashes, I'm crazy about DHC Perfect Pro Double Protection Mascara at the minute. Eyebrows are filled in with Suqqu Balancing Eyebrow Palette or Charlotte Tilbury’s Legendary Brows in Cara. I keep making appointments to get my brows threaded, but I always bail! I feel terrible calling them back, 'Hey, so sorry, but I can't make it. Again.' The fear of someone just taking too much and losing the shape forever is just too much.

I found out MAC's Dare You Cremesheen is a good dupe for the lipstick Phoebe Waller-Bridge wears in Fleabag so I’ve been wearing that a lot lately. I love a good matte lipstick too–MAC’s All Fired Up is probably my favorite, or La Diva by Chanel—but they can kill your lips. Now that we're heading into winter I'm sticking with Dare You and a bit of Black Orchid by Tom Ford. Since I work from home I don’t feel as though I need to make that much of an effort makeup-wise and a lot of the time I don’t. But some days, I’ll whack on some Nars Schiap or Tom Ford Cherry Lush. Occasionally, you just have to."

—as told to ITG

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