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beauty

How I Finally Got Rid Of Dark Under Eye Circles


Confession: I am a side sleeper. I know this because every time I wake up there’s a little wet spot on my pillow from my own saliva and when I splurge on eyelash extensions, one side comes way faster than the other. I tell myself, this is fine because I sleep on a silk pillowcase, but it is something I’d like to work toward changing.  While my dedication to fierce lashes has its limitations, skin care is something I am a more rigid about. For this reason, I figured putting a hydrating, luxury skincare product on my face at night should prevent me from burring one side of my face into a pillow. It did… mostly, but more on that later.

^Each of the unedited photos above was taken one month apart. The first one is after no treatment. The second was one day after microneedling and the third was after using Dr. Brandt’s mask, antioxidents and microneedling and jade rolling at home + wearing makeup which includes a light concealer. 

Diet, stress, aging, antibiotics, and even harsh beauty products can strip away beneficial microorganisms, upsetting your complexion’s perfectly balanced ecosystem. All that puts you on the fast track to breakouts (see my chin), blemishes, dry patches and crepey skin. With the Biotic Balancing Complex, Dr. Brandt Skincare developed a technology that supports the skin’s natural bioshield (that’s a real word), optimizing skin health. Their Recovery Sleeping Mask is powered by Biotic Balancing Complex that works to strengthen the skin’s ecosystem by balancing naturally occurring flora on the skin’s surface while fortifying the skin barrier.

I slept with it for a week hoping it would do all that it promises and magically turn me into a back sleeper. On night one, I had 2 glasses of wine at dinner and buried my face into my pillow per usual. I blame the wine. By the second (and decidedly soberer) night, I slept on my side, but with my face up to the ceiling. when I woke up, there was no drool on my pillow and the mask seemed to be mostly equally distributed so I am assuming I slept like that the whole night (despite sleeping with a toddler… winning!) By the fourth morning, I could notice a difference. Success! My skin was much more hydrated, the crepey undereye skin I have was much less pronounced. I smiled big so my crows feet would appear. It’s not something I like doing in the mirror, but it’s an excellent way to test the effectiveness of skincare products. Crepey skin and crows feet were less pronounced.


I still had bad dark circles. That’s something I’ve noticed since childhood. I had heard that microneedling can help with undereye bags and thinning skin or crepey skin so despite fearing needles, I let a doctorrepeatedly puncture my skin with tiny needles. It was amazing, but since that time-consuming treatment is not sustainable for me, I added microneedling to my at-home routine. This article talks about it at length and I can only add that I strongly recommend it. If you can, do it both at your physician’s office and follow up with at-home treatments because the results you get with your doctor are much faster and then numb you so it actually is less painful than doing it on yourself.

If like me, one of your resolutions was to hit the gym more often, it’s time to get serious about antioxidants. Why? Exercise creates free-radicals which cause cell damage due to oxidative stress. That sounds scary, but simply taking supplements with antioxidants will prevent cellular damage while strengthening your body’s defenses. I added Dr. Brandt’s Antioxidant Water Booster supplement to my water 1x/daily. It has green tea in it which has been proven to significantly interfere with the glycation process while stimulating collagen creation. I was not drinking green tea regularly before because I don’t like the taste, but the supplement doesn’t taste like green tea in the least and it’s 100% natural. For the record, it tastes ever-so-faintly like the Mio drops my MIL uses.

 


The last thing I owe my newly replenished skin to is jade rolling. I use this roller in the morning after applying my CE Ferulic Acid and it feel so good to have a little face massage and has reduced my under eye circles noticeably. P.S. I have heard this is a decent alternative to CE Ferulic Acid if you don’t want to spring for it. I highly recommend CE Ferulic Acid because I’ve seen what it can do for skin and one bottle truly lasts all year for me, but I do cringe a little at the price despite knowing first hand that it is so worth it and it is 20% off right now. 🙂 Dr Brandt Sleep Mask

beauty

My Favorite Non-Toxic Makeup For A Natural Valentine’s Day Look


You’ve heard me talk a lot about my efforts to transition to a (mostly) non-toxic beauty routine. The green beauty scene here in LA is legit and I’m always coming across something new to try. As a work-from-home-mom, it’s not every day I get my glam on… or wear jeans for that matter, but when I do, I want the products to be just as safe as they are effective. If you missed it, I shared my everyday makeup routine a few months back. Today, I’ve got a Valentine’s Day inspired makeup look that is super-natural and easy to apply. It’s really a great look for any day, but was clearly inspired by V-Day! I linked all the products in the description of the video. Please give it a thumbs up if you like and don’t forget to subscribe! xx

beauty

My Blowout Secrets

It’s no secret that I love a good blow out. If you’re like me, you enjoy the art of preserving a blowout almost as much at the blowout itself. Sure, it’s not as relaxing, but girl, you can save a lot of time by not washing that hair, right? Right. I’ve partnered with NuMe to show you how to get a perfect blowout at home or on-the-go and to ensure that it lasts just as long as you do.
I use NuMe’s Jet Setter Pro kit which has been a godsend since my family of four shares one small bathroom. Not a typo. I have to admit, I was skeptical that it would powerful enough for my mane — I mean, does size matter when it comes to blowdryers? No, it does not. It has 1200 watts and dries hair just as effectively as my full-sized blow dryer which is 1875 watts. No noticeable difference in dry time and can easily be stored in my small drawers? I’m in.

So you want a long-lasting blowout you can do at home or on-the-go? Here’s how I do it:

-Dry hair with a microfiber towel. It really helps smooth frizz, speed up dry time and allows you to comfortably procrastinate getting ready.

-Use a heat protectant. NuMe’s acts as a moisturizer making hair more manageable.

-30 min after showering, release hair from the towel and dry with your blowdryer and a round brush. The one I am using here has antimicrobial properties so your brush is always clean and a ceramic coating ensures your curls are voluminous and soft. Even better, the brush turns white when it is hot so you know it’s ready to style.

-Once dry, use a wand to create waves. You can see exactly how I make mine in the video, but essentially I move the wand back and forth from root to ends while holding the last inch or so at the end tightly. This gives the curls a looser, more lived in look.

-Finish up by straightening any curled ends or fringe to give it all that beachy look.

-Spray with a texture spray for hold and tousle your locks with your fingers until it’s how you like it.
Pro tip: I find that it usually looks best on the second day so don’t be discouraged if it looks too polished on day one.

Here’s the video outlining all the steps. I had my extensions in when I filmed this as I am sure you can tell. Sure feels good to have them out since we are having a crazy heat wave this week. Also don’t mind the time I save on my blowouts now. 🙂 Thank you for reading!

beauty, style

Best Sunscreens for Summer 2017

solid and stripe elle bikini
top & bottoms


You guys, it’s almost the 4th of July! [Insert fireworks emoji.] It’s always so much fun getting people together to celebrate. I love the pool time, the gluten free turkey burger someone always begrudgingly throws on the grill for me and of course, blue and red is one of my favorite color combos. Just not on skin. In exchange for fun in the sun, one must of course wear sunscreen (or you really will be red) so I’ve made you guys a little video about my all time favorite sunscreen products. These are sure to keep you  oiling and lotioning, lotioning and oiling with the best of them all Summer long.

*Thank you Preen.Me for providing some of the Supergoop products featured. All opinions are my own.

beauty

Skin care update: caring for dry skin

skin care for women in 30s
I noticed my first wrinkle at the age of seventeen. I was in my grandma’s bathroom where we were both getting ready for the day and I caught a glimpse of a tiny line that could only be the beginning of crows feet mirror. Out of surprise, I began to cry and my grandma told me that crying would only make more wrinkles. Tough love I suppose, but that day was the day I started taking better care of my skin. Growing up in Arizona, I was always in the sun and it showed in freckles and tiny lines before I was legally an adult. I started using Clinique my senior year in high-school (which I’ve dubbed the gateway drug of skincare) using too much of my money earned lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons to pay for their 3-step regimen. I finally started drinking the recommended amounts of water mixing it with lemon to make it more desirable. It seemed to work. I wasn’t getting new wrinkles yet…
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream and Serum
Fast forward to now, I’ve had two kids (read: little sleep), love the outdoors and like most, I’ve had my fair share of shockingly stressful and shockingly wonderful life experiences. All of which have left a few lines, roughness, dark circles and ugh, bags under my eyes. Now before I get all vain on you, you should know that I abhor the word ‘anti-aging’. I am so incredibly happy that I get to age. Everyday we get to live one more day is a blessing and if that means skin has to look a little more worn, it’s a small price to pay, but I do pride myself on taking care of my skin along the way.

 Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream and Serum

So when my friends at Peter Thomas Roth reached out and asked if I wanted to try their brand-new Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream and Serum I was like, how soon can you ship? If you don’t know about hyraluronic acid yet, where have you been?! It’s going to help lock in moisture while improving hydration for healthier-looking skin. It’s crazy because it attracts and retains up to 1,000 times its weight in water from moisture in the atmosphere. Excuse me while I apply it and then hang out in the marine layer all morning. The serum also contains superpower humectants like Sodium PCA, Sea Algae, Honey and Yerba Santa from the Pacific Northwest to help replenish the appearance of dehydrated, aging and environmentally-damaged skin. Fine lines, wrinkles and roughness are visibly diminished and your skin actually feels smoother so you know it’s working. I shot these after using it twice daily for just one week.

HYALURONIC HYDRATING MOISTURIZER  
Now, so you can tell the difference, below is a pic of me before using it. I’m sitting in the same room at the same time of day and am wearing the same face makeup. Overall, the roughness diminished a little and my complexion is generally more youthful-looking and glowy. Of course, food, sleep and a number of different things can effect this, but I know I ate and slept like crap before and after both photos so I will be stocking up on this stuff. Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench
Check out my video on my winter skin care routine for more of my favorite products. They’ll be good to your face all year long.


beauty

Stocking Stuffers for the Beauty Lover

Shiseido Ibuki Multi Solution Gel

Earlier today, my husband took both the kids out so that I could have some personal time. What did I do? I took a hot shower, slapped on a face mask and chilled! I just started using Shu Uemura’s ‘Ulitmate Remedy Extreme Restoration haircare line and am kind of obsessed. Before this I was cowashing, but after the recent cowashing scandal I figured it’s time for a change. Scandal or not, I am HOOKED on Shu Uemura’s restoration line because it makes my somewhat damaged (thanks, blonde!) hair really soft and shiny. It smells divine too. As soon as my husband hugged me he commented on the scent of my hair. I’m flattered really.

shu uemura ultimate remedy

As for the mask, I’ve been using StriVectin’s Instant Revitalizing Mask which is the best for on-the-go moms/people in general because you wash it off after just 15 minutes. While it’s on, you can’t visibly tell you’re wearing a mask, but you can feel it tingling and working it’s revitalizing magic.

strivectin mask

Last, I dabbed on Shishedo ‘Ibuki’ Multi Solution Gel. This jello-like formula minimizes the appearance of acne, dryness and pores. Basically, any stress from erratic schedules or the environment that is showing up on your face gets kicked in the butt by this stuff. It’s wonderful. Since it has salicylic acid in it and I am nursing, I use it very sparingly. I’m talking twice a week here, but can already notice a difference in my skins texture. Imagine if I could use it twice a day!

strivectin

Since Christmas is 5 days away (OMG!!!) now is the perfect time to snatch some of these products up. Gift them to your bestie, slip them into your mom or sister’s stocking or you know, keep them on hand for your next at-home spa day!

Shop these and a few more fail-proof beauty gifts below:

beauty

Easy Beachwaves for Short Hair

Easy Beachwaves for Short Hair

I’m seriously obsessed with this BeachwaverTM S1. It gives me better, more ‘undone’ waves than I could accomplish with my curling iron and it has cut my hairstyling time in half. For those of you with shoulder length hair, this tool works wonderfully. The diagram above shows exactly how I do it, but if you’re like me and find detailed instructions more helpful, then see below:

1) Start by sectioning your hair horizontally from the bottom and clipping the rest with a clip. Spray the hair that’s out with a heat protectant.

2) Curl your hair with the BeachwaverTM S1, take a one-inch section and clamp your hair at the bottom. Leaving an inch of the ends out is the key to creating the ‘undone’ look.

3) Then press the arrow pointing away from your face to start the rotation of the Beachwaver and release the arrow to stop the rotation. (With shorter hair I recommend using the slower rotation setting.)

4) Continue all the way up one side before moving to the other side.

5) Allow all the curls to cool and then run your fingers through the waves and set with a flexible hold hairspray then finish with some Moroccan oil on the ends to add shine and control frizz.

Products used:

If you try (or have tried) a Beachwaver, let me know what you think!

beauty

Live Radiantly

St Ives pear lotion

Hey guys, it’s been awhile! I was MIA last week because I was in Arizona visiting friends and family. Today’s post couldn’t come at a better time, because  traveling always dries my skin out especially when I’m traveling to the desert! So let’s talk skincare…

St Ives Pear

St. Ives recently sent me a beautiful box of St. Ives Refresh & Revive Pear Nectar & Soy Body Lotion. It was actually fortuitous timing as we had run out of body wash that same day and it saved me a trip to the store, but that’s neither here nor there. Their apricot face scrub is without a doubt the best smelling face wash I’ve ever used, so I was pretty stoked to try this stuff. I used the body wash right away. It’s moisturizing, smells great on the pouf and lathers well. The scent is refreshing. It smells like a real pear, but doesn’t for hours after your shower — a trait that I really appreciate.st Ives Pear Lotion and Body Wash

The sweet scent on the lotion lasts a little longer. What I love about the lotion is that it smells super refreshing, but not too strong. I’ve been moisturizing more than usual this week in an effort to preserve a spray tan I got before Halloween and it’s helped! The lotion is soothing, refreshing and provides light moisture (read: no ashy legs)!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

St Ives Pear and Soy

The best part? The bottles are huge so it will be awhile before I run out of body wash again!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of St. Ives. The opinions and text are all mine.

beauty

Getting Lippy

bobbi brown lipstickbobbi brown lipstick review bobbi brown lipstick triobest lipsticks for fair skin

Above: YSL Shine Lip Color / YSL Glossy Stain / Bobbi Brown Lipstick Trio / Sugar lip balms Dior Lip Glow / Dior Addict Gloss #973 / Dior Addict Lipstick #667 / NARS lipstick ‘Heatwave’ /Nars Matte Pencils / Dior Rouge Contour Nude

Like many beauty-obsessed gals, my curiosity for lipstick started in middle school. I wore it behind my mom’s back, of course. Back then, my backpack always held a bright green tube of lipstick that turned pink on the lips. The shade supposedly varied with your mood, but my tube didn’t seem to fluctuate. Perhaps I wasn’t moody enough? Nah.

Fast forward just a few years to present day and I’ll swipe on lipstick if nothing else. Not only does it make me feel pulled together, but it serves secondarily as a defense mechanism against purple lips — a feature I have that often leads friends to believe I must be freezing all the time. Some of my favorite lipsticks are available at Neiman Marcus and there’s still time to shop their beauty event where you can snag a tote loaded with samples of some of their best sellers.

Shop some of my favorite lipsticks, glosses and stains at the NMBeauty event below and leave me a comment sharing your favorite lipsticks!

This post was done in collaboration with Neiman Marcus and Shop Style Collective. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep content coming!

beauty, fashion

iPhone Diary: Hello, Baby

maternity and nursing tops

*Brace yourself: I’m sleep deprived and this diary spans several topics.  

It’s hard to believe that one week ago Gunnar came in to the world. So far, being Mom to two was/is a sleepless blur. We ended up staying in the hospital three nights vs. the anticipated one night due to an unexpected post-delivery incident that affected just me (thankfully). I’m recovering well, but much slower than I’d like.  That said, it’s been nice slowing down and staying at home snuggling Baby Boy in my own bed. He is the sweetest little boy I could have ever imagined having.

Can you resist the print on the blouse above? I can see this being worn on repeat through the end of Summer, and then in Fall with leggings and boots. It has an invisible zipper down the middle making it breastfeeding-friendly. I haven’t worn it post-partum yet because I still don’t have the strength to get out of the house for more than a short walk, but I am really looking forward to wearing it to sushi with KW soon. Man, I’ve missed sushi. If you are expecting or breast-feeding, get your hands on one of these maternity pieces now! Oh, use code BAP25 for 25% off.

natural beauty products

It’s all about natural, bare-faced beauty at the moment and I love the ‘natural’  look, but natural, toxin-free makeup product is really important too. I recently read here that the European Union currently bans 1,328 chemicals from its cosmetics but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned or restricted only 11. WTF? Opting for toxin-free products is not only better for you, but even more is on the line if you are pregnant or nursing because some of the product could be passed to baby. I’m glad I discovered Mineral Fusion makeup because they have so many great products and make it easy to go au naturale.

I tried several of their products over the past few weeks and fell in love with the lipsticks (above, top left), glosses (center) and mascara (bottom). The lipsticks are super hydrating and stay on forever. The glosses are not sticky at all and add a hint of color. The mascara doesn’t do much for length compared to my usual go-to, but it does make your lashes look t-h-i-c-k.

As you can see, I am slowly replacing my favorite products with natural ones. I still need a great natural BB cream and concealer. Can’t. Live. Without. Concealer. Have you tried “natural” beauty lines? Have you discovered any favorites?stripe maternity dress

#FBF to last week, a few hours before I delivered. I was wearing one of my favorite maternity dresses (last seen here) with Nike Internationalists in an attempt to walk the baby out. Walking must really help because we met him that night. Here we are right after delivery. I had so much adrenaline after delivery that I just got up, put on a warmer robe and walked around with him in my arms. I couldn’t do that the first time because I had an epidural, but this time we got to the hospital too late (21 minutes before delivery) and had to deliver naturally. It was such a rush. Maybe I’ll share the whole birth story later. Do you guys like those?

bethanimalprint

I’ll try to keep the blog consistent over the next few weeks, but if posts are spotty you’ll know why. Okay, back to feeding.  Or sleeping.  Where am I? Have a great weekend!