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.


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:

Easy Beachwaves for Short Hair

How to use a Beachwaver on 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!

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)!

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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.

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!

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!

Co-Washing: Is Un-shampoo Right for You?

Unwash shampoo

LOB hair

The no shampoo or ‘co-washing’ method of caring for your hair with one all-in-one product has quickly gained popularity among busy, blowout loving women everywhere.  If you aren’t familiar, co-washing (short for conditioner washing) means cleansing your hair with one product that cleans, hydrates, and conditions in one step and it’s a total time, space and money saver! Co-washing came in to my life about a year ago after my stylist recommended it for use on my thick, curly-meets-frizzy hair. Since then, I’ve tried half a dozen conditioning shampoos and made just as many changes to my products and finally feel like I have a formula that works for my hair. If you’re thinking of trying our co-washing or making change to your current un-shampoo, I’ve got some ideas for ya!

Work it in to your routine gradually
Starting use of un-shampoos or any new shampoo can come with a lot of change. Eliminating some of the chemicals many shampoos contain from your regimen can lead to temporary oil build up and you may notice hair and scalp is oiler and needs to be washed more often. To combat this, I use regular shampoo every other wash when introducing co-shampoos. I use regular shampoo every two weeks; usually after a coconut oil treatment so I can be sure I get all the oil out. Try a clarifying shampoo every few weeks to remove the natural build up of styling products, dirt, oil and other impurities. Unwash Anti-residue Rinse is a great option and you can also use plain apple cider vinegar mixed in water to remove build up.

Try scented formulas
After making the switch, I missed the way my old shampoo smelled. Shu Uemura Color Lustre Sulfate-Free Brilliant Glaze Shampoo was my go-to and that stuff smelled like a rose garden — no joke. I still use if from time to time, but in the mean time, have found that replacing shampoo and conditioner with a fruit or floral-scented formula like Unwash Bio-cleansing conditioner makes for better smelling hair than un-scented formulas. I also like the scent of WEN in Sweet Almond Mint and the mint feels great on the scalp.

Make un-shampooing your first priority
Many of the formulas I’ve tried need to be left on the hair for 3-5 minutes. Put your un-shampoo on first and scrub/shave/exfoliate everything else while your cleanser sets in.

Is it right for you?
Co-washing will work wonders for most people, but really ideal if your hair is: curly, frizzy, color-treated, dry, thick or coarse. If you have thin hair, co-washing can leave your tresses oily and tends not to add much body.

Unwash shampoo
^ If you’re in the market for maternity tops the one worn here is on sale + an extra 20% off. 

Would you swap your traditional shampoo for a co-shampoo?

Everyday Makeup For Fall

Everyday makeup look

makeover at ulta

There’s no better way to learn about Fall’s beauty trends than having a detailed makeover. I sat down with one of Ulta Beauty’s premier makeup artists, Aldo, to get the scoop on fall beauty and left with an everyday makeup look that makes a statement without being high maintenance.  Aldo informed me that Fall is all about three things: a daytime smokey eye dubbed ‘the suede eye’, velvet lips and no-filter-needed cashmere skin.  So, how did we create the look that incorporated all these?

Aldo first asked me about my routine and customized an everyday Fall look to complement my current regimen. We started off with a gorgeous primer to help achieve that cashmere skin look. We used one by Becca which instantly made my skin look like it was glowing. Next, he used their most popular BB Cream and followed it up by dusting on two illuminizers: One in a pale gold and then rose gold on the cheeks. Last, we dusted on a little bronzer near the hairline and under my cheek bones.cashmere skin makeup looks

^Cashmere face AKA makeup that’s barely there and luminous. 

For the eyes, he smudged a black liner on to my top lash and brushed the color up toward the crease to smoke it out. He used a gorgeous sapphire liquid liner to add some interest. We used two shadows from Stila’s ‘Soul’ palette  on the lower lash line and on the creases of the upper lids to add dimension.

Everyday makeup lookLipstick Queen Golden Arrow

To create a velvet lip, Aldo used a Lipstick Queen pencil in ‘Golden Arrow’ then layered a darker color, ‘Ovid’ over the top emphasizing the outer edges of the lips. I’ve never used this brand before and was delighted to find that it lasted all. day. long. Seriously, the color hardly budged even after eating and drinking. They’re comparable to Bite’s Lip Crayons which are my holy grail of lip pigments, but these definitely give off more of the velvety effect.

Everyday makeup for Fall 2015everyday makeupeveryday makeup

The products we usedStila Got Inked Cushion eyeliner (Blue Sapphire) Becca Backlight Priming FilterBecca Shimmering Skin Perfector (Moonstone) /Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (Rose Gold) / Lipstick Queen Cupid’s Bow Pencils (Golden Arrow and Ovid) / Bare Minerals Round the Clock Eyeliner. Shown, but not usedIT Cosmetics Blurred Lines Lipstick

What beauty trends are you most looking forward to wearing this fall?

10 must-try nail polishes that happen to be 5-free!

10 best 5-free polishes

Do you believe in signs? If you’re a California resident, you may have seen alarming signs posted at your favorite cosmetics retailer stating some nail polishes contain chemicals known to the state of CA to cause birth defects. Thanks to Proposition 65 the state is required to maintain and update a lengthy list of chemicals know to cause cancer or reproductive harm and retailers must post signs near products containing these chemicals. While many are quick to point out that these scary signs do not take into account safe levels of exposure (read: there’s likely no need to freak out over minimal exposure), I have made an effort to clean-up my products because I figure, why risk it?

It makes me feel a little better knowing that my Baby Boy Wagner and I are perhaps a little safer using 5-free cosmetics; products free of 5 common toxins: formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, camphor and formaldehyde resin. I hunted down 5 fantastic 5-free brands and have 10 favorite colors to share with you. Spoiler alert: it made for one crazzzyyy manicure.

5 free nail polishes

Zoya ($9) They have really luxe colors to choose from like JulesAmerica and Serenity. I’ve found a manicure with their formula can last 2 whole weeks if you reapply a top coat periodically. That’s better than most of the toxic polishes I’ve worn which is probably why it was awarded ‘longest wearing natural nail polish’ by an independent panel in Women’s Health Magazine.

vegan, cruelty free nail polish

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics ($10) I first fell in love with their long-lasting lip tars and after trying their nail polish became a cult-follower of the vegan, cruelty-free brand.

Butter London Nail Polish

Butter London ($15) has a 10-in-1 formula that’s is designed to help promote brighter, stronger, healthier nails. Best of all? The polish lasts for about 10 days.

Deborah Lippmann nail polish

Deborah Lippmann ($18) Their fashion-foward polishes are infused with treatment benefits from ingredients such as biotin, green tea extract, and aucoume. The formula is really thick and I’ve found that you have to apply it very carefully to avoid any streaks. If you have the time (or consider yourself a mani expert), it’s a great pick.

Rituals polish review

Rituals ($8) These polishes have a flat brush making it practically fool-proof to apply. The formula is the shiniest of all the 5-free polishes I’ve tried which makes it a huge time saver since you can skip the topcoat. Also worth mentioning is their smoothing foot scrub and cooling foot balm which make my at-home spa seem more like the real deal.

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I swatched all 10 colors and the first thing Harlowe asked me was, “Why are all of your nails, um… different?” Needless to say, this mani won’t last long!

5-free nail polishes to try 5-free nail polishes to try

I love a pink pedicure in the summer. How great is Rituals ‘Cherry Pink’ on my toes?

Rituals nail polish Cherry Pink

One of my favorite mani/pedi combinations this summer has been Zoya ‘Jules’ and Rituals ‘Cherry Pink’.

5 free nail polishes

Let me know what your favorite 5-free polishes are in the comments below!

Happy (safer) painting!

Shop these nail polishes and sandals to show them off in below:

His Skincare Faves

Little know fact: I’m not the only product junkie in the family. My husband has quite the arsenal of skin and haircare products and has been known to steal my favorite shaving cream on more than one occasion. Today he is sharing some of his favorite products from L’Occitane.

loccitane cedrat loccitane men loccitane men1 loccitane mens products

I’ve spent the last decade or so cycling through various man-grooming products, never offering my brand loyalty as I found many of them interchangeable. With a sampling of the above L’Occitane Cedrat collection, however, times are a-changing.  All three products are great and smell like bottled lemon zest, but what I loved most is the face gel.  It’s lightweight, energizing and provides a matte finish so you don’t look glazed.

Quick and dirty notes:

  • Face Gel:  Killed it.  Goes on real smooth and increases your handsomeness.
  • Shave Gel:  Really nice.  Significant upgrade from the ol’ Barbasol cans I normally use. (Not surprisingly, razor burn is now kept to a minimum.)
  • After Shave:  Do guys still use after shave?  Or is it a grandpa thing?  Doesn’t matter. It’s cooling and calming to irritable post-shave skin, so sign me up for bridge at 230pm.

-KW

P.S.

In case you missed it, check out my favorite L’Occitane products!

xoxo, BA