Entries Tagged as 'This post was created in connection with my appointment as an Ambassador in the Simple® Skincare Program.'

Pregnancy Skincare: Third Trimester Update!

April 7th, 2014 · 16 Comments

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As I’m nearing my due date, I realized that the last time I updated you guys about my pregnancy skincare routine, I was only about 17 weeks pregnant

Obviously, a LOT has changed since the first trimester and my disastrous attempt at washing my face with bar soap (shudder) to stop my hormone-driven breakouts.

I’m still being very careful about trying new products, since pregnancy has actually made my skin even more sensitive.  But after that brutal period in the first trimester, my skin is mostly (thankfully) back to normal.

There are still some problem areas: the biggest one is that I’m noticing some redness in certain areas that I didn’t have before I got pregnant.  Apparently growing a human being for nine months requires increased blood flow for your whole body (go figure), so I’m hoping that this will clear up on its own once the baby is born.  But I definitely see some redness around my nose and on the lower half of my forehead that’s new.  Fortunately, it’s easily covered up with makeup, so I’m trying not to sweat it.

And VERY thankfully, my breakouts are completely gone.  I’ve spent so much time in the past year being diligent and careful about my skincare routine, it was really hard to suddenly be getting breakouts that didn’t respond to anything.  Fortunately, as my hormones came back under control, those let up on their own, and now I’m back to almost exactly my pre-pregnancy skincare routine.

So here’s what I’m doing: Washing my face twice a day with Simple Skincare cleanser — I recently switched to their Foaming Facial Wash Cleanser and I love it!  It leaves my skin super clean and soft, and ready for either makeup or moisturizer, depending on the time of day!  I used to love my Clarisonic brush, but I found that it’s just too harsh for my skin while pregnant, so I can’t wait to try it with this cleanser once my skin is fully back to normal. 

For moisturizer, I used the Simple Skincare Replenishing Rich Moisturizer all winter, but now that Spring is in full swing in Texas, I switched back to the Protecting Light Moisturizer for its extra SPF.  Honestly, though, these are both great products that I use more or less interchangeably throughout the year, depending on whether I want a little extra moisture. 

For makeup, I’ve been trying to give me skin as much of a break as I can, including going makeup-free some days (if I don’t have meetings or commitments).  Instead of full foundation, I use a little bit of concealer and blend it with moisturizer for a bit of coverage that’s still mostly nourishing for my skin.  And on the days that I wear foundation, I’m using less of it — one pump about the size of a large Tic-Tac covers my cheeks, forehead, nose and chin.  This spring makeup look is still my everyday go-to, although I’m starting to think about experimenting with bold summer lipstick!

{PS — For my fellow pregnant readers, remember to always check with your doctor before trying new skincare products while pregnant!}

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Tags: This post was created in connection with my appointment as an Ambassador in the Simple® Skincare Program. · Visit www.facebook.com/SimpleSkincare to share your story on sensitive skin. For more tips and deals from Simple, join the Simple VIP community at https://www.simpleskincare.com/simplevip/

holiday de-stressing

December 11th, 2013 · 5 Comments

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Let’s face it: this month is a stressful time.  As much as we all love the holidays, there’s a lot of pressure involved in the five weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.  Traveling, entertaining houseguests, attending and throwing parties, finding the perfect gifts, making plans for New Year’s Eve and so many more things that we all love doing, but that create hectic, crazy weeks and packed weekends!

But at the same time, it’s so important to take a few peaceful moments over the holiday season and take stock of the year.  So I thought I’d share a picture from a place that I (surprisingly) find very comforting: my home office.  This was one of the last rooms to come together in our house, and I knew I’d be spending a lot of time in here, so I wanted to make it as cozy and comforting as I could.  And for me, that meant lots of bright bold colors, a cozy place to curl up with coffee or tea, and, of course, a comfy place for the dogs to hang out when I’m working from home. 

And in case you’re feeling a little frazzled lately, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite ways to de-stress, especially during the craziest month of the year!

Relax

My favorite, by far, is to take a warm bubble bath!  In law school, I used to buy vanilla-scented bubble bath foam from CVS by the GALLON — between the freezing cold New York winters and the stress of cramming for exams, bubble baths were a nightly ritual at this time of the year.  I’d put on some music, get the bath all ready, and just zone out for fifteen or twenty minutes — and wind up feeling so incredibly relaxed and recharged.  (And an amazing tip I wish I’d known then?  Right after a warm bath, your pores are wide open and it’s the perfect time to moisturize!  Now I keep my Simple Skincare Replenishing Rich Moisturizer right next to the tub!)

Recharge

My second favorite de-stressing technique is easy and free — going for a walk!  In New York, whenever I needed to gather my thoughts and reflect, I’d grab a pair of flats and do my two-mile commute on foot.  Again, I’d just kind of zone out and watch the passing buildings and people, or else I’d think hard about whatever was bothering me at the time.  Inevitably, forty minutes later, I’d feel a hundred times better and ready to tackle the problem head on!  In Texas, I’m lucky that my real office (not the home one) is within walking distance of our house, and I almost always walk back and forth.  It takes a little more time, but adds huge benefits for my mind and body!  (Of course, be sure to use SPF before long walks outside — I use Simple Skincare Protecting Light Moisturizer with SPF 15!)

Replenish

And my third (you guys knew this was coming): Cooking!  There’s nothing I love more than taking a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and spending it in the kitchen — whipping up a favorite recipe or trying a technique I haven’t quite mastered!  I love the ritual of cooking — the excitement of creating something delicious and beautiful, and all the chopping and measuring and stirring that goes into it.  It’s hard to be stressed about anything when I’m in the kitchen, making something wonderful. 

What are your favorite ways to de-stress — at this time of the year or anytime?

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Tags: This post was created in connection with my appointment as an Ambassador in the Simple® Skincare Program. · Visit www.facebook.com/SimpleSkincare to share your story on sensitive skin. For more tips and deals from Simple, join the Simple VIP community at https://www.simpleskincare.com/simplevip/

pumpkin gingerbread

November 26th, 2013 · 5 Comments

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When it comes to Thanksgiving recipes, I’ve already covered the basics: stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, apple pie, and more.  But let’s face it: unless you’re hosting for the first time, you probably have a recipe or two of your own.

But what about the morning before Thanksgiving?  See, I bet you didn’t put much thought into that, did you?  Usually over the holidays you can count on a house full of visiting family, and they need breakfast!  And you need to get started on the turkey, so you know what’s a great idea?  A simple, easy, totally delicious recipe that they can enjoy — perfect for getting everyone into the holiday spirit a little early! 

For this recipe, I tried to focus on an ingredient that was great for your skin and perfectly for the holidays — and I settled on pumpkin!  Pumpkin has tons of Vitamin A, which jump-starts the skin cell renewal process and helps give you youthful, radiant skin.  It’s also a great source of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects and repairs your skin (Vitamin E is also found in Simple Skincare Protecting Light Moisturizer, one of my favorites)!  So you’re doing good for your skin as well as your body — think about that when you go for seconds! 

And for more awesome skin-loving recipes, check out Simple Skincare’s Skin-Loving Food and Nutrition Pinterest board!

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Pumpkin Gingerbread

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
1/2 of a 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 9″ by 5″ loaf pan. 

Mix together sugar, oil and eggs and beat until smooth.  Add water, pumpkin, ginger, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon and beat together until well blended.

Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder to the mixture and blend until evenly distributed.  Pour into the loaf pan and bake until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour. 

For the icing, mix together powdered sugar, vanilla and milk.  Start with one tablespoon of milk and increase in small increments until the icing is pourable.  Pour onto the gingerbread, cut and serve.

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Tags: breads · Breakfast and Brunch · food · This post was created in connection with my appointment as an Ambassador in the Simple® Skincare Program. · Visit www.facebook.com/SimpleSkincare to share your story on sensitive skin. For more tips and deals from Simple, join the Simple VIP community at https://www.simpleskincare.com/simplevip/

pregnancy skincare routine

November 13th, 2013 · 10 Comments

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{at 16 weeks, finally glowing}

So, you know how everyone talks about the pregnancy “glow?”

There should be a little asterisk next to that phrase, because that the “pregnancy glow” is preceded by three months of puberty-comparable acne. Just saying — that’s a thing that they never talk about in US Weekly, but it is true, and it is terrible.

At least (sigh), it was for me. Over the past year or so, I’ve finally gotten myself on a skincare routine that I really love — one that doesn’t involve spending hundreds of dollars on random products that I try once or twice, and one that I actually stick to, and notice great changes in my skin because of it.

But pregnancy threw me for a loop. Because within a week of my positive pregnancy test, I’d look in the mirror and suddenly, my normally clear skin was… bumpy. I didn’t have great skin as a teenager, so it took me about two seconds to realize that pregnancy hormones were probably causing my sudden breakouts… but I had no idea how to stop them.

So I did exactly the wrong thing: I completely abandoned my tried-and-true skincare routine. Most acne-fighting products aren’t safe during pregnancy (you’re supposed to avoid everything with salicylic acid, which have always been my cure for the occasional breakout), so I was kind of in a bind.

And I did the grossest thing. I don’t even want to admit it, but in the spirit of total honesty, here’s what I thought would solve my breakouts:

I started washing my face with bar soap. And I did this (because I am a dope who thinks that everything she reads on the internet is true) because of some random forum post where a girl was talking about curing her pregnancy acne with antibacterial soap. So, for maybe three weeks, I used a bar of Dial Soap on my sensitive skin.

And you know what it did for my acne? Absolutely nothing.  It made my skin irritated and dry, and it didn’t clear up my breakouts one bit.  Instead, every time Chad leaned down to kiss me, he’d go, “you smell weird.”

In fact, if it weren’t for Chad, I’d probably still be doing it. Usually I’m quick to abandon skincare products that aren’t working, but somehow I was just convinced that this one would if I gave it more time… until, thankfully, Chad put his foot down and told me I had to go back to smelling like normal, please.

So I abandoned the bar soap (just thinking about it makes me shudder) and went back to Simple Skincare Refreshing Facial Wash Gel, which has been my go-to for the last two years.  And, finally, my skin started to go back to normal.  And at about week 14, I looked in the mirror and didn’t see bumps all over my forehead. And now that I’m at week 16, my skin is more or less back to its pre-pregnancy shape. I’ve added back in Simple Skincare’s Replenishing Rich Moisturizer at night, and will probably go back to my beloved Radiance Cleansing Wipes in a few weeks.

And, after that brutal adjustment period, now I feel like I’m actually starting to glow.

{PS — For those of you pregnant readers, remember to always check with your doctor before trying new skincare products while pregnant!}

Tags: This post was created in connection with my appointment as an Ambassador in the Simple® Skincare Program. · Visit www.facebook.com/SimpleSkincare to share your story on sensitive skin. For more tips and deals from Simple, join the Simple VIP community at https://www.simpleskincare.com/simplevip/

NYFW Beauty: The Good, The Bad, The Wackadoodle Crazy

October 9th, 2013 · 4 Comments

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The one thing you can always count on at New York Fashion Week: Spectacle.  No matter what you’re expecting, there’s always some designer to take a big risk with crazy accessories or totally unique hair and makeup.  Sometimes it’s an awesome addition to a show, sometimes it’s distracting and maybe not the best choice.  But it’s always interesting. 

So I thought I’d do a little recap of some of the trends I saw, from the ones that I’m excited to try out, to the ones that aren’t for me, to the ones that some of you braver readers might be interested in. 🙂

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Good: Luminous Makeup

Candela is always one of my favorite shows (it’s hard to believe they were a new discovery to me just a few seasons ago) and this year, they knocked it out of the park with their models’ gorgeous hair and makeup.  EVerything was flawless, from the rosy cheeky to the dewy skin: to me, this makeup is perfect.

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Good: Minimal Makeup

The clothes were so fierce at Matthieu Mirano that I almost didn’t notice at first that the models were hardly wearing any makeup!  I love the juxtaposition of tough-girl clothes (black leather bralets, wow) with a completely natural face, so this one was a home run for me.  Things to remember when you’re recreating this natural look: you can still use foundation to add contour and definition to your features, just keep it light and natural.  And always start out with a clean and moisturized face (I recommend Simple Skincare’s Hydrating Light Moisturizer with SPF) so your skin can take center stage!

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Good: Bold Blush

Pale skin with bold blush is Just. So. Pretty.  I snapped this quick pic of one of the models backstage at Peter Som and just totally fell in love.  It’s a good reminder to venture beyond my normal pale-pink/golden-bronze cheek colors, because a swipe of bold blush is such a beautiful, fashion-foward look!

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Not So Good: Dark Under-Eye Liner

I loved the clothes and the presentation generally, but to me, this makeup was a miss.  Putting such heavy black liner under the eyes did nothing for the models’ pretty features, and the room was so hot that you could see them sweating.  (If only they had Simple Skincare Radiance Wipes!)

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Good: Messy Updos

Usually I’m not the biggest fan of updos generally, but this season, there were some gorgeous messy updo looks.  I loved the hand-twisted knot at Peter Som and this crimped bun at Tracy Reese.  The techniques were totally different — at Peter Som, the texture was created using Wella’s Ocean Spritz and then blow-drying upwards from the roots, and at Tracy Reese, the stylists created texture by crimping the models’ hair before styling the bun.  Both are cool techniques that I can’t wait to try out!

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Wackadoodle: Two-Tone Bobs

First, I have to set your mind at ease: these are wigs.  I wasn’t sure at first, but every single model came out with the exact same style, so at that point I felt reasonably confident that they hadn’t chopped and dyed the hair of a dozen or so runway models.  But what do you guys think of the two-tone bob?  I thought it was pretty cool and worked with the clothes, but it isn’t exactly a look I’m going to replicate anytime soon. 

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Wackadoodle: Body Tattoos

Only at Fashion Week, huh?  Truth be told, I kind of loved this full arm tattoo when I spotted it backstage at Tracy Reese.  I’m a big fan of temporary tattoos, and sometimes wear them on the weekends — so I’m kind of digging that the fashion world is embracing them!  What do you guys think — would you ever try this out?

Tags: beauty · This post was created in connection with my appointment as an Ambassador in the Simple® Skincare Program. · Visit www.facebook.com/SimpleSkincare to share your story on sensitive skin. For more tips and deals from Simple, join the Simple VIP community at https://www.simpleskincare.com/simplevip/