My Current Makeup Lineup

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Hi beautiful people!

I did a poll on Instagram asking if you guys wanted to see a post on books I've read recently, or on my current makeup lineup, and the makeup post won! I'll get my book review post up next week (hopefully!). But let's dive right into the makeup products I have been using recently!

I am really liking my current makeup situation. I've got it down so that it is super quick (I can get my full, daily makeup look done in under 10 minutes), and really easy to do. As a mom, I don't have time for fancy brushes, sponges, contour, etc... I keep it straight forward and easy peasy! I also use my fingers to apply my foundation, concealer, and blush. The only thing I use a brush for is my highlighter and my eyeshadow. Easy!

Before I apply my makeup, I wash my face every morning and then apply this facial tanning lotion: click here

While that is drying, I brush my teeth and put lip balm on. I like this lip balm. Then I'll pat in a tiny bit of moisturizer. I have been using this moisturizer lately, and I know it's full of bad ingredients, but honestly I've had so much trouble with my skin lately and since using this my face has been the most clear that it's been in awhile. So, I'm sticking to it for now!

Next up I use my fingers to apply a couple of pumps of this CC + illuminating cream. I use the shade 'Light'. I love the subtle glow it gives, and it does wonders when it comes to evening out my skin tone. Plus, it has SPF 50+, which is a great bonus! I blend the cc cream in to my hair line and also down onto my neck, using my fingers. I sometimes will use a beauty blender, but I have found that I like the outcome best when I just use my fingers.

After I apply my cc cream, I go in with this concealer. It's full coverage, anti-aging, and water proof, and it is my FAVORITE concealer. I wear the shade 'Light'. I like this concealer so much! It doesn't settle in the creases  under my eyes and it provides a really full coverage which I am AAAALLL about. I do use Shape Tape occasionally, but Bye Bye Under Eye is definitely my go-to.

Next, I apply a tiny little bit of this blush with my finger tips. When I say a "tiny little bit", I mean it. A little of this goes a LOOONG way. Start off with less than you think you need and you can always add more. I love how dewey and light this blush is. It gives the perfect hint of pink. I wear the shade 'Puff'.

To finish off my face, I use this palette from Tarte. I recieved this palette in the FabFitFun Summer Box, which was sent to me, and I am SO happy to have been able to try it! Side note: you can get $10 off of your first FabFitFun box HERE with the code AMC10. Anyways, this palette is a GAME CHANGER. I am seriously in love. It is so good. I use the shade 'Strobe' on my cheek bones, nose, brow bones, upper forehead, and all over my eyes. It acts to set my face, as well as acting as a highlighter. Then I'll dust a bit of the shade 'Lit' all over to add a nice warm glow. I then will use the shade 'Stunner' as my eye shadow, sweeping it all over my lids. I really can't say enough good things about this palette. I've gotten so many compliments on my skin since I started using it! I use a Sigma brush.

I finish off my makeup with my eyes. I curl my eyelashes, apply eyeliner (I love how easy this is to use and how it effortlessly gives that cateye look), and this mascara. I was using this IT Cosmetics mascara for awhile, which I love. But honestly, nothing beats this one, and it is so affordable! I honestly just don't love any other mascara as much as this one. It makes my eyelashes look so full and long, without looking clumpy at all.

It seriously takes me less than 10 minutes to do my makeup each morning. I also shower at night before bed, so I don't have to shower in the morning, and I wash my hair every 2-3 days, so usually I just spray some dry shampoo and I'm good to go! My routine is fast and easy - what every mama strives for, haha.

How long does it take you to do your makeup? What are your favorite products? Please share!

 

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5 Easy Beauty Hacks

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Hi everyone!

How is your week going? What's new? Have any fun plans that you're looking forward to in the coming weeks? Fill me in! I love hearing from you guys!!

I hope you had a great Fourth of July! Mine was super low-key. Ben, James, and I went to the cabin in Montana over the weekend, which was really fun. We came back Monday night, and Ben had to work on the 4th. James and I spent the day lounging around the house and recovering from the long car ride the day before. James was in bed by 6:30pm, and then Ben and I watched a movie and went to bed early. #parentlife :)

Anyways, I've been wanting to share some easy beauty hacks with you guys. These are things that you can incorporate into your day that will help you to look and FEEL glowing and healthy!

  1. Collagen I have recently started adding a scoop of this collagen into my morning cup of coffee, and also into my afternoon cup of tea. Collagen has SO many benefits, and I'll be doing a whole blog post about it soon, so check back for that, probably next week! Collagen helps to reduce wrinkles, it helps to heal your gut, it helps with joint pain, it's good for your hair, skin, and nails...it's so good. It's such an easy thing to incorporate into your daily routine, and I have seen a major difference since I started using it. I love this one - you can get it here.

  2. Apple Cider Vinegar I love taking an apple cider vinegar shot every morning to help wake up my digestive system. Apple cider vinegar helps with weight loss, it's a mood enhancer, it helps give you energy, it has natural antibiotic properties, it can assist in controlling high blood sugar levels...the list goes on and on! I like this brand (get it here) but any Apple Cider Vinegar WITH THE MOTHER (VERY IMPORTANT TO GET ONE THAT SAYS 'WITH THE MOTHER') will do. I mix about a tablespoon of ACV with about half a cup of pure, natural pineapple juice and a little honey. So good!!

  3. Probiotic Probiotics are good for a NUMBER of reasons. They help with digestive and urinary health, gut health, allergies, stress, immunity...just to name a few things! Taking a probiotic can be ESPECIALLY important for us postpartum mamas. I'll do a blog post about this as well, if you guys would like more information! Let me know. Anyways, definitely talk to your doctor before starting to take any supplements, including a probiotic. I take this one.

  4. Oils I've been battling postpartum hormonal acne for awhile now, and one of the things that has really helped has been using facial oils. I love this one so much! I was sent it complimentary for testing purposes, and I seriously LOVE IT. Get it here. I cleanse my face (morning and night) and then spray it with my Mother Dirt mist (see number 5 below!) and then massage my face with this oil before applying my moisturizer (I use this one). My skin is so much more moisturized and dewy and clear since I've started this regimen. Definitely recommend oils!!

  5. Mother Dirt AO Mist This is a spray that you mist all over your face (and body, if you'd like) that has live bacteria in it (the good kind). The thought is that with all of the cleansers and scrubs that we use in our daily lives, we eliminate the good bacteria from our skin. This spray puts it back. It is said to reduce the need for moisturizers and deodorants, and is made with family-friendly, simple ingredients. I definitely have noticed a difference in my skin since using this. Highly recommend it! Get the Mist here.

What are your ride-or-die beauty hacks? Please share - always looking for new ideas and things to try! :)

Romantic Braid Tutorial

Top: ILY Couture //

This is one of my very favorite hairstyles these days! It's very easy to do, once you get the hang of it. Plus, it keeps my hair out of my face when I'm playing with James! It is just really really feminine and pretty and I always get compliments when I wear my hair like this. I think it is PERFECT for Valentine's Day or a date night!

1. Part your hair on one side, and swoop all of your hair over the opposite shoulder.

2. Start french braiding your hair up at the top by your part. Continue the french braid until you're at your ear.

3. Start adding in hair from the opposite side by grabbing sections and bringing them around into the french braid. You can play around with how big of sections you use for different looks.

4. Tie off your braid with an elastic, and then gently pull the braid apart to give that big, messy look. Again, you can play around with this. Go crazy for a chunky, bed-head look, or leave tighter for a sleek and tidy braid.

There you have it! Be sure to tag me in your pictures if you try this braid - I'd love to see how it turns out!

Snapchat Q&A

A couple of days ago, I told you all to snap me any and all questions you may have for me. While I didn't get around to answering them live on Snapchat, as promised, here are my answers to ALL your questions! (I consolidated similar questions so that I only have to answer them once. ;))

Let's dive in, shall we?

Q: How do I get started as a blogger?

Commit. Find a platform that is easy for you to use and commit to posting frequently - at least a couple of times a week. Try to have a niche, rather than trying to appeal to everyone, focus on appealing to a targeted and specific audience. And invest in a good camera!

Q: Do you plan on having more babies?

Yes! :)

Q: How often do you get your hair done and what do you get done to it?

I get my hair done every 6 months or so. I usually get a trim and some long layers and then a full foil.

Q: How do you grow your hair so long??

I don't use a hairdryer and rarely curl my hair, so I don't use heat on it very often at all. I use a deep conditioning treatment every couple of weeks.

Q: What kind of bronzer do you recommend?

I don't use bronzer, but I've heard good things about this one and this one.

Q: What places MUST I visit while in Paris?

The catacombs, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame...the usual things. BUT I would honestly just recommend that you walk EVERYWHERE - don't take a taxi. Just walk and see the city by foot. You'll find so many hidden gems. It's magical!

Q: What does Ben do for work?

He is an Area Manager at Amazon.

Q: What is the hardest and best thing about being a mom?

The hardest thing is just adjusting to not having as much free time, and the best thing is watching my little one grow and learn new things!! Being a mom is the BEST thing in the entire world!!

Q: What are your tips for eating healthy while being busy all day with a baby?

Meal prep! Make big portions of healthy meals and save the leftovers to eat throughout the week.

Q: Do you have a sunless tanner that you use/recommend?

I use this one. It's the best!

Q: What exactly do you do for work?

I am a social media consultant, a blogger, and a writer. But honestly, none of these things feel like work because I LOVE what I do so much!!

Q: Do you still write outdoor articles for magazines?

I do! Since being put on bedrest and then giving birth and then now it being winter and all...I haven't done much outdoor adventuring lately. But come Summer, I'm heading to the mountains, so you can expect a lot more outdoor content and a lot more articles from me!

Q: Tips for not going crazy on bedrest?

Pray, meditate, read, color, write. :)

Q: Do you have any tips on how to be more confident?

Take some time to really get to know yourself - what you love, what you dislike, what you believe in, what you enjoy, what makes you happy, what makes you angry, what makes you sad, what makes you fired up...and then OWN that and manifest that knowledge in your daily life. Be true to yourself.

Q: What kind of music do you listen to?

I listen to all different kinds of music. Blue grass is probably my favorite, but there is hardly any kind of music that I don't enjoy to some extent.

Q: How long have you been married?

Ben and I will have been married for nine years this July, and together for ten!

Q: How did you know that your husband was "the one"?

I just knew. He made me feel safe and loved and whole and precious and understood ... and he still does. <3

It was so fun hearing your questions! Feel free to leave any additional questions that you have for me in the comments below! I do want to do a live Snapchat Q&A sometime soon, so any questions that you guys send my way in the next few weeks, I'll try to answer on Snap. :) Have a great week!

5 Minute Makeup Routine

I think we'd all agree that, while it can be fun to spend a half hour on achieving the perfect makeup look SOMETIMES, there are days when you need a look that is a bit faster to achieve. Now, add in the whole "mom-factor" and the need for a quick and easy makeup routine is multiplied by 1,000. AmIRight??

That's why I have perfected this 5 minute makeup routine!

It uses minimal products and requires minimal effort...and the end results are very put together and lovely...which is a win! Basically this makeup looks like you spent much longer on it than you actually did.

I shot this quickly one morning while I was sitting on the living room floor getting ready. James was doing tummy time in his Dock-A-Tot and watching me. He thought the whole thing was pretty weird and funny. haha

So, that is proof for all of you other mamas out there that this makeup routine is PERFECT for whipping up real quick during a nap or when you have a few spare minutes while your child plays.

Here we go:

First, start with a clean face. I like to apply a tinted moisturizer with SPF (usually this one), followed by my favorite primer (this one). I also like this one A LOT.

Next, I apply a couple of pumps of this MAGICAL CC cream all over my face, blending it down into my neck. I then apply this cream blush to the apples of my cheeks and blend it up along my cheek bones.

I just use my fingers for all of this when I'm in a rush. If I were spending more time on my makeup, I would use a Beauty Blender.

This blush has been my go-to for years. I love how it's so creamy and dewy. I'm ALL about the dewy looking skin. Plus, it's very easy to apply and blend.

Next, we'll move to the eyes - in my opinion the MOST important part of any look. I take my eye makeup VERY seriously, haha. I love dark, dramatic, long lashes and a good cat eye.

First, I'll apply a light shade of eye shadow all over my lids and brow bones. Then, I'll go into the crease and apply a light swipe of a slightly darker shade. This palette is the one I've been using lately and it's great! Plus, it's very affordable!

Then I apply my eye liner. I've started only applying it to the upper lash line - NOT the lower. This helps my eyes look more bright and open. I do a cat eye on top. I like this eye liner the best right now.

Then, MASCARA. If I had to pick one thing to take with me to a deserted island, I might just pick mascara. As you can see, my eyelashes are BLONDE, and therefore basically invisible. haha So I LOVE mascara and feel so naked without it.

This one is my current favorite. I also really really LOVE this one!

Don't mind the smudgey finger prints all over the tube... haha

*sigh of relief* There! Eyelashes!

Next up, LIPS. Mine are (clearly) so dry and flaky this time of year. I really love this lip color because it moisturizes while giving great color.

Ta-da! DONE!

I hope you liked this quick tutorial! This is my go-to every day makeup routine, and I get a lot of questions about it, so I'm really excited to finally be able to share it with you all!

Let me know what you think, and tag me (@tiugirlanna)  in any pictures of you with this makeup look after you try it!

Guest Post: Glam Mommy Life's Winter Skin Saviors

I am SO excited to share a *special* guest post written by one of my lovely friends, Kristie. Kristie is the voice and vision behind Glam Mommy Life - a new blog focused on showing moms that it is possible - and even easy - to be glamorous and fabulous! I think her blog is so much fun and I LOVE her beauty tips. 

Today, Kristie is sharing her Winter Skin Saviors with all of us...which I desperately need because my skin gets SO dry and miserable during the winter months! Anyone else??

Let's dive right in and hear from Kristie! And be sure to head over to Glam Mommy Life after you're done to read the guest post that I wrote! I'm sharing my daily schedule and my tips for making time in your busy day for health, fitness, and a little pampering! Click here to check out my post!

Hi everyone! My name is Kristie of Glam Mommy Life and I'm so excited to be a guest blogger for Anna! She is an inspiration to me with her health and zest for life! I'm honored to to share my winter beauty must haves with all you lovely readers.

I don't know about you, but my skin absolutely loathes winter. That's why I really have to step my skincare to be thicker and more moisturizing than I would use. Here are my must have products to keep dry skin at bay during these brutal and cold months. 

Glam glow Thirsty Mud Hydrating mask

I use this at night and my skin just drinks it up! This treatment moisturizes, restores, replenishes, and calms the skin. It leaves skin with an instant silky, soft, and supple feel. Thirsty Mud smooths and energizes the skin, giving you a healthy-looking, glowing complexion. It works to hydrate those dry patches between my brows, on my chin and my cheeks so I wake up with moisturized skin even when the weather is brutal. 

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

This isn't just for your Bum Bum. This cream, which has the consistency of whipped butter, glides on the skin and absorbs quickly! The smell of caramel praline is out of this world and it leaves just hint of sheen on your skin. 

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25

This lip balm is amazing for quenching my parched lips. I mostly use it at night as my night balm and I wake up to smooth, hydrated and soft lips. It contains soothing skin conditioners and antioxidants to make my lips smooch worthy.  My favorite flavor is the Black Tea & Blackberry.  

Tarte Lip Facial Lip Scrub

Speaking of lips, let's talk exfoliation. You can't have smooth lips when there is a flaky layer getting in the way. This lip scrub, that looks like a crayon for my 4 year old, but exfoliates the lips in the most effortless way possible! I love using this in the shower to slough off that dead skin!

Kate Somerville goat milk cleanser

This cleanser is like applying whipped butter on my skin. It's a satisfying sensation of both cleansing and moisturizing my skin as I massage it in. The cleanser is the perfect solution for dry skin cleansing in the blustery winter months, without breaking the skin out.

And finally, I'm sharing a tip that has made such a difference in softening my wintery dry skin. At night, use a humidifier in your bedroom and you will wake up to soft and supple skin. There you have it! I hope these must-haves help keep your face and body hydrated all winter long!

 

 
 
About Kristie:
My name is Kristie Frederick and I am the mother to two beautiful girls, ages 4 and 4 months. I am a yoga instructor and have a love for all things beauty, food and fitness. My mission is to help women and moms feel and look gorgeous in the swiftest way possible.
Be sure to visit Kristie's blog, Glam Mommy Life!

 

A huge thank you to Kristie for this amazing post! I am so excited to check out some of these products, because my skin needs some serious saving during these cold months!

What product are YOU most excited to try? Share in the comments below! Also, PLEEEEEAAASSSSEE share any other tips you may have! 

Also, don't forget to check out my post on Glam Mommy Life! Click here

Lash Like A Boss

I am AAAALLL about dark, thick, long eyelashes and dramatic eyeliner, paired with pale pink lips and rosy cheeks. That is my go-to every day look, and I don't typically stray from that. In fact, I've been doing a similar look ever since I started wearing makeup in middle school! I guess you could say I'm not very adventurous when it comes to trying out different makeup looks, but I prefer to think of it as ...I know what I like!

I am always on the hunt for new mascaras and eyeliners that help me to achieve my much desired dramatic eye look. It's HARD to find a good mascara that gives you volume, length, dark color, AND doesn't leave you with clumps or a big mess. That's why I am SO excited to have found the new Big Shot Mascara by Maybelline! You guys, it is seriously so so amazing!

I was sent this mascara complimentary from Influenster and Maybelline to test out and review. I ALWAYS give honest reviews, and I am a harsh critic of mascara, so I was ready to tear this mascara apart and find any problems with it that I could. When I first saw the brush, I was skeptical. It looks like a mess. BUT, as soon as I started to apply the mascara, I was sold. It goes on SOO smoothly and evenly. After just one coat, my eye lashes were perfectly dark, long, and full of volume. And the best part was, NO CLUMPS. *cheers* Because clumps are the WORST.

So, I'm now in love with this mascara, and I just had to tell you all about it. Plus, it can be bought at the drugstore and is very very affordable, which is always nice! Especially for a mascara that is SO AMAZING!

I was also sent the new Master Precise Curvy Liquid Liner from Maybelline. I could go on and on about this product, but I will just say that my eyeliner woes and worries are NO MORE. This eyeliner lets you achieve the PERFECT cat eye like it's nothing. So simple, so easy, and no mess. Perfect cat eye every time. Just what I like. It's the best eyeliner that I've used in a loooong time, and my eyeliner looks better than it EVER has (at least with me doing it!). So, again, highly highly recommend! And remember, this is a drugstore brand, so it is so affordable, and the quality that you get it UNBELIEVABLE for the price.

There you have it! Just had to tell you all about these great new beauty finds! Yes, I was sent these products for free to try out, but all of my opinions are entirely my own. This is my honest review and I truly LOVE these new products and will be using them in my daily makeup routine from now on!! I'm going to be doing a dramatic cat eye for Christmas dinner, and I will definitely be using this new mascara and eyeliner to achieve it!

What is YOUR go-to makeup look?? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a great day!

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Review: Erno Laszlo Double Cleanse Set

The name 'Erno Laszlo' is iconic in the world of beauty and skincare. He was the very first doctor to create his own line of skincare products that are medically based. Laszlo is also known for coming up with the idea of establishing a skincare routine tailored to one's specific skin type.

I have been curious about the new Double Cleanse set from Erno Laszlo ever since I first started seeing it pop up around the blogosphere. I have fair, sensitive skin so the Sensitive Double Cleanse Travel Set was the perfect choice for me. The set consists of an oil-and-bar duet that work together to nourish and moisturize sensitive skin, all while cleansing it. Infused with anti-inflammatory plant extracts, the set removes oils, makeup, and any other impurities, leaving your skin feeling soft, dewy, and fresh.

Here's how it works:

 

1. Begin with the oil, massaging it gently onto dry skin. This step is great for removing makeup!

2. Next, without rinsing the oil off of your face, lather the cleansing bar with warm water. Then, rub the lathered up cleansing bar all over your face in gentle, circular motions. The solutions from the oil and the bar will work together to cleanse your skin.

3. To finish up, rinse your face thoroughly with warm water. Pat your skin dry with a soft face cloth. Et voila!

 

In my opinion, this cleansing set is definitely worthy of all the hype! I highly recommend it!

xo, Anna

*Thank you to Influenster for sending me this product free in order to review. All opinions are my own.

Follow Wild Writes With Bloglovin'!

Follow Me!

Hi friends!

Are you on Bloglovin' yet? If not, I highly recommend you check it out! It's the best way to keep up to date with your favorite blogs, and to find great new blogs and articles!

The best part??? You can follow my blog with Bloglovin' to make sure that you never miss a new post! :) Just click the link below to follow my blog and to get signed up with Bloglovin' if you're not already!

 

xo, Anna

Five Favorites

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I'm starting a new blog post series called "Five Favorites". I'll be listing five of my favorite things on Fridays! I probably wont do this every single Friday, but rather when I have an interesting or important list that I feel like you would enjoy reading about!

Well, let's kick this series off now, shall we? Here are five of my favorite things right now!

1. White Roses.

2. Maple Bars.

3. Day Designer.

5. La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream.

What are some things you are LOVING right now? Share, please!

xo, Anna

Review: Oh Sugar! and Plumpify

Covergirl and Influenster sent me over some of Covergirl’s newest products for free to test out and review for them. I am already a big fan of Covergirl, and so I was very excited to try out some of their new stuff! They sent me some of their new Oh Sugar Lip Balm in the color ‘Taffy’, and their new Plumpify Mascara by blastPRO. Let me tell you, I am in love. 

Oh Sugar! is one of the best lip balms I’ve used. It goes on so smoothly, the color is beautiful and natural looking, and this stuff doesn’t dry out your lips. In fact, it contains vitamins that moisturize and nourish your lips while you’re wearing it. I will definitely be trying out more colors!

The Plumpify Mascara by blastPRO is great. It makes my lashes look so long and thick, which is what we’re all after, right?? My ONLY complaint is that the brush is HUGE and makes application a tiny bit tricky. But, it also ensures total coverage of all of your lashes, so I think it is worth it for the slightly awkward size of the brush. 

Bottom line: I highly recommend both of these Covergirl products. Plus, they are affordable and you can get them at your nearest drugstore. How can you beat that? Let me know if you try these products out! I’d love to hear what you think of them!

xo, Anna

Nightly Ritual

Rituals are so important for a relaxing, good night's sleep. Winding down in the evening can be hard, and it can be a real challenge to quiet your mind after a long and busy day. Taking some time to care for yourself and to get in the right mindset before bed makes a huge difference. I know that on nights when I am rushed, or when I'm out late and forced to skimp on my nightly ritual, I feel unsettled, stressed, and I always have a harder time falling asleep. When I set aside the time to go through the motions and take care of myself, I end up in bed, relaxed, calm, and content and ready for a good night's sleep. I'll go ahead and share my nightly routine on a typical week night (for when I'm at home that is, as opposed to traveling or sleeping in a tent!) with you all!

I always take either an epsom salt bath, or a hot shower right before bed. I wash and condition my hair, exfoliate my face, and use a cleanser. Depending on how I'm doing for time or how tired I am, I'll use a coffee scrub prior to showering or taking a bath. 

I do a deep conditioning treatment on my hair once a week. Then I always towel dry my hair, twist it up into a top knot, and sleep with it that way. In the morning I have nice waves and volume. I never use a hair dryer, and I always just let my hair air dry. In fact, I never use heat on my hair. I will OCCASIONALLY, very rarely, curl my hair. But other than that, no heat. This helps to keep my hair healthier and prevents damage since it's SO long. 

Next, I apply my pore refining serum from Murad. It is my absolute beauty must have and it makes my skin so nice, clear, and healthy. I love it. About 2-3 times a week, I will use a face mask prior to putting on the serum. I love trying out different masks, but my go-to is this Murad one. I have some dark spots under my eyes, so I've been using this Brightening Dark Spot Corrector from Burt's Bees under and around my eyes. Then, I slather my face, neck, and chest with moisturizer. I am loving this Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture from Murad right now. 

I use St. Ives body lotion all over my entire body right after I take a shower or a bath. I have really dry skin so moisturizing is big for me. I am obsessive about it, and this St. Ives is great because it doesn't leave your skin sticky or gunky feeling, AND it's a drug store brand, so it's very affordable! Once or twice a week I will apply a sunless tanner. I like trying out different brands of self-tanners, but my current favorite is this one by Jergens.

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I brush my teeth, use mouth wash, and then hop into bed. I'll apply a cuticle cream, and dab some lavender oil on my wrists and neck. I moisturize my lips with some EOS lip balm and will dab a little extra moisturizer around my eyes. I always chug a bunch of water at this point. Sure I have to get up in the night, but I wake up in the morning with glowing skin! So, to me it is worth it. Then I read a passage from The Book Of Awakening, read 50 pages or so in whatever book I'm currently reading, turn out the lights and, hopefully, drift right off to sleep. I picked up this lovely lavender scented eye pillow that I lay over my eyes sometimes. You can put it in the freezer to make it cool, and it is just so refreshing and is sometimes just that little extra something that I need to fall asleep. 

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I would love to hear all about YOUR nightly rituals! What are your go-to products? 


Tips For Clear, Healthy Skin

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Here are just a few tips I've picked up for maintaining clear, healthy, glowing skin!

1. Eat clean. A diet full of whole, unprocessed foods will do wonders for your skin by eliminating chemicals and other nasty things. Nourishing your body with fruits, veggies, and clean, whole foods will leave your skin glowing in no time!

2. Sweat it out. Exercise will not only make you healthier overall, but it will leave your skin looking better too! Try kick-starting your day with a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) work out, followed by a veggie, fruit, and protein packed smoothie, and people will be clamoring to know your secret for that beautiful glow!

3. Treat Yo Self. If you can, treat your skin to a relaxing and rejuvenating facial. Not only is it important to pamper yourself from time to time, but facials are so good for the health of your skin. They help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and blemishes. 

4. Drink up! This is something of a no brainer in this day and age, but, in case you need a friendly reminder, DRINK MORE WATER. Try to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water every day, as a general rule of thumb. For example, if you weigh 150lbs, try to drink 75oz of water each day. Staying hydrated is the BEST way to keep your skin clear and beautiful, and to get that coveted dewey glow!

5. What goes on goes in. Your skin is an organ...did you know that? It's a big organ. And it absorbs whatever you put on it. That means that every lotion that you apply, every bit of makeup, every facial cleanser or mask... everything gets absorbed into your body through your skin. Including all of the chemicals in them. These chemicals can lead to allergic reactions, breakouts, dryness, etc... So, a good thing to try is to use natural skin products whenever possible, and be sure to remove all makeup before you go to bed at night to give your skin time to breathe and regenerate itself. I will post some of my favorite skin care products soon, so keep checking back!

What are some of YOUR favorite tips to get beautiful skin? Share in the comments below!

How To Relax This Evening

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1604786_10203431155011360_4965213623060468996_n As a society, we tend to run on high speed, fueled by packed schedules and deadlines. Stress is a norm in many of our lives. But it is well known that stress is really really bad for you. Stress can have many serious consequences such as stomach aches, headaches, acne, and even life threatening heart issues. It's important to give your body a break from all of the stress and give it time to decompress and relax. So, tonight, I encourage you to take some time for yourself. Here are few ways to relax this evening:

1. Go for a walk. Exercise is a great stress reducer. Going for a nice walk will expose you to fresh air and a little dose of the great outdoors. It will calm your nerves and ease your mind and give you time to think and enjoy the sights.

2. Do something easy and tasty for dinner. Tonight is about relaxing and being happy. Order a pizza, get Chinese takeout, or make something quick and fun that you love. Don't get caught up with carbs or diets - tonight is your night to enjoy yourself, so have at it!

3. Watch the sunset. Sit out on your porch and watch the sunset. Just let your mind be quiet as you take in the sounds, smells, and sights. Allow yourself to just be. Be still. Be quiet. And most of all, be peaceful. Try to think about everything you are thankful for. Try to appreciate the moment and be present.

4. Soak your worries away. Take a hot bath with Epsom salts and essential oils. Light a candle, turn off the lights, and just relax. Breathe in the hot vapors and let go of the stress and bustle of daily life. Take this time to just be quiet and to listen to your breath and to enjoy the moment. Soak for about twenty minutes to let the Epsom salts and oils do their thing.

5. Give yourself a facial. Find a face mask in the store. St. Ives has a nice oatmeal one, and Freeman has an avocado oatmeal one as well. Or you can make one yourself. There are lots of recipes for home-made facials. I have used one made up of bananas, olive oil, and coconut oil. It sounds weird, but feels nice. Play around with different recipes and find one that works for your skin. The process of making a face mask can be fun and relaxing in and of itself!

6. Read a good book. Let yourself get swept away. Reading is an excellent way to relax and to get your mind off of the million and four things that you have to do. Plus, reading before bed is a much healthier option than scrolling through your Instagram and Twitter feeds. The artificial light from your screen stimulates your brain making it harder for you to fall asleep, whereas reading a book is calming and great for making you sleepy at bed time.

7. Sleep. Sleep is one of the best things you can do for stress. Making sure your mind and body have the right amount of time to heal themselves and rejuvenate is extremely important. Try to go to sleep early tonight. Being well rested helps you to cope with stress better, it makes you look better [bye bye under-eye bags!], and it will help you to feel bright and ready to take on the next day.

What do you do to relax? Please share in the comments below!

 

Summer Time Beauty Hacks

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Summer time is all about effortless, carefree, easy, light beauty. It's about sun-drenched days, and heat that permeates all through the night. It's about going barefoot, living in a bikini [or whatever type of swimsuit floats your boat], and being easy-breezy.

But summer time can do a number on different parts of your body. Here are some ways to keep yourself looking fresh, low-maintenance, and beautiful all summer long.

1. Skin: In the summer time, the heat and the constant cycle of being wet, then dry, wet, then dry can do a real number on your skin. Not only can your skin become dried out, but constantly being wet from swimming can wipe off important good bacterias that live on your skin.

Try this: Since none of us are going to even consider giving up long dunks in the lake or mermaid time in the sea, instead, try shortening your showers a bit. Try to keep the water temperature as cool as you can handle it. Also, find a moisturizer that works for you! My favorites are St. Ives and Ponds. I also have an amazing home made balm that mixes coconut oil, beeswax, vanilla, and a few other natural things to create a creamy, moisturizing dream.

2. Face: Tend to break out more in the summer? That can happen. No worries, there are some things you can try.

Try this: Try eliminating your moisturizer a night or two a week. Or, if you're like me and you can't even imagine not moisturizing every night, then try just limiting your moisturizer to areas of your face that feel particularly dry. Also, try to only wash your face in the evenings. Instead of giving it a good scrub in the mornings, just lightly rinse it with warm water to freshen up before starting your morning beauty routine. Also, make sure you are drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water every day to stay hydrated! There is no better way to make your skin glow!

3. Makeup: Summer time makeup should be easy, natural, effortless, glowy... basically you want to look like you just rolled off of the beach - but still put together. Leave the heavy eyeliner and cakey foundation for the office. As soon as you get home from the office, wipe your face clean with a cleansing wipe, [I like Yes to Cucumbers wipes, available in drug stores], and get your summer face on.

Try this: Start with a clean slate. Then apply a moisturizer with SPF [at least SPF 20, if you ask me]. Next, rub on a thin, moisturizing BB cream. The BB cream offers additional sunscreen benefits, as well as giving you additional moisture, AND acting as a bit of a concealer. It smooths out your complexion and hides any blemishes. Next, add a bid of cream blush to your cheeks and the bridge of your nose. Brush on a bit of bronzer if that's your thing. Swipe on some waterproof mascara, a bit of lip balm, and you're good to go. This should only take about two minutes to do, and you'll look natural, dewy, glowing, and like you're having one heck of a summer. Which you are.

4. Feet: Living barefoot and in sandals all summer can make your feet a bit... less than pretty. Your heels can get cracked and dry, which isn't cute. Keep your tootsies nice a smooth with these tips...

Try this: Whenever possible, try to wear socks and sneakers. Hey, wearing them with cut-off shorts is cute and summery. Or you can rock the "just got back from the gym" look and wear running shoes and yoga clothes. Comfy, cool, AND your feet are safely sheathed in soft socky-barriers. Moisturize your feet at night and try soaking them in Epsom salts or another kind of foot soak that works well for you. Use a foot scraper to remove dead, dry skin every once in awhile. Or get a pedicure.

5. Hair: Hair is exposed to so much sunshine [UV rays], salt, heat, and water during the summer. This can be harsh on your strands.

Try this: Wear a hat whenever possible when you are in the sun. This will protect your hair from harmful UV rays. Also, if you have highlights, guarding your hair from the sun will help to make the highlights last longer. Try washing your hair less - every other day will do. Just use a dry shampoo if your hair starts looking a little greasy. Use a deep conditioning treatment every now and then on your hair to help it stay hydrated and soft. A nice Moroccan oil is my favorite. It keeps the ends of my hair glossy. Also, try to avoid using a hair dryer [because who needs one in the summer time, right?], straightener, or curling iron [rock the touseled, natural mermaid waves], or any other tools that may expose your hair to additional heat.

6. Body: Most importantly, protect your WHOLE body from harmful UV rays and cover up with sunblock any time you will be outside. No one wants wrinkles. Or skin cancer.

Review: Frank Coffee Scrub

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Let's be frank about Frank: it's even better than you'd think.

If you are on Instagram, chances are you have heard about Frank Coffee Scrub - pretty much the hottest skin-care product out there right now. Guys and gals alike are absolutely raving about Frank. Instagram is plastered with pictures of customers, covered in coffee scrub, lovingly clutching their pouches of Frank and professing their undying love for the product. Not to mention, Frank's marketing is brilliant, [ just visit frankbody.com to see what I mean.] It got to the point that I couldn't temper my curiosity any longer. I ordered a pouch of the Coconut & Grapeseed coffee scrub and anxiously awaited Frank's arrival.

First of all, the packaging is beautiful and cool. Frank comes in a resealable paper pouch. Frank comes in three scents, original, cacao, and coconut & grapeseed, which is the one that I got. I'm a coconut fan, what can I say? The coconut & grapeseed coffee scrub smells a lot like coconut and a lot like coffee. Put simply, it smells pretty darn amazing. True to the warning on Frank's label, the whole process is super messy. But, it's easy to clean up, and totally worth it.

Here's how it works: Hop in to your empty bath tub or shower, get yourself damp, then scrub your little heart out and  let the scrub sit for about 5-10 minutes before rinsing. Trust me, your skin will have never felt so smooth. It's kind of amazing. Plus, Frank claims to help reduce cellulite, psoriasis, and stretch marks, so there's that too.

My recommendation: Get your Frank on. As soon as possible. 100% worth it.

Best part? The original costs only $14.95, the cacao costs $16.95, and the coconut & grapeseed costs $17.95, so you wont break the bank and you can keep coming back for more. Get yours at frankbody.com

 

Review: Honey Girl Organics

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Did you know that it only takes 26 seconds for cosmetics and other products that are put onto your skin to be absorbed into your bloodstream? Scary. And gross. Especially when you consider the types of chemicals and "mystery" ingredients that are in most skin care products. The most startling part of that statistic, however, is that everything you put on your skin gets absorbed iImagen. When I heard that, I started paying more attention to the types of ingredients and chemicals that are in my makeup and lotions. It was terrifying. Such a large number of the ingredients are unnatural and man-made.

When I was in Haleiwa earlier this year, I discovered a skin care line based out of the North Shore of Oahu. The company is called Honey Girl Organics and their products are all natural, organic, and oh-so-good for your skin. Plus they smell amazing. Ingredients include honey, beeswax, and royal jelly, all from the company's own Hawaiian grown bees. Since I've started using Honey Girl Organics products, my skin has never felt better.

Bottom line: I highly recommend giving this skin care line a try.

My favorite Honey Girl Organic product is the Face & Eye Cream [$30.99]. Check it out at www.honeygirlorganics.com.

 

Beauty, Naturally

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I will admit, I love makeup. I love doing my hair and dressing up. But, I've learned that if you aren't healthy and beautiful on the inside, you wont look your best on the outside, regardless of how much foundation and mascara you use. Recently, I've been on a quest to find a natural beauty regimen. I spend a lot of time outdoors, camping and exploring with my husband, and I don't take makeup with me when I'm out adventuring! So, it has become essential that I focus on shifting my beautifying techniques to start on the inside, rather than focusing on products that go on the outside. Glowing, flawless skin, a healthy complexion, glossy hair...all of that depends on what you put into your body. Here are a few tricks that I've learned to attain beauty in a natural, healthful way:

1. Drink water. No...I mean LOTS of water. Our bodies are primarily made up of water. When you feel yourself becoming thirsty, that means that your body is already in the beginning stages of dehydration. It is recommended that you drink water constantly throughout the day rather than waiting until you feel parched. I keep a 22oz bottle with me, and I try to drink at least three bottles full of water each day. Ideally, one should be drinking at least half of one's body weight in water every 24 hours. Water helps to flush toxins out of your body, and, most importantly, your skin. If you start amping up your water intake, I bet you will notice your skin start to clear up and, before long, it will take on that greatly coveted natural glow. *Bonus: Drinking more water will give you energy!

2. Coconut Oil. I have found that coconut oil makes an incredible, all natural moisturizer. It can be used all over your body, like a lotion - minus the chemical ingredients. Coconut oil is a wonderful lip balm, and it makes your skin positively glow. It's also great to use in your hair as a conditioner. Just smooth it into your strands before a shower, and let it sit for a few minutes before washing it out.

3. Limit Dairy. I've been trying to limit my dairy intake and since I've done that, my skin has become less bumpy and more smooth.

4. Stock Up On ZZZZs. Getting a solid 8 hours of sleep every night is a crucial part of a natural beauty regimen. When you sleep, your body repairs itself. Your mind, your skin, every single part of you is worked on while you sleep. Getting enough sleep reduces dark circles under your eyes, adds to your natural glow, and helps to reduce cortisol levels (which are caused by stress). Investing in some quality sleep is a good idea whenever you can.

5. Exercise! Whether it is a relaxing yoga class, a nice run outside, a fast-paced barre class [my favorite barre workout is barre3: www.barre3.com], or a full-body toning video from the girls over at Tone it Up! [www.toneitup.com].  It doesn't matter what you do. Find something you love that makes you feel good about yourself, and then make it a habit! My favorite form of exercise is hiking. What's yours?  Exercise will increase circulation in your body, and it helps pump oxygen to your organs. And don't forget, what is the largest organ in the body? That's right - skin. Exercise will make your skin healthier. And that's what we're going for with this natural beauty regimen! So even if you just do a Tone it Up video for 15 minutes, or an hour-long barre3 class, that's ok. As long as you are doing something good for yourself to get your body moving a little, that can do wonders for your body and, especially, your mind. Exercise reduces cortisol levels, keeps you limber, and gives you endorphins which make you happy. And happiness is beautiful!

6. Relax. I've been mentioning cortisol - that nasty chemical that is released in your body when you are stressed. Too much cortisol can have detrimental effects on your health. Try to make an effort to relax and let go of stress. Take a hot, candle lit bath with your favorite bath soaps. Go on a weekend getaway with your honey. Curl up by the fire with a good book and zone out for a while. Get a massage, or a manicure and pedicure. Drink some tea, or a glass of vino and just...let go every once in a while. It will do wonders for your body...and your mental health.

7. Pay Attention to What Kind of Food You Eat. I've tried to focus on eating whole foods and I have been making an effort to eliminate processed foods from my diet. When you think about it, processed foods are hardly food at all. They are modified, filled with chemicals, salt, and sugar, all in an effort to appeal to the taste buds, while completely disregarding what they do to our bodies. By sticking to whole foods, you can be more sure of what is going into your body. Fruits, vegetables, meat, fish...these are all things that are in their natural forms. Stick to those types of foods. Your body will thank you for it.

 

 

5 Ways the Backcountry is Good For You

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Image There is always a moment when I first set out on a trail that will lead me winding and twisting for days back into the backcountry. It's like all the stress of the hustle and bustle of life releases in one giant cleansing breath. I feel lighter. Free. Back to my roots. Backpacking has become a huge hobby of mine and not just for the break from work and the city. Here are five ways that being out in the backcountry, away from society and all creature comforts is GOOD for you!

1. Clear your mind. Get away from the chaos and constant over-stimulation and just be, bra.

2. Breathe in the fresh, clean, pure air of the wild. It's good for your mind, body, and soul.

3. It makes you have to rough it a bit. In this day and age of everything being readily available and easy to obtain, having to work for your food, shelter, and - to an extent - your very survival is a GOOD thing. Get your hands dirty! You wont regret it.

4. Backcountry adventurin' is great exercise! Carrying a huge backpack full of gear on your back for 12 miles a day is a workout like no other. AND you are usually  in some of the most stunning landscapes out there so that's a bonus: amazing view while working out. I'd take that over the gym any day.

5. In the backcountry, you have to step outside of your comfort zone. You might find yourself in some less than ideal situations: a rain storm, a ripped tent, an encounter with a bear... it is GOOD to face your fears and to tackle whatever the wild might throw your way. It gives you the opportunity to surprise even yourself and to do something that you did not even know you were capable of.

So get outside! Breathe in the fresh air! Surprise yourself! The backcountry awaits you!