A Morning Beauty Routine Focused On Self-Care

I want to start off by prefacing this post with an admission. No matter what I say down below, I am still not a morning person. But, when I am able to pry my tired eyes open, I like to use my time wisely – on myself!

Whether you’re a busy mom, a working woman with absolutely no spare time or a tired college student, it is so important to take time for yourself! It’s not selfish, it’s imperative. I work in a nonconventional career, so I often have days off to be able to pamper myself a little bit. But, you can create your own routine based around your schedule. Here’s mine…

To be completely real, the first thing I do every single morning is check social media, emails & texts that came in overnight – for way longer than I should.. Then, I actually get my day started. As you’ve seen in my January Favorites post, I’m on a celery juice kick. It works most effectively when you drink it on an empty stomach, so before I do anything else, I go downstairs and get that celery juiced!

While I’m drinking that delicious (not!) juice, I grab my Ice Roller from the freezer and get to work on my face. Just like most people, I wake up with a very puffy face – not cute. I use an ice roller every morning to reduce inflammation in my cheeks and under eyes. For how cheap these are on Amazon, pick one up and add it into your routine! I couldn’t live without mine.

After making myself a healthy breakfast & a huge glass of water, it’s time to get into the good stuff. You guys know how much I love skincare products, so getting to actually use them is my favorite part of the day.

I start off by cleansing my skin & washing off all the oils that accumulated overnight. Based on how my skin is looking, and feeling, that morning I choose between two of my cleansers. If my skin is looking clear and just needs a pick-me-up, I reach for my Glossier Milky Jelly cleanser. It leaves my skin feeling conditioned and refreshed. But if I woke up with some problem areas, like acne, I go with my Mario Badescu Acne Facial cleanser. Listen to your skin every morning, some days it needs more help than others.

Before moving into any heavier products, it’s important to tone the skin! I used to not think this was an important step, but now it’s an essential step in my routine. If your skin ever feels “tight” after cleansing, it needs to be toned, or balanced! That’s where my Cucumber Cleansing Lotion (aka toner) from Mario Badescu, on a cotton round, comes into play. It’s designed for combo/oily skin so it reduces shine while also nourishing my skin. Yay!

If you’re going to use some type of serum, now is the time to apply it – before the moisturizer. The closer to your skin, the better; it won’t do much work if it’s blocked by a thick cream. Recently, I’ve been putting a lot of importance into my eyes. I have two different serums that I like to rotate between. When it’s an extremely early morning and my eyes are struggling to stay open, I use a roller ball eye serum – Morning Perk from Me Time Botanicals. This 100% natural product contains coffee and nourishing oils to wake those eyes up. If I want to focus more on the fine lines around my eyes, (yes, I’m 23 & they’re already there) I use an eye serum that contains Vitamin C & hyaluronic acid. I’ve been loving the Line Eraser Vitamin C eye serum from The Beauty Foundry. Hyaluronic acid helps hydrate the skin and reduce fine lines. Yes, please!

Finally, it’s time to moisturize. During the day, I like to use a lighter moisturizer so that my skin is a smoother (& less oily) slate for makeup. I’ve been loving the Drench & Quench daytime moisturizer from Bliss. It has a cream-to-water consistency and instantly melts into the skin which I love because it doesn’t leave my skin greasy. The last step to your skin routine every morning should be sunscreen. If you plan on leaving the house that day and your foundation doesn’t have SPF, slap some on there! Find the sunscreen that works best for your skin & lifestyle.

As lengthy as my morning skin routine seems, it’s really doable in minutes. If you find products that you love, you’ll be excited to use them every morning! I used to not put much effort in my mornings because I thought I could never find the time, but washing your face and slapping on a few products really won’t set you back much! Make yourself a bigger priority and you will thank yourself!

After my skin is done, it’s time to get to work or get a quick workout in & then my morning is gone! Everyone has a different morning routine, what’s yours?

What’s In My Shower? My Go-To Shower Products

If you couldn’t already tell – I love sharing my favorite products with you all! This week, I’m sharing my go-to products that I need when I jump in the shower to wash off a stressful day.

After searching far and wide, I’ve finally locked down some favorites that truly work for my skin & hair. Showers, for me, aren’t just used to rinse off a workout or wash my hair, they’re a time where I can relax and decompress; these products help me do that.

HAIR

Raw Sugar The Bounce Back Shampoo & Conditioner, $9.99

Taking care of my hair is the utmost importance to me, so finding the perfect shampoo & conditioner for my hair has been a struggle. After I tried Raw Sugar, I fell in love. Common hair products are packed full of harmful ingredients, I never understood that. This duo not only smells incredible, but has no parabens, sulfates or silicones, is made with organic extracts and is completely vegan/cruelty-free. After regularly using these, I noticed my hair looking shinier and feeling stronger.

dpHUE

dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse, $35

Speaking of hair miracles, direct your attention to this incredible hair rinse. I’m obsessed with celebrity hair colorist @justinandersoncolor on Instagram & he introduced me to this brand he co-founded, dpHUE. They have some pretty amazing products, one of them being this apple cider vinegar hair rinse. Apple cider vinegar helps cleanse your scalp as well as strip all the impurities right out of your hair. I use this as both a shampoo & conditioner substitute about every other week and it leaves my hair feeling softer than it’s ever been.

BODY

Formula No. 45 Coffee Body Scrub, $9.99

If you’ve seen my previous post, you’d know that I put a lot of importance in exfoliation. Scrubbing off a spray tan, dry skin or a horrible week is a necessity in my routine. This scrub from Formula No. 45 is my absolute favorite because it not only leaves my skin feeling polished, but it smells exactly like coffee & vanilla! The coffee scent is invigorating and the coconut oil its made with leaves you feeling clean and moisturized.

Skin & Co Blue In Capri Shower Gel, $22

For so long I used body washes that smelled fruity & fresh, but left my skin feeling dry and stripped of it’s natural oils. I received this shower gel from Skin & Co in my FabFitFun box last year and I haven’t stopped using it since! The scent is more earthy, which I love & actually leaves my skin feeling silky and smooth. In addition, the scent actually lasts on my skin all day. Love, love, love.

FACE

The Body Shop Tea Tree Facial Wash, $18 (on sale now for $13!)

If I’m ever in a rush to get my day started or just want to get a jump start on my skincare routine, I like to wash my face in the shower. Clean up is way easier & I don’t have to break my back hovering over the sink! Anyway, this Skin Clearing Facial Wash from The Body Shop is one of my favorites because tea tree always leaves my face feeling fresh as can be. It claims to deeply clean blemished skin and remove excess oil. If you’re looking for a cleanser to have in your shower, this one has worked wonders for me!

Shea Moisture

Shea Moisture Purifying and Hydrating In-Shower Mask, $13

If you don’t have a lot of time for self-care everyday, I suggest trying to get it done by multitasking! I love a good face mask and getting it done in the shower kills two birds with one stone. I like to slap a mask on while shaving or waiting for my conditioner to sink in. This one from Shea Moisture contains activated charcoal so it pulls dirt and impurities out of your skin and provides a deep cleanse. For an affordable price, pick it up and give it a try!

Everyone has a different shower routine; that was mine! These products haven’t let me down yet, so I keep coming back to them. It took a while to find products that actually worked for my skin & hair, so don’t be discouraged if you’re still on the lookout! I wanna hear what some of your holy grail shower products are, sound off in the comments!

Exfoliating Skincare Products My Face Couldn’t Live Without

Scrub away all of your problems.

This cold weather is personally attacking my skin. As someone who’s never had dry skin in their life, the time has come. Whether you’re in the same boat, your skin is acting up from wearing makeup everyday or your skin just needs a pick me up, you need to make sure you’re exfoliating. Scrubbing off your dead skin and thoroughly cleaning out your pores is a must if you’re interested in smooth and clear skin.

When I was shopping for my first good exfoliator, I didn’t know where to start. There are so many products out there, but how are you supposed to know which ones actually work? I’m here to help you out! Here are my must have exfoliating products you need in your skincare collection…

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate, $75

Ok, I know what you’re thinking. $75 for a product is pricey. Trust me, I’m all about a bargain. But sometimes, investing in a good product pays off tenfold. Kate Somerville is one of my favorite skincare brands and they are definitely known for this product, ExfoliKate. I’m not kidding when I say that you see results right after you use this stuff. It’s a strong exfoliator, so I only use it once a week, but it instantly leaves my skin smooth and glowing. Must have.

O.R.G Skincare Mineral Peel Face, $35

This stuff is like magic in a spray bottle. The first time I used their Mineral Peel Face, the dead skin on my face was instantly sloughing off. Since it is enzyme-based, it doesn’t feel rough on the skin like you’re rubbing sandpaper on your face. When spraying it on the skin, it feels like a serum. But once you start rubbing in circular motions, goodbye dead skin! Being on the more affordable side, pick this one up and give it a try!

Lush Cosmetics Mint Julips, $10.95

Our lips need some love, too. Especially during this winter weather, my lips have struggled. There is nothing I hate more than crusty lips so I have been reaching for this lip scrub from Lush very often. I used to be afraid of putting a product so close to my mouth, but this scrub is literally made out of castor sugar and peppermint! So, it tastes delicious and never like a chemical product. If I ever have dry skin on my lips, this stuff buffs it right off. Obsessed.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel Pads, $17

Drumroll please! It’s now time to talk about my favorite skincare product I use. I have been using Dr. Dennis Gross peel pads for a while now and my skin has been thanking me ever since. Each treatment comes with two steps: the Exfoliate & Smooth pad and then the Anti-Aging Neutralizer pad. Using these every week leaves my skin feeling radiant, smooth and has reduced the fine lines around my eyes.

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Age Defying Exfoliator, $79

Last, but definitely not the least amount of money, Dr. Brandt. If you really want your skin to feel actually polished, this product will do that for you. It is a harsh exfoliator, so be prepared for the grittiness. I wouldn’t recommend this product if you have super sensitive skin, try one of the products above! But if your skin can handle it, use this in the shower when your pores are open and ready to be scrubbed!

Alright ladies! You’re ready to get on the road to smooth skin. Even though these are all of my favorite exfoliators, I use them wisely. I definitely do not use all of these products all the time, my skin would hate me! Since these products do work to scrub away skin, you need to make sure you’re not doing it too much. I use them on an as need basis, when my skin needs some help. Also, please use sunscreen after exfoliating! Your skin will be sensitive and vulnerable that day!

What’s your favorite exfoliator? Sound off in the comments!

Discounted High-End Beauty Products Waiting For You At TJ Maxx

Beauty on a budget.

We all would love to try all of the expensive and luxurious beauty products on the market, but that pesky wallet usually gets in the way. Every time that I’m browsing the aisles of Sephora and Ulta, I could easily drop hundreds of dollars in a matter of minutes. Not all of us have an exorbitant (big word of the day) beauty budget, so I’m convinced that’s why they created the heaven that is TJ Maxx.

I’m sure you know that TJ Maxx is known for their discounted candles, kitchenware & purses, but their beauty selection is insane. Nowadays, if I’m dying to try a new product that’s in a higher price range, I always check to see if my local TJ Maxx has it in stock. More often than not, I find amazing and high-end products for nearly half the price. On my most recent trip, I found some killer finds that should have you running there now…


Clinique All About Eyes Serum $65, $39.99

Yes, I found a Clinique product for $25 off! If you’ve ever tried this brand, you know that it’s definitely worth the money. But if you can save a ton of money, double win. Also, eye products run major prices nowadays & I’ve been looking for a good deal. Who knew it was waiting for me at a TJ Maxx? Very excited about this one.

Vital Proteins Beauty Collagen $33, $19.99

Ladies, let’s talk. No matter what age you are, it’s time to start incorporating collagen into your life. It’s good for your joints and amazing for your skin. One of my favorite brands for collagen products is hands down Vital Proteins. I love pretty much everything they do, so when I saw Beauty Collagen (to make my favorite minty collagen water) for a major discount, I threw it in the cart. Shopping is way more fun at a bargain.

Kate Somerville Wrinkle Warrior $56, $19.99

Kate. Somerville. I am a huge fan of this brand and I’ve been dying to try this pink plumping mask so in the cart it went. Just like this instance, I love going to TJ Maxx and finding these higher priced products at a discount. So, I can test a bunch of products, instead of just splurging on one! Getting $30 off means you can spend that on more items, yay!

Drybar Double Standard $8, $4.99 & Drybar Detox $23, $9.99

If you’ve never tried a Drybar product for your hair, now is the time. I will rant and rave over their dry shampoo, but spending $23 on one always hurts a little. Seeing this brand at a discount is a surefire way to make a sale with me. TJ Maxx has a crazy variety of hair products that they sell, but this was one of the trendier items that I just couldn’t pass up.


Origins Three Part Harmony Eye Duo $70, $34.99

Origins for 50%? Alright, I’m calling the police. Origins has always been a brand that I’ve loved since I was little because it’s one of my mom’s go-to’s. But since it’s not drugstore price, it’s not something I usually reach for. The fact that TJ Maxx had it for 1/2 off blew my mind! Either they don’t understand the value of what they’re pricing or they’re miracle workers. You can decide.

First Aid Beauty Anti-Redness Serum $36, $12.99

I don’t know what the weather has been like in your neck of the woods, but the polar vortex that just came through last week caused some very unwanted redness in my skin. First Aid Beauty always comes in clutch whenever my skin goes through crazy dry stages, especially due to weather. They had a ton of products at my TJ Maxx but this one seemed most relevant in my life at the moment!

Makeup, makeup, makeup.

Although I didn’t dive into the makeup realm in this post, TJ Maxx has some amazing cosmetics brands and products. I always see Anastasia Beverly Hills, Stila, Buxom and Becca in Sephora, but I can buy it discounted? Count me in. No, TJ Maxx isn’t going to have the brand new line and collection. BUT, if you’re someone who is interested in a brand, being able to test and dive into their products at a discount is always a good idea.

So, you get the gist: TJ Maxx is the sh*t! Of course, not every single store will have the same exact products. But, knowing that they carry exciting and high-end beauty products for major discounts has me hooked. Next time you’re in a TJ Maxx, give the beauty section a glance. I love seeing what great brands I can find & how cheap I can get them for. What is your favorite TJ Maxx find of all time?

✩ January Favorites ✩

2019 is off to a good start.

Anyone that knows me, knows I love to test and try new products. Thinking about all of different things I’ve tried this past month, made this post very pertinent! Instead of droning on, let’s just get into some of my favorite things from January…

Face mask applicator

Yes, I am aware of how pretentious this sounds; but hear me out. For so long, my face mask “applicator” was my hands, plain & simple. This month, I decided to pick up a mask spatula and my life was forever changed. First of all, super satisfying. Second, it saves you the mess of washing (& wasting) a bunch of clay mask off of your hands every time you apply!

Celery juice

Next up is me fully admitting that I jumped head-first onto the bandwagon. I give full credit to fellow blogger All Day Pretty for turning me onto drinking celery juice every morning. Guys, this stuff works wonders. It lowers inflammation, reduces bloating, heals acne & truly flushes out your system. I’ve noticed that I’ve physically been feeling better ever since introducing this magical juice into my life. Break out your old dusty juicer or head to your local health food store and give it a try. Bottoms up!

Sugar Bear Hair

Ok, don’t judge me yet. You’ve seen this stuff all over your Instagram feed and maybe their advertising has worked on you as well. I used to think Sugar Bear Hair was another gimmick aimed towards millennials — until I tried it. Kylie Jenner was right, guys. This sh*t works (for me, at least.) If you don’t know, these are hair, skin & nails vitamins. I’ve always had short and brittle nails, like I would be embarrassed to get a manicure. After taking these the entire month of January, my nails have never been so long and healthy, EVER! Not to mention my hair has also grown rapidly as well! Obsessed.

Mario Badescu Skincare

I think after years of searching, I’ve finally found my go-to skincare company. Although I’ve been using Mario Badescu products for a while now, this month I’ve been using a ton of new stuff. I’ve been lucky to never have had horrible skin, but it does have it’s moments. I’ve found that their products like their Aloe Moisturizer, Seaweed Night Cream and all of their facial sprays have truly made a difference for my skin. Usually I like a skincare product because it just makes me feel good, but everything from this brand has actually been pumping out good results.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lip Balm

I don’t know why I’ve had an unhealthy obsession with lip balms lately, it might be the recent below zero temperatures in Indiana. Anywho, I’ve officially found my favorite one I’ve ever tried. Even though I think they need a major packaging re-design, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter lip balm has made it’s way into my product hall of fame. First of all, it’s literally the size of an oversized glue stick which I love because I never lose it. Second, it leaves my lips feeling moisturized all day. Perfection.

Well, there ya have it: my January favorites! Let me know you’re obsessed with any of these products as well!