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Beauty

Back to Nature Beauty with Target

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This blog
post is sponsored by
Target. Thank you for supporting
collaborations such as this!
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Whenever the first sign of spring arrives, I quickly shed my
winter layers and opt for bohemian frocks, dewy skin and an overall earthy
vibe. This affects my style, beauty and even state of mind as I try to tackle a more carefree
approach to life, which is honestly difficult for someone as high strung as me.
Yet it’s something I can channel when I update my style and beauty regimen to
match the vibe I hope to feel.
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I partnered with
Target to share my back-to-nature beauty
approach focusing on a strong brow, nude eyelids and lips, and topped with a
shimmery glow. The products I used include:
Essence How to Make Brows Wow Kit, Essence How to Make Nude Eyes Kit, NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator, NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm, NYX Tinted Brow Mascara and a pair of Sonia Kashuk full-volume falsies to fake voluminous lashes.
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I love a
simple, but pulled together look that can withstand the heat and my own
excessive sweating, which is why a nude look works well. A tip? Once you apply
your foundation and before you swipe powder over to set the look, first apply
the liquid illuminator by NYX. You can cut back on a cakey look by first
applying all liquids, so if you choose to use a liquid highlighter that
provides more of bold look, top it over your foundation and concealer before
the setting powder. I also skipped on heavy mascara and chose a pair of falsies
that gave me a doe-eye look without the inevitable mascara run. I also used
both the Essence brow kit to fill in my brows and the NYX brow mascara to comb
and set the brows
in place. I find this combo helps them stay put
throughout the day.
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I kept my eyes and lips simple with a subtle shimmery lid using a deeper nude tone
to create some definition, with a medium nude tone to blend, blend, blend! For
my lips, I chose NYX’s matte Stockholm, since I’m currently still loving this
trend
with matte lips. This particular lip cream makes it easy to apply
without using too much precision. I mean, who has time for lip liner and
relining lips during festival season? It’s all about ease of use without giving
up a strong beauty look perfect for sashaying to some folksy music and sipping
a beer.
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Find your style @targetstyle
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Beauty, Outfits, Style

My Nighttime Routine

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During high school, I earned the nickname stinky from friends who wished I’d shower more. I kept up the hippie routine through college until I realized I needed to just take better care of my body. As a person who loves routine, I follow my nighttime routine each evening and it’s only after that, I can relax in bed or on the couch with James.
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First up, hair. I only wash my hair 1-2 times a week. If I work out more than three times a week, I find an extra hair wash is necessary. The sweat in my damaged hair makes it disturbingly similar to Harry from Dumb and Dumber. I draw the line there. I go between several shampoos like Ouidad’s cleansing oil that makes my hair feel clean and soft and now Kevin Murphy’s detox shampoo, since it was sent to me last week. And I was not disappointed. This instantly soothed my scalp, which is usually irritated at some level and dry. Next, I add conditioner, sometimes a deep conditioning treatment and then apply some sort of leave-in conditioner, serum or curl cream and gel. Then I let my hair air dry. The Kevin Murphy Killer Curls curl cream made my hair feel like I didn’t wash my conditioner out completely and I don’t like that feeling, but the curls were more defined and softer. I think when I use it next, I’ll use less gel to get the right product mix in my hair. I like to use a curl cream when the air is more dry and my hair more likely to go limp and flatten the curls. Once it starts getting more humid, I turn my focus to smoothing out the inevitable frizz.
I prefer showering at night so I have less to do in the morning. I’m not someone who requires a shower to wake up. I’d rather sleep in 15 more minutes. Plus, it takes my hair an eternity to air dry and I can sleep with it half wet and wake up ready to go. I love Dove’s body wash and body bars. I don’t usually do any sort of body exfoliation unless I’m planning a spray tan. I’m just lazy.
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My nighttime skin routine starts in the shower with my newly purchased Clarisonic Mia. I was on the fence with it for years because I was too cheap to buy it. This version was $100 and sounded more doable (naturally, they announce some promotion for $20 off, damn it all. I regress…) My face was never fully clean after washing in the shower and thought that would be a good step to add in. I’ve been using for two weeks now and my skin feels soft after each use. Time will tell if it helps control my acne break outs. I have several cleansers I love including Mullien and Sparrow’s oil cleanser. I would use that first and then a secondary cleanser like Neutrogena with the Clarisonic. I started using lip sugar polish by Fresh since I constantly have dry, flaky lips (thanks, Accutane). 
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Once I’m out of the shower, I use a water-based toner first followed by Mullein and Sparrow’s facial serum. My face has been surprisingly dry so I sometimes add a moisturizer on after that like Neutrogena’s hydro boost gel or Glossier’s moisturizer (which I generally use just in the morning now). Next, I apply a rose and cucumber eye cream by KTO and dab around my eyes. I’ll then spray some rose spray on my face followed by a spritz of a minty perfume that I finding soothing and calming. And lastly, Burt’s Bee’s lip balm. I love going to bed after I follow my routine that I find relaxing and calming!

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Beauty

Brand New Beauty with Meijer

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I partnered once again with my favorite store, Meijer, to share my thoughts on a few beauty and hair products. They sent me a ton of amazing new products to try and I’m sharing just a few today! First, the lipstick above is amazing. Maybelline Color Sensational in Totally Toffee just glides right on and this is a little deeper of nude tone than I have from their line. I use this with a nude lip liner or I’ve discovered it’s a great way to freshen up a burgundy lip later in the day without having to be so precise.
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Jergen’s natural glow lotion is already a go-to of mine for adding some color. You wouldn’t guess by how pale I get in the winter, but I do tan easily thanks to my Hawaiian/Filipino roots! I’ve been on the spray tan train and this color primer product is a great exfoliator to prep for spray tans. Obviously, I have not gotten one in a while, but worked perfectly before applying the lotion. I hate streaks and I seem to always get them. With the buildable moisturizer, I don’t notice streaks.
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This Aveeno Absolutely Ageless night moisturizer is a great product for someone like me (now 30) and needing to take preventative care, but also not overdue it with anything too thick to cause breakouts. It’s a delicate balance for my skin and so far, so good. I usually use an oil serum at night, but this one feels hydrating without clogging my skin.
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I was hesitant to try this reverse beauty full volume line by Tresemme because my natural inclination is to shout I NEED NO MORE VOLUME. But to be honest, my hair has been thinning and isn’t thick and lustrous as it once was. Maybe it’s age, maybe because I bleached the shit out of it for a long time, but the not as dense hair paired winter weather makes my hair so flat and weird. I don’t like how my hair feels after a shampoo. I prefer conditioner to be second so I’m left with soft, easier to manage locks when I’m out of the shower since I finger comb my hair and let it air dry. I didn’t notice any crazy volume, but it dried nicely without being stuck to my head and weighed down.
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My favorite and most memorable of the line is this product. Although James could take it or leave it, the full volume hair maximizer made my hair feel soft and no crunchy, stickiness that I tend to run into when I go outside my comfort zone with new products.

Thank you again for supporting collaborations such as this with Meijer!
Beauty, Hair, Inspiration

My Winter Skincare

Winter takes a toll on my skin and I partnered with Meijer to share a few of my go-to products to help with moisturizing, whether it’s all over body, lips or face.
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The ever-nosy James was curious what I use for my dry, chapped lips. Combining the dry, winter air with my dry-prone lips (thanks to Accutane), I need something more intense to keep my lips moisturized. Cerave’s healing ointment works well on my dry elbows and lips. I top it off with Maybelline’s color sensational buff lipstick line in sin-a-mon. I love a matte lip, but this lipstick glides on and doesn’t dry out my lips.
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Dove deep moisture body wash is by far my number one body wash choice. While my face is pretty oily, the rest of me in the winter is so damn dry. Because of eczema and just being dry, Jergen’s ultra healing body lotion is a great choice for all over moisture after a shower.
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I keep Gold Bond’s eczema relief hand lotion on my nightstand since it’s when I’m in my underwear and notice all the eczema patches and dab this on. My thighs, upper arms and neck have been hit hard with eczema this winter, instead between my fingers as usual. This hand cream works great still.
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I tested out Eucerin’s face moisturizer and I haven’t been using it long enough to make a strong statement either way, but I think it’s a little too heavy for my face even though it’s labeled as lightweight. I use Glossier’s moisturizer currently and it’s super light, but doesn’t have any SPF. I’m thinking I would actually prefer this product in the summer, when I’m likely to wear no foundation and a light tinted moisturizer.
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Thank you for supporting collaborations such as this with Meijer!
Beauty

Acne-Prone Skincare Routine

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Since the teenage years, I’ve been cursed with acne. T-zone breakouts through high school and college and more intense in my early 20’s. I even went on Accutane when I was 24. It seemed worth  the reclusive months of me staying at home, staying single with my dry, flaky and blemished skin. But the acne returned a few months later and it was back downhill from there. I’m days away from 30 and I FINALLY figured out a system that works for me. Here are some tips for how I solved some skin issues and how I care for my skin now.

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Birth control. My acne was definitely hormonal in my cheek and jaw line areas, areas I never once experienced acne before. I spoke with my gynecologist about it and she put me on a new birth control with a lower dose of progesterone. It took a couple months, but my skin has significantly improved. It’s something to talk to your your gyno about if you notice hormonal acne.

Topical medication. I’ve tried probably close to 10 or more of topicals and pills and find that Clindamycin has actually been working with consistent use. I apply this to problem areas of my skin each night and let dry, and then apply moisturizer.

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De-stress. I get stressed out easily and am pretty anxious. The only way to combat this is for me to schedule time EACH night for me to unwind. I don’t care how hermit-like it seems, I don’t stay out longer than an hour or two out after work and I try really hard to not make plans after work so I can go home and unwind because I usually have grad school work or a blog post to work on and I have to find a balance that works for me and reduces stress.
Spend more time actually washing my face. I realized I never quite washed my face long enough. I would rub it all over my face quick and rinse. My make up was never completed washed off so I spend more time washing my face using Beauty Counter’s charcoal cleansing bar or Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Boosters cleanser. The charcoal cleansing bar is a new addition to cleansers I like, but I’ve been trying to keep it simple and find something that truly washes away EVERYTHING, but doesn’t dry me out. Breakouts AND dry patches of skin? Been there, done that. No thanks.
Exfoliate and tone. I also exfoliate 2-3 times a week using Dr. Brandt’s PoreDermabrasion. It loosens up all the dead skin and gross shit hanging out on my face and I feel like I have a fresh new face after. I use Simple’s cleansing water as a toner daily. It’s gentle and removes everything (if anything was missed from my face wash)!

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Moisturize. I’ve always skipped this part in the past because my skin is naturally on the oily side. Big. Mistake. Some I’ve tried were too heavy or simply didn’t jive with my skin, but Glossier’s priming moisturizer has been amazing. My face can be normally more red and this helps calm my skin. I use this in the morning and at night.

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Mask it! I have a couple masks that I really love that address different skin issues on different parts of my face. I use Peter Thomas Roth’s sulfer mask on my t-zone while using Mario Badescu’s super collagen mask on my cheeks. I’ve also started addressing aging skin issues now that I’m not dealing with constant acne break-outs. I have wrinkles forming around my mouth and I’ve been using Dr. Brandt’s 3D filler mask. I can notice it working almost immediately and the few subtle lines I had around my mouth  and between my brows were significantly less noticeable.

What’s your skincare routine like and what products do you use?

Beauty