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May 2018

in Beauty

Life Changing Skincare

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life-changing-skincare

It’s no secret that our favorite subject is skincare – we’re damn near borderline obsessive. We’re going to be honest, a major part of this is because Kate and I have struggled with acne most of our lives. We’ve tried a ton of products throughout our skincare journey – some wins and some MAJOR fails – but nothing that left us with weeks of ZERO breakouts. With that, we want to share with you the most magical and life changing skincare products that have completely rocked our worlds.

Before we share these products, we thought it might be best if we share our skin types:

My (Kim) skin is combination-oily, and with the summer weather around the corner, it leans heavily towards oily. My t-zone is exceptionally oily; and I have pores that are so large, you can swim in them. Okay, obviously an exaggeration, but they’re pretty large. My breakouts often occur on my chin and jaw line.

Kate is on the dry side – all year round. Her skin produces less oil resulting in dry, dehydrated skin, however she is also acne prone. An oxymoron, I know. But for her, it just happens. And her breakouts? Chin. Always chin.

Okay, let’s get to the good stuff. 

I’ve incorporated the following items into my skincare routine, catered to a combination-oily skin type, and I couldn’t be happier. So if you have a similar skin type, you might find these worth trying.

tarte – Knockout Tingling Treatment

I’ve shared this product before in our Sephora Spring Bonus Sale Buyer’s Guide blog post. I’m SO glad I purchased this because I cannot rave enough about it! If you’re a fan of Sunday Riley’s Good Genes, but can no longer stomach the price tag, the Knockout Tingling Treatment is an amazing alternative. At only $39 bucks, this chemical exfoliant has a formula that houses 10% salicylic and lactic acids that is said to resurface the skin and restore it to it’s natural pH level. Basically, it’s perfect for all skin types.

Okay, let me tell you how this has transformed my skin. I didn’t expect anything to happen overnight, that’s for sure. For a whole week, I went through the motions of swiping a cotton pad with a few drops of the treatment on my face morning and night. To be honest, it was such a hectic week, I wasn’t paying much attention until Sunday – which tends to be the day for all things self-care. By the end of week one, I noticed that my pores appeared to be smaller. Still visible, yes, but no longer an option for skinny dipping. I know you dig that visual. 

I also noticed that the little, non-inflammatory bumps that have taken refuge on my chin have nearly disappeared. Like, texture gone. My skin is prone to hyper-pigmentation, ESPECIALLY after a breakout comes and goes. Knockout has definitely helped lightened my acne scarring – I think using this product as well as Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma is really doing the trick in lightening these spots.

You guys, this stuff is SO good, and a must try! As a warning though, if your skin is sensitive, this might not be a product for you as it is a chemical exfoliant; so you may experience a tingling or a burning sensation.

Jan Marini Bioglycolic Bioclear Lotion

This was introduced to me by my aesthetician a couple months ago; and boy, I cannot even believe how effective this stuff is!! Ever since I started using this lotion (a misnomer, it’s really like a thick serum) I’ve had ZERO breakouts. Which is a damn near M I R A C L E. Like clockwork, I breakout when my monthly friend shows up. I have – strike that – HAD two cystic acne spots that pop up like clock work right on my chin. I haven’t seen them for two months now!! You guys, this stuff seriously works.

The active ingredients in the lotion are azelaic acid, glycolic acid and salicylic acid – sound familiar? It should, the Knockout has similar ingredients. The difference between the two is that the Knockout is a toner (addresses issues superficially), where this lotion is a serum (which addresses issues superficially AND penetrates below the surface). The lotion continues to work throughout the day and/or night. The only gripe you may find that it costs $72 – however, Dermstore has sales all the time, and you can definitely snag this at 20% off!

Jade Leaf Organic Matcha Green Tea

Okay, not exactly a skincare product – but just hear me out for a second. I’ve been a matcha green tea drinker for years now, but coffee has always been my preference. As I’ve gotten older, coffee just hasn’t been sitting well with me. At the ripe old age of 29, I experience acid reflux. Bleh. Anyway, after a terrible bout, I decided to quit coffee cold turkey and switch to matcha. I never really thought of the benefits, but after a few weeks of my daily matcha green tea lattes, I noticed a difference in my skin. This difference is definitely a combination of the skincare products I use, but matcha is helping me inside out!

Matcha green tea is known to be jam packed with antioxidants. These antioxidants protect the body from inflammation (think: acne) and has a ton of anti-aging properties. Chlorophyll that is also a property of matcha, is known to help promote cleansing the body of toxins and impurities, leaving the skin clear and glow-y. The tannins in matcha help with slowing the production of oil – I have to say that my skin feels and appears to be more balanced these days. Last week, I went two days without a matcha latte, and swear my skin looked dull and just stuffy. This could very well be all psychological, but I swear to you, I’m really seeing a difference. Just try iiiit!

Okay, onto the ways that have saved Kate’s skin!

Suffering from acne all her teen years & most of her twenties, she has tried almost every face wash on the market but the only one that has made a difference month after month, day after day? Well, that my friends is Obagi CLENZIderm Daily Foaming Cleanser. Like myself, Kate also has a wonderful little cystic-chinny-chin-chin breakout when her gift from God (or Science) makes its appearance every month; but with the use of this cleanser (and a couple other things) her breakouts have been EXTREMELY limited. I’m talking maybe one every three months. Maybe.

The other product that has helped? A toner. A drugstore witch hazel toner (say whaaaat?!?!). Thayers, actually. Since Kate’s acne is in remission, she continues to battle with its after-effects, like, dull skin. But this $11 toner has helped her TREMENDOUSLY! She is on her third bottle! The witch hazel extract contains tannins that help remove excess oil from the face. The tannins (sound familiar – think matcha!) also reduce inflammation and irritation preventing future breakouts. And because it’s an antioxidant (notice a theme?), it helps brighten the skin! Guys, Mother Earth really gives us the good stuff.

Like myself, Kate knows that skincare isn’t as easy as just buying these products, but it’s also about taking care of yourself. Her tip? Beauty sleep. It’s a real thing. REST DOES WONDERS, especially for your skin. When you sleep, your body boosts blood flow to the skin. This means you wake up with plump and glowy skin. Have you noticed when you stay up late working and only get a few hours of sleep you wake up with puffy eyes and a dull complexion? That’s because you didn’t get enough beauty sleep! It’s a thing, guys. Let your body recover, regenerate, and replenish!

There ya have it, these are products and practices that have magically transformed our skin!
As much as we would hate to admit, we weren’t fully comfortable with leaving the house with our bare skin.
But because these products and practices have worked, we do and we werk it!

Let us know if you try any of these products! If you do, we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Comment below!

xo,
Kim
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We were going to talk this week about skincare (because we are so fucking passionate about it & we think everyone deserves to understand it), BUT we decided to switch it up – LET’S TALK FITNESS!

Kim and I have both been doing pretty damn well when it comes to reaching our fitness goals. I mean, this week, Kim joined the 250 club in Pure Barre! That means she has gotten her ass outta the house, dressed and then werked through two hundred and fifty Pure Barre classes!! YASSS QUEEEEN. I, on the other hand, have seen the lowest number on the scale that I have seen in years! I know, I know, it’s just a number, but for someone who has been battling with their weight for quite some time now, all while eating better (not psycho dieting) & leading a ‘normal’ life – this is huge! It’s called balance people! That shit is real.

What have we seen to REALLY work for us though? Like for real, for real? Find an exercise that you thoroughly enjoy, don’t make yourself run if you hate running. Say no to that second piece of chocolate (one is okay if it’s not every day!), try the cold brew coffee with a hint of cream (put down the caramel macchiatos, people!), put the wine down every now and then (or try to not drink during the week – try yoga when you feel stressed), break a sweat everyday (okay maybe take one day off if you feel like it).

The hardest one for me personally? The exercise. By. Far.

Bryce & I are outdoor people. We could be outside all damn day if the weather cooperated (& if baby boy didn’t have allergies). Somedays though the weather doesn’t cooperate (all week this week) & we have to resort to walking laps around the mall BUT that gets dangerous quick because clearly, I have my wallet on me & I a l w a y s “need” something. So I needed to find something that works, something practical for my lifestyle. I bought an elliptical years back when I was lazy, in my multiple happy-hours-a-week-days & didn’t care enough to change my diet. I thought getting on the ellitical 20 mins a day three times a week was going to fix all my problems (HA!). Thankfully I bought the elliptical then because I truly love it now. BUT recently things have gone to a whole new level – I discovered Aaptiv. A fellow blogger, Mollie Moore, shared about Aaptiv & how much she loved it (plus she had a few codes to share to get a month free) so I said sign me up! And I’m so happy I did.

Aaptiv is an app that offers on-demand fitness classes and training programs led by personal trainers all from your phone! You can choose from beginner, intermediate or advanced workouts AND they offer all the time frames. For example, last night, I chose a killer 15 minute HIIT on the elliptical & then a 5-minute stretch – all while Aaptiv was in my ear. PLUS the 15 minute HIIT was called Cardio B. so that was fun. Side note: I don’t care how ridiculous Cardi is, girl’s got talent, okkkurr!? I opted for a shorter workout last night since I was able to achieve 10k steps by 3pm; I just listened to my body because I did not want to overdo it (that my friends is no fun). I tend to usually stick to their 30-40 minute workouts. I also use Aaptiv at home and outdoors – you can use it anywhere! Even the office and, of course, the gym. I love using Aaptiv for cardio, core work, and even stretching, but that isn’t all Aaptiv offers. They even offer training for marathons! How cool is that?! I’d never do one, but still, it’s cool! They also offer guides for meditation & yoga, I have yet to try those (as I love Yoga with Adriene for that kind of thing), but I am excited to give them a try too! One thing I really love about Aaptiv is that each workout has a personal trainer – these cost a fortune in real life – so it’s nice that there is someone to motivate you when you’re working out on your own. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I tell the personal trainer to shut up (she can’t hear me, okay) but it’s only because they are pushing me hard, being too positive (#imserious) or talking over the music that I want to hear. Despite that, it is SO nice to not have to think about what to do during a workout, having someone tell you every move of your workout is a tremendous help especially when you’re a mom & your workout time is also your checkout time. Before Aaptiv, I read books or watched shows while working out & I would QUICKLY get distracted, forget which set I was on, what time I started and so on, but with Aaptiv that is impossible!

The Aaptiv app has been a complete game changer in my fitness journey & I’d love to share it with you! You can try it for free for one month – just comment with your email below, text me or DM me!  #WeGotThis

xo,
Kate
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essentials-the-beach-edition

Warm weather has FINALLY made its debut, just in time for beach season!! I’m heading to the shore this weekend and though I may not be packing a swimsuit (it’s going to be in the 60s in NJ) I am packing my SPF & sandals! BUT in two weeks when I do head down to the good ol’ OCMD, here is what I plan to bring to survive. 🙂

Let’s start with skin…

In our opinion (and dermas), skin needs the most care when you spend a day in the sun. Up until a couple years ago, I never really took SPF seriously, and now I am way too familiar with sun spots & sun damaged skin. And now that I have a little guy to take care of, we don’t skimp on the sunscreen around these parts. I’ve discovered Babyganics for Brycie, which you can find just about anywhere (including Target); we love the SPF 50+. For us elders, I’ve discovered Alba Botanica’s Hawaiian Coconut Sunscreen (shoutout to Costco, the real MVP) & I AM LOVING IT. If you aren’t a Costco member, no worries, they also sell Alba Botanica products at Target and Whole Foods! My son and I spend so much time outside that this has been a product I have used every day this week. Like, it sits right next to my dry shampoo on my dresser. It’s a big deal. And a MUST. Not only do I spray my whole body, but I also take special care of my face cuz it has come a long way and I must protect the work I’ve done. (That work is tone + exfoliate.) I’ve been using two SPF’s on my face because it can’t hurt, right?

As I’ve shared before, Tarte’s Amazonian Clay BB Tinted moisturizer is lightweight & capable of substantial coverage! It’s also an everyday use. For those days that are entirely spent in the sun, you’ll need a little bit more than an SPF 20. This is where Alba Botanica’s Hawaiian Sunscreen SPF 45 comes into play. It smells great & it’s all sorts of eco-friendly – no testing on animals, coral reef safe & biodegradable – just to name a few. Now, once you get back to your condo after a day on the beach and you realize maybe you didn’t spray on that SPF as often as you think, slab on your Korres After Sun Greek Yoghurt Cooling Lotion! THIS STUFF IS THE BEST. I’ve used it year after year & do not plan on stopping unless, of course, I pay more attention to the clock and apply SPF more frequently. Okay, lastly in our sunny little skincare department – COOLA Classic Liplux SPF 30. Have you ever had sunburned lips? It’s not fun or is it pretty.

Inexpensive but polarized sunnies. I love these from Nordy’s & have even given them as gifts because they are so cute! The quality is pretty awesome for $14! But why inexpensive for the beach? Well, I don’t know about you, but at the beach, I tend to develop some type of disorder where I always lose my sunnies. Maybe it’s because I always go in the water with them on my head or I put them on my chair & they slide off into the unknown. I’ve given up on taking the fancy pants pair to the beach & stick with polarized inexpensive ones – that I love just as much! A couple other accessories that make the salt life relaxing af? A straw hat. I snagged this one from Amazon last Spring and I can honestly say I am stoked to wear it again this season. If you aren’t a pom pom kinda girl, check out this one. Literally. Checked out. How perfect is that for a day by the water?! Love love love.

In between my cat naps and splashing around the water, I read. It breaks up the day, and why not spend your down time expanding your mind? Now, I know I know – I have a child how do I read? Well, I don’t get too that much but the second someone rests their little eyes, I grab the book. I bring a book and a trashy mag… for options (and because his nap could only last ten minutes). Two books I cannot recommend enough are The Light We Lost & The Glass Castle. I could NOT put these down when I got started and plan to read them again, they’re that good.

After taking a dip in the ocean, I always try to brush my hair. I keep a wet brush handy to brush out all the tangles. I love this brush and cannot be without it! It rakes through the nappiest of hair with little to no effort, and you don’t even need to spray in hair detangler. It’s magical, and ya need it. And because I may be a little extra and want to look like the women in a Sports Illustrated magazine, I spritz in the Fekkai Soleil Beach Spray. Not only does it add texture to your hair, but it also adds volume (once your hair dries) and shine thanks to the added sunflower seed oil.

Okay, so now that we have all these essentials, we have to carry them around somehow. Baggu offers the cutest canvas totes in a variety of patterns. I love this as a beach bag because it’s huge and can hold all of my essentials with a little more room to boot. Another reason I love this bag? It’s made with recycled cotton. Saving the earth and looking cute is my kind of thing… if you haven’t picked up on that.

What are your beach essentials?? We’d love to know!!

xo,
Kate

 

 

 

 

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mothers-day-gift-guide

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and if you’re anything like me, you’re a last minute shopper. Can’t help it – I guess I really love the thrill of finding the perfect gift under a time crunch. But don’t worry, in this gift guide, I’ll be sharing some gift ideas that you’ll receive just in time to hear, “I love it – you’re my favorite child…”

All mom’s are different, so I’m going to give you some options that fall into the categories of: pretty, practical, and sentimental.

Let’s start of with Pretty Mother’s Day Gifts!
  1. An Engravable – either a necklace or bracelet – your mom will LOVE it. These jewels are super dainty and lightweight, and will hold some sort of sentimental value because you can engrave anything you’d like. For example: her children’s birthdays, her favorite quote, children’s names or initials, or even a word that describes her in totality. I’ve gifted this to my mom, and several of my mom friends, and it’s always a big hit! Did I mention they are both under $80? BECAUSE until May 14, all engravables are 20% off!
  2. This Voluspa Candle Set is gorgeous. This set comes with six candles, and would look perfect on any coffee table or on top of any bathroom sink counter. Not to mention, voluspa candles smell amazing!
Practical Mother’s Day Gifts
  1. I know most people save electronics for Father’s Day; but honestly, this next gift is something anyone can appreciate. This Bose Bluetooth Speaker would be a perfect addition to your momma’s home. She’ll be able to listen to music she loves, audio books, and/or podcasts! I something similar for my dad a few Father’s Days back – but always come home to see my mom dancing around the house listening to her jams while cleaning. While you’re at it, you should buy your mom a Spotify account too! Perfect gift bundle.
  2. Give your mom the gift of one less household chore, and snag her this robo-vac! I cannot tell you how life changing this little robot vacuum is; ever since we bought ours, dust bunnies cease to exist and the amount of dog hair is significantly less noticeable. You can help your mom program the vacuum, so it cleans her house every day at a certain time. She will love this gift for sure!
Sentimental Mother’s Day Gifts
  1. Frame old photos! A while back, I found myself looking through old photo albums that live in a bookcase that is overlooked all the time. I found photos from my parent’s wedding and my childhood that were so funny, the photo was just asking to be framed. I know frames can be a little pricey, but you can certainly find affordable ones from Target, Michaels, or even Home Goods!
  2. Re-enact old photos. My sister and I have yet to do this, but we’ve been meaning to. This might take a little extra planning, but can be knocked out in a day. Basically, dress in similar clothes, and re-enact the photo. Not only will the end product give your mom all the joy in the world, but ya also get some quality sibling time!
  3. DIY – y’all know that Kate and I enjoy crafting things up for our own home. If you’re own the creative side, or not, a DIY gift is, for the lack of better words, customizable. So your DIY gift can be on the artsy side; for example, I plan on cross stitching something for my mom. It can be on buying a bunch of little things and wrapping them in a gift basket. Does your mom like to pamper herself? Buy some of her favorite products to have a spa day at home. Does your mom love to cook or bake? Buy a cookbook and really pretty cookware.

Hope these gifts bring your mom joy or at least give you a few ideas of your own!
Would love to hear what you buy for your ma! Leave us a comment below.

xo,
Kim
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