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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!


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!!







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.


It’s that time again! The Sephora Spring Bonus Sale is almost here, and boy, do I need to calm the heck down. Major sales only happen twice a year at Sephora – and just so happens to be the only times I tend to stock up. I wanted to share with you a few items I want to pick up and, I think, you might enjoy!

The Rundown:

Between Friday, April 20 and Monday, April 23, VIB Rouge, VIBs, and BeautyInsiders can shop in-store or online at a discount.

VIB Rouge receive 15% off with the code “YAYROUGE

VIB receive 15% off with the code “YAYVIB

BeautyInsiders* receive 10% off with the code “YAYINSIDER
*If you sign up today – or any day before April 20, you are eligible for the BeautyInsider 10% off during the Spring Bonus Sale. 

There are some exclusions to be aware of:

  • Cannot be applied to previous purchases, gift cards, Flash shipping or PLAY! by Sephora subscriptions, or combined with any Promo Codes.
  • Not valid on The Ordinary
  • Limit of 1 Dyson item “per transaction”
  • Limit of 3 Drunk Elephant items “per transaction”

Okay, now that I’ve got all that out of the way, I now want to share with you a couple products I plan to repurchase, and a few products I plan to purchase and try for the first time!


My f a v o r i t e category. And to be honest, I had to REALLY reign it in. There is SO much I want to try, but to keep my skin (and aesthetician) happy, I limited myself to things I really just needed. I know, I know – I’m proud of me too.

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream – $68
An anti-aging moisturizer, and packed with all the good stuff – amino acids, peptides, and growth factors that replenish your skin, and reduces lines, wrinkles, and sun-damage. But what really sealed the deal for me were the reviews from people with similar skin type as me. I’m combination-oily, and want a moisturizer that isn’t heavy, people with my skin type kept saying they could wear this during the day without turning into an oil slick. And the icing on the cake? I kept reading things like, “better texture” and “smaller pores.” Done. Add to cart. I will keep you all apprised of my thoughts on this cream. Me thinks it’ll all be positive.

tarte – Knockout Tingling Treatment – $39
I know what you’re thinking. Skincare from a makeup company? I know – I really think that companies should stay in their lane and perfect whatever category they’re known for. However, I made an exception for this exfoliating toner. I’m a huge fan of lactic (AHA) and salicylic (BHA) acids, and when I saw this – it immediately piqued my interest. So what’d I do? Go to YouTube, of course!

I watched a video from a YouTuber I admire and trust the most, Stephanie Nicole. She talks about the product for five minutes, and she was so impressed by it, that I was sold. This stuff is perfect for any skin type – the only thing I would keep in mind is if you are not used to acids, you may experience a tingling/burning sensation. If you’re not into that idea – stay clear.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum – $80
A repurchase for myself and Kate. We both see a noticeable difference in how our skin looks and feels – this stuff truly works. Kate and I have seen a difference in our skin tone and texture.


Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Perfecting Primer – $38
My cousin introduced this primer to me during my trip to California. My skin has been whackadoo lately, and really need to keep the oil slick on my face at bay. It’s to the point where my foundation lays weird and breaks up on my chin and around my nose – I was so over it. I used this primer during my grandpa’s 90th birthday – and my face stayed in place! I was so impressed, that I added to my cart. Here’s to hoping that this stuff holds up to the mugginess that often comes to Maryland during the Spring and Summer months.

COVER FX – Power Play Foundation – $44
Keeping to the same theme in staying as matte as possible. I noticed Cover FX released a new foundation perfect for combination oily skin types. My sister really enjoys this brand, and has encouraged me to check it out. I’m finally taking her advice – so I’m trying this foundation. There are 40 shades to choose from, and offers options for neutral, pink, and golden undertones. The reviews have me really pumped – I keep reading things like, “no transfer” and “stays all day.” My favorite line though – “this foundation survived a half marathon.” If that doesn’t sell it for you, I don’t know what would…


COOLA – Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum – $54
Because I never leave the house without 50 SPF on my face, it tends to be several shades lighter than the rest of my body. I’m somewhat afraid of tanning oils – but since this is buildable – it makes me less nervous. I also really love this brand because it’s organic and so safe, even pregnant ladies can use it! I’m super excited to try this because, again, the reviews are pretty stellar.

COOLA -Sunless Tan Dry Body Oil Mist – $46
Kate recommended this even before I mentioned the face serum – unfortunately, it’s sold out. But I’m hoping it’ll be available during the sale – even if it isn’t I plan on purchasing anyway. Again, this is a gradual build, and would really just like to maintain a bronzed glow through the summer. I use SPF all over, guys – I’m paranoid.

A Few Other Suggestions…

Fragrances! If you’ve got your eye on a particular perfume or cologne – the Sephora Spring Sale Bonus is the time to buy. Fragrances NEVER go on sale, and are on the pricier side – so save yourself a few bucks. A few suggestions: JO MALONE LONDON Peony & Blush Suede CologneESTÉE LAUDER Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche Skinscent, and ELIZABETH AND JAMES Nirvana Black. Jo Malone is perfect for Spring (if it ever decides to show up). Bronze Goddess literally smells like summer. Nirvana Black is feminine and masculine all at once and makes me feel sexy – perfect for date night!

Tools! Specifically for cleansing and hair. I cannot live without my clarisonic – this cleansing brush will leave your face squeaky clean. I accidentally left this behind during my trip to California, and noticed that my face felt a little clogged and looked a little dull. When I got back, I used it, and immediately my skin looked and felt 10x better.

The next item I would suggest snagging during this sale is an item I reviewed before – and I am so happy with this trio. The T3 Micro Whirl Interchangeable Styling Wand would be a great addition to your styling tools or if you’re just in the market of a high quality set. Again, a pricier item; however, are rarely on sale.

Alright, there ya have it – my suggestions for the Sephora Spring Bonus Sale!
Have you had your eye on anything?  I would love to know – I’m always up for trying new things.
You’ll also have to tell me if you purchased any of the items, I plan to buy – I would love to trade thoughts.

in Beauty

A Well Oiled Life


It wasn’t until I became a momma that I really started to think about the products I used & put into my body. I discovered essential oils when I was pregnant, & from then on, my eyes were opened to all the damn chemicals in e r y t h a n g! I knew my body was absorbing every substance I applied but I was ignorant to what they could in fact do to my body.

I now try my HARDEST to pay attention to everything I use but, sadly, it can get exhausting. For instance, I raved about some new nail polish I found at the drugstore yesterday – the colors are so good. BUT, the first ingredient? Formaldehyde. If you aren’t familiar with formaldehyde, take a second to educate yourself and check this out. Big ol’ bleh! 

Growing up, oils & incense were the norm – my house always reeked of sage (I say reeked because my dad drowned us in this scent). My dad has always used essential oils as cologne, but it took me 25+ years to realize that there are benefits to these oils. Honestly, I thought he just liked smelling like the wilderness (he will take that as a compliment). My popps uses frankincense essential oil on the reg – which can benefit the immune system in tremendous ways, huge plus for a guy fighting MS! I just discovered frankincense on my most recent trip out west (where my parents reside) and I ended up coming down with some sort of bug. I decided not to freak out & go to the doctor for an antibiotic – one that they might not even give me – and I stuck to oils, teas, fresh air, hot showers & rest. Kicked that bug by my own damn self! I used frankincense on my feet at night, eucalyptus oil in the diffuser and I like to think it helped a lot. Now, I’m not saying oils can cure all that ails you; but I’m saying they are worth a try & have been workin’ wonders for me.

This flu season did feel like the worst ever; just like the winter seemed like the longest ever. And with an infant, germs seem so much more relevant than they ever have before. Another oil that I learned to love is a blend by doTERRA – doTERRA’s Breathe Respiratory blend. It smells wonderful, and it’s not too strong. All you have to do is open that little bottle, take a deep breath & let the oil do the rest. It has such a calming effect (as does Lavender!). If you want to get really wild, you can even drop a couple drops into your diffuser while you sleep and that my friends is the. good. stuff.

Not only have I fallen for oils, but I’ve also recently brought yoga back into my life. For some lazy ass reason I took a break once I got pregnant – I mean yeah, I couldn’t get down on all fours anymore but I could’ve been doing some sun salutations… Anyways, now at night even if I’m just doing a five-minute stretch before bed, I’ll rub some oils on my feet, back of my neck and behind my ears to help me relax. It’s pretty wild what scent can do for your state of mind – it truly is invigorating. Of course, a couple deep breaths and a child who sleeps through the night really helps me relax too. My favorite oils for this kind of night include lavender & peppermint. Peppermint oil is also great for headaches… which I tend to have the next morning if my darling little sweetie pants didn’t feel like sleeping through the night. All you have to do is rub a little peppermint oil on your temples & don’t forget those deep breaths, people!

Now let’s say that my darling little sweetie pants does sleep through the night? And I wake up feeling like a human, I’ll drop one or two grapefruit oil drops onto my wrists. Grapefruit oil is known for its mood uplifting tendencies – and a plus? It smells marvelous.

Confession: I have only used essential oils as perfume since Bryce was about a month old. It was my husband & I’s first date night post birth & I put on perfume before we went out. Bryce wouldn’t come to me – he screamed when I got near him. So it scarred me and possibly him. Yeah, I’m dramatic and mom guilt is real. So ever since, I’ve used oil blends. They really do the trick for perfume! Plus you can customize them to the scent that you love!

My oil journey is just beginning but I’m really loving where it is taking me. PLEASE share your favorite oil blends, brands & tips with me. I am immensely intrigued by what oils YOU love!

in Beauty

Beautycounter Product Review


It’s no secret that Kate and I are obsessed with skincare and beauty; but what I think we haven’t highlighted is that we are also on a mission to find products where the quality of ingredients are held to a higher standard, but is also just plain safe. We were somewhat familiar with Beautycounter, but wanted to know more – so when Kate and I were invited to a Beautycounter Social, we had to be there!

Prior to trying some of the Beautycounter products, our hostess, Sarah, threw some fast facts at us – and can I just say, by the end of the presentation our jaws were on the floor. We could not believe how far behind the United States is in passing federal laws regulating the cosmetic industry. For example, the European Union has banned over 1,300 ingredients over the last two decades. The United States? Eleven. ELEVEN. Can you believe that!? It is frightening to think about the crap that we freely put on, even inside, our bodies! Anyway, let’s move on from this “we’re doomed” talk.

Right away, Kate and I were drawn to a couple products and decided to purchase:

I, personally, was running low on face cleanser and an everyday foundation, so I added the following to my order as well:

And because we joined as VIPs, we each received the Nourishing Cream Cleanser (a $28 value) for free.

Cleansing Balm

Kate and I LOVE this cleansing balm. This stuff works wonders in removing even the toughest waterproof mascara. The balm leaves our skin feeling clean and moisturized. What we love even more is this balm is a “multitasker.” When our skin is feeling dry, we like smooth a thin layer of the balm on our face as an overnight mask. When we wake up, our skin looks plump and feels hydrated. I don’t know about you, but this winter season has completely taken a toll on our hands and cuticles. No matter how often we apply lotion, minutes later, we need more! This balm does wonders in keeping our hands and cuticles moisturized.

kimandkateblog cleansing balm

Verdict: While we both enjoy this cleansing balm, the $80 price point has us pumping the brakes a bit. The balm is definitely a splurge, and is something we plan to repurchase again when we have a few extra bucks in our pockets. It seems a jar of organic, cold pressed coconut oil could also accomplish the similar (not fully the same) results.

Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion

Finding a moisturizer for skin that can be dry & oily all in the same day is near impossible. We were beginning to think the hunt for a moisturizer for our combination skin would never end – BUT IT HAS! Kate suffers from cystic breakouts that can leave her skin extremely dry and flaky at times, but with Countermatch – she has seen zero flaking!! A little goes a long way – we’ve seen this to be true with all Beautycounter products.

My face tends to be on the oily side, and some moisturizers I’ve used in the past just adds to the pools of oil on my face. I find that this moisturizer is super light, non-greasy, and absorbs quickly into my skin. While, we cannot scientifically prove whether this moisturizer actively adjusts to our skin’s hydration levels as Beautycounter claims – all we can say is that it just works for us. With that…

Verdict: Kate and I are obsessed with this lotion and plan to repurchase again and again. We love it that much! As for the price, we find the cost comparable to those on the market.

Rejuvenating Face Cleanser

Even though Beautycounter says it isn’t necessary to use a cleanser after the cleansing balm, I do each time. I love completely erasing the day off my face. Since my skin is on the oily side, I find that residual cleansing balm doesn’t actually help my skin – except for nights I use Retin-A.

With that, I have been enjoying the Rejuvenating Face Cleanser… a lot. It’s a gel based cleanser, and for my oily skin, I really feel that it’s helping improve my complexion – leaving my skin brighter and clearer. I don’t attribute the cleanser being the sole product responsible for clearing or brightening my skin, but it’s certainly helping. My only gripe with this product is the packaging. I really hate the twist off cap – I would so much prefer the bottle to snap open/shut. Also, the bottle is made out of material that allows dirt/makeup to stick. Pet peeve. I find myself cleaning the bottle off every so often because it just gets so dang grimy. Definitely first world problems; but if I’m dishing out $43 for the product, I expect some sort of luxe and easy access to the product.

Verdict: I really like this cleanser, and plan on repurchasing. However, since I received a bottle of the Nourishing Cream Cleanser, I plan on purchasing the Rejuvenating Face Cleanser afterward! Hopefully by then, a new packaging will be available!

Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation

This has been my go-to foundation on days I go into the office or run errands. The foundation offers light to medium coverage, and gives off a dewy, natural finish. I know what you’re thinking – “but Kim, you have oily skin!” As with all my foundations, I just set the tint skin with a setting powder – my current fave is the Dermablend Loose Setting Powder. This keeps the oil at bay and makes your pores nonexistent! Anyway, I do end up looking dewy by the end of the day – but not like I rubbed my face in olive oil. I also noticed that Beautycounter offers their Tint Skin in a broad range of colors – from super fair to very deep. I thought this was important to note as they seem to be more inclusive than other well known brands.

Verdict: I like this foundation. Is it life changing? No. Will I repurchase? Yes, but not right away. I have a few more on my list I’d like to try. I think if you’re in the market for an everyday foundation that is light weight and have normal to dry skin – this foundation is for you.

Nourishing Cream Cleanser

Kate almost exclusively uses the Obagi CLENZIderm M.D. Daily Foaming Cleanser to keep her cystic acne at bay. However, she finds that the Obagi cleanser can be a bit drying. To help her skin recover, she uses the Beautycounter cleanser 2-3 times a week. The cleanser is calming and hydrating, and provides the TLC that she so often needs.

Verdict: This bottle was free this time around; but at only $28, this will definitely be a cleanser that Kate will keep on rotation.

We hope you enjoyed this review!

If any of the items piqued your interest – click over to our friend, and Beautycounter consultant, Sarah’s Beautycounter page. She can answer any of the questions you have about any of the Beautycounter products.

Have you tried Beautycounter? Tell us about the products you love!


Kate and I have a major problem – neither of us can get a consistent night’s sleep! Our brains cannot and will not shut off. We’re exhausted and sleep deprived most days. However, for the past few months, Kate and I have been exchanging tips that seem to help us get to sleep and stay asleep. We thought we would share our sleep tips with you all because it seems that we are not alone!

First things first: your bedroom should be used for two things, and two things only – SLEEP and SEX. Any other activity other than sleep or sex in your bedroom can literally rewire your brain making sleep more challenging.

Create the Ambiance
  • Your bed should be comfortable. We know this is obvious, but you’d be shocked as to how many people settle for uncomfortable beds! It’s no wonder why people can’t get to sleep or wake up in pain.
  • Your bedroom should be the “perfect” temperature – not too hot, not too cold; think: Goldilocks effect.
  • Cater to your “scent”ses. We LOVE essential oils, and we have a slight obsession with our diffusers. An hour or so before crawling into bed, we put a couple drops of lavender oil and turn the diffuser on. The scent of of the lavender immediately puts us in a relaxed mood, and prepares us for sleep! Here are a couple diffusers we like: Ellia Voyage Portable Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser or SpaRoom® EnlightenTM Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser. These are also perfect for your little one’s room, especially those that are a humidifier AND diffuser all in one, like this! We also really enjoy the brand Aura Cacia for the essential oils – you can find it almost any where Target, Walgreens, and even Whole Foods!
  • Your bedroom should be dark – not just from outside sources (like the moon or street lamps), I’m talking the glow from whatever in your room is charging, or even your clock! Kate and I live for our eye masks; like this one: Free People Starry Eyed Mask. We put this on once we’ve accomplished all nighttime tasks! Having an eye mask on helps us stop ourselves from doing anything other than sleep!

We’re all guilty of this – winding down, snuggling into bed, and either watching tv or fiddling on our phones checking all forms of social media and email. Stop this. This is far too much stimulation for your brain during a time where it should be winding down and shutting off. Sadly, this is the most difficult thing to put into practice. Our top tip is to make your phone inaccessible. Charge your phone across the room, or even better – in a completely different room altogether. Also, no television – it just doesn’t belong in your room. Period.

Another Reason to Exercise

Kate and I found that the days we worked out, we slept better. We thought this was just a fluke, but then we looked it up. Apparently, early morning and afternoon workouts may help reset the body’s sleep wake cycle by raising the body temperature and then lowering it a few hours later, triggering sleepiness. Huh, who knew!? Not only that, but exercise also reduces stress and tires you out. So make time for this – this is one activity that takes care of you mind, body, and soul.

Silence isn’t Golden

Okay, so complete silence freaks us out. Being able to hear every bump in the night is the actual worst – I can’t tell you how often I hear a bump and immediately think I am going to die or become possessed. Anyway, it isn’t healthy and it impedes on the whole sleep thing. When I moved in with my boyfriend – he did this. Complete silence. Ew. Anyway, we exclusively sleep with an air purifying fan tower running – like these: Winix Large Air Purifier or Lasko Oscillating Fan Tower. White noise should allow you to rest easy just a bit more.

Write it Down

When your brain just won’t let go of a thought or idea… This happens to Kate and I all the time! So to appease the nagging thought – we keep a notebook and pen on our nightstand. That way, we can write it down, and let the thought go for the night. We do this knowing we can always address and run with the idea tomorrow – but ya can’t if you are sluggish from lack of sleep!

Try a Sleep Mask

Kate & I are those girls that will throw a mask on when we are stressed & exhausted, we like to believe they fix everything. At least they really do help to solve our skin problems. Give something like Nyakio’s Chamomile Soothing Sleep Mask a try and feel fresh faced in the morning! The hydration you’ll feel is unreal. This is our go to for radiant skin that doesn’t take months to achieve.

Just Breathe

So you’re still tossing and turning, and your brain still will not cooperate and let you sleep. Try a deep breathing exercise. Take a second to focus on your breathing. Hold your breath for two seconds and then breathe out for two seconds. Repeat this process until you reach a five second hold/release and start all over again. Eventually, you’ll be sent to dreamland.

We hope these tips and tricks to a better night’s sleep help you.
They’ve been working for us lately, and we surely hope it stays that way!
What do you do to get a good night’s sleep!? We’d LOVE to know!

in Beauty

Dry Shampoo Rundown


It’s true. Kim and I have tried all of the dry shampoo pictured – all nine of them. Four out of the nine are products we would recommend over and over. This journey of finding the best dry shampoo for us has been long and exhausting (I’m serious) – very happy to say that it is over.

Okay, I’ll get to the good stuff. Here are the dry shampoo that worked for us:

Batiste Hint of Color $5.99

MONAT The Champ Conditioning Dry Shampoo $34

Eleni & Chris Dry Texturizing Shampoo $27

KLORANE Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk  $20

Surprising?! Well, we’ve pretty much learned that you get what you pay for in M O S T circumstances. The budget friendly find that I wish I would have tried first (apparently it’s the world’s best known dry shampoo brand) is Batiste Hair’s Hint of Color. Being a brunette, residue from dry shampoo has always been the biggest issue for me; so finding a dry shampoo that enhances your hair color is the best thing ever… for dirty hair that is. Not only does Batiste have the budget friendly answer for brunettes but the brand also offers a hint of color for blondes. At only SIX DOLLARS, it’s a risk you’ll feel great about taking! Who am I kidding? It’s not at all a risk. Then we have MONAT’s The Champ Conditioning Dry Shampoo. This is the shampoo to use if you know you are going to hit snooze more than once in the morning. The Champ works wonders if you apply it before bed (it’s magic). The thing we really love about The Champ is that it is super lightweight AND there isn’t any residue. None. So when you wake up in the morning and your hair isn’t greasy? A win for sure. You can actually just blow dry your roots for a lil’ extra volume – if you need it.

Onto the next gold medalist – Eleni & Chris Dry Texturing Shampoo (sorry, I miss the Olympics). This shampoo is the one for you; if you are a blonde, white-haired, grey-haired, lime green haired, lavender haired (there are a lot of crazy hair trends out there)! The o n l y issue that I have faced as a brunette with this product is the residue, you really have to work it in, which is why it would work like a charm for those with lighter colored hair. As a mom, I don’t always have the time. But it’s one of my favorites because it adds SO much texture & volume. And it’s a dream come true for someone who has fine and thin hair!

Kim and I both have an irrational fear of aerosol cans exploding in our carry-ons mid-flight; so we were happy to find that another fave, the KLORANE’s Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk offers a non-aerosol version. Making it perfect for travel and keeping our anxieties contained. An added bonus? It works! This dry shampoo is a loose powder and it truly keeps sweat and oil at bay –  even during and after a workout!

Now, the problem with the ones that don’t work? The gist of it is that we’ve found we need to use so much, so often. That goes for Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Not Your Mother’s Plump For Joy Body Building Dr and Herbal Essences Bio Renew Revitalize Cucumber & Green Tea Dry Shampoo. As for Living Proof Perfect Hair Day – we were kind of surprised because we’ve heard SO many people rave about it! The issue? It makes your hair feel like you sprayed your entire head with a super strong hold hairspray. And no matter how little you spray – you’ll find that the powder sits on your scalp, making it somewhat irritating! Not what we are going for.

It seems like most of the women in our lives are always looking for that perfect dry shampoo; and we hope this helped! Do you have a dry shampoo you love?? Let us know!

in Beauty

Face Masks We LOVE


As I sit here with GlamGlow’s SUPERMUD Clearing Treatment on my this-time-of-the-month-chin breakouts, I can’t help but wonder – what would I do without face masks?!

With face masks running the beauty market, Kim & I thought it would be helpful to share our favorite face masks so you don’t have to go searching for the good ones. Yup, we did the dirty work for you. Pun intended. Like, I literally have mud on my face.

#1 Let’s start off with one of the most unique beauty brands out there, Drunk Elephant. We love this brand because of its high quality. Also, we are total suckers for cute packaging. Now, the packaging does not have anything to do with why this mask is one of our favorites but it’s always nice to have pretty little containers fill your vanity. The T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial improves skin texture & gives you that radiant skin you’ve been yearning for.

#2 Mario Badescu is a name that you may be familiar with as Badescu began his skin revolution in the city we all know & love, New York. This brand is known for their gentle regimens that work wonders for all skin types. The Silver Powder is a treatment WAY different from the others. Working best on congested skin (blackheads blackheads blackheads), you dampen a cotton ball & dredge it into the Silver Powder then apply on your problem areas. Or all over, like I do. I know, it sounds really weird – like am I baking chicken or am I putting on a face mask? BUT for stubborn blackheads, this is my go-to!

#3 Eleni & Chris is a brand we recently have been familiarized with & we quickly fell hard for everything from their dry shampoo to face masks – their sheet masks in particular. Some sheet masks we’ve tried tend to be flimsy & constantly remind you of why they were $1 at CVS (no shame in the budget game!) but for a sheet mask that feels luxurious and works like a charm? Give Eleni & Chris a try! They offer a Detox, Glow, & Hydration. A sure winner for every skin type.

#4 GlamGlow SUPERMUD Clarifying Treatment is hands down the best clarifying spot treatments I have ever used. In all my years of trying to zap pesky breakouts, this one does the work the best. Sadly, it’s a little on the pricey side so I don’t always have it on hand but when I do, I know my hormonal breakouts will be short-lived.

#5 I’ve shared this mask before and I’ll share it again because this Luxurious 24k Gold Bio-collagen face mask truly is the best when it comes to needing a boost. Literally a boost, your skins elasticity will improve almost immediately. Yeah, you may look like a gremlin or someone out of Wrong Turn (horrible freaking movie) why you have the mask on BUT when you wake up the next morning, you’ll be glowing. This mask makes your skin youthful, radiant, dewey & smooth within your first use.

#6 Indian Healing Clay. What doesn’t this mask do? It purifies, shrinks pores & dries out any breakouts. You simply mix the clay with apple cider vinegar, apply to your face & wait a few minutes… before you know it – the mask begins to work – your face will literally pulsate. Once you rinse the mask off, you’ll have flush skin that has never felt cleaner!

Let us know if the comments below if you love any of these masks too!

OR if you can recommend a mask you think we’d love!


I’m going to let you all in a little secret – for YEARS, I curled my hair with a “curling wand” that I “Macgyver’d,” by simply unscrewing the clip that had loosened. Actually, the whole barrel was loose, but I kept using it anyway. Embarrassing – but it got the job done. For the longest time, I saw my favorite bloggers post about T3 curling irons. I always thought they were beautiful, but just couldn’t bear to dish out the money. However, when I saw the T3 Micro Whirl Trio Set, I thought to myself – “maybe it’s about damn time for an upgrade.”

I mean, the T3 Micro Whirl Trio design is just stunning – the white barrels with the rose gold accents can make any countertop look pretty. With all the hype and the sheer beauty of these wands, you can imagine just how excited I was when this set arrived at my doorstep!

What you receive in the set:
  • 1.25″ – .75″ tapered barrel
  • 1.5″ straight barrel
  • 1″ straight barrel
  • storage tote
  • heat-resistant glove
What look each barrel can achieve:
  • The 1.25″-.75″ tapered barrel is best for: (1) beachy waves, (2) textured waves and curls, (3) loose tousled curls, or (4) natural looking waves.
  • The 1.5″ straight barrel is best for: (1) red carpet glamour waves, (2) full-bodied waves, or (3) volume with bend or flipped ends.
  • The 1″ straight barrel is best for: (1) uniform spiral curls, (2) perfect mermaid waves, or (3) defined waves and curls.

kimandkateblog t3micro

Each barrel can easily inserted in the base and locked into place. There are five heat settings ranging from 260-410 degrees; easily adjustable for any hair type and texture. I keep mine on the third setting since my hair is fine and has a natural curl.

The barrels are made out of tourmaline and ceramic. Meaning, the barrels emit ions that leave curls looking smooth and shiny. T3 Micro has developed Singlepass technology allowing each barrel to deliver even and consistent heat allowing your curls to stay! No need to redo your curls later in the day. Say whaaat!? And if you’re anything like me – you often wonder if you left your curling wand plugged into the wall. Well, have no fear, there is a built-in one hour auto-off. Whew.

Final thoughts:

I have used my set consistently over the last month, and let me just say – the hype is REAL. I prefer to use the tapered wand because I love the textured, beachy waves look – but have used them all. I am SO impressed with the curls and the staying power. The first few times, I didn’t use hair spray at all – and the curls remained for most of the day. I don’t know what it is, but the Singlepass technology truly works and I am incredibly impressed. Depending on the barrel, I can even go a couple of days without re-curling. However, the real MVP is the tapered barrel – my curls stay as long as 3-4 days. No joke.

kiandkateblog tapered wand

In my opinion, the T3 Micro Whirl Trio Set is a serious must have! There is a reason this particular set has won Allure magazine’s “Best of Beauty” Award three years in a row. Luckily for you, I found two discount codes that will earn you $50 off or 15% off your entire purchase.

Use coupon code: Save50 for $50 off your purchase through 2/19/2018.

Use coupon code: Hairstyle15 to save 15% off your purchase through 4/1/2018

Believe me when I say, you will LOVE this set.

Have you tried this set before? What’s your favorite barrel?

More into straight hair? Check out our review on the Amika Polished Perfection Straightening Brush.