It’s officially Spring -yay!- now tell that to my skin. Ok, to be fair NY in early Spring is basically the same as Winter in NY except I’m exposing my ankles and wearing lighter coats. (So maybe it feels even colder?!?) The heat is still on and the temps are tapping out in the 50’s (plus some serious wind making it feel like the mid-40s), making it the perfect cocktail for unsightly dryness. You know the kind, that you can’t really conceal with makeup and seems to bring out every pore and fine line. I’m combating this seasonal dehydration with gallons of water and virtually bathing in oil. And while my nighttime skincare regimen is chock full of oil-centric items, daytime was always a bit more difficult because dewiness can easily cross the line into greasiness. Enter my current must-have item - Peter Thomas Roth’s Oilless Oil™ 100% Purified Squalane.
The formula is super lightweight, odorless and made from naturally sourced plant-based squalane which mimics skin’s natural moisture. The result is a fast-absorbing oil that bestows a just-back-from-the-gym glow without having to step foot in one (double win). Most days I add a drop or two to my moisturizer for an extra hydrating zing or if it’s a more special occasion that requires foundation - date night, trips to target - add a drop to that too. I love that it gives extra slip and sheerness, without clogging pores. And since it’s super gentle, Oilless Oil can also be worn on the body, cuticles, even hair. (Note to self - this multi-tasker is a must for travel.) Have you tried it yet? How are you fighting dry skin this season?
Top 3 Mama Beauty Must-Haves
Effortlessly polished in a flash
Having a baby is a beautiful thing. It is also an all-consuming thing. And when you're juggling the babe, work and home, a girl learns to fine tune their multitasking skills, fast, especially in the beauty department. Here are a few of my current favorites:
A tried and true skincare regimen. Ok, ok, not a specific product, but having a skincare regimen that works for you has never been more important. There are hormonal fluctuations (oh hey adult acne!?) and some days where make-up is just not in the cards, so having a bare face that you feel confident in here is key. (And sunglasses to hide those late night dark circles always help, too.) I've said it time and time again, but VMV Hypoallergenics is my go-to. Gentle formulas that work - a serious must-try for mamas with sensitive skin. Bonus: They have items that work for mama AND baby, even newborns.
Concealer. Sleep can be fleeting, but just a touch of Cle de Peau concealer lets me fake 8-hours. (Yes, the price tag is steep, but a little goes a long way so the tube lasts forever. I've also heard really good things about this one from It Cosmetics that is a fraction of the cost. )
Lipstick. Red, berry, pink (this is not the time to go nude) - a pop of color instantly brightens your face, and give you a pulled together look. And since I refuse to not let my lip color stand in the way of giving infinite kisses and snuggles to my little, I opt for a budge-proof formula that won't transfer to her sensitive skin. (I'm always looking for new long-lasting formulas, so let me know if you have any favorites!)
What are you must-haves for getting out the door looking pulled together?
If there was one beauty item I couldn't live without, it would be without a doubt, red lipstick (with concealer and mascara as close seconds if I'm choosy). And this fact may be why I have so many in my overflowing makeup arsenal. (What IS all that other stuff anyway?!) A bold red lip adds instant polish, ups the cool factor and is an accessory in it's own right. Here are a few of my rouge faves:
Splurge: Cle de Peau Beaute Extra Rich Lipstick #311 ($65, cledepeaubeaute.com)
Super highly pigmented, this show-stopping red lasts all day with minimal touch-ups, and the perfect cool blue-red tone is perfect for when you're in between teeth whitenings.
Steal: Sonia Kushuk Satin Luxe Lipstick in Classic Red ($9.99, Target)
True to it's name, this lipstick gives a satiny finish that instantly dresses up even the most basic t-shirt and jeans. Add stripes to channel your inner French Girl.
Splurge: Anastasia Liquid Lipstick in Sarafine ($20, AnastasiaBeverlyHills.com)
OK, not technically a lipstick...BUT although it applies like a gloss, it has none of gloss' stickiness and wears forever.
Steal: Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Color in Siren in Scarlet ($8, drugstores)
When it comes to red lips, matte feels more impactful, and for less than $10, this one can't be beat!
What's your favorite red lipstick?
It may not be snowmageddon (at least not yet), but it IS time to winterize your skincare routine. And for me that means its time to step up my exfoliation game. (Remove dull, dry skin, boost cellular turnover and help reveal a more even, healthy complexion? Yes, please!) During the warmer months I typically exfoliate approximately 2-3 times a week, but with winter and it's dry, freezing wind coupled with my hot air heating, its time to up the ante, in a gentle, skin-pampering way, of course! Here's how I keep my skin in shape when the weather turns chilly.
- A gentle exfoliating cleanser. I have tried a TON of exfoliators, but having pretty sensitive skin, I've learned to steer clear of cleansers that are a bit too gritty. (You know which ones I'm talking about.) These can be a bit too abrasive and can actually leave micro-tears. Instead I look for a gentle scrub that I can use daily. This one from VMV Hypoallergenics is amazing! I love that it has a Dry Skin option that doesn't leave my skin feeling tight and itchy.
-Toner. I know so many people are anti-toner, but I'm a believer! Some people have a mask for every skin situation, I have a toner. Breakouts? Dark Spots? General skin prep? Got 'em covered (much to the chagrin of Mr. C, the collection of beauty products that lives in our bathroom seems to multiple overnight). Right now, I'm using this one which is formulated with unbuffered glycolic acid to help cell turnover and force new, younger, brighter cells to the surface. Maybe it's just me, but I find it strangely satisfying when I see a bit of left over dirt or makeup on the cotton ball after toning. It makes me think just how much is left behind by cleanser and how my skin is now squeaky clean. I use mine twice daily.
- Clarisonic. I'll be the first to admit that I was late to the Clarisonic party. Seriously late. But having recently received the Mia 2 for Christmas, I can say that I'm thoroughly smitten! After getting a little too brush happy, I've scaled back and starting using using it every 2 to 3 days with a gentle cream cleanser, and I'm really happy with the results. Afterward, I use a toner to seal the deal, obviously.
After all this exfoliation, I layer on a lightweight cream with SPF for day or a heavier, more nourishing cream or oil at night to help lock in moisture.
How do you get your skin winter-ready?
Do you remember 100 years ago when I was writing? I know, I barely recall it either. Life got busy, as it does, and then cold season happened. In a big way. Coughing, nose-blowing, voice gone, the works. It's one of the busiest times of the year, so I pumped myself full of antibiotics and Airbourne and tackled 6 events in 2 1/2 weeks. I wasn't contagious (thank you very much amoxicillin), but I still wasn't feeling (or let's face it, looking) so hot, BUT I was able to fake it. Here's how:
- Wake Up Early. I know, I know, this sounds crazy when you're feeling lousy. Listen, sleep is important, especially when you're not feeling well, but you know you always feel the worst when you wake up and when you go to bed. Wake up even just 10 minutes earlier than usual to give yourself time to pop a couple of Advil and get the worst part over. You'll likely be moving a little slower than usual so adding that buffer will keep you on time.
- Heat It Up. Hot water with lemon, hot tea, hot showers. Embrace them all. Those extra couple of minutes are clutch here. It's amazing what some hot water can do!
- Damage Control. If you were blowing your nose like I was, you're bound to be red and raw. Opt for a super nourishing moisturizer to keep dryness in check. This one from VMV Hypoallergenics was my go-to (with this one at night for extra healing). Spot treat redness with a tinted green concealer and then top of with a nude tone. Curl your lashes and add an extra layer of mascara to your top lashes to open up your eyes. Skip the lipstick since lips will likely be dry (another beautiful side effect), but add some color to your cheeks. Look for a cream formula for a dewy, well-rested, so-not-sick look.
- Pull It Together. When you're not feeling well, there is the tendency to want throw on yoga pants and call it a day. However I'm a big believer in "If you look good, you feel good, you do good." And if there was ever a time when you need to do good, it's for a work function with your favorite magazine! (Here's looking at you Vogue.) Go for high impact, low maintenance pieces. A no-fail LBD with a blazer, cashmere turtle neck with stand out accessories or a simple leather skirt paired with an chunk knit make it look like you put in effort, plus give you the cozy factor. Double win. Also, and maybe this is just me, but I feel like my hair never looks good when I feel sick. I don't even try to force it to do anything, I simply pull it back in a simple pony or bun. One less thing to worry about.
-Drink More Fluids. But for real. Not only will you chase away that cold quicker, but your skin will thank you before AND after your sick spell.
Here's to feeling better, faster!
It's unofficially summer, and that means two things, summer Fridays, and it's time to tweak your skincare regimen. Since East Coast weather is, just now, starting to heat up, I was a bit behind on my own update, but now that we're in full swing, it's time to assess and readjust. Here is how I make the seasonal switch:
- Lighten Up - Time to replace heavier foundations for tinted moisturizers or BB/CC creams. These let skin breathe (ie. less clogged pores), and you won't have to worry about having a makeup meltdown - double win. My all time favorite is VMV Hypoallergenics Skintangible. It's super lightweight, gives skin a dewy finish and offers SPF 30 protection. Completely obsessed.
- Switch Your Scent - Heavy, lingering fragrances can feel a overwhelming come the warmer months. If you are a certain scent devotee, look for a lighter eau de toilette or eau de cologne version. My go-to this summer is this scent from Burberry. It feels clean and fresh.
Embrace Bronzer - Just a dusting along the forehead, cheek bones and jawbones gives a well-rested radiance. Look for formulas that say illuminating, which will give an ever-so-slight glow, rather than full-on disco shimmer.
Put Your Best Foot Forward - It's sandal season. Make sure nails and nail beds are well-kept and hydrated. (This foot cream from LCN is amazing.) Complete the look with a fun pop of color. Right now, I'm wearing Elephantastic from OPI.
Lash Out - I like to keep my makeup minimal in the summer and that means just a hint of bronze plus mascara. I'm currently obsessed with this one from Touch in SOL. If gives super long length and doesn't budge or flake all day. Add a poppy lip color and you're set!
Happy Friday! This week has been a busy one (when is it not, really?) but these are worth taking pause for:
- Can't stop thinking about this dress. It may have to happen.
- Harper's broke down style icons by city. I think NYC needs a recount. Dallas is spot on.
- This book is currently on my nightstand. It's fun any breezy and makes me long for 1950's NYC.
- Martha knows best. Check out her breakdown of pantry must-haves to always have stocked. Do you have anything you need?
- This week's mask was pushed back until Wednesday, but this one made it worth the wait!
March is the toughest month to get through. You think March, Spring! But lo and beyond, March comes in like a lion and stays that way the whole time. That is why I'm so excited for a fresh a fresh month and a fresh start. Here's what I'm excited about for this month:
-Punchy Hues. Bold lipstick - check. Bright pedicure - check. This color is in current rotation.
-Chic Reads. This book is currently on my nightstand.
-Brunching. There is just something about warm weather than makes brunches all the more fun. I'm currently on a pop-over kick, and I'll be trying these treats out for Easter (wish me luck!).
What are you looking forward to this month?
Today was such a Monday. Spring still seems miles away and after a crazy day filled with rude strangers, a jelly bean binge, late night conference calls and a house-hunting standstill, I was ready for some relaxation. And a face mask was just the thing. Today's weapon of choice, Philosphy's Purity Made Simple Deep Clean Mask.
Promising a spa-like glow in 60 seconds, I was intrigued. It was just the sort of time commitment I could afford. According to the directions, you are to massage a bit into clean, dry skin and then wash it off when the formula transitions from clear to white. True to it's promise, the creamy formula glides on, without any hint of exfoliation beads. It gave my ultra-sensitive skin a slight tingle (which I'm chocking up to it's deep cleaning powers) and then removed effortlessly. It left my skin clean and fresh without being stripped and was the perfect base for applying my night serums. I love that it is gentle enough that it can be used daily, and I can definitely see this mask working it's way into the rotation!
Have you tried it yet?
Each Monday, I like to kick off the week with a mask. Not only is it great for your skin, but it's a treat that helps me look forward to Monday evenings. I love the whole ritual. Maybe you light some candles and take a soak, or even if it just forces you to lie still for a few minutes (hello, tissue mask), it's the perfect weekday indulgence!
Tonight as I write, I'm wearing Jurlique's Herbal Recovery Mask. Ideal for this crazy cold weather, this gel mask features exfoliating beads to slough any extra dry skin, plus vitamin E to protect against signs aging (always a good thing!) and environmental aggressors (aka everything in the city air). While they say to leave it on for 10 minutes, I always like to add a few minutes to get a little extra oomph. Twenty minutes later, my skin is ready to face another freezing day.