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2016 BLUSH HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

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IT’S HERE!!!

Today we cover some AMAZING gift ideas at unbeatable prices. I would consider this a gift that I have, finding these deals and steals. Originally I had planned not to include anything outside of makeup but then I realized that as a mother/daughter/sister/friend, we ALL need ideas for gift giving!

I shall step up to the plate and offer my sacrifice…

Here we go!

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1.) Brushed Metal Cake Stand, H&M $17.99

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A few ideas with this one: it makes a great hostess gift (especially if you add yummy treats on top), it can hold a small vase of flowers along with making a great table setting, it’s great to keep next your sink to hold your soap bottles…

I also love the idea of this as a gift for a mom (from siblings) with a few new perfume bottles on top & and don’t forget a pretty bow!

2.) Clarisonic (Mia 1) $109 with Coupon Code

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I cannot say enough great things about my Clarisonic face brush. Hands down nothing compares to how well it cleans your face and how soft it makes your skin feel. I was able to find an amazing discount code from Clarisonic’s website. Just enter the code “SHOPANDSAVE” at your checkout and receive $20 off! That beats any other online deal!

3.) Sonia Kashuk Lipliners $7.99 at Target

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I’ve blogged about these liners before and also here, and the fact that they are only $8 each (and carry an amazing color selection) means that you should have at least 2 or 3 on hand. Also great for stocking stuffers and girlfriends! The SK liners are also a great option for your wedding day!

4.) Honest Beauty Creme Blush $22

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Between this and the Tarte BB Tinted Primer I recently blogged about, I would say these are the top 2 best makeup products I’ve EVER used. The finish that this creme blush gives is second to none. It’s the best way to keep your skin looking hydrated in the winter months and it gives a beatuiful glow in the summer months as well. I love this color shown above “Truly Thrilling” for this winter season as well as the “Truly Exciting” shade.

5.) “All Nighter” ColourPop Eyeshadow Foursome $18

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Can we just take a moment for the simple fact that a regular-sized Urban Decay single eyeshadow retails for $18 at Sephora? And this ENTIRE SET is $18!! Ahh!! These colors are gorge-us and they have pigment like nobody’s business. My favorite way to wear these are wet and while doing so they take on a 2D effect. These shadows look best on the lid with a matte shade in the crease and they also work great as a bottom eyeliner. Best part? They’re all neutral and you can combine them with any other shades you already have at home!

6.) “The Good Times” Ultra Matte Lip Kit by ColourPop $18

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Quite honestly I don’t get it. I don’t understand how ColourPop puts out amazing products at such low prices. FIVE lipsticks for $18? Is it because they know we’ll be buyers for life and never buy another brand again?

I picked this set because you get a good variety of everything, a merlot, a poppy red, a dusty rose, a cool toned pink and a flattering nude. And I think any of these shades would pair perfectly with the eyeshadows and blush above!

I also love how CP always includes 3 different shaded skin tone swatches next to their products. This helps show how the color will “fall” on our own skin tones…

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7.) Penn Light 1 Globe Mini Pendant $79.20

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Obsessed doesn’t even begin to cover it with lights like these. I could probably put one of these guys in every single room in my house and it would just “work.”

I love it for a little boy or girl’s room and I also love it for kitchen lighting. It would look adorable with 2 or 3 in a row above an island or above your kitchen sink! See also: bathrooms.

8.) Viv + Rae Lily Cloudy Rug, $85 and up

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Ok so I just love this rug for a playroom. To me it embodies the magic of kids and it helps entice daydreaming. And you’ll be happy to hear it also comes in pink for us girlie girls!

9.) Star-Patterened Throw $24.99, H&M

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A few ideas for this blankie: it makes a great newborn gift (who says you can’t pre-buy?), it would look adorable hanging over a bench in the mudroom or, you can include it in the Christmas Eve pajama present for your kids along with a good book or movie to use it with.

10.) Pottery Barn Silver German Glitter Letter Ornaments, $2

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Man-oh-man are these a great gift idea! PERFECT for teachers or that someone who is hard to buy for. They look great on the tree and they also look magical hanging over your mantle. You can also use them to spell out a special word if you wish. Here is another initial ornament that’s similar as well…

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11.) “Bambi” Choker $33.50 @ Nordstrom

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If we’re going 90’s style it better be in solid gold. Case in point, this metallic choker. It’s neutral, it goes with everything and it’s a more stylish version of the ones you’ve already seen.

12.) H&M V-Neck Camisole Top, $12.99

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I think I need about 12 of these, for $13 bucks are you kidding me?? I love it for work (you better believe I’ll be sporting this in the facial room) and I love it for play of course. It’s great for date night and the shine makes it holiday appropriate…which brings me to gift #13.

13.) Leith Floppy Felt Hat, $12.98 (50% off) @ Nordstrom’s

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I got this hat for my birthday and have no fear, it’s as fabulous as it looks. At first I didn’t realize how stylish I would feel until I actually put it on and realized that I needed a better coat to accentuate it. Don’t you worry, I pulled through and found the CUTEST coats for it…

14.) Free People Midnight Bomber Jacket, $54.60

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At first I thought, “that gray hat has to be worn with a trenchcoat.” And then I nixed that idea because it was too predictable, I needed something a little more modern than that. I was lucky enough to stumble upon this bomber jacket and the fact that it comes in 3 colors!

I love all the colors but I think the red paired with the gray hat is very “Christmasy” but in a good way. Red is so festive and the gray hat keeps it toned down.

15.) H&M Mauve Faux Fur Jacket, $49.90

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I have to admit, I also love the idea of wearing that gray hat with this adorable dusted rose faux fur jacket. This would look so, SO cute with the previous metallic v-neck cami and gold choker! I’m daydreaming about it now…#addtocart.

16.) ASOS Chiffon Satin Pajama Set, $28

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Last but not least…

Listen, when I turned 30 (yesterday, literally) one of the first thoughts that honestly came to mind was how I needed a few pairs of nice satin pajamas and let me tell you why:

Nice pajamas make you feel extravagant, they are cozy, they help create a beautiful 24/7 wardrobe, they look beautiful no matter where they reside – in a closet or on a hanger, they hold value in that you strive for quality in all areas of your life.

How many of you watch a good movie with someone beautiful like Michelle Pfeiffer in it, and do you notice what she wears to bed? Sorry but it’s not your 2007 Turkey Trot 5K t-shirt. It’s often something in silk or chiffon and it assists in creating a relaxed and serene atmosphere before you fall asleep. These soft colors and silky fabrics help relax your mind and promote your way to more rejuvenating rest…and what’s better than rejuvenating rest?

All these gifts.

Just kidding.

Happy Shopping…


I hope you enjoyed this 2016 gift guide and comment below on what you plan to purchase for yourself or loved ones!

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Makeup Minimalist

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“The best way to enjoy your favorite things every day is to only own your favorite things.”

When I became a mom, my normal everyday routine got flipped upside down in those first few months of newborn life.  Suddenly, everyday beauty rituals became obsolete and I distinctly remember asking my husband (while halfway crying) how moms ever have time to curl their hair in the morning.  Why did I ask my husband that?  As if he could ever answer the question! Sneaky, sneaky you are post-partum hormones…

Since then I have streamlined my hair and makeup routine and I have gotten rid of anything I don’t use on a daily basis.  Friends, this is huge coming from a MAKEUP ARTIST.  I have so many beauty products it’s ridiculous.  But I slowly learned that if I only had what I truly needed and loved that getting ready in the morning could be enjoyable if not, delightful.

Today I want to reveal how I was able to minimize my routine but also keep what I had around me beautiful and purposeful…

DECLUTTER

There is no magical formula for streamlining your beauty items because everyone is different in how they do their makeup but I do have a few suggestions.  Adopt a one item in, one item out mindset.  Stick to the basics and keep one of each: face primer, foundation, foundation powder/setting powder, blush, bronzer, eyeshadow primer, one eyeshadow palette, one brown eyeliner, lash curler and mascara. You should also have a lip color that you love and goes with anything.

Click here to read a post on my favorite everyday lip glosses, this will give you a good idea of what colors to look for.

CLEAN

Next, clean out your makeup bag or the area where you apply your makeup.  Alcohol your eyeliners and lip liners and sharpen them before putting them back into their homes.  Clean the edges, lids and mirrors of compacts and palettes with a baby wipe.  Items should be easy to spot and not look cluttered as a whole.  I adore these darling glass + gold trays from Target. They allow your makeup items to lay flat while making them easy to spot. Bonus points: these trays are on sale and would makeup a fabulous Christmas gift for someone!

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REFRESH

Next, clean and organize the top of your makeup vanity.  I prefer to have close to nothing on top of the table I do my makeup on.  It’s so incredibly refreshing to wake up and start your day with a blank slate.  While searching for makeup vanity inspiration I found an underlying component in all of the pictures that I loved, fresh flowers.  

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Fresh flowers make any bathroom look expensive, no matter how small or big your room is.  It’s one of the cheapest things you can do to make your space look elegant but also clean and inviting.

SANITIZE

I’ve recently been using the Honest Company Lavender Hand Sanitizing Spray and I plan to purchase a second one for my makeup bag.  I think it’s a genius idea considering that cold and flu season is upon us.  How perfect would this be to use right before you begin makeup in the morning to prevent germs from spreading?  Also, can you tell that I’m married to a nurse? 😉

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REBUILD

Last but not least, decide on a brush set that you love.  Stick to coordinating colors and create a beautiful template with it.  I adore the Bold Metals Collection from Real Techniques because I am a huge neutral lover in general.  These brushes are so beautiful and would look stunning next to your newly cleaned makeup items.

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And for the record, how adorable is their new Miracle Diamond Sponge applicator?  This is art in itself!

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If money is tight but you feel the urge to live a fabulous life, buy 1-2 brushes at a time.  Another great option is Sephora because their brushes are always in stock and you can pick between all black or all silver.  OCD freaks UNITE!  And don’t forget to add brush cleaner too.  If you keep it near your brushes in an easy-to-see spot, you’ll clean your brushes MUCH more often.  I like Sonia Kashuk’s brush cleaner because it’s gentle and smells like lavender.

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What’s weird is when I started this journey of becoming a minimalist (don’t worry, it’s transferred into every area of my life), is that it happened unintentionally.  I was an overstressed mom who felt like she hardly had time for anything.  Flash forward a year later and I truly appreciate the things that I have, each and every single item.  Getting ready is a joy and I’ve found staple products that work well and look good on me.  You’ll be surprised at how different you feel once you clean out the unwanted and welcome the new.

And for the record, it’s much easier to straighten your hair as a new mom than it is to curl it. 😉

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Get the Look: Lauren Conrad

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I absolutely adore this look Lauren Conrad recently wore for an interview with E News! I decided to break it down and recommend a few key products for achieving a look similar to hers.  One of the main reasons I love this particular look so much is because she always has a beautiful complexion with perfectly complimenting lips and eyes.  Lauren’s skin is her best feature and with such a great canvas like hers, you don’t need much else!

Here are a few shots of her look:
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As you can tell, the cheek highlighter and matte pink lipstick make this look. It’s so fresh and gorgeous and I love it for summer, especially for nights out! Lauren is also sporting a full brow and of course, her signature cateye.

I decided to copy the look and here is a list of products I used…IMG_2811

Eyeliner: MAC Blacktrack Fluidline with the Sephora #90 angled liner brush.  I also went over it with the Buxom eyeliner in black to fill in any spaces of white between lashes.  The best way to get a clean “flick” is to go back and clean it up with a wet Q-tip.

Brows: Lorac Eyeshadow with angled liner brush. This creates a full yet soft look.

Mascara: Maybelline Voluminous in Black

Blush: Honest Beauty Cream Blush in “Truly Exciting” with Sonia Kashiuk “Rosy” cream blush on the apple for a good pop.

Highlighter: Becca Cosmetics “Moonstone” in powder, and lots of it! Only apply it on the cheeks though.

Lipliner: Palladio “Tickle Me Pink” fill and line the lips with this. It helps with staying power and prevents lipstick from bleeding.

Lipstick: MAC “Show Orchid” Apply with a lip brush for better precision. If you apply too much of a high intensity lipstick it can easily transfer, everywhere! Use a lip brush and layer it on softly. Less is more!

*Lauren is wearing Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipstick in “Carina” in the interview shown below.

Click play to watch the video!

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Labor Day Rejuvenation

 

 

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Labor Day is a weekend of relaxation, so what better way to celebrate than by giving yourself a little TLC? Here are a few fabulous ideas for truly enjoying your time off…

1.) Give yourself an at home mani/pedi by filling a large hot water bowl with all-natural body wash to soak in. Buff off dry skin and exfoliate with brown sugar and honey mixed from your kitchen. Apply lotion and spray with a peppermint mist.  This will energize your hands and feet, I promise!

Personal Favorite : The Honest Company Hand Soaps! 

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2.)  Make a healthy meal. Include as many fresh veggies and fruits as possible.  What’s more calming than knowing you just gave your body the best fuel possible? Bonus points: swallow down a high quality multi-vitamin with it.

3.) Brush your teeth, plug in your ipod headphones and go for a brisk walk.  This might sound super weird but I LOVE exercising after I’ve just brushed my teeth.  I honestly feel it helps me breathe deeper and more efficiently.  Start your walk with several deep breaths and try to continue it for the entire session.

4.)  Make a large pitcher of cucumber water and chug it after your walk.  Your skin will thank you!

5.)  Send a hand-written note to someone you love.  Take your time and write it on pretty stationary.  It could be a thank you note or it could just be a sweet thought you had about something.

These See Jane Work “DoughNotes” Blank Notecards? #icant

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Link : http://www.seejanework.com/productcart/pc/DoughNotes-158p6884.htm

6.) Declutter something.  This tip might not be for people who don’t enjoy cleaning and organizing, but for someone like me (borderline clean freak), decluttering and organizing is the most relaxing thing I can do!  Matter of fact, I would pick it over any other tip on this list!

7.) Wash your bedsheets.  Imagine if you made an effort to include several tips from the list above, taking a brisk walk…giving yourself a pedicure…cleaning out a messy closet…now imagine slipping into a clean warm bed with soft skin and a clean warm bed with heavenly scented sheets? This is my everyday utopia. I recently purchased this “greener” fabric softener from Target and it smells just how you would want your sheets to smell: clean, soothing and calming. I can’t stop using it!

Seventh Generation Fabric Softener with Blue Eucalyptus & Lavender

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I encourage you to include these helpful tips into your everyday life, not just for labor day weekend.  What’s important is that you take the time to take care of yourself so that you have more to give to others! 

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All-Natural Solutions for Pregnancy Acne

acneEvery woman that has ever been pregnant will probably give you a list of 3-5 things they “wish someone would’ve told them before they got pregnant.”  They might laugh and joke with you about their “list” but joking aside, some side effects of pregnancy can be agonizing.  

Like morning sickness…all day and all night

Like body exhaustion and the consideration of buying a chair for your shower because taking a shower is just “too much work”

Like shortness of breath…when you’re sitting down doing nothing…

As an esthetician I knew there was a good possibly that acne hormones could take over at any second with this pregnancy as I had major acne with my first pregnancy that resulted as a miscarriage.  To my surprise, I’ve remained acne-free on my face much to the dismay of my chest and back.  I expected acne on the face, but the chest and back??  With warmer weather on the calendar in the months ahead I’ve got to get a head start on this.

Pregnant women have “special” rules and because nearly all of the ever-so-popular acne products contain chemicals that preggies can’t use, it makes fighting acne difficult.  On top of that, the increase in pregnancy hormones can very well cause an influx of oil production that is VERY hard to combat…just know that you can only do so much while pregnant to fight it. So I’ve decided to compile a list of my top solutions for fighting acne and using natural alternatives that won’t harm Little Foot and will hopefully make you feel more confident about the skin you’re in.  Please note, this post is also great for anyone who isn’t pregnant but IS fighting acne.

1.) Get facials and pregnancy-safe chemical peels regularly.

I can’t express this point enough.  Even if you only book one facial or peel your entire pregnancy, it does so much to help deep clean the skin and slough off poorly-textured skin. Both facials and peels eliminate excess oil, eat at flaky skin and allow for further penetration of skin care products. Would you ever paint a desk without sanding it first?  No.  Your skin is the same way, the smoother and more exfoliated it is, the better your products (expensive or not) absorb into the skin.  Facials are great because the steam massage cleanse helps underlying acne rise to the surface but also revives dull skin in the process.  The Passion Peptide Peel available at Blush uses fruit enzyme acids to not only resurface the skin and produce a healthy glow, but it also helps fight and dry out acne.  You could aim for one 60-minute facial or peel a month or for one each trimester.  If you want relaxation, book a facial, if you want more results, book a peel.

*Booking a service with a professional also helps avoid unwanted scarring from picking which happens when you don’t know what you’re doing.  Pros know when it’s time to extract and when it’s not, which brings me to my next point…

2.) Use a product that contains Vitamin C. 

Vitamin C not only brightens skin (perfect when you were zapped of that pregnancy glow due to morning sickness) but it also helps fade dark spots, i.e.- acne marks!   This is a great antioxidant to include in your routine that will help treat existing marks and prevent ones later down the line.

3.) Implement a daily simple skincare regimen.

Whether you’re pregnant or not, fight the urge to overwash your skin.  So many oil-fighters try to wash and wash and scrub and scrub their way out of acne.  No, no, no.  Not only are you overstimulating the glands, you are also further inflamming existing acne.  Friends don’t let friends over-scrub.  Use a gentle cleanser in the morning and night and put MOISTURIZER on immediately.  Yes, yes, yes.  Just make sure it’s oil-free.  If you don’t moisturize your body will again over-compensate and produce MORE oil.  Also take it a step further and make sure that none of your makeup products contain oil.  Natural oils are ok for the skin, like the Tarte Maracuja treatment oil, but ones concocted in a lab from 9-5 are not the kind you want on your skin nor in your system.

4.) Keep it clean.

Clean your cell phone daily with an antibacterial wipe, switch your pillowcases regulary, don’t sleep on your hair (it traps the pores making you more prone to sweating and clogging), don’t sit on your hand on your desk at work and don’t let anyone touch your face.  That last one might seem weird but it probably happens more than you think.  The only people in the entire world that are allowed to touch my face are my delicious nephews, other than that, all bets are off.  That includes my husband.  And my hair.

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5.) Use apple cider vinegar as a toner.

I love this tip because you probably already have it in your kitchen, am I right?  Keep some in your bathroom and soak a cotton pad to roll across the skin for a refreshingly clean feel on the skin. Again, because it’s anti-bacterial and an astringent, make sure you are putting some type of moisturizer on afterwards.  You can dilute it in a bottle if it feels too strong for your skin and it’s great to throw in a spray bottle for hard to reach areas like your back.

6.) Exfoliate 1-3 times a week using an all-natural scrub.

There are thousands of recipes online for DIY acne scrubs but let’s get real, you’re far more likely to have baking soda, honey, and cinnamon in your cupboard than you are to have turmeric, tea tree oil, and fresh mint leaves to exfoliate. When you have it, you use it.  Mix the first three ingredients to a paste and use a spot treatment, or just mix baking soda and water to a paste and use as a scrub. Easy peasy. The honey and cinnamon are both antibacterial while the honey helps to hydrate.

7.) Cut out dairy.

I’m not going into major detail with this but I will tell you that the hormones our animals are pumped with are the same hormones that we as humans ingest.  On top of that, eating dairy alone causes excess mucus and oil production.  You’re welcome.  If you can’t cut it completely, switch to organic and limit cheese on foods.  Almond milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk and can be used in just about anything: smoothies, coffee, cereal, pasta, baking goods and oatmeal. Just be sure to buy a low-sugar brand.


Here are a few suggestions when buying skincare products at the store…

C L E A N S E R S

IMAGE SKINCARE ORMEDIC CLEANSER

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Uses organic green tea, chamomile and aloe vera to soothe redness and irritation.  Balances the pH of the skin and eliminates need for a toner, gently exfoliates.

Available at Blush

CETAPHIL GENTLE CLENASER

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Gentle, non-drying, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic.

Available at Target.

HONEST COMPANY SHAMPOO & BODY WASH

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I know this says shampoo and body wash but because The Honest Company is so great about using gentle and pregnancy safe chemicals, it’s great to use as a face wash as well! It gives a gentle, yet thorough cleanse.

Available at honest.com and Target

JOSIE MARAN ARGAN CLEANSING OIL

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Deeply hydrates while preventing future inflammation, hyperpigmentation,

and the excess production of sebum.

Available at Sephora

S P E C I A L   T R E A T M E N T S

HONEST COMPANY SOOTHING BOTTOM WASH 

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I know this sounds weird to use on your face but work with me here.  The spray contains aloe leaf which is great for soothing and witch hazel to use as an astringent.  You can dilute it with water if you feel like it’s a little strong for your face but it should work great on any other body acne.  I’ve use this a few times and it feels and smells great! Matter of fact, I need to run to Target…

Available at honest.com and Target

LAPIS FACIAL OIL ROLLER

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Contains german blue chamomile that serves as an antibacterial agent and helps to prevent future breakouts.  This is non-pore clogging and helps to balance and hydrate oily skin.  This facial oil also helps reduce redness and broken capillaries.

Available at herbivorebotanicals.com

THE BODY SHOP TEA TREE OIL

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I recommend dabbing this onto a Q-tip and applying it to only existing breakouts.  The best part is that this little gem is only $10!

Available at thebodyshop.com

M O I S T U R I Z E R S

IMAGE SKINCARE VITAL C SERUM

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This is maybe the greatest moisturizer you will ever use.  It is so lightweight on the skin but yet it quenches skin like no other.  I love putting this on before I put my makeup on.

Available at Blush

JOSIE MARAN PURE ARGAN OIL LIGHT

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Great for hydration.  Contains only pure argan oil. Again, natural oils help to balance and re-hydrate the skin much like a thermostat would.

Available at Sephora

HONEST COMPANY FACE + BODY LOTION

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I love how this is multi-purpose and if you only use it for your face, it might last your whole pregnancy!

Available at honest.com and Target

E X F O L I A T O R S 

TINA-K PERFECT-K PORE PURIFYING CLEANSER

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Clay-based cleanser that contains tiny jade rice granules to help slough off dead skin.  This cleanser also helps to regulate sebum and contains an anti-aging blend.  Use more often if you are extremely oily.

Available at tinakproducts.com

TINA-K EXFOLIANT-K JADE RICE BODY SCRUB

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“Supercharged heavy-grained clay cleanser” that works a little harder on body acne.  Use this scrub and the cleanser above as a mask to reap full benefits.  Leave on up to 30 minutes and scrub off in the shower.

Available at tinakproducts.com


Sound off below, what products do you swear by for pregnancy?