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Family, Fashion

Spring Skincare Favorites

April 23, 2018

The weather is slowly transitioning to spring around these parts, which means I’ve been switching up my skincare and makeup routine a bit as the temperatures change. Sometimes (most of the time?) what works for your skin in the winter months needs tweaking as the summer comes around, so it’s important to continue to evaluate what is and what is not working for your skin as the seasons change. Additionally, since I have a lot of mommas who read this blog, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that postpartum skin can require constant re-evaluation. Other milestones outside of having the baby (such as weight loss, weaning, sleep regressions and lack of sleep for mom, hormonal shifts, etc.) can mean that a product which once worked for your skin no longer does the trick like it used to. Hint hint: That’s what I’m here for!

  1. Nourishing Cream Exfoliator 
    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I think that a lot of skincare issues come back to inadequate exfoliation and inadequate (or incorrect) moisturizing. My skin tends to be on the drier side, and in order for my skincare products to penetrate the skin it’s important to exfoliate the top layer of dead skin cells. I use the Nourishing Cream Exfoliator a couple times per week, especially in the summer when sweat and sunscreen tend to be a part of everyday life.
  2. Countermatch Pure Calm Cleansing Milk 
    This is a new product to my routine (and a new product this month to BC’s line-up) and, in my opinion, a total must-have item if you struggle with dry and/or sensitive skin. The milk-based cleanser adds moisture and hydration to the skin while dissolving away grease, grime and makeup.
  3. Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion
    This has been my go-to moisturizer since it launched over a year ago. It adapts to your skin’s unique hydration needs and is great for dry skin. Note: Countermatch is not great for those with acne-prone skin.
  4. No. 3 Balancing Face Oil 
    Sometimes in the warmer months I can get away without using a face oil, but I LOVE these face oils more than any other product in my skincare routine. The face oils are so great for adding hydration to the skin, improving overall appearance, and combating specific skin issues such as breakouts, unevenness, dry skin and more. I use the balancing oil to keep breakouts at bay and keep my skin hydrated without feeling greasy.
  5. No. 1 Brightening Face Mask
    I use a face mask a couple times per week – more often in the summer when my skin is exposed to the sun – to treat specific skin issues. For me, brightness and evenness in my skin tone is a primary concern that I use this mask to treat.
  6. Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer (No. 2)
    Sun protection + moisturizer + a product that evens out skin tone without feeling like you’re wearing makeup? Check! I wear Dew Skin at least four or five days out of the week, even more so in the warmer months when I’m out in the sun. It contains SPF 20 from non-nano zinc oxide and covers just enough to make me feel and look put together.

In the picture above, I’m only wearing the following makeup because my skin is glowing and my new routine is working well right now:

  1. Volumizing Mascara
    It’s hard to say whether Volumizing Mascara or Lengthening Mascara is my favorite. I rotate the two and sometimes even layer the two for both lengthening and volumizing impact. I really love both and use them interchangeably, so it’s really a matter of preference more than performance.
  2. Brow Pencil in Medium 
    Beautycounter’s Brow Pencil is one of the handful of makeup products I can’t live without. I have brows that need a little filling in from years of over-plucking so I use the pencil, along with the brush on the other end which is great for blending, for a natural yet put-together look.
  3. Whisper/Tawny Blush Duo 
    This duo is my favorite of all three color duo options for it’s natural look that bridges the gap between blush and bronzer. It’s versatile for many seasons, including springtime!
Fashion

Pop of Color

April 17, 2018


Top from Anthropologie // Madewell High Rise Skinny Jeans (a couple years old) // Nine West Flats // Natalie Borton Necklace (a couple years old)

For years I’ve been a lover of all things neutral in my closet, while my husband has been begging me to embrace some COLOR in my wardrobe. And for years I’ve resisted his suggestion, but the last couple of months I’ve been pulled toward color in my outfit choices. Sure, a lot of my outfit choices still gravitate toward neutrals because it makes getting ready for the day so easy, but I think I’ll be embracing a bit more color in my closet this spring and summer, if spring ever decides to make an appearance in the Midwest. (Right?!)

Also, I wanted to say I’m sorry for being so MIA lately around these parts. It’s not meant to be an intentional choice, but life has been particularly busy with a number of trips and obligations – mainly good and fun but it hasn’t left a lot of time for getting ahead of the game in work life and blog life. But I’m looking forward to a summer that is less about travel and more about staying put and embracing all sorts of creativity on the blog. I’ve been toying around with a really fun recipe project along with a few other ideas for new and fresh content for the site.

Madison

Family, Fashion, Food & Recipes

The Espresso and Cream Weekly Favorites

February 20, 2018

Lately, I’ve been craving a space and reason to share some of the products, podcasts, recipes, and more that I’ve been loving lately. I was initially going to use this idea as content for an e-newsletter, but after thinking about how cluttered inboxes are these days, it seemed a better fit to make this into a weekly blog post. Each week, I’ll be sharing my favorite thing I’ve bought, listened to, used on my skin, recipe and book and/or article to read. Hopefully this is a fun, inspiring little weekly round-up!

TO BUY // J. Crew Dorito Cotton and Silk Blend Blouse (pictured above)
It’s a little lightweight for cold weather, but I can already tell that I’m going to be wearing this all spring and summer long.

TO LISTEN // Balanced Bites Podcast with Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe 
Although this podcast is geared toward those who live a paleo lifestyle (which is certainly NOT me) I really love this podcast and their approach to health and wellness. It’s been around forever, and they have a wealth of experience, great advice and interesting experts on a variety of topics relating to health and wellness.

TO USE //Volume & Shape Shampoo and Conditioner 
Postpartum hair loss and re-growth is, undoubtedly, difficult to deal with and can really take a toll on your hair. One thing that’s helped tremendously in this process is Beautycounter’s Volume & Shape Shampoo and Conditioner. You truly couldn’t pay me to use anything else. Switching to a safer shampoo and conditioner has made my hair look healthier, but even more importantly it’s actually made my hair healthier. If you’re struggling with postpartum hair issues, I can’t recommend this line enough.

TO EAT // Pinch of Yum’s Chicken Wild Rice Soup 
I’ve made this a handful of times and it’s delicious, easy and worth making at least a few more times before winter is over!

TO READ // I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam
I’m only a portion of the way through this book and already I can’t resist recommending it to you guys. If you’re a mom, business owner, wanna be business owner, working corporate employee or just busy woman (hello, this is probably all of you!) then you need to pick this book up. It’s empowering and really leaves you with the feeling of “I can!” in the best possible way.

 

Fashion

What I’m Loving // Athleisure Edition

January 2, 2018

Mom life and working at home means I spend a LOT of time in more athletic clothes than I would like to admit. On days that I’m working I try to get dressed in real clothes most of the time, but when I’m not working and hanging with the girls, I much prefer to be in comfy-cute clothes. It allows me to be a more active, interactive mom when I’m comfortable and ready for a game of tag, hide and seek, or puzzles on the floor at any moment.

Here are a few of the items I’ve been loving lately:

Gap PureBody Modal Joggers
// I wear this year round and while they are a tiny bit lightweight for winter, they’re great for lounging around the house. Buy a pair (or three!) and I promise you’ll be happy you did.

Athleta High Rise Chaturanga Tight // THE best workout tights around. They are expensive but worth the investment, and I personally find Athleta clothing to wear/wash the best and last the longest.

The Be Brand’s “Mama Bear” Sweatshirt // I’ve hardly taken it off since I got mine a couple weeks ago. It’s so comfy, has a great roomy-yet-cute fit and washes really well. I’m already planning on getting another style.

Athleta’s Metro Joggers // Cute, comfy and looks presentable when worn outside the house, these joggers are just so good.

Headbands from The Be Brand // I get a TON of questions about the headbands I’m wearing in about 50% of my photos on Instagram. I’ve been loving these headbands from The Be Brand since I discovered them this summer and recommend them to everyone. They hide a bad hair day and work great for keeping your hair out of your face while working out and momming.

Tanks and Tops from Old Navy // When it comes to athletic pants and active leggings, I’m all about high quality. But for tanks and workout tops Old Navy can’t be beat. I am LOVING all my tanks and tops (including this one and this one with the cute scalloped detailing) from Old Navy. Added bonus: they are all on sale right now!

Fashion, Pregnancy

Healthy Postpartum Hair // A Regrowth Story

December 20, 2017

I’ve talked a lot about hair on Espresso and Cream over the years. About a year ago, I posted this while I was contemplating what to do with my hair. It was brittle, breaking off like crazy, and incredibly unhealthy, despite being 1 1/2 years postpartum and pregnant with another baby. Babies, man, they are hard on your hair!

Less than a year ago shortly after writing that post, I decided to chop my hair. My stylist agreed that there really wasn’t much else I could do to salvage my hair and starting fresh might be the best (only?) option. After chopping my hair I committed myself to growing my hair back out in the healthiest way possible. It wasn’t until yesterday, when I looked at my new color and how long my hair has gotten in less than a year, that I realized how much healthier my hair is now than when I chopped it all off.

My Healthy Hair Routine //

1 / Beautycounter’s Volume & Shape Line
I switched over to Beautycounter’s Volume & Shape Shampoo, Conditioner and Volumizing Mist when they launched their new salon-quality hair care products this spring. I fell head over heels for the V&S collection from the first weeks I used it and haven’t looked back. What I learned about traditional hair care is that a lot of the products make your hair feel healthy rather than making your hair truly healthy. Beautycounter’s line doesn’t contain sulfates, silicone or SLS and uses PureFoam Cleansing Technology to get the amazing foam without sacrificing safety. My hair has never felt so clean, so shiny, so truly healthy and strong!

2 / Continuing Prenatals 
I still take my prenatal vitamins on the regular even after having a baby. There are a lot of “hair growth” vitamins out there, but many of them contain cheap biotin and b-vitamins that aren’t the bio-available variety. Don’t settle for cheap vitamins. If you’re going to take them, make sure your vitamin contains methylated folate (NOT folic acid) and that they are good quality. My favorite prenatals come from Seeking Health or Garden of Life.

3 / Collagen Supplements 
I take a collagen supplement most days to help my skin and hair from the inside out. My favorite collagen is from Vital Proteins and can be bought on Amazon! If you’re curious to learn more about why collagen is good for your skin and hair, this article does a good job breaking it down.

4 / Dropping the Dry Shampoo
I was also struggling terribly with itchy scalp when my hair was at its worst. I read enough scary articles to convince me that perhaps dry shampoo wasn’t helping my hair but was, in fact, hurting it and contributing to my itchy scalp and hair loss issues. The first few weeks to a month my hair looked greasier between washes, but now that I’ve gone without it for nearly a year, I find that my hair doesn’t need it – even if I only wash it a few times per week. When I really need to absorb excess oil on my hair between washes I use Beautycounter’s Mattify Powder on my hair and brush it on where needed. Does the trick well!

I hope this helps someone who may be in the same spot I was in! It’s SO frustrating to deal with hair issues and the two year long saga of my hair has really been a learning experience for me.

Madison