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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

April 30, 2019

Hi Friends! I can’t believe Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Crazy right? I feel like it’s snuck right up on me – paired with the fact that Collins’s birthday is ON Mother’s Day this year and we are getting ready for Iceland, I’m helping run a preschool fundraiser the six days leading up to our trip and getting ready to spend this coming weekend with my Beautycounter team leaders on our yearly incentive trip. Whew!

So, I haven’t done a lot of thinking about Mother’s Day. But today I’m doing a little thinking for you so you can spoil the moms/aunts/friends in your life or make a wish list for your significant other to gift TO you. These are my favorite gift-worthy Beautycounter items that feel a little more special than, say, a face wash or face lotion.

Glow Shimmer Oil //
I LOVE this shimmer oil because it makes me feel so pretty + glamorous when I use it. I’ve been known to be totally addicted to using this during my pregnancies in particular because there is something about a shimmery body oil that makes me feel beautiful at a time when I don’t always feel beautiful. It’s also a sleeper favorite because I don’t think many people know about this product and others aren’t likely to splurge on buying it for themselves.

Lemongrass Sugar Body Scrub //
Another pregnancy favorite – but really it’s a fantastic product for any person on your gifting list. It smells amazing and works to gently exfoliate and moisturize the skin. I use it weekly!

Velvet Eyeshadow Palette //
We have this awesome nine-pan palette in three different color combos/versions but the Romantic Palette is my favorite for springtime. It’s so feminine and lovely!

Lip Gloss in Rosewood //
This shade is a bit more of a statement than one of our lighter pink shades, yet still functions as the perfect neutral. I can’t get enough!

Sheer Lipstick //
The sheer lipsticks are an absolute favorite of mine! I don’t love an intense lip color but the sheer lipsticks are like a balm meets lip color in one. Rose, Terra, Twig and Petal are regular rotation favorites of mine! (Rose pictured in the above photo)

Satin Powder Blush //
Nectar (pictured above) is, in my opinion, the most versatile shade of blush we sell, but I also love Melon, Guava and Sorbet! Extra bonus? They last FOREVER.

PS: You have until May 2 to order any of the items listed with standard shipping in order to guarantee Mother’s Day delivery!

Fashion

Favorite (Comfy!) Shoes Round-Up

April 17, 2019

About a year ago I came to a major realization: I needed more shoes. I know many women joke about having too many shoes, but I was in the opposite camp, sticking with the same very small rotation of shoes day in and day out. It wasn’t until I was getting ready for a Beautycounter trip last year that I noticed how lacking my shoe selection was.

Over the last year I’ve tested a lot of different shoes. Since we live in the middle of nowhere there have been a lot of packages delivered and returned, but here are a few of my new and current favorites!

1. Rothys (Pointy Toe Flat)
The first time I tried these on, I actually returned them. I think I bought a size too small because the pointy toe was not working for me, but after friend after friend raved about how comfy they are, I couldn’t help but give them another try. I’m SO glad that I did because I’m totally in love!

They are an investment, but if you use the referral code below you can get $20 off your first pair, and I love that the shoes are made with recycled plastic water bottles + recycled carbon-free rubber AND machine washable (what?!) which my friends have assured me keeps them looking like new long after you buy them.

I got both the pointy toe flat and the sneaker and love the way they look + fit. I’m eyeing the bubblegum pink kid’s sneakers for Ainsley when school starts back up again in the fall!

PS: You can get $20 off your first pair when you use this link!

2. New Balance Women’s Cruz Sock Fit
Oh my gosh, these shoes! They literally feel like I’m wearing a pair of very comfortable and supportive socks. I wouldn’t say these are shoes I would do actual exercise in, but they have been great for running around town, travel, family walks, and playing with the girls. I actually don’t want to take them off when I walk in the house because they feel so good on my feet. Need I say more?!

3. Everlane – The Day Heel
I’m on the tall side, so heels are never my favorite favorite because I don’t love towering over my friends but the height of these heels is just enough to dress up any outfit without being too tall for comfort and function.

Note: With Everlane shoes, I find they run small and are best when you size up.

4. Velma Slip On Pointy Toe Mules – A New Day (Target)
I love a good mule and am SO so happy this trend seems here to stay. These flat mules are my absolute favorite and so easy to wear! I’ve bought two pairs of the blush color!

5. Rothy’s (Sneakers)
I love Rothy’s sneakers for many of the same reasons that I mentioned about the pointy toe flats, but the sneakers are just SO so cute and comfy that I had to mention them here as well!

6. Naturalizer Block Heel Sandals
These are both cute + comfy and work great for dressing up an outfit without seeming too “over the top” if you will. I have a few different pairs of shoes from Naturalizer and I LOVE how comfortable they all are!

Fashion, Pregnancy

First 20 Weeks Pregnancy Clothing Favorites

February 27, 2019

Lounge Wear
GapFit Seamless Low Support Plunge Sports Bra // These are THE best bras. They are comfortable enough to sleep in, wear around the house and for low impact exercise. I can totally see myself using these for nursing bras, too, down the road.

Gap Vintage Soft Maternity Pullover Sweatshirt // So comfortable/cute and doesn’t look like maternity. I’ve been wearing this for weeks now!

Gap Pure Body Modal Joggers // I’ve owned these for years and LOVE them pregnant and not pregnant. Just bought two more pairs because my older pairs were getting worn out.

The Be Brand Sweatshirts // Love these sweatshirts and long sleeved shirts for super comfy lounge wear that’s cute enough to wear out and about.

Work Wear
I’ve bought a bunch of dresses recently from H&M for Beautycounter functions and been really impressed with their cut and fit! I haven’t been getting maternity items, just gravitating toward looser styles. I have this dress in black and a dress in leopard that I can’t find on the site anymore and I love them both.

I also think I’ll be making more purchases from Carly Jean Los Angeles because their flowy styles are perfect for pregnancy and postpartum recovery. I just got the Stella Half Sleeve Dress in black and will probably buy another dress or two in a similar style for being majorly pregnant in the summer months. I also got the Addison Jumpsuit and a few of their awesome tunic tops.

Swimsuit
I have never owned a proper maternity swimsuit while pregnant because my babies were born in February and May. I never really needed to wear one while pregnant – barring a few trips to the indoor pool – so I just made do with what I had.

Knowing I’m not due until August 10th, I thought it was a good idea to get my hands on a maternity suit for the summer. I found THIS ONE from Gap and I can’t tell you how much I love it. I have the black version and it fits well and is super comfy!

Other Suggestions
I have been a Rent the Runway Unlimited member for a handful of months because I had a bunch of Q1 work travel on the calendar and wanted to make sure I had the right outfits. It’s an economical and eco friendly way to shop for items that you might only wear once. Rather than buying said items, you can pay a monthly subscription and simply “check out” four items at a time, returning them whenever you want for another four items. It’s been especially helpful during this transition time when I don’t really want to invest in nicer pieces in sizes that won’t fit down the road.

Jeans
For a full round-up of the jeans I have loved this pregnancy, reference THIS POST.

Fashion

Comprehensive Maternity Jeans Review

February 13, 2019

OVERALL WINNER
Seven for All Mankind –
High Rise Maternity Jeans $189
BUY THESE JEANS! Oh my gosh, these are the maternity jeans of my dreams. They fit true to size, and are incredibly comfortable. Not in the “feel like leggings” way that some jeans feel, which I actually don’t like because those same jeans usually stretch out, but in the sense that they have both stretch and structure. I was skeptical of the side panels but what makes these so great is, in my opinion, that they are high rise so even with a side panel vs. over the belly they still feel like they support and cover me in the right areas. 😉 Plus, I think I underestimated how much I would love having a real zipper and button on maternity jeans. These are pricey but SO so worth it. I’ve worn them three times now and they aren’t stretched out at all.
VERDICT: KEEP

RUNNERS UP
H&M – MAMA Skinny Jeans $49.99
I kept this pair because they were so reasonably priced and seemed to be the type of jeans that would wear well and not stretch out too much with multiple wears. I haven’t worn them out and about yet, so I can’t personally vouch for their long term wear, but I like the fit and comfort thus far!
VERDICT: KEEP

Madewell – Over the Belly Skinny Jeans in Danny Wash $138
I really LOVE the way these feel and have worn thus far. True to Madewell denim, they have the perfect mix of stretch and structure to the denim and the over the belly panel is very comfortable. I kept this pair, though as a taller gal, I was so disappointed they don’t carry talls in their maternity jeans.
VERDICT: KEEP

THE LOSERS
Hatch Collection – Nearly Skinny Maternity Jean $248
Can you believe that price? These were the most expensive jeans in the bunch and honestly, some of my least favorites. They said on the website that these jeans run small and suggest sizing up one or even two sizes. I sized up one size but should have sized up two, I guess, because they still felt small. Other complaints? They were low rise (again) and honestly there wasn’t anything special about the jeans for the price.
VERDICT: RETURN

Target – Maternity Crossover Panel Jeans by Ingrid & Isabel $29.99
This was another brand and style that was recommended by many on Instagram, but I honestly couldn’t have disliked them more. The fit strange in the crotch, and I could tell that they would be the type of jeans that wore poorly and had to be washed after each wear.
VERDICT: RETURN

Other Brands Recommended
I didn’t try EVERY brand that was recommended but here are a few others that were recommended when I asked you all on Instagram what brands you loved:
LOFT Maternity Jeans (they don’t make talls, so I didn’t try any)
Good American Maternity Jeans
Jessica Simpson Maternity Jeans

STITCH FIX MATERNITY JEAN REVIEW
Overall, I wish I had discovered that Stitch Fix now has so many amazing maternity jeans to choose from. The box I got was awesome! I just requested that I only get maternity jeans in my fix and told my stylist a bit about what I was looking for and price point and she delivered with some great options. I haven’t used Stitch Fix in years, but this was so worth it! If you want to get a fix, you can use this referral code!

From Stitch Fix //
Lila Ryan – Liza Maternity Skinny Jean $98
This was a brand I hadn’t heard of before and I was really impressed! The jeans are a bit “stiffer” but have just a bit of stretch, and I liked the lighter wash and over the panel fit.

NYDJ – Ami Maternity Skinny Jean $139
These were comfortable when I slipped them on, but they were the type that I could tell would bag out and need to be washed after every wear – which is my biggest complaint with maternity jeans in general and a deal breaker for me.

Paige – Verdugo Maternity Skinny Jean $189
So so many people recommended Paige maternity jeans but I have to say I was NOT a fan of these jeans – especially for the price. The rise was fairly low on these jeans, and in the short time I was wearing them I could tell I would constantly be pulling them up if I kept them. Additionally, I heard from some people that they found Paige jeans didn’t hold their shape well.

Mavi – Colette Maternity Skinny Jean $88
I really liked these jeans! They were soft and stretchy yet fit snug enough that I felt they would wear well over time and multiple wears. I also really liked the darker wash for something different and the price point was great!

DL1961 – Florence Maternity Side Panel Skinny Jeans $128
No. Just no. Whoever thought that designing ridiculously low rise side panel maternity jeans was sorely mistaken. It does no favors for the booty or the pregnancy love handles. 😉 These were a hard PASS. They also run really large. Even sized down a size they were crazy baggy.

Fashion

My Makeup Routine Lately

February 11, 2019

You all already know this, but I’m a makeup minimalist at heart. As a work at home momma, I hardly go anywhere beyond the coffee shop, my home office and play dates with friends, errands with the girls and the occasional trip to Target.

All that said, I don’t really have a huge need for a lot of makeup on a daily basis, but I DO like to look and feel put-together even if I’m just lounging around the house and mom-ing. There’s something about putting myself together for the day (which includes getting dressed in real clothes, applying makeup, and at least putting my hair in a bun) that makes me a better mom – more likely to get out and do fun activities with the girls and welcome drop-in guests and last minute invites to do things during the day.

So, my makeup routine! It’s simple, quick and easy to achieve thanks to my beloved Flawless in Five. I’ve always used the Flawless in Five to some degree – but I’ve recently fallen in love with it all over again and been wearing some version of it on the regular.

Here are the Flawless in Five shades/colors I’ve been wearing (pictured in the first photo)

Tint Skin // Linen
Concealer Pen // Fair
Blush // Guava
Brows // Brilliant Brow Gel in Medium
Mascara // Volumizing
Gloss // Whisper (from holiday, though I love Bellini typically)

Want to see the entire application process in action? Head on over to Espresso & Cream Beauty where I demo my current favorites and how quickly the routine above can be done!

PS: Curious about getting your hands on your own minimalist makeup routine? You can do so HERE.