CURRENT SKINCARE, MAKEUP & HAIR PRODUCT FAVORITES

Let me start this post by making several disclaimers. First, these photos are pretty bad and need work. Meaning, I need work. But I was eager to get this up and out because I've gotten a bunch of questions about it, so here we are. This is one of those posts that I feel semi-ridiculous writing, but enough of you have asked for it that I'm giving in! Another disclaimer (that I've already made to some of you over direct messages): I ALWAYS use the "sparkle" filter on Instagram stories (I'm sure that was obvious) reason being, it softens my forehead wrinkles. I LOATHE my forehead wrinkles. I've been on a really good skincare routine for the past 7-8 months (I started it RIGHT before I got pregnant...) that has definitely made the wrinkles better/lesser, but to be honest with you, late last spring/early summer I found a new doctor I love and we were talking about Botox and I was all set up to do it... and then I found out I was pregnant. And it's recommended not to get Botox while you're pregnant or breast feeding. So when I knew that was out for the foreseeable future, I knew I needed to invest in some good makeup!

Like I mentioned in this post, last May or June I got a big bonus at work and literally walked right over to Sephora. I knew I needed to step up my skincare game. I was torn between Drunk Elephant (I use and love their lip balm, btw) and Dr. Brandt and chose Dr. Brandt because I was super familiar with the brand (he was also from Miami and I knew a lot of his patients, etc). I've seen A HUGE improvement in my skin since I started using them, so I've already repurchased this whole set when I ran out of everything (and am about to repurchase again!)

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I start every single day the same way: with one pump of this eye cream, and then I mix two pumps of this face cream with 3-4 drops of this vitamin C serum. I like to let this all sink in for a few minutes before putting anything else on top of it. I'll be very honest with you - when I first found out I was pregnant, I went BACK to Sephora and replaced all of my makeup with Tarte, because a) it's all-natural and b) it's been one of my favorite brands for years and years. But along the way I've realized I just don't want to obsess about cosmetic safety. So you'll see below that I still use a lot of Tarte, but not for everything. (For instance the mascara was a disaster, didn't work on me and always ended up running...) 

After skincare, I fill in my eyebrows with this brow powder in #3. This powder is a new purchase and I really like it but I do not care for the little tool it comes with, so I use this brush instead. Then I curl my lashes and apply lash primer and mascara

After that, I apply this redness reducer all over with this flat top brush. I stopped using this for awhile because it's a bit heavy, but honestly, I get REALLY red and nothing else works as well! So I try to use it as sparingly as possible. After that I cover up my undereye circles with this CC cream in Light-Medium. with an old version of this brush. (As you can see from the photo, I use a lot of old Tarte brushes that are no longer being made.) I also put a little between and around my brows to help shape them. I used different concealers on under my eyes for years and one day realized I needed something more geared towards dark circles (not blemishes) so I switched to this and really think it's the best. Concealer is no longer a part of my routine. Next it's powder foundation with a Tarte brush that was discontinued (womp, womp) but I'm thinking of getting this brush/sponge combo that was designed specifically for this formula. After that I tap this brightening powder under both eyes (a rec from one of my favorite bloggers, Liz of Sequins & Stripes) with this brush (a rec from a makeup artist at Sephora when I told her I wanted the powder). The last thing I do is apply a little bronzer - either this or this (I have the original but Volume II is prettier, oh well) - with yet another discontinued Tarte brush (similar to this).  

By now my mascara has dried so I use my blowdryer to heat up my eyelash curler, curl again and then I comb my lashes out. Sometimes I apply a little more mascara. I'm still getting all of this down to a science but if you've been following my mascara chronicles on Insta you know it's a huge improvement from where I used to be!

Most days I don't wear eyeshadow but this palette in Sierra Sultry is my new favorite for days when I want to look a little more done up. I use it with this allover shadow brush, angled crease brush and ultra-fine liner brush - all awesome and you can't beat those prices!

At night I use this Micellar water to remove my face makeup and these pads to remove mascara. (I've been using those since high school!) I use this exfoliator 1-2 times a week. I have a Clarisonic and LOVE it. I swear you can see the difference after just one use. I use it with this cleanser - the consistency is so thick and smooth that it feels like velvet on your skin. I don't do any masks because I've never used one I absolutely loved, and also, I am lazy. But I'm currently considering  this and this if anyone's tried either and wants to chime in!

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I've also gotten some questions about my hair. I rotate between two sets of shampoo and conditioner - both paraben- and sulfate-free, AKA all "pregnancy safe"! I use this and this from IGK and this and this from Kiehl's. For pre-heat styling, I use this balm and this spray. I've had this blowdryer for 3-4 years now and I love it - I'd been using much less expensive dryers prior to that purchase and it really does make a big difference! I've been using this flat iron for the past 3+ years and it's still going strong. I am loving this curling iron I got on Black Friday. (I have the 1.25" barrel.) 

Here's the thing. When you're pregnant, you just want to feel pretty. You're big and waddle-y and out of sorts and ANYTHING that makes you feel feminine and confident is a good thing. So big ups to these products and my favorite Instagram filter for making me feel like way less of a schleprock!

What are your favorite brands/products these days?