I’m a pretty low-maintenance kind of girl. Time is money, and I don’t have a lot of either, so all of my beauty products need to perform and make my life easier.
I have three clothing styles: lululemon, “shirts with words,” and real clothes. I wear real clothes about 10% of the time, and my collection of lululemon is so large that we recently had to buy a new dresser just to make room for it all. I work from home, so sweatpants and comfort and those soft fuzzy socks are what you’d find me in if you rang my doorbell at 2pm on a Tuesday.
Even though my uniform may scream casual Friday, I do like to feel put-together from the neck up most days. Here are my favorite, no-fuss beauty products.
Chanel Primer and Foundation
I wear very little makeup because I have a little beauty secret which makes me look like I have my “face on” when I really don’t…I’ll get to that later. There are 3 products that I use on my face each day: Chanel foundation, MAC Dollymix blush, and eyebrow filler. If you’ve never used eyebrow filler, test it out sometime. It really helps to frame the face and make the eyes pop.
I have tried many kinds of foundation, and without a doubt, Chanel provides the best high-quality, flawless application. While it is pricey, one pump goes a long way. I like the Le Teint for a more studio-finish matte look (think date night) and Les Beiges for a more casual glow. I pair both with Le Blanc primer to make sure it lasts all day.
Beautycounter Charcoal Face Mask, Cleansing Balm and Peppermint Lip Conditioner
I started using Beautycounter products about 6 months ago when I began to learn more about all of the harmful ingredients contained in many of our beauty products, many which are banned in other countries. I have tried almost every product from their line, and my top three favorites are these.
The Nourishing Cleaning Balm removes makeup, but I wear it as an overnight mask each night. It is very pricey at $80, but a small amount of this Vaseline-like balm goes a very long way. It has helped my skin stay hydrated during these long winter months, and my skin always looks refreshed and plump in the morning. The Charcoal Face Mask draws out impurities from the skin and soothes. It’s actually a bit scary what my face looks like as it starts to dry, specifically over my nose and forehead. You can just SEE it working. It’s like a 10-minute facial for my skin. Each night before bed, I turn on my essential oils diffuser and apply some of the Peppermint Lip Conditioner. My lips have never felt so soft. I also love Beautycounter’s lip glosses in opal and dahlia. Considering we probably swallow about 50% of our lip applicants, I want to make sure that mine are free from any harmful ingredients.
Contact my Beautycounter rep Molly Hauck to learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rodan+Fields Micro-Dermabrasion Paste
Speaking of facials, I really wish I could see my girl Charlene Mazariegos at Vaughan Diann Salon in Annapolis a bit more. She gives the BEST facials in town.
Since I can’t make the time to see her as often as I would like, I use Rodan+Fields Micro-Dermabrasion Paste a few times a week in the shower before I get my face wet. It contains sugar and salt crystals to help exfoliate the skin, and the base is silicone, so you’re not left with oily skin. I LOVE the way it makes my face feel – a mini facial in a jar.
Contact my R+F rep Jennifer Premo at email@example.com to learn more.
While I’m on the topic of exfoliating, I became an expert in exfoliating when I prepared for my first bikini competition last fall. In order to get a flawless application of that orange spray tan for stage day, you must be thoroughly exfoliated. I ended up buying one of these body brushes randomly, and now it’s one of my favorite items that I own. I use it in the shower with soap, and it feel so good so scrub your skin down with it. It makes me feel refreshed and renewed, and it gets my skin ready for my after shower lotion, which happens to be my next favorite item.
Skin Food by AB Body Butter and RAW
Never heard of Skin Food? We’ll you’re not alone (for now). Local to the Ohio area, my best friend in Cleveland turned me on to these natural, homemade products that are sold in her local Whole Foods. The buzz is catching on, however so hopefully they will be nationwide soon. I started with the deodorant, but honestly I really don’t wear deodorant that often (weird I know, but I only really sweat during my workouts). I have recently come to love the body butters and RAW. Unlike many butters which are greasy, this thick cream goes on so smoothly without that oily feeling left behind. Listea is my favorite scent. RAW can be used as an all-purpose balm for dry patches and redness. I even use it on Gianna. You can buy Skin Food on Etsy here.
Next up is Living Proof Dry Shampoo. I used to wash my hair everyday, and then I had a baby…and then I realized that there were some corners I could cut in life and no one would know and no one would care. Washing my hair (or not washing it) is one of the corners I cut several times a week. Now, trust me, if I happen to teach a spin class one day, you can guarantee that I’m washing my hair (because it’s that kind of class), but if I’m just lifting or lifting plus the stepper, I’m definitely not washing my hair afterwards. I was very skeptical at first, but this stuff actually works, and I actually like my dirty hair better than my clean hair. Day 2 or 3 it looks the best. Try it and see for yourself.
Finally, my best kept beauty secret isn’t a beauty product, it’s a beauty person. Her name is Amber Kwong, and she is hands-down the BEST in the area for lashes and professional airbrushed makeup. I have been seeing Amber for five years now, every 3 weeks for a 75-minute last appointment where I leave feeling like a supermodel in sweatpants.
Amber is a perfectionist and her standards for her work are extremely high. Sometimes I’ll look in the mirror and compliment her work, and she’ll say, “Wait I can put a lash there. Lay back down,” She’s sweet, professional, approachable and the best in the business. Because of this 1 beauty service a month, I rarely wear eye makeup, but I look like I have it on. With summer coming, schedule your lash appointment with Amber, and say goodbye to running mascara forever.
Amber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on IG @ makeupmemories_amberkwong
So there’s my two cents. Take it or leave it. I’m certainly not a beauty expert, but I do love having nice skin that is no-fuss with very little effort. These products help look like I have it all together, when I really don’t. Shhhh, don’t tell.
I take my workout gear pretty seriously. I have to. I live in it for 12-15 hours a week, and I put it through hell. Soaking wet cycle workouts. Stretching and lunging and squatting during weight lifting sessions. I need it to perform. I have high expectations for what I wear, which is why I always go for quality over quantity when it comes to clothing and fit tech devices. Here I will share with you my list of favorite things. It’s always growing and evolving, but as of today, these are my must have items.
1) Wunder Under Crop II *Full-On Luxtreme crops by lululemon athletica
I love all things lulu, but these crops are my number one! They are very flattering and hold everything in where it should be. They are also really lightweight, so they keep you cool even during your sweatiest workouts. They are worth every penny of their $72-82 price tag.
2) Balega Socks
I used to think all socks were the same. A sock is a sock right?! Then my friend Ericka gave me a pair of these socks for Christmas, and since then I have become a complete sock snob. They are the ONLY socks I wear when I workout. Try them, and you’ll see.
3) Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor
My go-to recording device for all of my workouts. This is a very versatile and now inexpensive (since it’s a few years old) way to track your calories burned and average heart rate. You can purchase this one (which includes the heart rate strap) for about $60 on Amazon.
4) Jaybird X2 Wireless Headphones
In my opinion, nothing messes up my workout mojo more than earbuds that won’t stay put and long, dangling cords that get caught in my dumbbells. These earphones have an amazing sound, and they come with so many sizing options that they are sure to fit in any shape ear. They are pricey, but they connect via bluetooth to your iPhone and iPod, so they function as double duty during workouts and conference calls.
Set yourself up for success with these great items that will help you to smash your workout today!