Updated Skincare Favorites

Skincare seems to have become quite the topic to poke fun at in the blogger/influencer space lately, but I have been really into it over the last few months. I have recently become one of those people that applies 7 or more products before going to sleep or applying makeup in the morning. So I thought I would share what they are. Plus, I thought it was good timing with the Sephora sale this week! Anyway, at age 25, I get the occasional breakout (more about how I have dealt with acne in my twenties, in this post from last year) and have started to see some fine lines. But before I break down all of the products below, I am still using two topical acne prescriptions, Clindacin wipes and Aczone gel. So I think those are a large factor in keeping my breakouts away. I used to have a very simple routine with a cleanser, my acne prescriptions, the occasional face mask, and a moisturizer. I have added a few more products into the mix over the last few months. My skin has never felt better since I started this more involved skincare routine. Although as I have been mentioning in my nutrition posts, eating healthier has also been a huge help. So here is everything else I have been using on my skin lately!

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser- I received this product in an Influenster box a few months ago and have been washing my face with it twice a day since then. It is an easy one step to both cleanse and remove all makeup, even tough mascaras! I used Cetaphil cleanser when I was younger and I think this feels like the product a few steps up. I probably would not have thought to buy it just from looking at the price, but I am so glad I got to test it for a review. I think it is definitely worth it, and my skin has felt great since I started using it. I like it so much, I actually bought the larger size for the 20th anniversary from the Sephora sale this week for when my current bottle runs out!

MudbuM Savassana Toner- Toner was a new type of product for me to use until a few months ago, and I am not sure how I went so long without it. I got this one from MudbuM, where I go for the occasional facial in Charlotte. I love their all natural products, and this one has made a difference in my skincare routine. However, there was a bit of an adjustment time where I had to figure out the right amount that worked best for my skin. Using 2 sprays from the bottle twice a day was a little drying, so I recently started only using it once a day.

Derma E Vitamin C Serum- I didn't really know much about serums until I recently learned (from Twitter, of all places) that Vitamin C can help with marks and acne scars.  I have been noticing over the last year or so that although I had gotten my acne mostly under control, when I do get the occasional breakout, the marks seem to take a lot more time to fade. I wish someone told me about this a year ago, because it has been a game changer for me! Most of the Vitamin C serums that first show up when you search for them have quite a steep price tag, so I wanted to test out a more affordable option to see if I even liked using it. At just $20, this one was the perfect one to try! I apply it in the morning on my face and neck before my moisturizer and makeup. After just a few days, I noticed an overall brightening of my skin, making both my acne marks and fine lines look lighter. I read a post from a beauty blogger comparing this serum to the much more expensive one from Drunk Elephant, saying this one was very comparable. So at the moment, I don't feel the need to upgrade from this one anytime soon!

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye cream- I received this eye cream in a PR package awhile ago and started using it twice a day for maybe 6 months now.  I don't think it has worked miracles on the light lines around my eyes, but I think it keeps that area nice and moisturized. I think it also brightens some dark circles before I apply my concealer. Although it has a larger price tag for a skincare product, you only need the tiniest amount each day, making it last a very long time!

Origins Original Skin moisturizer- I have to admit I only tried this moisturizer because my previous favorite was discontinued. I loved the moisturizer from Origins' Zero Oil line that I had used for a few years. So it was suggested that I try this one for a similar effect, and I think it works just as well! The only major distinction from this moisturizer to the Zero Oil one is that it has a mattifying effect. My skin tends to be oily, so I have really liked the matte effect on my skin before I apply my makeup in the morning.

Origins Modern Friction exfoliant- I use this 2 or 3 times per week to exfoliate after I have washed my face. I used to use face masks to exfoliate in the past, but was not using them as much as I should have, just because I don't always have the time to sit around with it on my face. So I like that this is just a quick step to keep my skin fresh!

IT Cosmetics Secret Sauce moisturizer- I also received this moisturizer in a PR package probably 2 years ago, and just recently started using it as my night time moisturizer. I have also been using it during the day on my neck after the Vitamin C serum. I know it is never too early to start using anti-aging products, but I was not thinking about that when I first received it.  After using it lately, I wish I did start using it earlier! It is a thick formula with collagen, peptides, and hyaluronic acid. As much as I like it, I do have to say I don't think it is worth the almost $70 price tag. This could be a miracle product for someone else, but I will not be buying another one when this one runs out. However if I did not have this one to test, I would not have started to use an anti-aging moisturizer. If anyone knows of anything with similar anti-aging ingredients that costs maybe under $50, please let me know!

Coola Radical RecoveryAfter Sun lotion- I got badly sunburnt at the lake with my family last month (thanks to jumping on a float right after I applied my sunscreen...) and this lotion worked miracles. My shoulders, back, and thighs were lobster red and this helped the redness go down quickly. I also did not have any peeling skin after using this for a few days, and it is mostly organic!

St. Tropez Wet Skin self tanner- This pale girl like a slow gradual build of color, and this has been my go-to tanner this spring and summer. Although I use it a little differently than the directions of the bottle. The directions will tell you to apply it to wet skin, wait 2 minutes, and rinse the product off. I did not find that very effective, which is maybe why I've been buying it at Marshall's for $10 lately...so I consulted some reviews. A few reviewers across Sephora, Amazon, and Nordstrom said something along the lines of: applying it to dry skin, waiting 5 minutes, and rinsing it off. Sure enough, I think it works a lot better that way!

Thanks for reading!

Navy Sequin Dress

Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

Lilly Pulitzer "Celsea" dress | Similar heels | Similar glitter clutch | Prada sunglasses

Anyone else shopping for fall wedding guest dresses? I have 3 weddings to attend this fall and I'll definitely be wearing this dress for one of them. I found it for just $60 at Marshall's in the early summer and I love the sequin detail! It might be in the upcoming Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale, which I am not so patiently waiting for the date to be announced. My guess is either next Monday or the following one. As always, I'll be posting all about it once it has been released!

Thanks for reading!

Wrap Workwear Dress

Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

Chelsea28 wrap dress | Sam Edelman heels | Similar Kate Spade bag | Prada sunglasses

Wrap dresses have been my favorite summer workwear options lately! I wear lot of tops and skirts during the warmer months, so picking just 1 piece is always an easier way to get ready in the morning. I found this dress at Nordstrom Rack recently, and have been loving it for the office. The ties on the sleeves add a little bit to an already fun printed dress. I also recently picked up the solid black version of this blue and white stripe wrap dress I posted back in May. I think these wrap styles are trendy right now, but are still classic enough to keep around for years!

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Palm Print Maxi Dress

Chicwish dress c/o | Kendra Scott earrings | Similar sunglasses | Land of the Pine bag | Jack Rogers sandals

Fellow short ladies, I found a maxi dress that didn't need any alterations!! Well, maybe it looks more like a midi dress on the model. But whatever works, right?! The palm leaf print and the back cutout make the dress even more fun and perfect for the end of summer. I played up the green pairing it with green earrings and this palm leaf clutch we have available in the Land of the Pine Etsy shop!

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Red Floral Ruffle Dress

Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

Chicwish red floral print ruffle dress c/o | Similar Kendra Scott earrings | Jack Rogers wedges | Brahmin "Lane" bag | Similar sunglasses

I've definitely been having a red moment this summer (like this red dress and this red jumpsuit), and I'm keeping it going with this floral ruffle dress! I've also been very into wrap dresses, they're so feminine and flattering. I might have gotten several compliments from strangers when I wore it for church and to run some Sunday errands last week. I've styled it with red Kendra Scott earrings (I recently found marked down from TJ Maxx), my favorite summer neutral shoes, and trusty Brahmin bag!

Thanks for reading!

3 Years in Charlotte

Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

eShakti jumpsuit c/o | Similar earrings | Similar shoes | Similar bag (bought at vintage market) | Bracelet made at Beads Inc. | Prada sunglasses

3 years ago today, I moved into the studio apartment that I still call my home in Charlotte. I moved here a few months after I graduated from college, after spending some time back with my parents in Greensboro, NC. I like to reflect on the years (like I shared 10 things I love about Charlotte last year, and reflected on my first year) because I feel like I have grown and learned so much since I moved here at 22. I think this has been a great place to figure out who I am as an adult. Growing up in North Carolina, I always enjoyed day trips to Charlotte and thought I would enjoy living here. I think it has been even more than I ever expected, with the amazing people I have met (from my wonderful boyfriend to great gal pals), and the fun activities around town. It seems like there is always either a new restaurant or brewery to try, a free workout to pop into, or an event to attend in this growing city. I know I mentioned this in my first year post but I want to get some local travel guide posts put together with some of the best of Charlotte. But I'll probably tell you a lot of what you could already read on Charlotte Agenda. So if you are new to the area or taking a trip here, check there first!

P.S. this amazing jumpsuit is from eShakti, they have endless options of clothes you can customize to fit your exact measurements! If you have been reading here awhile, you might remember I have worked with them a few times before (2014, 2015, 2018), and I have loved each piece I have received from them. One of my favorite things about their customization is that beyond making sure the garment is the right length (which can be so hard for petite ladies), you can even choose to add sleeves or change the straps. I added the tie-straps on this jumpsuit, and have shortened sleeves on a piece before. They also have so many classic and feminine styles to choose from. I looked through pages upon pages of dresses before I found this jumpsuit!

Thanks for reading!