An Organic Take on Skincare

It’s official. I think getting away to enjoy a spa day is going to be a foreign concept for awhile! I’ve entered newborn land. Between feedings and diaper changes, laundry and oh yea, remembering to bathe myself, it looks like I’ll have to wait a month or two until things feel normal and I can schedule some peronsal pampering time. That said, I am making a point to carve out a few quick and easy at-home spa-like moments {thank gawd for grandmas!}. You’ve got to keep your sanity somehow! With just 20 minutes once a week and some yummy organic skincare products, I can give my face that nice “I just had a facial” glow and I feel much more human! It’s these little rituals that can make the trials of daily life a little easier to handle – even when a newborn isn’t involved. Oh and spending some me-time in an insanely gorgeous bathroom doesn’t hurt either!


Currently, I’m experimenting with Target’s first all-natural skin care line SW Basics. I love that each product includes less than five ingredients {and they’re all organic!} meaning higher-potency and less chance of any additives irritating my skin. For the past year I’ve been trying to switch out all of my beauty products to an organic option {especially once I found out I was pregnant} and this line makes it super affordable to do that. Yay!


When I’m craving a healthy skin boost, I first steam bath my face to open up my pores. Simply simmer a pot of water, take it off the stove, and put your face above it with a towel draped over your head, making a tent to trap the steam in. Do this for about five minutes and then wash your face and neck. I’ve fallen in love with rosewater over the years and this rosewater and tea tree oil cleanser is so gentle and hydrating.

Next, I exfoliate to get rid of any dry skin and to really give my face a deep clean. This organic oat flour, almond flour and sea salt exfoliant is rich in vitamin E and just what my sleep-deprived skin needs! You can also use it as a mask just by adding organic plain yogurt or honey to the dry mixture – extra bliss time. I do both: exfoliate, then mask and it’s such a treat for the skin!


After the mask dries {about 10 minutes}, I rinse with cold water {important to close your nice and clean pores back up!} and smooth on toner. It’s a step I usually skip in my daily regimen so it’s nice to give my skin extra treatment. You could also try using SW Basic’s raw apple cider vinegar and witch hazel toner to balance out the pH levels.


Oh, but my favorite thing of all is body scrub! This SW Basics Body Scrub is the real deal. Use it everywhere from your neck to your elbows and it will leave your skin silky soft and smelling delicious! Seriously, this scrub smells so much like dessert, I want to eat it. Thing is, with only three ingredients in it: organic sugar, coconut oil and shredded coconut, you literally COULD eat it!

I can’t tell you how much the right products can change the health of your skin. Plus, knowing that you aren’t putting any crazy chemicals on or in your body just makes you feel good, ya know? I highly recommend stealing that all-too-critical me time once a week. You deserve to indulge in a little beauty pick me up. It makes the world of a difference for your skin and your mental health. I’m thinking maybe I should try to do this twice a week!

original photography for apartment 34 by Charles Redding // art direction by erin hiemstra

This post is brought to you by Target Style. Shop the new Beauty collection in stores and online. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34’s doors open.

6 Fresh Spring Scents to Try

Spring season is all about starting anew. You’ve been cleaning house, organizing closets, clearing out drawers – isn’t it amazing how all of those typical spring chores make us feel so ready to charge through the coming months?? In addition to swapping out winter clothes for a spring-ready wardrobe, one small way to add a little extra spring to your step is with a crisp new scent!  We’re loving the subtlety and sophistication of these bright and fresh fragrances!



> Aerin Rose de Grasse
> Commodity Magnolia
> Replica Floral Market
> Jo Malone Orange Blossom
> Estee Lauder Modern Muse
> Bottega Veneta Essence Aromatique

Each of these artisinal scents are infused withchic aromatic floral fragrances like orange blossom, rose, jasmine and freesia – but they’re beautifully balanced with woody tones like bergamot and cedarwood. The sophisticated blends will leave a lingering hint of scent so soft and subtle, it’ll have you dreaming of being outside enjoying the bright warm air and those beautifully blooming trees all day long!

Here are a few others we’re looking to try. Do you have a signature scent for the season?

A Pregnancy Beauty Secret Revealed!

With literally only days until our kid is scheduled to make his appearance {days people!}, I’ve been reflecting about the experience of being pregnant a bit. Having had what can only be described as a really smooth ride, I feel pretty lucky. But there were a few unexpected surprises along the way. One that I found particularly amazing is just how much water you have to consume! You seriously become like a camel. Even when downing three or more liters a day, I’ve never been so dry! Think cracked lips, dry mouth, scaly skin – the works. The little bugger really sucks it out of you – literally! So if I were to create a mama-to-be survival kit for all you other pregnant or possibly pregnant ladies out there, these five things would be on the tippy top of my list!


#1: Water {obvi!}. Have a water bottle at your side at all times. And every time it empties get up from where ever you are and fill it again. If you have headache, drink water. If you feel lethargic, drink water. Yes, you’ll be running to the bathroom every hour on the hour, but your body, your skin and overall sense of well-being will thank you.


#2 Water-filled food. Try adding in as many water-filled and fibrous fruits to your diet as you can. Cucumbers, berries, applies, bok choy, celery – keep ’em at your fingertips and snack away. You can also use those berries to flavor your water!


#3. Tea Time. Yes, you will get sick of guzzling water so switch it with tea. There are a ton of delicious and beneficial teas for expectant mamas. I’ve particularly loved one that helped me combat heartburn, but you can find ones that help you relax, ones that boost your energy or just generally support the health needs of a mama-to-be. A nice cup of tea is a relaxing way to start and end your day and it gives you a couple more servings of precious fluids!


#4 Pretty pout. Your lips are likely to be constantly dry so find a fabulous lip balm. Buy ’em in bulk. You’ll be slathering it on day and night and trust me, your lips will thank you.


#5 Reinforcements. No matter how much water you drink, you’re going to need a major moisture boost. Thankfully Skinfix can come to your rescue. Created with 150 year old recipe that was passed down through generations of pharmacists, this lotion packs a serious punch for your skin. And most importantly it has no parabens, no phthalates, steroids or added fragrance – super important to me as I really tried to stick with natural products throughout my pregnancy. Every morning after the shower and every night before bed I’ve been giving my skin an extra moisture boost like this – and no stretch marks thus far!

With all of these tools at my disposal, I’ve been able to keep my skin feeling and looking good for the past 10 months {did you know you’re actually pregnant for 10 months, not nine!}. Now I just have to keep my water-filled beauty routine going once our kid arrives. I know my skin is only going to continue to reap the benefits!

photography and art direction by erin hiemstra

This post in partnership with Skinfix. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations that we’re excited about and that keep Apartment 34’s doors open!

Trusted for generations, Skinfix’s award-winning products ensure head to toe happy and moisturized skin. Available exclusively at Target.