Over these last twelve weeks of being at home, self-care has dropped to very low on the priority list. It’s been crowded out by survival, childcare, work, cooking, cleaning and cleaning, and homeschool, and more cooking.

The one bit of me-time I’ve carved out is my skincare routine. I’ve been wanting to achieve a truly clean skincare regime for a long time now. I’ve taken baby steps over the last couple of years, but I’ve spent a good chunk of my snippets of free time to research clean beauty products and test them out. At 40 years old (gulp!), I have some clear skincare goals in mind. They mainly include moisturize, moisturize and moisturize, keep wrinkles at bay, try to get rid of existing wrinkles and help me look less exhausted all the time.

I’ve got to say, after amassing a nice little beauty arsenal, my skin is looking pretty dang good these days. Since the daily joys can be a little few and far between some weeks, I thought you might benefit from a little personal pampering as well. Those 10 minutes I take every evening (and two minutes in the morning!) are helping me to feel a little more human.

Below you’ll find my top picks for clean cleansers, treatment products, and makeup. I vouch for each and every one of these as I’m currently using them on a daily (or weekly!) basis. I hope you might find one or two you’d like to try. I promise you’ll be lookin’ good on those Zoom calls!

 

Click here for our entire Beauty archive.

image via saie beauty

While I certainly have an affinity for beautiful things, I’ve never been a big beauty girl. I appreciate makeup that takes 5-minutes or less. I was in my late 20’s before I finally got control of my out-of-control skin. My hair remains a constant battle (what is a cool mom haircut these days? If someone knows please tell me cuz I need some fresh ideas). But I digress. As low maintenance as my beauty routine has always been, I’ve come to learn that attention to key details reaps great reward. Case in point, your eyebrows. I am probably one of many brow victims in the world who succumbed to the pressure to pluck and pluck and pluck sometime in high school or college. Then there were the years of waxing, trying to manufacture the perfect line. Then two things happened simultaneously. I had a baby and suddenly had no time for any salon appointment and happened upon Michele Holmes when Goop graced San Francisco with its presence. In a simple 15 minute consultation, I swear she changed my face. So along with her beautiful new studio, I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve learned from Michele along the way.

the secrets to great brows on apartment 34the secrets to great brows on apartment 34

Hello, welcome to an up close and personal look at my face. But I wanted to give you a real sense of what attention to your brows can do. But let me be clear; this is about a very specific type of attention. At Michele Holmes Studio they believe that eyebrows should look soft, natural and be low-maintenance (I can agree with all that!). Michele and her team doesn’t use stencils, gimmicks or tricks. Her natural brow shape is achieved with a tweezer only approach. NO WAX. What you see in my before photo above is about eight weeks of me doing absolutely nothing to my brows. As you can tell from my roots, I tent to stretch my time between beauty appointments as long as humanly possible.

But Michele takes great care to make your brows work for you, not give you “the brow” regardless of your face. Every session is personalized according to your eye shape, bone structure and hair-growth pattern. She discusses brow history, goals and current brow situation before touching a single hair. You might feel a bit like she’s staring into your soul as she intently studies your face. I always wonder what she’s noticing.

And as I mentioned, Michele only uses tweezers. Why, pray tell? This is the #1 question asked. Tweezers = control so she can carefully remove 1 hair at a time. Michele creates soft borders around your brow making the look natural but also polished from any angle. Naturally soft, fluffy (but tidy) brows make everyone look fresh and youthful. Overly shaped brows feel forced, look harsh and are difficult to maintain. Waxing and threading can give the appearance of straight lines and sharp angles. Bonus – I think tweezing hurts a lot less.

the secret to great brows on apartment 34the secrets to great brows on apartment 34

After my first consultation with Michele she convinced me to do two things. Not touch my brows for six months (SIX!) and to tint. Why tint? There are baby hairs under the dominant hair in your brows. Those little hairs love to absorb tint which can instantly make your brows look fuller. A customized brow tint can also make your skin look less dull and your eyes appear bright! Even if you don’t think you “need” tint, it is great for those looking for a boost of color or a shorter makeup routine. Tint is like a 4-5 week brow makeup application. Sold me there. We also to loose pigment in our brows as we age (wah!). Grey and white hair can cause the appearance of holes or gaps in the brows. Michele explained that she’s had clients come in and say “my brows have fallen out”, when really they had just lost color.

So I decided to jump onto the tint bandwagon and couldn’t be happier I did.

the secrets to great brows on apartment 34the secrets to great brows on apartment 34

When tweezing and tinting isn’t enough, Michele also teaches you how to fill in your brows. Brow makeup should look as natural as possible. More of a “fill where you need” to enhance what you have. She was kind of enough to share her top brow makeup tips with me, to share with you!

Here is how to fill your brows:

1. Brush brows up with a spoolie brush to expose sparse areas.

2. Use a super skinny pencil to fill the brows with hair-like strokes. Don’t press too hard and don’t over fill. We like the Surratt Expressioniste pencil. They are retractable, refillable, have an attached brush and are great for all skin types.

3. Brush the pencil strokes to soften the makeup. The lines from the brush create a hair like pattern in the makeup.

4. Groom and set your brows with a clear or tinted brow gel. Our current favorite is the Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper which comes in multiple shades and makes your brows look twice as thick!

the secrets to great brows on apartment 34

Et voila. There’s the after! Three things I love about Michele’s magic. I look more awake. I look less tired. My eyes really pop. Most days I know do a little brow fill in, a touch of mascara and lipgloss and call it good.

Not all are blessed with full brows. If you are having a hard time growing your brows on your own, there are some alternative options. Michele recommends trying a growth serum if you are having a hard time with re-growth. She offers hormone based or all-natural growth serums depending on your preference. If all else fails, Michele will offer customized microblading (launching January 2018). Not everyone is a good candidate. She requires a consultation along with a series of regular brow appointments to be considered for microblading.

But whether you’ve been addicted to tweezing what you think are unruly brows or you think you have no brows with which to do anything I swear Michele Holmes Studio can fix your situation. If you don’t live in the Bay Area – I do apologize that she’s not at your disposal. Even if you do, I believe her wait list is a tad long. But learning about brows was an eye-opening (ha!) experience for me. I hope this post might have offered some new insight for you too!

For my entire beauty archive (yes, there is one) CLICK HERE.

original photography for apartment 34 by andrea posadas

Today, I have someone you need to meet. I’ve talked to Girl Crushes and amazing makers over the years, but it’s hard to give today’s focus, miss Laney Crowell, one specific label. She’s an all around power woman. She’s created her own PR and content marketing firms, run social media and editorial content for Estee Lauder and is now taking perhaps the most admirable step of all – diving head first into her passion for clean beauty and intentioned living and sharing her true self with the rest of us. Laney recently launched The Moment – a stunning lifestyle site that is a mecca for all things clean beauty and healthy living. I recently sat down with Laney at my favorite San Francisco health food haunt, As Quoted, to dish on finding your passion and the perfect eco-lipgloss over turmeric lattes (have you had one? No seriously, they’re so good. I quit caffeine nearly 3 years ago now and they give me life.)

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I feel lucky to have called Laney friend for a number of years now. Her drive, creativity and warmth cause you to simultaneously admire her and want to be her BFF. She’s managed to harness that effortless beauty vibe that I’m always grasping for. So I was hoping her makeup recommendations might help me look more fresh faced!

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How did you discover clean beauty / self care?

It started in my search to learn more about food. I’ve always had a really sensitive stomach, I’ve suffered from acne, and I’ve always felt like I had low energy. I started reading about eating plant-based and how great it is for our bodies and our skin. The better I ate, the better my stomach and skin became. Once you start learning about food you can’t help but want to know where it comes from. For me it was a natural progression to see what’s in my beauty products too.

Clean makeup must-haves on apartment 34

What do you love about these five clean beauty products?

These are the products I keep in my makeup bag at all times:

Juice Beauty CC Cream in Dessert Glow

The great thing about this product is that it gives you a little coverage, a little dewiness, and it has SPF. I apply it with my hands and it evens out my skin tone instantly. Juice Beauty is organic, vegan, and toxin-free so they’re one of my most trusted clean beauty brands.

Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint in Dew

This product is so great. It comes in other colors, but I love the dew that turns into a slight rose. It’s glossy, but not too glossy, and gives that instant cool girl look. It’s kinda amazing that this product is made from organic and natural ingredients.

Kjaer Weis Eye Shadow in Transcend

This eyeshadow should win awards. It’s all-natural and certified organic, but the color is elevated and chic. I use it as an eyeshadow and an eyeliner depending on the look I’m going for – for a fancier look I’ll use it with Jillian Demsey’s Lid Tint for a glossy look.

True Botanicals Hydrating Mist

I recently discovered True Botanicals and fell in love with their Clean line. It has done amazing things to help my skin, which broke out really badly when I got pregnant. They gave me some new samples to try like this Hydrating Mist and I keep it in my bag when traveling.

W3LL People Nudist Multi-Use Cream Stick

I love products that I can use in more than one way, and even better if they are doing double duty on top of that. I use this stick as blush and for lip color, plus it has aloe and antioxidants in it so it’s good for your skin. It’s super sheer which I love, and has a gorgeous dewy finish.

Clean makeup must-haves on apartment 34Clean makeup must-haves on apartment 34Clean makeup must-haves on apartment 34

If women were going to change one thing about their beauty routine – what do you think it should be?

That’s a hard question! I’ve been slowly changing my skin, face, hair, nail and body products over the last year and a half and now I’m 99% clean. I think I started with replacing my face serum. I wanted to find something that was just as effective and clean as the toxic version I was using. If I had to recommend one product though, it would be a moisturizer that can be used on your whole body though, like Everyday Oil. Our skin is our biggest organ and we need to treat it well.

Clean makeup must-haves on apartment 34

What do you hope women take away from The Moment

Ultimately The Moment is a beauty site, but a new kind of beauty site. Beauty is so much more than the way we look, beauty is a feeling that comes from joy. I hope that people take away how to feel joy with what we eat, how we live our lives and with how we take care of ourselves.

What is your advice for someone looking to turn their passion into a career?

I started The Moment not because I’m an expert, but because I’m on a mission to feel better and feel more joy in my life. That mission was clear to me, because it’s what I did in my spare time. It took me a while to figure out it’s shape though, that came from journaling and mediating. If I have any advice it’s to take the time to be in touch with yourself and listen to your gut.

Clean makeup must-haves on apartment 34

Journaling and meditating goals. Check! I’m so thrilled that Laney in enlightening us all, not only with her ever-growing clean beauty knowledge, but also with her joy, her positive outlook and her goal of simply helping people feel better. Because you really can’t get mad at that can you? Seems like a long relaxing Memorial Day weekend would be the perfect time to start taking a little extra care of your self, no? Head to the The Moment for even more beautiful inspiration.

 

SHOP CLEAN BEAUTY 

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For more of my favorite beauty finds, CLICK HERE

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photography by andrea posadas

Like most women I know, I’ve been on a never ending quest for perfect skin. Riddled by severe acne that lasted well into my late 20’s, sensitive to the sun, prone to scars and sun spots, getting my skin to “behave” has never been easy. Throw in pregnancy in your late 30s and everything you thought about your skin gets flipped on its head. From the return of hormonal breakouts to dry patches that were once oily and oily spots that used to be dry, suddenly everything you spent 20 years figuring out no longer applies. And that insecure 16-yr-old-self rears her ugly head, only this time she has wrinkles. I’m the first to be skeptical about any “miracle” beauty product, but I have finally found an all-in-one elixir that does seem a touch miraculous. It’s so good I just had to share it with you.

Lifestyle blogger Erin Hiemstra of Apartment 34 sharing her review of Vintner's Daughter Face oil, a insider's skincare secret

Meet Vintner’s Daughter. This face oil is an all-natural, non-toxic, botanical serum that is pretty dang amazing. Sure, it’s used by top celebrity makeup artists and beauty editors and has gained a bit of a cult status, but there’s hype and then there’s your skin. Are those beauty editors every right??

Always extremely hesitant about face oils after having a tested a litany over the years, I was willing to give Vintner’s Daughter a try, primarily because it is created by a fellow Bay Area mom who was also looking to box detoxify and simplify her beauty routine. Vintner’s Daughter founder, April Gargiulo started her career in the wine industry. After struggling with her own skin issues and learning more and more about the toxicity of most mainstream beauty lines, she turned her expertise in fine wine – working with natural ingredients to make an exception product – and translated that experience into skincare. It took her two years to formulate what she calls the Active Botanical Serum. It’s made of entirely organic ingredients (there are more than 20) from conscious growers around the world. The serum is 100% natural and formulated without added sulfates, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, PEGs, and SLSs.

I recently sat down with April to learn more about her foray into the beauty world (and truthfully, to glean anything I could from this impressive power-mama) and she explained how her serum works this way: our skin, the body’s largest organ, is smart. On any given day, it will take what nutrients, peptides, minerals or whatever it needs to repair itself. Vintner’s Daughter is formulated with such a dense collection of critical phytonutrients, skin firming elements, fatty acids and anti-oxidants that will meet your skin’s needs as they shift. So you don’t need to change your product. You don’t need to layer on five things. You don’t need a separate wrinkle thing and then an eye cream and then a this and a that.

But beyond all the big important sounding words, is Vintner’s Daughter effective?

Lifestyle blogger Erin Hiemstra of Apartment 34 sharing her review of Vintner's Daughter Face oil, a insider's skincare secret

Well, after having my little guy, my skin was often dry and sallow. It just looked dull. Growing a human will do that to you. But using Vintner’s Daughter has returned a suppleness and dare I say even a little glow. And I do not break out! Seriously. An oil based serum. Extra bonus points: it smells divine.

When I met with April, I couldn’t resist picking her brain a bit – about the beauty industry, about skincare and about being a working mom. We did a little rapid fire five questions in under five minutes session.

What do yo think are the top 3 beauty myths out there?

1. That beauty has anything to do with age. True beauty is timeless.

2. That botox makes you look younger. (preach!)

3. That beauty is simply what you see. It is the actions, words, gestures and the unexplainable light that the most beautiful beings radiate.

What are you top 3 tips for great skin?
Water, sleep, diet and movement. It’s more than 3, but I couldn’t cut any of them.

What clean beauty products do you swear by, other than your own obviously?
In Fiore cream cleanser, dry brushing, apple cider vinegar.

How did you get started making Vintner Daughter? IE – how did you transition from the wine business to the beauty business?
My fine winemaking background is absolutely the bedrock foundation of Vintner’s Daughter. It taught me to put quality first above all else. That if you want to make the best of anything, short-cuts cannot be tolerated. So much of beauty is fast beauty, cheaply made. I wanted to create something that like a fine wine, was made from the very finest ingredients with the most time-honored, methodical formation techniques. It is a more expensive and time-consuming way of formulating, but the efficacy and quality of the end result speak for itself. There is nothing else like Active Botanical Serum.

You’re a mom, an entrepreneur, a business woman – what do you do to cultivate balance/wellness in your life?
I work hard to balance all aspects of my life. It’s a big priority because I love being a wife, mom, entrepreneur, daughter, friend and woman in this world. I make a point of cultivating each role because they feed me in different ways.

Water, sleep, beauty from within. All things I can get behind. But I don’t mind getting a little help in the glow department.

 

For more of my favorite beauty finds, CLICK HERE.

Every woman likes to look good when they walk into the world. A little self-confidence and even a side of sass are an added bonus. But since I became a mom, all things beauty have dropped down on my priority list significantly. When every 15 minutes of the day is pocket of time to get something on the to-do list checked off, perfecting my eyeliner doesn’t usually make the cut. That’s why I was so excited to learn about the new make-up line lilah b. The entire mantra of the 18-month old line is to declutter, minimize and simplify. I’m all for anything that makes my life simpler these days.

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The collection is great for three reasons. One, there aren’t 50,000 products. Instead, lilah b. designed the essentials – exactly what you need to have gorgeous skin, a little fun with the eye, a pop of color on the lip and you’re done. Number two, the packaging is just stunning. The compacts are designed to look (and feel!) like river rocks and I’m obsessed. Number three, I love that they’re a local bay area company, started and owned by woman with a passion and a dream. But more to come on that in a sec.

Lilah b. offers the make-up essentials that help you do your whole face in five minutes. I recently visited their home offices in Sausalito to put the five-minute face idea to the test – and I thought I’d share my mini-makeover with you. Here is my before pic.

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My goal was simple. I need an quick and easy make-up routine that will help me look a little more pulled together, refreshed and awake, but not made up.

Thankfully, lilah b. can accomplish that without any fancy contouring tricks or professional makeup skills. Aka my speed. Here are the steps:

1. Prime. They prepped my face with Aglow Face Mist to optimize moisture.

2. Conceal. The Virtuous Veil concealer in b.bright is a miracle worker. You can layer it with your finger or a brush. They dotted it under my eyes, around my nose, on my forehead and of course on my lovely spots. Gotta love post-partum skin.

3. Create flawless skin. The Flawless Finish Foundation is a powder that can be layered. They focused more coverage on my t-zone with a lighter dusting on my cheeks in light circular motions.

4. Bronze. The artist used Bronzed Beauty duo to add a little glow to my cheekbones, nose and forehead.

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5. Freshen the eyes. They used the eye quad in b.stunning on me. The artist used the dark shade to fill in my brows (brows are a total makeup artist secret – filling them in gives you an immediate facelift). She then used the lightest shade in the inner crease of my eye for a little brightness. The medium brown shade was dusted in my eye’s outer crease for a little definition. She also used the darkest brown along my lash line.

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6. Add some color. The artist applied the Divine Duo Lip & Cheek in b.fearless on my lips. The color builds intensity as you layer it. You can apply it with your finger but a brush helps creating definition. I love the pop of cheery red. It helps me look less tired!

A final spritz of the Face Mist to set everything and voila! I felt human.

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The other reason that I really love lilah b. is because it is founded by a woman who was chasing her passion. After years a marketing consultant, founder Cheryl Yannotti Foland relocated from NYC to San Francisco and realized she wanted to make her own mark on the  beauty industry.

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The other reason that I really love lilah b. is because it is founded by a woman chasing her passion. After years a marketing consultant, founder Cheryl Yannotti Foland relocated from NYC to San Francisco and realized she wanted to make her own mark on the  beauty industry, while also helping busy women look and feel great.

As she explains, “Our philosophy is “With less, you are more”. I created lilah b. after many years of working in the cluttered world of beauty —there were too many products and it was way too confusing. I wanted something that would simplify my own beauty routine, and I believed it would resonate with all women who wanted ease. With lilah b., you only need a few of our multitasking, high-performance products to achieve a flawless, finished look. Our stone components round out the collection with a modern, clean aesthetic. They’re portable, accessory-like, and will always look fabulous when pulled out of your handbag!”

And Cheryl puts her money where her mouth is. Taking her philosophy “with less, you are more,” to the next level, when you place an online order, you will receive a prepaid return label with to send back not only your used lilah b. packaging, but any other brand’s products. All of the packaging is recycled in Southern California. That is something I can really get behind.

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But I really love that I now have a fool-proof makeup routine and I’ve been able to ditch the pounds an pounds of make-up I’ve stored up over the years. Thank you lilah b. for making me look and feel great!

For more of my best beauty tips & tricks CLICK HERE.

 

original photography for apartment 34 by emily scott

Well, it appears the rumors are true. No matter how hard you try, self care tends to spiral down to the bottom of the priority list after you have that tiny human. Sleep deprivation leads to too many nights when you forget to wash your face before bed, let alone do all those steps in a proper skincare routine. Hence I can’t even remember how long it’s been since I’ve done a beauty post. But now that I’ve moved into my #YearofErin, I’m doing what I can to get back on the beauty straight and narrow. As as I dip closer to 40 than 30 (next month!), I really can’t hide when I neglect my skin.

Now that I’m trying to get back on track, I want to do it all. Serums, eye creams, sunscreen, retinol. You name it, if it is going to help me to look a little less tired, I’ll try it. This includes neck cream. As they say, a woman shows her age through her hands and her neck first! So when StriVectin asked if I’d be interested in trying their TL Advanced Light Tightening Neck Cream, I gladly accepted the challenge.

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Turns out the skin on the neck is rather different from the skin on the face. Skin on the neck is thinner and has fewer oil glands, making it more prone to show aging – lines, that crepey-ness and sagging that naturally occurs as we age. But these days you also have to be careful of Tech Neck. It’s a thing! Did you know the average person looks down at his/her phone 221 times a day? As a blogger, I’m certainly not your average tech user. I probably look down at a device 5x more than the average person – in bed in the morning, responding to never-ending emails, editing images…maybe even scrolling Instagram at a stop light now and again (shhhhh, don’t tell). That repeated motion of looking down can lead to the premature development of horizontal neck lines and quicker sagging on the neck and décolletage area. Boo. Even more reason to unplug more frequently. But that’s a topic for another post.

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Armed with the knowledge that I’m prematurely aging my neck, even as I type out this post, I gladly gave StriVectin a try. I’ve been using it nightly and am loving it. StriVectin’s texture – it’s really silky and smooth. It feels cool like a gel, but not sticky or greasy. As I deal with the other joy of postpartum skin care – trying to tackle new hormonal breakouts – I’m very nervous about how a new product will affect my skin these days, but I haven’t had any issue. With daily use over the past several weeks, I’ve noticed that my neck is more hydrated and supple – it feels softer to the touch. But most importantly, it looks smoother and more lifted.

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While it can sometimes feel overwhelming to figure out what to do to take the best care of your skin, I’m loving getting back into a routine. Even if it’s only 10 minutes at the end of every day, I try to think of it like my own mini-spa, where I can indulge in a little pampering and me-time. And I know my skin will thank me.

For more of my favorite beauty finds CLICK HERE.

photography by ashley batz

this post is in partnership with StriVectin. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations that we’re excited about and that have kept Apartment 34’s doors open.

One of the best things about a major move is the opportunity to declutter. It can take a little time and persistence but the results of a good ole purge are so worth it. Case it point – the bathroom. It’s so easy for counter tops, medicine cabinets or drawers to get overstuffed. Guilty of keeping that half full bottle of nail polish because you might like that color again someday? I’m guilty. Or wanting to try every tonic or serum your favorite beauty blog just wrote about? Guilty. Or only clean out your make-up drawer once a year? Totally guilty. Turns out, according to a recent study 71% of American couples have actually argued over a bathroom-related issue (such as hogging storage space, not tidying up and not replacing toiletries). I actually would think it’s even higher!  I swear the amount of bath products I keep on the counter always seems to spontaneously multiply. So when our move presented a chance at a fresh start, I committed myself to keeping our bathroom clutter-free.

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Five easy steps have helped me keep my counters clear for three solid months now so I thought I’d share them with you!

STEP 1: Dump the junk. I started by hucking any and everything in my bathroom that I hadn’t used in awhile. Aka, if it was more than three months old and I hadn’t touched it, it went buh-bye. That random clay mask, I kept telling myself I’d use some Saturday night? See ya. My collection of multiply bath salts for the 3x a year I take a bath? Gone. Random salt spray for my hair that I use…never, eyeshadow I used last holiday season, an overflowing collection of old makeup brushes? All kicked to the curb. And it felt good.

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STEP 2: Identify the necessities. It can be so easy to accumulate random bath products. So I’m doing my best to whittle down to what I know we will use everyday. I particularly love unisex products that can do double duty. Sure we all share toothpaste and the like, but it can be harder to find places where bath products overlap. That’s why I was stoked to learn about the newest body lotion from Lubriderm. It can be a hand lotion or a body lotion and is intended to be used by the guys too! One less product to clutter things up? Sold.

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STEP 3: Put things in pretty containers. I love decanting. I’m a bit of an addict. My dish soap, shampoo and condition, laundry detergent. I love how pretty containers gives a nice uniform look to everything. I think it gives me a sense of calm in my otherwise chaotic life. Regardless of my deep seeded reasoning, I’m a sucker for beautiful jars. These dark glass jars are by Infinity Jars and I’m in love.

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STEP 4: Add some life. The danger with beautifully empty counter space? It’s hard to resist the urge to fill it. Pretty perfume bottles, a new serum, a pretty tray. It seems innocent but accumulation seems to feed on itself. I find the best way to protect yourself is to ill the space in the first place! A nice plant adds some unexpected life to a bathroom and thrives in the steam filled room. It’s also become a personal mission to hunt down pretty bath products. A sleek black toothbrush, pretty smoked-glass tumbler and my favorite diyptique candle add a little upscale touch so that my bathroom can remain a more spa-like space.

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STEP 5: Repeat steps 1-4. At least once every 3-4 months.

No matter how hard you try it can be tough to keep bathroom clutter at bay, but with a little discipline, I’m going to be able to keep it this way.

PS: this is the first sneak peeks of our bathroom so I thought I’d share my sources! Counters are White Zeus by Silestone / faucet & sink are Kohler / hardware from School House Electric / tile is by Fireclay Tile / Round mirror by Ikea / bath towel from Anthropologie

This post is in partnership with Lubriderm. Thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations that we’re excited about and that have kept Apartment 34’s doors open.

I don’t know about you but my skin always changes in the winter. Predictably it’s a bit drier. It’s also more sensitive and irritable. As an added bonus, it also seems to be a bit more breakout prone post baby! As part of my attempt to take better care of myself this year I decided to add a few Skin Resolutions to my cook at home resolution. After all Carter is 9 months old now, so I think I’m overdue for more me time. Sure, it’d be nice to luxuriate and enjoy regular facials, but there’s no way I’m fitting that kind of indulgence into my schedule these days. And I suspect many of you aren’t either.

I have managed to add three winter skincare techniques to my routine that are helping me feel good about my skin without a hefty price tag or major time investment.
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DRY BRUSHING

I’ve recently added dry brushing to my skincare regime. Have you heard of it yet? It’s gotten a lot of attention recently, but thats probably because of all the benefits. It not only helps slough off dead skin cells, but it helps improve circulation, release toxins and even reduce the appearance of cellulite! All you need is a natural bristle brush and a bit of time.

It’s best to do dry brushing right before a shower so you can wash everything away. To get the optimal benefits you want to brush in the direction of your major lymph nodes to promote drainage. So brush from your feet up to your knees, knees to thighs etc. You can use long strokes or circular motion. You don’t need to be overly rough. You’ll get a little red but you don’t want to irritate your skin.

I love taking the time to do dry brushing on Sunday when I can take a luxurious shower (aka one lasting longer than 3 minutes) afterwards. My skin feels super soft and smooth and I always feel energized. The benefits are only supposed to increase the more often you do it, so I may try to start dry brushing daily!

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NATURAL EXFOLIATION 

I’ve been told by many an aesthetician that our skin does not renew as quickly the more we age, so we should help the process along. But so many of the exfoliating products I’ve looked at include ingredients like Retinol which is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. While I’m not typically a DIYer, I’ve been looking for at-home remedies that would help my complexion that were also natural and safe. I recently stumbled across one that includes something I always have on hand – champagne! Combining champagne with yogurt and a touch of clay helps remove toxins and slough off dead skin cells. And of course you can enjoy a glass of bubbly while you wait for your mask to dry.

Detox Champagne Mask

1/4 C Champagne
4 oz ground Bentonite Clay
2 T plain yogurt

Instructions: Put clay powder in a bowl. Slowly mix in your yogurt and once combined add in the champagne, stirring continuously. Once combined apply to your face and let dry – about 20 minutes. Once dry rinse with warm water and a wash cloth.

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FRESH CLEANSING ROUTINE 

The final part of my Skin Resolution is sticking a consistent cleansing routine. I’ve been notorious for product hopping over the years. Be it testing out samples or simply jumping to something new when my current cleanser runs out, I’ve been told time and again that your skin likes routine.

Thankfully, bareMinerals has come to our rescue, debuting their new skincare Skinsorials line and I’m totally in love. They’ve got options for every skin type – dry, normal or acne prone. I’m actually testing out the acne prone 3-step care system as I try to tame the sudden return of my 16 year old skin. (Zits and gray hair at the same time. The universe is cruel sometimes). I love the way the Oil-Free Replenishing Gel Cream feels. It uses mineral rich alage for a light-weight, but amazingly effective moisture. My skin feels super hydrated even with a gel-based cream. It’s amazing.

But what I’m most excited about is the Skinlongevity Vital Power Infusion serum. As I tip into the later half of my mid-30’s, I need to balance my finicky skin with major anti-aging ingredients! Becoming a mama isn’t making me look any younger. The Skinlongevity serum literally includes an ingredient called the Long Life herb that is found on the Japanese island of Okinawa – famous for the health and longevity of its residents.

While the jury is still out on whether or not Skinlongevity serum will take 10 years off my face, I do love the spa-like feel of the product. My skin immediately feels revitalized and nourished after an application.

So even if I’m not bundled up in a giant terrycloth rube, drinkng lemon water while I await a luxurious spa treatment, I can get a taste of a moment of zen at home. Now that I’m a lady with baby, it’s all about finding micro-moments of sanity in my otherwise crazy day. And if my skin comes out looking better for it, added bonus! As they say, if you don’t take good care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else. That’s my mantra, and this year I’m sticking to it!

 

original photography for apartment 34 by suzanna scott // face mask recipe from hello glow

This post is in partnership with bareMinerals. Thoughts and opinions are 100% our own. Thanks for supporting collaborations that have kept Apartment 34’s doors open.

There are lot of “mom” things out there. Mom jeans, mom hair, mom cars. While pregnant I swore I wasn’t going to succumb to “mom style.” There were two things in particular that I adamantly refused to give up – my heels and my bags. They’re part of my signature look!  If I’m being honest, the heels only make cameos these days, but I’ve yet to purchase a diaper bag and I’m proud of it! You can in fact cart around what you need for your little without resorting to a 50-compartment duffle.

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The key to staying stylishly organized is an oversized tote. Since you’re going to be hauling everything from dirty diapers to breast milk you don’t have to break the bank. I picked up an inexpensive little beaut. Ain’t no shame in that game. The next thing you need is zip pouches. In multiple. They’re how you can avoid frantically digging for your phone or keys. I have one zip pouch for all diaper changing necessities, another for wallet, keys & such and one more for my makeup.

Thankfully, I recently discovered a great makeup line that is designed specifically with overloaded moms in mind.

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Stowaway provides the essentials you need for the five-minute mom face {did I just invent another mom-thing?!}. Their BB cream, concealer, lipstick, pot rouge, mascara and eyeliner are in pint sized packages because the founders realized we hardly ever go through our makeup before it expires! So rather than slather your face with something gross, why not buy exactly the amount you need? And since the products are designed to be finished before they expire, they don’t need harmful preservatives, parabens or phthalates. That passes my mama-safety test.

I’m a sucker for good packaging so I loved the Stowaway line at first sight, but what’s inside is also fab too. They have the perfect red lipstick- a must in my book. And the entire kit is equivalent to the size of my phone! I swear I cut a full pound out of my bag by ditching all my old makeup. PS, scroll down because you can win a kit of your own! 

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The other secret to holding onto your style as mom? Edit. You don’t need every single baby accessory on the planet. I’ve narrowed my mama-must have list down to the following:

mommy-bag-essentials

01. All Natural Wooden Baby Toy
02. Burts Bees Baby Burp Cloths
03. The Honest Company Diapers
04. Grown Alchemist Intensive Hand Cream
05. Gold Rose Marbled Notebook
06. Soothie Pacifier

I’ve quickly learned that the easiest way to stay sane as a new mom is organization. Thankfully, Stowaway helps me keep a few makeup favorites at hand so I can look like I may have showered today!

BIG NEWS: Stowaway is giving away FOUR customizable makeup kits to Apartment 34 readers. You’re going to want to jump on this.

Enter the giveaway here and click here to get a special offer just for Apartment 34 readers.

 

original photography for apartment 34 by suzanna scott

This post is a paid collaboration with Stowaway. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting partnerships that we’re excited about and that have kept Apartment 34’s doors open. 

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