The Best (& Quickest) Bath for Your Brushes

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How many times have you told yourself you were going to clean your brushes and then totally forget about it until it’s time to go use your brushes again and they’re just sitting there.. super dirty.. looking at you. It happens to me – ALL. THE. TIME. The reason I always put off cleaning my brushes is because the act of cleaning them is SO time consuming, usually, very messy, and it takes FOREVER for them to dry. All of that changed when I started using the Cinema Secrets brush cleaner. It’s SO much easier than any other brush cleaning process I’ve tried in the past and my brushes dry SO fast!

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I took my absolute dirtiest brush – my foundation brush. (Don’t judge, I’m kinda a new mom. lol)

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Then it’s as easy as dipping, waiting, swirling, and dabbing.

NO RUNNING WATER, NO BRUSH CLEANING GLOVE, NOTHING!

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VOILA!

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My Favorite Face Go-To’s

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1. Sephora Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer | 2. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation | 3. Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder | 4. Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer | 5. Beauty Blender Pro

Oh, and can number six be a really good eyebrow threading? Because with all five of those bad boys above and a good eyebrow threading – I feel unstoppable.

A lot of factors go into picking out only five face products when you literally have drawers of foundations, BB creams, CC creams, tinted moisturizers, etc. I’ve truly tried SO many products! I used to have extremely oily skin, especially through pregnancy, but I hated using extra mattifying products on my acne prone skin. After A LOT of trial and error, I’ve finally established my favorite face beauty products that work just as well on my good skin days as they do on my break out days.

Obviously, these don’t include my skin care regime and primer but I change those as needed – with weather, seasons, and, of course, time of the month. Developing a good skin care regime is the basis to any good makeup application. But, one thing that I love about the products above, aside from their quality, is how they balance each other out. Even with clients, I’ve learned that the above products are not only my favorite because of how they look on MY skin but their high quality shows on all skin types and tones. These five products are my answer to “if you could only have five makeup products for the rest of your life what would they be,” kinda question. I mean, I might toss out the beauty blender and throw in a mascara but hopefully that question will never become valid.

  1. I’m always on the hunt for a good concealer and I’m guilty of using a different concealer for each different facial feature. :/ I bought this concealer on a whim when it first came out on Sephora.com and I happened to be ‘just browsing.’ What made me LOVE this concealer is how awesome it lays in the most dry, wrinkly places AND it’s only $14.00! I was a huge fan of NARS’ radiant creamy concealer that sells for $29.00 so I was skeptical to find a replacement for just half the price but, I actually like the Sephora Collection serum concealer MUCH better! THIS concealer with the LM Translucent Powder is everything. EV. ER. Y. THING.
  2. This guy and it’s brother (#4) are an investment. I was scared to try this foundation just because I know so many people who LOVE this stuff and I didn’t want to fall in love with a $62.00 foundation. BUT I tried it…  AND I love it. I just couldn’t resist. It works SO well with whatever primer I use and wears magically. I’ve worn this guy in DC on a super chilly day and in Miami while sweating on South Beach – I LOVE IT.
  3. This powder is the reason I am able to be as dewy and radiant as I’d like, anywhere. It’s everything you want in a powder and I LOVE using this guy on brides and clients that need their makeup to last as long as possible.
  4. If you’re not into a heavy contour but still love being bronze – add a pump or two of this guy to your foundation and you’ll never look back. I love a good contour, but, let’s be honest, in real life, most women walking around with a heavy contour look like they may or may not have a 5 o’clock shadow. Plus – I’m an exfoliating, face mask junkie so this bronze fluid sheer is my best friend.
  5. If you haven’t tried a beauty blender – get out from under your rock, spend $20 on a sponge, and change your life. *Drops mic*

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MOTD : Ready for Fall

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Products Used:

Face: Make Up Forever Ultra HD Foundation // NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer // Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer // Benefit Blush // Besame Brightening Vanilla Powder

Eyes: Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade // Make Up Forever Artist Shadows in M620 & I528 // Rimmel ScandalEyes Eyeliner in Nude (on waterline) // NEW Stila Got Inked Cushion Eyeliner in Black Obsidian // Ardell Glamour Lashes 

Lips: NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu

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DIY Newborn Photos + Princess Baby Boutique

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We opted out for expensive hospital photos, especially since Giuliana had jaundice and spent 24 hours in phototherapy leaving her with little white rings around her eyes. We own a Sony Alpha a6000 camera which takes awesome quality photos so I figured, we can shoot newborn photos at home. With the help of a few props and a free photo editing app – I’d say I did pretty well.

The white faux fur throw that Giuliana is laying on is only $12.99 from Ikea and can be found here. We used a Boppy Newborn Lounger to prop her up, a lot of natural light, and made sure the room we shot the photos in was decently warm for baby to be extremely comfortable.

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Last but not least, we used super adorable baby accessories handmade by Princess Baby Boutique. My dear friend Amanda is so talented and creative with making all kinds of baby accessories for both girls and boys – I highly recommend checking out her Facebook or website for a child of just about any age. Also, ALL of her products are so individually unique and extremely affordable!

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My Pregnancy Favorites + Tips

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1. Vaseline Cocoa Radiant Body Gel || 2. Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Polish || 3. Stamped Gold Bar Personalized Necklace || 4. Spanx – Power Mama

1. Every mama, including this one, will tell you how important it is to lotion every part of your stretching body. I swear by the Vaseline Cocoa Body Gel. It’s SO moisturizing and soothing, and I definitely think it helped me not develop any intense stretch marks.

2. My nausea kept me FAR away from any perfume. In fact, the only time I didn’t mind fragrance was in the shower and towards the end of my pregnancy, the shower was one of the only places I felt completely relaxed. First of all, the Soap & Glory Body Polish smells AMAZING – the brown sugar and peach seed will make your entire bathroom smell like a Yankee Candle. Second of all, your body and skin go through so many weird changes during pregnancy that exfoliating (especially towards the end) is extremely soothing and euphoric.

3. My very first personalized purchase associated with baby Bailey was this gold bar necklace stamped with a ‘G’. For how affordable it is, it’s definitely been worn countless times and I still get many compliments.

4. The Spanx Power Mama shorts won’t slim you but it will give you great support. I bought these for my baby shower but wore them under just about everything whenever I had to stand for a long period of time.

Besides those four favorites, I’d recommend:

  • Investing in a dehumidifier before baby – for mama’s rest.
  • Downloading the ‘Sleep Pillow’ app from the Apple App Store and using it for mama and baby. Trust me – a portable noise machine will be a life saver.
  • Ginger Ale and Saltines help with nausea but personally, my appetite saver was peanut butter crackers – specifically the orange ones that come in a pack of six that you usually see in a vending machine.
  • I definitely overpacked for the hospital but the one thing I’m SO glad I had was breast cream – I used Medela Tender Care Lanolin.

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