No7 Stay Perfect Foundation Review

You guys make me feel all cool and fancy when you ask for my opinions and reviews on things. Lately I have had a few different clients, friends, etc ask what I think about the brand No7. Admittedly, I haven’t tried much from this brand but I’ve never heard really negative reviews about them but apparently there have been a lot of mixed reviews around the internet about their Stay Perfect foundation. I feel bad when people ask me for reviews and I’m not able to give them my own personal opinions about a product. So I bought the No7 Stay Perfect foundation (in Cool Vanilla) and now I have my first impression reviews for those of you who’ve asked.

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Let me start with saying this: I wish they had more of a color selection. I am very pale and feel like even their lightest shade wasn’t quite light enough for me.

Putting it on/first couple minutes of wearing: 

  • It claims to be medium coverage and I totally agree with that. It wasn’t super sheer, but it also didn’t give me the cake-face effect. I have some pigmentation under my eyes from this pregnancy that I hoped it’d cover (i didn’t use any concealer during this test) and unfortunately it didn’t – but it did lighten it quite a bit.
  • It applies easily and evenly. I needed to use more that I thought I would though. To get the coverage I was happy with I had to use 3.5-4 pumps. I applied it with my beauty sponge and it gave me no trouble.
  • Its buildable. The coverage gets more heavy duty the more you put on.
  • This product needs to be set with a powder. Its a very shiny, dewy, sticky foundation. Shiny and dewy is fine – sticky…not so much. I felt like if anything touched my face my foundation would come off. Once I put a setting powder over top it cleared that problem up and no longer felt sticky.
  • Its lightweight. I don’t feel like I’m wearing tons of makeup on my face.
  • It oxidizes. Ugh. This just means that once its out and on your skin the shade gets darker. My face looked more tan than the rest of my body all day. Not a ton, but enough for me to notice. Luckily I was able to hide most of that with other make ups on top of it.
  • It applies nicely over a primer and other products apply nicely on top of it.

After several hours of wearing: 

  • The pigmentation under my eyes started to peek through the foundation a little more than when I first put the product on. The foundation on my chin also started to wear off a little – which is common for pretty much every foundation I try.
  • I took a 20 minute nap and was pleased to find that it stayed on well and didn’t wear off where my face was on the couch.
  • I didn’t find it to settle in to my creases and wrinkles anywhere – always a bonus!

At the end of the day:

  • It didn’t sheer out anymore than it did in the middle of the day – I was very happy about this.
  • It didn’t settle into any lines on my face.
  • It hadn’t transferred onto any clothing even after changing my clothes twice during the day.
  • It removed very easily at the end of the day when I took it off.

So…the No7 Stay Perfect Foundation. Do I recommend it? I do! (and I didn’t think that I would to be honest) At $15.99 I think its a good price for the quality of the product. I absolutely recommend that you make sure you set it with powder, otherwise it may be a whole different situation. I liked the medium coverage, I liked that it wasn’t heavy on my face, I liked that it didn’t transfer. I didn’t love the oxidizing but I figured out how to work with it and I didn’t like how sticky it felt initially (before i set it down).

If you’re on the market for an affordable, dewy foundation – this one would be worth a try in my opinion.

*Sorry there were no pictures of my face in this post. Mom brain + pregnancy brain… If you hurry you may still have time to catch my live review of the product on my Snapchat at ceeceesparkles though!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

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February Beauty Talk

I don’t like the name Beauty Talk anymore. I should have just been boring and named it Favorites or something. Because its not all beauty related I have realized. But oh well. Here are my February Favorites/Beauty Talk. Thank goodness I found a lot of great things this month because this has not been my month so I’m happy I was at least able to discover some new goodies and rediscover some old gems.

Evian Natural Mineral Water. This stuff is awesome. Its not a setting spray, its just… water with minerals. I am a very, very dry person so I love using this to give my skin a little moisture. Its light and dries quickly. I usually use it after I wash and exfoliate my face, before I put my moisturizer on. And I go crazy with it at night before I go to bed. I’ve totally noticed my skin is less dry too and I give this so much of the credit.

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Aveeno Absolutely Ageless cleanser. I am not opposed to spending a pretty penny on skin care. I take my skin care seriously and I usually steer away from drug store brands. However I kept reading amazing reviews about this stuff so I decided to give it a shot and I am shocked to say I’m obsessed. This is so gentle and smells incredible. It gets sudsy and just makes your face feel clean and fresh. I never thought I’d recommend something like this, but I do now!

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Morphe Concealer. Ok. I’m torn on this. The first time I used this I used it under my eye and that got a big NOPE from me. It creased so bad, even when I set my under eyes. It was just bad, looked cakey and horrible, but I was determined to love it somehow. So I started using it over blemishes and as a sort of a highlight and like it much better. I definitely think its a thick, thick product so it needs to be applied very light handed and blended out really well. I don’t love it but I don’t hate it anymore. But would I recommend you buy this? No, probably not.

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Thickity Thick Mascara by Bliss. I got this off of Amazon after hearing it helps your lashes lengthen and look fuller. Isn’t that the goal? The first several uses were underwhelming (but I tend to like mascara after its a little older/more used anyway) but now I really like it! Its super easy to build too. If you want a more natural look, one coat will do but if you want a more dramatic look, you put a few more coats on and BAM.

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Morphe 12NB Palette. Loooooooooooooove. I am a die hard fan of Morphe’s eye shadows. They are powdery, sort and have some fall out, but once you figure out how to manipulate them just so, they are awesome. These blend so well and they’re the prettiest colors. I am thinking this will be a great palette to take next time we travel. It has all the colors I’d need to do a different eye look every day and still feel like I’m mixing things up.

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ColourPop Super Shock shadow in Summer Lovin. Oh I love this stuff. I use this product as a pop of high intensity shimmer on my eyelids when I’m going for that dramatic, glam look. I’m never disappointed. It blends well, applies well and doesn’t move all day.

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Maybelline Fit Me! Foundation Stick. I have been actually hating foundations, lately. Every single one I try just doesn’t go on well and its really annoying. So I decided I had nothing to lose and started dabbling in drugstore stick foundations. I have some more in the mail right now but I have been working with this one lately. Its definitely not full coverage, but its nice and blends with a foundation brush really nicely (I had bad luck using a beauty blender) I am excited to try the other stick foundations though. Someday I’ll find a foundation that loves me.

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Elf Highlighters. The pinker one is called Pink Diamonds and the golden one is called Moonlight Pearls. I am so impressed with these! If you’re going to use them I suggest dusting off the top layer first because for some reason the top layer just doesn’t work the same? But these are really nice, natural highlights that can be built up if needed.

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Cool Makeup Setting Spray. This stuff is so refreshing and smells yummy. Does it actually make my make up stay on longer? I’m not sure. But it helps add moisture to my face, helps my make up look a little more natural and feels so good! I don’t love the way it sprays though..

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Light Board. I love my light board and I’m particularly proud of the way its looked for the last week. I think I’m funny sometimes.

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Spireside candle in Main Street Bakery. I’m 99% sure I’ve talked about this candle before, but thats how good it is. This company used to be called Anthology Candles and has since changed their name. This is the yummiest smelling candle I’ve ever owned. And its inspired by Disney!

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Heart Dish. I got this small heart dish from Target for like $3 and I’m obsessed. It was a Valentine’s Day decoration originally but I think its going to stay on the decorative tray I keep on my dining room table far after February is over. I love it too much to part ways with it just yet.

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xoxo

ceeceesparkles

January Beauty Talk

What do you think about doing my Beauty Talk but in video form? I’ve dabbled with the idea of doing a YouTube video for my monthly Beauty Talk just because when it comes to skin care and make up and such I have a lot to say and its obviously easier to say live as opposed to typing out a review. Its just a thought. Will February’s Beauty Talk be a video or a blog post? Only time will tell.

I’m starting this post off with these Minnie Bow earrings that are my new favorites. I always have Disney earrings in and more often than not they are Mickey shaped, so when I saw these I knew I had to have them because they were a little different but still obviously Disney. They are dainty and adorable and make me so excited.

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I got this shadow blending brush in my most recent Ipsy bag and I’m a huge fan. This does so good at blending shadows so there aren’t any harsh lines. I’ve been using this a lot for my crease color and its so easy to use and gets the job done.

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This is Super-Hydrating Eye Cream from Air Repair. I’m an eye cream junkie and have a lot, but I have been returning back to this one over and over again. Its light but super hydrating and I swear when I put a bunch on at night I wake up and my under eyes look better than they did the night before.

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I ordered tons of sheet masks off of Amazon a few months ago. These two brands (Dermal and The Saem) have been my favorites. Their masks target a ton of different skin concerns and they really do work! They smell really great and they are cooling and comfortable — and make for awesome selfies.

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I was ordering some products off of Ulta the other day and came across this Firming Night Cream from Burt’s Bees and figured why not give it a try? Its not the best night cream I have ever used, but I really like it. I love that its not greasy or heavy but I can tell I have something on my face. And the smell is phenomenal.

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I have been using the Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream for a little over a year now. I use it after I wash my hair and work it into the length of my hair and it leaves my hair noticeably smoother, less tangly and shinier and just prettier.

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This blush is from Model Co. and is in the shade Peach Bellini. Its a nice peach color thats simple and easy to apply and blend. I will especially love using this in the summer.

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I am in a pickle when it comes to foundation. I can’t find any foundation I love right now so I’ve been trying a lot. A beauty YouTuber I follow really likes the Maybelline Fit Me foundation so I gave it a go. I don’t hate it you guys. It matches my skin really well and it goes on really, really nice. I hate the packaging though. You have to dump it into your hands. Ew. I much more prefer a pump. So the search for the perfect foundation continues.

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I love this Lipsense color in Beige Champagne. This is my most recent go-to. Its a neutral with a  hint of pinky/brown in it. I love it a lot.

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xoxo

ceeceesparkles

October Beauty Talk

R+Co – Death Valley Dry Shampoo: I was randomly given this product and I never turn down dry shampoo because there is never a bad time to use this stuff. I’ve been given the advice to use dry shampoo in bangs to help them keep their place so this is what I’ve been using in them for the last two weeks and I really like this stuff! The main reason I like it so much is that it dries with no color. I hate when you think you’ve rubbed in all your dry shampoo only to find at the end of the day you look like your roots are grey – but thats not even an issue with this stuff. The scent is barely there and thats something I really enjoy too. There is also something about the packaging that just makes me excited to use it.

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Kokie – Nail Polish in Heavenly: Do you like my awesome chipped manicure? I’m classy, what can I say? Its not a Fall color at all, but its a color I’m drawn to and I love it. Also the elephant on the bottle and the lid is really great.

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NYX – Photo-Loving Primer: I love when you find cheap products that work like expensive ones. Also, have I already talked about this because I swear I have. I love this stuff. It has a heavy silicone feel which I love in a primer, but I know that isn’t everyones favorite. But my make up sticks to this like glue and my face stays on all day when I wear this. Way to go NYX for making something that works awesome.

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(Malin+Goetz) – Grapefruit Face Cleanser: This cleanser is bomb. My face feels so clean and radiant after I use this and the way it feels on your skin is a dream. It smells good, it makes your face look and feel good and there is literally nothing wrong with this stuff.

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Pure Brazilian Miracle – Leave-in Conditioner: I have no idea where this came from, it just showed up in my life and its a miracle. You spray several pumps of this into your damp hair and brush it in and it makes your hair feel so soft and silky and like you’ve put the time and energy into it that you probably should but don’t. The word ‘miracle’ is in the name of this for a reason. And the smell is divine.

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Laura Geller -Highlight in Peach Glow: I feel like Gilded Honey highlight form Laura Geller gets a lot of love. I talked my mom into buying that and every time she wears it I love it. I decided to get Peach Glow because it seemed to match my skin better. I’ve been using this a while now and I really like it. Its a subtle glow for sure, but sometimes subtle is nice. My only complaint is that this transfers incredibly easily which means that H and Wild Man usually wear a little highlight during the day when I wear this as well. Oops!

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Burt’s Bees – Coconut & Pear Moisturizing Lip Balm: Burt’s Bees chapstick is my favorite chapstick and the scent of this one is what makes it my very favorite. I don’t feel like there is anything else to elaborate on here except that it feels great, smells great and makes me happy.

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xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Fresh Face

Being a Master Esthetician, I get this question a LOT: What can I do to make my skin look better? Unless they have mentioned specific skin needs to me, 99% of the time I give the same answer. Its what I do (or try to do) and it works for me! A lot of it is common knowledge and you’ve surely been hearing it since you were a little kid – but thats because it really does work! So in case you needed a refresher on those frequently repeated facts, here is a simple guide on how to keep your skin looking and feeling fresh, beautiful and youthful.

Drink Water: This is good for you for a plethora of reasons, but one of those reasons is that it keeps your skin so youthful, soft, healthy and clean. My husband is the most perfect example of this. He is older than anyone ever guesses he is. If people are guessing his age they are always guessing he is 5+ (no joke) years younger than he actually is and thats not just because he is still a kid at heart. It is because that man guzzles water like its going out of style every single day. He never has acne, his skin isn’t oily and it isn’t dry, its smooth, soft and so healthy and I know its because of the water he drinks (and that he’s awesome and washes, moisturizes, sunscreens and cares for his face).

Get Enough Sleep: Beauty sleep is a real thing, people. While you sleep your skin is being repaired and cared for by your own body. The more sleep you get, the more TLC your skin gets. The less sleep…you get the picture.

Wear Sunscreen: I could write a 600 page novel on this topic. Wear. Your. Sunscreen!! I don’t care if you tan and never burn. I don’t care if its cloudy outside. I don’t care if its October and you burn more in the Summer. Wear your sunscreen!! The simple truth is, if the sun is out, hidden by clouds or not, it is shining and its rays are touching you – yes you – no one is immune from this. Unless you want to look like an old, wrinkly piece of leather when you’re older then you should be doing everything in your power to protect your precious skin from the harmful rays of the sun.

Take Your Make Up Off: Your skin needs a chance to breathe, free of any heavy products (such as make up). Sleeping with a clean face is helping aid in your quest to look younger for longer. I had an instructor tell me in Esthetic school once that sleeping with your make up on is giving your skin permission to speed up the aging process. Why would anyone want that, you know? So although you may be tired or lazy, I promise the extra step will be worth it. Your future, older self will thank you for this.

Wear Moisturizer: Your skin needs this. Just like everything else I’ve talked about, it is another vital step in keeping your skin healthy, strong, smooth and clear. I am particularly fond of moisturizers with SPF in them during the day and really love a good, thick moisturizer for night time.

See? How easy is that!! Of course there are other, more in-depth tips and tricks (that I’d be happy to post about if thats something you’d like..) but these are the basics and I promise if you use them there will be a difference in your pretty little faces.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

My Pregnancy Skin Care Routine

I have always heard about the coveted ‘pregnancy glow‘ and I have always hoped that I would be one of the lucky gals who obtained that pretty, light, glowing skin. Now I don’t mean to toot my own horn but I very, very rarely miss a morning or night washing my face. I enjoy taking care of my skin and seeing the benefits that good skincare provides. I guess I just sort of assumed that of course I’d get the pregnancy glow.

Welllllll, I haven’t. I’ve got a lot of compliments during my pregnancy (thank you, everyone, iloveyou), but no one has ever said I have the ‘glow’. Shoot.

However, I haven’t necessarily had bad, problem skin, either. Its kind of just been…normal? I get hormonal breakouts (acne along my jawline and chin) from time to time, but never anything to write home about. When I want it, I have to work for my ‘glow’ which essentially means I wear make up if I want to get flawless skin – post on that in the future. If my skin is bare, its fine – just not glowy, darn it. But hey, I still have a month and a half (give or take) until Little Man gets here — maybe its not too late for that glow to come on. Never stop believing, right?

Ok, now onto what this post is really about.

My Pregnancy Skin Care Routine:

At night time, before I do anything else, I take my make up off. I have experimented with a lot of different make up removers and wipes, but right now the one I’m loving is the Up&Up Refreshing Wet Cleansing Towelettes from Target (www.target.com). This product is super affordable and surely not the best quality or face wipe I could spend my money on, but I’m glued to it right now. It takes my make up off quickly and…the SMELL of these wipes is currently one of my very favorite smells I’ve ever smelled (pregnancy does weird things to you). Maybe once I’m past being addicted to the smell I’ll try something else. (Also, I have false lashes on right now and oil-free is a MUST around your eyes when you have lashes on. So if I wear make up on my eyes (liner or shadow) I use a liquid, oil free remover that is also the Up&Up brand from Target – so far, no complaints).

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Next, (or first, if its morning) I cleanse my face. If I am in the shower, I’ll use my Clarisonic (get one for yourself, you’ll LOVE it at: www.clarisonic.com) with my cleanser on it. I used to use my Clarisonic a lot more often (3-4 times a week), but my skins a lot more sensitive since being pregnant, so I can’t use it as frequently without feeling like I’ve torn up my face.  (FYI: If you use the Clarisonic or any other kind of machine like it, this also acts as your exfoliant – so don’t exfoliate, afterwards or you’ll overdo it and hurt your skins protective barrier.) I’m very paranoid about what I put on my skin since becoming pregnant. Some ingredients (salicylic acid, for example) are harmless on non-prego skin, but are NOT recommended for prego-skin. So I decided early on to stick with organic products for my skin while Little Man is cooking. I was introduced to the organic skin care line, Tao (www.taoskincare.com), while at Esthetics school and have always really liked it and its relatively affordable. It is a professional line that has awesome benefits and provides the comfort of knowing you’re using organic material on your precious skin. I use two cleansers. My very favorite, and the cleanser I use first is Tao’s, Organic Green Tea Cleanser. This product is good for sensitive skin, mature skin, along with oily, dry or combination skin so you really can’t go wrong with it. I love it because while its on your skin it feels soapy and so clean, but it doesn’t leave any residue on my skin. The second cleanser I use is Tao’s Alpha Hydroxy Cleanser. I don’t use this one every single day – sometimes it tends to sting my skin and I’m not always about that life. But regardless, its a good product I still recommend. This product is good for breakout prone skin (I like to really focus it on my hormonal breakout areas), aging/mature skin and dehydrated skin. Tip: The longer you rub cleansers into your skin, the deeper penetration you’ll have from the product – giving you a better treatment.

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After cleansing, if I haven’t used my Clarisonic, I exfoliate my face. For this, I have strictly been using Tao’s Radiant Face Scrub. I highly recommend this. This is a physical exfoliant so you can feel the beads in the product as they gently scratch away the dead skin and leave your skin so soft! I’m seriously in love with this stuff.

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This next step is sort of optional and probably random, but I feel like it really helps when I want my skin to regain some softness and moisture. With either a cotton ball or an esthetic wipe of some type, I put a little bit of 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil on my face (not too much or I’m oily for quite a while).

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This step is also optional and I do it about every 3-5 days. I use facial masques for a little extra TLC. My very favorite face masque right now is from Murad (www.murad.com) (a medical line). The masque is from their Resurgence Line (the green line) and its called the Hydrating Gel Mask – unfortunately I can’t find it on their site right now. I don’t even have to rinse this masque off because I soak it up so quickly. I have very dry skin and it just eats this stuff up and leaves my skin looking a little more dewy and plump (a good kind of plump, promise). Another masque I use, if I’m up to a little bit of stinging on my skin is Tao’s Pineapple Papaya Enzyme Mask – and I can’t find it on their website either!! (bad luck, today!) This mask is an enzyme masque, so it is an exfoliant that breaks down the yucky stuff on your skin you don’t want. It is good for sensitive, dry, oily, mature or damaged skin. Both masques are gels that can soak into your skin if you leave them long enough (however I typically rinse the Tao Masque just so I can get the majority of the sting over with). If I used a masque, I reapply toner afterwards.

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Next is Toner. Toner is overlooked but so, so important. It balances your skins PH levels, shrinks pores, it moisturizes, protects and is refreshing. I use Tao’s Organic Calming Toner. As it says in the title, this product is calming and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin in the very least. This product is also good for any skin type, so again, can’t go wrong with this. My preferred way to apply is to dump the product into a small spray bottle, then I spray (3-4 sprays) onto a cotton ball or esthetic wipe and run it over my face making sure I get it everywhere.

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Next I use a serum. I like Tao’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum. Its a little pricy for the size you get, but its very worth it. Hyaluronic acid holds more than 1,000 ml of water per gram. Thats a lot of hydration you’re putting onto your face! To apply I squirt one pump onto my finger tips, rub it together and pat it onto my face.

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Now I use eye cream. I hate how expensive eye creams are. I hate spending money in general (ugh), especially on something that doesn’t last long. So I have searched for eye creams that are affordable but still do a good job. I’ve found two that have met my demands. At night I use L’Oreal’s Revitalift and in the mornings I use YesTo’s Age Refresh Eye Firming Treatment in blueberry. Both are lightweight, easy to apply and keep my eyes fresh and happy.

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The last step is moisturizer. If its night time I use a moisturizer without SPF, if its morning, you better bet my moisturizer has SPF in it! I’m a sunscreen-aholic. I have two moisturizers I switch off using at night. Both Murad. Both are from the Age Reform Line (the grey line), the first is Skin Perfecting Lotion, the second is, Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture. Both are lightweight, easy to apply and feel very moisturizing. I can’t go to bed without a good coat of either of these on my skin. In the morning, I also have two moisturizers I switch off between. One is Murad’s, also from the Age Reform Line called Perfecting Day Cream (SPF 30), the other is from Glymed (www.glymedplus.com) (LOVE this line) and is called Photo-Age Environmental Protection Gelp (SPF 15). One time my sister in law told me this stuff smelled like Disneyland, so now I love it even more. Both of these also go on light weight and absorb quickly.

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Bonus step: Chapstick. Because life is heaven with Chapstick. Extra bonus if its a yummy smell.

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Also, in case you wondered what I use on the rest of my body (even for stretch marks), I use Coconut Oil all. the. time. La-la-loooove coconut oil. Also, I will sometimes use Cetaphil. Coconut Oil is obviously very oily, but holy cow it makes my skin feel ahhhmazing and Cetaphil is slightly oily, too, but feels good, very moisturizing and goes on/absorbs easily. I’m also convinced these products are golden because guess who has NO stretch marks? (so far…knock on wood).

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If you have any questions, shoot them my way! I’m always happy to talk skin care. Also I’m curious to hear how YOU care for your skin – feel free to share.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.”

-The Emperor (from Mulan)