I'm the kind of girl who has hundreds of half empty product bottles in my bathroom and could never find skincare products that worked for me. I have combination skin so things can get kind of tricky!

One thing I have learned is that oil-free does not always mean break-out free. So after years of searching, I have finally found a skincare routine that works for me. I hope it works for you too!

Start Fresh

This is my secret weapon! Witch Hazel is by far my favorite product in my skincare routine (even though it smells like crapola!) But it not only minimizes the look of pores, or so it says, it keeps breakouts under control and makes your face feel fresh and clean.
I use T.N. Dickinson's Witch Hazel. I apply it right before bed and right when I wake up. I am very prone to harsh breakouts. But once I put this back into my beauty routine I have not had any of those giant craters on my face!

Prime Before you Paint!

In my opinion, primer is not necessary. But I do like to use it because it gives my face a very soft feel and makes my foundation go on smoother.
I use The PoreProfessional by Benefit. This is a little pricey for a primer and I have used others that work just as well. But this is the one I'm currently using and it does what it needs to.

Take it Off and Tone

The most important part of a skincare routine is TAKING OFF YOUR MAKEUP! And I know sometimes we get lazy and just don't feel like washing up before bed. But trust me, you will regret it if you don't.
I use the Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Fight & Fader Toner by Neutragena to take off my face makeup. I know, I don't always follow the health and beauty rules. This isn't really made for taking off makeup but it sure does the trick for me!

Squeaky Clean

Even after all my makeup is off I like to use a facial cleanser.
The cleanser I use is Olay Regenerist Anti-Aging Cleanser. It is very light-weight and has small exfoliating beads (which is another important step in my skincare routine).

Moisturizing Madness

Having skin that is prone to breakouts makes finding a moisturizer a NIGHTMARE! I don't need to moisturize every day because of my skin type. But the days I notice my skin is craving some moisture I have no choice!
I use Olay Total Effects Daily Moisturizer + Touch of Sun. I like this product for winter because of the added facial tanner. But I have noticed that when I use this version I breakout more than when I use the one without the tanner.

Tips Worth Noting

After the years I have learned a lot about my skin. So here are some tips I have learned to keep up my complexion:
  • Wash your face EVERY day
  • Keep your hands off your face (I didn't realize how often my chin was resting on my hands while on the computer or watching TV)
  • Wash your cosmetic brushes
  • Wipe off your phone with disinfecting wipes as much as possible
  • Keep your hair away from your face
  • Not getting enough sleep WILL make your skin appear lifeless and dull
  • Exfoliating is necessary, but don't over do it 
  • Embrace your skin type. Not everything works the same for everyone but don't be afraid to try new things
And Voila! That is my not-so-secret skincare routine. I hope some of these products work as well for you as they have for me!

Facial Extras

I'm a girly-girl when it comes to health and beauty. I love doing facial masks and pampering myself. Here are some links to some facial masks you can do yourself or buy at the store. I haven't tried all of these, so let me know what you think. Enjoy!

I will be doing a makeup routine post soon. So keep an eye out if you're interested in what cosmetics I use. Now go wash your face! ;)
It’s already February, how many pounds have you shed since your NYE resolution? Personally, I’m at a big fat zero! What’s my biggest problem? Overeating!  

It’s simple, I love food. And like most people out there I indulge a little more than I should. Here are some tips on how to curve those cravings and stop eating everything in sight.

Count ALL Calories
People are always looking for the miracle formula for losing weight; well I have found it for you. Work off more calories that you take in! It’s not rocket science people. There are many ways you can track your calorie intake. One of my favorite ways is the Lose It app. You can search specific foods and restaurants, keep track of your goals and check-in points, add in your workouts and subtract calories accordingly, and add your own foods and exercises.

And don’t forget to put in ALL calories. Yes, that side of ranch with your carrots counts as calories. Liquid calories are another issue: liquid calories ARE calories. Add them into your tracking method!

Eat More
But wait, I thought we were talking about not eating as much? Well, let me rephrase this: eat more OFTEN. It is better to have a lot of small meals during the day than 3 large meals. By eating throughout the day you will not be as hungry and prevent binge eating.

Your body can also break down the food easier in small quantities. Picture it this way: is it easier for a garbage disposal to crush up a serving of scrambled eggs and toast or a full thanksgiving turkey? Exactly.

Bowls for Days
Eating out the bag or container is one of the biggest causes of over-eating. Think about it, how many times have you popped open a bag of chips and before you know it more than half of the bag is gone? We are all human and food is a comfort. If it’s in front of us, we are more likely to eat it. So next time you’re reaching for a snack, check out the portion size and eat it out of a bowl instead of the container.

Play Mind Games
This is similar to the bowl trick. Humans react with visuals. If we see a big plate with half a cup of mashed potatoes on it, we feel inclined to scoop more on the plate to take up the space. However, if you cut the plate size in half and still have the same portion of potatoes you are more likely to be satisfied with that amount.

It’s all visual mind games. A smaller plate will make smaller portions of food look bigger and more satisfying.

Buffet Style Meals
This is a big problem with my family! My mom is an awesome cook. And not only that, she makes it her duty to see that NO ONE leaves the table hungry. So we always have the giant casserole dish of pasta, bowl of bread, and tons of different sauces right there on the table. So of course we all take seconds (and sometimes thirds!)

A good way to not over eat is by not having the food in front of you. Especially in a social setting. Somtimes you don’t even realize you reached for that second piece of bread! So have all of the meal on the counter/stove for people to serve themselves and then bring it to the table. Out of sight, out of mind!

Have a Plan
Planning out your meals ahead of time will keep you on track with what you eat. Personally, the days I have a brown-bag lunch packed the night before for work I usually only eat what is in the bag. But if I have no eating plan, I end up going to the cafeteria and getting pasta or a big club sandwich and chips. Then I'll hit up the vending machine and then go to the frozen yogurt place right outside our office doors.

Minty Miracle
One way to help you from overeating is refreshing your mouth. After you eat either pop in a piece of gum, brush your teeth, or use mouthwash. Have you ever tried drinking a big cup of orange juice after you brush your teeth? Yeah, it’s not too appetizing!

Remind Yourself of that Dream Body
A good way to keep you on track is with healthy visual stimulation. Get pictures offline of the type of body you aspire to have (Victoria Secret models always do it for me!) And have them posted as the background on your phone or around the house. Having one in the workout room and on the fridge is always helpful. Seeing the six pack abs of Miranda Kerr will make you think twice about grabbing that last cupcake.

Slow your Roll
Chew, chew, chew! I am the worst at this. I always have another piece of food ready to go before the current one is even swallowed! By chewing your food more your body has more time to digest it and make you feel full faster. Another thing to try is setting your silverware down between bites.

Get Support
The worst thing is having friends who have the metabolism of Michael Phelps.  They can just eat and eat and seem to never gain a pound. Well, I sure as hell know I’m not one of those girls! So make sure you are around people that can help you stay on track. It’s nice having someone who can say, “I want that cup of Froyo too, but let’s go for a jog before we have it.” You may want to punch your “Eating Support Group” in the face sometimes (hunger brings out the worst in me) but you will thank them later!

Avoid the Munchies Monster
Food is everywhere.  But sometimes avoiding temping situations is the best thing. Don’t go to the grocery store on free sample days. Avoid the break-room when you know someone brought donuts for everyone. Try to avoid crossing paths with vending machines. And don’t have a candy jar or unhealthy snack stash in your office. The less you see, the less tempted you will be.

Eat with a Consequence
This is one of my favorite things I have done to help my weight loss. I put sticky-notes in my cabinets, fridge, and pantry that have mini workouts on them. For example, each time I get something out of the fridge I have to do 50 jumping jacks or 10 burpees.

As long as you stick with it you will think twice about opening that snack cabinet when you're bored. Especially knowing you will have to do 50 crunches!
Here are some simple beauty tips that won’t break the bank or the clock!
1. Add Witch Hazel to your beauty routine! Why? This skin miracle is an acne fighter, can reduce puffy eyes, treats varicose veins, helps heals bruises, keeps skin moisturized, treats razor burn, and can help ease eczema and psoriasis!

2. Use coconut oil! Coconut oil has been referred to as “the healthiest oil on earth” and is known to have some awesome beauty benefits. Coconut oil can help prevent wrinkles and other aging.

3. Rinse your hair and face with COLD water. I know we all love to have our steamy hot showers (especially in the winter months). But hot water actually strips the skin and hair of essential oils. Use cold water or warm water if you must have some heat, to keep hair and skin healthy and youthful!

4. Use concealer AFTER your foundation. A lot of people think that they need to cover up blemishes and discoloration immediately with concealer- which is false! First put on your foundation and see if you still need toconceal spots. Especially if you use a heavier coverage foundation, you may find your foundation did the job. Also, you may notice more discoloration and cakey-ness if you put your concealer on first.

5. Use powder! I use Mineral Veil for my setting powder. Using powder will not only keep your shine away but it will also help set your makeup and make it last longer.

6. Clean of those electronics! It is no secret that technology has became a necessity to the way we live (I would be lost without my iPhone!) But the thing we forget is how dirty those little things are! Make sure to use anti-bacterial wipes and clean off your phones and other devices that go near your face. While you’re at it, clean those makeup brushes too!

7. Date your cosmetics. Yup I said it, be a little product whore! There are tons of reviews and information on makeup out there, but guess what honey, you are not like anyone else (and that is a good thing!) All products and cosmetics work differently for different people. Some foundations that have worked wonders for my friends have been complete duds for me. So the best thing to do is trying out new products and if it doesn’t work, move on to the next! Luckily, no one will judge you on the number of night creams you have taken to bed. ;)

8. Sleep on your back to fight aging. This one is tough for me! Sleeping on your side or with your face buried in your pillow can actually make you look older! When your face is squished up against the pillow it creates wrinkles and folds in your skin. Try surrounding yourself by pillows to keep you on your back if you can’t help but turn over.