My Holy Grail Beauty Essentials

My Holy Grail Beauty Essentials

I’ve found that as I get older I’m actually getting more into beauty products- upgrading my skincare routine as well as perfecting my day and night makeup looks. I see it as an important form of self-care now that I’m in my 30s. And as a busy Mom of two I need self-care. Below I’ve listed my absolute favorite skincare and makeup products. Let me know what your favorites are in the comments.

Rodan + Fields Radiant Defense Perfecting Liquid– If you use foundation I’m sure you’ve dealt with the pain of finding the perfect formula. There are so many brands out there and quality varies widely. I’ve tried many brands over the years and struggled to find one that provided just the right amount of coverage, offered the perfect color match, lasted a long time, and didn’t transfer color. Rodan and Fields had the best foundation I’ve tried yet. The formula is so lightweight it feels like a tinted moisturizer, but it really lasts and the color blends perfectly. My skin always looks dewy and illuminated when I put it on.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo– I’ve always had sparse brows and I’ve been filling them in pretty religiously for the past 6 or 7 years (I cringe at some of my old photos before I started filling them in). I finally made the leap and scheduled an appointment with one of the top microblading artists in the DMV area at the end of the April (she’s booked months out and I couldn’t be more excited about this upcoming appointment). But up until now Anastasia Beverly Hills’ brow powder has been a lifesaver. It’s easy to use with an angled brush, the pigment looks very natural and blends easily, and one pot of this magic formula lasts a long time.

Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara– Like the search for the perfect foundation, my search for the perfect mascara went on for some time. Too Faced’s Better than Sex mascara offers the most dramatic length of any mascara brand I’ve tried. I love the wand itself and their tips for getting the most length.


Fenty Beauty Match Stix Trio– I’ve always been intimidated by contouring, but the Fenty Beauty Match stix make contouring and highlighting so easy. You can choose the perfect shade of concealer, the perfect contour color, and a pretty highlighter shade by matching it to your Fenty foundation shade. Being able to do a simple contour has really upgraded my night out makeup looks.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick-I love matte liquid lipstick because it makes my lips look fuller. My husband has even accused me of altering my lips in photos when I’m wearing it. Anastasia Beverly Hills offers gorgeous colors in a formula with staying power. I’ve really been getting in to red lipstick lately and I love the shade “Seraphine” for the perfect ruby red, and mixing “Heathers” and “Tulip” for a vampy shade of red.

Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment– I love all Sunday Riley products but the Lactic Acid Treatment is perfect for exfoliating your skin. My skin always looks more even and my pores look smaller after using it.
What are your favorite makeup and skincare products?
Xo,
Courtney

7 Brands That Actually Make Cute Clothing for Girls AND Boys

7 Brands That Actually Make Cute Clothing for Girls AND Boys

I’ve always loved fashion so I look forward to trying to put together cute outfits for my boys. As other boy moms can probably tell you, it’s a challenge to find cute and trendy items for boys. We typically get the short end of the stick- scrolling past delicate dresses and coordinating headbands on instagram, walking past aisle after aisle of colorful leggings and t-shirts with darling details, only to head to our much smaller section of dinosaur and truck prints in the same shades of blue, brown, and green.

Thankfully I’ve learned where to shop to pick up items for my boys that are actually fashionable. Right now I’m in spring shopping mode so I wanted to take some time to share my favorite brands that I feel really make an effort to give Moms of boys and girls equally cute options.

Zara-


Zara carries trendy pieces, classics with a fun twist, and minimal/natural styles. If you’re a bit of a hipster it’s easy to find styles you’ll love at Zara. They also have really sweet messages on some of their tees and sweatshirts.

Gap Kids


The Gap is my go to for denim, outerwear and accessories. They have a ton of cute options for boys, and their pieces are great quality and on-trend. One of my favorite Gap items is a denim jacket, they always offer a classic version but they also put an adorable spin on their denim jacket pretty much every season.

Janie and Jack


If you love to dress your children in classic styles, Janie and Jack carries adorable high-end pieces that are the perfect blend of classic and preppy. I love this brand for special occasion pieces.

Hugo Loves Tiki


If your style is modern and fun, Hugo Loves Tiki offers playtime friendly styles in really bright allover prints. You can also shop their end of season sales for amazing discounts.

Jamie Kay-


If you prefer neutral and natural styles, Jamie Kay has perfected the minimal look in their online shop. A lot of pieces are gender neutral and they’re made of soft, high-quality fabrics.

Ralph Lauren


I love Ralph Lauren tees and shirts, the polo brand is so All-American and iconic. I find great deals by shopping Ralph Lauren’s end of season sales online.

Carters-


Carters is my go to for onesies, casual t-shirts and pajamas. They typically offer email discounts daily.

 

Those are my top brands that don’t make me feel like I’m sacrificing style when I shop for my boys. I love brands that focus on producing cute clothing for everyone. What are your favorites when shopping for your little ones or buying gifts for others? Let me know in the comments.

 

Xo,

Courtney

 

My Top 5 Subscriptions

My Top 5 Subscriptions

As a millennial and as a mother I love a good subscription box. There’s something exciting about getting a package of goodies in the mail every month, especially when the contents are varied. I’ve tried a lot of subscription boxes carrying everything from food to makeup and skincare to baby items. Some boxes were amazing and others either weren’t customized enough to suit my needs (pretty much every beauty box) or were just generally a waste of money. Read on for 5 boxes that I think are actually worth a subscription. If you’ve tried any of the following boxes or if there are others that you love, please let me know your thoughts in the comments! 

Winc– If you love wine, this subscription box is perfect for you. They send a box of wine bottles customized to fit your flavor preference profile. You can choose four white, four red, or a mix. And your feedback after each box helps determine what they send you next. This is a subscription that I tried out pre-babies, but as a Mom of two a box of wine delivered to my doorstep sounds amazing right now. If you don’t know much about wine all of the choices out there can be pretty daunting. This makes it easier to sample different kinds of wine and learn what you like and don’t like. Wine tasting at a Vineyard is a nice experience to learn more about wine too, but this subscription is fun and convenient. 

Hello Fresh-This is one that pretty much everyone has heard of even if you haven’t tried it. Its one of the most popular dinner subscription boxes for a reason. Hello Fresh sends you recipes and ingredients to make 3 meals a week. The recipes are generally delicious and take 1 person about 30 minutes to make. I also tried this subscription out before I had kids. My husband and I did the vegetarian plan and I loved learning new vegetarian recipes (I’m not a vegetarian btw, but I try to go meatless as often as possible). And I loved that I didn’t have to go hunting for exotic ingredients in the grocery store. When our family expanded we stopped this subscription, but I honestly learned so many cooking tips from the recipe cards that the length of time that I did have it was invaluable. It’s also nice that you can keep the recipe cards and recreate the meals anytime. I loved Hello Fresh so much that I’m considering signing up again. 

Bluum– I was gifted a subscription to Bluum when I was pregnant with my oldest son Mason. They send a box of pregnancy or baby related items depending on how far along you are or how old your baby is. When I was pregnant I received things like belly cream, affirmation cards for delivery day, and ointment to help with breastfeeding. After the baby came I started getting things like toys, bottles, skincare products for babies etc. One of my favorite boxes included a pack of cleaning tablets and wipes for cleaning bottles on the go. This came in handy so many times when bottles fell on the ground while we were out and about, and once when we stayed overnight in a hotel room and I forgot to pack my bottle brush and soap. I love that things I never would have thought of on my own like that were included in the boxes. 

Little Spoon– Some of you may have seen the beginning of my journey with homemade baby food on my instagram stories. With my oldest Mason I bought all of his baby food but stuck with organic brands. This time around with Myles I was determined to make all of my own baby food since I’m currently a stay at home Mom. But the reality of having a baby and a toddler means there’s less time for chopping, peeling, and steaming than I had hoped and I needed a backup plan. Little Spoon delivers organic fresh meals (using HPP) that are tailored to your baby’s developmental stage and preferences. I love that they use over 80 ingredients. Some of the similar cold-pressed brands available online have a limited number of ingredients so there’s less variety than what Little Spoon offers. I also appreciate that Little Spoon uses a lot of vegetables. I think some brands rely too heavily on sweet fruit. Little Spoon comes in convenient packages that include a tiny spoon (sn: I’m also guilty of relying too much on pouches in the past, which can promote lazy eating habits). And Myles loves it so far. 

Yumble– Once Mason moved past the baby food stage I struggled with coming up with a variety of lunches for him that were nutritious while I was working. Yumble was almost a lifesaver. They deliver organic toddler meals that are balanced, easy to reheat and so tasty I often found myself eating them. It didn’t work out because I had such a picky eater on my hands that most of the meals went to waste. But if your toddler isn’t as picky, or if you have a slightly older child this might work really well for your family especially if you’re a working parent. 

Those are my top 5 subscriptions. What are your favorites? Anything you’re thinking about trying? If it might make my life a little easier let me know! 

Xo,

Courtney

Style Inspiration: Meghan Markle

Style Inspiration: Meghan Markle

Now that fall is just around the corner, I’m thinking a lot about my fall wardrobe, which needs an update (I was pregnant during the last two fall seasons). I’ve been searching the internet for inspiration to plan a cool capsule wardrobe that’s mom friendly. (If you’re unfamiliar with capsule wardrobes or how to plan one from scratch, check out The Real Chic Life’s post).  I got a lot of inspiration from Meghan Markle, She’s pretty much everyone’s muse right now, and I’ve written about her style before on my old blog Law Books and Lipstick when her outfits on Suits had everyone envious of her business casual style. Meghan’s wardrobe is obviously very polished and ladylike right now, but her pre-royal wardrobe was a master class in casual, effortless chic. Here are a few outfits that I think are Mom friendly and easy to adapt:

A relaxed button down shirt looks polished and timeless in the fall, and distressed jeans make the shirt look more casual, especially when paired with flats. This classic combo is perfect for a playdate, running errands, etc. Oversized sunglasses also are classic and stylish. I purchased the magazine tote version of Meghan’s bag from Everlane. Both options are perfect for tossing everything you need in on the go.

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Another alternative to a classic button down is a chambray button down. When paired with a statement coat or trench this comfortable all denim look is very chic with minimal effort.

My leather jacket is probably my favorite item in my fall wardrobe. This edgy item pairs well with almost everything. You can throw on a very casual outfit for running around with your kids like Meghan’s jeans and tee on the left, and the look is instantly elevated with a leather jacket. Leather jackets also add a cool factor to dresses when you’re going out for date nights or events.

A simple workout outfit becomes more stylish on the street when paired with a structured light jacket and accessories like scarves and sunglasses.

That’s it for now, I’ll add more celeb style inspiration in future posts. Who’s your favorite celeb for style inspiration? And what are your go to pieces for fall?

Wishing you self-care,

Courtney

 

My Top 3 Baby Gadgets

My Top 3 Baby Gadgets

My youngest son Myles is officially 1 month old! I’m celebrating the fact that we made it through the first month of the newborn period (not to mention 17 months with my oldest son Mason). The newborn period is rough. Thankfully Myles is pretty much the calmest, easiest baby ever (so far, fingers crossed that this lasts) which is a pretty stark contrast to what we experienced the first time around with Mason. But feeling more experienced because I’m a second time parent makes a huge difference as well. There are also a few products/gadgets that I love that make things easier with both of my sons. None of these things are necessities, you only need the basics and a lot of love to raise a happy baby, but I’m grateful to have added these things to my routine.  Here are my top 3 favorites in no particular order. This is NOT a sponsored post, just my opinion. If there are other baby products that make/made your life easier please let me know in the comments!

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Hatch Baby Rest Night Light & Sound Machine– My oldest son Mason was never a very good sleeper. During the newborn period he woke up every 1.5 hours, and didn’t start sleeping 3-4 hour stretches until he was about 4 months old. I was a walking zombie for those first 4 months! He continued waking up 1-3 times throughout the night for the next several months, long after I had gone back to work and needed more rest. After he turned 1, I was desperate for a solution that would help him really sleep through the night. I read about how helpful sound machines can be and decided to purchase the Hatch because it can be programmed and turned on and off with your iPhone (perfect for when you want to make an adjustment to the sound without actually stepping back into the room and waking up your little one).

The first night went beautifully, I played ocean sounds and he slept through the night without waking up once!  Since the sound machine became a regular part of Mason’s bedtime routine he rarely wakes during the night. Myles doesn’t need it yet, he goes to sleep pretty easily and needs to wake up every 2-3 hours to eat anyways right now, but when he gets older I will probably purchase a second one for him until he moves into the room with Mason.

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Moonlite Storybook Projector– The hatch nursery sound machine might help Mason stay asleep longer but the Moonlite Storybook projector is the main tool that helps me get him to sleep at his bedtime every night. It attaches to your phone and projects a story onto the wall (via different story reels that you purchase), with a corresponding phone app that gives you the text of the story with lullaby music and sound effects. Being able to use it to read to him in the dark allows me to get him to the point where he’s really sleepy before I put him in his crib, plus using it every night gives us built-in bonding time.

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Snuggle Me Organic Sensory Lounger– I co-slept with Mason until he was about 6 months old. I know that’s not recommended, but it worked best for us as a family while I was breastfeeding. I’m also co-sleeping with Myles but I knew this time around I wanted to put him in something that would make me feel a little more secure, and I debated between the Dock a Tot and the Snuggle Me. I went with the Snuggle Me because it has a patented design that hugs the baby and promotes sleep. So far I love it! Myles always looks so snug and comfortable in it and it’s easy to tote around and wash.

There are definitely some other products that should get a mention for making our lives a little easier (including one of my favorite items that just came to mind- the Gathre mat that I use under Mason’s highchair) but I’d love to hear from you! And if you don’t have kids but you’ve purchased a baby gift for someone else that you know was useful, let us know.

Wishing you self-care,

Courtney