14 Back to School Beauty Essentials

When you have lived and worked with college students for a decade, you know a thing or two about “back to school”. There’s a lot of preparation for your new digs – bedding, cookware, and Pinterest-inspired DIY decor galore. And prepping for your actual classes by purchasing textbooks and major-related supplies. Shout out to all my design majors spending quadruple digits on supplies every semester. Y’all are the real MVPs. But, of course, there are the other situations you want to be prepared for. Nothing hurts your confidence more than feeling like a hot mess while you’re navigating campus life. So I have decided to bestow upon you my wisdom ūüėČ Here are my recommendations for can’t-live-without beauty products to get you through all that college life throws at you!

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Beach in a Bottle: Lani Tropical Hair & Body Treatments Review

I don’t recall the first place I noticed Lani products. Or even the second or third. I just remember that I kept seeing this gorgeous turquoise bottle in Instagram and Pinterest photos, meticulously placed in a beach setting or next to some bright hibiscus flowers. Some products just portray a certain lifestyle, and this bottle was telling me “if you buy me, you will feel like a bronze goddess with a flowy mane of perfect beach waves”. How can you resist a promise like that! So I hopped onto the Lani website and ordered their Tropical Hair Treatment and Tropical Body Treatment. The products arrived about 11 business day later, about average for a product from overseas.

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Creating an Energizing Morning Routine

One of the tasks in my 30 Step Minimal Challenge is creating an energizing morning routine. I fully believe that if you don’t start your morning right, you’re not going to have a successful day. Since moving up to Alabama, I have crafted the perfect routine for helping me make the most of my mornings. My mornings normally go like this:

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While You Were Sleeping: Nighttime Beauty Products

Getting your beauty rest takes on a whole new meaning when you add the right¬†products to your nighttime routine. We spend a third of our day sleeping so why not do a little bit of multitasking while you’re catching some shut eye. These¬†products are some of my favorites for getting the most out of my bedtime.

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Stop Battling Your Face: My Love-Your-Skin Guide to Blemish Control

Recently I have talked to a lot of ladies about their skin care woes. It seems like everyone is having major breakout issues this summer. And after having the same talk over and over again, I decided to skip my scheduled post for today and talk about how to care for oily/acne-prone skin.

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Josie Maran Cosmetics

The first product I tried by Josie Maran was her Argan Oil Moisturizing Stick. It was like a big stick of lip balm except better, promising to¬†moisturize chapped lips, soothe dry skin, tame fly aways, alleviate itching and stinging from insect bites, moisturize dry cuticles, relieve chafing skin, soothe stretch marks, calm sunburn, soothe waxed skin, and much more. Bliss had ¬†a similiar 20-in-1 balm on the market at the time, but I was drawn to the organic, natural, and paraben-free ingredients in Josie Maran’s version.¬†I purchased the big stick for about $22 from Sephora. It came in a shiny rose gold tube promising to solve all of my moisturizing needs. I used the stick for¬†few different purposes: as a lip balm, undereye moisturizer, cuticle softener, to tame my unruly eyebrows, basically everything that was promised on the tube. I repurchased this product multiple times (it is no longer carried by Sephora now, unfortunately),¬†and I found myself drawn to some of the other items in the Josie Maran skincare line.

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5 Things I’m Loving This Month (July Favorites)

Happy Friday, y’all! Today is the last day of July, and for the first time in SEVEN YEARS, I am totally not stressing about the month of August. This time last year I was starting maternity leave early due to preterm labor (don’t worry, everything turned out fine in the end!) and the five¬†Augusts before that were always some combination of summer finals, moving apartments, fall semester, and TURN. As a former student housing professional, Turn is the time of year when you work like a mad woman (100+ hours/week) to prep the units for new move-ins. It was always exciting and challenging and total bonding time for you and your co-workers.¬†I miss my co-workers with ACC so much, but I am so happy that all of my Augusts moving forward are about celebrating my babies instead of dealing with vendors and employees who sometimes act like babies.

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DIY Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment

UPDATE РAfter using this mask for about two months straight, I started to notice a correlation between the application and my breakouts. It appeared that the ingredients were beginning to dry out my face too much causing me to break out even more. I eliminated using the EOs in the recipe and reduced the amount of bentonite clay and activated charcoal. Still too drying.

A couple months back I switched over to using this mask a few times a week. I’m happy to report it is the perfect balance of kaolin clay, activated charcoal, green tea, peppermint oil, and lactic acid to help heal breakouts, exfoliate, and brighten. I’m also now using this facial soap in the mornings after my barre workouts. These two products together are absolute game changers. I didn’t want to take down this DIY recipe because it’s a great resource for people who are looking for an alternative to preservative-laden acne treatment products.

And in full disclosure, I do receive a portion of the sales of these products. But I value my readers so much more than a profit, and I would never recommend something I don’t truly believe in.

Creating spa-like moments in my home is something I treasure so much. I savor having an hour or so in the morning or evening while the babies are sleeping to exfoliate, paint my nails, or use a face mask. A good mud mask helps keep my skin balanced and clear, especially in the summer months. I used Boscia’s Clarifying Mask for awhile;¬†Sephora stopped carrying it so a salesperson recommended I check out Glamglow’s version. I’ve been hearing about this brand for years – a Hollywood favorite, beauty editor’s love it, fashion bloggers’ skin secret, etcetera, etcetera. The first thing I did before looking at the price tag (which is a bit of yikes, also) was read the ingredient list:

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HUM Nutrition – Supplements for a Better, Healthier You

I’ve waffled between vitamin devotee and absentminded vitamin taker for years. Like since I was a “Flintstones kid”. I love routines and schedules, but I just never seemed to remember to take my vitamins. Or I subconsciously avoided them because the experience of swallowing a giant pill or two was not fun. Of course, that changed during my pregnancy when my daily prenatal + DHA supplement was taken every morning come hell or high water. Or the crippling nausea that occurs during the 1st trimester. But after a couple months of sticking to the same daily vitamin routine, it not only came easy to me, but I looked foward to it. I would take my 4 pills with a big glass of lemon water, basking in the happiness of knowing I was taking good care of my self and my growing little ones. Postpatrum, I stuck with my prenatal regime for awhile, then switched over to a delicious gummy version. If you are someone who loathes the idea of taking a daily vitamin, try the gummy version; it is so delightful, you will try to convince yourself that you “forgot” to take it in the AM just to sneak another gummy in the PM. I don’t recommend double-dosing, but you get the sentiment.

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Beauty Food Salad

Salad is my go-to option for summer lunches. Salads are refreshing, light, and satisfying without being too filling.¬†There is nothing worse than eating a huge meal and feeling sluggish afterwards. This holds especially true in the summer heat. I try to mix up my salad options each week whether its veggie-focused with cucumbers, carrots, and tomatoes or fruit & cheese-focused like a winter Waldorf salad. I stumbled upon this salad chock full of beauty superfoods** on Into the Gloss, and I couldn’t wait to try it.

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