how i learned to embrace acne-prone, combination skin

seattle fashion blogger, thanksgiving, diary of this girl megan

disclosure: a special thank you to proactiv for providing the face wash, retinol cream, and lotion pictured in today’s post. as per usual, all opinions are my own! 

hello, and happy wednesday, everyone!

today, i want to talk about skincare and makeup—who doesn’t love makeup? #skincarefiend

as a teenager, i struggled with the occasional blemish. (they would typically manifest along my hair and jawline.) i also had combination skin—i.e. skin that is both dry and oily. i don’t recall feeling overly annoyed or upset about my skin’s appearance. my peers also suffered from breakouts, and i think this phase was simply the norm.

seattle beauty blogger, skincare routine, acne-prone skin

in my 20s, the breakouts prevailed, but again, i brushed them off—”it’s because i slept in my makeup” (something i never do anymore), “i ate too much sugar,” or “it’s hormonal.” i relied on drugstore products with high concentrations of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. i recall layering these topical treatments on skin, and the end result was dry, irritated patches. fun, right?

upon graduating, my mom recommended i visit a local dermatologist to help treat the underlying cause of my breakouts. i also hoped to gain clarity on what products are most beneficial for dry, oily, and breakout-prone skin. i had a positive interaction with my dermatologist, and she encouraged me to drink more water, utilize gentle skincare products (such as cerave), and take a daily, oral antibiotic to help minimize bacteria that is associated with acne.

i began to notice a change in my skin’s clarity. i no longer caked on my foundation and felt as though my skin could finally breathe! unfortunately, when taking the oral prescription, one caveat is that you must avoid sun exposure. my family and i went on a trip to hawaii, and while i stopped taking the antibiotics prior to our vacation, i hadn’t stopped soon enough—the result was a horrible breakout all over my face and neck. when arriving home, i consulted my dermatologist and opted to stop taking the antibiotic and instead focus on topical products.

seattle beauty blogger, skincare routine, acne-prone skin

fast-forward eight years, and the skin saga continues! blemishes continue to take a toll on my self-confidence, and i struggle to treat and cover them. i wash my face twice daily, use quality skincare products, and still battle stress-induced and hormonal breakouts.

over the past several months, i’ve modified my skincare routine and swapped out different products. while it’s not a perfect method, i enjoy caring for my skin. i think my change in attitude (i.e. wanting to love and care for my skin) has helped both my self-confidence and overall feelings toward my skin. in addition to reducing oil and targeting breakouts, i also strive to find beauty and makeup products that target signs of aging.

today, i’d like to share my skincare routine, as well as skin and makeup products i currently use.

morning skincare routine:

i prefer to shower in the morning, and while in the shower, i use my clarisonic cleansing brush and a creamy cleanser. i then pat my face dry and apply witch hazel toner with a cotton pad. lastly, i put on a matte face lotion with spf (to keep oil at bay).

evening skincare routine:

i first use a makeup-removing wipe. (i love these wipes—they’re great for sensitive skin.) i then use a cleansing balm, and it can be applied to wet or dry skin. (the balm removes any residual makeup but doesn’t strip my skin of natural oils and hydration.) i again apply the witch hazel toner and recently also implemented a hydration spray. i then massage my face with an anti-aging serum and night cream. lastly, i apply eye cream and drugstore acne medication to any blemishes.

thrice weekly, i also enjoy applying face masks. whether jar or sheet masks, i find this practice enhances my skin’s clarity and hydration levels immensely! it’s also a therapeutic, end-of-day routine.

seattle beauty blogger, skincare routine, acne-prone skin

shop my skincare favorites:


shop my makeup favorites (great for sensitive skin):


seattle beauty blogger, skincare routine, acne-prone skin

photos by sarah wolfe photography

a few other quick skincare tips? wear sunscreen and drink eight+ ounces of water daily. don’t sleep in your makeup. strive to eat well, as this can greatly support your skin’s health. lastly, care for and cherish your skin. our skin is our largest organ, and as such, it deserves a great deal of love!

do you have any skincare or makeup recommendations? if so, please send them my way!

what’s in my cosmetic bag

what comes with harsh winter weather? inevitable beauty 
challenges! there’s nothing worse than trying to apply
your foundation (after layers of moisturizer) only to have your skin
peel and flake off. or maybe that’s just me…?
dry skin, chapped lips, and static-prone hair are a
few beauty dilemmas i’ve encountered as of late. i thought it would 
be helpful to share the products i’m currently using to tackle
these seasonal beauty challenges. 
for soft, clean skin before bedtime
while i enjoy a good, gritty-feeling face scrub, they sometimes
leave my skin feeling stripped of all natural oils and moisture
(which leads to dry patches and flakes).
this cream-mousse cleanser by lancome is rich and nourishing.
it has rosehip oil, and while gentle, it is powerful enough to remove
the dirt and makeup from my skin at the end of the day.
for a smooth skin on your arms and legs
this body scrub, available at your local sephora, is a sugar-based scrub.
not only will it remove any dry patches and flakiness, but 
the virgin coconut oil and rose hydrate the skin. i love using this in 
the bath or shower – it smells delicious and leaves my skin feeling
incredibly smooth!
for dry to combination skin – the perfect tinted moisturizer
i’ve worn bare escentuals for years! with combination skin 
(that is both sensitive and prone to breakouts) i am weary 
of trying new products on my skin. however, i have never had 
any issues with bare escentuals.  in the winter, i love wearing the
complexion rescue gel cream underneath my makeup.
it’s lightly tinted, goes on easily, and provides just the right amount of
coverage. i apply mine with a fluffy brush, but you can also use
a makeup sponge or your hands.
for chapped lips
this chapstick smells delicious (i love the smell of peaches!) –
it goes on smoothly, and i make sure to keep one in my purse
and another in my desk drawer at work for easy application.
for dry skin
the sacred truth fresh face mask from lush is the perfect
pre-bedtime routine! i love sitting and reading in bed with a mask
after a long day. the sacred truth mask, with honey, papaya, coconut
oil, and fresh wheatgrass, helps my skin feel hydrated and look more plump
and vibrant.
for dry, color-treated hair
moroccanoil treatment is perfect for color-treated hair, but 
also beneficial to brittle, damaged hair from heat styling tools.
i apply my moroccanoil after towel-drying my hair. 
it smells incredible and leaves my hair smooth throughout the day.
i also use a small amount when curling my hair (after brushing
out the curls spraying with hairspray) to separate the curls, 
making them look more natural and ‘beach-like.’

what are some of your favorite products right now?
i am always looking for new things to try – especially beauty tricks!

photo by elizabeth kathryn photography

smashbox cosmetics ‘be photo ready’

seattle bloggers & friends!
join me next friday, september 23rd at the bellevue square nordstrom 
for an amazing event, hosted by smashbox cosmetics and local 
fashion and beauty blogger, brittany.
there will be makeup demonstrations by top smashbox artists.
learn current beauty and makeup trends from the pros 
(lip liner?! can you teach me how to apply this?), enjoy complimentary color 
matching, personal shopping, makeovers, and of course, cupcakes!
there will be a gift with purchase for everyone in attendance. 
additionally, purchases over $125 will receive a gift and complimentary 
headshots by local photographer and smashbox artist, elizabeth kathryn 
(who provides the makeup application and photos on this little blog!).
^^^ if only she could apply my makeup for me everyday!
above photos & makeup by elizabeth kathryn photography ^^^
you can rsvp here.

day to night beauty routine with bartell drugs

happy friday, everyone!
this week has gone by at a snail’s pace – 
perhaps it is because i am beyond ready for the holiday weekend?!
the toddlers are antsy, the teachers are exhausted, and there simply
isn’t enough coffee in the world to keep me moving. 
that may be slightly exaggerated, but weekend, i’m ready for you! 
i recently shared a daytime beauty look, featuring makeup
from my local bartell drugs, on my blog here.
today, i want to show you how adding a few products, also from bartell drugs,
can quickly and easily transform your look from day to night!
when i’m getting ready for work or busy with errands, and don’t necessarily
want a full face of makeup, i keep my routine simple:
these products are easy to apply, affordable, and all available at a bartell drugs
near you. if you’re going out for the evening, you can begin by adding shadow, eyeliner
and lashes. however, because my skin gets particularly oily
 throughout the day, i prefer to wash my face and reapply my foundation (perhaps
this is wasteful, or a waste of time, but i typically dislike the way my foundation 
looks after wearing it for the duration of the work day). 
whatever your preference with the foundation (reapply or simply add to your current 
makeup look), it’s now all about the subtle smoky eye for spring!
‘taking a look from day to night, or simple to smokey, can be as 
easy as adding a bold lip or dark shadow in the crease of your eyelid.
adding false lashes will give your eyes an extra pop! the standard is to not do 
both bold lips and bold eyes, but there’s nothing wrong with being extra
glamorous – just don’t use too much makeup. eyelashes frame your 
eyes, and brows frame your face; make sure both are on point.’
-makeup artist, elizabeth kathryn

begin creating your smokey eye by applying a lighter shadow (such as the nude
or pale lilac in this palette) to the base of your eye. apply the nude all the way
up to your brow. this will give your eyes a bit of natural/subtle color and can act as a base for 
the rest of your shadow. then, apply the darker color (such as a dark purple) in 
the crease of your eyelid. for this look, i also used the charcoal in the outside corner
of my eyes for a bit more color. this la colors palette is incredibly pigmented, so i 
didn’t feel like i had to layer on the eyeshadow. using a small, eyeliner brush, 
i also lined my bottom lash line with the lilac shadow. it is ever-so-slight, but opens up my eyes.
once i’ve applied my shadow, i then use my liquid eyeliner. i prefer a liquid,
brush-tip pencil, as it goes on more smoothly than a traditional pencil and is easier
for me than other liners, such as pots and brushes, etc. 
i certainly have my days when it comes to applying eyeliner – 
and q-tips are your best friend for removing unwanted (or overly done) liner. 
i kept my eyeliner fairly light because, of course, i had to apply
my favorite ardell false lashes!
people often ask me, ‘how do you apply your false eyelashes so well?’
lots and lots and lots of practice! i’ve worn false lashes for years, so i hardly
think twice when putting them on. a few tricks? 
1. when first starting out, play around with some of the 
more natural looking lashes. this will allow your eyes to adjust
 to the look and feel of falsies. 
2. cut them to fit the length and shape of your eye. i typically cut the 
inside corner (the shorter end) very slightly to better fit my eye.
3. use a dark adhesive that dries clear. if you accidentally use 
too much, it is less noticeable!
4. don’t apply the tube of glue directly to the lashes. instead, 
place a small amount of glue on the top of your hand. then, 
apply the glue to the lashes with a q-tip. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve had
 my glue explode and ruin a brand new pair of lashes 
(too many to count, sadly!!). i use this glue.
^^^ applying this lipstick in ‘mad love’ ^^^
after i’ve glued on my lashes (and let them set for 1-2 minutes), i apply 
one last coat of mascara. this will blend your natural lashes in with
the false pair you’re wearing. 
last, don’t forget your lips! i prep and prime my lips with chapstick, 
this lipstick primer, and finish by applying my color of choice.
today, i opted for a bright berry from the new la colors matte lipstick line.
in the tube, i wasn’t sure if the color would be too much with the smokey eye.
however, i love the way this lip color tied my makeup together!
and voila! you’ve changed your daytime look into a sultry, but subtle 
smokey eye that’s perfect for spring! 
finish by setting your makeup with makeup setting spray. i use 
what are some of your favorite makeup looks for spring?
let me know in the comments below!
**this is a sponsored post. all opinions are my own. 
a special thank you to bartell drugs for sponsoring this post
and providing me with a gift certificate to purchase the makeup featured here.
i love supporting local brands and am incredibly grateful
for the opportunity to support my local bartell drugs!

the five minute face

you pushed the ‘snooze’ button one too many times and barely have a moment
to make yourself a cup of coffee (let alone complete your normal 
beauty and makeup routine) before you need to be out the door for work.
sound familiar? this is me most every morning(s).
to save time, and justify how many times i push that ‘snooze’ button each morning,
i’ve compiled a few of my favorite drugstore makeup products, purchased
at my local bartell drugs, that can be applied on the go! 
first, prep your face by applying your daily toner and/or face moisturizer. 
i have combination skin, so i rely on toner, moisturizer, and primer before
applying my foundation. blend your foundation. then, apply concealer as needed. 
to brighten your face, apply highlighter on the tops of your cheek bones 
(just above where your blush will go). 
thick, full-looking eyelashes are crucial, even for my everyday look. 
if i only have time for one makeup product, i will always choose mascara;
it helps me look and feel more awake, and i curl my lashes before applying.
for a fresh look, select a bright (but not neon) blush color. i love bright pinks
and coral shades for spring. apply blush on the apples of your cheeks and blend out 
towards the temples. 
next, think eyebrows! they’re very important. i prefer
bold brows, but don’t want them to look overdone (that marker-like look? 
no, thank you). this maybelline brow pencil is a quick and easy way to define and fill in 
the sparser areas of my eyebrows. simply line your brows with the wax 
pencil and blend with the filling powder. 
the finishing touch? apply color to your lips. this neutrogena lip crayon goes on smooth,
is buildable (apply liberally to achieve a more colorful lip), and is
hydrating. i am wearing ‘sweet watermelon’ – the color is soft and natural looking, 
but neutrogena has many color options, depending on your preference! 
to finish off this five minute
look, apply your matte finish makeup setting spray. 
the setting spray helps your makeup stay in place throughout the day, while
reducing face oils and shine that often appear several hours after application. 
five minutes later, and you’re ready to start your day with a gorgeous, 
natural makeup look. 
a special thank you to my local bartell drugs for sponsoring this post!
i loved attending their recent spring #beautybybartell makeup event.
be sure to check back for a night look tutorial on my blog next week.
have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
**this is a sponsored post. bartell drugs graciously
provided me with a gift certificate to purchase the products in this post.
all opinions are my own!

playing the model (part ii)

photos by jason deetz; hair and makeup by sharell katelynn artistry
necklace and ring: borrowed from moorea seal (exact here), lashes: m.a.c. 34 lash (exact here), maybelline color molten eyeshadow in ‘nude rush’ (exact here)
lipstick: milani color statement lipstick in ‘rebel rouge’
a few months back, i had the opportunity to collaborate on an 
editorial-inspired photo shoot. it was something totally new for me 
(and slightly out of my comfort zone), but i had a wonderful time!
this was my second time working with a photographer, so needless to say, 
i had no idea what the heck i was doing in front of the camera. 
thanks to sharell’s talent in the hair and makeup department, 
and jason’s easy-going demeanor, we were able to get some lovely photos! 
i shared our first look here, and i think i felt slightly more comfortable
(and a bit more like myself) in this second set of photos. having my hair down,
and being able to use it as a sort of prop // accessory, made all the difference!
i also love the pop of the bright red lips against the black backdrop. 
this milani statement lipstick, in the shade ‘rebel rouge,’ is incredibly
pigmented. it stayed on for the remainder of the day despite eating and drinking, too.
for less than $6, i think i need to pick up a few additional colors! 
i greatly enjoyed this collaboration with sharell and feel inspired 
to experiment more with my hair and makeup. i would love to try some 
different braided hairstyles (pinterest, here i come!). 
happy thursday, everyone, and have a wonderful rest of your week!

playing the model

1 // 2 // 3 
a few months ago, my hairdresser (and good friend!!), sharell
and i decided to collaborate on an editorial-inspired photo shoot.
our ideas were vast, but we knew we wanted things to be edgy 
(from my clothes to my hair and makeup), much different than my usual waves, 
ponytail or natural makeup look. 
bring on the false lashes, shimmer, and a dark lip –
think ‘warrior vibe.’ my hair was newly platinum blonde, and we opted
for loose curls with lots of braids! sharell is incredibly talented when it comes
to hair and makeup. we scoured pinterest prior to the shoot (a few of our
favorites are pictured above), and it was fun to see our ideas come to fruition 
on the day of the shoot. sharell is one talented lady! 
^^^ i wish i could braid my hair like this! ^^^
photos by jason deetz
what i’m wearing
leather vest: borrowed from sassafras, necklaces and bracelet: borrowed from moorea seal
black tank: h&m, lipstick: kat von d everlasting liquid lipstick in ‘echo’ (exact here),
ardell lashes: glamour lashes (exact here), 
maybelline color molten eyeshadow in ‘nude rush’ (exact here)
i have to admit, i was a bit nervous before we started shooting.
the photographer, jason deetz, is an editorial fashion photographer
and accustomed to working with models (real fashion models, too), not
aspiring fashion bloggers. i am a bit awkward in front of the camera 
but can easily distract myself with my clutch or accessories in order to obtain 
a blog-worthy outfit photo. this shoot, however, was very different! 
we had a great time taking the photos, and jason was very
kind and helpful – he guided me every step of the way! 
we took down my hair and changed my makeup partway through. 
be sure to check back for the second look later this week!
for all my seattle friends and followers, if you’re in need of a new hair stylist or 
makeup artist, i cannot say enough
good things about sharell. you can visit her website to see additional shoots
she has styled here (i especially love this look and this one!). 
**this is not a sponsored post, but a special thank you to local 
boutiques, sassafras and moorea seal for lending us
the clothing and jewelry pictured in these photos! and of course,
all opinions are my own.

holiday makeup

with the holidays just around the corner, i thought 
it would be fun to play around with my makeup and create
a ‘holiday-inspired’ look.
i must preface this by saying: i am not an expert beauty blogger. 
in fact, i think my makeup application skills are mediocre;
i can apply false eye lashes like a pro, but other than that, i’m clueless!
my overall makeup routine is fairly consistent. i almost never wear eye shadow, 
so it was fun to try out the sample palette and a few of my other shadows. 
what i’m wearing:

lashes: ardell self-adhesive lashes (similar here)
lash glue: duo lash adhesive dark
brush: bare minerals (similar here)
liner: maybelline eye studio lasting drama gel eyeliner
palette: lancome color design sample in ‘blush sweetness’
shadow pot: mini bare minerals eye color in ‘creme de menthe’ (similar here)

lipstick: nars semi matte lipstick in ‘heat wave’

unfortunately, i have very sensitive (and breakout prone) skin. for this shoot, i followed my typical face makeup and skincare regimen. i use bare minerals complexion rescue tinted hydrating gel and bare minerals matte foundation. i also apply bare minerals blush (in ‘golden gate’) followed by my all-time favorite, bare minerals hydrating mineral veil. this combination provides me with build-able coverage, while treating my various skin problems. i’ve been using bare minerals for years and can’t imagine changing to anything else!

^^^ asa, from lace and pearls, and i got ready together! i applied 
ardell double-up lashes for her holiday makeup tutorial. she looked gorgeous!!! ^^^
i completed my look with a bright red lip.
applying red lipstick can be somewhat intimidating (and tricky 
to remove), but i follow these three steps:
1) prep 2) prime 3) apply color
i prep my lips by applying chapstick. if the chapstick is sticky, 
i may dab it off a bit with a tissue or napkin. i then prime my lips with 
nyx cosmetics lip primer, as i find it helps my lipstick last
throughout the day, when eating and drinking. finally, i apply my color.
do you change up your makeup routine for the holidays?
have you tried any new products? 

nude lipstick and palm trees

palm tree dress: no rest for bridget, sandals: birkenstock, 
bracelets: pink fitbit band & turquioise 31bits, sunnies: forever 21
when looking through these photos, 
i kept thinking to myself, ‘why does my face look so strange?!’
and then i realized – it’s the nude lipstick i’m wearing.
it looks like i don’t have any lips! 
before visiting california last week, 
i wanted to stock up on a few beauty essentials.
i picked up conditioner, face wipes, and wanted to try 
a new shade of lipstick. i have seen several bloggers
and beauty babes wearing ‘nude’ lipstick as of late
and wanted to try one, too!
i stopped by my trusty m.a.c counter and asked one of the women
to help me find a shade of nude that complimented 
my lips and skin tone. 
my lips are naturally very dark, in fact, 
i have a difficult time finding lipsticks that are dark
and pigmented enough to show up on my lips.
when looking for a neutral color, such as nude, it proved to 
be even more tricky. the woman at m.a.c said, ‘these
colors aren’t showing up because of whatever shade
you came in wearing. you need to wipe it off.’
uh, those are just my lips! 
we finally found a color that seemingly worked, 
m.a.c kinda sexy matte lipstick. in theory, 
i love the color; however, i don’t think this particular 
shade looks good on me, especially in photos. oh well, 
perhaps i just need to swap it out for a different shade 🙂 
have you ever tried a beauty trend that just didn’t work for you?

new makeup and beauty products

younique makeup and skincare products are designed to 
‘uplift, empower, validate and ultimately build self-esteem in 
women around the world through high quality products.’
younique products use high quality ingredients to nourish, enrich, 
and care for your skin!
^^^ the beachfront bronzer in ‘sunset’ ^^^
^^^ lucrative moodstruck minerals lipgloss in ‘luscious’ ^^^
^^^ refreshed rose water botanical boost ^^^
i began using the above three younique products two weeks ago.
i have to say – i’m hooked! 
the rose water mist has complimented 
my diligent skincare regimen. with the hot summer we have 
had here in seattle, my skin has felt especially dry and flaky. 
the mist has left my skin feeling more hydrated!
the beachfront bronzer is a medium shade, not too dark. 
it gives me a bit of glow (with a slight shimmer) 
for these last few weeks of summer.
normally i am not a lipgloss girl;
i much prefer lipstick as i don’t like my lips to feel sticky.
however, the lucrative lip goes on as a gloss, but dries like a lipstick.
it is perfectly pigmented and doesn’t leave my lips
feeling like sticky magnets for hair and food 🙂
overall, i could not be more satisfied with my younique products.
they are affordable, yet of good quality.
oh, and i forgot to tell you! i love the packaging! 
i am a sucker for cute packaging.
to start your own younique collection, or to learn more about their line,
visit the younique website here.
**this is a sponsored post. i was provided with these products
in return for a review. however, all opinions and photos are my own! 

Copyright © 2018 · Theme by 17th Avenue