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!

practicing self-care during the holiday season

 ‘nourishing yourself in a way that helps you
blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable,
and you are worth the effort.’
— deborah day
 the holiday season is an incredibly busy
time (this is not news to anyone!).
working full-time, dedicating time to friends
and family, attending various holiday
parties and gatherings — this girl is busy.
i am sure the same is true for you, too!
with numerous work and personal functions
taking place this time of year, stress can be prominent.
however, taking time for yourself, while
allowing time for your body to decompress,
is important for your physical and emotional wellness.

disclosure: l’occitane usa gracioulsy gifted me the advent calendars pictured in this post.
as per usual, all opinions are my own!
one of my favorite ways to decompress?
skin and body care!
i greatly enjoy applying face masks,
rubbing on delicious-smelling body creams,
lip scrubs, and other oils, lotions, etc.
the act of applying these, and the spa-like scent,
elicits a calm-like feeling. light a candle, grab a
new book and cup of tea, and you are ready
for a stress-free evening.
l’occitane graciously gifted me two
advent calendars in preparation for the holidays.
both are filled with tiny (and adorable) skincare
goodies to sample throughout the month of december.
a few of the goodies you can find inside?
almond shower oil
almond supple skin oil
almond delicious hand cream
cherry blossom shimmery body lotion
divine cream
divine youth oil
shea butter hand cream
 shea butter lip balm
 and more!


black friday is upon us!
l’occitane is offering 30% off gift sets,
discounted advent calendars, and a free 17-piece
gift set with some purchases (exclusions
may apply). if you are looking for the perfect
gift for your holiday hostess, beloved family
member, or a treat for yourself, be sure to
visit l’occitane (in store and online).may your holiday season be enjoyable
and relaxing!

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

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!

clarins and feed 10

happy sunday, everyone, and a very happy mother’s day to all you moms!
i hope you’re enjoying your weekend! it was near 80 degrees in seattle yesterday, 
so i spent the entire afternoon outside. today, i am headed to brunch 
with my mom and dad to celebrate mother’s day. i am fortunate to only live about 
twenty minutes from my parents, so i see them often!
any excuse to enjoy delicious breakfast food (and relax on their couch)
makes for a great way to end the weekend. 
today, i am excited to share a collaboration between clarins and feed!
i recently blogged about two of my favorite clarins skincare products here.  
feed was founded in 2007 by lauren blush lauren with the mission to
‘create good products to help feed the world.’
to celebrate the launch of this year’s national million meal mission, 
clarins and feed have partnered in the fight to end global hunger. together, they hope to 
provide 1,200,000 meals to children around the world. the campaign began april 22nd 
and ends today, may 8th. nine different retailers throughout the united states are offering this
adorable feed cosmetic bag, filled with clarins’ goodies! 
each bag provides ten meals to children in need. fighting global hunger
and sampling some of my favorite clarins’ products? yes, please!
i cannot wait to learn more about the success of this campaign! 
**this is a sponsored post. all opinions are my own!

my top skincare must-haves

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 
happy new year, everyone! 
this past week has been a blur: 
home from vacation, back to school, a new work schedule, 
re-acclimating to the chilly seattle rain, plus a few unforeseen events
(like losing both my license and debit card in the same week?!).
alas, the weekend is here so i can finally catch up on a few things.
over the holiday break, my family and i visited hawaii. 
we stayed in kona, and the relaxing vacation was just what i needed 
to recharge after christmas in preparation for 2016. 
however, my skin has been struggling due to the increased sun exposure, 
warm temperatures, and subsequent dry and cold upon coming home.
hello, breakouts, flaky skin, and a dull complexion (!!!). 
we all want beautiful, radiant and healthy skin, so i thought i would 
share a few of my current favorites. these products
have been of great help over the past week as my skin 
scolds me for everything i’ve put it through as of late. 
i picked this up the week before we left at my local sephora and apply both morning and night. i have combination skin (dry, oily and breakout-prone), and this moisturizer keeps my skin hydrated, smooth, and less oily than many other products i have tried. 
these wipes were my saving grace while on vacation! i carried them in my beach bag and could easily wash my face before applying sunscreen. i also use them to remove makeup and clean my skin before washing my face at night. they’re gentle, yet effective! 
lush fresh face masks are some of my favorites! i usually keep two (or sometimes three) in my refrigerator. the oatifix mask contains banana, fine oats, and ground almonds. it is immensely hydrating and leaves my skin feeling soft and healthy.
face sunscreen is typically problematic for me. i have struggled to find a product that doesn’t burn or cause breakouts upon applying; i want to protect my skin from sun exposure, but not irritate it. i’ve tried countless sunscreens (to no avail). this josie maran sunboost was perfect while in hawaii. it did the trick and contains SPF 47! 
have you ever gotten a sunburn on your lips? it leaves them puffy, chapped, and can be incredibly painful. just as i want to protect my skin from the sun, i also wanted to find a lip balm that contains SPF. this sun bum balm (in coconut) was perfect for long days at the beach! 
i first received this origins eye cream when trading in my beauty points at sephora. i quickly fell in love and recently purchased the full-size eye cream. it instantly reduces my dark circles (which are prominent these days!) and puffiness. my eyes look and feel refreshed from the coffee bean, ginseng, and magnolia extract that make up this cream. 
what are some of your current skincare favorites?
i am always looking for new products to try! 

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? 

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! 

introducing: glossybox!

glossybox, america’s number one beauty box, graciously sent me 
a sample box to review! 
upon receiving my box, i couldn’t wait to see what was inside! 
^^^ the packaging was adorable! i may or may not have ripped open
my box with excitement (!!) ^^^
my products
novex haircare brazilian keratin extra deep hair care cream:
a vitamin-enriched hair mask! full size $16.99
kueshi anticellulite booster:
body smoothing cream! full size $22.60
(i cannot wait to try this!) 
honey i peel good creamy honey peel cream:
improve skin’s elasticity and texture while hydrating, exfoliating 
and protecting from potential damage
full size $59
naked lips organic lip balm:
full size $5.50
(i’ve been using this balm since receiving my box
and love how hydrated my lips feel!)
face stockholm lipliner:
vitamin c, vitamin e, and other nutrients allow the liner to go on smoothly
full size $17
‘we believe sampling is the most effective and organic
way for women to fall in love with a product
and become lifelong brand advocates.’
prior to receiving my first glossybox, i was unfamiliar with their service;
glossybox is a beauty box – hair, skin, makeup and other 
beauty products – that is delivered each month to your door. 
the box includes five deluxe to full-size products!
as a beauty junkie, i am always looking for new products
and brands to try. testing out new products can be expensive, 
as i often buy something, try it once or twice, and never use the product again.
however, glossybox allows me to find and try new brands 
that i may not have otherwise found! 
i cannot wait to test out the rest of my products. 
thank you, glossybox! 
**this is a sponsored post. as per usual, all pictures
and opinions are my own. thank you for collaborating with this little 
blog, glossybox! 

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