Drugstore vs. High End Makeup - Is There Really A Difference?

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I've always wondered whether the big priced tag attached to some of my favourite brands of makeup really was justified. I'm by no means a product junkie, so I decided to go to someone who is and put some makeup to the test! I spent the morning with Amanda from Lashes Lips N Liner (follow her on Instagram for your daily dose of makeup heaven and product recommendations) and we did a quick makeover using drugstore brands on one side of my face and high end makeup on the other. Surprisingly, when I asked you all on Instagram which was which, the majority of you spotted the difference! I'm going to cover which products we used, which Amanda thinks are comparable and which she absolutely thinks are worth the extra investment! We went for a super quick and easy every day look and will be covering some tips and tricks next week!

Click here to follow Amanda on Instagram!


 BEFORE - NO MAKEUP

BEFORE - NO MAKEUP

 AFTER! MAkeup by Amanda left side: Drugstore brands ($43) right side: High end brands ($158)

AFTER! MAkeup by Amanda
left side: Drugstore brands ($43)
right side: High end brands ($158)

These are the products we used: 

Correcter/concealer: Pixi by Petra ($17) vs Benefit Boi Ing ($30)
Blush: Annabelle ($8) vs. Burberry ($50)
Mascara: L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara ($6) vs. Urban Decay Perversion ($32)
Brow Gel: Essence Make Me Brow ($4) vs. The Brow Gal ($22)
Lipstick: Rimmel by Kate ($8) vs. MAC ($24)

Drugstore Total: $43
High End Total: $158

Over all, the only 2 products that Amanda really recommends spending a bit more on are the Concealer and the Lipstick. You can see in the picture that my dark circles aren't as well concealed by the cheaper brand (and we know that as moms we need all the help we can get covering those bad boys)!

The lipstick is also worth the investment for a few reasons: 
#1. The feel. I could IMMEDIATELY feel the difference. The more expensive lipstick felt nicer on my lips
#2. The smell. The cheaper brand had a more plastic and synthetic smell.
#3. The wear. The cheaper lipstick will run and will not last as long. 

Stay tuned next week for our 5 product - 5 minute makeover! 

Click here to follow Amanda on Instagram - she offers tons of product recommendations, unboxings and product hauls and TONS of makeup advice!

Neutrogena To The Rescue This Summer!

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I got my hands on Neutrogena's MUST HAVE products this summer and am thrilled to say they don't disappoint.

Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment : Ok so this is the coolest product I've seen all year. It uses red and blue light to treat acne without any discomfort! It's portable (it is literally the size of a pen), it's quick (the treatment takes 2 minutes) and it's affordable. This is totally my must have product this summer for those hot days and the blemishes that often accompany them! Click here to get more info.

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Deep Clean Micellar Water and Makeup Remover: BEST feature of this product, hands down: It removes waterproof makeup! This had me jumping for joy. I am obsessed with micellar water but I haven't been able to find one that removes waterproof mascara and waterproof sunscreen which leaves me struggling in the summer for something that works. I am so happy to have discovered this just in time. It smells divine, is gentle on my sensitive skin and doesn't leave a residue behind. OBSESSED. Click here to learn more.

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Hydro Boost Gel Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion: The first thing I noticed was the smell - it smells heavenly and not like a sunscreen at all. It goes on so smoothly, doesn't leave a white residue behind, is SPF 50 (no sun spots for me!!) and a little goes a long way! I also love that it's a gel cream - it has the most incredible texture. Click here to learn more!

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Deep Clean Purifying Micellar Cleansing Wipes: These 3 in 1 wipes are perfect to throw in your purse, gym bag or work bag for a quick midday cleanse and makeup touch up during the hot sticky summer. I love that it targets impurities and removes makeup and cleanses without needing water! Click here to learn more.

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Hydro Boost Multivitamin Booster with Hyaluronic Acid: This serum can be used on it's own or added to a moisturizer you already have for added moisture and radiance. It helps to energize and brighten the look of your skin with Hyaluronic Acid and a Multivitamin Complex!  I will definitely be adding it to my tinted moisturizer because my skin needs all the hydration it can get after being out in the sun. Click here to learn more.

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If you're looking for a few new additions to your skincare routine, I totally recommend one of the above products! Let me know what you think of them in the comments below!

xox Tovah

Comfy Sweater Weather

Winter in Canada means it's time to bust out the comfy sweaters and enjoy more evenings at home in front of the TV or fire place. My outfit, from Pink Blush is perfect whether I'm staying in or going out! The material is so soft, and I love the added details on the sleeves! It can easily transition from maternity wear to regular wear so there is no need to ever replace this beauty :) 

Click here to visit Pink Blush and find your perfect sweater for our cold Canadian winters. 

Check Out My Results After Using White With Style! + Promo Code for up to 90% off!

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I got my hands on White With Style - the teeth whitening system that I keep seeing celebrities use and have been dying to try out! It's a super simple whitening system and gives you whiter teeth in 30 mins! Use code: MRSNEWMOMMTL for almost 90% off your order!

The Sparkle White Professional Teeth Whitening Kit comes with everything you need - whitening trays, whitening gel and the cool blue light to activate the gel. Have a look at my before and after pictures below. My pics show my teeth after 2 treatments (and when you buy the kit, it comes with enough whitening gel for 10 treatments!). 

Use code: MRSNEWMOMMTL to get this teeth whitening system for only $28 (that's almost 90% off!) Click here to visit White With Style and don't forget to add some teeth whitening pens to your order so that you can whiten on the go - click here to see the 3 pack of whitening pens

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Before

 After 1 treatment

After 1 treatment

 After 2 treatments

After 2 treatments

As if the results weren't enough of a reason to want to try White With Style, their products are Vegan, Cruelty Free, BPA Free, Gluten Free, Sensitivity Free, are available in peroxide or peroxide free and come in 10 fun flavours (I tried the mint!).

To answer some of your most frequent questions from my Insta Stories: 

1 - No, my teeth were not sensitive after! I usually have super sensitive teeth and can't usually use whitening strips, but I had NO issue with this system. 

2 - No, my gums did not hurt after . My kit came with vitamin E swabs to wipe off any of the whitening gel that got on my gums - but you can also use regular cotton swabs!

3 - Yes these are my real results! 

4 - I spaced out my 2 treatments by 4 days. I did drink coffee during those 4 days, but I made sure to first have my morning coffee, then I whitened my teeth and then didn't have another coffee or wine until the next day :)

Use code: MRSNEWMOMMTL for up to 90% off your order! You can get the Sparkle White Teeth Whitening Kit for only $28! Click here to visit White With Style and order yours now!

Function of mrsnewmommtl - Personalized Hair Care with over 12 Billion Formulations!

Everyone's hair is unique in it's own way... so why should we all have the same shampoo and conditioner? WE SHOULDN'T! Function of Beauty allows you to create customized shampoo and conditioner based on your preferences and have it delivered right to your door (in a gorgeous package I might add). Visit their website by clicking here and you will also save $5 off your first order! As if the concept wasn't amazing enough... it is also cruelty-free (yay for no animal testing!) and free of parabens, sulfates, and GMOs!

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The process is so fun and simple. You visit their website, fill out a hair profile questionnaire (your hair type, concerns, things you would like to improve about your hair etc.), you choose the color of your shampoo and conditioner (they can be the same color, different colors, and even dye free), and then choose your scent! Did I mention you even get to personalize your label? Ya.... how cool is that? Mine say Function of Mrs New Mom MTL

You get this gorgeous box in the mail with your personalized products and an information pamphlet inside summarizing everything you chose! This is actually one of the coolest products I've had the chance to review.

My Hair Profile is: WAVY, FINE, DRY
My Hair Goals were: LENGTHEN, VOLUMIZE, SHINE, ANTI-FRIZZ, FIX SPLIT ENDS
And I chose the fragrance: All (you)calyptus (which smells heavenly by the way)

Whether it's for yourself or for a gift... you will not be disappointed! 

Click here to start the Hair Quiz and get $5 off your first order!

Lounging in Style with PinkBlush!

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The cold wintery Canadian weather has arrived - which means it's hibernating season for some of us (me!!). What better way to stay fashionable and comfy all day long than with PinkBlush? I'm wearing their Navy Blue Striped Cuffed Pajama Pants, and like all their clothes, they can be transitioned from maternity wear to regular wear! Have a look at their website to see the rest of their adorable cozy lounge pants and spend your winter months looking and feeling amazing! :). Click here to visit PinkBlush.

Spoil the Man in Your Life in Time for Travel Season with the American Crew Travel Pack!

I'm always reviewing products for Zane and I, so I thought it was time to include the other love of my life: my husband! Just in time for holiday travelling, this month we tried the American Crew Travel Pack. American Crew is a brand that my husband already loves - he uses the Power Cleanser every day... so I knew he would enjoy testing these products out! If you've never heard of the brand, they specialize in hair care and grooming products for men! The products are available at Chatters, Trade Secrets and Amazon.

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The travel pack comes in this nice and super practical black zip up travel case with 2 compartments (I won't have to share mine anymore when we go on vacation YAY!). It comes filled with the American Crew Fiber, Skincare Precision Shave Gel, Daily Shampoo and Heavy Hold Pomade. For starters, although this is a travel pack, the products are not travel size (which I LOVE). I often find that travel sized products don't last more than a few days so I prefer larger products. The Daily Shampoo has a new formulation and smells incredible... it has a masculine smell and leaves behind the most gorgeous scent. The Fiber is a high hold and low shine styling product - perfect for a more casual daytime look. The Heavy Hold Pomade provides a heavy hold with high shine and I was surprised to see that it was clear (I was expecting it to be white!). My husband tried it out and LOVED it because he found that, unlike most of his other pomades, this one didn't leave a white residue in his hair. It also smells DELICIOUS. Finally, the travel pack includes a Precision Shaving Gel which is a non-drying gel that soothes the skin and prevents skin irritation during shaving. My husband has a short beard and doesn't shave so I had my dad try out this one and he approved with two thumbs up :). 

Spoil the man in your life this holiday season with the American Crew Travel Pack! I've also teamed up with them to give away a Travel Pack to one lucky winner! Visit my Instagram page to enter!

Him and Her Gift Guide for the Holidays

1. Noize Cruelty Free Winter Coats: NOIZE winter coats are so well made and no detail is overlooked. Their styles for men and women are gorgeous and the quality is phenomenal. They use vegan leather and all their products are PETA approved. What's not to love? Use the promo code tovah for 15% off your order! Visit noizeoriginal.ca to find your perfect coat!

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2. Archipelago Scented Candles: Sold at Nicole's Gallery & Boutique, these candles burn for hours and leave the most delicious scent behind. They come in a beautiful wooden box, making it more than just a candle, but a decorative piece for your home. Click here to visit Nicole's Gallery and Boutique

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3. HearBand and TV Streamer: Save a marriage - give this gift to a couple you love. No more yelling at your significant other to turn down the TV or having to listen to UFC, Soccer or Hockey in the background while trying to write a blog post (not that I'm speaking from experience lol). The TV Streamer transmits what you hear on TV to a set of wireless headphones! How cool is that? Click here to visit Lucid Audio.

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4. NEST Liquidless Diffuser: It comes with this gorgeous silver holder and scented sticks that are dry! The scent is strong enough to fill an entire floor, but delicate enough to not overpower a room. Click here to shop NEST Fragrances.

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5. ACK! the Book: Holidays and parenting can leave a lot of us feeling overwhelmed, tired and discouraged. Give the gift that will help anyone in your life get that motivation back and find ways to cope with stress with ACK! the Book. Made for adults, but with entertaining colorful illustrations, help your loved ones learn how to turn the bad days into good days! They're sure to laugh and totally relate to every page. Click here for your FREE book (while quantities last)!

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6. Luhvee Books: Find the perfect Love Book for any occasion with a simple fill-in-the blank concept that allows you to finish your creation in under an hour! Click here to read my full review on Luhvee Books or click here to visit their site an start creating your own! Use code TOVAH20 for 20% off your purchase! (code expires 12/31/17)

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Stay tuned next week for my New Mama Faves! :)

xox

Glacial Illusion - The Coolest Tones of the Season

I was lucky enough to get a manicure recently with CND's newest launches, their Trilogy Top Coat Collection and their new Shellac and Vinylux Collection - Glacial Illusion. The cool icy tones are PERFECT for the winter months and with the shades available in Shellac and Vinylux, there's no reason to ever have chipped nails again :). 

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I usually use Shellac on my nails because keeping up with my son means that I'm very rough with them and I have no time to worry about them chipping. I was SO EXCITED to see the Trilogy Top Coat Collection, which includes a Matte, Glitter and Pearl Top Coat that can be used with any of their Shellac colours! I tried Mystic Slate (from the new Glacial Illusion Collection) with the Glitter Top Coat (how pretty is it!?).

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I'm wearing Vinylux Cashmere Wrap

Most women have heard about Shellac, but I was really surprised to find out that many of you have never heard of Vinylux! I've been using Vinylux for years and rely on it for those times when I can't make it to my manicurist. I love that it allows me to get a nail salon look at home, without the nail salon price :). Vinylux, by CND, is a long wear weekly polish that you can do at home with the same shine as Shellac, but with no UV or LED lights needed! All you need is the Vinylux colour and the Vinylux top coat... you'll have gorgeous long lasting polish for up to 7 days!  As a new mom, regular polish rarely lasts longer than 24 hours on my fingers... and that's assuming I even have time to let it dry. If you watched my Instagram stories then you saw my daily updates when I used Vinylux and saw that it didn't chip! I changed nothing in my routine and this polish withstood my daily #momlife (which includes LOTS of dish washing without gloves and lots of messy cleanups). That's a win in my book!

CND is always coming out with new colours in Shellac and Vinylux, but the Glacial Illusion Collection may be one of my favourites yet. The colours, from left to right, are: Ice Bar (Obsessed with this colour), Cashmere Wrap, Radian Chill, Alpine Plum, Mystic Slate (LOVE THIS ONE) and Winter Nights. 

Visit cnd.com to find a salon near you or for more information on these amazing new launches!

Let's #MakeNoize this Winter with Cruelty Free Winter Coats!

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Use promo code: tovah to save 15% off your order at www.noizeoriginal.ca !

Canadian winters are something I can't avoid (unfortunately) and with an active dog and a winter-loving husband, it means I spend WAY more time outside than I want, so keeping warm is a MUST. This year I am proud to say that I'll be braving the cold in my cruelty free, vegan, PETA-approved jacket from NOIZE.

NOIZE, designed out of Montreal, creates beautifully crafted jackets and coats for men and women with high-quality faux fur and vegan leather accents. You no longer have to choose between being ethical and looking stylish... with NOIZE you can have both! I chose the Lina Long Coat (to cover as much of my body as possible from the cold lol).

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I had a misconception that warm winter jackets needed to be down-filled, and so I was pleasantly surprised to put on my new Lina Long Coat and to find that, not only was it as warm (if not warmer) than my down-filled jackets, but that the weight, look and feel of the coat was better than what I currently own! I was honestly blown away by the quality and regret not having discovered this brand sooner. The fabric is so thick and luxurious, and it has super soft high-quality faux-fur around the collar and the hood... I never want to take it off. It has vegan leather accents down the front, soft lined pockets to keep my hands warm and a detachable hood. No detail was overlooked! It is, hands down, the warmest and most comfortable coat I own (it is also the only one I will be wearing this winter).

As an animal lover and owner, I think it's amazing that NOIZE makes fashion forward jackets that are cruelty free and I love supporting a company with such an important value at its core. Their styles are gorgeous and I can't wait to get my husband in one of their jackets (maybe then he'll offer to walk the dog more often this winter - wishful thinking I know).

Use promo code: tovah to save 15% off your order at www.noizeoriginal.ca and let's #makeNOIZE this winter in our cruelty free outerwear! I promise you won't be disappointed.

 

Versatile Distressed Top from PinkBlush!

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When I'm picking out to clothes, comfort comes first and versatility comes second! I love items that I can dress up or dress down by simply changing up my shoes and putting on some lipstick! It's no wonder that I fell in love with the Distressed Short Sleeve Top from PinkBlush. The details give it an edgy look that can be paired with your fave leggings and a pair of flats, or dressed up with a pair of jeans and heels! It's loose fitting and has a cuff on the sleeves which I love! The fact that it can be worn during pregnancy AND when you're not pregnant is just an added bonus! Click here to see the other cute colors in this top and to browse the other maternity and non-maternity styles from PinkBlush :).

Keeping Up With My Mini in Style Thanks to PinkBlush

Now that Zane is on the move, he has me constantly chasing him around. Thankfully PinkBlush makes clothing that is not only versatile, but comfortable and durable so I can keep up with him without looking like a hot mess! My Striped Flowy Cardigan is perfect for days in the park, days in the mall... and even nights out with my friends. I love how easily it can be paired with any outfit and because of it's shape, I'll be able to continue to wear this the next time I'm pregnant! It's the perfect maternity and non-maternity wardrobe addition, and for only $37, I think I may need it in the other 2 colours! Visit PinkBlush to see more of their adorable Fall collection. 

October Mama Picks

Here are my picks for the month of October if you're looking to spoil yourself a bit or even get a head start on some holiday shopping! 

HOME

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My husband and I are home fragrance obsessed! This month we put Nest Fragrances to the test! :) We fell in love with their Liquidless Diffuser (Moroccan Amber Fragrance) and their Grapefruit scented candle. The Liquidless Diffuser comes with this gorgeous silver holder and scented sticks! Both are strong enough to fill an entire floor with their fragrance, but delicate enough to not overpower a room. It also doesn't hurt that they're gorgeous and fit in with any decor! 

 

STYLE

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Nicole's Gallery and Boutique in Delray Beach, FL will be your one stop shop for clothing (men and women), home decor and fashion accessories. They just launched their website making it even easier for you to get your hands on their gorgeous styles! What I love the most however, is that they have exclusivity for some of the brands that they carry so you won't find them anywhere else in the the US! Stop by their website to take advantage of their sales and be prepared to start falling in love: www.nicolesgalleryandboutique.com

Follow them on Instagram to stay on top of their newest styles and promotions! @nicolesboutiquedb

 

BODY

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I've been using the Nivea Firming Body Oil for the past few weeks to try to firm up my post-partum body! It claims to help improve the feeling of firmer skin, even out the appearance of skin tone, and reduce the appearance of stretch marks! I love the feeling of the oil - it's not too greasy and absorbs really well and the fragrance is delicate and subtle. After 3 weeks of using it twice a day, I can say that I see an improvement already!!!! Time to stock up :) 

 

FACE

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This month I switched up my skincare routine and tried the 3 little wonders by Ole Henriksen - a professional strength anti-aging AM/PM regimen. I loved that it only has 3 products - I can barely remember to wash my face, so a simple skincare routine is what I'm looking for! The daytime routine includes the truth serum collagen booster  along with a sheer transformation brightening moisturizer. The serum has a 5 source vitamin c complex to help with radiance and wrinkles (I loooove vitamin C in skincare) and the brightening moisturizer has licorice root and multi-fruit AHAs to help with dark spots and sun damage. The nighttime routine includes the invigorating night treatment - overnight resurfacer and the sheer transformation brightening moisturizer once again. The night treatment has a 12 source AHA complex that helps to smooth texture and fine lines while minimizing pores and evening skin tone. I've been using these products for 3.5 weeks and my skin feels softer, looks brighter, and I feel great with and without makeup. I definitely think I need to use it for a few more weeks to see the full benefits, but I am super impressed with the way my skin looks already and it gets bonus points for being a simple routine to integrate into my day!

 

HAIR

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Post-partum hair sucks... and a bad hair day is often enough to ruin my whole day, so hair care is something I really invest time in searching for. I like things that are easy to use, won't break the bank and work! My fave find this month for my hair is by ALTERNA, and it's the Caviar Repair Instant Recovery Shampoo and Instant Recovery Conditioner. Both are free of Parabens, Synthetic Color, and Sulfates (so I can feel less guilty when Zane is trying to eat my hair lol). They smell devine and a little bit of each goes a long way (I've been using both for almost a month and have barely used 1/4 of the bottle). I have highlights in my hair so it can often feel dry and look dull if I don't find the right products, but this line has my hair looking and feeling great! I hope to try the rest of their product line soon!

 

Stay tuned for my November picks next month! If you have a product that you think I'll love, leave it in the comments below and I'll be sure to give it a try! 

Sweater Weather Has Arrived with PinkBlush!

I am a summer baby and belong in the heat - so the only pleasure I get from the Fall and Winter seasons is being able to bust out all my cute and adorable sweaters! I'm crushing over my newest wardrobe edition from PinkBlush. It's called the Black Basic Knit Maternity Sweater Top and it can be transitioned from maternity clothing to a regular clothing in a cinch! I LOVE having staples and faves that I don't need to give up when I'm pregnant! I promise you'll find something to love and at amazing price! Click here to visit their website and see some of my faves.

Hello Mommy - My One Stop Shop

Shopping when you're pregnant can be a horrible experience if you don't know where to go (I remember my first time shopping ended in me crying in a change room and then stuffing my face with a cheeseburger while I cried more to my husband on the phone... but we'll leave that story for another blog post). Unfortunately, shopping postpartum can be just as tedious. Your body changes and grows (usually horizontally), we all have a few extra rolls and dimples that we would rather hide, and who wants to spend a fortune on clothes when we are all secretly hoping to one day drop the extra weight? In enters Hello Mommy. The online miracle boutique that manages to bring the latest fashion trends to pregnant women, non pregnant women and toddlers at an amazing price (and yes they ship to US and Canada!).

The hubby and I are going on vacation at the end of August so I was so excited to get my hands on the Are You Beach Ready? dress. It's a shear light weight summer dress with a slip underneath that smoothes out all the areas that need a little help (you know what I'm talking about ladies). It fits true to size, washes beautifully (which is obviously super important since my mini loves to drool on all the clothes that I love the most), and it's on sale right now for $29.99! The slip is not sewn into the dress, so the dress can double as a beach or pool coverup.

Their clothes are so affordable that you don't have to feel guilty about shopping all the time (and by guilty I mean you don't have to hide it from your husband... not that I do that... ok sometimes I do), and the clothes look so great on, that you almost forget about the baby weight you are still trying to lose (I said almost!).

When I tell you this shop has something for everyone... they do. They have shoes, work clothes, party dresses, beach dresses, active wear, accessories and the list just keep growing daily! They are constantly adding new items to their boutique so make sure to follow them on Instagram so that you don't miss a single one! And while you're visiting their site, have a look at their Activewear section! I am crushing over their Workout Pants (and they're only $24.99!). Below are some of the items on my wish list... and you won't believe the price of each of them! Visit Hello Mommy and use the Promo Code: TOVAH12%OFF at checkout for 12% off your order!

 

Glycolic Acid for Sensitive Skin

Glycolic Acid is a product that I believe everyone should have in their skincare routine. Whether you choose a serum, cream or lotion, this magic ingredient will forever change your skin. Having said that, it's also an ingredient that if not used properly, can deter you from ever wanting to use it again, so if you have sensitive skin like I do, it's important to find the right product for you, and to integrate it slowly into your routine.

Glyclic Acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that is derived from sugar cane that exfoliates the skin. When it's in a serum, cream or lotion, not only does it exfoliate, but it also will hydrate so you'll have none of that flaking or peeling skin that we often associate with using an acid. Glycolic Acid is found in many different concentrations in skincare products so it's important to chose a lower concentration if it's your first time using it or if you've taken a break from it. You'll also want to start off slow - use it once a week, then twice a week, then three times a week until you're using it daily. It's important to give your skin a chance to build up a tolerance - otherwise you could be left with red and irritated skin. I know that when I get new products, I'm eager to jump in full force and integrate it into my routine - but Glycolic Acid products really need to be integrated slowly. 

I have very sensitive skin so I started using Glycolic Renewal 5% Smoothing Cream by NeoStrata (and eventually moved up to the 10% formulation) every other day and I now use it twice a day (it took me about 2 months to tolerate it well). It eliminated my black heads, smoothed my skin, and left it glowing every day. I even had my husband ask if I was doing something different with my skin! When my husband notices a change - I know it's for real :) 

Glycolic Acid is a great complement to anti-aging routines as well as acne routines because it will help eliminate dead skin cells and allow the active ingredients in your other products to better penetrate the skin! It will also help (in the case of acne) to dry out your pimples or blemishes. Unfortunately, it's not safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding so I had to stop using it for the past year but I am so excited to be starting again now! 

If you have sensitive skin, I recommend going to your local pharmacy or Sephora and getting a sample of a Glycolic Acid product before investing in an entire bottle. It will take about 2 - 3 weeks to see the difference in your skin, but once you do you will never go back!

These are some of my other favourite brands that have Glycolc Acid other than the NeoStrata one that I use!

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5 Mommy Hair Hacks That I Swear By!

There's a reason why the "mom bun" is a thing - getting ready with a newborn or toddler already means you're probably late for everything, and managing to get out the door without spit up or poop on your clothes means you're winning. There are days when I have it together and look like I did before Zane arrived - but there are others (most of the time actually) where I look like I have lost my marbles. Since having a baby, I understand now why many moms cut their hair short... who has time to manage, maintain and tame long beautiful locks? In my first 3 months of having a baby, I've discovered a few life savers that I hope will help you get through the day with kick ass looking hair. 

1. Dry Shampoo

Lets be honest... greasy looking hair is gross and none of us leave the house on purpose with our hair stuck to our head... but motherhood happens and sometimes it's unavoidable right? WRONG. Dry shampoo will save your life. It literally takes 10 seconds to put in your hair and you can even do it in the car. I have always had a hard time finding one that works for me because my roots are so dark and it usually ends up looking like I have dandruff instead - but I recently discovered Ouai from Sephora. Ouai has a traditional dry shampoo spray, but also has a foam which is perfect for my hair. I put a bit in my hand, put it on my roots, and voila! Clean looking hair! It also doesn't hurt that it smells amazing so is as though my hair was freshly washed :)

2. Keratine Treatment

If you have naturally curly hair, frizzy hair, or unmanageable hair (as I do), then a Keratine treatment may be for you! Keratine treatments essentially put keratin back into your hair (which is a protein that is found there naturally). Hair that lacks keratin is often frizzy, dull, easily tangles, so it's no surprise that a Keratine treatment makes your hair shiny, smooth and maneageable. Keratine treatments used to have formaldehyde in them, which for me is a big no no. It's extremely toxic and I never wanted that anywhere near me. Now, however, most Keratine treatments are formaldehyde free (yay!) and are therefore really gaining in popularity. Many of them are safe to get while pregnant, breastfeeding and they are done in almost every salon by trained stylists. I definitely think that just like hair colour, the result has a lot to do with who does it (so do your research ladies!), but over all, this treatment has been a life saver for me. It used to take me 45 mins to blow-dry my hair and another 10 mins to go over it with a flat iron. I now can let my hair air dry if I want it wavy, and it takes me 10 minutes flat to blow dry it. 

3. Ballayage

Ballayage is a technique being used more and more for hair colour. It's less dramatic than highlights that go to your root and more natural looking than Ombre. It's a technique that gives your hair highlights that don't go all the way to the root and what that means, is that your hair can grow out without looking like you need to immediately get it done again! This is genius for new moms because scheduling a hair appointment can often be a nightmare when you need to try to find someone to look after the little ones. If you've never heard of ballayage, I'm sure you've seen it and just haven't realized it. It's not only practical, but gorgeous!

4. Hair Masks 

Our hair is exposed to so many chemicals and so pollution outside every day - not to mention spit up and other fun things from our little ones, so pampering your hair once a week is a must. I have fallen in love with hair masks and think that if you try one, you will too. It's quick, easy, and if a temper tantrum or baby emergency happens while you have it in - no biggy! The longer it's in, the better (for the more part - read your labels :)). I'm obsessed right now with Oro Fluido Hair Mask. I put it in after the shower before I put baby to bed and leave it in for about an hour. As soon as he's asleep, I hop back into the shower and wash it out. There are definitely masks out there that are even more mommy friendly I'm sure. I know there are some that don't need to be washed out at all, but my skin is so sensitive, I am always worried about going to bed with a hair mask on incase I get a reaction. 

5. Style your hair when it's wet

It sounds pretty simple right? Well it is and you'll be amazing how awesome your hair looks in the morning! I've discovered that if I style my hair in a high top bun before bed and spritz it with a bit of water, I wake up in the morning to big, beautiful, beachy looking waves without needing to use a curler! Similarily, if I braid my hair before bed and wet it a bit, I wake up to tight, trendy waves. It's so simple and so manageable because you can do it once the littles go to bed :) 

If you have any other tips or tricks, please let me know! Sharing is caring :)

 

 

 

 

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Eyelash Extensions... Here's What I Thought

With a newborn, it's been hard to get my beauty routine back on track. I was never a high maintenance type of girl anyways but the few things that I did do made a huge difference, and I find myself now always having to make the choice between putting on makeup or brushing my hair. The struggle is real mamas. My daily beauty ritual used to consist of some under eye concealer, mascara, foundation and a lip gloss (and ALWAYS some SPF). Since Zane arrived, I'm lucky to get out the door not covered in spit up.

Dark circles have become a normal part of my daily look (like most new mothers) and no matter how much sleep I get, I always seem to need more and I've accepted and decided to rock my dark circles... said no woman EVER.  In an attempt to make my morning ritual easier (which is what we all ultimately want!), and to draw the eye away from the dark circles, I decided to try some eyelash extensions! I went to someone who was referred to me... I definitely believe in referrals instead of google when possible. The woman I went to see applies, what she calls, Russian volume extensions, which is a type of extension that maximizes volume and minimizes damage to your natural lashes. Imagine a fan type of look where 5 extensions (in the shape of a fan) are attached to each of your natural lashes. They are supposed to be thinner and weigh less than traditional lash extensions so they aren't supposed to weigh down your natural lashes or feel heavy on the eye. They are glued on super close to the root and as your natural lashes fall off (just like the hair on your head does), the extensions fall with it! Apparently if they are applied properly, they are supposed to cause no damage to your natural lashes. 

I called around to a few places in my area and in general, they seem to cost between $120-$150 for the first time and the appointment can take anywhere from 1.5-3 hours. The fill appointments range from $35-$60 depending on how many lashes you need replaced. Taking care of them is relatively simple - no rubbing your eyes aggressively and no sleeping face down at night (who does that anyways?!).

This is my third week with them and here's what I think.

The PROS:

  • I feel like my eyes look more open, awake, and they definitely do the job of drawing the attention away from my dark circles.
  • I always look like I have killer mascara on.
  • I will never need mascara again

The CONS: 

 You can see the holes from where the fake lashes have fallen

You can see the holes from where the fake lashes have fallen

  • Because I don't generally wear a lot of makeup, I find the Russian volume lashes a bit too fake looking for me. On my friend who referred me, they look fantastic, but on me they seem a bit out of place. I feel like I am ready to go to a club to be honest with you.
  • The maintenance: As my lashes naturally fall out, and along with them the extensions, I am noticing bald patches because my new natural lashes that are growing in are so much thinner and shorter than the extensions. I would probably need to get a fill every 2 weeks to be happy which could cost me an extra $100/month.

I've included a before and after picture on the bottom! Despite thinking that they are a bit too bold for my face, I am not completely deterred. I will be going back on Tuesday for a fill using a different and more natural technique. Stay tuned to see the results! 

 Before eyelash extensions with no makeup on.

Before eyelash extensions with no makeup on.

 After eyelash extensions with no makeup on

After eyelash extensions with no makeup on

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