morning routine with clinique smart


it may not always seem like it as you scroll through the photos on my blog, but life with a toddler (and being 29 weeks pregnant!) is actually pretty hectic. after adam was born, i made a huge decision and quit my day job to stay at home full-time to be his primary caretaker. in addition to working full-time as a blogger and vintage seller! it was a major shift. i can still remember those early days when i was alone with him, tip-toeing to the bathroom and attempting to wash my face and put on a little bit of makeup before he woke up in the morning. and later, when he started crawling, i would have him “help” me get ready. only for him to wander just out of view so he could unravel an entire roll of toilet paper and tear it into tiny bits! these days, things are a bit more relaxed when it comes to the morning routine. he knows the drill, and often hangs out with me at my vanity while i get ready for the day. a big part of what makes it easier is to have a foolproof routine with as few steps as possible, while still reaping the benefits of smart ingredients like antioxidants and spf. taking care of my skin has meant that i can get away with wearing less makeup, which has made a huge difference in the amount of time it takes me to get ready every day. so when clinique asked me if i’d be interested in partnering-up to try the clinique smart system, i was definitely on board.

i’ve been a long time fan of clinique products, so i was excited to give their new 4-in-one system a try. the idea behind the product line is to visibly reduce wrinkles, even skin tone, firm, and brighten skin with formulations that will work for every different skin type. it’s a smart yet simple routine that makes getting ready stress-free. the less time you have to spend worrying about your skin, the more time you have to take care of everything else on your plate. speaking of which, i should probably get to work on the nursery!

if you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, i’ll be giving away a jar of the broad spectrum spf 15 custom-repair moisturizer and night custom-repair moisturizer on my instagram later today!

vintage dress, hand-overdyed with natural indigo
brookes boswell panama hat
birkenstock arizona sandals
j.w. hulme legacy handbag


3-step skincare with clinique!


remember last week when i tried out a few new shades of lipstick in partnership with clinique? well, since then, i’ve also been following the 3-step skincare system every day, morning and night. and i’m happy to report back that it’s been working out really well! one of the first things that jumped out at me about the system is that they don’t try to be one-size-fits all. everyone has different skincare needs, so it’s nice that they have a variety of different formulations depending on your specific skin type. they’ve got you covered whether you’re skin is very dry to dry, dry combination, combination oily, or oily. if you’re not entirely sure which category you fall into, you can schedule an appointment with a consultant at one of their locations, or you can take a little quiz on their website to get you started.

i know you can’t necessarily tell from a few photos, but i’m feeling really good about the improvements i’m already starting to see since starting the routine. a big part of that comes from simply taking the time to pamper my skin a little bit, and using products that are clinically tested, unscented, and gentle on skin. it sounds simple, but it’s so easy to forget! which really is a shame because when i think about it, i’ve actually been way too self conscious to even consider leaving the house without makeup on. and it’s been that way for a while. i wear makeup and neglect my skin, it starts to break out, i cover it up with more makeup, it becomes a vicious cycle. so being able to shoot these photos with only a bit of mascara and lip color was a surprisingly liberating experience for me, as cheesy as that may sound. but it really is true! we gotta take care of ourselves every now and then! or, you know, every morning and night with a little skin care routine.

step one: cleanse

what i love about the liquid facial soap is that it’s super gentle and mild on my skin, but it completely washes off all of my crazy waterproof eyeliner and mascara at the end of the day without making my skin feel tight or dry. bonus points for being completely scent-free (like most clinique products), making it much less likely to irritate skin.

step two: exfoliate

it’s so easy to forget to use a toner, but gently sweeping clarifying lotion across your face after cleansing and before moisturizing really helps to wipe away any excess oil, and clears your skin to help your moisturizer work better. since i’ve been using it, i’ve noticed a pretty big difference. my skin seems a just a little bit brighter, and my makeup seems to go on just little bit more evenly. who knew?

step three: moisturize

i may be a bit biased because this classic little bottle of dramatically different moisturizing lotion has had a spot in my medicine cabinet since i was a teenager, but you really can’t go wrong with the lightweight, yet potent mix of skin-strengthening ingredients. you can smooth it over your entire face, or simply apply to areas that feel a little dry. i tend to focus mostly on cheeks and under-eye area.


i’ve also been supplementing with a few other products that are even more specifically targeted for my skincare concerns. one of my favorites is the new pore refining solutions charcoal mask that i’m now using 1 – 2 times a week to help detoxify and clear my skin. it’s such a simple ingredient, but charcoal naturally draws out excess oil and impurities, and leaves your skin feeling fresh and smooth. i’m also a fan of the even better clinical dark spot corrector. it’s a nice serum that i’ve been squeezing-in between steps two and three to help lighten some of the acne marks left behind from previous breakouts.

pop lip


i know i don’t write about makeup all that often, but increasingly over the past couple of years, i’ve become totally obsessed with trying new skincare and beauty products. yet despite this little known fact, i still very rarely approach the beauty counter. i sometimes casually pass by when i’m at the mall and take a timid peek at the products, all neatly lined up in their shiny packages. but i tend to shy away if anyone behind the counter ever asks if i need help! so when clinique asked me if i’d be interested in making an appointment with one of their consultants, it was just the push i needed to finally try it out for myself. clinique has been a gold standard in the beauty industry for years, and they’re well known for having wonderfully formulated products with top notch staff, so i knew i would be in good hands.

when i arrived at the mall, i was greeted with a cute little menu of different options specifically targeted for whatever skincare concerns i might have. i got to rattle off my specific skin situation: that i have combination to oily skin with a tendency to break out. i have little dark spots from previous breakouts that kinda drive me nuts. and of course, i’m beginning to see the first signs of aging, and while i’m not trying to fight it, i know it’s important for me to up my skincare game. then we talked through what we would try and i got the luxury treatment: cleanser, my new favorite charcoal mask, the 3-step system, and an assortment of other products to compliment my new beauty routine. she explained the benefits of each product and talked about specific ingredients and addressed all of my concerns. i’ve been following my new routine every day, and will be reporting back with the results next week.

but for today, i wanted to talk about makeup! i tend to keep things pretty simple: a bit of foundation and concealer topped with a very light blush, mascara, and a swipe of liquid liner. i’m not really interested in contouring or a smoky eye, but i do love to play around with different lip colors. my consultant totally understood and let me guide the way, helping me pick a few colors from the new clinique pop lip collection to compliment my skin tone. it combines a bold, saturated color with a smoothing primer and a velvety finish. it’s moisturizing and surprisingly lightweight considering the bold pigment, which is a welcome change for me because i’d been trying increasingly dry, matte formulas that just weren’t as appealing to me anymore. pop lip still lets you wear a bright color, while still feeling totally comfortable all day long. so of course, i will now grace you with some silly photos of my new lip colors.

wow pop is a demi-matte bubble gum pink shade.

love pop is a demi-matte violet shade with little flecks of glimmer. i was surprised that this one turned out to be my favorite!

cola pop is the darkest shade. it’s considered a demi-matte nude, and comes out as a classic neutral burgundy.

grape pop is a demi-matte violet. it’s purple, but not so dark that it’s overpowering.