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my sensitive skin care routine.

oh my skin. my skin and i are complete frenemies. i need it, it needs me, but we don’t always get along. you know? i have been through the wringer trying to figure out how to keep it under control. i’ve tried EVERY over the counter treatment there is, and quite a few of the prescriptions treatments too. i’ve even taken accutane on two different occasions (it helped but was horrible and i hated it). what i’m saying is i’ve tried a thing or two. i’ve gotten to know my skin pretty well through all of it, and feel pretty good about handling it these days. i still get the occasional breakout (thanks hormones!) but they are shorter and less intense these days.

i’ve talked about my skincare routine and breakouts before here, but because our human bodies are so delightfully unique, it’s always changing based on how my body is reacting to the routine during any given period of time. i’ve been trying to be thoughtful and look at it a few times a year to see if there is anything i need to change, and i think it’s been a good thing! here is what i’m currently doing to look and feel less like a hormonal teenager and more like a grown-ass mature mother of two children.

my morning routine

  • rinse with water. i have really sensitive, breakout prone skin, and i’ve learned that the less i unnecessarily cleanse it, the better it behaves.
  • moisturize. i’m currently using the beautycounter daily facial moisturizer, but sometimes i like to use the origins original skin matte moisturizer too.
  • put on bb cream or foundation. i’m currently using the nyx bb cream, it’s by far the most like a foundation of all the bb creams i’ve tried.
  • apply concealer, face powder and blush. i never skip the concealer, but sometimes will skip the other two.
  • apply the rest of my makeup. the rest of my makeup is just maybelline brow pencil and l’oreal voluminous mascara. if i’m at home with the kids, i skip the mascara.


my evening routine

  • remove makeup. i don’t always do this as an extra step, but if i have a full face of makeup on, i will. i use the one love organics vitamin b cleansing oil, which is a great option for people who might be afraid of facial oils. i apply it with dry hands to a dry face and work it in to get the makeup melted off, then massage warm water all over my face with the oil, then rinse it off, and all the makeup is gone.
  • cleanse face. after i remove my makeup with the cleansing oil, i cleanse my face again with cetaphil gentle skin cleanser. this just removes all the excess cleansing oil, and makes sure to get every last bit of residue off my face.
  • tone. i use thayers rose petal witch hazel toner, which is by far the most gentle, effective toner i’ve ever used. it doesn’t dry out my skin, but it helps with dry skin and clogged pores.
  • use a face mask. about once a week i try to do a purifying mask to get my pores really clean and refreshed. my favorite types of masks are generally the charcoal clay masks, because they really draw out a lot of the impurities in my skin without overdrying it. my favorite lately is the beautycounter charcoal mask, it’s just amazing.
  • moisturize. again, my pores are clogged easily, so i don’t like to over moisturize my face. once or twice a week i use the one love organics skin savior multi-tasking wonder balm if i’m feeling extra dry.

i’ve said it before, but it’s worth mentioning again that no product can replace good lifestyle choices when it comes to the health of your skin. i talk about this more in my post on handling problem skin, but it’s just so important to use good products, drink more water, eat well, get facials semi-regularly, and take any supplements that your body might need (like vitamin d, fish oil, and probiotics). once your foundation is strong, it’s a lot easier to keep the good times going.

what are your holy grail skincare product or tips? i’m always so interested to hear what other people do, what products they love, and why, because you never know when someone will tell you about something that ends up being perfect for you too!

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side effects of sleep deprivation (and a solution).

did you know that one of the biggest lies they tell you when you have kids is that one day your kids will sleep through the night? it’s true. because kids never sleep through the night. not ever. they might have a period of time where they sleep through the night, sure. but then they stop and are up all night again ruining your sleep. with two kids now, at least one of them is up at some point almost every single night.

all that to say: i love coffee. you guys, i love it so much. i haven’t reached the point of no return with my addiction, but i will say that coffee and i are in a very serious relationship. if you’ve ever met me, talked to me, or watched my instastories, you know this about me. and the thing is, i’m not prepared to give that relationship up. i look forward to my morning coffee (and maybe an afternoon americano at work) because it makes me feel cozy, and let’s be real, because it wakes me up. this beautiful relationship has been born out of necessity because i haven’t gotten a full night’s sleep in a few years.

as much as i love my morning cup of love, i do NOT like that it makes my teeth discolored. they’re not the MOST yellow, but they’re definitely not the whitest white they could be. the side effects of sleep deprivation are real my friends.

until i got the opportunity to try smile brilliant. when they contacted me to do a review of their product, i was really excited. (i was given a kit to review, but as you know, i will always give my honest opinion about any products i talk about here). i’ve tried other teeth whitening products in the past, and i’ve just never been able to get into using them for one reason or another. they’re either too sticky and fall off my teeth, or they make my sensitive teeth hurt after just one use.

guys, this is the real deal. have a look at my before and after photos. these are straight out of the camera and totally unretouched, just so you know.

my teeth weren’t the worst to begin with, but they definitely improved after using smile brilliant. i really wish my mouth was big enough so you could see my bottom teeth, because there was a huge difference in the whiteness there. #tinymouthprobs

like i said before, my biggest complaints with other whitening products is that they don’t stay on my teeth to whiten them, and that my teeth are really sensitive so most hurt me. because smile brilliant is a custom fit system (they send you molds to get the exact fit of your teeth, like a retainer!), the whitening gel actually gets on your teeth and stays there. no gross strips falling off your teeth and making you talk funny. the biggest pro for this system is that they have a sensitive teeth option for people who need it. i just applied the sensitivity gel after the whitening gel, and my gum sensitivity totally dissipated. i highly recommend for anyone who has that same problem.

my one tiny complaint about how it works is that you are supposed to avoid drinking or eating anything that could stain your teeth for 12-24 hours after whitening, so they recommend doing the treatments before bed. well, it turns out that i like to drink wine before bed. so thanks a lot smile brilliant. you made me curb my nighttime wine drinking habit. are you happy? (it’s fine guys, i used the whitening gel every day for a week, and then moved down to every few days for upkeep, so i was able to drink my wine AND have white teeth too!)

i highly recommend this kit if you’re looking for an affordable teeth whitening solution, or if, like me, you’re living with the side effects of sleep deprivation and too much coffee drinking. i’ve had a great experience with it and i’ll continue to purchase and use it in the future when i need a little whitening boost (or maybe my kids will start sleeping and i won’t need it…hahahahaha just kidding that will never happen).

and now, for a giveaway!

even if you aren’t suffering from the side effects of sleep deprivation, i’m guessing you might have your own reasons for wanting whiter teeth. if you’re interested, you could win a $139 smile brilliant credit to use towards a whitening kit for yourself. enter here to win!

if you decide that you’re interested in just going for it even if you don’t win, you can use code “everythingwithlove10” for 10% off a smile brilliant product.

*giveaway is open for one week. MUST enter through the link above to be counted. giveaway is for $139 credit and is open to USA, UK, Canada, and Australia residents.*

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Tooth Whitening Gel

thank goodness for big sisters. (+ a freshly picked sale & giveaway)

before William was born, i thought a lot about what it would mean for Amelia to be a big sister. i’m the oldest of five kids, and i’m only 13 months older than my brother, so i’ve never really known what it felt like to be an only child. i’ve only ever really been a big sister. the sibling relationship fascinates me, and so instead of worrying about if i would have enough love to go around (i knew i would), i wondered what that relationship would look like for my children.

from the moment they met, all my wildest dreams for my children came true. Amelia was instantly infatuated with this tiny baby brother we introduced her to, and amazingly, William seemed to know and love her right back. it seems crazy, but it was easy to see that there was an immediate bond between them.

ever since that first meeting, Amelia has been the best big sister. she wants to hold William all the time (as long as he isn’t crying), she lets me know if she thinks he wants a diaper change or is hungry again (she’s almost always right with her suggestions), and whenever she sees “baby William”, she goes over to him and reminds him that “it’s okay, big sister is here!”.

i mean, she’s not perfect, she is only two. she has asked me on many occasions if she can hit her brother, and has also demanded that her stuffed animals be allowed to sleep in his bassinet instead of him. she also thinks everything belongs to her; blankets, swing, moccasins, you name it, she would like it to be hers.

but the overwhelming feeling from her is love. and she is a big help to me with getting clothes and diapers when i’ve forgotten them in the other room, or even talking to him when he’s fussy to calm him down. as she gets older, i know she’ll help me dress him, and teach him how to drive me insane, as older sisters should. 

there’s something awesome about watching their relationship grow from nothing to everything. i feel like i’m watching some sort of secret club be formed, and it’s a pretty great feeling knowing that i gave them the gift of each other. 
***

we love Freshly Picked moccasins in this house (see above about Amelia wanting all the moccasins to be hers), so i am super excited to be partnering with them as they kick off their biggest sale of the year! 

the sale starts TODAY, november 22nd at 10am MST, and only last for 24 hours. this is Freshly Picked’s biggest sale of the year. everything on the site is 25% off, which only happens twice a year!!! if you’ve ever thought about purchasing a pair of moccasins from Freshly Picked, this is the time to do it!

and now for even more fun news: in honor of the sale, Freshly Picked is allowing me to give away a pair of moccasins this week! the giveaway is going to be held over on my instagram (@erinhzauner), and will run during the week of november 22nd to november 27th. to enter, go to my instagram post about the giveaway. then just do the following to be entered:

  1. follow both my instagram account and Freshly Picked’s instagram account.
  2. “like” the instagram post.
  3. tag a friend who would like to hear about the giveaway and the sale in the comments. you may make two comments tagging different people for a total of two entries.

that’s it! the winner will be picked at random on november 28th, and i will send a message to the individual to gather their information.

good luck! Amelia says she’ll take any extra mocs if you feel like sharing, since she doesn’t fit in her brother’s.

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9 tips for handling problem skin.

if you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know i’m no stranger to problem skin. i’m almost 29 years old, and it’s taken me until this point in my life to figure out how to handle my skin issues. my new skincare routine helps keep them at bay (you’ll hear about that soon), but they’re by no means fixed. because i still have breakouts more regularly than i’d like, i’ve developed a few tricks that i use to handle those with minimal irritation. i thought i’d share them here if anyone else is in this boat with me.

face-mask-for-problem-skin

me, looking hot in my face mask.

9 tips for handling problem skin

  1. wash your face every night. no exceptions. this is so hard for some reason. some nights, i’d rather do anything than spend time washing my face before bed. you tired ladies hear me, right? but it’s so, so important to do. having a clean, moisturized face before bed allows your skin to breathe, and keeps those gross germs off your face (and your pillow), which makes breakouts less likely to happen.
  2. use face masks regularly. i would suggest picking a day of the week to use as your “extra pampering” night. then, every week on that day, spend a little extra time on your bedtime routine. instead of just washing your face, wash, exfoliate, then use a face mask. i love this charcoal mask from origins, but there are a lot of inexpensive ones from the drugstore that are wonderful too.
  3. keep those filthy paws off. i need to take my own advice on this one. DON’T TOUCH YO’ FACE! there are so many germs on your hands, and when you touch your face, those germs get on your face. i can’t tell you how often i find myself resting my hand on my chin or cheek during the day, or absentmindedly picking at a blemish. pretty sure i’d never get breakouts, or they would at least heal faster, if i just didn’t touch my face.
  4. drink as much water as possible. again, need to take my own advice on this. the more water you drink, the more hydrated you are. the more hydrated you are, the more hydrated your skin is. the more hydrated your skin is, the less natural oils it needs to produce to keep from drying out, which means less chances for your pores to get clogged and turn into blemishes. i’m trying to get better about drinking more water throughout the day (it’d be so easy, except, COFFEE). if you have a hard time getting your water in during the day, may i suggest investing in an adorable water bottle? my fave is bkr (pronounced “beaker”), because they come in a million colors (i have light green and dark purple), they’re glass, and they look damn cute when you carry them around.
  5. use moisturizers that match your needs. if you have really oily skin, you probably aren’t going to want to slather on a heavy cream, whereas if your skin is like a desert, that might be a good idea for you. if you don’t have the right moisturizer, you can cause your skin to overproduce or underproduce the right amount of oils, which can throw everything out of whack. it might take some trial and error, or maybe even a trip to an esthetician, but it’s worth it to figure out your skins needs and prevent the problems.
  6. be gentle with your skin. up until a couple of years ago, i would wage war with my skin, even when it wasn’t behaving badly. in my head, i had problem skin, so that meant i always had to try to fight it and control it. this is not smart thinking. if you’re gentle to your skin, by letting it breathe when you can, using natural products and keeping the harsh treatments to only the times you really need them, your skin will be able to find its rhythm. so even though it’s easier said than done, be nice.
  7. get a facial when you can. i know, this sounds frivolous, but if you have issues with your skin, this might be the very best thing you can do. and i’m not talking about getting a facial at the spa. i’m talking about getting a facial from a place where that’s all they do, and where they use medical grade equipment and products. those estheticians know their stuff, and they can help figure out where your best place to start to fi your skin issues will be. it can be expensive, but give up your latte one week a month (replace that latte with water in you cute water bottle!), and you’ll have enough to have a facial 2-3 times a year. or do what i do and ask for gift cards for christmas and your birthday.
  8. take vitamin d and fish oil and probiotics. i’m religious about taking my vitamin d and fish oil, and since i started taking them a few years ago, have noticed an ever so subtle improvement in my skin. i’m trying to get into the habit of taking probiotics for about a month at a time to make sure my bacteria is in a good place, because when your internal bacteria is out of whack (due to stress or illness or whatever), it can cause your skin to get really inflamed and clogged up. take it for what it’s worth, but if you’re looking for something you haven’t tried, treating your skin from the inside out along with the water could be what you need.
  9. when you get a breakout, heat and treat. if you’re doing everything you can to keep your problem skin under control, but you still get the occasional (or common) breakout, don’t pick at it (see #3 above) like i normally do. i have a face full of scars that will show you why that’s a bad idea. instead, if you absolutely must do something to a breakout and can’t leave it along, heat it and treat it. by that, i mean wash your face and remove all makeup and dirt. then, take a washcloth and run it under hot water until it’s kind of steamed. hold the washcloth on your blemish(es) until the rag gets cool. repeat 1-2 times. the heat and steam help open up your pores so they have a chance to get cleaned out. rinse the washcloth in hot water once more and hold it over your whole face, then wipe your face off gently. let your face air dry, then apply some kind of spot treatment to your blemishes, be it tea tree oil, a salicylic acid treatment, a benzoyl peroxide treatment, or something else. this should help sanitize the blemish and also dry it out and shrink it, which will make it go away sooner.

cetaphil

what do you all do when you have breakouts? any awesome tips i haven’t mentioned above? please share, because i am always looking for the magic idea that will cure my skin once and for all.

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inexpensive holiday outfit inspiration.

i’ll admit, i’m feeling a bit lackluster in my holiday style this year. i’ve opted out of buying anything new (waaaaah!) until after i know what christmas brings, but because of my recent closet purges, i haven’t really added anything that i feel exceptionally festive in.

i decided that i’m going to rely on my staple outfits, but i’ll add some festive holiday flair to them with some inexpensive items. think tights, socks, scarves, makeup and jewelry. it’s not exactly a reinvention of the wheel, but i think we all find ourselves in a place where we don’t have the “perfect” outfit and need a way to make what we have work for the occasion.

i honestly get a lot of inspiration for this from my friends. in particular, my friend caitlin is notoriously good at looking perfect for whatever occasion she’s in, whether it’s brunch or a bachelorette party, while hanna (she’s actually a cousin-friend) is amazing at using accessories + jewelry to look amazing ALL THE TIME. every time i’m with either of them, i’m like, alright, i am going to look adorable every day by copying them. it usually lasts for two days until i fall back into my old ways, but every now and again (like during the holidays), i get reinspired and try my best to live up to their awesomeness.

for the sake of this post, i’m going to take one dress and show how with a few changes to little things, you can have multiple outfits to wear to holiday events (which, if you’re anything like me, you have plenty of).

scarf + tights + hair

add tights, a scarf and a cute updo to any simple dress for a simple holiday outfit.

scarf: CAbi | dress: stitchfix | tights: target | shoes: macys (old, similar here) | makeup favorites: here

easy-holiday-outfit

easy-holiday-outfit

my original plan for this look was to wear my cranberry tights, because cranberry is festive and also you know i love it. but then i realized my cranberry tights had a HUGE run in them (please tell me that happened when i got home from wherever i wore them last, amen.) and had to improvise. i like how the purple tights turned out! they’re not too flashy for those of you who don’t like that sort of thing, but they add a fun, unexpected pop of color in a not too obvious holiday way. a topknot is always a good idea when going for the holiday vibe (and also when you were out at the last party too late and decided that washing your hair was overrated).

shoes + jewelry

holiday-outfit-idea

necklace: CAbi | shoes: banana republic (old, similar here)

holiday-outfit-idea

holiday-outfit-idea

you can’t go wrong with leopard shoes. that’s a fact. they’re basically a neutral, and yet they scream, LOOK AT HOW GREAT AND FUN I AM! tell me, where is the downside? i paired these with the same purple tights as before, but you could wear black tights, grey tights, any tights with these, or go bare-legged if you live in a climate suitable for that sort of craziness. and i’m not usually a statement necklace sort of gal, but if any occasion calls for some glitz around your neck parts, it’s a holiday party.

makeup + jewelry

holiday-outfit-and-makeup

makeup favorites: here | eyeshadow + bronzer: urban decay naked on the run palette (unavailable) | lips: revlon (similar here) | necklace: target (old)

holiday-outfit-and-makeup

holiday-outfit-and-makeup

i love a bold lip any old time of year. give me orange lips in the summer, berry lips in the fall, and fuschia lips ALWAYS. but never is there a more fitting time for a classic red lip than the christmas holiday. it’s color appropriate, it’s fun, and it goes with everything. paired with some brown + slightly sparkly eyes, it’s classic without being boring. the palette i used for the eyes is unavailable, but use any matte light/dark browns with some brown/gold shimmer and you’ll match it easily. i went for a colorful necklace here to complement my lips and because my dress is so neutral, but it would be so cool to get something big and shiny and neutral to wear with something more colorful or festive.

hope you liked these ideas and that they gave you a bit of inspiration for this week. let me know if you’re like me and constantly looking for last-minute holiday outfits. what are your tips + tricks for making it work without going online shopping crazy?

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