Wedding Season with Rent the Runway

Wedding season is right around the corner!  Did you know that December and February are the most common months for engagement?  I didn’t but so far, I have 3 special events to attend already this year.  Just thinking about picking out different dresses, shoes, accessories, etc. can be a little bit of a headache especially when you see how much it all costs!  Sure you can buy one dress, declare it your wedding season dress and accessorize it to look different for each event, but I prefer wearing something different to each event.  Especially since a lot of the same people end up being at most of the different events.  Plus, I love dressing up.  I guess since I don’t have to get dressed up for work, I really enjoy getting dressed up for events.  As an L&D nurse we wear scrubs from a scrub machine so you wear what you want to work then change into scrubs once you arrive.

Anyway, Rent the Runway is the solution for women who want to look fabulous at every event and NOT spend a ton of money.  If you haven’t heard of the company, basically you rent a dress for a few days, wear it to your event and return it in the prepaid packaging that comes with the dress.  Simple and genius!  Not sure about your size, you get a second size (same dress) for free.   Also, if you rent two dresses at once (say you can’t decide) you get the second rental at a discount.  I absolutely love RTR because I can wear a completely different look to all of the events I go to without breaking the bank.  Rent the Runway even has accessories but I usually use my own baubles.

If you’re a new customer you get $25 off your first rental!

Jill Jill Stuart Dress

Here are a few of my favorite looks! Dipping Dots Gown by Jill Stuart ($75.00 rental)

impressionist dress

Impressionist Dress by Carmen Marc Valvo ($85.00 rental)

plus size red dress

Plus, they have lots of options for plus sized ladies as well.  Like a dress that I actually rented (in green), the Lipstick Red Gown by Badgley Mischka ($80.00 rental).

Holy Grail SPF: Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield

murad invisiblur

Let’s get straight to the point, the new Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield is my new holy grail skin care item.  I’ve had it for about 2 weeks now and I’m in love.  It’s a treatment, primer, and SPF all in one.  My favorite part is that it’s a clear SPF, yes you read that correctly.  It’s SPF 30 and clear!!! Brown girls rejoice … a sunscreen that gives NO white tint whatsoever because it’s completely clear.

clear sunblock

This product treats the visible signs of aging, blurs imperfections, and protects against SPF.  What else could you really ask for?  For those of you that want the stats, I get it.  I’m all about evidence based practice (it must be the nurse in me), so here it is: Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield contains a blend of powerful youth-enhancing ingredients like Shitake Mushroom Peptides, Black Currant, Rosemary and Goldenrod Extracts. The combination of these ingredients helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by improving skin resilience and texture to reveal a more youthful look and feel. In a Murad sponsored study, 94% of users saw improved smoothness and texture and 71% of users saw fewer lines and wrinkles.

When you apply it, it feels like a silky makeup primer very reminiscent to Smashbox photo finish primer.  It goes on so lightly that you can easily use too much and not even notice.  It seems to glide right onto the skin and provides the perfect base for whatever makeup you will be wearing.  Now as far as blurring imperfections, I do not notice any blurring of anything but I do notice that my skin isn’t as shiny when I wear it.  Now while I did receive a sample for review, I have to tell you that I’ve already ordered a second bottle so that I do not run out.  I’m telling you, this is my new holy grail skin care item.

Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 | PA+++ ($65 for 1.0 FL. OZ.) will be available on Murad.com, at the Murad Inclusive Health Spa®, Murad Flagship Store, Sephora, Ulta and Massage Envy Spas and leading salons and spas beginning April 2015.

Mother’s Day with Birch Box

LTE Mother's Day

Birchbox has some great gift ideas for moms and mother’s to be.  Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching and if your mom is into beauty products then the Mother’s Day Birch Box is a good idea. For $62, you’ll find a decadent shower gel, a luxuriously creamy lipstick, a French serum that will leave your complexion glowing, and more! And of course the chic packaging and top-notch ingredients don’t hurt either.  I really like the idea of starting mom off with this box and giving her a few more boxes as a gift.

birch box and baby gap

Also, if you know someone who is a mommy to be or a brand new mom then you should also know that Birchbox has teamed up with babyGap to create a a limited-edition box filled with indulgent skincare and hair care products to pamper new mothers without adding to an already busy routine.  Each box includes the following products, including a fun babyGap surprise for the new arrival:

• amika Nourishing Hair Mask
• Not Soap, Radio Body Wash in Lavender
• Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser
• W3LL People Bio Extreme Lip Gloss in Berry
• Whish Three Wishes Body Butter Boxes
• babyGap Personalitees Bodysuits

Operation Wedding Hair 2.0

operation-wedding-hair

This year I have several weddings to attend and I’ll be a bridesmaid too!  This is the second time I’m going to be a bridesmaid and I’m really excited.  So, of course you know I want my hair to be on point!  I’m not exactly sure how the bride will want our hair to be styled but the dress is absolutely gorgeous.  Remember the last time I was a bridesmaid?  I launched Operation Wedding Hair, a challenge to grow my hair out as much as I could before the wedding.  It was a destination wedding and I wanted to have beach-y waves, in the end my hair grew a good amount and I wore a braid out that was amazing!  This time around it’s not a destination wedding and it’s in the middle of winter, but I still want to have the best possible hair I can have by then so I’m doing it again, Operation Wedding Hair 2.0 is activated!

I have two goals:

Increase the length and maintain/improve the health of my hair.

On top of this wedding where I will be a bridesmaid, I have another wedding to attend in London and another important event in Nigeria.  I’m still waiting to see if my vacation time was approved but if all goes well I will be traveling a bit this year.  So I also want to have my hair looking it’s best for those events too.  There’s always something nice about wearing your natural hair (in this context I mean weave-free) among a sea of women with weaves and manage to still get compliments.

What makes this challenge different from the last challenge is that this time I’m transitioning (with the help of keratin treatments) so not only am I dealing with two textures, I have to relearn what works for me and what doesn’t.

Basic Hair Care Regimen for Operation Wedding Hair 2.0

  • co-wash and deep condition weekly
  • steam treat hair 1x per month
  • moisturize and seal about every other day
  • Wear protective styles about 90% of the time
  • Keep ends free from damage

length check

Starting Point

Gentle Exfoliation with Murad Transforming Powder

murad transforming powder

Proper exfoliation in essential to glowing healthy skin.  As we age the skin turnover slows down and in turn many women notice their skin seems dull, gentle exfoliation is essential for speeding up skin turnover and getting rid of dull skin.  its   Lately, I’ve been getting gentle exfoliation with Murad Transforming Powder, first-ever powder cleanser, Transforming Powder, a water-activated cleanser and exfoliator designed to provide the ideal amount of exfoliation to blemish-prone skin without the risk of irritation.  I love it because it’s easy to control the amount of exfoliation you get, less water turns the powder into a paste almost that exfoliates more than if you were to add more water.

murad transforming powder texture

This dual-action powder utilizes exfoliating bio-enzymes and dissolving beads to quickly transform from an exfoliating scrub into a light, foaming cleanser with the addition of water. Transforming Powder prevents those with acneic skin from over exfoliating and takes the guess work out of scrubbing with:

• Exfoliating bio-enzymes digest surface oil, dirt and dead skin cells
• Dissolving beads derived from Jojoba smooth and soften skin
• Pumpkin Seed Extract and Salicylic Acid work to keep pores clear, manage oil production and encourage cell turnover

Sometimes I make something more like a paste to leave on my face for a little bit and then rub it around for gentle exfoliation rinse it off, this product is versatile and I’m loving it.  What’s great is that you don’t have to use it every day, I use it about twice a week.

Transforming Powder ($30.00 for 0.5 OZ.) will be available on Murad.com, at Sephora, Ulta and leading salon and spa locations nationwide.  Plus, Amazon too.