Lifestyle

My Skincare Routine

Happy Tuesday! Today, I wanted to talk about my skincare routine as so many of you have asked what I use! Generally speaking, I do not have a super time consuming routine and tend to only focus on a few products. I also drink plenty of water during the day, which I believe helps a lot, and I ALWAYS wash my face in the morning and at night.

My Skin Type

Let’s talk skin- I would say I have dry skin as certain areas can become quite dry (around my nose and mouth). As a teenager, I never had really had severe acne, but I will say that I did have mild acne with pimples mainly on my forehead and chin.

I am very conscious about taking care of my skin and try to do small things to limit aging! I drink water constantly and try to get in at least 64 ounces per day. Fun fact- I hate sugary drinks like juice and soda and avoid them at all costs. I also never let my face in the sun- if I am laying out, I will cover my face with a towel or have a hat on. I think that limiting sun exposure, drinking fluids, and keeping your face moisturized (plus some good genetics- thanks mom and dad) can definitely help to fight the signs of aging!

Skincare Routine

About ago, I noticed my favorite bloggers were all using the same product, Tula. Being a beauty junkie and hearing so many people talk highly about this skincare brand, I jumped and bought some of their products! I did a little research and learned that TULA uses probiotics in all of their products. Basically, probiotics are the “good bacteria” we want in our bodies to help keep everything working like it should. By incorporating probiotics into their skincare, TULA’s products have been clinically proven to balance your skin, lock in moisture, and leave your complexion more hydrated and less inflamed. I was so excited to start using these products!

Guys, I am not kidding you when I say that the first time I used their face cleanser, my skin was immediately so soft and glowing! I even made my mom use the face cleanser too haha! I started using a few other of their products including the Aqua Infusion Power Liquid, Pro-Glycolic 10% pH Resurfacing Gel, and the Hydrating Day and Night Cream and under eye stick. The power liquid is a super hydrating gel that always leaves my skin more dewy! The resurfacing gel helps to tone and exfoliate my skin, while removing excess oil (thank you!) and debris. Lastly, the day and night cream is a super thick product that is extremely hydrating (a little dab with do ya!). And finally the under eye Glow and Get it stick contains caffeine which instantly wakes up your tired eyes.

Morning Routine

First, I wash my face with the cleanser using my Clarisonic, then I apply the resurfacing gel with a cotton ball, then I apply the power liquid and last I eye the under eye glow and get it stick. I let my face completely dry and then start applying my makeup.

Nighttime Routine

At night, I do the same steps above, but at the end I apply the hydrating cream. Sometimes, I will just put the cream on a few of my more dry spots (around my nose and mouth), but other times I will just put it all over my face! 

Below, I linked each of the items that I use!

Masks

About once a week, I try to do some type of face mask- typically on Sunday nights. My favorite face mask is this one– I love how my skin feels afterwards and I really do think it helps to unclog my pores. I feel like with so many masks I really don’t notice a difference afterwards, but I always notice that my skin looks better once I have used this mask. Although I will try out other masks, I always come back to this one. One of my other favorites include this one here.

For those of you that would like to try out TULA, I would recommend starting off with one of their “starter packs.” These packs come with smaller, travel-size products so you are able to try the products for less! TULA has three different starter packs including the discovery kit (the one I started with), the clear complexion kit (for those struggling with acne), and the anti-aging discovery kit (for those who want more anti-aging products). 

Over the last few months, I have definitely noticed that my skin is more supple, dewy, and radiant. I feel more confident not wearing makeup and am so happy with how my skin has transformed. I would highly recommend trying out these products if you are looking to switch up your skincare routine! *As a side note, this is not a sponsored post- I genuinely love these products and wanted to share them with you all!

If you try out TULA, let me know how it goes! I would love to hear your thoughts on it and how much you love it! 

As always, thank you for reading and sharing!

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Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: Why I started using the Billie Razor


I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve really been enjoying our Wellness Wednesday series every week! If you’re new around here, you can catch up on all of our Wellness Wednesday posts here. Today’s post is a little unique and to be honest, is covering a topic I hadn’t given much thought prior to connecting with the brand. But the more I learned about Billie – their product, their purpose – the more I realized just how important it was for me to try + share with y’all!

It may seem pretty random to dedicate an entire blog post to the razor I use, but hear me out. There are parts of my beauty routine that I put a lot of thought, research, and care into. When it comes to beauty and skincare, I won’t use just anything – I’m pretty sure y’all know that by now. I really scrutinize the products I put on my face from foundation to moisturizer. I have tested out every concealer and self-tanner under the sun. I’m super particular about hair products and tools. But when it comes to shaving my legs? I literally just grab whatever razor has the most appealing packaging and seems most familiar to me. I don’t pay close attention to ingredients, pricing, or anything like that. SO when I had the opportunity to learn more about Billie, I decided it was definitely worth a look. I mean, if not every foundation is created equally, that same logic probably applies to razors, right?

All about the Billie brand 

Billie is a female-first brand that delivers both razors and body products (of amazing quality!) at a super discounted price. I had honestly never thought of getting my razors delivered, but then I realized just how convenient and, tbh, sanitary this is. (Am I the only one who forgets to regularly replace their razors/cartridges?!) A key part of the Billie brand, which I love, is the belief that women not only desire the same quality as men when it comes to shaving, but that it should be available at a reasonable price point too. If you think about it, when you hear about ‘quality shaving companies’ you most likely don’t think about products and services aimed at women. You think of guys taking care of their faces/beards, etc. You can read more about their brand and mission here.

 The products + my personal review

When I received my Starter Kit a couple of months ago it contained the razor base/handle, magic holder (super convenient!), and two 5-blade razor cartridges. I also got some of the body products to test out and review, too. The Billie razor is uniquely designed to give you a close shave without being harsh on your skin. I have super sensitive skin and didn’t have any issues with any of the Billie products. My skin was insanely smooth and soft, and I didn’t have any bumps or irritation after shaving. Seriously y’all, it gives you the BEST shave! The blades are actually framed with aloe so I found that to be extra soothing on my skin. Another thing I love about the razor and all of the products is that they are totally toxin-free and made with natural, high quality ingredients.

I also tried out some of the Billie body products: the lotionthe shave cream, and the body wash. All of their products are made with natural ingredients and the price point is extremely reasonable (the lotion is only $12). My fave was probably the lotion because my skin needs all the hydration it can get, but I honestly loved all of them! Every products smells AMAZING and is designed with the goal of leaving your skin smooth, hydrated, and healthy.

How the Billie subscription services work 

When you sign up for the Billie razor service, they’ll deliver your Starter Kit which includes a razor handle, magnetic razor holder, and two razor cartridges for $9. The price point is seriously unreal, especially for the quality! Then, Billie will send you four replacement cartridges however often you need them for $9. Another amazing part is you don’t have to pay for shipping! Shipping is free and you can always add on other products to your orders – like the body lotion, super luxe shaving cream, etc. It’s really that simple! You can get started by ordering your starter kit here.

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Makeup Routines

Updated Summer Makeup Tutorial

Happy Monday ladies! It was beautiful here over the weekend so I enjoyed the beach and pool and got some reading done. I’m currently reading The Last Mrs. Parish by Liv Constantine and really enjoying it. It’s defiantly a page-turner.

I realized that my last makeup tutorial was filmed nearly 6 months ago, so I decided it was time to update it in case you missed it, I shared a full tutorial today on Instagram stores (and it will be saved to my highlights too!). I decided to also add a blog post here on my site, in case anyone preferred to read more about products and why I love them!

I wanted to also create a post here with a list full of the products I use in order that I use them:

  1. After washing and drying my face, I first apply this primer to help my skin look radiant and glowy.
  2. I apply this foundation (shade NC41) with this powder brush all over my face – don’t forget to blend your neck too!
  3. I apply this under eye brightening corrector (in shade light to medium ) to brighten my under eye. I usually just use my finger to apply.
  4. I apply this concealer (shade NW32) underneath my eyes and on any blemishes I may have. I use a dampened beauty blender to blend the product into my skin.
  5. Next, I set my face with this setting powder and this powder brush.
  6. I fill my brows with this (in the shade medium brown).
  7. One of my favorite products for summer is this eyeshadow palette – I typically apply it in this order: first color all over my lids and under brow bone with this brush, 7th color to outer corner with this brush. This color to the center and fourth color in crease with this brush and blend it all together with this brush.
  8. I apply this eyeliner (in the color jet black) to my upper line and out a bit for more of a ‘cat-eye’ look.
  9. I go back to my eyeshadow palette and apply the very last color on my right to my bottom lashes from the end to the middle with this brush.
  10. I use this primer to my eye lashes and then apply this mascara. I apply 3-4 coats and really get the mascara from the root of my leashes to the end.
  11. I use this bronzer (in the shade rich amber) with this brush to contour my face. I focus the product along my hairline, my cheekbones, and jaw line. I will also try to carve out my chin by applying some product on either side of my chin (watch my instastories if this sounds confusing!).
  12. I apply blush using this brush on the apples of my cheeks. I have this blush (in Gentle) and this blush (in orgasm) and alternate between the two.
  13. For the night, I will also add some highlighter in the color Radiant Light on my cheekbones, bridge of my nose, and the cupid’s bow of my lips – I use this brush.
  14. I will use this brush and apply this setting powder one last time to set the whole look .
  15. I have been using this lipstick in the color Kylie all summer and have been loving it!

Below, I have included all of my holy grail makeup products. I have been using 85% of these products for nearly 2 years, so I definitely can vouch for every product – they are all amazing! I also included all of the makeup brushes I use – each brush is from Sigma and I have been using these brushes for years.

Makeup

Makeup Brushes

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Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday 10-2-Minute Habits That Will Change Your Life

So you want to get healthier. Great! But where to start? Should you do a cleanse? Go Paleo or vegan? Try CrossFit or join a yoga studio? Or should hire a trainer or nutritionist? The options seem endless and overwhelming. When you’re not sure what direction to go, start small. You don’t have to revamp your whole life all at once. You can embark upon the journey toward a healthier lifestyle simply by incorporating any of these 10 healthy habits into your life today. They don’t take a ton of time, but they have tremendous health returns!

1. Practice conscious breathing.

When you feel anxious, you disrupt the ease and flow of your breath. You might not even notice these slight disruptions in your breathing pattern and how they affect you. But reestablishing normal breathing restores your energy and focus.

To do this, breathe in through the nose for a count of five. Feel as though there’s a balloon that is filling your entire pelvis and causing it to stretch out in all directions. Hold that inhale for a moment, and when you exhale, contract all the muscles in and up the spine as you exhale for a count of five. Hold the exhale for a moment and repeat 10 times.

2. Chew more slowly.

It’s not just what you eat that matters, it’s also how you eat it. You can eat all the healthy food you want, but if you don’t chew your food well, it can lead to indigestion, bloating and lack of nutrient absorption. The more you chew, the more saliva you produce. Saliva coats the particles of food with enzymes that break it down for better nutrient absorption.

Chewing 25 times per bite helps cultivate more mindful eating. You eat in a more relaxed state of mind, which aids digestion. Plus, the more slowly you eat, the less you’re likely to consume because you’re giving your body time to let you know you’re full.

3. Sip warm lemon water.

Your body needs to be rehydrated first thing in the morning. But swap out the ice water and add warm lemon water to your daily routine instead. Warm lemon water quenches thirst, preps and primes your digestive system, aids in detoxification and supplies a free-radical-crushing dose of vitamin C.

Lemons may taste acidic, but they are actually alkaline forming, helping the body maintain an ideal pH balance and neutralizing free radicals to keep you feeling vivacious and looking vibrant. “Lemon water benefits the enzyme functions in your body, stimulating the liver and flushing out toxins,” says Josh Axe, DNM.

4. Take movement breaks.

When it comes to improving your movement, it’s not just about doing your workout for an hour in the morning and checking it off the list. Your body thrives on movement. More movement all throughout the day is highly beneficial for your body and brain.

Mobility exercises help lubricate the joints to ward off stiffness, aid in circulation and help boost energy levels and increase focus and productivity. For every hour of sitting, aim for at least a few minutes of mobility drills, such as alternating between arm backstrokes and pelvic circles.

5. Fix your posture.

Proper posture — with the spine aligned and the joints stacked — puts your body at ease, reduces tension and strain and ensures that muscles and tissues are well oxygenated and receive nutrients for proper function.

Katy Bowman, biomechanist and natural-movement expert, recommends first aligning the outside edges of your feet with a straightedge. Then make sure your feet are hip-distance apart. Press all four corners of your feet into the ground. Make sure your pelvis is over your heels. Engage your thighs to lift your kneecaps, squeeze your glutes, keep you chest lifted with the bottom ribs tucked in, and keep your head in a neutral position with chin slightly tucked.

6. Take Off Your Shoes

One of the greatest health tools is right under your feet — literally. Earthing, or walking or standing barefoot on the ground, sounds simple enough, but how often are you actually barefoot outside? It may sound a bit hippie, but a 2012 review published in the Journal of Environmental Public Health found that research supports the touted benefits of going barefoot, which include improved mood and sleep and reduced inflammation and chronic pain. Just don’t step on any rusty nails!

7. Dry brush your skin.

Take care of your body’s largest organ — your skin. Dry brushing is a natural technique that can reveal the beauty of your skin by sloughing off dead skin cells as it stimulates the lymphatic system. Dry brushing has also been credited with giving the skin a natural, luminous glow.

To do this, purchase a dry brush with natural bristles. Start at your feet and brush in long, sweeping motions toward your heart (avoiding the face) without applying too much pressure. Don’t dry brush for too long or too often. Try just a few minutes once a week.

8. Set an intention.

When you want to break out of your comfort zone or start a new healthy habit, you must first have a strong intention to do so. As Wayne Dyer, author of “The Power of Intention,” says, “The power of intention is the power to manifest, to create, to live a life of unlimited abundance, and to attract into your life the right people at the right moments.” You can set an intention for every action in your life. Before eating, set an intention to eat mindfully. Before working out, connect to your intention. Ask yourself, “What are you aiming to achieve?”

9. Apply sunscreen.

Sunscreen isn’t just for summertime. Dermatologists recommend wearing sunscreen daily because, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. Yikes! Even if you’re not hanging outdoors for a long period of time, UVA rays that cause wrinkles and premature aging can pass through window glass. Check the ingredients on your sunscreen and look for one with the mineral zinc oxide for UVA protection. If you’re going to be outside for an extended length of time (at least two hours) look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 that’s sweat and water resistant.

10. Express gratitude.

Western society is constantly telling us we need to be more, do more, have more and achieve more. It can be depleting and depressing. Keep your vibe high and light by filtering out the noise and filling yourself up with gratitude throughout each day. There have been numerous studies regarding the positive effects a daily gratitude practice has on the mind, body and spirit.

Keep a journal in which you jot down what you’re grateful for each evening before bed or when you wake up in the morning. Try writing affirmations — positive things about yourself and your life. Or write a thank-you note to someone to say how grateful you are to have him or her in your life.

What Do YOU Think?

Which of these healthy habits are you ready to start today? What are some simple habits you incorporate into your daily regimen to be your healthiest self? We would love to hear your ideas and know what you think! Leave your comments below to join the conversation.


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Lifestyle

Getting my creative mojo back

Hi loves,

I’ve felt like I’ve lost my creativity over the last month or so.

Im referring to the passion I once felt around my blog and the way I express myself.

I am talking about creativity in the form of writing, photography and ideas.

I lost a sense of inspiration and curiosity around my world which might be sparked or expressed by wearing interesting pieces of clothing or jewellery, exploring local markets or galleries, noticing beautiful moments or being creative about daily routines and being open to possibilities and opportunities.

Overall I just haven’t felt like me on a creative sense and I knew I needed to change that. I haven’t had the urge to write or read in weeks and this makes me want to cringe because I use to find so much joy in these everyday rituals.

Last Sunday I decided enough was enough and I would use the next seven days to figure out 1. Why? 2. How to fix it. 3. Fix it!

Here’s what I asked myself:

Why do we lose our creativity?

Of course there are many reasons. I think part of why my creativity has been lost because there is no space for it. Other things have been prioritised or workload doesn’t seem to allow it. However creativity can add a sense of richness that can make life feel far more fulfilling.

If you want to stay connected to your creativity, you need to see the value it brings to your life, prioritise it and give it some time and energy.

Five ways to get your creativity back

1. Move your body

You might feel that you’re being more productive sitting and working. However if you find you’re getting stuck, research conducted by Stamford suggests that walking stimulates creativity both during the activity and for a short time afterwards:

“A person walking indoors – on a treadmill in a room facing a blank wall – or walking outdoors in the fresh air produced twice as many creative responses compared to a person sitting down, one of the experiments found.”

So don’t feel guilty about stepping away from your desk and taking time for a walk while you think about your projects – it’s a proven way to boost your creativity.

2. Get off social media

It can be a fine line. Social media can be a source of creativity, with Instagram a current fave for many. I love it too!

However we all know how easily social media can go beyond inspiration and become a source of procrastination, comparisonitis, distraction, frustration or envy. And the fun and creativity of sharing photos, or anything else online, can also cross into pressure, or occasionally, into a carefully curated online image which conflicts with reality.

Social media can be a slippery slope and I’m sure many of us can relate to Sian Richardson’s words in her article, How to Stop the Death Spiral of Consumption:

“You check Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter the second you wake up. You launch into you emails before you’re even out of bed.

And before you know it… You’re all up amongst the death spiral that is mindless consumption and information overload. You don’t even realize you’re doing it until at least a week or two into it, when you find yourself constantly mind-f-d and really un-productive.”

Be honest with yourself: if you check your social media accounts or share photos and feel creative and inspired – great!

If you know you’re spending a lot of time on social media, and feeling creatively blocked yourself, or other unhelpful feelings and thoughts are being triggered, maybe it’s time to take a break. You might remove a few of your favourite social media apps from your phone for a while, or create some guidelines for yourself about how you want to engage.

It’s hard to feel creative if you’re filling every moment of downtime with images and stories from other people’s lives.

3. Plan or write on paper

If you usually work and create at a computer, it can be easy to sit with numerous tabs open in your browser (guilty!) and flick between different sites while you’re also creating or working. Needless to say, it can be distracting to create in such an environment.

Quite aside from the ability to be distracted, there are actually clear benefits to getting offline and handwriting some of the time.

Writing or taking notes by hand is so simple, but this Wall Street Journal article suggests that “writing by hand engages the brain in learning… (and) research highlights the hand’s unique relationship with the brain when it comes to composing thoughts and ideas.”

4. Take breaks

Sometimes people struggle to stay productive and focused as they work – and then they admit they don’t take breaks and expect to sit at their desks and stay productive indefinitely.

If you have developed bad habits around this, you might find it useful to develop a list of short, life-enhancing activities that you could incorporate into breaks during your day to boost your wellbeing, focus and overall happiness.

It can be a mental shift to realise that taking these breaks can make you far MORE effective and productive.

Examples of short breaks:

• Do a short guided meditation – try one of Sara Brooke’s

• Turn up some of your favourite upbeat music and dance for 5 or 10 minutes

• Do a ten minute workout – you can find plenty on YouTube, like this 10 min arm workout from Tracy Anderson

• Make a green smoothie

• Take a walk around the block

• Do fifty squats, or push ups, or burpees (50 is a lot of burpees. Maybe 20!)

• Stretch, or do some restorative yoga

It’s pretty easy to see how incorporating any or all of these “breaks” into your workday is going to have positive flow on effects. Start your own list!

5. Re-fuel

Get conscious about how you’re fuelling yourself, in all ways:

• What kind of nutrition are you feeding yourself?

• What are you reading in terms of books or magazines?

• Have you been to any concerts, live music, art shows, Festivals or great movies lately?

• Could you spend some more time in nature or at the beach?

• Are you spending enough quality time with those you love?

• Is it time to initiate some new relationships?

• Might you explore a new hobby or short course, or devote some time to an interest that brings you joy?

• Might altering your work environment help?

• Explore different cafes to write or work out of.

For the last seven days I worked on all 5 of these tips and guess what? I got my juju back. I have 45 different blog topics to write about over the next few months. I have ideas on how to grow Megan Motivates and meet new people. I have pages and pages of things that are new and exciting.

Stay tuned… good things are coming.

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Lifestyle

One Year Ago

One year ago today I broke my hip after not being able to walk for the previous two months.I traveled to Disney.

Tennessee

and Myrtle Beach many times.

I faced many challenges everyday over the last year like tieing and buckling my shoes, putting my left leg in pants, getting up off the couch and getting out of bed.

I’ve learned so much over the last year and accomplished things I never thought I would do like skiing twice,

running again, lifting weights,

and walking miles and miles. And although these things are all physical they all require so much mental strength to push through the pain and weakness. So never let your weakness stop you from achieving your greatness.

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Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: The Importance of ‘Knowing Your Why’

When you take the time to exercise and treat your body right…this activity truly does wonders for both your mind and your body! Taking the time to workout will not only make you feel less stressed and happier, but that in turn makes you a better daughter, girlfriend, co-worker etc bc you are taking care of yourself! We all know that exercise has amazing physical benefits for your body…weight management, muscle tone, healthier heart, longer life span, etc. But when you’re finding your ‘why’, and trying to keep yourself motivated to stay active…think of the benefits that are greater than that. Taking 45 minutes to get your heart rate up, take a break from work or from kids, will inspire you, empower you, and ease your stress load EVERY time. THAT is why, I make exercise such a priority in my day to day life!

Working out is one of my favorite ways to relieve stress and regain energy and perspective. It helps me clear my head, relives my anxiety and overall just makes me feel better.

If you’ve felt unmotivated lately or like you’ve fallen off the wagon with working out…let today be your day 1. Remind yourself that you are worth taking care of – mentally, emotionally, and physically. And working out, getting outdoors, being active, is one of the best ways you can take care of yourself! Thanks for reading!

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