barefaced beauty: skin edition

Hi friends!

I received some really positive feedback on my barefaced beauty make up post, and so I wanted to share my top paraben and cruelty-free picks for skincare. One thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that the more time you invest in your skin, the less time (and money) you need to spend on covering and concealing it. That means taking the extra five minutes to wash, tone, and moisture your face, but it also means skimping on concealers, foundations, and powders that are often chock-full of nasty chemicals anyway.

And so here is my curated list of go-to all-natural skincare products:

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1.) Face wash: Trader Joe’s Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil
I know I mentioned this product in my previous make up post, but I have to give another shout-out to Trader Joe’s for this stuff. Tea tree oil has been a holy grail for my skin. I’ll never go back to regular face wash again.

2.) Exfoliant: Pacifica Glow Baby Youthful Face Scrub
I’ve raved about this brand and their cruelty-free, 100% vegan products before, but their walnut face scrub is my favorite. A little bit goes a long way, and it does a stand-up job at exfoliating, brightening, and cleansing my skin. I use mine twice a week in place of face wash in the shower.

3.) Toner: Pixi Glow Tonic Beauty Elixir
This elixir is no joke. It’s been featured in Allure and Buzzfeed, and it does exactly what it says what it’s going to do — “tone, firm, and tighten” the skin, but it has also shrunken my pores to be virtually invisible. Even better: it contains all-natural ingredients (aloe vera, ginseng) and no alcohol (like most other toners).

4.) Moisturizer: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
I’ve tried many face moisturizers, and this one always takes the cake for me. It’s super moisturizing even in the winter months, and never makes me oily. I can feel the difference as soon as I put it on.

5.) Facial spray: Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater
While spending money on “face water” may seem ridiculous, with this product, I promise it’s not. I usually spray this on after applying my make-up, and it gives my skin a natural, dewy texture. I also occasionally use it first thing in the morning when I don’t have time to wash my face. It’s the perfect pick-me-up. And did I mention it smells amazing?!

6.) Cleansing wipes: Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleansing Towelettes
Last but not least, these cleansing towelettes are my go-to make-up remover. They remove even stubborn eye make-up, but they’re great for my sensitive skin. And when I’m too tired to actually wash my face, these are the perfect quick option. I always have them handy, especially when traveling.

And that’s it! My diehard products for clearer, healthier skin that look out for you and for the planet. Don’t forget to recycle the containers when you finish them. All of these puppies are recyclable (trust me, I’ve checked!).

Happy Monday!

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY

Cloglovin’

Happy Friday, beauties!

Okay, I may be a little late to the game, but I am really digging this whole clog fad that’s happening, especially with Fall around the corner. (Shout out to my former roomie and bridesmaid Emily that wore clogs at our wedding and gave me so many heart eyes!)

I love that clogs feel boho, give you some height (while being comfortable!), and work with both dresses and pants (these puppies look AWESOME with flares).

Here are my favorite styles on the market right now:

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Via Urban Outfitters. Love the open toe and the mule style. So cute with the cropped flare trend happening now!
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Via Asos. These are Swedish Hasbeens too so they’re the real deal. I love the idea of pairing these with flowing dresses for the perfect late summer wedding guest attire.
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Via Free People. I can’t. These will be mine.

And that’s all the cloglovin’ I have for you pretties today!

Happy, healthy weekending!

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY

bridal shower bliss

Happy Monday, lovelies.

I start this week off still smiling after the most gorgeous and love-filled weekend. Christian and I headed home to the Poconos — he for his bachelor party, and me for my bridal shower. An exciting time to kick off our journey down the aisle!

My shower was absolutely perfect. I’ve always dreamed of having it at my parents’ house in the Poconos. What could be more special? But to top it off, my mom, sister-in-laws, and bridesmaids went ABOVE and BEYOND to make my boho bridal dreams come true. Not to mention, all of the friends and family that came and showered me with love. I couldn’t feel more blessed.

Here are some shots of the gorgeous boho details:

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And some shots of my company for the day:

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What unfortunately didn’t make it into the photos: the mimosa and rosé bar (yes, duh) and the bonfire burning outside since the weather was a bit chilly. Literally the best combo of two of my favorite things.

Such a heartwarming day to celebrate my upcoming adventure as a Lichty.

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My heart is so full.

Hope you all had an awesome weekend, too!

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY

barefaced beauty

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how much time we spend in front of the mirror. While I enjoy getting dolled up as much as the next girl, getting ready EVERY single day can feel like a chore. Plus it takes up valuable time that I could be sleeping, or even crazier, doing something — anything — away from the mirror. Thinking about it that way kinda blows my mind.

So in an effort to cut back my mirror time, I’ve decided to pare down my daily beauty routine and limit my beauty products to my top ten essentials. I’ve also made the conscious choice to go cruelty-free and paraben-free with my cosmetics.

Here is my list of ten tried & true products that are both good for me and Mama Earth:

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1.) Face Wash: Trader Joe’s Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil
This stuff is liquid gold. For someone with oily, acne-prone skin, it’s a complete godsend. And trust me, I’ve tried everything from Panoxyl to Proactiv to Clearasil. It’s the perfect amount of astringent without being too drying. Plus, it’s all-natural, organic, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and less than $6 at our local Trader Joe’s. Um, totally hooked.

2.) Face Lotion: Conscious Coconut Coconut Oil
I’ve officially jumped on the coconut oil bandwagon. I primarily use it as face lotion and eye makeup remover, but check out Conscious Coconut’s website for a full list of uses for nature’s nectar. BTW, I know the chick who created this product, and she is super inspirational. Not only is the oil awesome, the tube is the perfect size for a carry-on (mine goes with me everywhere), and every single purchase buys one hungry child a meal. How awesome is that?!

3.) Primer: Kiehl’s Micro-Blur Skin Perfector
You guys. As if Kiehl’s products weren’t amazing enough (I legit almost joined Equinox solely for the Kiehl’s stocked locker rooms), this puppy may be my favorite of them all. It’s not marketed as a “primer”, but I totally use it as one. It literally blurs everything, and I often wear it alone on days when I don’t feel like wearing makeup. Buy it. Then be prepared for flawless skin.

4.) Foundation: Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer
This stuff IS marketed as a primer, but it’s got enough coverage for me to use it as a foundation. I love how light and smooth it is, and it blends SO well. No cakey-ness, just super natural, glowing skin. Sold.

5.) Bronzer: Physicians Formula Beauty Balm BB Bronzer
I love this product for so many reasons. First of all, THE PRICE. It’s one of the few drugstore products I swear by. Second of all, THE TEXTURE. It’s super buildable, meaning it looks subtle and natural, but can also make you look like a contoured Kardashian if that’s your thing. Third, it’s full of other skincare ingredients, including an SPF, which makes me feel like I’m doing something good for my skin when I brush it on every day.

6.) Blush/ Lip Tint: Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint
The fact that this doubles as a blush and a lip tint is enough to sell me. But, it’s also one of my favorite beauty finds EVER, so there’s that. I have it in the Very Vivacious and it gives me that perfect, dewy flush without being too rosy. And it smells like fresh bananas.

7.) Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer
Anastasia Beverly Hills knows her brows. It took me a long time to buy one of her products (they’re pretty pricey for an eyebrow pencil…) but once I did, oh was it worth it. I like her definer best when compared to the other products because the triangle tip allows for a smoother, more natural application. I have it in Soft Brown (remember, your brows should always be 1 shade darker than your hair color!).

8.) Eye liner: Physicians Formula Eye Definer
Eye liner has always been one of those beauty products that I think it’s okay to skimp on. This one does the job and is less than $6. It’s also hypoallergenic, waterproof, and safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.

9.) Mascara: Pacifica Aquarian Gaze Mineral Mascara
I’ve fallen in love with Pacifica now that we once again live in close proximity to Target (ours carries the entire line). The brand is 100% vegan and cruelty free, and all of their packaging is recyclable. This mascara wins for me when it comes to every day use. It’s infused with coconut oil — which is shown to increase lash growth and thickness — so it strengthens and enhances your lashes in addition to defining them. Win-win.

10.) Perfume: Aura Cacia Patchouli Oil
Last but not least, I’ve become totally obsessed with using essential oils — particularly pure patchouli oil — as my go-to perfume. I buy a little bottle of it at Whole Foods and dab it on my wrists every morning. Patchouli is my absolute favorite because its rich and earthy, but lavender oil is a close second. And Aura Cacia is an awesome brand to buy because they are 100% pure-guaranteed, and each purchase supports organizations that help women transform their lives through their Positive Change Project.

And that’s it for my list! I hope you’ll consider trying a few of these products– but at the end of the day, remember that the best thing you can do for your skin is to give it a break from all the makeup. Trust me, you’re more beautiful that way anyway. 🙂

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY

weekend in review

A short & sweet post today!

This weekend, we traveled home to the Poconos for my sister-in-law’s baby shower and Mother’s Day. It was family-packed, and because of that, I spent much more time interacting with loved ones than taking pictures. But I did want to share a few shots from the shower.

My sister-in-law, Andi, loved the idea of a tea party shower,  which framed the decor we used for the day:

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Table decor
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Tea cup favors made by my Mom
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My heart ❤

Doesn’t Andi look absolutely GORGEOUS?! Serious pregnancy goals.

And that’s all for today! Hope you all had a weekend filled with love!

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY

denim dreamin’

Lately whenever I’m shopping (which I do waaay less frequently now that I’m unemployed and on a wedding budget) I find myself immediately wandering towards the jeans section. Which is funny, since I used to be such a dress girl. But as my style has evolved, so has my sincere appreciate for a good pair of denim.

And so, I felt inspired to write a post featuring some of my favorite current denim trends, and how I style them to live life to the fullest in them. ‘Cause that’s what jeans are made for.

High-Rise Skinny Jean

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How I Wear ‘Em

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These are amazing ’cause they’re high-waisted and SUPER comfy. Talk about a win-win situation. I styled them with a tucked-in plaid button down from J.Crew to match the classic, clean cut of the jeans, but added in the slouchy, waterfall Sweater Vest to make them less preppy. The felt fedora is the perfect last minute touch.

Jeans | Plaid Button Down | Waterfall Sweater Vest (sold out, similar here) | Felt Fedora (sold out, similar here)

Ripped Jeans

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How I Wear ‘Em

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Ripped jeans evoke a very bohemian vibe for me. And so, I paired these with a lace up peasant blouse and floppy hat to bring out that feel. I would pretty much wear this outfit every day if I could.

Jeans | Peasant Blouse (sold out, similar here) | Floppy Felt Hat

Overalls

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How I Wear ‘Em

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I am literally just obsessing over overalls lately. I shopped around for the perfect pair, and these ones from Free People are forever my fave. I usually pair them with a simple tee and casual footwear. I then love throwing a patterned scarf over my shoulders to add something unexpected to an otherwise fairly monochromatic outfit. This checked scarf feels outdoorsy and festive without being over the top.

Overalls | Tee | Checked Scarf (sold out, similar here)

All in all, friends, denim is your friend.

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY

 

diy pipe garment rack

I know I’ve been fairly MIA lately, but with the holidays and relocating to Pittsburgh, PA, things have been appropriately insane. Buuuut, I’ve finally had some time to settle in, and wanted to share one of the many exciting DIY home projects I’ve been working on since moving to the Steel City.

Quick side note: Pittsburgh homes have A LOT more space than NYC apartments. Like infinite times more space. I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve lost my phone (and my fiancé) because it (he) is not in the same room with me at all times. It’s awesome and scary.

Given the amount of space we have, I found myself adjusting from an awkward built-in closet in the middle of my living room (NYC) to an entire ROOM for a closet (P-burgh). I was p-u-m-p-e-d. It’s every girl’s dream to have a space fully devoted to basking in the glory of all of her clothing, isn’t it? (I should probably reassess my priorities having put that statement in writing. Oh well.)

That said, the physical closet in my “closet room” is actually quite small, which was a big no-no for me since I’m a devotee to hanging and actually seeing my clothes. (Try it. You’ll end up wearing pieces you forgot you even own). In an attempt to gain more prime hanging space, I spent hours online making eyes at gorgeous steel pipe garment racks. I love how they look industrial, rustic, and chic all at the same time, and they let you display your clothes the way they should be displayed – front & center.

Here are a few of the options I loved:

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{This one, found on Etsy here. It’s gorgeous, but it’s also $250. Which admittedly is a lot of moolah to spend on some pipes.}
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{This copper one is super drool worthy, but it’ll set you back nearly $200. Via Etsy here.}
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{Finally, this one, which felt the most authentic, and the most replicable. Also via Etsy, here. If I had purchased one, this would’ve been my choice, ’cause this guy’s dog is awesome.}

After all that Etsy rabbit hole searching, I decided to bite the bullet and make one myself. And since it was super easy and much cheaper than any of the options above, I thought I’d share.

Here’s what you’ll need from Lowe’s/Home Depot/Ace Hardware:

  • A piece of plywood cut to your specific dimensions for the base
  • Some wood stain in your preferred color (I like Mission Oak)
  • Four (4) casters if you want it to be able to roll
  • Three (3) pieces of PVC pipe cut to your dimensions. If they don’t have your specific dimensions pre-cut and threaded, you can have someone do it for you in the store. I bought the pre-cut stuff.
  • Two (2) steel pipe elbows (same width as your PVC pipes)
  • Two (2) steel flanges (same width as your PVC pipes)
  • Screws
  • A drill

Once you’ve purchased everything with the right dimensions, putting it together is pretty self-explanatory. Stain the wood, affix the casters to the bottom of the wood, affix the flanges to the top of the wood, and screw the pipes together. I’d recommend watching a few YouTube videos before you put it together (there are several, this one worked well for me.)

So without further adieu, here are several photos of my new handmade garment rack! I must say, I am utterly in love (with both the rack, and with the clothing it displays so beautifully).

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Isn’t that suede fringe jacket amazeballs?! Thank you to my mommy for such a gorgeous Christmas gift.

Lastly, a special shout out to my handy man fiancé Christian for helping me overcome my fear of power tools.

Happy weekending!

✌️&❤️,
COURTNEY