My New Mom Skincare Routine

Today is my first official day back at work! I have a lot of mixed emotions about it, of course, but I’m taking things one step — and one email response — at a time. Fear not, though, as much as I’m able to, I’m going to try to keep my blogging up (it might even be a little easier to do so once I get back into the swing of things, who knows?), and if nothing else, you can bet your sweet bippy there will still be plenty of Penny photoshoots to fill your Instagram. I know you were probably v. concerned about this. ūüėČ

Anyway, while I’m busy digging myself out of my overflowing inbox today, I figured I’d go ahead and post about what my skincare routine looks like these days — y’know, now that I’ve had a child and am thus suddenly aging both swiftly and severely. I mean, darn it all if she isn’t cute as a button, but the bags that I’m hauling around under my eyes these days are definitely less cute.

Hmm, I miss my rainbow hair.
I use a mix of high end and drugstore products, meaning some of the prices of these products may give you a bit of sticker shock. However, I believe that skincare is incredibly important, and with time for self-care at an all-time low, I want to make sure I’m doing as much for my skin with as little effort as I can manage.

I have a daily routine of cleansing, moisturizing, and using eye cream morning and night, and everything else outside of that is really just a bonus for when I have time/am feeling like giving my skin a little extra love.


It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser¬†($$) – I use this to wash my face in the mornings and before bed. It’s very lightweight and gentle, and leaves my skin feeling clean but not tight & dry the way many cleansers do.

Aveeno Ultra-Calming Makeup Removing Wipes ($) РThese are handy dandy makeup removing wipes that take care of my eye makeup with ease.

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream¬†($$) – This is my daytime moisturizer. It’s very hydrating while feeling very light and it has a fantsastic light rosy scent.

It Cosmetics Secret Sauce¬†($$$) – I use this moisturizer at night – it’s thicker & heavier that helps keep the moisture locked in but doesn’t leave me greasy. It is quite pricey though, so I recommend going to Sephora to try it out before ordering (they usually will provide free samples if you ask, and you can also buy this in a travel size if you can’t stomach the pricetag at first.) I also like their¬†Confidence in a Cream for winter, which is slightly cheaper and even heavier.

Tarte Cosmetics Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment¬†($$) – This has become one of my holy grail products! I use it both morning and night — in the AM it helps brighten up my undereye area, and at night it provides an extra boost of moisture before bed.


Olay Daily Facial Cleanser Cloths ($) РI use these cleansing cloths to exfoliate and cleanse once a week or so. They foam up nicely and have a different texture on each side so you can get a nice gentle scrub going.

Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips ($) РI mean, these are really more for fun than anything else, but I love popping these suckers on every once in a while and then inspecting what comes out. Also, let it be noted that Sean is a very tolerant man.

Tatcha Violet-C Radiance Mask¬†($$$) – Another pricey option, but I’ve tried a LOT of masks and this is by far my favorite. I love the way my skin feels and looks after a treatment with this puppy. It smooths, moisturizes, and brightens my skin — and as a bonus, this mask is the most beautiful color!

LA Pure 24K Gold Eye Treatment Mask¬†($) – These eye masks are a steal on Amazon, considering you can easily pay $6 to $12 (or more!) for ONE mask like this at Sephora. Keep them in the fridge for extra relief if you’ve had an especially stressful or emotional day, heh,

TonyMoly I’m Real Sheet Masks¬†($) – I love me a good sheet mask, and really enjoy the TonyMoly ones in particular. They give my skin an extra boost of moisture (can you tell I’m all about the moisturizing products? Haha), and help with cooling and calming my skin (redness is a big issue of mine.)

And there you have it!¬†I’ll end with this: if you’re going to do just one thing for your skin, pleasepleasePLEASE let it be moisturizing both morning and night! It doesn’t matter if you use a pricey lotion or a cheap one, just make sure you’re using one — your skin will thank you… and you’ll thank yourself down the road, too.

Light Everyday Makeup

As I elaborated on last time, this pregnancy has come with a whole bunch of symptoms that I honestly wasn’t super prepared for. Among them have included total and complete exhaustion, as well as the lovely effects of hormones on my skin. I’ve been breaking out a lot more, and with being so tired, definitely haven’t had the energy to do full makeup on the daily (or, er, ah, ever.)

So I’ve made a bit of a change to my everyday (or rather, for the days I actually leave the house) makeup look, and finally got around to filming it! Feel free to check it out if you like!

And if you don’t like, I’ll be back tomorrow with my 11 week update, so stay tuned! And if you don’t like that either, well, you’ve got fingers, feel free to click away to a different website! ūüėČ

All Smiles

I can hardly believe it, but it’s true. After years of toil, trouble, and pretty much constant tooth soreness, I am officially done with my braces!

Some of you may remember that back in February 2014, I got lingual braces behind my top teeth. I got them removed a little over a year later, and then, because I just have to do everything as inefficiently as possible, a couple months later I started Invisalign.

My bottom teeth were still quite crooked, and I decided that I wasn’t actually as satisfied as I thought I’d be with just a straight top set (this happened¬†right around the same time as Sean’s proposal, but I’m sure that’s just coincidence.) I posted¬†an update on my whole braces journey back in June, so I won’t repeat everything again, but as you can probably guess, I have one final update for you:

I’m done!

I had my final Invisalign appointment at Smiles at Fairfax Corner last week, after a year of my initial Invisalign treatment, plus an additional 5 (?) months of adjustment trays. Phew! It sounds like a lot of time, of course, but the reality is that time is going to press on anyway, so why not perfect your smile while you’re at it?

It definitely took much longer than I thought it would, considering how I had already gotten lingual braces on top, but that just goes to show that you really should just take care of your top + bottom teeth at the same time. A lot of the reason that my Invisalign treatment took so long was to correct my bite — which may or may not have gotten¬†more out of whack due to my linguals-on-top-only. It’s hard to say.

Regardless, I’m¬†thrilled to be able to finally say I am D-O-N-E. No more switching out aligners. No more attachments on my teeth. And you better believe I will be wearing¬†my retainer every night until the day I die. I’m not letting these puppies backslide the way I did in college! Putting your own money into your smile really makes you value that retainer, I tell you what.

I may end up getting a permanent retainer (a wire glued to the back of my teeth) if¬†it’s deemed necessary in the future, but for right now, I’m just going to relish not having anything permanently attached to my chompers. If you have any questions about either Invisalign OR lingual braces, I’m happy to answer them! Because I can! Because I’M DONEEEEEEE!!

If It’s Pretty, I Will Buy It

I think I may be developing a bad habit.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

Exhibit D: The unphotographed Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette that just came in the mail and I literally am chomping at the bit to try it out. Something tells me that testing out a palette at 1 AM (when I’m actually writing this post…) is not the most necessary of¬†moves, though, so I shall wait…

I think we’re going to go ahead and file these under the category of #DONTTELLSEAN and move on… to the usage of these newly acquired beauties. I filmed my second makeup tutorial using my new Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glowkit, which you can check out on Youtube now!

I did this one as a voiceover tutorial (as opposed to the talk-through style of my first video) and I’d love to know which type of video you prefer! Happy makeupping!

Channeling Something New

Happy New Year!

It’s 2017 and a full of year possibilities is ahead of us. I have a lot that I want to do¬†this year, and I’m hoping that by jumping in full-force, I’ll actually be able to say I’ve done a lot of it by this time next year!

I’ve openly admitted that I’m a starter of projects, but not all that great at finishing them. (Pretty sure it’s smack-dab at the top of my “About” page, lol.) I know that makes me sound flaky, but it’s just part of my personality that I’ve come to understand. I’m a passionate person, and I get excited easily. As such, I love jumping into things full force, and I love following my¬†passions wherever they may lead. Unfortunately, what that sometimes means is that a new¬†passion might steer me away from a previous one (see: Zumba, knitting, and my unfinished book sequel…). This ended up with¬†me feeling guilty about leaving¬†unfinished business behind (even if just temporarily.)

Worse than the guilt of knowing I’ve left loose threads dangling, however, is¬†the fear of what people might say about it, say about me. Blogging and working for Yelp has definitely thickened my skin, but I can still be hyper-sensitive to criticism and critique. I’m also a Monica Gellar-level people-pleaser.

But, c’mon, I’m 28 years old! I can’t live my life based on the fear of what others might say about me. And anyway, I’m growing up… kinda! While I’m pretty sure I’m just as passionate and excitable as ever, there are a lot of steady, firm, decidedly not-flaky parts of my life as well.

The average length of time I spent at all of¬†my previous jobs was exactly 1 year. And then I found Yelp, and now I’m¬†fast-approaching my 4-year anniversary!¬†I’m a married lady with two fur-children, I’m older, and, hey, maybe even a tiny bit wiser.

I mentioned in a previous post that one of the things that I’ve been continuing to get more and more interested in¬†is makeup. I’ve been getting more experimental and showcasing my looks¬†on social media more often. I actually have received a few inquiries about whether I’d ever considered making tutorial videos, and the truth that I’ve actually¬†considered it quite a bit. But, you know, the timing wasn’t right, or I wasn’t well-equipped, or it just seemed like too much work… and I didn’t want to start¬†another thing that would just peter out and disappear.

Alas, all of those things might still be true, but as part of my “resolution” (I kind of hate New Year’s Resolutions, so I use that word with caution), I’m taking 2017 by the horns and testing the waters anyway! I went ahead and filmed my very first makeup tutorial video! It’s kind of a mess — evidently putting me in front of a camera makes me unable to pronounce words anymore, and the amount of times I uttered the words “uh,” “like,” and “anyway” made me want to punch¬†myself.

That said, if you’re in any way interested in seeing what goes into an everyday glam look for me, you can check it out on my Youtube Channel:

And we’ll see where it goes from here! If I stick with it, awesome! And if not, hey, I’ll probably have chronicled at least a couple of really cool makeup looks, so that’s still cool.