I love this time of year, and the back to school feeling. For me, fall has always been a time of routines set and followed, a rhythmic pace of life after a summer packed with travel, lots of late nights, endless wine and other indulgences. I also find with the onset of cooler weather and earlier sunsets, it’s a lot easier to take exercise outside, which is always my preferred format, and that I settle into the comfort of a healthier routine. I am never on a strict diet these days, but I do tend to feel more excited about fueling the family properly to keep energy levels up (this is also our busiest time of year for wedding photography) and also taking extra time for some self-care. Feeling great is a holistic effort, from skin care to delicious scents and luxuries to great workout gear and of course the exercise and diet itself.
Solid exercise gear which makes you feel fantastic is a must. I find that it is always motivating to put on a clean, cute workout outfit which is both comfortable and flattering. I tend towards leggings and fitted tops or white sweatshirts. I also thought all of these sneakers were great for both exercise or running errands around town. Workout gear is always an investment but tends to pay off as it should be durable and long lasting.
I find that once I am on an exercise kick (4 runs and a few yoga classes per week), I also tend towards delicious beauty products and skincare. The whole rounded regime makes me feel stronger and because I am focusing on feeling well, I also tend to prioritize rest, etc. This rose-scented moisturizer is a favorite right now, as is the anti-aging serum (yikes, worth it…). I haven’t tried the Clean AF wipes but I love the name and have grabbed them for my gym bag or travel, and you know that I love a good, lovely soap and I stock them for our bathroom, the guest room and the gift cupboard.
I have never been particularly fussed about looking after my skin. Lots of water and exercise always felt like enough to me, and I used a basic organic exfoliating cleanser and almond oil as moisturizer. This worked well enough for a while but, as I have gotten “older” and particularly after having a baby and getting less sleep, I found that I needed to take some extra preventative steps to minimize forehead wrinkles/the ones between my eyebrows and around my eyes, and to make my skin look brighter and its most healthy.
I have been working with a great Spa in Charleston to increase the hydration of my skin and to improve areas that have been damaged due to long hours everyday stresses. The results have been really pleasing, and as I have become more knowledgable about the industry and confident on the subject of skincare I have discovered that many women I know with fantastic skin were already using products from the same wonderful range. It’s a well kept secret that I am honestly so glad to know!
Toska European Spa uses innovative products by the French line, Biologique Recherche, which is incredible for transforming your skin and maximizing its potential. They have some amazing treatments which stimulate your natural muscles and are an alternative to more invasive procedures.
The spa takes a highly personal approach with a range of products that can help with all skin types and maladies, and the process begins with a consultation, which you can initiate online.
My skin was very dry, and the products which I now cannot live without, and see a huge difference when I use, are the Lotion P50 (now I am on the V) and the Creme Dermo-RL. The P50V I apply morning and night when washing my face, and the Creme Dermo-RL I use as a night cream. The Phase De Soin VIP is my ultimate serum, I apply it as a ‘primer’ before my daily make-up, and it acts a barrier protecting my skin throughout the day. I cannot recommend them and the spa treatments highly enough.
Everything changed for the better when we had our baby, except for my hair!! After our baby was born, I shed about nine pounds of hair and it dried up into crispy wires. I have been working hard to restore it to it’s former form and with the help of great friends and great products, it’s coming along. I’m not totally back to where I’d like to be, but we’re getting closer every week! I have had to invest, or perhaps I have been driven to because it was highly distressing (I kid but it wasn’t ideal), but I have found that the hair care products I have tested have worked well. I confess that I’m sort of a lazy beauty girl — I stick to the products that work and I try to keep my routine as quick as possible, I go days without makeup and can never remember to take the vitamins I have stocked up on but, even in my inconsistency, these guys have steered us me in the right hair care direction!
First, I had a great cut and color from my friend Patrick who is the king of hair! His haircut totally changed the shape of my hair and it allows me to air dry for the first time in a long time. He also taught me not to towel dry my hair so aggressively (gentle pats ladies!). I use Oribe Gold Lust which comes at a hefty price tag BUT the shampoo lasts FOREVER (because I use so little) and the conditioner is pretty amazing. I also do a deep conditioning mask pretty often (once a week when I remember) and I mix between homemade (like coconut oil) and kerastase (the opposite of homemade but soooo great). Patrick also recommended Creed ER to me which I have sitting waiting to try next. I find that switching my shampoo works well if I am trying to make product last, John Freida Frizz Ease from the drug store or treseme or biolage (for just one wash) is ok too!
My friend Julia generously brought me this oil after voicing my concerns over my dryness. I have gone through three bottles since we met — she is right, she is the expert and I absolutely love it! I have a bunch of broken and baby hairs near my face (see picture of baby pulling hair) and sometimes I use a very fine layer of clear mascara to brush them aside but often times I just leave them to fly because I forget!
Last, I am trying to be better about wearing my hair up in clips rather than hair ties (at least when not exercising) to try to minimize breakage as I’m trying to grow out my locks; I’m finding them very useful and pretty and feminine too. Hope this hair care tutorial helps anyone else going through similar issues while feeding their baby !!! And let me know what has helped you as I am sure I have a lot more to learn!
Oh my gosh you guys, Will and I used to come here every. single. night. Come rain or shine, we walked the beach in winter and swam in the spring and summer. It was our work break, our ‘out of office’ moment. Since the baby has been born, we have spent more time exploring our neighborhood and enjoying leisurely bath and bedtime routines at home. Last night, Will and I went out for a quick date to our favorite Charleston restaurant, The Obstinate Daughter, on Sullivan’s Island. We couldn’t resist a quick walk on the beach beforehand to see how the sea temperature was coming. It was balmy! I cannot WAIT to swim — I would have gone straight in if I had my suit. Even if it meant wet hair for dinner. Now that the baby is older, I am sure that we will be spending long summer days here. But first, France!!
My lovely friend Julia got this dress for me from Club Monaco. I love it, it is my favorite color. I have been super into the ‘off the shoulder’ look since re-watching Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil a few years ago. John Cusack’s lady crush wears this amazing off the shoulder top which is so casual and flattering and perfect for the southern humidity (and so feminine). Right after I watched it, the off the shoulder look came flying back into stores but then I got pregnant and felt that it wasn’t very flattering on me while I was carrying a bump. I am finally catching up, flattering or not, and I love it. This dress feels like it could be paired with heels (like here) or sandals, or even thrown over a bathing suit. It know that I will be wearing it a lot of in France, to the markets and beyond! The full ruffle doesn’t display well in the wind but it makes me feel great regardless.
We are thrilled that the OD now has the full menu outside — do NOT miss the geechie frites if you go! It was so nice to sit outside and linger over a glass of wine, it got me even more excited to chill this summer and enjoy long, tasty lunches and dinners with friends. xx
I had the most wonderful ‘remodeling’ facial last week at Toska European Spa and couldn’t recommend it more highly! The long, late nights cuddling with baby have been the best thing in the whole world, but have definitely taken a toll on my skin. What I really loved about this practice is that you can’t sign up for a specific facial. Instead, the esthetician (in my case, Jennifer, who is absolutely fantastic) customizes the service to suit your needs following a personal assessment. I have never had such an in depth analysis of my skin and I left positively glowing, so I wanted to share the skincare secret weapon that I discovered there.
I was introduced to product by Biologique Recherche, a French line. Jennifer explained to me that these products are hard to come by, but amazing for those like me, who aren’t necessarily able to look after our skin as diligently as we would wish to all of the time. Biologique Recherche has a range of products that you can turn to after a late night, or sun exposure, that rehydrate, detoxify and protect your skin, getting it back to peak condition faster than you ever thought possible.
I love how natural the product is, with no artificial fragrances and a high concentration of botanical, marine and biological extracts, this is something that is very important to me. I tried to switch over to all organic skincare and makeup when I was pregnant and this is a line I would happily use at any time. The skincare secret weapon among this selection is the P50 which is meant to change your skin forever — like natural botox! I have only been using it for a few days so far, and already I am seeing a tremendous difference. I can’t wait to show you what it’s like after using the products for 90 days! Stay tuned! xx