Monday, March 28, 2016

My Skin Care Routine for Combination Skin using Paula's Choice!

disclosure: This post is in partnership with Pretty in my Pocket & Paulas Choice. However, all opinions are my own. We keep it real here at BentleyBlonde :) 

After having our first child in October, I started noticing more breakouts and fine lines than ever before, and decided it was time for a total skincare overhaul. When I was approached by Pretty in My Pocket and Paula's Choice to try out their skincare, I jumped at the opportunity! I've used a few of Paula's products in the past and have always been impressed.

My skin is the true definition of combination, oily in the t-zone and dry everywhere else. I also struggle with occasional acne breakouts, fine lines, and dark spots. Really the whole sha-bang wouldn't you say?! ;) 

I had a brief skincare consultation over the phone, and was recommended the Paula's Choice Resist Anti-Aging Advanced Kit for Wrinkles & Breakouts, appropriate for normal to oily skin types. My consultant explained to me that the products in this AM/PM regimen work together to improve the appearance of multiple signs of aging, shrink enlarged pores and keep oil in check, leaving your skin with a youthful, breakout-free glow. Hallelujah! 

This kit includes the following products:

 1. Paula's Choice Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser

2. Paula's Choice Resist Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner

 3. Paula's Choice Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment with 2% BHA

4. Paula's Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum

5. Paula's Choice Resist Youth Extending Daily Mattifying Fluid SPF 50 

6. Paula's Choice Resist Weekly Retexturizing Foam with 4% BHA

7. Paula's Choice Resist Anti- Aging Clear Skin Hydrator 

In addition to the basics, my consultant also recommended a couple of specialized treatments to add to my regimen:
  • Paulas Choice Resist Skin Firming Line Minimizer (all skin types): Diminishes crows feet and frown lines
  • Paula's Choice Resist Vitamin C Treatment (all skin types): Brightens skin tone and banishes brown spots.

How cool is it that the kit also includes AM/PM Step stickers to help keep everything in order?!

 The first step in my morning skincare regimen is the Resist Foaming Cleanser which leaves my skin feeling clean and refreshed, and I absolutely LOVE the creamy, foaming lather! Next I apply the Resist Toner all over my face and neck with a cotton pad. The toner works to refine enlarged pores and help diminish red marks from acne. Step 3 is the Pore-Refining Treatment with 2% BHA, I also apply this little miracle worker with a cotton pad. This exfoliant unclogs pores, and reduces signs of aging. For Step 4, I apply the Concentrate Serum which also helps fight signs of aging. The final step in my skincare routine is to apply my AM moisturizer; the Daily Mattifying Fluid has a thin consistency and is very light on the face which will be great as the weather warms up, it's also SPF 50! :) 
In the evenings, I apply all of the same products as my AM regimen with the exception of the Daily Mattifying Fluid. Instead, I use the night moisturizer, Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator. I apply this to my face, neck and eye area. Once a week I will also apply the Resist Weekly Retexturizing Foam Exfoliant with 4% BHA, this product contains salicylic acid and is a total game changer for those with unruly skin! Twice a week in the evenings, I apply my specialized treatments, the Skin Firming Line Minimizer and Vitamin C Treatment.

I've been using the regimen for about 4 weeks, and have honestly noticed a big difference in both the texture and appearance of my skin! My skin looks and feels softer, and I've experienced less breakouts. I will have to update you guys on my fine lines, as I don't feel that 4 weeks is substantial time to see big results in this area. However, I will say that my makeup has been applying much nicer, and my pores are less noticeable. 

Overall I'm very pleased with the results of this skincare line, and would definitely repurchase. I highly recommend the Paula's Choice Resist Line for those with stubborn, combination skin like myself! 
I’m happy to say that in partnership with Pretty In My Pocket, I’m able to give you all a 20% off discount +FREE shipping! Just CLICK HERE to shop Paula's Choice online (expires 5/31)

Have you ever tried Paula's Choice before? What are your favorite products from the line? Leave a comment below! :) 

Enter to Win an Entire Paula's Choice Skin Care Regime here: 

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Whats in My Diaper Bag? JJ Cole Freeman Bag

I would liken my pre-baby handbag to a sack of magic tricks. You never knew what would come out of that thing next.. lipstick, hair ties, tums, a rubber chicken.
Ok, the chicken might be a bit of an exaggeration, but seriously I carried a ton of stuff! ;)
After having our son Colton, I took my magic trickery one step further. I started carrying TWO bags; a small diaper bag for him, and my regular handbag. Needless to say, this method didn't last longer than four months. Carrying two heavy bags and a baby was not only nearly impossible, but completely impractical. 

This momma needed to downsize and organize ASAP.
It was then that I discovered the JJ Cole Freeman in Black & Cream. A diaper bag that didnt just scream "Hey I'm a mom!" It was stylish enough to work as my everyday handbag and roomy enough to house all of baby and I's necessities.

 I love that the exterior style and color is versatile enough to go with almost any outfit. 
It has 10 total pockets inside & out, including insulated easy-access side bottle pockets. The front compartment is made to hold all of mommy's essentials; ID, cards, cell phone etc.
The bag has over the shoulder straps, and a removable cross-body strap. It also includes a coordinating wipeable changing pad and Grips stroller attachments (absolutely love these!)

After 4 months of outings with the little guy, I had a much better idea of what I really needed in my diaper bag and have been able to cut down substantially on what I lug around. Hallelujah!
My mom, best friend, Colton and I recently spent a beautiful day on Solomons Island, enjoying a seafood lunch on the dock and walking the boardwalk. So I decided it was the perfect time to show you all "What I Pack in my Diaper Bag" for a typical daily outing! 

First, the exterior pockets.
One one side, I have a matching JJ Cole Pacifier Pod (super convenient for quick access!) that holds Colton's paci and JJ Cole Pacifier Clip. 

The insulated side pocket holds a bottle. I usually fill the bottle with fresh water before leaving so that it's ready to go for a feeding.

The back of the bag has a large pocket with magnetic closure. I carry the coordinating changing pad, and a change of clothes for Colton in here. You never know when he might need an emergency outfit change!

The front pocket is zippered, and I use it to carry a few of my essentials, including, my cellphone, lipstick, gum and sunglasses. It also has convenient pockets for your ID and cards, but I prefer to carry a wallet.

The inside of the JJ Cole Freeman is very roomy, and has 4 pockets. You can see a picture of the interior of this bag empty earlier in this post.
I use the first mesh pocket to hold diapers, wipes, and scented bags. The other mesh pocket holds baby food, a Boon Serve Spoon (Colton LOVES these) and crackers for mommy.
The other two pockets hold burp cloths, teething toys, baby sunglasses, pacifier wipes and tissues.

In the main part of my bag, I typically carry my wallet, a water bottle and Colton's formula in a container.

My Diaper Bag Essentials: 

What do you pack in your diaper bag? I'd love to know how you stay organized with baby! :) 
Thanks so much for being here, and be sure to "subscribe by email" to my blog so you never miss a post!
& Colty says, "Bye!" too :) 

disclosure: Bag provided by JJ Cole for review consideration. This is not a sponsored review, all opinions are my own. Links are not affiliate links.