It’s better without makeup

Let’s talk beauty. A few months ago I basically stopped wearing makeup, and, with the exception of my unruly bangs, I have forsaken blowdrying my hair, too.

Since then, more than a few friends have asked if I’ve really stopped wearing makeup and also said they were inspired to wear less.

The answer is yes, I really have stopped wearing makeup. I’ll dab a little powder here and there if I’m feeling red or shiny but that’s it. Full stop.

Here’s my routine:

  • Wash with FRÉ (<– Save 15% with code ALYSE)
  • Dab on some FRÉ Revive me – this is like a cup of cofee for your face. I use it when I’m traveling or just plain tuckered out

  • Layer on Protect me – SPF moisturizer. So necessary

  • Sweat Cosmetics sheer mineral powder: for extra SPF, because it is still 90 goddamn degrees here. (<– Save 10% with code SWEATPINK)

Occasionally, if I’m feeling red or shiny, I’ll pull out my compact and do a little spot touchup, but other than that, my makeup bag is collecting dust in my bathroom cupboard.

Also, I never leave home without my Burt’s Bees Pomegranate lip balm. I buy in bulk and keep multiples in every purse, actually, because it is necessary to my life. I’ve also been using Hemp Organics Lip Tint; it’s a nice dash of natural looking color. So I guess that sort of counts as makeup, but there’s no foundation, no mascara, nothin’ else gracing this mug, smearing my pillowcase, or clogging these pores.

Since I stopped wearing makeup, my skin seems much more clear and less prone to redness or breakouts (which was the main reason I wore makeup in the first place, hmm). I don’t think it all has to do with external factors, though: I’ve also been working on beautifying from the inside out.

First: through better hydration. I am terrible about hydration. I get an F in drinking water. Lame, I know. Fixable, 100%.

The sparkling detox challenge was a good kick in the pants to be better about this very simple activity. I am keeping it going strong by adding Gerolsteiner to my cold brew concentrate. Don’t laugh. This COUNTS.

Second: my secret weapon. For the last month, I’ve been trying out Amazing Grass’ Beauty Elixir, which is a pretty little powder you add to water for some inside-out-beautification. I keep this in my purse, and added a daily reminder to take it. Every time I take it, I have to drink more water. WIN.

I have to say, I think my skin is much improved. I have found myself pulling out my powder less frequently as the month goes on—and I haven’t changed anything else about my routine. If anything, I’m getting less sleep, and drinking more coffee. Plus it tastes nice and it forces me to have that extra glass of water everyday.

Save 40% on Amazing Grass with the code SweatPink2017

Apparently, vanity is the motivator I need to hydrate. Go with what works, I guess?

In partnership with Amazing Grass, Gerolsteiner, and FRÉ Skincare.

Why you should be jealous of me

In the last few months, I’ve basically stopped wearing makeup. It was a gradual decline into naked face; first I’d just skip the mascara because omg taking off mascara after a long day is the worst possible chore (yes, I’m super lazy. So what?), then I realized skipping eyeliner was a really good idea and then it was just some blush and foundation and now … maybe concealer, maybe on the worst of the worst mornings after the worst of the worst nights.

My progression into the natural look has unfortunately resulted in some serious self-side-eye on particular mornings. Sometimes it’s WOAH, haggard, up in here. You can tell I have a baby who doesn’t sleep and that self care is way, way down the priority list, right behind cleaning crusted spaghetti puree off the parts of my upper arms I can’t see and scavenging stray Cheerios for my own dinner.

This is my hyperlocal source for crusted spaghetti.

Jealous yet?

Let me give you some more fodder: my ace in the hole.

I have family on Maui. 

BOOM. There it is. I see your jealousy.

Pretty cool, right? Also, there’s a family reunion every summer that is TOTALLY REQUIRED.

Every year my husband makes some noise about how far away it is and how that flight with a baby will be really tough and I convince him we should really, actually, 100% go. You know, FOR THE FAMILY. (Hi, family, I love you. XOXO).

So, now that you’re seething in jealousy, let me get back to my story about my non-glamorous no-makeup look.  I had a little come to jesus moment about skincare, partly due to some blunt comments from an aesthetician and partly due to the escalating puffiness I have to witness in my bathroom mirror every single day. 

Ahhhhh. Why did nobody tell me that “having it all” included so many dark circles and bloodshot corneas?

So, I took matters into my own hands. Or, rather, someone reached out at just the right moment when I was READY. Ready to make a change.

Specifically, the founder of FRÉ Skincare, a line for women who sweat, reached out, and (disclosure, they are now a Fit Approach client, but that does not change this story one bit), and I said, YES, please send me all the things that will save my skin, it needs all the help it can get. But not if it’s too complicated, because half the time I wash my hair I put conditioner on first because I can’t tell the bottles apart. #TrueStory.

So, they kindly agreed to help a sister out and sent me the whole kit and caboodle, and I diligently set aside my lazy tendencies and put the product to the test.

In Maui (see, it’s all coming together. I promise). Well, I actually started using it here in Austin, and put it through the wringer with suffocating swamp humidity during the Athlete Inside challenge, which made me do more burpees than any human should ever have to do. (Thank you, Ben Zorn, I love to hate burpees).

Then I took it to Maui and tested the sweat- and water-resistant properties in the pool, ocean, and sun. (full story, plus tropical photos, here).

I’ve been using it for a month now, and the bottom line: I have way fewer reasons to side-eye myself in the mornings now. I am actually comfortable going out makeup-free, and not just because I’m lazy, but because my skin actually looks nicer on its own than it does with makeup. There is a legitimate, empirical reduction in redness and dryness and puffiness. It was also serious sun protection (it was the only SPF I used on my face in Hawaii, and look, ma, no sunburn!).

I feel like a whole new woman. I do not catch glimpses of myself in mirrors out in public and shudder or think, ugh, you really should work on *that*.

So, now, you can be jealous of me for not feeling like a train wreck when I leave the house every morning.

Also, and probably more relevant to you, dear reader, is that the line is anti-aging, sweat- and water-resistant, and doesn’t drip into your eyes and viciously burn them while you’re innocently running or laying on the beach. It’s good. It’s real good.

Lastly, if you want to give it a go yourself, FRÉ was kind enough to share a discount code for you. Use code SUMMERSWEAT for 15% off. You’re welcome.

Disclosure: Like I said, FRÉ is a Fit Approach client. The ranting, opinions, and jealousy-inspiring traits in this post are 100% mine. 🙂 

Oh, and, speaking of discount codes that expire on Friday, join us for the EMPOWER Race & Yoga weekend, won’t you? SWEAT gets you 40% off. Yes, FORTY PERCENT. There’s a virtual option, too.

 

 

Finding my freedom

One of the hardest things about transitioning from independent lady to a mom has been the loss of my autonomy. I always knew I valued my independence (case in point: the day I got my driver’s license remains one of the best days of my life, even though I now hate driving), but I never realized how much stuff I did until I needed someone else to enable me to do it.

Curl up with the latest New Yorker and a cup of coffee on Saturday morning? Not happening.

Squeeze in a pedicure between conference calls? Yeah, right.

Spontaneously dash off to a yoga class?  Puh-lease.

I found myself sliding into a deep dark pool of woe is me. This little mommy is trapped at home and will never, ever, engage with society again or have a moment to herself.

It’s a scary place down there. I admit, I spent some time wallowing. I still occasionally dip in for another good cry now and again.

But in between wallow sessions, I put myself to the task of finding ways to enable my freedom again. Even if it was an assisted / modified freedom, it was better than hanging out in my pajamas on the floor of my apartment in last week’s makeup wondering how I’d gotten myself into this situation.

Here’s what’s helped me scratch the surface of those pre-baby freedoms in ways that help me get out and do stuff.

1. Aftershokz headphones.

I use these hands free, bluetooth enabled beauties for everything.

Running with Mackenzie.

aftershokz tricep dips

(Spoiler alert: the stroller is next on this list!) Since they’re open-ear headphones, I can still hear things around me, like cars approaching, or bikers trying to pass our wide load on the trail, or I can chat up fellow stroller-pushing moms.

running tahoe aftershokz
They’re also great for running alone, if you’re the kind of person who gets to run alone.

Gotta make those mom friends, y’all.

Conference calls.

Before we had regular childcare, I used to take a lot of calls with the baby on board. Once she was aware of her hands, she discovered that playing with headphone cords is really, really fun. And by playing with, I mean yanking them out of my ears.

aftershokz-conference-call-nursing
The ultimate in multitasking: I’m on a call, and I’m nursing. BAM.

Going wireless has saved me many a “sorry, can you repeat that?” and scored me many a new brand partner.

Yoga.

Outdoor yoga is awesome. Outdoor yoga with music is even more awesome. But you know what’s the awesomest?

boat post aftershokz

Outdoor yoga with music that you don’t have to lug around a stereo for, rely on your pathetic phone speakers for, or bother your neighbors with.

2. BOB stroller

After asking the Sweat Pink community for jogging stroller recommendations, I bit the bullet, bought the stroller, and hid the credit card receipt from my husband. Hot damn it’s expensive. But in terms of liberation, it’s been amazing. I take Mac out almost every morning for a walk / jog along the lake in Austin.

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Or, at least, I used to, back when sleep was a little more consistent. We’re working on getting back into a good morning routine.

I still don’t particularly like running, but it’s such a convenient way to get some exercise without having to arrange childcare. Also, I’ve realized that exercising with a stroller is AWESOME because it holds all those items you used to try to stuff into the waistband pocket of your shorts or running tights. I got the cupholder attachment because, cupholders. The surprise benefit of that attachment is that the zip pocket holds my phone, chapstick, wallet, and sunnies within easy reach.

Second reason running with a stroller is awesome: if you find yourself short of breath and about to DIE and needing to stop or slow down, you can save face by pretending to check on the baby.

stroller sweat pink trucker
Me? I’m fine. SHE made me stop.

3. Ergobaby 360

I use this carrier all the time.

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It’s the only way laundry gets done, and it’s the reason I have done my hair 1.5 times since Mac was born.

blowdrying with ergo

It’s currently also the only way she’ll nap, so there’s that.

napping in ergo

The one thing I don’t love about this carrier is that Mac overwhelmingly prefers the outward-facing carry, and the straps dig into her arms and leave big red marks. I know it’s really designed for inward carry, so the straps aren’t really built for outward carry. I also know that inward is better for her hips, but you know, whatever makes baby happy is what baby gets.

There you have it. My top 3 post-baby freedom finders. I still miss my autonomy like woah. I yearn for the days when I didn’t have to make elaborate childcare arrangements and a bulletproof pumping schedule so I can get a fucking haircut already. My great life goal is to binge watch something on Netflix. I don’t even care what it is.

But… as my dance teacher in college always said, when you feel like something is too hard or out of reach or just.not.happening, CHANGE YOUR MIND.

I’m working on it. Like, literally, right now, while I’m nursing and taking a call and writing this post. #mompower

This post is sponsored by Aftershokz. All opinions are my own, and these headphones really have been game changing for me. If you want a chance to win your own, join us for the #AwarewithPink Instagram challenge this October!