Traveling With E For the First Time

This one is a more personal blog post. When I started blogging in 2013, it was a way to let family and friends know about my life as a mom. I wanted to share all my adventures with E and then when baby bro was born, with him as well. I loved it because I felt like even if I don’t get to see some people in my life that often any more, they can still sort of catch a glimpse of what’s going on if they decide to read my blogs.

Then I took a break from blogging for a bit but when I decided to come back to it, I thought I should publicize it to also share these adventures with others who could be strangers but who could be going through the same things and we could laugh or commiserate together.

However, I had trouble personalizing my blogs without divulging too much information to protect the privacy of my children and to an extent, my husband. So here’s my first attempt at trying to be more me while also protecting my kids’ privacy.

A New Adventure

I’ve never gone on trips by myself with any of my kids. It’s always been a fear of mine that I would not be able to “control” them and they would run around and get themselves hurt, hurt others, or my worse nightmare, get taken away from me. I know, I always think of worst case scenarios. You don’t?

But E is now 4, about to turn 5, and I really wanted to go visit a friend of mine whom I haven’t seen in such a long time. I felt bad leaving A with two kids, so I chose the lesser of two evils at the time. Terrible twos or 4 going on 16?, I chose the latter, thank you very much.

E can now entertain herself pretty much. Give her a coloring book, and she’s quiet for at least 30 minutes to an hour depending on how new the coloring book is. Toys entertain her still. And if ever in desperate situations, yes, the iPad will come out. Don’t judge me. I honestly really don’t care too much about screen time as long as they’re not on it all day, every day. I grew up on TV and I think I turned out ok… not that I needed to defend myself, but sometimes mama bear comes out and well, there you go… sorry… again I digress.

Packing for Our Trip

Ok, so I only decided to drive 4 hours away, and only stay the night. One small suitcase would suffice. I did manage to fill it up though.

I packed her two sets of pajamas – she doesn’t wet the bed anymore, but hey, new territory means new game plan. Packed extra clothes in case anything happens. Her teddy bear is a must if traveling over night. And lastly, her hair stuff because girl has got a lot of hair. (Yes, I did forget her toothbrush, but thankfully, my friend has three kids so her house is well stocked.. phew!)

For me, just a pair of jammies, and a change of clothes would suffice. That and all the chargers that I needed for my phone, my hot spot, and my iWatch. This was also in the middle  my 10 step korean skin care, so yes I brought all of it with me!

Our Trip to Jersey

We left around 9am because in my head, that means we would miss all the traffic. Wrong. For some reason there was crazy traffic in the Baltimore Tunnel… then when we finally reached Delaware, we were stuck.

E took it like a champ! “It’s ok mommy, I’ll just sleep.” She didn’t even want the iPad. She literally sat there and just looked out the window. I dreaded the moment that she would get bored and start crying because that is what I remember would happen when we were traveling as a family.

That moment never came. She was in and out of her sleepiness. When she did finally wake up, we were finally on the Jersey turnpike after 3.5 hours of driving in traffic! She was a little grumpy but grumpy in a way where she didn’t want to talk to me so I’d take that over whining grumpy.

I decided to stop for some food because I realized that maybe E was just hangry. Sure enough, we got to the stop and as soon as she smelled food, girl perked up like “hey, I’m about to get fed!” We opt for a burger and salad and she was as happy as can be because she didn’t have to share with baby bro or A! Ha!

After filling up, we start back on our way and we still had 1.5 hours to go! I was in shock! But E was fed and she was happy. The last 15 minutes was the only time she kept asking “how far away are we” and “are we almost there?” questions. That, I could handle. We just turned on some Disney songs and belted out like there’s no tomorrow. Disney songs?? Yaassssss!

Being with Friends and Staying the Night

As soon as we got there, my friend and I had a happy reunion. E took some time to warm up but she loved the girls in no time! They were playing and laughing and I was so happy that I decided to make the trek to visit. There’s nothing like feeling at home at someone else’s home. That’s just how it is when you go to through PT school together. Friends for liiiiifffeee.

I was nervous about sleep time. But E was so busy with the girls that I don’t even think she had time to get nervous and worked up about sleeping. My friend did give her a light up pillow which helped tremendously. I was able to go have some alone time/mom talk with my friend when our girls fell asleep. That was well needed.

The next day, E and the girls played all morning until we decided to go home right after lunch. I figured it would be the perfect timing because then E would nap on the way home a little.

Our trip home

E fell asleep 15 minutes into our drive.  I was able to listen to some of my own music while she slept for about 1.5 hours. Yes N’SYNC, Britney, and Backstreet Boys, yasssss… go ahead, judge me.

When she woke up, I knew she would have to go pee, so I made it a point to keep on a lookout for an exit. I also needed some caffeine because driving could really suck the life out of you sometimes.

She was very excited when we stopped because she thought we were going to have a burger and salad again. I had to remind her that we already ate lunch and that we were just stopping to go to the bathroom and to get a drink.

We were at Starbucks so I got her a strawberry frappuccino without the syrup and without whip cream – essentially milk and strawberry puree. She felt sooooo special when she got that. I don’t think I’ve seen her smile wider. Ha!

The rest of the trip was uneventful. We sang some songs, ate some snacks, she watched a little bit of the iPad but got bored pretty fast, then she colored on her coloring book.

All in all, it was a pretty easy trip and I think I will take her on more trips like these because it was so easy! Did I just jinx myself? Maybe I won’t take her on so many trips?? hehe.

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What I Took From This Trip

This was the first time, E had me to herself for longer than a couple of hours after baby bro was born. She seemed content and loved telling me stories. Part of what I loved most about this trip is that I got to ask her some questions regarding home life.

I asked her about baby bro and how she feels about him and she told me straight up, “Mommy, I love [baby brother]. I will always love him even when he does bad things to me.” I can’t. So I ask her how she felt when baby bro hits her. She says she gets mad at him but that she still loved him.

I asked her about mommy and is she ok with me working. To which she answered, “Yes Mommy, you have to work so you can get money so we can have food. So go work.” Ha! I mean I did tell her that once, but I didn’t think she would keep remembering it. Oops… whatever, that’s real life man.

I asked her about A and how she used to be so mean to him because she would only go to mommy. She tells me she will be better and not be mean to A.

This trip was tiring. I never drove this long by myself before. I also didn’t sleep too well because E had to pee in the middle of the night and when I wake up in the middle of the night, it’s hard for me to sleep again.

BUT my heart was full. I was able to spend some time with my friend which is always a great time. And most importantly, I was able to have some one on one time with E. I could tell she appreciated it. She was so grateful and just kept asking me if I could take her on other trips as well.

I know I won’t have that all the time. I know she will grow out of the phase when she wants to hang out with me. So what I took out of this trip are the memories. Memories of E wanting to spend time with mommy, E wanting to talk to me about her toddler life, and E smiling the whole trip to and from Jersey (except when she was sleeping and when she just woke up from her naps).

There really are no words to describe how much I loved this trip. To me, this is a trip I will definitely always hold so dear to my heart. They are only so little for so long. I gripe all the time about how tired I am, but I know that this too shall pass. In the meantime, I think I’m ok being a bit tired in exchange for all the memories with my loved ones.

Thanks for reading and hope you have a great rest of the day!

(All gifs are from giphy.com)

Kegels and Core Work During and After Pregnancy

Before I was a mom, I was a physical therapist. Although I stopped practicing (that is for another blog), I’ve never actually stopped learning about how the body works. Especially after getting pregnant, so many changes can happen to women physically (and in many other aspects), that I kept up with reading and learning from trusted PT friends on how to prevent incontinence, back aches and overall instability of the pelvic girdle and core. The answer? Kegels and Core Work. Not only after pregnancy, but during pregnancy as well.

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Why Workout During Pregnancy?

Someone asked me why they should workout during pregnancy when everything stretches out anyway? The stronger you are before any kind of injury, the hope is that the faster you are at recovering. Yes, I said injury cuz y’all… like the pelvic floor is all types of wrong during and after pregnancy ok? Let’s be honest. The human body is amazing, but women’s bodies are exceptional in a way that their bodies can take on so much change in a short amount of time. So yes, kegels and core work can only help during pregnancy.

Why Kegels and Core Work?

Kegels is a type of exercise that aims to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are tiny compared to the more well-known muscles in the body. However, they are so important to strengthen along with your core.

Core work are exercises that strengthen your core muscles. These include not only the abs, but also the back muscles. Along with kegels, this will help decrease the chances or prevent incontinence, back aches, and overall instability or the pelvic girdle.

How? Think of a barrel. The front being the abs (rectus abdominus), the sides being the abs as well (transverse abdominus), and the back part being all the muscles in your back. Not only do all sides of the barrel have to be strong, the bottom of the barrel – the pelvic floor – also has to be strong in order to hold all it’s contents. Enter kegels and core work =).

How to perform kegels?

Kegels is basically the act of tightening the pelvic floor muscles. It’s definitely not the easiest to get but the easiest way I can describe it is to pretend to hold in your pee. That’s right folks, tighten them muscles. Do make sure you go to the bathroom first and empty your bladder just in case.

Another way to describe it is to pretend that you’re holding a pencil with your vaginal muscles.  Please don’t insert random objects in your hooha while doing this exercise.

Another recommendation is, with clean hands, you can insert a finger into your vagina and tighten the muscles around it. This can help you know that you are tightening the right muscles since your finger may be able to feel the muscles tightening.

If you are not keen on inserting anything in your hooha, there is a less invasive way you can do it. When you are still ok to lie on your back (with knees bent and feet rested flat on the surface), place your fingers on your side abs (transverse abdominus). Then perform the kegels – pretend you’re holding in your pee. You should feel a slight movement under your fingers as your transverse abdominus will also contract a little.

When you can no longer lie on your back, sit up straight on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. You can then do kegels in this position.

How to perform core work?

A lot of people think core work is just abs, so they just do sit ups and crunches. But your core muscles also include your back and side muscles (hence, the barrel reference). Even when you’re doing sit ups or crunches, you could be targeting other muscles other than the core (like your hip flexors for example).

The most basic move for tightening your core is to imagine that there is a string between your belly button and your spine and that your spine and tugging on that string and pulling your belly button in. Almost, like sucking it in for pictures ladies! 😉

Now to make it a full core workout, do the above and then straighten up your back – sit up, shoulders down, belly button in, hold it for a couple of seconds and relax. You can do this at the office, or while watching TV. It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

Putting It All Together

When you’re going about your day, your muscles are all working together so that you can move about without having to isolate your movements. Same goes for training your pelvic floor muscles and core muscles.

You can do kegels and core training together! Start in hooklying position (on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor). Do a kegel and tighten your pelvic floor, then with that imaginary string, pull that belly button back towards your spine. Shoulders should also be flat on the ground and not shrugged up to your ears – make sure it’s and down – almost as if you’re trying to touch your toes.

Once you master this, you can add more movements as long as you’re doing kegels and contracting your core at the same time! You can incorporate light crunches while making sure the whole “barrel” of muscles are working. It sounds easy, but when you’re trying to contract all these muscles at the same time, it’s actually pretty hard.

How to Progress this Exercise

When you’ve mastered the kegels and core workout lying down, you can move to a sitting position. Sit up straight at the end of a chair, feet flat on the ground,  shoulders back and down. Then do your kegels and core tightening, pulling that belly button back towards your spine. Hold for a couple of seconds, relax (but keep your posture), and then try again.

Once you’ve mastered that in sitting, you can add more movements as long as the kegels and core tightening is still in place. You can slowly march in place to work the lower abs a little more. You can bend over forward, keeping your back straight, and come back up to work your lower back muscles a little more. After that, you can even do some biceps curls and shoulder presses. When you’re doing other exercises while keeping your core engaged, you’re actually making that “barrel” stronger.

After Pregnancy

Start slowly and make sure that your physician is ok with you doing physical activity. Since kegels and the basics of core work are not such a heavy activity, you can probably start on it right away (as long as your doctor approves it). Start with exercises lying down and progress as your body gets stronger and stronger.

Seeking Professional Help

Listen to your body. If you’re still having continued problems with incontinence, back pain, and other instability problems, I recommend going to a Women’s Health Physical Therapist. They are trained to diagnose, and treat you based on your diagnosis. They also have extra tools that you may not have or may not be able to buy to make sure that your pelvic floor muscles and core muscles are engaged.

Lastly…

Please remember, you’re not alone. I know it’s embarrassing to not be able to hold in your pee, or have constant back pain that you can’t function during the day. But know that many others are going through the exact same thing! You can do this! Reach out to friends for support and to professionals for help.

Thanks for reading and hope you have a great rest of the day! =)

(All gifs are from giphy.com)

A Taste of Single Parenthood

I have always wondered how single parents do it all. Parenting is already so hard to do as a couple… how is it possible to do it as a singlet? This past year, because of my husband’s job, I was able to experience single parenthood twice for about 2 weeks at a time.

My mom raised 3 kids on her own. She’s always been superwoman to me. Two weeks is nothing compared to what she and other single parents had/have to go through. Like it’s not even a question. But two weeks for me, was a lifetime! Yes, I still worked and the kids were at daycare for most of the day but the times I had them were also the most hectic times of the day and don’t even get me started on the weekends! How?!?! Just how?!

Anyway, I thought I should write about it a little and who knows, maybe it’ll help someone out there or at least give them a laugh or two.

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The Circumstances

The first time A left for about 2 weeks was last year. E was 3 years old and baby bro was 11 months old. A’s parents lived in New York. My mom was taking care of both my grandparents at the time and lived about an hour away from me (45 minutes if I drive ;-)).  I had little help from family because they were either too far away, or our schedules just didn’t match up.

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The second time A left for about 2.5 weeks, was this past June/July. E is now a 4 year old who thinks she’s the mommy of baby bro. Baby Bro is now 22 months with full blown temper tantrums. However, A’s parents has since moved 5 minutes away from us so that was extremely helpful.

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In both instances, the reason I did not go crazy was because friends and neighbors helped me tremendously! Last year, friends came to bring us dinner and/or play with the kids so I can make dinner. This year, friends came to hang out with us and helped me take the kids out of the house to prevent cabin fever.

How My Weekdays Typically Went

For things to run smoothly, I would get up a bit earlier to get ready for work. E and baby bro share the same room which helped a lot. E would distract baby bro until I came in to get them ready for the day.

Morning Routine

Our morning routines were always chaotic because 2 against 1 is no joke. Last year, baby bro crawled all over the place, so I would just place him in his crib while getting E ready. He would whine, but I was ok with that because I’d rather have whining than accidents.

This year, E demanded that she will get herself ready but then cry because she can’t reach the dress she wanted from the closet. She of course would wait while I was changing baby bro’s diaper and then wail that she can’t get her dress. Like, you can’t see I’m changing the diaper of someone who wants to go commando at all times?

After wrestling them into their outfits of the day, we would go to the bathroom and brush their teeth and do E’s hair. Last year was ok because I would still leave baby bro in the crib. This year, I couldn’t do that because the man does not like to be in that crib except for sleeping. Tantrums galore!

So instead, I would give him a toy in the bathroom while I brushed E’s teeth and fix her hair. Then I would brush his teeth while E talks to me about how when she’s older she will do her own hair and makeup and how she will not ask for help at all. Ok.

Then we go downstairs to eat breakfast which is usually cereal or yogurt with granola. Ain’t nobody have time for anything else. Sorry not sorry. While they eat breakfast, I pack their lunches for the day put everything in the car before I finally pack them up as well and take them to daycare before I go to work.

Last year, they went to two different daycares. This year, daycare = A’s parents’ apartment (and no need to pack lunches other than whole milk for baby bro). Woot woot!

Night Routine

After work, I would go home and drop off all my work stuff before I picked up the kids so I had less things to carry. Last year, I would heat up their dinners so by the time I picked them up from daycare, it wouldn’t be too hot for them to eat. This year, we ate at A’s parents house. Sooooo helpful!!

After dinner, I would then play with them a little because when else could I play with them during the weekdays?! Then the bedtime routine would be brushing their teeths, giving them baths, putting on their jammies, reading them a couple of books, singing bedtime songs, some cuddle time and then finally put them to bed.

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It’s just as chaotic as the morning routines, but I was able to basically give them baths together which saved time and crying from either kids. And they slept in the same room so I didn’t have to do two bedtime routines.

Me Time

After the kids are in bed, I was able to tidy up the house a little, wash any dishes if needed and prepare for the next day. I would try to workout if I had any energy left or do something relaxing for myself before getting ready for bed and going to sleep.

How My Weekends Went

I had to get them out of the house. It was no question. If I kept them inside the house, they would go crazy and I would go crazy because the house simply isn’t big enough to get all their energy out. And believe me… they. have. tons. of. energy. I can’t even.

So after their morning routine, I would pack up snacks and the diaper bag and take them to the park or the mall’s play area or anywhere they can run around and get tired.

We’d come home for lunch and play a little before baby bro’s nap time, and E’s quiet time. She would either color, or play with her toys quietly. I find that she liked quiet time because baby bro isn’t all up in her grill. She’s pretty good with occupying her self while I cook, do laundry, or rest a little. (PSA: Crockpots and pressure cookers are life savers.)

After baby bro wakes up, I would let them run amok in the house or we would go outside and go for a walk. If friends come over, it’s even better because we would get to do things that are more fun. For example, this year, we went to the pool! Whatever I could do to tire them out, I did.

After that, it’s our regular nightly routine.

What I Learned

Single parenthood is no joke. Props to all the single parents out there. Mind you, in each of the 2 weeks that A was gone, I didn’t do bills, nor any major housework. So how do others make time for that without help?

Planning is key. And back up plans are a must. However, flexibility within your plans are life savers. You just never know with kids. Usually, baby bro naps for 2 hours. But if he doesn’t, I’d have to be ok with not doing the laundry right away and putting it off after their bedtime. Or if after you’ve dressed both of them in the morning, and brushed their teeth, baby bro decides to grab cup of water from E and pour it on himself – it’s ok. Just had to change him again real quick and move on because in this case, you choose your battles.

Lots of patience. Patience does not come easy to me. But I learned that deep breathing really helps with patience. Yes, you’ve told E not to build her magnetic blocks into an elaborate house while baby bro is awake. Yes, baby bro ran to her structure and pummeled it. Yes, E screamed and cried and threw a fit. Yes, baby bro came running to me because he was scared and started crying. Two crying babies are not the funnest. But deep breaths help so you don’t go cray on them and so you can comfort them accordingly.

If you can get them out of the house, do it. I was very nervous because both of them are very mobile so I always had a fear that one of them will go running off somewhere and get kidnapped! But luckily baby bro and E like to stick together for now so that worked in my advantage.

Accepting friends’ help is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your sanity. This year, since baby bro and E go to A’s parents while I worked, I did not want them to have to take care of the kids over the weekend. Enter friends.

I have wonderful, lovely, caring friends who were more than happy to spend time with me and the kids and I will forever be grateful for them.

Though I tried to express to them my gratitude, I don’t think I can say in words how touched I was when they gave up their Saturdays or Sundays to hang out with me and the kids. <3!

I learned that I am stronger than I think when I put my mind to it. I am always nervous when I hear that it’s that time of the year when A would have to go out of town for a bit. It’s not like I have much for a choice right? I’ve got two little ones who depend on me for their survival. So I had to just woman up and be that parent. So with lots and lots of prayers and lots of self-pep talks, I really do feel like I grew as a parent each time I had to the whole single parenthood thing.

Lastly, I learned to appreciate A more. Single parenting is hard AF. I don’t know how my mom did it. I don’t know how any single parents do it. All I know is that when A is here, things are much much much easier for me.

So cheers to parents, especially single parents out there. Keep it up! You guys are amazing!!

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

(all gifs are from giphy.com)

Clarisonic Product Review

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog that talked about the things I wished people told me about pregnancy and post-pregnancy. There were many other things that I forgot to add on there, but one of the things I’ve been struggling with lately is acne-proned skin. Yay for motherhood! Not only do our whole body change, our hormones have to also join in on the fun. I was breaking out all the time! I wanted to do something different from my normal routine that could help me – enter Clarisonic.

Before I get started, I have to go with the whole “this is not sponsored” thing. So, this review is not sponsored in any way, nor am I affiliated with anything I mention in this blog.

Ok, back to our regularly scheduled program.

Before I had kids, I was lucky enough to never really experience breakouts. I had a pimple or two here and there, but it usually went away after a couple of days or so. My nightly routine consisted of mild soap and water, toner, and then lotion. If I had a break out, I would use Avon Clearskin Blackhead Eliminating Daily Astringent for spot treatment. That would be it and my face would be clear of acne.

Here I am before kids (that’s my cousin’s baby I’m holding):

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Only wearing eye makeup

After Ella (my first), my skin was a little more prone to acne but it got really worse after Isaac (my second). Before, I would get some pimples right before my period, but after Isaac, I found no pattern as to when I would get acne. My forehead, near my nose and chin would be where the pimples would pop up. Classic “T-zone” I guess.

The first pic is after Ella – see chin area. The next pic is after Isaac, see forehead, cheeks, and under the nose area.

For whatever reason, the hormonal change caused my skin to either get dryer or oilier (is that even a word???). So that’s when I decided I needed to change up my routine.  I’ve heard about Clarisonic before but I didn’t really look into it until after I started having more skin problems.

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What is Clarisonic?

Clarisonic is a brand that sells mostly skin cleansing tools and tools that improve your skin. Supposedly, the website claims it is the #1 dermatologist recommended skincare tool.

From what I can tell from their website, there are a couple of different bases that come with many different attachments to either cleanse, uplift, or even put on makeup.

For my purpose, I chose the Clarisonic Mia 2 with the cleanser attachments because I had to get my skin under control. The website states that “Clarisonic cleanses so thoroughly yet gently,” and to “cleanse daily to fight excess oil and acne.”

Where to Buy it?

Clarisonic has their own website, or you can get in stores like Sephora and other makeup places I’m sure.

I got mine from Sephora because they had a deal that it would come with TATCHA one-step Camelia Cleansing Oil.

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I bought the Mia 2 Facial Cleaning Brush. It came with 2 brush heads – the Deep Pore Brush Head and the Radiance Cleansing Brush head. I also bought the Acne Cleansing Brush Head because that was mainly the reason I was buying it for. The hardness or softness of the bristles are the differences between the brushes. They also have one for really sensitive skin if that is your skin type.

I also bought the Clarisonic Pore and Blemish Gel Cleanser because acne. Okaaaaay?

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Nightly Routine

Ok, so if I wore make up during the day, I started off using the TATCHA one-step Camelia Cleansing Oil. Then I used a makeup wipe to wipe off all the make up. The cleansing oil really helped because it broke down all the makeup so I didn’t have to rub my face too hard to get the make up off. (Oh just in case you wanted to know, I use the Neutrogena Make Up Wipes).

Then I would use the Mia 2 with any of the cleansing brush heads (damp) with the Pore and Blemish Gel Cleanser.

After that, I would use a toner (Neutrogena for me), then lather my face up with lotion. I used Cetaphil because I have sensitive skin.

Results

How did it feel?

The first time I used the Mia 2, I did feel like my face was cleaner. How did I know? Before the Mia 2, I always applied the toner with cotton on my face and there would always be residue on the cotton after I wiped my face. After the Mia 2, I found that the cotton didn’t have that residue anymore. My face just also felt very refreshed afterwards. I mean I wasn’t mad at it.

This was after the first wash so of course, no changes.

Did you feel any changes in your skin after a while?

I did notice that my skin felt tighter and dryer. Because I have eczema, I realized that I definitely have to lather on lotion after I cleaned it with Mia 2 because otherwise, my skin would be so dry.

Did you see any changes?

After the first two months, I noticed that I wasn’t breaking out as much as before. I did still break out a little when it was nearing my period but I’ll take that over breaking out all year long.

However, by the third month, I realized I started breaking out again. I read on the site that you are supposed to switch brush heads every 3 months. But me being a cheapo tried to find hacks on the internet so I didn’t have to. I read that boiling the brush heads helped make them last longer. So I did.

I also decided to just use the  brush head with the softest bristles (the radiance cleansing brush). I know I have sensitive skin so I wanted to see if that made the difference. Sure enough, my pimples started to go away again. Here are some of the side by side comparison if you’re interested.

March (when I started), April,  May, and then now:

HA! I did not mean for my shirts to match when I took these photos.. but oh well. So as you can see, in May, my skin cleared up a bit.. but the last pic shows me right before my time of the month so I did have a bit of a breakout on my forehead. The rest of the face, I was ok with though!

Would I recommend this product?

To be honest, I don’t know if it’s Clarisonic that helped decrease the occurrence of my breakouts or if it was because of the actual change in cleansing my skin (adding the gel cleanser and the cleansing oil in my routine) that did the job.

What I can say is that the Clarisonic Mia 2 definitely does the job in cleaning my face. I never see residue on the cotton anymore after applying the toner. So it does make me feel better knowing that my face is clean before I go to bed.

The fact that it did dry out my skin more was a problem that could be solved by just putting more lotion on my face afterwards and I was ok with that.

I think I would recommend this product if you feel like your nightly routine isn’t enough to clean your face.

I would not recommend this if you have overly dry skin though, as it could irritate your skin more. There are other cleansers out there that are even more gentle than the Clarisonic, so I would go for those if you have really really sensitive skin. But I haven’t tried them. I’ve just heard from friends who have sensitive skin.

Overall, I did like the Clarisonic. I am going to continue to use it daily unless I’m trying out other skincare products. Next on my list, the 10 step Korean Beauty regimen! Ha.. stay tuned for that one! =)

Thanks for reading and hope you have a great rest of the day!

(all gifs are from giphy.com)

 

EM Cosmetics True Gloss Review

Before I begin, I want to just put it out there again, that I am not a make up guru. However, I am a fan of makeup. I love the way makeup just makes me feel more put together and, not to be vain, but it does make me feel better about myself when my makeup is on point during the day. I also want to point out that I don’t like lip glosses. But I do love me some Michelle Phan. So when I heard that EM cosmetics True Gloss lip glosses were coming out, I had to give them a try!

Another disclaimer is that this review is not sponsored in any way, nor am I affiliated with any of the products I mention. I bought these with my own mula so there you go. =)

What is EM Cosmetics True Gloss?

Their website states that EM Cosmetics True Gloss are lip glosses that are comfortable to wear, have vivid shades, and have brilliant shine. It also states that these glosses “subtly plumps the lips, has a luminous finish and stays vibrant throughout the day.”

The formula has a gel base that maintains the shine and adds moisture to your lips. It also has a peptide complex that stimulate collagen production and repairs damage, so your lips can look smoother and fuller. Lastly, it has vitamins E and C, “and emollients to keep lips feeling soft, conditioned, and comfortable.”

Lastly, their website states that you can expect their glosses to have long lasting shine, with vibrant colors, without stickiness and/or discomfort.

So naturally, I try them! That and because I’m just a fan of Michelle Phan. I mean yeah, her line before was not the best, but since she’s revamped EM Cosmetics, I have yet to be disappointed!

EM Cosmetics True Gloss Packaging

Ok, so packaging seems to be real important when it comes to beauty gurus. For me, I don’t really care as long as the product works. But for those interested, it comes in EM Cosmetics signature black and white box. As you open the box, you see Michelle’s saying at the end of all of her youtube videos – a simple “Good luck.” The makeup is always wrapped in the classic black tissue paper.

 

Once you unwrap it, EM Cosmetics True Gloss is packaged in a simple white cardboard box. The color and the name of the glosses are on a sticker that runs from the top of the cardboard box to the side.  The stickers are actually really easy to peel off and none of the gunk gets on the box if people care about that stuff.

 

Then the glosses. White lids with a golden top and see through cylindrical container. That’s the best I can describe it. Gimme a break! English is my second language okaaayyy?? Here are pictures of the 4 that I bought.

 

Time to Try Them On!

I bought 4 out of the 12 shades. I sort of knew what colors go well with my skin so I picked the 4 that I thought would be good for me. Aurora Pink, Lotus Blossom, Red Jasper, and Ruby Wine. I tried to take pictures of the same shade in different lighting so you can truly see the colors and how they look.

Aurora Pink

This is the first one I bought. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, so I initially just bought 1. After that, I decided to buy 3 more shades! The website describes Aurora Pink as a “sheer cool pink.” Since it said “sheer” I decided to go for it because I wanted something that wouldn’t be too obvious. I basically wanted a “my lips but better” look. It delivered.

 

Lotus Blossom

The website describes this one as a “warm pink.” Since Aurora Pink did so well for me, I decided to try another pink.  This wasn’t as shiny, but not necessarily a bad thing. I liked that it was a little muted down.

 

Red Jasper

EM Cosmetics describes this color as a “muted terracotta.” What’s a terracotta? Yeah, I had to look it up. It’s supposedly a brownish red or brownish orange earthenware. Ok… so here’s what it looked like on me. Definitely a little more brownish orange than a brownish red. Though it could be my lighting. I still liked it.

 

Ruby Wine

A “bright burgundy” is how this lip gloss is described in their website. I wanted something a little va-va-voom for mama’s night out. Like that ever happens, but hey, at least when I wear it, I’ll feel like I went out somewhere fancy schmancy. That’s all that matters! Definitely more high shine than the other ones I tried. I like!

 

The Review

So I basically love it and would buy the whole collection if I had the money. This is why someone needs to adopt me already or make me some kind of beauty guru so I can get free stuff. I mean I don’t even have to get tons of free stuff, just EM Cosmetics will suffice. But again, I digress… I do that in my blogs you see… I’m going to go into what EM Cosmetics True Gloss promises and let you know if they delivered.

“Comfortable… Adds Moisture To Lips”

The comfort. You guys, I literally hate lip glosses. For me they are sticky and uncomfortable and the ones I’ve tried have always made my lips feel icky. Grant it, I haven’t tried many because I don’t like them… BUT… I can tell you that I really do like these. They are very comfortable to wear. It’s true that it’s not sticky like other glosses. I mean real talk, when you smack your lips together, you know there’s something on your lips. But throughout the day, my lips just feel hydrated which feels nice since I usually have chapped lips.

“Vivid Shades, Brilliant Shine”

I mean I only have 4, but the 4 that I have are great colors. They are all shiny to an extent, but not too shiny so it’s very wearable and makes your lips look nice and classy.

“Long Lasting… stays vibrant throughout the day”

After eating my breakfast, I find that it’s actually still on my lips. My breakfast is typically overnight oats if that matters to anyone. And when I eat it,  I don’t try to save the lip gloss. I just go for it. So it’s nice that it stayed one even after I ate. It doesn’t last the whole day. It does leave a nice “tint” on my lips after it wear off though so that’s a plus. I would say it lasted several hours before losing it’s luster.

So yeah, it doesn’t really stay vibrant throughout the day. Maybe if you eat without touching your lips??

“Subtly Plumps”

I’m not sure about this. I don’t think it does. But I’m really ok with that. See  below. The first picture is my lips without the True Gloss.

 

Other factors

The application. Ok, so since I don’t wear lip gloss, I usually have a hard time putting them on. But for some reason, I found it easy to put these on. The applicator is almost like a doe-foot applicator, but with a pointy end (is there a name for this type of applicator??? see? not a make up guru). This helped me sharpen the edges after I’ve applied the lippie.

 

Transfer. They don’t claim to be transfer-proof and good thing they didn’t. These babies TUH-RANS-FER. Big time. So I mean try not to get it on your shirt or whatever. On the upside, it does seem to leave a nice hint of color after some of it has come off your lips. I still like =P.

Bottom Line

I would definitely recommend EM Cosmetics True Gloss. I just liked the way it made my lips feel hydrated and the colors I happened to pick compliments my skin tone nicely. No, they are not cheap, but I think that $17 per gloss is not bad compared to others out there.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the day!!

(For my review of the EM Cosmetics Infinite Lip Clouds, click here).

(For my review of the EM Cosmetics Fine Liner Brow Pencil, click here).

(all gifs from giphy.com)