Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Reader Recs: Kmentothat Says Amen to These

image2Since I’m going to have my hands full with a newborn some time in the next few weeks, I thought I’d bring back Reader Recs, an old feature where you, the readers, basically write the post for me, saving me a little time while sharing some of your new finds and old favorites with the DW audience (see the footer in this post for info on how to send in your own reader recs). Many of the recommended products happen to be affiliate products, which means I’ll receive a commission on any click-throughs or purchases you make through the affiliate links. As always, I appreciate your support!

Today’s recommendations come from Kmentothat, who is a corporate writer living in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago. Originally from San Diego, she now lives with her cat Jupiter and her boyfriend, often fighting both of them for space in the bed. She’s a theater and improv fan, a bra-sizing evangelist, and an amateur, but enthusiastic, cook. Here are some of her favorite products:

341ba7a2d381315005e105a65791252e1. Kate Spade “One in a Million” Initial Pendant Necklace

I have this necklace in gold (it also comes in silver) and have worn it every day since I bought it. It’s a perfect everyday necklace. I think it would be amazing as a personalized bridesmaid gift or, with her baby’s initial, for a new mom.

03983941_zi_ballet_pink2. Freya Deco Plunge T-Shirt Bra

After I finally learned my real bra size (I went down two band sizes and up five(!) cup sizes), I bought this bra which was highly rated by the “A Bra That Fits” community. I now only wear Freya bras, which cater to a much wider range of bra sizes. Bust out the measuring tape, try out this calculator, and order this bra. Even if the size the calculator tells you sounds absurd, your boobs will thank you!

91kDN7yvZRL._SL1500_Bergan Turbo Cat Scratcher

My cat has never gotten bored of this, and as an apartment cat she gets bored of everything. I love that they sell multiple attachments to this toy as well as replacements for the scratcher and light-up ball.

 

915qEOSwQpL._SL1500_Crosely Cruiser Portable Turntable

When I was growing up, my dad had a massive record collection, so I wanted to dip my toe into record collecting. Not being an audiophile, I didn’t need a big expensive set-up. I just wanted something cute, small, and decent. This turntable comes in an array of colors and is easy to use. We like to throw on an old jazz record and sip Moscow mules while we cook dinner .

41Vp5PE5qULOle Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster

Since hitting my 30s, I’ve been stepping up my skincare game. My routine involves using a prescription retinoid (Ziana), CeraVe moisturizing cream, sunscreen every day, and this vitamin C serum. Besides smelling like heaven, I’ve noticed significant brightening and smoothing of my skin and it feels more moisturized.

Thanks, Kmentothat!

If you have some products you’d like to recommend to the DW audience, shoot me an email at wendy@dearwendy.com with links to five recommendations. (Write “reader recs” in the subject line, please). Your recommendations can be from any store or website, but they need to be accessible online β€” and I would love it if at least two items could be found on Amazon where I am an affiliate. If your list is a good fit for the site, I’ll ask you to write a brief description of each item/explain what you love so much about it.

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

53 comments… add one
  • kare

    kare June 23, 2015, 12:28 pm

    I was just talking about A Bra That Fits today! I went down 2 band sizes and up 2 cup sizes. My old and new sizes are “sister sizes” but the smaller band size is soooo much better. I’ve also been eyeing that Kate Spade necklace. I just want everything…

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    • kmtthat

      kmentothat June 23, 2015, 12:40 pm

      The right band size means everything!!

      The necklace is seriously my go-to…it’s gold plated so I wear it nonstop and it hasn’t turned green or anything. I get a lot of compliments on it!

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      • avatar

        Ange June 23, 2015, 7:32 pm

        Did you recommend this in a comments section a while ago? Because I went searching and bought one after I read about it from someone here. I couldn’t get that one here for a decent price but ended up buying a lovely similar piece.

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      • kmtthat

        kmentothat June 24, 2015, 9:03 am

        I did! Glad you found a great necklace πŸ™‚

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  • avatar

    emily85 June 23, 2015, 12:36 pm

    That Freya bra is the BEST! Not only am I wearing one right now, but I also have two more at home. If you shop on barenecessities.com they have a lot of sales and free shipping both ways if you’re nervous to try a new size!

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  • kmtthat

    kmentothat June 23, 2015, 12:45 pm

    I opened the homepage and was like “that looks just like my cat!” before realizing…duh, it IS my cat! I can’t believe you are on the final countdown already Wendy! SO EXCITED for your family πŸ™‚

    Also, props on the title haha.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy June 23, 2015, 1:14 pm

      Thanks! I’m 36 weeks today; Jackson was born at 37 weeks and a few days, so we are on high alert here β€” hospital bag packed, potential babysitters on call, etc.
      And thank you for your reader rec submission!

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom June 23, 2015, 1:29 pm

        Hope you have an easy delivery and a happy, healthy baby!

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki June 23, 2015, 1:38 pm

        Holy cow, you’re definitely getting there! My husband keeps claiming we should really get a bag packed… and I suppose he’s probably right (I’ll be 35 weeks on Friday and with GD I’m more likely to go into labor early) but its overwhelming.
        .
        I hope you have a safe and wonderful (ish) delivery!

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy June 23, 2015, 2:05 pm

        Thank you β€” and you too! And I agree with your husband — time to pack that bag. In my bag, I’ve packed a nursing nightgown and robe, nursing tank tops, the same mesh underwear (unopened) I got at the hospital when I had Jackson, a pair of lounge pants, a clean towel, facial cleansing towelettes, some post-labor snacks, new flip-flops for the shower, some slipper socks, our cord blood kit, PJs for Drew, and three going-home outfits for baby (in different sizes: preemie; newborn; and 0-3 months). Before I leave for the hospital, I’ll throw in maternity leggings, big t-shirt, a maternity dress to wear home, and my toiletry bag. Since I am rotating 4 or 5 maternity outfits right now, I’m no packing any of them until it’s time to go.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki June 23, 2015, 2:13 pm

        I better add some of those things to my list. I at least have a list of things I want to pack πŸ™‚ I also have a list of things we should grab on our way out the door (phone charger, the only brush I actually like, etc). And 3 outfits is probably a good idea since you have no idea how big they’ll be when they come out. I’ll have to keep that in mind.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy June 23, 2015, 2:19 pm

        Oh right, I have to add phone charger and laptop to the list of things to grab on the way out. Heaven forbid I not be able to get online for a couple days.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray June 23, 2015, 2:16 pm

        What’s this about mesh underwear? Do I need mesh underwear? i figured I’d just bring my regular underwear. … No?

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy June 23, 2015, 2:20 pm

        Only bring your regular underwear if you never care to wear them again. Things get pretty … messy down there. The hospital will have disposable/mesh underwear for you, as well as these huge ice packs that you can wear in your undies to help soothe your lady bits.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki June 23, 2015, 2:22 pm

        I’ve seen some recommendations to go get some cheap “granny panties” type underwear to bring with in case you hate the mesh ones, but a lot of people are cool with the mesh. And I’ve heard the ice packs are a life saver. Because really… think of what’s going on down there. There’s bound to be some bruising and a bit of discomfort after the fact.

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      • kare

        kare June 23, 2015, 3:32 pm

        I’ve heard of people soaking the thick pads in a witch hazel(?) and freezing them to use once they are home in the hospital.
        *
        What do you do if you can’t use pads or panty liners? I guess buy cloth ones on Etsy? Whatever slows down my biological clock I guess haha.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki June 23, 2015, 3:40 pm

        My birth class instructor actually gave us a “recipe” for a soak for this. I know it has witch hazel in it, but it actually had some other stuff too. I keep forgetting to look at it. She said it helps with the pain and with healing.

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      • Pamplemousse Rose

        Pamplemousse Rose June 23, 2015, 2:39 pm

        You’re only at risk for early labour if your blood sugar isn’t controlled (same with having a “large” baby). I had GD and went 41 weeks. I’m only saying this because if you expect to go early and then don’t it can make those last few weeks really uncomfortable and hard.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki June 23, 2015, 3:03 pm

        That’s what my specialist said too, so I’m preparing myself to go late (that’s been my gut feeling since day one) but just in case my blood sugar decides to suddenly go whacky on me. So far, its really well controlled (I’ve had 1 high in the last 2 weeks and it was because I ate cheese curds at Culvers and had a strawberry shake at the same time – that would have hiked anyone’s up!)

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray June 23, 2015, 1:52 pm

        Wow, it really could be ANY DAY now! That’s so exciting. I kind of think you should just hang out near the hospital, just in case. I can’t believe we’re getting there…. Time has flown by.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki June 23, 2015, 2:13 pm

        Right outside the door from now until labor starts πŸ˜‰

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray June 23, 2015, 1:58 pm

        Wendy, I remember when you were 29 weeks and now I’m 29 weeks which means soon I’ll be 36 weeks and then soon the entire pregnant DW community will be moms – how fucking weird!
        *
        Know what else is weird? I got an email from our benefits department about how to sign up my child for benefits after he’s born. Which floored me… You mean he’s going to be born? And when he’s born, he’s not just going to be apart of my person anymore? You mean he will be his own person? With his own doctors and benefits? Mind, blown.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki June 23, 2015, 2:00 pm

        Right? That’s what I was thinking when we met with the pediatrician… like, what? He needs his own doctor?! That’s just not right.
        .
        How are you feeling AP? Still pretty good?

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray June 23, 2015, 2:06 pm

        I’m still feeling really good. I love being pregnant. I know that sounds weird but (so far) I really do. There were a couple of times when, at night before bed, I’d start to feel really stiff and I’d panic a bit – like that panicy feeling you get if you’re claustrophobic. But then I’d fall asleep and feel fine in the morning. Then I figured out if I eat light in the evening and if I stretch (two things I haven’t been doing this entire pregnancy, ha), then I don’t have that stiff feeling. So now I feel better. But, I have 11 weeks to go, so let’s see how much bigger I get and if I start to hate this. (Well, 10 weeks and 6 days, to be exact.)
        *
        How about you?
        *
        Sorry, Kmen, this is not a baby-talk hijack, I promise.

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      • kmtthat

        kmentothat June 23, 2015, 2:16 pm

        I love all the baby talk!!! And I can’t wait for your shower πŸ™‚

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray June 23, 2015, 2:17 pm

        Except whoops I ate a huge lunch and two cookies and now I’m starting to feel that stiff feeling and I can’t escape it. … I need to not overeat ever. Lots of small meals, and I feel so much better. But I have no self-control!

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki June 23, 2015, 2:18 pm

        Don’t blame the cookies. They did nothing wrong!

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki June 23, 2015, 2:17 pm

        I still hate pregnancy πŸ˜‰ But I only have 38 days (give or take) to go so its not too bad. I’m happy to let him stay in there as long as he needs to be healthy. But then he’s being evicted. I remind myself regularly that it could be worse, that there could be much more serious issues, and that I’m lucky to be where I am… but ultimately, I still hate pregnancy.
        .
        Last week my face swelled up so bad overnight that it looked like I had eaten shellfish (which I’m allergic to). Not just normal puffiness from pregnancy, but straight up painful swelling. The midwives weren’t concerned because it went away, but I’m still pretty sure its not normal for your face to look that way!
        .
        I am happy that I’m not a terribly moody pregnant person. Like, I don’t randomly cry or anything. The only times I’ve cried are when my grandpa passed away 2 weeks ago and when we had to euthanize my dog on Friday and stuff related to that. Some of the girls in my birthing class say they cry if they ask their husband for ice water and he brings it or because there’s cookies in the cabinet or whatever. That freaks me out.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy June 23, 2015, 2:07 pm

        The fun is about to really start!

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  • honeybeenicki

    honeybeenicki June 23, 2015, 1:45 pm

    So, ladies… speaking of this apparent magic bra. What do you recommend as far as finding out a true bra size? Is there some special trick or somewhere specific to go to get measured? I can never seem to find one that fits right and don’t have much available as far as budget for buying new ones.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy June 23, 2015, 2:08 pm

      You should go to a lingerie store and get professionally measured.

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      • kmtthat

        kmentothat June 23, 2015, 2:11 pm

        This is another option, but NOT Victoria’s Secret. Nordstrom was the best measurement I got professionally, but I didn’t get the right fit until I measured myself and understood my shape (narrow root versus broad root, tall versus short, full on top versus full on bottom).

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki June 23, 2015, 2:19 pm

        We have a Nordstrom Rack nearby that I’ve never gone to. I wonder if they measure. It’d be nice to know what I really am… although right now it would be a bit skewed.

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      • avatar

        booknerd June 24, 2015, 9:10 am

        Definitely wait until after you are done breastfeeding or long after birth. My boobs have changed so much in the last year, I could open my own bra store.

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    • kmtthat

      kmentothat June 23, 2015, 2:10 pm

      I threw in a link to a bra size calculator that worked well for me in my description of item 2. I ended up measuring myself. Basically, you take a clothing measuring tape and basically whatever your under bust measurement is generally your band size (you don’t add 4 inches or anything like that)! So say it is 28, then you are a 28 band size (it’s a real band size!). And then you measure over your bare bust while standing (also laying down and bent over at a 90 degree angle) and the average of those three is your bust measurement. Say its 37. Every inch is a cup size, so since there is a 9 inch difference in the 28 band and 37 bust, the UK size would be a 28G (or a US 28I).
      .
      Cups also are smaller depending on the band size, so a 28G is MUCH smaller than a 36G. It’s “sister sizes” are 30 FF, 32F, 34E, 36DD. But is SO important to wear the right sized band, that is where the majority of support should come from!
      .
      Also, I bought my first few accurate sized bras on Amazon at huge discounts and with free shipping and returns. I refused to get the size it said I was and had to keep forcing myself up cup sizes when it was apparent I had fit issues (center gore did not lay flat, band rode up in the back instead of being totally straight line horizontal). I ended up going with mostly UK brand bras because they carry a much wider range of sizes (Freya, Curvy Kate, Panache).
      .
      Hope you find a bra that fits! Don’t be scared of the size πŸ™‚ I know too many girls that are like “there is no way I am a D cup” when a D cup really only means “4 inches more than band size” and isn’t very large.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki June 23, 2015, 2:20 pm

        I’ll definitely try that out! I need to stop buying such cheap bras. They don’t last very long and aren’t very comfortable. But I just can’t bring myself to spend so much on them. I’ll definitely give Amazon a try.

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      • kare

        kare June 23, 2015, 3:37 pm

        I used the same calculator. Mine told me I was a 30 DD, but I went to a store to try on bras just in case. I ended up going with a 32 D because the 30 band size was just too tight. The 32 was perfect – the band should fit snuggly on the first set of hooks (so you can tighten it as the elastic wears out). I was a 36 B before and my bras always felt too big. Turns out it was the band because the 32 D is the same cup size but feels so much better. The flat chested 7th grader in me is super excited.

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray June 23, 2015, 1:54 pm

    Guys, I’d listen to what Kmen has to say about skin care because her skin is flawless. (Or at least we should listen to her makeup routine if that is what’s doing the trick.) Also, her boobs looks great, so listen to her bra recommendations, too. (Hope that didn’t sound too weird.)

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    • kmtthat

      kmentothat June 24, 2015, 9:08 am

      When are you sharing hair care tips?? I mean I heard prenatal vitamins do wonders, but your hair was on point even before then.

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  • avatar

    Ktfran June 23, 2015, 2:25 pm

    Agreed about kmen’s flawless face. And she always looks amazing, as in follow her “buying the right bra” guide. We were at a happy hour and on the way home discussing this same subject. Cab drivers loved it.

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    • kmtthat

      kmentothat June 23, 2015, 3:05 pm

      OMG I forgot about the cab driver!!! Embarrassed all over again ahaha.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray June 23, 2015, 3:28 pm

        The cabbie who overheard you say “I love talking bras” as he drove by (while we were walking) and who yelled out that he loves to talk about bras too? Priceless!

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    • avatar

      McLovin June 23, 2015, 9:01 pm

      I remember a MeetUp group picture way, way back. Yes, KMen is very pretty. My point? I don’t know. Just that she looks amazing so she must take very good care of her skin.

      #CinnamonRolls

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      • kmtthat

        kmentothat June 24, 2015, 9:04 am

        You guys are really making my day haha. And now I want cinnamon rolls!

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  • avatar

    Ange June 23, 2015, 7:36 pm

    Man skin care is my JAM, I love when we talk skincare! Although that stuff is pretty pricey in Australia – I may still buy just because I can’t help myself. I’m still working through my ROC eye cream after that thread in the forums…. I’m sorry I can’t buy from the affiliate link though πŸ™

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    • kmtthat

      kmentothat June 24, 2015, 9:07 am

      I’ve been trying to switch up my make up regimen. Anyone have suggestions on cream or gel blushes?? I just bought Cover FX cream foundation, MUFE full coverage concealer, and MUFE HD powder. I have mild rosacea so I have to get pretty full coverage on my face, but adding powder blush is just too much.

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      • avatar

        Ange June 24, 2015, 6:11 pm

        Honestly I use cheap blush, maybelline cream blush in peach so I might not be the best to talk to there lol. I’ll spend hundreds on skin care so I can cheap out on makeup. I agree with it being a lighter cover, it looks more natural and glowy to me too.

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      • avatar

        snoopy128 June 24, 2015, 7:08 pm

        I use Revlon cream blush in Just Peachy and love it!

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      • mylaray

        mylaray June 24, 2015, 8:16 pm

        I like Nars The Multiple sticks for a creamy blush.

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      • kmtthat

        kmentothat June 25, 2015, 9:04 am

        Thanks for the suggestions! Looking all these up now so I can hopefully get a new one ASAP πŸ™‚

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  • avatar

    Samba June 24, 2015, 1:52 pm

    Question for Kmen–do you use all 4 of the face products at the same time, i.e. in the morning before putting makeup on? Or…? And do you use a specific sunscreen made for face? I’m nervous about moisturizers bringing on break-outs, since that seems to happen with any of them I’ve tried after a few days, esp when combine with other stuff! Thanks for the awesome recs πŸ™‚

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    • kmtthat

      kmentothat June 25, 2015, 9:03 am

      After washing my face and letting it dry completely, I use Ziana at night. I wait maybe 15-30 mins and then slather on the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. This lotion (it’s SUPER rich but has never once broken me out) you can pick it up at Walgreens/CVS/etc. I do have pretty dry skin because of the Ziana so you might do better with their lighter lotions. If I’m being fancy, I also throw on my RapidLash (highly recommend for longer lashes!) Since Ziana is tretinoin (aka retinoid like Retin-A) it’s STRONG stuff and can take months for your skin to adjust, but it is the most important part of my routine because it chemically exfoliates my skin and makes the collagen thicker. It also definitely curbs breakouts and I see it as insurance for my skin down the line (I’m 30, so very few fine lines so far). This stuff is magic, dermatologists can prescribe and insurance covered mine (as we said it was for acne, they don’t cover it for anti-aging).
      .
      In the morning in the shower I wash my face and every other day lightly exfoliate (I use the Simple brand products, they are cheap and work great). Afterward, I apply a thin layer of the Vitamin C serum (brightens and smooths my skin and also fights wrinkles) and after that soaks in a bit, I apply sunscreen to my face, neck, dΓ©colletΓ©, and tops of my hands (anywhere the sun hits) everyday, even if it’s winter! I use Neutrogena Clear Face in SPF 55 (it doesn’t break me out).
      .
      Have you tried using actual oil for moisturizing? I never have, but I’ve heard great things because certain oils mimic the consistency of the sebum in your skin, so you body doesn’t feel the need to overproduce (which leads to acne). I have a few friends that swear by Josie Maran Argan Oil but it’s so pricy I’d probably start off finding my own recipes to make with other oils.

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        Samba June 25, 2015, 11:05 am

        Thanks so much for the explanation! This is really helpful. I have tried oil face washes and less expensive argan oil (from Julep, a mostly nail polish but also beauty brand that has some fun stuff) but I think just need to figure out a better routine, since slathering all the stuff on top of each other right before throwing my makeup on probably isn’t the most effective πŸ™‚

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