Hair Hacks

  • When you shower, try to put the shampoo only on the roots of your hair and give yourself a nice scalp massage while you’re at it. Leave the shampoo off the ends of your hair because it can actually dry it out!
  • Likewise, when you shower, put the conditioner only on the ends of your hair. Conditioner is like lotion for your hair and you really don’t need it on the roots as this can make your hair oily faster.
  • On the day you shower, once your hair is dry, use your dry shampoo!!! Using the dry shampoo right away as a preventative will keep your hair fresher longer. Whereas, using the dry shampoo after your hair is already greasy can only do so much…
  • Caster oil is GREAT for your hair. The benefits of caster oil include: moisturizing the scalp, easing dandruff, and leaving your hair smooth and shiny. Also, if you apply caster oil to your scalp it is said to enhance the health of the hair follicles and promote hair growth/prevent hair loss. Caster oil is thick, so how do you apply it? For me, the easiest way is mixing it in with my shampoo and conditioner once a week.

XO, Nico

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10 Must Have Beauty Products

  1. Hot Tools 1 ¼  inch curling iron.
  2. Heat Protectant Spray for Dry Hair. Aveda>> makes a great one.
  3. Scrunchies galore. I’ve been using them every night for sleeping FOR YEARS. No kinks and doesn’t rip my hair out.
  4. Shower cap. Target>> sells these enormous ones, the only shower cap I can fit all my hair into!
  5. Mini hair straightener. Doesn’t really matter which brand, I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on this. These babies are perfect for traveling, but MOSTLY they are a game changer for those hard to reach hairs around the face OR for bangs.
  6. Large round brush, paddle brush and Wet Brush. You really need all three, wouldn’t you agree, ladies?
  7. Root Boost spray for wet hair, but also one for dry hair. Kevin Murphy>> has this amazing one for dry hair. For wet hair, I feel there are so many options. My favorite is this Moroccanoil Root Boost>>.
  8. Dry shampoo. I feel like Dry shampoo is a personal preference based on your hair type and the consistency you like. I have a favorite powder and spray. Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo>> and Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo Light Tone>>. NOTE: with these dry shampoos, if you have dark hair make sure you get the types for dark hair! I am linking the type I buy which is for light tones or blondes. If you click the link just change the product option to the dark hair option.
  9. Moroccan Oil>> or Redken Diamond Oil>>.
  10. Ionic Hairdryer where you can switch between negative and positive ions for smooth or voluminous hairstyles.

XO, Nico

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Favorite Skincare Brands

I have tried many a product and consulted many a skincare expert when searching for the best products for my sensitive skin. The trick is finding that balance between quality and cost. My opinion is that you can’t get the good stuff for super cheap. No way. No how. There’s a lot of cost and trial an error involved with this method of elimination! I have battled skin ailments such as severe acne, skin cancer, rashes and hives. Who knows what’ll be next? Hopefully nothing, but I like to be prepared. My journey has led me to putting my faith in the following products.

  • My number one favorite skin care brand is definitely Sanitas>>. Non-toxic, biogenic, cruelty-free, dye-free, no preservatives, and more. Products are made in my home state (bonus!). I love Sanitas for facial cleansers, masks, toners, serums, lotions, and really anything they make that goes on my skin. This is a brand I trust and have used for years.
  • Obagi>>. I believe in Obagi and have used these products for years as well. However, I do find myself consistently getting one item from Obagi: Sun Shield Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen in the “Cool” tone for people who have a naturally rosy complexion. I like it a lot because it counteracts the redness. It also comes in a “Warm” Shade for those with the opposite skin type! This baby protects against UVB and UVA radiation and the infrared defense buffers the skin from heat-derived oxidative stress. I use this on my face every day, especially living in the Mile High City.
  • Elta MD>>.  My dermatologist and medical esthetician swear by this stuff. Elta MD protects against UVA and UVB rays and is a product recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. The two products I consistently buy from Elta MD are the Aero Sunscreen>>, which I use as my all over body sunscreen, and the Tinted Facial Suncreen>>. Bonus for the Mama’s out there: my medical esthetician assured me this was safe for babies and I have used it on my 1 year old.

XO, Nico

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Proactive Pregnancy

When I was pregnant for the first time, I was very concerned about the post-natal recovery of my body. How would my body be different? What will I look like and have to adjust to? You hear so many stories from women about how things changed and they never went back. Of course, that could mean anything, right? I happen to love my post-natal body. Yes, it’s different. My old clothes don’t fit the same, my hips are an inch bigger. I can honestly say that I like my body better now. Maybe it’s the result of loving myself and respecting the miracle my body created. Maybe it helped that there were a few things I was proactive about during my pregnancy. I don’t know the answer. What I can tell you is that I believed there were things I could do before and during my pregnancy that would hopefully make my post-natal recovery a little easier. Did these things pay-off? Well, I got the results I was hoping for and that’s all anyone can ask for.

I had at least 4 top goals for my post-natal body. Now, I’m sure I had more and will likely post a follow up to this post, but hey, let’s roll with it. I knew that I wanted to stay in shape, I did not want stretch marks, I did not want my feet to grow, I did not want to have visible veins in my legs and feet. All superficial goals, yes, but I think these are goals many can relate to.

For fitness, I made myself work out every day. It wasn’t easy. There were days when it was just a 10 minute workout. Ten minutes is better than nothing! You do what you can.

I used Body Boost stretch mark butter religiously. Every. Single. Morning. This body butter is for stretch mark prevention and repair. My hope, obviously, was to prevent stretch marks. Now folks, I did not have any stretch marks from my pregnancy. It could be luck, or it could be this body butter.  Get it here >>.

If you have been following my blog you know that I was highly committed to making sure my feet didn’t grow as a result of my pregnancy. This involved being obsessive about having an arch in my footwear (and slippers). If you’re new, catch up here: Debunked: Foot Growth and Pregnancy>>.

You might also know that I was and still am a big believer in compression socks. Catch up here: Compression Socks are my Jam>>.

XO, Nico

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Packing Cubes – Pro Travel Tip

Greetings! I am traveling this weekend and in the spirit of travel, I wanted to touch on packing cubes (a total life saver, btw) and a few other packing essentials.

I highly recommend packing with packing cubes. I use these bad boys: Miami Carry on Packing Cubes>>. The price is right, what can I say? There are 3 cubes and 3 pouches in this $12.99 set. I love to organize by topic and depending on the length of the trip that might look something like: cubes of 1) Pajamas, 2) outfits, and 3) intimates (bras/undies/socks), and pouches of 1) make-up, 2) hair items (ties & hair products), and 3) cleansers (face/body/hair). It’s a good system and you would be surprised how much you can fit in a cube. Cubes are the KEY to not only efficiently utilizing all your packing space but also MAXIMIZING that space! For the Mamas out there, when I travel with my son, we share a suitcase, packing cubes are life-changing!

My trip this weekend is a short one, so I only used two of the smaller cubes as photographed below. This is a small carry-on, but as you can see, I have room to spare! I’ve fit in here a pajama cube, outfit cube, shoe bag, heat tools, throwing in my make-up pouch, cleanser pouch, small backpack/purse, and jackets. Boom! I am ready for my 4-day trip!

Other packing essentials: comfy sneakers, carry-on backpack, and smaller backpack for day trips. And Finally, my packing support buddy, Babyface Finnster. ❤

XO, Nico

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Lip Color #thestruggleisreal

Like most of us, I have tried many different types of lip color. I’m interested in hearing about your favorites, so comment below! For now, I’m here to tell you about my #1.

Drum roll.

Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink>>.

The Reasons:

  • Doesn’t dry my lips. This is important because I live in CO, but usually I will still add a lip gloss for extra plumpy shine (so long as it’s not too windy because having my hair stuck on my lips is not a look I support).
  • I LOVE the colors available and feel there is a color for everyone. As a natural strawberry blonde haired, brown eyed, pale, Greek woman I find that most brands don’t have what I’m looking for, until now.
  • Stays on (but not too much). What do I mean by this? It doesn’t stay on so intensely that I am scrubbing my lips raw trying to get it off.

Side tangent: I am a BIG believer in the idea that make up shouldn’t be too difficult to remove. If it takes more than a minute of my time to remove…I’m out! And actually, for this reason, I never wear waterproof mascara. That stuff is a serious commitment!

My current stock of Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink lip colors: include Lover, Self-Starter, Seductress, and Loyalist. But trust me, I’ll be getting more! Also, I find that I enjoy using a gold lip liner. Interesting, huh? Something to try.

I’ve linked you to Amazon, but you can get it at any Target, Pharmacy, Food Store, Ulta…you get me, its easily available.

XO, Nico

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My Mascara Journey

Like most of you ladies, I have tried so many types of Mascara. Let’s be honest, a good mascara is hard to find, involves a lot of trial and error and a lot of wasted time and money. My mascara journey has lead me to consistently depend on these four (in no particular order): Caution Extreme Lash Mascara>>, L’Oréal Paris Makeup Telescopic Original Lengthening Mascara>>, Revitalash Mascara>>, and Younique Moodstruck Epic 4D Mascara>>. Why do I love them? Aside from that fact that my eyelashes look fantastic (obviously), I find they don’t dry out (that’s a big deal in Colorado), they don’t flake, they provide length and volume – even without a primer, and they don’t clump. What more could a girl ask for in a mascara?

I just want to touch on the Revitalash for a sec. First, I love this company. Period. They make wonderful products. This company began as the result of one couple’s fight against breast cancer wherein a lash serum was born. I encourage you to check out their website and see what it’s all about.

XO, Nico