Stocking Stuffers: For Him and Her!

Happy Sunday Babes! Stockings are one of my favorite things to give to my family! There are so many fun items to put in a stocking that will brighten up anyone’s Christmas morning. I usually spend a little more on these items for my family – because it’s a great way to show them you care, and get them lots of little pampering items they most likely wouldn’t buy for themselves! The perfect gift!
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I’ve teamed up with The Body Shop to help you pick the perfect pampering gifts for the girls in your life! Their products are vegan, safe, and they never test on animals. You can trust the ingredients are natural and safe for your skin and hair, and made with the best ingredients. They have TONS of scents, so you can find something for anyone! Right now their entire store is 40% off, so grab what you can at even better prices!
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My favorite items are below! Click on the photos to shop! If you want a light and refreshing scent – I would recommend the Fuji Green Tea. It’s really light and cleansing without a strong scent. Also the Almond Milk & Honeyis amazing as well. There is tons of great stuff to choose from, but I’ve tried all the below and highly recommend! Such cute packaging for the Holidays and I love how they products make my skin feel!
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Shop all my stocking stuffer ideas below! These are all great items for the ladies in your life! Everyone needs a little pampering and cute accessories! I love the mug, and Sugarfina gummy bears are such a fun surprise in any stocking! Stock up with these items below – and don’t forget to add your favorite Christmas candy!

Aren’t men the hardest to shop for? They usually don’t know what they want, or they just go out and get it for themselves before you can try and surprise them! Men need some pampering items too, so I’ve rounded up some easy gift ideas for you below. The Jack Black brand is amazing for men. Smell is great and the quality is amazing! I also love the Big Ass Brick’s of soap. Also, smell great…and well they’re HUGE so they’ll last long and have lots of great scents!

These are all such great deals right now, and most of these items you can find at Target! Getting so close to the Holidays and I cannot wait for Christmas this year. Happy Shopping!

Sephora Sale: Holiday Bonus Beauty Insider Event!

It’s the best time of year… the Sephora Holiday Bonus Beauty Insider Event is starting this weekend!! Unlock up to 20% off your favorite beauty, hair, and skincare products if you’re a Beauty Insider! You can easily sign up, and will get instant access to shop on designated weekends depending on your membership level! Not a Sephora Beauty Insider Member? No fear…. you can sign up for free online and join today to get 15–20% off purchases!

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First Access • October 26–29 + November 2–5
Sephora Rouge members get two weekends to shop top holiday beauty finds at a whopping 20% off with code ROUGEBONUS! (minimum spend of $1000 to reach this level).

Next Wave • November 9–12
All VIB members will receive access to shop holiday event products at 20% off with code VIBBONUS! ($350 minimum spend to reach this level).

Final Pool • November 16–19
Beauty Insider Members will be able to shop the holiday event at 15% off with code BIBONUS!

All my Favorite products are linked below! I love this sale for skincare products especially – it’s not everyday when your favorite skincare lines, makeup, and hair products all go on sale…. so it’s the best time to stock up for the holidays! Prep your winter skin, get some gifts purchased for family and friends, and the best time to stock up on sample kits to try out some new products! HOOORAY!

My Top 5 Best Summer Ready Sunscreens + Shop the look

Still waiting over here in Chicago for the sun to come out – and finally get up into warmer temperatures… but it’s coming, I promise! That being said, I’ve rounded up the best sunscreens for your face and body! Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer out there, but also the most preventable. Sunscreen is a must for everyday use to protect your skin from damaging rays. Rocking a nice summer glow is great, but gaining it safely is a must!

For your Face:

  1. Coola Face SPF Cucumber Matte Finish  $36.00 – This is by far one of my favorites for so many reasons. The matte finish being number one. I have oilier skin in my T-zone, so the last thing I want is a sunscreen that will highlight those areas. It also is all natural and has ingredients to help combat inflammationion and irritation. Good for all skin types and has a light cucumber scent. Great for under makeup, as it provides a base layer for your skin and helps smooth out imperfections.

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2. Athelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen Broad SPF 60  $20.00 – Another great sunscreen for your face if you are prone to breakouts or fighting acne. This is waterproof for up to 80 minutes, does not dry out your skin, and has no ingredients that are prone to cause irritation. It goes on light and dry – while still being moisturizing. It also is heat and humidity resistant – so if you live in the Midwest… this baby is a great buy! Can be found at most local drugstores and Target!

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3. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen  $32.00 – If you follow me on Instagram (@sugarcoatednchic) you already know how much I love this sunscreen. It’s a primer and protect-ant in one! It literally goes on clear so it is great for all skin tones, and provides a smooth finish to your skin prepping it for flawless makeup application. I use this daily in the summer for everyday use to go to work, lunches, sit outside at brunch, walking around outdoor festivals in the city, running errands… anything you’re doing where the sun will touch your face, this one is fabulous! Has a light scent of sunscreen, but that does fade after a few minutes.

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For your Body:

4. Banana Boat Protect and Hydrate Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 & 50 $13.99 – For an affordable body sunscreen, this one is great. It smells wonderful, goes on sheer, and really moisturizes your skin. If your skin is normal to dry – this one is great! For the size and the ingredients, you can’t beat the price and the quality of sun protecting ingredients! Comes in a SPF 30 and SPF 50.

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5. Clinique Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen Body Cream $27.50 – This is also a great sunscreen for your body. It’s packed with antioxidants. These help boost the active ingredients in the sunscreen, but also protect your skin to help fight the signs of aging. It’s safe to use on your face as well. If your skin is slightly sensitive, this may not be the best option for you, however it is advertised as great for all skin types.

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Shop the look:

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This swimmie is so cute and such a great material. The back of the top laces up, as well as the sides of the bottom! The blue color is currently on sale, but they have it in 4 other new colors, as well as two that have a shimmer to them! I will link them all below. I got a small in the bottoms, and a medium in the top! They’re also a few other tops and bottoms that you can mix and match depending on your body type and style you like.

My shorts are BlankNYC – I’ve posted them before, but love how soft the material is. They are higher waisted, but a good length. I am 33, and love wearing shorts – but I’m also not 16 and want everything hanging out of them! These are great and affordable at $40.00.

These Joules flips flops are so cute and come a bunch of colors! I usually have a few teal, blue, and pink suits I wear – so these will go with everything! Perfect for the beach or to wear on and off the boat this summer!

I will say that the Loft has the best sunnies. Most of them are around $24.50 and are so comfortable and stylish. They have a lot of different styles and colors available, but these yellow ones are my current favorite. Have a slight cat eye too them, but just the best yellow. Not too bring, but not too mustard! They’re ALL currently on sale for $15.00!!

Shop the rest of the look below!

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New Beauty Product Review

In the past couple months I’ve been getting some new beauty products – and wanted to share my own thoughts and give you an honest review! Some of these products were referrals from other bloggers I follow, and some were my own finds by researching what is out there for the type of make-up/skincare I was looking for. I recently stumbled across a website called Beauty Pedia – and this is honestly the BEST site to use if you’re looking to try something new for yourself. Sometimes its hard to rely on a random recommendation, or a post where someone is saying “this is great, OMG the best, buy it!” Then you spend $40 on a new foundation that might not honestly work for you the same way. What Beauty Pedia does – is completely breaks the product down from performance, the honesty behind the claims the brand is making, how well it works, some of the side effects, and background information on the company that produces the product. This was HUGE for me. I have combination skin – its a little oily, but also has dry spots. I wouldn’t consider my skin sensitive, however it can get irritated easily if there are a lot of dyes or perfumes or certain chemicals that are known to cause irritation.

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Beauty Pedia lets you search in so many different ways. You can choose the product category – then sort by price, by rating, by brand, and when the product was last rated in terms of the date of review. This is so helpful! I personally check the rating first, and then narrow down the best options for my skin, all while being mindful of the price. Obviously you want a five star, but the reasoning for it getting a four may not be of a concern for you – so really read why they give it the score they do to determine whether or not that matters to you. Not every product is on here, and by no means is this the beauty bible you need to live by, but it is such a great guide when looking for something new.

I do not wear a ton of face makeup. I’ve always just felt like the more was on my face, the heavier it felt and then I was constantly fighting oil and breakouts. This could be a combination of not using the right products, maturity of my skin, and my daily routine – but either way, the lighter the better. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE makeup – give me all the eyeshadows and I am one happy girl! I realized however, that I was constantly just buying the same things over and over again because that’s what I’ve always done, and turns out that wasn’t working too well for me!

Last summer I switched over to Tula products for my daily skincare routine. I honestly saw a difference in my skin after the first week. You can read my Daily Skincare Routine post from last week for my journey in finding this brand! This is what jump started my pursuit of new products to enhance my beauty routine. Your skin and face are in front of everyone all day long, so you might as well put your best face forward, am I right? Got new everyday lotion, some exfoliators, serums and oils, etc. Things I always stayed away from because I thought they would irritate my skin… and always assumed oils would make my skin oilier. Oil actually cuts oil… craziness! I’m so glad I did some more research!

I’ve also recently fell in love with some Kiehl’s products for my daily skincare routine. Not all of them have fantastic ratings, (not everything is rated on this site FYI), but they seem to work well for my skin, and can be mixed well with my Tula products without irritation.

Anyways, enough of my rambling on and on… let’s get to the reviews and the good stuff, and unfortunately not so great on things I was hoping would work!

Tula – So my daily routine always includes Tula. They also have some Kefir products which are a milk oil base and are super hydrating. I have the cleanser and the moisture repair pressed serum. The cleanser pumps out liquidy, and then just melts into a moisturizing milk. It takes off makeup just on it’s own without water, and leaves your skin feeling so smooth and refreshed. I keep this in my shower and use it in the morning! I still love the Tula face cleanser better for removing the day from my skin, but this cleanser is also great when your face is already clean and you just need to hydrate! The pressed oil is just amazing. It’s similar in consistency to a soft coconut oil, and just soaks completely into your skin for instant hydration. It goes smooth and after a minute or two does not look greasy at all. I like to use this if my skin is feeling extra dry, or I see areas that may be a little irritated from makeup or lots of stress on my skin… and it works miracles. Highly recommend. They made a new mask for this line – and I am definitely going to try that next!

 

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Kiehls Micro-dermabrasion  – This is a brand I just recently added into my routine about a two months ago. They have been around forever and are known for using natural and safe ingredients. It does say they test on animals – however this is only because they sell outside of the US to other countries that mandate animal testing. So in the US they do not, which is why it states “not tested on animals unless otherwise required by law”. Not sure if that is important to you or not, but that is why some products use that statement on their packaging. Not all their products are rated very well on Beauty Pedia – but again, if they are working for your skin, then go for it! The microdermabrasion scrub is by far my favorite investment. It’s affordable and comes in a generous size. You have to be careful with scrubs and their ingredients. You want it to really remove and polish, without making micro cuts in your skin. The scrubs that have larger chunks in them can actually make tiny abrasions in your skin and will get irritated and inflamed. OUCH! This scrub is super fine, and does a great job of removing dirt, dry skin, flaky skin, and works for all skin types. I use it twice a week, sometimes three, and its wonderful. Little bit goes a long way and it does not dry out my skin at all- so it’s a great investment.

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Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil –  You can combine this into your moisturizer, add it to any of their masks, use it alone… and it repairs your skin overnight! Kind of like a revival during your sleep! I was sold because I had a patch of irritation around my nose for about three months. I tried everything and nothing helped cure this area – until this oil. It just calms your skin and adds so much moisture. Its good for all skin types, and just repairs and evens skin tone and texture while you sleep. I use about 4 drops a night, and this little bottle is still almost full after a month – it will last forever and is only $47!

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Kiehl’s Buttersticks –  I’ve also got a couple of their tinted lippies- they’re great! SPF 25 tinted chap stick is basically what they are. Adds a pop of color, but really hydrates and keeps your lips moisturized. I don’t wear a ton of makeup to work everyday (like to let my skin breathe here and there) – and these are a great option to add just a tint of color. I have the touch of berry and the simply rose and I love them! They look like a lipstick in the tube, but they go on sheer.

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Glam Glow Fizzy Lip and  Lip Balm treatment – Chapped lips were literally my arch nemesis this winter. OMG it was the worst its ever been… and didn’t help that Chicago winters are 8 months out of the year, ha! I was hoping this duo was going to cure my lip blues… but I honestly am indifferent. The scrub is not bad – tastes good and when you add water to it, it bubbles and fizzes on your mouth. Not sure what’s in there, but it’s kinda fun! However if you’re lips are hurting – you don’t really need to add some fizz. The balm is actually SUPER jelly and amazing when you put it on, however I felt like I had to apply a lot, and while it feels good right when you put it on… I’m not sure it helped heal anything. The packaging is so cute and fun… but goes to show that not everything pretty and pink is really worth the mula – $20/each. I will continue to use it because I don’t feel like it’s making my symptoms worse, but I most likely will not re-buy.

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Daily Concepts Hair Towel – so this little towel helps speed dry your hair! My hair is shorter and doesn’t take too long to dry, but I wish i had this when my hair was longer. It does a great job of taking out a TON of moisture! Also helps reduce frizz and cuts down on dry time.

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Briogeo Hair Mask – I got this hair mask in my fabfitfun box, and while I’m not wowed beyond belief, it’s not terrible either. When I think hair mask, I think of like an old Herbal Essences commercial with the amazing voluminous nourished hair that is super shiny, and I’m dancing in a field of flowers rejoicing in the wonderfulness of my new conditioned hair…. too much? Ha! Well this didn’t bring me to that field of flowers, but it didn’t make my hair worse. At the moment I am indifferent, but I am going to keep using it and keep it on a little longer to see if that makes a difference, because it does have good consumer reviews. Not sure I would spend my own money on this, however the FabFitFun box was only $29 with code YAY if you’ve never ordered one before… so I am glad I got to try it this way rather than spend the full price on this one item.

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Marrakesh Argan & Hemp Oil Therapy – so this also came in my fabfitfun box and I’m so glad it did! It’s super thick and smells amazing – kind of like oatmeal and cocounuts. My ends are typically very dry compared to the roots of my hair, so I actually put this on when my hair is dry – and it adds a ton of shine and moisture and smells amazing. It soaks in nicely after a minute or two, and I was able to style my hair and seal my ends. I really like it and will definitely get this again when I run out! Also works well if you put it on your hair while it’s wet before styling. Only around $20 in most stores.

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Philosophy “Love Swept” spray – I got this new perfume in a mini size just to keep in my purse. It’s such a light and refreshing floral scent. There are definitely days at work where I am running around, in and out of the manufacturing plant, doing R&D work in the kitchen – and I NEED a spritz here and there to mask the smell of stress. This one is great and really affordable! It’s only $20 and the scent lasts all day. I’ve gotten so many compliments on it recently… it’s always nice when people think you smell great as opposed to a sweaty hot mess (which is how I feel most days lately).

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Tarte Eye Shadow Pallet – AMEN to this pallet! This was also a fabfitfun item, but I found it at Ulta for $30, and will definitely buy this when it runs out or at least another pallet in the Tarte family. This one is all gold, pink, and bronze tones that are perfect for summer. The one darker color is like a plum/brown shade – which I love because I have hazel eyes, so the plum color really makes them pop! I’ve been using this all week and they stay on nicely and hold their color without fading throughout the day. LOVE me some eye shadows! Considering the whole box was only $29.99 – I would have been happy just receiving this one item!

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Clarins Eye base – on the topic of eye shadow…. where has eye base been all my life? Why did no one tell me how amazing it is? Essentially its like a concealer for your lid, that holds your eye shadow in place so it wont crease. It also makes the color of your eye shadow really pop – and stays in place all day. I don’t know how I never knew of this product, because my shadow ALWAYS ended up in the crease of my eye. I just assumed it was because I have oily skin… nope, just not using this amazing base. I was told by a few people this was the best, and it’s $26 dollars and I am a forever customer. Helpful hint, it does work the best if your lid is free of any product. So in the morning I try and put my eye cream just underneath my eyes and not on my lid… this way it works the best for me.

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Bobbi Brown “Peace, Love, Beach” shadows – there are three pallets in this little series, and I opted for the Beach combination. They’re great! I randomly read somewhere that adding a tiny of copper to underneath your eyelid makes you look less tired… not sure if that is true, but I love the little glimmer it adds to my everyday makeup routine. Plus I’m usually always tired so it can’t hurt right? These shadows are very pigmented and just make your eyes so shinny and beautiful. I love them. I think I can probably find something similar at a lower price point next time, as this pallet was $30 for only three colors.

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St. Tropez Instant Self Tanner – After countless positive things other bloggers were saying about this self tanner – I bit the bullet and purchased. I got the Instant tan for $40. Instructions say to use a mitt for application, and leave on different lengths of time depending on the color you want to achieve. It definitely works, and stays on for a long time! AMEN. It’s a mouse/foam, so once you pump it into the mit, it spreads on evenly and rubs in nicely to your skin. I don’t love how it looks on my hands and feet. Those are the two hardest parts of the body to apply self tanner to, but this brand seems to stick in weird places and gives me a little uneven color. I’ve tried avoiding my hands and then combining some of the tanner into lotion – then putting that on my hands and feet, but that didn’t seem to help either! Could completely be user error – I mean I am new to self tanner in general, ha. However I do love how it looks on the rest of my body. Not orange, and lasts for 3-4 days. It does rub off a little before you rinse off, so my advise would be to wear loose baggy clothing and long sleeve top to sit around in after you apply so it does not get on your furniture, blankets, sheets etc.

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St. Moriz Self Tanner – This is a much more affordable self tanner and also is a foam – so its super easy to apply with a mitt as well. $10-13!! This does not last as long as the St. Tropez, however it looks much better on my hands and feet for whatever reason. I did a combo of the two the last time I applied and did not experience the hand/feet struggle! Hooray! It does stay on for a day or two – so if you don’t mind applying more frequently… this is a great option and price!

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Free people sleeping mask – So I’ve never used a sleeping mask, but there are definitely nights were I have a hard time falling asleep. Other nights… I’m out in about 3 seconds! This mask has a little weight to it, which helps just put the right amount of pressure on your lids to keep them closed and put you into sleep mode! Still getting used to having something around my head while sleeping – but getting over that each night I use it.

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Super Goop Unseen Sunscreen – ladies, this is the HOLY GRAIL of sunscreen to wear under your makeup. It’s literally a primer, and yes – it’s called unseen because it goes on matte and clear. Has no white residue whatsoever. It also acts as a moisturizer and helps fill in the lines and imperfections in your skin (like a primer is supposed to do), and helps your makeup application look flawless. Cannot say enough good things. It’s safe for any skin type and can be used by itself just as a sunscreen! It is $40, but that’s similar cost to any other primer, and this one is packed with sunscreen protection and other awesome nutrients for your skin. Job well done, Supergoop!

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Super Goop Acai Fusion Lip Balm – now this is a lip product that actually heals AND is loaded with essential sunscreens. Forever customer. Smells great, goes on shinny and sheer, protects, and heals! $9.50.

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Ok – more to come later as I continue to try new things… please send your recommendations below for products you love! Anything hair, nails, skincare, beauty I am all about!

 

Daily Skincare Routine

I’ll have to admit… I was not very responsible when it came to taking care of my skin, until about three years ago. I was always in the sun as much as possible – usually without SPF, tanning in the colder months, and falling asleep with my makeup on daily. When I started to see signs of visible aging a few years ago – that’s when I decided I needed to get ahead while I still could! And let’s just face it… sleeping with your make up on, no matter how tired you are, is just gross and pure laziness!

I started noticing some lines around my eyes (I will always claim these are from smiling too much), dullness in my skin’s appearance, and dark spots from sun exposure. I decided to use Rodan and Fields ‘Reverse’ line for a few months to see if it made a difference – and it definitely did! My spots faded, my skin tone looked even for the first time in a while, and I didn’t break out in my problem areas. This line is expensive however, around $200 for all the Reverse products, and will last about 1-1.5 months with regular morning and night use. I definitely recommend their products for people who want to see a drastic change in their skin, however if you have a healthy skin base to begin with, there are other options at a more affordable price point that will give similar results.

I’ve tried a few other brands that were recommended to me in the past few years, however I currently am in LOVE with Tula skincare products, and everything this company stands for. Balance and healthy lifestyle – all bundled into probiotic and superfood skincare. Their products are clean, not tested on animals, and focus on using probiotics – yes the same probiotics that help regulate your stomach. This is a healthy bacteria that helps lock in moisture while also reducing inflammation in the skin. My skin has never looked and felt better!

The best part…. their products are VERY affordable. They have a two great Discovery Kit’s that comes with mini sizes of all their best products for $52. This is the best way to try out the line before you fully commit to the full size products. This kit will also last you 3-4 weeks, so you will be able to start seeing results and test out if Tula is right for you!

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Click here to see what is included in the Discovery Kit. They also have an Anti-Aging Discovery Kit that helps fight the signs of time (this is what I purchased) – click here.

In the morning I use the purifying face cleanser, followed with the pro-glycolic resurfacing gel, apply some volume age-defense serum and eye cream, and then the hydrating night day & night cream. Basically – everything that comes in the anti – aging kit! For night time, I use the cleanser, resurfacing gel, and their new product they just launched – aqua infusion gel cream. Holy amazing! This gel cream is packed with hydration that lasts 72 hours. With one use my skin felt plump and silky smooth. I cap this routine off with the overnight skin rescue treatment.

 

There are so many other great products on their website that I incorporate sporadically in my daily routines for an extra boost of exfoliation or moisture. I highly recommend this line to anyone who wants balanced, healthy looking skin at a great price point. Sign up for email alerts on their site so you can keep up with promotions and additional savings on their products. Click here to get 20% off your first order courtesy of your’s truly!

Skin makes up the largest organ in our body, so we need to take care of it, protect it, and feed it with nutrients. This is not only important when we’re talking about our daily facial routine, but our bodies as well. For years I had the itchiest skin! I would wake up and immediately itch my legs. I think I may have bought every anti-itch lotion on the shelves and nothing seemed to work. I switched my laundry detergent to a “free and clear”, essentially no dyes or perfumes, and that definitely helped. This is also something to look for in lotions – fragrances and dyes can irritate your skin, so if you’re already prone to itching or have dry irritated patches of skin on your body, fragrance free is the way to go. I finally found two lotions that I use religiously now… one is a bargain, the other a splurge.

Bargain lotion – Curél Fragrence Free. Can I get and AMEN & HALLELUJAH?!? This lotion is smooth, thick, and soaks in wonderfully without feeling greasy. Lasts all day, and is also free of fragrances and hypo-allergenic! The best part- it runs about $7-10 for a large bottle – Hooray!curel

Splurge lotion – Kiehl’s Creme de Corps. The pricing on this lotion ranges from $10-75 depending on what size you buy, but it’s worth it! It’s lightweight, creamy, and goes on so smooth. It also gives your skin a slight glow – not to so much a shimmer, just a healthy glow that any light reflects off of. I love the smell, and it soaks in nicely without that greasy feeling.

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Both of these lotions get slathered on right out of the shower. The best time for your skin to absorb moisture is when it’s already damp. Once the skin starts to dry out is when the signs of aging and dryness are most noticeable, and skin can become itchy fast. The first thing you want to do after getting out of a relaxing hot shower – is run for the warmest comfy clothes you have. However you must STOP, BRAVE THE GOOSEBUMPS, and apply your moisturizer quickly! Keep in mind not all lotions are the same – so don’t be afraid to try a few in order to find the best ones for your skin type. Also, read the ingredients and don’t be fooled by high price tags. A pricey lotion doesn’t always mean that the lotion is necessarily better. Fragrances, packaging, and brand name have a way of driving up costs… while the ingredients inside are similar to more affordable options!
What are your favorite products you recommend? Comment below!