My Simple Trader Joe’s Skincare Routine

Happy Monday, Friends! Today I’m sharing my super simple Trader Joe’s skincare routine with y’all. Trader Joe’s and skin care might seem like an odd pair. However, these products have been part of my routine for four years now and I keep coming back to them! I have yet to find an equally affordable, effective, and gentle line that can compete with these.

I had combination skin in my teenage years, but my skin has balanced out in my twenties. It has become normal in the summer, with more dryness in the winter. It’s also fairly sensitive, so I avoid anything with fragrance. Less is more with ingredients when it comes to skincare! I currently wear minimal face makeup each day (bronzer/blush), but I’ve had great success using this line-up with a full face of makeup. I first found these products in 2013 while searching for a more natural, paraben-free alternative to whatever I’d been using at the time. They fit the bill of exactly what I was looking for: affordable and mild but gets the job done.

trader joes skincare - kyla mary

The Products:
— Nourish All-In-One Facial Cleanser ($5.99)
— Nourish Oil-Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer ($5.99)
— Spa Tea Tree Oil ($6.99)

This cleanser is rich and lathers so well, but it’s very mild on the skin and doesn’t irritate my eyes. It leaves my skin feeling incredibly clean but not in an overdone, leave-skin-tight kind of way. I start my routine by wetting my face and rubbing this into my skin, gently working it over my eyelashes if I’m wearing mascara.

I then take a clean face cloth that’s been wet by warm water and press it over my whole face, focusing on the eyes. If I’m wearing more makeup than usual, I rinse and repeat, using my Clarisonic (below). I try to use my this at least one per week as a gentle exfoliator, but prefer to use it every other day!

After I pat my skin dry, I dab a bit of the tea tree oil onto my fingers. I then take 1 pump of the moisturizer and mix them together in my hands before applying it to my face and neck.  The tea tree oil has a bit of a refreshing, tingly feeling that is absolutely lovely in the thick of summer! That’s all, Y’all! My routine takes just a couple of minutes and leaves my skin looking glowy and healthy on a budget. Enjoy!

Do you have any inexpensive skin care favorites? Please share below!

My First Gel Manicure

I finally removed my first gel manicure this weekend and found the experience of having one noteworthy enough to share! I have heard the hype about gel manicures for a few years now. From the convenience of minimal drying time to the long-lasting durability, I now understand the reason why. For our wedding earlier this month, I almost went the traditional manicure route but my friends encouraged doing gel instead. Since I was wrapping up craft projects and creating my own bouquet later that same day, I decided to go for it to prevent mishaps with chipping. I’m so glad I did!

My primary concern was that I wouldn’t like the color after application – especially since gel is more difficult to remove. I wanted to have a soft, pale pink polish without it being too sheer. After having a few too many sheer manicures in that color family in the past, I was concerned that would happen with gel too. Thankfully, my friend Jenn and I took our time with choosing our desired colors, and I was confident with my choice! I chose the almost-white looking pale pink in the middle below.

my first gel manicure - kyla mary

I really enjoyed the relaxation of our appointment. After working nonstop on final wedding details, it felt indulgent to relax with Jenn during our appointment. It was fun to find out that the nail technician working on my hands is getting married in July!

Since this was my first gel manicure, I didn’t expect the warmth that came with the drying process. After each coat of polish, the nail technician would have me place my hands into an LED dryer. It got really hot, but it thankfully never became uncomfortable. The entire process took less than 45 minutes, leaving us with perfectly polished and dried nails. My mom met up with us at the end and paid for our manicures, which was such a generous surprise to wrap up our appointment!

My manicure looked great for a little over two weeks! The picture above shows it at the two week mark. I’m impressed with how long it has lasted, with very minimum wear and lifting. I will most definitely be treating myself to gel manicures more often and am thankful to have given them a try!

Have you ever tried a gel manicure? Share your experience in the comments below!

Clean Eating Tips From My Sugar Fast

I have been on a modified sugar fast for the past ten days and it has been pretty successful! With our family vacation next week and our wedding a month after that, I am determined to eat well in preparation. When I shared this with one of my dear friends earlier this month, she offered to be my accountability partner in eating clean. We started our modified sugar fast on April 17th, taking last Saturday off to enjoy all the delicious treats at my bridal shower.

My original plan was to cut out all sugar, starches, and dairy, but I have since made a slight modification to my approach. In the past week, I have incorporated sparing amounts of whole grains and cheese. This has helped me to avoid feeling deprived, while still staying on track with progress. I have found some clean eating tips to be particularly helpful throughout this process and am excited to share them with y’all today!

Clean Eating Tips from My Sugar Fast

— Make a big batch of caramelized onions and keep them on hand to add to any and all meals! I have tossed these into salads and omelets almost every day for their savory flavor!

— Stock up on a variety of greens. I have kept a big container of spinach on hand, along with a bag each of spring mix and chopped romaine. The spinach is great for sautéing or tossing into smoothies, and the other two are a great base for salads. I like greens for their source of iron, and the beautiful benefit to my skin!

— Buy a flavorful hummus (or three!). My favorite lunch to make this week has been the Heavenly Hummus Wrap from Pioneer Woman. I’ve been using the smooth garlic hummus from Trader Joes and am such a fan of its flavor!

— Choose a fun seltzer flavor and keep it on hand for an afternoon treat. I picked up a box of the ginger peach seltzer from Target last weekend, served in fun slim cans! Sipping seltzer in the afternoon has helped me to feel like I’m indulging in something sweet, without any of the caloric cost. The bubbles also help my stomach to feel full between meals, a win-win!

— Keep a Think Thin bars on hand throughout the day. I have tossed one of these into my bag every morning, as they especially provide me with a protein-packed afternoon snack. This also makes a great go-to during errands or unexpected car trips. My favorite flavors are brownie crunch and smooth peanut butter.

Through this sugar fast, I have found myself to have more energy, less cravings, and my clothes are fitting better! I plan to continue implementing these clean eating tips after the sugar fast is over to continue these lovely benefits.

What are your favorite clean eating tips? Please share in the comments below!