How To: choose a cleanser

Did you know that most people are probably not using the right cleanser for their face type? A cleanser is the foundation of a good skin care regime and it is so important to find one that works with your skin. Many people self diagnose their skin as one thing and treat it that way with products (i.e. “I have one zit so I have acne. I’m going to use an acne wash.”). When this happens, our skin tends to overcompensate the opposite way. For example, over-treating oily skin by stripping the oils will cause extreme dryness; not properly treating dry skin can lead to an overproduction of oil because your skin wants to moisturize itself.

First, here is a very generalized overview of skin types & basic rules for choosing a cleanser:

DRY // skin tends to be tight after cleansing and can flake or have rough patches in some areas. (avoid Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & use a creamy cleanser. look for ingredients like essential oils & natural hydrators)

OILY // skin tends to get shiny throughout the day, has visible pores, and may break out on occasion. (a foamy cleanser works best)

SENSITIVE // skin reacts easily & tends to get irritated with new products, weather changes, etc. (avoid cleansers with avoid Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, acids, fragrances, dyes, etc. look for ingredients like glycerin, cucumber, green tea and chamomile which are all naturally calming and anti-inflammatory)

COMBO // dry patches on the cheeks mixed with oily patches in the T-zone–forehead, nose & chin. (stick to a basic cleanser that doesn’t address any specific skin care concern but will help maintain a normal PH balance)

NORMAL // no areas of oiliness or dryness, usually no skin issues. (any basic cleanser will do)

ACNEIC // prone to breakouts, oily, blackheads & whiteheads (stick to a routine of switching out a gentle cleanser with a cleanser that has salicylic or glycolic acid in it. don’t over do it with the acids though because your skin may overreact.)

Okay now that you’ve put yourself into a category, what cleanser to choose? (there should be an algorithm for this!)

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<<click on the picture to shop the products>>


Remember: it is better to treat occasional skin issues with spot treaters, serums, etc. than with a cleanser. If a cleanser is really just not working for you, switch it out, but be sure to give it about 30-45 days to start working before ditching it. A skin cycle is about 21-28 days so you need to wait at least that long to decide!

let’s eat

oh tacos. i just love tacos. my dad has always joked that he wants a taco in each hand when he dies. someone do the same for me okay? and make one of them these because they are THAT good.

do you like fish? good. keep reading.

tilapia tacos

photo copy

Makes: 4 servings with leftovers

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes



1 lime

1 cup grape tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 cups green or red cabbage, sliced into narrow strips

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound tilapia fillets

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

8 small whole wheat tortillas

1 avocado, cut into 8 long slices


1. Cut lime in half. Squeeze juice from half and slice other half into 4 thin wedges. In a bowl, combine tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno, onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and half the lime juice.

2. In another bowl, mix together yogurt, mayonnaise, and remaining lime juice. Combine cabbage and 2 tablespoons of yogurt sauce in another bowl; reserve extra sauce.

3. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Sprinkle tilapia with chili powder, black pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 3 minutes. Turn; cook 2 minutes more.

4. Place 2 tortillas, 1 lime wedge, and 1/4 of the tilapia on each plate. Serve with salsa, cabbage, avocado, and sauce.

Nutrition facts per serving: 278 calories, 22g protein, 23g carbohydrate, 12g fat (2.2g saturated), 5g fiber

recipe from (you basically get your workout in just by eating these) win, win.

WW: flybird

a double weekend wardrobe.  it’s double the fun for sure.   there isn’t much i love more right now than a good graphic tee.  and bootie.  oh the boots.  helloooo fall!  welcome to arizona.  we have so patiently awaited your arrival.  enough about weather.  let’s talk about Flybird apparel…ie:





LOVE the fit of this comfy tee.

shirt:  c/o Flybird Apparel

skirt:  Nordstrom Rack

necklace:  Bauble Bar

sweater:  Forever


And check my girl C wearing Flybird as well.


Also, how do you feel about this gold temporary tattoo trend? We think it’s so fun! Our favorite ones are from here. (just don’t overdo it ;))


C’s deets:

shirt c/o Flybird Apparel 

Lipstick: MAC Damn Glamorous


all photos by the beautiful AND talented Heather at Plainly Taken Photography.

gift guide: BOYS to MEN

I feel like men are so hard to shop for.  Seems like they fit into two categories one:  if they do want something, they buy it themselves.   or, two : they say they don’t care or want to be surprised.




Here are some man and beauty mark approved ideas for your men:

gifts for guys



shop this post:


the razor //  the shoe //  the shave set // the book  //  the phone charging bank

and that’s a wrap. you’ve got your man covered.

makeup skin finishes

One of the questions I always ask my clients when I am doing their makeup is how they like their skin to look. Usually I get a blank expression when I ask this so I explain by saying, “matte, dewy or natural?” These words are foreign to some people so I’m here to take the mystery out of it all! (sidebar: Hillary LOVES when I ask people if they want their skin to be matte because I really enunciate the “tt” at the end so they don’t think I am saying “mac.” for some reason she thinks its hilarious. it’s become an inside joke between us every time I ask a client. haha–guess you had to be there!)

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DEWY: this finish has a very glowy and almost “wet” look to it. use products that have a cream or gel base to them so they look, well, dewy!

NATURAL (satin): this is how your skin would look after cleansing and drying it. it is neither “powdery” nor super “glowy,” but just has a natural radiance to it. this is the most requested skin finish, as it has a bit of a glow (usually on the high planes of the face, like the cheekbones), but is still a happy marriage between matte & dewy. the best products to achieve this are mineral-based, but topping any foundation with just a powder highlighter on the cheekbones (and little to no powder on the rest of the face) is the easiest way to get this look!

MATTE: this has a powdery look to it with no glow. it is often requested by people with oily skin who tend to get shiny throughout the day and so don’t want any added shine to begin with. it is best achieved with a full coverage, matte foundation and a blot powder that eliminates all shine.



Amy - I have pretty dry skin so I use a lot of moisturizing products. My skin usually ends up on the dewy side but I’d love to try a more matte look. Are these products ok for dry skin?

Courtney - Amy, Matte products are more drying in nature but just use a good moisturizer beforehand and you should be good to go!