Thursday, July 30, 2015

Love your summer skin | Tips for keeping it healthy & beautiful + Vaseline giveaway!

If you're anything like me, you've probably been spending a lot of time in the sun and water this summer. Between our vacation to California, trips to the water park, play dates at the splash pad, and lazy days spent by the kiddie pool, my skin has just been soaking up the sunshine. I love it! And while I don't lay out in the sun like I used to (back in my younger days), with 3 active kids, I still spend a good amount of time in the sun and water during summer break. Those UV rays and chlorinated pools sure do take a toll on your skin, so I put together a fun little list of tips for keeping your summer skin beautiful and healthy looking.


Protect. Always, always, always wear sunscreen, even if you're only going to be outside for a few minutes, and especially if you're trying to get a tan. When we head to the water park I slather myself in sunscreen and I still come home with a tan. Don't forget to reapply every hour! And don't forget to get your ears, lips (with SPF lip balm), tops of your feet, and, if you have them, tattoos. 

Hydrate. Water is your best friend! Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day, and you can just about double that if you're outside in the hot sun, and even more if you're active. When we're playing and running around at the water park I end up drinking 3 or 4 bottles of water and still feel thirsty. Drink it up! When you're lounging by the pool or playing with the kids in the sprinkler, make sure to guzzle that water. The first step to healthy skin is staying hydrated from the inside.

Cover up. If I'm hanging out in the water or  know that I'm going to be in the full sun for a while, I have to have my sunglasses and I try to remember a hat. I used to love getting my face nice and tan, but now I hide it as much as I can from UV rays. When the sun hits my face I can just feel my skin aging, and I'll start to get brown spots on my cheeks and forehead. Also, I swear the big sunglasses are the reason I don't have a lot of wrinkles around my eyes (yet). In addition to protecting my eyes, these huge sunglasses are great for hiding the fact that I'm not wearing eye makeup (and I can even skip filling in my brows!) Win-win.

Exfoliate. Removing those dead skin cells in the shower will help keep your skin looking and feeling healthy. Especially after swimming in a chlorinated pool, make sure to shower and exfoliate- I recommend these exfoliating gloves.

Moisturize. Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe Spray Moisturizer is a great post-sun moisturizer. I love this stuff! It's a continuous spray lotion and it absorbs in seconds to heal dry skin without feeling sticky or greasy. I love that this one contains pure aloe and micro-droplets of Vaseline jelly in it to help soothe sun-ravaged skin. I spray this on and it keeps my legs from drying out, and it feels so cool and soothing after a long day in the sun. I also love that the contoured aluminum can uses compressed air for 360 spray delivery- not aerosols or harmful propellants. Check out Vaseline.us to learn more- retails for $7.99 at mass retailers.


One lucky person is going to win a bottle of Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturizer!
Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!
{don't see the giveaway widget? Try refreshing the page}


Terms & Conditions: No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 or older to enter. Prize retail value: approximately $7.99. Giveaway is open to US residents only. All entries will be verified The number of entries determines the odds of winning. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and will be notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize before a new winner is chosen. This sweepstakes is in no way associated with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. Please note that Lulu & Sweet Pea is not responsible for "lost" emails that get sent to the wrong folder, such as a spam box. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me and me alone. I do not share or sell information and will use your information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.

What are some of your favorite summer skincare tips that I need to try?
Leave a comment & let me know!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Vaseline. The opinions and text are all mine.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Recent Beauty Favorites {July edition}

Hey dolls! It's been a while since I've shared some of my recent beauty favorites. These aren't necessarily new products, but they are new to me, and I've pretty much fallen in love with each and every one of them. Somehow they've made their way into my beauty routine, and I'll tell you exactly why and how I use them.

Before I get to the products, I wanted to let you know that this post does contain affiliate links, which means that if you happen to purchase said item through the link, I get compensation for it. I've also included regular links to the brand websites too, but in cases where the item can be found cheaper somewhere else (like on Amazon) I let you know and linked you to the better deal (where I purchased it from). I'm just sharing a good deal when I see one!

Alright, now for the fun stuff!

e.l.f Studio Contour Palette | $6

Hallelujah! Finally, an inexpensive contour palette that really delivers and that doesn't cost and arm and a leg. I can't tell you how much I love this palette, and the fact that it's only $6 is crazy. The matte colors are perfect for highlighting and contouring the face, and there's one shimmery highlight color that I love to use on my brow bones and on the tops of my cheek bones for a bit of a pop. I use a combination of the two darkest colors to contour, shade, and sculpt my cheekbones, around my forehead, along my jawline, and on the sides of my nose. Love, love, love. I hope they keep this item forever! *Side note- this one is actually a brand new product to the e.l.f. line, and I think it's only available online right now. I haven't found it in stores (yet). 

Here's a little highlighting & contouring cheat sheet I found on Pinterest.

Biore Self Heating One Minute Mask | $5.99 {$4.54 on Amazon}

I actually did a sponsored post for this mask a few weeks ago and it's become one of my absolute favorites. I promise, I'd never write a review (especially a paid-for one) for a product I didn't actually like or use. Seriously, just read the post on why I dig this mask.

Loreal Youth Code Serum Intense | $24.99 {$9.09 on Amazon}

OK, this one isn't really new to me, but I just started using it again after going without it for a long time. I love the way this serum makes my skin feel- it's velvety soft, my skin tone looks more even, and my foundation goes on so much more smoothly when I've prepped my clean skin with this (followed up with my day moisturizer or night cream/oil). I noticed a difference in the texture of my skin by day 3 of using this Youth Code serum. Here's the other thing- this serum is almost identical to an amazing Lancome product called Genifique When I worked for Lancome (who is owned my Loreal) I used Genifique, and I can tell you that both serums look and feel almost identical, and I had virtually the same results from each of them. I'm convinced that Youth Code and Genifique are basically the same thing, except 1 oz of the Lancome version is $78. 

Covergirl LashBlast Super Sizer mascara | $5.99

Since my last experience with Covergirl mascara went so well, I decided to try out another new one that I've seen everyone raving about online. Plus, I was already at Target again and I think there's some kind of rule that says you can't leave Target without buying another tube of mascara. Anyway, I picked up The Super Sizer in from their LashBlast line, which boasts "400% more corner-to-corner volume for full, fanned out lashes." The instructions said something about twirling the wand, but I couldn't really get my hand to cooperate, so the first application was a bit gloppy. When I tried the next day I ended up with some pretty amazing looking lashes. I'm not sure if they were 400% bigger or what, but they definitely looked longer and fuller than with my other 6 or 7 mascaras that are floating around in my cosmetic drawer right now. I've been using The Super Sizer pretty much every day now, alternating with my other new favorite, CG's Full Lash Bloom

Veet Ready-to-Use Wax Strips | $9.99 {$6.25 on Amazon}


I have to admit, I bought these wax strips as a last ditch effort and thought for sure that they were going to suck and leave me having to shave every single day of my vacation. Wrong! My laziness and failure to make it to the beauty supply for more wax actually worked out perfectly, because I ended up really liking these cool little strips. Plus, they were so much faster, easier, and way less messy than my regular pot of wax! All you do is rub the strip between your hands a few times to warm up the wax, then place them on your leg, rub down over it firmly, and pull it off while holding the skin taught. Easy-peasy! The hair comes out and there's no messy, dripping wax or dipping sticks to worry about. You can even re-use the strips a 2nd, 3rd, and sometimes even a 4th time, depending on how sticky it remains. I waxed both of my lower legs in about 15 minutes and only used 10 or 12 strips. I really didn't think these would work, but I'm pretty sure I'm never going to buy another pot of wax again for home use. These are the way to go and anyone can figure it out- no experience required! (But do make sure to read the instructions and safety precautions in their entirety first, of course). 

PFB Vanish + Chromabright | $29.00 {$22.36 on Amazon}



Again with the shaving. Ugh. Along with it usually comes razor burn and ingrown hairs for me, which is why I try to wax when I can. But I still end up shaving a lot, I need something that really works for ingrown hairs and the scars that they leave behind (especially if they've been picked at). I read a lot of Amazon reviews before deciding on this stuff, and I'm glad I did my research because I'm really pretty happy with it. I just roll this on the sensitive skin areas as soon as I dry off after a shower, and then sometimes (when I remember) again right before I go to bed. I had some pretty dark looking spots around my bikini line that I wanted gone, and after about a month of using this they are much, much less noticeable. I'm going to keep using this for the rest of the summer and will have to see if there's anymore improvement, but it's definitely prevented me from getting any more new ingrown hairs since using it, which is pretty awesome in itself. 

Those are six of my latest favorites, and I've already got a whole slew of new stuff to try next! Have you used or heard of these ones? Or do you know of something I've just got to try out? Let me know in the comment section below- I'd love to discuss it from one beauty junkie to another.

Don't forget to enter the $25 Paypal/Visa gift card giveaway I have going on right now. Hop over to that post and check out how you can earn extra box tops for your local schools and get your entries in because one lucky person is going to have a little extra spending cash :)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Support local schools while back to school shopping {Plus a giveaway!}



Raise your hand if you're a procrastinator!

I confess that I tend to put things off and wait until the last minute a lot, especially when it comes to things like back to school shopping. First of all, here in Washington, we start late- like usually the first week of September. So while all of my other mama friends all over the country are stocking up and getting their kids' supplies in July and August, I'm sitting back thinking "Suckers! I've got until September." Well, that plan always fails when the back to school sales come and go, everything has been picked over, and I'm left scrambling on Labor Day trying to find all of these very specific classroom items on my children's school shopping list. It happens pretty much every year. Not this time! This year I vowed to get things done early, and I even saved money and helped out my local school in one easy stop at Walmart, where I did back to school shopping like a boss.


OK, I already mentioned what a slacker I am when it comes to all things back to school. This year I've got two kids to shop for, plus a very needy, active 1 year old at home, so I pretty much need the easiest and least painful way as possible. That means getting everything in one place and not spending a fortune, and I know exactly where to go for that kind of thing: Walmart. It really is the place to go for one-stop shopping. Plus, you can't beat their prices, especially on school supplies.

I zipped down to my local Walmart store and thankfully, they had some very well-stocked aisles! That's the key to successful back to school shopping: go early. Sounds simple enough, but trust me, you don't want to have to play tug-of-war with another mom over the last gold-dipped 3 ring binder the teacher is requesting this year (kidding). In all seriousness though, you don't want to drive all over town looking for what they need, or worse...show up the first day and grimace while you explain to the teacher why you don't have everything on the list. Been there, done that. Sorry teachers- I know, I suck at this.

Did I mention that I helped out my local schools while doing my back to school shopping? You might be asking how I did this, and I'll explain: box tops. Box tops for education- have you heard of them? We've been collecting them for years in my household, ever since my oldest child was in kindergarten and we first heard of the program. Basically, you see them in the store on items, clip the box tops from select brands, and turn them into your school, where they trade them in for cash. The school gets $.10 for each box top. 10 box tops = $1.00, which adds up really quickly! We have grandparents, aunts, uncles, and family friends who clip box tops for us, so every few months we'll get a little bag full of a hundred or so extras to turn in along with the 100 or so that we have. 100 box tops is $10 for the school! It's such an amazing program and such a simple way to raise funds for local schools, which we all know could use some extra cash.


Walmart has specially marked Kimberly Clark products with bonus box tops on them so you can shop back to school like a boss and stock up on your family's household paper needs. I already use and love these paper towels- the Viva Vantage ones really are my favorite brand, so those were a no-brainer. The rest is all stuff we needed and I opted for these brands simply because of the bonus box tops. I do that a lot! If I'm looking at a certain product and I see one similar with box tops, I almost always grab the one with the box tops on it. Check out the bonus box tops on these!


Just with these 3 products I got 20 box tops, which equals $2.00 for the school just in one quick shopping trip. If every kid turned in 20 box tops just one time during the school year that would be around $1200 (our elementary school has roughly 600 kids). Now imagine if more people donated 20 box tops each month!

Don't have any kids in school? Don't worry, I'm sure there is someone in your life that you can clip box tops for. Please don't throw them away! It's like throwing away money, and it doesn't take much effort. Clip them and save them for your niece, nephew, grandchildren, cousins, neighbors, kids from church, etc. Or, just give them directly to the school. I'm sure they would appreciate it. It's like giving them cash! I wish I could say I had some fancy-shmancy box top holder, but I just use a zip top baggy held onto the fridge with a magnet. It works.


So that's what I call back to school shopping like a boss! I got the school supplies early (in one stop), stocked up my house on paper supplies, and I earned bonus box tops for my kids' school.

To help kick off your back to school shopping and start your box top collection I'm giving away $25 paypal cash -OR- a 25 Visa gift card (winner's choice). Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below!

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 or older to enter. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and will be notified via email. Winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize before a new winner is chosen.



What are your tips for going back to school? I'd love to hear them! You can join in the conversation on social media- just use the hashtag #BSTLikeABoss, and make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I'll be looking for your tips :)

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