Monday, June 13, 2011

4 Top Pregnancy Moisturizers & May Favorites

Happy almost-Summer! It's so much easier to get things done when the sun is out and the air is warm, isn't it? It's been nasty busy lately, and I've been running in circles with hundreds of to-do lists posted around the house. Having the weather shape up makes everything a little more tolerable.

I mentioned in a previous post that I would share a few belly moisturizers that have been effective in keeping hydration levels up (and hopefully stretch marks down). At the point of writing, I am T-6.5 weeks until baby's birthday...so far stretchmark-free, and doing every last thing I can to encourage my skin's elasticity.

Around eight different products have been tested through in the last eight months, and these are the four that have risen to the top. Let's face it--stretch marks aren't exclusive to pregnancy, so this may be something that we can all draw from. Why don't we stave those (sometimes unavoidable) things as long as we can, together?

Carol's Daughter Sexy Belly: tamanu oil, rose hip extract, cocoa and shea butter. At first, I thought this one would be a bit of a miss. It was gifted to me, and felt quite hard to begin with. Within a day however, the entire tub softened up and it began spreading like semi-melted butter. My favorite of the bunch.

Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Oil: before trying Sexy Belly, this was my favorite. It smells heavily of rose hip oil, but is also combined with wheatgerm and borage oil. Having a bit of a celebrity following, I really enjoy this one as you can apply it at night and wake to amazingly moisturized skin. The range also offers a body butter version which smells just as lovely.

Wild Carrot Stretch Salve & Growing Belly Balm: this has olive oil infused with St John's worth, calendula, chamomile, raw shea butter, sea buckthorn...the list goes on and on! With this, I was a bit hesitant--the color is yellowish, making you think that it will stain your clothing. If you let it absorb for a few minutes before dressing, you'll spare your tops. It has been the easiest to travel with, and doesn't smell overwhelmingly herbal.

LaLicious Body Oil in Island Guava: you knew I couldn't just avoid a good coconut oil all together, right? My mum introduced me to this line a few years ago, when she gifted me with some gardenia scented versions of their bath scrubs. I knew there had to be other scents to choose from as well, and fell upon this guy. It includes coconut oil, sweet almond oil, macadamia nut oil, and also vitamin e oil. It is most similar to any bottled coconut oils you may have (in that it will solidify in the cold), but the scent is sweet and fruity.

Every once in a while, I feel as though something lighter would fit the bill. When this is the case, I call in one of two spray mists that have been emollient enough to moisturize, but not sticky enough to wait around for absorption.

c.Booth Brazilian Nut Dry Oil Spray: the scent of this thing is amazing! It's a little musky, while warm and comforting. I actually preferred this scent to their monoi one.

The Body Shop Olive Oil Dry Oil Mist: you can detect a bit of citrus mixed in with this olive oil moisturizer. While it is hydrating, watch where you spray it as it will leave your floor a bit "hydrated" as well. (this item may no longer be available for sale)

Since we're in the mindset of favorites, I thought I'd show you a belated May Favorites roundup. I haven't really taken to writing these types of posts in the past, but I always enjoy reading others'...so here you have it:

Jane Iredale PurePressed Base (fawn): I've reviewed this powder before, and I still enjoy it for a mineral powder. Used very lightly to set foundation in the t-zone, it helps to keep things put all day. This also includes SPF 20. I'm obsessed with SPF lately...I'll tell you later.

Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse (#240): I have no idea what the deal is with this thing! I've never ever used a foundation up to the very last bit (can you believe that)...as much as I may have enjoyed some. But this one, used with Sephora's Airbrush 55 brush is a match made in heaven. I receive so many compliments on my skin every time I choose that combo, that it makes me question why I continue to shell out for the Guerlain's & Armani's of this world...

Josie Maran Argan Blend Concealer (suede): If you're looking for a very creamy and moisturizing concealer, this may be your last stop. It's not full coverage, but blends well in the under eye area. When baby's kicks keep me up until 4am, I'm in desperate need of the corrector/cover combo. The compact is very thin, which is convenient if you're the type to throw it in your handbag.

Bourjois Bronzing Powder (52): Yes, this is scented of chocolate. Yes, it looks like a bar of it. Yes, I usually go and eat some chocolate after using this. This bronzer smells delicious, and is slightly different than some of my others--in that it leans a tad bit red. Any trace of shimmer is so slight that once applied to the skin, it appears matte.

Escada Taj Sunset: Each year, Escada brings out a new summery fragrance. This one has been my favorite by far--and since I don't collect them, I didn't mind picking it up in a purse form. I may regret that and grab a bottle, as it has a clean mango-like scent to it. Every time I turn to spray a different scent, I revert back to this...it just has summer scribbled all over it!

Sue Devitt Eye Intensifier Pencil (Kenya): There's a lot of hype surrounding these pencils. While they're very pigmented and creamy, I think their rightful place belongs on the waterline. During the day, I often opt for brown liner over black--this one is easy and seems to last for a handful of hours. I do appreciate her homage to her travels around the world, and of course I'm always swayed by those small details.

Anastasia Brow Wiz (medium ash): This one deserves its own special post. Hands down, my new favorite brow shader. The first thing I see on someone's face is their brows--so naturally I get a little particular about my own. Many powders and pencils are too warm--they actually make my brows appear slightly red. As it goes with my hair, I do not like things red! I prefer an ash-toned shade at all times. I had been using Anastasia's brow powder duo for years (with an angled brush), and while I don't dislike it at all, this is more precise. You don't need a brush, the back end contains a spoolie, and you can pinpoint the tiny areas that you'd like a little filling in, with the quickest swipe. The tip is so fine that it's the least obvious filler I've ever come across!

Whew! Now that that's out, tell me what your favorite stretch-mark cremes are! And do you do a monthly favorites post? If so, I'd love to check it out...
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