First off, I want to preface this conversation by saying that this post is NOT paid or sponsored or endorsed by Dove. These are my personal thoughts and opinions, and although I am an ambassador for the brand, I was in no way obligated to post this opinion piece. I’m writing this because I pride myself on being open and honest with all of you about everything from my current lipstick to my bouts of depression. My ride-or-dies know this already, but in case there’s anyone new on here – this is my 100% real and authentic point of view. Whether you agree with it or not, I respect you. I hope you return the sentiment.
Life comes at you fast. As someone who invests so much time and energy into giving, whether it’s with my blog or as a mommy, it often becomes a necessity for me to give back to myself. The way I do that is designating special self-care time over the weekend to literally indulge and pamper myself. If you’re feeling burnt out, or not quite like yourself, it may be time for a little self-care. Here are 3 quick and easy tips for developing your own self-care routine:
1. Pick An Indulgence You Love
Everyone has a “thing” that they simply can’t live without. It helps them unwind, brings them unbridled peace and restores their energy. You might be into massages or indulgent days at the hair salon. Whatever your “thing” is – do it unapologetically. This is probably going to sound so simple, but my favorite indulgence is a warm, steamy shower. And not those “get-in-and-out in 5 minutes before your kid kicks down the door” type weekday showers.
I’m talking about a long, luxurious weekend showers with my favorite products like Dove Body Wash. If my skin needs an extra polish, I’ll opt for the Gentle Exfoliating formula. In the winter, I typically use the Deep Moisture version as my skin gets extremely dry during the cold winter months. 3 in 4 dermatologists say that women often damage their skin in the shower, thinking they are caring for it, so I’m hyper focused on only using cleansers that moisturize and don’t strip my skin. You really can’t go wrong with Dove Body Wash, it’s made with 100% gentle cleansers, it’s sulfate-free and is the #1 dermatologist recommended body wash. Whatever your indulgence, be sure to do it with products that make you look good and feel good.
2. Pick A Weekly Time & Stick To It
This is the KEY to developing a routine. Because is it really a routine if you don’t stick to it? The best way to keep yourself on track and focusing on self-care is to schedule it into your calendar just like you schedule your business appointments. Make a date with yourself that you simply can’t cancel. Self-care is important – you’ve gotta make time for it!
3. Cut Off All Distractions
When it’s time for my self-care routine, I make sure everything is taken care of. Cadence is hanging with Daddy or Grandma or someone who can keep her company while I take my mommy time. I turn off my phone and all notifications that make noise. I turn on my favorite soft music and just get lost in the warm water and soft lather. I’ll usually do a face mask simultaneously, and if I’m feeling REALLY adventurous I’ll deep condition my hair as well.
I don’t know about you but my self-care routine has truly saved me during those weeks when I just don’t think I can handle life’s craziness anymore. Taking a minute to focus on yourself, be with your thoughts and indulge in an activity you love – guilt free – is something each one of us deserves.
What’s your self-care routine? Share below.
This post is created in partnership with Dove. All opinions expressed above are my own and not those of the company.
With Labor Day just around the corner, I’m sure many of us are planning our final summer excursions, staycations and overnight trips. When it comes to convenience while overnight traveling, I usually opt for very compact luggage and small overnight bags to save space and time. That typically means I can only bring the essentials with me, so I get super selective about which items I pack. I always opt for items that serve double duty – whether clothing or beauty. Below are my top 5 travel essentials for overnight trips. These will save you time and space when packing:
1. Overnight Backpack
There are a plethora of options for carrying your overnight must-haves. I’ve traveled with everything from duffel bags to rolling mini suitcases. My favorite of overnight travel options is a great sized and stylish backpack. If I’m traveling by air, it keeps me hands free to carry other items or to hold my little one’s hand. It’s usually spacious enough to fit all of my essentials and it has tons of side pockets for little things like chargers, wallets and hand sanitizer that I need to grab quickly on-the-go without digging deep to find them. The one pictured here is from Mina Kay Bags.
2. Dove Beauty Bar
This one is a no-brainer for me. I have to confess – I don’t trust hotel soaps & cleansers. I don’t always know the brands carried by the hotel, or have a full breakdown of the ingredients in those products, or how my skin will react to them. When it comes to cleansers, I have to go with a brand I trust so there are no surprises. Who wants to worry about allergic reactions or dry skin on vacay? So I always bring a Dove Beauty Bar along with me on my travels.
Because I can use it on both face and body, it’s an easy choice for overnight trips as it cuts down on the number of toiletries I have to fit in my bag. When I simply don’t have the space to pack a face AND body cleanser, the Dove Beauty Bar works double duty perfectly in one small bar. Formulated with ¼ moisturizing cream, it provides superior care that other premium cleansing soap bars do not. I often find hotel soaps strip my skin and leave them feeling dry and tight. I don’t have to worry about that with my Dove Beauty Bar. I found that out during my 7 Day Challenge where I used the beauty bar as my facial cleanser for a week. This one always goes into my overnight travel bag.
3. Red Lipstick
I come from the school of “Red Lipstick Fixes Everything”. When I can only bring a pared down makeup collection on my travels, red lipstick is the first thing I pack. Even if I only have tinted moisturizer and mascara, I can throw on a red lip and be ready for anything. It’s my number one makeup must-have for travel. My favorites include The Lip Bar “Bawse Lady”, MAC Lipstick in “Ruby Woo” and Lip A.R.T “SLAYbelles”.
4. Jeweled Flats
If I can only bring one pair of shoes with me on an overnight summer trip, I always aim for metallic or jewels flats. They add an extra “wow” factor to any outfit and you can easily take them from day to night, beach to bar-hopping, and everywhere in between. They can work with denim, linen or fancy dresses My favorite places to get jeweled, inexpensive flats are ASOS, Zara and Nasty Gal. It’s always best to buy inexpensive ones in case they get lost or you accidentally leave them. I leave my super expensive shoes at home when I’m traveling.
5. Day to Night Dress
Typically when I’m picking outfits for an overnight trip, I stick to pieces that can serve multiple purposes. The perfect little black romper or a printed kimono I can wear as a beach coverup and as a statement piece at dinner. My top pick among outfit choices for an overnight trip is a great day-to-night dress. I typically choose something solid colored, with breathable wrinkle-free fabric and a really beautiful silhouette that can be taken from day to night. A-line and maxi dresses are typically good for this. You want something simple enough to be worn with flats for day and dressed up with heels easily at night. Two outfits in one.
What do you all pack for your overnight trips and staycations? Leave a comment & share your must-haves.
I partnered with Dove to present this post. All opinions expressed above are my own and not those of the company.
As a Dove ambassador, I’ve been getting the opportunity to try out lots of their products, many of which I already use and love, but some completely new. When Dove announced the launch of their Baby Dove line, I knew I had to try it out on my 3 year old Cadence.
First of all, I had already been using their Sensitive Skin bar as part of Cady’s bath regimen. I took a trip to their headquarters last year and heard from a dermatologist that the Sensitive Skin bar was safe and approved to use for kids. Cadence’s skin is very delicate and she even has some spots of eczema, so I’m always very careful about the types of products I use on her. So when the Dove team sent me the entire line – including the Baby Dove Rich Moisture line and the Sensitive Moisture line – my first inclination was to try her out with the Sensitive line.
The Baby Dove Sensitive Tip to Toe Wash is the first product we tried. What I liked about the wash is that it was creamy and moisturizing. Cadence’s skin tends to get dry especially in the colder months, so I love moisturizing cleansers for her skin. Her skin was soft and not at all irritated after using it. I also like the fact that it’s hypoallergenic, fragrance free and tear free. This one is also rated and approved by the National Eczema Association, which I check often to determine which products to stay away from with her.
Since Cadence is still in the stage where she needs help in the bathroom after going potty, I tested out the Baby Dove Wipes for her first on the potty. They’re not flushable, but they certainly do help with potty messes. I also stashed them in the car for snack spills and sticky fingers.
I decided to try the Rich Moisture line myself. Little known fact: I love Baby products…for myself. No, I’m not ashamed. I love how the entire line smells. It smells like freshly-powdered brand new baby with chubby edible cheeks! So yummy.
Just like the Sensitive wash was creamy and moisturizing for Cady, the Rich Moisture line was pretty creamy as well. It washed off clean, which is important for the little ones. I tend to like washes that leave a little moisture behind but overall it was a nice consistency.
I also love the wipes. I keep a pack around the house for quick messes and another in Cady’s school bag for when we’re traveling back and forth. Overall these products are a great value. I’m so happy Dove has taken the charge with developing a line just for the little ones, especially with their campaign around #RealMoms and relieving some of the pressure we moms face to be superwomen everyday. Check out their #RealMoms campaign here:
This post is sponsored by Dove, a Unilever company. All opinions expressed here are my own and not those of the company.
So I’ll admit it. I used to be somewhat of a bar snob. There are certain areas of my beauty regimen where I just refuse to settle for less than the best. When it comes to what goes on my face – it has to be good. Period. My skincare regimen has always been fairly simple (cleanser, toner, moisturizer) but since launching LoveBrownSugar.com I’ve started to add other elements like primers, serums, eye creams, and more. I’ll even get fancy and do a mask every now and again.
As a skincare aficionado, I juggle between using cream cleansers, gels and cleansing bars for my face, depending on the season and depending on the condition my skin is currently in. Though I have always been a Dove user, my Dove Beauty Bar was primarily used as a cleanser for my body and not my face. My assumption has always been that my higher priced premium bars were better for face cleansing. I mean, it has to be the best if it’s expensive, right?
Fast forward to the taping of the Dove commercial that you all have likely seen by now. Here I was stacking my favorite (expensive!) bar up against the Dove Beauty Bar and like magic my beliefs about quality compared to price were dwindling faster than the yellow test paper. I was BLOWN.
Shortly after the commercial, the Dove team invited me to embark on a 7 day beauty bar challenge. They asked me to test the Dove Beauty Bar for just 7 days and see for myself just how it would stack up against my other more expensive bar cleansers. So I took them up on their offer. Now listen, when it comes to my face, I do NOT play around. I was reluctant but I knew I had to try it so that I could honestly give you guys a recommendation. Plus I had to know for myself if what I saw on set was really true. So I went to work replacing my normal cleansing bars with the Dove Bar for 7 days.
It was a normal week for me. Crazy, per usual. I went from photoshoots to business travel to chasing Cady around the house, to braving the cold winter of Detroit for a last minute trip. From the first morning wash, I noticed that the Dove Beauty Bar didn’t leave any weird residue, and my skin didn’t feel stripped. That’s always a good sign. There’s nothing worse than washing your face with a bar then feeling that irritating tightness afterwards like someone has pulled your skin without your permission. It didn’t do that. Checkmark for Dove.
I did A LOT in that week, and I watched my skin for any signs of change. Going from one climate to another, traveling by air, working up a sweat chasing the little one, those are all scenarios that can typically create trouble for the skin. But throughout the week, my skin maintained its natural glow and moisture levels.
After using it for those 7 days, I can say with confidence that I didn’t notice any negative changes in my skin. It performed just as well as my premium bar and it’s way more affordable. On top of the 7 day beauty challenge, I’m incredibly proud to be affiliated with a brand like Dove for all of their self-esteem initiatives, for breaking the mold and using real women like me in their ads, and for being a champion of inclusion for all women of all ages, shapes, sizes and colors.
This post is sponsored by Dove. All opinions expressed above are my own and not those of the company.
Growing up, like most women of color, the ideal picture of beauty included long, straight hair. “Good hair” (no Becky *insert Lemonade shade here*) was what was manageable and what society viewed as beautiful. That meant it had to be long, straight and typically relaxed if your hair was naturally curly like mine.
So like most young girls with kinky-curly hair in the late 80’s/early 90s, once I was old enough I got a kiddie relaxer and so started the cycle of chemical straightening every 6-8 weeks until adulthood.
Thankfully over the years, many of those traditional beauty ideals have started to shift. There are evolving conversations about what beauty really means and what it looks like, and now when my daughter Cadence watches television I’m confident she’ll see women with curly hair, deeper skin tones and curvy shapes just like hers being lauded as beautiful. But we have a LONG way to go.
Do me a favor. If you’re reading this right now, open another tab or window in your web browser and go to Google.com. In the search bar I want you to type in the words “beautiful hair”. When you’re done come back here and continue reading below.
Hey loves! Holiday season means the inevitable holiday hair styling sessions. In my StyleWatch holiday box with10 Super Stylish Gift Ideas, they sent me a set of the Dove Quench Absolute products. So I got to thinking about a few holiday hairstyling tips for us curly girls to keep in mind this season. Check them out below:
It seems surreal that just 3 days ago I co-hosted the second annual #NOLACrawl Style Suite and that what was just a small, organic way for a handful of bloggers to come together has slowly morphed into an epic annual event during Essence Festival. I’m so honored to have had the opportunity to co-host this event with a presenting sponsor like Dove.
Most of my personal friends, family members and readers (you guys) swear by Dove products. I have been using their trusted body products for as long as I can remember and it comes at no surprise that when they decided to launch a product line for curly girls like us that they did so with a purposeful and meaningful campaign.
The #LoveYourCurls campaign has to be one of my favorites to date because not only did Dove create a line for curls but they did it in a way that celebrates and empowers women who historically have not felt their hair was beautiful.