A Few of My Favorite Things: Beauty and Wellness

I don’t often deviate from my daily outfit and capsule posts, but I thought it would be fun to follow up on a few beauty and wellness posts I’ve done in the past year now that I’ve used the products for longer and also to introduce you to some of my new favorite products. Now, if only I could be like Oprah and give you all one of each! Though, I do have a discount code for you… 😉

I am by no means a health or beauty expert, but I also appreciate getting recommendations from others who have used products for a while to help me make decisions about what to try, so I hope this helps!

Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitener

A few months ago I did a full post and review of Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System and I wanted to do an update. It is still one of my favorite products! Since the initial treatment, I have done monthly maintenance and I am so happy with how much whiter my teeth are despite daily coffee drinking.

I have always had yellowish teeth and I love how much more confident I am smiling (especially in blog and IG pics) since using Smile Brilliant. I have mildly sensitive teeth and used the regular formula (with some slight sensitivity), but they also have a sensitive formula available. I highly recommend it and I’m excited to be able to offer an updated discount code.

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This is the before and after from my initial 10 days of treatment. Since then I notice some slight re-yellowing, but as soon as I do one monthly maintenance session it’s back to white and bright! Read more from my original review here.

Rodan + Fields Lash Boost

I am not a Rodan + Fields consultant and I have not been sent any product for free, but I had to share my results from using the Lash Boost. I first tried R + F about a year ago. I used the whole Reverse Regime and had great results. The product is pretty expensive, so once that was done I took a few months off and tried to use up unfinished product in my cabinet.

Finally, in February there was a sale on any full regime and Lash Boost, so I decided to invest again. This time I tried the Redefine regime with the Lash Boost. I do think my skin is brighter, but I don’t know that I’ve seen a huge reduction in wrinkles. I guess I’d need to more closely examine some photos.

What I have been super impressed with is how much my lashes have grown!

In fall I got an eye infection and lost a lot of my lashes, so they were super short and sparse when I started. I’ve always had short, straight lashes anyhow, but they were worse than usual. I used the Lash Boost every day for 3 months and then have used it 4-5 times per week since then. This is the results from the first 3 months.

The product is definitely pricey, but I am still using that first tube 5 months later. I just bought another and because maintenance is only a few applications per week I expect it will last probably close to a year. Here is a link to my consultant’s page if you are interested (she is a fellow teacher and has no idea I’m posting this and is not giving my anything in return).

Juice Beauty Tinted SPF Moisturizer (from Plantae)

I can honestly say I haven’t delved much into the all-natural beauty world much…it’s so overwhelming!! But…I know I should. I know our makeup, skincare, and haircare products are filled with nasty chemicals, but I don’t even know where to start.

Enter Plantae.

They’ve done all the work! Plantae is a comprehensive online shop that has rounded up the best cruelty fee, vegan, non-toxic products across the board. They sell various brands and offer everything from mascara to deodorant to men’s beard tonic. They were kind enough to gift me this Juice Beauty Tinted Moisturizer with SPF and I have been using it daily. It’s lightweight, offers the most subtle coverage, is easy to apply, and has SPF 30.

I tried to show a before and after the product, but I don’t think the impact the moisturizer had on the evenness and brightness of my skin is as obvious as it is in real life. In summer I don’t wear much makeup, so this is multi-tasker is perfect for sun protection (which is a must) and making my skin look just a little bit better (which makes me feel better).

I love that Plantae has made it easier to jump into using all natural, responsible beauty products easier by narrowing down the field for us.


If you follow me on IG and happen to catch my stories you’ve seen my early morning workout posts that I do to hold myself accountable. About a year ago I started with BBG, but after 6 months I switched over to Ali Reti’s Retifit (I did level 2 and level 3), which I LOVED. The workouts are 28ish minutes long and incorporate strength, plyometrics, and HIIT moves. I did a post all about my progress a while back and I’ve been able to be consistent since.

I found that these workouts made the most out of the little time I have to workout each day and were a great motivator to get my eating on track to support all the work my body was doing.

Lauren Gleisberg

A few weeks ago I decided to change up my workouts since I’d been doing the 28 minute HIIT workouts for a year and focus more on weightlifting. I bought Lauren Gleisberg’s Weight Training Program (the home version) and have been doing those, plus the add-on cardio and ab exercises that are included in the program. I found I couldn’t keep up with the 6 days per week schedule, so I’m completing the workouts in order, but only doing 4 days per week of her weight training workouts (so the 8 week plan will take me 12 weeks). The other days I go back to my RetiFit workouts.

I am loving the change of pace and have seen a huge jump in my motivation since starting to take on these new challenges.

bbg progress photo

This collage shows my progress at 3 month intervals since last July (top row: July, October //  bottom row: January, April, today). You may notice (and I’m definitely feeling) a bit of regression thanks to summer’s more full social calendar and my love of cold, refreshing microbrews on a hot day. 🙂 I feel a little more bloated in my belly, but I’m still working hard and I know once I get my eating back on track and we’re too busy to have driveway happy hours on a Tuesday afternoon I’ll be right where I was. At this point, my primary goal for the rest of summer is to not slip further and to keep consistent with my workouts.

So, those are a few of the regulars in my beauty and wellness routine that I’ve been really happy with the results. Do you have any favorite health/wellness/beauty products you love to share with others? I’m always looking for new products to try, especially when they’re recommended by someone!

More about Paige


    1. Hi Paige, I’m excited to check out that sunscreen. Also, I have been following you IG posts on Retifit, and I’m really intrigued. I tried doing BBG last year (after ten years of mostly weight lifting), and I found the movements to be super repetitive. Once, I have my baby and am ready to work out again, I’m going to check out Retifit and the weight lifting program you posted. If you are interested in natural beauty products, I just wrote a huge post on my favs. I made the switch at the beginning of the year, and my skin looks so much better.

    1. Hi Paige, I’m excited to check out that sunscreen. Also, I have been following your IG posts on Retifit, and I’m really intrigued. I tried doing BBG last year (after ten years of mostly weight lifting), and I found the movements to be super repetitive. Once, I have my baby and am ready to work out again, I’m going to check out Retifit and the weight lifting program you posted. If you are interested in natural beauty products, I just wrote a huge post on my favs. I made the switch at the beginning of the year, and my skin looks so much better.

      1. Jillian,
        I will definitely go and check out that post – it’s so overwhelming (kind of the like Starbucks was the first time I went). I agree that BBG started to get redundant, which is why the switch to RetiFit was welcome. Then the whole circuit style of workout started to feel redundant and I noticed my motivation was starting to seriously fade, so I decided another switch was needed. I am enjoying the weight workouts, but part of me still feels I need those high-intensity workouts (I’m not sure that’s true or not). What do you think as a weight-lifter?

    1. I’m going to look at Platea, that might be a good way for me to discover some things without shelling out for products that don’t work for me. It’s so subjective to each person’s skin, what works and doesn’t. I bought several Juice Beauty makeup items and didn’t end up liking them at all. And they were not cheap.

      I had fallen in love with a natural cleanser from the European brand Twelve Beauty, but I haven’t been able to find it in the US. So I ended up buying Neutrogena Naturals Pore Scrub a two weeks until I found something else (very gentle actual, especially since I have rosacea and am not really advised to use something with ‘scrub’ in the title) and Naturals moisturizer. Amazingly, they are working for my rosacea far better than the giant chunks of money I used to throw at my face! Other all natural/organics I’ve tried and liked: Tata Harper – most of the range is fabulous (and they are based out of Vermont), but I bought the Rejuvenating Serum back in December and I haven’t loved it. Which is really annoying since it was close to $100. The serum I do love (also scary expensive) is Kate Sommerville Age Arrest. I’ve been using it for over a year and it feels lovely on my skin. It’s not in the all-natural category though. I love Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm to remove makeup. Nothing stays behind- ever. You do have to remove with a soft cloth though (comes with the balm). Two treatments I love are Kiehl’s Cilantro & Orange Pollutant Defending Mask. It smells good and worked wonders after a day in the super dirty London air. And my absolute favorite (and winner of the ‘you’ve lost your mind on the price at £140) May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon beauty balm. You only need the very tiniest of amounts, so this will last me a lifetime! It’s blue, smells like a weird mixture of chocolate and oranges, but works great on stressed skin. MV Organics makes a great line of products specific for rosacea or other skin issues as well.

      1. Andrea,
        Ooooo…thanks for the great recommendations! I love the sound of the makeup remover and the beauty balm (I don’t mind spending the $$ when I know it will last a long time)!!

    1. Those results from the lash boost are gorgeous! I’ve been considering lash extensions, but this seems like a much better idea. Thanks for sharing!
      Also, I’m super impressed with how you’ve been keeping up with your workouts and changing things up over time. I follow your Insta-Stories each day, and knowing that you fit in your workouts despite your job schedule, and despite 4 kids, is super impressive. I’m a SAHM with a 1yr old and a gym membership to a gym with child-care that’s only 5 min. from my house and I’m lucky if I make it regularly from week to week! (I just don’t try hard enough) I love seeing what’s possible from other women (moms!) who make it a priority and work hard! Way to go!

      1. Emily,
        I had considered the lash extensions too, but the maintenance felt overwhelming so I started looking for another alternative. The Lash Boost is a lot up front, but I can’t believe how long one tube has lasted and it’s definitely easier than extensions (you just don’t get the immediate results, which may be frustrating for some).

        And thank you for your kind words about my workouts. It’s taken a long time to get into a routine. Since having kids (the first 9.5 years ago) I always went in sporadic bouts of exercise, but never for a year straight. It definitely helps that I started up with a friend and we texted each day to check in on the workouts!
        Have a great weekend!

    1. I usually just read, but this topic is one that I feel really strongly about. For those of you looking to get more into green products, I have been using and loving a company called Blissoma for a few years now. I’ve tried a lot of their products–face wash, masks, toners, etc.–and they’re all good. Besides the fact that the products are very clean and thoughtfully made, it’s a small, female-owned business working to be a positive part of their St. Louis neighborhood. Their prices are higher than drugstore brands, but compared to other organic brands, I think they’re reasonable. This link https://go.referralcandy.com/share/FQG7R5L was good for 10% off someone’s first order; I’m not sure if it still works, but it might be worth checking if you’re interested in trying them.

      1. Jessica,
        Thanks for the recommendations – I’m bookmarking the shop right now! It sounds like my kind of company 🙂

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