I’m back with another reminder to take care of your skin. Surprise, surprise.
I get asked A LOT about affordable skincare products. A lot, a lot.
There are SO many things you can do to maintain your skin on a budget, from slathering oils like jojoba or rosehip to using your hands or a vibrator for facial massage.
Today though we’re talking INVESTMENT products. These are some of my FAVORITE, MASTER LIST products. You’ve heard me talk about these items before and that’s because they’re that good. These are items I invest in because 1. they WORK and 2. our skin is worth the investment. AND GUESS WHAT?
THEY’RE ON SALE.
ALL OF THEM. For major discounts until TOMORROW. That’s right – the prices go back to normal next week so make sure to stock up today.
Let’s dive in:
NORDSTROM ANNIVERSAY SALE SKINCARE STEALS
If you do ONE thing for your skin PLEASE wear sunscreen DAILY. Even if you don’t plan on being outside much it’s important to put it on. Sunscreen helps protect you from the sun to prevent lines and wrinkles. It’s important to wear at LEAST 30 SPF. Did you know that indirect sun exposure from going to your car or the store adds up over time? We’re talking the equivalent of 3 days laying in the sun over the course of a year. Dr. Dennis told us this on the latest TSC HIM & HER podcast episode after he did a study. Gnarly huh! Also be sure to wear giant sunglasses and put SPF on your eyelids. Try the mist sunscreen too – it’s how you can wear sunscreen without messing up your makeup. No more excuses everyone.
Dr. Dennis knows what’s up when it comes to prevention and anti-aging. He’s been a guest on TSC HIM & HER Show twice ( pt. 1 & pt. 2 ) and he never fails to teach me something new. From his peel pads to the facial steamer and now these goggles you can say I’m a fan. Using LED light therapy to stimulate collagen production, you can expect improved skin density and smoothed fine lines. These goggles are easy to use and even Michael gets a turn. You can learn more about why I love the peel pads in my PM skincare routine video.
Another skincare powerhouse is Kate Somerville. Her products are expertly crafted to give you results. We got the entire scoop on TSC HIM & HER podcast 109. If you’re looking for some major hydration check out dermal quench. It plumps the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Another must have from Kate that’s also on sale is Exfolikate. Using scrubbing exfoliants and fruit enzymes, this product will brighten and renew your skin. You can see exactly how I use it in my AM skincare routine video.
Coconut oil is great for pretty much everything right? From cooking to beauty to sex it always works. Kopari is amazing because they’ve figured out how to create the best experience with coconut oil. It’s chic and easy to take with you anywhere. My obsession is the coconut rose toner. It tightens and balances your skin. This Kopari set is perfect for the girl on the go because each item is travel sized. Walk off your next flight with dewy, hydrated skin. Yes plz.
Here’s a little bonus for ya ( yes I realize this isn’t skincare ): the KARDASHIAN BLANKET IS ON SALE!!! I’m on a mission for everyone to try this blanket because it’s 100% TSC-APPROVED. In fact, it’s a thing. Like DM pictures of you in the sumptuous blanket, tag me, or hell- even email me. Once you get one, you will get it. If you’re on the hunt for a chic, buttery, perfect blanket- THIS IS IT. Promise.
Remember skin is in. LEAD WITH YOUR SKIN. Happy shopping & enjoy your Saturday!
If you don’t follow Ingrid, you have to because she is FAB. If you remember correctly, I stalked her on Instagram for years & then we finally met in Morocco. You can read about that whole dance here. When we finally met in Morocco, we connected instantly.
Ingrid, Gil ( her husband ), Michael & I met in this tiny, hip joint in Morocco. It’s Leonardo DiCaprio’s favorite restaurant so we felt very glamorous. Ingrid recommended we order white wine because “it’s a skinny drink- easy to sip, not easy to chug like rosé, so you don’t get too buzzed.” Then she ordered apps for the table- veggies with a small side of pasta because she’s all about balance.
Anyway, I invited her back on The Skinny Confidential for a few reasons: 1.) I think she provides a lot of value- she is always sharing ( not hiding!!! ) her tips, tricks, & secrets. 2.) Most importantly: the French way is JUST different- there’s something effortless & chic about how they eat, drink, & workout- and I want in on it. If I want in on it, I’m sure a bunch of you guys do too.
SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, WELCOME BACK INGRID TO THE BLOG:
Ingrid is the founder and creator of THE METHOD®. More than a workout, it’s a lifestyle based on the principles that THE MIND controls THE BODY. Strength, health & well-being start in your POWERHOUSE – THE METHOD® builds your core as your foundation with a cognitive brain to body technique called CONTROLOGY™ Integration. This innovative system induces seamless advanced execution of elaborate, complex, uniquely modified movements, and a different approach to weight-loss and weight-management, departing from the word DIET and focusing on managing! Cortisol (stress hormone) levels, negotiating with the right hormones and taking control of your weight and health is at its root, rather than relying on food restrictions or jumping on diet or cleanse band-wagons. Ingrid got this figured out all the way from Monaco, and if following her hacks can get you to live the stress-free dolce vita she has in France, then listen up:
10 HACKS & TIPS to YOUR BODY
1 – Always workout on an empty stomach
This allows you to tap into your reserves rather than burning what you just ate. Being on an empty stomach also keeps your energy level high and prevents that morning fogginess. My athletes ( and I work with a few professional athletes ) for the most part, enjoy working out on an empty stomach at least an hour or two before training.
If you’re working out on an empty stomach, your muscles rely on stored glycogen or reservoirs of fat. Besides, by training on an empty stomach or after a light meal, it means that your body is not preoccupied with digesting huge amounts of food, but instead is able to deliver large amounts of oxygen to your muscles and potentially burn more fat!
2 – Pre-workout with COFFEE
What I usually do ( and I got this tip from one of my famous, pro tennis players ) is fuel up with coffee. Coffee gets a bad rep, but for people like me that really need to be performing during workouts ( especially because I line them up with clients every day ) coffee enhances your athletic performance:
a- Coffee is an effective pre-workout drink
b- Coffee boosts metabolism. It contains caffeine, a stimulant shown to enhance our metabolic rate.
c- Coffee enhances athletic performance.
d- Coffee gives better concentration during workouts.
e- Coffee reduces muscle pain.
I added my own little twist to make it even more of an effective pre-workout drink by adding INULIN powder to it. It’s natural FIBER, so it fills me up and keeps me satiated for hours during workouts, and helps keep my cortisol level down by relaxing my digestive system even though I feel full.
3 – Use a trainer whose body shape you admire
Never ever train with a trainer whose body shape you don’t like. Chances are if he or she has big bulky muscles, this is what he/she knows how to build on others, and will only give you the wrong nutritional advice along with the wrong sets of exercises. If you want long lean muscles, your trainer has to have them too. You shouldn’t work with someone who doesn’t practice the same as what they preach.
4 – Skip the weights
If you are trying to lose weight or you are trying to lean out, don’t do weights at the gym. This will not lengthen your muscles into long graceful curves. You certainly need to firm up and get strong, but you don’t need to take on INCHES of muscle and lose your feminine curves. Instead, use resistance bands and weights no more than 4lbs.
5 – Don’t eat fiber to squash carbs
Everyone has been so flooded with information about the goodness of fiber and how it flushes carbs out of your system ( which is true by the way ), but operate with caution here. Eating GG crackers isn’t a license to eat excess protein. I’ve been eating GG crackers for a long time, but when I started recommending it to clients, I realized many of them were hitting a plateau in their weight-loss journey.
I realized that advising eating 8 GG crackers per day meant topping your GGs with proteins x 8 because not too many of us like their GGs without a topping. Adding that to 3 regular meals per day causes excess protein intake. We are already protein-likers, we like our protein, and often we don’t associate it with carbs, but a deficiency or excess in protein will cause your metabolism to go out of wack. With GGs, you heard that the gram Amount of Fiber can be deducted from the gram amount of carbs = total carbs eaten. Automatically, the majority of us will think it is a license to eat more carbs, and I’ve seen this behavior of entitlement cause the plateau in weight-loss with so many of my clients and followers.
I myself realized eating too much fiber to flush the carbs out of my body got my digestive system to work overtime, which is stressful for the metabolism and ultimately raises cortisol levels to unhealthy highs that also cause weight-gain or plateauing.
6 – DON’T use protein powder EVER, unless you have a nutritional deficiency
Let’s say as a vegetarian you don’t get much protein from your food because you don’t eat meat or poultry and even then you can still rely on protein rich real food like eggs, dairy, and legumes. Protein powder is not for regular people, it was originally used for meal replacements like slim fast and for body builders to build bigger muscles.
Short of having such deficiency, having protein powder while eating normal protein portions of chicken, meat, fish or our 2-3 egg omelette will bring you into excess protein intake which will affect your hormones, and either cause weight gain or hitting a plateau in your WEIGHT-LOSS process. You are not a professional athlete working out 6 hours a day, you don’t need protein powder to build muscles. You need to work out and work out smart.
7 – STOP JUMPING on diet trends
In the majority of cases, weight gain is not due to eating huge quantities of food, eating too many carbs or too many calories, it’s due to wrong diets for your hormonal profile. DIETS aren’t one size fits all. Yes you need fiber in your daily nutrition, yes you need to be mindful of your carbs and your sugar intake, but for many of us, even eating “the right way” sometimes just doesn’t work as we wish. That’s because we have to approach this from a hormonal stand point.
The promise of a high fiber diet for example, ( which is one I swear by ) didn’t work for all my clients. Some experienced more bloating, water retention and overall only lost weight the first month in. There are so many factors to think about when it comes to hormones and dieting, the first one being your cortisol level ( which is your STRESS HORMONE ): triggering a high cortisol level can be caused by very straining workouts, difficult digestion, or stressing out in traffic jams. All this to say, if your cortisol level is constantly skyrocketing, your GHRELIN hormone rises ( hunger hormone ) and makes you crave high-carb foods. Refusing to satisfy the GHRELIN hormone will eventually get your insulin level to rise on its own and BAM: weight gain ensues while you actually didn’t even give in to the craving.
YOU need to stop jumping on all these diet bandwagons and simply find a balanced-nutritional habit that will negotiate kindly with your hormones and with your cortisol level.
Getting on diets is stressful, being worried about whether you will be able to eat what the diet prescribes when you go out will raise your cortisol level and the vicious circle starts again. Diets are not sustainable.
8 – Don’t juice
Just don’t do it- the nutrients are stripped out of your veggies and fruits. The satiation signals only last a few hours at best. You need to chew to feel satisfied and to feel at peace. If you are juicing you are again sending signals of dissatisfaction to your hormones, which will eventually make you more irritable, make your mind more clouded and raise cortisol levels up, leading again to weight-gain. Juicing is not a sustainable solution. You might lose some weight first but the deficiencies it causes will cause weight-gain the minute you get back to real food.
9 – STOP doing CARDIO!
You aren’t sculpting your body lean, you aren’t building muscles and you certainly aren’t burning fat this way. This is such a myth. Cardio and especially sprints & intervals bring your cortisol levels to the roof.
Wait!!! I thought cardio burns more calories. Not necessarily. In fact, when we do too much cardio for our bodies or do the same cardio most days, we burn less calories. When you’re body gets stressed from repetitive movement, it fights with all its might to hold on to what you got and a shift in your metabolism also can happen. It burns fuel less efficiently.
In addition, when we do the same 30-60 minute StairMaster or Elliptical routine most days, your body goes into “auto-pilot” mode—lacking variety and intensity. Lastly, when we do too much intensity, your body goes into “I am running from a bear at all times” mode ( i.e. stress )—leading back to point 1 ( elevated cortisol )—which works against you. Geez! It is a fine line.
Those two conditions in your muscle fibers are the reason you may gain some weight. Your body responds to the micro tears and inflammation in two ways that cause temporary water weight gain…. You will also most likely experience delayed onset muscle soreness in the 24 to 36 hours after exercising.
So instead, rely on high density resistance and strength training. Think power Pilates (something SIMILAR to THE METHOD® ) is great because those programs include cardio sculpt sets. And while the word cardio is in it, because you are not using intervals or spinning ranges of motion, your cortisol level rises only to a healthy level necessary to weight loss.
10 – Intermittent fasting
Cut off dinner time at 8:30 pm to the next day at 1pm. Why? Because 3 to 4 meals a day is a lot of stress on your digestive system. Even if you are a fiber freak, and actually especially if you are a fiber freak.
All the digestive efforts we put our bodies thru elevates cortisol levels and leads to weight gain. I find that intermittent fasting works great as a way to rest your body and get hormones in check. Now, I am also very careful to advise this because many “all or nothing” kind of personalities are assholes about it and push their fasting limits longer in an effort to be “EXTRA EXTRA” and end up fainting and being unhealthy.
I. F. is not a calorie cutting system, it is a resting system meant to cause less stress to the body. You aren’t supposed to run yourself dry and exhausted on it; on the contrary. So by being “extra” you are just being an asshole! Don’t be one of those! INTERMITTENT FASTING must be done intelligently for the benefits to kick in:
Start your day with coffee and inulin powder ( its natural fiber powder made out of chickoree or artichoke root), and cashew or almond milk ( no sugar added of course ). If you like your coffee sweet add SUKRIN GOLD ( I hate Truvia or Stevia so Sukrin is great ), and drink it in calm and quiet to keep your cortisol low. Go workout and elect a smart workout as discussed here above.
The INULIN will provide you with all the benefits of FIBER without the digesting process of eating GG crackers or all bran cereals. Fiber is indigestible and makes you feel satiated for hours.
Once lunch time comes, don’t let the “entitlement to eat” feeling take over. It’s not because you fasted that you can eat a cow- eat what you would normally eat, had you had breakfast. You will not be more hungry. You will find yourself calmer, and having more clarity, you will feel less bloat, less water retention and will definitely feel and see the benefits of your workouts much faster and better.
Some sales you just have to pay attention to. The discounts are deep and the products are quality. One of those sales is definitely the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.
Every summer Nordstrom offers the latest items from fashion to skincare at discounts you won’t find anywhere else. We’re talking items you actually want – these are not items that are 3 seasons old and no one wants. Shop the latest arrivals at limited time prices.
The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is also a great time to purchase investment pieces. The items you’ll use over and over again. I’ve scoured the sale pages and found lots of goodies. Let’s dive in:
NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE
+ Began July 12th for card members.
+ July 20th for non-card members. + Ends August 5th.
SPOTLIGHT ITEMS ON SALE:
GlamGlow Gravity mud mask. 20% off. This is one of my FAVORITE masks. Afterwards my skin feels instantly more firm, toned, & lifted. The mask contains hyaluronic acid to plump skin instantly, plus anti-aging gems like Icelandic kelp, algae extract, & antioxidants. More here.
A Quality Summer Robe. 40% off. You know how I feel about a good robe. If you don’t, read up here. It’s safe to say I’m obsessed with a robe moment. Now that it’s summertime and it’s getting hotter, it’s time to swap out the fluffy robe for a light and airy summer robe. I’m gravitating towards this vampy dark one with flowers.
Embellished Jean Jacket. 50% off. Wear a jean jacket over a dress for dinner out or with shorts and a tank top while enjoying a leisurely lunch. A jean jacket is a staple piece every woman should own. This embellished version has stunning details at a deep discount. If you’re just beginning your collection, take a look at this jacket here.
So much so that it took me years to post any kind of vitamin-related content on The Skinny Confidential.
The thing FOR ME is vitamins are sort of like deodorant, you know? I haven’t found one I love. One that I can blah, blah, blah around town about. Because you know I will blab my mouth around town the second I find the winner in the deodorant department, but it’s SO hard to find a star. Vitamins are like this too.
Like you have to kiss a gazillion frogs before you find a prince- that’s how it is with deodorant AND vitamins- there’s a shit ton of frogs. Wah, wah.
But you do, you know?If you know me you know I like to do my research- this means testing. Lots of testing. I try products for a living- which is weird, but it’s really a huge part of the scope of work. Testing, testing, testing. Imagine me like a little mad scientist with tons of beakers everywhere- except it’s products. Sometimes I even use it as an escape. To shut off my phone, go in my office & just try a bunch of products. It’s relaxing.
Anyway, back to the point: vitamins. Let’s hop to it.
I’ve tested TONS, like I said. There’s a select few that I LOVE and that are TSC Masterlist approved. But here’s why I like this specific brand, Ritual: it’s all in one place ( think: Vitamin K2, D3, B12, Omega 3, Boron, Iron, Vitamin E, Folate, & Magnesium ( LOVE MAGNESIUM TO KEEP THINGS MOVING ). This means you don’t need to carry around 2309428 bottles- I’m busy, always traveling, & just running around in chaos 80% of the time, so having everything streamlined in one pill is a real lifesaver. I know I’ve talked about this specific vitamin brand on the podcast A LOT but I wanted to also do a blog post to REALLY break it down.OK first things first: very into the fact that these vitamins are chic. Like you want them on your bathroom counter next to your overpriced serum & medley of red lipsticks. Which is ironic? I mean most of the time vitamin bottles end up stuffed away next to cold medicine…which sucks because then you forget to take them…which turns into a vicious cycle of you buying more vitamins…that you then stuff away & forget to take AGAIN. The struggle.
But yeah. Also, Ritual’s marketing is incredible, really. I live for a good brand so I had to shout that out. I mean it’s important- especially in this Instagrammy age. So you get something that has everything you need in one pill AND a bottle you want on your perfume tray- I’M IN.
The thing that really seals the deal for me though? They aren’t chalky- they’re quite the contrary actually. They’re MINTY. DO YOU DIE?! MINTY! VITAMINS! The minty tab is infused with peppermint oil which makes the vitamins have a hint of mint taste. I bet this kind of mint is what Meghan Markle’s wedding smelled like. That & royalty. Magical.
Vitamins are sort of like putting on sunscreen: the sooner you do it, the better for your long-term health. I mean did you know that 90% of women aren’t getting the nutrients they need every day, for example, 90% of women aren’t getting enough D3, over 70% of women aren’t getting enough Omega-3? NUTS.
I have to call out some other vitamin brands here: 90% of vitamins use folic acid ( the cheaper form ) versus food-form folate ( which we want- RITUAL ), but over 1/3 of women can’t properly utilize folic acid. So you could be taking something every day & it could not even be doing anything in your body, which is why the forms of every nutrient are MUY IMPORTANTE. Ritual ALSO uses the forms that actually work in the body ( another example is methylcobalamin vs cyanocobalamin for their b12 ( the latter being the most commonly used cheaper form which contains a molecule of cyanide which is prob not something you want in your body- JUST SAYING.
LOOK AT ME GETTING ALL SCIENCE-Y ON YOU!
Anyway, I can’t help myself- I sure do love a detail.
Since I’ve told you about the details, maybe it’s time to discuss the benefits. Because- eer, that’s what you want out of vitamins, benefits!
With vitamins, magnesium is the star of the show. To name some of its benefits: mood support, strong immune system, & healthier heart/bones. Ritual delivers magnesium in a form that protects it from interacting with other, more oily vitamins, which means better absorption. CHA-CHING.
The vitamin ensures that your body has all the nutrients it needs to help support tissue structure, build new cells, & maintain its daily functions.
Research continues to provide evidence that the Omega-3 fatty acids support heart health by keeping the cell membranes fluid.
Helps support healthy bones thanks to two key nutrients: vitamin K2 & vitamin D3, both of which help keep calcium in the bones where it belongs, instead of letting it wander around the circulatory system. More calcium in your bones= stronger bones as the aging process begins. This is especially important for women.
The skin is the body’s largest organ so it makes sense that what you put in the body has an effect on the skin. Vitamin E helps provide antioxidant protection for skin cells so that they’re more equipped to fight free radicals.
The brain is in charge of nearly everything that happens in the body. Folate, Vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, Omega-3s, & vitamin D3 all work together to keep the brain cells in tip-top shape.
Just stalk the ingredients for yourself. The vitamins are $30 dollars a month, subscription-based, & you can cancel anytime. Ya, it’s that simple.
Oh & real quick: let’s talk about storage because it’s a thing.
If I am traveling, I keep mine in this pink MTWTFSS PILL ORGANIZER to keep it efficient. With this pink organizer, I can just keep it in my bag or by my keys to GRAB AND GO! You coulllllldddd also bring the bottle because it’s relatively small.
NOW! Try to tell me these pictures don’t smell like mint tea! Seriously though- you’ll want to eat them! Watch out. HA. They’re that minty fresh, I’m telling you.
Alright. That’s it! What’s your current vitamin routine? Tell me. Or just tell me what’s on your bathroom counter, that will do too- I’m weird like that, I want to know. Whatever works.
Want to simplify your routine? You can exclusively order Ritual ( only available on ritual.com! ) now. And if you don’t totally love it, Ritual will pick up the tab.
LOVE YOU ALL, lauryn
+ read more wellness posts on The Skinny Confidential.
++ be sure to listen to the latest podcast episode – it’s a good one!