Using Living Proof’s In-Shower Styler

June 13, 2017

If I look a little tired in these photos it's because I am. Having a sweet baby to feed around the clock has definitely changed my sleeping habits and left me, well, looking less than well rested. But I can't complain...I love my new routine as a mom even if it means that my personal maintenance has taken a backseat. Taking on the 1-week In-Shower Styler Challenge with the first-of-its-kind product by Living Proof could not have come at a more ideal time. Since having our sweet bunny nearly a month ago I can count the number of times I've blow dried my hair on one hand (using only a few fingers). As a new mom, air-drying my hair has been less of a choice and more of a necessity. Upon learning about Living Proof's PhD In-Shower Styler - which I talked all about in this post - I thought, "this could totally change my life/hair" and happily took on the challenge to put away my drier and hot tools in lieu of using the product exclusively for a week. I'm really excited to report back with my thoughts! Just excuse the tired eyes...


So just to re-cap a little from this post last week, the PhD In-Shower Styler is a revolutionary product Living Proof created to help air-dried hair look more beautiful. For years I have been trying to air dry my hair more than I blow dry it… not only because my hair stylist has advised me to but because I know it’s a better way to keep my long highlighted hair healthy and happy. But for me (and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way) air-drying has just never felt like an equal alternative to blow-drying. The results have always been night and day – the difference between body, texture and smoothness (from using a blow dryer and curling wand) versus limp inconsistent waves, flat roots and frizz (the results I used to get with air-drying). I want to love the way my hair looks air-dried but it’s just never been possible.

Enter Living Proof’s PhD In-Shower Styler. This product could not have entered my life at a more perfect time. As much as I appreciate the science behind Living Proof and have seen their other products work magic, I have to say that I was slightly skeptical about the In-Shower Styler actually changing the look of my air-dried locks. The promise of enhanced texture, better body, and smoothness just sounded too good to be true. But after trying it once I was convinced. And after using it for a whole week I’m completely hooked.

Here’s how I use it:

  • I use Living Proof’s Perfect hair Day (PhD) Shampoo and Conditioner like I normally do
  • While my hair is still wet I apply the In-Shower Styler (about a quarter size amount) and coat my hair from the roots to ends
  • Then I lightly rinse the product but running my fingers from roots to ends a couple times under the shower head for a couple seconds. The trick is to make sure that the product doesn’t totally rinse out! I make sure that I can always feel some of the product on my strands
  • When I get out of the shower I gently towel dry my hair using an AQUIS hair towel and wrap it up for a little bit (to get the excess water out and so I can sip on some coffee)
  • Because my hair gets SUPER tangled (especially at the nape of my neck) I have to comb it while it’s still wet
  • Even though my hair has some natural wave I wouldn’t consider it curly…so I’m not big on “scrunching.” I just sort of fluff it at the roots and run my fingers through it after it’s been combed and say a prayer that things turn out okay
  • Then I leave it alone to air dry and completely forget about it
  • The final step is catching myself in the mirror while changing diapers or getting a moment alone in the bathroom and thinking “Well what a surprise – things are actually looking pretty good!” (note: this is only a reaction to my hair and not the dark circles under my eyes)
  • Sometimes I skip a day on washing my hair while showering and use Living Proof’s PhD Dry Shampoo to give my roots some extra volume

If the difference between blow-drying my hair verses air-drying has been night and day, the difference in air-drying without the In-Shower Styler versus with is like…incomparable. Before using the product, in addition to not having an ounce of body, I felt like my hair would almost look a little greasy when air-dried. I definitely never felt like I looked my best with my natural, air-dried hair. But – and this is not an exaggeration – my love for my natural wave has totally changed and I actually feel just as confident with my air-dried hair as I do when it’s been blow dried and curled. I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised by the In-Shower Styler results given that Living Proof products always keep their promises and deliver on making every day a “good hair” day!

The best part – besides the fact that it’s silicone-free, sulfate-free and safely formulated for color and chemically treated hair like all Living Proof products – is that even though the In-Shower Styler is ideal for straight to slightly wavy hair it still works if you have naturally straight hair. Molly has very straight hair and rarely air-dries because she can’t stand how flat her hair will look without some blow dry action – but she has also tried using In-Shower Styler and loves it. Her trick is to let her strands air try till they’re almost totally dry, then part her hair down the middle and clip each side into loosely wrapped buns. Once completely dry she has the ideal amount of soft waves and good root volume – without having to use any hot tools! I should also mention that the In-Shower Styler comes with a handy little pamphlet with other styling tricks and different styles to help you get your best (air-dried) hair.

Whether you’re a mom who barely has time to wash your hair let alone style it (like me), someone who always air-dries but wants to improve the look of your natural hair, or you’re wanting to convert to air-drying but are scared of giving up the volume, body, smoothness and shine that comes from hot tools – I highly suggest giving the In-Shower Styler a try. You don’t need to do a 1-week challenge like I did…just one use will be enough for you to see a noticeable difference!

Do you typically air-dry or blow-dry your hair? What kinds of air-dried styles would you want to try?

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Introducing Living Proof’s In-Shower Styler

June 6, 2017

At first glance, Molly and I definitely look a lot alike. We share the same height, similar smiles, etc. But the biggest distinguisher between the two of us is our hair. Not only do we have very different natural colors (she's a strawberry blonde and I'm a light blonde) but our hair textures are completely different. It's rare that we ever overlap on using the same products since we have to do different things to achieve our individual "good hair." But after hearing Molly rave about Living Proof and their Perfect hair Day (PhD) Shampoo and Conditioner for so long (and seeing our mom who has hair very different from Molly also love the formulas), I gave them a try and loved them. The fact that they're sulfate-free and silicone-free AND result in hair that's healthy and looks/feels cleaner longer was such a win for me...knowing that it's safe for my highlighted hair was the icing on the cake.

Given my great experience the first time I used Living Proof and their PhD products I was really intrigued when they launched their newest product: PhD In-Shower Styler. This first-of-its-kind product that goes on in the shower to help your hair air dry more beautifully sounded too good to be does the stuff stay on enough to make a difference as it dries? What makes it change the air drying look? Living Proof answered all my questions (got to love such a transparent company!) and I'm sharing what I've learned. Not just because the product is actually incredible, but because I'm kicking off a week of only using the In-Shower Styler to see how it affects my hair struggles and changes my routine!


So here is what you need to know about Living Proof: they are not a traditional beauty company in that they’ve based their brand on re-thinking conventional hair wisdom and inventing products because they weren’t satisfied with the formula options (or lack their of) available. The Living Proof approach is to solve problems with science. It sounds like such a “duh” philosophy but for the beauty industry – which has been driven by limitations of conventional products confined by preconceived notions of what can and can’t be done – Living Proof has proved to be trailblazers with their groundbreaking products.

The In-Shower Styler is just as groundbreaking as the other Living Proof products but even more special because it’s a product concept that hasn’t really existed before now. We all know the benefits of air drying our hair…by not using a blow dryer we minimize the damage done to strands. Blow drying causes an effect called “flash drying” which removes the surface moisture and removes water that is bound to the hair (called water of hydration). The result is that hair cuticles become dry, rigid and brittle. My hair stylist is always encouraging me to do more air drying to maintain my hair health and keep the strands from breaking and splitting. But here’s the thing with air-drying…it just never looks as good as a blow out. Right? Living Proof created the In-Shower Styler to combat the usual air-drying woes of lack of body, texture, frizz and more.

The instructions for using the formula are super simple:

  • Shampoo and condition your hair in the shower as you normally do
  • While your hair is still wet (and obviously while you’re still in the shower) apply the In-Shower Styler (about a quarter size amount) to coat your hair from roots to end
  • Lightly rinse (but not too much – you should still be able to feel some product on your hair)
  • Towel dry your hair once out of the shower
  • Scrunch
  • Air dry

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? “But how does it work? How is my hair going to look any different than when I normally air dry it?” Science!

  • Natural texture is enhanced with cationic resins that bind to the hair (even after rinsing) and flex when dried.
  • Natural body is created by PBAE (Living Proof’s patented Thickening Molecule), which are thickening dots left behind on the hair.
  • Naturally wavy hair is enhanced even more because of magnetic texturizes that enhance your natural waves by building separation between your hair fibers.
  • Hair stays smooth due to a hydrophobic resin that controls fly-aways and enhances shine.

Because I believe in Living Proof and am so genuinely intrigued by the science behind the PhD In-Shower Styler, I’m taking a 1-week In-Shower Styler Challenge to forgo my hair dryer and hot tools in favor of embracing my natural air-dried locks. My hair is naturally wavy and even though I air dry it more than I blow dry it (because I try to obey my hair stylist), I generally never like how it looks and typically end up putting it in a bun or braid because it just doesn’t look “good.” Unlike when I blow dry, my air-dried hair usually looks limp with inconsistent waves and absolutely no body at my roots (my biggest battle when it comes to my hair). I’m really excited to put the In-Shower Styler to the test and see what it does for my air-dried look!

So stay tuned…in a week or so, you’ll be getting the full scoop!

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Beauty Dish

April 6, 2017

Now that I am in week 36 of my pregnancy, I have a long-established routine with my skin that I have been consistently practicing and loving. Adapting a new routine with new products geared towards my changing skin and body wasn't all that hard...I have always been pretty regimented with my skincare routine and never skip a full face washing (and toning and moisturizing), no matter how tired I may be. Everything I use on my skin is safe to use while pregnant and have been working really well to treat/prevent various skin situations that typically arise during pregnancy. So excited to share what have become my tried and true pregnancy skincare savors and essentials!

Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil ($64): Stretchmarks often come hand in hand with pregnancy and many people swear that they are hereditary and therefore nothing can actually prevent them. I have yet to develop any through the years, and figured that it wouldn’t hurt to use treatments to potentially prevent them if I could. And, at 36 weeks, my belly is a full fledged basketball and has been stretched to the max. With regular (daily) use of Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil, I have yet to see a single stretch mark so I am now a firm believer in the stuff. My friend Hannah was the one who recommended the oil to me after loving it during both of her pregnancies. I have continued to replenish it throughout mine and now consider it a must have! (also find it here, here, and here)

Eminence Organics Bright Skin Licorice Root Booster-Serum ($41): I’ve never had any sort of pigmentation/melasma issues with my facial skin until I was about 30 weeks pregnant when it just decided to appear one morning. Nothing drastic, but definitely some pigmentation that I noticed – otherwise referred to as the “mask of pregnancy”. I can’t say that my situation resembles a mask, but regardless, I wanted to be sure that I was using products to target what was going on. I discovered Eminence’s Licorice Serum through House of Preservation as being a pregnancy-safe way to even out one’s skin tone. The reviews on Amazon are amazing and many of them were written by pregnant women which immediately sold me. So far I’ve been using the product for a month now, both morning and night, after cleansing and toning and can say that I’ve truly seen a difference. My hope is that the pigmentation will go away after pregnancy/breastfeeding and once my hormones are back to normal!

UMA Brightening Face Oil ($150) and Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum ($185): Both morning and night, I finish my skincare routine with an oil or serum. I rotate between three different oils/serums to make them last me as long as possible. In addition to the True Botanicals routine I wrote about here (which I am still absolutely loving), I rotate between that and UMA’s Brightening Face Oil and Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum. All three of these are such high quality oils/serums that I know I am giving my skin the absolute best. I honestly could not apply makeup/tinted moisturizer to my skin without having put one of these on beforehand. It makes everything glide on that much smoother and gives my skin a certain glow. But I also love those days where I don’t wear any makeup and my skin gets to soak up alll of the goodness all day long. At night, I make sure to do this last step a little while before my head hits the pillow so that the products can really sink in and work their magic.

True Botanicals Nourishing Lotion ($42): I’ve always had extremely sensitive skin, but those sensitivities have multiplied with being pregnant! My generally dry skin has become dryer and I have to be very mindful of what I am using on my body skin. I swear that using a non-toxic moisturizer like True Botanicals Nourishing Lotion has been a game changer and my strange sensitivities like itchiness while wearing workout pants have disappeared. I basically apply it everywhere that I don’t use the Clarins Oil and my skin remains moisturized throughout the day, which hardly ever happens to me. I’ve also loved using the True Botanicals Body Balm on my belly once a day – in addition to the Clarins Oil – the smell is beyond.

Majestic Pure Coconut Milk Body Scrub ($14.50): I realized over halfway through being pregnant that regular exfoliation can also help with stretch mark prevention. At one point I read that doing this is just as important as it is to moisturize. It also helps all of the moisturizing you’re doing really absorb into the skin. I came across this Coconut Milk Scrub on Amazon and am completely obsessed. It doesn’t hurt that I love all things coconut, but it also does an unreal job of exfoliating and leaving my skin beyond soft after each use. The fact that it is 100% natural makes me confident in using it almost daily, too!

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DUO Body Cleansing

February 16, 2017

Me before showering: I don't want to shower.
Me once in the shower: I live here now.

Am I the only one who kind of...dreads showering? Don't get me wrong, I like to look and feel clean - and I definitely loooove being in the shower once I actually force myself to get in - but I get unnecessary anxiety leading up to the task. I've thought about it an I think the dread comes from the fact that I'm not a quick shower kind of gal. I like to really suds up, exfoliate, shave my legs, let my conditioner sit, wash my face with multiple cleaners, and follow up with lotion from tip to toe. It's a whole routine that I'd love to simplify without feeling like I'm away something important.

Well, the reason for this post is that I found a way to combine a few of my shower steps with one innovative product: DUO. It's a brand new dual-sided cleaning tool that gives the same "clean" as bar soap, the "care" of a body wash, and the textured experience of a puff/cloth. I test drove the Olay DUO with Soothing Orchid & Black Currant scent offering (the tool also comes in Old Spice Swagger or Pure Sport and Ivory Refreshing Clean) and was so impressed after one shower use that I've abandoned nearly 4 products/tools in favor of only using the DUO!


I’ve always been someone who favors using a bar of soap in lieu of a body wash (I felt like I get a better lather with a bar!) but body washes definitely deliver a scent quality that I like. Sometimes I typical shower for me starts with sudsing with a bar of soap, rinsing, followed by a body wash and shaving, rinsing, then using a body scrub or mit to exfoliate. I know…that’s a lot of steps. The DUO gives me all the same results (clean skin, scented and hydrated skin, and exfoliated skin) in one product versus four.

After getting the DUO under water, the flexible cleaner inside the two layers immediately starts to lather. Unlike bar soaps, the DUO conforms to the curves of your body and is really easy to hold onto…an aspect that really made me feel like I was getting a good clean! First I do a once over with the smooth side (which is very soft but not slippery) then follow back over the scrubby side. I looove the feeling of a good scrub! The exfoliating side is nice (and honestly the side I prefer most) because the texture isn’t ultra rough and doesn’t irritate or over work the skin. Once I’m all lathered I hang the duo with it’s handy little loop, shave my legs, and feel like a million bucks.

Sometimes I spend the extra time I save using DUO and not my other various products/tools to stand under the hot water and zone out, and sometimes I hop out of the shower early and jump into my hair routine, cutting my whole “getting ready time” down. Either way, I feel good (and smell amazing, by the way) knowing that I got such good clean (2 times better than what I would have gotten from a basic body wash and puff) and have softer, smoother skin.

Don’t just take my word for it, try a revolutionary DUO for yourself! You can find coupons for the DUOs here (just type “duo” into the search bar!) and shop the DUOs online and at mass and food retailers.

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True Botanicals: Clear

January 12, 2017

My skin is far from perfect. It's quite fair, and can easily burn without SPF. My eyelids have this very gorgeous unsightly purple hue. The circles under my eyes seem to get darker each day. My overall completion is pretty uneven and I have a very visible red undertone. Oh, and I'm acne-prone. That alone is enough to make all my other Mean Girls "my nail beds suck!" woes seem insignificant. Anyone past the age of 21 who deals with regular acne breakouts knows that the struggle is real...

When it comes addressing my acne-ish skin, I've done my share of product trial and error. These have ranged from one extreme (oral prescription from a dermatologist and Proactiv) to the next (using nothing but Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil) and everything in between (drug store brands, fancy department store lines). I have tired products that claim to perform miracles and they have done very nice things for my complexion, texture, etc. but the spots (a nicer word for "pimples), blemishes, and breakouts just kept coming. We're not talking about cute "once a month" hormonal flair ups either. This is around the clock, no-area-is-off-limits, stuff.

Can you sense some frustration? No one knows my broken record of complaints better than Sally. And after she got on board with True Botanicals for added moisture benefits and fell in love with several of their "Renew" products, she suggested I test drive their "Clear" line. I decided to do just that.


If you’re not familiar with True Botanicals you can get better aquatinted with the brand by reading Sally’s post about her experience with the Renew line. Or I can summarize: True Botanicals is a line luxury anti-aging skincare that’s made safe; all products are highly concentrated, made with bio-active formulas, and free of all toxins. Three are three skin categories (Renew, Clear, Calm) each with the same assortment of products but specially formulated (so that, for example, the Clear Pure Radiance Oil is different from the Renew Pure Radiance Oil is different from the Calm Pure Radiance Oil). But no matter which skin category you fall under (and there’s an easy quiz you can take to help determine that) all the products are formulated to have high performing anti-aging benefits. Each category and each product contains specific ingredients that will help address the causes of aging!

I did not need a quiz to tell me that I would most definitely benefit most from the Clear category. If there’s one good thing about getting consistent breakouts, it’s that you know where you stand on a skin spectrum! Lol, jokes aside, I was really, really excited to try the core Clear products and see how my skin did. Full disclosure: I started using everything below on December 8th (2016, obvi). I even took before and after photos – but the lighting for both (because I was trying to be a good girl and take them in the same spot) is so horrible that even with magic editing you, dear readers, wouldn’t really be able to see the true difference. But I think this is a-okay. Because you still have me and all my writing to take you through the month+ skin journey.

As far as routines and steps go, this one was pretty easy. Cleanse, tone, pat in oil, layer over serum, swipe on eye balm, done. I did this twice a day, every day, for the past month. I didn’t stray to other products or change anything (aside from using SPF during the day and an added heavy balm at night when I was at home for Christmas and the cold was killin me). I wanted to really see if I could notice a difference if I made a true switch…and I’m excited to share (spoiler alert!) that I did.

  • Hydrating Cleanser, Clear: I admit, I used to think that cleansers were kind of BS. Don’t they all do the same thing? Take off your makeup then it all gets washed off? Well, yes. But your skin is an organ and super absorbent so you can’t just put anything on it, because though you rinse, the ingredients in the cleanser are affecting your skin. Moisturizing is the #1 tip True Botanicals has for treating acne. This cleanser is, as its name suggests, very hydrating. It’s creamy – doesn’t really lather but does spread well and can be massaged in really well – but once you rinse your skin isn’t striped. It feels clean (and is clean) but it doesn’t feel like you’ve washed with hand sanitizer or something equally harsh. It smells nice – nothing super strong – just a light, botanical scent and I had no issues using it each morning and every night (after removing my eye makeup first). The most special part about the cleanser, besides all the stuff that makes it hydrating and work for anti-aging, is that it has ingredients that are antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory. All three are so beneficial to poor souls with acne-prone skin! This sets the base to keep breakouts at bay, helps heal existing issues, and works to soothe old scars.
  • Nutrient Toner, Clear: I loooove using toner. Ever since I read that using oils and serums without first using toner makes the products less effective I was hooked on the process of using a cotton pad to tone then following up immediately with an oil, serum, or both. I figured that the True Botanicals Nutrient Toner could possibly be life changing and it seems that I was correct. he Nutrient Toner doesn’t sting or burn (both side effects that should make you question what you’re using asap) and deeply moisturizes better than anything I’ve previously tried. Not only that, but the specific ingredients in the Clear formula get to the cell layer to eliminate bacteria while also stimulating cell turnover. I put didn’t do any extra exfoliation during the past month (acne-prone skin tip #3 from True Botanicals) because I knew that this toner was gently exfoliating without causing irritation or sensitivity.
  • Pure Radiance Oil, Clear: The Pure Radiance Oil is True Botanicals best selling product. No mater which of the three categories you get in the Pure Radiance Oil, its main function is to strengthen the skin barrier function. Barrier? Let me attempt to break it down: a strong barrier is essential to defending your skin from the outside world (bacteria, infection, pollutions, sun, etc.); if you have a damaged or weak barrier, you likely have skin problems and probably some skin sensitivity. The super concentrated and active ingredients in the Pure Radiance Oils add strength to the barrier, making it easier for your skin to protect itself from outside gunk. Pretty cool, right? The Clear Pure Radiance Oil doesn’t just repair a weakened barrier and get it back to strength, but is formulated to balance acne-prone skin with anti-bacterials, antioxidants and bio-active marine ingredients. The oil has a yellow/orange tint and just a few drops is enough to be fully massaged into skin after toning. It’s not a dry oil – in that it doesn’t seep in right away – but it’s not overly oily either. The glow it gives is pretty unreal and I have no problem using it alone then following with SPF and makeup for the day or following with serum and jumping into bed at night.
  • Cellular Repair Serum, Clear: So if you’re using an oil, you don’t need a serum, right? Wrong. At least when it comes to the True Botanicals Cellular Repair Serum. What the Cellular Repair Serum does is different depending on what category you need. The Pure Radiance Oil works its magic on your skin barrier and maintaining balance and the Cellular Repair Serum adds even more strength to the barrier (so essential if you have acne) and has targeted ingredients for fighting adult acne (!). Because as I mentioned earlier, more is more is more when it comes to making your skin barrier as strong as it can possibly be. I layer two pumps of this goodness on at night so it can be the last layer on my skin and really work uninhibited.
  • Smoothing Eye & Lip Balm: Eyes and lips don’t usually get acne (can you imagine!?) so the Soothing Eye & Lip Balm can be used by anyone. And as I have become an addict of it, I think that everyone should use it. Sally spoke so highly of the balm and the moisture it added to her under eyes that I didn’t question whether or not I needed it. Covering up acne is one thing but flaky under eyes are nearly impossible to deal with. I dip my ring finger into the little pot, then dot and pat into my dark under eye areas till they glisten and shine. Sounds counterintuitive to do this in the morning before I apply concealer but let me tell you, it doesn’t mess with the concealer, just keeps my skin super moisturized. No flaking or dullness, just hydration and plumped up lines (I can attest to this). And of course, I really slather the balm on at night.

Here is what I can say about my one month of devotion to True Botanicals Clear. I 100% love all the products. Individually they are great but I can see how when used together they make the biggest impact. I 100% noticed a difference in my skin. I’m not currently completely free of spots (just really practiced at covering them up in photos, wink) but I wasn’t expecting that. However, the spots have become – dare I say – less frequent. They now have a shorter life span and usually start heal within 24 hours (which is huge because this means the bacteria and infection is out!). I see the most recent and red scars from previous breakouts becoming less noticeable and overall, my complexion is more even and less irritated. And hydrated! OMG my skin has never felt more moisturized, soft, and well cared for. I can easily deal with a spot or two at a time because I’m so pleased with how healthy my skin looks and feels overall.

You can see from the photos that I’ve gone through about half the amount of each product during my month trial. My plan is to do another month of the True Botanicals – or until everything is gone – and revaluate again. If I’ve learned anything with this little test, it’s that patience is earned and discipline is rewarded. I have a feeling that with three months of using just the Clear products that I would be over my acne hump and that I could continue using everything to maintain the balance and antibacterial, antifungal ingredients my skin so clearly needs.

So was I wowed? Yes! Am I 100% cured of acne? No. But again, I don’t really think instant skin miracles are a reality…I’m happy to be patient and use True Botanicals’ beautiful, natural products because I know they will make a difference in my skin health and beauty for the long term!

Whether you have acne-prone skin like me, normal skin like Sally, or Rosacea-prone skin – I suggest giving True Botanicals a go. They even have adorable trial kits for anyone wanting to test the products before committing to full size qualities. Win!

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