Winter White Jeans in Wellington, New Zealand

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wellington, new zealandchampagne and polka dots - wellington, new zealandchampagne and polka dots - wellington, new zealandchampagne and polka dots - wellington, new zealandchampagne and polka dots - wellington, new zealandchampagne and polka dots - wellington, new zealandWhite Paige Denim // Caslon Knit Vest (also comes in burgandy & black) // JCrew Gray Striped Long Sleeve (on super sale, under $20!)

 Joya Crystal Pendant Necklace // Sam Edelman Suede Booties (on sale!) // Jord Wooden Watch // GiGi New York Navy Bucket Bag

 

It’s been three weeks since our New Zealand and Moorea trip and I am just dying to go back. All of our pictures of New Zealand are just jaw-droppingly gorgeous and we would love to make it back during their summer months. We visited New Zealand during their winter, just about spring months. Think of it as our February-March here in the states. It’s chilly in the mornings and warm in the afternoons. I knew when packing, that layers would be key here, as well as versatility. That’s where this knitted gray vest comes into play. It’s heavy enough to keep me warm, but light enough that I am not sweating when its 60 degrees outside. I also added the white jeans because they are my absolute favorite pair of denim, but also because it was almost their spring and I have never really been a “no white after labor day” rule follower.

 

These pictures were taken on top of the Wellington hill lookout. Paul and I ventured up the hill after having breakfast in bed, the day after we attended an international rugby game. More on that to come! The ocean water in New Zealand was absolutely stunning. It is a bright turquoise color and these images don’t even give it justice. Also, at the bottom of the harbour in the images is Wellington’s international airport. It was so fun watching the planes take off and land on this very short runway in-between the water. I am hoping to get a post up all about our trip to New Zealand and then another about Moorea in the next couple weeks, so stay tuned! Happy Friday 🙂

 

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Reverse Aging & Acne Scarring with Microneedling

So, I have been hiding a little secret from everyone. A few weeks back I visited a plastic surgeon’s office and came out feeling like a whole new person. I know there is a lot of controversy around visiting a plastic surgeons office, especially when you are under 30 and no one else may see what you see in the mirror. However, I left St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery feeling radiant, happy, and so much more confident. I can’t wait to tell you why!
st. louis cosmetic surgery and spa

So, here it is…  no I did not go under the knife! I tried one of the most popular, non-invasive acne scarring and fine line diminishing solutions on the market called Microneedling, from St. Louis Cosmetic Surgerys’ Medical Spa. I was so excited when I was contacted by the marketing director of STCS (St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery) about giving a review of one of their Med Spa services. My choices were between Botox or Microneedling, and knowing what both of them were ahead of time, it was an easy choice for me to choose Microneedling.

 

 

I chose microneedling mainly because I have heard so much about it before since I have been an active user of  Rodan & Fields Amp Roller. I had already been noticing results from the daily usage of the amp roller, so I knew that a microneedling procedure done at a plastic surgeons office would just accelerate results. Additionally, I am 26 years old and just couldn’t bring myself to start botox. I have no judgement on anyone doing this before their 30’s, in fact they say the earlier you start the better the results! However, I just would rather try other solutions first for fine lines and go towards botox as the issues become more severe. Microneedling was an easy decision for me because this past year I have had a terrible case of adult acne. I still have occasional hormonal breakouts, but the scarring and damage it has done to my face has left me self-conscious and not feeling my best without makeup and cover-up.

 

md-pen

Microneedling is a non-invasive procedure provided by the aestheticians at STLCS that can help with any acne scarring, fine lines or wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, pore size, etc. It’s perfect for uneven skin tone or texture, because the treatment itself causes new collagen to grow, leaving you with a youthful glow and healing any scarring, wrinkles or uneven skin tone/texture. (Insert praying hands emoji!) I was so excited to not only get help with my acne scarring, but also the fine lines that have shown up on my forehead the past months. At STLCS, they have the MD Pen for microneedling. Think of microneedling like aerating your lawn… tiny needles probe your skin and create tiny injuries that are filled with collagen.

mdpen_detail1

It is a little terrifying to have pictures of my face sans make-up on the internet, but I am taking one for the team here and letting you all know exactly what I looked like before and after! You’re welcome. So, before the procedure at St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery’s Medical Spa, I was concerned about acne scarring mainly on my cheeks and jaw-line. The fine lines on my forehead were also a concern, but not as much of an issue as the scarring. Additionally, I have a tendency to get Milia on my cheekbones and it is nearly impossible to get rid of, unless you visit an aesthetician to get them medically extracted. Fun note if you don’t know what Milia is, they are these pesky teeny tiny hard white dots (not whiteheads) that are dead skin cells that build up in the pore lining because they are unable to shed properly. Fun right? So, here are my before images.

before-microneedling

The entire appointment was about an hour and half total. This included a beautiful tour of their medical spa and a very relaxing deep cleansing routine on my face before the procedure. If you do get a chance to visit St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery’s Medical Spa, Mary Ann is your gal! She made me feel completely relaxed and is so incredibly knowledgable about all things skincare and beauty. My favorite tip she gave, outside of the procedure, was to change your pillow case every night! I know this sounds extreme. Right now, I change mine about every two days, but I use to only change my pillow case whenever I washed my sheets, which was once a week! It’s incredible the amount of oil and dirt that from your face and hair that gets trapped on your pillow case. Then, its transferred to your face the next night! I was sold and went out to buy a few extra pillow cases after the appointment.

The microneedling procedure itself, last about thirty minutes. First, Mary Ann applied a numbing cream to my face to make the procedure comfortable. The needles in the MD Pen can range from 0.5 mm to 3 mm, depending on how quickly you want results. I was headed to the Florida Keys three days after my procedure, so Mary Ann put the pen on a lower setting, just in case the sun would be an irritant. I experienced only minor discomfort during the procedure on areas of my face that have little fat under the skin and are the most “bony”. For example, the forehead, temples and nose were uncomfortable but not ever painful. The other areas of the face like the cheeks and jawline were completely painless.

md-pen-during

 image courtesy of St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery (not me)

Right after my procedure I was a little pink from my skin getting prodded with needles. It was as expected and just lasted the evening. Here is my after photos, an hour after the procedure. My skin felt very tight the next couple days and I was provided a serum to apply multiple times a day as well as a mineral SPF that is now one of my favorite products for summer. If you are unsure of the difference between mineral sunscreen and regular (chemical) sunscreen, so was I! Thanks to Mary Ann, she filled me in that mineral sunscreen contains either active mineral ingredients zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide and protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Mineral sunscreen works by sitting on top of the skin and deflecting the sun’s rays vs. regular sunscreen that allows the sun to penetrates the skin and then the sunscreen absorbs the sun’s rays. Also, some of the chemical or regular sunscreen can cause free radical formation, which leads to more sun damage in the long run. So stock up on the mineral sunscreen, ladies!

hour-after-microneedling

Finally, here are my after photos, taken 6 weeks after the procedure. I noticed some of my acne scarring on my cheeks and around my mouth were diminished and also my face was completely break-out free for 6 weeks!! That’s unheard for me! Also, I noticed my milia was nearly gone! Amen. I was probably the most happy about the no breakouts and the “no more milia” results. St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery recommends 2-4 sessions of microneedling to attain the most desireable results, depending on how severe your skin issues may be. Each session runs about $300 and I completed only one session. I would be happy to go back again based on my results.

6-weeks-after-microneedling

The only makeup I have on in the image above is mascara, promise! So, would you give Micro needling a try? Leave a comment below on what you think. 🙂

 

St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery & Medical Spa
Address: 17300 N Outer 40 Rd #300, Chesterfield, MO 63005

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Thank you to St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

White Lace Romper and Perfect Bucket Bag

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Monogrammed Python Bucket Bag (10% off  when you enter your email!) also comes in Black, Tan, Cobalt, and Cognac)

White Lace Romper (wearing a size small for reference and on sale!) // Floral Necklace // Seychelles Wedges

You can guarantee I will be breaking the “no white after labor day” rule this fall. Mainly, because I just love this Tart romper. This beautiful late romper is also a perfect piece for a tropical vacation. So, you know I packed it for our recent trip to New Zealand and Moorea. 🙂 This would also be a great option for a bridal shower or bachelorette party as well! I love the bell sleeve details and the lace is just gorgeous.

 

Now, onto this monogrammed bucket bag from GiGi New York. This is my newest purse obsession and I was able to get this bag when it was on super sale right before our trip. I wanted something that would hold my large camera, but still be light and comfortable with a crossbody strap and shoulder strap. Also, needed it to work for day or night. Voila! This bag fit the bill perfectly and the navy is such an unexpected neutral that goes with everything. I especially love it up against black denim or a black leather jacket. Perfection. This would make a great christmas gift for any girl on your list! Mom’s included.