Insider Tips: Pregnancy Skincare Essentials

Apologies for our brief blogging hiatus… it's summer, what can we say?!

In other news, while we don't generally do dedicated beauty posts, I have been asked recently about the products I use during pregnancy. For those who know me, I am a strong believer in all-natural childbirth; so naturally, I do an overhaul of my skincare regimen to include safer products during pregnancy. It is recommended to avoid retinoids, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, aluminum chloride, and parabens during pregnancy because they soak into your skin (and enter your bloodstream) and could be harmful to the baby. Not surprisingly, it can be difficult to find products that actually work without all of those active ingredients! Here are some of my must-haves from my first pregnancy that I loved so much I have continued to use in my normal routine and throughout this pregnancy as well. I would love to hear if some of you have favorites as well! xo, Courtney

Pregnancy Skincare Essentials

Pregnancy Skincare Essentials

1  //  2  //  3  //  4  //  5  //  6  //  7  //  8  //  9

1. Normally, I am a big salicylic acid / glycolic acid cleanser fan, so I was worried about finding a suitable alternative. After some trial and error I stumbled upon this Avene Cleanance Gel Cleanser - it lathers nicely and makes my skin feel so clean and fresh.

2. Unable to get chemical peels during pregnancy, I feel like my skin needs a little extra TLC. I love the Clarisonic because I know I'm getting a deep clean and exfoliation; needless to say, this has become a year-round staple.

3. A Parisian pharmacy find (my favorite!), I discovered the Avene Thermal Spring Water several years ago and have been using it ever since. I use this as my toner after cleansing and also to set my makeup.

4. I've been using this lightweight La Mer Gel Moisturizing Creme for nearly ten years and was so happy to find out that it is indeed paraben-free.

5. Love this rich, but lightweight La Mer Eye Concentrate, another favorite which I was thrilled fit the bill for pregnancy-safe beauty.

6. I used this inexpensive Palmer's Cocoa Butter Massage Cream during my last pregnancy and am happy to report stretch-mark free! I applied this every morning and used a more intense oil at night.

7. Another success during my last pregnancy, so I've continued using the Weleda Stretch Mark Massage Oil at night.

8. I discovered this Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil about five years ago in Monaco - it smells absolutely heavenly! A blend of sweet almond oil, macadamia oil, etc. - I use it as a light body moisturizer year-round and during the first few months of pregnancy before diving into the stretch mark creams.

9. It was a bit harder to find an effective aluminum-free deodorant... the Weleda Wild Rose Deodorant is the best one I've found so far and I love the rose scent.


What to Pack: Palm Beach

The Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach

The Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach

After what seems like the longest winter, I am thrilled to be heading south to Florida with my husband and son for a couple weeks. Hopefully when we return, these frigid temps in Connecticut will have passed! I must admit, I haven't done much spring shopping yet (the idea of trying on spring clothes without a hint of a tan is not very appealing to me) but here is a selection of must-pack items based on styles I already have (or want!). Perfect for days spent lounging by the pool, shopping along Worth Avenue and dinners al fresco. After a week in Palm Beach we will be going further south to Islamorada. The Keys are decidedly more casual and I am completely content to stay in my swimsuit all day and only get dressed for dinner.  On a side note, I haven't been to Palm Beach in ages... does anybody have any recommendations for shopping, restaurants, etc.?

Palm Beach Packing Essentials

Palm Beach Packing Essentials

1. Turquoise jewelry looks so good with a tan, and these Kenneth Jay Lane drop earrings are no exception. $125.

2. We love this oversize straw hat by Sensi Studio to shade the face from sun while lounging by the pool. $230.

3. The scalloped detail on this Marysia bikini is so unique and the pretty blush is timeless. $260.

4. We adore everything about this top by J.W. Anderson - the modern assymetric shape, the pleating and the classic shirting stripes. $855.

5. Such a great classic wardrobe staple, this Moschino shirtdress can be dressed up or down for so many occasions. $950.

6This colorful pareo by Etro is done in the most beautiful print and who can resist the tassel detail? $500.

7. Classic white skinny jeans go with everything and seamlessly go from day to night. An absolute essential. $175.

8. If you want to pack light, go with a pair of classic black or tortoise shell sunglasses as they can be worn with nearly everything. We love this pair by Oliver Peoples. $335.

9. This blush/bronzer duo by Guerlain perfectly enhances a tan and can be customized based on your skin $76.

10. Valentino's rockstud jelly sandals go seamlessly from pool to lunch. $295.

11. For those of us who don't yet have a tan... St. Tropez self-tanning lotion is great for layering and gives a natural, golden bronze glow. $42.

Love Is In The Air

Show your love for color this Valentine's day!


1. Make a statement with this Herve Van Der Straeten gold beauty. $1,165. Stylebop

2. We love the the flow of this silk magenta capelet dress by Antonio Berardi. $2,605. Moda Operandi

3. For kissable lips this Aerin rose balm lipstick is a must. $30. Aerin

4. NYC jewelry designer Amy Heilberg creates beautiful pieces. Her dome cocktail ring helps to take this look up a notch. AHJewels

5. For a sexy shoe look no further than Tom Ford. $1,190. Bergdorf Goodman

6. Creed's Spring Flowers scent will help keep you irresistible all night. $175. Nordstrom

7. Spread the love with Forest of Chintz's sequin clutch. $666. Runway2Street


Gift Guide: Stylish Gifts for Her

Gifts for Her

Gifts for Her

1  //  2  //  3  //  4  //  5  //  6  //  7

Whether you are gifting your mother, sister, daughter, friend or wife, these little luxuries are sure to be hits with the most stylish women on your list!

1. An ode to dear Diana Vreeland, not only is the sophisticated tuberose scent intoxicating, the bottle with silk tassel is divine! $185. NEIMAN MARCUS

2. We love these butter-soft leather gloves by Portolano with square gold studs for a tough-luxe look. $210. NEIMAN MARCUS

3. These Lizzie Fortunado earrings are the perfect accoutrement to any festive holiday ensemble. $250. NEIMAN MARCUS

4. We love the juxtaposition of this Lele Sadoughi bracelet - the pearls are super feminine while the architectural gold hardware gives it an edge. $300. NET-A-PORTER

5. For the manicure fiend - how perfect is this set of Deborah Lippman nail lacquers? $34. NORDSTROM

6. A gorgeous book to add to your collection, to celebrate the life of one of the most talented and beloved designers, Oscar de la Renta. $125. NEIMAN MARCUS

7. The most luxurious candles in the chicest packaging. $60. SAKS