SOCIAL MEDIA

Friday, March 29, 2019

Current Skincare Routine for Oily Acne Prone Skin

         
       

         
       
     
     

Hello and TGIF! 
Tax season has been so grueling and I am thoroughly exhausted. Only a few more weeks and it will be over and I can enjoy some much needed time with my family. 

I wanted to do a post to share with you all what my current skincare routine is because I have changed a lot of products since the last time I did a skincare routine. While I was pregnant and after I gave birth my skin broke out so bad. I had my acne under control up until midway through my pregnancy and then it all went down hill. The products I was using weren't clearing it up like they did before. To be honest I have had this problem before. Sometimes when I use products for a long time they just stop working with my skin. That includes skincare products but also makeup products like foundation. I know most of it was because my hormones went crazy and I'll talk about something I've incorporated into my diet that I believe has also really helped clear up my skin. 

I started using Tula products after seeing so many other bloggers I follow raving about it. Come to find out you can purchase many of their products at Ulta. They don't carry everything I use but it is nice if I run out of those products they do carry I can run over there quickly instead of ordering online and waiting for it to arrive. 

Tula's products are formulated with probiotics that help fight the bad bacteria on your skin and help to proliferate the good bacteria. Similar to the probiotics you take for gut health. I take a very good probiotic everyday and so does Lawson. Probiotics are so important to gut and immune health. The use of probiotics in this skincare line is also another reason I was drawn to it. 

I am going to discuss the products in the collage above right to left which is also the order in which I use these products. 

Tula Purifying Cleanser - I love this cleanser. After using it my face feels so fresh and clean. I don't really know any other way to explain it. It's great at taking stubborn makeup off and I just love the way it makes my face feel after using it. Side note: I don't believe this product is safe to use while pregnant or nursing but please make sure to ask your Midwife or OBGYN what is safe for you as everyone is different. 

Kefir Replenishing Cleansing Oil - I will admit I am a bit extra because I use two cleansers from Tula. I use this one to take my makeup off when I get home and then before bed when I do my skincare routine I cleanse again with the Purifying Cleanser. This is a similar product to Mac's Cleansing Oil, which I also love. I love this for taking off my waterproof eye makeup. 

Ance Clearing Tone Correcting Gel - I loveeeee this product! My skin responds best to salicylic acid for treating my acne issues. I use this twice a day morning and night after I have washed my face with the Purifying Cleanser.  It helps kill acne bacteria but also helps correct the tone of your skin and reduce the look of old acne marks and scars left behind after breakouts. 

Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum - I have used this products for years! It is a holy grail product for me and something I cannot live without. I use this after the acne gel toner and before my moisturizer. I only use it once a day in the mornings. I highly recommend if you have acne scarring or leftover red marks. Just like it's name it rapidly reduces the appearance of acne marks. I recommend this product to my friends and family all the time. 

Aqua Infusion Oil-Free Gel Cream - I am so obsessed with this moisturizer! It is not a heavy moisturizer and it is perfect for acne prone skin. A lot of people who have oily skin don't realize they NEED to make sure their skin is staying hydrated. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but you're skin will produce more oil naturally when you aren't keeping it hydrated. 

Peptide and Collagen Serum - I was sent this product by Derma E and I love it! I mix one pump of it in the morning with the Aqua Infusion Oil-Free Gel Cream and I mix two pumps of it with that moisturizer before I got to bed along with one drop of Frankincense essential oil. Again I totally understand that is a lot of steps and products but honestly do you even have a good skincare routine if it isn't extra af? The answer is no.. LOL! 

Advanced Peptides and Collagen Eye Cream - Derma E also sent this product to me to try and I like it so far. I have never really been an eye cream user. I don't have bags or puffiness. I normally have issues with darkness underneath by eyes but that is easy to hide with concealer. The cost of this eye cream is very reasonable so I would suggest trying it if you are looking for a good eye cream that won't break the bank. After I use this I have started using the Tula Glow and Brightening Eye Balm {not pictured above} and I loveeeee it. Unfortunately, it sells out frequently because it's amazing and only $28.00. You can sign up to have them notify you when it is back in stock if you are interested. Highly recommend this product. Everyone wants a brighter more radiant under eye...am I right??

Peach Slices Shrink Pores Sheet Mask - I have raved about this mask on Instagram stories recently and if you haven't tried them run and go get some. I found mine at CVS but they are also available at Target. I notice a significant reduction in pore size after using this mask. I'm actually going to use one tonight but I am going to use my at-home micro-needling tool first and then put the mask on to help it penetrate deeper into my skin.

Peach Slices Hydrate Sheet Mask - I used this mask the day before I went on a bachelorette party earlier this month because I knew I would be drinking a lot which would dehydrate my skin leading to breaks that I do not want. I have read that J.Lo does not drink {at least not a lot and not often} and she attributes her beautiful skin and youthful glow to that. My skin looked so amazing after using it and these masks have definitely become a part of my skincare routine even after only using them a few times.

{Other products I use not pictured above}

Rodan and Field Microdermabrasion Paste - I try to use this product twice a week. It is very important if you have acne prone skin to exfoliate regularly. A jar of this paste lasts me over a year so it absolutely worth the price. Cost per use is very low, which is always a factor I consider before I buy anything.

Frankincense Essential Oil -  I add one drop of this essential oil to my moisturizer that I apply before bed. Frankincense has many amazing properties for your entire body but its a powerful astringent that helps with blemishes, pore size and helps to tighten the skin. The skin tightening I definitely have noticed. In the morning when I wake up my skin isn't oily and it's tight and just feels fresh. It is an expensive oil but worth it because it has so many uses. I purchase mine through Young Living. If you are interested in purchasing shoot me an email {alina@theneapolitanblog.com} and I can get it ordered for you.

Redefine Intense Renewing Serum - if you don't have a retinol product in your skincare routine you need to add one especially if you are 30 and above. This R&F retinol serum has one of the highest levels of retinol on the market that can be purchased without a prescription. I use this once to twice a week and I make sure to intensely moisturizer my skin afterwards because it can be very drying. If you don't know much about retinol do some research but it is used to help reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol is NOT safe for use when pregnant or nursing.

Celery Juice - I saved the best for last! This isn't technically a product but something that I have to mention. I heard about the celery juice craze and started looking into it. I found that a lot of people have had great results with it helping their hormonal acne. I decided to try it out for myself. It took about three weeks before I started to notice a difference in my skin. I started noticing even less pimples popping up, my pores were not as clogged and my skin was so smooth like I had just exfoliated. You are suppose to drink it on an empty stomach and wait to eat for about 20-30 minutes after consuming the juice. I do Intermittent Fasting and I break my fast with celery juice around 11:30am. I juice it at home and bring it in a glass bottle to work with me. Celery juice is also great for gut health. Gut health does play a big part in the health of your skin and taking a daily probiotic is a great way to help promote good bacteria in your gut.

These next two products aren't  what I consider consider "skincare" but I need to mention them because I believe since using these two products my skin has had a less blemishes and clogged pores.

Radiant Defense - I have stopped using foundation and replaced it with this magical product. It works like a CC Cream to provide you great coverage but it is actually skincare. It's ingredients help to protect your skin with SPF and antioxidants to prevent damage from environmental stress. The coverage is amazing and very build-able. I used a foundation that I used to love one day a few weeks ago and the next morning and throughout the next week I saw 5-6 pimples pop up. I have done this a few more times and every time I break out after using foundation. I love a full-coverage foundation but I just haven't found one that won't make me break out. I think a lot of my recent skin issues have been less hormones and more the makeup I was putting on my skin.

Mineral Peptides - I use this powder to set my makeup after applying Radiant Defense. It has great coverage and these two products together look better on my skin than foundation and other powders I have used in the past. I have never used a powder like this that looks so incredibly beautiful on the skin. Once my makeup is done it just looks like beautiful skin.  I have received so many compliments on my makeup since starting to use these two products. I plan to do a Current Makeup Routine post soon and I will discuss these products and how I apply them in more detail but as always if you have questions now don't hesitate to send me an email {alina@theneapolitanblog.com}.


I know this was a very long post so if you are still here thank you! I hope you got some helpful information from this post. I have struggled with acne for so long. Getting rid of it then it coming back during pregnancy it really affects your self-esteem. I love that I can run out of my house without any makeup on and not feel embarrassed of that people are looking at my pimples. Try Tula, try celery juice, take a good probiotic and stay away from makeup products that will clog your pores is the best advice I can give.

I also have a link for 20% off Tula {click this link} products if you are interested in trying them out.

Thanks so much for reading!

xo, Alina


  
















Friday, March 22, 2019

At Home Teeth Whitening: Does It Work?



For the past few months I have researched teeth whitening treatments, read reviews and compared prices between all the options on the market. I have used Crest White Strips in the past but they never seemed to whiten to the level I wanted and frankly they were uncomfortable and a bit messy.
I was at the point of speaking to my Dentist about it and getting my teeth professionally whitened. Luckily, Smile Brilliant reached out to me with a collaboration opportunity a few months ago and since then I have been whitening my teeth in the comfort of my own home. 

The first thing I want to mention is the amazing customer service that I have received while working with Smile Brilliant. The brand rep I have worked with has given me the BEST tips to make the whitening process simple and easy. This is a huge reason why I would recommend Smile Brilliant to you and to my friends and family. Any issues I have had they have helped me quickly resolve. This is so important with any product you are using but in general for ANY company. I've worked in retail a lot throughout the years and customer service that makes you feel comfortable, welcomed and empowered is critical for a satisfied customer.


I am going to take you through the entire process from beginning to end and hopefully if you chose to purchase Smile Brilliant for yourself you can refer back to this for any help you may need. Also make sure you read this post to the end for a 15% discount off your purchase.




Step 1: Create Your Impressions

  • Smile Brilliant includes very detailed instructions with pictures {shown above} to help you create your personal teeth molds
  • I suggest reading the instructions a few times before attempting the creation of your molds. 
  • They include 3 sets of the materials needed to create the teeth molds. If you mess up you have another to try again. This was so nice for me because I did mess up and I had an extra set already there for me.
  • Once you have created your molds and they have hardened you place them in the provided shipping package and send them back to Smile Brilliant. They then create your custom teeth trays from these molds and send them back to you. 

Step 2: At Home Whitening with Custom Trays

  • Once you receive your tray back you are ready to start whitening your teeth. This is where the transformation begins. Don't forget to take a BEFORE picture so that you are able to see how great your results are. 


WHITENING TIPS:

  • Less is more. Don't overload your trays with the whitening gel. You only need a very thin line of it. I placed the gel along the front of the trays to make sure the gel was hitting the very front of my teeth. I usually got 4-5 whitening treatments per syringe. 
  • To prevent sensitivity use the Desensitizing Gel after each treatment and even on days you aren't whitening. When you are whitening your teeth it opens the pores on your teeth and that can lead to sensitivity. The Desensitizing Gel helps to close the pores faster and prevent and reduce discomfort.  
  • Take is slow and steady. I did experience some sensitivity after my first few whitening treatments so I decided to do whitening treatments every other day. That plus using the Desensitizing Gel on days I wasn't whitening stopped any sensitivity I was experiencing.

MY RESULTS

{BEFORE}



{AFTER}



MY THOUGHTS

What I like best about the Smile Brilliant's Teeth Whitening  is how easy and convenient it is. It's currently tax season right now and if you follow me closely you know I am working a lot of extra hours and in the evenings at home. My time is precious and I have to be able to multi-task. I can work on my computer while whitening and I love it! The time goes by so quickly and before I know it I've whitened my teeth and finished a tax return. Can I get a HALLELUJAH?!?! 

Now I am really going to sound like a "mom" here but I love that this system is not messy. I don't have to pull those gross strips off my teeth and throw them away. I simply put a little whitening gel in the tray, whitening, rinse them out and then let them dry. Done and done. Also a lot less trash, which is great for the environment. Your custom trays are durable which allow you to keep them and re-purchase the whitening and desensitizing gel at later dates to maintain your pearly whites. The fact that you can keep the trays forever and re-order the whitening treatments really make this system affordable and worth while in my opinion.


My final verdict on Smile Brilliant is that is totally worth the money, The entire process is easy and convenient. I would absolutely recommend this to you all and my friends and family. I love that this system doesn't just whiten it actually lifts the stains from your teeth so you have a much longer and lasting whitening effect.


Smile Brilliant has been kind enough to offer a giveaway to my readers for the entire Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System. If you follow this link SMILE BRILLIANT GIVEAWAY you can enter yourself in for a chance to win!

If you aren't a winner of the giveaway you do still have an opportunity to get the entire Smile Brilliant At Home Whitening System for 15% off by using my code at checkout: theneapolitanblog15


I know this was a long post but if you're still here.. thanks for sticking around to the end! I hope you guys enjoyed this review of Smile Brilliant and I hope you take at least one opportunity this week to do something that boosts your self-confidence. I am sure glad I did!

As always, thanks for stopping! 

xo, Alina




Thank you to Smile Brilliant for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 













Friday, March 8, 2019

Our 5 Year Wedding Anniversary


The Neapolitan Wedding




The Neapolitan Wedding

The Neapolitan Wedding

















Hello and happy Friday! Today is our 5th wedding anniversary and boy have the years flown by. I cannot believe it has been that long and that we are now blessed with the sweetest, little boy. I haven't shared our professional wedding photos here so I thought today was a great opportunity. 

I'm sure most brides will say their wedding day was magical and I am no different. Shane and I were reminiscing last night about that day and I remember so vividly waking up and running to the blinds to open them and look at the weather. I immediately ran outside to see how it felt and it was the most PERFECT weather. A bit of a breeze, sunny, and 75 degrees. Basically the most perfect Spring day. It was exactly what I wanted and why I chose March as our wedding month. 

All my bridesmaids slept at my house and my best friend Callie and I were in our room together (Shane was at his parent's house). I remember laughing together and just being so happy to be with my friends and have the entire day to look forward to. 

We got married at an iconic Naples spot.. the Naples Beach Hotel. Everyone we worked with there was absolutely incredible and they truly helped make our day so special. 

 As I walked down the aisle to my high school sweetheart behind him I saw the sunshine gleaming through the 1920's chandelier hung at the alter. I see that picture in my head every time I think back to that day. I am so blessed to be able to go through this life with such an incredible partner. Thankful for the years we have had together and the many years I have been able to share with my soulmate. 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great Friday and weekend!

xo, Alina




Wedding Invitations, Programs, Custom Monogram: DM Paper Designs
Wedding Dress: Loretta Bridal, Naples
Hair and Makeup: Texture by Gabriella
Bridal Jewelry{pearl bracelet, necklace and bridesmaids earrings}: Nadine Lawson (Aunt)
Pearl Earrings: Honora 
Bridesmaids Dresses: Light In The Box
Groom and Groomsmen Tuxes: Joseph A Bank 






Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Discovering Sprouts: Part 3


The Neapolitan Alina Smith Sprouts Naples

The Neapolitan Alina Smith Sprouts Naples






The Neapolitan Alina Smith Sprouts Naples








Hello and happy hump day! 

Last night I had the opportunity to tour the new Sprouts location in Naples and it was amazing! Their grand opening is today and if you live in Naples I highly recommend you stop in and check it out. They are open every day from 7am-10pm and they are having some great promotions going on for the opening. 

So what was the biggest difference I notice with Sprouts compared to other grocery stores? Price. As you can probably see from the photos above their produce was so cheap! I was really interested to see if they delivered on their promise to provide organic produce at 20-25% percent below other grocery stores and they certainly did.  The next thing I noticed was the variety they had. A lot of other grocery stores here will carry maybe one to two flavors or options of an organic brand but Sprouts has EVERY option. 

I explored the store for about 30-45 minutes and I could definitely spend HOURS going through every aisle. I loved the layout of the store. They have all the produce right in the middle and everything else revolves around the produce.

Before I left I grabbed two pre-made dinners for me and my husband. I bought the turkey meatloaf with veggies and it was delicious and husband approved. I was shocked at the cost for the meal...$4.59! I most certainly could not get that meal for that price anywhere else in Naples.     

I hope if you have a Sprouts close to you {whether you live in Naples or elsewhere} that you pop in. You won't be disappointed. I can't wait to head back there and really explore the entire store. 

Sprouts has also been kind enough to agree to giveaway a $25.00 gift card to one of my followers. I will be hosting the giveaway on my Instagram so check that out if you want to enter.  

Thanks so much for stopping by!


xo, Alina







Thank you to Sprouts for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.








Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Discovering Sprouts: Part 2

Hello and welcome back!

I am back for Part 2 of my collaboration with Sprouts for the opening of their brand new location in Naples, Florida. Today I am going to talk a little about ways to save money when you shop at Sprouts as well as some of their products I have tried and my thoughts. That way you can be prepared to shop their location if you live in Naples. If you don't live in Naples but have a Sprouts near you I''ll have plenty of tidbits for you too!


I shared this picture on my Instagram of the products they sent me to try. Well I'll just say they didn't last long at our house! The coconut rolls were gone within 2 hours of us opening them. SOOO yummy and the entire bag was only like 530 calories. The popcorn was the next to go. It was the perfect amount of salty and buttery without all the calories. I plan to repurchase both these items when I stop by the store.. plus more of course. Also if you have never tried Ghee I highly recommend it! It is the best alternative to traditional butter and often times much easier for those with lactose issues to digest. Many people use it in their coffee in the morning to make "Bullet Proof Coffee".

The store is set to open February 20th at 7 am and they will have a ton of amazing promotions going on for the opening. The first 200 shoppers in line will receive 20% off their total purchase plus one free reusable bag with purchase for EVERY customer.

If you can't make it on February 20th they will still have deals going on all weekend to celebrate. If you are shopping on February 23rd the first 200 customers to make a purchase will receive a coupon booklet for five FREE deli items. Who doesn't like free food?!?!

I'm getting really excited for their opening and I cannot wait to tour the store. Sprouts is known for their farm-fresh produce, which is priced (according to them) 20-25% below other supermarket prices. Like I said before I haven't visited a Sprouts before but I plan to make note of the cost of their produce to compare it with my local Publix.

Thanks for stopping by and maybe I'll see you while you're shopping.

xo, Alina


Thank you to Sprouts for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.