My Beautycounter makeup must-haves

I don’t talk nearly as much about Beautycounter’s makeup products as I do the skincare—largely because, when I use the skincare consistently, I find myself skipping makeup more and more often.

That being said, there are a few items that I consider my makeup staples, even when I feel confident enough to forgo the foundation.

And because so many people have asked me which products I swear by since I became a consultant, I created this round-up of the makeup products I wear when I do take the time to do my makeup, as well as the extra products I like to incorporate either for special events or when I want a little extra beauty boost.

Let’s start with the must-haves:

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For me, my most basic makeup routine consists of undereyes, blush, eyebrows, and mascara. I feel like these four areas give me the most bang for my buck—and by that I mean “make me look not-dead and pulled-together no matter how little sleep I’ve gotten.”

Undereyes:
For dark circles, I live for Beautycounter’s Touch Up Concealer Pen (I wear it in Fair), especially when I’ve started my morning with a couple dabs of the Countermatch Eye Rescue Cream. The cream reduces shadows and gives me a smoother canvas to work with, and then the concealer pen makes it easy to brighten up my whole eye area, including the inner eye. The concealer never creases on me with this routine, and it makes it much easier to fake that I haven’t been up with a newborn all night.

Blush:
True story: I never really wore blush until a makeup artist in the mall put it on me when I was about 23. I came home and Joey immediately commented on how rosy and awake my skin looked, and I was hooked. And while up until recently I’ve favored powder blushes, I really like Beautycounter’s Color Pinch Cream Blusher (I wear Hibiscus) for an instant flush of color. Note: Don’t be alarmed if your cheeks look really pink when you first put it on. Keep blending (I use a Beauty Blender for a subtler look), and wait until you finish the rest of your makeup to decide if you need to wipe any off. If you don’t often wear blush, you might just need to get used to seeing yourself with a rosier hue!

Eyebrows:
Truly, if I could only put on one makeup product in the morning, I would choose to fill in my eyebrows. There’s something about the way they frame your whole face that gives everything an instantly pulled-together lift. And I love Beautycounter’s Color Define Brow Pencil (I wear Dark) for that immediate effect. I love a bolder brow, but they also have two lighter shades if that’s more your jam. To use, I start by lightly outlining my brow’s natural shape, then filling in with short dashes to mimic actual hairs. Then I use the attached brush to blend the whole thing. Finally, I swipe a clean finger around the outline of my brows to 1) soften any remaining hard edges and b) clean up any makeup that has gone outside the lines.

Mascara:
Confession time: I don’t use Beautycounter mascara—yet. When the mascaras first launched, I tried both the volumizing and lengthening formulas (because SO MANY of our customers love them), but I wasn’t vibing with either and found them a little dry and difficult to apply/remove. Since then, BC has changed the way they heat the formulas to give them more creaminess, but I haven’t had a chance to try them yet because I want to finish up the mascara I have currently. Which…is W3LL PEOPLE Expressionist Pro Mascara. W3LL PEOPLE is another clean makeup brand I learned about through work and have thoroughly enjoyed. I love how this formula goes on (the brush is comb-like so you get zero clumps), washes off with limited residue, and is made from cleaner ingredients like my favorite BC products. I always start by curling my eyelashes, then add a few swipes of this.

So that’s it! The secret of my minimalist makeup routine. Tell your friends 😉

But what about when I want to up the stakes a bit? For special events or for when I just want a little more makeup, here are the extra products I fold into the routine:

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Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage:
I rarely need a full-coverage foundation these days (thank you very much, Overnight Resurfacing Peel), but sometimes I get a slightly redder skin tone that I want to even out, or I’m planning to be out all day and want a little built-in SPF in my makeup routine. For those days, I love the Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage, Beautycounter’s tinted moisturizer. (I wear shade No. 2.) It’s light, blends easily, and just gives you a more even appearance without any heaviness.

Radiant All Over Bronzer:
Especially in the winter, I like to add a little bronzer in the contours of my face to warm up my complexion. (Pale girls fo lyfe, yo.) This new(ish) powder formula from BC gives me a subtly toasty look when lightly applied, or I can use a heavier hand for a more contoured look. I wear Dune.

Precision Liquid Eyeliner:
Beautycounter has actually updated the look/applicator of their liquid eyeliner since I purchased mine, but the formula is still the same. I like how dark the color goes on, and the short brush makes it easy to apply (after a little practice). It’s a simple way to add a little something for a slightly more dramatic look.

Eyeshadow Duo:
Eyeshadow is something I rarely wear, but lately, I’ve been digging light, subtly shimmery shades to wake up my eye and create a smoother canvas for when I do use eyeliner. BC has these great duos if you’re one of those people who only ever wears the same color (*raises hand*), but they’ve also launched some gorgeous bigger palettes for new Holiday releases this year.

Speaking of Holiday releases, there’s one more product I don’t wear often but have found myself reaching for more and more since I bought it: lipstick!

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Specifically, this new Color Intense Lipstick Duo. I’m seriously the person who will put on lipstick only to wipe it off four minutes later because I just can’t get into it, but something about these shades just works with my skin and feels so creamy I don’t feel like it’s flaking off seconds later. (I’m especially digging Boardwalk for fall.) They may seriously make a lipstick convert out of me—and, really, second to eyebrows no other makeup product makes such an instant change on your face.

So that’s it! You officially know everything in my makeup bag. Looking to upgrade your own products to safer, cleaner alternatives? Try the Beautycounter Flawless in Five kit for an instant, all-around upgrade, or leave a comment with any questions below and I can help you find something specific.

 

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My 5 Beautycounter must-haves

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen recently that I’ve embarked on a bit of a new venture: I’ve signed up to be a Beautycounter consultant!

I’ll be the first to admit that this decision has been a long time coming — to the tune of almost three years coming. I started using Beautycounter products after getting pregnant. My friend (and now BC mentor!) Madison had been posting about this new safe skincare brand on Instagram and the amazing effects she had seen it have on her skin and overall wellness (especially after dealing with some serious infertility complications), and the idea of products that were safe for me and my baby was seriously appealing. (You can learn more about what makes them safer than so many other products on the market here.)

After using (and loving) the products for a few months, I even hosted my own Beautycounter Social. Every six months or so, Madison would reach out to me asking if I had ever considered becoming a consultant myself. And while I continued to use the products almost exclusively, something always held me back.

I was nervous to have to “sell” anything. I was nervous I would never sell anything. I was nervous about the time commitment. I was nervous I would come across as annoying.

In short, I doubted. And I always passed on the opportunity.

Until…a couple of weeks ago. I’ll probably never know what really shifted in my brain to suddenly make this seem like a good idea, but whatever the reason, I decided to take the leap. I told myself that the buy-in wasn’t that big of a deal since I could use the products anyway, and I figured that even if I just sold enough to make my money back, that would be an okay experiment.

So I told Madison, “Yes.”

And while I don’t exactly think I can chalk myself up to a Beautycounter success story just yet, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my first two sales came within the first 24 hours of signing up. And I was pleasantly surprised when a number of other friends and acquaintances reached out for more information.

I never want to feel like I’m forcing anything down anyone’s throat. For me, Beautycounter is what I actually use for my skincare and makeup. And it’s what I actually see making a serious impact on my skin. And I actually believe that making safer, cleaner choices in skincare and makeup has a big impact on overall wellness and in helping you look and feel your best.

So I hope that genuine feeling comes through — because it’s genuinely how I feel.

Anyway! I didn’t start this post intending to give you my soapbox speech. Suffice to say, I feel comfortable selling these products because I really believe in them, and I think they can have real, amazing results.

Of course, one of the first questions I get from people is, “But what do you actually use?”

Which I get. The product assortment is constantly growing, and it can be tough to know where to start. So I wanted to share a quick round-up of my five all-time favorite BC products + why I love them for anyone looking to get started swapping in safer products in their skincare bag.

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Favorite cleanser: Countercontrol Clear Pore Cleanser
I’m pretty fortunate that for most of my life, I’ve had decently clear skin. But that doesn’t mean that it’s always perfect. This cleanser is a recent addition to the Beautycounter line, and I love how it treats my hormonal pimples (thanks, pregnancy) as well as cuts down on overall oiliness the more I use it.

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Favorite mask: No. 3 Balancing + Charcoal Mask
This mask has been one of my all-time favorites from the very beginning! Whenever my skin is breaking out or just needs a bit of a reset, I apply it, let it dry, and then marvel at every tiny pore’s worth of gunk I can see it sucking out. Dontcha just love knowing something is working because you can see it? It’s also a great spot treatment for single blemishes.

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Favorite lotion: Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion
Meet the combination skin girl’s dream. I’ve always been someone with an oily T-zone (by the end of the day, you could basically see your reflection in my forehead if I didn’t blot). But ever since using this lotion (which adjusts hydration levels throughout the day to create a more even appearance), it’s like I’m suddenly one of those girls who say, “Blotting? What is blotting?” (I’m sure there are girls who say that, right?) I also really love the eye cream from this line — it makes me look like I got a lot more sleep than I did. #momlife

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Favorite concealer: Touchup Skin Concealer Pen
While I really love a lot of Beautycounter’s makeup options (especially the Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage), I’ve honestly found that I wear hardly any makeup these days because the skincare has made my skin so happy. The one exception? Concealer for my undereye circles. (Did I mention #momlife?) In the past, I’ve struggled to find concealers that cover without creasing, but this super creamy formula glides on, dabs in, and doesn’t budge. I’m always amazed at how it instantly brightens my face even more.

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Favorite treatment: Overnight Resurfacing Peel
But seriously, if there was only one product I could tell you to buy? It would be this one. Whatever magic they have put in this bottle has the power to sink into your skin and help you wake up looking like a glowy goddess every morning. It’s definitely the biggest reason why I wear so little makeup anymore. It won’t actually make your skin peel, either — instead, it uses botanically-derived acids to exfoliate dull skin, leaving you with smaller pores, almost no blackheads (seriously, mine have all but disappeared), and fewer fine lines and spots. I cannot say enough good things about it!

So there you have it — my five must-haves. Of course, the beauty of the line is that there are so many products tailored to solve specific skin (and hair and makeup!) issues in a safe way. Not sure where to start? I hope you’ll reach out — I’d love to help you shop!

Here’s to our best — and healthiest — skin ever.

Beauty week: How to create messy waves tutorial

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Kicking off the second post of BEAUTY WEEK, I’m sharing a tutorial that I use every week: how to create messy waves.

This look is similar to my Disney Princess Curls. but the big difference is that, while the princess curls are all about perfection, the messy curls are, well, messier. The idea is to strive for a touchable, imperfect look that almost looks like it’s just how your hair naturally falls.

I’ve embedded the video below, but here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. DO start with clean, dry hair. I recommend air-drying before styling so you can take advantage of any natural wave your hair already has.
  2. DON’T curl the ends. If you’re a perfectionist like me, this will be a challenge, but trust me, this is key.
  3. DO play around with it. I curl all of my hair the same direction (away from my face), but feel free to mix it up. And literally play with it too–mess up the curls with your hands throughout the day to keep the volume.
  4. DON’T use a heavy hand with products. I use three main products to create/hold this style, but only a little bit of each one to prevent the look from getting weighed down.

That’s it! Enjoy the tutorial (sorry for my awkward faces), and feel free to leave questions in a comment below!

And, obvious side note: I am SO not a videographer (or even a video blogger!), so don’t mock my terrible video quality/editing. It is what it is, folks.

Beauty Week: Here’s what you need to know about Lipsense

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Since moving, I won’t lie to you, I’ve been struggling to get a more official “schedule” worked out. Part of the problem has been that our schedule hasn’t been real until this week—Joey just wrapped up training at work, so now he begins his four-days-a-week routine. Part of it has just been that moving is time-consuming, but now we’re also pretty much done getting settled and can stop making Lowes runs every other day.

Anyway, as you can tell, it has squashed any extra brain power I have for creative outlets. Like, I don’t know, writing for fun. AKA, updating this sad little blog ever.

But, despite what my publishing log would tell you, I still like writing, so I’m going to do my darndest to get back into the swing of things.

So, I thought to myself, what would be a fun way to kick things off?

A THEME WEEK!

Specifically, a theme week around that queen of frivolity, beauty. For today’s inaugural post, how about a little review/experiment?

If you have any friends on Facebook, odds are one of them has probably tried to talk to you about Lipsense at some point. I knew a few of my gal pals were working for the company selling this lipstick that claims to stick around for up to 18 hours (!!), but I had honestly shied away from trying it because, well, it felt kind of gimmicky and it was hard to believe that there wasn’t anything dangerous or super chemically in the mix. (I mean, EIGHTEEN HOURS? What is IN this stuff?)

There is also a lot of conflicting information on the Internet as to the safety, with a lot of people citing weird reactions, from intense tingling or burning after applying to serious dryness and flaking days after wearing it.

But, then again, there are also thousands of people out there saying it’s the greatest thing ever, never smudges off, and makes staying put-together all day a breeze.

So when a pal who sells it reached out to me about writing a review, I’ll admit I was more curious than anything. Here’s what I thought:

How it works:

First things first, you can’t apply Lipsense like any liquid lipstick. The directions recommend exfoliating your lips first and then cleaning them with a swipe of rubbing alcohol. (Confession: I skipped the alcohol step.) Then you brush the color on (only one direction, not back and forth) in three thin layers, allowing the color to dry ten seconds between layers. It feels weird (the color itself is SUPER sticky until you apply the gloss) and tingles a bit, but I didn’t experience any of the painful burning that some people described online. The smell is pretty chemically if you pay attention, but I must have been pretty caught up in the application because I really didn’t notice it. And once you apply the gloss, it feels totally normal and all stickiness/smell goes away.

Note: Apply sparingly until you get the hang of it. Not surprisingly, it’s pretty difficult to remove, so fixing smudges can be a little challenging.

After I applied, I proceeded to wear it for the rest of the day. Seriously. No smudges, hardly any fading. I didn’t even apply the gloss all that often (though it’s recommended that you do, especially before and after eating, for best results). By the very end of the day, I probably could have used a reapply, but I was home so it was like, eh?

The trickiest part for me came when I actually wanted to take the stuff off. It’s seriously difficult, even using the remover. Ultimately, I had to use a bit of skin oil and exfoliate again to get it all off.

Post-use, some people online say they had a lot of flaking and dryness on their lips, but I didn’t have any negative experiences. Like most products, I suspect that some things agree with some people’s skin chemistry, and other things don’t. (I’m not a scientist, though, so don’t hold me to that.)

What’s in it?

As far as ingredients, the product itself is vegan and cruelty-free (bonus), but there is some back and forth on the internet about whether or not the ingredients are really “safe”. You can get a full ingredient list here.

As far as my layman’s opinion, while I couldn’t see wearing it every single day (though maybe if I had a lighter, more natural color — I’m just not a daily lipstick kind of gal), I would definitely break this out for a wedding or other special occasion where I wanted to go the whole day without worrying about my makeup. Or, you know, for wearing bright red. Because you want that stuff to stay put.

Want to learn more about Lipsense or try it yourself? My friend Jennifer has a Facebook group you can join to ask questions or shop — plus, she’s super nice and willing to help!

Has anyone else tried Lipsense? What was your experience? Is there another long-wearing lipstick you liked better?

*Lipsense products provided to me for review. Opinions my own.

My hair is my daughter’s security blanket

Ever since she was very little, Vivi has done this thing when she is nervous where she would hold my hair to soothe herself. Her face would be so serene, but her chubby little hand would be white-knuckling a strand of hair near the nape of my neck with all the death grip her little body could muster.

Over time, it became less a response to fear or nervousness and more of a comfort when she was tired or just needed soothing (hello, heavy teething weeks).

It never occurred to me that this could be a problem. I mean, I always have my hair with me. What better option for a soother? I can’t lose it or forget it at home!

Which brings us to present day, in which I realize that this is, in fact, a problem. Because my little lock twirler now has trouble falling asleep without my mane in her clutches. In fact, she’d be happiest if she could hold my hair all day long.

Don’t believe me? Here’s some actual footage:

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Yes, that is me sitting at the desk with her on the couch dozing with my hair in her hands. No, this isn’t staged. Yes, she has food all over her shirt. Yes, this looks like I have 8,000 neck rolls. Yes, this is real life.

While it hasn’t affected her nighttime sleeping (THANK GOODNESS), I’ve only been able to get her down for ONE nap in her crib in the last couple of weeks. It is, shall we say, problematic.

To be fair, she still falls asleep in the car seat and occasionally in her stroller (sans my hair), but if we’re home with nowhere to go? You can bet she’s only napping if I’m snuggled next to her on the couch, my hair in her chubby little fist.

I know it’s probably a phase. Or maybe I should buy her a Barbie and see if that makes a good enough substitute. But, aside from the nap issue, I’m also somewhat alarmed to see that she is actually pulling my hair out on occasion, or at least breaking off a handful of strands a few times a day. I mean, as if my postpartum hair issues weren’t bad enough.

So, what’s a mom to do? Lately, I’ve been on a mission to strengthen and smooth my hair as much as possible. I only wash it about three times per week (still haven’t worked up the gumption to do this again), and I try to air dry when I can.

I’ve also started taking prenatals again (not trying to get pregnant, they just had a really great effect on my hair and nails the first go-around) and added a biotin supplement. Additionally, I took a tip from my pal Madison (who has put much more research into this than I have — read more on her postnatal hair woes/solutions here) and also started adding integral collagen into my smoothie every morning. I can’t say for certain that I’ve seen immediate results, but I do see a lot of regrowth around my hairline.

To smooth the hair I already have, I’m also using a deep repair hair mask from Acure twice a week. It smells amazing, and I do feel like my hair feels softer and smoother after each use, especially when I let it air dry.

But other than that…I’m not sure what to do? Something tells me this is another one of those, “welp, here’s hoping we all grow out of it” moments.

Any tips from the mommas/hair enthusiasts out there?

 

Four Lipsticks for Non-Lipstick Wearing Gals + My Favorite Way to Whiten My Teeth

Let’s get one thing straight: I am not a lipstick person. It has always been the one cosmetic that I’ve shied away from, and even in recent years (when I’ve become admittedly more into makeup), it has been a struggle to find anything that a) I like, b) is comfortable to wear, and c) actually stays on my mouth.

So, when I tell you that I like these four lipsticks, you should know that years of searching have gone into finding them. Respect.

I don’t wear lipstick every day, or even every week, but here are the shades I find myself reaching for whenever I do want to look a little more put-together.

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My nude lip….Beautycounter Lip Sheer in Twig.

Remember when I said I don’t wear lipstick every day? This is the one exception. I haven’t tried Beautycounter’s other lip sheers, but if the Twig shade is any indication, they are perfection. Creamy, moisturizing, and with build-able color that looks as great as it feels.

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My pink lip…Marc Jacobs Le Marc Creme Lipsticks in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

I got this lipstick as a free gift from Sephora, and I was immediately in love with it. The texture is really nice and not drying at all, and the color is bright but still pretty universally flattering. I wear it a lot more in warmer weather, but it’s a good semi-neutral pop to have in my back pocket. (LITERALLY.)(Not literally, it would probably melt.)

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My mauve lip…Buxom Big & Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick in Sultry Mauve.

Despite what the name implies, you do not immediately turn into a sexpot when you put this lipstick on. I actually find it to be really subtle, almost like a brighter version of my natural lip color. Great for almost every season, this is the anti-lipstick girl’s answer to bolder purple-y hues.

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My red lip…Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Fiery Red.

True life: I have always been deeply intimidated by red lipstick. It always looks so great on other people, but on me, I always felt like it to too loud, too pink, too orange, too…something. So I resigned myself to a life of neutrals (and secret lipstick envy of my braver friends). And then I got this version (again, in a trial set from Sephora). You guys. It is actually a true red, not too anything, and it somehow looks exactly right with my super pale skin. My favorite thing about it is that I barely have to wear any other makeup and my whole face looks brighter and more pulled together. Efficiency!

Of course, there’s one thing that helps every one of these looks (and really, any lipstick) look even better: white teeth. I’m fortunate that my teeth are naturally pretty white, but as a coffee addict drinker, I had definitely noticed that my chompers were looking a little worse for the wear. My dentist confirmed that my teeth were healthy, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t use a little boost.

So I was pretty excited when Smile Brilliant reached out to me about doing a blog partnership. Their teeth whitening kit is different from other strips and pastes I had tried in the past because they create custom whitening trays exactly fitted to your smile. Here’s how it works:

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First, Smile Brilliant sends you a kit to create your custom trays. It seems a little intimidating, but all you have to do is mix two putties together, put them in the blue trays, and then bite down for a minute.

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Next, after letting the trays dry overnight, you mail them in a pre-paid envelope back to Smile Brilliant for them to create your teeth whitening trays. The custom whitening trays will arrive about a week later.

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Then you’re ready to start whitening! The process has two steps, whitening and desensitizing. The length of time you spend whitening will depend on your own sensitivity, but I typically left my teeth whitening gel on for 50 minutes to an hour (AKA, the length of a TV show on Netflix). Then, the desensitizing gel goes on for 15-20 minutes, and I found that it really helped with tooth sensitivity. You can view a really simple how-to video by another blogger here, and here are some things to know before you whiten.

It will take 7-10 treatments to see full results, but I noticed my teeth started looking significantly whiter after the third treatment. I really liked how the trays were custom fit to my teeth, so there was no sliding and the treatment gel stayed right on the surface of my teeth. They were very comfortable, so I didn’t even mind wearing them for an hour. It was a little hard to capture the change in a photo, but my teeth are at least a shade or two whiter (before on the left):

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PLUS, Smile Brilliant is hosting a giveaway where you can win your own whitening tray creation kit and whitening/desensitizing gels! Click here to enter. But if you just can’t wait, you can also use the code stopmeifyouveheardthisone to get 5% off a kit at Smile Brilliant’s website — easy-peasy. Happy whitening!

Whitening kit provided as part of a partnership with Smile Brilliant. Opinions my own.


Professional Teeth Whitening
//www.smilebrilliant.com/widget/b67873

Keeping Time: JORD Men’s Watches Review & Giveaway

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Time seems to go infinitely faster once you have a baby. Everyone tells you this, but it’s a hard thing to believe or even really imagine until you’re in the thick of it.

As a perpetual planner, I probably make it worse by always thinking about what’s next — where we’ll go, what we’ll do. I’m not the best at being in the moment.

Joey is not like me. He’s so much better than I am at being content and enjoying the moment he’s in. He’s always telling me to savor and worry about what’s next when it happens.

Sometimes it drives me crazy…but mostly because I know he’s usually right.

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I actually gave Joey a watch on our wedding day. He had always told me about a watch he had growing up that told him the ocean tides (he grew up surfing), but it had broken. I came across a newer version when hunting for the perfect gift and immediately knew it was what I would give him. That was over five years ago, and, until recently, it was still the only watch I ever saw him wear.

So when JORD reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in featuring another watch from the company, I knew immediately who I wanted to get it for.
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Joey had always liked my JORD watch, and I was so excited to get him one of his own. And as soon as I saw the DOVER Koa & Black style, I knew we had a winner. I still catch Joey admiring the visible gears as they click around, tracking the time.

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Joey and I may not always be on the same time scale, but there’s no one I’d rather spend my time with. I’m so grateful to have him by my side, passing the time and reminding me to enjoy every moment of this crazy adventure we’re on as parents.

Love Joey’s watch? Then I’ve got good news! JORD is doing another watch credit giveaway. Click here to enter for the chance to win a $75 voucher — even if you don’t win, you’ll still get a $20 credit. Then start picking out your watch here.
Luxury Wood Watch
//www.woodwatches.com/widget-article/stopmeifyouveheardthisone