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Lauren McBride by Lauren Mcbride - 19h ago

I’ve got another month of Amazon Finds Under $50 for you! This month we have some great accessories, dupes, and athletic wear!

1 // Woven Rattan Resin Earrings: These earrings are the perfect statement earrings for summer!

2 // Supersoft Terry Maxi Dress: I love a simple maxi dress, and this one comes in a variety of neutral colors.

3 // Double Buckle Cork Sandals: These Birkenstock dupes are a great price if you’re on a budget or don’t want to take the plunge on the price of the real version!

4 // Alo Yoga Heat Wave Tank: I grabbed this tank for Orange Theory, and I love it! It’s breezy and not constricting – perfect for a sweaty workout.

5 //  Rattan Round Bag: I love the color of this rattan bag! It comes in a variety of styles.

6 // Bowtie Jelly Flip Flops: These flip fops are adorable for the beach or pool! I love that they’re easily washable, too.

7 // Bohemian Floral Print Skirt: I love the print of this skirt for summer! There are a variety of other floral prints, as well.

8 // Power Flex Yoga Shorts: I grabbed these shorts because they reminded me of my Zella shorts, and I was impressed for the price! They’re 2 for $20! I personally love the length because they’re not up my butt while running. 

9 // Running Shorts: These running shorts are shorter than the previous pair, but less constricting and breezier – better for a hot day!

10 // Straw Clutch: This cute little straw clutch is only $15 and great for summer date nights!

11 // Drop Hoop Raffia Earrings: These earrings are just gorgeous! They’re slightly heavier than I envisioned due to the frame, but not bad.

12 // Jersey V-Neck Tank Top: This simple basic tank is only $12.50! I love the quality of the fabric.

The post July Amazon Finds Under $50 appeared first on Lauren McBride.

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As I’ve shared over on Instagram, our three children recently completed their survival swim lesson training! I’ve recently SO many questions on this topic that I thought I would share a general Q&A and our experience with Survival Swim Lessons in case you’re looking to enroll your children.

Since we live by the water, my husband and I felt this was a very important skill for our children to know. WE WILL ALWAYS BE CAUTIOUS AROUND THE WATER, because drowning takes SECONDS, but we wanted them to have this life saving skill so that we knew they could save themselves if something accidentally happened. Let’s face it, accidents happen all the time. And while we do our best to avoid them, we didn’t want to be naive in thinking drowning will never happen to our kids. These lessons gave my children confidence around the water, and are like an extra layer of protection over my most treasured gifts in life. 

(All photos were provided by our instructor, Dena, at Infant Aquatics CT! She snaps photos and takes videos during the lesson, which the kids loved to look at afterwards!)

Where can I find this near me?

My suggestion is googling “survival swimming lessons near me.” There are various companies who do this and it might be different depending on your location. We used Infant Aquatics here in Connecticut (she’s the ONLY survival swim instructor here!).

What are they learning and how is it different from regular swim lessons?

Survival swim lessons are teaching the child to roll onto their back to float/rest/breathe until help arrives. My older children also learned to swim to safety, while floating and resting to catch their breath when they’re in need. What they learn is going to depend on their age, of course, but they will all learn the life saving position of floating. All of this information should be on the website of whatever instructor you choose! NEVER hesitate to ask questions!

How long are the lessons?

This is based on our own personal experience, as I’ve heard this can vary a bit. Our classes were 10 minutes long, 4 times a week for 6 weeks. My son, who’s a little older, has 20 minute lessons 4 times a week for 3 weeks. Our instructor told us sometimes a fourth week is needed, but my guy did so well he didn’t need that fourth week. Again, this should be on the website of whatever instructor you go with.

What’s the cost?

I’ve polled several moms from around the country who have put their kiddos through survival swimming, and the costs seems to vary depending on location. Here in CT, it’s $175 a week for 6 weeks. YES, this is a LOT of money. There’s no getting around that. However – I looked at it as an investment in my children. I’m giving them a life-saving skill. We saved up for this (it wasn’t in the cards for us last year). If you know this is something you’d like to eventually do, a great idea is asking for money towards it for birthdays, holidays, etc instead of toys for the kids! Same if you’re pregnant and want to enroll your baby when they’re of age – you can totally put it on your registry! 

How early can they start?

Our instructor starts at 6 months, I believe, but this might vary depending on who you use. All of that info can be answered by the company you’re looking to use for survival swim! My kids were 1, 3, and 5 when they started. It’s never too late to start!

Did they know how to swim prior to lessons?

No. I had signed up my oldest and middle child for swim lessons last year and spent hundreds of dollars only for them to still not know how to swim. They learned important skills, yes, but they could not swim.

Do you get in the pool with them?

I can only speak to our experience with Infant Aquatics, but the only child I got in the pool with was my 1 year old on the first two days. This was to help him adjust. After the second day, I never went back in. 

What about secondary drowning?

This was one of the first questions I asked the instructor when I signed them up. I would HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY encourage you to ask your pediatrician about secondary drowning. Ask your swim instructors as well. I can 100000000000000% promise you that once you speak to them, you will have ZERO concerns. ZERO.

Did they throw up?

No. The instructor gave us specific rules related to food (there were foods to avoid and a cut off time for food/drink before lessons) that we followed carefully. We never had one instance of vomiting!

What are the classes like?

Very calm. Our instructor started teaching basics before advancing on. It also depends on the age of the child. For instance, my older two started a little differently than my 1 year old. They’re very short lessons, a lot of repetition, etc. I’m just watching from the side of the pool, and at this point 2 months ago was a blur, but it was all very calm. 

Do they throw them in the pool the first day?

NOOOOOOO. This is such a huge misconception! I think people see videos of children who have mastered the skill and assume it’s the first class. No, no, no. They don’t waste time getting their heads wet, but they do NOT throw them in the pool. The first day is actually very calm. The instructor is VERY calm. Yes, they are going under water, but it’s essential to the learning process. But it’s not traumatizing as you’re envisioning, I promise!

Do they ever have them fall in the pool unexpectedly? 

Yes! But here me out here! Once they’ve got the skill down, they “test” them in different situations and in different clothing styles! This is SO important because falling in the pool isn’t guaranteed to happen in a swimsuit, and can be them falling in backwards, etc. It is SO COOL to see what your little ones can do, and they love it at that point! This is not something happening on day 1. This is happening after they’ve accomplished the skill (and clearly the instructor feels confident in their abilities). You have to keep in mind, these instructors have a lot of liability – they aren’t doing anything they shouldn’t be doing.

Will they forget what they learned? Do you have to keep training them?

They can absolutely forget what they learned. Our instructor recommends enrolling the kids in her group lessons (which are 30 minutes long, once a week) after completing the survival swim course so they can practice and master their skill and build even more confidence in the water. I actually know someone who did NOT do the group lessons, and her child forgot what he had learned the following year. We chose to enroll them, and so far they LOVE the group lessons! They’re really fun for the kids and they have a blast! They eventually learn strokes in these classes as well. I figure we’ll keep them in group lessons until they are older. 

Are the kids traumatized?

I was actually asked this question a LOT, and I totally understand why it would seem they might be! No, they are absolutely not traumatized. They actually LOVE the water now and jump right in! I can understand how your fear of this might make you NOT want to sign your children up for swimming but here’s the thing….drowning can happen to ANYONE, ANYTIME, and ANYWHERE there is water. It takes seconds. My thought process when we did their first lesson was that if my children were to fall into water THAT DAY, and I didn’t get to them in time, they would drown and die. Yes, that’s harsh and morbid, but it’s the truth. For that reason alone, we decided this was the absolute BEST skill we could provide our children with. It’s a LIFE SAVING skill, and probably the most important skill they can have if they’re around water. Yes, they cried the first few days because it was new, hard, and involved getting their heads wet, but that subsided within days and they were excited to go back. My kids have confidence around the water now, and while I am still always cautious, it gives me peace of mind knowing that they can save themselves if needed.

Are YOU traumatized? How did you keep cool watching them?

One thing I’ve learned as a parent is our kids play off of our reactions and emotions. I knew they would be hesitant in doing this because its not the type of swimming they knew in the past. I also knew that, again, they could die if they fell into a pool and I didn’t get to them in time. Keeping that thought in my head, plus knowing that they would be looking at me the whole time, I made it a point to be their BIGGEST CHEERLEADER EVER during lessons. Yes, I was nervous for the initial first day because it’s a new experience. But after the first day, we were so confident that this was the right thing to do for them. We saw progress in just the FIRST DAY. That’s amazing! So no, I’m not traumatized, and I never showed any other emotion except excitement for them. I clapped and cheered when they did a great job.  I waved whenever they looked up at me. I wasn’t on my phone. I gave them my undivided attention from the sidelines so they knew I was right there and cheering them on. Here’s the thing – we’re their parents. We need to be brave for them to be brave. It’s fine to show emotions, but if I was a nervous, anxious mess before or during their lesson, how would that have helped them in ANY way? It would not have. It would put fear into them.

One BIG tip I received from a family member who specializes in child psych is to NOT BRIBE THEM to do hard things. She told me this could lead to MORE anxiety about a situation. So instead, and with her guidance here, I rewarded them AFTER class the first week. Once they were one with their lesson and I was drying them off, I said “You did SO WELL and I am SO PROUD OF YOU!!!! I have a special treat waiting because I am so proud of how brave you are!” I really think my reactions plus how I handled this REALLY helped my kids. I only did this for the first few days, and because it was a surprise, it was fine when I stopped. I’m just sharing this little tidbit in case you need it for anything in the future!

What do you do when the kids want to just swim and have fun?

We practice! Our instructor told us they shouldn’t be standing in water that’s high up on their little bodies for a long period of time because they can forget what they have to do. So, if they’re playing at the pool with their friends, we practice their skills frequently so they remember what they have to do! And honestly, they’re SO proud of themselves that they have no problem doing it. They’re still pretty new at this, but they improve every time.

Do they wear life vests after finishing their course?

No, unless we’re on a boat. We were told that the life vests/puddle jumpers/swimmies can make them forget what they have to do. They need to remember that being horizontal on their back is their life saving skill, and those devices prevent that.

Overall, I am SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY we chose to do this for our children. Yes, it’s an investment, but we cut costs and budgeted to make it work because we wanted to provide them with that skill. I realize that’s not an option for everyone, so I just want to remind you that any swim lesson is better than NO swim lesson! It really is so important that our children know how to swim, especially if you’re near water. Also, never hesitate to ask if they offer discounts wherever you’re looking. The worst they can say is no! If you’re in Connecticut, I highly recommend Dena from Infant Aquatics CT. She is absolutely incredible and has a special gift with children. They all love Miss Dena! I can’t speak to other states, unfortunately.

If your kiddos have done survival swimming, feel free to leave a comment with your experience! And if you have any additional questions, feel free to ask those too. I can update this post as they come in!

The post Our Experience with Survival Swim Lessons appeared first on Lauren McBride.

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I have been compensated by QVC for today’s post; all thoughts and opinions are my own!

I’ve been sharing about my beloved Faux Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree from QVC for over a year now, and I know many of you have scooped it up! The most frequently asked question I receive is how I put it inside the pot I use as the base, so I wanted to share a step by step guide for you today!

Step 1: Find a pot.

The pot the Fiddle Leaf comes in is simply a starter pot – it will need to be put inside of another pot or it’s just going to look a bit silly in your room! I’ve shared some of my favorite planters RIGHT HERE, but you can use just about anything that fits your decor and aesthetic. I’m currently using an antique crock that my mom gave me. I would recommend getting a pot that won’t exceed the width of the tree branches so it’s proportionate.

Step 2: Add base filler.

After selecting your pot, you’ll place the tree inside of it. In order to support the base and prevent the tree from toppling over, you’ll need to add some filler around the starter pot! I used whatever I could find – old newspaper crumpled up, cardboard folded up, bubble wrap, etc. Whatever you have on hand is fine, you just want to make sure it keeps the base somewhat sturdy. You can also use green floral styrofoam, too. I suggest filling it until the height of the pot attached to the tree. You can see, I literally just used whatever I could find, haha!

Step 3: Add top filler.

To make the pot look more natural, add a top filler! I picked up some Spanish moss from the craft store and simply filled the rest of the pot to the top! It gives it a bit of a more natural look. I’ve had people say they’ve used mulch, too! The point is to make it look more natural and less fake. Fake it ’til you make it!

That’s it! Super simple. The faux fiddle leaf fig tree now comes in a 4 foot height as well! I have this one in person and I do feel it’s slightly small, so I would recommend using a raised pot for it! Mine is the 5 foot height and just right for small spaces, but can also be elevated too. The best part is this faux fiddle is under $60!!!! It’s the best one I’ve seen for that price, and the bonus is you can’t kill it You can scoop it up right here on QVC.com!

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I’ve mentioned before I’ve been in the process of slowly trying out some cleaner beauty products per your request, and I’m excited to share a new to me brand with you today! 

Volition Beauty recently caught my eye when I was browsing Sephora, and I noticed they had this Best Sellers Kit available on their main website when I looked further. Whenever I’m trying out a new brand, I love to grab their best sellers, or even a sample size, kit so I can test out the products they’re known for. I’ve only been using these for a couple of weeks, but wanted to share my first impressions of the products with you in case you’re looking for a clean beauty routine to try!

Strawberry-C Brightening Serum

I was super intrigued to try this product because This brightening serum is powered by strawberry-derived vitamin C is supposed to help brighten and even your skin tone while hydrating as well. I’ve only been using it for a couple of weeks (I like to give skincare products at LEAST 4-6 weeks before I can really give a full review), but my first impressions are great! I like how lightweight it feels, and how quickly it absorbs into my skin. It doesn’t feel greasy in the slightest bit, and I like that it hydrates and plumps without looking/feeling oily. And while it can be a coincidence, I swear I feel my skin is looking a little brighter and less dull! This serum can be used twice a day, and I’ve been applying it before my moisturizer. The one thing I want to call out – PLEASE read the package (specifically the box and insert) on how to use the dropper! You have to fully remove the dropper, squeeze it, re-insert, release, and then pull it back out in order for it to fill with product. It does not function like a standard dropper, so I wanted to call that out so you didn’t think it was broken!  

Tumeric Brightening Polish

This feel confident in reviewing this product even though I’ve only used it a few times because it’s a product that works instantly! It’s a face AND body polish (I love a two in one!) that helps exfoliate and brighten the skin. With just one use, my skin felt significantly smoother and looked less dull. It can be used once a week (I keep it in my shower!) to help give your skin a little refresh. I also like that the scrub isn’t too harsh for my face. Bonus points that it contains turmeric, which is known for its brightening properties! This would also be a great scrub to use before applying self tanner!

Apple Cider Vinegar Resurfacing Peel Pads

I love a good resurfacing product, especially in a pad form (makes it easy!).  These pads have incredible reviews, and I wish more came in the Best Sellers Kit! They don’t have the ACV smell we all know of, but there is somewhat of a fragrance. It went away after a minute or so and I didn’t find it too bothersome. These pads definitely left a tingling sensation on my face (I do not have sensitive skin, so just a heads up!), but that went away after a minute as well. Volition Beauty recommends using them only 1-2 times a week when you’re first starting to use them and then slowly working your way up to daily (which is why only 3 come in the kit!). If you have sensitive skin, they recommend a patch test! There was a significant amount of product on the pad, and my skin felt smoother the next morning.

Volition Beauty is formulated without sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrance, and other harmful ingredients. If you’re looking for a clean beauty routine, their Best Sellers kit is worth giving a try! They have a wide selection available on Sephora (and have the clean beauty seal of approval!) but their Best Sellers Kit can be found on their main website here! They also offer FREE shipping and returns with every purchase in the US and often send samples to test out as well!

If you have any Volition Beauty products you currently use and love, I’d love to hear about them below!

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Lauren McBride by Lauren Mcbride - 3w ago
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Lauren McBride by Lauren Mcbride - 3w ago

I’ve mentioned in the past that I’ve tried out Evereve’s Trendsend box, and I’ve got another fun box to share with you today! I’m partnering with Evereve and a Trendsend stylist to curate a box of my favorite items, and you can request for them to be in yours too! I’ve got a special offer at the end of the post, so keep reading to check it out!

Evereve is a women’s contemporary retailer that features over 100 brands you know and love like Free People, 7 for All Mankind, Sanctuary, and more. Trendsend is their at-home stylist service where customers fill out a style profile and have a stylist put together a box of 6 items that create 2-3 looks she thinks they will love. Customers simply keep what they like, and send the rest back! It’s hassle free, and you have full control over how often you receive a box – on order or on demand.

I love the versatility of the items I received, so I put together a few outfits to show you!

OUTFIT 1

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Leopard Kimono: I love how neutral this kimono is, especially for those who aren’t into color! It’s incredibly lightweight and flows, and looks great styled with jeans (as I have here), a skirt, shorts, or a dress. One size fits all in this one!

Mila Tank: I love the simplicity of this tank for layering! It comes in a variety of colors and fits TTS. I’m in an XS here.

Articles of Society Carly Crop Jeans: These jeans fit like a dream! They’re incredibly comfortable, have a mid-rise fit, and have the perfect amount of light distressing. The only note I’ll make here is the front pockets are not functional! They fits TTS, I’m wearing a 25. I love where they hit on the ankle, too.

OUTFIT 2

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Multi Stripe Tie Front Top: This top is a fun summer addition to your closet, and can be styled with jeans, a skirt, and shorts! I love the mix of colors, and there’s also a coral and gold version right here. I’m wearing a size small and I feel it fits like a true small (meaning one size smaller would be a bit better on me!).

Same Articles of Society jeans!

OUTFIT 3

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GRL PWR Crew Neck Tee: My former Spice Girls loving self is obsessed with this tee! I love a good graphic tee, and can also appreciate the simple white and black colors of this one. It’s really fun to style in the way I have it above, but also great over a maxi skirt, with shorts, or whatever you like styling a graphic tee with! I’m wearing an XS here and feel it fits TTS. It’s not too tight, and has a relaxed fit. 

Kut from the Kloth Step Hem Skirt: I love a good denim skirt, and especially love the length of this one! It’s got a slight step hem which adds some unique detail, but I love the overall simple style of this wardrobe basic. I’m wearing a size 0 here and feel it fits TTS.

Same leopard kimono as featured in outfit 1!

OUTFIT 4

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Z Supply Camo Overalls: These are the softest and most comfortable overalls I’ve ever put on my body! They’re great whether you’re just laying around the house or running around on the go! I’m wearing an XS here and they fit TTS. I like the drawstring waist, too! They come in a few other colors if camo isn’t for you!

Same GRL PWR tee as in outfit 3!

Weren’t those great items?! I love each and every one of them! Evereve has been kind enough to offer you guys 20% off your first box for new customers when you sign up by clicking HERE! All you have to do is fill out your Trendsend profile and place your order. When your box arrives and you checkout, your 20% off discount will be applied to your order! If you keep 4 or more items (new or old customers!), you get 10% off (in addition to the 20% if you’re a new customer…making it a total of 30% off!). Evereve is also running a promo that any box styled in June gets 10% off..which can be stacked with all of the previous discounts I mentioned! That means if you’re a new customer, you can get up to 40% off your box and if you’re an old customer, you can get up to 20% off your box! Woo! CLICK HERE to take advantage of those savings and give Evereve Trensend a try!

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Thank you to Evereve for partnering with me on today’s post, and providing providing these items for review! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

The post June Evereve Trendsend Box appeared first on Lauren McBride.

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Lauren McBride by Lauren Mcbride - 1M ago

Thank you to QVC for compensating me for today’s post! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’m really excited to share today’s sale with you because it’s a great one and so many items in my home are included! The entire Safavieh line is 20% off, PLUS free shipping, PLUS easy pay now through Monday June 24th on QVC! I’ve always loved the Safavieh brand because they have quality home decor items at great prices. I’m sharing a couple of items currently 20% off below with you!

One item I’m frequently asked about is our front porch rocking chairs. These Shasta Rocking Chairs are by Safavieh, and so well made! They come in a variety of wood colors, too. We have the white wash, which almost looks a little worn in instead of being a solid white. I don’t mind this – it shows less dirt! We have two flanking a garden stool as a cute seating area on our porch.

Speaking of garden stools, I have two on our front porch and deck area also from Safavieh! I love these as little side tables for guests to place a drink down on. We have this Ming Garden Stool in Silver near our seating area on the deck, and another white one near our porch swing. They make a great plant stand too! I feel they make the overall area look a little more put together and welcoming. 

Up next, my new She Shed rug is also from Safavieh and on sale! I absolutely love the pop of color and worn in look of this one for my new office space! It would be so beautiful in a little girls room, too! It perfectly matches my blue door, too  

Another recent Safavieh purchase of mine is these Salcha Set of 2 Indoor/Outdoor Bistro chairs! A friend of mine had these in her home, and I knew I had to scoop them up! They are very similar to another set I had my eye on, but for only a fraction of the price. I love that they’re indoor/outdoor too, so I can easily use them in my dining room or move them outside to our outdoor table. 

I’ve been such a big fan of Safavieh and have owned many pieces from the brand over the years! They’re rugs have always been a favorite of mine. I’m linking up some more favorites below for you that are available on QVC. Remember, you get 20% off now through June 24th on QVC.com, along with FREE SHIPPING and Easy Pay! Shop my picks below!

 
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Lauren McBride by Lauren Mcbride - 1M ago

I’ve got some more great Amazon finds for you this month! I scooped up quite a few myself to try out and I’m sharing those on stories! Check my highlights for AMAZON FINDS to see them!

1 // Workout Tank: This basic workout tank is by one of my favorite Amazon athletic brands, comes in multiple colors, and is under $20!

2 // Rattan Hoop Earrings: Love the detail of these rattan hoop earrings, and the gold adds a bit of sophistication and makes them look more expensive than they are! These come in at under $12!

3 // Tie Front Tank: This cute tie front, button down tank has endless amounts of color options and is under $20!

4 // Romper: This adorable romper is under $35! I love that it can be worn casually or even dressed up with some heels!

5 // Straw Bag: This straw bag is adorable and fun for nights out during the summer, or a tropical vacation! 

6 // T-shirt Dress: If you’re in need of a basic t-shirt dress, this one comes in a variety of colors and is under $20!

7 // Wide Brim UPF50+ Hat: I LOVE that this hat is UPF50+! Perfect for those who need that extra layer of protection in the hot summer heat! It rolls up, too, for easy packing! It’s adjustable for your head size, as well, and it’s only $16!

8 // Floral Kimono: This kimono is so beautiful, only $22, and has over 400 4.5 star reviews! Mine is on it’s way to me, so I’ll be sure to update when it comes in!

9 // Leather Belt: This classic belt has a beautiful, simple buckle detail and is under $16!

10 // Pajama Romper: These leopard pajamas are so cute! I love that it’s a romper, and the ruffle detail is flirty and feminine. These are only $20!

11 // Canvas Sneakers: These simple canvas sneakers are a wardrobe classic and go with just about everything.

12 // Workout Leggings: This cropped version of my favorite Amazon leggings are great for this time of year! They’re only $35!

The post June Amazon Finds Under $50 appeared first on Lauren McBride.

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Lauren McBride by Lauren Mcbride - 1M ago

I’m particular about eye creams, and I feel finding a good one can be so challenging at times! I recently came across one I’ve been loving and wanted to share in case you’ve been looking for a new one to try.

I was introduced to Kiehl’s years ago when I splurged on my VERY FIRST big-girl skincare product – their Midnight Recovery Concentrate. When I saw the reviews their Creamy Eye Treatment had, I knew I had to give it a go. It has over 1000 4.5 star reviews, which always peaks my interest!

The Creamy Eye Treatment is formulated with avocado oil, so it hydrates the under eye area. It’s very rich, has a creamy texture, and a little goes a very long way. It’s a light green color, which I’m convinced helps brighten the under eye area too. It’s very rich upon application but absorbs very quickly. It applies unlike any other eye cream I’ve tried and really stays in place where you apply it. 

I’m really loving how my eyes feel and look after I apply the Creamy Eye Treatment. They are perfectly hydrated without being too greasy or too dry. I’ve had zero creasing of my makeup after application, as well. That’s something I’m very particular about since concealer is a must for my hereditary dark circles! I also feel it brightens the area a bit as well. It doesn’t claim to, but I swear I notice a difference immediately with application. It might just be the coloring of the cream, but hey I’ll take it  

Kiehl’s offers the eye cream in 2 sizes – I purchased the smaller version for only $30 to give it a try! This is only the fifth Kiehl’s product I’ve tried over the years, but I’ve loved every single one them (and I’m linking them below for you!). Do you have any other Kiehl’s favorites? Tell me below so I can try them out! 

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Thank you to Nordstrom for partnering with me on today’s post!

The post New Favorite Eye Cream appeared first on Lauren McBride.

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