Thursday, March 5, 2015

My Nightly Skin Care Routine

 One of my New Year's resolutions this year was to start a skin care routine of washing my face every single night. I used to fall asleep on the couch with a full face of makeup at least one night a week, but now I don't wait to do it before bed. Instead, I wash my face right after getting home from work so that my products actually have time to soak in and don't end up on my pillowcase. I've been sticking to my resolution for 2 months now, and I am really seeing a difference in my skin! Others have even noticed too: three people have stopped me to say my skin was glowing! I almost cried - I've never had good skin, I've struggled with acne since I was 9. While my acne isn't like it was when I was when I was a teenager, my nightly routine keeps my skin clean, healthy, smooth and moisturized. See below for my full skin care routine:


Step 1: Remove Makeup


{Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes}
These are gentle enough to use all over my face - even around the delicate eye area! See my other favorite drug store buys here


Step 2: Cleanse         

After rinsing the sponge in warm water, I apply my cleanser to the sponge and massage my face in circular motions to get rid of any remaining traces of makeup, dirt or oil.


Step 3: Tone


{Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner}
I use a toner-soaked cotton ball all over my face to help balance  and even my skin tone.


Step 4: Eye Cream


{Olay Total Effects Eye Cream}
I started using an eye cream since turning 25 as a preventative measure, and to help with those stubborn dark circles.


Step 5: Night Cream

I apply this overnight anti-aging moisturizer to my face and neck in soft upward strokes. Remember to always use your anti-aging products on your neck too, as many women show more signs of aging on their neck than their face!


What is your nightly skin care routine? If you have any tips or fave products, please share in the comments below! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

MC-gram

{Boho OOTD: Zara olive green lace romper & Steve Madden chocolate brown fringe sandals}
 

{Dinner at Bestia in downtown LA with the besties}


{Truer words have never been spoken}
 

{My all black look for the floorset walk thru at Century City Mall: Zara faux leather pencil skirt / Express button down / Coach bag / Zara strappy sandals (similar)}

{SoulCycle Malibu for an intense Saturday sweat session}
 

{2 years after adopting our kitty Zoey, she has found her new favorite spot in my lap}
 
 
 
Follow MC Squared on Instagram @meghanconard

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Castle Rock


While Greg and I were visiting Big Bear, we went for a day hike on Castle Rock trail, which was packed with sky-high pine trees, huge stacks of boulders, and remnants of ice patches. We made our way off the beaten trail to explore and climbed to the top of the highest boulders we could find to enjoy the breathtaking views of Big Bear Lake. It was so peaceful and silent, all we could hear was the wind rustling the pines. It was such a magical moment and I love sharing all of the memories from Big Bear with my favorite person.


















all photos taken on my iPhone - follow along on Instagram @meghanconard

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Big Bear


Greg and I had planned a trip to Big Bear, California for my birthday last month, but we both got sick with the flu that week. Although we had to postpone, I think it worked out for the better because the weather was so perfect last weekend! It was our first trip we've taken together just the two of us. We rented a cozy cabin complete with a full kitchen, fireplace & Jacuzzi tub. On Saturday, we went for a hike on the Castle Rock trail, which had stunning views of Big Bear Lake (see photos of that here). The neighborhood our cabin was in was so charming, and we went for a chilly sunset walk before dinner. My parents surprised Greg and I with a gift certificate to The Pines Lakefront restaurant, and we had the most amazing meal! It was such a perfect weekend away from the city to spend quality time together! We're already planning our next romantic getaway! 

{our cozy cabin at Oak Knoll Lodge}

{perfect first night: bubble bath with a side of wine}

{pine cone lined trail on our walk around the neighborhood}

{sliver of the moon peaking out of the pine trees at sunset}

{loved this slanted wine glass with shattered effect at The Pines Lakefront}

{appetizer of avocado shrimp with roasted corn & cilantro}

{filet mignon with peppercorn cream sauce, garlic mashed potatoes & roasted veggies} 



all photos taken on my iPhone - follow along on Instagram @meghanconard

Monday, February 23, 2015

Red Carpet Style: Oscars 2015

There were so many greats looks on last night's Oscar Awards red carpet, it was hard to narrow it down to my favorites! Red was a big color trend, as well as blush pink & neutrals. The trend of embellished gowns continues with sequins and the introduction of pearl beading, as seen below on Lupita Nyong'o. Cut out details are still prominent on the red carpet, with unique and interesting placement such as Naomi Watts' Armani Privé gown. See my picks for Best Dressed below. Who was your favorite?

{Lupita Nyong'o / Calvin Klein}
Lupita looks stunning in this custom pearl beaded gown. It's reportedly made out of 6,000 pearls!
One word: Wow!


{Naomi Watts / Armani Privé}
I love the high neckline on this patterned sequin gown. Naomi took a risk with the bandeau and open back but she pulled it off flawlessly! 


{Rosamund Pike / Givenchy}
Rosamund is on trend in red, with a gown made of rosettes. I'm obsessing over the feminine details on this dress: the pretty scalloped bustline and ruffles along the slit.


{Margot Robbie / Saint Laurent}
I love the plunging neckline and sheer sleeves on this simply elegant gown. Margot's hair & makeup were my favorite of the night, as well. That matte red lip was perfection! See my fave matte red lipstick here.


{Reese Witherspoon / Tom Ford}
This sleek color blocked dress is so flattering on Reese and accentuates her tiny waist by balancing it with the off-the-shoulder straps. She looks so chic!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mini Samoa Cheesecakes


This dessert is a combination of two of my favorite recipes: Mini Cookies & Cream Cheesecakes and Samoa Cheesecake. They are a little messy so I suggest eating them with a fork, as opposed to like a cupcake, but they taste heavenly! See the hybrid recipe I used below.


{mini cheesecakes baked to perfection: the center is set but still jiggles slightly}

{golden brown toasted coconut}

{Oreo cookie crust}

{Mini Samoa Cheesecakes topped with toasted coconut, 
caramel & chocolate drizzle with an Oreo cookie crust}

Ingredients:

{Cheesecake}
24 Oreo cookies
1 cup granulated sugar
3 (8-oz) bricks of cream cheese, softened
1 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs

{Samoa Topping}
2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
1 3/4 cups caramel sauce
chocolate syrup for drizzle


Directions:

{Cheesecake}
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Line muffin tins with paper liners.
Place one whole Oreo Cookie in the bottom of each cup.
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed for 3 minutes until smooth.
Add sugar and beat for an additional minute until well blended.
Add Greek yogurt and vanilla, and beat for an additional minute, stopping halfway to scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Do not overbeat!
Divide batter evenly into each cup, filling almost to the top.
Bake and rotate muffin tins halfway through, until the filling is set - about 22-28 minutes.
Transfer muffin tins to a wire rack to cool completely.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

{Samoa Topping}
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread the coconut out in a an even layer on a baking sheet.
Bake for about 6 minutes or until top layer of coconut is toasted and lightly golden, then remove the tray and stir the coconut.
Bake for an additional 3-4 minutes until new layer of coconut is lightly golden. (I used the broiler but make sure to keep a close eye so that the coconut does not burn!)
Remove the pan, and pour coconut into a mixing bowl.
Add 1 cup of caramel to the coconut and stir to combine.
Using a spoon, top each mini cheesecake with a layer of caramel.
Then top with the caramel/coconut mixture and press it down until the top of the cheesecake is covered.
Drizzle chocolate syrup and caramel sauce on each cheesecake.
Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Currently Obsessed


It was love at first sight when I spotted these yellow suede heels on Zara's new arrivals page. The bow detail on the back really sealed the deal for me! I can't wait to wear them with an all white outfit to add a pop of color or with a printed sundress (and a tan!) Hurry up spring!