A random post about hand cream…and a long lunch hour

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I’m loving roses lately…this is a funky pic I took of a rose on Valentines Day – artsy, right? 😉

Today…wait for it…I got a lunch hr…a legit lunch break for the first time in a long time. I.got.to.leave.the.building. WOW! (welcome to the life & times of an ad agency, folks).

I decided to really live it up so I spent my time at the Neimans beauty counter…where else would I spend it? Seriously. For me, it’s therapeutic to walk around the store…testing, examining, and smelling all the products. I rarely feel pressured to buy anything but often walk away with a lipgloss…my one serious beauty “vice.” I have pouches, drawers, and purses full of em…but whatever, they’re typically less than $20 so I go for it. There are worse things, right?!

Anyways, today was especially nice because it’s been awhile since I’ve walked the Neimans beauty/fragrance section. They have some unique brands to discover. I came across a (new to me) brand called Aerin. Aerin was started by Aerin Lauder, the granddaughter of the fabulous Estee Lauder. If you look Aerin up on Wikipedia – the first line is: “American billionaire and business woman.” Dang. I was intrigued by her beauty line…according to the Dailymail.com:

  • Aerin was launched in 2011, first as a beauty collection and then later branching out to offer home furnishings, decor, and accessories. 
  • The lifestyle label is said to have been established with the hope of encroaching on some of Tory Burch’s polished, feminine-ware-seeking clientele. If offers the same look, with a more understated, sophisticated feel. 
  • Aerin (Lauder) has been a longtime staple in the society pages of Vogue. She is so closely tied to the magazine that Anna Wintour helped provide guidance on her namesake label’s launch.
  • The company’s products are sold at premium retailers including Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, and Neiman Marcus. Many of its items are priced in the high-end range – like $950 jewelry boxes and $10,000 bookshelves. 
  • Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2509465/Estee-Lauders-heiresses-Aerin-Jane-officially-declared-billionaires.html#ixzz2v1kpF5YN 

So, I’m pretty sure I won’t be buying any of her furniture any time soon – but today, one of the products in her beauty line really grabbed me. Lately, I’ve been all about ROSE…the subtle smell…from rose lip balm to candles, I’m just loving it. Aerin makes a hand & body cream that has a nice subtle rose scent. Not overpowering. I put a little on my hands at the store and loved the texture…sunk right in, moisturized well, with no greasy after-feel. Although the tube goes for $40 (yowza), I pictured it on my desk at work. I pictured using it during the day and enjoying the nice rosey scent. And I’m always a fan of the tube because you can get every last drop out…and it’s travel friendly and more hygienic.

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Aerin rose hand & body cream…find it at Neimans or Nordstrom

So, cutting to the case, did I buy it? Actually, no. Maybe another day. But I wanted to share THE FIND. It’s a lovely product. I also think it’s a good idea to keep a hand cream at your desk, especially during the winter when hands can get really rough and dry. No, you don’t need to spend $40 on a tube of hand lotion, that’s for sure. But, if you’re looking for a nice tube…may I suggest the Rose Hand and Body Cream by Aerin…I don’t think it’d disappoint. My hope is…if I ever do get my hands on a tube…I’ll use it at my desk…and it’ll evoke daydreams of hour long lunches @ Neimans…and hanging out with billionaire business women who have unlimited access to beauty products and the halls of Vogue.

Pumpkin face mask for Fall!

(I wrote this post the other day but then got sick and forgot to share it!)

 

Hope you like it!

Fall really hit me today. I don’t know what took so long – because things have been a little brisk around Boston for the last couple weeks, I went apple picking WEEKS ago, and the leaves have been turning for awhile. But today, with my boots on and a long sweater, I felt it. Ahhh, I love Fall.

With summer behind us, I like to try something new with my skincare routine. I’ve been in the market for a fruit enzyme exfoliator. The difference with a fruit enzyme exfoliator vs. a ‘regular’ exfoliator is that it uses fruit enzymes to break down and get rid of dead skin cells vs. using beads, grains, or seeds. I came across this lovely PUMPKIN exfoliating mask and BOOM I knew I had met my Fall-face-care match!!

Love it! And affordable! Andalou Naturals PUMPKIN Honey Glycolic Mask

Love it! And affordable! Andalou Naturals PUMPKIN Honey Glycolic Mask

What I like:

  • This mask is actually “Pumpkin Honey” yum!
  • Pumpkin enzymes have long been known to be great at breaking down dead skin cells so you can swipe em’ right off
  • No GMOs, gluten, parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic colors, dyes and fragrances
  • This cost me around $12 at Whole Foods. Pumpkin masks are known to be pricier so I was PSYCHED about this price point!
  • I’ve used it 2x – I can feel it tingling. When I wash it off my skin, my skin feels so fresh. And after each use people have mentioned my skin has a different glow to it. Ya! Noticeable results

How to use:

  • Cleanse and dry skin
  • Apply a healthy amount to dry skin
  • there it is - kind of looks like baby food!

    there it is – kind of looks like baby food!

  • Avoid eye and lip areas. I’d also suggest avoiding your nose if you’ve been blowing it alot and the skin is tender. I found it stung my nose :/ BUT, if my nose wasn’t raw – I’d totally suggest spreading all over it – because it’s within those creases that the mask can really do it’s work
  • Leave on for 10 minutes
  • Rinse with cool water (and I used a wash cloth too)
  • Your skin might be a bit red, but I found that it fades
  • Moisturize and go!

So, even if Fall isn’t your favorite season – this Fall mask is great any time of year. I’d recommend trying it out – sensitive, acne-prone, sun damagaed skin – whatever it is, we all need to get off those dead skin cells to help the new ones shine through. Happy Fall!

Toner…a step worth adding to your routine

A few weeks back I posted a pic of Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel alcohol free toner which I picked up in Kansas City, MO while visiting my sister Katy Lou.

Thayers toner picked up in Kansas City, MO but available in most areas or Drugstore.com

Thayers toner picked up in Kansas City, MO but available in most areas or Drugstore.com

I wasn’t sure what to expect. Although it claims to be alcohol free I still wondered if it’d dry out my skin. I’ve always been a fan of toners because they make my skin feel clean and extra fresh after washing. But, it’s taken me some time to realize, I shouldn’t be using something that’s drying…and that “squeeky” clean really isn’t a good thing for your face. You want something that will walk the line of picking up excess residue, cleaning out & minimizing your pores, and also adding some hydration.

After using Thayers for the last couple weeks I’m in love! It comes in a big bottle with a squirt top (warning, not very travel friendly – I recommend picking up a small bottle with a screw cover to pour some toner into for traveling). It makes me skin feel fresh, clears off the remaining make up my face wash doesn’t pick up, and doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry. It also has a nice, light rosey smell. In a couple words: refreshing, hydrating, and just plain lovely.

You can pick up the 12 oz. bottle for less than $10 on Drugstore.com. It’s a good value. Below is how my skincare routine works – both AM and PM:

1. Wash – I rotate between a cleanser and exfoliator. I use the Clarisonic with my regular cleanser once a day

2. Dry my facec with a gentle cloth

3. Use my Thayers toner with a Swissper (one of my fave beauty tools). All over my face and neck. Allow to air dry for a second

4. Apply a hydrating serum, let dry for a moment

5. Moisturize – I’m currently using this by Darphin at night and LOVE it

Tools of tha’ trade…sharing some secrets here!

We all have a few beauty tools up our sleeve. Tools we’ve used for years and ‘swear by.’ Below I wanted to share a couple of mine with you. Some of them ain’t that sexy – but they do the trick. If it’s pesky hairs, dark circles, or greasy hair…we all have our gripes…so please feel free to share your beauty tool staples with us!

  • Sephora Targeted eye remover swabs – ($9 @ Sephora) I saw these in the check out line at Sephora. Those damn bins full of goodies always get me while I wait! This time however, I found something great AND functional. Ever have trouble getting the left over eyeliner or mascara off of your lash line? These babies will do the trick. They are also travel-friendly. No more spilling liquid eye remover! These swabs can fit easily and legally within a carry on or purse for seamless airline travel

    Uber convenient Sephora Eye Remover Swabs

    Uber convenient Sephora Eye Remover Swabs

  • Pssssst Dry Shampoo – ($7, available at most pharmacies but also @ Drugstore.com) yes, I’ve blogged about the wonders of dry shampoo before. I even have another favorite brand (Suave). But the other day when my husband was swinging by CVS, I asked him to pick me up a bottle since I was running out. Apparently, he couldn’t find the Sauve brand. So he brought home Psssst. I laughed out loud at the name. But then I tried it. It works! Perfectly. And smells nice too. They also re-designed the bottle so it’s a bit more modern 😉

    dang, look at that product re-design! Psssst Dry Shampoo is modernized and works great!

    dang, look at that product re-design! Psssst Dry Shampoo is modernized and works great!

  • Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller in Sheer Tint – ($12.99, available at most pharmacies but also @ Drugstore.com)  I’ll start by admitting that this isn’t a “natural” beauty product but I often exercise the saying ‘everything in moderation.’ Same thing with gummy frogs. I bought this roller off a recommendation from a friend. I was skeptical. But it has become an AM staple for me if I am running out of the house to do some errands or, even going for a work out. No, I don’t think I ‘need’ make up for these things but sometimes I need a little ‘spruce up’ so I can feel better. So I do one roll under each eye, a couple pats, and BOOM, I look less tired. Love this product. I’ve tried other ‘higher end’ alternatives…and still haven’t found one better than this

    bye bye raccoon eyes! Garnier's eye roller works MAGIC

    bye bye raccoon eyes! Garnier’s eye roller works MAGIC

  • Plackers Dental Flossers Gentle Fine – ($2.99, available at most pharmacies but also @ Drugstore.com) I hate flossing. I don’t do it everyday, eek. But when I do, I use Plackers. These little thingies get right in between my teeth. I find them quicker and easier to use than regular floss. I keep a bowl-full in the bathroom

    screw dental floss. Use these handy, quick Placker picks

    screw dental floss. Use these handy, quick Placker picks

  • Sally Hansen Microwaveable Eyebrow, Face, and Lip Wax – get the non-strips kind – ($6, available at most pharmacies) I always keep this on hand. I opt for the salon when it comes to my eyebrows because there is definitely a ‘design element’ to waxing the ‘brows. But, one area you can do on your own is the mustache. That’s right…the dreaded upper lip hair. And with Sally Hansen, there really is no excuse to let this grow in. I won’t lie…every once in awhile my husband nicely points out that I might want to ‘wax my mustache.’ And no, I don’t get mad…I freaking microwave this stuff and wax that stache off! It is super easy and comes with a small pot of wax in a microwaveable container, mini tweezers, and a Popsicle-type stick for application. The only caution I will mention – be sure to not overheat the wax. I typically microwave for 2 minutes, max. But to be sure, if you dip the Popsicle stick in and the wax runs off like water…it’s too hot. Wait until it has a slow, honey-like drip. You can always test on another area first (hand?) before applying to your face, just to be sure. This stuff is amazing and cheap. It picks up all those pesky hairs. Save yourself the money, do your ‘stache at home. Does it hurt? Um ya, it hurts a bit to pull ya hair out. But, I think it’s more bearable because YOU pull the wax yourself, you’re in control!

    pot of gold right here. Sally Hansen Wax Kit for face!

    pot of gold right here. Sally Hansen Wax Kit for face!

  • Philips Precision Perfect Trimmer – this isn’t for what you think. It’s for those pesky facial hairs. For me, it’s the peachy fuzz. My sister once told me I had a blond beard. What a sweetheart. Either way, I keep this handy tool nearby to quickly clean up pesky, long hair. Maybe I should keep this beauty tool to myself since I’m sure some people will think I’m a hairy polar bear. But no, I’m not that selfish. This thing works wonders. And I’d rather trim than wax my ENTIRE face. Oh and, I don’t think my hair is laser-removal appropriate. Even if it is, I’d rather spend my money elsewhere right now. You may (secretly) thank me later for this tool

    a handy tool to have. Philips Precision Trimmer set

    a handy tool to have. Philips Precision Trimmer set

Hey Labor Day! Read on for Beach Bag Essentials

Ahhh Labor Day weekend. Some folks call it the ‘last weekend of the summer’ but most of us New Englander’s know that we probably have a few more weeks left of summer weather. It is really a toss-up around here. it could be 80 degrees in Oct or blustery cold. Either way, I never give into the ‘last weekend of summer’ mentality. Other than the fact that I try to take advantage of going someplace fun and summery for the long weekend.

Although most of us have already used our beach bag a few times this season – below is a list of beach bag essentials. These are the ‘must have’ items I keep in my beach bag. Don’t get me wrong, there are often a lot of other extras thrown in there – but these are the items I can’t go without. Hopefully, this list will help you pack ya bag this weekend and ensure you don’t forget anything so you can lounge all day long!

ahhh Cape Cod summer, love it. Looks like we have an beach over-packer here

ahhh Cape Cod summer, love it. Looks like we have an beach over-packer here

  • BEACH BAG – rather than use an old purse or dump out your gym bag, it makes sense to have a bag just for the beach. Then, you don’t have to worry about the lingering sand or trying to re-pack your gym bag once the work week rolls around. I go for the durable tote. Screw zippers. Screw backpacks. I want a bag with a wide open top so I can plunge right in and grab my stuff
    • I love the good ole LL Bean Boat and Tote Bag with the open top. It comes in a variety of sizes should you be carrying for a family or just yourself. I like the Medium size tote.
      • There are a few different colors to choose from. I like the traditional navy with the cream colored body, very nautical! And you can get it monogrammed (makes a great gift!)
      • Medium size tote is $26.95 with always free shipping

        the tried & true LL Bean beach tote

        the tried & true LL Bean beach tote

  • BEACH TOWEL – I’ve been known to grab one of my own bath towels for the beach. But let’s be honest, that’s a no no. Invest in an actual beach towel. One that’s long and colorful and just for the beach. And seriously, you don’t want to forget a towel…be it for drying off after a swim, to wipe the extra sunscreen off your hands, or to have something to lay out on, it’s an essential
    • You can buy one anywhere and certainly don’t need to go the fancy route. But, if you’re looking for a good quality towel – I’d point you towards LL Bean, once again!
      • The LL Bean Seaside beach towel is large, dries fast, and comes in some cute designs
      • For $29.50 it will last you years. It’s a great towel that you can just keep in your beach bag all year
  • SUNCREEN FOR FACE & BODY – this is a must have. I always feel bad borrowing other people’s sunscreen – no matter where you get it, it’s expensive and you need a good amount to cover your body. So, invest in your own tube and keep it in your bag. I use one kind for my face and one kind for my body
    • My favorite brand is Coola. It is a little bit of a splurge but I got a sample of this sunscreen and I love it. To me, I don’t mind spending the extra dough to protect my skin. Coola products are free of parabens, phthalates, and petroleum. Work great on sensitive skin. My two faves:
      • For body: The Coola SPF 45 Sport Classic Sunscreen – Mango scent. Comes in a convenient, snap-top tube. Love that I can squeeze every last bit out
      • For face: The Coola SPF 30 Face Classic Sunscreen – Unscented. Comes in a convenient, pump top tube with a cover
  • LIP BALM/SUNCREEN – I’m separating this from the above because it’s important to call out on its own. A regular balm might not do the trick. A sticky lip gloss isn’t the right fit for the beach either. You want something that’s moisturizing to keep your mouth comfortable in the sun, salt, and sand. You also want a sunscreen to protect this tender area
    • My favorite brand is Coola (surprise!). I love this balm-like stick! It’s a twist up stick with a solid cover. Super moisturizing
      • For lips: The Coola Liplux SPF 15 – vanilla peppermint scent. I also like this because it doesn’t have color and my husband can borrow it. He usually forgets this beach bag staple!
      • $12 @ Dermstore
  • BEACH COVER UP – If it’s walking back to the car or walking to get a snack, I want a cover up I can quickly throw on. Something that goes on easy and isn’t tight.  It also has to be something that really covers me up – not something with large holes or only touches the top of my thighs. I want to be able to walk into 7/11 without getting kicked out
    • One of my favorite cover ups is by Splendid. It’s terry cloth so a great fabric for the beach. Flattering cut but not too form fitting/tight. One piece, so easy to split on.  Light weight but also covers what you need to cover. The last one I got has lasted 2 summers
    • Splendid Circus Terry Cover Up $95 @ Piperlime 
  • CUTE HAT – everyone looks better with a tan. Lets face it. But wrinkles suck. Especially on your face. So I always use sunscreen on my face now and keep a hat in my bag if I’m going to be out in the sun for hours at a time. This ensures my face doesn’t get too much sun. Hey, that’s what bronzer is for!
    • A hat is a hat…I like a looser fitting baseball hat or, if you want something more girly – I wore the below on my honeymoon (my husband kept calling me his ‘great aunt pearl’) – but I thought it was fashionable
      • White (beachy!), floppy, durable, and comfortable: by Helen Kaminski Istria Canvas Sun hat
      • On sale right now @ Nordstrom for $65.66

        me in my Helen Kaminski Canvas Sun hat on our honeymoon last October <3

        me in my Helen Kaminski Canvas Sun hat on our honeymoon last October ❤

Couple other good to haves:

  • Small brush to quickly/easily brush out knots. love this one available at Drugstore
  • Big bottle of water. If you don’t have your own re-usable travel bottle (this is one of my faves by Lifefactory) – I’m a big fan of the Smart Water 1 liter size for the beach. Literally, a torpedo that fits well into your bag and is a good amount of water!
  • Couple snacks – I prefer grapes (because they’re good warm or cold) and nuts (ya, protein!). Pack a couple healthy snacks so you have something to munch on. Never a good idea to be hungry in the sun or rely totally on the beach snack bar 😉
  • Hair elastics – any kind will do. Although my all time favorite is The Twistband…won’t pull or rip hair
  • Last but not least, but definitely an essential – a good READ! There is only so much talking, beach volleyball, snacking, swimming, and lounging you can do! I always love to have a good read on hand. May I suggest this book by Ann Patchett called, State of Wonder
    • A fun read. adventurous story. great writing. click the link to get the synopsis. I read this book in 1 weekend, it was hard to put down!

      State of Wonder By Ann Patchett - Excellent beach read...or anytime read!

      State of Wonder By Ann Patchett – Excellent beach read…or anytime read!