Monday fast faves 

typing this on my phone / during my morning commute. So please excuse the typos ūüėČ

So it’s Monday – you’re tired. You wanna look a bit more refreshed? You wanna fight the signs of fatigue and aging? Besides drinking water and getting some Zzzzzzs – work an eye cream into your routine. I have a few faves. The one I’m using these days below = Sunday Riley’s ‘Start Over’ active eye cream. Hydrating, de-puffing (can’t say anything has ever zapped my dark circles – other than sleep and concealer), great pump container.

Love this stuff. Find on 


Want a little color? Don’t you dare go tanning (if I had a time machine – I’d go back and yell to my 18 year old self). I’m a big fan of the Clarins self tanning line. Especially this stuff below. Clarins Liquid Bronze Self tanning milk. For face and neck. Natural color. I apply at night after I wash my face and before moisturizer- and I wake up with a bit of {natural} color.  Available at most major dept stores. I snagged mine @ Nordstrom. 

These L. Erickson hair elastics. I was just introduced (thanks, Diana!) to them and LOVE. They’re cute, hold my hair, don’t get tangled…great for loose or tight styles.  Got this pack @ Nordstrom for $10. A must have for your purse and beach bag this summer!  

This is the go-to soap for my gym bag. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. This is a handy travel size. It also comes in bar form. I love the lavender scent. It lathers nicely. I use the scentless version on the pups!  I snagged this @ Whole Foods.  

This pretty pink and super moisturizing gloss by Clarins. I swear by this when my lips are dry and I need a hint of color. Great tube size for your purse!  

Oh tinted moisturizer, you’re a must for summer. I’ve been loving this tinted moisturizer by Eve Lom since last summer. It has good coverage. I apply with the lovely, soft Eve Lom foundation brush.  And mix with my Elta MD SPF 41 (don’t forget xtra SPF!) 

That’s it for now! {Happy Monday!!}


10 tips/tricks to a healthier complexion

Work a couple (or all!) of these into your routine, stick with them, and you will see/feel a difference!

1)¬†Drink MORE water/tea: Replace your afternoon soda with a sparkling mineral water or replace your 2nd cup of coffee with green tea (I ‚̧ MightyLeaf). Buy a portable, yet cute water bottle¬†(CamelBak Groove Bottle; $19 on Keeping this full and on hand will make it easier to sip throughout the day. Keeping yourself hydrated will flush your system and you will notice it in your skin.

2)¬†Use a Humidifier in your Bedroom: This appliance increases the moisture in the air…which helps alleviate symptoms of dry skin, eyes etc. Especially during winter months when heat can really parch the skin.

3) Wash ya face every night: Washing off the day’s dirt each night will definitely pay off in your complexion. Get yourself into a nightly routine where you cleanse, tone, and moisturize before bed:

4)¬†Use a Silk Pillowcase: Even if your cotton sheets have a high thread count, silk is still easier on the skin because it is woven closer together. Buy a silk pillowcase to snooze on (you don‚Äôt have to buy the whole sheet set!) ‚Äď it will feel luxurious and be gentler on your delicate facial skin

5) Routine Facials: Schedule a facial every 6-8 weeks. An aesthetician will know how to properly cleanse and treat your skin. By going regularly they can address skin problems/concerns over time.

  • offers spa gift cards that can be used at thousands of different spas throughout the US

6)¬†Sweat (often): Beyond helping reduce stress¬†‚Äď get in a good sweat at least a few times a week. Your body is your temple, treating it well will be felt inside and radiate outward.

  • Sweat for less by dialing up works-outs On-Demand through your cable box. From yoga to basic aerobics, On-Demand offers a variety of work-outs you can do at home.

7) Keep Moisturized:  Properly moisturized skin looks healthier and more even.

Try for day:

Try for night:

8) Get enough ZZzzzz’s: Stress and lack of sleep shows in your face… strive to get at least 6 hours a night. 2 ways to make it easier to fall & stay asleep:

  • TV sleep timer: although TV can lull some people to sleep it can often disrupt sleep during the night. Use your trusty TV sleep timer and set it for 30 minutes after you get into bed so it shuts off once you‚Äôre asleep
  • Noise Machine: be it breaking waves or whale cries, these repetitive sounds can help lull you to sleep

9) Get a fo-glow: The real deal is not a healthy avenue.  If you need to fake a little color to brighten up your complexion:

10) Eat (and drink) more Greens: Cut back on processed sugar and eat more fruits and vegetables. This will improve not only your general health but also your skin. Read this piece by Shape Magazine’s on juices for healthier skin

The hunt for…the best self tanner continues

Finding the best self tanner is like the hunt for the best pizza in Boston – there are so many alright ones, a couple bad…and then, a few noticeable leaders.

Back in February, I did a post on self tanners (link at the bottom of this post!)…Since then, I have been relying on a couple of ¬†‘go to’ brands. However, recently, I was convinced to try a new brand of self tanner¬†called: St. Tropez. I resisted at first¬†because I wasn’t interested in spending more than $15, let alone $40 on self tanner. But, one of the helpful ladies at Sephora guided me in my purchase and how best to apply the product…and the end result was REAL GOOD.

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse (link to product below)

  • First, she suggested I go with the bigger 8 oz. size for $40…considering the next size down was the 4 oz. size for $30!
    • The cost to ounce ratio is $5 for the 8 0z. and $7.50 for the 4 oz. Dang!
  • She asked me if I would be applying the product in a bathroom with tile floors/white grout…I am indeed! She recommended I DON’T go with the spray because that can be messier and get into cracks and crevices. She suggested I go with the foam – that is easier to apply and stays put
  • Her most helpful suggestion was to spend an extra $6 on the Tan Applicator Mitt (link to product below). It’s reuse-able, and washable. It provides an easier, streak-free application…and it helps buff¬†out uneven color.¬†You squirt the foam directly onto the mitt and rub it around:

St. Tropez Tan Applicator Mitt

  • The foam is a brown color, which I found helpful when I was applying because I could see where I was putting it/not putting it. It blends in well, so once it was applied it wasn’t a funky color…I could have gone out with it on

The end result…natural looking tan color…I even used the mitt to apply some to my face. I feel like it gave me a healthy glow with one application – the color developed over time, but the initial tint gave me an immediate, yet subtle glow. Another thing I liked, the bottle still feels full! Despite using ~10-12 pumps to cover my body, it doesn’t feel like I made a big dent in the bottle. If anything else, get the mitt because it should be helpful in applying most self tanners!

(next time, I’ll do a before and after shot of the color!)

St. Tropez – buy @ Sephora or (I’m sure it’s sold other places too, but there is where I got mine):

For the original self tanning post, which includes a review of a lower priced (and great!) self tanner – click below:

help me I’m white as a sheet

I admit it…I put my whitish/pink Irish body into a tanning bed…in high school and college (ok and even after). It pains me to even type that because it’s really scary how risky all that tanning was (not even including the ACTUAL beach). I knew about the warnings but apparently I felt it more important to have a glow. Humans…we just live in the moment, aware of potential consequences but totally willing to ‘forget’ as to get whatever instant gratification we’re looking for. For now, I’ll step off my soap box and put aside the fact that I fake baked myself for years¬†and have¬†since had a mole removed and lived in fear of skin cancer. The good news = there are ways to get a glow without having to step into a tanning booth.

My favorite self tanners…after years of trial and error…streaky legs and orange hands =

Clarins Liquid Bronze Self-Tanning for Face & Decollete;jsessionid=XEXSGJI544HYQCV0KSIA5UQ?id=P99115&shouldPaginate=true&categoryId=2082

*This is for the face and neck (apparently that’s what ‘decollete’ means, who knew). It is a light liquid – a less powerful scent making it easy to use on your face. I put it on a cotton ball and swipe it around. The color is great and natural. It ain’t cheap @ $33 but I’ve had my first and only bottle for over a year and I don’t see it running out anytime soon…you literally use so little of it. For the face, I love this brand because it is more gentle. For the record, I tried the Clarins self tanner for the body…it worked fine but I only got a couple uses out of the tube (Clarins Self-Tanning Instant Gel) and because it cost upwards of $30, I didn’t feel like it was worth it.

L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Lotion

*I use this on my body (sans face + neck) – couple of great things about this product – it is rich and creamy so I feel like I can cover myself well and evenly. It has SPF 15 in it – so I’ve lathered it on before the beach…which I found fantastic because I was protecting my skin while simultaneously getting a tan woooop. Natural color…I’ve gotten a few complements on it, which is always key with self tanners (people notice and not because you look like an oompa-loompa). The smell is so-so…has the scent of a self tanner but it doesn’t linger like others. I love that it is only $10 and I get multiple uses out of the bottle. The spray version of this brand is rumored to be good too.¬†

First image source:

OH and, if you live in/around the city – the BEST place for a spray tan =

$35 and you are sprayed-by-hand. The ladies here are so nice and do a great job. My only caveat – you have to let the tanner set for awhile. I usually get it done in the evening when I have no other plans (because I look very brown after), let it sit for the night, then shower off the excess color in the morning. The resulting¬†tan is so natural looking and lasts for a few days…it is AMAZING for big events (i.e. weddings, beach vacations). I feel great with this tan.