My Grammy Awards Beauty Picks

Tonight is a big night…Grammys…and The Walking Dead is BACK. Like most Bostonians, I’m sitting here as the snow continues to sprinkle down and isn’t anticipated to stop until late tomorrow. This means – tonight is a great night for red wine and eating snacks in bed.

As I watch the celebs walk the red carpet, I couldn’t help but think of a few GRAMMY AWARDS BEAUTY PICKS of my own. Admittedly, I’m a glass of wine (or so) deep and feeling compelled to share this while the topic is HOT. Below are a few red carpet worthy beauty items that can work on or off the red carpet.

  • This light diffusing powder palette. A trio of 3 powders that aim to be applied after make up application to finish, soften, and diffuse light. I tried this palette last night at Sephora and instantly fell in love with the way it helped smooth out my skin and brighten my look. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette / $58 
This palette by Hourglass will help you use light to your advantage!  (and minimize the shine)

This palette by Hourglass will help you use light to your advantage! (and minimize the shine)

  • A luxurious way to apply liquid or powder foundation. This brush. It’s so soft. It has 2 tiers of super soft bristles. It pairs well with the above Hourglass palette. It makes for a super smooth finish regardless if you use liquid or power foundation. Worth the splurge. Something worth investing in = good make up brushes.  Make Up For Ever 122 Blending Brush / $48
This Make Up For Ever brush…is where it's it. Soft bristle that help you blend to perfection.

This Make Up For Ever brush…is where it’s it. Soft bristle that help you blend to perfection.

  • A smooth and long-staying eyeliner. Regardless if your eyes tear from the wind or if you’re crying because you won your first Grammy, this eyeliner DOES IT. It comes in over TWENTY colors. I’m a fan of “dark chocolate brown.” This liner has staying power but can be buffed after application to create a more subtle line. Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes / $19
This Make Up For Ever eyeliner will give you drama but not run down ya face. It can be smudged for a less defined look.

This Make Up For Ever eyeliner will give you drama but not run down ya face. It can be smudged for a less defined look.

  • A gloss with color and moisture. Face it, a pop of color (or 5) is perfect for the Grammys. It’s also great during the dull winter months. They call this a “tinted oil.” It does go on slicker (not sticky!) because it has jojoba oil as a main ingredient. I love how soft it feels and how the color slowly develops. I like “Pink About Me 8.” Oh and the tube packaging is GORGEOUS. So pretty and dying to be carried around daily. The applicator is a little pair of lips…adorable. Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Tinted-In-Oil / $32 
this this this YSL lip OIL. Try it. It's amazing. A pop of color and guaranteed conditioned lips.

this this this YSL lip OIL. Try it. It’s amazing. A pop of color and guaranteed conditioned lips.

  • A dramatic, volumizing (yet not drying) mascara. No one wants crusty lashes. No on wants running mascara. In comes THIS mascara by YSL. Makes lashes fuller and softer. I got a sample of this from Sephora and used it religiously. Such a great mascara. Lashes really do look “baby doll-like” after application. Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux  Cils Babydoll / $30 
Eyelashes like a Babydoll by YSL. This sh*t is no joke

Eyelashes like a Babydoll by YSL. This sh*t is no joke

And for those of us on the couch (or lounging in bed) below are 2 of my Sunday favorites:

  • This silky smooth robe. I literally wear it around the house and fall asleep in it. Yes, it’s floor length which might scream “old lady” to some – BUT the material is so buttery soft and the fit is flattering. Grab it in black and you’ll feel sexay and comfy. Natori ‘Shangri-La’ Robe / $98
Hugh Huffna be jealous  if you wear this robe. It's screams "queen of da house"

Hugh Huffna be jealous if you wear this robe. It’s screams “queen of da house”

  • This divine hair masque to smooth out locks. While watching these great shows – why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone? After shampooing, comb through a dollop of this amazing hair masque. Leave for 10 mins and wash out. Not only does it smell AMAZING (the signature, addictive, Oribe scent) but it will leave your hair super soft and detangled. Do it. Trust me. Oribe Signature Moisture Masque / $59 
Smooth your hair. Watch  TV and condition that do' with Oribe's signature masque

Smooth your hair. Watch TV and condition that do’ with Oribe’s signature masque

What are YOUR favorite Grammy Awards beauty looks? 

A thorough analysis of the “perfect” leggings xo

Black leggings…there are so many types and brands to choose from… I’m a big fan of the sweater, leggings, and tall boots look…I’d pretty much wear it everyday if I could. But, finding the right pair of leggings isn’t always easy. Especially if you’re looking for a pair that’s more work appropriate. Sometimes the fabric can be too thin or too “cottony” to look put-together-enough for work. This is why I wanted to share a recent LEGGING find. I came across these Spanx leggings while doing some online browsin’. At first, I was like “oh hell no” thinking about how tight my Spanx “undergarments” are. Granted, they do the trick – but they are so damn tight!!! If I’m going to wear leggings, they can’t be THAT tight and they definitely need to be comfortable. So let’s just say, I was skeptical but I decided to buy these Spanx leggings to give them a whirl. They have a few different types but the ones I bought are called the “Ready to Wow” structured leggings (which I bought in black, shocking, I know. they do come in other colors though).

Spanx Ready to Wow structured leggings <3

Spanx Ready to Wow structured leggings ❤

Get em / click here –> Spanx Ready-to-Wow Structured Leggings

What I love:

  • The fabric is a bit stiffer than traditional leggings – but it’s comfortable. And because they’re not cotton they feel dressier than standard leggings. They don’t suck onto your skin like spandex. (they’re less than 15% spandex) Fabric: 89% Polyester, 11% Spandex/Elastane. Exclusive of trim
  • I got a size small which I was worried about because I’ve put on some “winter weight” and wasn’t sure if this size would be too tight. Thankfully, the leggings have some give and even stretch out a bit during the day so the size was just right. As reference, I’m about a size 6 in pants and I guess I have a bubble butt 😉 — and proud
  • The waist goes high (but not too high!) – just about to the belly button. Since this isn’t traditional Spanx fabric – the high tummy style doesn’t restrict my breathing or dig into my skin. It actually helps flatten out my belly quite nicely (love love love)
  • They are a good length hitting right at the bottom of my ankles. I am 5’6″ and a half-ish. I suppose these may need to get hemmed if you’re on the petite/shortie end of the spectrum
  • They don’t suck onto your ankles so they’re cute with pumps (see pic above)
  • But they’re also tapered enough so you can wear with boots without bunching 
  • They contour well to the body but again they’re not overly tight and therefore, more appropriate for work. Although I’ve opted for a longer top when I wear them to work to cover up a bit, I’ve worn them out DANCIN! and I wore a shorter blouse and short leather jacket and it was a fun “going out look” (vs. my traditional – long, flowy everything)
  • Price-wise I think they’re a fair deal. If you search enough you can find them on sale (around $70)
Another view of the Ready to Wow structured leggings so you can see how high the top goes. Fabric is just tight enough to suck you in without restricting breathing AHHHhhh ;)

Another view of the Ready to Wow structured leggings so you can see how high the top goes. Fabric is just tight enough to suck you in without restricting your breathing AHHHhhh 😉

So, that’s my share for the day. If you’re in the market for a new pair of leggings that can be good for work, play, or even holiday festivities (again, the tummy area is comfy yet pulls ya in) – I’d recommend these leggings by Spanx. enjoy! xoxo

Get em / click here –> Spanx Ready-to-Wow Structured Leggings

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!

The gifts you shoulda’ gotten (under $40)

It’s been too long…I realized the other day how much I miss posting – so I am back at it. Right in time for New Years Eve and the post-Christmas sales, I’ve pulled together a list of the stocking stuffer you shoulda’ gotten. If you’re anything like me, there are still a couple of things on your wish list – let the below round it out!

Under $15

  • The bomb LIP BALM (say that cheesey-ness 3x fast) – Korres Lip Butter($12 @ Sephora, link below)
    • This is the BEST winter lip balm. Yes, that’s right…I’ve declared this the best lip balm to use when your pout is in dire need of moisture. The best times to use: before bed and before or after you hit the slopes or find yourself out in the cold for a long period of time. I should caveat that this is a thicker balm, and the flavor I like the most (GUAVA) goes on a bit white…BUT, it rubs in well and it leaves your lips feeling moisturized for hours. The pot lasts awhile – smells great, feels great (think, silky smooth lips – the texture is really luxurious, that’s the best word to describe it!), and Paraben free
    • Sephora link:
  • Room refresher – as much as I love candles, sometimes I need something more constant to freshen my hallways. That’s why I swear by, Bath & Body Works Wallflowers (link below). The plug-in unit is $6.50 and there are a ton of different scents. Another good thing is, the Wallflower refills go on sale often. Some of the Holiday scents are currently on sale for $3 each. My fave is ‘Twisted Peppermint’ it is a light, sweet smell, and it’s not too Holiday-ish so you could use it any time. I find that one Wallflower scent bulb lasts around 3 weeks – the good thing – scent isn’t too overpowering, but it really freshens up a good-sized area

Under $25

  • Girls-night inBRIDESMAIDS on DVD. I didn’t get this in my stocking because I bought it the day it was released. BUT, for those of you who haven’t seen it – (wtf?!) or for those of you who have only seen it once – (really?!) You need to get it on DVD – this is the type of movie you need to watch multiple times…it gets funnier, believe me. It is on for <$20…so, go get it! The beauty is – can be watched alone or with friends and still just as funny

  • Brush up your concealer routine – despite all the make up I own, it has taken me this long to invest in a Concealer Brush. A concealer brush is smaller than a foundation brush and is a great way to apply concealer to under eyes and/or blemishes. The main reasons to invest in a concealer brush: 1. better coverage – concealer will go on smooth and spread easily, it also helps avoid caking which can sometimes happen with finger application 2. it helps you use less concealer – therefore, saving you in the long run! So, invest in a concealer brush – it’ll make life easier

Under $40

  • Cozy and cute gear – or shall I say, cozy and sexy…those words rarely work together – but this sweatshirt by Make + Model (found at Nordstrom) is the perfect merger of a cozy soft sweatshirt with a touch of cute sexy. The slightly off the shoulder style shows a bit of skin (without being too 80s). The fabric is teddy bear soft…I find myself lounging on the couch in this number – or throwing on a pair of black leggings and wearing it to run errands. My color of choice is ROSE TEA…because it adds a bit more girly-ness – check it out: