December Blog Hop: Holiday Wish List

Growing up I didn’t really get to make a long Christmas Wish List, so I was excited when my fabulous Facebook beauty and fashion bloggers group chose a Holiday Wish List for our December Blog Hop. So I’m going to channel my inner child and give you my Christmas Wish List (forgive me if it’s a bit long..).

We’ll start with some Stocking Stuffers…

STOCKING STUFFERS

Lens Case
Kikkerland Chevron Contact Lens Kit

(Photo from birchbox.com)
(Retail: $12.00)
Description: “You may not think of contact lens holders as being particularly eye-catching (pardon the pun), but the design masterminds at Kikkerland beg to differ. This little kit provides a safe—and chic—home for your lenses while you travel, thanks to the colorful chevron pattern.”
I wear contacts and I’m in love with this cute little travel kit. It’s compact and with the refillable little bottle, I won’t have to run out to the store for those travel sized bottles of contact solution.

Lip Primer
ARDENCY INN MODSTER Lip Balm & Primer
(Photo from Sephora.com)
(Retail: $23.00)
Description: “A universal lip balm that protects and primes lips..”
I’m super intrigued by this green lip primer. I think this will be great for prolonging the lifespan of my red lipsticks.

 Starfish Cream
Returning Starfish Eye Cream

(Photo from peachandlily.com)
(Retail: $34.00)
Description: “Mizon’s Returning Starfish Eye Cream is the hit eye cream sister to the bestselling Returning Starfish Face Cream. This innovative, multi-functional eye cream is formulated with 60% starfish extract, peptides and adenosine to smooth fine lines and wrinkles. It also contains hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and a plethora of skin-healthy botanical extracts for a brighter, plumper, renewed eye area. Ideal for all skin types..”
I love trying out new eye creams, and I’m so intrigued with this one that uses Starfish

Accessories are probably my favorite things to buy…
FASHION & ACCESSORIES

Rings
Talon’s Three Opal Signet Ring

(Photo from talonnyc.com)
(Retail: $214.00)
Description: “Inspired by a family heirloom wedding band bought in Italy in the 1970’s, three Australian opals line this ring created from an original wax carving..”
I love pretty much all of Talon’s designs so it was super hard to narrow it down to one item, but Opal’s are my birthstone and this three stone Opal ring is both classic and mysterious. I’d love to add it to my collection.

Cuff
Kindness & Mischief Enamel Bracelet
by Bullfinch & Barbury Enamelists
(Photo from scoutmob.com)
(Retail: $40.00)
Description: “This hand-enameled bangle is bedecked with an important message — “I believe in kindnes” and upside-down “also in mischief”. These wise words from Mary Oliver are just as relevant today. They’re stamped into the copper bangle, which is then enameled by hand, making it good and good-lookin’.
I’m obsessed by the hand enameled bracelets made by Bullfinch & Barbury. I love jewelry with quotes on it and the enamel on these gives an ethereal quality. Along with their pieces on Scoutmob.com, they also have an Etsy store with even more options.

During the winter I love holing up at home and lounging around. My favorite gear are comfy pajama pants and cute tshirts and sweatshirts. Here are a few cuties I’d love to see in my wardrobe.

Anchor Sweatshirt
Look, Line, and Sinker Sweatshirt

(Photo from modcloth.com)
(Retail: $39.99)

Wildflower Tshirt
Take the Scenic Root Tee

(Photo from modcloth.com)
(Retail: $39.99)

 Pond Tshirt
Pond Nouveau
(Photo from teepublic.com)
(Retail: $14.00)

I have a ton of hobbies, besides writing, I like crafting and cooking and I’m a musician so there’s always a ton of stuff that I’d love to get my greedy little hands on.

FOR COOKING
Cookbook
Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen: Learning to Cook with 65 Great Chefs and Over 100 Delicious Recipes by Dana Cowin
(Photo from amazon.com)
(Retail: $25.15)
Description: “For years, Dana Cowin kept a dark secret: From meat to vegetables, broiling to baking, breakfast to dinner, she ruined literally every kind of dish she attempted to make. Now, in this cookbook confessional, the vaunted first lady of food and exceptional entertainer finally comes clean about her many meal mishaps. With the help of friends—all-star chefs, including Mario Batali, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Tom Colicchio, among many others—Cowin takes on 100 recipes dear to her heart. Ideal dishes for the home cook, each recipe has a high “yum” factor, a few key ingredients, and a simple trick that makes it special. With every dish, she acquires a critical new skill, learning invaluable lessons along the way from the hero chefs who help her discover exactly where she goes wrong…”
I collect cookbooks and this one seems both accessible and fancy pants at the same time, my favorite combination.

FOR BLOGGING
Beauty Station
Beauty Station
by iSkelter
(Photo from brit.co.com)
(Retail: $109.99)
Description: “The Beauty Station is a complete makeup organizer, display center, and universal docking station for iPhone, iPad & most phones & tablets. The open and modern design provides display and viewing space for over 20 to 30 makeup products, including the hand mirror and multiple mobile devices. The Beauty Station is chiseled and handcrafted from natural, eco friendly bamboo. The product’s smooth surface is glazed with a protective, stain-resistant sealant…”
This is a perfect organizer for a beauty blogger. I’d have to rearrange my desk a bit, but it would totally be worth it for this guy.

And of course there are about a million more things I could choose, but these were pretty awesome.

So what’s on your Christmas Wish List?

If you enjoyed my post, please check out these other fabulous blogs posting their own Holiday Wish Lists..

Sammi from College Beauty Buff

Vivienne from Jolie Pagaille

Bethany from Twenty Something Plus

November Blog Hop: 5 Products I’m Thankful for

So it’s time again for my monthly Blog Hop with the fabulous bloggers from my Facebook Beauty and Fashion Bloggers group. For November our topic is “5 Products I’m Thankful For”. I decided to focus on items that really make a difference in my life – be that saving me time or effort or helping me feel better when I’m down. Some of these you’ve seen in other posts and a couple are brand new.

Oil
#1 Julep’s Bare Face Cleansing Oil
(Photo from julep.com)
(Retail: $28.00)
Description: “A lightweight, antioxidant-rich cleanser for all skin types”
The only thing that takes longer than applying the perfect winged liner is getting it off. Oil cleansers break down tough makeup better than any other type and Julep’s is hands down my favorite. It’s light and not sticky and has a perfect citrus scent. No matter how heavy I go with mascara or liner, this stuff gets it off easily and with no tugging. It’s by far my favorite Julep product.

Tea
#2 Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Sunset Black Tea
(Photo from Target.com)
(Retail: $5.99)
Description: “This is one of our oldest flavored tea blends. John Harney developed it in the beginning of the 1980s. Over the decades its popularity has only grown, and now it is our most popular tea. People love its combination of strong spices and sweetness. And since there are no sugars (we tested it), it is safe for everyone to enjoy.”
Because my work is a giant petri dish, and I travel every weekday via at least 5 different types of public transportation, I am constantly fighting off a cold. This tea is amazing. It’s like a cinnamon red hot candy mixed with oranges and you can taste it even when your nose is completely stuffed up. It feels like Autumn in a cup and I’ve now gotten everyone at my work addicted to it. Harney and Sons teas are also available on Birchbox if you want to use points for it (but it’s a little pricier than if you purchase from Target).

 

Fakeup
#3 Benefit’s Fakeup
(Photo from birchbox.com)
(Retail: $24.00)
Description: “The creamy formula provides heavy-duty coverage and instantly brightens tired-looking eyes with light-reflecting pigments. Moisturizing vitamin E and apple seed extract give the concealer its silky-smooth texture and soften fine lines.”
Lots of eye makeup tends to flake on me and dry out the sensitive skin under my eyes. This product is great at keeping that area hydrated while also covering any dark areas. I also feel like the extra moisture helps keep wrinkles at bay. This is a staple in my makeup case.

 

Remover
#4 Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover
(Photo from sephora.com)
(Retail: $9.50)
Description: “For even the most hard-to-remove nail polish, this nail polish remover effortlessly takes off lacquers. Inside the bottle, pre-moistened pleated foam eliminates the need for cotton balls. Perfect for travel. Its convenient size is perfect for travel and can be used without cotton pads.”
I love polish and I particularly love jelly finishes full of glitter. These are not quite so fun to remove. That’s where Sephora’s instant polish remover comes in. You just dip your finger in the jar, leave it for a couple seconds and voila even the toughest glitter comes right off. I reserve this for my polishes with a tougher finish  since it contains acetone.

Redhead Shampoo
#5 Everything for Redheads Red Shampoo and Conditioner Bundle
(Photo from everythingforredheads.com)
(Retail: $31.44 US)
Description: “This luxurious every-day red shampoo and conditioner for Red Hair contains a colourant to enhance natural and dyed red hair by depositing colour gradually for a natural looking enhanced colour. Ideal for natural and dyed red hair that needs to be revived with an extra boost of red colour..”
I’m a natural redhead and I can tell you that the US beauty industry likes to forget we exist. There are tons of specialty products for blondes and brunettes, but the redhead offerings are slim. And what is actually available is typically for dyed redheads and not natural ones. I was super excited to discover this line from the UK that is designed specifically for red hair and works on both natural and dyed hair.   In the long ago, I used to have a fiery red shade, but since I’ve been banished to work every day in a windowless basement with no sunshine to lighten it, my hair has lost much of its flame. So I picked up this bundle along with another shade (Chili pepper) to experiment. As a shampoo and conditioner these work well and smell amazing (like cherries!) and I do notice that they give my hair more richness. It’s not super dramatic, but it’s definitely a nice color boost. These are totally worth paying the international shipping costs.

So those are my 5, what are yours?

If you enjoyed my post, please check out these other fabulous blogs posting their own list of products they are thankful for.

   Sammi from College Beauty Buff

   Chelsea from Chelsea Go Brightly

   Julie from Collective Beauty

   Kristina from The Feminine Files

   Megan from Polished Portland

   Vivienne from Jolie Pagaille

   Cheryl from Skinny On Beauty

   Bethany from Twenty Something Plus

   Angela from Your Beauty Whisperer

October Blog Hop: A Spooktacular Beauty Blog Hop!

Last month my beauty & fashion bloggers group took a brief hiatus from our monthly blog hops. We’re back this month for a Spooktacular Beauty Blog Hop with an obviously Halloween theme. Halloween has always held a unique place in my heart because my birthday is just a few days before. I can’t tell you how many Halloween themed birthday celebrations I’ve had over the years.

Halloween is one day a year where you can let your inner monster (or princess, for that matter) run around unfettered. But why limit yourself to just one day a year? Why not keep a little bit of Halloween with you all the time? This October 13th, I thought I’d pick 13 Halloween inspired items to help you keep that vibe going for more than one day in October.

#1 For the Ghost Hunter:
Ouija Dress

Modcloth’s: Spell Me a Story Dress
(Photo from Mocloth.com)
(Retail: $89.99)
Description: “Channel your most spellbinding style in this playful tank dress! Skulls, scrolls, and stars frame a Ouija board graphic on this soft, knit frock. Accentuated by a caged cutout back and sweetheart neckline, this mystifying dress tells a tale of enchantment!”

#2 For the Vampire Slayer:
Polish
Picture Polish’s Vampire
(Photo from llarowe.com)
(Retail: $12.50)
Description: “Deep vampy red jelly polish”

#3 For Bat Girl:
Bat Heels
Jeffrey Campbell’s All Bat and More Heel

(Photo from Mocloth.com)
(Retail: $179.99)
Description: “Swoop! There it is! You glide into the room and all eyes are drawn to your Batgirl heels from Jeffrey Campbell – and for good reason. How could anyone not adore the wing-shaped closure on these black pumps? Feeling magnificent in these suede, pointed-toe shoes, you’re destined to ‘stiletto’ the spotlight!”

#4 For a Steampunk Princess:
Trunk
Butter London’s Gears & Gadgets Ultimate Lacquer Trunk
(Photo from Butterlondon.com)
(Retail: $150.00)
Description: “All hail the ultimate gift for the beauty obsessed! Discover your signature look with 20 gorgeous Fashion Size Shades, 4 best-selling treatments and our favourite tools of the trade. Mix, match and play with all the essentials, and never wear the same look twice.”

 

#5 To visit a Galaxy Far, Far Away:
Leia Tshirt
Thinkgeek’s Star Wars I Know V-Neck Ladies’ Tee
(Photo from Thinkgeek.com)
(Retail: $24.99)
Description: “Han and Leia kiss on the front of this grey, 100% cotton shirt. Features a v-neck and delicate spirals with the words “I know” subtly integrated.”

#6 For the Mother of Dragons:
Dragon
SerpentsDance on Etsy: Dragon Necklace on Leather Cord Copper and Silver
(Photo from Serpentsdance Etsy Shop)
(Retail: $80.00)
Description: “This intricate pendant shows a dragon curled up on his back, nose buried in a book. The book has sterling silver covers, and inside are four tiny copper pages. A 6mm rose cut Labradorite cabochon is bezel set above the dragon.”

#7 To Curse A Princess:
Lipstick
MAC’s Maleficent Pro Longwear Lipglass
(Photo from maccosmetics.com)
(Retail: $22.00)
Description: “The bright, crimson gleam of Pro Longwear Lipglass in Anthurium. Goes on smooth and lasts for up to six hours. Envelops lips with shine and colour and prolongs the hours between reapplication.”

#8 For A Pixie:
Zoya
Zoya’s: Bar Magical PixieDust
(Photo from Zoya.com)
(Retail: $10.00)
Description: “A glittery nude topaz in the best-selling ultra textured, matte, holographic Magical Pixie formula.”

 

#9 To Rule Them All:
One Ring
Thinkgeek’s Gold-Plated Tungsten Carbide One Ring
(Photo from Thinkgeek.com)
(Retail: $99.99)
Description: “This Tungsten Carbide One Ring replica has the highest melting point of all non-alloyed metals and tough enough to go with you on your daily adventures. You’ll need the volcanic lava of Mount Doom to destroy it… or you could just wear it and see if you can withstand its evil powers.  The ring features an inscription in Elvish letters of the Black Speech devised by Sauron when he crafted the all powerful ring: ‘One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.’”

 

#10 For a Black Widow:
Cleanser
Elizavecca Milky Piggy Elastic Pore Cleansing Foam
(Photo from memebox.com)
(Retail: $25.00)
Description: “Suck out dirt out of your pores with charcoal while collagen extract from pig skin firms and hydrates skin. Spider extract makes this cleansing foam extra refreshing and suitable for sensitive skin.”

#11 For Wonder Woman:
Cuff
Fancy’s Goddess Gold Cuff
(Photo from fancy.com)
(Retail: $28.00)
Description: “Rock the ultimate wrist party with this oversized gold cuff.”

 

#12 For a Good Witch (Or a Bad Witch):
Witch

Skipnwhistle’s Witch on Broom Scarf
(Photo from skipnwhistle’s Etsy Shop)
(Retail: $20.00)
Description: “This super comfy American Apparel SUGAR SKULL SCARF is printed by Skip N’ Whistle with eco friendly ink.”


#13 For Catwoman:
Palette
Too Faced Cat Eyes Palette
(Photo from sephora.com)
(Retail: $36.00)
Description: “This set features the Too Faced signature Glamour Guide, with three iconic cat-eye beauty looks to get you started. From sheer washes of color to highly-pigmented shadows, it includes nine shades in warm and cool tones. Three vivid, wet-and-dry formulas provide intense precision lining and a perfect wing tip for foolproof, dramatic eyes in minutes.”

If you enjoyed my post, please check out these other fabulous blogs who are posting their own take on Spooktacular Beauty:

Kristina from The Feminine Files

Megan from Polished Portland

Sammi from College Beauty Buff

Angela from Your Beauty Whisperer

 

August Blog Hop: Beauty/Fashion Hot Weather Staples!

I can’t believe July is over and it’s already August. Where did the summer go? If you’re a regular reader you’ll know that the 1st means it’s time for another Blog Hop! I’m part of an awesome Facebook group of beauty bloggers and each month on the first, we all give our take on the a common theme. For August we’ll be looking at Beauty and Fashion Hot Weather Staples.

So there’s a lot of directions I could go with that topic, but I’ve decided to focus on the products that help us solve some of the problems that are more prevalent during  hot weather. So just prepare yourself for words like “chafing” and “boob sweat”.  Sorry guys, as much as I wish beauty and fashion could be all glitter polish and stilettos, sometimes it’s rough business.

After work I stopped by the MAC store to pick up some fancy pants topcoats (cause I really need more polish) and realized it was right next to the Kiehls store.  I browsed and bit and picked up a couple samples which tunred became my first two hot weather problem solvers.

Kiehls Sunscreen
Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+
(Photo from kiehls.com)
(Retail: $38.00)
Description: “Helps to fight up to 90% of skin aging, including lines and wrinkles and uneven texture and tone. Delivers outstanding efficacy against UVA & UVB rays on the skin’s surface. Oil-free, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic. Dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin.”

I know, I know I’ve talked a lot about sunblock with my other posts, but this one is pretty special. Sunblock is a necessity but it comes with it’s own set of problems, like being heavy, greasy, overly scented and in giant cans. This product is unscented and goes on with this perfect liquid smoothness. I’ve tried a lot of sunblocks and never found one with this fantastic consistency. It applies like a dream and absorbs right into your skin. The bottle is small since a little of this product can go a long way. Did I mention it’s also SPF 50? This is the perfect thing to take to events like summer weddings or outdoor dates, when you need something that applies easily and can fit into a smaller bag.

Kiehls Deodorant
Kiehl’s Superbly Efficient Anti-Perspirant and Deodorant
(Photo from kiehls.com)
(Retail 1.7 oz: $16.00)
Description: “An unscented, gentle yet efficient anti–perspirant and deodorant cream. Leaves skin feeling soft, soothed and conditioned with 24–hour protection against sweat and odor. Reduces underarm perspiration utilizing advanced micro–sized drying molecules for sheer absorption with no residue. With our unique blend of ingredients, including orange, lemon, and linseed extracts, underarm hair will feel softer, resulting in a smoother shave experience.”

Okay so I’m sure you read the title and were like, “what’s so damn special about deodorant?” Well this is a deodorant cream. Which means it’s the perfect item to apply to those areas where you sweat but where you don’t want to use your good old Secret roll on, like in your décolletage (see I can fancy it up if necessary). According to Kiehl’s, this also makes your underarm hair softer which makes for a “smoother shaving experience”. So this is like magic deodorant. I’ve been trying out a sample and so far it seems to work really well. It also has very little scent for the sensitive folks), a not too thick consistency and is easy to apply.

Skimmies
Jockey Women’s Skimmies Slipshort
(Photo from amazon.com)
(Retail: $20.00)
Description: “85% nylon microfiber/ 12% spandex/ 3% cotton. This long-length underwear style also aids in smoothing your silhouette and preventing panty lines. Silky-smooth fabric blend allows clothes to glide gently over this style”

Since we are already on the subject of sweating, let’s just get right to one of the most annoying and horrific of summer beauty problems. Chafing. As much as fashion magazines refuse to admit it, most of us have thighs that touch (gasp!). After a long day of walking in a cute sundress, you’ve got bright red and painful thighs. How can we fix this? Cue Jockey. These slipshorts are the perfect thing to wear under sundresses and skirts. They are lightweight and smooth you out (without being tight like shapeware). They also have no panty lines and can eliminate the need for a slip. I have a bunch of these in nude,pink and black and they are a staple in my summer closet. I can’t recommend them enough.

Shave Cream
eos Shave Cream, Ultra Moisturizing, Pomegranate Raspberry
(Photo from drugstore.com)
(Retail: $3.49)
Description: “Paraben-Free with Natural Aloe & Shea Butter. So moisturizing, you can shave wet or dry. Natural aloe, oat and shea butter soothe while boosting skin’s moisture level. Antioxidant vitamins E + C help skin look radiantly healthy

The summer time is when we like to bare a lot of skin and that means some quality time with your razor. Now lately I’ve been getting lots of fancy pants shave creams, but this Eos brand was the one I already had in my shower. It goes on as a cream (not a foam) and has a nice fruity scent. I’ve been using up some cheaper disposable razors I bought for a trip and with this cream I get just as nice a shave as more expensive razors. The container is quite large, so this will last you  some time. It’s a great bargain at $3.49 and available at drugstores, retail stores like Target and grocery stores.

Emjoi
Emjoi Micro-Pedi Callus Remover
(Photo from QVC.com)
(Retail: $39.96)
Description: “The Emjoi Micro-Pedi callus remover helps keep your feet salon-worthy from the comfort of your home. No scraping and sanding or scary tools. The Micro-Pedi does all the work for you. It’s an innovative device that uses micro-mineral rollers that spin at 360-degrees to help quickly and easily buff your way to soft, smooth feet and more. It’s portable with an easy-to-clean design and easy-grip handle.”

In the summer, even our feet go bare. You’re going to be showing off those little piggies with lots of cute sandals and flip flops so hardened skin and calluses just won’t work. That’s where the Emjoi comes in. It does all the work for you. No more scraping or soaking for hours. This little machine rotates superfast and removes all the dead skin from your feet. This works incredibly well and if your feet are a problem area for you, I recommend investing in this great little device. There are also manicure attachments available so you can turn it into a multi-tasking tool.

Cardigan
Charter School Cardigan from Modcloth
(Photo from Modcloth.com)
(Retail: $34.99)
Description: “Show your style smarts in this versatile cardigan! With a V-neck, buttoned front, 3/4 sleeves, and a fine, soft knit with ribbed edges, this melon-orange sweater will be your favorite wardrobe staple. No matter how you wear it, this piece offers an A+ look. “

So we’ve been discussing a lot about baring skin, but maybe that’s not your thing. Maybe you’re shy, or worry too much about your arms, or you’re always freezing because of the air conditioning. Sometimes all those little summer dresses and strappy tops just need a cardigan.  Modcloth offers the perfect summer option. Their Charter School cardigan comes in a variety of awesome shades and prints and is just the perfect weight. It also has ¾ length sleeves which keep it from looking too wintery. Another plus is that these work great in layered looks as we move into cooler weather. I already own the yellow and cantaloupe colors and am eying the red one…

What is your biggest fashion or beauty problem in the summer? Did you find a solution that worked for you?

If you enjoyed this post, please stop by and visit some of my other blog-hoppers and read their take on hot weather must haves.

BLOG LINK LIST:
Christine at Simply Stine  
Sammi at College Beauty Buff
Anna at The Anna Belle Blog
Michelle at My Beautiful Goodies 
Angela at Your Beauty Whisperer 

July Blog Hop: Red, White & Blue!

I swear I blinked and June was over. (Please be prepared to be inundated with box reviews as I catch up on all the ones I’ve been hoarding. ) In any case, it’s now July 1st which means Blog Hop Time! I’m part of an awesome Facebook group of beauty bloggers and each month (on the 1st) we all post about the same theme. For July we’re going patriotic with our red, white and blue picks.

For my post I decided to choose a few things in the beauty, fashion and accessory categories. Some are favorites I bought and loved, some are items I plan to pick up soon and there are a couple I’m lusting over from afar. Last month I went with a nautical vibe, and this time I feel like my picks have a touch of wanderlust to them. So let’s get shopping and you can tell me what you think.

BEAUTY

Liner Swatch
Vasanti Kajal Extreme Eye Pencil
in Electric Navy
(Retail: $18.00)
Description: “This kohl pencil glides on easily, adding instant drama to your look, while the waterproof formula stays put for up to eight hours. Plus, each pencil has a handy built-in smudger and sharpener, so you can create well-defined or sultry looks.”
This eyeliner came in my Birchbox Limited Edition Mermaid box (which I will be posting about soon!). I don’t usually like pencil liners but this one went on smooth and I adore the color. It’s this oceany, super-saturated navy that’s not too dark. If you’ve got some Birchbox points to spend, this is a great choice for the summer.

Lip Pencil
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
in Cruella (Scarlet Red)
(Photo from sephora.com)
(Retail: $25.00)
Description: “Combining the convenience of a pencil with the application of a lipstick in a jumbo-sized crayon design, these pigment-rich sticks provide a matte, creamy finish that will not dry the lips. Enriched with emollients, vitamin E, and silicone, each gorgeous shade glides on and stays put.”
While I love lip glosses and sheer shades, when I want to go red I prefer matte. The NARS velvet matte lip pencils are my go-to for matte colors and I love this scarlet red pencil.   I pair this with a cat eye liner and a light golden shadow for a classic pinup look for evening. The pencil goes on smoothly and holds up to hanging out in your purse in the summer heat. If you’re looking for a bombshell red, this is for you.

Soraphine Swatch
Soraphine
from Julep
(Retail: $10.00 on sale)
Description: “Classic sheer white crème”
I received this polish in my March Maven box and fell in love. It’s a super sheer white polish with buildable coverage. The more opaque you want it, the more layers you use. It’s classic on its own or beautiful for jelly sandwich manicures (a glitter layer between two sheer layers). If you enjoy Julep polishes, I recommend this one as a must have.

FASHION

Jeans Regular Jeans Plus
Skate Night Jeans by Modcloth
(Photos from modcloth.com)
(Regular Sizes: $59.99 Plus Sizes: $64.99 )
Description: “Sure, the movies are romantic, but so is a day spent at the skatepark with your special someone. Clad in these high-waisted stretch jeans – a ModCloth-exclusive design – you try out new tricks that wow your cute companion.”
I am short-waisted with long legs and carry most of my weight in my stomach. For me, pants shopping is like the seventh circle of hell. Then, I found these “jeans” by Modcloth. They come in regular and plus size, and they are amazing. They are stretchy, but smooth you out without showing any lumps and bumps. They aren’t denim, but a a cotton twill so they are perfect for wearing to work and dressing up or down and the dark navy is the perfect neutral for year round wear. They are incredibly comfortable and perfect for vacation sightseeing. I loved them so much I bought a second pair. These pants run long so just be aware you’ll probably need to hem them or wear heels/wedges.

Maxi Dress
Sunfade Maxi Dress
from Anthropologie
(Photo from Anthropologie.com)
(Retail: $298.00)
Description: “Sunny tones mix with cool blues to make a one-of-a-kind maxi that can transition from desk to dinner with a simple tousle of the hair..”
So this dress is firmly in the lust from afar category, since it’s well out of my budget. But I swear I’m so in love with it. The ethereal print reminds me of far off places you visit in dreams.
Just a few tips for the budget conscious when shopping at Anthro:
Save everything to your wishlist! Things can disappear from the site but still come back in stock. I have scored some amazing deals that way.
Stalk their sale page! I’ve gotten awesome purses at a fraction of the cost.
Call their customer service if something is sold out online! They can often give you a store location where you can pick up that fabulous sale item.

Skirt
Kimchi Blue Margarita Lace Maxi Skirt
from Urban Outffitters
(Photo from urbanoutfitters.com)
(Retail: $89.00)
Description: “Lace maxi skirt from Kimchi Blue in a full, paneled design with contrasting floral patterns.  Trimmed with a stretchy crochet waistband. “
Is there really anything to say but white, lace maxi skirt? I adore the boho vibe this has and it’s just so romantic. It will go with anything and you can dress it up or down. This is another one I’ll be stalking for sales.


ACCESSORIES

Maine Backpack
Maine Character Backpack from Modcloth
(Photo from modcloth.com)
(Retail: $54.99 on sale!)
Description: “Take yourself on a solo writer’s retreat, packing what you need into this blue backpack from Jesslyn Blake.”
I saw this bag and fell in love, but at the original price it was over my budget. It went on sale and I snagged it. I didn’t have any type of bookbag and the rustic feel of this one just made me imagine grabbing it and running off for a weekend in a Maine cabin. I love mine and I think it’s a steal at the sale price.

Shawl
Nysa Shawl
from Anthropologie
(Photo from Anthropologie.com)
(Retail: $88.00)
Description: “Spring’s first breezes deserve layers that are just as lovely, such as this light-as-air shawl from Angel of the North.”
Shawls are a highly under-utilized accessory. They are perfect to combat summer ocean breezes and when paired with a maxi dress they give a much more romantic look than a typical cardigan. I really love this one and am stalking it until it goes on sale.

Necklace
Good Fortune Pomegranate Locket
from Gypsy
(Photo from Gypsy.com)
(Retail: $330.00)
Description: “This oxidized and gold-plated pomegranate locket opens to reveal an abundant trove of red dyed jade seeds. A symbol of abundance and good-fortune, this festive fruit is sweet inside and out.”
Long, long ago they featured this necklace on Anthropologie and I fell in love. The adorable pomegranate locket opens up and there are beautiful red stones inside to mimic the seeds. It, like so many things, is way outside my budget but if I win the lottery or finally sell a novel, then I’ll be making this beauty mine.

Scarf

Blue & White Ombre Linen Summer Scarf from Scoutmob
(Photo from scoutmob.com)
(Retail: $67.00 on sale)
Description: “This ombré linen scarf features Mediterranean blue ends that play on the transparency of the open weave linen. Whether tied tightly or hanging loosely around the neck, this style transcends seasons. The rich linen texture softens with every wear.”
I love the ethereal quality to this fabric. It makes me think of far off fishing villages and stories about sea monsters.

 

Shoes
Walk of the Town Flat in Floral from Modcloth
(Photo from modcloth.com)

(Retail: $39.99 on sale)
Description: “If it weren’t for a stylish cutie like you taking lots of strolls through town in these navy, floral-print shoes, what would your neighbors have to talk about? The sporty laces and refreshing pattern of this canvas-like pair are conversation points that seemingly never tire!”
I actually picked these up in red before I saw that the blue print ones were available. I just adore the floral on this and I think the colors in it will pair really well with denim. My red pair are super comfy and I grab them whenever I’m running errands. I may just pick up these as well.

 

I’d love to hear what you thought of my picks and what you’d choose in the red, white and blue motif.

If you enjoyed this post, please stop by and visit some of my other blog-hoppers and read their take on beach and pool bag must haves.

BLOG LINK LIST:

Kristina from The Feminine Files

Anna from The Anna Belle Blog 

Angela from Your Beauty Whisperer

Tess from Plastic Bows

June Blog Hop: Beach & Pool Bag Essentials

So May has flown by and it’s suddenly June 1st, which means it’s time again for a blog hop. I’m part of a fabulous facebook group of beauty bloggers and each month (on the 1st) we all post about the same theme. For June we’re focusing on Beach/Pool Bag Essentials.

Now as I’ve mentioned in some other posts, I’m a Ginger so I prepare for days in the sun like I’m going to war. I’m going to give you my  picks  and we’ll get ready for battle.

Now first, let’s start with the bag itself. I adore tote bags and have way too many of them and they tend to be the go to style for beach bags. But this time I decided to think outside the tote. The open top design tends to make it that much easier for sand to collect and for stuff to fall out or blow away. Instead, how about a duffle design like this fabulous Baggu Bag:

Baggu Duffle
Baggu® Sailor Stripe Duffel Bag (Retail: $82.00; Picture from Birchbox.com)
I love the nautical vibe on this and the duffle design makes it great for all kinds of uses, from the beach to the gym to a weekend travel bag. I know it’s pricey, but it’s on Birchbox so you can hoard your Birchbox points and apply them to bring the price down.

Now we need to fill this bag up.

towel
If you picked up the Popsugar Special Edition Resort box you’ll have received this great Cuyana Turkish Towel (Estimated Retail: $55.00). It’s the classiest and comfiest beach towel I’ve ever received.

Now a makeup bag or pouch is a must have. I’m giving you a sneak peak at an item I just received from the May Jennifer Love Hewitt box (which I’ll be posting a review of soon). It’s absolutely perfect for the beach.
Mesh Bag
Mesh-Bottom Clutch (Retail: $30.00)
Description: “Shake clutch is designed to keep your items in and the sand far away. The bags feature a reversible flap pinned to either side, allowing you to reveal or conceal the netting at will. When sand begins to intrude, just flip the flap and shake, shake, shake.”
wallet

Trade in your normal wallet for something small that you can tuck into your clutch. I have this Key-Per Zip Coin from Fossil (Retail: $30.00; picture from Fossil.com) in the whale print. It’s big enough for your ID, a credit/debit card, and money.

SUNCARE PICKS

Comb
One of the areas that we tend to forget about sun-proofing is our hair. RickyCare SUN Grooming Comb (Retail: $2.99; picture from rickysnyc.com) is a great inexpensive way to help keep our hair healthy throughout the summer.

Description: “Rickycare’s SUN comb line eliminates color fading and dried out summer texture by planting sunscreen and nutritional oils directly into your hair.This baked-in substance is gradually released from the plastic to coat hair, helping it to reflect harsh sunlight and harmful UV rays. Keep your hair looking great all summer long by simply combing with the SUN line before stepping out on the beach or by the poolside.”

As I mentioned earlier, sun protection is serious business for me so I use a variety of products to make touch-ups throughout the day that much easier. First thing to remember is that you need to apply your sunblock 30 minutes before you go outside. Then reapply frequently.

Josie Maran
Now for my face I like to use Josie Maran’s Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 (Retail: $32.00;picture from Sephora.com). Some face products with sunblock can sting or dry out your skin and this does a great job of keeping my skin safe from the sun but looking and feeling healthy.

Mineral Sunblock
For easy touchups, I like Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral Powder SPF 45 (Retail: $40.00; picture from Sephora.com). This mineral sunblock helps keep away shine and is super easy to reapply.

Dior
For the lips, Dior Addict Lip Glow (Retail:$32.00;picture from Sephora.com) is a sheer balm that adjusts color based on the wearer. It has an spf 10 and does a wonderful job of hydrating the lips.

Now for the body, I use two products, both from Neutrogena.

Sunscreen 100 spf
Before I leave the house I slather on Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen in 100 SPF (Retail: $10.39; picture from drugstore.com). They have other options in SPF so if you aren’t an albino like me, you can opt for a different level.

Sunscreen spray
I find there is nothing more annoying that trying to touch up your sunblock while on the sand. You inevitably get sand stuck all over you. So to combat that I use Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock, SPF 70, 5 Ounce (Retail: $9.99; picture from drugstore.com).  You don’t have to rub it in so you’re not rubbing sand on yourself and the cooling mist is refreshing.

Okay so now that we’ve gotten through the boring SPF stuff, let’s get on to the fun things like a little makeup and fashion.

MAKEUP PICKS

I find it’s best to go minimalist with makeup for the beach and pool. I just go with a mascara and a lip product.

Mascara
The best waterproof mascara I’ve found is CoverGirl LashBlast Waterproof Mascara in Brown (Retail: $5.29; picture from Target.com) Unless you have black or really dark brown hair, I suggest brown mascara for beach days. It looks more natural and goes better with a sun-kissed glow.

Now we already have the Dior lip product above but if I’m lounging around by the pool I like to add just a little touch of sparkle. I find it really gives you that golden summer glow. I adore Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupté in Gold (Retail: $32.00 ;picture from Sephora).
Gold Gloss
I can count the amount of lip products I’ve finished using on one hand and this is one of them. If you wear it alone, it just makes your natural lip color vibrant and sparkling. If you wear it layered over another color it gives it a golden sheen. If you pick this up, I guarantee you’ll be using it all the time. It’s a splurge, but absolutely worth it.

FASHION PICKS

Sunglasses are both fashionable and suncare, but I put them here because I find them more fun than discussing SPF. My favorite pair of sunglasses are these Hepcat Shades from Madewell (Retail: $55.00). I own these in mint and despite my huge supply of shades from subscription boxes, these are the ones I grab the most. I’m partial to the Tropical Color color.
sunglasses
Because of my aversion to sun, I’ve built up a collection of sunhats. They are a great way to look chic and protect your skin at the same time. This Mariner Floppy Hat from Anthropologie (Retail: 32.00; picture from Anthropologie.com) gives a laidback nautical vibe and gives oodles of sun protection.
Hat

I always throw a scarf in my beachbag, so if I want I can drape it over my shoulders or even turn it into a sarong. I am obsessed with this Sea Ranch Scarf from Anthropologie (Retail: $38.00 ;picture from Anthropologie.com.
scarf

So of course we need a swimsuit and one pieces are making a huge comeback. The trick to not looking frumpy is to go with a retro silhouette. They look fun and flirty and they give great coverage if you are on the more modest side. Modcloth is my go to place for swimsuits and they have an amazing selection of fun summer fashion in a huge assortment of sizes.

I own Bathing Beauty One-Piece Swimsuit in Cherry Pie (Retail: $89.99; picture from Modcloth.com) and adore it. I love gingham and the shape on this is so flattering.
Swimsuit

For a coverup, I love the flowy feel of a maxi dress and it gives me the bonus of not having to worry about reapplying sunblock to my legs every five minutes.   This Summer Night Stroll Dress from Modcloth (Retail: $44.99; picture from Modcloth.com) is perfect for being casual at the beach or heading out to a café right after.
Maxi Dress

And of course no beach look would be complete with a sandal. I love these Moxxie sandals by Pink and Pepper at Piperlime (Retail: $49.00 ;picture from piperlime.com). They’re fun and versatile and the taupe shade will go with everything in your wardrobe.
sandals 2
ENTERTAINMENT PICKS

So you need some tunes for ipod and a book for kindle.

CD Cover
Joe Purdy’s Julie Blue always makes me think of water and waves. It’s perfect for sitting by the beach. (Retail: $8.99;picture from Amazon.com)

Novel
For me, romance novels are a requirement for beach and summer reading. One of my favorite ever is Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux (Retail: $7.99; picture from Amazon.com). It’s got time travel and intriguing characters and everyone I know who’s read it, adores it. If you enjoy the romance genre and have never read this, it’s a must.

Don’t forget to throw in some of the hair ties and water bottles you’ve gotten from all those subscription boxes. Now you’re ready to go!

So what are the must haves in your beach bag?

If you enjoyed this post, please stop by and visit some of my other blog-hoppers and read their take on beach and pool bag must haves.

BLOG LINK LIST:

Michelle at Pretty in the East

Sammi at College Beauty Buff

Anna at The Anna Belle Blog 

Brittany at Lipstick and Yarn

Michelle at Beautiful Goodies

Karen at Unpack the Box

May Blog Hop: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas!

So it’s time once again for another Blog Hop! I’m part of a fabulous facebook group of beauty bloggers and each month (on the 1st) we all post about the same theme. This month features Mother’s Day Gift Ideas.

Since subscription boxes are my specialty I’m going to feature some boxes along with some gifts you can wrap up in a pretty bow.

CLASSIC BEAUTY
For the Mom who enjoys makeup, beauty products, pampering and all things feminine.

 Box Pick:
Glossybox
Cost: $21 per month; $60 of 3 months; $115.00 for 6 months/$220 for 12 months
This box features 5 full size luxury beauty products each month in a pretty box. I think the fact that this box includes full sizes makes it perfect for gift giving. There’s a wide variety of brands featured and they are high end.

Lipstick Set
Wrapable:
Besame Cosmetics: Kenley Collins Scarf and Lipstick Set
Cost: $30.00 (Picture from the Besame webpage)
A classic red lipstick in a gorgeous tube with an adorable rose print scarf just screams out “ladies who lunch to me.” If your Mom wears Chanel No. 5 and loves the classics, this might be the perfect thing for


JET-SETTER/TRAVEL
For the Mom who loves travel and enjoys everything from an RV trip to a fancy cruise.

Box Pick:
Quarterly: Hitha On the Go
Cost: $50.00/4 times a year
This is a brand new travel box on Quarterly from the blogger at Hitha On The Go. Quarterly describes her as “Hitha is on a mission to teach women how to travel in style with only a carry-on (yes, no matter how long the trip). A road warrior with an addiction to shoes, she went from checking her massive, overstuffed suitcase to breezing through the airport, with only her 22” suitcase in hand.” Sounds like the perfect sub for those Moms who are always packing for their next trip.

Luggage
Wrapable:
Samantha Brown First Class Collection 2-piece Set
Cost:
$159.95 (Picture from the HSN webpage)
There is nothing that makes travel smoother than nice luggage. I love the Samantha Brown line that is available on HSN. They have lots of wonderful colors and configurations and there are sets for everything from a weekend away to a month long cruise. This set is classy and durable and the perfect size for a small getaway or to use as your carryon and purse.

FOODIE/HOME COOK
For the Mom who believes that love = food and insists on hosting all the holiday parties.

Box Picks:

For the more Traditional Cook, who loves the classics:
Tyler Florence Fancy Box
Cost: $35.00 per month plus shipping
As someone who’s spent a lot of time studying the contents of Fancy boxes, I can assert that this is one of the best and most consistent they send out. It has great food, kitchen and home items. For anyone who enjoys cooking and entertaining this would be a great choice.

For the Super Foodie, who loves experimenting and world cuisine:
Andrew Zimmern Quarterly Box
Cost: $50.00 four times a year
This is the box from that crazy food and travel guy who eats things like dried scorpions. His box features food items from all over the world and each box typically revolves around a certain region. They are the perfect option for a cook with a penchant for global cuisine. For a detailed review of the last Andrew Zimmern box, head over here.

 

Temptations
Wrapable:
Temp-tations Gingham Gardens 9 Piece Oven to Table Set

Cost: $37.20 plus shipping (Photo from the QVC website)

I highly recommend that if someone enjoys cooking they invest in ceramic bakeware. It’s non-stick, and can go from the oven to the freezer, fridge or dishwasher, plus it’s microwave safe and when you pick up a pretty pattern like the one above, you can even serve in it. QVC has a fabulous line of ceramic bakeware called Temp-tations and it comes in all kinds of awesome patterns and configurations. If your mom loves cooking and collecting stuff, she’ll probably have a fun time getting all the different baking pieces and dinnerware.

So what are you getting your Mother this Mother’s day?

And if you’re a mom, what would you love to be surprised with?

If you enjoyed this post, please stop by and visit some of my other blog-hoppers and read their take on Mother’s Day gifts.


BLOG LINK LIST:

1. Michelle from Beautiful Goodies

2. Brittany from The Beauty Deputy

3. Anna from The Anna Belle Blog

4. Jen from Jen Likes Polish (And Some Other Things)

5. Jeni from Gracious Luck

6. Ashly from Reviews / Ramblings & Randomness!

7. Toria from Toria’s Treasure Chest –

8. Megan from Polished Portland

9. Angela From Your Beauty Whisperer

 

Road Trip Beauty Essentials: Blog Hop Post

I’m part of a fabulous Beauty & Fashion bloggers group on Facebook and each month they host a blog hop.  This month’s topic was 5 beauty essentials you’d grab for a last minute road trip.  With winter being so brutal this year, the wanderlust beats strong in my heart so I couldn’t resist joining in.
Background

My Destination:  I live in northern NJ, just outside NYC so I’d head out to Connecticut.  I’d spend a night at Foxwoods casino playing some slots, seeing a comedy show and grabbing a fancy pants dinner at David Burke’s Prime.  The next day we’d head out to pick up some Sheer Chardonnay from Stonington Vineyards then go antiquing in Putnam at the Antiques Marketplace with lunch at the Courthouse Bar & Grille.

If you’re a subscription box junkie like me, you always want to grab the cool beauty finds from your latest boxes and run with them.  I figured we’d start off with a few fun things from recent boxes and then add on my 5 beauty essentials to create an effortless and versatile look.

Let’s start with something compact to hold our beauty products.  The Gorgana clutch from the February Popsugar box is billed as a “jewelry roll” but it will be perfect to hold our makeup and can double as a great clutch for that nice steakhouse dinner.  In that same Popsugar box, we received a Modelco lipgloss/lipstick duo.  Two in one products are great when you don’t want to pack a ton of stuff and this shade is a lovely neutral.  Let’s grab one more goodie from our boxes…an eye sheen from the Julep February Maven Boxes.  I received the Dusty Taupe and it’s a pinkish shimmery neutral that is fabulous for day or night.
Box Items

Now that we’ve grabbed some fun new things, let’s dive into our five beauty standbys.

It Cosmetics
Your Skin But Better CC Cream with SPF 50+

(Retail: $38.00)
Description:
IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ is your Full Coverage Color Correcting Cream, Anti-Aging Serum, plus Broad Spectrum Physical Only SPF 50+ all in one! Paraben-free and SPF 50+ UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum, Physical Only, Non-Chemical Sunscreen. The anti-aging hydrating formula is infused with peptides, niacin, algae, vitamins A, C, B, E, hyaluronic acid, and hydrolyzed collagen along with anti-oxidants and exotic natural botanicals for long-term brightening and color-correcting benefits.”

This guy is a multi-tasker if ever there was one and I use it every day in the “Fair” shade.  It’s like a cross between a tinted moisturizer and foundation.  It gives you a ton of coverage, but isn’t super heavy and doesn’t look like you’re wearing a mask.  It’s also got a high SPF so you don’t have to worry about constantly reapplying sunscreen to your face and the serum aspect gives your complexion that dewy youthful look.  It’s easy to apply with your fingers so no need to pack any brushes or sponges for this.

It Cosmetics Hello Lashes Clinically Proven 5-in-1 Mascara
(Retail: $24.00)
Description:
Hello Lashes Clinically Proven 5-in-1 Mascara revolutionizes and takes the place of 5 products: 1) Your natural volumizing mascara, 2) Your conditioning, hydrating lash primer, 3) Your lash enhancing serum, 4) Your lash tint and 5) your lash comb/curler! Hello Lashes Clinically Proven 5-in-1. The triple brush lengthens, curls and separates lashes while the innovative Magic Wand Lash Ball Detailer tip is designed to reach every last inner and outer corner lash.”

So I’m one of those folks with oily lashes.  Mascaras will often end up giving me those giant raccoon eye smudges after five minutes of wearing.  This one not only stays put, but it gives me volume and curl, so no need to pack an eyelash curler.   It also has a unique brush design that has a spiky little tip which allows you to go in and get all those little lashes that the regular brush can miss.

Benefit
Benefit Fine-One-One
(Retail: $30.00)
Description:
This creamy stick features lovely coral, watermelon, and champagne pigments that blend together for a sheer wash of color. The swipe-on stick is supereasy to apply—great for times when you’re on the go.  This goofproof tint features a cream-to-powder formula that goes on sheer and imparts a lasting pink hue that blends coral, watermelon, and champagne colors. The multidimensional shade brightens dull cheeks and works as both a blush and highlighter. You can also wear it as a pretty lip tint.

This product is so easy to apply and gives the perfect mix of color.  It is a really natural shade that compliments nearly every skin tone.  The stick includes a highlight and contour shade as well, so it’s an everything in one.  Just swipe on and then blend with your fingertips.  You get a fresh, youthful and natural look. It’s that easy.

Laura Mercier
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Khaki
(Retail: $26.00)
Description:
This no-fuss, creamy eye shadow stick delivers easy application and high-definition color. The long-lasting formula glides on smoothly, blends easily, and is resistant to unwanted creases. The possibilities are many. Wear as a liner, shadow, or both, for a flawless finish.”

Laura Mercier caviar eye sticks are amazing.  You can use them as a fabulous eye shadow or line your eyes for the easiest smoky look you’ve ever tried.  The Khaki shade is perfect.  It looks great on everyone and it can transition from day to night with no problem.  I’m extremely pale but have brown eyes.  A smoky eye with black or gray can look severe, and brown or bronze doesn’t really bring out my eye color.  But Khaki is the perfect compromise.  Dark enough for that edgy look, but with enough color to keep me from looking too goth.  Apply that Julep eye sheen over you lid and crease and then line your eyes with this for a perfect day to night eye.  If you want a full smoky eye for the evening you can apply to your entire lid.

Laura Mercier Smooth Focus Pressed Setting Powder – Shine Control
(Retail: $34.00)
Description:
Laura Mercier Smooth Focus Pressed Setting Powder – Shine Control is a lightweight, oil-free powder that visibly eliminates shine and produces a fresh, matte complexion. The naturally derived Shine Control Complex controls oil breakthrough and the ultra-sheer, mint green shade works to correct redness and visibly even out the skintone. It’s ideal for touch-ups throughout the day as it keeps your complexion flawless and shine-free.”

An easy to apply powder that controls shine is a must have in your bag.  I keep one of these in my purse at all times.  It’s perfect for keeping shine away and evens out skintone.  The mirrored compact design is perfect for a quick touchup.

Full Bag
The best part about these beauty must haves is they are all multi-taskers that don’t require you to pack any brushes.   I also managed to fit everything into that cute little clutch.  Ultimate cosmic (beauty) power!  Itty bitty living space.

Have you tried any of my must haves?  If so, what did you think?

Are you planning a road trip?  If so, where are you heading?

To read some other fabulous blogs on the subject, take a look at my fellow blog hop participants.   Happy Reading!

BLOG LINK LIST