Beauty Dish

June 30, 2016

"What are these?" [holds up a bag with 3 lemons]
"You asked for lemons. What my baby wants my baby gets. You know that."
"There are 3 lemons. I asked for 12. Baby wanted 12."
"Why would you want 12 lemons?"
Exchange between Brooke and Gary from The Break-Up

I know it's kind of a sad movie but I love The Break-Up. Conversations like the above or my favorite quote "I want you to want to do the dishes!" feel so real to me...expectations, disappointments, love, and sarcasm. Any time I see a bunch of lemons I replay the above scene in my head and either get annoyed or delighted thinking about the differences between women and men. Because while we might not always be understood, women usually know what we want. This is all a round-about way of introducing two beauty products that I had been looking for as a way to fill a void in my routine. I knew what I wanted, and after rounds of testing and a few disappointments, I finally found a cleansing oil and sunless tanning lotion that exceeded my expectations.

 

CosMedix Purity Solution ($35): Cleansing oils have been a thing for a while now. Most promise to dissolve make-up without stripping the skin – making it an ideal first step in your skincare routine. I’m all for a two-step cleansing routine but all the oil cleansers I found were so oily that even with a follow-up cleanse and lots of water they never seemed to actually dissolve. For someone like me who hates feeling greasy this was a big problem. While at Houston’s Milk & Honey Spa (such a great spot – try it if you haven’t yet!) I was getting a facial and the aesthetician was talking to me about products she loves and what she was using on my skin…she mentioned CosMedix’s Purity Solution as being the best cleansing oil because when applied to dry skin it removes make-up, sunscreens, oils, and dirt then rinses clean with water. You don’t say? I wouldn’t have to follow-up with another cleanser if I didn’t want to? I took a bottle home with me and have been using it every night since. Yes, it’s a true oil and one that you massage on dry skin, but once emulsified with water it truly does rinse completely off your skin. And because the oils used are Argan, Moringa and Olive Oil your skin is left clean but super hydrated. I love how it smells and how it works. I do follow-up with another cleanser but only because I’m a freak and enjoy lots of steps. I’m already on my second bottle of the solution which is a true testament of how much I love it! (also find it here)

Clarins Self Tanning Milky-Lotion ($38): At the beginning of spring I asked of my beauty gurus, Kathleen Jennings of Beauty Now app, what her favorite sunless tanning product was. She said for face (which is what I was specifically looking for) she loves Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster. By adding a small amount of the glow booster to your daily moisturizer and mixing the two before applying, your face gets some sun-kissed action. Knowing that Clarins is infamous for their faux tan formulas I was totally down to give it a go. And I was *this* close to buying Kathleen’s suggestion (she’s never steered me wrong before) but then I caught sight of Clarins Self Tanning Milky-Lotion and after spending an embarrassing amount of time in Nordstrom deliberating which of the two to get, I took home the Milky-Lotion. Yes, I find the name a little off-putting (milky. why, Clarins? why?) but the consistency of the lotion and the nice smell felt less daunting to me than the glow booster. After an evening shower with my face prepped from a little exfoliation action, I was ready to get my glow on. The lotion can be used for both body and face so I took it from my face down to my chest so that the whole area would look even. After washing my hands – the most necessary step when doing any self tanning – I waited a few minutes before getting dressed and then I waited. By bedtime I still hadn’t noticed a glow but when I woke up in the morning I saw the subtle hint of tan I was wanting. Nothing crazy dark or drastic, but noticeable enough to make a difference and match the rest of my body (I’ll let my body get a tan but never my face and chest). What I love most about the formula – aside from the fact that it doesn’t smell bad or make my skin breakout – is that it lasts for a few days or can be built up with follow-up applications for more color. I use it two or three nights a week rather than every day and I love how I’m not a slave to maintaining the subtle glow. I’m still intrigued by the Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster and part of me wants to try it since I’d probably be using it during the day with my SPF vs. how I use the Milky-Lotion at night…I’d let you all know if I give it a go! (you can also find the Clarins Milky-Lotion herehere & here!)

P.S. Kathleen recently did a guest post on Wear + Where + Well divulging her summer skin routine and must-have (including the glow booster!) and it’s definitely worth reading…she’s tried just about everything and is so knowledgeable when it comes to all things skin and beauty! (also find it herehere & here!)

Pieces From The Post

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Current Vibes

June 29, 2016

The below current vibes might be some of my favorites yet. But then again, I seem to tell myself this every time I write these posts. It's exciting finding and sharing amazing things, and it kind of gives me a bit of a rush. Aside from the excitement of this post, I am even more excited for the upcoming holiday and that we get to spend it swimming with our pups in Texas. The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays...who doesn’t love an excuse to sit poolside with massive amounts of watermelon, chips & guacamole, and homemade margaritas?! I may or may not have ordered this suit for aforementioned pool time lusting after it forever. (read on for the vibes...)

1. LUSTING // HERMÈS BANDANA: Ever since I went with my mom to visit my grandparents in Omaha and help pack them for my brother’s wedding, I have had scarves on my mind. My grandmother swears by a great scarf and they have become part of her “signature” look. She says that it’s because when you get older, no one wants to see your neck, but I just think they look downright chic and stylish. My mom and I were helping her to pick a scarf for her rehersal dinner dress (this dress that I would like to borrow from her for myself!), and I couldn’t believe her collection. She had made a tradition of buying a scarf on all of her travels. She even has one from Australia that features Koalas placed throughout! With her birthday coming up in July, I already have planned that I need to find a really amazing scarf to gift her. While searching on Hermès, I came across these bandana-esque scarves that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind. The classic bandana print on a silk scarf takes things up a notch and I know that this is a piece I would literally wear for forever – according to my Mimi at least:) I am thinking that I may need to get her the pale blue version for her birthday and myself the pink (we share a birthday month). The blue would look SO pretty with her silver hair.

2. APPRECIATING // RICHARD GINORI: When it comes to china, I am generally drawn to all white and I actually registered for all white china and everyday dishes when we got married. I figured that I would be much less likely to get sick of everything and food just looks better on a white background. All of these opinions quickly changed when I discovered Richard Ginori’s blue and white “Babele” porcelain pieces on Barneys the other day. All my preconceived notions of blue and white china went flying out the window after seeing Ginori’s hand drawn pretties. The imperfect wavy edges combined with the handiwork of the blue details make them stand out from your typical stuffy blue and white china.

3. ORDERING // FISH DOG COLLAR: With summertime here, our dogs spend A LOT of time in the pool, or the occasional pond. They end up smelling like “wet dogs” more often than not, which isn’t my favorite smell in the world. We saw these waterproof Dublin Dog “fish” collars at a dog store in Chicago and I’ve been dying to order ever since. Not only are they cool looking (fish and labradors just go together, right!?), but they are beyond practical for whatever mess/adventure our dogs may be getting themselves into. I also think they’d make a great gift for any dog-loving friends. My favorites? The Rainbow Trout and Red Snapper.

4. APPLYING // EYE DEFENSE: Another favorite beauty item from my new favorite store, Blue Mercury. I was given the opportunity to test Skin Ceuticals’ SPF 50 Eye Defense in the store as well as bring a sample home with me. The texture is a lightweight mousse that has a small tint to it, so it doubles as an undereye concealer, which is pretty much a game changer. An SPF 50 that is made strictly for the sensitive skin near your eyes is actually genius. I have the most sensitive eyes and every single sunscreen causes my eye area to burn like crazy. The burning is intense and it doesn’t stop until I wash my face. Because the skin around our eyes is so thin, it needs to be protected, if not more! I have a feeling that this is going to become my new favorite and trusted beauty product this summer. I was also given samples of this and this by Skin Ceuticals which I use day and night – the cream for day and the balm for night. Skin Ceuticals for the win!

5. NEEDING // NEW LAMPS: I am getting a little tired of the lamps in our living area. Probably because they are slightly wonky and the shades never seem to sit still or straight and it drives me borderline crazy! I’ve been eyeing these lamps from Serena and Lily and keep coming back to them, which is always a sign that you really love something, right? I think they are pretty cool looking and make a great statement. They could also translate to pretty much any room over time.

6. SEEING STARS // LULU FROST ZODIACSLulu Frost always, always hits it out of the park with their jewelry and their new zodiac collection is evidence of that. The collection is thoughtfully created to combine each zodiac sign with its corresponding element: earth, water, air, or fire. The tiny, hand-set white sapphire stars are sweet and dainty enough for everyday wear, which is my favorite kind of jewelry. Right now I am leaning towards the necklace in my sign (Cancer), because I can never seem to get enough gold necklaces, but I also think the ring is pretty amazing, too.

7. WANTING // TWO SONGS T-SHIRTS: Aimee Song of Song of Style has done it again and created her own conscious and ethical line of clothing that is all designed, sourced, and made in LA – Two Songs. Through the line, she aims to create core basics for everyone’s wardrobe. As a t-shirt/sweatshirt collector, Two Songs is my jam. I basically want one of everything on the site, but I think my first order is going to include thisthis, and this. I know it’s summertime, but I wear sweatshirts indoors on the daily. I also need that trench once it comes back in my size! The sleeves are detachable making it two pieces in one – genius. I am anxious to see what Aimee comes out next with the brand!

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I Wish I Was Wearing…

June 27, 2016

Because I have been traveling quite a bit and because I have more trips on the horizon, I have travel on my brain. And while I don't necessarily always desire to be up in the air (I'm a but of a nervous flier) I have a bevy of super-heros that I take/use every single time I travel - no matter where I'm going or what time of year it is - and I wanted to share them. This "I Wish I Was Wearing" is a little special because I broke down what makes each item so fantastic and why you might need one (or all) of them for your next trip! My pro tip, start with a Mer-Sea Classic Travel Wrap in a neutral color. You'll thank me the next time you're on a cold plane next to a stranger you don't want to be touching.

1. Eye Mask ($52):  An eye mask is essential for me on flights – especially those at night or the dreaded red eye that we seem to take more often than not from San Francisco. No matter the time of day though, I try to sleep on the flight and an eye mask helps to block out any sort of light coming from windows on the plane.

2. Mer-Sea Classic Travel Wrap ($110): I never travel without this. It folds up into a tiny pouch and opens up into a stylish wrap that also doubles as a decent sized blanket for the plane. This “oyster” color is a neutral that literally goes with everything. It is next on my list. The best part about these though is that they are machine washable (!!), which is key after you have worn anything on an airplane – in my opinion:) Our mom loves these wraps so much that she brings them with her from Kansas City and gifts them to friends that she visits as a somewhat souvenir from our hometown. A very useful souvenir at that!

3. Button-down Shirt ($78): I generally sport a button down of some sort on the plane for multiple reasons. They aren’t too tight which can feel restricting on a plane, and they are long enough to cover when I don’t want strangers seeing glimpses of my lower back. They also just look classic, clean, and put together – which is what I want to look like when traveling!

4. Mother Insider Crop Step Fray Jeans ($228): These have become my new “travel” jeans. Hands down the softest and most comfortable pair of denim I own. For the same reason that I like a button down not being too tight, I also like that these jeans are more on the looser side so that I am not constantly having to readjust them during my travels. Traveling aside, I wear these like it is my day job.

5. Rothy’s The Point Flat ($145): Let me tell you about Rothy’s aka my new favorite flats. It may be too hot in the rest of the country to sport flats at the moment, but not in SF, and not while traveling. I am not a sandals person when I travel because I generally run cold and there is nothing worse than cold feet. These flats are made 100% of recycled water bottles that is then “knit” (think Nike fly knits) making the shoe completely seamless. The 3D knit technology makes them more comfortable than your favorite sneakers and 10x more lightweight. Like the travel wraps, the best thing about these could be that they too are machine washable (!!). No more guilt over a small stain on your beloved shoes. I have two pairs of the point style that I have been wearing non-stop and have already picked out my next two pairs. Addicted much?!

6. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones ($299) & Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader ($120): I am not a huge electronics person when I travel and rarely whip out my laptop on the plane, but these are the two items I cannot travel without. My beloved Bose noise cancelling headphones and my Kindle. If I can’t sleep on the plane, the next thing that I turn to is my Kindle to read a good book. It is about the only thing that I can do to successfully pass the time on a plane. The headphones are key for blocking out the loud talkers that are inevitably on every flight.

7. Mer-Sea Petite Travel Candle ($15): I love traveling with one of these for two reasons: I am able to bring a little bit of “home” with me wherever I go by way of a great scent, and I also love bringing them as little gifts if we are visiting friends, for a host if we are crashing somewhere, etc. They are the perfect size to toss into a carry-on…small enough that you could even bring two – one for you and one for a friend. And because the scents are all inspired by what you’d naturally smell near an ocean, you feel like you’re on a vacation whenever and wherever you light them. (Fun Fact: My husband and I included one of these in the welcome boxes for all of the guest at our destination wedding along with a box of matches with our wedding date – guests loved that they could enjoy the candle on the trip and take it home with them to remember the trip and our wedding)

8. Truffle Large Clarity Clutch ($46): On any given trip/flight I can be found carrying at least 3 Truffle pouches or clutches. Who am I kidding, probably more. I don’t know how I lived before Truffle. I use the small clarity pouches to house things like chapsticks and lip gloss and the large size to hold all of my sunscreen that I bring with me everywhere this time of year. The large size is also perfect to slip my card case and passport into so that I can stay organized throughout the airport process. I am considering ordering a few more of these because of how much I use mine to organize every.single.thing.

9. L.L.Bean Large Boat & Tote Bag ($40): In my opinion this is the holy grail of tote bags for travel. At under $50 the price literally cannot be beat and the bag is literally indestructible. I like that I am able to hold a laptop in mine without worrying about weighing the bag down and damaging it. It is structured enough that everything stays organized and magazines don’t “slouch” down throughout my trip. I currently own three of these, but am tempted to order a fourth with our last name on it for our beach trip this summer.

10. Glossier Balm Dotcom ($12): A universal moisturizer in that you can literally put this everywhere. Lips, cuticles, face, you name it. The tub is tiny and perfect for travel (you know, for one of those Truffle pouches I mentioned) and it would meet all of your moisturizing needs on the plane. The fact that it is hypoallergenic and paraben free is also ideal! Thinking I should be switching out alll of my tubes of Aquaphor with this stuff! Possibly with a trio.

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Cookout Style + Shoes

June 27, 2016

Summer. Just hearing and saying the word is enough to get all five of my senses going. The smell of backyard grills and sunscreen, sight of fireworks, the taste of fresh fruit and a cold beer, feeling of sun on my skin and slipping on a great pair of wedges, and the sound of friends and family lazily taking it all in. I like to think that a backyard BBQ or cookout encompasses all the senses of summer in one activity and gathering. I love going to these kind of gatherings as an adult because they include all my favorite parts of the season (food, friends/family, fun) and also hit me with a ton of childhood nostalgia from summers past. If you have some cookouts on your calendar or are wanting to organize one yourself, I have a few tips...

 

.Bring: If you’re a guest, never come empty handed – even if the host tells you not to bring a thing. I like to come with something unhealthy (like my favorite Julio chips [the 4th ingredient is MSG, don’t judge me]) and something fresh (ex: guacamole, watermelon) and some kind of beverage situation. A six pack of beer is always an easy conversation starter (“Have you tried 312? I was at my brother’s wedding in Chicago and it’s all I drank, blah, blah”) but Topo Chico and/or a bottle of rose is never a bad idea either.

.Wear: A cookout usually means you’ll be spending time outside and in Texas that means heat. Whether I’m in a dress or shorts and a top, I make sure that whatever I’m wearing isn’t so precious that I fear sweating or spilling (both are bound to happen). I’ll keep it simple in the clothing department so I can sport a cute pair of wedges that make the look without going over the top. Right now I’ve been wearing my Perla Wedges for just about everything because they are so comfortable (the footbed has special padding and the elastic straps mean no blisters or pain) and go with everything (the soft gold and classic jute-wrapping make the an elevated, neutral classic). Slap on some SPF and bug spray and you’re good to go.

.Do: Have fun. Eat too much, play in the sprinkler with the kids, get to know anyone there that you don’t know well, sing along to the country music or 90s classics that are sure to be playing, and don’t think about the farmers tan you might be getting or the bug bites you’ll be itching tomorrow.

.Don’t: Drive home if you have been drinking, complain about the heat, or talk about Zika or politics too much (though both are bound to come up at some point – tis the season). Suggested topics of conversation…who went to summer camp as a kid; upcoming travel plans before the end of the season; if glamping really is the opposite of camping; “I carried a watermelon” and other summer movie quotes; the Rio Olympics; and whether hot dog eating and NASCAR can really be considered sports.

.Hosting? K.I.S.S. “Keep it simple, stupid” You can go all out and make/do everything yourself or tell guests that you’ll provide the meat, condiments, and grilling if they each bring a side and some booze. Paper plates and napkins will make clean-up easier but no one will judge you if you want to make things a little more fancy. The important thing is to remember to have fun yourself.

.Not hosting? As mentioned above, do not come empty handed. Make sure you help clean before you go – especially if it means packaging up of left overs – and follow-up with a thank you in the mail. Or at least a text the next day requesting a repeat before the summer is over.

 

When you’re busy deliberating between a hotdog and a hamburger (just eat both) and your biggest challenge is trying to scoop chips into guac while holding both a plate of food and a beer, the last thing you want to be thinking about is your feet hurting. Sweating while at a cookout might be inevitable but shoe comfort is something you can totally control. I really can’t sing the praises of my Perla Wedges enough. I love them so much I might be getting them in black. Söfft has tons of other ultra comfortable and cute spring sandals among their best sellers…if you’re not a wedge person, these flats are great (they look especially ideal for travel!) and I love that they come in black, tan, and metallic.

It might be Monday but summer is nothing but living for the weekends. Make sure you get your cookout on before the season’s end!

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