This + That // Sales + Steals

November 17, 2017

Friyay! I'm taking over Sally's weekly This + That // Sales + Steals while she is in Hawaii. I'm pretty jealous of her tropical getaway but really excited to be driving home next week for Thanksgiving. I've been dreaming of mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie for dayssss. Prepare yourself for a big Black Friday post after Turkey Day...but in the meantime, a lot of brands and retailers are offering big discounts early. So hop on it if you're feeling the urge! (read on to get the sales + steals)

This + That:

Some Sales:

  • Ann Taylor: $50 off all full priced dresses with code PARTYPERFECT! Also get an extra 40% off all sale styles. (This is a sequin dress I can get behind and I love the embroidery on this LBD!)
  • Anthropologie: 20% off all tops and sweaters – discount reflected at checkout! (Loving the detail on this white top, really into the wrap style of this sweater, and can’t get over how cozy this cardigan looks)
  • ASOS: Black Friday starts early with up to 60% off full looks! (Really into the color combo of this faux fur trimmed parka, love the sleeves on this sweatshirt, and all about the rips and fit of these jeans)
  • Banana Republic: Get 40% off your purchase – discount reflected at checkout – and get 10% off TODAY ONLY on select marked items! (Hello adorable teddy bear blazer coat! The tone-on-tone stripes of this puffy jacket are perfect. This fuzzy merino sweater is perfect for holiday season and I don’t think I can resist this silk pj-style blouse)
  • BaubleBar: 30% off gift sets & holiday collection with code YAY30! (These are really luxe-looking)
  • Bloomingdales: The great Big Brown Bag sale – take 25% off for every $200 you spend AND save up to 50% off on select items! Now through 11/22 (
  • Bluemercury: Free overnight shipping! Ends TONIGHT at midnight EST!
  • Chicwish: Extra 10% off orders over $70 with code THX10! (The heart elbow patches on this sweater are freaking adorable, love the color of this dress for fall, and craving something cozy like this!)
  • Club Monaco: Extra 30% off sale items – no code needed (This is a stripe tee I can’t pass up, adore the style of this cardigan, and hello lovely winter white dress!)
  • Crate & Barrel: Up to 40% off furniture and rugs!
  • domino: Save 15% during the lighting sale (This and this are awesome ceiling fixtures and I love this lamp with the black shade option)
  • Gap: 40% off your purchase with code GIFT! (So many good new arrivals…the color combo of this jacket is so good, love this cute pj set, and this velvet skirt is one of the best I’ve seen!)
  • H&M: Black Friday sneak peek – up to 60% off and free shipping ends TONIGHT! (100% scooping up these booties in black, love the shape and color of this sweater, the beaded embellishment on this guy is so good, and how pretty is the color and knot on this bag)
  • Hudson Way: 30% off sitewide this week only with code PREBLACKFRIDAY30! (Love love all the fur pieces by this brand)
  • Intermix: This weekend only, get an extra 50% off sale! (Yes to this and this, and this is a beauty!)
  • J.Crew: Online only, 500 items are under $50 – no promo code needed! (How sweet is this? Love these as a gift, and need these for myself)
  • J.Crew Factory: Get 50% off the gift guide PLUS 40-60% off everything else! (These make fabulous stocking stuffers)
  • LOFT: 25% off all dresses, skirts and cardigans! (This is the kind of LBD you want to be wearing during the holidays, this is the kind of skirt you want to wear for NYE, and this is the cardigan you wan to wear to feel cozy all fall winter long)
  • Mango: 30% off all sweaters and cardigans with code COZYMNG! (This is my pick)
  • Neiman Marcus: Up to 40% off dresses sweaters and more!
  • Old Navy: Early access to Black Friday with 50% off your entire purchase with code FRIYAY! (This is a good holiday heel)
  • Steve Madden: Free shipping with no minimum with code SHIP! (Love the color and style of these)
  • West Elm: Get free shipping today only with code FRIYAY!

Some Steals:

1. Edie Parker Jean Tie-Dye Clutch ($1296 → $779) // 2. Gap Faux-Fur Bomber Jacket ($128 → $76 with code "GIFT") // 3. Banana Republic Pajama-Style Top with Piping ($88 → $53 at checkout!)

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Getting Gifty with West Elm

November 16, 2017

When it comes to the holiday season, there are certain beliefs that I hold dear: 1) Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas is You" cannot be overplayed. Ever. 2) Peppermint ice cream can and should be consumed the entire month of December, and last but not least, 3) It's never too early to start the gift shopping. Even better if you can be strategic about said shopping. For me, that means doing a little "one-stop-shopping" - scooping up gifts all in one place. West Elm is the ultimate gift destination during the holiday season...they truly have something for everyone and each option is more perfect, fun, beautiful than the next! Being the organized gift-giver that I am (humble brag), I scooped up some perfect presents while at West Elm the other week and thought I would share. I will say that even though I love everything I got (and feel that they're perfect for all types of people on my list) West Elm has even more gift goodness online - all in one spot and broken down into multiple categories - and I've got more a cart started with more great things I can't wait to wrap up and give!

 

FOR: the Entertainer: Some people are naturals when it comes to having gatherings and hosting parties. These entertainers make the impossible look effortless and I love them for it. If there’s one thing I know about people that love playing host, it’s that they appreciate pieces that they can put to good use. West Elm has so many good things any entertainer would love. As soon as I laid eyes on this painter’s palette-inspired cheese tray by Fishs Eddy Cheese Tray (on sale!) I knew it would be perfect for my bestie that puts together the most delicious cheese boards. It’s fun and playful – ideal for someone that likes getting to switch things up with each gathering. I also love this 2-tier cake stand, this pineapple trivet (something every hosts needs!), and this set of marble & brass cheese knives.

FOR: the White Elephant Party: I loooove holiday parties. Especially annual ugly sweater parties (I have a solid sweater I always wear) and white elephant parties (where the goal is to entertain with a silly gift). Getting to pick out a random and hilarious gifts for a white elephant party brings me so much joy. I could not get over the perfection of West Elm’s snow globes this year…though there were some great options (a unicorn, a llama, and more) I could not pass up the Merman Snow Globe. Is he not incredible?! Who wouldn’t want to take him home and find a special spot to show him off? I also felt like the fancy dog figurine and felt cacti would make for lovely white elephant gifts.

FOR: the Mixologist: Bar carts will probably never not be having a moment. I think every person I know has some sort of bar set up and some live the art of cocktail making more than others. For the friend (or friends) who are at home mixologists, West Elm has great accessories and tools that any cocktail connoisseur will love. I picked up a Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker while in the store (it’s sadly sold out online) for my friends that always mix drinks from the “Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails” since the book authors also created the shaker. For the mixer who prefers to stir and not shake, this mixing pitcher & strainer is gorgeous. And I love this bar tools set – equal parts form and function that will look super glam out on display.

FOR: the Adventurer: I’m not a “bucket list” type person but several of my friends are and I couldn’t help but think of them when I spotted this DOIY Poster of 100 Things You Must Do Before You Die. I think it’s really fun that it’s interactive – with little windows that peel off similar to an advent calendar – and that the design makes it worthy of actually hanging somewhere. And hey, the adventurous person might also need the 100 Places You Must See Before You Die poster. And I bet I know the perfect person to give the 100 Movies You Must See Before You Die poster to. So glad that West Elm included these posters in their gift section…I think they’ll be fun to give again and again.

FOR: the Ornament Exchange: If you haven’t been to an ornament exchange you either need to host one for your crew or find one to get in on. Every person brings and ornament and draws a number, going in order of the numbers, each person picks from the pile of wrapped ornaments OR “steals” an ornament that’s already been opened. If you’re someone who gets an ornament stolen you can steal or pick again from the pile. It turns into a really fun event when the ornaments are as fun as the guests! Each year West Elm has an incredible selection of ornaments – ranging from traditional and classic, to ornate and/or handmade, with some whimsical and playful goodness mixed it. I plan on bringing the Glass Cactus Terrarium Ornament (I can’t pass up something that feels Texas related) to my upcoming exchange but I might just have to get the ski bunny and candy cane shark for my own tree!

FOR: the Lover of Luxe: Sometimes people with excellent taste can be tricky to buy for. When I’m shopping for these people I like to look for things that are beautiful – ideally something that can be displayed – and interesting enough that the person getting the gift wouldn’t necessarily go out and buy it for themselves. Not many items fall into this category West Elm manages to always curate a handful of pieces that fit the bill. I love the Glass Knot objects because they’re simple but beautiful (and great to give along with a coffee table book or two that could sit beneath!). Other items that caught my eye are all upgraded ordinary things – these enamel & copper vases, agate bookends, a copper watering can – that any love of luxe would appreciate

FOR: the Chef: Friends and family who love all things cooking and kitchen related are among my favorite to shop for. I like trying to find things that they probably don’t have but would definitely use and love. West Elm broke out groupings of gifts by recipient and the “cooks + kitchen enthusiasts” was so fun to look through. While I was in store I found a little Marble Mortar & Pestle and thought it was such a nice tool for a favorite chef in my life. That said, there were a lot of other foodie things that caught my eye…how fun are the colors of this SMEG Espresso Machine and Dash Mini Waffle Maker?! I’m also a big fan of this oil & vinegar set and this butter dish.

FOR: the Person Who Has Everything: We all have this person on our gift list…they are notoriously difficult to buy for. Mainly because you feel like they have everything. Every year there’s one particular family member that I get stuck on…how to you find something they will love but don’t already have?! Well, you spy something like the acrylic Deco Stacking Game and think, “bingo.” It’s like a fancier version of Jenga – fun, elegant, and has equal parts form and function. I’m a little too excited to give this baby away! And hey, if all else fails, pick out a pretty frame or two from West Elm’s selection and print pictures your “person who has everything” would love (bonus points if you and them are in the picture together). I love these acrylic and metal frames!

FOR: the Zen Master: So I don’t totally love that I used the term “zen master” but I didn’t know how else to describe the person that’s all about relaxing, minimalism, and pretty but practical. They’re like lovers of serene (re: zen). An obvious choice for a friend like this would be a pretty blanket or candle but there’s way more interesting ways to give scent that’s not a candle. Like incredible incense! West elm carries Uma Incense Sticks – if you haven’t smelled them before, they are pretty major – and I thought that a case of the “pure calm” with an simplistic but elegant Incense Burner would be the ideal combo.

Feeling the itch to get started (early) on your own glorious gift list? Do yourself a favor and head to West Elm. They have even more great stuff than what I talked about here…I just didn’t want to go nuts and list every single thing that caught my attention! Ho, ho, ho and happy shopping!

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Current Vibes

November 15, 2017

Our long awaited Thanksgiving trip to Hawaii as a family of three is tomorrow and we could not be more excited! Our flight takes off at 5:55am, which means that I will be scurrying around all day doing last minute things. Luckily, we're almost fully packed minus toiletries and one last load of baby laundry. I'm hoping to go to bed with our suitcases literally zipped up and sitting by the door. 5:55 is pretttyy early! The last time we visited someplace tropical was for our honeymoon a year and a half ago. We talked about doing this trip when I was still pregnant as a sort of way to celebrate a belated "baby moon", 30th and 31st birthdays and our second wedding anniversary. We have lots to celebrate around here! (read on for this weeks vibes...)

1. READING // CHARLOTTE’S BOOK: As Molly mentioned yesterday, we are complete freaks about skincare. Obsessed to say the least. I don’t even remember how I came across Charlotte’s Book, but I’m pretty glad that I did. Charlotte’s book has been called a “sophisticated take on Angie’s list” in terms of connecting consumers with the best of the best in beauty services. On top of this, the site also has loads of beauty content for people like me to spend hours upon hours reading. In fact, just while writing this post, I have become distracted with a link to this write up on Mind Body Green. Now my ever-growing list of beauty buys has grown even more. Shoot. Another favorite feature of the site is the Ask Charlotte Series – where I have found the answers to many questions that I too had wondered about. And I will now spend the rest of my day researching Cellfina. Needless to say, Charlotte’s Book is like the beauty consultant I never knew I needed. Maybe this will limit the amount of beauty questions I text Molly on a daily basis?

2.  OBSESSING // LOEFFLER RANDALL RESORT ’18: Dear Loeffler Randall, I just can’t with your new Resort 2018 collection. It’s just too. freaking. goo. If ya’ll haven’t check it out, this has to be one of the best ye. But then again, Molly and I seem to think that with each new season that LR releases. “Multi-colored ric rac ribbon trims, rainbow stripes, ruffled edges, fuzzy accents, and playful pompoms” make up the details of this collection and it couldn’t be a happier looking bunch. As always, we are loving the inspiration board behind Resort 2018. I’m finding it hard to pick favorites from the collection, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Bad because I may have to make multiple pairs my own. The Birdie in the white is candy colored perfection and pretty much irresistible. Why did I not purchase these before our trip tomorrow!? My denim Vera’s from this fall are one of the most comfortable shoes I own and were so easy to wear that its no surprise I’m eyeing them in the bright red kid suede – with ric rac trim, of course. And because Molly and I have been talking about wanting a pair of fuzzy slides for what seems like months now, the Isabel slide in navy is so.much.yes. Most especially love the navy shearling paired with the black leather sole because black + navy = match made in heaven.

3. WANTING // FOUR EYES EARRINGS: I have a pretty decent collection of statement earrings, but I don’t see my love for them stopping anytime soon. Truth be told, I get so much wear out of them, so I can easily justify the purchase of a great pair. I know, I know, I write about a good statement earring just about every Current Vibes, but I clearly can’t help myself. And the good just keeps on coming. So I’m practically obligated to share my findings, right? When Pencil and Paper Co posted about Four Eyes Ceramics‘ large-scale, handmade porcelain statement earrings, they immediately moved to the top of my ‘must blog about’ list. Sadly, I completely forgot to go back to Pencil and Paper and purchase a pair for myself from their pop-up with Four Eyes and am seriously devastated. This pair was screaming my name – how good is the green for fall and going into the holidays? Its a perfect green too. Sigh. Guess I’ll have to try to track them down, because I’m not going to be able to let the idea go!

4. READING // “SHE”: Meet the newest addition to my coffee table book collection – kate spade new york’s latest, “SHE: muses, visionaries and madcap heroines.” The latest tome from kate spade features fifty iconic women – muses, visionaries, and heroines and includes photography, quotes, words of wisdom, and personal essays from these inspiring women. Included in the book are the likes of Jane Fonda, Iris Apfel, Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Dorothy Draper, and Carrie Bradshaw. Often times we get a new coffee table book and I never quite find the time to sit down and flip through it. Sad, I know. Someday! But, this one I’ve had on my bedside table ever since it came in and have loved reading a few of the stories each night. With Christmas right around the corner, this would be a perfect gift for the amazing women in your life!

5. LASHING // LASHFOOD: I think I may have mentioned that a few months ago I got eyelash extensions and had them on for a few months. As much as I loved them and felt way prettier waking up looking less like a newborn baby mouse, they definitely did a number on my natural lashes. Ever since I have been aggressively trying to bring my natural lashes back to life and a decent length. It doesn’t help that Molly has the most insane lashes making mine look sad in comparison. Thankfully, LASHFOOD has an array of products at my rescue. The founders of LASHFOOD actually got their start in the lash extension business, which is why they created the company. The mother/daughter team spent years experimenting and researching the effects that powerful herb extracts and other pure ingredients have on lash growth. LASHFOOD’s Phyto-Medic Lash Enhancer is the world’s first and only Eco-Certified lash enhancing serum. Meaning that it is natural and safe from the chemicals that many lash enhancing products contain. While also remaining super effective in strengthening and nourishing lashes to look longer and thicker. I’ve been using this every night for just a few weeks now and cannot wait to see the results. Another LASHFOOD favorite is their Conditioning Collagen Lash Primer that contains lash extending, thickening microfibers to extend the look of lashes. I have been wearing this under my mascara and have seen such a drastic difference in how much better my lashes look. Seriously like night and day. Its almost as if when I apply it I can see my lashes instantly look longer. I am so sold on LASHFOOD’s products that the Eyelash Extensions in a Bottle is looking pretty promising to add to my collection.

6. WISHING // VINTNER’S DAUGHTER LIMITED EDITION: We’ve talked on the blog A LOT about our love and obsession for Vintners Daughter Active Botanical Serum. Since first purchasing the magic serum, that love for the brand has not wavered and if anything has only grown. This stuff is pure magic, people. If you want to read more about why we love it so much see posts here and here. Clearly, we’re big fans. I continue to rebuy bottle after bottle because its that amazing and is worth every penny. We’ve also converted our mama who has made her incredible skin that much better with the use of Vintners Daughter. If you have any questions on the amazingness of the product, a quick google search will lead you to article upon article touting just how incredible the serum really is. 22 of the world’s most active organic and wildcrafted ingredients don’t lie! This year, the company launched a limited edition 50ml bottle (the original size is 30ml) just in time for the holidays and gift giving. Is it terrible to want to gift this to myself? The bigger the bottle, the better. Vintners Daughter is also now offering a 3ml sample packwhich is awesome for those that want to try the product before committing to a full bottle.

7. LOOKNG FORWARD TO // HOLIDAY TRADITIONS: This year will be our first Christmas as a family of three and we couldn’t be more excited to start some Christmas traditions that we hope to continue for years to come. The past few years we’ve gotten a real tree for our house and decorated it with our growing ornament collection, but there is something about doing this with a little one around that makes it that much more magical. Last Christmas, my mom got us a little tree and ornaments for baby H’s room, which will be so fun to set up. We also have our needlepoint stockings that I cannot wait to hang above the mantle this year. With a third stocking of course, thanks to my mama and Molly working their little fingers to the bone stitching away for the past year. We usually drive around and look at the Christmas lights in Dallas which are crazy amazing, but this year I think we’re going to take a carriage ride as a family to see them. We’ll bundle baby H up in his Christmas jammies and bring hot chocolate because, duh. Even though he’s still so little, we know that he will absolutely love all of the lights.

1. Charlotte's Book // 2. Loeffler Randall Resort 2018 collection // 3. Four Eyes Ceramics x Pencil Paper Co. pop-up earrings ($75), get other pairs here! // 4. "kate spade new york: SHE: muses, visionaries and madcap heroines" ($25 on Amazon! also here) // 5. LASHFOOD Phyto-Medic Lash Enhancer ($80, also here, here and on Amazon!) // 6. Vintner's Daughter Limited edition 50ml bottle ($305) // 7. Highland Park Village (Dallas, TX) Holiday Lights

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Beauty Dish

November 13, 2017

It's been a while since we had a Beauty Dish post up...over seven months to be exact. Yikes. Shame on me and Sally! Being the beauty (skin care, makeup, etc.) freaks that we are, we have a truck-load of new favorites to share. So expect this to be the first of more to come.

You know what makes me excited? Having a tan. I have a lot of self love but even the hint of a tan can make me feel 99% better about how I look. That said, I basically shun the sun. Apart from two warm-weather trips over the spring/summer and less than a handful of days poolside in Dallas, I was inside...glowing like Casper. I spent part of my spring and summer researching, trying, testing, and eventually hating a lot of different self-tanning products. Streaks on my body, patches of darkness where there shouldn't be, "self tanner" smells, clothes/bed linens/towels that got stained...and even with all that nonsense, nothing really gave me a good, natural-looking lasting tan.

I chalked all my failures up to user error and eventually started shelling out $$ to professionals to spray me down. In late August I tried the Vita Liberata pHenomenal Mousse and felt that I had found the BEST stuff for my body yet. By mid-September I had bought the Coola Sunless Tan Face Serum and determined I now I had the ideal combo for my bod and face. Then exactly a month ago I was introduced to TAN-LUXE. In all my self-tanning research I hasn't come across this name - and I was very, very skeptical. But their beautiful branding (I mean...it's perfect) and promise of "no streaks. No smells. No drama." mantra was enough for me to give everything a try. Well...NOTHING COMPARES TO THIS STUFF. And I'm about to tell you why.

 

Warning: this post is super long. I’m sorry…but I’m not that sorry. This stuff is important! And I sweartogawd this isn’t sponsored, I am just truly 100% obsessed with TAN-LUXE.

Where do I start? I guess I’ll explain what makes TAN-LUXE different than pretty much every other self-tan brand and product. DHA (dihydroxyacetone) is a colorless chemical (manufactured synthetically, or derived from natural things, like beet sugar or cane sugar) that interacts with the amino acids in dead skin cells to produce a brown color change. No DHA = no lasting self tan. Where most self tanning products go wrong is the addition of colors and stains that act as “guides” when applying. I’ve used several products with this addition (including the Vita Liberate Mouse) and while it seemed helpful when putting it on, it got ALL over my pjs and bed sheets (I always put self-tanner on my body before bed) and even after rinsing the next morning in the shower, color was still transferring to my towels. And that lovely brown tint continued to come off – on my workout clothes, towels, etc. – in the days that followed. Annoying but I figured it was the price to pay. The only issue is that paying the price still didn’t get me free of streaks or have much staying power.

Want to know why those tinted formulas don’t seem to last longer than the initial darkness you get right after applying? Because the synthetic dyes break down the tanning actives in DHA! It’s not user error that’s causing your streaks, dark patches, uneven fading, and all that sad stuff – it’s the formulas in the products that give a less-than-perfect result.

TAN-LUXE will tell you that what really sets them apart is that their products are designed for “tailor-made tanning.” And trust me, that’s a HUGE selling point that I’ll explain more about below. But for me, the biggest game changer is that the TAN-LUXE sources three of the highest quality tanning actives (naturally derived from pure rapeseed oil and sugar beet) to create an exclusive DHA composition. They call this their “Triple-Tan Technology” and it reacts with the amino acids on the skin’s surface to natural enhance melanin without staining the skin – so it works – and it’s completely color-free.

The whole “no smells” factor is 100% for real. After using TAN-LUXE for 2+ weeks I tried some of my other stuff to compare the two…and there’s literally no comparison. The smell of my Vita Liberata Mousse (which I originally thought was fine) is horrific compared to the very light almost nonexistent scent of TAN-LUXE. All I know is that TAN-LUXE has an “Odourlite Fragrance Technology” (they are very tech-savvy if you can’t tell) that minimizes that disgusting traditional self tan smell. Just an FYI…if you use the mousse at night then do a workout in the morning, the sweat combined with the product doesn’t smell great but it’s still nothing like that cat food smell you get after a spray tan.

On to the tailor-made-tanning. The genius behind TAN-LUXE is a Marc Elrick…he’s a beauty entrepreneur and he and his husband Dylan own an award winning hair salon in Glasgow. Marc and Dylan  recognized that their clients had great hair and great make-up…but less than great self tans. They asked their clients questions (lots of questions) about what they felt were the biggest problems with self-tanning (smell, color, dryness and streaking) and compiled tons of notes before landing on a light bulb moment: “if consumers can control and customize the color of their make-up, then why not self tan?” As we all know, make-up is not a one-size-fits-most market. There are hundreds of shades, tons formulas based on application preference and desired results, and the option to use products with natural, non-toxic ingredients that still worked. With all this in mind, Marc began his five year journey of creating TAN-LUXE.

If you’re like me and you hadn’t heard of TAN-LUXE till now, it’s because the brand launched its first product – The FACE – in July 2015 and has been growing its product line, following, and wholesale accounts since then. Sephora just started selling it and you can also find it now on Net-A-Porter. Expect to be hearing about TAN-LUXE a lot more…and along side glowing (see what I did there?!) reviews.

Given that Marc wanted TAN-LUXE to feel as personalized as the options available with make-up, the line is comprised of products in a variety of textures and formulations. It’s the first self-tan brand to combine oils and lotions in the formulations that work alongside your natural skin tone, creating the ultimate undetectable, flawless glow. By combining raspberry seed oil, vitamin E and hydrolysed silk, TAN-LUXE combats the most frequent tanning complaints of dryness, uneven colour and that weird but always distinguishable “self-tanning” smell. The ingredients in each product formula are highly moisturizing, making each application easy and even. No streaks, no smells, no drama.

Here are the products:

Illuminating Self-Tan Drops: the line’s two core products are THE FACE and THE BODY. Both are concentrates that work in synergy with your existing skincare routine to be a custom-made self tanner. THE FACE can be added to your favorite serum, lotion or cream and THE BODY to your go-to lotion or oil. The difference between the two is that THE BODY has a Cellutone Complex with firming and toning qualities…which makes it ideal for your bod. Best part: the Triple-Tan Technology works with your skin to deliver a tan within 60 minutes of application. Both THE FACE and THE BODY come in “light to medium” and “medium to dark” options. P.S. They have an Anti-Age version of THE FACE!

Transparent Tanning: wondering how those crystal-clear bottles actually result in a tan? Science (like all that stuff I wrote above). THE WATER and HYDRA-MOUSSE are completely color free but they work – and give a darker, more lasting tan than the drops (IMHO). Along with having the Triple-Tan Technology, these transparent formulas combined vitamins and “Moisture 24” technology to hydrate while illuminating. The HYDRA-MOUSSE comes with a tanning mitt for applying (!) and guess what, the mousse doesn’t stain the mitt at all. And the mitt is machine washable. Boom. THE WATER you just mist evenly and use from head to toe. Unlike the drops and gradual formulas, these take longer to fully develop (don’t shower for 4-6 hours after application!) but they are very, very quick drying (pretty much immediate) so perfect for before bed. Like the self-drops, The WATER and The MOUSSE also come in “light to medium” and “medium to dark” options

Face Oiling: if you’re not into the idea of the self-tan drops, the SLEEP OIL might be for you. Designed to work in tandem with you skin’s natural overnight regeneration, SLEEP OIL rejuvenates, stimulates and hydrates your skin while you sleep and delivers a natural looking, radiant glow by morning. Same Triple-Tan Technology but no need to add to a serum/lotion/cream because it’s already packed with great overnight skin treatments.

Gradual Tanning: I have legitimately lived in fear of gradual tanning lotions and creams ever since sorority rush my freshman year of college. The smell of Jergen’s Natural Glow was so pungent I couldn’t breathe. But the whole idea of building a tan with lotion – something I already do every day – is so appealing! TAN-LUXE delivers the first gradual formulas that work and don’t smell like death. THE GRADUAL is a lotion and oil hybrid that can be used for face or body (but it has the same Cellutone Complex as THE BODY, just to note). Natural tan served up in 60 minutes. Just keep using it to maintain and build color. THE BUTTER is also gradual and has the same Cellutone Complex but is much richer than the THE GRADUAL. That said, it’s still super light (I would just say it’s more of a dense hydration) and quick-drying. This one takes about 6 hours to fully develop.

Highlighting: remember that Michael Kors leg shine stuff that was all the rage…like 9 years ago? THE GLOSS is kind of the same concept – only better. A highlighter and instant tanner in one, THE GLOSS is a multi-tasking stick that can be used to give radiance, color, gloss and glow in one swipe. Great for dusting on your shoulders when going sleeveless or for the front of your legs to get that J.Lo look. The zero-glitter factor keeps you from looking like a fool and the micro reflective particles give a mirror like sheen that’s, well, perfect.

Which stuff do I use the most?

  • THE WATER: I’m addicted to this stuff. What is easier than spritzing your face a few times then forgetting about it? Nothing. The fact that a few sprays actually turns into a lasting tan is ridiculous and amazing. I use apply this mostly on my face/neck/upper chest area. Mainly, I’ll use the WATER at night as my last step in my skincare regimen – but I’ve also used it during the day on top of my SPF (just to be sure I had a nice glow for the evening, you know?) and I just don’t think there’s a wrong time to use it. So easy so good so effective. P.S. I use the light to medium color. And yes the tan is immediate, noticeable, and lasting!
  • HYDRA-MOUSSE: no other self-tanning mousse product compares to this. At first I was like “Ya this clear formula sounds great but if I can’t see where I’m putting it, I’ll get so many streaks.” Wrong. So very wrong. Using the mitt (that comes with it) makes it foolproof. It’s so moisturizing/hydrating that unlike other mousse stuff I’ve tried, it spreads really well and I have never ever gotten a single streak. I have used my mitt several times back to back without washing it (it doesn’t get stained) but I wanted to see how it held up in my washing machine…it came out completely new with a drop of detergent and delicate spin cycle on cold. Just lay flat to dry and you’re good for the next time. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to cover myself in this mousse, put on white pj’s, sleep on white sheets, and shower in the morning with white towels and not see an ounce of color anywhere. Complete self-tanning game changer. I use The MOUSSE at least once a week – usually on Thursday so I head into the weekend with the perfect color – but sometimes I’ll use it twice a week if I’m really wanting to feel 100% awesome. I use the light to medium color – two pumps for each leg, one and a half pumps for each arm, then pumps as needed for torso and back.
  • THE FACE: I use the drops about once every three days. Application is as easy as mixing three of the drops into a regular-size amount of my face creams (just mix with my fingers in the palm of one hand) as the last step in my nighttime routine (and yes, I’ll typically top it off with a couple sprays of The WATER because the combo is just too good). I always take it down the neck so that it’s even but have never had any streaks along my jawline (typical self-tanning issue) or weird orange coloration along my hairlines. I use the light to medium color and usually do three misting sprays – top part of my face (forehead zone) in the middle and then the middle part of my face on each side.
  • SLEEP OIL: this product is lovely and I may use it in place of the drops when I don’t feel like doing the mixing process but given how attached I am to my serums, oil, and other face potions, I typically only wear the SLEEP OIL when I’m feeling utterly lazy and don’t want to do any mixing with The FACE drops.

DON’T FORGET: always, aways, always wash your hands/palms after using this good stuff! Tan paws = not natural looking. So if I’m using the drops, the SLEEP OIL, or the gradual products I immediately wash my hands with soap and hot water. I should probably wash my hands after using THE MOUSSE but once I do the tops of my hands with the mitt I usually forget…and I’ve never had a problem. Since you don’t have to do any rubbing with THE WATER (the mist is so fine, it sprays completely evenly) I don’t do any hand washing after using it.

Oh my gosh. That was so long. But so fun to write. I haven’t been this excited about a beauty product since discovering NeuLash 5+ years ago. Given that it’s fall and colder weather is coming, do yourself a favor and give your face/body/self the gift of TAN-LUXE. You’ll be naturally glowing like a goddess all holiday long!

Shit. Did I even talk about how TAN-LUXE is chemical free, natural and non-toxic, vegan-friendly, cruelty free, and formulated without any parabens, synthetic dyes, mineral oils, sulphates and other crap that’s really bad for you? Sorry. No you know. Certified organic but delivers results. I don’t know what more good things I can say about this brand…the only problem is that I’m addicted. But there are way worse vices, right?!

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