Monday

Top Travel Picks for Spring Weekend Getaways

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Top Travel Picks for Weekend Getaway

You guys know I'm on the go quite a bit, so I'm always looking for new products to make traveling easier! I've done a few of these posts, but I have some new products I haven't mentioned before traveling with me on my upcoming trip, so I'm sharing some of those with you.

1. EOS Visibly Soft & Active Protection SPF 15 Lip Balms - $3.29 Retail each

I just want to preface this by stating that I've used EOS for years and while I know some people have stated they react to something in the formula, I haven't had that reaction thankfully so I've continued to use it. Should that change I will definitely share that with you guys!

EOS has released a Visibly Soft formula that includes coconut milk and they also offer their Active Protection formula, which includes sunscreen. I don't tend to use the sunscreen formula because I use sunblock (vs. chemical sunscreen), but I know quite a few that prefer their sunscreens to offer SPF protection, which is why I've included it. I love that the Visibly Soft formula includes coconut milk!


2. Promise Organics Ultra Moisturizing Argan Creme Facial Towelettes - $5.99 Retail

I'm a stickler about making sure my skin care routine doesn't suffer when I travel, but one thing I do switch up is using facial towelettes for the first stage of makeup removal while I'm on the go! I have other products I use at home, but given how much of a pain it can be to travel with a lot of liquids (I completely hit my limit by taking along my other skin care products) I like to bring towelettes. I do cleanse my skin after using these with my regular skin care routine, but I find makeup towelettes get a good deal of the makeup off my face (especially my eyes) and make it easier to cleanse after. These towelettes were recently introduced to me and I love that the first ingredient is Aloe Leaf Juice and that they contain Argan Oil (an ingredient I use heavily in my own skin care routine). It's nice that they're cruelty-free (according to the brand) and very budget-friendly.

Available: CVS/CVS.com

3. Patchology Flashmasque Hydrate 5 Minute Facial Mask - $8-$50 Retail 

I am a big fan of sheet masks for adding a little extra hydration to skin care routines. The nice thing about individually packaged sheet masks is that they're super travel friendly! The downside can be that you don't always have 20-30 minutes while you're on the go to stop and mask. However, Patchology released their Flashmasque line that includes a 5-minute hydrate mask that literally takes 5 minutes and then you're done! I haven't used mine yet, but it's already packed in my travel skin care products and I will be giving it a try soon. Yes, I think a 20-30 minute mask is probably generally more effective simply because of the length of time you leave it to absorb, but if you're tight for time I'm totally down for trying this speedy 5-minute mask!


4. Choo Choo Cat Passport Case - $9 Retail

If you follow me on Instagram then you know I love Choo Choo Cat goodies and my passport has been sporting a Choo Choo Cat passport case for some time! Honestly, this passport case is one of my favorite travel accessories. It's worn super well and it's attracted quite a few comments! I actually want to grab another one (or two) so I can switch it up from time to time--just too cute to only have one.

Available: JetoyUSA.com 

5. Let It Block SPF30 Sunscreen - $15 retail

I'm a huge fan of non-chemical sunblocks that provide a physical barrier vs. chemical sunscreen. This is 100% personal preference based on my own health issues/preferences. But the issue I often come across with sunblock is that it can be thick and difficult to apply, which kind of defeats the purpose of protecting yourself from the sun if you can't spread it evenly over your body! Let It Block is easily one of the smoothest formulas I've come across and it spreads really nicely. While I do find I have to apply it a bit more frequently than my other beloved sunblock by Badger, it's easy to travel with, easy to apply and it's housed in a neat recyclable pouch! Definitely worth checking out imo. They do have 2 other formulas I've been meaning to try out, so I'll make sure to report back this summer if I do.

Final Thoughts

If you're a frequent traveler (or you just love exploring new travel goodies) I hope I've been able to share a few products you haven't seen before! I've shared some of my makeup-specific travel posts in the past, so make sure to search through the blog if you're looking for some inspo in that area. 

I'd love to know your favorite must-have travel accessories, so feel free to share below!

Note: Some of the products in this post were provided by PR/the brand. All opinions are my own.

Saturday

Top Late Winter & Early Spring Beauty Musts!

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Top Late Winter & Early Spring Beauty Picks

Yes, Punxsutawney Phil may have seen his (darn) shadow, but I'm still holding out hope that we see spring sooner rather than later! Regardless, the weather up here tends to stay super cold until early April, so it's super important to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize from head to toe. And while I do wish we were seeing warmer temps, it is nice that we can continue to wear some deeper shades for a couple more months before we transition into light and bright hues.

I've compiled some of my top beauty picks to get us through the end of the winter below, so hopefully this helps you shrug off the winter blues and get excited to finish this season off with a bang!

1. MAC Caitlyn Jenner Collection - Prices Vary

If you're looking for a super wearable, end-of-winter-appropriate makeup collection this one is it! All of the shades in this collection are super pretty, very flattering and definitely deep enough to pass for winter shades--but not so deep they should be intimidating to those that tend to stay away from vampy and smoky. This collection has a more mature vibe to me, but not in a dated sense, more of a sophisticated, classy way. Given Caitlyn's signature classic look it came as no surprise to me that this collection oozes elegance. Of the collection, my favorite items are:

  • Glowing Gold eyeshadow
  • Malibu Bronze eyeshadow
  • Authentic Red lipstick
  • Understanding lipstick

2. MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics Kabuki Magic Dazzleshadow x 4: The Shining Hour - $32 Retail

This palette is stunning if you want a little extra shine to transition your look from deep winter to early spring! Dazzleshadows can be a little tricky to me application-wise, but the final effect is gorgeous and worth the effort if you use a good shadow adhesive. The shades in this palette are stunning and well-worth owning if you want to enhance your look with a little extra something. I was actually really happy with the Make-Up Art Cosmetics collaboration created with 3 different artists. I would love to grab everything, but this palette by Kabuki in particular caught my eye from the jump!


3. MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics James Kaliardos Coral Bliss & Jasper Lipstick - $17 Retail

Two other great picks from the recent Make-Up Art Cosmetics collab are lipsticks by James Kaliardos in Coral Bliss and Jasper! I love Jasper because it's a perfect deep red for winter (or anytime really), while Coral Bliss is a lovely coming-into-spring shade. Bloodstone is another shade I'd love to get my hands on, though I don't own it at the moment--very classic red.

Available: MAC/MACCosmetics.com

4.  MAC Chinese New Year Powder Blush in Dame - $23 Retail

Year of the Rooster! It's so fun to see collections inspired by Chinese New Year and while I liked several of the items released this year by MAC I think Dame blush is so subtle and soft that it deserves a mention. Yes, I'm a huge fan of bright cheek shades on myself, but sometimes it's nice to be able to point people towards more subtle shades when they're wary of wearing brighter blushes or newer to wearing blush in general. This shade is very natural and works best on fair to light-mediums imo.

Available: MAC/MACCosmetics.com

5. MAC Lip Scrubtious in Candied Nectar - $16 Retail

Now that you've got your lip shades all picked out don't forget to prep those lips! I'm a total nut about keeping my lips in great shape so I regularly exfoliate and constantly moisturize. Especially in winter, it's important to remember to exfoliate that dry skin away and moisturize those lips so that they're lipstick-ready ... and just healthy in general! I've used lip scrubs by other brands for years (and made my own at home), but I liked seeing MAC finally come out with their own since they have such an impressive lipstick range. Makes sense!


6. Perricone MD Cocoa Moisture Mask - $69 Retail

This mask is meant to provide some serious moisture to your skin, which I find critical by the end of a long winter. If you've never used cocoa on your skin you're in for a treat! I've been doing raw cacao masks for years, so when I saw Perricone release their own version I got pretty excited. For those that tend to avoid DIY masks this is the perfect solution to getting in some indulgent cocoa face time! All the deliciousness; none of the calories. 😉


7. Promise Organic Nourishing Coconut Milk Facial Cream with Mango - $14.99 Retail

I'm a big believer in being super choosy when it comes to the ingredients you put in and on your body, so my skin care tends to be super natural, organic and simple. I was recently introduced to Promise Organic and I couldn't believe this brand was a drugstore brand! While the formulas seem to pack in as many natural/organic ingredients as possible (almost to the point I wonder how much impact some of those ingredients listed at the end could actually have) they seem to avoid a lot of the chemical ingredients often found in most big brand skincare lines and they use Aloe Leaf Juice as their first ingredient rather than water, which is a huge plus to me. The price point is incredibly budget-friendly, which makes it worth mentioning for those that want to find more natural skin care without breaking the bank. I looked over the ingredients in this particular face cream and was generally impressed. This formula does include coconut oil, but not as one of the first few ingredients, so for those that aren't incredibly sensitive to it (like me) this could be completely fine! Their products state that they're cruelty-free. 

Available: CVS/CVS.com 

8. Promise Organic Nourishing Coconut Milk Hand Cream with Shea Butter - $8.99 Retail

Another product that caught my eye from Promise Organic was their hand cream. This stuff works really well, smells pretty pleasant and is also pretty natural ingredients-wise. I used this several times last week and found it left my hands hydrated. I tend to keep a tube or two of moisturizer in my bag because my hands get so dry from all the washing and sanitizing (germaphobe here!), so this has really come in handy.

Available: CVS/CVS.com

9. Umberto Beverly Hills Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner - $9.99 Retail

Textured, coarse, thick-haired girls ... I feel your pain! I know what it's like to hit mid-winter and wonder how the heck your hair has suddenly turned to straw despite doing everything "right". I've been on a quest to find the best hair products for my hair for decades and while my favorites change constantly, I recently came across this moisturizing formula by Umberto and was pretty impressed it's not only meant to moisturize dry, coarse hair, but also protect colored hair at the same time! I'm a little surprised they use SLS in their formula (I tend to avoid it and most color-treated formulas I've seen over the years don't use it), but it's got such great ratings on Target's site it may be worth a try for anyone at the end of their rope looking for the "right" formula at a budget-friendly price.

Available: Target/Target.com


Final Thoughts

Hopefully my top picks will help you get through the rest of this winter feeling a little less dry and a little more glamorous. I always feel like February is the hardest month because it's right in the thick of winter (especially up here). Share your favorite end of winter/early spring picks with me! I'd love to hear what you're currently loving.

Note: Products in this post were provided by PR/the brand. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday

5th Annual Beauty Gift Guide Vol 7: Beauty & Grooming Tools

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gift guide beauty tools and grooming tools holiday 2016

Beauty Tools Gift Ideas

Each year I recommend some of our favorite beauty and grooming tools and each year they're a hit, so here we are again for all you last-minute shoppers scrambling to find the perfect gift for people still on your lists!

This year we've included some fabulous beauty tools along with some grooming tools that I think you're going to love.

Check them out!

Friday

5th Annual Beauty Guide Vol 6: Fragrance & Cologne

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gift ideas holiday 2016 fragrance review

Gift Ideas for Fragrance Lovers

Each year we highlight fabulous fragrances and fragrance gift sets and each year you guys love them! While I may be a super picky nose person, I really appreciate when someone buys me a fragrance they know I'll love. I've also found that giving fragrance gifts to people I'm close to or as gift swap presents has always earned fabulous responses. We've assembled a handful of fragrances for men and women with different price points, so there's something for everyone!