UD Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette

Earlier this year, I thought Urban Decay couldn’t do any better than the Naked on the Run palette, which quickly became my travel essential.  Leave it to the cosmetic behomoth to prove me wrong – if you haven’t finished your holiday shopping, you’ll definitely want to pick up the lady on your list (sure, yourself) the Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette.  I feel like it’s one of the most successful celebrity collabs we’ve seen in the beauty market in quite some time.


Retailing for $58, it is a limited-edition collection that contains 15 must-have shadows (that calculates to under $4/shade, which is a steal!)  12 of the 15 shades were created specifically to fill voids in Stefani’s personal collection, so you know that they’re unique and flattering and won’t be trumped by other favorites in your vanity.  The palette is heavy on the neutrals, which makes it incredibly easy for gift-giving, but has a few jewel tones thrown in the mix to put its personality on full display.


Favorites:  1987, Pop, Punk

Quality: Just as you would expect from Urban Decay – velvety shadows, not prone to creasing, long-lasting pigmentation

Bonus:  Signature Black-and-White Packaging, nods to signature Stefani tunes

Surprise:  The palette includes a sample sheet of 4 out of 8 UD Gwen Stefani Lipsticks

The Magic’s In the Makeup!  Are you dying to buy this for someone on your list this year?

3-Step Winter Pedi-Spa

Winter is here, but if you think that means your piggies need to go into hibernation, you know nothing, Jon Snow!  Although tucked securely in a the perfect pair of boots for the Tinsel Season, your digits don’t need to play B-team to the paint-rocking squad of sandal weather.  If anything, the heavy drudgery of colder temps means you should spend more time pampering yourself – your feet deserve the attention.  I’ve carved out an easy 3-Step routine that will have you dancing under the mistletoe in no time.


Step 1: Massage your tired feet with a RistRoller.  Sure, they were originally designed for the wrist, but podiatrists will tell you that you can roll them underfoot to increase blood flow, remove lactic acid, and release muscular tension.  Don’t tell me those heeled Manola Blahnik boots aren’t getting to you after the ten block walk to the subway.  Indulge yourself!

Step 2: Purify, moisturize, and sooth your feet with professional lemon pedicure lotion from VOESH New York.  Simply massage it into your foot and lower leg, and feel your skin soak up the vitamins and minerals it needs to keep moving.  I like to think of it as a little moment of aroma-therapy, as well – who doesn’t love citrus?

Step 3: Add a little pizzazz to your nails – who cares if you can’t see your toes out-and-about?  Like a flirt piece of lingerie, I like to know that they’d make the grade if they came out to party.  Admit it – while snuggling up to some Netflix in your pajamas, you’d smile if you saw some holiday color.  My favorites right now are from Butter London: Posh Bird and Right As Rain.  Maybe it’s because Adele is #SoHotRightNow, maybe it’s because they remind me of snowflakes and cocktail parties; whatever the reason, get your hands on some because they’re lovely.

Do you do anything different during your pedi-spa routine?  Let me know in the comments below.

Don’t Forget to Wear Sunscreen

Perhaps it gives away my age to reference the infamous Baz Luhrmann lyrics, but not only is sunscreen use a privilege, it’s a MUST to prevent aging effects and damage to the skin.  During the summer months, we easily remember this as we trek to the beach or the pool, enjoying sweltering weather, a natural bronze, and rising hemlines.

I have to constantly remind myself to utilize solar shield during the winter months, however.  With heavy sweaters, warm hot chocolate, and chill-inducing mornings, the sun is often the last thing on our minds (unless it’s an urgent plea to please, please warm up the commute).  On top of that, many winter-shaded cosmetic products are not magically equipped with some of the skin-protecting UVB-bashing qualities we come to expect at other times of the year.


I’m currently using a medium tint, moisturizing sunscreen lotion from OZ Naturals (yes, the same company whose rice dermafoliant I discovered back in the summer months).  It’s an easy addition to my skincare needs, and safe enough to use on the tiny princesses if we find ourselves out and about.

Do you incorporate a sunscreen into your winter routine?  What’s your favorite product?

TelomErase Serum, Triple Telomere Targeting 6-in-1 Multi-Corrective

If you don’t know what telomeres are, you are not alone – I heard the term and quizzically scratched my brow.  However, I was won over with the promise to reduce dark circles, sags & bags – I mean, who wouldn’t be?  Now that the holidays are approaching, it’s dark from the moment I leave in the morning to when I return after work.  You could say that I have a serious raccoon-aura emanating from my being.


So I gave TelomErase Triple Telomere Targeting Serum a try.  It claims to do six things – erase, tighten, brighten, blur, moisturize, and regenerate.  Although I don’t have fine line issues and my pores are pretty tight (thanks to regular moisturizing) I do think that it did a great job brightening and regenerating my dry, soon-to-be-winter skin, so that’s a definite win!

If you want to try this for yourself, you are in LUCK, because readers of the blog get a special discount: 10% off the $149 half-off introductory SALE price (so you are saving some BIG BUCKS!)  Just use discount code TIGHT10 during checkout at Revivserums.com – This discount code is good through December 31, so it’s perfect for the holidays!


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Emma Winston NY: Floating Earrings #Giveaway !

If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, than floating diamonds must be her lover.  At least, that’s how the special lady in your life might feel if you gift her a pair of Floating Earrings from Emma Winston’s NY Boutique.  They’re a Holiday Gift Must-Have for 2015, whether you’re purchasing for yourself (we deserve it, ladies) or buying for another stylish, modern woman in your life.  I’m pretty sure these are going to make their way into quite a few of my girlfriend’s stockings this December.

Emma Winston NY

The collection is sold exclusively online at http://www.emmawinston.com – so hop on over and let the mailman do the rest – AND you also have a chance to enter this awesome giveaway to WIN a pair for yourself!

That’s not all!  If you’re not the lucky winner, you can still get 15% off using code: AUDIENCE15OFF

Can you beat that?


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Moisturizer: Dior vs Clinique

Back in March 2014, I switched out my go-to Bliss moisturizer with Dior Hydra Life, which I picked up at a Sephora VIB Social.  A year and a half later, I’ve decided it’s time to branch out and have been giving various other products a chance, such as this Trilane retinol moisturizer.  But what I really found was able to stand up to the test was Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel.


Can you tell how much I loved my Dior?  The jar is completely empty from use!

Dior’s Hydra Life Pro-Youth Sorbet Creme retails at $60 for 1.7oz.  It’s also somewhat of a cult favorite and is often out of stock, both at brick-and-mortar Sephora locations and the online boutique.  There’s no denying that the skin feels amazing after using it, and despite the price tag, it lasts forever and is well worth the investment.    I found it to be so hydrating, I only needed to utilize it once per day, which really maximizes the purchase.  My routine was simply to apply it upon waking every morning, and after about 10 minutes it was completely absorbed, allowing me to immediately apply primer and continue on with my normal make-up application.

So, with such glowing results, why make the switch?  Clinique’s Gel (which also comes in a cream version, but I was enticed by the ease of a pump) is over twice the size (125ml versus 50ml) and about a third of the cost ($26).  Now, I’m never one to skimp on skincare, so cost alone is not a deciding factor.  A product would really have to perform equivocally for me to jump ship and switch teams.  What’s so striking is that Clinique DOES hold its own.  Like the Dior, it is both lightweight and fast absorbing.  The skin loves it, it’s long lasting, and it works well with other products.  In short, it’s a win for both my skincare routine and my wallet.

Have you tried these two moisturizers?  What are your thoughts?  #TeamDior or #TeamClinique ?

Spongellé Beyond Cleansing Luxury Spa Products (for the Mini-Fashionista!)

It’s been quite some time since I began using Spongellé Luxury Spa Products at home.  For quite some time now, my mini-me has seen my sponges in the shower and curiously pined for the day when she could have the same cleansing experience.  So imagine her happiness and surprise when I presented her with a Spongellé to call her own!


Spongellé has released Sponge Animals!  They are body-washed infused, the same as the adult versions, but in playful colors and shapes to entertain the younger audience: Duck in yellow, Dog in green, Butterfly in pink, and Fish in orange.  My daughter adores her fish, but I’m secretly counting down uses until I can present her with the butterfly.

As an added bonus, the sponges are hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.  I always worry about fragrances (and these are fruitilicious!) with my youngest daughter, and knowing that the sponges are paraben free, sulfate free, cruelty free … well, it just washes the cares away and keeps bath time as the fun time it should be!

Not only are the sponges Multi-Use (saving weeks of washcloth laundry … woohoo!), but they can be repurposed by the crafty among us.  We’re currently brainstorming ways to tie the used sponge into my daughter’s ocean-themed nursery … coral reef, anyone?

Cleansing is an important ritual to start early – what better way than with an innovative technology like Spongellé?  Pick one up in stores, and let me know how it works out for your munchkin.  While you’re at it, don’t forget to indulge yourself (I recommend the mandarin orange!)

Revitalize Your Skin with New Day Gentle Exfoliating Grains with Echinacea GreenEnvy™ from Farmacy Beauty

I’m always hesitant to use a new exfoliator, because so many products are harsh on the skin.  I do everything I can to avoid redness or other skin harm.  With the change in seasons, however, coupled with some cross-country travel, I’ve noticed dullness creeping into my complexion, and some unwelcome bumps in the forehead / hairline area.  It was time to do something about the issue.

What I found was a gentle exfoliator from Farmacy, which is based out of New Jersey.  The product acts as both a cleanser and an exfoliator, so I felt like I was helping my skin by avoiding multiple products that could strip away the good stuff.  It’s easy to use, too – it comes in powder form, which you then mix with water to obtain a cream consistency.


It gets even better, though!  As the “Farm” in the company’s name might suggest, it’s backed with naturally-derived ingredients: cranberry seeds for a deep clean, rice bran powder to absorb excess oils, and (get this) white willow bark, carrot, green tea, and marshmallow to calm the skin.

You can of course order from the company directly, or rack up those Sephora points since it recently launched at the beauty giant.  For only $30, I’d call this a beauty steal and a must-have for the winter routine.

What are you waiting for?  Try it out, and let me know what you think!


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Weekends are for Orchard Visits & Brisk Strolls

As I write this, I’m sipping some crisp apple cider from a local festival, enjoying cool autumn breezes, watching turning leaves flutter to the ground, and dreaming up pumpkin recipes.  October is a time for orchard visits, solitude under tree canopies, and jack o’lantern making.

Flashback to summer and I realize that my happy place is often up in the mountains, near a quiet banjo tune or the swift call of a whippoorwill.  (Thoreau and I could totally be homeboys).  I’m fortunate enough to live in a temperate climate where autumn apples are replaced by springtime berries and summer time peaches.



This darling dress is from Nomads Clothing, a UK-based brand that has been fair-trade since ’89.  I plan to pair it will a chunky knit sweater for fall.



Isn’t the print so delightful?  So easy to accessorize!  I love cotton items, because they’re so breathable and easy to layer.

What’s your favorite outdoor adventure site?  Let me know in the comments below!

Fall is Here! Protect Hair Color Against the Elements

As soon as the air turns crisp, we switch our closets, our shoes, our makeup pallets, even our Starbucks orders.  However, if you’re like me, you might forget to switch your haircare amidst the busy activities of pre-holiday season.  I had been using Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil, and I noticed it was making my hair limp, a little oily, and lacking its usual bounce.

Then out of nowhere, like the magic of pumpkin spice lattes on the menu-board, came a haircare line from Proganix.  From my first use, I was hooked.  Christmas definitely came early this year!  It’s a three-piece set (shampoo + conditioner + weightless argan oil) that smells like Cherry Blossom.  More significantly, it is infused with Vitamin B5, which acts as a high performance antioxidant to protect against damaging end-of-year sun rays.  The conditioner serves a further purpose of protecting the hair against free radicals – those nasty boogers that dull the hair’s vibrancy and ultimately add to the blah-factor that comes with cool weather – which sucks the moisture out of hair, leaving it flat and dull.  No bueno, mi amigos!


Give it a try and let me know what you think.  In the meantime, I’ll be over here enjoying my soft, weightless locks.  Happy October, y’all!