Showing posts with label Everyday Favorites. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Everyday Favorites. Show all posts

Stocking Up: What to Buy TODAY from Kiehl's and Kate Somerville

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Best from Kiehl's and Kate Somerville

You may have noticed something about my post the other day on Sensitive Skin Pore Cleansing, namely that there are a few skin care brands that I seem to use over and over. I use a lot of different skin care items, most of which don't ever make it to the blog, and I definitely do have my favorite brands. 2 of my favorite brands are holding Friends and Family sales right now, and they are ending soon! I placed 2 skin care orders last night for myself (and my husband), and I thought I'd share my favorite items from each brand.


20% off everything until 5/22 with the code FRIENDS at checkout.

Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado: Great basic moisturizing eye cream, perfect under concealer and what I use if my eye area has any irritation at all. It's very soothing.
Midnight Recovery Concentrate: I've posted about this oil a lot (like, a LOT), but it's one of my biggest skin care favorites. A few drops at night before I go to bed will fix any dry areas and I wake up super glowy!
Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution: I have a whole series showing my progress with the Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution, but the Vitamin C in this product is also great for anti-aging and is in a very stable form. It doesn't cause any irritation!
Super Multi-Corrective Cream: This is one of my go-to night creams. I layer it usually over serums. There's a full post on the Super Multi-Corrective Cream here.
Ultra Facial Cleanser: This is a great face wash, it's very gentle and also a bit hydrating. If you have any sensitivity or dryness it is worth checking out.
Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash: One of my hubby's faves
Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub: Another of his favorites
Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask: My biggest go-to clay mask, and I just realized I forgot to add it to my order... I may need to buy more!
Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+: Great for under makeup or just every day sun exposure.
Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 30: One of my favorite sunscreen daily moisturizers.
Lip Balm #1: I keep this stashed all over the house and on my night stand.
Ultimate Strength Hand Salve: I keep this on my night stand and it's also in the pocket of my white coat at work! I ordered some for both me and hubby, and I even got a small tube of grapefruit scent to try out!

Kate Somerville

Save 20% with code FRIENDS17
If you look in the center of the page, you'll see the KS logo, kind of floating... click it. You'll be prompted to share the sale on social media, and it will then give you a personalized code for 30% off instead!

ExfoliKate: This is the KS cult favorite! I use it a few times a week in the shower, under a minute to gently exfoliate my skin! I have sensitive skin and can handle the original formula, but there's a gentle version as well. Note, I use about the size of a pea and a full sized tube lasts me nearly a year. You can check out a few of my posts about ExfoliKate.
Detox Daily Cleanser: I have a huge stockpile of this gentle AHA cleanser at home and will be using it daily for the rest of my life.
ExfoliKate Cleanser: I also use this cleanser, read more about it here.
EradiKate Acne Treatment: This is pretty much just the KS version of the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, which for some reason has never worked for my blemishes, but the KS version dose. It also doesn't dry out my skin at all which I love! I even have the travel version.
Somerville360 Face and Body Self Tanning Towelettes: I'm not usually a self tanner girl, but I bought these for spring break and they are very easy to use, and portable! Not orange at all.
Clinic-To-Go Resurfacing Peel Pads: Easy to use lactic acid peels. They didn't show up in my recent post on clearing out my pores because I've been out for a while (and they're actually out of stock on KS), but they're in my Sephora cart!
DermalQuench Liquid Lift: I was introduced to this after a KS facial at the Four Season in West Palm Beach, and I loooove it! It's a great spray, super lightweight, and it makes my skin very glowy. It adds a lot of hydration to my skin without feeling heavy.
Daily Deflector Moisturizer: Great daily SPF moisturizer (just bought a new one for summer in my order)
Daily Deflector Waterlight: Great lightweight SPF for under makeup, I ordered more of this one too.
RetAsphere: This is the retinoid cream I'm currently using.
Line Release: I just bought this eye cream to try out.

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A few of these items have previously been sent by PR, but I've also purchased every single one with my own money as well!


My Current Nightly Skincare Routine

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the best night time skin care routine

In the past, I would change my entire skincare routine every 6-8 weeks as I was testing different products. Now that I'm older, and I have rosacea, my skin just can't tolerate that. I have a group of core products that I use every night, swapping testing products in and out as needed. I test products for at least 8 weeks, sometimes longer now.

My Top 10 Super Luxe (and Oh So Worth It) Beauty Products

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The best beauty products to splurge on

Today for Top 10 Beauty, my blogging friends and I are sharing our favorite luxury beauty splurges!

In the past I've been more of a bargain beauty girl, but I have to admit that in the last year or so I've been slowly collecting more luxury products. And repurchasing them. Which is pretty amazing for me, I'm one of those girls that usually has to try something new just for the sake of having something new! Instead, I'm sticking with the same thing, which is unusual.

Here's a look at my favorites. If you're going to splurge, I think you can't go wrong with these picks!

My Every Day Favorites: The Drugstore Alternatives

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Makeup Vanity Organization

Last week I shared with you reorganized makeup vanity, which my every day makeup favorites have been hanging out on, in a pretty tray. These are items that I reach for day after day, but most of them are splurges. I promised an update with lower priced options. While these items aren't currently in that tray, they are good alternatives and most of them would have been found in the tray at some point.

The Best Drugstore BB Cream

BB Cream
I've been using the super splurge YSL BB Cream for the last month or so, which is a good match for my skin tone and offers very light coverage.
• Yves Saint Laurent Top Secrets BB Cream Skintone Perfector in Clear (from Nordstrom, Sephora or YSL Beauty)

I haven't explored drugstore BB Creams as much as I should have, but that's really because the ones that I have found I've liked enough to use over and over.
• Pond's Luminous Finish BB Plus Cream (at Amazon or Target): I've probably bought 7 or 8 tubes of this BB Cream in the past, and would still be my favorite if my skin wasn't on the lighter side (and therefore too light). This is the heaviest coverage of the 3.
• CoverGirl Smoothers SPF 15 Tinted Moisture (from ULTA or Target): This is the lightest coverage of the trio.
• L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream (from ULTA or Target

The Best Drugstore Concealer

I like a super pigmented concealer that blends well whether it is used on its own or when mixed with other products. I've been using the Clarins, but there are a few other options that I've had great results with as well.
• Clarins Instant Concealer in 01 (at Nordstrom or Clarins)

Other options:
• Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer (From ULTA or Sephora)
• It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye (at ULTA, or It Cosmetics)

• Maybelline Master Conceal by Face Studio (from Target or ULTA)
• L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer (from Walgreen's or

The Best Drugstore Color Corrector

I don't reach for corrector every day, but when I have an area of discoloration that's a bit stronger, I do reach for my corrector. My areas are usually red, so I use a green corrector, you can learn more about how to use a color corrector. You'll need more vivid correctors for more intense discoloration. The Face Stockholm corrector that I use pretty much every day is just barely tinted, so it is pretty subtle. The Maybelline is the closest in terms of vividness, but the NYX Jar is closer in consistency.
• Face Stockholm Corrective Concealer (at DermStore or Face Stockholm)

• Maybelline Cover Stick Corrector/Concealer (at ULTA, Walgreen's or Amazon)
• NYX Concealer In A Jar (from ULTA)
• NYX Color Correcting Concealer (get it at ULTA)

Best Liquid Luminizer Makeup
Liquid Illuminator
I mix a little concealer and Bobbi Brown CC Cream, which is basically a light luminizer, and apply it all over my BB Cream and under just concealer alone. I've tried a lot of luminizers over the years and the Bobbi Brown really is worth the splurge for me, but the new L'Oreal is a close second! Use a smaller amount of the L'Oreal than the Bobbi Brown, and that is one that you might want to mix into the regular BB Cream directly.
• Bobbi Brown CC Cream SPF 35 in Blushed Nude (buy it at Bobbi Brown, Sephora, or Nordstrom)

• L'Oreal True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator (at Target or ULTA)

best drugstore powder makeup
Powder is hard for me. I like very finely milled powder, which is difficult to find at a lower price point. Especially in a pressed powder form, which is my favorite. And is it just me, or does it feel like drugstore brand are constantly changing up their powder offerings? I find a good one, and when I try to repurchase, that powder is never available. It is always discontinued! I actually have 2 currently that I recommend, but you'd better snap them up fast! This must mean they'll be off the market soon!
• Yves Saint Laurent Radiant Pressed Powder Compact (at Sephora, YSL Beauty or Nordstrom)
• Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation (buy it from Nordstrom, Sephora or Urban Decay)
• Cover FX Matte Setting Powder (at Sephora)

• CoverGirl Ready, Set Gorgeous Fresh Complexion Powder Foundation (at ULTA)
• e.l.f. Studio High Definition Powder (at ELF)

Drugstore volumizing mascara
Volumizing Mascara
Since I'm obsessed with Revitalash, my lashes are very long. It actually makes mascara a little more difficult, some brushes simply push the lashes around, rather than depositing any mascara on the hair! Obviously that is less than ideal. I need a mascara with shorter bristles, either nylon or molded plastic, to really push the product onto my lashes. While I've been reaching for the Bobbi Brown most days, the L'Oreal is a great alternative!
• Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara (at Bobbi Brown or Nordstrom)

• L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara (from ULTA or Target)

Best Bargain Eye Brow Makeup
Drugstore brow products are really difficult I think. Most shades are either not really found in nature (and therefore shouldn't be on your eyebrow), or they are much too harsh. I've only managed to get good, consistent results with the ELF eyebrow kit. Which also comes in a ton of shades, so there's sure to be a match for you!
• MAC Brun Eye Shadow (at MAC or Nordstrom)

• e.l.f. Studio Eyebrow Kit (at ELF)

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Every Day Favorites: What Made The Vanity Counter

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Makeup Vanity Organization

Recently, my vanity under went a pretty big purge/reorganization. After years of being covered (and I really mean covered) in products that were in the process of being tested, my favorite items, and just random makeup that needed to be put away... I finally spent an entire day purging makeup out of my vanity. I gave stuff away, I donated and I threw a bunch in the trash. I bought all new organizers for my drawers and even my vanity. I feel like a grown up!

My Current Makeup Routine

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My Current Makeup Routine

I get asked quite often what my current beauty routine is in the morning, and the truth is that I don't really have a "go to" beauty routine that I use every day. My routine varies quite a bit depending upon the day. I work about 8-10 days a month (yes, that's considered full time at my job!), and I'm home the rest of time with my 3 month old (the 4 year old usually goes to her preschool/day care, though once a week she stays home with me too). So, I have days where I'm professional, days that I'm home with just my 3 month old, and I have days with both girls. I even get days that I'm home completely alone, though that's not very often.

I thought I'd share what I'm currently doing on days that I work, so it is the most complete look. I fully admit that I'll skip steps depending on how much time my girls let mommy have to put on her makeup! This entire look takes me about 10 minutes, start to finish.

1. Prep
I'm currently using BB cream or Tinted Moisturizer each morning simply to save time. I usually do my eyes before my face, but if I waited until after my eyes were done to apply, I'd be super dry! So, right after washing my face, I apply whichever product I'm using that day, then let it absorb while I'm working on my eyes.

I'm currently using Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (from Nordstrom) in Blush, which is a perfect match for my skin. I do wish that it had a little bit more coverage, but it is easy to just smear all over my face and requires very little blending.

I also like to apply a basic lip balm at this time so it can start to do its magic! I typically just use whatever I have on the vanity, my favorite is Kiehl's #1 Lip Balm (from Nordstrom).

2. Eyes
While my tinted moisturizer is absorbing, I do my eyes. When I'm crunched for time, I've been doing this eye look, which is neutral but a little bit glowy and it is hard to mess up!

I start with an eye primer, usually the NYX Eye Shadow Base in Nude (from ULTA or I can apply it super fast with just my fingers and it is a great match for my skin with coverage, so it hides all of those visible blood vessels.

Next I grab Stila's Eyes Are the Window Shadow Palette in Soul (from Sephora). It has a lot of great neutral shimmery shades, which is what I love. I use Kitten and Vitality, using a big fluffy brush I pick up a little of both and apply in a light wash over my entire lid, up and over the crease. Next I grab a smaller crease brush and apply Thought to my crease and a little to the outer V of my lid.

Next I line my eyes with brown liner, Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Precision Glide Eyeliner in Java (from Macy's or Elizabeth Arden). I like this eye liner because it is hard enough to get between my lashes but still soft enough that the color applies easily and smudges perfectly. I just do a very rough lining, pushing the pencil into my lash line and moving it around a little to really get the liner down in there. My line is usually a bit thicker at the outer corner than it is at the inner corner. I only line the top of my eye, since I'm up so much in the middle of the night with the baby I figure adding any potential for shadow under my eyes is a bad idea! Once my eyes are lined I grab a smudge brush (usually NARS Smudge Brush #45) and I smudge the liner just a bit.

Finally I finish up with mascara. I curl and then apply one that will add nice volume and grab all of my little lashes. I'm currently using either Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara (at Sephora) or Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes 5 Star Mascara (from Nordstrom).

3. Brows
Brows is one of the first steps that I'll skip when I'm pressed for time, but really it should be one of the last steps. Filling in my brows a little with my favorite pencil, the It Cosmetics Your Brows But Better Brow Power Skinny Pencil (from ULTA), only takes about a minute and really does make me look much more pulled together. Sometimes I'll add a little Too Faced Instant Attitude Brow Lift (from Too Faced) right under my brow.

4. Face
Once my eyes are done, it's time to fix the rest of my face! I've found that by spending more time on my eyes, I actually end up using a lot less product on my face, and I end up looking better. I already have a little bit of coverage from my tinted moisturizer, so now I go after any problem areas.

I start by using my FACE Stockholm red and blue correctors (get them from Dermstore). Here's how to color correct your makeup. I only very lightly pat it just on the areas that need correction.

Next I apply concealer in a triangle under my eyes, around my nostrils and over any other imperfections. You can learn more about the triangle application in my concealer tips and tricks post. I have a couple of concealers that I like a lot (Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer, It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye, LA Girl Pro Concealer HD and Too Faced Absolutely Flawless Concealer.

Blending is usually necessary with concealer, mostly because I like those very pigmented concealers! I love my BeautyBlender (at Sephora). I just pounce it up and down over the area very quickly, the blending is fast and looks a lot better than when I use a brush.

Next I apply blush to the apples of my cheeks. Lately I've been in love with the It Cosmetics CC+ Radiance Palette (at ULTA). Another great option is the Urban Decay Naked Flushed in Native (at Sephora), a very pretty pink. Both of these palettes have blush, highlighter/illuminator and bronzer. I usually use the blush on my cheeks first then tap into the illuminator/highlighter, a tiny bit of the blush, and I go all over my face. You can't really see shimmer or color from this quick sweep on my forehead, nose and chin, but it really brightens my look!

Once my blush is on, I apply a little powder to my t-zone. Usually MAC Blot Powder (from Nordstrom). This tones down the blush quite a bit, so I sometimes add a little more over the powder. I've found that layering my blush under and over the powder adds a lot of time to the wear.

Finally, I add a little highlighter! This finishing step isn't something that shows up in pics, but in person makes me look much more awake. I've been using the RMS Beauty Living Luminizer (from J Crew) in my inner eye corner, on my cheek bones and down the center of my nose.

5. Lips
By this point, I've usually run out of time. Since I've already applied some basic balm, my lips are already moisturized. Then I'll run around all day with a tinted lippie or balm in my pocket and just apply as needed. My current absolute favorite is the Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint-In-Oil (from Sephora) in I Rose for You. It feels very hydrating and goes on looking basically clear. Over a few minutes it gets a bit darker. I think it's really easy to just swipe on whenever I need some.

I have this routine down so that it really does take roughly 10 minutes start to finish! What's your go-to makeup look when you don't have a lot of time?

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My Current Beauty Obsessions

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Best new beauty products

I haven't been as present on the blog recently, in large part because I have been working a lot, we had my daughter's birthday party this weekend (wow, that was a lot of work to get ready for it!) and I've been busy enjoying my 3 month old. Baby talk is crazy cute and she's so much fun to snuggle!

I realized last night that a lot of the products I'm using daily are new (to me at least) and I haven't really mentioned them on the blog. I'll hopefully have full reviews on some of these products soon, but in the meantime I thought I should mention them!

1. RMS Beauty Living Luminizer (get it at DermStore or J Crew): I mentioned this highlighter last week in my Mommy Beauty Must Haves, and I swear it is amazing stuff! I've been putting a little in the inner corner of my eyes, along my cheek bones and usually straight down the center of my nose and my chin. It really does somehow make me look much more awake and put together, but you can't even really see it there.

2. Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solutions Set (get it from Nordstrom): I had a little melasma/hyperpigmentation on my cheeks due to pregnancy and I started using this system right after I delivered. My pigmentation disappeared within about 4-5 weeks, I've kept using it because it seems to help keep my entire skintone more even.

3. JeNu Infuser (get it at Amazon or Nordstrom): I just started using this last week, but I'm already really excited about it! If you haven't seen the JeNu everywhere yet, you will soon. It was named a game-changing product by Vogue, and will be featured in February’s Harper’s Bazaar. It uses ultrasound to increase the absorption of your regular skin care products.

4. Calming Zinc Bar Soap (from Dr. Cynthia Bailey): In the winter, I get dry, flaky skin around my nose that just will not go away despite exfoliation and lots of hydration. Why? Because it isn't really dry skin. It's facial dandruff/seborrheic dermatitis and needs to be treated differently (Dr. Bailey has a great post on it here). You can do temporizing measures and treat your face with Head and Shoulders, but I just bought her zinc bar soap and it is really helping a lot! It's oil based and very gentle. It doesn't remove all of my makeup, so I use it in the morning or at night after using another cleanser. This bar gets rid of all my flakies!

5. Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes 5 Star Mascara (from Nordstrom) and RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner (get it at Nordstrom): I had to go off of my regular Revitalash while pregnant (hence the lack of mascara reviews. Even if I liked a mascara I didn't like any pics enough to share on the blog). So, I'm counting it as new here because I started using it again after I delivered. I notice results at about 6 weeks, but really at 10 weeks is when my lashes are where they'll stabilize in length. I love having my long lashes again! Along with those lashes, I've been obsessing over the Charlotte Tilbury mascara. It was great with my shorter lashes but even better now that I'm using Revitalash again!

6. Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar (from Sephora or Too Faced): A lot of my favorite shadows are from Too Faced, and their new Semi-Chocolate Palette is a must have! I reach for it constantly. I'll be sharing pics soon!

7. L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer (from After having this concealer mentioned so many times by bloggers and makeup artists, I finally had to try it for myself. I can't find it anywhere near me, so I ordered a couple of shades from I'm using neutral, but I could go 1 shade lower. It is interesting because while it is pigmented, it is quite a bit less pigmented than many of my favorite concealers (It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye and Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer specifically), but it still really covers what I need covered. And it won't settle into fine lines, even after a long day! I definitely recommend it.

8. iS Clinical Youth Eye Complex (from Amazon or This eye cream was frequently mentioned in my Dermatologist's Favorite Eye Creams post, and when they offered to send it for a review I basically jumped for joy! It really is pretty amazing stuff. It is super hydrating, helps me look more awake and has some great ingredients that will help my undereye area in the long run. A new favorite!

9. Kerastase Spray á Porter (get it from Kerastase): So, this spray is my hair's new best friend. About 10-15 sprays distributed throughout my hair while it is wet adds just the right texture to help my hair hold a ton of curl (which I'm adding with my Beachwaver) and it lasts for 2-3 days. Expect an upcoming post on how I'm doing this soon!

10. Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint-In-Oil (get it at Sephora): I'm in love with this lippie splurge! It is super hydrating (great in this winter weather), and goes on basically clear but deepens to add a very pretty tint.

11. COVER FX Illuminating Primer (from Sephora): I've been wearing this alone over my moisturizer on days that I don't have time to really put on makeup but need something. It doesn't look shiny at all, but is just enough to brighten up my skin and make me look a little better!

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Beauty Products Worth Stockpiling: What I Hoard in My Bathroom

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Beauty Products Worth Stockpiling: What I Hoard in My Bathroom

While I have shared the beauty products that I repurchase the most often, I recently discovered that my husband is right. I've become a hoarder. No, you don't need to walk through specific paths in my home to move from one room to another. Instead, you can open up drawers in my bathroom and instead of finding a selection of beauty products, you'll find a few items, and those items will be in multiples. Because, if there is an emergency, I can not be without a specific product. Yes, I will use other products in testings, but these are definitely favorites and if there is a sale.... watch out!

1. H2O+ Bath and Body Products, Sea Amber and Grapefruit Bergamot scents: In the past I was a pretty basic shower girl. I used mostly Olay body wash, unscented lotions. But, over the last few months I've really enjoyed pampering myself with more luxurious scented products instead.

Grapefruit Bergamot Shower & Bath Gel and Moisturizing Body Balm: I was introduced to this scent at Disney World. I don't have a H2O+ store near me (though there is a small selection at my local ULTA, thank goodness!), and I couldn't find this scent on-line (though it's been added since the last time I checked), and it wasn't sold in the resort store either. So, for the last two years I've been the girl who was plotting how to get housekeeping to leave her more products, and then hoarding them once I was home! I use the little bottles very rarely, but they make me super happy whenever I do! So, when Hautelook recently had a big sale, I ended up placing two orders. Why 2? You can only order 12 items from any one sale. I did buy a few other H2O+ products, but I bought 12 Bath Gels and 8 Body Balms. Obsessive? Yes. But I don't care. I can use as much Grapefruit Bergamot as I want!

Sea Amber Body Lotion and Skin Smoother: When I was going on vacation at the beginning of August, I wanted to try a new lotion beyond my normal basic unscented stuff, and I ended up picking out this lotion at my local ULTA. It was just released recently, and I'm already obsessing over the warm citrus scent! I've since tried the matching body scrub and it is pretty amazing as well.

2. Venus Olay Razorblades: They're bigger than regular Venus blades, but the closer shave that I get with 5 blades and the Olay lotion sidebars are definitely worth it.

3. Skintimate Shave Gel: Yup, it's my favorite. I love that the can doesn't leave rust rings in my shower and I can stock up at Sam's Club.

4. Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash: I bought 2 big bottles of this stuff from the Nordie's Anniversary sale, I think it is probably more than a year's supply. It takes everything off quickly and easily without over stripping my face.

5. Kiehl's Ultra Facial Lotion SPF 30: This is my go-to SPF lotion in between product testings. It is just enough hydration for my combination skin and absorbs quickly.

6. Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque (one of my favorite skin savers): This mask pulls pretty much everything out of my pores without hurting my skin.

7. Seche Vite Quick Dry Top Coat: I have bottles of this top coat everywhere! It definitely is the one that works best for me, letting my manis last about 7 days without a chip in sight. It is also super shiny.

8. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara: This is my every day go-to mascara. And yes, there are 2 extras in my drawer waiting to be used.

9. Revitalash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner (Revitalash review): I haven't been able to use this while pregnant, and my eye lashes definitely can tell the difference! They're straighter and much shorter. I bought a year's supply from the Nordies Anniversary Sale, that's 4 tubes, so I can start right after I deliver.

10. Black and Dark Brown Eyeliners: I have a thing for eye liner (as seen by my best black eyeliner and makeup artists favorite eyeliners posts), but there isn't just 1 eye liner that I continually stock up and use every day. Instead, I have 4 that I consistently buy and recommend, and if they go on sale I stock up!

Too Faced Perfect Eyes Eyeliner
Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Smoky Eye Powder Pencil
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kôhl Liner

I decided to ask my beauty blogging friends for their favorite beauty items that they've started hoarding, over the next day or so they'll be adding their posts to this roundup! Go and check out which products they use over and over to the point that they hoard them in massive quantities!

Get the link up code here. If you add your link, you need to publish it in your post!

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My Every Day Good Hair Day

Sleek hair style for a long bob

I recently took some new "official" pictures of myself for a big project (coming in the spring!) and when I was showing the results to friends and family, there were a lot of comments on my hair! I hadn't done anything different that day. From wet hair to sleek long bob took 10 minutes total, and the only heat involved was from my blow dryer.

Here's a quick peek at how I've been doing my hair every single day! Everything I use is in my Good Hair Day Collection over on eBay.

1. First, I wash my hair. My usual go-to hair products in the shower are these from Joico, their K Pak shampoo and conditioner. I like that they're gentle and fairly hydrating.

2. Once I'm out of the shower, I take a few drops of Redken Diamond Oil and spread it through the ends of my hair with my palms. A little does go a long way, so I only use about 4 drops at a time.

3. Next it is time to add a little extra volume! I'm a huge fan of Redken's Guts 10 Foam. I shake up the can and then spray it directly on my roots in a few places for added volume, primarily at the crown of my head. I then rub my fingers in my hair to help distribute the Guts around to the rest of my scalp.

4. Now that I have both products in my hair, I use my Wet Brush to help make sure everything is evenly distributed. In the past I was one of those girls that only used wide tooth combs on her hair, but this brush really is amazing! The bristles are different than other brushes, so it really does glide through your hair without pulling or damaging your hair.

Once I've brushed my hair, I use the brush while I dry my hair. I dry my hair with my head upside down, using medium heat and with the directional nozzle. I start with just my fingers, getting a rough blow dry. I start using the brush again once my hair is about 75% dry, brushing through my hair as I dry to help straighten my hair a bit. I finally flip back up once my hair is about 95% dry, using the Wet Brush to help smooth and dry the very top and front of my hair.

To help keep the frizzies down, I've found that once you think your hair is dry, you'll need to keep drying! There's still enough moisture in there to make your hair frizzy and difficult to manage within the hour. So, I keep drying for another minute or two. This makes a big difference in how my hair looks the rest of the day!

5. Once my hair is dry I'll take 2 drops of the Redken Diamond Oil and smooth it through the ends of my hair again. If it is a little humid that day I will apply a little hair spray to hold down any fly aways or frizz. I love the Living Proof Flex Hair Spray for this. I don't spray it directly on my hair, instead I'll spray my brush and then brush it gently through the top layer of my hair.

6. I do think I should briefly mention Velcro Rollers! I rarely use them, but if I want a lot of volume on a particular day I'll throw them in to my hair. I didn't use them on the day I took this picture, so I need to want a lot of volume! I'll take 3 large rollers and put them into the hair on the crown of my head immediately after blow drying. Once I've rolled, I gently hit the roller with a blast of warm air from my blow dryer. I then go and do something else for about 10 minutes, usually my makeup, while my hair cools down and sets. When my hair is cool I can take out the rollers and proceed with Step #5, applying the Diamond Oil and Living Proof Flex Hair Spray.

Check out all of my collections on eBay and be sure to follow me! You can follow along as I find great new products and add them to my collections.

You can win $25,000! Just follow me and share my collections (use those buttons in the upper right). Every time you share you'll be entered for a chance to win $25,000! Official rules:

My eBay Collections were curated as part of my collaboration with eBay #followitfindit and Style Coalition.


Ask Away: Everyday Products and Using Them Up

Product Sent for Review Affiliate Links

Ok, this is sort of stupid...but....I have so much makeup and I am always stumped what to keep in my daily get ready bag (not a bag that you take in your purse). I try to switch it up by the week but honestly at this rate I will never use anything up! Does anyone else have this issue?

So, there's no way I'm every going to use everything up. I could stop buying now and still have eyeshadow well into old age (and I'm going to live a long time, my grandma is 105!), if you need proof, go look at my beauty storage post. Warning: do not look if you are a minimalist. I have a lot of stuff, and yes, most of it is organized in drawers, but apparently having things out on a counter makes some people twitchy.

The truth is that I rarely finish a product unless it is a true every day product. I thought I'd share the products (well, makeup and skin care) that I tend to finish and repurchase over and over! Some of these probably look very familiar!

Repurchased Beauty Blogger Products

1. Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 (buy it here): You're probably tired of me talking about this lotion, but it's my go-to for in between other product testings.

2. Kiehl's Midnight Recovery (buy it here): Amazing for when my skin is dry or irritated.

3. Hard Candy Take It Off Eye Makeup Remover: I stock up on this at Walmart! It takes everything off with basically no work. Love that!

4. Pond's Luminous Finish BB Cream: I swear, I will write a full review some day! I'm using this pretty much every day instead of foundation, and I have a few friends and my mom hooked on it as well. I got an emergency phone call from my mom last week about it, she was at ULTA with my sister looking for it! She thought it would be perfect for her on an upcoming vacation.

5. Amazing Cosmetics Concealer (buy it here): Well pigmented, it lasts all day and comes in a lot of different shades. I use it alone or mixed with primer, BB Cream, highlighter, you name it! I'm light golden.

6. Cream Blushes: I use cream blush almost every day, and I tend to use either Stila's Convertible Color in Lillium (which I listed as one of my 9 Best Products From Stila, buy it here) or Maybelline Bouncy Blush.

7. Mascara: I'm a big mascara girl, but I rarely buy the same one twice (in the interest of "research" for the blog, but I admit that I've always been this way). Two that I have repurchased (multiple times) are Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara and CoverGirl Clump Crusher (which was one of my 5 Favorite CoverGirl Products.

8. IT Cosmetics Your Brows But Better (buy it here): This is my favorite brow pencil. I have others that I'll use, but this pencil is skinny and automatic, so it is like you just sharpened it. I featured it in my how to groom your eyebrows and fill them in post.

9. NYX Wonder Pencil: I've been using this pencil in multiple shades and have just repurchased them. The light is great for over and under my brows for a bit of added definition and I use the dark on either side of my nose for a bit of contouring. I recently featured the Wonder Pencil in my best concealers post.

10. Eye Liners: I've previously established that I am an eye liner girl (check out my eyeliner drawer on Instagram), but even though I have a pretty big selection at home, I fully admit that I have a few formula favorites and I like to keep them stocked up in the basic shades of brown and black. There are some days that I just want the Smoky Liner from Elizabeth Arden, or when nothing else but the Perversion Liner from Urban Decay will make me happy.
Stila Smudge Liner (buy it here): Damsel is a super dark brown that I love
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner (buy it here): I keep this around in black
Elizabeth Arden Smoky Liner (buy it here): This one I have in black, brown and midnight, which is a very dark navy. I'm out of black and brown, and forgot to repurchase the other day when I went to 2 (!) ULTAs on the same day. Obviously next time I'm bringing a list!
Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kôhl Liner (buy it here): I bought this in Penny Lane over the summer when one of their Makeup Artists convinced me it was amazing. And O. M. G. she was right! It is just soft enough, smudges beautifully and stays all day. You twist the cap on and it advances the liner automatically and sharpens it. So cool! I use Penny Lane as more of an accent on my lower lash line since it isn't a dark color, but I just bought black a few days ago and I know this formula is one I'll be collecting for now on.
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil (buy it here): Pictured is Perversion, which is a deep matte black. This is definitely one of my go-to black colors. However, I think this is probably my favorite overall eye liner formulation, and if I want a "fun" color, then I always check Urban Decay first! The colors are always rich and true and I would much rather have that purple in the 24/7 formula than anything else! Grab the Ocho Loco2 Eye Liner Set while it's out there, this thing is a steal!

11. Eye Primers: I never skip this step! Eye primers make my shadow look much more professional, not to mention making it last all day and covering up any visible blood vessels (I'm super pale, so I have a lot). I use the NYX every day, it is basically like a concealer with primer capabilities. For days that I need to grab on to a little more powdery shadows, I'll add a light layer of Too Faced Shadow Insurance on top, and if I'm going really glittery I'll add ELF Glitter Primer (not pictured because I haven't repurchased, though I did buy 3!)

12. Wet N Wild Nutty: This is my go to taupe shadow! I love to use it in my crease, it pairs up great with pretty much everything. It's a near dupe for MAC Satin Taupe, though the lower level of pigmentation makes it work a tad better for me.

13. Lippies: I have a lot of lip products, and usually have around 20 in my purse at any given time. Yes, I have issues. The ones that I repurchase are usually these 2, the L'Oreal Caresse lip gloss stain (Lilac Ever After is a great pinky-nude) or the CoverGirl Smoochies, hydrating tinted balms. I haven't used any up, but I want to collect more of the Urban Decay Super-Saturated lip gloss pencils and Too Faced Lip Injection Color Bombs. So, I'm buying new colors!

Do you have a beauty questions you want to see on 15 Minute Beauty?

Product Sent for Review Affiliate Links , many of these items were sent initially by PR but have been repurchased by me, over and over!

What In Your Purse? Winter Edition

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What's in my purse?

It's been a little bit since I shared with you what's in my purse. And the last time I pretty much only had lipsticks, lipbalms and lipglosses. The nice people over at Ricola asked me to share with you what I keep in my purse to cope with the winter! I was all for this, especially since I was already revamping my essentials (the temperature has dipped like crazy here in Michigan!), and they wanted to send me their new Extra Strength drops. Which works for me because I usually keep an entire bag (yes) of their original drops (those ones in the yellow bag) in my purse. It's a good thing that I have a huge bag!

I've pretty much dumped it out and you can see what is in there currently down below. I also keep a hat and extra set of gloves in there for myself and my 2 year old, but they were pretty big so I kept them out of the picture. My mom made my hat, it's a dark grey merino with cables on it, my mini-me has Hello Kitty.

What's in my purse?

1. For winter, I usually upgrade to a bigger cosmetic bag. I'm mostly keeping extra cough and cold items in there, and I don't want my cough drops all over the place! CoverGirl sent me this super cute one over the summer, but you can buy it on Etsy.

2. Here are the previously mentioned Ricola drops! This winter I'm going to have both Extra Strength and Original in my pouch. The Extra Strength are similar to the original in flavor, but with a bit of an overlying menthol and peppermint. As well, it has a liquid center, and all of those #swissherbs that we're used to with Ricola. I'll keep the original around because sometimes I just need to have something in my mouth to help prevent coughing, so having the solid originals (which last longer in my mouth) will be better. Yes, I just totally justified having 2 bags of cough drops.

3. Kleenex. Obviously.

4. Minty Tums, I'm a tummy problem girl.

5. Nivea Extended Moisture Hand Cream: I'm trying to be really, really good about hand cream. 10 minutes outside can dry my hands out (and make them very sore) for days! Lotion a few times a day helps a lot.

6. CoverGirl Powder, I'm not sure they even make this one any more. I like it because it has a nice big mirror.

7. A girl needs to take care of her smile! I'm great at getting things stuck between my teeth, so I have floss. The other little white and blue canister there is Hello Breath Spray, though I often have Altoids in Wintergreen as well.

8. A barrette. I usually have a selection of colorful ones for my 2 year old as well (we're at a bit of an unruly hair stage), but I cleaned those out of my purse a few days ago because too many had collected in there.

9. Lippies! I've mentioned previously how obsessed I am with the L'Oreal Colour Caresse Wet Shine Stain, this is my go-to shade of Lilac Ever After. It's a pinky-nude that is a great neutral for me. The other 2 are CoverGirl Smoochies Lip Balm, which I'm really loving right now! They are hydrating and have a nice amount of color, but aren't sticky. I have Text Me and Tru Luv in my bag. That's basically another pinky-nude and a red.

10. Epi-pen, I'm allergic to mushrooms.

11. Mirror!

12. Germ-X Hand Sanitizer (Not Pictured): So, you'd probably think since I'm a peds ICU doc, and I spend most of the winter dealing with very sick little ones, that I'd be harping on hand sanitizer. In fact, I'm one of those people that uses old fashioned soap and water whenever I can. If that's not available, I'll use Germ-X or a similar hand sanitizer. It's not great for your skin, but I only use alcohol based hand sanitizers.

Here's a great article on CNN about why you should use alcohol based hand sanitizers instead of triclosan. In addition to the bacterial resistance issues, most illnesses that we worry so much about in the winter are viruses. So, you'll need alcohol to kill them. And I trust Alison's advice (our daughters are in ballet class together!), this is one of her main areas of expertise. So, buy the cheap alcohol hand stuff and when you can, wash instead! I don't have any to show you in this pic because I just ran out, so it is on my shopping list.

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My Favorite Beauty Dupes and Must Have Beauty Products

eBay collections

Recently, I've been updating my Everyday Beauty Favorites list and obsessing over Beauty Dupes, though not in the location that you think! I've been collecting products in my new eBay Collections, a great new place to follow me.

I've been creating collections like crazy (you can go check out my collections). You can even follow other people's collection boards!

I've been making boards for beauty items (obviously), but also for other things going on in my life. I have a tailgating board which I started the day my husband and I bought this year's season football tickets for The Big House, I have a board about winterizing my house (Seriously? I'm not sure why I made that board. I was doing a lot of reading about it that day and went crazy). I have a board with my favorite toddler art supplies and many more!

Two of my favorite boards are Beauty Dupes and Beauty Must Haves.

MAC Lipstick Dupes

Beauty Dupes
I have been on a huge beauty dupe kick lately! I love that there are so many products out there that are nearly identical to much more expensive (or harder to find) products. I love that I can get the look of a Chanel lipstick with a Revlon. I can use an ELF spray for $3 that's a perfect replacement for MAC's much more expensive Fix+ (and the ELF is cruelty free).

I've been sinking into a big of a lip color rut lately, continually using the same light pink and nude lip glosses. I'm going to shake things up now that it is finally fall! I'm going to try to use more color, and I mean big time color. I've been looking for a bright pink to wear and a darker red color. What I've found are two dupes of MAC shades that I'll be picking up (on eBay) for much less.

First, the bright pink is Revlon's Stormy Pink. It is a great dupe for MAC's Pink Nouveau, which is a color I've been in love with since I first saw it on my friend Christine from Temptalia. It's that great bright mid-tone pink that just looks fun to wear around on a weekend.

Next, every girl needs a darker lip for fall! Wet 'n Wild's Sugar Plum Fairy is an exact dupe for MAC Rebel! Unfortunately, this super pretty darker berry tone (which you can see on my friend Kelly from Vampy Varnish) has proven impossible to find in stock at all of my local stores. I'm taking this as a sign that it is a must have for fall!

Favorite Everyday beauty products

Beauty Must Haves
It's been a while since I updated my Every Day Favorites. Instead, I started putting them in this collection! These are the beauty products that I can't live without. I use them in between testing out other products, I repurchase them over and over and they have saved me from many beauty disasters! If you ask me for a product recommendation, about 9 times out of 10 I'll respond with one of these products. I stock up and keep back ups in my bathroom of all these products.

I'm pretty obsessed with L'Oreal's Colour Caresse Wet Shine Stains. I have 5 of them, and I am really holding myself back from ordering about 5 more on eBay (There are big lots of them! 6 new colors at once! I'll probably be caving soon). These look like a gloss, but are actually glossy lip stains. L'Oreal makes 12 shades and I really want to own all of them. This is always my product recommendation when asked for a long wearing lip color.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial with SPF 15 is my current go-to morning moisturizer. It is lightweight and doesn't clog my pores, and it provides just the right amount of moisture for my combination skin. I've used it for about 10 years, nothing I've tried has managed to bump this from my top spot!

L'Oreal's new Voluminous Butterfly Mascara is pretty amazing stuff! The big news is really in the brush. It has molded plastic bristles that are a bit sharper than other brushes (so they get in between your lashes more easily), and there are 2 longer rows of bristles that are at a "V" to each other. This enables you to hit every. little. lash. And then you can pull apart any that are stuck together. And the back has shorter bristles, which work wonders on the lower lash line. I'm stocking up!

Finally, the Beauty Blender sponge is one of my favorite makeup tools. If you're not using a Beauty Blender yet, you need to go and buy one! There are imitations out there, but only the real Beauty Blender does the job correctly (and yes, it is cheaper on eBay so I'm stocking up). I like to spritz a little water on my sponge and then just pat the egg shaped sponge over my skin to help blend my foundation and concealer. The result is a very natural finish.

Check out all my collections on eBay and follow me to stay up to date on all my beauty obsessions.

My eBay Collections were curated as part of my collaboration with eBay and Style Coalition.

Makeup Wars: My Favorite Beauty Items

favorite beauty items
It wasn't so long ago that I shared my list of favorite beauty items, though I admit I had a pretty hard time paring that list down to 10 items! Luckily today, my Makeup Wars group decided to share our favorite items that we repurchase over and over. Which means I'll share another 10 items!

These are items that I keep going back to, have on hand always and use in between testing out other products, and if I run out I will immediately add it to the shopping list. So, if you haven't already, check out my first favorite beauty items list, and consider this the Part Dos version.

1. Cetaphil Cream: This has been a go-to product for me for years. I was even taught to recommend it to parents of kiddos with eczema while in my pediatrics residency. It really helps to seal in moisture after a shower, especially if you apply it right away. I don't even hop out of the shower before I start slathering it on everywhere. Also, I love that it is much less greasy than another high moisture lotion, Aquaphor.

2. Skintimate Shaving Gel: I don't actually have a full review on this product, but it seems to be the shave gel I always grab at the store. I have used other shave gels (Pure Silk, etc), but this one seems to work a bit better for me and it doesn't leave rust stains in my shower. That's a big bonus.

3. Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash: Yup, a ton of moisture in this body wash. Yup. I do find other ones that I like as a soap, but even with extra lotion afterwards, I miss the moisture from this body wash.

4. Venus Razor: Lately I've been springing for the 5 blade version and it just makes me happy. That is all.

5. Kiehl's Lip Balm #1: This is the last product I use every night, I keep a lot of it around. Just, everywhere.

6. Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer: Love this concealer. It blends easily, covers up everything, and the tube lasts forever. I've been using this concealer almost daily for about 2 years and have only repurchased once. That's a lot of concealer.

7. NARS Orgasm Blush: Every girl needs a go-to blush that just works. This one works for going out, work, running errands with my toddler, a dark smoky eye or even just a light wash of tan. See? Perfect blush.

8. L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray: Yup, it's kind of a classic. I like that it holds, lets my hair move still and isn't sticky. A can lasts me forever.

9. CoverGirl TruBlend Foundation: This is the foundation I reach for about half the time. The #415 is a good match for me, I can apply with a sponge, brush or fingers and it will still look good. Oh, and the coverage is easy to build up.

10. Kiehl's Rare Earth Masque: I'm a long time devotee of mud masks, but this one is a bit more gentle on my face and still gets the job done.

At some point, I'm sure I've received some of these items from PR. But, I've repurchased all of them over, and over, and over...

My Current Favorites: 2012 Edition

It has been a looooong time since I updated my list of favorite products. And while everyone else is posting about their favorite products of the year, I fully admit that I can't always remember what year things came out. And let's face it, you don't care that I like some cleanser that came out in June if there's one that came out in 2011 that I like better. Right?

So, here they are, the top 10 products that I find myself reaching for over and over. I have to hide them from myself when I am testing other products (totally true!) but I break them out in between testings and sometimes on days that I just need my favorite eye liner. I'm sure I've received these as samples from the companies, but I've bought them myself. Over and over and over...

1. Neutrogena Naturals Cleanser: This has a permanent spot on my counter. While it doesn't remove the most stubborn of eye makeup, it does remove everything else (such as normal, every day stuff) quickly and easily with just a washcloth or my Clarisonic.

2. CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara: Yes, you really can wear 30 coats of this stuff without a clump in site. You don't really need to though. I'm a big fan of layering my mascaras, and this is now my daily go-to mascara. I just grab randomly for the other one (I'm slowing working through my giant mascara drawer to find a killer combo), but this one is always there.

3. Revitalash: Yes, it works. I just reordered mine (I'm buying from now, it is much cheaper there!) but this is definitely my secret weapon.

4. Milk of Magnesia: I'm not even that oily, but no mattifier has ever come close to the results I get from using Milk of Magnesia as a primer. I don't really use it in the winter, but this is a must for summer!

5. Kiehl's Ultra Facial SPF 15: I've lost track of how many posts I've featured this moisturizer in at this point. I love it. This is my go-to daily moisturizer.

6. Kiehl's Midnight Recovery: I won't travel without this product. I swear that airplanes actively pull moisture from your body, my skin hates it. I use this about once every 2 weeks or so throughout the winter, though now that my toddler wants to play in the snow I'm sure that my frequency will increase this winter.

7. Elizabeth Arden Smoky Liner: You may have noticed that I include this liner in a lot of my looks, though it doesn't have its own review post. I have it in black, brown and navy, though I'm thinking of picking up a few other colors. This liner is perfect for pushing into my lash line, it is just soft enough and is just smudgy enough and it lasts by far the longest on my water line. I just bought a back up black a few weeks ago, despite the huge number of black liners already in my eye liner drawer (yes, I have a drawer. Ok, it is half of a drawer, the other half is mascara. But, I still have issues.)

8. NYX Eyeshadow Base: This is another product that I break out almost every day, but only feature in looks on the blog. I use the skin tone version of this, it comes in a little pot and I swear that I have over half of it left despite nearly daily use for about 18 months. It has the consistency and coverage of a concealer, which is perfect since I have some visible vessels on my eyelids and covering them before my eye shadow looks a lot better. I do get a little better wear for my shadows when wearing UDPP or TFSI, but the NYX covers the vessels and my shadow is about 95% intact at the end of the day.

9. MAC Mineralize Eye Shadow in Family Silver: I've been wearing this shadow for years, and I would love MAC to re-issue it. While it isn't super pigmented, somehow this is the shadow that pulls everything together and makes it all look more polished. Half is a grey with metallic, the other half is an off white, faintly silver color, again with some coppery-gold highlights. Somehow when my shadow isn't quite right, a little of the light or darker grey and some blending makes it all better.

10. Wet'n'Wild Nutty Shadow: This is my perfect crease color. For under $2.

My Current Product Favorites

I've had a lot of questions lately from readers regarding my favorite products. I was already thinking about updating my Everyday Favorites, but my cousin Ellery from Mom's Life Made Easy was the one whose email finally pushed me to do it. Anyways....

I've added a little button in the right column that will link to the latest Everyday Favorites post and I'm going to finally make an effort to update this list every few months. I feel compelled to create graphics for things. This one is a bit boring... Hmm....

Here are the products I've been reaching for in between product testings! If a product category isn't mentioned, that means I might not have a strong preference for one item over another. I've linked to my review or the product on-line whenever possible. Note that some of these products I may have received as a sample at some point, but these are things I've purchased myself when I've run out.


My Everyday Favorite, Go-To Products

It's been a really long time since I shared my "go-to" products with everyone. These are the things that I reach for in between product testings or when I'm having problems with new products. These are the ones I trust to set things back to "right" for me. You'll notice that some typical categories (such as body wash) are missing. That means I don't have 1 product I run back to over and over again.

A Quick Trip: What does a High Maintenance Beauty Blogger Bring?

I admit that I love peeking into the makeup bags of my fellow beauty bloggers. The few times I've attended Total Beauty events, that's been one of the most fascinating things for me- visiting other bloggers and seeing what they've brought with them! This past weekend I travelled back to So Cal, where I spent a lot of time hanging out with friends and family (and I did some shopping, you can see my haul at the end of this post).

I thought that I'd share what I brought with me to California. I pretty much just pulled together stuff that I already have, though I have the advantage of my beauty closet and the huge numbers of products found there. While I was visiting with family, there was a lot of discussion about travel beauty products and where to buy them. In a few days look for a post about some of my favorite sources (this is for you Cathy!), and if possible I would love to make this a semi-regular feature on 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic! Please e-mail me what you bring with you when you travel, your beauty travel tips or where you buy your travel products from. I know I'm curious, I'm sure that others are as well.

My Favorite Products of 2008

End of the year lists are really much harder to make than you think. I found a lot of great products this year, and sometimes I honestly do not prefer one over another. Last year's list ended up being just a run down of many items I had reviewed all year long. I've decided that this year I'll concentrate on just a few products that have really changed what I'm doing each and every day in my normal routine. Products that I know I'll come back to over and over again, that I discovered this year. Some of these things haven't had a full review yet, but I'll talk about them a little bit here!

Living Proof
I gave a little bit of background information on this new line back when it was about to be available for the first time. I've since tried the line out and have honestly just been too busy to write up a full review.

This anti-frizz line is frankly just amazing. You apply a bit to damp hair, comb through, style as usual. The result is no frizz, easy to style hair that is not at all weighed down. In fact, you can't even apply too much of it. Unlike other products this even works despite humidity, rain, and lasts all day long. No late afternoon frizzies! This is amazing, and I'm in love!

AG Hair Colour Savour Line
This line from up north (Canada) is just perfect for my hair. After years of looking a product has bumped Pureology's Hydrate line out of my "favorite" spot! I get perfect hair when I use this. I have volume, I'm not dry, less frizz, styling is easier and faster. I haven't bought giant bottles of it yet (waiting for the Pureology to run out), so until then this is actually sitting in my shower waiting to be used on "special" days! You can check out my full review from October.

Cover Girl's Aquasmooth Compact Foundation
I've bought this a few times since my original review, and it's definitely still my go to product for fast, easy and natural looking makeup every day. It also helps that it's so readily available and cheap!

Tarte's Eraser Concealer
Fast, easy to use, highly pigmented without settling into fine lines or turning cakey. This is definitely a holy grail product for me, I don't know what I did until I found it!

Not exactly cheap, and probably not necessary in one's life, but since first trying out this hand held device I have become completely addicted! I use it in the shower every morning, and I do think my complexion is better because of it.

I've been trying to branch out this year into new notes and fragrance families, so I've tried a lot of different scents this year. My two top picks are definitely Ralph Lauren's Notorious, which I wear to work and on weekends, as well as Elizabeth Arden's Red Door Shimmer which was my go-to holiday fragrance! It really just got me into the holiday spirit but didn't smell like pumpkin pie or apple spice.

My Favorite Beauty Items of 2007

2007 was a big year in beauty for me! I started this blog in early 2007, and since that time I have rediscovered my love of nail polish (my collection of colors has grown from about 7 to well over 200), tried a huge number of new products and these are the ones that I've fallen in love with over the past year.

Skin Care
Skin Care was a big thing for me this year, I reviewed the anatomy and physiology of skin as well as reviewing how many product categories work in the Skin Series, and I have to say that my skin is much better now that it was this time last year (with the exception of my Kinerase review).

Bioelements Flash Foam Cleanser is a fantastic gentle cleanser. I use this every morning in my shower. It's gentle enough to apply all over, it doesn't dry out my skin and the citrus scent is fantastic.

This year I was lucky enough to find 2 facial scrubs, where previously I had thought a product appropriate for facial skin did not exist! After using both products, I feel the Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion with it's finer grains is better for those with sensitive skin but Bioelements Pumice Peel would be better suited for those with combination or oily skin.

The new Neutrogena Wave exfoliating machine has just been released, but already I love it! This little hand held machine has quickly integrated itself into my routine, I've been using this machine a few times a week with great results. Simply place the little pads on the velcro surface and run it over your face for a few minutes. It does feel like you aren't doing anything, and should be scrubbing your face harder. However, the results speak for themselves: smooth, radiant skin without redness or irritation!

The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ is one of the ultimate products in terms of pampering and decadence. This scrub works much better than simply brushing your lips, tastes great, and that cute little box doesn't hurt either!

Bioelements Quick Refiner is a gentle gel packed with alpha and beta hydroxy acids. It is a perfect alternative to scrubs, and is gentle enough to use everyday! A little bit goes a long way, and I especially recommend applying it after the Power Peptide to improve application and decrease the amount of product used. This product was definitely the reason I saw such fast results with the change to Bioelements products, and it is always the first one I recommend to friends.

Prevage Anti-Aging Night Cream- This cream is my new favorite night cream. It contains multiple ways of preventing aging, is wonderfully (but not overly) moisturizing. I love the package, this jar prevents exposure to sun and air prolonging the life of the cream. The only downside is the $125 price, but I do feel it is well worth it!

It's easy to add peptides to your nightly routine with Power Peptide, which I love! Just a few spritz on my face and that is it! I particularly love using this before any treatments, since I'm sure to get a more even application and use less product.

Shine Reduction
Dr. Brandt's Pores No More is likely my favorite new to me product of the year. This is a great primer that not only lessens the appearance of pore, but also dramatically decreases the amount of shine I develop on my skin by the end of the day! This is one of my everyday products and definitely a holy grail product for anyone with a bit too much shine on their t-zone by the end of the day.

This Cetaphil Cream is likely the best moisturizer for anyone with a skin issue, such as dry skin, ezcema or other issues. I find that it works best when applied right after a shower to really help seal in moisture and with it my skin has dramatically improved! There's a reason it is so often recommended by doctors...

Hair Care
Neutrogena's Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask- For years I had used the same deep conditioner, but this Neutrogena product completely blew it away! The mask was fast, really helped strengthen my hair and increase the shine.

Kiehl's Heat-Protective Silk-Straightening Cream- Over the past year or so my hair has become more and more curly, but not quite enough to look good. So, I've had to find ways to help straighten my hair. This cream has been incredibly helpful. When applied to damp hair, it helps my hair stay soft, silky and non-frizzy without creating stickiness. I'm on my third tube already!

The New Max Factor- After my visit with Jake Bailey, Celebrity Makeup Artists for Max Factor, I have to say that I am loving the new revival of the Max Factor Brand. The new glosses, including Secret Rendevous (the perfect red, pictured here), are amazing! The eye liners (I love Green & Bare It and Jean Jacket are both exceptional) are soft enough to use on the entire lid to create long lasting, fast looks. I'm especially looking forward to the Vivid Eyeshadow release in January!

Magic Lash is truly the most versatile of any eye lash product I've ever tried. These little fibers are applied like mascara, and can create incredibly thick and long lashes that are amazing! For me this is not an every day product, but it really delivers when you want to make a statement.

For days that I don't need the Magic Lash lashes, this year was a great year for length and thickness created by a single mascara! My favorites were MAC Plush Lash, Prescriptives False Eyelashes, and Cover Girl Lash Blast.

MAC Studio Fix Foundation came through in a pinch for me earlier this year. I became too pale for my previous foundation, and when I ran to my nearest MAC store I discovered not only a foundation that was the correct color but one that saves me a lot of time each morning. I use this foundation with my Elizabeth Arden Kabuki Brush, and with a few quick sweeps I have perfect skin!

Bobbi Brown's Stonewashed Nudes Palette may look like just any basic eye shadow palette, but I assure that it is not! The colors are buildable, have just the right amount of shimmer when needed and best of all, these shadows go with everything! I find myself using one of these shadows nearly every day.

This year I also finally found a lipstick that I could call a "perfect nude" for me, it is MAC's High Tea, and I have to tell you that I have already used up about a quarter of my tube, so thank goodness this is a "regular" shade, and not limited edition!

Nail Care
The OPI Hollywood Collection was especially fantastic, I bought nearly all of the colors and they rank among my favorites. The Pro-Wide Brush makes the perfect three stroke application possible, while the wear, application and color depth of OPI can not be beat by other brands.

The undisputed favorite cuticle remover of the Makeup Alley Nailboard is Sally Hansen's Instant Cuticle Remover, which only takes about 15 seconds to give you the cuticles of a hand model, no cutting required!

I rediscovered fragrance this year as well! While I used to be a girl that owned many different fragrances, and rarely wore the same scent two days in a row. I'm especially loving scents with amber, bergamot and white floral notes. While I thought that I had issues with patchouli in scents, I've found that as a base note I love it!

A few of my favorite scents this year:
Badgley Mischka Fleurs de Nuit
Bond No. 9 Chinatown
Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol's Silver Factory

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