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Purity facial cleanser

18 Feb

I’ve still gotta talk about beauty products around here because I’m in a fashion slump for sure. This extreme winter weather that we’re having (yes, you can snort at my definition of “extreme winter weather” but for Texas, it has been sort of an extreme winter–I mean my kid had a snow day off from school…that never, ever happens!) has squelched my appreciation for fashion because I’ve been hibernating in my house, wearing glorified pajama bottoms, fleece hoodies and giant, fluffy socks. Not a good look–trust me.

So, I’ve been frequenting Ulta, here in my new town and finding interesting things. Now, I’m the last one to hop on the Philosophy bus here and I know this. My only experience with Philosophy products was the rollerball of one of their fragrances that I purchased on a whim at Sephora one day, a hundred years ago. I ended up not enjoying the fragrance at all, so that left a bad taste in my mouth for all Philosophy products.

Recently, on an outing to Ulta, I spotted the Philosophy Purity Made Simple facial cleanser that I’d heard good things about. I decided to give it a go, with the winter weather leaving my face feeling dry and miserable. I loved it from the first use. My face felt so soft and it removed every trace of makeup that I threw at it. It caused me to immediately abandon my Cetaphil and now I have my eye on the other products that Philosophy makes.

purity cleanser

Does anyone have any recommendations for Philosophy products that I should try, now that I’m officially riding the “Philosophy bus?”


Spring fever

4 Feb

Newsflash: Much of the country is still in the throes of winter. Yes, readers, even here in Texas, the temps have been in the lower-than-normal range. As a result, I’ve been cold, chapped, snotty, whiny and craving the sun. While our lows are probably still higher than most of your highs, it still feels miserable and it leaves me daydreaming about spring and wearing less than 4 layers of clothing. You feel me?

I’ve been looking around the Anthropologie site, drooling over their new spring arrivals. Here are some tops that I’m daydreaming about wearing on a warm, sunny day in the near future (also daydreaming to win the lottery, in order to afford said Anthropologie pieces):

anthro tangent mesh

Tangent Mesh Tank

road trip tank

Road trip tank

watercolor chatty tee

Watercolor chatty tee

lacona popover

Lacona Popover

What are you itching to wear, when the weather warms up?

Benefit: Gimme Brow

21 Jan

I recently moved from a very urban area to a rural-ish part of the state. One thing that I’ve had to give up, in response to this move, is my every-3-weeks brow appointment. Every 3 weeks, I’d go to my trusty esthetician and she’d wax and tint my brows. This kept my brows looking their best and I didn’t have to pay any attention to them myself. Once we moved though, I decided to take on my brows myself. My first stop was to my local Ulta to plead for help. Here’s what I walked away with:

Gimme Brow

Benefit’s Gimme Brow: $22

Along with a new pair of Tweezerman tweezers, I feel confident that this product will afford me the opportunity to care for my own brows with only (maybe) a once-every-few-month visit to a local esthetician for a little touch up/shaping help.

Here’s a photo of me wearing the product:

photo (38)

Right brow has Gimme Brow applied

The product is easy to apply, buildable, so that you can really control the intensity and a gel-like consistency that helps keep stray brows in place. It comes in two shades, light/medium and medium/deep. I’m wearing light/medium.

What I wore: Holiday edition

7 Jan

xmas party photo

We had my husband’s holiday party to attend before Christmas. The dress code was described as “business casual.” I’ve done my fair share of over-thinking and over-shooting the holiday party attire in the past, so this year, I went with what I already had: a festive top picked up at The Limited before the holiday season, my trusty, black ankle-length dress pants (that I’ve worn in both summer and winter and every season in between) and my signature cardigan, which kept me warm in the overly-air conditioned ballroom, where the party was held. I was comfortable, felt dressed appropriately and stylish all at the same time. Cheers to shopping your closet before hitting the mall!

p.s. Please note our dog, Angie, photobombing like a boss.

Favorite Things gift exchange

10 Dec

For the third year in a row, my five girl friends and I have done a “Favorite Things” gift exchange. Very similar to Oprah’s “Favorite Things” shows of the past, (except not at all like her multi-million dollar gifts) we assign a price-per-gift limit ($10 this year) and buy 4–of the same–of one of our favorite things to hand out at the gift exchange. I love this idea because there’s something really fun about sharing something that you personally love with your friends. In my circle, we each have sort of different styles and degrees of high-maintenance but somehow, this gift exchange just works. With me being the self-professed most high-maintenance in the group, I find it entertaining to push my less high-maintenance friends a wee bit out of their comfort zone with my gifts. At least this year I didn’t hand out thongs (you think I’m kidding, don’t you?).

So, while it’s not necessarily style-related, I thought you might get a kick out of seeing what we gave and received in our “Favorite Things” gift exchange this year:

First up is the gift that I gave everyone: My favorite mascara for bottom lashes only. The brush is perfectly sized for reaching the tiny lower lashline and the formula is super smudge and water-resistant, so that you don’t end up with clumps or “raccoon eyes.”

Available here: Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara

And, here are the gifts that I received…the favorite things of my friends:

First up, from my friend, Sarah: the marvelous baker and lover of all kitchen gadgets…a spatula that doesn’t touch the counter when you set it down! Brilliant!

Joseph Elevate Spatula

Available here: Joseph Elevate Spatuala

Next up, from my friend, Elizabeth–her favorite fragrance–that even her fragrance-averse husband (not only) tolerates, but loves:

Available here: L’Occitane Verbena Frangrance

And, last but not least, my friend, Stacie who (along with Sarah <above>) has reignited our interest in jigsaw puzzles–and caused quite a neighborhood trend of puzzle-exchanging–gave us each one of these:


Available here: Eurographics 1000 piece puzzles

At our Favorite Things exchange brunch

At our Favorite Things exchange brunch

(Our friend, Katie was sadly ill today and couldn’t attend, hence the missing favorite thing from my list.) 

This is my favorite way to exchange gifts. It’s so much easier than trying to guess what someone else might like and it’s fun to try something that you  might otherwise not have tried. Do you have any fun ways of exchanging gifts with your friends?

Sephora Friends and Family Haul

12 Nov

Well, it’s a little cooler here in Texas, but I’m still uninspired to talk about fall fashion. Instead, I’m going to share with you what I picked up at the Sephora Friends and Family sale last week. The Friends and Family sale had been the stuff of legend in my world in the past…I’d only watched beauty bloggers show off their scores and wondered how on earth one might get in on that 20% off action (Sephora doesn’t have sales–like ever). Somehow, this year, I got that coveted coupon in the mail and you better believe that I marked the dates that the sale was going on on my calendar and began my lists and researching what I wanted. A lot of what I got were replacements for things that I’ve had in the past, but I picked up a few new things too. Here’s what I got:

makeup 4ever

Makeup For Ever Foundations

bobbi brown gloss

Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss–Buff

kate somerville





Kate Somerville Tonerhourglass ambient palette

Hourglass Ambient Palette 

alterna mousse

Alterna Bamboo Mousse

bumble and bumble

Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish

they're real


Benefit: They’re Real mascara

I somehow managed to stay within my budget (I’d been saving for this visit to Sephora) and am pleased with everything so far. Did you hit the Friends and Family sale? What did you score?

Wit and Wisdom jeans

29 Oct

When I met with the personal shopper at Nordstrom over the summer, she picked out these jeans for me:

Wit and Wisdom skinny jeans–$64 at

They probably aren’t the jeans that would have caught my eye, if shopping alone, but I tried them on just to be nice, since she was the expert and all. They fit like a glove and are super comfortable. I’m the type who, as soon as humanly-possible after returning home, changes back into the standard house uniform of yoga pants, sports bra and t-shirt (meow!). However, when I’m wearing these jeans, I’ve caught myself still wearing them at home…hours after having returned home!

They’ve got a ton of stretch and feel like you’re wearing leggings instead of stiff denim. They also seem to be universally flattering. I recommended them to a friend, (who has a different body type than my own) and she loves them as well. The rise is slightly higher than many of the denim options out there–just high enough to cover your junk, but not so high as to be classified as “mom jeans.” The best thing is that the price is certainly right and, if you get lucky and catch them during Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, you can score them for less than $40 a pop, like I did! Another great perk is that they run at least one full size large, so you get to stroke your ego a bit by sporting jeans in a much smaller-size than you usually wear.

Have you ever given Wit and Wisdom denim a shot?

Ole Henriksen Youth Activating Oil

17 Sep

I don’t want to be a whiner, but since proper fall weather doesn’t appear in south Texas for another month, I just can’t even begin to get excited about fall clothes right now.  Around these parts, we’re still indelicately sweating through our tank tops, while some of you are pulling out your sweaters. But, I’m not bitter…really.

So, since I can’t seem to get excited about writing about clothing these days, I thought I’d share another beauty find. A few months ago, I received a sample at Sephora of this:

Ole Henriksen Vitamin C Youth Activating Oil: $45

Ole Henriksen Vitamin C Youth Activating Oil: $45

I was completely happy with my Cetaphil moisturizer before bedtime and wasn’t particularly looking for something new. Also, the idea of slathering oil all over my face was a bit off-putting, but I gave it a shot. It felt decadent and instantly seemed to brighten my complexion. It became my new little bedtime indulgence that I looked forward to. When my sample ran out, I ran to Sephora and purchased a full-size bottle. So far, I’m still really enjoying it and it hasn’t caused any breakouts or other odd, facial maladies.

Have you tried any of the new “youth serums” that have hit the market?

Denim shorts–an update

3 Sep

Yes, I know that it’s September 3rd now. Labor Day is behind us and many of you are beginning to think of wearing tights, boots and turtlenecks very soon but I hate unfinished business, so I wanted to fill you in on my denim shorts saga.

I ended up with these from Nordstrom.

$69 at Nordstrom

$69 at Nordstrom

I’ve been very pleased with them so far. The fit is just what I wanted and the rinse is good too. I tried on every pair that American Eagle had and nothing really “blew my skirt up,” so I was really happy to find these at Nordstrom. I’m hoping that they’ll continue to carry me through our warm Texas fall.

Shellac manicure

20 Aug

Yes, I’m aware that I’m probably the very last person in the continental United States to try out this “new fangled” Shellac manicure. I recently had several back to back weekends of social events and I decided that I wanted my nails to look nice–a departure from their usual cracked, bloody and ragged appearance.

I’d heard good things about the staying power of the Shellac manicure, so I decided to give it a whirl. Typically, a traditional manicure is bunged up before I even get from the nail salon to my car–then, only to compound the damage is my compulsive hand-washing habits and just general banging about the kitchen that I’m famous for.

The Shellac manicure lasts upwards to 2 weeks and, the best part, is that it dries completely almost immediately, so the chance of user-error is slim. Here’s what my latest Shellac manicure looks like:

photo (7)

I pay $27 for mine, which seems like a bargain. Have you tried a Shellac? What’s your experience?