Category Archives: beauty

Manicure Monday: My All-Time Favorite Neutral Nail Colors

My childhood Caboodle is stocked with Essie nail lacquers in every shade of the rainbow,  but these days all I want to wear are easy neutrals. They’re like the t-shirt and jeans of nail color: classic, comfortable, and er, polished (pardon the pun).

Annnnnd, if I’m being honest, part of me feels like my neon nail polish ship may have sailed when I crossed over the big 3-0; right alongside denim mini skirts, super low-rise jeans, and crop tops.

{Hover over images for links to each color; sources available on my Pinterest board, Nailed It.}

My November Beauty Favorites

Oh, hi!

When I declared my intent to unplug a little more and blog a little less back in October, a month-long leave of absence from the Internet wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. Somehow, November slipped right through my fingers…

But let’s get back to business.

One of the things I’d like to [try to] do on the blog is share my beauty favorites each month (inspired by Pretty Shiny Sparkly). The fact that I’m posting my November picks a week into December just speaks to my excellent procrastination skills.

Here we go!

Physicians Formula Super CC+ Cream and Powder - This has been my daily duo for the last six weeks. It has all you need in an everyday product: sun protection, color correction, and some built-in skincare benefits; plus it’s paraben-free. The cream reminds me of NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer; it dries to a light-reflecting matte finish with a medium coverage that just looks like healthy skin. The powder compact is like a pressed dupe of Guerlain Meteorites. Here’s the best part: you can get both — with a complementary concealer — for about $20.

A Pretty Penny November Beauty Faves Butter London Lippy Tinted BalmButter London Lippy Tinted Balm – This has replaced just about every other lip product in my handbag. The formula has vitamin E and avocado, mango and shea butters that make it slip on easily like a balm, but the colors are highly-pigmented and subtle for every day. My favorites are Abby Rose (pink) and Teddy Boy (nude). These are also paraben- and phthalate-free.

Ole Henriksen Lavender Body Oil - I bought this natural body oil for 50% off at TJ Maxx — they have a bevy of beauty products, why didn’t anyone tell me? — and it’s become my daily all-over moisturizer. It’s such a simple formula: lavender essential oil, sesame oil, and sweet almond oil. The scent is super relaxing and my dry skin drinks it up.

A Pretty Penny November Beauty Favorites US Apothecary Rose Water Bubble BathU.S. Apothecary Rose Water Bubble Bath – C surprised me with a night at the Ritz for my 30th birthday last month. I splurged on this bubble bath in the spa gift shop while he checked out the golf course. I also bought the hand and body lotion (I couldn’t resist). I’m rationing this stuff like liquid gold, but I love having a little piece of that weekend at home.

Tangle Teezer – This compact little wonder tool makes easy work of brushing through my over-processed highlighted hair, wet or dry. This was another discounted TJ Maxx find, but I would happily hand over 20 bucks for one.

Kari Gran All Natural & Organic Skin Care | Review & Giveaway

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A couple months ago, the kind folks at Kari Gran sent me a complimentary starter kit of their three-step natural skin care system. I used it to the last drop, and loved it so much I purchased the full-size cleanser and serum for myself.

I think the secret to great skin is keeping things super simple. Kari Gran skin care products are made in small batches with natural plant oils, essential oils, and vitamin E. That’s it. No parabens, preservatives, petrochemicals, drying detergents, or synthetic fragrances.

I know some people are skeeved out by the idea of using oils on their face, but you guys, it’s so good for your skin. Traditional cleansers use detergents and sulfates that strip skin of important natural oils, so it produces more oil to compensate, which leads to congested pores and breakouts. It’s a vicious cycle.

Natural plant-based cleansing oils operate on the principle that “like dissolves like.” From acne.org:

“Fact: Oil dissolves oil. One of the most basic principals of chemistry is that “like dissolves like.” The best way to dissolve a non-polar solvent like sebum/oil, is by using another non-polar solvent similar in composition: Other oils. By using the right oils, you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit that heal, protect and nourish your skin.”

The lavender-scented oil cleanser is my favorite at the end of a long day. I slather it onto my dry face and massage it in for several minutes until it dissolves every last bit of grime and makeup (including stubborn eye makeup) and remove it with a warm wet washcloth. I follow it up with the hydrating tonic and essential serum, which work together to leave my skin balanced and hydrated without feeling greasy. It’s all kinds of luxurious; but most important, my skin is clear, even and healthy.

GIVEAWAY TIME! I believe in this stuff so much, I wish I could buy a round for everyone. Until I hit the lotto to make that happen, I thought I’d start by giving away one Kari Gran Starter Kit, on me. To enter, just leave a comment with a way to contact you (email/URL/twitter/whatevs) before Monday, November 10th, at 5pm EST. US entries only, please. Good luck!

ETA: I’ll draw a winner at random!