Tag Archives: clinique

beauty buzz: summer for the sun-phobic

With Memorial Day on the horizon, it’s time to talk sun. Being a girl with a pasty white complexion, not-inexpensive highlights, and a tendency to break out into a rash in the sun (no, really), I dread summer. The moment the sun first peeks out for the season, I bust out the highest SPF I can find, and huddle under any café umbrella in sight. Besides the fact that it causes wrinkles, freckles and melanoma (not necessarily in that order), a lot of time spent in the sun bodes for dry, unhappy hair and skin – not exactly that youthful, dewy look we’re all going for.

But this year, I’m feeling a bit less scared of those sun rays – because I have some excellent ammunition.

Clarins is always be my go-to for sun protection (and, well, most everything else too). For my skin, at least, they offer the best sunscreens around. Not too oily, not chalky in the least, and my skin doesn’t even put up a fuss when I make my seasonal switch from Multi-Active Day SPF 15 to UV Plus SPF 40 Day Screen. This year, they’ve released it in a tinted formula – excellent news if you happen to match one of the three shades. As for me, I’m still layering my Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer on top, but that SPF 40 leaves me much less tense about an alfresco lunch. Best of all? When I whipped out the Clarins for the first time this year (and skipped the Clinique), the husband asked if I was wearing makeup. When I said no, he said – I kid you not – “Wow, you look really nice – all glow-y.” Um, I’ll take a case, please.

For the rest of your bod, I recently got hold of Target’s new up & up continuous-spray sunscreen. Between the Sport SPF 30 and the Kids’ SPF 50, I think you know which I chose. The kids’ version applies seamlessly, isn’t greasy (as so many spray-ons are), and did a fantastic job of protecting me on that charity walk I did last weekend. There is a faint chemical quality to the smell, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a spray sunscreen without it. Oh, and it’s $5. Win!

Then, of course, there’s the matter of your mane. It’s no surprise that summer does awful things to hair – all that sun exposure, a few more trips to the salon for a few more highlights, and those “beachy waves” that turn into impossible-to-remove tangles. I’m kind of in love with Sachajuan, a line I was introduced to by the geniuses over at Woodley & Bunny (go ahead, just try to visit their awesome new online apothecary without being sucked in). They personally test each and every item on the shelves, so I knew I was in good hands. Sachajuan’s products are incredibly gentle and nourishing, with the goal of making you do as little heat-styling as possible (volume powders, repair balms) with as little product as possible, so your hair gets loaded down with moisture and not much else. Love the philosophy, and absolutely love the products.

And I can’t wrap up without dishing on my latest favorite lip balm (SPF 15, naturally). Bobbi Brown Lip Balm comes in this sleek silver tin, and is packed with goodies like wheat germ and olive oil. It feels absolutely amazing on (and can also work wonders with your cuticles in a pinch), and somehow lends just the palest of tints without having any color at all. Plus, it’ll save your lips from that super attractive sunburned-slash-scaly-and-peeling look. As always, I don’t know how Bobbi does it, but I’m sure glad she does.

What are your go-to summer products? Come on, fellow sun-phobes…dish!


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wear sunscreen!

Have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend, everyone! I’m taking the hubs to his very first rodeo…I’m pretty excited about it. With plans to spend an entire day out in the sun, I couldn’t help thinking that it might be the perfect time to remind you to bust out your sunscreen this weekend…and, if it’s more than a year old, replace it!

A few of my favorites to slather on every 3-4 hours over the next few days:

From left: Clinique Sun SPF 50+ face cream, $18; Tocca SPF 30 sunscreen towelettes (bonus: they smell unbelievable!), $28; Phyto Plage L’Originale Protective Beach Spray, $22, and
Hair & Body Wash
(both do amazing things for your hair, sun or not), $18

See you back here Tuesday!

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friday finds: the bold and the beautiful

i’ve decided to ignore the constant drizzle (and, ahem, yesterday’s hail?!) in my rainy city.  i’m springing forward, darn it, and i don’t care what the weather has to say about it.  this week’s list of friday finds is nothing if not bold, bright and full of spring color.

if this “pretty in prints” compact from clinique doesn’t bring out the sunshine, i don’t know what will.  they teamed up with milly to design a palette that’s pitch-perfect for spring.  the compact is etched with a classic milly pattern, and inside, you’ll find nothing but classic, useful shades of eyeshadow and blush to see you through the entire summer.  plus, that pretty drawstring pouch makes this even more fun to throw into your beach bag.  i’ll be using each and every shade until it runs dry – a bold claim from a girl who has never finished an eyeshadow in her life.

shopbop is always just hellbent on taking my money, and they’ve launched a couple of new treats this week to do just that.  first up is their new “ONE by” boutique, which features one (and only one!) signature or special piece from designers off the beaten path.  i’ll admit, most of it is more fashion-forward than i am. but i do love the thrill of having something from a designer no one else has heard of.  and it makes for excellent window-shopping.

also, their spring collection of tucker by gaby basora arrived this week, and it’s all just so lovely, i’m speechless.  all i can say is that i want nothing more than to spend every single day of spring in these bold, bright silks.

i know we just talked shoes yesterday, but i can’t resist showing you these stunning suede loafers by kubyan.  they caught my eye in the march marie claire, and i haven’t been able to stop thinking about them.  i’ve been wanting a pair of driving loafers that successfully walked the line between classic and tongue-in-cheek, and suddenly, here they are. now to come up with the $300 i’d need to make them mine.  fortunately, they’re made by hand, by single mothers in colombia who need work.  so really, it would be wrong of me not to buy them, right?

while i was in seattle last week, i took a moment to check out the go international designer collective reprise happening at target.  they did a great job of bringing back the best styles, and the timing couldn’t be better, what with wedding season on the horizon.  after trying on every several styles, and crying a bit over how short the black floral tucker dress was (it’s so lovely!), i left with this colorblocked shift from thakoon.  colorblocking will be everywhere for summer, and this is an easy style with infinite potential.

that’s it for this week, friends. i hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead of you!  i’ll be celebrating a little engagement-versary with the hubs, so hopefully some wining and dining will be involved, as well as a considerable amount of R&R.  i hope you have something equally lovely planned.

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beauty buzz: the great mascara debate

{editor’s note: an almost entirely photo-less post…how boring!  but really, how many photos of mascara tubes and eyelashes covered with mascara do you really want/need to see?}

is there anything that inspires more trauma than the words “they’ve discontinued my mascara!”?  not at my house.  after years of faithfully buying neutrogena’s clean lash tint, it’s just vanished from the planet, and i find myself utterly heartbroken.

after an acceptable mourning period, i realized i was going to have to dry my mascara-laden tears and find a new love…and fast.  and so, i started requesting samples (membership has its privileges).  but if i was going to risk heartbreak again, it was going to have to be perfect.  like any red-blooded woman without real problems in life, i have a long list of “musts” for my mascara.  it must go on smoothly, with absolutely no clumping or spider lashes.  it must coat lightly, without really looking or feeling like i’m wearing anything – i’m not a person looking to double my length, triple my volume, or “million-ize” anything.  i just want my lashes to stand out a bit.  last, it must come off at night with little to no additional effort on my part. because i am lazy.

dear readers, i now sit here typing before you with a bag filled (filled!) with mascaras.  the good news?  i’ve found a new love, baby.  and a couple of backups, just in case this new mascara cancels our saturday night plans at the last minute.

but first, should i tell you about the ones that failed?  naturally.  this shall not be an exhaustive list, as we’d be here all day.  but a few highlights are definitely in order.

giorgio armani’s soft lash mascara (which i now can’t find in any color) was my hands-down favorite for a month, until my overly sensitive eyes took something it did personally.  now, i can’t use it…which is an utter shame.  in fact, i finally had to throw it away, because even having it near me when i apply others is too tempting…it’s that lovely.  if you have normal sensitivity levels, i can’t recommend it highly enough.

benefit’s bad gal lash, with it’s bigger-than-life brush, came next.  sadly, it was much more mascara than i was looking for:  too clumpy, too clingy, and there was just too much product going onto my lashes with every brush stroke.  plus, it requires some sort of high-level technical equipment to remove.

next, i started playing around in the clinique pile.  spoiler alert: in the end, a clinique option made my top tier list.  but in the beginning, there was lash power.  and oh, how it clumped.  also, they aren’t kidding about 24-hour wear – it’s the mascara equivalent of a stalker ex.  and then there was high lengths, with a brush that scared me a little bit.  weirdly thin, more of a comb than a brush…it just wasn’t meant to be.

and so, i moved on to origins, where i found several good options.  their fringe benefits covered just the way i wanted it to, adding length and the tiniest bit of volume, without a clump in sight.  but removal was tricky, and i was often left with the dreaded mascara ring under my eyes the next morning.

finally, i decided that with all of these high-end picks, i should give a drugstore brand a chance – after all, my lovely old neutrogena hailed from the beauty ghetto.  and so, i called up the lovely ladies of cover girl, who told me that their new lash blast was absolutely what i needed to try.

and that was how, nearly 20 mascaras later, cover girl won my heart.  lash blast fusion, to be precise.  to be clear, i utterly hate the packaging.  it comes in a pudgy purple tube that makes me feel about 13.  but all of those “musts” i mentioned above?  yep, it’s perfect on each and every score.

and my back-up dates?  well, first is origins’ full story lush-lash mascara, which did a marvelous job (in fact, it was the winner until i tried lash blast) but it was just the tiniest bit harder to remove (which is probably actually a bonus to many of you).  as for the version that most closely approximated my old favorite?  that was clinique’s naturally glossy mascara, which does a lovely job of just being a mild, unassuming, foolproof mascara with which you can’t go wrong.

so, i’m curious:  are you, like me, a serial monogamist when it comes to mascara?  or do you sleep around?  what’s your current mascara crush?

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friday finds

i’m really starting to look forward to these friday finds lists, if only because it gives me a chance to get out all of the random “hey, that’s cool” thoughts i have during the week.  i hope you’re liking them too!

i keep meaning to tell you all about my new facial serum of choice.  it’s clinique’s repairwear laser focus, and i admit, my love for it sort of snuck up on me.  when you test products day in and day out, you get lazy, and start to expect resusts fast, or you move on.  fortunately, i didn’t have any other serums around, so i kept using the clinique version.  and after a month, i started to notice that some of those nagging lines from constantly sleeping on my side were starting to vanish.  plus, it’s only $44.50, a nice change from some of my $100+ serum obsessions.  well done, clinique!

i’m feeling pretty smitten with kirakira, a new line of jewelry i came across this week.  the designs are so diverse, the shop feels like you’ve stumbled into a vintage jewelry shop in your favorite foreign destination – yet they’re all brand spanking new.  prices run the gamut, but those silver marrakesh earrings are $125…definitely attainable luxe.

as usual, best to follow a splurge with a steal.  on one of my target wanders the other day, i came upon the william rast collaboration.  the denim actually looked promising, so i gave it a try.  and lo, it was highly impressive, readers.  i was more impressed with the boot cut than the straight, but that’s okay, since straight is on its way out anyway.  for $50, these jeans had great fit, the right amount of stretch, and enough quality that i think you’d get well over your $50 worth of wear from them.  you could even try holding out until they go on sale…not a bad gamble, i think.

and last but not least, this wallet caught my eye a while back, and i keep forgetting to show it to you!  i’m a sucker for a bright wallet, i’ll admit, and this striking blue/green hue is no exception.  the leaves might be a little much for me, but i haven’t totally decided yet (and they could always be removed, i’m thinking).  plus, it’s called the “fiscal ficus“, and i do so love some nice alliterative word play.  it’s $98, which isn’t out of the realm for a well-made wallet (which this is).  and, bonus, some kind anthro shopper has bothered to take photos of the interior and post them in the reviews section…so, kudos to her.

have a great weekend, everyone!

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get gifting: for the boys

i can pick great gifts for the women in my life blindfolded.  but men?  they’re an entirely different story.  whether it’s a husband, a dad or a brother, something about buying for guys is just baffling, unless you want to go to the old standby of cologne, a watch or a pair of cufflinks.

i’ve left out the obvious choices…something tells me you don’t need to be reminded that a 52″ HDTV is high on his list.  but if you’re looking to head off the beaten path a bit this year, here are a few that are absolutely sure to make just about any guy smile.

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left to right, from top: marshall major headphones, $99; native(x) pendleton wool scarf, $20; clinique expert shave kit, $31 (love the waterproof dopp kit it comes with); boccalone artisan cured salumi gift box, from $25; logitech harmony rechargeable remote control, $106; ecco personal digital compass GPS locator, $70; merrell guise men’s jacket (converts into neck pillow for travel!), $129;  filson small duffle bag, $225; byrd and belle felt/leather ipad sleeve, $48.

{FTC disclaimer: some product samples were provided to help me compile this guide, but as usual, there’s no pay-for-play here.}

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get gifting: on the cheap

happy hanukkah, everyone!  for those of you not frantically rushing around to find a gift before sunset, tonight is the first night of hanukkah.  and so, in honor of the festival of lights, today’s gift guide is full of ideas perfect for friends, loves, and family, but the common thread is that each and every one is under $30…and that’s a list i’m guessing you’ll want no matter what holiday(s) you’re celebrating this year.  because if you thought christmas left you feeling broke, just imagine stringing it out for eight craaaazy nights!

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left to right, from top: angela adams address book and notepad sets (so, so beautiful in person), $14-15; postcarden “season’s greetings” pop-up card, $13; clinique “connect the gloss” interchangeable lip gloss set, $25; cast iron owlet (literally impossible not to love), $18; tocca crema mani viaggio hand cream trio, $18; vosges bacon chocolate chip pancake mix, $12; michelle armas signed antonia 2011 calendar, $30; allo-allo french tea towel, $15; origins “peace of mind” on-the-spot relief (great for men and women – i’m obsessed!), $10; international rescue committee blankets, school supplies or first aid kits, $20-28; happy socks (!), $10; modern madness moustache mug, $14.

{FTC disclaimer: some product samples were provided to help me compile this guide, but as usual, there’s no pay-for-play here.}

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random friday (poolside) finds

i’m still wishing for a little poolside lounge action, so i’ll dedicate today’s random finds to the rest of my beach bag essentials.  it is, definitely, a random collection of goods, but all are utterly essential to a successful day of absolutely nothing.

sunscreen: my sunscreen needs are well-documented…this summer, i have hardly left the house without dousing every exposed surface with clinique’s new sun spf25 body spray. it doesn’t smell sunscreen-y, works for hours, and doesn’t upset my overly sensitive skin (unlike most drugstore brands, which tend to cause all sorts of skin problems in my life).  plus, it’s easy and mess-free to reapply. what more can i ask for (other than perfect, non-burning olive skin)?

stylish straw hat:  sure, it’s for sun-shielding…but also, i just think a big straw hat is a must for completing that chic poolside look.  mine happens to be from j.crew, but i’m highly coveting this straw visor from le train bleu.  i had some misgivings at first, but i’ve decided this has such sweet styling that the visor aspect just makes it fun, and my sources tell me it packs like a dream (the sitewide 40% off sale this week doesn’t hurt – use code dogdays).  of course, if you’re more into hipster than chic, i’d go for the fedora (best if you have a narrow face, by the way), which is all the rage this year. don’t overspend, though…this version at urban outfitters is less traditional, but utterly fab.

post-plunge cosmetics:  there isn’t much to be done, it’s true. but even if i’m skipping nearly everything, and bronzer’s utterly unnecessary after a day in the sun, i’ll still grab my always perfectly rosy, never sticky benetint lip balm and my new beachfront favorite high impact curling mascara from clinique.  it doens’t quite do the job of my shu uemura curler, but in a pinch, it does give a bit more curl than other formulas.  it definitely packs more punch than my daily standby, which is what i’m looking for when there’s no other makeup involved. and it won’t turn into raccoon eyes, even when you’re awash in chlorine and sunscreen.

h2o:  if i don’t carry water with me at all times, i’m hardly coherent. i read about kor water’s stylish new bottles in gwyneth paltrow’s newsletter (go ahead, mock…she entertains me), and had to give them a try. love! they hold a ton, ice cubes are no problem, and the lid stays attached without hitting me in the nose when i drink – in fact, i can even open the lid one-handed when necessary. pure water bottle genius, if you ask me…and they even have motivational messages in the cap.  i can hardly believe i’d suggest a $30 water bottle, but these ones really are fab.  in fact, i may need a second one soon – the hubs keeps stealing mine!

and with that, i’m off to take an ice-cold shower and dream of being somewhere much more fabulous.  happy virtual vacationing, everyone…see you next week!

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