Coffee Break – The Tops and Tails Set

butter LONDON  The Tops and Tails Set I briefly mentioned that I was looking at this base coat and quickdry topcoat duo from Butter London back when Beauty.com had their big sale a few weeks ago — I got it, and I highly recommend. Not only does the basecoat go on nice and smooth, and the top coat dry super quickly, but it has kept my pedicure looking great for like 3 weeks now. Amazing. I justified the splurge because the set has Butter London’s “3 Free” guarantee — no formaldehyde, no toulene, and no DBP — which, even though I’m not 100% sure what those are, fits nicely with my new motto to try to decrease the chemicals in Casa Griffin as well as in our bodies. This would be a great gift for the girlfriend/sister/coworker/daughter/niece who always does her nails (or, ahem, for you). It’s $25 at Beauty.com. butter LONDON The Tops and Tails Set

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Beauty Wednesday: Beauty.com 20% off Sale is On!

OK — I know we just talked about this, but since the Beauty.com Friends & Family sale is an official thing (now through 11/9), I thought we’d talk about some of our favorite picks.  (Apparently you have to click through a special link (like this one) to get the discount to work.)  In my cart:

tarte’s Maracuja Blush & Glow Brightening Luminizer and Cheek Tint (I think I’ll try in Moonlight)
Urban Decay’s Naked 2 Palette
Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25, Natural Mint and Shea Butter (one of the best lip balms with SPF, according to this EWG report)
butter LONDON The Tops and Tails Set (I need some new basics and may as well splurge on some good stuff)

Note that if you’re a Clarisonic fan, both Clarisonics as well as Clarisonic parts (from replacement heads to special cleansers) are part of the 20% off discount, as are other heavy hitters like the popular T3 styling wand.  They also have lots of tights, shaping products like Spanx, and other various dressing room must-haves like fashion tape and Gal Pal sponges (for when you get deodorant on your clothes).

For those of you who use Clarisonics — what are your thoughts?  (My beauty blogger friends who were affected by the hurricane seemed thrilled to return to their Clarisonics (and apartments).)  What is the best blowdryer, curling iron, or other major product that you guys use?

Beauty Wednesday: What’s On Your Wishlist?

A Rainbow of Eye Shadows, originally uploaded to Flickr by cybertoad.So: last year, around this time (before official Christmas season), there were some killer Friends & Family sales at most of the major beauty stores — Sephora, Beauty.com, even Ricky’s.  So I’ve been trying to get my wish list ready at the different places, and thought we could talk about it — what beauty items do you stock up when they’re on sale?  What new things have you wanted to try this season?  Where do you do you research? (Pictured.)

For me, the things I stock up on are:

Caudalie Lip Conditioner
Clinique Black Honey
Frederic Fekkai Luscious Curls Cream

I also highly recommend Urban Decay’s Naked Palettes (1 and 2), YSL’s Touche Eclat (my longer review here), bareMinerals Original Foundation, and Nars the Multiple.

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How Does Your Beauty Routine Change With the Seasons?

Chilly, originally uploaded to Flickr by CrowcombeAl.I’ve been unpacking some of my fall/winter clothes as the days get chillier, and I thought it might be interesting to talk about how our beauty routines change with the seasons, too.  For me, it’s a few things:

  • I give up on airdrying my hair, and as I use the blow dryer more I’m switching my hair products back to the “keep my hair straight and frizz free” side of the bathroom cabinet (such as this) and putting away my “enhance my curls” side of things.  (We’ll see how that goes this winter.  If, unlike me, you’d like to rock your curls all winter, check out this post on how to do be curly when it gets colder.)
  • I stop using bronzer (because it’s ok to be pale)!
  • I start using a more moisturizing face wash (I like St. Ives Olive Scrub, which I discovered while pregnant)

How about you guys? What changes about your beauty routine when the seasons change?

(Pictured: Chilly, originally uploaded to Flickr by CrowcombeAl.)

Coffee Break – Mademoiselle

Essie Nail Color: MademoiselleI’ve always heard amazing things about Essie Mademoiselle, the color featured here. Best-seller! “A grown-up pink!” “The perfect nude!” But on me, it tends to be a bit too pinky. So a friend taught me this trick a while ago: you layer different pinks to get a nude-for-you look. I think a lot of New Yorkers do this — layering Mademoiselle and Sugar Daddy is popular; I’m a fan of a Mademoiselle/Starter Wife combo. Essie polishes are $8 at Beauty.com. Essie Nail Color: Mademoiselle

Readers, what is your favorite pink/nude nailpolish?

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Five Little Tips for Organizing Hair Accessories

We talk a lot about work-appropriate hair on this blog… so if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably amassed a pretty big collection of hair accessories.  Maybe you use all of the pieces in your collection regularly, but for me, most of it just creates massive clutter. As someone who has no drawers in my bathroom and limited storage space in general, I’ve had to develop a few secrets for organizing my different hair and jewelry accessories.  So I thought I’d share…

1. Use one doorknob in your home to hold extra ponytail bands.  I tend to keep 4-8 on the inside bathroom doorknob, and I always know where to find one when I need it (and where to put them when I find them laying in random places around the house). (I’m talking about this kind of thing: Goody Ouchless Hair Elastics.) [Read more...]