Feb 26, 2014

Wednesday Roundup: Travel-Inspired Beauty Goods

Because I've been feeling a particularly strong urge to travel lately, I figured that it was only appropriate that I conjure up a random product-based Wednesday Roundup post inspired my some of my favorite travel souvenirs and memories. Enjoy!

I'm going to start out with an old favorite because during literally every trip I've been on since high school, I've been caught toting around at least one or two of these Dickinson's Witch Hazel Daily Facial Towelettes. They are individually packaged and perfect in every way. If you don't believe my love is real, just check out my other Dickinson's posts here and here.

If you've ever been on any beach vacation at all, the Skin Trip Coconut Soap is sure to bring back some pleasant memories. It smells perfectly tropical and warm. Plus, who doesn't at least occasionally want to smell like a coconut?

This particular souvenir is one of my favorite purchases of all times. Besides providing good vibes, my jade roller's other occupations include increasing circulation in my face (to make me all glowy and what not) and removing early morning eye bags. According to the Chinese woman who suckered me into buying this thing, jade is a naturally cool stone so you don't even have to refrigerate it to get a cooling effect!

Ugh, if only the mini sombrero was included. *Photo via RipeShop on Etsy.com
One of my favorite things about Mexico is horchata, this amazing cinnamon and rice concoction that is perfectly refreshing in hot weather. RipeShop on Etsy makes an adorable Mexican Horchata Lip Balm that I fully plan on purchasing here soon. Also... little known fact, but sometimes horchata means orgy in Mexico, so be careful who you're asking for it.

*Photo via osmiaorganics.com
In my lifetime, I've been to Colorado a whopping one time, but the state was just so beautiful that it definitely left an impression. The Colorado-based beauty company, Osmia Organics, offers a wide range of organic products that reflect the natural beauty of the Colorado landscape. I mean, just look at the texture of their Oh So Soap, it's beautful!

*Photo via sephora.com

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that every beauty addict remembers at least one of their first Sephora purchases, if not the first. Well, when I was 13 and I went to New York City with my dad, he bought me the Benefit Dandelion blush at Sephora. Up until this point, I had been to Sephora only a handful of times and I was already in love. The color, packaging and everything else about this product reminds me of the trip and what a great time we had.

What are some of your favorite travel-inspired beauty finds?

Feb 21, 2014

Quick Thoughts: Black Widow Balm

Trying to squeeze the last little bit of life out of your dark, winter lip options? Look no further than Black Widow Balm. I was browsing Etsy Featured Shops today, as I normally do when I should be doing something else more productive, when I was kind of sucked in by this brand's cool look.

*Photo via Black Widow Balm

I myself have yet to try the whole black-lipstick trend because I'm not that bold, but if you are, I say go for it. Black Widow Balm's Black Magic Lip Balm and Star Dust Galaxy Gloss are great black options, but, if dark lips aren't your thing, check out the Calavera '12 Lip Balm. It's bright pink and perfect for pretending it's warmer outside than it actually is.

What are some new beauty goodies you've discovered this weekend?

Feb 19, 2014

Wednesday Roundup: Spring-Inspired Everything

Let's just all admit that as much as we love our chunky sweaters, we are now more ready than ever to put them away in exchange for bringing out our lightweight jackets and flowy tops. I am just so sick of the constant snow and cold.

Given my current anti-winter state of mind, I thought I would write today's Wednesday Roundup on Spring-inspired items. It's just necessary for a little pick-me-up. Enjoy!

*Photo via Asos.com

Sweatpants are typically not my thing (though I am a frequent leggings-as-pants culprit), but paired with the blush tank top from H&M below and some plain sneakers, these frilled slim joggers from ASOS would help make the perfect lounging and errand running outfit.

*Photo via Sephora.com
I just went to Sephora recently, caught a whiff of Un Jardin Sur Le Nil and immediately, I fell in love. It's heavy in the floral department and perfect for a warm, sunny day. Herm├Ęs executes fragrance, packaging and all, so beautifully.

*Photo via hm.com
I know above I said this would go great tucked into the ASOS joggers, but this blush-colored tank from H&M would also look adorable paired with some skinnies and patterned flats. This simple top can honestly take you anywhere.

*Photo via Spiritbeautylounge.com
I'm not a huge pastel nail person, but Macaron by Kure Bazaar is too sweet. It's the perfect early springtime color.

*Photo via Sephora.com

Benefit's Lollitint looks so intimidating in the packaging. This is very misleading, though, because once you've swiped it on your skin, it transforms into this gorgeous understated orchid that goes perfectly with just about any makeup look.

*Photo via Spiritbeautylounge.com
No doubt that your feet are going to need a little scrubbin' before you can bust out the sandals. This Rosemary Mint Organic Foot Scrub from skinnyskinny is great to keep around for those warmer months when you know you'll be going out in sandals or (gasp!) barefoot.

Is spring on your mind as well? What products or clothing items are you looking forward to bringing out once it gets warmer?

Feb 18, 2014

Hudson's Stuff Facial Cleansing Pads

Do you remember when I talked about using oatmeal as an exfoliant? Well, as it would turn out, there's apparently bunches of people out there using oatmeal not only as an exfoliant, but as a cleanser as well.  Don't take my word for it, though. Just check out the 183 reviews on Makeupalley that combine to give oatmeal a score of 4.6 out of 5. If you're not familiar with Makeupalley, that is a really high score. People obviously love the stuff, and I do too.

*Photo via hudstuff.com
Oatmeal is soothing, moisturizing, protective, etc. etc., BUT, there is one major problem with the whole oatmeal cleansing deal: it's messy. As fun as it is to clean little goopy piles of oatmeal out of my sink, I would much rather stick to a normal foaming cleanser than deal with this every morning. "So then why are you writing about this, Addison?" you ask.

Well, fellow oatmeal cleansing and sensitive-skinned peeps, rejoice for Hudson's Stuff Facial Cleansing Pads* because they are an answer to prayer. These little muslin "pads" come individually packaged in a box of 16. I'm putting "pads" in quotes because they look more like tea bags, which is by no means a bad thing, just unique. Each pad contains not only oatmeal, but pink Himalayan salt and green tea leaves as well. I can't tell you if it's the salt, green tea or oatmeal specifically, but my skin has calmed down so much since I've started using these in the past week. That's obviously incredible and now I don't have to do as much sink cleaning.

All you have to do to use the Facial Cleansing Pads is run them under water to create a light, non-foamy lather and then massage the pad over your face. According to the packaging, each pad can be used for up to 24 hours after its initial use. If it wigs you out to use the same cleansing pad two times in a row, do like I do and mark one side of the packet after you've used the pad. Then, lay the pad inside of the original packet, with the dirty side facing the marked part of the packet. I hope this makes sense.

Also, for full disclosure, I have to tell you that I typically combine these pads with literally a pea-sized bit of my Johnson's Head-to-Toe Baby Wash to cut any grease (are we talking about beauty products or Dawn dish soap?), but I'm fully convinced these babies are giving my skin a whole new outlook on this miserable winter weather. Like really, my skin isn't dry and flaky anymore and I am so happy about it. Hudson's Stuff, specifically the Facial Cleansing Pads, are the bomb.

Check out the Hudston's Stuff website here or the Etsy shop here.

The * denotes a product which I was sent free of cost.  Reviews will remain objective, regardless of how the product came to me.

Feb 16, 2014

Quick Thoughts: China

Not too long ago, I had the incredible opportunity to travel with my family to China. Never in my life have I been in a place more foreign and as I'm sitting here thinking about it now, I realize how badly I would like to go back.

Not only would I like to go back because the culture and people were truly incredible, but I would like to explore more of the Chinese medicinal practices. In general the Chinese people were beautiful, and despite the large beauty retailers on every corner, I believe it was mostly due to the high value they place on internal health. From the large quantities of fish they consume to the amount of tea they drink, the Chinese people (and honestly, Asian people in general) are definitely doing something right when it comes to skincare.

I think I may do a little more research on this topic for a future post. What do you think?

Feb 13, 2014

Number 4 High Performance Haircare

I suppose it's time I stop claiming that I usually don't rave on about haircare, because ever since I've discovered Number 4 products I've been singing a different tune. After loving a sample of their Super Comb Prep & Protect that I got in my Birchbox, I asked for the full-size as a Christmas gift and I've been using it about every day since. This is big news for a girl who usually doesn't even condition, so you know when I got the chance to try some of their other products I was all aboard. I recently received generous samples of the Hydrating Shampoo*, Clarifying Shampoo* and Reconstructing Masque* and honestly, I've been really, sincerely impressed with everything.

Little known fact: the scents used in the Number 4 products are all inspired by designer fragrances. I'm not much for guessing perfumes so I won't attempt it, but this is kind of an answer to prayer, right? How great would it be if your favorite shampoo always matched your fragrance? Number 4 is definitely onto something here. Oh, and for the shower poet in each of us, every bottle has this gorgeous poem written on it in English and French. Each collection, such as Hydrating or L'eau de Mare, has a poem that reveals the inspiration behind it.

But enough about the fragrance and poetry... let's talk product. First off, there's the Hydrating Shampoo. This is an incredible option for those of you that like to shampoo often, but don't want to completely strip your hair. It's a medium lather formula that smells absolutely incredible and leaves your hair feeling soft and moisturized.

Next, we have the Clarifying Shampoo. When you're hair needs that extra kick in the behind, this is the shampoo you need. It's really gentle for a clarifying shampoo, but I've found it to effectively remove product buildup, which is something we all need from time to time.

Finally, there's the Reconstructing Masque. It's easy to see why this particular product is a part of the Essentials Collection. If you're a straightener devotee, this deep conditioner should definitely have a spot in your shower. I've been using it weekly and my hair is a not quite as frizzy as it tends to be around this time of year.

I love Number 4 products and one thing that makes me love them even more is the fact that they're 100 percent vegan, gluten-free, sulfate-free and paraben-free. If you're looking to make the transition to a more natural routine like I am, these products are a great place to start. You can check out the full line here.

Have you tried any of the Number 4 products? I'd love to know your opinion!

The * denotes a product which I was sent free of cost.  Reviews will remain objective, regardless of how the product came to me.

Feb 12, 2014

Wednesday Roundup: The Beauty in Simplicity

I like simple makeup. I far prefer a look that says, "Okay, so maybe I did do my makeup in five minutes after rolling out of bed," to one that says,"Hello! this morning I woke up two hours early so I could prime each individual pore before applying six layers of foundation." There is, in my eyes, so much beauty in simplicity.

I found a few looks from New York Fashion Week that show just how pretty simplicity can be. Mind you, we're talking about makeup here and not clothing. Below you will find models at Prabal Gurung, Rag & Bone, Kate Spade and Jonathan Cohen, all made up to perfection, but never overdone.

Prabal Gurung Fall 2014; *Photo by Alessandro Lucioni via nymag.com/thecut
Rag & Bone Fall 2014; *Photo via nymag.com/thecut
Kate Spade Fall 2014; *Photo via nymag.com/thecut
Jonathan Cohen Fall 2014; *Photo via nymag.com/thecut
Gorgeous, right? Of all four, my favorite has to be Kate Spade. This particular model's complexion is just glowing. Sure, the clothes she's wearing are great, but all I really want to ask her is what skincare products she's loving at the moment. And so is the life of a beautyholic.

Feb 10, 2014

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream

Since a good amount of my time is spent writing, blogging, etc., I've really come to appreciate the snowy days that are accompanying this harsh winter since they give me the chance to stay in and get some work done. However, while I'm developing this new found appreciation for winter, my skin is doing the complete opposite. It's dry and angry, and really, I'm still on the hunt for a good facial moisturizer. As it would turn out, though, my agonizing search for a decent face lotion has turned up a pretty good body cream, Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream to be exact.

When I was younger, I loved Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion, but in my quest to become more natural I've switched to using different oils and what not on my body. Like I said, though, I'm still on the hunt for a good facial cream (natural or otherwise) and after reading some different reviews on Aveeno's lotions as they apply to the facial area, I decided to give the Eczema Therapy a try. Though it's unfortunately a no-go for the face due to stickiness, it's great for the body.

The Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream calms post-shave legs in a way that coconut oil just doesn't. Also, it's fragrance-free so it doesn't have that miserable medicinal smell that itch relieving products are known for. At about $12 to $13 for a 7.3 oz. tube, it's a little too pricey to make me ditch coconut oil completely, but I'll definitely keep it handy for when my skin needs a little extra moisture boost. I think Aveeno has a winner with this one!

Feb 5, 2014

Wednesday Roundup: Etsy Style

I love Etsy. I love it so much, actually, that I have an entire segment on the blog called "Etsy Finds." This is pretty much Etsy Finds today, just the Wednesday Roundup Edition. Also, instead of the typical Etsy Bath & Beauty finds, today I'm going to focus on style (i.e. clothes, jewelry and other accessories). Check it out!

Inspired by bold Indonesian fabrics, ljcdesigns has created some incredibly fun, colorful clothing and accessories. Right now I've got my eye on a pair of her pom pom shorts. They'll be perfect for Spring Break!

*Photo via ljcdesigns
If you're looking for simple jewelry that you can wear everyday, makepienotwar most certainly has something for you. If you know me personally, you know that my favorite pair of earrings is this huge pair of hammered gold hoops I bought forever ago. Well, I just found these hammered gold triangle hoops on makepienotwar and I'm thinking they'd be a nice change up from my usual circular hoops. Cute, right?

*Photo via makepienotwar

So, I will probably never be a full time large clutch carrier for convenience purposes, but dangit, they always look so cool. These large, real leather clutches from Ana K. in Greece would be a perfect statement piece for any outfit, or if you're so inclined, they could be perfect for everyday use as well.

*Photo via Ana K.

Are you an Etsy Addict like myself? What are some of your favorite shops?

Feb 3, 2014

Quick Thoughts: Late Night Snacks

As of late I've been doing this thing where I eat pretty healthy for most of the day (at least during the week... weekends are a work in progress), but then come nighttime, it's game over. I get these insane cravings for junk food that up until I switched to a healthier way of eating, were non-existent. Lately though, I've found a semi-smart way to deal with them.

Pepperidge Farm Pirouette cookies are my late night snack hero. While not healthy by any means, one of these cookies rings in at only about 60 calories and 10 carbs. Just one of these is so satisfying and a pretty good option for those of us with a post-dinner sweet tooth. So, that's my two cents on late night cookie cravings. How do you satisfy your sweet tooth at night? 

Feb 1, 2014

Weekend Ramblings: BITE Beauty Agave Lip Mask

In general, dry lips are a huge problem for me in the winter, but so far I've been able to mostly prevent this by applying my Lucas' Papaw Ointment ever so generously. However, like with most lip balms and ointments, I've found that the Papaw Ointment doesn't last all night while I sleep. After waking up with less than moisturized lips one too many times, I set out in search of something with a little more oomph. Enter my latest discovery, the BITE Beauty Agave Lip Mask.

When I first saw this product in Sephora, it pretty much looked like every other overpriced lip balm. At $26 a pop, I was thinking "No way!".  However, once I swiped some on, I knew it was different than most balms I've used before.

Much like Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips, the Agave Lip Mask has a high lanolin content, making it extremely thick and protective. However they differ in that the Agave Lip Mask contains other beneficial ingredients besides lanolin, such as jojoba oil and olive oil. The addition of these ingredients is essential because lanolin itself doesn't moisturize, rather it acts as a barrier to keep moisture from escaping, much like Vaseline.

Some people complain that the Lip Mask is difficult to get out of the tube, but this is easily fixed by rolling the tube between your palms for a few minutes to warm it up. Once you get the product out, this little extra effort is totally worth it. I mean, even after a full eight hours of sleep, I woke up with super soft lips. I'm addicted to this product and I suggest you give it a try if you can! To purchase the BITE Beauty Agave Lip Mask go here.

Have you tried the BITE Beauty Agave Lip Mask? What do you think? 

Quick Thoughts: Nirvana by Elizabeth and James

As a lover of unisex fragrances (and all things Mary-Kate and Ashley), I was immediately intrigued by the description of Elizabeth and James Nirvana on Sephora.com: "Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black is an addictive blend of alluring violet, sensual sandalwood, and rich vanilla that strike the perfect balance between masculine and feminine."

*Photo via Sephora.com
Has anyone tried this fragrance? As a lifetime Mary-Kate and Ashley fragrance line supporter, I'm feeling semi-obligated to head over to Sephora and check it out.