OK so hi, hello. Welcome to the catch-up post. What have I missed? Let’s talk, because clearly I’m on Instagram and Twitter a lot more than here. I’m going to try to ease back though, but since we’ve been crazy busy at the magazine, I’ve neglected my little baby here. Fear not though — there actually have been some things that have been getting me through the month, so I’m excited to share:
1) Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff Body Scrub, $10. Cocoa Brown is actually known for their self-tanning products so when they contacted me to send me samples, I told them I don’t really use tanners, but they insisted I try their body scrub. I relented but I’m so glad they did. I’m so particular about what scrubs I like and this one is amazing. If you do using self-tanning products, this grainy scrub is perfect for pre-application since it will make the surface of skin smooth and prepped for the lotion. But even if you don’t, this is so great to exfoliate and keep skin super soft, especially in stubborn areas like around your ankles and knees. Use it with exfoliating mitts for the best results.
2) EvolvH UltraShine Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner, $24 & $25. I’ve pretty much mostly been using EvolvH, and SF-based company, since I went to their launch event a few months ago in NYC. Now that I’ve been switching to a lot more sulfate-free and natural products, I was in love with their standpoint on sticking with more organic ingredients. The whole line is free of sulfates, parabens, and contains actives like seaweed extract, and apricot to moisturize hair for mirror-like shine. Its protein and fatty acids also help rebuild the hair. Even through the coloring and heat torture my hair has been through, it’s been looking healthier for it. If your hair is dealing with excessive frizz of damage, definitely give this line a try.
3) Evan Professional Flat Iron, $199. Continuing my SF love (this salon is also based there)…if you follow my Instagram, you may or may not have noticed I’ve chopped my hair. Which is a big change for me because I’ve had my hair long forever. I’m still figuring out how to style it, but I’ve since switched from curling rods to this flat iron. First, it comes in a boss black leather travel kit that makes the look cool to begin with but it’s also a versatile iron. It has 14 different heat settings, a built-in sensor so it won’t ever overheat, and beveled edges so you can curl your hair with it if you want to (which is what a stylist at the Patrick Evan Salon did to my hair when I visited in in SF a couple months ago). But the coolest, most different part of this is the vibration mode you can set it at.
This is most useful if you have coarse, or curly hair but you can switch to this mode and the flat iron will actually vibrate as it’s clamped over your hair so it will keep gliding through to get the shiniest finish. I got to meet Patrick Evans himself when I visited the salon and learned a lot about his expertise in hair straightening (specifically in Japanese straightening), so from that alone, you know he’s the authority on what makes a good iron for straightening hair and developed this.
4) Blue Diamond Bold Sriracha Flavored Almonds. If you couldn’t tell from my Triple-Almond Shake already, I’m a little obsessed with almonds. Real talk, I eat them everyday, if not in my shakes, as a snack that I consume by the fistful. And why not? They contain so many health benefits — protein, fiber, monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, calcium and other minerals, and phytochemicals that may help protect against many common diseases. I guess Blue Diamond noticed enough to send me a bunch of their new flavors, including their BOMB new Sriracha-flavored one. To be fair, I normally buy their brand or Trader Joe’s raw almonds anyway, but I definitely wasn’t complaining about sampling different flavors like honey dijon, and wasabi and soy sauce…did you even know these were possible? But sriracha in all its tangy/spicy glory really trumps them all for me.
5) e.l.f. Studio Angled Eyeliner Brush, $3. I’ve been going back to experimenting more with gel liner lately and to apply it, so I’ve been relying HEAVILY on this angled eyeliner brush. The bend in the tip makes it so much easier to perfect that winged liner, and reach into the corners of your eyes. Basically, it can make even a liner-applying-dunce like me look like a pro.
6) It Cosmetics Universal Brow Power Eyebrow Pencil, $24. I feel like I’ve re-discovered how amazing this eyebrow pencil is. I’ve been trying out a lot of different ones, but this one always leaves the most natural (read: not heavy), and long-wearing finish. It’s dual ended, so one end has a soft pencil liner, and the other is a spoolie to smooth out brows.
7) Dose of Colors liquid lipstick in Merlot, $18. Even with limitless access to lipstick and a sizeable inventory of red lipstick already, I still NEEDED to buy this lipstick when I tried it on at Ricky’s one afternoon. It’s the most long wearing, velvety matte, and gorgeously blue-red color I’ve found yet. I repeat, it will NOT budge all day. It’s a vegan product that’s also gluten-, paraben-, and cruelty-free so whatsup.
8 ) Grow Gorgeous Back Into the Roots 10-Minute Stimulating Scalp Massage, $28. I randomly picked this up when the weather was a little colder a few months ago because my scalp was feeling dry and in need of some TLC. It’s another sulfate-free line you can find at Ulta or Urban Outfitters. I’m pretty sure this is the cause of my hair growing back like a chia pet. The line does have a hair growth serum too that I haven’t tried, but this is another fun, refreshing treatment in itself. Just massage it in before you jump in the shower and let it tingle for ten minutes. I personally love the tingling feeling the menthol in it gives off, but fair warning, I’m sure it’s not the greatest feeling for everyone. You can even feel your scalp cooling after the shower, but my hair is so lush and soft after I use it. I’ve been indulging in it at least once a week (this is literally an empty bottle pictured, I used this til the end and trust me, it’s not easy for me to get to the end of products!).
9) Completely Bare Facial Hair Removing Control + Hair + Delete, $7. It’s not fun getting laser hair removal six times and still having a semblance of a ‘stache every so often (it’s getting really REAL here). But I thought I’d give this a try last weekend and I love it. Of course ALWAYS do a patch test, but this is equal parts effective and moisturizing with it’s argan oil, aloe, and cocoa butter. Plus the silicone tip makes it super easy to apply in the areas of the face you want it. Just leave on for ten-minutes and go.
10) Marc Jacobs Beauty Sheer Lip Gel in Role Play, $30. I think finding a fleshy-nude color that works on my skin tone is about as hard as finding a good man in NY (#hadto). But as I like to be optimistic about such things, I finally landed on Marc Jacobs nude lipstick in Role Play. And to be honest, I’m really impressed with his line in general — it’s not some gimmicky collection that’s expensive for no reason. That said, it isn’t cheap, but it’s MJ and he did so much of the work curating these gorgeous colors anyway so you’re also paying for talent…and beautiful packaging. I’d guess this works on most skin tones, but let me know if you try it and what you think. And Ladies, further proof that when the time is right, the perfect one will come along (yes, I did make a greater life metaphor out of lipstick).
Anyway, tell me what new, fun stuff you’ve been using and we can slumber party.