Travel Cosmetics Kit – Update

Well, I never found my perfectly curated set of travel cosmetics, and in the end, I had to replace it all.

I was harboring a secret fantasy up until yesterday that I’d left them at a hotel where I don’t stay often, and that all I’d have to do is go back there and ask if they were in the Lost and Found.

I did.

They weren’t.

I was able to replace everything but my favorite travel item – a Bobbi Brown palette with corrector, concealer, foundation and powder – was no longer available from QVC (or Bobbi Brown, or anywhere for that matter), although I found one from another seller on Amazon.

The rest I ordered directly from Bobbi Brown.

I absolutely love getting new make up, especially unboxing all of the tiny packages, so it was a real treat to find this package waiting for me last Friday.

Here’s the haul:

Bobbi generously included many free samples, so what I got was considerably more than I’d ordered. Score!

I re-purposed an old bag from Aerin Cosmetics for my new stash.

Aerin also makes some great palettes, although they are more for color than skin correction.

Here is the “Weekday palette,” which retails for $70.

Aerin Beauty is seriously hard to find in stores, but I’ve always liked everything I’ve tried. The gold packaging is also super luxe; all of the compacts close with a really satisfying click. 

I also recently tried Glossier for the first time.

This brand has so much buzz; I’ve checked it out several times but never found something that hit the tipping point for buying.

After watching several YouTube Glossier reviews and tutorials, I finally decided to try their Generation G matte lipstick. 

Picking a color wasn’t easy, even with helpful videos on Glossier’s site showing the colors in action.

“Like” was a color described as your-lips-but-better, and that seemed to be a good bet. “Crush” initially seemed too bright but many reviews said the color is really subtle and buildable, so I ordered them both.

Although this normally wouldn’t have caught my eye, one reviewer mentioned the heavenly lavender scent of Priming Moisturizer Rich, which was enough for me to put it in my basket. 

The final two items I ordered were Milky Jelly cleanser and a highlighter known as the “Haloscope.” 

My thoughts on Glossier:

  • The matte lipsticks are so-so. I’m not crazy about the formula and “Like” is practically invisible on me. “Crush” can bleed and get unattractively clumped on any dry areas, leading to a patchy look. The two colors mixed together seem to provide the best results.
  • The Priming Moisturizer Rich is terrific. It’s heavy, but that’s exactly what my skin needs in this cold weather. It sinks in quickly and the scent is really nice. At $35, it’s also a relative bargain for moisturizer of this quality.
  • Full disclosure: I haven’t tried the Milky Jelly Cleanser yet. I just didn’t get around to it.
  • The Haloscope provides a really pretty glow without too much sparkle, but I often forget to put it on. I didn’t like it enough for it to make my travel kit.

My one complaint – and this is in direct contrast to the super luxe packaging from Aerin – is that Glossier’s packaging seems cheap, especially the matte lipsticks.

The plastic tubes are thin, don’t close well and definitely lack a satisfying click with closure.

They remind me of a gift-with-purchase lipstick freebie, in terms of quality.






Bobbi Brown Party Prep Set

Bobbi Brown already released her 2016 Holiday Gift Guide.

This Party Prep Set is a particularly good deal:


Screenshot from

What’s included:

  • Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm (1.0 oz./ 30ml) Full size!
  • Mini Radiance Boost Mask (15ml)
  • Lip Balm SPF 15 (.5oz/ 15g) Full size!
  • Mini Extra Hand Cream (15ml)
  • Hydrating Eye Cream (6ml)

Considering that the Extra Illuminating Balm ($65) and Lip Balm ($22) are both products I use every day, their combined cost alone makes this set a deal at $85. Overall, these items have a value of $141. Get yours now!

Cosmetics Edit – Old Friends

Yesterday I posted about my closet edit, creating a summer tee and tank capsule wardrobe.

Since I’ve been in a shop-my-own-closet mindset, I next turned my attention to my huge collection of beauty freebies and pilfered hotel toiletries.


So, yeah, I never met a tiny shampoo that I didn’t like.

I’ve been steadily using up all of my stash, and in the process I re-discovered some old favorites.

Mini shower gels are probably my most-hoarded products, and this Red Flower Ocean Purifying Body Wash is fabulous but nearly unicorn-difficult to come by.

Fortunately, H20 Plus’ Sea Salt Body Wash is similar enough, and -score! – it’s copiously available on Disney Cruises, where I’ve managed to acquire a formidable stash.



Lately I’ve also been loving this Revision Intellishade Matte SPF45 tinted moisturizer.


I was lucky enough to recently get several small samples, and I’m hooked. Seriously, this stuff is great. The high SPF is a huge bonus, too. I’m halfway through my samples and torn between ordering a full-sized tube and keeping the samples for travel or just carrying on with the shop-my-closet program and using up the minis.

Two re-discovered (unexpired) lipsticks also are getting heavy rotation. The first is Dubai by Susan Posnick and the second is Blue Raspberry by Bobbi Brown. These are both perfect neutrals.

DubaiSmall bluerasp

The last re-discovered gem is this One Love Organics Neroli Body Serum.


The citrus-y scent is nice for summer and the texture provides sheen.

Overall, shopping my closet has been a fun experiment and using-rather-than-losing-out feels satisfying.




Limited Edition – Bobbi Brown Girl Rising

I’ve been posting a lot of Bobbi Brown lately, but that’s because she keeps bringing out great new products.

This is right up my alley:


All images from Bobbi Brown’s website


This is the limited edition Pretty Powerful Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks.

From the website:

Pretty with a purpose—introducing Bobbi’s best-selling, multi-tasking lip and cheek formula in limited edition Pretty Powerful Pink. As part of our Pretty Powerful Campaign, we’ll donate 100% of the $27 purchase price to the Girl Rising Fund.

Girl Rising is a campaign to help educate girls around the world and break the cycle of poverty. Have you seen their moving documentary?

Also new from Bobbi Brown are these pretty Cheek Palettes in Pink, Calypso and Berry.

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It’s hard to decide which one is the prettiest.

Each contains a neutral shade, a bright and a sparkly highlighter.

These make me wish for spring!

One More Thing, #20

A few random things from the past week:

  • Trixie turned five! How did that happen? One of her gifts was this unicorn backpack, which she promptly gave a haircut. You can’t see what would be the unicorn’s flowing pink mane, but I’m sure you can imagine its current state. This unicorn’s now ready to report to Marine boot camp.


  • This is how I still think of her.

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  • Ok, switching gears here, but this five-in-one hair treatment is absolutely awesome. It does a lot, which makes it perfect for traveling or the gym. A dime-sized amount is more than enough.


  • Speaking of traveling, I had to piggyback another trip on to the one where I was running races last weekend. This was for work; destination Atlanta. I was thrilled to score an amazing all-glass room high in the sky above the city at this hotel. These pictures don’t do it justice. 

photo 1-2 photo 2 


  • My friend L. recently gifted me with this Love & Toast Honey Coconut Handcreme, which has a subtle but nice scent and a perfect, non-greasy texture. I used about half the tube already.


  • The last thing is one more picture from Sochi. My brother-in-law safely returned home from his Olympic adventure and sent one final picture of rock art, which I can’t seem to get enough of.


Clown Face

This time of year, magazines and style websites everywhere seem to give the same boring advice when it comes to glamming it up for holiday parties and such.

Sparkly earrings! A sequined clutch! A bright red lip!

Ok, a few thoughts:

One, I usually don’t dig getting realllly dressed up in the middle of the freezing Minnesota winter. It totally goes against my grain to consider wearing something like a halter top and strappy heels under a knee-length down parka, a scarf (or two), a hat and mittens – because sometimes all of your fingers need to huddle together when it’s too cold for gloves.

Even if you can relatively strip down at the event, there’s bound to be a gust of arctic air that causes goosebumps from time to time and let’s also be honest: exposing pasty, dry winter skin (or orange fake baked skin, even worse) to the whole world is just impolite.

Second, getting dressed for formal events just feels like Grown Up Prom. No thanks.

And finally, no matter how many times I’ve tried, I cannot do a bright lip. Especially red, a color I don’t like in the first place. Hot pink? Yes, I love hot pink. And I really want to love a hot pink lip, and trust me, I’ve tried.

And failed.

The most recent experiment was “Happy Ending (#116)” by Marc Jacobs:


Thank god I had the good sense to try it on at Sephora instead of plunking down $30 for something that would have quickly hit the trash can once I got home.

It’s just that every time I caught a glimpse of myself in the store mirror, I felt like a clown. A clown with whorish fuchsia lips.

So I’ll stick to gloss. I love lip gloss! And I have a sickening amount. As a resident, I was notorious for having 8 or so glosses stashed in my white coat at any given time. Stethoscope? Nope, sorry, I’ll have to borrow yours. Gloss? Check! Stat!

I’ll do separate post about my gloss affair in the future, but suffice it to say, my heart belongs to Bobbi Brown here, too. She makes so many great colors that it’s hard to pick a favorite, but right now “Pink Tulle” is it:


“Pink Tulle” High Shimmer Gloss from Bobbi Brown

The photo doesn’t do the color justice. It’s subtle and would look great on anyone. Even over bright lipstick!