I’ve found myself reaching for a lot of the same things time and time again over the last couple months. A lot of these things are new to me and a couple have been in my life long term. All are worth sharing! I might review a few of these things separately as well because just a simple write-up doesn’t quite do justice how important to my daily routine they have become!
🏻 READING: It’s always on trend. Being smart is cool. Reading for pleasure, reading to learn, reading for escapism, reading reading reading…do it! During the height of COVID I started reading more than I ever have in my life, and haven’t stopped my pace. I was reading a lot of self-improvement but have tried to shake it up and start reading a few books “for fun” in between books “for self-help” to keep a positive, and not so serious spin on my habit. I’ve really enjoyed Sasha Sagan’s For Small Creatures Such As We, which was my first read of 2023! I am drawn to books on spirituality and find her viewpoints fascinating. People of all cultures around the world, all religions, and no religions have much more in common than we could ever think! Pick this book up and expand your world view. I loved it! I’ve highlighted my copy, dog-eared it, and have plans to purchase a few to keep on hand to give for gifts. That’s how you know a book really moved you.
I’m starting to keep track of what I read on Goodreads. Feel free to follow/friend me there!
🏻 ALL THINGS HAIR: I don’t like to keep my hair in a messy bun all the time. I’m trying to put in some effort, and three awesome additions to my beauty routine have been making that effort easier AND striking interest in my kiddos. The first genius tool of mention is the CHI Lava Ceramic 1.5″ Hairstyling Iron. We all know that CHI products are the gold standard in heat tools…it’s just a fact that nothing comes close for quality. I have thick hair and a lot of it, so the 1.5″ wide Volcanic Lava Ceramic plates on the CHI Lava are next level. The wider width of the plates allow me to straighten larger sections of hair at once which significantly speeds up hair styling time. This one has just been a no brainer for me. Even if you don’t have a ton of hair, don’t you just want to speed up your styling time anyway? It just makes sense. Grab one on the CHI website or at Ulta.
And while you’re online shopping for all things hair…pick up this adorable no-heat styling tool, the Kitsch Satin Heatless Curling Set. I find this thing so adorable and fun to use. My kids are obsessed with it and my nieces loved receiving it for a gift recently. It takes a few times to get the hang of it but the curls are amazing with practice!
Headbands have also been my favorite thing in recent months. Wearing one is a super easy way to look put together in a flash. Some of my favorites are random ones I find at TJMax, but I’ve also bought numerous wrap headbands from EcoShag on Etsy.
🏻 BATH AND BODY: In 2020, I discovered the Rio Deo from Sol De Janeiro and bought 6 tubes! I gifted a few to friends because I like to spread the “favorite things” love, and kept the rest. I recently, finally, ran out. My local Sephora recently stopped carrying it, and though it’s still available online, I have two new ones in my rotation now: Megababe and Truly. I have loved the Rio Deo, so if those other two don’t work out, I know what I’ll be going back to!
I discovered Vicks VapoBath Crystals about a year ago, and I’ve become obsessed with taking baths ever since. I love the menthol eucalyptus vapors from these ones, but I also have a soft spot for all things Dr. Teals.
For some reason, I’ve always associated white strips for teeth with the OG brand that sold them- Crest. However, when I wanted to buy some a while back, I noticed they were hella expensive! I tried the off-brand version from Target and they worked great for a fraction of the price. They were around $15 vs. two or three times that price for a name brand. I’ve also tried Lumineux from Amazon with success, but it looks like they’ve raised their prices recently!
Moroccanoil Hair & Body Fragrance Mist was a fun discovery over the summer. I went on a girls trip to Stillwater for my friend’s bachelorette party, and bought one of these fragrance sprays for only $18 at the spa! The whole spa and our retreat house smelled like this while we were there, and I decided to gift myself one as a souvenir. I’ve gotten so much joy out of this little spray perfume, because it links me to happy memories. And honestly just the little $18 size has lasted forever and has been great for travel. To boot, it’s way cheaper than other fragrances that I love and smells high end to me.
🏻 MAKEUP: I caved and tried the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize in Oyster Pearl, which was a long time coming for me. I tend to have a wish-list cart at Sephora all the time and pull the trigger only when I feel like I deserve something really special. I can’t recall what I did to “earn” this one but I love it! The texture is whipped and it goes on creamy and somewhat sheer but you can build it up with a few layers. I’m so glad I found a cream shadow formula I like, so if/when CT comes out with more shades I like, I’ll know they’re a go for me!
I also fell in love with the ABH Rose Metals Palette, and it was a total impulse buy. These shades are perfection and embody everything I love about makeup. The shimmer, the shades of gold- rose, platinum, light gold, etc. Ahhhh I honestly bought this palette to fall in love with makeup again because I just wanted to play. I do something similar with my eye makeup almost every day, but I just love to play with it anyway. I rarely buy a new eyeshadow palette because I only have two eyes and so much makeup (!) but I couldn’t resist this one.
On the topic of eyes, I chucked a bunch of old eyeliners in the trash several months ago and went on a mission to find a formula I loved that would be budge-proof during the day but easy to remove at night, could be worn smudgy and not too precise, and something that came in the perfect, *chef’s kiss* shades. I am one to go around Ulta or Sephora and swatch every single matte brown eyeliner they have, compare the nuances of the shades, and then rub my hand and see which of them smear too easily. I think Lancome Drama Liqui-Pencil wins all the prizes for best formula and shades. I have at least a few of their pencils since this discovery, but I am missing *gasp* the purple. Purple is my lifelong favorite color so at some point I’ll have to nab that one. I exercised self-control and decided to wait until my Benefit Dark Purple is completely spent. That’s a great one too!
Maybelline Vinyl Ink lipsticks have stolen my heart this year, and I’m slowly collecting the shades that I like. Moody and Witty are my favorites at the moment. I saw the shade Awestruck (which I want!) on Allie Gline’s YouTube, where she claimed it as her favorite of the bunch, but the ONLY place I’ve been able to find that particular shade is at Ulta online. One of these days I’ll grab one for myself when I go to place an online order. In the meantime, I have plenty to play with and everyone I’ve told about them has grabbed a few shades and loved them as much as I do! People love their regular Matte Ink formula and the vinyl is a slightly glossy version of this which still stays bulletproof for the day yet somehow maintains a bit of shine? It’s amazing.
Phytosurgence is a new-to-me brand this year and I discovered them on some binge down the YouTube rabbit hole. As a high five to myself from myself for getting through summer college courses, I ordered myself some of their Skin Spark Toasted Blushes and they are SO GOOD. If you want to know more, you should honestly just go to Phytosurgence’s Instagram because the owners of this indie brand do such a nice job showing how these work on all skin tones and they only show unfiltered skin. I don’t think these shades are dupable by anything else out there, and they’re honestly just so nice. I’m really enjoying them and have an ever increasing wish-list of other items I’d love to try from their brand at some point.
Lastly, Laura Mercier Ultra-Blur Powder was brought to my attention at a bachelorette party this summer when another girl was using it, and I HAD to have it. It’s some sort of magic and I think a light coverage foundation topped with THIS is where it’s at for skin like mine – normal to dry-ish, aging, and just in kind of a weird place where makeup from my “youth” isn’t quite working for me anymore. This won’t crack or look cakey or anything like that on the skin…promise!
Welp, that’s all I’ve got. I wish people on the blogosphere, the ‘gram and YouTube would show more of what they use continuously over time…the oldies but goodies and some new things from time to time. But stuff they are really digging for daily and repurchasing with their own money over and over again. That’s the stuff I want to see! I can honestly say if anything of these things went missing or got used up, I would have to repurchase a new one right away.
If you have discovered something wonderful or share one of my favorites, leave a comment and tell me more! I always love connecting over cool things that like-minded people are into!