What: Take it off! Soy based nail lacquer remover sheets
When: Last night, when I noticed how chipped my manicure was
Where: I found these in my medicine cabinet – they came with a previous order from the NCLA website
Why: When my standard nail polish remover simply would not remove the polish from my nails, I decided to give one of these sheets a try. Not only did it quickly and easily remove my polish, it was also a pleasure to use. No harsh stinky chemicals. It wasn’t sopping wet and my hands didn’t smell like remover all night. I just gently massaged the sheet over each nail and the polish is completely gone. I immediately went to the website to order more, but sadly didn’t see any in stock. I did find a bottle of this soy based remover, though – and it’s currently on sale for $4!
When: For a special event or anytime you want to feel like you have your act together.
Where: I picked up a package that included 36 nails (six were accent nails) at Walgreens.
Why: I really like the look of gel manicures but I don’t like to spend a lot of time or money on my nails. For less than $10 and about as many minutes, I was able to give myself a fun, glossy manicure that didn’t require any drying time and that stayed put for five full days (my friend’s lasted seven, but I was particularly hard on my hands when I had them on). Pro tip: I find most press on nails to be too long and square for my taste – I prefer a shorter and more rounded tip for a more natural look. After I applied the nails I used a regular nail trimmer to cut and shape the nails – the file that came with the kit didn’t work for me. I received tons of compliments on my manicure and people were surprised to learn they were fake. I’ll definitely buy these again.
Why: This unbelievably silky lip balm completely rescued my severely chapped (as in cracked and bleeding) lips in just two days. It is flavorless, has an extremely fresh and pleasant spearmint scent, and broad spectrum SPF 15. Go buy yourself a three pack and share one with your best friend (or your sister, which is how I ended up with one – thanks Linds!).
Who: Osmia Organics What: Best Lip Balm When: My lips are cracked or extra dry Where: In my bed Why: This natural lip balm – containing shea butter, pumpkin seed oil, lanolin and beeswax – goes on so light and smooth that you almost don’t even notice it’s there. But swipe it onto dry, cracked lips before bed and come morning cracks will be repaired and your silky smooth kiss will be restored. The best part? It doesn’t bother the sensitive, breakout-prone skin around my mouth. This balm will be a trusted friend in the winter months ahead!
Who: Clarins What: Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in shade 01 When: Constantly Where: In my car, at my desk, in the bathroom, in the kitchen… Why: This moisturizing gloss does just what it says it will do – it makes my lips look naturally perfect. A cross between a gloss and a balm, it adds a lovely hint of color, fills in fine lip lines, softens, smells fantastic and adds just a touch of shine. I just plain feel pretty when I wear this. And that’s what gloss is all about!
Who: Boscia What: Super Cool De-Puffing Eye Balm When: In the morning, at night, various other times throughout the day Where: In my bed, bathroom, living room, car… Why: This little cutie (it comes in an adorable little blue tube) has become my best friend and greatest beauty obsession; one day I threw an all-out tantrum and sent out a search party when I momentarily misplaced my little buddy. The name says it all: the smooth balm delivers an icy cool sensation as it glides around the eye area, almost instantly de-puffing while also brightening dark circles and invigorating your senses. With regular use it is making a noticeable difference in my dark circles, but I really love its fast-acting formula. You can see a dramatic decrease in puffiness and darkness almost immediately. And it feels so good – the refreshing cooling sensation is a little addictive. The best part? You can take it with you and smooth some on throughout the day whenever you feel you (or your eyes) need a pick-me-up; it won’t mess up your makeup and it’ll wake you up, all while brightening your eyes.
Who: Bath & Body Works
What: Creamy Body Wash
When: Around the time that days get shorter and temps get frosty
Where: In the shower
Why: I’m a big fan of any product that makes my life easier, and this foamy body wash does just that. The thick cream wash lathers luxuriously to gently clean your body from neck to toe. It leaves skin fresh, lightly scented, and much softer than the average body wash or bar of soap. So much softer, in fact, that you can get away with skipping your post-shower slathering of lotion. Of course you don’t have to skip it, and in the dead of winter your skin will thank you for giving it a one-two punch of moisture. This skin saver comes in a wide array of scents to suit your every mood; my favorites are Cherry Blossom and Coconut Lime Breeze.
Who: John Frieda What: Root Awakening Lift + Refresh Root Spray When: I don’t have the time (or inclination) to heat style my hair Where: My bathroom; on vacation; wherever I left my comb Why: Sometimes, it’s just too hot, or I’m just too busy, or, let’s be honest here, I simply don’t feel like taking the time to blow dry and style my hair. In the peak of summer it’s often advised that we product junkies throw in the metaphorical towel on trying to beat our hair into submission and instead embrace a more natural and laid-back approach to beauty. We’ve all read the articles, each insisting that it is perfectly acceptable to run out of the house with little more than a smear of sunblock and a swipe of lip balm. I’ve never quite been able to achieve that level of minimalism, but I do like to tone it down a bit when the ever-rising temperatures render even the slightest attempt to look “put together” completely futile. And now, thanks to this delightfully refreshing root spray, I may be able to tone it down and look put together, even in 90% humidity. I simply aim a few spritzes of the cooling mist right at my roots, scrunch them up a bit, and then comb what’s left through the rest of my hair. The result? Air-dried hair that has lasting lift and fewer fly-aways.
Who: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare What: Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel When: Every Saturday night Where: My bed Why: This fast-acting, two-step at-home peel will completely change your skin, in a matter of minutes. Unlike other at-home peels, where you’re left peering at yourself in the mirror, trying to identify microscopic improvements to your complexion, there’s no mistaking what this one will do for you. I use it once a week, and am left with the softest, smoothest skin and a natural glow that lasts for days – I often actually leave the house on Sunday mornings without a stitch of makeup – and get complimented on my skin. The Alpha Beta peel is safe for sensitive skin, minimizes pores, smooths wrinkles, calms redness and evens skin tone. Basically, it does everything we want a skincare product to do – in three minutes. I follow it up with a generous layer of Philosophy Miracle Worker moisturizer. My skin has never looked better.