Sun Kissed

So given the beautiful weather we’ve been dealing with here in New England (UGH) and my increasingly white winter “glow”, I thought I would share some of my top finds in the sunless tanner department.  The trick to self tanner is using it subtly so that you don’t turn out looking like La Lohan.  While there are several ways you can go wrong using sunless tanning products, they have come a long way and now there are some great options which give you just enough of a boost to avoid the winter blues and premature aging at the same time.

Sunless Tanner - Prep

With sunless tanner comes exfoliating.  First of all, you don’t want to have those God awful streaks we’ve all experienced (first hand or otherwise) and secondly, it will help absorb the color more thoroughly by eliminating dead skin cells.  Not to mention, you should be doing this regularly anyways. The Modern Friction face exfoliator by Origins is like a micro-dermabrasion without the cost ($38.50 people!). While you should only use it a couple of times a week, it does not damage or micro-tear the skin like the very popular, St. Ives Apricot Scrub, which we all had learned to love (think again!).  The Origins Salt Rub is like your very own spa treatment in the shower between the smell and texture – heavenly!  You can use it every day or a few times a week depending on your preference (and time), and you will notice after one use how soft it makes your skin.  Make sure to towel off completely before applying any of the below products and do not, I repeat, do not, put on other lotions prior.  Ok, moving on…

Sunless Tanner - Face

Alright ladies, now we have a few options when it comes to the face as I know a lot of people are hesitant (myself included) to put on anything semi-permanent on the mug.  The first, Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, which by the way I am aware is extremely well-known (not trying to reinvent the wheel here), but still worth mentioning, adds great coverage for winter while also giving you a natural glow which is unmatched from other tinted moisturizers.  Next stop – Sisley Sun Glow Gel.  Sure, it’s a bit of a splurge (at $92), but mixed with a little of your every day lotion, provides a natural glowing bronzed complexion, which you don’t get from a tinted moisturizer.  Think more of a sheer tone vs. matte coverage.  Moving on, the Clarins Instant Tanning Gel is the absolute best semi-permanent option, which is the closest to the discontinued Bobbi Brown Sunless Tanning Gel (gone but not forgotten…) that I have been able to find.  The thick consistency makes it fool-proof and I have yet to see a streak.  The color usually lasts for a few days and is a great pick-me-up after looking in the mirror to see Casper staring back at you (story of my life).

Sunless Tanner - Body

I am letting you in on a secret here…Prtty Peaushun.  You know how every model and actress seem to be glowing from head to toe in every photograph and you just convince yourself that they were blessed with a gene that the rest of the population was not?  Well, after reading this little post on Molly Sims blog, I realized they’ve been hiding something from us for all of these years.  Look no further!  Glowing toned skin is here.  While the name is a bit confusing, you can get your hands on it here for $39 (I like to think a little goes a long way) and avoid mistyping it into Google.  Ok now, I don’t even know how to begin on the St. Tropez gradual tan lotion, because it is an absolute miracle worker.  You can put it on in the morning and it smells AMAZING and gives you a lasting bronzed all over glow, I would categorize this as a must-buy.   The “tan” lasts about a week and fades like a natural tan…you’re welcome!  For a little bit of a riskier tan without the sun, Clarins Liquid Bronze Self-Tanning is very affective and gives you a very natural looking tan without being overbearing.  You definitely need to be more careful given the light texture of the lotion, but as long as you exfoliate and take your time applying, you will love the results!

Hope this brightened your day!  A vacation to St. Tropez would still be better, but I will take what I can get…

XOXO
Meg

A Day in the Life: Molly

Molly

Mols
Current City: Manhattan, Upper West Side
Job: Associate, Corporate Services Real Estate Group at Goldman Sachs
Fave Food: “I pretty much like all types of food except for Pork Chops (strange I know). My ultimate favorite is probably mexican food (2 beef burritos, rice & refried beans with a small side of queso and lots of chips and guacamole. Frozen margarita with salt.”
Favorite TV Show: “The Bachelor. My favorite season was probably “On the Wings of Love” with Jake because he kept keeping things interesting by picking Vienna. It is the worst but best TV out there! OH and HOMELAND OBVI.”
Drink of Choice: “Iced Coffee with Skim and 3 Splenda’s. Any flavored Seltzer. Recently I’ve been having a glass of milk with dinner and its been a nice little change.”
Ideal Date: “Going to Francisco’s on 68th and Columbus to grab pizza, in sweatpants of course, and then going to see a movie.  We just saw Lincoln, Argo and Silver Linings Playbook and loved all of them!”
Favorite NYC Spots: St. Patrick’s Cathedral (“where we got engaged!”); “And pretty much everywhere in NYC except for Penn Station, Herald Square and Times Square.” – COULDN’T AGREE MORE MOL!
Favorite Subway: 2 Train
Favorite Department Store: Saks
Favorite Scent: Bobbi’s Party by Bobbi Brown
Favorite Breakfast Food: Blueberry Pancakes with Sausage Links
Current Nail Polish: OPI Lincoln Park After Dark

A Day in Molly’s Life:

5:15am-5:35am – Wake Up; “I put my cell phone alarm on loud and it has to be across the room from me to make sure I actually get out of bed to turn it off. Get my gym clothes on. Brush my teeth quick and have some multivitamins – Vitafusion Multivites Gummy Vitamins and allergy pills because I get sinus infections at the drop of a hat.”

5:40am-6:30am – “Go down to the gym in my building and start to wake up by turning the speed up on the treadmill.”

6:30am-7:00am – “Shower and get dressed as quickly as I can. I have to lay out my clothes the night before so it speeds up the process a little bit. I usually wear a suit or a dress everyday. Not many ways to make a suit look “cute” and could never quite figure out how the J. Crew models made it look so fashionable in the catalogues.”

Products: “I love any and all product and I usually have a lot of things in my rotation but my most recent obsession is my Clarisonic that I got for Christmas – I have never had such clear and smooth skin. I usually do it once or twice a day depending on if I have charged it the night before but its my favorite and I would recommend it to everyone!  In the shower I use Biolage shampoo and conditioner but I like to buy small bottles because I like switching up the brand.  In my opinion the best body wash is Aveeno body wash in “calming lavender”.  Neutrogena naturals fresh cleaning and make up remover (in the morning) and Trish McEvoy face wash (at night).  Also swear by Ole Henriksen “Ultimate Eye Lift Eye Gel Roll on“, Ole Henriksen, “Truth Serum” and Origins “A Perfect World“. I switch up my body cream daily, but some of my favorites are: Laura Mercier in “Fresh Fig“, Clarins “Moisture Rich Body Lotion“.

7:05am –  “Head out the door to grab the 1 Train to the 2 Train and then either the PATH to Exchange Place or the Ferry from World Financial Center to Paula’s Hook. I’ve been taking the ferry lately because its been such a nice way to start the day on a boat. Usually grab an iced coffee at a place along the way and maybe a veggie drink if I really need to wake up.”

8:00am – “Sit down at my desk – we don’t have assigned seats at work so I try to switch it up and pick a new seat every day.”

8:00am-8:25am – “I eat breakfast at my desk – usually a yogurt from home and I check emails.”

8:30am-9:30am – Internal Meeting

9:30am-10:30am – Check emails

11:00am-12:00pm – “Jump back on the ferry to Manhattan for a meeting at one of our properties to discuss marketing and PR opportunities.”

12:30pm – “Head back to Jersey City and pick a new seat again…”

12:45pm-1:00pm – “Go down to the cafeteria and grab a salad and go back up and eat at my desk.”

1:00pm-6:30/7:00pm – “Respond to emails and usually have a couple smaller internal meetings or conference calls.”

7:00pm – “Head home and pick up something for dinner along the way.”

8:00pm – “Get home eat, watch NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams”

9:30pm/10:00pm – HIT THE HAY; “Before bed I usually put on Ole Henriksen “Truth Serum” I also like Lancome “Genefique” serum and before bed and in the winter months twice a week I will put on Origins “Drink Up Intensive“, L’Occitane hand cream “Mango flower“, Carmax lip balm, and Ole Henriksen “Ultimate Eye Lift“.  In Sephora I typically gravitate to any product that says “lift, tighten or smooth”.” – AMEN SISTER!

Thanks Mol!  Now I realize why we are such good friends… product obsessed and Mexican food lovers.  Even after living with you for so many years, I still find this interesting!  I love your tendency to mix things up.  After all, change leads to happiness!  (Has anyone seen the Happy Movie? So good!)  Even things as little as mixing up moisturizer is something worth trying!  Do it peops!  Also, I must say, for all of you thinking What?! She’s up at 5:30am everyday to workout? Mol is one of the most disciplined people I have ever known and is definitely a great example for the rest of us!  As Ben Franklin puts it, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a [wo]man healthy, wealthy and wise.”  I need to start repeating that one in the morning as I hit snooze

How was everyone’s weekends?!  This is my last week as a 26 year old and I can’t really believe it!

XOXO

PS – Mol is my bestie from the famous Wedding of the Year

A Day in the Life: Hillary

Hillary

Age: 27
Current City:  East Village, NYC
Hometown: Garden City, NY
Job:  Pre-K Teacher in NYC
Nickname: Hil
Beauty Secret: a good nights sleep
Favorite Restaurant: Via Della Pace in the East Village
Fave Food: “My mom’s mac and cheese, deli sandwiches, and salt and pepper potato chips.”
(Wearing: Zara top, J.Crew pants)

A DAY IN HILLARY’S LIFE

6:30am – Wake up, make Dunkin Donuts hazelnut coffee, wash face, use Origins Purifying tonic, brush teeth, moisturize my face with Olay regenerist and apply Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer (“I shower at night because I don’t like to get into my bed without being clean and working with kids all day I feel like I am covered in germs by the end of the day!”)

6:50am – Chug water followed by first cup of coffee of the day while making a sandwich for lunch (maple turkey and swiss on rye bread); “For breakfast I usually make myself egg whites with cheese if I have time or grab a Kind or Luna bar at the deli near work.”

7:00am – “Sit on my bed for longer than I should staring into my closet trying to figure out what to wear.  Rush to put something on and get out the door.”

7:20am – Walk to the subway.

8:00am – Arrive at work, eat breakfast, fill up a big water bottle and start setting up classroom.  “Mornings are not as academic and more so just fun things for the kids to do as they trickle in from 8:15 till 9:00.  So I usually put out art supplies, some dry erase markers and boards for writing practice (we are working on proper pencil grip at this age), playdough (builds fine motor skills), puzzles and trains.  The morning “free play” promotes social skills and may not look it, but is a very important time of the day!”

8:15am – “The chaos begins as kids start to come in. Blast Disney station on Pandora to drown out the siren/shooting noises the boys make! Greet the kids, talk to parents, depending on my mood….play with the kids.” – I can’t imagine the patience you must have!

9:00am – “The kids clean up and we all sit down for “Circle Time”. This is when we all sit in a circle on the carpet and talk about the day, put up the date on the calendar sing the days of the week song (to the tune of the Adams Family song), and read the morning message which is a letter that I write to them each morning on a Smartboard. I’ll leave out letters that they have to come up and fill in.  Right now we are practicing for our Thanksgiving show (we need a lot of work) so we practice the lines to that!”

9:30am – “Work with the kids in small groups called “centers” where they work on math, writing, phonics and fine motor skills.”

10:00am – Have hour break while kids are in Greek lesson; go out to get a coffee and go up to friends classroom to chat

11:45am – Kidz Bop dance party (“class favorite is Call Me Maybe“)

12:00pm– “Eat lunch with the kids as they ask me what I’m eating and why.  They don’t seem to understand that their teachers are real humans too.”

2:00pm – “On nice days we will go outside to a courtyard down the block from my school. I teach the kids games like tag, stuck in the mud, red light/green light, and sharks and minnows.” – I would like to propose doing this on nice days at my job…

2:45pm – Dismissal; say good-bye to the kids and organize classroom/prep for the next day

3:30pm – Teach a cooking class for the after school program.

4:30pm – Leave work and go home; usually stop to do some errands on the way

6:00pm – “Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen but go to my favorite class at the gym (Cardio sculpt at NYSC).”

7:00pm – Shower; cook dinner (usually something involving pasta)

9:00pm – Hang out with my roommates and watch Bravo – I think Bravo has been in every female’s average day!

10:00pm – Brush teeth and get into bed, “It usually takes me about 2 minutes to fall asleep.  I’m a really great sleeper!”

Thanks Hil!  Now I want to be a teacher!  I don’t know about you all, but it’s amazing how different my day is from Hil’s!  As a teacher you really have no down time, especially if you’re chasing around Pre-K kids!  It’s like work combined with babysitting!  I am tired just thinking about it.  I have always thought about teaching and wondered if I would be good at it or not.  Unlike most jobs, it is rewarding, but it really does take a lot of patience, planning and hard work.  What do you think?  Could you see yourself as a teacher?

How was everyone’s weekends?  Yesterday I spent all day biking around NYC and Brooklyn and it was absolutely awesome!  So happy it’s a short week!

XOXO

A Day in the Life: Emilie

And the moment you’ve all been waiting for………

Juuust kidding.  But like I promised, today I am introducing a weekly feature called “A Day in the Life” which I will publish every Monday going forward.  The feature will illustrate a typical day in the life of a select person.  This person may be another blogger, a close friend, the President – who knows!  The main purpose is to get a glimpse into another’s life and hopefully, you will be unexpectedly entertained (and perhaps inspired).

The idea spurred from a conversation with friends on the differences in people’s daily routines – all the way from what you eat for breakfast down to how you get into bed at night (you’d be surprised how many ways people climb into the sack).  I have always found it interesting to learn about other people, which is probably why I love documentaries and the articles in US Weekly on a celeb’s daily regimen (dare I admit it).  While it’s a fairly simple concept, people’s differences are interesting.  So, with that said, here I give you my first ever “A Day in the Life” post.

Emilie

(pronounced Emily)

Background: my childhood friend of 25 years
Age: 27
Current City:  New York, NY
Hometown:  South Shore of MA
Job:  Finance
Nickname: “EmSull”
Beauty secret:  5-6 bottles of water daily
Favorite food:  anything salty, but mostly chips with hummus and pizza
Ideal date: drinking beer and eating bar food at a local pub then going home to watch a movie (think: Taken) – get in line fellas!
 (Wearing: AG Jeans, Anthropologie vest, Frye boots, Ann Taylor sweater, Michele watch, Ray Ban sunglasses)

 

A DAY IN EMILIE’S LIFE

6:45am – get up and shower

6:55am – splash face with cold water (a morning de-puffer!), brush teeth, get back into bed and check work emails on phone

7:05am – get up, towel dry hair, apply Ole Henriksen serum, Lancome pearl eye cream and Origins tinted moisturizer (on my recommendation!)

7:10am – blow dry & flat iron hair

7:25am – apply makeup (here’s what’s in Em’s makeup bag: Sarra cover up, NARS bronzer in Laguna, Dior shimmer powder in amber diamond, NARS black eye liner, Dior Show mascara, Chanel rouge allure extrait de gloss shade #51)

7:35am – get dressed, grab snack for afternoon (typically: string cheese or cottage cheese)

7:40am – out the door to walk to the subway

8:00am – arrive at work, get a bottle of water and a bowl of cereal from kitchen (Special K, Life or Honey Bunches of Oats), check email

9:00am – get a coffee from the kitchen (Green Mountain hazelnut, black), more work (whatever that entails)

10:30am – handful of almonds or unsalted peanuts (which are kept at her desk)

12:00pm – grab a half-sandwich from Pret-A-Manger: chicken and bacon or chicken mozzarella baguette (because she has a fast metabolism, Emilie prefers to eat several small meals throughout the day – girlfriend, it’s working!)

12:30pm – eat lunch, back to work, consume 3-4 bottles of water

3:00pm – grab a small snack: cottage cheese, string cheese or 100-calorie pack of pretzels

5:00/5:30pm – subway home

5:45pm – arrive home, change into gym clothes and toast a half a whole wheat Arnold sandwich thin with crunchy peanut butter

6:00pm – go to SoulCycle or the gym: use weight machines (leg press, bicep curls, tricep extensions, seated rows) and because Emilie doesn’t like to run, she alternates 2 minutes of walking/3 minutes of running on treadmill for 30 mins

7:00pm – arrive home, hop in the shower

7:30pm – pour a glass of wine (Cabernet in the winter, chardonnay in the summer) and make dinner; dinner typically consists of whole wheat pasta and grilled asparagus (grill asparagus in EVOO until almost brown, once pasta is done, throw the asparagus in the pot and add a little more EVOO, a spoonful of goat cheese and a spoonful of pesto and mix until melted)

8:00pm – hang with the roomies, watch tv (Friends, Modern Family or Nashville) [sidenote #1: EmSull is the biggest Friends fanatic you will ever meet]

9:30pm – have 2 pieces of dark chocolate and clean up kitchen

10:00pm – brush teeth and wash face with Aveeno or Neutrogena microbead cleanser (exfoliate twice a week with Clarins exfoliator), apply Ole Henriksen serum, and Nuskin eye cream

10:15/10:30pm – climb into bed (I wonder how she does it?), check email and apply L’occitane hand cream [sidenote #2: she has the softest hands I’ve ever felt (creepy?), I may have to pick up some of this stuff]

So what did you think?  Even having known Em for 25 years, I find this so interesting!  I love the fact that she has a glass of wine every night to unwind -girl after my own heart.  I’m more of a three square meals a day kind of gal, but I’m thinking maybe I should look into the small meals throughout the day thing.  I have heard it’s a good way to jumpstart your metabolism.  How do your days compare?  Do you tend to be a creature of habit or do you try to mix it up?

Hope you all had nice weekends and a great start to the week!

XOXO

Product Junkie

Man do I love my products!  While I try to branch out by buying different eyeshadow colors, lipsticks, etc., I tend to stick with the same makeup routine day after day, but I think it’s worth sharing!  So here are my beauty go-tos:

Sense a theme here?

1. NARS Corfu cream shadow, NARS Red Square lip pencil

2. Essie nail polish in Clam Bake

3. NARS eye liner in Kyoto, NARS bronzer in Laguna (this is a MUST BUY – works on almost everyone), NARS blush in Orgasm, Great Lash Mascara in Blackest Black (oldie but a goodie), NARS eyeshadow primer, NARS Earth Angel eyeshadow

I have green eyes and medium skin, but the NARS Laguna bronzer and Orgasm blush seem to be universally flattering (when experimenting on my friends).  The Kyoto eye liner is a great alternative to basic black or brown.  Kyoto is a green color with hints of gold and looks great on all eyes but especially green, hazel and brown.  NARS Earth Angel eyeshadow duo is by far my fave of the eyeshadow duos.  The earthy tones bring out the color of your eyes and can be worn for day or night.  To make sure the shadow lasts all day and night I use the NARS eyeshadow primer beforehand, which helps to avoid creasing and enhances the color of the shadow.  When it comes to mascara, I don’t care what people say – I am sticking to Great Lash!  I really don’t think any other mascara compares and I have been using it since highschool and it hasn’t done me wrong!  Save the $20 and go to CVS.  For night, I usually dab NARS Corfu, a gold shimmery cream shadow, on my inner eyes for a little bling and if I’m feeling really adventurous, I skip the Corfu and do a red lip with the NARS Red Square pencil.

While the above stays relatively stable, my lotions and potions tend to vary, and I love to exchange knowledge with fellow junkies.  So tell me, what is your day and nighttime routine in the lotions and potions department!?  Here are my top picks:

In order:  Fash wash, toner, eye cream, vitamin C serum, anti-aging serum, tinted moisturizer, anti-aging moisturizer, night lotion

I am always surprised by the number of people who don’t use lotion.  I might be an extreme case,  but I have been using lotion ever since I was little.  Every morning, I lather up head to toe and if I don’t my skin feels tight and uncomfortable.  Maybe I’m crazy, but I have dry skin and a serious fear of getting wrinkles (SPF4 for most of my life hasn’t paid off…should’ve listened to my mom).  SO because of these factors, I have a love for trying new products and figuring out which ones work best.  Don’t get me wrong, I do not use all of the above on a daily basis, but when I do, I swear I look ten years younger…

JUSTTT kidding.  But they really do help!  My daily routine is typically wake up, workout, shower/wash face, then apply toner with cotton pads (new addition), Ole-Henriksen serum and Origins tinted lotion (or regular lotion if I don’t want any coverup).  Because my skin is dry, the Origins woman suggested this “treatment lotion” toner, which not only brings your PH balance back to normal, but also retains moisture which makes your regular serum and moisturizers work better.  I had never used toner until about a week ago, but I really have noticed a difference in my skin and the glow it gives you, which is always appreciated as the tan starts to fade (at a rapid pace).  The Ole-Henriksen serum is a collagen boosting product, which means it noticeably fills fine lines and wrinkles and also helps your lotion and makeup absorb and stay put.  As an alternative, the Skinceuticals vitamin C and CE Ferulic serums do unbelievable things to your skin in terms of tightening, brightening and filling lines, but I have been milking a trial size for a while now because they are a bit expensive (hence the reason it’s not in my daily routine).  However, if you’re willing to dish out the dough, I think Skinceuticals is definitely worth every penny!  Next on the list, the Origins VitaZing lotion with Mangosteen.  Ohhh, the love I have for this little white tube of perfection.  I have tried other tinted moisturizers, like the famous Laura Mercier version, but for some reason could not find a match with my skin (maybe it’s the freckles).  Finally, when I tried a sample of this Origins version, I nearly cried tears of joy.   The lotion is very light but hydrating and appears off-white with little brown microbeads in your palm, but then somehow blends in and finds the perfect tone to match your skin.   I don’t know how they do it.  I don’t ask any questions.  But I am telling you, you need to go out and buy this product!  Now I sound like a used car salesman… but seriously, trust me on this one!  It makes skin look even and polished without looking cakey or streaked.  It also makes your bronzer and makeup look better.

Allure

Moving onnnn, when I don’t want any “tint” I use the Origins Perfect World lotion, which literally feels like a cold mud facial and has SPF 25 to boot.  The texture is so soothing it brings a smile to my face and the scent (as with most Origins products) is out of this world (pun intended).  When it comes to eye cream, I always tend to forget to put it on, but when I do, I love the Kiehl’s avocado based cream, for it’s refreshing, dewy formula, which is delicate enough for your sensitive eye area but still packs a punch (to get rid of oncoming wrinkles).  Last but certainly not least, NIGHT-A-MINS!  The smell, is again – delectable, and the product moisturizes and recovers like no other.   You definitely shouldn’t use this if you have oily skin, but for combination or dry skin it’s a must have!

Now that I have bored you with every detail of my daily skin regimens (can you tell this topic excites me?), tell me what you do on a daily basis?  What are your top makeup and lotion finds?  Where do you shop for your makeup and skin care?

XOXO

PS – While we’re on the subject, I am in the market for a new perfume – any suggestions?