What to Pack for a Warm Weather Getaway

As much as I love living in the Midwest, the winters are harsh and I always look forward to spending the holidays with my family in Florida.  I can’t wait to trade-in my winter coat (which some have mistaken for an extreme-weather sleeping bag) for some flip-flops.  Since Thanksgiving I have been setting aside what I’ll be packing in excited anticipation of my trip.  Below is a list of what will be in my travel bag (while leaving room for some vacation shopping!) Are you heading someplace warm for the holidays?

 1. I’ve been wearing Toms shoes for years because I love how comfortable they are and it’s easy to justify buying a pair of shoes when your purchase helps someone in need!  I love the colors of this striped pair, which will look great with jean shorts and a tank or short sundress.

 2. I love being tan just as much as the next sun-worshipping gal, but is important to protect skin from damaging rays.  Clinique has great sunscreens for face and body that won’t clog pores or leave you feeling greasy.

 3. I’m glad the chambray shirt is making a comeback – it travels well and can be paired with anything. I’ll use it as a beach cover-up or tie it up over a maxi dress and add some bangles.

 4. I don’t like to wear a lot of make up when I’m on a vacation…skin needs a break too!  Korres Lip Butter in Jasmine is ultra-moisturizing and gives lips a natural-looking tint.

 5. I hate spending time blow-drying my hair – especially in hot climates when it’s just going to frizz up.  Bumble and Bumble’s Curl Conscious Reactivating Mist is a must-have for my travel case.  This spray works with hair’s natural wave to give soft curls. I just spritz it on damp ends and go, no heat or styling required!

 6. J. Crew knows what it’s doing when it comes to bikinis. Their shapes are classic and colors can easily be mixed and matched for a new look.  I love pairing their basic blues with printed styles I already own.

Noteworthy Obsession: Jasmine Beauty Products

Jasmine is a spiritual scent, known to relieve melancholy and have a soothing effect on the inner self. It can be intensely floral, and is so feminine. As the winter to spring transition takes place, I find myself clinging to the scent of jasmine. It’s powerful yet light and I think it is soothing my inner self. That, and the hot yoga I’ve been doing!

Here are some jasmine beauty products worth taking note of:

Pacifica California Jasmine Perfume Roll-on – This scent is everything you’d think with “California” in the name – it’s laidback and has a “I walk along the beach” vibe. The jasmine is more subdued here, woven in with driftwood and a pop of orange. I love the ease of the rollerball, and find that while it starts out strong it dries down to the softest scent almost immediately.  And I usually throw the solid version in my purse for touch-ups throughout the day.

NP Set Jasmine Body Lotion As if you needed another reason to love Target…well, here’s one. A giant tub (16.9 oz) of body lotion infused with jasmine essential oils, available for $14.99. This lotion has a lovely thick consistency but feels light as a feather on the skin. The jasmine scent is a little deeper and long-lasting on the skin. Days I use this, it doubles as my perfume.

Korres Jasmine Lip Butter – Korres Lip Butters are a constant staple in my beauty regimen. They soften my lips, and the Jasmine Lip Butter is the most perfect milky pink lip color. Plus, the scent, a vanilla jasmine, is to die. I can never get enough of this.

Oscar Blandi Olio Di Jasmine Shine Spray Oscar Blandi’s Jasmine collection is easily the best-smelling line of hair care on the market! It’s addictive, really. I use the Olio Di Jasmine Shine Spray to give my hair some shine (used sparingly, and not on the roots!), and  spritz it on just before a swipe of the flat iron. It keeps my hair healthy-looking and feeling, thanks to the Italian Olive Oil housed in the bottle. Did I mention how GOOD it smells?!

I think it’s fair to say I’ve developed a penchant for jasmine this spring. What’s your go-to signature for this time year? Any scents you’re loving?

Best of 2010: Our Favorite Bath, Body and Perfume Products

To wrap up our favorites of the past year, we’re going to take a look at a few of our favorite perfumes and bath and body products.

Korres Melon Shower Gel – This was a summer favorite of ours for its enchanting scent but stuck around as a favorite because of the formula. It’s packed with the good stuff, like aloe and vitamins A and E, and feels great on skin.

EOS Ultra Moisturizing Shave Cream – We’d all but abandoned shave cream until this wonder product from EOS came along. Admittedly, the packaging piqued our interest, but what’s inside is even better. It’s more like a shaving lotion and can be used wet or dry, irritation-free. Love this stuff!

Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia – Inspired by a walk in the orchard, this fragrance is so natural and inviting. It doesn’t reek of fruit either, it really strikes the perfect balance with every note. Laurie really has a true “product man” in her life — this fragrance was an anniversary gift from her husband in September.

Donna Karan IrisThis perfume was my summertime friend. It is fresh and vibrant and just all around a beautiful floral fragrance. Can I just say this? When it comes to fragrance, Donna Karan rarely gets it wrong.

Chloe Intense – Chloe released a few different perfumes last year but my favorite was an ramped version of their original Chloe perfume. I wrote about it back in April, I loved it then and I love it now even more in the winter. This rose note fragrance is so alluring and makes this gal feel a little more refined when she wears it.

Philosophy Eternal Grace – It was bound to happen… another “grace” scent from Philosophy. Eternal Grace goes in a different direction that the other fragrances in the series, this one has some citrus notes to it making it fresh and lighter than the others but still has some of that “grace” core that we have come to know and love… it is new but still familiar like an old friend.

What were your favorites perfumes and bath and body products from last year?

Have a Holly, Jolly – and Glossy – Holiday

One of my favorite gifts to give to the ladies in my life are lip gloss sets. They’re functional and fun — and the choices seem endless so you’re bound to find the perfect set for pretty much everyone. Here are a few of my top picks this year!

Benefit’s Triple the Glossy Set, exclusive to Ulta, is a serious great deal. For $18, you get three full-sized Ultra Shine Lip Glosses. Isn’t that amazing? Also amazing…the formula. They have a light fruity scent (apricot-lychee to be exact) and the gloss is so cushy. I’m obsessed with the middle shade shown above…Fresh Squeezed. It reminds me of NARS Orgasm a bit.

Senna’s Lip Pics Kit is adorable. Inside are five tiny glosses, and slots to hold pictures (or other papers, cards). While I like the idea of toting photos, they’re mostly all on my iPhone, so I like to toss this in my purse and use as an organizer for lists, business cards, notes and I think I even threw a few hair ties in there! Definitely a great gift idea.

I was a happy girl when I saw this addition to Korres Lip Butter line: Lip Butter in tube, glaze form.  You can purchase them individually, but three is always better than one! If you live in a cold climate — which is practically the whole United States this week — this gift is sure to get a lot of use. These babies are moisturizing to the max.

I do love this set of Laura Mercier Mini Lip Glaces — especially the colors chosen. I have turned my mother into a Laura Mercier junkie (she loves the Tinted Moisturizer especially), so I think this would be a perfect gift for her. I like to pamper her and gift her with things she wouldn’t normally buy on her own.

Anyone else like to give the gift of gloss for the holidays? Let us know your top picks!

Disclosure: We received a sample of the Benefit Ultra Shine glosses, but I also purchased the set on my own. We also received a sample of the Senna Lip Pics Kit.

What's New in Beauty: August 15, 2010

Jo Malone introduced a new scent – English Pear & Freesia – inspired by a walk in the orchard. Every note sounds divine!

There’s a new liquid lipstick in town, courtesy of Korres. The Raspberry Antioxidant Liquid Lipstick is available in five, high-pigment shades and contains raspberry and pomegranate extracts and certified organic acai palm pulp oil.

Winging it tonight: Benefit launched a liquid liner called Magic Ink. You can see it in action on Secret Life of a Benefit Gal, the company’s blog.

Nordstrom is running a 12-piece gift with purchase with any $100 purchase. We’re digging the bag – always a sucker for a great makeup bag.

Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artist Intense is formulated with 50 percent more pigment than traditional lipstick – and it was released in 50 (yes 5-0) shades and three finishes, from matte to pearly to satin.

Tarte Cosmetics is now available at Ulta. This excites us very much – another place to access a brand we heart.

In sustainable packaging news:  Procter & Gamble will begin using renewable sugarcane-derived plastic in select Pantene, Cover Girl and Max Factor products next year. (via Environmental Leader)

Spotted Online: Great Sales at Sephora

Sephora.com has stepped up their game this year, with constantly evolving promotions and weekly specials. They also do a very good job of hiding great deals in the sale section. Here’s a few that caught my eye this week:

Lorac’s On-Screen Duo is now only $7. There’s two shades available – Fame & Fortune, a black cream shadow/liner with gold shimmer poweder, and the bronzey Rich & Famous shown above.

For just $29, you can snag Korres Melon Body Collection – a jumbo sized Shower Gel and Body Butter.  This is one of our top picks for summer – it smells incredible!

These fun and playful lip glosses by Balmshell are now just $11. The company sent us a few samples to try, and they are just the cutest. The color I really liked was a rosey pink — You Give Me Fever (shown above).  It’s a lip gloss and key-chain in one and each color has a unique personality. I think it’d make a great girly gift, for a bridal party gift bag or just a lip gloss to play on someone’s personality. Plus, the scent is reminiscent of grape Pop Rocks. Who doesn’t like a blast from the candy past?

Summer Beauty: Bath & Body

I am a steam fiend, and a hot shower can be one of the most relaxing, refreshing moments of the day. But with all the heat and humidity, I haven’t been finding showers all that refreshing lately. I’ve been trying to use products that smell fresh and that are good for my skin. And I want the moisture and benefits of a moisturizer without actually having to slather it on post-shower. So here are the products I’ve been relying on this summer to recharge my skin.

Not only does Korres Melon Showergel smell absolutely incredible, it’s also enriched with aloe, vitamins C, E and Zinc and wheat proteins to protect and retain your skin’s moisture level. I first got a sample packet of this from Sephora a few months ago and was enchanted by the smell. It’s on the sweet side but unbelivably fresh so I picked up a big bottle from Korres. I really like this for summer.

I’m all about invoking the spa feeling on my own turf, and a great at-home treatment is AHAVA’s Dead Sea Mineral Mud. It’s packed with minerals and deeply purifies the skin. I loved how my skin felt afterward, but it’s sort of cumbersome to use at home. I slathered the mud all over my body (at room temp) and waited about 10 minutes to hop in the shower. So during that time, it’s not like you can sit down! I read my book on the counter, and made sure my dog didn’t try to lick my legs.

I’ve been loving Bath & Body Works Exfoliating Shower Gel in Deep Aqua. It’s a gentle scrub and you can easily use it everyday. But what really attracted me to this product was the smell of Deep Aqua. It’s so fresh – compliments the Korres well with its scent of melon, water blossoms, dewy gardenia and white woods. Bath & Body Works has a winner on their hands with this one — I can hardly find it anymore and it’s sold out online too.

I’ve been loving Lush’s Buffy Body Butter for a blast of in-shower moisture that lasts all day. I can’t be bothered with putting on lotion – it just melts off throughout the day and weighs me down. Lush’s Buffy is the perfect solution – I scrub it on as the last step in the shower and rinse it off just before getting out. It literally feels like I just bathed in shea butter – I love the ease of use!  It does make the shower floor a little slippery though — proceed with caution.

Do you use any special products for summer? As always, we’d love to know what you’re loving.

Disclosure: We received a sample packet of the AHAVA Dead Sea Mineral Mud

Cyber Monday Beauty Sales

The beauty deals keep rolling in, so we thought we’d put together a Cyber Monday round-up to help organize all of the great sales happening!


Armani: 20% off makeup and skincare through 11/30 with code FAMILY. Free shipping is included with any order.


Bath and Body Works: Take 25% off sitewide now through 12/1!


Kate Somerville: 30% off with code KATE2009 through 11/30. Carla loves ExfoliKate – check out her review!


Korres: 20% off sitewide (no code required) through 12/2 and they have a TON of special promotions and gifts with purchase as well. Get the full details here.


Shu Uemura: 20% any purchase and free shipping over $50 through 12/1 with code WISH09 at checkout. And if you spend $125 or more, you’ll receive 20% off and a mesh bag filled with seven deluxe samples with code WISHDELUXE09 Umm….Rouge Unlimited Supreme Shine anyone?


Smashbox: 20% off and free shipping with any order with code SBFF9 entered at checkout. This deal lasts through 12/1.


Tarte: 40% off  and free shipping over $25! Use code CYBERMON9 checkout to grab this deal through 11/30. This is an incredible deal – and I have a feeling the Three Carats mini cheek stains and Crown Jewels gloss sets will sell out fast!

Korres Cherry Full Color Lip Gloss

I’m an addict – a lip gloss addict. While I love all beauty products, lip products are my true weakness, especially lip gloss! So you can betcha bottom dollar that I’ve tried every single lip gloss on the market out there. Some are too dry, too sticky, too glossy (is that possible? YES), and then some are juuuust right, until some lame manufacturer decides to discontinue your favorite shade (I’m looking at you, Dior. Bring back #614, k thx!).

korres-cherry-full-color-gloss Anyhow, Korres, whose Pomegranate Moisturizer is the business, came out with the Cherry Full Color Gloss line sometime last summer. I remember passing through a Sephora, trying it, then searching high and low to find it since I didn’t take note of the name back then (rookie mistake!).

It’s paraben and sulfate free, which is very important; contains Vitamin C and Vitamin E to keep lips looking fresh and moisturized, and best of all – it tastes and smells yummy with it’s cherry scent, isn’t sticky or drying, and looks GORGEOUS on. It’s provides a long-lasting sheer pop of color – my favorite colors are Orange 45 (sheer coral orange) and Coral 45 (sheer golden coral) – the most perfect summer colors ever!

To score even more, scope out the Korres Love Your Lips Collection, which includes  3 full size Cherry Full Color Glosses in Light Pink 11 (sheer milky pink), Beige Pink 32 (pink champagne shimmer) and Nude 33 (sheer pinky beige) and a yummy Lip Butter in Pomegranate (sheer coral).

If the kit isn’t your thing, these recessionista faves are only $16 each, so they won’t break the bank!