Category Archives: Chit Chat

The Product Girl 2011 Holiday Letter

You know how you have those distant relatives that insist on sending holiday letters every year filling you in on all the mundane details of their children’s lives? I secretly love those. I find that with photo cards, and probably Facebook, the holiday letters are few and far between each year. To honor the great art of holiday letter-ing, we’ve developed our own at Product Girl. From us to you, our thoughts on 2011.

Dear Product Girl readers,

First, you are awesome. While most of this letter will be about us, it’s pretty important to note that without you, a lot of these things would not have happened.

The year kicked off on awesome note when we were named a finalist in the Readers Choice Skincare Awards for best beauty blog. That calls for a retrospective “woot woot!”

If I could, this photo of me and MARK RUFFALO would have been my actual holiday card. Except my husband vetoed the idea. So consider it the official image of this letter. I seized the day at the Independent Spirit Awards in February to say hello to the Mr. Ruffalo (wonderful actor and from my hometown!), and am forever thankful to Aveeno for the opportunity.

Speaking of Aveeno, Product Girl spent the year taking part in the Aveeno Ambassador program. We are huge fans of the brand, and enjoyed getting to know the products and the people that make them a little bit more. At the Independent Spirit Awards, Aveeno and RecycleBank kicked off their Be An Active Natural Program, and solicited pledges from people to be more environmental conscious. Throughout the life of the program this year, they collected more than 260,000 pledges. Not too shabby, Aveeno.

Being the makeup lovers we are, we were happy to attend a few industry events. Carla and I had a blast in New York at The Makeup Show in May, and Carla hit up CosmoProf in Vegas during the summer.

In October, we were thrilled to see that SHAPE Magazine nominated Product Girl as one of the Top 20 Beauty Blogs for Active Chicks. What an honor! We were definitely in great company, and so happy to be included.

And not to bury our lead, but Product Girl has been going through some changes. Carla accepted a new job with her favorite retailer in an industry she is so knowledgeable about and is specializing in her area of expertise [large corporation that begins with a “N” based in Seattle + beauty + social media]. She’s truly pursuing her dream, and we couldn’t be happier for her. (That last line was so holiday letter, right?!) For you as a reader, this means that you get a lot more of me, and a side of the people closest to Carla. Her best friend Autumn , and her sisters Vania and Kayla are contributing to Product Girl! And of course we have our new style contributor Emily, who is also all kinds of awesome. We think it’s going to be a great 2012!

From all of us at Product Girl, we wish you the happiest of holidays and a fabulous start to the New Year!


Photo credit (top): Flickr, Warrenski, Creative Commons

Giving Back This Thanksgiving

This year for Thanksgiving, some of my beauty blogging friends and I are giving back to women in our local domestic violence shelters. What better way to put all those unused beauty products to good use? Sometimes it is hard to give back during the holidays but giving is not always about money. Giving back can be volunteering a few hours of your time, donating to your local food bank or in this case, donating unused beauty products to women affected by domestic violence.

I spent some time going through all the unused beauty products in my home and I found of lot of items to donate to Seattle’s New Beginnings shelter. We all know the power of a good lipstick or a good perfume, it is enough to lift your spirits and brighten your day. When I think of the women who may receive the products I’m donating and how they might feel using them for however brief that moment it may be, it makes me happy that I can do this for them.

Here’s a list of my beauty blogging friends that are dropping off their own boxes of love to domestic violence shelters this Thanksgiving:

The Product Girl Stash – 5 Years Later

This weekend my baby turned 5 years old… and by my baby, I mean Product Girl. Five years ago I thought it would be a good idea to start blogging about the products I was picking up at Nordstrom and Sephora. I didn’t know that this would take me to Paris, New York and Los Angeles but I’m so thankful that it did and for the amazing people I’ve met along the way. I can’t imagine life without it now.

I thought it would be fun to show you how things have changed for me in terms of my collection. Five years ago I had a 3’ storage cart holding my products and everyone I knew thought it was crazy for having so much makeup. This started before Product Girl was “born” and when I posted FOTD in the LiveJournal MAC community… back when words like “limited edition” didn’t mean as much.

As you can see, now things are completely different. Beauty products occupy space in almost every corner of my apartment and the name of the game now is downsizing! I’m even keeping the products in mind as I furnish my new apartment. Yes, it’s a tad out of control. I’m starting to go through everything and toss out what I don’t use and what’s old but sometimes that’s hard to do. I keep thinking “Oh I’ll use it one day…”

So how about you? How big is your stash?

Happy New Year! Here's to 2009!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone has enjoyed the holidays. Can you believe they are already almost over? Where did the time go? Every year the holidays seem to fly right by me and this year was the same. On January 1st, I always spend a little time thinking about what I’d like to accomplish in the coming year. I hope you don’t mind that I’m sharing some of my resolutions with you. Who knows, maybe we have some of the same ones. 🙂

Happy New Year 2009
  • Get healthy! This one has been on my list forever. Not only does this mean quitting smoking (which I was so, so, so close to this year) and losing weight but to actually start taking care of myself emotionally and physically. I made some progress last year, I lost about 20lbs., joined a gym and quit smoking for a few months but all that progress has been undone. I’m thinking it may be time to start another fitness blog, some public accountability always helps.
  • Get out of debt and save some money! My financial life is oh so messy. It didn’t hit me until recently just how bad I am with money so 2009 will be the year that I put a plan in place to start getting out of debt and try to save some money along the way. It is going to involve tightening my “belt” quite a bit but it will only help me in the end. In the last week I’ve spent a ton of money and I’m telling myself I won’t be spending money like that for a long time. At least I was smart enough to pick up the perfect red lipstick from Shu Uemura in my last big haul, it will pick me up when I’m down.
  • Step up my Product Girl game! This blog is really important to me, I know it must not seem that way at times but this year I really want to change things up and see my baby grow. I’m going to do my best to keep Product Girl up to date and avoid these long lags I’ve had lately. I want to introduce new weekly features, bring the podcast back and introduce new writers to you so that there’s always something to see on Product Girl. If you catch me slipping, please feel free to call me on it.

This is a condensed version of my resolutions but they all resolve around these three topics. You get where I’m going, right? 🙂 All this just to let you know that I’m committed to making Product Girl better. How about you? What are some of your resolutions? I’m definitely hopeful that this year will mark the beginning of some very positives changes in my life. I hope that you have a great year as well, may 2009 be even better than 2008. Happy New Year!

Economic (Beauty) Stress

Just about every one I know has been affected by our down-turning economy. With gas prices rising, unemployment and homeless rates skyrocketing it becomes a little harder to justify spending half a paycheck on a pair of shoes.

One unique caveat of the beauty and cosmetics industry is that they are able to anchor in customers who would normally never be able to afford the brand. A taste of luxury is offered in relatively affordable perfumes and fragrances. For example, items of Christian Dior clothing/accessories that I own: 0; number of Christian Dior Diorshow Mascara that I’ve gone through: countless.

Diorshow Blackout Mascara Historically, when the rest of the economy was hit, the beauty and cosmetics industries stayed fiscally strong for that reason, but it seems like this time around, we are not immune to the turn of events.

Molly Prior of WWD writes, “In gloomy periods gone by, shoppers continued to seek out little luxuries: a lipstick instead of a designer handbag, or a fragrance in lieu of a gown. This time around, practicality has set in, as consumers begrudgingly absorb the ballooning costs of energy and food prices.”

Personally, I have cut back on a lot to save money. I will rarely treat myself to a manicure of pedicure, and am trying to make my hair cut and highlights stretch. I am also becoming more skeptical about buying the next hottest thing that I read about in Allure magazine, waiting until there is an actual buzz “in the streets” rather than by people who may be profiting off of it.

Have you recently changed your beauty spending habits? In what ways, if not, why not?

What's in Erin's Bag?

Now it’s Erin from Scandalous Beauty’s turn to show us what she’s carrying around in her bag.

What's in Erin's Bag

My bag is my little home away from home. It’s a Jacobs by Marc Jacobs tote that I bought at the Marc Jacobs accessories store in Soho, NYC last month. Everything is a steal in that tiny little store, I don’t remember seeing anything over $50! After you get an amazing cupcake from Magnolia Bakery, you must hit Marc Jacobs!

Take a peek inside:
2008 Planner
Sprint Treo (Which I hate, by the way)
Pen (from MAC Naughty Nauticals Event!)

So, let’s indulge inside the beauty bag. MAC NC50 Select Cover Up Concealer and MAC Studio Fix NW43 are my staples, I can’t seem to live without them! I use the concealer in place of foundation most days. Do you remember MAC Smoke Signals collection last year?? Well, I couldn’t get enough, and still can’t! I keep half of the collection in my bag, including Ablaze Blush and the Gentle Fume Eyeshadow Quad. NARS Taj Mahal Blush is my all time favorite cheek color, it gives the truly sun-kissed glow that we all love!!! Billy B. Beauty Brush #3 is recycled for my powder, brush and emergency buffing of concealer. His brushes are sooo perfect for travel because they are short-handled!! I didn’t realize that I have 3 tubes of mascara, 2 of MAC Zoomlash and Chanel Imitable Mascara! And clearly, there are a slew of lipcolors including MAC Lipcolors in Love Nectar, Style Minx, Hey, Sailor, Viva Glam VI, Swelter and Warm Smile Tendertone. Poor little Becca Lipgloss in Flirtini is all by her lonesome! Wow. I need to clean out my bag! Ciao Bellas!

And that’s it, this is the last “What’s in Her Bag” post we’ll be featuring for now. Thanks for bearing with us! We’ll be back to our normal content tomorrow.

What's in Ellen's Bag?

Today is the last day of our look into the bags of my fellow beauty beauty bloggers. I’ve had a lot of fun looking into their bags and I hope you had fun too. Today we’re wrapping things up with Ellen from Lipstick, Powder and Paint and Erin from Scandalous Beauty. Let’s see what Ellen’s carrying…

What's in Ellen's Bag

I am addicted to handbags and am loving this Cole Haan one. It is pretty much my everyday bag for the summer.

These are some not so exciting items that are in my bag every day:
Sunglasses to protect my baby blue peepers
Cell phone (it’s such an oldie – but it works)
Business card holder – cause you never know you you’ll meet
Listerine Pocket Mist and
My Tylenol Extra Strength – I get migraines all the time.

The fun stuff in my MAC Fafi Makeup Bag:
Chanel Allure Sensuelle fragrance – my absolute favourite in the world!
Guerlain Terracotta Moisturizing Bronzing Powder Long Lasting in Makeup Artist
L’Oreal Paris Infallible Lipgloss in Sangria
Guerlian Gloss in – I have not idea what colour!!
Rimmel Vinyl Stars Mirror Shine Lipgloss in Born to Bling
Lancome Powder Brush
Susan Posnick Colorflo Mineral Foundation with built in brush
Benefit Posie Tint

The “I would be crazy not to bring” stuff:
La Roche-Posay Antherpos – I just recently found out I have sun damage on my lips – yikes!
Travel size Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 60 for my body
Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 30 for my face
My Vichy UV Alarm bracelet that will warn me when harmful UV rays are out to get me!
Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets

Later today we’ll be peaking into Scandalous Beauty’s bag so check back later this afternoon.

What's in Amber's Bag?

What's in Amber's Bag Today we’re looking at what is in Amber’s bag. Amber is the amazing blogger behind Beauty Blogging Junkie. Not only is her blog fantastic but she has the best Lost recaps ever. Being a Lost gal, I look forward to them every week. Here’s what she says…

The bag is a Tory Burch canvas tote gifted to me by L’Oreal when we visited the L’Oreal store in the Beverly Center during the Total Beauty Beauty Tour of LA. I am in LOVE with it. You’ve caught me at a very edited-down state, makeup-wise. First, I was recently on vaca and so this isn’t my typical handbag and second, I am just not feeling makeup in this 95 degree heat we’re undergoing in NYC. Here’s what Tory is containing lately:

What's in Amber's Bag

  • A Jaqua Treasure Bag – this pink and brown and pink confection is perfect for keeping in your purse.
  • Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in Cocoa – this is a preview shade (it’s not out yet) I got from Clinique that I am lurving.
  • Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Maximum Coverage Concealer – hides dark circles on the go.
  • MAC Tendertone Lip Balm SPF 12 in Hot N’ Saucy saved my life by the pool on my recent sojourn to the Bahamas.
  • Benefit Dr. Feelgood – is the answer to the anti-powder girl’s shine issues.
  • Kiss My Face Organic Cranberry Orange SPF 15 Lip Balm – is an odd combo of flavors, but it tastes surprisingly divine.
  • Beauty Rehab Rose Salve – is the anti-pot-balm gal’s substitution for Smith’s Rose Salve.
  • Nailtiques Cushion Sponge File – I’m lost without this teeny tiny file, which fixes snags in an instant.

Come back tomorrow when we’ll be peaking into the bags from the gals at Lipstick, Powder and Paint and Scandalous Beauty to wrap up our What’s in Her Bag series.

What's in Jazmin's Bag?

Today we’re looking at what’s in Jazmin’s bag. She’s blogs over at Makeup Moxie and she’s got some great product reviews you should check out. Here’s Jazmin…

What's in Jazmin's Bag?

You’re looking at my well-loved (i.e. regularly abused) Kenneth Cole bag. There are lots of hidden pockets and compartments in it, so there’s undoubtedly something lost in there that I didn’t include in the photos. And, no, I don’t actually keep the Chihuahua in my bag (though he might be able to fit in there). He just likes weaseling his way into pictures.

So here’s what’s in my bag:

My Coach wristlet holds all my most important must-haves (wallet, phone, keys, lipgloss, gum). That way, if I don’t feel like schlepping my whole purse around with me, I can just pull out the wristlet and be on my way. The cute little makeup bag with the hand-embroidered llamas on it is a souvenir that one of my sisters bought for me in Peru. While I don’t want to wear it out by using it everyday, I love it and it makes me happy so I use it anyway.

What's in Jazmin's Bag?

Inside the llama bag, I keep my Global Goddess Foundation/Concealer compact, MAC Tendertone Lip Balm, Cargo Mattifier, Neutrogena blotting papers (yep, I’m seriously into oil-control), and a Shiseido eyelash curler (don’t tell my Shu Uemura curler that I’m cheating on it when I’m away from home). I also always have my trusty Tweezerman folding lash comb.”

Other random stuff in my bag:

  • Netflix DVD’s that I’ve been meaning to return for, like, two weeks. I think the discs in there are the last disc of Rome: Season Two and Glengarry Glen Ross.
  • Rechargeable batteries for my camera (which is also often in my bag)
  • A couple of USB keys with my websites and other files on them
  • A digital security key for my PayPal account
  • Eyedrops (summer in the desert makes my eyes super dry)
  • A couple of cheap pens from the Bellagio and Silverton casinos 🙂

Tomorrow we’ll be showing you what’s in Jennifer’s bag from Beauty in Real Life.

What's in Cindy's Bag?

This morning we’re looking at what’s in Cindy’s bag. Cindy’s the gal behind Hello Dollface. Not only does she cover beauty but she also has some funny celebrity commentary that’s worth checking out. Let’s check out her bag…

What's in Cindy's Bag

“I almost always carry Orbit gum and blow big bubbles. How ladylike!
Blotting Papers for mid-day shine.
Lipgloss, a must have! As well as NARS and Bourjois lipgloss.
Moisturizer for dry skin
A bobby pin, just in case.
Tweezers, in the car is the best place to tweeze!
Ponnytail holder for a windy day.
Blush brush from Stila
Clinique Pore filler, I love this stuff!
An old pan of Maybelline blush.
Rosebud salve for dry cuticles, lips and hands.
Alison Raffaele concealer.”

“What’s you don’t see is receipts from Target, Starbucks, local bagel store and Trader Joes. Arbonne Hand Cream, Burts Bees lip balm, a variety of pens that don’t work, a few random dollar bills, coins at the bottom of the purse, more receipts, a few pieces of unwrapped gum, a small notebook and a cell phone.”

Check back tomorrow for a look at what Jazmin from Makeup Moxie is packing.