Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I Can't Live Without...

My beautiful sisters; yes, I've got two of them and they are GEMS! I truly don't know what I would do without these two ladies. Funny, brilliant, humble and stunning. I cherish them, even when I may seem like the crabby baby sister. We can sit for hours upon hours and talk beauty. It must be something that runs in the blood.

And here we are: I Can't Live Without per my dearest sisters. Take joy in reading the products they Can't Live Without, and be inspired! Toodles!


Charming, funny, covered in gorgeous freckles and quite the sensitive soul. I like to call her the "Intellectual." She is incredibly smart, a total card shark (watch out!) and takes shear joy in beauty products.

As a self-professed beauty nut, and now (cough) well into my twenties, I’ve tried countless cosmetics products. I become giddy with trips to Sephora, the cosmetics counters at Nordstrom, the beauty aisles of Target and my much beloved Walgreens. I’ve also been known to buy a magazine or two (or three or four…), specifically for the beauty sections. What can I say, they are my vice. But as most girls would agree, finding the ‘perfect’ product takes time and effort! And I am a willing participant. It must run in the family ;) With that said, it’s difficult to narrow down my top Can’t Live Without products. But here are just a few of my faves!

Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra Lift Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream, $14.99
I have to admit, I’m a new convert to Garnier Nutritioniste face products. But I am in love with this eye cream! I resisted using an eye cream for years, thinking I could get away with using nothing (oh the horror – why did I think I was invincible?). But I know it’s high time I treat my eyes right. Is it too late to believe that this is a ‘preemptive strike’ on crows feet and fine lines? Who knows, but I might as well try to prevent their appearance as long as I can! This is the best eye cream I’ve tried – it doesn’t have SPF in it so I only wear it at night. And boy is it luxurious! It’s lightweight but creamy, and feels so silky on the delicate skin around my eyes. One of the main ingredients is Omega 3 + 6 so it locks in moisture and helps those pesky fine lines from settling in. Just what your eyes need! I know you might balk at the price for such a small product, but it is pretty standard for a drugstore eye cream. And right now that suits me just fine! Be sure to use it correctly – you don’t need to slather it on, a couple small dabs will do, and it should last you a while. So try this eye cream – your precious peepers will thank you in the long run.

N.Y.C. Color Smooth Skin Bronzing Powder, $2.99

Let’s face it, sista needs some color! And now that it’s summer and the sun is shining bright, I am sure to wear my bronzer! Everyone gets naturally darker in the summer months, but it doesn’t hurt to add a little ‘something something’ to your cheeks. Especially me, since I have a hard time getting any darker than pink with my fair skin. So I turn to N.Y.C. bronzer in “Sunny” shade. It’s the lightest shade of bronze and goes on ever so smoothly, so it doesn’t leave any brown streaks or ruddiness to my cheeks. It gives me the faintest hint of color when I need it. Obviously with bronzer you don’t want a heavy hand – I use my powder brush to lightly dust it on my cheeks and around the hairline, jaw line, and nose (where the sun naturally hits). I stock up on this bronzer at Target where I first discovered it, since it’s an absolute steal at $2.99 a pop (I thought it was too good to be true and that Target had obviously mis-marked the item)! However, I’m pleased to say that it continues to be insanely affordable; thus it is my summer bronzer mainstay. Also note, be sure to still add a little blush to the apples of your cheeks to help maintain that fresh, rosy, natural look, instead of just looking bronzed. Because as everyone knows, you’re not supposed to look like you’re wearing makeup! (Tip: NARS makes an amazing blush/bronzer duo in “Orgasm/Laguna“ that is perfect on most skin tones; and for $37 if you have the money to spend, it is a fabulous 2-in-1 product!)

Maybelline Full and Soft Mascara, $7.49

I don’t know how many tubes of mascara I’ve bought in my lifetime. But for me, mascara is a must have in my makeup bag, and essential in making my eyes pop (or even just in making me look awake!). So far Maybelline Full and Soft seems to do the trick better than any others! It is one of those things that I am SURE to put on my face every day, no matter what. Even if I’m stepping out for coffee, or to get groceries, or a simple day at the office – I won’t go without my mascara! Let alone a night out, when I tend to put on several coats. And yet it’s okay because Full and Soft doesn’t get clumpy or give me those dreaded ‘tarantula’ eyes. I like to think that this mascara gives me the longest, lush lashes ever. Personally, I buy Blackest Black because, well, I always have. I don’t do brown mascara. And frankly I believe that most women should be wearing black. What I love most about this mascara is that the brush is just what it claims to be – full and soft. Most mascara brushes are too skinny, or they pull on my lashes, or they don’t have enough ‘oomph’ for my lashes. And heaven help us with the mascara wand that comes out of the tube gloppy and just a big mess. Who wants to put that on their lashes?! Not me, which is why I will always be a faithful follower of Maybelline Full and Soft because it makes my eyelashes full and soft! What a concept.

*SPLURGE* Kate Somerville ExfoliKate, $85

For the lady who wants to treat herself, this is your product! Yes it is expensive but it is hands down the best exfoliator I have ever tried! I discovered it a couple years ago – where else – in a magazine. Kate Somerville is a celeb favorite, who owns a spa and line of products, based out of LA (you can always buy her products through her website, but Sephora also sells them now). She caters to giving stars their best skin possible, and the ExfoliKate is her best known product, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Boy was I glad I did! It is a leave-on exfoliating treatment (mini home facial really) that is made of fruit enzymes. You leave it on your skin anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes and then rinse off. Don’t scrub though! Just after applying a thin layer to your face, the fruit enzymes work their magic and you don’t have to touch your face until you rinse. The particles are very fine and not harsh on your skin. Afterwards, your skin will be so smooth and soft, everyone will want to touch it! Be aware your face will be slightly red for a few minutes afterwards, but it will calm down (it is just because of all the blood circulation – a good thing!) I can’t really say enough about this product, even though I only buy it maybe once a year as a treat, it might be my ultimate Can’t Live Without face product ever. Truly! It is my favorite face savior, especially when I’m in need of sprucing up my dull skin. (Added bonus: applying a hydrating serum or moisturizer afterwards will make your skin GLOW!) While I realize that for the price, this is definitely a luxurious treat; but it is so worth it. After all, you gotta put your best face forward….


Energetic, spiritual, spicy and uber intuitive. She will look forever youthful and has the abs to show it. Creative and intelligent, she is my little Yoda. My Bruce Lee. My Buddah. Only about 14 months apart from her big sis, Natalie, she also shares our obsession with beauty products.

With so many products a part of my daily regime, I have a tough time choosing only a few to share. But at the request of Beebs, here are my absolute favorites – the “must have, do not leave home without!”

Nearing the 30 year mark means I’ve kicked my skincare into high gear! As a contact wearer, I touch my eyes constantly, and the fine lines have begun to show around my peepers. There’s a general dullness to my skin as well, like the day after too many glasses of bubbly (champagne that is, not Perrier). My two saving graces have been a.) My lovely dermatologist who works her magic, and b.) Vitamin C Power Brightening Cream w/SPF 25 by Grassroots Research Labs.

Vitamin C Power Brightening Cream w/SPF 25 by Grassroots Research Labs, $28.99

As someone with dry skin living at high altitudes, I have tried countless moisturizers, and this one takes the cake! It’s a great day lotion, and creates a smooth palette before applying your make up. It’s oil free, but feels so silky. The best part is the brightening affect from the Vitamin C – my skin glows! The SPF 25 is a must, although I recommend an additional UVA/UVB sunscreen if you are in the sun a great deal. This is not the cheapest moisturizer on the block at $28.99, but worth the bucks! You will find it at Kohls (gasp! I know.)

MAC Blushcreme, $18

I suppose I’ve always been a little addicted to blush. Let’s face it - I’m obsessed with the pseudo “flushed” look, like you’ve just had the best run of your life. Since I battle dry skin, I said good bye to powder blush years ago, and never looked back.

MAC Blushcreme is my second “must have” at $18 a pop. I can’t tell you how amazing this little pot of color crème is. It creates a fresh, dewy finish that stays put all day. For a natural look, you can wear alone with a little concealor, or layer with your favorite bronzer for that post-vacation glow! Ladies, it’s all about the supple skin. My only guff with MAC is they tend to discontinue colors and seasonal products. If you find one that works perfectly, stock up! I am gingerly making way to the bottom of my favorite Blushcreme color, and I dread the day it runs out. Did someone say obsessed?

Avalon Organics Lemon Bath and Shower Gel, $10.45
As someone who loves her daily showers (they’re necessary after work outs) I realized it’s crucial to find a body wash that wouldn’t completely strip my skin. I came across Avalon Organics Lemon Bath and Shower Gel by accident, and I’m hooked! At $10.45/bottle it can dent your wallet over time –especially when your husband or roommate lather up consistently – but well worth it. If you love citrus then you owe it to yourself to try this product! The smell alone is heavenly – as though you’re standing in the middle of a lemon grove on a hot summer day. The essential oils keep your skin soft, and even though my skin is sticky after the gym, I don’t worry about using an antibacterial body wash for a thorough cleanse. I usually purchase this at Whole Foods (where I could spend an entire day perfectly happy), but I also noticed it at Longs Drugs, so take your pick!

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