A list of my favorite things – food, movies, people, events and products.
Every so often I come across something that tickles my fancy or rocks my world. What started as a monthly Favorite Five list is now a compilation of goodies that I love. I’ll be adding “stuff” to this list often, so be sure to check back. What are some of your favorite things? Leave a comment and let me know!
L’Oreal Extra-Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner in Carbon Black ($8.49). This isn’t a new favorite, I used up a pencil in Black – its the best for rimming the lower inner lash line. Spying this incredibly long-lasting pencil in Carbon Black which also came with a smudger, it was a no-brainer. The super black formula glides on, stays on and defines my eyes like nothing else. I also have this in Brown for when I want to keep it natural.This drugstore buy works just as well as YSL Long Lasting Waterproof Eye Pencil ($25) and a dead-on dupe of Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner ($18) right down to the smudger. Added September 2011.
Beirn Handbags (Jenna $315). I’m a closet handbag lover. A few years ago, I won $5000 from Bluefly.com and bought a bunch of Beirn handbags – which were the “hot” item since it was on Sex and the City. Beirn handbags are made out of super lightweight water snake and have a very simple shape, making them perfect for my minimalistic taste in fashion (I’m talking black tank top and jeans, not anything stylish). The Jenna (shown) is a larger style which allows me to pack up all my daily needs as well as a bunch of toddler friendly goods as well. My favorite is a bright chartreuse Caroline tote which makes a nice Summer pop of color.
Marc Jacobs 2010 Limited Edition Apple Splash (10 oz. $68). If there’s one realm of cosmetics that leaves me somewhat stone faced and disinterested, its fragrances. So what was it about this plain, simple Marc Jacobs Apple Splash – the lightweight of the perfume world, that doesn’t even smell like apple? The subtle blend of pear, lemon, grapefruit mixed with rosemary and a slightly musky dry down is perfect for the hot Summer months when my CSP Vanille variations are a bit too rich and even Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline is slightly too heavy. Plus my husband likes it, I don’t have to worry about it running out any time soon and I got it on eBay for $20 (score).
M·A·C Mineralize Blush in Warmth of Coral (3.2g/.10oz $23). I normally loathe blush. I have bronzers disguised as blush (does brown blush count?) but have never been able to successfully pull off a flushed cheek look without feeling like Raggedy Ann. While Warmth of Coral is far from fuchsia, it is still a bit more color than I normally feel comfortable with. Colored like a slightly paled out peach-skin, blended with nuances of coral and peach, this blush manages to brighten my yellow undertoned skin without making me look like I have blush on. Effect without evidence. Now that’s what I call perfection. Oh, but bummer for me – its limited edition.
Albert’s Big Bol Bubble Gum Candy ($1.29 for about 30 pieces). Everyone has a few things that remind them of being a kid and for me, one of those things is Big Bol. They used to be a penny each at Koga Store in old Haleiwa town before it became cool. When you could ride your bike for miles without a care in the world and come home with a little brown paper sack full of penny candy. I was fortunate enough to grow up toward the end of those times – when it was safe to leave your door unlocked and you could leave your kids unattended without worrying. There were only 6 stations on t.v., cartoons were on briefly after school and on Saturdays (unless there was football) and kids didn’t have to be convinced to play outside and run around. Its funny how a little piece of candy coated gum can instantly take me back to that simpler time.
Kung Fu Panda 2. I laughed. I cried. I love Jack Black. It made me forgive Nacho Libre. Kung Fu Panda 2 was not only had a well-written story line and perfectly timed comedic relief but also had incredible fighting scenes and animation that made you forget you were watching a cartoon. It was, dare I say, better than the first one if only because Po and Jack Black have really bonded. You really can’t tell where one begins and the other ends. Even Angelina Jolie’s Tigress exudes the actress’ motherly protective cool. Granted, I ended up eating a bag of nori arare before the show even started – are 15 minutes of commercials really necessary? But Kung Fu Panda delivered an AWESOMENESS that I haven’t experienced in cinema for a very long time.
Urban Decay Cannonball Ultra Waterproof Mascara ($20). I don’t think it’s Ultra Waterproof – but it is simply a fabulous mascara that gives my lashes an obvious boost while holding the curl, separating and adding length without clumps. Its by far, my current favorite mascara. Available at urbandecay.com and sephora.com.
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Dogon ($33). “Named for the Mali-based culture, this metallic taupe (w/icy green sheen) and charcoal black duo delivers an unexpected twist on an otherwise neutral color combo.” Unexpected is right. NARS is the only brand over $5 that can inspire me to by their shadow duos. I’ve been a fan since I worked with the brand when it was carried in Body & Soul and again as a product specialist at Neiman Marcus – and at one point, had almost all the shadows in my kit. My other favorites, Cordura (shimmery warm brown and a sooty brown) and Brousse (Shimmery sable and blackened violet) also create a unique smokey eye that is far from boring – but Dogon allows me to create a multi-dimensional eye that can either be subtle or ultra-dramatic.
Pureology Essential Repair Instant Repair Leave-In Conditioner (8.5oz. $28). I first read about this clear leave-in in Lucky Magazine’s the Beauty Closet by Jean Godfrey-June (Read her review HERE) and thought it sounded good, but just couldn’t drop the $28 for a leave-in. Yes, I spend more than that on facial wash – but my hair always gets the raw end of the deal. I don’t even like paying for a cut or color. Luckily, I snagged a few 2oz. bottles of the stuff at a Trade Secret for $2 each while on vacation – so I basically got 6oz. for $6. DEAL!!! I also love it. It reminds me more like a liquid gel – and does get a little bit crispy if you don’t brush it through. Still, it leaves hair super shiny, smooth and smells like expensive perfume. Available at BloomCircle where you can get 10% back in BloomDollars + free gifts and shipping and at select salons. Photo: Bloom.Com.
OluKai “Paniolo” Slippers (aka Flip Flops – $85) – In Hawaii they’re called slippers (or slippahs if you want to really sound local). I basically live in them – and I have the pretty baby toes to prove it! Most rubber slippers are very flat – and wearing them long term can lead to sore feet. My husband, who worked in shoes for 20 years, recommended OluKai and swore they were the most comfortable on the market. They were also much prettier than the ugly rubber slides I was wearing. These are now my staple – I wear them with everything from summer dresses to jeans. Available at Nordstrom & OluKai.com. Photo – OluKai
Sephora Brand Colorista Custom Makeup Palette (
$36 Now $19) – I’m normally not big on palettes, but I love that you can downsize the palette to just 8 of your favorites and still have the option to change your mind over and over and over again. While the Sephora Blockbuster Palette that they have during the holidays is the best deal, this palette is much more practical and is one that I would actually use. While these palettes are obviously from a branding manufacturer, Sephora still gets props for bringing it to my attention and making it on my shopping list! Available at Sephora.com. Photo – Sephora
Clarisonic Customer Service – I’ve just been floored by how amazing Clarisonic’s Customer Service has been! I love their Opal – but didn’t like the serum in the cap application. They recently renovated the design to have just a plain cap and gave customers the option of using their Anti-Aging Sea Serum (which is really good) or their own product. This small improvement made the Opal near perfect in my opinion. However, what impressed me the most about Clarisonic was their attention to their customers – if you already owned an Opal, all you had to do was call 1-888-525-2747 (be sure you’re a registered user at clarisonic.com and be sure to register your machines) and they send you the plain cap, a replacement applicator AND a $65 Anti-Aging Serum (in a pump bottle). Oh, and they ship it to you FREE! Yes, the Clarisonic Sonic Infusion System is an investment at $245 (the simplified system is now $185!) but since its a wonderful product and the customer service is top notch – its worth every penny! Available at Dermstore.com or Clarisonic.com. Photo: Clarisonic
Vertra The Shelter Face Stick SPF 38 in Kona Gold ($22) – The irony here is if I had this product when I used to surf in my 20’s, I wouldn’t have any sunspots! This lightweight stick packs UVA/UVB protection in a lightweight formula that doesn’t get greasy during the day and is water resistant as well. What really impresses me is the color matches my skin tone exactly. I’ll give Shane Dorian credit since he was part of R&D and this was made to his skin tone specs – a yellow based medium/tan beige. I have the skin tone of a pro-surfer – right on! It also comes in Natural Beige, which is a bit lighter and more neutral in undertone. I’ll be taking this on our Summer vacation and keeping one in my bag at all times for mid-day touch ups. Available at select surf shops or at Vertra.com. Photo: Vertra
My Beauty Diary Masks ($17 for 10 masks) – With about a dozen different formulations, My Beauty Diary specializes in individually wrapped cloth masks that are pre-soaked with various liquid serums. On a whim, I purchased the Sake Yeast Mask which has clarifying and whitening amongst its benefits. These are much cheaper than my previous favorite by Koh-Gen-Doh and La Mer, but they are just as hydrating so you get an instant plumping, brightening and smoothing effect, which is perfect for special nights out or just a pick-me-up. The Cooling Mask, Black Pearl Mask, Apple Mask and Yogurt Mask are on my shopping list since these are so affordable, easy to use and effective! They are also so lovely to look at! Available at select Don Quiote stores or at MyBeautyDiary.com. Photo: My Beauty Diary
Dermstore & Clarisonic: Earlier this month I won the Clarisonic Opal Sweeps from Dermstore and I’m so excited that I get to add this gem to my skin care arsenal. I’ve only used it a few times, but I love it just as much as I love my Clarisonic Mia. I’m not one for spending big money on gadgets, but these are definitely worth their weight in gold. Thank you Dermstore and Clarisonic! Available at Dermstore.com and Clarisonic.com. Photo: Dermstore
Ponyo (2008) Director: Hayao Miyazaki, Distributed by Disney: This beautifully made Japanese cartoon by Totoro creator Hayao Miyazaki, is by far my favorite. While it is eerily and ironically set during a tsunami, it brilliantly captures the gentle nature of the Japanese people as well as the innocent devotion of two friends from two different worlds. Very loosely based on “The Little Mermaid”. The dream-like animation and detailed backgrounds (the underwater scenes are spectacular) are mesmorizing. Unlike the graphic and violent nature of anime and manga, Miyazaki truly represents what a child has in his/her heart. Image: Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.
Lucky Magazine’s Beauty Editor Jean Godfrey-June: My admiration is almost embarrassing. Maybe it was the Stila-esque illustrations (they show her real pictures now, and they are equally as charming), or the way she waxes enthusiastic about makeup and skin care with as much fervor as I do . Seriously, The Beauty Closet is the main reason Lucky has become my favorite magazine. I’ve discovered quite a few new products (Philip B. Russian Amber Shampoo, Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm, etc.) through her column and will actually have a regular blog feature “According to Jean” highlighting products I’ve purchased because of her. You can catch up on all her brilliance – Lucky has posted all her lovely finds here. While you’re there, subscribe to Lucky – they are one of those few magazines that you can look at months later and still be inspired. Image: Amy Saidens
Peeps Dark Chocolate Peepsters: Regular sugar coated marshmallow Peeps will always be nostalgic for me – my Dad LOVES them. I personally can only eat one – and that can even make my eye balls vibrate from the sugar high. As I browsed the Easter aisle at Target, these caught my eye. My intention was to give them to my Dad – who also loves anything chocolate (its a good thing he runs 7 miles several times a week). Ha. I tried one in the car on the way home. MINE! Its like dark Dove chocolate (creamy and sweet – but with a more serious chocolate intensity than milk chocolate) with a little marshmallow-y cream center. I’m so glad that these are seasonal (I hope) because they are seriously addicting! Available for a limited time at Target.
ION Extreme Moisture Cream ($7.49): I’ve tried some of the most expensive hair products and this is by far the BEST moisturizing treatment my over processed, frizzy, thick, coarse, crazy hair has ever come in contact with. I am FAR overdue for a hair cut (I think my last cut was May…2010. LOL!), I wash my hair daily (I tried not to – I can’t) and I color my hair way too much. So you can imagine the crispy critter my hair feels like most days. Since I am a product junkie, I rotate a number of high quality and drug store products – and it is no coincidence that every single time I use this simple blue and white tube, my hair feels…like hair! Not like straw. Not like a bad wig. Not like it needs to be hidden in a bun. Dare I call it magic? Available at Sally Beauty Supply. Image: Sally Beauty