if only they came with free refills.

28 July 2015

I'm blatantly copycatting Essie because I love when she does these empty bottles posts and am I not just as savvy of a beauty guru as she is? I am.


But, until I get my YouTube channel full of beauty tutorials galore ("how to look like hell all day long" or "how to not get your hair cut for 2+ years" or "how to botch your husbands hair every three weeks" you know -- funions) all set up ... humor me. Or click out. I'll never know.

But I hope you'll stay and let me pepper you with my Caboodle of knowledge.

1. Paula's Choice Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer - I'm a big Paula's Choice loyalist mostly because it's the only thing that's ever effectively treated my crazy first trimester breakout situations and I ordered this on a whim and love it. It goes on thick so I like to mix it with tinted moisturizer or #6 below but it isn't greasy and doesn't make my breakout like other face sunscreens do/have.

2. Amika Un.Done Texture Spray - When Kate sings the praise of any product ... I listen because she's never ever steered me wrong. I only got a travel size but wish I would've just gotten the full size to begin with. I use this instead of dry shampoo because I use a lot less of it and it's less intense, if that makes sense? And it smells so good. It's also great to use before braiding your hair to give it some texture.

3. Big Sexy Hair Powder - How many times do I have to blog about this before everyone tries it? One hundred? Fine. I'll do it. The key is to only use a LITTLE BIT ... after you're done blowdrying/curling/whatevering your hair to give it a little lift. It's a total game changer for limp haired gals of the world. We've got it rough.

4. Paula's Choice Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster - Told you, loyalist. You can add this to your moisturizer or throw it on solo ... no rules. I've been on the lowest maintence of regimens the past several weeks but if I can at least get this on at night ... I feel good. It really makes a huge difference in the wrinkle department. Quickly! {$10 off your first Paula's Choice order using my link ... if you vant}

5. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel topcoat - I take the time to paint my nails because it's a fun thing for Julia and I do together and I don't know ... I just do. It really does keep the chips at bay even through bathing the kids and multiple daily hand washes and the OCCASIONAL dish wash ;). I use it over regular nail polish ... it doesn't seem to discriminate.

6. Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Translucent Illuminator - I bought this during the winter when someone mistook me for Mrs. Casper and even my tinted moisturizer was just sort of eh. It just gives a nice little glow (that might be too generous -- I don't think I ever really glow)

7. Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant - Someone told me this helped with acne scarring and it does! It has smoothed my skin out a lot and it isn't drying at all - which is key. I use this religiously night and day because I love the way it makes my skin feel. Deep and profound review, I know.

And that's all! For today at least.

I always love hearing your favorites too if you're in a generous mood.


  1. I LOVE the PC Skin Balancing Pore Reducing toner - it keeps my (admittedly minimal) acne at bay, and helps smoothes out my dry spots. I just ordered the hyaluronic booster to use this fall/winter!

    An unrelated favorite would be the Kukui oil shampoo (holy mother of softness) and Aveeno Protect + Hydrate sunscreen. Daily staples for me!

  2. Did you use the Paula's Choice BHA while pregnant? I got some right before finding out I was pregnant a few weeks ago, and haven't started using it because I didn't know if it was safe. Thoughts?

  3. Weirdly, the only moisturizer I've ever been in a long-term relationship with is Clean and Clear. I'm downstairs right now and, honestly, I'm not going upstairs to look at what specifically it is (#lazy), but it's wonderful. The only downfall is that there is no SPF, so if you care about that, then maybe it's a no-go. I've been dabbling around with Neutrogena's moisturizer with SPF and it's good, but a bit heavy for my skin.

    I'm a recent dry shampoo convert. I started using Not Your Mother's, but some bottles are just... Off... I don't know how else to describe it. So I've started using Dove, like this morning, and I like it pretty well so far.

  4. As soon as I saw "caboodle" was hyperlinked, I just knew!! You are a genius. Thanks so much for the laugh! Much needed!

  5. I am a sucker for any and all beauty product posts! I have been loving The Gnarly Whale Beach Spray! It is a great texturizing spray, or is you have a slight wave to your hair it is the perfect sea salt spray to get some faux beachy waves. Or in your case some real beach waves....I'll be up in the tundra just faking it till I make it.

  6. Is the gel topcoat easy to remove with regular nail polish remover? Thank you!!

  7. Ha on the "how to botch your husbands hair..." I am sure you have not done as badly as I did recently. After many years of helping trim my husbands hair - he does most of it, I do the back where he cannot reach - last weekend I really made a mess of it. I was super tired after multiple night wakings with sick kids, and he handed me the clippers for what I assumed was my usual role of tidying up the whole back with a guard on the clippers. However, my sleep addled brain had not heard the instruction that he only wanted me to tidy round the very edge of the neckline and that there was NO guard on the clippers. So I proceeded to buzz a wide path all the way up from the nape of the neck to about even with the top of the ear - completely shaved with no guard on. He yelled and lept away, and I stood there and said - 'what's wrong did I cut you?' - it took a long time for the penny to drop for me as I was so tired I did not even realize what I had done. I then had the job of trying to 'fix' it so that it blended in and looked intentional. After lots of google searching I managed to figure something out, and I have lots of new lingo like cutting a high and tight or a short fade in my hair cutting vocab - and he has a very marine-ish hairstyle until it grows back!

  8. Oooo I never though to use the gel top coat over regular old nail polish. I'll have to try this, since I am not a huge advocate of throwing out a nail polish collection (dating back to HS and J.A.N.E. ... does nail polish expire?). Thanks for the tip for my tips!

  9. All hail Big Sexy Hair Powder. Seriously! I keep forcing my friends to try mine because it has seriously changed my super limp hair into something I can actually style. It's amazeballs. And I'm definitely going to have to give that gel topcoat a try!

  10. loving all the raves about Paula's Choice, I've been using her acne system since Jan, and dying to try some others and see if they are good! I also have Powder Play and it's awesome!

  11. Love love love Paula's Choice products. I use the BHA exfoliator in the AM and the AHA exfoliator in the PM for all the benefits :) So much less expensive than the ones the dermatologist's office sells too.

  12. Thanks for the recommendations! Ordered the liquid exfoliant!

  13. I use and like the Sally Hansen Diamond Flash topcoat but have flirted with the idea of getting the Gel one. Is it a quick-dry kind or just like an average-dry? I've never had a real gel mani but everyone talks about the insta-drying time, so I'm so confused by the marketing on the topcoat and am too cheap to find out for myself if it's the same concept!

  14. Thanks for the recommendations and the link!!

  15. I think Sally Hansen Polishes are so easy to apply. Much easier than Revlon.
    Renee x



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