Take a Peak Inside My Bag (Plus a Style Guide From Rue La La)

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While it’s my philosophy that you can never have too many makeup products (or jewelry….or shoes!), when it comes to handbags I do feel like having the right bag or two is really all you need. When I’m shopping for handbags, I gravitate toward classic silhouettes, versatile colors and a price my wallet likes. I need something that’s going to get me from season to season, year to year especially if I’m making an investment. Part of making a smart choice is knowing your options and Rue La La has a great resource for handbags to help you do just that! From the type of bag your life calls for to understanding what really makes a handbag luxurious they have you covered.

In celebration of the launch of their style guide, they want to know what girls like us carry in our bags.I tend to rotate between a handful of bags and this week, I’m rocking my Lulu by Lulu Guiness satchel (similar here) I scored on clearance two years ago.  The cobalt blue is a breath of fresh air from my brown and black purses. Plus the bow is so cute!  Now what’s  in my bag isn’t all that exciting but I am all about the essentials (with a little bit of my product junkie tendencies sprinkled in!)

Work Essentials

Wallet: I bought this at a flea market sale a few years ago and this baby is still holding together. (Though I do see a new one in my immediate future!)

Samsung Galaxy S5: Seriously where would I be without my phone? It’s my connection to everything – from work emails to taking selfies with my baby girl. I’ve always been an Android girl ever since the first Galaxy and I don’t see that changing anytime soon!

Sony Earbuds: I can’t work without my music. When I need to bang out blog posts, I plug these into my phone, crank up my Pandora and I’m good to go. Otherwise, I would be seriously lost.

Check Book: I still have bills that require checks and they usually get written on the go.

Beauty Essentials

Essence of Beauty Hand Cream: Part of the collection I reviewed over a week ago, I wanted to take a piece of that calm and relaxing beauty routine with me. You know, when the road rage kicks in. LOL

Stila Convertible Color Lip and Cheek in Poppy: Besides having a handy mirror inside this compact, if I ever need a little color on the go, this color is perfect for both my lips and cheeks!

Collection of Lip Color: Anyone who looks through my purse will get a clear picture of each lip color I’ve worn in the past week. Once I apply one in the morning, it gets thrown in my bag just in case I need a quick touch up. It’s only until my makeup drawer starts looking empty do I remember to put them all back!  This week’s roundup includes:

  • Burts Bees Lip Crayon in Napa Vineyard
  • Tarte Lip Gloss
  • Mary Kay Lip Color in Downtown Brown
  • Burt’s Bees LipGloss in Sweet Sunset

Your turn! What’s in your purse?

Voluminous Curls are Just a Diffuser Away With The Infiniti Pro by Conair® 3Q™

Blow DryerWhen I started my natural hair journey over four years ago, my goal was to have big, gold curly hair. It’s what got me through the rough transition, the awkward length stage and even now in the “I’m-getting-kinda-bored stage”. I’ve been having a love/hate relationship with my hair lately – the shrinkage in particular. Letting it air dry takes days of stretching before I get the big hair that I want and taking a blow dryer to it spells frizz central, no matter what I do. Even blowing it out caused more flyaways that made the hour it took to flat iron it a complete waste of time. I love my curls but want to show off the length i.e all of my hard hair-work over the years with the same definition that air drying gives me. Can using a high quality blow drier with a diffuser attachment deliver the hair I want?

Taking The Infiniti Pro by Conair® 3Q™ for a test drive was the perfect opportunity to find out!

Hitting store shelves this past September, it boasts a brushless motor technology that reduces drying time by up to 70% (when compared to the T3 Dryer Model 83808). It also does so much more quietly than the previous 3Q dryer. It comes with a concentrated nozzle perfect for blowouts and a diffuser attachment made for these curls. It also has two heat settings, a cool shot feature, as well as three different speeds.

After washing my hair, deep conditioning it and adding my styling products, I set the Conair 3Q to low heat on a high speed. I wanted to dry my curls fast without frying them to death. Flipping my hair over, I let my curls fall into the diffuser cup and pressed it gently against head. I let the lift and dry my curls for about a minute before moving onto the next section. It took about 20 minutes to get my hair 90% dry.

The results?

Diffusing Natural Hair

I had second day volume on wash day which is completely unheard of for me. Even better, there was minimal frizz and plenty of curl definition to go around. I had a cute curly fro in no time! My hair was super soft too. As the week went on, my hair just got bigger and better! I loved the fact that it cut my drying time by a whole day without killing my strands. Finally, the answer to my hair boredom!

You can find The Infiniti Pro by Conair® 3Q™ in more than 15,000 locations, including Target, Walgreens, Ulta, Walmart, Rite Aid, CVC and Bed, Bath and Beyond.

 

Photo courtesy of Conair

FTC Disclosure: This item was provided for review courtesy of www.beautystat.com

Going Old School With Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser

Skincare

With my freelancing life taking me out of the house and requiring makeup every day, I needed something effective yet gentle to wash the day away the day. While my favorite cleanser does the job, sometimes I need something quick and moisturizing at the same time. Luckily, there was a jar of Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser in my Q-Tips box of Halloween goodies I received last month. This cleanser has been around a very long time, the little black dress of the skincare world. And after using it for a few weeks, I clearly understand why!

It’s Part Cleanser

It has the right ingredients to get skin beautifully clean before bedtime. It’s even gentle enough to use as an eye makeup remover, eliminating the need to use a separate product. You don’t need to wet your face before you use it either. Just slather it on, enjoying the creamy texture while its breaks up all that dirt and makeup. It’s even tough enough for waterproof mascara. With a wet towel, you wipe all that gunk away (rinsing is totally optional).  Just to make sure it got rid of everything, I followed up with toner and there wasn’t a trace of any dirt or makeup on that cotton ball.

It’s Part Moisturizer

While you’re cleansing, Pond’s classic formula infuses your skin with crazy moisture and keeping it there long after you rinse. The first time I used it, my skin felt so silky smooth I swore I hadn’t taken all of the cleanser off. After rinsing a few times, my skin was still soft to the touch. There was no reason to follow up with a moisturizer, which made my nighttime beauty routine even simpler. I seriously look forward to washing my face before bed.

Have you ever used Ponds Cream Cleanser?

 

 

Photo courtesy of Ponds

FTC Disclosure: Product was received as a free sample for review. All opinions are my own.

Best Drugstore Beauty: The Natural Hair Edition

Natural Hair

When it comes to hair, the drug store is the holy grail of products. I learned over the years that expensive doesn’t always equal best, no matter what type of hair you have. Some of the best conditioners and styling products I ever used fall under the $10 mark.

Organix Argan Oil and Shea Butter Shampoo

This sulfate and paraben free line of hair products has ton of products that deliver great looking curls. The Argan Oil and Shea Butter Shampoo is the most moisturizing of them all, leaving hair crazy soft.

TRESemme Flawless Curls Conditioner

Hands down this is one of the best conditioners for my curls as well as the best bang for my buck. Infused with Vitamin B1 to gently condition hair while taming frizz it has the right amount of slip to make detangling a breeze. It also leaves your curls crazy soft, whether you use it before or after shampooing.

EcoStyler Olive Oil Gel

My edges would be looking crazy if it wasn’t for this hair gel. Made with 100% pure olive oil, this gel gives superior hold without flaking or drying your hair out.

Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie

The priciest product out of the bunch, it’s worth the slight splurge if your hair needs a styling product with some serious hydrating power. From twists to wash and goes, you get curly hair perfection each and every time.

Cream of Nature Argan Oil Intensive Conditioning Treatment

If you want to see results right away, this conditioner from Cream of Nature is the way to go. After the first use my hair was so much softer and curls much more defined I almost didn’t believe it (so I had to use it again…and again!)

Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle

No time to sit under a dryer for 30 minutes to deep condition, Aussie has you covered with the 3 minute miracle. By the time it takes you to apply and detangle, you’re ready to rinse while still getting the strengthening and moisturizing benefits of a longer conditioning session.

Hollywood Beauty Tea Tree Oil

When dry scalp is a serious problem, massaging it with a little bit of tea tree oil does the trick. Drugstores like Walgreens carry an affordable size bottle of it (just have to look way down on the shelf).

Be sure to check out the eyeshadow and lipstick drugstore editions!

What’s your favorite drugstore hair product?

Q-Tips Makes Halloween Makeup A Lot Less Scary

Halloween Costume

I’m not going to lie, Halloween has gotten to be fun again since having my daughter. She’s the perfect excuse to splurge on a costume (we have to be coordinated, right?) and really have fun with my makeup. I get to go out and get candy instead of sitting at home handing out, ‘making sure’ my daughters candy is tasty and delicious before she gets her share. This year is no different, tonight filled with tons of festivities. Not only does my makeup have to look good, it has to stay that way.

Since she’s a big Doc McStuffins fan¸ I’m going as my little girl’s nurse. I wanted a fun and super girly makeup look but wasn’t exactly sure where to start. So when the folks from Q-Tips reached out to me with their own box of tips, tricks and treats, this girl was totally onboard, not sure what to expect. When my magic box arrived, not only did it have beauty goodies for Halloween night and beyond (reviews to come!) I had my own supply of Q-tips Cotton Swabs and Precision Tips as well as a handy booklet with great costume makeup ideas.

I took a cue from their evil queen tutorial and went for some color blocking eye makeup action – using nothing but Q-tips.

Halloween Makeup

The cotton swabs are perfect for sweeping color across the lids, picking up the right amount of shadow. The wide tip helped me spread on the color smoothly and evenly. All I needed was one tip, one end for the pink and the other end for the blue.

The Precision tips were like mini eyeliner brushes with a sharp tip that allowed me to line my eyes for a smokey look sans smudging.

Makeup Tips

A coat of mascara, some serious pink blush and lipstick and this sassy nurse is good to go!

Whenever you’re in a makeup bind, remember that Q-Tips makes the perfect makeup applicators. You check out all of their beauty tips here!

PS: Curious about the hair? Check out Wednesday’s post!

FTC Disclosure: Products used in this review were received as free samples. All opinions are my own.