Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Lip Balm That's Beautiful Inside and Out {Plus, a GIVEAWAY!}

Photos by Lydia Hudgens

I remember when eos lip balm first launched. I was a beauty editor at Allure magazine at the time, and I recall vividly how--even as jaded, seen-it-all editors--we all just cooed when we opened up the package of those colorful little orbs. So cute! So yummy! So easy to find in your purse! Immediately, I was smitten--we all were. But what I soon learned, and what I've gotten an even better sense of over the years since, is that eos actually has way more going for it than just its good looks. 

First, eos is organic. Did you know that? For a long time, I actually didn't. But it's something that I really appreciate now that the concept of organic has become very important to me. I mean, I would never describe myself as a crunchy hippie or anything, but I care about my body and my health and about what goes into it and on it. And obviously I'm a mom, so I care even more about those things when it comes to my kids! So, with food, I'm always very careful about buying organic as much as I possibly can. But we forget how much lip balm we consume, too! If you're like me, you are constantly applying it--and then constantly licking it off. (Especially when it's a brand like this that tastes so good!) I don't know about you, but I carry lip balm in every purse, I have them in my kitchen drawers and in my medicine cabinet. I've been known to whip one out anywhere and everywhere, whether I'm commuting on the train, watching my kids at the park, or just getting ready for bed, so it feels comforting to know that there aren't any scary chemicals or sketchy ingredients in there. 

The other big thing to know about eos lip balm is that it's made of the highest quality natural ingredients. They don't rely on a bunch of fillers or crappy versions of the good stuff. They use proven, top notch ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and beeswax--stuff that you can actually pronounce, that actually works. And though the eos formula has always been good, it's now new and better than ever. This year, they reformulated, so now there are even more hydrating ingredients in there, and it somehow feels even more softening now with a bit more "glide" when you apply it. (Just a heads up that they also updated their packaging. The orbs themselves haven't changed--thank god!--but the outer packaging is different; it's really fun and bright now.) 

So, all of that means that, yes, eos is incredibly attractive, but as a longtime user, I swear: I DON'T JUST LIKE IT FOR ITS BODY; I love it for what's inside, too. ;) I can feel good about slicking it on all day long, and about letting my kids use it. (Am I the only one whose kids are obsessed with the eos orbs?? I put them in their Easter baskets every year, so they each have their own, but they are still always stealing mine!) 

If you'd like to try the new eos lip balm formula, I've got you covered: You can win a six-month supply by entering via the widget below. And if you'd like to learn more about eos and their organic formulas, you can visit their website here.

This post was sponsored by eos, a brand I have used and loved for years.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 9, 2017

How To Wear A Sequin Skirt For Day

banana republic camo sweater
rose gold skirt
sweater, Banana Republic (40% off right now!) // skirt, J.Crew (similar here, here, and here) // sandals, Birkenstock // sunglasses, Gucci // nail polish, Essie's Romper Room
loose waves

banana republic Camo-Print Jacquard Crew
copper birkenstocks
j.crew rose-gold sequin skirt

essie pink nail polish
Photos by Lydia Hudgens

I haven't done an outfit post in awhile (ok, it's been way more than awhile), but when I saw this skirt, it inspired me to get back in the game. I love it! I love the rose-gold color since I love rose-gold anything, I love the fit (not too tight, not too loose), and I love, love, LOVE that it's way more versatile than you'd think. 

I can throw it on with a pair of heels and wear it out at night. But since I'm a mom who doesn't have that many nights when I go out at a sequins-and-heels level (to say the least!), I love that it's pretty awesome worn casually, too. These photos show my favorite way to wear it: dressed down with a blush-pink camo sweater (that's currently on sale 40 percent off, BTW!) and a pair of copper Birkenstocks. (The outfit is also pretty cute with sneakers, believe it or not.) Now, I wouldn't quite wear it for school dropoff or writing from home, but it definitely adds a bit more (literal) sparkle to running around the city for work events.

P.S.: I can't say enough good stuff about the camo sweater though. If sequins aren't your thing, it looks so cute with a pair of jeans, too. And it's on major sale right now!


Friday, October 6, 2017

12 Cool Things You Need to Click On Today

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that, last week...I MET MADONNA! I repeat: I MET MADONNA! You guys, I want to play it cool, but it was everything. Here's how it went down: I was invited to the launch of MDNA Skin, Madonna's new skincare line. We were told Madonna would be there, but you never really know. Still, I was SO nervous in anticipation. In my career, I have been fortunate enough to meet many celebrities through their beauty launches, but (and no offense to Katy Perry, Usher, Celine Dion, Justin Timberlake, etc) this was MADONNA. Totally different level.

I mean, I listened to her True Blue cassette tape and watched her videos on MTV constantly as a child. I even dressed up like her for Halloween. So, I was so freaking nervous the moment she walked out in front of the crowsd. She spoke about her line for a long time (funny enough, she actually sounded nervous while speaking up there!), and then stayed for a full hour after the presentation taking photos with everyone there. (And chatting with you while you were photographed with her! I just basically said "Uh huh" and nodded during this time, because I was about to throw up from nerves.) But I love the photographic souvenir I have now--and I really love that they retouched my skin and made it all glowy, too. Gotta love PhotoShop.

So, what are you up to this weekend? I'm not hanging out with Madge, sadly. Nope. Ours is going to be pretty low key--kids' parties, playdates, a date night. But whatever you're up to this weekend, I hope you have a great one. Here's a few fun links to check out in the meantime...

• Banana Republic is having a 40 percent off sale right now! And I really think they have gotten so good in the last year or two. I just bought this sweater in two colors (pink and yellow) and this supercool blush-colored camo sweater, which I LOVE. I also have my eye on this jacket. It's so cool!

• I gasped when I saw this slouchy Frye boot, because 1) It looks almost identical to one of my all-time faves, this Jimmy Choo boot--also pictured on me here (Oh my god! Look how young my daughter looks in that post!). 2) It costs about $1000 less than those Jimmy Choos! and 3) It's on sale!

• I'm ordering this: a puffer jacket that actually looks flattering and it's in an amazing color and it has gold buttons! (Plus, it's already on sale and you can get an additional 20 percent off with code MORE.)

• This is my new favorite skincare thing: Strivectin Advanced Acids Rehydrate + Replump Hyaluronic Dual-Response Serum is a hydrating serum that feels super light and totally not greasy. (It feels like you're hydrating your skin with water--not with oil.) I wear it morning and night under moisturizer and sunscreen and it's keeping my face so much softer.

• This vegan-leather dress is kind of sexy and SO cool (but still work appropriate)! At first I balked at the price, but Rebecca Taylor is having a 25 percent off sale right now, so I'm definitely considering it! Use promo code 25FAMILY for the discount.

• Random but awesome find: I make smoothies almost every morning and was starting to stress out over the number of plastic straws I was going through--and then discarding. So I found these reusable metal straws on Amazon and I love them. Simple to clean and now I'm putting much less plastic into the landfills.

• I'm thinking about getting this framed art piece for our guest room. Isn't it fun? Love the top knot and the bright pop of color!

• This week, I shot a fun Facebook Live with hairstylist Marcus Francis and Suave for Total Beauty. If you'd like to watch--and learn how to create the easiest-ever braided updo--you can check it out here.

• If you haven't been reading Dear John--the L.A. Times true crime serial that is drip, drip, dripping out one chapter at a time--you must start! It's basically a great Netflix print! The final installment comes out Sunday. In the meantime, here is the first chapter if you want to check it out. (You'll be hooked!)

• I can't tell you how many people shared this on my Facebook feed, but when I finally clicked on it, I was so glad I did. The author talks about how women expend a lot of "emotional labor" in a relationship--especially when they're moms--and oh my gosh, it rang so, so true.

And in case you missed it...

• My daughter got a major haircut...and I'm the one who freaked out.

• I shared a deal for free home products--in yummy fall scents. (FYI, the promotion technically ended, but insider tip: I'm pretty sure you can actually still get freebies if you click on the link!)

Have a great weekend!


Monday, September 25, 2017

My Daughter Got A Major Haircut--And *I'm* The One Who Freaked Out

bob haircut little girl
elle kinney

haircut little girl
alyssa hertzig
pantene beautiful lengths
hair washing
salon shampoo
bob haircut little girl
elle kinney
haircut elle kinneyelle kinney
chris chase salon
girl haircut
elle kinney
girl haircut
bob haircut
bob haircut
hair flip
bob haircut
Photos by Lydia Hudgens

Late last month, my daughter (who has always had long hair and hates getting even the teeniest trim) announced that she wanted to cut her hair to her shoulders--a major cut that would have taken off about four inches. "You know," I said, opening my big mouth. "If you cut it even shorter, you could donate it to an organization that makes wigs for kids who lost their hair because they were sick. You could help people by giving them your hair." She thought about this for about two seconds. "Yes," she said. "I want to do that."

For a week, I kept asking if she really wanted to do it to see if she had changed her mind, but she was adamant. She wanted the cut and she wanted to donate her hair. She also wanted it immediately, so that she would have the new cut for the first day of school. So I made her an appointment. 

And then I freaked out. 

I started panicking that she wasn't going to look like a little girl anymore--that a chic little bob was suddenly going to make my seven-year-old fast forward into a seventeen-year-old. Embarrassingly, I actually tried to talk her out of it. One night, we laid in her bed and I got teary-eyed as I begged her not to cut too much off. "Mommy, you thought I would chicken out about the haircut, but you're the one chickening out," she said. I was busted.

So, I sucked it up and the day before the first day of second grade, we headed into the Chris Chase salon in Chelsea for an appointment with Elle Kinney, a talented hairstylist who I've known for years. The three of us talked about how short we would go, then took out a tape measure to measure the required eight inches. We had jussst enough. Elle formed two ponytails, then I held my breath (my daughter never hesitated for a second--I was the only baby in the situation), and Elle snipped. 

My daughter looked into the mirror and smiled and laughed; she loved it immediately. After a shampoo (which she adored), Elle cut and shaped it some more, then blow-dried it into the supercute bob you see here. My daughter loved it. I loved it.

We'll be donating the hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a great organization that provides wigs to women going through cancer. We hope that it brings a little bit of happiness to someone going through a very challenging time. I'm so proud of my daughter for what she did and for being brave in the situation, even when I wasn't. 

Oh and that thing I had been so scared about? That my kid was going to emerge from the scissors and the blowdryer looking like a teenager? Didn't happen. Not only does she still look like my little girl, but somehow, she looks even more adorable, and maybe even (shhh!) a little younger. Hey, I'll take it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Here's How To Get *FREE* Mrs. Meyer's Fall Products From Grove Collaborative

grove collaborative deal
Earlier this summer, I told you about a great site I recently discovered called Grove Collaborative, which carries natural products for home and body, and somehow, manages to offer these high-end, normally-pricy brands at very competitive, very affordable prices. (They carry Mrs. Meyer's, Method, Caldrea, Seventh Generation, Acure Organics, Burt's Bees, and many more.)

The other awesome thing about Grove is that, from time to time, they offer these kind of unbelievably amazing, limited-time free gifts just for trying out the site. I brought you one deal earlier this summer, and now, I have another really, really awesome one for you where you'll get to try out the limited-edition Mrs. Meyer's fall seasonal scents for FREE! (Details below...)
mrs meyers mum
Now I'm not a fan of the proverbial pumpskin spice latte, but I'm still basic: I love "fall" scented products, and I love switching over to them this time of year. There's something so comforting about spicy, pumpkin-y, apple-y stuff, right?

So, let's just say I was super excited to try the two limited-edition fall seasonal scents--Apple Cider and Mum--from Mrs. Meyer's. If you're excited, too, I'm about to make your day:

I've partnered with Grove once again to bring you this deal, which they are only offering through September 17

With your first order of $20 from Grove Collaborative using my affiliate link, you will get the following (full-size!) items for FREE in your choice of scent:

• Free Fall Seasonal Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap

• Free Fall Seasonal Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap

• Free Fall Seasonal Mrs. Meyer’s candle

• Free Grove striped kitchen towel

• Free Shipping & 60 Day VIP Trial (VIPs get free shipping on every order, free gifts, exclusive sales, and more)

The products are a $33 value, so it's a great way to check out some really nice home products that you otherwise might never have tried.

*FYI, if you're already a Grove Collaborative customer, you aren't eligble for the Mrs. Meyers deal (sorry!), BUT *if you use this link* you'll get a FREE set of Grove's great Walnut Scrubber sponges.

mrs meyers grove collaborative

You can cancel anytime, so honestly, it's worth at least placing one $20 order and getting all the free stuff! Then you can decide later whether or not you want to continue ordering through them. (That's what I planned to do when I got my own deal way back when, but I've totally stayed on and I order all of my cleaning products through Grove now.)

Also! I'll be doing a Facebook Live later this week talking about this deal, these products, and Grove, so make sure you've liked and followed me on Facebook so that you get a notification. It should be fun!

Don't forget: This offer ends September 17th, so grab your free products now!
Note: This is not a sponsored post and I was not paid to feature these products, however I will receive a small affiliate commission from any purchases.

Friday, August 18, 2017

14 Cool Things You Need To Click On Today

heart float
Photo by Alisha Johns
As I mentioned yesterday, we are heading out soon to go on vacation! Be sure to follow me on Instagram for lots of photos and videos of beaches, ice cream cones, and some super cute kids. :)

Whatever you're up to this weekend, I hope you make it a great one. Here's a few fun links to check out in the meantime.

• I had to do a doubletake at this one: This maxi dress looks super flattering, comes in so many different colors, and costs $68!

• I recently mentioned a beautiful, flowy rainbow skirt as one of my August favorites. Well, now it's on sale!

• I already told you that the next book on my list is In A Dark, Dark Wood (recommended by Reese Witherspoon!), but I just downloaded a few more for my trip that look really good: The Good Daughter (sounds spooky and suspenseful!) and The Breakdown (it's the new book by the woman who wrote Behind Closed Doors, which I just finished and loved).

• Speaking of books, Grace always gives great recommendations, so I loved her August reading list!

• I really want these sneakers.

• It's a lipgloss and a fidget spinner, in one. (I actually thought this was a joke when I first saw it, but nope--it exists!)

• Ilana has an amazing list of 21 children's books that teach kids to be kind and inclusive. (Let's all load up on these so our kids turn out better than those idiots carrying tiki torches in Charlottesville.)

• "The currents of family life hit me hard on the beach every summer. Watching people with their babies, their toddlers, their school age children, their adolescents. Watching the groups of adolescents on their own, without their parents. It’s like being a part of everyone else’s stage of life, while at the same time being neatly sorted into your own category (empty nester parents here with no children, actually reading the books they brought to the beach)." >> I loved this beautiful essay about the beach, and it will make me think about it so differently now when I'm on it in a few days!

I've talked about a few of my favorite podcasts previously. Just found this list recommending several more podcasts and there are so many on there that sound great. I've already downloaded a bunch of them.

• This Game of Thrones-themed baby shower is so awesome.

• To stay married, embrace change.

And in case you missed it, I...

• Shared my beach vacation packing list.

• Threw a cool Spider-Man birthday party for my son.

• Gushed about my favorite things for August: clothes, beauty products, the best thing that ever happened to smoothies, and lots more.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Packing List: Beach Vacation

vacation packing list
dress // bikini (on sale!) // sun hat // rash guard // pineapple towel // shorts // cooler bag // sandals (on sale!) // deodorant // sunglasses // straw bag // book
We're heading out for vacation soon! We'll be hitting the Delaware/Maryland beaches, then flying out to my brother in law's lakehouse in Michigan, then heading back to Delaware! It's going to be a lot of beach time, pool time, ice-cream-cone-eating time, and just hanging out and (hopefully) relaxing. It's not one of the super glamorous blogger vacations that we all drool over on Instagram, but it's basically exactly what I need right now. 

Here's a quick look at a few things I'm bringing, and a few things I'd love to bring--and just might be ordering soon.

Kate Spade Sundress - I've had my eye on this dress for months. It's a fun, more structured twist on the traditional embroidered Mexican style, and it looks like it's really flattering.

J.Crew Bikini - Seersucker for the win! (And the top is on sale!)

Eric Javits Sun Hat - I try to always wear a hat for sun protection when I'm outside, but bucket hats/fedoras aren't really big enough to provide adequate shade, and I would feel like a crazy person walking around the city with the same ginormous straw hat that I would wear by the pool. This is the perfect, happy medium! The brim is smaller than a traditional sun hat, but quite a bit wider than your basic bucket. My friend Dawn has one and I've admired it forever. Now, I'm finally going to spring for one for myself! (Bonus: It's made of a squishy, straw-like material that allows you to stuff it in your bag without destroying its shape.)

J.Crew Tropical Stripe Rash guard - I no longer go anywhere near a pool without a rash guard. It's just not worth it; the ultra-UV-sensitive skin on your shoulders and chest really needs that extra protection. And how fun is this one??

Pineapple Beach Blanket - Who wouldn't love a giant, plush, and oh-so-cheery pineapple towel? And unlike similar towels, which can run around $50, this one is under $20!

J.Crew Ruffle Chambray Shorts - Am I the only one who thinks it's really hard to find good shorts? That's why I love these: The ruffles add a cute, interesting detail, and they're not too, too short. "Beach Please" Cooler Bag - Cooler bags are one of those things you don't really think to bring to the beach, but once they're there, you're so glad you have them. (Cold water, juice, or--let's be honest--rosé, anyone?) This one also gets big bonus points for being adorable.

Dolce Vita sandals - When I'm going on a lazy trip like this, I leave the heels at home. (I always think heels look out of place anywhere near a beach, anyway, am I right?) Instead, if I go out to a slightly more fancy-ish dinner, I wear gold flat sandals, which can also double as a nicer shoe for day. These are really pretty, comfy, and on sale for just $62!

Schmidt's deodorant - You guys, I have tried to wean myself off antiperspirant and switch to natural deodorant for years, but I've never been able to do it. I'm probably going to do a longer post on this product soon, but let's just say, it's the only natural deo I've ever found that actually works. (And as a longtime beauty editor, I've pretty much tried them all). It's really amazing. It comes in lots of different scents, but I love this lime one. So refreshing!

Kate Spade sunglasses - I always love Kate Spade sunglasses and this shape works really well for my face. I'm never brave enough to wear crazy glasses, so I love that these look normal from the outside, but have a fun, colorful stripe-y pattern on the inside.

Permanently Poolside straw bag - So fun, and--since "permanently poolside" is what I hope to be--totally accurate.

In a Dark, Dark Wood book - My goal is to get a ton of reading done on this trip. (I mean, is there anything better than sitting next to a pool reading? NO.) I just finished a really great page turner called Behind Closed Doors (get it!), so I wanted to read something really good next. This one is supposed to be awesome, and since Reese Witherspoon just bought the rights to turn it into a movie, so you know it has to be good. (Also, if you've read any good books lately, please let me know. I am always looking for recs!)