It’s been a while since we brought you The Beauty Products We’re Dying to Try sub-series of our Covet Fridays ritual. Last time we did this we highlighted the men’s essential grooming list.
If you missed it, we highlighted one of the essentials is a good facial cleanser, which we’re appalled that more men don’t use. It can seriously fix your complexion, and it takes less than 2 minutes to do. We’ve seen some products we’re interested in trying – have you given any of these a go?
If you’re new to facial cleansing, here are some of our tips for keeping it low maintenance, but effective. Stick with these and you’ll have clear complexion in no time, which everyone knows can make the shaving scene a lot easier.
Washing your face at night is the most important, getting all the grime off from the day. Washing your face too much can strip it of its natural oils, so play it cool and do twice a day max.
Exfoliant (the stuff with the course texture) should only be used once a week and is good fo getting rid of dead skin cells.
Your face can reflect what you eat – oily foods can cause breakouts.
Don’t pick zits. We like toothpaste as an overnight spot treatment because it makes the pimple come to a head faster, which leads to faster healing time. And, everyone has toothpaste.
Buy facial cleansers that match your skin type: dry, normal, oily, or combo.
Use alcohol free cleansers, particularly if you have dry skin (cream-based products are the best).
Look for organic versions that don’t have sulfates or parabens. You wouldn’t shit on your face so don’t put a bunch of potentially toxic ingredients you can’t pronounce there either.
We’re heading to NYC next week for two weeks to visit family, work, shop, eat, and of course take photos of the city’s fashionable patrons. We’ve done a lot of traveling and have become somewhat of experts at carry-on-only packing. One of the biggest roadblocks for carry on luggage is the liquid limitations, especially for the ladies. Thus, we broke down our toiletry essentials that can fit in a 1-quart sized plastic bag, making sure the only item you’ll have to purchase at your destination is a razor.
Insider’s Tip: Remember, sample sizes are your best friend. So when you go the dentist, don’t throw away that mini toothpaste sample. Similarly, when you receive a swag bag or free beauty product samples, save them! If you travel frequently, consider signing up for a subscription to receive monthly beauty samples from organizations like Birchbox or Julep.
Liquid-Free Beauty Essentials
There are some other beauty essentials that are not considered liquids, but are as equally important for a fashionable trip. We usually pack these into a travel-sized makeup bag.
Makeup Remover Sticks: Okay, okay. These are technically a liquid because they have some remover in the shaft of the cotton swab stick. However, we’ve never had a problem throwing them into our makeup bag so, shhh, you didn’t hear it from us.
Makeup Essentials: Adria wrote a post about makeup essentials for women. While her usual routine is minimal, she pairs it down to the bare necessities: compact blush brush, bronzer, blush, under-eye concealer, eye shadow palette, eyelash curler, brow brush (doubles as mascara de-clumper), and mascara (which she’s never, ever had to pack in her liquids bag). The only item she needs to put into the liquids bag is her under eye concealer. If you wear foundation, consider getting a pressed powder.
Yes to Cucumbers Facial Wipes: Perfect for taking off makeup and leaving your face feeling clean and fresh. What’s more is these are available in travel-sized pouches.
Toothbrush: For extended trips, take the toothbrush you always use. For example, we use electric toothbrushes, so now whenever we go back to a normal tooth brush our teeth never feel clean again. Trust us, avoid a minor annoyance that can eat at you during the whole trip.
Floss: Even if you never floss (and if this is the truth, why?), make sure you have a small travel size on hand for those pesky food particles that you can’t seem to rid on your own.
Medications: Aside from any prescribed medications you may take, don’t forget to bring a few of the following in a chic pill box: Ibuprofen, Tums, and Immodium. Oh, and a few spare band aids are never a bad idea.
Cotton Balls & Q-Tips: Q-Tips for ear cleaning after bathing. Cotton balls to apply toner.
Contact Case: Don’t forget the contact case if you wear contacts!
Brush: Adria brings her whole paddle brush. Yes, it’s big and cumbersome. But 1) she has thick hair and travel ones usually come apart while brushing and 2) since she’s minimal on her hair routine, she needs to be able to use it to blow dry her hair straight for a night out on the town.
Hair Ties: Adria’s no-fuss hair routine makes black elastic scrunchies essential. She usually keeps about 3 on her wrist while travel, which takes up no room at all.
You might remember our Web Wednesdays feature of Birchbox, a monthly subscription service that sends samples of beauty and grooming products to your doorstop. Well, what was once only for women is now available for men.
For $20/month, you’ll receive a box full of both grooming and lifestyle samples from up-and-coming and recognizable brands alike. You can also earn points to use toward full-sized products (earned by purchasing other full-size products, referring a friend, or filling out product surveys).
If you’re still not convinced, check out the Birchbox men’s blog to change your mind. It offers up practical how-to advice on grooming and beyond.
All-in-all we love what Birchbox is doing. Men are oftentimes clueless about grooming products, therefore opting to use none. Birchbox offers a low risk way to explore grooming products in the comfort of your own home on a month-to-month basis.
We think Caudalie’s “vinotherapie” spa and beauty product line is genius. Owners and sweethearts, Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas, created this skincare line in 1993 after learning the antioxidant powers of wine. It uses a patented technique of using stabilized grape seed polyphenols in its products and is – wait for it – an eco line to boot, free of parabens, phenoxyethanol, mineral oils, and artificial colorings.
Caudalie’s products are available on its website, Sephora, and at one of its spa locations (US location is The Plaza Hotel in NYC). While its spa treatments are a bit pricey, you’ll be happy to know its products are affordable. Let the healing power of wine begin!
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not much of a makeup girl. I am way too anal about having perfect skin that a ton of makeup freaks me out. So I’ve always been about the natural look and focused on finding the best beauty products for women.
As a result, I’ve been able to decrease my makeup arsenal to only a handful of products that I swear by. From drug store to designer brands, here are my go-to makeup essentials that I use everyday and advise every woman to own.
As you probably know, we’re currently hosting a contest giving away a 3-month Julep Maven program membership. As part of this week’s contest, we are giving you an exclusive sneak peak at what is included in the Maven Program package each month. Julep sent us one month free to give our readers a sneak peek at the contest prize, and trust us – it’s good!
HAVEN’T ENTERED THE CONTEST YET? DO SO HERE BEFORE IT ENDS FEB 3RD!
If you’re interested in hearing more about what the Maven Program is and what we thought about it continue reading for an honest in-depth review.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’re hosting a contest with our friends over at Julep to give one lucky winner a 3-MONTH MEMBERSHIP TO JULEP’S MAVEN PROGRAM! Trust us, it’s good – we received a complimentary box to try it out and will be posting a review on Wednesday as part of this week’s contest!
What is Julep’s Maven Program? It’s a monthly membership with local-Seattle nail salon, Julep. The Maven Program gives it’s members beauty editor treatment – sending hand-picked beauty items from Julep’s new beauty product line every month! That means you see the products before everyone else! Oh, and you know what else we love about Julep? All of it’s polishes are free of DBP, toluene, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin and $1 from every Julep Nail Vernis sale is donated to organizations that empower women.
What can you expect to receive in this monthly package? Over $40 worth of products each month customized in a beauty editor Sneak Peek box, featuring new, never before released colors and treatments. The package may even include some cult favorites and invitations to exclusive Julep Maven online events. Oh, yea, and you receive 20% off Julep.com purchases and FREE SHIPPING.
This prize is typically $19.99 a month, for a total of about $60! But it is yours or a loved one’s FREE if you win this EC exclusive contest. THIS IS A PERFECT GIFT FOR VALENTINE’S DAY – either for yourself or the special lady in your life!
SO HOW DO YOU ENTER?
Simply LEAVE A COMMENT on this post telling us who this prize is for and why they deserve it. And single ladies, this is a perfect opportunity to pamper yourself for the holiday!
Second, LIKE JULEP AND THE EMERALD CLOSET ON FACEBOOK! You must like us to win, but if you’re already one of our lovely followers let us know in the comments!
Hurry! The contest ends on FRIDAY FEBRUARY 3RD AT 3:00 PM PST! When the contest ends, be ready to receive an email – we will be notifying the winner right away and organizing delivery so that you or your loved one receives this for Valentine’s Day!
BEST OF LUCK AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! Keep your eyes out for our review of the Maven Program on Wednesday!
To finish up our holiday gift guide series, we picked out the perfect items for the ladies in your life. Whether you are shopping for your mom, sister, best girlfriend, or all three, these chic gifts will leave an impression.
Still have more holiday shopping to finish? Check out our other gift guides for more inspiration:
1. Party dress – $100. Get her ready for the New Year with this flowy, ultra feminine dress.
2. iPhone case – $25. For the girl whose always connected, let her protect her phone in style.
3. Paperblanks day planner – $15. If you saw our recent women’s purse staples post, you might remember this planner. Adria has requested this in her stocking every year for the past 5 years. It’s just so cute and portable that we can’t help but be addicted.
4. Books 1, 2, 3, & 4 – $17 to $50. Whether she’s a reader or not, these books will give her a whole new appreciation of fashion and being a lady.
5. MAC Russian red lipstick – $15. Make her feel like the bombshell she is with this universally-flattering red lip color.
6. Candle – $18. This is hands down the best smelling candle ever. Trust us, just get it. And while you’re at it, pick one up for yourself.
7. Elephant ring holder – $18. This whimsical ring holder is bound to take her back to her childhood while simultaneously giving her a place to stash her jewels.
8. Jewelry – $18 to $30. We stumbled upon this local Seattle jewelry designer at the Bellevue Holiday Bazaar. We loved her feminine meets masculine style and reasonable prices. You’ll be sure to find an item for all the ladies on your list at this Etsy shop.
10. Portfolio clutch – $36. Whether she’s a working woman or not, this portfolio clutch will make sure she looks put together.
11. Measuring spoons – $24. For the woman who loves to cook, pair this with a cooking class in your area. It will be an experience you both won’t forget. From Seattle? Check out The Pantry, our favorite place to take cooking classes in The Emerald City.
A few weeks ago Adria created her holiday wish list. This week I’m up. These are the items I added to my Christmas list and am hoping to get on the big day. Hopefully this inspires some new additions for your list.
1. Elbow patch sweater – $118. Both Adria and I are really into the rust color right now. And these elbow patches win me over.
2. Duffle bag – $492.50. I absolutely died when I saw this bag. What a great shape and material.
3. Allen Edmonds wing tips – $325. I’ve yet to commit to a pair of Allen Edmonds, but I’m always drooling all over myself when I see them, especially in this warm walnut color. I’m a size 15 so it’s difficult to find wing tips that look as legit as these.
4. Scarf – $48. I love how rich and colorful this is. It will add a nice pop of color to a dark ensemble.
5. Chunky cable sweater – $198. I love the Nordic fisherman vibe this gives off. Plus it looks cozy as hell.
6. Lucky Peach magazine – $10 ea. I’m a huge fan of David Chang so I am super excited he has a magazine.
7. Desert boots – $75. The gray color on these are so perfect. I need these.
8. Waffle lounge pants – $49.50. I love waffle and these pants look comfortable, yet wearable in public.
9. Lip balm – $7.50. I’m slightly addicted to lip balm, and this blood orange flavor tastes amazing.
10. Beanie – $58. Again, I’m really feeling the wintery Nordic vibe and this beanie reflects that.
Last week we kicked off our holiday gift guide series with a list of hostess gift ideas. This week we’re covering the items for the men in your life.
Whether you are shopping for a significant other, a sibling, or your father, these gifts will make you the #1 girl in his world.
1. Whiskey aftershave – $13. There’s a whole new way to experience whiskey. Help him keep his grooming habits in check with one or three whiskey grooming products.
2. 5-in-1 network cable – $20. The perfect gift for the techie in your life. Help him carry all the essential cables in one compact holder.
3. Klein canvas bag – $50. Our step-dad, an electrician, had this on his Christmas list this year. What was an essential piece for the workplace for him was an “oh-my-god-I-need-to-add-this-to-our-wardrobe” moment for us. It’s both functional and fashionable, making it the perfect gift for any man in your life (and the perfect wardrobe piece for you later).
4. Wall art – $8. Help him define his space with this industrial monogrammed wall art.
6. Survival kit – $10. For the men who are outdoors-y and/or anticipating a zombie apocalypse, let him know you’ve got him covered with this sardine can survival kit.
7. Bracelets – $68. These bracelets are oh so cool and sure to be a conversation starter.
8. Tie – $98. This tie transcends time, making it the perfect addition to any man’s wardrobe.
9. Books 1 and 2 – $10 to $16 ea. Whether the man in your life is a reader or not, these books will transform him into a page turner in no time. Plus, you’ll get brownie points for picking out the wittiest books he’s ever heard of.
10. Edge card – varies. If you’re from Washington or Canada, consider getting the man in your life an Edge Card if he’s a skier or snowboarder. It’s good for discounted tickets to Whistler. Not from the area? Get him lift tickets to his favorite mountain or make a trip of it to a new destination.