Last night, I was running early to meet a friend for drinks (for ONCE in my life) and I stopped by CVS to pick up a few “necessities.” (I could spend hours in a drug store. Seriously, it’s like, a thing.) At the exact moment I realized I forgot to put on my Lancome La Vie Est Belle (that’s French for “smells pretty”), I stumbled upon this impressive display of designer imposter fragrances.
I mean…wow. These perfume posers have come a long way since the days of “If You Like CK One, You’ll Love This Aerosol Can of Body Spray.”
And…I liked it (not enough to buy it for a whopping $7.99, but I came close). It smelled almost identical to Light Blue and it lasted longer than I thought it would. I’m not saying you should downgrade to designer imposter perfumes (Cher Horowitz would be HORRIFIED), but if you forget your fragrance en route to an engagement, you can pull into your local drug store and freshen up in pinch.
Having soft skin is really important if you ever want anyone to touch you.
And since I do (and assume you do, too) I am always on the hunt for the best lotions to make my naturally dry skin as soft and moisturized as possible without a funky smell, greasy residue, or hefty price tag. Check out the crème de la crème in creams from cheap ($8) to cha-ching ($35), and remember, always try to apply your lotion when your skin is still a bit damp (or at least before you exit the steamy bathroom) to lock in moisture.
1. Ceravae Moisturizing Cream: This top-notch concoction was created by dermatologists and its “patented Multivesicular Emulsion (MVE) releases ceramides and other essential ingredients throughout the day, so they penetrate deep into the skin to hydrate and nourish.” In other words, this shiz works to keep you seriously moisturized and protected. People with sensitive and/or really dry skin and/or eczema should lube up with this on the reg. $12-$17; available at CVS, Walgreens and other drug stores
2. Origins Ginger Souffle Whipped Body Cream: This product is like a hot guy on a cold night: You want it ALL over you. The scent is so heavenly and it makes your skin feel smooth as silk, thanks to natural oils like olive, grape seed, and apricot kernel. Oh, plus ginger is a proven mood enhancer and aphrodisiac. Yeah…you’re going to need this. $29.50; available online and at Sephora and Macy’s
3. Nivea Skin Firming Body Lotion: And now I present to you my latest SSS (soft skin secret). I’m absolutely obsessed with this lotion thanks to Nivea’s Hydra-IQ technology for moisture and co-enzyme Q10 complex for skin firming. Technical mumbo jumbo aside, my skin felt significantly silkier after using this for just one week. As for firming, I have a hard time believing a lotion can harness those powers, but I feel like it actually might be making a diff (or maybe that’s just the Flybarre). Bottom line, it’s a perfect lotion for cheap. Nivea, if you ever take this off the market, I will literally die. $8-$10; available at most drug stores
4. Organix Hydrating Moroccan Oil Creamy Body Lotion: Argan oil is the jam right now when it comes to pretty skin. This lotion uses the proven potion along with “sugar cane and willow bark to soften, giving a radiant glow, along with rice milk and bamboo extract to make skin supple and touchable all over.” The scent is nice and fresh without being overpowering and the bottle is the best for traveling. $8; available at Ulta, CVS, Walgreens, and other select drug stores
5. Bliss 24-’Heaven’ Healing Body Balm: Everyone I know who’s tried this product has fallen in love. The light, vanilla-y scent is glorious and it moisturizes extremely well around the clock (hence, the 24). It goes on thick and is ideal for those drier areas like elbows and feet; I love to slather it on before bed and drift off into a blissful slumber. Ahhhh…. $35; available online and at Bliss spas and Sephora
It’s time to get touchy-feely.
Have you guys been DYING to know what I want for Christmas all week long!? No? Okay, fair enough, but I’m going to tell you anyway. There are about 3.5 things on this list that I’ll actually receive and the rest are aspirational (ie. I’ll just have to wait until Valentine’s Day (HA, yeah right), my birthday, or when I find a sugar daddy via Christian Mingle).
1. Laura Mercier almond coconut body & bath collection: I love almond. I love coconut. I love fancy bath products that make my skin feel like silk and smell like paradise. This should do the trick. Products, $15-$55 each, available at Sephora, LauraMercier.com
2. Solid gold iPhone case: Guess what? This SOLID GOLD iPhone case is TEN THOUSAND F*CKING DOLLARS. I don’t want it. It looked pretty in the collage and I had to put at least ONE joke in here. Also, anyone that spends $10k on an iPhone case deserves to get mugged (and maybe beaten up a little bit). Oh yes, I went there. $10,000, available online
3. Tom Binns for Lisa Hoffman rhodium earrings: Yes, these gems are lovely ear candy, but there’s a surprise inside (I love surprises) in the form of “fragrance beads infused with fresh, optimistic French Clary Sage.” Which means when that special someone leans in (ooh la la), he’ll get a subtle whiff of amazing that he’ll think is just your natural scent. Genius. $200, available online
4. Nixon Camden Chrono watch: Because every girl I know has the same Marc Jacobs or Michael Kors watch and I can’t afford a Rolex or Tag (YET), this Nixon makes a bold, gold statement. Plus, Nixon is known for its gigantic, men’s watches, so it’s cool for chicks to wear them. $450, available online and at select retailers
5. Rebecca Minkoff M.A.C.: M.A.C. stands for Morning After Clutch, so I guess you’re supposed to tote this along when you spend the night with a gentleman caller? I mean…whether it’s raining men or I’m enduring a dry spell, I want this on my arm. $295, available online and at select retailers (like Bloomingdale’s) (PS, did you see Rebecca Minkoff’s magicalorious holiday video?)
6. Warby Parker Everett sunglasses: Because I’m getting blinder by the day, I need to bite the bullet and get some prescription sunnies. Warby Parker’s frames are high-quality, stylish, SO affordable, and for every pair sold, they give a pair to someone in need, Toms-style. $95 without Rx/$150 with, available online (and they’ll send frames to you to try before you buy!)
7. Jawbone Jambox: These speakerboxxes have incredible sound, sync with your smart phone (or any bluetooth-enabled device), and you can toss the little one in your bag and take it anywhere you might need to get the party started. AND you can customize your color scheme like the Witty + Pretty special you see above. $200 (on sale now for $150), available online
8. Funky Chunky Crowd Pleaser tin: Have you guys had Chip-Zel-Pop!? Yes, it’s a mix of white and milk chocolate-covered potato chips, pretzels, and popcorn. Aaaand I just drooled on my keyboard. This giant tin has the CZP plus chocolate popcorn, chocolate pretzels, and peanut butter pretzels. I would literally eat all 3.13 lbs. of it in 24 hours, then go into a candy coma (wait, maybe I don’t want it). $55, available online and at select retailers (small sizes and various mixes available)
9. Flywheel Sports custom cycling shoes: MUST HAVE these shoes. I don’t need to remind you guys how psycho I am about Flywheel. I don’t think they’re available in Atlanta just yet, but if I have to make a call to our pal Ruth in NYC (remember her?), I will do just that. Now that’s
desperation dedication. $125 ($12 extra for clips)
10. North Face Midori Moto jacket: I want a casual jacket I can throw on over my workout clothes, but still looks cool enough to rock with jeans and boots. This form-fitting (and flattering!) North Face nails it. $130, available online and where North Face is sold
And that wraps it up for the W+P Wish Lists! I hope you enjoyed and that you get everything you want this holiday season. Even if I didn’t get any presents, I’d be completely happy just spending time with family and friends over booze and food.
(But like, I really do want that Jambox, Dad.)
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, everyone!
Take a deep breath through your nose (because no one likes a mouth breather).
Can you smell that? No, I’m not talking about your vanilla desk candle (which is lovely, btw), remnants of your pumpkin spice latte, or your co-worker’s leftovers in the microwave (which hopefully isn’t any sort of fish product, for your sake). I’m talking about the smell of FALL (!!!) and all the glorious fragrances that come with it. Below I’ve laid out five sweet scents and the messages they send when you spritz them on. Guess what I’m not going to do? Hit you with technical beauty jargon like “notes of bergamot and orange blossom” or “hints of patchouli and jasmine.” It’s just not my thang (hope you don’t mind).
1. La Vie Est Belle by Lancome: Timeless beauty Julia Roberts is the spokesmodel (you may have seen the symbolism-overload commercial), and this fragrance is as infectious as her smile. It’s super sweet, so if you’re into muskier or lighter, citrus-y smells, you may not dig it, but I can’t imagine anyone not appreciating its candy-coated girl power. If you used to douse yourself in Angel or Coco Mademoiselle but played it out (like I did with both), this is the perfect aromatic upgrade for you.
It says: “I’m hot, sticky, and sweet, from my head to my feet. But treat me like a lady…or else.”
Buy: Department stores where Lancome is sold; Sephora; Ulta; $55 and up
2. Dot by Marc Jacobs: One look at the bottle and you know a party is in there just waiting to bust out. This fragrance is fresh and fun, floral but not TOO floral (oh yes, that is a hint of coconut), and created to make you happy the second you spritz it. And who doesn’t want that butterfly-ladybug hybrid sitting in her home?
It says: “I’m here for the party. No, wait…I am the party.”
Buy: Department stores where Marc Jacobs is sold; Sephora; Ulta; $48 and up
3. Gorgeous Gardenia by Flora by Gucci: Gardenias have an incredible scent, but not every gardenia product does. Gucci nailed it with this gorgeous aroma that makes you smell like you just rolled around in a flower garden. Which means you might attract a guy who wants to roll around in flower garden with you.
It says: ”It may be fall, but I still have spring fever.”
Buy: Department stores where Gucci is sold; Sephora; Ulta; $70
4. Fabulous by Isaac Mizrahi: This parfum is nothing too groundbreaking (kinda’ like the word fabulous itself), but it smells delicous and clean and leaves you wanting more (ahem, great for a first date). Plus, it’s the very first fragrance by the legendary designer and comes in a pretty, vintage-y bottle. (Unfortunately, it’s not Isaac Mizrahi for Target.)
It says: “I’m cool, confident, and like beers and football with the boys as much as champs and pedis with the girls.
Buy: Exclusively at Bloomingdale’s (for now); $65 and up
5. Dahlia Noir by Givenchy: Guess what? Black is the new (50 shades of) grey and this perfumes oozes sexy. The musky-meets-floral scent is sensual without being too overpowering, mysterious without being aggressive. It’s what you wear when you want to canoodle in a dark corner with a tall, dark, handsome man. In other words, every night.
It says: “I’m really good in bed.”
Buy: Department stores where Givenchy is sold; Sephora; Ulta; $49 and up
Spray it, don’t say it.
I love traveling in the summer because I can pack way too many clothes and shoes and it all still fits in my carry-on. In the winter, you pack one sweater and two pairs of boots and have to spend half your vacay booze budget to check your monstrosity of a suitcase.
But when you carry on, you know the dilemma (like I have to tell you): Liquids. Oh, I can never forget the day in 2006 when I was unaware that the liquid law was in place and watched in horror as a TSA agent tossed about $300 in fancy hair products, makeup, and perfume right in front of my face. I called my mom crying.
Anyway. I’m in NYC right now and in the middle of my “high travel season,” so I thought it appropriate to share (what I think are) some of the best beauty products that are under three ounces, fit nicely in a stupid plastic sandwich bag, and serve a purpose while you’re jet-setting.
Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin.
1. Bliss Sinkside Six-Pack (1 oz. each): You know I love six packs of all kinds. In this handy kit, you get Bliss’ amazing face wash, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap slab, and body lotion. Pack it all or swap something out with another essential (no offense, Bliss, but I don’t need soap and shower gel). And you can carry on the plastic zip case it comes in (I just proved it), so no need to transfer the goods to a stupid sandwich bag. $25
2. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (.4 oz.): This must-have product can be used alone or under foundation, gives your skin a gorgeous glow, plus it comes in an adorable baby tube. How can you resist? $17
3. HollyBeth’s Natural Luxury Organic Toner (2 oz.): I pass out the second I get on a plane and often wake up feeling dehydrated, groggy, and not so fresh-faced. A few spritzes of this organic toner wakes you up, gives you just enough moisture, and energizes you with its delicious scent (I prefer the rose geranium as I have dryer skin; if you’re oily, go with marigold). And you can skip your morning face wash and just use this (as long as you cleansed the night before). $12.50
4. Burt’s Bees Facial Towelettes (30 count): Clean your face and get your makeup off…without water? Whaaaa? Yes, you can do it with these convenient wipes (ugh, I hate that word) that leave your face feeling fresh thanks to the white tea extract. If you’re wearing a lot of foundation/bronzer/blush, plan on using two. $6, available at CVS and other drug stores
5. Supergoop! Sunscreen Set: You have to protect that gorgeous skin and keep those lips kissable when the sun is shining. I remember Spring Break 2K4 in the Bahamas when I didn’t use SPF on my lips and by the end of the week the pain and blistering was so bad, I couldn’t even make out with randoms. But I digress. Check out Supergoop’s steal of a travel set—SPF 40 lotion for face and body plus a soothing, minty SPF 30 lip balm perfect for a makeout sesh on the sand. $20, store locations online
6. Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo (1 oz.): If you don’t have time to wash and style your hair while traveling the world (or East coast, whichever) and/or need more volume and less oily scalp, Oscar Blandi is the best in the biz. Work into your roots and BOOM: No more grease, girl. $11
7. Bliss That’s Incredi-‘peel’ Pads (30 count): That’s right—more Bliss! These babies take up zero room in your bag and give you a facial effect overnight due to “spa-strength exfoliating glycolic acid,” soothing witch hazel, and hydrating glycerine. Don’t expect it to feel like a miracle is happening on your skin right away—it’s cool and invigorating like a really good toner, but the effects happen overnight. You’ll notice softer skin and visible improvements in tone and texture after just a few uses. $49 for a box
Safe travels, ladies! And remember, if TSA is going to violate you in any way, let it be a pat-down, not stealing your beauty products.