Laura Mercier

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tint-colorsEveryday makeup. #NoMakeup makeup.  #BestInBeauty. #HolyGrail. #RideOrDie. Or however else you want to call it! For 2017, it’s out with the cakey liquid and/or powder foundation and IN with Laura Mercier’s Oil-Free Tinted Oil Moisturizer SPF 20. (there are three variations of this product – shown below). This stuff is the absolute very best for everyday use! I apply it with my fingers and top if off Laura’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder in my T Zone for shine /oil control. If you search for Laura Mercier on Sephora’s website and sort by best sellers, these two products are at the top of this list – and for good reason! The oil-free tinted moisturizer comes in 12 shades and contains vitamin C and E.

Laura Mercier’s original multitaskers perfectly blend skincare and makeup to give skin a healthy, no-makeup look with a soft hint of color and SPF protection. These lightweight formulas provide a natural appearance while adding a healthy glow to the complexion.

11249572_468554109983553_1982333449_aTo top if all off, I also have Laura’s Original Eye Art Artist’s Palette (Sephora exclusive). SEE ALSO: Swatches on Dark Skin and Temptalia. I guess you can say this brand is a new favorite for me! And I ❤️ the packaging. Stay tuned for more beauty & skincare favorites.

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#PackWithMe

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Most bloggers share this kind of information on YouTube. I’ve watched many videos and I’m completely #over watching people take things in and out of bags. 😕

Over the past five (5) years I’ve taken at least fifteen (15) international trips and have had many more domestic excursions. Over time I have PERFECTED MY TRAVEL TECHNIQUE. It’s actually a fun experience for me! So I thought I would share all the fabulous items I take with me on trips (or on holiday as our European friends would say 😘). Before we start, let’s get one thing out of the way: I NEVER CHECK BAGS no matter where I’m going or for how long. I’ve made a carry-on suitcase and a tote/backpack work for two-week trips to Europe so I know you can do it for a weekend getaway or even a week-long trip (with a little a lot of planning).

Travel mantra: Organize! Everything has a place and every place has a thing.

img_0417This is my PERSONAL ITEM (something that will fit underneath the seat). I am currently using the Henri Bendel Jetsetter Backpack. I absolutely ❤️ it and it holds SO MUCH! How much? Everything you see in the picture above! (click the image to zoom in)

gold macbook, gucci zip around wallet, rayban aviator sunglasses, sessa vee pen, marshall headphones, l’occitane hand cream, iPad mini case, louis vuitton pouch, treat yourself pouch & earbud holder (sold out).

from target: gold glitter journal, emergen-c, colgate wisp, glide

in the small black quilted steph & co makeup case: gucci lipgloss, tom ford lips & boys lip color, crem de la mer, dior lip glow, anastasia beverly hills lipgloss, tweezerman tweezer, tom ford perfume

_13475545img_0441Now, let’s move on to the SUITCASE, also known as the meat & potatoes of travel. I use Bric’s Belagio 21″ Roller.

On one side I pack all of my clothes. Mostly solid/plain pieces that I can mix and match. For every 1 pair of pants I will take 2 shirts (remember to count the bottoms you are wearing!) The trip I’m currently packing for is only 3 days (Saturday – Monday) so I packed 1 additional pair of pants besides the jeans I wore on the plane, 2 shirts and 1 jean shirt. See below for the 3 outfits I made from this combination. (see also Meaningful Holidays)

Side 1 of my suitcase was pretty easy. Side 2? Not so much! 😩 This is where my mantra REALLY comes into play (O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-E❗️). Take a look at side 2 below. This is where I pack everything else:

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Looks nice and neat right? That’s because it is! ORGANIZE. ORGANIZE. ORGANIZE! On the left hand side:

On the right hand side is:

  • Get ready for this super travel tip: my Gucci Soho Disco Handbag serves as storage for all of my underwear, socks, comb, hair bonnet and my prescription glasses! (GREAT way to help the bag keep it’s shape while on the go!)
  • The Anya Hindmarch In Flight Case has all of my liquids: makeup, skin care, etc. ❤️❤️❤️ this bag and the contents EVEN MORE! This case has two sides: Take Off (deepest) and Touch Down (more shallow). I ALWAYS buy smaller sizes of the products I use everyday to take with me. #justsayno to those clear plastic containers that can all contain what can appear to be  mystery liquid. #nobueno 👎🏽 I absolutely love all of my things and I want to see them in as close to their original form as possible!!! 😍
  • Finally, I have a Tory Burch umbrella (no longer available ☹️).
  • Did you notice there’s no jewelry mentioned? That’s because I don’t wear much. I usually take 1-2 bracelets and it’s on me at all times: a dainty necklace, my pandora thumb ring, michael kors watch, some form of  studs for earrings and my wedding ring – that’s it!

take off side (deepest): first aid ultra repair cream, amazing grace (travel size at ulta), purity made simple (1 oz at ulta), clinique take the day off, lancome eye makeup remover, SK-II facial treatment essence (night only), SK-II facial treatment clear lotion (daytime only, great for oil control), makeup forever matte primer, urban decay b6 spray, l’occitane almond shower oil (travel size at sephora)

touch down side (shallow): toms deodorant, la mer lip balm, dior nail polish, toms toothpaste, jo malone fragrance, la mer hand cream (night only), crem de la mer moisturizing cream (night only)

Whew!!! That was fun! ☺️ And I still had enough space left to pack Christmas gifts for the kiddos! 🎁🎄 Happy packing!!!

 

see also #pampermesunday and #favoritethings2016

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#PamperMeSunday with Products

20130606-170822I ❤️ watching lifestyle bloggers on YouTube. They talk about everything from fashion to beauty, health, book recommendations, how they structure their days and so much more! I’d say I spend at least an hour each day watching videos (or reading blog posts online). I’m learning different ways to take better care of myself (mentally, physically, spiritually) and it keeps me from sitting in front of the idiot box all day even though nothing is really ever on. Establishing a regular self-care/pamper routine has been one of my learnings and I do it on Sundays since that’s the day I always have time to do a little extra. It also helps you relax before the work week starts!

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This post is about having a routine to pamper yourself. To be honest, I’ve never really done this before, nor have I had a staple set of staple products to assist in such an effort. Thanks to YouTube, that has changed!!! 👍🏽💃🏽

When it comes to the routine below, modify the products/steps to fit your budget and/or tastes. i.e. If you don’t do your own nails, skip that step. And before you waiver on the need to do all this / for the complexity… don’t you deserve pampering?? If not every week, then every other week or maybe once a month? I think yes! (Note: The times are just estimates – start whenever you want – and I DO multi-task where it makes sense to speed things up a bit. I also included pictures of my absolute favorite items! and a few emojis because… why not?

_658859507:55 PM Set the tone! Turn off the tv, light a Diptyque (Nordstrom) or Nest candle (Nordstrom) and turn on some relaxing music 🎤 (Spotify). The kind that will help you turn ⬇️ not turn ⬆️! This is a great time to listen to a new album or audiobook. PS: recycle the jar!

07:59 PM Pull your hair back with a headband (Target).

08:00 PM Prep face. Remove  EYE MAKEUP with Lancome’s Bi-Facial Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover (Nordstrom) and Shiseido Facial Cotton (Nordstrom). For remaining makeup, apply Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water (Target) to a fresh Shiseido cotton pad and wipe your face squeaky clean! This will remove ALL excess grime and grit. It’s important to get EVERYTHING OFF before we proceed so this step is extremely important!

08:05 PM Apply SK-II facial treatment mask (Nordstrom) and let it sit for 15 minutes.

08:07 PM Prep nails: Remove nail polish from hands and feet with Pure Body Polish Remover (Amazon), trim then buff (Target). Step-by-step guide here.

08:19 PM Rinse mask off face with lukewarm mater and pat dry with a fresh white hand towel or face cloth – not the one you used yesterday! 😱 (Nordstrom).

08:20 PM Shower (or take a bubble bath if you prefer)

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  • Wash hair with Art Naturals Organic Shampoo (Amazon). Divide into 4 sections, comb out and apply It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Conditioner to each section (Target).
  • Buff feet with Amopé Pedi Perfect Electronic Foot File (Amazon)
  • Push cuticles back (hands and feet).
  • Splash a little water on your face (it should not be scorching hot) 🚫🔥.
  • Gently massage one pump of Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash onto your face & neck (Nordstrom) then use a Clairsonic for a deeper clean (Nordstrom) and pat your face dry.
  • Clean your body with Fresh ‘Hesperides Grapefruit’ Bath & Shower Gel
    (Nordstrom) and shower gloves (Target). LOVE LOVE LOVE this combination!!! (the gloves provide a gentle exfoliation)
  • Apply *L’Occitane’s Almond Shower Oil to your body (HEAVENLY!) with an organic sea sponge (Nordstrom, Target) 😍😍
  • Exit the shower

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-7-04-21-pmFace care starts immediately after exiting the shower while your hands are still CLEAN!

08:40 PM Tone your face and neck with Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal-Extract Alcohol-Free Toner (Nordstrom)

08:41 Treat face and neck with SK-II facial treatment essence (Nordstrom)…. let this miracle water soak in for a couple of minutes.

08:43 PM Gently press (DO NOT RUB) La Mer Creme de La Mer Moisturizing Cream onto your face. You only need a dime size and 1 oz should last you 6-8 months (Nordstrom). 😍💯

08:45 PM Treat your upper and lower eyes with Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado (Nordstrom).

08:46 PM Protect your underarms with Kiehl’s Superbly Efficient Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant Cream (Nordstrom).

08:47 PM Moisturize your skin with L’Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate. The smell is absolutely AMAZING and your hubby/significant other will LOVE you for it!😍😍 (Nordstrom)

08:52 PM Put on your most luxurious pajamas (Nordstrom).

09:00 PM Apply Soap & Glory Heel Genius to your feet (Amazon) and put on some fancy socks (Nordstrom).

09:05 pm Select and lay out your clothes for the next day! Including jewelry, other accessories, lipstick color, handbag and shoes!

09:15 PM Steep you favorite tea in a fabulous mug (Teavana, Target).

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09:20 pm Polish nails with Nails Inc base & top coat (Sephora) followed by Bobbi Brown Nail Polish (Belk) in this manner to allow maximum drying/setting time: foot 1, foot 2, hand 1, hand 2, then repeat TIP: Coordinate your nail polish with the outfit you picked out so you’ll feel extra special on Monday!

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09:45 PM Curl up with your favorite blanket (Nordstrom), tea and read a book! 📚 (Amazon).

10:45 PM Brush your teeth wit an Oral-B electronic toothbrush (Amazon) and Tom’s Toothpaste (Amazon).

10:50 PM Protect your lips with La Mer Lip Balm (Nordstrom) and hands with L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (Nordstrom) or La Mer Hand Treatment (Nordstrom). I like them both!

11:00 PM Put on a fancy sleep mask and get some zzz’s! (Nordstrom) 😴💤 tip: get the matching pillowcase, too (Nordstrom)

lamerFinal thought: DO NOT rush the process!!! If you find yourself rushing through steps or wondering if you’re doing it right you are missing the point! It’s called #PamperMeSunday for a reason!! Enjoy feeling fabulous! 😘

*This product is not cheap! Use no more than a quarter-size for your upper body and another quarter-size for your lower half. Squeeze your sea sponge frequently to maximize the product.

Bri’s Favorite Things 2016

So, beautiful people… it’s time for Bri’s Favorite Things 2016! Looking over my list, I can truly say that ACCESSORIES definitely stole the year! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you already know the deal:

  1. Shopping is easy when you buy the things you love for the people you love
  2. I only recommend things I’ve actually purchased for myself ❤️❤️❤️

There are more than twenty-five items this year!!! 😳 All super fabulous, of course. ☺️ If you’re a guy and need ideas for your gal, this list is for you! If you’re a girl shopping for your mom, sister, neice, cousin, BFF (or for yourself 😉), this list is also for you!

Enjoy!!!

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Louis Vuitton Large Ring Agenda CoverMichael Kors Jeweled Keaton Slip-On Sneaker,   J. Crew Tippi SweaterPandora Shimmering Rose EarringsLouis Vuitton Pochette Felicie, Philosophy Just Release Me Makeup RemoverThe New Jim CrowKenneth Cole Nap PillowCole Haan Tali Bow FlatGucci Soho Discho Handbag, Chanel No 5 Eau de Toilette Spray, Ralph Lauren Slipper Bootie, EllandEmm Vogue Sweatshirt, Louis Vuitton Key Pouch, Pandora Alluring Brilliant Ring, Louis Vuitton Cosmetic Pouch, Sticky Notes (Fancy, Marble), Banana Republic Moonless Night Long-Sleeve Cozy Top, Neutral T-Shirt, Nike Free RN Running ShoeNike Featherlight Baseball Cap50 for Your Future, Solange A Seat At The Table

See Also: Bri’s Favorite Things 201520142013

Planner Situation

A few weeks ago I told you planning season was officially underway (for me). Now I’ve found #plannerpeace <== the state in which you are finally happy with your planner setup, accessories, layout, etc. There are SO many videos on YouTube of people walking through their planner, some in excruciating detail. And while I do want to join the party and show off my setup, I decided to take a different approach. So here goes (click the links to shop):

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My agenda is on the left, next to my 12″ gold macbook and iPad 2 air (housed in a fabulous Kate Spade case #love), shown just so you can get a feel for the size (gold scissors). In terms of the size, it’s very generous and offers plenty of space for planning and note taking. #love2write

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The picture above shows my “dashboard” – the first view I see when I open my planner. gold/marble pocket, pink & white post-it-notes, bow paper clip, bee stickers, square clips, gold pen. I found all this stuff by watching TONS of YouTube videos. The dark brown paper with the markings is just a receipt holder from the Louis Vuitton store. It’s sturdy enough to ensure those impressions, caused by the rings, don’t make their way onto the planner itself. I also have one in the back.

So what’s inside? I’m into more of a minimalist look so you won’t see tons of stickers, etc. I do use washi tape VERY sparingly, mostly in gold, black, white and blush (the theme for my planner). Inside I have 3 2 sections: planning, personal notes and work notes. #simple

The first section, shown above, is my planning section. This marble A5 paper, intended for daily use, is amazing; however, I do not use it as suggested. I use a coding system that I learned while in grad school to notate days of the week. Most are pretty straight forward except N = Sunday and R = Thursday. For me, each side of one of these planning pages = 1 week worth of planning. I note recurring appointments simply by using two letters together (i.e. MW = Monday and Wednesday) and use the extra space at the bottom for notes, etc. I do not write down all of my work stuff, only the most important meetings. Finally, my tasks / priorities for the week are listed on the right hand side. This paper is expensive, $11 for 30 sheets (or 60 days); but, by using a short hand system that works perfectly fine for my needs, I get more bang for my buck (1 pack gets me through the year); but, more importantly I avoid lugging around hundreds of pages of paper – the weight CAN add up. 😩

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Sections 2 and 3 are strictly for note taking, because I like to write – a lot. I use blush lined paper for my personal, more important notes (poems, etc.) and plain white lined paper for work and general scratch paper (packing lists, etc.) Sure, you can print this paper yourself, cut and hole punch it, etc, but honestly, I’d rather not. The stickers are there for decoration only, I never actually use them.

8/28: Update – I merged sections 2 and 3 (notes section) and exclusively use the blush paper from Minted Sugar for all my notes.

So there you have it. That’s my #plannersituation! Very simple. Here are my favorite shops: sessa vee, minted sugar, cloth & paper. Oh and BTW, you probably noticed a black card peaking out in the very first picture – it’s my absolute favorite card of all time and I LOVE looking at it!

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Transparent Flyleaf (used to separate note sections), Zipper Pouch for stickers

BONUS: Of all the YouTube channels I watched about planner setups – and I watch A LOT of them – the video below was most helpful for me.  Hope it helps you, too! #happyplanning

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