the balm squad and an ode to ice cream

Lip balms are like ice cream…I like them both a lot. Smooth, creamy, comforting, delicious, it’s hard to play favorites with either.

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Balms should be rich and buttery, not sticky and glossy. I prefer a thick treatment balm over anything too slick. Same goes for ice cream, I guess. Fro-yo is OK in a pinch, but when I really NEED to indulge, give me something with a little viscosity.

My lip-pampering picks. Treatments & Treats.


Just like your face, elbows, and feet, your lips need exfoliating love too! Prep lips for deep conditioning with Ilia’s Balmy Nights  exfoliating balm. Organic oils, shea butter, and tiny granules of volcanic stone powder work together to moisturize and gently remove dead skin.

Protective & Plumping for Day

Read my lips: they need SPF as much as your face! Protect them year round with Dior’s Creme de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm. With an SPF of 10, stimulating Vitamins A & E, nourishing rose essential oil, and a subtle pink tint, this pretty little pot is begging for  a spot in your purse.

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Soothing & Moisturizing for Night

Your skin goes through a resting, regenerative process overnight. Serums and night treatments take advantage of this natural restorative time when cells repair themselves. I keep Avene Cold Cream Lip Cream on my bedside table to pamper my dry dehydrated lips. It has a thick texture and a cool, tranquil quality courtesy of Avene’s signature thermal spring water formula. Sulcrafates, a healing agent used in the treatment of ulcers and tissue repair, help protect the delicate skin on your lips. Plus, just hearing the words “cold cream” remind me of ice cream and make me ready for bedtime.

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Speaking of ice cream, eeny, meeny, miny, moe…

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look like a clean person without really trying

There’s nothing like a lazy summer weekend to steal all hygienic motivation away from me. A late night out, leads to Netflix marathons, fridge raiding, and bathrobe lounging. It’s my weekend. I do what I want.

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my lazy weekend command post

The back-to-reality alarm clock this morning was my cue to figure out how I was going to pass for presentable without a proper shower.

Presenting my master guide to looking like a clean person. Meet the clean up crew.

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Step 1: A nice hot shower is an excellent way to wake up and get your blood flowing in the morning. No time? Here’s what I do. Take a few drops of eucalyptus oil in the palm of your hand. Cup your hands around your nose. Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat. Mix the excess oil with a moisturizer and massage onto your neck and shoulders. Eucalyptus oil pulls double duty as a mind-clearing essential oil and fresh scent.

Step 2: If your face is makup-free, give yourself a refreshing mist of a spray toner, like Caudalie Beauty Elixir or Mario Badescu Aloe, Herbs, and Rose Water Spray. Face feeling a little icky? Before you mist, give skin a few swipes with a cleansing water like Bioderma Sensibo H20 or Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water.

Step 3: While your skin is soaking up that delicious, refreshing hydration, it’s time to break out the dry shampoo. Yes, it will absorb oil and add some spring back to your ‘do, but it will also absorb any unwashed hair smell. Now, maybe you are naive to the woes of odd smelling dirty hair. I can easily go a day or 2 without washing, but if I don’t use some kind of dry shampoo, my tresses take on a funky, musky scent. I love cult-favorite Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk or Batiste’s Dry Shampoo when I don’t have the time to give my hair the real thing.

Step 4: Step away from the extra strength perfume–you’re only going to make your co-workers gasp for air. It’s also really obvious. A more subtle approach? I have recently fallen in love with Clean’s brand of lotions and scents. They evoke the smell of freshly laundered clothes, fresh cotton, and rain. They are absolutely refreshing and will fool anyone who might suspect you’re a few days unwashed.

sunday “a ha!” moment: product expiration dates

If you’re like me, you have always guestimated when your beauty products expire. When there isn’t a date listed, like a milk carton, how should you now? Shampoo, serums, masks…my entire bathroom cabinet is filled with products whose expiration dates I pull out of thin air. Unitl now.

During a class on product packaging, one of my instructors pointed out a small round icon with a lid and number on it that lives on almost all hair, skin, and body products. After years and years of reading magazines and expert books and purchasing hundreds upon hundreds of products, I had literally never paid attention to this.

Instead of blindly deciding when to toss your products, look for this little guy. The number indicates how many months you should keep the product. The more you know, huh?

If you need an extra reminder, write the date you purchased a product on the label next to the expiration icon. Boom. No more old shit in your cabinet.

last minute look: you’ve got 5 ’til the cab arrives

So, it’s Friday night. You’ve had a nightmare of a week at work. The sweatpants are on, Netflix is cued up with old episodes of 30 Rock, and the takeout menus are in hand.

Then you get the call. Ms. BFF has an extra ticket/got stood up/needs you to meet her out NOW. You have 5 minutes to pull yourself together because she’s already called a cab.

2 Minute Hair: If your hair is clean, lucky you. Up or down, you’re done. Dirty, limp hair? Break out the dry shampoo and tease your roots for a little added volume. If you’re quick with a braid, here’s your chance. Otherwise, headbands and topknots are your best friend. A little celebrity inspiration below.

3 minute face: The trick to a fast face? Keep the focus on cheeks and lips. A smokey or defined eye takes way too long. Even out your skin and conceal with a fast-fix foundation stick, like Maybelline Fit Me Anti-Shine Stick, or a corrective concealer, like Marc Jacobs Remedy Concealer Pen. Either are great because you can just use your fingers to blend. Set Brows in place with a pencil that’s one shade darker than your natural color. I used Anastasia Brow Wiz . This will add emphasis to eyes that don’t have time to be messed with. Set brows with clear mascara. Add black mascara to lashes. Maybelline Great Lash is a great budget buy for both. Next, grab a bright blush and don’t be shy. Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blushes are seriously the best. Finally, a one-two swipe of a bold lipstick or gloss, be it red, fuchsia, orange or pink, finishes the look with impact. Try one of Revlon’s many luscious shades. I love Orange Flip.

a few of my fast-fix favorites


Accessorize out the door: to disguise the fact that you just rolled off the couch and into a cab, loud jewelry and a great scarf make up for last minute primping. They’ll draw attention away from smudged mascara and pull together any questionable sartorial choices.

Cab’s here. Gotta run! Takeout is better for hangovers anyway.