I’ve been an avid fan of the women’s activewear line Graced By Grit for a while now and must share my latest obsession from their collection, the Head to Sea Hoodie. On every run this spring, I don what I refer to as my “second skin,” a super lightweight but hard-working piece of engineering which moves the way I move to allow for the most efficient workout possible. It’s perfect in the morning when there’s still a bit of a chill in the air, but even when I start sweating, I don’t feel sticky or heavy. Thumb loops keep it in place during vigorous activity while the shape flatters my body with its form-fitting longer length. I love that the UPF 50+ rating saves me from having stubborn tan lines or having to slather smelly sunscreen all over.
This spring (we can call it that now, right?), it’s all about taking care of your armpits. Instead of only complaining about them (amirite?), it’s time to give those forgotten body parts some love. Two of my favorite products of the moment strive to do exactly just that–and they work even doubly well when used together! Warner’s No Side Effects Bra is the first bra I’ve come across that’s dedicated to fighting “sleevage”–or in laywoman’s terms, armpit fat. In addition to being insanely comfortable, soft and cushy, the bra even contains an extra side panel solely for the purpose of tucking and smoothing away that area. So now when you’re wearing a sleeveless or silky top, you no longer have to curse your armpits–you can instead, admire them.
Speaking of sleeveless and silky shirts, they also tend to show off one other armpit pitfall and source of many complaints–wetness. This season, you can put that worry to rest too with the new Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant Deodorant which delivers, not one, but two day’s worth of protection with each application. Now you don’t have to sweat it (ha ha) even if you forget a day. Of course in addition to fighting wetness and odor, the product is also packed with Dove’s nourishing skincare ingredients which soothe and smooth. Oh, and it goes on clear so you don’t have to worry about that embarrassment either. Trust me, your armpits will never be happier.
I’ve never really thought of myself as an “Earth Mama” but today I stopped for a moment and realized that I do love to give my daughter lots of love through natural organic foods, clothes, creams, and even wipes! A great addition to our bathtimes has been Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash, a certified-organic favorite among moms. It’s made by Earth Mama Angel Baby, a company dedicated to organic products for pregnancy and post-partum care through toddler stages. The light foaming wash has a beautiful orange scent from Vanilla and Sweet Orange essential oils which I wish would linger long past the bath! The soap is actually not a traditional soap, but made from castile, a natural germ fighter. This eases my mind as I’ve been hearing so much about antibacterial handwipes and the like making us and our children more prone to drug-resistant mutant germs. I’ve always been partial to foaming washes because they are so efficient for coverage and even distribution over hair and skin, and they’re easier to control especially when going near the eyes. The Angel Baby formula is made with soothing organic Calendula, which is perfect for winter skin and eczema-prone babies. There are no detergents, sulfates, preservatives, parabens, or dyes, and is also gluten-free. Because it has zero toxins, it’s safe for newborns, pregnant women, and moms.
Growing up in Southern Connecticut, I always associated Land’s End with the other New England: the Cape Cod/Kennebunkport/ carefree on the coast kind of living rather than the (let’s be honest) uptight, conservative Stepford-wife-soccer-mom suburban town I was stuck in. I carried around one of their iconic canvas totes and fantasized about going sailing Jackie Kennedy style. After adolescence, I ended up moving to the big city, but never lost appreciation for the rugged-but-romantic style of the American shore.
This spring, the brand is bringing that nautical romance to me with the launch of their first body care line: Coastal Living. Their inaugural collection features the essentials: a body lotion, a body wash, and a hand cream in an absolutely divine lavender-honey fragrance. The products are formulated with hydrating shea butter extracts, soothing aloe vera, and good-for-you Vitamins A and E to nourish skin and protect it from daily damage. The lotions are easy to apply and leaves the skin feeling hydrated and soft instead of greasy. I’m particularly addicted to the hand cream which I keep by my work desk and apply on an hourly basis.
While I usually tend to shy away from scented body products, I am absolutely in love with the fragrance of this collection. There’s a distinctive note of lavender, but it’s soften and sweetened by honey blossoms. The result is a fragrance that is neither too aromatic nor heavy–and kudos to the brand–it also lacks that “generic” quality that seems to be a tell-tale sign of mass body care products.
Discover the new collection for yourself at LandsEnd.com.
Way too often this winter, I suddenly notice that my baby’s super-voluminous cheeks are red and chapped from the mistral-like winds that have overtaken the city. As a semi-prepared mother, I frantically dig out any moisturizer I can find in the top pockets of the go-bag and smear it on. With that bit of context, you can understand my giddiness when I discovered that the beloved Mustela brand which I have trusted since day 1, has put out an ultra-rich cold cream formula which is safe and hypoallergenic for even newborns. The best part is, it comes either in a nifty pocket-sized Hydra-stick which even cold hands can pull out and apply directly to baby’s lips and cheeks, or a Cold Cream Nutri-protective tube which is compact enough to be tucked into a diaper bag. Happily, this formula carries its signature irresistible sweet scent, which makes me want to linger kisses even longer!
The Hydra-stick is safe enough to be used even on newborns to protect and comfort skin with nourishing natural cold cream, lipid-replenishing ceramides and softening and soothing shea butter. I tried it out on my hand first, and it glides on easily and I can actually feel the protective barrier as it seals in moisture and minimizes the effect of drying wind and cold. It’s so cute watching my almost 2-year old smearing the stick on her own cheeks to the point that I have to trade a toy with her to release her grip! The hypoallergenic formula puts me at ease as it’s been tested by dermatologists for pediatric use.
Now that the weather in New York is straight up cold and we’re pretty much sprinting towards winter, I’m revolting. No Starbucks holiday cups for me thanks–but please do bring on anything and everything tropical! It’s probably no coincidence that as the weather gets cooler, my shower rack is getting fruitier. Here are my favorite new tropical themed bath and body products that’s helping me get through this transition period, one cold day at a time.
1. Alba Botanica Natural Hawaiian Shampoo in Mango and Coconut Milk Conditioner. Ahhhh..first can we please talk about the scent? The shampoo smells like the juiciest mango and the conditioner like sweet milky coconut that makes morning showers feel like a little mini vacation. Honestly, I can’t stop drinking in the scent of these two products! If that wasn’t vacation enough, the products also welcome you to to take a “permanent vacation from flattening sulfates and heavy minerals in conventional shampoos” with an ingredients list that’s missing parabens, artificial coloring, phthalates, and sodium lauryl sulfate. The formula does include nourishing fruits such as mango and papaya and gentle botanical cleansers to lift away grime and dirt. The product suds up wonderfully and rinses away easily leaving soft hair that’s never weighed down. The conditioner is high in fatty acids and protein to help rebuild damaged strands and infused with coconut milk and tropical oils to lock in moisture, strengthen hair cuticles and protect from heat styling leaving my hair the longest and softest its ever been.
2.St. Ives Naturally Indulgent Coconut Milk & Orchid Extract Fresh Hydration Lotion. While I may be in total denial about the weather, the cold front unfortunately is already starting to wreck havoc on my skin. These days my skin is so dry and itchy that not moisturizing is simply not an option. Thanks to the new continuous spray body lotion from St. Ives, the morning and evening moisturizing process is now easier and faster. I love that it’s mess free and can be applied with just one hand! The spray dispenses a light layer of lotion that absorbs into skin easily, providing deep hydration that lasts, and leaving just a subtle hint of tropical coconuts and orchids.
3. Skintimate Signature Scents Moisturizing Shave Gel in Luscious Kiwi Splash. One perk of cooler weather is that you don’t have to shave anymore, you may think. But Skintimate’s enticingly fragranced gels actually make shaving a nice sensory experience. Plus the formula is infused with 11 moisturizers including Olive Butter and Vitamin E which leaves skin feeling softer and more hydrated after each use. Kiwi Splash, infused with juicy fruit and sweet melons, is my favorite fragrance for bringing back summer memories–and getting my gams ready for warmer days ahead. (Can you tell this girl is ready?!?!)
Who knew an entire spa treatment experience could come in such a cute little package? No, I’m not talking about a mini manicure kit or foot soak. What I am referring to of course, is the new Spa Sonic is an all-inclusive polisher system consisting of a facial cleansing brush, a large brush for the body, a pumice pad for rough areas, and a facial sponge for microdermabrasion and reduction of fine lines. In other words, it is a full-body and facial treatment in a budget-friendly package, ready to give immediate results! READ MORE
Being a new mom means that my days are now full of discovery…of the latest and greatest kid gear! Below are my three favorites of the moment.
Lollacup. I can’t gush enough about this simple but well-made weighted-straw travel cup. The idea is that toddlers haven’t figured out (along with not throwing food on the floor) that gravity will prevent straws from being as effective as they want. So the smart people who look out for all of us parents came up with Lollacup, which allows sipping even at horizontal angles. I love that the cups are free of BPAs and made exclusively in the USA, and feature a cute chick-face on the cover (we just have to say “cock-a-doodle-doo” and our lil girl knows to come have a sip of water). As for the parent aspect, the straw disassembles easily for quick cleanup and even includes a nifty brush for the inside of the straw. Lollacup is built for battle, as it’s taken quite a few tumbles from the high chair and still looks new. For travel, the top flips forward to prevent spills in the go-bag. What’s not to love? READ MORE
Shaving is the one thing that I inevitably forget while showering, and if I do remember, it is my least favorite part! Stubbly legs are not cute, but unless I shave frequently, those pesky hairs won’t leave me alone. The best appliance I’ve tried all summer not only saves time, it results in smoother legs for up to weeks (just imagine the freedom!). Philips Satin Perfect Epilator is an innovative at-home hair removal device that works just like you’re plucking your eyebrows, but much quicker. Satin Perfect pulls out hair at the root, without irritating or pulling the skin, and actively lifts hairs to ensure that even shorter hairs are removed. A built-in light illuminates the area you’re working on, so you can make sure everything is gone. Two options for speed control make it ideal for comfort and sensitive areas. The result is priceless, in my book: smooth and silky skin for much longer than a razor will afford. The epilator is perfect for those impromptu trips to the pool or beach since it’s so quick, and should be used on clean dry skin. I’ll be honest- I wanted it to work on my armpits as well, but it was just too sensitive for me.
The design is pretty and ergonomic–no scary looking metal springs or anything of the sort. Cleaning is a cinch–just click off the roller and put it under water, spinning the white ceramic discs with your fingers for a minute. It’s ready for use after just an hour, and provides 40 minutes of action. It took a few tries for my legs to get acclimated to the Epilator, and I found it most effective after a warm shower and exfoliation. At first, it pulled out some hairs at the skin’s surface (much like shaving), but after a few uses, my hair actually became a bit finer and seemed easier to pull out by the root. Since hair growth happens in stages, I use the Epilator weekly just for touch-ups. Results will vary depending on hair thickness, but I found that the slower speed works more effectively for taking out hair. My legs are ready to take on the beach–and I haven’t shaved for a month!
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