loving right now

lovingrightnow-may

perfume | mascara | earrings | watch | tee

a perfume that smells like the ocean. I have been looking for this scent for years. while beach-inspired fragrances are not uncommon, I’ve found that fragrances that truly capture the ocean are harder to come by. what I love about this scent is the hint of salt and earthiness that mingles with the more typical watery notes, and the fact that this does not have any hint of a sunscreen/coconuty note. call it nostalgia, but this smells exactly like the ocean by my hometown – I think it’s the seaweed note that really brings it home for me. (bonus: the bottle & color are gorgeous!)

a waterproof mascara that doesn’t give me raccooon eyes. my lucky streak continues in finally chancing upon a long-searched-for product. I love makeup, but I don’t have the time to reapply or worry about things smudging, whether I’m busy on the floor or just out and about in my personal life. #aintnobodygottimeforthat I’ve always been envious of my girlfriends who can wear any mascara from the drugstore and have lashes for days that stay put, but I’ve never had such luck, aside from the L’Oreal Telescopic waterproof, which, of course, is now discontinued. ::side eye emoji:: prior to this discovery, I was using the YSL Faux Cils waterproof, which gave me all the volume I wanted but sometimes I still had a small amount of flaking/smudging. so far, Monsieur Big  has been completely flake- and smudge-proof. I’ll let you know if that changes, but so far, it’s love.

demi-fine jewelry that won’t break the bank. it’s nice to see more & more retailers offering demi-fine jewelry. it’s a great option for those of us who want some pieces of jewelry that are higher quality but still budget friendly. aside from these hoops, my husband also bought me this necklace, and I’m really pleased with the quality of both pieces.

a watch with a cause. along with my wedding rings, I wear a watch every single day. as someone who prefers using a watch to tell time, I feel naked on the rare occasions I forget to put one on. I have several watches in my collection, the newest of which is this mon amie healthcare watch. aside from being a beautiful watch that looks good, I love that it’s also a watch that does good. being a nurse and a future women’s healthcare provider, this watch has such a special meaning to me as it provides one year of prenatal care to a woman in need. (p.s. all health watches are 20% off for Mother’s Day with code ‘MAMA20’ – the new mesh version is so lovely!)

a tee that combines 2 of my great loves: nursing & languages. I squealed when I saw this tee. scrubs should be, first & foremost, functional, but it doesn’t hurt when they’re pretty, too. as a treat to myself for nurses week, I bought myself a new set of scrubs and this tee.  it was just too good to pass up. (btw, would anyone be interested in a review of FIGS scrubwear? let me know!)

cheap thrills: dove body polish

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don’t you love it when you find something that just ticks all the boxes? works well? check. looks pretty? check. smells good? check. oh and cheap, too? check, check, check! I tried a sample of the new dove body polish crushed macadamia and rice milk and after quickly using it all up, I promptly went and bought the full-size version (blue tub), along with the full-size tubs of the other two options: pomegranate seeds & shea butter (pink tub) and kiwi seeds & cool aloe (green tub).

first up: the scent. these smell delicious. the macadamia and rice milk version smells like confectionary, in the best possible way. not too cloying, but definitely in the gourmand family. it’s definitely a scent that would lend itself well to the cooler months because it has that sugar cookie/good things in the oven vibe, but it’s not so overpowering that you couldn’t use it in warmer seasons. the kiwi option in a word is fresh. the scent is definitely reminiscent of kiwi, but with a healthy dose of cool, fresh water thrown in – must be the aloe! the pomegranate option smells very fruity and tropical. it smells good, but it was a little too strong and one-note for me. the scent isn’t a deal breaker, but it’s definitely my least favorite of the three.

the packaging. I’m a sucker for packaging, and I like the way the tubs have been designed. the lids are your typical twist-off cover, but I love the colorways they’ve chosen for each scent and that the product itself is the same color. the colors are light and springy. I also really like that they made the tubs wider – it really helps with the opening/closing and general handling when your hands are a little slick in the shower. plus, it makes scooping out product a breeze – there’s plenty of room to get as little or as much as you want.

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the results. I would say these polishes are a good beginning/maintainance polish. they’re not the scrub you should reach for if you want some serious exfoliation, but they do do enough that you can feel a difference after one use. the fact that it’s on the gentler end of scrubs isn’t a bad thing – I think it would work well for those with skin on the sensitive side, as well as for sensitive areas. I like that it isn’t harsh and that I can choose the level of exfoliation to some degree by changing how much I use and how hard I scrub. I also really like that it doesn’t feel like you’re layering a sheet of paste on your skin. the particles are crushed finely, while the cream holding it together feels more like a mousse texture than your traditional body wash. it washes off really nicely and leaves a soft scent that lingers for a little bit.

all in all, these do a nice job and are a steal at $5.99 a pop.

have you tried these yet?

summer makeup

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you know those people who never seem to sweat? I’m most definitely not one of those people. in addition to when I’m stressed and when I’m exercising, I also sweat when it’s hot out. so when the temperatures start rising, I stay away from heavy makeup that I know will just come right off. most days I put on moisturizer, sunscreen, curl my lashes, and slap on some color on my lips, & call it a day. but when I want/need to look a little bit more made up, I add a couple of other products.

for my base, I’ve been loving bare minerals complexion rescue (my shade is spice). I started using it back when I began clinicals. I liked that it evened out my skin tone while feeling really light & cooling. I do have to say that this is definitely a sheer coverage product, but I love it for that reason. I’ve also been really liking the glossier stretch concealer because it’s got that creamy, light consistency that I prefer for hot weather. I’ve been a longtime fan of the nars concealer & the burberry one, but both felt a little too heavy for the weather right now for me. for blush, a tried and true favorite is chanel malice, a really pretty, no-fuss peachy pink that looks really good when I’m darker. if I want a little bit more color on my lips than a nude gloss, I’ve been reaching for glossier generation g in crush. I like that it’s matte but doesn’t feel cakey or drying. the color is a really pretty pink stain, like you’ve just had a cherry popsicle. I also like that when it does fade, it does it in a really pretty ombre kind of way that looks natural and not overdone.

I usually leave my eyes bare during the day and just curl my lashes, but at night, for some added drama, I’ve been really liking using the laura mercier caviar sticks in copper & khaki. I used the shades amethyst & cocoa a lot in the fall/winter, but I’ve been loving these two shades as a change in pace. I like using them both as a blended all-over lid color & as a smudged, no-fuss liner. I then top off with some mascara, which lately has been the dinoplatz escalator one. the packaging is super cute, it doesn’t smudge, & it holds the curl in my stubborn, little lashes.

the last two products I’ve been using aren’t makeup, but they’ve been even more crucial. while my face tends to get dry in the winter, in the summer it’s pretty much an oil field, especially around the t-zone. these blotting papers have been lifesavers for keeping my face from looking like a greasy mess. I love that the sheets adhere to a little puff & that the case comes with a handy mirror. lastly, the tatcha luminous skin mist is a great midday pick me up. I’m not sure if I buy the necessity of having a mist in one’s makeup routine, but a spritz in the middle of a hot day is unbelievably refreshing, and it does help revive the makeup that has gone flat throughout the day.

spring scents

spring scentsI’m quite loyal to perfumes. although I’ll try out a free sample now & then, I only own 3 full-sized bottles: one fall/winter scent, one spring/summer scent, & one special occasion scent. I prefer my warmer weather scents to be lighter in general, and I’m partial to citrus and water notes. for the past 5 years or so, my spring/summer scent has been dolce & gabbana light blue, which to me smells like citrus & ocean.

I don’t know if my sense of scent has changed or if the formula has changed, but I sprayed a little bit of light blue on a couple weeks ago and it did not smell the way it usually does. my favorite part about this scent is the tartness of it, and this time around, it wasn’t there, making the perfume rounder & less sharp. it was ok, but it wasn’t the scent I remembered. I thought maybe I was just being weird or OCD, so I kept using it, but every time, I smelled a softer, rounder scent. I even tried a spray of the tester bottle they had in-store as I was out last week and again, it seemed like the scent had changed.

so I’ve been on the hunt for a new spring/summer scent since. I’m sampling the three above currently. I have a deluxe sample & the solid version of nirvana white, and I’m noticing that there’s a slight difference between the liquid & solid version. the solid version is more subtle, which I think I prefer. brit sheer is the brightest-smelling of the three – it’s definitely a light, happy scent that still manages to be fresh & not too sweet. lazy sunday morning is aptly named – it smells like clean sheets & a relaxed, sunny morning. it’s a little different for me as it’s not very citrusy, but I like how clean & nostalgic it is. I’ve yet to commit to one enough to warrant a full-size purchase, but I’m enjoying rotating between the 3 in the meantime.

do you have any recommendations for a spring/summer scent?

dry skin saviors

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as mild as this winter has been (knock on wood), my skin is still as dry as a desert. in the past I wouldn’t care as much about doing something about it, but as I’ve gotten older and ever since I started to have instances of eczema, I’ve really taken the time to hydrate my skin properly, especially in the cold. these are my go-to dry skin saviors.

for exfoliation, nothing beats the l’occitane pate delice in my book. I’ve tried other body scrubs and they were all either too harsh, left behind a residue that I didn’t care for, and/or smelled weird/too strong. this one is none of those things. the smell is amazing. it’s almond-scented without being cloyingly sweet. it leaves my skin feeling soft & new without irritation, and it washes off cleanly.

and on to the lotions. kiehl’s creme de corps is such a lovely product. it doesn’t feel greasy, moisturizes really well, & leaves behind such a nice sheen on the skin while still being matte. I don’t know how it does it, but it does. aside from doing all of that, it also doesn’t feel thick at all; in fact, it almost feels like you’re wearing nothing! I use it all over my body. I use the first aid beauty ultra repair cream as an extra layer of hydration over eczema-prone or incredibly rough spots and when I’m having a little bit of an eczema recurrence. I love that you can use this all over the body, too, as well as the face!

 what are your go-to products for dry skin?