What To Pack in Your Holiday Party Handbag

*I felt the magic of swiss herbs in Ricola® Herb & Throat drops as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #swissherbs – All opinions remain honest and my own.

It’s comical to think that I’ll ever be able to make do with just a clutch at a party… or anywhere for that matter. I’ve tried. I’ve even tried a wallet on a chain – but seriously… even when you spend all that money you still can’t fit your powder and lipstick in there. Even blotting papers and a teeny tiny lipstick aren’t cutting it. Then you have a weirdo bulge on the front of your expensive, fanciful clutch and (if you’re like me) that will make you never want to use it again. Because of all of that insanity I’ve graduated myself up from clutch to convertible crossbody.

First of all, wtf is a convertible crossbody? WELL. It’s a handbag (obv) that has a strap (usually a chain, which I prefer) that when pulled a certain way can be doubled up so you can wear it as a shoulder bag or you can let it fall to one strap and carry it across your body. I do have a few of these, none of which are particularly festive, so during a recent sale I used up some gift cards and splurged on the Tory Burch Marion Tweed Medium Fleming Bag.

Burgundy is a huge color this year (YAY) … I mean… it is so Marsala aka the 2015 color of the year. So when I saw this in store I knew I had to have it and HOPED it wouldn’t be excluded in a sale I knew was coming up. It was not excluded when the sale hit, so purchase it I did.

So, what’s in this thing and how much can it hold? Well, I will tell you that just because it’s not a clutch doesn’t mean it’s going to hold a ton of stuff. You can carry all of your necessities but you do have to be practical. After taking this bag to it’s first holiday party for a test run I think I’ve got it down.

Wallet. Because you need to have cash, ID, maybe a card… your medical insurance (you never know!). I chose the Louis Vuitton Zippy Coin Purse in Amarante because it has a lot of little slots and areas to hold what I need. It zips the whole way around so nothing gets lost and it can even hold a little change if you need it to (do pay phones still exist?!).

Makeup. Start off by wearing a lip shade that just won’t quit. In a recent Instagram post I showed the Anastasia Liquid Lipstick in Heathers, which is a super deep burgundy. As vampy as you can get before you border onto goth-land which I can’t pull off. Wearing this type of lip formula assures you that you don’t need to bring it with you to touch-up throughout the night. A less expensive alternative is the NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick, but it doesn’t last as long. What I do bring with me just to keep my lips hydrated is a lip balm such as Jack Black Lip Balm. That along with blotting papers is really ALL you need in your bag. If it’s going to be a long night I do also bring powder and a small brush with me. IT Cosmetics makes my fave brush in a mini-travel size and I just about lost my mind when I saw it at ULTA Beauty!

Little Things. This is basically little random things that are important to keep on you for emergencies. In this little pouch I keep anti-bac, safety pins, bobby pins, hair ties, gum, two band-aids (usually ones meant for Blisters), floss (because food in the teeth isn’t okay), lash glue – you wouldn’t believe how often I have to fix other peoples lashes and plus if you need to fix your own you’ll need this. For some reason NO ONE ELSE will have it. Also, extra battery life for your cell. Capture memories, y’all.

Throat Drops. Usually I put a few Ricola®Dual Action Honey Lemon drops in my little things bag and I also keep two in the outer pocket of the crossbody with the gum and lip balm so that they’re that much more accessible. I’ve been out and about before and either allergies hit me or my body decides it’s time to be sick. These drops use Chrüterchraft (a blend of 10 natural Swiss alpine herbs) natural menthol and a soothing honey lemon syrup center to provide soothing, naturally effective, fast relief so I can continue having fun with my day and/or night.

FUN FACT & GIVEAWAY: it’s the 75th Anniversary of Ricola’s Original Herb Drop! Click here to learn some facts about Ricola® and also be sure to play the “75 years in 75 seconds” game, where you could be entered to win a Ricola Herb drop made of GOLD!

Hair Brush. Okay. This is a maybe item. If you curl your hair you won’t need this, BUT if you’re like me and you hair looks a little crazy when it’s straight then you need to carry around a small brush to get at yourself. Manners, though… not at the table. Go to the bathroom and get it in order. The one I carry pops open and there is also a small mirror on the inside.

This bag carries everything I need and still leaves room for my cell phone and keys.

Are you with me? Convertible Crossbody over the Clutch? Let me know in the comments what you’re packin’!

*I felt the magic of swiss herbs in Ricola® Herb & Throat drops as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #swissherbs – All opinions remain honest and my own. For more info on Ricola visit them on Facebook & Twitter.

Makeup Wars – My Beauty Diary

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This week for Makeup Wars we decided to do a beauty diary. Basically a “my day in beauty”. I tried to be diligent in writing down what I was using all day, so hopefully I don’t forget anything! Here’s what happens to my face, bod & hair throughout the day (beauty wise!).

Good morning!
I wake up around 7-8am (God willing, sometimes insomnia visits and that becomes around 3am). After my son is out the door I hop in the shower and hit my mug with Murad Clarifying Cleanser and my Clarisonic. I also like to use a lip scrub from LUSH. Currently I’m still using Santa Baby from Christmas. Once or twice a week I exfoliate my face with Kate Somerville ExfoliKate. For the bod I’ve been using Dove Pistachio Cream with Magnolia Body Wash & Body Bar. When shaving happens I generally use Schick Hydro Silk and Skintimate Shave Gel. Hair gets the AMAZE-BALLS OGX Sea Mineral Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner. I haven’t even been using a hair mask once a week, because the OGX is that good.

Out of the bathroom I start by applying Kate Somerville Anti-Bac Acne Treatment Lotion all over my face. Then I apply a spray lotion all over my body – something like the Vaseline Spray & Go or St. Ives Fresh Hydration Spray. The hair gets a generous hit of Living Proof No Frizz Styling Cream (starting at the ends and putting very little at the crown) and Agadir Argan Oil at the ends. My fave perfume is Chanel Chance EDT but lately I’m also reaching for Chloe Roses de Chloe.

In the interest of saving time I’ll just go through my daily makeup routine when I’m not actually going anywhere but the store or to pick the kids up from school. Generally (unless something is being tested) I start with the eyes and apply Urban Decay Primer Potion. MAC Utterly Becoming Paint Pot is an excellent base for all things eye balls and on top of that I go easy with Urban Decay Naked Basics or Hourglass Suede Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo. Lately I’ve been getting at my brows with Vincent Longo Eyebrow Micro Pencil and NARS Oural Brow Gel. For a liner I reach for something neutral like Marc Jacobs Ro(Cocoa), Urban Decay Hustle or MUFE Aqua Eyes in 24L. Mascara is usually IT Cosmetics Tightline and/or Milani Total Lash Cover. Face Makeup is IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation, IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye/Hello Light Liquid Brightener and IT Cosmetics Full Coverage CC+ Cream. On the cheeks I’m using NARS Olympia for contouring and one of the six Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes. For my lips, when it’s just an easy day like this, it’s always some sort of sheer-semi sheer gloss like my current fave YSL Gloss Volupte in Golden (20).

Through the day…
During the day I usually just touch up as needed. Generally that just means a dusting of IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation on the nose and reapplying gloss. More often than not, though, I just end up slicking on Jack Black Lip Balm (of which I’m obsessed with).

Nighty Night!
The makeup removal process is quick for me. I remove my eye makeup with MAC Gently Off Eye & Lip Remover. My makeup is removed by using Murad Clarifying Cleanser & the Clarisonic. Lately I’ve been obsessively staring at wrinkles by my eyes, so I start out my skincare regime with Le Metier de Beaute Revive Eye Concentrate and then I smooth on StriVectin SD Advanced. Because that isn’t moisturizing enough for me in the evening I also use Kate Somerville Oil-Free Moisturizer. I can’t fall asleep with dry lips so I always dab on a bit of LUSH Honey Trap Lip Balm. I also check for stray eye brow hairs that managed to pop up and get at them with my Tweezerman Tweezers.

After all of that I settle down to watch a show and slather on some LUSH Lemony Flutter & pop on my gloves.

I seriously didn’t feel high maintenance about myself until I wrote this post. Tell me I’m not alone!

5 Ways to Primp Like an Olympian

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With the 2014 Winter Olympics over in Sochi, Russia in full effect, you may wonder how these athletes, both the men and women, primp and prep. Maybe you’re not wondering… but if you took the time to read this far you’re going to find out anyway, because I know you at least looked at the pretty picture 😉

Olympians…..

  1. Stay glossy. That’s right, I said it. Glossy. Exposed lips need moisture, love and protection. Some awesome picks – Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm (a cult love of men and women and also boasts SPF 25), or, if you’re feeling a little more patriotic for the good ol’ U S of A, IT Cosmetics has News Anchor Blue. Even though it looks like the lip gloss of a smurf it goes on sheer, but has enough of a hidden tint to make your teeth appear whiter. So when you’re up there accepting that gold medal, you can really shine!
  2. Stay fresh. These athletes work so hard, clearly sweating up a storm. Keeping smells at a minimum is a win for yourself as well as the people around you. For women, Dove has a New Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant/Deoderant that offers 48-hour odor and wetness protection. It’s also full of ingredients known to moisturize the skin. There are several scents available, but there’s also an unscented version that the men can pick up. We won’t tell – what happens at at the Olympics, stays at the Olympics.
  3. Are always prepared. And the best way to be prepared is by having all of the essentials. Pinch Provisions makes mini-emergency kits for both men and women (pictured) that is stuffed full of 17 must-have items. When you’re traveling anywhere, you never know what you might need. It’s best just to have it on hand. I personally always have one of these little kits in my purse.
  4. Brush their hair. Olympic athletes are the best of the best. This means they’re going to be sought after for photographs. The Wet Brush is the best I’ve found for detangling wet hair fast, and it’s not huge, so it can easily be slipped into your gym bag. It works for any hair texture on men, women and children.
  5. Have no time for dry, discolored skin. Therefore, stock in a facial moisturizing oil is necessary. A good one is the Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil (pictured) which is rich in vitamin C which keeps the skin from looking dull and will also fight against fine lines and wrinkles.

Clearly this isn’t an official list, I just like to have fun cause I’m a fun kind of gal, but the stuff mentioned would make sense living inside their duffel bags. Of course, it goes without saying that Olympians also need heavy sunscreen, creams, lots of water for that inner hydration and probably a whole lot of icy hot.

If you were headed to the Olympics as an athlete, what would you bring?

Makeup Wars: Beyond the Lip Chap – My 3 Favorite Lip Treatments

For this weeks Makeup Wars we’re focusing on our Favorite Lip Treatments. I keep chapsticks and lip balms scattered all over my house, car, coat pockets… I have a weird phobia of dry lips and even if my lips get just a little bit dry I freak out and have to apply something.

  1. LUSH Lip Scrub – I’ve shown you Santa Baby and Mint Julips – but I also have Bubble Gum here! They feel SO very amazing, taste yummy and leave your lips uber soft and plumped.
  2. Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm – This is a great lip therapy and carries SPF, so it’s perfect for all seasons. It guards, heals and provides long-term protection. This winter has been so bitter cold, we need all the help we can get!
  3. Dior Addict Lip Glow – I always keep this in my makeup bag as a staple item for quick moisturization and color. It adjust to the pigments in your lips so everyone gets a custom color that will work perfectly on them. It’s also now available in a coral shade (to be reviewed)!

If you’re a gal on a budget I also love Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm and Vaseline Lip Therapy (to be reviewed). One chapstick I’ve been using since high school is the Bonne Bell Lipsmacker in Dr. Pepper. So yum and just a tint of color.

What are your must have lip saviors?  Tell me in the comments below and be sure to visit the other Makeup Wars bloggers by clicking the icons below!

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm Review

Chances are, if you love having soft lips you’ve at least heard of Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm.

This lip balm has been a cult item for years and is a go to favorite lip therapy for both men and women. Their core line consisted of five flavors in Natural Mint & Shea Butter, Lemon & Chamomile, Vanilla & Lavender, Black Tea & Blackberry and Grapefruit & Ginger. Now they’re introducing two new flavors in Shea Butter & Vitamin E and Mango & Mandarin.

What the Sephora website says about Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm:

What it is:
A conditioning lip balm that protects lips from sun and wind, with soothing effects.

What it is formulated to do:
Field tested in extreme conditions, this hydrating balm contains antioxidants and superior moisturizers to provide lasting treatment benefits. It provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
– Sulfates
– Synthetic Fragrances
– Synthetic Dyes
– Petrochemicals
– Phthalates
– GMOs
– Triclosan

What else you need to know:
Shea butter and avocado oil deliver moisture while vitamin E and green tea contribute antioxidant fortification. For powerful sun protection, PARSOL and Octinoxate team up to block both UVA and UVB rays.

I literally have Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm in every other drawer in my house as well as in my car and purse. This is an HG lip product of mine throughout every season. In the Summer it’s great for SPF and because of it’s formula it doesn’t melt in extreme heat or freeze up in the cold. In the winter it guards and also heals chapped, dry and irritated lips providing instant relief and long-term protection.

The gloss makes it ideal for women to use daily making lips look supple and fresh, but it’s actually a product geared towards men because it’s ultra-moisturizing as well as fragrance and colorant free. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I’d say both sexes need to get those lips primed and ready for smooches!

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm retails for $7.50 and is available for purchase at Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and www.getjackblack.com.