These Are a Few of My Favorite Things
So many favorites! Every now and then I like to let you know what I’ve been using and loving – especially things I’ve been committed to for a long time. So here we go – in categories ranging from health, beauty, fashion, and just plain old “makes things better or easier.”
I hope that maybe you’ll discover something here that you didn’t know about before and that you think is worth looking into. That’s kind of a thing I love to do – introduce people to products that are new to them.
You’ll find that the photos have a retail link in case you’d like to order any of what you see in this post. As always, I want to let you know that if you purchase through some of the links, I may earn a very small commission from the purchase, but you will not pay any more for the product. (Many of the items linked here do not result in commissions to me – I just want you to know where you can purchase if desired.) Please let me know if you discover something new that you decide to try. It can be a bit lonely during these one sided conversations, and it’s fun to know you’re out there!
I start my morning with this morning drink every day:
- 1 cup warm water
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of Manuka honey (UMF rating +15)
- Dash of cayenne pepper
I’ve been starting my morning this way since April, and, though there is not a consensus regarding the benefits of the ingredients, I feel like it’s helped me keep my weight in control. You should do your own research, especially regarding benefits (or not) of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Manuka honey has more agreement about its health benefits when it has a UMF rating of 15 or higher (read about it here). I can also say that since I’ve incorporated this drink into my morning routine, I haven’t been sick. Might be coincidence, but I feel like it’s working for me to start my day this way.
Manuka honey is a recent discovery of mine. It comes predominantly from New Zealand from bees that pollinate the manuka bush. I buy mine from Amazon and have used both Comvita and Wild Cape brands (UMF rating 15+). It’s not cheap, but I believe there are health benefits and I’d rather spend $40 on a jar of honey (it lasts me about a month when I’m using a teaspoon a day) than the same amount on a bunch of medication at the pharmacy.
Amlactin Lotion – Get Rid of Scaly Skin!
I use this lotion daily. The alpha-hydroxy acids aren’t harsh and keep the skin, especially on my legs, looking smooth. It truly makes a difference. If your legs are looking a bit scaly, give this a try daily for a few weeks and I can pretty much guarantee you’ll see a big difference.
Rodan + Fields Hand Brightener – Stave Off Age Spots
Okay – I have to start with a disclaimer. I don’t know if this product has any effect on my age-spot-free hands, but I’m afraid to stop using it just in case. I use the hand cream every morning (I put it on the back of one hand and then rub the two hand backs together to spread). I truly cannot make the claim that it brightens my hands and contributes to my having no age spots since I have no scientific evidence. I just know I use it and I don’t have age spots. (Also, I use sunscreen on the backs of my hands every single day. I just keep it in the car and apply it as soon as I get in.)
Sole Solution by Nu Skin – Silky Heels-Yes!
This product is from the Nu Skin line (available only online or through consultants). It’s a treatment for feet that truly delivers results for dry heels. It’s only $30 and is well worth it.
Jergens Natural Glow – A Jump on Summer
Jergens Natural Glow is an easy way to give your legs a little color for bare leg styles. Although I have Italian heritage and do get tan in the summer, I’m pretty fair complected during the winter months. I still use the medium to tan lotion, and it doesn’t look weird. It’s subtle but noticeable and makes transitioning to summer dresses or shorts easy.
Maui Moisture for Your Hair
This is one of those finds that doesn’t happen often. Maui Moisture is a line of shampoos and conditioners that are free of sulfates, parabens, and silicones. It’s vegan. And it retails for under $10 each. I use it and love it.
Fekkai Hair Brilliant Glossing Styling Creme
This is another product to which I’ve become addicted. I have thick hair that can have a mind of it’s own. It does things in the damp air that I don’t like. And in the Bay Area, we have a lot of damp air. The cream has a little bit of weight that works for taming my hair. You probably wouldn’t love it if you have fine hair, but for those of us with hair that can be a bit unruly, it’s great!
Color Wow Root Cover-Up
Keeping with the hair theme, this root cover-up powder by Color Wow is a life saver. Apply the power to root outgrowth and it stays put until the next washing. It’s natural looking and not stiff or sticky like some spray-on or paint-on root cover-ups. Check out more in this post.
Tweezerman Slant Tweezer
This may not seem like anything special, but the Tweezerman brand of tweezer is great! The edges are sharp to allow for grabbing those tiny eyebrow hairs that are driving you crazy. Tweezerman will also sharpen your tweezer (you send the tweezer by mail to them). This tweezer works really well. I’ve not tried their sharpening service yet because the retail price is low and it seems a bit of a hassle, but I do have a couple that need sharpening. Maybe I’ll eventually give the service a try.
Tweezerman Facial Hair Remover (aka Defuzzer)
I admit, this is a weird looking contraption. My sister turned me on to it a few years ago. It’s also by Tweezerman. The little spring mechanism in the middle grabs facial hairs as you roll it along your face. It’s a bit awkward at first, but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. It’s especially effective to grab the tiny, fine upper lip hairs.
Benefit That Gal – Look Brighter
I spend more time on brightening my face in the morning than any other part of my makeup routine. And That Gal by Benefit is one of the things in my toolbox. It has a pink base, so it probably doesn’t work for people who have a lot of red of pink in their complexion. But it’s a nice base to start with if you have the right tone to your skin. I really like it.
Bare Minerals Well Rested (Obsessed!)
This Well Rested is definitely my addiction. In fact, I’ve heard that it’s been discontinued by Bare Minerals – it’s still on the website marked down from $23 to $18, but it’s not available in stores any longer. I have stocked up! It’s another brightening product. I use it as part of the base of my makeup. When I run out and can’t get it anymore, I don’t know what I’ll find to replace it. (I think Bare Minerals also has a powder product called Well Rested, but it’s not at all the same.)
Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extension (Another Obsession)
I love this mascara by Thrive Causemetics (check out this post). It really enhances lashes and I love that the company donates products to women to help them thrive. And that it’s vegan, paraben and sulfate-free, and cruelty-free. It’s only available online. It NEVER smudges or flakes. And it washes off with water or gentle facial cleanser (you probably don’t want to wear it to the pool). Read Thrive Causemetics’ story.
Summer Soles – Your Shoes Need These
I’ve become a devotee of Summer Soles. They solve the problem we all have but don’t talk about – sweaty or sticky feet inside our shoes. Problem solved! These super thin and very soft inserts are the answer to wearing flats (or any shoes) without socks. They offer comfort too! They also have options for open toe shoes. I keep a few on hand always.
Gekks for Shoes – You’ve Actually Been Dreaming of These
Gekks (not sure how they came up with that name) are the solution to trying to wear socks with low cut shoes. I bought this “Closet Pack” to give them a try since I do have a number of shoes that I don’t wear with socks but sometimes need to have a soft inside to my shoe and something to keep my feet warm. I wasn’t sure how well they’d really work. The soft liners attach to velcro like inserts inside the shoe (see this post for more details on how they work). And I actually was impressed! It’s nice to slip my foot into a shoe and have a built-in sock.
Liquid Metal Jewelry – My Fave
I’ve been a huge fan of Liquid Metal Jewelry by Sergio Guitierrez for some years. I always buy my pieces from Objects of Beauty, an online store with a tiny, but packed full of fun things, physical store in the Sonoma Coast town of Duncans Mills (Andrea, the owner, is so great to work with). There are bracelets and earrings and necklaces and belts and bags. I stick to the jewelry and always get comments and compliments when I wear my pieces. Very reasonably priced and Andrea does offer sales throughout the year.
Longchamps Large Le Pliage Tote
You’ve probably seen this tote a million times – because a million people seem to carry it. It’s a classic from the French line. Another not inexpensive item ($145 for the large size), but so versatile, classic, and useful that you will be able to justify it. This is my favorite size, although I’ve seen many women carrying the smaller versions as a purse. It’s a perfect shopping or travel companion as it folds up very small and holds a lot when open, and it fits nicely over the shoulder. I have it in black and navy (other colors available).
Rothy’s Shoes – Love Love Love
I wish I had a wardrobe of Rothy’s shoes. But, alas, the price tag prevents me from buying in multiples. This Pointe style retails for $145. And they are never on sale. No buyer’s remorse for me. These shoes are made from recylced water bottles and are seamless. And washable. In the washing machine. They are like wearing slippers. I have two pairs of this point toe style flat and will be adding to my collection their newest style, a slip-on sneaker, this spring. They are really flat, however, without arch support. This doesn’t bother my foot but I know that doesn’t work for everyone. If you try them and they don’t work for you, they are returnable. There’s also a store in San Francisco (I haven’t made it there yet).
Ili New York Glasses Case
Okay, I may be a little overly obsessed with these cases. I have two that I carry in my purse for glasses and sunglasses. They take up less space in my bag than hard cases and they are protective. I’ve probably given at least a dozen as gifts. They come in SO MANY colors (30) and have a zipper on the other side that accesses a small pouch (I keep my go-to lipsticks in it). And under $20!
TKEES “Nudes” Leather Flip Flops
You may have read about TKEES flip flops in this blog before. I love them! They are leather and super comfortable. They cost $50 and are worth it. Knock-offs don’t compare. At all. What I love most is the Foundation style flip flops in skin tones. There’s pretty much a shade that matches every skin tone. And the feminine, simple design makes them a classic. (And they are a celebrity favorite!)
Woly German Suede Nubuck Brush – Can’t Live Without It
This is a random thing to throw in here, but it’s a recent acquisition for me. I have several pairs of nubuck and suede boots and shoes. I know I should always treat them with a protectant before wearing. Well, the intention is there, but it doesn’t usually happen. So I end up with marks and dirt on the nubuck or suede. And it’s not easy to clean. Until now. This little tool amazingly with little effort made my shoes look new again. It’s a must-have tool if you have suede or nubuck shoes!