Spring Things! (Or for My Accountant: Beauty Purchases of Q2 2015)

To borrow a turn of phrase from Tolstoy, “spring is the time of plans and projects.” Spring cleaning projects, preparing taxes (which you should have handed over to Uncle Sam on Wednesday), planting spring gardens and wrapping up the academic year (for you young whippersnappers). Spring is also a time when love blooms as abundantly and predictably as cherry blossoms.

“And the Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere”

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

The intersection of spring love and spring planning arrives each year in the form of wedding plans. This spring, I’ll be one of the lucky saps planning my wedding to my best friend. I’m getting hitched!

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My tales of romance aside, spring is also the time for planning seasonal beauty purchases. I’ve got a few choice picks I’d like to share!

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Things I Put on My Face

I am a creature of habit. My penchant for scheduling and list-making is known far and wide; my devotion to routine is borderline disturbing. With the exception of my (increasingly infrequent) sample reviews, I generallly stick to the same skin care routine with very little deviation. Therefore, each product in my arsenal goes through a rigorous vetting process and, once added to the upper echelon of Nikki’s Medicine Cabinet, tends to stay there for quite some time. These are products I use, trust, and return to time and time again.

So.

Let’s talk about the products I’m using on my face right now. Continue reading

Home Sweet Home: November Empties

I love travel. I love reconnecting with my family and friends. But these things require putting on a bra and leaving the comfort of my own couch. When it comes down to it, the creature comforts of home (namely, bralessness, pantlessness, and a steady supply of Nutella) truly can’t be beat. After a week of eating and drinking and family and drinking and friends and eating (and did I mention eating?) in Chicago, I’m so glad to be back home in Seattle–sleeping in my own bed, pooping in my own toilet, living the dream.

I’m also excited for the start of December–a month of holiday cheer, generosity, endless possibilities, peppermint lattés, gift-giving, gigantic tins of chocolate fudge, awkward drunken family parties, awkward drunken office parties, and (saving the best for last) my review of empty products from last month! Continue reading

Sample Review 2: Electric Boogaloo

It’s time for the second post of my Thanksgiving holiday, a fun-filled and factual treatise on Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil!

But first: a PSA on the importance of consistency when it comes to skin care routines and some of the more pernicious factors that contribute to skin issues. Continue reading

Sample Review, Round Two: Elizabeth and James Nirvana White

I received a small sample of Nirvana White by Elizabeth and James from Sephora a while back. The product page describes it as “a captivating blend of delicate peony, chic muguet, and tender musk for a feminine scent with dark sophistication.”

Nirvana White

 

My immediate reaction to the scent was something to the effect of holy floral top notes, Batman! 

Peony hit my nasal passages hard. Not in a bad way, mind you–I just want to make it clear that whoever named this a floral musk definitely emphasized the “floral.” It’s a pretty heady scent with a strong, verdant top note. When the initial shock of peony subsided, I could detect a little lily-of-the-valley action that was reminiscent of Elizabeth Arden’s 5th Avenue. The sillage is strong with this one–not recommended for office wear.

The initial scent, though powerful, was not terribly long lasting; I would describe the longevity as moderate, at best. What really disappointed me was the way this particular fragrance dried down. What started as a nice, true-to-life floral devolved into a synthetic, almost cheap-smelling musk. While I truly enjoyed the first hour or two of Nirvana White, I merely tolerated it for the rest of the day.

The Verdict: I know several people who loved Nirvana White, but it just wasn’t for me. You could do a whole lot worse, but at this price point ($75 for 1.7 fl oz) you could do a bit better, too. As an alternative, Stella by Stella McCartney is a comparably priced floral perfume with peony that dries down nicely.

Sample Extravaganza! Testing First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream

I have a lot of samples.

Every month I accrue new skincare, makeup, and fragrance samples that are rarely used–the exception, of course, being occasions when I’m going out of town and need products that adhere to TSA-friendly sizing guidelines. I’ve decided to turn my cluttered drawer of samples into proverbial lemonade by using it as fodder for product reviews. First up is the much-hyped Ultra Repair Cream by First Aid Beauty.

At $12.00 per 2 oz, my .06 oz sample holds a street value of $0.36

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Mother’s Day Gifts for the Mothers We Really Care About

My mother is a wonderful, wonderful woman. I love and respect her; I miss her every day and wish we didn’t live 2,000 miles apart. But it’s clear from my pop culture proclivities that I was actually raised by television. The moms of sitcoms and dramas have provided me with at least as much relationship, life, and fashion advice as the woman who lovingly shoved me out of her uterus 25 and a half years ago, and I would give back to them if I could. Tomorrow is the day that you’re supposed to make grand gestures, to show your moms you truly appreciate them. If I could, I would give the following 10 TV moms these gifts to show my gratitude. Continue reading