Best of 2011 – My Hair and Beauty Favorites


I’m always mentioning a product or two in passing, but I’ve never put together a comprehensive list of my very favorite hair and beauty products until now. A few days ago, I sat down on my bathroom floor and spent a good amount of time going through my cabinets and makeup case, making sure not to forget anything. Every single product on this list is something that I currently use and love. (Um, obviously NOT AT THE SAME TIME.) Enjoy!

Blow Dryer: Sedu Revolution Pro Tourmaline Ionic 4000i Hair Dryer

Travel Blow Dryer: BaByliss ProTT Tourmaline Titanium 1500 Compact Dryer

Flat Iron: Sedu Pro Ionic Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron

Curling Iron: Hot Tools 1-inch curling iron

Clipless Curling Iron: Sedu Revolution Clipless Curling Iron (My thoughts on the Sedu vs. the Enzo Milano here.)

Everyday Brush: Mason Pearson

Round Brush: Sephora Large Round Brush and Marilyn Brush Tuxedo Pro

Paddle Brush: Wigo Straighten and Shine Paddle Brush

Ponytail Holders: Emi-Jay Hair Ties and Goody Ouchless Elastics

Shampoo and Conditioner: Redken All Soft

Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner: Pantene Medium to Thick Solutions – Breakage to Strength

Hairspray: Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Working Hair Spray

Mousse: Pureology Colour Stylist Silk Bodifier Volumizing Mousse

Smoothing Cream: Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream

Smoothing Balm: Pantene Restore Beautiful Lengths Smoothing Balm

Curl Cream: Pureology Real Curl and Bumble and bumble Curl Conscious Defining Creme

Curl Prep: Aveda Be Curly Style-Prep

Setting Lotion: Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Color Hold Styling Tonic

Protective Serum: Macadamia Oil Healing Oil Treatment

Leave-In Softening Serum: Kerastase Chroma Riche Luminous Softening Essence

Texture Spray: Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

Texture Creme: Bumble and bumble Texture Creme

Dry Shampoo: Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo

Drugstore Dry Shampoo: Batiste Dry Shampoo

Foundation: Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (Seriously, ladies. Nothing compares. Quit the elusive search for the perfect tinted moisturizer and just plunk down the cash for this foundation. I apply it with a light touch, and my complexion has never looked more radiant, FOR REALS. Compliments all the live long day.)

Undereye concealer: Clinique Airbrush Concealer

Powder Blush: Chanel Blush Duo Tweed Effect

Drugstore Powder Blush: Neutrogena Sheer Highlighting Blush in Fresh

Cream Blush: Illamasqua Cream Blusher in Promise

Drugstore Cream Blush: Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush – Soft Plum

Pencil Eyeliner: Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Brown Copper

Drugstore Pencil Eyeliner: CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner in Espresso

Cream/Gel Eyeliner: MAC Paint Pot (I use Blackground as a liner, and I love the Groundwork shade as a daytime look on my lids.)

Mascara: Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Lash Building Mascara

Drugstore Mascara: Prestige My Biggest Lashes Mascara in Very Black

Eye Primer: Kat Von D High Voltage Eye Primer in Skin

Can’t Live Without Eye Shadow Brush: MAC 217

Red Lipstick: NARS Sheer Lipstick in Flamenco

Nude Lipstick: MAC Viva Glam V

Lip Gloss: NARS, Chanel, Dior, Kiehl’s, Korres…too many to count!

Everyday Lip Pencil: Boots No. 7 Line and Define in Nude

DUDE. That’s a lot of links. If you have any specific questions in regards to any of these products (or if I’m missing a product category you’d like to see), let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer: I have received some of these products as samples over the years, but would (and do) spend my money on all of them.


Paper Culture Holiday Cards


Last year, we used Paper Culture for our holiday cards.

We loved them. Loved them! In fact, I’m fairly certain we’ll never use another company for our holiday cards for years to come. Why, you ask? Oh, let me tell you!

1. Truly the best collection of designs ever.

2. All cards and envelopes are 100% post-consumer recycled, and the company is CarbonFree.

3. All cards are printed on 130lb paper (feels great in the hand) and have rounded corners.

4. FREE MAIL AND ADDRESSING SERVICE. Yes, you provide them a spreadsheet of addresses and Paper Culture will print, address, stamp and mail your cards for you. Awwww, yeah. (You still pay postage for the cards, but no other fees.) Do you know how much time that saves? DO YOU? Especially the second year, when your spreadsheet is already made?

Look at some of the darling designs.

Pretty fantastic, right?

Now, apparently, D and I enjoy torturing ourselves because we prefer to capture the elusive Perfect Holiday Card Photo without the aid of a professional photographer. (What can I say? We’re neurotic.)  This year’s photo involved three locations, four cameras, an unexpected rain delay, 6 (failing) props to encourage smiling, including but not limited to, a talking Elmo doll and a furry King Charles Spaniel dog toy, and at least 17,000 meltdowns. (Did I mention I had a raging head cold? That we’re still getting over 9 days later? bleeerrrrrgh)

On the way home from our torturous shoot, we happened upon a completely awesome, beat-up blue wall. We grabbed some sidewalk chalk, let the kids go to town, and snapped some photos. Luckily, we captured one that we loved.

Hooray for semi-happy children looking at the camera! VICTORY IS OURS.

If you are looking for stylish and unique cards, please check out Paper Culture’s holiday cards. (By the way, they aren’t limited to just holiday cards by any means. Tons of stationary, invites, and these adorable bamboo wall art pieces.)

Just for you all, the lovely folks at Paper Culture are offering 20% off all cards through 12/31/11. Just use the code WHOORL at checkout, and you’ll receive 20% off your card order. Now you have NO reason to drag your feet in regards to holiday cards. Get to it!

Enter your code at checkout. Expires 12/31. Not combinable. Not applicable to taxes, shipping, handling or gift certificates. No cash value.


Camp Mighty


It seems Maggie and Laura have perfected the 3-day inspira-thon. Camp Mighty was such a great time. In a nutshell, I caught up with old friends, met new ones, listened to incredibly inspiring speakers, sipped a Tang martini while wearing an astronaut helmet and sequin miniskirt, honed in on the goals I’d like to achieve in the next year, laughed hysterically with some incredibly witty folks by the pool, thought long and hard about intention, and raised money for charity. (The attendees raised over 25,000 for Charity:Water and 10,000 for the Ronald McDonald House. Day-um!) If you’re in the market for a super fun, relaxing, and thoughtful retreat, might I suggest transporting your arse to Camp Mighty in 2012? I think you would be very pleased.

Here are some of my favorite pics from the weekend.


Dior Addict Lip Polish in Fresh Shine


Listen. You don’t have to follow my newest lip gloss recommendation…but I’d like to point out that I AM the person responsible for spreading the NARS Flamenco love to the masses. (It’s the perfect, sheer, buildable red lipstick! Ask Linda! Or Metalia! Or Susan! Or any of the countless people who now can’t live without it!)

Okay, what I’m trying to convey is that I’m kind of a lipstick/gloss afiocianado, people. I take this stuff very seriously, and I don’t start spouting off about a product unless it completely rocks the casbah. My newest obsession? Dior Addict Lip Polish in Fresh Expert. Holy perfect, natural, cool-toned nude pink gloss that glides on like a dream, stays on like a dream and tastes damn good. I can’t get enough of this gloss! It’s my perfect YLBB shade. (Who else spent countless hours on Makeup Alley in the late 90s – early 2000s? They still have the list of all the abbreviations, ha.) The gloss has a spin-on applicator that rolls over your lips, so the gloss looks very shiny and uniform, but I’m not really sure if that’s what truly makes the difference. (WHO CARES, THOUGH? It’s awesome. The price, though? Most definitely not so awesome.)

I love the Fresh Expert shade, which is a sheer pink (looks fab on cool-toned complexions, although I think it would be universally suiting), but this gloss also comes in Glow Expert (a sheer light coral) and Radiance Expert (a sheer beige), so all the bases are covered, my dears. Try it! I think you’ll like it.