Sigh. It’s February. This time of year I feel tired, sallow and pale. YSL Touche Eclat is a miraculous product- not a concealer, not a highlighter, but a hybrid of the two, it works magic on camouflaging without spackling. A few strategic dabs with my trusty cult fave YSL Touche Eclat and ta-da! I’m bright eyed and ready to go. I use it under my eyes, but concentrate it towards the center of my face, not out towards the sides where it could, ahem, settle into lines. Used on the inside of the nose by the eyelid, it brightens and lightens. Around the side of the nostrils, that are always a little darker, more so if one has had a cold, it makes shadows disappear.  A light swipe down the nasal labial folds is like faking an injectable and makes those “marionette” lines disappear. Then dot dot dot on any spots (sigh…over 40 and still with the spots…) and I’m good as new! It is not inexpensive, at around $40 a tube, but I usually get almost 2 years out of one pen. Seriously. No wonder a there is a YSL Touche Eclat sold somewhere in the world every ten seconds. Wow.
This stuff is a must have for winter months! This weather is not kind to our skin and nails and keeping them protected and soft is an ongoing battle. OPI created a fantastic cuticle oil gel formula, which is perfect for in the purse on the go application. The thought of applying an actual oil while say, sitting in your car before going into your office or hitting the road for a day of driving is utterly ridiculous. The spillage risks alone make doing so an impossibility. But, sometimes a hand cream just isn’t enough and if you are like me and work with the public, handing over a form for signatures with ratty, ragged and dry cuticles just doesn’t cut it. OPI Avoplex Oil comes in a nice compact little tube with a cap that twists on tightly so it can sit safe and secure in your purse with no leaking. It has a handy dandy little brush and works like a lip gloss. Just gently squeeze to distribute product to the brush and rub it in to your cuticles and across and under your nails. I do this before putting my gloves on to let the oil sink in while my hands are cozy and warm. Full of good stuff like avocado oil, vitamin e, sunflower, sesame and kului nut oils, this has made a HUGE difference in the condition of my cuticles and I would not be without it. As usual for me, the scent is not ideal, kind of a synthetic melon note but fear not, it dissipates quickly. At $10 this is a deal.
Ok these aren’t exactly beautiful, but what they do is. These intense and bombastic drops can soothe the raspiest of coughs and dry throats and stuffiest of noses- especially helpful when talking is one of the things you do for a living. I swear they are so strong they must be able to kill germs but that is just my unscientific theory. The origins of this humble but powerful lozenge goes back to 1865 in England when a pharmacist took his menthol & eucalyptus cough medicine and make it into a lozenge for the fisherman to easily take on their journeys. They began to refer to it as their “friend”…and the rest is history. They are known among public speakers and singers for their magical restorative powers. And, while they are ridiculously strong, they do not send one into dry heaving convulsions like Buckley’s cough syrup, which tastes like Pine Sol, only stronger. I cannot imagine not having my FF lozenges, and even if I am out of them, I know I can root around one of my many (ahem) purses and dig a few out of the bottom. They come in little bags, that often spill out in my purse. Comforting to know I always have some handy. I like the Original Extra Strong (redundant name, but aaaanyways…) in the little white bag. For under $3 a bag will last all winter.
I got this while on the hunt for the Goody Spin Pins I’ve been reading about here and here. Everywhere I have seen them the blonde pins have been sold out so I decided to give the Modern Updo Pin a try. I have long hair and find ponytails heavy and uncomfortable so I tend to go for a twist or a bun when I wear my hair up. I have many claws but unless they are somewhat expensive high quality nylon (read: flexible) the cheap plastic ones snap all the time in my thick hair. I was ready to try an alternative. I really like the Updo Pin. It certainly takes a little practice but it holds the bun or twist in place without feeling tight and it pretty much disappears into my hair rendering itself invisible. Nice to have in my purse when I just want the mop of hair out of the way. Stay tuned for a Spin Pin review, I am still on the hunt. The Modern Updo Pin was kind of expensive for a pin at $7 but I pay around the same or even more for a good hair claw so I’m ok with that price. I’m not sure how this would work on fine hair and would be curious to know if you have any feedback.
My ongoing lip balm adventures continue with Korres Lip Butter in Jasmine, which is soft pale yet sheer pink shade with the subtlest hint of shimmer. I really like this balm, and am more than halfway through the little pot, which is quite telling for me. I am still loving my Dior Crème de Rose, but when I want a little bit of  colour ( and I mean little) I will dab on some Korres. I really like this line. My daughter Emilie wears the Korres Lip Butter in Wild Rose, which is a sheer fuchsia rose tone that looks amazing on her. Younger daughter Brigit wears the Pomegranate, which is slightly more coral, again, looks gorgeous on her. Korres Lip Butter is nicely moisturizing with little or no taste or scent. The darker shades add a nice subtle tone and the pale Jasmine gives more of the nude lip that I like. The darker shades also work nicely as a cheek tint. Almost shine free, this is one I will repurchase. It protects and moisturizes and acts like a lip colour at the same time. Also, Korres Lip Butter is formulated without parabens, synthetic fragrances & dyes or petro-chemicals. This little $10 gem is usually in those tempting impulse purchase bins as you stand in line at Sephora, which is where I was first tempted to buy them.  Great value in my opinion.
           

Fisherman's Friend, Korres, Korres Lip Butter, OPI, OPI Avoplex Cuticle Oil To-Go, YSL, YSL Touche Eclat