Stuff I Like
The section over there in the right sidebar → is where I post info about things that I think are awesome. It’s just a random assortment of good stuff I’ve come across, no sponsored content. Some items include an Amazon affiliate link, which you can always delete.
Mary-lou Manizer Highlight/Shimmer Powder
This is basically a shimmery (not glittery!) powder that adds a really nice luminescent highlighting glow. I sweep it on the top of my cheekbones, on top of blush, and blend.
Real Chemistry 3-minute peel
Really and truly works, at least for my skin. No burning, face feels soft and looks more clear afterwards.
Elta MD sunscreen
First sunscreen I’ve used that doesn’t make my face feel oily and coated and awful.
The Balm Timebalm Anti-Wrinkle Concealer
I’m always on the lookout for awesome concealers (my eye circles, let me terrify you with them), and this one is my current favorite.
Real Techniques Starter Set
I wouldn’t have thought a different brush could make any sort of noticeable improvement in my makeup technique. I was so, so, SO wrong. If you like makeup, you need these brushes immediately.
Stainiac Lip Stain
Great lip stain that gives a natural rosy flush and lasts a really long time.
Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream
This is a HEAVY-duty moisturizer made of olive oil and bee goo and it’s great for dry skin (feet, cuticles, etc).
Wood Cosmetic Box by Lori Greiner
I recently got this makeup container and it’s pretty fabulous. (Thanks, Shark Tank Lori!) It closes up into a nice attractive box, and opens with all sorts of clever drawers. Note that 1) it’s TALL, so check measurements, and 2) you’ll probably still need one separate thing to hold tall brushes.
I bought this on Temerity Jane‘s recommendation and it is hands down the best eyebrow cosmetic I have ever used. I don’t even know how it works — it’s like witchcraft! You just brush it on like mascara, and boom, perfectly defined brows.
Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara
Totally updating my previous Blinc recommendation, because this mascara is the shit. Big crazylong lashes in one swoop. (Still: Blinc does go on better, and doesn’t smear. It’s just that Benefit’s results are so much more dramatic.)
Lavanila Vanilla Coconut Roller-ball Fragrance
Don’t get turned off by the coconut description — this stuff smells stupendously wonderful, sweet and musky and all sorts of enticing.
Bix Sexy Hair
I don’t know if I actually get BIG SEXY HAIR when I use this, but I do get a noticeable difference in volume and manageability. Great for adding some oomph to your roots.
BeneFit Stay Don’t Stray
This is, I guess, a sort of primer for concealer, and it’s aMAAAAzing. When I use it with my undereye concealer, I have zero creases and much better coverage. Also, this wee mini size lasts for-flipping-ever.
Oribe Heat Styling Spray
Fantastic product that you use before you curl/flatiron for supershiny hold. I have no idea how it works, but it goes on really really sticky — like almost waxy — and then the heat tool makes your hair feel soft. (I curl, then finger-comb.)
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm I just bought this on a whim and it’s fantastic—goes on soft and smooth, gives nice even color. It’s basically a very cool balm/lipliner/lipstick hybrid.
Missha Perfect Cover Cream. I recently switched to this foundation after years of using Bare Minerals, and it is so much better. Light and silky and gives total coverage without being too sheer OR cakey.
NARS Flamenco Lipstick. Whoorl was right, this is the perfect red lipstick.
Prada Amber. My favorite perfume: sweet and exotic without being overpowering.
Elchim Hair Dryer.
Swear to Beezus, you need this dryer. Spendy but so worth it.
Amazing Cosmetics Concealer.
The only concealer that actually helps my unattractive dark eye-circles. I like the Golden Light color.
Smashbox brow tech. Utterly foolproof eyebrow groomer/filler-inner.
Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
Every good thing you’ve heard about this book is true. It’s seamlessly woven together, a gorgeously heartbreaking gratitude practice that completely defies its genre.
Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget, by Sarah Hepola
I knew this was going to be amazing because, well, Sarah Hepola. You don’t have to be a recovering drunk for this unflinching story to resonate, anyone who’s had to pick up the pieces and start over will find something hopeful here.
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, by Matthew Dicks
Written from the perspective of a child’s imaginary playmate, this is a unique and poignant and super-engaging story that I could barely put down.
Dear Daughter, by Elizabeth Little
Fun twisty offbeat mystery. I liked the bite she gave the main character.
Tell The Wolves I’m Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt I guess this is what you’d call a coming of age story, but it’s so unique and tender and sad and lovely. Loss, love, and the beauty of human connections.
The Hypnotist’s Love Story, by Liane Moriarty I didn’t love the book she’s best known for, The Husband’s Secret, but I really liked this one and What Alice Forgot. Her writing style reminds me of a twistier, more suspenseful Elizabeth Berg.
The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion
Funny and quirky and endearing and best of all, it’s the sort of book you just can’t put down.
Everyone seems to be talking about this book lately, and with good reason. I read it for what felt like weeks on end (it’s LONG) and every night I had weird half-dreams about the stories that had unfolded. It’s emotionally exhausting, but so beautifully written.
Scowler, by Daniel Kraus
If you like horror books, definitely check this out. Scowler is ostensibly YA, but I can’t even imagine Stephen-King-loving preteen me reading it — it’s scary, bleak, and grueling as hell. But also wonderfully written and completely unique.
The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
I almost didn’t want to read this because I knew it was going to be weepy. So, so, so, so glad I did. It broke my heart and packed it full. (PS: I loved the movie too.)
Hyberole and a Half, by Allie Brosh
Her long-awaited book is now available, and you definitely need to buy it right this minute.
The Silent Wife, by A.S.A. Harrison
Sort of like Gone Girl, but better (IMO) and far more satisfying. I tore through this book in two sittings, and was saddened to read the author passed away in August. Such a memorable, can’t-put-it-down read.
Fiend, by Peter Stenson
Fiend is a truly unique take on the zombie genre: it’s about meth addiction as much as it is about the walking dead, and it’s horrifying and upsetting and just so well done.
Broken Harbor, by Tana French
I’ve read all her books and I’m pretty sure this is my favorite. Haunting and fast-paced and all sorts of messed up.
Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed
The best thing I’ve read in a long, long, long time. Maybe years. Maybe ever.
Dead Inside: Do Not Enter
You know the addictive awesomeness of Found, and the haunting freakiness of thinking about a zombie apocalypse? Put those hands together, as Joey from Friends would say.
Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn Gone Girl and Sharp Objects are also great, but I think I liked this one the best. They’re all twisted, more than a little unpleasant, and barrel along like a freight train.
SCALPED, by Jason Aaron & R.M. Guéra Best graphic novel series I’ve read in years. Brutal, dark, compelling, and almost surely the only comic containing the phrase “Hoka hey, motherfuckers!”
Savages by Don Winslow The movie was fun, but I really recommend the book. Unique and fast-paced and kind of crazysexycool.
Inconsolable, by Marrit Ingman.
I re-read this a while back and was re-amazed at how great it is.
Animal Upon Animal
Both my kids are totally obsessed with this stacking game. Entire MINUTES of quiet concentration!
Dapper Snapper Belts.
I keep raving about these ingenious belts. If you have a skinny kid, YOU NEED THESE.
Curious George Hide & Seek Zoo My kids are LOVE with this simple board game that incorporates 1) a walkie-talkie, and 2) random breakout moments of hide & seek. (Also, in the games theme, they’re both equally obsessed with Spot It.)
Little Giraffe Chenille Blanket This is the ‘blue blanky’ Riley has carried and slept with every single day for over seven years now. Just saying, if you’re looking for a baby gift, this one might be a fairly big hit.
Beyblade Metal Masters Battle Set Ugh, BEYBLADES, right? What can I say, the kids love these things. This seems like it’s been a good purchase for a kid just starting to get into them (and it’s perfect for battling with a sibling or reluctant parent).
Puddle Jumpers Both our kids have loved these little lifejackets, they really helped with water confidence (for them and for me).
Scientific Explorer Science Kit. Hours of quality kid fun in a box. Best “toy” I’ve ever bought.
Leapfrog Talking Words Factory DVD.
Can’t say enough good things about these DVDs. This one’s great for kindergarten-aged kids.
PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter
MIRACLE FOOD. It’s powdered peanut butter you mix with water (or add to a smoothie, or…) and it has a fraction of the fat and calories of regular peanut butter. Plus: delicious.
Les Mills Combat home workout
This is the best exercise DVD series I’ve tried in a long, long time. The instructors are a little corny, but the workouts are oddly fun and the time seems to fly by. Hugely recommended if you like kickboxing type workouts.