Shameless Product Plugs - Installment #2

It's time for round two of my Shameless Product Plugs series, the first of which you can check out here. As a refresher, this is a time for me to gush about all those (material) things for which I thank my lucky stars nearly every day that I'm going through life with them by my side. Now things don't make people happy; money doesn't buy happiness. Obvvvv. But when you find something you really love, it's sorta like the cherry on top, or at least the sprinkles.

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Salt Spray

As someone who could be swayed by anything that smells good, I won’t lie that the scent is a big part of why I love this stuff. I’m not sure if it’s banana-y or coconut-y or ocean-y or what, but it’s pure tropical oasis. It immediately takes me back to every time I was ever blissfully sunbathing on a beach somewhere. Oh and it also works so well. It really actually achieves that salty beach-hair look that so many other products claim to do but never really deliver, in my opinion. I love spraying a little into my wet hair and finger-curling it as it dries, but even more so I love spraying it into clean dry hair that I’ve curled with an iron—it just gives it a much more authentic look and texture. And then I love constantly smelling my hair as I sit at my desk all day, dreaming of all the warmer places I’d rather be.

LOFT Utility Blouse

I own this in 4 different colors and patterns (used to be 5 but I dropped some oily/buttery something or other on my olive green one and am still in mourning) and wear them constantly. This blouse transitions perfectly between work wear and real life wear, from season to season, and makes any outfit feel chic and effortless, especially since it’s such a classic staple. It comes in tall and petite, as well, so there’s bound to be a size that flatters your body type perfectly. Although I’m usually a petite at LOFT, I prefer this blouse to be a bit breezier and longer, so I always go with XS regular. It’s a very affordable shirt for its heavy rotation, especially since LOFT has sales all the time in which you can snag these for 40% off. If money were no object I’m sure I’d own the Equipment version of this since I just adore a good button down blouse, but this LOFT alternative fits the bill perfectly and makes a bound-to-happen spillage accident a little less earth shattering, I’m sure.

Nespresso CitiZ & Milk Espresso Maker

I already feel boojee and jerky enough just mentioning this item, but it’s justified, I promise. Now I’m not going to say all the things you’re supposed to know, about how much money this purchase will save you in the long run and all the money you would have spent on coffee shop cappuccinos and lattes that is now staying in your pocket. I’m horrible and still spend all of the dollars at coffee shops because I love the whole coffee shop experience and I could never give it up. However, what I will say is that this espresso machine truly gives a coffee shop experience at home. The commercials aren’t lying. This machine is such a decadent treat to have in your home, and something that although may not save you money (although it certainly would if you’re more economical than me), will have you feeling appreciative every single day of such little things as a delicious homemade specialty coffee. It has all the ease and speed of a Keurig machine with the science and dynamism of a truly good espresso machine. And it’s equipped with a foolproof milk frother (i.e. press a button) for both cappuccinos and lattes for novice “baristas” like myself. I can’t tell you how often Jon and I still say “I freaking love this thing. I’m so glad we have it.” Honestly, isn’t that a super rare thing to say about past household purchases?

Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler

It’s a peeler. And it’s $5.99. And it will change your kitchen life dramatically. Jon introduced me to this, and I’ll never forget how crazy I thought he was. We were in San Francisco shopping at Sur La Table rummaging through the various shelves, bins, and baskets of kitchen goodies (AKA my heaven) and Jon insisted on getting this peeler. My thoughts: we don’t need a peeler, I don’t care about a peeler, and it’s purple. But he insisted, saying they’re the best peelers ever. Guess what, they are. Don’t ask me to explain why or how, and certainly don’t ask me to explain why so many peelers out there are so not. This one is simple and perfect, and I will truly never stray.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo

This product is my favorite beauty purchase I’ve made so far in 2016. Truth be told, I’ve always been committed to a different dry shampoo, Oscar Blandi, and when I ran out and had to restock, I found out that Sephora no longer carries it. Deflated, scared, and rather debilitated at the prospect of having to wash my hair more frequently, I set out to find a replacement. After a serious miss with Verb dry shampoo (it made my roots appear chalky and pale gray—v cute), I bought a sample of Living Proof and absolutely fell in love. It not only cleans, freshens, and cools, but volumizes too, and smells a-m-a-z-i-n-g. I wonder now if all Living Proof products share this same scent, because I’m awfully tempted to expand my collection.

Social Print Studio

This is my favorite way to print my Instagram photos, mostly because of its super clean and beautiful style. My favorite is the square with the thin white border, which makes every photo look a little more artsy and refined, even without being framed. But they have lots of awesome options, many of which would make a great gift for a friend, including great calendars, larger scale prints on metal, mini sticker books, and magnets.

Jif Whips

...yep, the peanut butter. I love this whipped variety by the ultimate peanut butter brand. It’s a little less caloric per serving due to the volume added by whipping air into it (140 to the regular 190 for a serving of 2 tablespoons) without any sacrifice in taste, and I think I actually prefer the lighter texture compared to the thicker stuff. It’s so easy to spread on English muffins (my go-to breakfast and snack) and therefore goes a little further than the regular kind. Although I probably wouldn’t use it as a baking substitute, it’s carved out a permanent place in our cupboard for all forms of snacking.

Matrix Total Results Sleek shampoo and conditioner

I once had a hairdresser tell me that my individual strands of hair were wiry and wavy, but my overall head of hair was straight... so many questions, I know. But it actually rang true! And the one thing I know for sure is that it creates a strange texture whereby my hair is not soft and pretty; it’s a little coarser, but it dries fairly uniform. My hair, therefore, has always been very sensitive to the kind of shampoo and conditioner I use, and I’ve never found an inexpensive drugstore brand that works well. In fact, I cringe inside when I shower at someone’s house who’s been blessed with perfect hair and see that my options are, like, Dove and Pantene. I know that my hair will be impossible to comb through and will dry a la Hermione Granger’s unless I take a lot of hot tools to it. My steady-Eddy shampoo and conditioner are the Matrix Total Results Sleek variety. This duo leaves my hair so much softer than its natural texture, making brushing a breeze and air drying much more feasible. I’ve tried countless others, but I always go back to this as an affordable option, or at least more affordable than dreamy alternatives like Kerastase and Oribe.  

No-show liner socks

As someone who hates wearing shoes without socks, these things have, needless to say, been a very welcome addition to my life. Although not wearable with all footwear (it depends on the cut of the shoe—and I’m certainly not wearing them with anything where they show!!), I am so happy to wear them with anything I can, especially well-worn flats and low sneaks that would otherwise take on an odor and general ick-factor much faster. You guys, these things are the best. Because they’re so thin and tiny, though, they seem to disappear into thin air/the dryer/the sleeves and pant legs of other clothing much easier than other socks, so I stock up almost every time I go to Marshalls or DSW.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

Obviously, if it were up to me, I’d get regular gel manicures every couple of weeks. But in the interest of money and the health of my nails, this isn’t smart. In a constant effort to achieve a step-above-ratchet level with my nails at home, I have found this top coat to be a must-have. It leaves your nails with the same level of shine as a gel finish (even if your paint job underneath sadly can’t compare), and it is quick-dry, so less bed sheets/blanket/towel/car key/door handle “textured” nails. Sold.