that time I bought things + told you about them

all the beauty products you need

Beauty: You guys. I don’t purchase many beauty products because I can’t be bothered with the upkeep. Save for red lipstick, I don’t wear makeup because I can’t cope with a multi-step process. I’m serious about this. My beauty routine has to be simple, fast, and efficacious. I’ve always been into skin + body care. Luckily, I’ve been blessed with good genes and my skin is fairly unblemished and I’m only just starting to see small lines around my eyes. Unlike the rest of the free world, I’m not all that concerned about the aging process (if you set aside my crippling fear of death), however, I do want to look like I’m not digging my own grave. Nutrition, water, proper sleep and exercise play huge roles in my life as does my skin care regimen.

I haven’t been into serums until this year (because process), but I’ve been using Origins’ Original Skin serum for nearly two months and it is my JAM. I have noticed a demonstrable difference in the appearance of my pores (smaller) and people have remarked on my glowing skin (this could also be attributed to the fact that I’ve been eating greens like a fiend). I use the serum before my moisturizer, and these days I’m rocking either Jurlique’s Skin Balancing Face Oil (I have combination skin and I’m still shocked that my face doesn’t resemble an oil refinery) or Caudalie’s Premier Cru The Cream (it costs a MILLION DOLLARS but it’s worth it).

It should be said, out loud, that my friend Grace has all the knowledge. While many bloggers have devolved into the equivalent of the women who spray perfume in your face in department stores, Grace is one of the good ones. She tests all the products she uses and she’s genuinely excited by the hunt and discovery. I trust her implicitly, and she’s never steered me in the wrong direction. Last week, I found myself pawing her beauty products and she preached the gospel that is One Love Organics. When I wasn’t huffing her coconut scrub, she told about Skin Savior, a miraculous cleanser + moisturizer (dual purpose!) that doesn’t require you to wash your face! Apparently, the oils in the balm attach to the oils in your skin, making for a deeper, nourishing wash. I’ve only used this for a few days and I’m already in love. I’m still not used to washing my face without water, but I’m giving this a go.

After I finished pawing her beauty products, I sprayed Grace’s Coqui Coqui Coco Coco on my wrists, and I black-out shopped this perfume using her computer. The fragrance is fresh, not cloying and smells of Indonesia (coconut, sand and ocean). I plan on wearing this perfume to the grave.

Finally, the gross bit of the lot. If you suffer from allergies as much as I do (I’m on prescription meds, people), you will love this souped-up neti pot. I’ve been using this simple solution for a week, and while it sometimes feels like I’m drowning, I’ve noticed that my nasal passages are clearer, and I’m wheezing less. You won’t be too thrilled with what exits your nasal passages (I’m fascinated), but you will feel clean.

Books: Believe me when I say that a tower of unread books rests at my feet. From David Brooks’ The Road to Character to Maeve Brennan’s biography, and scores of unread fiction, it’s been hard to play favorites amongst the lot vying for attention. However, this past weekend I found myself cleaning out my bookcases and I’m stumbled upon a book a friend had given me as a gift–and would you believe it was Elena Ferrante? A full two years before I discovered her remarkable Neapolitan tetralogy, a friend inscribed The Days of Abandonment with: you must read this. Ironic that I wrote about being comfortable with not being married and then I go find a book about a woman coping with her husband’s untimely abandonment.

Another book that eclipsed the rest is one that arrived in the mail yesterday. You should know that I stood outside of my apartment building, ripped open the Amazon box and nearly squealed as I unwrapped Chloe Sevigny. I’ve been infatuated with Sevigny since her Sassy days and I obviously purchased the blue tee she wore in KIDS after I saw the movie in the theater. Although our styles couldn’t be more divergent, Chloe is just so cool. She gives zero fucks and this is precisely why she continues to inspire me even after all this time. The book is a compilation of private and public photos snapped over the course of two decades (snaps of scripts, Chloe’s room, traveling with friends), and it’s satisfying, inspiring, and captures everything I love (and didn’t) about the 90s. Within 24 hours I’ve shown this book to four people and we pored through the photographs like they were gold.

Naturally, the time I would meet Chloe would be the day I’m barrelling down the block with a huge bag of laundry. Yep, I ran smack into CHLOE SEVIGNY while carrying my laundry bag and wearing sweatpants.

And of course she looked the epitome of cool.

Travel: I went from being a woman who only carted around designer gear to a woman who reused Whole Foods and Sakara Life delivery bags for gym and travel. Until this year I haven’t owned a proper carry-on and I finally broke down and purchased Lo & Son’s Catalina bag. You can fit a small CHILD in this bag it’s so roomy. I love that I can toss the cotton canvas in the wash and it’s sturdy enough to fit a pile of clothes, shoes and accessories. I can’t wait to test-drive it when I head to Singapore + Bali in July, and it will obviously come in handy when I move to California come September!

16 thoughts on “that time I bought things + told you about them

  1. I have pure white skin, I think the poets call it alabaster .. some call it ghostly Irish skin (my aunt says that) so I’m not sure what beauty products to use… I only use peach lip gloss, in my youth I wore fire engine red lipstick. I’m not sure why though lol


  2. Ahhh! I love the NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit — I find it so much easier to use than a Neti Pot. I swear, my whole body feels happier when I’m nasal rinsing regularly. 🙂


    1. RIGHT?! The neti pot confused me and this is so simple. Stand over your sink and shoot water up your nose. Question for you — have you ever used tap water with this? The directions say use distilled or boiled water, cooled down to room temperature. This is a minor annoyance, but one I’ll tolerate if tap water is really verboten. LMK 🙂


      1. I haven’t ever ventured beyond store-bought gallons of distilled water. A gallon lasts me a while and I just keep it in my bathroom as a big nasal rinse reminder. But I would be interested in exactly why tap water is a no-no …


      2. I might just have to get a gallon and keep it handy. Thanks!

        Maybe because of rust and chemicals? I wondered about that too. 🙂

        On Tue, May 5, 2015 at 9:19 AM, wrote:



  3. You make all those products sound so good. Also, I live for my bottle-version of the neti pot. That thing is my life.
    Great post! 🙂


      1. Please start with the scrub, if you’ve got a strong scrub game. It’s HEAVEN. I love the balm, but I’m still adjusting to washing my face without water.

        On Tue, May 5, 2015 at 9:18 AM, wrote:



  4. I’m a neti pot fanatic as well. It’s saved my life and I’m equally fascinated by what comes out of my sinuses. No wonder we’re so congested!

    I’m only using distilled water for the neti. Horror stories like this ( have kept me from just going with tap water as much as I want to.

    That canvas bag is beautiful! I’m still on the hunt for a new gym bag, so I’m always looking for endorsements for ones that work well.


  5. BRAIN INFECTION? Yeah, I think I’ll stick with distilled water. Thanks for the intel, Michelle!

    The bag is really something special. It feels a bit big for a gym bag, to be honest, but it really makes for an awesome carry-on or a weekender.


    1. I wouldn’t recommend a neti-pot for a first-timer, but this alternative is really easy to use. It’s like a large Afrin bottle and you spray water + saline solution up your nose over a sink.

      On Tue, May 5, 2015 at 4:11 PM, wrote:



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