before you go to the grocery store

Grocery shopping can be an enjoyable, relaxing experience or one that just falls short. I shop at Kroger most of the time and the company you have plays a big role. Let’s talk about it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that you need to be picky about who you go grocery shopping with. I learned this the hard way so I thought I’d relay the information to you as a guide for your next shopping experience.

I for one love going grocery shopping. Going down each aisle, seeing what’s new, crossing things off my list (when I have a list, which is rare, it’s usually in my head) and occasionally dancing to the incredibly cheesy music playing throughout the store. I like going late at night, when the lines aren’t long and there aren’t too many kids roaming the aisles without supervision.

That being said, my grocery shopping plan could drive someone bonkers if looking to be in and out, need to stick to a specific list, etc. 

Let’s discuss the 3 kinds of grocery shoppers: 

Type #1: The No-Nonsense Shopper

These are the shoppers that like to be in and out. Knows exactly what is needed and intends on buying nothing else than that. This can be done alone or with company, but only if the company is of the same mind frame.

My sister is a no-nonsense shopper. She doesn’t like to roam the isles one by one (“why do you need to walk through the meat aisle? You already have meat at the house. This doesn’t make any sense Sandra”). She goes in for what she needs, pays and goes on her way. Doesn’t care about what’s on sale or what’s new. No browsing, no dancing to music, nothing. She’s efficient, quick and ready to go.  

Type #2: Together but Separate Shopper 

These are the shoppers that go together (friends, couples, family or any combination) but then disperse into their own shopping agenda. At some point you’ll meet up with them, but it might be at the checkout lane if you aren’t quick enough.

These shoppers usually have their essential items that aren’t necessarily yours. My husband, for example, loves to take his time at the chip aisle, while I’ll browse the lean cuisine one. I’ll usually pick the veggies while he does the fresh fruit. We got lost, meet up and lose each other again. We dance to the cheesy music, make silly faces to each other and get to pick dessert together.

Type #3: The Window Shopper 

This shopper likes to go down every aisle and look at the new products, try some new things out and maybe try some samples if they are out. This shopper is all about the experience and is there for about 2-3 hours.

I’m this type of shopper. My sister is also this kind of shopper. We like to shop together. We get recipe tips from each other, go down every aisle and I end up buying new products I love and so does she. It’s a time for us to talk, catch up and have had some serious discussions about life in the frozen food section. There is no time restriction on when to get back and it’s very similar to shopping at the mall for some new clothes. You can do this type of shopping alone if you want, although I have found that company enhances the experience.

So there you have it, the 3 types of grocery shoppers. Sure this could also transfer over to mall shoppers as well, but that can get a little dangerous. It’s tough to get into trouble when you’re getting swiss cheese and frozen dessert. Which by the way the Snickers 90 calorie ice cream bars is the bomb. Just sayin’

What kind of shopper are you?

august favorite beauty products

Wait it’s September already? No, seriously? You’re kidding right?

Yep we are already in September, a whole month has come and gone in a “take no prisoners” kind of way. Football is starting again, the seasons are starting to change (no more 105 degree weather, we are at 93 now!) and holidays are getting closer and closer to us. What’s a girl to do?

Well I figured I could help a bit by introducing you to some beauty products that I’ve been loving for the month of August. That makes everything better right?

Here we go!

HAIR

1. Kiehl’s Sunflower Color Preserving Deep Recovering Pak, $25, http://www.kiehls.com

My hair has been in serious need of some moisture love. With color treatments, Brazilian Blowouts and a lot of heat from both the sun and styling tools, it was screaming for attention. I found this product when I got it as a sample from buying some products on Sephora.com (they give you 3 free samples with every purchase!) and my hair just soaked it up. It is designed for color treated hair and just left my hair shiny, soft and oh so wonderful. Everyone needs a good deep conditioning treatment product in their shower. Those daily conditioners don’t cut it.

 

SKIN/BODY

1. Kiehl’s Deluxe Hand & Body Lotion (coconut fragrance), $22, http://www.kiehls.com

Who doesn’t love a good body lotion? I’ve tried my fair share of Aveeno, Vaseline, Jergen’s and Dove and always seem to come back to this one. Yes it’s a bit pricier than the drugstore brands, but it leaves my skin feeling soft and not too heavy and is packed with feel good ingredients like oatmeal and aloe vera. No greasy feeling afterwards, long-lasting and the coconut fragrance is divine.

2. Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater, $7, http://www.mariobadescu.com (can also find at Ulta in stores only)

This is a great toner, refreshing facial mist and makeup setting spray all in one. It’s got a ton of feel-good ingredients like rosewater, aloe and gardenia to calm irritated skin and relieve super dry skin. The fragrance is all roses (literally) and smells wonderful. Use it in the morning to set makeup, in the middle of the day to refresh your face before a night out or before going to bed. For $7, this is a good deal.

3. Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser, $10-$49 (depending on size), http://www.sephora.com or http://www.philosophy.com

I’ve been impressed with Philosophy products. Not only is their brand message wonderful, their products don’t seem to make my skin break out, ingredients are soothing and they always seem to have a place in my skincare routine. I needed a new cleanser and decided to try this one out. It is foaming, not irritating, wipes off easily and leaves my skin squeaky clean. It has also lasted me quite a bit because you don’t need a lot to get the job done. I highly recommend this one.

MAKEUP

1. Beauty Blender, $19.95, http://www.sephora.com

I love this little makeup applicator. This cute little pink sponge (how more girly can you get?) blends like nobody’s business and leaves no trace of foundation lines on your skin. I use it to put on my BB cream, foundation and sometimes even concealer. The price is a little steep for my taste, but I have found it perfect for everyday use. Forgot your brushes? Not to worry because this little guy (or girl) can handle it.

2. Maybelline Dream Fresh 8-in-1 BB Cream, $8.99, Drugstores (CVS, Walgreens, Target)

BB Creams have hit the market like wildfire. Originating in Korea, BB Creams (or beauty balms/blemish balms) hit the market as the be all, end all to cover blemishes, imperfections, uneven skin tone and a variety of other things. It’s booming popularity got our attention and soon enough the US starting coming out with BB creams that could do the same thing. While I will say that the creams being made here don’t seem to compare to the original ones, Maybelline has made one that I really like. This one claims to blur imperfections, brighten skin, even skin tone, smooth, hydrate and enhance features. While I don’t think it does all of that to really make a difference, I use it as a base for my foundation and it doesn’t make me break out. It also has an SPF of 30 which is great. Goes on sheer for those days that you need protection without full makeup. Out of the BB creams out there, this one is my favorite, and the price is one that won’t break the bank.

3. Nyx Megashine Lip Gloss in Pink Rose, $5.49, http://www.ulta.com

Bright colors have made it on to the beauty scene without restrictions. Neon nails, electric blue hues and pinks have made an entrance. I love pinks, and since its always been my favorite color, I’ve embraced this trend by picking up some makeup products that deliver the hues in a more “everyday” friendly way. Nyx is a brand I discovered while watching some beauty vlogs (check out MissGlamorazzi) and found the brand at Ulta. Super cheap and similar to e.l.f at $5 a pop for lipstick. This Pink Rose color is one of my favorites and gives a beautiful pink hue that pops a bit of color (perfect to compliment nude eyes). It smells like pink lemonade which I am huge fan (the gross leather, generic lipstick smell is a major turnoff) and goes on super smooth. They have a huge variety of colors as well from sheer nude to bright red.

So there you have it, some beauty favs to get you through September. Let me know if there are any beauty products YOU love and it might make it to next months post!

all time favorite beauty products

I love all things beauty. When I first got into it in 2006 I swore this was the industry I would stay in forever. Working in the brand and new product development departments for hair, body, skin care and even make-up gave me the inside scoop on ingredients, trends, formulation and fragrances. I was able to take a concept and give it a name, story, formula, package and fragrance. How cool is that?

My role has thus changed in the beauty industry to one who writes about them. The fun part is that I still get to explore, experiment and fall in love with beauty products that are launching every day! The added bonus is that I know the ingredients and formulation process, which gives a unique insight and a slightly picky selection process.

I’ve been watching a LOT of vlogs lately (video blogs) that highlight monthly favorites. Some are just clothes, make-up, skin care and others are everything from snack foods to bronzers. I figured if they could do it, why can’t I?

So, here are my all time beauty favorites of hair, face and make-up. My goal is to do one of these every month that highlight both new and existing products, all without costing an arm and a leg (because that’s just not right). Here we go!!

HAIR

1. Orofluido Hair Elixir, $24.99, online (amazon, birchbox)

This argon enriched hair product was one of the first items in my very first Birchbox. The little sample lasted me forever and I used it almost every day. I used this as a finishing product after blowdrying and flat ironing and it really made my hair super soft, shiny (without feeling greasy) and tamed my little fly-aways on top of my head. It dries quickly and I didn’t need to wash my hands after use. Even better is that it has a wonderful amber vanilla scent. For a girl that’s all about fragrance, this one hit the mark. My sister loved the Aussie Smoothing Serum but I have to say I like this one more.

2. L’Oreal Ever Pure Shampoo and Conditioner, $6 each, drugstores (CVS, Walgreens, Target)

 

With my recent Brazilian Blowouts, I’ve banned non-sulfate free shampoos. Now with working in the beauty industry, I’ve come to not believe a lot of the hype about formaldehyde, parabens, etc. Sure that stuff isn’t the best for you, but with monthly visits to my colorists, it’s just as bad. Sulfates, on the other hand, I’m believing, especially since I’m paying a pretty penny to change the composition of my hair to make it straight. I’m really loving L’Oreal’s EverPure shampoo and conditioner. The shampoo doesn’t have sulfates, which are harsh surfactants to clean the hair and it’s at an affordable price. I’m not a huge fan of the Juniper/Rosemary fragrance (even though I love rosemary) combination, but it does a good job of cleaning my hair. I did try the L’Oreal EverPure Smooth duo because it had a shea scent, but it doesn’t seem to have the same effect. For those looking for a sulfate free color system, this one is for you.

FACE

1.  Philosophy Hope in a Jar Moisturizer, $15-$110 depending on size), sephora.com, philosophy.com, amazon)

I LOOOOOVE this moisturizer, and I’ve tried my fair share of moisturizers. I love this one so much because not only does it last a good amount of time, but it doesn’t make me break out, gives me just the right amount of moisture and the consistency is thin enough that I can layer on makeup without weighing it down. A little goes a long way, and I usually get the 0.5 oz for $15 since I can travel with it and it really does last for a couple of months. I recently splurged and got the 2 oz and it still looks like I bought it months ago. The formula is fragrance-free which is a downer for me, but if you are prone to fragrance allergies this is a good option. It doesn’t matter if your skin is dry, oily or a little of both, this moisturizer has you covered. Check out my blog post about it here.

2. Cosmedicine Medi-Morphosis Self Adjusting Exfoliator, $24.99, Ulta.com, Amazon.com

It’s hard to find a good exfoliator. One that doesn’t cause break-outs, is affordable and does the job of buffing your skin. I came across this one a while back at Sephora in their travel mini section and picked it up. I have loved it ever since and was really bummed when they stopped carrying the line at Sephora. This gentle exfoliator has mini, non abrasive crystals that actually disappear when it’s buffed all it can (given the name, self-adjusting). It has no true fragrance and truly leaves my face feeling baby soft. I can tell an immediate difference after using it when applying moisturizer and makeup because everything just glides so much smoother. I also have sensitive skin prone to redness and this one is gentle enough. Tip when using exfoliator: don’t rush it, really massage it into your skin for a minimum of 1-2 minutes to get the best results. Do it in the shower where your pores are open.

MAKEUP

1. Elf Make-up Remover Wipes, $3, Target

Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths

I love brands that come out with quality products at a ridiculously affordable price. Enter e.l.f cosmetics (Eyes, Lips, Face). I knew about this brand a long time ago because I had run into people who had worked on the line or were on the executive board for the line but never really tried it. So when I went to Target to get some beauty finds, I stumbled upon e.l.f and decided to give it a shot. This line really has some good products from their brushes to cosmetics. I’ve bought a couple and still testing, but I will say that the Eye Makeup Remover Wipes are great. Perfect for travel, these wipes are really good at removing makeup and aren’t harsh on your skin. I have used the Estee Lauder Makeup Remover for some time and never got the results I needed (meaning there was always mascara left over). This product really does the job. For $3, why not??

2. Maybelline Eye Studio 24 Hour Tattoo Eyeshadow, $7, drugstores

These shadows just came out, and when I heard about them through a couple of blogs, I wanted to check them out. 24 hour shadows, really? With my oily skin? Well, yes actually. I bought the Bad to the Bronze which is a really pretty bronzy/brown/gold color and started out using it as a base for my powder shadows. It really does stay on all day and is great just by itself. I dab a little on my finger and just swipe it across the lid and a little on the crease. It can serve as a base for more vibrant colors on top, or just as an everyday color to match with everything. There are a multitude of colors to choose from- from a turquoise and purple or silver and orange. This one is a good one!

3. Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara, $7, drugstores

It’s tough to find a good mascara. First it needs to be hypoallergenic in order to be safe to wear with contacts. Then it needs to not be waterproof (I find it hard to take off and I don’t like the fact that it’s made with tar, that can’t be good for my eyelashes). Finally, it needs to be able to give my eyelashes SOMETHING since my little babies are small and stick straight (even my husband has better eyelashes than me). I’ve tried a lot of mascaras and found that this one really hits the mark. It separates my lashes, gives me a good coat with one application, comes off easily and doesn’t hurt my contacts. It’s also cool to hear people say “hey, are your lashes bigger?” instead of “are you wearing mascara?”.

So that’s it folks, my favorites in the world of beauty. Let me know what you think and if you have a product I should check out. Have a beautiful day!!