Sunday, December 30, 2018

Last Post of 2018: An On-Location New Year's Eve Look

Last post of 2018.
As we are on the cusp of New Year's Eve, I am excited to share a fresh on-location look that works perfectly for the last night of 2018. Shot over the past weekend while on a family trip to Lake Las Vegas, this post futures some of my favorite products (including the most ebullient pink lip) and style elements as of late, culminating in an easy-to-acheive result that balances sophistication with extreme comfort (is there anything better?).

Kindly scroll on for more details, swatches and images of the products in action as well as the Bottom Line...
Skin + Hair. 
// SKIN + HAIR // I always make sure these formulas are present in my toiletries bag, even for a two-day trip! 
  • *Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream (reviewed HERE): I just started bottle #3 of this miracle cream; I cannot recommend it enough for its moisturizing and anti-aging properties and attribute my currently bouncy and glowy skin to its transformative capabilities. 
  • *Sisley-Paris Black Rose Cream Mask: Excellent to increase moisture and buoyancy, this mask is a cult-classic for a reason. I never travel without it. 
  • *Sisley-Paris Eye Contour Mask: Equally sublime, I just this eye mask as a restorative post-travel treatment (it tightens, brightens, lifts and firms while fighting under eye darkness) but also let it double as an eye cream (lightweight like a gel) for versatility at its best. 
  • *Oribe Run-Through Detangling Primer (also available at Neiman Marcus and reviewed HERE): Arguably the best detangler on the market, this formula banishes my most pernicious snarls with ease without weighing my hair down. It's genius. I will hope to forever have a bottle on back up. 
  • *Chanel La Creme Main: When traveling, both my husband and I rely on this luxe formula to add instantly absorbed hydration and love that it possesses a subtle fragrance that we both can handle. 
  • *Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths: These are the best portable wipes that money can buy and I've maintained this position for years. I use them to cleanse on the go (they even remove waterproof eye makeup which is astounding in light of how gentle the are) and am nearing the end of my extra large pack...will be ordering another soon! 
  • *Clé de Peau Beauté The Lip Serum (reviewed HERE): I use this day and night to hydrate and heal my lips. It truly transforms and my only regret is that I didn't try this sooner. 
  • *Guerlain KissKiss Lip Lift: A single coat provides a formidable base for lip extends the lasting power and smoothness of wear for hours on end. 
  • Le Foulonne Belt Bag: Still my hands-free bag of choice, this elevates the fanny pack to an infinitely wearable level while holding everything I need (so I can easily hold Johannah). 
My Le Foulonne Belt Bag flanked by two luxurious lip options by *Clé de Peau Beauté and
Base + Face. 
// BASE + FACE // When the canvas looks good and glowy, everything else subsequently applied performs at its maximum. 
Swatches in natural indoor lighting. 

Cheeks, eyes and lips. 
// CHEEKS, EYES and LIPS // Even skin is punctuated by a wash of bronze, peach and pink for a healthy and timeless look. 
  • *Givenchy Healthy Glow Bronzer #4: I applied this brilliantly brown bronzer with my trusty *Surratt Artistique Cheek Brush, focusing blending along the hollows of my cheeks and perimeters of my face. 
  • *Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Mood Exposure (also available at Beautylish): I ordered this highly-rated blush shade on a whim (also picked one up for my mom) and am so glad I took the chance! The marble-inspired mix of mauve and champagne creates a gorgeously natural looking lavender cheek with subtle luminosity. I predict this particular hue is universally-flattering...highly recommended. 
  • Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color in Golden Peach: I've lost count on how many times I've included this holy grail shadow on BP over the years. It's by far my favorite shade and formula and, per usual, I swept it all over my upper eye lid and along my lower lash line as a luminous wash of color. 
  • Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow in Blaze (reviewed HERE): I used my ring finger to tap this brilliant copper shade on the center of my upper eye lid for more depth and intensity...if you haven't yet tried this shadow, you really must. All five hues are resplendently high-performance. 
  • *Sisley-Paris Phyto Kohl Liner in Mystic Green and Sparkling Black (reviewed HERE): Both of these pigmented and long lasting shadows have permanent places in my makeup bag and along my lower water line. I am wearing a mix of the two to enhance the eye look. 
  • Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel in Chestnut (reviewed HERE): Two coats adds depth, hold and a feathery fulness to my brows while still maintaining their hyper-natural look. 
  • Hourglass Caution Extreme Mascara (reviewed HERE): I just purchased my second tube of this mascara, which speaks to its voluming and lengthening qualities. The gentle formula is jet black and stays in place (no transfer or smearing) until I choose to take it off. So good. 
  • Bobbi Brown Crushed Liquid Lip Balm in Peach & Quiet (also available at Sephora): Compelled by the alluring amalgamation of balm and liquid lip color, I recently ordered this this sight unseen and am so glad I did. The buildable formula is pigmented and plush and Peach & Quiet (which leans more pink than peach and has a slightly 1960s vibe) is a complexion-brightening shade that enhances a look without overpowering. I simply adore it. 
Swatches in natural indoor lighting. 

The following images reflect all products in action in indoor lighting...

Applying Bobbi Brown Crushed Liquid Lip Balm in Peach & Quiet (also available at Sephora).
 A close up of my Nike Air Max 270 Sneakers.

Style notes. 
// STYLE NOTES // A neutral color palette is offset by a sublime leopard coat...the result is equal parts timelessly chic and unapologetically comfortable. 
  • Nordstrom Men White Cotton V Neck Tee: I've been touting the versatility of these tees for years; super soft and slightly oversized (I buy them in a size L), they make the perfect travel companion and also look fabulous with skinny jeans. 
  • Spanx Faux Leather Leggings: These are by far my favorite leggings; the leather look is tasteful and the fit is sublime; I can wear these in comfort for 12+ hours and often do. Get won't regret it. 
  • Madewell Kent Cardigan in Golden Harvest: A recent Christmas gift, this is my fifth Madewell cardigan and my first one in this stunning goldenrod shade. This particular style runs big so I am wearing a small. 
  • Nike Air Max 270 Sneaker: I wear this pair of tennis shoes no less than 3 times a week; the color scheme is perfection, exceeded only by the comfort level. My favorite Nikes to date. 
  • Leopard Coat: I love the muted effect of this particular animal print feel like leopard spots are eternally classic, especially as an accent to a bevy of neutrals. In case you're looking for other options in this vein, I've rounded up some potentials HERE.

The eye look, courtesy of Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color in Golden Peach, 
Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow in Blaze,
*Sisley-Paris Phyto Kohl Liner in Mystic Green and Sparkling Black,
Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel in Chestnut (reviewed HERE) and 
Hourglass Caution Extreme Mascara (reviewed HERE).
My beloved Jethro. 

Last look. 
--Shop the Post--

Bottom Line: I hope you enjoyed this last BP post of 2018 and would love to know what caught your tell! 

Thank you, from my heart, for your loyal readership and support; this beautiful community is the reason that I've written this blog for nearly 7 years and I relish the chance to continue to do so in the future.  

Good things ahead, including my Best of 2018 video and a host of new product procurements...cannot wait to share! 

xx and blessings in 2019,

--The Beauty Professor 

**PR samples provided for review denoted by an asterisk (the rest purchased by me), however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  © 2012-18 Beauty Professor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Nursery Tour: 20 Baby Essentials, Things I'm Learning as a New Mom and an End-of-Year Sales Shopping Guide

Welcome to the Nursery Tour! 
I cannot believe that we are headed into the last week of 2018! This year has been major...from moving and travel to a lipstick collaboration and the arrival of baby Johannah Elle, it's certainly been 12 months that I will treasure and never forget. After taking a week+ off for Christmas and all the beauty it entails, today's post is focused on exactly 3 things: 

(1) The top 5 things I've learned thus far as a new mom
(2) The baby essentials we wholly recommend in the form of a nursery forewarned, this nursery is delightfully lived in rather than picturesque perfection. 
(3) The end-of-the-year sales I'm shopping, with specific suggestions (this is what happens when Christmas and my birthday are less than 10 days apart). 

Kindly scroll on for my new mom revelations, the baby gear we use daily and a curated shopping guide to the best sales of the season as well as the Bottom Line...

Our family Christmas picture...Johannah Elle is already 5 months old and Jethro is the most incredible big brother. 
// NEW MOM MUSINGS // When it comes to raising a baby, all I know is that I know very little, but I am an earnest student and learning every day! 
  1. The lack of sleep that a new baby brings is next-level. I had a high tolerance for not sleeping before Johannah came. Being a full-time college professor and full-time beauty writer meant pulling a lot of bed at 3AM/up at 7AM days and somehow I managed to energetically maintain my responsibilities. Slumber while having a newborn is another story because consecutive hours of sleep (even just 4) are rare in the early months and even now, my husband and I take turns with 3AM feedings. There is a certain zombie-like quality that comes over one who wakes up all night for months on end...I definitely have said characteristic (as does my husband...we truly are a team) yet somehow continue to survive and get things done. It's a miracle really! We're working on sleep training Johannah but it's a process that takes the meanwhile, we'll keep doing the best we can with the sleep we get. 
  2. I can do SO much with just one arm/hand. Johannah has gotten sturdy enough for me to hold her with one arm while doing things in the house with the other. From taking vitamins and making a smoothie to doing laundry and even typing a blog post (slow and steady wins the race), I marvel at (and am grateful for) how much I can accomplish with a single limb. 
  3. When something doesn't work, keep trying things until something does. Thankfully, Johannah is an exceptionally happy baby, but even with the wealth of smiles comes tears and figuring out why she is crying and how to help her stop is a series of trial and error. I find myself running through a mental checklist...does she need to be changed? Is it time for feeding? Will a pacifier suffice? Does she just need to be held and bounced? If so, in my arms standing up or on my knees/lap? Will a swaddle calm her down? Is she too hot? Too cold? Will some music or a toy change her mood? Is this teething or gas pain? Try the pacifier again? Seriously, it's just trying things calmly (I'm a big believer in emotional contagion...stress and anxiety is transmittable, even to a baby) until one of them works. This is a good lesson for life in general, too, no?
  4. Accept help...being capable and allowing others to assist are not mutually exclusive. I have always done my best to be independent and self-sufficient; however, when you try to do everything yourself, you run the risk of overextending and getting mightily burned out. Even though it is a challenge for me, I am learning to take help--from my parents, my husband, a friend--when appropriate because a burned out mom (or person in general, for that matter!) is not an effective one. Just because I can do something, doesn't always mean I should. 
  5. It's OK to adjust your life pacing because baby comes first and grows quickly. I've lived by a planner for as long as I can remember. There is a profound joy in "getting things done" and I've sought to be as productive as possible with the tasks and responsibilities in my life. Having a baby has helped me to mellow out on the to-do lists...yes, there is still much (if not more!) to do, but I've had to grow more comfortable with not getting it done within the timeline I originally envisioned. Blog posts and shoots may take longer (but they'll always be from my heart and the best of my mind) and laundry may sit on the chair beckoning to be sorted for more than a day or two, but this little baby life I've been vested to take care of is my top priority and I don't want to miss moments with her, just to have the peace of mind that comes with checking things off a massive (and never-ending, I might add) list. Thank you for loyally hanging in there with me with me as my pacing continues to evolve! 
Onto the 20 Baby Essentials...

The Larkin Gold Metal Crib with lamb quilt bedding
(1) Crib: I found our gold metal crib at Crate and Barrel (which is currently having an insane winter sale, by the way) a month before Johannah was born and purchasing it made her impending arrival feel all the more real. I liked the classic lines, subtly gilded color and ability for it to easily transition to a toddler bed over time (the rails are removable) so the decision to buy it was easy. Although Johannah doesn't use it yet (she still sleeps in our room in a bassinet...keep reading for more details on this), it definitely is the centerpiece of her nursery, lending a warm and timeless vibe to the space. 
The Cosmos Floor Lamp
(2) Lighting: Tonally and stylistically, this lamp effortlessly works with the crib. It illuminates a room without overpowering it and the on/off button is activated by one's foot (super easy in the darkness of night). I love it so much, I am thinking about picking up another one for our living room!

Johannah peacefully rocking the afternoon away in her Fisher Price Auto Rock n' Play Sleeper
(3) Fisher Price Auto Rock n' Play Sleeper: When they found out that Johannah was coming, the kind team at Clé de Peau Beauté gifted me this genius apparatus, assuring me that it was a favorite for new moms. The minute I lay Johannah in it, I understood its appeal. It's lightweight yet sturdy, portable (it folds flat), is perfect for naps and, because it rocks, its great to entertain baby while keeping her safe and comfortable in the living room. Consequently, we've used this every single day since receiving it. 

The Doona Stroller in action.  
(4) Stroller: I orginally saw the genius Doona Stroller on Instagram and instantly was intrigued by the fact that it was both a car seat and a low-profile stroller. Before having Johannah, I was resolute that whatever stroller we purchased would be on the smaller side and this innovation fit the bill. When attached to the LATCH base (it comes with one and extras can ordered...we have one in each of our cars and one in my parents' car), it is a car seat. Once removed, pressing a lever will release the wheels to convert it to a fully-equipped stroller. It's easy to maneuver (even with one hand) and, to date, is our best baby gear investment...and it fits newborns all the way to 35 lbs. Invaluable! 

Johannah in her Doona Stroller.
We also added the Doona Snap-on Storage bag for times when we're out all day. The bag is compact but holds a ton...multiple bottles, outfits, blankets, toys and even my jacket/keys without adding bulk to the stroller. Highly recommended! 
The Halo Innovations Bassinest
(5) Bassinet: When preparing for Johannah's arrival, my mom insisted that we'd want a bassinet in addition to her crib. Not knowing anything about any of it, I took her advice and she was right, indeed. The Halo Innovations Bassinest has a sturdy (read: heavy but therefore safe) base that fits right under one's bed so that the bassinet can hover (and swivel) bedside, making nighttime feedings etc. extremely  convenient. The edge even bends down so that baby can be taken out of the bassinet with a lot of effort, allowing them to stay asleep while being moved. This particular model also has vibration, lights and soothing sounds to enhance baby's slumber. I cannot imagine going without this and love that Johannah can sleep separately while still remaining so near.  

Dock-a-Tot Stage 1
(6) Dock-a-Tot Stage 1: This portable lounger/sleeper can be placed on a bed (especially useful during travel), couch or even the floor to keep baby safe and secure. Expensive but worth it for the first two years of life! 

Crate & Barrel Kids White Campaign 3 Drawer Dresser/Changing Table
(7) Dresser/Changing Table: I fell in love with the timeless appeal of this white and brass dresser. The drawers are roomy and glide open and closed with ease and we added a changing table tray topper (which can be removed later on when not needed) for additional versatility. I hope to buy another one soon to round out her nursery...I feel like the style will work seamlessly for all the stages of Johannah's childhood.

Johannah in her Evenflo ExerSaucer 2-in-1 Activity Center and Table
(8) Evenflo ExerSaucer 2-in-1 Activity Center and Table: This activity center is bright and lively yet totally doable for a minimalist living room. Well-constructed and full of texture and sound, Johannah can play in this for 30+ minutes and we love that she is learning along the way. 

Mary Meyer Bestever Lamb Baby Mat
(9) Mary Meyer Bestever Lamb Baby Mat: A perfect companion to our carpeted living room, this utterly adorable lamb mat is plush, soft and machine washable. 

Aden + Anais Swaddling Cloths
(10) Swaddling Cloths: We have well over 20 of these 100% cotton swaddles which work well to envelope the baby, help her sleep, line her bassinet, and be a light stroller blanket. The Aden + Anais brand seems to make the best as they are soft yet not slippery (which isn't ideal for a swaddle as it won't stay put). Give them to any new moms in your life...they will thank you.

Boppy Luxe Feeding & Infant Support Pillow
(11) Boppy Luxe Feeding & Infant Support Pillow: We used this daily during feeding sessions following Johannah's birth. The pillow can be worn on the side of the body to provide comfort and support for both mom/dad and baby. Now we use it as a support for's a wondrously useful invention and currently on sale at Nordstrom

The Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier in action while husband and Johannah make cupcakes. What a team! 
(12) Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier: There are so many baby carriers on the market but the Ergobaby is the gold standard in our experience. With quality craftsmanship and customizable adjustments that allow both my husband and me to wear the same model with ease, this is an optimal way to carry Johannah around comfortably while simultaneously having our hands free. 

Skincare in the formative months...Mustela No-Rinse Micellar Water
(13) Mustela No-Rinse Micellar Water: This formula completely eradicated the light case of baby acne that Johannah had at 2 months of age. It cleanses and soothes without irritation and we continue to use it daily (applied on a cotton pad) to maintain her beautifully bouncy and rosy complexion. 

Bumbo Floor Seat (in Duck Egg)
(14) Bumbo Floor Seat (in Duck Egg): As Johannah continues to grow, her need to sit upright safely  will increase. We preemptively ordered this adorable seat to help her do this securely (there's even a seat belt)...she loves it and isn't this particular color so fetching? 

The Babyletto Tally Storage Bookshelf
(15) Babyletto Tally Storage Bookshelf: It's my goal to have books be major and meaningful part of Johannah's life and so we added a bookshelf to our registry early on. This charming white wooden version has deep shelves that expertly and neatly store books and toys alike. P.S. Still working on figuring out what our favorite baby books are but all things Sophie la Girafe are adorable in the meanwhile. 

Water Wipes
(16) Water Wipes: We were given packs of these at our baby shower and have never deviated since! Not particularly exciting but extremely necessary, Water Wipes are incredibly pure (99.9% water and a touch of fruit fragrance whatsoever) and wildly effective. Easily available on Amazon, we just ordered another box of 720...truly nothing better (or cleaner) on the market. 

Johannah using her Comotomo Bottle.
(17) Comotomo Bottles: We experimented with a variety of bottles during the first few weeks of Johannah's life and found the Comotomo Bottles to be the absolute best. They are flexible and easy to clean and, due to their unique silicon nipple top, simulate the sensory experience of nursing. They come in multiple sizes (we've recently sized up as Johannah drinks more formula than she used to, of course) and will continue to use them as long as she needs a bottle. 

Baby Knee-high Stocking Socks
(18) Baby Knee-high Stocking Socks: Every time Johannah wears these socks (a good old Amazon find!), she gets compliments galore. They're just too cute. They come in a variety of colors to brighten up an outfit and stay put above the knees for hours on end. She now has at least 12 pairs with more on the horizon! 

Dresser accoutrements
(19) Dresser accoutrements: From the elephant snow globe (that can be personalized!) and antique flower lighting to a dreamy owl lamp and BY TERRY Rose Fragrance, I love adding eclectic and unexpected elements to the nursery. 
Mia's Moccasins
(20) Mia's Moccasins: Speaking of eclectic, is there anything cuter than a pair of baby moccasins? This particular version, made by Mia's Mocs is ultra soft and flexible and comes with extra wool in the toes to make sure that a single size lasts for a phase or two of baby's life. She'll be ready for a new pair in spring colors soon enough! 

Getting ready to walk into 2019 but taking advantage of the plethora of sales in the meanwhile. 
// End of the Year Sales I'm Shopping // This is the time to get serious markdowns on clothes you can wear this minute...stretching one's dollar has never been easier. 
--Shop the Sales--

Last look, featuring the Baby Knee-high Stocking Socks. Fluffette slippers on my feet by UGG
--Shop the Post--

Bottom Line: In the almost 7 years that I have maintained Beauty Professor, this is the first non-beauty-related post I've ever written and I hope you enjoyed the departure from my normal content! Johannah Elle's arrival into our lives has definitely changed our day-to-day in the most sublime way and I hope that my musings and recommendations have been helpful for you or someone you might  know who is getting ready to welcome a baby into their lives. 

Please let me know what may have caught your eye! 

Good things ahead, including a Best of 2019 video, an on-location story, a New Year's Eve look, some travel beauty (headed to the tropics soon!) and a host of new product procurements. Cannot wait to share!

xx and much more soon, 

--The Beauty Professor 

**PR samples provided for review denoted by an asterisk (the rest purchased by me), however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  © 2012-18 Beauty Professor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.