And that laugh, wrinkles your nose (so you need a new moisturizer)

And that laugh, wrinkles your nose (so you need a new moisturizer)

I’ve made the executive decision if I can only take four comfort items to the post-apocalyptic United States we are surely headed for at this point, they would would most likely be coffee, champagne (the good stuff), unlimited access to books (that might be cheating), and skincare.

But it must be grown-up size bottles. I have a love-hate relationship with a certain kind of sample. I dig almost anything for free dollars, but single-use samples are usually garbage. Unless it miraculously takes off 30 pounds and all my sunspots overnight, it’s hard for one to properly evaluate a product on a single use.

That’s why the VIP bags at Indie Beauty Expo (IBE) are a goldmine. Prices vary by city, with New York being the most expensive. But it’s well worth it; we walked away from it like bandits – with at least $1,000 in product, at a fraction of the cost. Not to mention free booze. Never forget to acknowledge the free booze.

The items I will discuss are all discoveries from IBE, highlighting those available in the fall sale at Flora Beauty Bar – which started TODAY. I repeat: it’s happening TODAY. And only through Monday. Get on it.

Launched a few months ago, Flora is a glorious curated marketplace for independent, natural beauty products. I attended IBE Dallas and NYC with the founder, so I know first-hand how much passion she has for and knowledge of brands she chooses to sale. You won’t be disappointed in any of them.



AveSeena is non-toxic, science-backed cruelty free products with 100% naturally derived ingredients. The founder, Dr. Ebru Karpuzoglu, MSc, PhD, is a delightful woman. I felt like I won the skincare lottery when I found a full-size Ageless Perfection Cream in my VIP back from NYC. This is one of the best moisturizers I’ve ever used. I don’t use it often, as I am trying to make it last FOREVER. But lucky for you, it’s 25% off in the Flora autumn sale! If someone wants to buy me one for Christmas, I won’t stop you. I am on skincare lock-down for…awhile.


Social Paint

Social Paint

Having struggled with Celiac Disease since childhood, the founder of Social Paint decided to develop her own line of cosmetics that are “clean/natural/organic, certified gluten free and cruelty free, anti-aging, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory.” So basically, everything you could ask for and healthier than 90% of what’s in your fridge right now, don’t lie. But wait, it gets better. The lip gloss is fantastic. I received Cha Cha Cha in my NYC bag, but my true favorite is Real Housewife. It’s that neutral you’re always searching for but can’t exactly find, looks great on everyone, and shines for days. The only reason I’ve not ordered it from Flora is because I already own an embarrassing amount of lip color. But this weekend it’s 15% on Flora, so what’s just one more?



Svati Organics

Here goes my Svati love fest again. Having met Lindsay and discovered Svati at IBE Dallas, her booth was one of my first stops in New York. I love buying from someone who genuinely cares about her business, her products, her customers, and making a difference in women’s lives (we certainly need more of that). She has such a great energy. I want to peer pressure ALL of you to buy these products. Renew Hydrating Facial Serum is still a favorite in my arsenal. As mentioned before, I alternate it with acid products, to give my skin a refresher and extra dose of luxurious hydration, and it’s worked out so well.

If you are just now adding serums to your routine, I suggest starting with the Balance Soothing Facial Serum. Regardless of which you choose, all Svati products are 25% off during the Flora sale – just go ahead and buy them all. #treatyourself


There are a lot of other great products featured in the sale. Many of which I’ve not had the chance to try, but will one day when I am no longer skincare grounded. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment here and I will get you answers from Flora ASAP.




All dressed up in a pretty black label

All dressed up in a pretty black label

Here’s the one thing that annoys me the most about being in the entertainment business and as a total film and TV nerd: people forget it’s all subjective. Your taste in music, books, TV, movies, sports, all of it. No one has to like the same thing you do. And you do not have to like the same thing someone else does. Land of the free, yo.

I view skincare and makeup much the same way. What works for me, might not work for you. The choices my friends make, they don’t need to be the choices I have to make. But I am always open to advice and/or suggestions. So keep that in mind as we proceed with this post, friends. These are the products I am using and either love or just kinda like. I will always be honest. I personally treat reviews on Sephora the same way I do reviews on Rotten Tomatoes – it’s all relative. I encourage you to have the same mindset. However, I  do still want to share because one, sharing is caring. And two, I don’t know a tremendous amount of other women who care to put such an obsessive amount of time into this. So take full advantage of my emotional issues, ladies!

Because I am almost 40, a fact with which I am not dealing well, and have no kids – therefore extra disposable income – I choose to spend a fair amount on skincare. I am fully aware not everyone is in this same situation; Sunday Riley is not always an option when you have summer camp to pay for. However, very few things I use actually cost a lot. And if they do, I make sure it’s something that, via one way or another such as limited use or rotation, will last a significant amount of time.

I spent the last couple of years exploring the Korean skincare craze. There are a lot of amazing products out there in this category and most all come at reasonable prices. I am getting away from it for two reasons. One, I am trying to go with more (not all, but more) all natural products and two, I am now shopping cruelty free brands only. This doesn’t exclude all K-beauty, as South Korea is phasing out animal testing, but some are too ambiguous to take the chance.

An additional fact, which affects a LOT of well-known brands in the U.S., if a company wants so sell in China, they’re required by the government to test on animals. Just something to keep in mind if you feel any sort of way about this.

You will see a lot of samples show up in both this and future posts. Two of my girlfriends and I attended Indie Beauty Expo Dallas a few weeks ago. If there is actually a heaven, it’s a beauty product trade show. We had a wonderful time and all three purchased the VIP ticket, which came with a goody bag loaded with product. I couldn’t believe how much was in it, a collective value significantly more than the amount we paid. I will not be finished trying out these products for quite some time, so I will keep you updated as I continue to explore my beloved stash.

With all that being said. Let’s click to it.

Continue reading “All dressed up in a pretty black label”