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My Five Favorite Beauty Products

Well hello long lost friends!! I hope you have been enjoying summer’s end! I took a little time off for two epic family events – bringing our first baby up to college in Vermont…..

followed in close succession by our niece’s wedding on Cape Cod this past weekend (more on that soon!)

Photo by the extremely talented Matt Surette  | Instagram:  @shotbysurette


While we’ve been blessed to have these wonderful events happening as of late, my heart is just breaking, as I’m sure yours is too, for everyone in Houston who lost homes, cars – even loved ones – everything. A friend of ours in a nearby town is part of a crew driving an 18 wheeler from Massachusetts to Texas with donations and contributions to help those affected; we’ve been following their journey on Facebook live videos and I can’t tell you how much I would have loved to be able to go with them and do something, anything, to help. While the destruction is horrific, it’s pretty amazing to see all the people who are out there doing what they can to help the victims. We are also thinking of everyone in the path of Hurricane Irma and pray it’s not as destructive as predicted. If you are looking for a way to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, consider making a donation;  visit the American Red Cross site  to ensure your money goes directly to the relief effort.


If you’re taking a break from watching or reading the news and need a light diversion, well then, you’ve come to the right place!


Today I join my co-hosts and friends Jennifer of Dimples & Tangles, Pam of Simple Details and Kris of Driven By Decor for the latest editon of My Five Favorites, and we’re thrilled to welcome Cindy of Rough Luxe Lifestyle as our guest host! If you followed the Shine Home Love series I did last year, you might recall Cindy’s gorgeous wine room that she shared. Cindy and her husband live a charmed life in California, where Cindy is an interior designer and blogs about client projects and her own amazing home……can you believe this is her garden????? Right out of my wildest dreams!!…..

….and she also writes about lifestyle and fashion. Her Ageless Style and Fashion Over Fifty series are super fun reads (no matter your age) and Cindy is as genuine and sweet as she is chic. I just love this lady and am so glad to have her joining us to talk about our essential beauty and fashion products!

I seriously love talking “product” with other women and hearing what works and what doesn’t. It’s kind of funny because I think I’m low-maintenance (I’d rather shop for tools vs. clothes any day and I’m totally fine with grocery shopping in paint-spattered jeans and my hair in a bun), but I have always loved to paint my nails, do masks, deep condition my hair, or even better, do these things to my kids or friends. I’m sticking with beauty products here today and I’d love to hear what are YOUR favorites!! This post contains some affiliate links.


Oh my gosh do I love this thing. I use a battery operated facial brush with a cleanser to exfoliate once or twice a week before bed and it not only makes my skin feel soft and smooth, it’s also like an itty bitty spa treatment that is relaxing and makes me feel like I’m taking care of myself. Do you have one?? If not you need to treat yourself.

A super close up and fuzzy picture I took with my phone with my eyes closed that conveniently makes me look wrinkle free 🙂 )! This is a lovely little way to slough off those dead skin cells and give your moisturizer a chance to do it’s job.

A word on Clarisonic vs. cheaper competitors….

Clarisonic was one of the first of these powered cleansing brushes to come on the market and start the crazy trend, but their brushes start at $129 with the Mia I and that’s a bit (a lot!) spendy for my budget. Instead, I bought the Olay Pro-X which is around $30 and comes with the Olay cleanser. I like it, but have since read the big difference between this brush and the Clarisonic is that the Pro-X rotates on your skin, while the Clarisonic oscillates, or moves back and forth. Rotating brushes are less desirable for cleaning your face because they cause your skin to pull.

After reading about rotating vs. oscillating, I noticed that mine does indeed tug at the skin, especially around the eyes (oh the horror). I tried my friend’s Clarisonic, and I must say, it definitely does feels a bit gentler and doesn’t move the skin around as much. I think they’re both great, but eventually I want to upgrade to the Clarisonic and bequeath the Pro-X to my teenage daughter.

(They come in lots of cute colors btw!)


Skincare products are so personal, aren’t they? What works for one person might not be a good fit for someone else. Over the years I have tried a lot of different product lines – Arbonne, Rodan + Fields, Clinique, Lancome, Epicuren to name a few. I liked several of them but it’s hard to justify the expense if a product is not completely rocking your world. The only one that I really and truly adore and felt like it made a difference to the overall appearance of my slightly dry, aging 40s skin is a line called Nelly Devuyst. I bought several products from this line after having a facial with them and LOVED my skin after. The Cleansing Milk Cellular Matrix is my absolute favorite cleanser ever – it leaves my skin feeling fresh and hydrated and my complexion absolutely glowing. It’s a huge splurge for me at $55 and I make it last forever.

Lately I have been alternating the expensive Nelly Devuyst cleanser with a mid-range priced Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser ($26) – I use the one with shea butter for dry or sensitive skin – after reading about it in a magazine, and I like how my skin feels after I wash with it. I splash some water on my face and use it straight up, or dab a bit onto the cleansing brush, and it foams just a bit, feels really gentle, and leaves my skin feeling hydrated and not super tight like some cleansers. PLUS it doesn’t have an overpowering scent.

Favorite facial cleanser.

For eye makeup remover, to moisturize my face before bed, and for an all-over body moisturizer, I use my homemade coconut oil with vitamin E, I love it!!!


Goldwell hair spray and mousse are favorites around here!

I usually use Goldwell’s Big Finish Hairspray but this time around I went with Magic Finish and they are equally awesome. I will seriously never use another brand of hairspray. At $20, it’s probably double the average drug store hairspray but trust me, it’s totally worth the expense. Both sprays have hold, give hair volume if desired, and keep hair touchable and soft. Especially great if you’re growing out weird bangs that you need to stay out of your face, or going to a windy wedding by the ocean (current situation!).

An honorable mention in the haircare department is Goldwell’s Top Whip mousse. It doesn’t leave your hair heavy or feeling coated, or have a weird scent, and is great for volume. If I’m curling my hair into loose waves, I’ll throw some of this in and let it air dry first before the curling iron; the waves hold better but still are touchable.


Okay seriously, I’m not afraid to tell the world this is one of my all time favorite “beauty” products ever. I mean weird unwanted hair, JUST NO! And that goes for unwanted hair on you, your kids, your husband, your mother. Kindly tell your dad his visible nose and ear hair have gotta go. You might want to buy these in bulk and give them out like cigars to everyone in your family!

I first bought this when one of my boys was in that in-between place when peach fuzz starts to get a little unruly but shaving seems like a big leap. Zip, zip, that little tween mustache is cleaned right up in two seconds. Then I discovered this little thing is quite handy for momma, on those fine hairs that grow around my eyebrows in between clean ups (just be super slow and use caution near your eyelashes and the brows you want to keep!)  Keep one in your car for when you’re headed out on date night or to the beach and you realize you missed shaving a spot on your knee or ankle in the shower. Or, you spy what could be a whisker (WHATTTT????) sticking out of your chin when you’re at a red light.  This happens, people. And it’s a serious situation that needs to be dealt with immediately. The little shaver is quick and precise and gets the job done in a flash.

And yes I really do keep one in my car!

The lady shavers I have don’t have a brand stamp on them but they look identical to this pen shaver, in silver.


This is right up there with my faux-Clarisonic………I adore Essie’s Good To Go Quick Dry Top Coat!!  What I want to know is who has time to do their nails at home and then sit around for hours on end and let a fresh mani fully cure??? Not me, ever. I’m hard on my hands with the kind of projects I do, and so I usually paint my nails RIGHT before we have to walk out the door to date night or what have you. I’d pretty much give up and NEVER do my nails if not for this amazing top coat that dries your polish in minutes and, unlike other quick-dries, gives you a hard, glossy shine for a couple of days.

I’m not going to lie, this isn’t going to keep your polish going strong for days on end, but for the evening, absolutely!! I use it nine times out of ten over my polish. Last night I had an event to go to, so right before I made dinner, I used two coats of Essie Merino Wool nailcolor (great for early fall!), followed immediately after with Good To Go, and my nails were dry to touch each other (not tacky at all) within 10 minutes.

Before you leave, please tell me if you have any favorite products, particularly a cleanser, mascara, lipliner or lipstick you love and would recommend! I’d love to hear what works for you!


And then let’s go check out what my comrades in beauty & fashion have in their arsenals!

Jennifer of Dimples & Tangles,

Pam of Simple Details 

Kris of Driven By Decor

Cindy of Rough Luxe Lifestyle

Many thanks to Cindy at Rough Luxe for joining us for this fun edition of My Five Favorites!

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Tuesday 12th of September 2017

I noticed someone mentioned a problem with frizzy hair. I get Keratin treatments that last 6 months. While costly, the change in my hair is worth it. After the "waiting period" of 3 days without putting my hair behind my ears, or getting it wet, the process is cured and the results are amazing. Hope this helps someone.


Saturday 16th of September 2017

My sister in law who has extremely curly hair and it's amazing how the Keratin keeps it smooth and manageable! Thanks for sharing about that Lynn!

classic • casual • home

Sunday 10th of September 2017

Your manicure is so pretty...I have to get your polish and top coat.

Taking your first baby to college can be a tear jerker...but it's a sign of successful parenting.

I love your writing style so much...I feel like we are having a conversation. :) Mary ann


Saturday 16th of September 2017

You are so sweet - that comment just made my day. Thank you my friend!! xo

Calypso in the Country

Friday 8th of September 2017

So great to see Cindy guest hosting! Love her style! I need to get the top coat polish for those days when the polish is looking a little dull. It's nice to just shine it up a bit until you can get another manicure or pedicure. I am a big fan of coconut oil as well. Great list! Enjoy your trips to Vermont. I have heard Middlebury has a beautiful campus! Shelley


Saturday 16th of September 2017

I adore Cindy and her style too Shelley! She's the sweetest! That top coat is great and Essie has another one I like called Gel Setter. It doesn't take too long to dry and it keeps your nails super shiny for days. And yes - Middlebury is gorgeous - I'm jealous my kiddo gets to live there! :)

Shelley | Crazy Wonderful

Friday 8th of September 2017

Totally going to have to check out these suggestions! I've been needing to find a new mousse hairspray combination, and I'm so intrigued by your home made coconut oil and vitamin E!


Thursday 7th of September 2017

That motorized brush sounds amazing! And the Clarisonic of course!


Saturday 16th of September 2017

I'm dying for the Clarisonic version Riena! :) Thanks so much for stopping by!