Tag Archives: beauty

Beauty Products: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things!

Nubby Twiglet | Beauty Products: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Occasionally, I’ll mention some of the beauty products I love in posts but I wanted to compile my current must-haves here for you. Everyone has a routine and these are the products I constantly reach for day after day.

Nubby Twiglet | Beauty Products: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

1. Kate Spade Pouch: A fews weeks back, I was waiting in line at my favorite place to shop these days, Buffalo Exchange and out of the corner of my eye, I spotted this Kate Spade iPad case. Since I never seem to actually carry my iPad around, I’ve been using it to hold my basic beauty products.

2. Make Up Forever High Definition Foundation: I am pretty foundation phobic. The thought of smearing flesh-toned liquid all over my face completely grossed me out for years. I didn’t feel like I needed it so I just stayed away completely and stuck with concealer and powder. Then, when I was gearing up to film my first video segments with The Blogcademy back in February, thinking about being on camera with less than perfect skin gave me a reality check. I walked into Sephora the night before my flight and asked for a recommendation. What would look natural yet amazing on video? Their immediate answer: Make Up Forever High Definition Foundation. It worked and now I’m a convert. Unless I’m going out or getting my photo taken, I still skip the foundation on most days. But when I do need it, this is it.

3. Beauty Blender: I was a bit hesitant to spend close to 20 bucks on a makeup sponge (what?! really.) but after traveling with Gala and Kat and listening to their nonstop rave reviews, I began to give in. All I have to say is that the Beauty Blender works. The edgeless shape allows you to really get into those tricky areas around your eyes, lips and nose and blend, blend, blend.

4. Coqui Coqui Perfume: I’m still smitten with this scent. Coqui Coqui smells like vacation and is hand-blended in Tulum, Mexico. My idea of heaven in a bottle.

5. Astier de Villatte Lotion: Creme Suisse is what I reach for when I’m chained to my desk all day, feeling stressed and in need of a calming scent. This Swiss-made hand cream is clove scented and very light — it soaks in immediately. It smells like nothing else I’ve ever owned and everyone who stops by to try it falls in love with its unique scent. The minimal label is great, too.

6. The Dragontree Scrubs and Lotions: When I’m not drinking coffee, I’m probably drinking chai. So when my friend Meredith at The Dragontree sent me a bundle of products to try, I immediately gravitated towards the Chai Sugar Scrub (yes, it smells like a chai tea latte in the shower!) and the Balance Lotion which is a blend of vanilla, black pepper and cardamom. Both remind me of a crisp Fall day.

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7. The Fay Farm Body Butter: When I was hanging out at Sugarbox in Vancouver, B.C. I spotted this lotion that’s handmade on Whidby Island by The Fay Farm. It’s labeled as a “body butter” because it’s so thick. I pack this when I’m traveling and use it on my hands, elbows and knees — it’s heavy so you need to use it sparingly. The coconut vanilla scent is outrageously good and I love that it’s organic and made in small batches.

8. Maybelline Mascara: I like nice department store mascara on occasion but most of the time, when I’m running out I just grab a tube from the drugstore. My pick lately has been Maybelline Pumped Up! Colossal Mascara (say that five times fast!) because it gives me mega lashes with very little effort. Someday, I’ll master applying falsies but until then, this does the trick!

9. MAC Eyeshadows: Over the last year, I’ve been streamlining my makeup arsenal big time. Really, how many eyeshadows does one woman need?! After years of experimenting, I’ve settled on two colors that I reach for every single day: MAC Amber Lights and MAC Antiqued. I use Amber Lights, a warm bronze in my crease and Antiqued, a deep bronze on the outer edge. Depending on my lip color, I can easily take this smoky bronze eye from day to night.

10. Make Up Forever Blush Powder: A girl’s gotta have a little fun, though. When I really want to make those bronze-hued eyes pop, I add a dash of Make Up Forever Blush Powder in No. 58 to the very outside crease of my eyes and a dash underneath, too. It’s a bright, saturated fuchsia and somehow works with the bronze hues. Spoiler: I can’t find it online any longer but since it’s in the photo, I wanted to make sure to mention it.

11. Diptyque Solid Perfume: When I’m traveling, I tend to leave my glass perfume bottles at home. There’s nothing worse than opening your suitcase to something that’s shattered and soaked your worldly possessions! Because of this, I keep a solid perfume in my purse. I love the Diptyue Philosykos scent which smells like fig. The scent is clean, simple and fresh and the weighty container means that it’s easier to find in the abyss of my purse.

12. AcquaCures Face Cream: I’ll admit it: I’ve never had much of a skincare routine. I keep really random hours and go from being home for a few months to being on the road for weeks at a time. It’s hard for me to stick to anything long-term. I’ve tried fancy face creams but the heavy, perfumed scents burned my eyes. Then, I discovered AcquaCures, an organic skincare line thanks to Mariah, one of its founders who came to our San Francisco Blogcademy. I’m now using the AcquaRose face cream every day and have converted both my mom and husband to the line. It smells good, works great and is reasonably priced!

13. Rodin Lip Balm: Okay, so this is a bit of a splurge but I love the Rodin lip balm. Linda Rodin has a cult following and after reading oodles of glowing reviews about her line, I took the leap with this lip balm which contains jasmine, orange flower oil, shea butter, beeswax, and castor seed oil all housed in a chic lucite container. It’s lightweight and has barely any scent so I like to use it as a base before I apply lipstick.

Nubby Twiglet | Beauty Products: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

14. Olivine Atelier Lotion: Amongst The Waves lotion smells like a day at the beach. With mostly organic ingredients and a scent inspired by Hawaii, this intoxicating scent features a mix of ocean salt, black coconut, a variety of lilies, tonka bean and Arabian sandalwood (yum). If you love vanilla but prefer something more complex, this is for you. Full disclosure: my studio designed this product!

15. Sugarpill Brushes: I have some animal hair makeup brushes from a decade ago that I still use but as I need new brushes, I’m moving towards synthetics. I love the Sugarpill brushes because they’re completely vegan but still work amazingly well.

16. MAC Lipstick: I love a good coral or tangerine-hued lipstick when I’m going out to an event but for most days, I prefer to keep things low key. I probably own a dozen nude-toned lipsticks from MAC but the best of the bunch is Kinda Sexy — it’s a bit rosy but not too pink, not too brown and not too pale. It’s just the right amount of color, super flattering and never looks overdone.

Nubby Twiglet | Beauty Products: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things


Your turn: What are some of your current favorite beauty products? Anything you’d recommend giving a try?

The Mecca of Custom Lipsticks: Bite Lip Lab

Bite Beauty Lipstick

When I found out that Bite Beauty offered a customized lipstick mixing service at its New York City flagship, it seemed like the perfect indulgence after a long weekend of teaching. After reading multiple glowing reviews about the custom service, I wanted to see for myself what all the fuss was about.

Bite Beauty Lipstick

Trekking through Nolita, we came upon a matchbox-sized store with a five feet tall lipstick illustration covering its entrance.

Bite Beauty Lipstick

Once we’d stepped inside the glossy white walls, lipstick techs outfitted in pristine lab jackets left me with the sneaking suspicion that I’d just entered a mad scientist’s laboratory…dedicated solely to the art of lipstick.

Against the back wall, a massive floor-to-ceiling portrait of a model with heart candy puckered in her mouth took my attention. Bite is made in small batches of food grade ingredients but beyond the highbrow formulations lies a subtle playfulness that comes across in its ads.

Bite Beauty Lipstick

As you can imagine, the customized lip color service is very popular and even on a Monday afternoon, there was a substantial line. I promise you, the experience is worth the wait, though (and there’s a gourmet chocolate shop tucked away next door if you need to kill some time).

Bite Beauty Lipstick

The process for procuring a custom-made lipstick color goes like this: once you’re seated, a lipstick tech consults you on what lip colors you usually prefer. I told mine that while I love red and orange hues, I shy away from pinks completely. From there, he began precisely scooping small amounts of lipstick out of big, flat plastic pots and mixing them by hand until he got just the right hue.

Bite Beauty Lipstick

Once the lipstick was on, I felt that it was a little too intense. The deeply pigmented red left me feeling more like Snow White and honestly, a bit too costume-y for my everyday life. Kat, Gala and June gave it the thumbs-up though and as I thought about it more, I realized that I didn’t own anything quite like it. Realistically, I didn’t need another neon-hued orange or soft neutral in my lipstick arsenal; this was something completely fresh.

Luckily, I found out that Bite offers their custom lipsticks in two formulas; the original, which is densely pigmented and then a lighter, glossier option. Since I wanted to get my wear out of it and not just save the shade for special occasions, I chose the lighter formula.

Bite Beauty Lipstick

What I appreciated about the process is that it never felt rushed, even as the store filled up. The techs expertly brushed on their mixtures, handed us oversized white mirrors, answered any questions we had about the formula and fine-tuned the color further based on our responses.

Bite Beauty Lipstick

Once your color has been finalized, the tech scrapes “lipstick bullets” off of a stack of cooled cookie sheets and, with black latex gloves on, blends the final formula (if you want to see the process in action, Gala made a mini video). And then, onto my favorite part: they ask you what fragrance you’d like added to the concoction. There are four options to choose from including peppermint, lavender, cherry and superfruit. After some debate, I finally settled on cherry because it reminded me of old school chapstick.

I watched my lipstick mix being carefully poured into a mold which was placed on a cold plate and less than 10 minutes later, I was being handed a package with my name handwritten across a tiny label. How’s that for service?

Bite Beauty Lipstick

As we finished up, the results spoke for themselves: we all had very different outcomes that completely suited our preferences (and personalities). Bite custom lipsticks run $28.00 and I highly recommend this experience, especially if you’re looking for a fun way to spice up your beauty routine. Up until now, I’d considered custom-blended lipstick a luxury but for the care and craft that goes into these, I think it’s worth every penny.


All photos: June Cochran
Location: Bite Beauty, 174 Prince Street, NYC
* Note: I was not compensated by Bite in any way, I just think this is a service you should know about!

Hello, 2012.

link love

Change it up! New year, new makeup. New year, new scent. New Year, new nails.


I spent the first day of 2012 freshening up and organizing my surroundings. I stocked up on new cleaning supplies, shredded a stack of junk mail, vacuumed my office, pulled all the receipts out of my wallet, recycled a massive stack of print-outs that were collecting dust in my flat files, cleaned out my closets and flipped through and recycled a stack of old magazines.

I also spent some time changing up my beauty routine. I was on vacation all week in Phoenix and took some time to get my hair trimmed and picked up some new makeup at the MAC counter. I loathe foundation (and hadn’t worn it in about 5 years) but remembered how well my skin photographed last year after a MAC makeover so I picked up Studio Sculpt and Skinfinish powder. Then, I painted my nails nude for the first time ever with Face Stockholm Unclear and applied one of my favorite eyeshadow combos, Double Feature 1 by MAC. Finally, I used a new (to me) scent: Chanel N° 5.

A clean, organized environment, a beauty routine change-up and some time to think. Not a bad way to spend the first day of the new year.