Category Archives: Uncategorized

What We’re Into Right Now: Lake Life, Beauty Products, NSale, Kiehls Ride for Life

Lake Life
While the Midwest maintains the reputation of flyover country (whether we like it or not!) it’s hard to argue with the merits of of the region in summertime. Perfect temps paired with lake breezes and plenty of sunshine? Hard to top that!

Ice-Cream-Cone-Excelsior-MN
In order to soak up all of the fun & sun, we’ve been making the most of each and every weekend – whether hanging by the pool, jumping in the lake, or biking for miles on end.

We all scream for ice cream! Licks Unlimited | Excelsior, Minnesota.

Lake-Life-Lake-Minnetonka
I don’t always run, but when I do, I stop to snap photos of Lake Life every half mile (at least!).

Mimosa-Brunch-Cov-Wayzaya-MN
Favorite brunch spot. CōV | Wayzata, Minnesota

Patio-Giannis-Wayzata-MN-Steakhouse
Another great patio (and those table-side spun salads are to die for!) Gianni’s | Wayzata, Minnesota

Sitting-on-the-dock-adirondack-chair-MN
House goals! | Minnetrista, Minnesota
I mean, who doesn’t want to spend Sundays sitting on a deck by the bay? …Complete with retractable screen for bug protection and Adirondacks with built-in wine glass holder? Too perfect.

Skincare
In addition to lake life, summer skincare has also been on our minds.
amala-beauty
We’ve been purifying ourselves in the waters of Lake Minnetonka AND with Amala Beauty Purify products.

Coola-suncare-sunscreen-sunblock
And blocking harmful UVA + UVB rays (basically a requirement for maintaining healthy, youthful skin) with COOLA Skincare’s Classic Sunscreen Trio. Find COOLA products at Anthropologie, Nordstrom, ULTA.

ole-henriksen-ole-glow-kit
We are new to the brand, but loving how a tiny drop of each #oleglow product goes a long way. Excited to try more from the Ole Henriksen lineup, let us know if you have suggestions! We are loving this kit so far – find it at Sephora.

Estee-Lauder-Advanced-Night-Repair
When I was little, I used to walk past the Estée Lauder counter at Marshall Fields (anyone else?) and admire all the pretty products and think “one day, I’ll be a fancy lady with legit beauty products.” Happy to report the day has come! Read more about these two products on Instagram. Also, you can purchase the Repair + Renew Set as part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale for a limited time!

Target Finds
These Merona Women’s Kona Backless Mule Loafers are perfect for the gal with Gucci style but a not-quite Gucci budget. Some reviewers noted ordering a size up, but I stuck with my typical size 8 and have no complaints! Target-Meron-a-Kona-Backless-Mule-Loafers-3 But, beware that these mules are not made of high-end materials (hence, $23.00 price tag), so I wouldn’t advise wearing them in the rain. You should also take caution when walking down stairs (if one slips off, well… that could cause a scene. Or worse, an injury!).

If you’re ready to make the leap to the real deal (I’m still waiting to pull the trigger personally, but…just look at these!), here’s the Gucci Princetown Leather Slippers in all their glory. For now, I’ll just practice my outfit pairings with my Target mules. Someday, someday….

Last Call: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
Speaking of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (yes, I too, am so ready for this thing to be over!), I ended up buying a few more things since this initial post on Shopping the Sale – An Organized Approach, and second post rounding up our favorite Nordstrom Sale Selections.

Namely:

Kylie Faux Fur Trim Gloss Puffer Jacket 
While the model looks “not impressed,” let me tell you I’ve had the early version of this jacket (sans fur trim) and have worn it religiously for the past 3 winters. It’s the right hybrid of casual and elegant, and makes me feel like I’m ready to hit the slopes at a fancy mountainside Colorado resort. This new version comes with upgraded features, and the soft fleece “half gloves” (not sure what these are actually called) that are super helpful in instances where you:
A) forget your actual gloves
B) don’t need actual gloves, but don’t want cold air sneaking up your sleeves
C) still need to do important things like drive, text, type, etc., unencumbered

Back to Basics
When the sale first went live, I resisted the Hanky Panky lace thongs because… I compared the $14.90 price tag to last years’ $13.50 (I literally checked my purchase history on Nordstrom.com, ha!) and just wouldn’t have it. As the weeks went by it hit me, $14.90 is still better than $20, and after some Internet digging, this kind of is the best price outside of the occasional HankyPanky.com sale, so… added a couple of these to cart. Pro tip: This one is on sale (but not on ‘Anniversary Sale,’ if you know what I mean).

I also took the recommendation of Merritt Beck (aka The Style Scribe — give her a follow if you don’t already!) and ordered the Moving Comfort Juno Sports Bra. Wish I would’ve acted sooner as the black was already sold out in my size and I would’ve been nice to have one of each color. Went for my first run today and… it lives up to the hype!

To go with the sporty theme, I wanted to add another pair of Nike Dry Tempo Running Shorts to cart (was so pleased with my first purchase, and realized I wear these more than once per week!), but unfortunately they sold out, along with these Moonlight Short Pajamas. Better luck next year, I guess! …Is it going too far to set a calendar reminder for July 2018?

No? Ok, good, didn’t think so.

Kiehl’s LifeRide for AmfAR
Last but not least, is the Kiehls LifeRide for amfAR. It’s an 8-day multi-state motorcycle ride with celebrity activists and it kicks off at MallofAmerica in Minneapolis (our backyard!) tomorrow.

LifeRide raises money and awareness to help fight HIV/AIDS. If you’re in MN, join in the country-style sendoff tomorrow, July 31 @ 11:00am – Kiehls Store, Mall of America.

Cure-is-in-your-hands-Kiehls-Hand-Salve
You can also help by purchasing this Limited Edition Ultimate Hand Strength Salve as 💯% of the purchase price up to $25k will benefit amfAR. Our favorite Kiehl’s products are linked below. As Kiehl’s puts it – together, we can find a cure for HIV/AIDS. What’s more inspiring than that?!

Thanks for tuning into another post!

-MMK

How to Shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – An Organized Approach

Surely you’ve heard plenty about the much-anticipated Nordstrom Anniversary Sale by now. Maybe you even stayed/woke up until 3am EST to be the first to shop the sale. TBH, I wanted to wake up and shop, but when my alarm went off I just couldn’t bring myself out of bed. Turns out, it was fine because everything I wanted was still in stock 5 hours later. Phew.

Nordstrom-2017-Anniversary-Sale

Here’s what I ended up purchasing from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale so far:

And here’s what I’m considering for Round II:

If I didn’t already own the following, I’d use this opportunity to buy new gear on sale:

And beauty products:

Want our secrets for navigating the chaos and finding the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale items that best suit your style? Here’s our organized approach:

Step 1: From the Nordstrom homepage, click on Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Early Access (highlighted in the top navigation). Then, decide where to start. Choose between Women | Men | Kids | Home | Beauty Exclusives.

Step 2: We initially started with Beauty Exclusives (then sorted by price: from low to high), but for the sake of this tutorial, we’ll shop the Women’s Sale section.

Step 3: When you first click into the section, you’re inundated with 3,000+ items (currently 47 pages of product listings!). Kind of overwhelming, right? So, use the categories in the sidebar on the left to trim down the selection. From Instance, you can select just “Clothing” just “Shoes” or just “Handbags & Accessories.” For our search, we left the “Category” options alone and went straight to “Brand.”

Step 4: Scroll through the entire brand list, and select all the brands you like / are curious about. Once you’ve been through the entire list, you’ll have a pared down Women’s Sale section shopping list, featuring only the brands you have interest in. For us, that means selecting:
ASICS
Aveda
Badgley Mischka
Barbour
BCBGMAXAZRIA
bkr
BP.
Burberry (Dream Life!)
Caslon
Catherine Malandrino
Charles by Charles David
cupcakes and cashmere
Diane von Furstenberg
ED Ellen Degeneres (Most products aren’t on sale, but still so tempted!)
Elie Tahari
Eliza J
Frye
gorjana
Hanky Panky
Hudson Jeans
Hunter
Halogen
J Brand
J. CREW
Joie
kate spade new york (50 items!)
Lauren Ralph Lauren
Longchamp
Madewell
Maggy London
MICHAEL Michael Kors
Nike
Nordstrom
PAIGE
Patagonia
Pendleton
philosophy
rag & bone
Sam Edelman
Skagen
Sole Society
SPANX
Sperry (Honestly, the men’s section is so much better)
Sole Society
Sugarfina
Tahari
The North Face
Tibi
Tory Burch (24 items)
Tumi
Zella / Zella Body (72 items)

Step 5: Repeat this process for any other categories you find of interest. If shopping Beauty Exclusives, there are currently only 313 products in stock, so sifting through 5 pages of results really isn’t too taxing. I’d recommend checking them all out! We’re especially fond of the following:

Benefit Cosmetics
Bobbi Brown
CLARISONIC
diptyque
Estée Lauder
FRESH
Jo Malone London
Kate Somerville
Kiehl’s Since 1851
Mario Badescu
NARS
OUAI
Shiseido
Sigma Beauty
SPACE.NK.apothecary
stila
Supergoop!
WINKY Lux
Yves Saint Laurent

So…what have you found? Overall, are you more or less impressed with the selection than in previous years?

Styles Suited for Summer

Summer is just around the corner and it has us craving sandal season, summery prints, and breezy dresses. We’ve been especially drawn to blue + white stripes (surprise!), one-shoulder and off-the-shoulder styles, and bow slide sandals. See below for our top picks from May 2017:

Blue + White Stripes

Bow Slides


These Sam & Libby bow slides from Target are just $24.99! They come in 3 colors: Black, Taupe, and Blue & White Stripe. We are also loving these Sam Edelman Henna Bow Slide Sandals.

Banana Republic Sale Selection
We casually swung by the mall on Saturday to grab a bite at Ruscello at Nordstrom. Afterwards, we spotted a sign outside of Banana Republic touting a 50% off sale (on sale items; 40% on regularly priced merchandise). I suggested we stay out (seriously!) but the husband had other plans.

The result? We each found 3+ items that fit perfectly and help fill gaps in our wardrobes. There were several other pieces the caught our eye, but we didn’t pull the trigger quite yet. I’ve rounded up some picks that we purchased (or almost purchased):

Nordstrom Triple Points
Nordstrom-Triple-Points-May-2017
I don’t know about you, but the news of an upcoming Nordstrom Triple Points day propels me into planning mode. After a great deal of research on summery tops, I present you my top picks:

Since we recently returned from a beach vacay (Big Island, Hawaii – highly recommend!), we’re missing the scenery and the sweet scent of sunscreen and saltwater, bathed in sunshine. To us, Bobbi Brown ‘Beach’ perfume sums up this desirable scent beautifully, and transports one back to their favorite beach with a simple spritz:

Switching gears a bit, spring cleaning has extended beyond the closet and into the rest of the home, too. We’ve been swapping out throw pillows for summery styles, and seeking a master bedroom overhaul in the near future. We’d love your help on headboard selection – see options below!

Home Decor

A few weeks ago I started a search for a new pair of oversized pillows for the sectional in our sunroom. (We’ve had red-white-green plaid pillows since November, and they’re just to
“holiday” to work year-round). Saw these Oversized Banana Leaf Throw Pillows on Target.com, but wasn’t so sure they were right for our needs. After seeing them in-store though, I discovered the quality is much better than it looks in the photographs, and I was sold! We love how this pair of tropical pillows accents our Brown Leather Sectional.

Speaking of pillows, we’re also loving this cheeky reversible “Reserved” Pillow from Pottery Barn. I mean, how darling on an outdoor chaise lounge?!

The next search is for a suitable headboard for our master bedroom. We’re upgrading from a Queen to a King, and our current headboard (which I do love! Similar style here) will no longer fit. We have plans to move it to our headboard-less guest bed instead. I’m drawn to several different styles this time around, and would love your help in determining which route to go! The options (all from Wayfair):

Option 1: Regal
Riviere Upholstered Panel Headboard

Option 2: Dramatic
Crawley Upholstered Wingback Headboard 
Cora Upholstered Wingback Headboard
New Britain Upholstered Wingback Headboard

Option 3: Shabby Chic
Velvet Upholstered Wingback Headboard
Elsa Upholstered Wingback Headboard
Halsey Upholstered Wingback Headboard

Option 4: Leather
Baffin Upholstered Panel Headboard

Option 5: Vintage
Parklan Headboard
Vienna Slat Headboard

Thanks!
-Marty

What We’re Into Right Now: Spring Skincare + Beauty

Skin is in!
You’ve heard us rave about Glossier (and soon we’ll review their latest product, Cloud Paint), but we have some new additions to our skincare and beauty routine to share, too:

Anti-Aging
Each March we’re reminded that our birthdays are just around the corner and that, well, we are aging whether we like it or not. Recently we’ve been introduced to some high-end wrinkle reducing, fine line minimizing, and preventative skincare products. We’ve been especially impressed by these three from Kate Somerville, Doll Face Beauty, and Fleur de Sante. Open to additional recommendations, too! For each of the following, a free sample was provided for review. Opinions are our own.

Kate Somerville
Kate-Somerville-Skincare

Wrinkle Warrior gets two thumbs up! After reviewing this complimentary product, we’re excited to experience more from the Kate Somerville product line. To shop this product and others from the lineup, visit: kateso.co/Wrinkle_Warrior.

Doll Face Beauty
In this same category, we’re also super impressed with Doll Face DEFEND.

From the moment we opened the package we knew this was something special. There’s comfort in hearing that “eventually every Doll Face will see some early signs of aging,” and realizing that it happens to all of us. Thanks to Doll Face Beauty, there’s a new way to cheat nature and fight the signs of aging – it’s called DEFEND Intensive Age Defense.

Fleur de Sante
It was last March that I tried my first rose-infused beauty product – the Rose Face Mask from Fresh. I was intrigued by the ingredient originally, and have noticed it’s been popping up everywhere lately! Am I the only one who’s finding that some of the best beauty products are made with actual roses? 🌹 It’s scientifically proven to produce results, plus makes me all the more confident in doing what’s best for my skin (the alternative is, of course, chemicals).

This Intense Smooth Fine Line Minimizing Serum is from @fleurdesante and not only makes a gorgeous addition to the medicine cabinet, but appears to contain high quality ingredients and produce results. What more could you ask for?

And if you’re into the roses thing, also check out Glossier Soothing Face Mist (made with Rosewater) and/or Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater.

Lather Inc.
Next in the lineup, Lather. This line of holistic skincare products comes with some unique natural ingredient combos, like grapefruit + juniper and bamboo + lemongrass. We’re especially smitten with their Sea Kelp + Ginseng All-Over Mask (and yes, it can go “all over” – body, face, or even your hair). 
Lather-Inc-Face-Mask Lather-Inc-Skincare-Products
If you’re into essential oils, you’ll love Lather products.

Sky Organics
If you’re into essential oils and DIY projects, you’ll really love Sky Organics. First, read up on the benefits of body care through natural nutrients. Next, decide which products are right for you and then read up on how you can make them yourself! You’ll likely pick a carrier oil and at least one essential oil (we love the freshly peeled scent of Organic Sweet Orange).

SkyOrganics-Essential-Oil
For multi-purpose recipes and ideas for using your Carriers + Oils (and other ingredients, should you choose them), visit the Sky Organics Blog. I wrongly assumed one needed a chemistry degree to make hair masks, scalp treatments, and body butter, but I will be trying all 3 recipes out shortly. Follow along on TheJCRGirls Insta Stories!

Wander Beauty
Wander down the beauty aisle at Sephora at you’ll likely spot an up-and-coming cult fave, Wander Beauty. We gave the On-the-Glow Blush and Illuminator a spin, and we love the multitasking nature of this tool (not to mention the beautiful packaging!). The On-the-Glow Blush and Illuminator can be worn over 10 ways on the face, lips, eyes, and body. It’s perfect for gals on the go, and we love using it to refresh blush and highlights around the eyes between work and evening plans.

Shown here: Coral Rose / Nude Glow.

ShopandBox
Have you caught on to the Korean beauty craze? We just started exploring Korean products that are not available in the U.S., and have to say, there’s quite a few interesting lines worth exploring! For starters, check out the “Trending” section on Sephora.com to see a plethora of Double-Cleansing Oils, Watery Creams (we LOVE  Belief), Pre-Saturated Sheet Masks, and more. If you’re ready to take things a step further, a service called ShopandBox can help you shop for cult faves only available abroad, and then box them up and send them to you in a matter of days. ShopandBox is a global personal shopping service and they pair you with a “Boxer” to help you purchase the items you’re seeking.

Boxer Jess helped us find a few products we were interested in, including this Pantone Color of the Year Eye Palette, and then ship them to the U.S. for us to enjoy (along with several fun samples!).

Jess also recommended we test out a few of her favorite masks, and we’re excited to share details and results in an upcoming post.

What are your favorite beauty finds lately? Please share in the comments below or on Instagram – @TheJCRGirls.