Tag Archives: the JCR girls

Beauty Reviews: Brushes, Body Hero Duo, Colorscience & more!

Ever wondered about highlighting / contour palettes? If magnetic eyelashes are worth the cost? If there’s any effective low-cost Neulash alternative? Well… you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got a fresh batch of beauty reviews.

  1. IBY Highlight + Contour Palette
    Artis-Brush-Review-Flatlay

    Confession time: I’ve been intrigued by the art of contouring for a long time, but too intimidated to try it myself. 🎨 That is, until I came across the all-matte contour palette by IBY (@ibybeauty). I took the leap, and tried it on my nose this weekend. Voila! Very satisfied with my slimmer nose.

    The palette comes with a “How To” card that walks you though how to define your cheekbones, slim your forehead, and define + slim your nose. As a total newbie to contouring and someone without a lot of free time (or patience!) to watch tons of YouTube beauty tutorials, this cheat sheet has been super helpful. If you want to try the IBY palette yourself, use code MARTHA at checkout for 20% off your entire order 👉 ibybeauty.com thru 10.9.17. 

    2. Artis Oval 3 Brush + Artis Oval 6 Brush IBY-Cosmetics-Palette-Review
    To complete the look for Review No. 1, I used the Artis Brush Mirror Oval 3 (perfect for smaller areas). For my foundation, I used the larger Artis Elite Mirror Oval 6 (also great for contouring the cheekbone area). If you’re looking to take your makeup application techniques to the next level, you’ll appreciate the specific uses for each patented brush:

    Oval 3: Great for applying eyeshadow, under eye concealer and brow bone highlight. You can also use it to apply foundation/concealer to the inside corner area of the eye and on the side of nose near the nostrils.

    Oval 6: Provides blended, natural-looking results for applying full-face foundation, as well as blush, cheekbone contour, or highlight.

    Artis brushes are made exclusively with CosmeFibre, an engineered fibre made specifically for cosmetic and makeup product application. The Artis Elite Mirror 5 Brush Set can be purchased at Net-a-Porter for $170. Similar sets and individual brushes can be found at Nordstrom and Anthropologie.

    3. Glossier Body Hero Duo: Daily Oil Wash & Daily Perfecting Cream Glossier-Body-Hero-Review
    Be honest, what “hero” song comes to mind when you read this label? I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night…

    In all seriousness, we were pretty excited about this new product duo because: we love 90% of Glossier products already, and our shower gel / body wash / soap situation is pretty boring in comparison. Classic example of something we didn’t know we needed until Glossier graced our inboxes and bombarded our social feeds with news of these new heroes (advertised via attention-grabbing images of famous naked ladies). Surely you’ve seen this campaign?

    Glossier-Body-Hero-New-Duo-Review
    If you caught our Insta Story on the topic, you’ll know that size-wise the oil is smaller than we were expecting. It also smells even better than we were expecting. While we (separately, of course!) have been using the Body Hero Duo for just a few days now, we’re “pretty sure we’ll reorder” given the innovative nature of the product and the smell. Oh, the smell. Our soon-to-be winter skin needs some love, ok?

    The Body Hero Duo is $35. If you had to pick just one product, we’d go oil wash – 8.4 fl oz for $18. We’ll update this post on “how long it lasts” when we have that info.

4. Castor Oil? Yep. Sky Organics Castor Oil for Eyelash (+ Brow) Growth

SkyOrganics-CastorOil-Review

I’ve had eyelash envy ever since I can remember. While my lashes are dark, they are quite short, and not really that noticeable. I’ve contemplated buying NeuLash (close to $100 per tube, yikes!) or Latisse (technically requires a prescription… unless you’re in Mexico, but… there are some dangerous side effects).

Ok, full disclosure: I bought a bottle of off-brand Latisse at a bodega-like pharmacy in Cabo San Lucas. I used it a couple of times, but got really paranoid, because discoloration including purple eyelids was one of the warnings and I thought I saw signs of this happening. Whether it was real or placebo I don’t know, but I’m nervous to try again.

OneTwo-Cosmetics-Review
That said, when Sky Organics (makers of our favorite Bath Bombs!) sent over this Castor Oil kit for eyelash and brow growth, we couldn’t wait to test drive it. For one, the word “organic” has put me so much more at ease. While it’s only been a matter of days (and typically results are seen after several weeks) I’m confident this is the right choice for eyelash growth. I’ll report back on results at a later date.

5. One Two Lash Magnetic False Eyelashes Longer-Lashes-Product-Review

Remember how I alluded to my lack of patience earlier (some of those beauty tutorial videos just need to cut to the chase, am I right?). Well… while I wait to see how my natural lashes grow under this new Castor Oil regimen, I did bite the bullet and buy a set of OneTwo Lash magnetic false eyelashes. I don’t wear them daily (I bet some people do!) but I enjoy having access to them for special occasions / dressing up. They did take me a few applications to get it just right, but in my experience the magnets have staying power and they’re a huge improvement over the sticky glue solutions of traditional “falsies.”

For more information about One Two Lash magnetic lashes, I’d encourage you to read the reviews on the OneTwo Cosmetics website.

6. Colorscience All Calm Clinical Redness Corrector
Colorscience-AllCalm-Review

Roses are red, our favorite wines are red, our fave nail polish hues are red… but when it comes to facial redness we just can’t stand it. Luckily, Colorscience has debuted a new, redness-neutralizing formula that provides ongoing relief from sensitivity and the appearance of redness.

What’s more? The All CalmClinical Redness Corrector SPF 50 helps prevent up to 90% of skin aging (!!!), has no chemical active ingredients, is antioxidant and Vitamin E enriched, comes in a breathable, hydrating formula AND is dermatologist recommended.

I’m the first to admit, I was skeptical. What could this pump bottle really do to smooth out my complexion and reduce redness? Well, it delivered. I’ve used this product daily since receiving it (3+ weeks) and it’s quickly become a staple in my beauty routine. To be sure it wasn’t “too good to be true,” I consulted Brooke & Lauren, The Skin Sisters. These real-life sisters are both board-certified dermatology Physician Assistants and have expertise in all aspects of dermatology. In other words, they know what’s up.

According to them, “Colorescience is a fantastic brand! We love their brush on sunblock.”  

Hmmm, sounds like we’ll need to try SUNFORGETTABLE® Brush-On Suncreen SPF 50 next.

Stay tuned for more tips from this dynamic duo in an upcoming post!

P.S. Olivia Rink tipped us on a free gift offer from Kiehls going on now thru 9/24. The free 6-piece gift set is offered with any $75+ purchase. There are 3 options to pick from, and the samples include some of our all-time skincare faves. Plus, a free full-size Rare Earth Mask comes with any $115+ purchase. If you’re intrigued, we’d recommend checking out:

Home Update: Master Bedroom Revamp Part II

If you tuned into Part I of this series, you know how much we love our new Lull mattress. After it arrived, we had to act quickly to get the rest of the room together (primarily the bed components so the old and new could be fully swapped out in one evening).
Wayfair-Headboard-Frame

Rather than purchasing an upholstered bed frame + headboard combo (because $$$$), we found a wood bed frame [Templeton Exceptional Platform Bed in Walnut from Wayfair] + separate headboard [Cora Upholstered Wingback Headboard by House of Hampton – also Wayfair], and we love the way they pair together! The big bonus of going this route was the ability to ditch the box spring (since the mattress fits right on top of the bed frame slats) and ditch the bed skirt.

Since we already owned this nuLOOM Handmade Casual Braided Wool Grey Rug, I wanted the wood frame and navy blue headboard to complement the existing rug vs. compete. This also guided our choices for sheets [Classic Percale Navy + White Stripe Sheet Set] and duvet + cover in classic white. For now, we are still using our Classic Down Full/Queen Duvet Insert from Crate & Barrel (it just covers the bed vs. hanging over the sides). We’ll probably end up upgrading to the King size for winter, but for now it gets the job done.

Since we don’t have king sized pillows or shams yet (suggestions welcome!), I’ve been borrowing throw pillows from other parts of the house to jazz up the bed in the interim. Love how these Oversized Banana Leaf Throw Pillows look on both the bed and our brown leather sectional (currently on clearance, grab ’em here), and the Navy Bird Throw Pillow is also a Target Threshold find.

The Target trend continues with the nightstands, and although assembly is required, we’ve been pleased with the pair of Campaign Nightstands in White. I’m also loving these Davenport Chests from Joss & Main (perhaps for our guest bedroom?). It complements this Agostino 6 Drawer Double Dresser so nicely!

For now, we’ve opted out of window treatments (aside from the wooden slat shutters that came with the place) and neglected to add a signature “end of bed bench” or pair of X-benches to the foot of the bed. Since the frame is visible, I don’t think we need ’em (but open to your ideas on finishing touches for the space, if you have any!).

Fun fact: the lamp is from a hotel furniture resale shop (when hotels redecorate they purge their bedroom collections and start fresh). The base of the lamp has two outlets – perfect for charging my husband’s work phone and personal cell phone at once, without cords stretching across the room.

Home Update: Master Bedroom Revamp with Lull Mattress


Shop the Post:


MATTRESS: Lull  //  HEADBOARD: Wayfair  // BED FRAME: Wayfair //  THROW PILLOWS: Target + Target  // NIGHTSTANDS: Target // RUG: Overstock

We’re slowing but surely making updates throughout our 1950s rambler. Our latest project: the master bedroom. When we moved in 2 years ago we were delighted to find enough room in the master to fit a king bed. But, at the time we had a relatively new mattress + headboard and couldn’t justify the cost. This month, we decided to make the leap in an effort to make our master more complete, and reuse our existing furniture to spruce up our guest bedroom.

Let’s start with the mattress. We were delighted when Lull reached out, as we’ve heard such wonderful things about their mattresses. As expected, Lull made the upgrade to a luxurious foam king bed pretty painless. I was skeptical how this “bed in a box” concept would pan out, but delivery was quick, setup was simple, and the mattress is so comfortable it feels like we’re staying at a high-end hotel.

What’s more? Lull comes with free shipping, free returns, and a 100 night risk free trial.

Contrast this with our first-ever mattress buying excursion, and it’s a night + day difference. Last time, we had the standard “strip mall mattress store experience” that resulted in forking over a much larger percentage of my paycheck than expected. I think I also left with a headache, from all the corny jokes and amateur sales tactics. Well, at least I had a mattress, right? (My old one was ruined when the roof of my rented condo leaked while I was on vacation. Yuck.). Talk about a terrible experience all around!

The Lull bed literally shows up in a box on your doorstep, so there’s no need to awkwardly test out mattress after mattress under the watch of a sales associate. If you’re in the market for a new mattress, check out Lull. Twins start at $550, while our King came in at only $950. They even offer a 100 day trial period, so if you don’t like the mattress you can return it. JCR readers can get $50 off your Lull with my discount: www.lull.com/sale.

**Thank you, Lull, for sponsoring this post! Opinions are our own.

P.S. I’m pretty camera shy but… here’s a peek at how simple (and dare I say fun?) setting up your Lull mattress can be!

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