Empty Update: The Beauty Products I Used To The Last Drop

It doesn't happen often, so, when it does, I feel like it is worth sharing. These are the beauty products I used down the last drop this week:

drybar On The Rocks Clarifying Charcoal Shampoo & Lightweight Conditioner: This is the perfect deep cleaning plus light (but hydrating) duo. Charcoal is such a popular ingredient right now for purifying the skin- and it is equally powerful for the hair. The shampoo easily clears out any product (or sweat) buildup, and the conditioner (I only use it on the bottom 6 inches of my hair) leaves my hair ready for styling. 

Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Las Salinas: I swear I have had this stick for like 2 years, used it almost daily, and it JUST ran out. This hue is a perfect candy pink, and the creamy formula is so easy to blend on to the apples of your cheeks for the most natural flush ever. Plus, it has Ceramidone® in it to plump and perfect the skin. It is designed for lips and cheeks, but I only use it on my cheeks- for some reason, it looks sorta tock and chalky on my lips.

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream: This is the foundation I use 90% of of the time (I wear Medium). It is a color correcting, full-coverage cream with the benefits of a hydrating anti-aging serum and- major points here- SPF50. I love it because I can apply it with my fingertips in a rush, or when I have more time and want to really "do" my makeup, I apply it with a brush or sponge and the finish is even more flawless. 

Lancome Renergie Lift Multi-Action Lip Plumping Balm: Generally, lip balms are a dime a dozen for me- but I gravitate towards this one because it plumps without tingling, and the shea butter and beeswax make for a light but moisturizing finish. There is an instant effect that makes my lips just look healthier, and sure, it may help smooth out the appearance of fine lines around my mouth over time, but in the short term, I just like the way it works solo or under any of the 50 new matte lipsticks I am currently wearing on repeat. 

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What empties are currently making their way to your garbage bin? Do tell...

 

5 Things I Really Like About Me.

 Pure happiness, draped in  Allison Daniel  jewels- the  heart charm  actually says "Love You More" on it, which immediately caught my eye because it is what Alexa says to Brian and me whenever we say "I love you" to her. 

Pure happiness, draped in Allison Daniel jewels- the heart charm actually says "Love You More" on it, which immediately caught my eye because it is what Alexa says to Brian and me whenever we say "I love you" to her. 

Last week, I wasn't so into myself. I was cranky, low energy, impatient with my kids, and just generally "eh". It is so easy to get into a slump- especially at this stage in life, trying to enjoy your young kids, keep your house clean and perfect-ish, prep the healthy meals that it seems all the other moms are tossing together effortlessly, and retaining some semblance of your former smart, professional self.

It's funny- I feel like I spend so much time trying to master many elements of the "suburban mom" cliché, and just as much- if not more time- making sure I don't become one. 

Anyway- in the spirit of entering into Mother's Day weekend as the most happy, confident version of myself, I thought it was time to make a list of 5 things I really freaking like about ME. And I encourage you to do the same. We dole out compliments to other people all the time, why not throw a few our own way, right? Right.

1. I am funny. Like, really funny. My sense of humor is quick as hell- and also most times inappropriate as hell, but I can always make myself- and anyone around me who appreciates self deprecating, borderline offensive quips- laugh. Hard.

2. I am an easy friend. It takes a lot to truly hurt my feelings- most things don't bother me much. I don't lose a second of sleep if there is a "girls dinner" I'm not invited to, I don't get mad if someone has to cancel plans or can't make it to an event or something like that, and if someone doesn't call or text me back for a week/month/year, I GET IT. My skin is thick, and while I don't always consider myself empathetic, when it comes to my friends (all of them busy moms juggling a ton- regardless of if they work or not, this whole thing is still a grind), at this point in life I always give the benefit of the doubt, and let it go.

3. I am too honest about myself. Sure, the "too" makes it sound like I am slanting negative here, but I actually like that I probably share more than I should, because it is the way I have been all my life and to not overshare (example- at a preschool breakfast in the Fall I asked a girl I just met to tell me if I smelled because I realized, mid-conversation, I had totally forgotten to put on deodorant- this led to a heart-to-heart about our mutual TMI tendencies, and an instant bond) would just not feel like ME. I do stuff to my skin, I mostly make my kids take a bath on nights when I won't have to be home to give it to them, my tan is NEVER real, my au pair is the one that does my awesome braids, my 7 year old walks all over me and it is my fault, and when our dog poops on the floor, I totally know it will happen before it does because I hear him scratching on the door but I am too lazy to go downstairs and let him out. The list goes on...

4. I know every single lyrics to pretty much every single song that has been in the top 40 since, like, 1988. It impresses my kids, it impresses their friends (and also slightly frightens the ones who are only allowed to listen to the Kidz Bop versions of hit records) it impresses strangers, and it eternally annoys my husband.

5. I handle all the bill paying and tax organizing for our family. Which is so NOT something I would imagine myself doing, nor is it something I am perfect at doing, but, I do it all the same. And while I moan and groan about it (especially in March and April), taking on an aspect of adulting that is SO out of my comfort zone forces me to evolve my own self-perception, and in turn, gives me a unique sense of confidence/accomplishment/"you thought you knew me but maybe you don't"-ness.

There you have it, folks.

It would make my day/week/year/decade if you would share one  (or more.... I mean, I would LOVE to hear 5 but don't want to overstep here) thing you like about yourself in the comments below! xoxo JF

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Bags & Baubles By Sunday, Via Shopbop.

Jenn-Falik-MOTHER'S-DAY-gifts-SHOPBOP.jpg

To know Shopbop is to love Shopbop, right? Especially because it syncs with your Amazon Prime account, so anything you order arrives with free 2-day shipping. SCORE! I pulled together picks in two of the most mom-gift-friendly categories- baubles and bags- so even if you have procrastinated thus far, you're secret is safe with me. 

BAGS: Marie Turnor is my new obsession- her metallic "lunch" bags are day-to-night perfect, for every age. Cult Gaia is the style blogger brand of the year- the visual impact of each piece is stunning, and somehow also so wearable. The classic Cult Gaia Ark Mini is fun in this translucent hue, while the new Lucy Goddess Mini is timeless retro. 

For the new mom- how adorable is this "baby" organizing bag? And, it is $15! This is just the coolest bracelet bag (hands-free is key for every mom, and it also has a strap to wear cross-body), and this may just be the most fun keychain-slash-bag charm ever, no?

I am for sure buying this set of Oh Joy! packing cubes as a Mother's Day treat to myself. I am always the one packing the kids for travel and cute cubes will make the process more pleasant.

BAUBLES: Adore this brushed gold LOVE bangle- because it is square, it isn't cheesy, if that makes sense. Pearls are HUGE right now, and  done as statement hoops is modern but still, because they are pearls, classic.

Sweet studs are also that thing women can never have enough of.  Cherries- I mean, what more can I say about these? And, well, BOSS? Yes please, because you know she is. Mismatched earrings are also having a moment, and this broken arrow pair is the coolest way to do it daily. 

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Mother's Day Gift Guide: One Word- Gucci.

 Get the goods  here .

Get the goods here.

Gucci.  It's on freaking fire right now and if you want to get anyone in your life a little- or big- somethin' somethin' for Mother's Day, you can not mess up with Gucci. Trust me. 

Here are 15 picks, at two price points. Everything here is under $1000!

Under $500: This belt is so perfect. Dying over this adorable cherry-covered card case. And anything pink and red right now is a sure win.  Summer slides don't get more glam than this pair- perfect for the beach or the street, and this iconic staple thong flip flop will never go out of style, and I am obsessed with this white and gold version too. Gucci also has an awesome fashion jewelry collection that many people aren't familiar with- this ring, for example is a sophisticated statement. 

Under $1000: Perfect night out- or running around during the day- cross body mini bag. There is no more chic tote for the beach than this rubber tote, that much I know. I have never seen a sexier update than this version of the vintage Gucci classic. Biased, because I personally own and LOVE this pair of shoes- but these are maybe the most amazing, and versatile, all-season velvet pumps ever.  And every style insider is buying this horsebit loafer in bulk- the pale pink is so insanely sweet (and currently at the top of my shoe wish list!). This cardigan is classic but still feels really modern, and can work with pretty much any style profile.

Get on it, people. They offer 2-day shipping from the Gucci website so you can get everything in time for Mother's Day. Treat yourself to something, or forward this along in a really un-subtle way to anyone who currently has your name on their "to gift" list.

Quick 6: The Best Things I Bought On Amazon.

 Shop these items and more of my Amazon favorites  HERE .

Shop these items and more of my Amazon favorites HERE.

I am addicted to Amazon Prime. And guessing you probably are too. Recently, I set up an "Influencer Shop" there to corral, and share, my favorite purchases.*  Every time I find something everyone should know about, I add it to the shop- so be sure to bookmark it or whatever your method of choice is so you can check back frequently.

That said, these are 6 of the things in my little shop that I am most thrilled to currently own, and, at this risk of sounding repetitive, I am guessing you probably will be too.

1- Heart Sunglasses: Yes, you can spend hundreds on a designer pair. But, why would you? These are a fun, whimsical, one-season-if-that wear- and while I strongly suggest getting a truly protective pair of sunglasses to keep your eyes healthy (seriously, guys- don't mess around with that- you can learn more here), I am obsessed with these $11 frames for fun photo ops and such. I got matching ones for my daughters in a size better proportioned to their faces- which you can also find here

2- ThisWorks Deep Sleep Pillow Spray: My friend Genny (yes, same one who turned me on this game changing skincare treatment) posted this on her Instagram ages ago. I saw it around 3am on a Wednesday- as I tossed and turned trying to sleep- and by Friday, it was in my possession. The scent is a combo of Lavender, Vetiver and Chamomile- and for whatever reason, it cues my mind into rest-mode and definitely helps me shut out the day. Maybe it is just the ritual of spritzing my pillow- but regardless, I am addicted. Plus, if you travel, bringing it along helps any hotel room feel that much more like home. 

3- Phillips Sonicare Kids Toothbrush: My 7 year old actually gets EXCITED to brush her teeth since this entered our world. It connects to an app which I thought would be annoying- having to hand over my phone every time she has to brush her teeth- but it is SO worth it. The app makes brushing into a game- as she follows the animated movie, she kills googly-eyed germs, gets time cues for switching to a new part of the mouth, and at the end, gets to choose a "reward". Sonicare's quality is well-known- but the fact that they make a $40 toothbrush with that same amazing tech plus kid-friendly bells and whistles was total news to me. 

4- MyCharge Portable Charger: This is the be-all end-all of portable chargers, bar none. It has everything built in: a foldable wall plug that goes right into any outlet and allows for pass-through charging so you can charge the powerbank and your devices simultaneously ; Apple iPhone Lightning and Micro-USB cables; and an extra USB port so you to charge 3 things at the same time, should you need. All the add-ons I usually forget when I run out the door are all attached- you literally can't screw it up. Once you have this, you will never be able to use any other travel charger again. Trust me. Oh- and it holds up to 6 complete battery charges when fully loaded, which is pretty awesome. 

5- Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner: If you have kids, you need this. My husband actually bought it- and I didn't use it for a month, instead, sticking to our tried and true handheld dust-buster thingie, because it felt less intimidating to me. Dumb move by me- this thing picks up EVERYTHING. The charge lasts 40 minutes, and it stores neatly. There is a V10 version which is like $200 more, and while it may be marginally better, I gotta say, this version is pretty damn incredible. 

6- Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides: One of the most clicked-on items I have ever featured on my Facebook and Instagram,  a scoop or two of this in my morning coffee has made the most dramatic difference in my hair and nails. I am the ultimate skeptic, but even jaded ol' me could not deny the obvious changes I was noticing in the mirror thanks to the high quality collagen peptides that somehow dissolve into this flavorless, odorless powder.

What is the best thing you have bought on Amazon in the last 6 months? Please share in the comments- I am always on the hunt for new things to add to my wish list!

*Yes, the Amazon Influencer shop is an affiliate program. I earn a small commission on sales- which is kinda cool- but even more than that, being the nerd at heart I am, the reason I am so damn excited about it is that I can peep the analytics and learn what things you guys are most interested in- what you click, what you buy, and when you do it. Affiliate programs (I am also part of RewardStyle, and recently joined the ShopStyle Collective as well) provide a lot of value for content creators of all sizes. For me, since my blog is on the smaller side (woe is me, right?!), the monetary gains are teeny tiny- but the insights into my readers are perhaps the best- and most honest!- resource to help continually improve my content. If you have questions about these programs, feel free to leave a comment or message me, happy to answer anything and everything- it is such a fascinating space, IMHO.