R baby


My birthday shared top billing last week with Father’s Day. As any kid with a birthday near Christmas understands, significant holidays on or around your big day really suck. (I am well aware of the emotional trauma suffered by Christmastime babies. My sister, whose birthday is December 21, now makes us celebrate her birthday doubly and triply every year to make up for all the birthday attention she missed growing up.) Not only did the dueling occasions scheduled on my birthday, June 21, mean I had to kowtow to the desires of my father, father-in-law and husband, dad to our 1-year-old daughter, on a day that was supposed to be about me, but they severely diminished my hoard of gifts.

Partially because I was too lazy to shop for a Father’s Day present for my picky husband, I told him we could call a gift truce this year. He didn’t have to get me a gift for my birthday, if I didn’t have to get him a gift for Father’s Day. Without a spousal contribution, my paltry birthday gift stash amounted to the following: a novel from my in-laws (snooze!), an initialed mug from my sister-in-law (cute and useful, though not exactly a diamond necklace) and a promise of a future gift from my parents (obviously, my laziness doesn’t fall far from the tree). The poor pile of presents had me dreaming of gifts not-to-be. My belated birthday wish list includes the below beauty products I’m dying to try or have tried and am eager to enjoy again:


Kai Perfume Oil: From the moment I sniffed Kai about a decade or so ago, I knew it would be my signature fragrance. Its spot-on gardenia scent smells like a vacation. I usually keep Kai’s small perfume oils lying around my desk and, when I feel like I need to escape, I open them up, close my eyes and breath in the scent. It doesn’t quite match lounging in Hawaii, but I’ll take what I can get.

Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne: From my passion for Kai, you might pick up on my preference for floral fragrances. Absolutely, I have a penchant for blossom perfumes. Maybe it’s because I’m so often stuck inside writing that I gravitate to floral smells to whisk me outside. Jo Malone’s divine Orange Blossom Cologne does that. Inspired by a stay at the Hotel Bel-Air, it is sweet, subtle and sophisticated. Because it’s not overpowering, it’s the perfect daily scent companion.

Juliette Has A Gun Lady Vengeance: Some people think rose smells old. I disagree. Juliette Has A Gun’s Lady Vengeance is a stellar example of the contemporary relevancy of the most regal of flowers. Its rose scent is sultry and sensual. The scent is definitely for a confident woman not afraid to use her powers of seduction. I’m not typically one of those, but, wearing Juliette Has A Gun’s Lady Vengeance, at least I can pretend to be.



Milani Multitasker Face Powder: For anyone who believes sending products to beauty editors is a waste, consider Milani’s Multitasker Face Powder as a compelling counterargument. I was given this face powder at the beginning of my beauty-editing career, and have been buying it from that time on. The face powder is difficult to find at my local drugstore, so I scour other drugstores for it and snap it up online. My friends consider me crazy for sticking to this affordable face powder when I have access to expensive options, but it’s just the right color and consistency. Why pay more when you adore what you pay less for?

Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayons: If you spot me on an average day, you’ll see I regularly wear lipgloss. However, lipstick is my true lip love. One of my first beauty favorites was Bobbi Brown’s lipstick in the shade brown, and I haven’t stopped searching for the fabulous lipsticks since then. I haven’t gotten my hands on Bite Beauty’s Matte Crème Lipe Crayons, but I am fascinated by the fact they are made of natural ingredients (orange peel wax, specifically), appear to be rich in color, and that Sephora reviewers praise them for lasting for hours. Those are qualities worth several lip smacks.

Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes: Tilbury is an across-the-pond beauty star whose line arrived stateside at Nordstrom last year. I’ve yet to test Tilbury’s products, and I am desperate to do so. Charlotte Tilbury’s Full Fat Lashes mascara in one of the brand’s bestselling items, and fans of the brand report it’s the best mascara they’ve ever used. It purports to lengthen and volumize in a single stroke. I might have to cough up $29 myself to get my mitts on this mascara.


Skin care/Body care

Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Lotion SPF 38: Everybody knows how important sporting SPF is to prevent skin cancer. However, no one, including me, will sport SPF if it is heavy and gunky. In its Extra Smooth Sun Protection Lotion, Shiseido has created a broad-spectrum sunscreen lotion that defends against UVA/UVB rays while also being lightweight and not filmy. I am totally content putting it under makeup because I don’t notice it’s coated my face. The highest praise for a sunscreen is that it feels barely there, and this sunscreen positively feels barely there.

Nourish Organic Moisterizing Cream Organic Body Wash: This body wash is currently sitting in my shower and is about to run out. I am skillfully dispensing its remaining droplets to extend its lifespan. I have the Lavender Mint scent variety and, if heaven exists, I imagine it smells like this mind-blowingly delicious Lavender Mint. And the formula is pretty great, too. It leaves my skin hydrated and smooth. If somebody doesn’t restock this body wash for me, I will cry if I want to because my belated birthday supply of gifts will be incomplete.

Philosophy Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-Aging Retinoid Eye Repair: At my advanced age, I realize I should be slathering on retinoids and eye creams. I admit I hardly ever do either. It might take a miracle to get me to commit to a retinoid/eye cream routine, and this Philosophy product, which is both an eye cream and a retinoid, might be the miracle I need. It’s a popular under-eye wrinkle remedy at Sephora, where it’s been applauded for its smoothness and effectiveness. I probably shouldn’t wait until my next birthday to try to tackle the lines forming around my eyes. I sense a miracle is afoot.



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