Empty Bottle Diaries – Vol. 1

I’ll be sharing details on my everyday skincare and beauty routines in the coming months, which I’ll update and re-share periodically, but I also wanted to start up a new series: Empty Bottle Diaries. I know not all products are the kind that you use up entirely, but I’ve been trying to do exactly that whenever I’m trying – and liking – a product.

I’ve learned over the past year or two that you can’t really tell it a product is working unless you try it out for a few months. And once I like a beauty product, there’s no point in changing it up until I try something I like something better. So, with that, today I’m sharing a few products that I’ve stuck with and have actually repurchased after they were gone.

Empty Bottle Diaries Vol 1

Shop the Products:

Urban Decay Mascara

Burt’s Bees Eye Makeup Remover Pads

Rodan + Fields Unblemish Sulfur Wash

Tula Volume Defense Wrinkle Serum

My thoughts on each:

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara: I got a taste of this mascara when I got a sample at Sephora and have been hooked ever since. I’m not the type to be loyal to one mascara (I tend to switch it up depending on if I’m going to work or out for the night/a special occasion – or I layer different types), but once I have a good experience with a mascara, I usually go back to it and buy again. Urban Decay is probably most known for their Naked eye palettes (which I also love!), but this mascara was actually the first product I tried from the brand.

I think this is the perfect everyday mascara because it’s the perfect blend of volumizing and lengthening. I like to put on one coat before work or when I’m being casual (paired with my Lash Boost that I apply each night for longer, fuller lashes) and I’m good to go. My lashes are very blonde, so I look asleep with zero mascara! I’ll add another coat and sometimes another mascara before or after if I’m going somewhere else.

Burt’s Bees Eye Makeup Remover PadsFinding a good eye makeup remover has been a struggle for me for years. Either they’re not good enough and I end up scrubbing so much that I lose an eyelash or they’re way too oily. With these, you get a natural, gentle wash that still removes the makeup, even waterproof (just need a little more patience). Extra bonus: they have no added fragrance and are free of parabens, phthalates, SLS and petrolatum. And they don’t leave behind an oily residue that makes it so you have to wash again after the makeup is gone. But even with the best eye makeup removers, be gentle to your lashes, eyelids and under your eyes! That skin under and around your eyes is so thin and sensitive.

Rodan + Fields Unblemish Sulfur Wash: I went through a phase a couple of years ago where, after not having acne for my entire life, I suddenly started getting it here and there. I guess this is what happens when you hit 30, but I was not a fan. I wasn’t ready to fully commit to a full acne skincare regimen, so I decided to try out a face wash first. Ever since then, I haven’t turned back. I use this once a day – and 2-3 times a week, I use my Microdermabrasion Paste as an exfoliator (I put it on before I get in the shower then rinse off) and then this face wash as a mask for 5-10 minutes afterwards. I have several friends (and customers – I’m a R+F consultant) who also swear by this stuff as well. I’m not writing this to sell anything, but if you do want to learn more, try it out and save 20%, shoot me an email at katy@dailykaty.com – always happy to help!

Tula Volume Defense Wrinkle Serum: Keeping your skin hydrating is so important. If you do that, you’re one step closer to staying wrinkle-free. But if you need a little help, this serum is a great place to start. It’s a milky, concentrated serum that uses natural probiotics with retinol and Vitamin C to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. I applied a thin layer on my face after the above face wash and then use a day or night moisturizer afterwards depending on the time of day. I love how this serum is hydrating but also sinks into your skin pretty quickly so you don’t have to wait too long to apply moisturizer.

Tula is a brand I love because their products are not only clean and safe, but they’re also effective and actually work. I have a hard time actually sticking with better-for-you beauty products when they don’t work – and that is not the case with Tula. Next on my list to try from Tula is their Kefir Ultimate Moisture 3pc Collection, which features all three of their full-sized Kefir Products – Kefir Replenishing Cleansing OilMoisture Repair Pressed Serum + new Ultimate Recovery Mask. The bundle is only $65 for the month of February – and it’s worth $153!

Tula Skincare on QVC

Thank you to Urban Decay, Burt’s Bees and Tula for providing samples for me to try out. I am a Rodan + Fields consultant and this post also contains affiliate links, which means that if you click the links and make a purchase, I’ll earn commissions. As always, all opinions are my own.

Ornament Gifts for the Last-Minute Shopper

How crazy is it that Christmas is less than a week away! I was so organized and had most of my gifts purchased before December event started… and then I had a big lull and need to finish up this week. Ornaments are such a good last-minute gift idea – and this year you can take that idea up a notch with all of the beauty, skincare and even home-themed ornaments that come with presents in them! The packaging is so fun and you can either gift them as-is by hanging them on the tree or give them as stocking stuffers.

Last-Minute Holiday Gifts - Ornament Gifts

I’m sharing details on some of my favorites below – and you can shop even more at the bottom of this post by scrolling and clicking on the ornaments in the widget. Grab an ornament gift online or at stores like Sephora, Ulta or Target. What are your favorite stocking stuffers or low-cost gift ideas that come in cute packaging?

 

Ornament Gifts

 

1. Nest Candle: You can’t go wrong with a candle from this brand. They’ll make your house smell like a luxurious spa. The ornaments come in the best holiday scents that will make you want to go back for a bigger version.

2. IT Cosmetics CC Cream: I tried this out for the first time last week and have been loving it! It’s lightweight yet still gives you nice coverage that actually stays put. Extra bonus is the SPF 50.

3. amika Dry Shampoo: I’ve always heard great things about this but have yet to try it out. Might have to grab this ornament to try it out as a travel size and take it on my next trip!

4. Too Faced Mascara: This has been one of my go-to mascaras for years (I tend to switch them up and layer depending on where I’m heading). It gives you lots of volume and people are obsessed with it.

5. BeautyBlender: Almost New Year, so probably time to either replace yours or grab one for the first time – it’s a game changer when it comes to applying things like CC cream or foundation. I just learned the best way to use it is by running under water first so it doesn’t absorb all of your makeup!

6. Clinique Merry Moisture Set: This comes with their popular moisturizing lip balm crayon and face lotion. These products are a pretty safe bet for anyone who likes to at least wear a little lip color.

7. thisworks sleep tight: This is perfect for a new mom or someone who needs a good night’s sleep. It comes with 3 essential oil products – 2 pillow sprays (one to help you fall asleep, another to keep you asleep) and a de-stressing aromatherapeutic rollerball that will relax you for bedtime.

8. Philosophy Bubble Bath, Shower Gel & Face Washes: You can’t go wrong with any of these – they smell so good. They also have some of their popular face lotions in ornament packaging.

9. Buxom Full-On Lip Polish: I always come back to this brand for lip gloss – and this one will give you a nice gloss that also works over your favorite lip color.

Shop more options below:

Thanks to Nest, IT Cosmetics, Buxom and thisworks for sending samples to try out! This post contains affiliate links.

Holiday Countdown with Beauty Advent Calendars

This past weekend was the first weekend that I really felt like the holiday season was coming. After just getting back from two weeks in Hawaii a couple weeks ago, I was not happy about the cold temps – but the silver lining is that I realized the holiday season is just around the corner.

So with that, I’m kicking off holiday content on the blog with a post that’s really for you rather than gifts for others. Last year, I saw a few of my favorite brands put out advent calendars that allowed you to countdown to Christmas by opening up a surprise each night. This year, I found a bunch of beauty brands with advent calendars that range from Target’s $15 option to Charlotte Tillbury’s “naughty and nice” set that’s filled with full-size products.

No matter what holidays you celebrate, grab one of these and use it to surprise yourself with daily goodies as you countdown to the festivities – or just open them all at once for a bigger treat! Shop these advent calendars and more via the links and pics below.

xo,

Katy

2017 Advent Calendars

Shop the Post:

NYX Lippie Countdown / QVC Beauty Advent Calendar / The Body Shop 24 Days of Beauty

AMOREPACIFIC 12 Days of Botanical Beauty / Target 12 Days of Beauty / Charlotte Tillbury Naughty & Nice Magic Box

bareMinerals Box of Wonders / OLEHENRIKSEN 12 Days of OLE GlowL’Occitane Advent Calendar

Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide 2016

The pre-holiday season got the best of me and admittedly I am WAY behind on my gift guide content that I had originally planned (sorry!!). The holidays are now here, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who hasn’t quite checked everyone off the gift list yet. One of my favorite things on Christmas morning when I was little was opening up my stocking – my mom wrapped every little thing in it so it took forever!

So today I’m sharing lots of last-minute stocking stuffers from either stores you probably have nearby or good old Amazon Prime. Bought all your gifts already? Pick some of these up for yourself – especially the gift sets that are only available at this time of year and are usually great value! Shop everything via the links and images below, where you’ll find even more options in each category.

Happy Holidays, everyone! Hope you all get to disconnect and spend time with family and friends.

Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide 2017

Shop the Gifts:

May Designs Desk Calendar / Kate Spade Planner

Tarte Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow Palette / Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette

Deborah Lippman Nail Polish Set / BaubleBar Choker / Kendra Scott Earrings

Tory Burch Keychain / PopSugar Must Have Box Ring Dish

Lavanila Cozy Comforts Mini Deodorant Trio / Rodan + Fields Lash Boost Set

Maria Shireen Hair Tie Bracelet / bareMinerals BARE HAVEN Moisturizing Soft Cream

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick / Korres Greek Nights Volcanic Twist Shadow Collection

Curel Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer / Avon Skin So Soft Triple Phase Oil

Masque Bar Oxygen Bubble Sheet MaskExfoliating Foot Mask / Target Copper Bar Tools

Jonathan Adler CandleLL Bean Slipper Socks / Target Mittens

 bkr Water Bottle / J.Crew Hat / Maybelline The Colossal Big Shot Mascara

 

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Friday Faves: The Best Lip Products

Happy Friday! It’s been a crazy few weeks and I’m long overdue for a beauty post. A few months ago, it was National Lipstick Day (did you know that was an actual thing?!), and it made me want to put together a post on the latest lip products. But then I decided to head straight to all of the bags I use on a regular basis and pull out the lip products I’m using – and loving – right now. Thanks to this blog and Sephora being across the street from my office, I’ve tried out lots of lipsticks, glosses, stains, balms, you name it, over the last few years.

It wasn’t until my wedding three years ago that lip color became one of the two beauty products that make me feel most put together (mascara is also must for me!). I went to Sephora in search of a natural-looking lipstick that would actually stay on for our big day because I knew I was going to forget to reapply, and that’s when I discovered my go-to YSL lip stain (more on that below). Since then, I try to have some sort of lip color on, especially if I’m out at night.

Read on for my current faves and exactly what it is I love about each, along with my go-to lip treatment that I use daily. Let us know what your recommendations are in the comments below!

10-3-16-bestlipproducts

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Rodan + Fields Skincare & 3 Giveaways!

Today’s post is one I’ve been wanting to share for a while, as it’s all about my new skincare routine that has really made a positive impact on me. Ever since I started using skincare of any type, I’ve been all about convenience, especially at night, as I tend to get tired and lazy. I’ve tried out (and loved) many products over the years, but over time switched from one brand or product to another.

Enter Rodan + Fields, from the doctors behind Proactiv, and my redness and wrinkles are nearly gone and I don’t even feel the need to wear tinted moisturizer or foundation anymore. The line was originally sold at department stores – and was the #1 skincare line at Nordstrom – until the founders decided to shift the distribution and marketing strategy to direct selling. Read on for my experience with this skincare line and enter the giveaways at the end!

My Daily Routine for Flawless Skin, plus 3 Giveaways!

Rodan + Fields was intriguing to me for two reasons: the before/after pics of real results and the 60 day money back guarantee (even if the bottles are empty!). So I took the solution tool quiz, figured out which products were right for me (SOOTHE regiment for redness/sensitivity, along with the REDEFINE Overnight Restorative Cream and Multi-Function Eye Cream for wrinkles/anti-aging), and went ahead and placed an order. This may sound like a lengthy routine for 2x/day, but after I got used to it, the step-by-step system really didn’t bother me.

Rodan + Fields Skincare - Before + Afters, Giveaways + More!

Trying out Rodan + Fields was a bit of an experiment for me, as I had never documented how products worked with before/after pics. I also stopped using other skincare products to truly see what the R+F results were. Honestly, I was not expecting to be as impressed as I was. After 1.5 weeks, my before/after pic clearly showed reduced redness (one of my friends said it looked like “night and day”!). I also quickly noticed the lines on my forehead and around my eyes become much less noticeable.

The skincare routine that changed my skin! Plus three giveaways.

One of the things I love most about Rodan + Fields is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all product line. There are four different regimens – SOOTHE (redness/sensitivity), REDEFINE (wrinkles, firmness, anti-aging), REVERSE (brown spots, dullness, discoloration) and UNBLEMISH (acne/post-acne marks) – and you can use combinations to address more than one skin concern. All you have to do is take a quick quiz via the solution tool to reveal which regimen(s) are best for you. From there, you can add on things like the REDEFINE Macro Exfoliator, Acute Care for Expression Lines or AMP MD Roller.

Rodan + Fields Regimens

Becoming a R+F consultant was also not something I saw myself doing, but once I had such a great experience with the products myself and learned about the promotions going on for new consultants, I was sold. I saw one of my high school friends making enough income to stay home with her kids a few more days a week and I realized that even though I don’t consider myself a sales person, I could stand behind and spread the word about quality products. Plus it doesn’t hurt to get the products for myself as discounted as possible! If this is of interest to you, comment or email me at katyc.rodanandfields@gmail.com and I can give you more info. Right now, you can earn double your initial investment back. And much like blogging, there’s a great community to connect with via Facebook, events, etc.

Note: As a blogger, I want to make sure that I’m sharing the latest and greatest in the skincare world with you, so don’t worry, I won’t be posting about Rodan + Fields every week! I’m always looking forward to testing out new products and will continue to do so, adding them to my skincare routine here and there where it makes sense. Plus I know we are all looking for products for different uses, at different price points, etc.

Rodan + Fields Giveaways on DailyKaty.com

Giveaway! Like I said, I wasn’t hooked on these products until I tried them myself, so I wanted to give me readers the chance to win Rodan + Fields’ popular REDEFINE Multi-Function Eye Cream ($60 value), which sells out on the reg. AND as one of the entries, you can fill out a quick survey and I’ll send you a FREE mini facial sample (note: if you opt into this, I’ll follow up via email for some feedback). Giveaway open to U.S. residents only from now until April 30, 2016 and free mini facial samples available while supplies last.

Bonus Giveaway! Here’s where it gets even better. For anyone who makes a purchase of $100+ through my Rodan + Fields site and signs up as a preferred customer will be entered to win your choice of the REDEFINE AMP MD System ($200 value) or Acute Care for Expression Lines ($210 value) on me! Being a preferred customer will also get you 10% off and free shipping from there on out. Find out which regimen is for you with the solution tool (quick survey). Note: the 60 day money back guarantee will not apply on this giveaway item. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only from now until May 31, 2016.

Bonus Offer for New Consultants! This is for those of you who want to go all in and become my business partner as a side- or even full-time gig! Sign on as a consultant here with the $395, $695 or $995 starter kit and I’ll personally give you $200 cash back after 60 days. Rodan + Fields also has a promotion going on right now where you can get double your initial investment back. Email me at katyc.rodanandfields@gmail.com for more details on this offer and to redeem the offer once you’re signed on. Happy to answer any and all questions!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post is not in any way sponsored, but since you can only purchase these products through a consultant, the links will take you to my page, where I make sales commissions.**

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that some people love and others couldn’t care less about. I fall somewhere i the middle. The holiday comes four days after my birthday, so those two occasions combined always give my husband and I a great excuse to go out for a nice dinner. Over the years we’ve opted for vacations over big gifts, but because many of you out there are likely getting or receiving gifts to loved ones or even friends, I wanted to share a very pink gift guide with items I’m loving right now.

Shop the gifts using the links below – hope you all have a great long weekend and Valentine’s Day! XOXO

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Shop the Gifts:

PJ Set / Water Bottle / c/o Lauren B. Nail Polishes

Necklace / Ring / Sunglasses / Earrings / Sweatshirt

Lipstick / Watch / iPhone Case / Bag / Flats / Sneakers

Last-Minute Beauty Gift Sets & Stocking Stuffers

12.23.15-BeautyGifts-3

I’m usually so organized about holiday gift giving, picking out and buying presents for everyone in my list way in advance. For some reason, this year that just wasn’t the case. But thanks to a few of my favorite stores with great free, expedited shipping policies (placed a big order at J.Crew Factory on Monday and it arrived today!) and stores that carry pre-packaged gifts, I’m still good to go.

Today I went into Sephora and there were lots of fun gift sets still available – and they’re even open until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, so you can still pick some up before the holiday! And I love that most brands package up their most popular products into pretty stocking stuffers. Two of my favorites are bareMinerals’ Pop of Passion, with one of their new lip launches from this year, and Precious Pearls, with their top-selling powder eye shadows – both are actually ornaments! I also love Bliss Spa’s Citrus Stars, which comes with the body butter and soapy suds that I currently use daily, and Bite Beauty’s Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo, also with fun, sparkly packaging.

If you don’t have time to head to the store on Christmas Eve, I recommend you check out my gift set picks below, because some are already on sale and available while supplies last. The Sephora Favorites are always great because they include their top products and colors in any given beauty category (lips shown below), giving you the opportunity to try sample sizes before you buy your next lip color. And speaking of lips, the past few years I’ve stocked up on Buxom’s Full-On Lip Polish and Creams with their gift sets because of the value – and this year the Leave Your Mark set is perfect.

Shop my last-minute beauty gift set and stocking stuffers using the links below and Merry Christmas Eve!

12.23.15-BeautyGifts-1

Shop the Gifts:

Maison Martin Margiela Rollerballs

Sephora Collection Kiss Me Balm

Buxom Look All You Want & Leave Your Mark Sets

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo

Bliss Citrus StarsbareMinerals Pop of Passion

Sephora Collection Breakups to Makeups Bag

 

12.23.15-BeautyGifts-4

Need more gift ideas? Below are a two more recommendations – Josie Maran’s Whimsical Wonder The Complete Argan Skincare Ritual and ARQUISTE’s Holiday Candles. And you can also check out my gift guide on Fit & Fab Living!

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**Samples provided for review; all opinions are my own.**

All that Glitters Gift Guide

I can’t be the only one with a minor obsession with all things gold, so today I’m sharing a gift guide with all things glitter and gold. My current iPhone case is glittery and everything about it makes me happy, and I need to get my hands on these glitter sneakers. Also, gold works for pretty much anything around the house since it goes with browns, blacks and other neutral colors.

In particular, right now I’m loving the Sephora Formula X Bottle Service nail polish set. I’m wearing “Ignite” in the second pic below and it’s the perfect deep red for winter and the holidays. The set comes with 10 different mini nail polishes and the festive champagne bottle packaging makes it an easy, fun gift. Just throw a ribbon around it and you’re good to go! Bonus points if you also give it with a real bottle of champagne.

All of the items below would make great gifts for a friend, coworker, yankee swap or for yourself! Shop them all using the links below.

All that Glitters Gift Guide

Shop the Gifts:

Earrings / iPhone Case / Water Bottle

Sneakers / FitBit Bracelet / Coasters

Pineapple Tumbler / Wine Bag / Blazer

Sephora Formula X Bottle Service Nail Set (c/o)

Champagne Flute / Bag / Notebook

Tray / Coffee Mug / Eyeshadow Palette

 All that Glitters Gift Guide

Beach Travel Style Essentials

Life was apparently really busy after we got back from our amazing trip to Hawaii (more to come on that in my upcoming travel guides!), and now all of a sudden a month flew by and the holidays and almost winter are here. The temps aren’t too bad yet here in New England, but I’m still dreaming of Hawaii and plotting our next warm-weather getaway.

Whether you have a trip booked or are lucky enough to live where the sun is always shining, today’s post includes some of my beach destination essentials, including cover ups, sunglasses, bikinis and my favorite sunscreen (yes, it’s possible to have a favorite).  Shop the items in the pics using the links below (minus those palm trees – you’ll have to head to Maui for those)!

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
Views at the Grand Hyatt Kauai - shop the romper in the post on DailyKaty.com

Taking it all in at the Grand Hyatt Kauai‘s beach in Poipu… Loving that my P.J. Salvage romper is not only perfect for lounging around at home, but also makes a great beach cover up because of its super soft, lightweight material.

P.J. Salvage Wanderlust Challe Romper (c/o)

Enjoying drinks at the Grand Hyatt Kauai - shop the romper in the post on DailyKaty.com

Enjoying a post-beach/pool drink on the deck at sunset. Other than when I was in just a bikini on a beach chair or in the water, I wore this romper from morning to night! The sun sets early at this time of year in Hawaii, we we stayed in our bathing suits for it almost every night.

Bikini Essentials for Beach Travel - Shop them on DailyKaty.com

Just a few of my favorite bikinis I brought along with me (all c/o)… Each one of these is perfect in their own way: the leopard print Malai bikini has literally the best fitting bottoms I’ve ever tried (size up for this one – top and bottom run small). I love the colors and crocheting in the blue WET Swimwear bikini. And Mi-Ola bikinis are perfect if you’re active, whether you’re surfing or jumping off a boat for a swim, because the bottoms have gripper elastic to hold them on.

LeopardMalai Neon Leopard Bandeau Bikini from Cabana Chic Swimwear

Blue: WET Swimwear Faith Top & Bottoms

Pink: Mi-Ola Reversible Wrap Top & Double String Bottoms

Cruising along the Napili Coast in Kauai - shop this romper and sunglasses in today's post on DailyKaty.com

Cruising along the Napili Coast by boat in Kauai… This romper is super lightweight and comfortable over a bikini and now I’m wishing I got it in all of the patterns!

Romper (on sale!) / c/o Woodzee Sunglasses

c/o Mi-Ola Reversible Wrap Top & Double String Bottoms

Waiting for sunset at the St. Regis Princeville in Kauai, Hawaii - shop this romper and sunglasses in today's post on DailyKaty.com

Waiting for sunset and toasting to an amazing trip at the St. Regis Princeville in Kauai! You can see the low back of the romper here, which I love, along with the wrapped back on the Mi-Ola bikini. And this resort is a must for sunsets, views and basically everything else.

Best sunscreen around - learn more at DailyKaty.com

My favorite sunscreens - which I never thought I’d say – but these smell so good and don’t leave your skin all oily and gross! The spray sunscreen is my favorite because it smells like pina colada. And the face sunscreen is lightweight, dries quickly and is refreshing with its cucumber scent.

Coola Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30,

Face Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30,

Mineral Sport Sunscreen SPF 35+ and

Liplux Sport Lip Treatment SPF 30 (all c/o)

Sunset at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, Hawaii - shop this romper on DailyKaty.com

Another day, another cover up worn for sunset on the beach… This time at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, Maui. If only I could end every day like this!

Fringe Cover Up (sold out – similar here + here)

 

What are your favorite beach travel style essentials? Let us know in the comments below! And come back over to the blog – and Fit and Fab Living – to read more about my trip to Maui and Kauai, as well as lots more about hotel recommendations, sights to see, etc. Stay tuned!