Tag Archives: Classpass

Best of Beauty 2016

best beauty 2016

I am all about the reflective year in review. I do it through a beauty lens here and from a personal POV in my journal. I used to find this time of year rather sad because it was saying goodbye to a year but now I see it as hopeful. And, let’s be honest, is anyone else really sad to see 2016 go? Peace out, you were ruthless.

And about that beauty lens. This year was awesome from that view. The 90s came back with a vengeance, YouTubers put 100 coats of makeup on for fun and rainbow highlighter was a sensation. Not all my jam but trends that made this year what it was in beauty. We’re also living the rise of skincare as makeup and individualism, ala Glossier – an ascension I am 100% on board with moving into 2017.

beauty favorites 2016

I’ll get to it. My top 10 favorite beauty launches of 2016.

Honestly, Glossier everything. But especially the Stretch Concealer and Super Pure serum. I use two shades of the concealer (Light and Medium) and often use that combo in place of any other face makeup. They are so creamy and dewy.

Lancome had maybe the best idea for a liquid eyeliner: make the handle bend so application is easier. It works. And, to boot, the eyeliner formula itself is extra inky and concentrated so there’s never any tugging or skipping.

Technically, this is not a 2016 launch but I didn’t discover it until this summer. Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara is the best drugstore mascara, ever. It lengthens and curls lashes, holds them in place all day and is 100% budgeproof – even the non-waterproof version.kiehl's midnight recovery cleansing oil

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Cleansing Oil squeezed in just under the wire – but I’ve been using it for a month now and it’s love. This definitely has a place in every top of the year list. It breaks down makeup beautifully but its power is in bringing you the zen. I swear using this at night this helps separate me from the stress of the day.

As I said in my original review, it’s really rare that I want to use a multiuse product as intended. Inevitably, they are always best on the cheek. Not so with the Bite Beauty Multistick at all. Somehow every color works as an eyeshadow, wears comfortably as a lipstick and looks good on cheeks. Cashew is my favorite shade.

diptyque eau des sens

I love having a Diptyque boutique in Chicago. I remember trying their spring fragrance, Eau des Sens, on a freezing cold spring day. It gave me hope of warmer days to come. The best way to describe it is like an orange tree. But not just the sweet blossom but also the greenery and tree itself. In-freaking-credible.

elizabeth arden prevage spf

As you can see in my photos, I am about to squeeze the last drops of my Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart SPF. This isn’t merely a really fancy sunscreen (but forgive me, I’m known for that at times…) but the most essential step in my daytime skincare routine. This formula is the color of pantyhose and the consistency of a thin lotion. It is loaded with Elizabeth Arden’s Prevage and helps protect against all of the damage you encounter outdoors – sun and pollutants. It truly is for city girls.

Like Glossier, Ouai had a sensational year. This line cropped up what felt like out of nowhere and for months it was all I heard about. As soon as I tried the line (review here) I understood the hype. The Hair Oil is a standout for me. It helps my hair dry shiny and bouncy and smells like an exotic vacation.
Mac Liptensity Driftwood

I try and love a lot of lip color. But most of all I love MAC Liptensity Lipstick in Driftwood. It’s a pinkish mauve that runs cool. I’m always attracted to these colors but find they can go awry. Not Driftwood – I give off healthy vibes with this one. I love that it is unlike anything I have in my collection.

So there you have it: my year in beauty. What rocked your world in 2016? Beauty or otherwise.

I Work Out


I’ve been Classpass-ing my way through Toronto since I’ve been here.  Working out regularly has made me feel a little more normal, like I live here. Which, I do, but I still can’t quite seem to master cooking at home and grocery shopping. I feel like I either waste food or don’t have everything I need to spice it up and cook properly. To say I’m craving the comforts of my own kitchen would be an understatement. But I am mega thankful that I can use Classpass here without adjusting my membership in any way. So easy! Toronto’s workout scene is pretty awesome – I’ve done “Ladies Who Lift,” tons of barre – including a restorative class where I basically gave myself an intense myofascial treatment with a foam roller (holy moans sounding in that room – hurt so good) and deconstructed yoga. Variety is my jam. Here are a few of the essentials for the #fitbitch life.

fitness finds

I’m paying these GapFit leggings forward. My friend wore them to a class one day and I ordered them the next day (in both colors!) I actually find I like wearing them for lounging and running errands because they don’t feel like workout pants. They’re so flattering with ribbed sides and a slimming waistband.

Most of my workout wardrobe is from Old Navy. Can’t beat the price and everything holds up really well no matter how much you wash them. I love the sexy mesh detail on this top!

Sometimes I shower twice a day (always steamy hot water) so I make moisturizing a serious priority. I absolutely cannot get enough of the One Love Organics Gardenia + Tea Body Serum. It’s such a treat to breathe in this aroma and I love the oversized spray handle for easy use. It keeps my skin smooth all day and I think over time has improved the feel of my skin (bold statement but truth!)

I never understood why people have to replace their sneakers so often but I get it now. I love these Nikes but can definitely feel the wear after running and working out in them since the winter. Time for an upgrade.

I stocked up on these Hurraw balms at The Detox Market in Toronto and always keep one in my workout bag. I hate starting a class with dry lips and also don’t want to wear anything with color. These are perfect – and under $5 a pop!

I was in a good place with my Soapwalla citrus deodorant but decided to give PiperWai a try after I heard so many raves. It’s gray in color from the activated charcoal but blends in clear to skin. And it is incredible. You can use it right after shaving without irritation and it holds up the best of anything I tried. I’m a convert.

If you like cold water to stay cold or do any type of hot yoga, then S’well is for you. I’ve been seeing these bottles at gyms for the past year and finally decided to give it a go. Now, it’s the only way I like to drink my water. Cold beverages stay cold (like chillingly cold) for 24 hours. The bottles are mega cute, too. And this is when I admit to you all that I might have a water bottle accessory problem. Oy.

Words for the Weekend

Clover Cloth

Cue up the weekend!  I’m heading back to Chicago again for a quick few days. I’ve been anticipating this weekend for months – Foo Fighters at Wrigley! Honestly, though, it’s just been an off week and I’m looking forward to spending time with the ones I love. The horrific situation in Virginia served as another sad reminder that awful things happen in the world and it can make you feel helpless. I also dropped my phone and cracked the screen again for the second time this summer so I’m feeling frustrated by my carelessness. The bigness and frivolity of those two sentiments, respectively, is also not lost on me. Sometimes it’s easier to let feelings out over the tiny things than it is to express emotion over the big stuff. I’ve certainly been there before. So let’s close this week out with some words that make us feel.


One of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met, inside and out, is May Lindstrom. This week, she shared something lovely, “I believe in beauty, in thoroughly luscious and over the top self care. Because I want to feel something when I pick up a bottle and enter my cleansing ritual. I want to feel peace, joy and celebration all in this moment, and I want to share this with every woman I love and care about so she can feel this too.”


I’ve been sporting this super soft and spirited tank from Clover Cloth at my workouts lately. It’s like a kick of inspiration every time I look in the mirror. After several unsuccessful attempts to get into barre in Chicago, I finally discovered that I do in fact like it, at least in Toronto. I’m a major fan of the barre3 yoga/pilates fusion and barreworks has a Beyonce barre class and something called “stretch and roll” which is basically an hour-long self-body massage with the foam roller. Yes, please.


“Take care of your thoughts when you’re alone, and your words when you’re with people.” I read this post on A Cup of Jo at a time I really needed to hear that.


Sometimes, I like to read the descriptions on the bkr site. I applaud this team immensely for their crafty copywriting. I will enjoy drinking water out of a bottle that is “Inspired by lazy summer days with your best friend, permanently floating in a cloud of Love’s Baby Soft, flannels and torn jean shorts, watching afternoon shadows in her pale pink wallpapered bedroom whispering secrets, searching for the road to a fairytale where everything is possible. I’m going to make everything around me beautiful and that will be my life, I said.”


Adina Grigore, the founder of S.W. Basics, is going to be in Chicago this weekend celebrating her launch at Target. She’ll be at the Elston location from 11-3pm on Saturday 8/29. Also, if you haven’t, check out this interview I did with Adina for Clementine Daily. Bless this woman’s sassy and soulful heart.

Don’t Call it a Resolution. Classpass is a Fitness Solution.

Classpass Chicago

Cue the obligatory New Year’s fitness post. Sort of.  On the one hand, yes, sign me up for a reset. I admit, I hit the cookies and alcohol hard over the holidays. On the other hand, I don’t do resolutions. I’m more about solutions. And, I’m way overdue in talking about the best darn solution to fitness, ever: Classpass.  It’s like a gym membership but you have access to all of the fitness centers in the Classpass network instead of just one place.  In Chicago, this is pretty much every workout imaginable. Flywheel, Core Power, CrossTown Fitness , all sorts of yoga, pilates, barre, dance, etc. You name it, you can probably Classpass it. In the initial month I joined, I challenged my body in new ways. I did handstands in yoga, survived my first Shred 415 class (oh mama, that’s legit), trapezed in ribbons during the adventure that is aerial yoga, did chin-ups (with a smile) and lost inches off my frame. This spurred a flurry of #fitbitchclub pics on Instagram and I think it’s high time to get that going on. Will you join me?  I mean, to quote one B. Spears: I’m stronger than yesterday, now it’s nothing but my way. Bay-bay.

AIR Yoga

Channeling the ballerina. It looked more graceful in my head. 

Here’s my real deal bottom line. I love being fit (who doesn’t) but have serious workout ADD. My gym memberships always go unused and I tire of the same workouts. Classpass is impossibly fun and you can take as many classes as you want. The only limit is you can’t go to more than three of the same studios each month — which is not an impediment at all. It’s a serious value considering how high an individual class at most studios can run. Since they launched in Chicago, they’ve since expanded to a total of 20 cities and I have a feeling that is just the start. I’m also majorly admiring the business prowess of the bold women that founded Classpass. Smart solutions for women, by women. But guys…you can get in on it, too.

Remember….#fitbitchclub. Let’s do this thang!

Crosstown’s Kailee Martin Will Train You (and Make You Wanna Dance)

Kailee Martin Crosstown Fitness

I had mad respect for Crosstown Fitness trainer Kailee Martin after spending an hour getting my entire body absolutely #werqed with the most ADD burst of cardio that took me through a swirl of emotions. From the sassy “I got this” to the fearful “I might pass out if I spend one more second on this treadmill… SAVE ME.” Just don’t let my drama fool you. I loved every second. Though, I think my true adoration came when she said to me with the sweetest upswing, “ya know, I’m a rap-based person.” ME TOO, Kailee. If my workouts (scratch that, my DAYS!) don’t involve some level of getting down, I’m probably not having as much fun as I should be.  For the record, Kailee’s always do and she even puts out a new playlist every week on Spotify (find her by her full name – Kailee Martin) filled with all sorts of put-your-back-into-it jams.

Over a personal training session, which included Kailee’s “secret booty workout” and me doing chin-ups for the first time since grade school, I got to know this spunky trainer a little more. What I discovered was a risk taker with a bold outlook on life.  At the ripe age of 21 (yes, I almost fell out of my chair when I discovered that, too), Kailee has built a devoted fan base at Crosstown Fitness, where she personal trains and teaches nearly a dozen classes each week.

Crosstown Fitness Chicago

A dancer since childhood, Kailee took a chance after two years at Columbia College. “I was studying music and dance and I loved it but I just felt internally that I wanted to do something bigger. I just didn’t know what at the time.” Her love of movement and performance paved the way for her to pursue her fitness certification and eventually to a job at a big box gym. The latter had her wanting more than machines and the usual personal training regimen. “I actually walked by Crosstown before it was Crosstown and saw them training the trainers. I was like, how can I work here?!” Eventually Kailee got a job manning the front desk and was surprised one morning with a chance to prove she could command a class when an instructor was a no-show. The rest, as they say, is history.

I gleaned some life lessons from her approach to group fitness. “Bodies respond best to change,” Kailee explains.  “Don’t be afraid to pick up 10 or even 20 lbs – push yourself!” I’m guilty of going for the 5 lb weights and staying in my comfort zone. But, if Kailee can have me rowing 12 lb weights in a plank for 20 reps on each side than surely I can face the other changes charging through my life right now with equal tenacity.

Oh, and the secret booty workout? Leg lifts, baby. Lots of ‘em at all sorts of angles.