Tag Archives: Olay

Moving on Up

Moving gives you a new appreciation for the ordinary and for what is yours. It’s beyond belongings, but also the look and feel. The familiar smell of your environment, the messes you made, and the tile you scrubbed till it shined. The stress of moving is manifesting in my muscles and mood. I spent my Fourth of July weekend knee deep in boxes and Target runs. But, there’s the ups: a new place with my boyfriend (yes, we moved in together!)  And the downs: cleaning out the bros that inhabited the space before we did. Let’s just say I don’t think they ever cleaned. When we looked at this apartment, I saw potential. Now that we’re in, I’m realizing it’s going to take a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to uncover it to its fullest. Literally.

olay body wash

Olay Fresh Effects

Waves of emotion have been flooding in nonstop. There’s the sheer joy I feel about moving in with the man I am madly in love with and also the impatience and frustration because our home is not yet perfect. I’m craving the ordinary comforts of home. I might not have my living room set up, my clothes out of boxes, or anything in place, but I did spend time getting our bathroom ready. Stepping into the shower and seeing the familiar green bottle of Olay Fresh Outlast Body Wash in the Energizing Lime & White Tea scent that I’ve been using was the ultimate ordinary comfort. I think I actually cried in the shower. My muscles were aching and the cooling effect the body wash has felt the best it ever has. I did a double cleanse – scrubbing with a body brush the second time. I needed that shower to be clean, sure, but also to get my mind right.

I’ve been doing so much manual labor that I reached for the Secret Outlast Xtend. A full 48 hours of protection did my body good. The Completely Clean smell is really soft and exactly what I like in a deodorant. Again, there was comfort in the familiar and just knowing something would work. Unlike my laundry closet light switch. That isn’t as easy a fix.

secret outlast xtend


When I say that my beauty products were the saving grace of this move, I assure you that that isn’t superficial. For starters, they are fun to unpack and organize so it’s satisfying progress. And, they make me feel like me at a time that everything feels foreign. I got really wild for a date night at Target in the cleaning aisle and smudged on the espresso end of the COVERGIRLl Tru Naked Waterproof Eyeliner Duo. So wild, right? I also dusted some COVERGIRL TruBlend Bronzer and Blush on my cheeks. These two steps were simple and also made me feel pretty, even though I’d been changing toilet seats and scrubbing tile moments before. The blush in the color Deep Mauve is so beautiful – I’ll be reaching for that a lot come fall. For summer, it’s really pretty with a bare everywhere else look.

We’ve got our work cut out for us with this apartment, but I’ve got beauty (and Summer Shandy) to give me a familiar mood boost when I need it most. Anyone move into a fixer upper? Please share your advice. I find I want to do everything and know that I need to focus a bit more.

This was sponsored by P&G Beauty. All opinions are based on my experiences and insights. Thanks for your continued support!

P.S. Previous P&G giveaways have been fulfilled; some twice. Please email me if you have not received anything yet and I will also follow-up with those of you that have contacted me recently. Thank you, thank you for being so patient as this gets worked out.

Seize the (Leap) Day

field museum chicago

“I’m so excited to get an extra day of February,” said no resident of Chicago, ever (especially when that extra day is a Monday). It’s all too real for me after a week in Florida. Vacations always feel like sprints. Add in leap year to your reentry and the longest short month feels like a true marathon. It may be slow going, but I know we’ll eventually cross the finish line.

I’m prepping for the race this week with P&G Beauty. They’ve sent me a special care package made for marathon days (/leap months!) that I want to share it with you all (more on that below).

P&G beauty

Like it or not, Leap Year 2K16 is a go so, how about we like it? Novel concept, but I say we do something that we’ve been saving for a rainy day. Since Leap Day is a Monday, let’s say that “rainy day” is any day the rest of the month. You choose! How many times have you said you’d be a tourist in your own city? Go check out that new exhibit? Try that fried chicken Bloody Mary you read about. Whatever your “to do…someday” item is, I think a leap year is permission to finally cross it off the list.

So, here’s what I’m thinking.

olay body wash

Start the day with a shower. Obvs. Suds up with the new Olay Fresh Outlast Energizing Lime & White Tea Body Wash. It’s the latest addition to the Outlast collection – very fresh and citrusy and lingers on your skin throughout the day. Olay body washes are also really awesome in the winter because they don’t dry out your skin.  I won’t need to wash my hair because that’s not a daily thing for me however, on wash days I’ve been testing out the upgraded Pantene conditioners that allow you to take your hair past “the cutting point.” Think of this as a smart conditioner, targeting weak spots to repair and prevent damage sooner.  You can actually use the conditioner root-to-tip and it won’t weigh your hair down. This was an adjustment for me because I was taught very early to wash my hair and condition my ends. I’ve been trying the Sheer Volume variation and it keeps things smooth and shiny for the long stretches of time I go between washes.

chicago field museum

Next up: a day at the Museum. I am so guilty of never taking advantage of all of Chicago’s many cultural spots. Lucky for all of us in the Chicago area, February is filled with free days. The Field Museum – home to Sue! – is free the entire month. The Art Institute is always worth the price of admission, but it is also free Thursday evenings. I totally want to check out the new Van Gogh bedroom paintings. And, if you are actually making the most of February 29, the Adler Planetarium and Museum of Science and Industry are both free that day.

secret xtend

Say, you decide to really push the limits of your extra day and forget to reapply deodorant. Then you may be curious about the new Secret Outlast Xtend that continuously keeps you dry for 48 hours. Hoping some of you willing to try it out will let me know if that lives up.

I’m giving away 10 of every P&G product mentioned in this post. Leave a comment and 10 of you will get a special treat in the mail.* I’d love to hear about your leap day aspirations. Also, have you tried any of these products? Anything you love about them or you’re most interested in?

Oh, and aren’t you curious about the friend chicken Bloody Mary? It’s at Buck’s in Wicker Park and I just want to eat there for brunch every weekend.  That needs to be part of February, March, April…etc.

*P&G Beauty will fulfill the prizes. If you’ve previously won a P&G prize, rest assured, it should be arriving soon.

P&G Beauty sponsored this post. All thoughts and opinions my own – thanks for your continued support of 312 Beauty!

Stripped Down

Lululemon Karma Kurmasana Sweater

I’m keeping warm, sure, because I’m wearing unspeakable amounts of layers. It’s the only way I could have survived January in Chicago.

Commuting has its aches. This is how my train of thought usually goes when I’m running to catch the L to work.  Why didn’t I wear my snow boots, the ones with better traction…I’m going to crack my skull on an ice patch, I know it.  Shoot, I forgot to wear wool socks. Why didn’t I wear the gloves that have working “smart” fingers. Do I really need to respond to that text? Thank goodness I wore heat tech leggings under my jeans. Why is it so windy?? I should just take an Uber.

It should come as no surprise that I’m taking a bare approach to beauty. No unnecessary layers. When Chicago’s signature chill is at peak, my eyes water, my hair is met with static electricity and my skin requires extra hydration. The less complicated, the more put together and cute I feel during the day.

Olay Micro-Sculpting Cream

It starts by prepping skin with something really rich and hydrating so your skin doesn’t dry out before your day officially begins. One option is Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream which, over time, helps firm, brighten skin and reduce the appearance of lines. It also has sun protection which is, in fact, a key layer in the morning.

I’ve been using the CoverGirl truNAKED Shadow Palettes – I’m partial to the ‘nudes’ and ‘roses – constantly. The depth of each shadow is impressive and they are so easy to blend. As somewhat of a nude eyeshadow expert (never.enough.palettes!) I can confirm the quality of these are as good as you’d expect from something that costs four times as much.

CoverGirl Naked Palette CoverGirl truNaked Shadow Palette

I’ve been trading in my liquid liner (because mega watery tear ducts) for truNAKED Waterproof Eyeliner Duo in the cashmere/espresso blend. It goes on really evenly without any tugging. I layer the two shades on the bottom lash line and skip it up top and outer corners when I know it’s going to be brutal outside.

Herbal Essences Naked

Mostly, my hair is on auto pilot. I try to wash it less and avoid heat styling. In my shower is the Herbal Essences Naked Clean & Refresh Shampoo and Conditioner. It removes buildup of a few days’ worth of styling products, lathers just enough and never weighs my hair down. Day one is especially sweet because the minty strawberry aroma wafts along and when I take off my hat when I get to work, it reveals itself.

Do you change your beauty routine this time of year?

Let me know if so. I’m giving away up to 10 prize packs of all the products mentioned in this post. It’s a good one! Leave me a comment or send me an email if you’re interested.*

Update 2/3: The giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who entered!

*If you’ve previously won a P&G giveaway, note that product fulfillment takes some time.   

First photo taken by Lindsay Humes of White Oak Creative

Relax, You’re On Vacation

Miami Beach

The 2015 journey is coming to a close. Like everyone else, I’m all, “what, another year on the books?! For real?” The first part of the month was condensed chaos. December is always such a hectic time of the year that it can be a struggle to actually enjoy the holidays. Seems this is always the case for me every year and I decided that, finally, I would do something about it. Never have I been so happy to board a 6am flight out of Chicago on a Saturday but when Miami is the destination, it’s worth the early departure. For the first time, I happily traded in a cold week of Christmas for beach and sand. I don’t care if it is only 75 degrees outside – that ocean water is warmer than Lake Michigan ever will be at its peak warmth. Take me to the beach every day!

Overall, this has been a year of a lot of firsts. I want to keep that open-minded theme through the end of the year and to prepare for 2016. I brought a few new products with me all with goal of relaxing and recharging. And did I ever (I know…radio silence over here!)

Miami Wynwood

I got a head start on that whole New Year, new look. I’m all about that balayage life. I’m as blonde as I’ve ever been, yet it’s so natural and blended. I’m way too much of a novice to even imagine coloring my hair on my own, but my P&G pals sent me a box of Vidal Sassoon Salonist. It has a two-step process with a brush and bowl so you can add depth and tones to the lengths of the hair, just like in a salon. If there’s anyone that wants to try, please leave me a comment and I’ll send a box your way!*

Vidal Sassoon Salonist

Pantene Pro-V 2 Minute Masque

Now that I have color in my hair, I’m being more proactive about keeping my hair moisturized. Especially because we’re in “perpetually dry forced heat someone please turn on the humidifier” time of year.  I’m doing a mask once a week now. I’ve been trying out a few options, one being the Pantene Pro-V 2-Minute Masque. It’s such a budget steal! For under $8, you get a giant tub. It’s more of a deep conditioner that you leave in your hair for 2-5 minutes, so you can easily do it in the shower without waiting around. It is deeply moisturizing and you feel the effect immediately. If I do it at night and let it air dry before bed, I wake up with the softest hair. It has that signature Pantene smell too, which I will love forever. I did this the right before my vacation!

Olay Overnight Mask

My first night in Miami was fantastic–we got a whopping 12 hours of sleep. It was glorious. We were still up by 8:30 a.m., so I didn’t have that panic of sleeping the day away. Turns out, going to bed really early sets you up for a relaxing vacation. A good night’s rest is beauty sleep in itself, but I amped it up with a few skin treatments. One was a sleeping mask from Olay, the Regenerist Luminous Overnight Mask. It’s a gel mask that you can sleep in without washing off. I applied it onto some dry patches – my chin was flaky – and overnight it did its thing. The gel feels refreshing on the skin, especially after a day spent in the Miami sun.

I hope that you are having a restful and relaxing end of the year! Would love to hear how you’re using the time to recharge! And, let me know about the Vidal Sassoon color by leaving a comment on this post. I’ll coordinate with my P&G team to hook you up with a box of your choice and the Pantene Pro-V 2-Minute Masque! I can follow-up with you by email to coordinate specific shades!

*giving away up to 10 boxes – please contact me by January 15, 2016.

This post was sponsored by P&G Beauty. Thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. As always, thank you for supporting the brands that support 312 Beauty.