Tag Archives: P&G Beauty

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.

The Summer Outlook

Herbal Essences Body Envy

Chicago has been such a charmer these past few weeks. It seems that every weekend lately has brought beautiful weather and minimal wait times for an outdoor table. Memorial Day weekend was absolute perfection.  I savored it (especially dinner at Honey Butter’s patio) and tried to extend each moment because now that we passed this point on the calendar, time accelerates.  Summer is easy, sort of, but it’s so jam packed that I already have calendar anxiety. I’m pretty sure that every weekend for the next two months is planned out already.

This weekend, during a warmish shower (ain’t nobody messing with hot baths in an AC-less apartment) and a serious lather with Herbal Essences Body Envy Shampoo, I committed to squashing the anxious feelings and looking on the bright side. Maybe it was the citrusy scent, but I started to feel energized by all there is to do. Nothing like a good hair day and eight hours sleep to get your mind right.

Olay Body Wash

The move. I’m moving in a month. It’s hard to feel excited about that to do list, but I get to move in somewhere brand new, with a man I love, to a place we get to make ours.  With two full bathrooms (good for the relationship!), I’ve got the shower situation under control with a fresh restock of Olay Fresh Outlast Body Wash in the lime and white tea scent that is so so good. This never dries my skin out and I use it to shave, too. The bottle lasts for many many (many) showers and gives me vibrant, fresh skin all day long.

The girls’ weekend. I’m also planning a bachelorette party in June. My college roommate is getting hitched and we are going to Madison to celebrate. I just want to make this the most fun weekend for her and everyone going. I want to give her a true bachelorette party, but no tiaras or anything too campy. The part giving me stress is that it falls during a really busy time at work, so I’m balancing that and being present.

CoverGirl TruBlend Bronzer CoverGirl TruBlend Bronzer

The road trip. I’m taking a road trip through Colorado with my boyfriend. I’m such a planner and research every single thing there is to do to a fault. But with all of the rest of the planning I’m doing, I’m considering just winging this one. Is that a freeing feeling I’m experiencing?  I can’t think about it until after I get through June and the move, so I’ll let you know if this carefree attitude sticks around. In the meantime, share any recommendations throughout the state. I want to see it all.

It is summer so one major thread running through all there is to do and experience? Bronzer, obviously. I’ve been trying many and really like COVERGIRL truBLEND Bronzer. It reminds me of a baked bronzer from a brand that would cost way more. It gives a natural bronzy highlight and is really glows on my skin. I use it like blush and then dust it all over with a really light hand.  For the latter, take your fluffiest brush and sweep lightly over your temples, nose, chin and eyelids.

What is your summer outlook? Are you chilling or off to the races? Have you found your summer bronzer?

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

P.S. Confirming by the end of this week all past giveaway prizes will be mailed out. Most should be en route or arriving as you read this. Again, you have my sincerest apologies as well as the P&G team’s. Thank you for keeping me updated!

Spring Mythology

Spring Chicago

Spring is a myth in Chicago. There are spring things happening, sure, and when they do it’s glorious and I love everyone in this city. But for the most part, the tulips stay closed and we’re all moody. Allergies come in with force, the winter coats are on and off, boots one day and sandals the next—I can go on. We want to fully shed our layers, but the forces of nature just aren’t ready for us to do that yet. April can be tough. I think people wear pastels and more color in the spring to help ease the lingering chills. Note: I am not among the pastel people, but I do bring in spring in my own ways.

CoverGirl Oh Sugar

CoverGirl Oh Sugar Lip Balm

I’ve got a few go-to ways to welcome in the season. Sheer lip color is so decidedly spring. I’m way impressed with the COVERGIRL Oh Sugar! Lip Balms. It’s a tinted lip balm hiding inside of a lipstick.  They do have a slight sugary taste, which is a bonus You know what I love most? It can be near impossible, especially at the drugstore, to tell what a color will actually look like because there are no testers to swipe on your hand. These show on lips exactly as they appear on the outer packaging. Smart! Punch is a must-have.


Head & Shoulders Lavender

SPF season is back. It never goes away, but now you need it on your limbs, too. Or you will when you can take your coat off again. For face, still digging Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream with sunscreen. Over time, this one has some added benefits, helping firm and brighten skin and reduce the appearance of lines.

The smells outside aren’t nearly as good as Head & Shoulders Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner. Mulch and pollen have nothing on this lavender delight. I’m still about the baths at night to warm me up and love how this brings in a light aromatherapy.

What’s spring like for you? Do you too have like 100 new photos on your phone of flowers and trees blooming? I can’t stop snapping (note: I’m laurieleopold on snapchat) them!

Would love to hear how you’re dealing with spring(ish) starting and if you’ve tried the Oh Sugars yet!

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

P.S. I’ve heard from some of you that have previously won a P&G giveaway. Can you let me know if you haven’t received? I sincerely apologize for any delays and want to make sure that everything gets to you!

Express Yourself

CoverGirl Plumpify Mascara

I’ve been reading Women in Clothes this past month. Bits here and there. It’s not a book you need to read consecutively, rather best to soak up the collection of interviews, essays, conversations, surveys, photography, conversations and closet peeks over time. Hundreds of women share their POV on style and clothing and it is all so relatable and affirming. About halfway through the book is this list by Canadian artist Margaux Williamson on contemporary dressing.  She references that our faces communicate almost everything we thought we were hiding or enhancing through our clothes. “…communication happens with twitches of our muscles, with the way we move our eyes and lean our heads in. We have learned that people see who they are before they even look down.”

That feels true. We dress and rely on personal style to define ourselves, but our eyes and facial expressions tell the world who we are in that visceral sense.  They form opinions on who we might be and how we act by what our faces reveal, even before glancing down. I find myself constantly looking at peoples’ faces for cues. To see how they smile, what their eyes take in and the way they touch their hair and faces with their own hands. I’m aware of how my limbs travel upwards when I’m talking with someone. Are they studying me, too? Chances are, yes.

CoverGirl Plumpify

I asked my boyfriend the first thing he noticed about me when we met blindly for drinks. He said, “your eyes.”

CoverGirl Mascara

I wonder if he notices today the ways I try and accentuate them. Does he appreciate my CoverGirl Plumpify Mascara? Because I certainly do. I try every new CoverGirl mascara that comes out because they’re always the best at the drugstore. COVERGIRL Plumpify Mascara has this double twisted wand and one of those rounded spiky tips to help you get lashes that are hard to get normally. If you start at the base of your lashes and roll the wand up, your lashes separate and immediately stand out. I do a few coats and once they dry give them a curl. If I use my lash curler, they get really long and I’m obsessed. I didn’t do it in these pictures, but you can see the extra oomph without. It’s an effort that warrants a second look from him, I say.

Women In Clothes

Pantene Airspray

I wonder if people notice how I always grab my hair with my hands when I’m talking to them. I’ll flip my part, sweep it behind my ear or even grab at the ends and cover up my lips. I think it depends on my comfort level. And, if I’m feeling “cute.”  As a rule, I don’t wear much hairspray because I fiddle with my hair all day. I do use Pantene Airspray, though. Pantene’s alcohol-free formula means my hair moves naturally (or with my forceful hands) and doesn’t get stiff or sticky. You just spray it and it sort of dries without adding any weight. It’s perfect, actually. If I’m curling my hair, I spray it once my curls are cooled to set them.

Clairol CC Conditioner Clairol Nice n Easy CC Conditioner

Speaking of hair, another non-clothing observation I find to be true is how we observe a change in hair. Color, style, cut, accessory, etc. I always notice when someone I see regularly does something different. I find myself in conversations a lot around my own “balayage.”  “Did you just get it done?” The color is constantly evolving as it grows or fades, so people continue to ask. Because I’m straddling the “bronde” color spectrum, I don’t want to deepen or brighten it up too much in a traditional lane BUT I am REALLY excited that you can get the conditioner that comes in a box of hair dye without the actual box of hair dye. Clairol Nice ‘n Easy CC Plus ColorSeal Conditioner is a real live thing! The brand must have been paying attention – for years, people have been stocking up on dyes only for the conditioner. It has a little more power than your average conditioner, helps keep color safe from stripping minerals in water and up the shine factor. Why hasn’t this been a thing before exactly?

I’m curious, what do you notice first about people? And, let me know any and all questions you might have on any of these products mentioned. I did some deep testing of the Plumpify mascara – waterproof version, included. I can tell you that it is indeed very (very!) waterproof.

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

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.

The Beauty That Bonds Us

P&G Beauty

What a difference a year can make, I keep repeating. Aloud, silently, to myself, on paper. I shrug, I smile, shake my head. I say it with relief, hope and anticipation.

Thanksgiving has always been my holiday. I like rituals and tradition. The pies my Dad makes from scratch, the ridiculous “nap pact” we always make after our bellies are full, permission to binge watch holiday movies endlessly for the next four weeks and writing in the family Thanksgiving book.

Last Thanksgiving, I was five days away from officially dissolving my marriage. It was an ending, but more of a beginning and the strain of it all came to a head. For all of the strength and courage I was portraying, inside I was navigating completely new territory. I didn’t know how to communicate what I needed from my family because I wasn’t even sure myself.  I also couldn’t grasp in the moment that they were experiencing their own pain. Divorce is lonely and selfish; it almost has to be as it is a bond that is breaking between two individuals. You go through it together because you have to but you’re flying solo. Like any storm, though, the devastation impacts everyone, not just those in the eye.

A lot changes in a year.

In the wake of even the most horrific storm, there’s always a burst of sun. You see the wreckage in bright light and you resolve to rebuild it again. Time and resilience help strengthen your foundation, which is forever altered but stronger for having been shaken.

I’m thankful for this year and all that has changed in my life. For family that can weather the storm, for the opportunities I’ve been given and the love I’ve discovered. I’m just so thankful. I can’t express it enough but if there’s a week to try, it’s this one.

One of the relationships I’ve built this year is with P&G Beauty. Their family of brands has been a common presence in my home now and growing up so partnering with them is an opportunity I’m thankful to have. I love ritual and traditions and P&G represents that to me. Beauty is a bond, one that I share especially with the women in my family.


It bonds us through firsts. Secret was my first deodorant and my nieces, too. My nieces are going to go wild for the Secret Clear Gel I’m bringing them on Thanksgiving. I found myself burying my nose in the Fresh Lotus scent. They’ll love it because it doesn’t leave behind white stains on their clothes and keeps them dry during their active 13-year old days of school, sports and snapchatting. I love it because of the attention Secret has dedicated to anti-bullying through Mean Stinks. The #ChainofNice campaign they led recently on social media was extremely positive.

CoverGirl Lash Blast

Beauty bonds us through the unknown. If anyone understands intense emotion, it’s 13-year old girls. It’s not lost on me that they experienced a loss last year, too. They’re strong as steel, which I’m thankful for as navigating their teenage years is going to challenge them. They’re starting to wear makeup, so they need to be introduced to CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara as a rite of passage. It’s only fair they don’t have to add clumpy mascara to their list of teenage girl probs. LashBlast never smudges and even though the wand appears oversized, it’s one of the easiest to apply. The bristles latch on to your lashes and do the work for you. Years of experience not required to master.

Clairol Root Touch Up

Beauty bonds us as we age. We don’t grow out of beauty; rather, our needs evolve.  Some of the moments I feel closest with my mom are when I’m caring for her. Being vulnerable is beautiful. I want to see my mom strong and confident. I would love to see her embrace her gray but she’s not there yet. She’s constantly getting it colored so I always love to help her extend the time between salon visits. She’s trusted me to color her hair before and I’m prepared to do so again with Clairol Root Touch Up by Nice n’ Easy. It comes with an expert control brush that really makes it easy to apply and it covers grays.  You’d be surprised how stubborn those silvers can be so this is most important.

What a difference a year makes.

Beauty is a bond that ties us together – this community, all who make 312 Beauty a place to be honest. It’s easy to be reflective in my head and a lot tougher to put into words. But I can’t help but try.

Come say hi to me over on Instagram. I’m doing a giveaway with P&G Beauty today to show my thanks and gratitude to all of you!

I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving. May it be filled with happiness and peace.

Thank you to P&G Beauty for sponsoring this essay.

Fading Daylight Problems (& Shower Solutions!)

Herbal Essences Dry Shampoo

This weekend, we officially ‘fall back.’ The entire month – and it really is transcendent – is our last hurrah with daylight. It’s dark in the morning and has been noticeably darker earlier every evening. You’ve felt it too, right? Waking up and getting moving in the morning is tough enough as is and yet, I can’t help but make matters worse by staying up later than I should. Chicago (and Toronto!) have had picturesque falls so far with sunny days, crunchy colorful leaves accompanying you on evening walks and, importantly, intense post-season baseball. Staying out late is what you do when your team is in the playoffs. Ugh, guys, fresh wounds. Crushing end to the season.

Olay Age Defying

All of this night owling had me pausing my evening bath ritual…temporarily. I love the bath to relax but October mornings necessitate a steamy shower to wake me up. Instead of dimming the lights, I’ve got them on full blast bright. And instead of wine, I drink coffee. My antidote to October fatigue is experimenting with new treats in the shower. There’s the Olay Age Defying Body Wash which is like a cozy blanket of moisture. If I can’t be in my bed cuddled up at least I can feel that way in my shower. I use it to shave, too. I’ve also been playing around with some modern day Herbal Essences; it’s as exciting as it was 20 years ago. Color Me Happy Shampoo and Conditioner is an all-out invigorating lather. You know the one, right? (Moans on mute, however.) I love after my hair is dry and I’m going about my day and all of a sudden I get a whiff. It kind of does make me happy. And, for those moments at the very end of the day when you’re battling baseball hat hair, there’s a Color Me Happy Dry Shampoo for a volume reboot. It is a spray so shake it really well and spray from a distance. Then give it about 30 seconds before roughing your fingers through your hair to blend in. It’s kind of like hair perfume.

Herbal Essences Color Me Happy

And seasonal fatigue is never without headaches. This one is for outside of the shower – Head & Shoulders Instant Relief Scalp Soother uses peppermint and tea tree to give an instant cooling effect. a.k.a. a jolt to wake you up on weary mornings.  And, if you do have dandruff, it’s going to help with that, too.

Tell me how you’re coping with fading daylight and any new shower goods that are perking you up? Also curious, how long has it been since you’ve had a Herbal Essences morning?

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

It’s a Beautiful Life (oh-oh-ooo-h)

312 Beauty

Did you just blink and wake up to realize it is the SECOND week in September? OK, cool. Me too. If I summed up everything I’m feeling right now, it would all ladder up to transition.  Between straddling life in two cities, being in a thrilling and fulfilling relationship and paving a new path professionally, I’m experiencing the intense in-progress and unknown. And legitimately struggling to come to terms with the fact that it is September. September in Chicago is a transition in itself between the ease of summer and the hustle of the rest of the year.  I’m still in the mood for easy and laid back but the morning air and earlier sunset reminds me that the window is dwindling. While I’m sorting out the feels, I’m also getting my fall beauty on. This is the fun part of it all! I’ve got a new color on my lips, appointment with my hair stylist on the books and am testing out some new treats. CoverGirl Outlast

Problem: summer Fridays are officially ov-er and I’ve been wearing pretty much the same shiny pot of lip color all summer long. Solution: Try a fiery new lip color to last through a full work day, including the multiple coffee runs and an UberEats delivery. CoverGirl Outlast Longwear Lipstick in Fireball (#910) fits the bill, for about 16 hours to be precise.


Problem: the sun is setting earlier. As in right on my forehead when I’m heading to the gym after work. While I can’t negotiate the solar equinox, I can pump up my moisturizer with SPF before I hit the pavement. I usually wash my face before getting my sweat on and go bare to the gym save a little moisturizer. Olay has you covered with the Total Effects Feather Weight Moisturizer SPF 15, it has Olay’s Solar Sheer Technology to protect against UVB and UVA rays. Plus, I really appreciate the air pump packaging here – no need to dig your hands into a jar.

Pantene Beautiful Lengths

Problem: I have no idea what to do with mine. Grow or cut? Continue balayage or go for a glaze?  I may not know yet but I am excited about what Pantene is doing today. It’s National Donate Your Hair Day and Pantene is issuing what they’re calling the #8or8 challenge. In 2008, when my hair was about a foot longer, I chopped it all off and mailed in a ponytail of my hair to the Beautiful Lengths campaign. I love this program – they create free, real hair wigs for women who have lost theirs due to cancer treatments. Beautiful Lengths has been around since 2006 and received more than 800,000 donations. It takes a minimum of 8 ponytails to create one wig, so every donation is really important. Today, Pantene is encouraging people to donate 8 inches, provided you have and want to do the chop, or donate $8 to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Fund.  My hair isn’t even scraping my shoulders so my support will be pledged with a donation! I’m all for women feeling like they have a piece of themselves again as they go through what must be the hardest transition of all. And, as I suds’d my hair up in the shower with the Beautiful Lengths Shampoo and Conditioner this morning and let my mind wander, I felt like the luckiest girl to be able to take on so much new in life.

Let’s continue this discussion over on Instagram — > there’s something to be had from my friends at P&G Beauty! Who, p.s., I will be working with the next 10 months to tackle the ups and downs of beauty in Chicago.

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.