Tag Archives: REN

bluemercury Celebrates 14 Years


And….it’s Monday again. How was your weekend? I spent some time visiting friends in Madison and it was perfect. Fresh air, great dinners, farmer’s market on the square and — my favorite — ample terrace time. I’m forever in love with that city. I didn’t realize it when we planned this weekend, but it also coincided with the Phillip Lim for Target launch which means…SUBURBAN TARGET. I wouldn’t have dared brave that trip in Chicago and battle it out with the fashion-obsessed ladies of this town, but my girlfriend and I decided to head to the Sun Prairie Target (read: cows and open land) about 10 miles from Madison and we hit the jackpot. There were only five people in the entire store when it opened at 8am. And in that moment I hatched a plan to definitely do that again in the future. Bring it on Target! I’m ready for your designer mania now.

While I was catching up on emails on our drive back, I came across the scoop on bluemercury’s anniversary gift. The boutique is celebrating 14 years of beauty this month with a special treat for shoppers who spend $150. Marla Malcolm Beck, founder of bluemercury, pulled together her favorite products that help get her through her busy weeks. For those of you who read Marla’s beauty blog regularly (like moi!), you’ll recognize quite a few of these from her past posts. This gift is a take home version of her bathroom! There’s the Ren Radiance Renewal Mask she likes to use on Thursday nights while she catches up on email and the Molton Brown Heavenly Gingerlily bath gel she uses as bubble bath. The gift is available in stores or online the rest of the month or until it runs out of stock. And, if you need a refresher on why I love this store, may I direct you to my very first 312 Shops post?

The Balm Files


I have an affinity towards balms, for cleansing, calming and moisturizing just about everywhere — body, face, hands, feet, lips, etc. The ritual of balm-ing (you can make anything a verb) is a natural relaxer. Especially when you’re breathing in essential oils and massaging healing nutrients into skin. It’s the skin care equiv of a Xanax. There’s this whole world of underground balms – ones you’ve never heard of with a powerful list of ingredients that will have you doubting that jar of Vaseline.  As I explore new balmy territory, I’m going to share it with you. Here’s what I’m excited about at the moment.

Like so many balms or ointments, REN Mayday Mayday Rescue Balm is a multi-tasker that can be used anywhere you have dry or irritated skin. What sets it apart is the absence of petrochemicals, like mineral oil and petrolatum (the two main ingredients in Aquaphor) which act as a barrier on skin, making it impossible for oxygen to get in.

EOS Smooth Lip Sphere’s are the cutest little lip balms there ever were. I use these constantly during the day for a refresh or under lipstick. You can find them at almost every drugstore for about $3.

Ever since I read Beauty Huile’s thoughts on Shea Moisture’s 100% Organic Shea Butter with Hibiscus and Coconut, I’ve been meaning to seek it out on my next trip to Target. Think it’s on the official weekend itinerary! And because I can’t manage to stay focused at the Tar-jay, I’ve added it to my physical handwritten list. I’m old school on grocery runs.

I discovered African Botanics Marula Intense Skin Repair Body Balm a few weeks ago. This brand is super luxe (you can find it at Space NK) and incorporates the antioxidant-rich Marula, indigenous to South Africa, into all products. I massage this into my neck and chest – basically the areas of skin exposed to sun and visible with clothes. I massage it on at night after a steamy bath and wake up with incredibly soft skin. This would be the perfect treatment to use for stretchmarks, scars or directly on sun-damaged areas. The ingredient list is insane — aloe, shea, calendula, honey and other strong antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

Omorovicza is a Hungarian brand that just popped on my radar and the Thermal Cleansing Balm is at the top of my wish list. I perked when I read that it smells of orange blossom and love the idea of slathering Hungarian mud on to wash my face. It’s would be a major splurge, and what I don’t know yet is if it’s splure-worthy.

For more adventures in balming, follow my daBalm.com board on Pinterest and let me know if you have any balm suggestions!

*note: I received a sample of the African Botanics Marula Balm for editorial consideration.