Tag Archives: Vintner’s Daughter

The Year of the Neck

I declared 2018 the year of the neck. My neck, specifically. It’s also the year of the dog. And I was born in the year of the dog.  According to my Chinese zodiac, my dog year birth element is water. Which means I am a calculative planner.

“They focus on building a strong foundation for their future. But when faced with difficulties, they can become very pessimistic. They work hard, but should create bigger goals in order to use their full potential.”

True that. I have built a strong foundation with a consistent skin care routine but have become a bit pessy lately with the neck. This year, my bigger goal is to focus on my neck and my decolletege. I will be at peak skin care potential when I finally make this happen. It’s true that your hands and neck are the dead giveaways with age. And we all have tech neck… it’s a thing, all that looking down. Bleh. I’m seeing some neck creases, so I’m hoping this re-dedication to my neck is enough to slow down some of what’s happening.

I have long been in the camp of you do not need a neck-specific product claim, you just need to be using your skincare on your neck. I stand by that, though, I’m not that willing to use all of my favorite products on my neck.  I ration my Vintner’s Daughter. That is gold! It looks like gold and the cost is gold. Gold goes on my face!

That said, I don’t think any old lotion is enough on your neck. You need powerful ingredients that tighten and improve elasticity. It’s really the job for a serum. Now, I hear you, the element of my skincare that gets me the least excited is the idea of buying a neck cream.

Not for lack of options. There are plenty out there that excite me but I have a different strategy.

It’s two-fold.

  1. Delegate. I will use the products I don’t like for my face on my neck. I’m not saying the ones that you have a reaction to, but the ones you just don’t love. Sometimes it happens. I know I often will get a sample from a brand or buy something and find it just doesn’t work for me. A couple examples. I do not love the Pai Rosehip Oil. I might be the only one because I’ve only heard raves, but we didn’t get on. It’s high quality and helps with skin firmness and elasticity so this is an easy delegation. Bam, there’s my neck treatment.

Also — and this is so bougie — at the moment, I’m using the La Prairie Skin Caviar Absolute Filler. I went to a La Prairie event last November and received this as a gift. This is legitimately the most expensive skin care product I’ve ever used (makes my Vintner’s Daughter seem like The Ordinary pricing…) and here I am delegating it to my neck. That’s how much I’m committed to my neck, ya’ll! This is supposed to be like fillers, without the injectables. It’s bouncy and plumping. In theory, everything that I would want on my face. The signature La Prairie scent, while lovely, is too much for my face. I’m terrified for this to run out, because it really is special. It’s got an airless pump that dispenses the perfect amount. I’m truly spoiled with this. I AM NOT WORTHY.

  1. Use forgotten samples. The second part of my strategy is to put those lost samples to use. The ones you get in a gift with purchase, maybe a point redemption “freebie” at Sephora, etc. etc. Often times, I don’t want to disrupt my routine for a few weeks (more or less) worth of serum or cream. The latest SpaceNK spring gift had so many good samples that I am saving for my neck.

Either way, I’m pressing and slathering on treatment twice a day on my neck. When I finally stop wearing turtlenecks on the regular, I’ll also start being more deliberate about putting sunscreen there. I’m not a total hot mess with that, but I could step up my game.

Year of the neck! Year of the dog! Let’s do it.

Also, as a quick aside, thank you for the sweet comments and emails about my last post. Means a ton. We’re all human and the world is so heavy right now. My sense of place is nothing in comparison but finding my voice will help me put it to better use.

Beauty Products I Splurge and Save On

Quality over quantity is my metric for beauty spending but that doesn’t always equate to price. There are so many other factors. I look to ingredients and formula when it comes to my skin care, and also try to check myself when I realize I’m paying for a luxury name. Take my Fall Beauty Wardrobe, for example. I was so excited for the Tom Ford Liquid Eyeliner but I’m quickly realizing that it isn’t all that. It’s fine, but I think it might smudge a bit. I don’t think it’s as longwearing as everyone says it to be AND it costs $57. I feel like I hustled myself. I do like Tom Ford beauty but it is unbelievably expensive. You’re paying for name and slick packaging, for sure.

Meg Biram tapped her panel of beauty experts (including yours truly) to dig into our beauty saves and splurges. I thought I’d share mine here and link you over to Meg’s post for the full dish. I was not surprised to see a few of the same saves … when something is that good, it’s not something to keep to yourself.

First and foremost, you can absolutely save on makeup brushes. Of all of the brushes I have, my most used are the face brushes from Real Techniques. They blend makeup so well, are easy to clean and don’t shed.  They all do multiple things, too. I use the Buffing Brush (maybe only available in sets?) to blend in cream bronzer or blushes as well as foundation and I also use the Setting Brush to apply highlighter and setting powder. Around this time of year, they release some great value sets for the holidays. I use a few from last year’s set with a black and white print.

Another save for me is mascara. While I will splurge here sometimes, I really don’t need to. It has such a short shelf life and there are many good formulas that perform just as well as their expensive counterparts. The one I can’t stop talking about it is Maybelline Lash Sensational. I love the curved wand that easily lifts lashes and it never smudges. Smudges are the worst! I’m also really into L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise, which just came out this year.

Lip balm is something I’m all for saving on, given the rate I go through it. But, I’m picky with it – I like a higher quality ingredient list that isn’t waxy or filled with artificial ingredients. I use John Masters Organics Lip Calm – only $6 – every night. You can find it at Whole Foods. I think it must be popular since it’s always sold out online but I never hear anyone talking about it. It’s like a buttery citrusy melt onto lips and it’s the best thing for overnight. Or if you like a lip balm in your winter coat pocket… this is the one to stash everywhere.

As for my splurges, definitely skin care. I think having a few high powered serums in your arsenal will do more for you in the long run than a shortcut with less effective ingredients. I’ve worked up to this though, I’m 35 now, I started with Clinique in my teen years. I will continue to buy the highly active Vintner’s Daughter Botanical Serum because I see the difference it makes in my skin. Clears up bumps, plumps, soothes. It’s intense and worth the splurge. That said, I try to ease the pain of plunking down the money by finding it on promo somewhere or with a GWP. The last refill I picked up was during one of Space NK’s promos.

I also tend to splurge on bronzer. I like a weighty compact and find the pigment to be more intense. Plus, think about how long it lasts, even if you use it every day. I think my last NARS Laguna lasted three years. Currently working on the Chanel Bronzing Base, too.

I also am a believer in splurging on tools you use every day. My Surratt Eyelash Curler is one of my most beloved items – it’s sleek with black matte and works better than anything I’ve tried in the nearly 20 year history I’ve been curling my lashes. It is VIB sale season, so you should probably get on that one.

If you’re curious about the rest of everyone’s splurges and saves, check out Meg’s post here. And share yours in the comments!

52 Weeks of Focus

Vintner's Daughter

Focus. It’s my word this year.

I’m ambivalent on New Year’s resolutions but I am pro-goals. In the corporate world, goals are meant to be SMART:  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. For good reason, perhaps, but I take a different approach when it comes in other areas of my life. It’s not that I’m avoiding structure – the opposite – but this year, I’m basing much of the success on how I feel. I want to rid myself of anxiety, fear and find focus. I’m done with the nasty emotional rollercoaster procrastination sets in motion.  I’ll know when I’ve accomplished this goal because I will feel the results. And, I know well what it feels like when I don’t.

To my detriment, I’m the queen of starting something or half-baking an idea and letting it sit. I’m done with needless distraction. I started the 52 Lists Project this past weekend. The first list in the book, organized by season, is to set goals for the year ahead. I splashed focus all over that page.

And, I’ve really been thinking about a conversation I had with April Gargiulo, maker of Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, months and months ago. See how I’m just now telling you about this? Guys, my bad. April makes a facial oil that is nothing shy of a miracle for your skin. She cracked the code on radiance. There are 22 of the world’s most active botanicals inside – results are almost instant. I’m on my second bottle – I will be a customer for life of this stuff!

April Vintner's DaughterNow, several things from that conversation that I think about often. First, this serum is the only product April makes. She spent two years developing the formula. While she was pregnant, too. She had a passion to craft her dream product and it needed to do everything. She speaks about this with such conviction and focus. In so many industries – tech, beauty, fashion – the conversations tend to immediately center about what’s launching next. She acknowledged that some retailers prefer multiple SKUs within one line but stayed true to her mission to make one incredible serum. I imagine one day, April will do another. We should all hope this inspires more skin care because it is so damn good.

She focused on the ingredients. She hails from a family of wine makers (she is a vintner’s daughter!) and knows full well that the quality of what you put into your product makes a difference. Growing up on a vineyard is essentially growing up on a farm. She was raised with agriculture. Everything in this bottle is the result of research and purposeful planning. There are no off the shelf extracts, but whole plants. There are pairings on purpose. As April explains, lemon and avocado oil are great alone but together they are a superblend to help get rid of discoloration.

Vintner's Daughter Push Press

She focused on education. Yes, you just put the serum on your face but April wants you to get every maximum benefit possible. She speaks about a special “push-press” method to help the serum go deeper into the skin, supercharging the effect. This is her way of telling you to focus on this moment of your day. Make the most of it so you see the reward.

Don’t we all want to supercharge our impact? I love this serum and every day I use it I’m reminded by the focus April had in bringing it to life. We can put our energy on that one big idea. We don’t have to spread our energy into multiple directions. It’s freeing to allow yourself to stay focused on what really matters to you.

Do you have a word this year? A central theme?  I’d love to know how you approach “resolutions” and what fires you up to face a new year of possibilities.