The Fashion Magpie Beauty Finds

Building Patience + New Beauty Discoveries.

How do you build patience?

I could use some tips.  I don’t know if it’s the fast pace of life in New York or the travails of raising a child, but I have seen in myself a shorter fuse than I’d like the last few weeks — and the last few days in particular.  I’ll cut myself a little slack given that I’ve been without my other half for a week now (please come home, Mr. Magpie!), but there’s nary an excuse for a temper.  Yesterday morning, after installing mini in her high chair with a full plate of some of her favorite breakfast foods (peach slices, scrambled eggs, and cinnamon raisin toast with butter), I dashed back to the kitchen to clean up and pack her lunch, as her nanny often picnics outside with her.  I knew things were headed south when the room fell eerily quiet and I could actually make out the news from the TV, and — sure enough — I returned to find scrambled egg and soggy peaches strewn all over the living room, stuck to the walls and polished wood of our table and buffet, mashed into the carpet.  She looked up innocently.  I gritted my teeth.  This has been a long and unwieldy battle of the wills for months now.  My usual reaction is to impassively remove her food from her and declare that “breakfast is over” once she starts flinging her food.  But today, the deed was already done.  And I can’t explain why this situation got under my skin, but it did.  I was fuming as I got down on my knees for what felt like the fourteen thousandth day in a row and got to work picking up soggy food and scraping it out of the carpet fibers.

Of course, it wasn’t truly mini’s fault.  It was my fault.  I shouldn’t have left her unattended, knowing about her food flinging propensities.  I should have intervened at the first second of silence.  I should be more consistent about disciplining her for throwing her food in the first place, and this might not have happened.  It reminded me of something else: for months, I was able to bring mini into the bathroom with me while I was getting ready in the morning, and she would play happily, peacefully with her bath toys or my makeup brushes.  Now, she is opening the toilet and splashing in the water, unspooling the toilet paper, opening the cabinets to get into everything she shouldn’t.  The scene usually ends in tears of frustration on her end and a feeling of exasperation at eight-twelve a.m. on mine.  It’s just recently dawned on me that I could do a better job of not letting her get into situations where she will cause trouble.  I am setting her up for failure and then grimacing at the inevitable.

But even if I am able to avoid some pitfalls, there will still be instances of flung food, of diapers removed behind my back (ahem ahem, #lastnight), of cabinets unloaded of their wares, of crayon on the wall.  And out of doors, too — there will be rude passengers on trains, daft tourists, presumptuous strangers.  How can I build a reserve of patience for the inevitable frictions we encounter in life?  I want to be the kind of person who is able to see beyond the petty frustration of a situation and empathize.  Who cuts slack for other people.  Who assumes the best of them.  Who sees the humor in a flung egg alongside the wide-eyed, innocent look of toddlerhood.  Who appreciates that these things do not matter, and that one day I will look back smilingly on the messy but colorful days of child-rearing.  Who takes things in stride.

So here I am, frustrated with myself, taking a deep breath, saying a quick prayer, and asking for your tips on building forbearance!

Post Script: New Beauty Discoveries.

+After a string of long days and sleepless nights, my skin is looking a little dull.  Though I continue to insist that this serum is kind of like turning on a lightbulb in your skin — and it majorly helps in the morning — I thought I’d double down by adding LaNeige’s well-reviewed Water Sleeping Mask into my routine.  It promises to “recharge your dehydrated skin while you sleep” so you wake up with soft, glowing skin.

+I typically wear Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer during the day as it can be applied with my fingers and often without a mirror (ha), but I have been curious about Charlotte Tilbury’s cult following Flawless Filter for months now, especially after the gorgeous Grace Atwood recommended it.  It’s en route to me now and I cannot wait.

+I’m tripling down on the Ole Henriksen (I not only use his serum, but his gorgeous gel moisturizer) and giving his banana bright eye cream a whirl.

+In the winter, when I’m more likely to wear foundation (and more likely to break out for some reason), I find that a primer is essential for preventing a caked-on look.  I just bought Guerlain’s L’Or Radiance primer after a makeup artist raved about it.  (He insisted it lasts a long time, which has held true of Guerlain’s bronzer, which I swear by.  A single palette will last me a year or two — and I use it almost daily.  I used to use Nars bronzer, but I found the formula crumbly and would often go through a palette every few months!  Guerlain’s is well-packed and a little goes a long way.)

+I mentioned this earlier this week, but I picked up Dior’s BrowStyler after reading a lot of strong reviews and becoming a little disenchanted with Glossier’s BoyBrow.  I think that “organized” brows completely transform a face.

+I had to order a tube of Charlotte Tilbury’s matte revolution lipstick in the Pillow Talk color.  People go crazy over it!  Apparently the perfect shade of neutral pink and a great formula.

+I like Smashbox’s felt-tip eyeliner but wanted a pencil eyeliner as well, as I think they’re a bit more versatile — you can smudge the pencil for a smokier eye; you can apply it thinly during the day.  The felt-tip means you’re super exact and creates a specific kind of look — or at least, I can only achieve a specific kind of look with it (HA!)  I did some research and came upon Marc Jacobs’ Highliner, which people rave about.  The colors are interesting (I got dark gray) and it’s apparently very well-formulated.

+I’ve been so impressed with Chanel’s mascara base that I decided to try their eye shadow base as well.  Most mornings I can’t be bothered by applying eye shadow, but I will apply a quick swipe of eye shadow base (usually Laura Mercier’s Eye Basics).  We’ll see how Chanel compares!

+There are two French drugstore products that I’ve been reading a lot about lately, and I recently took the plunge on both.  The first is Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir Spray.  I want to use it to set my makeup when I’m heading out — I’ve been using a spray by Kopari that is OK but nothing special.  People love the Caudalie stuff!  The second is Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre, which people go nuts over.  I mentioned this product in an Instastory recently and instantly received evangelistic DMs about its wonders.  It can be used as a face cream, a primer, or a makeup remover (!!!)  I’ve also heard people use it after shaving their legs and even on children, as it’s very gentle.  Seems like a genius addition to the makeup bag for a trip!

+More of my favorite beauty buys, the skincare regimen that changed my skin, and an honest review of some of my recent beauty acquisitions.


  1. I used to love the Embroilesse (8 years ago maybe?) but now I find it way too fragranced and heavy for me. Worst of all it gave me bad breakouts. Not sure if they changed the formula or what so proceed with caution!

    1. Ooo that’s no good. I have to say my skin has seemed a little angry at me but I can’t figure out which new product is frustrating it. I’ll try eliminating this first and see if there’s any difference. Even if it doesn’t work well on my face, I’ll still use it on my legs — heard it’s a great “after-shave” balm. xo

    2. I agree with this – I tried Embroilesse and found it didn’t do good things for my face, either lol.

  2. No kids but I believe in the power of prayer! It’s so easy to get frustrated – and not only with toddlers! I just recently lost my patience while on the phone with a good friend, and think I ended up making her feel worse rather than lifting her up 🙁 Maybe it’s just as important to extend grace and forgiveness to ourselves when we mess up, and vow to do better next time.

    On the beauty buys, I just got the Truth serum! I haven’t started using it yet, but my skin has also been a little dull from stressful work days and sleepless nights. I’ve recently incorporated some retinol products into my routine and can’t really tell if it’s helping? I think it’s making any fine lines appear diminished, but wonder if it’s contributing to the dullness thing. I also worry about switching products too often.

    I’m curious what you’ll think of the Charlotte Tilbury lipstick – I’ve heard great things about it, too, but picked up an equally raved-about lip liner and was slightly disappointed. I hope you’ll report back on these!

    1. Hi! Will definitely report back. Already love the LaNeige facial mask and the Tilbury magic filter stuff — WOW. Where has that been all my life?! Will give a full debrief on everything soon; in the meantime, LMK what you think about that serum! I am in love.

      Thanks for the note on prayerfulness and forgiveness w/r/t patience. I’ve been tucking a few Hail Marys into my daily routine…


  3. Have her help you clean up! Toddlers love to help and you won’t be on the floor by yourself. It won’t be spotless but she’ll start to make the connection of when food goes on the floor we have to pick it up. The clean up song gets sung a lot in our apartment

    1. Love this! A friend of mine emailed with the same advice. Interestingly, just after this post went live I let her sit at the dining room table on a bench and not a morsel of food was thrown. I wonder if we’re just onto a different phase and will slowly be bidding adieu to the high chair. New battle: getting her to stay seated. Ha! Always something. xoxo

  4. I have no useful advice on patience, but I can relate to the food throwing. My daughter, Elizabeth, was a master food flinger. We switched out her high chair and tray for a booster seat at the table. I read on some mom feed somewhere that the allure of the edge of the tray caused food throwing. Lizzie seems to prefer sitting at the table with us, too. We have these little placemats for the table. UpwardBaby Baby Silicone Placemat For Babies Toddlers And Kids – 3 Piece Placemats Set | Clean Strong Non Slip Mealtimes For On The Go And High Chairs | Easy To Clean – Space Saving Roll Up Place Ma I find they’re easier to wash than the cumbersome tray. I know you’re short on space, so I’m not sure if this idea will help. Hopefully it might!

    1. Hi! Interesting you mention this! I was surprised to find that mini tolerated not only a booster seat but sitting in a dining chair while we were traveling! I have been wondering about what I should do at home. Thanks for this suggestion, going to ponder this! Xo

  5. Something that’s helped me with 3 kids under the age of 4 (!!) is respond to a situation above by saying out loud: “I can’t believe you are acting like such a __ year old!” It reframes the moment and helps me ground in the fact that they are acting their age. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still fuming inside, but helps me realize food flinging is just part of a 1 year olds skill set.

  6. Try meditation! I love Headspace. It is calming and also your practice teaches your mind to be curious and compassionate toward yourself and your feelings – which then turns into compassion and patience for others. Life changing. Do it while laying on your acupressure mat! It also helps because sometimes when I find myself triggered by my toddler’s more frustrating behaviors, I can do a quick body scan and center myself within seconds.

    1. This is compelling — the second person to suggest meditation here. I like the idea of doing a “quick body scan” to center myself when I feel myself fraying. As an aside, I think the worst part about all of this is the guilt afterward — like, why did I fume over something so stupid? She doesn’t know better! Ahh. Thanks for sharing this. xo

  7. I beg to differ – I think you’re setting her up for success, not failure. She is at a trying age, but she is learning. If she doesn’t play alone, explore on her own terms, go out to dinner, travel on trains and planes, throw food and leave the table hungry, etc. she will not learn the appropriate behavior in all these circumstances. Give yourself more credit – you’re doing such a wonderful job.

    As far as patience goes, these days are the hardest (as toddlers test all boundaries and more than once just to be sure) so my only advice would be to take a deep breath, focus on all the good at this age, and be sure you have a good babysitter on call (because sometimes a little break is just what we need).

    1. Wow – thanks for this alternative perspective. You really had me re-thinking my entire reaction and line of thinking, and I appreciate it. Will be carrying this around for the rest of the day; thanks for the encouragement, too. xoxo

  8. I haven’t any tips, unfortunately. I feel like this is such a difficult phase (and I’m sure I’ll say this about every phase, hrm) where they’re growing more independent (yay!) but still don’t quite have good reasoning abilities yet or to truly be able to think through actions and consequences (though I know many adults lacking in that area too so….). I just keep reminding myself that she’s still a little baby, no matter how tall she’s grown, and on those especially rough days, may put her down for a nap/bedtime earlier to preserve my sanity.

    1. You are so spot-on in all of this. This post and the comments on it has afforded me a little space to remove myself and think about her (young!) age, where she is developmentally, what she’s capable of. Thank you for this reminder. xo

  9. Will be lurking in this comments section for patience tips! I randomly did a 10min guided meditation on patience yesterday morning (from but I listened via YouTube). I used to listen to a meditation every morning before baby but haven’t done one in a while. Not sure it helps my attitude directly, but at least it allows me to realize when I’m getting worked up and I can pull back and take a breath.

    1. Love this idea – going to see if I can work this back into my daily (or weekly) routine. I did some of these maybe a year or two ago and always felt great afterward even though I found them super difficult to sit through. xo

  10. I can relate to your frustrations and desire to be more patient. I wish I had a secret to pass along, or anything more than empathy. I will say that my kiddos (2&5) never really responded to disciple at a young age. They did respond to positive reinforcement, but probably not even until my oldest was 3. But my kids are fairly predictable – so when I notice ways that they misbehave, I try to work around them (if they throw particular foods, I won’t give them those foods). Although I’m in the thick of it, I can say that it does get easier. They keep getting more communicative and rational (apparently this trend continues through their mid twenties!). Best wishes!

    1. This is heartening, Anne — thank you so much for writing this. I think you’re right that the best strategy is to avoid the circumstances that tend to yield those trying moments. xoxo

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