A roundup of my favorite things right now below, but first — the above snap is everything I want to look like right now, from the bouncy blowout to the winter white denim.
My Favorite Things: Winter Edition.
+Caudalie Beauty Elixir (currently 15% off for large size). This was an unlikely romance. I did not care for this cult-following toning mist when I first used it. What’s all the buzz about? It’s just a setting spray. Mr. Magpie joked that it’s probably just La Croix water packaged nicely. But I have truly come around to it. I spritz it on my cleansed face in the morning and it zaps my skin of any lingering redness. The bracing scent wakes me (and my skin) up. It feels like drinking water when you’re uber-parched. I also spritz it on my makeup brushes when applying concealer/foundation and then use it to set my makeup when done. I also reapply it in the afternoon, when my skin needs a pick-me-up. A friend of mine — completely unsolicited, not knowing I had become a recent convert — whipped her own out the other day, urging me to try it. “I use it every day, everywhere. I keep one in my desk, in my purse, in my closet.” I get it. It’s addictive.
+Emu Mayberry Slippers. A match made in heaven. I wear these everyday around the apartment. They are improbably comfortable and bring me unwieldy joy. (They are also selling out everywhere on the web very quickly. PSA.)
+Shiseido Facial Cotton. I will never go back to the either rough, scratchy or thin and soggy cotton pads of days of yore. This is next level skincare, and it does not cost much more than your drugstore variety. It gently removes all makeup without dissolving/shredding in your hand or letting too much product seep through. It is like cleaning your face with clouds. You might say I’m being a bit heavy-handed with my review of this facial cotton but…it’s goooood.
+Everlane Waffle Cashmere Crewneck Sweater. Uber-soft, uber-warm, and uber-chic. I own it in the ivory color and love its slightly boxy fit (with trim-cut arms). Can’t stop wearing it / won’t stop wearing it.
+Amanda Uprichard Iris Jumpsuit. I bought mine last year and recently wore it to the opera with big earrings, pointed-toe pumps, and a faux fur jacket similar to this (<<in love with this label; currently considering this and this).
+Sara Happ Lip Scrub. Thanks to the cooler weather, I have been relying on this lip scrub (followed by ungodly amounts of 8 Hour Cream — one of my all-time favorite products; I use this on everything from burns to abrasions to chapped lips to cuticles, something I picked up from my mom) to keep my lips smooth and moisturized. But let’s be real: the actual reason for this self-care routine is so that I can wear red lipstick to all my holiday parties (really want to try Kosas’ Thrillist color) without flaking lips.
+J. Crew Academy Loafers. I love these masculine-leaning loafers for running around after mini — they aren’t as precious as some of my designer shoes (ahem, have found myself wading through rainy puddles one too many times recently in these beauties — THE SHAME!)
+Theory Cashmere Joggers. I finally bought a pair of these cashmere joggers when they dropped down to $168 on Bloomie’s (add to bag for the additional 25% off). A girlfriend of mine with impeccable taste loves these so much that she bought them in triplicate after trying her first pair. She insists they are the perfect thing to wear while jetting out for coffee or to take the dog for a walk on a cold December morning — or curling up at home with a book. Sold.
+Nest Holiday Candle. Thank you to the many readers who urged me to try this delightful holiday-scented candle: it’s nicely perfumed (don’t you hate buying a candle that emits a 1″ radius of scent?!), lasts a decent amount of time, and costs substantially less than the Diptyque Feu De Bois I burned all last winter. Trust me: you’ll want to add this to your next Prime order.
+Progressive Brown Sugar Keeper. I have a — what shall we call it? — weakness? obsession? — with pantry organization. For frequent bakers like myself, let this be your clarion call: you must own these for your dark sugars. Because I’m me, I of course labeled both of mine with my label maker (one of my favorite purchases this year, hands down). Sugar stays soft and non-clumped. I could go to hell for the amount of dark sugar I ended up tossing because it ended up dried up like a brick over the years, stored in a plastic bag. No more. On the topic of kitchen konmari: I love these can organizers for my LaCroix/Sprindrift. Why? You can stack spare cans or whatever you’d like on the top. You would not believe how many can organizers I considered before finding these stackable ones. The best. I also love this brand’s clear bins — I have at least ten of them in our pantry to organize related products, i.e., baking gear, pastas, oils, etc. They make a huge difference, especially because we have tall shelving and it’s much simpler to simply pull down a bin to find what you’re looking for than to rifle through a shelf’s depth of condiments. Also, I love this for stowing my trusty kitchen gloves out of sight. (I love those kitchen gloves so much I buy them with Amazon’s subscribe & save option, getting a new pair once a month like clockwork.)
+Tory Burch Clara Flats. My go-to festive flats — I throw these on and instantly feel pulled together. How FUN?!
Post-Script: Recent, Random, Under-$20 Purchases That Make Me Happy.
+I’ve crossed a threshold into lame middle age territory by admitting that I look forward to the Mrs. Meyers’ seasonal scents for their home products. I like their counter spray and hand soap for the kitchen, which we go through with astonishing speed. Just ordered this “orange clove” set.
+I recently learned I am mildly anemic and my doctor prescribed iron supplements to treat it. The pills are grainy and — OK, I’ll admit it — I am bad at swallowing pills. I cough up/choke on my iron supplement about 50% of the time. (No joke. #Baby.) I bought this pill splitter and voila. Problem solved.
+Mini’s advent calendar (stuffed with a little gift each day of Advent — she wakes up an VOILA, a surprise awaits her!) has been a HUGE hit. Her favorite surprises? This book, which we have now read about 349898 times, and this little mouse stuffed animal. We had seen a whole display of woodland stuffed animals at the stunning ABC Home down by Union Square and I tracked down the brand — Hansa — and found this little mouse (they cost about 3x as much at ABC Home…) Mini had cottoned to this owl, which she pronounces “oh-low,” at the store, so I have my eye on that one, too, and how about this little fawn?!
+I adore this phone stand. It sounds frivolous but it is a delight when cooking in the kitchen (I often use my phone for recipes) or sitting at my desk, writing. I have a feeling a second purchase (bed side table) may be in order.
+The softest bedtime socks. Just read the reviews (!!)
+Makeup Eraser. I had read about this wash-cloth many times — it apparently removes makeup with just water and then can be tossed into the washing machine after a couple of uses. I’ll still be using my Shiseido cotton and micellar water regularly, but I am tired of staining my towels with residual eye makeup / etc when I scrub my face at the end of the day and thought I’d give these a try. I found Nordstrom has a set of 4 for $40 in a smaller size — might be a good stocking stuffer/add-on for girlfriends?!
P.S. Not under $20, but well-priced: this darling bow-backed sweater (40% off plus free shipping!), this punchy sweater (which reminds me of poinsettia), and this ruffle-collar blouse in the most fun colors.