Category: Beauty + Style

Condoms for Valentine’s Day that give in (ahem) more than one way

You could buy the special man in your life a traditional romantic gift on the 14th. And hey, we have tons of creative and inexpensive Valentine’s Day gift ideas for him that we bet he’ll love. But if you’re looking for something to really spice things up, we may have found just the thing with Sir Richard’s condoms. Yes. Really. For every one of their stylishly packaged condoms you buy, thanks to the partnership of the global org Partners in Health, Sir Richard’s donates one condom to a developing country with the aim to stop the spread of unwanted pregnancies and STIs around the world....

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How much water should you be drinking? This smart bottle can help.

Our whole staff pshaw-ed the idea of a smart water bottle until our Editor Kate gave it a try for a week. Turns out, it can actually help you drink more water, which so many of us really need to do. Not only does the Hidrate Spark track your water intake with its companion app, but it will also give you reminders to drink more water. Granted, a smart water bottle is an investment, at least compared to what you might be using right now, but if you’re like us and tend to reach for the coffee or tea...

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The first reusable tampon applicator: Would you? Could you?

Our Facebook fans pretty much went nuts discussing (okay, debating) our thorough, honest review of THINX Period Underwear this past year, and now the woman-run period innovation company is back with the upcoming launch RETA, the first reusable tampon applicator. Yep. Reusable. Tampon applicator. And hey, why not? Related: The Dot Girl First Period Kit: a lifesaver for moms of tween girls Whether it grosses you out or seems like one more smart step toward ending menstruation squeamishness while helping you save money and be kinder to the earth, it is a pretty fascinating concept. Especially considering the medical grade silicone will likely be way more comfy than...

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Clarisonic Mia 2 Skin Cleansing System review: Is it really worth the price? An honest look.

As the new year loomed over me, I got an early start on my resolution to rid myself of dry, dead skin, and take better care of my face. I tested out quite a few skincare devices over the course of one month that had been sent to me for review consideration — from ultrasonic infusers to battery-powered cleansing brushes — to see if they would make a difference. At the end of the month, only one product actually made the cut: Clarisonic Mia 2 Skin Cleansing System. If you’re not familiar with this bestselling product, I wanted to review it to see...

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4 amazing beauty wipes you didn’t know could do the job of messier products

There’s no denying to new parents that a bottomless stash of diaper wipes is essential in every way. But what’s awesome is how many beauty wipes are available for adults too, taking the place of messier products you might own to make our busy lives on-the-go a whole lot easier. I’m a wipes fan, but I’m awfully picky when it comes to ingredients. To earn a place in my own purse — and on my body — a wipe has to be non-toxic, gentle, and do a heck of a job, whatever its job. Whether you’re in the car, on an airplane, or sweating through your...

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7 smells that every parent will know. For better or for worse.

This post was created for our partnership with Suave Essentials There are definitely certain smells that every parent comes to know. In fact, we think you’ll be pretty familiar with those fragrances — wonderful and uh, otherwise — that we are subjected to on a daily, if not hourly, basis. So we had the best time putting together this fun video about those very things, for our partnership with a brand who gets it too: Suave Essentials body wash. You know, the stuff from the commercials where three Suave body wash fragrances are chosen over three body wash fragrances from a premium brand? Take a look at our video, laugh with...

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How to wear Greenery, Pantone’s 2017 color of the year: 3 glam accessories we love.

When Pantone announced their 2017 color of the year, I admit I wasn’t entirely sold on Greenery, a bright springy, yellowy green that seemed to come out of nowhere. But after reading the backstory, I get it: After a difficult year for so many people, both socially and politically, Greenery is Pantone’s effort to offer a symbol of growth, health, and new beginnings. That said, I don’t think Greenery is the kind of color that looks great on everyone, the way 2016’s Rose Quartz or 2015’s Mykonos Blue did. And that’s where accessories come in. Related: Glam holiday statement jewelry under $50...

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16 seriously amazing beauty stocking stuffers, beyond nail polish and hand cream.

If you’ve got a stylish woman in your life, I’ve got some really fantastic ideas for you for beauty stocking stuffers. My checklist: They have to be practical, useful, affordable (well, relatively) and yet still totally fun to receive. Maybe things she would love but would never get for herself? In other words, sorry store-brand dental floss. You may be practical, but you’re not making the list. So here are 16 of my own favorite beauty stocking stuffers that include practical tools and special little beauty indulgences, most of which are fixtures in my own handbag and medicine cabinet. They’re guaranteed to...

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Transitioning to winter skincare: The only 3 tips you’ll need.

Right now, tons of clients are asking me for the best winter skincare tips, because even if you love the change of seasons, it’s likely that your skin does not. Even those of my clients with generally amazing skin will comment that their skin acts out this time of year, as the weather suddenly gets frigid. So don’t feel alone if you, too, are feeling and seeing the impact of cooler weather, lower humidity, indoor heating, cold wind on your face and would love to figure out how to best deal with it. For good winter skincare, I always remind my clients to give their faces a little extra TLC and follow...

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5 of our favorite drugstore lip balms that work as well as the pricey stuff

December brings holiday cheer, festive fun, and hella chapped lips. And considering the nearest Ulta is 38 miles from my house, I don’t always have the most posh options for lip care here in the mountains. So I’ve put together some terrific drugstore lip balms out there I love that are affordable and actually work really well too. Plus, for all us last-minute shoppers, these lip balms make the perfect little stocking stuffers. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 6 Sephora Collection products you need in your makeup bag, stat   Burt’s Bees Lip Balm in Ginger Spice ($3–5) If you’re a firm believer that Pumpkin...

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Glam holiday statement jewelry under $50 that looks far more expensive.

Tis the season for looking glam! If you’ve got a calendar packed with holiday parties, we’ve got you covered with a some of the most gorgeous statement jewelry we’ve seen. And they all happen to ring in under $50, so you can kick your holiday outfits up a notch without breaking the bank. Whether you need a dash of glitter to upgrade business casual, or a stunning statement piece that will really turn heads, better order soon. Those parties won’t fa la la themselves! CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Gifts for your fashionista friend who loves all that glitters. Gold is a bonus....

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Cool holiday gift alert: 10 fabulous personalized keychains you won’t want to lose

Personalized gifts have always been one of our favorite ways to celebrate a loved one, because it turns whatever you’re giving into a special keepsake. Over the years, we’ve seen that personalized keychains are consistently one of our most popular gift ideas here on Cool Mom Picks because, honestly, they’re something pretty much anyone on your holiday list can use and appreciate. But the only thing better than finding a cool personalized keychain to give, is one that won’t ever be lost. Impossible, you say? Nope! Thanks to our sponsor Tile, a Bluetooth tracker that we’ve been recommending for ages now. It makes it super...

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Fitness tips for cold weather to help keep you on your routine: Because winter is coming (but pecan pie belly could possibly be avoided)

The winter can definitely put a damper on anyone’s fitness routine, which is why we’re putting together some really helpful, realistic, cold weather fitness tips to help you out as things get chilly. Between the can’t-resist holiday foods and the bitter cold weather that will be here before you know it, we’re all going to be more inclined to stay home and just eat our weight in comfort food. I know first-hand that the struggle is legit and following all the expert tips are easier said than done. That’s why I’m here for you! We’re in this together, mamas! So check out...

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6 Sephora Collection products you need in your makeup bag, stat

If you’re anything like me, you could spend hours shopping for makeup. But, if you’re like me, you don’t even have those hours to shop for makeup. (I wish!) That’s why I was so thrilled to team up with our newest sponsor, JCPenney, to visit their in-store JCPenney Sephora store, and check out the latest Sephora Collection products — turns out, it’s so easy for a busy mom like me to run right in, grab what I need, and run right out again. Even though they’re celebrating 10 years together, I think this might just be the best-kept beauty shopping secret out there. Plus, the...

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Send some pampering to a mama-to-be with The Stork Bag subscription service

Finally escaping the morning sickness and extreme fatigue routine of the first trimester of my pregnancy has been a big reward in and of itself. And while I’m finding the second trimester and its nesting phase to be so much more enjoyable, it too brings its own challenges (hello, heartburn). So I was more than willing to sign up for a little pampering with The Stork Bag. The Stork Bag is a subscription service that delivers a bag full of goodies geared toward the specific needs of each stage of pregnancy, from the first trimester all the way to a post...

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5 spellbinding Harry Potter cosmetic collections — for muggles and wizards alike.

By now you know we fell in love with the Harry Potter wand brush set from Storybook Cosmetics (currently sold out). So if you’re in dire need of more Harry Potter makeup goodness to tide you over until you can make it to Ollivander’s, here are some other great potions and powders (many of which we found on Etsy) that will make you feel like a million galleons.   The Marauders, Mugwumps, and Muggles Collection | Shiro Cosmetics These mineral eyeshadows named for Harry Potter-isms come in a wide range of neutrals and brights in all the lush colors you’d expect to...

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month products: 10 fabulous gifts that donate 50% or more to great causes.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, as you may have realized from all the logos and web pages turned pink right now. While we are all obviously “aware” by now (and some of us have even suggested changing the name to something more active than awareness), it’s still a good reminder to get educated, get yourself checked, and do what you can to support research and prevention, especially with statistics showing that 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. Unfortunately, not everything with a pink ribbon on it truly supports research for a...

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Everyday Bravery Pins by Emily McDowell: Because sometimes just getting out of bed deserves a medal

There’s a reason why we love artist Emily McDowell so much. She has this way of taking exactly what we’re thinking and turning it into sometimes hilarious, sometimes touching quotes that turn into wonderful gifts and greeting cards. And her new Everyday Bravery Pins that just launched today are no exception. In fact, I got a little teary (in a good way) reading through each of them.   Related: Make your mornings a whole lot brighter with these 5 funny mugs These enamel pins capture the little and big moments we overcome every single day that rarely, if ever, get recognized. From...

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Fringed handbags: How to get this stylish fall trend in any budget, from $15 to…way, way more.

For the last few years, we’ve been loving the Navajo-inspired designs in everything from jewelry to home decor, and so it’s no surprise we are big fans of the fringe trend for fall that we’re seeing on gorgeous handbags from top designers to way more affordable ones on Amazon. And we love that it works for any budget. Depending on your personal style and budget, you can make a big, bold statement with all-over fringe on a designer handbag or go for a more simple look by adding a fringed tassel to your favorite bag. Even if you’re like me and a bit hesitant to buy a...

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Safe sleep for babies: 5 reliable sources on SIDS and more, so you can sleep better too.

In honor of SIDS Awareness Month, we’re sharing five of our go-to, reliable resources on safe sleep for babies. After all, sleep is easily the topic that consumes our minds as new parents more than any other — Are they getting enough sleep? Do I really need a schedule? Is my crib okay? Is my mattress okay? Are bumpers actually unsafe? Can they sleep with me? What happens if the baby rolls over onto her stomach?  We get it. It’s stressful! So we really hope these resources help new parents get the info and the reassurances we all need, so we can hopefully rest just...

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Barre Workouts: What’s the difference between Pure Barre and Barre3?

I spent a few solid months tightening up my buns thanks to Barre3 barre workouts a couple of years ago, so when I decided to hit the workout circuit again after a very long summer hiatus, I gave Pure Barre a try instead (thanks to a very tempting new client special). After almost a month taking regular Pure Barre classes, I’ve got a pretty good handle on what makes these two barre workouts different. If you’re wondering which one is right for you, or if barre classes in general should be on your fitness radar, I’ve got the inside scoop. Pure Barre vs. Barre3:...

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This soap can save lives.

When we’re browsing the seemingly endless soap aisle at the grocery store, it’s easy to forget that the basics for good hygiene can still present a big challenge in many parts of the world. A bar of soap can literally save lives, preventing a child from dying from pneumonia or saving a mother and child during birth and delivery. Enter Health 2 Humanity, or H2H, which sells vegan, cruelty-free, non-GMO, hypo-allergenic soap that’s all made in California, and uses the proceeds to change lives in three African countries. I tried all four scents, and they’re lovely. The Lemon is my favorite — a bright and cheerful citrus that...

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An airy, all-natural perfume that smells nothing like the perfume counter. Thank goodness.

I love finding new fragrances, but I never want to smell like anyone else. For me, the pleasure in perfume is in leaning close to someone and picking up a faint whiff that’s distinctly them — and I hope the fragrances I wear have the same signature feel. This new perfume, called SAOR (which is Gaelic for free), combines bergamot, white tea, and musk and the result is something that smells light, fresh, and like nothing else I’ve ever worn. Related: This perfume smells fantastic and helps repel mosquitoes. Unlike perfume counter perfumes, it contains no alcohol or carrier oils and is...

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The 3 hot lip colors for fall: A pro makeup artist’s picks that look great on every woman

When Cool Mom Picks asked me to pick the three top lip colors for fall, I was excited. But I know that for a lot of women, the idea of following trends can be a little scary, especially when the trends veer outside of your comfort zone. My job as a professional makeup artist is to follow trends, and even I sometimes shy away. The truth is, a lip color could look awesome on the runway but if you’re just running to pick the kids up from school… it may not translate quite so well. Fortunately, when it comes to lip color trends this...

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A pro’s tips for how to choose the right sports bra. Finally.

No matter what size your chest is, a sports bra is an important — if not the most important — part of a workout wardrobe. But, so many women, including plenty of us at Cool Mom Picks, don’t really have an idea of how to pick the right sports bra for our fitness routine or what constitutes the perfect bra for your body type. And, don’t even get us started on how to decide whether it’s the right fit or not, other than being smacked in the face with a boob. (ED: Ha, I wish. -Kristen) So we enlisted the...

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The best non-toxic nail polish brands for kids, in colors we can wear too.

Even though I’m a first-time mom-to-be, I feel like I’m already an expert on the best non-toxic nail polishes for kids. I adore painting my nieces’ nails; it’s such a fun bonding activity, and they love it too, especially when we can wear the same color and be “twins.” But because two of them are still under the age of 4, I know the polish that goes on their nails can end up, well, anywhere and everywhere, and so I always look for non-toxic nail polish, but I still want it to go on smoothly and scent-free, and ideally, peel right off....

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All the favorite people in your life, written in stars.

We’ve always been fond of mom jewelry that doesn’t look like mom jewelry, and hooray for us, there have been no shortage of beautiful options over the years. From braille jewelry to roman numeral necklaces, we’ve seen it all. And now, this custom family zodiacs necklace from Lulu Frost. Related: Cool personalized jewelry for every taste and style I’ve been a longtime fan of Lulu Frost, in fact, the necklace I own garners me compliments every single time I leave the house in it, and my guess is that anyone wearing this necklace will get the same. It features up to...

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I see London, I see France, I see your new favorite underpants.

We haven’t been shy about talking about our underwear here on Cool Mom Picks, which means you might already know that we’re big Hanky Panky fans. And so, I just had to share my new favorite style that I recently discovered on a shopping trip. Related: Spanx faux leather leggings are our newest fashion obsession As much as I love the low rise Hanky Panky thongs, with all the higher-waisted pants and skirt styles that I’m wearing now, they tend to slide down and I find myself pulling them up during the day. But, since I discovered their new retro lace thong,...

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A pro makeup artist picks her 5 best mascaras right now

Lately, I’ve been on a mascara mission. For me, not only does the perfect mascara have to look great, and add the perfect amount of volume to my lashes, but it can’t run; I have deep set eyes and often end up with black mascara under my eyes as the day progresses. As a professional makeup artist, that is definitely not going to work. Every time I visit a drugstore or department store, I grab another tube hoping this will be the one I’ve been searching for: The perfect mascara. But it’s been hard to find. So if you’re having the same issues — and...

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Go vintage with embroidered handmade jewelry. Because, dainty can be darling.

Jewelry with embroidery and lace? I know, I know. Very dainty. Very breakable. But still. So pretty! I’ve gone through all the stages of mom jewelry — from chewable beads to no (pullable!) stud earrings. Now that my kids are old enough to avoid snatching my favorite pearls, I’m into more delicate looks and longer chains, but I like something unique, something with an edge. These pretty handmade pendants and earrings deliver, big time. And you can even have something custom-made from your wedding dress or other lace-y keepsake. Related: Affordable keepsake jewelry for moms and grandmoms. This new Quaintrelle...

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