Category: Beauty + Style

What we think about THINX Period Underwear: An honest review, with all the details.

After 25 years as a woman with a period, you can’t blame me for growing tired of the monthly tampon, pad, and pantyliner rotation. Sorry, no menstrual cup love from me — though I know lots of ladies love them. So, after seeing the Facebook ads for THINX period underwear and then a review from a fellow, trusted blogger, I figured it couldn’t hurt to get a pair and try them. Not just for myself but quite honestly, more for my tween who is about to be entering her period years. (And sorry Sweetie, for embarrassing you completely.) If you’re wondering “Hold...

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Keepsake jewelry under $75 that makes a meaningful gift for your favorite grad.

‘Tis the season for graduations, whether you’ve got a new college graduate in the family, a niece or nephew graduating from high school, or like me, a sixth grader moving up to middle school. Sniff. While so many of us are looking for just the right special, personalized gift, I am always happy to share ideas that don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. (Because, hey college will do that for you. Heh.) I was really happy to find some thoughtful, affordable graduation gift ideas for anyone on your list — grade school through college — when I browsed through the selection from our newest sponsor, HeidiJHale...

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A special gift for a special anniversary, in honor of May is Gold Month

To commemorate the Cool Mom Picks 10th anniversary (!!) I wanted to share a special gift with Liz, something that would visibly remind us of this exciting milestone. It didn’t take too long to land on the idea of jewelry, considering we’re both accessories junkies — as our readers no doubt know by now — but it couldn’t be just any jewelry. I finally committed to a truly beautiful custom karat gold necklace from Julian & Co, one of our favorite indie, mom-run businesses. So I’m thrilled to share the journey behind my design collaboration with designer Tania Condon of Julian & Co and the gorgeous final result both Liz...

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7 Pantone inspired rose quartz handbags to help you swing into spring.

By now, the fashion fans among us surely know about the Pantone colors of the year, a dreamy serenity blue and a pretty rose quartz. While the colors were announced during the winter, I know I’m not generally big on pastels until the weather warms up. Which means that now, I’m excited to check out some new rose quartz handbags in particular. New accessories can be a fast, affordable way to get your wardrobe on trend without swapping out every item you own. Or…a fast, not affordable way to get your wardrobe on trend. Totally depends on your budget. (Or the budget of a generous...

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A new twist on the Mother’s Day macaroni necklace

How do you repay the woman who gave you endless encouragement, provided countless meals, sacrificed hundreds of hours of sleep, put a roof over your head, and stood cheering in oppressive heat or laughable rainstorms for an unforgivable number of soccer tournaments? With a necklace made of stale pasta and string, obviously. Of course I realize now I can never really repay my mother’s love. Not with any jewelry. But I do think she’ll love this gorgeous throwback Porcelain Macaroni Necklace that we spotted at Food 52. Cue the nostalgia. Related: The 2016 Cool Mom Picks Mother’s Day Gift Guide I think this clever macaroni necklace delivers...

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Gorgeous accessories to help moms in need, thanks to Jessica Seinfeld’s Good+ Foundation.

We’ve been fans of Jessica Seinfeld’s charity Baby Buggy for a long while now. For the past 15 years, they’ve provided more than 20 million essential children’s supplies to low-income families in NYC and LA, and our own editor Liz is among their “Friends” board of advisors. Now, they’ve rebranded as the the Good+ Foundation to be able to help even more families, with a broader mission. For one of their first initiatives, right in time for Mother’s Day, they’ve teamed up with HSN to launch a line of fashionable items that may be perfect for a mom in your life. Or hey, maybe even...

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6 of the most beautiful lockets for Mother’s Day: Good luck picking a favorite.

With just two weeks until Mother’s Day, I need to get serious about finding the perfect gift for my own mom. And I’d better start dropping hints like crazy if I’m hoping for something extra-special like one of these beautiful and timeless lockets that I can wear close to my heart. We found 6 of the prettiest lockets — so sweet and heartfelt, it might be hard to choose a favorite. But pay attention to lead times for ordering and delivery. If you think you may be cutting things too close, message the jeweler directly to see if they can get your gift here in time. After all, we don’t...

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The single best dry shampoo ever, according to someone who has tried them all

Okay so maybe it’s a wee bit of an overstatement to say I’ve tried every dry shampoo — but definitely enough that I can state with all confidence that I have discovered the very best dry shampoo. After several years sampling the dry shampoo promises from blow dry chain brands, high end salon brands, fancy haircutters-to-the-stars with their names on their own products brands, the only one I keep coming back to is Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk. As a busy working mom, there is no way I’m washing and drying my super-thick hair every day. Or even every other...

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A hot new line of diaper bags from a designer who’s not so new to them at all.

I recently got wind of the hot new line of Newlie diaper bags created by Leslie Newton, who might be best known as the Leslie of Timi and Leslie. I have to say, I’m impressed. And I’m a mom who doesn’t impress that easily when it comes to accessories, whether they’re meant to hold spare diapers or not. As with so many diaper bags these days, Newlie diaper bags are designed to look like nothing of the sort. It’s only the a wipe-clean interior, zillions of pockets, and a sizeable insulated pocket on the inside of each bag that gives its primary use away. That pocket is perfect...

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Crazy cat ladies? We’ve found our handbag!

I’ve just discovered the cutest new handbag, The Kinsley Kat, and it’s likely to be pouncing to the top of a few of our accessory wish lists for spring. Designer Sylvia Soo created this adorable clutch for her young niece, but its understated styling (and not so understated price) makes it a lot more versatile than your average tween/teen animal accessory. I can picture it as a clutch that complements a little black dress for a full-grown woman with more whimsical style, but it could also look great worn with the optional strap and jeans if you’re going for a more everyday look. I also love...

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A lucky charm we love for St. Patrick’s Day and beyond.

You know what they say: If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, then you’re lucky enough. Yet on St. Patrick’s Day, we couldn’t resist posting about his adorable little wishbone lucky charm from one of our favorite indie jewelry companies, Julian & Co. We have loved supporting mom-run Julian & Co. since their launch back in 2007 when she was making tiny ID tag bracelets and baby footprint jewelry to commemorate her own very premature baby — who we’re happy to report is now a healthy, amazing tween. Also growing is artist Tania Condon’s selection of handcrafted jewelry which is impressively top-of-the-line in quality and design, but still...

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Trend alert: diaper bags are going chic with black and white this spring

We’re happily getting ready for kid number four at our house, and with that, a return to diapers. While I’m not exactly excited about the wiping bottoms part, again (because, really, who is?), I am excited to find a new chic diaper bag to tote around all my stuff. I’m happy to report that this spring the trend is black and white. Very classic! Plus, it really goes with anything you choose to wear (barring baby spit-up). Related: 10 of the best diaper bags under $150 From florals to stripes and everything in-between, we’re seeing lots of statement-making black and white diaper bags....

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7 drugstore beauty products that are better than the expensive stuff

Recently I shared my top 7 beauty splurges that I think are worth the money. And I still do. but to be clear, I think there are tons of great drugstore beauty products out there, and I don’t think that everything in the world is worth a splurge. In fact, there are plenty of times that even after trying a pricier alternative, I return to a drugstore beauty product. Not just because it’s more affordable either, though that’s always a plus! So here’s a list of my picks for some of the best drugstore beauty products that I absolutely swear by....

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10 super simple tips for modeling healthier behavior for your kids.

We admit it, we’re not always the perfect models of healthy behavior. And we know our kids take in eeeeverything. But old habits die hard, whether it’s making a few questionable food choices in front of our kids (ahem), or driving two blocks to the store when we totally could have walked. (Come on, suburban parents, admit it — who’s done it?) That’s why we’re happy to team up with the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. It’s providing health and wellness solutions to schools across America, and working to increase school breakfast awareness and participation, so that more kids can start their day with the fuel they need to...

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Pouch goals. Is that a thing? Because it should be.

With everything you can find at Society6 — smart phone cases, laptop bags, even leggings — they’ve now added carry-all pouches and let’s just say I’ve spent waaaaaaay too long flipping through all the fabulous choices. These canvas pouches with wraparound artwork come in three different sizes, with the smaller ones a good choices for pencils or make-up, and the bigger sizes able to double as a clutch. And well, the choices are endless. Almost literally. Here are some of my favorites (whew, it was hard to choose). Related: Society6 leggings – Be still my stylish geeky heart weapons of mass...

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Swing into spring with 7 non-toxic nail polishes for kids in the season’s prettiest pinks

If your kids love mani pedis as much as mine do, but you’re not a fan of the chemical-packed polishes in a lot of salons, I’ve put together 7 non-toxic nail polishes for kids from some of our favorite safer brands, all in adorable shades of pink — seeing as how Rose Quartz is one of Pantone’s two trendy colors of the year. (Not that our kids are following such trends, but hey, why not.) With the promise of spring just around the corner, it’s the perfect excuse to host a fun spa day at home, save a few bucks, and get...

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Flowers that live on, long past Valentine’s Day

While I’m not big on fake flowers (sorry fake flower fans!) I am big on real flowers, especially when they’re used in a way as gorgeous as the modern, made-to-order resin floral jewelry spotted at Modern Flower Child on Etsy. Each piece from this Oregon artist is entirely one-of-a-kind, as Sarah incorporates real flowers, grasses, and bits of foliage into resin to beautiful effect. It’s funny but from that description alone, I wouldn’t think I would like them. Then I take a look at the result and actually I think they’re quite stunning. That birch bark bangle is just awesome. Or if you’re crushing...

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A Valentine’s gift that gives back with heart

I’m so happy to find this new addition to our list of cool, affordable Valentine’s gifts for her: The new Kindred Cord heart bracelet from Alex and Ani, designed to help support Project (RED). For just $21, you get this sweet red nylon cord bracelet with a sterling, gold, or rose-gold plated heart. It’s expandable, meaning it should fit anyone from your favorite tween or teen to an adult sweetheart. I’ve even seen it on some cool dudes; the kinds who can get away with a wristful of bangles. But the nicest part might be that a full 20% of...

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7 little indulgences under $10 that make big changes to your mood.

I’m a huge fan of grabbing little indulgences or surprises for my kids here and there to help make them feel better after a bad day or, you know, just make them feel special. But when it comes to me, I have gotten pretty good at rationalizing myself right out of treating myself, even though I know that these little things are not necessarily treats but rather small ways I can help brighten my own mood. And they definitely have a trickle down effect into my work, my kids, and yes, my own mental health. No surprise then that I welcomed the final...

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7 favorite beauty product splurges that are absolutely worthwhile.

Okay so let’s start with a disclaimer: When I describe beauty products I can’t live without, I’m being a bit hyperbolic. Do they fall under food? No. Clothing? No. Shelter? No, unless we’re talking sunscreen should I ever be stranded on a tropical island. So of course I could live without these beauty products. However do I prefer having them in my life rather than alternatives? Heck yeah. I have tried a whole lot of beauty products over the course of my life — trials (and mistakes) from department store beauty counters, gifts in goodie bags, hand-me downs from friends who somehow had extras,...

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Stand up straight! 5 simple ways to improve your posture

I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m tall or because I sit hunched over a computer all day long, but I have terrible posture. This isn’t necessarily a new discovery, but what is new to me is how much bad posture can actually affect your stress levels — something I learned as part of our sponsor Aetna’s Month of Mindfulness #Mindful30 challenge. Yikes! Like it’s not bad enough that I realize I look bad slouching in pictures, now it’s contributing to stress? So for my 3rd challenge, they asked me to focus on “perfecting my posture,” and boy, did I need...

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The Volume Mascara by Kevyn Aucoin: You’ll never buy another mascara ever again.

I discovered The Volume Mascara by Kevyn Aucoin last year when Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere raved about it, and after using it for this long (hey, it takes me awhile!), I feel comfortable saying that it is by far the best mascara I have ever owned. If you’re looking for the perfect mascara, then I have the one for you. Cool Mom Picks is a reward style affiliate.     As someone who wears contacts and needs a smudge-proof mascara that’s not waterproof, I’ve only really ever found a couple that work well, and even then, I could...

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Meditation for parents: 5 easy ways to make it work for you

If you’re following along with me this month, you know I’m trying to make some positive changes in my life related to stress, something I’ve been struggling with both emotionally and physically for quite a while now. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been participating in Aetna’s Month of Mindfulness challenge, and wow, it’s definitely giving me the extra push I’ve been needing to reflect on what’s really going on in my life and what I can do to fix it. Hopefully I’m not alone in this and you’ve decided to join me. My first challenge was  5 tips and...

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The coolest accessory brands and shops that we fell in love with this year: Editors’ Best of 2015

You might say we’ve got a little thing for accessories. And you might say that’s a huge understatement. Which is why we have the best time all year poking around the internet, cruising the trade shows, and poking our heads into local jewelers, artists’ studios and museum shops, all to find cool new accessories we love. And we do love them. So we hope you love these, our picks for our artists and resources for jewelry and accessories that we shared in 2015 — but are going to be wearing (or just coveting) long into 2016 and beyond. If it helps update your wardrobe, it it...

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The best Black Friday deals: Shop right from your couch!

If you’re looking for some of the best Black Friday shopping deals and discounts around the web, we’ve rounded them up for you right here, along with the best Black Friday tech deals over on Cool Mom Tech.We’ll continue to update the post all day long with sales all day (and weekend) long, so be sure to check back, and follow us on Twitter where we’ll be tweeting them. And don’t forget to check out our 2015 Holiday Guide for even more gift ideas featuring indie designers and small businesses. APPAMAN (above) 40% off site-wide with the code: FRIDAY40 DYLBUG: 20%...

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Fresh Prince nail decals? Parents just don’t understand.

The team at Cool Mom Picks always makes fun of me because of my strange aversion to nail art. (Seriously, do you see any nail art on our Pinterest boards? Exactly.) The way some people hate feet, I’m a little weird about close-up photos of nails. And yet I’ve finally come around — something I never thought I’d do — if only because I can’t stop laughing at the awesome assortment of pop culture nail decals from our friends at indie shop Shana Logic, illustrated by That Jane Designs. When I was a kid, I never in a million years thought there would...

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Simple tips for staying healthy if you sit at a desk all day long

If you spend many hours of the day sitting at a desk or working in front of a computer like we do, then you know how tough it can be on your back, your neck, and uh…even your waistline. But there are actually things — really easy things — that you can do to make your work day easier on your body and to help keep you healthier. We’re partnering with FUTURO Legwear who knows a bit about this whole topic. Their Graduated Compression Legwear helps to reduce swelling and improve circulation, as well as keep you comfortable while your legs are stuck under...

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The closest you’ll get to making time with rock stars

If you happen to have a cool grand or more to spend on a very special, one-of-a-kind gift for a rock fan in your life who you love a lot, we’ve just discovered maybe the coolest ever gift that will connect them to some of the biggest rock icons of our time. And also to help them keep get to places on time; something musicians are not always known for. The brand new Nixon Rock LTD Watch Collection, goes on sale in mid-November, and fuses music and fashion in such an amazingly cool way; they’re taking donated leather from some of the some major rock legends’ personal items and...

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5 smart, simple, pediatrician-recommended winter skin care tips for babies and kids.

With cold weather pretty much here for lots of us, and on the way for the rest of us (wah!), this is the time of year we start getting more reader questions about baby and kids’ skincare. I know it’s hard to weed through all the info; I’m sure you’ve read all sorts of things about what to do, what not to do, which of those lotions and potions in your medicine cabinet to use, and how to differentiate a minor skin issue from something that might require more attention If you’re like me, by the time you figure out what you’re...

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Swanky metallic cosmetics cases: Coveted accessory? Or organizational essential.

Buying a new cosmetics case isn’t a bad annual tradition, at least if yours gets as beat up as mine do, with spills and smudges and that glittery who-knows-what embedded in there. It’s more affordable than buying a whole new handbag, and a great way to stay organized if you tend to carry bigger bags and totes all day like we New Yawkahs do. If you’re in the market, I am loving these handmade metallic leather cosmetics cases from Etsy’s Gift Shop Brooklyn.  Artist Annie Olean Bukhman claims they can work on their own as small clutches when you’re running quickly out the...

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