A personal style blog featuring simple and casual style for moms and women in western michigan. good life is written by Jill Gott-Gleason, a mother and fashionista that believes that style should be fun, affordable and never boring.
Earlier this year my blow-dryer was throwing flames (literally - eek!) and so I went to Instagram Stories to get your ideas on what I should get for a new blowdryer. The T3 blowdryer came up in tons and tons of comments as a solid investment for a blowdryer. Just a few of you said this Revlon One Step "changed your life" - so I was intrigued - by both. I ordered both and I have used them both since February and I have some thoughts on both... plus BOTH ARE ON SALE right now with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and Prime Day. So it's a great time to buy either if you need a new blow dryer.
- There are only two heat settings - low and high. The high gets VERY hot and the low isn't quite enough. I don't mind the high setting but keep it in mind if you don't love high heat on your hair.
- This drys and straightens my hair SO GOOD that it doesn't hold a curl very well afterward. I had to learn the hard way. So this is more of a one and done guy. If you want to use a curling iron afterward I suggest a regular blow dryer prior to. Not sure if that is a pro or a con - it's kind of both!
I definitely LOVE them both! But for different reasons... in the end it's up for you!
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My daughter is taking over the blog today (and again later this month!) to talk ALL things back to school. This little lady is heading to MIDDLE SCHOOL this fall (how!?!) and she will be dishing on how she is prepping for back to school this year. I can't believe back to school season is already so close at hand, but if you have kids in your house, I think you will appreciate her take on how to prep to head back to school in August.
If you ask my daughter, the FIRST step to prepping to head back to school is easy... it's getting your SUMMER BUCKET LIST in order. I mean, first things first... right!?! No kid wants to head back to school if they don't feel like they have had enough summer fun - and really, I couldn't agree more. So, in honor of back to school season my daughter has a seriously fun bucket list to close out summer strong.
A's End of Summer Bucket List:
1) Drink as many iced chai's as possible. 2) Weekend trip to Chicago. 3) Birthday shopping. 4) Swim a lot. (mom's note: I feel like we have this covered... but apparently you can never swim enough before school starts!) 5) Visit Northern Michigan. 6) Back to school shopping. (Thanks to Walmart for helping on this one!) 7) One more beach trip. 8) Sleepover with friends. 9) Have fun with friends. 10) Sleep away camp. 11) Tennis camp.
It looks like we have some work, ahem, FUN - to have yet in these next couple of weeks! Thanks to Walmart we have the back to school shopping easily taken care of in order to free up plenty of time for summer fun. From easy dresses to jeans, shoes and backpacks - Walmart has everything your child needs to be ready for school to begin again without the headache of shopping at a million different stores or breaking the budget. That way there's extra money left over for family fun!
It's Amazon Prime Day today so in honor I thought I would share a few of my recent and long standing Amazon favorites. There are LOTS of deals to be had today, but since many of the deals are so specific it can be difficult to hunt down specific products on sale. If you are shopping the sale today for big ticket items like tvs, kindles, small kitchen appliances and other finds that are deeply discounted - may the force be with you! I know it can be a fun sale to shop!
I won't be covering the sale specifically or ordering items in the sale to show you, like with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. But instead sharing just a few select items I've ordered recently that I love! If you like this post... make sure to check out two of my other very popular Amazon posts (this one with all the random things I've found on Amazon and this one and this one with some recent home goods I've purchased from Amazon).
These basket clutches (mine is size small) are so fun and trendy - so they are perfect for purchasing a dupe instead of spending major $$$ on the expensive version.
I ADORE this sun hat (color is A-Khaki). It's really substantial, packs well and is adjustable. All the things you want a summer hat to be.
These leggings I've been raving about for EVER. They are so soft and stretchy, wash well and are a great price. I own three pairs and wear them for bed and around the house pretty much everyday! (note: these are a lounge legging... they don't have the compression that comes with a workout legging)
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Macy's just launched their Black Friday in July sales and with so much of summer left to enjoy this is an amazing time to get incredible deals on summer pieces you can wear now! Whenever it comes to shopping end of season sales I have one goal: go for the classic pieces that will work this season and in seasons to come to insure you get the best value for the clothes you purchase. I am ALL about having classic pieces in my wardrobe that I can wear year after year and season after season. Right nw with the sale shipping is FREE with orders over $49 and some items are eligible for an EXTRA 25% off with code: JULY - so be sure take advantage of all the extra savings!
I ordered a few fitness and athleisure pieces from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale that I didn't include in the HUGE try on haul from yesterday (if you haven't seen that post yet - check that one out!). I think these pieces are some of the best deals of the sale in general. Sneakers, leggings and sports bras can get expensive really quickly and the prices on these are really great for the quality.
Here's a peek at a few things I snagged in the sale... there are a few more pieces that I haven't received yet - so I will be sure to add those as they arrive! Also it's worth to note (not shown here!) that my favorite no-show socks are on sale too! Check those out here!
above: These gradient patterned leggings are a fun take on the original Zella Live In legging that EVERYONE raves about (seriously almost 6k positive reviews!) The gradient pattern is really fun and these leggings never disappoint. They are true to size and oh so flattering - I am wearing my usual size small. This tank is a fun swingy top in a very soft ribbed cotton. I love it! And not shown is sports bra that I just realized is sold out - I will keep an eye open for a restock. The top is true to size and so is the sports bra. These Adidas sneakers are REALLY cute with leggings and great for workouts, but they would look equally cute with jeans for casual weekends. The sneakers run big, I went down a size but probably should've gone down a size and a half.
above: With the same sneakers, top and sports bra (which looks sold out! I will watch for restocks) combo I switched out the leggings for joggers which I am OBSESSED with lately for weekend and casual wear. This is a size small (my usual size) and they feel a bit big, so I would recommend to go down a size. These are great for workouts or weekend wear!
above: This is the classic black pair of leggings shown above. I love the high waist and soft fabric and these are another piece that are both great for workouts AND weekends. I love a piece that does double duty. Paired with this cowl neck sweatshirt and these Adidas Gazelle sneakers this is an ideal after work or weekend look for me. The leggings are true to size (I am in a small), the top is quite oversized (I am in an XS) and the sneakers also run at least one size if not a size and a half big.
above: Same leggings and sneakers as above but this time with this boxy sweatshirt which seems simple enough but it's SO GOOD. It's a nice thick feel and very soft. This is a great piece for weekends, lounging or even with jeans for a casual look. The sweatshirt is true to size - I am wearing a small.
Here is the post so many of you have been waiting for! My Nordstrom Anniversary Sale items have started to arrive and since they aren't all coming in one shipment I thought I would just update post as I try them on and as they arrive. Keep in mind that I will NOT be keeping all these items! Try-ons at home are just like I would do at the store - take a bunch of items into the fitting room and see what works and what doesn't. The only difference is I am at home! I don't have a Nordstrom close to me and I feel more comfortable at home anyway - so it works perfect!
I found A LOT of items that I really love and there are plenty of items that are going back too. If they are going back it's usually because I own something similar or it wasn't a 100% "YES" for me. I always work to give super honest feedback without being mean - it's never my intention to be negative here. I will be sure to include ALL the sizing info below too to make ordering online easier.
Some pieces are selling out quickly - so snag pieces right away if you like them! There will be some restocks but they are never promised. I will definitely keep an eye on restocks for you too! Keep in mind the sale is open to Nordstrom Cardholders right now and then it will open to the general public on July 19! If you aren't a cardholder - make your wishlist now to shop later!
above: I love the idea of an oversized blazer - but this one fell a little flat for me. I was going for a kind of Meghan Markle vibe and it's questionable if I pulled it off. The blazer fits quite snug. I am in an XS Petite here. The XS was too long in the arms (like it usually is for me) so I would say go with your usual size - I sized down because blazers are usually too big on me and that backfired. These jeans are so classic with some fun distressing - which run true to size and are super stretchy and comfy! I love the graphic tee (true to size), mules (true to size) and the satchel. Those three are BIG winners for me!
above: Same look as above with the blazer swapped for a leather jacket. My leather jacket needs updating bad so it's a perfect time to buy! This leather jacket is true to size (I am in a size small) and the hoodie is removable. I prefer a real leather jacket to a faux leather jacket but if you like faux better - check out this one. Below you will see the jacket without it - which I prefer, but both are cute!
above: I've got another quick swap here with this leopard cardigan. Which just goes to show that a fun graphic tee with jeans and mules can be reworked SO many different ways! I can't decide if I like this leopard cardigan or the one I show further down (stay with me!). Both are SUPER soft and cozy and both fit great. This is a size small - it runs true to size.
above: There are a lot of favorites in the sale but this FLEECE PULLOVER WINS. It's SO soft and cozy and it's kind of making me excited for fall - almost. It runs true to size - I am in a small. I love it with jeans and these Sorel wedges. These wedges are so classic and great for fall and winter. They rarely go on sale so now is the time to snag them.
above: I mean, I thought I loved the other leopard cardigan. But I also kind of love this one. Really you can't go wrong with either. It's true to size - I am in a size small - and also very soft. I love it with these high waist straight leg jeans with the notch at the ankle. These are true to size too. I am in my usual size of 26. I was unsure about how ankle boots would look with straight leg jeans, but call me a believer. These boots are FAB and they look amazing with these jeans.
above: I can't quit this boot/jean combo - so I won't! I love these cardigans and now own three. They are soft and stretchy and are great dressed up (like here) or down (with leggings). The cardigan runs a little big - so size down, I am in a size XS. I love the grey with brown accents for fall. This circle bag is SO beautiful in person and is going to be so fun to style for fall (or really, to wear right now too!).
above: If you are a cardigan person - and really, who isn't? This sale is stocked with so many great options. I love this creamy cardigan with a kind of kimono cut. The cardigan is quite oversized, I am in an XS. These flats were kind of "meh" for me. The suede is super soft and they are VERY comfortable but the color was off for me. They run true to size.
above: Here is the same cardigan in black, which isn't my favorite. I love the cardigan but in this color isn't so cute as the lighter color. I love it paired with classic sneaks though for a 'mom on the go' look. The sneakers are quite oversized. I went down a size and a half.
above: The leopard is killing me this fall - it's SO GOOD. I love this pattern (same as the cardigan above) but in a pullover. This leopard sweater is oversized. I am in a size small - I like it a little bigger though. It's going to be just as cute with jeans as with leggings and sneakers this fall. These flare crops are a new cut for me with denim and I LIKE them. They are so fun and this pair is super comfortable and stretchy. Size up one. I am in a 27 and they look small when they come out of the box but they stretched to fit me just right.
above: This sale is the best time to stock up on cashmere. This v-neck cashmere sweater is so beautiful. I love it with the leather jacket and flare jeans. The sweater is true to size. Also you can see here I removed the hoodie from the leather jacket and love it this way. The leather is SO soft.
above: Here is the same cashmere sweater, jeans, boots and bag as above. Love 'em all!
above: How beautiful is this leopard wrap top? The fabric is a nice substantial weight and while it's a little work to get the way part just right, it sure is beautiful! The top runs true to size, I am in a size small. This look is great for a date night or casual office.
above: This sweater is another instant favorite. I love the mock neck and tulip hem - which looks great with jeans and leggings alike! The sweater is true to size, I am in a small, but you could also size up for a roomier fit and that would be cute too. These jeans are similar to a pair I already own. They run small, so be sure to size up. I love how affordable they are!
above: This hat! Dying! I love it and I have another hat by this brand so I know the sizing is tricky. I am in a size XS - make sure to measure your head and use the size guidelines. I like a fall hat because it's great for sporting events where it's sunny but when you are kind of over the summer fedora. Another great piece is this waffle cowl neck top - it's soft and comfy and a great piece for everyday wear!
The fitness finds at this years Nordstrom Anniversary Sale are some of my favorites I've seen in many years. There are some really great prices on leggings, sports bras, sneakers and more. And I don't say that lightly. I LOVE the feel of a really great workout legging, but let's be honest they can get expensive really quickly! There are some amazing deals here... so let's take a look at the pieces!
While I am waiting for my own Nordstrom Anniversary Sale order to arrive I thought I would show you a few pieces that I already own from previous seasons. Some of these pieces are from previous Nordstrom Anniversary sales in years past and others are wardrobe basics that I have previously purchased that are for sale again in exact or very similar styles.
I'm always talking about how I like to build a wardrobe that mixes and matches easily containing solid wardrobe basics. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is one of the best times to buy these pieces. Classics like jeans, cashmere, coats, blazers and shoes are on sale for deep discounts. I still own tons of pieces from previous seasons from this sale - so it proves that when you make thoughtful decisions they will still serve you for years to come.
above: This jacket was one of my favorite purchases at last years sale but it sold out very quickly! It's back this year with a few different details (like the neckline and details on the back) but in general it's the same style. I love the sweater sleeve detail and it's available in 4 classic colors. These Mother jeans I bought over a year ago. They are pricey but OH so flattering and comfortable. There is a similar pair in the sale this year! These suede loafers are from the Nordstrom sale TWO years ago! I still love them - they are so classic and comfortable! - and a similar pair is back in the sale this year!
above: One of the pieces I have picked up each year in the sale is a cashmere wrap. These make for really warm scarves in the winter but I also use them when traveling (for road trips or by air) as a lightweight blanket. I own 4 similar wraps from the last 4 years and they still look amazing and have been used so many times over the year.
above: This classic sweater is one that has been in stock year after year and this year it's ON SALE! It's such a cozy piece for cold winter days and while I don't think this exact color is in the sale this year - there are some other gorgeous color options. I wore this sweater a lot last year. And I can't wait to wear it again this fall/winter. The Spanx faux leather leggings are BACK in the sale this year - these are a fan favorite and sizes usually sell out quickly! I find them to be true to size and they are great for weekends or busy mom duties. I also snagged this Tory Burch tote last year during the sale and it's really a gorgeous bag - there is a very similar style in this years sale. I love it for a carry on or laptop bag but it would also be a great "mom" bag too for all the gear. It also has a matching wallet (that I got last year too) and it's been a great wallet all year and has zero signs of use. Both have held up so well!
above: These cardigans are some of my favorite year round. Last year during the sale I grabbed the exact cardi in olive and since then got another in pink. There are some great color options this year but I think I may just snag a classic black one this year.
above: This wrap sweater was a best-seller last fall and I can't wait to wear it again this fall. It's here for the Nordstrom sale in quite a few colors! I highly recommend it!
above: This top was a best-seller last month and quickly sold out - it looks like a very similar option is available in the sale now! It's so classic for all seasons. These exact jeans but in black are in the sale too - use your imagination to picture these straight leg jeans in black. The black pair is on my wishlist for the sale this year as I find these jeans extremely flattering and comfortable. I always go up one size for this brand - so keep that in mind while ordering.
above: This Camo sweater from last fall is back in a little different cut this year. I love this classic pattern with a blazer or utility jacket for fall or even with shorts and sneakers for summer.
The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is HERE friends! And to me, it's the most wonderful time of the year! I just LOVE shopping this sale... the deals are SO good and fall is my favorite season to shop for so for me, it's just the BEST. Here are all the dates to know if you are planning on shopping the sale this year:
Thursday, July 11 @ 12:30pm - the Sale is open to shop online if you are a Nordstrom Cardholder at ICON or AMBASSADOR level (you can check your Nordy Club status online!)
Friday, July 12 @12:30pm - the Sale is open to ALL Nordstrom Cardholders
Friday, July 19 the sale is open to the GENERAL PUBLIC
This sale is the BEST time to stock up for fall own sweaters, boots, jeans, sneakers and blazers & coats. These will be some of the best prices on the NEW FALL ARRIVALS that we will see! Remember that historically items go FAST - if you see something you like be sure to shop it right away as pieces will sell out. There are a few restocks, but they are never guaranteed.
I've tracked down just a FEW ;) of my favorites of the sale here... the selection is SO good this year and I already can't wait to shop these pieces and wear them a ton this fall!
Today Beautycounter is launching their brand new COUNTERTIME product line and I was able to get my hands on it before the launch and today I'm giving my honest review on the entire new line. There are six products in the entire line and because I was able to purchase the set at a deep discount (being a consultant) I got all six products. Usually I'm not one to use an entire line for my morning or evening skincare routine... I like to pick and choose favorite pieces from different lines and mix and match them for my exact skincare needs. To get a feel for the new line, though, I've recently used the entire line exclusively morning and night without using any of my "usual" products.
First off, let's talk about how GORGEOUS this new packaging is! I am such a sucker for PINK and this packaging is speaking my love language. Plus, all the bottles are glass making them easier to recycle and oh so beautiful!
So what is the hype with this new line? The new Countertime products are specifically to combat the signs of aging by reducing the look of fine lines, making the skin look and feel plumper, evening king tone and adding brightness and minimizing the appearance of pores. How does Beautycounter pack all those benefits into this new line while also keeping the ingredients safe and clean of potentially harmful ingredients? With a fairly new to the market ingredient called Bakuchiol - you may have heard of it already if you are up to date on the latest and greatest ingredients in safe skincare. I know a few other brands have rolled out products containing this new and safe ingredient. It's being touted as a safe alternative to Retinol and so far the results are promising! Retinol is great for fighting aging but it comes with potential side effects like sun sensitivity, in some cases severe drying results and it's also not safe for use while pregnant or nursing. So Bakuchiol is a great alternative because it doesn't have any of those potential side effects.
Most of the six products in the line are for use day and night - but there are two products that are specified for only day or night. I will outline below which products are to be used in what order - per BC's specifications - I know I was a little overwhelmed with so many new products at once! Keep in mind that all of these products are highly concentrated - so a tiny bit goes a really long way!
Morning Countertime Routine
Step #1 - Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil The Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil is a super luxurious cleansing oil that smells amazing. This is the first time I've tried a cleansing oil so it took me a few times to get used to it. You start on dry skin and rub it in all over, then add a little water to make a lather and then rinse. Instead of your skin feeling dry and parched when you are done washing it will feel clean but moisturized. It's truly the best of both worlds! I will talk more about this below but I LOVED this cleanser for night time but for daytime I am going to stick with this cleanser instead.
Step #2 - Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence This Essence is another new-to-me skincare product. I've heard of an Essence as a skincare step after cleansing but I've never tried it before. Think of it like a toner but a touch heavier but not as heavy as a serum. This one is light and refreshing and also smells great. It instantly makes your skin feel soft and supple - and primed for serum. I really enjoy this product and will definitely continue to use it daily.
Step #3 - Tripeptide Radiance Serum I am a SUCKER for a good serum! Seriously! And this one is so good. It's unscented and contains so many good anti-aging ingredients. This product is by far my favorite in the set. My skin instantly felt soft and smooth and just like with retinol products - Bakuchiol will show results over the long term, so I am excited to see the results of this product over the next few months.
Step #4 - Antioxidant Soft Cream This is a classic day cream that I really love. In total honesty this isn't a necessary step for me in the summer. I usually ditch a day cream in the summer for this tinted moisturizer. But for the sake of research I did use it a few times and I really like it. It's also unscented and I'll definitely circle back and include this in my morning routine come fall - this time of year I just don't need so much moisture on my face with the humidity in the air.
Step #5 Ultra Renewal Eye Cream I absolutely LOVE this eye cream and I'm pretty picky with eye cream. Eye cream is the most essential part of any skincare routine and it's always the step I suggest people start with if they are wondering where to start. This eye cream is crazy luxurious and thick and I can't recommend it enough. You only need a tiny bit to cover the eye area and it feels amazing on!
Evening Countertime Routine
Step #1 - Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil Like I mentioned above, while I didn't love the Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil for the morning - I actually LOVE it for my nighttime routine. It's the only BC cleanser that really takes off my makeup well and after cleansing my skin feels super clean and fresh, without feeling dry.
Step #2 - Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence Again, this essence is just dreamy! I love it after cleansing and it makes my skin feel ready for layering on the next step - and I do love a good skin care layer!
NOTE: If you use the Overnight Resurfacing Peel (which still is my number one favorite of all BC products, you would add that step here!
Step #3 - Tripeptide Radiance Serum Again, same as in the morning I absolutely LOVE this serum. It feels amazing on the skin and with long term use I know it will just get better and better!
Step #4 - Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream The name here says it all. This is definitely the most "supreme" night cream I have ever tried. It's already being compared to La Mer (but for WAY less of a hit to your wallet). When I first tried this I was a little skeptical because it's SO THICK. But after applying my skin felt great and in the morning I was very impressed with the texture of my skin after sleeping in this night cream. Call me a beleiver!
Step #5 Ultra Renewal Eye Cream I feel the same about this eye cream at night as with the morning routine. This eye cream is my new favorite and seriously - I have tried them all.
If you have ANY questions about Beautycounter at all - be sure to email me or leave a comment! I'm happy to help!