My sister Ashlie and I have been chatting about our tried and true staples and we thought it would brighten your day if we brought back our popular Hot or Not?! series for a special “let’s say home” edition. With shopping trips budgets being limited we are hoping our picks will help you save time and money! We are talking beauty, pantry basics, and cleaning products, enjoy!
Ann Taylor Loft Readers
One of the first things I realized when this Shelter in Place was issued was that I needed another pair of “cheater” reading glasses! I was constantly grabbing a pair that was on my nightstand and then setting those down and losing them. I looked online and found that Ann Taylor Loft had a nice selection of reading glasses. The bonus was that these were 50% off and free shipping. Win-Win! They arrived promptly and they have quickly become my favorite pair of glasses to use when reading directions, working online, doing puzzles and settling down with my book each evening. These glasses are a HOT!
Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish
One of my favorite treats to myself before this Pandemic began was a shellac manicure every 2 weeks! I miss these appointments to much and I also miss my visits with Dawn. My nails also quickly showed that they needed a little love. I did a little research and found that Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish came highly rated. It’s a 2 step process. Pick your color and paint your nails like normal and then set polish with the special top-coat. No light needed. While this polish isn’t salon perfect it is a good fix for right now! I would call the Essie Gel Couture a Warm/HOT. Once I’m allowed I’ll be back to my regular nail appointments, but this will work for the time being.
Simplehuman Mini Sensor Mirror
This may be my favorite product of 2020. I love this mirror so much. It magnifies. It lights up. It’s cordless and looks stylish and modern on a bathroom counter. It can also be stored easily as it folds and comes with a soft shell case. Mine never leaves my counter because I use it daily. As soon as you get close to the mirror it senses you and the halo light turns on providing you with great lighting for makeup application and other beauty maintenance (wink wink). This mirror is a definite HOT and worth every cent.
Great Value Flex Trash Bags–Fresh Cotton Scent
My grocery shopping has been all curbside pickup since March 13th. Many items are picked over in the stores which results in a lot of substitutions. I needed kitchen trash bags badly and this was what I ended up with. The flex is nice but the scent is way too strong. For awhile I wasn’t sure where the smell was coming from! I will continue to use the bags because I don’t want to be wasteful but I will not buy these again. Fresh Cotton Scented Trash Bags are a NOT!
Campanelli Makeup Remover Towels
I received these Makeup Remover Towels from my Mom and I love them! They really remove the makeup. All I do is get the cloth damp with some warm water and rub off my makeup. It’s that easy. I typically use mine a couple of nights and then grab a new one. They are machine washable and I just fluff mine in the dryer. I love these so much I even gifted some to my sister for her birthday and February–a sign of a for sure HOT!
Nature Valley Biscuits-Coconut Butter
I picked these up on a whim when I was doing some shopping and they have quickly become one of my favorite afternoon treats. They are perfect with a hot cup of coffee or tea. I love the coconut flavor and how they satisfy that crunch that I crave late in the day. I can’t vouch for the other flavors that the Nature Valley Biscuits come in– but this was is a HOT! Give them a try next time when you are doing your online grocery shopping!
My client Meredith who is a beauty queen, literally gorgeous and super knowledgable of all these glam, recommended Glossier Futuredew product to me so I gave it a try. It’s meant to be applied as the last product before your foundation which I loved but not that I’m not wearing much makeup while I’m staying at home I love it even that much more. It gives your skin that extra pop, almost like an instagram filter without the filter. This product is HOT!
Candles of all shapes, sizes, and scents have brought me so much joy while I’m staying at home. Each morning I pull up the shades in our living room, turn on the news, light a candle, and pour myself a cup of coffee. My favorite candle scent is the volcano scent from Anthropologie but during one of their crazy Covid-19 promotions they had this coastal candle on sale and I snapped it up. It’s unfortunately out of stock now but when it comes back I’ll be ordering a few more. The scent is instantly relaxing, it really does take you right to the beach!
NAILSINC Gel Remover
I’m a loyal nail salon gal, Candy and Lana at Hygia in Los Altos keep my professional organizer hands looking glam instead of grubby. Lana talked me into switching to gel polish two years ago and I’ve never looked back. The gel keeps my nails looking fresh and polished for 2-3 weeks. Once we were issued our shelter in place restrictions I figured I would most likely need to remove the gel on my own which is next to near impossible so I ordered this NAILSINC Gel Remover on a prayer that it would work. It runs about $20 for the kit and it removed the gel without leaving my nails thin and damaged. This product is HOT!
I hate to get the cocktail shaker out in the afternoon because I feel it opens the rest of the day up for trouble BUT there are instances when a refreshing drink to sip on the deck seems appropriate. I love margaritas and I’ve been sampling a few different brands while I’m staying at home. Laughing Glass has always been a favorite, Cayman Jack was nice but more of a hard cider, so this Cutwater Lime Margarita was next on my list based on the grocery store line up. I like that it comes in a can so I don’t need to open an entire bottle. My opinion is that it is hard to drink out of the can but if you pour it over ice it has potential. So, my ruling would be that it’s not quite HOT or NOT at this time, it’s simply WARM. Ha!
Burt’s Bees Renewing Hydrogel Eye Mask
I received this as a gift and had it tucked in my medicine cabinet for just the right night on the couch watching Keep Up With the Kardashians. Well, the night that Kourtney and Kim decided to get into a wrestling match seemed like the perfect night so I broke out the pack and applied the gel packs under each eye. At first they seemed refreshing but after just a few seconds they warmed up and didn’t want to stay in place. I did my best to keep them on for the suggested time but ultimately had to give up. My eyes were not refreshed and almost seemed more dry after the treatment, unfortunately I have to say that these Burt’s Bees eye masks are a NOT!
DYSON V8 Animal Stick Vacuum
This Dyson V8 Animal stick vacuum is one of the only things keeping me sane right now! I’ve had it for about 2 years and it is worth every penny! I use it daily and love that I can zip around my house cord free, easily wash the filter, and swap out the attachments to clean everything from my upholstered furniture to the nooks and crannies of our refrigerator. This baby is HOT!
My friend Pam told me she swears by this stuff but I didn’t have good results. I made multiple attempts to remove stains from a pair of Chris’s golf pants with no luck. I also tried to use it to clean the grout and toilet in our bathroom but also wasn’t impressed. In my opinion BIZ is a NOT.
Ina Garten’s Cosmo Recipe
I love a cosmo but I typically reserve them as a treat when I go out to one of my favorite places. Here I am with a cosmo at Pebble Beach, my person version of heaven in a glass for sure. Man, I wish I was there right now!
But since I can’t be I’ve tried my best to replicate this delightful drink at home with Ina Garten’s recipe. If you haven’t seen her making one giant cocktail check out this video…
Two cups of vodka
One cup of Cointreau or triple sec
One cup of cranberry juice cocktail
Half cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
I have been following her recipe but cutting it down by 3/4 so I’m using 1/2 cup vodka, 1/4 triple sec, and so on. It’s HOT, especially when I close my eyes and sip it pretending I’m back at Pebble Beach or at my second favorite cosmo spot, The Los Altos Grill.
S&W Black Beans and Jalapenos and Lime
Next up, black beans with a kick. When I was shopping a few weeks ago these jalapeno and lime black beans were all they had on the shelf so I decided to pick up a few cans. Since then, I’ve made enchiladas and 7 layer bean dip with them and they have added an extra pop to both recipes. I’m going to be looking for the on future shopping trips, shelter in place or not! These S&W Black Beans with Jalapenos and Lime at HOT!