This morning as I was getting ready for work and gathering my "must have" things, I realized that I found several things this past year that I have to wonder how I lived without! Of course, that is stretching it a bit, but really, I have found a handful of items that are good enough to share. Since I am the Makeup Artist, you might expect that they are makeup related, but only one is. (I hope that isn't a disappointment!) In no particular order, here are my top 5 discoveries of 2010!
Longchamps Le Pliage foldable tote bags - Far from being new, these bags have been around forever! But my dear friend Robyn introduced me to them this year, and I am in love. The price is a bit steep for this foldable nylon bag with leather trim, but if you carry one for a while, you will see why it is popular all over the world, and especially with travelers and commuters. Impervious to rain or snow, they pack flat and are perfect for bringing home all of your treasures from a trip. On a daily basis, they are a chic option to carry your lunch, workout clothes or spare diapers.
Keys Soap Moisturizers - Emily at our local retail partner Camillia Pure Beauty introduced me to these products this summer, and I am so thrilled with them, especially at this price point! Only around $25 each, the moisturizer and eye cream are both listed as some of the safest products by the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Data Base. The moisturizer Luminos provides a lot of moisture, but isn't at all oily looking. It imparts a glow to the skin, but without looking greasy. The Eye Butter, which contains cucumber, provides moisture and again isn't greasy, but also helps "hold" your makeup. If your eyes aren't sensitive to cucumber, you can even use it on your lids as a shadow primer, but be sure to test a bit on the lid first.
Naturally Knotty 100% Bamboo "Pashminas" - There are plenty of bamboo scarves out there, but the ones by Naturally Knotty are so weighty and soft, they really do help keep you warm. They package the bamboo wraps in cute, reusable bamboo tubes, and I especially like that the company is based here in Oregon.
Hydro Flask - And here's another Oregon company, who makes my absolute favorite water bottle. I try to remember to drink water throughout the day, so I don't just end up guzzling it right before bed. Hydro Flask has made that much easier for me! I like my water cold, but I hate having a sweating water bottle or glass sitting near my computer. Hydro Flasks are made from food-grade stainless steel, and are double-walled, so your cold beverages stay cold for up to 24 hours and hot beverages stay hot for up to 12 hours. Seriously, it is true. I often still have ice cubes in my bottle after 24 hours. I love these so much that Alima Pure gave them as Christmas gifts this year. (Watch for a contest on Facebook, you might win one!)
Chico Bags - How many reusable grocery bags do you carry in your car, and how often do you forget to take them into the store? I am especially bad about this when I'm just running in for a couple of items. But rather than having to use plastic or paper, I just pull my Chico bag out of my purse. It stuffs into an attached little bag so it takes up a tiny amount of space, and has a carabiner attached so that I can keep it easy to find in my handbag. Lightweight nylon in a wide selection of bright colors, it is amazing how much one of these bags will hold. It's roughly the same size as a plastic grocery bag, but many times more strong! Sometimes you can find them as fundraisers for great non-profits, mine is from the Sunriver Nature Center!