F-It Fridays: Favorite Trader Joe's Beauty Products

Happy Friday! It feels nothing like a Friday for me right now. I’m going to BeautyCon tomorrow with my co-host Ali. We’re going to try to record our podcast there, so it will be a totally different process than what we normally do. On Sunday, I’m going to the Propel Fitness CO:LABS Festival and finally getting to meet my editor from A Sweat Life because she lives in Chicago.

So, what does all of this have to do with an F-It Friday post anyway? A lot. I’ve had such a busy week. It looks like things are going to slow down for me never, which is probably a good thing. During times when I don’t have a minute to spare, I’m really grateful for one-stop shopping. While I’m generally not a fan of Los Angeles supermarkets (listen to the first episode of the podcast, I rant all about how terrible they are), I LOVE Trader Joe’s. Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time (well not a lot, but like two minutes every time I go) in their beauty aisle, which isn’t really an aisle but more like three shelves. But I like their less is more approach, especially when I’m short on time. It also means not going to multiple stores. Here are some of my TJ’s must-haves. 

Face & Body Sunscreen SPF 30

I like this better than any other sunscreen I’ve bought at the drugstore or health food store. It’s not greasy or smelly, absorbs quickly and gets the job done. For $5.99, I slather it on, share it and usually find I have multiple bottles in different beach bags. 

Lavender Salt Scrub

Lavender Salt Scrub is a great multitasker because it exfoliates and moisturizes. The lavender scent is very relaxing and perfect for a pre-bedtime shower. The oil really penetrates your skin so you can even skip the post shower body lotion.

French Orange Blossom Honey Liquid Soap

I like to keep a bottle of this on my bathroom sink. It smells EXPENSIVE--like a hotel in Paris or a fancy mansion in the Hamptons. I challenge you to a scent test with any fancy hand soap and TJ’s will win every single time. The only problem is the bottle isn’t big enough. Trader Joe’s People-- if you are reading this, can you please sell this soap by the gallon? Thank you!

Organic Argan Oil

I actually tried this for the first time yesterday. While I get nervous about trying new hair products, I bought it on a whim and I’m so happy I did. I was so busy that I actually let my hair air dry. It came out so pretty and soft, I almost can’t believe it. For $6.99, you’ll be tempted to use a lot, be forewarned, a little argan oil goes a long way. The packaging is also great because it has a little dropper thing and you can dispense the exact amount you want.

Refresh Citrus Body Wash

Refresh is the right word here! I usually don’t like most body washes because they are overly perfumed or dry out my skin, but the simple citrus scent feels great after the beach or a workout. For $2.99, I can use as much as I want (I can go through a gallon of body wash in two weeks, easily) and not feel guilty about it at all.

Tea Tree Oil

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I’m obsessed with oils and this might be my new favorite one. Tea Tree oil is good for acne and a natural treatment for athlete’s foot, which is something I’m really prone to. Gross? TMI—sorry, I’ve had this problem since I was a kid and I know I’m not alone. Sometimes, I just open the bottle and take a whiff to clear my sinuses. 

 

 

Drinking Yourself Pretty With The Food Network's Kate Von

Beauty beverages are becoming a huge wellness trend. But is this just another craze or can you actually drink yourself pretty? The answer is yes, but it’s not a miracle cure. You can’t just drink something and suddenly look like you had a vacation, plastic surgery and a nap. (But wouldn’t that be nice?) Beauty beverages should be treated like any other supplement, as part of an overall healthy lifestyle, nourishing you from the inside out. 

I asked Tatiana Ridley, who is a New York based holistic nutritionist exactly how these drinks work and she broke it down, “While the age-old quest for the proverbial fountain of youth may not have been found in beauty beverages, there is some validity to the beautifying benefits of some of the drinks on the market. First of all, the liquid form of these elixirs makes them more bio-available - meaning the nutrients are easier for the body to absorb and use because they’re already broken down. Since the main ingredients are fruits and veggies, which are packed with antioxidants and water, they work together to benefit your skin. Imagine a microscopic army of antioxidants fighting off the little mutants that manufacture wrinkles and sagging skin, (free radicals), and a fleet of water (boats) rescue the nutrients, delivering them safely to our skin cells to hydrate and plump up.” 

If you need further proof, just look at the beautiful Kate Von of the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen and Camp Cutthroat. She makes her own beauty elixir by “blending juiced turmeric, ginger root, a squeeze of lemon and a dash of cayenne.” She says her not-so-secret beauty sauce also has other benefits, “It is the ultimate metabolism booster, beauty amplifier and toning tonic. Stimulating circulation, suppressing the appetite and satisfying your cravings will all improve your glow and keep you feeling fabulous.” I’ll totally have what she’s having. 

Kate Von's big beauty secret is out!

Kate Von's big beauty secret is out!

But, if you aren’t as ambitious as Kate is in the kitchen, it’s totally okay, store bought drinks can work just as well. Whether you prefer smoothies, mixes, liquid supplements or juices, there are lots of ways to drink your way to better skin, hair and even nails. Here are some of my personal favorites:

Project Juice Turmeric Lemonade

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If you aren’t going to juice your own turmeric like Kate Von, Project Juice’s Turmeric Lemonade might be the next best thing. With just 50 calories per bottle (when was the last time lemonade was this low-cal?), it has a mild kick. You can even drink it while working out instead of water. Turmeric is kind of a wonder herb because it reduces inflammation and free radical damage to cells.

Replere Restore & Fortify Beauty Shooters by Dr. Debbie Palmer

Developed by dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer, Replere Beauty Shooters come individually packaged and don’t require refrigeration, so they’re perfect if you are on the go. You can drink the shooter by itself or add to water. The formula contains a variety of ingredients including coffee Arabica (coffee fruit), camu camu, goji and açai berries, chokeberry, blueberries, pomegranate, and resveratrol. The high concentration of antioxidants helps fight against the affects of free radicals. It’s a perfect afternoon pick-me-up and a more hydrating alternative to coffee.

UVO

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If skin has one enemy, it’s the sun’s UV rays. Created by Dr. Bobby Awadalla, UVO is the only drink formulated to protect and repair your skin against sun damage. It comes bottles as well as individual packets you mix with water. The orange peach flavor is like drinking a tropical vacation. Every serving gives you 3-5 hours of sun protection. FYI, drinking UVO isn’t a substitute for sunscreen, but if you are that person who always ends up getting burned (and use SPF 100, which you reapply every 15 minutes), UVO might be your favorite new beach accessory.

Greek Girl Beauty Protein

A combination of whey protein and Greek yogurt, at only 50 calories, Greek Girl Beauty Protein isn’t exactly a big fat Greek smoothie. This powerful powder contains 8 essential B vitamins, which helps prevent dry skin, wrinkles, acne, weak hair and splitting nails. Because it’s gluten-free and contains probiotics, Greek Girl also helps with your digestion. And unlike most protein powders I’ve tried, the honey vanilla flavor actually tastes good.

NeoCell Hyaluronic Acid Blueberry Liquid

Hyaluronic acid is a very popular ingredient in many moisturizers. But did you know you could drink it?  NeoCell’s Hyaluronic Acid Blueberry Liquid can be taken by the spoonful or mixed with water. The formula also contains pomegranate and green tea polyphenols, which help plump the skin and increase elasticity. Sweetened with agave, it tastes like a liquid Sour Patch Kid.

Core Hydration Water

Water is actually one of the best beauty drinks available. Staying hydrated reduces toxins and helps your whole body function in a more optimal way. Core Hydration Water is specifically formulated to help you better assimilate vitamins, minerals and other nutrients because it has the same pH as your body. So, essentially, it makes all of your other supplements work even better. 

Intelligent Nutrients Intellimune Oil

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Intelligent Nutrients Intellimune Oil is one of the more versatile drinkable products. Organic, it is designed to prevent pre-mature aging and support healthy cell growth. Two teaspoons have the same antioxidant power as ten pounds of berries. This product is great if you want the benefits of a beauty supplement in a more convenient way. You can use the oil in salads, or blend into sauces or smoothies. Or you can simply drink it on its own. It has a mild taste, like buttery oregano. 

How To Travel With Every Beauty Product You Need And Not Have It Be A Complete S-Show

The following story has everything to do with travel products, so actually read it.

Three years ago I met the most amazing guy. He was cute, funny and everything I ever wanted in a partner. There was just one problem, he was geographically undesirable. He lived in New York and I lived in Los Angeles. But I had the sense he was totally worth my time. Because his job wasn’t flexible, I had to be the one to schlep from coast to coast most of the time. It was completely annoying, but totally worth it because he eventually became my husband.

So, WTF am I getting at here? Being in a long distance relationship teaches you a lot of things, including how to pack every single beauty product you need so you don’t run out or have an incident involving a bottle of eye makeup remover and a dry clean-only sweater. If you’re traveling for the holidays, especially for a period of a week or longer, you're going to need a lot of stuff. Just follow my guidelines and you will be able to take it all with you. 

Go Big When You're Not At Home

Aren't those travel size bottles from Ulta and Sephora just darling? Nope, they're often overpriced, not-so-great for the environment, and never have quite enough product for me. The same logic applies to those TSA-friendly refillable bottle kits. In my unscientific opinion, they don’t keep products as fresh as the original packaging does. Then there is always the tiny drop at the bottom that never comes out, which is annoying and wasteful. My strategy is to bring full sized products which are already a part of my regular routine, that just happen to be packaged in a way that is conducive to travel. 

Buy The Biggest Travel Toiletry Case You Can Find

We all have 1000 little toiletry cases, most of which are useless. If you’ve ever had all of your products strewn about a hotel room, wondered if someone broke in, stealing your expensive moisturizer and your search became something you later referred to as an “incident”, a big toiletry case is a necessity. It allows you to keep all of your products together in one place.

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This cute bag from Target is perfect because it has lots of pockets and easily fits full-size bottles. 

Do Not Bring Anything That Can Leak Or Break! (Yes, That Exclamation Point Is Intentional) 

If you learn just one thing from this post, it’s do not bring anything that can leak, break or is made from glass. It will be more trouble than it is worth. 

But If You Must...

Tape down the caps and double Ziploc. Don’t forget to bring extra tape with you. 

Bring One Product In Each Category, Bonus Points For Multi-Taskers

I have separate AM and PM skincare routines, but many of my products can be used any time. So, I only take those when I travel. Here are some of my favorites.

Spa @Home by MasqueBAR Melting Cleanser

 
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When I’m home, I use a cleansing oil to remove makeup, but the thought of travelling with a oil that can leak is enough to make me need a valium before takeoff. That’s why I always travel with Spa @Home by MasqueBAR Melting Cleanser. This K Beauty Product is a genius multi-tasker that removes both makeup and dirt. No double-cleansing necessary.

Clinique Take The Day Off Eye Makeup Remover Stick

Clinique Take The Day Off Eye Makeup Remover Stick is the same size as a lipstick, but has no risk of leaking, so it's ideal for traveling. A solid eye makeup remover balm, it’s perfect for on the go touchups and getting off the last bit of your mascara so you don’t become known as that guest who ruins pillowcases.

Regenica Rejuvenating Dual Serum

Regenica’s Rujuvenating Dual Serum is a really unique product that just happens to be perfect for travel because it’s formulated for both day and night use. The plastic bottle houses two chambers of ingredients you mix together in your hand (that’s why it’s called “dual serum”). Made with a 95% concentration of patented MRCx™ formula as well as advanced copper peptides, amino acids, anti-oxidants, and plant-based extracts, it helps prevent and reverse the signs of aging. The serum has a very creamy texture, so if you have combination skin like I do, you can easily skip moisturizer. 

Regencia Revitalizing Eye Crème

Made with many of the same patented ingredients as the Dual Serum, Regencia Revitalizing Eye Crème takes care of all possible under eye problems, which are just inevitable when you travel, including puffiness, wrinkles, dark circles and fine lines. It can be used both day and night.

 Bioré Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub

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You know how your face feels dirty when you’ve been traveling all day? If you are dying for a squeaky clean visage again, all you need to do is use Bioré's Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub. It exfoliates deeply, but gently, getting the gunk out of your pores and balancing your skin. Because this scrub is a powder and not a liquid, you don’t have to worry about spilling. You could even put a little bit in a Ziploc bag, but I’d avoid doing that if you are taking a plane. 

Plus Ultra Toothbrush

If a toothbrush could be a super model, the Plus Ultra Toothbrush would be it. Made from 100% organically grown Moso bamboo, it’s way more sleek and stylish than a typical plastic brush. It’s also biodegradable, sustainable, anti-microbial and comes with bonus karma points. If that isn’t reason enough to brush with a Plus Ultra, the brand was started by #GirlBoss Christina Ramirez. I met her personally at an event I'm going to post about on Monday and her brilliance just wowed me. 

 

A Midsummer Day’s Product Round Up: Beach Please Edition

I love everything about the beach. From the sun and the salty air, to the sound and smell of the waves. I'm even like feeling hot sand on my toes. While I live in Los Angeles, my apartment isn't exactly close to the water and I don't really get there as often as I would like to. 

Here are some of my favorite beach beauty products. Some of these are specifically for the beach, which others help me look and smell as if I've spent the day the there, when in realty I was on dry land the whole time. 

Bobbi Brown Beach Eau de Parfum

This is one of my favorite fragrances. My friend Bliss, who has been my best friend since 4th grade, introduced me to it last year. I was telling her about how a former roommate of mine wore Fire Island by Bond No 9 and that I really wanted to buy it, but it was way above my budget at that point. She spritzed some of her Bobbi Brown Beach on me, which smelled like a slightly muted version of the Bond I was lusting after. Two weeks later I bought my own bottle and I’ve been obsessed ever since. Very light, it smells like a long summer day has spicy notes of sunscreen. I love it so much, I even wear it all year round.  

K+K Beach Waves Sea Salt Texture Spray

Beach waves are my signature go-to look these days because they require minimal to no heat styling and not a whole lot of effort (#lazy). I've tried a lot of similar products, but this summer, I’m really into K+K Sea Salt Texture Spray. It smells like a sandy sea breeze and doesn't dry out my hair. This product was created by Karena and Katrina, who you may know from their fitness blog and program Tone It Up.

After towel drying, while my hair is still damp,  I spritz some on and roll my hair into two side buns a la Princess Leia and fasten them. Then I re-spritz the buns. I'll let my hair set for 20 to 30 minutes, if I'm not going anywhere. If I need to be somewhere, I'll blast each bun with with a hair dryer for a few minutes and then take them out. Ta Da! Instant beach waves!

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Dry-Oil Sunscreen

Alba is one of my favorite natural brands. I have yet to find a product they make that I don’t like. Their pricing is relatively affordable and they’re sold everywhere from Whole Foods to CVS. Sometimes I think there is nothing more annoying than finding a product I’m really into and then not being able to find it anywhere local. And yes, I can always order online, but sometimes, I like to pick something up at an actual store. But I digress....

Alba's Dry-Oil Sunscreen smells like a fruity drink. It probably smells like Hawaii, but since I’ve never been there, I can’t make that claim. Most oils I've seen have a very low SPF (like 4 or 9, why even bother?) and I won't use them because I'm afraid to burn, but with SPF 15 I don't have to worry. 

Desert Essence Organics Tropical Coconut Hand and Body Lotion

I feel like coconut-scented lotions can smell like one of two things. Either like a gas station air freshener or like something you want to drink on a tropical island and garnish with a paper umbrella and fruit wedge. Desert Essence's Tropical Coconut Lotion smells like the later. It's totally delicious. I think I've smelled nearly every coconut lotion available (not kidding) and this is my favorite by far. It's also paraben-free, which is important to me because I use this product on my entire body every time I get out of the shower. 

Nios Shield Leave-In Conditioner with SPF 15

For years, I've always wondered why no one invented hair sunscreen and then Nios Shield finally did. I've been coloring my hair blonde for more years than I can remember and it has a tendency to get really brassy and turn gold. And yes, I use purple shampoo, but I like to fight the brass before it starts. I always apply this product before a beach or pool day. Then I re-apply if my hair gets wet. You can also use it on your scalp, if you have a tendency to burn there. 

Everyone Soap Coconut + Lemon

I love Everyone Soap because it's a body wash, bubble bath and shampoo all rolled into one. While I confess I'm more of a bar soap person (so old school, I know...), this is the one body wash I don't feel bad treating myself to because it's inexpensive and smells like a vacation. Most of the time, I actually use it as hand wash (EO so needs to add this use to the label) and the giant 32oz bottle lasts for months. My hands are extraordinarily sensitive and break out in a rash from most chemical-filled washes. This doesn't irritate them at all. Like most of my favorites, paraben-free. 

RMS Beauty Eye Polish in Solar

RMS Beauty's Solar Cream Eye Polish is a big game changer for me. You just apply it to your eyelid with your finger tip (nope, no brush needed) and it's the perfect gold/bronze(ish) shade without being too glittery or shimmery.  Like all of RMS Beauty's products, their eye polishes are non-toxic and made with organic ingredients. 

Nuxe's Huile Prodigieuse

Nuxe's Huile Prodigieuse is a dry-oil, so it's not runny and the bottle is almost spill-proof (spilled oil always causes the biggest mess- ugh!) If you want to transform into a bronze goddess in seconds, this is your go-to. You can use this oil on your face, body, or hair for a little extra bronze glow. There's something I really appreciate about products that have multiple uses.It also smells like a fancy summer day in St. Tropez. It's hard for me to resist a product that smells good!

Boots No7 Extravagant Volume Waterproof Mascara

I have mixed feelings about waterproof mascara because most are hard to take off, but I don't really look good without it. So, if I'm going to a social event that involves a body of water, I'll apply Boots No7 Extravagant Volume Waterproof Mascara. It gives my lashes just enough of a coating without looking like I'm wearing too much makeup. You know, it's for those moments when I'm trying hard not to look like I'm trying too hard. It stays on all day, but comes off easily with makeup remover when I get home.

Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub in Coconut Lime

If you like Pina Coladas (and overrated songs), then you'll love Tree Hut's Shea Sugar Scrub. Sugar scrubs are better for your skin than salt scrubs because they aren't as drying. Also, I'm clumsy and accidentally cut myself all the time, so if I use a salt scrub, I literally end up rubbing salt into my wounds. One thing I love about Tree Hut's Shea Sugar Scrub is that is looks pricey, but only costs $6.99. It's also paraben-free and leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized. No post-shower lotion necessary.