I have a confession: I don’t wash my face in the morning. I never have. I’ve only ever used a toner in the a.m.. In middle school and high school, when I was oily and acne prone, my go to was Sea Breeze and sometimes, Witch Hazel. I know. Let the gasps ensue.

For better or worse, my morning ritual simply involves a doused cotton round. It’s fast and, for me, just feels right.

I recently discovered this amazing toner from Nars . It’s kind of antithesis to toners I’ve used in the past: it’s moisturizing and soothing while it also gently exfoliates and boosts cell turnover. I’m also using it at night. It’s one of those products that kind of just goes with everything. My skin is definitely softer and brighter.

Formulated without fragrance, parabens, alcohol or oil, this toner exfoliates with fruit acids, soothes with wild rose extracts and brightens with Nars’ exclusive Light Reflecting Complex, which may or may not be the reason this cool, minimalist bottle has taken up permanent residence in my beauty cabinet.

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04 .04 .16 Hi, I’m Back.

I feel like I’ve aged 100 years in internet time. I’ve missed this space so much.

But I’ve been absent for a totally legit reason. I don’t want to over-share, but I kind of had major surgery. I’m totally fine now, I just had to have a uterine fibroid the size of a grapefruit removed and it was like getting a C-section all over again—only 10x worse. I had my umbilical hernia repaired, too, since they were all up in there, and that, my fellow mamas who might suffer the same, was no picnic.

So, I have been healing. And for me, resting and healing meant I totally detached from work. It wasn’t a conscious decision. I was ambitious going in. I thought, “Oooh, I’ll be in bed for a while and will have the luxury to just think and write all day.” Sounded like a dream. But it was all theoretic. I alternately binge-watched Amazon Prime and slept. Not only did I barely move, I barely thought.

But I healed! And now, my innie belly button and I are back–with so much beauty news to discuss. So stand by.

From a new hair smoothing treatment to the perfect summer skin tint and face oil and makeup, I’m back with some exciting finds.

I’d love to hear from you, too. Discovered anything great lately?

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I honestly had no idea what to make of this product when it showed up. I was a little wary of spraying oil on my wet hair, but when the gilded bottle says “Shu Uemura,” I trust.

And it works.

Like, really works. My hair felt like a had just gotten a keratin treatment and my blowdrying time was significantly cut down. No greasiness, just beautiful soft texture the brand refers to as “slip.” Featuring the same gliding agents as makeup foundation, the unique formula applies with a gentle, super-fine mist (like my favorite hairspray from Shu Uemura.) Add your blowdryer and voilà—smooth, sleek and shiny hair in record time. (2x faster, according to the brand’s study.)

The key ingredient that powers this, my new favorite hair product, is black cumin oil. Apparently, this was the oil of the pharaohs. One of natures most powerful antioxidants, it contains a nice balance of omega oils that really get deep down into the hair, lending the sleek finish.

Ok, history lesson over. But you can buy the product here.


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Dear Emerson,

You turned three a few days ago. You’re a big girl for your age—tall and solid and strong. You also have a big head of bouncy curls that I’m learning to cultivate. You are absolutely and totally adorable, body and soul. I love how the backs of your hands are still padded in baby fat and how your round cheeks squeeze your eyes shut when you smile that great big wide open smile of yours. Your laugh, the giggly one that seems to have a little motor behind it, the one that comes out when your dad helps you jump “super high” on the bed or when your big sister acts so silly you fold into hysterics, shoots through my ears and injects such joy through me, I almost have no words for the pleasure of you.

You say “I love you,” unprompted when you wiggle in to sit next to me a lot. That started a few months ago and it really took me aback because it took your sister a little while longer to speak. For such a little person to have latched onto those words and given them back to me so sweetly and so true, in only the way a very small person can, with the slight impediment on the “L” sound and the sweet, shy smile, discovering the power of your voice, slays me. I love you, too. Oh, how I love you.

I love how you tell me “Mommy, look how strong I am!” when you sit on the couch and use the coffee table to hold yourself in a plank position. Or push your bed half way across the room. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure you continue to grow to love your able body and discover all the things it can do. It’s going to be exciting to watch.

We’re having such a good time with you these days. But I know being three is also hard. I see you struggling between wanting to be “big” like your sister but also a little afraid. You are, as they say in the parenting books, quite “attached” to me and you’ve had a challenging time “separating” from me this year as you started nursery school. And you know what? That’s okay sweetie, you take your time. I know how brave you are when I leave that classroom and I see how steely you are on the inside—even if there are loveys and pacis still on the outside. We’ll get there. I promise I wont hold you back but I also won’t rush you. You have the benefit of me having done this before so I know better than to worry about these small details.

I want you to know that this struggle between wanting to move forward but having to practice and gear up the strength, is a struggle that will take many forms as you grow up. This is truly your first real life challenge and I think you’re doing a great job finding your way. I watch you find joy in the nooks and crannies of life everyday. That’s going to serve you well.

I know these days are precious because we can afford for them to be slow. Collect your leaves as we walk, go on and stare at the colorful movie posters on the wall, stop to pet all the dogs. And yes, we can get that cookie in the window. This is our time and I know it and I cherish it.

I’m so proud to me your Mom. When I look at you and see that twinkle in your eye, I know your lights are on and I bask in the bright wonder of you.

Happy birthday my sweet, lovely girl.

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This gorgeous woman, who I love and respect as both an actor and mother, caused quite a stir at the Sag Awards this weekend with this revealing outfit. I think she looks amazing—she’s 69! I can’t say I relate to her fashion choice because I, personally, wouldn’t wear this, but, at the same time, all the more power to her. I mean, if Bjork can dress like a bird and JLo can go sheer and bare down to there on the red carpet, what’s the problem? Do you think she’s getting so much slack because of her age?

While the traditional “rules” of beauty have been challenged and bent—like, matching fingertips and toes, lip color and clothes, longer hair on older women, it seems fashion rules for women of a certain age have remained in place: simply, cover up.

What say you?

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There were so many gorgeous looks at the Golden Globes last night, but these mamas are my favorites for hair and makeup. I think they look stunning, sultry and mostly, like they’re not trying too hard. I like how one aspect of their makeup matches the tone of their dress—how gorgeous does that burgundy eyeshadow look on Olivia Wilde’s blue eyes? I couldn’t stop staring at her. And Amy Adams lip is the perfect not-too-orangey-orange to go with her gown, while Kate Hudson’s slightly frosty lip plays nicely with her gown. I must admit, I didn’t quite love her ensem, but who really cares when you look that good?

I have to say, though, the biggest winner for the evening, for me, was Sylvester Stallone. My love for Rocky knows no bounds.

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