LIBBY LIVING COLORFULLY

My SweatBox DC Workout Experience

DC, BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
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It was long overdue but I finally started working out again. I tried Classpass again, but kept forgetting to sign up for different classes. I did SoulCycle, but only from time to time. Nothing was really clicking until I tried SweatBox here in DC.  They reached out to me and asked if I wanted to try them out for a 2 week trial, and if I liked it, then I’d tell you all. Well here I am, I liked it, I now LOVE it, and I want you to try it with me!
First things first, let’s cover the basics.

What is a Sweatbox class like?

SweatBox is a combination of cycling, XT training, and floor work, that you do in your own workspace.  You switch around between these different exercises during the 50 minute class as you go through all four heart rate training zones. Don’t worry, they give you time to recover between too. The instructor, aka the SweatBoss guides you through the transitions from the bike to the floor and explains everything in detail before class for beginners.

Here’s an awesome video of what a class is like:

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How much is it?

The 2 week trial is just $34 but if you use the code “LIBBYSWEATBOX” - you’ll get a $10 off discount. So, about $3.43 each, if you go to 7 classes during the trial. Such a good deal.

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Is it intimidating?

At first, I thought it was going to be. VIDA has a LOT of in shape well, gay men who are the literal physical opposite of me. But, don’t let this intimidate you. For my first class, I showed up 15 minutes early and they showed me what to do for each exercise and I instantly felt better. Also, you are in your own area with your own bike, weights, and TRX straps. SweatBox doesn’t make everyone being perfectly in sync. If you need to modify, modify. If you want to push yourself further, you can. You get to see what your heart rate and calorie burn is on the board. It’s not a contest against others in the class, more of a way to keep yourself accountable and give an extra push.  I didn’t think I would be that into this component, but I found myself working harder because of it.

What is the vibe?

So much fun. Like actual fun. They play all the bests like Dua Lipa, Kim Petras, and Lizzo. I found myself singing along with the music during warm ups. By the end, I’m usually huffing and puffing lol. They dim the lights which I appreciate. No one is yelling at you and there’s a lot of great camaraderie between everyone without being like a creepy Crossfit gym.

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Did you see results?

Yes! I am STRONGER than I was two weeks ago. Both mentally and physically. Today, at my last class, I reflected quite a bit about how much better I was from my first class. My balance, endurance, and overall strength has improved and I feel so much better about myself. As far as physical results, a friend or two told me I look thinner but who’s to say that’s true lol. I’m not one to weigh myself regularly (for better or worse) but if I had to guess, I feel like I maybe lost 4 or so pounds in the two weeks, just from the workouts. I feel much lighter overall and my arms are starting to tone up more!

Will you continue going?

100% yes. I’m already talking about doing the monthly unlimited. This really worked for me and I want to have it be my primary source of strength training. I am super happy with my experience with SweatBox and would 10/10 recommend.

Reminder: The 2 week trial is just $34 but if you use the code “LIBBYSWEATBOX” - you’ll get a $10 off discount.

Oh, and a VERY special thanks to Hanna and Julie at Lululemon in Georgetown for outfitting me for SweatBox. I’m wearing the All The Right Places Crop II in size 10, the Free to Be Serene tank in size 8 and the Sheer Joy Jacket in size 8. Shop below!

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Lastly, this 2 week trial was a sponsored gig. But money aside, I would do this out of my own pocket in a heartbeat. Thank you for having me SweatBox DC! I am hooked! Make sure to follow @sweatboxdc on insta.

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Colorful Cheese Board Essentials - Grocery List to Help!

DIY, Food, How ToLibby RasmussenComment
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It’s easy to get overwhelmed when looking at this board or preparing a cheese table, lol in this case. But, remember, it’s supposed to be fun and really, the less you over think it, the better it will turn out. SAVE or BOOKMARK this post for future grocery store reference!

  • Bell peppers

  • Blackberries

  • Grapes

  • Colorful radish from Each Peach Market

  • Nuts

  • Pita chips

  • Persian cucumbers

  • Romanesco or purple cauliflower

  • Raspberries

  • Fresh figs

  • Strawberries

  • Kiwi

  • Soft boiled eggs with mayo & Gordy’s Pickles

  • Dried lemons, oranges, persimmons, dates apricots (all from Trader Joe’s)

  • Honeycomb from Savannah Bee Company

  • Edible flowers from Wild Little Things

  • Hummus topped with olive oil and herbs

  • Olives & peppers

  • Crackers

    Honestly, you can’t go wrong with anything you put on here! Also, I started doing these boards for HIRE! email me at libbylivingcolorfully@gmail.com for your next party at home, the office, or anywhere!

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My 5 Spring Skincare Favorites

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

Something about spring makes me want to get my skin in shape. In summer, I wear less makeup and try to create that natural glow without harsh sun exposure. Other than my GO TO, sunscreen, I am a sucker for Vitamin C serums and when I asked my girl @jennrog about the serum she uses, she had GLOWING reviews about @heladerm. I’ve been using their Vitamin C serum the past 2 months or so and now it’s an essential in my AM routine. If you want to know more, check out my latest post on the blog for more skincare favorites under $50.

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Powder Sunscreen - Last time I was at Celadon in DC for a facial (my favorite place) the owner, Judith, sent me home a tube of Eminence Sun Defense with SPF 30. In addition to liquid sunscreen that I apply every morning, I love bringing this tube around with me to touch up a few times during the day. Not only does it help reduce my nose and forehead shine, it protects my skin from the sun! If you’re in DC, please visit Celadon to purchase this product and support local businesses!

Mango Balm Dot Com - Believe the hype. The Mango Balm Dot Com from Glosser is as good as everyone says it is. Especially in time for summer, it’s like a little vacation on your lips. Use this BFF code with a new email for 10% off your order.

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Lavender Facial Mist - Something I can’t say enough (other than wear sunscreen) is, if you want a well moisturized face, you need to provide it with moisture. This is a serious duh statement but I think there are so many people out there who thing that oils and serums alone with provide their skin with moisture alone. Wrong. What they do is they keep moisture in, which is great, but the good moisture needs to get there in the first place.  Enter facial mists. I use a facial mist right after showering or washing my face for that added spray of moisture before applying my Vitamin C serum. Really, any facial mist will do (I love this one from Caudalie too) but this Cordial Organics Lavender Hydrosol CBD mist is my favorite, especially before bed. Again, if you’re in DC, please visit Take Care Shop to purchase this product and support local businesses! If not, you can order online here.

Vitamin C Serum - Something about summer (or approaching it) always makes me want to get my skin in shape. In summer, I wear less makeup and try to create that natural glow without harsh sun exposure. Other than my GO TO, sunscreen, I am a sucker for Vitamin C serums and when I asked my girl @jennrog about the serum she uses, she had GLOWING reviews about @heladerm’s Vitamin C Serum. I’ve been using their Vitamin C serum the past 2 months or so and now it’s an essential in my AM routine. Shop the Heladerm Serum on Amazon here!

Bag Balm - You heard me. This stuff is called Bag Balm and if you’re a kid from the Midwest, you probably know it better as “Udder Balm” yes, like as in a cow udder. Growing up my hands would get so chapped and wind burned because I refused to wear gloves in like NEGATIVE 40 DEGREE WISCONSIN WEATHER. Oof. My Dad would slather on a thick coat of this on my hands and BAM, the next day they would be restored.  I personally use it on my elbows and sometimes my lips. It’s not light, and it doesn’t smell great, but it gets the job done and it’s like $6.

Turo is like AirBnB for Cars and I love it - $25 OFF FIRST TRIP

TravelLibby RasmussenComment

Not having a car in DC is both a curse and a blessing. For my friends that do, I’m sure you have enough parking tickets to pay for a flight to Hawaii and for my friends who don’t (like me) you’re probably getting a little sick of Ubering home with your groceries.

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I’ve talked about this before, but for YEARS (like since 2013) I’ve been using a car sharing company called TURO. Think of it as being like an AirBnB, but for cars. SO EASY.

Basically you use the app to find the nearest car, owned by someone just like you from anything from a Civic to a Tesla, and then can rent it the next day (or sometimes even the same day.) One time, I rented a car that was in the SAME apartment building as me, so it was as easy as getting the keys from my neighbor and dropping off after my trip. This time, I rented a newer BMW X5 as a treat.

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Besides the obvious convenience factor, it’s nice to put $$ back into normal people’s pockets, rather than something like Enterprise or Hertz, which usually has costly add ons, or doesn’t accept debit cards.   

The app is really easy, and there are insurance protections to save you, as the driver, or as the car owner. I was really excited when TURO agreed to work with me (I pitched them for the collab) because I use them so much and thought you might too!

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Just last weekend, I used Turo to pick up a friend from the Baltimore airport, and of course, pick up a vintage bar cart from Wishbone Reserve that I JUST HAD to have.

You too can ride for CHEAP on your first trip thanks to ya girl. CLICK HERE
or use the code: https://turo.com/c/elizabethr66 for $25 off your first trip and #ridelikeaboss!

If you sign up, we both get $25 so it’s a win - win!

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My Favorite Thrift & Antique Shops in DC

Shopping, DCLibby RasmussenComment

Thrifting and antiquing in DC is 90% heartbreaking and like, 10% success. When I’m back home in Wisconsin, it’s like heaven on earth (for many reasons) but particularly for the fact that I could find a full midcentury dining set of like, six for $200. Here in DC, we sing a different song. Things are pricey and those that aren’t, go QUICK. Other than scouring Craigslist every day (a favorite pastime of mine) here are my favorite places to thrift and antique in DC. I have a few hidden spots (to keep from over picking) but wanted to share the rest since it’s easily one of my most asked questions. In no particular order, here we go:

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For Your Eyes Only

One of my favorites! Located behind Union Market and also a location in Rockville, the owner Mo, has a great selection of items mostly found at estate sales. He also has a great Instagram @foryoureyesonlydc where you can scope out items before checking them out in the warehouse. I get a lot of my blue and white china there and my most prized possession, this ornate woven chair.

Address: 411 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
Prices: Negotiable - Items can be on the pricier side

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Mom N’ Pop Antiques

One of my favorites for glassware and random oddities, Mom N’ Pop on Georgia Ave is easy to spot (when you know where to look lol) with its colorful stained glass corner and typically open door. Just two weeks ago I snagged this adorable mint ottoman for $23. I love it so much. The owner, Bill has been here since 1986 and is just a call away when you’re looking for something specific. AKA me, calling him regularly asking if he has any colored glass pitchers that week…not kidding.

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Address: 3534 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010
Prices: Negotiable, VERY affordable

Christ Child Opportunity Shop

Truly one of my favorite places in all of DC. The little ladies who work at CCOS are just as special as the ornate china sets in the store. This shop has mostly beautiful F-R-A-GIIIII-LAY items like delicate crystal glassware, stunning full dining sets for upwards of $2,000 but then also an occasional vintage Hermés silk scarf for $200. The silver platters and serving trays on the second floor make me swoon every time and the jewelry (if I wore it) is notable as well. I would say I leave with something from here every other visit, typically gifts for others but an occasional blue and white planter if I’m lucky enough to find one for less than $50.

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Address: 1427 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
Prices: Not negotiable but prices decrease in monthly increments according to the sticker. Mid-prices

Miss Pixie’s

Pixie herself is arguably the OG queen on 14th Street. She started the shop, originally in Adams Morgan in 1997 before moving to 14th Street in 2008. I recommend going during the week as on weekends most of the good stuff is picked over from the Saturday shopping sweep. But, there’s always something good to find here. The lamps are typically well priced and readily available. Painted dressers and tables are common at Pixies’s and the staff is always there to greet you with a smile. Vintage silver, postcards, and magazines are always stocked up.

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Address: 1626 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Prices: Not negotiable (to my knowledge) Reasonable

GoodWood

If there was an award for “Best Smelling Store” in DC, GoodWood would take it home. This place is the coziest shop in DC and you’ll realize this the second you walk through the door. Most days when I walk into GoodWood, I’m greeted by a beautiful Chesterfield couch covered in Kilim pillows. There’s always a candle or Japanese incense burning, which naturally, I need a pack of each time I go in. Well framed art and mirrors line the walls for not a lot of loot. And, best of all, there is always at least one or two stunning credenzas for around $1,200 or less.

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Address: 1428 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Prices: Not negotiable. Overall very reasonably priced, especially for larger pieces.

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THIS IS IMPORTANT AND I WANT YOU TO READ THIS PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

If you are shopping at a thrift store or a Goodwill, I would STRONGLY encourage you to donate to the stores you shop from. Kind of like, “Take a penny, leave a penny” you know? Yes, you are allowed to buy what you please, but I promise you, you’ll feel better about scoring that beautiful ginger jar vase for $1.95, “a steal!” if you donated to the place you found it. You know?

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Easy Spring Floral Rosé Punch

Libby RasmussenComment
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You may have caught a glimpse of my wedding, I mean my Wisconsin Cheese Party earlier this month and noticed the pretty floral rosé punch I made. While it looked fancy as hell, it was cheap cheap cheap and easy as can be.

All you need are:

  • 2-3 Bottles of inexpensive rosé (I used the $3.99 rosé from Trader Joe’s)

  • 1 Bottle of sparkling grapefruit juice or really any sparkling water

  • 1 Bottle of sparking pink lemonade

  • Sliced citrus

  • Edible flowers

  • Mint

I’m determined to make 2019 the year of the punch bowl for my parties. I don’t know why party punches were ever dismissed but wow, they are a CRITICAL part of having an easy party as a hostess. Think about it, you can put everything together hours before the party, make it as pretty or as low-key as you want, and just add ice and go. EASY. Just make sure you have a ladle before you do! I had to buy a last minute ladle at Target.

Happy sipping!

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24 Colorful Hours In Baltimore

TravelLibby RasmussenComment

I fell in love with Baltimore this earlier this month…

And I already wish I was back, exploring the cutest historic areas and cool coffee shops. Baltimore reminds me of an edgier Milwaukee (which, you know I love.)

Rather than go through every.little.detail, because we really did quite a bit in 24 hours, I’ll break down the

I was there into categories.

First, how we got there

Turo - Say it with me now, Turrrrro. It’s like AirBnB, but for cars, and I’ve been using it for more than 4 years now.  I love it because you can rent essentially any car or SUV you like and from someone as close as your next-door neighbor.  One time, I used Turo from someone in my own apartment building, which was so so easy.  The best part, it puts money back in the pockets of people like you, who have a car and want to make a little extra $$$ for it. I reached out to them for a collab because I love them so much and thought you would like an alternative to a big corporate rental car company. Click here for $25 off your first trip!

So I picked up the car from a neighbor, (thanks Christopher) and off we went!  

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Where We Stayed

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Hotel Revival - Shout out to Madison Short for suggesting I reach out to the Revival “this place is so you” she said and damn she was right. The boutique hotel donned a beautiful lobby (the wallpaper was insane) where we were greeted by THE nicest staff.  This is always the first thing I notice, I don’t care HOW pretty or ‘grammable your hotel is, if you’re not a welcoming and hospitable establishment, you’re nothing in my book. Hotel Revival was everything and more that at boutique hotel should be.

Our room was on the 14th floor, (unheard of in DC) where we stayed in the Junior Suite with a beautiful view overlooking the Washington Monument. Added bonus: the Jonathan Adler toiletries. Swoon. It’s the little things, you know. 

 The rooftop bar and restaurant, Topside was the perfect place for a bite and a drink. We hung out in the cutest, tropical, mid-century room Friday night before heading to the concert.

We also enjoyed some tea at the morning after and scoped out the record player karaoke rooms.  Yes, you heard me. They have karaoke rooms with record players. Very fun.

 While my stay was complimentary, I would 100% go back and recommend Hotel Revival. They take hospitality seriously, the rooms are very comfortable and the aesthetic was beautiful.

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Where We Shopped


Second Chance - First stop was Second Chance, to check out all of the incredible oddities and massive storage unit that is about 45 degrees cooler inside than outside. Brrrr.  I suggest bringing an SUV if you plan on getting anything like a casual lime green chaise lounge or a baby grand piano. You know, the essentials.

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Wishbone Reserve – I HAD BEEN WANTING TO GO HERE FOR SUCH A LONG TIME. I AM SHOUTING. I was soooo excited to finally walk in and see the beautiful items I’d been admiring for so long via their Instagram.

Hunting Ground – This shop is in an old church. Very, very cool.

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TrohvThis place was really cute and highly recommended by many IG friends.  I liked it a lot, but it was a little too curated for my hoardy, creaky antique store-loving heart. Nonetheless it was super cute. Felt like a local version of Anthropolgie.

Strawberry Fields  - They had VERY inexpensive China. Like $2 a piece.

Bottle of Bread – Loved Bottle of Bread. I bought this adorable patch for my purse and admired all of the beautiful vintage pieces and vine-y pothos. **Make sure to stop by Bun Shop across the street for a coffee.

Sturgis Antiques - Cool and very curated.

Protean Records
This record store was one of our last stops before heading back to DC. Great selection and even better prices - most of the records were $8-14.

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Where We Ate

 Golden West – Thanks to the IG friends who recommended this spot. The food was delicious (highly recommend the Banh Mi tacos) and the décor was beyond cool.

Bar Clavel – You must go. I’m not going to say much more other than, we ordered nearly everything on the dinner menu, and you must go.

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Paper Moon DinerThis place is NUTS. Incredibly zany décor with childhood figurines. You’ll feel like you’re in an ISPY book. Get the Bacon Vanilla Milkshake. Trust me.

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Bars & Coffee Shops

W.C. Harlan – Everyone was right, W.C. Harlan is beautiful in every aspect. I had what was probably the best Negroni I’ll ever have.

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Bun Shop – A great place to stop by after shopping at Bottle of Bread. I didn’t try the pastries but they looked delicious.
 

Entertainment


Ram’s Head - Oh, yeah I forgot to mention the reason we went to Baltimore.  For Blood Orange – one of my favorite musicians. The concert was at Ram’s Head near the Inner Harbor, which if you live in DC, felt like 9:30 Club had a venue in Arlington. It was pretty large, we were super close to the stage and the sound system was great. I say Arlington because the area itself was newer and more developed than the rest of Baltimore. 

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Visionary Art Museum – Whimsical and fun. Make sure to stop by the Visionary Art Museum, even if it’s for a quick walk through.

Graffiti Alley – Speaks for itself. Apparently it’s the only place in Baltimore where graffiti is illegal (I thought it was pretty much everywhere, no?) either way, it’s a colorful oasis that’s easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. You have to pay for parking in the lot next door, but it’s 100% worth it.

Of course, there were tons of things I wanted to do while in Baltimore but for less than 24-hours, this is what we were able to accomplish and I’m very pleased with that.  I’ll be back VERY soon.

HUGE shout out to the Madison Short, who I consider to be the unofficial spokeswoman (for better or worse) of Baltimore. So many fun items on this list were visited thanks to Madison. Love ya cutie.

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I Love Lola. Period.

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
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Targeted ads are pretty nuts. I’m sure we all have noticed that you can say something, even when it’s super obscure like “cat food” your next targeted ad is likely to be, you guessed it, cat food.  Even if you don’t have a cat. (This happened to me once - pretty hilarious.)

Sometimes targeted ads are wayyyy off, like the example above or totally spot on.  I’ve had a few that have caught my eye and prompted me to try. The Oui Shave razor, for example. I had been getting targeted ads for this STUN-NING razor for months until I caved and asked for one for Christmas.  (I love mine by the way.)

Another targeted ad came my way after, I assume, I was talking to my best friend about that time of the month.  

“We’re nearly 30 years old and still, we can never remember to buy tampons before our periods come. When will we learn?!”  

We laughed, probably wondering if this was the way it was always going to be.

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Then, just like that, I started getting targeted ads for Lola. I was curious, looked at Instagram page and thought, “Huh, a tampon subscription service. What a no brainer.” I followed the page, swiped out of Instagram, and went on with my day.  

A few months came and went and so did my period. And of course, I would forget to buy tampons each time and think to myself “Damn. I should really sign up for Lola.”

It wasn’t until that same friend let me know she had been promoted (HOORAY!) at work to an incredible role at her company.  I thought back to our conversation, grown women, rising in their careers, feeling successful and confident, and yet again, still probably asking the intern in the bathroom for an extra tampon.  A damn shame.

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Enough was enough.  

So I hopped on Lola.com and signed us both up for subscription boxes. I made her an account using her email and my credit card and waited until she got the confirmation email from them.  LOL “Just something to lighten your load” we laughed as soon as she saw the email.

As I learned more about the company and the mission, I began to become a serious Lola brand-fan. Owned by two women who just wanted to make periods easier and honestly, getting my “product” before aunt flow, made the entire cycle less of a scene.  It was just something I had, and was prepared to deal with, every. single. month.

So then I started doing this pretty regularly for other friends.  They would get a promotion, or a breakup, I’d get them started with a subscription. One less thing for them to worry about. Now I just send friends my referral link but giving the gift of period ease was really fun.  

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Since then, Lola has released a Sex line, with condoms, lubricant, and cleansing wipes - free of:

  • Parabens

  • Nitrosamines

  • Casein

  • Gluten

  • Glycerin

  • Synthetic Colorants

  • Synthetic Flavor

  • Fragrance

I love Lola so much, I reached out to them for this collaboration because it’s now a brand I love and trust and want to share with you! Ready to try Lola? Check out their instagram and shop here to start your subscription.

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Keeping It Clean with Two Maids and a Mop

DC, InteriorsLibby RasmussenComment

Adulting is pretty nuts. I’m sure 18-year-old me would have probably thought by now, I would have a farm, a child and carpenter husband who built said farm.  If you’re wondering, 18-year-old me had a pretty mind-blowing tarot reading which resulted in shockingly accurate information about my future.  I’m serious, Miss Cleo (I don’t remember her name, it was probably Barb) knew very confidential information about my life that was  and told me I was going to marry a man who would build me a farm and I would have a kid at 28. MAYBE she meant a baby goat (kid) but sadly that isn’t the case either. 

ANYWAY..

What I’m try to get at here is if you’re reading this, you’re probably in your mid/late twenties maybe early thirties and saying “YUP, not where I thought I’d be right now.” But you’re also probably looking to your older or hometown friends who are and saying “damn, that looks hard” and it is.  Getting older is hard regardless of what walk of life you’re in.  This isn’t a shtick about our millennial woes but rather more of an ode to the things that we can all to do make like easier and creep into adulthood a little more. 

For me personally, especially in the colder months, I’ve been at home more.  I’m cooking, I’m taking baths, I’m on the couch, I’m hosting guests. I’m making a real mess. 

So as an adult-ish person, I decided to occasionally hire a cleaning service to come clean my apartment.  All three bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, living room, floors, shelves, all those annoying places you pretend don’t exist but dirt and dust know alllll too well.  I googled and found what I believed to be the best place with the most reasonable price.  Two Maids and a Mop was what I decided on. I knew the name, I knew they were a national reputable company and so I moved forward with the process.

Fun Fact: Two Maids is a small, women owned business that utilizes a Pay for Performance Plan where the maids are compensated based upon your rating each and every time that they clean your home. Love that!

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I had my 1,200 sq ft apartment cleaned after my birthday party back in December. My apartment wasn’t trashed per say, but man it sure was sticky.  On top of that, I really needed help getting all of the surfaces that I’d been avoiding for so long, think: microwave, bathtub, under the couch, etc. 

The maids arrived while I was out of the house but I trusted them completely. By this time, I had used Two Maids and a Mop a few times before and knew their staff to be totally reputable and trustworthy.  The cleaning took a little more than two hours and honestly, you would have thought they were there all day long. 

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To say my apartment was immaculate sounds like a stretch, but it really was. 

You guys, THEY COMPLETELY CLEANED OUT MY OVEN. To the extent my roommate thought our building had come in and replaced it completely it was that noticeably clean.  And honestly, this was ideal considering a few weeks before; I had set off the fire alarm with a grease drip that stained it pretty badly. 

It was clear that Two Maids was a cleaning company that paid VERY special attention to detail of things many cleaners would overlook.

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Par exemple: they vacuumed perfect lines into my favorite persimmon velvet chairs.  I immediately noticed when I got back to my room and thought, “Wow do I need this every day?!”  The simple answer is, yeah probably.

From there I was totally sold.  Yes, I thought, I could clean the house and pocket the money I spent but also, when was the last time you really cleaned your apartment? It’s probably a quarterly activity that we both know you don’t put 100% into, yes, even if you are a clean freak.

For me, hiring a cleaning service once in a while (monthly, bimonthly, etc) is a good way to:

1.      Reassess what you think you’re cleaning when you clean vs. how you actually clean

2.      Adult a little more

3.      Treat yourself to a fresh space

Now I KNOW many of you have fallen into the Mari Kondo life and have cleansed yourself of the things that spark joy and those that do not. While you’re at it, why not spark some joy by hiring Two Maids as a reward for your fresh new outlook on your home and the new year. 

Full disclosure: I love this company and actually reached out to them for this collaboration. They are local, responsive, and women owned and operated.  I like them even more now after the owner informed me they give back to the community by working with Cleaning for a Reason by donating free house cleaning services to women who are battling cancer. I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E.

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Sign up for Two Maids and a Mop here and get a quote asap! You can also get $10 off your cleaning when you look at your quote online. You can also LIKE them on Facebook here!

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Colorful Coats for Winter

ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment

This has more or less been the winter of fun coats for me. Lately, if I could wear jeans and my woman t-shirt with sneakers and a fun, color block coat, every damn day, I’d be a happy girl. Well, essentially that is what I’ve been doing. A lot of people have been asking me about my coat collection so here are a couple that I have, and have also been coveting. Enjoy!

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 Okay, so this coat is my favorite of the year. I love love love color (obviously) so this pink and red color block number was a no-brainer. Also it was only $30 (on sale at the time.) I had some mixed feelings about what the quality would be, given the price and the brand, but I am so so so happy with the coat. I’m wearing a large and would recommend sizing up when purchasing from this company.

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So I FINALLY snagged the highlighter yellow coat of my dreams and it was less than $65. I’m wearing a size 8 but could have sized down. The material is nice and thin but substantial enough for cooler weather. New favorite tee from Curio Concept.

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This coat from Elizabeth & James is so much fun but damn it gets hot, really hot. I love wearing it with this turtleneck and jeans and these Stubbs and Wootten WASP loafers.

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I needed a classic coat for rainy days and quick errands. This is one of my favorites from The Fifth Label and fits so so well. Bonus: it’s relatively inexpensive right now.

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So full transparency, I was on the fence about this Tory Burch coat because I thought it might looks like it was from Chico’s. Then, I slapped myself into reality and my doubts were wiped with each compliment I received on the first day I wore it. It’s heavy, not necessarily warm but it is heavy, like, in weight.

SHOP MY FAVORITE COATS

Hope this was helpful! Remember to always check out local vintage shops and small businesses when you can too!

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Organic Beauty Goodness with Take Care Shop

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

Before I start this article, let it be known, I have my fair share of vices. And just because I’m making more of an effort to use organic skincare and beauty, does not mean that I don’t indulge in things that aren’t as pure.

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That being said, making the switch was a small but important step to me. But, I couldn’t have done it alone and without the guidance of my good friend, Becky Wadell from Take Care Shop.  I’m writing this post, one, because I love Becky and support her small but mighty business as often as I can. And two, because I want you all to know that organic beauty can be sooo approachable.  I promise, it’s not scary, or super duper expensive. But, like most things that are just better the pricetag might be a little higher than the $9 chemical filled drugstore cover-up you’ve been using since 6th grade. But, it’s time to grow up, and really start thinking about the ways you can just well, do better!

*QUICK PLUG*
Tomorrow, November 16th, before the craziness of the holidays really begins, join them for our Annual Fall Fete where we celebrate all things cozy + well. Take Care Founder Becky Waddell will be hosting an evening of sampling, sipping and shopping with our wonderful community. Sign up for it HERE

The evening will feature:

-Sample bag gift with purchase, featuring some of our favorite products!
-Exclusive promotions
-Local sips from Cultured Kombucha and snacks
-Holiday hair styling with the team from Sense DC
-Lipstick bar - to help you find your perfect fall lip color!


Okay back to the post. Becky and the team at TKS have this awesome way of getting you started with their Makeup Bag Makeover and also amazing consultations. This was incredibly helpful for me because I had a lot of questions about beauty and FDA regulations (the truth might scare you into organic beauty honestly, in a good way) and how much product I should be using.

Some key takeaways I learned from my consult with Becky:

  • I was being too stingy with my skincare products.  I was under the wrong impression that less is more. And while this is sometimes true with other things, Becky encouraged me to really USE my products up! They won’t work if you don't use them! Right?

  • You really have to ask to get the right answers.  It’s nearly impossible to just search on the internet to find the right oil cleanser or serum for you. I’ll say it again, GO TO TKS and chat with them! They will lead you in the right direction.

  • Organic beauty doesn’t have to mean light beauty.  If you still want a dramatic effect like a bold lash or a pigmented lip, organic products can totally achieve this.

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Okay so now for my favorite products (spoiler, I have a lot)

Maya Chia Seed Highlighter - Ooooooh heaven is a place on earth! This is my FAVORITE beauty product of the year.  I’m serious. And if you follow my stories on instagram, you know this is 100% true. I also posted this insta today if you want an example of this dreamy highlight. I use the shade After Hours.

RMS Lip2Cheek -  I love easy. This lip and cheek formula is smooth and easy for both.

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Ayuna Essence and Cream II - for skincare because the collection is all about minimal product use - the mask is side ingredients, brightening and plumping, and the moisturizer is just pure magic.

I use the mask pretty liberally, once a week and really pile it on (see below hehe!)

From TKS Why We Love:

  • This emulsion melts onto the skin and has excellent sensorial properties. It targets a range of skin functions, while expanding the potential benefits obtained from botanical ingredients.

  • Incorporates the science of phyto-peptides and plasmas rich in Botanical Cell Factors, including Green Carrot, Arabian Cotton and Pomegranate.

  • Adapts to circadian rhythms, acting as a protective shield during the day and enhancing the skin’s natural repair & restore functions at night.

  • Hydration release adapts to the skin’s needs and the moisture levels in the environment.

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Kari Gran Lip Whip - I started using Kari Gran YEARS ago and didn’t even realize it was organic.  I love the light feel and the peppermint smell.

Varnish Lane Nourishing Nail & Cuticle Oil - I use this stuff every night. My good friend Lauren, owner of Varnish Lane in DC has worked tirelessly to create this formula and let me tell you, it has don’t wonderful things for my nails and cuticles.  Use THIS CODE for a 20% discount off your first visit to Varnish Lane

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Vitruvi Essential Oil - I got a diffuser, which I’m in love with. See here for it’s trippy, beautiful glow. And, I obviously needed an organic essential oil to put in it. I snagged a bottle of this Vitruvi oil and have loved falling asleep to the calm scent at night.

According to TKS they are 100% pure with absolutely no fillers, diluting oils, synthetic fragrances or unnatural components of any kind. They’re also tested on 3 different occasions for purity and potency.


Truthfully, I could go on and on about how much I love my friendship with Becky and the wonderful experiences I always have at Take Care Shop, OR you could stop by tomorrow from 5-7pm at the shop at 1338 Wisconsin Ave NW and see for yourself.  Don’t live in DC? No problem, you can shop using my link here or by shooting Becky a message on Instagram @takecareshopdc. She’s INCREDIBLY responsive and always there to help!

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PS this is my skin post-consult with Becky. HELLO GLOW!
See you tomorrow! 

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Upside Down Orange Lavender & Fennel Cornbread Cake

FoodLibby RasmussenComment

So I made this cake. It’s amazing and other than having to wait 8 hours (or overnight) to let it rest, it’s fairly simple. I did it without a mixer so if you have one, it will literally be a piece of cake.

Here’s the Instagram video for an overview of what I did and here is the recipe I used. Enjoy!

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What Happens When Your Beauty Products...Expire? Well-Kept Beauty Helps

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

A few weeks ago, I talked about my favorite skincare products that I like to keep cold in the fridge (and even my freezer) and it occurred to me, that I really have no idea when my beauty products expire.

I had a kind of scary realization as I was putting some seriously concentrated Vitamin C serum on my face that, well, didn’t smell like it used to.  It wasn’t rancid or foul, it was just, different.  

Then I realized that I have had this serum probably a little too long (more than a year and a half) and that it was time I should toss it.  EEEEEK. I am no hoarder, but I HATE throwing away beauty products. I hoard old Lancôme mascara tubes -  twelve to be exact because, I have an unhealthy attachment to mascara and just can’t throw it away. Or maybe it’s because I have a love/hate relationship with the fact that I spend that much on mascara.  I’m also thinking about the cobalt blue shimmery eye shadow that I’ve had since I was nine, yes NINE. And I don’t know why I can’t get rid of it. Moving on.

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So when my friend reached out to me about a new beauty app, Well-Kept Beauty, which tells you when your makeup and beauty products are about to expire, I was like, telllll meeeee morrrrreeeeee.

This might be obvious to some of you, but the expiration date of my makeup is not something that’s on my mind all the time. This is understandable because:

1. There aren’t expiration dates on most makeup products and
2. Who has time to keep track of it?

Luckily, according to the app, “Well-Kept Beauty keeps tabs on all your products so all you have to do is use them. We track when they expire based on industry suggested use by dates acknowledged by the FDA. We also make it simple for you to keep personal notes on each product. And well before they expire, you can create a skincare routine and record your allergies and the ingredients you need to avoid.”

LOVE THIS. And here’s how it works:

Step 1: Add your new products by brand name search or adding a photo.

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Step 2: Note when you first open and use the product. You can also note ingredients that do not work well for your skin. This is great for people who have sensitive skin and have problems in the past.

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Step 3: Well-Kept Beauty will let you keep personal notes on your skincare routine, product preferences, and ingredients you want to avoid (allergies or reactions.) Then the app will allow you to build a skincare routine that can be tweaked.

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Step 4: The app alerts you when a product expires and sets reminders to let you know if a product you want to add or try has an ingredient that could be problematic for your skin.

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If you follow along with me on Instagram stories, you know that I’m trying to really simplify my beauty and skincare routines and am going to look to this app to help me do that.  The reminder to toss my products will seriously help me reevaluate how many products I have vs. need and also keep my beauty routine clean, and Well-Kept.

Make sure to check out Well-Kept Beauty for more and follow them on Instagram @wellkeptbeauty. So excited to start using this app when it launches in September! 

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Let's Talk about Ice Rolling (Again)

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

If I could have invented a beauty product, it would have been the Ice Roller, easily.  I started using my ice roller back in 2015 (or maybe earlier) and it's quite possibly my favorite beauty apparatus. 

Every time I post it on my insta-story, I get a lot of questions so here's the post again for you all to refer to.  Almost 3+ years later, and I still love this thing. Like really really love. 

That Shimmery Moroccan Oil I Use At The Beach & Honestly Everywhere

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

Hello, and welcome to my LOVE/HATE relationship with the sun.  

I don't hate, the sun, but I also don't love it either and I wouldn't consider myself a real beach person, per se.  I grew up on lakes and spent most of my childhood summers in Wisconsin running around without sunscreen and jumping in the water when I got hot.  That being said, as an adult, I really enjoy the beach and have gotten much better at sitting still and relaxing (two things, admittedly, I'm horrible at.) 

Which is funny, because given my skintone, you would think that I lay outside without sun protection on the regular.  And while I love to soak up some rays here and there, I'm actually pretty nervous about skin cancer and wrinkles. Helllllloooo SPF.  But, even as a kid, I was tan. I mean, I was actually really tan.  Probably more tan than I am now. 

EXHIBIT A: 

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Pleeeease note the difference in the potatoes on my legs, also known as "knees", compared to my Mother's arms.  Yes, I definitely get my skin tone from my Dad's Danish side of the family.  
Also, where can I get that bunny romper with ear as the straps in like, my size now. 

Moving on. Something I have been loving, while embracing most importantly, sun protection, is my summer glow and this oil that compliments it so so well. 

And by compliment, I mean, it's like "DAMN LIBBY LOOK AT THOSE SPARKLING SHOULDERS!" That kind of compliment. Anyway, Blue Mercury sent me this product last summer and I used it a little at the tail end. But this summer, I almost never leave the house without applying it. 

WHAT IT IS: Radiant body oil for touchable, healthy-looking skin in a proprietary formula powered by antioxidant-rich argan and sesame oils with soft pearlescent mineral to create a subtle shimmer on the skin. Delicately fragranced with the signature Moroccan oil scent. Paraben-free.

BENEFITS: Infuses skin instantly with a deeply nourishing blend of antioxidant-rich argan oil and sesame oil, absorbing quickly to moisturize lackluster skin, while soft pearlescent minerals shimmer for a radiant look and feel.

KEY INGREDIENTS:
Argan Oil: With its high content of antioxidants, essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, it luxuriously hydrates and infuses skin with moisture.
Sesame Oil: For intense nourishment and moisturizing of the skin.

I love it so much I wanted to write this post about it solely, and HIGHLY encourage you to get some. It's a little on the pricier side, but it lasts a long time and only a few drops goes a long way.  Bonus: it moisturizes without feeling too oily.  

Now go show off that glow, baby. 

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*Disclaimer: This product was provided by Blue Mercury DC last year but did not sponsor this post. As always, all of my opinions are my own! 

The Beauty Products I Keep in the Fridge (& Freezer) and Why

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
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If you take a peek into my fridge you’ll probably notice something, well two things:

  1. I have a lot of cheese

  2. I keep a lot of skincare in it

Here’s why...

A good friend of mine, @laurendurden swears by doing this, along with a zillion beauty writers so I thought I would give it a try. Refrigerating skincare is said to help with better absorption and calm your skin. Additionally, according to Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, “Generally, but not always, refrigerating products will help extend their shelf life.”

Which leaves me to what I like to keep in my fridge:

Under-Eye Masks - I started using these VIIcode eye masks for 8-hours as an overnight treatment which is different from other sheet masks which only stay on for 20-30 minutes.  I love keeping these in the fridge before applying them because the gel-like material keeps them incredibly cool. The masks also use natural potent antioxidants:

A post shared by VIIcode (@viicodebeauty) on

  • Sodium Hyaluronate: Boosts skin’s moisture content, reduce inflammation, and help prevent moisture loss.

  • Sodium PCA: Helps to retain moisture, prevents our skin cells from losing water and drying out, reduces inflammation, and prevents skin from aging.

  • Vitamin E: An antioxidant that neutralizes the oxidant effect of free radicals, which damage collagen and cause skin dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles.

  • Allantoin: Helps to soften and protect, while actively soothing skin. It also stimulates cell regeneration, promoting healthy skin.

  • Aloe barbadensis, Algin: Helps to hydrate your skin.

I’ve used many different kinds of eye-masks, and to date, these VIIcode masks are easily my favorite. Even as a stomach sleeper, these eye masks manage to stay on overnight. And it’s easy - just peel, stick, and go to sleep.

Face Moisturizer - Remember the Pond’s Cold Cream your grandmother swore by? It’s a great blast from the past for sure, but also easy to replicate with your own favorite moisturizer. For me, I like to keep my Glossier Priming Moisturizer in the fridge to cool.  

Something that's great about keeping your skincare in the fridge: when you go to use it, you remember to drink a glass of water.  Another option, if you really want to get into this, is a mini fridge for skincare.  I mean, this is actually so cute. 

Photo:  OR GOTHAM

Photo: OR GOTHAM

Lastly, one of my favorite things, Ice Rolling. Here's a little more about one of my favorite items to keep in the freezer. 

Honestly, keeping some of your skincare items cool, just feels great. It's not essential by any means, but if you're looking a way to cool and depuff, then pop them right in the fridge next to your cheese. Just like me!

Bra Fitting 101 and Other Things I Learned at Coup de Foudre Lingerie

DC, ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment

Let's talk BRAS baby. Candidly, up until last week, I hadn't given much thought to. As a woman who is, ehem, pear-shaped, I've spent more time shopping for jeans and pants that fit my thighs and rear than what's on top. Is this a curse or a blessing? Well, for me, it's always kind of worked out in my favor. I haven't had to struggle with backaches, awkward high school gym class moments, or heartbreaking fittings at the mall. Life with bitty buds is kinda easy. I pretty much survive off of sticky bras, sticky petals, sticky tape, or honestly, no bra at all (full transparency, I am writing this blog post sans bra.)  It's been well, really nice.  But, I have been avoiding something important for every woman, a real bra fitting.  

So here's what I did. 

My good friend Sophie from Rosé Media reached out to me to stop by one of her client's lingerie shops, Coup de Foudre Lingerie, for a bra fitting.  Located next to Dry Bar (hellllo new bottle of dry shampoo) I immediately felt at ease when I met the owner, Kiersten Ballman. She's awesome. 

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Kiersten didn't skip a beat.  We chatted about what I was looking for, and she grabbed some beautiful pieces, and we got straight to the point, the bra fitting. 

 

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I learned a lot during this fitting:

1. I'm not wearing the right size - so I figured Kiersten was going to tell me this. But her answer wasn't what I was expecting.  Like many women, I was told, I make the mistake of sizing up in the band when a bra feels uncomfortable.  Looser is better, right? Wrong. The brand should, in fact, be tight because bras are meant to, well, lift and support you. Duh Libby. 

2. I'm wearing my bra too low - another point that surprised me.  After I was given my proper bra size, I was shown exactly where on my back my bra should fall. LOL, my old bra lines on my back showed just how low low low my strapless was sitting on my back. No bueno. We got me up where I should be and it really did change the way I looked and even the way I stand. 

3. No, you don't need 25 bras - "A woman really only needs 3-5 bras for her everyday rotation." Kiersten explained. The key word here, ROTATION.  I like many women, get into the habit of wearing my bras to death. Literally death. And then forgetting that different bras serve different purposes.  You should have a great strapless bra for sure, and 2-3 everyday bras in black and nude. And then, all of the fun stuff that you want to integrate. 

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4. Not all bras are made the same - this may seem like a no-brainer, but I really didn't think about it until I saw the beautifully framed piece (below) in the shop.  It displays all of the beautiful and important materials that go into making a high-quality brassiere. Spoiler alert: you won't find this quality in your Victoria's Secret bra. Coup de Foudre carries a high line of affordable lingerie that will last you for quite a while.  

5. They accept bra donations! Woohoo! I loved this.  You can bring in your used bras and Coupe de Foudre will donate them to women in need of support.  

6. Bra Fittings at Coup de Foudre are FREE! Can't beat that. 

After trying on a few fun pieces, and wow, it actually was more fun than I thought, I made my selection. I wanted something that felt like me but also felt like spoiling myself. I decided on Coupe de Foudre's most popular set, The Marie Joe Jane.  It's super elegant and sexy with just the right amount of intricate embroidery over the black tulle. 
The best part, it's so comfortable.   

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Special thanks to Sophie, Kiersten and the team at Coup de Foudre Lingerie for answering all of my questions, and making me feel comfortable and sexy.  *Disclaimer: the pieces I selected were gifted to me. Thank you thank you thank you! 

Make sure to pop into Coup de Foudre Lingerie soon and follow them on Instagram for the latest and greatest. And remember, all bra fittings are FREE! 

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My Thoughts on the NEW Glossier Mascara - An Honest Review & 10% Discount Off Your Purchase

Beauty, ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment
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So it's no secret that I love Glossier's products.  I've written about before here and here. I was, like many of you, skeptical of the new mascara when it came out a month ago.  I'm a mascara FANATIC. Lashes are everything, I mean, everything to me. As you know, I occasionally get lash extensions, when I don't want to apply the endless coats of mascara every day (which I admittedly, love to do, time permitting.) But, this month, I've been giving my lashes a little break and am working on conditioning them regularly and having a more natural look.  

Enter the Glossier mascara, Lash Slick.  

MY THOUGHTS 

I love it. Really. It's a really great mascara. Especially for those who love more natural, separated lashes. Important: this is a big deal coming from me, Queen of the Chunky, Layered, Spider Lashes.  I typically love my mascara, dark, thick, and heavy.  This isn't that. But, it CAN be if you let the coats dry in between.

Application: I start by curling my lashes, though I don't do this every time. I then use the Lash Slick to carefully comb out my lashes.  The fibers in it help coat each lash nicely without it smudging or bleeding onto my lids or under eyes. I like to wait a few seconds between coats to let the previous coats dry and have the strength to be layered on with another coat - just like you would when you're painting your nails. 

If you want a little extra...
I've said this before, and I'll say it again, and will probably write it on my damn tombstone at this point.  IF YOU WANT THICK, LONG LASHES, YOU NEED TO USE A LASH PRIMER. I love love love L'Oreal's lash primers and so does my HERO, Lara Pia Arribio. 

LPA swears by GrandeLash, a lash conditioner and enhancing serum which, I'm going to buy before I even finish writing this post. 

Any who, back to Lash Slick. Let's talk about the removal process because I'm sure like all of you, nothing erks me more than hopping out of the shower with raccoon eyes that I need to remove with a makeup wipe.  Not here.  If you have the Glossier Milky Jelly, or really any face wash that you can use on your eyes (some use baby shampoo) you can easily remove the Lash Slick. I've never had any bleeding or smudging with this mascara and for that alone, it's worth the purchase.   

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Glossier's Key Ingredients (as listed on their site):

Japanese Fiber Technology: One and two millimeter-long curved fibers hook onto lashes, adding length. Consider these your lash “extensions.”

Vegan Biotin: Conditions and strengthens for healthier, softer lashes over time.

Natural Shine Polymers: Enhances the formula’s black pigments so lashes are extra shiny and sleek.

Tapered Comb Brush: The tiered bristles and precise tip separate top and bottom lashes at the root, ensuring even application.

**Side note - did you see that Glossier now has GIPHY stickers on Instastories? Fun Fun Fun. 

What do you think of the new Glossier Lash Slick? Let me know!
I'm giving away a tube! Check out my latest insta for deets. 

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