The perfect products for the hazy days of summer and you can find them at Cracker Barrel!

Tons of goodies from Cracker Barrel!

I can’t be the only one. I love Cracker Barrel, and it’s not just for the food. In fact, as much as I love the biscuits and gravy, the yummy green beans, and the to-die-for dumplings, I actually eat pretty quickly so I can get to the real highlight – the shopping afterwards! I have a number of beautiful picture frames and angels (I collect angels and Cracker Barrel always has some fabulous ones) that I bought there, not to mention several clothing items. The old-time candy is always fun too, but the real highlight is of course the body products!! Today I have a few goodies that Cracker Barrel sent me that are just perfect for celebrating these last hazy days of summer.

I love the Burt’s Bees line, and am always perusing it at Cracker Barrel. A few of my favorites include the Garden Tomato Toner which is very refreshing particularly if you tend toward oily skin. I also always pick up the Eye Makeup Remover Pads, which are cool because they are soaked in kiwi water. They are also a unique shape that reaches all corners of the eye and these pads remove even the most stubborn waterproof eye makeup.  I’m also a big fan of the Res-Q Ointment which saves dry, damaged skin. Plant oils and vitamin E are so soothing and I always keep a tin of this around particularly when I’m doing lots of gardening.With the summer heat, lips and hands need attention. You can find J.R. Watkins Beeswax Lip Balm at Cracker Barrel and I love all the flavors. Peppermint is a wonderfully cooling one that is great for summertime. I also adore the Dionis line and always buy some when I am there. I can never have enough hand cream.  The Goat Milk Hand Cream is really fantastic. This one is Mediterranean Blue Tea, which is new for me – I usually go for the Vanilla Bean – and this is a wonderful mix of blue tea leaves, iris, and cardamom. It’s a subtle and sophisticated scent that has totally won me over.

Did you know that you can shop all the wonderful lines that Cracker Barrel carries online?  I didn’t either. Check out their website at shop.crackerbarrel.com for Burt’s Bees, J.R. Watkins, Dionis, and plenty more – including the decor, clothing, and nostalgia candy items. You can even buy those amazing rocking chairs that are outside every Cracker Barrel. Of course, it’s not as fun as eating a big plate of dumplings then wandering about in a food coma and shopping in person…but it is the next best thing. And if you can get to Cracker Barrel in person, be sure to take a look at all the great items they have to get you through the last lazy, hazy days of summer.  – Lisa

samples

The Beauty Spotlight Team introduces Marcia’s Holy Grail repurchases

hearts-backgroundHave you ever heard of a Quartermaster? According to Wikipedia a Quartermaster is “generally a relatively senior soldier who supervises stores and distributes supplies and provisions”. And according to Merriam Webster  a Quartermaster is “a military officer responsible for providing quarters, rations, clothing, and other supplies”. Well consider me a Quartermaster when it comes to personal products in my home. Many years ago my sister and BIL lived in the same apartment building as I did. My BIL used to call me the Quartermaster since he knew if they needed something my apartment was the place to find it. I was well stocked because “what if” I ran out of necessities (in those days it was mostly toilet paper, kleenex, and red licorice).

I’m the Quartermaster of my home now too. I don’t like to run out of what I consider necessities (which still includes toilet paper, kleenex, and red licorice). I have quite a few items that I repurchase way before they get too low. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Marcia's Beauty Info Zone Repurchases

Marcia’s Beauty Info Zone Repurchases

Starting with cosmetics these are products I already have backups of since I use them all the time.

Mally Poreless Face Defender

Mally Poreless Face Defender

Mally Beauty Poreless Defender rocks my world. I’m currently on my 3rd one and to be honest I have 2 more ready to go.

Mally Poreless Face Defender

Mally Poreless Face Defender

I received my first one in a QVC TSV and fell for it instantly. It is a clear product that mattifies skin and more important blurs pores. Since my first one I’ve tried several other blurring products but I always go back to Mally. I rarely wear powder anymore so I apply it on my cheeks prior to blush application.

IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream and Too Faced Shadow Insurance

IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream and Too Faced Shadow Insurance

IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream and Too Faced Shadow Insurance are products I’m never without. After discovering IT Cosmetic’s Bye Bye Under Eye I knew I wanted to try something else from the brand. CC+ Cream was the answer and still is. I also have CC+ Illuminating Cream (press samples) but the original is HG material. What’s there left to say about Too Faced Shadow Insurance? I always have one of these at the ready. I like buying other eyeshadow primers since I think they are vital but TFSI is definitely my favorite.

Benefit Roller Ball, Pixi Endless Gel Eyebrow Pencil, Physician's Formula liquid eyeliner, Pixi Brow Powder Palette

Benefit Roller Ball, Pixi Endless Gel Eyebrow Pencil, Physician’s Formula liquid eyeliner, Pixi Brow Powder Palette

I love eye makeup so much that it’s a weakness of mine. I’ve discovered 4 products that I keep in stock even though they take a long time to use up.

PIXI Endless Gel Eyebrow Pencil isn’t the most loved product that Pixi makes but it’s a favorite of mine. I love it when I’m in a hurry especially since it’s a gel that fills in my brows quickly and lasts the day. The only negative is that I like to resharpen prior to every use so I go through this quickly.

Pixi Endless Brow Gel Pen in Medium

Pixi Endless Brow Gel Pen in Medium

PIXI Brow Powder Palette is another eyebrow love. I am not near done with my first but already bought a second. I was at Target and there it was so I swooped it up. I basically only use two shades and occasionally the others to personalize the shade I want. Plus I can use the other shades as eyeliner and brow highlight.

Pixi Beauty Brow Powder Palette

Pixi Beauty Brow Powder Palette

BENEFIT ROLLER BALL MASCARA totally surprised me. I kept reading about it but I don’t buy many products from Benefit. I finally wanted to see what the fuss was about so I ordered one. SOLD! I’ve gone through 2 tubes plus a deluxe sample size and have the one in the box ready for service. I like the way my lashes look with this – curled and lifted, no smudging, last all day, and a dark black. You can even find this in a travel size if you want to try it out.

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

Physician’s Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum is my favorite liquid eyeliner. It only is available in black and brown and it’s brown that’s my HG product. It’s so hard to find a wonderful brown liquid liner and I looked long and hard. I have others I really like (Stila, Youngblood) but if you made me stick to one it would be PF. It never skips, it’s long lasting, it’s reasonably priced, and it’s a beautiful brown shade. I’m assuming that the serum helps with longer lashes but I can’t quantify that.

Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum

Physician’s Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum

Tweezerman Slant Tip Tweezers and Eyelash Comb

Tweezerman Slant Tip Tweezers and Eyelash Comb

Where would I be without Tweezerman? A hairy mess is where. I remember buying my first Tweezerman Slant Tip Tweezers and making everyone I taught with buy one too. I was amazed at how precise they were, all these years later I still feel the same way. I only pictured three but I have at least 5. I used to send them in for repair but I never liked how they worked after so now I just buy new ones. And keep spares on hand.

Cynthia Rowley for Tweezerman

Cynthia Rowley for Tweezerman (discontinued)

Then there’s the Tweezerman Folding iLash Comb – how many do I have? 3 to be exact. Told you I stocked up on things! I tend to misplace items and this is a tool I use so often that I don’t want to be without it. I use it prior to curling my lashes when I notice they are winky and after to make sure that there are no clumps. You don’t know what your eyelashes are missing if you don’t have this tool.

Tweezerman iLash Folding Comb

Tweezerman iLash Folding Comb

bst part 2

And there’s more. Some you’ve seen before so I’ll be short with descriptions:

Brazilian Blowout Acai Anti-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner are my go-to hair products. I get a Brazilian Blowout about once a year but I use these year round. I like to switch around hair products but these two and the treatments are what are always in my bathroom. They keep the frizzies down and my hair is healthy with these.

Brazilian Blowout Acai Anti-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner

Brazilian Blowout Acai Anti-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner

Bioderma Sensiblo H2) Micellar Water is something I wonder how I lived without. I was late to this trend but I’m right on top of it now. The 16.7 oz bottle seems like it’s more expensive than the drugstore ones but it’s twice the size and lasts forever.

Bioderma Sensiblo H20 Micelar Water

Bioderma Sensiblo H20 Micelar Water

Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover is something I always mention. It beats the rest by a mile! It’s gentle, removes everything for me without stinging, and doesn’t leave a film behind.

Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

Can’t forget my favorite DHC Silky Cotton Squares! Goldilocks would say “just right”.

DHC Silky Cotton Squares

DHC Silky Cotton Squares

J.R. WATKINS NATURAL LIQUID HAND SOAP is in all my bathrooms. I love Lemon and when I can find it I like Grapefruit. I’ve been buying the big refills lately.

J.R. Watkins Natural Hand Soap

J.R. Watkins Natural Hand Soap

That’s about it though I forgot to photograph both Aveeno Fragrance Free Daily Radiance Moisturizing Lotion and Touche Eclat Radiant Touch. I always have backups of these two.

So how do you think I’m doing as the Quartermaster? Would you hire me?  —  Marcia

10 Budget Friendly Back-to-School Beauty Essentials

Whether you or your kids are going back to school or off to college, it’s the perfect time of year to find deals on essential beauty products.  The Meijer Beauty team challenged me to find my top back-to-school picks, and it was gratifying to see my must-have bath, body and color items with wonderful prices.  Considering I work in a high school and have kids in both college and middle school, I am all about finding the best products at the right price.  Drumroll please…my top ten recommendations for essential (and budget friendly) back-to-school products.

Soap for school:  J.R. Watkins Foaming Hand Soap and I love...Coconut & Cream Shower Gel

Soap for school: J.R. Watkins Foaming Hand Soap and I love…Coconut & Cream Bubble Bath and Shower Cream

1.  J.R. Watkins Foaming Hand Soap ($4.99, I got it at Meijer for $4.49)  The reason I first bought this hand soap was for the awesome vintage label.  The reason I keep buying it?  It’s excellent foaming hand soap, especially for the price.  The soap in public buildings like schools is usually pretty rough stuff, I wash my hands all the time.  My solution is to bring my own.  I keep this soap in my office, and it would fit nicely into a locker.  I like the Aloe and Green Tea scent as a real mood enhancer to help get the school year off right.

2.  I love…Coconut & Cream Bubble Bath and Shower Cream ($7.29)  This British brand is soooo good…doesn’t the packaging look like the Philosophy bottles?  I actually prefer the I love… brand, and it is so much more affordable.  I start my day with a shower then end it with a bubble bath, and the Coconut & Cream scent takes me right back onto vacation.

Necessities for school

Necessities for school

3.  Goody 50 piece Ouchless No Metal Elastics ($2.19, but I got mine at Meijer for $1.10!)  The perfect way to hide morning bedhead is with a ponytail or bun…and these Ouchless Elastics don’t snag, pull, or break hair strands.

4.  Nivea Lip Butter in Caramel Cream Kiss ($3.99)  This super cute lip butter has only been available in the U.S. for about a year, and I am so happy it’s easily found now!  It has great slip and keeps lips soft and moist, plus it tastes like caramel toffee.  Yum.

5.  Meijer Hand Sanitizer ($1.19)  This is simply a must-have for purses and backpacks.  You never know who was sitting in that desk or what nose they were picking…eewwwwww.

Perfect colors for back to school!

Perfect colors for back to school!

Nudes and deep pinks

Nudes and berries

6.  Cover Girl Bombshell Volume by Lashblast Mascara ($9.39)  I think this is the best drugstore mascara out there.  One end is the base coat, which gives definition and length perfect for casual days.  When I want more oomph – and I mean fantastic oomph – I use the other end, the intensifying top coat.  This side darkens lashes and provides mega-drama without any flakes or smearing.

Physician's Formula Nude Eyes

Physician’s Formula Nude Eyes

Nude Eyes - gorgeous.

Nude Eyes – gorgeous.

7.  Physician’s Formula Nude Eyes ($9.99, but I got mine at Meijer for an incredible $6.99)  I am loving neutral, nude eyes with berry cheeks for the fall, and this nude eyeshadow palette is to die for.  Is it reminding you of the Urban Decay Naked2 palette?  Yup, me too, but this is way cheaper with the same quality.  Use these shadows dry or wet for more intensity, and keep the palette sitting out because the packaging is stunning.

Maybelline Hi-Lighting Blush in Pink Rose

Maybelline Hi-Lighting Blush in Pink Rose

8.  Maybelline Hi-Lighting Blush in Pink Rose ($8.29)  Just check out the gorgeousness of this mosaic highlighter/blush.  The soft, creamy shades can be used alone, but I like to swirl a big brush over the whole thing for a beautiful berry glow on my cheeks.

Nicole by OPI mani and pedi shades for school

Nicole by OPI mani and pedi shades for school

9 and 10.  Nicole by OPI Nail Polish in Sing You Like a Bee and Cocoa a Gogo ($5.99 each)  Going back to school is an awesome reason to treat yourself to a manicure and a pedicure, and these two shades are perfect for a nude and berry combo.

Sing You Like a Bee

Sing You Like a Bee

Sing You Like a Bee is from the Carrie Underwood collection.  This is a gorgeous sheer white with golden shimmers.  It is a beautiful shimmery nude look by itself, and it makes a perfect top layer over pretty much any color.

Cocoa a Gogo

Cocoa a Gogo

Cocoa a Gogo is a shimmery chocolate-brown that I love for pedicures…and it is the perfect color for transitioning into cool days and cozy nights by the fire.  Even better, it smells like cinnamon!

Not only are these ten products essentials, it also costs less than $55 to purchase them all at Meijer.  Get your style on for back to school and save money too!

Be sure to check out MeijerStyle.com the last week in August for a post with links to lots of blogger Back-to-School articles – one lucky person who comments on the MeijerStyle.com post will receive a gift basket of Back-to-School/Back-to-College products.  – Lisa

*products reviewed courtesty of Meijer, opinions and selection of items all my own!