As always, click any of the images (including the collages) or the pink text links for more information!
As an empty nester, you don’t want to get “stuck.” You’ve gotta keep learning and growing! Here’s what I’m learning and loving in the #emptynest right now.
How is it the end of May already?! I hope yours has been good! I’ve been a busy girl, with trips, events, and more! Along the way, I’ve learned so much. Today, I’m finally attempting to decipher the mysteries of SPF numbers—like if SPF 100 really is better than SPF 30—and I’m also answering a reader question about the correct order for applying skin care products. I’m sharing those things, along with a great shirt to pack for your summer travels, the sandals that will go with every outfit, and the cutest mobile office supply set ev-ah! So buckle up, and let’s get you SO in the KNOW, shall we?
What I’m Learning
For the Rule Followers
Are you a rule follower? I am! I kinda wish I were more of a rebel, but alas, it is just not so! Recently an Empty Nest Blessed reader who was clearly a rule follower (I get ya’, girl! 👍) wrote in to ask me about the “proper” order in which she should apply her makeup and skincare. Specifically, she wondered whether or not to apply her concealer or foundation first when doing her makeup. Honestly, I had never thought about it, so I enlisted my makeup artist, Bebe, and posed the question to her. Out of her answer, an entire post was born, and a few weeks ago I published a post called, “A Pro Answers Your Biggest Makeup Over 50 Questions.” I was feeling all proud of myself because I’d kept track of all kinds of questions y’all had asked me over the years, and Bebe answered them all! But then came the follow-up questions 😬! (Hahaha!) The best one: “In what order should I apply my skin care?” I consulted several sources, including my dermatologist, several beauty bloggers, and everyone’s favorite expert- Google (of course), and here’s the answer:
- Serum (It’s concentrated, so it works best on bare skin.)
- Moisturizer (Hydrates + seals in serum.)
- Eye Cream
Speaking of SPF, What’s the Deal With All the High Numbers?
With an auto-immune disease that’s exacerbated by UV rays, I can’t mess around with sun protection, so I don’t! I wanted to know (and I know from your emails and DMs, I’m not alone!) if SPF 100 products really were worth the extra dough. Here’s what I learned.
First of all, you probably already know that SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. Technically, SPF is a measure of how long a sunscreen will protect you from UVB (cancer-causing) rays. The SPF calculation doesn’t even apply to UVA rays, which are the ones that cause damage to collagen and elastic tissue (causing aging, including wrinkles and sagging). When it comes to sunscreen, look for one that is broad-spectrum, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. That means those high SPF numbers are misleading! According to Consumer Reports,
“ultrahigh SPFs are not much more protective than SPFs of 30 or 50. SPF 15 blocks 93 percent of UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97 percent. The increase in protection is even more gradual after that, 98 percent for SPF 50 and 99 percent for SPF 100.”
Honestly, the best sun protection includes things like wearing sun protective clothing and hats, staying in the shade, and avoiding the sun as much as possible from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. My favorite sun protective clothing is from Cabana Life. Their happy, colorful designs make sun protection fun! Everything in their sale section is up to 50% off as a part of their Memorial Day sale. Click HERE to check it out!)
My go-to sun protection product line is Elta MD. I adore their broad spectrum zinc oxide mineral-based products that feature anti-oxidants, hyaluronic acid, and feel lightweight and luxurious. I use the universally tinted facial sunscreen instead of foundation most days, and the non-tinted ones dry clear, so I use them on my body. For more on this, see number 3 below!
What I’m Loving
Click any of the images (including the collage above) or the pink text links for more information!
I am in love with this sweet design of this side-tie jersey tee! If you’re looking for a tee with a drape that conceals and flatters, this baby is your ticket. The style works with shorts, capris, slacks, or skirts, and whether you love pink, coral, blue or neutrals, there’s a color for everyone. The price is right, and shipping and returns are free, (Runs TTS—true to size.)
My optometrist told me about this lash growth serum that she recommends to her patients with sensitive eyes. If you’re a person who struggles with allergic or bothersome reactions to lots of eye products, this might be a line to try. There’s a mascara in addition to the lash serum!
The main ingredient in this universally-tinted sunscreen is zinc, which sits on top of the skin, creating a physical shield to block UVA & UVB rays. That means that, unlike chemical sunscreens, it won’t break down due to UV exposure. It rubs in easily, is lightweight and buildable, and it won’t leave you looking ghostly white! It contains hyaluronic acid to moisturize and minimize the appearance of fine lines, antioxidants to combat free radicals, and it’s water and sweat resistant for up to 40 minutes. It’s what I use every day, all year round. (If I want fuller coverage, I add this CC Cream on top and this mineral-based SPF 15 primer underneath.) I use every single product that I linked below (not all at once!), and I love that there’s even a spray option if I’m in a hurry or need a quick touch up. For more help selecting the right Elta MD sunscreen for your needs, click HERE. (Or you could just buy all of them as I did! 😂)
If you caught my recent post on My Favorite Etsy Shops and Why I Love Them, then you know all about TheKnottyTassel! How cute are the multi-colored handmade tassels that adorn this straw tote? For $35, it’s a bag that will have everyone asking you where you snagged it and thinking you paid a lot more! (While you’re on TheKnottyTassel site, be sure to check out her earrings in every color imaginable! I adore this patriotic pair!
I love multi-colored accessories (clearly! 💜💚💙💛🧡) because I think they make a statement that can bring an otherwise simple outfit to life. How darling are these lively little slides? One thing I love about them is that the straps go up far enough on your foot that they don’t make that “schlep, schlep” sound when you walk (!), and they stay on securely. The straps feature colorful and metallic yarn wrapped around each thread. They fit TTS and shipping/returns are free.
I only just discovered it, but if I’d known about it sooner, you can bet your sweet bippy (My grandma used to say that!) that I would have included this cutie in the Empty Nest Blessed Graduation Gift Guide! (You can still find the gift guide HERE.) For $5.99, It would make the greatest gift for anyone from your middle school granddaughter to your BFF who travels all the time. I bought one for myself to take when I travel because when we’re at our beach condo, I inevitably need a pair of scissors or some tape for some little something!
This hydrating sheer lip balm is my go-to lip color when we’re on vacation! It’s moisturizing, infused with fruit oils (so it smells delish!), and comes with SPF20. The Coconut and Peach are pretty transparent, but the other three provide a sweet wash of subtle color. (Oh, and did I mention that they’re under $5?!) 💋 #lovethesesomuch
Rarely (if ever!) have I repeated an item on SO in the KNOW, but y’all, this one bears repeating! As you can see in the photo, the pink tile pattern in the middle of this clever cosmetic bag is hidden by a zipper until you unzip it to expand the bag! When not expanded, it’s 8.5″ tall, 9″ wide, and 3″deep, but when you expand it, you add 3″ to the top, making it 11.5″ tall! Monogramming is free. Don’t you love the metallic tassel zipper pull?!
If you’re prone to nail fungus, you probably know that tea tree oil is among the best natural deterrents and cures. My auto-immune disease leaves me extra-susceptible, so I’m right there with you! Enter Dr.’s Remedy nail products. They’re antifungal, formulated by doctors and are the first nail polish to receive the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Approval. Even if you don’t have issues currently, but you’re looking for a nourishing, vegan, non-allergenic polish to combat dry, brittle nails, this is the brand for you! (More info on the brand HERE.)
Is it the longest wearing nail polish I’ve ever worn? No, but my nails look healthier than they have in years! I linked the clear polish in the collage because they recommend that you use it under and on top of each of their colored polishes. (See all the available colors HERE.) I’ve been wearing this summery shade called Wisdom White lately, but next up, I”m trying this beachy blue shade called Trusting Turquoise! A little bonus: they’re right on Amazon, so they ship free if you have Amazon Prime! Here are some of my favorite shades:
When I visited my parents this week, my dad was so excited to show me this book he was reading! If you have a daddy that loves history and is a man of faith like mine, it will make the most wonderful Father’s Day gift! My dad was able to snag an advance copy because he knows one of the authors, but it’s officially released on June 4. Incidentally, did you know that if you buy a book from Amazon before its release date, they’ll make sure it’s delivered to your house on the exact date of the book’s release! (For more on cool Amazon benefits you may not know about, click HERE.) Also, BTW, look for my complete Father’s Day Gift Guide to go live next Tuesday. (If you’re not on the Empty Nest Blessed email list, you might want to subscribe, so you don’t miss a thing!)
Did you read my recent post on packing for your summer getaways? (If not, you can read it HERE.) I collaborated with my friend Suzanne Stavert, who writes the well-known travel blog Adventures of Empty Nesters. In the post, I shared travel wardrobe suggestions, and Suzanne shared expert packing tips. One of the tops I highlighted was this versatile stain-resistant shirt from Chico’s. It’s not a part of their excellent travel line, per se, but I’m not sure why! It comes in a multitude of colors, is wrinkle-resistant, and travels well. (Click HERE to see the entire Traveler’s line from Chico’s.) BTW, all tees, crop pants, shorts, and dresses are 40% off at Chico’s right now as a part of their Memorial Day sale. Click HERE to check it out.)
If you’re looking for something special for one of your adult kids, look no further! This September 2019-December 2020 wall calendar is Amazon’s best-seller in the Humor & Comic Calendars category. It’s based on the book I Adulted: Stickers for Grown-Ups, and includes more than 100 stickers celebrating the joys of adulting. So fun, right?
Whew! Thanks for sticking with me! I hope you feel SO in the KNOW now. 😊 Plan to come back tomorrow for my comprehensive list of the best Memorial Day Weekend Sales! (And consider subscribing to my email list if you haven’t already, so you don’t miss out on the inside scoop and discount codes I’ll be sharing!)
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