Weekend Reading


You won’t want to miss this incredible new novel from Jodi Picoult. She took on the really sensitive topic of race in Small Great Things.

This is the kind of novel I love to get into, very well researched and lots of detail. The reader has no trouble sympathizing with the main character of Ruth, a black nurse on trial for letting a newborn baby die.

The story flips between Ruth’s point of view and that of her lawyer, Kennedy who struggles to leave race out of the trial, and Turk the white skinhead who accuses Ruth of killing his infant son.

“A woman and her husband admitted to a hospital to have a baby requests that their nurse be reassigned – they are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is black, to touch their baby. The hospital complies, but the baby later goes into cardiac distress when Ruth is on duty.

She hesitates before rushing in to perform CPR. When her indecision ends in tragedy, Ruth finds herself on trial, represented by a white public defender who warns against bringing race into a courtroom. As the two come to develop a truer understanding of each other’s lives, they begin to doubt the beliefs they each hold most dear.”

Small Great Things is excellent, I predict a best seller! Due out in October.


I loved The Nanny Diaries so I couldn’t wait to get into Emma McLaughlin and Nicole Kraus’s new novel called So Close.

Due out very soon, just in time to take with you on vacation! This novel centers around Amanda Luker, a young woman who is running on a string of bad luck. A chance meeting introduces her into the political world where she begins working for idealistic Tom Davis and forges a close friendship with Tom’s wife Lindsay.

Complicating Amanda’s life is the wealthy and handsome Pax Westerbrook, a playboy with issues of his own. Naturally this is the man who Amanda falls for and though she loves him, can she build a future with him?

A fun, light read!


I absolutely loved The Obituary Writer and cannot wait to read The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood.

My weekend plans include working on my own novel (I’m halfway through!) and reading this book. Here’s what you need to know:

“Ava’s twenty-five-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives outside of the country. Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group’s goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood—one that helped her through the traumas of the untimely deaths of her sister and mother. Alternating with Ava’s story is that of her troubled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava’s mission to find that book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives.”

What are you reading this weekend?

Green Beauty, Indie Beauty…What Does It All Mean?


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There are so many labels on beauty products right now and it’s a challenge to keep up.

There are no regulations on beauty, skin, and personal care labels (don’t even get me started on food) so you have to be your own advocate and do research to understand what these labels mean.

And so many companies get away with calling their products green/clean/organic and those labels are nothing more than catchy marketing terms designed to trick the consumer into thinking the product is healthy. Nothing gets me more angry than being tricked, especially where my health is concerned.



Even though I’ve been writing about green beauty for a long time, and about beauty for even longer, I’m still surprised when I discover a trusted brand is not as clean and safe as the label promises. It should get you mad too!

There are countless articles and Pinterest posts out there detailing the ingredients you want to stay away from, but here I’m going to break down some broader terms  I’ve seen lately.

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The latest term being used is Indie Beauty. What is it? From what I’ve read, Indie Beauty is (usually) a small company, independent of any large corporation. Indie Beauty companies are not controlled or  governed by any large company and are often found online (think Etsy).

You won’t usually find indie beauty in places like Target or Sephora. Mass produced beauty brands  Burt’s Bees is owned by  Clorox and Toms of Maine  is owned by Colgate-Palmolive, those are just two examples of cleaner choices… but owned by enormous corporations.

Indie Beauty brands are not necessarily organic, eco-conscious or non toxic. 

At first I thought Indie beauty was green beauty, don’t get these confused. Indie beauty companies can certainly be green and clean but that is not always the case.



The term Green Beauty to me, encompasses products that are made with clean, non toxic ingredients and are usually created by a small, independent company who use eco-friendly packaging and sustainable resources. It’s more likely the ingredients are non-gmo, clean from pesticides and responsibly sourced.

There are countless brands who have jumped on the green beauty bandwagon and use the term even through their products are not safe or clean or non-toxic. That’s where label reading becomes essential! You deserve to know exactly what you are putting in and on your skin.

Natural or Botanical Beauty Products use ingredients that come from the earth yes, but may also use a bunch of toxic ingredients too. This is where green washing comes into play.



Sure the product boasts some kind of botanical extracts and natural ingredients but what else does it contain?  Oftentimes these are a better choice than conventional products (products that do not use any natural, botanical, clean or organic ingredients and are often found at the drugstores or department stores) but they are not the cleanest or best you can find.

Natural or Botanical doesn’t mean that the ingredients are pesticide free and they may contain GMO ingredients too.

I’ve seen brands use the term Organic on the label yet the products still contain parabens which have been linked to cancer. “Made with organic ingredients” doesn’t mean a whole lot if the ingredients aren’t certified organic which is a government approved label.

It can be so confusing!

I like to research a lot to understand labels and ingredients. A way to easily shop for clean products is to go to trusted shops such as The Choosy Chick, Spirit Beauty Lounge, and The Detox Market just to name a few.

It’s totally okay to use a variety of products and ingredients but the most important thing for consumers is to understand exactly what they are putting on their skin and to not fall prey to marketing terms and clever wording designed to trick buyers.

Want to learn more? Go here to learn how to read labels on your beauty products.

Dry Skin? Try Zim’s Crack Cream

IMG_4163zims Summer  is the perfect time to get your dry skin under control before wearing shorts and sandals and baring the skin!

For me, its paramount that my feet look good when I wear flip flops and sandals all summer. I am constantly putting lotion on and making sure I have a nice pedicure.

I have been using Zim’s Crack Creme to heal any areas that need a boost of hydration. Ideal for dry hands and feet, cuticles, elbows, knees…

This product contains arnica and aloe vera and was developed by a pharmacist over sixty years ago, its been going strong ever since. I was reading some reviews and this is a product that has healed rough, bleeding callused hands. Let’s hope your situation isn’t that extreme but if it is…try this!

Ingredients:  Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, SD Alcohol 3-C, Propylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Isocetyl Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Pimenta Acris (Bay) Leaf Oil, Isostearyl Palmitate, Cetyl Palmitate, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Carbomer, Glyceryl Stearate, Ceteth-20, PEG-100 Stearate, Triethanolamine, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Diazolidinyl, Urea, Iodopropynl Butylcarbamate.

Tell me, how to you cure super dry skin?

Weekend Reading


I loved this book- as someone who is super sensitive and prone to anxiety with feelings of exhaustion after being around too many people, I felt like this book was written for me. I felt myself thinking, “YES! YES!” when reading many of the passages pertaining to “delicate souls” and if you can  identify with any of this, then you must get your hands on Sensitive People in an Insensitive World by Ilse Sand.

Here’s what you need to know about this book:

“Written for highly sensitive people, the book explains the characteristics of being highly sensitive and how to overcome common difficulties, such as low self-esteem and the exhausting effects of socialising. Ilse Sand also encourages you to explore and appreciate the advantages of high sensitivity, including your aptitude for depth, intensity and presence, and suggests activities to calm and inspire.”

Fear not, sensitive and gentle souls- we are in this together.


I absolutely loved Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart so I am utterly excited to get into Lady Cop Makes Trouble! I am already looking forward to settling down with this book this weekend. If you haven’t read Amy Stewart’s previous books, get a hold of them ASAP.

Here’s the scoop with her newest novel:

“Lady Cop Makes Trouble sets Constance loose on the streets of New York City and New Jersey–tracking down victims, trailing leads, and making friends with girl reporters and lawyers at a hotel for women. Cheering her on, and goading her, are her sisters Norma and Fleurette–that is, when they aren’t training pigeons for the war effort or fanning dreams of a life on the stage.

Based on a true story, Girl Waits with Gun introduced Constance Kopp and her charming and steadfast sisters to an army of enthusiastic readers. Those readers will be thrilled by this second installment–also ripped from the headlines–in the romping, wildly readable life of a woman forging her own path, tackling crime and nefarious criminals along the way.”


Here’s a book that’s receiving a ton of buzz, The Wangs Vs. The World by Jade Chang. Due out in the fall, I got a sneak peek!

This is the novel I am currently reading and I’m enjoying it so far. The author’s writing is very descriptive and detailed so you really feel right in the middle of the action!

I’m about twenty pages in and am eager to get back into it!

“Charles Wang is mad at America. A brash, lovable immigrant businessman who built a cosmetics empire and made a fortune, he’s just been ruined by the financial crisis. Now all Charles wants is to get his kids safely stowed away so that he can go to China and attempt to reclaim his family’s ancestral lands—and his pride.

Charles pulls Andrew, his aspiring comedian son, and Grace, his style-obsessed daughter, out of schools he can no longer afford. Together with their stepmother, Barbra, they embark on a cross-country road trip from their foreclosed Bel-Air home to the upstate New York hideout of the eldest daughter, disgraced art world it-girl Saina. But with his son waylaid by a temptress in New Orleans, his wife ready to defect for a set of 1,000-thread-count sheets, and an epic smash-up in North Carolina, Charles may have to choose between the old world and the new, between keeping his family intact and finally fulfilling his dream of starting anew in China.”

Olie Biologique deluxe travel size trio


Minimal packaging and maximum benefits…that’s what this wonderful brand, Olie Biologique says about their products and I agree.

I tested the small bottles of their Calming, Rejuvenating, and Balancing oils and found them to be non-greasy, gentle, quickly absorbing, and hydrating. What’s not to love?


You can use these oils anywhere on your body including hands and nails to soften and add moisture.

Here is what you need to know about each:

006 Calming Oil is ideal for stressed out, aggravated skin thanks to a gentle blend of Lavender and Chamomile along with Camellia oil.  If your skin is inflamed, this is what you need. Also good for sunburned skin.

005 Rejuvenating Oil captivated my senses thanks to its incredible aroma- Rosehip, Rose Bulgar and Rose Geranium! Restores brightness to skin and infuses damaged skin with naturally occurring retinoic acid which helps cell turnover. This one is perfect for those whose complexion needs a boost of radiance.

001 Balancing Oil is for combination skin and features  jojoba, Sacha inchi, Baobab, Tamanu oils that hydrates and plumps skin while regulating sebum production. Its the ‘jack of all trades’ oil and it is ideal for under makeup because it leaves skin smooth and silky. If you can’t decide which oil is good for you, you cannot go wrong with this one!

I absolutely loved these oils, Olìe Biologique is on my list of brands that I want to try more from  because I was so impressed with deluxe travel size trilogy.

You can order this trio and give each a try:

“Discover Olie’s trio of potent travel face oils in a naturally age-defying daily ritual set for supple radiant skin. Introducing NEW 001 Huile Parfaite to the travel trilogy. 001 delivers a surge of perfect hydration (especially for the blemish-prone), 005 provides radical glow and 006 soothing calm.”

Once you try these you will want to get the full sizes and use them daily!


By Hello Dollface