5 Behind-the-Scenes Beauty Essentials

My husband has spent the majority of the past year devoting all his energy to his business here in Hawaii. This has left him with little time for anything else, like properly stocking his house with Q-tips.

When the kids and I showed up last week I was rather amused to realize my husband has survived the last 16 months with only two sets of towels, an XBox 360 and a jar of Dijon mustard in the fridge here at his “bachelor pad.”

Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but let me tell you, my amusement quickly turned to frustration when I was forced to use his non-Qtips brand of cotton swabs to address my itchy brain (when I’m in Hawaii, something in the humid air makes my usually non-existent allergies act up and gives me an itch so far down my ear canal it can only be described as my brain). When you have an itch like this, a non-Qtip is just not good enough. I mean, really, who goes and buys a sub-par package of cotton swabs to save themself 12 cents when YOU KNOW THEY WILL JUST NOT CUT IT?

In addition to my itchy brain, I also use Q-tips daily for other essential tasks like scooping eye cream out of the jar, fixing eyeliner mishaps and applying hydrocortisone cream to Janey’s mosquito bites. A sub-par cotton swab that bends in half BECAUSE THE TUBE IS PLASTIC or pokes through the swabby end because the tube is plastic or is colored BLUE because the tube is plastic (never trust a blue cotton swab, friends) is just a sorry excuse for a Q-tip.

As I complained to my husband about this unacceptable cotton swab situation, I realized there are several other beauty essentials that are somewhat behind-the-scenes but an integral part of my routine, nonetheless.


Acuvue Oasys Contact Lenses

Earlier this year I switched from Acuvue II contacts to Acuvue Oasys and I’m so happy I did. My sister first told me about Acuvue Oasys and their HYDRACLEAR technology that keeps eyes comfortable longer, and told me I shouldn’t be wearing anything else. She was right—and now I don’t.

EO Hand Soap

Made with essential lavender oil, EO French Lavender Hand Soap is a favorite of mine. This gentle, organic soap is as good for my hands as it is the environment.


I challenge you to find ONE household that does not have a jar of Vaseline (aside from my husband’s bachelor pad, of course). From protecting cuts and scrapes to moisturizing dry elbows and heels, Vaseline is a VERY essential part of my beauty routine.

Goody Ouchless Hair Elastics

With a houseful of girls, it’s nearly impossible to keep a hair tie handy. Someone is ALWAYS looking for one, me included. I buy packets of these Goody Ouchless Hair Elastics by the dozens. They don’t stretch out or pull on my hair. Also, they work equally well on fine, thin hair like Janey’s and mine as they do on Bree and Bailey’s horse ponytails.

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Posted in Makeup Bag


  • Fave post EVER, Erika. Hilar. I so feel you on banning not Qtips AND itchy brain.

  • ummm….we don’t have vaseline….name brand or not. Yeah i’ve never needed it for anything. honestly I don’t what to use it for! (do i sound stupid or what?!?!)

  • I use my Q-tip swabs to apply Vaseline inside my nose both morning and before bed. Protects mucous membranes from germs!

    BTW: send the girls away for a night. Honeymoon!

  • Totally with you on the q-tips. I hate impostor qtips!
    And, I just switched contacts too, it’s made such a difference in keeping them from getting so dry!

  • Haha! Yes Soos. I’ll send them over to your house!!

  • You are so right about those beauty essentials! One of mine is a bottle of volumizing shampoo right under the sink so that I can clean my makeup brushes regularly (I like them super clean). Another is a spray bottle of toner by the Body Shop which I actually use when I want to use eyeshadow as a wet eyeliner.

    And Andie, you can use vaseline on any kind of dry skin. I put it on my feet before putting socks on in the winter, or if you have dry lips you can put it on that. It’s also great for removing stubborn makeup in a pinch.

  • So funny and so true. I hate plastic fake q-tips. They just don’t do what I need them to do.

    I’m also a huge fan of vaseline and Goody hair ties.

    Jaime (Reply)
  • i totally understand your issue on the non qtip cotton swabs. drives me insane, they just dont work the way they should you know? so when we were in montreal and the people we were staying with had regular cotton swabs, we had to run out to the nearest drug store and pick up a box of the good old qtips

  • Love EO hand soap too. Makes handwashing (almost) fun!


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