Loves & Recommendations #3

by Jamie Sanford on February 5, 2019


In an extension of my Product Picks, I wanted to share a regular post about things that I’m enjoying and recommending. Welcome to Loves & Recommendations #3!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links.

To see all of my product picks, click here.


Fresh Sugar Lip Caramel Hydrating Balm. I received this in the Sephora Play Box, and I might have to buy one, because it is such a lovely treat of a product. It smells like delicious caramel, and moisturizes without feeling too slippery or too sticky on my lips.


Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Kiss Cupacu Lip Butter. Another lip product, I know, but another great one. I got this in a Sol de Janeiro gift set, and it feels great on my lips and also smells divine. If you like other Sol de Janeiro products, you will love this too, because this is like Bum Bum Cream for your lips.


Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. If you have to face unfortunate hand wash in your daily life, this is an incredible product to keep on you. I use a tiny bit and it moisturizes without being overly greasy. It does have the classic Kiehl’s scent, but somehow it is not as strong as it is in the other cream products from Kiehl’s.

The Erin Condren yearly planner. I am on my second year of using this planner. I was previously a Filofax user, but I struggled with the size being too small, and after watching some YouTube videos, I bought an Erin Condren planner last year. I had never been so consistent in using a planner, so I ordered one for 2019 as well!

Things I track in my planner include:

  • holidays
  • birthdays
  • vacations
  • blog content – I use the monthly view to see when I’m posting content and what kinds of content I’m creating.
  • doctor appointments
  • what I wear – this is new for 2019, as I try and identify the items in my closet that I actually wear.
  • other – I realized at the beginning of using this planner that it would also be an interesting artifact of each year, and so I make notes of anything that I did on a certain day that was notable.

This lighted makeup mirror from Amazon was one of the best purchases I made in 2018. You can charge it with a USB cord, it folds flat for travel, and for anyone like me who uses a lighted makeup mirror at home, it is the best $25 bucks you will spend! My makeup was always weird when I was traveling and it was definitely because I didn’t have the same view. The only downside to this is that it doesn’t have a magnified side, but I got over that quickly. You can adjust the brightness, and it shuts off automatically after 30 minutes. If you struggle with the mirrors when you aren’t at home, definitely pick this up.

That’s all for this round!

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CoverGirl Foundation Color Issues | Product Review

by Jamie Sanford on January 29, 2019

Check out all of my Product Picks here. If you want to see all of the products I’ve reviewed (not just the ones I like), click here for Reviews.

I’m adding this to the product review category, but it could easily be in the Brand Experience category.

I’ve been a fan of the CoverGirl 3-in-1 Foundation for years. I have repeatedly tried more high-end foundations to see if there is a better option, but I haven’t found one yet that I enjoy as much as the CoverGirl 3-in-1.

I recently decided to try another drugstore foundation after RawBeautyKristi raved about the CoverGirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir foundation. She looks great, so obviously I need to try it out.

So I quickly head to Amazon, find that they have it in Ivory, and purchase it right away. A few days later, my new foundation arrived and I tried it during my next makeup application.

My first impressions were great. The application and coverage were nice, and I liked the outcome. I find myself not always wanting 100% coverage these days, and this let my skin show through a bit, which was well-received. I then wore it again mixed with the Fenty Pro Filt’r Foundation, as I still struggle with the Fenty foundation being a bit dry on my skin. Everything was fine, or so I thought.

Cut to a regular day at the office, but a day in which I’m wearing a v-neck top. It turns out that the major downside of using a lighted mirror to apply my makeup is that I don’t get a wider look at myself before I leave my house in the morning. It turns out that this Vitalist Healthy Elixir foundation, in the color Ivory, is not anything close to the Ivory shade I have been using for years, made by the same company! Having not done a side-by-side test, I had no idea.

These are both Ivory. How disappointing. I am surprised that a company as large as CoverGirl would not keep consistency in the colors of their skin products. Especially when you are naming them! These products do have numbers that aren’t the same, but the format of the numbers is very different, so I’m not sure that seeing the different numbers but the same shade name would have made me think twice.

Once I noticed the error, I went back online to look further into the issue, and found a LOT of product reviews mentioning the same issues that I had, that the Ivory shade was not light enough, and that there is not a lighter option in this particular product. So it’s not just an issue for me, but many customers who wanted it to work, and like me, seem to really enjoy the product itself.

Ultimately, I do think that companies that manufacture makeup should commit to matching shades to their names, across all products. I’ll take responsibility for not attempting to find out some more about this product before buying it, but it still seems ridiculous.

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Link Tank #52

by Jamie Sanford on January 25, 2019

Click here for all of the link posts on JamieSanford.com.

It’s almost February already!

The dresses from the Spring Viktor & Rolf show need to be seen and appreciated.

There’s being extra, and then there’s buying a chest full of macarons for $900.

I was sort of surprised at this piece on Song of Style, but really enjoyed it nonetheless. The Critical Issue Virgil Abloh is Solving.

These drone photos by Martin Sanchez are breathtaking.

The Tasty 101 video series is great, and this pie video is really informative. We actually made their ultimate chocolate cake and it did NOT disappoint.

I don’t need convincing about the enduring appeal of Nine Inch Nails, but there’s an article on it anyway.

Flamingo foster parents! So cute.

Over 10 years since Lady Gaga entered the scene with next level pop music! Here’s a look back at The Fame era.

This article on the costume development for BlacKKKlansman is fascinating.

I love pop culture references in art pieces. This store on Etsy is dedicated to pieces inspired by The Big Lebowski, which barks right up my tree.

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Tory Burch New Year Email | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on January 16, 2019

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

In follow-up to my previous post about the Year in Review email from Lyft, I’m back now with a Tory Burch email to wish me a happy new year. Unlike the Lyft email, this is not personalized to me, but still feels like a personal note from the founder and namesake, Tory Burch.

The only issue I take with this messaging is that it is extremely top-line and vague. I would almost prefer more information in this email with some links to more information about their philanthropic projects, as I’m sure they’ve created content around those efforts. I do really like the message of “here’s to a year of travel, color, and giving back,” as it feels extremely on-brand for Tory Burch, in aesthetic and company reputation.

I’m including the whole email below, but everything under the happy new year message is fairly standard e-commerce email content. I do feel that it takes away from the overall message of the email to include such basic content after such a specific message at the top. Ultimately, I would have preferred that this email be paired with more content about the Tory Burch Foundation, and for them to have left the shopping links for next time.

Take a look at this Tory Burch email below.

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Lyft Year in Review Email | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on January 10, 2019

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

It may be too late to say “happy new year,” but it is not too late to talk about new year content.

Today I wanted to share the email I received from Lyft, with a recap of my use of their service in 2018. I’ve seen these from a number of brands, but the content of this one really struck the perfect balance of personalized information about my own use of this service and company information. Included here is information on how to better use Lyft, what Lyft is up to in terms of their philanthropic efforts, where Lyft service is available, interspersed with specific information about my stats for 2018.

I don’t get a lot of emails from Lyft that aren’t related to specific usage of their service, but I opened this one as it totally played into me wanting to know more about me. The personalization of this email was super effective at pulling me in, and in the meantime, taught me a bit more about Lyft as a company.

What I do notice and appreciate is that nothing here is about money spent on this service. Why bring you down with a reminder of how much money you spent? December is generally a spendy month for many people, so a reminder about having spent $X over the course of the year on rides isn’t going to help anyone. Good move on Lyft’s part.

I would like to see other companies create this kind of recap of my own activity with their service or store. I am slightly concerned that for some customers, it would backfire into letting them know that they might be shopping a bit too much, or taking Lyfts a bit too much, but the avoidance of including dollar amounts is a key point.

Scroll down to take a look.

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