What’s in my Bookish (Beauty) Bag? ~ Stacey Lender

Stacey Lender‘s debut novel City Mouse is nothing short of fantastic.  Compared to The Real Housewives, Lender takes on suburbia, friendship and motherhood- all ingredients for a perfect beach read and page-turner.  I am delighted she shared her bag with us today and HIGHLY recommend City Mouse for your beach bag paired with a crisp glass of wine because that’s what all suburban wives and mom’s do…right?  Also I immediately fell in love with Stacey when she shared her vintage Gucci make-up bag, gasp!

CITY MOUSE

via Amazon ~

“A hilarious book about the city vs. suburb divide.”
New York Post, a Must-Read Book

“City Mouse is a sharp and sophisticated novel of suburban life with a narrative voice that is equal parts witty, observant, and vulnerable. A wonderful debut!
Susan Isaacs, New York Times best-selling author

“For every city mom who fears death by suburbia–and for every suburban mom who wonders if it’s just her–this insightful, funny trip into the secrets behind those picket fences is required reading.”
Maureen Sherry, author of Opening Belle

“City Mouse reminds mothers of that priceless lesson: the grass is always greener…and maybe even alcohol-soaked Astroturf. I tore through this book like a bored, competitive housewife tears through her Xanax.”
Faith Salie, author of Approval Junkie

“Lender sharply portrays the corrupt privilege of upper-middle-class suburbanites, and with a twist of her pen, the Stepford Wives take the upper hand over their husbands…the climactic explosion takes everyone by surprise. A bracingly tart portrait of suburban hell.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Lender’s enlightening, beautifully plotted novel dives deep into the notion of having it all while playing with the shallow notions of the American dream.”
Publishers Weekly

“This defines a beach read for me! So relatable to our own lives as it is all about mom trying to find out exactly where she fits in the in the scheme of suburbia–all that goes along with it. Plus, when a book is described as The Stepford Wives meets Bad Moms, how can you go wrong?”
Mom of the Year (blog), included in 20 Best Summer Books

“It’s not long before neighborhood secrets give away to scandal, proving the grass–and the Astroturf–isn’t always greener on the other side of the white-picket fence.”
Star Magazine

“With real estate prices on the rise, Jessica, Aaron, and their kids are forced to ditch their chichi Manhattan digs for the suburbs. Though she had her worries, Jessica settles into her new normal with ease–but when she embarks on a moms-only trip with her new galpals, she ends up learning a few eye-opening lessons that spur her to reevaluate her life.”
OK! Magazine

“Lender’s debut novel is positively irresistible. It’s hilarious and insightful and just the type of book any city girl needs to tote to her vacation rental this summer…even with three kids in tow.”
Daytime Confidential

Priced out of their Manhattan neighborhood, Jessica and Aaron move with their young daughters to the one place Jessica swore she’d never go: the suburbs. But to Jessica’s surprise, life in the commuter belt makes a great first impression. She quickly falls in with a clique of helpful mom friends who welcome her with pitchers of margaritas, neighborhood secrets, and a pair of hot jeans that actually fit.

Still, it’s hard to keep up in a crowd where everyone competes for the most perfectly manicured home and latest backyard gadgets. And what’s worse, as the only working mom in her circle, Jessica sometimes feels disconnected and alone. So she’s thrilled when she’s invited to a moms-only weekend at the beach, which she assumes will mean new opportunities for real talk and bonding. Instead, the trip turns into a series of eye-opening lessons, and Jessica must decide if she’s strong enough to be honest with herself about the sort of life she really wants.

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What is your bag of choice?

I recently discovered this great brand Verloop Knits, and am in love with my new summer tote. It’s so happy and bright and has such a beautiful texture – plus it can go straight from the beach to a lunch meeting. It’s a perfect match for my W.H. Petronela Python iPad sleeve.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

When it comes to beauty products and makeup, I’m all about speed and a natural everyday look. For skincare, Tatcha Brightening Serum is incredibly sheer and lightweight and gives my skin an amazing glow. Kevyn Aucoin has so many terrific products, especially the eyeshadow and long-lasting Precision Eye Definer (bonus: it never needs a sharpener). For lips, I like NARS lip gloss because it isn’t sticky, and when I step it up at night and wear lipstick, this sparkly tube of Lipstick Queen’s All that Jazz says, ‘it wouldn’t kill you to put on a pair of heels.’

What do you always carry in her bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?  

Elta MD SPF 46 sunscreen is seriously the best product out there for sensitive skin and one of my everyday musts. I always throw a pair of sunglasses in my bag (and have quite a collection of $5 street fair specials), but when I splurge, my go-to shades are Lafont Paris.

What are you currently reading?

Summer is my favorite time to chill with a good book, and I like to mix it up with juicy novels, memoirs, biographies, and short story collections. Colum McCann is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve been catching up on some of his works including Thirteen Ways of Looking. Last month I was at an event where author and comedienne Cynthia Kaplan read one of her hilarious essays about sex after childbirth, and I can’t wait to dig into Leave the Building Quickly. Also on my must-reads for summer: Abby Fabiaschi’s debut I Liked My Life and Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke’s The Good Widow.

And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you 🙂

In high school I saved up for this Gucci makeup bag, and while I’ve upgraded its contents since those Bonnie Bell Lip Smacker days, to say that this little bag has stood the test of time is an understatement. It’s been with me on my roadie travels across the country, at my wedding, and a million everyday stops in between. Oh the stories this bag could tell…

 

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*Many thanks to stacey for sharing her gorgeous, summery tote and blessing us with a wonderful beach read ❤

 

What’s in my Bookish (Beauty) Bag? ~ Jenny Patinkin

I posted earlier this week about my favorite products to achieve a summer glow.  One key piece to achieving ANY look are GREAT brushes.  They are the tool to get a perfect application.  Good brushes can really be the key to getting what you want.  When I saw that make-up brush maven Jenny Patinkin had a how-to make guide coming out called Lazy Perfection,The Art of Looking Great Without Really Trying, I knew it was a must read for me.  Yes I am a trained make-up artist but she is the creme de la creme and any tips she wants to give I am ready to listen 🙂  To be absolutely honest I couldn’t love this book more.  Why?  Because Jenny has tapped into the key piece of advice anyone should know- make-up should be fun and easy and not scary and impossible.  She breaks it down into a user friendly way that anyone can become their own professional make-up artist.  I was thrilled to chat with Jenny and have her share her breathtaking CELINE bag.  Seriously I can’t stop looking at this bag!

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via Amazon ~

Could you use a little Lazy Perfection in Your Life?
Every woman wants to look like the best version of herself-natural, radiant, and confident. But who has the time to master complicated makeup steps or the patience to sift through the glut of choices at the beauty counters? Celebrated makeup artist Jenny Patinkin cuts through the confusion and clutter with her “lazy perfection” approach to beauty, replacing complex techniques and hard-to-wear trends with a streamlined, sophisticated approach to makeup.
Here you’ll find guidance on finding a beauty routine that works for you-without a lot of involved steps or overpriced products. Guiding you through an initial makeup drawer purge, through setting beauty priorities, to crafting a finished look, Jenny gives you real-life tips for spending your limited time (and budget) to achieve the results you want. With Lazy Perfection you’ll know that you’re putting your best face forward-minus the fuss!

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What is your bag of choice?- purse/tote/backpack and brand that you have?

I used to be a devoted shoulder bag person, but now I prefer a tote because what I carry is often too much of a strain to keep on my shoulder all day.   Plus, I travel so much that I need a very sturdy bag that won’t show what a beating it takes.  Celine and Hermes are my go-to’s since the leather is thick and pretty much indestructible.  My new summer bag is a gigantic Celine tote.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

Glossier Haloscope highlighter in Quartz has been in daily use lately (personally and professionally) because it’s so subtle and flattering, and their Boy Brow is great for a quick fluff and fill.  It’s a very millennial brand, but these products are surprisingly good for more mature skin as well.

 

I have also been enjoying Beautycounter Skin Tint foundation, W3ll People Bio Bronzer stick and Juice Beauty cream blush in Seashell.  Mac Technakohl Eyeliner in Uniform is the one I always go back to – I just love the khaki/gray color on blue, green and hazel eyes – and I am super impressed by Wander Beauty’s Unlashed Mascara.

 

In skincare, I am obsessed by the Vintner’s Daughter Serum and Marie Veronique C, E & Ferulic.  Other C, E Ferulics were too rough on my skin – one of them even stained my skin orange – but this one is incredible to use.

Products

What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?  

I always need to be ready to touch up before going on-camera, so I keep a few essentials with me.  Amazing Cosmetics Hydrate Concealer pretty much doubles as foundation; RCMA translucent powder to control shine; Urban Decay Naked Matte 2 eye shadow palette because it’s so versatile; Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy; and my set of Petites makeup brushes.  And I always have a copy of my book with me as well, just in case.

What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)

And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you 🙂

I always have a bkr water bottle with me, the giant 1-liter size, which is another reason I need a big, sturdy purse — it weighs a ton, but I don’t like to drink out of plastic.  I mix in a Mestrength electrolyte supplement to keep me extra hydrated and to reduce bloat, which is especially helpful after a salty meal or a glass of wine.  I also keep some roasted almonds with me as a little pick me up snack.

As for reading, I actually got my latest book recommendation from you!  I have According to a Source all ready to take on my vacation!

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*Thanks to Jenny for sharing your gorgeous bag!

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Michele Campbell

I have been featuring some great summer thrillers lately on my Insta and Michele Campbell’s, It’s Always the Husband is nothing short of that.  A thrilling and chilling debut that is sure to keep you guessing until the very end.  I was so excited when she shared her STUNNING Louis Vuitton tote filled with fabulous beauty products and fun accessories.  Plus she is another New England gal, near and dear to my heart!

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via Amazon ~

“This book is perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.” –Redbook Magazine

“Fans of Ruth Ware and Gillian Flynn meet your next obsession.” ―BuzzFeed

“In the tradition of Big Little Lies comes the excellently titled It’s Always the Husband, a thriller about three friends–frenemies, really–who met as college roommates.” –New York Post

*Named one of “50 Best Books for the Beach” by Coastal Living
*Named one of “7 Books You Won’t Be Able to Put Down This Month” by InStyle
*Named one of “6 Books to Cure Your Little Big Lies Withdrawal” by Elle.com
*Named one of “20 Must-Read Books for Spring 2017” by Redbook
*Named one of “8 Thrillers You Will Devour This Summer” by BuzzFeed

“A page-turning whodunnit that will speak to anyone who’s ever had a frenemy.” –Ruth Ware, bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin Ten

Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, despite being as different as three women can be. Kate was beautiful, wild, wealthy, and damaged. Aubrey, on financial aid, came from a broken home, and wanted more than anything to distance herself from her past. And Jenny was a striver―brilliant, ambitious, and determined to succeed. As an unlikely friendship formed, the three of them swore they would always be there for each other.

But twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge, and someone is urging her to jump.

How did it come to this?
Kate married the gorgeous party boy, Aubrey married up, and Jenny married the boy next door. But how can these three women love and hate each other? Can feelings this strong lead to murder? When one of them dies under mysterious circumstances, will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?

A suspenseful, absorbing novel that examines the complexities of friendship, It’s Always the Husband will keep readers guessing right up to its shocking conclusion.

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What is your bag of choice?

I travel a lot, and my go-to carry-on is the Louis Vuitton Neverfull.  I know, everyone and her sister owns this bag!  But for a reason.  It’s stylish and durable and has an incredible ability to shape-shift.  I can fit half my wardrobe in it and still scrunch it up and shove it under the seat in front of me — which means I never have to gate-check it.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

I love Dr. Hauschka products, especially the rose-scented hand cream.  I’m also crazy for lipstick, especially MAC, which is now available in lots of airports.  I buy it in two color ranges — nude/pink for day and deep-red for evening — over and over again to the point that I end up with multiples of the same color.  Gotta work on controlling that!

What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?  

I can’t live without Jo Malone’s Vitamin E lip conditioner (so moisturizing, and tastes yummy) and Coola’s Face sunscreen, which goes on like a dream.  Also, for a long plane flight, I love to bring one of those Evian rosewater spritzers — so refreshing!

What are you currently reading?

I never get on an airplane without something thrilling to read.  I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of The Breakdown, by B. A. Paris, which is so suspenseful I can’t put it down.

And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you?

When I travel, I always bring my laptop, because planes are a surprisingly great place to write.  I have a Dell notebook-size one that fits on a tray table.  I always have headphones with me so I can plug into some good tunes.  And I love to tuck the Longchamp Le Pliage backpack into my carry-on so I can do a little sightseeing or go for a long walk wherever I am.  It’s a classic, folds up tiny and weighs nothing.

Michele_Campbell_CREDIT Sigrid Estrada

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❤ Thanks to Michele for sharing her bag and for her fabulous beach read this summer!

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? 4th of July edition ~ Lisa Duffy

Happy 4th of July!  Time to celebrate and read a good book 🙂  I am so happy to have another local author and gal, Lisa Duffy on the blog sharing her debut book, The Salt House.  This is the perfect beach read or getaway book.  With rave reviews since its June release, The Salt House is a dramatic and emotional story that will hook you from the beginning, a must-read of 2017.

The Salt House cover

via Amazon ~

*Real Simple “Best Books of June”
*Refinery29 “Best Beach Reads of 2017”

In the tradition of Jodi Picoult and Lisa Genova, this gorgeously written, heartbreaking, yet hopeful debut set during a Maine summer traces the lives of a young family in the aftermath of tragedy.

In the coastal town of Alden, Maine, Hope and Jack Kelly have settled down to a life of wedded bliss. They have a beautiful family, a growing lobster business, and the Salt House—the dilapidated oceanfront cottage they’re renovating into their dream home. But tragedy strikes when their young daughter doesn’t wake up from her afternoon nap, taking her last breath without making a sound.

A year later, each member of the Kelly family navigates the world on their own private island of grief. Hope spends hours staring at her daughter’s ashes, unable to let go. Jack works to the point of exhaustion in an attempt to avoid his crumbling marriage. Their daughters, Jess and Kat, struggle to come to terms with the loss of their younger sister while watching their parents fall apart.

When Jack’s old rival, Ryland Finn, threatens his fishing territory, he ignites emotions that propel the Kelly family toward circumstances that will either tear them apart—or be the path to their family’s future.

Told in alternating voices, The Salt House is a layered, emotional portrait of marriage, family, friendship, and the complex intersections of love, grief, and hope

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  • What is your bag of choice?

I have a thing for hobo bags. I’m not picky about the designer–it’s all about the color anddesign, sort of a love at first sight type of thing.

 

  • What are your top favorite beauty picks?

My go to perfume is Lush’s Lust. They call it “Unabashedly carnal jasmine”. I’m stocking up on it just in case they ever decide to discontinue the scent. I’m also a hand cream junkie. The prettier the tube, the better. My sister-in-law introduced me to L’Occitaine’s Shea Butter and I’m loving.

 

  • What beauty products do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on?

I always have a tube/container of lip balm (or ten) at the bottom of my bag. I don’t wear lipstick, and I love clear (not sticky!) lip moisturizers. Lush’s Ultrabalm is my go-to because it comes in this cool tin, and it’s all purpose…feels great on lips and hands.

 

  • What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)?

I just finished an ARC of Elise Hooper’s The Other Alcott. An excellent debut out this September about the untold story of May Alcott.

 

  • And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you 🙂

I try to always throw my Kindle in my bag. It comforts me to travel with it so if I’m stuck waiting somewhere, I can always just use the time to relax and read.

Lisa Duffy credit © Tom Wheble

Thanks to Lisa for sharing her bag and make sure to pick up a copy of The Salt House!

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Hannah McKinnon

Who is getting ready for the 4th of July?!?!  I am excited to have the next week off and plan on finishing up some books and jumping into some fabulous beach reads.  I am thrilled to be able to feature Hannah McKinnon’s latest, The Summer House and have her share her BEACH BAG!  Hello.  Quintessential beach read and fabulous author’s beach bag?  Can we say perfect 4th weekend kick off 🙂

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via Amazon ~

When Flossy Merrill summons her children to the beloved family beach house to celebrate their father’s eightieth birthday, both cherished memories and long-kept secrets come to light in this charming and lyrical novel from the author of The Lake Season and Mystic Summer. 

Flossy Merrill has managed to—somewhat begrudgingly—gather her three ungrateful grown children from their dysfunctional lives for a summer reunion at the family’s Rhode Island beach house. Clementine, her youngest child and a young mother of two small children, has caused Flossy the most worry after enduring a tragically life-altering year. But Samuel and his partner Evan are not far behind in their ability to alarm: their prospective adoption search has just taken a heart-wrenching turn. Only Paige, the eldest of the headstrong Merrill clan, is her usual self: arriving precisely on time with her well-adapted teens. Little does her family know that she, too, is facing personal struggles of her own.

No matter. With her family finally congregated under one seaside roof, Flossy is determined to steer her family back on course even as she prepares to reveal the fate of the summer house that everyone has thus far taken for granted: she’s selling it. The Merrill children are both shocked and outraged and each returns to memories of their childhoods at their once beloved summer house—the house where they have not only grown up, but from which they have grown away. With each lost in their respective heartaches, Clementine, Samuel, and Paige will be forced to reconsider what really matters before they all say goodbye to a house that not only defined their summers, but, ultimately, the ways in which they define themselves. Featuring McKinnon’s “sharp and evocative” (Kirkus Reviews) voice, this warm-hearted novel is perfect for fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Mary Alice Monroe.

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What is your bag of choice?

With summer upon us and beach reads on the brain, my go-to beach bag is my Mar Y Sol valencia beach tote. I love the raffia, I love the fact that I can fit everything in it from sunscreen and snacks to books and a beach towel. And for a girl who trends toward earth tones and neutrals, the Madagascar orange color is such a fun pop!

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

Cruelty-free and paraben-free products are important to me. I love to shop Sephora, but as a working mom of two little girls, the local drugstore often has to do. Moisturizer is my number one beauty pick: its amazing what a good one can do. I love Alba Botanica moisturizers with sunscreen. A beauty favorite that I discovered on Cape Cod one summer is Kiss Me in the Garden. I adore their No 04 Lemongrass & Verbena shea butter balm. Locally made, and all natural, it feels indulgent and it smells divine; I use it all over! You can find them online, and they offer a custom blending bar, too.

What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?  

As a fair-haired and sensitive skinned-girl, little blemishes or tired eyes stand out. I love Bobbi Brown Corrector in Porcelain Bisque. A swipe of sheer e.l.f. lipgloss and I’m good to go.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Wally Lamb’s ‘I’ll Take You There’. I’ve always been a big Wally fan. For summer, nothing beats an Elin Hilderbrand book.

And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you 🙂

My RayBan’s go everywhere with me! Polarized protection for blue eyes and a quick fix to pull your look together. As a mom, my two other must-haves are sunscreen and snacks. Babyganics is a great mineral-based sunscreen for sports and outdoor play. I also keep my bag flush with food- my girls love Annie’s and Honest Kids. We make a solid organic effort, but you’ll find Doritos in there, too! Well, at least the crumbs.

Much as I’m loathe to admit it, the first day of summer is probably the ONLY time my beach bag actually looks this put together! By day two- with kids, pets, and beaches- it’s full of sticky juice containers, sandy granola bar wrappers, and who knows what else. My younger daughter has been known to pop one of our pet chickens in there to carry around. Even she knows the value of a good sized tote!

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Sonja Yoerg

Sonja Yoerg and I have something in common, we are both east coast born girls, so of course I instantly loved that about her.  Her latest release, All the Best People, is sure to be a favorite read of the summer with fabulous reviews.  I was so happy she wanted to share her bag and celebrate her latest release.  I love that she is faithful to her beauty products.  When you find a good lipstick shade you stick to it.  A beauty 101 rule 🙂

 

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via Amazon ~

An intricately crafted story of madness, magic and misfortune across three generations from the author of The Middle of Somewhere and House Broken

Vermont, 1972. Carole LaPorte has a satisfying, ordinary life. She cares for her children, balances the books for the family’s auto shop and laughs when her husband slow dances her across the kitchen floor. Her tragic childhood might have happened to someone else.

But now her mind is playing tricks on her. The accounts won’t reconcile and the murmuring she hears isn’t the television. She ought to seek help, but she’s terrified of being locked away in a mental hospital like her mother, Solange. So Carole hides her symptoms, withdraws from her family and unwittingly sets her eleven-year-old daughter Alison on a desperate search for meaning and power: in Tarot cards, in omens from a nearby river and in a mysterious blue glass box belonging to her grandmother.

An exploration of the power of courage and love to overcome a damning legacy, All the Best People celebrates the search for identity and grace in the most ordinary lives.

Bag Photo

What is your bag of choice?

My current favorite is a Michael Kors hobo I picked up on resale. As soon as I slung it over my shoulder, I knew we’d be friends. When I travel, I carry my Sherpani laptop bag and pack a small red cross-body bag in my roll-on. It packs flat and holds my wallet, Kindle, phone, lipstick, and nothing more.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

My fine curls droop if you look at them sideways but Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle gives them some oomph without leaving them crunchy. On the rare occasion I need to look my best all day, I use a proper foundation (Make Up For Ever) but otherwise I rely on Miracle Skin Transformer Face Spotlight by Sarah McNamara. It’s light, mousse-like, and contains sunscreen—what more can you ask? I’m also a fan of Benefit’s Gimme Brow gel. Even a make-up klutz like me can manage to apply it correctly. I call that a miracle product.

 

What do always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products? 

I always have Clinique lipstick in Bamboo Pink or Very Berry. I started using the brand twenty years ago and can’t think of a reason to change. When I was in San Francisco on my last book tour, I picked up 80 Acres Blood Orange hand cream made with olive oil. It’s exactly the right weight and smells delicious.

What are you currently reading?

One More Day by Kelly Simmons and Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister. I also have started Jessica’s Strawser’s Almost Missed You on my Kindle and am listening to A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles on my phone. I’m normally a terrible multitasker; I’m easily distracted and must write in silence but somehow have no problem keeping track of four books at once.

And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you?

A tiny portable shopping bag. This red one is from Envirobags and has travelled around the world with me for years, holding everything from extra clothes to gifts to impromptu picnic fare. While traveling in the Pyrenees, I used it to collect wild blackberries!

Sonja Yoerg Author Photo credit to Sandy Payne Photography

 

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Taylor Jenkins Reid

To say I love Taylor Jenkins Reid would be an understatement.  After my first book that I read of hers, she was automatically solidified onto my favorite authors list.  I can’t say one books is better than the other, all of her books are fantastic.  Like run out and get now fantastic.  Her writing is the type of writing where you can’t peel yourself away from it.  Her newest book, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was released this week and is getting RAVE reviews.  I was so excited that Taylor opened her bag up to us as I know she is a busy new mama 🙂  Read on below and do yourself a favor and grab ANY of her books now!  You can thank me later ❤

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via Amazon ~

“Riveting, heart-wrenching, and full of Old Hollywood glamour, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is one of the most captivating reads of 2017.” –Buzzfeed

“The epic adventures Evelyn creates over the course of a lifetime will leave every reader mesmerized. This wildly addictive journey of a reclusive Hollywood starlet and her tumultuous Tinseltown journey comes with unexpected twists and the most satisfying of drama.” —PopSugar

In this entrancing novel “that speaks to the Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor in us all” (Kirkus Reviews), a legendary film actress reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

“Heartbreaking, yet beautiful” (Jamie Blynn, Us Weekly), The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is “Tinseltown drama at its finest” (Redbook): a mesmerizing journey through the splendor of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it costs—to face the truth.

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What is your bag of choice?

I have a Kate Spade black nylon backpack. A friend of mine always used a backpack purse and I thought it was so cool, I stole the look from her. Now, I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to a regular bag for every day use.

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

The very best thing I have in my makeup kit right now is Sephora’s airbrush foundation. I’m obsessed with foundation. I’ve tried them all. Airbrush is hands-down the way to go and Sephora’s is reasonably priced but absolutely fantastic.

 

What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?  

Vaseline. Every day, all the time. Nothing better. It’s lip gloss, it’s moisturizer, and it’s eye make-up remover.

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and it is devastating and superb.

 

And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you 🙂

It’s not super fun, I guess, but I take great pride in being the person who always has ibruprofen. No one ever has to suffer through a headache if I’m there! Least of all myself.

 

TJR author photo 2017 (C) Scott Witter

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*Thanks to Taylor for sharing her bag with us!