June 14, 2017

My Favorite Sunscreen: Supergoop

Have you guys tried Supergoop?  It is my hands-down favorite sunscreen.  Bold words, I know.  But here’s the thing:  I’m always stuck in that gray area of wanting a “natural” sunscreen….but also needing a sunscreen that works.  Both of my parents have a history of skin cancer, and there’s some literature out there linking breast cancer to an increased risk of – you guessed it – melanoma, so this is one area that this girl won’t mess around.

Mix my personal history with my innate Mama-bear tendency to Protect The Children and watch my patience with “natural” sunscreens – with their mixed effectiveness and goopy application – wane.

Supergoop hits that perfect mix of being *mostly* natural (paraben, oxybenzone, synthetic fragrance and cruelty free thankyouverymuch), with an effectiveness rating that regularly blows me away.  They balance chemical load with overall effectivity, which is why you won’t see sunscreens over an SPF 50.

Case in point?  Their Defense Refresh Setting Mist.  This is a product that in my mind, really shouldn’t work.  You just, ya know, mist the stuff on over your makeup to refresh your SPF.  I’m suspicious of “mists” in general, and to rely on one for SPF?  Never.  But here’s the thing:  it works.  Really, really well.  I ended up using this product all over Europe last summer and it prevented many a sunburn, especially since we were often out walking around all day.

In fact, Supergoop is so dedicated to making sunscreens that are really and truly effective (their products protect against UVA, UVB and IRA rays), that they publish their efficacy test results on all of their product pages.

That’s what sun-safe commitment looks like.  Well done, Supergoop.

Lastly – and this is a big one, too – Supergoop’s products are a joy to apply.  They feel good, they smell good, they are anything but goopy.  Their goop?  Is super, super stuff.

So when Supergoop reached out, asking me to take a look at their newest products, it was a no-brainer.  Keep reading to see a review of Supergoop’s latest: Super Power Mousse Sunscreen, SPF 50.  AND I’ll throw a list together at the end of my very favorite, tried-and-tested Supergoop products.

Whew!  Now let’s see how we goop ourselves super…..

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By June 14, 2017 16 No tags Permalink
June 17, 2014

My Fav Faux-Tanners and Sunscreen



Each year around this time I dutifully check the EWG's Skin Deep database and start the mind-numbing task of choosing sunscreen.  Weighing environmental safety vs effectiveness vs cosmetic appearance, I – with trepidation - order my top three.  They arrive, and from that point on my boys and I spend way too many days looking like greasy snowmen.  On a good year, the whitish cast is only observable for the first few hours.  The really good sunscreens, however,  provide a thick white layer that will last through several showers.  Sunscreen For Life!

At some point, we will meet friends at the beach.  Friends who don't obsessively search product ingredient lists for triclosan and retinyl palmitate or who can recite the list of the EWG's top ten safe sunscreens in their sleep.  These friends will come armed with the poison known as spray-sunscreen-in-a-can (not even paraben-free!!) and I will watch – ashamed by my jealousy – as they spray down their kids in 10 seconds flat.

"Raines and Pax?  Time for more sunscreen!" I call.  Raines, resigned to his fate, dutifully trods over and sticks out his arm.  It's covered in white streaks.  I squeeze out a blob of the safest-ever sunscreen and start rubbing.  Sand is stuck all over his body, combining with the sunscreen to form a particularly sticky type of sandpaper.  I resort to gentle pats.  Raines shoots me a death glare, his eyes very blue in his shiny white face.  Pax just runs screaming.  Can't blame him, really.

But at some point, I give up. I don't even care anymore.  I borrow my friend's poison-in-a-can or, if I'm being completely honest here, I just stop applying sunscreen altogether (my kids, like their father, don't burn anyway).  Somewhere in my warped brain I'm trying to weigh the risks of invisible chemicals vs the risks of sunburn.  Vitamin D is good for you, right?  I KNOW.  It's just…too much.  I am defeated by overabundance of information and fear.  So I come home burned to a crisp, my children annoyingly (thankfully?) tan.  I have tan children.  I AM THAT MOTHER.

I'm done.  I'm done with this whole mess.  This year I just want sunscreens that work, sunscreens that smell good and feel good.  Sunscreens that are a joy to apply, dammit!  Remember how exciting it was in high school to bust out the coconut-scented coppertone oil?  EXACTLY.  I want that.  But in, a, um…paraben-free version that actually works. ( My earth-mother bar has lowered, but it is still there.) 

For self-tanner, my requirements are simple:  no streaks, no orange, no parabens, NO SMELL.  Like, really, truly, none of that telltale self-tanner stink.  Don't try to hide it under stronger smell, just get rid of it altogether.  

And you know what?  I was shocked to discover that  products like this actually exist.  For the first time in a long, LONG time, I am L-O-V-I-N-G my sunscreen and self-tan products.  



1. Clarins Radience-Plus Golden Glow Booster, $30

This stuff is genius:  you simply add a few drops of this face self-tanner to whatever moisturizer you currently use.  Wake up the next morning with a little glow.  I typically use it a few days in a row to build up to the color I want, then take a few days off.  Or whatever.  It's pretty foolproof.

2. Supergoop Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40

Sheer and blendable, no strange smells, not greasy, no whitish cast at all.  I love this stuff.  I now wear it under my makeup everyday.

3. Vita Liberata Phenominal 2-3 Week Tanning Mousse in Dark, $54

This one blew me away.  The color is perfection (no streaking, no orange), it dries in seconds (literally seconds), and there is no smell.  I mean OK:  hours later, once the color starts to really develop, there is an ever-so-faint smell of self-tanner, but it's NOTHING compared to other brands.  And this stuff is organic! Happy Hippy Earth Mothers rejoice! However, ignore the claims that this self-tanner lasts 2-3 weeks.  If you are shaving and exfoliating this tan lasts roughly 5 days like all others.  The good news is that when it fades, it fades really naturally.  And you must – MUST – apply with a mit.  (See #5.)  One bottle of self-tanner typically lasts me all summer (my look is more OK, tan enough, rather than sun goddess).

4. Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral Powder SPF 45, $30

I know powdered sunscreens get the EWG all worked up.  But here's the thing: I put sunscreen on in the morning.  Then I carefully apply concealer, blush, no-shine face powder, mascara, lippy….and so hell will freeze over before I smear goopy white sunscreen over all of that.  Talk about a hot mess.  So if I'm outside all day with the boys, I will end up sunburned and eventually turn into a wrinkled old lady.  Granted, wrinkles are inevitable, but until I succumb (NEVER SAY DIE), I'm touching up throughout the day with this stuff.  And ps.  I love this stuff for buffing onto my kid's scalp through little baby hair….or dusting their nose as they sprint past.

5. Vita Liberata Tanning Mit, $6.50

Because the self-tanning mousse dries so fast, attempting to use your hands will leave your tan streaky, and your palms dark orange.  This mit will change your self-tanning game regardless of which self-tanning mousse you buy. 

Here's what you do:  Shower and exfoliate (aka shave your legs).  Then when your skin is dry, put on your tanning mit.  Pump out a single pump of tanning mousse directly onto the mitt.  Then, crunch up the mitt by making a fist a few times to distribute the product a bit.  Quickly use the mit to rub the tan on – really go ahead and scrub, for evenly distributed tan.  I used one pump of product on lower legs and feet, one pump on thighs, one for each arm, two for my back, and one for chest and stomach.  I was done in roughly 3 minutes. 

6.  Supergoop Sun-Defying Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50, $26

So…..that coconut-scented tanning oil of yesteryear?  This is exactly like that but SPF 50, not 5.  It's also lighter in both formulation and scent (which is vaguely citrus), and I actually LOVE putting this on.  It's a joy!  Really!  Even the boys don't mind it.  And while I know the recent sunscreen buzz has been all "NO SPRAY, SPRAY IS DEATH"….this is actually just…oil.  So I spray it on my hands, then rub it onto my kids.  (This is my current rationalization, anyway.)


Enjoy the beach!!



By June 17, 2014 45 No tags Permalink
May 28, 2010

The Sunscreen Mess: What You Need To Know (In Plain English)

IMG_0169 My mother hates it when I use the word "pissed".  But sometimes it's the only word for the job.  And after reading through the EWG's 2010 report on sunscreen, I was pissed.  According to the EWG's latest study, the vast majority of sunscreens on the market are at best ineffective, and at worst, harmful.  In fact, the EWG only recommended 8% of the sunscreens they studied.  And the worst of the bunch?  Yup – sunscreens marketed for use on babies and children.  For shame. 

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June 22, 2017

Making My Life Easier: Amazon Dash Buttons

Hi!  This post is sponsored by Amazon!  I only accept sponsored posts for products I truly and honestly love, and this?  IS A GOOD ONE. 

We’re big fans of technology over here.  My husband has outfitted our house with insanely good wireless (it easily covers from the basement to the third floor), we have a doorbell that sends a video-feed to our phones, a lock that we control via app  (we’ve even once unlocked our door for UPS…from FRANCE), and an Amazon Echo in our kitchen, my office, and the boys’ room.

We primarily use the Echos for music, to-do lists, and shopping lists.  “Alexa, add doughnuts to the shopping list” says Pax, ten times a day.

So yeah….one could say we’re connected.  Like the nerds we are.  Gotta represent, ya know?  #SCIENCE

But in all seriousness, this setup has been – and I don’t want to exaggerate here – kiiinda life-changing.  Going to Target during the week was OK when I was at home with the kids (and sometimes a welcome outing – my kids LOVED Target treats aka Starbucks cake pops), but once I started working….OOF.  Running errands during the week is out, and there’s no hell quite like Tar-jay on a Saturday.

Which is how we became such Amazon prime fanatics.  Adding or ordering items via the Amazon Echo (“Alexa”) works really, really well for 90% of the things we need.  The other 10%?   Is anything we run out of on the 2nd floor, our Alexa ‘no man’s land’ if you will.  This is the one area of the house where I would need to SHOUT at Alexa.  #nothappening

Unfortunately for all of us, this Alexa-free zone is the laundry room, where we store toilet paper, and our most-used bathroom where we are constantly running out of hand soap.

The toilet paper thing is the WORST.  (“Mike!  Pick up wine and toilet paper!” is an all too common text.)

So I’m totally obsessing over Amazon’s latest: Dash buttons.

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By June 22, 2017 9 No tags Permalink
June 14, 2017

Stylish Diaper Bags & Accessories We’re Loving Now

Diaper bags are maybe my favorite thing to buy, second only to shoes. Over the last six years I amassed a bit of a collection; I’ve donated most and have a few tried and true faves left, but not all of them are still on diaper duty. One I’ve repurposed as a library tote, and another one is a carry-on or small weekend bag since I gravitate towards versatile styles that look more like a mainstream bag than baby bag. As you can imagine, I was super excited to do the research for this round-up – there are so many different styles since last time I shopped for a diaper bag! I also included sections on diaper bag accessories and stroller organizers especially for you type As, plus diaper bags for dads, totes, backpacks and diaper clutches for light packers.

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By June 14, 2017 9 No tags Permalink
May 10, 2017

10 Modern Preppy Essentials for Summer

While I’ve never attended prep school, as a New Englander I’m no stranger to the occasional popped collar or monogrammed accessory. Preppy style just goes so naturally with this coastal area, like dropping “r”from the end of words and complaining about the weather. Windswept beaches and Hunter boots? Madras plaid and Cape Cod? Nude flats and…everything? All the yes.

But it’s too easy to go overboard and start looking like a Stepford wife in head-to-toe classics. So I started with ten essential preppy pieces and found updated versions with a twist or maybe a teeny bit of edge. Traditional can be a good thing, but shaking things up is refreshing – let’s give it the old college try, shall we?

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April 7, 2017

Packing For Cuba: What We Wore


If you follow me on IG (@shanachristine), you know that we recently returned from an amazing trip to Cuba.  I have so much more to say on that topic (hopefully next week??), but so many of you were asking for outfit / packing details that I wanted to crank this one out.

We visited Cuba at the end of March, which is technically considered their cold season, but…it was glorious.  Hot during the day, yet cool enough in the evenings to need a light jacket or sweater.  It did rain once, but blew in/out so quickly that the net result was wandering into the bar for one more mojito.  #twistmyarm

As I mentioned in the Kid’s Cuba Packing List article, we brought only carry-ons to avoid the long luggage line at the Havana airport.  Made extra tricky by the fact that one can’t easily run out for, say, forgotten sunscreen in Cuba.  Cuba is not a shopping destination (to put it mildly), so you’re more likely to do without rather than replace it.

A few things I learned:

  • In the off season, Cuba does get cool at night.  Especially when there’s a breeze.  (And when walking along the Malecon, there was always a breeze.)
  • Cubans have style.  It’s more of a Miami vibe than an East-Coast hipster vibe, but grown men do not seem to wear shorts at night, and the women dress sexy.
  • On that note….I thought, for a hot second, that Cuba might be conservatively dressed.  HELLS NO.  Even the Cuban TSA agents wore short, tight skirts with fishnet tights.  I am not making this up.  It was amazing.
  • Old Havana has lots of cobblestones.  I didn’t bother with heels once the entire trip.

Here’s what worked for me:

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By April 7, 2017 14 No tags Permalink
March 29, 2017

Kids’ Capsule Wardrobes For Spring Break


We just got back from an amazing trip to Cuba.  More (so much more) on that topic later.  For now, I wanted to share something quick and easy:  our packing strategy for the kids.

The Havana airport isn’t known for….expediency, and sitting around for potentially 3-4 hours(!!) waiting on luggage with our two little crazies (and no internet) is not the best way to begin any sort of vacation.  To put it mildly.  So we wanted to pack light, yet bring everything one could possibly need, since you can’t easily replace a forgotten item in Cuba.

The mission?  ONE carry-on for two boys to share, small enough for even the six year old to handle through busy airport connections, yet containing everything (including liquids like bugspray and sunscreen) that the two kiddos might need in Cuba.

Here’s what worked for us:

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By March 29, 2017 15 No tags Permalink
March 20, 2017

Naples, FL: What To Do (And Wear)

As Spring Break approaches I find myself a leetle regretful that I didn’t plan a warm weather trip for us this year. I mean, we’re so much closer to Hawaii here in Portland and we still haven’t been…next year maybe I can write a travel post on that trip! (Pinky, are you reading…)

We were fortunate enough to get to visit my parents in February in South Florida this year, though, for some sunshine. (You may have seen a few pics on my Instagram account @elletrain) The weather was in the low 80’s for at least half of our trip and it was lovely. We got a date night, I got some mama time and of course we had some trips to the beach while we were there. I did a little run-down here of some of our favorite activities and some suggestions on what to wear and pack if you’re planning a trip to the Sunshine State.

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By March 20, 2017 3 No tags Permalink
November 25, 2016

The Best of The Black Friday Sales



Black Friday is officially here!  Yay!  (Although, goodness gracious, it’s been going on all week.)  To help keep us all from drowning in deals, The Mom Edit team has been hard at work, pulling out the best pieces from the best sales.  And we’ll be doing this throughout the holiday season.  To see the full list of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales we think are worth shopping (as well as our favorite pieces at each), see our Holiday Sales page.  It can be found underneath the Holiday tab at the top of the website:



On mobile, you can find the dropdown menus at the top, under three horizontal bars.

If you are interested in what pieces got me clicking for Black Friday, then keep reading…..

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By November 25, 2016 4 No tags Permalink