Beauty Review: Kari Gran Lip Whip

Winter is coming. Here's the "lip balm" you need for it.


I’ve only been using Kari Gran’s Tinted Lip Whip for about two weeks now, but here’s how I know it’s good. On two of the weekends that I had it with me, I was also in the company of groups of women, who all wanted to try it. Try it they did — and they loved it. This has been such a good beauty discovery, that as we’re heading into cooler weather (a.k.a., Chapped Lip Central), I thought you absolutely needed to know about it.

So, two weeks ago, I stopped by Credo on Fillmore to pick up some more of that Trilogy lotion. I was leaving later that night to head to Lake Tahoe, so this was a last minute errand to pick up toiletries that were about to run out! I was running low on lip balm, so I thought I’d finally buy a pot of Herbivore’s Coco Rose Lip Conditioner (remember when I mentioned the tinted version earlier this summer?). We were chatting about it when the salesperson said to me, “Have you ever tried Kari Gran’s lip products? Honestly, I think they’re better moisturizing than Herbivore’s anyway.” I was a little hesitant, since I was in a bit of a hurry and didn’t feel like spending time exploring a new line. But she convinced me to take a q-tip and sample a tiny bit of one of the shades.

HOLY MOLY. First of all, the texture of this “balm” is very unique — it’s extremely light and airy (hence the ‘whip’ in the name), but you also only need the tiniest bit before you feel like you’ve slathered it on. I don’t think I’ve ever used a product that made my lips feel so immediately soft and comfortable, even when they’re chapped. It’s incredible!


The product comes in a few different shades, as well as some colorless versions too. However, I find the shades are extremely sheer. I ended up going with the Radiant color, and it adds the lightest touch of pink to my lips (and as a bonus, it also has peppermint oil in it, so it gives you that pleasant cool tingly feeling when you apply). It looks and feels like you have something on, but it’s not overbearing at all — perfect for those “makeupless” days. It’s also great to layer over other lip color if you want extra moisture and a little bit of glossy shine.

When I was in the cabin in Tahoe — which, at about 7500 feet, was pretty high altitude — everyone’s skin and lips were so dry the first day. I couldn’t believe that my lips felt totally moisturized. I shared some of my newly discovered Lip Whip with the group, and everyone was wowed (and asked me for more all weekend). Last weekend in Napa, I got the entire group hooked, too (everyone took photos of the pot and said they wanted to order it for themselves and for stocking stuffers this holiday season). It really is that good!


Ready for the final cherry on top? Lip Whip’s ingredients are primarily organic. Seriously! With the exception of some of the specialty oils, and the mineral ingredients that provide color and shine — organic. The only downside is the ingredients are reflected in the price. At $21, it’s more expensive than a simple drugstore lip balm, but I don’t think you can even compare the two, really. Since it doubles as a makeup product (you can use it as a lip gloss for sure) and it seemingly will last quite a long time, I think it’s one of the best buys for the winter. I’m planning on picking up an extra one so that I can keep one in my handbag and one at my desk.

Here’s a pic to give you the idea of how sheer it looks on skin. My skin tone is pretty medium; if you wanted a darker look, I’d try the Marsala shade.


Kari Gran sells at Credo (where I bought it), Amazon, as well as Sephora. You can also purchase directly through the Kari Gran website. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Crushing On: The Arrivals



Have you heard of the brand The Arrivals? They do one thing and one thing well: outerwear. I should’ve mentioned last week, but it bears telling you now: I’m probably just as obsessed with outerwear as I am with boots.

Interestingly, The Arrivals was founded by two people who had no experience in the fashion industry: entrepreneur Kal Vepuri, and former architect Jeff Johnson. You know I love a good start up story!

While the cuts and tailoring of their outerwear caught my eye, what really got me excited was seeing the mix of materials they use across their garments. Materials like rubberized leather in this moto jacket lend a really cool, unique take on traditional silhouettes (I’m also not mad at the functionality — you can order that jacket with a removable interior liner for extra warmth). The Arrivals’ About page talks more about the dedication to great materials by explaining how they found “a waterproof suede from Italy while in Paris, a rare Japanese raw denim while in NYC, and traveled to Vancouver to find a high-tech waterproof micro-mesh shell.” They write, “we are steadfast on finding the highest quality materials to create innovative outerwear and will travel the world to bring them directly to you.” Yes, please.

You can see a lot of their designs veer towards classic, but with modern updates and interesting details — like a beautifully done shearling collar (that’s detachable), extra flap pockets on an otherwise traditional long overcoat, or a down-filled bomber jacket done in an of-the-moment blush pink.


I think where they really shine is in moto jackets. Holy shiz, the styling on these! From this insanely cool mustard yellow number, to this high contrast white and black one, or this gorgeous dark navy version, I’d seriously take them all. I signed up for the waitlist on the rubberized version yesterday — I really can’t get over the matte effect on this leather. I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like it.




Prices? They range, really. As expected, if you’re buying a specialty leather jacket with lots of detailing that’s made by a super skilled craftsman, the price is going to be steep (like between about $600-$800). I find that their wool and cotton pieces are on par with a lot of contemporary brands — the cropped wool jacket at the top of this post sets you back $185, and several of the larger parks and overcoats are priced in the $300s (or less). So not terrible, and certainly standard for a winter coat investment.

One more thing to tell you before I leave you to ogle and drool. A lot of The Arrivals’ pieces are actually unisex, which I think is kinda cool! And they have a separate mens outerwear line, so give it a look if you’ve got a guy in your life still on the hunt for a winter coat.

I have to also tell you that when the end of summer hits, I begin obsessively looking for coats online — not usually to buy, often just to get inspired. I think a gorgeous coat or jacket can completely make an outfit, especially if like me you lean towards a capsule wardrobe. There are brands that always make coats I find beautiful (Vince and Theory come to mind; I also recently bought a coat from Harris Wharf London and find their tailoring to be incredible). But it’s been rare that I’ve found a brand devoted to outerwear, scrolled through their catalog, and said YES to basically everything. I was so excited to discover The Arrivals recently, and can’t wait to see what they come up with next! (PS, if you want a little more background on the founders, check out this great interview they did with Tory Burch here).

Boots! Boots! Boots!

Your fall boot style guide, right this way...


Recently, Joe came home with a new pair of sunglasses. These he added to a collection that admittedly all look the same to me, but that he insists is very diverse. “If boots can be your thing,” he told me, “I guess sunglasses can be mine.”

“Are boots my thing?” I asked him. Then I realized I could answer my own question, no problem. I easily own more boots than any other type of footwear. Chalk it up to my adoration of fall, but I just LOVE a good boot (or bootie — I don’t discriminate). It’s funny because when booties first became popular several years ago, I wasn’t sure if I could work the “trend.” Now of course, they’re a staple! Still, I’m always pleasantly surprised at the way new details and trends are incorporated into boots each fall. It’s really just a conspiracy to get me to buy a new pair (minimum) by the time October hits.

A few years ago I did a big round up of over the knee boots, and thought it’d be fun to share a similar guide with lots of styles and trends at a huge range of price points, from saves to splurges. I had this idea on my calendar for a while, but it worked out that I planned it for this week — Shopbop is having their seasonal big sale, with 25% off your ENTIRE order up to $500, and 30% off your order when it’s $500+. If you look at their boots and booties section, you can see all the items that are part of the sale, with the code MAINEVENT16. In my roundup below, I’ve also noted which options are part of the sale, with the peach flash sale tag. And check this out: Crazily enough, Stuart Weitzman shoes are included in the sale this time (which I’ve never seen happen), so if you’ve been thinking about pulling the trigger on a pair of SW boots or sandals, have a look (but hurry — I found sizes are going fast!).

My favorite boots for fall, right this way:

View more

Shop my picks:

All images via M. Gemi

Shopbop’s sale takes place now through Friday at 11:59pm PT. Use code MAINEVENT16 and shop here!