Minneapolis Illustrator, Invitation Designer, + DIYer Blog


Art, Inspiration, and Life. Sharing all the inspires me to create.

6 Skin Care Products I Always Use

Fall is is here and my skin has started to show the seasonal change. In the spring, my skin care routine gets pared back and I go with lighter formulations. But come Fall, everything becomes richer, more moisturizing. With that said, I do have my constants that I use regardless of what season it is. I’ve rounded up my 6 favorite products that I always reach for. These are my mainstays, with serums, treatments, and oils mixed in as needed.


Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Cleanser - this cleanser is a dream . It takes off all my makeup, makes my skin feel squeaking clean without stripping it, and a little goes a LONG way. Seriously. You only need a pea size amount to get the job done, making this also the most economical cleanser I’ve found.

Pixi Skintreats Rose Tonic - I haven’t always used a toner and when I discovered Pixi I questioned why I didn’t! I alternate between the Rose Tonic and the Glow Tonic. I find the Rose Tonic to be extremely nourishing, so it comes out in the fall. In the Spring/Summer I’m addicted to the Glow Tonic, which has Glycolic acid in it. It just makes my skin feel refreshed and bright. They’ve just come out with a Retinol Tonic that I’m dying to try too.

Arcona Magic White Ice - I’ve been using Arcona products for over 10 years! I’ve rotated in other products on and off, but always come back to this brand. It’s just that good. The Magic White Ice sinks into your skin immediately and has almost a matte effect, but doesn’t feel sticky and it’s extremely lightweight. Another bonus, it has Hyaluronic Acid which helps with moisture and firmness.

Darphin Intral - I got a sample of this in a beauty gift with purchase a while back and have been using it ever since. I tend to have redness in my t-zone and my skin can be sensitive at times. This cream has drastically reduced the redness and calms my skin. It’s also a richer cream that moisturizes my skin like no other. I can’t go a day without using it.

Acure Radically Rejuvenating Eye Cream - My eye creams have rotated a lot, but this one has been a favorite lately because it doesn’t irritate my eyes. It’s organic, works well, and is at least half the price of other eye creams on the market. I’ve spent my share on them, so I know.

One Love Organics Vitamin D Spray - My favorite product. Ever. If I had to chose one item from this list to take with me on an island, this would be it. It’s a toner, skin prep, moisturizer, make-up setter, the list goes on. If you use it after cleansing, it helps all the other products you use really sink in and do their job. If you use it after applying your make up, it’s the perfect finish and sets everything in place. It’s also a great way to refresh yourself in the middle of the day and make your skin look alive.

So there you have it. My go to’s for skin care. What are your favorites? Anything I should try?

Erin O'LearyComment
Clog Girl + No. 6 Clogs

I love me a good clog.  Always have. True story - in college I had navy and black suede clogs and wore them All. The. Time.  I was running late for class one day and left the apartment with one of each on!  I didn't realize until an hour later, the horror.  I frantically found a phone (we didn't have cell phones back then) and called my girlfriend, pleading her to bring me the other one to match. Thankfully she did and all was made right in the world.  We still laugh about the incident - mostly because while we were on the phone we were arguing over which one I needed because she couldn't find both of them,  when it really didn't matter - i just needed one to complete the pair. 

Then, when I was backpacking through Europe after college, I bought myself a pair of Swedish white leather clogs to wear and they were the BEST. Come to think of it, I don't know if they ever made it back stateside.  Hmmm. I'm pretty sure I had clogs as far back as grade school, but I'll have to confirm that one with my mom. HA!

Which brings me to these babies below.  I'm obsessed with these No. 6 Clogs. I already own one pair from them, and am currently debating pulling the trigger on these. What do you think? Do I need them in my closet?


Favorite Faux Fur

I love a good faux fur coat.  I currently have a pale pink one that I would wear all year round if the weather allowed. And years ago, I scored a reversible leopard one from Target for $10! One side was solid black nylon with the faux fur on the cuffs and collar, and the other side was full leopard print faux fur. I loved it and wore it so much it was literally falling apart at the end.  I've been on the hunt for a leopard one to replace it ever since. 

Imagine my excitement when I discovered Mille was carrying Stand coats this fall.  Not familiar with the brand? Stand is a Swedish line started in 2014 by Nellie Kamras, with the goal to create expertly crafted leather pieces at affordable prices. The line has grown to include suede, wool, cashmere, fur, and faux fur pieces. Perusing their site has me wanting all the coats.  I mean, how many coats is too many when you live in MN?!? Guess I'll have to pop over to Mille and hope I can restrain myself to only one.

Back to school vibes

It's the first day of school and that means my feed will be filled with first day of school pictures.  As I scroll past these, it makes me crave those first day of school vibes. I lived for the first day of school. Not necessarily for actually going to school, but because it meant I could break out all my new fall school clothes.  It didn't matter if it was too hot to wear them, I did it anyway.  I mean, fall is the BEST season for clothes. I want all the cozy knits, chunky scarves, and warm coats. Throw in a good boot here and there and I'm all set.

I've started putting together my wish list of things I'm coveting (read not buying, as I've put myself on a strict budget these past two years as I have too many clothes to begin with).  I'll be sharing them throughout my 30 day creative challenge.  First up is this Toga Pulla coat.  When I saw this on Blair, my heart skipped a beat.  Is it wrong that I love clothes so much? It really is another form of art for me. Seriously. I had to learn more about this new to me brand.  It's a Japanese brand started by a former costume designer/stylist back in 1997.  The line puts together elements of western wear, vintage, and modern, sleek shapes. I'm obsessed. I'm also really loving their shoe line. 


Erin O'LearyComment
The end of summer

Soaking up all those last bits of summer today.  I know, I know.  It can still get hot in September. And Fall doesn't *technically* start until September 22.  I don't care! I've got my mind on fall dressing and I'm not looking back.  So I'm getting out that cute summer outfit for one last hurrah. Because after today, it's time to break out the boots, let those pedicures lapse, and put some layers on (in case I need to peel them off because it gets too hot!)

My go-to basics

Continuing the illustration a day challenge with my go to when I don't know what to wear.  Jeans and a white shirt. It can be a tee, as shown here, button down, boho top, or even a simple tank.  It's easy to keep it casual or dress it up with accessories.  That's the great thing about good basics.  If you invest in quality pieces, they will last and can be worn indefinitely because they aren't trendy. And to be honest, the pieces I've invested in and wear the most, are the ones I usually get the most compliments on or are asked where I got what I have on. You just can't beat timeless classics.  

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Fall Goal: 30 Day Creative Challenge

Raise your hand if fall puts you in reset mode. Fall has always been when I get the most energized and set new goals for myself.  Forget the new year.  September is where it's at.  I don't know if it has to do with the nostalgia of going back to school (and school shopping), the onset of the best season (duh, Fall!), or simply being the best time for me to be productive. Whatever it is, it works for me.

With that said, the first goal I'm setting is to dedicate more time to my art. Wow.  That was much more difficult for me to write down than I thought it would be. Do you want to know why? I have a hard time telling people I am an artist. Am I? Really? Or am I just faking it? Herein lies the perils of comparing yourself to others. Can I call myself an artist if I'm not yet making a living off of it? OR that I know how much more I have to learn? Is what I'm doing really any good? Self doubt is the enemy, and it's set up camp in my thoughts. When I share my work, I can immediately see all the flaws or ways I could have made my art better. "I should have spent more time perfecting it" is what races through my thoughts. And let me tell you, this kind of thinking can lead to creative paralysis.  You start to second guess everything you do. You're afraid to put anything out there for others to see. Which is what led me to this goal.  To help me focus on my art more,  I'm challenging myself to post one illustration a day.  It doesn't need to be perfect (it never will be anyway, so I need to let that thought go!), it just needs to get me to work on my craft. Continue to practice and hone what I am doing.  Find a style that's unique to me and feels right. And know that it's ok. In fact, it's better than ok.  Because I am doing something I never thought I could do.  And I'm sharing it with all of you.  That in itself is downright terrifying.  So follow along for the next 30 days and let's see where this challenge takes me.  

No Bad Days

This shirt from ban.do pretty much sums up my mantra- No Bad Days.  I've been making a conscious effort to set this as my intention each day when I wake up. Don't get me wrong, we all have bad days, but I'm convinced that how we respond to them is what counts. Do I always wake up ready to tackle the world? No.  But, showing up is half the battle, and right now, I'm winning! What's your personal mantra? Do you have one? Do tell.

Erin O'LearyComment