LL's Lust List (July 2015 Edition)

It occurs to me that a romance author writing about a "lust list" probably got some of you to click on this for all the wrong reasons.

No scandalous pictures or naughty excerpts here (at least not today!), but we're sticking with the title "LL's Lust List" because I just can't resist that alliteration.

So what is the lust list if not, well, lusty?

Its allllll the things I've been loving up on in a non-creepy way these days. I'm putting it all out there in the world, because you never know when That Awesome Thing you've discovered is just what someone else has been looking for, ya know?

(Full disclosure, a couple links below are affiliate links, but I swear on my Pomeranian’s adorable triangle-shaped head that I would never recommend anything that I didn’t truly love)

The Skimm 

What is it: a weekday newsletter that aggregates current events into a sassy, easy-to-understand summary. My mother-in-law introduced me to it a few months ago, and I signed up (because I wanted to avoid that moment at Christmas when your in-law is like, “Hey, did you try that thing I sent you?” and you’re like, “why yes, I would like more wine!”)

Anyway, I signed up, but I didn’t have high hopes. 

There are so many “news summary” services out there. Yawn. But it took me exactly one day to realize that this one is different.

It manages to make me laugh out loud while also educating me on Greece’s economic crisis, the various presidential candidates, China and soccer and tech talk, book reccs, wine reccs and a smattering of good old-fashioned celebrity gossip.  

The Skimm’s the first thing I look for every morning, refreshing my inbox throughout the entire 6AM hour until it finally arrives. It’s fun, and it’ll make you smart, and ladies (and gents), smart is sexy.

Gel Nail Polish 

Okay, so The Skimm was all about how to beautify your brain, but let’s not forget our fingernails, amiright?!

I used to avoid manicures (both salon and self) like the plague because I’d spend all this time and/or money, only to have it chip the second I tried to do every day things like open my shampoo bottle or operate a corkscrew. Then I heard about these gel/shellac manicures that were all the rage in salons, and tried it. Looked great, lasted forever, but I removing that stuff is more frustrating the last season of Lost. NEVER AGAIN.

Then the beauty wizards out there came up with a gel polish that didn’t require that creepy LED light, and … I’m hooked. I started with the L’Oreal brand, although I’ve mostly switched over to Sally Hansen’s miracleGel brand as the colors are better. It goes on JUST LIKE regular nail polish, and then you slap on this special top coat, and voila … a manicure that lasts at least a week--longer, if you demand everyone treat you like a princess.

It does require a bit more elbow grease to remove than regular polish, but you don’t need any fancy equipment or process—just your trusty acetone remover and cotton pads. I have more colors than I care to admit, but the one I reach for the most is a pretty pink called Shock Wave (pictured). 



Okay my brain's bursting with current events, my nails are beautiful, my make-up’s on point, but how about accessories, hmmmmmm? I’ve never been a particularly adept accessorizor. Earrings always, sometimes a bracelet, maybe a necklace if I can get one untangled from the bunch. It's not that I don't love accessories, I've just had a hard time zero-ing in on my look (unless it's Kate Spade, but my budget doesn't love Kate as much as I do).

But something about this jewelry calls my name. AnnaLivDesign’s Instagram account has me obsessed lately. Her jewelry is the perfect combination of subtle and unique. WANT. Especially her Morse code necklaces. I MUST HAVE ONE.

Erin Condren Life Planner

Okay, this one’s not new. I yammer about Erin Condren ALL THE TIME, and if you follow me on Instagram, it’s pictured in, like, half of my photos. I’m going to go ahead and make this overly dramatic statement: the Erin Condren planner changed my life. I’ve never been this consistently organized. Not only is it brilliantly thought-out to be functional, but it’s pretty, and let’s face it, we’re a hell of a lot more likely to use something when it’s attractive. I mean, I’m totally that girl who will skip the gym because my “cute” gym clothes are dirty (I may or may not intentionally leave them dirty sometimes …)

Anyway, I’m being redundant with my Erin Condren shout out, because she just released her new version of the planner, so now’s the time, people!!!

I use it for everything. EVERYTHING. Story ideas, release dates, writing deadlines, word count tracker, social media calendar, birthdays, meal planning, exercise tracker, annual goals. Plus, there’s this handy little envelope section where you can keep stamps and invitations and all that stuff that’s never around when you need it. Except now it will be. Because you’re going to buy a planner. Right? Yes, pricy, but so worth it.

Champagne Coupes

photo credit // Crate & Barrel 

photo credit // Crate & Barrel 

LL loves her some champagne. There’s always have a bottle in the fridge to celebrate little (or big!) wins. There’s just something about that pop of the cork, the slight hiss off the carbonation, the BEAUTY of the bubbles. But if I’m being honest, wine is as much about the stemware as it is the beverage. I mean, I can get down with pinot grigio in a plastic cup when the occasion calls for it, but mostly I like to make an event out of it. For champagne, that used to mean an elegant flute, and I do love my my flutes, but I’ve been having an affair with …

Coupe-style Glasses (In the picture at right, it's the shortest with the piece of thyme (?!) sticking out of it.

They’re old fashioned, so they’ve always been a little hard to find, but Crate and Barrel recently released a coupe style glass in their Camille line (important trivia: the Camille red wine glasses are the glasses Olivia Pope uses for all you Scandal fans out there). 

I don’t think it’s possible to take a sip of of this glass and not be instantly glamorous.

S’well Water Bottle

Another one that makes a frequent appearance in my Instagram life … I’m one of those semi health-dorks that makes a conscious effort to drink a lot of water throughout the day, and it used to be an effing drag. But remember what I said about using things more when they’re attractive? Yeah. That. These bottles are attractive, but that’s not even the best part (well, it sort of is). But the REAL best part is that they keep your water cold all day. Or in my case, all night. Let’s pretend … totally hypothetical here … that I’ve had one too many glasses of champagne from my fancy coupe. I get thirsty about 3AM, you know? It used to be that I’d either have to drag myself out of bed to go get cold water, or make do with the now lukewarm water on my nightstand. Enter S’well. Now my water’s always cold. Also, cute. Did I mention they’re cute? 

(note: they come in different sizes. I have the 17oz, which is the medium version. I’ve been intrigued by the bigger one since, like I said, I’m sort of a water-hound during the day, but I like that the 17oz one is small enough that I can toss it in my work bag without being SO small that I’m having to refill it every five minutes).

And, that's all she wrote, folks! Any fabulousness I'm missing? Anything I must try! Comment below.



Lauren Layne

New York, NY, USA

USA Today Bestselling Author & Lifestyle Blogger.