The Sol Compass

by Caitlin Hummer

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5 Steps to Great Hair with Amika

Hey everyone, welcome back.  Today I’m sharing five tips to help you get the maximum shine out of your hair, and the new products that have helped me take the best care of my hair!

Step One: Cool It.  Step away from the blow dryers, straighteners, curlers, etc.  I know there are a million reasons why you need them, but they reek absolute havoc on your hair.  I try to use mine only twice per week – usually on days of important events or when I’m shooting photos for the blog!  When I do use a heat styling product, I make sure to use a heat protectant spray to conserve the shine and texture!

Step Two: Get Dirty.  With the invention of dry shampoo, not washing your hair every single day has been easier than ever.  Experts recommend only washing your hair three times per week!  This is where Amika’s Dry Shampoo and Dry Conditioner come into play.  They deodorize your hair while conditioning and adding texture and volume between washes, plus them smell amazing.  You can buy them together to save $12 here or check out the travel size trio here.


Amika products use a natural rice starch to absorb excess oil and dirt, which means they do NOT use aluminum, sodium chloride, talc, parabens, sulfates, and phthalates!  This is the reason their dry hairstyling products are my number one go to, over some more chemical heavy products.


Step Three: Momma Said Take Your Vitamins.  These OLLY vitamins are a total game changer.  They are rich in Biotin and Vitamins C & E, so they’re great for promoting hair, skin, and nail health.  Plus they’re gummies and they taste delicious!


Step Four: The Cold Shoulder.  I always end my showers with a quick cold water rinse.  This is not only great for your pores, but great for your hair as well – it helps keep it shiny and strong all day!  It’s also best to not take too hot of a shower as that can be really damaging to your hair (see step one).


Step Five: Take The Pressure Off.  These hair ties even out the breakage of conventional hair ties by distributing the pressure out evenly.  It’s also great for split ends!  To all my fellow ponytail girls out there, I highly recommend you giving these a try – the difference you’ll see is incredible!


Thank you so much for stopping by!  Do any of you have any great hair tips to share??

xo, C


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Skin Love with Ulta

Welcome back everyone!  Today I want to talk about some of the shower and body products that I have been loving recently.  My motto has always been “skin first, makeup second” which is why I don’t wear makeup at least 50% of the time.  You all know I pay a lot of attention to my face, but I never really talk about the body scrubs and lotions that I like.  I think it’s especially important to share the wealth because I use some crazy affordable products that work absolute magic.  The best part about these is you can find them all at Ulta (read about my love affair with Ulta and why I shop there first here).  So without further adieu, let’s dive in to some of these body scrubs, washes, and lotions!

Michaela got me hooked on Nivea this winter, and it has been so pleasantly surprising!  It all started with this Essentially Enriched Body Lotion.  It’s soft and smooth and easy to apply, but what really sealed the deal was that the first day I wore it two people told me how soft my legs were!  (I should explain that I was wearing destroyed jeans and happened to be sitting around a bunch of people who felt the need to play with the holes in my jeans on the aforementioned day).  Since I had so much luck with that lotion, I went back for the Cocoa Butter In Shower Lotion.  I love that you don’t have to worry about the lotion drying since you rinse it off in the shower, it’s perfect for days that you have to throw your jeans on right out of the shower!  I also love the smell of cocoa butter, and the one I got was particularly formulated for dry to very dry skin (there’s also an in shower body lotion for normal to dry skin).  Lastly, we both went in to try the Sun-Kissed Radiance Gradual Tanner and Body Lotion to try to get a little faux tan going on that winter white skin of ours.   I have never used a self tanner before, so I’ve been a little nervous, even though I chose to go with Nivea based on how much success I had experienced with their other products.  I love that this one moisturizes your skin as well, and the smooth easy application ensures that it doesn’t streak.

The next line I love for skincare is eos.  This body lotion is my staple, it absorbs quickly and makes my skin feel so soft.  I also love this shave cream.  The shea butter base is packed with nutrients and vitamins so it keeps your legs smooth and soft for 24 hours.  The best part is it doesn’t rust all over your shower.  Major win!

The last lotion I love from Ulta is the Soap & Glory Righteous Butter.  It is a smooth and soft Fairy Godmother for those of us with very dry skin!

My go to body wash has always been Neutrogena’s Pink Grapefruit Body Wash.  It’s not only affordable, but effective; and I always feel refreshed and clean after I use it.  (I actually need a new bottle, which is why it’s not pictured here!)

The latest addition to my skincare has been this shea sugar scrub from Tree Hut.  Holy cow you guys. This stuff is the bee’s knees.  It smells great and does wonders exfoliating your skin.

Are there any products you guys can’t live without and think I should try??  Let me know in the comments!  Have a great week!

xo, C

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Hair Care


Welcome back everyone.  Today I’m going to be sharing my all-time favorite hair care products.  A few weeks ago I shared my favorite Verb products in this post, but I have so many others I like that I felt I should dedicate a post to the rest of them.  I tend to gravitate towards drugstore products, since I have a lot of very long and thick hair, and using high end products can get really expensive really quickly.  I do have a few high end products I know I love, but I wanted to dedicate this post to the products I use on a regular basis.


Conair is my go to brand for hair tools.  I have three of these gel grip paddle brushes (because I walk around and leave them in places they don’t belong and inevitably can’t find them at 5 am when I need them) and they are the  I also love this classic comb, and I have been trying to get better at using it over my brush, since I’ve heard it’s kinder on your hair.


Pantene is to shampoo as Conair is to brushes in my book.  For the price you absolutely cannot beat their products.  I personally like to use the smooth & sleek line with argan oil, but it’s all dependent on your hair and preference.  I always use this shampoo and conditioner not only because I love the way they smell (seriously I am ALWAYS smelling my own hair, to the point of it being kind of weird), but also because they are amazing at keeping my hair soft and smooth, even during the dry winter months.


Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Smooth & Sleek Deep Conditioner.  This stuff is the real deal – it’s unbelievably effective and only $5 a bottle!  When I was down visiting my family in New York over the summer we were talking about dried out hair from the salt water and chlorine, and I was raving about this so much I practically ran down to the store and grabbed a bottle for my aunt and grandmother to assure them of how much I love it.  Plus, who really wants to spend more than three minutes deep conditioning their hair, amiright?

Pantene Pro-V Repair and Protect Overnight Miracle Repair Serum.  This little bottle is a miracle worker.  If you want your hair to be healthier and shinier, this is all you need.  It’s also great if you have a lot of heat damage!

L’Oreal recently launched two different clay based product lines; the Pure Clay Masks, and the Extraordinary Clay hair products.  I was so beyond excited about being able to find great clay benefits in the drugstore at a great price point, I picked up two of each (mask review coming soon).  The Extraordinary Clay hair products are intended for oily roots, which I don’t tend usually have, but every once in a while I find they need a little more attention.  I love the idea of this pre-shampoo mask.  It soaks up all the oils in your scalp and then you can wash it out with your shampoo!  The dry shampoo has a similar concept (ridding your scalp of unwanted oils) but with the added benefit of not requiring a shower and shampoo after!


Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Leave In Conditioner.  I was so excited when Kristin Ess launched her full haircare line at Target a month ago, I wanted to buy every single thing.  Unfortunately without an unlimited budget, I told myself to just try one thing at a time, so I decided to go with this Leave In Conditioner.  I love that you just spray it on your wet hair after the shower, so it makes a great alternative when I don’t want to use a leave in conditioner that has to be rinsed out.  My hair no longer has to suffer on mornings that I’m tight on time.  Of all the extra hair products I’ve been using, the functionality of this one is by far the best for a girl on the go.


The Tangle Teezer is 100% worth the hype.  I bought mine a while back at Sephora, but Target even carries them now.  I will not go to the beach without throwing this rockstar in my bag.  They are so amazing for detangling your hair, especially when wet, without ripping or tearing.  They’re also cute and fun to hold so… Win/win.

My cousin recommended this Moroccanoil hair treatment to us years ago when she was in cosmetology school and we have used it nonstop ever since.  There is really nothing that competes.  It tames your fly aways, smooths your hair, and keeps it healthy and shiny.  If you have dry hair like I do, you will not regret buying this.  It’s definitely the most pricy item I use, but is 100% worth it and since it’s a treatment you shouldn’t use it every day and it won’t burn a hole in your wallet too quickly.  Oh, and did I mention it smells amazing?


What are your favorite hair care products?  Leave your recommendations of things to try in the comment section!

xo, C


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Ride or Die Makeup Tag

Hey everyone!  The post I had planned for today fell through to some photoshop problems, so yesterday I last minute decided to do a post loosely based on Ride or Die Makeup Tag, even though I’ll be doing it as a blog post instead of a video, but the general idea is the same, so I’ll be sharing my number one product in each category!


I know it is SO typical Caitlin to not be able to decide on the very first category.  I promise this is the only one that I have two products for, and there is a very good reason for it!  My favorite makeup primer is the Becca Backlight Face Primer.  It does a great job of giving my skin a glow from within and keeping my foundation in place all day, but I only wear it for special occasions because it tends to make my skin break out a little bit if I wear it every day.  That being said, my skin’s favorite primer is the Marc Jacobs Coconut Face Primer.  The refreshing feel of coconut is amazing on dry skin and it absolutely does extend the lifetime of my makeup.  I feel like the Becca one just works the tiniest bit better for extending wear, while the Marc Jacobs one is much kinder to my skin.

Too Faced makes my all-time favorite eyeshadow primer.  It keeps my eyeshadow in place all day, is easy to apply, and doesn’t clump at all.  The best part is my eyeshadows and eyeliners NEVER smudge when I apply this primer first.


My favorite foundation and concealer duo is this Urban Decay Naked pair.  My number one requirement for a foundation is being lighweight, because more than anything else I want to not feel like I’m wearing 18 pounds of makeup on my face.  This one has the added benefit of being extremely bendable and easy to apply.


I bring this Anastasia Contour Kit with me pretty much everywhere.  I use ‘Java’ for contouring and ‘Banana’ to set my under eye area, but I also frequently use ‘Havana’ and ‘Vanilla’ so there was no way I couldn’t include this gem.

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My favorite bronzer is the NARS Laguna bronzer.  I know I can always use this to add a bit of color to my face, even if I am a ghostly winter shade of translucent white.  The Becca Opal Highlighter never fails me and is my go to shade 100% of the time.  My favorite blush is also by Becca, in the shade Flowerchild, which is the perfect peachy-pink shade.


My eye makeup routine has really evolved over the years since swiping on brown eyeliner and mascara.  I start with the Urban Decay Subversion eyelash primer, which has been a total game changer for me.  Then I coat my lashes with the Urban Decay Perversion mascara, and line my lids with bareMinerals Lasting Line Eyeliner in ‘Lasting Brown’ or ‘Absolute Black’.  I do my brows with Anastasia Beverly Hill’s Brow Wiz Pencil in ‘Taupe’ and the Tinted Brow Gel in ‘Caramel’.


Eye shadow palette was possibly the hardest category to choose.  There have been so many great palettes that came out last year (both of Anastasia’s are on top of my list) and my friend Kelsey gave me a Vice palette a few years ago that I absolutely adore, but at the end of the day the Naked Smoky is the one I always turn to when I need to do a quick look that I know will look great.  Whether I’m going on a date or to a basketball game or just out shopping, I know I can always create different levels of sexiness and intensity with this palette.


My favorite lip products are always rose or mauve colored, and these ones are no exception.  I have been absolutely obsessed with the sheer finish on this matte mauve lipstick by NARS (in the shade Catfight) and the rose color of Marc Jacobs’ Pretty Thing.

I am not a huge liquid lipstick fan at all, but this Kat Von D Lolita II Shade is a total exception.  This shade is so pretty and unique it’s totally worth wearing a liquid lipstick.


Last but most definitely not least is this Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray.  They recently revamped the packaging so mine looks a bit outdated, but I can assure you this quality is the best out there, bar none.

Primer: Becca, Marc Jacobs
Eye Shadow Primer: Too Faced
Foundation: Urban Decay Naked
Concealer: Urban Decay Naked
Contour Kit: Anastasia Beverly Hills
Bronzer: NARS Laguna
Highlighter: Becca ‘Opal’
Blush: Becca ‘Flowerchild’
Mascara: Urban Decay ‘Subversion’ Primer, Urban Decay ‘Perversion’
Eyeliner: bareMinerals ‘Lasting Line’
Brows: Anastasia Brow Wiz in ‘Taupe’, Anastasia Brow Gel in ‘Caramel’
Eye Shadow Palette: Urban Decay Naked ‘Smoky’
Setting Spray: Urban Decay All Nighter

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Evening Skincare Routine

Welcome back everyone!  Today I’m going to share my nighttime skincare routine.  I’m not as religious about going through my nighttime routine as I am my morning routine, but I’m working on getting better.


First up for makeup removal is a collection of face wipes.  My go-to’s are YesTo, but I also have some Sephora Collection ones on rotation and I’m looking to try the Koh Gen Do ones next (what Eva Chen says, Caitlin Hummer does, clearly).


Hands down the best addition to evening skin care has been micellar water.  I use it with cotton rounds after face wipes and it takes off any makeup that the wipes missed and also cleanses the dirt and oils away from the day.  I never liked using my cleanser twice a day, my dry skin is just too irritable, so I was so happy when I found something gentle that still cleansed the impurities of the day without the negative impacts on my face.  I have this one on my vanity and picked up a travel size of this one for my travel bag.


If I’m not wearing makeup (about 50% of the time) but my face still needs a bit of extra attention, I’ll use these First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance pads in place of face wipes.  They act as a toner with a very gentle exfoliator, but also gives dull skill a little extra zing.  I honestly have no idea how FAB put all of that goodness into these little pads.

If I want to use a traditional toner, I always reach for this Origins Renewal Serum.  It’s really great for restoring your skin to your maximum vibrancy.

I always have a tube of Aquaphor on hand.  It’s such a great do-all tool to have, and at night I use it in the corners of my nose when winter leaves that area super dry, my lips, and my hands when I have an eczema breakout.


I love using this YesTo night cream for super moisturizing over night (the cucumber is really calming after a long day) and the neck oil to keep combatting that tech neck situation I mentioned on Monday.  I don’t love the smell of this one, so I use it at night and stick with L’Oréal’s during the daytime.  (Since we’re on the subject of YesTo, I also love this hand and cuticle cream!)

Last but not least is an eye cream.  Currently I’m loving No.7, but as I mentioned I’ve been trying lots of different ones including this Burt’s Bees one.

Thank you all so much for reading!  What does your evening routine look like?

xo, C

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Morning Skincare Routine


Welcome back everyone!  Today I want to bring you through my morning skincare routine.  We are definitely not reinventing the wheel or doing anything groundbreaking here, because I’m pretty sure every single one of us just wants to help our skin in the shortest amount of time (I am also reasonably confident that no one has time to waste in the morning).  My morning skin care routine has to be something I can easily do at the gym with a dozen other women in under three minutes (because I really tend to zone out in the shower pre-coffee and lose track of time).  Anything more than the basics gets saved for my nighttime routine (check back on Friday to see that one!)


First up, I start with my cleanser and moisturizer.  Lately I have been using Pure Plush and Bare Haven.  I’ll be 100% honest with you guys, I do not love these ones as much as I loved the old bareMinerals cleanser and moisturizer.  That gentle exfoliating cleanser is what got me into a good skin routine because the results were just impossible to ignore.  These ones have been doing the job fine, so I don’t have any complaints, they’re just not as good.


Next up, I go to my neck and eye cream.  I am super self conscious about my tech neck and under eye bags, so I hit those areas two times a day.  Without wanting to drop a ton of money on designer creams, I’ve been experimenting with all different kinds lately.  Currently I’m using the L’Oréal RevitaLift Face & Neck Day Cream and am pretty happy with the firmness I’ve been seeing and the amazing price point!  For my eyes I’ve been using Clinique’s Pep-Start Eye Cream. It’s great for de-puffing my tired eyes, but absorbs quickly so it doesn’t irritate my eyeballs or club up underneath my makeup.


Lastly a few times per week I use Sara Happ’s The Lip Scrub to exfoliate and get rid of that dead skin.  Especially in the winter, because dark lipstick does not agree with chapped lips.  After I’ll usually swipe on some of The Lip Slip to start my day off with a lip balm, but they are currently backordered and I’m all out!


If there are any products you love to use in your morning routine and think I should try let me know about them in the comments!  Hope you all have a wonderful day!

xo, C


How To Shop For Makeup


The title of this post changed quite a few times as I was writing it.  “Who’s this chick that thinks she has any authority on how I buy my makeup??”  If there’s one thing I’m incredibly good at, it’s getting the most value while shopping.  Does this mean my friends make fun of me for having coupon codes at the ready?  Absolutely.  Does it mean B rolls his eyes every time I make him go into an extra store because they have 100 kicks that day?  You betcha.  But stretching my dollars means more clothes in my closet so no shame.  This post is going to be a long one based solely on the depth of information I have to share with you, so definitely go grab a snack before diving in.

Makeup is one of those things seems to never be on sale.  It scarcely goes out of style and if they can charge full price for it, why not?  So my number one trick for affording the makeup that I want is maximizing the point systems to my benefit.  I usually only voice my positive opinions on this blog and just choose to omit the more negative ones, but I’m going to break it down for you guys and give you my real opinion so you can hopefully maximize your own hard earned cash too.

Stop Number One: Ulta Beauty.  Ulta’s point system is the. best. in the business you guys.  You get points for everything you buy, and you can redeem them on absolutely anything.  Zero exclusions.  You can redeem your points at any value, so no waiting to spend $1000 to earn a measly $20 reward.  Since they also hand out coupons like it’s going out of style, I buy 100% of my drugstore beauty needs from Ulta.  That’s everything from Burt’s Bees and Conair to NYX and OPI.  If it can be found at Ulta, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be buying it there.  For starters, there’s the coupon situation, but for seconds this helps me earn points towards the prestige brands.

Prestige brands, while not included in the regular coupons, frequently have other deals going on inside Ulta.  Whether it’s $10 off a bareMinerals purchase or 5x points on an Urban Decay purchase, I’ve found that patience in waiting for these deals always pans out in my favor.  In November I went on a huge Ulta shopping spree for free because I had $175 in points saved up.  That included everything from an Anastasia Beverly Hills palette to Buxom lipgloss and Urban Decay Naked foundation.  It was a good day.


Stop Number Two: Nordstrom.  While Nordstrom’s point system is not as lucrative as Ulta’s, I do spend a lot of money there on clothes so it makes sense to also use my Nordstrom card benefits towards makeup purchases.  If Ulta doesn’t carry a brand, I go straight to Nordstrom.  Brands like MAC and Bobbi Brown are frequent Nordstrom purchases for me.  They also have my favorite Sigma Beauty brushes for powder foundation and liquid foundation.  Despite the fact that I think their price points are perfect for the quality makeup you’re getting, I also love the specialized training the girls at their respective makeup counters have.  Combining the quality and knowledge with a decent points system makes these a solid double in my book.  Granted it seems to take forever for me to get a Nordstrom Note (return on investment), but it’s the best option available for sure.


(It’s important to tell you guys that I used to buy all of my NARS products at Nordstrom before they were carried at Ulta!  Ulta doesn’t have the full line yet, so I’ve still been buying the classic NARS lipstick and lip glosses at Nordstrom, but anything that Ulta carries will always be bought at Ulta!)

(Also worth noting is MAC’s Back to MAC recycling program.  You can return six empty MAC products to your MAC counter or store, and receive a free MAC lipstick as a thanks for your commitment to the environment!)


Stop Number Three: Sephora.  I know I know.  I love Sephora as much as the next girl.  But if you can get past their sleek black and white interior and the really good lighting, their rewards program is kind of garbage.  You can spend tons of money at that store and you’re still only able to redeem it on things that they say you can.  And even then, more often than not they’re only sample size products.  Don’t get me wrong, I have gotten some really great samples from them, like Urban Decay eyeshadow primer or a Sunday Riley cream I was dying to try but afraid to drop $65 on.  But when I know there’s so much more return on my investment I could be getting, it’s really hard to justify spending my money at the place with the better bag.  For this reason, I usually only buy things at Sephora that can’t be found at Ulta or Nordstrom, i.e. Bite Beauty, Marc Jacobs, or Kat Von D.  They also tend to have much, much more in the skincare department, so masks and face serums are frequent Sephora purchases for me.  In addition, Sephora’s service is 1000x better than Ulta’s, so if I really need advice on a new contour color or new facial oil, I will definitely go to Sephora and just bite the bullet on the rewards points because it’s nearly impossible to get the same friendliness or knowledge at Ulta.  But when I’m going to replace the same concealer I always use… I just have to go through the chain of command.


Moving into a slightly more shopping-neutral territory, I use ebates and shopkick religiously in my shopping escapades.  Most of my actual purchasing is done online, which you would never know if you asked B how frequently we go to the mall (about once per week).  While I love the experience of seeing things in person and am a total mall rat, I’ve found you can really maximize the bang for your buck by doing your actual purchasing online.  First step is I can add and take away things from my cart without the pressure of a sales person breathing down my neck.  I add things, think about them for a day or two, and then can decide whether or not I really need/want it without the pressure of deciding in 37 seconds (nothing flares up my indecision quite like the pressure of time). After I’ve added everything to my cart, I can wait a day or two to see if it goes on sale (this is particularly true with GAP brands.  They have always have 25-40% off, so paying full price there is just straight silly).

The other part of online shopping that gets me the most cash back in my pocket is ebates.  Since I do so much online shopping, it would be just straight silly to not use ebates.  Even if you don’t do that much online shopping, anything is better than nothing.  All you have to do is go to the ebates website, find the store you want to shop at, and then click through their link.  Then once a quarter, they will send you a Big Fat Check in the mail with all of your cashback.  Yes, seriously.  It really is that easy.  Click here to get an extra $10 when you sign up!  Last time I used my check to help ease some of the holiday season bills, but I’m thinking I might use February’s to splurge on some face masks or Too Faced’s Peach line.  My nose says buy the delicious smelling makeup, but my brain says face masks.  Skin first, makeup second.

Thank you all so much for reading!  I hope this is helpful as you go about building those stellar makeup collections!

xo, C