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The Link Up: The Beauty Buy That Changed Emily’s Skin, Three AMAZING Tours and The End of Instagram Likes??


image source | design by annie sloan

We made it to May in one piece, the sun is kinda shining (“Gray May” as us Southern Californians call it) but here are all the things we have been chatting, DMing and emailing about this week.

Emily wants everyone to know about the new Target private sustainable cleaning line, Ever Spring.  They just came out with 70 products that are said to be 20% cheaper than the competition. So better for the environment and better for your wallet.  Plus the design is so good.

Arlyn saw this living room (pictured above) and audibly gasped. Annie Sloan, chalk paint queen, featured her beautifully colorful and eclectic French farmhouse this week on House Beautiful and looking at it just makes your soul feel happy.

After seeing this article on an Instastory from Tessa Neustadt, our previous photographer, the whole office is VERY curious to see what the future of Instagram “likes” will be. Will this new feature help, not make a difference, hurt? Only time will tell…What are your thought??

This week’s music recommendation comes to you from Veronica. The Band Camino is one of her favorite bands who she absolutely thinks deserves to be heard by everyone. They are a mix of rock and pop and describe themselves as, “your mom’s favorite band,” which she thinks is such an iconic bio, and it rings totally true—her mom, for one, loves their music. Very lovely and talented guys making genuine songs that you can blast your speakers out and drive with your windows down to, cry to, and everything in between.

Manrepeller FINALLY decided to show off their new office just as we were finishing this post. Like about to hit the schedule button. But honestly, it’s too good not to include as soon as possible, a.k.a today. It’s bright, fun and full of personality which is why we all love them so much in the first place.

It’s a really special day because we are serving up THREE “home” tours today. Jess also had a shortness of breath when it came to design this week. This home tour by Corinne Mathern is Southwest modernism at it’s finest. 

Velinda is gearing up for summer which means amping up her stock of camping supplies. She found these pop-up trash cans and loves how easy they’ll be to travel with/store during the months they won’t be in use…though they’d also be great for parties. A solid $12 ‘garbage’ investment!

ANOTHER AMAZING CANDLE REC: Sara is OBSESSED with this candle from Tatine in Garden Mint. She says she is about to order three of them and already has one. She loves it so much she brought it up to the mountain house with her on a recent trip so she could have it in her room. “It’s the only gift I want to give from now on it’s GOOD, and it projects really really well, even when it’s not lit.”

Grace is sure that this is no surprise but half of Team EHD is very Harry Potter-obsessed (we have three Gryffindors, four Hufflepuffs, two Ravenclaws and once Slytherin in case you were wondering) so this episode on “This American Life” caught her eye—it’s about libraries and how it’s like a real-life Room of Requirement for us mere muggles! (She also used to read A LOT when she was younger so she loved the angle of people going to libraries needing something so specific, but not necessarily book-related and finding the fulfillment they need inside).

You may think this is so random but Michael can’t help it…he LOVES flavored sparkling water. And this Bubly blackberry one is his new discovery and tasty treat! Perfect for summer BBQs. Trust him, it’s so delicious, drop some fresh mint in it too if you want to be fancy. 

Ryann loves horoscopes and all things astrology (she finds it fascinating and informative) so she uses this app, Co-Star, to see what the planets are up to. It’s so fun. She is a Gemini Sun, Leo Moon, and Pieces rising for anyone wondering. 😉

With all of Velinda’s sourcing for the book, she obviously reached out to the wonderful Louise Gray. And guess what?! They started a new personalization feature for their quilts. It’s the perfect gift for newborn babies, anniversaries, weddings, showers or any important milestones. All their quilts are handcrafted so are already so special but with that extra bit of personalization, it will be a timeless gift that will be treasured forever. 

Jess was insanely impressed with these Target brand Up & Up white stripes. Normally, she is a “name brand” gal (which she knows is silly) but really didn’t want to pay the extra money for her teeth to only be a little bit whiter. So she bought the Up & Up brand and they worked like magic! Her teeth were noticeably whiter after the first use which was not her experience with the name brand.  

And in the spirit of today being the last day of Sephora’s Beauty Insider Spring Event (that means up to 20% off your purchase), a few of the team picked some of their absolute holy grail beauty products: 

Emily has talked about ExfoliKate before, but she recently started using it again and her friend stopped her to tell her how good her skin looked and begged her to find out what she was doing. It’s pricey but no more expensive than a facial (plus it lasts and lasts). Plus, it’s certified cruelty-free.

Arlyn has already included this in The Link Up before, but it’s so nice, she wanted to put it in twice. Anyway, she says: “I just feel like the Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic makes my face GLOW after a few days of using it. I use it morning and night, and it sloughs away extra makeup my cleanser didn’t get but also there’s a noticeable difference when I don’t use it because I’m being lazy. Also, your skin evidently needs to be at a pH of 3.5 or 4 to get it’s “natural glow” (who knew???) and this stuff balances your skin to get to that pH. What’s up glowy face??”

One more from Arlyn: She says she’d be remiss if she didn’t proclaim her long-held love for THE Beauty Blender. It’s the only thing she’s used for years to apply foundation and dab in concealer and while spending $20 on a sponge seems insane, it’s FAR cheaper than most makeup brushes, and as long as you keep it clean and cared for, it can last for months and months.

Sara has tried a lot of different face balms, and this one, FARMACY Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm, has been her favorite so far. Some are really oily and even when you’ve washed them away your face still feels like it has a film. Some are really hard and grainy. Some smell like Vaseline. This one has a nice gentle scent, a really nice smooth texture, gets off most of her makeup, and rinses right off with warm water (no film). She also double cleanses, so after she uses this she uses the BEAUTYBIO The Balance pH Balancing Gel Cleanser. It’s like rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher—the first wash breaks down your makeup and the second wash makes sure it’s all off so it’s not clogging up your pores.

Ryann wanted to share one of her go-to, ol’ faithful makeup products: Tarte’s Lippie Lingerie Matte Lip Tint. She says that she’s used this lipstick for five years and counting. She wears the color “exposed” and it’s her tried and true favorite nude lip.


Whew, that was a lot of links! Hope you enjoyed and please let us know that you found interesting this week. Happy Sunday and see you tomorrow!

Fin Mark


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Too many links to have to go through and click. Wish more were photos so I could determine if i do indeed want to click the link and find out more about the article or product. Certainly can’t take the time to click all of those on my phone.


Users: We would like chronological time line back, not have auto-refresh and bookmarks.




Tina Schrader

Wow! Love that you provided so many links; your roundup is one of my faves, so the more, the better! I like that band’s music, and I usually don’t agree with music recommendations. And that French home…not crazy about the outside, but the wood in that bathroom — it’s like an iridescent, transparent rainbow! So cool! How’d they do that? As to the libraries, I just finished “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean (excellent) and she weaves in library history. We’re lucky here in L.A. b/c the library system is excellent and really serves the public. Its programs have been used as models for other libraries. The teeth strips — thank you!!! Looks like a great bargain. As long as they don’t give me a smile that could be used to guide ships home á la Ross Geller, I’ll give ’em a try! And the cleansing balm…sounds like something that could take off my Joker Paint (that’s what I call my sunscreen — it’s cheap and okay for my very sensitive skin, but so crazy thick and white, like the Joker, whom I especially resemble with that and red lipstick on). Slam dunk! Thanks!

Paula Carr

The Library Book is SO good. I can remember driving downtown from Culver City in high school to do research for papers at the main library. Going to the Googie’s coffee shop for lunch. Strolling through the Biltmore pretending to be rich travelers. But NO strolling through Pershing Square. In those days it was a scary place.

Tina Schrader

Neat, Paula! Sounds like you grew up in L.A. I only moved out here in 2003. Was Pershing Square better by then?


Love the links and I love the way you teased some individually in your Instagram stories!


Love the Sunday roundups, but that ExfoliKate contains polyethylene beads-the microbeads that are killing fish/oceans/us. Please reconsider using something else.
Yea to Slytherin and Geminis! I’m also a Gem, and I married one, too 🙂


Nooooo! So sad to learn that. ExfoliKate is like magic. Maybe Emily can use her celeb status to get them to switch from polyethylene beads? 😉


I agree! Please stop supporting the Kate Somerville company until they quit using the polyethylene micro beads in their products!

Shasta Garcia

Agree! Please don’t rub plastic all over your face!


Kate Somerville changed it years ago, I think. There are no polyethylene-microbeads anymore, the beads are silica now :).


It’s probably “recommended” because the company paid EHD to give an “unsolicited” mention?
Just a thought – notice the very frequent Target mentions here.


yes she is target style person so there will be target mentions.
she is also pretty transparent about any one that sponsors her or a paid partnership. its how bloggers make money


Is silica better? It all sounds bad to me.


I was just coming here to say that. I was reading the reviews online for this product and there are a lot of complaints about that. Here’s one comment that sums it up:

Do your resarch on Polyethylene before buying!
I see the most recent post mentions this as well — it’s because it is becoming more well known. Polyethylene was banned in many states- I don’t know why Kate Somerville is still using these horrible plastic beads in her products! It’s not only devastating to the environment, but it’s bad for us as well! These beads cannot be filtered- so we are the ones drinking these plastic beads and eating fish, etc. filled with them! We are ingesting plastic because of this terrible ingredient!! Please inform and educate yourself and write in to Kate Somerville and other companies that use this!

Such a bummer.


I like these Sunday links and recommendations. Most of us – at least I am -are overwhelmed with all the information and products out there. If I get suggestions for something I wouldn’t have looked or found myself, I will check it out and will try it, if I find it intriguing enough. Thank you for these Sunday posts!


I’m also a fan of seltzer. My favorite right now is Polar brand Orange Vanilla seltzer with a few drops of bitters. A friend introduced us to this nectar of the gods in January and we haven’t been without it since.

As for Instagram, I cannot stand that them and Twitter continue to give us updates that we hate instead of making necessary changes. They really think that clogging my feed with ads (that I always block or say I dislike) and showing me the same people over and over is their best idea. Now taking away likes? Not that I care about them for myself, but isn’t that the part of the app experience?


As always, great links, but that tour of Corinne Mathern’s Santa Barbara home…be still my heart! Maybe it’s my Southern California roots, but that felt like a piece of serene heaven with such airiness and warmth. I feel so inspired!

Paula Carr

I wish my Pieces were rising….

But I’m OLD, so I can remember when we only had June Gloom, but in the last ten to fifteen years it has spread to Gray May. I appreciate the cool, though, before the HEAT of August and September arrives.

Laura Merickel

Some of the skin and make up recommendations should maybe be run through the Think Dirty app to learn of potential trouble ingredients.

Kristen Eff

Totally agree Laura. for an easy search. I wish our world would wake up to ingredients. Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs everything.


I’m in Canada which is where IG rolled out the hidden “likes” experiment. I’m definitely not an influencer but I do market through IG and occasionally get offered sponsorship contracts. Having the likes hidden is a huge relief. I didn’t realise how much over thinking I was doing about why certain posts were more popular and how that would affect other people’s perception of my work. With the like count gone my anxiety is much lower and I feel less of a need to check in. I should say too that I’m a big fan of disconnecting from social media and try to keep it balanced but that dopamine cycle is hard to break. I hope this experiment becomes permanent.


The Tatine Peace Rose candle is my absolute favorite, which is weird because I’ve never been into rose scent before. It’s so scrumptious and is something I look forward to lighting while I put my son to bed. I’m glad someone else is also obsessed with Tatine!

Donna S

Second vote right here for ExfoliKate- but holllllllld on before you buy it at Sephora (even with the 20% off), because Costco online regularly has the giant, log-sized 5oz tube of it for $99.99 vs $175 at Sephora. And when Costco does have it, buy a few!


I love The Band Camino!


What a cute color!! But I love how the room is decorated even more~

Rachel S

I’m just here to say: friends don’t let friends overpay for bad skincare. That ExfoliKate treatment only has 1 star of 5 on Beautypedia (an evidence based beauty review reference site). Quoting from their evaluation: “…the pH of this scrub is too high for exfoliation to occur regardless of how long you leave it on your skin. Actually, leaving this on your skin for even 1 second is a mistake: it’s fraught with irritants…” (full review: Take a look at the next recco from Arlyn: skin needs a specific pH, too high (aka closer to neutral) and the benefits of the acid are literally neutralized. Plus, earth day wasn’t that long ago: “This product contains polyethylene beads, which is an ingredient that has come under controversy in the recent past. In December of 2013, research published in the peer-reviewed journal, Marine Pollution Bulletin demonstrated that although polyethylene beads are non-toxic to humans, they are not filtered during sewage treatment and are accumulating in waterways. This means the beads have the potential to negatively affect marine wildlife who mistakenly consume them.” Please don’t use this product. There are so many lovely exfoliants on the market that both work and don’t… Read more »


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