Posts in Personal Privilege
7 Skincare Products that I Use and Like

No cutting edge journalism here folks - but I did find myself thinking about this little blog tonight while cleaning my face, which led me here. Honesty. That's what you get late on a Thursday night.

So it's no secret that Pink Granite posting is sparse at best these days, but the truth of the matter is that I think of something to post at some point in the day every single day. I just (lately) rarely sit down to write it all out. Sometimes that is because I am afraid that whatever idea seemed interesting in the shower is now no good, or even (gulp) too girly, too frivolous or I just happen to also be thinking about another bagillion things at the same time and it gets moved to the back burner.

Here lately I am trying to be smarter with my various commitments. So for Pink Granite that is going to mean reserving time each day to try to post something - following through on all those ideas that pop into my head, and may not seem "worth it." If people keep reading it then I'll keep writing it.

So tonight, in an effort to maintain some level of content - I give you the stuff I put on my face every night in hopes of looking 28 again.  Would love to hear your recommended products in the comments area as well.

And as always, none of this is paid, perked or sponsored. I buy this stuff with my real hard-earned American dollars and hide the receipts from my husband.

Makeup Removal

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Just to warn you, these makeup remover wipes from Neutrogena are probably the cheapest thing on the list but I NEVER leave town without them. I have bought boxes or travel sized packs of these in almost every major US city because I love them that much and need them when I'm traveling. I'm a wipe girl, generally in life. Household cleaning, kid cleaning, car cleaning - if there's a wipe to do the job I want it. No cotton balls in my house and these do the trick just right. 


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Around Christmas I finally got around to using a gift card to milk + honey salon that had been burning a hole in my pocket since the previous March.  At the time I was using this Laura Mercier face polish that I paid a pretty penny for and saw on a blog - had to be good for my skin right? Plus it smelled great. 

But my face kept breaking out in a big way and I couldn't figure out why. I was spending tons of money on skincare products for my face only to make my skin worse. Then, a lovely gal at the salon mentioned (during my facial) that I was clearly over-exfoliating. I had sensitive skin and didn't even know it. Enter CosMedix benefit clean and the foundation of all the other gunk I throw on my face has been better than ever. Clean, but not scrubbed raw by an overzealous product. It was called face polish afterall - I should have known!


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Cleanser switched - happy me. But after a few days it still feels good to just really scrub my face a little extra you know? So enter Rodan + Fields Microdermabrasion Paste.  I'm not sure what all is in this stuff, some combination of chemicals and salt and sugar I think - but you start scrubbing with a dry face but afterwards are left with nothing but "magic town" as my sales rep calls it. BUT it doesn't dry my skin out like the old cleanser did. I haven't been using it long but so far it's a score. I use it about three times a week IN PLACE of my cleanser.


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At 36 I feel like there are just some things I need and a retinol product is one of them. The jury will decide if it was worth it in about 10-15 Years. Here's the one I use, I buy it locally at Westlake Dermatology. They say don't use it if you're trying to have a kid. No worries here.

Night Cream


I can't stress enough the importance of going into a Sephora or somewhere else and testing out night creams, or talking to someone that works there about what you need. There are 539,834 on the market now and there is no way to know what may work best for your skin without help. I did that when purchasing this cream and it's been exactly what I needed. Plus, it's from some company I'd never heard of and likely wouldn't have picked up on my own in Sephora - I used to be a die hard Clinique girl. Look at me now. Belif The True Cream - Aqua Bomb. As a side note, I'm a big fan of Kiehl's products and this is a very good face cream as well. 

Eye Cream


Another nice inexpensive product, CeraVe's night eye cream does the trick - I think. I assume all it is supposed to do is keep your eye area super hydrated while you sleep and it does that. Plus it doesn't smell like anything so it doesn't irritate my super-sensitive eyes. I also just purchased this one from Rodan + Fields but haven't tried it long enough to give any feedback yet. Plus it costs the same as about 5 CeraVe's so we'll see if it stays in rotation.


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Don't judge me folks, this list just keeps going.

I was super skeptical about over-the-counter lash serums as being trendy and silly. But childbearing does weird things to your body and for some reason my formerly "okay" eyelashes were now totally non-existent. So I bought Lash Boost on a pretty expensive whim - but guys I'm now hooked. You really have to use it every day but it works. I apply mine before I go to bed easy peasy and didn't see much difference until about 45 days in - and then all of a sudden these crazy long lashes just appeared from nowhere. They are real and spectacular. 

So that's it friends. Just a million products that I put on my face about 5 nights a week - the other two I probably just didn't wear make up that day and figured "what's the use." And because I'm too into this stuff I'd love to know what your favorite products are!

Personal Privilege, 2018 vol. 1

Welcome to a new and more organized way to share a round-up of what's interesting me outside of the Texas Capitol.

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My husband calls it my "old lady show" and I don't mind one bit.

Grace and Frankie on Netflix has me hooked. It's such a great reminder to focus on what's important in life, including your female friendships, and having a little fun along the way.


I've had my eyes on a Lingua Franca embroidered cashmere sweater for some time now. After receiving an unexpected bonu$ at work last month I decided it was time for the splurge and I'm so happy I did.  It may be hard to decide which design you'd like with topics ranging from "I Miss Barack" to what I selected, "Can't fake the funk."  Each sweater is completely customizable - mine is a light pink sweater with red embroidery. If you're in the market I would size up - my medium is perfectly sized for me but I'm normally a small or baggy medium.

For a customized piece it shipped very quickly. Plus they have kids sizes!!

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I am responsible for managing government relations activities in 7 states - mostly in the Southwest. This past week I had the fortune of "having" to travel to Santa Fe for some meetings and a trip to the New Mexico Capitol. It was my first trip to Santa Fe and I was smitten as most are. I stayed at the Hotel St. Francis which is right on the plaza and easy walking to most things in the area. I can best equate it to staying at a James Avery store if that makes sense to the Texans reading.  I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a centrally located and affordable spot in town.


It took me long enough, but I finally started, and then quickly finished Katy Tur's Unbelievable.

I received this book after attending the Texas Tribune fundraising dinner where Tur was the guest of honor. She now hosts her own news program on MSNBC.

It's such a balance personal account of the events that transpired leading up to Trump's election. I especially enjoyed the perspective Tur brings to the crowds at Trump rally's and how his unbelievable victory in 2016 was perhaps not that unbelievable to those, like Tur, who had been living amongst Trump rallies for over a year. 


We interrupt your regularly scheduled election and political posts for a few thoughts on things of minimal importance.

What I'm Watching

I'm having a Margot Robbie moment. Have you seen I, Tonya? It's so very good. After two days of constant attention to my child - mom needed a break and I dropped her off at a drop-in daycare and went to the movies. Gloriously alone.

I was torn between The Post and I, Tonya. She won, and I don't regret it. 

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Right now, while I'm typing this, I'm watching The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) on Netflix. Don't judge me for all the screen time, there's only so much I can do with a sleeping three year old at 9 PM, alone.  I'm only about 10 minutes in to this movie and I'm already hooked. The first few minutes of Adam Sandler and his daughter trying to park the car is solid gold.

What I (Will Be) Wearing

Did you know that Ann Taylor has a great price adjustment policy? I don't care to admit how much I spent in that store last Friday - all full prices items. That in itself is a pretty dumb move at AT considering they've become the Joseph A. Banks for women - everything goes on mega sale eventually.

However, if within 7 days your items go on sale, just bring your receipt back in and they adjust the prices no questions asked.  The sale is still going on and here's what I've picked up in the last week. Today and tomorrow there is an additional 70% of sale. It's no buy one get three free but still a deal.

Click on each image for a link.


I've been looking to cook more at home lately and this weekend Southern Living got me with their beef stew on the cover. You can find the recipe here.  My only variation is that I threw it all in an Instant Pot for 35 minutes instead of watching it on the stove top for 3 hours. For real. Such a time saver.

The January issue also includes a recipe for Capitol Hill soup which I'd like to try next. Apparently it's quite the hit in the Senate cafeteria, which I know may not be a glowing recommendation but SL makes it look scrumptious. Here's the recipe from the Senate website. 

In more related news:

  • Annie's List is hosting Elizabeth Warren here in Austin on February 2nd. Learn more here.
  • Emily's List is throwing a LOT of money at campaigns this year.
  • Former Trump Supporter now running for Congress to "Fight" Him, via Huff Post.
  • Women Get Tips on Running for Office, from the Houston Chronicle.
  • 22 Women in the US Senate!  And yes that's actually a record.
  • The Texas Tribune reporting on how law makers may consider policing themselves on sexual harassment allegations.
  • Finally, is Texas ready for a gay, latina Democrat? Lupe says yes!
What Is (and Definitely Isn't) On My Holiday Wish List

Alabama's Roy Moore co-authored a legal text book that states that women should not be permitted to run for office and allegedly questions the voting rights of women altogether. So there's that.  Read more here.

The fact that the content of this book has just come to light gives me hope that not that many people have read it until now. I'd love to take a gander but I refuse to send a penny to whoever is on the other end of my Amazon cart on this one. I didn't even use an Amazon affiliate link on that one - because I don't even want the quarter that Amazon may send me if one of you guys buy it.

Now to just a few things that I have recently paid money for or would like someone else to spend money on, on my behalf.

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I just purchased myself this Commute Clutch from Mark and Graham and I've been exceedingly pleased with the quality of the leather, pockets and general usefulness. It perfectly fits my phone, ipad, credit cards, parking cards, business cards, ipad cords and headphones, etcetera all in a beautiful and professional looking pouch. Plus it fits into my larger carry on bag very nicely and keep le junk organized. I had mine monogrammed with an AW - because I am from Alabama and I monogram anything that's not moving.

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Even though the internet makes them obsolete I still love a good cookbook. I ask for one every Christmas, and this year I decided on What Can I Bring? I can't wait to give it a try. I've also asked for this wooden recipe box because I love the idea of passing it on to my daughter one day full of all of my stained, well-loved recipe cards.

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While we're on recipes - I will never be above the gift of food for Christmas. Frozen cookie dough from Tiny Boxwood's tops that list this year. However, I love it all. Giant tins of popcorn no one household can finish? Send it my way. Pears? Keep 'em coming (Did you ever see this?). I love it all.

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Concert tickets are always a good idea in the Whited household. This year I've made it pretty well known that I expect to be present at one of the many Bon Iver shows coming up in January. If you've got a pair to sell let me know - I'll send you Santa's cell number.