Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Reader Recs: Kate’s Fabulous Finds


Dear Wendy readers are some of the most intelligent, stylish, super-cool people around (it’s a proven fact), so it’s a no-brainer to feature some of their favorite products. Many of the recommended products happen to be affiliate products, which means I’ll receive a commission on any click-throughs or purchases you make through the affiliate links. As always, I appreciate your support! Today’s recommendations comes from Kate, who lives just outside of Boston with her husband and their Jack Russell Terrier, Mike. She’s in Client Development at a global media company and she travels a lot to glamorous places like New Jersey, but also takes fun vacations to Mexico and anywhere warm. She can’t wait for summer weekends enjoying outdoor patios, the beach on Cape Cod, and fresh seafood. In addition to all that, Kate is our resident style and beauty maven (as well as creepy stalker); check out some of her favorite product recommendations below.

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Benefit They’re Real Tinted Primer and Mascara.
This combo is amazing. Lianne tried it after I got a sample and is also amazed. My eyelashes look three feet long and so thick. And you can do your lower lashes with the brown primer… or wear the primer alone. This stuff isn’t waterproof, but it stays put.

This work bag.
I have it in taupe. It has a laptop compartment in the middle, a main compartment on each side, and pockets.

Drybar Triple Sec
Not a dry shampoo but keeps your hair fresh for days. I make my blowouts last a week and I don’t have thick hair.

These velvet hangers
They’re very thin, so, if you usually use bulky plastic ones, they save a ton of space. Things won’t slip off them either. I was guilty of using wire hangers – the horror – and this looks soooo much better.

Oribe Gold Lust Treatment Masque
Repaired my hair after a burn unit situation and keeps it healthy. Yes, it’s expensive, but a little goes a long way and it will fix serious damage.

Maybelline 24-HR Eyeshadow in Bad to the Bronze
It’s all you need for summer.

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This maxi dress
I don’t usually like LOFT, but this dress is fantastic. Very comfortable, versatile, flattering, comes in petite and, I think, tall too. My mom has it too!!! She was wearing it with a shawl in the evening on our cruise. I wore it in San Diego last week with a jean jacket. And it’s on sale right now for $49 — down from $89!

Thanks, Kate!

If you have some products you’d like to recommend to the DW audience, shoot me an email at wendy@dearwendy.com with links to five recommendations. (Write “reader recs” in the subject line, please). Your recommendations can be from any store or website, but they need to be accessible online. If your list is a good fit for the site, I’ll ask you to write a brief description of each item/explain what you love so much about it.

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35 comments… add one
  • Ale April 14, 2016, 1:32 pm

    Kate is gorgeous, I imagined her as a brunette.

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    • Kate April 14, 2016, 1:35 pm

      Thanks Ale 🙂 I get that brunette thing sometimes, from my voice on the phone too.

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      • em April 15, 2016, 11:18 am

        yay! happy to learn more about the elusive but ever professional Kate! I always imagined you as a blonde prob. b/c the avatar. BUT I thought you lived in Southern CA for some reason. I have the same hangers, oribe masque and the “yes they’re real” mascara and love all of them! Especially the mascara, which my sister gave me as a gift; people really do ask me if my lashes are real and I enjoy replying with “rude!!”

      • em April 15, 2016, 11:19 am

        curious to try the hair powder b/c I am embarrassed to admit I hate washing my hair but it is quite fine so…

      • Kate April 15, 2016, 11:49 am

        Are you me? Haha. I did visit SoCal recently and kinda want to move there, but sadly do not live there. The TripleSec is a spray, not a powder. It’s awesome because unlike a powder it won’t build up on your scalp, turn pasty, or look ashy if you have dark hair. And it has that fabulous Drybar product smell.

      • em April 15, 2016, 3:33 pm

        good to know! b/c , we are not the same person: I have VERY dark hair!

    • AndSoItGoes April 14, 2016, 5:46 pm

      Passing around photos of regulars and guessing which username belongs to which person would be an interesting exercise. “You write like a brunette” is such a strange assumption, right?

      But, of course, it is not uncommon to have those strong impressions….

      Reply Link
      • Kate April 14, 2016, 6:28 pm

        I could arrange that if people want to send Wendy their pictures; I could set up a surveymonkey or something and do a quiz. Of course *I* would not know anyone’s identity 😉 Who would like to see this as a feature on a day Wendy doesn’t have a quality letter to answer?

      • Nookie April 15, 2016, 5:22 am

        Of course the creepy stalker Kate would suggest such a thing 🙂

      • Cassie April 15, 2016, 11:15 am

        That actually might be fun. A number of years ago on Glamour’s site they did something similar where they tried to match pictures of readers to their SO’s, and then revealed the results a few days later (with a picture of them together). I got a kick out of guessing, though I wasn’t very good at it. 🙂

  • Lianne April 14, 2016, 1:44 pm

    Not fa’ nuthin’, but Kate failed to mention that I basically shamed her into trading her anti-mommy dearest wire hangers for the velvet variety. She had this beautiful closet with beautiful things and then a mix of plastic and wire hangers. So, on Good Friday, I came over and helped her take that closet to the next level!

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    • Kate April 14, 2016, 1:47 pm

      I did mention that in my email to Wendy actually! And I showed her the before and after pictures and she was so appalled by the “before” that she probably forgot the first part. It seriously looked so awful, so thank you AGAIN for suggesting that we elevate my closet aesthetic.

      PS – Lianne’s husband built her a custom closet.

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      • Lianne April 14, 2016, 1:55 pm

        Haha 😉

        It’s true! He did! It’s not as big as Kate’s but so much more functional. He’s a very handy dude, something I didn’t know prior to marrying him. Bonus!!!

  • honeybeenicki April 14, 2016, 2:40 pm

    The real issue here is …. if I click on these links, will Kate know about it and then stalk me? Like, will I see her outside my bedroom window tomorrow morning, making sure I took her recommendations?

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    • Kate April 14, 2016, 2:48 pm

      Yup, Wendy set it up so I can see who clicked on what link, their full name, email, mom’s maiden name, street address, SSN, and CBS Password.

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      • Dear Wendy April 14, 2016, 4:38 pm

        It’s true — I did. Watch out, everyone!

  • girltuesday April 14, 2016, 4:40 pm

    Aaaargh – I’ve been eyeing those color tattoos for a while now. I might just have to get one after work.

    Also, +1 on the Triple Sec. It’s great for those with finer hair.

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    • Kate April 14, 2016, 4:43 pm

      Well they’re inexpensive! I like that you can smudge it on with a finger and layer it to be sheer or smokey. It’s the kind of thing you really can wear either to the beach or out at night. The bronze color is really pretty.

      Reply Link
  • Lianne April 14, 2016, 6:23 pm

    Imma buy myself that tote when I go back to work after maternity leave. It’s been decided.

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    • Kate April 14, 2016, 6:27 pm

      You should! I got it almost a year ago and it still looks great in spite of being used every day with a laptop and sales materials and other crap in it, and being a light color. I’d call it very durable. It also doesn’t have logos all over it, so it’s understated enough for clients.

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      • Lianne February 20, 2018, 4:45 pm

        For the record, I did buy that bag. And I tried the hair masque.

      • Kate February 20, 2018, 4:47 pm

        Ha! It STILL looks new after 3 or 4 years now. Some yogurt or something spilled in it but it wiped right out.

  • Kari Cox Gaby April 15, 2016, 2:59 pm

    Okay, now I’m really bummed. I love the dress but I don’t see anything other than a 30% off from the store. And I really want to see the bag but the link doesn’t go all the way through for me. It starts to tell me its a Tory Burch product but then it stops…. what is it called?

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    • Kate April 15, 2016, 5:12 pm

      Sorry, on Monday when I wrote it up it was on special for $49, no coupon. Alas, now it’s just the 30% off.

      Buckle Tote!

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      • Kari April 15, 2016, 5:49 pm

        Very nice! Thanks!

  • RedRoverRedRover April 15, 2016, 9:07 pm

    I wish there were more laptop bag options for people who don’t want to carry them! I have a messed up shoulder, and a massive/heavy laptop for work. I wish I could carry a cute bag for work, but I don’t see how I can. I got a roller bag from McKlein which is really nice, but it’s made “for women” which apparently means it’s for people 5’6″ or shorter. The handle isn’t long enough so it’s hard to walk with. Luckily the roller part is removable so I can still use it as a carrying bag, but then it’s so heavy!

    Anyone have a huge laptop and find a comfy AND professional way to carry it? When I’m not meeting clients I use a backpack, which is the only workable way I’ve found so far.

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    • Kate April 16, 2016, 4:36 am

      Well, yeah, a shoulder bag does get heavy with everything you need in it for work and plus laptop and charger. Usually I’m in a car and don’t have too far to walk so it’s ok. In the airport I put it on top of my 4-wheel suitcase.

      A tote like the LV Neverfull is expensive for more than its brand name. It weighs NOTHING. Like a feather. And super strong and durable. On the downside it’s $2K for leather rather than monogram. You could try it on and see… Might be worth the investment. I have yet to find a budget version but there might be one.

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      • Kate April 16, 2016, 4:44 am

        Actually, since you travel, I know it’s a long shot but does your company have newer thinner smaller laptops and you could request one because your shoulder is messed up? My company used to give nice Macs to the designers, small 13″ Lenovos to the salespeople, and big Lenovo or Dell laptops to everyone else. The new ones we’re getting are thin and light.

      • RedRoverRedRover April 16, 2016, 8:33 am

        Yeah, maybe I’ll request a smaller laptop next time I get a refresh (which should happen when I get back from mat leave). I do like the big ones though, that’s the thing. But I guess I’m not really a developer anymore and I don’t “need” it. So maybe it’s time to downsize. Hard to get out of that mindset that bigger is better from when I was in dev. 🙂

        I do use the briefcase I have now, without the wheels, in the airport on top of my luggage so that’s not too bad. It’s more going to local meetings where it’s a pain. A streamlined laptop would probably solve that problem.

      • Kate April 16, 2016, 4:58 am

        Or a cute backpack?? All the purse brands make backpacks. My husband uses a backpack for work as he’s in a sports field. It needs to hold laptop, sports clothes, parts, notebooks, promo stuff… His Victorinox one had held up great but was looking old. This is kind of ridic but I got him a Coach one in black leather. They had a good assortment of men’s and women’s backpacks. maybe instead of the nylon “laptop bag” backpack you could do an upgrade to your favorite purse brand? You could then also use it when out with the kids for hands-free.

      • RedRoverRedRover April 16, 2016, 8:34 am

        I’ve thought of this, I just can’t get over the hump of thinking backpacks aren’t professional, especially for women. I considered one when I got my current bag and passed. Your suggestion of smaller laptop is probably the way to go for me.

  • Copa February 20, 2018, 4:56 pm

    I already use that mascara and think it’s wonderful, but tell me more about the primer! Does it make a difference? Years ago, I used some drug store primer + mascara combo and wasn’t a fan, so I never thought to try a primer on my lashes again.

    Also, for anyone looking for a drug store dupe of that mascara, there’s a brand called Jordana that I’d never heard of until a few years ago and have only seen at Walgreens. Their voluminous mascara (black tube, purple text) is a great, budget-friendly alternative. I don’t love it as much, but it’s like $4 and my go-to when I’m trying to save. It’s the only other mascara I *love*.

    Reply Link
    • Kate February 20, 2018, 5:06 pm

      The combo of the two products is really fabulous. As a money-saving hack, I buy the mini/travel sizes because they last 3 months which is when you’re supposed to throw out mascara anyway. I can get every lash coated nicely with the brown primer, including the lower ones, which can look too harsh in black for lighter-haired people. And then I build the black mascara on my upper lashes and the effect is really great and not clumpy. I am fine with drugstore mascaras, but I keep buying the Benefit. I’m still using it 2 years after this Reader Recs. You can also just wear the primer alone for a less-makeup look.

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      • Copa February 20, 2018, 5:24 pm

        Oh, this is two years old? Yikes! Late to the party. Ha. I’ll have to check out the primer.

      • Kate February 20, 2018, 5:26 pm

        Yeah, Wendy linked to it on the housekeeping thread on the main page as part of the discussion there 😉


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