Kelly Kaduce: Minnesota's Soprano Sweetheart

When Kelly Kaduce talks about opera, she describes something equal parts art, career, achievement, and aspiration. The Minnesota native—she grew up in Winnebago—has been singing opera since college, and her voice, vibrant and sprinkler-in-the-summer lively, has sent her to Symphony Hall, stages in Australia, and even the 1999 Met Council Auditions (which she won). The lifestyle demands constant travel, self-education, spotlight, and sacrifice—and perhaps this is why, although she performs globally and calls Houston, Texas her home base, Kelly regularly heads to Washington Street in downtown St. Paul, where the Ordway Theater welcomes her to the stage, elegant as midnight and effortlessly poised.

Kelly has reason to be the Minnesota Opera’s soprano sweetheart. This March she accepted an impromptu invitation to join their production of Tosca after one of the leads dropped out, taking to the stage with two days’ practice—singers usually rehearse for two to three weeks. Fortunately, it was a role Kelly had played several months earlier in Houston: singers perform the same opera many times over the span of their careers and are always refining and reevaluating their approach. Those who saw Kelly on stage (and awarded her standing ovations) are not likely to see this same Tosca ever again.

We caught up with Kelly to talk about her pilgrimages to Minnesota and how she sees the field of opera changing, both in her own life and as a performing art.

You perform all over the country—and internationally. What’s it like returning to perform with the Minnesota Opera?

It’s very comforting and calming to me. It’s where I grew up, and it’s where I studied. I know everyone who works at the Minnesota Opera, from the musicians to the administration.           

The Minnesota Opera has a number of initiatives in place to reach a younger demographic, from mini concerts at breweries to pre-show events—but opera still carries the rap that it’s an art supported by an older generation. Do you think this is true, or do you see younger people coming to the opera?

Like any fine art, opera is not a popular venue that’s free and accessible to everyone like TV or the radio. So it does take a little effort on the part of opera companies to bring people in. There used to be a lot of traveling companies that would come perform in cities, It’s these older audiences who were exposed when they were younger, before the traveling companies ceased. But I do see it’s trending back toward the younger crowd, especially in Minnesota. People love the arts here. They love to go see it; they’re curious about it, and they like to support it.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The rehearsal process, when you get all the artists and stage directors and musicians together. It’s this collaborative meeting of ideas. Their ideas make new ideas for you, and everything culminates in one room. And people in the arts, and specifically in classical music and opera, are just interesting people. They’re unique, and it’s fun to be around them.

What’s the biggest challenge?

Travel. It’s not very glamorous. I’ve had to let go of a lot of that familiarity of family that comes with growing up in a small community [Editor’s Note: Winnebago, Minn., where Kelly grew up, has a population of about 1,500]. I have a four year-old, and I’m away more than the average parent is. On the plus side, when I’m not working, I’m at home all day, everyday. I also live in Houston now and have started singing with the Houston Grand Opera, and that allows me to be home a little more. Before we had our son, my husband and I tallied up how much we spent together and how much time we spent apart—we spent just half the year together.

Is it common for singers to take root and perform with a single opera company?

We’re all individually contracted per opera. In Europe, they hire a core group of singers that work specifically at one opera house. But a lot of times you develop a relationship with the companies; they like your work, and the audience in the area responds to what you do. So companies do what the Minnesota Opera does and hire local when they can—to save on housing and travel costs, but also because those singers bring with them a local base of fans.

What are you doing to grow as an artist?

It’s always a process of growth and discovery and improvement, which is why a classical musician can perform a piece over and over again. The first time you do a piece, you’re often fixated on the basics. Once you get the memory engrained in your body, then you can think in finer detail. And a lot of times you’re not going to repeat the same piece immediately, so by the time you return to it you’ll have grown up and formed different ideas about the music. It’s a never-ending play of ideas and creativity.

You performed one of Rusalka’s arias at the 1999 Met Council Auditions—which you won. What was that experience like?

I was very young. I was just starting the last year of my master’s degree, so I’d only been singing operatic style and studying seriously for six years. I decided to enter without planning on making it very far. And then I just kept advancing. I was so green, I didn’t know enough to be nervous or terrified. I just would go stand where they told me to and open my mouth and sing.

Is it common for opera singers to wait until college, as you did, to begin studying the art?

A lot of my colleagues often don’t come from classical music backgrounds. Our instruments are inside our bodies and our bodies—especially when we’re young—develop at an unreliable rate. Studying early isn’t necessarily going to give you an edge. Your voice could be classically different when you get older. Unlike instrumentalists, where an instrument is on the outside, we’re learning to master our inside instruments.

It seems like opera is one field where youth isn’t necessarily prized.

Trends and times change. There are young singers, but generally it takes a more mature mind and voice to be able to sustain the requirements of rehearsal, travel, learning the music. It’s hard to be able to master that right out of the gate. Someone who’s ‘young’ in opera is usually going to be in their mid-to late twenties.

What’s your favorite spot in Minnesota?

[When I was in Minnesota to perform Tosca] my friend and I went to Nye’s Polonaise Bar. Because it’s closing, we wanted to go for a last hurrah. We often go to French Meadow Bakery. And we always walk along the Mississippi River: it’s our favorite place to go for walks with the dog.

And your drink of choice?

A really good beer. 

Cara Rowe: The New Face of Romance Novels

When you think "romance novels" what comes to mind? Corsets? Cheesy dialogue? Weird sex shit? If you thought any of those three, you'd be be misguided, and young author Cara Rowe is out to dispel those myths. In her eloquent novels An Alliance of Passions and A Rogue's Revenge, Rowe shows just what the romance genre has to offer: wit, intelligence, and real heart. Cara and I talked inspiration, publishing, and why people so often misunderstand a genre that has so much to offer.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Not always, but for a long time now. Growing up, my career of choice morphed from princess to veterinarian, to chemist, to marine biologist, then to writer sometime in middle school. I always loved creative writing assignments, but I wasn’t the sort of kid who filled notebooks and notebooks with stories in my spare time, which made me question whether I was really cut out for fiction writing. It wasn’t until midway through college that I actually made the decision to give it a go.

What are your top three favorite books?

Ooo tricky one! The first that comes to mind is my all-time favorite romance novel, Once and Always by Judith McNaught. I know it pretty much sentence by sentence at this point, but the love story gets me every time. Second might be Jane Eyre, which I didn’t read until a year or two ago. Before I picked it up, I’d for some reason assumed it would feel similar to a Jane Austen novel, but it was so different, so achingly romantic and compelling (nothing against Ms. Austen of course, she’s basically the godmother of my genre.) Finally, remembering back to my childhood, I don’t think I’ve ever loved a story as much as I loved The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine (author of Ella Enchanted and many other novels.) The world in which the book takes place is somber yet beautiful, sophisticated yet appropriate for a young audience. I’m still amazed at how she pulled that off.

What drew you to romance novels? 

As a reader, I’ve always been a sucker for a happy ending, and have been reading romance fiction since age 15 or so. The very best novels are the ones in which you know by the very conventions of the genre that the hero and heroine will end up together, yet you find yourself doubting and worrying along the way nonetheless. As a writer, I’d never thought of trying romance fiction until I took a creative writing class in college and the professor, in describing our final assignment, encouraged us to write what we like to read. “But,” he said, “for the purposes of this class, no Harlequin novels. If you want to write Harlequin novels, wait until this course is over, do it and make millions of dollars.” Everyone else laughed at the joke, but I thought, Bingo! I love reading them, why not write one? How I have not thought of this until now? Still working on the millions part though.

What do you feel the biggest misconception about the genre is?

That romance novels are antiquated, poorly written and all kind of the same.  I’ve had a lot of people express surprise on reading my books that they aren’t just a bunch of sex scenes strung together. There really is something for everyone, from erotica that would make Christian Grey blush, to mysteries, historicals, and paranormal stories where romance is just one part of what’s going on.

How did you break into the genre?

One of my favorite things about the romance industry is the resources and mentorship opportunities in place to help writers build their careers. A lot of this is due, I believe, to the fact that not just the readers and writers, but also the publishers and agents, are largely women. I finished my first book An Alliance of Passions a few months after I graduated from college, shopped it around a little bit, then the following summer attended the Romance Writers of America annual conference. In addition to learning a lot, I had the opportunity to pitch my book one-on-one to various agents and editors. Of the four people I met with, three asked to see the full manuscript, and one of those is now my publisher.

What is the publishing process like? 

Varied. With the advent of e-readers and various self-publishing platforms, there are so many more ways than there used to be to get books in the hands of readers. Overall, I’d say this is a good thing, but it is harder now to stand out from the crowd. I work with Corvallis Press, a small publisher out of Oregon, which I enjoy because I have more say in decisions like titles and cover art than I would with a giant New York publisher. But I still get to hand off a lot of the editing and formatting responsibilities, which wouldn’t be possible if I were self-publishing. Whatever avenue an author chooses, though, it’s scary and exhilarating to put something you’ve created out into the world for everyone to see (and judge). And there’s always, ALWAYS more to learn, from how to hone the writing itself, to how to use technology to market the book.  More of the latter falls on the author than I think most people realize.

If you could befriend one fictional character in real life, who would it be?

Listen, I know I should say Jo March, Anne Shirley, or some other iconic literary heroine, but honestly, Mary Crawley from Downton Abbey. She says the most deliciously cutting things. I love her clear sense of self, down to her very real flaws, which she acknowledges but doesn’t apologize for having.  Plus, she can be so prickly that befriending her would be a real accomplishment.

Do you consider yourself a “romantic?” in the broader sense of the word, in real life?

I would consider myself a romantic, yes. I’m always rooting for love to triumph, down to obnoxious celebrity couples on TV. On top of that, I have a tendency to try and understand the conflicts and motivations of people around me as if they were characters in a book I’m writing. You’d be surprised how often that lens allows me to correctly guess how real-world events will turn out.

For more information or to purchase her books, visit cararowe.com

Red of Red's Mercantile

A Mercantile owned by a charming red-head in a quaint Wisconsin town—sounds like it’s straight out of a movie right? That’s because it could be if you’re looking at it from the outside or meandering inside the walls of this carefully curated shop. But as you well know, foxes, we’re all about a great #girlboss and sharing her whole tale, not just the happy ending*.

Red, or Becca Cooke, as she’s known around Eau Claire, a larger city in western Wisconsin, grew up in the Midwest on a dairy farm. When she graduated from college she spent some time in St. Paul serving tables, working a desk job, and ruminating on how she could best put her degree to use. She eventually landed in Palm Springs, CA, working as a political fundraiser on a successful and impressive campaign (imagine a precursor to Scandal with a Minnesotan accent.)

Red was killin’ it by all standards and while she remains a career-driven person, her resume wasn’t the only thing required to make her happy. Two years in a toxic work environment was wearing on her spirit and her work-life-balance was completely lopsided. So for a little bit,  she went home. 

There’s no place like it and anyone who grows up in the rolling hills of the Midwest knows that there’s a certain solace and re-centering that comes from resting your bones among sky-high trees, deep rivers, and open fields.

“I asked myself how I wanted my life to look. To lay your roots down is a hard choice. Sometimes you don’t know what you want or when you’re ready to come back home”, said Cooke. But after long days driving through the desert, tearful over a job that’s permanently scarred her with a tinge of anxiety she hasn’t yet shaken, Red made a choice. She left her job, her sunny climate, and re-evaluated. 

At this point in the movie, the montage begins, where Red slowly unwinds and reminds herself who she used to be before her life was a mix of job offers from Washington D.C. (I told you it was like Scandal) and internal millennial-esque debates about what she should “do” with her life.

If you ever speak with Becca, you’ll know why she’s a dream to interview. She’s well-spoken and it sounds like everything she says could be written in motivational calligraphy. So you’d be surprised that in the interim between opening Red’s Mercantile and managing political campaigns full-time that she didn’t know what she wanted to do next. In those few short months (yes, months) she took a good, long hard look at her life and considered her skills. 

Cooke always knew a few things: she wanted to be a part of her community, she was meant to run her own business, and she gave good gifts. Short of being Santa’s helper, she considered opening her own store. “I wanted to find something that was a culmination of the things I’d experienced—the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met. I always think about who is going to receive this [the gift] and how they’ll enjoy it. It’s more than just things—it’s about enriching people’s lives.” 

Many of the brands featured in the “fox den” as she sometimes refers to it, are locally made and one-of-a-kind pieces. Some of the artists she’s met personally and others she discovered in her travels, but they all have one thing in common—their products are produced with intention. 

So now she has a store in the heart of Eau Claire, sitting first-hand on the precipice of a downtown renaissance that has been long overdue, and she’s just doing it. Did I mention that Red still does part-time political consulting? Yes, that means in between building the shelves, placing orders and writing up her business plan, she was managing campaigns for clients across the country. It isn’t easy and it certainly isn’t like the movies— but much the way movies go, Red looked to her friends and family when she needed a helping hand.

Some people try to do things on their own and in books or articles it seems that they climbed the ladder to their current success by “hustling”--a vague term that doesn’t say much about the late nights and early mornings people actually put into their careers while others remain rooted to dreaming about what they want to do. Cooke will be the first to tell you that she has a difficult time delegating responsibility but that she couldn’t have opened the store without the help of her friends and family. “People came out of the woodwork to help me get here and I am still in awe of what people were offering— and willing— to do to help me. I’m so grateful.” 

It’s this community and an intense focus on her goal that allowed Red to get here. By bringing a unique shop to Eau Claire, she's offered one more option for people to shop outside of the box and find gifts that are truly one-of-a-kind representations of makers across the country, including personalized gifts that become staple pieces to keep forever. Jewelry from Kiki Koyote and Christi Ahee of Chicago are a few of her favorite makers, but when pressed she smiles and confesses, “I love everything, it’s hard to choose!”

Perusing her shelves made it difficult to not name the entire store as my Christmas list but that’s no doubt a credit to her skill in selecting each item with explicit care. 

The store is still in it’s early days and while Cooke admits she’s still learning so much each day, it is plain to see that Red’s Mercantile will quickly become a necessary spot to visit when traipsing through Wisconsin’s riverside city or looking for a great day trip. 

It’s been quite a journey but there it is friends, Red’s Mercantile. Your entrepreneurial boss-lady landed just in time for your holiday gifting.

Oh and in case you’re wondering, her drink of choice? Bulleit Old Fashioned.

*Red’s story has only begun. This is merely a chapter among many more to come.

Kaylen Ralph of the Riveter

While most people talk the "helping other women" talk these days, Kaylen Ralph is someone who actually walks the walk. As one of the founders of the Riveter (along with creative partners Joanna Demkiewicz and Natalie Cheng) Ralph has committed the past few years to carving out a space for women in journalism. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Ralph is also a research assistant for the Sager group, helping to publish a three-part anthology celebrating women in journalism. Ralph also started Bird Dog Creative with Victoria Cambell, a company that specializes in creating captivating visual and social editorial brand content for other businesses. As if that weren't enough, she dedicates her time to helping young girls strive for leadership roles in their communities through her involvement with LOTT, Leaders of Today and Tomorrow.

And as it turns out, her kindness extends to mere internet strangers, too. When we connected over social media a few weeks ago, Ralph was game to let me pick her brain at a local coffee shop (whose overpriced gluten free doughnuts horrified us both) and was at once both warm and whip-smart, compassionate and focused. I couldn't help but feel she was exactly the kind of woman Scotch & The Fox was designed to celebrate: a woman who follows her dreams while helping others do the same. 

If you haven't heard of The Riveter by now, it's time to check it out. If you're like me, you often feel like the only spaces for women essayists and journalists are a little surface-level or niche-y; websites that thrive on clickbait and articles like "The 10 Best Things You Have To Do by 35 in 2015." Don't get me wrong, those are fun (I've written some of them) but they can't—and, thanks to Ralph, won't—be the only way women writers and journalists are represented in the digital age. The Riveter is full of engaging journalism that's too multi-faceted and thought-provoking to be summed up in a sell-line. (And too pretty not to get your paws on. Have you SEEN their latest cover??)

When I interview her in her smartly-decorated apartment the week following our coffee meet up, I'm taken by both her hospitality and determination (and her spot-on book collection.) "Do you take sugar?" she asks sweetly, offering me a pour from a French press. (I obviously do.) As I down two delicious cups, I get to ask her about all her kick ass plans for women in magazines--and why being a girl boss is nothing to be ashamed of.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I knew since I was in 4th grade that I wanted to be a journalist. I actually wrote an entire essay about this which is kind of embarrassing, but I was obsessed with Gilmore Girls. I think I just so identified with her as this nerd who was still really confident and loved to read and didn't really care what anybody thought, so as soon as she knew she was going to be a journalist, I had kind of decided that too. And I had always loved to tell stories; one of my first big Christmas gifts that I can remember was a vintage typewriter.

How did the Riveter come to be? What was your goal in creating it?

The idea for The Riveter started when Joanna and I were juniors in college. We met during journalism class because we had both picked Magazine as our sequence. It was spring of 2012, and we had the idea because that was the year the ASME's (American Society of Magazine Editors) awards took place and not one woman was nominated in any category. It was super discouraging for us to hear, sitting in a classroom full of women and thinking we're all working our asses off, so why is that not reflected in the professional landscape of the career field we're trying to enter? I remember so clearly we went to a bar that night and were so pissed off and inspired. Over the course of that next year we both studied abroad and were getting closer to graduation, which made the reality of that professional landscape not just more discouraging, but scarier. So in the spring of 2013 we said OK, we're just going to do this. We're going to start a magazine that we're going to run and give women the chance to publish longform journalism that could be considered for these kind of awards.

I do think that women's magazines—the glossies, if you will—have been slowly improving. They're still nowhere near representative of the multi-faceted female experience, the female experience both as writers and readers. They're enjoyable and I read them all the time and I always feel like I have to caveat that—I'm not bashing other women's magazines, but there's no female Esquire. I feel most women's magazines have figured out that feminism will make them money, and that doesn't sit well with me...this idea that they should use it as a means to sell magazines. Of course I feel like every magazine should be feminist in nature—every single person, institution, organizations should be—but I feel like it was such a drastic shift in attitude, that you have to question the motive. And it's still packaged in such a way that it's not really necessarily that much different than how it has been the last 50 years.

Who has been your favorite interview?

I'll pick someone from The Newswomen book that we just did. This is the first in a three part series that we're doing with Mike Sager, who is a writer at large for Esquire. He has a boutique publishing house and brought us on as independent researchers to do this three part series all about women in journalism, which is really exciting.

How did that come about?

Flashing back to spring of 2013, when we were about to graduate, it was Mike who was leading this conference all about longform journalism at Missouri where we went to journalism school. He was getting some flack because the last book he published, which was supposed to be all about the next wave of longform journalism, was mostly an anthology of men; it was a really great conference because there was a lot of open honest dialogue about that subject. He basically told the audience afterwards, if you want there to be more longform journalism by women in the world, then you have to make the spaces where it can be published. And he said he'd help us. So he kind of put his money where his mouth is and is doing this amazing three-part series; this one came out in September. In this book,  I would definitely say Edna Buchanan was my favorite interview, because she was basically the OG of crime reporting. She wrote for a few different newspapers in Miami in the 60s and 70s when there was a bunch of gangster and drug activity, and she had the police beat down there. She was a super interesting lady. I think our interview went over 2 hours. Now she writes true crime novels. Her story ended up being one of the ones I enjoyed the most.

If you could describe yourself in 5 words or less, which words would you choose?

Unapologetic girl boss with [an] attitude.*

*with a passion for making other women the girl boss in their own life.

How have you grown as a woman over the past 5 years?

I have become a lot more comfortable with things not being perfect, and enjoying experiences that... even if it becomes abundantly clear x, y, or z isn't going to happen on my time frame...still finding the joy in that. Without sounding like a Pinterest quote. If you're doing things just to get them done, I think you're often missing the bigger picture. I've become a lot happier having accepted that. Bringing it back to the Riveter, a lot of things that have happened for us, I wouldn't have even imagined. They're amazing. I wouldn't have imagined them on my original time frame of what the Riveter was going to be and when. So I'm trying to find the joy in taking our time and seeing what happens.

You're throwing your dream dinner party. 6 people dead or alive can come. Who's on the list?

Nora Ephron, my Nana Janet, Lauren Groff, Jessica Williams, Goldie Taylor, and Shonda Rhimes.

What's your drink of choice and why?

Honestly, a classic G & T.

if you could give your 15-year old self one piece of advice what would it be?

Be nicer to your mom. I'm super close to my family but at 15... I was not my best self. And learning to drive and thinking i knew how to do everything the best. Love you mom!

What's your favorite thing about Minneapolis?

I love how collaborative everyone in the city is. Ever since I moved here there have been so many people who have been willing to extend a hand or a venue or spirits or really anything. Whatever I've asked for in this city, someone has been more than willing to help with.

November Foxlist

OK, I think this fall has been one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. Maybe we're being "spoiled" or maybe we're being redeemed for all the novembers when we've already been buried in snow for 6 weeks, but this week has me all sorts of giddy. Plaid scarfs and spiked cider are still totally acceptable when the temperature hits a balmy 68 degrees, after all--in fact, they're made all the more sweet. Here are a few of my favorite finds for this month: from velvety red booties that can take you all the way til' March to V practical aromatherapy diffusers that will have your nose (and your heart) happier than ever.

1. Let's get down to business: I'm becoming a red lip lady. I don't always nail my application game, but NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella has been a pretty good partner in crime.

2. Oh, what's that? Your skin mimics that of a sea creature once the temps drop, too? This Ocean Salt exfoliating scrub smells as fresh as the ocean and leaves your skin as smooth as buttah. 

3. I've been jumping on the crystal/gem bandwagon lately, and titanium quartz is my new best friend. Reading about its healing properties and chakra-aligning benefits (take it for what it's worth,) I think it's as good a material as any to have next to my skin as a delicate reminder to breathe baby, breathe! I'm in love with my Power Titanium Quartz Cuff from Krimarino--an awesome lady who hand makes each piece with intense care.

4. Who says winter means you have to throw away your sunnies? Avoid that snow-glare with an affordable cat-eye from New York Glass.

5. If you haven't been reading your Didion lately, what are you even doing with your autumn?

6. Like Liz Lemon herself, I consider success owning multiple humidifiers. Luckily for me, that dream came true last week when I was sent a free aromatherapy diffuser from Guru Nanda. I kid you not, this thing is my new favorite everything--and if you know me, you know I don't feel obligated to write about free samples. (I don't have time to write about shit I don't genuinely love.) Regardless, a few drops of essential oil in this bad boy (lavender, please) and it mists your whole room with gently humidifying (and calming!) scent. 

7. Did I mention I've turned into a lady in Red this season? These tassle booties from Sole Society fit right in with that theme and are just funky enough to take my usual all-black/gray outfits up a notch.

8. Take it from a candle coveter: everyone who's smelled this Prosecco Rose candle has gone gaga over it.

October Foxlist

 

Here at Scotch & The Fox HQ, we're suckers for fall. Before it snows, before we become Vitamin D deficient and mired in holiday baking, there's this magic hour that actually lasts a month or two where colors burst against bright blue skies and the world seems to accept a hearty pause. It's a time to think, plan, and reset, and it's the perfect excuse to curl up with a good book, get organized, or get your face mask on. So here are 8 things to help you make the most of this month—and give yourself a little TLC in the process.

1. I've preached the powers of Dr. Jart before, and I stand by my obsession. His new Trans-foam Clay masks are perfect for when you can't decide between a cleanser and a face mask: the french clay starts as a mask and washes off as a foaming cleanser.

2. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff is being touted as THE book to get your paws on, and after reading glowing reviews of it everywhere I looked, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. It tells the tale of a marriage from two perspectives in the tone of a Grecian-like saga, which makes it the perfect drama to curl up with in-between binge-watching your Shonda shows this fall.

3. I don't care who knows it, I'm happy athletic wear has become so impossibly prevalent. Who doesn't want a fashionable excuse to wear comfortable clothes? The Sport-It sweater dress from Athleta would look perfect paired with some comfy leggings and boots. Maybe a PSL, I don't know, I'm not planning your Pinterest photoshoot for you.

4. My goddess du jour, Lianne La Havas, returns triumphant with Blood, a worthy follow up to her gut wrenching debut. Tracks to download now: Tokyo, Midnight. Bonus: she appears at The Varsity on Oct. 6th.

5. Are you a planner freak? We can probably be friends. I bought this baby in two different colors last year (not proud of my paper product problem.)

6. Essential oils may be so 2005, but doTerra's are particularly of-the-moment because they smell like heaven and seem to genuinely work. I love all the scents but the Lavender and the On Guard (for immunity protection) are my favorite. On Guard smells like someone's grandma is baking cinnamon scones, so if it doesn't cure your cold, it will at least bring you a little comfort.

7. Lightly tinted, buttery smooth, and oh-so subtle, Sugar's lip tints are by far the best lip products I own. 

8. Want to give your significant other a pre-Halloween scare? Put on a sheet mask. Dr. Jart comes through for the win again on this one, with his ultra-hydrating masks which may make you appear mummified at first, but once removed reveal dewy, oh-so-glowing skin.