Thursday, March 24, 2011

Trends That Inspire Me

So It's the end of March and it's cold again. Disappointing. They say "March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb." I think the lion ate the lamb. (reminds me of a line from twilight, but anyway) March is officially my least favorite month of the year, because it's such a tease. I've been having some sinus problems lately, which have been keeping me home from work, (the only drawback to spring for me ) but have not been keeping me from the mall (go figure.) So I went to the mall with a friend yesterday (yet again, for the ???? time this week, I see meetings in my future.) It's such a letdown to look at spring fashion on display, bring home your purchases and know that it might be a while before you get to wear it, (around my house doesn't count? does it?) I've still made some purchases, but I think my wallet would be suffering more if it was nice outside and I could wear my items, and get instant gratification. But I was still inspired enough by all the light airy spring apparel to do this post. So as i was gathering my thoughts and catching up on twitter (yet another problem might be in the works) I ran across a tweet about Spring lace and eyelet trends by BellaSugar. I love lace for spring, it's so light but sophisticated at the same time. Some of the items highlighted in this post caught my eye so they will be included. And as I logged on a little while ago, my friend's blogpost "Closet challenge"
(her blog
not only inspired me to look in my closet for things that I already own but may have not thought of wearing for Spring, but also for single items I own, so that when I do make Spring purchases I buy things that already work well with what I have. No need for a new wardrobe here, just a few updates.

Trends that inspire me (aka things i'm lusting after):

Nudes - I love nudes already, and now there is such an abundance of them this spring.

Nine West Handbag - Innovative Large Messenger Bag (picture taken at Macy's)
This bag is perfect for spring, big enough for all your things, including a quick trip to the beach. It can easily take you from spring to summer, and the one with green accents can easily take you into the fall. I'm not into Nine West handbags, nothing from them has caught my eye in years, so this was a nice surprise. This bag has clean lines, and a sophisticated Hampton feel, while still being fun.

BCBGirls Women's Estrella Platform Pump (picture taken at Macy's)
These shoes are so beautiful. This style can easily be worn for a summer night out instead of the expected open toe pump or slingback. They just sit so well on display. I wish they sat so well on my feet. I was devastated to find out that was not the case (especially because they retail for $118 and I found them online for $42, so for those of you that are still interested, head on over to Amazon and make this your steal of the season.) I found them to be very uncomfortable, aside from the fact that the heel is just shy of 5". The cutouts which make these standout, also make these very uncomfortable, because they pinch the skin as you walk. But these were my inspiration to keep looking for that perfect nude pump.

Rose Gold/Coral Accessories - A few days ago I told a friend that rose gold was not for me. Then I tried it on, and there's no going back. I've been reading everywhere that as far as watches go, rose gold is in, and big is out. I don't know about all that but as far as i'm concerned (I love my big watches)I'll rock the rose gold trend through the summer and then we'll see. I think it's a very feminine look. I tried on a few watches in rose gold and I found that since it is different, it's best to keep the watch simple, because the gold should be the focus.

The first image is just a mix of rose gold accessories

Coral dawn flower earrings (
These have such a spring feel to them. The coral looks very bright and playful and would be a great addition to a muted nude outfit as a pop of color. These are the type of items that stores like Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, and maybe even Target carry on occasion. But if these are a must, the best part is they're only $10.

Fossil Tree of Life bracelet
I saw this bracelet at a Fossil store when I was trying on some rose gold watches. When I tried it on with one of the watches it looked like it belonged. Just the perfect addition to dress up a simple watch yet simple enough itself not to take away from the watch. Can also be worn layered with other bracelets (they have others in rose gold that are just as cute) or by itself for a dainty effortless look.

Lace/Eyelet - The lace/eyelet trend is back. Something lacy can easily take an outfit from day to night without much effort. Also perfect for those that don't want to go crazy with color, because lace is enough of a spring staple.

We The Free Lacy Stripes Top
This top is perfect with some leggings or skinny jeans for daytime. I love casual/relaxed looks during the day and this is one of my favorites. Or dress it up with a blazer and some heels for a night out.

Forever 21 Floral Back Vest (
I have a couple of these vest from last summer and i love them. They go perfectly with a plain t or tank and a fedora hat. And they're sleeveless so they'll keep you cool on a hot summer night instead of opting for a short sleeved sweater.

Green/tan - Kind of an odd trend for the warmer months, but I'm seeing lots of it in the stores.
Rubbish Drawstring Parka (
This lightweight jacket is great for those April shower days. It's light so you won't be too warm, it matches literally everything, and because it's lightweight you can easily tuck it into your bag when you are done with it. I've been looking for something like this for a while, it would be perfect for when i travel to go with every outfit.

Elizabeth and James Eden Crisscross Platform Sandals (
I think this shoe is great for dressing up a cute shirt dress. Or even a pair of khakis for a quick run to the office.

Sperry Ladies Angelfish (
I love these boat shoes. The fact that they are water and stain resistant makes them even better. They are the perfect shoe for exploring in comfort, while on vacation. They come in many different colors and styles so there's something for everyone.

I'm sure many of you are asking, "Where's the color?" I'm always sick of seeing bright neons for Spring, not to say I don't like them, they're just so predictable. So I felt I had to find the other trends out there, the less predictable ones. And as for color, a little pop of color goes a long way, a necklace, a pair of great feather earrings, and if all else fails, a bright coral lipstick always does the job. Hopefully Spring won't keep me waiting too much longer.

And I'll even throw in some color. (well my version of color anyway.)
Soprano Racerback Maxi Dress (Nordstrom)
I saw this dress at Nordstrom the other day, and it was the main inspiration for this spring trend blogpost. It comes in coral (pictured here) and navy, and I have to have both. This will be my staple all Spring and Summer long.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Step into spring (in brights)

Spring is here and I'm excited. It's about time. It has been pretty nice here the last few days minus all the rain, hail, and allergies that come along with spring (it's hailing as I write this.) Hey it's better than snow and below zero temperatures. But not to fear snow is on it's way. In the meantime it feels like spring. I went out to the mall this weekend to pick up a few things. I figured since it was the first day of spring I would go to the outdoor mall. Big mistake, it didn't get above 40 degrees that day. But anyhow, there I am strolling around in the rain in my pastel yellow flats (it seems to rain every time I wear these no matter my location) feeling like some spring shopping is in order. First on my list is the LUSH at Macy's. I received an email that same morning with all the new flower bath bombs and I was super excited to check them out in person. I walk up to the Macy's and this is what I see.

My husband was with me and said I froze in the middle of the door and just stared with my jaw open while people walked around me. I then walked up to at least three of the other makeup counters with questions of what's going on. I was told that LUSH was just getting a facelift for the season and would reopen within two weeks. This did not ease my anxiety and neither did the fact that a few of them tried to talk me into trying their products. Not the time. So now I'm counting down the days until I can smell the beautiful aroma of soaps and bath bombs again. How will I survive 2 weeks without my fresh face masks?

I was only going to LUSH and Sephora but I ended up going to a few more stores to make up for the disappointment. So here's my haul of the week.

So I stopped at Sephora first and quickly found what I went in there to buy, Korres lip butter in pomegranate (plus a couple samples of items I've been interested in trying but more about that in my next post). In my never ending search for a Holy Grail lip balm I have intended on buying this for quite some time and never did. I don't know why I didn't (maybe because of the $10 price tag for not too much product, i know, how silly) and now wish I had instead of having spent my money (much more than $10 combined) on some of the worthless balms I have accumulated. Only two days of using this stuff and I'm hooked. HG? I don't know. I take those words very seriously and it takes me time to arrive at them (but if I do I will let u know). The formula is great. The pot doesn't really bother me because I'm the only one using it (pots don't really bother me in general because I transfer so many of my products into smaller containers for travel, plus if a products is good it should speak for itself) and the color, well it goes on a little flush of color but it sheers out. It's a balm, that's what I expect a balm to do. As for the scent it's pretty but not overpowering (the only time it seems that I don't mind an overpowering scent is when it's mint like in the c.o. Bigelow lip balms). Overall this product is great. (yes even better than the e.o.s lip balm I featured in my February favorites video on YouTub, which i'm still also using.)

Banana republic was not on my list but when I noticed they were having 30% off the whole store I couldn't pass it up. All I found here was a cute linen sheer tshirt type of top. With a pocket that's sideways which makes it interesting. It's flowy so I can wear it now layered over a long sleeve or under a sweater with leggings and in the spring over a camisole. It's sort of a peach color, and since I have nothing in this color I went for it. I'm getting better with this color thing. The picture didn't do it justice so i left it out.

So naturally my next purchase had to be black (I'm starting to like colors but don't be ridiculous, old habits die hard.) When I think of spring, baseball immediately comes to mind. I love baseball. I love going to the games, I love watching the games, I love rooting for my team (Chicago White Sox, yes I'm from the South Side.) it's my idea of a good time. But I want to look cute at the games and that requires wearing black. (sorry to those who thought I was converting to all brights.) A few years ago Victoria's Secret started expanding their PINK line with university apparrel. Then came MLB (baseball) and then NFL (football). I love the fact that I can finally support my teams without looking like I shrunk my husbands shirts. Girls are sport fans too, I love that Victorias secret tapped into this market. So I picked up this black tshirt. It's gonna go perfect for opening day with a white long sleeve underneath (I do live in Chicago where opening day tends to be cold.) I also found a few other items I want to purchase. Now if they only carried NHL apparel they would have all the bases covered (atleast for me.)

Last stop, walgreens. I wanted to exchange the Loreal Voluminous mascara I purchased the other day. I changed my mind after using it a couple of times and thinking what's there to like about this. I exchanged It for the Voluminous in original formula, we will see if I like this better. Then I remembered that I needed hand cream and per a friends suggestion I picked up CeraVe moisturizing cream. I used it a couple of times and it definetly soaks in better than the nivea I was most recently using. It also stays pretty smooth and silky while soaking in unlike those that feel heavy on your skin. It's hypoallergenic and has no scent that I can detect which is a plus (scented products seem to dry out my skin more than they moisturize it). And most importantly it works. I compared the price to other similar creams and a tub of Aquaphor, which is known to lock in moisture as well (tried it don't like the greasy gel feeling on my hands) runs you about the same. The only drawback is the big tub it comes in and not a squeeze bottle but I will transfer it into something smaller that dispenses better so not a problem for me.

Things I'm dying to get:

Victoria's Secret sweatshirt and sweatpants PINK White Sox. So cute for lounging around the house when you're not up for

going out to watch the game but still want to wear the colors. BTW they have all the teams on their website so pick up your team apparel and show that girls can be fans too.

Sigma brush set with hard case. I've been wanting to order some Sigma brushes for a while. This seems like a perfect introduction to Sigma. The brush roll is a great idea for me since I travel so much and currently carry my brushes in a pencil case. (I don't really like the traditional brush roll.)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I lost my green

Happy St. Patrick's day. Its one of those days that's just all around fun even if you're not
Irish. On St. Patrick's everyone is Irish, if only for a day. And green is everywhere you turn. There's one problem, not being a color person myself I don't own any clothes in the color green. And I'm not going to buy something so I can wear it once a year. That's the problem with a day like St. Patricks day everyone is so excited but green is not really something that u wear everyday, or ever in my case. So I woke up this morning all excited with a sound solution to this problem. I recently bought a green eyeshadow (Mac humid, my first green eyeshadow I think) and I was going to do a green eye as my St. Patricks day accessory. Genius I know, as if no one else was thinking of doing the same thing. I was running a little behind so I ran out of the house in an attempt to catch the bus, my makeup would just have to wait until I arrived at work, not the first time. I arrive at work with a sea of green surrounding me and I can't find the green eyeshadow or my makeup brushes. I search frantically and have mini panic attack (Breathe) and I soon realize that in my mad rush out the door I must have left the eyeshadow at home along with my makeup brushes. What a tragedy.

I tell myself it's going to be ok, I would just have to improvise without my brushes and accessorizing for St. Pat's would have to wait until later. Plan B kicks in. When I'm in a pinch, q-tips are my go to item. So I search a couple of the airport shops and wouldn't ya know, no one has q-tips.

Plan C. Luckily I have the rest of my makeup with me (I carry it separate from my brushes and my misc. beauty items) so I use the tools I have, my fingers, and the little wooden brush that comes with benefit hoola bronzer (I always take the brush applicators out of all my cosmetics because they are useless to me and just keep falling out but this one was so cute that I just kept it in there even though I don't use it.) Applying my Makeup Forever MatVelvet+ foundation was easy because I usually apply it with my fingers anyway, it blends better that way. Because it's matte and keeps me oil free for most of the day no powder is needed. I use the brush for the first time to apply my bronzer as a contour (it's not horrible for occasions such as this but not a bronzer brush by any means) I use my blushable cream stick from NYC to give my cheeks some color (note to self, always carry some cream makeup in case something like this happens again and knowing me it will). For my eyes I use my paint pot in painterly and then over it I apply my paint pot in constructivist with my fingers and blend and it looks great. (I usually only use paint pots under powder shadow as a primer or to boost the color but they can also be used on their own like this, I have just never tried it.) Since I had the brush I added a nude crease color from my naked palette to smoke it out, but skipping this step would have been fine too. And then I apply pencil eyeliner and smudged that out with my fingers too. Add some lipstick and I'm done. If I hadn't had my cream blush I would have just used some of my lipstick and blended well. So this whole look could have been created with just my fingers with the exception of the bronzer which I could go without. The look took a fraction of the time it would have taken me with brushes and looked just as good. I still prefer application with brushes but the next time I'm in a rush I may just use this shortcut again. The only thing missing was mascara and that was with my brushes so nothing could be done.

Back to the accessories. I was fortunate that one of my coworkers brought oversized neck ties for everyone so I was set there too. I finally felt Irish. At the end of this long day my makeup still looked great (to my surprise) but I had to give back the tie. Once again I was left with no green. I'm in Providence, so close to Boston, how could I go somewhere without green? People would stare (i know I'm being ridiculous). So I head out to the drugstore to get some nasal spray for my allergies ( I left that at home too) but mostly for my mascara ( I'm not going another day without it, and now I could try out a new one) and as I'm walking down the street a few people stare (no really, I'm not imaging this) but I quickly realize that they're staring at my shoes (Vibram FiveFingers) which are something to stare at, cause they look weird and they're gray and green. So not only do I already own something festive i also found my green. Happy St. Patrick's Day

Items purchased as a result: Loreal Voluminous mascara in carbon black

Trend I'm loving right now: ombré hair (I really want to get mine done like this) it's so refreshing compared to just boring old highlights.

Trend I'm hating: wearing a neck scarf as a belt in the belt loops of your pants (especially if it's green for St. Patty's Day and you have an actual belt under it, oh yes she did.)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Shoes and Winter Blues

So I'm in Seattle. Let me start out by saying that I love Seattle (in fact the Pacific Northwest is one of my favorite places to visit.) But like any relationship, this love is complicated. As much as I love Seattle, i can only take so much rain before I have had enough. And considering I had to deal with snow in St. Louis yesterday, I have had enough. So I had this elaborate plan for the day. I was going to go to the market and have a great lunch, OUTSIDE. My next stop was going to be REI Seattle, which I have been meaning to go to for some time (I hear it's impressive) and then the Nordstrom flagship store to browse spring fashions and of course the makeup counters. Mainly I just wanted to walk around the city admiring the gorgeous views. My plans came to a screeching halt as the plane landed and it started to rain.

So I'm sitting here at the hotel looking out the huge window and it's pouring. Not your typical kind of raining like it always does in Seattle rain, but pouring cats and dogs sideways, you can't see the end of the world rain. I'm watching my spring break beauty essentials video before I try to upload it to YouTube and I'm a little depressed. Not because of the video, but because in the video I am on the beach in Fort Lauderdale, where it's spring break, sunny, and at least 80 degrees. And instead I'm stuck here in Seattle. When you think of spring break Seattle is not the first thing that comes to mind. So I sulk. And I do what I always do when I'm feeling this low, I go to the mall.

I put on my new, super cute, bright yellow flats in hopes of getting in the Spring spirit again and like a slap in the face a pain shoots through my feet. Ouch, these shoes hurt, (like new shoes always hurt before you break them in, at least I hope that's what it is because I love these shoes.) I walk out the door with my umbrella in tow, dreading the rain but hoping a little retail shopping will cure my winter blues.
I walk into REI (not the flagship store but It'll do) (flashback: a few days ago I noticed that my Vibram FiveFingers, aka my favorite pair for everything shoes started getting holes on a few of the toes. I called REI to ask if this was normal after a few months of use, if they had any other complaints, and if there was another pair they recommended. The man I spoke with told me to bring the shoes into the store and they would exchange them for another pair. Awesome.) and I head straight for the customer service counter. I explain my situation, the man looks at my shoes, and with a smile on his face tells me to go check out the new styles, and he will exchange them, no questions asked. (I know the man on the phone already told me this but are you serious, just like that, that's insane, I love REI.) So I head to the shoe department and there they are. They are so beautiful. The Vibram FiveFingers Bikila ,a perfect green and gray color match, made for running, made for me, (and perfect for my Spring mood, ha ha). I try them on, and then insist on trying on several more styles, just in case, while all the while never taking the Bikila off my right foot. All of them fit well, and look good but the Bikila hugs my foot with such loyalty. My mind is made up. And just as I'm ready to leave with new shoes in hand I see snow boots out of the corner of my eye. And for just a moment I descend back into my winter blues.
And then they come into focus. The Sorel Joan of Arctic snow boots I have been looking for frantically since winter started. (Online, in every Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack known to man, and in all the REI's) Nor size, nor color were to be found anywhere. And here they were. And here I just saved $100 on my Vibram FiveFingers because of REI and their awesome return policy and their even cooler employees. So I have to have these too. What are the chances they will be my size, and then I see the clearance tag. 1/3 of the regular price. (It doesn't matter what size they are, at this price as long as they are bigger I will wear 5 pairs of wool socks just to rock these boots.) But sure enough, right size, right color. And just like that I'm back to loving Seattle. Without Seattle I wouldn't have Vibram FiveFingers, or my Sorel snow boots. There's nothing that a new pair of shoes can't fix. Oh and did I mention REI and how much I love them? Just making sure.

Things I'm lusting over:

Origins Vitazing SPF 15 Energy Boosting Moisturizer - I love this stuff. Which is surprising because I haven't had the best of luck with Origins products lately. I just have a sample since I didn't want to get burned again. This is a moisturizer that turns into a tinted moisturizer, that's right turns. It comes out of the tube white, and when blended it turns color to match your skin, and gives you that healthy glow. It blends beautifully, and because it's not tinted initially, doesn't leave streaks. It also does not leave a film or residue on your face like some tinted moisturizers. The consistency is neither too heavy nor too light for my combination/oily skin. I have been on a search for a good tinted moisturizer for the warmer months and this may be it.

Lorac Time to Shine Palette plus 3D Multiplex Deluxe Mascara - This seems like the perfect palette for spring time. It's so inspiring with all it's colors. I think this would be perfect for a color virgin like me (I have very few color eye shadows as i lean more toward neutrals). I don't currently own any Lorac products but have heard many great things about them so I feel that for the price $28 this palette and mascara are a no brainer. Even if you just want to try some colors and it doesn't work out you're left with at least four neutral shades in the palette plus the mascara, still worth it. I haven't seen that many palettes out lately that have this great of a mix colors in good quality.

Monday, March 7, 2011

"Are you going on vacation?" "No, I just need a new sunscreen."

Most of us that are beauty conscious wash our face everyday, use a moisturizer, some even use anti-aging creams to prevent or repair what mother nature has given us. Then we put on our face whether its just some lipstick and mascara or a full face of products that include a foundation of some sort. The fair skinned beauties may even have SPF in their foundation or moisturizer. And then we walk out the door ready to take on the day. Forgetting something? I went to Sephora recently and was looking around at all the skin care items, and one of the makeup artists approached me as I picked up a sunscreen and asked, "Are you going on vacation soon" to which I answered, "No, I just need a new sunscreen." She went on to show me her top picks and agreed with me that it is important that we protect ourselves from the sun on an everyday basis. She also added that more than half of the time when someone comes in looking for a standalone sunscreen it's because they are headed on vacation or summer is approaching. If you are like me you don't wear foundation everyday, the skin must breathe once in a while. On those days your skin is exposed to harmful rays that will undoubtedly speed up the aging process. Even on the days that you are wearing foundation or moisturizer with SPF in it ask yourself if it's enough. Most skin care products I've seen aside from standalone sunscreens only have an SPF of 30, at max. That might be ok to get you through the day at the office but definitely isn't enough for that walk in the park or the long commute home. And it's definitely not enough for that Saturday morning farmers market or that afternoon sporting event. So let's make it a priority not to skip that important step of shielding our skin from the sun. In order to postpone the aging process take that extra step now and use a sunscreen everyday and your skin will thank you for it.

My review of the Shiseido ultimate sun protection cream for face SPF 55
(this is a lengthy review but I feel this product/topic deserves it)

I picked up the smaller of the two sizes so I could try the product out without the hefty price tag of $34. It 1.2 oz. And retails for $19.50 at Sephora. That may sound like a lot but on a recent trip to the drugstore I looked at all the sunscreens that are comparable to this and they are up there in the $15+ range. Some of them I have tried and the results have not been this impressive. I like small sizes for a few reasons one being I want to try the product out without committing. The second is that I travel so much that I can only take so much with me. The packaging this product comes in is very nice. Its teal and a golden yellow which makes me think of the ocean and the sun (two instances in which you would need sunscreen for). The colorful packaging is great, with it being the most important product I use (sometimes the only product) I can find it very easily in my bag.

Onto the actual product. I apply is under my foundation after I have toned and moisturized. I have also tried it mixed with the moisturizer i am currently using and it blends well. I find it not to be as thick as other sunscreens I have used and it doesn't take me as long to blend it out. It does leave a slight cast but nowhere near as bad as products I have used it the past. It also does not have that sunscreen consistency when it goes on meaning it sinks into my skin pretty quickly and does not leave my skin feeling like I have sunscreen on (that tacky feeling sunscreen tends to leave behind that's usually followed by an oily mess on the face). In fact it dries to a silky almost powdery finish so it can easily be used as a foundation primer. I love 2 in 1 products. For some it may even be a 3 in 1 product as it does have some moisturizing properties. This is not the case for me in the winter but in the summer I get very oily so we will have to see. It has not broken me out and I have been using it for a little over a week. The smell is pleasant, a smell that you would expect from a moisturizer, and not detectable once applied Other products I have used include the neutrogena ultra sheer dry touch line and the pure and free baby line took forever to blend into my skin and left my skin heavy feeling with a apparent white cast. The only negative thing I noticed about this sunscreen is that it will start to ball up on your skin after extensive strenuous activity. I went running on a warm day in California and after about 90 minutes it started balling up a little. Nothing too gross. I could see this being a problem for those that wear foundation with this under it and do not remove it before working out but it was not an issue for me since I remove all makeup before any physical activity as it has clogged my pores in the past when mixed with sweat. I actually took this negative effect as a reminder that it was almost time to reapply. Waterproof or not sunscreen should be reapplied frequently when exposure is in direct sunlight. I have also included a link below to others' reviews of this product. So this product is a can't live without it product for me and I'm sure it will be for many others.