Friday, December 5, 2014

Abandoning Clarisonic

I worked in the cosmetic industry for nearly 3 years.When Clarisonic was launched, it was all the rage. I used a discount to get one for myself- the Mia. I started using it, and I liked it, I thought. It was important that I liked it, because the industry was pushing this product. Every retailer was trying to sell more than the others, there were contests, there were prizes. I tried different brush heads, but it never got rid of all my acne. In fact, some of the brush heads worsened my acne, and I ended up with cystic acne. I upgraded my Clarisonic, I tried everything, but the only thing that worked? I could only use it 2 times a week. Most people were using it 2 times a day. It improved my skin, only slightly. 

About a year ago, I heard about this new product, the Foreo Luna. I researched the product- no brush, poreless silicone, 5 month battery life- and it seemed too good to be true. It was definitely popular in Great Britain. Then it started appearing in Sephora. I continued to think about it, read more reviews, and consider investing. 

I decided to invest in the product, knowing if it affected my skin in a negative way that Sephora has a great return policy. I have used it exactly twice. My skin has never felt this good. It is smooth, even toned, and all of my products absorb immediately. I like that it's completely hygienic, no additional costs for brushes, can be used in the shower, and it's fairly priced at 139 for the mini. 

Basically, I do not regret this decision at all. If you're considering Clarisonic at all, or want to step up skin care, I'd definitely recommend this product. Just not the Luxe one (who needs a gold or platinum base for $6500)

Monday, June 30, 2014

An Argument for Comfort and Fashion

First and foremost I want to respond to someone who asked if I was only going to invest in one beauty product what would it be? For me? Skincare, mascara and foundation. All Chanel, all the time. But ask what is the most important part to your makeup. If your skin looks great it'll just be mascara.

Secondly, I am still working on living on a budget. This will make its way into this piece.

But tonight I want to talk about the 90's. If you're not aware, it's making it's comback starting in fall of 2013, so get on the train. I think when people think of the 90's right now they're forgetting things. It wasn't all crop tops and baggy jeans for fashion (you can all praise Marc Jacobs for that- he lost a job at Perry Ellis over grunge, but it worked out in the end). It was about comfort for the sake of fashion. Doc Martins were still cool, but flow-y maxi dresses; long hippy hair; plaid... it was all cool. And fortunately we are skipping past the hideous transition from the 80's to the 90's and skipping right to grunge or Clueless. And I think that the way to modernize the 90's is to combine the two. Comfort and fashion? In the 90's they were both about making a statement- combining I-don't-give-a-shit attitude with the I'm-the-elite attitude is the future of these trends, what would have happened if Cher Horowitz had been able to be friends with that cute skater boy played by Brecken Meyer (also what was his name in that movie?)

So tonight I present my argument in the name of comfort and fashion... My desire for trendy Birkenstocks.

And yes. I screen shot that off my iPad. Adorable, comfy, platform sandals. Trendy? Yes. Overpriced? Not really. And honestly, every company is making their own version of it. So I found the ones for me. Target is doing a gladiator interpretation for about $33. Steve Madden did cow fur/skin ones. Marc Jacobs has his version, and you can't go a page on Nordstrom without seeing some version of the shoe, half of which are produced by Top Shop- the kingdom of trend. Next year they'll be at Forever21, and all over everywhere. But this year? I'm challenging myself to try new trends, seek more fashion, and, as always, if it's good enough for Vogue, it's good enough for me. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Budgeting; or a Guide to Fabulous Adulting

For the majority of my adult life I've been told that eventually everyone you know gets married and starts a family. I am at this point in my life. It seems like LITERALLY everyone I know is having getting married or having babies or both. And all the while I'm off in single land, enjoying spending my money on $35 lipstick and buying all the shoes.

As far as I can tell, marriage changes all the expenses. Maybe it's not marriage, it may actually be buying a home. But either way, at some point priorities change. Husbands, wives, houses, babies, but at some point stiletto pumps and the perfect mascara fall to the end of the list. So, I've been thinking about all of my friends, my new moms and new home-owning friends, and everyone who is trying to be fabulous for less.

So for you lovelies, I'll be taking a look into how to work on a budget, trendy bags, cute shoes, perfect lipstick, great hair products all on a serious budget. So, as a series for my ladies, I'll be putting together budgeted items and where to get them.

To start, makeup, for the lady on the go:

I follow the Jeremy Renner guide to quick makeup: lips, lashes, brows. I can't live without some kind of foundation too. But for a lady on a budget, here's a plethora of low-cost items to help.

In terms of drugstore brands, I love Maybelline for many of my products.

I love all three of these, but my favorite is Colossal Volume in waterproof. It's great for a day where you're not going to have a lot of mirror time. These run around $5.00 at Target or Walmart. I would recommend a lash primer with them as well, but they work alone as well.

If you don't love Maybelline, this Loreal mascara is amazing.

It runs around $10.00 at Target or Walmart.

I'd recommend the Maybelline 24 Color Tattoo in terms of shadow. There's a lot color options, and they apply easily with your ring finger. If you're really low maintenance, pick a neutral color, you just need one color.

These run between $4.00 and $6.00 at drugstores.

For your brows, a matte shadow goes a LONG way. You can also use this as a smudgy eyeliner.

Revlon's matte shadow works like a dream with an angled brush to fill in brows. Maybelline has a brow powder around $5.00 at Walmart, and the eyeshadows run between $3.00-$6.00. 

I also recommend an eyeliner, just to line your top waterline. Rimmel has a good eyeliner, and it smudges less than most drugstore brands (Please note: I struggle to recommend here. I swear by Chanel and Marc Jacobs liners. They don't smudge and last forever.) 

These run around $4.00. I like the lighter colors, browns, and the beige is always a great selection to highlight the lashes. 

In terms of lipsticks, there are 2 I recommend. I am currently OBSESSED with Flower from Drew Barrymore. It's only available at Walmart. I got Desert Rose. It runs about $7.00 

The best part about it is the texture isn't grainy or sticky. 

But for something longer wearing, Loreal Infallible Lip Stain is fantastic. 

These run around $10.00. they do last all day, but I'd recommend only using them a couple of times a week because they are fairly drying. 

These products alone will give you a nice, clean fabulous look. Add a foundation or tinted moisturizer- Maybelline's Fit Me foundation is good, but is a bit oily, Maybelline's Dream BB Cream is great, and I would definitely try any of the Flower products, especially the Tinted Moisturizer; a Physician's Formula bronzer and you're set for the day. But just for the recommended products, even if you buy the most expensive you're looking at less than $40 before tax. And the lip products, brow, eye shadow, and liner will last at least 6 months. So, realistically, that's less than $10 a month. 

I don't ever want anyone to think that I don't respect people who are married with kids at my age. I have so much respect for that, and trust me, I think you should be every bit as fabulous as everyone else in my world. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Needs- non clothing

I'll come back and tell you all about what happened with Nordstrom, but I found the dress and some amazing clothes.

This spring, though I think there's a lot being overlooked. There are certain things that every woman needs to have, especially in that transition from winter to summer. Spring is always a good time for rebirth and reinvention. So it's always a good time to revisit what you need to get you through the summer.

First thing you need: Sunglasses.

For sunglasses, I have one recommendation. Find one pair you love, show them to 3 different people, invest in them, and take care of them. Then spend $14-16 on cheap, trendy pairs at Target and Forever 21. For me, I cannot live without my Marc by Marc Jacobs cat eyes. I spent $75  on them, and I love them. I also can't live without my heart-shaped skull glasses. But get ones that work for you. I always recommend Ray Bans. If you want the best aviators check out Michael Kors and Tom Ford. And if you prefer oversized Jackie O. glasses, look at Chanel and Tory Burch. But remember classics are the ones to invest in. If you want something with a lot of color or super on trend, definitely check out some lower priced sun glasses. You'll love the classics for longer, and won't feel bad when the cheap ones go into the pool.

The second thing you need: The perfect summer lip.

For me, this year, it's pink. I'm all about pink. For this summer, my big investment was in Pantone's color of the year, Exotic Orchid. I also went with a baby pink from Lancome's Rouge in Love line. I also swear by Secret by Chanel (Rouge Coco Shine), Shiaap by Nars, and Saga by Chanel (again, Rouge Coco Shine). For those who like less color, try Boy from Chanel.

(Glasses from Target, Lipstick from Sephora, Pantone Exotic Orchid.)

The Third Thing You Need: Fragrance

The best part about spring and summer is moving away from the dark mysterious scents that are perfect for winter. I love my winter scents- Chanel Coco Noir and Chanel Allure Sensuelle- but spring and summer are all about the lighter, airier scents. I personally go to Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere, Marc Jacobs Daisy or Lola, and Calvin Klein's Downtown. I'm also OBSESSED with Bond's I *HEART* NY, but it's a unisex, year-round fragrance. I also recommend Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle and Chance Eau Fraiche or Eau Tendre. If you want something different, check out Gucci's Flora.

The Fourth Thing You Need: Texturizing Hair Product

Nothing says spring and summer like super-texturized waves. I can't say enough about having a great spray to give your hair body and texture. I love the bumble and bumble salt spray, but this year, I'm trying the Not Your Mother's texturizing salt spray. Don't forget to make sure you use an oil to add moisture back into the hair.

The Fifth Thing You Need: Bronzer

I know I'm ready for summer when I bust out the bronzer. It can give glow, add color, and provide a summer glow depending on how you use it, and which products you use. Personally, I swear by Chanel Les Beige and Chanel Soliel Tan de Chanel's Sunkissed and gel bronzer. Depending on the look you are going for Estee Lauder's summer bronzer's are always great and add shimmer. I also recommend Dior Nude, and Physician's Formula for a drug store brand. If you're looking for an all-over body bronzer, check out St. Tropez's mousse or Lancome's leg. Those are great self tanners that are easy to apply and are never orange.

The 6th Thing You Need: Lipbalm/Chapstick

It's spring. You're outside. It's warming up and the wind is blowing and your lips? They're feeling dry. Like you haven't had water in months. Yeah, it's so important to have something to keep your lips feeling good. I have Marc Jacobs Lip Lock Moisture Balm. It's minty and cooling, but thick and moisturizing. I also always have at least one Baby Lips tinted balm with me. I am loving the new extra strength colors for spring, especially in coral.

The Seventh Thing You Need: Perfect Ballet Flats

I'm always feeling Bridget Bardot. Always. But in the spring, nothing feels more natural than a cobble stone street, a vespa, and the perfect, comfortable ballet flats. Steve Madden is making them in so many colors, but if you want cheap, trendy ones, again I suggest Target, Forever 21, or H&M. They're easy to wear on a spring walk, but they're great for brunch, dates, leisurely bike rides, and ice cream dates. Okay, no one goes on ice cream dates, BUT IF I DID I WOULD WEAR THESE SHOES! (The color is called carnation. It goes great with emerald.) 

The Eighth Thing You Need: A Camera

I'm watching all of my friends get older and yet, spring is when we are all out doing fun things. Whether it is travelling the California coast on your honeymoon or celebrating the newest edition to your family- either the new baby or new dog- we are all creating memories. I feel like we are all so much on the go and we always are using the cameras on our phones. Don't forget to print some out, keep, and have to look at. Personally, I invested in an instant camera. I will never print out pictures, so this will be some fun to have for the next few years.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Nordstrom Stylist pt.2/What to Wear to a Wedding

So, I reached out to Nordstrom again. This time I got 2 replies, one within 24 hours, one a few days later. So I set up an appointment with a woman named Krista and I have the appointment tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it, if I feel a connection I think I'll actually have her help me find a dress for a wedding I'm going to at the end of March.

But more importantly, I'm fixated on what to wear to the wedding. My friend, who knows me very well, told me, "It's no big deal, wear whatever, it's not black tie." GREAAAAAAAAAAAAAT. That leaves the door open. And please don't get me wrong, she knows I won't show up in boyfriend jeans and a tank top, She knows me well enough to know I would show up looking good, but this is a moment to wear something fun. Of course, I'm digging through the internet looking for what one should wear to a wedding. I have a zillion dresses, of course, but I'm still torn on what to wear. Part of me wants a cool jumpsuit to wear. Part of me wants a fun, tea length party dress. Of course I could wear a sexy cocktail dress- boooooring, but if I paired it with a cool oversized cardigan and funky jewelry that would be fun. I have this great Calvin Klein dress that I'm worried would be too short, but opaque tights solve problems.

So, right now I'm researching, and I feel like there's no answer. It's the most ambiguous event I've ever attended. You see, I've missed every wedding since graduating college. I am committed to career and I've chosen work over weddings every time (all my weddings have been travel weddings. I was often told no I couldn't go.)

Of course I'm wondering if  a jumpsuit would be appropriate- I always want to wear a jumpsuit. I could class-up something like this by removing the belt and adding a better one, adding jewelry.

But then part of me wonders about a classic party dress, easy, and minimal accessorizing needed- it's hard to travel with accessories. Maybe something like this in a different color. 

The sexy dress/cardigan idea is something I am keeping in mind and toying with, but it would be something I need to work on conceiving in my head. But it may end up being something completely different. I guess only time will tell- though I don't have a lot of time.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Nordstrom Personal Stylist

So I know some of you will be surprised to find out I've been doing a lot of ordering from Okay no one is surprised to find that out. But I've been ordering, specifically lingerie. I've found a gorgeous British line that fits well and it so pretty- not an easy feat in a 36 G. Not at all. So, I've been visiting their website and ordering, because they don't carry the line in the Denver stores, except minimally. So, I've been getting emails about rating things and what I think, so I've been looking through it quite a bit.

The other day I was going in to rate my newest acquisition, an awesome honey-colored piece (sounds like I need to do a lingerie entry no?), and I saw an opportunity to set up an appointment with a personal stylist. I've always thought I'd be good at that, but I want to see what Nordstrom was offering. So I signed up, asking for an appointment. Very excitedly, I filled in my info, requesting an email response, and it told me I'd here back within 24 hours. So, I've been checking my email every thirty minutes or so for the last 2 days and still... nothing. I'm sad. I'm hoping that I'll hear something still, but I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't hear within the time frame advertised.

But all of this does pose the idea of letting people in to make judgement on style. Part of the thing is I know I will get into a rut. I mean, I would never purchase 4 of the exact same skirt and wear it all the time, never. Only I totally did. I know I'm overly obsessed with finding the perfect oversized cardigan and seeing what's out there. So that's why I'm pretty disappointed... Oh well I guess I can save the $120 I was planning on spending and take myself to a museum this weekend. And also get coffee. And maybe buy everyone in the bar a drink.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Defining and Inspiring Style

Style comes from everywhere. Television, movies, books, history, high fashion, street style, Vogue, art, etc. will serve as inspiration. But what happens when that ends?

I just finished watching the last season of Gossip Girl, aka my style inspirations. It wasn't hard to dig for those perfect styling moments, in fact it was easier to forget some. From Blair's effortless Elie Saab wedding dress to Serena's perfect Diane von Furstenberg at fashion's night out, and everything in between, the show screams fashion. It's so in fashion, one of spring's biggest trends is featured here...

...and it's been off the air since 2012!  The wrap headband is perfect. 

This point tonight is not to rehash my obsession with (what started as a) teenage gossip show, but to question where the next great fashion inspiration comes from for the individual. I can go on and on about Marc Jacobs and how his shows constantly influence my style choices, or how Burberry Prosum's spring 2014 line was like a little bit of heaven for me, but really I think that for most people, individual style comes from more accessible places- television, film, and magazines. 

So, while I can watch The Devil Wears Prada 15,000 times, it is always important to remember to branch out and find those new inspirations. I know for a lot of people American Hustle fits the bill. I think the movie is interesting, but there were fashion moments that transported me right out of the movie- a recent Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress can be seen on Amy Adams, which took a lot of my attention. 

Instead, I've been looking to bloggers and the internet for that inspiration. Carrie Bradshaw will always be  an inspiration, as will the Blair Waldorf, but now it's become more apparent that it's about tangible, real fashion- which is part of the past with current trends, taking back fashion for everyone. Instead of maxing out credit cards, it's maxing out what is in your closet. And I'd like to see that in pop culture. Instead of it being
"real"- movies and tv are rarely realistic- I want to see some real street style put into pop culture. See girls in high waisted pants and flowy shirts or an oversized sweater and leggings. But, I guess for now, we will have Girls and wait for the next network tv show to really nail current trends.