Thursday, February 25, 2016

Celebratory Beauty Splurges

I got some really good news last week that was both a thrill and relief! The reality hasn't hit—I feel too lucky!—but I'm beyond excited for this new challenge and chapter. I celebrated on Friday night with crisp Champagne and a savory dinner at The Copper Hen, but feel like I deserve a more lasting reward for my hard work and good fortune than a hot pot pie. The first things that came to mind are right here—it seems the beauty department is where I spend all of my money lately. I feel that good skin, healthy hair and daily pampering rituals are better investments than a closet cluttered with the latest fashion fads, and this round-up reflects that outlook.

one | Amazing Grace Luxurious Multi-Use Body Oil—This multipurpose oil can be used for body moisture, massage and the bath. Working a few drops into my hands and shoulders at the end of the day has become my recipe for a relaxing night's sleep—with a warm bergamot fragrance, it also adds an element of luxury to your morning meditation ritual.

two | REN Flash Rinse 1-Minute Facial—Billed as the sixty-second facial for firmer, younger-looking skin, this caught my eye as Kaley Cuoco's secret for glowing skin at the Grammys.

three | Bamboo Waterlock Mask—This bamboo sap-enriched aquagel works as a ten-minute treatment or overnight mask for skin that feels smooth, hydrated and plumped with water. Nothing feels more indulgent to me than falling asleep with a beauty balm seeping into my skin.

four | Ambient® Strobe Lighting Powder—This sheer strobing powder with micro-pearl particles is designed to sculpt the face with light for a natural highlight. I have fair skin and have been looking for something less intense than a traditional bronzer for definition.

five | Egg Pore Blackhead Steam Balm—Blackheads haven't been a huge issue for me, but I've noticed pollution on my nose. This trending K-beauty balm acts as a steamer to open pores and remove dirt and oil faster than a Bachelor commercial break.

six | NARS Nail Polish in Zakynthos—I get my nails done for special occasions, but can't justify the expense every two weeks. In the lull between the holidays and summer wedding season, I'm committing to at-home manicures with this caramel beige and Dovima, a peppery red.

seven | Juice Beauty Illuminating Primer—Some serums and primers make me break out, so I perked up at Byrdie's report that this age-defying, botanical-rich one from Gwyneth Paltrow-approved Juice delivers that photoshopped effect without causing blemishes.

eight | fresh® Black Tea Age-Delay Firming SerumAge Delay (or "early action") is a term to describe products manufactured for the burgeoning millennial market. This moisturizing oil inhibits free radicals—which are responsible for 80% of skin aging, according to Caudalie founder Mathilde Thomas—and contains peptides for a firm, contoured complexion. I only occasionally use a serum, but need to make it a post-cleansing habit, like flossing after brushing.


How do you treat yourself for accomplishing something major? 


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Beret Revival

My week in a word? Frazzled. Last weekend, I let homemade pizza and a Broad City marathon take precedence over my to-do list, which started Monday on a stressed, distracted note. All I could think about until five o'clock was getting to the grocery store and washing my whites. I slept later than intended on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the morning workouts missed left me feeling frumpy and vaguely irritable. Today, I have the fridge stocked, fresh sheets on the bed, a couple cardio sessions completed, and life generally back on track.

A little trick I learned along the way? The beret. The eternally chic and very en vogue accessory disguises a messy mane when you don't have time to fully style (or have more pressing matters to attend to), while managing to ooze effortless Parisian panache. It has all the comfort of a beanie in a more sophisticated package—and is popping up all over NYC. More for style than warmth (but still functional in brisk weather), the iconic French topper can be worn all year, dressed down for hasty commutes or up when you want the attention.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

4 Routes to Radiant Skin

Do you have a warm-weather getaway coming up? I'm itching for some Mexico sun, but have so far procrastinated clearing my calendar to cash in PTO (anyone else feeling busy, busy?). With how quickly the first part of 2016 has flown, it will be May and the worst of winter past before I get real about scheduling some R&R. So in lieu of languishing on a beach, I hunted down beauty potions that grant an instant post-vacation glow for those of us who are landlocked and freezing. They don't come with turquoise waters or coconut shell cocktails, but these hot products deliver real radiance that won't fade in a few days—plus let you bypass a long flight and wrinkle-causing UV rays.

If you're like me, you have exfoliating, toning and moisturizing down. Infusing your skin with radiance (buzzword alert) is the next frontier—and just the boost mine needs to beat winter dullness and dryness. As a supplement to superfoods like blueberries, salmon and spinach, there are a range of ways to cultivate a youthful, radiant complexion, whether you love winding down the day with a mask or want to add a facial mist to your regimen.

hero image via Gal Meets Glam

THE MIST | Caudalie Beauty Elixir with grape extracts, rosemary & rose oil
Forbes calls facial mists the "must-have beauty trend of 2016," and Caudalie's is a cult favorite. 
It can be used as a priming base or to revive skin midday (see ya, 3:00 slump) with just a quick spritz at your cubicle. 

THE MASK | Kiehl's Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque with turmeric & cranberry 
I try to do a face mask at least once a week and have been expanding my collection. A brightening and invigorating one that restores radiance both instantly and over time is the perfect complement to the two I use regularly: charcoal (for clarity) and coconut (for hydration).

THE CLEANSER | Aveda Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating Cleanser with tourmaline & mango
I upgraded to Aveda shampoo, conditioner and style prep last weekend after cutting corners with drugstore brands recently and am obsessed with how soft and healthy my hair feels. I know the skincare will be equally worth the splurge. 

THE MOISTURIZER | Origins GinZing™ Energy-Boosting Moisturizer with coffee beans & ginseng
I've been using GinZing™ eye cream for a few months—at first just mornings when my eyes were puffier, but now, almost daily. I'm addicted to the light, pearlescent formula and awakening effect. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Satin Bomber

I've always wanted to experience the glamorous frenzy of New York Fashion Week. But the runways are rolled out and models made up for another season—and I'm sitting in Minnesota, just trying to sneak in a car wash before it snows again. For now, dressing as if I'm dashing from Erin Fetherston to Public School will do. Of the nine trends ELLE reports everyone actually in Manhattan will be wearing, the satin bomber is my first priority. Bombers have been "back" for a while, but a sateen finish gives the old-school style a new, luxe quality that would make Bill Cunningham double-back for some snaps. Substantial yet typically worn unzipped, it's the perfect bridge between down coat and crop top to kick off spring shopping. And while normally drawn to black or army green, something about this copper color feels fresher, more daring—more fashion-y. I'll wear it with a rusty brick-red nail lacquer for a tonal effect.

Do you have plans for Valentine's Day this weekend? If you're hitting the town, a hot-shot bomber will offer a trendy, casual twist to a slinky midi dress. I'm excited to check out a landmark Minneapolis piano bar/polka lounge tonight, indulge at one of my favorite Eat Street restaurants on Saturday, and make a cozy brunch while watching non-stop Netflix and hiding out from the snow on Sunday! Enjoy your weekend. xx

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Bodysuits: Two Ways

Once reserved for ballerinas twirling across center stage and daring celebrities strutting down Rodeo, leotards and bodysuits are now fair game for casual fashionistas everywhere—helped in large part by Reformation's notorious 'Avalon' number. A second-skin fit makes them an effortless layer under overalls or tucked into hip-hugging jeans for day, and a modern alternative to traditional camis for night, gracefully balancing wide-leg crops. The clean silhouette appeals to my classic, jeans-and-tshirt aesthetic while offering a more stylish look than a basic sweater or blouse. I'm no Misty Copeland, but see the chic piece swiftly becoming my new uniform.


LOOK TWO / NIGHT | Velvet Plunge Bodysuit | Cropped Wide Leg Pants | Cage Pumps (50% off) 


SHOP MORE MUST-HAVE BODYSUITS

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Get the Look: Bella Hadid

Happy Tuesday! How's your week starting out? After an uplifting haircut (Erica is a wizard with a round brush), gathering my tax-related receipts and paperwork, shampooing my makeup brushes and meal-planning like a mom, I'm feeling QUITE organized! Despite today's forecasted snowstorm, the month ahead is looking rosy, and I'm excited to enjoy it slowly, day by day—clearly, there's a lot to savor just in portions of pre-chopped cucumber and cauliflower. (Ha.)

Besides healthy work-day lunches and an H&R Block appointment, I'm making room in my February budget for some colorful lace-up pumps—an inspiring pop of energy, elegance and sex appeal as winter (and its lack of all of the above) hangs on for a few more weeks. Wear 'em with weathered high-waist jeans to channel model-of-the-moment Bella Hadid.


What shoes do you HAVE TO HAVE this month? 
Scroll to find a few more beauties making me want to blow my forthcoming tax refund.


MORE FUN STUFF 
Song of the Month: Love is Blind (all-consuming—can't stop playing!) | February Horoscopes 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Natural Beauty Beginner's Kit

Don't you love when people surprise you?

I recently met someone from middle-of-nowhere Wisconsin—she wears just a whisper of mascara, knits on weekends, owns a three-chamber slow cooker from which she serves hearty Midwestern meals, and drives a manual transmission Ford. She knows where to find the best pho in Uptown and is currently planning a Thai getaway complete with cooking lessons so she can really learn the culture.

As we walked home from our monthly dinner club under softly falling snow on Monday night, stomachs full of drunken noodles and spicy curry, I learned she used Aveda hair products exclusively for three years straight. I had pegged her a Head & Shoulders girl for sure (to be clear, there's no shame in drugstore shampoo—my shower's stocking $6 Tresemmé), and was surprised by her allegiance to such a luxe brand. But I realized: beyond the intoxicating aromas and relaxing sensations that are truly universal (crockpot in the kitchen or not), Aveda's commitment to using pure flower and plant essences perfectly aligns with my friend's natural beauty inclinations, savvy disposition and worldly spirit.

Immediately, I wanted to get back aboard the Aveda train.

The brand, so much more than haircare, is the perfect supplement to the natural remedies I've recently started adding to my beauty arsenal (apple cider vinegar to clarify hair, peppermint to invigorate the senses, coconut oil to moisturize, rosewater to tame razor burn). I feel like an old-world herbalist in the best way with those jars and bottles lining my medicine cabinet—plus, they're cheap and effective. But I also love convenience and am not crafty; so piecing together an aloe-kelp-jojoba-buckwheat wax concoction, Albert Einstein-style, on a weeknight when my complexion's lacking luster isn't realistic. For those nights, I look to my Aveda lineup—complex masques and cremes ready to go in pretty packages, saving me from bumbling DIY disasters, but still so natural and so indulgent.

apple cider vinegar rinse | peppermint oil | coconut oil | rosewater | image via

Shop my hot-off-the-press natural beauty winter survival system below, focusing on treating dryness & dullness and including some of Aveda's signature wellness products—because it takes more than a fancy face cream to get through this cold, gray weather with a smile.


Hope you have a fun weekend ahead. After a busy week and bit of sickness, I'm simply looking forward to a fresh haircut and lots of rest!