Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Embroidered Denim

Over the weekend, Chris and I toured Paisley Park, the 65,000-square foot compound in the western Minneapolis suburbs Prince called home. It was pretty unreal to walk the same hallways the mysterious, mythical legend walked just a year ago. I never saw him in real life, and so wish I could've. Not many celebs stick around Minnesota and it's crazy to think about Prince chilling just a few miles down the road from my uptown apartment. 

The tour lasted about an hour. The baby blue Bentley, club, countless guitars, Grammys, studios and sound stage were cool—and you could even sample the pancakes Prince famously served at parties—but his costumes were my favorite part. Something about seeing the actual garments he wore was really magical, and about as close to the icon as I'll ever be. Custom fit for someone half my size (seriously—these clothes were TINY!), the intricately patterned, embroidered and bedazzled blouses, suits and heeled boots seemed to vibrate with talent, stories and secrets. 

Wandering through the wardrobe displays, I was reminded of this Vogue story on fall's embroidery trend and the growing desire for clothing with an artisanal, hand-made feel. "Most people don't regularly get to wear embroidered Valentino gowns or Gucci blazers, so a little embroidery on a pair of cutoffs or a t-shirt is a playful nod to couture," says Tessa Perlow. "It just makes a piece feel personal and extra-special." 

Prince's fashions might have been a little out there, but they were undeniably him. Undeniably special. Embroidered denim gives you a taste of that custom, one-of-a kind look—so much cooler than unadorned blue jeans pulled off the rack at any anonymous department store, and still so wearable. It's refreshing to look a little different than everyone else, isn't it?—something Prince probably would've appreciated. Style yours with a simple bodysuit and sleek mules to balance the look.

one | two | three 

Friday, January 27, 2017

My Nightstand: Gel Moisturizer

FRIYAY! This week was sneakily busy, and I haven't been getting much sleep. I was randomly awake until 3AM on Monday and had to force myself to finally close my eyes at midnight Tuesday and Wednesday. Some days there doesn't seem to be enough time to do everything and fully unwind before getting up and starting all over again. 

 Hopefully this sleep schedule doesn't continue, but in the meantime, I'm counting on my skincare regimen to save me from looking like a total zombie. A few weeks ago, I got a makeover at Sephora (here's the recap if you missed it!). I told the consultant that my cheeks get really dry and flaky in the winter and she prescribed Algenist SPLASH Replenishing Gel Moisturizer—a beautiful, silky blue gel. Cooling and soothing, it just sunk into my skin. I wanted to buy it that day, but held off because of the $58 price tag. I'm glad I did—I since read an article (I think on Byrdie, but I can't find it now!) about how you should stop overpaying for moisturizers, cleansers and SPF because the drugstore versions typically do the trick. 

So, I swung through Target and excitedly picked up Neutrogena's new Hydro Boost Water Gel. It's packed with hyaluronic acid to moisturize from the inside out, delivering that plump, dewy skin we all want. The same sky-blue as the Algenist formula (and in a pretty, luxe pot!), it's lightweight and so refreshing—and my skin feels hydrated all day. Thirst: quenched! I've even seen some sites recommend lightly sweeping it over your makeup for a glowy finish. Love a multipurpose product! And at only $17.99, I feel good about committing to it. I'm also super excited to use this once summer rolls around, when my combination skin gets oily in the T-zone. More absorbent than heavier cremes, it'll keep me from looking too shiny throughout the day—the worst. 

I'm a total gel moisturizer convert—and feel pretty savvy for finding this drugstore deal. If you're interested in test-driving one or two yourself, click through my picks at a range of price points right here.

P.S. I'm also using the Hydro Boost Cleanser!—very purifying without drying out my complexion. 
And—if you are super dry this time of year, I suggest trying the Hydro Boost Gel-Cream instead of the Water Gel. 

shop all Neutrogena Hydro Boost | shop all gel moisturizers at Sephora

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

You know those group ice breakers where you're forced to share a fun fact about yourself? Not my forte. I feel like I resort to the lamest stats, like how I broke my nose in high school, which really says nothing about who I am. It's HARD to boil yourself down to a few words! I've always focused more on things and trends than myself on this blog—it's easier, after all—but starting today I'm making an effort to get more personal! I really missed blogging during the little break I took last year, and as I slowly ramp back up, I want to improve and grow. The blogs I like best are those that offer a look at the writer's real life, beyond the bags and OTK boots. So, I'm excited to start letting you in on what's happening in my day-to-day a little more! And to lay the groundwork, here are 10 little tidbits you might not know about me. Take a gander and enjoy your Tuesday!

1. I graduated from the University of Iowa (go Hawks!) where I double-majored in Journalism & Mass Comm and English. I was my sorority's Director of Finance and studied abroad in Scotland during my junior year.

2. Manicures are my necessary indulgence. Essie Meet Me at Sunset and Deborah Lippmann Naked are two long-time favorite shades.

3. I work as a copywriter for a beauty brand. My proudest accomplishment since starting in March is writing the autumn/winter 2017 collection book (stay tuned!)—a task that totally intimidated me.

4. I'm obsessed with homemade hummus, broccoli on pizza and my ideal breakfast is a smoothie and a couple no-bake energy bites. I'm not much of a chef, and prefer to make meals with five ingredients or less (it can be done!).

5. I'm a reality TV fan (yes, #PumpRules!), could read these interviews on The New Potato all day and I always have Good Morning America on in the background while getting ready for work.

6. I've been dating my boyfriend, Chris, for a year. We met at our company holiday party last December and instantly bonded over our shared goal to see local live music every month. And he was pretty cute.

7. The best concert I've been to was Bleachers when I lived in Madison, WI—and I went by myself! #independentAries

8. Machu Picchu and Alaska are on my travel bucket list.

9. I am NOT a morning person. I always wake up for work at the last minute, but feel infinitely better if I'm able to get a workout in right away.

10. I spent summers growing up at my grandparents' lake home in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan—I've always been a water baby and being at the lake is my happy place.

Random bonus fact: I can't stand white sunglasses! Questions? Comments?
Tell me below, let's be friends!

Monday, January 23, 2017

My Newest Beauty Habit

photo via refinery29

Real talk: this gloomy, gray weather is depressing AF. The Minneapolis forecast shows more of the same the next seven days and I'm quietly crying into my coffee. Please send a heat lamp. Over the weekend, a fizzy French 75 at Red Rabbit and bright acai bowl from Whole Sum Cafe brightened my mood—but it would still be nice to see some sun! Need an emergency trip to Mexico NOW.

On a more positive note, I've adopted a new beauty habit, inspired by a conversation on one of my favorite podcasts, Fat Mascara. Have you heard of the "French face"? We all know moisturizing is key to preventing fine lines and wrinkles, but if you're like me, you don't religiously apply serums and cremes south of your chin. French women go there—somewhere between baguettes, the ladies of Paris and Provence manage to give their neck and decollete as much attention as they do their faces.

In your twenties or thirties, it might feel like overkill to slather expensive products all the way to your bust—before you start seeing lines, it's hard to imagine having them, right? Plus, it's easy to forget about skin that's been hidden beneath turtlenecks since October. But just as we buy special cremes for eyes, delicate neck/chest skin requires a special kind of maintenance. And they say once you have lines on your neck, good luck getting rid of them. It freaks me out that I already have a few. Blaming #techneck.

Now, I'm turning to tarte's maracuja neck treatment in an effort to stay smooth. Over time, it improves elasticity and promotes cell regeneration while reducing the appearance of those pesky lines—oui oui. Here's to being a bit more French! Now, about Mexico . . .

Shop all neck and decollete products at Sephora

Monday, January 16, 2017

The #1 Thing in My Winter Wardrobe

Happy MLK weekend! Having an extra day makes all the difference, doesn't it? I've been battling that lingering cold everyone seems to have—my nose will NOT stop running—but feeling less than 100% was a good excuse to stay in and slow down. Chris gave me a Canon Rebel for Christmas and these past few lazy days were the perfect opportunity to hunker down and figure out the manual settings. Once I got a (slippery) grip on aperture, shutter speed and ISO, my sister was generous enough to head out to Lake Harriet with me for some test snaps. I had so much fun! Basically, I'm going to have my camera slung around my neck like a nerd everywhere I go from now on. Yay!

Joggers were the name of the game this weekend, so I included a few of my favorites at the end of the post—easily my #1 winter wardrobe essential. They make Netflix nights feel chic and with the right footwear and styling, add a cool comfort factor to shopping days and dinner dates when you do find the motivation to venture out of the house (Elle Strauss agrees. I love her rule to stick with gray or black—get her tips.) Hope you had an equally restful and cozy long weekend!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Special Sweaters

(all $206 and under!) 

Standing in line at a winter beer dabbler one year ago, my boyfriend and I officially started dating. We've basically been attached at the hip since we met, and I'm excited to celebrate our little milestone with fancy Italian food this weekend. But when I think about what to wear, I'm a little stuck—because while Christmas is over, the cold is not—and looking cute while bundled in the eight layers required to fight the Minnesota freeze is not easy.

Happily, sweaters with special details are having a moment—and a little texture, subtle peek of shoulder or sporty lace-up is really all it takes to make a basic silhouette date-night ready. This is already in my cart, and I love the '70s vibe of this ivory Endless Rose pullover—cable knit cotton keeps you cozy while dramatic tiered sleeves lend it a boho-glam look that's just the right mix of feminine and modern for slurping spaghetti in a candlelit enclave.

How are you staying warm and stylish this winter?

Friday, January 6, 2017

Pretty Minis

With the Christmas tree packed away and the swirl of the holidays settled, I've started thinking about how to spend the money gifts I received from my grandma, my boyfriend's dad and a handful of other relatives. A friend of mine has this slouchy tasseled pouch that I eye enviously whenever we grab burgers at The Nook or beers at Bunny's, and it made me realize my own options for a small handbag aren't much beyond formal evening clutches. Since there are more casual hangs than fancy galas in my future, I decided to cash in on a few mini bags that have a low-maintenance vibe.

This leather pouch by Comme des Garcons is where it's at—made in Spain from supple leather, the minimalist design is versatile enough for day or night, and attainable, at $135. When it comes to crossbodys, I like 'em teeny-tiny with a delicate chain strap and gold hardware (so cool with jeans a la Keira Knightley)—the Furla Metropolis Mini comes in ten colors and is the perfect hands-free accessory for sports events, concerts and brewery tours. A phone wallet is so practical, keeping things light as you dash to work-week lunches and breezy happy hours. And a coin purse might seem a little useless, but the secret is using it for more than spare change. I love this buttercream-colored style (pouches available in the same shade!) to store lip balm, bobby pins and blue oil—little things I reach for all the time, easily lost in a larger tote.

My satchel is great for the everyday work grind, but lightening up with something smaller is really freeing—and having the right bag for the right occasion makes me feel like I'm doing life RIGHT, you know? How are you downsizing this season?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx™ Peeling Gel

Back to reality today! I haven't been to the office since December 21—and even though I'm anxious to open my inbox, I'm ready to get back into a more productive routine. Before you settle into your cubicle, grab some coffee—if you're in the mood for fresh starts (isn't everyone this time of year?!), you're going to want some of this..

Over the weekend, I popped into Sephora for a free makeover. I almost didn't go, having had less than stellar experiences with professional application in the past—but I had the afternoon off and thought if nothing else, I could snag a new lipstick as one last Christmas gift to myself.

I'm so glad I went! I hadn't realized skin care was part of the consultation, but it was actually the best part. My beauty advisor began by wiping away my foundation and concealer with a cleansing water (such a great way to get rid of gook pre-wash)—then the magic happened: the Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx™ Peeing Gel.

Carly spent a few minutes massaging the gel into my cheeks, forehead, nose and chin, then told me to look in the mirror—my face was covered with dead skin cell flakes, like I'd been caught in the crossfire of a whipped cream war. GROSS, I know, but it felt so amazing to lift and sweep all that residue away. My skin was instantly baby soft and the congestion around my nose gone—a far deeper clean than I've gotten from a mask—a layer had literally been shed to reveal cleaner, more luminous skin. The new smooth surface let the moisturizer she applied later sink in more readily and the makeup look more flawless. I've never been so convinced I needed a product (I mean, the results were palpable); I'll use the gel once a week to keep the fresh-faced look alive all year.

Get yourself some peeling gel, shop the other products that are helping me feel hydrated and glowy this morning—and have a great day back at the office!