Monthly Archives: May 2014

Red, White, + Blue Jean

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Starting to feel like summer around here! I felt like picking it up a bit and tossing on some heels in a casual way, so for a particularly warm day, I chose an easy-breezy white summer dress (a total bank-breaker at $5 from the Urban Outfitters Surplus store), tossed on my absolute favorite red 2-strap heeled sandals, and for a touch of casual, added in my favorite J Brand denim vest, and a touch of interest/contrast with my little leopard belt.

I was too lazy to do anything with my hair this day, so I tossed it up, and accessorized with lots of bangles and a couple delicate necklaces. It was a perfect outfit for when I’d been feeling a little sloppy or too casual lately, yet not at all overdoing it for daytime wear. This whole look was a perfect vibe for summer and sun while still being comfortable.

 

Dress: Dolce Vita, via Urban Outfitters Surplus (similar here)
Heels: Zara (similar)
Vest: J brand (similar)
Belt: Target
Shades: Urban Outfitters
Bag: Lucky Penny, via Anthropologie
Bangles: Gifted, Express

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It’s a Jungle Out There.

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There’s not much I love more than an opportunity to mix pieces that we don’t normally visualize to go together. I love taking busy prints and putting them side by side, and without realizing it, when I made this outfit it came back with a bit of a “wild jungle” theme with the bright and colorful exotic leaf pattern in my blouson shorts (extremely comfortable by the way), and the leopard print of my dolman sleeve top. Totally unintentional, but I was ok with the result!

Normally, two very busy prints in two looser-shaped pieces would be a lot on the eyes, and a lot to lose your body shape within, but these shorts happen to be fitted with a high waist.  Not wanting to pull my shirt down into the shorts with a tight fit, I opted to accentuate with this super cool studded belt I found on ASOS and leave the shirt tucked, but tucked loosely, using the belt to define my waist.

I thought this belt was really unique at the time, and I was on the hunt for something a little different that also fit very small at the waist for all of my high-waisted outfits. It can be challenging to find “waist belts” that go as tight as you need them to when your natural waist is pretty high, like on my body. I have long legs, and a pretty short torso, so there isn’t a lot of wiggle room to manipulate where my waist appears to sit within an outfit. I only have one small area that works for belting, and this belt worked perfectly. Not to mention, I was kind of digging the warrior belt style that was happening in recent months. This ended up being the perfect way to break up this outfit. Combined with some jewelry, my favorite black wedges to give me some height, and a pop of pink lipstick, this was a fun little Friday night bar-look.

 

Shorts: Urban Outfitters (circa 2010, similar herehere, and here)
Top: H&M (similar, as a crop, and similar here, tee)
Belt: Minkpink, via ASOS
Wedges: Steve Madden (similar here and here)
Necklaces: H&M, 2020ave
Bracelet: Nasty Gal
Lipstick: MAC “Impassioned” 

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Scarf Print.

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Photos by Jenna Spurlin.

Sorry in advance, almost everything I’m wearing in this post is old. But as always, I’ve done my best to link to similar items. I came across this outfit I had forgotten to post a while back. I had one of my good friends, Jenna, visit a few weeks ago, and since her time covered some weekdays, it was a really chill little relaxing visit. One of her days here we passed through Venice and ate just off the sand at the amazing Venice Ale House. I really recommend anyone stopping through that area grab a bite there. There’s some pretty amazing food on the menu, and you can’t beat the atmosphere of people-watching as you look out at the boardwalk and beach. The weather this particular day was warm, but with a breeze on top, so It was a good choice to go with a sleeveless maxi dress. 

I am really big on prints, especially the detailed patterns of a “scarf print”. This maxi happens to be one of my favorites, and is from F21 last summer. I love the pattern, colors, and the A-line fit of the skirt, and it’s a super comfortable and breezy fabric. Jenna happens to be a fantastic photographer, and she’s snapped an outfit for me before here, but she was kind enough to take a little detour with me before leaving the area to get an outfit shoot in. It’s always awesome to hand her the camera, since we don’t get to see each other very often, and I don’t even have to tell Jenna anything I’m trying to achieve, since she has a super talented eye on her own. If you haven’t seen her work yet, definitely check it out over here! Wonderful photos from an even more wonderful person. :)

This dress is long, so I like to pair it with wedges when I can, and load up on some of my daintier, more geometric jewelry. I always toss on a belt to break it up, and this time a little crochet vest to keep an indie look since it wasn’t too hot a day to layer. This dress is stand-out on its own, and also looks great with chambray, leather jackets, flats (so long as I’m careful not to trip!), and off the shoulder cardigans when warmth needs to be added. The print is colorful enough without being too loud or bright, which means you pretty much can’t mess up wearing this one.

 

Dress: F21, last summer (similar here)
Vest: F21, also old (similar here)
Shoes: Steve Madden (similar here and here)
Bag: DSW
Bracelet: Nasty Gal
Belt: Target (similar)
Necklaces: Francesca’s, 2020ave, H&M

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Summer Floral.

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Photos by the lovely Miss Kelly Black.

So the weather in LA has been scorching hot lately, and it seems like everyone is trying to get as close to naked as publicly acceptable…or some cases, what is not publicly acceptable.  Such as that woman at the beach the other day in her thong, or the girl I saw this morning supporting her very large chest with a very small string bikini who was nowhere near the beach, and nowhere near a cover-up of any kind. And I’m sure the naked woman who frequently streaks through downtown is just having the time of her life today. (Welcome to wacky LA!)

I get it, we’re only 2 degrees off from having triple digit heat as I write this, so I understand the need to lose some layers, however, let’s keep it socially acceptable people! When I need to beat the heat I tend to go for sheer gauzy fabrics, flowy tops and dresses that provide some comfort and ventilation, a fun mani-pedi, and of course bright summer colors. I recently celebrated a friend’s birthday at one of my favorite places, Malibu Wines Tasting Room, deep in the hills of Malibu. It was an awesome afternoon sipping on chilled wine, snacking on cheese and crackers, and attempting to stay cool in that pre-summer sun that is just relentless in the open California air.

Being it was a semi-casual birthday vibe, I of course took the opportunity to wear one of my fun summer sundresses, keeping it casual with a breathable bralette as my choice undergarment, and flat sandals. My wonderful friend Kelly was kind enough to snap a couple of photos for me before the sweating got too intense! I absolutely love bright florals, and I jumped at the chance to wear this dress paired with a fun fuschia clutch and coordinating nail color. For those who don’t know, yellow, especially a golden/canary yellow, is my favorite color, and the bright colors in the floral of this dress means I have a lot of options for adding brightly colored heels or accents to the outfit. This print is about as easy as color mixing gets!

 

Dress: Urban Outfitters, available on clearance in stores, or similar options here, here, and here!
Bralette: Amazon, very affordable
Bangle: Nasty Gal
Clutch: Zara
Shoes: Target! (About 5 years old and I still love them! Similar here and here)
Shades: F21, recently back in stock!

 

 

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Makeup Madness!

So, I have actually had a few comments, emails, or personal requests about my makeup routine lately, which is hilarious to me because I am extremely lazy with my makeup routine. I follow certain beauty bloggers who are a fantastic wealth of knowledge, teaching little tips and tricks of application and product use, but some of them really go nuts with the process. I mean, we’re talking like 30+ steps to get ready in the morning! WTF?! Who has the time or the desire to be a full-fledged Kardashian every day?! Really…fake eyelashes on a Wednesday morning? Pass.

My daily makeup routine is something of about 12 steps. Haha! Look at that, a 12-step program we all might actually enjoy! Kidding…but hello, I live in LA. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely put in more effort on weekends when I’m going out, getting a little dressier for a date night with the boyfriend, or any other occasion that may involve unflattering iPhone pictures and a bounty of Instagram tags. I am no beauty guru, but I’ve loved makeup for as far back as I can remember, and although I do branch out and love trying new products, I tend to have the mentality of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So these are my tried and true classics, pictured IN ORDER of how I use them every day when getting ready. The entire process takes me about 10-12 minutes start to finish. Keep in mind, of the duplicate products shown such as lip color and various mascaras, I only choose one of those (duh)…

But here’s a breakdown of what are currently my top products that I can’t live without!!! As well as application, my take on the products used, and how I use them. I hope at least someone finds this useful. Links to each product can be found in its name. Enjoy!

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1. Benefit “The POREfessional”: Pricey little tube of joy right here, this product goes on like a silky, almost siliconish-feeling balm that mattifies your complextion (I have SERIOUSLY oily skin) and fills out all the large pores to even out your skin’s surface. I often skip this step through the week if I know I’m just going to be running errands, or doing something low key. Since it’s a little more expensive of a product ($31), conserving it for real makeup occasions is not a bad idea. It does, however, do a fantastic job of acting as a matte primer for your foundation and concealer. I notice that when I do use it, my makeup stays in place much better, doesn’t get absorbed into my pores nearly as much throughout the day, and is all-around easier to apply.

2. Make-Up Forever HD Foundation: This is hands down the best foundation I have ever used. It’s so perfect for nights out, and for anything where a lot of pictures will be taken (such as a wedding) because its smooth skin-like texture gives a natural finish instead of looking thick or cakey. This means, touchups throughout the day are handled better, whether you’re applying a little more on top, or soaking up shine with a loose powder. There is also little to no SPF in this guy, which makes it not ideal for everyday wear, but PERFECT for events because the lack of sunscreen in this product keeps from giving you that washed-out look in flash photos. Yeah, you know how you looked white as a ghost in that unflattering iPhone pic last weekend that you said “quick…put a warming filter over this!”….yeah, that’s because your foundation has SPF in it, and the sunscreen product is a flash’s worst enemy. Needless to say, I save this product as well most of the time, and use a MAC face & body foundation for daily use, but I could not live without this product for any other occasion!

3. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer: Hands down my favorite concealer. I actually have this in 3 drastically different colors, and for times when I am REALLY getting done up and going all out on my contouring, I apply these in strategic places on my face in light, medium, and dark…but that’s another topic. My everyday fast and easy contouring uses powder products. This concealer is fantastic, and the texture is so skin-like, fluid, and amazing. I’ll admit MAC foundations are usually just OK at best, but this concealer is on another level. Does brilliant work covering red spots, under-eyes, and blemishes.

4. MAC Sheer Select Loose Powder: This is the only loose powder I’ve ever used, so maybe I’m a little biased, but I’ve always loved the finish and it never does me wrong. I own this in a couple shades as well for when I get darker in the summer and paler in the winter. Loose powder with a pigment in it is definitely not one-shade fits all! Like foundation, you need to adjust this as your skin tone changes with the seasons.

5. MAC Powder Blush in “Harmony”: My oh my! 3 years ago if you would have told me to buy a matte brown blush I would have said Pshhhh, but this is one of my key contouring products for daily wear! Using an angled contour blush, I apply this in the hollow-most part of my cheeks (I have to suck in like a fish to find them) located just below my natural cheekbones. I also apply it to my temples, and brush it along my hairline, pushing upward into my hair a bit, and use it underneath my jawline to define that as well. THIS product is what gives my face depth and shape, and I can’t live without it. I apply this as quickly as it takes to apply blush, and typically for contouring you want to avoid anything shimmery, so the matte-chocolate color is perfect for someone like me with a medium to medium-dark skintone.

6. MAC Powder Blush in “Sunbasque”: Everyone raves about the “universal blush” being the Nars “Orgasm” shade, and while I own that as well, I actually like this one a little better. It’s a little richer in the pigment, and since I have a medium to medium-dark olive tone complexion, I need that extra contrast. I tend to use a lot of the Nars, where as two pats of this in the container with my blush brush and I’m good to go for each cheek. It’s a little cheaper than Nars, and lasts longer. Plus, the peachy-terracotta color works well on almost all skintones. I used this quite often on all of my clients who required makeup when I was a fulltime photographer. I apply this just above my previous contouring streak, blending them, and applying from a little further away from the nose on outward than the Harmony color below it. LOVE IT.

7. MAC Eyeshadow in “Ricepaper”: Well hello little highlighter! That’s right, this is what I use as my quick go-to powder highlighter. It’s a beautiful yellow-champagne-ish color that I use another blush brush to quickly dab this above my blush. I close my eye, sweep it all over my eyesocket area and outward through my under-eye and just above that freshly placed blush! Then I dab a small amount in my T-zone and down my nose (avoiding the tip), and onto my chin. Then, I sweep a little just underneath those cheekbone contours, but before you get all the way to my jawline.

8. E.L.F Eyebrow Duo Kit: Holy cheap! This guy is $3 and is a great dupe for some of the more expensive eyebrow duos out there. I use this, applying with an angle-eyeliner brush, with the dark gel color first to blend and thicken my natural brows, and slightly extend the tail if I’ve overplucked (which is often the case). Then I set with the powdered portion, and use a spoolie brush to whisk my little hairs the direction I want them to go, and to give a natural look.

9. MAC Eyeshadow in “Honey Lust”: If I could only use one eyeshadow for the rest of my life, this would be it. I think I wear this color almost every day. It’s one of those perfect golden shades that compliments warm skin tones, looks great with any eye color, and is not too pale, and not too dramatic to suit literally any occasion. For daily wear, I apply this with no other color, and just let it do the talking before I add my liner. If I wear this out, sometimes I will add a little drama using the MAC Eyeshadow shades “Cork”, “Sable”, or “Knight Divine” in the crease or outer smokey eye area, depending on my outfit and the occasion.

10. Stila “Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner”: Holy crap. I cannot rave about this eyeliner enough. It’s a rich, pigmented black, has a longer pen-like tip that is just the right level of firmness to make application super easy, whether you are a novice or a pro at liquid eyeliner. I’ve tried MANY other eyeliners searching for the perfect one, and this is hands down THE BEST. MAC liquid liner will bleed and smudge…And I recently read that the NYX liquid liner pen is a good dupe for this. It is not! NYX was reminiscent of a sharpie that was running out of ink and leaving lines where you’d go over it for more color. I don’t recommend it at all. This eyeliner is $20 from Sephora, and while you may think that’s a lot for eyeliner, it’s way worth it. A close second would be the Eyeko Liquid Liner Pen for $16. And for the record, the “waterproof” part isn’t totally accurate, meaning you can easily get this off at night. The MAC version smudged so bad that scrubbing would never completely get it all off. The Stila liner is brilliantly workable. It stays put, has the perfect tip for creating beautiful winged lines, and best of all, it’s workable! How bad does it suck when you carefully apply a winged upper eyeliner to both lids, only to find them drastically uneven?? Solution: lick a Q-tip, and firmly swipe it to erase any unwanted areas. This is something the other brands (except the Eyeko) couldn’t handle. You’d be left with a smudgy black mess that you have to quickly try to cover with concealer, or just start over. Boo. Stila rocks!

11 & 12. Benefit “They’re Real” Mascara, and Laura Mercier “Full Blown Volume” Mascara: Both of these work great for me as an everyday mascara, favoring the Benefit just slightly more. Both are heavily pigmented, and give me the appearance of thick natural lash, versus an overdone daily lash. I would recommend either! I go back and forth between the two depending on the day. Something that is important to me is the wash factor of a mascara, and both of these come off clean without leaving lots of residue behind or that blackish morning after smudge on my lower lashline.

13. Maybelline “Rocket Volume Mascara”: This mascara is great, especially for the price, being about half the cost of the previously mentioned mascaras. And while this is raved about as a fantastic drugstore find by beauty gurus all across the blogosphere, it is not great for daily use in my opinion. My lashes are very sensitive, and for not even being a waterproof formula, it’s EXTREMELY difficult to get off.  It takes some serious runs of the jojoba oil, and heavy duty cleansers to get this off. For me, It’s great knowing it will stay put, but my eyelashes have actually fallen out while scrubbing to get this off, so I use it very sparingly. Aside from that, the volume and length added to my lashes is awesome. The wand is near perfect, and the formula is buildable, I will just save this one for my dramatic eyes on a night out only.

14 & 15. Fresh “Sugar” Lip Treatment in “Coral” and “Rosé”: I have the Fresh Sugar lip treatments in almost every color, but these two are my favorites by far. I have perpetually chapped lips, and I don’t know what it is but if I don’t put something on immediately after getting out of the shower, the crack-factor is unbelievable as the day rolls onward. I’ve raved about this stuff before, but it’s like a rich, colored butter on your lips. Giving the perfect amount of pigment without being goopy, too shiny, or too dry like many lipsticks. It’s constantly moisturizing, and the color can be applied to your liking, either lightly for a stained look, or thickly applied for intense color. If you also have dryer lips that flake easily, this is a great product to have on hand when you need color and smoothing moisture. Tip: Keep these in cool places. They melt extremely easily. Not suitable for the beach!

16. MAC Lipstick in “Impassioned”: I’ve posted about this lipstick before, being my favorite shade of the moment. It’s bright coraly-pink color is the perfect pop of pink and pairs well with almost any outfit. I keep this in my bag all the time, and sometimes will pat it down for a more subdued look, and sometimes apply it in full for the extra pow.

17. Nars Lipgloss in “Giza”: Hands down my favorite lipgloss…this nudey-peach color is fantastic, and I truly love the weight of the formula, since it covers well and isn’t too gooey like some other brands out there. Giza is a perfect everyday color, and is absolutely my go-to for a neutral lip. If they ever stopped making it I would die.

Below, is a guide to where I place my three products I use for my quick version of daily contouring! 

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1. MAC “Harmony” blush (matte) is applied to hollows of cheeks, the under edge of the jawline, the temples, and hairline.
2. MAC “Sunbasque” blush (shimmer) is applied from the middle of the cheekbone on outward, in a line just above the contour, blending the two slightly.
3. MAC “Ricepaper” eyeshadow (frost) is applied across entire eyesocket as a base, outward above the blush but below the temple, in the forehead T-zone, down the bridge of the nose stopping before the very tip, and on the chin and cheeks BELOW the contour line, and above the jawline.

 

 

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