Friday, May 31, 2013

Jonesing for Summer

That season is almost upon us!  With the heat this past week, it could be argued that it already is, but I like to count a few consecutive days without the threat of thunderstorms before I commit wholly to the summer.  But, in preparation, I've assembled some goodies that will totally make for a great summer look.

Perfect Summer Prep and Wear

You've got to keep your hair out of your face if you want to rock a summer glow!  I love this simple headband from BCBG, adds a little glam without being too dressed up for casual beach time.  Of course, you've gotta protect your skin, so lay on the sunscreen and go for an ultimate self-tanner.  I've had my eye on the No Sun Tanner by Perricone MD for quite some time, and I'm hoping it will join my summer kit soon.  Keep those lips moisturized with a fruity lip balm, and don't forget to exfoliate your legs to keep 'em looking nice and healthy!  My favorite scrub is Soap & Glory Flake Away Sugar Scrub.  Tough enough to do the job, but soft enough not to irritate, plus it smells exceptional.

To jazz things up, I've been eyeing the Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick.  Long-lasting and hydrating, with a big punch of color, I think it would look stunning with a tan.  Swipe on some black mascara, accent those nails with a summer orange like Nina by Julep, and you're good to go!

What look are you going for this summer?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dog Dog Dog

This guy lives somewhere in my neighborhood.  I consider it a personal triumph whenever I come across him (or her).  Thanks for making my day yesterday.

May your  Thursday be full of excellent dog sightings, friends.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer 2013 Eye Color: Shockingly Sultry

Summer 2013 Eye Color

Hello, hello, hello, friends.  How are you on this late spring day?  I'm just dandy, and the weather heating up is making me wonder what the best looks for eye makeup will be this summer.  I took a gander at some of the new offerings from MAC, Bobbi Brown, and NARS, and it seems to me that the trend is sexy eyes, whether shimmering or shocking.

As much as I would like to think that I could find a casual way to pull off the NARS duos, it would be best to admit that I'd be relegating those to nighttime looks.  I love the brightness, though!  The Temperature Rising and Bare My Soul Eye Palettes from MAC look to be the best for transitioning from day to night, but I suspect the offerings from Bobbi Brown could make the switch, as well.  Above all else, however, is a swipe of deep black mascara.  When you just feel like a simple and sophisticated look in the summer, that's the best way to go!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Welcome to the Summer

It's Time to Wear White

Hallelujah, the unofficial start to summer has arrived! With Memorial Day comes the annual lifting of the fashion ban on wearing white (although some have always played a little fast and loose with that rule).  I say go bold with a multi-level maxi, as long as you don't forget to check your seat before you wreck yourself.  In honor of the warmer months, go for bright colors that jump out against the white, really drawing attention to the contrast.

Accessories-wise, you could go classic with studs and a bangle, or shake things up with some funkier pieces, like this adorable little camera necklace from Urban Outfitters.  You can click through to my Polyvore to check out the links for all these goodies.  I know I can't wait for the weather to really commit so I can break out a look like this.

What's your favorite way to wear white during the summer?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Trend Alert: Stila Convertible Color in Gerbera

Guys, you're right, I totally gave in.

In my travels this week, I stumbled upon a store that still had Stila Convertible Color in Gerbera in stock.  This shade in particular seems to be a bit of an obsession in the beauty world at the moment, and I seized the opportunity to give it a try.  On me, the color is a bit too chalky to work as lipwear, but it is the perfect blush shade, giving my face a nice, healthy glow.  The texture is slightly heavier than you would normally get out of a cream blush, but that's because of it's dual nature.  It blends exceptionally well, and it comes in a cute compact that pretty accurately reflects the color inside.

All in all, I see this being a summertime staple, as it adds a nice freshness to any look and it's easy to apply.  Bonus: the mirror inside doesn't suck!  That's a win for everyone.

Are you switching to cream blushes for the summer?

Stila Convertible Color in Gerbera ($25) available online at,, and and available in store at Sephora and Ulta.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Take Alternate Route

Observe: Julep Nail Varnish in Nina (which is my twin's name!). This color is some kind of mix between creamsicle and traffic signal, with a little tangerine thrown in for good measure. It applied really well, a nice opaque cream, but something quite strange happened while I was wearing it. I was just going about business as usual when each nail started to peel off wholesale. It seems the polish did not adhere to my nail at all. Which means no staining, but also no lasting power. Perhaps I didn't wait long enough for my basecoat to dry. I really love the color, it's perfect for early summer, so I'll definitely be giving it another try, but if the same thing happens again, I'll have to relegate it to accent color.

Le sigh

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Weekend in Chicago with Wore Out's Caitlin

This is part of a dual post with the fabulous Caitlin Pierce of Wore Out: A Burlingtonian Style Blog.  I've had the pleasure of reading her blog since I started blogging, and her support of my blog has been invaluable to me.  Not to mention she's super stylish and a great writer!  Head here to check out her tour of her lovely New England home!

Hello all! There is a heck of a lot to do in Chicago, but I’m going to give you my weekend tour, which is heavy on the eating and light on the touristing.  In my opinion, that’s the best way to see a new place and get a feel for how the locals live!  You may not know it, but Chicago has some of the best damn food in the country (and that’s coming from someone who insists that everything is better on the East Coast).

Let’s get started on your weekend tour!

You’re tired. Your flight was probably delayed, because you were flying into Chicago (hey, just keeping it real).  What you really want is some delicious, hearty food, and a relaxing drink.  Enter: DMK Burger Bar.

Located just off the Wellington stop on the Brown Line, here you’ll findmany a fine burger, as well as a ridiculously long beer list and a cocktailmenu full of new things to try. True, you will see a lot of plaid, but there’s already plenty of that in New England, right?  You must be used to it by now.  The hipster factor is well worth the experience, and the soundtrack ranges from high school pop-punk to the Black Keys without a skip. 

My favorite: I change my mind every time when it comes to the burgers, but you must not leave without sampling the fries, preferably all of them.
Look at those delicious, waistline destroying fries...ahhh.  On to the next!

Because you're doing this my way, we sleep in.  Yeah, you work a regular job that requires you to get up early in the morning, and so you wake up a couple of hours earlier than me, but whatever.  When we're finally all prepped and ready, we head down the the Armitage El stop and swing into Glazed and Infused in the lovely environs of Lincoln Park, home of some of the most delicious doughnuts I have ever tasted.  If we're in luck, they'll have a glazed blood orange doughnut (or six or seven) available.  After enjoying those on the shore of beautiful Lake Michigan, straight east of that doughnut haven, we'll head back to my neck of the woods for a quick rest.

After our restful moment, we can head out to grab a quick bite at Café Tola on Southport Avenue, home to some of the most delicious empanadas I've ever eaten.  My personal favorite is the goat cheese, plantain, and black bean empanada.  Eat a couple of those and you'll be perfectly ready for a night out on the town (drinking, I'm talking about drinking).

Then, we get dolled up and hit the town!  There are so many great (and crappy) bars in Lakeview and Lincoln Park that it's impossible to single them out, but my favorite way to get out on a Saturday night is to start in Lakeview and just see where the night takes you.  It's the way to be, and as long as you're with friends, the North Side is nothing but a good time.

Because it was the cheapest flight, you unfortunately have to head towards the train on the early side.  Because I'm me, I say, let me make you breakfast!  My new favorite breakfast is just a simple soft-boiled egg on a slice of toast smeared with a lemon herb aioli.  My current staple is from Stonewall Kitchen, which I pick up at Southport Grocery and Café.  It's just about my favorite thing to put on EVERYTHING.  And you'll love it, too.

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend with me, and if you're in the Chicago area, I suggest trying this itinerary yourself.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sun and Drinks and Hats, Oh My!

Here are some of the photos I took in the course of celebrating my best friend's completion of 1L!

It was a beautiful weekend in Boston, and many celebratory drinks were had.  I decided to try my hand at wearing a sun hat, and I think I pulled it off quite smashingly, if I do say so myself.  I picked it up from Anthropologie.  I love the detail around the hat band and the orange woven into the crown.  It feels very chic and is helping me avoid wearing sunglasses when it's so hot that they slide down my nose.  Isn't that the most annoying?  I certainly find it so.

I hope you're all having a lovely Tuesday!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekend Haul: Boston Edition

Happy Monday everyone!  I have returned from my sojourn to Boston, and I had the loveliest time there.  I apologize for not getting a post up on Friday, but my best friend's wireless was being very difficult in that it was only working for 30 seconds at a time, which was not conducive to completing a post.  Anyway, I'm back, and I'm gonna show you a few of the goodies I picked up in that shopping mecca, Boston's Prudential Center.

They have a rather large Sephora, and I simply could not resist its wiles.  Here's what I came away with:

I've had my eye on the lipstick and the blush for a few minutes, but the lip gloss just jumped out of nowhere, screaming at me that it was a perfect summer color.
The blush palette is Pierre Hardy for NARS in Boys Don't Cry, in case you couldn't tell from the packaging.  There's just something about the smooth black, matte finish of a new NARS product that I find absolutely intoxicating. When I first spotted this in person a few weeks ago, I was immediately attracted to the beautiful design, neon coral pink with shimmering gold details.  However, the blush seemed like it might be too BAM, so I resisted.  Finally in a situation in which I could try it on, I took the cautious approach and discovered that, not only is it a fantastic color, but a little bit goes a really long way and the color is really buildable based on how ferocious you're feelin.  The gold is really more for show and gets lifted almost immediately upon use, but I dig matte colors, so I think this is a real winner.

Next up, I got my hands on an Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté in No. 11 Rose Culte.  A true hot magenta, it can be applied straight from the tube for a full coverage smack of color or with a lip brush for a lighter touch.  I formula is silky smooth, with a little bit of shine and definite moisturizing qualities.  I've waited quite some time to get my hands on one of these beauties, and in terms of texture and color payoff, it is definitely worth the (admittedly terrifying) price tag.

The third product is a true impulse purchase.  I'm a loon for lipgloss, especially in the summer, as it's so easy and you can throw it on after the beach to get dolled up fast even if you don't feel like putting on any other products.  I was accosted in Bluemercury on my way to the airport by Bobbi Brown Shimmer Lip Gloss in Golden Nectar.  The shimmer is really subtle and, though it looks bright orange coral in the tube, it mellows on the lips and is quite sheer with just a tinge of that beachy color.

Pierre Hardy for NARS ($41) and YSL Rouge Volupté ($34) available at Sephora and other retailers.  Bobbi Brown Shimmer Lip Gloss ($23) available in Bluemercury stores.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Miscellany #6

Good morning everyone,

I thought I'd share with you a little bit of my life this week so far.  I have recently come into possession of a delicious and fragrant lemon thyme plant, and it has thus far survived my lack of a green thumb!

Cafe Tola, in Central Lakeview, serves some of the most delicious empanadas I have ever had the pleasure of tasting.

One of my dog friends, Lee-Lee, has gone to the big dog park in the sky to hang out with my beloved dachshund, Royal.  She was a sweet dog, and I am glad to have known her.

Have a lovely day, my friends!  I'm off to Boston tonight to visit my very best friend, so expect and update from Beantown tomorrow.  If we're all lucky, someone will be wearing something outrageous in the airport that I can share with you all.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Oh, Happy Day!

Hello friends!

Today I have broken out what may be my very favorite late spring/early summer dress, a Lilly Pulitzer Camie in the most gorgeous sailboat pattern. It's lightweight skin cotton, and I just adore how easy the fit is. Being able to drag it out of the top of the closet makes summer seem closer than ever and hey! It's practically June, right? Right.

What are some of your favorite summer pieces?

Photo edited with the A Beautiful Mess photo app.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Day at the Beach

In honor of one of the first 80 degree days we've had (yay!), I decided to throw together my ideal beach look for you all.

A Day at the Beach

I have a similar swimsuit that I cannot wait to bust out, and isn't that embroidered tote just perfect?  Makes me hungry for a dinner at the beach!  No look is complete without a wide-brimmed hat, and I love the yellow detail on this classic straw one.  All this is just getting me more and more excited for my first day at the beach, which (I hope) is going to be very soon!

What's your ideal beach outfit?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Embracing the Trend: Ombré Nails

And no, I do not mean each nail is ombré.  After my nail marbling debacle this winter, I decided on something a tad easier.  I finally took the plunge on this trend because it seemed like a simple way to liven up my look, and it requires nothing beyond basic manicure maintainence.

From thumb to pinky, we have OPI Bubble Bath, and Essie A Crewed Interest, Tart Deco, Orange, It's Obvious, and Meet Me at Sunset.  I love all of these shades on their own, and I was pleased with how well they transitioned from one nail to the next.  That said, if I wanted a little more of a difference between the last two nails, I would probably give Essie Too, Too Hot or the spring collection's Hip-anema (post here) for a little extra red kick on the pinky.

I wish I could have figured an opaque color for the thumb, but by then I'd already chosen the other four colors, so I went with the translucent Bubble Bath.

Have any of you tried this with blues?  Tell me what colors make it work!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Links I Love

Good afternoon/evening everyone! I had a bit of a (yawn!) slow start to my day, but I think that's perfectly acceptable considering it's my last day off until I leave for Boston next weekend. I can't wait to see my friends there, particularly my best one! I can hardly think about anything else. In the mean time, here are some things I've been enjoying on the internet this week.

1. 23 Puppies Stuck on the Work Week -
I dare you not to "awwwww."

2. This Tumblr that gathers images of beautiful places
All very swoon-worthy, I assure you.

3. Van Gogh's True Palette Revealed -

4. 20 of our Favorite Cocktails - A Beautiful Mess
Blood orange bloody mary They all look sooooo goood and refreshing!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, see you on Monday!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

I really adore the sheer volume of tulips in my neighborhood, it's so invigorating to see the bright colors everywhere. Of course, seeing them all inspired to me to do a tulip-esque manicure. I used OPI Bubble Bath for the base and Essie Olé Caliente and Braziliant for the "petals."  Nothing like a fresh and fun manicure to get you past the middle of the week!

Here are some more of the tulips I encountered, I hope one day to have a spot where I can plant some of my own, since they bring such a wonderful lightness of spirit into my life.  What lifts you above the clouds?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Essie Neons 2013: Bouncer, It's Me!

Another spring, another Essie Neon collection. Up first: Bouncer, It's Me!

I wish I could say I was impressed with something about this polish, but there really isn't anything jumping out at me about it. Is it a very nice blue? Yes, in a Fourth of July sort of way. But it does seem quite costume-y, and application was a seriously struggle. In the pictures, I'm wearing two coats of Blanc, which is its own struggle to apply, and two coats of the neon shade. In spite of that, I still couldn't get it to come out quite even, and it took forever to dry. As in, woke up with half the polish having slid off my thumb forever to dry.

I'll have to give it another try without the white basecoat to see how it looks, but I definitely see this being more of a novelty color in my collection rather than a fun summer treat.

Face Wear #1

Someday I won't look scared/scary in a photograph, but today is not that day.

With the weather warming up, I'm trying to keep my look pretty low-maintenance.  Frankly, it just isn't economical to pile a bunch of product onto your face if you're just going to sweat it off when you go outside, right?  So today, I decided to go with a bold lip and not much else.  Buff on some BB cream, a swipe of mascara, a little cheek color, and a splash of something bright on my lips.  Voilá!  A chic warm weather look.

What I'm Wearing:
Garnier BB Cream in Light/Medium
Bobbi Brown Extreme Party Mascara
Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque
Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in Warm Ivory
NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Lodhi
Laura Mercier Illuminating Powder in Mocha Spice

Monday, May 6, 2013

I'm Absolutely Shore

Essie's Absolutely Shore, that is. I've had this gem for about a year now, but it never found its way into regular rotation, frequently being defeated by my large collection of oranges. But, after seeing it mentioned again on one of my favorite beauty blogs, I took the plunge. Boy! Am I thrilled I did! It's the perfect color for this year, and I love how clean of a look it is. It really is the perfect mint.

Though I intend to give it quite a workout in the coming months, it is worth noting that this is definitely a three coater if you want perfect coverage. Apply very thin coats and don't get discouraged by how non-existent it seems after the first coat. It's well worth the extra time, and it wears excellently.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Of Course I'm Doing a Derby Post

I joined a sorority in college, what do you expect?  In honor of the 2013 Kentucky Derby, to be run at Churchill Downs tomorrow (Saturday, for all you late-comers to this entry), I thought I would pick out a hat that I think I should like to wear, given the chance to attend, as well as a full outfit that would compliment said hat.

Kentucky Derby 2013

Because go big or go home.  Could I afford all of this right now?  No, of course not.  Could I afford any of it?  Barely.  But I'm not going to the derby either, so why split hairs?  The dress is bananas in the best possible way, and what better way to stand out that put your crazy somewhere other than your head?

I hope you all have a really lovely weekend! I know I'm looking forward to the fashion that comes out of tomorrow and a Coronarita or two on Sunday for Cinco de Mayo ;)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lilly Pulitzer Summer 2013

As I'm sure many of you know, Lilly Pulitzer's Summer 2013 Collection launched yesterday. I returned home to find the catalog waiting peacefully in my mailbox. I thought I would share with you all some of my favorite pieces from the spread, of course in the form of terrible pictures I took while I was reading it ;)

Do you have any faves from the new collection?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Perfect Nude Nail

Y'all, I had this post all queued up, all I had to do was add one last picture, and what do I realize?  Never took the picture before I changed my nail polish.  Natch, my nails are dark blue right now.  Damn my wily habit.

Every once in a while, there comes at time during which I cannot be my usual, expressive self.  Not with my nails, at any rate.  As an actress, I like to look well-groomed when going into an audition, and when several audition days in a row pop up, I find it necessary to go with a low-maintenance manicure.  Enter:  The Perfect Nude Nail.

L to R: Essie Mademoiselle, Essie BBF Boy Best Friend, Essie Sandy Beach, NARS Candy Darling, 
OPI Bubble Bath, Revlon Naked Tips in Sandy Nude

Essie: Now, the first of these is a cult classic, as I'm sure you all know.  However, I find it unsuitable on it's own, as it's just a little too sheer and subtle for me.  It makes a lovely base for nail art, however.  The second and third, as you can probably tell from the bottles, are great favorites of mine.  Of all the colors here, I would recommend either of them for a sleek, natural manicure, with the second leaning slightly towards the pinker side of the spectrum.

NARS: Honest to God, I've never actually used the NARS polish, but in the bottle it seems to be a pretty opaque beige with a slight hint of yellow.  The only reason I've never used it is because I hate the stupid, short, spidery brushes on the NARS minis, but I promise I'll get over myself and give it a whirl just for you guys.

OPI: Juuuuuuust pink enough to please, this applies pretty nicely, and is ever so slightly sheer.  Definitely good for those of us who obsess over having clean fingernails 24/7 and can't stop cleaning them if we can see them.

Revlon Naked Tips:  I believe this line goes by the name "Mannequin Hands" in the UK, which I find much more amusing, but I suppose it doesn't rhyme with the "Neon Lips" part of the campaign in which it launched in the US.  I quite liked this, Revlon is, in my opinion, the best drugstore nail polish brand, with good coverage and solid wear.  I more or less got the color right with this one, but because it is opaque, it doesn't entirely give the impression that your nails are just stunning all on their own, which is what I want from the perfect nude nail.

The Winner
I'm going to have to throw it to Essie's Sandy Beach on this one!  Without a doubt, a true "your nails but better" color.  The color is just the right shade to convince the unsuspecting viewer that you are freakishly healthy enough to have manicured-looking nails naturally, and keeps small chips from being noticed on day 3 of auditions.  Of course, it's not just good for auditions, but any situation in which you want to impress someone with your utterly sophisticated style.