Sunday, July 29, 2012

Top 3 Workwear Tips

It can be hard to express yourself and feel fashionable while staying within your employer's dress code, especially when it's as restrictive and casual as mine- jeans and sneakers required. But hopefully these tips will help you out. No heels? No skirts? No problem!

1. Work within the guidelines. Remember how I mentioned sneakers are mandatory here? Well, while everyone else is running around in tennis shoes, I prefer to interpret the rules in my own way.
My favorite Rocketdog "sneakers"
Sinfully comfortable, thankfully free of that squeaking noise sneakers can make against a linoleum floor, and far more expressive of my personal style than exercise sneakers. I'm so obsessed with these that I even got my gym teacher to accept them as sneakers, and I wear them so often that they are literally falling apart- the canvas is worn thin, the edges are fraying, and the red thread at the toe has unraveled. This beat up effect, along with the model of the shoe, adds a rocker/grunge vibe to any outfit. My style changes from preppy to boho to edgy depending on the day, so having these shoes is great for instantly changing the feel of an outfit while sticking to my dress code!

2. Use colors, cuts, and textures to your advantage. Although I love jeans, somehow being told I can't wear any other pants makes me resent them a bit. When I really think about it, though, the category of jeans is so expansive, I know I can't get bored! Especially with the trends this summer, it's so easy to incorporate jeans into your wardrobe. For a girly, flirty look try floral jeans, which have been everywhere this season!
Try these adorable jeans from Wet Seal!
Not into patterns? Bright solids are also huge right now.
These awesome jeggings from Delia's come in a bunch of pretty shades!
3. Use makeup to express yourself! First check what other people are wearing- if absolutely no one else puts on any makeup, you might feel awkward. But otherwise, it's a great outlet! Try a bold winged or cat-eye liner for an edgy look.

For a flirtier vibe, go with a fun lip color- as I said above with the jeggings, brights are all the rage this summer!
This bright pink is super daring and sure to make you stand out!
Hope these tips help you keep sight of your style within the restrictions placed upon you at work, and have a great rest of the summer! Back-to-school posts will be coming your way soon :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 Review

As mentioned in the name of the product, this Lip Balm is #1, at least in my opinion. Silky smooth, long lasting, incredibly moisturizing, reasonably priced and with AMAZING scents, these are my favorite lip balms of all time.

The only downside is that the applicator doesn't have a slanted surface, so it can't be applied directly to the lips. However, since I primarily use this overnight, it's not a problem for me since I can just use my
fingers without worrying about cleanliness like I would if I were out and about.

So glossy and smooth!
Pictured are the lip balms in scents mango and cranberry, but they also come in mint, pear, vanilla, and coconut. I've tried and also loved the last two, but I prefer these two fruitier scents. They don't provide any color, but leave a beautiful sheen to your lips. As I said, I usually apply these at night and wake up with wonderfully smooth and supple lips. However, if you apply this during the day, in my experience it can stay on for 2 to 6 hours, depending on how much you eat, drink, and talk. SPF 4 won't do much, but it certainly doesn't hurt!

Cranberry- slight berry tint
Mango- slight coral tint
For $7, I would certainly recommend picking up at least one of these sweet-smelling miracle workers. You only need the tiniest bit, so one tube will give you at least a few months of gorgeous lips!

On a random note, if I have a really late night, I smooth a tiny bit of this on around my eye area and wake up completely bag-free! It really hydrates my skin and prevents the normal puffiness and darkness. However, as with any product not meant for application on the eyes, I'm always careful not to put it too close to my eyes- just on the skin around them. Also, I generally have dry skin, so if it's having an especially rough time, I rub a very (VERY) thin layer on my face and the next morning, my skin is glowing and looks practically airbrushed. Of course, Kiehl's has other amazing products for these purposes, but this is sort of an all-in-one product for me that can pretty much moisturize any part of my face in a pinch!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Trend watch: Tangerine

Tangerine is a huge color right now (especially after tangerine tango was named Pantone's color of the year), but it can be hard to pair. Here are some questions to ask yourself so you can make it work with your style and skin tone.

Statement or subtle?
Are you trying to be bold with your color choice, or merely show your knowledge of color trends off in a simple outfit? If its the former, go all out and wear a cool pattern involving tangerine, or maybe a statement necklace. If it's the latter, go for a pretty lightweight blouse in tangerine, perfect for the warm summer months!
These cute floral shorts

This gorgeous J. Crew Bubble necklace

This polished but casual polka-dot blouse
Formal or casual?
Will you wear tangerine to a nice dinner out or to the beach with friends? If you need a more formal look, a darker color would be better, in a more polished fabric like silk or satin. Try a deep tangerine dress, or a sheer button down tucked into a white pencil skirt. Add some nude pumps and you'll be looking classic yet trendy! If you're going casual, opt for a softer fabric in a pastel or neon. Try a pretty pastel tangerine floaty dress as a coverup on a trip to the beach, or toss on some bright shorts to hang out at the mall with friends.
This gorgeous number from Free People for an evening party- also comes in mint, another trendy color this season!

This light piece for fun at the beach.
Pale or tan?
If you're pale, orange is probably already a hard color for you to wear. Stay away from pastel tangerine, as it will make you look washed out (pastel pink or lilac would be more flattering). However, a neon hue can actually make you look tanner, while a darker shade of tangerine will bring out your porcelain skin in a good way. If you have a deeper skin tone, it will be pretty easy to get away with this. If you get your tan from a bottle, though, you have to be especially careful not to use an orange-y spray tanner. Wearing a shade of orange with that will just bring it out! Pastel or a dark shade would look great and bring out your tan even more, while a more muted color will blend in and do little for your skin tone.

For pale skin, try this gorgeous neon orange in a classic cut
If you're tan, check out this pastel pinky-orange with cute neon detailing
A great option for pale OR tan skin is this deep tangerine- the red tone will work well with either skin type!
Once you've thought about your answers to these questions, you should be good to go. I hope this helps you pull off this gorgeous, fun color!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Perfect Summer Shoe

Does anyone else go through that slightly manic phase the week before summer, trying to find a shoe that is absolutely perfect? I look for the three C's- comfy, cute, and cool. You'll probably be walking around town, so they can't be uncomfortable, they need to be wearable for nights out with friends or dates, and of course they have to let your feet breathe and not be stifling! With these three things in mind, I set out shopping and I think I found the perfect pair.

Rocketdog is one of my favorite brands for comfy/casual shoes, so I wasn't surprised to find this cute option in their section of DSW. The exact pair isn't available on their website, but they have a very similar style here, and another cute summery one here. White shoes are a classic for summer (SageTip- for a shoe this casual, don't be afraid of white- you can just toss it in the wash if it gets too dirty!) and this floral eyelet detail adds interest and trend points by tying into the huge lace trend this season. While not overpowering, the little flowers are so cute and keep this basic from crossing over into boring.

Great for wide and narrow feet alike, they mold to your feet and are sort of a mix between the shape of a ballet flat and loafer. I already picked up another pair in black, which should bring me comfortably into the fall!

Happy Independence Day!

How are you celebrating? My family likes to wipe down the grill and enjoy some burgers and hot dogs. Sometimes we watch a patriotic movie, but otherwise we like to maximize our time outside, whether chilling on the patio with some lemonade, watermelon, and yummy Popsicles, or at the pool. A few years we've gone to the beach, but this year that was unfortunately not the case. At night, we either go to the public fireworks display in our town and meet up with friends, or if we don't feel like getting eaten by mosquitos, stay in and tune into the televised NYC fireworks, which everyone knows are the best anyway :)

So how do I show my patriotic spirit through fashion and beauty? Here are some ideas.

Last year, I wore a navy and white striped sundress with white shoes. To finish the trifecta, I added a pop of red with my lip color. The dress is in a flattering fit, ties in to the nautical trend that's been big the past few summers, and can be easily worn for other events. A red lip is flattering on most skin tones and makes your teeth look whiter! Play around with blue and yellow toned shades to find the one that's right for you.

The lovely dress by Motel. I don't think it's available anymore, but the brand has some other lovely pieces through Asos. I'm eyeing this dress, which is also patriotic... for Brits!

This year I'm going more casual with a red tee, blue shorts, and white shoes. Boring, I know, but I'm away from home for an internship, so I don't have much to choose from! Instead, here's what I would choose in a perfect world for a casual but still patriotic look!
This floaty tank- stylish and practical for those muggy summer days.

Pop on this bandeau underneath to add some extra spirit and stay appropriately covered.
With these trendy shorts from Lulu's
Over these awesome tights from Asos if you're feeling adventurous.

This is a cute and practical shoe for running around, at barbecues and fireworks displays.

C'mon, you knew I was gonna include these. Not for the weak of heart, these bold shoes make any Independence Day look complete, though I'm not sure when else you'd wear them. Surprisingly comfortable, don't rule them out for a day of partying and fun, but I wouldn't recommend wearing them on a hike or anything.

Hope you all are having a lovely 4th of July. Remember to appreciate the freedoms we often take for granted, look back and take pride in the incredible and unbelievable moments of victory in our history, and learn from our mistakes. Enjoy the fireworks!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

NYC Kohl Brow/Eyeliner Pencil Review

As promised in this post, I'm posting a review of my daily eyeliner from NYC.

For $0.99, I couldn't help but be curious about this product, and I figured it wouldn't hurt my wallet to try it out. Of course, you get what you pay for, so I was pretty disappointed in terms of quality. However, for about three times the amount of product as my Revlon eyeliner at a fraction of the price, and a nice, subtle look, this eyeliner doesn't do too badly in my books.

You can definitely feel the price in the application. A bit rough and not very pigmented, so you have do several strokes to get solid color payoff. Pretty much useless for water and tight lining because of its texture. I did brave it once and it surprisingly lasted for about 8 hours, but the uncomfortable feeling on that tender part of your eye is just not worth it. On the lash line, the color starts to fade at around 5 or 6 hours, but doesn't smudge and therefore isn't really noticeable unless you're looking for it.

Left to right: one light stroke, one heavy stroke, three light strokes, three heavy strokes
Smudge resistance: After rubbing twice 5 times with a wet tissue and 10 times with a dry tissue
Overall, if you're looking for a very natural look and are willing to work with it, I would suggest you pick this up for its low price. However, due to the low quality, I would give it a 4 out of 10 at most. A seemingly great deal until you realize the waxy, rough texture and frustratingly low intensity of color.

I haven't tried this as a brow liner, but imagine it would be better for that task given it is waxy and the color would be easily controllable since it's not very pigmented.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Revlon Colorstay Pencil Eyeliner Review

I am constantly trying out new pencil eyeliners in an attempt to find "the one." I don't think I've come across it yet, but I've had a lot of fun in the process!

I mostly focus on drugstore ones so as not to break the bank, but if you are looking for a tried and true pencil eyeliner, Feline by MAC is as black as they come, deliciously soft and smooth, and quite long lasting, if a bit smudgy. Makeup Forever also has amazingly creamy and high quality liners (and products in general) but at the rate I go through eyeliner, I can't justify spending that much.

Fully Retracted
The most recent addition to my collection was the Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner. I was searching for a good retractable one and decided to pick it up after seeing rave reviews. It certainly doesn't disappoint. Not excellent for tight lining, but long lasting on the waterline and perfect for the upper and lower lash lines. It's extremely precise (I think an upside of being retractable), and will not budge or fade once applied. I have worn it for 12 hours without problem, and I believe the claim of 16 hours. Not the darkest black, but it applies smoothly and evenly for a look midway between natural and smoky.

From top: one light stroke, one heavy stroke, three light strokes, three heavy strokes
Smudge resistance: After rubbing 5 times with a wet tissue and 20 times with a dry tissue
It costs $6.49, at least at my local CVS, so it's reasonable for the amount of product (it only fills about 1/2 of the packaging because of the retractable mechanism) and the medium-high quality. Since I go through eyeliner so quickly, I prefer to use a less expensive eyeliner from NYC (review coming soon!) for everyday use, and save this one for two or three times a week when I'm going out. Here I'm showing a simple look, but this is also great for cat-eyes/winged liner.

Overall, I give this an 8.5 out of 10, and would certainly recommend it to anyone from a makeup beginner to an eyeliner junkie for its ease of application and good cost to quality ratio.

Top 3 Random Shower Tips

How to get the most out of your shower:

1) After you finish cleaning everything that needs to be cleaned, give your skin a bit of a shock treatment by turning the water as cold as it goes (I would recommend stepping out of the way if possible) and splashing a few handfuls on your face. The hot water opens up your pores to clean out your skin, and the cold will close them up again to keep out dirt and dust for longer.

2) Don't rub your skin with your towel- this aggravates the skin and could cause wrinkles later in life, especially because of the rough texture of most towels. Instead, gently pat and press the cloth into your skin to soak up the water.

3) Moisturize as soon as getting out. Your skin is already stimulated by the heat and there is increased blood flow to the surface of your skin for the same reason, so this is the optimal time to put on moisturizer. The skin will be more likely to absorb it, and also more likely to retain it as it cools and the pores close.

Hope these tips help- they have certainly made my skin more glowy and fresh-looking! :)