My Top 10 Wardrobe Essentials

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‘Capsule wardrobes,’ and ‘daily uniforms,’ are The Big Blogger Buzz Words right now. While I’m not sold on the concept of boxing up three-quarters of your closet each season as some kind of experiment in minimalism, I am completely converted to the ideology of the uniform.

I started by figuring out which outfits I wear most often and feel the best in. Then I narrowed down the common denominators in those outfits to identify my “essentials.” Now I focus on those essentials when I shop and get dressed every day.

And holy moly, life is so much easier!

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Beauty Confessions: Skin Care After 30

All the beauty experts say women need to get serious about anti-aging skin care when they roll over the big 3-0. Suddenly cleansing and a swipe of SPF aren’t enough; apparently we need an arsenal of products to “preserve” our faces and fight the [irreversible?] damage we inflicted upon ourselves in our youth.

I’m lookin’ at you, tanning beds; should’ve listened to my grandmother.

With this in mind, I found myself in Ulta two months ago on a mission. I wandered around the skin care section for a good 30 minutes, politely declining the sales associates’ offers for assistance, determined to find a suitable “grown-up” regimen for a new decade.

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This and That

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*Knocks the dust and Girl Scout cookie crumbs off the keyboard.* 

{Ahem.}

Hey, guys!

It’s been a minute since I published a post. I’m giving myself a lot of grace with blogging these days (see: my post on ‘unplugging‘ back in October) because the flower shop keeps me super busy and I want to make sure to leave time for the important things in life. Like Netflix. ;)

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#OOTD: AE hi-rise skinny jeggings.

Just in case you missed the first four times I mentioned my love for American Eagle’s hi-rise skinny jeggings, lemme just repeat myself: I could wear them every day.

I may have purchased three pairs of the black during the BOGO sale, just in case they’re discontinued next season; hashtag: doomsday prepper.

 

To gray or not to gray: that is the question.

I’ve been coloring my brown hair since I could drive myself to the drugstore. When I decided to grow out my ombre highlights last year — still a work in progress — I thought I’d give my hair a rest from the chemicals and go au naturale for while.

It turns out, I like my natural color… and now my head is being slowly colonized by grays.

Ironic, dontcha’ think?

It started in my late 20s with a silvery strand or two — which I yanked and forgot — but when I tried a deep side part a few Sundays ago, I found a sneaky streak hiding near my left temple that I hadn’t noticed before. (I’m sure I sprouted several more over Valentine’s week.)

When women start to gray, we find ourselves at a fork in the road: one path leads to years in our colorist’s chair waging a war against our roots, and the other embraces it. There’s even an #embracethegray hashtag, which I discovered while scouring Pinterest and Instagram for fierce ladies who let their silver shine; see: Sarah Harris.

Considering my aversion to maintenance, I think I’ll join the latter camp and let it go. For now. ;)

To blend everything in, I want to add some hand-painted balayage highlights to the crown and around my face. They’re more subtle and grow-out friendly than foils, and will hopefully camouflage the gray without the need for regular root touchups.

Best case scenario, I end up with some awesome natural highlights like this gorgeous model from Cisthene.

{Image sources: Refinery29, Cisthene, Constanza Arena, British Vogue.}

#OOTD: The Perfect Shirt

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My friend, Meghan, got this Free People ‘Sunset Park’ thermal in her boutique earlier this month and sold them all right out of the box before she could even get them on the floor. When she restocked last week, I made a beeline to her shop to get one; and I may go back for the black.

It’s light enough to wear into the spring, long enough to pair with leggings for the weekend, and just so stinkin’ comfortable.

I can’t get enough soft flowy tops these days.

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Grown-Up Coats

Good coats are wasted on Florida weather. For years I avoided the investment because we sunshine-staters rarely have an occasion to wear them; but once in a blue moon, some formal event pops up on cold evening and your coatless self is left with two options: 1.) Grin and bare it (there’s nothing chic about chattering teeth); or 2.) Cover up that cocktail dress with your denim jacket from the Gap.

This year I decided it was time to address the coat deficit in my closet, since a 30 year old should probably have appropriate outerwear that she didn’t find on a clearance rack in the juniors department during college. I bought this Via Spiga wool blend trench on Hautelook for less than $100 at the start of the season, and followed it up shortly after with a black Vince Camuto number.

Wearing:

Via Spiga coat
Cynthia Rowley silk floral tank (Marshall’s)
AE hi-rise jeggings
I.N.C. navy suede pumps
Hobo ‘Lauren’ clutch wallet

A Pretty Penny Bourbon and Boweties Collection

This and That

Where’s the line between collecting and hoarding? It’s getting real blurry over here with the Bourbon & Boweties bangles. I love the story behind the brand: the creator, Carley, started her jewelry business with $500 worth of beads and stones from NYC, and now her designs are sold in nearly 3,000 retailers around the country.

When I started blogging back in 2010, I loved spending Saturday afternoons hunting down designer and vintage treasures in thrift stores. I don’t have time for it these days since most of my weekends are spent in the flower shop, but if you’re new to the thrill of thrift shopping, Verily posted some great tips to ‘Master the Art of Thrifting Like a Style Blogger.

I’m living in the American Eagle hi-rise jeggings I bought on sale last month, and seriously considering getting a second pair in every color. I especially love the black; they make everyday outfits feel more polished.

The little number on the tags of our jeans can be such a point of frustration (and confidence annihilation) for women. Associate fashion editor at Bustle.com, Marie Southard Ospina, tried on 10 pairs of jeans from different brands in the same size to show it’s really just a number; and a pretty useless one at that. She says, “Our obsession with being the ‘right’ size is nonsensical. To try to define a ‘size’ is equatable to trying to define a ‘color.'”

Go subscribe to Peter Hollen’s YouTube channel. He does incredible — I’m not using that adjective lightly; it’s mind-blowing — a cappella music videos. His cover of ‘Hallelujah‘ showed up on my Facebook newsfeed around Christmas, and I was hooked. The ‘Epic Disney Medley‘ is my favorite!

If you’re spending all your free time watching the old seasons of Gilmore Girls on Netflix (um, who isn’t?) you’ll love Paper World. The miniature paper replicas of Stars Hollow are amazing.

Looking for some recommendations for your next trip to the bookstore? Check out the Sits Girls’ list of ‘12 Good Books You Must Read in 2015.

Painted in Waterlogue

My December/January Beauty Favorites

LORAC The Royal Full Face Collection – This was a limited edition holiday collection of blush, eyeshadows, Cobra mascara (the wand gets the smudge-proof formula on every tiny lash) waterproof eyeliner, ‘Alter-Ego’ lipstick in Duchess (a perfect nude) and a coordinating gloss.

C bought the kit for me for Christmas after I spotted it in a catalogue and earmarked it like a kid with a Toys-R-Us Big Book. It’s no longer available online, but check your local Ulta and Kohl’s to see if they have any left in stock. The neutral colors are great for everyday wear, and I love that the blush and shadows were packaged separately in individual pots; palettes can get so messy and muddled after lots of use.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Bold Brow Kit – This was another Christmas gift, that came with a gift certificate for some regular brow maintenance with my girlfriend, Perry. (Pssst, local readers: Perry’s a professional makeup artist and eyebrow genius). I’ve used the clear brow gel for years, but I’m new to the brow powder duo. It’s a game changer: use it to create the perfect arch and fill in sparse spots; it looks totally natural and lasts all day.

MAC Face and Body Foundation – My mom is really into YouTube beauty tutorials, which is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. She orders two of all the gurus’ favorites — one for each of us — and schools me on how to use them. This sheer buildable foundation is great for my dry skin: it dries to a dewy finish that looks really natural. I apply it with my Urban Decay ‘Good Karma‘ brush for an airbrushed finish.

Urban Decay Naked Finishing Powder – I usually hate setting powders because they make my skin look dry and flat, but this ‘Naked Skin’ Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder is like magic. “Optical blurring pigments instantly minimize imperfections, diminish shine and create a stunning soft-focus effect that looks professionally retouched. ” <– It does what it says, alone or over your favorite tinted moisturizers and foundations. (A note: I bought a travel size of the ‘Naked Skin’ beauty balm and it was underwhelming.)

LORAC Tantalizer Matte Bronzer/Highlighter Duo – I used the Tantalizer baked bronzer for years, but wanted something less shimmery so I bought a travel size of this duo to try. I dropped it into the toilet three days later. ($@#!) It was a good short-lived run of 12-hour healthy glowing, though, so I picked up the full-size. I use it on my eyes, too: the highlighter under my brow bone and in the corners, and the matte bronzer on the crease.

Oscar Blandi ‘Pronto’ Dry Texture & Volume Spray – Imagine your favorite volumizer and sea salt spray falling in love and having a baby, who’s born with a knack for all-day hold. That’s this stuff. It reminds me of dry shampoo, but instead of making your hair less disgusting it makes it awesome. If you love beachy waves or full defined layers, you need this multi-tasking miracle spray in your arsenal.