Saturday, May 07, 2016

RAINY WEATHER OUTFIT INSPIRATION

I don't know whats going on, but it will NOT stop raining! What happened to "April showers bring May flowers"? It has rained every day for the last week; I feel like I'm living in London. I'm itching to start wearing my new spring/summer clothes, but until the weather warms up, I'm stuck with my jeans and rain boots. I've been on the hunt for a cute trench coat (bought/ordered a few but none fit quite right) so today I'm sharing some of my favorite trench coat looks. If you know of any great trenches I should try, please leave a comment below!










XO, Nicole

Monday, April 18, 2016

SPRING IN YOUR STEP: S/S 2016 SHOE TRENDS

Usually, I'm a very clothing driven shopper. Keep the shoes and accessories basic, and let the clothes do the talking. As we enter this new season, I've been seeing a lot more statement shoes and accessories in lieu of a statement blouse or clothing item. I touched on this point in my winter accessories post, but I love the idea of statement accessories. I'm starting to change my ways.

Let your accessories do the talking in your outfits. It allows for a much more versatile wardrobe. I haven't intentionally done this, but my closet is primarily neutrals: white, ivory, camel, grey, navy and tons of black (forever a New Yorker at heart?). Statement accessories let one basic, white blouse be worn numerous different ways: pair it with a printed scarf, statement necklace or powerful shoe for three totally different outfits.

As I start to think about leaving for college in the fall, I think this approach is a great way to achieve a defined style with a variety of outfits without feeling like its necessary to buy a ton of new pieces each season. Its an easy way to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, too, because buying a small accessory to "test" the trend is a lot less of a commitment than buying a trendy dress or blouse. This method is great because you can invest in some nicer quality basic pieces to wear all year, then buy a few fast fashion (ZARA will always be my weakness), trendy items and accessories each season.

This spring, I think there is a big push for accessories in general. In particular, I've noticed that there are a lot of emerging shoe trends. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention before, but I feel like shoes used to be very basic. The essentials: basic leather sandals, boat shoes, white sneakers, wedges and heels. All very basic. Sure, there were more trendy and detailed variations of these shoe types, but overall shoes were fairly plain and meant to be versatile and paired with everything. Now, the shoes are doing the talking. Instead of pairing your neutral shoes with a statement outfit, the roles are reversed.

That being said, I think there are still some new structures and variations of these basic shoes that are a bit more trendy which allows shoes to still be versatile. As a customer who is preparing to leave for college and live in a dorm with minimal storage space, versatility is key in any clothing item/accessory I purchase. I try and find a balance between a statement shoe and an everyday shoe. I stick to the neutral colors for the most part, but look for an interesting detail, maybe a bow, ribbon lace-up or even a print (read: stripes and/or a subtle leopard print). Here are a few shoe trends I am loving this season:

LACE UP


via


via

ESPADRILLES 

via





FLATFORMS 





BLOCK HEELS






What shoe trends are you loving this season? Comment below! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

GLOSSIER: SKIN FIRST, MAKEUP SECOND.






This is going to be a long post, so buckle up. I'm honestly not even sure how I found Glossier. I think I started following them on Instagram after some bloggers I follow tagged them in a post and their Instagram is flawless (seriously, go check it out). Then, after seeing a few more posts and a YouTube video from Sammi Quinn, I connected all the dots and figured out what Glossier was: a modern beauty brand.


From there, I was hooked. From Emily Weiss' story (the founder/CEO) to the key principles of the brand to the aesthetics and p-e-r-f-e-c-t  packaging/design, I fell in love with every aspect of Glossier. I also started reading Into The Gloss, Emily's blog which led her to create Glossier. Read all about the brand here.





For Christmas, I got the exclusive box set of the two Glossier face masks: Mega Greens Galaxy Pack and Moisturizing Moon Mask. It came with twelve single use pods (they looked like Keurig K-Cups, sort of) of masks, six of each. After coming home from my tropical winter break getaway, I tried out the mask duo in hopes of rejuvenating my skin (sunburn + airplane skin = bad combo) and after using the two masks (20 mins each), my skin was glowing like never before. It was magic.

The Mega Greens Galaxy Pack works to clean your skin like "a juice cleanse for your face". Apply, let it sit for 20 minutes, rinse it off and then finish with the Moisturizing Moon Mask, which hydrates, brightens and smooth your skin. Then, repeat the process: apply, wait 20 minutes, rinse and be amazed. I recommend finishing the process by applying a moisturizer (Surprise, I recommend Glossier's Priming Moisturizer... keep reading for details on that!).

I try to use these face masks once a week, but let's be honest, that doesn't happen. Usually it's once every two weeks on Sunday night. I'm trying to make my skincare a real priority this year and these face masks have definitely helped with that. They work wonders, and its fun having 40 minutes of time to kill while the masks sit (hello, binge watching West Wing on Netflix or having a dance party to my #TBT playlist).


After the masks proved themselves, I jumped the gun and ordered the Phase 1 set. A little pricey, yes, but so worth it. The Phase 1 set comes with the Milky Jelly Cleanser, Priming Moisturizer, Balm Dotcom and Perfecting Skin Tint. If you asked me to pick my favorite product, I don't think I could. They are all incredible. As a fashion merchandising student, I have to comment on the fabulous packaging design (which initially got me interested in the brand). The perfect shade of pale pink and minimalist fonts and design... perfection. Now, on to the products.


The Milky Jelly Cleanser is unique because it was developed after commentary and advice from Glossier customers and Into The Gloss readers. I love that Glossier actually cares what the customers and readers think and developed a product directly resulting from our comments. My favorite thing about this cleanser is its dual capabilities: apply it dry and use it as a makeup remover, apply it to a damp face and use it as a cleanser. It works well with the other products, especially as a precursor to the face masks. I have pretty sensitive skin and have had no problems with this cleanser. I use it every night in the shower and since purchasing it, my skin has been noticeably softer and clearer.


I think the secret ingredient in the Priming Moisturizer is twinkle dust from a puffy cloud. Seriously though guys, this moisturizer makes my skin SO soft (especially when applied after the mask duo). I've used a variety of other moisturizers before and they were fine, but with this one, there is a noticeable difference after I use it. My skin feels constantly hydrated. I apply it after using the Milky Jelly Cleanser.



The Perfecting Skin Tint is different than any other foundation/ BB cream/ tinted moisturizer I've ever used before. It is so lightweight so you feel like you're not wearing any makeup at all. Personally, I like more coverage on my face, so I use the perfecting skin tint as more of a primer. I mix it with my BB Cream which gives my skin a nice glow. Then I lightly dust some powder on my t-zone. If I'm having a more casual day or my skin looks really good, I'll just wear the perfecting skin tint. Its very light, but its nice to still have something on. Add a swipe of mascara and some lip color and I'm good to go.


I'm a self-diagnosed chapstick addict. I've been a Burt's Bees girl for as long as I can remember (the pomegranate one is the best). BUT, Glossier's Balm Dotcom is the ultimate lip moisturizer. I don't know what makes it so much better than *any* other chapstick or lip balm out there, but this stuff is fantastic. I still use my pomegranate Burt's Bees for a light color on my lips, but Balm Dotcom is what I use every night, and whenever my lips are feeling extra chapped (aka it was my saving grace this winter). Also, it comes in a coconut flavor if you're dreaming of an island in the sun.


Glossier also just launched their Phase 2 set, which includes Stretch Concealer, Boy Brow and Generation G (lip color).  I haven't purchased it yet, but I'm excited to hopefully get it soon and try it out. If you have any more questions about individual products, head to their links (sprinkled throughout the post) and you will find full details about how to use them, ingredients, benefits etc. Glossier also has a YouTube where they demo their different products and share some fun #GRWM videos.

Using Glossier products truly has made me more aware of the health of my skin. I am treating my skin better than ever before. I have opted for a more natural makeup look (no more heavy foundation or liquid eyeliner every day). My skin looks and feels one million times better than it did in December before I started using their products.

I am not working in collaboration with Glossier and this post is not sponsored by them. I just really love their products and wanted to shine the spotlight on such an incredible brand. Plus, they give out free stickers with every order, so whats not to love? Click HERE to shop Glossier. You and your skin won't regret it ;)

Have you used Glossier products before? Let me know in the comments! 

XO, Nicole

All images via Glossier website & instagram 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

SPRING STYLE INSPIRATION: GINGHAM

I don't know about you, but I've been seeing SO much gingham for spring this season. On blouses, dresses, pants, socks, bags... And I'm loving it. Usually, I'm not a huge fan of gingham (for myself at least) but this season, its being styled in new ways and breaking out of its typical preppy niche. I'm deeming Carly the gingham expert. I was scrolling through Pinterest looking for images for this post and her outfits kept coming up and I loved every single look!

One of my favorite gingham items of the season (so far) is this pair of navy and white gingham pants from J. Crew. Imagine those pants paired with a crisp bright white blouse, a white grosgrain bow in the hair and camel wedges. The perfect summer outfit. I'll be going spring shopping soon and J. Crew and Old Navy have a ton of great gingham items that I've had my eye on ;) Here are some fun gingham looks that are inspiring me this season:






Love the bandana around the neck, too! Definitely re-creating this outfit soon. (via)


These are the J. Crew gingham pants I mentioned above! Doesn't Carly look so chic?! (via)







Are you a gingham fan? Let me know how you style it in the comments below! 

XO, Nicole