Year: 2012

Accessory Friday: printed tights

Now here’s a trend I have been loathe to try…and an item that might make me change my mind. Readers, I present Fair Isle knit tights. Normally printed tights give me pause, but these are so cute–and the black-on-gray pattern is muted enough that it doesn’t seem too scary.

Fair Isle Knit Tights, $9.80, Forever 21

Get the Look: Halle Berry on the November cover of InStyle

Can you believe that Halle Berry is 46?! Neither can I! She’s looking better than ever on the November cover of InStyle magazine, in a red-hot Calvin Klein dress.

halle Berry InStyle

Want to copy Halle’s sexy style? It’s pretty easy: all you need is a bold red tank dress and an oversized gold cuff bracelet. I would finish with strappy gold sandals for a simple yet hot look.

1. Calvin Klein dress, $49.99, 6pm.com
2. Layered cuff, $6.80, Forever 21
3. Fioni Night Intyce strappy sandal, $24.99, Payless

Random Thursdays: Five Things I Use Everyday

Obviously, I use far more than just five things every day…so I decided to make two lists: one of fashion/beauty items, and one for items from the rest of my life!

Five beauty and fashion things I use every day:

1. Moisturizer. One for my face, one for my body, and one for my hands! Right now I’m hooked on Bath and Body Works Cashmere Glow body lotion, Avalon Organics Vitamin C face cream, and Bath and Body Works hand cream in Twisted Peppermint.

Even if you don’t feel that you’re prone to dry skin, using a good moisturizer does wonders for your appearance. It makes skin look plumper, firmer, and glowier. (Totally not a word, but I’m running with it!) It makes your skin softer, less itchy, and less tight. Using a good hand cream on a regular basis ensures I won’t get cracked, sore fingertips. And let’s not forget: a moisturizer with a high SPF is essential for protecting your skin from wrinkles and possible skin cancer! (I like the Hawaiian Tropic Silk Touch lotions.)

2. Tweezers. Odd pick? Well, I have lots of days when I just don’t have time to apply makeup. Keeping your arches neatly tweezed and tidy makes your whole face look cleaner and more well-kept, in my opinion–and your eyes look more open and awake, even without the aid of eye makeup!

3. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Lip Balm in Naked. Not a day goes by that I don’t reach for this lip balm, and I do promise I’ll post a review soon. It’s free of dyes, flavors, or scents, so it’s just pure moisturizing goodness. It keeps my lips soft and flake free, and it’s great for layering with lipstick.

4. My Muk-Luk slipper boots. Thanks to my Mom for these. They’re super-cute, warm, and comfy. My feet get very cold very easily, even in the summer months, so slipper boots are a must for me when lounging around the house!

5. My lucky necklaces. My husband has given me two special necklaces that I wear every day for good luck. Superstitious? I suppose. But there you go–I use them every day!

And now, five things I use every day in my non-beauty life:

1. Candles. I particularly love scents from Bath and Body Works and Pier 1 Imports. Burning candles makes the house smell good, but it also calms me. There’s something about kicking back with dinner and a good companion in the candlelight, without the TV, computer, or phone distracting you, that makes a day wind down in the most wonderful way.

2. My earbuds. Work can be tedious, but having good music at hand makes the time go faster and lifts my mood immensely. What’s on my playlist? Everything from Beethoven to Pink Floyd, folk rock to electronica, hard rock to world fusion.

3. Pinterest. Here I go again, proclaiming my love of that magical black hole of time and productivity. The truth is, when I’m feeling down or sort of grumpy, logging into Pinterest is a sure-fire way to cheer me up again. Whether I’m pinning new decor ideas for my home or laughing at memes, there’s always something there to make me feel better.

4. Tea. Yes, this coffee addict kicked the habit this summer! I now drink coffee occasionally, but mostly I just drink green tea every day. I’ve been reading for just about forever about the health benefits and how many wonderful things green tea can do for you, and now that I’m finally committed to drinking two or three cups each day, I can see the benefits. I feel less tired, my skin looks better, and I am slimming down as well. I think the lower levels of caffeine are also helping, since I sleep more soundly (most days).

5. My cats. Yes, they’re on this list–because there is nothing like a good cat snuggle to make a day better!

Unboxing: November Julep Maven Maven’s Choice box!

Happy Monday everyone! I received my first official Julep Maven box last week but haven’t had time to post it yet. I hope a few nail polish shots makes your Monday more bearable!

One of the perks of the Julep Maven program is that you’re not bound to your style profile each month–you can switch it up or skip a month at any time! This month, Julep opened up a voting window on their Facebook page so Mavens could vote for their favorite new nail polish to be included in a special Maven’s Choice box. Out of all the polishes rolling out for the month of November, my favorite actually won–so I elected to receive the Maven’s Choice box!

But, oh no! Due to glitches involved with switching to a new website, many Mavens couldn’t log in and make their selections this month! Not to worry–the ever-lovely and capable customer service team at Julep not only manually placed my order, PLUS an add-on–they shipped out my entire order free of charge to apologize for the inconvenience. Yep, you read that right.This is a company that really cares about their customers.

Anyway, enough with the glowing and rambling–I promised you pictures. (I’m going to apologize in advance for the odd mix of lighting, since some of the photos were taken indoors, some had flash, and some were taken outdoors the next day in natural light.)

Everything comes so beautifully packaged, don’t you think? I have to add that under that pretty paper and ribbon wrapping is some serious bubble wrap. Nothing makes me happier than seriously bubble wrapped nail polish!

There were little cards in the box introducing the November box and highlighting some items from the holiday 2012 collection, along with a discount code for holiday purchases. The actual polishes I received were “Trina”, which is a blackberry  gloss, and the Julep Matte Top Coat. My add-on for the month was a new Julep “suede” matte polish in a rust shade, called “Minka”.

I actually expected Trina to be a matte polish for some reason, but I’m kind of glad it isn’t–I wasn’t sure what I would think of the matte polishes. 

Along with Trina and the matte top coat, the Maven’s Choice box featured this lovely body scrub and towel set:

The pink grapefruit scrub has sugar and shea butter to buff and moisturize, and I believe it is vegan. I actually haven’t unsealed this yet; I’m not sure if I’d like to give it to someone as a Christmas present, and as the website is (to my knowledge) still glitchy, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to order a second one before the holidays. So, for now, this item is sitting to the side of my desk. It looks delightful, though!

Every month Julep includes a little “extra”, and this month it was a trio of nail polish remover pads. To be honest, I’ve never used nail polish remover pads before, so these will be fun to try.

Okay, now for the nail polish swatches. First up is Trina; I used one coat of base, two coats of color, and two coats of glossy top coat for maximum shine. This polish is very dark and looks almost black in most lights; I do wish it were a teensy bit less black, but it is a nice color and one I will probably wear a lot. The blackberry shade is very nice for this time of year, especially if (like me) you want to “winter-ify” your pedicure.

I should add that this polish seemed much more “runny” than my other Julep polishes, so it required care around the cuticles and a lot of clean-up afterward. Not a dealbreaker, but something to keep in mind if you’re thinking of buying it.

I used Minka on my fingers. I honestly expected this to look more dull, when in fact it has a lot of shimmer in it. It is a very pretty shade and looked as beautiful on my fingers as it did online; it also dries in mere seconds–seriously, by the time I finish my tenth finger, the first one is ready for another coat!

There’s just one problem: it chipped like crazy after one day! That’s with a coat of base, two coats of color, and two coats of the matte top coat. I have never had this problem with other Julep polishes or with glossy polishes in general, so I’m assuming it has something to do with the matte formula. The texture and finish were very interesting and a nice change for autumn, but I’m not sure I’d wear this finish on a regular basis–I’m pretty in love with the glossy finish. I might try Minka later with a glossy top coat to see how she wears.

So there is my November Julep Maven box! Are you a Julep Maven? If so, what box did you get this month? I’m very happy with this service so far and I can’t wait to see what they roll out for December!

Cute Shoe Monday: sparkle-accented pumps

I’m on a bit of a sparkly roll for the holidays! Here are some pumps I’d love to own for the holiday season; they’re just so sparkly and gorgeous, and I think they’d make any plain dress look party-ready in a snap.

Rhinestoned Platform Pumps, $34.80, Forever 21