Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Spotlight on: Elizabeth & James Jewelry

I tend to dismiss brands like Elizabeth & James that are celebrity designed because usually, well, they aren't great.  But I do have to hand it to the Olsen twins for doing so well with Elizabeth & James.  The clothes are consistently adorable, but what I really love are the accessories, especially the jewelry.  It manages to blend quirky, natural, and glam details perfectly for an overall aesthetic that works with a bunch of different styles and outfits.

Crab Ring with Ruby Eyes, $125 at shopbop.com, Turquoise Howlite Ring, $85 at shopbop.com: How cute is this crab ring?!  I'm a Cancer, so I love me anything with a crab on it.  It has tiny ruby eyes!  It's so sassy.  The claws curve around the finger so perfectly, and the offbeat shape really works the simplicity of the overall design.  I want to wear this with really girly outfits for a fun contrast.  If jewelry isn't really your thing and you just like very simple pieces, this cabochon ring is great.  The blue is fun but not too bright, so you can wear it with a lot of different color palettes, and the band has a sweetly organic feel that makes it a little offbeat.

Silver Bypass Ring, $125 at shopbop.com, Wishbone Mesh Earrings, $195 at shopbop.com: These pieces are such great value for the money.  This silver ring has silver (obvi), gold, and tiny sapphires, and it's less than $150.  I like that the band and the materials used are very classic, but the detail on top is unexpected and almost a little primal feeling.  I'd do it with a really girly, lace top and jeans.  I love me some chandelier earrings, and these have such a fun twist.  They're made up of tiny wishbones, so they're lucky!  The hammered, rustic shape plays nicely against the inherent drama of the oversized earrings.

Large Seashell Ring, $175 at shopbop.com, Enamel Coral Earrings, $95 at shopbop.com: The ocean may terrify me (sharks! sharks! stingrays!) but I love ocean motifs in jewelry.  A seashell is such a perfect choice for a ring because it's very symmetrical and pretty, but the dots and the distressing give it a bit of a fun edge that makes it a unique, but wearable accent piece.  I.  Love.  Coral.  These earrings are SO COOL.  The shiny black works really nicely with the organic forms of the coral, and these are just the right size--big enough to be a statement but not so large as to be ridiculous.  I'd do these with an updo and a little red dress.

I hope y'all had a great Memorial Day weekend!

Images via shopbop.com.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: MAC Harmony Blush

I have been looking for a good contour product FOREVER.  I do have cheekbones, but I also have a roundish face and they tend to get lost in my cheeks, so I am a perfect candidate for contouring.  For those of you that don't know, contouring is when you use a product in a shade that's a few shades deeper than your actual skin tone to create shadows on your face, usually under the jaw and cheekbones, along the temples and down the sides of the nose.  You want a matte, neutral shade because shimmer draws light to the part of the face you put it on, which makes that part of your face appear to protrude more--hence why using a shimmery product on the top of your cheekbones can make them seem more obvious.

The problem I've had is that I'm really pale, and most contour powders pull orange on me--heck, most foundation pulls orange on me.  Which makes me look like a clown.  Boo.  Pixi2woo, my favorite YouTube beauty blogger, uses MAC's powder blush in Harmony to contour all the time, and since she's pale(ish) like me, I had to try it.

I could not get a good picture of this.  It kept coming out darker and pinker than it actually is.  This picture is pretty true to life.  MAC describes it as a muted rose-beige brown matte blush, which you can get for $19.50 at maccosmetics.com.  On me it comes out as a medium, neutral-warm brown, and it's the perfect contouring color. It's extremely pigmented, but also blends easily, so you can layer for the effect you want (and to get it to work on darker skin tones).  On my oily skin it lasts all day and I only have to use a tiny bit, so this tin will last me forever.

I apply it with a skunk brush in the 3-shape on my face (under the jaw, around the side of the face to under the cheekbone, and around the temple to the sides of the forehead) and it gives my face a nice amount of structure and depth.

The packaging is standard MAC, decent quality and simple, and the product has no scent or SPF, so I don't think it'll irritate anyone's skin. You could probably use it as a bronzer if you're as pale as me, so it can go double duty.

Overall rating: A+.  It works perfectly as a contour without pulling orange on me, it lasts all day and applies easily, and I think it will work for range of skin types and skin tones.  It's not cheap, but it will last forever, so it's a good deal.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Outfit of the Day (In My Head)

It's finally warm in SoCal!  Woohoo.  I've pretty much been a bum in my house these past few days (made a strawberry-rhubarb crumble today!), but if I had gotten out of the house today I would have worn something like this:

Spotted Around Town Dress, $67.99 at modcloth.com, J. Crew Patent-Tab Skinny Belt, $32.50 at jcrew.com: Yup.  Still in the middle of my retro fix.  I think what I really like about '50s style sundresses like this one are that they have a lot of personality.  You don't need to add a lot to them to get a great, unique outfit because they have inherent sass.  The cut of this dress is very flattering, with emphasized waist, fitted bodice, and a-line skirt, and I love the little polka dots.  They're a high-impact pattern, but since it's black and white it's still pretty versatile.  I'd pair this ultra-girly dress with a down-to-earth, masculine brown leather belt.  It adds a little twist and a little visual weight to the look.

Me Too "Princess" Espadrille Slingback, $58.90 at nordstrom.com, J. Crew Jenna's Cardigan, $70 at jcrew.com: With a dress like this one you have to wear a cute little wedge.  The naturalness of the jute straw gives the outfit an earthy twist, and the pop of red works really nicely with the monochromatic palette of the dress.  The bow-slingback combo is just so sweetly retro, too, and perfect for summer.  I'd top it all off with this plum cardigan.  It's a close enough shade to the shoes that they don't fight, but it's not so close that the outfit becomes matchy-matchy.  The cut of the cardigan is perfect, with the sweet 3/4 sleeves and the cropped body--doing a long cardigan with an a-line skirt can make you look wider and swallow your waist.

Sometime this week I'll have a review of MAC's Harmony blush, which I use for a contour, so stay tuned for that!

Images via modcloth.com, jcrew.com, nordstrom.com.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bath and Body Works Apricot Vanilla

I really need to stop shopping.  BUT IT'S SO HARD.  I'm like a hoarder for pretty things.  Gah.  Here's some of the stuff I've gotten/wanted recently.

Apricot Vanilla Tasty Lip Gloss, $7 at bathandbodyworks.com, Apricot Vanilla Body Lotion, $5.25 at bathandbodyworks.com: I am not a Bath and Body Works girl.  So much of their stuff smells so strong and sweet to me that it gives me a migraine and I just don't bother even going in/near the store.  But my mom needed something there the other day, so I was browsing around when I stumbled across their Apricot Vanilla line.  The simple, subdued packaging called to me, and the whole line was on sale for half off, so I picked up a lip gloss and a body cream (the lotion is pictured because the cream seems to have sold out online).  In the store the lip gloss was $3.50, which is a great deal.  It's a thick, somewhat sticky gloss that's sheer but has tons of shimmer.  It doesn't add any color to the lips but it adds some sparkle without looking frosty, which I like.  It smells and tastes like peaches and cream--so not apricots and vanilla, but it smells pretty darn good.  Since it's sticky, it lasts on the lips for a long while--around 3 hours, and best of all it actually moisturizes!  The body cream really does smell like vanilla and apricots, with the boozy sweetness of the vanilla and the creamy tang of the apricots.  It was like $6 on sale for a large tube of the cream, which is a decent price, and the formula is great.  It rubs in quickly and doesn't leave me feeling greasy, but it's thick and creamy and extremely moisturizing.  My favorite part is that the scent lingers all day, but really close to the skin.  So you can wear perfume on top of it and not overwhelm everyone within in a 10 foot radius.  I have basically no loyalty to body lotions, but I would purchase this again for the yummy but inoffensive scent and moisturizing formula.

I'd give those 2 products an A+.  The prices were great, they smelled amazing, and they both did what they claimed to do.  If you like the sound of Apricot Vanilla, act now because I think it's being discontinued.  It was part of a series of vanilla based scents--like cherry vanilla, coconut vanilla, etc--and I think they're being switched out for a series of coconut based scents.

Swingtown Sweetie Dress, $79.99 at modcloth.com: Y'all know I'm a sucker for Southern-style sundresses.  It's actually becoming a bit of problem.  I've been stalking Modcloth's New section for weeks now, and I'm in love with this little white dress.  The black and white color combo is just graphic enough, but the ways that the black is used--in the lace, in a polka dot sash--are so sweet that the color combo still makes a charming statement and isn't too hard or minimalist.  The deep v-neckline in the back and front add a little sass, and the tulle underskirt creates a flattering a-line shape and some old school charm.  I want to wear this with a pair of red heels while sipping a giant glass of sweet tea.

Images via bathandbodyworks.com, modcloth.com.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Another Sundress and MAC Shy Girl Lipstick

Someone needs to lock me in my house and keep me from shopping.  For serious.  I just bought my fifth dress in a week.  Gah.  It is super cute though.

Forever21 Pleated Floral Dress, $19.90 at forever21.com: It's hard to tell in my terrible pictures, but it's a light mint green with coral flowers.  Worn with vintage cardigan and belt and Frye boots.  I really like this dress because it's a fun color (and one I don't have in my closet), it's light, cheap, and easy to wear, and the back is smocked, so it will fit a range of sizes.  I got a medium because I have a larger chest, but if you have a normal sized chest I think it runs a little big.  The colors are a little unconventional, and I think that helps modernize the floral print.  Also I would totally collect retro sundresses if I could.  But like really.  I know I wear these same boots with everything, but I think they balance out the super girly sundress nicely, and the cardigan adds a little coverage.

In other news, I BOUGHT A LIPSTICK!  That actually has never happened.  Like never.  I've wanted a nude-ish lippie for a while now, but lipstick scares me.  That might be funny from someone who wears significant amounts of black gel liner everyday, but lipstick...lipstick is intense.  It requires so much more patience and thought in selecting shades.  But I know it's silly that I avoid lipstick altogether, so I put a toe in the pool by picking up a nude lippie.  The SA (sales associate for y'all that don't know the lingo) at MAC recommended Shy Girl to me. The MAC website describes it as a creamy neutral coral beige, and it's a cremesheen finish, which means that it's a creamy lipstick with a glossy finish.  It came out a little brighter and lighter in the photos than in real life.

My lips are naturally pretty pigmented and sort of a medium pinkish red, so this is lighter than my natural lip color by just a bit.  I really wanted something that would lighten up my lip color without making me look like a zombie, and Shy Girl is perfect for that.  On me it comes across as a peachy-pink nude with the TINIEST hint of shimmer, and it is absolutely gorgeous.  It lightens my lips just enough to be noticeable, and the hint of peach is really pretty and summery.  It goes on very creamy and pigmented in one stroke, and it has a pretty decent lasting power--about 3-4 hours--without lip liner.  It has a very slight vanilla scent but no discernible taste, and the packaging is classic MAC, very simple and sleek.  All in all, I love this.  It's right in my comfort zone, it doesn't dry out my lips or settle into my lip lines, and the color is lovely.  For reference I'm NW15 at MAC, so very pale and on the warmer side of neutral.

Awkward Chic rating: A-.  I wish it lasted a bit longer and that it wasn't $14.50, but in terms of color and formula I LOVE IT.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Outfit of the Day

This is kind of a lie, because I didn't wear real clothes today (I went to the gym but I don't think that counts), but this is what I would have worn today...if I had gone out in public and not just watched the Masterpiece Theater version of Sense & Sensibility all day.  What a crazy life I have.

The dress I picked up at H&M over the weekend for about $35, the belt is vintage, and so are the cardigan and the necklace, and the boots are Frye.  The dress is definitely on the girly, ruffly side for me, but I've been watching a ton of True Blood, and am totally craving ruffly, Southern sundresses.  The print is pink and red and white and a little '70s/'80s, and it has ruffles on the tank sleeves, and down the faux-wrap on the front.  The waist of the dress had an orange tie, which I took off, because the waist of the dress is higher than my natural waist.  So I did what I did with the last H&M dress and made the waist lower by belting it.  Easy solutions!  It's hard to see, but the belt is a woven leather, which goes with the beachy vibe of the dress, and it adds a nice weight to the ruffly, floatiness of the dress.  I added the navy cardigan for warmth and contrast, the vintage necklace for a bit of edge, and the boots for a little sassiness.  And yes, I do wear those boots with everything.  I should get another pair.  Hm.  I like that idea.  Also I gots me a haircut!  It totally looks the same.

Here's a close-up with the vintage necklace I'm wearing.  I got it from my late and very awesome great-aunt.  I think it's art deco, and it's completely epic.  I love statement necklaces.  They're so easy to wear, but they add a lot of visual impact.  Plus vintage statement necklaces don't generally look like anything else on the market, so you can get a really unique twist on an outfit.

On a totally unrelated side note, I made the best chai simple syrup today for my morning black tea.  You simmer 1 part sugar with 1 part water (I do 1 cup and 1 cup) until the sugar dissolves, and then I added a tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, which has cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom and stirred until that dissolved.  Those aren't the exact spices used in chai, but when you add that syrup to black tea with some milk it tastes pretty darn close to a chai tea latte.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Up & Down

I got my bi-yearly traumatic haircut today.  The end result of the haircut is totally fine, I just really hate getting my haircut.  The problem with me is that since I have so much hair--literally enough for 3 people--that hairstylists feel like they can cut and cut and cut at my hair and then you turn around and I have no hair.  It happens all the time and I hate it.  So I just sit there during any haircut staring desperately into the mirror and monitoring every strand of hair that gets cut off and freaking out.  My hairstylist probably thinks I'm a sociopath.  

On the plus side though, she totally made my day by saying (literally) that I have "commercial hair that she would make into wigs for models to wear in shampoo commercials."  Um, AWESOME.  Except I like my hair too much to make it into a wig.  But still.

Anyways, right now I'm sitting on the couch watching Top Chef Masters and whitening my teeth.  Watching Top Chef always makes me hungry, so wearing white strips is a great solution because I can't eat while wearing them!  Haha.  I use Crest White Strips, which are currently $16.20 at amazon.com.  I've used these once before, in high school about 2 years ago, and since I drink a ridiculous amount of tea and coffee it was time for another round.  I think these are great.  They're affordable, and easy to use.  In this pack you get 10 sets of upper and lower strips.  You leave the strips on for half an hour each, so you put on one top and one bottom strip and leave them on while you watch the Office.  You can double up and do two sets in one day if you want faster results.  I find that the strips stay on pretty well and the overall result is noticeably brighter teeth that last a will.  You won't get blindingly white teeth, but they will be nice and bright.  I don't have particularly sensitive teeth, so I haven't had any issues with these, but I have heard that with sensitive teeth these can sting a bit.

On an unrelated note, I popped into J. Crew the other day to get a (blindingly) neon pink v-neck, and I saw these two adorable dresses.  Oleander Lace Shift Dress, $295 at jcrew.com, Eyelet Derby Dress, $158 at jcrew.com.  Aren't they both gorgeous?  I love the simplicity of the shape of this black sheath dress against the Old World opulence of the black lace.  It's textured and layered and intricate, but still wearable and easy to style.  Plus the shape is crazy flattering, with the defined waist and a-line skirt.  Y'all know I love me a sundress, and this eyelet one is so fresh and springy and fun.  The fitted bodice keeps the voluminous skirt from being overwhelming, and the eyelet detail gives such a sweetness to the minimalist white.

Jenna's Cardigan, $70 at jcrew.com, Notched Skinny Belt, $32.50 at jcrew.com: Now, the funny thing about these dresses is that I was thinking about how I would style them, and I would totally style them the same way.  This plum, fitted cardigan works with the black sheath because the jewel tone adds some richness to the black, and the retro, cropped shape works perfectly with the old school feel of the dress.  It works with the white sundress because the plum warms up the white, and the cropped waist would hit right at the waist of the dress, whereas a longer cardigan would get pushed out by the full skirt and hide your waist.  I'd do this menswear style belt with the black dress because it adds a fun, His Girl Friday twist to the lady-like sheath.  I'm all about contrast, and doing a casual belt with the cocktail dress dresses it down a bit while adding a little sass.  The same belt adds a much needed masculine element to the very girly white dress, and a little bit of visual weight as well.  It's just proof that investing in versatile wardrobe staples, like cardigans and belts, is a great idea because they can work with so many different pieces.

Images via jcrew.com, amazon.com.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Feelin' Nautical

Here is installment #2 of what I got this past weekend/what I wore today.  The weather in SoCal has been terrible (it was like ominous, apocalyptic-status storm clouds all day today) but in pure defiance and because I've been--slightly--immune to the cold, I wore this striped little number today.

Before I say anything else, guess how much it cost.  Just guess.  It was FIFTEEN DOLLARS at H&M.  That's ridiculous.  For a dress?  Ridiculous.  Sure, it doesn't look like it was $300 but I'd have guessed $60, which is four times as much as it actually was.  Which sounds pretty good to me.  Here I'm wearing it with a Forever21 necklace, a vintage belt, and Frye boots.

I know horizontal stripes can be tricky, but they just felt so fresh and nautical today and I had to wear them.  So there.  I also think having such a defined waist with the belt can keep the horizontal stripes from making you look wider, as does showing a little leg.  I actually got this dress for work this summer because it's not too short and it isn't too lowcut, and I can wear it with a little cardigan.  I did the necklace to add a fun, whimsical twist and the boots to add a little weight to the overall look.  One interesting thing with this dress though is that it had a built in waist-tie a good 2 or 3 inches above where I belted it.  I can't do empire-waisted things.  They do not work when you have any semblance of a hip (and I have many semblances).  So I cut the waist tie off and belted it where my natural waist is instead.  Yay for problem solving!  If you're like me and your natural waist is higher or lower than most other peoples', you can use that trick a lot.

I also got this top from Madewell like two weeks ago and totally forgot to blog about it.  It's on the Madewell website for $29.99, but I got it in white from the store for $8.  So cheap!  Definitely go check out your local Madewell to see if they have better sale prices than the website.  I like this tank because it's simple and clean but it has the defined waist tie, which is crazy flattering, especially if you're like me and have a large chest, which tends to push tees away from your body and drown your waist.  It's just a really versatile top that you can dress up and down, for a great price.

Image via madewell.com.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I Blame Blogger

Sooooo last week was a failure.  I'll take the blame for Tuesday and Wednesday because I was moving out of my dorm and flying home to LA, but Thursday and Friday Blogger was totally down and I couldn't log in, so not my fault!  Stupid blogger.  One day I will switch to Tumblr.  One day.  When I become less lazy.

In the meantime, I did some shopping at H&M over the weekend.  I'll share the rest of what I got with y'all over the week, but first up is this blush pink top (totally the color I want to paint my room).  It was like $15, and it's a slouchy, slightly off-the-shoulder top with a little cowl neck and a black waist tie.  I just think it's really cute and the waist tie is flattering.  I like that you can adjust the top to be more off-the-shoulder or more low-cut in front based how you pull the draping.  I'll probably wear it with equestrian inspired boots and jeans or with a black pencil skirt and a cardigan for work and such.

In unrelated news, I finally got around to reading A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff.  A friend recommended it to me like forever ago, and I hit up the library this past weekend to get a bunch of books (I'm like a kid in a candy store there) and grabbed this.  It's about a mid-thirties girl named Phoebe Swift who quits her job at Sotheby's to start a vintage clothing store.  There's some personal development/romance/history stuff in the background, but the part that really fascinated me was reading about all the vintage clothes and their stories, especially these 4 American prom dresses.  They're all different colors and Phoebe sees all these different girls try them on but each dress has a specific girl that it 'belongs' with and it's fun to see how the girls and the dresses end up together.  It's a fun, light but not trashy book that you can read in an afternoon.  Warning, however: it will make you want to buy a LOT of vintage clothes.

Image via amazon.com.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Pretty Chairs and Girly Nail Polish

Today was a girly day.  Or, really, more of a 'I'm done with finals and need to save my brain by watching 100 episodes of Say Yes to the Dress' kind of day.  Here's what happens when you push my brain to the crazy point and then fill it with wedding dresses:

Essie Mademoiselle, $3.25 at amazon.com: I legitimately never wear light pink nail polish.  I'll occassionally do a medium pink, but a light, girly pink?  Nope.  But this past week I've been dealing with a lot of stress from finals, and I have been watching a ridiculous amount of Say Yes to the Dress (putting that on instant view was the worst thing NetFlix ever did to me) and I had this epic craving for a bridal nail polish.  And then I remembered that I had an old bottle of Essie Mademoiselle from high school, so I took a study break today and gave myself a manicure.  Mademoiselle was perfect.  It is a very pale, milky sheer pink cream.  On the nails it has a bit of a squishy, jelly texture from the sheerness, and the color comes out as the lightest imaginable pink.  It's one step up from a 'my nails or better' shade in that you're obviously wearing polish but it's a very natural and flattering shade.  I need 3 coats for coverage, and it applies wonderfully.  So if you're looking for a subtle, very light pink, I highly recommend this.

Highback Chair, $69.99 at ebay.com: The highlight of my day today wasn't finishing 2 papers.  It was finding this chair on eBay.  I know I posted a while ago about finding the perfect armchair for my room next year at Target, but IT SOLD OUT.  I was so upset this morning.  But I think it was one of those things where the universe was telling me that I had better options, because then I found this little guy on eBay.  Basically it's from an eBay seller than makes a ton of really affordable upholstered furniture, and recovers it in the fabric of your choosing.  And with shipping it's just over $100.  Such a win.  I want a slipper chair for my desk/vanity in my room, and this is perfect.  I'm going to spray-paint the legs a glossy black.

Here are my two favorite fabrics.  I'm probably getting the black floral with the pink birds because IT'S SO CUTE.  The print is the ideal mix of glam, baroque, and modern sassy, which is exactly what I'm going for, and the black with the pops of pink fits into my color scheme perfectly.  However I also totally love this modern, clean, preppy pink/white zig zag print.  It's so retro-chic.
Images via ebay.com, premierprints.com.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Random Summery Cravings

I always forget that Victoria's Secret has real-person clothes.  They sell themselves so much as just lingerie, but when you go on the website you realize that there are so many adorable clothes you can get there!

Cut-Out Shoulder Tee, $34.50 at victoriassecret.com, Retro Push-Up Triangle Top, $38 at victoriassecret.com: I love shoulder cut-outs.  I love them in dresses and I love them in tops, but I especially love them in tees because basic tees with a twist are basically the best things over.  They're comfy like a tee but they have a little extra oomph that makes you look polished.  Also this top is really similar to this other top that I really wanted, but the VS one is half as expensive.  WIN.  So I need a new bikini, and I've just accepted at this point that being a 32DD means that I need an underwire bikini.  There's really no other logical solution.  I love sweetly retro styles like this one.  It's clean, but it's old-fashioned and glam at the same time.  It also comes in a fun bright pink and a ton of ridiculous leopard prints, so there's something for everyone.

Lace-Trim Playdress, $29.99 at victoriassecret.com, Zip-front Dress, $59.50 at victoriassecret.com: The first sundress I got from VS was a total failure.  But I can't help going back to look at theirs because they're just SO CUTE.  I like the offbeat print on this blue dress (as, $30 is a pretty fab price), and it's actually a wearable length!  I have a dress a lot like this zip-up dress, but...it's just so sweet.  The silhouette is very retro and girly and wearable, but the zipper adds some fun, edgy sass, and the pink is just so summery and bright.

Conclusion: Victoria's Secret has real-person clothes that I want to wear.  So weird.

Images via victoriassecret.com.

Review: Garnier Fructis Leave-In Conditioner, or The Post In Which I Eat My Words

If you asked me a week ago how I felt about Garnier Fructis, I would have trashed it relentlessly.  I used to use their shampoo and conditioner in high school because they smell great, and then I realized that they were completely trashing my hair and leaving a ton of build-up and I haven't gone near the brand since.

So last weekend (or last last weekend? Hm) I was at CVS looking for a new hair serum.  I have no loyalty when it comes to hair serums and creams, I really just want something that will condition my ends and keep them from being fried but also won't leak everywhere when I travel (such a pet peeve).  This stuff was on sale for like $2, which was so cheap that I got over my brand hatred and got it.  And I am so glad I did.  I think I tweeted a few days ago about how my hair was being weirdly shiny, and I realized that this is why.

So what this claims to do is use Acai berry and grape seed oil to condition your hair and then use UVA & UVB protectants (aka sunscreen) to keep your hair color from fading.  First off, I love, love, love that this has sunscreen in it.  Even though I have the biggest issues with fading on my roots, which is not a place that I'd put a serum, I like that my ends are getting some protection--and I feel like the sun can dry out your hair too, so maybe the sunscreen helps keep in moisture?  I really don't know.  My understanding of chemistry is amusingly limited.

The leave-in conditioner (it's really just a serum) itself is clear and has a really interesting texture.  It looks like it should feel oily, and it looks oily, but the texture itself is more lotiony.  It won't leave your hands oily, and it absorbs really quickly.  I really, really like it.  Also since it's not heavy, I think it will work nicely on thin hair textures too.  I use about a quarter sized amount on wet hair (and I have medium-long, VERY thick hair for reference), but you can also use it on dry hair.  It smells like generic tropical berries--nothing mindblowing, but it's yummy.

This stuff makes my hair so soft, even my fried ends!  I didn't buy this to make my hair shiny, as I just naturally have very shiny hair, but I think this stuff actually makes my hair shinier, which is difficult.  But it just really makes my hair feel so healthy and soft and easy to comb through.  I don't know if it's physically making my hair healthier, but it sure feels so much healthier.  I've gotten more compliments on my hair (including the smell!), and basically my hair loves this stuff.

I doubt that it's going to make my color last longer, but it definitely works as a leave-in conditioner, it smells yummy, and it was very, very cheap.  So overall, this is an A+ for me.  It's $6.99 at drugstore.com.

Image via drugstore.com.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Episode 235 of Random Pretty Things

I just finished a 10 page Spanish paper on love triangles in Baroque literature.  >.<  My brain hurts.  I apologize in advance if this post is entirely illegible. Yay for mindlessly pretty things.

A Lovely Life Dress, $67.99 at modcloth.com, Long Island Longing Dress, $137.99 at modcloth.com: I thought that once I bought that perfect Anthropologie vintage-style sundress I bought a few months ago that my undying need to collect sundresses would die out.  It hasn't.  You literally cannot have enough sundresses.  You can dress them in so many different ways and they come in such different patterns that you could actually make a whole wardrobe out of sundresses.  Modcloth is a great resource for vintage-style clothing--here are 2 adorable little sundresses I found.  I like the graphic black and white print on the first dress against the sweetly retro cut.  This is actually my ideal sundress shape.  If it had a bright floral print, I would actually die a little.  Want.  I'm not particularly preppy or into geometric patterns, but this blue and white dress is just so refreshing.  The simple cut works with the busy print really nicely.  I'd pair it with a bright pink belt and some neutral flat sandals, maybe a set of bangles?

Set of 10 Tissue Poms, $28 at etsy.com: I realize that these may be a little overpriced at $2.80 a piece, but they're so CUTE.  You can choose from a bunch of different colors and you get 10 flowers in various sizes with fishing line to hang them on.  I'd hang these in my room from my walls and ceiling.  They're a great, low-damage, low-effort, and cheap way to add some sass to your room, and you can coordinate them with your color scheme!  And I totally just talked myself into buying them.

Vintage Apothecary Jars, $22 at etsy.com: I love, love, love vintage-y glassware, and these apothecary/candy-style jars are so perfect for storing things in. The style is adorably retro and sweet, but the minimalist glass keeps them from being too old-school and dated.  I'd use these a few ways--to store cookies and candies in the kitchen, or to store makeup in the bathroom.  These would be so great for storing tall, skinny things like makeup brushes, eyeliners, mascaras, lip glosses, etc.  I'm so bad at being organized so anything that keeps my stuff all together and is actually cute is a win by me.

Images via modcloth.com, etsy.com.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Finals.  Dying.  Ugh.  Must write 10 page paper.  In a different language.  So, today's post is short and sweet.

Tiffany Twist Bow Ring, $225 at tiffanys.com, Tiffany Love Diamond Ring, $2,250 at tiffanys.com: I love tiny bows.  Especially tiny bows on rings.  It's a cute riff on tying a string around your finger to remember something, and it's just so quirky and dainty and adorable and now I need it.  But not as much as I need this love ring.  HOW AWESOME IS THAT?  I'd like it without the diamonds but diamonds make everything better.  It's almost a little too trite and over the top, but I have such a soft spot for hopelessly romantic stuff like this that I can't help but like it.

 I'm in crazy apartment decorating mode since I'm moving into my new off campus house in just over a month (OMG), and I was going through some of the pictures in my interior decorating inspiration file.  Here are two of my favorites.  I just realized how similar the color palettes of these 2 rooms are.  I love a grey wall, especially a grey accent wall or a metallic grey wall (LOVE).  The pops of reflective surfaces, like the mirrors, and the bright pinks and blues really make the rooms.  This is actually a lot like I want my real life house to look like.  Hm.

I may not be the most domestic of girls (aside from the addiction to baking) but I do love me a good candle.  But it needs to have a very specific, real-smelling scent, and it needs to smell homey and preferably like baked goods.  I spotted this candle company on Temptalia and it got such rave reviews that I had to look at it.  A 16 ounce candle is $12.50, which is pretty decent.  They literally have over 600 scents and I want ALL OF THEM.  Here are my top 3: Cinnamon Apple Berry, with cinnamon sticks, apples, and berries with a touch of sugar, Country Bumpkin, with apples, candied yams, marshmallows, sweet cream butter, brown sugar, nutmeg, crushed cinnamon bark, and fresh cloves, Chai Tea, with brewed tea, cinnamon, clove, ginger, vanilla, and honey.  I want my life to smell like chai tea, so that's a win.  Country Bumpkin sounds exactly like Thanksgiving smells, and Cinnamon Apple Berry is making my mouth water.  This will be happening.

Images via tiffanys.com, designsponge.com, candlesbyvictoria.com.


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