Thursday, January 28, 2016

{coffee + clothes}

Photography by Lauren

Two weekends ago I spent an early Sunday morning in Georgetown with three of my best blogger babes talking New York Fashion Week over coffee. It was only the beginning of what is sure to be an incredible 4 days in NYC! I can't wait to soak in everything New York and see all of the fashion... it's been insane planning outfits and getting every detail smoothed out. I know it's all going to change once we get there but the anticipation is killing me... the count down is on!! Two weeks :)


Love Always,

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

{beauty | favorite hair products}

I must admit one of my darkest secrets today... I'm living with thin/fine hair. I try my hardest to hide it! I curl it, tease my roots, load up on the hairspray, whip it back and forth ;) I will do anything to make it seem like I have thick, lush, gorgeous hair. I rely 100% on really great products to make my hair look exactly how I want it to. Since I'm in the mood to share all my secrets today I'm sharing my top line-up of go-to's. Starting with my favorite shampoo/conditioner to my styling products to my hairspray and then all the way to my dry shampoo favorites.

*This post isn't sponsored. While some products may be c/o, all opinions are my own and I genuinely love the product and highly recommend it. I test everything before I share it with you all*

Healthy hair starts at the roots and continuous to the end. I fight my two hardest battles with shampoo and conditioner - flat hair and split ends. I've tried a TON of different shampoos but TRESemme always pulls through without leaving any buildup behind (you know, when you get out of the shower and feel like the product weighed your hair down instead of doing it's job).

Once a week I like to deep condition my hair (in replacement of the usual conditioner) to really give my strands a chance to soak up some nutrients. The Victoria's Secret hair mask smells incredible and has been a favorite of mine since high school. I always grab a bottle when I'm in the store since it's not on their website. I just recently picked up the L'Oreal mask at CVS a month ago and my split ends seemed to disappear completely after the first use. I could really feel a strength difference after a couple uses! I like to leave on a hair mask or deep conditioner for at least 5 minutes - shaving my legs while letting my hair absorb the goodness normally does the trick.

Once you're out of the shower it's all about helping your hair through the styling process and protecting it. If I'm getting dolled up I reach for my Drybar mousse but if it's a casual work day and I need my hair to look good for two days sans hair washing I swear by the Living Proof style extender. The Mr. Incredible product is brand new - so new that I was sent a bottle with no branding. I included it in my round-up today after using it for 2 weeks because it's SERIOUSLY incredible. I'm not kidding I just ordered another bottle last night... Go out and buy it now! It prevents breakage, detangles, softens, smoothes, defrizzes, conditions, and hydrates. The very first time I used it I didn't even feel the need to straighten my hair. Incredible. However, speaking of straightening my hair... I won't put a hot tool directly to my strands without spraying this brazilian keratin therapy all over my dry hair. It's part of every combination of hair products I mix together. It has a great coconut smell to it too!

I've been through LOTS of hair straighteners. Probably because I use it for everything... straightening my hair, adding some lift to roots, curling my hair, and even ironing my clothes in a pinch (come on, you do it too). This CHI is the best one I've found because it gets hot fast and evenly and is open on the sides so I can curl my hair without giving it a crimped line. I love to use this comb to detangle my hair right when I get out of the shower and to gently brush out my curls for second day hair.

I'm so picky about hairsprays... I hate ones that leave your hair totally matted down and untouchable. What fun is a curl if it's plastered into a shape and you can't have it bounce around when you dance?! TRESemme is my favorite for curls because it holds it in place while still allowing it to move and breathe. Plus, it resists humidity! I always spray my hair all-over before curling, each section I'm about to curl and then the finished curled piece. Drybar hairspray is my every-day, spray all over, rushing out the door, top choice. Top everything off with some shine mist and you look like you have VS supermodel runway hair.

Dry Shampoos: Every girl's favorite life saver trick of the trade! I did a blog post about my favorite dry shampoos here but added Living Proof PHD to my line up. All give a nice powdery finish and keep my hair bouncy the next day. Don't forget... always spray it in the night before you go without hair washing so the dry shampoo gets worked from your roots to your ends.

What products do you swear by? Let me know your favorites below - I love trying new hair products!


Love Always,

Thursday, January 21, 2016

{wind in my hair}

Photography by Emily Smalling

H&M Silk Scarf ($13) // Basic Black Shirt // Black Circle Skirt // J.Crew Tights // Target Heels, old (suede heels) // Love's Affect Earrings c/o (similar) // Rebecca Minkoff Purse // Stella & Dot Bracelet // David Yurman Cuff // Shop Ditto Sunglasses (first month free with code SOUTHERNANCHORS) // Essie Polish in "Twin Sweater Set"

"Wind in my hair, I was there, I remember it all too well" -T.Swift

It was a chilly, windy day when we took these photos but boy did it do wonders for this scarf. It already has such movement to it but now it's really just showing off. I love the unexpected pairing of navy, mustard yellow, blush, and black with traces of purple. It's a true statement piece with a bit of 70's flair. Being able to wear a scarf like this was a welcome change since the majority of winter blanket scarves makes me feel like I'm being swallowed. Don't get me wrong - I love my blanket scarves - but a different material is a nice change of pace to get me out of a winter rut!

Love Always,

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

{how to: contour}

Contouring used to be a total mystery to me... some people describe it like war paint. I've found that simplifying it really isn't that hard. It's all about knowing how to create shadows and highlights across your face (this varies with your face shape FYI). After 2 months of having this It Cosmetics Contour Palette I think I've finally gotten the hang of it! 

I've got a step-by-step tutorial on which shades to use and where to use them below... Let me know if you have any contouring tips/tricks in the comments. I'd love to improve my makeup skills :)

1 // Use the darkest shade (2 shades darker than your skin tone) to carve out your cheekbones. Using the flat side of your brush sweep the color from the top corner of your ear following the bottom of your cheekbone stopping before you hit your smile lines. TIP: purse your lips to find the natural contour area (or smile awkwardly like me).

2 // Lightly swirl your brush in shade #2 (1 shade darker than your skin tone - this could be a bronzer). Apply color down the sides of the bridge of your nose, creating a shadow like effect. TIP: I also like to apply this shade to the tops of my cheekbones blending it with my blush.

3 // Using a light shade (#3) apply color around your hairline and jawline. In the summer I will probably not use this shade since it's so close to my skin tone, but right now I'm pretty pale... so I keep the shading around the edges of my face light.

4 // The white powder is a matte highlighter but I like to use it under my eyes to help set my concealer. I focus on the outer edges of my eyes avoiding the area closest to my nose - you don't want a raccoon look and this helps widen your eyes!

5 // Using just the tip of your brush dip it in shade #5. This is the "illuminating" highlighter that you're probably familiar with. Apply lightly to the outside tops of your cheekbones (where shade #4 was just brushed on), bridge of your nose, cupids bow (to make your pout pop), center of your forehead, and chin. This is really the icing on the cake! TIP: a little goes a long way - you don't want to sparkle!

And just so you have a better visual of where I put the shades... I give you: my war paint! My last step is to lightly blend everything together with a big powder brush. This will help ease any harsh lines without erasing all of the work you just did. TIP: Go easy on the dark cheekbone contour lines and make sure color is blended down on to your neck!

Photography by Lauren

Love Always,

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

{fur-get about it}

Photography by Emily Smalling

I got this fur vest two summers ago and I always get so many compliments on it. I have a plain black one that I will wear but the unique pattern on this always makes it a winner. I kept the rest of my outfit simple with ripped skinnies and my favorite emerald green sweater. Throw on some pumps and lipstick for a night out on the town!

Love Always,
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