Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Oscars 2015 Gowns

This year I skipped out on actually watching the Oscars, but I did tune in for the red carpet to watch all the gorgeous gowns!  As I tweeted, the Oscars Red Carpet is my Super Bowl.  Thankfully, I have to say I was quite impressed, as everyone looked fabulous.  Here I have my absolute favorites from the show & tomorrow I will have my favorite looks from the after parties.

Jennifer Hudson in Romona Keveza  |  Jennifer Lopez in Elie Saab  |  Emma Stone in Elie Saab  |  Jennifer Aniston in Versace

Jenna Dewan-Tatum in Zuhair Murad  |  Karolina Kurkova in Marchesa  |  Reese Witherspoon in Tom Ford

Rosamund Pike in Givenchy  |  Giuliana Rancic in Mireille Dagher  |  Gwyneth Paltrow in Ralph & Russo Couture  |  Anna Kendrick in Thakoon

Sienna Miller in Oscar de la Renta  |  Margot Robbie in Saint Laurent  |  Jamie Chung in Yanina Couture  |
Cate Blanchett in Maison Margiela Couture by John Galliano

Anna Faris in Zuhair Murad  |  Naomi Watts in Armani PrivĂ©  |  Chrissy Teigen in Zuhair Murad

Which gowns were your favorite?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Look for Less

Dress: Forever 21 $22.80  |  Blazer: LUCLUC $25.99  |  Shoes: Steve Madden $79.95

This look, worn last week to celebrate the Paper Crown & Rifle Paper collaboration, is classic Lauren Conrad.  With it's soft colors & feminine silhouette this look is very romantic & chic.  While not all of us are lucky enough to live in sunny SoCal, this look has me even more excited for Spring to arrive. An outfit like this would be perfect from Spring straight through Summer for dinner with friends, a bridal or baby shower, or a special brunch.  The pieces I've put together here will give you a look similar to Conrad's for a fraction of the price.  Snatch them up now before anyone else is even thinking of what to wear when it the temperatures finally warm up!

What do you think of Lauren's look?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts

Happy Friday the 13th & (early) Valentine's Day!  I feel like we just celebrated Christmas, & cannot believe that Valentine's Day is tomorrow, it feels crazy.  I think that whether you're single or taken Valentine's Day can be a fun day - it's just what you make of it!  No matter your relationship status everyone should have a Valentine & get them a little something to celebrate.  I know everyone is crazy busy & a few of us probably haven't had the chance to pick something up so here are a few last minute gift ideas for everyone in your life from your friends to your parents to yourself!

For Your Friends:
What girl doesn't love beauty products that pamper?  If you're looking for something cute to get for your friends any of these sweet, natural, & Valentine's Day themed LUSH products are sure to brighten their day.

For Your Mom:
Moms do so much for everyone in their lives, so it's nice to show a little extra appreciation whenever you can.  These adorable Kate Spade earrings are very appropriate for the holiday & will be a sweet edition for to your mom's jewelry collection.

For Your Dad:
If your Dad is anything like mine he's been giving you Valentine's Day gifts & cards for as long as you can remember; this year show him how much you've always loved that by getting him a present. This set is the ultimate bar kit & holds all the essentials, it is perfect for when your dad is attempting to hone his bartending skills.

For Your Siblings:
If you want to get something for a sibling a gift card to Starbucks is a great idea.  Just about everyone I know would be thrilled to get one of these & you can get them for only $10, which keeps it small, but is still very appreciated.

For Your Pet:
My sister showed me a statistic the other day that this year people will spend $703 million on Valentine's Day gifts for their pets!  This cute heart toy is sure to make any dog very happy.

For Your Man:
It doesn't necessarily have to be whiskey, but getting a monthly club membership for your man's favorite alcohol makes for an awesome gift.  The bonus is that all you have to do is order it online & his membership will begin, how easy is that?

For Yourself:
I always think it's fun to get yourself a present for the holidays!  This Kate Spade watch is too cute & super appropriate for the holiday of hearts.

So hopefully this list will be some help to any last minute shoppers!  Are you done with all your Valentine's Day preparations or are you still looking for the perfect gift?  Let me know below & make sure to have a wonderful & safe Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Grammy Awards 2015 Gowns

The fashion at the Grammy Awards is always a bit more crazy than what we'll see on other red carpets throughout award season.  It's always fun to see what looks - the good & the bad, that show up to the Grammys.  Here I have my favorites from the night.Chrissy Teigen in Emilio Pucci  |  Katherine McPhee in Emilio Pucci  |  Jennifer Hudson in Tom Ford 
Nicole Kidman in Mugler  |  Anna Kendrick in Band of Outsiders  |  Olivia Culpo in Dsquared2

BeyoncĂ© in Proenza Schouler  |  Taylor Swift in Elie Saab  |  Jessie J in Ralph & Russo

Katy Perry in Zuhair Murad  |  Gwyneth Paltrow in Saint Laurent  |  Rosci Diaz in Jovani

Which look was your favorite of the night?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Skin Care 101: Cleansers

There are several different types or 'categories' of cleansers in the beauty world.  I think that having different types of cleansers in your beauty routine is necessary for keeping your skin flawless. Everyone should have a cleanser that they use regularly & then can turn to the other cleansers they have when they are having different skin issues.  Today I am going to show you the different cleansers I think everyone should have, when to use them, & what to do if you don't want all of them.

When to Use: During a breakout or as your regular cleanser if you have chronic acne or oily skin.
Splurge: This is a full strength cleanser that will help to keep breakouts at bay.  The salicylic acid works to clean your face, dissolve oil, & wipeout any bacteria.  Murad's cleanser does not contain parabens or sulfates, which may irritate more sensitive skin.
Save: For a less expensive version (& the one I frequently use) pick up this drug store alternative.  It too uses salicylic acid to clear up skin & deep clean pores.  Neutrogena's cleanser is formulated without oil & will not leave behind residue on your skin.
My Advice: I have combination skin & use this when my skin has a bad breakout.  Since my skin dries out easily I use this only before bed for 1 to 2 days, & apply moisturizer after.

When to Use: If you are experiencing a 'dry spell' with your skin or typically have normal to dry skin.  This is also the perfect type of cleanser for those with sensitive skin.
Splurge: This super gentle cleanser will work to calm skin and help to restore moisture while still effectively cleaning.  First Aid's cleanser is filled with antioxidants which will help to combat any free radicals your skin has come into contact with.
Save: This cleanser is hailed by dermatologists, celebrities, & beauty mavens alike because of how well it works to keep your skin clean & moisturized.  This suits all types of skin and is fragrance free, which is what helps to make it so popular.
My Advice: This is the cleanser that I use the most often, as I mentioned above I have combination skin that tends to get dry, I find that a creamy cleanser usually keeps my skin clear without irritating or drying it.  Make sure to thoroughly remove all makeup with a makeup wipe before washing to ensure that this fully cleans your skin.

When to Use: Use a scrub 1 - 2 times week to prevent the build-up of skin cells and flaking skin.
Splurge: ExfoliKate was created by Kate Somerville, a Hollywood hailed skincare guru, & is very popular among her celebrity clients.  It works to exfoliate both physically & chemically to smooth your skin & fight blemishes.
Save: This scrub uses natural exfoliants to buff away impurities & is known to prevent blackheads & minimize pores.
My Advice: Exfoliating is important, but should only be done 1 - 2 times a week to avoid over-exfoliation.  Also be careful not to exfoliate when your skin is irritated or you will further the irritation.

When to Use: Use this if you have normal to dry skin or if you are having a particularly bad 'dry spell'.
Splurge: Josie Maran's products are known for being super luxe & moisturizing, in addition to being all natural.  This product is filled with argan oil (the brand's signature ingredient) & does not contain sulfates or parabens. 
Save: When it seems like my skin will not hold moisture I will use coconut oil to wash my face for a few days in a row.  It always does the trick & cleanses very gently.  The instructions for how I use coconut oil to cleanse are here.
My Tips & Tricks: I use an oil to cleanse mostly in the winter when I am experiencing a period of very dry skin.  Using an oil will pamper your skin & help to keep it moisturized without causing you to breakout.

When to Use: Use this if you have sensitive skin or like using more natural products in your beauty routine.  Honey is filled with antibacterial properties & will also work to moisturize your skin.
Splurge: Manuka Honey has very high levels of antibacterial agents.  Additionally it contains active hydrogen peroxide, which helps to cleanse the skin.  You can find more benefits of Manuka Honey here, & learn more about why it works so well to keep your face clear.
Save: While raw honey does not contain as many antibacterial agents as Manuka Honey it still works well to clean your skin, but at a fraction of the price.  This is a healthy alternative to chemical filled store brought cleansers that we typically use.
My Tips & Tricks: Take some honey in your hands & mix with a few drops of water, use as you would a typical face wash & rinse.  You can also mix with a few drops of water & leave on your face as a mask, which is my favorite thing to do when using honey.

When to Use: Once a day for normal or dry skin, twice a day for oily skin, 3 - 4 times a week for sensitive skin.
Splurge: Clarisonic brushes work to give your skin the deepest clean available.  Using sonic technology this brush cleans your skin 6 times better than when you wash with your hands.  The deep clean you get when using this helps your skin to better absorb creams & serums.
Save: The Olay brush works to exfoliate your skin & help to achieve a better texture.  It too allows your skin to better absorb creams & serums you use after cleansing with it.  While it lacks the sonic technology that the Clarisonic uses it is still a more effective way to cleanse then washing with your hands for a fraction of the cost.
My Tips & Tricks: I actually own both of these brushes (I just purchased the Clarisonic!), & while I have noticed a significant change in my skin since using the Clarisonic for only a short period of time, if you do not want to splurge on the brush the Olay version works very well too.

While I do recommend having all of these products in your skincare arsenal so that you can tailor your routine to what your skin is doing at the moment you can definitely get by without all of them.

Bare Minimum: Anti Acne, Creamy &/or Oil, & a Brush &/or Exfoliating Cleanser.
Next Level: Anti Acne, Creamy &/or Oil, Natural, & a Brush.
All the Way: Everything listed here!

Depending on your skin type you should use an Anti Acne or Creamy Cleanser regularly with a your brush & turn to the other types of cleansers when they address the skin issue you are experiencing. There are many more products for each type of cleanser, but I have listed here the ones that I personally use or ones that I have heard the best reviews for.  My best advice is to get to know your skin so that you can properly take care of it & achieve a clear & glowing complexion!

What is your favorite type of cleanser?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Pin It

Lately I've been a little Pinterest crazy, there are just so many great things to discover & it's easy to get pulled in for a long time trying to check it all out.  Today I have for you the pins I've been loving lately!  (You can find me on Pinterest here.)

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For quite a while now I've been obsessed with neutral colors when it comes to fashion.  Neutral colors make for a simple & chic look, & go with everything.  One of my favorite boards is my Neutral Palette board, which I pin many looks like these & more.  I always turn to this board for inspiration when looking for clean, classic outfit inspiration; there are so many looks for any occasion.

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Finding different beauty tips & tricks on Pinterest is something I spend way too much time doing because there is so much to be learned.  Since I cut off 4 inches of my hair in December I have been all about making sure it grows back healthier than it was before & have been pinning to my Hair Care board frequently.  Over the last few months I have been obsessed with lipstick, right now I'm really loving a nude lip look, & my Makeup board really reflects it!  Lastly, I'm always up for anything that will make my skin glow, like this Grapefruit Sugar Scrub, which is why I'm always pinning to my Skin Care board.

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Since I love all things DIY I'm sure you've guessed that I pin to my Creative board quite a lot.  In the past few months anything gold has a favorite of mine so I was super excited to find a blog post that teaches how to make beautiful gold foil prints.  Next, I've always thought that balloons & confetti were fun party touches & I love this tutorial for combining the two!  Lastly, pretty hair accessories are always chic & needless to say I am all about making my own.

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For as long as I can remember the recipes on Pinterest have always been a favorite of mine.  Lately I've been on a major sweet kick especially when it comes to breakfast foods.  My Gammy used to make us Zeppoles & I was super excited to find this recipe & immediately had to pin it to my Something Sweet board.  I've been craving all things sweet & cinnamony so pinning these Cinnamon Sugar Donuts & Hot Cross Cinnamon Sticky Buns to my Morning Eats board were necessities.

These are all my latest Pinterest loves!  What are yours?