Friday, December 19, 2014

Not Your Kids' Christmas Pajamas

Looking adorable on Christmas morning is not just for children, the young at heart can be chic & festive too!  Here are a few of my favorite holiday pajamas.

Top, left to right: ModCloth  |  J.Crew  |  Hanna Andersson  |  ASOS  |  PJ Salvage
Bottom, left to right: J.Crew  |  PJ Salvage  |  Abercrombie & Fitch  |  PJ Salvage  |  Splendid

I feel like cute pajama sets have made a major come back in the last few years, especially for women.  Even more recently onesies have become really big, so I couldn't resist adding the leopard hooded onesie from Abercrombie & Fitch, it is too fun!  For the holidays many companies put out their sets in Christmas or Winter prints that are perfect to wear when you're opening your presents on Christmas morning.  Wearing these any of these adorable sets will also make early morning pictures a little less painful (because we all know how fun those are!).  On Christmas Day I love to lounge around a bit after opening gifts just to relax & take everything in; wearing any of these cozy pjs would sure to make that even more enjoyable.

So when you're thinking about Christmas morning don't forget to think about the pajamas you're wearing - you'll look adorable in any of the sets here!  Which pair is your favorite?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Celebrity Style Obsession: Cameron Diaz

Throughout the years Cameron Diaz has stayed true to her personal style & her cool California-girl roots.  Her outfits always look easy & attainable for real women.  She favors different style dresses for public appearances & crisp denim for her off duty looks.  Lately she has been trying out some edgier looks with leather pants & a leather dress, which have been incredibly chic. For her every day looks she sticks to a neutral palette, but is not afraid to wear bright colors on the red carpet from time to time, with red seeming to be a favorite. Cameron's hair is typically styled in no-fuss looks, & aside from her foray in brunette territory a few years back she has stuck to a warm blonde color that looks great on her.  When dressing for a more formal event or simply for daily activities Cameron Diaz is a star who's style will serve as great inspiration.

Which of Cameron's looks is your favorite?

Today I'm linking up with I Feel Pretty, WIWW, MidWeek Muse, & Random Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Every Body is Beautiful

I hate explaining why I haven't been here in a while because it drives me insane that I haven't been able to blog consistently & it always feels like it comes off as an excuse.  Nevertheless over the last week & a half I have been swarmed with schoolwork (currently finals!) & really not feeling well, which means this post is coming to you almost a week late.  The reason I decided to still write this post is because the topic is something that causes controversy when it first takes place, but then seems to die down after only a few days.  However this topic is something that is still important after the initial discussions dissipate, & for this reason I'm actually glad that I'm late to the game.
So I'm sure you have already figured out what I want to discuss today; the 2014 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show was aired on television a week ago today.  This showing always causes an uprise for a few different reasons, I think the two most talked about topics are the fact that people feel it degrades women & that it leads to body image issues for the women watching.  I have my own take on these two topics that I wanted to share today.  I want to prelude my post though by saying that I'm not trying to push my opinions off on anyone or to offend anyone, I'm simply using my little space to express my views on the subject.

Topic #1: The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Degrades Women
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is an event that I've watched for over ten years now & is something I look forward to every year.  The Fashion Show is so glittery and glamorous, & something that I think is a lot of fun to watch.  The models are these insanely gorgeous women who wear the most amazing lingerie; my absolute favorite part of the fashions are the stunning wings - it always seems like each set tops the last.  However, many people feel that supermodels walking around in underwear for millions to see is quite demeaning, which is something I do not agree with.
I like to look at this aspect of the fashion show in a unique way.  I think that these women are wearing beautiful fashions that have been worked on for months, the fact that they happen to be minimal does not detract from this.  Next, they are walking in this highly choreographed show, a show that is meant to be sexy, fun, & the epitome of glamour.  These women walk with such confidence showing other women that they too should be confident in their underwear.  The models in the show voluntarily audition for it & are so excited to be in it because it is such an honor in the fashion industry.  
I think that instead of looking at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show as demeaning to women, it should be looked at as empowering.  It shows women how to be confident & have fun while being sexy.

Topic #2: The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Leads to Poor Body Image
The thing that bothers me the most about the aftermath of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is the constant bashing of the models & their bodies.  I feel like everyone puts emphasis on the fact that the models are "too thin" & don't have "realistic" body types.  However in actuality the models do have realistic body types because their bodies are real.  These women do diet & exercise more then the average person, but if it was your job to model underwear wouldn't you do the same?  I know I would.  I would want to know that I was making the best effort to make myself look my best & feel comfortable in this situation, just like I would want to put my best foot forward in any other job.
The thing that people don't understand is that bashing people who are thin is the exact same thing as bashing people who are overweight.  There are a variety of different body types, but I feel like we are only told to love our curves, but what about the girls out there who don't have any?  They should be taught to love their bodies too, not feel ashamed for being what others deem "too thin".  
I can tell you from personal experience that being bashed for being skinny is hurtful.  I am a naturally tiny person & that in combination with food allergies and Crohn's disease leaves me on the thinner side.  I think there have been two different comments that I have gotten from people that I have found the most disturbing.  First, & most common, I have had people tell me that I am so lucky that I have Crohn's and food allergies because I will always be thin.  I'm not sure on what planet that having very limited food choices & a serious disease is a positive thing, but multiple people have been bold enough to tell me this.  The second thing is that I have been asked if I have an eating disorder because somehow being thin automatically leads people to this conclusion.  I don't understand why people think these are acceptable things to say, but in society it has been deemed ok to bash people who are thin.
Models are subjected to this kind of bashing every day, & while they do put themselves out there, no body type should be bashed.  While some models may be a bit too thin & their body type is not the most common out there, it is still a body type & we should be promoting positive body image for all women, no matter their size.
These are my feelings on the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.  This fashion show is a fun performance that combines fashion & music.  It is a fun & sexy time that encourages women to be confident & is quite entertaining to watch.  I encourage you to think about what I've written here the next time you read something with conflicting views.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but I think it is important to look at all sides of the issue.  So what are your feelings on the Victoria's Secret Fashion show?

Today I'm linking up with Confident Twosday.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Ultimate Gift Guide

My final gift guide is quite special because all of the items on it were chosen by my most stylish friends.  I wanted to put together the ultimate gift guide for girls in their twenties, so I thought who better to ask then a bunch of girls in their twenties.  This list is filled with items for all price points & are all sure to please!

Girl's Gift Guide
Recommended by: Shannon, 23, Physical Therapy Grad Student (Twitter: @shannonsamluk)
Shannon swears by her Clarisonic for glowing skin.  This item has a cult following & any  beauty junkie is sure to love it.  The fun part about this is that in comes in a wide variety of colors, which means you can get her her favorite color!

Recommended by: Angela, 21, Nursing Student (Twitter: @angelina314)
Angela always has the prettiest eye makeup & inspired me to get my first Naked Palette (I have the second one & I love it!).  The Naked Palettes have a cult following of their own & because of their neutral colors they are perfect for anyone from makeup beginners to those more advanced.  Angela says, they're "the perfect combo of neutral colors that can be used for everyday or for more dramatic evening looks!"

Recommended by: Georgette, 21, Business Student (Twitter: georgettelaw26)
It's no surprise that Georgette wants one of the most popular accessories for the colder months. While Georgette said she would like any scarf, I chose this Lilly one because I think that it is adorable (well that & Georgette is the ultimate Lilly girl!).

Recommended by: Lia, 22, Research Assistant (Instagram: @liadanielle1)
L'Occitane products are always super luxe as they are made with the finest ingredients.  This super moisturizing body cream is free of parabens & sure to make skin soft as silk!

Recommended by: Bridget, 19, Sociology Student (Twitter: @bridgetthomp)
This works as both an eyeliner & eyeshadow so it's really a 2 in 1.  I've heard nothing but wonderful reviews of these & a Smudge Pot would go really well with one of the Naked Palettes.

Recommended by: Jenn, 23, Social Work Student (Instagram: @jenndefazio)
Jenn loves all things LUSH, which is something we have in common.  I honestly have never tried a product from LUSH that I haven't loved & usually have several of their products in rotation at any given time.  Jenn says her favorite products are any of the bath items, especially the bath bombs.  The bath bombs would make a great stocking stuffer or if you're looking for an item that is a little more, a gift card is the way to go so your recipient can have fun picking out something for herself!

Recommended by: Briana, 20, Geography Student (Twitter: bsquared_94)
When I asked Briana what fashion or beauty item she would want for Christmas she instantly responded a Kate Spade watch.  With all the pretty designs it's hard to pick just one!

Recommended by: Jordyn, 22, Founder of The Fairy Princess Diaries (Twitter: @fairy_princessj)
A GlamGlow mask is a splurge item, which makes it the perfect gift for someone special.  This mud mask is professional quality & "works with the body's natural moisturizing collagen to provide gentle resurfacing exfoliation and helps to leave skin smoother, brighter, and softer."  This is a particularly great pick for a girl who loves taking care of her skin!

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Gift Guide $50 & Under

For my next gift guide I've upped the price a bit!  This guide is filled with goodies that any girl on your list would love to get.  From makeup to accessories to a fashion filled coffee book, there's a little something for everyone!

Gifts $50 & Under
In my opinion mascara is one of the most important, if not the most important, item in your makeup arsenal.  This fun set is filled with ten of the top selling mascaras at Sephora.  I got one of these for my sister a few Christmases ago & she absolutely loved it.  She really enjoyed getting to sample many mascaras & pick a favorite!

Blanket scarves are huge this season & make a great gift for anyone on your list.  I love the pretty print on this one - it will add a subtle pop to any outfit!  Free People calls this scarf super soft, which makes it cute & cozy.

This palette is a smaller version of the larger cult classic NAKED Palettes.  It features six matte eyeshadows that are sure to make a gorgeous neutral eye look.  This is a perfect gift for a girl on the go, as its compact size makes it the perfect travel companion. 

These earrings come in a variety of colors, meaning there is one for everyone on your list.  I have these in navy & wear them all the time!  I would definitely say these are a style staple.

Pretty key fobs always make for a great gift.  In addition to the adorable fobs at Henri Bendel, Coach makes cute ones too!  This one is my favorite though because I love bows & rose gold, which is also very on trend.

I featured a different headband in this style on Monday, but the fur makes this one even more luxe then the knit one.  This is sure to keep any lady warm & stylish!

Fashion coffee table books are a must have for any fashionista.  I own several myself & love setting them out in my apartment because they're not only fun to read, but make for lovely decor.  This book is one of the most popular books of its kind.  Net-A-Porter says, it "explores the history and technologies that have shaped shoe design through the centuries. This cloth-bound edition features 300 illustrations and contributions from Christian Louboutin, Bruno Frisoni and Sarah Jessica Parker." This is perfect for the shoe obsessed girl in your life!

This kit features Sephora's best selling items for getting ready to spend a night on the town.  It features nine hair & makeup products packed into a metallic clutch.  This is perfect for primping for all of the holiday parties coming up!

Today I'm linking up with WIWW, I Feel Pretty, Random Wednesday, & MidWeek Muse.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Raid Your Kitchen to Wash Your Face

If you've been reading along for a while then you know that I love finding natural alternatives for different beauty products.  One of the easiest places to swap your beauty products for something you can find in your kitchen is when it comes to washing your face.  There are several food products that have a list of benefits when it comes to face care, & can even work better then the pricey cleansers you're most likely using.  Here are a few items that you probably already have in your kitchen that will give you a glowing complexion.

Coconut oil is a favorite of mine for many different beauty purposes.  It works wonders as a cleanser, as using oil is the best way to dissolve the oil on your face.  It's also a great way to cleanse your skin without over drying it, which is very important this time of year.  During the late fall & straight through winter I switch out my typical cleanser for coconut oil when I feel my face getting a bit dry.  It really helps your skin to retain moisture, & I typically like to use this method on chilly mornings.

To use it as a cleanser you will need coconut oil, a wash cloth, & to have removed your makeup first.  Take enough coconut oil to cover your face, rub it between your hands to warm it so it becomes a liquid, & apply to your face, massaging in a circular motion.  Take the wash cloth & run it under the warmest water your skin can handle, & wring it out.  Take the moist cloth & lay it over your face for thirty seconds to one minute; this steams your skin & allows the pores to open up.  Remove the cloth & gently scrub your entire face with it in a circular motion.  Finish by splashing some warm water on your face.  Dry, then use toner & moisturizer as normal.

Using milk as a cleanser is my latest obsession.  Lately my skin has been crazy dry & flaky, but nothing I've tried has helped!  I saw somewhere that using milk instead of cleanser is the best way to get rid of dry, flaky skin on your face because the lactic acid in the milk helps to exfoliate & the fat in the milk will moisturize the skin.  In addition you apply it with a wash cloth, which also helps to exfoliate.  After just one use my skin looked significantly better, & after using it several times it has made my skin glow.  If you only try one thing from this list, this absolutely has to be it!

To use it as a cleanser you need a few ounces of 2% or whole milk in a glass, a wash cloth, & to have removed your makeup first.  Dip the wash cloth in milk & apply it to your face gently scrubbing in a circular motion, dip the cloth in milk repeatedly as you cleanse your whole face.  When you are finished splash your face with luke warm water.  Dry then use toner & moisturizer as normal.

Using sugar as a scrub is one of the most well known natural beauty hacks out there.  I've been using this mixture for years to smooth my skin, when it was looking a little lackluster.  It combines the benefits of milk mentioned above, with the extra scrubbing power of brown sugar.

To make the scrub mix 2 tablespoons of brown sugar & 1 teaspoon milk.  Make sure to remove your makeup before using the scrub.  Apply the scrub to your face in a gentle circular motion, do not scrub your face too vigorously.  After scrubbing your whole face, rinse off with warm water.  Dry & use toner & moisturizer as normal.

These are my favorite ways to naturally wash my face.  Do you use any cleanser alternatives not listed here?  If you do share below, I would love to try them!

Today I'm linking up with Confident Twosday & Stylish Tuesday.