Tuesday, March 21, 2017

5 Best Beauty Finds

Recently I've discovered a few new beauty products that I can't get enough of. I wanted to share my recommendations since I always love to hear other people's opinions when trying to navigate the endless options of beauty products out there these days. These are a few products I've been using pretty much every day and only wish I had found sooner! 

The first of these finds is the Smashbox under eye primer, which I feel like I can't live with out ever since I discovered it! I first got a sample size of this from Sephora with my beauty insider rewards, and it's the best thing I've ever discovered unexpectedly. I don't know what magic is in it, but it really helps to minimize under eye dark circles and puffiness. The gel is very sheer with a slight shimmer to it that is imperceptible once it's on your skin, but certainly helps you to look more awake and under eye circles less dramatic. Even on days when I don't bother with makeup, I will usually swipe a little bit of this under my eyes to make my face look more awake and presentable.

This bareMinerals tinted hydrating gel was an impulse buy when I needed to spend a few more dollars to unlock a promo, and I don't regret it one bit. It's a great back up to have on hand for days when you don't want to put on a full face of makeup, but want to even out your skin tone a bit and add a touch of color. The shade I grabbed is probably a little darker than would be recommended for me, but it goes on pretty sheer while still delivering noticeable results for a tanned look. I've used it under my regular makeup for a touch of hydrating color, and on it's own for more casual days.

A few months back I picked up this Lancome blush to replace my favorite bareMinerals one that I talked about here last summer. I wrote about just how much I loved my favorite hot pink blush from bareMinerals, but unfortunately it was a limited edition color so when I ran out I had to find something else to replace it! After testing just about every bright pink blush in Sephora I found this gorgeous shade from Lancome. It is very similar to the Bare Minerals one I had loved for years, so I am happy to have found something that I love just as much. Something about the hot pink shade adds a glowing touch to my makeup look that soft pinks and red tones just don't achieve. I love that it makes my face look awake and adds a bit of color while still looking natural. Believe me, it's not so shocking on as it my seem!

For some reason I have the hardest time finding lipsticks that stay. Even ones recommended for their lasting quality don't seem to work on me, they fade or rub off within an hour. This Makeup For Ever Artist Lip Blush is the first red lip color I've found that actually stays in place over a long period of time without fading or rubbing off! For some reason they only make it in one color (come on Makeup For Ever, let's get on this in every shade of the rainbow!) but it's a great bright cherry red color that is perfect for a touch of drama. I seriously have never found anything else that compares in lasting time, and I couldn't be happier with how this one wears. Definitely worth a try if you're looking for a lasting red lip! (and who wouldn't be?)

I picked up this No. 7 foundation on a (genuine, non-paid) recommendation I read from one of my favorite bloggers, and I really like it! It was recommended as an all-day lasting foundation with medium coverage and a smooth no-show appearance, which is exactly what I was looking for as a beginner to liquid foundations. (I previously used bareMinerals powder foundations for years, and still switch between the two sometimes). I love that this foundation goes on easily just applying with my fingers, and doesn't leave streaks or obvious lines. As always it's important to blend at the jawline, but I find that in general this formula goes on easily and doesn't look too obvious. I always like a natural looking makeup look that's not cakey, and this one does the job. The color I got is called "cool vanilla" and is the only light yet not pale shade with a blue undertone. I was nervous to buy it without getting to try out a tester, but the color is actually perfect for me and really evens out my skin for a soft and flawless look.

Any must have makeup finds or recommendations? Let me know! I always like to hear what other people swear by so maybe I can try it myself!

xoxo, CC

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Dream Closet

I have always enjoyed the styling and color coordinating that goes into home decor, which is very similar to fashion in those ways, and my recent job has me thinking about interior design on the daily. Sometimes I like to daydream about how I would decorate my future home, going through specific rooms in my mind and looking through Pinterest boards for inspiration. Of course I have always dreamed of having a walk in closet, and right now Arhaus has me imagining about how my dream closet would look fully decorated. In my imagination it would be a large walk in with plenty of hanging and shelf space for storing all my clothes and shoes, plus room for a little decor too.

My taste tends to be for bright white spaces peppered with fun colors, like hot pinks or pale blues, and always accents of gold. My ideal dressing room would have lots of light, plentiful mirrors, and a few comfy seats. I've always wanted to have a nice way to store and display my shoes, so a glass front shoe shelf or pretty shoe storage racks would be essential. I like to think of my favorite shoes as works of art that should be displayed and not hidden away in boxes! I love the idea of incorporating pretty pairs of heels into the decor, or lining them up on glass-encased shelves. 

I am a huge advocate for natural light, so I think even a walk in closet should have a window allowing light into the space. So many closets are dim and windowless, which makes it hard to get dressed and see how your outfits and colors will really look in daylight! Of course lighting fixtures are essential in the room too, so a fun geometric chandelier from Arhaus in a gold finish to match the decor is the perfect touch. My style tends to be bold and girly with distinct lines and plenty of color, so this fun angular chandelier fits right in. Colorfully framed mirrors and a bright pink chair would also be ideal in this fun, feminine space and would help me feel inspired as I put together outfits every day.

My current set up (see a peek here) is an exposed clothing rack in my bedroom, which doesn't have nearly the amount of space I would like, so dreaming of a big walk in closet is only natural. I like to keep my current closet rack color coordinated since it looks so much more appealing and organized that way, and helps my room to look clean and crisp. I would continue this color coordination even in a full walk in, since it creates such an organized look, and I'm sure we all know how cluttered closets can get!
Have you thought of how you would design your dream closet? It's so fun to "window shop" online and create inspiration boards that outline your dream!

xoxo, CC

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Out With the Old // In With the New

Warm spring weather has started creeping in and teasing us here in New York lately, and while the official start of spring is still a few weeks away, these recent warm days have me thinking ahead towards a spring wardrobe. Each year when we hit spring I get really excited about bringing out my skirts and dresses, yet in early spring it still feels too soon to reach for the bright sundresses and floaty mini skirts. This leaves a time when it can be hard to know what to wear, when spring is in the air, yet it is not quite warm enough to turn to full-blown summer styles. It can get frustrating trying to create transitional outfits and it can make me feel sick of everything in my closet, nudging me to do a wardrobe refresh. I start to realize which pieces in my closet aren't very useful and which essentials I am lacking.

There is something about the season of spring sparks the frenzy of spring cleaning. The start of a new year, new life breathing into the earth, makes us want to mimic that and start fresh ourselves. Out with the old and in with the new, so to speak. Each year I find myself wanting to go through my closet and cleanse it of items I don't see myself wearing in the future, making room for things I still need. So, not only does a change of season mark a shift in wardrobe but it's a great time to evaluate what you have, what you need, what you don't wear, and what can be put away until next year. 

I have also noticed shifts in my style over time, whether due to age, changes in larger fashion trends, or influences from where I live and who I'm around, there are noticeable differences in my style preferences as they shift over time. These shifts also call for a change of wardrobe and a re-evaluation of what's in my closet. While I tend to be nostalgic and not want to let things go, ever hopeful that it will come in handy later on, there is a time when one must get realistic and let go of the things that are no longer useful. Clearing out the old and unused makes room in your closet for new finds and necessary essentials. It's sad to say goodbye to once loved pieces that no longer fit my needs, but I like to think that they will make someone else very happy, whether I donate or sell them, someone else will find good use for these pieces that are no longer "me".

Sometimes I hold on to items that just aren't quite right since they serve some style purpose that is deemed necessary in my wardrobe. They tend to sit around mostly unused until I am able to find a replacement that better suits my style needs and fills the necessary niche. Then, I am able to let go of the older piece knowing that it is not leaving a void in my wardrobe, that something newer and better is replacing that spot.

At this point in my style journey I am finding myself gravitating towards looser silhouettes and easy, non-fussy pieces that still have something special to them. A good mix of color and neutrals, prints and solids is essential and has been at the front of my mind as I add items to my shopping list lately. I'm finding myself becoming pickier about what I like and don't like, steering away from fussy statement pieces in favor of still unique styles that I can wear on repeat. I find that I am not wearing the shorter skirts as much as I used to, and favoring work-appropriate lengths instead -- they are just more comfortable to move around in. Pieces I can style dressier and also casually get the most use, especially if they are acceptable in the office. 

Before I buy anything I check myself to make sure that the piece meets some basic requirements to ensure that it is a good investment. I look for pieces that are easy to wear without having to fuss too much with styling them to make them work, both casually and a touch dressier. Also essential is having pieces I can feel comfortable in no matter where the day takes me. This time of year I am particularly attuned to finding transitional styles for all types of weather that don't limit me to summer (like gauzy fabrics and bright summery prints) or winter (like thick knit dresses, and dark moody colors). Finding in-between styles can be tricker than it sounds, but recently I found a few transitional spring items that I am really excited about, once the weather gets above 50 again. 

My recent purchases include a loose flowy dress in a subtle black and white print, a simple chambray skirt with practical pockets and a trendy frayed hem, and a loose cozy sweater in a fresh shade of pink. All of these finds were under $45 (two were on sale) and I know that they will get lots of wear this season. With a few new pieces like this to freshen up my wardrobe for spring I also feel better about letting go of some of the items I'd only kept around to fill the gaps in my wardrobe needs. On my wish list still are casual tops with a touch of class to them, like a subtly printed bell sleeve top in a structured fabric. These new items are all on trend without being fussy, with only subtle details that make them unique so that they are special and truly "me" and yet can still be worn regularly and comfortably in new ways. What could be better than that.

Check out my poshmark page (user name ccnoordsy) to see what I'm getting rid of with this spring closet evaluation! Whether it's because a piece doesn't fit me how I'd like, has outgrown my needs, or simply doesn't work with my style anymore, there are over 50 mint-condition available listings to shop! 

xoxo, CC