Makeup Snob

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I’m a self-proclaimed makeup snob. I’m not the least bit sheepish about admitting so either.

I like the color-blocked palettes, the fancy lacquer cases, the labels, and I’m drawn to anything advertised as “new!” I cannot walk through a department store or a Sephora without having to test out the most up to date products and request the makeup advice of the ladies behind the mirrored counters. Try as I might, I will never be as skilled as they are, so I see no harm in asking them what shade best complements my skin tone or what consistency makes my pout the fullest.

Makeup application for me is a type of art, and one that is, upon some minimal study, easily achieved. I’ve never been good at drawing, never particularly great at design, so makeup is that one realm of art that I’ve been able to teach myself- I didn’t have to have any inherent talent in it from birth or be any type of Picasso prodigy. Practice, which is easy to come by if you wear makeup everyday, and some intense study of some YouTube tutorials and you’re good to go.

My bathroom counterspace is littered with more lipsticks than anyone can possibly imagine- one to match every mood I’ve ever been in. They are my pick-me-up, my effortless way to add some spunk to my look, and proof that I have a purchasing problem. I’ve selected a few of my favorite products to showcase- now I may not know quite exactly how to use them, but I sure do like trying them out.

 

1. Chanel Bronzer: Chanel products are pretty pricey, but man on man, do they smell good!

2. Chanel Eyeshadow: They discontinued my favorite purple palette, but that hasn’t stopped me from buying three other options.

3. Chanel Mascara: I always apply at least two coats.

4. Christian Dior Primer: Use this before any foundation. Applies super silky smooth.

5. YSL Blush Palette: So many colors to choose from. I have #8 Heroine. Gives a nice, natural flush to your cheeks,

6. YSL Lip Color: I have “Pink in Paris”, just enough color to get you through the day.

7. Bobbi Brown Concealer:  I know I’m aging when I have to buy under-eye concealer.

8. Laura Mercier Foundation: Just buy it.

9. Laura Mercier Lip Stain: The stuff of gods. I like it because it stays put and doesn’t bleed.

10. Urban Decay Clear Lip Pencil: My lip lines aren’t distinct but I don’t like the harsh quality of lip liner, so someone recommended this clear lip pencil in ozone. The bomb.

 

Oversized in Ochre

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My alarm rings (screams) in the morning, I toss my legs from the warmth of the bed to the fuzziness of the carpet, and shuffle, swollen-eyed to the bathroom. The first lucid thought I formulate is what will be easiest to pull over my body in the throes of this morning struggle. And by pull over, I mean what do I own that has the least amount of buttons and zippers.

I look forward to getting gussied up in the evening when the getting ready process is a slow, methodical, peaceful time but doing so at 7am requires much more attention to detail than I have yet to give. I head straight to my baggy sweaters, the ones that are pulling down the corners of the hanger, and rationalize that I can still look fashionable if I add some gold accents and sassy shoes.

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I’ve actually been asked before how I pull off oversized- not that I agree that I always do it well but because I pretty much do it every workday morning, I’ve mastered the hang of it. I want to wear something that doesn’t cause me to fidget all day, that is adaptable to the constant bending and running around that I do at Anthropologie, and that feels like a warm blanket. Basically, I want to feel like I’m still snuggled in my comforter, that I never woke up at all..

Call me crazy but I have this Harvest Moon Poncho in three colors, the ochre, the raisin, and the moss-green because it’s just that practical and because, well, I have a hard time saying no.  I wear it with leggings mostly but I draped it over a skirt the other day and have even tossed it over a summer maxi dress. It’s a no-brainer but nothing too full on the bottom, unless you want to look like you’re hiding a little 9-month secret.

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I will always gravitate towards this type of shape and length- it covers the bum and its crescent curved hemline adds precision and movement to keep you from looking like a box. The poncho has sewn on buttons on the sides which makes it play a little too much peek-a-boo with your skin to be tasteful. Either size up or make certain and wear a camisole underneath. This will be one that lasts forever and ever.

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Photos by http://www.haleygeorgephotography.com/

Bell Sleeves Abound

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After doing a quick sweep of my closet last weekend, I have come to the realization that I lack the “going out” clothes. For a woman in her twenties, and for someone so deeply entranced by style, an essential part of my wardrobe is apparently missing. Who took it and what have they done with it?

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I have chunky oversized knits, a pastel plethora of tunic tops, a shell for any occasion, but regrettably, they are only day wear appropriate. Too cutesy and too conservative to wear for when the sun goes down. I want to look grown up and my age but without giving every little hidden secret away.

Nothing says black sheep like the girl at the bar in the cornflower cardigan.

I’m making an effort to incorporate some classy nocturnal pieces into my wardrobe, starting with this gem of a dress from Free People, which I’m now pining over in burgundy. It’s a bit on the short side and although I like to accentuate my legs at all times possible, I opted for a pair of boots to keep it from evolving into something my mother would call, “scantily clad”. If you are ever worried something is hitting you too high on the leg, befriend the flat shoe. It keeps it kosher and makes sure it doesn’t look even shorter than it did to begin with.

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This dress is all around gorgeous. The bell sleeves that skim my arms until they blossom at the wrists, the sheerness at the neckline, the fitted black slip underneath, the flirty line it skirts with showing just enough without showing too much. And minimal fuss- I throw the slip on and throw the lace overlay on. No buttons, no zippers, no troubles.

And as would be predicted, I found it advantageous to pair it with a long, jade moonchime pendant necklace I had hanging on my overloaded jewelry fixture, my “mammoth necklace” as some like to call it. Because my hair color is so similar to my skin, I prefer to add some bright when I can to keep from looking ashen. A pretty pink hue of lipstick or colorful jewelry- that is my everyday battle.

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Slowly but surely, these necessary additions to my wardrobe will be made. In the meantime though, I’ll be on the couch.

Photography by Haley George

Fancy like Flannel

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Flannel has, up until recently, been a fabric I was apathetic towards. I’ve seen people wearing it, noticed it hanging in retail windows, but thought it made a better blanket than a button down. I saw it as a substitute for a plain t-shirt, an indication that you were trying to be hipster, and a reversion to the 90s grunge style. To get down to it, something beneath me.

But then I had an epiphany, or an evolution of some sort, for a reason which I am unsure. Maybe the blame is on the glossy pages of the magazines I spend dog-earing or the countless hours I spend inside a mall, who knows. As plaid flannel started becoming more modern, I started to appreciate it for it persevering qualities and the grasp it has had on style for so long: a classic wardrobe staple that acts like a chameleon, shifting shape to be styled in any which way.

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Wear it as a layering piece, put a graphic tee underneath, add a chunky infinity scarf, tie it around your waist, or tuck it into a skirt to make it fancy. Flannel doesn’t have to confine itself to being paired with denim or with leggings. Coupling it with something unexpected, like a mauve skirt, demonstrates how convertible the style really is.

Flannel knows no limits, except seasonally and according to the dictums of the weather. Flannel is a fall/winter exclusive, mainly because of the warmth of the garment and because flannels are appealing in darker, more saturated colors. That’s not to say you can’t still wear it at other times during the year but my opinion is that it would appear highly out-of-place.

I’m a huge advocate of rolling up the sleeves too. The less tailoring and polish, the more likely you are to appear careless and slovenly. Keeping the sleeves upturned makes the look intentional and provides some exactness in a shirt that is traditionally looser fitting. An oversized shirt like this one can quickly capsize on itself if you don’t find one that fits properly. A plaid flannel is similar to a great pair of jeans, in that you may have try on a bunch before you find the winner.

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I’m a convert for this fiber! The plaid print but also the softest fabric and sweetest construction makes this Madewell boyshirt my favorite in all the land. It’s one of those pieces that is going to be lived in a lot. I’m strategically plotting how to wear it next. I loved putting it with my Sam Edelman Petty booties in a chestnut color because it kept it simple, but I can envision it with some tall chocolate-brown boots as well or maybe even some leopard ones, which I coincidentally, do in fact own.

Buy a flannel, you need it. I’m telling you that you need it.

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Photography by the amazingly talented, beautiful Haley George.

 

 

 

Handcrafted Tomboy.

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Baseball tees. Boyfriend Jeans. Boots. Brass. Baubles. Burgundy.

My alliterative imagination is working overtime trying to collect everything that makes this look tomboy.

I am, by all manners of the definition, an effiminate dresser. No need for persuasion on that front as frills and sparkle are my second nature. There are occassions, however, where my urge for something more basic, a style more relaxed and informal, overpowers my love of femme and has me dressing like more like a dude, less like a lady. It’s only to the tiniest degree, but if you look hard enough, it’s there.

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My advice for making tomboy a way of a dress, a style, and not an excuse for being sloppy is to make a conscientious effort to add understated influences of femme. I have a desire to add jewelry to everything, a long necklace there, some midi rings here, but it must been done in the exact dosage. Add a hint of something shiny, but keep the accessories tasteful. There is nothing that kills an outfit like a haphazard smattering of garish rhinestones. It takes away the adrogenous effect and makes it commonplace.

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I worship this necklace I wore for so many reasons. It’s mixed metal appearance, its varying chain lengths, and its striking strand of glitz make it one of my all time favorites. I also like how it contrasts against the sunwashed rust stripes of the tee. There is no overpowering, only highlighting.

And my never fail distressed denim have enough of an exaggerated slouch to make them boyfriend but not so much that it looks like they are, in fact, my boyfriend’s jeans.

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Would this ever be my everyday choice of style? No, but it’s always fun to play dress up (down).

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Fall Essentials.

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I can’t help myself. The first tease of a 65 degree day, the first whiff of a pumpkin something, the first morning that layering vests, and sweaters, and scarves is a necessity and not a luxury. This season awakens me deep down in my bones and makes me a merrier, more spirited person. It makes me privy to all the little, special details of existence and makes me notice the shadows and not only the light. It makes me wish for days gone by, but keeps me wanting, yearning for those just up ahead.

All of those feelings above, justifiably so, are to their fullest advantage when I’m feeling my most fall-tastic. There are things that you need in this turning of the year to make it complete. And the list goes.

** Now, remember, leggings are leggings and not pants so do not attempt to wear them as such.

Collect these staples, go get yourself some cider, and go forth and frolic. You’re as a golden as those leaves in that freshly raked pile.

 

 

Pattern Blending.

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“Be bold,” they say…

My philosophy on pattern blending is not quite as daring as the commandment above dictates.

It strays marginally from what most surveyors of style would prescribe and has made itself into its own unique version. No doubt I’m a fierce proponent of mixing stripes with florals, or lace with an ethnic print but I want to draw attention because of how polished and put-together I appear, not for how loud and fearless I can be with fashion choices. My pinterest board, on the other hand, screams otherwise. It’s inundated with the likes of crazy color palettes and fancy graphic print mixing. But when it comes down to it, when I leave the house and execute “organized chaos,” or the merging of patterns and prints, I do so in as prim and demure a way as possible.

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For this particular outfit, I chose a sweet, sheer lady-like ivory tee and a moss green cargo vest with what I call my “fire joggers.” I have two prints intertwined, but neither of them compete because of their apparent dissimilarities in appearance, one femme and delicate and one bohemian and relaxed. And although they are indeed two separate patterns, the ivory tee can be considered a neutral canvas as it is all one color. It gives off more of an organic feel, and less of a contrived one.

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I’m also currently obsessed with my Madewell Transport tote. Ever the all-purpose bag, this bag is so tastefully made and so simple in its design that it doesn’t matter whether you are wearing a whole multitude of prints or a classic black dress, it’s going to be awesome.

So, be bold. But have some restraint.

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Outfit Details::

White Tee //. http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/clothes-blouses/4112236205721.jsp#/

Cargo Vest //. http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/4115800430088.jsp?cm_vc=SEARCH_RESULTS#/

Jogger Pants //. http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/4123284104002.jsp?cm_vc=SEARCH_RESULTS#/

Leather Tote //. https://www.madewell.com/madewell_category/BAGS/totes/PRDOVR~53228/53228.jsp?color_name=english-saddle

Bracelet //. http://www.katespade.com/say-yes-smile-bangle/WBRU8175,en_US,pd.html?dwvar_WBRU8175_color=711&cgid=ks-jewelry-bracelets#start=9&cgid=ks-jewelry-bracelets

 

Little Black Jacket

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A leather jacket is my weakness.

I give in to its beckoning power and always seem to end up wrapped in its warm, glossy embrace. It is my go-to, my never fail way to take an outfit from routine and plain to something purposeful and complete. I own three, and as a testament to the dollars I have spent on them, they are outerwear I consider eternal. I do not expect myself to grow tired of them and in their caramel, black, and gray brilliance, I see my love for them growing with age. Investment pieces, you call them. Pieces that look good now and will look good then.

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What’s first-rate about these jackets is the fact that they are appearing in more and more variations. I chose this particular black one for its mixed material moto look, being raised in the back to help define a waistline and create a shape, and for the soft cotton paneling that adorn the jacket in the back and sides. It’s a vintage style made contemporary by the smallest of details and still retains the cool factor that its had in the past. Exaggerated lapels, additional zippers in surprising places, colored leather, and vegan alternatives are also a favorite way of mine leather jackets are made more unique. They are a dichotomous pairing of masculine and feminine, tough and sweet.

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I usually work a leather jacket with a flirty, femme dress. One with movement preferably, so the straight structure of the jacket offsets the soft lines on the dress and makes for something pretty to behold. Steer clear of A-line dresses if you are thinking of donning the leather look, unless of course you have a jacket with scalloped edges (I do, I do!). I put this Anthropologie patterned scarf dress with the moto to minimize the effect the tiny spaghetti straps had on my broader shoulders and to make the outfit an outfit, and not just a dress. Layering at its most advantageous. I also really adore this dress because it’s pattern photographs like a stained glass window.

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And in all their glory, my tortoise-shell suede pumps. The frosting on the cake. The bit of the outfit that sets my heart aflutter.

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Photography by the stunning, Haley George. http://www.haleygeorgephotography.com/

Outfit Details::

Dress //. http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/clothes-dresses/4130236202741.jsp#/

Necklace //. https://www.madewell.com/madewell_category/JEWELRY/necklaces/PRDOVR~A6295/A6295.jsp

Bracelet //. https://www.etsy.com/listing/184620704/opal-ridge-cuff-triangle-brass-opal-cuff?ref=shop_home_active_20

 

 

Waist deep

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This may be the only time in my life where I find the word, “mullet,” to be synonymous with classy.

It’s a style that many people are still learning to accept and to wear. Understandably so, for the whole “business in the front, party in the back,” adage is likely to warrant skeptiscm from even the most fashionable of folk.

I find it a risk worth taking and as “hi-lo” is starting to become commonplace and rampant amongst the stores, many people are wondering how to pull it off without looking too trendy or on the other end of the spectrum, shabby and unkempt with uneven hem lines. Body proportion, specifically height, is a main factor in whether or not you would want to opt for this type of garment. Having the back of your dress skim the pavement, whether you’re 5′ feet or 5’9 is ultimately going to capsize any type of look you are going for. Test your garment out with both flat shoes and heels before making your final judgement.

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I chose this skirt for its floatiness, its lighter than air texture, and subtle dip-dye pattern. The neutral colors also gave me room to play with what I paired on the top. I could dress it up with little booties for fall, or metallic sandals to make it less fancy. Seeing as it hit me higher up on the waist, a cropped shirt or one with shorter dimensions would help balance the look. My blush sweatshirt fit the bill and a long glitzy necklace threw it all together. This wouldn’t be my choice for everyday wear, but any type of outing with friends would be an appropriate forum for displaying my new threads.

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***Photography by the amazing, Haley George. http://www.haleygeorgephotography.com/

Outfit Details::

Skirt//: http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/clothes-skirts/4120131465601.jsp#/

Sweatshirt//: https://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/knitstees/sweatshirtssweatpants/PRDOVR~B1242/B1242.jsp

Necklace//: https://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/knitstees/sweatshirtssweatpants/PRDOVR~B1242/B1242.jsp

 

 

 

Bake Some Love: Raspberry Chocolate Angel Food Cupcakes

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Baking is and has been a most constant passion in my life. Sometimes I think if I could do it all over again, press the rewind button and transplant myself into my 18 year old shoes, before I preemptively declared my major in college, I would have chosen to go to culinary school.

It’s less about the actual baking process for me. Measuring and being so exact can sometimes be taxing, especially if you are in a hurry to eat whatever you are concocting. The final presentation, the end product is what makes it all worthwhile. Sure, it may taste delicious, but I’m more interested in how it looks. I made Nutella bread the other week to take to someone as a thank-you and although it tasted delicious, it didn’t look exactly as I wanted so I declined giving it away. My brother and I ate it instead🙂

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This week I was dying to use my patterned cupcake liners that I purchased at Sur La Table. Since Valentine’s Day is coming up (a neverending reminder that I am still single), I decided to bake something “pretty in pink.” These chocolate angel food cupcakes with whipped cocoa cream cheese icing may be one of the best things I have ever made. And I am so serious. I was incredibly pleased with them.

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I’ve always enjoyed a good angel food cake. It’s known as the healthiest cake out there, made without butter and mainly with egg whites, and the lightness and fluffiness is so refreshing. A nice change from a dense cake. The key to making an angel food batter is to make sure that the egg whites have been completely separated from the yolks and that they are room temperature before you start whipping. This is essential or else you may not be able to beat the egg whites to form stiff peaks- hence a cake without air. It would turn a heavenly angel food into something a lot more devilish.

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This recipe has my full approval. It was relatively easy and it’s up to your own discretion how chocolate-y you would like them to be. I love chocolate but I think adding extra cocoa would take away from the appeal of angel food so I ended up putting less cocoa powder in the recipe than it called for. I did dust them with the powder after I had frosted them but that was purely for aesthic reasons.

These would be absolutely wonderful to make for your sweetheart or someone special in your life. I will be taking my extras into work tomorrow. Spreading the joy wherever I can.

http://www.cookingclassy.com/2013/12/chocolate-angel-food-cupcakes/