Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Favorites: Makeup Brushes

So.....It finally came time to replace my beloved makeup brushes that I had for some ten years.  I know, I know, that was a super long time, but they held up.  I had no idea where to even start.  There are so many new brands and technologies since I last bought any makeup brushes.  I researched online and in stores.  Honestly, I got so overwhelmed that I quit looking for a while.

Then, one day while holiday shopping (thank goodness that's over for a while) I saw a makeup brush on display at Ulta that said it was the best blush brush.  Since I was standing in a giant zig zag line, I couldn't wait for my part of the zig zag to reach the next curve to see this display.  When I finally reached that curve, what I discovered was a nice brush indeed, but there was something else to this brush.  This brush was special - it was special in the fact that if I bought the brush, a brush would also be donated to women who suffer from cancer so they too can feel pretty.  I thought to myself, "I don't care if the brush is just ok, I want a cancer patient to get a brush."  So in my Ulta bag it went.

To my surprise, this brush wasn't just ok, it is a great brush.  It has amazing application, synthetic hair, 100% cruelty free, and pro hygienic.  So, I got out my trusty computer and began to research some more.  Turns out this brush is by IT Cosmetics and they designed a line called Live Beauty Fully exclusively for Ulta.  For every Live Beauty Fully brush purchased from Ulta, they give a brush to the Look Good, Feel Good foundation who support women affected by cancer and cancer treatments...WOW!!!

It turns out that they have an entire line of brushes you can purchase.  So, I got back into my car and went back to Ulta and bought two more brushes.  I couldn't be more pleased with the results I get from application with these IT brushes.  The cherry on top is that these brushes come with a plastic lid that is perfect for traveling with them.  The fibers are protected while in your cosmetic and travel bags.  What an incredible cause and an absolute win-win for so many women.

Makeup Brushes

Here's to making the world more beautiful one woman at a time!!

Cheers,

Stacie
Shop the Brushes:


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

No Doubt About It

Lately I've been drawn to "simple" outfits...no pattern mixing, no extravagant color combinations, or thought-out layers...just "simple".  One of the side effects of taking photos of your daily outfits is that you recognize "patterns" in your ensembles.  In reviewing my camera roll, I've recognized that all my "simple" outfits have one thing in common -Cognac.  There's no doubt about it, this Fall/Winter, cognac has been my favorite go-to shade.

Here are some of my "simples" lately.  If you'll recall, I'm trying to remix/reuse what's already in my closet so a lot of these items are from previous seasons, but I'll link to items that are still available, or provide options if I find something similar.

Marled + White:


Sweater - Old Navy (similar) // White Denim - LOFT (similar) // Cognac Booties - Wanted // Necklace - Express // Cuff - Express Outlet (similar)


Faux Leather Accents:

 Dress - Old Navy (similar) // Boots - Vince Camuto (similar) // Necklace - Express (similar) // Cuff - Express Outlet (similar)


(minus the leather) Moto Jacket + Distressed:

(minus the leather) Moto Jacket - Express // Turtleneck - Old Navy (other color options) // Distressed jeans - "kelli" by Silver (similar) // Leopard Shoes - Nine West (similar) // Necklace - Express


Chambray + Blanket:

Chambray - JCrew Factory // Blanket Scarf - Purple Peridot // Skinnies in Arizona Raisin - Old Navy (similar) // Boots - Vince Camuto (similar)


Cognac adds such a richness to an outfit & that is why I reach for these pieces when going "simple". In going through these outfits I just realized that not only is Cognac a common theme, but apparently the black slit cuff & pendant necklace are some of my favorites as well, haha!

Well, as they say "if it ain't broke, don't fit it" right?  No doubt you'll continue to see cognac in my daily styles!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Gettin Fringe-y With It

All things Fringe are gaining popularity right now.  Here are some lovely ways to incorporate these whimsy strands into your everyday style.


To hold your belongings:

Perfectly Wonderful Wearables:

To adorn those Toes:

The Finishing Touches:

Um, I'm sorry, whaat...??


If there's one celebrity out there right now who loves her Fringe, it would be Kate Hudson - from bags, boots, & even whimsy tops, see some of her inspiring looks below:

Kate Hudson. Fringed boots, hurrah!
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love Kate's big red fringe purse & turquoise bracelets
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love her and the fringe
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Kate Hudson, love the boots.
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<3    i sort of can't believe i'm committing to that little heart.  worth it.
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I personally don't have any Fringe in my collections, however, I could definitely get on board with some of these bags & boots, & even some of the sandals!  I'll be keeping my eye out for some deals on those items for sure!  
How about you - do you love Fringe right now?  What's your favorite way to wear it?

Kellie

*linking up with:  Manic Monday with Carylee & Gina, Mix it Monday's, Let is Shine Link Up, Style to Inspire, #HowIFall Link Up, Trend Spin Link Up, Confident Twosday, Style Sessions

Friday, January 23, 2015

Workout To Day Out

Let's face it, there simply isn't enough time in the day to get it all done!!  I know I have wished for even an extra thirty minutes just to fit something in.  Since becoming a mom, ten years ago....Yeesh....I had to figure out how to get my workout in, go to work, and run errands.  That's when I got good at using my gym wear for the gym and then dressing it for the day.  This mean't less to pack for the gym and less time getting ready, which then mean't more time for ME!!  So why not use that warm cardigan with jeans and boots after your workout?  Wear those fun sneakers with jeans and a vest to walk comfy all day.  Keep the workout tights on with a big tunic, scarf and boots and make it look like that was your plan all along.

Workout To Day Out

I never mind investing in clothes that may be a little more expensive if I can get versatility out of them.  Workout clothes are those versatile pieces for me.  I look at them as an investment in my wardrobe and even more important, an investment in ME!!!

Cheers,

Stacie
Shop the Look:


*linking up with:  Fab Five Fridays, High Five for Friday, Fashion Friday, Friday Favorites, Fab Favorites, Casual Friday Link Up

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

She vs. Me - Plaid

We're back with another She vs. Me post.  These posts came to life because as Sisters we often buy the same items of clothing.  Once we get said item home, we each style it our own way without talking each other about our plans so that it's a surprise until revealed at our "photo shoot".

A couple of weekends ago we discovered that a new Express Outlet had opened up on our side of town (actually, right in the middle of our two homes).  Among other items, we each picked up these red plaid studded tank tops for a rockin price.





Stacie's Details (left):

I wanted to keep my outfit casual chic.  Something I would wear to work or out for errands.  That's why I picked my distressed denim skirt and paired the plaid shirt with my favorite layering shirt in black.  I love my grey booties and thought they would be comfy and cute with the shirt.  For added pop, I wore my gold necklace (thanks Kellie) to tie it all together.  Many of the items I am wearing are things I have had for some time.  Luckily some are still available or there are very similar items out there as you will see below.

Cheers,

Stacie


Plaid Tank - Express Outlet (not available online) // Long Sleeve Shirt - Alternative // Denim Skirt - Old Navy old; Similar // Necklace - Purple Peridot- out of stock; Similar // Grey Booties - Dana Buchman via Kohls



Kellie's Details (right):

I knew straight away that I wanted to pair this top with Leopard Print, so I did so with my shoes.  Maybe because of the small studs at the collar of this tank, it seems to be a natural pairing with faux leather as well.  The next time I wear this top, I may wear it with distressed denim & a black moto jacket - in fact, perhaps that needs to happen this week, lol!!

The cardigan is also a purchase from Express (not the outlet) & it is beyond cozy!  I took a risk wearing it for photos because it's definitely a relaxed fit (which added girth in these photos), but it's one of those sweaters you just want to wrap yourself in, especially on chilly days.

Best!

Kellie


Plaid Tank - Express Outlet (not available online) // Chunky Marled Knit Cover Up - Express // Scuba Leggings - Express // Booties - Target (old); love these


Well, that's a wrap with another She vs. Me - two different takes on one item for outfit inspiration.  We're just waiting for the day we do one of these posts & show up wearing identical outfits! We'll just have a good laugh about that!

You can shop other red plaid tops below since Express Outlet doesn't have their items online.  Or visit your nearest Express Outlet to find it in-store.

Red Plaid Options:

P.S. Can I just say that we do not call each other by our real names in real life, so having her call me "Kellie" above seems so off to me!  And you have NO idea how hard it is for me to type "Stacie" on here, seriously, #TheStruggleIsReal :-)


*linking up with: Style Me Wednesday, The Pleated Poppy, I Feel Pretty, Random Wednesday, Whatcha Wearing Wednesday, Little Friday, Spotlight of the Week, Thursday Favorites, Happiness at Mid Life

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Favorites: Hair Products Edition

Happy Friday!!!

For Friday Favorites this week, I wanted to talk about a few of my favorite hair products right now.  I cut my hair short a few months ago and I've really enjoyed getting to play with it.  I love that I can wear it sleek, flipped out, or in my favorite, beachy waves.  It has been great to actually have my hair look styled with little effort instead of my old go-to style...the ponytail.

Short Hair Favorites


1.  Kenra Texturizing Taffy 13:  This taffy is great for a piecey look.  I use this after I have either waved my hair or want my ends to flip out.

2.  Aquage Uplifting Foam:  I have fine hair so I need volume.  This foam is FAN-TAS-TIC!!!!  I spray it at my damp roots where I want lift, rub it in, and then style as usual.  I really think this is the best volumizing foam out there....believe me, I've tried several.  What sets it apart for me is that it is not sticky or heavy.  This is super important for me because of my fine hair.  It's also fool proof.  Meaning, if you use too much, it won't weigh your hair down or make it impossible to brush through. It's great stuff.

3.  T3 Singlepass Flatiron:  I love this flatiron.  It should be called a styler because it does more than straighten hair.  I use it to create a sleek look, I use it to flip out my ends, and I use it to curl or wave my hair.  It is very versatile.  The other reason I picked this flatiron over others such as the Chi or GHD, which are quite popular flatirons with rave reviews, is the fact that it has a temperature setting. For someone with fine hair, this is very important.  I use my T3 everyday!!!

4.  Fekkai Beach Wave Spray:  I love having bed head or beachy waves in my hair.  This sea salt spray helps me achieve that look.  After I have finished styling my hair, before hairspray, I spray this fabulousness in my hair, scrunch it and enjoy my beach tousled hair!!!

5.  Osis+ Dust It:  I never thought I would say I love DUST!!!  This stuff is amazing.  It is used for extra volume in specific areas that you want that extra lift.  It is like teasing your hair without teasing your hair.  I use this after I have styled my hair when I see an area I want more lift in.  It's literally a white dust.

6.  Kenra Volumizing Hairspray:  Last, but not least, hairspray.  This is a great all day hold hairspray. Again, with my fine hair, I can't use products that may weigh it down.  This stuff  simply works.  I have also used Kenra 26 and it is great too...a little less hold.  Besides not weighing my hair down, I also love that I can brush through this spray at the end of the day.  Simply awesome.






Here's to good hair days!!!

Cheers,

Stacie

Shop the products:



*linking up with:  Fashion Friday, Friday Favorites with Momfessionals, Fab Favorites, The Diary of a Real Housewife

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

LOFTing (again)

You may notice a slight difference in the post subjects around here for a few weeks.  It may just be from Christmas shopping burnout, but I'm really feeling the desire to shop my closet right now & keep my focus on remixing all the great pieces I already have, rather than adding to it.

For today, however, I wanted to bring to light a couple of pieces that I got for a great price.  Remember that I believe fashion doesn't have to "break the bank" & that you can feel great without spending a ton of money.  These two pieces demonstrate how I typically shop...I shop the clearance racks & the sales.  I really try hard not to pay full price for anything!

It's no secret that I love the LOFT.  They have great staple pieces for any wardrobe plus fun statement pieces to bring additional vibrancy to your wardrobe.   That being said, never pay full price at their store!  I had been eyeing this leather skirt when I first saw it back in October/November, but there was no way I could justify the $70 price tag.  However, with patience I was able to pick this skirt up before Christmas for $21.36 (including tax).  Now that is a justifiable price, right?!

Again, right after the Holiday's they were offering some great sales, so I did picked up 2 boyfriend cardigans to replace some that were looking worn in my closet.  Original price for each was $49.50, but I only paid $20 each.






Cardigan - LOFT in Magenta Sky// Striped Tee - Limited, old (tank option) // Faux Leather Skirt - LOFT // Belt - old (option, option)  // Booties - Target, last season (option, option) // Necklace - Nordstrom , currently unavailable (option) // Ring - Limited // Leopard Wrap Bracelet - Charming Charlie, old (option)


I opted to add a braided belt at the waist band this time, which added more texture to the outfit.  I really fell in love with the rich jewel tone of the Magenta Sky cardigan & was happy with the bright pop of color in the outfit.

LOFT is having a sale right now, 40% off regular styles & 60% off sale styles!!

Look for more bargains & remix posts on the blog down the road.  I love a challenge (when it comes to my wardrobe) so I'm excited to see how far I can take it & how we can each inspire one another.

Not all of our daily outfits make it to the blog, so if you don't want to miss out, be sure to follow us on Instagram & Twitter!


Kellie
Shop the Post:
*linking up with:  Style Me Wednesday, The Pleated Poppy, Because Shanna Said So, Whatcha Wearing Wednesday, 
I Feel Pretty, Little Friday, Spotlight of the Week, Thursday Favorites, Happiness at Mid-Life, A Labour of Life

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cuff K.I.S.S.

Oh....the cuff bracelet....how I adore thee!!  Cuffs really are a great K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Silly) item and I use them daily.  They are a perfect statement piece to wear with any simple outfit.  I wear them with anything and everything.  When you wear a cuff with a simple t-shirt, jeans, and Converse it takes that simple look to a more bold look without effort.  I also love that there are so many styles of cuffs to choose from.  You can go from organic materials like leather to a fancy cuff with beads and crystals (as shown below).  I know for myself I can out think an outfit quite easily.  So next time you wear a simple outfit, K.I.S.S. it with a cuff.


Cheers,

Stacie

***Most of the cuffs pictured are not available any more so I picked some I like right now.  The bottom last 2 cuffs are still available from Nickel & Suede.***

Shop the look:



Friday, January 9, 2015

McSteamy vs Iron Man

One of the gifts I was extremely excited to get for Christmas was a Steamer for our clothes.  I know I know, men aren't supposed to get their wives, girlfriends, significant others "items with cords" as gifts, but I truly wanted a steamer!! I literally squealed when I opened it :-)  I have affectionately named him "McSteamy" & I love him!



First off, I don't know about you, but ironing is NOT my favorite chore to begin with.  Second, I am what you would call a "pre-ironer" - meaning I launder my clothes, then iron, then put away in my closet.  Well, I don't have the largest closet known to man (& I have a lot of clothes in there), so when I hang my freshly ironed clothes in the closet, you can imagine what happens...the clothes get all wrinkled again, ugh!!  Hence the wanting of a steamer - so I can skip ironing all together, or simply freshen up pre-ironed pieces.

But this begs the questions - what's the difference between steaming & ironing, which is better, can you use either method on all fabrics, etc?  I've done some experimenting & reading so I'll fill you in on what I know....

Steaming
Pros:

  • Steamers fluff the fibers of the fabric giving a soft, clean look.  Another way to think of it is steaming actually lifts the wrinkles out of the fabric.
  • Can be used to sanitize fabrics/garments, remove odors from fabric/garments, & can be used to remove particles such as lint & hair using a Fabric Brush attachment (depending on the steamer model).
  • Steaming is safe on all fabrics including silk & cashmere (always follow the instructions provided with your garment & steamer model).  I would always test on a hidden area of the garment when dealing with delicate fabrics as well.
  • Can typically be stored easily.  Roll it away into the corner of a closet or room - no bulky ironing board to get out & set up each time.  There are also travel models of steamers that could very easily be stored on a shelf.
Cons:
  • Because steaming is lifting wrinkles, not pressing them out, you may not be able to produce the crisp lines & seams as you can with ironing.  
  • In my experience, you may get less than great results with certain fabric types (i.e. fabrics/garments made of cotton or cotton blends don't have stellar results from steaming).

Ironing
Pros:
  • Ironing flattens the fibers of the fabric by pressing it.  This can create structure & shape especially when creating creases on shirt sleeves or slacks, or the pressing out of a collar.  
  • Because it is "pressing" ironing gives a "sharp" appearance to the finished product.
  • Irons have different settings to accommodate different fabric types.

Cons:

  • Space/storage can be an issue because it typically involves the ironing board.
  • Time consumption - it takes me longer to iron a garment than it does to steam it.
  • It can be harder to iron pieces that have pleats & difficult seams & still have a nice result.


I took a few quick before & afters when I was experimenting with my steamer.  I have the SteamFast SF-407 model.  All of these garments are items I would typically iron & I will link to each item if available.

Flowy Button-Up:  Fabric - 100% Polyester

Before:


After:


Results:  The steamer was perfect for this fabric.  The results are exactly what I wanted - wrinkle free, yet still naturally flowy & soft.  You can see the lifting of the wrinkles especially on the pockets & near the bottom of the shirt.

Structured Button-Up:  Fabric - 100% cotton

Before:

After:


A closer look before:


A closer look after:


Results:  While dramatically improved, I would prefer this shirt to have a crisp look to it as a final product.  Although the steaming was "good enough" to wear this shirt as an underneath layer, if I wanted to wear it as a primary shirt, I would choose to iron it the next time.

Pixie Pants:  Fabric - 95% Cotton, 5% Spandex

Before:

After:


Results:  Much like the shirt above, the steaming did improve the look of these pants, but I would still prefer something more crisp for these pants.  


Bottom line:  Both steaming & ironing can be used to serve different purposes.  For me, I will use "McSteamy" for pieces that are typically "flowy" or relaxed in appearance (most of my pieces will fall in this category), & continue to use "Iron Man" if I would prefer a more crisp look.  Although not shown here, steaming would also be good on dress pants/slacks versus the cotton pants shown.  I will also use the steamer to "touch up" those items I have already ironed that just need a little refreshing.  

If you have a steamer let me know how you use it, what you think of it, & feel free to share the model you use in the comments.  We can all use the helpful information from the masses :-)



Disclaimer:  Never iron or steam a garment while you are wearing it.  As with all appliances, be sure to unplug when you are through using it.  Both irons & steamers can cause burns, use caution & read all manuals before using.

Kellie

*linking up with:  The Diary of a Real Housewife, Friday Favorites,, Fab Favorites, Fashion Friday, Manic Monday with Carylee & Gina, Let it Shine

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New with the Old

Hey!!  Glad to be back after some time off - we hope everyone had an enjoyable Holiday Season!!

Today I'm just going to keep it simple & to the point.  I've been enjoying mixing some of my new Christmas items with trusty old pieces lately.  It makes a perfect mix using a new piece to spice up an old one.

Apparently I'm really loving plaid scarves, simple easy dresses, & cognac boots...


Left: Dress - Old Navy (old) // Scarf - Purple Peridot // Boots - Vince Camuto via DSW (in-store) // Belt - JCPenney (old)

Right: Dress - Old Navy (old) // Scarf - Target // Boots - Vince Camuto via DSW (in-store) // Tights - Target // Cuff - Nickel & Suede // Necklace - Express // Bag - Charming Charlie (old)

Both of these dresses are Old Navy purchases from 2-4 years ago.  I've said it before, & I'll say it again - Old Navy has some of the best dresses that you can buy off the rack...simple, easy to wear, & can be a great staple for a few years.  I saw a couple of great dresses there the other day for just $20...can't beat that price.  This one is very similar to the striped one from above, & this one is similar to the cobalt blue dress above.  I've also listed a few others I'm swooning over in the Shop the Post section below -  some are as little as $12-$17!! Eek!





As you can see, it was a chilly day when I wore this outfit.  Choosing to belt the blanket scarf was an excellent way of adding warmth & coziness!  I'm also a huge fan of pattern mixing, so the stripes, plaid & leopard all make for an outfit full of interest.






No joke, I've had this cobalt dress for at least 4 years & I loved being able to wear it with the plaid scarf & 50 shades of Cognac (lol).  The bright cobalt brings some brightness to chilly winter days.  The jacket I wore with this is the (Minus The) Leather Quilted Sleeve Jacket from Express - a Christmas gift from my mom.  I'm excited to continue to pair this great jacket with many things in the future!

Again, don't forget to check out some of the great dresses you can get your hands on from Old Navy below.  I really can't justify adding any more to my collection at the moment, so I'll live vicariously through you guys! ;-)

Shop the Post:
Kellie


*linking up with:  The Pleated Poppy, Because Shanna Said So, Oh, Hey Girl, Whatcha Wearing Wednesday, Style Me Wednesday, I Feel Pretty, Spotlight of the Week, Thursday Favorites, Happiness at Mid-Life, Little Friday, A Labour of Fashion