Thursday, January 17, 2019

Lately


Wearing: This sweater has become my newest obsession that I wear so often. It's soft and stretchy. it fits really loose. I'm wearing a size small and it's big on me, but I like it that way. For a more fitted feel, size down. It's basically like a sweater version of a boyfriend sweatshirt but looks more put together. I'd like it in every color!

Eating: We made filet mignon the other night. I was so surprised at just how easy it was! This recipe is what we followed!

Reading: I want to read One Day in December! I have heard it's a quick and easy read but also very good. Have you read it?
Sale-ing: Starting today, Tuckernuck is offering an extra 20% off the sale collection with discount code TREAT20. Items marked as "Final Sale" will not be eligible for return or exchange. This sale will go through Monday 1/21. I love when this type of sale happens because you can get things at such low prices! They had a sale like this in September and I ended up getting my fiancĂ© a few things- Vineyard Vines chinos for just $25, so definitely check out the men's stuff, too! This amazing Vince cashmere sweater is included in the sale, as is this cabled cashmere sweater!

Watching: I have been hearing from so many on social media to watch 'You' on Netflix. This might be an uncommon opinion but I did not like it- yet I still finished it. I thought the episodes dragged on and the characters really annoyed me. I also could not get Dan Humphrey out of my mind the entire time I was watching! Have you watched it? Did you like it?

Listening: Have you all heard Mike Posner's newest song, Move On? I was a huge fan of Mike Posner when I was in college but had since forgotten. However, Move On is so catchy and inspiring- I love his approach to the music video- so real and so raw. It's a reminder that you can be a famous musician and still be faced with trials and tribulations. But, what matters is how you handle it and move on.
Recommending:  My girlfriend and her fiance´sent us this gorgeous champagne bottle for our engagement. I have never seen such a thing and it was such a thoughtful gift. A ton of you messaged me on Instagram asking where it is from, and here it is

Loving: I am utterly OBSESSED with this cardigan. It's so classic and stunning but casual enough for everyday wear!
Loving II: This is one of my favorite things in my closet- a relaxed-fit Shep Shirt in blue and white stripes. I wear it SO much and it is just so comfortable. It's now back in stock so snag it while you can! They also have it in a pale blue stripe which I also love so much!

Wanting: Around this time of year I'm so torn between spring and winter! It's always a fun mix!

Traveling: Headed to Charlotte for the long weekend with my family to visit Callie!
Pittsburgh-ing: I was doing some wedding meetings and just had to share this stunning wallpaper I came across. I want this for my bathroom! 

Quoting: 'What Susie says of Sally says more of Susie than of Sally.'// See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Is Your Home a Forever Home?

Is Your Home a Forever Home?
Image (obsessed with this bedroom)

As I prepare to share more home content, I thought that this would be a fun and informative question to answer!

When I started looking for a home last year, I knew that whatever I ended up purchasing, it would not be a forever home. 

Before I met my fiance, I had a personal goal to purchase a home in the suburbs and on a specific timeline. In fact, I almost bought a home in the 'burbs one year ago but just wasn't ready to give up the city life just yet so I promised myself I would only hold off one more year.  

I finally felt ready to leave the city and craved more space in the latter half of 2018. Not only was I craving more space and the conveniences of suburban life (there is not a single grocery store in all of downtown, which is so annoying), but I was also looking for a good investment.

I grew up in an old home. Right now, I live in a historical landmark. I love the character that older homes have (and the quirks)! So I was really only looking at older homes. New construction close to the city (and in a good school district- for resale purposes) is hard to find. Somehow, though, I landed on the most perfect opportunity.

When I thought about it, a brand new home made more sense for me, too (at this time period in my life). I'm not handy at all, and I didn't want to pour a lot of money into an older home that would not end up being my forever home. So the brand-new home scenario just felt perfect. For the years that I live in the home, I will not have to do much in terms of maintenance. 

I realize it's probably a bit backward to buy a home by myself when I knew I would most likely be getting engaged in the next few months, but it was really something I wanted to do for myself. I'm all about being independent- even when in a relationship. I also knew the home would have plenty of space for both my fiance and me when that day came (we don't live together). 

This home will be a 'starter' home for me. I can only foresee being in the home 5-10 years. 

One of the things that I didn't realize before starting my search is that there is such a difference in what you are looking for when you don't plan on the home being your forever home- and especially if I were to potentially use it as a rental property. 

It was also eye-opening to learn that if I were to find a home that might seem like a 'good fit' but needs a lot of work/renovations, it sometimes doesn't make financial sense to put a lot of money into something because of the way the other homes in the neighborhood or school district are priced. I was looking at one home and everything I would have wanted to do to it would have priced my home (when I went to sell) 'too expensive' for the neighborhood.
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Just to give you an example of a decision I am making for this current home: there are 3 bedrooms in my home. One is the master and then there are two smaller bedrooms with a Jack and Jill style bathroom. Personally, there is no need for me to have 3 bedrooms but for resale, it's better to have 3 bedrooms (and this can totally change dependant upon the area and market you are in). Because I don't need 3 bedrooms, I'm going to turn one of the bedrooms into my office, which will be so nice!

I really wanted to have a custom closet built in the 'office' (like in the gorgeous photo you see above). However, it doesn't make sense to do that because I will not be able to bring something like that with me to a future home. Also, it would have dramatically decreased the size of the bedroom which is unappealing for potential buyers. Plus, when I go to sell the home, I will have to turn it back into a bedroom because most people do not desire a 'closet office' as use for a bedroom! All things that would have never crossed my mind so it's been great to have so many knowledgeable people helping me to make smart decisions.
One of the things I'm going to let myself 'go crazy' on is the small powder room next to the kitchen. I'm planning to do wallpaper and a bunch of things I'd love to do elsewhere but figure I'll take it all out on the small powder room! Then I can either leave it as-is when I go to sell/rent or just tone it down a bit.

I will say it is so exciting but can also be a bit frustrating to not be able to do exactly what I would want because it is not my forever home, but it will be great for the next several years and I am so excited to move in!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Leopard Loving






Jeans (old, similar)// Chanel Flats

Leopard is certainly having a moment and I've never really considered it my cup of tea... until I saw this coat. The morning before I got engaged, my sister cousin and I went to get our nails done and afterward, we stopped into the Galleria. I saw this coat and immediately fell in love with it. 

It's a piece that I wouldn't have gone for had I only viewed it online. In person, you can tell it's a high-quality coat and the 'fur' is so insanely soft. I also loved the cut of the coat. It's so simple and the cut reminds me of something from the 1960's. 

I knew I would get a lot of wear out of it because I wear a lot of black and this is such a fun wear to break that up! 

Right now this coat is on major sale so I had to do a full post on it. It runs true to size- if anything a little big. I got my usual size small but there is plenty of room to layer and wear heavy sweaters underneath! 

This coat is now so special to me because it's the coat I got engaged in. I probably will save it forever! 
More Leopard Pieces:


Monday, January 14, 2019

Are Chanel Ballet Flats Worth the Splurge?






Almost 4 years ago I ordered my first pair of Chanel ballet flats (ballerines). Just last month, they got their last wear. I get a lot of questions regarding whether or not certain items are worth the splurge so I thought I would share with you all why I think Chanel Ballerines are worth the splurge. 

I asked you to submit your questions about Chanel flats on my instastories and I was absolutely flooded with great questions! I tried to be very descriptive and cover as much as I possibly could, so keep scrolling!! 

Do they go out of style?
These are the most classic shoes you can buy (specifically the beige and black). I'm not just talking about the Chanel brand, though! Any classic ballet flat with the little bow and a cap toe are just so timeless. They don't really go in or out of style. I tend to be more likely to splurge if the item is something I can wear forever and these Chanel flats are just that. Even if your style isn't classic, I still think these shoes can be worn with so many different styles and still work so well. 

Ageless
Some pieces are matronly, some pieces are trendy, some pieces are too skimpy. But these shoes are appropriate for women of all ages!

Durability
I have had some people that have Chanel flats complain about the durability but I sometimes think that they're potentially not taking proper care of them. The classic flats are made of lambskin while others can be made of goatskin or calfskin or so many other exotic leathers. Some flats are even made in tweed or felt or velvet- the list goes on! These materials all wear differently. 

Most non-designer leather shoes are made from cow hide which tends to be more durable. In fact, I can't really think of any other shoe brand off the top of my head that makes shoes in lambskin. It's just not the most practical. Lambskin is very soft and as you can see in the photos, the leather looks so smooth and feels so soft and luxurious- almost as if someone put a smoothing filter on it. Because of this, it can be creased and scratched quite easily.

You just need to be aware of that and try your best not to wear them in snow or rain- but I am like that with all of my nicer shoes!

If you are worried about durability, I'd say choose a pair of Chanel ballerines that are more forgiving. Patent, caviar leather, etc. are all going to be more durable than the traditional lambskin. 

Over the course of 4 years, I only had to have my flats re-soled once! When you are getting them re-soled a good cobbler can also clean the leather and the grosgrain as best possible which I find helps so much! 

I personally think they held up so beautifully and the only reason I had to retire them is that I fell in NYC (long story) but I ripped my coat, my shoes, my pants, etc... I actually got very badly hurt. While 4 years of continuous, constant wear definitely made them look well-loved, I probably could have gotten another 6 months or even a year wear out of them before they had to be retired.

Since I had ruined my shoes, that should show you how much I loved them- enough to get a new pair of exactly the same shoes! Gotta give credit where credit is due, though, my fiance actually got them for me for Christmas! 

Can you have them water-proofed/weather-proofed?
I would suggest not having this done. Sure, I guess you could, but putting chemicals on lambskin will totally change the feeling of the leather. If you do this, I don't really see the point in buying the Chanel flats because half the reason they look so luxurious and are so comfortable is because of the lambskin!

You just need to know that when buying these shoes, you are not going to be wearing them in bad weather. I honestly wear mine in light snow and have gotten caught in the rain a few times and they have been just fine. They have gotten water spots and usually that fades within a few days. Just don't go trudging through lots of snow or jump in puddles, ha!

What is the Cost-Per-Wear?
If I had to guess, in 4 years time, I bet I wore the shoes over 50% of the time. But being conservative on my estimate, the cost per wear comes out to be about $1 per wear. Again, I bet I could have maybe gotten another year out of them and if I had not ripped them it would have brought down the cost-per-wear to just 82 cents (the cost-per-wear estimate is based on wearing them 50% of 365 days in a year over 4 years and then over 5 years). Still, the cost-per-wear of the Chanel ballerines are pricey compared to a lot of other shoes I own (I wore my Uggs from high school for 12 years -honestly a little gross haha- and the cost per wear ended up being like 22 cents- assuming I wore them 20% of the time throughout the 12 years). On the other hand, I have shoes in my closet that I have paid $200 for and only worn about 5 times which makes their price per wear much more expensive than the Chanel flats. 

Worth the splurge? 
In my opinion, it is worth the splurge and if I were to only ever splurge on one pair of shoes, this would, without a doubt, be the shoe. All that to say that my opinion is subjective- I don't get why my fiance buys expensive golf clubs or why my sister has an expensive Kitchen-Aid mixer! Those items are not something that I see 'worth it' but I know both my fiance and sister love these things and also probably think my Chanel flats are not worth the cost. 

I personally prefer to spend on my shoes. I prefer designer shoes and I buy fewer pairs of shoes so I can have high-quality shoes. That's also not to say I don't have plenty of budget shoes, too, though! Designer shoes take work (sometimes a lot of work) to keep them looking gorgeous and I'm also willing to put in the work to maintain them. I'm not one to keep my designer items sitting on the shelf because I am afraid they will get dirty. My mentality is that if you are going to spend a lot on something, you better get the lowest cost per wear you can! Why spend a ton if you won't get a lot of use out of it?! 

Does the ribbon trim get dirty?
Yes, this is probably the thing that is the quickest to wear but a good cobbler can clean this and you can spot treat with a cloth! A lot of people were calling the grosgrain ribbon piping 'elastic' in their questions and this is not at all elastic! 

Do you get soles put on them?
You can either wear the soles down first and then get them re-soled or you can immediately get a protective sole put on them. In my opinion, I think a sole changes the look of them ever so slightly. There is no reason you can't wear the sole in and then have a protective sole added which is what I plan on doing with my new pair!

How do you store them? 
I store them in a shoe cubby stuffed with tissue to keep their shape! I am always sure that my shoes and handbags do not see the light of day. UV rays that come from windows rapidly wear leather and fade colors. It's also important that you are storing your leather in a dry, cool space. But not overly dry because then that can cause the leather to crack! 

Quality
These shoes are of the highest quality. Truly. This article from The Real Real blog is super informative on the shoe's history as well as why it has been designed like it has! The nude part is meant to elongate the leg while the cap-toe is meant to shorten the look of the foot- which is honestly why I think I wear them so much- they just work with any and every outfit and are so flattering! 

Comfort
While the lambskin is definitely fragile, the reason Chanel flats are so comfortable is because of the lambskin and the way it bends and works with your foot. They breathe really well and my foot is never sweaty! I wish my Chanel flats had a step counter on them because I think it would be shocking. These are my go-to shoes for traveling (especially in the airport when I'm not wearing sneakers) when I do a lot of walking. They are sturdy but also flexible. I have walked 25,000+ steps in these at one time and have never gotten a blister or anything of the sort! These are the perfect shoes for those that commute or walk a ton.

Do you have to break them in?
I don't find that there is a breaking in period with the lambskin flats at all. They have never rubbed or irritated my feet and they are comfortable from the first wear. However, after a few consistent wears, they get even more comfortable and really form to your foot. Again, you need to keep in mind the material- the patent ones, in my opinion, aren't comfortable from the start and need a bit of wear until they're comfortable!

Sizing
They run true to size. I usually wear an 8.5 or 9 in US sizes and with European sizing, usually a 39 and that's what I wear in Chanel! They run similar to Gucci and less similar to Ferragamo, in my opinion! They do stretch a bit, though, so if you are between sizes, you may want to consider going down a half size. You also need to consider the materials that the shoes are made of. The lambskin are the ones that I find to stretch and be extremely comfortable. But, I have a patent blush pink pair and those are a little less comfortable and also do not stretch! So just keep the materials in mind! 

Chanel Ballerines vs. Ferragamo Varina
The Ferragamo varina, in my opinion, is a totally different shoe so it is a little hard to compare. The varina is much more structured and more of a sturdy shoe because it is patent. The larger grosgrain bow and lack of capture just give it a completely different look and feel. I think the varina feels a little dressier and more ladylike. I wear my varinas a ton, but still wear my Chanel flats way more. I find the comfort of the Ferragamo Varas (the one with the block heel) to be one of the most comfortable shoes (I have an extremely high arch) but the patent does make it so that you need to break them in and even still, if you wear them to walk a ton, I find I get blisters. With the Chanel flats, I get a similar comfort (less arch support, though) and never have blisters. I don't find the varinas (the totally flat Ferragamo shoes) to be the most comfortable shoe but I just love the look. 

Are they narrow?
A lot of you asked me this and I would say no. I don't have narrow or wide feet and these are just fine on me! 

Where do you buy Chanel flats?
In Chanel boutiques and at Neiman Marcus (in-store only, if you don't have a Neimans, you can call and order them from a Sales Associate)! The price starts at $750 and then goes up from there depending upon what design/materials you choose. I love the look of some of the tweed designs as well as the suede with the patent cap toe!

Can you buy them second hand?
Yes! You can find a good selection of gently used pairs on eBay and The Real Real! It's nice because, with a lot of products on The Real Real, you are able to return them for a full refund- this is especially good if you are unsure of your size!

Chanel Look-Alikes:

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Saturday Shopping


Happy weekend! Does anyone have any fun plans?! My sister flew in last night so that has been fun getting to spend time with her! Today is going to be mostly spent getting work done and tomorrow we are doing a birthday brunch for my sister who's birthday was this past week!

Lately, I have noticed that Anthropologie has had the CUTEST pieces. I love Anthro but it usually goes one of two ways. I either love every single thing (like right now) or I'm not a huge fan. I was browsing on their site the other day and I swear I loved every other piece. They always have such a huge selection but I wanted to share some of my favorites with all of you!


Friday, January 11, 2019

Resort Dreaming

resort 2019 outfit ideas
Right after Christmas, I always itch to get rid of all the holiday colors and decor and start fresh! I also crave a warm weather getaway! Does anyone else want to jet off to somewhere 75 and sunny?! I am sure I am not alone.

It has actually been quite mild weather-wise here in Pittsburgh which has been nice, but I am not holding my breath for it to stay that way. I know the single digit temps are right around the corner. Ick. 

To keep my outlook fresh, I've been eyeing some warm weather pieces that I would wear should I have a tropical vacation planned!


Raffia Sandals// I love a simple sandal and this one is just perfect! It reminds me a lot of the much pricier Carrie Forbes sandals

Shell Earrings// At first I thought they looked tacky in the photo but then I saw them on the model and they look like so much fun! Would totally be a fun touch in a tropical setting!

Swimsuit// I have this in black and I love the look of it. It's so different than most suits and is so flattering and comfortable. I also love this dusty pink shade!

Pink Cashmere Sweater// I've been really into pink in the past few weeks! I love this classic staple in a fun bubblegum color! 

Straw Tote// This is so simple and very functional but also beautiful! I love the leather handles and mixed textures. 

Yellow Sundress// The price is nice and I think this is just so sweet and classic. Plus, I've loved all of the yellow that has been coming out lately. It's not normally a color I wear often, but it seems so fresh and bright right now!

Printed Scarf// I love that this scarf is oversized so it can be worn as a shawl but just as easily used to tie on a straw bag! I love that the base of the scarf is done in a neutral navy with gorgeous pops of color. You could easily wear this now with a navy sweater to add some color into your winter wardrobe! 

Brown Sandals// I have a feeling these are going to be the sandals of the summer. They look a lot like the Hermes Oran sandals without looking like direct knockoffs! 

The Light We Lost// One of the things that make me feel like I am on vacation even when I am not is a good book. I don't read much in day-to-day life because I just don't seem to be able to make the time for it. But I love reading. This is a book that I am itching to read and if you are looking for a vacation read, this sounds like a good one!

Striped Shorts// These little lounge shorts are so cute! Definitely adorable for pajamas or as a swimsuit coverup! 

Pearl and Gold Earrings// I love the look of these earrings. You could easily wear them casually on the beach or with a black tie gown.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Lately

Photos by Matt Mantyla
Wanted to share a fun sneak peek of our engagement photos! I'll do a full post with the photos coming soon but couldn't wait to share! This one is kind of a random one because we only took one shot in front of a Christmas tree. But I was glad to have commemorated the Christmas holiday while we could! 

This week has been so great. The first full week of the year and it feels so nice to be back into the routine of things and making plans for this year. 

I visited the house this past weekend and took a bunch of photos! I'm going to share some of the progress photos with all of you soon. I can't believe in just a few months I'll be moving in. I can't wait! I've been doing a lot of pinning to get inspiration on decor and design. It's kind of crazy to go in with a completely blank slate and it feels really overwhelming but I'm also excited!

Wearing: I wasn't planning on taking engagement photos and certainly not 3 days after we go engaged. So, I didn't have a dress for the occasion. But, luckily I had this dress in the back of my closet from this summer! It worked perfectly for the wintertime!

Eating: If you haven't tried Trader Joe's Kosher dill pickles you are not living. They look like oversized gherkins but are so crunchy and flavorful, I have been obsessed with them lately and putting them on everything from sandwiches to eggs (weird, I know).

Reading: Did you catch the NYTimes list of the 10 best books in 2018? I really want to read The Perfect Nanny. 

Sale-ing: I honestly cannot get over how good the sales are STILL. J.Crew is doing an extra 60% off of sale items. The prices are insanely low and so worth it! I have these cropped velvet pants and I love them and get a ton of wear out of them. They're only $27 right now!! 

Watching:
 I started watching Dedicated Survivor on Netflix. It's a political show that has a similar vibe to something like Homeland. It's a little slow in my opinion, but I'm still watching! Have you watched any good movies or series lately? I have not seen anything really good in a while!! 

Loving: I just cannot justify spending $400+ on this trendy/seasonal sweater but for some reason I LOVE IT. It's not really even my style but I just find it so pretty and feminine. 

Wanting: We had been having such mild weather and just yesterday it started to get reallllly cold. Expected for January in Pittsburgh, but now it has me looking at all of the sweaters to keep warm. I hate to be a downer but I can't believe we are in this thing called winter for at least another three months. AH!

Pittsburgh-ing: My sister is coming home this weekend because she is seeing Hamilton (jealous!!) and to celebrate her birthday (which was yesterday) we are going to the Grand Concourse for brunch which is one of my favorites in the city. The old train station is gorgeous and so rich with history and the food is amazing!

Quoting: 'Risk is the downpayment on success.' // See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Wedding Wednesday: Inspiration for Reception Design

Wedding Wednesday: Inspiration
I am definitely not going to be doing Wedding Wednesday every week because that would be a lot of content and I know you're all not interested in wedding planning! 

Right now we are still firming down the venue, so stay tuned! I've got the church booked- not really in the time slot I really wanted but I could not believe how booked the church was already so I took what I could get. 

Once I get the church, date, and venue perfected, I am going straight for a band. An amazing band is my #1 priority- so much so if a great band that I wanted isn't available for my date, I'd honestly consider switching everything around to have the band!

I'm not really one to stress over this kind of stuff- whatever happens, happens and it's not worth losing sleep over. To be honest, even though I was in the events industry for two years out of college, I'm not really that into weddings. Sure, I love beautiful design and appreciate the time and planning and everything that goes into any type of event, but it's just not my thing. It's a bit different when you are talking about your own wedding, but it's still not something I have ever been in a rush to do. I'm much more into planning what I'll wear and the honeymoon and all of what I feel is 'fun'. 

But, since I'm in the preliminary stages of planning, I thought I would share some images that inspire me! The words I would use to describe what I'm going for:

Classic, Elegant, Romantic, Clean, Simple

You'll notice there are several different colorways and styles included... not totally all over the place but definitely not cohesive, ha! I swear I've planned my wedding 10 times over in my head because I've seen so many amazing things done. It's going to be tough to narrow down an aesthetic because I really love all of these images. But I'll get there! 

One thing I do notice about these images is that I love taper candles... and candlelight in general. I've always felt this way. Even when I do our Thanksgiving table, I always make sure there is a lot of candlelight! I think it is so romantic, classic, and elegant... and everyone looks good in candlelight! I also love the way the candlelight flickers over high polish silver! I honestly think I will end up prioritizing candles over floral in terms of table real estate, but we'll see. 




Image// Image (see this one is a total outlier, ha!)



Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Best of Skincare 2018

Best of Skincare 2018

Best of Skincare 2018
Norwood Cashmere Cardigan (included in the Lilly Sale)

Skincare is easily one of my favorite topics, something I probably spend most of my money on, and something I am very into researching. I love trying new products and I am always so happy when I find an amazing product to recommend to all of you. 

This year, I also had the opportunity to head to Cincinnati and check out Olay's amazing labs and learn so much about the brand and their products. Consider me an Olay-girl for life! 

Since I have tried so many products, I thought I would highlight my favorites from the year and explain why (see my 2017 favorites, here). Hopefully, you can find a skin care product that you love from my list and start your 2019 with your best skin yet! 

Olay Whips with SPF// I'm starting off with the *most* important product of all and that's a product with SPF. Olay Whips is something I use almost every morning. It has SPF 25. In 2018 I got very strict about wearing SPF daily and really protecting my skin from harmful rays. Using sunscreen is the #1 thing you can do to protect your skin not only from skin cancer but also from wrinkles and other signs of aging. This is my favorite because of the texture. It goes on and dries so quickly and makes your skin smooth and matte. Therefore, you could go out with just the moisturizer but it also acts as an amazing primer under your makeup. Did I mention it's affordable? It's under $30! 

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads// These are individual pads (similar to a cotton round) that are soaked with lactic and glycolic acid for chemical exfoliation. I love these because I am able to use them every single night without irritation or drying. These make my pores smaller and my skin clearer. Not only that, but these are really inexpensive compared to other brands. 

Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Night Cream// This made the list last year but I absolutely love this cream! I love the Cetaphil brand in general, but this night cream is one of the best products that they make (in my opinion). It's a super rich, thick cream that you can put on at night. I put it on heavily and sleep with it on. It doesn't leave your face greasy at all and really just makes your skin moisturized by the time you wake up. I also wear this during the day as a 'mask' when I am at home. For the price, this is an absolute must. 

First Aid Beauty Retinol// I used to use retinol religiously when I was dealing with acne and at some point, it fell out of my routine. I've recently started using it again and this is my favorite. It's over the counter so no need to head to a derm for a prescription. The retinol is very yellow which is great because that is how you know it is working and hasn't been exposed to air or sunlight. I also love that it doesn't irritate my skin or make my skin feel dry! Retinol is something I have heard every dermatologist I have ever been to recommend- it's like the holy grail skincare product so needless to say, this is going on my face nightly from now on! 

Olay Daily Facials// These are dry cloths that you get wet and they remove makeup but also clean your skin. Not to be confused with a makeup wipe- these foam when wet and really truly remove all of your makeup and your skin feels so clean afterward. They remove everything- even stubborn eye makeup. I am obsessed with this product and have been using it for years now and even keep a surplus of these in my closet so I never run out. This is primarily what I use to wash my face and they are great to travel with because they are dry! 

Tula Cleanser// This cleanser is what I use in the shower when I wash my face. It's super gentle and never strips my face of moisture. This is just a really good, basic cleanser that I will always have on hand. Use code SYDNEY for 20% off!

Tula Day and Night Cream// This is another great, basic product. I use this in the morning, very rarely at night. It's light and works well under makeup. I also think this works under your eyes, too! This is a skincare staple and another thing I always have on hand. Use code SYDNEY for 20% off!

Kate Somerville Exfolikate// First of all, I have to say that this stuff is so expensive for what it is. And yet here I am to tell you I have purchased several tubes of it. It's really good. It has a weird green color and also an odd minty scent but if you have flaky skin or dull skin this really does clear up your skin and make it glow in a matter of minutes (it even stings a small bit). I don't use it too often because it's so pricey (the $24 tube is like a literal sample size) but in a skin emergency, this is what I reach for. 

Bum Bum Cream// This stuff is amazing. It smells SO good- like you are on vacation. It has tiny bits of shimmer in it- seriously they are so fine you can't see it in a certain light, but they make my legs look so much better! I use this when I'm in a bathing suit, too, to achieve a nice, even glow. It's a splurge for moisturizer but so worth it in my opinion. This is not for your face- just body! 

Zo Skin Health C-Bright Serum// A great concentrated dose of vitamin C (10%). It's one of the highest concentrations you can find. It helps to remove discoloration from your skin to brighten and clarify. This made the list last year. It is pricey but I continue to purchase it. It has cleared my skin so much it's truly amazing- dark spots, acne scarring, redness, etc. is all gone!

Kiehl's Eye Depuffer// This is my newest obsession that I keep in my makeup bag. I love that it is in stick form (could easily be confused for lip balm) for sanitary reasons. It feels SO good on my under eyes and it truly depuffs them. It makes your eyes feel cool and awake and works well under makeup/concealer. It's technically a men's product, but everyone needs this! 

Dermalogica Super Rich Repair Cream// This stuff is SO good. For starters, it is dispensed by a pump so it is very sanitary. I think all products should be dispensed like this- tubs gross me out!! But other than that, this cream is quite literally super rich. It's not something you would wear under your makeup because it is so heavy and will make your face shiny once it's on. But, it's so moisturizing and just wonderful and luxe at night. To top it off, it has vitamin C in it so this moisturizer has anti-aging properties and is making my skin clearer. You really cannot go wrong with this product. It's pricey but well worth it in my opinion. I've been using it for a few months now and still have lots of product left! 

Dermalogica Intensive Eye Repair// This is another Dermalogica favorite. It is super rich and luxe- perfect for nighttime. Again, I appreciate the tube that it is in instead of a tub! This was the year of eye cream for me. I tried tons because I really wanted to find something moisturizing and something that just felt good and this is it!

Shiseido Eye Cream// It's a toss-up between this eye cream and the Dermalogica. The Shiseido is a bit thicker and more luxurious feeling but I think they both work just as well. I got a deluxe size sample of this and ended up ordering the full-size because I love it so much. 

NeuBrow// Not necessarily for your skin, but for your eyebrows. You can put this on morning and night, although I really only use it every night and lately, I've just been doing every other night. Naturally, I do not have very thick brows. After about two weeks of nightly use, my brows started becoming so much fuller and thicker. This product truly works and you will see results! 

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask// There was so much hype about this $20 glorified lip balm this year. I drank the kool-aid and got my own jar. It's really thick and when you put it on your lips, they are really shiny and make it look like you are wearing gloss from 2004. But, it is not oily or sticky- it feels really good and hydrating. I put this on my lips at night and I swear it makes my lips less dry or chapped in the morning. 

Blistex Medicated Lip Balm// I think Blistex should sponsor me. I don't know how many tubes of this I have purchased in my life but it must be in the hundreds by now. This stuff is the best everyday lip balm ever. I have been using it since I was probably 10. It has SPF in it. The best, I can't see myself ever trading this in for something different. 

GOOP Exfoliating Instant Facial// This stuff is SO legit. It is something I have been using consistently for years. It is a chemical exfoliator and you leave it on your skin for about 5-10 minutes. It really stings and feels like it is working. I use this only at night before bed because it makes my face red. But, it truly works and makes my skin so clear, pores smaller, and skin soft. This product is heavy duty and not for the skincare newbie! This is very comparable to Drunk Elephant's baby facial- even the color, scent, and texture are similar. However, in my opinion, this is so much better. 

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream// This is a new-to-me product but when I got it, I got so many DM's saying how much you all love this cream. Consider me its newest fan. It is a thick moisturizer that you can use on both your body and face. I use it on both but it is so wonderful on my legs after I get out of the shower. It feels so rich and creamy but dries quickly and is not oily at all. If I haven't sold you on this, read the reviews- they are all glowing.

For Acne
I wanted to put acne in a separate category because it is not something everyone needs! For about 2 years I struggled with awful acne. It honestly embarrassed me. Luckily, I got rid of it entirely, but these are products that keep my blemishes at bay!

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion// This WORKS. Seriously, you apply it on a zit at night with a q-tip and by morning, it is visibly reduced 

Persa Gel// This is a really inexpensive tube of gel that you use as a spot treatment. Similar to the Mario Badescu product, you put it on at night and then wake up and your blemish is gone! This gel is for zits that are more 'far along' if that makes sense! I use the Mario Badescu if they are newer zits that haven't matured yet. 

Acne Clearing Gel// This is one of Tula's newest products and I love it. It's a lightweight gel that you can put all over your face. I use this at night whenever I feel like my face is starting to break out. I also use this when I don't have breakouts because this helps keep them away! Use code SYDNEY for 20% off!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale January 2019

Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale January 2019
The day is here! The Lilly Pulitzer After Pary sale has officially begun as of 8am this morning! The sale will end tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11:59pm. If you plan on shopping the sale, scroll down as I'll be discussing the quality and sizing on every single item that I own that is included in the sale (this post goes live at 6am EST Monday and will be updated again on Tuesday with more info on the pieces added). Read my sale post here if you are a first-time sale shopper!

You can find my instagram try-on, here!

There are over 1000 items in the sale- it's crazy how much selection there is. Truly something for everyone, even men's shorts and two tie options.

There are some really good deals if you can act fast! Everything is final sale so I totally get that the fit is the most important thing! If you are completely unsure in what size to get, I always suggest going up one size. It's harder to let something out than it is to be taken in! 

If you are wondering about an item, please feel free to direct message (DM) me on Instagram and I'll be happy to answer any product questions you may have to the best of my ability! 

For your reference on sizing, I am typically a size 2 in Lilly Pulitzer. I typically wear a size 2 or 4 (or 27) and a size small in most other brands. I'm 5'6".


Quality: These swell bottles are such a good price. The quality is amazing and they really do keep drinks hot and cold. At $20 this is a great gift to have on hand!


Sizing: This runs pretty true to size and the shift is meant to be fitted. I have worn both a 2 and 4 but prefer the more fitted 2. 
Quality: Comes in different prints like Stuffed Shells which I am OBSESSED with, and this colorful pattern. The quality on this is always top notch with some lace or embellishment details. I also think the way it is cut is so well-done. At $59, SO worth it. 

Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale January 2019
Maxi Skirt
Sizing: The only place you really need to worry about sizing is in the waist. The waist is zippered but you could easily have it taken in at the tailor. You won't be able to take it out at the tailor because there is no extra fabric at the waist. It runs true to size- I am wearing a 2. If between sizes, I would size up just because you can always have it taken in but not out. Otherwise, the skirt is billowy and roomy! 
Quality: This skirt is truly incredible and one of my most favorite Lilly pieces I have ever owned. It's beautifully made and lined, too. You can dress it down as I have above but could really make it formal if you wanted to! 

Sizing: This is meant to be fitted and has a tiny bit of stretch to it. If you are between sizes and are busty/curvy, size up. If you are more straight up and down, I'd go with your true size!
Quality: I have this in navy and it is stunning. The beading around the neck is incredible and so is the textured fabric). Definitely very high-quality.

Astara Dress (also comes in a top version)
Sizing: This dress is roomy so size down if between sizes. It's nice and flowy for comfort and not meant to be fitted. 
Quality: The eyelet is gorgeous and so well done. It is lined so it is not seethrough at all! The pompons on the sleeves are well attached! 


Amory Silk Dress 
Sizing: True to size, but if anything, size up. I find that the hips are a little narrow in the cut of this dress. If you are not wider in the hips, stick to your usual size! 
Quality: The fabric and beading are gorgeous. The only annoying thing is that the sleeves are a bit itchy... but still not enough to deter me from wearing this gorgeous dress!

Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale January 2019
Tatiana Silk Dress
Sizing: This runs true to size if anything big. It is not fitted and is very flowy and comfortable! The silk is stretchy which is really nice for fit, too. The dress is short so not exactly the most modest when it comes to length!
Quality: The material and beading are gorgeous! This is a dressy dress and a great one to have on hand for any dressier even that lands on your calendar.

White Lace Kenna Dress
Sizing: I'm wearing a 2 but definitely could have sized up. I don't have a large bust but this is tight in the bust so I would suggest sizing up if you have a larger bust or hips!
Quality: The lace on this is stunning and so intricate. This is definitely a dressier Lilly dress!

Other Items I Love 
Love these tennis skirts (this one, too!).

This silk scarf would look so beautiful in a frame!

Cashmere Wrap (comes in neutrals and colors)

Still pricey but obsessed with this GOOP maxi!

Bought a few of these cocktail napkin gift sets to have on hand! I did this in the last sale and gave them as little Christmas gifts and they were a hit!

Yellow Eyelet Dress. This is a popular color right now and looks very un-Lilly but still gorgeous!

Men's shorts- these run true to size- I got my dad a pair! They also have two tie options.

Love this blush pullover which would pair perfectly with black leggings for a cute athleisure look. 
 

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