What to Wear to a Summer Wedding

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Outfit Details

Dress: Zara last season, similar here  //  Shoes: BCBGeneration  //  Bag: Clare V.  //  Sunglasses: Target  //  Bracelets: David Yurman, Kate Spade, J. Crew  //  Necklace: Forever 21 last season, similar here and here  //  Ring: David Yurman

Photography by: Robin Fox

It’s that time of the year again: wedding season!  My life as a makeup artist revolves around wedding season, which for me, is the beginning of May through the end of October.  I’ll have some random weddings in April, November, December, and January, but just one here and there.

As far as being a wedding guest, I usually have a couple weddings to attend each year.  Now that many of my friends and family members have reached the point where they’ve been with their significant other for a while, the number of weddings I have to attend/be in each year keeps growing!

The look that I’m showing here is a perfect option for a semi-formal summer wedding.  I actually wore this exact outfit to Greg’s friend’s wedding last summer, so the dress is last season but I linked a similar option above in the outfit details!

I will 100% admit that I wear black way too much, so I try to remind myself to wear something light and bright for summer weddings!  This yellow was the perfect choice, especially paired with the bright blue necklace and leopard clutch.

The shoes that I chose to wear in this post here are comfortable and practical; nude heels go with everything.  If you had nice weather and it wasn’t raining, sandals would be a great options as well.

Do you have any upcoming weddings this summer?  What do you plan on wearing?!

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Current Favorites: Hair Care

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I’m not someone who likes to spend a lot of time fussing over my hair, which is why it’s important to use high quality products that allow me to cut down on styling time. I like to use products that enable me to wear my hair completely natural if I don’t want to curl or straighten it with heat tools that day.

I’ve been a huge fan of Bumble and Bumble products for a couple years now, but I was recently introduced to a new brand that I love just as much: Monat.

First I’ll tell you a little bit about my hair, then I’ll tell you about the products I’ve been using.

My hair is naturally light brown, with some lighter balayage highlights that were added over a year ago. I would say it’s decently long (comes down to the top of my chest) and has a natural wave. When I wear my hair curly, people always comment about how “big” it is – but really it’s not at all. I have a lot of hair, but it’s made up of very thin strands. So therefore, I have thin hair. Does that make sense?

I don’t straighten it very often. If I do style it, I typically use a 1.5″ curling iron or wand. The reason I try not to style it with heat too much is because my hair is a bit dry, so for the past year, I’ve been trying to restore it, make it look shinier, and just use less heat in general. Oh, I should also mention that I finally stopped washing my hair every day like I did for a long time! It’s been a year or so since I stopped doing that – thank goodness. That’s also probably why it’s dry. Yikes!

These three products have really helped bring my hair back to life:

  1. Renew Shampoo – Before I talk about what this has done to my hair, I just need to tell you that IT SMELLS AMAZING. Like, really amazing. It reminds me of how my favorite hotel on Earth, Hotel Villa Franca in Positano, Italy, smelled. So needless to say, it brings back wonderful memories every time I shampoo my hair. I lather a decent amount of this shampoo into my scalp and ends for a few minutes. It’s a hydrating and moisturizing cleanser, so I like to spend at least a few minutes really working it into my head and hair. Since using this product for the past two months, I’ve noticed my hair looks more moisturized and shiny.

2. Replenish Masque – Once I’m done shampooing, I like to take a small handful of the masque and smooth onto my hair, focusing primarily on the middle to end of my hair (I personally don’t put on my roots because I never apply conditioner there since my hair gets oily on the top). This also smells really good, FYI. I leave it in for the rest of the time I’m in the shower, while I wash my body, shave, and wash my face. Once I’m ready to hop out of the shower, I will rinse the masque out of my hair. The directions say to use once or twice a week, but since I normally only wash my hair twice a week, I use this each time. This leaves my hair feeling very smooth and I’ve noticed a difference in the texture.

3. Restore Leave-In Conditioner – After I am out of the shower, it’s time to comb through my hair. This is where I’ve been using the leave-in conditioner. This has been the first time I think I’ve ever used a leave-in conditioner, and I’ve really been liking it. I spray this evenly throughout my hair, then comb it through with my big hair pick. Then I proceed to style my hair as usual, for whatever type of look I’m going for that day. If you didn’t just wash your hair but still want some added hydration, you can also use this leave-in conditioner on dry hair!

Another product that I’ve been using and loving from Monat, but don’t necessarily use every day or as part of my shower routine, has been the Restyle Instant Sculpting Taffy. I take a TINY amount and rub between my palms, then apply to the appropriate part of my hair. For example, I will apply this to fly aways if I am wearing my hair in a sleek ponytail or bun, or I will apply this to my roots if my hair is looking kind of crazy and needs to be tamed.

I hope you enjoyed this review! What hair products have you been loving lately?

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LBD + Chartreuse

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O U T F I T   D E T A I L S

DRESS: Tangles Salon  //  HEELS: Mix No. 6  //  CLUTCH: Clare V.  //  SUNGLASSES: Target  //  BRACELETS: David Yurman  //  NECKLACE: J. Crew  //  RING: David Yurman

This upcoming weekend I have some very exciting plans for Memorial Day.  A few of my college girlfriends and I are going to celebrate one of our bestie’s getting married soon by going on a fun trip to Toronto!  Some of us are hitting the road on Friday and driving a few hours to get there, while other girlfriends and family members are flying.  We can’t wait to celebrate the bride all weekend, and explore one of Canada’s coolest cities.

On Saturday night, we reserved a table at a popular nightclub, Uniun (this is where Justin Bieber goes when he’s in town!).  On the bachelorette invitation, we made a note that the bride will be wearing white to the club while everyone else should wear something black.  I think most of us are opting for the LBD, and I’m so happy I found mine last week – photoed here for this post!

This super cute LBD is a great option whether you have curves or don’t (I happen to have curves, especially on my lower half).  Many dresses don’t fit me well because they’re too tight on the butt and thighs, but I was impressed with this one.  The material is very high quality (not thin at all) and stretches enough to smooth you out – kind of like Spanx would!  To add some pizazz, I paired this dress with chartreuse heels and a necklace, along with my favorite leopard clutch.

PS – the clutch is currently 40% off on Net-A-Porter!  If my mom is reading this, she’s going to be super pissed because her and my dad gifted me the clutch for my birthday this year…purchased from Net-A-Porter…but paid full price 😦

What are you doing for Memorial Day Weekend – any fun plans?!

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Whole30 Review

Whole30 Review, What Is Whole30, Caitlyn Michelle, Makeup By Caitlyn Michelle, Rochester NY Makeup Artist

Whole30 is a nutrition program I’d heard about for a few years now.  Some of my favorite fitness and lifestyle bloggers have tried Whole30 and swear by it.  So after giving the idea much thought, I decided to try it out for myself.

I’ll be honest: I’ve never really challenged myself when it comes to health and fitness. I’ve always challenged myself in other aspects of life (school, work, etc.), but have never pushed myself when it comes to what I eat and exercising (although, Whole 30 is not a workout program.  If you’re wondering what Whole30 is, I’ll explain below).

I eat “healthy” maybe about…50% of the time?  Honestly, I love me some junk food.  Specifically carbs, sugar and wine.  I love Sour Patch Kids, Reese’s Pieces, ice cream, Italian bread, cinnamon raisin bagels, pasta, donuts, cupcakes, pita chips, wine – the list goes on and on, but I’ll stop there (#embarrassing).  Oh wait, I almost forgot – did I mention that I absolutely LOVE cheese, too?  Well, I love cheese.  And I don’t discriminate – mozzarella, parmesan, goat, feta, cheddar, brie – I like em all.  So what does all of this result in?  Having very low energy levels, lots of headaches, and constantly feeling bloated…just to name a few.

WHAT IS WHOLE30?

“Whole30 is designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as a short-term nutrition reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.

Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat—even the “healthy” stuff.

So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you? Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.”

Read more about Whole30 here.

OTHER THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT WHOLE30

You’re basically eating a lot of fresh foods; nothing processed. You’re going to remove all grains, dairy, soy, legumes, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol from your diet.  I cannot tell you how many people asked me, “So what do you eat?! Nothing?”  No, I would reply, I eat all fresh foods.  And believe it or not, there is A LOT to choose from.

You do not count calories (thank God, because I’ve never done that in my life and never will), you do not pre-measure anything, and you do not weigh yourself for the entire 30 days.  You can eat as much as you want (trust me, I ate so much food, probably why I didn’t actually lose weight, but more on that below).

You should really hone in to how you feel while on Whole30.  Are you less bloated?  Are your headaches gone?  Do you have more energy?  Are you sleeping better?  I was amazed that my answers to all of those questions were yes, yes, yes, and YES.

After the 30 days are over with, you reintroduce each food that you removed from your diet back into it, one at a time. This way, you’re able to identify which foods you’re sensitive to.

PS – Whole30 is not something you sign up for; you just do it on your own.  You don’t buy anything except your groceries.  No one is trying to sell you anything; it’s no bullshit.  It’s not an overnight fix; it’s a lifestyle change.

WHAT’S THE POINT?

I bring this up because about seven different people asked me, “what’s the point of doing Whole30?  You don’t need to lose weight.”  I didn’t do it to lose weight.  I did it to become healthier.  To get clearer skin.  To not feel bloated.  To have more energy.  To take care of my damn body from the inside out.

MY EXPERIENCE

Days 1 – 10

After eating so much food at my grandma’s house on one Saturday afternoon (stuffed shells, fried cauliflower, scalloped potatoes, cheesecake…and so much more), I was more than ready to start Whole30 on Monday morning. I made the mistake of working out during my lunch break on Monday (mind you, I had not ate anything for lunch yet), and felt super nauseous afterwards. It’s probably best to wait a few days before you start to workout again on Whole30.

After the first day, I already felt so much better!  Probably because I typically dine out a lot for lunch, which isn’t that healthy (for those of you who don’t know, I have a full-time job as a Marketing Director for a software company.  I do makeup and blogging on the side).  Working in an office all day can make you want to get up and go somewhere during lunch, which is why a lot of times my colleagues and I will go to the foodcourt at the mall or stop at Panera to grab a bite to eat.  Not good!

Speaking of the office, there were THREE work parties/functions during my first week of Whole30!  On Tuesday there was pizza and wings to celebrate two new employees; on Wednesday we had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and sugar cookies with milk to celebrate World IP Day; and on Thursday I had a marketing function at one of my favorite Rochester restaurants where pasta was served for all 100 attendees.  I had to grab a waiter and ask if he could get me a salad with plain balsamic vinegar.  I was proud of myself for resisting all of the tempting foods – especially my favorite, pizza!

Days 11 – 20

After making it through the first ten days, I was feeling so good.  My headaches were gone, my energy levels were high, I didn’t feel bloated, and my skin was so much clearer!  I had about six different people comment on how clear my skin looked, even without any makeup on.  I was still eating a lot; if I ever felt hungry, I would eat.  But the difference between eating a lot of Whole30 foods versus what I used to eat was that I never felt bloated after.

On Day 12, I went to lunch with my best friend and her cousin, and was so tempted to have a slice of the bread that was served – not to mention the chocolate birthday cake. Instead, I filled up on a grilled mahi salad, which was really satisfying – especially because the dish was served with kalamata olives and mini potatoes.  Up until this point, I didn’t realize you’re actually allowed to eat potatoes on Whole30 – nice surprise, haha.  After lunch we treated ourselves to facials and at the end, we were served hot tea.  I took one look at the ingredients listed on the label before taking a sip, and the #1 ingredient was sugar!  No tea for me.

Now here is where I’m ashamed to tell you what happened next, on Day 13.  I cheated.  I cheated really bad. I knew I was going out for my two best friends’ birthdays, and I told myself I wouldn’t drink.  Wellllll…I drank.  I had wine and vodka with soda water.  And THEN, I decided it was a good idea to have pizza – two slices of pizza.

The next morning I felt like absolute crap. It was probably a combination of drinking alcohol and consuming food that I haven’t in two weeks (sugar, cheese, grain, flour). Yikes.

Although I felt so mad at myself and defeated, I decided to carry on with the rest of the Whole30 program and not hit the reset button (I explain why below, in the WOULD I DO IT AGAIN? section). I know that’s not how Whole30 is supposed to work – you can’t cheat at all, but I still decided to continue with the rest of my two weeks without cheating.

On Day 18, I went to dinner with three of my girlfriends.  A couple of them kept saying, “I could never do that, I just don’t have the willpower.”  Here’s the thing: neither have I.  As I mentioned above, I’ve never done something like this where I’ve challenged myself with regards to what I eat.  It’s honestly not that hard.  When you notice all of the amazing results (that I list below), it’s so worth it.

Days 21 – 30

The last ten days I still felt amazing, just as I had during the first twenty days.  I kept thinking to myself, “this isn’t bad at all.  I could do this forever.”  The only times it was difficult for me was eating at restaurants and eating at other peoples’ homes.  For example, when I go home to visit my family, my mom and dad eat pretty healthy.  However, my two younger brothers do not, so the house is filled with so much junk food (sugary cereals, ice cream, Doritos, and more).  I just had to tell myself, okay, no matter what everyone else eats, I am going to make my own meals.

Same with eating at a restaurant.  You would think you could choose something on the menu that is Whole30 compliant at just about any restaurant, but I was surprised.  One night for dinner I figured I would order a salad with grilled chicken or grilled shrimp, but that wasn’t an option.  I ended up ordering a garden salad with no protein, so I went home and had some nuts and veggies afterward.  I would say the most important thing before you eat out is to go online and look at the menu beforehand to make sure there is something you can order (that isn’t just a boring garden salad).

FAVORITE SNACKS

– Grapefruit

– Grapes, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries

– RX bars (Chocolate Sea Salt and Coconut Chocolate)

– Almonds and pistachios

– Sliced peppers

FAVORITE MEALS

– Scrambled Eggs with Spinach, Peppers, and Asparagus

– Riced Broccoli with Grilled Chicken

– Zucchini Noodles or Butternut Squash Noodles with Salmon

– Salad with Tuna

– Whole30 Shepherd’s Pie

– Riced Cauliflower (Mexican style) with Chicken in Lettuce Wraps topped with Homemade Guacamole

BENEFITS THAT I EXPERIENCED

– No headaches (not even one in thirty days, and I normally get a few per week)

– Clearer skin (noticeably clearer – several people commented on how nice and glowy my skin looks, and they normally don’t)

– Less tired, more energy (I never really got tired during the day, and normally I do.  Especially around 2 or 3 pm, which is common for a lot of people because this is when they crave sugar, or crash from it.)

– Felt lighter, tighter, and healthier – never bloated (my stomach looked much flatter almost immediately.  I didn’t feel like I lost weight, probably because I still ate a lot, but I did feel much tighter throughout my entire body.)

– Always felt satisfied (I still ate a lot during Whole30, so I always felt satisfied. The only times I thought, “wow, I really want that donut,” was if someone was eating a donut directly in front of my face.)

– More aware of what I’m consuming (this is a big one, people. I am sooo much more aware of what I’m putting in my mouth before it hits my lips. “I think I’ll have salsa with my sliced peppers – oh wait, this salsa has sugar as one of it’s main ingredients…never mind!”)

– Better breathing (I don’t know if this is all in my head, or if it’s Whole30 related, but I honestly think it’s Whole30 related. I have suffered from the World’s Worst Sinus Infection since 2010.  Okay, I’m being dramatic. But really, I basically have a constant sinus infection. I should have went through with the surgery that I had scheduled back in 2011. Anyways, my breathing sucks. Especially in my right nostril – if you close my left one I legit cannot breathe at all. But guess what? I’ve noticed a slight difference – my breathing is a little better!  Could it have to do with the change in my diet? Maybe!

– More creative in the kitchen (doing Whole30 forced me to make 90% of my meals, snacks, and even condiments!  For example, I started following Real Food with Dana on Instagram and fell in love with her recipe for ranch dressing.  I’m not even a huge ranch fan, but it was nice to have a little something to dip raw veggies into.  This recipe tasted so good!)

PHYSICAL CHANGES

I weighed myself right before I started Whole30 and I’m the same weight that I have been for a few years now.  I fluctuate a few pounds up and down, but nothing crazy.  I also decided to take a “before” photo so that I could compare it to an “after” photo once the program was complete.

Believe it or not, I actually gained two pounds!  Luckily, I’ve never paid attention to the number on the scale because I think as long as you feel like you’re healthy and feel good about yourself, that’s really all that matters.

But I will say this: I definitely look slimmer.  As I mentioned in a section above, I felt lighter and tighter the entire time I was doing Whole30.  I noticed that my clothes fit better, for example, my pants and jeans were not as tight.  My mom and Greg both noticed I look slimmer as well.  I’m thinking the two pounds are likely muscle gain, since I was eating healthy for 30 days and working out about 4-5 days per week.

Note: I originally posted my before and after photos in this article, but decided to remove them because I was in my underwear…oops!  Probably should have thought about a different “outfit” than that when I took the before photo, but oh well.

WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?

YES, especially since I cheated.  Everyone who is on the Whole30 train will tell you that if you cheat, you must restart all over again.  When I cheated after the first two weeks, I didn’t want to restart right then and there because I knew I would not be able to resist non-compliant Whole30 foods/drinks while on a mini vacation in Toronto for one of my friend’s bachelorette parties (that would fall within the 30 days if I restarted then).  So I told myself I would do it again, and not cheat, sometime soon.

Greg and I decided that we will follow Whole30 during the week.  For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we will eat the same way that we did while on Whole30.  However, we will allow ourselves to have a few drinks on the weekends or have a plate of pasta at a restaurant if we’re out to eat.  I think this will be a good balance.

The #1 takeaway that I gained from doing Whole30 was realizing how much shit is added to food.  When I would go grocery shopping, I would go to purchase something (such as a can of sauce to add to a recipe) and see that sugar is added.  It made me so much more aware of what I consume.

Have you done Whole30 before?  What are your thoughts on the program?  Let me know if you have any questions about my experience!

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Friday Favorites

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Happy Friday, friends! I hope you have something to look forward to this weekend, even if it’s just relaxing on the couch! I rounded up some of my current favorites, in no particular order. These four categories are kind of random, but oh well!

1. Great Hair Products

I’m currently obsessed with quite a few hair products, so here are three of my favorites:

Invisibobble Traceless Hair Rings – These hair ties/rings are amazing! I wear my hair up a lot when I’m doing things around the house and almost always when I go to bed. The downside? My hair always creases where the hair tie was, which can make it difficult to restyle. The solution? These hair rings! They remind of those weird keychain bracelets that people used to wear in the 90s, but using that shape to hold your hair is genius! It allows hair to be held strongly in the ponytail without feeling too tight or leaving a kink.

Monat Renew Shampoo – I’m going to do a full review on all of the Monat hair products that I’ve been testing for the past couple months, but this shampoo is hands down my new favorite! It smells amazing and has made such a difference with my normally thin, dry hair.

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Cleansing Oil-Crème Duo – Another bomb.com hair product that I’ve been currently crushing on is this magical oil-creme duo! I already owned the Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil, the Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer, and the Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Dry Oil Finishing Spray. LOL, can you tell I like this line of products?! And as of a few weeks ago, I added the Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Cleansing Oil-Crème Duo to my arsenal, and I’m obsessed. I use it in the shower after I shampoo and it makes my hair so silky smooth!

2. New Makeup

Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Countour Palette – This makeup palette right here, thoooo…game changer! Why did I not own this way sooner? It’s my new favorite (I feel like I always say that, but really, this is my new favorite). There are several different neutral, matte eyeshadows in a range of cool, warm, and neutral tones. If you’re a makeup artist like me, this is perfect to have in your kit!

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water – I’ve been using this primer ON REPEAT for the past couple of months. It works so well! I know what you’re thinking: “water…really? come on.” But I promise you it works. I spray it on my face before applying makeup and as soon as I’m done, and my makeup has never looked so good or stayed in place so well.

3. Mother’s Day Ideas

It’s a little late to be posting about this, but if you still haven’t bought or made your mom a gift for Sunday, here are some of my favorite ideas:

Etsy Custom Cutting Board

Kate Spade Recipe Book

Versace Bright Crystal

Kendra Scott Necklace

4. Healthy Snacks

I’m doing this nutritional program called The Whole30 (I’ll do a blog post on it once I’m done), so I’m all about the healthy snacks right now.  RX Bars, almonds, grapes, peppers, olives, and carrots have been my go-tos.

Have a fabulous weekend!

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Polka Dots + Red

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O U T F I T   D E T A I L S

DRESS: J.Crew  //  HEELS: BCBGeneration last season, similar here  //  PURSE: Kate Spade  //  SUNGLASSES: Ray Ban  //  BRACELETS: David Yurman and Kate Spade //  NECKLACE: Forever 21  //  RING: David Yurman  //  WATCH: Guess

P H O T O G R A P H Y :  Robin Fox

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you enjoyed your weekend. I had a relaxing night on Friday with Greg, which was just what we needed.  We made a really tasty dinner (recipe here; we added chicken and homemade guacamole) and watched The Usual Suspects – great movie!

On Saturday I had a few makeup appointments which are always so fun for me – one prom, one wedding trial, and one birthday! Then I went out for two of my best friends’ birthdays and I am SO mad at myself because I cheated my Whole30 program 😦  I’m doing a blog post on Whole30 that will go up later this month, and I’ll explain what happened there (basically I had no willpower and ended up drinking and eating pizza…and Milano cookies).  Oh well, ya live and ya learn people, ya live and ya learn.

Sunday was spent feeling like CRAP all day thanks to cheating on Whole30, but I made up for it by making a really great dinner (salmon with roasted brussels sprouts, carrots, and broccoli).

K, enough about food. Isn’t this black and white polka dot dress paired with the red and pink accessories just perfect for spring and summer time?  There’s nothing I love more than an easy cami dress that you can glam up or make casual.  They are basically my wardrobe staple for work and play.

What’s your wardrobe staple?  Leave a comment below!

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Blue & White Stripes

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O U T F I T   D E T A I L S

TOP: Forever 21, similar and similar  //  JEANS: Old Navy  //  HEELS: Vince Camuto, similar  //  CLUTCH: J. Crew  //  SUNGLASSES: Target  //  EARRINGS: Forever 21  //  BRACELETS: David Yurman and Kate Spade //  RING: David Yurman  //  WATCH: Guess

P H O T O G R A P H Y :  Robin Fox

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you had a nice weekend. I spent Friday night catching up on lots of work (Etsy orders, makeup appointment prep, and social media and design work for a marketing client that I have on the side). Saturday morning was filled with makeup appointments with my soon-to-be-brides (yay!), followed by a quick trip home to visit my Big Fat Italian Family! My uncle was in town from Texas, so my grandma decided to have a few people over (aka 45 people). Needless to say, we ate for two days straight and I am more than ready to have something healthy for dinner tonight!

A couple weekends ago, my mom and dad came to visit me for a late birthday celebration. My mom and I dragged my dad and boyfriend to the mall, and while we only had an hour to spend before our dinner reservation, I found this super cute blue and white pinstripe top and fun tassel earrings. For some reason I don’t see the top listed on the Forever 21 website, but I linked a few that are similar!

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White & Green for Spring

O U T F I T   D E T A I L S

TOP: Francesca’s last season, similar here  //  SKIRT: Chicwish  //  HEELS: BCBGeneration last season, similar here  //  CLUTCH: Clare V.  //  SUNGLASSES: Ray Ban  //  EARRINGS: Baublebar  //  NECKLACE: Love Always //  BRACELETS: David Yurman and Francesca’s (no longer available), similar here  //  RING: David Yurman

P H O T O G R A P H Y :  Robin Fox

Vacations are always so fulfilling, aren’t they?  I just returned yesterday morning from spending the last few days in Florida with my boyfriend, Greg, and his family.  The warm weather felt so good!  We kept saying to each other, “how nice would it be to live in this weather 24/7?!”  We live in Upstate, NY and while we do enjoy the summertime very much, we are very limited with the amount of time we have to spend in the sunshine.  It would be nice to get out of work almost every day and see the sun shining!  I love New York so much, but my only complaint is I wish it was sunnier.  I don’t even mind the cold weather and snow (wait, who am I kidding – yes I do), but it would be so much better if it was at least brighter outside!

While we were on vacation for Easter we spent one day at Clearwater Beach and the weather was perfect.  The beach = my happy place.  When I’m on vacation, especially somewhere with warm weather, I like to pack light and flowy things.  This maxi skirt is perfect because it looks good on any body shape and is super comfortable!  And don’t you just love the color?  I think kelly green looks good on just about everyone – light, medium, and dark skin.  Dress it up with heeled sandals like I did here, or dress it down without the heels.

Do you have any vacations planned for this year?  I would love to hear where you’re venturing off to, even if it’s just an hour away from your hometown!

Glossier Favorites

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I’ve come to the realization that being a freelance makeup artist is basically just a big excuse for me to try new skincare and makeup products (kidding, kidding). But really, as much as I love making people look and feel beautiful, I also love to try new products. One brand that I’ve recently tried and been currently crushing on is Glossier.

I’ve seen a few blog and social media posts on the up-and-coming brand, but haven’t tried any of the products until a few weeks ago. Here’s what I’m loving:

Priming Moisturizer – It’s no secret that the “secret” to perfect makeup is having great skin.  Some days I use moisturizer and primer, other days I just use moisturizer and skip the primer.  This Priming Moisturizer by Glossier is the best of both worlds because it’s a two-in-one that doesn’t leave your face feeling like it has too much product on it.

Balm Dotcom – This stuff is the real deal when it comes to making your lips feel as smooth as a baby’s bottom.  I’m not always a huge fan of chapstick; I tend to prefer something more balmy. So needless to say, this formulation and consistency is perfect for me and I’ll bet you’ll love it, too.

Super Bounce – This serum is a 10-out-of-10 because it leaves your skin looking bouncy and plump. #Winning.

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Cloud Paint – This is my favorite product out of all the Glossier ones I’ve tried. I love it on myself and I love it on clients. The shades are very pigmented but they’re so easy to blend. You only need a teeny, tiny drop of product on your finger tip, then bounce it onto the apples of your cheeks and you’ve got color that will last all day!

Boy Brow – This reminds me a lot of Gimme Brow by Benefit Cosmetics, another product that I have loved for years. Boy Brow comes in a few different shades to match your hair color, and makes it easy to have perfectly groomed brows in a matter of one minute (or less).

Stretch Concealer – Last but not least, this concealer is the real deal. I was skeptical to try it at first, because I typically don’t like concealer that comes in a pot/jar. But I must say, I really like this product. It’s easy to blend and perfect for covering up dark circles and blemishes.

Have you tried any Glossier products yet? Leave a comment below!
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Favorite Fragrances

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Happy Wednesday! I may have posted something similar to this in the past, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to do another Favorite Fragrances for spring time!

Here I’m breaking down my top six choices and what I like about each one. I honestly have so many other “favorite” perfumes, but these are the six that I currently have on my tray. Also note, this list is in no particular order 🙂

1. Daisy by Marc Jacobs – This is an oldie but a goodie. I’ve been wearing Daisy for years now and still haven’t gotten sick of it. It has a very elegant scent to it and isn’t too overbearing (just don’t spray too much).

  • Notes: Strawberry, Violet Leaves, Jasmine, White Woods
  • Style: Fruity, Floral

2. Daisy Eau So Fresh by Marc Jacobs – Clearly I don’t stray too far from what I like…#oops. Very similar to it’s mother, Daisy, this “Eau So Fresh” edition is similar but a little bit more fruity, in my opinion. It gives me more of a spring and summer feeling, and also feels a bit more “youthful” than the original Daisy. Does that make sense?

  • Notes: Red Raspberry, Wild Rose, Warm Plum
  • Style: Fruity, Floral

3. Sheer Beauty by Calvin Klein – This is probably the least expensive fragrance out of this group. They don’t sell it at Sephora, but I normally find mine at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or even Kohl’s. It isn’t too strong or powerful – I would say it’s a “soft” scent. It makes me feel very elegant and clean!

  • Notes: Sparkling Peach Bellini, Pink Lily, Creamy Woods
  • Style: Fruity, Creamy

4. Acqua di Gioia by Giorgio Armani – I can’t say enough good things about Acqua di Gioia. 1) it’s fun to pronounce 2) it’s different than the other fragrances I own 3) I always feel my best when I wear it. If I have an important meeting or want to feel sexy on a date with my boyfriend, I always grab for this. Fun fact: Acqua di Gioia means “water of joy,” which is exactly what I think of when I spray this (just kidding – that’s definitely not the first thought that crosses my mind).

  • Notes: Mint, Brown Sugar, Lemon, Jasmine, Peony, Pink Pepper, Cedarwood, Labdanum
  • Style: Joyous, Aquatic

5. Nirvana Black by Elizabeth and James – Nirvana Black is the most distinguished out of the fragrances I have listed here. It’s the most…different. It’s mysterious and a little bit masculine. It’s definitely not a scent that I reach for during the day, but it’s perfect for nighttime. And if you aren’t so sure about the perfume, I definitely recommend the dry shampoo. My best friend Missy got me hooked on it! So many people say, “omg, you smell so good!” and really it’s just my hair 😉

  • Notes: Violet, Sandalwood, Vanilla
  • Style: Sensual, Mysterious, Warm

6. Chloé Eau de Parfum by Chloé – Out of these six, this one has to be my current favorite. It’s perfect to wear during the day and also at night. I receive so many compliments when I wear it from both ladies and gents. It’s the perfect mix of a floral and woody scent.

  • Notes: Peony, Rose, Honey, Cedarwood
  • Style: Floral, Powdery (in a good way!)

After typing all of this out, I’ve realized that I’m definitely a “floral” girl! What type of scents do you like? Do you have an all-time favorite perfume? Leave a comment below!