The Real Secrets to Mermaid Hair

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Last week I got my hair trimmed, which was long(ggg) overdue.  The last time I had gotten a ‘trim’ was longer than I care to admit. Now I’ll be honest- I’m usually a complete spazz, eyeing the poor girl/guy about to barely take off an inch. However, this time I was all about getting a serious 5 inches snipped.  Yet, one question the stylist asked me was how in the world I had managed to go so long without trimming, and my hair still be healthy. This is where I’ll admit how long it had been: One year, and six months. I know, it’s horrid. Continue reading “The Real Secrets to Mermaid Hair”

How To Give A Gift: Everyone Will Love

Simple Gifts for the Hard-To-Buy-Fors

To start off, here are a few of my favorite odds-and-ends that are simple, festive, & bright.

A cozy throw, a comical plate, a beautiful magazine, lovely glow-worthy skincare + nailart, etc., are simple and definitely no-brainers that many times are a hit among holiday gift-giving (girl-edition, at least.)  However, sometimes it’s definitely not so easy.  Especially when perhaps you don’t know someone that well, or maybe you don’t know their interests.  So I’ve organized some rules that I’ve come up over the years that are really helpful in giving a great gift, to everyone:

Rule 1 Okay, so maybe not everyone, but I’m talking in reference to things not many people don’t like.  Take a topic that is always a ‘win’, enter: food, health, useful home decor/tools (I’m staring at you never-been-used-bread-makers), your own favorite skincare products (Om Aroma & Co.), good spirits, etc.  It’s a simple rule when buying gifts; be thoughtful & unique, and always think to yourself would like the gift if you were the one being gifted.  When you start thinking about gifts that you would like yourself, you’re more likely to be on-point of what others might enjoy, too.  For instance: think of some of the go-to restaurants in your general area that you really love, like a bakery.  Do they ship their speciality items?  Same for local wines, a local brewery, etc.  I mean, how many people don’t like great food and good alcohol.  I can’t think of anyone I know…

Rule 2 Words that work magic together during the holidays: ‘One of a Kind.’   There is something so magical about giving something no one else has.  Yea, it sounds a bit conceited, but it’s really not.  Truthfully…it’s just plain awesome and, well, one-of-a-kind. It’s a no-fail. (p.s…have you ever heard of ‘Of-A-Kind‘? It’s pretty much equivalent to a hidden-rare-jeweled-crusted website of treasure.)

Rule 3 Get your hands dirty with creativity so you don’t overspend. Cheesiest remark ever? Yes, indeed.  However, good gifts aren’t always expensive gifts.  Why is it that so many feel this way?  To be honest, some of my most treasured gifts are well under 30 bucks. For instance, my Dad once bought me a gorgeous ceramic pitcher that has this adorable little lid you can place your teabags around as they steep.  And yes, I’ll probably be the old lady who hands down a tea pitcher as if it were a rare piece of jewelry. My point with this story, yet again: don’t overspend.

Rule 4 Go ‘local.’  I’ll never tire of this statement.  Rev-up your local economy + get an awesome gift for someone?  Pretty sweet gig if you ask moi.  Plus, it pretty much entangles everything we’ve gone over above.  Unique, one-of-a-kind, thoughtful, interesting, etc. There are so many talented people in your own community who spend their days creating something awesome, why not find em’ and know about em’? Oh, and obviously the best part: share them.  (p.s…here is one of my local favorites: My A La Mode)

lovelyliving.ptest

Rule 5  Think of ‘places’ they seem to be a lot, then go from there.  You want to get them something they will use everyday, or at least a lot. Are they in their office space (insert: a calming & inspirational print for their wall,  some low-matenience greenery- I think these guys are too fun, etc.), kitchen, living room space, outdoors.  When you think of the places they spend most of their time, chances are your gift will reflect a certain thoughtfulness a lot of people, often times, miss when gifting.  How many times did you get a gift that was totally not…you.  It’s these simple references that’ll help you get a little closer to the ‘them.’

So lovelies, hope this helps! If you like what you see, I may start a series leading up to Christmas of quick tips and tricks to give a great gift that comes from your heart, not your wallet. So feel free to leave comments and questions! xo, loves!

 

Continue reading “How To Give A Gift: Everyone Will Love”

Pretty Picks For August

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I love makeup. I love skincare. I’m a complete beauty junkie, however, I’m really big on only using natural products. With that being said, I have probably tried everything under the sun for my skincare routine (makeup + facial care), and even though I like to try out new things here and there, I am obsessed with certain brands that I know will never let this girl down. I also have super(rrr) sensitive skin, so I really have to watch out what I put on my face or else it’s…disaster. Continue reading “Pretty Picks For August”

Bring it to the Beach: Natural Goodies to Get Your Glow On.

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1. There are plenty of shimmery highlighters out there, but this one is natural, and gives a dewy shimmer for a subtle glow for all skin tones- plus, the argan oil helps to keep skin moisturized while we glow. It’s a definite go-to for summer. (Josie Maran Illuminizer)

2. Keep your skin soft, hydrated, and protected with this MyChelle skin-loving, chemical-free, SPF. It also has a hint of natural coconut for some extra love. (MyChelle-SPF Sun Shield)

3. My absolute favorite BB cream- it protects against UVA/UVB rays with natural SPF 30, helps with anti-aging, gives your skin moisture, all while creating a lovely glow. Definitely a ‘foundation’ with the punch of a skin treatment. Love, love, love. (Tarte BB Cream)

4. Give your skin some silky ‘after-sun’ love with Savannah Bee Company’s Royal-Jelly Body Butter. Packed with goodies your skin needs after being out in the sun all day- like vitamins, lipids, and amino acids- it’s ‘naturally’ a must. The scent is amazing as well, with some ‘southern inspired’ goodness, pecan butter and blackberry. Yum. (Savannah Bee Body Butter)

5. Again, Josie Maran is a wonder and I’m a devout new fan. Her new Coconut Water Cheek Gelee’s are like summertime packed into tiny packages. If you have sensitive skin, like this girl, it is literally a blush from heaven- not to mention it also makes for a beautiful lip color. I’m a fan of ‘Poppy Paradise’, but I literally stood in Sephora forever trying to decide the best color. Amazing. xoxo. (Josie Maran Coconut Cheek Gelee)

5. Of course, a new favorite for beach days are all things ‘Daisy-inspired’ (courtesy of my obsession with The Great Gatsby). For extra sun protection I thought this lovely, Daisy-channeling, peach-hued J.Crew hat what would look lovely while catching up on some reading. (J.Crew summer hat)

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xoxo. Glow-on loves.

Monday Morning Madness: Birthday-Filled Weekends; Children’s Books, Cocoa Butter, and Cardigans.

Morning Loves. Hope your weekend was a dear.

This is a spastic post. Mainly because I was all over the place this weekend, and well, pretty much altogether.

For starters, my Monday morning was an early one. I’ve been up since seven and it wasn’t the most relaxing morning, or weekend for that matter. For sure.

The weekend was met with exactly three birthdays, and looking back, it almost seems I haven’t been anywhere but a car for the better part of all of them. So to the parent’s house I went, partly because one of the birthday’s included my Father’s 72nd birthday, which still seems crazy to me! I can never quite grasp he was born in 1940, but his history has made a big impact of my own life, and so for that I will forever be grateful.

However, to add to the madness, there were a lot of question marks as to what random ideas I would pull together for a gift, but, there is one thing my father does adore. Food (as any man, of course). So I found some knicks and knacks of sorts which perhaps might help you if you’re in a crunch during a loved one’s birthday, as I was;

1. Sarabeth’s Strawberry-Rhubard Jam; Which may I say I had this a.m. and it was delicious/highly recommended.

2. This fancy Grapeseed Oil for high-heat cooking, plus the company itself seems pretty awesome.

3. Oh, so salty, Capers for Fall-inspired recipes.

4. Garlic-Basil Oil for bread dipping/quick appetizers.

5. A large ice-cube tray for cocktails- it’s great because the ice melts slowly so your drinks don’t become too watery!

5. And, an awesome versatile (stove top, oven, microwave!), Italian Terracotta, cooking pan. Which also helps because it’s Green. 🙂

After the present was already given, of course, I realized a good coffee would have been another great addition. Then again, there is still Christmas’s steady approach. However, all in all, it was kind of a perfect assortment because both my Mom and Dad could use it, which made me feel like I didn’t leave her out. So that was nice. Anyhow(www)…

Even in the hectic last-minute birthday cake runs, present searching, and deciding on an either funny or serious card (another dreaded decision!), laughter filled a lot of the craziness in. Which isn’t too hard because I have one of the funniest people in the world around a lot of the time, my boyfriend (aww, haha.), but, this book made for a pretty good competition. Have you ever heard of SkippyJon Jones? My niece’s fourth birthday was this weekend and I looked high and low for a good children’s book and came across this absolute jewel. We read it on the way to their house and…hysterical. Seriously, I haven’t laughed at a children’s book since I was a child myself, and for any parents out there/crazies like me whom love funny randoms…this book is too cute and hilarious!

 He kind of reminds me of Ciel, my precious pup. Whom Liddy (my niece) is obsessed with. She was her baby for the day, below. Too precious (haha!).

 Happy (now belated-ish) Birthday!

Another high, the weather. It was a chilly cool which called for two essentials; 1. Jason’s Cocoa Butter (heart, heart, heart!) because my skin seems to be switching to dehydration mode (<—post I’ll touch on very soon!), 2. and a little more layering. I wore a light beige J.Crew chunky cardigan I bought last year and practically lived in it yesterday. It was pretty much amazing. Aside from my makeup-less face and non-strategical ‘messy hair’ look, but whatever.

On that note, this rainy morning is definitely calling for a latte. Au revoir, my beautifuls. xoxo.

Skin Trip: Somewhere Over The Rainbow; That’s Where I’ll Be.

Let’s talk wings in the fire.

This weekend is my (beautiful) niece’s birthday, she’ll be four.  So, on a lovely Friday afternoon, I decided to tote myself to the mall to find a present for her. Most people think this is a normal task, however, shopping visits are extreme, that is, to me. Take anything you want, but shopping is not ‘just shopping’ for this girl. It’s not all about the buying or ‘giving in’ to marketing schemes (that I for one, know exist in extremes). It’s an experience as any other activity should be. It’s being a judge in a world full of dreamy stores, lined with vibrant colors and wishful thinking. Perhaps if you truly think about it, it’s a world where everything is possible. There was a comment by a woman in ‘The September Issue’ documentary, who said Anna Wintour was the most powerful woman in America. It might not be so far-fetched.

You can be an idealist, realist, socialist, dictator, communist, naturalist, narcissist, healer, dreamer, protagonist, antagonist-there is room for it all- but only a tiny box that can fit everyone. The beauty and fashion industry is the most diplomatically, un-diplomatic, place there is. Sometimes I wonder if secretly they, indeed, do hold all the worldly power. It’s actually quite an interesting subject if you reach beyond what it seems to most people.

 Here is where today’s Skin Trip comes about. If you’re one to say fashion and beauty have no power, perhaps you’ve overlooked MAC’s new line. As I was walking past Nordstrom’s neatly lined pathway of make-up artists, all painting gorgeous hues of candy-coated madness on their subjects, I thought their Fall 2012 Campaign was very…Feministic? Or was it? I applauded such an action, or, un-action. It’s called ‘Office Hours’ with some of the prettiest pinks I have ever seen in a make-up line. There is a vivid 50’s to 60’s inspired photograph of a woman trying to aid her nail polish in drying, while handling an office phone call. I can’t decide if it was her office, or just a office. Her makeup is, of course, done to perfection and looks so neat and blissful, cool and calm, I almost wanted to be her.

The presentation-statement of the line goes like this; “She’s a glamorous go-getter with nothing temp about her! Full-time, overtime-her makeup, like her day, goes on and on.”

So what does that mean for me? Do I want to look effortless, perfect, and pink? Do I want to be so cool and calm and collected, that I can handle my big-name job, while still applying a coat of nail polish? While wearing fish nets? Because we’re women, and we’re sexy, and we can do it all, no-fuss. We can be all these things and not be analyzed by your stereotypical mess, you judgmental society. I think looking glamorous is completely acceptable wherever, whenever, and I would fall in love with the idea of this campaign, if that is what they are trying to say here. However, I can’t help not play devil’s advocate; Or, does she just not have a lot going on. Does she have a secretary job? Which would make all the sense in the world, given the era-look they are going for. Are we neat and effortless and blase- because that’s what women are supposed to look like, and act like, everyday at work? Is that what ‘women-at-work’…look like? I mean, aren’t we trying to steer clear of what women were going through during this time, don’t we want better jobs and equal pay?

Perhaps we can say it’s just a makeup line campaign, with no real significance behind it at all. Perhaps I beg to differ, perhaps I don’t. I do know, on the other hand, that a company so geared towards, us, women…should want to have our best interests at heart. In all the senses of that statement, including how we are represented in society with such a mass, looked-over and up to, makeup line.

Yet, that’s also where I become a dictator in the sense that MAC makeup is very (veryyy) synthetic, and I don’t recommend ever using any of their products on a daily basis. I will never tell a woman it’s a good skin care decision to put such heavy, toxic, ingredients on their faces, even if there is that flawless illusion that MAC pulls off themselves, so very effortlessly.

I’m still in-limbo as to what MAC was trying to say. To speak for myself, I’m mostly a dreamer, an equal-ist,  and idealist to extremes. I love nothing more than the idea of beauty and fashion at its’ rawest, and in that matter, I suppose the Libra in me will constantly go back and forth on my scales of weighing.

So my dears, a lot of my original purpose of this post was to create the understanding of how the modern beauty industry is very hard to say “no” to. As I was walking by yesterday, it’s not like any of MAC’s makeup artists were some slasher-film-like villains, unable to spare any victims. They were actually very eccentric, eye-drawing, and appealing- the beauty of the beauty industry (no pun-intended.) It’s just not many people are aware of the dangers of modern cosmetics and the real consequences using products such as these can have on their well-being. There is a certain ‘Gandhi-approach’ that still has to be ever present to express these concerns. I like to think of myself as playing the part of the journalist, a watchdog presence, over the attention we give to such company’s everyday. I think my own approach in trying to make people aware of today’s beauty industry, is the realization sometimes you have to let your guard down a little. I have my wing in the fire a lot of time- I love beauty and fashion too much not to embrace a lot of the chaos and corruption that goes on behind closed doors. It’s more about knowing what doors that should stay closed.

I’ll leave you, my loves, with this; What do you think? Does any of this have any significance? Has a younger generation lost touch with feminism? Are we the new kind of ‘feminist’? Is the fashion and beauty industry a underground, world-power?

xoxo til’ again.

Skin Trip: Quick Tip to Fix and Fight Aging, with Your Foundation Routine.

Hello Darlings. Hope your morning was roses.

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I know you’ve heard of mixing your tinted moisturizer with your foundation, but why not mix it with something a little more powerful? While we fade into Fall, cooler weather means heavier moisturizers (so our skin doesn’t get crackle-y and dry)- and most of those on the market are filled with synthetics and perfumes that barely hold any light to what they say they are. The other day I posted about Argan oil and it’s many wonders. It is slammed with Vitamin E, Essential Fatty Acids, and Protein, which gives aging a serious run for its’ money and makes for a luxurious power-punch to mix in your foundation.

 I’m in day four myself, adding about 3 drops of Acure’s Argan Oil (a little goes a long way) to my daily Amazon Clay-Tarte foundation. For one, it mixes beautifully and feels like satin, plus, it creates that lovely, natural, dewy look that I absolutely adore for year-round. It’s a great way to start the preventative measure of aging in your 20’s (because what you do now, shows later!), or start helping with any lines or wrinkles that have already made a stance. So give that wimpy tinted moisturizer the boot and add some power to your foundation routine!

Just a quick, skin trip, for you loves! xoxo.