December 30, 2011

splurge-worthy

you know i have a deep obsession with all things beauty (and probably spend too much time reading about it on into the gloss), and as i've said, it's quite an expensive habit. as a result, i tend to stick to drugstore products, which all work amazingly well.  almay powder, maybelline mascara, and covergirl eyeliner are all i really need on a day-to-day basis.... 

but change is always good.

example (a): i've recently started wearing foundation. not just a dusting of powder, but legitimate foundation.  it started when my mom bought the wrong shade of chanel vitalumiere foundation and suggested i try it; ever since, i can hardy leave the house without it. before discovering its dewy, ultra-light, natural-looking wonder, i would have never paid $55 for a bottle of makeup - that seems crazy! and in a way, it is. there are equally fantastic varieties out there from rimmel, maybelline, and physicians formula for a fraction of the cost, but sometimes a splurge is well worth it. especially when you're like me and have found yourself on this painstaking mission to find those few products that make your skin look absolutely perfect, yet not overly-made-up... flawless, but radiant. poreless, but undetectable. i'm close to finding my dream team of products, and i have to admit, they aren't a cheap bunch. 

the story continues: to apply my liquid-gold chanel foundation, i use a foundation brush by shisheido to blend tiny amounts wherever i need a bit of coverage (not over my entire face... that's how you get a mask). this brush is my one tool that is absolutely necessary and thus totally worth the $30. not just any old foundation brush will deliver the flawless, airbrushed results you get when you use this miracle-worker; you have to invest a little, which i did (per emily's suggestion, once again).

my spree continued upon picking up my first NARS product -- the 'laguna' bronzer. i recently discovered how bronzer can completely transform your beauty routine, and not in a jersey shore type of way.  matte, subtle bronzer like the 'laguna' is perfect for shading underneath your cheekbones and jawline (called "contouring") to create depth and angles on your face. my old cheapy bronzer wasn't cutting it.

 you need a small, slightly-stiff brush to create those contours, though, which brings me to the too-faced kabuki brush. not only is it absurdly soft (the 100% natural bristles are made of their famous "teddy bear hair") but it makes application a breeze.  i don't know what i would do without this little pink brush - i use it for  bronzer, blush, highlighter, translucent powder, you name it.

and speaking of highlighter... after applying bronzer for shading, you need a glowy, light-reflecting highlighter to counteract the darkness and avoid a muddy, flat complexion. NARS illuminator in cococobana is both sheer and pearlescent, making it the ideal pop of shimmer on top of your cheekbones, over your brow bones, and in the inner corners of your eyes.  i've found highlighter is the key ingredient in making your face look fresh and awake, but cheap formulas tend to get cakey and lose their sheen after a few... minutes. you've gotta get the good stuff.

and after treating your face to the best and brightest formulas and tools, the last step is concealer. i don't need to go out of my way to praise the clĂ© de peau beautĂ© concealer stick - it's the immediate favorite of any makeup artist or beauty fanatic all over the world. its steep price tag is a little jarring at first (...to say the least), but it's worth it. i promise. consider this: 
1) it will cover ANY blemish, scar, under-eye circle, freckle, what have you. literally, anything. 
2) it feels like a dream.
3) it blends perfectly into your skin tone.
4) it lasts FOREVER!!!! 
...okay maybe not forever. but at least a year. mine has lasted me several years because i use it even more sparingly than your average woman. you only need a teeny tiny amount, and it virtually pays for itself.

so yes, my latest obsessions are a bit on the pricy side. but i don't feel quite so bad about it considering i'm still spending very little at the drugstore! my eye makeup, hair care and nail polish are all quite affordable, and plus: if you're going to pamper yourself, it may as well be your skin. there's no doubt these products are better for your skin than a lot of the other stuff out there, and isn't that what we're all after in this age of skin-damage-phobia? (oh yeah, and if you haven't been told already, stop going to tanning beds! they're the WORST.)

II emily

December 23, 2011

home for the holidays

as much as i love a sequin skirt or structured blazer, sometimes comfort is hard to beat. and you don't have to be sloppy; take a cue from this j.crew feature, which makes comfy-cozy look downright chic.






II emily

December 21, 2011

knits & tulle, tulle & knits

{image via aloveisblind}

i'm loving sweaters + skirts lately. especially knee-length-or-below,  frilly, pouffy skirts in dreamy fabrics (like chiffon, silk or tulle). aside from making you feel like a giddy Barbie ballerina doll, this retro style will help you achieve a womanly hourglass silhouette.
the {above} photo highlights everything i love about this sweater+skirt trend, and fall fashion, and femininity, and... well... fashion in general. it's the juxtaposition, people! gets me every time. 
mixing a chunky pullover sweater with a girly-girl twirly skirt  is chic in and of itself.   but throw in some bejeweled block-heeled pumps (which are noticeably scuffed -- something i love in a pair of shoes; it shows that the owner truly loves them) and you've got sartorial perfection.

II emily

December 20, 2011

simplicity

currently loving: the plain t-shirt.
in a crisp neutral color like white or black, this basic becomes ultra chic. just add the following:
 slim pants, a pop of color (or two), and a scattering of strong, sleek accessories. 
the classic white+black color combo works pretty amazingly as well.






II emily

December 18, 2011

glitzy

it's not new, it's not shocking, but i can't fight my attraction. 
sparkle is in. and i say the more the merrier. (it is the holidays, anyway.)

{ clockwise from top left: blair in mixed metallics // jules's glitter converse // marc by marc jacobs chartreuse studs // zara clutch // emily in a sequin blazer // marc by marc jacobs glitter mouse flats // shourouk crystal necklace // ban.do heart }

December 17, 2011

winter color

i love the idea of wearing color during winter. its' a common misconception that you have to retire your multi-hued wardrobe after the temperatures drop below 50, but i like to break the rules. a colorful ensemble packs even more of a punch during the colder months since everyone else is bundled up in boring black and grey; you'll stand out and look effortless all at once.
 the easiest way to incorporate this idea into your own wardrobe is to focus on 1 key piece in a faint pastel hue and work around that. pastels are inherently "spring-y" (re: easter) but they look fresh and crisp paired with chunky sweaters in neutral hues.  this creates the perfect foundation to throw on some of your favorite bold accessories, like a glitzy necklace or emerald flats. et voila! your colorful wardrobe, winterized.


December 11, 2011

warby parker

{styles from top: huxley, sinclair, webb, tenley, beckett, colton}

though you probably don't know it, i have a huge obsession with glasses. (i like to call them spectacles.. is that wrong?) in fact, if glasses weren't so expensive and didn't take so long to produce, i'd probably have a sizable collection right now. i do have a pair of cute ray-bans as well as some sleek black prada specs -- but a girl needs options!
enter: warby parker. i first heard about the warby parker website via the blogosphere (where else?); bloggers everywhere are raving about this new company. not only does warby parker stock unbelievably cute and trendy glasses (andddd sunglasses), but with each pair purchased, they donate a pair to someone in need. (kind of like TOMS, but not as in-your-face about it.) 
and it gets even better: each pair is only $95.
NINETY-FIVE DOLLARS.
your average prescription pair goes for... oh, i don't know. a couple hundred. depending on your prescription, astigmatism, bifocals, etc.  glasses can easily reach upper $500 range. talk about a fashion miracle! however, it's hard to know which glasses you want without trying them on.... (duh.) so warby parker found a solution. their "home try-on" system ships 5 styles of your choice (free) to try on in the comfort of your own home. and that's exactly what i did! i've decided on the 'huxley' dark tortoise with clear crystal on the bottom (top picture), but let me tell you - it was not an easy decision. 

II emily

December 5, 2011

a very merry madewell


for some reason i've never been a huge fan of tights -- at least, not the ones that aren't opaque black and boring. i love how colored, patterned, and textured tights look on other people, but for some reason the look has never translated well into my wardrobe. however, after stumbling upon these amazing looks from madewell, i think i've changed my mind. i love how these patterned tights are both whimsical and subtle (in a flattering, basic black), and they add so much texture to velvet skirts, shimmery dresses, and patent oxfords. these ensembles are perfect for the holiday season, from dinner parties to shopping excursions! top off the looks with some of madewell's gorgeous new jewelry; piles of glimmering gold and crystals add the perfect finishing touch.

but it gets better: obviously i'm a huge fan of madewell (seen here and here) -- and now i'm now one of their campus representatives at IU! yay! my job entails lots of promotions, including exclusive discounts for my stylish friends and peers.  i'll have you know that aside from the clothing and jewelry pictured above, the rest of their holiday collection is to die for as well - and we thought it was the perfect opportunity for a flash sale!
use the code MWHOLIDAYIU to receive 15% off your entire order tomorrow (december 6). the sale only lasts one day, so hop online and score some holiday goodies while you can! i know i will :)

II emily

December 2, 2011

nixon now


#major:
marble finishes, kaleidoscope colors, gold accents, dark tortoise... 
can i get one in every color?
seriously though.

December 1, 2011

luxe leopard

{ via le fashion }

you already know we're huge fans of leopard/cheetah print - for any accessory or clothing - and lately we've been particularly into plush, faux-fur leopard coats.  especially longer styles that go below the hip and have big collars: the look is high on drama, but when you're going to wear a leopard coat, you kind of have to go all out, right?
the jackets below are all exactly what i'm looking for - and not nearly as expensive as they look! i love how they add a dose of glamour to casual denim, a few pops of color, or a chic all-black ensemble. meow!



II emily