March 29, 2013

eco chic

h&m recently put their latest conscious collection on the racks, and i think i love it even more than their regular offerings. how can you turn down an eco-friendly cause that also mangages to be on-trend, especially with vanessa paradis in the ad campaign?

everything about the collection is perfect for transitioning into spring: there's tons of cool-girl olive green, relaxed silhouettes, painterly florals, pops of orange and yellow, soft ruffles... i seriously want to buy all of it. below are two outfits made with some of my favorite conscious pieces:

{ h&m conscious collection dress, rose ray-ban aviators, assorted knuckle rings from urban outfitters (i have this one and this one), h&m conscious collection beaded purse, kors michael kors sandals }

which ones will you pick up?

II emily

March 28, 2013

a few favorites

today i realized something pretty obvious: while i tend to buy new beauty products at the drugstore/sephora every two weeks or so, there are only a few special items that i have had to replace. it takes a lot for me to make a second purchase -- if i run out of something, i'm usually compelled to try something new rather than re-buy something i already used up. but when it's really, really good, it gets a permanent place in my trusty makeup organizer.

a few of these tried-and-true beauty items: 

from top left

the origins ginzing brightening mascara has an all natural, paraben-free formula but gives you gigantic lashes. worth the price, and it's easy on your eyes.

 tarte lipsurgence skintuitive lip tint is a barley-there balm that reacts with your pH to give you the perfect pink, which is usually just-bright-enough but also natural-looking. perfect for a "no makeup" day (which typically includes mascara and bb cream for me).

ysl volupte sheer candy glossy balm in #09 cool guava is slightly more intense than the tarte pencil, but still feels light as air. it's a cool shade of baby pink, sheer enough for the early morning commute but statement-making enough for a night on the town.

another part of my minimal, everyday makeup routine: maybelline's dream fresh bb cream (medium). we all scratched our heads when bb creams hit the american market, and some of them are way too thick and chalky to make their way onto my counter. but maybelline's is perfection: slightly creamier than a tinted moisturizer, it provides the perfect amount of coverage, blurring imperfections and easily gliding over skin to create a flawless, ultra-glowy complexion. i don't go a day without it.

for layering underneath the bb cream, i typically turn to josie maran argan oil. the idea of slathering oil on your face doesn't sound like it would be good for your skin, but it helps it find the perfect moisture balance. and it just feels great. i hate when i put on moisturizer and it doesn't feel like it sinks in completely, but with oils you get instantly refreshed, hydrated skin, and makeup goes on super smooth.

sometimes an oil isn't enough for me, though -- i get drier skin in the winter, which is why i order embryolisse lait-crème concentrè. i've read about this lightweight lotion on countless blogs, and apparently makeup artists frequently keep it in their kits. it functions as both a weightless moisturizer and a primer, and i noticed a striking difference in the tone, texture and moisture balance in my skin after using it.

i'll be posting some haircare essentials in the next few days as well!

II emily

March 26, 2013

cheap thrills: march 26

because nothing's better than an affordable pick-me-up in the middle of the week.

from top left: american apparel bow clip ($16), adia kibur hoop earrings ($30), adia kibur enamel bangles ($75 for 3), forever 21 necklace ($10.80 - doesn't it remind you of louis vuitton?), forever 21 purse ($24.80 - valentino inspired), forever 21 sandals ($14.80 - look like 3.1 phillip lim!), gorjana chain ring ($30) and earrings ($32) }

March 25, 2013

put a bow on it

everyone who knows me is fully aware of my love for bows. i can't even count how many bow-adorned clothes and accessories i own, including a black leather hair clip i am constantly losing and then finding again in the bottom of my bag. you can imagine how excited i was when carven introduced those uber-popular slingback bow-tied flats and pumps, as worn by blair eadie (and about a million other bloggers/editors/models) below:

the $500+ price tag deterred me from even considering buying these shoes, but i was triumphant when i stumbled upon these very similar slingback flats at miss selfridge for just $38 (they come in black too). they're just what i need to put a spring in my step this season -- fingers crossed it actually starts getting warm soon!

this blush pink color would go with everything, especially the following... 

II emily

March 23, 2013

spring leopard

everyone remembers the amazing stella mccartney prints from her 2013 resort collection (also great: the holographic clutches & shoes). i loved her fresh, springy take on leopard, but the leopard pants alone cost over $1000. not exactly in my budget!

that's precisely why mango created these killer pants in a nearly identical print, making my stella-obsessed dreams come true. i love the idea of mixing the pants with stripes or bold colors, but also would wear them in a classic way, with a twist: just add a moto-inspired white blazer, gold foil clutch, mixed metals, and neutral pumps:

March 22, 2013

buckle up

in other intense shoe news, i discovered a pair of topshop wedges (above) that simply must appear in my closet by summertime. i only refrain from saying "immediately" because, sadly, they are temporarily sold out. they are exactly what i've been looking for ever since chloe sevigny designed those awesome shoes for opening ceremony, seen on chloe herself, leighton meester, & hanneli mustaparta below:

when i was in new york last summer, nearly every editor had a pair of these statement-making shoes (or at least a very similar style). they look cool with literally everything -- skinny pants, crisp dresses, leather shorts... they give an extra oomph to even the most basic outfits. i never thought in a million years i would be able to find an affordable alternative, but topshop's are just $120 (a bargain compared to the chloe sevigny x OC $600+ price tag). fingers crossed they restock them one of these days! (ps: i prefer the black/silver pair but they also come in brown and black/gold)

March 21, 2013

show your stripes

born and raised in the midwest, i've dealt with extra-long, harsh winters my entire life. as a result, you would think i've leared a thing or two about outerwear -- this, however, is not the case. i always have high hopes for winter: i picture myself in tons of colorful, cozy layers, the perfect bold wool coat, rosy cheeks, cute-yet-sensible snow boots, and an overall sense of content. this never happens, at least not past november. function trumps form when you're trudging through a snowdrift, and before you know it you realize you've worn the same michelin man knee-length down coat every single day for the past four months and are googling "symptoms of seasonal depression." (side note: how often are you supposed to wash a nylon/down coat? anyone?)

the transition period between winter and spring is every midwestern girl's saving grace. once temperatures rise above 40 and trees start to sprout tiny leaves, you'd think everyone had a life makeover. the first peek of sunlight promises spring! and springtime fashion, so we all ditch the uggs and leggings and puffy coats and put on those cute "winter layers" like tights + skirts and slouchy cardigans, usually when it's still way to cold to be wearing said ensembles. you have the ability to look even cuter (and actually stay warm) if you have a statement coat in your possession. they generally tend to be thinner and satin-lined, kind of epitomizing the "transition" piece -- especially when in a versatile animal-print. the images below prove that such a bold coat puts you on the fast track to chicness:

 i'm a leopard-print girl through and through, which is why i plan to replicate olivia polermo's exact outfit (maltese not included) once it's acceptable to wear shorts again. but that zebra coat is on another level. everyone could use a little zebra in their lives, especially if, like me, you once hated it. (i predict it will be a "trend" for at least another two seasons.) the girl above looks really cool wearing her zebra coat over a distressed canadian tuxedo, and this very similar number from zara would look great with denim on denim, too. however, i would personally just wear it with a worn-in white tee (plus a denim jacket if it's extra chilly), an orangey-red lip & some eye-popping accessories:

II emily

March 20, 2013

laced with love

when i bought these black lace-up gladiator heels from the prabal gurung x target collection, everyone thought i was crazy. my boyfriend thought they were a little "intense," liz wasn't a huge fan (and has yet to ask to borrow them), and i'm actually a little afraid to show them to my mom. but the instant i spotted them in the look book, i knew they had to be mine -- mostly because of these two photos: 

images via my new favorite blog, le catch

both of those shoes are wildly out of my price range (at least i assume -- i know the bottom ones are giuseppe zanotti, and i'm not sure about the other ones, but they just look too fabulous to be affordable). i never thought i'd find a gladiator-style substitute under $200 until prabal gurung swooped in and saved the day. 

i love the idea of wearing the tough (and yes, intense) shoes with more feminine pieces, like full skirts, silky florals, and tiny clutches (plus my leather jacket in cooler temps, as in photo #2). in fact, i would especially love wearing my new shoes this spring with some of these lust-worthy pieces...

II emily

March 6, 2013

blue suede shoes

in case you were wondering what your next purchase would be, i have the answer. 

i was browsing the forever21 website today (i know, big surprise) when i stumbled upon the most perfect pumps ever. as in, i've been searching for this EXACT shoe for months and have not found an affordable option until this precise moment. 
i've been on the hunt for cobalt blue, pointed pumps ever since i saw jenna lyons wear blue monolo blahniks to fashion week last year (see below). obviously manolos were out of the question for me -- they cost $595 -- and i soon fell in love with a nearly identical, less expensive pair at j.crew. still, their $245 price tag was not cutting it.

after many failed attempts, forever21 came through for me, as they tend to do time and time again. the pumps (below) are just as lovely as the pricier varieties, and i actually like the less-pointy shape a lot more! plus, they only cost $29 -- can you even believe it? i almost want to buy five pairs and stock up for life. or maybe i'll just buy one of every color... they're also offered in citron, melon and mint green.
shop them HERE. you can thank me later.

the inspiration:

the super savers:

II emily

March 5, 2013

style tips from joanna hillman

if you've ever taken a quick glance at pinterest, chances are you've stumbled upon a few eye-popping images of joanna hillman. hillman holds the coveted position of senior market editor at harper's bazaar, so not only does she have amazing style, but she really knows her stuff.

it's hard to pinpoint what i love most about joanna. she always looks refined, constantly taking simple pieces -- like a bandage skirt or blazer -- and giving them an unexpected twist. and she never looks like a walking catalogue or storefront; she embraces trends, but always lets her unique personal style take center stage. that's the trick to really looking cool. who knew a giant circular horn necklace would punctuate an outfit so perfectly? ditto those slightly-flared cropped skinny pants; no one is really wearing either of those pieces right now, and that's what makes joanna stand out (not to mention her enviably long blonde hair, cherry red lips and angular sunglasses, which have become trademarks).

peep my favorite outfits below and see how you can get the look:

{ throw a slouchy cardigan over a textured mini skirt, a cool black bag & strappy sandals }

{ sometimes simplicity is key: wear a long-sleeved mini with super-high heels, a colorful necklace & retro sunnies }

{ lend a girly lace dress some edge with a moto jacket & chunky wedges }

{ mixing prints is always in season: try a striped blazer with fun printed platforms }

{ play with proportions by pairing a boxy top with a printed mini skirtankle booties }

{ choose simple silhouettes with interesting details: a white button-down with black trim, rust-colored denim, a leopard tote & navy blue mary janes }

{ an army green blouse & open-toe booties make a stripey skirt anything but predictable }

II emily

March 4, 2013

details at céline

despite the month-long marathon of fashion shows around the globe, nothing quite compares to paris fashion week. not only is it the most fashionable and romatnic city in the world, but it's where the very best designers put their collections on display. the creme de la creme. we're talking chanel, saint laurent, dior, givenchy... #PFW is the ultimate flourish to complete fashion month.

ask any editor, model or blogger who their current favorite designer is, and 99% will say céline. the past few seasons have been some of (creative director) phoebe philo's absolute best. we all remember last fall's iconic coats -- striped, belted, cocoon-shaped -- as well as the white and metallic accents. it all added up to an unmistakable cool-girl vibe. spring brought us a brand new approach: laid-back glamour in the form of furry sandals, boxy dresses over pants, and glimmering swaths of silk in "louche" feminine colors like blush, cream and silver. 

this fall saw much more structured proportions and less overt feminine details -- but they were still present. the fabrics used were tactile, cushy and comfy-looking, like shaved fur or bouclé; the color palette ranged from pale neutrals to bold plaids; dresses and coats appeared to have their sleeves yanked forward and tied into knots; shirts were topped off with large, unfinished bands of fabric, like ultra-chic straitjackets; sweater and coat sleeves were intentionally too long, carelessly hiding models' hands; a graphic overblown plaid pattern added a playful vibe to otherwise predictable coats; handbags were large rectangles, folded up and clutched in the coolest way possible (some even had slits for hands to slide through); flippy skirts drooped below the knees for an unexpected twist on the mid-length trend. 

the trend book sitting on every seat at the céline show displayed philo's inspiration for the collection: clouds, yarn, 15th century flemish paintings, portraits, fluffy things. we may not have access to these images, but after viewing the collection, it's easy to use our imaginations. puffy clouds, a sense of warmth, fuzzy fabrics and soft, atmospheric light and color (thats the painting reference) are all there. 

of course, the proof is in the details. see below for all of the plush textures, floppy clutches, space-age chokers and more from yesterday's show:

images via

March 3, 2013