Give Me All the Gingham + First Day of Summer

Dress - Ann Taylor (40% off today!, runs large, size down) | Shoes - Steve Madden | Bag - Cult Gaia | Sunglasses - Free People (similar here) | Bracelet - Vita Fede | Ring - Kendra Scott

No better title for this post....give me ALL the gingham. I'm a print gal. I've come to this realization. I love leopard, stripes, stars, occasionally a good palm print, but in the summer I want to wear tons of gingham. And by the looks of what's out there, clearly I am not alone. There is SO much gingham goodness in clothing, shoes, accessories, phone cases - it's everywhere! Ha! 

This dress felt so classic though with the black and white pattern and midi length. I recommended it to a friend for an event she had recently and she instantly fell in love with it. The fit is slim but not constricting and allows you to still breathe. She texted me after and said how she could eat and sit down during dinner comfortably which is the sign of a good dress if you ask me. :)

Summer begins today so you have an entire season to frolic in all the gingham! I found every cute gingham piece I came across and put them all in the widgets below. Some major splurge items and some incredible steals.  

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How I Extend My Spray Tan + My Tip On Making Self Tanner Not Streaky

I love the look of being tan but I struggle so much with applying self tanners, having them go on without streaking, getting my entire body to look even and maintaining that. I started spray tanning last year after finding this great local spot in my area. The girl that owns it completely understands my needs and the color is always perfect. She knows how to give me just enough color and it's the perfect shade of bronze without being too orange or fake looking.

I typically go every 2-3 weeks in the summer so I need something in between those last few days before my new appointment to help extend my tan and smooth out any areas that are beginning to fade. I have quite a few self tanning products in my beauty closet but over the years I struggle with so many of them not applying evenly or looking patchy in certain areas. And then I began playing around trying to make something to work for me and have finally found the perfect combination and technique. This isn't necessarily ground breaking information but I don't know why I never tried this before so I thought I would share what I have been doing!

After trying quite a few self tanners, I've determined that the St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse is the best for me and leaves me with the best color and least amount of streaking. The color is perfect for my pale skin and looks incredibly natural. However, even though the formula was great, I was still struggling with my application and a streak or patch of skin that I didn't blend well enough would pop up and ruin the whole look. One evening I was trying to remedy a bad self tan job I had done and grabbed one of my unscented body lotions to help (this is the brand I currently use, but any would work). I rubbed it in and it looked much more smooth! Not perfect, but much better. So the next time I decided to try and mix equal parts self tanner with my unscented body lotion to see how it would look and it was PERFECTION! 

The color went on a bit less intense which I was fine with but I had more control, no streaking and my skin stopped looking so dried out! (self tanners and spray tanning can really dry my skin out) So from them on I have adopted this new method of mixing my self tanner with my favorite unscented body lotion to help extend between spray tan appointments, touch up any areas that may look patchy and moisturize any areas while still adding some color. The key to this trick is using an unscented body lotion or cream because often fragrance or scent will break down the tanning product. 

For application, I like the St. Tropez mitts the best and usually put one small dollop of body lotion on the mitt and pump the self tanning mousse on top and mix with a q-tip. This will definitely sheer out the formula and not make it as intense but for me it is worth it since my tan looks more even and natural. This trick has absolutely saved me and I feel like I can manage my self tanning so much better now! I've been doing it for almost 2 months now and knew I had to share it on the blog once I knew it worked consistently. If you love to self tan, but still always struggle with application try this technique to help! 

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Summer in the Park

 Shirt - Madewell (my favorite t-shirts - I wear an XS) | Shorts - H&M (I'm wearing an XS, also love these and these) | Shoes - Madewell (run true to size) | Bag - Reformation (identical here) | Watch - Timex | Sunglasses - Ray-Ban | Hat - Janessa Leone

I could really go for one of those snow cones right now since it is going to be in the high 90's today. Yikes! The first day of summer may not be until June 21st, but the summer weather is already here. Hence the need for a snow cone run! Last week, Stan and I headed over to a local park where a bunch of food trucks come every Friday and I got a snow cone while he pigged out on a huge burger (and he never gains an ounce - life is not fair, I am aware of this already). 

Thank goodness I buy a million of these v-neck t-shirts every summer because I was melting by the time we were done taking these pictures. I particularly love them because they are so loose and drapey without looking sloppy or too oversized. And these blue and white shorts were perfect for the heat and humidity as well. I typically wear either denim cut-offs (these are my current favorites for this summer) or more dressy shorts (like this look, this look and this look), but I loved these super casual drawstring shorts I saw on H&M's site. They feel as comfortable as gym shorts but are nice enough to wear out and about. I also plan to wear them to the beach and pool, and since they are less than $15 I don't feel bad about getting them wet or sandy. Scroll through the widget below to see tons of other casual shorts options.

Shop my casual shorts here:


Review: Tatcha The Pearl Eye Treatment - A Concealer and Eye Cream in One! (Swatches of the Two Lightest Shades)

Oh Tatcha, you done did it again! Making a skincare product that absolutely blew my mind. I've been using Tatcha products since 2012 when a friend that worked at Barney's recommended a new brand that recently came to the beauty floor. From that first introduction (this was the product I purchased that got me hooked), I have loved the brand ever since. The newest launch from the brand may be the most innovative thing yet! The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment is both a concealer and eye cream in one! 

I know other brands have tried to merge a concealer with skincare benefits or an eye cream with a bit of a tint, but this is truly one of the best I have tried. The formula feels amazing on the skin, gives incredible coverage, brightens the eye while smoothing it, hydrating it and making it look refreshed instantly. It has ingredients designed to help address fine lines, wrinkles, dullness and dark circles. My issue often with eye creams (and why I'm not too loyal to a certain one) is that so many deliver similar results so I can interchange one with another and see the same effect. However, this is an eye product that cannot be duplicated with anything else I have in my collection. 
Swatches from left to right: Moonlight, Softlight
Let's first talk color. There are currently 3 shades available right now so I don't know how wide of a spectrum it caters to since I was only able to test the 2 paler shades. I wasn't sure that the paler shade (Moonlight) would work for me and be light enough but it is perfect. The next deeper shade (Softlight) would work for more medium to light olive complexions. I anticipated the pigmentation being more sheer and acting more like a product to help color correct at best, but I was so wrong! There is quite a bit of pigment in this treatment and a little bit goes a long way. However, even though it's pigmented, it blends beautifully and looks undetectable under the eye. This is where the eye treatment aspect comes in because while most concealers are still visible on the skin, this disappears like an eye cream but still conceals. I'm convinced it's magic.

Ok, let's talk about how I use it. A few ways. I have used it over a traditional eye cream, and as my eye cream. I like it both ways. I typically apply it under my makeup since I want the skincare benefits of the product to get on my bare skin and work their magic instead of sitting atop my foundation. When I'm using this I typically will then skip concealer all together because this brightens up my eye area and color corrects all the darkness (unless I didn't get any sleep and then sometimes I still need to bring out the big guns concealers). In my mind I see this more as a skincare product than a makeup product and even on days that I am not wearing any makeup, I will put this one to instantly make me look more awake. And with the amount I use on a daily basis (barely a fingertip's worth - less is more with this product), this pot will last me many months! 
*pr samples included

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Madras Print + What I'm Loving From Ann Taylor Right Now

 Top - Ann Taylor (40% off today!! runs big, size down, also comes in a skirt) | Shorts - Isabel Marant (old but similar here, here and here) | Shoes - Loeffler Randall (old but similar here) | Bag - Kayu | Sunglasses - Le Specs | Bracelet - Vita Fede | Ring - Kendra Scott

When I used to work at my old office job, I wore Ann Taylor a ton. Our office was business casual so I needed pieces that were suitable for that environment but also fit my out of work lifestyle. To be honest, prior to that I assumed their pieces were not my style and or everything would be boring or frumpy looking. Then I was walking by their windows one day a few years ago and there was a cute leopard print skirt in the window that I fell in love with and ran right in to try it on. From that point on, I begin shopping there again. (leopard can change things, y'all LOL)

Not every season or new collection they put out is my taste so I'm often hit or miss with them but when it's a hit I grab some of the best pieces. And right now there are a ton of hits! I saw this plaid sleeveless blouse and added it to my cart instantaneously. As soon as it arrived, I loved it. And the options to style this are endless - high waisted shorts like I have here, a denim skirt (which I've already worn together and love) and sandals, a pencil skirt for the office, dark jeans and heels for a night out - see? That's 4 looks for one shirt. Sold! 

There are a ton of others great pieces on the site right now so I pulled together all the best ones. And if you are looking for a good classic sandal, they have tons of cute options. Scroll through the widgets below for all my picks.

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Summer Fashion Finds Under $100

It's been a while since my last under $100 post, and I found so many great pieces a round-up was in order! Most of the pieces above are great classics or things that will easily transition into one's closet, but be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post because I included tons more under $100 picks.

1. Black Maxi Dress - Nothing is more classic than a black maxi dress for summer. And this one is under $50!

2. Braided Sandals - A basic neutral sandal with a twist (literally!).

3. White Mini Dress - The most simple white mini dress. This would be perfect with sneakers, wedges or even dressed up with heels.

4. Jeans (more sizes here) - I have these jeans (I'm wearing them here) and I can't say enough good things about them! I love them mostly because they come right above my ankle which is so hard for me to find (#shortinseamproblems). 

5. Wicker Bag - Cult Gaia did it again with another cute summer bag! It comes in black too.

6. Star Earrings - These look so incredibly lightweight and I love that the star shape goes through the ear. A nice twist on traditional hoops.

7. Black Sunglasses - Basic black cat eye sunglasses. YES!

8. Floral Straw Tote - A tote like this would go perfectly with that white mini dress. Or an all denim outfit. Or a white tee and cut-offs. Or that black maxi dress. I could go on like this forever....LOL 

9. Chambray Top - I've had a chambray blouse in my closet for longer than I can remember, and it's something I will never be without. This is my favorite one - the fit and color are the best.

10. Sunset Sneakers - No boring ol' white sneakers here - I love the sunset detailing!

11. Pajamas - My girlfriend is going on a trip to Italy in a few weeks and I have been helping her shop for all of her activities and events. The one thing she was missing was a cute pajama set and I suggested this one. She just texted me on Saturday to say she bought it and loves it! 

In addition to my picks above, scroll through the widgets below for more under $100 pieces!

Shop more under $100 picks I'm loving:

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