12/11/17

The Coziest Winter Accessories + My Best Boot Purchase of the Season








Turtleneck - Club Monaco (on sale!) | Jeans - Topshop | Scarf - Free People | Beanie - Urban Outfitters (sold out but similar here for only $10! and here) | Boots - Sam Edelman | Bag - Chloe

I hope everyone had a great weekend! (I'm always hesitant to say "Happy Monday" since many times it's not so fun LOL) As it has been for my most of my recovery, my weekend was a bit up and down. I have been getting my strength back and most of my digestive issues are gone, but my body will still hit a wall from a fatigue standpoint if I do too much. So part of the weekend I was up and feeling quite productive and then my body decided to put the brakes on and I spent the other part of the past two days in bed or on the couch with body aches and chills. C-section recovery can be a sneaky lil' bugger - just when I think I'm recovered, it decides to remind me to take it down a notch. 

But for the part of the weekend that I was feeling good, I wore this outfit that I absolutely love! I was excited that these Topshop jeans I wore pre-pregnancy were finally fitting so I have been wearing them non-stop in celebration. :) I didn't feel like putting much thought into my outfit so I threw on a black turtleneck (I have been buying this style for 5 years now - I love them!) and my big chunky camel scarf. Though I'm not a matchy-matchy type gal, I thought my new tan boots would look great with the scarf and the chunky beanie was the perfect final touch. I think what makes all 3 accessories look even better is that they aren't the exact same color - there is a bit of variation so it all works cohesively together. I've said before that if you are looking for a pair of classic, chic and comfortable ankle boots, these are it! They aren't too tight at the ankle so my jeans can easily be tucked in, but they aren't super loose so they still look perfect with dresses (see them styled here).  Much like these ankle boots (see them styled this year here and here) from last year that won the award for best boot purchase (the fictitious award I give in my head LOL), these are this year's winner! 

If you need to add some cozy accessories to your closet this winter, I rounded up a ton in the widget below!

Shop more winter accessories:


12/9/17

Miles' Birth Story



I'm so excited to finally share Miles' birth story with everyone. Hope you enjoy!!!

Outfit details for picture #1: Pajamas (similar here) | Beanie (similar here) | Miles' beanie | Miles' blanket | Glider | Wall decals

Outfit details for picture #2: Stroller | Sweater | Jeans | Boots | Hat (similar here)

Outfit details for picture #3: Sweater (similar here) | Jeans | Hat | Miles' outfit | Miles' hat | Boots


12/8/17

4 Vitamin C Serums I Would Recommend

Obviously vitamin C is recommended for a healthy diet, but it is also provides great benefits when used on the skin. Because it is an antioxidant, it can help minimize any free radical damage you experience while outside in the elements. It doesn't provide as strong of a protection as an SPF, but it is good to use during the day to help add that additional layer to minimize any damage that can occur from the sun, environment, etc. Another reason for vitamin c's popularity in skincare products is it's ability to help reduce dark spots. It may not get rid of those pesky spots completely, but it can definitely help to fade them and make the skin look more even toned. Some other benefits of vitamin c in skincare is that it can help boost collagen and overall make the skin look brighter, firmer and more healthy looking. Here are 4 vitamin c serums that I enjoy and would recommend.

1. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum - This is the serum out of all 4 that I have been using the longest. I first discovered it years ago long before I was blogging and bought it on a whim. I didn't even know how beneficial vitamin c was for the skin, but it was recommended by a beauty consultant at Sephora and the price point fit my budget. Fast forward years later and I STILL love it. It is lightweight, absorbs instantly and initially makes my skin feel plump and hydrated. It does help to brighten my skin slightly but not as strongly as the other 3, but I keep going back to it because it consistently makes my skin look healthy, hydrated, fresh and never makes it break out. I will continue to repurchase it and  always have a bottle on hand. 

2. Avon Anew Vitamin C Serum - Avon skincare products have consistently surprised me with their performance every time I try one. This Vitamin C Serum was no exception. However initially I was unsure I would like it because the texture is a bit sticky and if I use too much it can stay tacky on my skin and my foundation will not apply properly. Because of that, I put it aside for a few months until I decided to give it a second try. This time I used the smallest amount and found that did the trick! I began using this at the end of my pregnancy and really noticed a difference in how even toned my skin looked and it stayed healthy and glowing. Since my skin got very dry and dull during pregnancy, this was a great addition to help give it a boost. However compared to the next two, the results were very subtle.

3. Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum - While Sunday Riley Good Genes is probably the one serum in my collection that instantly makes a difference in how radiant and fresh my skin looks, this C.E.O. serum is definitely rivaling it. I do find after I apply it my skin instantly looks brighter, but after using it consistently for months I did notice a significant fading of dark spots, and my skin was exceptionally luminous. As with most Sunday Riley products I try, I am always amazed at how they deliver on results in such a noticeable way. While many lines can show small changes over time, Sunday Riley's products for the most part always seem to impress me with more drastic results. 

4. Skinceuticals C E Ferulic Serum - I saved the best for last in terms of results and performance. I have heard for yearsssss that Skinceuticals is THE brand to try for skincare and yet surprisingly I have never used any of their products before this past year. And after incorporating a few of them into my routine, I now see the light! I get the hype! I am here for party! The C E Ferulic Serum in particular has been recommended to me for years by many of you because of how great it works on the skin. In addition to the brightening effects, it helps to fade dark spots, even out the skin tone, and overall improve the look, feel and texture of my skin. My face feels plump, hydrated, radiant and healthy when using - it basically tackles almost any concern I have. The texture is a tad tacky but I still prefer using it in the morning underneath my moisturizer and makeup. It's quite pricey so I try to use it sparingly but it will definitely be something that I will repurchase again and again.
*pr samples included

I would love to hear any other vitamin c serum recommendations you have! Leave me a comment below or send me an email with your favorites. :)

Shop other vitamin c products:


12/7/17

When Your Coat IS the Outfit





 Coat - Asos (also love this coat from the same brand) | Turtleneck - Club Monaco | Leggings - Spanx | Boots - Topshop (similar here, here, here and here) | Sunglasses - Quay

Though I have kept up with blogging here and there since bringing Miles home, I am finally beginning to have consistent full days where my pain is manageable and I have enough energy to get through the day without a big nap. Recovery has been so much tougher and painful than I anticipated and sadly I will have a good day followed by some pretty horrible days and that has been the pattern for the past month. But just this week things began to really take a turn for the better and I was able to get through almost an entire day without major pain or extreme discomfort. I don't have all my energy back, but my doctor has encouraged me to go on a brisk walk each day or at least every other day to help. Today I did just that with Miles and it was nice to feel slightly active and even get my heart rate up a bit. I will be sharing Miles' birth story in the next few days so be sure you are subscribed to my YouTube channel so you will know when the video goes live!

Now that I am really getting my energy back, I have enjoyed getting back to taking pictures regularly and am excited to share some great outfit ideas over the next few weeks. I've said before that when I lived in NYC, coats were a necessity and often the only thing people saw on me for months at a time. As a result I constantly looked for statement coats that could act as my entire outfit. I found this one on Asos and immediately loved the faux fur collar and belted waist. I wore it with a basic black turtleneck and my favorite faux leather leggings to make the coat the main focus. But when deciding on shoes, I felt that my leopard boots were a great addition and love that they go with the coat but aren't matchy matchy. If you are looking for a new coat for the season with faux fur accents, I rounded up a few more styles in the widget below.

Shop more statement coats:


12/6/17

The Masks and Exfoliators My Mom Uses To Give Her Skin a Glow

My mom has been a regular contributor to my blog over the past few years and her posts are always quite popular so I asked her to give me a beauty update. Today she is sharing the masks and exfoliators she has been using over the past 6+ months. After this, she will be sharing her current morning and evening routines in upcoming posts so stay tuned for those. If you want to read any of her previous posts, you can see them all here.
For a quick synopsis, my mom's skin type is normal to dry and can occasionally be on the sensitive side. She just turned 70 this year (sorry to out you Mom LOL), but her skin still looks more radiant and fresh than mine does many days! Her main concerns are firmness, hydration, fines lines and evening out the skin tone. I always have her write the reviews of each product so you can get her perspective on the performance, texture, smell, etc. Here are the 8 products she has currently been enjoying:

1. REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask - This gentle exfoliating mask is a great quick fix because it works instantly. I leave it on my skin for 5-10 minutes and my face immediately looks fresh and glowing afterwards. 

2. Mario Badescu Whitening Mask – I have used this mask for years and love it. It really does help to brighten and even out my skin tone when using it regularly. 

3. First Aid Beauty Bouncy Mask – Before I even discuss the performance of this product, I have to discuss how fun it is to use! The texture is a bouncy gel which initially took some getting used to, but it breaks down immediately once I apply and disappears right into my skin. After just 10 minutes, I can see a difference in how firm and supple my skin appears. This is a great mask to use in the morning before my makeup because my skin looks so healthy and hydrated which makes my foundation glide right on.  

4. Retrouve Skin Brilliance Priming Pads – Maree got me hooked on exfoliating pads and toners as a step after my cleanser but before I apply any serums or moisturizers. These Retrouve pads really tackle any rough texture on my skin, but since my skin can be on the sensitive side I only like to incorporate these 2-3x/week. However, I have noticed a significant reduction in stubborn dark spots when using them regularly.  

5. Pixi Glow Tonic – Another long time favorite that Maree turned me on to - this exfoliating toner is gentle enough to use daily but is so effective at giving my skin a regular exfoliation. Out of all the products mentioned, this is the one I will never be without.

6. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant - Some traditional scrubs can be too harsh for my skin, so I have enjoyed experimenting with different enzyme powders Maree has given me over the years. This one is great in the morning to help wake up my skin and leave it feeling refreshed. My makeup often applies so much better on the days I add this into my routine. I pour a small amount into wet hands, add a bit of water and it makes a creamy paste that I gently massage into my skin. 

7. Tatcha Polished Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder – I think I have included a Tatcha product in almost every post I have done for Maree's blog, but I truly love everything from the line! This enzyme powder is the most gentle one I have tried and can use it daily without ever worrying that it will irritate my skin. Especially in the winter, I like to use this everyday either as a second cleanse or mixed in with a cream or milk cleanser to give my skin a light exfoliation. 

8. Skin Inc Pure Revival Peel – This peel is the most unique product out of the bunch because I apply it with dry hands to a dry face and after a few minutes it turns to a milk. I then use a warm cloth to massage it off and I can actually see the dead skin cells balling up on the skin. It's strange but oddly satisfying to watch the dead skin being removed, and afterwards my skin feels almost textureless. I don't use this often so as not to overdo it but try to incorporate into my routine 2-3x/month.

Shop all of my mom's picks here:


12/5/17

Gift Guide For the Luxury Beauty Lover


If there is any time of the year to gift (or get yay!) more expensive or extravagant gifts, it is the holiday season. While there are tons of great beauty gift sets that roll out throughout the year, the ones during the holidays are really decadent. If you are feeling extra spendy (or perhaps someone in your life is wanting to really spoil you), I rounded up some of my favorite super luxe beauty gifts and sets. 

In addition to the ones I showed above, there were a few more worth mentioning (and one is a MAJOR splurge so I am totally jealous if someone gets it for you LOL).

  • Elizabeth and James Nirvana White Holiday Set - I already love their dry shampoo and fragrance, so this entire set is something I am putting on my holiday wish list!
  • Net-a-Porter Ultimate Beauty Kit - This is it! The mother of all luxe beauty gifts. 
  • By Terry Prestige Beauty Set - I am a huge By Terry lover, and while there are quite a few smaller gift sets available, this one is a true splurge. And perfect for someone that is as obsessed with all things By Terry as I am.
  • GloPRO Pack N' Glo set - So much buzz surrounding this microneedling device and I would love to receive this. It is probably not something you would buy yourself, but the holidays is a great time to give someone this to start the new year off on a skincare high note.
  • Elemis Pro-Collagen Collection Set - I love the Elemis Pro-Collagen collection and have reviewed it a few times on my blog. This set contains every single product from the range and covers almost every step of a skincare routine.
  • Fornasetti Large Candle - These candles put Diptyque to shame in terms of price, but the packaging of them always seems so elegant and chic. A major splurge for sure.
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Set - Not a super expensive set, but for those that love the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors this is the perfect gift so they can try them all.
  • Tata Harper Time to Shine Set - Even though I don't exclusively use natural or organic beauty products, Tata Harper has been a long time favorite of mine for years. This set contains some of her most loved (and most effective) products.

12/4/17

Still In Love With a Statement Sleeve


Sweater - Wildfox (also available here) | Jeans - Topshop (under $50!) | Shoes - Manolo Blahnik (great budget option in blush here) | Hat - Topshop (similar here) | Bag - Gucci | Sunglasses - Stella McCartney (great budget option here)

I jumped on the statement sleeve bandwagon quite early and am still here for it! I always admire girls that can pull off looks with very simple, streamlined pieces but I always feel I need an added bit of something to make an outfit exciting to me. Whether that is a great bag, interesting shoes, or detailing on some part of the outfit. The ruffles on the shoulders and sleeves of this sweater were an instant hit with me, though the overall look is still quite classic. And yes, after all these years, I am still wearing the same Topshop jeans I have featured on the blog more times that I can count. Designer jeans are great to splurge on, but I highly recommend adding a pair of jeans from Topshop to your closet. I find the fit always perfect for me and after having these for more than 3 years, they still look brand new! 

Taking a slight detour from today's outfit chat, I am currently rounding up a few gift guides for this season (though frankly I don't like to go overboard with them), and would love to hear any recommendations or specific ones you would like me to put together. Leave me a comment or send me an email and I will have the first one up later this week! 

Shop more Wildfox sweaters:


12/2/17

November Beauty Favorites + Nordstrom $250 Gift Card Giveaway!!!

This will be my last beauty favorites video for the year - but will be doing my 2017 beauty favorites in January so stay tuned for that! And there is an exciting giveaway (enter here) so be sure to watch the video to enter. Enjoy and don't forget to subscribe.

The products mentioned in the video:

Read my luminizers post here

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