January 30, 2013

Product Review: Clarisonic Mia 2, Lush, + More

I just celebrated my 16th birthday this past Sunday (January 27) and I received some bath and body goodies that I thought were worth sharing.

Bath & Body Birthday Haul

1) Clarisonic Mia2- My mom bought me the "passion fruit" colored one as an early birthday present at the beginning of the month, so I've had a decent amount of time to draw conclusions about it. . . and I must say it does not live up to the hype for me. Read my full review of it here.

2) Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser- I purchased this to go along with the Mia2 because I was in need of a new cleanser. The lady working at Sephora told me that it was her favorite face wash in the store and that it would help with the oiliness and minor blemishes I was struggling with. Overall, it is a pretty effective cleanser. The charcoal that makes it black really does dissolve oil, assist in diminishing pore size, and create a warming effect when lathered on the skin. My only con is that it doesn't have the best fragrance, but I've gotten used to it. One last plus, is that it is made without any of the yucky paragons, sulfates, etc.

3) Hello, Gorgeous giftbox from Lush- My best friend gave me this one on Monday, but I've already tested out most of the products.
  • Rub Rub Rub- This body scrub is the best I've ever tried. The salt crystals are within a gel that makes the exfoliation less harsh than the Sea Salt Scrub, but still scrubs off any dead skin and leaves the skin silky. I really like the soft floral scent, too!
  • Vanilla Dee-Lite- I'm quite picky when it comes to lotions, but this one meets all of my requirements. It feels light on my skin, absorbs super fast, and smells warm and sweet, but not overpoweringly so.
  • Lemony Flutter- This "softening butter" is for repairing tough, cracked skin or cuticles. It literally has the consistency of a stick of butter and therefore feels a little greasy at first, but once it is massaged into a dry area it is absorbed quickly and feels quite nice. My cuticles and elbows have really appreciated it. I'm also a fan of the lemony scent. It has a perfect balance between too sweet and too tart.
  • Gorgeous- Lush believes that Gorgeous is the finest quality moisturizer on the market. I've only used it a couple of times, but I think that it is definitely on the better end of moisturizers. It has a good consistency and leaves my skin hydrated after cleansing it or taking a shower. The combination of organic ingredients leaves it with a pleasant, but somewhat earthy scent. On Lush's website it says that within 4-6 weeks of using Gorgeous skin will appear softer, smoother, and brighter, so I will probably do a follow-up on if it lives up to it's claim. I will warn you that all of the great factors of the moisturizer do add up to a large price tag. A 1.5oz pot of Gorgeous costs $90!
  • Sakura Bath Bomb & The Comforter Bubble Bar- I haven't used these two yet, but both of them smell amazing! Sakura has the same scent as Rub Rub Rub, while The Comforter smells fruity with a hint of warmth and spice from the blackcurrant. Both are fairly large, so I am hoping that I can get more than one use out of them. I'll put these in with a follow up on the Gorgeous moisturizer!
Hope you're week is going well so far! xxx

Clarisonic Mia 2

Before starting my review, here's some basic info you might want to know:
Clarisonic offers several different cleansing systems (Mia, Mia 2, Aria, etc.), but the Mia 2 is the most popular. It has two speeds, so you can adjust it to your skin's needs, and is travel friendly. The brush head it comes with can be interchanged with a variety of brush heads that have specific uses. It also comes with the pLink charger and a travel case. The battery lasts for quite a bit, but charging it also takes a while.

Before I tried the Clarisonic Mia 2, at least 3 of my friends had been using it and were happy with the results, so I thought that it would definitely be worth it (These things aren't very cheap!). I have combination skin, that has been more on the oily side lately, so I was hoping that it would improve the oiliness while getting rid of the dried out areas. After about three nights of using it to wash my face before bedtime I noticed that I was breaking out. Little blemishes kept appearing in spots where I normally didn't break out and got even worse in my problem areas.

I did some research and I found out that it is common for new Clarisonic users to experience a "purging stage." This means that the Clarisonic is doing it's job at deeply cleaning your skin, but in the process the wastes/dirt/bacteria needs to be expelled through blemishes. Another thing I learned was that the Clarisonic Mia 2 was just too harsh on some people's skin, so they had to minimize the use to once or twice a week. Also, if you don't wash your Clarisonic on a weekly basis bacteria can start to accumulate on the brush head, which could cause break outs.

I'm approaching my fourth week of using the Clarisonic every night, and I have seen some changes. My T-Zone had been getting much more oily than normal before I started using the Mia 2, but after a week or so I noticed that it had started to diminish. I was also really impressed with how much left-over makeup it washes off. I use a makeup removing wipe before I wash my face, but I found out that they really aren't removing as much as they should be, and the Mia 2 finishes the job. Another thing it is really effective at is exfoliating. The subtle vibrating combined with moving it in a circular motion is sure to remove any dead skin and leave your face baby-skin soft. Unfortunately, I still have more blemishes than I would like, but I think I just need to give it a little more time.

Hope this review was helpful! If you have any more questions feel free to ask me in the comments. xxx

January 25, 2013

Trend Report: Black & White & Neon All Over

While the cleansing neutrals of the Winter season are still going strong, be prepared to be electrified by Spring's bold neons! Not to mention that my favorite colors (or non-colors) black and white will be making a statement in Spring. See what can happen when you take two fabulous trends and mix 'em up. . . In the words of Rachel Zoe "SO MAJ."
Black and White and Neon. . .. . . ALL OVER
Even though the two trends contradict each other literally, they compliment each other oh-so-well! Go graphic with the black and white to make it stand out. Then, add some bright accessories to refresh the look. To build off of a neon base, add some B&W accessories that will add to the whole look. Again, make the B&W bold so it doesn't look plain or boring against such a bright canvas.

If you're the kind of one-stop-shopper for trends Nasty Gal has the best of both worlds. They put together lookbooks of their products for the upcoming season that are really great resources for inspiration. January's Pop Rocks lookbook features all of the best brights, while Loud & Clear is true to its name, shouting out patterns and prints through black and white. Plus, basically all of their styles go from edgy to feminine in a snap, which I love!

So which trend do you favor? Or are you like me, and want to mix and match them all?

January 11, 2013

OOTD: Mixing Trends

Top, Lush Sheer Top purchased at Nordstrom / Denim Shirt, Rubbish Chambray Boyfriend Shirt purchased at Nordstrom / Sweater, Original Frenchi Leopard Spot Cardigan purchased at Nordstrom / Pants, lululemon Wunder Under Yoga Pants / Boots, ECCO Hobart Harness Boot

Back to school and back to actually getting dressed for the day! I decided to combine a few trends all in one and see how it worked out. I started with the lemon-lime sheer top, incorporating the neon trend (this will be super hot for spring, but more on that later). Then I added the chambray button down for a touch of denim, and I topped it off with my leopard print cardigan to complete the layered look.

Hope 2013 has been amazing for you all so far!

January 8, 2013

Style Icon: Audrey Hepburn

To me, Audrey Hepburn is the epitome of timeless style. She had a simple aesthetic that can easily translate into the 21 Century. The clean silhouettes of her daily wear were chic and sophisticated. Her natural beauty and elegance made the costumes of the characters she portrayed her own.
If I'm ever stuck on what to wear I just go the Audrey direction and go simple. The LBD (Little Black Dress), white button down, black leggings, ballet flats, and statement dress are all essential pieces to achieving Audrey's effortless style.

1) The Little Black Dress- My personal favorite. There are so many silhouettes, textiles, and styling possibilities that comes with the LBD. Plus, black is universally flattering on any woman.

Timeless Trio
2) Timeless Trio- A men's white button down, black pants, and ballet flats will always be in style. The white shirt may be a women's fit too, but there's something intriguing about wearing a men's white shirt, even if it's your own. I bought one from Calvin Klein in the extra slim fit. (I have an old blog post all about it here). Black pants are also a must. They should be really fitted or just leggings to juxtapose the masculinity of the shirt. To complete the look, ballet flats will always work. My favorite kind are just plain black leather or patent leather, but if you're going to be literal, Audrey wears embellished ones in the picture above.
Statement Dress
3) Statement dress- I remember watching Sabrina for the first time and falling in love with the gorgeous Givenchy dress. Most people don't have an occasion to wear such a fancy ensemble, but a girl should always have a special dress tucked away. The dresses I picked out above vaguely reminded me of the Sabrina dress mixed with modern trends like the brocade and mirror prints. 

Now who's in the mood to have an Audrey Hepburn movie marathon?

January 4, 2013

There's an App For That: Five Fashionable Apps

In a world surrounded by smartphones and wi-fi, it's not difficult to give in to some pretty addicting apps. I've found some really useful, fun, and free fashion related ones to share with you.

I didn't really realize this until I went through all of them, but you will have to create an account for the apps I mention. It's really simple though, and some of them can connect to your Facebook.

Here are my top five that will feed your fashion addiction:

1) Wanelo- I just downloaded this one yesterday, but I'm already hooked. It is similar to Pinterest in the way that you save items to your own boards/collections (above right), but the best (and maybe worst) part is that you can buy everything you see.

2) Stylitics- This one is really useful for someone who plans out their outfits like me. You take pictures of your clothes (above center) and then you can track when you wear them (above right) and put together outfits for certain occasions.

3) Beautylish- Your go-to database for anything to do with beauty. From informational health related articles to clever DIY's and tons of makeup tutorials and product reviews in between, Beautylish can answer any cosmetic question you have.

4) Pose- An instagram for the fashionable. You can follow users with similar style to yourself and then save their looks to your collections (above right). If you really like someone's outfit, they will usually tag what brand and style their clothes are so you can go look it up. Plus, some items are shoppable straight from the app.

5) Gilt- I joined Gilt a few years ago via their website, so I was super excited when they came out with an app. Being able to shop their private sales on-the-go instead of chained to your computer is definitely better. The app even includes their Jetsetter and City pages.

Happy Friday! xxx

PS: I made a Facebook page for my blog, so please go and like it!

January 2, 2013

Trend Report: Layering

Layering is a trend that will always come back to us in the colder seasons. Even though it's a new year it's still the middle of Winter for half of the world, so keeping warm and toasty (and fashionable) requires a bit more effort. Here are some pieces that make layering easy and cute:

Layering Essentials
1) Denim shirt- These are available in a variety of washes, silhouettes, and price ranges.
2) Oversized cardigan- The looser fit allows a denim shirt or other medium weight top to be layered underneath. Get one in a fun pattern to make an outfit pop.
3) Pea coat- A classic coat. This piece will definitely keep you bundled up and warm layered on top of everything else.
4) Infinity scarf- I love the knitted kind for winter time. This can also be subbed for a regular scarf, but I just don't know how to wear a regular scarf. 
5) Boots- I used harness boots as an example, but any tall boot would work.
6) Knee socks- These look really cute peaking out from the top of a boot. I like ones that are knitted or have a texture or pattern on them.
7) Fur vest- Not my favorite layering piece, but I've seen a lot of these lately. Look to Mary-Kate and Ashley for styling inspiration.
8) Light top- This is your bottom layer that goes underneath the denim shirt and/or cardigan. The chiffon collared style adds a feminine touch.
9) Leggings- I prefer plain black, but the patterned or knitted ones are also quite popular right now. Since they are so form fitting wearing tall socks scrunched up on top of them doesn't look too bulky.
Another option for your bottom layer could be tights with dressier shorts on top.

Have fun layering it up in the new year!