July Blog Hop: Red, White & Blue!

I swear I blinked and June was over. (Please be prepared to be inundated with box reviews as I catch up on all the ones I’ve been hoarding. ) In any case, it’s now July 1st which means Blog Hop Time! I’m part of an awesome Facebook group of beauty bloggers and each month (on the 1st) we all post about the same theme. For July we’re going patriotic with our red, white and blue picks.

For my post I decided to choose a few things in the beauty, fashion and accessory categories. Some are favorites I bought and loved, some are items I plan to pick up soon and there are a couple I’m lusting over from afar. Last month I went with a nautical vibe, and this time I feel like my picks have a touch of wanderlust to them. So let’s get shopping and you can tell me what you think.

BEAUTY

Liner Swatch
Vasanti Kajal Extreme Eye Pencil
in Electric Navy
(Retail: $18.00)
Description: “This kohl pencil glides on easily, adding instant drama to your look, while the waterproof formula stays put for up to eight hours. Plus, each pencil has a handy built-in smudger and sharpener, so you can create well-defined or sultry looks.”
This eyeliner came in my Birchbox Limited Edition Mermaid box (which I will be posting about soon!). I don’t usually like pencil liners but this one went on smooth and I adore the color. It’s this oceany, super-saturated navy that’s not too dark. If you’ve got some Birchbox points to spend, this is a great choice for the summer.

Lip Pencil
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
in Cruella (Scarlet Red)
(Photo from sephora.com)
(Retail: $25.00)
Description: “Combining the convenience of a pencil with the application of a lipstick in a jumbo-sized crayon design, these pigment-rich sticks provide a matte, creamy finish that will not dry the lips. Enriched with emollients, vitamin E, and silicone, each gorgeous shade glides on and stays put.”
While I love lip glosses and sheer shades, when I want to go red I prefer matte. The NARS velvet matte lip pencils are my go-to for matte colors and I love this scarlet red pencil.   I pair this with a cat eye liner and a light golden shadow for a classic pinup look for evening. The pencil goes on smoothly and holds up to hanging out in your purse in the summer heat. If you’re looking for a bombshell red, this is for you.

Soraphine Swatch
Soraphine
from Julep
(Retail: $10.00 on sale)
Description: “Classic sheer white crème”
I received this polish in my March Maven box and fell in love. It’s a super sheer white polish with buildable coverage. The more opaque you want it, the more layers you use. It’s classic on its own or beautiful for jelly sandwich manicures (a glitter layer between two sheer layers). If you enjoy Julep polishes, I recommend this one as a must have.

FASHION

Jeans Regular Jeans Plus
Skate Night Jeans by Modcloth
(Photos from modcloth.com)
(Regular Sizes: $59.99 Plus Sizes: $64.99 )
Description: “Sure, the movies are romantic, but so is a day spent at the skatepark with your special someone. Clad in these high-waisted stretch jeans – a ModCloth-exclusive design – you try out new tricks that wow your cute companion.”
I am short-waisted with long legs and carry most of my weight in my stomach. For me, pants shopping is like the seventh circle of hell. Then, I found these “jeans” by Modcloth. They come in regular and plus size, and they are amazing. They are stretchy, but smooth you out without showing any lumps and bumps. They aren’t denim, but a a cotton twill so they are perfect for wearing to work and dressing up or down and the dark navy is the perfect neutral for year round wear. They are incredibly comfortable and perfect for vacation sightseeing. I loved them so much I bought a second pair. These pants run long so just be aware you’ll probably need to hem them or wear heels/wedges.

Maxi Dress
Sunfade Maxi Dress
from Anthropologie
(Photo from Anthropologie.com)
(Retail: $298.00)
Description: “Sunny tones mix with cool blues to make a one-of-a-kind maxi that can transition from desk to dinner with a simple tousle of the hair..”
So this dress is firmly in the lust from afar category, since it’s well out of my budget. But I swear I’m so in love with it. The ethereal print reminds me of far off places you visit in dreams.
Just a few tips for the budget conscious when shopping at Anthro:
Save everything to your wishlist! Things can disappear from the site but still come back in stock. I have scored some amazing deals that way.
Stalk their sale page! I’ve gotten awesome purses at a fraction of the cost.
Call their customer service if something is sold out online! They can often give you a store location where you can pick up that fabulous sale item.

Skirt
Kimchi Blue Margarita Lace Maxi Skirt
from Urban Outffitters
(Photo from urbanoutfitters.com)
(Retail: $89.00)
Description: “Lace maxi skirt from Kimchi Blue in a full, paneled design with contrasting floral patterns.  Trimmed with a stretchy crochet waistband. “
Is there really anything to say but white, lace maxi skirt? I adore the boho vibe this has and it’s just so romantic. It will go with anything and you can dress it up or down. This is another one I’ll be stalking for sales.


ACCESSORIES

Maine Backpack
Maine Character Backpack from Modcloth
(Photo from modcloth.com)
(Retail: $54.99 on sale!)
Description: “Take yourself on a solo writer’s retreat, packing what you need into this blue backpack from Jesslyn Blake.”
I saw this bag and fell in love, but at the original price it was over my budget. It went on sale and I snagged it. I didn’t have any type of bookbag and the rustic feel of this one just made me imagine grabbing it and running off for a weekend in a Maine cabin. I love mine and I think it’s a steal at the sale price.

Shawl
Nysa Shawl
from Anthropologie
(Photo from Anthropologie.com)
(Retail: $88.00)
Description: “Spring’s first breezes deserve layers that are just as lovely, such as this light-as-air shawl from Angel of the North.”
Shawls are a highly under-utilized accessory. They are perfect to combat summer ocean breezes and when paired with a maxi dress they give a much more romantic look than a typical cardigan. I really love this one and am stalking it until it goes on sale.

Necklace
Good Fortune Pomegranate Locket
from Gypsy
(Photo from Gypsy.com)
(Retail: $330.00)
Description: “This oxidized and gold-plated pomegranate locket opens to reveal an abundant trove of red dyed jade seeds. A symbol of abundance and good-fortune, this festive fruit is sweet inside and out.”
Long, long ago they featured this necklace on Anthropologie and I fell in love. The adorable pomegranate locket opens up and there are beautiful red stones inside to mimic the seeds. It, like so many things, is way outside my budget but if I win the lottery or finally sell a novel, then I’ll be making this beauty mine.

Scarf

Blue & White Ombre Linen Summer Scarf from Scoutmob
(Photo from scoutmob.com)
(Retail: $67.00 on sale)
Description: “This ombré linen scarf features Mediterranean blue ends that play on the transparency of the open weave linen. Whether tied tightly or hanging loosely around the neck, this style transcends seasons. The rich linen texture softens with every wear.”
I love the ethereal quality to this fabric. It makes me think of far off fishing villages and stories about sea monsters.

 

Shoes
Walk of the Town Flat in Floral from Modcloth
(Photo from modcloth.com)

(Retail: $39.99 on sale)
Description: “If it weren’t for a stylish cutie like you taking lots of strolls through town in these navy, floral-print shoes, what would your neighbors have to talk about? The sporty laces and refreshing pattern of this canvas-like pair are conversation points that seemingly never tire!”
I actually picked these up in red before I saw that the blue print ones were available. I just adore the floral on this and I think the colors in it will pair really well with denim. My red pair are super comfy and I grab them whenever I’m running errands. I may just pick up these as well.

 

I’d love to hear what you thought of my picks and what you’d choose in the red, white and blue motif.

If you enjoyed this post, please stop by and visit some of my other blog-hoppers and read their take on beach and pool bag must haves.

BLOG LINK LIST:

Kristina from The Feminine Files

Anna from The Anna Belle Blog 

Angela from Your Beauty Whisperer

Tess from Plastic Bows

June Blog Hop: Beach & Pool Bag Essentials

So May has flown by and it’s suddenly June 1st, which means it’s time again for a blog hop. I’m part of a fabulous facebook group of beauty bloggers and each month (on the 1st) we all post about the same theme. For June we’re focusing on Beach/Pool Bag Essentials.

Now as I’ve mentioned in some other posts, I’m a Ginger so I prepare for days in the sun like I’m going to war. I’m going to give you my  picks  and we’ll get ready for battle.

Now first, let’s start with the bag itself. I adore tote bags and have way too many of them and they tend to be the go to style for beach bags. But this time I decided to think outside the tote. The open top design tends to make it that much easier for sand to collect and for stuff to fall out or blow away. Instead, how about a duffle design like this fabulous Baggu Bag:

Baggu Duffle
Baggu® Sailor Stripe Duffel Bag (Retail: $82.00; Picture from Birchbox.com)
I love the nautical vibe on this and the duffle design makes it great for all kinds of uses, from the beach to the gym to a weekend travel bag. I know it’s pricey, but it’s on Birchbox so you can hoard your Birchbox points and apply them to bring the price down.

Now we need to fill this bag up.

towel
If you picked up the Popsugar Special Edition Resort box you’ll have received this great Cuyana Turkish Towel (Estimated Retail: $55.00). It’s the classiest and comfiest beach towel I’ve ever received.

Now a makeup bag or pouch is a must have. I’m giving you a sneak peak at an item I just received from the May Jennifer Love Hewitt box (which I’ll be posting a review of soon). It’s absolutely perfect for the beach.
Mesh Bag
Mesh-Bottom Clutch (Retail: $30.00)
Description: “Shake clutch is designed to keep your items in and the sand far away. The bags feature a reversible flap pinned to either side, allowing you to reveal or conceal the netting at will. When sand begins to intrude, just flip the flap and shake, shake, shake.”
wallet

Trade in your normal wallet for something small that you can tuck into your clutch. I have this Key-Per Zip Coin from Fossil (Retail: $30.00; picture from Fossil.com) in the whale print. It’s big enough for your ID, a credit/debit card, and money.

SUNCARE PICKS

Comb
One of the areas that we tend to forget about sun-proofing is our hair. RickyCare SUN Grooming Comb (Retail: $2.99; picture from rickysnyc.com) is a great inexpensive way to help keep our hair healthy throughout the summer.

Description: “Rickycare’s SUN comb line eliminates color fading and dried out summer texture by planting sunscreen and nutritional oils directly into your hair.This baked-in substance is gradually released from the plastic to coat hair, helping it to reflect harsh sunlight and harmful UV rays. Keep your hair looking great all summer long by simply combing with the SUN line before stepping out on the beach or by the poolside.”

As I mentioned earlier, sun protection is serious business for me so I use a variety of products to make touch-ups throughout the day that much easier. First thing to remember is that you need to apply your sunblock 30 minutes before you go outside. Then reapply frequently.

Josie Maran
Now for my face I like to use Josie Maran’s Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 (Retail: $32.00;picture from Sephora.com). Some face products with sunblock can sting or dry out your skin and this does a great job of keeping my skin safe from the sun but looking and feeling healthy.

Mineral Sunblock
For easy touchups, I like Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral Powder SPF 45 (Retail: $40.00; picture from Sephora.com). This mineral sunblock helps keep away shine and is super easy to reapply.

Dior
For the lips, Dior Addict Lip Glow (Retail:$32.00;picture from Sephora.com) is a sheer balm that adjusts color based on the wearer. It has an spf 10 and does a wonderful job of hydrating the lips.

Now for the body, I use two products, both from Neutrogena.

Sunscreen 100 spf
Before I leave the house I slather on Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen in 100 SPF (Retail: $10.39; picture from drugstore.com). They have other options in SPF so if you aren’t an albino like me, you can opt for a different level.

Sunscreen spray
I find there is nothing more annoying that trying to touch up your sunblock while on the sand. You inevitably get sand stuck all over you. So to combat that I use Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock, SPF 70, 5 Ounce (Retail: $9.99; picture from drugstore.com).  You don’t have to rub it in so you’re not rubbing sand on yourself and the cooling mist is refreshing.

Okay so now that we’ve gotten through the boring SPF stuff, let’s get on to the fun things like a little makeup and fashion.

MAKEUP PICKS

I find it’s best to go minimalist with makeup for the beach and pool. I just go with a mascara and a lip product.

Mascara
The best waterproof mascara I’ve found is CoverGirl LashBlast Waterproof Mascara in Brown (Retail: $5.29; picture from Target.com) Unless you have black or really dark brown hair, I suggest brown mascara for beach days. It looks more natural and goes better with a sun-kissed glow.

Now we already have the Dior lip product above but if I’m lounging around by the pool I like to add just a little touch of sparkle. I find it really gives you that golden summer glow. I adore Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupté in Gold (Retail: $32.00 ;picture from Sephora).
Gold Gloss
I can count the amount of lip products I’ve finished using on one hand and this is one of them. If you wear it alone, it just makes your natural lip color vibrant and sparkling. If you wear it layered over another color it gives it a golden sheen. If you pick this up, I guarantee you’ll be using it all the time. It’s a splurge, but absolutely worth it.

FASHION PICKS

Sunglasses are both fashionable and suncare, but I put them here because I find them more fun than discussing SPF. My favorite pair of sunglasses are these Hepcat Shades from Madewell (Retail: $55.00). I own these in mint and despite my huge supply of shades from subscription boxes, these are the ones I grab the most. I’m partial to the Tropical Color color.
sunglasses
Because of my aversion to sun, I’ve built up a collection of sunhats. They are a great way to look chic and protect your skin at the same time. This Mariner Floppy Hat from Anthropologie (Retail: 32.00; picture from Anthropologie.com) gives a laidback nautical vibe and gives oodles of sun protection.
Hat

I always throw a scarf in my beachbag, so if I want I can drape it over my shoulders or even turn it into a sarong. I am obsessed with this Sea Ranch Scarf from Anthropologie (Retail: $38.00 ;picture from Anthropologie.com.
scarf

So of course we need a swimsuit and one pieces are making a huge comeback. The trick to not looking frumpy is to go with a retro silhouette. They look fun and flirty and they give great coverage if you are on the more modest side. Modcloth is my go to place for swimsuits and they have an amazing selection of fun summer fashion in a huge assortment of sizes.

I own Bathing Beauty One-Piece Swimsuit in Cherry Pie (Retail: $89.99; picture from Modcloth.com) and adore it. I love gingham and the shape on this is so flattering.
Swimsuit

For a coverup, I love the flowy feel of a maxi dress and it gives me the bonus of not having to worry about reapplying sunblock to my legs every five minutes.   This Summer Night Stroll Dress from Modcloth (Retail: $44.99; picture from Modcloth.com) is perfect for being casual at the beach or heading out to a café right after.
Maxi Dress

And of course no beach look would be complete with a sandal. I love these Moxxie sandals by Pink and Pepper at Piperlime (Retail: $49.00 ;picture from piperlime.com). They’re fun and versatile and the taupe shade will go with everything in your wardrobe.
sandals 2
ENTERTAINMENT PICKS

So you need some tunes for ipod and a book for kindle.

CD Cover
Joe Purdy’s Julie Blue always makes me think of water and waves. It’s perfect for sitting by the beach. (Retail: $8.99;picture from Amazon.com)

Novel
For me, romance novels are a requirement for beach and summer reading. One of my favorite ever is Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux (Retail: $7.99; picture from Amazon.com). It’s got time travel and intriguing characters and everyone I know who’s read it, adores it. If you enjoy the romance genre and have never read this, it’s a must.

Don’t forget to throw in some of the hair ties and water bottles you’ve gotten from all those subscription boxes. Now you’re ready to go!

So what are the must haves in your beach bag?

If you enjoyed this post, please stop by and visit some of my other blog-hoppers and read their take on beach and pool bag must haves.

BLOG LINK LIST:

Michelle at Pretty in the East

Sammi at College Beauty Buff

Anna at The Anna Belle Blog 

Brittany at Lipstick and Yarn

Michelle at Beautiful Goodies

Karen at Unpack the Box

April Blog Hop: Spring Picks!

I’m part of a fabulous Beauty & Fashion bloggers group on Facebook and each month they host a blog hop where we all post about the same topic on the 1st of the month.   April’s topic is our Spring Product Picks.

I’ve decided to feature items that I’ve purchased for myself for Spring or that I intend to purchase soon.  I’ve come up with a bunch of fun categories and chosen one item for each one.

Box Pick:
The Homegrown Collective
(Retail: $39 per month/$9.00 shipping)
So you know I had to start this list with a subscription box pick.  Is it me or does the phrase “homegrown collective” make you picture a Bearded Hipster in skinny jeans saying “resistance is futile, you will be assimilated”?  So this subscription has been called “pinterest in a box” and features home items that help you be more self-sufficient and ecologically mindful.   The boxes are seasonal and feature various themes.  A few past boxes include: “DIY Detox in a Box”, “Superfoods and Antioxidants”, and “Eco Laundry”.  Now springtime puts me in spring cleaning mode.  I’ve got plans to overhaul my whole house including my kitchen.  This subscription seems like a great way to make my home a little more healthy and finally complete some of those DIY pinterest pins I keep accumulating and promising to do “someday”.  I haven’t ordered this yet, as it’s going to be my reward once I have finished spring cleaning my apartment.  (Thus forcing me to actually finish spring cleaning my apartment).

Beauty:BalmRosebud Smith’s Lip Balm, Rose and Mandarin, 0.8 Ounce
(Retail: $6.00)
I’m a lip balm junkie and I try tons of brands and always come back to the Rosebud salve.  They are super moisturizing, smell great and the retro packaging is adorable.  I discovered they came out with a Mandarin orange flavor and I adore it.  I keep it by my beside at night and apply it right before I got sleep.

Makeup:
Stila Closed Stila Open Swatch
Stila “In the Know” Eyeshadow Palette
(Retail: $39.00)
I have a difficult time finding neutral eyeshadows that I love.  I have pink undertones and browns and golds can go too warm and turn orange.  Because I’m pale, purple tones can look like big old bruises.  I saw swatches of this online and thought I’d take a gamble and see if they’d work for me.  I think they work really well with my skin tone and I adore the eyeliner included.  I can’t wait to use them for some new spring looks.

Hair:
Hair Powder
Lulu Organics® Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder
(Retail: $30.00)
I have a dry scalp, which means I tend to get oily roots.  The problem is when you wash too frequently you exacerbate the dry scalp issue, so I try to wash my hair every other day.  I’ve been searching for a dry shampoo to help keep the oil away on my off days.  This powder smells amazing and of all the dry shampoos I’ve tried I feel it blends in the best.  I also adore the art nouevau style packaging.

Nails:
Pahlish_His_Favorite_Sundress_2
His Favorite Sundress by Pahlish
(Retail: $9.00)
Melon is on trend for nails this spring and I really wanted an interesting coral-ly shade and fell in love with this color from Pahlish.  It’s completely different from any of my other polishes and I can’t wait to wear it with my spring dresses. There are so many fabulous indie polish brands creating really unique shades.  Llarowe.com has a wonderful assortment of indie polishes to get you started on your newest addiction.  I’d like to thank “Ida Nails It” for graciously allowing me to use her swatch photo.  I had a slight kerfluffle with my order and didn’t get my polish in time for this blog post.

Clothing:
Jacket
Striped Terry Jacket from Anthropologie
(Retail: $78.00)
At first I was so sure I was going to include a cute dress, but then I stumbled across this jacket at my local Anthropologie.  I love things with a nautical feel and the stripe drew me to it.  It didn’t seem like much on the hanger but I figured I’d try it on anyway.  It was really flattering and incredibly comfortable.  It’s warm and quite soft for a jacket.  I was concerned that without buttons it would lay oddly, but it doesn’t.  And the nice part about not having buttons is that you can lose or gain a little weight and have no issue.  Also a plus for the pregnant ladies who can wear it pre and post baby.   You can dress it up or down, so for more casual days I plan to wear this with a red tee shirt and my favorite pair of dark wash, flared Modcloth jeans.  For work I’ll wear it over my knee length yellow, navy or red dresses. It’s warm but not too heavy and I think I can wear it all the way through summer.

Shoes:
Shoes
Defined the Scenes Flat in Blush
(Retail: $29.99)
Modcloth is one of my go to places to shop and I love all their unique offerings.  Because I commute to work in NYC, flats become by go to pick for spring and summer.  I loved this blush color because I think it will soften a lot of the black and grey in my wardrobe allowing them a nice transition into spring by giving a sort of Paris in Springtime vibe.  They are also super comfy on my wide feet and the price is really affordable.  If you dig them, I suggest you snap them up asap; they are more than worth the pricetag.

Jewelry:
Flower Post Earrings
Rosebud Flowers Post Earrings from the Fresh Jewelry Company
(Retail: $22.00)
I love jewelry that’s nature inspired, whimsical and unique.  Spring time makes me long for flowers and greenery and I adore jewelry that manages to capture that feeling.  These little sterling silver earrings feature real flowers inside resin.  This way you can take a bit of springtime with you, wherever you go.  (I ordered these but they didn’t arrive yet so this photo is from the Scoutmob site.)


Bookshelf:
When Venus Fell by Deborah Smith
(Retail: $5.98 for Ebook)
When it comes to reading, springtime makes me long for romance novels.  Now, there are so many super cheesy, boring and poorly written romances that they’ve given the whole industry a bad name.  But I promise there are still wonderful romance writers that give you interesting stories, compelling characters and gorgeous prose.  “When Venus Fell” by Deborah Smith is one of my favorite books.  The characters are not your stereotypical romance novel folks (no bodice ripping Fabios) and her prose effortlessly engages you with her characters, so you’re invested in the story.  If you want to give a good romance novel a try, pick this one up.  It’s one that I reread year after year.

Organization/Spring Cleaning:
Beauty Cases Case Open  Velcro         

Joy Mangano Biggest and Best Beauty Case Set Ever with 3 Bonuses!
(Retail: $59.95)
I managed to pick this up when it was a today special so I snagged it with free shipping and $20 off the pricetag.  If you read this blog regularly you know that I get a ton of products in my boxes.  I grabbed  this set so that I could do some spring cleaning and organize all the products I receive.  You can fit a ton in these and they fold up quite neatly.  The sections are velcroed and pull out easily.  The kit included three beauty cases and three additional storage bags. Thanks to living in a Victorian house, I’ve got the world’s most narrow storage cabin for my products.  These cases will nestle perfectly inside and make it easy for me to see what products I have and what’s running out and needs to be replaced.  These bags are super versatile and you can use them for all kinds of things, like crafts and office supplies.  If you want to get more organized, I highly recommend these.


Crafting:
stamp_parescargot1
 Par escargot Stamp by Wit & Whistle
(Retail: $20.75)
I discovered Wit & Whistle through my Fair Ivy subscription and I fell in love with this stamp.  Rubber stamping is one of the easiest ways to craft.  You buy some blank cards or postcards, an inkpad and a stamp and get to it.  I like to make notecards and gift tags using rubber stamps and this one is perfect for using on envelopes.  I plan to pick this up so I can jazz up all my outgoing mail.  I haven’t ordered it yet, so this photo is from the Wit & Whistle site.

So those are just a few of my favorite things this season.  There are only about a billion more, but you have other things to do besides listen to me talk about shopping.

So what did you pick up for Spring?

To read some other fabulous blogs and check out their Spring hit lists, take a look at my fellow blog hop participants.   Happy Reading!