BEAUTY buys: Detoxifying Clay Mask

I'm not a huge mask fan for the most part (mainly because I have an issue getting it EVERYWHERE), but since this was a Valentia product, a company I'm a big fan of (especially because they are cruelty free, vegan, 98% natural, and made in the USA) - I had to at least give it a whirl. So here we go!

Their Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask ($25) smells unbelievably nice and has a SUPER thick consistency, which makes it very easy to put on and requires little product per use (seriously, this tub will last me a year doing this mask weekly). It takes about 20 minutes to fully "dry", but it feels really cool and tingly while it's on, which wasn't at all what I was expecting. After washing it off, my face felt amazing. My skin was glowy and firm (but not too tight), and overall just felt super clean and refreshed. I was honestly really surprised at how much I liked this mask compared to others I've tried. 

The photos above was taken the day after I used the mask. My skin was definitely more "glowy" than usual - even with using my normal Bare Essentials powder on top. I still used my daily face moisturizer, but probably could have skipped it completely. Definitely will be using this a few times a month. 

BEAUTY buys: HYDRATING vs. REVITALIZING serums

A few weeks back I reviewed two Valentia products that I raved about - their True Glow Eye Cream and Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask. Now I'm back with two more products of theirs that I've been testing for over a month now - their Royal Rose Hydrating Serum and their Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum. Since I'm already a fan of their products and company (cruelty free, vegan, 98% natural, made in the USA - the list goes on...), I already knew going in I would probably end up loving both of these.

I was right.

Both of these serums are incredibly luxurious and soft. My skin - even during the normally drying period from winter to spring (especially this particularly crazy transition this year)  - has never felt better. So in an effort to differentiate between the two, I decided to do a break down of the pros of each to get a better idea of the specific benefits each serum brings to the table. 

Royal Rose Hydrating Serum ($35)

  • The smell of this serum is intoxicating - like walking through an English rose garden in the spring. 
  • Medium-heavy texture, providing ultra-rich moisture.
  • Best for overnight wear (due to the slightly heavy texture).

Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum ($35)

  • This serum has a more tangy orange scent than a floral scent, which is refreshing and light. 
  • Light-medium texture, not as heavy as the Royal Rose Hydrating Serum.
  • Best for day wear (light enough to put on under makeup/lotion).

Overall, both of these are absolutely worth the money - and if you can do what I did which is divide them by day and night usage, I would recommend getting both. I took a few images of how moisturized and clear my skin has been since using them, and I can totally tell the difference. 

BEAUTY buys: EYE gel

I've been on a BEAUTY buys roll these past few weeks, and I have another awesome skincare product that I recently tried and loved - so I thought I'd share the wealth. This eye gel is a bit different than the eye cream I reviewed a few weeks ago, but is definitely equally great. OZ Naturals Super Youth Eye Gel is another product aimed towards decreasing your dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines around your eye area, but what makes this really stand out is that it's a gel, not a cream - which I love. I have an obsession with anything that is cooling, so gel is always my preferred skincare base. 

Since I use my other eye cream in the morning, I decided to use this one at night (although a lot of the reviews online say that it's great under makeup too - so you could do either or), and I have to say after a month of use, my eyes are SO much brighter looking. My dark circles have retreated almost entirely since I started using this product (even with the occasional late night out), and the price is on-point (less than $20!). It's also become one of my favorite nighttime rituals - since it's so refreshing and perfect to put on right before bed. 

BEAUTY buys: EYE cream + HYDRATION mask

As you probably know already, I am a huge skincare junkie. I'm always looking for the best new moisturizers or face washes, especially because my skin is extra extra sensitive. I had heard some great things about the Valentia brand via word of mouth, especially their hydration mask, so when I was asked to review two of their products, I was excited to see if they lived up to the hype.

No disappointment here.

Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask ($25) - this hydration mask is incredible. It's a gel-like formula - which I totally wasn't expecting (especially the rich gold color) - but it's so refreshing. It's slightly cool to the touch, but when you put it on, you can almost immediately feel the effect of rehydration on your tight, dry skin. After 30 minutes, your skin feels COMPLETELY different. Honestly, I didn't even realize how dry my skin was until I started using this. When I went into work the following day after trying the mask (and eye cream - see below), I had two coworkers ask me what makeup I use to get "that glow". Hey, I'll take that. 

True Glow Eye Cream ($25) - in addition to the mask, this eye cream is killer. I'm no stranger to eye cream, since my under eye area gets pretty dark from a mixture of terrible allergies and general lack-of-sleep, so I was actually really surprised with how much this formula moisturizes and brightens vs. just moisturizing. The texture is really nice because it's thick but not too thick - so you can easily use it under makeup and it doesn't feel heavy. I'm used to using this First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy every morning, but I actually like the Valentia version better (plus it's $13 less!), so I think I'll be making the switch permanently to this. 

P.S. what's awesome about this company is that they are cruelty-free, vegan friendly, 98% natural, and made using sustainable energy in the USA. Oh, and produced in a women-owned and operated lab. Pretty rad.

CHOP chop

I've been back and forth on getting my haircut for about a year now. Every time I think I'm ready to make the change, I have a really good hair day (doesn't happen often!), and all of a sudden I retreat. As much as I love having long hair, my hair's reached a breaking point, and desperately needs a chop. A big one. So I think it's safe to say 2016 will bring a slightly less hairy Mere into play. HA.

Below are a few of my inspiration photos. I plan on keeping it longer in the front, and definitely messy - whether I keep it blunt or choppy. If you have any suggestions on cut or color - I'm all ears!

SEEING red

Red lipstick is hands-down my favorite go-to for dressing up - especially since I rarely ever change my makeup look. Even if I literally only do one thing to change my look from day-to-night, this is it. It took me a very long time to even consider wearing a color brighter than medium-pink (like, 25 years), but once I embraced the dark side (literally), it made dressing up much more fun. 

Of course, this didn't come without some trial and error. I found that I look MUCH better in orange reds (much to my liking - it's my favorite color!), rather than blue or purple reds. As much as I love the idea of wearing that trendy vampy ox blood color, it's probably not in the cards for me (insert sad face emoji here). Either way, I found what works for me, and I'm sticking with it. 

Check out my top 5 reds and my "Red through the Years" photos below! Of course, let me know if you have any suggestions! I'm always looking for a new one to add to my lipstick arsenal ;).

{TOP 5}

  1. MAC Cosmetics - Lady Danger
  2. Bobbi Brown - Sunset Orange
  3. Cailyn Cosmetics - Big Apple
  4. NARS - Mysterious Red
  5. Revlon - Really Red

{RED through the YEARS} 

FRINGE benefits

I've never really thought that much about fringe before, except for the occasional mention of a roaring 20's party. I always considered it a dated look - up until I all-of-a-sudden became obsessed with all things fringe-y this past month. Maybe because I've been seeing it everywhere, or maybe because black leather with fringe is my new favorite thing, but either way, it's having an moment and I'm OK with that. These are my top picks - from heavily fringed to just a touch - clearly it's not a dated look anymore.

{ the INSPIRATION }

{ the GOODS }

  1. Molly Medium Clutch ($89 - plus an additional 40% off!) - I actually just purchased a very similar cross-body version of this from Barneys Warehouse (currently sold out - sorry!), and I am LOVING it. This clutch is a very cute alternative as well. 
  2. Ohio Boot ($80) - A nice alternative to a plain suede bootie, the fringe gives it a little "kick".
  3. MixIt Lightening USB Tassel ($35) - Form AND function, what a great idea! This is the perfect accessory (and gift, hint!) for any style-savvy person on-the-go. 
  4. Vegan Leather Fringe Jacket ($138) - The price is certainly right for a trendy piece, and I love that the fringe goes all the way around. 
  5. Cheora Black Fringe Necklace ($44) - I am obsessed with this gorgeous necklace - especially the way she pairs it in the photo with a simple white tee. Stunning. 
  6. Fringe Long Vest ($158 - plus an additional 40% off!) - I love the idea of this vest being a combo top/dress - such a statement piece. 

TEENY ring MOMENT

It's no secret that rings are my favorite piece of jewelry. I especially love teeny tiny rings that you can stack a million of (and trust me, I have a million at this point). Since tiny rings are definitely having their moment, I decided to put a collective together of all my most recent favorite rings and ring-stacking inspiration in one post - this one! Of course there's a never ending list of ones I love, but for right now, these are the ones I'm digging the most. See below for my inspiration photos, followed by my top 6 picks of the moment. Shop away!

{ the INSPIRATION }

{ the GOODS }

  1. Eduardian Eye Ring ($120+) - I love anything that's evil eye-related or edwardian, and this ring is the perfect combination of both. I actually like the silver version even more than the gold - which is very rare for me.
  2. Tiny Black Spinel Ring ($60) - Such a teeny tiny cute stacking ring. Love the little black stone - a perfect addition to my plain gold stacks. 
  3. Gold Filled White Opal Ring ($36) - Opals are one of my favorite stones because they are so diverse and unique. I especially love the iridescence of the white ones. This ring is simple yet really eye-catching. 
  4. Rays of Light Ring ($395) - I posted this on a WEEKLY inspirations before (here), but I just can't get enough of this ring. Such a beautifully unique design. 
  5. Teensy Skull Ring ($125) - The cutest, most tiniest skull ring to grace a finger. Adorable. 
  6. Gold Sapphire Ring ($115) - Another teeny tiny ring, this diamond-shaped Sapphire is so pretty and little, I just love it. I also really like the dark green teardrop version.

LASH love

If you have ever seen any pics of me, or better yet know me in real life, you know I always (always!) wear eyeliner. Not necessarily because I always want to (even though I have it down to about 30 seconds an eye these days), but more because I always felt I had to, since I have very light features. I'm not saying I'm going to die without eyeliner, I just look kind of tired and washed out without that bit of contrast. I have heard about lash extensions a lot this past year, but never thought that they would make that much of a difference on me, since I always wore eyeliner anyway. But when Lashbee reached out to me to see if I would be interested in trying a full set, I couldn't resist and immediately scheduled an appointment for the following weekend. 

And let me tell you, I was a bit skeptical at first (things near my eye scare the crap out of me), but when I went to their launch party the Thursday before my appointment and saw how amazing they looked on some of the attendees, I was convinced I would become a fan.

I was right. I am obsessed.

I opted to get the Queen Bee, since I like a little drama, which is one up from their signature Lash Bee (the difference between my Queen Bee and Lash Bee is that I had faux mink lashes applied with a little extra thickness). From start to finish, the entire experience was really pleasant. It's not scary at all (seriously, I thought it would be a little scary since it involves eyes, but I swear, it's actually really relaxing). It does take a little while - depending on how many eyelashes you have (fun fact: I have 143 on each eye) - but it's actually really nice to just lay there and not have to worry about doing anything (not something I'm usually very good at). It doesn't hurt that the space is super cute too - with bright pillows, great lighting, and relaxing music. 

The results were amazing. Not only did my lashes look full-on glamorous, I looked wide-awake and bright eyed - without the use of any eye makeup (below left image). Even with the use of my normal eye makeup (below right image), my eyes were so much wider and dramatic - and the only thing I used was eyeliner on the top and a bit smudged under the bottom lashes. Seriously, I'm never using mascara again. 

The best part is they last a while (they will fall out with your regular lashes), and you never have to go and get the whole thing done again - you just have to go once every 3-4 weeks for a quick touch up to keep them nice and fluffy. 

So all in all, I have to say I was super impressed - from the results (as you can see), to the full experience. Erin and Anjali (the owners) were super sweet and very professional - giving me play-by-plays of exactly what the experience would be like - and Erin did a fantastic job on my lashes. They certainly made a believer out of me!

P.S. thinking about trying them? You can book here (consultation is always free!), and if you mention you were referred by me, you'll get $10 off your set!

ANATOMY of an OUTFIT

I've gotten quite a few emails the past month regarding some of my favorite fall picks and how I style them/where I buy my key pieces. So I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to put together my first ANATOMY of an OUTFIT post, focusing around my key fall piece this year - my Jord Wood Watch.

I have gotten so many compliments on this watch since I got it last month, and I can't rave enough about it. It's so incredibly lightweight, and I love the way it goes with everything - from my typical weekend flannel and skinnies (see below), to my more-professional work wear. It's so light that I even wore it to yoga class - where I got asked by two other students about it post-workout. 

So I put together a play-by-play of my favorite fall outfit, and how to recreate it with the exact pieces I own. What's great about this outfit is that anyone can pull it off with ease, and all the pieces are affordable and can be repurposed in so many other ways throughout the year. 

BANANA republic picks

When I was little I remember thinking Banana Republic was the coolest place to shop - everything was leather (it was the 90's, after all) and expensive (hey, I was in elementary school - anything over five bucks was a lot). When I got to the age where Banana Republic was a frequent stop on my list (right after college when I needed things other than jeans and tanks to wear to work), I remember thinking, man, didn't this used to be cooler? There wasn't nearly as much leather, and the once "hip" store wasn't full of grunge-era baristas buying all black outfits anymore. In place of 90's hipsters was middle-aged women buying tweed pantsuits. Not high on my list of cool things. So for a long while I took a break from the store, deeming it too "professional" for me (jeans will forever be my favorite uniform, after all). 

Until now. Banana Republic has switched gears and stepped up their fashion game, ten fold. And man, they are KILLING it. Here are my favorite things they're repping right now (most of which I just scooped up at their huge additional 40% off sale):

{ click image to enlarge photo }

Hallo Hei Hello Graphic Tee - Love the simple chicness of this muscle tank. 

Faux-Leather Trim Pullover - Oversized sweater + leather? Perfect in my book. 

Striped Dolman-Sleeve Shirttail Tee - Stripes. Need I say more?

Glasses Intarsia Pullover - Such an adorable print!

Mixed-Media Shirttail Pullover - I'm still drooling over the short sweater vest/long white shirt combo a la Clueless's Cher Horowitz. This is a great updated version.

Fringe Leather Moto Jacket - Fringe. Cropped. Leather. Perfection.

Faux-Leather Cocoon Dress - The little leather skirt detail is fantastic on this. Comfy and stylish is the way to go.

Soft-Wash Burgundy Plaid Boyfriend Shirt -Good ol' fashion plaid never goes out of style.

Heritage Striped Tunic Dress - Love the simplicity of the shape and stripes. 

P.S. I also got a women's version of this, but it's apparently sold out now, so I'm linking to the very stylish men's version!

BEAUTY buys

As much as I love the idea of painting my nails a different color every few days, whether to match my outfit or my mood, it never actually happens. Like, ever. My reasoning:

  1. Because, well, ain't nobody got time for that.
  2. Because as much as I love seeing bright orange or green glittery shades, I don't live in an Urban Outfitters catalog and cannot possibly pull those colors off with such ease. 
  3. Because I really only ever wear one of two colors: dark red or neutral pink. 

As much as I love the idea of changing it up, I'm a tried-and-true two-color gal. Which brings me to my beauty buys today - I finally broke down and bought a gel manicure set. Honestly, I probably wouldn't paint my nails all that much if they weren't in such terrible shape (if I don't constantly have some sort of polish on, they will literally flake off layer-by-layer), but after getting a gel manicure and realizing it's an instant cure-all for my nails, but hating/refusing the idea of having to go to a nail place every other week to keep them that way, it was bound to happen. Luckily I also happened to have an alarmingly high amount of amazon points to use, so I put two and two together and broke down and bought the LED light dryer, two color polishes. and a bottom/top coat set. 

These were my picks based on trial and error (and also amazon ratings!):

UPDATE: ended up returning the Belmint dryer and exchanging it for this one - which works MUCH better with Shellac colors.

So here goes nothing! They should be arriving this week, so hopefully I'll be able to get the hang of it quickly and have bullet-proof nails from now and forever more.

P.S. Also considering getting this color, but I'll see how I do with the first two after they arrive. 

FALL staples

And so the best season of the year has officially kicked-off. I love (love love!) everything fall has to offer - including the best weather for fashion. Not cold enough for coats and gloves yet, but chilly enough to wear scarves and closed-toe shoes. Hey, I'm just glad I'm not sweating through 95 degree weather still. The struggle is real.

I've rounded up my fall staples for the season - including everything from leather jackets (always a must-have in my book), to oversized watches. Check out my style inspiration board and fall picks below. And fret not, almost every option has a splurge vs. steal idea - so lots of price ranges available! 

Neutral Booties ($40) - I love the cut of these - and they are so inexpensive! I find myself wearing my tan booties all year around, so this is a great option if you go through them like I do. This way you can get them in every color!

Plaid Scarf ($60) - I love plaid. I love scarves. This one is a match made in heaven. If you want a cheaper version, I love this one, and have this one. And this patterned gray option isn't bad either.

Leather Jacket ($685) - As you may know, leather jackets are quite the investment, but it's one I think is well worth it. I love that this one is navy instead of black, and the cut is perfect. But don't fret if you don't have an extra $700 laying around! This is a great inexpensive option, and this is a great faux-leather option. 

Oversized Watch ($275) - I am a sucker for a beautiful watch. My dad has quite the watch collection, and his love for a good timepiece has certainly rubbed off on me. I'm loving the unique coloring and detail in the Cora Series Zebrawood + Turquoise JORD watch - and yeah, it's WOOD. How freaking awesome is that? Obsessed.

Oversized Sweater ($168) - Free People kills it when it comes to anything oversized and bohemian, so there's no surprise here that their sweaters are on point this season. Looking for something a little cheaper? I love this one and this one too.

Striped Shirt ($34) - I love stripes and I'm so glad they're getting their comeback - although they never really ever go out of style. I like the flow of this loose one from Urban Outfitters, but love a good classic crewneck too. 

Plaid Shirt ($49) - Luckily these days, you can get a decent plaid shirt pretty much anywhere. I have a few of these ones by BDG, and they have a great "drape" to them and come in SO many different colors. I also really like the color scheme and style of this one.

Knit Beanie ($27) - Etsy is the place to get hand knit, quality made items, and this beanie is the perfect example of everything I want in a warm, stylish fall staple. The grey tone/marbled coloring is perfect for every skintone, and for $27, you might as well buy two ;)

 

{ click thumbnail for full-size image }


WEDDING nails

Following my post yesterday about wedding hair, I've collected quite a few images for fun/pretty nail designs as well. Truth be told, I have very short, very narrow, and very brittle nails, so my nails don't even come past (or close) to my finger tips. I was considering getting some very short temporary nails, since they would look nice and would stay pretty for a bit, but I'm always weary of getting them done. I've only had them done once before - and it was not pretty. I couldn't get used to my nails being long (and they were still very short by most people's standards), so I ended up filing them down and repainting them. After all that, I did end up liking the fact that my nails were smooth and a tad bit longer than normal.

As far as nail color goes, I really like how the nude ombre ones look (images 5 and 7 in the below clickable grid photos), as well as the super shiny nude pink one (image 8 in the below clickable grid photos). Something to ponder in the next week. Normally I would go with something dark, like the second image with the gold starburst details, but since my dress is sea foam, it makes sense to keep it light. 

Let me know if you have any suggestions - with nail color or experience! I am definitely not a nail expert by any means, and usually stick with doing my own, but it's nice to get something special done once in a while! 

{ click image for full-size photo }

WEDDING hair

So the first of my friends are getting married in two weeks, and I'm a bridesmaid (!) in the upcoming wedding. I'm excited to be part of their big day, and can't wait to see how the entire event unfolds. Since my dress is sea foam green, it reminds me of the ocean/mermaids - so I was thinking of doing a messy braid for my hair - having some pieces out, but most tucked into so sort of up-do braided thing. Or maybe messy waves with little braids and a hair band? So many options! Luckily I have someone doing my hair for the event (because I'm not exactly talented in the up-do/braid/general hair area), but would love some input on what you would pair with this dress. 

Here are some of my hair inspirations for the wedding:

{ click on image to show full-size photo }

P.S. tomorrow - WEDDING nail inspirations - stay tuned!

FOREVER 21 picks

As much as I love a luxury item (as of late, my Jenni Kayne d'Orsay flats and Karen Walker Worship Sunnies), I have no problem saving some bucks on seasonal things - especially when it comes to t-shirts or trendy items. Forever21 is one of my favorite shops to scoop up some great pieces without spending too much - in fact, most items are $30 and under! With fall right around the corner (insert 100 smiley face emojis here), I selected some of my favorite pieces that look far pricier than they actually are, and will take you right into colder weather with ease (and money still left in your wallet).

{ click image below for full-size picture }

High-Slit Longline Top ($15.90) - a super versatile shirtdress that is perfect for layering. I love both neutral color options too. 

Striped T-Shirt Dress ($12.90) - classic stripes that you can wear as a dress or as a tunic with skinny jeans and a leather jacket. 

Side-Slit Turtleneck Top ($24.90) - for some reason, I love sleeveless turtleneck tops, but can't stand them with sleeves. This is a great version of what I love - charcoal grey, ribbed, long, perfect. 

Dolman Shift Dress ($22.90) - the grey/blue hue of this shirt is really nice, and it's perfect for dressing up for work, or down for drinks. 

Longline Space Dye Top ($15.90) - another perfect piece for layering. The neutral grey shade allows it to be paired with pretty much anything. 

Longline Plaid-Patterned Shirt ($15.99 on sale!) - I love the length of this top. It will be perfect to wear with a cropped sweater or leather jacket over it. 

Plaid Flannel Shirt ($22.90) - the bright red of this flannel is awesome - and I love the slightly boxy style of this top. It will be a great item to wear when I need something comfy and casual. 

Two-Tone Boucle Coat ($55.90) - the priciest of my picks, but by far the coolest. I love tweed blazer-style coats - especially with cropped sleeves - and this one fits the bill perfectly

Cutout Mesh Bralette ($7.90) - super pretty and super cheap. I bought two. 

Brushed Twill Utility Jumpsuit ($34.90) - I love a good jumpsuit, and I could definitely see me wearing this with rolled up ankles, cognac-colored booties, and a leather clutch.

Marled Colorblock Bomber Jacket ($16.00 on sale!) - a classic jacket style in classic colors. A perfect addition to everyone's closet. 

Shirred Dot Print Dress ($27.90) - I love the flow of this dress and how easily it could be layered or worn alone. 

POINTED flats

It wasn't until recently that I learned to love flats. I used to hate the idea of "fashionable" flat shoe - simply because I never found any that I would wear. I never liked round-toe footwear, and that seemed to be the only option when it came to flats that weren't sneakers or sandals. Then suddenly, pointed toe flats came into light. Game changer - a flat that still managed to elongate your legs like heels, elevate your look like heels, but were much more comfortable than heels.

Hello new favorite shoe (next to booties, of course). Check out my favorite picks below!

Jenni Kayne D'Orsay Flats ($495) - these are by-far a favorite of mine. I was able to scoop up a pair of barely-worn tan suede Jenni Kayne D'Orsays from a high-end consignment shop. Major score considering I paid $50 for the originally-priced $495 pair. They are beautifully made (albeit narrow - you'll want to use a shoe stretcher on these - I did!), and certainly an investment piece - but fret not! - there are quite a few excellent cheaper options out there. These Franco Sarto ones are VERY similar (I own two pairs of these in gray and black that I also scooped up on sale for about $25 each!), or even these Chinese Laundry ones get the job done on the cheap.  

ALDO Colyn Flats ($70) - these are a great and affordable option for a black leather tie-up flat. Simple, chic, girly - everything you'd want in a ballet-inspired flat. The $70 price tag doesn't hurt either ;)

Jeffery Campbell Shay Lace Up Flat ($130) - these are similar to the above reference shoe, but are soft suede and a bit more of an investment. The taupe leather color and the zip in the back make for a beautiful upgrade, and I really can't say no to anything that's a nude-pink color. How very ballerina of me. 

BEAUTY buys

It's been a bit since my last installment of BEAUTY buys, so I thought I could catch you up on some of the amazing skincare products I recently picked up. Since my birthday was this past month, I was gifted quite a few gift cards - specifically to Sephora (no problems there!) - and man were they burning a hole in my pocket. So of course, the first thing on my list was a new moisturizer for my face (I've been having a serious case of combination skin this summer), and a primer/lotion combo that I can quick put on in the morning after my shower. Well, I found the best of both worlds in TWO totally different products - plus an extra for good measure ;)

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm ($46) - After reading the reviews on this, I was a bit skeptical since I have combination dry/oily skin, and some people said it was NOT for people with any sort of oily skin, but let me tell you, this stuff is awesome. It acts as a super hydrator and primer for your makeup (which I always need since I wear Bare Minerals powder and it basically comes off by 10am if you don't use something below it). You need only a tiny bit (about the size of a pea), and it lasts all day. No dry spots, no oily spots - just nice skin! The price would be hefty if you used more than just a little bit a day, but since it's such a small amount, you can probably get away with having the same bottle for quite a few months (4-6 maybe?) 

Perricone MD Intensive Pore Minimizer ($55) - This stuff is magic. Seriously. I use it every-other night after using Clinique Clarifying Lotion/Perricone Firming Facial Toner (see below), and it makes your pores and skin INCREDIBLY smooth and fresh. I've never had a big issue with large pores, but this has certainly decreased the size of even my tiniest ones - which ultimately improves the look and feel of your skin ten-fold. And like the Clarins balm, this bottle will most likely last a few months - if not longer - if you use it on a bi-nightly schedule. 

Perricone MD Firming Facial Toner ($39) - So I picked this up on a whim, since it was half off and I loved their Intensive Pore Minimizer so much, and I have to say, as expected, this stuff is ALSO incredible. After I wash my face at night, I used to use my trusty Clinique Clarifying Lotion, then my regular face lotion, but now I've switched to using this facial toner half the time, because it's so fresh feeling, and really makes your skin seem super healthy and tight. I'm THISCLOSE to switching to this all-together, but I figured I should use the rest of my Clinique up first ;)

 

Hope this post/these products help you out with any future skincare purchases you make! 

BASEBALL tees

As much as I pretty much loathe sports (my usual answer when someone asks me if I like baseball/football/basketball is 'oh, that's a sport, right?'), I still love a good baseball tee. There's something about the contrasting sleeves and the ultra comfiness that makes me forget that it has (or had) anything to do with sports. 

Here are a few of my favorite picks. I'm loving the selection of fun, quirky sayings below, but here's a Classic Red and Classic Black option as well. 

P.S. Some of my favorite concert shirts I've purchased (i.e. The Shins, The Black Keys) are baseball tees  - so next time you go to a show, make sure to check out the merch table for them! 

{ click image to enlarge }

FALL denim

Fall is hands-down my favorite season (as short as it may be these days), and it's never too early to start dreaming of cozy sweaters and all-suede-everything. Even though I'm a die-hard skinny jeans fan (see my post on my fave pair here), lately I've been loving the vintage distressed bellbottom + boy jeans look I've seen pop up around town. And black jeans. Man, I really love me some black jeans.

| THE inspiration |

{ click images below for full view }

I got my hands on these and these for fall (at the BOGO half off sale? Heck yes), and can't wait to try a few new styles out with some layers and leather for autumn. Seriously though, American Eagle seems to have the best jeans lately - and for 1/4 (or less!) the price of my normal Paige or JBrands. Two pairs for $70 - you can't beat that. 

| THE goods |

P.S. this is a nifty little guide on how to properly cuff your jeans.