February Favorites

February Favorites

:: I ran out of my beloved Glossier Boy Brow last month, and wanted to find something similar with more product in the packaging since I go through it so quickly with daily use. I read good things about the Givenchy Mister Brow waterproof tinted waterproof brow filler, so I ordered it from Sephora, and it’s so good. It’s a long wearing liquid-to-powder tinted formula that fills in sparse spots and sets hairs in place in one step, so you can use it alone for a quick brow groom or pair it with your favorite pencil for extra definition.

:: I was on the hunt for a hydrating tinted lip balm to throw on during the day, and the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector was a great find. It wears like a gloss, but isn’t the least bit sticky, and feels really nourishing.

:: The day after Valentine’s Day, we closed the flower shop a little early and went for team spa pedis. As usual, I stared at the wall of polish for at least five minutes — why do I always act like it’s as permanent a decision as a tattoo?! — before settling on OPI’s ‘Do You Take Lei Away, a creamy beige nude with a hint of pink. I loved it so much I ran to Ulta to buy a bottle, and I’ll probably wear it on repeat this spring.

:: After a few months of rocking SPF 50 nearly every day on my face and neck, my makeup stash needed an update. When you’re so pale you have to blend your base all the way to your chest to avoid a foundation line, it’s time to take action. I went to MAC to get color-matched, and when the artist freshened up my makeup after putting me in a new foundation, she used MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in ‘Medium Tan’ to bronze me up. I already love that powder in ‘Light Plus’ to set my makeup, and she explained that the darker shade was a good match to my undertones so it looks like a natural tan when dusted around the perimeter of my face and down my neck. I can build it from a sheer wash of warmth to a full-on bronze, and the silky mineral powder is super easy to blend over any base — or just moisturizer! —  for “no makeup makeup” looks.

:: Cooking For Picasso by Camille Aubray is a multi-generational story with all my favorite things: art, food, magical scenery, romance, and coming-of-age. C and I went on a little staycation to our favorite resort over the weekend, and I needed something to read by the pool, so grabbed it from the library in a hurry on Friday afternoon because I thought the  cover was pretty. Sometimes judging a book by it’s cover works! ;)  I got completely lost in it for two days. I’m halfway through, and can’t wait to finish it up this weekend! Here’s the synopsis:

“The French Riviera, spring 1936: It’s off-season in the lovely seaside village of Juan-les-Pins, where seventeen-year-old Ondine cooks with her mother in the kitchen of their family-owned Café Paradis. A mysterious new patron who’s slipped out of Paris and is traveling under a different name has made an unusual request—to have his lunch served to him at the nearby villa he’s secretly rented, where he wishes to remain incognito.

Pablo Picasso is at a momentous crossroads in his personal and professional life—and for him, art and women are always entwined. The spirited Ondine, chafing under her family’s authority and nursing a broken heart, is just beginning to discover her own talents and appetites. Her encounter with Picasso will continue to affect her life for many decades onward, as the great artist and the talented young chef each pursue their own passions and destiny.

New York, present day: Céline, a Hollywood makeup artist who’s come home for the holidays, learns from her mother, Julie, that Grandmother Ondine once cooked for Picasso. Prompted by her mother’s enigmatic stories and the hint of more family secrets yet to be uncovered, Céline carries out Julie’s wishes and embarks on a voyage to the very town where Ondine and Picasso first met. In the lush, heady atmosphere of the Côte d’Azur, and with the help of several eccentric fellow guests attending a rigorous cooking class at her hotel, Céline discovers truths about art, culture, cuisine, and love that enable her to embrace her own future.

Featuring an array of both fictional characters and the French Riviera’s most famous historical residents, set against the breathtaking scenery of the South of France, Cooking for Picasso is a touching, delectable, and wise story, illuminating the powers of trust, money, art, and creativity in the choices that men and women make, as they seek a path toward love, success, and joie de vivre.”

This + That

This + That
  1. Wow, we had really questionable shoe choices in the 90s, y’all. (I had almost all of them, or at least knock-off versions.)
  2. Benefit just released a cream-to-powder stick of one of my favorite bronzers and I want to get my paws on it.
  3. I LOVE this body-positive roundup of women sharing real “before-and-after” body shots on their Instagram.
  4. Speaking of bods, I finally found my perfect bra.
  5. For everyone who loved my gold Stan Smiths from my Style Files post, these gold and white Superstars are a cute alternative.
  6. These animals look like they’re about to drop the hottest albums of 2017.
  7. I recently discovered all of Mary Greenwell’s old YouTube makeup tutorials on YouTube. Mary is an iconic British makeup artist who famously worked with Princess Diana. She’s all about accentuating natural beauty with “real life” unfussy makeup, and I’m obsessed. Two great tricks I picked up from her: applying base and concealer with my hands only to warm up the product and really blend it into the skin, and using a small foundation brush instead of a big powder brush to lightly sweep setting powder onto tricky areas, like the under-eye and around the nose.
  8. OMG, Emma Watson, please be my life coach!
  9. This 7-year old and her mom take Disney dress-up to a whole new [amazing] level.
  10. Put down your phone: reducing your screen time may improve your health.
  11. I’d like a pair of these Chanel-inspired leather ballet flats that are under $100, please and thanks.
  12. The sandals in the photo are a few years old, but try these cute studded slides.
  13. While looking for a dupe for those sandals, I just found these taupe ankle-wrap Steve Maddens for $50 and ordered them.

Style Files

Style Files

In 2016, I noticed a big shift in my blog reading preferences: I became less interested in aspirational style blogs that post 15 photos of the same $$$ outfit, and instead found myself bookmarking lifestyle-focused sites by women who post casual snaps of their everyday outfits, review makeup and skin care products, share delicious recipes, and provide helpful tutorials. You know the blogs that feel like you’re getting honest advice and inspiration from a good friend? Those are my jam. They’re more inspirational for my lifestyle and budget, and remind me of the good ol’ days of personal style blogging, before the era of curated Instagram feeds, $700 over-the-knee boots (where are you wearing those on a Tuesday, gurrl?) and seemingly bottomless wardrobes.

Since I’m enjoying these “real-life” style blogs and I don’t have much time to take my own outfit photos these days, I started to snap quick photos of my outfits in our foyer mirror before I run out the door in the morning. I thought I’d round them up in a post now and then to share what I wear to work and play. Get ready to see how much I love a comfy uniform for days at the flower shop — easy top + cut-off skinnies + ballet flats — and get to know my favorite versatile pieces that I wear on repeat. (Lookin’ at you, $50 black hi-rise jeggings.)

LOFT utility blouse + AE hi-rise jeggings + old Hautelook sandals (try these) + ‘ohh la la’ canvas tote c/o my momma (this one’s cute!)
LOFT jeans + Lou & Gray cardi + Victoria’s Secret tank + TJ Maxx denim sandals
m.marie dress (try this) + Stan Smith sneakers
LOFT sateen leggings + Marshall’s asymmetric sweater (similar) + TJ Maxx denim sandals (try these)
Sparing you my shiny no-makeup-Saturday face (ha!) + Billabong shirt + AE hi-rise jeggings + Steve Madden sandals via TJ Maxx
m.marie sweater + LOFT sateen leggings + Cynthia Vincent flats via Hautelook (old, try these) + Cuyana small carryall in ‘sable’

This + That

This + That
  1. We survived Valentine’s Day! This $5 bubble bath is a holiday week staple in our house: it relieves tired, achy muscles and puts me right to sleep.
  2. Need a place to house your ever-growing book hoard? *raises hand* Emily Henderson rounded up 81 bookshelves that combine form and function.
  3. My favorite seventh grade sneakers are making a comeback!
  4. Here’s a handy guide to the healthiest options at popular chain restaurants.
  5. Jamie Paige found a bunch of drugstore makeup dupes you may not know about.
  6. I just bought my fourth tube of this amazing natural body oil. It’s a splurge, but a little goes a long way; a tube lasts me about 3 months with almost daily use.
  7. Check out these free printable coloring pages from libraries and museums to get your creative relaxation on.
  8. Red wine gummy bears? Um, yes please.
  9. I need a burgundy suede moto jacket in my life.
  10. I bookmarked this list of 17 “un-put-downable” books for my next trip to the library.
  11. My scalp is having a bit of a freakout this winter, but this drugstore salicylic acid shampoo is saving the day by seriously reducing flakes and itchiness. Plus it’s fragrance-free, so no telltale dandruff shampoo smell.
  12. If you’re looking for a small makeup pouch to toss in your bag with your everyday touch-up essentials, I found the perfect one at Ulta this week for $6. And it’s leopard print.