Spring Cleaning + Clementine Daily

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In exactly one week, I am getting the closet overhaul I’ve been dreaming of my adult life. After four years in our house, we finally turned it over to the Elfa experts at The Container Store in Lincoln Park to help us help ourselves. Before the brand new baby gets installed, I’ve been on a steadfast mission to declutter. Once I get going, I can’t stop. No closet has been spared, including my beauty drawers. I’ve joined up with the lovely team at Clementine Daily starting this month and am over there dishing on the fruits of my labors in a special beauty themed spring cleaning fest. Time to toss those ancient tubes of sunscreen and the multi-use palettes you’ve been hanging on to since 2008. Or wait, is this just me?

If you’ve yet to discover Clementine, it’s a site for you, me and every girl out there living a sometimes crazy but always inspired life. Written by real women for real women, it’s about the journey not the perfect destination. Hope you love it as much as I do!

More on that beauty drawer refresh, right this way!

  
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I Woke Up Like This

How-To-Bronze

If I had a nickel for every time someone told me I looked tan this past month, I’d have enough to buy a latte. Which is a lot….my office isn’t that big. I always say, “oh, must be from Mexico,” but that was almost two months ago and I used so much SPF I think I got negative sun. I don’t seek out a tan, clearly, but I sure love bronzer. I’m all about the I Woke Up Like This Face, monochromatic edition. After my accidental experiment, I can guarantee these steps will have people spontaneously complimenting you on your tanned complexion. Our little secret, k?

Bronze, generously. I take it a step further than this model and bronze along my hair and jawline as well. The key is to avoid too much shimmer. Might look OK for a second but as the day goes on, it will be party at the disco. Enter the new NARS Matte Multiple in Altai. Using this product wet gives you complete control over the result. Keep the eyes minimal but defined. The light brown matte in ‘Limit’ from the Naked3 Palette in the crease with a smudge of a copper-colored liner – I love SmogIntensify the lash line. I’ve been using It Cosmetics Tightline Mascara Primer …aka WHERE has this product been all of my life…which you apply at the very base of your lashes. I’ve never mastered tightlining (the impossible technique of lining your waterline) so It Cosmetics is genius. Natural lip tint. A balm looks more natural than lipstick or gloss, so a few dabs of Kjaer Weis Lip Tint in Dream State finishes it off flawlessly.

Photo via

  
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Pretty Picks: Cherry Blossoms

CherryBlossom

Two words: patio season. I had dinner outside this weekend and it was glorious. Those first few patio moments after winter make all of the bundling and freezing seem worth it. It’s also prime time for the cherry blossoms. I was bombarded with pictures from DC friends this weekend. That was always one of my favorite parts about living in DC.  Spring in Chicago has its perks, but a view of the cherry blossoms from a paddle boat in the Tidal Basin might trump a patio dinner. Maybe. On to this week’s pretty picks!

Rifle Paper Co. captured the cherry blossoms perfectly with this print. // This DKNY Trench can be worn a handful of different ways, thanks to an optional capelet. // These flats (by Toms!) actually look like they’d be worn by a ballerina. I adore them. // Aerin makes insanely beautiful palettes and this one for face and eyes is at the top of my wish list. // Tarte’s pepperminty lipsurgence pencils now come in a lip gloss. // Cosmetic bag meets clutch…how adorable is this speckled pattern? // Bobbi Brown now makes eyewear and this blush pair of sunnies are so chic. // ILIA multi-stick in Tenderly is the perfect cherry blossom pink hue.

  
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Need to Know: bareSkin Serum

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Swirl, tap, buff is getting a shakeup. As in, shake, drop, buff. Enter bareMinerals new foundation that brings two BE worlds together: minerals and skin care. Did I mention…bareSkin Foundation is a liquid? Did you ever think we’d see the day? Apparently, team BE has been working behind the scenes for quite some time to get this one just right and even designed a new brush to be its sidekick. Consider me tres intrigued by everything bareSkin has to offer: a short ingredient list, lightweight texture and a finish that is both dewy and brightening.  But mostly that brush which has a RESERVOIR in the middle to hold the foundation so it doesn’t drip around the sides before you get to buffing. It’s rolling out everywhere on May 1, but available now on QVC.

  
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Pure on Purpose…GREENBODY

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I’m committed to the point of stubborn so once I made the decision to ditch the chemical deodorants, I was all in. Recall this moment last fall when it all started? I had a really good ride with the Soapwalla deodorant cream. The issue over time was that the sodium bicarbonate (a.k.a. baking soda) irritated my underarms, which was so the pits (you’d take that pun, too…mmmkay.) Never to the point of pain but visibly in a burnt-state. I’ve got a warm weather wardrobe to consider and well, if I want to encourage others to take the nat deo plunge, that look isn’t helping. Plus, applying deodorant with your fingers is an acquired process. Old habits die hard. I’ve had more than a few trials end poorly in recent months so I manage my expectations accordingly. That self-level-setting makes it all the more sweeter when you find something incredible. Which I have…GREENBODY natural deodorant is a diamond in the rough. This is one of those under the radar brands that you probably don’t know about and is led by one seriously passionate woman who just wants to keep us fresh without the chemicals. I’ve been using the sporty version which is handcrafted using nourishing butters, oils and a hint of pine and wintergreen leaves. It blows everything out of the water. Greenbody, which is pure on purpose (adore that message!), also makes a baking soda-free formula for the pH-sensitive. L-O-V-E.

  
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Pretty Picks: Pearls

Pearl-Pretty-Picks

This weekend was all sorts of emotional. That Badgers game. The series finale of How I Met Your Mother. I was able to avoid all spoilers this week but knew there was outrage. I get it now, though I’m still totally conflicted on how I feel about it. This interview helps. I chose this week’s pretty picks in part because pearls make me happy and because I can’t stop thinking about this necklace. Or this ring. Those two pieces are exactly how I want to wear pearl jewelry right now…with just a little bit of edge.

Here’s my other pearly picks!

The BaubleBar pearl collar is out of stock (sadly!) but this Anthropologie version is just as good. // I love the Jouer Lip Enhancer formula and this pearly nude hue is so perfect. Makes for very kissable lips! // Crushed pearl acts as a skin conditioner in Tatcha’s Rice Enzyme Powder. Water activates the formula and turns it into a super rich and exfoliating cleanser. // The highlighter of ALL highlighters…revealed to be the secret to the J.Crew model glow. //  I went to a Clarins spring beauty event a few weeks ago and have been mixing this base in with my tinted moisturizer for a little glow since. // NARS does neutral eyeshadow so well and this opalescent pink is especially pretty and brightening.

  
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Need to Know: Bite Beauty Deconstructed Rose

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Last fall while I was in NY for a hot second, I made a spontaneous trip to the Bite Beauty Lip Lab in Soho only to have my hopes of making my own custom Bite lipstick dashed. It was my own fault for not planning ahead as there were a few lucky gals with appointments ahead of me. So instead I headed to the airport without that tube of rosy pink with a touch of coral that I was going to make. That experience is still on my to do list but Bite just did me one better with its new Deconstructed Rose Lip Gloss Library. A dozen lip glosses inspired by every color you’ll find in a bouquet of red and pink roses. Each color looks prettier than the next and the gloss itself is infused with Rose Otto oil which is super precious and beautifying. And the icing on the cake is this set came out at the exact moment Sephora is holding its spring beauty event….15% off through April 11. Happy Friday, indeed!

  
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Better Bath Time: Jo Malone x Michael Angove

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A better bath time begins with the state of your bathroom. I always seem to enjoy tub time more when my counters are decluttered of makeup (hard to do, admittedly) and a candle is lit. Whether it is 100 square feet or 1000, make the bathroom your oasis. I’m having a sanctuary-in-the-making moment over the new Jo Malone home collection dressed in custom prints by Welsh designer Michael Angove.

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Jo Malone x Michael Angove: Home Candle, Scent Surround Diffuser, Soap Collection

I recently had the treat of breakfast with Michael Angove and the Jo Malone team at Nico. Within a few minutes of meeting the designer extraordinaire, we had a bonding moment over our dogs. His, a sweet Jack Russel named Audrey. Crazy dog people…we’re everywhere around you, and usually I can draw it out within minutes.

Michael Angove is known for his floral and nature wallpaper and textile designs and he put that Chinoiserie-style spin on two classic Jo Malone scents: Orange Blossom and Blackberry & Bay. He explained how his work mimics reality – seed to blossom…think insects hidden into the design just as you would see in nature. It’s like a game, really. Can you spot the praying mantis? For what is worth, I couldn’t until he explicitly pointed out.  I won’t spoil the surprise – it’s exactly the mindless activity you should indulge in while enjoying your ambient lit (and scented!) bath.


P.S. You can even dress your tech with Jo Malone x Michael Angove!

  
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The Shockingly Bright Color to Obsess Over for Spring

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Bold isn’t the right word to describe this stick of color. Shocking is more like it. You’d be right to call NARS Matte Multiple in this crazy bright poppy red color called Siam a challenge to wear, though I see it as an opportunity.

One look at this color and I knew I’d sacrifice the contents of my entire makeup bag in order to pull it off. I want to build everything I wear around this color. And after experimenting with it, I’ll tell you that this color will wear you if you’re not careful.

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The NARS Multiples are among my favorite products, ever — even the shimmery versions. I didn’t think NARS could top themselves but I think they did it with the Matte version. A big difference being you can use them wet to sheer out the color. For Siam, this method is the way to go but you still need to be extremely careful. It goes like this: wet a flat foundation brush, dab the brush on the back of you hand to wipe excess drops, pat ever so slightly (as in barely) on the top of Siam then once over the back of your hand over the excess water and finally on to your cheeks. You’ll know immediately if you’ve done too much and you’ll be best served blending with the side of the brush with no product. Fingers work in a pinch, but it is more difficult to use wet without a brush assist.

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While you need to approach this with major kid gloves for the cheeks you can apply directly to your lips from the tube. It leaves a slight stain behind after the color fades so you don’t need to rush to re-app. And, it’s a statement color so goes best with an otherwise bare face.

Be honest…are you in the challenge or opportunity camp? Would you wear Siam?

  
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Pretty Picks: Chambray Me

PrettyPicks-Chambray

Denim is forever and I hope chambray can be as well. I wear this super soft denim-ish fabric constantly in the spring and summer. It’s been two seasons of nonstop chambray and I have no intentions of stopping there. Madewell does it best with this shirt. This week’s pretty picks are inspired by this uniform, head to toe. Try not to wear at all at once!

My favorite thing in this picture is this LOFT blazer. I saw it on Liz in her Chicago Style Guide and love how she styled it — you could honestly wear it a zillion ways, it’s so versatile. Bring on the white jeans… // Dior’s spring 2014 eye shadow palette, with pale blue and rich cocoa, is inspired by Marie Antoinette and the French Trianon Palace. How very regal. // Deborah Lippmann Blue Orchid is the color of the sky on a sunny day. // A day doesn’t go by without a Twistband of some sort in my hair. Probably a sign I need a haircut. // The Gap has really stepped up their shoe game. Case in point: these Snakeskin Flats. // Speaking on stepping up their game, this Coach Borough Bag in Goldwashed Chambray. It speaks to my compartment-loving soul…THREE zipped sections.

  
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