Tag Archives: Madewell

312 To Do: Shop Madewell + MSD Jan. 28

Madewell 312 Beauty

Grab your chambray and leather totes: there’s a Madewell and Michelle Starbuck party this week! I’m pretty excited to put on my party pants and host a fun evening of shopping at Madewell Rush Street with my favorite Chicago jewelry designer on Thursday, January 28, from 6-8 p.m. Michelle just released her spring line and will be offering 15% off all items during the event. And, Madewell will also be offering 20% off purchases of $125 or more. Oh, and champagne. Always champagne.

No RSVP is required but you can sign up here. Hope to see Chicago friends and faces there.

A few of my favorites from Madewell + MSD:

MSD Ladder Necklace | Perception Studs | Orson Loafer | Cali Demi-Boot Jeans | Binary Bracelet | Continuum Collar Necklace | Transport Rucksack

Sharing is Caring

It’s become a running joke with my boyfriend that I “acquire” his things. There was the t-shirt he bought and “gifted” me (I totally wore it to bed and never returned it) and the scarf he washed while at my house (must have “left” it in the dryer accidentally…nope). There’s also that cozy pair of wool socks I borrowed when mine got wet (may as well bring them home and wash them…mine now). I may have pushed the “what’s mine is yours” thing quite literally in our relationship but I’m down to share, too.

Boyfriend Inspired

I welcome smelling like a dude as long as that smell is Molton Brown Tobacco Absolute. The scent sticks around so I usually skip the perfume days I use in the shower.

One of the passions I share with my boyfriend is live music. A great way to preserve the memory of an awesome night is a stop at the merch table. I love wearing his band tees. Tame Impala’s are some of the sickest.

Have you heard of MeUndies? It’s like an underwear of the month club. My boyfriend subscribed over the summer and I was excited to see they also had women’s styles. They are ridiculously soft.

Davines This is An Invisible Serum is intended to be used as a smoothing and styling serum for men or women. It manages to tame hair and give it some texture but doesn’t leave behind a greasy or waxy feeling. Any time I hear a man complaining about hair product, I mention this. Everyone loves it.

I got the Clarisonic Alpha Fit for my boyfriend for Christmas this year. I think he likes it; the Clarisonic was completely new to him! Happy to see they came out with a version for women, too. The main difference is the brush and the timing settings – the Alpha has a longer cycle for beards.

Osmia Black Clay Facial Soap is the perfect unisex soap. I sometimes lather it on my face and then let the Clarisonic do its thing. The coconut milk in the formula makes for an awesome and unexpected lather.

Much of Kiehl’s skincare flexes for sexes. One product to be appreciated by all – especially in the dead of winter – is the Intensive Treatment and Moisturizer for calluses and dry skin.

I’ve tried shopping in the men’s department for flannels but something about the fit is always off. My go to for that longer and oversized – but still feminine – look is Madewell’s ex-boyfriend shirts. I have them in a few different styles and hope they never discontinue the fit.

Anyone else into that whole sharing is caring model?!

My Favorite Locally Made Jewelry

Michelle Starbuck Holiday 2015

Did someone say favorite things? If only you could hear my bellowing Oprah voice building right now.

Chances are your inbox is filling up with deals upon deals. It’s overwhelming isn’t it? Madewell already got me good earlier this week and I also did a mini holiday spree this past weekend at Show of Hands. Michelle Starbuck had a booth at the Show and used the show as a time to launch her holiday collection before it went online. I basically want every piece. I say that every season but it’s always true. Holiday is extra special. She found these charming vintage box clasps and created a bracelet around them, aren’t they sweet? There’s also the clear quartz druzy which may be draped around my neck indefinitely. Oh, and earrings upon earrings upon earrings.

Michelle Starbuck Vintage Bracelet

Michelle Starbuck jewelry is one of my very favorite things and the maker is as kind as she is talented.

This year, MSD is participating in the Good Karma sale, a chance for owners big and small to consciously redefine their relationship to the holidays. To give more purpose to the frenzy that is Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, she’s offering 25% off everything with code GOODKARMA and donating 10% of sales from 11/27 – 11/30 to the Chicago Women’s Health Center.

I can’t help but think of this story my boyfriend told me last week. He was walking downtown on one of our colder days so far and saw a homeless man eating something in an alley. The man started tossing some of the food to a pigeon in the alley. It’s funny how that man, with likely little to no possessions, no home and probably a grumbling belly shared food with a pigeon. It’s because he knew what it was like to be hungry and didn’t want the pigeon to experience that either. Sometimes, the people with the least give the most. Regardless if this sentiment is a universal truth, I see it in as the spirit of the Good Karma sale.

Check out more of 312 Beauty Favorite Things this holiday here.

Summertime is ______

312 Beauty Toronto

Let’s do this one together. Summer is_______.

I could finish that sentence in so many ways.

Summer is spontaneous. I took the long way home from work earlier this week (from my company’s office in Toronto!) around Queen’s Park and through the surrounding neighborhoods. Everything about the evening was perfect – the sun was bright as it was setting, the air breezy and calm, the architecture rustic and filled with character for blocks.

EcoTools Volume Brush

Summer is easy. I’ve been getting ready in about 15 minutes flat (and sleeping for an extra 40 min, yay!) I wake up so much more refreshed in the summer. My shorter hair is a breeze to manage as long as I don’t go to bed with it wet (cowlick city). I wash in the evenings and do a quick blowout with the EcoTools Full Volume Styler. My hair dries fast as is but this brush cuts it back by another minute. It’s vented throughout – I love the design! Technology, man.  This brush is technically made for long hair but it does wonderful voluminous tricks for short hair when you use it with the blow dryer. I’m usually bedhead styled in the mornings, so tote along VERB Dry Shampoo for later. There’s not much this Madewell et Sezane tote doesn’t fit. It was a birthday present I gave myself!

312 Beauty Toronto

Summer is fleeting. I appreciate every sunny day for the gift it is! Say yes to a drink after work, take a walk, breathe in the air and just look around.

Summer is GOOD. No time like the weekend to be reminded of that!

How would you finish that sentence?

This post was sponsored by EcoTools. All opinions and tips are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support 312 Beauty.

312 To Do: Me, Michelle + Madewell on March 18

312 Beauty Madewell Chicago

This week, I’ve heard birds chirping, wore sunglasses in the 6pm hour and exposed a few limbs. I also ate pizza for approximately five meals in a row, but that’s beside the point. (But aren’t you curious if that means breakfast, too?!) Spring is so on. Are you ready to get down with it as much as I am?Madewell Michelle Starbuck

If so, come join me and local jewelry boss Michelle Starbuck for a special event at Madewell on Rush Street on March 18 from 6-8 p.m. It’s going to be spring on spring on spring with a side of spring. I’ll be styling Madewell’s new wares (so.many.great.tees!!) with Michelle’s spring collection. There will be a special discount, something fizzy to drink, sweets to eat and smiles from me. Drop me a comment or tweet if you can come.

Hope to see you there!

Grey by Choice


Color has a time and a place in my life. Hint: it’s almost never my wardrobe. I style myself to a grey existence with the occasional touch of white, black, beige and blue. This is most evident in the cooler months. The more grey layers, the less purple I am. I’m not kidding. My hands and feet take on a blue hue as soon as the temps drop below 50. I asked my Doctor if I needed to be concerned about my circulation and she said I should wear gloves as early as I need to and wear multiple pairs of socks. That was actually the official Rx. It works, for the most part. But I try to keep my greys and pre-winter style a little more fab.

Zara Sweater – There are so many cozy and chic grey knits this season at Zara—real thrilling stuff. I love this one with the slits and how it’s paired with a skirt. There is a match for sweaters like these beyond just leggings. Though, that is a fan fav. // Alima Pure After Hours – The smoky eye returns! I’m hooked on Alima’s Fall ‘By Night’ shimmer eyeshadows. This charcoal is as good as it gets with just a hint of gold to make it interesting. Apply it wet and watch yourself go from ordinary to sexy morning after face (though I never condone this…just replicating!)  NARS Lhasa – For a less smoky grey, I reach for this lavender-ish shadow. I find it takes on a different tone depending on the person. // Kjaer Weis Radiance – I started using this silver-tinged luminizer in the summer and it has made the transition to fall swimmingly. I’m not far off from a refill, which in Kjaer Weis world means I can reuse the compact and just buy (and save) on a refill pan. // Madewell Ava Heel – My god, these heels are hot. I know my feet are about to be locked in boots (and two pairs of socks) here real soon but these need to happen. I’ll pair them with skinnies and a big old grey sweater!

Looking Good in Dem Jeans



Jeans are the barometer for how we feel about our weight. Don’t you agree? I have skinny jeans – the attainable pair that acts as a benchmark. And there’s the skinny jeans that make me feel thin no matter my weight. Those are the best.  I really should just ditch the skinny skinnies but there’s something in my subconscious that keeps me hanging on with every closet purge. When they fit, I feel unstoppable and that’s a feeling that I’m not willing to donate to the Salvation Army.

Channeling that awesome feeling this week with some picks that go well with denim.

Madewell – First, about dem jeans. Those skinny no matter what jeans I wear are the High Risers. They are beyond slimming and never stretch out. Madewell says they do life altering things for the rearview and I ain’t mad at that claim. // Snakeskin Sneaks – These go great with denim – cutoff or full leg. // Lashes – My mom bought me the L’Oreal Butterfly mascara for my birthday and it’s knocked off the Falsies as my favorite drugstore mascara. The wand is angled and thicker on one side so lashes in your outer corner get crazy long and plumped up. // Denim Dress – Hello, fall uniform. // Lipstick QueenJean Queen – For 20 years, Poppy King was asked what’s the perfect shade to wear with jeans so she finally created one. It’s a universally flattering pink that lights up your face and offsets the blue in the fabric. // Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish – This replicates a professional blowout with just a few spritzes and tousles of the hair. A good hair day is the perfect complement to jeans. // Michelle Starbuck Chain Bracelet – I am outfitted heavily with Michelle’s vintage brass, denim or otherwise. // RMS Beauty Eye PolishI typically keep the blues to my jeans, but I need to try this silvery blue cream shadow from RMS.

The Birkenstocks Revival


Birkenstocks are back and now that I’ve got my feet in a pair I’m concerned I may never wear another shoe again. It’s like a cozy cocoon for my feet and I’m just wondering who I have to thank for these being “fashionable” again. I completely get why some people stayed in their Birks since 1994. There really is a better way. Consider me a convert (for now). As my friend Lindsay joked, is this a slippery slope to the land of tangled hair and no makeup for me? Hardly, though the Birkenstocks revival is inspiring a whole new wave of simplified summertime living for me.

Nourish Fig Deodorant. I’ve long gone natural with my deo and Nourish is the one I always go back to. I need reliable in the summer months. // Fez Body Serum. Patchouli and Birks, what can I say, they just go together. But there’s more to this body serum than a stereotype – there’s rose, orange blossom layered with vetiver, ylang-ylang and hints of cumin and clove. Please make this into a perfume, Kahina! //  S.W. Basics Toner. I discovered this apple cider vinegar toner last summer and it balanced my skin and prevented breakouts like a champ. It’s back in action again, morning and night on a clean face. // Madewell Piazza Maxi Dress. The great thing about Birks is they go with everything.  Shorts, jeans and especially flowy dresses. I love this in red and white. // Birkenstocks. I went with the Gizeh Birko-Flor in Golden Brown. On my foot, I thought this fit was the most flattering. A requisite for wearing these non-stop: a great pedi color. // Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Castile Soap. This is the soap equivalent of Birkenstocks. The question is: what can’t you wash with Dr. Bronner’s? The rose is my favorite. //  Meow Meow Tweet Tweet Camper’s Kit. Mosquitoes are enemy number one in summer. For a night out on the lake, bring reinforcements. MMTT’s Insect Repellent doubles as a perfume. For real…not just when you’re wearing Birks. // One Love Organics Healthy Locks Dry Shampoo. The longer I go between washes, the better my hair looks. The key is a great dry shampoo and powder formulas are the best.

Destination Palm Springs


I’m off to a desert adventure this week! It will be my first trip to Palm Springs and I’m pretty happy to be making it with the Clementine Daily ladies. This whole desert heat thing is always a foreign feeling to my body. I’m not quite sure what 112 degrees will feel like but I imagine it will be an outdoor sauna. Lack of humidity = better hair days, yes? I’m packing light for this one.

Every summer vacay needs at least one beach read. I joined in on Birchbox’s virtual book club and The Vacationers is first up. // I’ve been wearing Target’s mix and match bathing suits for years. I like this sporty navy combo. // On me, this Anthropologie Shibori Maxi Dress drapes past my toes. It’s a light and flowy stunner with a lower back cutout that hits at a very flattering area. // Yes, these Madewell sandals again. I wear them with everything! // A new Fresh Sugar! The bright pink Tulip is perfect for summer. // I actually have about three different forms of SPF packed. For my body, it’s the natural Yes to Cucumbers. // I love the pattern on this floral tunic. The gauzy texture makes for the perfect beach cover up and it looks pretty good with skinny jeans, too (for cool Chicago nights, that is!)

Black & White


You know what goes really great with a bright lip or nail polish? Black and white. White jeans are awesome. Black dresses on repeat. It’s my favorite duo always but especially in the summer. After all, these two are responsible for grey, which dominates my closet more than it should. I mean…stop me if I buy another grey tee. This week’s dose of pretty is inspired by this statement palette.

This Madewell Tunic with these striped sandals are perfection. I’ll be checking them out at Sam’s Madewell shopping party coming up in June. // I’m eagerly awaiting the launch of Benefit’s They’re Real Push-Up Liner…gel in pen form. Cool, right? // Essie Blanc = classic. // A few pinches of Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder teased into hair gives crazy easy volume. // I discovered the Shamanuti Activated Charcoal Cleanser in the Birchbox FEED Box and find it to be really effective at getting all of the grit and makeup off my face. // I’m beyond curious to try the OCC Color Correcting Lip Balm Duo. The white side primes and slightly lightens your natural lip shade while the black defines (without adding color). // Yes, you do want to smell like an Olsen. MK and Ash’s foray into fragrance via the Elizabeth and James line is incredible. Nirvana Black and Nirvana White can be worn separately but are somehow better together. How very twin.

Pretty Picks: Holiday Sales

How was everyone’s holiday? I’ve been in Wisconsin where it was a very white Christmas. Everything is still soft and fluffy which is a nice change from city snow. I’m enjoying time with the family and extra snuggles with my pup. All with a healthy dose of online browsing (because I just can’t help myself!) Here’s what I’m eyeing up!


Anthropologie is having a killer sale — 25% extra off sale items. Which means these gold monogram mugs are $6. I love this mug and also gave it as a hostess gift and to my mother-in-law. Also, there’s several Deborah Lippmann glitter nail polishes for under $10, including the most perfect emerald and gold polish (perfectly named ‘Shake Your Money Maker’)

Through January 1, Madewell is extra 40% off sale. I adore this iPhone case (translated: well done!)

This Marc Jacobs Luminizing Powder is lovely and more than half off of its original price. Sephora has an extra 20% off sale items as well. I’m also eyeing up this nail polish trio.

It was a Gap cozy scarf holiday in my house. I gifted several and was treated to a few myself. They are so warm and soft. Now I’m eyeing up this blue buffalo plaid, which is an additional 30% off the marked down price through December 30.

How lovely is this jeweled striped top from J. Crew? It’s an extra 40% off meaning it is mine.mine.mine!

December: The List… ShopStyle Edition


Sparkle! Fur! Glitter! And more glitter and sparkle, please. That, my friends, is how this next month is going to go down. Rather than just tell you, I teamed with ShopStyle to also show you. The December List is inspired by ShopStyle’s latest print ad campaign. My modeling debut? Hardly…but it was fun! Let’s discuss my style priorities for December.

Sequins. I’m sure there are studies out there that show how wearing sparkle improves your mood. Whenever I wear this skirt I’m always more cheery. I picked it up at Old Navy this fall. I saw it once and never again – online or in store. I’m so happy I acted fast. The gold top on the upper right is from J. Crew a few years ago. Season after season, it’s still one of my most beloved tops.

Cozy knits and skinny jeans. Thick infinity scarves, like this one from Old Navy, are a staple around my neck. I’m also tempted to get this Madewell sweater in every color. It’s so warm, easy to layer with and the suede elbow patches are the cutest. You will also find me wearing the Gap Legging Jeans pretty much every day. I have them in several colors and the ankle version is the perfect length for my short frame.


Neutral accessories. I like my holiday ice and accessories to be on the neutral side. My husband bought me this mini Rebecca Minkoff tote for our anniversary (I know…he’s a keeper) and it allows me to carry a surprisingly large amount of stuff. Also, these fur-laced Stephanie Johnson makeup bags double as clutches. I’m especially obsessing over this one — love the gold tassels!  I wear this BaubleBar necklace every other day—one of my favorite purchases all year!— and am loving the Kate Spade-esque bracelet that came with the Tarte “Off the Cuff” Blush Palette. It sold out everywhere, so if you find it, do not hesitate.

Flawless skin. Nicky Kinniard gave me a sample of the Cane & Austin glycolic treatment pads and they are a lifesaver, especially when my skin is taking hit after hit. Between hardly any sleep, more wine than usual and holiday cookies, these will be a critical step in my nightly routine.

Big hair. No time like the holidays to make you want to backcomb your hair. I just discovered the miracle that is Oscar Blandi Dry Teasing Dust. If I’m tying it back, I’ll be doing so with these sparkly ties from Kitsch.

Red lips, sparkly tips. Butter LONDON released sparkly “overcoat” nail polishes for holiday that you layer over your existing polish. Stardust makes everything look holographic. Red lips are so festive and I’ll wear that more days than not this month. But a girl needs options, which is why the Tarte 8-piece mini Lipsurgence set is so perfect.

Note: This post is sponsored by ShopStyle and POPSUGAR Select.

P.S. Take a peek at the actual ShopStyle ads if you haven’t yet!

The List: October 2013


I think we’re all pretty jazzed that it’s October. I’ve seen this quote from the Anne of Green Gables author no fewer than a dozen times this week in my Instagram and Pinterest feeds. October is pretty magical, though. What’s not to love about the first real chill of fall and leaves changing colors? Here’s everything I’m loving for the month ahead!

Feminine fragrance. Once September wraps, it’s time to retire my summer scent. I’ve been looking for an ultra-feminine fragrance for fall, in part to balance out the “boyfriend” style wardrobe I love in the fall. Oversized everything is just so cozy! When I was previewing the new beauty floor at Macy’s a few weeks ago, I spritzed on the new Estee Lauder Modern Muse. The ladies at the counter explained to me how there are two different scent profiles that you may pick up, depending on your body chemistry. There’s the woodsy vanilla and amber musk side or jasmine and dewy citrus. The jasmine hit me right away and I’ve been wearing it every day since.

Glittery nails. I’m obsessed with the butter LONDON “Rock Your Colour” glitters for fall, especially Indigo Punk and the rust-colored Brown Sugar. Just look at this color! When the sun hits them, they glisten like crazy.

Balms, butters and more balms. With the cooler temps, I’m all in with balms. After a steamy bath, I slather my entire body in them. Ellovi Butter, rich in coconut, macadamia, marula, hemp and shea (those are the only five ingredients!), melts into skin like, well…butter. It’s not heavy at all, making it the perfect October balm. I’ve started to test the Tammy Fender Intensive Repair Balm and so far, it lives up to all the praise it has earned. And I’ve discovered the perfect alternative to Aquaphor with CV SkinLabs Restorative Balm. It’s packed with anti-histamine, -oxidants and -inflammatories so it actually heals and soothes!

Cherry lips. Just a tint of red is what you’ll get from Fresh Sugar Cherry. Add a messy bun and a chambray shirt and it’s like you walked out of a J. Crew catalog.

Exfoliation. My cleansing ritual is getting a major upgrade this month. I’ve started to use May Lindstrom The Clean Dirt, a blend of cleansing clays, spices and salts that you blend with water to activate. It’s like microderm at home but your skin is soft and plump afterward instead of “scrubbed.”

Boy shirts. I love men’s flannel shirts and am counting down the days until I can wear them on the regular. The more fem version from Madewell is majorly inspiring me. And, I spy a budget version of that skirt at Target. How cute would this outfit be with tights and boots?

Jean-ius: Madewell x Drybar


Madewell is definitively answering the number one question that we all have when it comes to denim: does my butt look good in these jeans? I was all “challenge accepted” when I saw Madewell pitching its new denim as doing “life-altering things to the rearview.”  I practically live in jeans but have constant angst about fit. My issue is more backside containment than anything.


I headed over to the Rush St. store to see what was up.  It was very telling when I walked in and saw nearly every girl working there wearing the same pair of jeans and wearing them well. I had to start there, with the High Riser Skinny Skinny Ankle Jeans in Onyx. This fit, one of the 4 signature styles, is in-freaking-credible. Rises high in the back but the pockets hit exactly where they should and the length is ideal for a shorter frame (though, Madewell does offer complimentary hemming). The sizing runs about 1-2 sizes below what you’d normally wear, which only adds to the positive fitting room experience! No bagging at the knees or stretching throughout the day, all thanks to a special “snap-back” fabric. And, yes, your butt will look better than good in these jeans.


I love the Onyx wash, an in-between black/grey with a little edge

As another added bonus, Madewell and Drybar – which is finally opening in Chicago this fall – are teaming up: get a blowout at Drybar and snag $25 off a purchase of $75+ at Madewell or buy a pair of jeans at Madewell at get a coupon for 20% off a blowout. Jean-ius.  Howevs, since we’re Drybar-less for now in Chicago, you’ll instead snag a mini Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo. It’s all going down through September 15.

My future denim wardrobe:

Make Up For Ever Make Up Bag Remix Recap


The Make Up For Ever Make Up Bag Remix tour stopped in Chicago this past weekend, setting up shop at the Old Orchard mall in Skokie. This was the perfect excuse to get my makeup done and hit up Madewell and J. Crew at the same time. I packed up my makeup bag with some everyday staples, spring pinks and the new Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Foundation that I’ve been testing for the past few weeks.


Talking Aqua Creams. That’s shade #2 in Melissa’s hand.

The Remix tour offers a bit of everything — master a bold lip, perfect a barely-there look or just figure out just learn how to make your makeup bag work harder for you.  My mission? Do something a little exciting with the eyes, using grey, not black, and pair it with a bright pink lip. Melissa, a NY-based Make Up For Ever artist, gave me some great tips and a pretty killer look. She used a lot of my own makeup, too. For the eyes, she used several different Aqua Liners, in shades of grey and silver on the bottom lash line and this Diamond Powder in the inner corners to brighten it all up.

Never one to keep a good beauty tip to myself, Melissa taught me when using the Aqua Cream, or any cream shadow, to use two brushes. One that’s firm and flat to place the color on the lid and the other that’s dense and fluffier to blend it out.  I also was looking for tips to using the Pro Finish Foundation, which is billed as a wet or dry formula. Up until this point, I’d been dusting it on dry over my tinted moisturizer. You could say I was tentative to experiment but now I prefer using it wet! The key is to douse the bristles of a kabuki brush (I use this one), ring them out so the brush is fully damp (but not dripping) and sweep it in a round motion over the pan and buff onto the skin in a circular motion. You would think the coverage would be heavy and perhaps even cakey, but it’s weightless –no powdery feeling whatsoever!

After Remix-ing it with the Make Up For Ever folks, I took in some Old Orchard shopping and found the perfect chambray shirt at Madewell, naturally. Also – I no longer have to venture out to the burbs for a chambray fix,  Madewell is officially open downtown as of last week!