Last night’s full moon was hypnotizing. I caught myself gazing with a purpose up into the sky. In fact, my entire day felt purposeful. I’d been procrastinating on a few things and felt stuck on a few ideas. It happens, especially when the days are crowded with meetings, calls and chatter. But today I broke through. Today, of all days. With that full bright moon looming. Coincidence? Probably not. This moon lights up for Virgo and is said to stimulate intellectual curiosity. In fact, this is the week to bust through what MindBodyGreen so aptly calls “analysis paralysis.” Your better believe I believe it. It’s not about checking off to-dos, though that may happen as a byproduct, but looking for inspiration and turning it into something real. I’m down. You down?
In addition to stewing on ideas to the point of analysis-paralysis, I’ve been doing some traveling these past few weeks. Never without the smartest travel jewelry case, ever, and my beloved Stephanie Johnson makeup bag. She just knows how to make traveling streamlined and chic. I’m excited to be over on the SJ Traveler blog talking about how I pack up my Fiona Dome. It’s the shape of a half-moon (how fitting) and accommodates enough to even appeal to the constant overpacker. Right this wayto peep what’s in my SJ.
All it takes is one crystal ear cuff to change how you’ve parted your hair for the better part of a decade. I’m totally on board with this ear accessory, despite that isolated incident where it was mistaken as a Bluetooth. Do people still wear those? As soon as this winged cuff came back in stock at BaubleBar, I snatched it up. I wasn’t totally sure I could pull it off but that usually doesn’t stop me from trying. Dare I say, I’m now hooked?
For the sake of showing it off, I’ve even moved my part way left which is probably the most drastic thing I’ve done to my hair in years. Even a daintier version like the one seen here, would look incredible with a messy updo look. While I love how it looks paired with this tunic (snagged on incredible post-holiday sale!), I think it looks just as good with a plain grey tee. It has a way of dressing everything up with a little edge. Also, I’ve been trying out the new MAC Huggable Lipsticks and really like them. The colors are beautiful on and they have a glossy balm finish. I’m wearing the plummy Commotion here.
I’d all but given up on setting powder. It seemed as if all of my foundations and base products were holding up just fine on their own. Why bother with an extra step? Honestly, it was all feeling very 2010 anyway. But then, the internet got to me. Everyone started raving about RMS Beauty “Un” Powder and so I added it to my list. You know the one, right? The list of beauty items to try/buy/pine for…it’s a looooong list that exists in my head and sometimes on paper. I was at Arch Apothecary a few weeks ago getting my makeup did and they carry RMS now, so we tried it out. My makeup never looked so flawless. It didn’t cover anything or take away any of the glow we worked so hard to create — it just gave me a polish that I didn’t even know I was missing. It’s so simple: 100% pure silica. That’s it! Now, that one step I wanted to cut is the one that matters most. It comes with a cute little powder puff, but it’s best when you press it on with a tiny fluffy brush. Think of it as a magic eraser…for your face.
Today’s gift guide goes out to all of my fellow bag ladies. Which is every female reading this, right? We’re so easy to shop for. I’m bag lady central. Or, as I pronounce it, begs. The Wisconsin in me really comes out when I say the word. While this gift guide could have gone on for days, I edited myself and pulled together what I think is a supremely awesome set of bags that would make someone very happy this holiday.
Here’s what you need to know.
The holidays translate to amazing value sets in the beauty world. Take this Guy Bourdain x NARS Larger than Life eyeliner set. Or the MAC “Stroke of Midnight” gift sets which come with some of the best bags I’ve seen from the brand in years. Love the nylon black and white with gold piping. Bonus? The mineralize brushes that come with this setare stellar.
I can practically feel the butter soft suede and leather on this midnight blue and gold Baggu envelope clutch. I want to put my things in there, badly.
Just add red lipstick to this Jouer “It” bagand you have a truly chic gift.
Butter Londonhad me with the quilted patent bag but really lured me in with four of their best polishes (Yummy Mummy!) all for under $40. This is one of my top picks for the season!
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!
I’ve really come to terms with the fact that I am an overpacker. I’m almost better off if I’m flying somewhere since I avoid checking bags at all costs. But a weekend trip to Wisconsin? I’m bag lady central. And within those bags? More bags. Sometimes of the plastic zippie variety. No more, friends. Stephanie Johnson is saving me from myself. Her MARLIEN Round Jewel Case is perfect for bringing two (or 10) necklaces to wherever your travels take you.
There’s a ring roll, tiny pockets for earrings and a silk drawstring pouch that holds an unbelievable amount of jewels. So much so that I have never reached my max. And I’ve made several attempts. How does it hold so much and stay so tiny?! Really, can YOU resist those BaubleBar email blasts? This tortoise crystal necklace somehow made its way into my shopping cart today and I think my mailman knows exactly what a Buried Bauble is thanks to me.
I’m still all about a pink lip for spring. Especially now that spring is real! Finally, I tucked my wool coat in the closet until next season. Since we last discussed, I’ve weaved in a few more shades of pink to the lip color rotation. A mix of gloss and lipstick, and lots of layering of the two. Here’s the line-up, tucked in my Stephanie Johnson Malibu lemon pouch!
Discovering a new brand is always fun, and I’ve been enjoying the getting to know Manna Kadar Cosmetics. Especially MKC’s Lipstick in Savoir Faire, a neutral rose that goes with all. This color is exactly what I wanted the famed NARS Dolce Vita to be on my lips, but that turned brown on me. I need a pink undertone otherwise my lips translate rose shades into an unflattering muddy color. MKC’s formula is extra creamy and a swipe saturates my lips for hours.
MAC launched a new Mineralize Lipstick, with a fancy new bullet and packaging. There are a handful of pretty neutral colors, but my favorite is Grande Dame. It’s classic rosy pink — not too bright and not too subtle. The kind of color that brightens everything up instantly. It has just the right amount of shine for a lipstick. These are totally worth a visit to the MAC counter.
Tarte Maracuja Divine Shine Lip Gloss wins for most spring-like packaging. There’s something that just feels right when clicking a floral-adorned tube of gloss onto lips in May. The shade Amused is extra bubblegum in the tube but a little less so on the lips. The cool blast of peppermint you feel on lips is a bonus.
The original Jouer Lip Enhancer is a nightstand staple, and the Tinted version in Cosmo is the daytime equiv. Just like the original, it’s intensely hydrating, plumping and smells slightly of roses. The soft cool pink doesn’t impart too much color on its own but can be easily amped up by layering over a lipstick. I reapply this constantly throughout the day for extra moisture!
If I manage to go one more day wearing tall boots, sweaters and a chunky infinity scarf, I might go crazy. I’m even tired of my men’s flannel shirts, which really got me all through December and January. Winter style rut, I’m done with you. While we’re talking spring beauty this week (see previous rosy pink inspiration!) we really need to cover off on this blazer that I plan to wear the heck out of this season and the travel makeup bag that is just begging for a spring getaway. I think they go rather well together, no?
Stephanie Johnson makes the most stylish and functional travel accessories. After I splurged on her ML Traveler Bag years ago, I think I’ve brought it along on nearly every trip I’ve taken since (as evidenced here). I rarely travel without a little SJ – the MINI pouch lives in my purse currently and I often carry the Large Flat pouch as a clutch. But I’ve met my Stephanie Johnson match. The Jenny Train Case in the new for spring Charleston print is serious business. It’s actually a favorite of Stephanie herself, and I see why.
There’s room for makeup, toiletries and then some. Over-packers need not fret. Makeup lovers need to get to know. I love how it maintains its shape no matter how little or much you pack in there. The textured print and patent trim has me excited to add a little bit of color to my striped Old Navy blazer (seriously snatch this up if you see it in store!) While I love it with a classic denim boyfriend jean, I’ve got aspirations to pair this with every color jean in my closet — yellow, mint, lilac, white (of course) — I plan to rock it all.
note: editorial sample of the Jenny Train Case was provided by the brand for consideration
When you live in the Midwest, it is practically a medical necessity to travel south to a warmer climate for even a few days. By mid-February, I’m usually at my breaking point with winter. This year, my husband and I are seeking refuge in Miami. Per usual, my vacation makeup bag is packed to the brim. Here’s a peek at what I brought!