Friday, March 30, 2012

Always Buzzin' Just Like

I know neon is a huge trend right now but I hesitate when it comes to actually wearing it. Maybe that's why I'm so draw to the neon jewelry buzzing around for spring. Check out the bright, cheery selection...

3. Juicy Couture Neon Starter Necklace
5. ASOS Pyramid Stone Drop Earrings
6. Juicy Couture Neon Starter Bracelet
7. BaubleBar Tribal Mosaic Necklace
8. Shourouk E. Vegas Crystal and Sequin Earrings
9. Kate Spade Baublebox Bib Necklace
10. ASOS Neon Clip Earrings
11.Yellow Neon Crystal Bracelets
12. nOir "Jaipur" Neon Pink and Silver Crystal Cord Oval Earrings
13. Charm and Chain Sequin Thin Neon Enamel Bracelets

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Outfit Post: Freshly Minted

{Zara dress / BCBG heels (similar here and here) and ring / H&M belt / J. Crew bracelets / F21 earrings}

This dress just seemed so springy and fresh when I saw it on the rack that I had to have it. Plus, it covered two trends I wanted to try this season, mint and lace. My rule with trends is if I can see myself wearing the item when the craze has died down then I can spend a little on it. If it's a one-season thing I try to find it at a more inexpensive price. I plan to wear this sweet little frock to a casual wedding we have in May and I love that it can be work-appropriate with a crisp, white blazer.

Gold accessories are my favorite pairing for mint but I can't wait to try a big burst of poppy (like the color of my bracelet), too.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Product Review: Lumene Vitamin C Day Cream

You all know I love natural products but when I ran out of my Naked Bee moisturizer about one month ago and couldn't find it locally, I switched back to my old standby moisturizer that is not naturally derived. I'd never had issues with this lotion before but all of a sudden it made my skin dull and I began breaking out. Humph. I went in search of a better, natural alternative. I'd heard great things about Lumene - it even contains Vitamin C like my favorite from Naked Bee - so I snatched a jar up and put it to the test.

The Claim: "Natural radiance & detox for brighter skin! Fresh cream gives your skin radiance while protecting it against the harmful effects of the sun. Optimal UVA protection."

The Good: First of all, I love that the company behind this product, LUMENE OY of Finland, is a holistic beauty-focused company. This particular product is free of parabens and synthetic coloring. It smells wonderful and just a tiny bit covers your whole face and neck. The cream contains the nectar of a Finnish plant called the Arctic Cloudberry which contains antioxidants and protects skin from external toxins while it brightens. I have seen my skin become brighter while using this moisturizer and it doesn't leave my combination skin oily. I'd been looking for a cream with antioxidants and Vitamin C (to protect against city pollution and repair skin damage) and anti-aging ingredients for some time now and I really like this one.

The Bad: The only issue I have with this is the presence of the SPF does change the feel of the product a bit. I hate the chalky feeling of SPF and I feel as though I can always detect it even if the moisturizer it's in claims to be extra smooth and creamy. Most people won't notice this at all though, and the benefit of sun protection is worth the small annoyance. You can even buy the products sans SPF.

The Verdict: Loving it so far and can't wait to see the differences in my skin when I reach the bottom of the jar.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Outfit: Tuxedo

{Necessary Clothing blazer (similar here and here) / American Apparel tee / AE jeans (similar) / BCBG heels (old)/ necklace from local boutique (similar here and here)/ vintage earrings / F21 ring / Bracelet from Walker Art Museum}

This jacket is one of my favorite finds of the last few months, hands down. I've been looking for an affordable tuxedo jacket for the longest time and when I spotted this one at a store in an NYC store called Necessary Clothing (think similar to a Forever 21- if you visit NYC and love a bargain t's a must-go).

The jacket fits like a dream and I love that it hits just above my hips. I highly recommend a tux jacket if you need something in your wardrobe to dress up your plain old jeans and tees. Add a statement necklace and you can go from office to dinner to drinks.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fashion OCD: Ripped Jeans

I have always had a thing for ripped jeans. There is something so casual-rocker-cool about them. I especially love when they are combined with dressier pieces like pointed pumps and blazers. Expect to see them everywhere soon. I know what you're thinking "uhh I wore those in high school" yea I know. So did I. But back then they were probably flares and now we've gotta upgrade to skinnys. What goes around in fashion comes back around - it's enough to make a girl a clothes hoarder.

all images via Pinterest

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Feature: Work it Out

In an effort to write about things I am truly passionate about, I am thinking about dedicating two Fridays per month (when I don't have a recipe or other pressing posts) to things that are on my brain not necessarily related to fashion and beauty - though that stuff will pop up, too. I hope some of them will be useful and I hope you'll comment when you feel like it and join in the discussion. This is all in an effort to give you useful stuff to read. Don't worry you'll still get lots of pretty/sparkly stuff, too.

Moving right along. This week is about exercise (don't run away!)

I found out a few months back that it's important to set goals when it comes to working out and eating healthy. Seems obvious, but it took me a while to discover where my motivation could come from. You have to find that thing that will keep you going no matter what; me, I like to feel strong - not body-builder strong but toned and fit. So, I set a goal for myself to get stronger. Sure, I'd love to be skinnier and all that jazz but really, it's feeling strong that makes me happy. I do yoga because it keeps me long and lean and builds muscle but I needed a workout for non-yoga days.

Most women (myself included) can run on the treadmill every day and see very little change in their bodies.Strength training is a must for toning and slimming (and getting a great butt). I've read this in countless magazines and on health web sites galore. Muscle replaces fat; strength training builds muscle. However, I always struggled to figure out a circuit and how to incorporate it.

Last month in Glamour Magazine there was an article about how to get a body like Lady Gaga's. Normally I skip over workouts printed in magazines - they always seem so hard to follow - but this one looked doable. For all her crazy, Gaga does have a phenom body and bikini season is looming so I decided to give the workout a go.

I tore out the page and took it with me to the gym. I'm on my third week with it now and the changes are pretty fantastic: legs have shrunk, belly is firmer, arms are tighter. The best thing about this workout is that it is completely doable regardless of your fitness level and it only takes about 25-30 minutes! I wanted to share it with you as my Friday Feature. 

I'd love to hear if you try it out. I was soooo sore my first couple of times doing the circuit but it is paying off!

What do you think about the Friday Features idea? Is it cool? Is it lame? Should I stick to just fashion, beauty, and recipes? Let me know!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Outfit: Fresh

{Necessary Clothing blouse / Target jeans / Payless wedges / F21 ring / unknown earrings and sunglasses}

I knew this blouse was coming home with me the first second I saw it. It just seemed so fresh and bright and the contrasting black gave it the right amount of edge to fit perfectly into my style. I know everyone is going crazy for mint green - I love it, too - but this candy apple green just shot to the top of my color list. I'm sure I'll be wearing this blouse all spring. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Product Review: Josie Maran Magic Marker Lip & Cheek Stain

You may know by now that I use Josie Maran's Argan Oil on my face and that I love it. You may also know that I've been trying to gather up an arsenal of vibrant (but light) lip colors for the summer months. I'm already in love with these lip butters and now I get to add another Josie Maran product to my must-have list.

The Claim: "This product adds the ultimate baby-doll pop of color to lips and cheeks. Its versatile formula has a blend of hyaluronic acid and sugar extracts to smooth and plump lips for a truly sexy pout."

The Good: I started using lip stains last summer and I love them because they are super long-lasting and lighter weight than lipsticks. However, they are often quite drying when used on their own - that's why I love this product - it has a built in balm at the opposite end of the marker. The balm matches the stain perfectly and gives another lovely, sheer layer of color and just a touch of shine. I love that you can use the stain or the balm separately or layer them. I've found both to be very long-lasting. The shade I have is called "Waltz" and it's the perfect punchy pink. Also, the felt, marker tip makes for easy and precise application of the stain. I have not tried it on my cheeks yet but if I do I'll let you know how it goes.

The Bad: The only downside to stains, as I mentioned, is that they tend to be drying. I doubt I'd use this without some sort of balm over it. Stains can also be tough to wipe off in a pinch. They are easily removed with makeup remover, just make sure to choose a color you love so you don't wind up trying to rub it off with a tissue. Also, I did not notice any plumping as the product claims.

The Verdict: This has become a handbag-staple for me. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Outfit Post: Fashion Star

{H&M dress (similar here and here) / ShoeDazzle heels / BCBG necklaces (similar) / vintage earrings / BaubleBar rings / on nails: Essie's "Power Clutch"}

Last week the new reality show, Fashion Star premiered. I didn't watch the episode on Tuesday night but  I wandered into H&M on Wednesday and saw this gorgeous blue dress hanging under the Fashion Star display in the store. I was blown away by the gorgeous color and wonderful details (a cutout! stand-up pockets!) I tracked down my size (the last one to be found) and watched the show online. I am at my limit as far as watching reality TV goes but I have to say I found the idea behind this particular one intriguing.

A group of previously unknown fashion designers premiere just one garment per show. Three buyers from H&M, Neiman Marcus, and Macy's make the designers an offer for the pieces they see if they like them. The next day, the designs are available either in stores or online. How's that for instant gratification? It's almost like watching the home shopping network except you get the thrill of seeing the designs come down a runway.

I think I'll be tuning in tonight if the designs continue to be this good! What about you? Have you watched the show?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fashion OCD: To the Point

I'm a pointy-heel lover. Always have been. For a while all you could find in stores were round or peep-toe heels but my classic faves are reappearing and I'm ready to buy a couple pairs.

images via Pinterest

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Winner Is....

Head to A Lucky Fifth's Facebook page here, to find out who won the gorgeous kohl eyeliner from DALiiA! Thanks to all who entered!

Fashion OCD: Spring Wish List

The warm weather always sends me into a frenzy. I dream of waltzing in to various stores and scooping up whispy dresses, chic sandals, and statement accessories for the hotter days ahead. Here's wishing.....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Recipe: Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Lately I've been diving in to more vegan and vegetarian recipes. Being an avid baker I used to shudder at the thought of vegan baking (no eggs! no milk!) but, I began treating myself to vegan blueberry muffins from a store by apartment and decided to try making them myself.

These are a little more dense than your standard muffins but the flavor is good and without the milk, butter, and eggs the calorie count is a lot lower than non-vegan varieties. 

Get the recipe after the jump!

Click below for the recipe

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Product Review: Avene Body Oil

By now you know that I love oils - facial oils, body oils - their benefits abound and I'm an avid user of Argan oil and coconut oil. When I read about Avene body oil in this article I was instantly interested; perhaps because the article mentioned it as a French-girl favorite. I am endlessly intrigued by beauty products from other countries. I dream of wandering through a Parisian pharmacy, stocking up on amazing products...sigh...but I digress.

The Claim: "...helps to restore the damaged hydrolipidic film and treat skin dryness.  It leaves instant soothing sensation; skin is soft, smooth and comfortable"

The Good: What I love most about this oil is that it is fast-drying. It doesn't leave a greasy residue and it truly softens skin. I always feel as though my skin has more of a glow when I use oils as opposed to lotions and Avene was no different. When I first received it I was so excited to try it out that I put a little on my hands. The "light" scent seemed extremely strong at the time and I was worried I wouldn't like it. However, I've found that much of the initial burst of scent fades and you are left with a gentle, barely-noticeable, and almost pine-like smell that lingers all day. I love that it's a gender-neutral scent and is not too flowery. This oil is hypoallergenic and preservative free and I have had zero irritation in the past two weeks I've used it.

I did a little experiment for a few days. I put lotion on my legs after my shower and Avene body oil on my arms. I found that at the end of the day my legs were back to being dry and my arms had stayed soft and smooth. Most lotions contain a lot of water which means that as the day goes on it evaporates and leaves skin as dry as it was to start. Oil has staying power.

The Bad: My only issue with this product is that it isn't as easy to apply as lotion - which isn't a huge deal. You do have to take time to massage this into your skin so it can emulsify and your skin can absorb it. It can be a little tedious because the pump on the bottle is so tiny but the end result is worth it.

The Verdict: I really love this product. Right now I'm switching between this and lotion every few days but I think I'm going to become a full time convert, especially in summer when I don't want to slather on gobs of heavy lotion. Another amazing thing is that, despite being a French product, you can find this oil in some Walgreens locations (in Duane Reade in NYC) and in lots of online stores.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Outfit Post: Told Ya

{Urban Outfitters button-up plaid shirt and blazer / AE jeans / Payless wedges / ON belt / Francesca collections earrings}

I told you I'd come back wearing boot-cut jeans! Sincerely loving the style switch-up. I feel as though the denim/button-up/blazer combo is very classic so I threw in some plaid and a red shoe for a nice little shake-up. I'm semi-obsessed with these wedges. They are ridiculously fun and comfortable and from Payless. Legit. They are on sale for $19.99 now so you should probs scoop up a few colors! The boyfriend blazer is one of my all-time favorites as well. I've had it for over one year now and it has more than paid for itself - it goes with absolutely everything.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Fashion OCD: Am I The Only One?

Um. Am I the only one who misses boot-cut jeans? Remember those? Before you could see the every curve of everyone's legs squeezed in to skin-tight denim - they existed. They were the epitome of leg-elongated, flatter-every-figure chic.

I know everything is skinnys, skinnys, skinnys these days and hey, my entire closet is basically skinny jeans. But, I miss boot-cut jeans. My legs miss oxygen. I think I'm going to try to bring them back. Who's with me?

images via Pinterest and Glamourai

Friday, March 9, 2012

Recipe: Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onion, and Honey Pizza

Tuesday night my boyfriend and I broke in our new oven with what turned out to be the best pizza I've ever made. Seriously. This thing was amazing. I used my family recipe for the dough and then totally winged it with the sauce.

We started by caramelizing some onions.

While those were cooking down we made the dough and I assembled the sauce. I prefer to make my own crust and sauce so I can avoid the over-salted, processed varieties at the store. It's so very easy and all you need are some fresh ingredients (I share those after the jump) and a food processor.

There's our dough. He is ugly but sooo delicious. I use whole wheat flour instead of white flour. Eventually I was to try cauliflower crust!

Once the onions caramelized we assembled our pizza layering the sauce, then the onions, then a light sprinkling of fresh mozzarella and fresh crumbled goat cheese. Fresh cheese is key to a great pizza - the bagged kind just doesn't have the same rich taste. Lastly, I did a light drizzle of honey over the whole thing.

About 18-20 minutes later the final product emerged and we devoured it!

Get the recipe after the jump!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Outfit: Seeing Spots

{H&M blouse (similar) and bracelet/ Zara pants / ON belt and heels (similar here and here) / F21 earrings / on lips - Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple}

This blouse has been a go-to for me lately. For some reason I feel much more polished and put-together with a little pattern on top. It's also comfortable and at the ridiculously low H&M price of $12.50 I probably should have bought 3 more! This is usually my weekend uniform - blouse, skinnys, and a little pattern mixing for interest, topped off with some statement jewelry.