Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What I've Been Wearing: May

May is almost over, can you believe it?! Fashion this month has been a bit of a challenge, the weather is freezing and rainy one day than 90 degrees the next! Here I put together a selection of the pieces I've been using through the transition to warmer weather, and some pieces I've been lusting after!

What I've Been Wearing: May

Vests: Vests have been big in my wardrobe all month. I've been wearing this sleeveless chambray shirt and this denim vest nonstop. These are the perfect layering pieces to add to a look without adding warmth as the weather starts to heat up! The vest is a sleeveless version of my absolute favorite denim jacket, so I was super excited to add this to my wardrobe.

High-Low Dress: Perfect for under my vests is this affordable high-low dress I found at Target. It's simple shape is jazzed up by the dramatic high-low hemline and a cutout pattern around the waist, but it's spagetti strats and cotton fabric keep it casual enough for everyday.

Sandals: I've been wearing these dirty laundry shoes nonstop, they are crazy cute and unbelievably comfortable! Instead of having a plastic or rubber thong like so many other casual summer sandals, the straps on these are made out of what feels like bathing suit material. You can find them in tons of colors online, but I always get lots of complements when I wear my black and white graphic print version out on the town!

Crossbody Bag: This hot pink Mini M.A.C. is a piece that's been on my wishlist for a while. I've been wearing an old crossbody imitation purse from target, but I wanted to include the real thing here. This bag is up really high on my wishlist! Small crossbody bags like this are perfect for summer, it gets too hot to lug a big heavy bag around on your shoulder. Also, smaller bags keep the proportion in check when you start wearing short shorts and tiny tank tops!

Bangles: If you've seen my post on bracelet stacking you'll know I'm absolutely obsessed with bangles right now. I've been building my bracelet collection with affordable pieces from forever 21, but I've had my eyes on these colorful Kate Spade bangles ever since getting into the trend. So cute and classy! You can find bangles like these on Kate Spade's website here.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know in the comments below what you've been wearing this month, and leave a link to your blog so I can come check it out!

xoxo - Katie

Nars Albatross Highlighter Review and Swatch

Nars Albatross is one of the most recent additions to my makeup collection and boy, do I love it! I found this product poking around with a google search about the Kardashian family’s makeup. No matter what you think about that family, no one can deny their makeup is FLAWLESS. I picked up Nars Albatross after reading through a few forums that suggest this is what her makeup artist uses to sculpt Kim Kardashian’s sky high cheekbones. After trying it on myself, I have to say, I feel thoroughly Kardashianized. Someone take me to Miami, I’m ready to party!

The greatest thing about this product is it’s unique cream color that leans yellow when applied. Every other highlighter in my collection leans pink. When applied, the yellow in this product contrasts with my blush and bronzer beautifully to give my cheeks a quite dramatic but natural looking highlight.

As you can see from this swatch Albatross is very close to my pale skin tone, it’s very hard for me to go overboard when applying this product. If you (lucky) ladies are more tan than me I imagine a lighter hand would be required.

This powder is very smooth, is applies evenly and blends easily. I prefer to place highlighting products with an angled brush for precision, such as a MAC 168. Nars Albatross is $29 and can be found here.

I hope you enjoyed this review! More product reviews and tutorials will be coming out soon!

xoxo - Katie
Monday, May 27, 2013

Holy Grail, Batman! Philosophy The Present Makeup Primer Review

A “holy grail” product, in makeup lingo, is a product you just can’t live without. I have a number of “holy grail” products, but none that I’ve loved more or used longer than Philosophy’s The Present. This primer evens out the surface of my skin, creating a significantly smoother texture which helps me to achieve that airbrushed look every beauty guru is after. This product doubles as a light moisturizer for sensitive skin; I use this product even on no-makeup days as my daytime moisturizer.

The Present is calming, not aggravating on my acne prone skin. It has a light herbal scent, like a calming cup of chamomile tea. I find the $29 price tag to be reasonable, I use no more than a pea-sized dallop of this a day and one tube lasts me about five or six months. To let this product reach it’s full skin-smoothing potential you have to let it dry completely on your face before applying any makeup. This only takes about 5 minutes, I like to apply this product first than do my eye makeup or style my hair while I wait for it to set. After five minutes this products is good to go and I'm ready to enjoy my calmed, moisturized, even textured skin!!

You can find Philosophy's The Present primer here.
I hope you enjoyed this review, The Present is truly one of my very favorite products!

xoxo - Katie

How To Build Beautiful Bracelet Stacks

I know I know, I’m pretty much the last person to show up to the “arm party.” These last few weeks, though, I’ve gotten into this trend in a big way. Bracelet stacking is a great way to flex your creative muscles to create interesting combinations of bracelets from your jewelry collection! This trend is big, bold, and requires creativity so it can be a little intimidating to dive into. If you’re like me and are just getting into this perfect for summer trend, I’ve put together some tips to help you get started putting together your own arm stack!

The best way to start building an arm stack is with an anchor piece. Your anchor piece will the the largest piece of jewelry on your wrist and will the the focal point around which you build your stack. I've been working most of my stacks around my new boyfriend-sized watch, but cuffs or any larger piece will work just as well.

Instead of using one piece of jewelry to anchor your look, another great idea is to put together two complementing mid-sized bracelets to use as a focal point.

Now, the real secret ingredient to arm stacks? It's all about the bangles! The bangles are what really brings the party to an arm stack. This is where you really get to play with color, texture and materials. Mix your metals, add in some wood, spice it up with some color. Experiment! Bangles bring texture and interest to a stack. Bangle it up!

Here I'm using a cuff as my anchor piece. When your anchor piece is as big and bold as this cuff, though, keep the accent bangles small.

 Here I'm mixing my wood bangles in with the metal, as well as mixing silver with gold.

 Add in a pop of color to keep your stack fresh for the summer, or do a whole armful of color for a fun and funky look!

Forever 21 Stacking Pieces

A good way to begin experimenting with this trend is to start your collection with pieces from budget-friendly stores. Above are a few pieces I found at forever 21 that have been great for adding bulk and interest to my arm stacks.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Happy stacking!

xoxo - Katie
Saturday, May 25, 2013

MAC Temperature Rising Collection Swatches and Review

WHEW! That scorching hot promo pic for MAC’s newest collection, Temperature Rising, always gets me feeling a little hot under the collar! Every once in a while one of MAC’s collections really speak to me, and ladies, THIS IS IT!

I snagged a few treats from this collection when it launched on Thursday. If you like anything you see here, run, don’t walk to your MAC counter! I have a feeling this collection is going to go quick!

The product I was most excited for from this release was the Bare my Soul eyeshadow quad. Out of the 4 shades, Romantico (a mid-tone bronzy brown), Bare My Soul (a shimmery deep gold) and Friendly (a deep chocolate brown) have excellent color payoff without having to work to hard to achieve the color’s full vibrancy.  When In Rio, the emerald green shade I was most looking forward to, surprisingly needed a lot of building up to achieve the deep shimmering green you see in the pan. I did experience some fallout with When In Rio, probably because I really had to pack it on. Despite the extra work, it does build to a beautiful, bendable shimmering emerald.

I also picked up Ripe For Love blush. This shade is a truly gorgeous pinked-up peach perfect for providing a healthy summer glow. It is well pigmented but very build-able, so this blush would be suitable for girls of all skin colors. Light girls like me just need to be sure to have a light hand and a great blending brush on hand!

Seeing that summer is upon me but my skin still continues to blind in the light, I had to try out a bronzer from this collection. I picked up Pro Longwear Bronzer in Nude on Board, and it is hands down my new HG. The product itself if so soft, perfectly blendable, and the color is divine on my pasty white skin. It’s light enough that I can apply it liberally (and by liberally, I mean I applied this baby basically everywhere) without looking even the least bit orange or overdone, just perfectly bronzed (as if I actually tan rather than burn in the sun!) I picked up the 167SE blush released with this collection to try out with my new bronzer, and it was perfect for applying and blending out the all over color. It also did an excellent job blending out Ripe For Love blush.

From left to right - Ripe for Love Blush one swipe, Ripe for Love Blush built up, Romantico eyeshadow, Bare My Soul eyeshadow, Friendly eyeshadow, When In Rio eyeshadow.

From left to right - Nude on Board 1 swipe, Nude on Board built up, Ripe for Love 1 swipe, Ripe for love Built up

I hope you enjoyed this review! Leave a comment telling me if you’re thinking of picking anything up from this collection!

xoxo - Katie