9/28/13

Fall Trends Vol 3: Beauty Picks for Fall & OOTD

Happy Saturday everyone! I usually don't post on Saturdays, but we've had some major internet issues in our area that began yesterday which basically had me balled up in a corner rocking back and forth.
Ok, that's dramatic... But it was a little tragic.

So today I'm bringing you the third installment in my Fall Trends video series. This one is all about beauty trends for Fall and the products I'm especially loving for the season.

I hope you all love it!



Oh, and check out Volume 1 and 2 here and here if you missed them!


Have a FABULOUS weekend, Loves!!

9/26/13

Kitchen Chalkboard Wall

The chalkboard wall is D.O.N.E! 


This project basically came about almost 2 years ago when we lived at our last house.  I knew I wanted to paint a big chalkboard wall in the kitchen, and we had a large wall for it, however, we knew we'd either be selling or keeping it as a rental (We ended up keeping it as a rental and the best family has made it their home!), so I didn't want to take the plunge by covering a full wall in the stuff because that may not be everyone's cup of tea.
So I made a big framed chalkboard out of an old mirror that did the job beautifully.
So when we moved into our new house 6 months ago, I was obsessed with the huge kitchen, but bummed that although it's very spacious, there wasn't any good wall space for my beloved chalkboard to hang (it now lives in our laundry room).  A few weeks ago, the obvious came to town. And slapped me in the face.
I had never really noticed that we have the PERFECT wall for some chalkboard paint magic. Right on the side of the cabinets where our wall oven lives.

Our kitchen is still a work in progress (we've got some big plans for it!), but you get the idea.



That fridge is mocking me. That's what I miss the most about the old house... Our fridge we built-in.
This one will eventually get the same treatment one day.
Yeah, and pay no attention to my shoes or Waylon's new dog bed box over there. We have a cabinet that suddenly decided it wasn't going to stay shut. :/  Like I said, big plans.

I love how the chalkboard wall is almost hidden. It doesn't hit you in the face when you first look into the room.

So to do this, I grabbed some Valspar chalkboard paint. You can get chalkboard paint in any color, but I went with the o.g. ... black.
First I cleaned the cabinet wall really well and then sanded it. Then, I painted on the chalkboard paint using an angled brush for the areas around the trim, and a foam roller to fill in. It took three coats.
The worst part of the entire process was the wait. It says on the can to wait 3 full days to let the paint cure before chalking it.
I'm the most impatient person ever so this was difficult.

To prep chalkboard paint, you basically rub the chalk (sideways) all over the board lightly like so...


...then erase it to make it all even and pretty.


And here she is! I decided to do it top to bottom. I'm going to add a fun chevron print to the top and because it goes all the way to the bottom, it'll be fun for future kiddos to play with.

I think it's really pretty looking in from the dining room.



As for the lettering, I basically took all the inspiration from this little tutorial I pinned months back and added a little frame of wheat.


So what do you guys think? I love little fun surprises in houses like this. Definitely made our kitchen feel more like home!


9/24/13

Early Fall OOTD: A go-to vest, some "fleather" and my Paris Louboutins

Hello Loves! Today I'm sharing with you all a little simple "Early Fall" OOTD from this past weekend. My guy and I went out for a little date night and I decided to officially break out the "faux leather"-ish pants for this season.

This look is SO super simple, comfortable, and classic. I love it.






The 7 For All Mankind skinnies are from last year, but similar styles are everywhere again this year, as this look is definitely not going anywhere. These are "the Skinny" in a coated black finish that resembles a faux leather-ish sheen. They're so lightweight and comfortable... Perfect for wearing in these first few cooler Fall days.
and I know...  I'm totally obsessed with this bag. Every day I tell myself to carry something different, but I'm loving it.


A simple vest can totally make an outfit. I like to always have a few go-to ones for Fall and Winter (LOVE my faux-fur ones for Winter), that I can throw on with anything to instantly make an outfit.
This one totally dressed up an otherwise super plain tank from Target.


Of course, I can't forget the shoes. These are my extra-special Paris Louboutins I purchased a few years ago during my first trip to Paris at a beautiful little Louboutin boutique. These are the "New Simple" pump (120mm). I love the small platform at the toe. It's such a comfortable and versatile shoe.



details:
J. Crew vest, Target tank, 7 For All Mankind skinnies, Christian Louboutin shoes, Coach Studded Mini Tanner bag, Stella & Dot Renegade bracelet, cuff bracelets from thecurrentcustom.com, necklace by "bybellacollection" on Etsy, sunglasses by Ray Ban


Happy Fall Everyone! 
Don't miss Volumes 1 & 2 of my Fall Trends video series! Volumes 3 & 4 are coming up soon so be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and this blog so you don't miss it!


 

9/23/13

My Top Products UNDER $10

Happy Monday Everyone!
So I figured I'd start the week with a video all about my top beauty picks under $10. We're talkin' affordable, great, awesome stuff.
Can't go wrong.
So this is a "tag" type video that is supposed to be "10 Products Under $10". Well, if you know me at all by now, you probably know that I can never stick to limits with these types of things. I always show more items than the limit. Can't help myself.
So you're definitely getting a little more than 10 products from me in this video, but hey, more is always better right?

Hope you guys enjoy it! Check out the video below for my picks!


9/20/13

Riri Hearts MAC Fall Collection Swatches & Review

Well one thing's for certain, y'all...
Riri really loves MAC.


Yup, another Riri Loves MAC collection. This time, it's centered around Fall. Some parts are great, some parts are, well, a bit redundant. But nonetheless, as a whole, it is a really gorgeous collection.
First of all, the packaging to me is beautiful.


Hot pink and rose gold everywhere. Totally reminds me of early 90's Barbie stuff, no?

I think the concept is really great- Riri Loves MAC. Riri helps design stuff for MAC. People who love Riri and MAC rejoice and buy the collection.

However, I feel like it's getting a bit repetitive. Don't get me wrong... I think she's created some GREAT stuff. We all love Riri Woo (although already pretty similar to Ruby Woo), but I feel like they may as well make it a part of the permanent line just because it seems like these Riri releases are getting pretty close together, no?

Riri Loved MAC in the Summer, now Riri's Loving MAC again in the Fall. Makes sense.

So we've got Riri Woo again. Not surprising. But I was also kind of disappointed (and surprised) that they re-promoted the Hibiscus Kiss blush duo (in the new packaging, of course). I just thought it would've been fun to have that product in a different shade because Hibiscus Kiss is nice, but maybe creating one in some deeper shades? Especially since this is a "Fall" collection. That's such a cool little duo product that I think would be awesome in different shades. It's just confusing to me. Also, a re-packaging of lots of items already in the permanent line (36 & 38 lashes, Extended Play Lash mascara, and a black Liquidlast Liner). These would be a great addition to a large collection, but I just didn't feel like the collection was big enough to warrant that many permanent and re-promoted products.

However, the products that are new are nice. The re-promoted ones are nice too, but I felt like this collection really could've been extra-awesome with even more new stuff.

Ok, so I got a little carried away and did the post a bit backwards... Usually those types of thoughts come at the end of the post.  So let's continue to the products and the swatches of items I have from the collection and I'll share more of my thoughts on the specific products throughout the post.

Oh, and be sure not to miss my video review at the bottom as well.

The Riri Loves MAC Fall collection contains:
2 Eye Shadow Quads, 4 Lipsticks, 1 Lipglass, 2 Pro Longwear Lip Pencils, Extended Play Lash, 1 Liquidlast Liner, 2 Veluxe Brow Liners, 1 Powder Blush Duo, 1 Powder Blush, 1 Cream Colour Base, 2 lashes, 2 special edition brushes


Extended Play Lash in Gigablack $17.50
One of my favorite MAC mascaras. Especially presh in this new pink packaging.

Powder Blush Duo in Hibiscus Kiss $29.
While I think this duo could work on most skin tones, I think it's especially suited for more fair tones. It would be very subtle and a bit "glowy" on darker skin tones.


Cream Colour Base in Diamonds $22.
This is definitely one of my stand-out products in the collection. Cream Colour Bases are super-versatile. Especially one in a more natural tone like this. I would use this to highlight my cheekbones, maybe even the smallest bit on my eyelids when I want a bit of a more natural look with a bit of shimmer.


 Powder Blush in Bad Girl Gone Good $23.
swatched beneath Diamonds
While it could definitely be sheered out and work for lighter skin tones, I think this blush would look amazing on medium-dark skin tones. Personally, it's a bit orange for moi.



 Eye Shadow x4 in Smoked Cocoa $44
Gotta be honest- Based on these swatches, this quad is not my favorite.  Color-wise, it's nothing unique. If you're into makeup, you've probably got something similar to this. What bothers me the most is that I found the quality of a few of the shades to be a bit off. Especially the one in the lower right. It swatched pretty badly and wasn't smooth at all. Seemed like it would be a nightmare to blend.
**UPDATE** Check out my accompanying video review of this collection below to see me actually wearing this quad. After actually using it, my opinion was TOTALLY different. The swatches lied to me.
The collection also contains another quad, "Her Cocoa". It contains all more natural bronze and brown shades. 

 Lipsticks in Nude and Talk That Talk, $16.50

"Nude" is actually a great nude for darker skin tones. "Talk That Talk" could definitely be sheered out and work almost like a stain effect on anyone, but I think it's definitely best suited for medium to darker skin tones as well.


Lipglass in Riri Woo $16.50


Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Riri Woo, $21.50

Liquidlast Liner in Pointblack $21.50

Veluxe Brow Liner in Deep Dark Brunette, $21.50
I just really love Riri Woo. Not usually the biggest red fan (I should say, red wearer), but I've really always loved this cool-toned, beautiful red. Just an all-around good, super solid red lip gloss. The Riri Woo liner and lipglass have really awesome color payoff.
I personally cannot wear the Liquidlast liners. I've never been really sensitive to any other eye product but these irritate my eyes. No fun.
I'm actually really impressed with the Veluxe Brow Liners. The color payoff is great and they're super soft, yet have that sort of "dry" consistency that of a brow pencil.

all swatched below




Collection releases September 26th in MAC stores and September 30th online.

So what do you guys think? Do you think Riri is going to love MAC again this Winter? ;)


Products were provided for my honest review and consideration by MAC Cosmetics with no agreements or obligations to feature in any way.

9/18/13

My Boot Picks for Fall, OOTD, & Fall Trends Vol. 2

So today to honor this breezy, 68-degree, breezy taste of Fall we've got going on in my neck of the woods, I'm bringing you all Volume 2 of my little "Fall Trends" video series. You can check out that video at the bottom of the post, but before we get into that, I wanted to share with you all some of the OOTD photos from the outfit worn in that video. Sometimes you can just tell more from photos. At least I think so.
Also, in that new video I talk all about my new boots I'm loving for Fall. So I figured while I was photographing the outfit, I'd go ahead and put on each pair of boots I'm especially loving for Fall with the same outfit so you can see how versatile they are (they seriously go with anything), and see more details on each pair.
So here we go!
As I said in the video, I have a few boot obsessions for this season. Really tall "over-the-knee" styles, short and flat "biker" style boots that hit right between the bottom of your calf and ankle, and actual ankle boots that hit at, well, your ankle.
Here are my picks!



The first are these black leather over-the-knee boots...
boots by Franco Sarto

These boots are basically my favorite purchase of the season yet. I had been drooling over the Stuart Weitzman 5050 boots (which are scarily similar to these), however, wasn't drooling over the $600 price tag. So I decided to stalk the internet for a similar pair.
I found another similar pair by Ann Taylor that were super cute, however, they didn't zip (neither do the Stuart Weitzman), which causes some problems when you're pulling them over jeans with the thin stretchy back panel. You can see every little bunched-up wrinkle in your jeans from pulling them on. So I was SO happy when I found these and not only do they still have the stretchy back panel, but they also zip up the sides, which makes them far better in my opinion.
Oh, and I snagged them at around $117 at a great sale (found mine on shoemall online).



You can get a better idea of how high they come above the knee (I'm 5'8") in the photo below.



This next pair were also an amazing (and very affordable) find...
I found these guys at Target for $34.99. Very similar to a pair I had found at Zara for over 5 times that.
The photo really doesn't do them much justice. They look really expensive and nice in person and are very comfortable.  The hardware is also a really beautiful gold.


 Yeah, don't mind the dog hair (and mine) stuck to them... Hey, it happens.


I'm loving how relaxed they look, while still having some pretty "put-together" elements like the gold hardware.  SO happy I didn't spend any serious cash on a pair of these!
As for Target shoes or cheaper brands, I've heard people saying, "Oh, they'll just fall apart soon anyway," or, "they won't last through the season."  Well, as someone who owns quite a few pair of Target and cheaper brand shoes, I've yet to wear out anything. Or have anything inexplicably break. And one of my favorite pair of black boots are from Target (3 years ago) that I have worn the absolute heck out of with no issues. I guess it just depends, but don't always assume that cheaping-out is a bad thing. Some of my best items I paid the least amount of money for.
So just inspect the item before you buy it. In this case, these looked super nice, were comfortable, hardware worked well, and didn't seem to pull or have stress in any areas.  So I snatched them up!

In the video I mentioned ankle boots but did not actually show mine (I showed them and talked about them much more in Volume 1 of this series if you missed it!).
I figured though that while we were on the subject of great Fall boots, I would show these.


These are my ridiculous Fall splurge. I absolutely love them though. I mentioned in the video that if you are looking for a great pair of black ankle boots similar in style to these, Target also has a great pair right now with some buckles. Check those out here.


 These are just so comfortable, well-made, and basically go with anything. I'm super happy with them.

And finally, my actual OOTD. Since on that particular day it was a bit too warm still for boots, I wore these fabulous little ankle boots with cut-outs that still have the feel of a sandal.

shoes by Zara

These are so great and versatile because they aren't too closed-in so that you can wear them during warmer weather, but also have the feel of a more cooler-weather shoe. These will be perfect for more dressed-up looks this season.




details:
Zara Vest, Target tank, 7 For All Mankind "the Cropped Skinny", Zara shoes, Coach "studded mini tanner" bag,  Forever 21 clear studded bracelet, thecurrentcustom.com cuff bracelets, Tory Burch Earrings


Check out Volume 2 of my Fall Trends series below and be sure to watch Volume 1 HERE if you missed it!




What are YOUR favorite style of boots for Fall? What's on your wishlist?

9/15/13

A little skort-y pre-Fall OOTD

Hello and happy Monday, Loves!
Today I'm sharing a little "pre-Fall" outfit of the day that I wore this weekend for a girls' night out. I feel like it's a perfect mix of classic and simple, yet a little edgy.  As I've said so many times, my style is all about balance. I never like to go too edgy or too feminine. If I wear a more conservative or classic dress or top, I mix it up with some tough accessories or some edgier shoes. However, if I wear a dress or outfit that may be a bit revealing or edgy, I tone down the accessories and may not wear sky-high shoes. It's just all about hitting a good balance and putting things together in a way that makes you comfortable and reflects your personal style. How an outfit makes you feel is sometimes more important than how it looks.

This was one of those outfits that just felt like "me".  Not too fussy and not overly put-together or too trendy.
...With a few little fun touches. Comfortable and just right.


See all that "Fall" on the ground? :)

I had tried-on this little asymmetrical "skort" in white at Zara months back, at the beginning of Summer. Funny because in white, I really disliked it. I felt like I looked like I had wrapped myself in a cloth napkin...  Something about the black looks a little nicer to me. Now, I'm diggin' it! 


...and I'm not even gonna lie... I haven't owned a "skort" since seventh grade.

If you're wondering, a skort is essentially shorts from the back with a wrap in front to create the look of a skirt. Genius, right? Personally, I feel that the skort is an under-appreciated article of clothing.
I really felt comfortable in it! So much easier than a skirt. I felt like I could get away with wearing this somewhat shorter look in a skort rather than a full-on skirt. It's so much easier to wear than a skirt this short, and looks so much nicer.

Let's talk about the presh bag too...


It's the Coach studded "Mini Tanner".  I had originally wanted (an un-studded) one in a super bright and fun color (hey, there's always time...), but I really think this new studded version for Fall was more "me".
I wear it cross-body a lot and actually kept the long strap on it to wear it on my shoulder throughout the night. Although, I found that I never did so I ended up removing the long strap at dinner and storing it inside the bag.  I've just been really enjoying it because it goes with everything.

So the pretty basic, silk top, paired with the little edgy skort with fun lines worked well paired with the classic shoes in a fun color and a studded bag. See how it all kind of works together and creates a good balance? That's what style is all about! Well, my personal style at least!

Speaking of Fall, keep your eyes open for the second installment of my "Fall Trends" video series coming up this week!
Check out part one here if you missed it!

How would you (or how do you) style a skort like this?