Category Archives: Beauty

Making the Switch

About a year ago, I was taking off my dime store nail polish with regular Cutex remover. The nails underneath were off-color, which was par for the course, and would require that I paint them again asap to cover this up. I usually only painted my toes in the warmer months, giving them a good couple of months to rest, recover and look like healthy nails again, during the winter. I was also annoyed that my thumb and index finger turned extremely dry and rough after using the acetone polish remover and wondered if I’d have to wear gloves from now on. What a pain. I also always volunteered to take off my daughter’s nail polish, so she didn’t have to get her skin all jacked-up. But really I was sick of it.

The first switch I made was to use Josie Maran Bear Naked Nail Wipes, which are acetone-free, infused with argan oil and expertly take off layers of nail polish with minimal effort. They smell great (like grapefruit), nourish the cuticles (with argan oil) and leave my skin very happy. A jar ($9) holds 20 wipes and I typically use 2-3, depending on how dark my polish is. What a difference.

BearNailWipes

The second switch I made was to buy some Zoya nail polish, which is free of toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and DBP (they call it the Big 5 toxins). I bought 2 colors, plus the base and top coat formulas. I assumed that it wouldn’t last as long or be as shiny, but boy was I wrong. My first do-it-yourself application (so not professional) lasted 3 weeks without a chip in sight. It could have gone longer. And when it came time to take off the polish, my nails underneath were a happy, healthy rosy color, like they should be. None of that yellowish, off-color look.

I'm currently wearing Zoya Margo

I’m currently wearing Zoya Margo

That was last fall and I immediately threw out all of my other nail polish and remover. Now that it’s summer, I ordered a few more colors for me and a few for my daughter (she likes blues and this sparkly green one, Stassi). Zoya ($9) always has promotions going (love that), so we get bonus colors too. This time they sent full-size bottles of their new colors Kimmy and Kalmia:

Zoya Kimmy

Zoya Kimmy

Zoya Kalmia

Zoya Kalmia

Check out the new fall colors and consider trying it for yourself. I’m not paid to market any of this, I just love sharing good products with you.

Zoya Fall Collection Nail Polish

Zoya Fall Collection Nail Polish

Enjoy the day!

x Laura

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Crisscross

Knitting Noodles large wool basket

Waiting on Martha – Dutch crown braid tutorial

Joe’s Jeans – Prosper Open-toe Booties

Ancient Greek Sandals – Althea Suede sandals

Venessa Arizaga silver braided bracelet

Click any picture for more crisscross-y details.

How cute is that Dutch braid? The rest of the tutorial shows how to fix hair  as shown or how to make a braided crown with messy bun underneath. It doesn’t look too done, which is nice. Have to try this on one on my daughter for a test run.

Enjoy the day!

x Laura

“Life is a web of intersections and choices. Your 1st choice is to recognize an intersection. Your 2nd choice is to be grateful for it.” — Ryan Lilly

Five for Fall

Sitting here in a sweater and pair of boots for the first time this season, I guess it’s time to fully embrace the coming of fall. It’s my favorite season, with the moderate temps, gorgeous foliage colors, and the introspective mood before the coming of winter. As nature scurries to prepare for the onset of cold weather, I follow suit with a new-found energy toward finishing projects and clearing out our nest. There’s no use in trying to stop the change.

Jason Wu Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear (New York). style.com

Making the summer-to-fall leap:

  1. Fashion shows for Spring have begun! New York, London, Milan and Paris will show collections over the next two months. I’ve started a Spring 2015 Ready-to-Wear cheat sheet here to track trends, colors and fabrics.
  2. Donate, sell and consign. Good grief — the clutter! Create a haven in your space this winter by clearing out unwanted things now. Start small with a bag or two. Please don’t freak out and do too much. Slow and steady is better.
  3. Get the house winterized while the weather is still nice. Here’s a helpful list of maintenance items to get done now –  To Do: September Home Checklist
  4. My workout routine was non-existent this summer, so it’s time to make it a priority again. I’ve signed up for two classes and am ready to kick some booty. No time for the gym? Check out this printable No Running Required, 20-minute Cardio Workout.
  5. Plan the next vacation. Summer trips are still fresh in our memories, but fall and winter breaks will be here before we know it. Don’t get shut out by waiting too long. 5 Things Smart Travelers Should Do in September.

Lastly, here’s a 15-second beauty cheat. I just got wise to this brow product that is really fantastic. Gimme Brow by Benefit ($22) has a tiny mascara-like brush that fills in brows, even where they are seriously lacking. Covers little grey hairs, adds dimension to the arch and tail, and fills in patchy areas. It’s kind of a brow miracle and very easy to use.

Gimme Brow by Benefit

Enjoy all the good things that September brings.

x Laura

“My heart is drumming in my chest so hard it aches, but it’s the good kind of ache, like the feeling you get on the first real day of autumn, when the air is crisp and the leaves are all flaring at the edges and the wind smells just vaguely of smoke – like the end and the beginning of something all at once.”
Lauren Oliver, Delirium

What to Buy in March

Are you great at sales or do you like to buy the newest items in the stores? Deal hunters and fashion insiders know when to stock up on specific items to get the most bang for their buck and when to wait on things. There’s a rhythm to the retail machine and knowing what to buy when, can save you big bucks.

March madness: Fragrance

If you have a signature scent or a few favorites, this is the time to look for gift sets and purchase promos. You’ll find freebie body lotions or travel-sized bottles that come packaged with your favorite scent.

Coach Poppy Gift Set: Eau de Parfum, Body Lotion, $70

Gucci Gardenia Gift Set $71

Flora by Gucci: fragrance, travel-size + body lotion $71

Sephora Favorites: Rollerball of Viva La Juicy, See by Chloe, Flora by Gucci, Marc Jacobs Dot, and Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, $24

Tocca Meet The Girls: Ten Spray Vials including Cleopatra, Brigitte, Collette, and Lilliana. $62

Prada Luna Rossa: Shower Gel, Eau de Toilet, Travel Pouch, $87

Check online to see if your favorite fragrances are doing promos this month. If you’re a candle girl, there are also luxury fragrance candles too (like Jo Malone, Tocca, Bond No. 9, Diptyque, etc.) Also, keep your eyes open for gifts too. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are just around the corner.

Happy Spring Equinox!

x Laura

Out Like a Lamb

If March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, it’s about time for that lamb to show up, graze around and settle in for spring. In Boulder, weather-wise we are about a month behind other parts of the U.S. As I walk the neighborhood, I see crocus beginning to pop up and spreading their petals out from under light snow. Nearly everyone I run into is giddy about warmer temperatures. So today, I felt drawn toward this street style photo of Helena Bordon at the recent Paris fashion shows in her floral coat. She is a breath of spring incarnate.

Helena Bordon (vogue.co.uk)

Helena Bordon (vogue.co.uk)

Florals are big every spring, but this year’s crop of flowers is more edgy than classic. Designers are taking some of the sweetness out of floral patterns by deconstructing the print, using neon colors, or coating the fabric for high shine. I like looking to the runways to see the mood of what will be coming into stores.  Here are some of my favorites from the Spring 2014 runways.

paul smith spring 2014 floral

Paul Smith Spring 2014

floral J. Crew Spring 2014

J. Crew Spring 2014

floral Kenzo spring 2014

Kenzo Spring 2014

floral Matthew Williamson spring 2014

Matthew Williamson Spring 2014

Oscar de la Renta spring 2014 floral

Oscar de la Renta Spring 2014

Ostwald Helgason Spring 2014 floral

Ostwald Helgason Spring 2014

Misha Nonoo Spring 2014 floral

Misha Nonoo Spring 2014

 

There are over 500 looks from Spring 2014 on my Pinterest board. If you like these, it’s a wonderful place to see all the spring trends and find tons of inspiration.

Floral accessories always catch my eye as a great way to add life to your outfit and celebrate the return of warm weather. If you’d like just a taste of floral, these products satisfy the craving.

flower accessories spring 2014

Clockwise from far left: Alexander McQueen floral skull clutch, Anthropologie Blushing Floral Infinity Scarf, Nest Dahlia & Vines fragrance, Lizzie Fortunato Bloom Printed Clutch, Floral Sparkler iPhone case.

Here’s to warmer weather, a lightening of our clothes and mood, and to seeing the colors of spring pop up everywhere.

x Laura