Hair Tie Double Duty

Hair ties – can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Necessary at a moment’s notice to get the hair out of your face or for some reprieve from the summer heat. Throw one in the abyss of your purse and you might never find it again. So, there they sit on our wrists, ugly and distracting – and forever to remain…or so we thought!

Ladies, rejoice! A true “why didn’t I think of that” invention: Emi-Jay Hair Ties. These multi-functional hair ties are bright, bold and colorful, making them to look great in your hair AND fashionable on your wrist. Emi-Jay makes hair ties in neons, neutrals, patterns, polka dots, the possibilities are infinite but one thing is for sure. You can wear every option on your wrist like you meant for it to be there.

The best part (YES, there is more)? The soft, stretchy material is ideal because it does NOT dent your hair. All of that time you spent straightening won’t go to waste if your hair up!

The ingenious inventor even offers beaded styles to amp up the bracelet function and now sells headbands, too.

Check out some of the styles here:

The neon collection is the perfect way to weave in this season’s day-glo trend without going head to toe highlighter. $11.99 for 5 ties. (image courtesy of Emi-Jay)
This bejeweled version is fancy enough to serve as arm candy on a night out and functional enough to get your hair out of the way when you’re showing off your dance moves. $12.99 for 1 hair tie. (Image courtesy of Emi-Jay)
Don’t forget about the headbands, too! One of these can instantly turn a ponytail or bun into a chic hairstyle.

I bought the neon set this past week at South Moon Under. I have the green one on my wrist as I’m typing, and it looks pretty darn good! You can find other retail locations here, or just shop the Emi-Jay site to see how much you love them!


All About the Eyes

My love for eye makeup is no secret. However, I wasn’t born with my affinity for a good shadow, liner and mascara. I remember the first time I wore eyeshadow. I smeared on so many layers of that light, slightly sparkly beige Clinique shadow my mom had received as part of a Bonus gift, that you could almost see it. I snuck into her makeup bag and stole every complimentary eyeshadow she scored until I could finally purchase my own. I didn’t discover the power of eyeliner until my senior year of highschool and with one stroke, I was hooked. MAC, Clinique, Maybelline, black, brown, blue – I had it all. Too much of it all, in fact.

So, it is no surprise that I have dabbled in my fair share of shadows. I’ve used various brands and had favorites depending on the look I was going for at the time. Choosing eyeshadows can be hard. Sometimes colors can be deceiving or the texture isn’t quite right. Before you know it, you’ll have acquired enough shadows to open up your own makeup counter – and you might have to in order to cover the cost!

A great way to introduce fun, new colors to your makeup routine is to consider purchasing an eyeshadow palette from one of your favorite brands. A palette is a case with multiple shadows, usually 6 or more, in varying colors to provide you with a range of basic colors and a few bold shades to play around with. You can expect to spend $40-$50 on a high quality palette, but it will last for an extended period of time since there are more colors to choose from.

It is important to play around with the different shades to make sure you like – and will use – at least 75% of them. Make sure you are satisfied with the texture of the colors and how they look when they are applied on skin. If you have a favorite makeup brand, check out their website or Sephora to see if they offer a palette. Here are some of the best bets I’ve seen:

Too Faced The Return of Sexy Eyeshadow Palette – $48
This palette groups colors into sets to make it fool proof to achieve several different looks.

Tarte Femme Naturale Eyeshadow Palette – $44.
I own this and love it. I’ve worked nearly every color into a look at one time or another and the more neutral shades are perfect.

LORAC Pro Palette – $42
LORAC liners and shadows are exceptional quality and the 16 colors are all wearable.

Urban Decay Naked2 Eye Shadow Palette – $50.
This palette is so popular it sold out twice! You might want to get it now while you still can…

Do you have a favorite eyeshadow palette, color or brand?


Look Smokin’ While Getting Your Sweat On

Summer is a fabulous season. It bring sunshine, warm weather and fantastic memories. Along with said benefits comes the potential of needing to be in a bathing suit at any time with no notice. Yay bikini season!

If you’re still working off that little extra bit of padding that made its way on to your delicate frame this winter (um, bears hibernate, so can we), I highly recommend you take a trip to lululemon. At lululemon, you can find all you need to look fabulous even if you don’t feel so fabulous as your sweaty, huffing and puffing self. With an endless assortment of tops, bottoms and accessories, you can search for your new workout wears by sport, function or just because it looks pretty. And trust me, all their things look pretty. Now, I will caution you. The price point is probably a bit more than you are used to paying for some sweaty gym clothes. However, the price is worth it for most items, as the quality is top notch.

As a runner, I discovered lulu about midway through training for my first marathon in 2008. I purchased a pair of running crops (similar to these) for training. With a nearly $90 price tag, I wasn’t sure I could afford anything else. Four years later, I am training for my third marathon with those same pair of pants. So ladies and gents, consider lulu purchases as a bit of an investment. They will last and they will look darn good on you, too.

Their items are designed to flatter, taking into account all of the things that make slipping on spandex and stretchy fabrics less than exciting, including muffin top. You can get double time out of many of their items as their leggings, yoga pants and tops can work their way into your daytime wardrobe. Did I mention that the brand is not afraid of color either?

Here are some of the goods on my wish list:

Run: Sun Sprinter Crops – $88 (comes in purple, pink and black)
Run: Tie And Fly Tank – $52 (pink, neon yellow, purple and black)
Run: For Your Money Tank – $68

Who says you can’t look good while working on your fitness? The company is also committed to community involvement and works with local fitness studios to offer complimentary classes.

Find out which store is closest to you and check out their calendar! For you DCers, there are stores in Clarendon, Logan Circle, Georgetown and Tysons. Check it out for yourself and let me know what your favorites are!


Put your best face forward

I love makeup. I’ve never been one of those people who has to “put my face on” every time I leave the house. I go to the gym makeup-free. My husband sees me in all my makeup-less glory.

But, I love makeup. MAC, Stila, Lorac, Covergirl, Maybelline, TART – they all found their way into my makeup bag, basket and drawer. Yes, I have all three. A girl never knows which trend she is going to rock on any given day. She must be prepared to be dewy and fresh-faced or bronzed and smokey-eyed.

Any good look starts with great skin. My skincare regime used to be simple. Wash my face with some water before bed and dab on some tinted moisturizer by day. Ah, the ease of being young. Now that I am in my late twenties (gasp!), things have gotten significantly more complicated. I see the traces of wrinkles forming and no matter how much sleep I get I still look like I’ve pulled an all-nighter. Like any good quarter life crisis-er, I’ve been trying any and every product I can that claims to fight age, wrinkles, or insert-any-minor-imperfection here. I

I am still on the search for my fountain of youth product. However, my late-twenties skin has also left me in need in the makeup department, which is significantly more fun for my makeup-loving self than this wrinkle business. I’ve noticed I need a bit more coverage than offered by tinted moisturizer, but I absolutely hate, hate, hate foundation. I’ve tried so many variations, but they always feel heavy, look fake and make me look like a Vegas showgirl. After doing some exploration and some excess purchasing, I finally found my savior – Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream!

You might have heard of the B.B. trend – the B’s stand for Beauty Balm or Blemish Balm, depending on the product. It’s a product concept that made its way over from several Asian countries (namely Korea).

Garnier’s B.B. Cream combines “advanced skincare” along with “immediate skin perfecting coverage.”

What the heck does that really mean?

The cream promises to cover, quench, protect (SPF 15 – a must!) and perfect dullness, redness and splotchiness.

OH – and it is only $12.

Too good to be true? Maybe. All I can attest to so far is that this product provides just the right amount of coverage to function as a light foundation, without feeling like a foundation. I’d liken it to a step up from a tinted moisturizer and a step down from foundation. For all of us ladies who are fall in the Goldilocks category of face makeup, this cream is just right! Since I’ve been using the product (about a month), I have noticed an overall improvement in the brightness of my skin, but in all fairness this could be due to any of the other aforementioned products I’ve been trying.

After reading the product reviews, I’ve noticed some women use this before applying a foundation, which might be worth a try if you are a foundation kind of gal. If you’re not, use this with a bit of bronzer and/or blush and you will be ready to take on the day.

Some tips:

  • A little goes a long way! I usually only need about 2 pea-sized dollops, one for my forehead and nose, another for my cheeks.
  • It comes in two colors – light/medium and medium/deep. The light/medium works for fair to tan complexions, just layer the product. The medium/deep works on darker skin tones, but I came across several complaints that the medium/deep does not work for African American skin tones.
  • If you have oily skin, this product might not be for you. My skin is pretty normal, not oily, not dry, a bit on the sensitive side. I haven’t had any issues, but some reviewers mentioned it made their skin more oily.
  • The product is scented. I find it pleasurable and it disappears after just a few minutes. However, if you do not like scented products, steer clear!
  • It is sold out in many local CVS stores. Friends have told me they’ve had trouble finding it, so you might want to purchase online if you know which complexion category you fall into. Check out drugstore.com.

Gap Nautical Maxi Dress

Just last night, I picked up this gem at Gap. It is a bit more than I’d normally spend on a maxi dress, but it was my birthday so I thought I’d go ahead and treat myself! I’m already thinking of all of the different ways to wear this dress and the possibilities are endless! Maxi dresses look great on their own, but can take on a whole new life when paired with the right accessories.

Pair it with your favorite colorful, cropped jacket and a bold statement necklace and you can tackle a day out on the town or a date night! Check the dress out at Gap here.

Gap Nautical Maxi Dress

Gap Nautical Maxi Dress by kerrychannon featuring Jane Norman jackets

Chloé blazer
£1,255 – harveynichols.com

Matthew Williamson jacket
£650 – flannelsfashion.com

Jane Norman jacket
£55 – janenorman.co.uk

$75 – gap.com

Amanda Pearl necklace
$225 – maxandchloe.com

Chanel bracelet
€1.289 – lindestore.com

Lancôme lip gloss
$18 – lancome-usa.com

Rhodes Acid Washed Frame
$42 – artgalleryframes.com

New Years Eve Glamour

New Year’s Eve provides the perfect opportunity to take some daring fashion risks. I have been dying for an occasion to wear a gold sequined dress – maybe this is the year!

This Milly number is my favorite! Pair it with some cute black tights and sassy booties and I’ll be in business!