Category: shopping

This $12 Moisturizer Saved My Winter Skin – Maison Jules Haul Spring 2017

March 16

This Elf Nourishing Night Cream is a winter skin life-saver

Winter dryness is no joke in Boston. Going outside without gloves can mean cracked skin for the next few days. I think I’ve found a cheap solution–completely by accident. I ordered a bunch of makeup from Target for my theater group and Target ended up gifting me a free e.l.f. Nourishing Night Cream with my order.

I was surprised to find that the cream moisturized really well for its $12 price tag. It doesn’t absorb as easily as my “Holy Grail” L’Occitane cream ($22), but it dries completely in about 15-20 seconds, which is pretty good for a moisturizer that doesn’t leave a trace. It also doesn’t smell as good as other lotions (it really just smells like a tub of cream) but it would be perfect for people who hate scented products.

It’s hard to take pictures of skincare creams, because you shouldn’t see a residue if they are actually effective, but I took the following photo (without any foundation or makeup) to show you the luminance from the cream alone. Excuse my wet hair!

ELF Nourishing Night Cream moisturizer review

The e.l.f. cream gives you a nice glowy sheen but isn’t oily. I can put on makeup within 30 seconds of applying the cream. I’ve started using it in the morning and at night after my serum.

In the picture above, I’m also wearing a scalloped blouse ($31) from one of my favorite brands, Maison Jules (this post is entirely not sponsored–I’ve posted about Maison Jules before here). Above is one of my favorites from their new Spring line.

I also love the little boucle jacket ($52) below. It looks so Chanel-like, but for 1/100 of the price!

Chanel-like jacket dupe from Maison Jules

Maison Jules is only carried at Macy’s, and on my seasonal pilgrimage to Macy’s, I also picked up this Ralph Lauren bow-back dress and I can’t wait to wear it to cocktail receptions:

Bow back Ralph Lauren black dress

I’ve yet to find a trendy, feminine line that encapsulates my style as well as Maison Jules has. I always joke that I should ask Maison Jules to sponsor me given that I buy their entire collection every season. Expect more haul posts in the future!

Maison Jules is almost always on sale, so keep your eye on these spring pieces:

Microtrend: Lantern Sleeves

March 11

I don’t often say “I told you so” but let the record reflect that I was ahead of the trend curve last year when I debuted this giant puffy-sleeved dress. It turns out that one of the hottest trends this spring is lantern sleeves, where your sleeves billow out and taper again at the wrist, like a hot air balloon was inflated near your forearm.

Given my love of dramatic clothing, it’s no surprise that I already own a couple of items featuring these blow-up arms. One upside? This trend is actually really slimming because it conceals and exaggerates the shape of your arm. My biceps are definitely toned under this billowy top, guys, promise.

Below are some of my favorite examples of this trend (click on the pic to shop)!

Barristers’ Ball – What to Wear to Your Black Tie Formal Made Easy

March 4
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It’s almost time for Barristers’ Ball, which is a fancy formal that a lot of law schools (including ours) puts on at the beginning of spring. Our Barristers’ Ball invitation specified a “black tie” dress code, which is unusual to see nowadays.

“Black tie” is a great chance to wear a gown or fancy dress that you may not get to at any other time. Black tie usually demands tuxes from the men and a floor-length gown or a fancy dress from the women. Even cocktail dresses or shorter dresses are less appropriate for this type of event. Besides, you can wear a cocktail dress to any other kind of formal, so take the chance to go big on a ball gown!

I’ve rounded up some of the most stunning (and budget-friendly) dresses in several categories to help you pick your Ball outfit.

Tulle and romantic black tie Barristers' Ball dresses

This may just be me, but when I think black tie, I immediately want to pull out a ballgown with ruffles, lace, and all that jazz. I’m a romantic at heart, what can I say? And black tie is one of the only occasions (besides a wedding) when your dress can be as frilly as you want.

My picks below (scroll left and right using the arrows):

Red ball gowns for black tie Barristers' Ball

The natural choice for black tie attire doesn’t have to be black or white: bright red is good way to stick out. A bonus is that the dresses I chose also showcase spring’s hottest trends: the bell sleeve and the off-the-shoulder neckline.

These gowns are floor-length stunners (scroll left and right using the arrows):

Tall and petite black tie Barristers' Ball dresses

If you’re petite or tall, I’d recommend searching for gowns in ASOS’s petite and tall lines. ASOS’s price points are very accessible and they are much trendier than Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus petites (which seem to be targeting older women).

For petites: I also recommend dresses that can be hemmed easily, such as a pink column dress like this one. I’m tailoring my recs more towards petites because ball gowns tend to run long anyway, to accommodate most sizes, so petite girls need to hem their dresses most of the time. Look for silhouettes without a lot of ruffling on the bottom and zippers on the BACK (so that your tailor can take in the bust from the sides if necessary).

Of you can try searching petite versions of the same dresses that I’ve already featured. For instance, the red dress in the scrolling thing below is the same red dress from earlier, but in a petite-friendly size.

My picks below:

Black tie ball gown inspiration for Barristers' Ball

Black tie = black dress. Couldn’t be simpler (or more elegant).

My picks below:

Barristers' Ball bright dresses for black tie event

Ok, I didn’t need a whole section for this next dress. Spoiler alert: I bought the pink one pictured here. What? It’s $53, pink, and frilly. Don’t be so surprised.

Pastel black tie dresses for Barristers' Ball

It’s spring outside, even if the thermometer doesn’t show it. Be different and show up in something pastel pink or blue—or even a light metallic Grecian gown.

My picks below:

Jewel tones Barristers' Ball black tie gowns

And last but not least, for my bold sisters: jewel tones are a good way to stand out from the crowd wearing black, white, and red, while still maintaining decorum. You’ll be the star of the night—just check out those ruffles or that floral print!

My picks below:

When Did Forever 21 Turn into Anthropologie?

February 24

I stopped shopping at F21 since the beginning of this year because I am now almost a Career Woman who can afford Better Designed Items. So imagine my surprise when I opened F21 out of habit and saw that its new arrivals were much more… sophisticated than I had remembered.

In fact, it almost looks like F21 has taken a page out of Anthropologie’s play book. I associated F21 with cheap trends, but F21 manages to showcase the off-the-shoulder and bell sleeve trends in a far more elegant way.

Black white off shoulder top // Pom pom bell sleeve top // White off shoulder top with bows //

The boho Anthropologie look—for less:

Olive balloon sleeve dress // Black trim open jacket // Satin Korea jacket //

The most impressive items are from F21’s new wedding collection. Anthropologie has a wedding line (BHLDN) that sells affordable bridal gowns, but it looks like F21 is now investing in its own line of affordable bridesmaids/wedding guest attire.

Tulle Maxi dress// Lace peplum skirt (top here) // Lace halter maxi dress //

I’m not sure if I just got lucky stumbling onto a batch of new items that perfectly fit my aesthetic, but I will have to take a second look at F21’s offerings if they are selling more distinctive and feminine designs.

Tiered sweetheart maxi dress // Floral skort romper // blue white romper

These Instagram Swim Trends Are 20% Off This Weekend

February 18
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President’s Day sales are never terribly impressive, but with Spring Break coming up, I was happy to see 20% off on my favorite beach trends. Since I was already planning on trying out these trends for the ‘gram, it doesn’t hurt that I’ll be saving some money by ordering them this weekend!

Asos bardot ruffle one piece swim suit

This swimsuit has been making the rounds on IG. That’s not surprising considering that it hits all the checkmarks for ruffles, polka dots, and the off-the-shoulder trend. You can get this exact swimsuit for 20% off, now (and it comes in a two-piece version too: see below)

The gingham print one above is actually my favorite; it’s cute without looking too much like a picnic tablecloth.

Next up on the list of instagram-worthy swim trends are….

Do not disturb script beach hat

I read somewhere that the famous “do not disturb” sun hat has actually been trademarked, but you can still find beach hats that feature other phrases written in a cursive script, or another trendy sunhat tied back with a bow.

I’m actually tempted to make my own script sunhat. All I would need is string and a wide-brim hat, right? How cool/narcissistic would it be to have my blog handle on my sunhat?

Pom pom swim coverups

You can’t scroll past 5 instagram pics without seeing the ubiquitous off-the-shoulder pom pom cover up, so it’s time to admit defeat and try out the trend at last. You can actually get the pink one on the right from Amazon, plus it’s available with Prime shipping!