Score Every Summer Must-Have on Sale this Memorial Day

Happy long weekend! Like a lot of people, I’m taking advantage of the dozens of Memorial Day sales to revamp my summer wardrobe for work and weekend. Here’s a roundup of my favorite ones:

DVF – 30% off select styles with code SUMMER30

If you love DVF dresses but are on a budget (like me), this is the best time to buy one. This flattering ruched sheath dress is less than $200 and is a summery update to your work wardrobe.

dvf ruched sheath dress

 

Shopbop – new markdowns

When Aquazzura pom pom espadrilles go on sale you can’t say no, especially in this stunning shade of blue. Wear them to the beach, backpacking around Europe, or whenever you want to pretend you’re on vacation.

aquazzura pom pom espadrilles

J. Crew – 30% off with code WEEKEND

Swap your standard sundress for a bold off-the-shoulder look.

jcrew off the shoulder dress

ASOS – 20% off with code HISUMMER

Sequins aren’t just for NYE. This gorgeous blush gown will make you shine for wedding season.

asos sequin dress for wedding

 

Nordstrom – up to 40% off select style 

Because you can never have too many cropped ripped jeans this summer.

 

joe's jeans

Nastygal – extra 40% off sale

A sexy beach coverup that doubles as a weekend dress.

nasty gal crochet beach dress

 

Bloomingdales – 20% off sale and clearance with code BROWNBAG

A lightweight crossbody saddlebag for all your summer adventures and that’s under $250.

rebecca minkoff saddle bag

Free People – 25% off sale

They aren’t called party overalls for no reason. These overalls are the real boho-chic deal.

party overall free people

Sam Edelman – 30% off with code VIPSUMMER

Not only are these gorgeous lace-up pumps on sale for $98 but they’re an extra 30% off with code VIPSUMMER. Wish they were in my size! Update: I found these lavender lace-up heels on sale and they’re available in many sizes.

sam edelman lace-up pumps

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#HairGoals: Blonde Balayage with Irresistible Me Hair Extensions

irresistible me hair extensions review

I remember the first time I learned that nearly every celebrity wears hair extensions. It was a huge relief knowing that thick long hair wasn’t the norm. After dyeing and heat styling my hair for over a decade (wow, I feel old) my hair has gotten finer and more susceptible to trims. For years (years!) I toyed with the idea of getting hair extensions but was too intimidated to take the plunge. Enter Irresistible Me.

A couple of months ago Irresistible Me generously offered me clip-in hair extensions to review and I couldn’t be more excited to wear them. I went with the Silky Touch Golden Blonde clip-in extensions in 18 inches and 200 grams to balance the thickness of the hair with the length. It was really difficult to choose a color because I have balayage “bronde” hair but the golden blonde turned out to be the perfect choice. Although the shade is ashier than my hair that’s something I can easily fix with Wella toner. For now, though, the color blends in better than I expected. A couple of coworkers even thought the extensions were my natural hair! Since this is my first time wearing hair extensions I looked up a bunch of YouTube tutorials on how to clip them in for fine hair and how to wear them in a ponytail (my favorite style!). You can find my favorite one how-to videos on my Pinterest board. If you’re like me and have fine hair, I don’t recommend wearing all the wefts at once; in these photos, I’m wearing only 4 wefts so as not as to make the seams obvious. As for the extensions themselves, they’re really easy to clip-in and are soft and silky. The best thing about these extensions is that they allow me to maintain blonde balayage without constantly needing to maintain my own hair color. And I can’t wait to experiment with more hairstyles (hello, braids) this summer now that I’ll have longer, thicker hair to play with. P.S. here’s my “before hair” for reference! Do you wear hair extensions? Let me know in the comments.

irresistible me hair extensions golden blonde silky touch DSC04398irresistible me hair extensions golden blonde

Shop similar little white dresses here, here, and here.

*Hair extensions provided to me for review by Irresistible Me; all opinions are my own. 

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Birchbox Review: Au Naturale Cosmetics, Davines, Dr. Jart

birchbox review april 2016

So I may be a little late reviewing my April Birchbox, but since this box was chock-full of really interesting products, I have to share it with you. As you can see from the photo, Birchbox totally spoiled me during my blog’s birthday month (I provided the cupcake, though!) and the box, by Rifle Paper, was extra gorgeous (this is a box I won’t be throwing out). P.S. As I sit here writing my review, I’m pampering my skin with Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask, which is 100% natural and non-toxic. It only feels appropriate to indulge in beauty as I write about it, right? Stay tuned for the full review! For now read all about my favorite (and least favorite) Birchbox samples, and sign-up here if you want your own Birchbox.

The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick

The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick: Let’s start with my favorite sample from the whole box, this creamy lip crayon by a little known brand called The Beauty Crop. The lipstick is so cute and smells like strawberry jelly. I wear it almost everyday and it lasts for at least 2-3 hours even after I eat or drink. Sometimes I blend it in with another lipstick to change things up a bit. The best part is it’s hydrating; some lipsticks emphasize chapped lips but this one smooths them out. I’d love to try more products from this brand.

Dr. Jart+ Liftra™ Contour Cream: I was shocked when I heard such a product existed. Contour cream? Really? What has Kim Kardashian done to this world? But just listen. This product actually lifts and defines your skin so you don’t need to waste time watching YouTube tutorials on how to contour your face. I used the product a handful of times before going to sleep and my skin, especially the area around my mouth and eyes, looks smoother and firmer in the morning.

English Laundry Notting Hill Femme Eau de Parfum: Like a lot of Birchboxers, perfume samples are my least favorite. I prefer to choose my own scents (lately I’m loving Valentino’s Donna, Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb, and Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Now – don’t judge!). This one smells a bit too much like something a grandmother would wear.

Au Naturale Cosmetics Trio Set Birchbox

Au Naturale Cosmetics Trio Set:  I was so excited to receive this adorable organic set consisting or lip color, eyeshadow, and blush. But the sample itself is so tiny it’s almost impossible to use – it’s basically kids-sized. I managed to try the cream blush in Palermo, which I loved; the orange shade is super flattering and adds a summery glow. I may end up buying the full size. I used my finger (ew!) to try the sangria lip color, and I wasn’t a huge fan. Maybe if the sample were larger I could better assess whether it’s for me. We’ll see if I have any success trying the eyeshadow, which also has a creamy texture.

Davines OI All in One Milk: I’ve used other Davines samples before, but I didn’t expect to love this product so much. It gave my curly hair a smooth, salon-style blowout that’s lasted several days. I used it in conjunction with the shampoo and conditioner so that might’ve helped too.

Davines OI shampoo and conditioner

Davines OI Shampoo – Absolute Beautifying Shampoo: Since I color my hair, I’m very particular about what shampoo I use (color-safe shampoo or bust), but I decided to give this a try because I hate having unused samples and this one was at least paraben and sulfate-free. I’ll start by saying the shampoo smells really good. The texture is thicker than the shampoos I currently use so my a little went a long way. It also didn’t give me any dandruff, which if you’re like me and keep your blowouts for days at a time, is always a bonus. My hair felt smooth and soft afterwards when I straightened it. 

Davines OI Conditioner – Absolute Beautifying Conditioner: I used this sample following the Davines shampoo and though it had a more masculine scent, I thought it was still a decent conditioner. I tend to judge shampoos and conditioners based on my blowout afterwards and I’ll say that this conditioner didn’t weigh down my hair or leave it gunky so my blowout was able to last for several days! 

 

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Review: Drinking Jus by Julie Without the Cleanse

jus by julie

As the title implies, you don’t need to go on a full fledged juice cleanse to enjoy a yummy cleansing juice. I’ve always loved juiced as a way to get a daily boost from vitamins (I hate taking supplements), so when Jus by Julie offered me a complimentary 6-day cleanse and 1 probiotic coffee I was stoked (who wouldn’t be?). Even if you don’t go on a cleanse, you’ll want to drink plenty of water while drinking these juices since they are detoxifying. I didn’t change my eating habits while drinking the juices (although I may have skipped breakfast once or twice); I merely added these juices to my existing routine and drank one a day. Here’s my honest recap of the juices. Remember, taste is highly subjective, so what I find great or not so great you might think is the complete opposite! Definitely give these drinks a try.

jus by julie sweet spin

Day 1: Sweet Spin – kale, spinach, pineapple, banana, mango, and rice milk

A lot of green juices contain cucumber, which I loathe, so I was glad this one had no traces of it. The juice was a little more pulpy than I’d prefer, but overall it was tasty. Green juices that contain kale usually give me acid reflux but luckily this drink didn’t do that. I even felt a boost after drinking it.

spicy lemonade jus by julie

Day 2: Spicy Lemonade – lemon, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, h2o

I have to be honest, I did not like this flavor. I thought the cayenne pepper was too strong and overwhelming, and this is coming from someone who loves cayenne pepper on food. Many people seem to like the flavor in the reviews, though, at the ingredients are meant to stimulate circulation and detoxify, so I don’t want to discourage you from trying it. Definitely give it a try!

jus by julie dr green

Day 3: Dr. Green – kale, spinach, celery, apple, ginger, lemon, rice milk

Like the Spicy Lemonade, Dr. Green was a bit heavy on some flavors, in this case ginger. It wasn’t my favorite green juice ever, but the apple made it more tolerable.

jus by julie chia berry

Day 4: Chia Berry – chia seeds, pomegranate, strawberry, lemon, h2o, agave 

I didn’t expect to love this flavor so much. It’s sweet, tart, and refreshing. Plus it contains chia seeds for extra protein and fiber. This is a great summery drink to enjoy while walking around on a sunny day rather than sitting in your cube (which I did).

pb & jus jus by julie

Day 5: PB & Jus – all natural peanut butter, strawberry, banana, rice milk

I was beyond excited to try this flavor. As someone who loves pb&j (yes, I am a child), I couldn’t wait for Day 5 to try this drink. But as what always happens when you get your hopes up, I was letdown. Maybe I’m just not used to having peanut butter in juice, but I thought the texture of the drink was too thick. If you regularly have peanut butter in your smoothie/juice, then you’ll probably love this. This drink is marketed as a healthier dessert so it’s heavier than the other juices.

And now for my favorite flavor…

x-treme greens jus by julie

Day 6: X-treme Greens – spinach, kale, orange, pineapple, hemp seeds, lime

If I could drink this everyday, my life and health would be a 1000x better. This is the best green juice I’ve ever had. Maybe it’s the tart flavor of the orange, the sweetness of the pineapple, or the sour accents from the lime or the combination of the three that give this juice a zing. Plus it contains over 140% Vitamin C and 200% Vitamin A so you’ve got your immune system covered.

There you have it! Have you tried these juices or any other juice cleanse brands? Let me know in the comments.

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Spring Trend: Ruffles for Work, Weekend, & Weddings

Now that it’s finally warm enough to dress stylish again, there’s one spring trend that I’ve been eyeing for my closet – ruffles. Even when not in season, I’ve always been a huge fan of peplums and ruffled dresses, because they are super flattering, feminine, and add a delicate contrast to structured clothes like pencil skirts (hello, workwear!). Plus, they’re are versatile enough for just about any occasion. For this post I rounded up my top ruffle picks from Farfetch for – you guessed it – work, weekend, and weddings (as a guest).

Ruffles for Work

From the ruffled cardigan to the ruffled skirt, these clothes are staples for your spring/summer work wardrobe.

ruffles for work spring trends1. Red Valentino cardigan

2. Theory ruffle tank

3. Stella McCartney sleeveless shirt

4. Stella McCartney ruffle skirt

Ruffles for Weekend

Flirty and sassy, these pieces are great for going on vacation, going shopping, or just taking a stroll through the park (with an #OOTD photo!).

2. Red ruffled fitted dress

3. Pinstripe ruffled blouse

4. Dsquared2 short peplum skirt

Ruffles for Wedding

My sister is engaged so wedding guest dresses are on my mind. Whether you’re attending a beach or indoor wedding, these dresses will stand out (in a good way!) for the spring/summer weddings on your list.

ruffles for wedding spring trend

*This post is an entry for an exclusive giveaway by Farfetch. All opinions are my own.

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Spring Trend: Shades of Blush

shades of blush spring trend

Is it just me or is this season’s spring collection more romantic and feminine than past seasons? I’m not complaining. Blush is one of my favorite colors to wear so I’m glad to see it’s in abundance! Recently I’ve been stocking up closet with fresh spring clothes and reaching for soft neutrals in shades of blush and feminine textures that will transition from day to night, work to weekend. Here are my top picks:

  1. Who can resist a stylish Chloe cross body bag, especially with a chic leather and suede contrast? I may need to stop eating out if I want to afford this bag!
  2. Fashion sneakers are still a trend and these kicks from the Raf Simmons for Adidas collection will elevate your casual weekend outfits.
  3. A feminine riff on the classic shirtdress that is anything but basic for work and everything in between. Pair it with the blush heels or sneakers in this roundup.
  4. If you’re like me and bored of your standard blush, then this palette by Givenchy will excite you – and add an interesting dimension to your face.
  5. I’ve been eyeing this pretty lace dress for a couple of months now and it’s finally on sale. Wear it to a spring soiree, wedding, or when you want to feel gorgeous.
  6. The most versatile blush sandals that ever did exist. Wear them with skinny jeans, a romper, pencil skirt, or a dress. They’ll go with anything!
  7. A romantic lace blouse that can be dressed up or down. I’d style this with jeans for a more casual look or a lace skirt to take it up a notch.
  8. I love the cool perforated texture of this kate spade bag that reminds me of the weekend like most things kate spade.
  9. If you have a fancy event coming up, these darling earrings will have you covered in the ear candy department.

P.S. I’m giving away a Macbook Air and Starbucks gift card on Instagram! Enter here. Also, if you’re a blogger looking for motivation or tips or are interested in starting a blog or just want to connect with other bloggers, join me for #bloggersupport on Twitter this Monday at 8PM EST. Here is this week’s topic.

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The Best Hair Care Products for Blonde Balayage

blonde balayage hair care products

Coloring my hair is one of those beauty obsessions that never gets old. Even after trying every natural hair color from jet black to platinum blonde, something newer and cooler inevitably catches my eye on Pinterest and I must try it. You probably understand, but if the concept seems foreign then your hair will thank you. Seriously. So when I discovered balayage a year ago I hopped on the bandwagon – of course. I love blonde accents in my hair and balayage proved to be a more natural looking, less damaging, and low maintenance way to go “bronde” without frying my locks (which happened when I went fully blonde).

But even though balayage is a better alternative to coloring your roots, I still had to deal with the consequences of bleach. Healthy hair is already difficult to maintain when it’s regularly subjected to heat styling as my hair is. Luckily I’ve done the hard work for you. I’ve tried dozens of color care shampoos, conditioners, deep conditioning masks, and leave-in treatments to know which ones really enhance and protect color and which ones are full of hype. Since the list of products to avoid is too long, I’ll keep it simple: don’t use anything with sulfates as they dry out your hair and strip out the color. The list of color care products I do love is much shorter; scroll down to check out my picks primarily from Drybar, Living Proof, and StriVectin and let me know what you use in the comments.

Shampoos

If you have blonde locks to protect you’ll need a purple shampoo to ensure brighter color and prevent the horror of brassiness. Drybar – Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo is my favorite option. The violet formula not only smells heavenly (as most Drybar products do) it also thoroughly cleanses my hair without stripping it of moisture. After one use my blonde highlights looked refreshed like I had just colored my hair.

Another favorite is Living Proof Restore Shampoo which replenished my hair when it was dry and damaged. Even my colorist commented that my hair was healthy – a compliment I rarely hear. This shampoo also significantly reduces breakage, so if you have curly hair this product is for you. Even thought this shampoo doesn’t necessarily enhance color, it is color safe.

Conditioners

A top conditioner doesn’t just moisturize hair – but also reduces damage inflicted by hair dye. A couple of my favorites lately are StriVectin Hair – Color Care Conditioner* and Living Proof Restore Conditioner. Both of these conditioners have made my hair easier to manage, smoother, healthier, and in the case of StriVectin, less prone to color fading.

Masks

Deep conditioning masks are a regular part of my hair washing routine. I envy people who can just shampoo, condition, and rinse. I, on the other hand, need a 10-minute mask to revive my hair from any damage brought on by hair dye and my straightening iron. Enter Drybar – Mudslide Nourishing Hair Mask. No other mask heals my hair like this one. After one use, my hair looks shinier and healthier. Plus, it’s lightweight enough that it doesn’t weigh down my hair like other intensive masks or coconut oil. I leave it on for 10 minutes (5-7 if I’m being lazy) while in the shower. Even though it’s not designed to enhance color, it is color safe.

For a quick mask that adds color vibrancy I love StriVectin Hair – Color Care Vibrancy Booster* which nourishes my hair with a focus on enhancing color. I use this mask after conditioner and before the Mudslide to add shine and prevent my color from fading.

Leave-in Treatments

My hair routine doesn’t end at deep conditioning masks. Whether I blow dry my hair straight (usually) or keep it natural and curly, I always use a leave-in treatment to tame frizz and seal in moisture. StriVectin’s Protective Spray is designed to do just that while also protecting color from UV rays and heat styling. I also love 12 Benefits leave-in treatment which helps prevent split ends (I couldn’t believe it until I tried it!) thanks to natural proteins that strengthen hair. Both products are excellent for protecting hair but I wouldn’t use both treatments simultaneously since they could weigh it down.

And there you have it! You’re probably thinking my hair routine has too many steps and you’d be right. But they’re all worth it when I can prevent damage.

*StriVectin products provided courtesy of the brand; all opinions my own. 

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