DOUBLE DUTCH BRAIDS from gym to the office

IMG_2742The argument for waking up a bit earlier to style and “do” my hair in the morning just has never been that compelling. Maybe because I prefer a bit for of a tousled look, or maybe just because I’ve never really known how to style my hair well, either way, I am always on the lookout for quick & easy hairstyles that will get me out the door on time and one that I don’t have to keep fixing all day.

We just started playing around with the Double Dutch Braids and I am obsessed. Remember that braided crown we did a while ago? Well, it’s the same braiding technique, but this time we are braiding straight down the back of your head instead of around. Basically, it’s half the work & you can do this on the train to work in the morning – yes, it really is that simple!

Perfect for the gym & adorable for work, we have a feeling this is going to be your favorite no muss, no fuss hairstyle this season. Still unsure about how to master the Double Dutch braids? We’ve called in one of our favorite stylists from StylistedChristina Gauthier – to show us how!

IMG_2639THE STEP BY STEP

1. Start with a clean part that extends all the way down your head. Cleanly separate the two sections and pigtail the left section on the side of your head.

2. On the right section, separate the top of your hair into three sections. Dutch braids are basically the inverse of a French braid, so instead of pulling the pieces of hair under one another, push them on top. Or, if it’s easier to think of it this way, start French braiding and then do the opposite. The right piece goes under the middle and then the left under the middle, while adding more hair from the root.

3. Work that pattern until you’ve reached the end of your hair & secure with an elastic tie. Un-pigtail the left section and repeat.

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Stylist: Christina Gauthier from Stylistedlauren and sylvia

MAKING YOU BLUSH the best finds for any skin tone

IMG_2883I have never really been a makeup kind of gal. Truthfully, I don’t really know what I am doing. Between some moisturizer, a little mascara, & a good shade of lipstick, I feel pretty well rounded and it takes me less than 30 seconds, so you can’t really beat that. Recently, between Breann’s beauty column, our guest contributors, and the experts sharing their secrets from Stylisted, I have started to expand my daily beauty routine a bit & have found my secret weapon – blush

I know, I know this might be old news to you, but what I mean is that I actually started caring about it. By that I mean, using blush that compliments my skin tone & started applying it with an actual brush & not my fingers. So, we got our blush-guru, Christina Gauthier from Stylisted, to show us how to up our beauty game.

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Depending on your skin tone, these shades of blush will compliment your already radiant skin:

Gold/Olive undertones: Go for something with orange tones or slightly reddish pinks. They will help highlight your brightness.

Pink undertones: For a natural look, stick with light pink but for something a bit more dramatic try peach. It compliments your coloring and gives you a healthy glow.

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So, for those of you (like me) who had no idea how to apply blush (think those pink circles dolls have on their cheeks), Christine says to sweep it along your cheekbones (if you don’t know where they are, suck in your cheeks & see what stands out) and extend the color up to your temples. 

Put on a little more than you think to give you a natural glow that goes more chic than “just came in from the gym.” So, what do you think? We are tucking away our bronzer for another season & getting back to our blushing basics!

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SIMPLE BRAIDED UPSTYLE perfect for spring

image6.JPGHi friends! Breann here. Are you as excited about Spring finally being here as much as I am? There’s just something about the welcoming of warmer weather that has me itching for cold drinks, throwing the windows open, and enjoying meals on the porch. It also has me embracing loose, romantic hairstyles to accompany said outdoor meals that hopefully include candles and some slow John Mayer tunes. (Hint, hint husband!) This simple French braid upstyle is perfect for those second day curls that have fallen a bit loose and messy.
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STEP ONE:

Start with curled hair that’s been prepped with a texturizing spray, and tease just slightly at the back of the crown. Make sure to smooth the top.
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STEP TWO:

Begin a French braid just an inch or so south of where you teased the hair. Leave a few loose pieces surrounding your face for some soft framing.
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STEP THREE:

Tie off with a clear elastic, then gently pull the braided strands for the braid to appear more full.
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STEP FOUR:

Lastly, take the end of the braid and tuck it under to the nape of your neck. Secure with a few bobby pins as necessary, then finish off with a firm hold hairspray.

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WHAT ARE FACE OILS? and why should you care?

IMG_6056Have y’all heard of the latest skincare trend – face oils? I just learned about them and am freaking obsessed. I (typically) have absolutely terrible skin & am a bit of a brat when it comes to ingredients in beauty products. Hey, as much fun as a breakout is at 26, it pays to know what you are putting on your face. Since living in the desert, I have become obsessed with all things moisturizing, so when I discovered Trilogy, my life was made. Full of amazing ingredients & moisturizing, hellllo go-to beauty product.

Okay, so here is the skinny on face oils & Trilogy’s latest Age-Proof line. Face oils are a great way to get moisture back into your skin without the greasy residue of cream moisturizers. Plus, many (like Trilogy) are plant-based, so it’s less harsh than many moisturizers.

In the morning, add a few drops of face oil (I am obsessed with their Booster Oil) onto clean skin, wait a few minutes to let dry, and then apply moisturizer or sunblock. Their products (like the new Age-Proof line) is full of natural antioxidants, so they cut down on inflammation (goodbye puffy eyes) and help smooth out uneven spots (and are a great wrinkle preventative).

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RUNWAY TO REAL LIFE rachel zoe edition

IMG_6460Oh, hi! Lauren here & today’s post is something I have been looking forward to for a long time. Here is the thing, I am basically fashion illiterate. I have no idea what culottes are, get very confused by anything that claims to be ‘body-con’, and if it isn’t black or cream, I basically can’t see it. This doesn’t mean I don’t like fashion, it just means that I am not as gifted as others at putting trending outfits together.

In an effort to be a better dresser, we are launching a new series – Runway to Real Life – where we break down an ad, runway show, trend, etc. and help work it in to your normal attire. I mean, don’t get me wrong, as much as we would all love to wear gold eyeliner & flowers in our hair, I feel like your next strategy meeting might not be so open to your new found fashion savvy. Hence, this column!

We take something trendy or fashion forward, in this case Rachel Zoe’s latest Spring 2016 collection, and find ways to incorporate the look or feel into more real-life scenarios. Sound fun? We hope so!

IMG_6497Rachel Zoe’s Spring 2016 collection was all about cool ’70s & ’80s vibes – but in a chic, romantic way. Don’t think orange corduroy or denim skirts, but more a romantic Lauren Hutton goes to palm springs and brings all of her creams, whites, and fringe. Now, you get it!

We interpreted Rachel Zoe’s runway to mean lots of white & cream layers with relaxed makeup & a fun, kind of messy hair. How can you incorporate this in your everyday, office appropriate life? Pull out those white jeans (or even light denim), front tuck a loose white shirt and maybe pair with with a loose fringy jacket or something with a little flair. Still need some inspiration? We’ve got some fun starting points right here….

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IMG_6472THE TWISTED FISHTAIL

1. Fabulous stylist Andie Pierce from Stylisted helped us out with Isabella’s look, so to mimic it completely, take two sections above each ear & fishtail braid them back until they merge. For a bit of an easier start, take two sections above each ear and twist them backward & secure with a clear elastic.

2. Pull the two sections (twisted or fishtailed) back into a small ponytail. Divide the ponytail into two smaller, equal-sized ponytails & separate a small section of hair from the outside of the left ponytail.

3. Pull this piece across the top of the left ponytail over to the right ponytail. Don’t twist the hair as you bring it across, just a flat, straight pull over. Next, separate another small section of hair from the outside of the right ponytail. Pull this piece across the top of the right ponytail over to the left ponytail.

4. Repeat steps 3-6 until you run out of hair. If it get’s messy, that’s okay – it looks better that way! When you’re finished, secure the ends with a second elastic. If you used an elastic to secure your top two sections (that you twisted or fishtailed) together, snip it off so it all looks like one fluid style.

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BLUE LAGOON BEAUTY

IMG_9580You’ve probably heard about the magic of Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon & you’ve probably got a whole tripped planned around visiting this particular spot (hello, dream trip to the spa!) If you have no idea what I am talking about, here is a cliff notes version: the Blue Lagoon is a spa based on unique geothermal seawater properties of the lagoon. The blue color comes from the silica and the way it reflects sunlight.

It’s basically a dream spa. It’s stunning, helps with a whole host of ails, and not to mention, it’s the namesake of a killer beauty product line – Blue Lagoon.
IMG_9616Since Taste of Iceland is here in Chicago (goes until Sunday – go, go, GO!) we decided to bring the Icelandic spa treatment to us as well. If you are in need of a little spa trip but maybe don’t have the time or are just looking for an indulgent at-home treatment to treat yourself to, this is it.

We sampled their Silica Body Scrub & it has basically transformed me into an Icelandic princess. You see that concentrated look on my face? It’s because I am a 1,000% in love with the scrub. Rub it on your neck, legs, arms, and upper body and prepare to be amazing. Goodbye winter skin, city sledge, and everyday woes, this scrub is kicking them all to the curb.

My skin is always left silky smooth & the fragrance of the scrub is ridiculously relaxing. After a nice long bath or an evening shower, it’s almost better than a trip to the spa….almost. 

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SIMPLE SPRING MAKEUP so fresh & so dewy

IMG_1629Okay, so it might not be spring-time outside, but that doesn’t mean a girl can’t pretend. We are breaking down another super fun makeup look that is perfect for that dewy skin look that says, “I just spent a week at the spa and my skin is glowing form the inside.” Sadly, that isn’t my life right now, but a gal can dream, right?

Don’t worry, we aren’t talking about 50 shades of contouring or breaking down strobing (because who has time for that, really?) Just three simple steps and maybe a few new tricks to get gorgeous glowing skin in under 5 minutes. Now that is a makeup routine I can get behind!

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STEP ONE: The Base

Start with MAC’s Strobe Cream to add a dewiness to the skin and prep the skin for makeup. Just a little goes a long way, so don’t go overboard!

Next, apply foundation (we used Makeup Forever HD) and conceal where needed. Again, just spot treat.

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STEP TWO: Sassy Cheekbones

Next, it’s all about those fabulous cheekbones! Define your cheekbones by brushing Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder and a neutral berry blush (Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure) right under the cheekbone going upward.

To highlight, we used (and are obsessed with!) the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop on the cheekbones, brow bone, center of nose, cupid’s bow, center of forehead and center of chin. Highlighting sounds much more complicated than it really is. Don’t think contouring or strobing, just lightly dust the powder on the above areas and see play around with a look that works best!

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STEP THREE: The Finishing Touches

Last, but certainly not least, your eyes & lips!

For the eyes, we used the  Viseart Neutral Matte palette with some Champagne Pop in the center of the lids for added light. This is a soft enough color to wear during the day, but moody enough to transition to a fun afterwork activity.

For lips, Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Gel Lipstick in Dusty Rose is the perfect match, as it’s sheer so it can never look too harsh on the lips!

Top it off with a simple three step Dutch braid crown & you are ready for just about anything!

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If you are like me & not very savvy with hair or makeup, I more than recommend my gal Mollie at Stylisted. It’s the most amazing service that allows stylists to come to your home & get your hair and makeup ready in no time, plus it’s insanely affordable! Trust me, you’ll love it.

So, think you’ll try it out? Let me know below!IMG_1487
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DUTCH BRAID CROWN because everyone needs hair goals

IMG_1358The Dutch Braid Crown seems to be on everyone’s #hairgoals list – am I right? My hair doesn’t get much action outside of a pony tail these days, so when the girls from The Stylisted said they wanted to de-mysto this look, we were all in!

So, pack some extra bobby pins in that purse & duck out to the office bathroom and give this look a go. We promise, with a good mirror & a little practice, you’ll be a Dutch princess in no time! Make sure you leave a comment below telling us what you think – we can’t wait to hear.

IMG_1282STEP ONE:

The key to getting that chunky braided crown is all in the way you braid. Typically, if you are going to french braid, you’ll braid the three strands into (or over) each other. For this braid, you are going to reverse that technique, and braid the three straights outward (or under) one another. Make sense? If not, start braiding & then reverse what you normally do. If the braid is thick & stands away from the head (as opposed to that smooth french braid look) then you’ve got it!

Once you’ve got the braiding technique down, part your hair in the middle and grab a section at the nape of your neck on the left side. Start braiding (using that reverse technique you just mastered) up the side of your head, pulling in new strands with each new loop.

IMG_1319STEP TWO:

You are doing so well! Continue to braid around your head until you reach the right nape of your neck. Once you get there instead of continuing to braid around, french braid (using that same technique) at an angle.

You see how in the picture in Step One Mollie is braiding the hair out towards her but not straight out. Braiding the rest of the hair at this angle will allow you to wrap is around and tuck it under without any bumps or pockets. If you are doing this on yourself, imagine you are braiding the remainder of your hair towards the tip of your left shoulder. That should help nail the angle.

IMG_1301STEP THREE:

Once you’ve got that down, take the remaining braided hair and wrap it around (on top of the other braid) as far as it will go. Grab some sturdy bobby pins & tuck the tail under and pin away.

Spray with a good hairspray (we love Money Maker, plus it smells good!) & voila, your life as a Dutch princess awaits!

If you are like me & not very savvy with hair and makeup, I more than recommend my gal Mollie at Stylisted. It’s the most amazing service that allows stylists to come to your home & get your hair and makeup ready in no time, plus it’s insanely affordable! Trust me, you’ll love it.

So, think you’ll try it out? I would love to hear what other hair goals you’ve been coveting & maybe we can help hack them! Share below in the comments!IMG_1288

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KISSABLE WINTER SKIN a guide to great skin in the winter

IMG_5301Winter days can be rough, especially on your skin. Since moving from Phoenix to Chicago my skin has had to seriously readjust. Between the daily weather changes and crazy temperature ranges, I am left dryer than a bone most days. And as sexy as super chapped lips are, it’s not my favorite look.

Luckily, we’ve teamed up with alligator skin saviors, Vaseline, to share our most Chicago-approved life hacks to keep your skin feeling happy & hydrated this winter.

IMG_5292DRINK WINE

Well, by wine, I mean water, but you can sneak a glass in there too. We won’t tell!

This one sounds super easy, but if you are like me & are on the go must days, drinking water throughout the day is actually kind of tricky. I pop a straw in my water bottle, throw it in my bag, and voila – hydration on-the-go at it’s finest! Keep that skin soft and smooth by staying hydrated throughout the day & treat your fabulous self with a glass (or two) of wine at night. Seems logical to me 😉

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IMG_5280EXFOLIATE

Talk about the perfect excuse for an at-home spa night! Any reason to indulge in a new body scrub is a-okay in my book. Get those winter blues off by spending a little extra time in the shower and exfoliate.

Coffee scrubs are fabulous in the morning or if you are more of an evening shower gal, something soothing and lightly fragrant is wonderfully calming. Exfoliating helps kick that dry skin to the curb & let’s that new healthy (& hydrated!) skin shine.

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IMG_5277LOVE THOSE LIPS

Like I said earlier, chapped lips aren’t my favorite look and, to be honest, they are a total pain. Step outside in dry, winter weather and it’s like all the moisture from you lips just disappears! I started using Vaseline’s lip tins (don’t worry, you can find them at Target) and I am a new woman. They are magic! And yes, while you might think I have to say that, but it’s true! (the part about me being obsessed with them)

They have found their way into every purse, desk drawer, and car cupholder. The tin is sneaky and small & the Rosy tint makes it look like your lips are just naturally rosy. Plus, no more gross, dry winter lips!

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WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, EAT CAKE

But let’s get real, sometimes it’s just too dang cold to go outside. So stock up on healthy snacks & sweet treats, get that humidifier next-day shipped, and snuggle up with your fabulously hydrated skin, because sometimes you just need a day off!

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lauren buttonsylvia buttonThis post was sponsored by Vaseline. I am obsessed with their lip tins & have them stashed in every bag, at my desk, and in my makeup bag. Thanks for supporting the brands that help make new content possible!

WILL YOU BE MY VALENTINE GIFT GUIDE

IMG_1698Hello my little love bird! Can you believe Valentine’s Day is this weekend? If you are anything like me this holiday has totally fallen off your radar and now it’s crunch time! Besides the man, there are lots of friends and loved ones I like to give presents to, so we’ve rounded up a fun little gift guide of pretty things your ladies will love!
IMG_1693Mermaid Perfume: It’s light & refreshing and perfect for that “Why isn’t it summer yet?!” friend. Don’t worry, we all have one!

English Rose Hand Cream: This lovely little hand cream is perfect for the lover of romantic things in your life. Mr Darcey, anyone?

Happ & Stahn’s Jasmine Rivera: For the dainty design lover, this land lotion is total eye candy, not to mention really having the most delightful fragrance.

Sugar Berry Lip Tint: For the, “I am not really a lipstick kinda gal.” This stain is remarkably moisturizing, wears well, and has just the right hint of color to ease her in to wearing lip color.

Moon Flower Noir Hand Cream: Another immaculetly designed package that is perfect for that glam goddess in the friend group. Did I mention it smells like magic? It’s divine!

Dior Addict Lip Glow: We’ve all got a Dior junkie in the bunch & if she doesn’t already have this, her collection is incomplete. The balm changes to match your chemistry to create the perfect color that lasts all day. Talk about a match made in heaven!

Barr & Co. Honeysuckle Hand Cream: A classic for a classic friend. Who doesn’t love a good Barr & Co. product and this one smells ever so slightly of honeysuckle – perfectly balanced, like your most classic friend!

Laura Geller Iconic Lipstick (in Tan): A personal favorite of mine, this lip shade is subtly bold. It takes a lot to wear an almost khaki lipstick, but for the bold ladies in your life, this is a slam dunk. Plus, it’s fantastically hydrating!

Royal Apothic Lilly Hand Cream: In case English Rose wasn’t her cup of tea, we’ve put in her sister, the Lilly hand cream as well. Delightful yet slightly more grown up, this hand cream carries a fragrance that says, “I am sweet, but also pack a punch.” For all those gals in your life, this is for them.

Benefit Lip Stain: For the gal who likes a little quirk, this posey cheek and lip stain is just the thing. Smudge proof (hello, we’ve all been there) and delightfully cheerful, this stain is perfect for the gal who has no idea what contouring is yet loves to look her best!

Mermaid Candle: Some people just aren’t beauty counter people, that’s why this candle is a sure-fire every time. Light, refreshing, and perfect to lite once out of the shower or tub, it’s a fun way to treat yourself without  going to far out of your wheelhouse.

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