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The Blog

Approachable inspiration for a stylish life. 

 

Spring Color

Kristen Berry

I recently noticed that while I have nearly a million eyeshadow palettes, they’re all fairly...neutral. Even the boldest colors in my collection are work-friendly. I wanted to add some color to my arsenal, but only wanted to invest in one palette.

Then I stumbled across this amazing palette from Morphe, a brand best known for their makeup brushes. The Morphe 35U Multi-Color Shimmer Palette contains 35 gorgeous shades, and only costs $20 dollars. Of course, unless you live near Morphe’s only brick and mortar store in Burbank, CA, you’ll have to spring for shipping as well. But at this price, the palette is still an incredible bargain. And the quality is fantastic – the shadows provide a wonderful color payoff, and last all day.

While searching for inspiration for a bold beauty look to try out, I found this amazing creation from Beautylish. I took this look for a spin last Saturday, and I absolutely loved it. It was surprisingly easy to create, and felt so fun and summery.

Never one to keep an awesome discovery to myself, I decided to film a tutorial of this look. Check it out!

Products used in this tutorial:

  • NARS Pro-Prime™ Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, $26 at Sephora.com.
  • Morphe 35U Multi-Color Shimmer Palette, $20 at MorpheBrushes.com.
  • e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set, $3 at Target.com.
  • Urban Decay Naked 24/7 Glide-On Double-Ended Eye Pencil, $18 at Ulta.com.
  • Maybelline Fit Me Concealer (now in a new formula than the one used in the tutorial), $4.40 at Target.com.
  • e.l.f. Studio Translucent Matifying Powder, $3 at Target.com.
  • Maybelline® Lash Sensational™ Mascara, $7 at Target.com.
  • NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien, $26 at Sephora.com.

What makeup looks are you excited to try this spring?

- Kristen

Spend or Save: Shade Adjusting Drops from The Body Shop

Kristen Berry

It happens every summer and every winter – I look in the mirror one day to find that the foundation I’ve been faithfully wearing all season no longer matches my tanned or untanned skin. What if instead of having to buy a new foundation, I could simply pluck a jar from my medicine cabinet and add a drop of liquid to transform my makeup to the perfect shade?

Intriguing concept, right?That was my reaction when I received a package from the kind PR folks for The Body Shop, containing their new Shade Adjusting Drops. The drops are available in two shades, one to lighten and one to darken foundation to create your ideal color.

I couldn’t wait to put them to the test. I did have an initial reservation, though – the bottles are sold separately, at $20 a pop. But if it works, and you have a collection of numerous foundations to lighten or darken, it might be worth it, right?

The product is very easy to use. I applied a few drops of a foundation that’s a bit too light to the back of my hand. I then used the dropper to add one drop of the darkening shade adjuster. I mixed the two with my fingers, and applied it to my face.

The resulting color was indeed a ½ shade darker than the original foundation, and if you add more of the adjusting drops, you can create an even deeper shade. The drops also blended perfectly with the foundation, creating an even color and consistency.

Did the drops actually create the perfect shade? Unfortunately, no. The finished color looked a bit – gray, noticeably ashy. Which is ironic, because in addition to deepening the foundation color, one of the promises of the darkening drops is that it will help combat ashy tones in your makeup.

I tried adding the lightening drops to a too-dark foundation in my makeup kit, and I found that the finished product had a similar grayish hue.

The thing is, our skin tones are different in many ways, beyond just their lightness and darkness. Some of us have golden undertones. Some have cooler undertones. Others are more neutral. In order for a foundation to be perfect for us, it has to match those undertones, in addition to the darkness or lightness of our skin.

So while the concept behind this product is brilliant, I’m not sure that it works in practice – especially at $20/bottle.

If you’re looking for a new foundation, and you’re in the market for a higher-end product, I highly recommend going to Sephora and asking for a few samples of foundations in multiple shades. That way you can test drive the makeup – in terms of color, as well as wear, coverage and overall feel – in your everyday life over the course of a few days to see if it really suits you. If you’re more of a drugstore makeup gal, at worst, you spend $10 or less each on a couple of foundations until you find the right one. And if you’re somewhere in between two shades, you’re not spending an arm and a leg if you need to buy them both and mix them.

While this is a “save” versus a “spend” for me, I hope the folks at The Body Shop continue to explore how to solve key beauty pain points like these.

Romp Around

Kristen Berry

At brunch with five girlfriends on Saturday, the waiter took a glance around the table and declared, “You all look very Coachella-y.” To which everyone replied with a collective groan.

While we all feel that we’ve outgrown the whole hedonistic music festival thing, as I glanced at all of us – the printed romper, the flower crown, the flowy bohemian maxi dress – I couldn’t deny that we were all serving serious festival fashion vibes.

There’s something about Coachella style that’s incredibly appealing. It’s fun, easy going and sexy. And there are few retailers who aren’t currently shoving the style down our throats right now.

If I had been talked into attending the festival last weekend, this is probably what I would have worn. I recently purchased this romper – my first – and I’m totally loving it. I usually tend to avoid wearing shorts – being on the taller side (I’m 5’8”), I often feel as though the shorter versions appear to show too much skin, and the longer ones just look frumpy. Sticking with flats versus heels and topping the one-piece with a structured jacket help to balance things out a bit.

I decided trying something new with my hair this weekend as well. The back of the look is just your run-of-the-mill sock bun. For the front, I parted my hair down the middle, braided each side down, and secured them just under the bun. For a little extra fun – and as a nod to the flower crown look – I took a few remaining pieces from a faux floral arrangement adorning my entryway table and pinned them just above the braids.

  • Sleeveless jumpsuit in dark blue/white pattern, $30 at HM.com.
  • White denim jacket, BCBG, practically vintage. See similar here and here under $50.
  • Sunglasses, Quay Australia. No longer available, but similar here and here by Quay at $60 or less.
  • Purse, Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C. No longer available in this color, but numerous other shades can be found here.
  • Sandals, Enzo Angiolini, ancient. Similar styles here and here under $60.

Which styles are you feeling for summer?

- Kristen

Keep it Casual

Kristen Berry

It’s no secret  – I love dressing up. Few articles of clothing get my heart rate going quite like a sparkly, elaborate cocktail dress that I can only wear once or twice a year.

As a result, my wardrobe basically consists of work clothes, fancy evening attire and athletic wear. There’s a big gaping hole when it comes to casual weekend clothes.

Here are the key pieces I’m planning to add to my closet this spring to help balance things out.

Tee Time

This has always been a problem area for me. When I’m browsing in a clothing store, the last item to catch my eye is a simple t-shirt. However, focusing on tops with special details or unique cuts will help do the trick – as will shopping online for these bits instead of in-store.

I wasn’t planning to only include options from Zara, but their top game is seriously strong. From left to right: Contrast Sheer T-Shirt, $23; T-Shirt with Slits in Grey Marl, $23; Devoré T-Shirt in Off-White, $23.

I wasn’t planning to only include options from Zara, but their top game is seriously strong. From left to right: Contrast Sheer T-Shirt, $23; T-Shirt with Slits in Grey Marl, $23; Devoré T-Shirt in Off-White, $23.

Romper Room

I’ve resisted the whole jumpsuit/romper thing for years now, expecting the trend to fade. Guess what? It hasn’t. And now that I’ve already taken a step down the one-piece road, I get it. There’s something so simple and freeing about putting on one item of clothing vs. having to mix and match a bunch of separates. And unlike my beloved dresses, there’s something a bit more playful and casual about a romper.

From left to right: Sleeveless Jumpsuit in Dark Blue/White Pattern, $30 at HM.com; Iona Romper by Reverse, $62 at Revolve.com; Lira Festival Playsuit, $59 at ASOS.com.

From left to right: Sleeveless Jumpsuit in Dark Blue/White Pattern, $30 at HM.com; Iona Romper by Reverse, $62 at Revolve.com; Lira Festival Playsuit, $59 at ASOS.com.

Flat-Out

Because four-inch heels ≠ casual.

Clockwise from top left: Flat Lace-Up Sandals in Gold, $50 at Zara.com; Harmony Flat in Medium Green, $60 at Aldo.com; Glaniel Flat in Rust, on Sale for $25 at Aldo.com; Topshop 'N Fase Laser' Ghillie Flat, $48 at Nordstrom.com.

Clockwise from top left: Flat Lace-Up Sandals in Gold, $50 at Zara.com; Harmony Flat in Medium Green, $60 at Aldo.com; Glaniel Flat in Rust, on Sale for $25 at Aldo.com; Topshop 'N Fase Laser' Ghillie Flat, $48 at Nordstrom.com.

Get Shorty

Blame the whole festival fashion thing, but whether it’s a pair of cut-offs or a pretty, flouncy option, shorts are having a moment. And I’m going to embrace it.

Clockwise from top left: Denim Shorts, $18 at HM.com; Band of Gypsies Shorts in Faded Rose Print, $51 at ASOS.com; Floral Lace Shorts, $59 at LOFT.com; Faux Leather Tailored Shorts, $34 at MissguidedUS.com.

Clockwise from top left: Denim Shorts, $18 at HM.com; Band of Gypsies Shorts in Faded Rose Print, $51 at ASOS.com; Floral Lace Shorts, $59 at LOFT.com; Faux Leather Tailored Shorts, $34 at MissguidedUS.com.

Dress Down

And because I’m still me, I’ll likely add an easy breezy dress or two to the collection.

Clockwise from top left: Two-Tone Dress, $26 at Zara.com; Tori Dress by Clayton, $84 at Revolve.com; Rib-Knit Midi Tank Dress for Women, on Sale for $20 at OldNavy.com; Honey Punch Knot-Front T-Shirt Dress in Grey, $49 at UrbanOutfitters.com.

Clockwise from top left: Two-Tone Dress, $26 at Zara.com; Tori Dress by Clayton, $84 at Revolve.com; Rib-Knit Midi Tank Dress for Women, on Sale for $20 at OldNavy.com; Honey Punch Knot-Front T-Shirt Dress in Grey, $49 at UrbanOutfitters.com.

What’s your go-to casual look?

- Kristen

Kind of Blue

Kristen Berry

In my last outfit post, I tackled my first crop top look since, well, ever.

If you like the concept of a little skin reveal but feel uncomfortable wearing a full blown crop, a piece with sheer paneling, like this dress, might be just what the doctor ordered.

I’m a bit obsessed with this dress. I love that the overall silhouette and lacey material are traditionally feminine, while the sheer bits and electric blue color give it an edge.

I decided to play up this duality with my hair and makeup, drawing on a classic cat eye in the same bold bright blue as the dress, and adding a bit of twisted detail to my half-bun.

I had a bit of a tough time capturing all of this on camera for some reason (I blame the harsh lighting and the fact that I shot these images solo using my tripod). The pics I snapped at home later aren’t much better, but they’ll give you the general idea.

  • Dress: Showshopper Mini Dress in Navy by NBD, currently on sale for $84 at Revolve.com.
  • Shoes: French Connection. No longer available, but similar styles can be found here for about $30.
  • Eyeliner: Maybelline Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Pencil in Lustrous Sapphire, $8 at Ulta.com.

- Kristen