Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Gina Made It Giveaway

I wanted to introduce you all to the cutest new brand- Gina Made It. As a curly-haired girl, Gina (Regina) Von Schack was always on the look out for comfortable, chic headbands to help with those unruly hair days. After years of creating decorative party headbands for birthday girls and brides-to-be, Gina decided to start a company. 

Gina Made It headbands are handcrafted in North Carolina. Available in glitter, gingham, velvet, dots and stripes, the headbands are the perfect combination of casual and glamorous. Gina derives her inspiration from her days at school in New England, her travels abroad and her love for the sea; all of which are channeled into GMI.

Now, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that the lovely ladies at GMI have sent me some goodies to try out. I got the black bun bow and the denim and gold sparkle headbands. I really love them all but wouldn't feel right not sharing a little something with you, so I am giving away the denim headband (don't worry, I haven't worn it ;)). Please use the form below to enter to win!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sonoma Pool Party

Photo Credit: Dena Stern

This past weekend we headed up to Sonoma for the day for a pool party at our friends' house. While it was cold and icky in the city, it was sunny and beautiful in Sonoma. We had a great time BBQing and catching up with friends. Plus, I got to take my new dress that I scored on sale at Shopbop for a spin :)

Straw Fedora, H&M Sunglasses (similar), 291 Dress from Shopbop, Target Sandals
Photo Credit: Dena Stern
Spike the Punch, J.Crew and vintage jewelry

Hangin' with my friends CIP, Dena and Sophie

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Wedding Planning 101: Off-Registry Gifts

I was once asked what my favorite off-registry gift was. I have to admit, that was the first I'd heard of the concept. I thought to myself 'why wouldn't you just order off the registry?' Well let me tell you, after receiving a few gifts that weren't on our registry, I totally get how awesome they can be! We have scored some really cool things that I would have never have thought I needed, but suddenly cannot live without! Here are some of the awesome off-registry gifts we received:

Monogrammed Cocktail Napkins from Mark & Graham

Duckhorn Wine Club Membership (okay, we didn't get this, but wouldn't it be awesome!?)

Ralph Lauren Wine Coaster

What about you all? Got any great off-registry gift ideas to share?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wedding Planning 101: The Interview

Photo credit: Onelove Photography

Hey everyone, with almost one month until the big day (OMG!) check out my interview on my wedding planner's blog, Bridechilla! Enjoy :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Captain Casual

J.Crew Vintage V-Neck Tee, Old Navy The Rockstar Pants, Gap Jean Jacket (similar),
Sperry x Milly Sneakers, KJP (c/o), Spike the Punch and Forever 21 Bracelets,
H&M Sunglasses (similar), Bauble Bar LOVE Necklace

Let's be real here- advertising is a totally casual profession in terms of dress. People wear t-shirts, shorts, jeans, Uggs, etc every day, myself included (okay not Uggs, those are not okay at work). Of course, there are obvious rules about covering up, wearing clean clothes and dressing up for client meetings, but aside from that, I totally promote a casual work environment. 

This is one of my typical work outfits. My trusty J.Crew v-neck, pants and flats. Don't get me wrong, I love a good heel, but heels simply aren't practical for San Francisco so I wear either flat boots, ballet flats, sneakers or loafers every day. 

You may remember these pants from this post. They actually were a little big so I ordered them a size smaller because, well, they were dirt cheap. God love Old Navy.

Lauren's Looks for Less: Festival Style

My husband and I just scored 3-day passes to Lollapalooza here in Chicago, and of course my first thought was "what in the world am I going to wear??" As you've probably started to recognize, I skew towards the preppy/J.Crew end of the fashion spectrum, but I'm not about to show up to the festival in a silk top and schoolboy blazer. It's time to get hipster-ified.

I looked to Rachel Bilson and Kate Bosworth for inspiration. They're both so good at doing the casual, West coast, slightly hippy look without being over the top.

Since we're going all three days, I'm looking for a couple of outfits that will keep me comfy and cool. I started at Urban Outfitters, obviously. I found this super short tie-dye dress on sale for $39.

Urban Outfitters Tie-Dye Babydoll Dress - $39
I might also get crazy and wear one of these cheap headbands ($4.50 from American Apparel) on my forehead.

For Rachel's look, I need some new jean shorts (mine definitely are not short enough). J.Crew factory is a great place for basics like that. I found a cute animal print cropped top from F21 that's burnout, meaning it will be very thin and soft cotton to keep me from overheating. Lastly, Old Navy has really cheap sandals that I'll pick up - I've heard your footwear can get disgusting, so I'm counting on tossing them when the weekend is through.

J.Crew Factory Denim Roll-up Short - $52.50 

F21 Burnout Leopard Crop Top - $11.80

Old Navy Braided Sandal - $25

Wish me luck! I'm closer to 30 than 25 and I hate crowds, so it could be an interesting weekend :) Thanks for reading, as always!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Bridesmaid Styling: The Hair

Do you all remember my friend who I was helping to dress to be the maid of honor in her brother's wedding? Well, her dress arrived a few weeks ago and she asked me for suggestions on hairstyles that would go best with the dress and occasion. I thought I'd share my suggestions with you all today :)

Low Messy Bun - This would balance the bow at the neckline well.

French Twist - This classic style would pair well with the dress and add volume to make her look longer and taller.

All such pretty options. I can't wait to see which one she chose!

Xo J

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Straight Hair Don't Care

My hair icon, Lauren Conrad.

I got a comment last week on one of my posts asking for me to share how I get my hair straight. Given how challenging my hair can be, I considered this a serious compliment. You see, my hair is naturally pretty wavy and frizzy. Since I've never really learned how to tame the curl, I usually just end up blow-drying my hair straight and then straightening it further with a flat iron or curing it with a curling wand or curlers. 

Admittedly, it not humid in San Francisco, but it is misty quite often which is sort of the same thing (moisture = hell). However, I think I've stumbled across the right haircut, hair length and combination of products to keep the mist from totally effing up my hair on the reg. So while I'll leave it to an expert to analyze the best cut and length for you (for me it's layers and longer hair that will help weight down the frizz), I'll share with you my favorite products.

Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner

First, I only wash my hair every other day usually. I use Biolage Color Care for the most part but rotate in other stuff to change it up from time to time. I think washing every other day helps dry things out and help the hair behave. Everyone is different in this department and some can get away with washing their hair even less frequently. I would say though that it's probably best to avoid washing your hair every day if possible. Stock up on a great dry shampoo (here and here are some reviews) to help stretch things out.

Pureology Perfect 4 Platinum Miracle Filler Treatment

After I get out of the shower, I loosely towel-dry my hair, flip my head upside down and use 2-3 sprays of Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner underneath. I then flip my head over and spray 3-4 sprays of Pureology Perfect 4 Platinum Miracle Filler Treatment to top. I then apply a dime-sized amount of either Paul Mitchell Smoothing Super Skinny Serum OR Biosilk Silk Therapy

Paul Mitchell Smoothing Super Skinny Serum

If you are worried about that being a lot of products, the one product I recommend the most is the Biosilk Silk Therapy. It's actually the only product I travel with and given it's stellar performance in the humidity of Chicago, I'd say it's your best bet :)

Biosilk Silk Therapy

Now here is the step that makes all of the difference in the world. After I apply the products, I comb my hair and put it up in a towel for 20-30 mins for allow for the products to all soak in. In the morning, that can be a challenge, but I just take a shower first thing and then make my meals for the day while my hair is in a towel. It goes by very quickly and I think is was really helps the products to work their magic. 

After everything is soaked in, I use my Babyliss hairdryer with a round bristle brush around the face to smooth out my curls and then a flat brush. If it's really hot or humid/wet outside, I'll break after the blow dry and pull my hair straight back into a ballerina bun while I put on my makeup. It not only allows me to cool down, but by the time I am done with my makeup, the bun has left a gentle big wave to my hair. When dealing with humidity or moisture outside, your hair is never going to be really straight but a gentle wave can be the best best thing. After that I just run a flat iron quickly through it and call it a day.

Hope that was helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Xo J

Monday, July 15, 2013

Product Review: Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus

I admit, I am a late-bloomer. That is, of course, a late-bloomer when it comes to Clinique. I feel like I remember most of my friends first makeup. moisturizer, etc being Clinique. You see, my mom was a Lancome user so I never really got into Clinique. It actually wasn't until last year, that I got into Clinique and well, I haven't looked back since.

After experiencing a traumatic fall/winter season, my skin needed saving. Enter Clinique's Moisture Surge Intense. Lather it on at night after a thorough washing and after a few days, no sign of wind/cold damage. I've been using it religiously ever since. Now, this post isn't actually about Clinique's Moisture Surge Intense but follow me here.

I was picking up a new jar of Moisture Surge Intense and lucky me, it was Gift with Purchase time. I scored a few awesome items including a new eye cream, Clinique's Repairwear Laser Focus. As someone always on the search for an excellent eye cream, I had to put it to the test.

Let me just tell you, this product is great. It's a great balance of creamy and light. It isn't oily and doesn't smell. A little bit goes a long way. While I can't yet report of any of it's effects, I will tell you that I just feel it working. Not like a miracle cream, but like, tightening/softening. I will definitely be purchasing Clinique's Repairwear Laser Focus when my sample runs out! 

Xo J