Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Beauty Bonus: NARS Pro-Prime Pore Refining Primer

I've had a few reader questions lately about my makeup routine, so I thought I'd start a little extra series about my favorite products--the ones that fall into the failsafe, can't-live-without-it, worth-every-penny, Holy-Grail-of-Beauty-Products category. (Bonus: seldom-seen close-ups of my face--who doesn't want that?)

First up is an unlikely superstar: foundation primer (specifically NARS Pro-Prime Pore Refining Primer). Although I'd read about it in magazines and noticed it as I browsed through the aisles at Sephora, I have to admit that I wasn't really into the idea of primer. I didn't like the concept of adding another layer of goo to my face, thinking I was just upping the potential for my oily, sensitive, breakout-prone skin to have a complete meltdown by the end of the day.

My first experience with primer wasn't a happy one, unfortunately. A sales associate convinced me I should give it a try, and I haplessly spread a thick layer of a the non-oil-free (oil-ful?) variety over my skin and caked a layer of foundation over it. By the end of the day, the predicted oily meltdown and subsequent breakout were a reality. I swore off primer forever.

Against my better judgment, I gave it another try when I got a big sample of the oil-free formula in a NARS gift bag. I use bareMinerals READY foundation (likely the subject of a future Beauty Bonus), and I noticed immediately that the powder went on much more easily and smoothly. It had the same effect as buffing extensively with a kabuki brush, leaving the powder evenly spread over my skin. The finished look was smoother and more dewy-looking, which I loved, but I wasn't sure it was going to last. When I looked in the mirror at lunchtime, I was pleasantly surprised that it looked about the same as it did when I left the house. Later that evening, I was thrilled to discover that, barring some excess oil, my makeup was still holding strong, blush and all.

I kept using the Pro-Prime over several days (the true test), and my skin seemed to tolerate it really well--no extra breakouts, redness, or sensitivity. I was hooked. At $34 a tube, this new addition was not an inexpensive addition to the repertoire, but it was a great one that has continued to perform really well (it's my Photoshop for real life).

Do you have any amazing products you think I should try? Let me know--I love experimenting!

P.S. Make sure you stop by here tomorrow--I have a very exciting collaboration and contest I can't wait to share with you!

Note: I was not compensated in any way for this product review--I just love this primer that much.


Monday, July 29, 2013


eva franco peach blossom dress

reed krakoff clutch wallet

eva franco peach dress
Dress: Anthropologie | Sunglasses: Valentino | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Clutch: Reed Krakoff | Necklace: Theresa Mink | Bracelet: David Yurman | Ring: Gift

I got to play dress-up a little the weekend with this gorgeous dress from Anthropolgie (can you tell I love their petites section?). It was a lovely, cool weekend in Denver, which was a nice break from the recent heat wave.

How was your weekend?


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hello, Yellow

Tee: Nordstrom | Jeans: 7FAM | Sunglasses: Karen Walker | Shoes: kate spade new york | Bag: Coach | Bracelets: J.Crew, Ann Taylor (similar here) | Necklaces: Brian Gavin, Theresa Mink | Watch: kate spade new york

This outfit is another from my Chicago trip (wish I were still there!). Although the jeans I'm wearing here are white, they are a favorite travel pair. They're the 7FAM Slim Illusion Skinny, which are nice and stretchy. They also hold their shape wonderfully through a day of sitting on planes and trains, hiking around sightseeing, and taking them off and putting them back on again many times while shopping. I'm thinking I'll have to order another pair in a darker color for fall and winter! (Note: if you end up deciding to get a pair for yourself, go down a size.)

P.S. Don't forget that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is going on now through August 5, 2013, when prices go back up to full retail. They have a bunch of amazing fall pieces on sale--my favorites are these Tory Burch riding boots, this Michael Kors trench (available in petite sizing!), and these pretty kate spade earrings that match the bracelet I'm wearing in this post.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Heat Wave Chic

Dress: Anthropologie | Sunglasses: Karen Walker | Shoes: Steve Madden (similar here and here) | Bag: Tory Burch (similar styles here, here, and here) | Necklaces: Brian Gavin, Theresa Mink | Watch: kate spade new york

After falling in love with the last Anthro Petites dress I purchased, I decided I'd try ordering another. I snagged this Empress Dress after it popped back in stock in my size and brought it to Chicago with me this weekend. I loved the mirror batik-style print and embroidered cutouts below the neckline--the kind of pretty little details that are the norm at Anthro. It was pretty and comfortable, but more importantly, it was light, which was great for the intense heat and humidity. (I am happy to to report that, despite the heat, it was a great trip--Chicago is such a fun city!)

Hope you had a lovely weekend, too, and that you're all staying cool!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Paisley Patterns

Blouse: Ann Taylor Factory (similar here) | Shorts: Crewcuts (last seen here) | Sunglasses: Valentino | Shoes: Steve Madden | Bag: kate spade new york | Necklace: Theresa Mink | Bracelets: J.Crew (link bracelet), J.Crew (charm bracelet, this season's here), F21 | Watch: Michael Kors


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Big Shot Dot: Remixed

Dress (worn as skirt): J.Crew (Big Shot Dot Dress, Spring 2012--last seen here) (similar here) | Shirt: Aeropostale (last seen here) | Sunglasses: Karen Walker | Shoes: Stuart Weitzman | Clutch: Arden B. (similar style here) | Necklace: Ann Taylor (old) | Bracelets: J.Crew, Vintage | Rings: Vintage | Watch: kate spade new york

This pretty polka dot dress has been sitting in my closet unworn since its last outing over a year ago, so I decided to try styling it as a skirt. I loved the result--pretty, feminine, and more casual than the dress on its own. (Added bonus: styling a dress this way gives me the opportunity to wear the knotted shirt trend without the risk of midriff peeking out at an inopportune moment!)


Friday, July 5, 2013

Sunflower Stroll

Dress: ASOS | Sunglasses: Valentino | Belt: Madewell | Shoes: Ann Taylor | Bag: Reed Krakoff | Necklace: Theresa Mink | Bracelets: David Yurman, J.Crew, F21, INPINK c/o | Watch: kate spade new york

Nothing like a Monday that's also a Friday! Hope everyone had a happy Fourth of July, and that you have a great weekend!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fiesta Stripes (an Anthro Petites Success Story)

Dress: Anthropologie (on sale--now an additional 20% off the sale price + available in both petite and regular sizing) | Sunglasses: Valentino | Shoes: Steve Madden | Bag: Coach | Necklace: Theresa Mink | Bracelets: David Yurman, J.Crew, F21, INPINK c/o | Watch: Michael Kors | Earrings: bought in Turkey

Anthropologie is having their big summer tag sale right now, so I thought I'd take advantage and order something from their petites line that I've been eyeing for a while. I ordered this dress in a 00P, and I was thrilled when it arrived and fit well right out of the box.

I don't own much from Anthropologie as their standard sizing has never worked for me, but I think I've become a convert based on the fit and look of this fun, colorful dress. I love that the shift style makes it appropriate for a more casual day at work or for an evening out at a taco-and-tequila bar (that's where I was headed right after these photos were taken!).