Friday, August 29, 2014

Her 10 {Skincare} Essentials: Allie

Meet my friend, Allie of Allie Wears. Thanks to the world of blogging, Allie and I met almost a year ago and ever since then I have always taken notice of her flawless skin with and without make-up. Make-up can work many wonders for those days when a stubborn blemish just won't quit or those mornings you've snoozed your alarm 4 times after a long night out with friends. After many years of buying expensive foundation I've had my moments of hating being a girl having to buy these types of products. I used to think buying one $20 bottle of face wash was silly, I mean, I'm already spending a lot on my make-up! But as I've gotten older I've realized that healthy skin is the best long-lasting foundation you'll ever have day to night, day after day. So spending more on the skincare essentials rather than the make-up has proved to be way more worth it to me.

photo via Allie Wears

Check out Allie's skincare secrets to a healthy glow and hear what she has to say about why a good skincare routine is important to her.

"Long gone are the days of sleeping with my make-up on and roasting in the sun for hours at a time. Over the past few years, I've come to realize how important proper skin care is and I try my best to pamper my skin with the right products, hoping and praying it will stay forever young. I battled horrible acne growing up, so a proper skin care regimen is extremely important to me. I never want to have to live those horrible, awkward teenage years again. Here is a breakdown of my top ten essentials that work best for my skin (which is a mix between oily and dry). Along with the products below, I drink multiple liters of water a day, eat a strict vegetarian diet, and work out to keep my blood flowing and to sweat out the toxins."

1. First Aid Beauty Deep Cleanser with Red Clay: This is one of the face cleansers that I rotate throughout my routine. I specifically love using it with my Clairsonic – it lathers and gives my face the feeling of a deep clean. 

2. First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Purifying Mask with Red Clay: Not only is it fun walking around with a bright red mask on your face for 30+ minutes, but it’s just as much fun peeling it off! It leaves my skin feeling refreshed and glowing. I use this about once a week, usually at the end of the week.

3. St. Ives Facial Scrub: I like using a scrub every other day to wash away the dead skin cells and remove any clogged dirt in my pores. 

4. Countertime Soothing Face Wash: This is a subtle cleanser that I rotate with my F.A.B Cleanser. It’s soft, light, and has the perfect amount of foaming ingredients. 

5. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads: Instead of using a harsh toner that strips my skin, I like using these pads to remove any excess make-up or oil that has build up throughout the day. 

6. Countertime Restorative Night Cream: I apply this before bed, with upward strokes on my neck and face. It hydrates, firms, and moisturizes my skin while I sleep – a win, win. 

7. Countertime Vibrant Eye Perfector: I tap this around my eyes after I shower in the AM. It reduces puffiness (great after a long night out) and helps diminish lines and wrinkles.

8. Lustro Face Oil 3: I usually apply this once or twice a week before bed. It includes seven radiance-boosting oils that are able to soak in while I sleep without clogging my pores.

9. Clinique Repairware Laser Focus Smooth: I use this serum on my wrinkles day and night, usually around my eyes, my laugh lines, and my forehead. It combats lines, wrinkles, and sun damage within weeks. 

10. Countertime Uplifting Day Cream: I like to use this moisturizer after I clean my face, and apply it with upward strokes on my neck and face. It firms my skin, reduces redness and provides the perfect smooth layer before I begin my make-up routine. 

Thanks for having me, Laura! Cheers to happy, healthy, and glowing skin!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nine West x InStyle

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to celebrate the launch of the Nine West x InStyle Fall 2014 collection with this talented duo behind the partnership, InStyle Accessories Director, Leah Karp (left) and Senior VP of Nine West, Erika Szychowski (right). It was so exciting to have them here in Boston to celebrate this third season collaborating together and I was even more ecstatic to have the chance to interview them to answer a few questions about the creative process behind this collection. Read on to hear what trends to look out for this season, where they gather their style inspiration and much more.

What was the inspiration behind the Fall 2014 Nine West x InStyle collection?

Leah Karp: It was really about providing the necessary pieces for every wardrobe, the pieces that will get you from day to evening. There's everything from the perfect flat to the mid-heel in suede with the ankle strap which is so comfortable to wear to work or for the woman who's not comfortable in the highest of heels. Then there's the pump which has a higher heel height that works for an evening night out, date night, and for some people it can be appropriate for work too. Of course, the boots in this collection will take you into Fall and Winter. This collection as all the essentials for every woman's wardrobe, but in the most fashion forward textures, colors, and fabrications.

Speaking of fashion forward, what trends did you focus on while designing this collection?

Leah: The most important thing for me is a feminine single sole. At all the runway shows for Fall I saw a lot of texture, jewel tones, and suede. So the pieces you see coming in for the suede, calf hair, and the satin that we use for black-on-black camo heel is showing the different ways we used texture in this collection.
The Cate in black-on-black camo

After 3 seasons of collaborations together, what has been your favorite part of this partnership?

Erika: It's an amazing collaboration for Nine West because together we are two very harmonious brands that speak to the same consumer, but in a really modern way. We both have a different lens so when you marry us together it's just a very robust partnership. The teams that have worked on this from both sides have actually become friends, and I would dare say even family.

For my blog, LoSo Fancy, I focus on the quality of fashion and the classic styles that help with dressing timelessly and transitionally. That being said, is there one shoe you would each pick from the collection that you think will carry you through many more seasons to come?

Leah: My favorite is the Cate. This ankle strap lends itself to Spring, Summer, and Fall. You can even wear it with tights in the colder months because it's not going to pull off your foot. When designing this shoe I kept in mind those cold winter days when I'm heading to shows and how impossible it is to comfortably wear tights in a normal pump.


Erika: The Jaiden is my favorite for the suede texture and mid-heel height which make these comfortable enough to last hours on my feet.


So would you say all of the shoes in this collection are wearable for over two hours?

Erika: Absolutely. We want to be a buy now, wear now brand. One of our passions at Nine West is ensuring that we're remaining current and legitimate about what you can buy now and wear now and yet still find the pieces that you're seeking which are the classics. So I think we have both ends of the spectrum for you and what your inspiration is. 

One last general question, where do you draw your style inspiration from?

Leah: It comes from all over the place: from things i see on the street, to things i see on the runway, or from appointments I'm at months and months before anything goes into store. It could be vintage photos of women fashion icons and their accessories or it could even be a piece of jewelry that inspires something to go onto a shoe for an upcoming season. I start with a book of that and we all edit it down to what will work best for the collection.

Erika: For me, I am a classic, contemporary woman so I turn to classic pieces and pop everything through accessories.

Leah: That's the secret to dressing. It's about minimal classic pieces and popping it with accessories from your shoes, jewelry, or handbag. 

A big thank you to Leah and Erika for taking the time to chat with me! They had such bubbly personalities and were so down-to-earth. I left that night with a pair of Cate pointed toe pumps for myself, and am also contemplating these beauties:

The Cate in calf-hair

Make sure to shop the collection for your wardrobe essentials because this collab is available for a limited-time only. So, hurry! Your closet is calling.

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Photo by Style Tab

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Saratoga Style

A few weekends ago a group of Boston Bloggers and I took a trip up to Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, NY all thanks to America's Best Racing and Centennial Farms. They had a delicious V.I.P brunch waiting for us when we arrived at the Fasig-Tipton along with a Bloody Mary bar and endless mimosas, it was all too perfect.

With my blogging bestie, Katherine.
Enjoying V.I.P brunch with my favorite girls KatherineJessica, and Molly.
Bloody Mary and mimosa bar
View of the horses from brunch on the balcony
We were also given V.I.P access to the paddocks to meet the horses up-close! Black Jack here was sniffing around my dress hoping for some real flowers. ;)
Ending off the day with one last photo to remember our trip: with KatherineKhatu, & Jean

My outfit details: J.Crew dress (last year's style) & hat | J.Crew Factory sandals | Cuyana tote

I'm not one to gamble, but since it was my first time at a race course I couldn't pass up the fun idea to place a bet. For the first race, I bet on a horse named 'Designed for War' and he finished strong in first place! Talk about beginner's luck. The day was quite an experience I will be sure to remember and I loved spending some quality time with fellow Boston Bloggers.

Thanks so much again to America's Best Racing, Centennial Farms, Fasig-Tipton for sponsoring our trip and to Dan, Victoria, & Noelle for organizing a great day!

Thanks so much for reading!


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Friday, August 8, 2014

Short Suited

Madewell blazer (similar here) | J.Crew topASOS shorts | Zara heels | J.Crew braceletMichael Kors watch ASOS clutch | Kate Spade sunglasses

If you had the chance to read my most recent post from my 10 Essentials series you may have seen that one of my white blazers made the cut. This one is my alternate favorite that I make room for in my closet when Summer rolls around because there's nothing better than crisp white color to bring out that bronzed tan you've been working on all season. I've had these tailored shorts since last Summer but I've been obsessing even more over blush pink shades as of late. Pairing it up with neutral tones and feminine florals makes this look fresh and flirty for a warm Summer evening out on the town. All that's missing is a Moscow mule in hand, my newest drink of choice.

P.S. Tomorrow, 20 other Boston Bloggers and I will be taking a road trip up to the Saratoga Race Track for a day at the races! America's Best Racing and Centennial Farms will be graciously hosting us the entire trip and have arranged for a delicious VIP brunch at Fasig-Tipton and VIP access to get up close to the horses and jockeys. We'll be Live tweeting and posting snapshots all day so if you want to follow along on the festivities make sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter, we'll be using the hashtag #BOSatoga.

Cheers to a great weekend!

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Photos by Allison Sepanek Photography

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Yacht City with Boutikey

Bloggers featured here (L - R): KristenAllieMoJessyeKayteEmilyJyoLindaTianaKelseyLindsayMolly (Katherine not pictured)

Last month I had the fun opportunity to be a part of a "Yacht City" themed photo shoot with Boutikey and 12 of my favorite Boston Blogger ladies. For those of you who aren't familiar with Boutikey, it's a mobile app designed to help shoppers connect with their favorite local boutiques by keeping them up-to-date with current sales, discounts, and exclusive offers. The boutiques partnered with Boutikey also take part in a digital rewards program where every purchase you make earns you points and once you accumulate enough you can redeem your boutique specific reward! It's such a useful app to help you keep tabs on your favorite shops and find out when that dress you've been eyeing since the beginning of the season finally goes on sale.

For this shoot, Boutikey paired each blogger with a local Boston boutique and we picked out our own fabulous finds from our assigned store. I was paired with The Orange Hanger in Arlington, MA. I didn't have time to shop for my look prior to the shoot so the lovely team at Boutikey handpicked an outfit they thought was fancy enough for me and my style! =) It worked perfectly for me since I always love my black & white looks with a neon bright hue. My top, shorts, clutch, and bangle are all courtesy of The Orange Hanger. I paired it with my classic black strap heels from Zara and my J.Crew neon necklace.

Special thanks to the Boutikey team for organizing this fun shoot, Lauren of LT Photography for capturing all the moments, The Orange Hanger for the ensemble, and Ashley Karlson Hair & Makeup Artistry for getting me photo ready!


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Friday, August 1, 2014

Double Denim

J.Crew chambray shirt | Joie denim via Nordstrom Rack (other options here) | J.Crew belt | Madewell flats (similar here) | Warby Parker sunglasses | Michael Kors watchMadewell banglesGorjana necklace c/oZara bag

Happy Friday!

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Photos by Allison Sepanek Photography

Thursday, July 31, 2014

My 10 {Style} Essentials

Here it is, like I promised, my top 10 essential picks from my closet as part of my new blog series His/Her 10 essentials (If you missed the first installment of this series, you can check it out here)! Read on to see why these are my staple wardrobe and accessory pieces I can't live without.

1. H&M white blazer - The cut on this blazer has carried me through so many different occasions. It's worked as a great third piece for the office, blog events, date night, and girls' night out. It has a very flattering fit without the boxy, rigid shoulders blazers tend to have and I personally love the absence of buttons, it makes it look extra sleek and chic. Here's how I've styled it before.

2. Benefit Cosmetics 'Benetint' lip & cheek stain - I'm not usually one to do anything crazy with my makeup which is why this lip product is so perfect for me. I set aside the bright lip colors for those days when a simple outfit needs to stand out, but this is my everyday go-to color. The rosy shade is subtle and adds just enough pink for your pout. I put a layer of Vaseline Lip Therapy on top to keep my lips moisturized.

3. Warby Parker 'Reilly' sunglasses c/o - Tortoiseshell is a beautiful material to have made into any accessory and when it's combined with a great pair of sunnies, it's a done deal for me. I don't have a wide collection of sunglasses mainly because I personally like investing the $80+ in a pair I know I'll wear with everything and will last me at least a few summers. These have been my sturdiest pair and if you follow me on Instagram you may already know that I wear them a lot. 

4. Gap 'Coupe' boyfriend fit jeans - I used to be against the boyfriend jeans look. I never considered the style to have a very flattering fit, the ones I had seen were too loose in all the places I wish they weren't. To be honest, the only reason I bought this pair was because of the discounted price tag of $20 at the Gap outlet that made me say "Hey, why not?" I didn't even try them on in the store. I impulsively bought them, took them home, and didn't test out the fit until 3 days later. Obviously, my decision was to keep them. Forever. They've been perfect for ultra casual looks or even dressed up. Check out how I've worn them here.

5. J.Crew grey statement necklace - Having a statement necklace in the least obnoxious color is crucial to keeping it transitional for your wardrobe. Seen herehere, and here.

6. Michael Kors 'Jet Set' watch - One time when I was rushing out the door for work I made it halfway down the street in traffic when I realized my wrist felt naked because I forgot to throw my watch on. What did I do? I made a U-turn in the middle of the main road and went back home to get it, of course. True story. The gold finish goes with everything and the oversized face makes it stand out on my super small wrist. 

7. Marc Jacobs 'Daisy Eau So Fresh' roller perfume - I cringe at the idea of spending $60-$80 on a bottle of perfume that I know I'll only get to spray once in the morning and have it wear off within a couple hours. This is only $24 and has lasted me over a year. It's perfect for freshening up before those last minute plans after a long day of running around at work.

8. Halogen leopard heels - A print that can't be beat, especially on a pair of comfy heels. I personally love the look of these with bold colors, skinny jeans, and faux black leather anything; they give any outfit a little more edge. 

9. Old Navy striped t-shirt - Stripes are a timeless print too. Now, I own a lot of striped pieces in my closet, but they're mainly in navy and white which I save for my preppier looks. This black & white combo is actually more transitional in my opinion. Underneath a black blazer for work, a denim jacket for Summer, or styled solo with a statement necklace it will take you pretty far.

10. Cuyana leather tote in Chocolate - The best investment I've made in a leather bag since my Coach 'Willis' bag. For work it holds everything I need like my lunch, laptop, charger, and water bottle. When I travel home to Rhode Island for a night packing isn't even a process, I throw what I need in this and I'm out the door. This style tote is popular at lots of stores, but what makes it so special is having my very own initials monogrammed into the beautiful Argentinian leather they use to make it. 

You can also shop these essentials and similar picks below!

Thanks so much for reading!

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