Is It Worth The Hype: bareMinerals: The Hot List + Dupes

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The Hot List by bareMinerals is a set that showcases all the trending shades in the form of eyeshadows and face products.  I recently bought this 5 piece kit from the bareMinerals store when I was in Reno.  This was a limited edition kit and I actually got it on sale and can’t seem to find it online.  I will provide dupes or similar shades for the things I can’t find.

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The set comes with an eyeshadow base, an eyeshadow duo, a bronzer, a luminizer, and a lipstick.  Let’s jump right in!

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1. 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow in Barely Nude – If you have been keeping up with my latest posts, you’ll know that I am absolutely in love with this product in Divine Wine.  Barely Nude reminds me a lot of MAC’s Painterly Paint Pot and while I do like MAC’s Paint Pots, I really do prefer the application and wear of the bareMinerals Cream Eyeshadows.  The BB cream shadows stay all day and don’t crease on me and they are a lot smoother and creamier to apply.

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2. READY Eyeshadow 2.0 in The Hot Spot – This eyeshadow duo played a large role in why I decided to buy this kit because I like bareMineral’s loose shadows and I’ve always been interested in trying their READY line.  The colors in the duo are Libation (sugared cinnamon) and Fuze (cinder smoke).  To me, Libation is a beige-taupe with a champagne sheen to it.  It is very reflective and in the pan, it seems to have a lot of glitter, but once you apply it, it’s more of a shimmer/sheen rather than straight glitter.  Fuze is a matte taupe color and it really goes well with Libation as a crease and soft liner shade.  I can also get away using Fuze to fill in my eyebrows. Both shadows were really creamy and pigmented.  Since I can’t find this duo online, a good dupe for Libation would be Sin by Urban Decay or the “Eyelid” color in the Walking on Eggshells trio by Wet n’ Wild.  A good dupe for Fuze would be MAC’s Concrete.

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3. A Little Sun Matte All-Over Face Color – I was a little scared to try this product just because it looked very orange in the packaging.  The swatch looks very orange and almost looks like a coral, peach blush.  I decided to use a very large fluffy powder to brush to apply this all over my face and I have to say, I was quite impressed.  It does add a natural glow to the face but because it’s matte, it doesn’t accentuate your pores and it looks like you just spent all day outside.

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4. READY Luminizer in The Most Wanted – I was very interested in trying this Luminzer just because it’s described as a “mauve glow” and I don’t have anything like it in my collection.  Most of my luminizers or highlighters tend to be more of a champagne or pink color.  You can’t really see the color in the swatch, but it did give a subtle sheen to my complexion.  Like the eyeshadow duo, this luminizer was very creamy and smooth (and had no glitter.)

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5. Triple Take Color, Gloss & Stain in Berry Mauve – I’ve never seen this product in stores, but on the package, it says it is a new product so maybe it’ll be coming out soon.  This lipstick was a lot more pigmented than I had anticipated. I was expecting something on the line of Revlon’s Lip Butters – something sheer and moisturizing.  The first application of this lipstick was somewhat opaque.  It was one of those “your lips but better shades” and if you wanted it to be more of a berry color, you could definitely build it up to be more opaque. It went on my lips very smoothly and it was very moisturizing.  The texture, pigmentation, and finish reminded me a lot of the Maybelline Color Whispers. I applied this in the morning and drank my daily English Breakfast tea and afterwards, there was still a slight tint to my lips.  I think this shade will be perfect for the fall.

Swatches:

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From Left to Right: Barely Nude, Libation, and Fuze

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From Right to Left: The Most Wanted, A Little Sun Matte, Berry Mauve

I’ve been using bareMinerals since High School and I’ve gotta say, they never really disappoint me.  This set was originally $50, but I got it on sale for $30.  All the colors in this set are very neutral and can be used on a day to day basis so I would say that this kit is WORTH THE HYPE.  Although this set is not available online anymore, I still recommend looking into bareMineral products because they are not as expensive as a lot of other brands, but they are still very high quality.  If you are interested in trying a variety of their products, I would check out their gift sets because they are usually a pretty good deal and you get to try an array of products.

What are your thoughts on this set? Have you tried it? Let me know!

Stay Chic!

Hits & Misses: August Edition

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Summer’s over? That’s annoying; it’s definitely time to stow away the shorts and bring out the chunky sweaters.  Before we bundle up for fall, let’s reminisce over what happened in August – a weekend trip to Vancouver, Outsidelands, and a road trip to Reno.  Let’s see what came out on top and what should really be left in the dust.

Hits

1. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer in Brightener – This is one of the best pink/salmon concealers I have ever tried that really brightens and neutralizes my dark circles.  I apply this in a triangle shape that starts near my tear duct and the point of the triangle meets the top of my cheekbone and continues along my cheekbone. (Visual here) The sponge applicator really helps this concealer apply smoothly and I just blend it out with my Beautyblender and it doesn’t look cake-y or settle into my pores.

2. MAC Selectcover in NC25 – This is an oldie but a goldie. This was the first concealer I had ever bought and over the years I forgot how good it was.  I repurchased it a couple months ago and I have been loving it.  It works great for under the eyes as well as on small blemishes.  I use this in conjunction with the Maybelline Brightener.  I like to fill in the triangle I create with the brightener with this yellowish concealer.  The doe foot applicator really helps target the darkest areas of the eye and because it’s more of a liquid consistency, it’s really easy to blend out.  The MAC and Maybelline concealers combined neutralize and cover my dark circles completely, but the finish is still very natural.

3. bareMinerals 5-In-1 BB Cream Shadow in Divine Wine – This cream shadow is perfect as an everyday crease color. It’s really easy to apply and blend out and I don’t even use a brush; I just dab this product onto my finger and blend away.  It’s really subtle and natural and there is no need to put a shadow over it.  It also stays all day and doesn’t crease.

4. theBalm Instain Blush in Swiss Dot – If you have trouble making your blush stay, you NEED to try this product.  This blush comes in a powder form, but after a couple minutes, it will actually stain your cheeks so even if the powder rubs off throughout the day, your cheeks will still have a subtle tint to them.  For me, this blush lasts all day and when I get home from work, I can still see some color on my cheeks.  This blush is super creamy and pigmented and a little will go a long way.  Swiss Dot is a peachy-apricot shade and it is completely matte.  Although it’s matte, it still adds a glow to your face – it doesn’t accentuate your pores or dry patches.  It makes a great summer to fall transition blush color.

5. Paper Towns by John Green – After reading and watching The Fault In Our Stars, I got kind of hooked on everything John Green.  His Youtube channel, and of course, reading his other book, Paper Towns.  This book was so good that I literally could not put it down once I started reading it.  I was on a 6-hour bus ride to Reno at the end of August and I finished this book before I even arrived in Reno.  I normally fall asleep during long car or bus rides, so the fact that this book kept me up is saying something.  I don’t want to give too much away, but it is a “coming of age” story and I would describe it as a mystery/adventure novel.  On a completely side note, I recently found out that John Green came to my high school to give a talk AFTER I had graduated.  Needless to say, I was super bummed, but I also didn’t know about John Green until last year, so I probably would have skipped the talk.  If only I had read more in high school…

6. Stuart Weitzman Sunbelt Bootie – The thought process of purchasing these booties was long, frustrating, and exhausting.  I originally saw these booties at the Stuart Weitzman store with my friend Nadia and we both fell in love with them.  They were quite pricey, so I didn’t really think about buying them because I wouldn’t get a lot of use out of them.  About a month ago, I saw that they had gone on sale for 50% off and after weeks of pondering I asked Nadia if I should buy them.  She told me that she bought them at the original price and didn’t regret it one bit, so at that point, I was convinced.  I quickly purchased them and it was final sale, so there was no going back.  Even at 50% off, they are quite pricey, but they are so comfortable and versatile that I don’t regret buying them.  They are very sturdy and they make my legs look slimmer and longer.  I plan on wearing them for the rest of summer and into fall and then bring them back for spring.  They are still on sale, so if you were thinking of investing in some good quality booties, I would definitely check them out.

Misses

7. Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo – Ever since I dyed my hair, I’ve been trying to wash it every other day instead of every day.  Unfortunately, I have thick hair and a lot of it, so my hair can get pretty greasy, pretty quickly.  I also like to workout every day, so in order to keep my hair looking fresh for two days, I have to use a lot of dry shampoo.  Since I was using a lot more product in my hair, I needed a clarifying shampoo to use once a week just to get rid of any build-up or residue that had accumulated over the week.  I’ve heard great things about this Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo and it got really good reviews on all the beauty websites, so I decided to give it a try.  First off, this shampoo does not lather, so I find that I have to use a lot in order to wash just my roots.  Then rinsing it out, my hair just felt really dry and limp.  After air drying my hair, I noticed that my hair looked very greasy, but my scalp would be really dry.  My scalp was producing more oil than it needed to in order to counterbalance the dryness created by this shampoo.  I tried this product for three weeks and decided to toss it because my hair was looking like a grease ball and I was getting a little bit of dandruff.  Not a good look.

8.  Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Shampoo – I recently tried this because I ran out of my Living Proof Full Shampoo and I wanted to try something new.  I really like the Living Proof Full Shampoo because it doesn’t contain any sodium chloride.  Sodium chloride will dry out your hair and will make color fade faster, so my hair stylist told me to find a shampoo that didn’t contain this ingredient.  The lady working at Sephora told me she loved the new Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil Shampoo because although it did contain sodium chloride, it was really gentle and didn’t dry out her hair.  I decided to give it a shot, but after a few uses, I noticed that my hair was a lot drier and it would be a lot frizzier after I air dried it.  Overall, I was not impressed with this shampoo.  I honestly think that there are drugstore shampoos that are better than this Bumble and Bumble shampoo.  Thank god for Sephora’s great return policy because I returned this shampoo and exchanged it for the Living Proof Full Shampoo.

It seems like I tried a lot of shampoo this month, but for me, I really like to switch my shampoos up every now and again.

What did you guys love in August? Let me know!

Stay Chic!

 

IPSY vs. Birchbox: July Edition

Last month’s IPSY box was a huge flop and Birchbox has been on the up and up in terms of quality, variety, and size of their samples.  Let’s see if IPSY can redeem itself this month and if Birchbox can continue their winning streak.

Since IPSY was abysmal last month, let’s see what they have in store for us this month.

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First off, the bag itself is adorable! It’s a pink faux leather bag with scalloped edges and it’s very unique compared to the other bags I have received.  Moving on to the products.

1. bareMinerals 5 in 1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Shadow in Divine Wine – Now that was a mouthful.  Since BB creams are all the rage these days, why not make a BB cream eyeshadow?  These shadows are incredibly smooth and matte and they do last a long time.  I received the shade Divine Wine, which is a cool, brown-taupe color.  It’s a little darker than my skin tone, so I put it in my crease to define my eyes.  This cream shadow comes in a tube with a curved doe foot applicator.  Since this cream shadow is very pigmented, I recommend just dapping it on your eyes with your finger rather than swiping it on with the applicator.  This cream shadow doubles as a primer, so if you want a more intense look, you can definitely use this as a base. I’m really enjoying this cream shadow and am playing with the idea of trying more. (Sample Size: $6 , Full Size: $18)

2. Befine Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15 – I have tried a Befine body moisturizer and really liked it, so I had high hopes for this moisturizer.  This moisturizer really impressed me because it was extremely lightweight and absorbed into my skin very quickly.  It didn’t mattify my skin, but left it with a very natural, glowy finish.  I think this would make a great morning and night moisturizer for the summertime.  (Sample Size: $21, Full Size: $24)

3. Tints & Sass by Elizabeth Mott in Cherry – This was the product I was most excited to try because I love lip and cheek tints.  This tint is no joke.  First of all, it smells like cherries and it’s amazing.  Next, this really does stain your lips.  I swatched it on my arm and it stained my arm for a good 8 hours.  This lip and cheek tint has more of gel consistency as opposed to being a liquid.  It comes with a doe foot applicator, so it’s really easy to apply on your lips.  At first, your lips will have a little bit of a shine to them, but over time, the shine will wear off, but the stain will last for hours. I personally don’t like to put this on my cheeks because of the gel consistency.  It feels a little heavy on my cheeks, but I love this tint for my lips.  (Full Size: $22.99)

4. Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil SPF 8 – This was the product was least excited about because I’m already fairly tan and don’t have the need for a tanning oil.  I also don’t understand the concept of tanning oils. I think it’s supposed to make you tan faster, but protect your skin at the same time.  This product smelled really chemical-y, so I probably won’t be using it. (Sample Size: $3, Full Size: $11.99)

5. Big Look Waterproof Mascara by Pur Minerals – I actually really enjoyed this mascara. I’m so happy that I received a waterproof mascara because I cannot use non-waterproof mascara.  My lashes are so straight that non-waterproof mascara just weighs them down and never holds my curls.  This mascara is infused with argan oil, which is supposed to nourish your lashes.  It has a rubber wand which tapers towards the end, so it makes it easy to get the inner lashes.  The rubber bristles helps separate and lengthen. I wouldn’t say that this is the most volumizing mascara I’ve tried, but it’s definitely a good one for separation and lengthening. (Sample Size: $14, Full Size: $20)

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Left to Right: bareMinerals BB cream eyeshadow in Divine Wing, Tints & Sass in Cherry

Total Value: $66.99

Overall, I’m very pleased this month’s IPSY bag.  I have used 4 out of the 5 products I received and I liked all of them.  IPSY definitely redeemed themselves this month.

Let’s see if Birchbox can outdo IPSY this month.   This month Birchbox teamed up with Women’s Health and sometimes these collaboration boxes are great, and sometimes, they aren’t so hot.  Let’s see what I got!

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1. Caudalie Divine Oil – I really love body oils after I shower because it is extremely moisturizing and absorbs quickly into the skin.  This body oil was really luxurious and made my skin really soft.  I also like to use this on my cuticles and hands at night and in the morning, my hands are noticeably softer.  Love the product, but wished the sample size was bigger. (Sample Size: $1.47, $49)

2. Number 4 Super Comb Prep and Protect – I like to use this as a heat protectant and it works pretty well at keeping my hair from getting frizzy.  It also does not leave my hair greasy or heavy. The only complaint I have is that it smells a little odd.  It smells like artificial fruit punch. (Sample Size: $4.80, Full Size: $32)

3. Vasanti Detox Nutrient-Rich Purifying Facial Cleanser – This cream cleanser is extremely gentle yet purifying.  It doesn’t remove all of my makeup, so I have to use makeup remove prior to using it.  It has a light perfume scent.  I liked trying out this cleanser, but I don’t like it over my current gel cleanser. (Sample Size: $3.20, Full Size: $24)

4. St. Tropez Gradual Tan For Face – Like I said before with the tanning oil from IPSY, I’m already pretty tan, so I don’t need to self tan.  I have never put self tanner on my face before, so I’m a little dubious about putting this on since I don’t know how my skin will react to it.  It also has a really strong chemical scent, so I will pass on this product. (Sample Size: $11, Full Size: $35)

5. Beauty Eyeliner in Black by Cynthia Rowley – This is my favorite item out of this whole box.  The eyeliner itself is so creamy and smooth that it just glides onto your lash line.  It’s also pretty smudge-proof, so once it sets, it’ll stay put.  It’s also a great eyeliner to smudge out to get a more smokey effect.  I’m very pleased with this eyeliner. (Sample Size: $12, Full Size: $16)

Total Value: $32.47

My feelings towards this month’s Birchbox is kind of all over the place.  Although I liked 4 of the 5 products, I was not super amazed with any. Also, they are definitely repeating brands because I have received something by the Number 4 brand three months in a row now and I received a Vasanti exfoliator last month.  To me, the whole point of subscribing to these beauty services is to try out new brands, so it’s a little upsetting when they repeat brands so often.

I think this month’s winner is pretty clear:

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IPSY just had better products and although, they do repeat some brands, I will get more use out of their samples than from Birchbox’s samples.

What are your thoughts on this month’s IPSY vs Birchbox showdown? Let me know!

If you want to subscribe to IPSY, click here*, and if you want to subscribe to Birchbox, click here*.

Stay Chic!

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Hits & Misses: May Edition

[Insert obligatory mark about how it’s already June and the year is flying by.]  Now that I got that out of the way, let’s just jump right into what I loved in the month of May.

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Starting off with skin care, I wouldn’t necessarily call these two products monthly favorites because I’ve been using them for over a year, but the results are so great, I couldn’t help but share.

I originally heard about Michael Todd from Youtube and I distinctly remember at one point, almost every “beauty guru” on Youtube was recommending products by this company. Luckily, for one Youtuber, my skin was having a freak out sesh and I was convinced that my cleanser was the culprit, so I used one of their coupon codes and bought a few things to try out.  I have not used a different cleanser or toner since.

The combination of the Charcoal Detox Cleanser and Blue Green Algae Toner cleared my skin up within a week of use.  Since it takes about two weeks for your skin to adjust to a new skin care product, I wasn’t ready to call this duo a miracle worker, but after using these two products for a year and rarely getting any breakouts, I am convinced. I do notice a difference in my skin when I don’t use these two products.  Although the Charcoal Detox Cleanser is for acne prone skin, it doesn’t dry your skin out and I like that there’s not Salicylic Acid or acne medication in it.  The Blue Green Algae Toner really gets rid of an extra bacteria on the face and leaves it feeling hydrated and smooth.  These two products work really well for my normal/combination skin and I doubt I will be trying anything new for a while.

Moving on to haircare.  Since I’ve gotten accustomed to showering at night, I am left with the unfortunate situation of blow drying my hair before I go to sleep.  Since I have a lot of hair, this can take a lot of time.  This Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal* has not only significantly cut down my blow drying time, but also makes my hair super soft and smooth.

Finally, onto the makeup.  Since summer is basically here and I have a 45 minute commute to work, daily sunscreen is a must.  Even though I don’t get sun burnt, I do want to protect my skin, and this Coola Daily Sunscreen has been doing the perfect job.  It smells like cucumbers and it’s ultra light and doesn’t leave a greasy residue on my face.  I apply my primer over it and it doesn’t affect how my makeup applies.

For my actual makeup, I’ve been keeping it pretty simple with my Oil-Free Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Ochre.  This tinted moisturizer has such great coverage that I don’t have to apply concealer after.  I like to apply this with my Beauty Blender for an even and glowy finish.

Next, I like to brighten and set my undereye with bareMineral’s Multi-Tasking Face Powder in Summer Bisque.  This powder is super light and doesn’t get cakey throughout the day.  It also keeps my under-eye makeup from budging.

To set my entire face, I like to use bareMineral’s Original Foundation in Medium Tan.  I’ve been using this powder foundation for years and I absolutely love it.  I can use it on top my tinted moisturizer and it won’t look cakey.  If I’m in a rush or just feeling lazy, I can wear this powder alone because it gives great coverage and keeps my skin looking natural.

Now, I like a pigmented blush just as much as the next person, but when I’m rushing to work everyday, I don’t have time to worry about if my blush has the potential to make me look like a clown.  That’s why I went back to an oldie, but a goodie with MAC Mineralize Blush* in Warm Soul.  It is shimmery, but not to the point that you’ll have disco balls as cheeks – it gives you a nice flush.  I’ve had this blush for a very long time and I always go back to it because it gives my cheeks a very natural and dewy finish.

For my eyes, I’ve been keeping it pretty simple with two cream eyeshadows.  For my base, I have been loving Maybelline’s 24 Hour Tattoo Cream Shadow in Barely Branded.  It’s a light shimmery champagne color and it really brightens up the eye.  On top of that, I’ve been putting Milani’s Shadow Eyez in Champagne Toast on the outer half of my lid to give some definition.  I blend it all in with a fluffy dome brush, and I am good to go!

Now on to what didn’t bode well with me.

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Exactly two and half minutes ago, I was raving about two Michael Todd products.  Like I said, I bought a few products to try out and this Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub did not work for me.  It had a really plastic and artificial scent and I didn’t feel like it exfoliated my skin or do anything spectacular for my skin.

The next product was an impulse purchase at Target because my LUSH lip exfoliator had expired.  The Elf Lip Exfoliator is good in theory, but it didn’t work for me because it wasn’t gritty enough to really exfoliate my lips.  The first time I used it, it felt like a lip balm and it left a greasy residue on my lips.  I then rubbed it against my hand to get rid of the “moisturizing barrier” and it broke! It was too much work for me and it didn’t even work.

I get a lot of samples from my IPSY and Birchbox subscriptions, so I’ve been trying to go through them before I buy anything new, so I have been using the Pixi Flawless & Poreless Primer* and I was not impressed.  It has a lotion-y texture instead of a gel/silicon texture that I am used to, so I fill or blur the appearance of my pores.  It has a pink tint to it, so it does brighten the face, but it didn’t keep my makeup on all day and it made me look greasy throughout the day.

My last miss of the month is the Pantene Pro-V Original Fresh Dry Shampoo*.  First off, I love the scent of this dry shampoo, but it really did not work for me.  Most dry shampoos I use spray a white powder, but this one was like a liquid spray and it dried to a powder finish.  I found that because it was a liquid spray, it weighed down my hair and actually made it look a little greasy and wet.  It also takes a few minutes to set, so you can’t immediately scrunch it through your hair.   The one benefit of this dry shampoo is that you if you have dark hair, you won’t have to worry about white streaks in your hair.  I will finish this product, but won’t be repurchasing.

That does it for this month! What were your May favorites? Let me know below!

Stay Chic!

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Pajamas in the Daytime

Spring cleaning came a little early this year and as I was going through my closet, I couldn’t help but notice that I own quite a bit of oversized items of clothing.  The most shocking part of this discovery was that I wear many of said items of clothing to bed and in public.  I don’t know if I should be concerned or impressed with myself in that I can transform my pajamas into everyday wear – I’ll let you be the judge of that.

In case you think I’ve lost it:

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Even though I wish my life was a constant Alexander Wang runway show, I think I would get more than a few concerning stares/glares if I just bust through doors with the potential of a nip slip.  Through my laziness, however, I have learned to mask the fact that I am wearing what I wore to bed the previous night with some outerwear and accessories.

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Flannel: R13 / Jacket: Rebecca Taylor / Leggings: Mango / Shoes: Aldo (similar)/ Hat: ASOS / Rings: Art Youth Society / Ear Cuff: Fallon / Tinted Moisturizer: Jouer / Powder Foundation: bareMinerals / Powder: Hourglass / Lipstick: Clinque

A flannel shirt is great for sleeping – it’s comfy, cozy, and you don’t have to worry about it getting wrinkled.  I get my flannels from the men’s section at Uniqlo, so they tend to be oversized.  To prevent myself from looking like a blob, I like to add a short tweed moto jacket that cuts right at the waist, so it gives me some shape and adds texture to the outfit.  Leggings can double as sleepwear, but they are also super easy to slip on in the mornings.  For make-up, stick to the basics with a tinted moisturizer or powder foundation.  For an extra glow, I am in love with Hourglass’ Ambient Lighting Powders.  I always like to add a little something to my lips and lately, Clinque’s Almost Lipstick has been my favorite.  Don’t be scared by the color, it goes on really sheer – scout’s honor. Once that’s all done, slip on some delicate rings and an ear cuff because, why not?  Lastly, since I’m always running late, I normally don’t have to time to tame my hair.  Instead of the conventional ponytail or bun, I opt for a floppy hat.

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Shirt: Uniqlo / Sweatshirt: Kenzo / Shorst: Milly / Shoes: River Island / Purse: Proenza Schouler /  Necklace: C Wonder / Bracelet: House of Harlow / Sunglasses: Mango / Lipstick: Yves Saint Laurent / Blush: Clinque

I love lounging and sleeping in sweatshirts, but to spruce them up a bit, I add a blouse underneath and then a statement necklace and wrap bracelet to add some layers and play with the edginess of the sweatshirt.   These silk shorts are also great for lounging and sleeping in – they are so loose and flowy! A bright yellow purse/clutch with bring out the colors of the sweatshirt and make them more vibrant.  I love this purse because it doubles as a wallet so you don’t have to worry about lugging around an extra wallet.  For makeup, keep it simple with a bright blush and a sheer coral lipstick.

Let me know if you like the pajama trend!

Stay Chic!