The Nordstrom anniversary sale is now open to the public! Today I’m sharing my top anniversary sale picks in athletic wear, jewelry, accessories + more. You guys, there are SO many awesome pairs of Zella leggings on sale! I absolutely love Zella workout wear, it’s stylish, durable and just the best workout clothes for curvy women. Here are my top picks in workout clothes. I love EVERYTHING but I’m especially obsessed with number 6 and 9. In case you missed it, last week I shared my top picks in dresses, bottoms, and shoes. I also shared my top picks in tops, sweaters, and coats.
My Nordstrom anniversary sale picks in: activewear
My Nordstrom anniversary sale picks in: accessories + more
I love love love love pick #3. I’ve been looking for a pair of squared sunglasses similar to Celine’s “Tilda” sunglasses and these are it! Check out my instastories through out the week. I’ll be sharing what I bought and showing how it fits. Back to my picks in accessories and more. I linked two gorgeous handbags that are not only stylish but cruelty-free! (#veganleather weeeee!) Also, how freakin’ cute is that picknick basket? It comes with a cheese board and two hand-blown wine glasses! I need this in my life. If you’re looking for a gift idea for a loved one, this would be perfect! Last thing I need to mention, this pineapple drink holder pool floatie, it’s so cute and fun!
I LOVE every single one of these items. How gorgeous is that pendant necklace (#2) though? It’s totally stealing the spotlight. I love it because it’s convertible and can be worn two ways; layered or as one long piece.
Bulgarian rose, violet, and myrrh linger atop fruity notes in Pacifica’s Persian Rose Body Wash. The rich, elegant, classic scent lingers on the skin even after it’s been rinsed off. It’s silky smooth liquid builds a rich lather, with just a little bit of product, and without the use of sulfates! I adore everything rose-scented. The mesmerizing note of Bulgarian rose oil and the fact that it’s a vegan formula made this a no-brainer purchase for me. I absolutely love using scented soaps that leave a subtle, delicate, and natural scent. I only opt for parfum when I go out to dinners and other social occasion. But for day to day life, natural botanicals offer an easy, lightweight yet equally enchanting alternative. This body wash is cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny approved!
Immediately after discovering Acure Organics, I became obsessed with the brand. I want to try EVERYTHING.Last month I featured two of my favorite Acure products and this month I chose to try their rose and red tea balancing toner. After the first two weeks of using Acure’s Certified Organic Toner I knew I’d have to review it. I’ve used facial toners in the past but never had any super-noticeable results, even after prolonged use. After the first week of using this organic toner I noticed the tone in my face was more balanced. Given my results with previous facial toners, I didn’t let myself get too excited at first. But after week two, I knew this product was going to find a spot among my beauty cabinet regulars.
My daily skin care routine is pretty simple: wash my face in the morning, moisturize, wash my face before bed, and I’ll use a face scrub 2-3 times a week. That’s all. Fast and simple (because honestly, who’s got the time?). I added Acure’s facial toner to my repertoire about 4 weeks ago. The spray pumps produces a nice, light mist and you don’t need to mess with cotton balls or pads to rub it on. I took notice of it’s tone balancing effects pretty quickly and thanks to that, I have officially reached my goal of wearing only 2 makeup products while out and about.
Stepping out with nothing less than a full face of makeup was absolutely necessary for me since around age 15. As I’ve gotten older and especially in recent years I have really grown to hate feeling like I need all that makeup just to run errands around town. Even when my makeup looked “natural” I still had about 12 different makeup products on. Applying foundation, corrector, and concealer are my least favorite part of doing my makeup so I thought that it wouldn’t really be necessary if I had good skin, so I set out to accomplish that. My regular use of Acure’s facial scrub keeps my skin smooth and blemish-free. But I usually have some redness, darker under eyes, and some general unevenness in my skin tone.
After 3 weeks of using this toner I felt pretty comfortable going out sans foundation, corrector, or concealer. I went to the grocery store and later to Nordstrom’s that day. If I’m being perfectly honest, I thought I was going to get some weird faces and maybe some semi-concealed gasps or even light finger-pointing by terrified onlookers wondering how I let myself out of my house in that condition. I could envision myself inside Nordstrom’s running from mannequin to mannequin, stopping to hide behind each one in a trail that led to the nearest exit. Okay so that may be a little overly-dramatic but a small part of my mind did actually see those scenarios playing out.
Anyway, none of that happened and I was totally fine. I believe it was the very next day that I went out wearing only mascara and filled eyebrows. I felt naked but the lack of wild-eyed stares, gasps, and finger-pointing soon made me forget all about my fears. I can’t remember the last time I wore so little makeup and went out in busy public places for an extended period of time. It must have been when I was like, 12.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE playing with makeup. I have so much stuff I don’t use or have only used once in about 2 years (looking at you cerulean blue metallic eyeshadow), because I love buying makeup. But I think when you get to the point where you dread having to stand/sit (lay, if you’re fancy) in your bathroom for an hour applying makeup because you’re not confident to go out in your natural skin, that’s a problem. Everyone should feel beautiful and confident in their natural skin and be able to use makeup more so to get different looks they like without feeling like they NEED to wear the entire workup every time they go out. Having clear, healthy, balanced skin gave me that freedom and I owe it partially to Acure’s facial toner. I’d go on about all the other wonderful features like the fact that it’s vegan, organic, Leaping Bunny approved, bottled in a recyclable container, and so on but you can get all those facts when you buy yours 😉
If green juice was turned into a face scrub, this would be it. All natural with blackberry, pomegranate, and açai fruit extracts this vegan exfoliating facial scrub leaves skin smooth and hydrated. It’s dark green in color due to the chlorella content and it smells like green juice, which I happen to love. The texture is a bit on the coarse side, however it doesn’t feel rough on the skin. It sloughs of skin gently and leaves a nice glow. After scrubbing I like to leave it on for a minute since it has French green clay, which helps pull out impurities.
Acure Clarifying Shampoo
Approximately eleven years ago, I was introduced by my hairstylist, to clarifying shampoos; and it kinda changed my life. You know how sometimes your hair just loses it’s shine and you try shine serums and a half dozen other products to get it back but it won’t budge? That’s because your hair hasn’t been properly cleaned. I mean sure, you shampooed and rinsed (then rinsed and repeated if you’re a sucker strict rule follower). You may even be using conditioner regularly to help lock in moisture but you’re doing it wrong.
If you use styling products or take a dip in the pool regularly, you, most of all, need a clarifying shampoo. Enter Acure Organics Clarifying shampoo. A clarifying shampoo is a deep cleanser for hair. Hair product residue and other impurities (like from the pool) cling to hair over time leaving it limp and dull. This clarifying shampoo will strip that gunk away, leaving clean, moisturized, shiny hair.
Hairstylist tip: To get the best results from a moisturizing shampoo first wet the hair just a bit, apply the clarifying shampoo and massage onto the scalp and through the hair adding a bit of water every 10 seconds or so until all of the hair is soaked. Then rinse and use your regular shampoo as indicated. Clarifying shampoos are not recommended for dyed hair because it will strip the dye away.
I picked this particular clarifying shampoo because I loooove the scent of lemongrass. It’s a beautiful clean citrus scent that reminds me of something happy I can’t quite put my finger on. But what really sold me was the the brand. Acure ticks every single box (and more!) on my list when it comes to high quality, cruelty free, effective, beauty buys.
Fair trade certified
Free of SLS
Free of animal testing
Free of synthetic fragrances
Free of harmful preservatives
Free of artificial colors
And the packaging is recyclable, what’s not to love?
If you’ve been curious about trying e.l.f makeup or just need to stock up on your favorites, THIS is the time to do it! e.l.f Cosmetics is having a sitewide 40% off sale! Their BB cream with SPF 20 is my newest obsession. It give medium to full coverage and is lightweight on the skin. The shades blend with the your natural skin tone and leave a healthy glow. It looks naturally dewy if worn alone without powder. Also, it smells really nice. The scent is subtle and smells clean, reminds me a bit of baby powder. The smudge pots are also a new obsession of mine. They pigments are beautiful and are super easy to apply. Use any of the colors above and just dab a little on to give your eyes a hint of color and shimmer. They create a really natural and elegant look.
The fan brush is my favorite for applying powder blush or shimmer, it’s so lightweight. e.l.f.’s Makeup Mist and Set is an older obsession. I’m still as in love with this products as I was the first time I used it. It REALLY keeps your makeup in place, I use this on a daily basis. The mineral pearls seem to be a favorite of many. I personally haven’t used them but I can’t wait to get my hands on them, they’re so pretty! They’re supposed to give you an even tone and according to the reviews, they really work. I can’t wait to try them.
When I decided to only use cruelty-free makeup, I imagined the transition would be difficult. And to be honest, I thought I wouldn’t be able to find many high quality products; primarily because 90% of designer makeup lines are not cruelty-free. I was dreading the search for great products…BUT, my worrying was all for naught. Some well established brands like NARS and Too Faced are not only uber popular, they’re also cruelty-free! There is a plethora of cruelty-free goodies out there from a large variety of brands. One major upside of most of these products (apart from not being tested on bunnies and puppies) is that they’re wonderfully inexpensive! Brands like LUSH, e.l.f., and NYX have some of the coolest products ever and I’m super excited to share some of them with you today.
e.l.f BB Cream with SPF 20 in “Buff”
NYX Love in Rio Eyeshadow Palette in “Cabana Boy”
e.l.f Essential Natural Lashes
NYX Slide On Eye Pencil in “Platinum”
NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in “Crystal”
NYX Felt Tip Liner in “Extreme Black”
NYX Eye/Eyebrow Pencil in “Brown”
e.l.f Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in “Turks & Caicos”
NYX Jumbo Lip Pencil in “Iced Coffee”
LUSH Liquid Lipstick in “Perspective”
The e.l.f lashes look really dramatic in the package but I was surprised at how natural they looked once I put them on. They come with the adhesive needed to apply them and the kit is $1. I bought all they had because the price can’t be beat and also, I have impulse control issues. For my eye makeup, I used the Love in Rio eyeshadow palette because I wanted warming tones. I used the eye pencil in “platinum” on my waterline and the infinite shadow stick in “crystal” around the inner corners of my eyes to help illuminate the eye area a bit. The pigments from LUSH are one of my new favorite things. They are very versatile and are all around awesome! I used the Perspective liquid lipstick as blush by dabbing it on the apples of my cheeks. It blends very easily, gives a natural look and doesn’t leave your face sticky, it’s so good!
Chanel recently opened a new boutique here in Las Vegas inside the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace. It’s the first of it’s kind in the U.S. and they were kind enough to invite me to the grand opening, which was held this past Saturday. This Chanel boutique carries Chanel cosmetics, fragrance, skincare, and sunglasses. The boutique also carries various products exclusive to the boutique; like Les Exclusifs fragrances (pictured above)— fifteen scents inspired by the life of Gabrielle Chanel:
I’ve been using Chanel cosmetics for a decade now and even though I would say I am very familiar with the products, these scents were a new discovery to me. This is a really cool aspect of the new boutique, it allows long time aficionados of the brand to discover and experience something new. When I arrived at the event, I was promptly greeted and paired with a team member to assist me. We decided to do my makeup from beginning to end so that I could experience the new skin care products as well as some new cosmetics. The wonderfully talented Kate Lee came over at the begging of my session to see what we were going to play with. Kate holds the title of CHANEL Celebrity Make-Up Artist and has an impressive list of clients including Keira Knightley and Anne Hathaway. We went over the products we had decided to use and asked her which foundation would be best to use to be photo ready. She recommended the PERFECTION LUMIERE Velvet foundation because of it’s smooth, matte finish and said it looks great on camera.
In all of my excitement I forgot to take a picture of the freshly applied look, but this is it after a few hours after leaving the Chanel boutique. I’m wearing the ILLUSION D’OMBRE Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in “Mirage” on my eyelids. I fell in love with these eyeshadows, they are creamy and wonderfully pigmented. They go on a bit light but you can build to a darker shade. Kate applied the same eyeshadow in “Fantasme” to the inner corner of my eyes for a bit of pop. Lastly, she applied the ROUGE COCO Hydrating Crème Lip Color in “Jean“, which I must say, is very hydrating. It’s a lipstick but it feels almost like a lipgloss when applied.
After finishing my makeup, I asked Kate which foundation she would recommend for everyday wear. I wanted something lightweight with light coverage since I typically just wear a tinted moisturizer. She said the VITALUMIÈRE AQUA foundation is one of her favorites because it gives the skin a refreshed look and has SPF in it, she also recommended applying it with a beauty blender for flawless looking complexion. It was a really fun event and I have to say, Kate is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, she is such a pro and her skin is flawless! I’m so glad I had the opportunity to meet her.
I walked out with some new goodies, super excited to come back and buy everything else I tried. However, I recently learned that Chanel tests on animals, and that’s when my heart broke. As of late, I’ve been looking for cruelty-free cosmetics and skin care products. While I still have a lot to learn and a far way to go to completely change the products I use, I’ve started transitioning to cruelty-free EVERYTHING. From cosmetics, to skincare, shampoo, conditioner, and any other personal care products I’ve recently purchased, have been, and will continue to be cruelty-free. I was devastated to learn that the majority of well-known cosmetic brands are not cruelty-free. I’ve been using many of them for so long and never really gave much thought to it.
Given my new stance on Chanel beauty products, I still wanted to share this experience because it was such a unique one. Not may people get the chance to ask Kate Lee for makeup advice and tips so I just wanted to share that. I’ll be sharing more on cruelty-free cosmetics in the future. And the second Chanel cosmetics become cruelty-free, I’ll be the first one running in to buy one of everything. But for now, I have to say so long to my decade-long Chanel purchases.
For those not familiar with e.l.f cosmetics, “e.l.f” is an acronym for eyes, lips, face. They carry makeup, makeup brushes, makeup tools, nail polish, and skin care products. This cosmetics line was founded in 2004 and originally had 13 products. e.l.f now has a much more extensive line with over 300 products available for purchase in 17 countries. Most products cost either $1, $3, or $6. Select items such as makeup and brush sets are available at higher price points but are still very affordable.
I’ve been a fan of e.l.f since day one. Years later and I’m still in love with the products.These newer items, like the setting spray and the undereye setting powder have me amazed. I’m also a big fan of the Studio HD Powder but I didn’t include it in today’s post because I don’t use it everyday. Today’s post includes all of my everyday e.l.f must haves. I’ve been wanting to do an e.lf. makeup review for so long. I’m so excited to finally share this with you all. Let’s begin!
e.l.f Studio Makeup Mist & Set
I never believed in setting sprays. I mean, I believe they exist, I just didn’t believe they worked well. For THE longest time, I had to carry a cream foundation compact and a setting powder compact to reapply throughout the day. I would (and still do) touch my face a lot during the course of the day so my makeup always needed touching up every few hours or so. My skin is also a tad on the oily side. I think this contributed to my makeup not staying on (and in place) for long. This setting spray has changed my life. I’m not overdramatizing either, it truly has changed my life. It sets my makeup perfectly without feeling drying or stiff. And the effects last literally all day. I really love not having to carry two extra compacts in my purse and worrying about touch ups. The spray also helps with creasing problems. This is the best makeup setting spray I’ve ever tried. It’s lightweight, you don’t need to douse yourself in it (just a bit will do the trick), and it’s lasts all day. Love it!
e.l.f High Definition Undereye Setting Powder
This is another life-changing type product. If you’ve ever wondered how to fix undereye concealer creasing, this powder is for you. It’s a super-fine, slightly shimmery powder. Once applied, it has a velvety finish with the slightest micro-shimmer to reflect light and conceal dark circles. I first apply a corrector to my under eye area, then a brightening concealer then I set them both with this powder to minimize creasing. It works quite well!
e.l.f Cream Eyeliner
Creamy and richly-pigmented, this potted eyeliner is great. It’s a lightweight formula, glides on smoothly and stays in place. Compared to others of it’s kind, it’s one of the best out there given it’s low price point. This eyeliner comes with a small angled brush. I wasn’t expecting much from the brush but it’s actually pretty great. However, I prefer to use a narrow pointed fine tip brush for applying eyeliner, only because it’s easier for me to draw cat-eye liner with it (which is what I normally wear).
e.l.f Studio Eyebrow Kit
I’ve used eyebrow pencils, creams, gels, and powders from a large variety of cosmetic lines. e.l.f’s Studio Eyebrow Kit is comparable to Benefit’s “Brow Zings”—a long time favorite of mine, and only a fraction of the price. This eyebrow kit comes in three shades. The small compact has a mirror inside and comes with a dual ended brush. One end of the brush is for applying the gel and the other end is perfect for applying the powder. Overall, it’s a great combo and a fantastic find.
e.l.f Complexion Brush
I originally bought this brush for applying finishing powder. I now alternate between this and the kabuki brush when applying finishing powder. The denser feel of this brush makes it great for applying heavy bronzer or blush for a dramatic look. Hard lines can be blurred using this brush, it softens and blends them really well. This brush is quite large which makes it ideal for applying bronzer or body shimmer around the neck and décolletage area.
e.l.f Angled Blush Brush
By far my favorite e.l.f brush. The angled design makes it perfect for conturing. It’s dense enough to grab a good amount of color and fluffy enough to gently sweep over the face without leaving harsh lines. On day’s I don’t couture or use bronzer, I use this brush for applying blush. The angled design makes it perfect for creating a naturally flushed look.
e.l.f Blush Brush
I’ve taken to using this brush for applying undereye powder. The diamond shaped design makes it easy to sweep the undereye area. It’s also great for gently blending color without spreading it out more like a round brush would.
e.l.f Retractable Lip Brush
This is is a pretty standard lip brush. It works as well as any other but again, with the low price point, it’s hard to beat. To use it, take the cap off and place it on the opposite end, this pushes the bristle part out and locks it in place. When you remove the cap, the bristle part retracts.
e.l.f Kabuki Face Brush
Super fluffy and lightweight brush. This kabuki brush is perfect for applying finishing powder and for blending. It gently buffs away excess powder leaving just the right amount on and it perfectly blends bronzer for a flawless finish. This brush is a tough competitor for other kabuki brushes on the market.
I added a few more photos of the brushes below so you could get a better look and feel of the brush quality, density, and size.
This look from the Chanel Spring 2015 Couture show was on my mind all day after I saw the show. I couldn’t get it out of my head so I decided to make something I could wear that reminded me of it. I used a variety of semi precious gemstones including various tones of jade and pastel yellow chalcedony to make these earrings. You may notice they are not identical but that was done intentionally. I chose all pastels to resemble the overall look of the garment but I used different shapes of stones to create a bit of juxtaposition. Tiny onyx beads were added sparingly to match the ratio of pastel to black as seen in Chanel’s look.
I’ve been wanting to add DIY projects to the blog but haven’t thought of the right thing to start with. Jewelry is a good place to start I think. Creating something like these earrings can seem a bit complicated but it’s actually really simple once you learn a few basic tips. I’m excited to share these for now but next time I’ll add step by step details on how to make them. My favorite part about jewelry making is that you can design and personalize everything in great detail so that you end up with exactly what you want. It’s honestly harder to think of a design than it is to make a piece of jewelry. If you haven’t seen the Chanel show, check it out here.
Pencil skirts are a wardrobe essential. There is so much you can do with them. Until recently, I’d been using my H & M pencil skirt which I’ve shot many times here, here, here, here and here. I love that skirt, it was so inexpensive and very comfy. It’s now too faded to wear with silk blouses and other elevated elements so I only wear it with nude ballet flats and comfy tops. It surprises me how much use I got out of it give the low price point. However, now that it’s faded I had to look for a new midi pencil skirt. This time I searched for a material that won’t easily fade so I went with a rayon/nylon blend fabric. I also wanted something really soft, with a bit of stretch, and no waistband. I found this gorgeous Vince Camuto skirt and I’m super happy with it. It’s ridiculously soft and very comfortable.
Another new find, is the red lip gloss I’m wearing. I don’t really wear lip gloss often but an updo really calls for glossy lips so I put on the new Chanel lip gloss in “Pirate”. This gloss is rich in vitamin E which really hydrates the lips, and the color is stunning! Also wearing Nars velvet lip liner in “Nihiwatu”.
Wearing Vince Camuto skirt, Rachel Roy top, Guess shoes, Sondra Roberts clutch, Twenty8Twelve coat, DNKY sunglasses (similar here), Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss, and Nars velvet lip liner.
I’m BEYOND excited to be sharing these products with you all today. If you’ve been following along, you know that I love Etsy. The talent found in Etsy shops, like this one, is unbelievable. Today’s natural skin care products come from Etsy shop aostudio9. I can’t decide which product I like best, they are all spectacular and smell divine!
Cake batter foaming sugar scrub
Cake batter is the first thing you smell when you open this product. It’ll make you nostalgic of birthday parties and little colorful paper plates. This foaming sugar scrub has super fine granules that smooth and polish the skin. It’s moisturizing and leaves a slight lingering scent of cake batter. I was worried for a second that the sweet scent of cake batter would stick once washed off and be overwhelming but it isn’t. The scent is light and uplifting. Another big plus for me is that this formula is not greasy. The oils used don’t leave residue in your shower or leave your skin feeling oily. I should also mention that a small amount goes a loooooong way and it lathers really well. I’m so excited about this product, especially since I don’t like animal fat in my beauty products and this one is vegan, and paraben-free.
Vanilla sandalwood foaming sugar scrub
Two of my favorite scents combined! If I created a foaming sugar scrub, this is exactly what I would make. Fine Madagascar vanilla and sensual sandalwood create a magnificent duo that is the perfect scent for fall. This foaming sugar scrub also contains fine granules of sugar and additionally has vanilla beans, and specks of sandalwood. I’m absolutely loving this foaming sugar scrub. It’s moisturizing, lathers really well, and the lovely lingering scent is warming to the nose.
Manuka honey and coconut milk face mask
This little trio is fun and makes a wonderful mask. I instantly thought of what a great gift this would make. The honey and coconut milk are blended in equal parts, with the addition of one tablespoon of warm water. Then drop the face mask pellet into the mix and watch it expand. My skin was so supple and soft after using this mask, I couldn’t stop touching my face! This mask also prepared my skin for a gentle face scrub I used afterward to get rid of some impurities. Love it!
Discover and shop more of these amazing products from Etsy shop aostudio9 by clicking here. Use promo code “BONUS25” to receive 20% off your purchase of $25+. You can also follow aostudio9 on your favorite social media platforms to stay up to date on products and promos!