Spring 2016 Fashion Trends

Spring 2016 Fashion Trends

This is not an exhaustive list– nor is it meant to be. I have weeded through the Spring 2016 trends to find what will work for me and my lifestyle. Why should I exclude some trends over others? Most employers would be less-than-thrilled if one were to come into work wearing a sheer dress over nothing but lingerie (sorry, Simone Rocha) and perhaps more importantly, not all trends work for all body types. One huge trend that I saw time and time again were off-the-shoulder pieces, but I’ve left them off my list because they simply aren’t bra-friendly. Trends should not be followed blindly. Pick and choose what works for you. After all, are you really going to wear that Tommy Hilfiger multi-colored crocheted gown?

ss16 pajama trendLingerie, slips, and pajama dressing are huge for spring/summer 2016. This trend, especially highlighted by For Restless Sleepers, is nothing new though, popping up every few years. It’s no wonder. Spring weather moves us toward light, flowing fabrics. Ironically, lingerie and slips are not typically bra-friendly, but pajama dressing may be made work- and life-friendly. A fitted white button-up makes this soft pant look more refined and this silk pajama top tucked into a white pencil skirt can easily go from bedroom to office.

paperbag waistPaper-bag waists are back. This is a trend that does not show itself terribly often and it can be more difficult to pull off. With a little common (style) sense, it can be a flattering look for work or for weekend. This is a look for which one would be wise to stick to the rules of fashion. I’m talking the basic silhouette rules. Volume on bottom, fitted on top–seen here at 3.1 Phillip Lim. There isn’t much wiggle room here on tops. If you can pull it off, a crop top with a full paper-bag waist skirt can make for an adventurous warm-weather weekend look. This waist style was prevalent in the 1980s/early 1990s and modernizing the look can be achieved through the choice of fabric. While the 1980s was filled with stiff denim, this season offers a softer interpretation. These pants from Lavish Alice look professional with a blazer or a slim button-down. This linen-blend midi skirt from Simply Be has Out of Africa written all over it. A subtle safari outfit can be a classy look for dealing with the oppressive heat of high summer. I would pair it with a gauzy off-white camp shirt with rolled-up sleeves and a strappy pebbled leather heeled sandal.

spring 2016 trend, stripesStripes were everywhere on Spring 2016’s runways. Stripes have never been a stranger to this season but this time around, they were bold statement stripes. This could be seen especially at Max Mara, Tommy Hilfiger, and Ralph Lauren. I chose to feature stripes that were decidedly smaller, as my short stature does not usually benefit from bold rugby striping. Dolce & Gabbana had bright stripes running either horizontally or vertically on their tourist-chic looks, and both were equally fabulous. Stripes will never go out of style and they can be dressed up, like at J.Crew or dressed down, like at Kate Spade. Take time to choose the right kind of stripe for you, because they aren’t going anywhere.

spring 2016 trends, alexander mcqueen, erdem, summer trendsRomance permeates the upcoming season. It shows itself in the form of ruffles, English blooms, narrow pleats, and Victorian silhouettes. Ruffles aren’t uncommon for Spring, but this time around they were large and bouncy rather than small and dainty. Alexander McQueen relied heavily on a mix of blooms, ruffles, and Victoriana, whereas Gucci approached the romantic trend with a geek-chic look throughout the show. Erdem mixed the Victoriana trend with sheer fabrics to create a modern, fresh look. High necklines, part of the Victoriana trend, were seen roaming the runways, but they can be harder to locate, as retailers often steer away from high necklines, long sleeves, and other attributes associated with high production costs. Trend-driven sites such as ASOS and Ruche are great for finding overtly feminine pieces, and Dressbarn offers a work-friendly piece with a lovely English bloom print.

Ipsy: Three Months Later

Ipsy: Three Months Later

After being less-than-satisfied with Birchbox, I successfully subscribed to Ipsy. The wait list had been a long one but I received the notification email shortly after unsubscribing from Birchbox. I figured I would give each monthly subscription box three months to impress me. This company also supposedly bases the contents off a personal preference quiz, but after my previous experience, I figured this wouldn’t affect what was inside the bag. As I learned though, Ipsy seems to be much better at matching up people and beauty stuff. Granted, some of the stuff I still haven’t used but nothing made me sigh with frustration upon opening the bag.

Ipsy March 2014From the first month, I could tell this was a much more beauty-centered subscription than Birchbox. Rather than receiving tea and stinky soap, I got products that I could actually wear on my face. I played with the primer and the creamy lipstick and found both to be pretty nice. The lipstick is a miniature size that I was easily able to fit in the smallest of bags. Pixi’s Flawless Beauty Primer was closer to a shimmery moisturizer with a bit of dimethicone. My face tends to be dry so it wasn’t so bad but other people may deal with a greasy feeling. The real loser in this bag was the bag itself; the pattern reminds me of a 4th grader’s rendition of cells composed of gummy candy.Ipsy April 2014In April 2014’s bag, I used everything except the lashes. The Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet miniature eyeliner is nice, though it is definitely not waterproof as the company claims. I did not use the St. Tropez face lotion long enough to tell a difference in my skin tone. I tend to jump between face lotions a lot because of commitment issues. Also, I tend to shower at night and didn’t want this to end up on my pillow case. I’ll get around to using it…someday. The White Gold Shadow & Highlight Mousse was the loser of this bag. It was patchy as an eye shadow, though it is fairly nice as a highlighter for cheekbones. The Cailyn tinted lip balm in Apple Pink is a horrible lip balm–but a great cream lipstick! Holy crap, guys! This stuff gave great coverage and a smooth, matte finish. It also has a lip brush built in. I highly recommended hunting this down and buying it.

Ipsy May 2014By May 2014’s bag, I had re-taken the quiz just to change things up. I have used everything but the Pacifica eyeshadow duo. First off, the bag is a winner. It is flexible canvas and while it doesn’t have the wipe-clean interior, it can just be thrown in the wash. I hadn’t used the Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask until it came with me to Mexico. I figured between the ocean, pools, and humidity, my curly hair would be parched and frizzy simultaneously. I was right, but this fixed it. I used it as an everyday conditioner and let it sit while I did other shower-ly stuff. Amazing. I also packed and used the Hang Ten spf 50 Classic Sport sunscreen. It disappeared into my skin and did not irritate my Rosacea. I could take or leave the Avene; it isn’t bad but it’s just water and nitrogen. The Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer is nice and I have often used it to contour my cheeks. Though the packaging is cardboard, it closes well and doesn’t show the risk opening opening up at random.

Overall, I would recommend Ipsy as a subscription box for those new to makeup, but knowledgeable enough to dabble. It is only $10 a month and is just a fun subscription to try out. Be honest on the quiz and see what the post office brings you!

Coppertone CLEARLYSheer

Coppertone CLEARLYSheer

Hey, all! It’s been quite some time since I last posted because well, I’ve had a really rough past…year. Now that summer has come about, I’m able to go to the beach during any down-time to try to ease the past stresses and future stresses (kitchen renovation, need a full-time job, travelling with my mother, losing my health insurance!). Full disclaimer: I am pale as hell and will burn if I so much as look at a light bulb funny. Naturally, protection is fairly necessary for me and when BzzAgent caught onto that through their many personal surveys, they sent me a complimentary box of Coppertone ClearlySheer sprays and lotions to test out and review. The line is fairly new to their brand and it claims to have a minimal feel on the skin, perhaps as a response to people complaining about how greasy regular lotion is. I’ve had experience with both creams and sprays, the latter being my preferred method of application for the past few years.

Coppertone CLEARLYSheer

I was diagnosed with Rosacea recently and am on a prescription sunscreen for the face, so I did all the testing on my body. For those who don’t have dermatologist-driven face-care routines, Coppertone also has a CLEARLYSheer face lotion. It won’t clog pores and I’ve heard it layers well under makeup. Nothing discourages wearing sunscreen every day like a sunscreen that doesn’t work with your everyday look, you know?

My first experience with the spray was at the Jones Beach Airshow and I turned out quite burned, but I chalked it up to bad timing with the application. The second experience was with the cream for sunny days. I rubbed it into my legs before walking around a park for a few hours and I did not burn at all, which was great. It has a light lemony smell and absorbed well into my legs. I forgot I was wearing sunscreen! Also, a little goes a long way with this stuff. The next two experiences I had with the spray were pretty awful. During the first, I had some respiratory problems that lasted for about a half hour after applying. During the second experience, I outsmarted that problem by spraying one body part then running away to the opposite corner of the room to breathe until the remaining mist hit the floor. Spraying and running. Spraying and running. I was at the beach for a bit under two hours. A few hours after I got home, I noticed some redness on my abs. An hour or two after that, as I went into work, people were remarking on how burnt I was. I had sprayed two to three layers on these areas!

Coppertone CLEARLYSheer

Overall, I would recommend the cream formulas but would stay away from the spray if you are looking for serious coverage. The smell is nice and unisex (though nothing beats the original Coppertone scent) and it rubs in completely without leaving a sticky feel.

Rite Aid, Ulta, and Marshalls Haul

Rite Aid, Ulta, and Marshalls Haul

Sales are not an uncommon thing in the world of cosmetics. I constantly see ads for BOGO 50% off, which is not really that worth it on it’s own. The ones I look out for instead are the less-often-seen 40% off sales. Rite Aid recently had one of these for their Revlon products, and they’re lip products are usually winners. I’m a fiend for lip products and I also wanted to check out some face items, as I had a $3 dollar off one face product coupon to layer on top of the sale. Recently I’ve subscribed to Maggie G’s Youtube channel and she raved about how Revlon’s Colorstay Whipped Creme Foundation is great for those with dry skin. Upon further research, I found a lot of people agreed with that and so I gave it a go and used my coupon for it. After trying it with and without primer, I had to return it. It just made my skin look awful. It did the same thing most foundations do with my skin–made my skin look worse. It was cakey and blotchy and it just made me look old and scaly. Fortunately, this gave me the chance to exchange it for an item I thought I’d never be able to try–the Revlon Cream Blush! I was still pretty happy with my purchases, and as you can see, most of the purchases are lip stuff. Lip products are probably my favorite beauty items because they make the most amount of difference for the least amount of money. Not shown here is the Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in Navy, which I was able to get a coupon on. Also purchased…my potentially holy grail product, the Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse!

Rite Aid Haul
From left: Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Sweetheart Valentine, Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Tease, Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Mischievous, Revlon Moon Drops Lipstick in Persian Melon and Blase Apricot, Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Cherries in The Snow and Demure, Wet n Wild Lipstick in Sugar Plum Fairy and Just Peachy

Marshalls, as you know from my previous post, is a great (but unexpected) place to find beauty products. The one near me doesn’t offer cosmetics of any sort but it does offer a random selection of body, face, and haircare products. Marshalls being Marshalls, there is never one certain product or brand guaranteed to be there. I went there for fun, no sole purpose. There were so many Elizabeth Arden face creams that it was hard to choose which to buy. I don’t have a smartphone so I couldn’t check MakeupAlley or any reviews so I took a risk and bought the Perpetual Moisture Creme, which I have using every day and will review eventually. They also had a few boxes of Crabtree & Evelyn lotions but for whatever reason, I chose Deep Steep’s Honeydew and Spearmint Hand Cream. It is a f*ucking winner! I WILL TELL YOU. It is made in the USA, is cruelty free, has no parabens, no sulfates, no mineral oil, no chemical preservatives, no fake fragrances, and is vegan. I don’t really care about most of those but what I do know is that fixed my hand problem. This shit is the new Robitussin. Got dry skin? Put Deep Steep on it. Got a cold? Smell some Deep Steep. Femur fracture? Pour some Deep Steep on it! I also bought the Korres Evening Primrose Eye Cream, which I will review soon.

Marshalls Haul

Ulta, Ulta, how did I ever live without you? With much more money, that’s for sure. Through a recent fixation on Youtube beauty videos, I was hypnotized to purchase more Real Techniques brushes (I already own the Expert Face Brush). Using my $3.50 off $10 coupon, I took advantage of the BOGO 50% off sale and bought the Real Techniques Core Collection and the Real Techniques Stippling brush, which I now use all the time. It is awesome for applying makeup to dry skin, because it doesn’t lift up or disturb any potential flakes. Also, they threw in a free 2 oz bottle of It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product. Awesome place, that Ulta!

Ulta Haul

Happy shopping!

Birchbox: Three Months Later

Birchbox: Three Months Later

Recently, I jumped back on the subscription box bandwagon. Several years ago, I had a stint with Beauty Fix for a short period of time. My interest in cosmetics tends to wax and wane and more recently, it has been growing and I began some research into different boxes. I ultimately settled on Birchbox, mostly because people raved about it and there seemed to be great products that people would get.

I however, wound up not being one of those people. What one receives in his or her box is supposedly based off questions and the subscriber’s profile. It asks what sort of products you prefer and the like. For whatever reason, I seemed to always receive exactly opposite of what I put my preferences to be in my profile. Needless to say, this made me a bit sad, especially considering that each month I would see Youtube gurus get these great Birchboxes. As my first box was tremendously disappointing, I decided to give Birchbox a fair three months to impress me. If not, I would move on to the second box I had my eye on, Ipsy.

Birchbox

I can’t use nail polish, partly because of work and partly because of a recent medical problem. I did try on this mini polish and within the same day, it peeled off. Not chipped–peeled. The whole thing just peeled off, like one of those nail polishes for children. The chocolate with pop-rocks was fine, because, really, who doesn’t like that? The Embryolisse, which came in a tiny tube, is a pretty well-known mineral oil-based moisturizer. The leave in conditioning spray smelled phenomenal but it sprayed in one stream, leaving hair greasy on some strands and dry on others. I wound up pouring the contents into my V05 Detangle & Shine Leave-In Conditoner, combining the formulas. It sprays fine now. The ChapStick, which came as a bonus product, had almost no wear time. I expect this from lip balms, but not ones that claim to last eight hours. It couldn’t even give three. The best product in this box was the Harvey Prince Hello EDT. It smells so good, like nothing else in my fragrance wardrobe. I keep it in my purse to spray when I’m out and about.

Birchbox

Another nail product that I can’t use. Surprise, surprise. A couple teas, a couple sugar-sized packets of coconut lotion…A face polish was included, which gave the option of rinsing off or leaving on. I feel like a face polish is not the kind of product that should have that kind of option. It worked fine under my makeup, but overall, it felt unnccessary. The most well-known product in this box was a mini dry shampoo by Klorane. Dry shampoos are useful for me, because my fine but curly hair means my ends are dry and by roots are flat. Despite being a useful product category for me, I’ve only used this spray once. My favorite product in this box was the tea, which shouldn’t really happen in a beauty box.

I had hopes of a redeeming quality for this box, because I told myself that I’d give them three boxes to impress me. It just didn’t happen. The unusable nail product was a given at this point. I haven’t even opened it and will probably pass it along to my mother, though she usually gets hers done by professionals. I was actually excited for the Skin Transformer and put it to use quite quickly. It is basically a sunscreen that feels like a primer, with built-in bronze glitter. Because size can be hard to tell in pictures, the tube is shorter than a small index finger. I’ll probably get the most use of this during the summer, on lazy days about town. There was a Juicy Couture perfume in here, which is not my favorite, but I’ll relegate it to summer use because of its scent. The Ayres soap on the other hand, smells like complete garbage. How lucky that soap smell usually is literally washed down the drain! Despite that hope, I haven’t opened this bar because I’m afraid of death by bad smells. It’s a thing. I also haven’t opened the one-time-use Agave Oil Treatment, mostly because there is no directions for use. I will definitely use it eventually though, because I’m a swim instructor with curly ends and the chlorine really does a job on my hair.

After I received the third box, I went ahead and cancelled my subscription. I will say that it was a very easy process, both to subscribe and unsubscribe. I don’t regret my Birchbox subscription though, because it is better to have tried and known. A couple weeks later, coincidentally, Ipsy emailed me that I was off the wait list and finally subscribed. That subscription will be reviewed at a later time.

Proper Haul Post!

Proper Haul Post!

Unlike my last post, of which the contents were purchased over a long period of time, this is a proper haul post. The items were purchased between two stores, Rite Aid and Perfumania. I’m not stranger to bargain buying but it really reared its ugly head when I walked into Rite Aid and discovered it had been completely redone. The changes were so grand, it really took me by surprise. A few feet into the door, another surprise–two huge clearance tables/bins clearing out old stock! It was meant to be a short visit accompanying my mother but it turned into a bit of a binge. Sorting through nail polishes and binders that were thrown about, I came upon some items I really cared about: cosmetics.

Olay BB Cream, Bed Head Control Freak, Revlon burgundy dye, airbrush legs, sublime sun, missoni perfumeI left the store with Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream in Fair to Light (3.49), Physicians Formula Happy Booster Powder in Beige (6.40), Physicians Formula Powder Palette Custom Blush in Brunettes (6.40), Physicians Formula 100% Natural Origin 2-in-1 Bronzer and Blush in Bronzer/Rose (3.48), Revlon Luxurious Colorsilk Buttercream in Burgundy (1.62), Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs in Medium Glow (3.49), L’Oreal Sublime Sun Sunscreen 50+ Liquid Silk Lotion for Face (4.99), Dr. Scholl’s For Her Open Shoe Insoles (3.12), and Mustang Cologne Spray (4.99). Total win, right?!

At Tanger Outlet in Deer Park, I finally got a chance to go into Perfumania. I’m a wee bit of a fragrance addict and upon first look, I was pretty turned off by the high prices. A woman offered her help to see what I was looking for and what I currently wear. We got into some conversation and she showed me different fragrances based on what I like and wear. The deeper I looked into the store, the more I realized that the prices for a good amount of products were actually reasonable. Customer service won! I purchased a 1.0 oz Missoni EDP for 14.99 and TIGI Bed Head Control Freak Shampoo/Conditioner Set for 5.39.

Shit I’ve Acquired Relatively Recently

Shit I’ve Acquired Relatively Recently

I was contemplating calling this a haul post, but that would insinuate timely reporting on single or double store purchases. If there is one thing I have commitment issues with, it is ambition. It’s like I want to write about things when I get them, but I lose the energy and inspiration to. Anyway, I’ve come around to putting some recent purchases together in attempt to record my belongings. I do this because I like to appreciate what I have and having it in writing feels more permanent than just the feeling of having something.

Dr. Scholl’s® For Her Cozy Cushions

Dr. Scholl’s® For Her Cozy Cushions

Hello, all! Guess who went to Santa-Con NYC for the first time ever? Everything was thrown together last minute and despite all this (and a snow storm), I stayed pretty comfortable the entire night. This was partially due to my choice in footwear. Also…copious amounts of layers were used. I have these black snow boots which are lined to almost-the-knee in faux fur. They’ve always kept me warm but with time, the fur on the insole has matted down. This makes it so that is no longer as comfy, as well as making the boots feel a little large.

When Influenster sent me the complimentary Rose VoxBox, containing products for review, I was happy to see the Cosy Cushions by Dr. Scholls. They have white faux fur attached to a foam base, which gives a little bit of cushion and stability. I cut them down to a size 6 because like most insoles, they have guidelines for grading. Looking at them, I knew they would be pretty thick for most shoes. I tried them in several of my shoes and my foot wouldn’t fit into the shoe anymore. I was about to give up when I spotted my suede and sherpa slippers. The fur in them was pretty thin and the slippers themselves were huge on me from the start. I added the Cozy Cushions to them and the fit was perfect. I wasn’t sliding around in them anymore! I was a bit bummed that it didn’t fit in my other shoes but the slippers would do. A few days ago, in a fit of rushing around throwing together a Santa-Con outfit, I was trying different ways to warm up my outfit for the upcoming snowstorm. I grabbed the cushions from inside the slippers and put them into my black boots. I stepped into the boot and it fit! I loved the fact that throughout the night, my feet and my legs were the last things on my mind. They stayed warm and comfortable.

Because of the thickness, I would recommend this to replace fur insoles in boots or slippers, or in shoes that are a size too large.