Fashionably Informed

Fashionably Informed: 5 November 2016

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I love this quote. Gratitude is always my center, and whenever I’m feeling a little bit off, I try to remind myself of all the things in life that have blessed me. It’s a perfect sentiment this time of year, because it also helps stave off some of the feelings that creep up when we get into shop-o-palooza or maybe start comparing our family goings on to other people’s. What we have, is enough.

1 – Whatever your political opinion, remember what it took to get us gals to vote, both here and abroad. Don’t waste this gift that millions of women the world around still can’t take advantage of. Vote

2 – If sheer sentiment isn’t reason enough to drive us to voting as an act of equality, consider that we may not be on equal economic footing until 2186, according to the World Economic Forum.

3 – Let’s just roll with this women empowerment week and slap on this subtle little hint of strength to stack with our watches.

4 – Nothing makes me feel quite as tough as a red lip. This one is a deep sultry wine that while seemingly challenging as a color, has a beautiful formula that lasts and lasts.

5 – While pinterest is intent on reminding us that not all super heros wear capes, I’m still strongly endorsing a cape to be your most super self. This Halogen grey, hooded one is so sleek and urban. Web fashion stalkers will notice that it’s a dupe of Atlantic Pacific’s DKNY that was very popular last year.

Fashion Formulas

Recent Fall Beauty Favorites

This time of year I generally focus on stocking up on skin care instead of makeup.  Once the weather changes, I find that my skin needs a little extra TLC and it seems to shift every year whether or not that means oil control or ultra hydration! Of course, I’m also always suckered in by the fabulous holiday sets and lines that come out this time of year. Right now, I’m loving some of the products that came out in the nutcracker sets by MAC.  Here are a few things I’m into this fall….

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5 of My Fall Favorites

1 – This foundation has become my go to. Normally I’m an Armani Luminous Silk gal, but this new hourglass has the same blend-ability but much more of a fall, satin or velvet finish. It’s just the kind of coverage you want going into winter.

2 – The bite lip mask is an essential for me in fall.  I put it on at night and wake up with smooth, plump lips that can handle all of those dark matte shades we’re into this time of year!

3- Amore Pacific is one of the best skin care lines out there and I don’t think they get quite as much play as they deserve. I’m obsessed with this aging serum, but you’ll also love their hydrating spray (an airplane essential for me!) and their cleanser for a deep clean that doesn’t strip your face of key oils it needs in the winter!

4- This is one of those fab MAC products I’m loving! The nutcracker collection MAC put out has a bunch of fun colors and great pallets. If you happen to live in a neck of the woods where the whisper of gilt/blush combo isn’t sold out buy a hundred. (And maybe sell a few on eBay and finance your student loan payments.)

5- This “mask” has been a welcome addition to my Sunday beauty routine. Its texture is a little different, almost goopy and it certainly doesn’t harden like a traditional mask.  That said, it is immensely restorative and feels like something your facialist keeps up her sleeve when you ask for “brightening.” It marries well with another hydrating treatment to follow it’s somewhat astringent finish.

Fashion Formulas

Moody Fall Outfit

When the weather crisps up a bit, I get ready for an outfit that’s got a little edge and a little more of a moody feel. I’m in love with turtleneck sweater dresses. They do double duty keeping you super warm and super chic at the same time. Add over the knee boots and some killer jewelry and you’ve got a quick outfit that can go from casual to dressy depending on how you accessorize it and whether or not your boots have a heel.

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Acne Studios Dress || OTK Boot  || Bite Lipstick || Celine

Black + Crystal Jewels

To add some of that fall vibe, I’m loving black crystal jewelry. I think it’s a bit less expected than your typical ‘j.crew’ looking crystal but still looks polished and sophisticated. A few of my fave pieces are in the shopping bar below.

Fashionably Informed

Fashionably Informed : 04 September 2016

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We’ll call this the Italian edition because I’m writing this after a really solid nap on the beach of Positano. I was inspired to check in on all things I should know about Italy right now. 

1) My life goals continue to include finding a lace skirt that will make me look like Sophia Loren. This $23 one will tide me over until I find an investment version. 

2) Relatedly, your best makeup here is a strong lip and this matte lasts and lasts with punchy color to boot. 

3) Despite my best efforts to dump dollars into every pizzeria along our way, Italy’s economy is stagnating and a banking crisis is looming. 

4) Relatedly, Italy has the third oldest population in the world setting them up for some rough times in the next few decades related to social support commitments. 

5) You know what they do exceptionally well? Caccio e Pepe. Like you’ll want a bowl every day for the rest of your life. Serious eats has the only legit classic recipe you need in your life to replicate your Roman eats experience. 

6) After eating all the things, caftans are a travel godsend. Leave it to H&M to not only make the handful I’ve packed, but explain where they originated. 

Asset Class, Fashionably Informed

Gucci Soho Disco Review

We all have that bag we lust over and have on our life wish lists and maybe even need to save a lifetime of pennies for! Well for me that bag has been the Gucci Soho Disco

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I’ll start with saying that I’m not a purse girl in the sense that I have a hundred bags that I’m constantly rotating through. I’m a fan of just a few investment bags that will go with anything and can be pieces I wear year after year.  
As such, I’ve been eyeing this beauty for quite some time knowing it would be the bag I would grab every weekend. I was lucky enough to finally splurge and pull the trigger on my recent trip to Florence. There seemed no better place to bring it home from than the flagship store there (which  PS, I was obviously geeking out at. Least chic and chill Gucci shopper in the room!) 

Bottom Line: It’s the perfect weekend bag if you’re a girl who likes a light purse, a leather shoulder strap, and struggles getting an overstuffed wallet out of your typical cross body. (I’m looking at you my ever-loved Rebecaca Minkoff MAC!) 

Colors: If you’ve been here for even a second, you know I’m partial to the nudes so for me black was the obvious choice followed by the rose beige leather which is a lovely light nude. On Gucci’s website, you can also get it in red, off-white leather, metallic, and black Python (though at a higher price.) Sometimes other retailers like Saks and Neiman Marcus have really fun colors, most of which go on a small discount as seasons close out so that’s a great place to look for a slightly more affordable version!

Size: The bag is 8x6x2.7 meaning for me it’s the perfect weekend size and is really the Goldilocks of cross bodies – not too small, not too big. It weighs in at less than a pound, which is essential for me in a weekend bag because I hate running around the city with something giantic that makes my shoulder ache by the end of the day! First world problems, but you purse-over Packers feel me.

Structure: Another awesome selling point for me was the limited small pockets inside. I also initially was a bit turned off by it being fabric lined at this price point, but quickly learned that’s what contributes to it being so light! Another tiny detail that is probably not noticeable to most gals but totally won me over is that the zipper actually comes down the sides of the bag a bit, making it open really wide for such a slim profiled bag.  This means it’s so easy to get to all of your junk, and you’re not fishing around in a tiny dark hole when you can’t remember where you shoved your metro card.  No? Just me?

All told, this thing is just a dream and I know I’ll be nuts about it for years to come.

Do you have an investment bag that has become your go-to? What do you love about it? 

Beauty Formulas

Review : blendSMART

When people talk about having flawless makeup what they usually mean is that awesome airbrushed look that can only be achieved with the right combo of tools and techniques. (If you throw on $70 foundation with a spackle, you’ve wasted your $70!) 

Enter blendSMART! I was excited to give their brush set a try as I am always looking to achieve that very blended soft finish with all of my liquid or powder products.  Their product line up includes the battery-powered handle and several interchangeable heads for product. 

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Right off, I was impressed at the softness of the bristles and the ease at which the heads swap out. I’m a big sigma F80 devotee for my foundation application and this was marvelously similar- a dense flat head on the brush that blended beautifully but had enough heft to really work in the product! For a quick side by side, you can see below how the size and shape compare…


Like any beauty junkie, I tore right into the box but I was sooooo glad I read the instructions before firing up this beauty! The smartBLEND brush is at its best when you dot liquid product on your face then turn on the brush and buff it in. I also loved that the instructions let me know to not go on circular motions (the brush does that for you!) and instead move in almost a grid motion over your face. 

Where I personally think this product really shines is on powder product application. It gave me a gorgeous diffused finish with my setting powder when I swapped out the foundation brush for the powder attachment. I could also see myself getting excited about the blush head to do some lovely all over bronzing. 

Since its vibe (literally!) is blend, blend,blend it works wonderfully for soft washes of color. You’ll still want some standard precision brushes to contour on top or under that, but this system is great for ensuring there are no harsh lines in your face makeup. I also think this would be great for any gal who has never before used a foundation brush and currently uses a sponge or some other applicator! You’ll notice a huge difference in how much product you save and really get an idea of what motion it takes to give that airbrushed finish to your makeup. 

Have you tried the blendSMART? Let me know in the comments if you’ve got other great tips for a fabulous foundationfinish! 

FTC Disclaimer: I was provided the blendSMART in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies who make Elle’s Equations possible!