Summer Inspiration

Where do you draw your inspiration for your summer wardrobe? That’s the question of this month’s Full-Time Fabulous group, which brings together bloggers to focus on one subject. If you are interested, you can join this community through its Google group.

In the summer, I draw my inspiration from the world around me especially nature and images with ethereal overtones.

If you’d like, please leave a comment sharing where you get your summer inspiration.

All photos were taken by me except the last one, which is of Mary-Kate Olsen. I saved it years ago on my hard drive with no credit. If you own this photo, please let me know and I will credit properly.

Travel and Vacation Packing Tips

For this week’s Friend Friday, we’re talking everyone’s favorite topic: Vacation and Travel! Traveling is one of my life’s passions and I try to go as many new places as my wallet permits. Keep reading to find out what I pack for what and my recommendations for better packing!

When it comes to packing for vacation what’s your mantra?
Pack Early. I like to pack at least three to five days in advance before embarking on a trip whether it be for a week or a weekend.

Plan Ahead. Packing is one of the only times I lay out each piece of clothing and envision outfits. I try to take as many options as possible, which means I usually pick neutral colors and versatile items.

What are your “must” packs?
For Summer Clothes: I pack a lot of wrinkle free skirts, tank tops and dresses, which is usually what I’m wearing when I’m not traveling. For weekend trips, I take 2 pairs of jeans, two skirts, a dress and four to five tops in case I change my mind about outfit options. I don’t pack accessories because I have bad luck in losing them.

For summer makeup, I take along the following items:

(This is actually the 88 Matte Palette, not the Warm Palette.)

Some people may look at this as a lot of makeup, but I like having options especially when it comes to eyeshadow. I also chose lightweight foundations over heavier ones and versatile blush and lip colors that work with most looks.

What are you happy to leave behind?
Shoes! If I can get away with it, I only bring one pair, maybe two. In the summer, I usually take a pair of flat sandals.

Any packing secrets that help you get everything into one suitcase?
Always pack your essentials first so you don’t forget them. I get caught up in the excitement of packing and easily forget basics like underwear and socks. After I’ve packed these items, I roll everything and place the heaviest things (usually jeans) on the bottom. I always pack my shoes separate so long as I’m driving and not flying.

It’s also helpful to choose what you want to bring, look at it all the next day and weed out some pieces that aren’t necessarily. No matter how much I follow this rule, I always end up bringing at least one or two things I don’t wear!

What are you taking with you to read in the sand?
I’m actually going to the beach this weekend and will be bringing one of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, All Together Dead, by Charlaine Harris. The series is really light hearted and quick to read, both of which make a good beach read!

What are you packing while traveling this summer?

FTC Disclosure: I received the NYX products featured above for review. My opinion is mine and truthful as always

8 Products I Love and Loathe: Bare Minerals, E.L.F and No. 7

While I love my staple beauty products, I tried out a lot of new things in the month of May. Some where good. Others not so much. Keep reading to find out what products I was loving and hating this month.

5 Things I’m Lovin’

E.L.F. Essential Shine Erasers

Now that the warm weather and humidity has arrived, I use about two of these daily to remove excess oil from my face. I also use these to blot oil after applying moisturizer and sunscreen. The downside is that just because you blot off facial oil does not mean it won’t come back so you may find yourself needing to use more than one sheet.

Boots No7 Total Renewal Micro-Dermabrasion Exfoliator
This is my first exfoliator that isn’t built into a cleanser. I researched and purchased this No7 product after watching Goss’s video on nighttime skin care. The purpose of an exfoliator is to help remove dead skin cells and ultimately leave your skin feeling smooth. I use this product twice a week after removing makeup and cleansing.

Bare Minerals Matte Foundation in Fair
Bare Escentuals was one of the first foundations I ever used. I like it because the coverage can be layered and rarely looks cakey. This is one of my go-tos for when I don’t want want to wear a heavy foundation.

E.L.F. Studio Contour Brush,  Ecotools Blending Brush

I’ve been using the Ecotools Blending Brush for about six months now and love the way it blends large areas of color. However, for more detailed eyeshadow, I purchased the E.L.F. Contour Brush, which got rave reviews. The brush gives you control over where and how much color is applied. The first time I used it, I got two unsolicited compliments from co-workers so I’ll take that as a successful purchase.

What I’m Loathing

I received this lip gloss as a sample with the purchase of my Bare Escentuals foundation mentioned above. I don’t think I’ve met a lip gloss with more annoying packaging. The opening is formed to fit a lip gloss wand but this lip gloss comes with a brush. It makes for messy use and unwieldy closure.

Wet ‘N Wild Silk Finish Lipstick

I bought 12 of these. Yes. 12. Why? Because I got super obsessed with lipstick for a week and ran out and bought these in every color. Since don’t usually use chapstick of lip moisturizing products, this lipstick dries out my lips because it’s made with aloe vera.

Bare Escentuals Feather Light Mineral Veil (unavailable)

From brief research, I’m not actually sure this product is sold anymore, which doesn’t surprise me. This was given to me by my future-sister-in-law who, like me, didn’t like its extreme shimmer. I don’t know where or how you would wear this unless you were going to a disco in 1971. The original Mineral Veil, on the other hand, is definitely worth trying.

Did you try any new products this month? How did it go?

Thirteen-Years-Old: Rediscovering My Teen Fashion

Last week, while driving through Virginia on my way down South, I caught The Graffiti of War on American Public Media’s The Story. In one segment, Anita Woodley shared that while growing up she wanted to be Oprah. Eventually Woodley realized she needed to be herself and “created who [she] was in eight grade.”

That got me thinking. How often do we all spend trying to be other people when it comes to what we wear? And, more importantly, what implications does that have for the other parts of our selves?

When I shop, I find myself stumbling upon certain styles of clothes and think, “I liked this in 8th grade.” I pass it by because that’s not “me” anymore. But why? Is there something innately wrong with returning to a previous fashion sense? Do we have to leave our former fashion selves behind?

This weekend, I decided to try to remember what I wore when I was thirteen. I wore a pair of American Eagle Artist Jeans, now too big and covered in paint. This style and cut was my favorite for years. I paired it with a spaghetti strap tank top over a black tank top. I felt comfortable and unconcerned over whether layering made me look wider. I threw on a pair of flip flops and went.

The way things used to be.

Links à la Mode May 26th Women, Fear and Makeup Featured

For the Love of Clothes

Edited by Fajr Muhammad at Stylish Thought

If fashion is one thing; it’s fun! Whether fashion bloggers are chronicling their ensembles, spring cleaning their wardrobes or finding the perfect colored jean they are loving their clothes. In IFB we discuss fashion from so many angles we often forget the fancy of style and what keeps us blogging: our passion for fashion. This week’s Links A La Mode features advice for the perfect poolside ensemble, a comprehensive Q & A on San Fran style and a walk down fashion’s memory lane. At the heart of each post are the lovely clothes we wear and adore.

Links à la Mode: May 26th

SPONSOR: Bags at Shopbop: CC Skye, Ash, Whiting & Davis, Halston Heritage, M Missoni, Tory Burch bags, Marc Jacobs, LAMB handbags, Wang, Malene Birger & Gryson