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Dress Chic in Seriously Cold Weather

how to dress chic in seriously cold weather

When it’s below freezing, you think, “It’s impossible to dress chic in seriously cold weather” because first, you’re cold so your natural instinct is to throw on sweatpants and a giant sweatshirt that swallows you whole.  Secondly, you REALLY don’t want to go outside, so you procrastinate from getting dressed and hide under the covers.  Third, you keep asking yourself, “Do I have to get up?”  While the word impossible keeps floating in your head, I beg you to remember the fabulous Audrey Hepburn.  She once said, “Nothing is impossible,the word itself says ‘I’m possible.'”

Trust me, I understand. With below freezing temperatures, it’s hard to wear anything except sweatshirts and sweatpants to stay warm.  (Translation: I don’t want to wear anything BUT sweatshirts, sweatpants, pajama bottoms, and my favorite fleece onesie.) However, there is a way to be stylish and chic AND warm.  In cold weather, layering and playing with volume is key to dressing chic and staying warm. Check out my tips below on how you can layer and accessorize with various pieces to dress chic in seriously cold weather.

These tips will prevent the horrible childhood nightmares of restricted arm movements and marshmallow (AKA Michelin Man) bulkiness because rolls are only good with cinnamon, cake or at the dinner table.

How to Dress Chic in Seriously Cold Weather

When you dress chic for seriously cold weather, you’re going to have to prepared for layers. LOTS of them because you’re going to need all the insulation you can get to stop those cold winds from reaching your body.  At the end of this, you might feel like you have half your wardrobe on your back and you actually might.  But when you’re walking from the parking deck to your office building, you’ll thank me.

The key to not looking bulky or restricting arm movement when you layer is to start with the basics: camisoles, tees, fitted sweaters, and oversized knits.  Playing with fit and volume will help streamline your layers and let you be chic while staying warm and toasty.  When the temperatures are BELOW freezing, an oversized cardigan or sweater is your best friend.

When you dress chic in seriously cold weather, you have to being the layering process with fitted pieces. In the winter, I love starting with a fitted camisole layered under a fitted t-shirt.  First two layers done.  This will NOT keep you warm but its a good start.

Now,if you’re prone to being cold then throw on a fitted sweater over your camisole and tee.  If not, then skip this step and just throw on the oversized sweater or cardigan you have.

Once you have your layers on, you’ll see the change in volume.  At this step, you’re basically a marshmallow.  Probably a cute one, but still a marshmallow.  The common mistake that many people make in the winter is wearing loose fitting or oversized bottoms with their layers.  All that fabric will swallow you up.  So, if you have volume on top, try to keep the bottom sleek.

Lately, I’ve been loving semi-fitted wool or knitted maxi skirts.  You can wear tights and leggings underneath to keep your legs warm.  Throw on a pair of socks and cute booties and you’re ready to brace the cold winds.

You can also throw on a pair of tights or leggings before slipping in to your favorite pair of jeggings.  Trust me, the extra layers will prevent your legs from turning in to popsicles.

Cassie from tothe9s also gave a great tip in one of their essentials videos, you can wear a pair of fleece-lined leggings under trousers.  You’ll look chic and no one will ever know that you’re basically wearing fitted sweatpants underneath your trousers.  (Don’t worry I won’t tell…)

Or you can try a body-con skirt on top of tights and leggings.  Popsicle legs are terrible, so throw on a pair of over-the-knee socks and boots to keep your legs warm.

Another winter favorite of mine is layering with summer dresses.  Any length works.  Once you have the camisole and tee on (plus a fitted sweater, if you’re ALWAYS cold), slip on your favorite summer dress before putting on your oversized knit.  Then, cover your legs with tights and leggings before shoving on boots.

**Bonus tip for ALL types of layering: Make sure the color palette is the same if your layers are longer in length.  If the colors don’t match, make sure your inside layers are shorter than the outside (that way no one will know!).

Finish off all of these looks with a great parka, trench, or pea coat to really insulate your body from the freezing temperatures!  With ALL these layers you’re bound to stay warm and toasty while looking super chic!

Accessorizing in Seriously Cold Weather

Scarves, hats, and gloves.  It’s hard to imagine coordinating these three without thinking back to the Minnie Mouse sets you used to own as a kid.  But there is a way to to coordinate without looking like a toddler.

In order to dress chic for seriously cold weather, you’re going to have to first find that “other” glove that’s gone missing since last year. And in many cases, they’re probably just behind the dresser or they’re having a party with all the lost socks.  In that case, RIP glove.

If you can find bother gloves and actually having a matching pair, then yay the hardest part is over!  Playing with pattern and texture is key to creating a chic look.  Personally, I love the faux fur scarves, faux fur trimmed gloves, and pom-pom beanies.  They are a great texture piece that will help break up all the various knits you’re wearing.

When you have a scarf, hat, and glove in the same color family then you’ll look polished and sophisticated while bracing through the cold winds.  You can have everything in the same color if you have different textures: knits to fur, beaded to solid, patterns to fur…etc.  Accessories add interest to your outfit so have fun with it!

And that’s it.  Those are my tips and tricks on how to dress chic in seriously cold weather.  This post was inspired by the below freezing temperatures in #RVA.

Which was your favorite tip?

The Best Translucent Powders for Acne-Prone Skin (That I’ve Tried)

Best translucent powders #howdoyoutlsp #contest

After spending a good 30 minutes on your makeup, you want it to last.  You want your makeup to look (almost) as flawless as it did right after application, BUT if you get oily through the day we know that won’t happen (at least without multiple touch-ups and a crap ton of translucent powders).  My secret to flawless skin even four hours after application is a good translucent powder.

Since, I have acne-prone skin my skin is combination.  It’s oily around my T-zone and cheeks but super dry under my eyes and forehead.  This mean my face is a powder nightmare.  Many powder foundations and translucent powders look cakey and get stuck on dry patches.  So after powder application, my face is splotchy and looks like a snake molting its skin.  (NOT a good look.)  But after years of trial and error, I’ve found FIVE (yes five!) of the best translucent powders that are perfect for keeping the shine away and doesn’t get stuck on dry patches. Some of them are even drugstore ones!

The Five Best Translucent Powders

  1. Laura Mercier Translucent Powder
  2. Too Faced Primed and Poreless
  3. Tarte Smooth Operator Powder
  4. NYX HD translucent Powder
  5. Rimmel London Stay Matte Powder

Best translucent powders Laura Mercier translucent Powder

Review of Laura Mercier Powder

Currently, my favorite is the Laura Mercier Translucent powder.  It’s loose formula is also PERFECT for baking and it gives your skin a subtle glow and who doesn’t love radiant looking skin?  This powder blends beautifully in to the skin and just looks you’re glowing from the inside out. With this powder, I know my makeup looks flawless and stays flawless for most of the day which is a huge achievement.  Without this powder, my foundation tends to break up around my nose and t-zone areas. And when I go to re-powder my face with other powders, it gets cakey and gross looking.  I can honestly say that Laura Mercier is a life-saver and totally worth they hype!

For other reviews, check out my 7 Drugstore Dupes Post.

AND if you’re looking for even more AWESOME drugstore products, check out my US and UK roundups where I tell you the BEST products to pick up!

Top US Drugstore Products

Top UK Drugstore Products

What are YOUR favorite drugstore products? And have you tried Laura Mercier’s Translucent powder yet?

**Disclaimer: I received the Laura Mercier powder free from Influenster for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own.**

The Korean 10 Step Skincare System for Acne-prone Skin


10 step skincare acne prone skin

Normally, I’m all for the 3 step skincare system: cleanser, spot treatment, and moisturizer.  And I have been a huge supporter of this lazy skincare system for years now.  Until recently, those few steps were enough to keep my skin clear and kind of soft.  (I was terrible at remembering to exfoliate…)

But with stress from work and school combined with my three hours of beauty rest every night, my skin is far from clear or soft.  So, I decided to try out the 10 step skincare system.

What is the 10 Step Skincare System?

The founder of SOKO glam, Charlotte Cho, wrote a book called The Little Book of Skincare, where she explains the importance of replenishment, hydration, and exfoliation.  She recommends people of every skin type to use a non-stripping cleanser because oily skin is usually the result of dry skin trying to replenish itself with sebum.  With excess sebum, pores will clog and your skin will break out and blackheads will emerge.  Charlotte emphasizes the importance of hydration because hydrated skin heals better and hydrated skin is more even toned and smooth.

In her book, she lists out 10 steps:

  1. Oil Cleanser
  2. Water Cleanser
  3. Scrub
  4. Toner
  5. Essence
  6. Serum
  7. Mask
  8. Eye cream
  9. Moisturize
  10. SPF lotion

The Importance of Double Cleansing

So, you might be wondering, “Why are there two cleansers?”  Well, Koreans really believe in clean skin.  Double cleansing will help you remove all your makeup from the day and really clean your pores.  First, the oil cleanser breaks down your makeup and cleans your skin without stripping it of all its natural oils.  Second, the water cleanser cleans deeper in to your pores to make sure that there is no makeup residue left.

By double cleansing, your skin will be cleaner, have less clogged pores, and have smaller pores.  Pore size is reduced because there is no GUNK stuck in them!

Why Should I Exfoliate?

Exfoliating is an important step in keeping pores clean, your face smooth, and your face more even-toned.  The reason why exfoliating works is because the process of exfoliating removes dead skin cells.  As a result, your skin looks more radiant and even toned.

There are two types of exfoliation chemical and physical.  Chemical exfoliations are more gentle while physical exfoliation involves sugars or tiny micro-beads and can irritate the skin because of the physical abrasion.

Personally, I use a chemical exfoliant every two days and a physical exfoliant about twice a month.  This routine has helped my cells regenerate quicker and my acne scars to heal faster.  My skin also feels smoother and looks more even-toned.  If this routine irritates your skin, try exfoliating every three days.  Skincare needs to be catered to your skin, so do what’s best for it.  Plus, after double cleansing and exfoliating your skin will be better prepped for essence and serums.  Because your skin is clean, it can absorb products better.

The Importance of Hydration

Hydrated skin is healthy skin.  This is the reason why there are 7 steps dedicated to hydration in the 10 step skincare system.  Toner is used to hydrate and clean whatever residue is left on the skin after double cleansing.  After wiping your face with a cotton pad soaked in toner, apply an essence.

Essence is a light lotion.  It absorbs quickly in to the skin and gives it a good dose of hydration.  Once the essence absorbs into your skin, apply a serum to your face and neck.

Serums are a concentrated solution that hydrates and nourishes your skin with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.

To really nourish and hydrate your skin, you need to invest in a good sheet mask.  A sheet mask is a paper mask that is soaked in serum.  You take it out of the package and unfold the mask.  Once you have carefully unfolded the mask, place it over your face and leave it on for 15-20 minutes.  Plus, the mask really helps your skin absorb the serum and lock it in.

The Importance of SPF

After doing all that work, you have to protect your skin from UV rays with a good SPF lotion.  UV rays can damage skin cells which causes pre-mature wrinkles and discoloration.

Once your applied your SPF, you can continue with your makeup routine.  Trust me, your makeup will actually go on your skin better because its smoother.  BONUS!

10 step skincare lumpro c

The Products I Use

Since I have acne-prone skin, I customized the perfect 10 step skincare system for my skin-type.  The ten products I use are:

  1. Garnier Fructis Oil Cleanser
  2. DermaE Purifying Charcoal Cleanser
  3. Soap and Glory Scrub Your Nose In It
  4. The Body Shop Mattifying Tea Tree Toner
  5. SK II Facial Treatment Lotion
  6. LumaPro-C Skin Brightening Pigment Corrector
  7. Tony Moly Tea Tree Mask/ Dr. Jart Clearing Solution Mask/ Glamglow Superclearing mud mask
  8. Eye Cream
  9. Cerave Moisturizer
  10. Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen

My Results + Product Reviews and Tips

My skin feels softer, smoother, and more even toned after two weeks with this 10 step skincare system.  I still have breakouts because I ate way too much dairy and had an influx of hormones from that awesome time of the month we all love.  To help with the scarring and hyper-pigmentation left from my blemishes, I use the LumaPro-C Skin Brightening Pigment corrector.  This serum evens out my skin while also making it feel baby soft.  The serum has vitamin C in it too!  And Vitamin C is one of the key ingredients for radiant skin.

If you can’t find a good essence or don’t want to splurge for the SK II one that I’m using, try applying a second more moisturizing toner.  It will give you the same benefits of an essence at a fraction of the cost!

After all this, I’m sure you already know the answer to the question: Does it work? Yes, the 10 step skincare system works. And I promise it doesn’t take up too much time.  Actually, it only takes me 20 minutes to finish this skincare routine from beginning to end (if I do the sheet mask).  On days without the mask, I’m done in 10 minutes.

Would you try this 10 step routine?

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5 Winter Essentials You can SCORE at (almost) ANY Thrift Store

It’s January and it’s cold.  Sadly, RVA is getting cold rain and not snow this month.  Since I started school again, I realized how expensive textbooks were.  I spent almost $900 on textbooks alone.  YIKES!

So, I can’t afford to get some new layering pieces for this winter.  Instead, I went to some of my favorite thrift stores in RVA.  Goodwill and Diversity Thrift.  As the temperatures start dropping in to the low 30s and 20s, I’ll be ready.  This winter I’m going to stay warm while being bundled up with some of my favorite winter essentials that you can score at a thrift store!

My Five Winter Essentials

One

This first one is my personal favorite (and weakness): Sweaters.  I love sweaters.  Sweaters are an absolute winter essential in my book.  I have at least 15 sweaters (or possibly more…I don’t think I want to count).  For $5-$7, I can get a super chic sweater from Banana Republic, JCREW, Forever 21 and some random brands I haven’t even heard of before.  You can find thick knit, thin knit, handmade, and every type of sweater there is at the thrift store.  Just remember to check the sweater for loose threads, holes, or stains.

Two

Jeans.  Not only are they winter essentials but they’re wardrobe essentials.  So, it’s worthwhile to find a good pair.  I know some people that hate looking for jeans at a thrift store.  But I’ve honestly found a ton of good ones.  You just need to have some patience and take the time to try them on.  Because some jeans like Vintage Levi’s or Lei’s jeans are sized differently than they are now.  Not only can you find a a huge variety of vintage jeans but you can also find more modern fits like skinny jeans from American Eagle, Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch, AEROpostale, PACSUN, you name it they probably have it.  In the past, I have found Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, 7 for all mankind, and Lucky Brand at the thrift store.

Three

Turtlenecks are making a comeback people and they are quickly becoming winter essentials.  Turtlenecks are great for layering.  They look great layered under summer dresses or worn on their own with a cool pair of jeans.  Trust me, when you walk in to a thrift store it’s like walking through the 80s and 90s (which is not always a bad thing).  Especially if you love that 90s look.  And guess what the 80s and 90s have a lot of.  TURTLENECKS.  Go to the long-sleeve section of your thrift store and start treasure hunting.

Four

There are always a HUGE pile of scarves, so get ready to dig.  Blanket scarves are definitely winter essentials, especially when the weather starts to drop to the teens.  I’ve found two blanket scarves at Goodwill that I’m absolutely in love with.  One was only $3.50 and the other was $5.  They’re both great deals, super soft, and super warm.

Five

If you love a good deal, you definitely need to check out the jacket section at your local thrift store.  They sometimes have trendy puffer jackets, classic denim jackets, and sometimes even a cool leather jacket.  My friend actually scored a genuine leather jacket for $20 at Goodwill!  It’s slightly cropped and absolutely adorable.  For me, denim jackets are where it’s at.  I love seeing the patched denim jackets on Pinterest and the ones with cool banners on the back.  So, I’ve been hunting for loose-fitting boxy cut denim jackets ever since.  I’ve actually collected three of them already.

Whenever you go to a thrift store, just remember to have fun. Take each aisle one by one and don’t get overwhelmed.  There’s a lot of stuff.  Underneath all the stuff, your treasure awaits.

Quick tip: Remember if you like it, buy it.

You can always alter it, distress it, or customize it.

My top 3 Thrifting Tips will be coming soon to the blog!

It’s also FRIYAY! So if you’re in VA, check out this linkup!

6 Benefits of Chia Seeds for Hair and Skin that You Didn’t Know + Bonus Review

Chia Seeds Benefits Hair

Chia seeds are one of the hottest food trends right now.  Not only are chia seeds great for weight loss but they’re also great for your hair and skin too!  The benefits of chia seeds are endless.

They’re high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, and iron.  The antioxidants and minerals found in chia seeds help your hair grow stronger, fuller, and shinier. Plus, chia seeds also improve your skin with bacteria fighting antioxidants and skin rejuvenating minerals.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

1) So,not all fats are bad. These ones are actually some of the best. Omega-3 fatty acids can actually treat dry hair and promote the growth of strong, shiny hair. How you may ask? Well, this antioxidant improves blood circulation throughout your body. By carrying fresh blood to your scalp, your hair gets more nutrition, making it less dry and damaged.  In addition to the extra does of nutrients, these healthy fats also nourish hair follicles at the scalp which improves hair growth and prevents the development of dandruff.

2) Improved blood circulation helps your skin become more hydrated, radiant, even-toned, and smooth.  The omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seeds also contain ERP and DHA which have bacteria-fighting properties and skin rejuvenating features.  Another amazing benefit of ERP and DHA is its ability to reduce skin damage from UV rays and treat hyper pigmentation in the skin because they inhibit the synthesis of melanin in the skin. As a result your skin is more even toned and radiant.

Protein

3) Hair is made of keratin. This protein can get stronger when you consume or apply more protein to your hair. The high levels of protein found in chia seeds encourages hair growth and makes hair shinier and stronger.

Zinc

4) Zinc is one of those vitamins listed in many multivitamin supplements. But what does it really do? Researchers have found that Zinc promotes hair growth by stimulating hair follicles and increasing cell growth.

5) When you consume or apply supplements containing Zinc to your skin, it can reduce acne and clogged pores.  Because Zinc improves your immune system, your body can better defend itself from bacteria which leads to clogged pores and inflamed acne spots.

Iron

6) Much like Zinc, Iron promotes hair growth by increasing the amount of hemoglobin going to our scalp and hair follicles.  With higher levels of iron, our hair follicles are stronger and more likely to stay attached to our head.

An easy way to incorporate chia seeds in to your hair routine is with HASK chia seed volumes get shampoo. This shampoo smells amazing and the conditioner leaves your hair soft and full. I wash my hair three times a week with this shampoo and conditioner combo and I’m loving the results.  The conditioner never leaves my hair heavy or oily.  It just gives my hair a nice volume boost.  When I blow dry my hair, I can definitely see a difference in volume that I didn’t have before. Plus, HASK shampoos and conditioners don’t have any sulfates or parabens.

For your skin, try making a DIY mask with chia seeds and coconut oil. The mask will leave your skin hydrated from the coconut oil and smooth from the exfoliating chia seeds.

 

**Disclaimer: I received the shampoo and conditioner free for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own. **