Do you ever stumble across a dress or shoe that you can’t stop thinking about? It happens to me pretty frequently, and while it used to make me worry I was deeply shallow at heart, now I know it’s just an extension of my imagination. When I see something beautiful, I’m drawn to it – I’m drawn to its story or the story that could be formed around it. And recently, I came across this dress and a new obsession began. I absolute long for a reason to buy and wear this dress (so, side note: if you’re going to a gala soon, feel free to invite me!)
The amazing thing is that this Nina tulle dress is actually pretty affordable and available on Amazon for only $69. It really does seem like something that someone would wear to a gala or red carpet event. It might even work for a formal event like prom or even as a bridesmaid dress. Unfortunately, in my case, I know that my short height and larger bust size would make it difficult to pull off this dress even should the occasion arise, but a girl can dream, right?
Anyway, even though I probably won’t be able to wear this dress to a masquerade ball on Valentine’s day where I fall in love with a mysterious stranger (oh no, I fear I’m veering dangerously close to Hallmark movie territory now), that doesn’t mean you can’t!
If you have a great story about a life-changing dress or have an opinion on this one, be sure to let me know in the comments section!
As a petite person, it can be really hard to find clothes that fit correctly. Often, petite departments have limited options filled with matronly things I don’t particularly want to wear. But with short arms, a short waist, and very short legs, standard clothing departments typically just have options that seem to devour my frame and trail on the ground behind me. In case you also have this issue, I wanted to share my absolute favorite brand for affordable pants that fit without needing to be tailored or hemmed!
For reference, I am 5’2″ so even some petite pants end up being a bit too long. However, the Hybrid & Company Women’s Stretchy High Waisted Slim Fit Pants come in Standard, Short, and Tall sizes, and I’ve found that the Short ones are PERFECT for my frame. Not only is the length perfect, but they are so comfortable! They also have functional pockets and are pull-ons so you don’t have to worry about zippers or buttons. I wear these pants almost every day and have them in charcoal (featured above), black, dark wash denim, and white.
I found these pants on Amazon and they are only about $30 (the price seems to fluctuate but it’s always roughly that amount unless there’s a sale!) I would love more color options, but I’m thrilled that I can get all the neutrals taken care of! I will say that it’s important to order a size up (I’m typically a small but I definitely need a medium in these pants). I hope these pants are never ever discontinued because they are so perfect for me and my short stature.
Also, as a bonus, I’ll link to the shirt I’m wearing in the picture too: it’s from Romwe and retails on Amazon for about $20. I love the little pearl detailing, the puffy sleeves, and the slim fit. Often, since I’m short waisted, shirts drown me or look like tunics even when they’re not supposed to, but this brand is cut at just the right length. They aren’t actually marketed as petite though, so if you have a longer torso, these might be too short for you. Also, I typically order two sizes up (the shirt in the picture is a large). It can be annoying guessing at sizing for fast fashion, but I typically try to err on getting a bigger size whenever possible since lots of similar brands fit smaller than expected.
I hope this was helpful! If you’re petite (or have the opposite problem) please let me know in the comment section if you have any favorite go-to brands that fit you perfectly!
If you’re looking for a last-minute gift idea for the fashionista in your life, look no further! I am absolutely obsessed with this Scarleton bag that I bought myself for Black Friday!
This medium-sized bag is perfect for the office. It’s small enough to not feel like a burden while being big enough that I can toss a book or something larger inside to transport it to and from work. It comes in so many shades but I picked grey because of its versatility. It goes with every outfit I own and the neutral color balances out the adorable but large bow. Its quilted design also reminds me of vintage Chanel. Best of all, this bag retails at $40 so it won’t break the bank!
Anyway, happy holidays everyone! And enjoy the last-minute shopping adrenaline high!
I am a huge fan of lipstick. While I’ve been diligent about mask-wearing during the pandemic, I have really missed wearing lipstick, and I’m looking forward to being able to wear it more often again. Recently, I was at Walgreens and noticed a sale on Almay Lip Vibes. I loved the cute cardboard tubes with vibrant colors inside and out and decided to give them a try!
I bought two shades with different finishes. First off is Be Strong, a beautiful neutral mauve with a cream finish. The second is Treat Yourself, a true red with a matte finish. When not on sale, these retail for $8 a piece. While the finish was different, the experience with both shades was largely the same: they go on so easily and are both opaque from the first swipe. I was impressed by how even the color was and how easy the application was, especially for a red drugstore lipstick. Both shades felt pretty creamy, although the matte finish was noticeably less shiny than the other one. Still, while most matte lipsticks feel a bit drying, this one did not! That’s a huge plus in my book.
When it comes to lasting power, this is a good product. It will last for hours if you don’t eat or drink much. You’ll definitely need to reapply after a meal, but at least eating doesn’t make the lipstick move much or get messy. I would absolutely recommend these to anyone who wants an affordable lipstick! I’m thrilled with the shades I got too – I love a bold red lip that stays put without mess or drying out the lips and the mauve is both super pretty and neutral enough to go with pretty much any look. I plan to buy every shade in this collection that isn’t brownish or autumnal (since my skin tone is quite cool and would look washed out by those shades).
Have you tried these yet or do you have a go-to affordable lip product? Be sure to let me know in the comments!
Buckle up, my friends – it’s story time! I wanted to use today’s post to touch on a topic that’s important to me (and most people): personal style! No matter if you love everything that sparkles or prefer an array of neutral shades, the most important thing about fashion is remaining authentic to who you are.
My story begins in junior high and high school when I attended a private school with a strict dress code. I was just entering the world of fashion, religiously pouring over each month’s issue of Vogue, so I found our strict uniform of blue polos and plaid skirts to be repressive. It wasn’t that I longed to be different. It’s just that I already knew I was different and wanted to embrace that. I wanted to wear things that reflected how I felt inside – and baby, that meant couture! That’s right, I was the weirdo who paired a classic school uniform with high heels, a floor-length black fur coat, and enough costume jewelry to make it appear that I was already on my third divorce.
You’re probably wondering how people responded to my sense of style. In truth, I don’t remember much because I was so busy daydreaming about what it would be like to work for Vogue and live in New York City and attend galas every night.
Now that I’m nearing age 30, a lot has changed and a lot hasn’t. I’m not Anna Wintour’s protege, but I am a freelance writer who still loves beauty and fashion. My sense of style is still dramatic, but perhaps it’s been tamed just a bit. The sparkles haven’t dulled; they’re just used more sparingly. I think the biggest difference is that I’m now more aware of other people and their opinions. I’ve noticed that I’m frequently accused of being, “too much,” in a lot of ways: too loud, too large, too sparkly, too accessorized, too talkative, too direct, too colorful, too shallow, too serious, too materialistic.
Case in point – do you see the beautifully large white bag in the picture of this post? I love this purse! I bought it on Amazon because it reminded me of a classic Hermes Birkin bag, and I know I’ll never be able to afford even a used Birkin on Poshmark. I couldn’t wait to show it off! I bought it in white because I loved how it would stand out (even though, I am very clumsy and often don’t buy white things since I’m prone to instantly spilling coffee on them – but the red wouldn’t go with as many outfits, so I picked the white!) I was casually seeing a guy at the time, and he had already accused me of being “too much.” I wasn’t relaxed enough; it was weird that I was always so put together; it was a red flag that I seemed so materialistic. Anyway, I truly didn’t think he’d have a strong opinion about the purse, but then I was told that it was nearing a line of being so ostentatious that he’d be embarrassed being seen with me. Needless to say, I picked the bag over the boy right away.
I guess I say all of this in case someone reading this has also felt their style or personality was, “too much.” I see you – and I like you! The world needs your flair for the dramatic, your bold opinions, your sky-high stilettos, the way you light up the room when you walk in. Let’s never apologize for embracing who we truly are.
I’ve decided it’s time to return to my roots. No, I don’t mean I’m going to stop dying my hair. Rather, I want to return to beauty and fashion blogging. Instead of setting up a separate space for these reviews, I’m going to just incorporate this part of myself here on my website. So, in addition to more book and movie reviews, stay tuned for reviews about products I want to recommend. First up, I want to share my perfume collection with you.
Just like each season of the year evokes a different scent, so do we tend to gravitate towards different scents for each season of our lives. I’ve come a long way since my high school days of drenching myself in Lucky You, that ubiquitous pink bottle found in every drug store. Yet, I still tend to pick floral scents. I select my perfume each morning based on how I’m feeling that day or how I want to feel for the rest of the day. Because of this, I don’t tend to box my scents in and only wear warm scents in autumn and cool scents in spring. Here are my top 5 favorite scents right now:
Scent Type: warm floral with orange, patchouli, and Turkish rose
Don’t be fooled by the orange and patchouli, this scent is neither citrusy or matronly. As my all-time favorite scent, I wear CoCo Mademoiselle when I want to feel feminine and a tad seductive. The warm floral scent almost smells like a French garden mixed with caramel. It evokes sophistication and elegance and always makes me feel grounded and confident.
Scent Type: warm floral with mandora and pink pepper
This was my first “adult” fragrant which I purchased as an undergrad. It made me feel strong, powerful, and ready to face the world of exams, job interviews, and giving expert presentations. It still has a special place in my heart and I wear it on days when things are serious and I need a boost of confidence.
Scent Type: warm and sweet with citrus, violet, and coffee
This is the latest perfume I’ve been trying after receiving a sample coffret. I love how balanced it is with being a bit spicy, a bit sweet, and a bit floral. It’s a very feminine fragrance, but I don’t yet have a go-to reason to pick this one other than enjoying the scent.
So, now you know all about my fragrance collection! What about you? Do you have a scent that evokes something special each time you grab it? Be sure to let me know in the comment section!
Halloween is so close! I’m thrilled for tomorrow, especially since I have two costumes (one for work and one for my party). I think that Halloween is the perfect time to experiment with makeup even if you’re not donning a costume this year, so I wanted to share two classic lipstick looks that are perfect for this time of year.
I think that red lipstick knows no season and is classic all year round, but if it’s something you’ve always been too scared to try then this is the perfect time to take the plunge. The one I’m wearing in the picture above is both affordable and super easy to apply – Almay Lip Vibes in Treat Yourself (available at Ulta for just $7.99). I love that it wears evenly, applies smoothly and opaquely, and doesn’t dry out my lips.
Of course, if you’re feeling extra bold this Halloween, why not rock a black lip? In the picture above I’m wearing Wet n Wild MegaLast Catsuit Matte Lipstick in So Noir Cool (available from Ulta for $4.99). I haven’t worn this one for a significant amount of time yet because I’ve been saving it for Halloween, but I’ve tried to apply it a few times. While it’s trickier to apply evenly (which is often the case for cheaper lipsticks), I appreciate that it really doesn’t seem to budge once it’s dry. Anyway, hopefully it lasts through my whole work day tomorrow!
Are you dressing up for Halloween tomorrow? What will you be wearing? Be sure to let me know in the comment section!
Happy Autumn! The weather is finally seasonally appropriate here in Cincinnati – crisp air, colorful leaves, and Halloween decorations creeping up everywhere! As the seasons have been transitioning, I’ve been thinking about my own changes. This has been a great year for personal growth (even though there’s a lot I still need to work through). I know I haven’t blogged much this year, but I’ve just been focusing on other things: friends, family, fitness, poetry, and discovering other things that bring me happiness. However, I am missing blogging about books, movies, and beauty/fashion. While I did delete my dedicated beauty/fashion blog when it began to feel too all-consuming, I’d like to start incorporating some of those interests here in this blog.
For my first post, I’ve been thinking about the scents of autumn. While I gravitate toward light floral scents during spring and summer, I definitely crave something warmer as the weather cools. These are my top three scents for autumn:
Manufacturer’s Description: “Gourmand. Deep Amber. Sugar Kisses. Chasing sunsets.”
Okay, well Victoria’s Secret definitely should have a better description for this one. It is definitely a sweet amber scent, although “gourmand” makes it sound like it smells more like a dessert than it does. While I’m not typically a fan of sugary scents, this one is warm enough that the sweetness is balanced out by the amber. It’s a great, inexpensive everyday scent that evokes autumn evenings.
Manufacturer’s Description: “Created for a contemporary libertine, Gucci Guilty for Her is defined by a signature Fougère accord of Geranium usually found in men’s scents. Intimate and magical lilac flower is laced with amber to radiate warmth and grace at the fragrance’s heart.”
First we had an overly simplistic description, and now we have an overly flowery one. However, I like that it suggests a hint of masculine energy. While not really a typical unisex scent, there is something less feminine about this scent that I’m drawn to. When I need to feel like a strong, powerful go-getter, I grab this perfume. It always gives me the professional boost I need. Like the first fragrance, one if its main notes is amber, although this one is accompanied by geranium, pepper, and patchouli. It has a hint of musk which lends it maturity but it is not overpowering or matronly.
Manufacturer’s Description: “Black Opium Eau de Parfum is the seductively intoxicating feminine fragrance from Yves Saint Laurent. The opening notes of adrenaline-rich coffee and the sweet sensuality of vanilla recline into the softness of white flowers for a modern, young, addictive fragrance. YSL Black Opium perfume is a gourmand women’s fragrance. The seductive perfumes of black coffee and white flowers make this a sensuous perfume with an edge.”
This is a great description of this scent. The blend of coffee and vanilla mixed with a gentle floral hint makes this a great fragrance that seems quite sensual. It’s not a sugary scent because the vanilla is quite warm already, but it does have a nice sweetness to its fragrance.
Well, those are my three scents for this season. I’ve found myself grabbing for one of these every single day. Do you find that your fragrance preferences change seasonally? What scent are you gravitating towards right now? Feel free to let me know in the comments section!
Today, I’m going to post something different! While I mostly use this blog for reviews and writing updates, I also want to start sharing some more personal, lifestyle things. At one point, I had lots of blogs for lots of different topics, but I’d rather just have this one be a more complete portrait of me and my various interests, so expect some more posts like this in the future too! Recently, Sephora held their semi-annual sale, and I wanted to share some of the BEST purchases I made during the sale!
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation – This is an amazing medium-coverage foundation that blends so well. It evens out my skin and covers all minor flaws without being too obvious. I love that it also keeps me from looking oily and stays all day!