Fun Summer Shorts... take 53.

So you may or may not have picked up a little pattern with me this season...

I'm totally and completely obsessed with fun shorts and fun accessories.  It doesn't get much more Summer-y than bright shorts, a breezy top, and a fun statement necklace. Looks so put together. Best of all? It's SO easy. I'm in love with these unique (super affordable) shorts I scored at a local boutique (they have stores only in Georgia so I put all the website info in the details below so you can get your hands on them too).  Bright fuchsia, embroidered, and fun. Love them.

Banana Republic tie-front silk top
shorts from Dress Up Boutique (shopdressup.com)
 J. Crew necklace
Louis Vuitton Lumineuse PM Infini (More on this bag in this post)
Tory Burch wedges
Stella & Dot Renegade bracelet
hammered cuff bracelets (thecurrentcustom.com)


What's In My Bag? Louis Vuitton Lumineuse PM Infini

Since I got my newest bag, my Louis Vuitton Lumineuse PM, I've gotten a lot of requests to feature it in a What's In My Bag video. Perfect timing, because I think it's really fun to do updated ones every now and then to show you guys what bag I'm loving and what I keep with me day to day.

Funny how interesting it is to see what people keep in their bags. It's just something a little more personal and intriguing to me. A little peek into the things they love that are special enough to keep with them day to day.

Check out all my little special things I love in my video below!


Striped Shorts...

Happy Saturday everyone! As promised in my newest Forever 21 Spring/Summer Haul video, I wanted to share today's simple outfit of the day wearing my new striped shorts from there (SUPER affordable, at only $15.80).  This outfit consists of a simple black top, these amazing shorts, and a pretty statement necklace in my favorite shade right now, mint green. I'm sure you'll see these lovely shorts pop up in lots of upcoming OOTD's. Such simple components, but the striped shorts make it look more pulled-together. I'm obsessed!

top: LNA
necklace: J. Crew
shorts: Forever 21 Essential Stripe Short
bag: Louis Vuitton Eva Clutch
shoes: Target

see more on my Forever 21 haul in this post


Forever21 Spring/Summer Haul & OOTD

Hello and Happy Friday, Loves! I hope you all are as excited as I am about this 3-day weekend we've begun! Get out and enjoy the sunshine! :)

So today's post is accompanying my new Forever 21 Spring Haul video. I usually have great luck with Forever 21 finds online, but I'm telling you guys.... Seriously, I hit gold this time.  I found some amazing pieces that look and feel like great quality that I forsee becoming some of my very favorite items in my closet. Check out all the goods (complete with item numbers if you're interested in anything I picked up) in the video below!

Here is a look (worn in the video) featuring one of my new items from the new haul!
This GORGEOUS royal blue dress. I'm obsessed with it (all the dress details are in the video).
I'm wearing it to my little cousin's high school graduation tonight.

dress- Forever21
shoes- Tory Burch
necklace- Stella & Dot
vest- Gap
bag- Louis Vuitton Eva Clutch

Enjoy your weekends everyone!!


New Office Reveal!

We're nearly to our 3-day weekend!! This week is flying by crazy fast. Speaking of crazy fast, I cannot believe it's been 2 whole months since we moved into our new house! I'm so happy with how things are coming together. As promised, I'm sharing rooms here and there that are coming along. I've shared my Closet Tour (see the video here), but other than that, I knew one of the first spaces I really wanted to somewhat complete was my office space.  Girl's gotta work, right?

In the new house, we have a large living room off of the front of the house. Sometimes called a "formal living room" or a "sitting room".  While I love the extra space, I've always thought they were kind of a waste. I've always found that they turn into little pretty places just for looks with dainty little chairs and fancy furniture that no one ever actually sits in.  We had a similar space at our old house which we put another tv in and turned into sort of a "hidden" man room for Brad with all his game stuff since we didn't have a basement there. It still looked  nice, but his "man" stuff sort of hid behind the scenes.

In the new house, Brad has an entire basement to man-out which I love for him (and believe me, he's loving it too).  So he's all set. Most of our tv-watching and living is done down there. Plus on the main level of the house, we have our main big family room with larger, more comfortable furniture where we mainly hang out and watch tv.
So here, we were left with what I thought would be not the most functional space with the pretty white couch, two pretty chairs, a tufted ottoman, and some pretty accent pieces to put the room together with. I knew it would look good, but as far as being functional? Not so much. It's such a large space, I felt it was such a waste.

Lightbulb moment.... Combine it with my office! I've always loved offices with sitting areas and I noticed this room had a perfect wall for it. Right around the corner from the main entrance of the room so that when the desk gets messy used, it's not the first thing you see when you come into the house.

I also loved that it has french doors I can close off when I want some privacy. I love it so much!

I didn't purchase anything new for this room except the "Prada Marfa" print,  ghost chair and small gold-foiled print on the desk. Funny how different everything looks in the new house, even though it's mostly the same stuff.

It's such a bright room, I wanted the space to feel fresh and bright too, but with some little eclectic touches. That's sort of my style everywhere else in the house anyway. But I knew in this space, since it's my personal office, I could get away with a few fun touches like the Prada sign which I'm obsessed with.

I love my Liatorp desk from Ikea. I've had it for 3 years now and I still love it just as much as when I first got it. It's genius because it doesn't look like a huge, clunky desk, yet has tons of storage.

In office spaces, I don't like to see a ton of personal, "office-y" things sitting out for everyone to see. Especially when an office is in a more common space of the house, like on the main living floor like mine. By personal "office-y" things, I mean things like personal files (bills, financial things, etc), computers, things like that.  That's why this desk is so genius. The sides have space for all the electronic things you'd ever need to store, bills, even file organizers. The center drawer is awesome and holds tons of office supplies too. Keeps everything looking nice, neat, and organized, and best of all? Everything is convenient.
I keep other "craft" type stuff and our printer in a large storage console on the opposite side of the room which is really handy as well. Everything I need fits perfectly in here and I love it!

Here's a shot of the whole room so you can see the layout a bit better. The desk is around that corner on the left.  The other part of the room isn't completely done and I'm still shuffling a lot of stuff around, but it's making progress!

Can you spot the puppy? ;)
And yes, by "puppy", I totally mean 80-lb pup at one of his favorite look-out points.  He's become a crazy watch-dog since moving here. I swear, he thinks he's a Great Dane. Precious.
I hope you guys enjoyed this little peek into my new work space! Funny how productive a new space that is easy to work in makes you feel.

Here's some more details and a little reference list of where things are from.
desk: Ikea Liatorp
ghost chair: found at a local sale
Prada Marfa sign: search Etsy
desk calendar: Tory Burch
gold foil quote print: ssprintshop.com
black and white frames: Target
clear lamp and black shade: Target
gold faux urchin: Target
tufted ottoman: Ballard outlet in Atlanta
2 side chairs: Sears.com
mirrored console table: Ballard outlet in Atlanta
3 sunburst mirrors: Ballard outlet in Atlanta
small gold side table: Home Goods


Stripes and Scalloped Shorts

Happy Wednesday, Loves!

So today's look consists of two of my favorite things right now... Bold black and white stripes and scalloped shorts. They actually pair really nicely together! This outfit is perfect for a night out during the warmer months (I'll switch to flats during the day, maybe even lose the blazer), a nice lunch or shopping with friends... anywhere! It's just the right amount of sophistication and fun. Love it!

I didn't get a great shot of the striped top without the blazer, but here it is...

top: Forever21
shorts: Club Monaco
blazer: Zara
shoes: Colin Stuart (Victoria's Secret Online)
earrings: Nikki Reed for 7 For All Mankind
bag: Tory Burch


Emerald & Bronze Makeup Tutorial: MAC Temperature Rising

Hope you guys are having a great week so far! Today I'm bringing you a darker look featuring products from the new MAC Temperature Rising collection. Really a look like this would work for any season, but I love how mixing the dark emerald green with warmer bronze tones warm up an otherwise dark look for the warmer months.
Hope you guys love it!

Products Used:
MAC Powerchrome eye pencil in Life's Luxury
MAC eye shadow quad in Bare My Soul
Loreal Super Slim liquid liner pen
Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Perversion
MAC Pro Longwear Bronzer in Nude on Board
MAC Powder Blush in Hot Nights
MAC Lipstick in Caliente
MAC Lipglass in Soft Serenade
not shown in video:
Make Up For Ever HD Liquid Foundation
MAC Brunette brow pencil


My Printed Shorts Obsession Continues... OOTD

I have been obsessed with shorts lately. Partly because I've discovered an amazing self-tanning product
that helps me be a little more comfortable wearing them (details on that HERE), but mostly because they're SO easy. Throw on a pair of shorts in a fun print with a simple top and you've got an outfit that is incredibly easy, yet really put-together-looking.
Check out my latest pairing...

When I wear "sweeter" prints and colors (pink, girly prints), I always like to toughen-up the look with accessories that have a bit of an edge...

top: Express, shorts: J. Crew, sandals: Sam & Libby for Target, bag: Louis Vuitton, necklace: Nikki Reed for 7 For All Mankind, earrings: Target, hammered bangles: thecurrentcustom.com, Stella & Dot Renegade (spiky) bracelet, Henri Bendel large cuff


My Self-Tanning Routine! St. Tropez Mousse Tutorial

Over the past few years as a fair-skinned gal, I definitely haven't been about looking majorly "tan". I look back at photos of my high school and college days and absolutely CRINGE. I definitely should have embraced my pale-ness and maybe stepped it up a few shades for a bit of a bronze glow. But wow... looking cooked and fake baked is never a good look. Although at the time, I'm sure I thought it was amazing. Tanning beds should be against the law, just saying.

Oh well, you live and you learn. For me, I have a history of skin cancer in my family. So for years, I've taken my skin's health very seriously and gotten skin cancer screenings every 6 months. I cannot tell you how many biopsies and small surgeries I've had on "abnormal" moles.
Countless. I'm serious.
For me, I don't have moles that are raised. Just what appear to be flat "freckles" that are a bit darker. Those are the ones my dermatologist takes seriously because of my history, and the fact that some of mine haven't been "harmless".

So after going through that, I never UV tan. Totally not worth it. Plus, I like the idea of keeping my skin young-looking. So self-tanners are the way to go.
My issue is that I HATE applying them. They always stain my clothes and look unnatural in a few days.

Praise goodness I've found one that works perfectly for me! I'm so excited to share it with you guys!

Here are the products I use for a flawless and natural-looking faux glow:

St Tropez Bronzing Mousse
St Tropez Application Mitt (You NEEED the Mitt. Trust me on this.)
Jergens Natural Glow Revitalizing Daily Moisturizer (Revitalizing Formula) Medium-Tan shade
Jergens Natural Glow SPF 20 Facial Moisturizer in Medium-Tan
(Pre-tan: Nivea Express Hydration)

Because self-tanning can be tricky, I decided that rather than describe how to apply it (which can lead to trouble where this topic is concerned), I'd actually SHOW you. To see how I apply these and for all my tips, check out my video tutorial below!

What are YOUR favorite self-tanning products??


Dior Gel Coat REVIEW

The name "Gel Coat" just sounds intriguing, doesn't it? Like it just has to be great, right?
Well, before I get ahead of myself, this one one of the products that mainly sparked my recent Sephora/Chanel Haul. I knew I HAD to try this stuff because Dior makes some of my absolute, all-time favorite nail polishes (Blue Label, Bikini, and Beige Safari). The formulas are AWESOME- think great coverage and amazing wear. So I knew I had to have this topcoat.
After mentioning it in that video, I knew I needed to start testing it out so I could let you all know my thoughts because I immediately started to get a LOT of questions about it.
Heck, I had questions about it. I was curious.

Dior Gel Coat, $24

Here's the description of the product (from Sephora.com):

"What it is:
A top coat that imparts the look of a gel manicure. 

What it does:
Recreate the look of a gel manicure. Smoothed over with a brilliant lacquered effect, Dior Gel Coat makes nails appear stronger and thicker. While it extends the life of your manicure, it is simple to take off: just use nail polish remover when you’re ready for your next polish change!"

So my first go with this product was with my new Chanel Bel-Argus. You may remember this post about it.

I applied it a little thick as it says you can do in the instructions to get a shinier, more gel-like result. First thoughts? Looked pretty good! It applied and dried exactly like a typical thicker top coat (think Seche Vite). Looked super thick, shiny, and gel-like (similar to any thicker top coat) for a day. By the second day, it looked similar to anything else. Still shiny, but definitely not "gel-like".
After the second day? Chip city. USA. Times ten. So I thought it could be the nail polish. There's NO way it could be this $24 bottle of "gel-like" wonder...

So I went to remove it. TOOK FOREVER. I'm talking I almost gave up.

Being the scientific person that I am (yeah, I'm scientific), I decided to test it with a different nail polish shade, brand, and formula.  Because, hey, it could have totally been the Chanel. Which I was reallllly hoping wasn't true.

So I tried it out with Essie's Funky Limelight. I applied it a bit thinner this time, about the same as you would a typical top coat.

Again, gorgeous application, looked amazing right away. In a few days? Yeah, crazy chip-age. I was convinced it couldn't be this top coat. Again, it was a little difficult to remove. Not as difficult as with the Chanel (because I applied it a little more thin I think). So I decided to give it another go. 
Not because I wanted it to be great, but because I really wanted to give it an accurate review and at this point, I was perplexed.

So I tried it again with a shade I knew was awesome and wore amazingly. The Loreal Pistacio Dream. Long story short, same issue. A lot more chipping than usual by the second day.

One more shot. I used the Sally Hansen X-Treme Wear in Coral Reef. On my my left hand I used the Dior Gel Coat and on the right hand I used the INM Out the Door, which is my current favorite topcoat (I got mine for under $10 at a local supermarket).  The Dior hand started chipping like crazy again by day two like the others. The Out the Door hand? Maybe 2 small chips from normal wear. Same amount of shine on each.

So my verdict? Wanted to love it and for it to be magical, but for me, it wasn't. I just don't really get it. There are tons of topcoats out there that impart a crazy shine, but the Dior really didn't look any more "gel-like" than others I've tried. Honestly, right after applying the last little go-round, I couldn't tell a difference between both hands. Both had the same amount of shine. So initially (before the chipping started for me), it wasn't any different looking than my other favorite top coats.  There just wasn't anything about it that was amazingly different.  DEFINITELY not long-wearing. Definitely not similar to gel, because you can get the same amount of shine with any other quality top coat. 

So this product leaves me perplexed, friends. I love Dior products usually. I'm definitely not a picky-top coat person. If it's shiny and keeps my polish looking fresher for at least 3 days, that's cool. I can deal with chips here and there. I can safely say this product definitely did not work for me, as someone who is used to painting my own nails (I never get professional manicures) and never have serious chipping issues with other things. 
...and I have a TON of nail polish. Just check out my collection here if you don't believe me (warning, it's borderline embarrassing).

What do you guys think of this stuff? Anyone else tried it? What is YOUR favorite topcoat??


MAC Temperature Rising Collection- SWATCHES & Thoughts

MAC Temperature Rising
Available May 23, 2013 where MAC products are sold

I'm bringing you all info and my thoughts on this upcoming MAC collection a wee bit early... Mainly because that's what I'd prefer as a reader. I promise you guys, I try to share MAC collections as soon as I get them. Sometimes the products arrive to me a little late and it can make it a bit difficult for you all to plan your purchases and see what you may be interested in getting your hands on before the release. 
Because let's face it, it's absolutely NO fun watching me carry on about how great a collection is, meanwhile, all the products you want are sold out.
So I hope you guys enjoy my thoughts and my swatches for this collection. 
The idea is very deep, sweltering shades that shimmer and shine for Summer. Some of the colors feel a bit Fall-like to me, but they're gorgeous nonetheless. There are definitely some hits and misses in my opinion, so be sure to check out my video at the bottom of the post where I show the products and talk about them in a bit more detail and share with you all my favs and not-so-favs.
Hope you guys enjoy!

Eye Shadow x 4, $44.

 Temperature Rising:
Circus/Performance Art, Temperature Rising, Swelter, Beauty Marked

 Bare My Soul:
Romantico, Bare My Soul, Friendly, When In Rio 

Powder Blush, $23.
Hot Nights

Pro Longwear Bronzer, $30.
Nude on Board

Powerchrome Eye Pencils, $21.
 (top) Polished Jet
(bottom) Life's Luxury

Lipstick, $16.50
Caliente (dazzle)

Lipglass, $16.50
Soft Serenade

Stobe Liquid, $31
Golden Elixer

Bronzing Oil, $22.50
Man Rays

So what do you guys think about this collection? What are your picks?

Products sent for consideration by MAC Cosmetics with no agreements to feature or review. All opinions are 100% genuine and unbiased as always.