19 October 2017
Here’s something I bet you didn’t expect me to post about today: how marvelous the clothing is at Abercrombie & Fitch right now!
I had heard rumblings of A&F’s newfound awesomeness from a few friends, and sure enough, the rumors were true. After a quick browsing session, I checked out with seven items in my cart, and ended up keeping six!! Unprecedented! Here’s what made it into my closet:
All blue (I guess I know what I like?), but not a one with the A&F logo on it :) I did actually buy the bottom right shirt in white, but the detail was too hard to see in the collage!
Overall, I was super impressed with the quality of the fabric and construction — honestly, I felt like it was significantly better than J.Crew Factory, which constitutes the majority of my closet! Here are a few more detailed reviews, from top to bottom and left to right:
Knit wrap dress: Hands-down my favorite pick from this order – I’m a little obsessed and considering buying it in another color!! I’ve always loved the look of wrap dresses (so balletic!) but have never found one that fits me well. This one, however, is a dream.
V-neck sweater: Particularly impressed with the quality on this piece – it’s a lovely, heavy knit. I bought it in a medium so it would be oversized, and it’s just on the verge of being too big – but I expect it might shrink a bit over time.
Relaxed v-neck tee: A pretty basic at an incredible price. I will be buying this in another color!
Tie sleeve shirt: A casual but “grown up” look with a great fit. I love the stripe version, too.
Ruffle-hem top: Love, love, love this one. Thin but not see-through, and so soft. The first thing I pull from my closet after doing laundry :)
Ruffle sleeve boyfriend tee: I have had limited success pulling off the ruffle trend, but the ruffles here are understated enough, and the fit of the shirt boxy enough, that it works for me here!
And there was so much else I would happily have bought!! Like these comfy leggings! And this cozy pullover! But, you know, budget :) Though since I bought everything at 40-60% off, the prices couldn’t have been more reasonable.
What do you think, friends? Have you popped into an A&F recently? Are my picks convincing you you might need to make a visit? And do you regularly pack a shopping cart with only one color??
24 April 2017
Most of my hair and makeup knowledge is circa 2002, the year of my most devoted readership to Seventeen and Glamour. I kept big binders of product recommendations and blow drying tutorials I’d torn out and saved, but I never seemed to do much with them — my friends and I didn’t really swap tips or play with each other’s hair, and most of the makeup I owned was the stuff I was required to buy for my ballet school’s performances.
Up until last year I was still mostly operating off of that banked knowledge from high school, as well as trial and error over the years and a few tips picked up here and there. It was nothing fancy, but it got the job done! My job requires me to be photographed fairly often, however, and I’ve wished for a long time that I had a better base of knowledge to rely on when left to my own devices for these occasions.
In a stroke of inspiration, I reached out to my sweet friend Sam of LULA Hair + Makeup to see if she might be willing to let me hire her for an hour or two to teach me some of her makeup wisdom. I kind of felt like it was a long shot, as she’s a busy lady and I wasn’t really sure if she did that sort of thing, but she replied right away. Apparently personal consults are one of her favorite things to do!
Photo of Sam by A.J. Dunlap
Sam charges $200 for a two-hour consult. With so much free information on the internet, I can understand why some gals might not be into paying for knowledge they can get elsewhere for free. But that’s just it – there is SO information out there, and the way I want to spend my limited free time is not wading through it to sort out the good from the bad, and the good for me from the good for someone else. After all, time is money!
I also know many makeup counters offer consults, and they are probably great, too! But I have worked with Sam many times over the years, and every time she has done my makeup, I have been thrilled. She knows my style, she knows my lifestyle; I knew we wouldn’t have to waste time getting up to speed. Plus, she’s one of the kindest, most encouraging and peaceful people to be around!
So, what did we do? Sam asked me to bring all of my makeup and skin care items with me to her home studio. We started by walking through my skin care routine, and she asked questions and recommended a few product swaps or additions along the way. For instance, she suggested that for my skin, I should use my Clarisonic just once a week instead of every other day like I’d been doing, and add a weekly moisturizing mask (she suggested two in different price points!). She also said I had beautiful skin, which was practically worth the price of the session in itself, haha!
Then we moved on to makeup, and I again walked her through each step of my routine. For any of my current products I wasn’t happy with, we tried out a few alternatives from her kit, and she offered application tips. I’ve since bought a few of her recommendations; one of my favorites is the Stila Convertible Color Lip and Cheek Cream in Gerbera – so pretty!!
I had specifically requested that she teach me how to do a fancier eye look (a la my 60 Before 30 list!), so we spent a good chunk of time on that. She narrated as she made up one eye, and then I mimicked her on the other.
A few days after my consult, Sam emailed me an extensive sheet of instructions for everything she taught me, complete with dozens of product recommendations that she specifically chose for my skin and lifestyle. I’ve bought one or two every month since and have slowly been incorporating them into my routine!
I adore Sam and can’t recommend her enough, so if you, too, are looking for some grown-up makeup help, shoot her an email! What do y’all think – does this sound like something that would be helpful for you? I’m considering hiring her for another session focused on hair! :)
23 March 2017
My friend was wearing these Lilly Pulitzer leggings the other day, and I about died. I didn’t even know Lilly Pulitzer MADE leggings! At $98, however, they’re a little out of my budget at the moment, so I went down a rabbit hole to find some other fun, floral, girly options. Here are my best picks at a range of price points!
Lilly Pulitzer ($98)
Old Navy ($20)
J. Crew ($52.50 on sale)
Nanette Lepore ($68)
J. Crew ($52.50 on sale)
Any other great sources to share with the group? :)
10 February 2017
So y’all have been very kind in my survey, saying all sorts of nice things. A few of you even mentioned that you like my style and are hoping for more fashion and beauty-related posts. Well, you may reconsider after I let you in on this very embarrassing fact about myself: sometimes, when I’m alone in the car, I wear my sunglasses OVER my regular glasses. (OMGDIDIJUSTADMITTHAT.)
It’s true. A few years ago, after some cornea scarring, my eye doctor switched me to daily contacts, and they are VERY expensive. I usually only wear them on the weekends or for big events, which is totally fine – I like my glasses! But, without prescription sunglasses, I’m left to my own devices while driving.
When I saw that Warby Parker accepts HSA money for prescription sunglasses (through their sponsorship of someone’s newsletter, of all things), and I jumped on that like a hot potato! CLEARLY they’re needed, if only to prevent John dying from embarrassment over his wife’s fashion faux pas. (I’ve got a few more years before June realizes what’s up.)
I ordered five pairs for my home try-on. After ruling one out, I asked for feedback on Instagram yesterday (if you’re reading this post in the morning, the stories should still be available!) The two frontrunners are neck-and-neck, and they happen to be the two I like best, too: no. 2, Laurel, and no. 4, Raglan. Looking at these photos again, I think I know which one will be my final pick.
Any final opinions? I’m going to pop the box back in the mail today and place my order over the weekend!
UPDATE: Thank you so much for voting! I ordered the Raglan (no. 4) and am thrilled to have upgraded my eyewear! :)