And finally, here are all of my very favorite things from the past year; perfect for a gal with varied tastes and complex sensibilities. Everything here I know well and use regularly, and each of them brings me great joy. Here goes….
1 Slip-on Chucks I’ve mentioned them before but they’re so cute and easy. They’ll get so much use, I promise.
2 Champagne coupes My very favorite drinking vessel. I prefer to buy vintage on Etsy, but they are just as nice new.
3 Gretchen Kelly art If you’re tired of over-used prints try adding original pieces of artwork. Gretchen’s one-minute pose series is just lovely, and would be such a meaningful gift.
4 Wilder magazine This lovely quarterly magazine is for anyone fascinated with our natural world. Past issues have included features from gardeners, foragers, farmers, chefs, fashion designers, and artists. A truly eclectic magazine that’s a welcomed departure from mainstream media.
5 Josie Maran eyeshadow This is a great neutral palette, but the other sets are great too. And as always, it’s formulated free of chemicals.
6 Sorel boots Stylish all-weather boots? Seriously, these are kinda hot. I love them for our outdoor adventures or for rainy days around town.
7 Alexander Wang tank I literally lived in these tanks all summer. So incredibly sleek and sexy, they are the perfect closet staple.
8 Burberry London trenchcoat An investment piece for sure, but probably the most versatile and timeless pieces I own. It’s one of those special garments that make you feel instantly chic, even when paired with slip on Converse. And what gal wouldn’t love a timeless trench under the tree? (One thing we like to do for our gift-giving is to pool resources and all go in on one big piece.)
9 Belvoir Elderflower cordial We all love elderflower liqueur (think St. Germaine), but this guy is organically grown in the UK and contains no preservatives. It has a beautiful aromatic fragrance and taste that makes it the perfect addition to the barcart. I love a small amount with vodka and soda and a squeeze of lemon.
10 The Flavour Thesaurus book Less on the prescriptive side and more on the informative and fun, this is the coolest book to have on hand if you’re curious about why pairings work (or don’t). Think peanut butter and chocolate or lamb and mint. I particularly like the section on cheeses.
11 A Martha or four I know this isn’t an actual gift, but my kooky little chickens have been such a big part of my year and they bring me so much joy…and the most beautiful eggs. It’s not a decision to be made lightly as it’s a huge commitment, but if you’ve got the time and energy, knowing more about your food is priceless. And the entertainment value is better than anything on television. Here’s one of my favorite online sources for chicken info.
My friend Christine always looks so put together, but one element I’ve always admired is her effortless make-up: flawless, but still so perfectly light and natural. A line we walk everyday, it’s not often you come across someone who truly knows how to properly accentuate…no paintball applications here. It wasn’t until Christine gave me a tip on using a highlighter for just above the cheekbone that I finally got why I was so enamoured with her make-up. It’s the je ne sais quoi of maquillage; that subtle touch that adds so much.
Since I only use a BB cream/tinted moisturizer I needed an equally light highlighter, and I found the perfect one in Josie Maran’s Argan Illuminizer. It offers the most beautiful shimmery (NOT glittery) glow, with a hint of bronze, that’s perfect for day or night. Paired with Josie’s Creme blush (my fave!) it has the most lovely, dewey shine. Just dot a small amount with your ring finger slightly above a lightly blushed cheek and blend out toward your hairline. A little goes a long, long way so tread lightly.
Formulated WITHOUT the use of phthalates, GMOs, parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances.
My goal this summer was to go completely make-up free for the season. Like, no face coverage whatsoever. Just a little curl of the lashes, a touch of mascara, and maybe a bright colored lip. But that’s its! And let me tell you, I busted my ass to get my skin to a place where I felt comfortable going naked and in the end it was such a great feeling. I will admit that sometimes it was interesting to hear people’s perception of beauty, and while some people don’t quite get the au naturel look, I don’t get the make-up applied with a paintball gun aesthetic. So there.
One of the key components to my summer sans maquillage was exfoliating, and as much as I love my Clarisonic it does not count as an exfoliator…did you know that? This guy from derma e is an amazing spa-quality product for home that will buff away that dull layer of skin that’s been compromised by the sun and exposure to day-to day pollutants outside. It is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten free, and GMO-free. And it gets a very happy score of 2 from the Skindeep Database.
Can be used on dry skin, but I prefer wet.
After cleansing, use your ring and middle fingers to gently rub a small amount of scrub in circles around your face for 2 minutes. Rinse. Pat dry.
Continue your routine, (I splash with seaweed water and use a Vitamin C serum) but remember to moisturize well and avoid direct sun immediately after.
A few weeks ago, in this post, I shared my love of beautiful berry lips, but also confessed that I hadn’t yet found the perfect non-toxic lipstick. I am happy to report that since then I have found one and, oh, is it awesome.
This is Josie Maran’s Magic Marker lipstain and it’s everything you’ll need for bright lips. Use it to line your lips and then color in as a long-lasting base to leave as-is or for layering colors. It doesn’t budge or bleed, but it’s not drying either so there’s no patches of color or that white gunky chapstick line (that I always seem to get).
A check at EWG’s Skin Deep Database ranks this guy as a 3, and for lip color that’s pretty darn good.
I’ve tried to go all rainbowy, but my favorite summer color for my digits is an ultra matte white. Sleek and clean, and it goes with everything. (It pairs especially well with this lip color too.)
There are a few quirky things about matte colors and the first is that without a careful application it can look exactly like white out. I have the OPI Alpine Snow, and the texture of the paint is a bit more chalky and thick. It also dries really quickly, so all of this means that it’s easy to see streaks or have an uneven coating. I do two coats and then finish with a clear top coat which helps smooth out any streaks and helps it stay a few days longer. Without it you’ll have chips within a day.
It would probably be best to have it professionally done if you’re a perfectionist, but since I’m not much good at going to get my nails done I am plenty happy with my amateurness. In spite of the extra care it’s a fun color that will wear through the autumn and winter, but since it looks especially sleek with a nice sun-kissed tan give it a go now.
(If you’ve ever tried to take a picture of your own hand and nails you’ll understand how ridiculous you feel and how hard it is to get something decent looking. Here’s a quick pic of me and my morning tea, hoping to entice you to try it out.)
I’m not complaining outright but I am pretty damn hot and sticky. Since there’s just no way I’m braving the mobs of Seattleites flocking to whatever shorefront they can find; I have decided, instead, to hide out in my skivvies (hence the little bralette) and douse myself with my very favorite Evian atomizer. If you haven’t experienced the super-fine mist from one of these I can assure you that it alone is worth the price. More than that though your skin will be happy and you will be nice and cool.
Another staple for us has been Hibiscus iced tea: nice and tangy and cooling but also hydrating and a powerful antioxidant. Very good for cleaning the blood and liver, so in a way it’s like turning the sauna-like weather into a spa experience. (Add a little honey for some sweetness.) And finally, we’ve decided to skip the crappy emergency fan and go for a super-sturdy vintage refurb. There’s a bunch on Etsy, but there’s also some vintage-inspired newbies like the guy above.
Here’s hoping you’re staying nice and cool, especially to all my friends braving triple digit temperatures. (Stay hydrated!)
Filed under: Beauty
Clean, minimal face and eyes and a punch-you-in-the-face pop of color for your pout. This is my jam for summer. So alluring and festive, but also unfussy. (You know, the whole pick one thing to expose.) And since most of these looks are from DVF’s Fall 2013 RTW runway, we can take it into the fall before we go darker.
So for now I’m all about focusing on clean, healthy skin with hot pink, red, or orange lips. Sadly, I have no secret non-toxic/chemical free brands for you to try; I’m just always so disappointed in the lacking richness of their color. But I have a few in the queue so I’ll holler if any are worthy of sharing.