Monday, September 18, 2023

Review: Madewell The Perfect Vintage Wide-Leg Jean

Madewell is currently having their Insider event which means 25% or 30% off everything. (Including leather jackets, just FYI!) I needed absolutely nothing so I immediately bought the Perfect Vintage Wide-Leg Jean in two sizes because the reviews seem to think they're both true to size and also run small. Cool. I posted a quick photo in an IG story and y'all loved them so I thought I'd do a proper review. 

Short version: I love them. They're a great entry level wide-leg jean if you're still struggling with how to handle the newer denim silhouettes. Here you go:

As for the sizing, I got the Perfect Vintage Wide-Leg jeans in size 29 (my usual Madewell size) and size 30 for size comparison. Now, the 29 I could get on and get buttoned but whooo boy they were really tight in the waist. Now, they might stretch out a bit but these jeans are 99% cotton/1% stretch and have some weight so it's a risk to assume they'll stretch out enough. The size 30 (which I'm wearing in the pic) fit perfectly and they fall just right:

 It's a bit of adjustment to get used to all that leg but they're cool as hell, right? And on sale! Highly recommend if you need a denim refresh. 

PS. I'm also wearing an AYR tee, a great Lauren Ralph Lauren belt, and my new Birkenstock Boston clogs

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Stuff I Like: So Much Stuff

I've been super busy lately but I keep a running list of things I want to talk about on the blog. The list, it's getting long, so time to do something about this. Here we go:

This Candle That's Not Expensive For Once.
I can't remember where online I read about it, but the Salt candle at Target got such raves I had to check it out and it's a good one. It's not a seasonal fragrance (because no thank you pumpkin spice nonsense) it's just kind of fresh and soft and ocean-salty in a very non-offensive way. It's maaaaybe a touch sweeter than I usually go for, but it's mostly just nice and it comes in a bunch of sizes and decorative options. Plus, the biggest one is less than $20! Yay.

This Lip Oil I Really Love.
I had a mini-spree at Sephora recently because I just really wanted to try a few new things and found this Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Tinted Lip Oil to be intriguing. I have a Rare Beauty blush that I really like (reviewed here), so I thought this might also be worth trying. Y'all, I freaking love it. It starts out as a non-sticky but very pigmented gloss and dries down to a lip stain. I have the berry shade called Affection and have been wearing it a lot lately. So pretty and it's easy to apply, smudgeable, layerable, etc. 

My (end of) Summer Reading List.
Okay, first of all, my apologies if anyone tried to read The Secret Book of Flora Lea because woof, it was not for me and I DNF'ed it hard. (Sorry, Leandra!) I did read and enjoy I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai and Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson and liked both of them, but I also feel like they both could've been more and also less? I had minor issues with both but also enjoyed reading them. (I'm happy to expand in the comments if you want to discuss!) Finally, I just started The Breakaway by Jennifer Weiner who is reliably good and yay, bikes. 

Definitely Not a Stanley Cup.
I didn't need the new bkr insulated cup but I love my old bkr water bottle so much that when they came out with an insulated cup I basically broke my brain trying to talk myself out of it and then I bought it anyway. No regerts! It's double-walled glass and keeps your ice from melting for quite a while. It's not, like, Stanley-level insulated, but it's also not huge and heavy and tiresome either. And it's pretty! I have the January Demi and it's just perfection. I use it for iced coffee for my commute days and it fits nicely in my cup holder and doesn't leak. I do worry about the little stopper button but so far I've managed to not lose it. We shall see! (PEE ESS they're doing a F&F sale right now - 25% off everything with code BKRFAM2023.)

This TV Show That Is The CUTEST.
OMG ARE YOU WATCHING HEARTSTOPPER BECAUSE IF NOT YOU MUST. I am not the target audience for this show but I needed something sweet and kind and adorable to watch on my lunch breaks and this is definitely it. It's based on the graphic novel series by Alice Oseman and uniquely captures exactly what it feels like to have a crush when you're young. Plus, Olivia Coleman! Just go! Enjoy! Weep a little! 

Another Good Quince Purchase.
I’ve been using my Quince credits for good stuff, lately! Mostly bedding, which is reliable but not exciting to talk about. My new favorite though is the Apple Watch leather band I bought. I got a taupe-y grey color that somehow goes with everything and it looks expensive. I am seriously impressed by the quality. I’m usually too lazy to switch out my band, but on the days I’m going into the office, I like to switch it up to the leather band. (They also have an Herm├Ęs Cape Cod band knockoff which I was tempted by, but I thought the wrap design might drive me crazy.) If you’re new to Quince and want $20 off a purchase of $50 or more, please feel free to use my referral link! (Full disclosure: I also get $20 in credit.) 

That's it for now! I'm very easily influenced, so please tell me what I should try/buy/read/listen to next! 

Monday, August 21, 2023

Shopping: Two Dresses.

I used to be a Dress Girl. I had a whole closet full of cute, inexpensive dresses that I’d wear every day and it was my thing, you know? My style started to shift away from that several years ago but I still love a dress. The problem is, I can’t fucking find a dress anymore. For the past few years it seems like everything is floofy and tiered or has giant sleeves or cut-outs or is a straight up prairie/cottagecore nightmare. Some of these dresses are very pretty and very tempting but they are very much not my style. It doesn’t stop me from trying though. Exhibit A: this Anthropologie dress that comes in some really fun patterns and is pretty universally loved, so I was like, I WILL TRY THIS. Okay, y’all? It’s so cute in theory but on me it looks like an oversized night gown:

I am…not pulling this off. I’m wearing the medium petite and it’s eating me alive. I know this style runs a bit big but it felt like A LOT of dress on me and just isn't quite my style. Did I learn from this? I did not. Instead I doubled down and bought this pretty dress from Apiece Apart on final sale. It arrived, I tried it on and immediately listed it for sale. The sleeves were enormous. So pretty, so not for me.

In the middle of all of this madness I found this Nic + Zoe dress which was more money than I wanted to spend on something that didn’t look particularly special. It arrived and I was like, "this is fine." Then I tried it on and upgraded “this is fine” to “this is good.” 

Then! I added accessories and loved it. This dress is not romantic or fancy but it is basically a perfect everyday thing. It hits just above the knee but is slightly longer in the back which gives it a caftan flutter when you walk. 

It’s got buttons halfway down the front so you don’t have to worry about gaping when you sit. It’s cut really nicely so it’s flattering even though it’s technically a sack. And it’s washable! I don’t know but this might be the perfect everyday dress. Great with my red Birkenstocks and Clare V bag, future-great with tights and boots. I’ve already worn it twice and I’ve only had it for two weeks, so even though it’s expensive, the cost-per-wear will hopefully end up being pretty low. (Also, I used the Neiman Marcus 15% off code you get when you sign up for emails and texts which helped.) Honestly, this is a great little dress and and Nic + Zoe is a new brand for me, so I will definitely be keeping an eye out for their fall/winter offerings. 

How about you? Any good dress finds lately?

Friday, August 11, 2023

Stuff I Like: Skincare!

I've changed up some of my skincare lately and here's what I've been really happy with:

This Oil Cleanser That’s a Steal
I typically double cleanse every evening and for a while I was using balm cleansers for my first step, but now I’m back on oil. I do still really like the one by DHC but I found an online rec for this one by Hada Labo that’s the same amount for less than half the price and it’s great. Its made with olive oil, is unscented, and it gets all my eye make off without much effort. Under $12! Just FYI, I'm still using and loving Acure cleansing cream for my second cleansing step. 

This Vitamin C Serum That Better Change My Life.
I've been using Skinceuticals 10 AOX+ vitamin C serum to help with my melasma. It's a starter version for sensitive skin and it's been good but the bottle is almost empty and I'm not sure my face can handle the C E Ferulic (or similar dupe) that everyone raves over. I recently read a rave review on a women's FB group I belong to that Hydropeptide Firma-Bright works like gangbusters on melasma so I was immediately influenced and bought the travel size. A few weeks later I bought the full size because, hey, my face doesn't hate it. I'm now more than a month in and this product in the morning (and Differin at night) seems to really be helping. I'll report back! 

This Fancy Serum Sunscreen That Gives Good Glow
Ugh, rms, you win. I am such a sucker for Rose Marie’s videos and when this new SuperNatural SPF serum came out I was like, nope. Not falling for it. And then of course I ordered it and it’s so freaking nice. It’s a mineral sunscreen with some other stuff and it gives you a nice glow and works well under makeup. It would be nice if the SPF was higher, but this isn’t my everyday spackle (that would be the CoTZ sunscreen) it’s my “I need to look nice today” sunscreen. I’m also still a fan of this one by Tatcha, but it’s SO freaking expensive that I wish I could quit it. 

PS. I also repurchased this little rms palette (I originally posted about it here) because it had her nice champagne luminizer in it and I also needed the Beloved Lip2Cheek back in my life after being influenced by this video. That Rose Marie is CONVINCING. Anyway, as I remembered, it’s all really lovely and dewy. Also, they FINALLY put a mirror in the palette! It’s about time.

This Eye Cream That's a Pleasant Surprise.
Listen, I tend to think that eye cream is a bit of a scam. Like, here’s a tiny container of concentrated moisturizer that somehow costs MORE than your moisturizer! And it does things, we swear!  Hmph. I’m convinced nothing on earth can permanently fix my dark circles, but it’s nice when a product successfully deflects them and this one does. I bought the Sunday Riley Auto Correct and it’s not disappointing! It's got caffeine for de-puffing and a bit of a glow to brighten and it works nicely under my favorite concealer, so we’ll call it a win.

Last minute inclusion: I just got a sample of the new Kosas DreamBeam mineral sunscreen serum and it’s also pretty great! I am just so pleased at all these lovely mineral sunscreen serum formulations that are coming out.) 

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Stuff I Like: And Now It's August.

Hello! I've been writing this on and off all of July and now it's August so I guess I should just call it finished already. Here's what I've been liking lately:

This Book You Recommended!
Thank you everyone who recommended books to me in the comments last month! I made up a long list and started with The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz which was recommended by two of you. It's family saga with The Nightingale vibes and it's very easy to fall into. I am about 80% through and fully invested in this family's disfunction. I love how messy and weird it is but also that the characters feel like real people. This story has a strong sense of place and holds you at arm's length in a way you don't often experience in novels. Anyway, I am really into it and it broke my DNF streak, so thank you! (Edited to add: I finished it and loved it.)  Up next I have Nothing To See Here by Kevin Wilson, which was also a reader rec! 

This Anthro Candle That's So So Pretty.
Listen, I have a lot of beef with Anthropologie but their candle game is TIGHT and I can't complain about that. I bought this lovely jasmine candle and it smells amazing but also just such a great design. I mean, it has a monkey on it. Come on. And, it comes in a really cool box, is reasonably priced, and would make a great gift. It even comes in a smaller, less expensive version! I am all about a candle that's also a pretty object to brighten up your WFH desk or wherever. Treat yo self. 

The Bear. My God, The Bear.
Sorry, I know this is probably out of date by now but y'all, season two of The Bear broke my brain. Like, ugly crying, super invested, love all the details, OLIVIA COLEMAN CAMEO, realistic dysfunctional family dynamics like I've never seen depicted on TV, the soundtrack, the amazing performances! I was emotionally gutted by it in the best way. If you haven't watched it yet, buckle up. It's the best thing on TV right now, hands down.

This Backpack I Obsessively Researched

My Lo & Sons Hanover Deluxe backpack, which I used mainly for travel, finally bit the dust and I wanted something different. It needed to have a laptop compartment, luggage sleeve, and side pockets big enough for my favorite water bottle and big enough for travel but not so big that it was unwieldy. I also wanted to spend less on it! I spent a ridiculous time looking at travel backpacks and comparing them and I finally settled on the Command the Day Backpack by Lululemon. (I have the grey sage. Also available in black and brown.)Y'all, I love it. It's visually quite minimal, surprisingly well-made, and has all the features I was looking for. The only thing I miss is the little top zippered pocket (the best feature on the Hanover), but I'm otherwise super happy with it. I'm by no means trying to be negative about Lo & Sons! I've own a few of their bags and really like them but sometimes you want to try a different thing.

This Podcast For My Little House Obsessives.
Were you obsessed with the Little House books to the point that you didn't love the TV show because it was inaccurate? Did the deeply problematic parts skate right over your dumb little kid head? Did you beg your mother for a sun bonnet? Did you want to eat horehound candy and ride ponies bareback on the prairie? If so, do I have a podcast for you: Wilder.  To be clear, they definitely dig into the problematic parts of these books which I find really interesting and also appalling. But, the creator/narrator also really *gets* the magic of these books. I'm not going to say much more because if you know, you know. (If not, you might still dig this podcast but it definitely helps to have read the books.)

Friday, July 14, 2023

Reviews: Madewell Perfect Fatigue Shorts, AYR Tees and Deep End Shirt.

Almost all the clothing I’ve bought this summer has been easy and comfortable because I'm just not going to wear uncomfortable clothes anymore. I've mostly been looking for elevated basics, including some nicely cut t-shirts and at least one pair of casual-but-not-sporty shorts. I struggle with shorts - denim cut-offs are classic and fun (this is my favorite pair) but not always appropriate and definitely not comfortable for all day sitting. Also need at least a 4’-5” inseam or get the fuck out of here, you know? My thighs will chew up and spit out your sad little 3” inseam. I’m old! Give me some inseam! But not too much inseam! Anyway, I stumbled across this pair at Madewell and was like, these would be perfect if they had one and a half more inches of inseam and lo, Madewell has given me ONE AND A HALF MORE INCHES:

This is the Madewell Perfect Fatigue mid-length short! Listen, I know I’ve worn more flattering things in my life but I love a good pair of shorts in the summer and these have a satisfyingly high waist, a nice a-line flair to the leg, big pockets (the rear pocket fits my phone!) and just enough stretch to keep things comfortable. Plus, they come in two really good colors. I obviously bought the green and I am waiting for a sale before I buy the purple. (Update: code SUNDAZE works for 25% off!)

I’m wearing the shorts with my AYR The French Fry tee which is probably my most-worn striped shirt of all time. Yes, it’s too expensive but... I think it’s worth it based on how often I’ve worn it. I also bought a couple of the Sno Cone tees which are fantastic if you want a slightly cropped tee to wear with your high-waisted things. Here it is untucked so you can see where it falls on me:

Not so cropped that skin is showing, but cropped enough to give you a clean line, if that makes sense, and you can still tuck the front. I have it in a medium (which I’m wearing in that photo) and a large in the blue stripe for a bit more slouch. I also tried the All U tee but returned it because it wasn’t super special and was a little low cut for my prudish ways. So far, my AYR tees have stayed soft and the necklines have held their shape, so I am sold on paying up a bit for really nice tees that don’t lose the will to live after one season (looking at you, Madewell Whisper tee.)

Finally, I decided that I had to try the shirt with the cult following - the Deep End oversized cotton button up. Here it is right out of the packaging:

I am not generally a button up shirt kinda person but something about the crisp-yet-casual nature of this shirt really appealed and I wanted a few tailored pieces for work. I got a medium in white cotton (it also comes in linen and in a stripe) and it fits perfectly in an oversized way, meaning, I can button it up over a tank without any kind of gaping and it falls nicely without catching on my hips. I could definitely size down to a small, but then it wouldn’t be oversized. I’m still figuring it out but I do like it as an airy cardigan alternative:

Not bad, right? I'm wearing it with my excellent Madewell Emmett wide-leg crop pants! I posted about these on IG and they're currently sold out in the green but come in a few other colors. They're good! True to size and great for summer. 

What have you bought this summer that you really like? Do tell. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Stuff I Like: Long List Version.

Stuff I like! I've been keeping a list of things to include in this entry and it's gotten kind of long, so I'm doing it in a condensed version. Here we go: 

Wearing - This is not a surprise.
I’ve talked a lot recently about my AYR tees and now I have Marianne hooked. We both have and love this striped Sno Cone t-shirt because it’s the perfect not-too-short cropped tee to wear with higher waisted pants and shorts. Just so cute. (Note: I might have an AYR order out for delivery for today! Who wants a review?) Also, REI sent me a 20% off code a while back and I used it on this Vuori hoodie which is THE BEST THING EVERRRRR. I'm sorry, but it’s really the absolute best. It's light but warm and so so soft. It fits TTS but I sized up so I could be more of a slouchy slob around the house. I wear it every day. I’m wearing it right now. I should probably not write a blog about style because I’m an oversized hoodie girl now. 

Watching - All the endings.
The series finales of  The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and Ted Lasso (both of which I loved) left me feeling a bit bummed. Two of my favorite shows are over forever! But, there's so much good TV right now that I am recovering nicely. I recently finished and loved season two of Somebody Somewhere (I talked about season 1 here) and was so happy to hear they’ve been renewed for season three. Now I’m re-watching season 1 of The Bear so I can jump into season two fully stressed out. Ha. I’m also excited about the upcoming season of True Detective with Jodie Foster, and the third season of The Other Two on HBO (fine, on Max. Why.) 

Reading - Y’all. Ugh.
I have been so underwhelmed by everything I’ve read lately and I seem to be DNFing books left and right. Do you ever get stuck in a reading rut? I’ve DNFed three books and just forced myself to finish one that wasn’t that great. When this happens I tend to fall back on authors I know I love, like the very reliable Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine. If you’ve never read any of her books you’re in for a treat. I recently re-read The Blood Doctor which is excellent and also love Anna’s Book (both written under Barbara Vine.) But, I’m ready for something new. I do have The Secret Book of Flora Lea by Patti Callahan Henry on hold at the library and it sounds right up my alley but I’m open to suggestions if you’ve read anything great lately! 

Obsessing - This stylist on Instagram.
Marianne introduced me to Anna Cascarina on Instagram and she is just AMAZING. Just so chic and wears exactly what she loves. Her styling posts are incredibly helpful because she has this knack for putting normal items together in a really polished way. She also feels like One of Us - in her 40s with a relatable body and she talks a lot about age representation and size-inclusivity in fashion. Her tutorial reels are especially good. I really love watching her layer an outfit - this post in particular is what drew me in and I also really dig her capsule wardrobe reels (and her white Loewe bag! Woof, I love it.) 

Buying - Cheap-ass beauty.
Today I’m not talking about the Westman Atelier foundation stick I love because, duh. Of course I bought them. So boring. I’m way more excited to tell you about the inexpensive beauty items I’ve purchased recently because who doesn’t love a bargain? The first is a Jones Road Miracle Balm knockoff that I think is quite good! I do want to try the Miracle Balm but the reviews are pretty uneven. Anyway, I stumbled across this dupe by Bayfree on Amazon and bought it with very low expectations but y’all, I love it. Unscented, very sheer and not super sticky. It just gives a bit of color and glow. The packaging feels cheap but it’s a $12 product, so I’m not complaining about that. I got Nude Gardenia and it’s just really pretty. I can’t say how it stacks up to Jones Road Miracle Balm but if any of you have tried it, let me know if it’s worth it! 

I also I stopped by Target recently and bought some makeup because why not. My favorite thing by far is this NYX Butter Gloss in Rocky Road (a wine color.) It feels great on and is really nicely pigmented for a lipgloss. Plus, it’s only $5! I will definitely be trying some more colors. 

Finally, I picked up a tube of Acure Seriously Soothing cleansing cream at the local fancy natural grocery store. It’s perfect for dry/sensitive skin - completely gentle and non-foaming - perfect for a second cleanse. I love that it’s unscented and only $11 for a nice sized tube! I’m happy with it and now want to try the matching moisturizer

That's it for me. Please tell me what you've been liking lately!