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.)