The Friend Zone

You know that terribly awkward place between what is & what should be. The noncommittal place where making any kind of move seems sudden & unprepared. The grey area that seems safer than anything finite. Yeah. This place. This is what I call February & March.

What? You ask.

The seven weeks between Winter & Spring that should [frankly] be their own damn season. Where you constantly feel uncomfortable because none of your clothes breathe enough, or keep you warm enough, or let in enough air…the list goes on & on. Regardless, it’s the annoying friend zone of the fashion world that you want to get out of as quickly as humanly possible. & I’m here to not only help that transition, but help you enjoy it, too.

There are five small changes you can make to prepare for this awful land of limbo. Let’s get to it.

1. Lessen The Load: swap out those heavy wool layers & opt for lighter fabrics. Layering with softer, light-weight fabrics can still keep you plenty warm without that gross overheated feeling.

Outfit Recommendations:

layer 1

A light weight blazer//sweater//jacket, over a soft tank & a great pair of wide leg pants.

layer 4

For a more casual feel; pair a cute pullover sweater, with your favorite boyfriend denim, add a leather jacket for some edge & top it off with a super feminine pair of flats//heels. Done & done.

layer 3

One of my favorite looks during this season; a fitted white tee, denim//chambray topper, awesome printed pants & a simple heel. Effortlessly chic.

2. Add Some Va Va Voom: color is everything during this transition. To help you relinquish your desperate need for an all black ensemble & reintroduce you to pinks, blues, peaches…anything that makes you think of Spring, you’ll need to reach for colors that are complimentary in your color wheel & throw them in the mix. You don’t have to pack away all those darks just yet, but adding Spring-focused colors to each outfit [even as simple as your handbag] can help things move along quickly.

Outfit Recommendations:

add color 1

Chartreuse & black are the ultimate duo. Adding this pop of color to your Winter-focused outfit can hurry the Spring season along in a major way.

add color 2

Don’t want to change out those dark colors just yet? Understandable. Just invest in a fun, bright handbag to keep your look fresh & transitional. A small change that makes you look more fashion forward than ever.

add color 3

By now you should all know my obsession love for an amazing blazer, & this is the perfect time to bust one of those babies out. A [colored] fitted blazer will help you ditch those heavy coats & bring a softer layer to your outfit. Not to mention, make you look prepped for basically anything.

3. Print It Up: ditch that entirely solid ensemble you’ve been rocking all Winter & reintroduce yourself to prints. Yes, those floral, patterned, beautiful things that you’ve let sit in the back of your closet for the past eight weeks or so. But don’t forget, you have options here; tribal, floral, animal, chevron, houndstooth, etc.  Get creative.

Outfit Recommendations:

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A printed shoe can be exactly what you need to add a little pop of Spring to your once Winter outfit.

winter print 4

A monochromatic printed pant is a subtle way to add dimension, but not take away from the basic feel of an outfit.

winter print 5

Don’t limit yourself to typical prints. Challenge yourself this season to find the most unique & outspoken print you can find, team it with subtle pieces & voila, you’re a fashion icon.

4. OMG Shoes: nothing shows that you’re more prepared for the coming season than the perfect shoe. I know it sounds ridiculous, but how many times have you witnessed an amazing outfit be completely ruined by the wrong shoe? Uhg. Pet Peeve #1. If you’re going to make all the effort in the world on your top half, pay mind to the bottom half while you’re at it. Starting with your feet. Your outfit & stylist [me] will thank you.

Shoe Recommendations:

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One of the easiest ways to transition your footwear is by rocking a black//grey//taupe, edgy sandal with tons of hardware. The dark color & heavy hardware gives a cool Winter feel, with breeziness fit for Spring sunshine.

bootie

Not ready to put your cute Winter boots away just yet? Totally fine. Just try to find yourself a pair with a peep-toe for a little sex appeal & a major nod to Spring. [Be sure to wear an awesome, bright toe polish to top it off].

red flats

 Much like a good blazer, pointed toe flats are basically the loves of my life. They’re so sexy, so chic, & so practical. You can run errands in them, go out with friends, rock a date night, or look like the most put together employee at your next company meeting. Try them in red, blue or grey for an added edge & you’ll be the hottest thing the room.

5. Shaded: clothing is not the only staple that needs revamping between seasons. Your lips should get some love, too. Find yourself a few fun, bold shades that will bring your kissers from the dark to light with one quick swipe.

Color Recommendations:

twig lipstick

Twig by MAC is the perfect daily neutral for those of you not quite prepared for Spring just yet.

candy yum yum

For some major Spring pop, Candy Yum-Yum by MAC is my go-to color.

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MAC’s Kinda Sexy is a fun, subdued transitional color for your lips, if you aren’t prepared to go rogue just yet.

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Ready to go pink? Try Pink Plaid by MAC & your wish is my command. Perfect for warm Spring days, this color will help ease the transition away from Winter.

So the next time you find yourself in that terribly awkward place between what is & what should be, remember these tips & solidify exactly how you want to be personified. Stand out & be ahead of the game. Because the grey area sucks anyway.

Xx.

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Shredded.

lips

This time of year, pretty much every year, my lips start to absolutely fall apart. They stare at me blankly in the mirror, with their shredded edges & cracked lines, as if to prove once more that I’ve neglected their entire existence. However, this is the furthest from the truth. I drink endless amounts of lemon water, devour vegetables, & even drink my coffee//tea through a straw [I’ve convinced myself that this helps my lips somehow]. But it’s the constant dry outdoor air mixed with blasting heater vents that eventually destroys your smoochers. Thus, I’ve decided to do a post on my favorite lip rescue treatments, so you & yours can get back to lip locking this blustery 2015.

Let’s start with the facts: lippies with salicylic acid, camphor, menthol & phenol can actually make your lips drier, irritated & more chapped than when you started. Not to mention, some ingredients are completely synthetic. Annoying right? [Everything is a business, after all]. If you do a little research & truly think about some of the ingredients used on our mouth multiple times a day, you might have a borderline freak out. [Don’t worry I had mine, too]. But fear not, there are still honest companies out there that want to better your kisser without all the crap.

What to look for: lips are incredibly self sufficient; Winter adds extra stress, but your lips retain moisture relatively naturally. To give them a little extra help during harsh weather months, try to lessen your lip licking, find lip treatments with cetyl alcohol & petrolatum [in small doses, as it can suffocate your lips if used too often], & be picky about your lip scrubs.

My Favorites: as a woman with some major lips, I’m incredibly selective about what I put on them. I love me a good lip color, but I always use a chapstick prior to every application. Below are a few of my favorite pre-lipstick-application brands & products.

  1. Favorite Daily Wear: Smith’s Rosebud Salve [original scent]
  2. Favorite Organic Balm: Osmia Organics Lip Balm
  3. Favorite Non-Organic Balm: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment
  4. Favorite Scrub: Fresh Sugar Polish
  5. Favorite Lip Cure: Dr. Dewy Lip Cure

What to abolish from your makeup bag: as well-marketed & cute as some lip moisturizing brands can be, you should always educate yourself on what to truly never waste your time with. However, considering you probably don’t have the time to sit & read up on all kinds of lip treatment ingredients, I’ll do the work of you [that’s just the kind of girl I am]. Consider the following blacklisted:

  1. eos Medicated Tangerine Lip Balm: as a big eos fan myself, I was incredibly disappointed to find that they used “phenol” in this particular ball of supposed Tangerine goodness. I literally wrote eos a letter & sent this product back to them. Click above [phenol click-through] to get all the nasty ingredient deets. I would recommend the rest of their line for a quick go-to purse chapstick, but always read the fine print.
  2. Carmex: a brand that has been under scrutiny for years now & continues to alarm me. Any brand using acids, phenols & menthol all in one balm should be banned. Period. Lest we forget the fiberglass rumor of the early 2000’s? Just saying…
  3. e.l.f. Studio Lip Balm: SPF 15 is certainly a great additive to your lip balm, but masking it with harmful chemicals, acids & cheap waxes doesn’t make for a good product or purchase. Treat yourself & your lips right & spend a few more than $3 on your next lip treatment.

Winter doesn’t get to take all the fun out of kissing, so long as you take the initiative to protect your lips the right way. So the next time you get that pesky crack or sore on your lip, remember what you’ve learned here & put your knowledge to good use. Your lips will thank you. & so will those smoochin you.

Happy Kissing.

 

 

**Please keep in mind that the brands mentioned above are my opinion. They aren’t meant to harm or hinder anyone’s use of a particular product, but rather open our minds to what we’re potentially ingesting day in & day out.**