Weekend Reading | 2.15.20

Weekend Reading | 2.15.20

Happy weekend! I have had a busy week with company in town all week long and a bunch of dinners + events so tonight I am planning to just curl up and BLOB (to use Becca’s expression) in my comfiest sweats. I really want to watch the Ralph Lauren documentary (I forgot about it!!!). And I’m currently reading a few different books (we are vetting our March book club picks for the podcast). I finished this book this week and it’s one of the best thrillers I’ve read in ages – kept me up all night and worth the pre-order (I got mine early via Book of the Month), and started on this one (British chick lit which isn’t my usual genre but it’s cute so far!). Whatever you’re up to I hope it’s great and if you are in NYC, stay WARM!

Weekend Reading | 2.15.20

Fantastic resume advice.

These sparkly hair clips are SO pretty!

How do we feel about #sponcon for politics? I lean toward no, personally (for me + my channels) though I did get a kick out of the Bloomberg memes.

A tiny pub for hedgehogs!

This $75 dress looks like it’s from SEA or somewhere way more expensive!

Sixteen black owned beauty brands to watch!

This $18 blouse is a dead ringer for Reformation. (Also love this one.)

Intrigued by these lip crayons.

How to brighten up any apartment.

I love the back of this easy white blouse.

Loved gawking over this East Williamsburg house makeover.

I need a lemon yellow blazer, right???

Apparently I need to try this $6 lipstick?

Somebody throw a party so that I can bring this no bake key lime pie. YUM.

Love these simple emerald green link earrings. Chic and minimal.

Love this first date outfit advice.

Looove this gold link sunglasses chain!

The best diverse YA reads for Valentine’s Day.

Money rules to follow.

Suchhhh a cute little pearl purse.

I’m clearly a trendsetter. So much green at fashion week!

OK wannnnnt this royal blue teddy coat!

On baths… and a massage oil candle that I now really want.

14 bizarre facts about rom-coms.

Really into these “bubble sneakers!

This 5 ingredient shrimp + feta recipe sounds so good!

Photography by Carter Fish.

Open Post: How do you {nicely} say no!?

How do you nicely say no?

Something Becca and I have talked about a little bit on the podcast and a lot IRL/offline is that we both find it really hard to nicely and gracefully say no to a direct request from an acquaintance. I am great at saying no to my friends. (When I’m close with someone I have a pretty good sense of what I can say no to!). And I am great at saying no to big events (my attendance really isn’t that important in the scheme of things!). But saying no to a direct request for something I don’t want to do will give me hives.

Here are a few examples of things that I personally find harder to say no to (despite not wanting to do them!!):

  • A casual work acquaintance wants to get dinner/drinks/lunch. You think they are nice and like them. But for whatever reason, don’t want to take the relationship to the next level.
  • You get blind intro’d by a good friend to a stranger, with an ask that is going to take up time and you just don’t want to do it. And you don’t know this new person. You don’t owe them anything, but you’re worried about pissing the good friend off. I’ve found myself in that spot a few times this year and it can be a frustrating position to be put in (blind intro’s are the worst!) where you kind of have to just do it or you look like a brat.
  • Someone you haven’t spoken to in YEARS comes out of the woodwork to ask you for a favor/meeting/phone call. You don’t want to do it but for whatever reason feel like you owe them because you have a history?

I feel bad even writing this. But at the end of the day we only have so much free time and can only do so many favors.

You’ll go crazy if you say yes to everyone.

This is different from just having a lot going on and needing to wait a few months. These are those things you just don’t want to do. But you also don’t want to be awful, either! I think it stems a lot from being a people pleaser and wanting to be likeable and nice but to me, saying “no I don’t want to take this relationship to a drinks/dinner level,” or “I actually don’t have time to help you despite the fact that you’re a good friend of my friend” is really hard!

I had drinks with an author friend on Wednesday and we were talking about how hard it can be both to say no to something but also to be the person making the ask. In her case, pitching her book was a really humbling experience. She got ignored a lot, and got a lot of no’s too! But what blew my mind was when she told me that she’d actually prefer someone ignore her request than tell her no. I was shocked! I guess it’s just been drilled into my head that you ALWAYS respond to your emails! And personally, I would prefer being told a direct “no,” vs. being ignored.

This community always has the best advice… let’s discuss! Give me your best advice for saying no, gracefully. Is there a way to do it? Is it better to keep just saying “I can’t right now,” vs. “I don’t want to?” And what are your thoughts on ignoring an email? Would you rather be told “no,” or ignored!?

PS – Happy Valentine’s Day!

A Few Fun Spring-y Things

A Few Fun Spring-y Things

I am officially at the point in winter where I cannot shop for winter clothing any longer. Sweaters, boots, coats… they’ve lost all allure. I have vacation on the brain in a big way. I don’t have any immediate plans for a true vacation though I will need to plan a warm weather trip in the coming month to shoot my Amazon the Drop collection (and will probably stay for an extra day or two to soak up the sun and relax a little bit!)

But besides having vaca on the brain, I only want to wear bright, fun, happy things. It was fun dressing in bubble gum pink for the Veronica Beard show (this dress is amazing!) and now it’s been a little hard getting back to drab colors…. I am ready for you, Spring!

A Few Fun Spring-y Things

Here are a few things on my wish list right now. Some of them could be worn now. This bright bodysuit is amazing and I’m super into Stine Goya and had been thinking about the Jasmine dress a lot but I don’t think the high neck/empire waist combo will do me any favors. This top, tucked into mom jeans could be a great compromise). Speaking of mom jeans, I LOVE these AGOLDE Jeans – the fit is spot on. And also on this list in terms of things I actually own: these ear cuffs (they look like fine jewelry!) and this headband (jewelry for your hair – and someone asked… no, it does not hurt my head, but headbands rarely do!)

One other thing I wanted to call special attention to: this green trench! I have a very similar one from Michael Kors and always get asked about it. This is SUPER similar! I don’t know why more brands don’t make trench coats in this color. It goes with everything and is super classic and chic.

clockwise from top left: Leopard Mules // Topshop Blazer // Reformation Dress // Baublebar Headband // Baublebar Ear Cuffs // Veronica Beard Blue Dickey Jacket // AGOLDE Jeans // Veronica Beard Pink Dress // Topshop Woven Leather Satchel // Steve Madden Mini Satchel // Coral V Neck Bodysuit // Stine Goya Blouse // Alice and Olivia Dress // Trench Coat // Yellow Rain Jacket

My New Favorite Pink Lipstick!

Huda Beauty Liquid Lipstick

Huda Beauty Liquid Lipstick

Today’s post is a bit of a miniature post, but I promise, it’s a good one! Last Thursday I was in the city at Sephora, interviewing Jenny Han (the author of the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before!) for Sephora’s Instagram Live.

I was obviously very nervous and about 5 minutes before we went live, I realized that my lipstick was completely gone and my tube was upstairs in their office and I wouldn’t have time to reapply it. Luckily, we were in a Sephora so that was not exactly a real problem. I wandered down one of the aisles and spotted this Huda Beauty Liquid Lipstick (the shade is “Gossip Girl”) and decided to give it a try. Total game time decision. Could have gone VERY poorly.

Instead, I fell in absolute love!

The formula is not drying at all, it’s matte but not TOO matte, it stayed on all morning… just perfect. After we recorded the live I did a little bit of shopping and I ended up buying it. The color is perfection and as a die hard Gossip Girl fan I obviously love the name. The product page describes it as “the everyday cute pink” and I think it’s spot on. It’s not so bright that it’s only for special occasions. But it doesn’t have any brown in it either (I hate a brown pink – makes my teeth look yellow!) LOVE.

I’ve been wearing it all week and am just obsessed. (Why is a good pink lip so hard to find!?!?!) So of course, I had to share it here! It comes in a bajillion other colors so if pink isn’t for you, give one of the other colors a try… the formula is fab.

PS – my earrings are from my friend Natalie’s line! The white is sold out right now (back in stock soon) but they’re also available in deep red, gray, and light blue!

PPS – more favorite lipsticks right this way!

Dr. Bader x Victoria Beckham Moisturizing Primer Review.

Dr. Bader x Victoria Beckham Moisturizing Primer Review

This may just be my most requested beauty product review. And I’ve taken my time with it (sorry, wanted to be thorough!!).

Before we get into it, I have just two things to note. First of all, I bought this with my own money in early December so I’ve had a solid two months with it. I was getting tagged in so many posts about it and needed to see for myself what all the hype was about. Second, I am extremely annoyed by the product name. It’s called a “cell rejuvenating priming moisturizer,” which led me to believe it was a moisturizer. But it’s actually a primer. So call it a “cell rejuvenating moisturizing primer,” FFS. It’s a moisturising primer, not a priming moisturizer. Just my $.02, what can I say, I get caught up in the details. I’m not the only one: this piece from The Cut makes it sound like it’s a moisturizer!

Semantics aside, I was really excited to try this. Victoria Beckham has long been a huge fan of Dr. Bader’s creams (it also helps that she looks absolutely amazing), and I was already a fan of her cosmetics (I love the lip stain!). Everything Victoria Beckham does is really well thought out – as a fashion designer, with her cosmetics at Victoria Beckham Beauty, and now skincare and her beauty line.

It’s easy to snark on the price point but I think it’s a really authentic, organic collaboration for her: as Beckham is such a huge advocate of Dr. Bader, it makes a lot of sense that when she launched her own skincare beauty brand she’d develop with Augustinus Bader. (Sidebar: it’s taken me so long to write this post that they’ve now just launched a new product: a serum! I’m presently knee deep testing other serums but will be for sure ordering it.)

As she said herself, “‘It’s been a dream to develop, with Augustinus, a priming moisturizer that works to improve the health of my skin and give me that fresh, natural glow that I love.

Dr Bader x Victoria Beckham Moisturizing Primer Review

We are going to talk ALL about this product but I have a few caveats to start witht! First of all, if you’re new here or are not familiar with him and his products, read my first post about Dr. Bader. It’s my all-time FAVORITE face cream. I’ve been using it every day for two years and it has made a noticeable difference and has helped to improve the health of my skin. But we will save that for that post, I feel like I’m already getting long winded!

What Is The VB x AB Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer?

As I stressed above, this is a primer, NOT a moisturizer. That is what makes it different from The Cream and The Rich Cream. I will say that if you have oilier skin or even combination skin, you could probably get away with using it as a moisturizer. (The only problem is that I have no idea what percentage of actives this contains vs. the cream.) Hydration-wise though, it’s VERY similar to Bader’s “The Cream,” but if you have dry skin like I do, you probably need to use both The Rich Cream and this. I learned the hard way; I tried using it just as a moisturizer and my skin was really tight and dry – not good.

A primer is the step between moisturizer and makeup; preparing your skin – it helps to prep the skin for makeup application so that makeup will go on more seamlessly. Ideally you would apply The Cream (or The Rich Cream) and then this would be the next step before makeup. This particular primer is meant to complement the existing Augustinus Bader creams. It features technology to renew the skin while creating an instantly gratifying glow. It cares for your skin cells while also preparing for makeup.

Victoria Beckham Moisturizing Primer

So now that I have said my piece and gotten my whining out of the way, let’s get to benefits. OK. Oof. This product works. Really well.  When I use it over the rich cream, I glow like an angel. GLOW. This is part due to the fact that this is a hybrid skincare cosmetic product (it also contains blurring powders and light reflecting particles) but man – my skin looks good when I use them both. The combo of the two product is magic, and if I do both, I will often skip foundation altogether (although another caveat; I don’t wear foundation very often).

How Much Is The VB x AB Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer?

It’s really hard for me to recommend this product to you with a straight face. I definitely talk about a lot of expensive products. But here’s the thing – you really have to use this cream over Dr. Bader to get the full benefits (the whole schtick with Bader is that it has to be the first thing on your skin). So in telling you to buy this $145 primer, that you must use over a $265 cream, I am essentially recommending a $420 skincare routine (not counting cleanser or toner or eye cream). I don’t feel great about that.

(It’s $95 for the 1.0oz. size and $145 for the $1.7oz. Better in price than the original cream and rich cream but still pretty expensive!)

Where To Get The VB x AB Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer

Right now you can buy this at Violet Grey or online at Victoria Beckham’s website. You can also buy it on the Augustinus Bader website. (And when you sign up for AB emails they do offer 10% off!)

Pros & Cons Of the VB x AB Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer

The Pros:
  • It works. You will GLOW. I do think that is in part because it contains light reflecting particles, but it’s so pretty.
  • It’s a hybrid skincare makeup product, packed with blurring powders, brightening extracts and pore perfectors. It will make makeup go on more easily but you may want to skip makeup altogether.
  • It’s a makeup artist favorite.
  • You only need a little bit. It lasts a long time.
  • It contains the brand’s propriety proprietary TFC8 technology (this is AB’s secret sauce!) to contribute to the skin’s own repair and renewal systems. I’d really love to know exactly how much TFC8 (especially compared to the moisturizers) it has, but no one seems to know.
The Cons:
  • It’s expensive, and you really do need to use it over regular old Bader to get the full benefits.
  • See above – we don’t know how much TFC8 is actually in this! I wish someone would tell me. Maybe someone at the brand will read this and be able to opine.

My Verdict

This makes for a very expensive routine. I will say that as I use it as a primer. I only use 1-2 pumps (whereas I use 4 full pumps of the original). So the bottle will last a long time. I bought the 1.7 oz. back in early December and there’s still a lot of product left. I also don’t use it every single day the way I use The Rich Cream.

If you can only buy one luxury skincare product, I would say skip this and get the original – especially if you have dry skin. Nothing competes with The Rich Cream IMO.

If you have oily or “normal” skin (or if you usually use The Cream, not The Rich Cream), you could probably get away with using this as your day cream.

If you have more money to spend on your skincare routine, go for it. It’s a great product and I absolutely love it. To be honest (as with the original creams), I wish I didn’t love it so much. I went in wanting to hate it but the GLOW won me over.

Dr. Bader x Victoria Beckham Moisturizing Primer Review

Photography by Carter Fish.