Valentine’s Day Gift Box

Coming up with the perfect Valentine’s Day gift can be so hard. Do you go with candy, flowers, jewelry, dinner out…or all of the above? Local SF jeweler Waffles & Honey has made the decision easier with their limited edition Galentine’s/Valentine’s Day Gift Box.

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Each box features their limited edition Gemstone Bar Necklace (in your choice of Turquoise, Labradorite or Crystal Quartz) and lots of other fun goodies. I love that they call it a “Galentine’s” box, because it’s the perfect gift for a best friend too!
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BOX INCLUDES:

  • 1 Gemstone Bar Necklace in your choice of Labradorite, Turquoise, or Crystal Quartz on a 14 karat gold filled chain (16″). Bar measures 1″
  • Tops Malibu Heart Sparkler
  • 1 Glass Jar of Valentines Chocolates
  • 2 Rock Candies
  • Hand Made Tassel Garland by Brittany Hill Boutique
  • A Handwritten Gift Card

The box retails for $79.95, and only 40 boxes are available, so act fast before they sell out! And for guaranteed arrival by Valentine’s Day, orders must be placed by Tuesday 2/9/16 at noon.

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Would you love to receive this box? Which gemstone would you pick?

xoxo,
Veronica

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Pop Physique Releases Capsule Collection

My favorite go-to workout class, Pop Physique, has expanded their clothing options from just graphic tees and tanks to now include a signature capsule collection of workout clothing.

Pop Collection1

From left: The Pop Sweatshirt ($68), The Pop Sports Bra ($42), The Pop Varsity Tee ($52)

This first capsule collection, “designed in LA with New York in mind,” contains 7 items that “tells the authentic story of the modern woman.” I really like the fact that they’ve kept it very chic and streamlined – mostly all black, with pops of blush and beige. The addition of mesh panels in several of the pieces gives the collection an edgy, urban vibe.

Pop Collection2

From left: The Pop Legging ($70), 100% Organic Cotton Distressed Tank ($48), The Iconic Bodysuit ($110), Pop Carryall ($65)

Pop Physique has been gaining in popularity (counting such celebrity clients as Trina Turk, Selena Gomez, Kat Von D and Diane Kruger), so it’s a natural progression to now include workout apparel that can be worn to class (SoulCycle comes to mind as another class that has done this successfully).

If you haven’t tried Pop Physique before I highly recommend it! It’s a one hour ballet barre-based class that utilizes the principles of dance to create long, lean lines and tight, compact muscles. I took Pop classes religiously for the 6 months leading up to my wedding and had fantastic results.

What do you think of their capsule collection? Would you purchase any of these pieces?

xoxo,
Veronica

Packing for a Beach Getaway

I’m super excited – tomorrow I’m leaving for a 4-day trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico! It’s a quick weekend getaway, so packing shouldn’t be too hard. But it’s still always the thing I agonize over – what to pack, and making sure I’m packing the perfect outfits.

The weather there should range from the high 70’s during the day, and cool down to the low 60’s at night. I have lots of different activities planned during the day (sailing, snorkeling, exploring the town, cooking class, pool time) and nice dinners planned at night, so I’m taking that into consideration and throwing in a couple of nice dresses. In the end, this is the clothing list I came up with:

  • 2 swimsuits (so I don’t have to wear a wet swimsuit)
  • 1 beach coverup
  • 3 dresses (one for each dinner)
  • 4 tank tops (one for each day during the daytime)
  • 1 pair linen pants
  • 1 lace romper
  • 1 pair flip flops (for the beach, pool, and water activities)
  • 1 pair leather sandals (my most comfortable sandals for daytime)
  • 1 pair nude wedges (for dinner)
  • 1 light cardigan
  • 1 beige clutch (to go with all dresses)
  • simple jewelry
  • and of course pjs and undergarments

Packing list

I plan on wearing another pair of comfy pants on the plane that I can also wear during the day there, as well as a light cardigan that can be worn at night when it cools down. I’m sure I’m slightly over-packing, but I like to have one or two extra pieces just in case I feel like wearing something else that day. Packing tip: Try to pick a color scheme, so that items can easily be mixed and matched. You can see I’ve stuck to a blue palette, with black and white thrown in.

What do you think, am I missing anything? Do you have any packing tips to share?

xoxo,
Veronica

Bachelor Bracket Time

The Bachelor

The Bachelor is on it’s 20th season, and I’m still (sadly?) an avid viewer. It’s a guilty pleasure I just can’t seem to give up. Luckily, my friends are just as into it as I am, and we regularly get together for Monday night viewing parties.

Reality TV madness

Bachelor bracketTwo of my friends are so into it that they decided to start up a website where we can track our picks from week to week (instead of paper brackets like we were previously doing). It’s really great and much more user-friendly than other brackets I’ve seen out there. You can see what it looks like and my picks for the remaining weeks on the right.

It’s open for anyone to join, and it’s not too late! So if you’re interested, head over to their site (Reality TV Madness) and make your picks. Brackets close at 8pm EST tonight (that’s 5pm for us West Coasters), so sign up and get your picks locked in ASAP!

Join us in a little friendly competition, and may the odds be ever in your favor. Who do you think Ben is going to end up with? My initial pick was Olivia, but seeing as she’s going crazy lately, I think it’s going to be between JoJo and Lauren B.

xoxo,
Veronica

Favorite Drugstore Finds

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I tend to stick to specialty store brands when it comes to makeup and skincare, but I love the drugstore for everyday hair and body products. I have several that I’ve used religiously for years now, and wanted to share my favorite finds with you. Trust me, they work!

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Vaseline Lip Therapy (Cocoa Butter Mini) – This has to be my favorite hands down. I have several stored around the house, and really can’t live without it. The tiny Vaseline pot is comes in is adorably small, and it will keep your lips moisturized for hours. I always put it on before bed, and I wake up with it still on.

Garnier cleansing towelettes

Garnier SkinActive Refreshing Remover Cleansing Towelettes – I use this on nights I’m too tired to wash my face, and nightly to remove eye/face makeup before I wash my face. It’s also perfect to use during long flights to refresh and “wash” your face. The formula is infused with grape water extract to revitalize skin for a healthy glow.

Palmers cocoa butterPalmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula (Body Lotion) – A deeply hydrating moisturizer with a soft cocoa butter scent (my husband says it makes me smell like chocolate). I slather it on before bed and use it after showering in the morning. Because it’s inexpensive, I don’t feel bad about using a lot of it, and I love that the scent is so light (perfect for the workplace if you don’t want to offend anyone with a heavy scented lotion).

Neutrogena shampooNeutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo – If you tend to use lots of styling products or dry shampoo, you’ll want to get a bottle of this. I couldn’t figure out why my hair seemed so dull and hard to style, and after attempting solutions like washing it twice and deep conditioning, I decided maybe it was due to product residue. I saw this in the shampoo aisle, and all I can say is WOW! It leaves hair squeaky-clean, and restores bounce and life to lifeless hair. It’s super-effective, so I only use it once every couple of weeks when it starts to feel like it needs it. Be careful though if you have colored hair as it may strip out the color.

Psssst! dry shampoopsssst! Instant Dry Shampoo – I have brown hair, so finding a good dry shampoo is always a challenge. Most dry shampoos leave behind a white residue that makes it look like brunettes are going grey at an early age. This “true original” dry shampoo doesn’t leave that white residue, and keeps my hair looking

Elnett Satin Hairspray (Extra Strong Hold Unscented) – The hairspray that lots of stylists swear by, and for good reason. This will hold style all day long (it held my normally straight hair in curls throughout my entire wedding day)! I prefer the unscented version so that the smell doesn’t overpower my perfume (who wants to smell like hairspray?). I started using this years and year ago and will never switch to anything else.

What are your favorite drugstore products? Any good ones that I missed?

xoxo,
Veronica

Smart Leggings for Online Jean Shopping

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I love shopping online – the convenience, the wider range of sizes available, no lines to wait in, and the ability to do so at 10pm in my pajamas while watching The Bachelor. However, the one item I’m always most hesitant to buy online is jeans. Unless I’m reordering the same size, style, brand as something I already own (and even then it’s still iffy), chances are about 90% that I won’t like them and will end up returning them. Sizing is horribly inconsistent in women’s clothing, changing drastically from brand to brand, and making online shopping for something as fitted as jeans almost impossible.

So when I first saw an ad for these “smart leggings” I was immediately curious and hopeful. Could this actually be the solution to online jean/pant shopping for women? The company is called LikeAGlove, and the leggings use embedded stretch sensors to take measurements all up and down your legs (waist, upper and lower thigh, upper and higher hips, and inseam). After getting the measurements, the leggings send the data over Bluetooth to a free app, which then searches through thousands of jeans to recommend pairs that will fit. It sounds so simple!

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The Info: The leggings are one-size-fits-all. Fit hips/waist of up to 60″ (150cm) and inseam of up to 55″ (140cm). You can pre-order them now for $79 here, to be shipped this Spring (their website says Q1 2016).

I also think they’d be a great way to track weight loss! It’s hard to always measure yourself in the exact same places to track inches lost, and these would make it super easy to get accurate measurements.

What do you think about these? Would you buy them?

xoxo,
Veronica

 

 

Styling Kit Essentials

Today I’ll be spending the whole day running from appointment to appointment pulling fabulous clothes and accessories, prepping for a big fashion shoot I’ll be styling tomorrow. Last night I spent some time looking over my styling kit to make sure I’d have everything I could possibly need, which made me think it would make a great post for aspiring stylists or for those that just like to be prepared (I use many of the things myself on a regular basis).

styling kit essentials

{Kit Essentials}

  • Double-stick tape and Hollywood Fashion Tape – Double-stick works great for lighter jobs like holding straps in place, hemming pants, and sticking a collar down. HFT is a stronger tape that can keep a low neckline in place, hold a strapless dress up, close a gap in a button-down shirt, and help keep pockets closed.
  • Binder clips (in a variety of sizes) – These will almost always be necessary to pull a loose shirt or loose pants tighter on a model.
  • Silicone CoverUps – Great for use with sheer tops and swimsuits, as well as any lightweight fabrics that you might need a little more “coverage” under.
  • Lint roller – Pick up stray lint right before the shot.
  • Shout wipes – You never know when an emergency will call for getting lipstick or food off of clothes (but hopefully it never happens!).
  • Painter’s tape – The norm for taping the bottom of shoes so they don’t get scuffed during shooting (this tape is easier to remove than most). I’ve actually found black painter’s tape in art supply stores that is even better if the bottom of the shoes might be visible in the shot.
  • Sewing kit with safety pins – Just in case a seam needs to be sewn last-minute, and pins can be used for jobs the binder clips are too large and bulky for.
  • Hanging jewelry roll – Easy for organizing jewelry and keeping it all in one place (also good if you need to stay on the move during the shoot).
  • Seam ripper – Can be used in a pinch to cut off tags and loose threads. And less likely, can be used to rip open seams that might have been sewn into sample garments by previous stylists.
  • Steamer – Used throughout the shoot to keep all of the garments wrinkle-free. Perfect for use on embellished fabrics that you wouldn’t want to iron.
  • Clear garment bags – Essential for moving clothes to the shoot location and keeping them all clean and organized. I like the clear bags so I can easily see what’s in each bag.
  • Tag gun – If tags need to be removed for a shot, you can easily re-attach them with a standard tag gun and clear standard fasteners.
  • Shoe horn – I have an extra long one that has come in very handy when trying to squeeze model’s feet into tall boots.
  • Hand warmers – These quick-activating packs keep models warm on a cold shoot and are good for warming up cold hands for close-up jewelry shots (no cold blue hands!).
  • Paper towels and tissue – For the obvious: cleaning up spills, dirt from shoes etc.

Stay tuned in early March when I’ll share the shots from the shoot! Did I miss any of your favorite styling essentials?

xoxo,
Veronica

Golden Globes Best and Worst Dressed

Let’s be honest – most of us fashionistas watch the awards shows just for the fashion. In fact, I rarely even watch the actual show, mostly tuning into the pre-show red carpet coverage. The Golden Globes are the official start to the awards season fashion, and I just had to name my best and worst dressed of the night.

BEST DRESSED

Best Dressed 1

It’s all about red with Jennifer Lawrence in Dior (my personal favorite of the night!), Olivia Wilde in Michael Kors Collection, and Zendaya in Marchesa.

Best Dressed 2

A perfect plunging neckline (Kirsten Dunst in Valentino Haute Couture), a vibrant caped dress (Jennifer Lopez in Giambattista Valli Haute Couture), and the best beading detail (Amy Adams in Atelier Versace).

WORST DRESSED

Worst Dressed 1

Too many ruffles (Jane Fonda in Yves Saint Laurent Couture), boring and dated (Maura Tierney in Elizabeth Kennedy), and love her but the white off-the-shoulder neckline isn’t flattering (Amy Schumer in Prabal Gurung).

Worst Dressed 2

Poofy, weird sleeves (Jennifer Jason Leigh in Roland Mouret), the color is nice but the bare midriff and matching choker aren’t working (Kate Hudson in Michael Kors), and a pancake bust with Snooki hair (Katy Perry in Prada).

Who are your picks for best and worst dressed?

xoxo,
Veronica

New Year, New Lashes

New Year's eve lashes

You know those Instagram/Facebook contests you never think you’re going to win? Well I totally won one right before Christmas for a full set of eyelash extensions at Lash Lab SF!! Of course I was beyond ecstatic and made an appointment right away for December 30th so I would have a fresh set of Kardashian-esque lashes to ring in the new year (see above, my New Year’s Eve lash selfie!).

Now, I’m no newbie to lash extensions or Lash Lab – I had gotten a set of lashes right before a trip to Greece back in September. And let me tell you, that was one of the best decisions I made beauty-wise when it came to traveling in a hot and humid climate. I was immediately drenched in sweat every time I left the hotel there, so makeup wasn’t an option. Besides, who wants to spend precious vacation hours putting on makeup? But the lashes were like wearing permanent eyeliner and mascara – I always looked put-together and wasn’t afraid to take #nomakeup selfies at all of the sights. My lashes are normally super short and stick straight out, and the extensions were permanently curled and long and gorgeous!

(Left) Right after getting lashes; (Right) Two weeks later in Greece and still going strong!

(Left) Selfie after getting lashes; (Right) Two weeks later (and sweaty) in Greece and still going strong!

To those that aren’t familiar with lash extensions, the lashes are applied one at a time by a lash artist using a specially formulated, semi-permanent glue that will not irritate the eye nor damage the natural lash. The whole process takes around 1.5-2 hours for a full set. Lashes at Lash Lab are either silk, faux mink, or real mink, and length is determined by your artist after accessing your natural lashes (I usually go with a mix of 11-13mm).

Before and after lashes

Before (top row) and After (bottom row) lash extensions

They don’t come cheap – a set of natural looking lashes from a master artist at Lash Lab starts at $219. And the lashes have to be filled in every 2-3 weeks ($75 within 2 weeks, $99 within 3 weeks). I chose to fill every 3 weeks because I was being very careful with them and wasn’t losing too many lashes. Check out all of the lash options at Lash Lab and their pricelist here.

Here are some of the tips I’ve taken away from my experience with lash extensions:

  • Be prepared: you can’t get your lashes wet for at least 24 hours (I try to go 48). Plan ahead and either buy some goggles for the shower, or work the dry shampoo look for a couple of days and go shower-free to allow the glue to fully set on your lashes.
  • Same goes for eye makeup remover. If you’re planning a big night out and want to do fun eyeshadow etc, it’s best to get your lashes done a couple of days before so that you can use makeup remover without fear of removing your lashes! Though you always have to use water-based removers, no oil!!
  • Your skin also produces oil, so after those 24 hours of no water, make sure you always wash your eyelids to get rid of the excess oil which can cause the glue to break down. I suggest using baby shampoo/wash to gently wash your eyelashes. Brush them out afterwards so they dry correctly.
  • To brush your lashes, use a clean mascara wand. Most lash places will usually give you disposable spoolies to use, but if not, you can find them at most makeup stores (like these).
  • When you get lashes done, they often use gel pads placed under your eyes to make sure your bottom lashes don’t get glued to the ones being applied. These bothered my eyes and made them water, so instead they just used medical tape to tape down my bottom lashes. If you have sensitive eyes and the gel pads bother them, be sure to ask for just the tape!
  • Sleep on your back if possible and don’t rub your eyes! If you’re a side sleeper, you might find the eye of the side you sleep on loses lashes more quickly than the other eye.

Have you tried lash extensions? Do you have any additional questions? I’m happy to answer!

xoxo,
Veronica

New Year’s Eve Recap

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! I hope by now you’ve recovered from the New Year’s Eve festivities and are enjoying the rest of the holiday break before work starts up again on Monday.

My husband and I hosted a small dinner party for 6 people to ring in the new year and wanted to share the menu and table setting. Even though the table is set for New Year’s Eve, you can still take ideas away for future dinner parties.

Table setting 1

For the decor, I started by laying my favorite West Elm painted metallic table runner down the center of the table. I added sequin placemats (no longer available at H&M, but similar here) and silver charger plates to each setting. I topped the chargers with silver foiled napkins (no longer available at West Elm, but similar here) and added a party popper to each. I sprinkled the runner with festive confetti, added candles of varying heights, and put some festive fringe blowouts in a glass as a centerpiece.

Table setting 2

Table setting 3

As for food, we knew we wanted to keep the main course fairly simple so we didn’t have to slave away in the kitchen the whole night rather than visiting with our guests. We decided to do a slow-cooker meal so we could prepare it early and then just set it on a timer so it was ready and waiting when it was time for dinner. The salad and the appetizers were also easy to prep ahead of time, and about 15 minutes before guests arrived I set out the apps and threw the little smokies in the oven.

NEW YEAR’S EVE MENU
Appetizers
– Bacon wrapped little smokies (recipe here)
– Shrimp cocktail
– Smoked salmon served with cream cheese and capers on crackers
– Brie and salami with crackers
Main Course
Thai-style pork over steamed white rice (recipe here) with a seasame ginger miso cucumber salad I found on Pinterest (recipe here)
Dessert
Pumpkin pie (brought by a guest). Chocolate covered strawberries are also a great option and pair well with champagne.

What did you do for New Year’s Eve? I hope everyone has had a great start to 2016!

xoxo,
Veronica