Have Your Best Winter Skin with These Products

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Glowing skin this time of year doesn’t have to be as absurd an idea as the bikinis that are now on sale at Target. (REALLY GUYS?!)

With some extra care, some hacks and the right products, you can enjoy the winter months without itching or flaking your way through it.

I’ve got some great products in addition to a lip hack that has saved me chapped lips ALL WINTER…

Cleansers:

Every single night I take off my makeup, and while it sounds silly that a makeup remover can save your skin moisture – it really does make a difference! The wrong kind can strip your skin leaving it feeling tight and dry, but not this…

This rag is amazing. It takes off everything, everything. In fact you can dry your face with a white towel afterwards and not see any makeup on it. Not many makeup removers can accomplish that. Its also nice to know you’re not using any crazy chemicals on your face. Not to mention you can use it several times, wash then use it again so you never run out of “product.” Just be sure to rinse then hang dry.

Bonus Day Cream:

I call this bonus because I assume you’re applying a moisturizer every day with an SPF in it. If not, you need to go in time out. For ten minutes – I’ll wait.

I love a good tinted moisturizer which I’ll use by itself (sometimes mixed with a highlighter for extra spiff) or if I’m feeling dry I’ll use it as a primer. Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Gel Cream has all the words you want going on your face but also delivers MAJOR amounts of moisture. I used to have a dry forehead problem in the winter, but not any more!

It delivers the perfect amount of light coverage AND it’s only $30 for a tube that lasts me about 6 months even when I use it just about every day. I really believe this stuff will have me looking 30 well into my 80’s. Okay, maybe 60’s.

Pick yours up (they have a myriad of shades) from Anna or Sarah at Bare Minerals in West Town Mall – they’re super nice and helpful!

Night Cream:

Moisturizing as much as possible is so important for the life of your skin. Not that I claim to be a skin care expert, but I can imagine, as can you, that there’s no such thing as “too much moisture” when it comes to staving off signs of aging.

I LOVE the Silk cream made (in-house by the way) by Fresh Kale Bath Company at West Town Mall. It’s super luxurious feeling cream that soaks in quickly and leaves my skin soft well into the next morning. Plus the added benefit of being able to read and recognize every ingredient is HUGE.

Lip balm:

I love a bold lip but those matte lipsticks can dry your lips out, not to mention really highlight some dry lips. I abhor it when I go to put on a lipstick and all it does is draw attention to my dry-flaky lips. Which is why I’ve started a thing that has really saved me this winter…

I leave lip balm out on my dresser so that every time I stop – whether it’s to put away some socks, put up my hair, apply makeup or right before bed I’m slathering my lips with lip balm. Otherwise I wait till it’s an emergency and by then it’s so uncomfortable.

This habit has really saved me from having chapped lips this winter, so I would recommend you do the same. Just leave some good stuff out in a place you pass often and every time you see it – apply it!

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Tips to Keep Your Shopping on Track During Sale Season

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Beginning Black Friday week through January clearance sales, its a workout just trying to hold onto your wallet and not buy every little thing you see on sale. At least that’s how I explain my brief absence in the gym *grimace face.

There are so. many. clearance sales going on right now with retailers tempting you with deep discounts so as to clear their shelves of merchandise and potentially clutter up your own. But we’re not going to let them! At least, not without forming a plan first…

I’ve put together shopping tips to help you navigate the sales and stay on track with both your budget and your style. And help you avoid adding more things to get rid of this spring when you’re no longer sale-drunk and ready to get rid of everything but your skivvies.

One: Look at what you own.
Devote as little or as much time to this as you’d like, but just be sure to get a good idea of what’s in your closet before walking out the door to shop.

This will do a couple things…It will dampen impulse buys because you laid eyes on the 4 leopard sweaters you already own (I’m looking at you, Elizabeth). And it will give you a clear direction of what you need especially if you’re passing a lot of pants but not a lot of sweaters or button up tops. One more thing it will do is show you how much room you have in your closet. If you’re already packed this will hopefully motivate you not to buy anything just because it’s on sale.

Two: Set boundaries.
Setting a budget is good, but take it one step further and carry that budget in cash. This will give you a tangible amount to spend and again help you avoid buying things just because they’re on sale.

Set a time frame for yourself as well. This is one of my favorite things to do because I can take forever making decisions sometimes, so the thrill of having a set time helps me become a hard-core decision maker. It really makes it into a game, which is fun and I always walk away with fewer impulse buys.

Take a friend! We all have friends we shop with that we know are going to get us to spend money – DON’T TAKE THAT FRIEND. Instead take the one that’s going to be realistic with you and ask the hard questions…”Do you REALLY need the sweater with the kitty cat floating in space??”

And remember the tried and true Walk Away Rule. If you walk away and you still think about it, go back. But if the item is forgotten the minute you spot pretzel bites then you didn’t really want it anyway.

Three: Know what to avoid…
Go into this knowing what your vices are. Mine? Black pants. Last count 17 pairs is what I own? SO knowing this and my love for leopard, anything I pick up in those categories have to go through a real strict process.

Again, take the sale goggles off and really look at something you’re wanting. Does it look cheap? Has it been tried on multiple times and look like it? Be sure you’re not drunk on the price scribbled in red pen and actually NEED what it is you’re holding.

Watch for overly trendy items. A cut or pattern that was super hot this season may not be by the time fall/winter rolls around next year.

Four: Know what to look for…
Basics like boots, blazers, jackets, button downs – those are all good items to load up on when they’re on sale this time of year. They’re usually high ticket items and if you get them at a quality store, they’ll last you a long, long time. So in your perusal of your closet in step number one look for anything that needs to be replaced/updated and shop for that.

Don’t be afraid to look for out of season items. Make sure they fit your style and fill a need and if so – go for it! You’ll love yourself when it comes time to switch over.

Whether you’re sale shopping or not, it’s always good to shop with these two things in mind that are really the basics for good style: does the item help you convey the message you want to send and does it make you feel good about yourself?

Sales going on:
Altar’d State: Extra 30% off sale (this discount will go even deeper, so look around now then if there’s something you’re on the fence about, check back later). This is a great place to stock up on jewelry!

Banana Republic: Extra 60% off sale styles and 40% off regular-priced items. The best place to get basics like good pants and button down shirts, sweaters, blazers (my favorite blazer came from them). If you need items for work – this is the place!

J Crew: 50% off sale items. Great place to get pieces for the holidays next year or (a swing in the opposite direction) items for your summer wardrobe.

Fiore Boutique: They are moving in the mall so they are having a moving sale with 70% off everything in the store! Start buying Christmas gifts for next year!

Dillard’s: They’re having a great sale on coats and boots and also a really good clearance event going on so check that out.

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Gift Inspiration (and Sales!)

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Let it sale, let it sale, let it sale!

Last week was all about help with your Christmas party outfits, so let’s move on to gifting!

This week on Ten News This Morning I’ll be bringing you gift ideas from West Town Mall. I thought I’d continue on that theme and bring you the sales from around the mall as well!

Sometimes you don’t even know the deals going on until you walk around the mall, which is exactly what I did.

The wonderful thing about shopping in an indoor space, is you find one parking spot, you can shop coat-less and two words: CHEESECAKE FACTORY. Boom.

So here are some good deals and gift ideas for your inspiration!

First off, if you haven’t seen the new Altar’d State, prepare your soul. You’re going to want to relocate your life. Or linger WAY too long in the doorway.

Not only do they have a Hallmark worthy entrance, glittery shirts (I WANT THEM ALL) but they also have some really great sales going on.

For all the women on your list – no matter their age or size…

These cozy socks are 2 for $25! (That’s two pairs not one sock, then the other sock).

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Jewelry is buy one get one 50% off! (One for you…one for me).

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And the dresses right now are buy one get one FREEEEEEEE (I want the sparkly one SO BAD).

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For the foodie on your list…

(Definitely make them share the final results).

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For the kid on your list (or Disney lover no matter their age)…

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And finally, what to get the shoe lover on your list…

Not only is this display super cute, but this really is a great deal on some cool Vans!

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I’ll have more gift ideas later this week, so stay tuned!

 

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Styling Tips for Christmas Party Attire

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I could get dressed for a Christmas party every day of the week.

Plotting out my Christmas season outfits is high on the list of my favorite things to do this time of year. Mainly because I could dress like I’m going to a Christmas party every day. Sparkle, velvet and sequins aren’t just right up my alley, they’re what my alley is made of.

So let’s dive in with some styling tips…

1. Choose one area to highlight with sequins.

The nice thing about buying something that’s sparkly is you can let it be the star of the show! Whether it’s a blazer, pants, a dress or a top, let that one piece be the focus and leave everything else simple.

The only exception to this rule is if the piece isn’t fully made of sequins or sparkles. Especially if it’s, for example, a top with sequin sleeves, you can bring in more sparkle troops if that’s the case because it’s not an over abundance.

2. Balance out the fancy with the not so fancy.

One of the funnest things about this time of year is taking a piece and changing it from fancy to not so fancy with a few tweaks here and there.

For example, if you’ve got a very fancy blazer, wear it with some jeans and a funny Christmas graphic tee! Or take a cocktail dress and tone it down with a blazer and some booties. So many possibilities!

3. When it comes to jewelry, less is more.

If you’ve already got a lot going on with your outfit, do yourself a favor and leave the house without a lot of jewels. It’s just more comfortable that way.

The exception to this rule would be you’re wearing all black velvet jumpsuit or really anything velvety because I can’t help but add some major bling to that smooth mammer jammer. But even still, if you’re going with sparkly earrings, don’t do a necklace and visa versa.

It’s rare that I say don’t do a bracelet unless your arm often catches on fire. Otherwise go for it.

If you’ll notice in the above picture, it’s the only piece of jewelry I’m sporting because the dress is so sparkly!!

PS: that dress came from Garage in West Town Mall

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The Importance of a Good Handbag

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I was seconds away from including “nice” in the title but I didn’t want anyone to think I meant for them to put down the grocery list and go buy an expensive handbag.

Really, nice can mean all kinds of things. What I’m intending it to mean is sturdy, clean, attractive (all words that have once been used to describe me, ironically ;)

Whether we realize it or not, handbags are part of our style language to the world. Make sure you are saying what you want to say with yours.

Sometimes we can get snow blind with the things we use everyday and not really give it a good looking at. Is your current bag clean looking? Is it sturdy and not ripped? Is it attractive to you? I say “to you” because you are the one who is going to be carrying it around the most so you need to be happy with it.

Now to make a quick case for budgeting a little more for a name-brand bag…

Much like beauty products that cost more than what you can get at Target, a higher end handbag is going to last you longer. So if you consider cost-per-wear when you find one you like, you’re making a good investment and will get you your money’s worth.

The thing I love about carrying a great handbag is it doesn’t matter what I’m wearing, if I’ve got a beautiful one on my arm people know the sweats beneath it are just my cleaning clothes. But if I’ve got a ratty handbag over my sweat shirt-ed arm, people will wonder if I’m living in a van down by the river.

The good news is between sales, consignment shops, TJ Maxx, ebay and Facebook Marketplace, it’s easy to find something that is both quality and pretty. So don’t settle for something you’re only okay with – hunt down something you absolutely love.

Regardless of how much you drop on a purse, take good care of it. Send the message to the world that you’ve got it all together, even when you don’t feel like you do.

I try my hardest to keep my receipts in one pocket or in a smaller bag so it doesn’t sound like a trash can when I go rifling through my purse. And wipe away any stains you see quickly so they don’t linger past the point where you don’t even notice them anymore. Even get a good protect-ant spray if it’s a high quality material. I know it’s THE most boring thing to buy – but if you really love your bag, it will help it look better longer.

Coming up this week I’ll post the purse options I’ve fallen in love with from Vera Bradley and Coach in West Town Mall, so stay tuned for inspiration!

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