SATIN 3 WAYS WITH SOLIKA

Monday, November 12, 2018

Is there anything more classic than a tea length black dress? Okay maybe a few things, but that is definitely on the list. I've partnered with SOLIKA to style one of their dresses and figured I'd do so with another edition of UP / DOWN / MIDDLE GROUND!

Normally I would tuck this beauty away for special occasions, but I promised myself that I would stop waiting for the perfect time to wear things. I am determined to get more usage out of my closet and this dress is no exception - which is why I challenged myself to style it in three ways!

THE BRAND

SOLIKA was the name of a powerful woman in the 1800’s who stood up for her beliefs despite society’s standards. Founded in 2013 and based in Los Angeles, SOLIKA was created by designer friends Chaya and Sarah with a mission to empower women all over the world. Their expertly crafted minimalistic designs are created to be both stylish and timeless.

"Although the aesthetics of the line are detailed with simplicity, the message is bold – the purpose is to empower women to share their beauty and confidence through modest clothing."

LOOK #1: DRESSED UP

This dress is equal parts class and sass. The satin material is structured but still flows well, and hits right below the knee (I'm 5'7" and wearing an XS). I love the high neckline and that the sleeves are hemmed with elastic, which creates some additional dimension is the design. I chose to keep it simple with this look - diamond studs and velvet block heels let the dress run the show!




DRESS // SOLIKA - Black Joelle Dress
HEELS // Nordstrom Rack - Marc Fisher Zala Pump (old), Similar, Similar


LOOK #2: DRESSED DOWN

I "roughed up" the satin of this dress with a denim jacket and suede booties. I added a knotted neck scarf for a little bit of pattern and interest, without taking away from the overall structure of the dress. Cute for grabbing coffee, wearing to the office - anything really!




DRESS // SOLIKA - Black Joelle Dress
SCARF // H&M - Paisley scarf
DENIM JACKET // H&M (old) - Similar, Similar, Similar
BOOTIES // Poshmark - J.Crew Hadley Boot (pre-loved), Similar, Similar, Similar
BAG // Thrifted - Similar, Similar, Similar

LOOK #3 - MIDDLE GROUND

I added some layers with a cardigan and a big chunky scarf, and tall boots for extra warmth. I always try to vary my textures so I chose matte fabrics like suede and knitwear to counter the satin finish of the dress. This would work perfectly as a Thanksgiving Day dress too! Stretchy, flowy and would still look cute when you decide to put your slippers on later ;)




DRESS // SOLIKA - Black Joelle Dress
SCARF // Forever 21 - Brush Knit Scarf
CARDIGAN // H&M
BOOTS // Stuart Weitzman (old/gifted), Similar, Similar


Check out the other super pretty SOLIKA designs, like the easy, casual HEIDI dress or the beautiful velvet FLEUR dress!


CUSTOMIZED HAIR CARE WITH FORMULATE

Friday, November 9, 2018

I was just about out of my current shampoo and conditioner when I was contacted by Formulate and asked to be part of their brand launch. As someone who switches shampoo fairly often, I was really excited to try this one out. I've never really found a shampoo/conditioner set that I was totally in love with, so I was hopeful that this would be my holy grail - mostly because.. it's CUSTOMIZED! Yes. CUSTOM.IZED.

I reviewed the product for a solid 2 months because I only wash my hair every 3rd day. I wanted to give myself enough time to see results and be able to give an honest review.

Let's get into it.

THE BRAND

Formulate launched earlier this year with a mission to solve the world's hair care problems, and a promise to LISTEN, TO BE REAL, TO EDUCATE and TO WOW! The company was founded by three talented individuals: Osmaan (Ooz), Chris, and Tammy. Ooz is the visionary and coder, Chris is the AI specialist, and Tammy is the lead cosmetic chemist. Together with their team of worker bees (like Abby, who has been AMAZING this whole process - answering all of my questions and checking in on my progress), Formulate is helping give great hair to people who deserve it. They strive to be a forever haircare brand that grows with you:
"Our research is good, your feedback is better. It allows us to continually improve the Formulation until it's practically perfect. Not "just ok" or "the best so far" but truly the best formulation for your hair, all it's needs and all your goals. We feel really strongly about personal care. Products need to do a better job for the individual, not what's best for the masses."
Their customized shampoos & conditioners will always be preservative free, sulfate free, paraben free, and cruelty free. YAY! They use less water and more of the good-for-you, good-for-your-hair ingredients, which leads to better results. It's not just a one-and-done brand, if one formula doesn't work as well as you'd hoped, their team will work with you to adjust your ingredients and ship you the new formula - free of charge. How amazing is that?!

THE PROCESS

To get started, you'll need to take the Hair Test: a quick questionnaire that gets down to the nitty gritty of hair care. Not only does it ask you the basics like "Do you color your hair", "Is your hair straight or curly", but it also asks where you live (to get a sense of climate), how often you use heat tools to style it, and what areas you hope to improve, like frizz control, growth, and anti-breakage. Based on your answers, the formulate system is able to determine the current state of your hair and which ingredients to use in your formula to best achieve your personal hair care goals. Their chemists take that data, make tweaks if necessary, then send it off to be mixed, bottled and shipped to you!



MY FORMULA

I have naturally brown hair that's actually pretty wavy, super frizzy and kind of thick (as in my hair strands, not overall hair amount). I've noticed my hair losing volume (not height, but actual hair count) over the years, so my top hair goals were: Prevent Thinning, Anti-Frizz, Lengthen, Volumize and Hydration. I live in MA so the seasons change... really the days change (you know, 90 one day, 60 and raining the next), so this was taken into account when formulating my shampoo and conditioner. I also put it through heat-hell: blow dryer, straightener, curling iron; and I use dry-shampoo literally every day (my saving grace). You can read more about my formula HERE.



THE PRODUCT

I am going to try to describe these as best I know how. The little guide that came with my box of shampoo said to use 6 pumps of each, lather rinse, repeat (you know the drill). I use 3 pumps, sometimes 4 if I need a little extra, and that is more than plenty. The shampoo lathers like no other, and I am a HUGE fan of that. It makes me feel like it's really getting in there and cleaning my hair. It spreads evenly, isn't too thick and when I wash it out it actually feels like my hair is already conditioned (unlike some shampoos that leave your hair feeling like straw). The conditioner is super weird - unlike anything I've ever used... and I LOVE IT. The consistency is like watery hand lotion and when I put it in my hair it basically disappears. I can't describe it any other way - it just soaks right in, and when I rinse it out, it feels like there wasn't anything even in my hair. This is by no means a negative, just something I've never really experienced before.




THE RESULTS

Like I said before, I've been using my set for about 2 months and I AM OBSESSED WITH IT. For real. My hair has never looked so great. Not only has my hair grown (what feels like) a shit ton over the last few weeks, but it feels stronger, thicker and even dries better. I was never able to let my hair air dry without product (or with product for that matter) and I've worn my hair natural more times recently than I think I ever have in my whole life. I always needed a leave in conditioner or oil to be able to get a brush or comb through my hair right out of the shower, and since I started using my Formulate duo, my brush literally glides through my hair like butter... it's the weirdest, best thing. The only things about my formula that I'm not crazy about is the scent (I got the medium strength "Tidal" and it smells a little plasticy to me), the fact that there is fragrance in it (which I was informed could be removed and replaced with natural essential oils) and that my wet hair feels a little slimy and waxy (which I think is the Keratin in it). None of these things will stop me from using it though - the scent is growing on me, I'll get a formula without the franqcgrance next time, and the waxy feeling when my hair is wet goes away completely when my hair dries. All in all - I am very happy with my formula and I do feel like it's helping with all of the things I checked off on my survey... especially the "lengthen" part - grow baby, grow!! Also, I'm 2 months in and I still have half of the bottles left!

BEFORE


DURING (MY NATURAL HAIR!)



AFTER



BEFORE / AFTER (2 MONTH PROGRESS)



GIVEAWAY!

Ready to start your journey to great hair? I'm giving one lucky winner their very own customized formula - but don't worry, EVERYONE who enters will get $5 off their order! It's a WIN-WIN either way :)

!!! ENTER MY GIVEAWAY !!!


Good luck everyone!!!




YOUR BRIGHTEST SMILE, WITH SMILE BRILLIANT

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Your smile is your BEST accessory, so you should treat it right! I've always been mindful of my dental health - I actually worked at my local dentist office all 4 years of High School, and almost went to Hygiene school before college. I've had braces twice - once as a teen and again for a few months before my wedding last year, to fix one pesky tooth (yay adult braces!). Needless to say, I try my best to keep my smile healthy and bright.

I've used an electric toothbrush before but switched to a manual and have been using one for years. So when Smile Brilliant, the makers of the popular teeth whiting system, asked me to try out their new cariPRO Electric Toothbrush, I was really excited to try it out!


WHAT'S IN THE BOX

I received the Individual Package which includes 1 cariPRO™ Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush, 2 premium brush heads and 1 charging dock. There is also an instructional manual that tells you about the different settings and features.




THE TOOTHBRUSH

There are 5 brush modes (clean, white, massage, gum care, sensitive) and it has a crazy 30 day battery life once fully charged. The body is a pretty matte gray color and it's covered in a soft-tough grip material. It's fully waterproof so no sorries if you need to rise the entire thing off after brushing. The best feature is the auto-interval timer that tells you when to move on to another section of your mouth. Broken into 4 30-second intervals (2 mins), you're guaranteed to always get an even clean! There's even a tongue scraper, if you're into that sort of thing. Traveling? You're in luck! The 100-240v ~ 50/60Hz charging dock works internationally.








THE MODES

Clean: A standard mode for daily cleaning.
White: The most powerful mode, designed to polish the teeth and remove surface stains. *My favorite setting!
Massage: Gentle gum stimulation.
Gum Care: Gently cleans along the gumline.
Sensitive: A softer mode than the standard "clean" setting, if that one feels too aggressive.




MY EXPERIENCE

I've been using my cariPRO Electric Toothbrush for little while now and LOVE it. I really like that it times me to make sure I'm brushing for the full recommended 2 minutes, and I definitely feel like my teeth are getting scrubbed better than brushing with a manual toothbrush (correction - I KNOW they are). I tend to brush a little harder than I probably should, so "white" is my favorite mode - It really feels like I'm getting a deep clean... and a clean smile is a confident smile! 




WHY THE CARIPRO

  1. Your teeth and gums will be healthier! The cariPRO removes 7x more plaque than a manual toothbrush and if used regularly, you can improve gum health in as little as 2 weeks!
  2. Your teeth will be whiter! Daily brushing with your cariPRO™ will remove more surface stains from everyday food and drink, giving you a noticeably brighter smile. Coffee lovers rejoice!
  3. Shipping is free, and if you don't love it after 60 days, return it for free! There's also a 2 year warranty.




Does anyone else use an electric toothbrush? If you use a manual or are in need of a new electric one - definitely check out Smile Brilliant - it's affordable, easy to use and it WORKS! If you're interested in trying it out for yourself, I've partnered with Smile Brilliant to give you a little something extra!

Use code "corporateglitter20" for 20% off your very own cariPRO Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush!


Or enter to WIN one!!! Click the link below to enter :)


GIVEAWAY


#SmileFearlessly, friends - and as always, thanks for reading!



electric toothbrush

HOLIDAY CARDS WITH BASIC INVITE

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Every year I tell myself that I'm going to order Holiday cards to send to our family and friends and every year I forget to order them in time. I promised myself that I would send them out for our first Holiday season as a married couple, and I'm keeping that promise!

I was so excited to be able to work with BASIC INVITE on our cards this year. They have such a great selection and their prices are very affordable. Although they have the best holiday cards, and company holiday party invitations they also do other paper goods like wedding invitations, baby shower invites, and even business cards!



I can't tell you how long it took me to pick out our wedding Save the Dates - I think I designed and redesigned them 1000 times before getting it right. So with our Holiday cards, I was prepared to spend hours picking one out. I thought I wanted to try something different and do black and white Christmas cards, but after choosing the photo I was going to use, I decided to try something equally as different (for me) and go with this beautiful forest green color.

SPOILER ALERT IF YOU'RE A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER WHO MAY RECEIVE ONE OF THESE SHORTLY :)



The photo I used was taken by the amazingly talented Ashley Plante of Analog Wedding, in film, and was taken at our beautiful friend Callie Hefferan's wedding!

Designing these was so easy. I started with a design I already loved to all I really had to do was edit the text! I kept it simple, which I think fits our family. I love this photo so much, although I would have liked to include our pup, Sam - I just ran out of time to get a good photo! He's on the card in spirit ;)




The quality of the cards is great. They are sturdy, printed clear and the envelopes have a sticker instead of a glue strip, so no licking required! We did get our full address printed on these envelopes, I just removed it from the photo because, well... safety. I love that feature because it's one less thing I have to hand write :)

Here are a few additional things about Basic Invite:

Almost Unlimited Colors: Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the littlest detail. This is what we feel sets us apart from almost any other online stationery company and is what we feel is our biggest draw.

Custom Samples: Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how it will print as well as feel the paper quality before they ever have to place their final order.

Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes: Basic Invite is just as colorful with our envelopes as we are with our invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that they can make their invitation stand out even before it is opened. All of our envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed without licking a single one.

Address Capturing Service: Basic Invite offers an address capturing service that allows customers to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request their friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in the customer’s account and can then be selected during the design process. Basic Invite offers recipient address printing at no cost on all Christmas card orders.

Foil: Foil holiday cards are available in gold, silver, and rose gold. Customers can choose flat or raised foil on all of Basic Invite’s foil designs.


If you're thinking of ordering holiday cards - now's the time! They have over 500 Christmas and holiday card designs, so whatever you celebrate, Basic Invite has you covered!

Use code holi30 for 30% off your order!



Follow them @basicinviteFacebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter

WAYS TO WEAR A SWEATER DRESS, WITH BRASS

Friday, October 26, 2018

Ever feel like you have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear? I sure do. This constant feeling, along with the all-too-often urge to buy, were a few reasons I started a style movement towards a more minimal, curated wardrobe. I constantly felt (and still feel - I'm working on it!) the need to buy new things to fill a void of what is "missing" in my wardrobe. It usually ends up with impulse buys and things that I only love individually... i.e. a whole bunch of awesome pieces, and not enough that works well together. That needs to change.

THE BRAND

Jay Adams and Katie Demo launched Boston based women's clothing company, Brass in September 2014, after feeling frustrated by the fast-fashion industry. (Insert hand raising emoji) They took their expertise: Jay's experience with apparel manufacturers and Katie’s background in online fashion retail, and turned it into a brand of women's clothing with a purpose. They design beautiful, high-quality clothing without crazy price tags. They are also transparent about the factories they work with - something slow-fashion lovers definitely appreciate. When designing each piece, they pay attention to fit, fabric, and femininity - all while holding each garment to these 5 principles:
Beauty: Is the garment beautiful? Is it sophisticated and chic?
Quality: Is the garment well-constructed? Does it fit? Is the fabric substantial and will it hold up over multiple washes and wears?
Versatility: Can the garment be worn to work and on the weekends? Can it be dressed up and down? Can you wear it through multiple seasons?
Ease: Is the garment easy to care for? Is it wrinkle resistant? Does it travel well?
Purpose: Does the garment serve a purpose in my life? Is it timeless and will it continue to serve a purpose?
While you can shop individual garments, you can also purchase curated closet "kits" - a selection of essentials already picked for you! They also have a Boston location where you can try on all of the styles and sizes, and then order your favorites! The brand's main pieces can be found in their Foundations Collection, which are all designed to be worn 3x times per week, great for work and weekend, and easy to care for and travel with. I got the chance to style the Relaxed Sweater Dress and it's seriously the most perfect sweater dress - and something I had been looking to add to my wardrobe for some time now!

THE DRESS

This dress really is the perfect sweater dress. It comes in the gray color shown here, and a really pretty tan color. The website describes the dress as "Knit dresses often cling in all the wrong places. Not this one. The relaxed a-line silhouette doesn't grab, it glides. The definition of a throw-and-go piece, The Relaxed Sweater Dress is the ideal weight for three season wear - fall, winter, spring." - I couldn't have said it better myself!

It's crafted from a wool-blend material and is easy to care for: wash on gentle and cold, inside out. Lay flat to dry. The length is perfect for the office and every-day, hitting just above the knee. The mock neck and long sleeves make for a cozy outfit, without too much fabric. It's also a great thickness and SUPER soft.


SIDE NOTE: In an effort to show you (and myself) the versatileness (is that a word?) of different pieces in my wardrobe, I've decided to introduce a new little "theme", if you will, to my blog posts. Behold: UP / DOWN / MIDDLE GROUND! I'll be styling pieces 3 different ways - dressed up, dressed down and dressed for every day wear, or "middle ground".

So let's get to it!

LOOK #1: DRESSED UP

Adding a pair of pumps to an outfit is one of the easiest way to add a little fanciness your look. Instead of a classic pump, I chose a velvet mid-height block heel with a pointy toe to elongate my legs. I threw on a belt and a red lip and I'm ready for a night out! Opt for a small purse and only carry the essentials - you'll be glad you did.





DRESS // BRASS - Relaxed Sweater Dress
BELT // Target - A New Day
HEELS // Marshalls (Old) - Marc Fisher, Similar in suede
BAG // Target (Old) - Similar
LIP COLOR // MAC - Ruby Woo

LOOK # 2: DRESSED DOWN

Sneakers and a baseball hat = instant dressed down, cool-girl vibes. This works with almost anything really - but I love the combination with this sweater dress. I added the scarf for a layer of warmth and a pop of "color", and although I'm wearing sneakers, this feels really put-together to me. It's like a laid-back kind of chic, which I love! Run errands, go see a movie, watch a baseball game - you can pretty much do anything in this combo.





DRESS // BRASS - Relaxed Sweater Dress
SCARF // H&M - Wool Scarf
HAT // H&M - Cotton Twill Cap
SHOES // Vans - Authentic
BAG // Old Navy (Old) - Same bag, different color
LIP COLOR // MAC - Ruby Woo

LOOK # 3: MIDDLE GROUD

This is an easy one to modify - ditch the hat for the office, or keep it on for after-work and weekend activities. I went with pointed toe heeled ankle boots for this look, because.. I just love pointed toe heeled ankle boots! I wear them with everything and to me, they are that "middle-ground" between office appropriate, casual and elevated. I kept my accessories monochromatic and let the sweater dress be the piece that ties it all together. The texture of the dress with the lines of the accessories is what makes this look super cool. Push up the sleeves for an effortless look and add black nylons if you need a little extra coverage.




DRESS // BRASS - Relaxed Sweater Dress
HAT // GiGiPip - Faye
WATCH // Daniel Wellington - Classic Sheffield 36mm, Rose Gold
SHOES // Nordstrom Rack (Old) - Steve Madden, Similar 
BAG // H&M - Shoulder Bag
LIP COLOR // MAC - Ruby Woo


Some other BRASS styles that I love:

- The All Day Tank // The perfect layering tank
- The Non Stop Top // Hello white tee gorgeousness
- The Get Down Button Down // Obsessed with this cropped version of a classic
- The All Day Pant // Literally could wear these all day, every day
- The Essential Dress // A "wear with anything/go anywhere" kind of simple chic


All of their pieces are designed to rotate into your current closet effortlessly - and they'll definitely do that. If anyone is looking to incorporate a sweater dress into their Fall/Winter/Spring wardrobe - I highly, HIGHLY recommend this one. It checks all the boxes for versatility, comfort and style... and I'm OB.SESSED!

USE CODE GLITTERSHIP for FREE SHIPPING
ON YOUR NEXT PURCHASE!!