April 26, 2017

Sun Ready with The Paper Store

off the shoulder dress spring champagne thursday jess levy boston based style fashion blogger

off the shoulder dress spring champagne thursday jess levy boston based style fashion blogger

Earlier this year, I got to hang out with some blogger pals and the fashion merchandising ladies at The Paper Store. Despite the impending snow storm, we chatted about spring trends while nibbling macarons.

One of the trends we focused on is the off the shoulder neckline. This style was popular last year, and I am so excited that it’s still in full-force. Shoulders are sexy in a subtle way. A woman’s decolletage is delicate and feminine, and this style neckline shows it off so well.

While I like to wear this style so that it shows off my shoulders, it can easily be worn in a more conservative manner. Simply slide the arm band from around the upper arm to the top of your shoulder. Tah-dah, instant sleeves.

When packing for a quick weekend trip to St. Petersburg, Florida (not Russia!) for a wedding, this was one of the first pieces I grabbed. It was great with sandals for Sunday brunch, but with heels and a swipe of lipstick, it would be a date-night worthy piece. If your work environment skews more casual, just add ballet flats and a denim jacket for an easy outfit. I love a piece that you can reach for no matter the occasion, and this off the shoulder dress will definitely be in heavy rotation.

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Outfit details

Dress: The Paper Store. They have a other dresses that would be great for spring. Two of my favorites are this flutter sleeve dress and this chambray dress.

Shoes: Steve Madden. These are available in a million colors and are so easy to walk in.

April 24, 2017

A Blue and White Scenario in San Diego

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Pattern mixing can be so so so good when done right. Even the most unlikely of patterns can go together with a little finesse and a lot of confidence. This is a more subtle approach to the style. I love polka dots and stripes together. The skirt has a very petite polka dot pattern and allows a louder patterned top to take center stage. Any color striped top would have worked well. Not that I need any more striped tops, but a kelly green or yellow striped top would have given this outfit a little color punch. A bright bandana around my neck would have added a pop of color too.

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We shot these in San Diego’s Balboa Park. That is one seriously gorgeous park, with SO MUCH to do. I have a ton of content to share with you about my California adventures, so stay tuned!

Outfit details

Skirt: Thrifted. Similar here, here, and here. I’m obsessed with pleated midi skirts. Wardrobe superheros IMHO.

Shirt: Madewell

Sandals: J.Crew from a million years ago. Madewell has a similar shape.

Bag: Vintage. This is a similar option, as is this.

April 23, 2017

Favorite Sephora Buys

sephora

I buy most of my beauty and skincare items at Sephora. They carry a huge variety of products, and I enjoy discovering new things in-store. They’re having a storewide sale right now, so I put together a list of some of my favorite products. The sale ends today for Beauty Insiders (free to sign up!), and tomorrow for VIB and Rouge level customers.

Hair

Living Proof shampoo and conditioner: I buy this in the big bottles. The restore line is great for my hair. I put my strands through a ton of abuse, and this helps to bring back the hair’s strength and shine.

Makeup

Lancome Artliner: I have been a loyal Lancome eyeliner girl since high school. I love liquid liner, and this is one of the best I’ve tried. I love how easily it glides on, with none of the tugging at your eyelid that you find with a pencil liner. Sephora used to carry more colors, but they’ve streamlined their offering to only the black.

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara: I love long lashes and this mascara gets the job done every time.

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Tinted Lash Primer: If you think this is an unnecessary step/product, let me just tell you that the other day, two people asked me where I get my eyelashes done. No ladies, these puppers are my own lashes. This product can also be worn alone for subtle lash definition.

Hourglass Ambient® Strobe Lighting Blush: I got this blush recently and love it.

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain: This stuff does not budge. I can put this on, and hours later it still looks great. I have colors 01, 03, and 18. They’re all have a matte finish that doesnt make your lips feel like a desert.

Skin

Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer: Origins is a great  brand, nd I use a ton of their product. This lightweight gel moisturizer is one of the products that got me hooked on their brand. The scent is light yet energizing, and it absorbs quickly. Love this stuff!

Clarins Sunscreen Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50: I started using retinol, so sun protection is even more important than ever. This sunscreen wears well under makeup, which makes it a great every day choice.It’s pricey, but the bottle lasts a while.

GlamGlow face masks: My favorite two are the ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment and PowerMud Dualcleanse Treatment.

Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment: Zits. We all get them, we all want them to go away fast. This product works really quickly. I’ll dab it on when I go to bed, and by the morning, there is a noticeable reduction.

Sheet masks! I love trying new ones and restocking on old faves.

Beauty Insiders- don’t forget to use code BISPRING by 4/23 to save 10%. If you’re a VIB or Rouge, use code VIBSPRING or ROUGESPRING to save 15% by 4/24.

April 22, 2017

Celebrating Earth Day with Thrive Exchange

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Happy Earth Day! My love for the environment is well-documented, starting as early as second grade. I’m not sure what the assignment was, but I wrote a “story” (all of four sentences) about how you will have more friends if you are kind to the Earth.

It will come as no surprise that I am a huge supporter of eco-fashion. Eco-conscious brands are becoming much easier to find as demand grows. One of the easiest ways to shop eco friendly is to thrift shop!

Did you know that Americans throw out an average of 68 pounds of clothings per person per year? 

By shopping second-hand, you’re keeping a TON of product out of landfills. You’re also spreading out the carbon footprint of a product. When a product is manufactured, there are emissions from its creation and delivery. When the item is purchased for a second time, the initial environmental cost is eliminated.

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I recently worked with Thrive Exchange to put together a spring outfit using their current inventory. Located in Somerville’s Davis Square, Thrive Exchange is in the middle of a vibrant area of the city. Their space is huge, and I spent quite a while going through each rack. I snagged this outfit for $20. Yes, that’s $20 for these like-new J.Crew shorts, a cute Loft tank in a springy color, and a mini backpack. The clothes are in great condition, and so great for the warmer temps of mid-spring!

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The U.S. EPA estimates that textile waste occupies nearly 5% of all landfill space.

You can grab awesome clothes at a fraction of the price at Thrive Exchange, as well as getting rid of your unwanted items. You can donate, consign, or trade your items – whichever method works best for you! They’re always looking for new items, so bring in your unwanted clothes, home goods, shoes, and accessories.

Textile reuse and recycling has the second highest potential environmental impact on reducing greenhouse gases compared to other recyclables. Recycling 2.3 million tons of clothing per year is the equivalent of removing 1.3 million cars from U.S. roads.*

A number of thrift stores partner with charities, so your purchase is actually a double-whammy of good karma. Thrive Exchange partners with National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and donates a portion of their sales directly to this organization.

Shopping second hand is a great way to find a cool look at while saving money and keeping items out of the waste stream. I mean, if that’s not a win-win-win, then I don’t know what is!

* Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures 2013. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Thanks to Jeff at Thrive Exchange for inviting me to come check out the awesome space and pick out an outfit! And thank you to my readers for supporting brands that support Champagne Thursday.