“Lilac wine is sweet and heady…”

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

I hope those of you who celebrated Easter had a lovely one- and those who didn’t had a wonderful weekend anyway! I spent most of my Sunday afternoon with my family at dinner, but I’ll get into those stories and photos a little later on this week. Today, before I jump right into my case load at the office- I wanted to talk about this season’s trendiest color and some of the ways I’ve been incorporating it into my Spring ensembles/makeup without going completely overboard.

That color? Lilac! Maybe one of the most feminine and universally flattering shades to break through all the pinks and peach tones that are typically seen around this time of year. The great thing about Lilac, apart from how light and bright it looks- is that it also compliments many of the prints/patterns that start to make their annual comebacks throughout April and May- like florals and pastels. It also goes well with darker shades (for those still clinging to some of their Winter wear- I feel you!) and on-trend metallic pieces.

And as much as lilac makes my blue eyes pop or my dirty blonde hair stand out when placed side by side- I try not to overdo it. Too much of the shade all at once can make me look like an extra-terrestrial or someone getting ready to go dance under the blacklights at a seedy club (probably one that has foam parties or something). Not exactly a good look.

Instead, I stick to one, typically subtle Lilac-hued makeup product- and match it to an accessory- like a clutch or a bracelet- or article of clothing (as in a floral-printed blouse or a cute kitten heel.)

In the photo above, I’m wearing Sephora’s Colorful Shadow & Liner stick in ‘Lilac Shimmer’. This waterproof, long-lasting formula applies and blends easily- almost with a cream-like texture- but it then dries to a powder finish and catches the light on my lids just right to give me a beautiful and bright glow all day.

If I’m feeling particularly daring (usually on the weekends)– I take the lilac to my lips with Sephora’s #Lipstories Lipstick in the shade ‘Trippin’. This creamy matte formula- that never dries out or flakes off- is such an unexpected and fun way to wear this color while making a bold and fearless statement that I’m not afraid to wear more than just nudes or pinks on my pout.

With the lipstick, I keep the rest of my makeup as minimal as possible- a swipe of mascara and a little bit of concealer. The lips do the rest of the talking for me, I think.

In regards to lilac accessories- I find that less is more. A pair of simple earrings. A bangle bracelet- or, as shown below- stacked rings that incorporate the color and some sparkle. I love these flower and “diamond” ones I picked up at Old Navy while I was grabbing some new gym attire a couple of weeks ago.

I even painted my nails a sparkling shade of lavender- the other big color of the season- to look even more ready for the Spring! The shade, a powder dip by NuGenesis- is called ‘NL-08: Bridal Party’. It will last me- without chipping or peeling- until May. I’m never going back to regular nail polish or gel polish ever again.

Finally, while I love a good heel- I also needed some sensible flats for the Spring and didn’t want to back myself into a corner by purchasing a one-toned shoe that only matches certain things. So, it was a bit of a small miracle when I stumbled upon these floral, multi-colored and pointed toe flats- also from Old Navy- that match SO many things in my wardrobe and also include lilac in small measurements.

I wear these with my work outfits, or with jeans, or dresses, etc. and they match it all. Best of all? Not only were they affordable but they’re so comfortable, too! My feet don’t ache or feel like they’re being squeezed in these things- even when I have them on all day!

Expect these to make an appearance in an OOTD post soon!

Do you have any lilac pieces/accessories/makeup products that you’ve been sporting lately? Anything on the market that may have been added to your wish list for the Spring? I’d love to hear about them!

But now I’m off to get my work week started and prepare to argue with Attorneys (as detailed in my job description.)

Enjoy your Monday, everybody!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: March 2018!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

I’ve had a pretty busy week- both at the office and in the evenings after work where I’ve been going to various social functions/meet-ups- so I am admittedly pretty tired. I’ve really been looking forward to the weekend so I can kick back, relax, and spend some time with my family on Easter (all while eating way too much food, of course)– but wanted to share a few of my favorite things from March, first- before my “In a Nutshell” month-in-review post goes up tomorrow morning.

March was a bit tricky in terms of favorites- and a lot of it had to do with the weather here in New England. Some days were spent buried under feet of snow while others were spent out and about in nothing more than t-shirts or light sweaters, soaking up the sun. Many of my favorite items from January and February carried over as I tried to keep warm- and then some days newer, more Spring-appropriate things would find their way into my daily regimen.

I was able to narrow my list down to the essentials, however- and I’m hoping that there will be plenty more floral print and pastels to share when it comes time to write about my favorite things for April! I’m praying Spring is finally here to stay for a while!

Although my leopard print coat still got plenty of wear this past month, I also found a new favorite in this gold moto jacket throughout March, too. Form-fitting and eye-catching, this coat kept me warm on cooler days and dressed up even the most basic or “boring” of office ensembles.

I paired it with everything- flared jeans and t-shirts, maxi dresses with boots, jumpsuits with wide-brimmed hats. It just looks so effortlessly cool and dare I say- futuristic- and I know I’ll be wearing it well into April, as well!

March also marked my picking up a new David Bowie t-shirt while I was visiting Brooklyn a couple of weeks ago- and I’ve been wearing it pretty much non-stop on my days off as part of my usual “band tee and comfortable jeans” Weekend Uniform. It’s soft and baggy- which is exactly what I look for when I simply want to be comfortable while running errands or just hanging out in casual settings.

I can’t stress it enough- if you can make it to the Brooklyn Museum anytime soon- you have to check out the “David Bowie Is” exhibit! So worth the ticket price and the lines to get in!

While I’m still experimenting with new colors for the Spring (hello, lavender lipstick)– two products rarely left my face or my makeup bag throughout March- and both were so bright and so fun that at times I felt like I was getting dolled up for a pool party in the middle of Summer.

The first, a cool metallic blue/teal eye liner from Sephora– made my eyes pop and added an unexpected swipe of color along my lash line and against otherwise muted, subtle shadow shades. I love the hue and it’s longevity- which when applied over a primer- lasts all day and well into the night.

And, on my lips- ‘Yacht Week’ by Tarte– a really bright and slightly iridescent orchid/pink/purple shade. The formula is long-lasting and moisturizing, so this color doesn’t dry my lips out or bleed out to the edges of my mouth and leave it looking patchy. Instead, it hydrates my lips and keeps them looking bright and sparkly for hours. I’m in love with this color!

Exfoliation is key- especially in those weeks that transition us from Winter to Spring. Me, personally? I’m prone to dry patches and breakouts when the weather can’t seem to make up it’s mind- but proper exfoliation can slough away dead skin cells and make it easier for my moisturizers/lotions to sink deep into my pores and keep me feeling comfortable and looking dewy fresh.

I have been head over heels in love with the new, gentle exfoliating body scrubs by Dove– particularly this macadamia and rice milk one because it smells like heaven. I use the scrub every 3-4 days, and it’s gentle enough not to strip my body of essential oils- but effective enough to smooth my skin and keep it soft between uses.

It’s also super affordable and can be found at pretty much every drug store/pharmacy- so consider me a devoted fan!

And, with that marking the end of the photogenic items/products- let’s get into some of the other things I loved throughout March!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

Franz Ferdinand: ‘Always Ascending’ – Although this album was released in early February, I wanted to give it a few spins before I weighed in on it, first. I’m a big Franz Ferdinand fan- and it’s always so exciting when they suddenly release an album every few years. Although a couple of the tracks on this one took a little while to grow on me (‘The Academy Award’, for example)– the rest of the album has a sort of dark, discotheque feel to it- and I’m really, really into it!

MGMT: ‘Little Dark Age’ – Another early February release by another one of my favorite bands- MGMT were the light, poppy counterpart to Franz Ferdinand’s dark broodiness throughout my morning commute soundtrack. I’ve been listening to this one, track for track, for the better part of the month now and it’s still just as good as the first time around! I’m really excited to see these guys live soon.

‘Flip or Flop: Las Vegas’ – One of my guiltiest pleasures, really- and not just because I’m moving to Vegas. The couple who star in this obviously-edited-heavily-for-HGTV series spend the bare minimum to fix up houses that otherwise should be condemned due to how dangerous and neglected they are- and then they decorate them in the most gaudy, tacky ways imaginable and try to sell them. It’s an absolute train wreck- but one I can’t turn away from for the life of me!

– MISCELLANEOUS –

Starbucks’ Iced Hazelnut Mocha Coconut Milk Macchiato – If you can get past the ridiculous name when ordering this one, you won’t regret it. I had every intention of cutting back on caffeine this Spring- but then Starbucks came out with this combination of the best flavors ever and I can’t stop drinking them.

And I think that’s it, everyone! I’ll see you all again here tomorrow when I talk about the month overall- but until then- enjoy your Friday!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Casual Saturday

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

Time to get back to the grind and start getting things done at work- all while simultaneously preparing for Easter dinner with my family this coming weekend! I’m still on the fence about what I’m going to be cooking/baking to bring with me- although I’m pretty intrigued by the concept of Japanese cheesecake. I’ve seen a few recipes floating around lately and it looks surprisingly simple (and delicious.)

We’ll see how that goes!

But I’m getting ahead of myself a little. This past weekend- despite some snow flurries here and there- was actually pretty nice out. Nice enough where I could spend some time running errands and briefly go hiking in just a t-shirt (and then a light faux-leather jacket whenever the snow started to fall.)

Skinny jeans/jeggings and a well-worn band t-shirt is actually my go-to weekend outfit when I’m just hanging around the neighborhood and/or getting things done during the Springtime. I know enough musicians and artists where I’ve developed quite a nice collection of merchandise over the years- but on Saturday I was rocking a David Bowie tee I picked up during my recent trip to Brooklyn.

Paired with some black ankle boots, a couple of studded rings, and that aforementioned faux-leather jacket and you’ve got the makings of an effortless, always-chic and pretty badass looking ensemble that works during the day- and even better at night if you’re going out for a casual hang.

Case in point? I hit a couple of dive bars around the city Saturday night in this and felt comfortable and cool the entire time. Bowie just does that, I think.

Side note: These boots are ridiculously comfortable. Hitting the pavement or climbing up a nearby (and rocky) hill in one of the neighboring State Parks to catch a view of the skyline during the snowfall? My feet stayed dry and warm. The small, chunky heel on these works wonders with evenly distributing pressure.

One of these days I’ll have to show off the rest of my band tee collection I’ve accrued since my teens. So many memories that always look good with a comfortable pair of jeans and boots or sneakers. Even the ones that don’t fit anymore are kept in storage for safe keeping. I just can’t bring myself to part with them!

But that’s another post for another day. I’m off to get some work done!

Have a terrific Monday, everyone! Let’s get through this week together! We can do it!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: The Gold Standard

Good Morning, everyone!

I’m not going to lie- yesterday was the third major snowstorm/blizzard that hit us head-on within a two week span- and it’s got me a little bummed out. I’m tired of shoveling. I’m tired of sliding around on ice. I’m tired of having to wear 13 layers to stay warm- and I’m anxiously waiting for Spring to get here and more importantly- STAY here.

Little by little, I’ve been trying to incorporate Spring-inspired trends into my wardrobe and accessories to brighten my outfits and my mood. Pastels, bold prints, some florals- and especially metallics- which I’ve been utilizing within my clothes and my makeup as of late.

My favorite piece right now is this gold moto jacket I actually found at Forever 21 a couple of weeks ago by sheer luck. I’d popped by the store to find a couple of t-shirts for when I work out- and noticed this gem hanging behind some semi-similar styled black leather jackets on the rack. It fits like a glove, is lined to keep me warm when I’m outdoors- and it is so shiny!

What I like best about it, though- is that it can be worn with both casual outfits- like jeans, t-shirts and ankle boots- or with fancier/professional ensembles. The black knitted mini-dress shown in the photo is one of my staples at the office this time of year- so the jacket gives it a nice, fun and unexpected pop!

While I’ve been keeping my eye makeup pretty subtle lately (mainly for work)– I’ve opted to keep up with the metallic trend on my lips. The shade above- a pink/purple sheen- is ‘Yacht Week’ by Tarte. It’s quickly become one of my favorite shades for the Spring- so expect to see a lot more of it in my social media posts/selfies (like this one!)

With the recent onslaught of Winter storms- I’ve unfortunately had to put this jacket on hold until the weather warms up again- but I’m really looking forward to wearing more of it in the coming weeks since it’s one of my most impressive and least regrettable impulse buys recently.

And now I’m off to work to catch up on the tasks I missed yesterday during our mandatory snow day- as well as some ‘Hump Day’ lunch plans!

Here’s to warmer days ahead and the weekend getting here a little sooner!

xx

– Ashley –