Monday, September 23, 2013

Shopping My Closet: San Francisco

If you had the opportunity to go to one of your favorite places, but you had to leave in an hour, would you go? I would hope the answer is yes, and if it is, what would you pack?

Circumstances unfolded in the most beautiful way this past Tuesday, putting me on a plane to San Francisco at 7 pm that evening. We made the decision and bought the ticket at 3:30, and about three hours later, I was sitting on a plane. The 3.5 hours between decision and flight were eaten up by driving home from the office, packing, driving to the airport, getting through security and chugging a Caramel Macchiato. And then a surreal flight to a place with a 30-degree temperature difference, but back to packing. 

Packing for a trip is usually something I spend a day or two on. I go on Polyvore and build outfits, then strategically pack everything neatly in my suitcase, leave it open at the foot of my staircase for a few hours or until the next day, adding and subtracting as needed. On Tuesday, I had zero time to accomplish any of that. I went off the ideas in my head, pulled a bunch of random items together, zipped it shut and ran out the door. 

When you get the opportunity to do something spontaneous, how do you react? Do you shrink away because of the "what-ifs," or do you throw your favorite items into a carry-on and go make an experience out of it all? Me, I grabbed that spontaneous bull by the horns and rolled with it all the way to San Francisco.

Below is the amalgamation of items that made the carry-on cut for SF.
San Francisco
San Francisco by jlrey

Obviously, when you pack in a hurry, some things take up space but never make an appearance. Those cobalt blue pants, the embellished sweater, the AE jeans, the black Madewell shirt and the heels never even left the suitcase. The most clutch item packed? Those Nike sneakers. When you're walking all over the hills of San Francisco, you don't have time for barely-padded flats; you need traction. 

Okay, I'm more than a little obsessed with the bridges there, but let's face it, who isn't? 

Now go make a Friday out of this Monday. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Shopping My Closet: Red Lips

Rolling out of the weekend into another stretch of weekdays can get really depressing. Sunday night blues are a real thing, and I think the way to counteract that is to rock Monday out in the best way possible. Take a risk, make a statement, go out for lunch or treat yourself to a latte... do what you need to start the week off right.

When I think about statement makeup, what comes to mind isn't an exaggerated cat eye or loads of colorful shadow. I instantly think of a red lip. And after trolling around on Pinterest and Marie Claire a lot lately, I just can't get the idea to try really rocking a red lip out of my system.

It's easy to find inspiration for a red lip, but pulling it off and replicating it on yourself can be difficult. There are so. many. different shades, and what looks good on one person, because of skin tone, hair color, etc., may not look good on another. Personally, I have very fair skin and exaggerated features - my eyes and lips are huge - and even though I adore the orangey-red hues like NARS Heat Wave, I've found out that I'm better off with true red colors that balance out the blues and pinks in the hue of the lipstick and the color of my skin.

Then I watched a video from Lisa Elridge, called the "Ultimate Guide to Red Lips," got some amazing tips and tricks and picked up a shade that she recommended (Maybelline's 14-hour lipstick in Ravishing Rouge). I agree with her philosophy that anyone can pull off a red lip, and I also agree that putting a red lip with casual, unexpected looks is so glam. You can watch her video below and get tips on what sort of reds to buy, and how to apply each formula for long-lasting wear.

Yesterday was my Red Lip Monday, and I loved it so much that I figured I'd rock the red lips again today.


I stole a grey t-shirt from my husband's side of the closet, pulled on an easy pair of AE jeans, grabbed a pair of sandals and layered a few necklaces to complete the whole look. 

To help pull off the red lip, I applied my foundation (NARS Sheer Glow) and concealer (also NARS, not pictured) first, then put on the red lip. Sometimes once you put on a red lip, everything else looks really washed out, so I wanted to wait to put on blush/bronzer/eye makeup, etc. until after I had my lip set. I'm a big fan of Benefit's Creaseless Cream Eye Shadow in a shimmery brownish grey, and I've been using Smashbox's Hyperlash as my go-to mascara of late.

Red Lip Monday

Red Lip Monday by jlrey featuring nars cosmetics


Borrowing from the husband again today. When we were doing a collective closet cleanse the last time we moved, he almost threw out this oxford shirt (I think it's from Land's End), and I rescued it. 

The shoes I'm wearing are almost identical to the Alexander McQueen ones pictured below, but I snagged mine at a Zara in Paris. I then piled on some gold jewelry and walked out into a gloomy, grey Tuesday. With red lips. 

Black & White
Black & White by jlrey

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Shopping My Closet: Wishful Thinking

I'm not sure what the rest of the world daydreams about, but my current brain obsession is days of 60-degree weather and layering. Oh, to be able to layer... cardigans and vests and jackets, boots and scarves... I live for fall.

I'm ready to purchase and rock this vest from J. Crew with more necklaces than you've ever seen in your life, but there's no excuse on my 95+ -degree horizon that would allow for this quite yet. But just look.
Via J.Crew
I also wouldn't mind getting my hands on this baby.
Via J.Crew
Paired with this and some awesome sneakers. And the cap could likely be DIY-ed, right? Let's make that happen. 
I think I'm going to be required to keep a safe distance from all J.Crew stores come winter. Otherwise I'll blow my gift-giving budget on clothes for myself. Whoops.

Back to today's outfit. Since it's a million degrees outside, I'm layering a light scarf from H&M with a recurring favorite necklace, black jeans, an American Apparel t-shirt from my husband's closet and boots that aren't quite cold weather boots, but that make me happy anyway.

Wednesday #2

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Monday After - Vacation Recap

Getting back into the swing of things after a vacation is almost 100% never fun. And right, that's just life, and right, everyone has to work and this isn't a near-universal feeling, but it doesn't make dipping your toe back into the workplace pond any less unpleasant.

So far, I've done a spectacular job of procrastinating. Join me on my vacation recap as I put off getting back into the real world.

This vacation was a little difficult to pack for because it included so many different things - walking around in the city, a wedding, camping, and days at a lake house all over New England. That meant heels, sneakers, sandals, flats, grunge clothes for camp, formal clothes for a wedding, casual cute for touring the city and clothes that could transition into nighttime looks for evenings out on the town. I packed all of this like a champ in a carry on - Shopping My Closet-style!
New England Vacation

New England Vacation by jlrey featuring Urbanears

First time ever drinking latte art

Fun typography in Boston

Maple ice cream with walnuts

Quintessential lobster dinner

Best view on the planet

To go from 60-degree weather to sweltering heat made me want to turn around and get back on the plane immediately, but fall is on its way, and I'm embracing that mentality in today's outfit. 

Monday #2

Now excuse me as I spend the rest of the day catching up on e-mails and lamenting the absence of a cold front in my future.