Back to Work Beauty

January 10, 2010

Yep, the time has come for me to return to work after a revitalizing 3-week break. Can’t say I’m *that* excited about getting back into the grind of long workdays. Besides getting the chance to catch up on some much needed beauty rest (cheapest way to get bright eyes!), I loved not having to get dressed up on a daily basis. Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye to make-up free days and sweats. After a year of working, I’ve been able to cut down my morning beauty routine quite a bit (thanks to laziness), but it’s still hard to come up with new ways to look fresh and ready each day. I wish it didn’t matter, but I’ve come to learn that looking grubby at work doesn’t help me garner as much positivity from coworkers, superiors, or clients.

Thankfully, there’s help out there! I started watching videos made by YouTube beauty gurus last year and have been able to pick up some pretty great tips from these ladies. One of my favorites is Christine, aka xteener. Not only is she a sweetie, but she stands out from the rest of the girls in her ability to use fairly cheap products to come up with some really natural and pretty looks. A few days ago, she uploaded a new video that I’m definitely going to be putting to use over the next few months. I’m loving the sleek and polished hairstyle. This is one of my favorite ways of keeping my hair out of my face for longer workdays and the addition of braids is so perfect! For a more conservative touch, lessen the “poof”. Paired with the light and natural make-up (which she also has a tutorial for), this is definitely a quick and sophisticated, work-friendly look.

Watch below and subscribe to her channel for more helpful tips and tricks.

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Work Wardrobe and Then Some

July 31, 2009

Seems like every week there’s a special sale, friends and family event, or what have you that entices me to bring out my credit card and swipe it like it’s hot. This time it’s the Banana Republic/Gap/Old Navy F&F weekend that gives 30% discount on everything! I took the opportunity to amp up my work wardrobe for the fall.

I work in a conservative industry, and yet there are varying degrees of professional dress. My specific group gives a little more leeway to office wear; rarely do I see my supervisors wear full suits, and even then they wear skirt suits.  Actually, something I learned this year is that for very formal professional attire, a skirt suit is the way to go for women – not the pants suit as I originally thought. As apparel becomes more and more unisex (skinny jeans on guys anyone?), the skirt is one item that is still decidedly feminine. I like this differentiator in the workplace – women should not not have to dress up like men in the office; they can establish their own form of power attire.

Through these observations and seeing how colleagues and supervisors dress in my particular group, I now prefer to don skirts and dresses above pants. It makes working that much more interesting, and putting more effort into work wardrobes heighten confidence. Ok, that was a tangent, but it all segues into the pieces I chose and like from BR.

Pencil skirts are the skirt of choice for me, love the tapered bottoms which are more flattering. The high waist is also very “in” right now, and covered with a jacket allows you to wear a more casual blouse underneath vs. a button down shirt. I got a gray pencil, and this joins a black and navy one, filling in another “need to get” in my workwear.

 

skirt

No pictures online, but picked up a navy blue sleeveless sheath dress with ruffles on the shoulders. It’s super cute and comfy though! The silhouette that a sheath gives is so classic and slimming. Also ordered a wrap dress that I don’t know if it fits well yet. Wrap dresses are adorable for work and for weekends, the sash cinches the waist and the v-neck created by the overlap gives the illusion of a longer swan-like neck.

wrap

For fun, picked up two jewelry pieces, a mixed metal chain necklace, and a darker gray chain bracelet. This will go with both blacks/grays and warmer golds!! Love multi-purpose anything. 

mixed

Going back this weekend to see if there are any good way-in-advance presents for my dad and bf. Stock up while the sale is still going on!


When Your Eyes Say It

April 27, 2009

To be honest, my first year of working has been tough on me. It’s not that I wasn’t expecting all of this, but as superficial as it may sound, I just don’t feel pretty at work. Ever. The lack of Vitamin D (as too many of us working girls suffer from), sleep, and water definitely has not helped the situation any. I’m sure everyone has those days when you just don’t feel 100%, but what happens when your eyes constantly say it?

I have never been the concealer-wearing kind of girl, never really believing I needed it (why do I need more layers under there when I’m already wearing foundation?). Well, unfortunately my sunken eyes have become too much to ignore. I realized that I desperately need it and that it was finally time to find a good one.

After playing around with a few choices that included Laura Mercier, Stila, The Balm (which is apparently one of the best selling), and others, I finally settled on The Eraser from Tarte. It comes in 10 different colors and is priced at $19. This has turned out to be the perfect choice! First of all, it’s packed with natural ingredients (and free of sulfates and chemicals). One of the highlights of the ingredients list is actually arnica flower, which is supposed to lighten dark circles. Vitamin E also helps decrease inflammation (great for puffy eyes or zits)! It comes in a clicky-pen packaging which is convenient and easy to use. It bothered me the first few times that NOTHING would come out after a million clicks, but now that I’ve been regularly using it, it hasn’t been a problem anymore. I’ve found that most concealers are too heavy and dry for me to use, but the consistency of The Eraser is amazing and so easy to layer. I swipe it under my eyes, the sides of my nose, and problem spots every morning and can instantly see a difference. I can’t believe I ever lived without this!!!

I never wanted to use concealer–it’s definitely added in that extra step I’m sometimes too impatient to go through in the mornings. However, the pay-off is well worth the effort. My eyes look brighter, less depressed, and the effects play off to the rest of my face. This product has helped me take my first small step towards combatting those workday wounds.


Can’t Save, Must Shop!

February 11, 2009

Yesterday, a messenger harked the coming of another Theory sample sale. Yay! I cheered. Cry! went my credit card. It’s gotten a lot of exercise this month and wants to rest, but I couldn’t pass this up. Not when last time I had such success, not when I need more work clothes, not when it’s Valentine’s Day!!! Ok I convinced myself.

I found two pieces I liked – the Suneeta dress, and the Debra skirt. The boatneck and shape of the dress is great! It slightly bows inward from the hips, creating a small bubble effect. And I love the pockets and the skinny patent belt. The pockets-on-skirts trend has always appealed to me as functional, and looks cute when your hands are feeling awkward. Now I want more pocket-dress options!

The Debra skirt is high-waisted, and in a nice teal color that’s not often found in my closet. I grabbed a size 00, and it is really tiny. Like, almost can’t breathe tiny. I thought it would sit lower on my waist, but nope, it’s right up there. Definitely not a skirt to wear if I’m planning on chomping down on a big lunch.

The Suneeta was a stock piece, and priced at $99. The skirt was an irregular, and much cheaper at $40. Last time, when I went on the 2nd to last day of the sale, there weren’t any sample or irregular pieces left. This time though, racks upon racks awaited! It was a scavenger hunt rummaging through unlabelled pieces, avoiding items with rips and tears, and emerging with a piece that actually fit and was in decent condition. If you can find it though, the prices are much more reasonable – $60 for dresses, $40 skirts, $30 tops, etc.

The fitting room line was waaay long, so I took a gamble and bought both pieces without trying them on (hey, there’s always Ebay). I got lucky, because the Suneeta fit great, and the skirt I can wear higher up and still get away with it because I’m short =P I knew there must be something good about being petite.