Stay Warm this Holiday Season: The Best Coats for Christmas Time

The snow covered ground may be glistening and the lights may be sparking, however, there is one negative gift that the Christmas season brings to us, frigid weather. Despite the cold, there are many stylish methods of staying warm during the most wonderful time of year. Hats, scarves, gloves, boots, and most importantly coats. Here are a few coats that I feel are perfect for the holidays.

To start off, Asos has pretty much an endless array of options. There are coats that fit most budgets and vary in styles. Along with their own brand, Asos carries many other well known brands as well such as Misguided, Topshop, River Island, Calvin Klein, and more. Here are two pieces I selected.

Pink Coat

Grey Coat

Topshop always has a lovely coat selection as well. As an owner of two of their coats, I know that the quality tends to be good and they are warm. Here are two pieces I selected from there.

 

Of course, if you’re looking for something luxurious Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue will have you covered. Here are some stunning pieces I picked out from their sites.

Bergdorf Goodman

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Black Gucci Coat

Saks Fifth Avenue

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Max Mara Coat

 

 

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And The Excitement Begins: Holiday Gift Set Edition

 

 

With Christmas time approaching, stores are beginning to release the highly sought after Holiday collections and gift sets. For many makeup enthusiasts, this is “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” literally. Not only is this post meant to inform those about the sets that are currently released, it can help as a gift guide for those in need!

First off, let’s start with Sephora; perhaps the most popular beauty retailer. Here are some of their sets available this year.

Superstars

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This year Sephora brought back their legendary Superstars set with many products both full and travel size. This set includes an Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Medium Brown, Original Beauty Blender, Benefit Hoola Bronzer, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Pink, Kat Von D Beauty Lock-It Setting Powder, MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Microfinishing Loose Powder, Marc Jacobs Beauty Highlander Gel Eye Crayon in Blacquer, Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella, Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Tarte Lights Camera Lashes 4 in 1 Mascara in Black, Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Matte Lipstick in Sell Out, Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, and last and most certainly not least a Yves Saint Laurent Touché Éclat Radiant Touch in 2 Luminous Ivory. This set is perfect for those who are either starting out with, or are already into makeup. It would make the perfect starter set because it includes a little bit of everything for a decent price.

Give Me More Lip

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This is a set that I am personally very exited about. It includes 15 products with 10 deluxe sample sizes and 5 full sized products. I believe that this is the first year that Sephora has brought out this large of a lip set. Previously, they have had the Give Me Some Lip which was much smaller. This set includes brands such as Huda Beauty, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs, Laura Mercier, Hourglass, and many more. This set comes in a wide range of colors and includes lip sticks, liquid lip stick, lip glosses, and lip crayons. It also includes shimmer, glossy, and matte finishes. I would obviously recommend this set to anyone who likes lip products and I would also recommend it as an ideal gift because when makeup shopping for others, it is hard to go wrong with a wide range of lip colors.

Perfume Sampler

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If shopping for a friend, this would probably be the smartest choice to purchase because not only can they enjoy a wide range of fragrances, they are given a voucher to get a larger size of the sample they liked the most. This set includes fragrances of brands such as Chloe, Marc Jacobs, Dolce&Gabanna, Gucci, and many more. Though I have never purchased or received this set, I still think it would be a great choice for a holiday gift.

Though I only described three, Sephora also sells many other gift sets that I highly recommend checking out. These include the Lashstash which has mascaras, Glow for It which has highlighters, and Skin Wonderland which has skincare products. Many individual brands at Sephora have also released some of their own sets so it is definitely worth checking those out too.

Moving on, another place which has lovely holiday gift sets is Lush. These sets often include Bath Bombs, Bubble Bars, Shower Gels, Soaps, and more. They also sell many wonderful individual products and look out for those in a future post! For now let’s look at some of their wrapped gift sets.

Rosy Christmas

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This set includes my favorite Lush scent Rose Jam in both the shower gel form and the Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner. It is the perfect affordable gift set to give to a friend, a family member, or even yourself. There are many other sets in this same price range that include a different scent like the Little Snow Fairy set.

Intergalactic 

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This set includes three of Lush’s most popular bath bombs. It has the Intergalactic which is one of my personal favorites, Thudersnow which I haven’t tried yet, and Twilight which I also love. This set is a bit pricer than the Rosy Christmas Set, but it is still affordable and would make a great gift.

The Snowman

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This set is definitely on the pricer side and it includes more products than the previous two sets. In this set, you will find Snow Angel a luxury bath oil, The Snowman bubble bar, Man in the Moon bubble bar, and the Butterbear bubble bar. This set is perfect for those who like all things white and soothing. For those who like a bit more color in their bath, I suggest the Christmas Candy Box gift set.

Finally, for those of you who have a higher budget or are looking to spend more, many luxury department stores sell extraordinary gift sets as well. Here are a few sets I found at Saks Fifth Avenue.

BVLGARI: Rose Goldea Kit Christmas Pouch

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This beautiful and luxurious gift set includes the full sized BVLGARI Rose Goldea perfume along with the full sized body lotion and shower gel. This set also includes a beautiful golden champagne cosmetics bag as well. Though this set is rather pricey, it would make the perfect gift for that special someone (to the small percentage of guys who read my posts). Or it would be a lovely way to treat yourself.

Dior: Miss Dior 2-Piece Gift Set

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When it comes to fragrance, no brand could ever beat Dior. In fact, the website description states “Each Note of Miss Dior Eau de Parfum is a declaration of love.” My personal favorite perfume just so happens to be the Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet which I purchased last Christmas season at Saks. This set includes the 1.7 oz perfume spray and a 1.7 oz body milk which I believe is equivalent to a lotion. As you can see, the packaging is absolutely gorgeous and it is a little less pricey than the BVLGARI set. Once again, this would be a perfect gift from a significant other or a wonderful way to treat yourself. I treated myself last year and it was totally worth it.

Alexander McQueen: Three-Piece Eau de Parfum, Cream and Lotion Set

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Out of every set in this entire post, this one is the priciest retailing at $206.00. This set includes the lovely floral aroma of the fragrance McQueen in a full sized perfume, cream and lotion. The set appears to have multiple compartments with doors and drawers making seem the most luxurious. Though I personally would not pay this price for a gift set, there are many lucky (and possibly foolish) people who would. This would be an ideal gift for someone who is looking for something rather pricey and luxurious to give.

This concludes my first post of the 2017 Holiday Season. If there are any more products you would like to hear about just let me know! I can’t wait for the season to truly begin!!!

Shine on

~Dana

Floral Autumn Look in the City

 

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to visit my old school for an academic award. That meant a day trip to Manhattan! I wore a navy blue floral dress from Topshop with white tulips to the ceremony. Above are a few images.

After the ceremony, I went down Fifth Avenue to Topshop. There I purchased a few dresses and the brand new and highly sought after Past Time Check Mini Skirt. A rather gorgeous piece which is now a personal favorite of mine. After looking around the shop, on the city streets, and through social media, it is clear that this season the flowers don’t have to wilt come fall. This autumn, floral embroidery is making strides.  It doesn’t matter that flowers only bloom in the warm months. Why not bring in some color, warmth, and sunshine into the colder seasons?

My prediction is that this trend will still be in full force around Christmas time as well!

Can Victoria’s Secret Swimwear Please Come Back?

 

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For those of you who do not already know the unfortunate truth, Victoria’s Secret discontinued their beloved swimwear line. This past summer has been the first season where Victoria’s secret did not release a new, or even sell pieces from their previous swim-lines. Who knows what this will do for the brand.

If VS swimwear was not a success to begin with, then it would make sense to discontinue the line. However, their affordable yet good quality swimsuits brought in a lot of revenue to the company. With the rise of brands throughout the previous years such as Triangl Swimwear and Venus, Victoria’s Secret started to have a few rivals. However, due to their variety of styles and affordable options, they were still at number one. If you ask me, discontinuing the swim line was just bad business.

On the bright side, Victoria’s Secret’s Pink line still continues to sell swimwear. However, those styles are geared more towards a younger consumer. Unlike the VS line, Pink tends to use brighter colors and more of an athletic style to add a youthful vibe. Perhaps, pink will bring in some of the elegance and sophistication from some of the previous VS pieces to keep business going.

Above is an image of me in one of my favorite VS swimwear pieces. It has lasted me many years and still looks new to this day.

Versace at the Met

 

After visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I fell in love with the elegant display of fashion throughout the decades from both American and European designers. Unlike most museums, the Met did not display the garments as a timeline, they displayed them based on aesthetics. For example, the red dresses were in one section and the more abstract dresses were in a separate room. Though I found the majority of the pieces shown absolutely beautiful, there was one in particular that caught my eye. This was a black evening dress with gold detailing by Versace.

First of all, the brand Versace was founded by the Italian designer Gianni Versace in 1978. His siblings and other relatives have played a massive role in the brand as well especially his sister Donatella. In general, Versace dresses tend to be sleek with a little bit of scandal. The dress displayed in the Met fits that image. It is long, sleek, tight fitting, has gold safety pin embellishments, and has cutouts and a deep v neck for exposure. The dress is described as “2016; origina design: spring/summer 1994 Black silk-synthetic crinkle-crepe with gold-toned metal safety pins embellished with crystals.” This piece was gifted to the Met by Donatella and Allegra Versace.

Though this specific dress is contemporary, it was inspired by one of Gianni Versace’s original designs in 1994. Gianni Versace was the first to bring in the glitz, and flash into Italian fashion during this time. He did this by creating his own avant garde rendition of The Little Black Dress originally designed by Coco Chanel. That dress is known as one of Versace’s most iconic pieces. Unlike the Little Black Dress, Versace’s rendition was scandalous. With gold embellishments, clingy material, a low v neck, and a side cut outs, Gianni Versace changed the image of a once conservative style.

Polyvore

Polyvore is a site where you can do more than just discover fashion trends, pieces, and ideas, but you can put your own collage sets together. These sets may include, clothes, beauty products, decor, or anything else you desire. One can also use their own images in a set along with adding music of their choice.

This site is great for those who love designing layout or want to practice putting outfits together.

Here are a few of my sets.

You can check out the rest here

Making it Shine: The Highlighting Trend

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In 2016 the biggest makeup trend was contouring, now in 2017 the trend reversed. Highlighting is shining brighter than ever…literally.

Within the past few months, many brands both high end and drug store have released a variety of highlighters. These include single powders, illuminators, liquid drops, creams, stick, and of course palettes.

Perhaps the two brands that made this trend skyrocket are Anastasia Beverly Hills and Becca Cosmetics. Anastasia created the legendary Glow Kits whilst Becca teamed up with YouTuber Jaclyn Hill and created the iconic Champagne Pop single highlighter.

When these products hit the shelves, the consumers went wild, thus the highlighting era began.

In the beginning, natural skin flattering colors such as champagnes, whites, and golds sold the best, however, the start of 2017 brought in the start to holographic highlighters.

Kat Von D started this trend with her Alchemist Holographic Palette. This kit was created to be used as both highlighters and eyeshadows. With this palette, you can choose colors based on your own skin tone to enhance your natural features whilst adding a glow. This product includes four different shades and retails for 32 dollars at Sephora.

This year, liquid highlighters are making quite a presence as well. The Iconic London Illuminator Drops is a product that I am dying to try. The pigmentation appears to be very strong and this product is very versatile. Not only can this product be used straight onto your cheek bones or any area you wish to highlight, you can use the dropper to mix it in with your favorite foundation or concealer to create a natural glow.

Another liquid highlighter that I recommend trying is the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter. This product comes in many shades and it perfect if you want to achieve a nice dewy finish.

Finally, for those who are either new to highlighting, or are looking for a great value, I highly recommend the Anastasia Glow Kits. This kits range from four to six colors per set and these powders can also double as highlighters. Anastasia has released a wide variety of Glow Kits ranging from fair cool colors, to more intense hues. These include Gleam, That Glow, Sun Dipped, Sweets, Moonchild, Ultimate Glow, and the brand new Nicole Guerrero Glow Kit.

Here are all the highlighters I mentioned along with a few others I recommend.

Anastasia Beverly Hills: Glow Kits  These are great for someone who wants a good value.

 

Becca: Shimmering Skin Perfecter Pressed Highlighter Perfect for someone who wants a very pigmented highlight. The texture is very smooth and non flakey. This also comes in a wide variety of neutral shades along with a brand new Prismatic Amethyst shade.

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Becca: Shimmering Skin Perfecter Liquid Highlighter This product gives off a nice dewy finish and comes in the same colors as the pressed formula.

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Kat Von D: Alchemist Holographic Palette This palette has four highly pigmented holographic shades. Can be used as a highlighter, eyeshadow, and can be applied on the lips.

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Iconic London: Illuminating Drops Perhaps the most pigmented of them all. These drops can be mixed into foundation, concealer, moisturizer, primer, you name it. You can also apply this product directly onto the areas you want to highlight.

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Too Faced: Love Light Absolutely gorgeous inside and out.

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Benefit: Watts Up A very smooth cream to powder stick highlighter with a very simple application. Only comes in one champagne color.

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Shine On ~Dana

 

Pink and Fluffy

One of my latest fashion finds has been the Pink Pressed Faux Fur Coat from Missguided. It brings sense of London to this quaint Connecticut town. Wherever I go whether it may be for a walk or out with friends, I always get stopped by strangers, both young and old, both male and female, commenting on this coat.

As of now, faux fur coats are seen in more urban settings. Whist living in Manhattan, I saw them on every street corner, every side walk, and every path in Central Park. Here in Connecticut, it is a rare sighting, but still triggers a smile, not a strange look. Overtime, I put the coat on, at least one person asks to touch it throughout my day.

Soon enough, this urban trend will be seen in the suburbs, and my furry pink coat will blend amongst the others. IMG_5847.JPG

 

Embroidered Footwear

Shortly before the start of 2017, quick glimpses of spring trends started to appear online and in stores.

One trend that particularly caught my eye are embroidered shoes. These patterns were floral for the most part. Colors like pink and red are used the most, but yellows and creams are pretty prominent as well. Another pattern that caught my eye was a bumble bee print on a pair of black suede platforms.

Topshop and many other British retailers sell a wide variety of embroidered merchandise other than just shoes. Floral embroidery is becoming popular not only on shoes, but on jackets and jeans as well.

As of now, this trend is literally blossoming in Europe and is circulating the internet. Soon enough, people will be seen on every street corner following this beautiful trend.