Beauty Dish

January 29, 2015

I have been blessed with very manageable hair. It's fine and straight but also thick and I've never felt the need to color or highlight it. Since it has never given me many issues, I've always given the side eye to hair products...what's a pricey spray, foam or mouse going to do for my hairs that will make me like it more than I already do? I'm the freak that gets a haircut and then goes home to shower out all the styling product. When I got my most recent chop I asked my stylist (Lindsey Halbook at Larc!) to teach me how to make it look more messy and she insisted that product was what was going to help me achieve a textured, mussed-up look. Call me a hypocrite but I now have two style sprays that I can't live without when styling my lob. True believer right here.

 

R+Co Rockaway Sea Salt Spray: My stylist loves this formula because it has special ingredients that don’t dry out strands like other salt sprays. I had never used a sea salt spray – mostly because I thought it would make my hair greasy and tangled – but what the stuff does is give you the tousled, textured strand you sometimes get from being at the beach. My hair actually looks like crap when I’m at the beach but this spray makes it look the way I had always wished it would at the seaside. You can read up on all the ingredients here, but just know that it smells delish (not like coconut oil or sunscreen), isn’t sticky, and you can still run your fingers through your hair after using. It can be used on wet or dry hair but Lindsey recommended I use it on mine after towel drying but before blowdrying. I generously spray the back of my head and then do a few sprays on the sides – I’ve noticed that if I put too much on the front parts of my hair (near my face) it’s almost too textured for my liking. After spraying I blow-dry without using a brush, fluffing sections my hands to make sure I’m getting a maximum amount of volume. Lindsey told me that it’s VERY important to make sure the hair is completely dry of moisture before curling or straightening. Her tip for double checking is to put the dryer on cool – that way pieces that aren’t dry are easier to feel. I use this stuff whether I’m doing a wavy or straight look because I just lurve the volume it gives.

Sultra ‘The Bombshell” 1″ Curling Rod: I’ve been using this curling rod ever since Bailey recommended it on Peppermint Bliss almost four years ago. I’m not sure what kind of magic technology this ceramic wand has but it’s the only tool that has ever gotten my hair to hold a curl/wave. It’s a great example of “you get what you pay for” because at the time I couldn’t believe I was spending so much on a curling iron but it has lasted me this long and still works like a charm. SO! After getting all that beachy volume from the sea salt spray, I grab ze wand and randomly grab pieces and wrap them around the rod (always in the direction away from my face!). Biggest tip here: don’t wrap the bottom 2-3 inches of bottom hair. Leaving these free will give you imperfect waves that look more messy and less curly. Also, don’t hold the pieces on the heat for more than a few seconds and once you remove them from the rod pull them straight to elongate the wave. Depending on the look I’m going for, I’ll wrap more or less pieces. I generally let the waves “set” untouched for a few minutes before raking my fingers through to break them up a bit. Any parts that need a bit more work I just go back and touch-up. If you’re reading this and saying, “But I do all this and still feel like a poodle!” then I recommend bringing out a flat iron/straightener and putting it on those last 2-3 inches of bottom hair and “flattening” about every other 3″ section. This should help calm any overly zealous waves!

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray: This spray has a cult following. And once you use it and/or smell it you know why. It has an intoxicating scent that’s indescribable but awesome. I lift sections of hair on either side of my middle part and at the back top of my head and spray it directly on the roots – then right after spraying I rake/rub my fingers over those spots to activate the volume. It doesn’t feel heavy or powdery but it does give instant volume and texture and it’s the perfect way to finish off any earlier styling you’ve done. I lean on this stuff pretty heavily when I’m wanting to make second-day hair look like it did the day before, or if the hair I did earlier in the day has gotten a little flat and needs a lift. Highly recommend.

I’ve been getting a lot of emails from you pretty ladies with short hairs like me asking how I style mine and I hope this was helpful! If you’re still at a loss for how to get a similar look, feel free to leave a comment demanding a how-to post…if I get enough requests I’ll totally do it for you peeps!

A big thank you to Lindsey for being the bestest stylist and for teaching me how to shake up my strands. I should mention that Larc carries the full line of products from R+Co and Oribe.

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Perfect Tunic

Watch out – because when Madewell labels something as “perfect” it means you probably need it in your closet. Like this Perfect Tunic…it has stripes, shirttail hem, great drape, oversized, and pretty buttoned opening – all making it pretty perfect for around-the-clock wear. The fact that it’s $80 and comes in two colors are the added bonuses. For your closet.

Interiors + Decor

Marble Sand

You all know about textile designer extraordinaire Rebecca Atwood, right? If you don’t, you need to run – don’t walk – to her site and take a look at the beauty she creates. The two of us become more impressed with her each season…and in our opinion, this marbled pillow takes the cake among her latest and greatest.

Lifestyle

@APIECEOFTOAST

Endless Love + Three Circles Chicago

January 28, 2015

It's such a coincidence that Sally mentioned my affection for J.Crew's Endless Shirts in her Sales + Steals post today because I'm wearing my new striped version in this post! I first got the top in white and after wearing it once or twice a week, I realized that I have endless love for the Endless Shirts. I've always been a fan of classic button downs but the extra long length on these (hence the name) makes them feel more modern and fresh. Added bonus that they cover my tush and are ideal for wearing with leggings (like these faves). The other items I'm feeling the love for are my two gold circle necklace by Three Circles Chicago...

 

Gold dainty necklaces are the jewelry obsession equivalent to my addiction of adding white shirts to my closet. I’ve been lucky to add new pieces to my collection that are easy to layer and fun to mix and match with what I already have. You might have seen me wearing two circle necklaces lately – one big, one small. Both are by a small brand called Three Circles Chicago. I knew this company was up my alley when I read that founder and designer Allison designed the pieces with durability and quality in mind. Items that can be worn from a workout, to the shower, throughout the day, and while sleeping have my name written all over them.

I’ve been wearing my circles so much that Allison was kind enough to offer all A Piece of Toast readers 15% off all orders from Three Circles Chicago for the next month with code “Toast15″! With Valentine’s Day around the corner, this discount is the perfect excuse to drop hints to your cupid or get something pretty for yourself. Just make sure you place your orders before February 27th! I may just have to get a set of two stacker rings for myself…I can never seem to have enough rings these days.

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Straw Clutch

Is it too soon to be thinking about spring and summer accessories? We hope not…because this straw clutch from J.Crew caught our eye when we were browsing the new arrivals. There’s something about sweet little bags made in seasonal material that we love. Last year we found a great cork clutch at the Crew and it looks like the straw bag is this year’s find!

Style

[ Screw You ]

Don’t let the pretty pink fool you, these Stubbs & Wooton loafers deliver a cheeky message once you look closely at the embroidered icons. While they may not be for everyone – and probably need to be on the feet of the bold – we can’t help but think the Screw You symbols are pretty funny on such a preppy, classic shoe. Pre-order yours here. And wear them well.

Some Sales + Steals

January 28, 2015

Lately I have been pretty envious of my sister's closet/purchasing abilities. She has always had this gift or maybe more of a "sense" of only buying pieces she knows she will get a lot of use out of and that will be worn for years. Mostly basics and classic pieces that are less novelty or "cutesy" which is more the route I am known to take. I feel like I have definitely gotten better, but I still have nothing on Molly. She is in general a better decision maker than I am in all aspects of life - an ability that I definitely wish that I possessed. More often than not, I turn to her for advice when making choices, so planning this wedding would be next to impossible without her! To say that there is a lot of decision making would be an understatement, and it is something that I can easily get stressed and anxious over.

Thanks to Molly, I am jumping hurdles in our wedding planning (a little over two months away - eek!) and only spending my money on pieces that I know will last. Ever since our weekend together in Houston, I want to make room in my closet for a few of J.Crew's Endless shirts that Mol raves over and that looked so cool on. Any other can't-live-without pieces I should look into? (read on to get the sales + steals)

 

Some Sales:

  • Aha Life: Get 15% off with code ENJOY15 at checkout. (they have great Valentine’s Day gifts…)
  • Anthropologie: Free shipping on orders over $150 with code FS150 at checkout!
  • Banana Republic: Get 35% off your purchase today only with code BRGETNOW! (love and want this simple sweater)
  • Barrington Gifts: Get 10% off site wide with code LOVE10. (we love our St. Anne Totes)
  • Gap: 30% off regular priced styles and 50% off sale styles with code SAVE – ends 1/28. (this is my favorite and I love the shape of this sweater!)
  • J.Crew: Extra 40% off sale styles with code SALETIME (seems to be a good time to pick one or two of these)
  • J.Crew Factory: Today only, get 30% off and free shipping with code TIMETOSHOP! (tons of cute new arrivals – especially loving this color blocked tank)
  • Luisaviaroma: Extra 25% off already discounted items. (say hi to these Isabel Marant Jeans)
  • MILLE: Get an extra 50% off fall & winter sale items! Use code NEWYEAR2015 (adore this 2014 moon calendar!)
  • Old Navy: 20% off regular priced items and 40% off sale with code TREAT – ends at midnight tonight! (check out these quilted jackets)
  • Rag and Bone: Extra 25% off sale with code Winter25 (a shirt named after me? maybe I need it…)
  • Steven Alan: Winter sale – markdowns up to 60% off – get an extra 40% off Steven Alan collection items on sale and an extra 25% off all other items on sale. Use code SAFINAL40! (pretty cute for wedding festivities!)
  • TIBI: 30% off sale with code WINTERSALE30 (SO pretty)
  • Truffle: 25% off all document cases through 2/1 with code TIDY2015 (thinking I need the nude version since it goes with everything)

Some Steals:

Clockwise from top right:

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Sitting Pretty

Office chairs are not always cheap and the good-looking ones are notoriously expensive (great example with this guy). But then we laid eyes on this molded walnut chair. Sure it’s faux leather and not the real deal – but look how plush that seat looks! It’s sold out on Lulu & Georgia but you can find it here…can’t beat a great look for a fair price.

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Yes!

We’ve shared love about Anya Hindmarch’s leather stickers before (and Molly has this one on her iPhone case) but now that Net-A-Porter and Shopbop have even more of the whimsical, fun adhesives to choose from we are more into stickers than we were as grade-school girls. How great would “Yes!” look on the corner of a simple tote…or put your initials on a wallet?

Un-Ordinary Jacket

January 27, 2015

I get more questions and compliments on this jacket than I can count. Which is funny because it's one of those things that I bought on sale from J.Crew but didn't know if I'd get a lot of wear out of it. Is there anything more scary in shopping that buying a final sale item that's not returnable from J.Crew? Lucky for me, I wear the Collection piece all. the. time. and I'm constantly pairing it with different tops and even over dresses. It's the crazy jacket that goes with everything and it really saddens me that it's no longer available for the rest of you...but now that I've seen how an unordinary jacket can get so much use in my closet, I keep my eyes open for other unique coats/jackets/blazers and I've found a few good ones recently!

 

To give credit where it is due, I have to say that I first saw this jacket when I photographed Bradley in it last spring (she wore it in this post). B is one of those women who has the perfect balance of classics and uniform staples along with fun and detailed items. When I first saw her in the quilted zip-up with all the trim I had no idea it was from J.Crew. Leave it to her to find such an awesome, novelty jacket and make me covet it for myself!

Maybe one of the below numbers speaks to you…I know all of them look pretty good to me. But since they are more embellished, most of them come with a higher price tag. My advice is to keep an eye on pieces like these and jump on them when they go on sale!

P.S. Love my bangles in this post? They are by Margaret Elizabeth and they’re just as versatile (if not more so) than the jacket I’m wearing them with. Make sure you enter to win a $500 credit from Margaret Elizabeth Jewelry via this post! You have till midnight on Friday 1/30!

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