My Beauty Discovery

September 30, 2016

It was almost a year ago that I shared a few "borrowed from the boys" products I use on an almost daily basis, deodorant among them. In that post I explained that I liked a men's deodorant both for its performance and scent and these reasons both hold true. But to be honest, while spending a whole summer in Texas (save for three short trips out of state for weddings) there were more than a few times I felt like the antiperspirant I was using wasn't doing me justice. Since this blog is typically light on the censorship I'll go ahead and tell you all that what I've been noticing isn't scent related, but irritated under-arms with bumps and redness. Ugh. So feminine and cute, right?! I tried skipping shaving for a few days (without going full-on Miley Cyrus), exfoliating, going sans deodorant, trying an all-natural product....nothing proved to be a long-term solution.

Out of laziness (and fear of smelling like a goat) I kept using my go-to men's deodorant. But a few weeks ago I partnered with Dove and took their challenge to switch to the Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant. I'm excited to share my findings.

 

Deodorant is one of those things that’s a daily beauty necessity. It’s like soap. Or running water. I’ve literally been running late somewhere, realized I forgot to apply some and turned back around. When I was at my aunt’s wedding this summer, I told way too many relatives at the ceremony that I had forgotten deodorant and advised them not to get to close to me…then I took a body shower and coated both underarms before the reception. In college I had friends who carried full-sized bottles of antiperspirant with them at all times “just in case.” And while the anti-sweat, smell-preventing product is an essential, I am guilty of giving it little thought.

Ask me how many times I’ve changed my facial moisturizer over the past year and I will run out of fingers to list them. But I’ve had the same deodorant for years. As someone who loves trying new beauty and skin products it’s a little embarrassing that I haven’t at least given another brand a test drive.

I love Dove – their beauty bar is one product I will never ever stop using or stocking in my shower – and the only reason I took on their challenge is because I trust their products and love their social missions and self esteem projects. Because I am scared of deodorant that smells powdery and/or floral, I bought two types of the Advanced Care deodorant: Original Clean and Beauty Finish. (Full disclosure: I am that person who took off the little plastic caps to smell multiple scents. For this drugstore faux pas, I am deeply sorry)

The Original Clean scent basically smells like Dove’s beauty bar, just a little stronger. The Beauty Finish has some vitamin E and gives a “glow” to your skin. I picked it because the scent is very light – almost undetectable – but I guess if I were a ballerina who was always showing my underarms the glow would be a nice touch. I alternated between scents (or flavors – as I like to call them) for several days to try and pick a favorite but determined I liked both equally. Now I keep the Original Clean in my medicine cabinet next to all my skin-care necessities and it’s what I put on first thing in the morning or after a shower. The Beauty Finish sits on my vanity with all my make-up and I swipe it on after getting ready for a night out.

I thought the biggest difference I would notice would be the smell…that I’d miss the masculine scent of my go-to deodorant and/or maybe notice that the Dove product didn’t hold up to the aggressive nature of my sweat (could I be any more of a lady?!). But the Dove Advanced Care smells nice and actually complimented my lotions, moisturizers and perfumes. I barely registered the scent of either variant after applying and just went about my day (which included sweating because Texas is still an oven). The 48-hour protection is no joke.

What I did notice to be the difference is that my underarms started to look and feel really nice. The smoothness Dove promised actually worked magic on my skin and after just a few days of using I noticed that the areas of irritation and redness I’d been having were gone and though the antiperspirant formula was invisible, my underarm area looked moisturized and felt really soft. That’s right friends, I felt my underarms and I wasn’t even embarrassed. I was like, “Sally, feel how soft and dry these babies are and there’s no weird residue!!!” Sharing is caring.

The reason Dove Advanced Care can deliver 48 hour odor and wetness protection plus give softer, smoother underarms is because the formula uses Dove’s NutriumMoisture technology. It sounds fancy because it is…the technology includes a special combination of oils and other ingredients that work to restore the outermost layer of the skin and are actually absorbed into the top layer, rather than simply coating.

There aren’t many times I love a challenge (Running a mile without stopping? Nope. Giving up sweets for a week? No. Swapping out swear words for more family-friendly words. Nearly impossible). The Dove Advanced Care challenge was well worth it and the process was so easy and painless it should be called “wake-up and start using the good stuff!” versus “challenge.” I love that I’ve updated one of my most vital essentials and that my daily beauty routine has been improved so much. It was about time I discovered a new deodorant…and I’m positive that the Dove Advanced Care will now take the place as my go-to for years to come.

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This + That // Sales + Steals

September 30, 2016

Just this week, since Monday morning, the weather in Dallas has finally turned to that of fall-like temperatures. The mornings are cool (somewhat chilly!) and the days only creep into the 80s, making it the most perfect weather. I have been able to walk our dogs in leggings instead of my usual shorts for the first time since we moved. Leggings require much less bug spray which is an added bonus:) I even ran around all day yesterday in long sleeves and long pants without getting hot - a huge feat. Last night we went out for Greek food and were able to sit outside. All in all, its been a great week and we have been taking full advantage of the weather. We plan to spend this weekend outdoors, too! (read on to get the sales + steals)

This + That:

Some Sales:

  • Ann Taylor: 40% off select full priced dresses and skirts! (The style of this dress looks so flattering and it would look amazing with a great pair of boots come fall!)
  • Anthropologie: Extra 30% off sale items! (These are adorable and have great reviews – they’d make for a fun gift, too!)
  • Banana Republic: Want, Need, Now Event – up to 40% off select styles! (This sweater in the pink blossom color is amazing because its just muted enough – I also like the looser fit.)
  • Calypso St. Barth: Enjoy an extra 30% off sale styles! (These would be a nice change from my usual skinny jeans!)
  • domino: The rug sale – 20% off. (The colors in this are so unique – it would be fun in a playroom type space!)
  • Furbish Studio: 20% off fall finds with code FALLPICKS. (You can’t go wrong with a seasonal Nest candleto kick start fall and this rug is amazing – would be perfect for our bare entry!
  • Free People: 25% off shoes for a limited time only! (I love the round toe and block heel on these – they look so comfy, too.)
  • Gap: Online only – up to 40% off everything! (With the little bit of a chill in the air that has finally hit Dallas, pieces like this seem perfect to throw on with a pair of sneakers.)
  • H&M: Free shipping on orders over $40 with code 0040. (For the price, I’m tempted to get one of these in each color because I definitely prefer my sweaters to be thinner and less sweaty!)
  • J.Crew Factory: Online only: Buy one women’s or men’s shirt , sweater, or t-shirt, get one an extra 50% off with code SWEETDEAL. (Seems like as good of a time as ever to scoop up a few of everyone’s favorite striped tees.)
  • kate spade new york: Enjoy a complimentary bangle set with your full-priced purchase! (How fun is thistwist on a classic little black dress? So fun, yet still understated enough to get a lot of wear out of it!)
  • LOFT: 40% off sweaters and tops! (This sweater in black is such a chic piece that I feel like I would wear over and over. I’m always surprised by how much I turn to my black sweaters in the fall and winter! I also can’t get enough of this one in the “fireball red” hue.)
  • Madewell: Enjoy 20% off orders of $100+ and 30% off $200+ with code GOODBUY – in stores and online. (I’ve had my eye on this sweater jacket for quite some time as I know it is something that I would probably wear too much. It could be layered over so many pieces and a great sweater jacket can actually be hard to come by!)
  • Marysia Swim: 50% off end of spring/summer ’16 season sale! (RUN DON’T WALK – styles are selling out!!)
  • Old Navy: Up to 50% off store wide sale!
  • Serena and Lily: The Love your home event – 10% off $100, 15% off $500, 20% off $1,000+ including new arrivals with code FINDYOURLOOK. (Utility Canvas is known for their classic, well made products, and I was super excited to see that Serena and Lily was carrying these. A thick and soft throw blanket is something you can’t put a price on!)
  • Sephora: Sephora Flash – pay $10 and get free 2 day shipping for a year, no minimum purchase required! (For someone who hates venturing into the mall, this seems like a pretty legit deal. I had actually been meaning to go get some of this this weekend.)
  • West Elm: 20-30% off all dining furniture. (Loving this classic bar cart in antiqued brass!)

Some Steals:

1. J.Crew Floral Cascade Earrings ($68 → $50) (Extra 30% off with code THURSDAY!) // 2. Topshop Camel Fedora ($30) // 3. Marysia Mott Bikini Top ($143 → $71) and Bottom ($143 → $71) // 4. Rag & Bone Gena Espadrille Booties ($395 → $276)

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Dallas Master Bedroom

September 29, 2016

When we decided to move from San Francisco back to Texas, what I was most excited about was the opportunity to upgrade from our queen sized bed to a king. With two big dogs, extra room in the bed is an added bonus and we had been gifted some beautiful Leontine Linens for our wedding that were just a tad oversized for our queen bed in SF. I have long admired My Chic Nest after learning about the company through my friend Alex Kaehler. My Chic Nest was started in 2012 in an effort to make affordable, yet chic and timeless furniture more accessible. After a short amount of time in the industry, they found a way to move all of their manufacturing to the United States which is a huge feat! With their products being made locally, My Chic Nest is able to oversee the entire process and also reduce their lead times for custom made furniture to just 4-6 weeks. Custom furniture always seemed like a luxury that I would hopefully be able to purchase "someday," but with My Chic Nest's amazing pricing, we were able to do it much sooner. Throughout the process from picking a design and color to keeping me updated on the status of my order and shipment, I honestly do not have enough great things to say about the company.

 

Because I am halfway terrible at making decisions, especially big decisions, I enlisted the help of the talented Dallas-based interior designer, Maddie Hughes to help me create “boards” to visualize our master bedroom space. With Maddie’s advice and the visuals she created, I was able to make multiple “big” decisions with ease for the room. I don’t think I could have done it without her! In the end, we decided to go with My Chic Nest’s Bren bed in a “Vanilla” colored striated velvet. We are beyond happy with our decision and honestly don’t know how we lived before the new piece. Not only are we able to fit our fur babies in bed with us without being overcrowded, but our pretty Leontine Linens finally have a place to appropriately shine. The upholstered, tufted headboard is also beyond comfortable to lean against when we are laying in bed reading or watching tv. We had a 4 poster queen sized bed before and this was totally not the case with that bed! Having a comfortable and cushy headboard is a definite game changer. In terms of choosing a neutral color, I know that we could honestly live with and love this bed for forever.

Since we lived in a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment in the city, we decided to use all of our bedroom furniture from SF in our guest room since everything already went well together. Because of this, we really were starting fresh in our new room. Maddie helped me to source our Dorothy Draper bedside tables from Scout Design Studio in Dallas, which is a total treasure trove for various vintage curiosities. We then had The Collected Eclectic (The CEH), my new favorite people in Dallas, refinish and paint the draper chests in a soft black, high-gloss paint. This was another decision that was (silly enough) agonizing for me – what color to paint the chests. Maddie’s boards were SO helpful with this part so that I could visualize how the chests would look in various colors with the bed that we had chosen and with our linens. I’m SO glad that I went with the color that I did because it was a bit of a “riskier” choice for me, but it really adds to the room as a whole. The color also works perfectly with our existing white lamps that Alex helped me to find a few years back.

Lastly, we needed some sort of dresser for the room to house all of our folded clothes. On our road trip back to Texas, we stopped for a night in Palm Springs and did a little bit of vintage shopping before heading out of town where we found the most amazing Milo Baughman burl dresser. Because our car was already filled to the gills with everything we didn’t send with our movers, there was no way the piece was coming home with us. Lucky for us, Scout had a very similar Milo Baughman for Lane burl dresser that I was able to go look at. Right away, we weren’t sure how we wanted to “refinish” the dresser, but knew that it definitely needed it. In the end, we decided to lacquer the frame of the dresser because that part wasn’t actually burl, just the drawers were. The CEH did the an absolutely amazing job lacquering the frame in a soft, off white color and bleached and sealed the burl portion in a clear, glossy lacquer. I love the contrast of the white against the burl drawers, and could not be happier with our decision. All thanks to Diana from the CEH who has the best taste and is so helpful. Just like our bed, this is a piece that we will treasure for years to come.

We already had the monogrammed bedding, which was so nice because my husband put me on a bit of a spending sabbatical shortly after our move after all of the expenses. Moving is NOT cheap! Because of this, I decided to wait on the chair/chaise I will eventually want to get for a corner in our room as well as a new vanity chair. I also decided that we could wait on any sort of euro shams for the bed as those can be pretty pricey. My mom surprised us with the Tulu Textiles Euros that she had made in Kansas City as she had known that I had been wanting to use the fabric somewhere, someday. I love how it looks with the Leontine bedding and the dark side tables, it really couldn’t have been a better match. Thanks, mama!

The room feels so cozy and we literally cannot wait to jump into that big bed each night to wind down and snuggle the pups. I may have taken up sleeping in a little too late occasionally, too.

My Chic Nest Bren Bed // Scout Bedside tables painted by The CEH // Leontine Linens Monogrammed Bedding // Tulu Textiles Euro Shams // Robert Abbey Triple Gourd Lamps // Scout Dresser refinished by The CEH // Loloi Rugs Harper Rug

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Current Vibes

September 28, 2016

I'm keeping this intro short and sweet because 1) I'm tired, have a ton to do today and am already way behind, 2) I love today's vibes and want you all to get right to seeing what they are, 3) there's a crisp little chill in the air and Blue has been sniffing around the front door, begging me to take him out for a longer-than-usual morning walk. Is it bad that I can't wait for this week to be over and it's only Wednesday? #workingfortheweekend. (forget me, get on to reading the vibes)

1. EXHIBIT VIEWING // BRUCE WEBER: Truth, I did not recognize the name Bruce Weber when my friend Cristina told me we were going to the Dallas Contemporary for the opening party of his exhibition. But as soon as we got to the event I immediately recognized his work. “Far From Home” is the largest museum exhibition of Bruce Weber’s fashion photography ever mounted in the United States and it is absolutely stunning. Weber is famous for his fashion photography and the global locations he uses as backdrops – “Far From Home” highlights his obsession with travel and cultures, showcasing some of his most iconic (as well as lesser known work) over the span of his nearly 50 year career. If you live in Dallas the exhibit will be up till March 12th and it’s a must see! P.S. Bruce loves golden retrievers – which makes me love him. There were several golden retriever rescues at the opening party for the exhibition and goldens can be seen in many of his photos (like the one I used in today’s post that was used in VOGUE, April 2015).

2. BAKING // PUMPKIN STUFF: I’m really going for it this fall. For me that means pumpkin carving, Halloween decorations, and baking all the pumpkin things. This is my first fall to be in a “house” (even though mine is a duplex) and for whatever reason it really makes the season feel more real. I might be turning into my mother but my urge to pot some mums and get an impressive assortment of pumpkins for my little front porch is a little too strong. As far as the baking goes, I’m thinking that one recipe per week during the month of October seems acceptable…right? I’ve already found several delicious-looking pumpkin recipes on Food52 (like pumpkin maple coffee cake) and I’m looking forward to trying a mix of sweet and savory yumminess. If y’all have any recipes that are a “must make” definitely pass them along!!

3. WANTING // RAG & BONE DRE JEANS: I didn’t know these jeans existed till I saw Grace wear them in her blog post profiling Trunk Club for Women. I basically wanted everything the sported in that post – TC clearly knows what they’re doing – but I was obsessed with the Rag & Bone jeans. I’m so glad Grace ended up getting them because I’ve loved seeing how she has styled them in more recent posts (here and here). And G has fully convinced me without much trying that I need the Dre Jeans. Right now I’m on a spending freeze (moving and buying a washer and dryer will do that to a girl) but I’m definitely going to save up for a pair of these!

4. PRE-PLANNING // DESK DIARY: Raise your hand if you’re old-school and still like to keep a paper planner? I’m guessing there aren’t many of you, but if you are a person who keeps a physical planner versus using a Google cal or your iPhone you know about the bond and commitment that comes with getting a fresh one each year. I’ve been devoted to the Desk Diary from Graphic Image for many years – to me it’s the ideal size (not too large or too small and easy to take everywhere) and I love how durable the covers and pages are. Here’s how Graphic Image describes the interior layout “the week-at-a-view desk diary has a vertical format designed with such economy that our trim size offers more writing space than most larger, more cumbersome diaries. This is a pure appointment book designed to organize your day, week, month and year.” I haven’t bought my 2017 planner yet – I’m not that intense – but Graphic Image released a few new cover designs and of course I had to take a look at them. My 2016 Desk Diary is a Rose Gold Metallic so I’m thinking I may switch it up and do the new Bone Havana Leather option…

5. BUCKLING // CAGED FLATS: A few seasons ago, J.Crew had these awesome caged, pointed flats in a perfect nude leather. Sally was able to scoop up a pair when they went on sale but I waited too long and missed my chance. I’ve been bitter about this loss for…a while. So when the Crew came out with another caged pointy flat design this season I was pumped. The shoe comes in a pale bloom Glossy Leather and Snakeskin Printed Leather – and while I think both options are covet worthy, the blush pair is really calling to me. I’ve had a J.Crew gift card burning a hole in my wallet for a while now and am thinking I need to put the gift card cash towards getting them. Even better, I can get 30% off with code WEDNESDAY if I buy them today!

6. OBSESSING // HOUSE OF PRESERVATION: My friend Brittany is one of the prettiest people I know. I was initially intimidated by her beauty but as soon as we met it was obvious that her beauty was just as much a part of her on the inside. When Brittany told me that she was planning on launching a site with her equally stunning friend Rylie that was focused on beauty and wellness I was freaking out – finally I would have all their secrets for looking fabulous and healthy and beautiful at my fingertips! The two launched House of Preservation last week and the site is already stocked with content I’ve been devouring. The videos are short (no 12+ minutes of needless chatting when you really just need/want the facts) but super helpful and after watching pretty much every tutorial on the site I now have an Amazon cart that’s overflowing. I had no idea there was a proper way to oil cleanse (I dismissed using oil cleansers years ago but was using them all wrong)! Who knew you could layer concealer over oil for a perfectly dewy under-eye look?! Brittany informed me that hair won’t hold a curl anymore because more than likely, I’m washing it too much – don’t worry, they have a guide for training your hair to go without washing. I’m an addict and already begging the two for more, more, more. Luckily – they have no plans of letting up on informative content…if you don’t recognize me in two months because my skin is so glowy, you’ll know it’s because I’m following all their advice.

7. READING // WEDDING IMPORTANCE: I loooove checking out the weddings section of VOGUE’s “Living” portion of their site. Anytime they post a new wedding or a great article, I’m all over it. Call it single-girl-wedding-fever or voyeurism at its finest, but I’m mesmerized by seeing how people tie the knot. Last Monday the article “No, My Wedding is Not The Most Important Day of My Life” got my attention. This was not the usual happy-go-lucky stuff of the “Weddings” scroll. I’ve never been engaged or married, but I have seen Sally go through the wedding planning process and the pressure (both financial and otherwise) to have the “perfect day” is not something I’m rushing to experience. Reading what Hannah Kirschner had to say about the difference between the importance of wedding day versus a lifelong marriage made a lot of sense to my single self. Who knows how I will feel if I ever get the chance to plan a wedding of my own, but I hope I’ll remember to re-read the article and keep things in perspective!

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