Month: August 2016

Finding the Perfect Neutral

There’s nothing like having a go-to neutral nail polish. It’s always in season, flatters every outfit you own and is right for all occasions. The trick is finding the right neutral. It’s like finding the perfect shade of makeup that can enhance your features. The right neutral nail polish should be chosen the same way you select a shade of foundation or concealer—it should complement your skin tone and the other subtleties of your complexion.

I have five gorgeous neutral polishes that are sure to flatter a variety of skin tones!

Samoan Sand – Of the five polishes, this one is probably the most versatile of the bunch. The peach undertones look really nice against fair to medium skin tones. If you tend to gravitate towards wearing earth tones or warmer shades, this polish is the neutral for you.

Don’t Bossa Nova Me Around – The name alone is enough to win someone over. This polish has a light grey undertone that really compliments cool skin tones. It also looks beautiful with cool-toned clothes, like fuchsia or turquoise.

Otherwise Engaged – If you like wearing bright colors, this neutral is a great choice! It has a bit of a pink-purple hue with a coverage that’s iridescent and a little bit of a cream finish.

Dulce De Leche – Some people think this taupe-y rose color is a little ‘mature,’ but those people are wrong. I have fair skin and this nail polish strikes a great balance of being neutral while adding a little bit of color. It also looks fantastic with very classic colors.

Taupeless Beach – Another winning name! This one is a dark grey taupe that strikes a great balance of being soft while adding a unique, edgier look. It’s also very versatile and compliments all skin tones!

What’s your favorite neutral polish? Do you have a go-to shade or are you still on the hunt?

Boscia Facial Sponge

After seeing Konjac sponges EVERYWHERE, I decided it was finally time to give one a try and see what all the fuss was about.

When I took this Boscia sponge out of the package, it was hard as a rock. I was a little skeptical – was this going to be too harsh on my skin? Once it got wet, the sponge was super soft and felt really nice to the touch. I thought it did a great job cleansing without leaving my skin feeling dry and tight. Another thing I love is how the sponge exfoliates, but it’s gentle enough not to irritate my skin if I use it every day.

I have definitely found a new holy grail in my daily skincare routine.

 

Edible Flowers

I have fallen in love with adding rose petals to my food – especially desserts! I think they really transform any dish into something a little more colorful and unique.

I had seen this done many places and wanted to give it a try. It’s SO easy that you’ll want to add a rose petal garnish to just about everything. All you need are some fresh roses in a color that complements your dish. Rinse them off, let them dry and place them in a vase with fresh water until you’re ready to use them. The roses should last up to five days this way with daily water changes. I’ve noticed that darker shades have a more pronounced flavor, so it’s worth trying out different colors to find one that matches your taste. A word to the wise: while all rose petals are edible, it’s important to avoid those that have been sprayed with pesticides—yuck!

This raspberry tart I made is pretty enough on its own, but I think the garnish of rose petals added an elegant touch. Not only was it pretty to look at, but the pink roses added a subtle, yet pleasant flavor. Now I’m on the lookout for other dishes that could use a sprinkle of rose petals!

Are Tieks Worth The Price?

I’m constantly on a hunt for comfortable flats, and have tried countless brands. The latest to catch my eye is Tieks by Gavrieli. For those of you who don’t know, Tieks are an update on the classic ballet flat. According to their website, Tieks are made from full grain Italian leather, and feature a compact foldable design that lets the shoe fold to fit in a purse. I’ve been seeing Tieks everywhere lately, and from what I can tell, women love them. I was recently out shopping and noticed several women wearing them. I even asked one of them what she thought and she said they’re one of her best discoveries and she doesn’t know how she lived without them. I’ve also talked to friends and co-workers who have Tieks and they all rave about them. Despite all the positive reviews, one question lingered for me: At $175, are Tieks worth the price? I knew the only way to find out was to purchase a pair to try for myself.

Tieks are sold exclusively online, so I headed for their website to check out the boutiek (that’s what they call their online store – cute, right?). The first thing that stood out was how many colors they have!! And not just colors, but patterns, textures, and leathers. They even have a vegan line! I knew I wanted a neutral color, but I had no idea I’d have so many choices. Tieks truly has every shade of shoe you could ever want- black, white, cream, grey, brown, you name it! I wanted something that would be suitable for the office, but could transition easily to the weekend as well. My first thought was to purchase the Matte Black. After all, black goes with everything. However, after browsing for a bit, I settled on Metallic Pewter. It’s such a beautiful neutral, and I’d remembered seeing it on a coworker of mine and thinking how much I loved the metallic sheen! I placed my order and my shoes were shipped out that same day. Not too shabby, Tieks!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who anxiously checks the tracking every day to see when my online purchases will arrive and my Tieks were no different! I couldn’t wait to try them on and see what all the fuss was about. Two days after they shipped, my Tieks arrived at my front door. The first thing I noticed after opening the box was how adorable the packaging is. Tieks are packaged in a bright blue box (I think they call it Tiek Blue) and wrapped with an embellished flower box. Every pair comes with a pouch to store the shoes, a tote to store your heels after you take them off, a little card showing you how to care for your Tieks, and a handwritten note (which was my favorite part.)

Now for the shoes themselves: as soon as you take them out of the box, you know you have a quality product. They are just stunning! From the hand-stitched insoles to the buttery leather upper, Tieks are truly a work of art. I was so glad I decided to go with the Pewter pair. The color is absolutely beautiful, and I know it will go with almost everything in my closet. Finally, I loved the smell of the Italian leather! You know the one…it’s the same smell that accompanies luxurious handbags and high end leather boots. Even though I was smitten with the look of my new ballet flats, I knew the final test would be comfort. After all, you can’t wear a shoe all day if it hurts, no matter how beautiful it is!

tieks_2

I decided to take my Tieks for the ultimate trial run – a weekend conference. I was a little skeptical they would hold up the entire weekend, so I packed a pair of already broken in backup flats, just in case. As it turns out, I could have left my backup pair at home. My Tieks were so comfortable from the moment I put them on, I just couldn’t believe it. The way the luxuriously soft leather molds to the shape of your foot is simply magical. I’ve tried so many brands of ballet flats, and I’ve never had a pair fit me as well as my Tieks. They were a little snug at first, but by the end of the first day at the conference, I could tell they were forming to the shape of my foot. I kept waiting for that signature, back-of-the-heel, blister that comes with a new pair of shoes, but it never came! I think this is because the back of Tieks are cushioned, rather than elasticized. I was astonished by how many women at my conference recognized Tieks and came up to me to share their own stories about how much they love their Tieks. One woman told me that Tieks were the only shoes she could wear during her pregnancies while still feeling stylish!

tieks_3

I’ve had my Tieks for a full month now, and I have to say, I’m impressed. Unlike other flats I’ve tried, Tieks offer extra cushioning and support that keep my feet happy after a full day of wear. I receive compliments every time I wear them, and find myself reaching for my Tieks multiple times a week – so much so that my other flats are making their way to the back of my closet! A shoe at this price point needs to be a quality investment, and Tieks are just that. The company really stands behind their product, which I love, and their customer service is outstanding. I’ll be sure to report back in a few months on how my Tieks are doing, but for now I can say YES YES YES! Tieks are absolutely worth the price. I’d recommend them to any woman, and can definitively say there will be additional pairs of Tieks in my (near) future. I’d love to add a few more neutrals to my collection (basically any of the styles on this page) but I have my eye on the fuchsia as well!

If you own a pair of Tieks, I’d love to know what you think of them! Do you find yourself always wanting another pair? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to check back for updates to my post!

This post is not sponsored. I bought my Tieks with my own money.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Red Wine Facial? Wine Not!

Oh red wine. Is there anything it can’t do? Delicious, good for the heart AND good for your skin? It sounds too good to be true, but my glowing complexion is proof!

Maybe you’re saying, “red wine on my face? Shouldn’t it be going IN my face?” We’ve all heard that a glass a day of red wine is good for your heart, but thanks to being rich with an antioxidant called Resveratrol, it also has loads of anti-aging benefits for your skin.

This is perfect for those situations when you’ve got a close-to-empty bottle of red that you aren’t sure what to do with. This DIY mask is great if you’re looking for a skin care treatment that does triple duty: red wine with it’s anti-aging properties, honey (a natural anti-inflammatory) to handle any blemishes and redness and yogurt to leave your skin soft and moisturized.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup of plain yogurt

2 tablespoons of honey

4 to 5 tablespoons of red wine

In a medium sized bowl, combine the yogurt, honey, and red wine one at a time and in that order. Stir until the mixture is blended and apply a generous layer to your face. Let it work its magic on your skin for about 20 minutes and wipe off with a warm washcloth.

My skin looked great afterwards, and since the ingredients are gentle I didn’t break out or experience any kind of irritation. I definitely look forward to incorporating this facial into my skincare routine and enjoying a glass of wine while I pamper myself!

A Toast to the Host

Sometimes finding the perfect hostess gift can be a daunting challenge. I like finding unique gifts that strike a balance between being unexpected, yet appreciated. Wine is nice but it doesn’t really stand out. Chocolates and other edibles can be tricky if you’re not totally certain of your host’s taste or dietary restrictions.

After kicking it around for a while, I stumbled upon a gift that was exactly what I was looking for: unique, elegant and something any host is bound to love. These gorgeous Lafco Pastille Boxed Guest Soaps! Not only is the packaging beautiful, but the soaps smell amazing! Each box comes with 15 soaps and five different scents that are sure to appeal to anyone. And the colors are beautiful too! You can’t go wrong with either the blue or the red pastel tones, but bonus points if you choose a color that compliments the host’s decor!

host_3

These make a great hostess gift because guests soaps are exactly the kind of thing that someone would appreciate, but might not think to buy themselves.

host_2

What’s your go-to hostess gift? Have you ever brought a gift that was a huge hit?

Gucci Disco Bag

I’ve been in the market for a smaller, cross-body purse for a while and this one really caught my eye. Since I didn’t have time to check it out in person, I ordered it online and decided to do a little review for my blog!

The first thing I loved about this bag was the bright pink patent leather. Isn’t it just delicious? When it comes to small bags, I think it’s more fun to go with a bright punch of color instead of playing it safe with a neutral. It really makes the bag stand out more and with a purse this pretty, attention is a good thing.

gucci_2

Normally I carry a bigger purse that I tend to (over)pack my whole life into, so I was a little nervous about going with something smaller. I mean, would I survive being out in the world without toting around 14 different lip balms and 5 varieties of hand sanitizer? While this bag appears to be small, looks can be deceiving. With some room to spare, it holds all the essentials I would actually need for running errands or going out for the evening, but the compact size keeps me from tossing in stuff that would just end up being purse clutter.

gucci_3_top

 

Here’s what I was able to fit inside without the purse looking like it was going to burst at the seams:

This works great as a cross-body bag, but the strap is adjustable so it can accommodate a variety of lengths in case you wanted to carry it as more of a traditional shoulder bag. I really love how the classic shape will look great for years to come, but the bright pink patent leather and matching tassel attached to the zipper add a fun, modern touch. The inside is roomy enough that I don’t struggle with getting things in and out of it and the two interior pockets are helpful for keeping things extra organized.

All in all, this purse is definitely a keeper and I’ve been really loving not lugging around a clunky larger bag. It also compliments any outfit – whether you’re rocking a classic jeans and t-shirt look or sporting a cute dress for a night on the town. 

Oh, and it turns out I CAN get by with just one lip balm when I’m out and about! 😉

Givenchy Is The One For Me

I have had a major obsession with scarves lately and I’m so excited to share this gorgeous piece I just added to my collection. Once I laid my eyes on this beauty, it was definitely love at first sight. I just adored everything about it. It’s incredibly soft and the size is perfect for wearing it a variety of ways!

givenchy_2

Another thing I can’t stop obsessing about is the leopard print! I have been able to wear this with so many different outfits and it looks amazing with all of them. The tones of the leopard print are really beautiful and compliment so many different ensembles. I don’t care what anyone says – leopard is definitely a neutral!

Warning: Has Amazing Health Benefits

It’s safe to say that I am a cinnamon fanatic. Why else would I name my blog Cinnamon & Style? I love adding a dash of cinnamon to just about everything I can. Coffee, tea, dessert – you name it, I’ve probably cinnamon’d it. I’m so committed to cinnamon that I even carry it around in my purse so I’m never without!

Not only does it taste delicious, but cinnamon has some awesome health benefits. Along with giving your metabolism a natural boost and helping with weight loss, cinnamon can reduce risk factors linked to heart disease, lower blood sugar and can help your body fight off infections. What’s not to love, right?

I had to share my latest way of getting my cinna-fix on: this delectable and refreshing apple cinnamon infused water. It’s so good for you and couldn’t be easier to make! All you need is a big pitcher and the following ingredients:

1 Granny Smith apple – thinly sliced

1 cinnamon stick

Ice

Cold water

Large pitcher

Place the apple slices at the bottom of the pitcher and top those off with the cinnamon stick. From there, fill the pitcher about halfway with ice and then add water. It’s that easy!

Pro-tip: make this before bed and let it sit overnight in the fridge. That’ll give all the flavors plenty of time to come alive and it’ll be perfect to have in the morning before breakfast. A pitcher of this should keep in the fridge for about three days, but it’s so delicious that it’ll probably be gone WAY before then!