Renaissance Girl is Moving!

squarespace, blog

After a lot of research, discussions and experimentation to decide whether to move my blog to Wordpress.org or Squarespace.com, I’ve decided to move up in the world of blogging with Squarespace! Praised as “The Apple of Web Design” and super-functional as an all-in-one interface, (membership includes a domain name, hosting platform, site and stunning themes) after my two-week trial, I’ve found Squarespace to be beautiful and functional. Although Squarespace doesn’t allow for a ton of HTML or CSS customization, the themes are already gorgeous and it has everything in one place for a reasonable price. Since I won’t post on this WordPress account anymore, please find me here or on Bloglovin!

Sephora Beauty Haul

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I follow brilliant beauty vloggers like Jaclyn Hill, Lauren Curtis and Carli Bybel because these ladies definitely inspire me to change up my makeup looks whenever I can. Thus, the other day I stopped at Sephora to venture outside of my comfort zone.

I came in looking for a classic red lipstick for fall/winter, and heard from a girlfriend that Marc Jacobs has stunning shades. She was right; I found the most perfect red for me (which is hard because of my fair complexion) called Showstopper. I also found some pretty blue Sephora Nano Eyeliner to bring out my hazel eyes. Lastly, I needed dry shampoo and the sales associate recommended Triple Sec by Drybar. It smells amazing and gives my hair a refreshed feeling on days when I don’t have time to shampoo/condition/blow dry/style. Since it’s my birthday month, I also scored Algenist Microlage Facial Oil, Makeup Forever lipstick, eyeliner and mascara. Lucky me!

Fresh Fall Makeup

On the Fall 2014 runways of Ralph Lauren, Jason Wu, Calvin Klein and Diane von Furstenberg, models absolutely glowed with makeup shades of cream, peach and pink. To achieve this look yourself, apply a soft highlighter under your eyes and cheekbones. Then, apply a cream eye shadow all over the eyelid and a conservative amount of a light pink lipstick. Finish off your makeup with a classic black mascara to make your eyes totally pop. These simple products will definitely emphasize your natural beauty for an effortlessly natural glow.

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NARS Highlighter
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Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow
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MAC Lipstick
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To steer towards a new hairstyle for the fall, pair your makeup with a chic ponytail. The sky is the limit with this style, because you can wear it high or low, with texture or embellishments. But to complement the ease of your natural makeup, a sleek ponytail is ideal. To achieve the perfect ponytail, work a smoothing treatment through your hair from root to tip and pull your hair in an elastic at the base of your neck. Then, wrap a ½ inch section of hair around the elastic and secure the end underneath for a polished look. Ultimately, this beautiful style will take you from summer to fall in total simplicity.

Streamlining your Wardrobe

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The key to a great wardrobe is owning versatile items, because investment pieces can be worn in a multitude of ways. The most useful items that should be in everyone’s closet include a white t-shirt, a little black dress, ballet flats, dress pants and a collared shirt. With these basics and the right styling tips, you can easily dress from day to night without changing your entire outfit.

For starters, a white t-shirt is one of the easiest pieces to incorporate into your wardrobe. They come in a variety of styles and prices, so there’s an option for everyone. I prefer a simple J. Crew V-neck, because it leaves room for a statement necklace or scarf, and is tailored enough to wear under a blazer or cardigan.

Aside from basic day to night essentials, a quality pair of dress pants is invaluable due to interviews, appointments and meetings. I have some from Banana Republic, and they’re still in great shape after four years of use! Dress pants can be spiced up with a bright belt or a colorful top for post-work engagements.

Additionally, with an elegant black dress, it’s easy to transition from work to play. Ann Taylor has a fabulous little black dress section that offers an assortment of styles. Whether dressed down with flats and a bright bag or dressed up with a statement necklace and a gorgeous pair of heels, this piece ends up paying for itself for how long it will outlast the other trendy dresses in your closet.

If you’re always on the go, a well-crafted pair of ballet flats will save your soles. J. Crew has a great selection of ballet flats in a variety of colors and nearly any fabric you desire. These are by far the best ballet flats I own because of their amazing caliber of quality and comfort! You can pair these chic shoes with distressed jeans and a t-shirt or even a graceful maxi dress for a night on the town.

Last but not least, a collared shirt is a perfect top if you don’t know whether to dress business professional or casual. A collared shirt signifies respect to the person you’re meeting with, but it also says that you don’t take yourself too seriously. I love to pair this kind of top with distressed jeans and a statement necklace for a fun juxtaposition.

With these excellent items in your closet, you’ll be dressed to the nines!

Nail the Sporty Look

chicago, bears, fashion, chicago bears
Chicago Bears

It’s the season for sporting events! With the NFL season in full swing, MLB playoffs coming and and NHL exhibition games starting, it’s a great time to perfect a sporty-chic look. This look is all about functionality; when you’re on your feet all day and constantly talking, eating and drinking, it’s important to make sure your outfit is comfortable, appropriate and weather-ready.

Let’s start from the bottom up; when you’re on your feet at a game, you need to be comfortable! A great way to ensure total comfort is by investing in a cute pair of sneakers. If you haven’t noticed, sportswear is having a serious moment in fashion right now, and it’s easier than ever to find trendy sneakers. New Balance, Converse All Stars and Keds are just a few comfy options with many cute styles.

Vouch for some jeans. Since it’s fall, distressed denim is stylish, comfortable and casual. You can find cute jeans at almost any women’s retailer this time of year, so it won’t be hard to find the perfect pair in your price range. A big part of sportswear is comfort, so make sure you’re staying warm in the cold this season.

I think that jerseys and t-shirts are the exciting part of game attire. As a Chicago girl and sports fanatic, I have so much fun picking out jerseys for my favorite teams. And if you don’t want to spend too much money for a sports jersey, a simple t-shirt in your favorite team’s color will be just fine. Word to the wise: Victoria’s Secret PINK has a bunch of great casual sportswear shirts for teams across the country, so you’re guaranteed to find a shirt that you’ll love.

Stick with a few basic accessories to play up your look. Try to keep your outfit simple with understated accessories while still being yourself. For example, you don’t want to wear any over-the-top accessories like chandelier earrings or long necklaces because it may clash with the casual theme of your game. Simple earring studs, bangles or a bauble necklace is plenty to jazz up your ensemble. If you’re outside, you can use the weather to your advantage. Aside from jewelry, if you’re expecting warm weather, you can use your upcoming game as an excuse to invest in a cute baseball cap, chic sunglasses or a headband to keep your hair in place. Game on!

Prep Style

To make a smooth transition from summer to fall, one can easily incorporate darker gem tones like emerald, sapphire and ruby for rich fall looks, in addition to a few classic plaid pieces. On the Fall 2014 Ready-to-Wear runways, there were a fair amount of preppy pieces in the collections from Louis Vuitton, Tory Burch, Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger. More affordable brands such as Zara, H&M and ASOS also have fabulous items to complete your back to school (back to the grind) ensemble. To rock the preppy look without looking too much like a schoolgirl, pair plaids with neutrals and mix items from high to low price tags for a preppy but modern mix of brands.

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ASOS A-Line Skirt
 
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Zara White Blazer
 
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Louis Vuitton Dress
 
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Coach Jacquard Scarf
 

Trend Spotting: Boho Chic

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Boho-chic has been consistently featured in fashion magazines, blogs and boutiques for its undeniable simplicity, high level of comfort, and elegant aesthetic. This style is particularly laid-back, natural and approachable, which is why I love it for anything from a date night to running errands on the weekend. Since fall is officially here, now is the perfect time to master this effortlessly graceful look.

Stock up on the essentials. This includes maxi skirts, tank tops, loose blouses and distressed denim. You can mix and match these for a variety of outfits to stretch your dollars as much as possible! One of my favorite looks includes a lovely maxi skirt with an embellished tank top. Earth tones are definitely your best bet, as they look phenomenal on all skin tones.An easy and classic option for footwear is a chic pair of sandals. Boots are also a great option for cooler weather.

When it comes to accessories—the more, the better! Long earrings, stackable bracelets, long necklaces and rings are all appropriate. The beauty of boho is that nearly anything goes, so have fun mixing and matching irresistible jewelry!

An important part of any look is hair and makeup. For this specific style, simply wearing your hair down with gentle waves accentuates its overall relaxed feel. For a little sass, a loose fishtail braid is a charming way to play up your hair. When it comes to eye shadow, play up the natural, earthy tones. A simple all-in-one eye shadow palette in various shades of brown is an easy way to find colors that work well together, along with a light amount of bronzer to accentuate your cheekbones.

With all of these tips in mind, you’ll be the cutest boho babe in town. When you stick with earth tones and have at least one loose and relaxed piece, whether it’s a top or skirt—you’ll get the hang of this delightful trend in no time.

White after Labor Day

Contrary to the long-standing myth that wearing white after labor day is tacky, the fashion world has come to a consensus that wearing white after Labor Day is actually chic, modern and refreshingly simple. This notion is demonstrated in the OOTD archives of trendy fashion bloggers and pages of glossy fashion magazines, which should be enough proof for any fashionista.

Adopting this laid-back mentality is super easy, because you probably already have a bunch of white pieces in your wardrobe. Try pairing a crisp white piece with other darker pieces for contrast, like this white blouse with dark slacks and detailed heels.

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H&M Lace Blouse
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Vince Classic Strapping Pant
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DVF Mesh Heel

To keep your outfit relevant and on trend, always pair your white pieces with other fall colors like gem tones and warm hues worn with fur or suede accessories. Steer away from a bright colors and pastels for fear of wearing an outfit that’s out of season. And if anyone tells you you shouldn’t being wearing white simply tell them it’s Winter White!

5 Inspired Celebrations

Now that summer is coming to an end, it’s the perfect time to throw a party to celebrate the final days of summer. From an all-white party to a backyard garden soiree, try stick with one of these chic themes for your source of inspiration.

 1. Little Italy

Live like an Italian with your own handcrafted homemade pizza. Stick with red, white and green décor and string lights diagonally above tables for a glowing effect, whether indoors or outdoors.

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2. Rainy Day Affair

A dinner party is the perfect solution for less than ideal summer weather. Light some candles and dim your lighting for a cozy ambiance. Serve simple appetizers like sandwiches and fondue to keep the conversation flowing.

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3. Final Days of Summer

Throw a white party while you can still wear white before Labor Day. Try to stick with a monochromatic color scheme and serve outfit-friendly food such as bowtie pasta salad and cucumber sandwiches.

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4. Sommelier Soirée 

Bring the vineyard home with an assortment of different celebrity wines, paired with an assortment of cheese and crackers. Décor can be amped up a notch with fresh flowers on every table.

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5. Botanical Brunch

Arrange vintage tables around your backyard with lanterns and candles for the garden party décor. Serve plenty of veggies for appetizers and entrees to stick with the earthy organic theme.

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