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I seem to change the individual brands and models I use for my skin care routine fairly often, but my mainstay ingredients and steps are always there. First off, my face wash. I had acne issues during my teens and early twenty somethings and rarely purchase a face wash that does not contain salicylic acid, which sloughs off dead skin cells that can trap oil and bacteria leading to acne. I’m sure more expensive brands do the trick, but I’m pretty loyal to my drugstore face washes as long as they don’t contain parabens.

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My friend got this for me as a gift and I was surprised at how natural my new tan looked after 24 hours. The Faux Tan Face is easy to apply, does not have an overpowering odor, and seems fairly fool proof. If I’m using this product after washing my face, I do not follow up with a separate moisturizer.  

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I caved to the marketing machine that was Philosophy’s Time in a Bottle campaign. Luckily, I felt like I saw a difference in my skin after about two weeks. From my understanding, this serum is a high dose of Vitamin C and helps to reduce fine lines by resurfacing skin. I’m not yet sure if Time in a Bottle will, as it claims, make me look 2 years younger, but I like the way it feels and at a minimum, I’m experiencing a pleasant placebo affect about doing something beneficial for my skin, so it’s a go! 

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To finish my morning routine, I end with a moisturizer containing SPF prior to my makeup application. Take a Deep Breath by Philosophy is an oxygenated moisturizer that actually feels refreshing when applied. I’m not loving the bottle, but it’s worth dealing with a little spillover for that tingly feeling and the sun protection. I just put an excess lotion on the tops of my hands, which is one of the first places to show your age. It has a nice soft fragrance too!

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At the end of the day I follow the same routine except swapping out the SPF for a heavier, night cream. Murad’s Perfecting Night Cream is highly moisturizing and I feel like it’s helping prevent and reduce any existing wrinkles I may have. I might have to switch to something lighter during the summer months, but this night cream is ideal if you experience dry patches or during colder months, which we’ve been experiencing for the past 8 or so months.

With price tags of $50 or $70 a bottle, it might seem like a costly endeavor to invest in this type of a skin care line, but I typically wait until Ulta or Sephora have their 15 or 20% off sales or use my points to reduce costs. It’s also important to note that many of these brands are highly concentrated and so, a little bit goes a long way:)  

Have a great weekend, and remember to take care of your skin!

Off Duty

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J. Lo looking fit and young as ever for an American Idol party in black with cut outs. Love how she can pull off those insanely high top knots. 

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Miranda Kerr and her son heading out for the day. Key example of how investment pieces and face flattering shades can elevate wet hair and no makeup. (amazing genetics don’t hurt either)

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Miranda Kerr in a cropped top and textured, pencil skirt.

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Victoria Beckham in tomato pumps, cropped denim, and an oversized overcoat. 

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Victoria Beckham in the same coat with fitted trousers and black and white oxfords. I don’t think Posh does flats often, but when she does, they are perfection!

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Point-in-case.

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Now I have mixed feelings about the Kardashian/Jenner clan, but it’s not easy to pull off overalls with darts and Kyle rocks this pair from Asos!

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Again, not wearable by 90% of the population, but Kylie makes this look seem very fresh and fun. 

Have a great weekend ladies and gentleman :)

Gotta Travel On

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These past two weeks I’ve been traveling for a few out of town weddings and escaping this inextricably long Chicago winter. Thank God! Here are some of the highlights of my travels… Amazing burrata and carrots at Gjelina. This place is very cool and Cali - although a bit noisy.  

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The last time I was in LA, I wasn’t… how shall we say… impressed, I guess? On the other hand, during this trip most of my time was spent in Venice and I really connected with the area. People looked and acted more like the typical midwesterners that I am accustomed to. More real. Sorry Hollywooders!

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Some of my fellow Bradley University alumna in Jacksonville Beach, Florida! (dress: Banana Republic, shoes: Steve Madden, necklace: J.Crew)

An al fresco shot from our table at Palm Valley Fish Camp in Pontre Vedra, FL. One of the cutest resto’s with the best food that I’ve been to in a long time:)

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My husband and I spotted Brandon Boyd (lead singer of Incubus) at Venice Beach. Normally, the husband is not intimidated by celebrities, but this was another story. He was stunned by Brandon’s mere presence. We did go talk to him and although he wouldn’t pose for a photo, he was pretty cool. 

Do your chain hang low?

Jewelry trends are taking an interesting spin as of late. From ear cuffs and body chains to asymmetrical earrings and hand bars. Things are definitely veering on the edgy side when it comes to your accessory selections. If you follow Rihanna on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve noted that she doesn’t board a yacht without her Jacquie Aiche body chain in full view underneath her bikini. Ear cuffs have even been worn by celebrities to some of the more traditional award shows. Personally, I really love the ring-to-bracelelt look or an ear cuff like this one by Jacquie Aiche (that I lost :( These pieces can be dressed down with boyfriend jeans and a cotton dolmain top or dressed up with a leather skirt, blazer, and leopard pumps. Do you have a favorite new jewelry trend?

Coif Quandary?

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Bored with your current hair routine? Or maybe your looking for something fun to do with your ‘do for Valentine’s Day? Either way, I’ve rounded up some ideas to change up the existing state of affairs atop your head :)

I love a thick, messy braid swept back into a loose bun. This look can be worn in casual settings or dressed up like Minka Kelly with a hairpiece and dramatic makeup. Just be sure to keep the braid and bun somewhat loose and allow wisps and flyaways to pop out. 

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A sleek pony with a deep side-part is a chic and easy look that can be achieved in a short period of time (if you have somewhat straight hair, sorry ladies!). Flat iron hair and smooth with pomade or wax and secure with an elastic. 

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A deep side-part with loose waves is one of my favorite styles of the moment. For this look, you’ll need to part your hair above the temple and blow dry to ensure it stays in place. Then curl with a 1” or larger wand or curling iron. Finger comb through waves and spray with hairspray. 

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If you have casual or outdoor plans this weekend, use the remaining waves from the night before, spritz with hair spray, and throw on a baseball cap. If you are lucky enough to have a “hat head,” this look is cute and chic. A thicker fabric construction on the hat, like tweed, thick felt, or leather, will keep you from feeling like your headed to Wrigley ;)

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This is the “it” haircut of the moment. A longer, shaggy bob with a blunt edge and natural looking Ombre highlights. If you’re experimenting with this look, curl your hair away from your face with the barrel of the curling iron pointed downward. Wrap the hair around the iron and leave the ends out. Comb through and add wax or dry shampoo for texture.

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So cute! The messy pony. This is an easy one if you have longish hair. Curl the hair and comb through. Create a pony tail a few inches below the crown of the head. Pull the elastic toward the ponytail to loosen the front. Pull a few face framing pieces out and wrap them around a curling iron for about 10 seconds. 

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This look is comprised of three bobby pins, strategically placed in a triangle position. Elevate this look by using a fun bobby pin in a rosegold or orchid like these

Have a wonderful weekend and a Happy Valentine’s Day regardless of your relationship status!

Becks

Since moving in July, it’s been a slow process of decorating our new condo. We’ve transitioned out some of our beloved college-era furniture for some more adult pieces. Let me tell you that this is not a cheap process. Although, this doesn’t mean you can’t find lower priced versions of your luxe wish list items.
For our new place, we’re going for a white, gray, and dusty blue palette with some black and gold accents. I used to think that I was a modern/minimalist design person, but the more I shop around and peruse Pinterest, the more I’m intrigued by Mid-century Modern design and Hollywood Regency style. Although, I truly do enjoy an eclectic style, or a mix of multiple styles. When it comes to decorating, I can be a little hesitant to experiment with color, but I’m pushing myself to add in a few pops here and there to spice things up :)
I’m also learning how to negotiate/compromise with my husband over our design differences. My husband seems to think that I’m “trying to make our Chicago apartment look like a place in South Beach,” which he’s none too pleased about. This part is a work in progress, but we’re getting there. 
The top left is the CB2 Teepee Table that we purchased from Craigslist (similar found here). I’m very excited about this piece because it doesn’t not take up any visual space due to it’s glass top, which is perfect for our dining area so as not to block our view out onto the balcony. 
Moving clockwise is the mid-century modern style couch that we bought from West Elm in Otter gray, performance velvet. We went with the velvet to stop our cat from scratching and/or ripping apart the fabric. So far, so good!
I was searching for a white buffet with gold hardware after lusting after the center photo. I found the one on the middle-right also on Craigslist refinished by Meg from Megmade. Her stuff is awesome!
I’m still searching for a hairpin legged table. I just love the look of this one in white and gold.
Lastly, we painted our walls a bright white and mounted three of these extra tall shelves from CB2 to emphasize our 12 foot ceilings. I love how it turned out and provides the perfect place for books, trinkets, and photos. Next up comes accessorizing! Photos coming soon…
Plum Bow dot rug / CB2 accent chair / Marble top accent table / CB2 bookcase

Since moving in July, it’s been a slow process of decorating our new condo. We’ve transitioned out some of our beloved college-era furniture for some more adult pieces. Let me tell you that this is not a cheap process. Although, this doesn’t mean you can’t find lower priced versions of your luxe wish list items.

For our new place, we’re going for a white, gray, and dusty blue palette with some black and gold accents. I used to think that I was a modern/minimalist design person, but the more I shop around and peruse Pinterest, the more I’m intrigued by Mid-century Modern design and Hollywood Regency style. Although, I truly do enjoy an eclectic style, or a mix of multiple styles. When it comes to decorating, I can be a little hesitant to experiment with color, but I’m pushing myself to add in a few pops here and there to spice things up :)

I’m also learning how to negotiate/compromise with my husband over our design differences. My husband seems to think that I’m “trying to make our Chicago apartment look like a place in South Beach,” which he’s none too pleased about. This part is a work in progress, but we’re getting there. 

The top left is the CB2 Teepee Table that we purchased from Craigslist (similar found here). I’m very excited about this piece because it doesn’t not take up any visual space due to it’s glass top, which is perfect for our dining area so as not to block our view out onto the balcony. 

Moving clockwise is the mid-century modern style couch that we bought from West Elm in Otter gray, performance velvet. We went with the velvet to stop our cat from scratching and/or ripping apart the fabric. So far, so good!

I was searching for a white buffet with gold hardware after lusting after the center photo. I found the one on the middle-right also on Craigslist refinished by Meg from Megmade. Her stuff is awesome!

I’m still searching for a hairpin legged table. I just love the look of this one in white and gold.

Lastly, we painted our walls a bright white and mounted three of these extra tall shelves from CB2 to emphasize our 12 foot ceilings. I love how it turned out and provides the perfect place for books, trinkets, and photos. Next up comes accessorizing! Photos coming soon…

End-Of-Season SALES!

Now that stores are rolling out their spring apparel, retailers are offering some amazing sales to move their winter merchandise. Shopbop.com is one of my favorite online shops for new designers and trends at mid-range prices and luckily for all of us, Shopbop is having a huge sale! I’ve featured some of my top picks from their sale section for your convenience! Click the photos in the post to link directly to the site. Happy shopping :)

#ThisIsGlam

I had my heart set on wearing a jumpsuit to a holiday event this year, but the one that I ordered online was a bit too revealing. While looking for something different to wear, I came across these two separate pieces at Banana Republic and it clicked! I could make my own jumpsuit :)

I added a clear clutch, rose gold heels, some green jeweled bracelets to my usual rose gold bangle, and a gold tassel necklace to complete the look. If you’re looking for a jumpsuit or suit option to wear to a holiday event or New Years Eve, consider putting together coordinating or matching separates for your own unique look. 

Have a happy holiday to you and your family from Open & Clothes!

Pins To Brighten Your Day

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Karlie Kloss stuns, from Women’s Wear Daily

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Limited Edition Kate Spade Live Colorfully Perfume in a gorgeous gold bottle

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I can deeply appreciate the silhouette of a full skirt with a fitted, cropped top ad pointed toes from Late Afternoon

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The Robinson Mirror by Tory Burch. I love ANYTHING with a tassel :)

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I first discovered this brand at Chicago’s Renegade Craft Fair and recently ordered this soothing, yet sexy candle. They are not lying when they say “highly fragrant!”image

Gallery wall possibilities by Steel Petal Press

imageCream cheese mousse with raspberries, yum!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Becks

Holiday Party-wear! 

Have upcoming seasonal festivities? Whether you’re attending a work gathering, or a soiree with some hip friends, you’ll most likely want to put together a fun, yet stylish holiday ensemble to suit the type of celebration. Here are two options to consider depending on the setting. Click the links below for where to buy. Enjoy your weekend and holiday parties :)

Classic Look:
Kate Spade stud earrings/ Bec & Bridge Helena Pant | SHOPBOP / alice olivia / Marc by Marc Jacobs Gig Hincy Cross Body Bag | SHOPBOP 

Daring Look:
CATHERINE MALANDRINO jumpsuit / MARC BY MARC JACOBS clutch /Jacquie Aiche bracelet /Diane von Furstenberg Rowan Metallic Sandals | SHOPBOP

Holiday Party-wear! 

Have upcoming seasonal festivities? Whether you’re attending a work gathering, or a soiree with some hip friends, you’ll most likely want to put together a fun, yet stylish holiday ensemble to suit the type of celebration. Here are two options to consider depending on the setting. Click the links below for where to buy. Enjoy your weekend and holiday parties :)
Classic Look:
Daring Look: