Friday, July 22, 2016

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Nordstrom kicks off their Anniversary Sale today and there are so many great deals!

I’ll admit, of the two major sales that Nordstrom does each season, I used to prefer the Half Yearly sale. The latter focuses on end of season items on their way out the door, so there are some insane deals to be had (especially among their premium designers). But with end of season sales merchandise is picked over and sizes are scarce.

The Anniversary sale focuses on the upcoming season, so it’s the perfect time to stock up on cold weather staples like boots and outerwear while all sizes and colors are fully stocked. The prices are currently discounted but they go back up on August 8th, so it’s a prime time to take advantage of the things you’ll be wearing come fall, before you need them.

Click the items below for my top picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Get them while you can as they are sure to sell out!

Let me know you get in the comments below!  #NSale


Thursday, July 21, 2016

3 Step Skincare Routine

Beauty1curves Each morning and evening after cleansing, my skincare routine follows a three-step process: eye cream, serum and moisturizer. During the day I top it off with sunscreen, but more on that in a future post. Summer is a great time to change up your products and experiment with lighter ingredients. I’ve recently finished my latest choices and wanted to share reviews of which products I’ll be re-buying!
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
I originally purchased this moisturizer last fall after some old makeup from a Halloween costume left me with an allergic reaction the next day.

Pros: Upon first use, I immediately loved this product. Soothing and hydrating, the itchy red bumps on my face were completely gone within 48 hours. Formulated without parabens, harsh chemicals or fragrance, its main ingredient is oatmeal. You can technically use it all over your body for things like eczema, rashes and even poison ivy! The lightweight whipped consistency absorbs quickly to soothe distressed skin.

No Cons: This is definitely a product I recommend keeping on hand year round – in dry winter months, and for summer when you need to hit the reset button on your skincare routine. The best part is its only $12.

Re-purchase? Yes!
Beauty3curves Kerstin Florian Brightening Facial Treatment
I received this product in a designer gift bag and was very eager to use it. I have hyperpigmentation spots on my face that have been stubborn to treat so any new product that touts brightening properties has me intrigued.

Pros: Brightening serums tend to be harsh but this one is gentle and did not make my skin freak out. I definitely noticed a difference in overall tone. I tend to be sallow, but this gave me a radiant glow and really smoothed the texture of my skin. The effect was like a mini facial in a bottle.

Cons: While I did achieve overall brightness, this did not help reduce the appearance of my existing hyperpigmentation. I was hoping for some lightening of my spots, but unfortunately this didn’t do the trick.

Re-purchase? No
Revision Skin Care D.E.J. Skin Cream
Another product from the designer gift bag, Revision D.E.J. skin cream has a proprietary blend of ceramide, herbal extracts and peptides to target fine lines and wrinkles.

Pros: With a faint scent of green apple, I truly enjoyed applying this product day and night. It left my skin feeling cool and energized. While I am blessed to not have many wrinkles, the fine lines around my mouth definitely became less visible. Most products that target aging can make your skin feel tight, but this gave my face a “squishy” feeling – supple, hydrated and glowing.

Cons: The only con of this product is the fact that you can’t easily purchase it. It’s only available online, at day spas or the dermatologist. For $67 it falls in the mid-range price point, and it’s worth it.

Re-purchase? Yes

Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm
Eye creams are so tough. I’ve been through dozens of them and have yet to find one that I can immediately feel and tell a difference from. Algenist is a company out of San Francisco that creates some truly amazing products, so I had high hopes for their eye cream.

Pros: With active ingredients like vitamin C, caffeine and alguronic acid, it has the goods to brighten and reduce the appearance of fine lines. After six weeks of use, I did notice a slight difference in the delicate skin around my eyes. Its balmy consistency feels luxurious and hydrating.

Cons: It took a while for the product to absorb, which slowed me down in the morning. I also wasn’t a fan of the way it smelled – too medicinal – and didn’t notice a big enough difference to justify spending $65 for another jar.

Re-purchase? No

What skincare products have you tried lately?

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Classics

Converse7 Converse12 Converse2 Converse11 Converse8 Converse10 Converse9 Converse6 Converse1Last week on In Spades we talked about pieces. Those hard-to-find items that make your heart sing and add a little something special to your closet.

Today I want to chat about classics. There's nothing more classic that jeans and a white t-shirt. The combo has been considered a uniform since at least the 1950's thanks to Elvis and James Dean, and has been adapted countless times in street style, on the runway and marketing campaigns ever since. Most days I reach for this exact combo and wanted to break down my top picks for how to achieve this simple, classic uniform.

The foundation of the look, it all starts here. You can't get any better than classic Levi's. I love to search Goodwill (I got these at a vintage shop in the Midwest) for great worn-in pairs with a button fly. Even the best dye houses in LA can't achieve the classic Levi's wash. For the original material reworked into newer silhouettes I like this pair (more affordable version here), or this updated style for everyday.

There will always be a debate about the best white t-shirt, but my two favorites are this one and this one. Look for 100% light weight cotton. If you have a bigger bust I recommend a v-neck, smaller busted ladies can go scoop or boat neck.

My all time favorite is Converse Chuck Taylor's, but I also love this pair and this pair for more support. They first came onto the scene in the 1920's as the sanctioned shoe of the NBA and certain branches of the military and haven't lost their appeal since. Their slim silhouette with contrasting piping make them not only stylish, but super versatile.

Neutral Jacket
A lightweight jacket is key for summer and can also be layered in colder months. Look for camel, navy or charcoal instead of classic black. I like the longer length of this linen number - it achieves kind of a blazer/trench coat hybrid giving me the best of both worlds. Bonus points: it looks great with shorts and long pants alike.

Bucket bags have been making the rounds for the past few years thanks to Mansur Gavriel. Why are they so great? Their neutral style is versatile while also incredibly sophisticated so you can wear them casually or formally. You can get in and out of them easily and their smaller size is still roomy enough for all of your essentials without weighing you down.

Jewelry is probably the most personal thing we put on everyday, and as I've gotten older I've found these go-to pieces to be more important than ever. I simply don't feel like myself without dainty adornments. Establish a base set (necklace, ring, bracelet and earrings) versatile enough to reach for daily. I prefer gold jewelry because it compliments all skin tones and recommend sticking to small pieces, i.e. studs, short necklaces, lightweight bracelets and stackable rings. Thatch jewelry is handmade in San Diego and I've been a fan of the brand for years. Their pieces are feminine and versatile and they are constantly coming up with new styles. I can't wait to get my hands on this ring.

Vintage Levi's // J. Crew tee // Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers // Zara jacket (sold out, similar here) // Mansur Gavriel bucket bag // Thatch and Parpala necklaces // Anthropologie (sold out, similar here) and Madewell earrings // Surrat lipstick // OPI nail polish

Macbook Air + Kate Spade Bag Giveaway

Happy Monday! To kickstart the week, I've teamed up with a group of bloggers to bring you another amazing summer giveaway. The winner will receive a brand new Macbook Air + Kate Spade tote bag. To enter the giveaway, simply follow the instructions in the widget below. The more accounts you follow, the more chances you have of winning! Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat

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When I was initially brainstorming names for In Spades, I wanted to include the word "pieces". A dear friend pointed out that my wardrobe was full of unique pieces, more so than everyday staples. While that can sometimes be a challenge when you're trying to get dressed everyday, what it does fully represent is my view towards fashion. I have always felt that it is one of the highest art forms, and like a collector, my interest has been in curating hard-to-find items that evoke positive emotions. While I enjoy a good trend as much as the next girl, I have never aspired to look like everyone else, every day. I enjoy standing out. And I enjoy when someone else does too, so I can admire their unique point of view.

Some day I want to pass on my collection to someone else. Whether it's a family member, friend or local theatre company, I want to continue the legacy of how great it feels to wear sequins at 7am. Or a gigantic patchwork coat in the dead of summer.

I first saw a photo of this amazing technicolor dreamcoat one year ago. It stopped me dead in my tracks. I knew it would someday be mine, so I bided my time and it eventually found it's way to me. I feel glorious wearing this coat. It truly taps into some inner wavelength in my brain that signals ultimate euphoria. I hope today's post brought a smile to your face as much as it did to mine. My goal is to encourage you to find your dreamcoat equivalent.

In the end I chose wisely by avoiding a blog name like "The Piece Collector". Getting dressed isn't just about amassing a collection of clothes, but rather finding things that make you feel like you're living your life In Spades.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Cinema Secrets Ultralucent Setting Powder

CinemaSecrets2Curves There’s nothing I love more than summer weather. Feeling the warm sun and salty ocean air at my back invigorates my senses in the best way. But wearing makeup in the summertime comes with its challenges. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re melting when you’re trying to look polished.

To help keep my makeup in place during these warmer months, I wanted something to set my foundation without feeling weighed down by yet another product.

I found my answer in Cinema Secrets Ultralucent Setting Powder.

Price: $22
Options: Comes in five shades and a colorless version
Simply put, this is one of the best makeup products I’ve purchased in the last five years. After applying my foundation and concealer, I dust this powder all over my face and it keeps everything in place. No smudges or streaking (even if I sweat!).

I have normal/combination skin – dry cheeks, moderately oily T-zone – and this absorbs the oils on my face without over-drying. Think of it as a blotting wipe, but instead of taking your makeup off, as blotting sheets tend to do, it keeps my makeup in place for over 12 hours.

If you have really oily skin, it’s recommended that you apply this powder before your foundation. I know how crazy that sounds (a powder before a liquid?!) but I’m told it works wonders for ladies who tend to be really oily. If you have any doubts, the formula is super lightweight – you seriously can’t even feel it – leaving no cakey feeling or product build-up.

My only concern before using the product was whether or not it was going to dull my makeup down. While I love a matte finish, I didn’t want to look like a statue in a wax museum. Because this product is so finely milled, it retains the pigment in whatever you’re wearing underneath it – foundation, blush or bronzer.

Best of all, it’s paraben and cruelty-free, certified USDA organic, vegan and formulated without gluten.

If you’re looking for something to combat the summer heat, I highly recommend checking out this product. Well worth the $22!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Embroidered Bomber Jacket

ZaraBomber3 ZaraBomber5 ZaraBomber1 ZaraBomber4acurves ZaraBomber6 ZaraBomber2 With summer in full swing, shorts, sandals and sundresses are pretty much the only thing on the agenda for the next couple of months. I always like to have a go-to jacket on hand for chilly evenings or aggressive A/C. Bomber jackets have been all over street style and in stores, and I couldn't agree with their appeal more. Light-weight and stylish, they have a flattering silhouette that works on all body types. I love the way they look with the sleeves cinched, or even tied around the waist.

This embroidered bomber from Zara struck the perfect chord for my love of California. Paired with one of my favorite pairs of sunglasses and vintage Levi's, it's a bonafide Pink Lady look.

I highly recommend investing in a bomber jacket for summer and have linked some of my favorites (some are reversible!) below.

Zara bomber jacket // Vintage Levi's (similar here) // 
Leather lace-up sandals (old, similar herehere and here) // Forever 21 sunglasses