August 16, 2016

Today's Beauty Pick - Essie Gel Nail Polish

Essie Gel Couture, Pre-Show Jitters, Gel Setter Top Coat

I have no patience to do my own manicure. To look good, there are multiple steps and it always starts to chip off in a day or so. Once in a while I'd go to the nail salon to get gel manicures since they last a lot longer (up to 2 weeks), but it's pricier, my nails are always really weak after and I can't stand that I have to go back to the salon to get them removed. Who has the time?! Then, enters Essie Gel Couture nail polish... the solution to my manicure woes...really.

First of all, there's no lamp required so it applies like regular nail polish. Even better, it is formulated so that you don't need a base coat. Just apply the Gel Couture color and then the Gel Couture top coat. I happened to buy these at Target, and accidentally picked the Gel Setter top coat instead of the Gel Couture top coat which was fortunate since the Gel Setter can be used with any regular type of nail polish (not just Gel Couture) and gives it gel-like color and shine. A relief since now I don't have to get rid of my other nail polishes!

I tried the Gel Couture color in 'Pre-Show Jitters' with the Gel Setter as top coat and loved it! My nails really did have a gel-like shine and best of all it lasted much longer than any of my regular manicures have in the past.

Pre-Show Jitters

Gel Setter Top Coat

I'll probably try the Gel Couture top coat as well for comparison, but for now I'm sticking with the Gel Setter since it is so versatile!


August 6, 2016

OOTD With A Block Heel & Other Trends

OOTD - Equipment star print tank, Citizens jeans, Valentino purse, Prada silver sandals, RayBan sunnies
Hi, and hope you've had a great first week of August! Since we're headed into the last few weeks of summer, I've been really trying to make the most of it and plan on spending more time outside of the house/office (including trips to the beach!) even if that means bringing my work with me! All this extra time walking has me so grateful for the block heel trend. When I want to be more dressed up and polished, a block heel is a practical yet fashion-forward option, especially for a high-heeled shoe lover like me. And when the temps get super hot, any extra comfort in your outfit is a bonus!

OOTD - Citizens raw edge hem jeans, Valentino purse, Prada silver block heel sandals
I bought these shoes a while ago, but below are some other on-trend, metallic/white block heel sandals available now.



Other trends I'm wearing in this post and loving now are prints (to add interest to a simple black top), mirrored/round sunglasses (so chic), a raw-edge hem on jeans (for an effortless chic look), and a chain handle purse (for a delicate, feminine detail).

OOTD - Equipment star print tank, RayBan round sunnies

OOTD - Citizens raw edge hem jeans, Prada silver block heel sandals


Outfit Details:
top- Equipment
jeans- Citizens of Humanity (similar here)
shoes- Prada (another style in silver here)
bag- Valentino
sunglasses- Ray Ban


So, what are your plans for the final weeks of summer?


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Oh, and don't forget that there are just 2 more days left to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Prices go back up on Monday, August 8th! See my picks in this post and this one.


July 26, 2016

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Update: 9 New #nSale Picks



Public Access (started on July 22nd) to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is in full swing, and there is so much that has already sold out! These are some more of my faves from the sale in addition to the ones I featured in this previous post on the #nSale. This top sold out (may come back with returns!) while writing this post, but the other 8 picks here are still available in various sizes...for now at least! Click on the photos above to go to the Nordstrom site and get the specific deets. Free shipping and free returns, so get them while you can!

One of my fave purchases from the Anniversary Sale is this military style coat (see it in my previous post here). I know it's really hard to think about fall/winter clothing in the middle of summer, but I always regret when the cooler weather hits and I find myself scrambling to find pieces that I like in my size. Love the structured fit of this coat. So sleek. Stay tuned in the next couple weeks for posts of my haul here and on Instagram (@josephinacollection).



Prices go back up on August 8th!



Shop the post and more from the sale... :





Hope you're having a great week!


July 21, 2016

Today's Beauty Pick: Marc Jacobs Glow Stick

Marc Jacobs Glow Stick

As I get older, I've noticed that my complexion has gotten dull[er]. Even with exercise and good sleep, it doesn't have, or at least maintain, the same natural brightness that it did in the past. Recently, Influenster sent me this Glow Stick Glistening Illuminator from Marc Jacobs Beauty for review. I tried it and I loved it! First, I just generally love the MJ Beauty Line (even more than their clothes...gasp!). Second, the packaging is so sophisticated and gorgeous, love seeing it in my make-up kit. Most of all though, it's a great product.

The Marc Glow Stick is a highlighter that gives a subtle shimmer and a natural, more youthful glow.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Glistening Illuminator shade
Pearly white with a little silver, the shade is supposed to be universal. I was skeptical about this, but this color worked for me. A cream stick in a dial-up vial, I applied it directly to my face and blended it in with my fingers. So easy. Fortunately, it wasn't too sticky or wet and blended in smoothly. Best of all, after wearing it off and on for several days, it didn't make me break out (I'm break-out prone!).

A subtle shimmer...
Marc Jacobs Beauty Glow Stick on skin
So happy to have a new product that I love in my kit. Looking forward to using this glow stick in the colder winter months when I'll need all the glow help that I can get!


Disclosure: I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.


July 16, 2016

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Shopping Strategy + Must Have Picks



Inspiring nostalgia for my childhood summers at the pool and of course because it's summer now, this inflatable rose-gold flamingo (check it out, you'll want one too!) is one of my top picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I'm kidding, but not really... I really want it. Unfortunately, I don't have my own pool and the pool at our club doesn't allow floaties or anything that makes going to the pool fun. Boo. Might get it anyway though... Have a pool?

Fortunately, there are many more items at the Anniversary Sale (#NSale) that are a bit more practical that I need, want or must have. Since the selection is so huge, this post will help you strategize for the sale as well as share some of my top picks...so far.

In case you weren't familiar, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is an annual event when you can purchase brand new arrivals at discounted prices for a short period of time. At the end of the sale, all items return to their original prices. Early Access for Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale has started and is available to Nordstrom credit or debit card holders. Public Access to #NSale starts on July 22. All prices go back up on August 8


Strategy

1.


If there's a clothing or shoe item that you need, anticipate needing or have been admiring, check for that item first. The good stuff sells out fast (I know from past experience!), especially in certain sizes. Since there's free shipping and free returns, it doesn't hurt to get it early on and return/exchange it if it doesn't work. 

I have been wanting to get a coat like the one above, so I bought this one online as soon as the sale started. Also love this white top from Frame. On-trend with ruffle and tie-neck detail, this type of top is always a wardrobe must-have as it is versatile. It can be dressed up or down, and is perfect on it's own in warmer weather or layered under a blazer/jacket when it's colder. In a neutral color, it can be worn with anything. Unfortunately, it's already sold out in my size, but I will check back later. 

TIP: As the sale continues, sold out items reappear if returns are made, so check back periodically.


2.


Check for beauty items/home accessories that you know you'll be buying in the next year. Since these items don't often go on sale, it's best to take advantage of the discount when you can.

These are my Beauty Must-Haves right now. I love the nail polish colors of this Deborah Lippman set, and I know this is something I will use in the next year. I've been wanting a better hair dryer, so this T3 one will be perfect. Since it's always a good idea to prevent wrinkles and premature aging, this skin rejuvenating pillowcase and a hand cream with spf has been on my wish list. 


3.


Related to 'Strategy 2' above, gifts are another great thing to stock up on, especially housewarming gifts and last minute hostess gifts.

The Voluspa candles are also pretty decorative pieces that make a great hostess gift. Also love to gift a diffuser like this one from Antica Farmacista. These old-fashioned glasses etched in gold and this picnic basket are great gift ideas as well as items to add to your own wish list!


4. Now for the really fun part... Browse all the categories of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale to see if there's something that you've missed or newly discovered.


Scroll through 'Shop the Post' below to see all my picks from the sale so far as well as the items in this post above. Click through to get the deets and buy direct.

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July 10, 2016

Fave Summer Outfit Pieces

OOTD photo, Legends Suite seats
Summer, warm weather vacays and outdoor events always inspire me to step up my outfit game. And by step up, I mean add more color and/or detail which is a departure from the more minimal and monochromatically neutral outfits I usually wear.

Photo of field, photo day, Yankees players in dugout
From the Legends Suite seats and Photo Day. Image credit: Josephina Kim.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a Yankees game, a fave summer outing (check out/follow my Instagram account, @josephinacollection, for more lifestyle sneak peeks). It was extremely hot and sunny, and a wake-up call that I have very few summer clothes. I've got some basics, but... you guessed it, they're almost all black, white or grey and very minimal in design. Boring! Fortunately, I found the coral/red jeans I'm wearing above from the back of my closet while making a mental note to create a summer wardrobe wish list. 

So here it is so far. Right now, it's mostly tops since that is the easiest way to mix up an outfit look, but I'll definitely be adding more accessories and dresses. Some of the picks below, I've recently purchased like this, this and this. And the rest, I'll sort and edit through as I do more window shopping and check out upcoming sales. If I could buy it all now, I would!!



Click through the look book below to see some accessories and a skirt I've added to my list. Especially love the whimsy of the pineapple tote and the orange Valentino purse.





Yankees Game outfit deets from top photo:
Jeans- AG Jeans, similar ones here and here
Bracelet- Baublebar



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July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July!!

July 4th Fireworks
 Hope you all had an amazing long weekend and 4th of July holiday!

4th of July fireworks on the beach
These photos were taken from my balcony on the beach in OC, MD. It was a little hazy/cloudy and rainy off and on, but still totally relaxing!

Ocean view
Can you imagine waking up to this every morning?! So peaceful, I need to live closer to the beach/water...

beach view
Later this week I'll be posting some fave summer pieces as well as ones I just added to my wardrobe. See you on the other side and have a great week!


July 1, 2016

Sun Protection: Face Essentials

sun protection essentials for face, valentino bag
Happy Friday! I still can't believe we're already headed into the 4th of July long weekend and I still haven't finalized all of my vacation plans for this summer! One thing's for sure though, I, like many of you, will be headed to the beach/pool several times in the next 2-3 months. For some of us(me!), it'll be more sun than we get all year, so it's extra important to be prepared with sun protection essentials.

For the body, it's easy.  I'll just get a sunscreen either recommended by my dermatologist or after doing some simple research on the internet. For my face though, it had previously been a challenge since every single face sunscreen (and there were many I tried!) made me break out.

A few years ago, I started to read and hear amazing things about La Roche-Posay, in particular their ultra light sunscreen fluid for face. Since it was highly recommended for people with sensitive skin, I tried it and have loved it ever since. It's extremely lightweight, blends in well even when I wear make-up, and most importantly, it doesn't make me break out! I've worn it every day for the last few years, and also love that it's recommended by my dermatologist.

Another face essential I use more often in the summer and on vacay, is a moisturizing lip balm with spf. Especially love Trish McEvoy's Beauty Booster Lip Balm because it hydrates well, is conveniently applied via a squeezable tube, and the spf is 15.

Of course you can't forget your sunnies and your hat. Right now I'm particularly obsessed with the Broadway Sunglasses in Tokyo Tortoise that I received courtesy of Henri Bendel. A classic look with tortoise frames, they are so cool-girl chic with the mirrored lenses. Love, love, love!

And then there's a sunhat or visor. I love the look of a hat worn well, but the reality is that I hate what it does to my hair. So for me, I'll only wear a visor. A fave visor right now, and one that always accompanies me to the beach is this one from Eric Javits. The brim is just the right size and the headband is adjustable. But my absolute fave feature of this visor is the removable terry cloth headband insert(see below image). It is so smart, because as you sweat or when you're make-up slides around, you don't have to worry about getting your visor dirty. Just remove it, wash it and voilĂ . Your visor is clean as new!

Eric Javitts visor
Ok, so this has nothing to do with sun protection, but I couldn't help not including it, love it so much. I have super oily skin :( , so another summer essential for face are these oil blotting sheets. They help my skin stay matte without having to add product or make-up to it. A blessing in the heat!
oil-absorbing sheets in flatlay with Valentino bag

TGIF!


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