Monday, December 27, 2010

Parisian Pretty

Everything is so beautiful here---the Parisians really focus on making everything as pretty as possible.  Their malls are incredible. For me, seeing the mall decor, store windows and the general interiors of the malls was more exciting than the shopping itself (because uh, everything is super pricey here).
(click to enlarge)


The decor in Paris really does remind me of the movie "Marie Antoinette" from 2006 directed by Sofia Coppola.  It's really all about pastels and brights, bows and ribbons, embellishments and textures---everywhere you look, it's another visual delight. There's so much pretty here it makes everywhere else seem kind of boring in comparison. I've never seen such creative, beautiful and cute store windows before---I have pictures of those too that I'll share later.

Hope everyone had the best holidays! I have so much to share from our Paris trip...can't wait!  We leave for London Wednesday morning so we're very excited for that too. 

xoxo,

Veronika.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Getting to the Bottom of Things: Eiffel Tower Tour

Can you guess where we went today?

It was dry out and so sunny and clear---the perfect day to visit the Eiffel Tower---but we were disappointed to learn that we couldn't go to the top level, it was closed because of wind. We also visited Notre Dame today and walked around the city for hours...and ate crepes!
As you can see, I wore the cognac boots today. BIG thank you to everyone who told me to bring them---I am so glad I did because I started to get some serious knee paint after dinner last night.  It makes it really difficult for me to go down stairs.  Like super painful---I've never had knee pain before, ever. The Hunters are very comfy but they are a heavier less flexible style boot so I opted for my lighter Nine West boots.  I still get the pain after about 5-7 hours of walking, but I'm just trying to elevate my knees at night and take some painkillers.

I saw another girl wearing the exact same Hunters I wore the other day and I wanted to yell to her "don't wear those all day---your feet will feel fine but your knees will feel brutal!"

I'm also seeing A LOT of UGGS here.  Everyone is dressing for comfort because it's freezing---I haven't seen anyone really dressed up anywhere.  I've been loving my Lulu Lemon leggings---I layer 2 other pairs under them and can't imagine a comfier way to walk around all day. 

I also wanted to thank the person who told me about La Roche Posay being sold here---I went to a pharmacy today and sure enough they had the entire line of products and they were way cheaper here, even with the exchange.

We are having a blast here---tomorrow we head o Versailles! Can't wait :)

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!


xoxo,

Veronika.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Keeping Warm in Paris

It was all about layering today---one moment you're in the freezing cold battling the wind and snow---the next you're at the L'Ouvre---thank goodness they had a coat check!
Jacket- Michael Kors
Scarf- Forever 21
Hate- Charlotte Russe
Tights- Lulu Lemon Wunder Unders
Boots- Hunter Wellies


Oh yes, I'm definitely wearing THREE pairs of tights!  The Lulu Lemon Wunder Unders are the ones you see---and I have two cheaper pairs underneath. I must say tights are the way to go here---with all of the walking, the stretchy comfort is essential.  The Hunter boots are a huge heaven-sent for me as well (I'm actually seeing a lot of women here wearing similar boots).  They were super comfy almost all day long (after a day of walking the heels of my feet hurt slightly, but I feel like that would happen with any shoe---I really love these!)

Hope everyone has a beautiful Christmas eve!  We plan to go to the Eiffel tower on Christmas day---magnifique!!!

xoxo,

Veronika.

okay, one more:

Product Rave: Living Proof's "Full" Line

***We are still in Paris but I wrote this last week so the blog could be updated a bit while we were traveling!***

Product rave alert!  I was lucky enough to score one of the Today Show deals on the Living Proof line. I got three products from their FULL line all for $10 ($5 of that was shipping!)

I was excited to try this volume/thickening line because I remember being really disappointed in their frizz products (I had tried the frizz styling cream and didn't like the results.)


The best part about the shampoo and conditioner is that they are sulfate free. I started to use the Pureology line for that reason and was thrilled to discover that the Living Proof line was also free of sulfates---but this shampoo lathers like it does have sulfates which is awesome.  I find the Pureology shampoos take a little more effort to get a great lather going but the Living proof shampoo lathers very easily---I would have never thought it was sulfate free if I hadn't read the label.

One con of this product is that it has a weird lemon-peppery after-smell to it. I can't quite explain it...the products all have a lovely lemon scent...but there is this strange black pepper after-scent which mixes with the lemon.  I find the smell does stay in my hair after I've washed it (because the thickening lotion I apply on towel-dried hair has the same smell) but it fades significantly and it quite pleasant when hair is dry. But yes...the peppery thing is a bit odd.

I must say I love this line. The shampoo makes my hair feel super-clean and the thickening lotion is lovely.  I just enjoy the entire line and believe it adds volume to my hair.  I don't know that my hair is thicker when I use it, but the texture is nice and overall feels good---and because it's volumized, it probably looks thicker.  I've actually been using this line every time I wash my hair since I've gotten it.  I like it as much as or maybe even a tiny bit more than Pureology.  That could change over time---I'm a big believer in switching up shampoos every few months.

Have you tried anything from the Living Proof line?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!


xoxo,

Veronika.

FTC: I was not paid to review this product.  I bought this product with my own money because the Today Show had an awesome deal on it. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What's In My (Travel) Makeup Bag

Hello lovelies!  I thought this post might be helpful for anyone packing for a trip so I took a photo of everything I packed in my travel makeup bag. As you all know, I wear the same makeup daily, but I added a palette with 6 eye shadows (from MAC's Tartan Tales collection) that I could use to make a dramatic eye look if I needed to.

Here's what I packed:
 (click to enlarge)

MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation
NARS "Laguna" Bronzer
Bobbi Brown Blush in "Peony"
MAC Studio Finish Concealer
MAC Tartan Tales eyeshadow set--- 6 e/s, all neutral brown/bronze shades
MAC eye shadows in: "brun" "omega" "dazzlelight" "blanc type"
Benefit "Eye Bright" Pencil
MAC Fluidline Gel Liner in "dip down"
Dior Iconic Mascara (waterproof, black)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Lash (black, waterproof)
La Roche Posay Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector
 Proactiv Refining Mask (as an overnight spot treatment)
Victor & Rolph "Flowerbomb" perfume rollerball
Boscia Green Tea Blotting Tissues
Maybelline clear mascara (brow gel)
Anatasia of Beverly Hills brow powder
YSL Touche Eclat Radiance
Makeup pencil sharpener
Shu Uerma Eyelash Curler
Benefit "High Beam" mini highlighter (liquid)
Proactiv Refining Mask
Array of Makeup Brushes
NARS "Turkish Delight" lipgloss
Ole Henriksen eye cream

What are your makeup packing essentials? I tried to pare this down and not bring 4 different mascaras and different blushes---I just stuck with my favorite, most-used products. Also---this doesn't include all of my skin and hair care products, those are packed in a ziplock separately.

xoxo,

Veronika.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our 2010 Christmas Card from Shutterfly

I just realized I never shared how our 2010 Christmas card turned out---if you recall, I got them through the Shutterfly blogger promotion.

I just love how they turned out and we got a lot of sweet compliments on them. 

(click to enlarge)
What do you think? I used this picture because I liked that we weren't looking at the camera and the sparklers felt very celebratory to me.

Happy holidays everyone!

Did you send out cards this year or did you opt out of card sending in 2010?

xoxo,

Veronika.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Packing Update: New Additions & Questions About Hair Dryers & Travel

After reading through my comments and many message board comments about last night's packing adventure, I made a few adjustments to my suitcase while still maintaining the same amount of room.

I eliminated:
  • The sweater Candice lent to me---it was a teeny bit short on me and took up a lot of space so I decided to forgo it since I already have a lot of sweaters happening (thanks C for lending it to me!)
  • Some Lulu Lemon tanks I had packed---instead I opted to add some dressier black tops and an additional black tee which I thought I'd wear more than brightly colored workout tank
I added:
  • My black Express blazer---I had one of those *headdesk* moments when I decided to pack it---perfect, sleek, black blazer made from stretchy cotton fabric---umm hello, how was this NOT an obvious choice when I first packed!?   It's perfect---it can perk up ANY outfit, works well with skinny jeans over a black top for dinner and is perfect to throw over my fur-collar sweater vest for a luxe look---thank goodness I thought to pack it
  • A fitted black dress---which can double as a top/tunic (it's stretchy and I can roll it up)
  • The F21 tunic I wore with leggings and boots to my work Christmas dinner
  • The cognac boots---I chose these over heels---I will probably buy heels while I'm there---I felt the cognac boots were a better choice for this trip---who knows, I may be wrong

    I was actually surprised that though I added some items, it didn't appear that I did when I packed it all.  It's all about strategy and placement!
    google images
    ps- this is NOT my luggage, just a pic from google images! sorry about that!
So thank you so much to everyone who "helped me pack"---I might make some additional adjustments---I had a thought that my gray Express sweater with the pretty crystal buttons might be a nice addition because it's thinner than my other sweaters and might be nice if we get a warmer day...what do you think?

I also have to mention one of my lovely readers found the Target tunic top I was raving about (the one I'm wearing on the plane that's practically a dress length---definitely covers the bum) You can follow this link to buy it. I must say it looks much better in person than it does on the model---it's really such a versatile top!

At this point all I have to add to my packing process is my liquids and my makeup.

Someone told me that curling irons and flat irons don't work in Europe because they are too high voltage---I am not sure what my hair situation is going to be.  I don't even know if I should bring a hairdryer---lovely readers, please chime in and tell me there's hope for good hair? I have one of those converter plugs...but I hear the converter is not the problem, it's the voltage. Let me know your experiences.

Update: my H just told me his cousin lent us a voltage converter so I think my hair will be OK :)

xoxo,

Veronika.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Packing for Paris: So Many Sweaters, So Little Room

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post about PetsMart. I was saddened to hear additional feedback about negative grooming experiences there but I was also glad to read about some good ones. Like I said, not every groomer there is bad---but the overwhelming amount of bad experiences I've read about are what drive me to have the level of concern that I do. Thank you to everyone who is helping to create awareness about this ongoing issue.

I wanted to give a quick packing update.  Packing for this trip was hard because we will be away for nine days.  That means I need lots of clothes I can layer under my sweaters and hoodies.

We already packed everything into our luggage so I'm going to give kind of a general breakdown of everything I packed.  We are sharing one large suitcase and we each have a carry on (mine is the duffel bag and my husband has an actual carry-on sizer suitcase).

So, here's what I packed:
  • Tons of undies and 2 of my most comfy and soft bras from VS
  • About 5 sweaters---including a zip-up hoodie, my new BR hooded sweater, the sweater Candice lent me, a Lulu Lemon zip up (super fitted and has a high neck, perfect for layering)
  • Lots of layering tanks and super long tees---I would say I have 10 in total.  The tanks are from Target and Lulu Lemon and the tees are from Forever 21 and Love Culture
  •  Tons of tights and leggings---I brought about 4 pairs of HUE tights and then about 7 pairs of various leggings from Target and A'Gaci to layer under my skinny jeans and Lulu Lemon leggings for warmth
  • TONS of warm socks---seriously, H and I went a little sock crazy and bought a ton of thick socks to keep our tootsies warm
  • 1 pair of tall Chestnut classic UGG boots
  • 1 pair of Hunter Wellie boots (I'm wearing them on the plane)
  • A note on shoes---I decided not to bring any heels---after seeing the crazy weather in Europe on the news and seeing the weather forecast for the week we will be there...I just can't fathom a time I will wear them, ever...I also thought it would be nice to get a pair of heels as one of shopping indulgences while I'm there---which brings me to dresses---I'm not bringing any of those either---I'll probably find one there that I love and again, can't forsee myself wearing one since we will be doing touristy stuff all day---I did bring a nice black top though that I could wear to a dinner...under my massive puffy coat
  • 1 Michael Kors knee-length puffer jacket
  • 1 pair of GAP black "always skinny" jeans
  • 1 pair of Lulu Lemon black "still" pants
  • 1 long tunic-style black sweatshirt top I bought at Target today---it's seriously awesome---it's like a supersoft sweatshirt material (but not too thick), it's super long (like almost could be a dress) and has a sort of loose cowl-neck...love it! The front also has those sweatshirt-style front pockets---I'm wearing it on the plane with my Lulu Lemon wunder under leggings
  • 1 faux-fur collar sleeveless sweater vest--- I consider this to be one of the dressier items that could work for a dinner to spruce up an otherwise more casual outfit
  • 2 pairs of gloves
  • 2 hats---both black, one is more of a beret style and the other is the one with the ear flaps and pom-poms
  • 1 black circle scarf---perfect because you can make it a neck-warmer or wear it looser
  • 1 pair of PJ pants and PJ top (and I have some tees I can sleep in too---I packed a lot of them so I'd have versatility in how I wore them)
Then, of course, there's makeup, liquid products, electronics etc----but that's all going in my carry-on. I even carry-on some undies "just in case" out luggage is lost. I carry-on ALL valuables and I always carry on my makeup. I just don't trust putting it into my checked luggage. I buy regulation-size plastic bottles from Target or Walgreens and fill them with my shampoo, face wash, even my eye makeup remover and I put it all in a ziplock bag and never have any issues.  We also pack medication---from Excedrin to Immodium---just in case one of us gets sick---we'll have it on hand.

Notice I've once again packed a lot of our stuff into ziplock bags. I like to do this because it saves room and because it's great for keeping dirty clothes in as you travel.  I used the zip mesh part on the top of the luggage to store my leggings and tights and also all of H's boxers which I rolled into tight little cylinders.  I always try to roll everything I can into cylinders. For sweaters, I just folded them as best as I could and stacked them on top of each other.

I was originally going to show photos of everything I packed...but once I got going and H got all of his stuff packed in there too, I didn't want to unpack it all

To pack strategically, I laid out a "must" pile and a "maybe" pile and then I packed and saw what I had room for. I really thought about what I would wear considering the weather and what we would be doing there---touristy stuff---and I made the best choices I could.  The key for this trip was definitely layers.  Lots of tanks to wear under sweaters.

I totally wanted to be all glamorous on this trip, but the most important thing is staying warm---because if I have to suffer the whole time then I know I won't enjoy the trip (especially since I'm already one of those people who is ALWAYS cold!)

I think I have a lot of great clothing options that I can mix and match for a chic look. I don't have any dressy looks, but I have pieces that can dress-up some of my existing outfits. Living in the South, I must admit that I didn't have as many cool-weather pieces as I thought I did. A lot of my tops at sleeveless or have 3/4 sleeves.

I'm not even going to bring my beloved leather cognac boots. I just know I won't wear them. There's snow storms, rain, etc...I'd rather just wear the Hunters and protect my feet from the wetness.  I did bring UGGS on the off-chance that their might be some drier days and to lounge around in.

I think when you pack to go to a cold location, you're always going to have to pack a lot more than you would pack for a tropical vacation (because bikinis definitely take up less real-estate than big, cozy sweaters!).  Overall I'm happy with what I packed and I hope it all works out. I don't plan to buy a ton of stuff---but if I do happen to shop a bit, we'll have extra room in both carry-ons.

Phew. If you have any questions about my packing, please comment below :)

Before I go---H's parents came by today and dropped of our Christmas gift and we gave Lulu the tissue paper from the gift bag (he LOVES anything he can tear apart like toilet paper) and he had a ball.

Case in point:



Hope everyone had a great weekend! I have a 6 am workout tomorrow after taking the weekend off so it's time for me to get to bed.  Thank you for reading!

xoxo,

Veronika.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

PetsMart: Too Many Dogs Hurt---Speak Out About This Now!

I've never done a post like this, but something happened in my community recently which has rehashed some painful feelings for me and I'm so passionate about this issue that I need to share it.

This morning I was reading a local news story about a woman who's dog died after she took it to the groomer at PetsMart (link to article here.)

Here are some excerpts from the article:
"...she dropped River off at the groomer Wednesday and minutes later got a call that something was terribly wrong."

"I just picked him up and I held him and I was just crying. I said, 'What happened to my dog? Somebody please explain to me what happened to my dog,'" said Shorter.

"The champion-bred Maltese died, but when she asked the folks at PetSmart how it happened, she said, they gave her the runaround."(The groomer) said, 'He jumped off the table. Then he said, He fell.' That's when I said, 'Did he fall or did he jump? Because first you said he jumped, now you're saying he fell,'" Shorter said.

"...she immediately took her dead dog to a private vet -- and she says she has paperwork to prove that PetsMart's versions of what happened that day don't add up.

I posted the link to this article on my Facebook page...and within minutes I had the following responses from people:


"Maddison got her first haircut at the one in (hometown) and she was so stressed by it that she had diarrhea for 3 days after!"



"Just getting Sookie's nails trimmed at Petsmart completely freaked her out and she wouldn't let us touch her paws for days - it was the (hometown) one too! Thankfully we found a very patient home groomer down the street from us that's fabulous. That's so sad about Lulu though, poor thing."

"I took Sicily to her first hair cut there. She came back with very bloody red eyes that are signs os asphyxiation or head trauma. Thank god at the time I was working at a vet hospital. PetsMart are THE WORST for grooming. I have heard of ...so many cases I don't understand why they are not out of business. They don't even care with us after bringing the vet papers and talking to the highest person there all they did was giving us a gift card!!!! We didn't want a gift card all we wanted is for them to stop torturing animals, that apparently. Oh yeah now she hates grooming and nail clipping. When she does get it I have to be right next to her holding her. I'm so sad for that poor lady."

"I think they have a box drier that they put them in and sometimes it dehydrates the dog too much. We had one at ours that died that way."

"I went in there for food for Goose a long time ago and walked by the window where they grrom dogs....the lady was yelling at the dog! I was mortified!"


...and now I'll share my personal story. I actually wrote a letter  to PetsMart and filed an official corporate complaint about my experience:

When Lulu was about 6 months old, we took him to a PetsMart in my hometown to get his first "real" haircut. Previously, I had been grooming him at home without any issues---I was able to cut his nails, brush his hair, cut his hair on his entire body on face.
His hair was getting long and he had some matting so we decided to take him to PetsMart to be groomed by a professional (and I use that term very loosely, as you can tell by the above comments from others who have horror stories about their experiences at PetsMart).

We took our dog there and they said he would be fine. I left them my cell phone number and told them to PLEASE CALL ME IMMEDIATELY if anything isn't going right and we would come get him.

Lulu was my first dog. I had NO idea how long grooming takes.  THREE HOURS later they called me (I had called in the meantime to ask how it was going) and told me he was done.  When I got him back, it was like his personality had changed. Suddenly he was fearful, snappy and displayed aggressive/protective behavior when touched in certain areas, as I mentioned above.

I was so frustrated I just cried and wondered what happened. We obviously never took him back there.  It took us years of behavioral training to even get him to the point where he will allow us to brush him and I am also able to cut the hair on his face and ears---but he will not allow anything on his body to be trimmed so we have to take him to the vet to be sedated and have his entire body shaved so his matting doesn't get out of control.

I feel devastated and guilty to this day that I trusted PetsMart to take care of my dog. They clearly man-handled him and hurt him and made him feel like he had to protect himself from how they handled him.  What used to be my friendly, approachable, loves-everyone dog was now a fearful dog who didn't trust anyone except the people he lived with and saw very often

WHY DIDN'T THEY CALL ME? I wonder this all of the time...if he was having a hard time with the grooming, they should have STOPPED immediately and called me and told me to come and get him.  BUT THEY DIDN'T, and he ended up being traumatized for hours.  I will just never forgive myself for that---but moreso, I can't forgive PetsMart for their disgusting negligence.

It's not just my experience that concerns me---it's the countless people I've talked to in real life and on Facebook that have expressed their own horrible experiences with PetsMart groomers.  I am NOT saying they are all awful people who abuse dogs---I'm saying there are far too many horror stories---and they always happen at PetsMart---and it needs to stop.  I hope that if your dog has been a victim of PetsMart groomers, that you speak out and send the company a letter.

Oh---and if you're wondering, PetsMart did write me back---offering me "free lessons" to "help with his aggression."  Thanks PetsMart, but my dog is scared for life--and I certainly don't want to take him back to the very place where this occured. We have worked privately with a behaviorist and although he has has some improvement, I know it will never get to the point where he can be groomed normally. Animals are instinctual---if something happens once, and it was awful, they aren't going to submit themselves to it again without a fight.

Ugh. I am just SO frustrated. How can this be happening?  PetsMart needs to review their entire dog grooming policies and procedures. There are simply too many dogs suffering because of this irresponsible company.

I have not bought anything at PetsMart since this happened.  We buy our food from the vet and our dog toys at Target.  I simply can't support a company who thinks it's OK to submit a scared little dog to 3 hours of terror.

Do YOU have a PetsMart story to share (good or bad?)  Have you ever had a horrible pet-related experience somewhere else?  Let me know in the comments below.
Thank you for reading---and remember---if anything happened to your dog while being groomed at PetsMart---WRITE to them---and give your pet the voice they didn't have. You can email PetsMart at customercare@petsmart.com.

Please email them about the news story above and tell them it's NOT acceptable for people's dogs to die minutes after dropping them off to be groomed!

xoxo,

Veronika.

Weekend Shopping: Paris, Here I Come (Baby, It's Cold Outside)

I woke up at 5 a.m. this morning to do a quick work thing where I had to be on-site somewhere.  I wore a tee, my VS PINK thermal hoodie and my Zara jacket that I bought for our trip to Paris.

Let's just say that being outside even for 5 minutes felt awful even though I was wearing layers. I finally came to terms with the fact that my lined wool jacket just wasn't going to cut it in the freezing Pairs temperatures. I've been in denial all this time. "I'll layer!" I said confidently. "I'll wear polar fleece underneath!" I assured myself. Alas, I realized that the thin wool coat I have does not actually prevent wind from going through it, which is why my teeth were clacking as the wind lashed through my not-so-warm layers.

You can imagine my predicament on one of the busiest shopping days of the year---finding a down-filled jacket for under $300 was a challenge I didn't want to take on today---battling the traffic and parking space madness was already too much for me (Dear dude in the Dillards parking lot---thanks for blatantly pulling into a parking space when I was in fact signaling that it was mine, and then "shrugging your shoulders" when I tried to point out I was there first. Merry Christmas).

First, I tried a store called Whole Earth Provisions Co. which was good in theory but all of their down coats were the North Face and other pricey brands---I didn't want to pay $300 for a coat I was buying for one occasion.

I also tried Old Navy which was a fail...then I went to Nordstrom Rack...another fail.

Moving on.

I finally struck gold at Macy's where I found a MICHAEL KORS coat for 60% OFF! I couldn't believe my luck because it's exactly what I was looking for.  It was originally $265---I paid $103. Sweet lord was I ever happy!  It even made up for my parking lot experience.

Oh yes. I am going to be toasty and stylish, my vacation dream come true! 

Speaking of toastiness, behold my new gloves. Warm and cozy. I got them at Marshall's for $12.99:

Also from Marshall's this travel bag. I plan to bring this as my carry-on with things like my makeup products (no liquids), my camera and other pricier items or things I'll need on the flight.  It was $16.99.  Usually I take a large purse with me, but I'd rather have more room this time around since we'll be gone a longer time.

It's got side pockets and comes with a little baggie inside that matches to keep change in...or whatever else might fit that you need to store.

Finally, I got this cute tank at Marshall's for $7.99. It's super long and it's made of that comfy stretchy fabric.

My last purchase of the day was from Banana Republic. Right now they're having a 40% off of your ENTIRE PURCHASE sale---so go while it's still on (until tomorrow, Sunday Dec. 19). It's a great sale if you still have some last-minute gift-buying to do.

I got this cozy sweater (um, can I use the word cozy any more in this entry?) It's a light oatmeal color with super soft baby pink stripes. It's so soft and warm. I just love it.

This isn't a purchase---but the lovely Candice lent me this pretty sweater for my trip. It's so holidays! I love it :)

More to come this weekend.  I'm going to do a ton of laundry tonight so packing can commence.  I'm kind of stressed out about packing but I know I'll get it done and it will be just fine :)  I will definitely do an entire post about it.

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend (and if someone tries to take YOUR parking spot, just yell "Merry Christmas" at them, like I did.)

xoxo,

Veronika.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

(Not) Wearing Makeup to the Gym

I've been going to the gym in the morning about twice a week. I wake up at 5:40 a.m., hobble to the bathroom with my eyes half-shut not quite understanding what's happening, brush my teeth, wash my face, throw on clothes and shoes, toss a water bottle in my gym bag and off I go.

I know for a lot of women, not wearing makeup outside of the house isn't a big deal, but for me it was.  The thought of going anywhere "in public" without makeup on horrified me. Not because I think I'm an ugly beast without it---but because I am so used to leaving the house with my hair and makeup done---polished, as I like to call it. It's a routine, a way of life and makes me feel good about myself.

I realize women everyday go to the gym, to work and to fancy dinners without any makeup on, but that's not me, never has been.  So, you can imagine it was really out of my comfort zone to leave my house without going through my typical tried-and-true routine.  I felt naked. 

I thought I would feel really awkward without my makeup on---but to be honest with you, I somehow just stopped caring. Sure I poked fun at the fact that I never leave my house without it, and of course I still wouldn't make it an everyday thing---but when I'm at the gym, I'm so focused on my workout that it just doesn't matter what I look like then.  I'm sweating and burning and pushing myself really hard---and I'm proud of that...and the last thing I want to think about is what I look like with my hair pulled back, sweating and no makeup on. I'm more focused on the burn I feel in my abs and the "oh my gosh I need water" feeling.

I know this is completely corny, but at first, it was a big deal for me to get comfortable with just leaving my house without at least the teeniest bit of makeup on...but somehow that seemed less ridiculous than applying makeup at 5:40 a.m. to go to the gym.

To my lovely readers--- Do you wear makeup to the gym? If you're a regular makeup wearer, what did it take for you to get comfortable without it in select situations?

I still wear makeup if I have an evening workout (the same makeup I had applied in the morning), but if it's an early a.m. workout, the makeup just isn't happening.


Here is the outfit I wore today. More black, I know. But I'm trying to show more outfits with pants...so without further ado...

Top- Ann Taylor
Faux-Fur Trim Vest- Charlotte Russe
Pants- Express Editor
Shoes- Aldo

Hope everyone has a very happy Friday! (tomorrow)

xoxo,

Veronika.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ombre Hair: Here, There & Everywhere

Ombre hair has been such a huge trend for the past year. It's fresh, low-maintenance and oh-so-pretty.  I unintentionally sort of have an ombre look happening when I grow my hair out.  I typically dye my hair only every 4-5 months or so. So I let my natural mousy-brown roots grow out until they are a few inches long and then I get highlights all over again.

I'm contemplating going for a more ombre look at my next appointment.  My stylist added a few blonder pieces in the front underneath part of my hair at my last appointment to "test the waters" and so far I've enjoyed the subtle change. My new camera makes my hair look a bit lighter than it is, but you get the general idea. The issue with me is that my natural brown color is mousy---so I do like to have the highlights right at the top to sort of disguise that and blend it out. I could have my stylist dye my actual roots a little bit of a warmer shade of brown...but I don't know if I want to do that. We shall see.

Here are some of my favorite ombre looks. Is is me---or does this trend really look best on brunettes? I like it on blonde girls too, but for some reason the look is even more gorgeous on brunette hair, IMO.

All images are from Google, JustJared and Hills Freak.


Rachel Bilson---she has been rocking this look for a couple of years now---I would definitely say she was one of the earliest adopters of this trend.


 Audrina Patridge---not a full-on ombre look, but subtle


Lauren Conrad---loving her shorter hair here too!


Victoria's Secret model Lily Aldridge---gorgeous!

Sarah Jessica Parker---remember the ombre hair she had in the "American in Paris" episodes---that was years ago and I really think Carrie Bradshaw was the first to sport this trend.

Hilary Duff


Jessica Biel---I must admit I was taken aback when I saw these photos---she just looks so stunning and I think her hair is one of the best ombre looks in the bunch. 

What do you think of this hair trend? Do you think it will continue to be a trend or will it be old news by 2011?  Which celebrity do YOU think has the best ombre hair?

Do you think I should try to go a little more ombre?  Let me know in the comments below :)

xoxo,

Veronika

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