Madeline Shoes: Review and Try On!

I’m super excited to announce my most recent collaboration with the online shop Madeline Shoes! They offer super trendy, cute styles at affordable prices – which is exactly what a shoe hoarder like me likes.

In return for reviewing the brand on my blog and instagram, they sent me a cute pair of caged heels in black! These heels are called “winning” and they are the PERFECT transitional shoe as we go from cold winter days to spring!

I really love the modern chic look that these shoes give, and they can easily be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. For today’s look, I wore some black skinny jeans with a plain grey t-shirt and added a super cozy cardigan. This is midterms week, so I definitely wanted my outfit to be comfortable as I took a couple exams today.

My overall experience with Madeline Shoes was so wonderful! The ladies there were so helpful and kindhearted, and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to collaborate with them! I highly recommend the shoes, as they are super cute, super affordable, and quality!

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Photo credit goes to my roommate Rachel! Follow her instagram here.

 

A Guide To Happy, Healthy Hair

My hair history is a bit crazy. In high school, I never had hair longer than shoulder length, and at one point I was rocking the pixie cut (or at least I thought I was..) Because I had short hair, I always had to style it. So using heat on my hair became a habit. Senior year I decided to grow my hair out, and right before beginning my freshman year of college I began to bleach the ends of my naturally dark hair.

Since then, my hair has been ombre-d, balayage-d, lightened all over, bleached, and toned countless times. (at one point it was a nice shade of gray) My hair is now a honey brown and actually pretty healthy, but it wasn’t always like that. In fact, I just cut off around 3 inches of ends that were totally damaged and dead from mistreatment and over-bleaching.

If you want to know how I maintain my color while keeping my locks happy and healthy, read on!

  • First things first.. don’t over do it with the bleaching and coloring. Your hair needs time to become strong again, and giving it time to “heal” between lightening sessions is very important. I’m no expert, but I would definitely ask your stylist how long you should wait before trying to go lighter again.
  • Since my hair is naturally black, the lightened parts of my hair tend to get “brassy” or orange-toned. I personally don’t like this, as I tend to like the more ashy brown/blonde tones on me. To avoid brassiness, I use a purple shampoo. The brand I use is Not Your Mother’s and it works wonderfully. I find that it doesn’t dry out my hair like many purple shampoos do, and it does a good job of keeping brassiness at bay. It’s important to use color-friendly shampoos and conditioners if you want your color to last longer. Try to look for sulfate free products, as they are more gentle on the hair.
  • I also don’t wash my hair every day. I know that sounds gross, but it keeps my hair from being dry and lifeless. The days that I don’t wash, I usually wear my hair “natural” (no straightening!) and put some dry shampoo in. But if it feels a little more greasy than normal, I’ll put it up in a messy bun.
  • A habit I broke to keep my hair healthy is using heat. I rarely straighten my hair anymore, and I only curl it from time to time. I shower at night, so I usually have time to let my hair air-dry mostly, and then blast it with the blow dryer for a couple minutes (after I spray some heat protectant all over my hair). But other than that, I try to stay away from using heat on my hair because it helps it stay healthy and looking shiny. Also, rinsing your hair with cool water is a good habit to form. Really hot water is not good for your hair!
  • My final tip is to use hair masks. I use L’Oreal’s Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm on my hair around 2-3 times a week. After shampooing and rinsing, I massage this into the roots of my hair and into the ends, then leave it on for around 5 minutes. Once I rinse with cool water, my hair is silky smoothy and tangle/knot free. I’ve been using this product for around two months now, and I can tell that my hair is already so much healthier and stronger than it was before.

 

I hope these tips have helped you and given you some pointers on how to get your hair back to where it’s happy and healthy. ❤

With love,
Erin ❤

StyleWe: Dress Review + Try On!

I’m so excited to share this little collaboration I got to do with the brand StyleWe. Style We is an online website that delivers “Designers At Fingertips,” meaning that their designer quality dresses are just a click away on their online shop.

In exchange for two dresses from the site, Style We asked me to review them on my blog and Instagram account.

The first dress is a gorgeous red color, with the super trendy cold shoulder detail. It has a cute high low skirt, with a peplum around the waist. This one gives me major Taylor Swift vibes, and I can’t wait to find an event to wear it to!


(You can get the dress here!)

The second one they sent me is a trendy LBD. I love the scalloped, off the shoulder neckline. It really accentuates the waist, and would look great dressed up or down. I think it would be perfect for a modern Audrey Hepburn look!


Get it here!

Overall, I was absolutely blown away by the quality of these dresses. The fabric is thick and sturdy, and you can tell it’s quality. The workmanship of the dress is amazing too, and I have yet to find a lose thread or uneven stitching. The sizing was perfect for me (I am around 5 foot and muscular, and I got size smalls). They list measurements online, so it’s easy to find your size if you’re unsure what to order!

I definitely recommend Style We, and hope to collaborate more with them in the futures.

Thanks for reading! Make sure to give Style We a follow on Instagram: @stylewe and check out their shop online here.

With love,

Erin<3

January Beauty Musts!

  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette

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    I’ve been DYING to get my hands on this palette for months now! I personally LOVE warm tones because they really complement my skin tone and brown eyes. I’ve only heard great things about this palette, so I can’t wait to try it out!

    Get it on Amazon here!

  2. Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette

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    My inner moon child loves this palette. Just from the sleek, minimalist design of the palette to the pretty highlight colors, what isn’t there to love? Kat Von D is a hot brand this year, and she’s set to release a new eyeshadow palette sometime soon, which I’m keeping my eyes peeled for!

    Get it on Amazon here! 

  3. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

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    I’ve been using the same eyeliner since middle school (hey, it’s affordable and hasn’t failed me yet!) but I want to splurge a bit and see what the Stila hype is all about! Cult followers rave about this liner’s precision and staying power.

    Get it on Amazon here!

  4. Thebalm Manizer Sisters Palette

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    Another brand that I’ve been dying to try! I’ve only heard great things about this palette, as it is a go to contour palette for many beauty mavens.

    Get it on Amazon here!

  5. Too Faced Peach Eyeshadow Palette

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    Oh look, another eyeshadow palette! I absolutely love Too Faced products, and I so want to try this one out. Peachy eye looks are super in, and this palette has the perfect colors to get that sought after look.

    Get it on Amazon here!

  6. Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

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    I am a true ColourPop addict, but Kat Von D’s liquid lippies are said to have CRAZY color payoff and insane staying power. Plus there are so many colors to choose from.

    Get a set of her mini lippies on Amazon here!

  7. NARS Sheer Matte Foundation

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    I personally don’t use a lot of foundation, so I like light coverage when it comes to liquid foundation. But NARS foundation is known to have full but light coverage and lasts all day. Plus they have been praised for having a wide range of colors, so it’s easy to find one that matches your skin tone!

    Get it on Amazon here!

  8. Cover FX Enhancer Drops

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    HOLY WOW, oh man! These drops make any product turn into a highlighter, or you can use them alone for an ultimate glow effect. They’re a tad pricey, but the highlight you can get with them is amazing.

    Get it on Amazon here!

  9. Benefit They’re Real! Mascara

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    I have really sparse lashes that do NOT like to curl, no matter how much I curl them! But this mascara promises curl and full lashes without the clumpy effect that most mascara has.

    Get it on Amazon here!

  10. Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glow Kit
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    I have so many ABH products on my beauty wishlist, but this one made the top 10. I’m all about highlighting and adding shine to beauty looks, so this glow kit is perfect for beauty beginners or beauty novices.

    Get it on Amazon here!

    What are some of the products on your beauty want list?

    with love,
    Erin ❤

the little black dress, reimagined.

The LBD is hands down one of the most important pieces to have in your closet. It can be dressed up for formal events and dressed down for casual, everyday wear. You can wear it with heels, boots, booties, or sneakers. You can wear it by itself or with a shirt under it or a jacket over it. The outfit combos are nearly endless, because everything goes with black.

Since the LBD is such an important closet staple, I thought I’d show you I would style a few different LBDs.

LBD #1: Sparkles and Sequins: for a formal event

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You can’t go wrong with a sparkly number for a formal occasion. This dress is less than $100 at H&M and I paired it with navy velvet heels and silver accessories. The faux fur stole gives some warmth to the outfit, as well as an instant formal vibe. Since the neckline is already so pretty and detailed, I skipped the necklace and just added a bracelet and earrings.

Dress: H&M
Heels: Nine West
Faux-Fur: Selfridges&CO
Clutch: Nordstrom
Bangle: Belk
Earrings: The Dressing Room

LBD #2: Pop Of Color: for the office

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For this outfit, I went with a conservative yet classy knee-length dress with a defined waist and wrap top. I personally love the navy + tan + black combo, so I kept things simple by pairing the LBD with a navy blazer and tan booties. The scarf gives the outfit a sophisticated vibe while the clutch adds a pop of color and some fun.

Dress: Vintage Fringe
Blazer: ModLi Co
Booties: Dorothy Perkins
Scarf: Handbag Tailor
Clutch: Betsy Johnson

LBD #3 Blacks and Pinks: athleisure
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Athleisure, or the joining of athletic wear with leisure wear. Love it or hate it, this trend has taken the fashion world by storm. Celebrity after celebrity is seen pairing some adidas trainers with dresses or heels with sweatpants. I decided to pick this cute print t-shirt dress and add a bomber jacket (which is SO in this season) with some blush trainers. The accessories are handy and functional, with the hat and choker adding that “casual cool girl” vibe.

T-shirt dress: Boohoo
Bomber Jacket: Sans Souci
Sneakers: Adidas
Backpack: Vera Bradley
Hat: PopMap
Choker: Romwe

LBD #4 Grunge: for your inner rebel

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I have loved the 90s fashion revival lately, especially with the grunge style coming back. I actually have many variations of this outfit myself! Throwing a dark flannel over a black skater dress instantly adds grunge appeal, and you can’t go wrong with a pair of Doc Martens.

Dress: Hollister
Flannel: Madewell
Boots: Doc Martens
Beanie: Vans
Choker: RoseGal

LBD #5 Black Maxi: summer wear

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Yes, you can wear that LBD in warm weather too! A black maxi dress looks good on anyone, and this strappy one from Boohoo is no exception. I added these cutes tan sandals with a structured denim jacket to pull the look together, with some coordinating accessories.

Dress: Boohoo
Jacket: H&M
Hat: Kohls
Sandals: Nordstrom
Tote: Domino
Sunnies: Bloomingdales
Bangles: Nordstrom

LBD #6 Casual + Cool: my personal style

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This is my absolute favorite outfit, and it’s absolutely my style. I wear a lot of stripes and neutral colors, so I chose this cute jumper dress and put a simple striped under it. A trendy heeled bootie is always my shoe of choice, and I really love this red velvet pair. I added some tough girl accessories with a statement bangle and this cross-body purse with skeleton hand details. And I think the choker and print beanie add some more fun to the outfit.

Jumper dress: Dorothy Perkins
Top: J Crew
Booties: New Look
Beanie: Vera Bradley
Purse: Romwe
Bangle: Nordstrom
Choker: Miss Selfridge

What is your favorite way to style your LBD? Let me know in the comments!

With love,
Erin

instagram.com/erin.esther

10 liquid lipsticks under $10

I honestly don’t know how much lipstick I own. I have a drawer full of lipstick tubes that I have collected over the last couple years, and I have even more hiding away in purses and makeup bags.

To me, lipstick can absolutely make a beauty look. Whether I’m wearing a lot of makeup or not, a swipe of lipstick makes me feel a little dressier or put together. But this lipstick addiction is not cheap… quality lipstick is expensive! And it’s so hard to find a formula that works for you. I personally favor liquid lipstick over lip sticks or tints, because of how long they last. But it’s hard for me to shell out 20 dollars or more for one tube of lipstick. Luckily, I’ve had some luck finding affordable, yet quality lipsticks. And i thought I would go ahead and share with you all!

1. Colourpop Ultra Matte Lips: $6
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Colourpop is a recent cult favorite, offering a wide variety of colors at an extraordinary price! I have maybe a dozen tubes of colourpop, and I honestly haven’t been able to find a lipstick that beats it. the price is amazing and the quality is even better. The matte formula dries quickly and stays put all day. My only complaint is that it tends to dry out my lips quickly, but all matte lipsticks do that.

2. Colourpop: Ultra Satin Lips $6Ultra-Satin-Hutch_1_1024x1024.png

Like I said, colourpop is the holy grail of affordable liquid lipstick. I don’t like the ultra satin formula as much as the ultra matte, but it is equally as amazing. The colors are vibrant and they go on with little to no stickiness. I’m able to wear the ultra satin lips for most of the day without having to touch it up!

3. BH Cosmetics: Long Wearing Liquid Matte: $8

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BH Cosmetics is another beauty website that offers quality, yet affordable products. I have a couple of their eyeshadow palettes that I absolutely LOVE. Their liquid lipstick is also great quality. The formula goes on super smoothly and lasts for a long time. My only complaint is that they do not offer as many colors as colourpop does.

4. Nyx Cosmetics: Liquid Lingerie: $7

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I love NYX! Once again, quality products at an unbeatable price. NYX’s eyeliners, shadows, lipsticks, and skin products are pretty great quality for such a low price. I personally find their lipsticks, eyeliners, and bronzers to be their best products. I like the Lip Lingerie line because it doesn’t totally dry out your lips. That being said, they transfer a bit and need reapplying every few hours. But the colors are smooth and gorgeous on any skintone.

5. NYX Cosmetics Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick: $7

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These colors!! I have yet to find such bold, vibrant liquid lipsticks at such a great price. From electric blue to black, there are so many colors to choose from. Again, the formula doesn’t totally dry so you have to be careful about transfer and make sure to touch up. But other than that, the colors are incredible and the formula is super nice.

6. NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream: $6

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That’s right, another NYX product! I included this one because it is the only NYX formula that I’ve found to totally dry. It takes a little bit for it to dry all the way, but once it does it does not budge. I wish they came in bigger tubes!

7. Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip: $8

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I’ll be honest, this lipstick formula is kind of weird. The consistency reminds me of a lip gloss, but it dries matte. It doesn’t dry all the way, but it still stays on your lips well. I like it because it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing a liquid lipstick, rather it feels like I’m wearing a lip gloss or a lip tint. It’s not my favorite, and there aren’t very many colors to choose from, but it is a pretty good product at a good price.

8. Milani Cosmetics Amore Matte Lip Creme: $9

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Milani is another one of those cult cosmetics brands. I’ve only tried out their lipsticks, so I can’t really speak to the quality of their other products. I was really impressed with the rich colors and smooth application, and the product definitely dried matte. However, it started to crack and flake after a few hours of wear. I didn’t mind that too much, and the color lasted basically all day!

9. Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lip: $10.99

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This formula was my least favorite consistency wise. It’s extremely sticky, which I personally don’t like. The stickiness dies down after the lipstick dries, but I found that the color loses its vibrancy once it fully dries. However, they offer many different colors and it stays on all day without much transfer!

10. Maybelline Color Sensation Vivid Matte Liquid Lip Color: $7.99

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If you don’t like your liquid lipsticks to dry out your lips at all, then this is the formula for you! It goes on smoothly, and the formula is very creamy. However, it doesn’t really dry so it wears off quite easily. I found myself reapplying every hour or so. Regardless, it feels great on the lips and the colors are very pretty!

 

Do you have any affordable lipsticks that you love? If so, let me know what they are!

Thanks for reading, and happy lipstick hunting.

with love,
Erin