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simplyb

Fashion

Easy Summer Dresses

When it’s super hot & muggy outside, the piece I immediately gravitate towards is a  light, breezy dress that allows me to just throw it on & go. Perfect for summer parties (day & night) family BBQ’s or a date night, a good summer dress is your best friend during sweltering heat.

I’ve been a fan of pairing mine with minimal slide style sandals (see post of these as one of my key summer pieces here but for something a little more dressed up but still summer appropriate, I love a raffia or woven heel like this one.

On another note, UGH who else feels like summer is basically over already? Although I am ready to do away with this sweltering LA heat, I’m trying to live up the remaining summer goodness while I can. I feel like I’ve been in a bathing suit a whopping 3x this summer and it’s not ok… I need to start hitting up friends with pools.

 

Beauty

Heat-Proof Summer Makeup

LA is having a SERIOUS heatwave. I’m talking 90 plus degrees near the coast… we’re dying over here.

During the summer or whenever it’s this hot, I like to pare down my beauty routine so it’s as fuss-free & heat-friendly as possible. That means cutting down on powders, which cake when you sweat,  embracing dewiness & going for a more natural look.  Here’s a break down of my routine & must-have products for heat-proof makeup.

 

Face:

I start with Fenty Beauty primer (my absolute favorite) to at least try to keep everything in place. I then mix Mac Strobe Cream (about a dime sized amount) with my IT Cosmetics CC cream & add a little bit of Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Serum. I read amazing reviews about this product online and tried it and am absolutely in love, you can mix it with just moisturizer or sunscreen if you want even less coverage, but it adds such a pretty bronzy glow to whatever you mix it with. Apply with a damp beauty blender or even your hands.

For concealer, I use the usual suspects, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard, Vanilla & Honey. If somehow I’m looking fresh (rare) I’ll skip this part. For heat-proof makeup, I use concealer sparingly since its a bit thicker & thus more likely to crease or cake.

I then use a cream bronzer, either Chanel Soleil de Tan or Fenty Beauty Match Stix in Cocoa. Apply with an angled brush & blend out with beauty blender… or just use the beauty blender if you’re short on time & tools.

Pat on a cream blush, I like Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk, or this Kosas blush & highlighter duo. I use my fingers to start then blend with a beauty blender.

Apply cream highlighter, again I like Glossier’s Haloscope in Quartz or the cream highlight from the blush duo I mentioned above.  I focus on tops of cheekbones, temple, brow bone & cupids bow.

Set the under eye with a little Laura Mercier powder and a 224 MAC brush (or something equally as small & fluffy). Use sparingly, just under the eyes, side of the nose, chin & a little between the brows (or wherever you tend to get oily.) The goal is to allow the majority of your face makeup to meld & mix with the oil & sweat you produce, which will be inevitable in the heat.

 

 

Eyes, Brows & Lips 

I like to use a little bit of cream bronzer in the eye socket for definition, and if I’m wanting a little more glow I use a cream shadow like Glossier’s Lidstar (I’m loving “Fawn” & “Cub”….. PSA I was at the Glossier store and heard someone say Beyonce loves “Fawn”. If its good enough for Queen B it’s good enough for SimplyB!)

Use a tinted brow gel like Glossier’s Boy Brow to brush brows into place.

Also… I swear this post is not sponsored my Glossier, they just have great low maintenance beauty products!

Lips

I keep it simple & fill in with my favorite liner, Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk & apply some Aquaphor

 

Let me know in the comments if you try any of these products!
Fashion

The Key Pieces You Need for Summer

When summer rolls around I’m always super excited about getting a ton of new pieces to add to my wardrobe, bathing suits, hats, rompers, jumpsuits, separates, sandals…. I want it all.

In reality, we can’t have EVERY single thing we want when it comes to our dream wardrobe (though mannn that’s the goal for me). But you can invest in a few key pieces that will freshen up your wardrobe and keep your look current– without blowing your entire paycheck.

Here are some of the key pieces you need for  summer 2018

Straw Bag

Whether its the ultra-popular Balinese inspired circle bag, or a large woven tote, a straw bag will add a dose of summery breeziness to basic outfits.

 

 

 

Flat Slide Sandals

The ideal sandal for the summer is simple, understated and chic. I love how flat slides are a bit androgynous and balance out more feminine looks.

 

 

 

Two Piece Set

Matching sets, whether they come in skirt, short or pant form, are the most versatile pieces for summer because you can wear them together or separately (duh). But really, they give you so much bang for your buck. I love tops that are slightly cropped paired with a high waisted skirt or pants because no matter what your body type, the waist is always fair game to highlight!

 

 

 

A Sexy One Piece

My favorite thing about one pieces is that they can double as bodysuits! I love a high cut leg and a top with a lot of support, but small chested girls can get away with some of those hot plunging ones (jealous).

 

 

 

A Day to Night Jumpsuit

Summer automatically makes every night even a little more casual, so you can get away with wearing more day-time pieces to happy hour, dinner, after-dinner cocktails and beyond, especially if you wear with the right accessories. A jumpsuit is the perfect wear-everywhere piece to take you from day to night.

 

 

 

Happy shopping!

Fashion

New Year’s Eve Style

My birthday happens to fall on New Year’s Eve, so I feel I have double the excuse to be SUPER extra when it comes to my party look. Is it sparkly, shiny or sheer? I’m on it. Over the top faux fur, studio 54 stye liquid mesh, aggressive party accessories that you really can only wear once? Down.

Even if it’s not your birthday on the 31st, I encourage you to go all out when it comes to your NYE outfit. It’s only the last day of the year 2017 once right?

Shop Simply B approved party pieces below….

AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

Beauty, Fashion

Cyber Week Deals

Fashion

MissGuided

50% off EVERYTHING

ASOS

30% off everything

 

Nordstrom

Extra 20% off sale items

 

Net a Porter 

50% off Sale Styles

 

Sam Edelman

30% off site-wide

 

J.Crew 

40% off everything

 

FashionBunker

25% off everything

 

Revolve

Up to 50% off sale

 

Baublebar

35% off everything

 

Madewell

25% off everything

ShopBop

Up to 75% off sale items, 20% off $200 or more, 25% off $300 or more,  30% off $500 or more!

Bloomingdales

20% off 200 or more + other specials

 

Beauty

Space NK

Buy One Get One Free

Sephora

Various deals on gift sets etc.

Dermstore

Up to 30% off

Nordstrom

80 different gifts with purchase!

 

Fashion

Shop the Trend: Velvet

Velvet is my answer to everything now right now

Date night out? Rosy velvet top.

Casual day dress, boho velvet piece in midnight black.

Go with everything clutch? Yummy eggplant colored envelope bag

Statement heels? Jewel-toned velvet platforms pumps

Bank account low? Wait…

Seriously velvet is king/queen/God. I can’t get enough. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite pieces at every price point below

 

Fashion

Shop the Trend: Tassel Earrings

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with everything gold but I’m making an exception for fun tassel earrings this season! They add color and dimension and a dose of party-ready glam to every outfit.

Shop my favorite picks below

 

Fashion

Shop the Trend: Vintage Gold

Who remembers the episode of Sex and the City where Carrie finds the gold engagement ring Aiden is going to propose to her with and vomits? It was a classssic.

Well if someone could find an exact replica of that ring it would sell out in a hot minute because vintage- nineties-looking gold jewelry is EVERYTHING right now.

Whether its some delicate gold earrings with a wispy updo, a classic vintage Italian looking necklace paired with a sleek off the shoulder top, or statement-making chain earrings, adding an element of vintage gold makes even basic outfit look a little cooler

Activism, Beauty, Fashion, Health & Fitness

September Favorites

Happy September everyone, it’s officially Fall! I’ll save you the typical schpiel about how excited for all things boot & pumpkin related (because we know I am) by keeping it short & sweet and telling you I’m just happy to be getting into the crisper months.

 

Fashion

J. Crew is really killing the game with their fall separates right now. They have some adorable silk & velvet camisoles that I have in my shopping cart right now, along with some super cute blazers & coats  I also want to grab. PLUS an amazing fur vest in the yummiest wine color.

I‘m also in the process of building a pair of custom shoes with Shoes of Prey! I’m sure you’ve seen the shoes below on Pinterest, I feel like they are the most pinned shoes ever! They’re by Aquazarra, and retail for like $700. Since I don’t have that kind of cash lying around to spare on shoes, I decided to make a similar pair on Shoes of Prey for only $150. Can’t wait to see how they turn out!

 
Finally, I just stocked up on some Everlane basics. While I love a good statement piece, nothing beats have great quality pieces like long sleeve t-s for layering, crisp black jeans or my new favorite wide leg pants. Shop all the pieces I purchased below!

 Beauty

I don’t know if you heard, but Rihanna just changed the makeup game. Her Fenty Beauty line is TO DIE FOR. The collection is focused on skin, so think primers, highlighters, contour & concealer sticks. I bought the Universal Lip Luminizer, and am in love. While I’m not usually a gloss person, this is just so flattering and pretty with just the right amount of shimmer & warmth. You can wear it alone or layer over lipsticks and it really does look good on everyone. I also grabbed the Primer which I’ve been mixing into my foundation before applying ( I read somewhere that it works better that way) and it gives me the perfect matte without drying me out. I also grabbed the Match Stix Shimmer in Starstruck and want to get my hands on “Rum” because it’s suppose to look beautiful as a bronzed eye.

On the hair front, my hairstylist recommended these two products to me during my last visit and I’m in love. The first is an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse. I have a problem scalp so this really helps both with scalp irritation and also to remove product build-up. It’s color-safe and somehow takes the place of a shampoo & conditioner, without smelling like traditional ACV. Seriously magic. The second is Marula Oil 3 in 1 Styling Creme. It’s super moisturizing and tames my frizz really well. I put it in after I shower and either let my hair air dry (90% of the time) or style. It’s like a leave-in conditioner, styling cream, and hair oil all in one, plus it smells amazing.

Everything Else

Healthwise, I’m trying something called carb cycling, you can read about it here. I owe you all an updated fitness post where I’ll go into more detail but essentially you cycle high carb days with low carb days as a way to decrease calories a bit & shock your body, without cutting down your carbs too much. I’m a monster on anything less than 100g of carbs per day so I’m using a moderate approach where I don’t go below that.
 
If you haven’t watched Narcos, do it now. I finished it in like three days, mainly because of my intense crush on Pedro Pascal. I’m also super excited that Outlander is back on! If you’ve never watched it and love period shows, it’s definitely a must! Every time I watch I have the urge to re-visit and or move to Scotland.
 
I also just received my first monthly task from a program called Safety Pin Box. The idea behind Safety Pin Box is to better educate white people who want to become better informed and strong allies for the Black Liberation movement, with a particular focus on women. This month’s theme is #blackreprodjustice. Repro rights are near and dear to my heart, but I know I have an inherent bias that prevents me from advocating on behalf of women of color, so I’m really excited to dig into this and make some changes to my way of thinking and advocating.

 

 

Fashion, Travel

Summer in Italy

 A few weeks ago I spent 10 days in Italy and it was as you would expect, magical. Heres a recap

Rome

I started in Rome and was able to spend a few days leisurely exploring the city. I had been to Rome and hit most of the touristy spots before, so this trip was really about relaxing in little cafe’s & wine bars, shopping and just seeing where ever the day took me!


The only downfall of traveling in late August is that Italians take their summer vacations then, so a couple of restaurants I was dying to try were closed! Don’t worry, I still managed to eat well 🙂 Luckily I have a bunch of girlfriends who have spent time in Rome so I had a great list of restaurants to try! Some highlights were Gelato Teatro for the MOST amazing gelato (luckily my hotel was 2 min away by foot, not planned, just lucky!) Tip: I met someone who ran food tours in Italy and told me surefire way to pick out high-quality gelato is to choose the shops where the gelato is fairly flat and unassuming, as opposed to the big billowy tubs you often see. The latter is filled with additives while the former is more natural and flavorful. I tested this out and it’s definitely true!


I also loved La Fraschetta (amazing cacio e pepe) and Checco er Carratetierre for a no frills authentic Roman experience. Cafe Grecco is also adorable and  picturesque and is a famous cafe where John Keats & Lord Byron used to hang! Expensive but definitely worth a trip for a pastry and espresso (or champagne!)

I also HIGHLY recommend taking a cooking class at Cooking Classes in Rome. Chef Andrea was warm, funny and knowledgeable. The class was five hours and we prepared everything from scratch. At the end of the class the students sat down to the four course meal we made, complete with wine pairings.

I stayed in the Campo de Fiore area for the first part of my trip, and Trastevere for a night before my AM flight back to the states. I recommend both, Campo de Fiore was very central and conveniently located, and Trastevere had amazing restaurants and bars.

Capri

Next  took a train to Naples and a ferry to Capri. I can honestly say Capri was one of the most glamorous places I ever visited. Capri is known for being the go to choice for celebrities like Sophia Loren and even the Kennedy’s  and I can see why. It’s a beautiful, mountainous little island filled with designer shops, bars and amazing food. I stayed for two nights and could have spent five. Some people advise just doing a day trip from the Amalfi Coast but I disagree, as the magic of Capri is best felt when the crowds die down! During the day it’s a tourist trap so it can take a long time to get from one place to another, and you want to allow yourself ample time to explore both Capri city and the quieter Ana Capri.

Make sure you spend some time at one of beach clubs where you can relax, tan & order food and drinks. The most popular are Da Luigi & La Fontelina

Definitely take a boat tour around the island, it’s the best way to take in all the sights like the Blue Grotto, bottle of Mireval is optional (kind of!)

Positano & Amalfi Coast

Next I made my way over to the Amalfi Coast where I spent most of my time in Positano! It was even more beautiful in person, pictures really don’t do it justice! I stayed at Hostel Brikette which I highly recommend, especially if you’re a solo traveler & on a budget. The shared rooms are between 25-50 euro, and while I rented my own room and it wasn’t necessarily cheap, compared to even mid range hotels in Positano it was steal.  It was clean, had a great breakfast menu, $6 bottles of wine and cheap cocktails served all day, along with a gorgeous balcony overlooking the ocean. I spent time at both Spiagga Grande & Fornillo beach and have to stay I preferred the latter as is was a bit less crowded and more peaceful.

Other highlights were a delicious lunch at Chez Black where I tried fried zucchini pasta ( a speciality on the Amalfi coast) and fabulous drinks at the Oyster Champagne bar at La Sirenusa, on the the most beautiful hotels in Positano! Another memorable dinner was the one I had at Next 2, definitely grab the meatballs and polenta cakes! Amazing wine selection as well.

I only had three full days in Positano so I wasn’t able to do as many day trips as I’d hoped, like explore some of the beaches in Praiano, but I was able to make it over to Ravello and I highly recommend making it a priority to visit! Ravello is higher up on the mountainside so it has a unmatched view of the coastline. Very quaint and serene, its the perfect day trip to escape the bustle of Positano during high season. I didn’t get a chance to dine at Belmond Hotel Caruso because it wasn’t open for lunch at the time but if you’re able to, definitely stop in, it’s beautiful historic luxury hotel.

I loved my taste of Italian summer, there’s really nothing like it. As soon as I got home I started brainstorming my next trip, because I always love having something to look forward to… open to suggestions!

<3 Brittany