Brand Spotlight: Dolce & Gabbana

I dream of the time that I will be able to afford the decadence that D&G offers. The ads are always so glamorous and Italian. Italy is a country that I have visited several times due to familial roots. I fall in love with it again each time I return, and one day I will definitely prance the island of Capri in a silk organza D&G frock!

The spring/summer collection is upon us and there’s no shortage of pastel blooms and rich detailing. These campaigns have been out for a little while now, but with the 5-degree weather out I figure everyone could use a little spring in their step (ha) right about now. Everyone in the ads is having so much fun and I just love the look of bustiers and full skirts.The women are sexy without being over-the-top, and the children are dapper (check out those suspenders!).

Check out the campaigns below, and shop my picks after the photos.

^That’s my doppelgänger on the far left. HEE HAW.

Donating to Thrift Stores

Woo-hoo, it’s almost time for spring cleaning (if you’ve got the free time, that is). Christmas isn’t the only time you have to be charitable, and now’s the time to pass on your unwantables to your friends, family and local thrift stores.

Here are some of my favorite options for donating and selling, though consignment stores tend to be picky:

Thrift culture isn’t just about finding good deals – it’s also about giving back! Whether or not you believe in karma, it’s always good to help out that local thrift store. It’s probably served you well and it’s so satisfying to clear some closet space for the fun new spring stuff.

I like to separate my unwanteds into a few separate piles (last mentioned here). Selling your clothing opens up a new realm of possibilities, but to keep it simple you can just haul a few bagfuls of clothing to the Salvation Army or a non-chain, like a hospital or church thrift store (these places are usually even less expensive than the chains!). Once you’ve done your good deed, I completely understand if you leave with a bunch of new things.

Oops!

This Week in Cosmetics: What’s In My Box

I keep a Birchbox box (these are perfect for storing little trinkets) on my nightstand with a few products that I use night and day, daily. These are my essentials, aka the Holy Grail products!

Julep Mint Condition Pedi Creme – I use a dime-sized amount before bed in order to wake up with super soft feet.

Dr. Jart+ Black Detox Beauty Balm – I last wrote about this here!

Nude Skincare ProGenius Treatment Oil – This came in the Sephora Favorites Essential Beauty Oils kit that I bought last month. I use this in the morning after I wake up so my face is fresh and ready for makeup a little while later.

The Body Shop Mini Shea Body Butter – This is my moisturizer of choice throughout the day. The smell isn’t overpowering and it’s even on sale right now for only $3.60!

Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial – Korres products make me eager to visit Greece. I apply this all over my face before bed to wake up with soft skin and invisible pores. It also smells amazing.

Murad Instant Radiance Eye Cream – After the Nude oil, I apply this under my eyes to reduce bags and shadowing.

Benefit Erase Paste in Fair – I last wrote about this here!

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Sugar (Original) – The only time I would ever spend this much on chapstick. Worth it.

What are your HGs?

Men’s Fashion: Part II

For this post, I had two classy guys lend me their thoughts. It’s great to see how people can have different perspectives about thrifting. Enjoy their experiences, and I hope this helps out any tentative male thrifters out there!

Darian Lusk:

“When I’m in a thrift store, I usually just browse because if you go into a thrift store looking for something specific, you will literally never find it. Instead, you have to go in with an open mind. When thrift store shopping, I look first for style, and once I see something I like, I check the label to see if it’s a brand I recognize. If I’m cool with both style and brand, I will try it on. I generally shop for button down shirts, polo shirts, tee shirts or jackets. No pants or shoes.

Regardless of what you buy, wash before wearing. But never dry clothes from a thrift store because you could damage them. In terms of where to shop, most towns tend to have one or two good thrift stores. I like Plato’s Closet and Salvation Army, but those vary from place to place. I have also visited consignment stores but they tend to be more expensive and they gravitate towards women’s clothing.

Some of the best things I’ve found at thrift stores: Lacoste bed set, ralph lauren varsity cardigan, a tee shirt from one of my favorite restaurants in montreal, that I found in new york, and maybe half of my current wardrobe! Fellas: if you’re sick of paying a lot for clothing and also want to dress differently from your other guy friends, I would recommend checking out your local thrift store. If Macklemore can do it, so can you!”

Tyler Constance:

“We spend so much of our time in sterile, lifeless environments. To enter a space with such a distinct personality may be enough to trigger one awake from the higher-pressure environments we don’t even realize we’re accustomed to. You won’t find wall-sized ads with airbrushed models pressuring onlookers to buy the products that make them so happy in photographs. Quite the contrary, thrifting environments may feature wrinkled grandmothers volunteering in their spare time to collect a few dollars for their local church, smiling just because of the company you offer them. I gravitate towards the small, cramped thrift stores in lieu of the usual giants of Goodwill and Salvation Army.

Regardless of the space I’m in, I do tend to have the same approach. Some people look for high-end brands or fancy materials. I, however, am almost problematically thin. When style is concerned, it’s all about a proper fit, and my shirts are all XS. After that, I can focus on aesthetic. I don’t like wearing any clothing with logos, so American Eagle and Lacoste are out. After that, I check out the material. I don’t wear wool or leather for ethical reasons, and I choose not to buy secondhand items with those materials as well. Defining what I need in advance helps me prevent clutter. If I don’t genuinely love it, it doesn’t deserve the space on my rack.

While larger stores may offer a better choice of shirts and pants, the item I’ve had the most luck with, regardless of the location, is the necktie. Skip past the obnoxiously large ties of the nineties and see if you can find anything slimmer. I favor the look of simple matte cotton ties, but wear whatever you love, and even if you’re not a tie-guy, $0.25 isn’t much of a commitment. If you don’t like it, just re-donate! (note from Gab: look out for a post on this soon.)

Thrift stores are different for everyone, but if you’re only using them for Halloween costumes and ugly Christmas sweaters, you’re drastically under-utilizing your resources. Treat these places as a treasure trove of classic and vintage style pieces, a raw material supply store for projects (my favorite practical accessory is my school messenger bag, which was custom-made from pieces of thrifted [non-wool] suit jackets.), or even just as a dumping grounds for the remnants of your middle-school “scene” phase. If you’re creative and inspired enough, you can use the versatility of thrift stores to provide you with a staggering array of options.”

Reddit Makeup Exchange

Lately I’ve been fed up with eBay and its insane selling fees. I’ve been steadily making the switch to reddit, where it’s easy to swap and sell stuff to people in niche communities. My favorite such community is /r/MakeupExchange, where beauty addicts such as myself can buy, sell and trade new and swatched cosmetics in a friendly environment. I know I’ve been posting about reddit a lot lately, but I’ve made quite a bit of $$ on MuE so far and scored some great new products as well! You can find everything from drugstore brands to Korean skincare to popular brands such as Dior and Mac.

*shameless inclusion of my favorite Mac campaign*

MuE has a great feedback system. When you do a swap or sale with someone, you can comment on each other’s “flair” threads (in a different subreddit). The more your positive flair builds, the more trustworthy people are as swappers!

It’s really easy to set up your own swap or sell list – you just take pictures of what you have to offer and list the names and usage of your products. People then comment on what they’re interested in, and you can either set your own prices or haggle together. Funds are exchanged through PayPal and photos are uploaded onto the user-friendly picture hosting site Imgur.

Finally, my favorite thing about MuE is that it’s a great way to try products without paying Sephora or Ulta the full price and going through a potentially lengthy returns process if you don’t like the item(s). People are also very accommodating and will often check their local cosmetics stores for products that your store has sold out of as long as you reimburse them. They’ll then buy and ship it to you!

Another subreddit that you may be interested in it /r/BeautyBoxes, where people post reviews and thoughts about different subscription boxes and even create their own BB exchanges. I’ve done BB exchanges with other members and it’s tons of fun, plus way more tailored to you than professional subscription services.

What I Wore: School Girl

bfb1

I only watched Gossip Girl for one season because the characters were insufferable (and not in a good way), but I was and still am in love with Blair Waldorf’s wardrobe. The tights! The neck-scarves! The headbands! Blair’s attitude isn’t classy at all, but boy, can she dress.

bfb2

This is an outfit that I would wear to class. I chose the plain lavender tee (Cynthia Rowley, $12 at TJ Maxx) in order to bring out the blues and purples of the flowers in the short, flippy skirt (Zara, bought for 9 Euro in Barcelona). The black leather boots are also a TJ Maxx find – $20 on clearance (Me Too)!

b1

bfb3

I’m always looking for an excuse to wear my Pretty Polly Secret Socks ($20). I love the look of thigh-highs, but can never get them to stay up. These tights are the perfect solution, and from not-so-far-away they look just like socks!

bfb4

bfb5

The wool Banana Republic cardigan ($20) was thrifted from a store called Red Balloon Consignment Shop in Wellington, FL (my roommate’s hometown). Florida is my second favorite state to thrift in after Massachusetts – the selection is incredible and people are always getting rid of cold-weather items…I guess they eventually realize that it’s usually an average of 75 degrees out?

bfb6

bfb8

Finally, the necklace (Kate Spade, gift from my awesome roomie) is something that I wear every day. I’m not usually one for monograms but this one is perfectly understated and the gold matches anything that I wear. The headband is a mix of lace and wire, which is great because I can mold the bow into different shapes – I went for an Alice in Wonderland vibe here. It’s a Cara brand headband that I got on sale from Nordstrom’s site for around $16, but is now sold out.

Thanks for reading, and to Tyler Constance of Tyler Constance Photography! It’s great to be working together again.