One of my favorite ways to spice up a pair of denim cutoffs or ripped jeans is with a polished blouse. My springtime outfits tend to be a bit lackluster compared to my fall and winter outfits, simply because less layers mean less to work with. So, a button down shirt is the perfect antidote to that.

This one is slightly oversized, so it can be worn off-the-shoulder. And, with a few buttons undone, it is a little risqué, so despite the classic style, it still has the potential for some sex appeal.

It is no surprise that this simple blouse is super versatile, but personally I love pairing it with faded denim. Temperatures have been in the 70s and 80s here, so today I decided to rock this clean-cut shirt with my go-to cutoffs.

These faded Levi’s were my mom’s back in the day. They fit like a glove, and they work for any casual occasion. I love the relaxed vibe they bring to the somewhat polished top.

I accented the look with some sparkling necklaces and a blotted orange lip. Then, I slipped on my favorite brown snake print booties and tied everything together with a thick leather belt. These accessories are laid-back, yet have the ability to make any outfit look more put-together; I can always count on them to give any outfit a little oomph.

Overall, I am so happy with how this look turned out–it is an updated take on the classic Parisienne springtime ensemble.

Button down shirt, $52.98, Princess Polly

Cutoffs, vintage

Booties, Free People, no longer available

Belt, thrifted

Follow:
Share:

After dishing two of my go-to makeup routines (here and here), I decided it’s time to reveal my skincare, or “get unready with me”, routine. Experimenting with makeup is tons of fun, but I don’t feel 100 percent comfortable with it unless I take care of my skin first.

Although I am a firm believer that beauty comes from within, certain products are definitely necessary, too. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I tend to gravitate towards natural beauty remedies, but there are definitely some other products I love just as much.

On any given day, I follow Glossier‘s “order of operations” routine and swap out different products as my skin’s needs change.

Step 1 – Makeup removal: Removing makeup before cleansing is super important! If you skip this step, you’re not actually cleansing your skin; you’re just moving the makeup around your face.

Simple’s Micellar Makeup Remover Wipes (prices vary, drugstores) are gentle on skin and don’t leave a yucky “film” on your face like other brands do (cough, Neutrogena). I keep my makeup to a minimum on most days, so I love that I only need one of these to remove everything. If necessary, I use a little coconut oil to remove stubborn mascara around the eyes.

Step 2 – Cleanser: I’ve seriously been using Olay’s Daily Clean Wipes, 4-in-1 Water Activated Cloths (prices vary, drugstores) since I was 13 years old–and they’ve never failed me! They give me a deep clean (and a gentle exfoliation) without leaving my skin feel stripped.

Step 3 – Mist: Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea ($7, Ulta) soothes skin after cleansing. Plus, it can also be used to refresh the skin throughout the day without disturbing makeup!

Step 4 – Toner: Since discovering Pacifica’s Cactus Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic ($12, Ulta) in November, I have gone through three bottles! Micellar water acts like a magnet to remove makeup, dirt and impurities left behind by cleanser. This formula also tones skin–and the best part is, it is quick, easy and mess-free.

I also started using Thayers witch hazel (prices vary, drugstores) earlier this year after discovering it through Lauren Elizabeth, my favorite YouTuber. In addition to toning, witch hazel is excellent for shrinking the size of pores.

Step 5 – Serum(s): Glossier’s Super Pure ($28, Glossier) quickly combats blemishes, breakouts and redness, while Super Glow ($28, Glossier) evens out and brighten skin’s tone–it is the perfect pick-me-up for tired, dull skin.

Step 6 – Moisturizer: Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer Rich ($35, Glossier) is intensely hydrating, so for my normal-to-oily skin, it definitely serves as a night cream.

Glossier’s Moisturizing Moon Mask ($22, Glossier) also doubles as a moisturizer when only a thin layer is applied. It soothes skin, smooths fine lines, restores elasticity and helps to brighten and even out the complexion.

Clinque’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel ($14.50-$27, Ulta) is my everyday go-to. It feels light on the skin and absorbs quickly, but definitely gets the job done and allows for smooth skin and better makeup application.

Step 7 – Eye cream: Currently, I am on the hunt for a hydrating and firming eye cream; I’ve just been using a little extra PM Rich under my eyes until I invest in something I can really trust. Earlier this month, I tried Mario Badescu’s Ceramide Eye Cream because I love the facial spray so much. But, to be honest, I did not like this product at all, and I ended up returning it after two weeks. It irritated my eyes like crazy, and I honestly felt like it was making my fine lines more defined and my bags heavier.

Step 8 – Lips: Glossier’s Balm Dotcom ($12, Glossier) is a long-lasting multi-use balm. It keeps my lips intensely hydrated for hours on end, but it also works great on cuticles, elbows and any other rough patches–including those on the face. You can’t go wrong with the original, but I’m also obsessed with the coconut flavor!

When it comes to skincare, masks are also essential to my routine. I love taking the time once or twice a week to really pamper my skin with a good at-home mask. Traditional masks are my fav because they always leave my face feeling the softest and cleanest, but lately I’ve been getting into peel-off masks and sheet masks, too, because they are so convenient.

Deep cleansing: As I mentioned in my recent all-natural beauty remedies post, I absolutely love Aztec Secret’s Indian Healing Clay. When mixed with apple cider vinegar, this all-natural powder becomes a strong and super effective facial mask. As the label states, I literally feel my face pulsate every time I use this combo. Natural clay goes deep into the pores to draw out dirt, oil and toxins, while ACV leaves your skin even and toned.

Glossier’s Mega Greens Galaxy Pack is also a great option. It is much more gentle than Aztec Secret’s, but still contains essential clay that detoxifies skin by drawing out excess oil, impurities and buildup, according to its description on Glossier’s website. The multi-tasking formula also includes antioxidants to fight against pollution and cell damage.

While I’ve tried just about every fresh face mask Lush has to offer, the only one that really works for me is Brazened Honey. While the others definitely left my skin feeling nice, this mask was the only one that left me with noticeable results in terms of appearance. It deep cleans, exfoliates and remedies what Lush refers to as “congested skin” (i.e., skin with a lot of buildup) after just one use.

Anti-aging: A couple months ago I discovered two great anti-aging masks while browsing at Ulta–and, at $3 each, they’re a total steal. Ulta’s Pollution Defense Pomegranate Instant Defense Peel Off Mask is an easy-to-use mask that contains antioxidant-rich pomegranate to protect skin, as well as witch hazel to refine pores and Vitamin E to soothe skin.

Ulta’s Anti-Aging Papaya Skin Revitalizing Sheet Mask includes skin firming papaya extract, hydrating hyaluronic acid and antioxidant Vitamin C to brighten the skin and leave it glowing.

I also raved about Etude House’s sheet masks in my Korean beauty haul + review. Their collagen sheet mask specifically has a ton of anti-aging benefits. Not only does it improve elasticity, it hydrates skin, plumping it up and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. This protein also strengthens skin, allowing it to better retain moisture long after you take the mask off.

Hydrating: Etude House’s hyaluronic acid sheet mask, on the other hand, is intensely moisturizing; it is perfect for replenishing skin after a long flight or a night of drinking. Sheet masks are convenient, and this one delivers a ton of hydration instantly, making it the perfect travel companion for a busy or on-the-go gal. At $1.30 each, I always keep a couple of Etude House’s masks in the house incase a skincare dilemma arises!

As I mentioned earlier, I am a huge fan of Glossier’s Moisturizing Moon Mask, which also contains skin-plumping hyaluronic acid, as well as aloe and honey to attract and retain moisture.

Follow:
Share:

From a young age we are taught that copying our peers’ work is wrong. Their intellectual property–whether it’s a kindergarten macaroni necklace or Pulitzer Prize-winning literature–is just that: their property.

Federal law mandates that intellectual property receives copyright protection from the moment it is fixed in a medium, according to the United States Copyright Office. In short, the second an idea leaves your mind and becomes something tangible (i.e., perceptible to at least one of the five senses), it is copyright protected under U.S. law.

But, that didn’t stop the classroom bully, and it certainly does not stop big-name fashion and beauty retailers. The rise in fashion and beauty bloggers and YouTubers has created a new environment in which dupes can not only breed, but thrive.

Beauty gurus (and aspiring beauty gurus) share countless dupe guides on social media platforms like Pinterest. Dupe guides compare high-end products their low-end counterparts. [source: Pinterest]

“Everyone has gotten so fucking lazy in [the beauty] industry. There. I said it. There are some beautiful things out there that the labs are doing, but no one bothers to do it,” writes Glossible‘s Sonia Roselli.

“Why? Why bother? Copycatting is big business and it’s faster to get to market. There is no better time than now to be in the cosmetics manufacturing game. Cosmetic labs are working at full capacity and some aren’t even taking new customers, thanks to social media.  But because of social media, I find that we are going down a path that is bad for all of us.”

According to Roselli’s post, the biggest names in beauty knockoff products from small brands such as Viseart, Melanie Mills and PPI. Their motive?

“If I were being completely honest, in my opinion, most big cosmetic companies don’t even TRY anymore. And it’s not just the cosmetic companies, it’s the labs and manufacturers too who take direction from these companies.  I imagine the chemists are crying in their glass beakers because they WANT to create innovative products but the companies won’t let them. Why? Because copycatting is big business and easier to do.”

Roselli also notes that copycatting runs rampant in the technology industry, as well, citing Apple’s recent lack of innovation.

“What happened to luxurious textures and colors that were perfect for skin tones? What happened to a brand being known for their foundation colors? What about a brand being known for their skin products? It’s all the same shit just a different day,” Roselli asks.

“To me the beauty industry looks a little something like this: We are the lions and the cosmetic companies just throw us a carcass.”

Viseart’s multicolor eyeshadow palette, which retails on Sephora.com for $80, has been duped by web-based retailer Morphe. Morphe’s so-called Picasso Palette retails for $14.99.

W-7, a UK-based cosmetics company, has not one, but three blatant knockoffs of Urban Decay’s famous Naked eyeshadow palettes. Naked, Naked 2 and Naked 3 retail for $54 each, while W-7’s dupes go for $12.95 each. The company also sells a bronzer called Honolulu ($5.30) eerily similar in color and packaging to Benefit’s Hoola bronzer ($29), a cult favorite.

There is also e.l.f., a drugstore beauty brand also known as Eyes, Lips, Face. Roselli notes the similarities between e.l.f.’s Pink Passion blush ($5.30) and Nars’ Desire blush ($30), and mentions that the brand is a notorious industry-wide copycat.

W-7 In The Buff: Lightly Toasted palette versus Urban Decay’s Naked palette [source: Pinterest]

“Most people don’t realize how or why copycat imitation hurts our industry, or for that matter, even care,” Roselli writes.

“As a pro makeup artist, I can go our right now to any Ulta or Sephora and tell you that 85 percent of all makeup is complete and utter bullshit. Don’t believe me? Go on any Facebook group that caters to professional makeup artists and you will see a surge in going back to old brands…Graftobian, Ben Nye, RCMA just to name a few…Why? Because the big brands are not listening to working pros. They are listening to beauty bloggers.”

While some beauty bloggers and vloggers are truly trustworthy and informative, Roselli insists there are many who are quite the opposite:

“I think [bloggers] have an interesting place in the industry [because they] allow people to discover new products. While a lot of bloggers out there are great (especially the ones that have worked in the industry for years), these aren’t the ones I’m talking about here. I’m talking about people who have no clue about beauty.”

These bloggers care more about making money than they do about creating quality content or sharing what they’ve learned with a larger community.

“Over the last few years, beauty bloggers have become puppets for the cosmetic companies,” Roselli continues.

“Last year, I sat in on a big meeting with some higher up cosmetic level execs who were giving a talk on how they utilize social media influencers.  The story went a little something like this: A very popular Youtube beauty blogger was given $100,000 to blog about a new product that was coming out.  (Yes, you read that correctly: 1 video. 15 minutes long. $100k). But, guess what? Her videos drove over $2 million in sales in one day! As a matter of fact, [in] minutes. [The blogger] said exactly what [the cosmetics company] wanted her to say (in her own words of course).”

As long as cosmetics companies can rely on big-name beauty bloggers and YouTubers, they can continue to make shoddy dupes of high-end products an end up with a pretty spectacular return on investment.

“That means these cosmetic companies can make absolute bullshit products and not care about the actual product they produce because they have beauty bloggers to drive the sales. So, they rip each other’s products, have a pissing match on who can knock it off better and play this game of cat and mouse to see who has the bigger balls,” Roselli writes.

Jenn Im, YouTuber behind Clothes Encounters, sports a slip dress by Necessary Clothing, a trendy fast fashion retailer. [source: Instagram user @imjennim]

Crushed Velvet Zillah Slip Dress in Blush by Are You Am I, $675 [source: Are You Am I]

However, Roselli doesn’t blame any beauty blogger for what they do; in fact, she applauds their ability to be so influential.

“Secretly, I laugh and say, ‘go girl!’ to the beauty blogger and wanna high five her after she hits ‘publish’ on her YouTube channel. It’s this double edge sword that is creating a sea of mediocrity in the marketplace. And who loses? We do, the pro and the consumer. ”

Nonetheless, it is the process in itself that perpetuates the lack of quality products currently on the market; Roselli insists it is a vicious cycle.

“The cosmetic companies watch social media trends, give the masses what the think they want, and use the beauty blogger to promote the sales. What are we left with? Subpar bullshit,” she writes.

“If beauty blogger tells you that the Waffle House yellow foundation she is using is the best thing since Netflix on a cold rainy day, well guess what? People believe her. Then, women are left with crappy products that don’t perform and are constantly shopping for something that works, leaving us in a constant state of searching for the next hero product for ourselves.”

And, the same can be said for fashion. It doesn’t matter anymore what’s on the runway or what’s in the most esteemed fashion magazines. Consumers are more likely lust after looks they see on the most influential bloggers and vloggers, who in large part promote fast fashion (whether they realize it or not!), according to The Fashion Law.

In addition to being a violation of intellectual property, fast fashion negatively impacts both garment workers and the environment, as well as consumers. From an article published in 2014, The Huffington Post notes a number of toxins found in garments from several popular fast fashion retailers.

“According to the Center for Environmental Health, Charlotte Russe, Wet Seal, Forever21 and other popular fast-fashion chains are still selling lead-contaminated purses, belts and shoes above the legal amount, years after signing a settlement agreeing to limit the use of heavy metals in their products,” Shannon Whitehead writes.

“Lead exposure has also been linked to higher rates of infertility in women and increased risks of heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure. Many scientists agree there is no ‘safe’ level of lead exposure for anyone. The lead contamination is all in addition to the pesticides, insecticides, formaldehyde, flame-retardants and other known carcinogens that reside on the clothes we wear.”

[source: takepart.com]

Whitehead also goes on to explain the impacts the fast fashion industry has on the environment:

“The average American throws away over 68 pounds of textiles per year. We’re not talking about clothing being donated to charity shops or sold to consignment stores, that 68 pounds of clothing is going directly into landfills. Because most of our clothing today is made with synthetic, petroleum-based fibers, it will take decades for these garments to decompose.”

Fast fashion retailers also exploit garment workers in developing countries, because these countries do not offer labor laws that protect their workers.

“Industry estimates suggest that 20 to 60 percent of garment production is sewn at home by informal workers, according author Lucy Siegle in her book, To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?

While there are machines that can apply sequins and beading that look like handiwork, they are very expensive and must be purchased by the garment factory. According to Siegle, it’s highly unlikely that an overseas factory would invest in the equipment, particularly if the clothing being made is for a value-driven fast-fashion label,” Whitehead continues.

“Carrying out her own investigation, Siegle learned that millions of desperate home-workers are hidden in some of the poorest regions of the world, ‘hunched over, stitching and embroidering the contents of the global wardrobe…in slums where a whole family can live in a single room.’

Often with the help of their children, the home workers sew as fast as they can and for as long as daylight allows to embellish and bedazzle the clothes that end up in our closets. Siegle goes on to say, ‘They live hand to mouth, presided over by middlemen, tyrannical go-betweens who hand over some of the lowest wages in the garment industry.'”

Follow:
Share:

As a Glossier Rep, I am obsessed with nearly all of their products. They are truly everyday favorites, and I constantly find myself reaching for them. So, it only makes sense that most of my makeup looks feature quite a few Glossier goodies.

When I saw fellow Rep Amy Serrano post a face full of Glossier on Instagram earlier this month, it inspired me to dish my Glossier go-to’s for all my followers, too! To recreate my look, begin with your favorite primer and foundation, then follow the steps below. Always remember to finish with a trustworthy setting spray.

Thankfully, all of Glossier’s products are super easy to use, so this look is definitely a casual go-to when I am in a rush to get ready. It instantly makes me look healthy and awake–not over done.

And, as always, you can save 20 percent on your first Glossier purchase, plus enjoy free shipping every time you spend $30 when you shop through my link!

Products I used:

  • Balm Dotcom in Coconut, $12
  • Stretch Concealer in Medium, $18
  • Cloud Paint in Haze, $18
  • Boy Brow in Brown, $16
  • Haloscope in Moonstone, $22

Step 1: Apply Balm Dotcom to freshly exfoliated lips. I use a combo of equal parts petroleum jelly and granulated sugar to exfoliate my lips, then I rinse with warm water to wash the dead skin away. Pat dry.

Step 2: With the forefinger apply Stretch Concealer to any blemishes, redness or dark circles. Instead of rubbing it in, try tapping it into the skin for more coverage.

Step 3: Cloud Paint is extremely pigmented, so apply several small dots of Haze to the apples of the cheeks and gently tap until blended. Then, add more if a bolder look is desired.

Step 4: Starting in the middle of each brow, apply Boy Brow outwards, then use the applicator to brush the inner “sprouts” upwards.

Step 5: Gently apply Haloscope to the cheekbones and orbital bones around the eyes, as well as the brow bones and cupid’s bow. Tap the outer edges with the fingers to blend seamlessly.

Step 6: Comb and curl the eyelashes, then finish with 1-2 coats of your go-to mascara. Mine is Roller Lash by Benefit Cosmetics or Voluminous Miss Manga by L’Oréal.

Follow:
Share:

Often the object of criticism for environmental advocates and enthusiasts, a handful of fast fashion retailers launched green initiatives earlier this year.

Last month, Haute Mess reported that retail giant Target announced a sophisticated plan to revamp its stores and increase sales, which includes a series of goals to better the environment.

Target revealed a new forest products policy and goals, including having full visibility into the wood contained in or used to make products sold by Target or used in its operations; implementing policies, practices and tools that facilitate the management of raw materials throughout the supply chain and across operations, and actively supporting efforts that prevent the destruction of forests and other natural resources,” reports WWD.

“Last year, Target introduced its reliable sourcing aspirations, which included a commitment to sourcing wood from well-managed forests. The retailer pledged to source for Target’s own brands wood from well-managed and credibly certified forests, and whenever possible, from post-consumer recycled materials.”

WWD also reports that Target will implement its policies beginning in 2018, with “a goal to have six of Target’s owned brands fully compliant with the forest products policy by 2022.”

The first products the retail giant plans to revamp are those containing wood or paper-based materials, like tissues and paper towels, wrapping paper, furniture components and clothing, according to WWD. This includes brands such as Cat & Jack, Pillowfort, Threshold and Smith & Hawken.

“This policy comes after Target announced its commitments to responsible sourcing, which focuses on improving worker well-being, achieving net-positive manufacturing and deriving key raw materials from ethical and sustainable sources. The retailer in January announced a chemical policy,” WWD continues.

Kelly Caruso, president of Target Sourcing Services, tells WWD that the retailer also plans to “target the rayon used in apparel, which comes from viscose, a forest product.”

“We’ll be working on the brands’ packaging, too,” Caruso continues.

The new forest policy comes a couple years after the retail giant announced that palm oil, which is “used in its owned brand food, personal care and household cleaning products, will be fully traceable and sustainably sourced by 2018, or sooner, according to WWD.

“When the retailer moves from raw materials to commodities such as beef and soy, it will look for ways to achieve zero net forestation.”

In 2012 Target also aimed to reduce the environmental impact of its production practices.

“Target piloted 10 best practices in three high-volume textile mills in China for a year. Realizing significant savings in water energy and materials, Target expanded the pilot to two additional Chinese cities in 2013 and is hoping for similarly positive results,” WWD writes.

Target’s forest products policy goal at a glance [source: A Bullseye View, Target’s official blog]

Swedish fast fashion giant H&M launched its Bring It On campaign in January 2017 as part of its Garment Collecting program, which began in 2013.

“Nothing is too torn, worn or used to get a second life. Not your lonely sock, your worn-out dress or your ripped sheet. Yet tons and tons of textiles—that could’ve been reused or recycled—are thrown away with household waste. Being one of the world’s largest fashion companies comes with great responsibility, and that’s why we launched our global garment collecting initiative in 2013. You bring your garments, we give them a new purpose. Together we can close the loop on fashion,” H&M’s website explains.

“We believe that clothes deserve better than to end up in landfills. So, for our newest conscious initiative we made two new designs in 500 unique pieces – entirely out of used denim. Because great fashion can be made from old clothes.”

Consumers can bring their unwanted garments to any H&M store to be repurposed.

“The garments collected that cannot be distributed as second-hand goods will either be converted into other products, such as cleaning cloths and upcycled items, or ground down and used in the construction or automotive industries as padding and insulation. Some garments get a new chance as textile fibers. They will be spun into yarn and used in the new H&M Conscious range,” the site continues.

“During the process, nothing goes to waste. The metals from buttons and zippers are also recycled. Even the dust is taken care of. It is pressed into cubes that goes to the paper industry as a co-product to cardboard. The very last remains of the collected garments are burned and turned into new energy.”

Garments part of the retailer’s Conscious range are denoted with a green label that reads “CONSCIOUS” on H&M’s website. The company insists it does not profit from any of the returned textiles.

“Revenue generated from collected items is donated to charity and invested in recycling innovation,” the website reads.

[source: H&M]

But, attorney and famed fast fashion critic Julie Zerbo, the voice behind The Fashion Law, argues that this is all a part of greenwashing: “the promotion of green-based environmental initiatives or images without the implementation of business practices that actually minimize environmental impact (or any of the other negative effects of fast fashion).”

“[Greenwashing often includes misleading customers about the actual benefits of a product or practice through misleading advertising and/or unsubstantiated claims. And swearing off the use of animal products.”

Last year, Nasty Gal, a web-based fast fashion retailer and notorious copycat, announced it would no longer continue to sell any items made with angora rabbit fur, after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) “conducted an investigation of the angora wool industry, leading to allegations of harsh and inhumane conditions in which the rabbits used for angora are treated,” according to The Fashion Law.

“Much like H&M’s well publicized recycling efforts and its ‘Conscious’ Collection, and Zara’s new eco-friendly stores, such green efforts–including those involving animals–tend to come with downsides of their own, such as alternative motives, aimed at creating a pretty picture in the face of significant problems at the foundational level of such business models.”

Zerbo insists that fast fashion inherently has a negative environmental impact; eye-catching campaigns that claim to be environmentally conscious are really marketing strategies aimed at attracting consumers.

“Fast fashion is a dirty industry, second only to the oil industry, according to recent reports. In order to keep costs low, fast fashion suppliers and even the big-name retailers, themselves, operate in ethically questionable ways. As we have seen in a number of recent lawsuits, they fire pregnant employees to avoid paying health insurance costs (hey, Nasty Gal). They discriminate against transgender employees (hey, Forever 21). They target shoppers based on race (that’s you, H&M) and employees based on religion (and you, Zara),” The Fashion Law writes.

“Their suppliers routinely bypass important quality control and manufacturing health/safety standards because these practices are costly to implement and monitor and that would cut into their bottom line. Hence, the toxic chemicals in clothes, the frequent employee hospitalizations and the increasing number of fires and buildings collapsing.”

Follow:
Share: