Last year I put together a short swim editorial to celebrate Independence Day. I chose a blue bikini with white stars by Minimale Animale, an Los Angeles-based brand. Because I love this concept so much, I decided to do it again in 2018 with a made-in-the-USA one-piece by Inamorata Swim.

If you know anything about me, you know Emily Ratajkowski is my biggest girl crush, so of course I had to pick up a suit (or two) when she dropped a swimwear line earlier this year. In addition to a cheetah-print bikini that fits like a glove—a very cheeky glove—I fell in love with the Leucadia in Red Snake. So unique!

This suit has the laidback wearability of a basic bikini with the vibe of a high-fashion resort collection. It is definitely an embodiment of the word steezy, the perfect blend of stylish and easy.

For the past few months, I have really been into the color red. Other than lipstick and nail polish, I never used to like wearing red. But now, I cannot get enough! Leucadia in Red Snake has a gorgeous combination of candy apple red, brick red and black. I love wearing a mix of colors and textures, and that’s not always doable in something as skimpy as a swimsuit. So, this suit is a great compromise.

I can’t wait to see what’s to come from Inamorata Swim. Because everything is made in the United States, this label makes me feel good about indulging in my swimwear obsession.

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In addition to quite a few of the new launches in the beauty world this month, I got my hands on several other products that I’ve been wanting to try–and I am so happy I did! I fell in love with so many great skincare and makeup items this past month, all of which I definitely see myself using throughout the summer.

New York City is currently in the midst of the first major heat wave of the season, making light, easy beauty a necessity. Many of my picks for the month of June quickly became staples in my “no makeup” makeup routine.

Haute Mess readers got a sneak peek of this month’s favs in a recent makeup look I shared, and now I am ready to dish all the details!

Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint (Sand): If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I love my Bali Body BB Cream, but recently, this lightweight, hydrating formula has stopped sticking to my skin. Instead of sinking in, it has started pilling up no matter what I do–so frustrating! I tried a couple different primers (as well as no primer at all), and nothing seems to make a difference. So, I decided to try something new!

Much like Bali Body’s BB Cream, Milk Makeup’s Sunshine Skin Tint is loaded with good-for-you, nourishing ingredients and gives the skin fresh, glowing, semi-sheer coverage. It blends evenly, and looks incredibly natural, which is why I prefer skin tints and bb creams over traditional foundations. Plus, Milk’s formula has twice the SPF as Bali Body’s.

BECCA Be A Light Face Palette (Light To Medium): BECCA’s powder bronzer and highlighter formulas are perhaps the best on the market, so I just *had* to try this new face palette with four shades: brighten, blur, blush and bronze.

I use the brightening shade to set concealer under my eyes, the blur powder to set the rest of my face and reduce the appearance of pores, the blush to give my cheeks some color and the bronze to add definition and warmth.

Because BECCA products unbeatable-ly high quality, all four powders in the Be A Light Face Palette have a silky smooth luminous finish that never look patchy or flaky!

Glossier Cloud Paint in Dawn & Storm: After a few months of hoping for new Cloud Paint shades, Glossier delivered! I was thrilled when these arrived at my doorstep. Initially, I thought Storm, the deep rose shade, was going to be my new go-to. And while it is gorgeous, I can’t seem to get enough of Dawn, a refreshing tangerine.

I am obsessed with bright orange hues for the summer (did you catch my orange lipstick post?), and Dawn helps satisfy my craving day in and day out. For a sunny, fresh-from-the-Italian-Riviera wash of color, I tap Dawn on the tops of my cheeks and across the bridge of my nose.

Benefit Cosmetics Gold Rush blush: Ever since I tried Rockateur in 2013, I have been loving Benefit’s boxed blushes. The newest addition to the range is Gold Rush, a warm, glowy, gilded peach. It works as a pretty everyday blush for a little pop of color, as well as a far-from-overbearing finishing touch that pairs well with bold eyeshadow or lip colors.

Fenty Beauty Killawatt Foil in Sand Castle/Mint’d Mojito: I am a huge fan of Fenty Beauty (and Rihanna herself), and when she dropped her summer collection, the Killawatt Foil highlighter duo in Sand Castle/Mint’d Mojito instantly called my name!

Sand Castle is a hyper-metallic, high-intensity version of the pale bronze highlighters to which I am normally drawn, while Mint’d Mojito is an insanely reflective icy blue; both have that wet look that I love! I use my ring finger to apply these shades directly to my face for a casual daytime look, and a setting brush when I want to go full glam. Either way, Killawatt Foils feel creamy and melt into the skin without much effort–just blend around the edges for a seamless application.

ColourPop Fortune eyeshadow palette: It is safe to say that I am hopelessly addicted to ColourPop’s Pressed Powder Shadows; I simply don’t see a reason to try anything else at this point. They are pigmented, creamy and blend beautifully. Oh, and did I mention single pans are only $4 each? Unreal.

Although I love mixing and matching to create my own custom palettes, sometimes ColourPop really wows me with the palettes they launch. And that was definitely the case with Fortune.

I am without a doubt more drawn to warm eyeshadows than I am to cool shadow shades, so I feel like Fortune was made for me! Every time I create an eye look with this palette, even if it is something really simple, it blows me away.

The matte berry hues look bright, clean and crisp, while the golden metallic shades take the palette from day to night. Plus, I love how the rustic reds, oranges and pinks make my blue eyes pop!

Fortune has everything I need. It is full of must-have crease colors, deeper shades for accenting the eyes and both matte and metallic options for the lids. Additionally, there are ultra-natural shades (perfect for setting down eyeshadow primer!) and inner corner/brow bone highlights.

ColourPop Lux Lipstick in Third Eye: So, I am slightly disappointed I waited a bit to try ColourPop’s new-ish Lux Lipsticks, because Third Eye is my new everyday lip color! This matte pink-beige gives me that nude “Em Rata” lip that I am always after, and the formula is easy to sheer-out so I can create a fuss-free blotted/melted lip.

FUR Oil: The review I wrote on FUR Oil wasn’t enough to express my love for this super soothing product! If you use a razor to remove body hair, this is an essential product to have on your shelf.

For years I was fed-up with shaving; I hated the irritation, the bumps, the fact that I could never get close enough. I thought there was nothing I could do about it, but FUR really made the whole process so much more enjoyable. This oil calms irritation, reduces itching and redness, minimizes bumps and ingrown hairs–all while softening the skin and the hair itself, allowing for a closer shave with continued use.

(p.s. Use my code maduhlyn15 for a discount on all your FUR goodies!)

Alexis Ren’s 10-minute ab workout: Like many others, I have a major girl crush on Alexis Ren. If you do too, you’ve likely wished she would release her workout routine (or at least part of it). I followed her on YouTube a few weeks ago and was happy to discover she has a 10-minute abdominal workout!

I really feel the burn with this one–even if I only do half of it! It requires no equipment, so it is totally doable at home or while traveling. Alexis Ren’s tricks for a toned stomach activate more muscles than traditional crunches or sit-ups alone, which has been a really effective change of pace for me. Can’t wait until she shares more of her secrets. 🙂

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Wearing a ribbed tank from Reformation & reworked Levi’s denim

The frequency at which I see bloggers, YouTubers and influencers promoting fast fashion labels is beyond nauseating. That, in addition to my own research, turned me away from the fast fashion industry big time. Although I do not claim to be perfect (I still own a number of things from fast fashion giants such as Zara), I am making a huge effort to greatly reduce my consumption.

Of course it is amazing when you find an affordable piece that happens to be exactly what you want, but we should all strive to consume consciously, i.e., buy less, but buy better. There is never a reason to blindly follow trends you don’t even like, buy something just because it’s on sale, stay all day in clothes that are ill-fitting and uncomfortable because they were made haphazardly or have a closet full of falling-apart pieces you never wear–all of which can be super stressful! To guide us in the right direction, I gathered some of the biggest names in fast fashion and paired them with ethical alternatives offering thoughtful, quality designs that make us feel good inside and out.

Instead of Fashion Nova, try Backbite.

When it comes to edgy pieces fit for a rockstar, such as jumpsuits, bodysuits and hot pants, Backbite is the go-to source. This Los Angeles-based, online-only retailer also has an impressive collection of unique vintage t’s and killer (cruelty-free) animal prints.

Instead of Tiger Mist/Princess Polly/I Am Gia, try Daisy.

It is hard to resist fun, trendy styles on these Australian-based sites. Is it just me, or do girls down under have the coolest style?

But these rapidly growing fast fashion retailers are known for copycatting up-and-coming labels such as Daisy (aka @daisydaisy.tv). An Opening Ceremony favorite, Daisy is known for slinky lace-up dresses and corset-inspired tops that put an ubersexy spin on traditional styles. The pastel colors and clean neutrals look amazing on all skin tones and body types, while giving everyone the option to personalize their Daisy looks.

Instead of Zara, try Rosemilk.

Whether you are looking for dreamy, nostalgic pieces for your next vacay or something classic to wear to your next job interview, Rosemilk has you covered (quite literally)! Although the selection is limited–they are a new business–it does not feel that way because everything is so gorgeous. Their styles are the perfect blend of masculine and feminine, and comfort is never sacrificed.

Instead of Aerie, try Hot As Hell.

Looking for beautiful lingerie or sexy swim that will make you feel feminine and help you stand out from the crowd? In Hot As Hell‘s range you will look just as good as the name suggests. 😉

Instead of Forever 21, try REVICE.

I guarantee that you will find your new favorite show-stopping jeans that fit like a glove and boost your confidence on REVICE‘s site.

Instead of Revolve, try Are You Am I.

So, not everything on Revolve is technically fast fashion; it is more of an online department store (with a pretty awesome denim selection, might I add). Although most styles on this site come with a somewhat hefty price tag, the speed at which Revolve stocks new pieces is dizzying; for that reason I am grouping this retailer in the fast fashion category.

At Are You Am I, however, you will score the best basics for everyday wear, plus the perfect party dress for any event! The quality fabrics ensure these pieces will last forever. The simplified design promises they will never go out of style. And the chic aesthetic means you will want to live in them all year long.

Instead of Urban Outfitters, try Reformation.

Reformation is a one-stop shop for office-appropriate fashion that is still *ahem* fashionable; think of it as UO for grown-ups. Although most styles at Ref tend to be on the conservative side (at least for my taste), everything has a modern, effortless feel–perfect for recreating the highly coveted French girl style, athleisure-obsessed American style or anything in between!

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There is a lot of new makeup on the market that I have been absolutely loving, and I am totally inspired by the recent warm weather to create a gorgeous glowy makeup look with the products I picked up.

Since its launch nearly a year ago, I fell in love with Fenty Beauty, Rihanna’s makeup line, so obviously I was super excited when she dropped a summer line. The Killawatt Foil in Sand Castle/Mint’d Mojito caught my attention right away. This is an extremely intense highlighter duo in pale gold/icy blue-green–both shades are unlike anything I’ve ever owned.

Despite the ultra-metallic, wet-looking sheen (my favorite!) these highlighters give off, the soft, almost pastel colors make them wearable. I use a light hand when I wear these shades during the day, and pile on more layers at nighttime. No matter how little or how much I use, these highlighters go on smoothly, never look patchy or streaky and last all day (or all night).

For this look I paired Sand Castle/Mint’d Mojito with Buxom’s new(ish) Full-On Lip Polish in Selena, which has a show-stopping metallic finish. Selena is clear, universal gloss with holographic blue and pink reflects. I fell in love with instantly, and it goes perfectly with these Killawatt shades. The formula is really nice, but that is to be expected with Buxom products (especially their lip products).

Other key players that are part of this makeup look are Milk Makeup’s Sunshine Skin Tint (more on this in an upcoming post), BECCA’s new Be A Light Face Palette (a must-have combo of brightening and blurring powders, as well as a beautiful blush and killer bronzer) and Benefit Cosmetics Gold Rush Blush. I am a really big fan of Benefit’s boxed blushes, and Gold Rush is their newest addition. It’s a subtle, neutral dusty pink with a golden glow. So, so pretty!

This face was relatively easily to create. I stuck with my go-to face routine (a light base with a skin tint, concealer and little setting powder, plus cream contour and powder bronzer), then added Gold Rush Blush to my cheeks.

After that I dusted Sand Castle all over my cheekbones, cupid’s bow and eyelids. (I put Buxom’s eyeshadow in Gimme Gorgeous, a matte tan shade, in the crease to give my eyes some definition before covering the lids with Sand Castle.) I amped up the glow with Mint’d Mojito on the inner corners of my eyes, as well as the brow bones. As always, I polished off the look with two coats of Boy Brow, two coats of Mascara and some Fix+.

I used the Full-On Lipstick as a lip liner, then blotted for a diffused, blurred look, and put two layers of Selena on top.

Products I used:

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Recently, I fell in love with New York-based label Rosemilk. After weeks of scrolling their dreamy IG feed and drooling uncontrollably over every post, I placed an order. And I definitely chose the right time to do so–their pieces are perfect for summer.

Because I *hate* fast fashion, I am always on the hunt for beautiful and original pieces made in the United States (and I don’t use the word “hate” lightly). Rosemilk’s pieces are nostalgic and romantic yet wearable, feminine yet masculine. All of this combined makes Rosemilk the perfect match for me!

As soon as my ordered arrived, I knew these were the type of pieces that I would be keeping forever and someday passing down to a daughter of my own. They are just so, so special and TIMELESS! The tropics, nostalgia and romance all serve as inspiration for Rosemilk, and that comes through very clearly in each and every design.

I chose the Bambina Crop top in pale yellow, the Chiquita Banana Wrap skirt, the Filomena Cotton Wrap in white and the Bambino Trouser in tangerine, all of which are super-versatile in my opinion and appropriate for my office (given that I style them properly). Plus, I do have somewhat of a life outside my career, so I can always style these picks for a vacay, a day trip or a night out.

Without even intending to do so, I bought two perfectly styled outfits! The crop top and wrap skirt look amazing together, as do the wrap top and trousers. What better way to introduce my newest favorite retailer to Haute Mess than with a look book featuring these two outfits?

One of my most-loved ways to play up summer’s sultry, beach-y vibes is with a pair of statement earrings. I am a sucker for big hoops and medallion styles (and bright colors, too)! Wear a fun headband adds even more to the outfit and really shows off the earrings.

Even though all these Rosemilk pieces are pretty relaxed, I still wanted to look polished, so I chose my fuchsia block healed slides to pair with the first look, and my brown (faux!) snakeskin booties to go with the second one. That way, I truly feel like myself in both these outfits, which is the first thing I look for when shopping at new retailers (or even shopping for new pieces at any of my go-to labels).

As far as makeup goes, I kept it relatively simple with lived-in bronzy, sun-kissed look from top to bottom. Although I do like playing around with color when it comes to beauty, I do not usually wear so much color in terms of my wardrobe, so I decided to let these outfits shine, instead. I made sure to go with light- or medium-coverage products to get fresh, dewy skin.

Of course these Rosemilk pieces all work so well together, but I also plan to dress down both tops with some Levi’s Wedgie Fit jeans and both bottoms with a simple white tank.

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