I booked a spur-of-the-moment flight to visit one of my closest friends in Los Angeles this week, and I am so excited to be back on the West Coast! For this trip I decided to pack light–meaning no checked bags, only a carry-on.

Thankfully, I have a ton of Glossier‘s TSA-approved pink pouches on hand; they’re resealable and waterproof, so they’re perfect for holding toiletries and makeup in a carry-on bag. One of these convenient quart-sized beauties comes free with every Glossier purchase.

To show readers just how much can fit in Glossier’s signature pouches, I decided to spill the contents of mine for a week-long trip one of my favorite cities.

Glossier’s Invisible Shield SPF 35: The sun in LA is strong–even when you’re not on the beach–so sunscreen is a must all day, every day. Glossier’s Invisible Shield has SPF 35. It doesn’t clog pores, and it also protects the skin from pollution and free radicals (which are abundant all over LA). The best part? As the names states, it sinks into skin without a trace; it’s non-greasy, and it doesn’t disturb makeup. A must-have. $34, Glossier

Bali Body tanning oil: I love the beach, and you really can’t beat LA’s–views of the mountains are amazing, and shoreside spots like Venice and Santa Monica offer great local vendors and cuisine within walking distance (hard to come by in an Uber-obsessed city like this one). So, you can bet I will be spending a ton of time in the sand and surf this trip.

No matter which coast I’m on, I just cannot hit the beach without some of Bali Body’s all-natural tanning oil. Unlike other tanning oils I’ve tried, Bali Body’s never feels goopy or sticky. Instead, it leaves skin soft and glowing from head to toe. For the deepest tan, my fav is the watermelon scent, which also helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks. $23.95, Bali Body

Dr. Brandt’s Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer: A trustworthy pore refining primer is key during the sultry summer months to keep makeup looking fresh. By blurring pores and fine lines, smoothing texture and minimizing shine, this primer creates the perfect base for makeup.

Much like Glossier’s Invisible Shield, Dr. Brandt’s Pore Refiner Primer is undetectable on the skin. And like any good primer, it creates a hidden barrier that prevents makeup from clogging pores. Prices vary, Sephora

Milk Makeup Matcha Cleanser: A quick and easy cleanser is the best friend any girl-on-the-go could have. Milk Makeup’s Matcha Cleanser is in stick form, making it super convenient for throwing in a carry-on bag. Just rub it onto damp skin for the detoxifying and purifying power of antioxidant-rich matcha green tea.

This skin savior also gently exfoliates and soothes, while added algae extract boosts skin’s natural defenses and provides instant hydration, according to MILK. $26, Sephora

Micellar Water: There’s nothing better for removing dirt and makeup (even stubborn mascara!) from the skin than micellar water. Not only is it powerful and effective, micellar water doesn’t require any rinsing. And it gets the job done without any alcohol or oil, so skin never feels stripped or greasy. For me (and anyone with sensitive skin), Simple’s micellar water is necessary both on the road and at home. $1.99, Target

Makeup Essentials: Leave it to Glossier to have nearly all the products I need for a cross-country trip! This time around, I decided to pack Boy Brow in Brown, Stretch Concealer in Medium, Haloscope in Moonstone, Cloud Paint in Haze and Balm Dotcom.

I also picked up my favorite high-end mascara in a travel size, which is considerably less expensive than the full-size version. Benefit’s Roller Lash works like a push-up bra for lashes; it gives them an instant curl, a West Coast-worthy lift and dramatic length! Plus, the tiny bristles are perfect for targeting lower lashes.

Last but certainly not least, no night-out look is complete without a fun lipstick–especially on vacation! I packed MAC’s Candy Yum-Yum, a universally flattering neon pink, as well as an orange tinted balm from Missha for that just-ate-a-popsicle pout. For good measure I also brought along Glossier’s Lip Gloss 😉

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Bella Hadid looks absolutely gorgeous on the cover of the newest Porter! I instantly fell in love with her bright pink blush; on an otherwise bare face, this statement-making flush gives her that fresh-from-vacation glow we are all after this time of year.

While I am all for natural beauty looks, this weekend I felt super inspired to recreate a more glam version of this one in particular. With a little more oomph, I transformed this casual beach-y look into something more suitable for a night out. And, I am so happy with how it came out!

The warm brown, red, copper and golden tones give off sultry, summer vibes. But, the hues I used are super earthy, so the look is neutral–not overwhelming.

Products I used:

  • First Aid Beauty Oil-Free Mattifying Gel Moisturizer, $30
  • Bali Body BB Cream in Natural, $29.95
  • Glossier Stretch Concealer in Medium, $18
  • Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk, $18 (or 2 for $30 with the code “2BLUSH”)
  • Benefit GALifornia Blush, $29
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (Original), $20
  • Buxom eyeshadow in Gimme Gorgeous, $12
  • MAC Cosmetics eyeshadow in Saddle, $16
  • Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Wattles, $5
  • Glossier Boy Brow in Brown, $16
  • Glossier Haloscope in Topaz, $22
  • L’Oréal Paris Miss Manga mascara, prices vary
  • Glossier Lip Gloss, $14

Shop Glossier through my link–you’ll receive 20 percent off your first purchase + free shipping every time you spend $30!

Step 1: Prime the face with FAB’s Oil-Free Mattifying Gel Moisturizer and allow it to dry before moving onto step 2.

Step 2: Apply an even coat of BB Cream all over the face.

Step 3: Use Stretch Concealer to cover an redness, blemishes and under-eye circles.

Step 4: Create a little definition by applying Cloud Paint in Dusk to the hollows of the cheeks. For a more dramatic look build up the pigment with a second coat.

Step 5: Apply GALifornia blush to the cheekbones, sweeping the brush upwards.

Step 6: Prime eyelids with Primer Potion, and allow to dry before moving onto step 7.

Step 7: With a standard eyeshadow brush, apply two thin layers of Gimme Gorgeous (or any similar shade) onto the entire eyelid. From the outer corner of the eye, work this pigment downwards, onto the lower lash line.

Step 8: Use a blending brush to darken the crease of the eye with Saddle (or any similar shade) for a smoky effect. Then, dust the pigment leftover on the brush onto the lower lash line.

Step 9: Using the same blending brush, dust Wattles (or any similar shade) onto the inner eyelid. Then, blend outwards, into the crease.

Step 10: After combing and curling lashes, apply 2 coats of Miss Manga to the upper lashes and 1 coat to the lower lashes.

Step 11: With Haloscope, highlight the brow bones, orbital eye bones and the cupid’s bow.

Step 12: Apply Boy Brow to each eyebrow beginning in the center and working towards the inner and outer sprouts.

Step 13: Finish with 1-2 coats of Lip Gloss.

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As I make the leap from college grad student to young professional, I am making a few key changes to my wardrobe in terms of curation and styling. I am striving for a career in the creative realm, so thankfully, my personal style is still allowed to shine through and I won’t have to make any major changes to the way I dress.

That being said, on a day-to-day basis, I tend to go for laid-back styles and neutral hues. I definitely gravitate towards denim, knitwear, practical shoes and the color white when it comes to putting together an everyday ensemble. In terms of trends, I never go over-the-top; if I’m loving a bold look, I always do my best to make it more “me” (for lack of a better term) and less mainstream.

In a nutshell, I’d rather appear effortless and relaxed than as if I am trying too hard. But, that doesn’t mean looking put-together is a difficult task. In fact, I find that trying too hard to appear polished often comes across as overdone and messy; there is definitely a fine line and we should all be wary of it!

So, that brings me to wardrobe essentials I wear all year long! Earlier this year, I discussed the benefits of creating a capsule wardrobe; it makes life so much simpler and easier. To encourage every Haute Mess reader to build a capsule wardrobe of her own, I decided to share the foundation of mine.

For my current capsule wardrobe I chose 13 pieces must-have pieces I can always count on to take me from morning to night on any given day. Because these pieces are my absolute essentials, I stuck to neutral colors when selecting them. Like I said earlier, I am a huge fan of white, but I also love beiges and browns, all types of gray, faded denim and, of course, black.

Layering is my favorite way to spice up an outfit; mixing different textures has the power to bring tired, old clothes to life again. All 13 of my staples can be worn in a number of different combinations for any given occasion without appearing outdated. When putting together a capsule wardrobe, you realize how far so few pieces can truly go.

A boyfriend cardigan: Like I said, layering is important.

Low Tide Cardi, $128, Free People

A pullover sweater: See above.

Bonfire Sweater, $108, Free People

A moto jacket: See above. (Plus, this piece brings structure to an otherwise frumpy outfit!)

As-You-Wish Jacket, $168, Blank NYC

A sleek blazer: One that fits a little longer and looser appears more fashionable and less corporate.

Aleida Blazer, $230, ALLSAINTS

A relaxed dress: You can never go wrong with maxi dress–especially a solid color one, or one with a muted, never-goes-out-of-style pattern.

Get Twisted Maxi Dress, $150, REVOLVE

A killer one-piece: Overalls and utility-inspired suits are both perfect pieces for those days when you have no idea what to wear.

Sierra Nevada Utility Suit, $200, One Teaspoon

A crisp button-down: A classic button-down blouse looks great with anything from boyfriend jeans and denim cutoffs to tailored trousers.

Stripe Off-The-Shoulder Top, $95, Free People

A silk camisole: Another must-have layering piece!

Up All Night Silk Cami, $68, Free People

Flattering mid- or high-rise jeans: Search long and hard for a comfortable pair that makes you feel confident, and, as with all pieces in your capsule wardrobe, don’t be afraid to invest in quality.

High-Waist Jean, $90, American Apparel

Cigarette trousers: Wear them to work during the week, or on the weekends with a band tee.

High Waisted Cigarette Trousers, $48, Topshop

Quality athletic pants: Thanks to Yeezy, performance leggings are now appropriate outside the gym. Capitalize on the comfort and wear yours with a crop top or a pullover sweater for a casual daytime look.

Nike Pro Women’s Training Tights, $48, Nike

Comfy and supportive sneakers: See above.

Nike Free RN 2017, $100, Nike

Sensible (yet stylish) booties: I have a brown snake print pair that look amazing with literally everything. Enough said.

Hunt The Plains Boot, $198, Free People

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In addition to working, this summer I will be completing the literature review portion of my master’s thesis, so I will be reading a ton. I am super excited because I tend to prefer nonfiction lit, anyway.

My research examines the media’s effect on the fashion industry and consumer spending habits, a major area of interest for me. So, I’ll be devouring both Reading Sex and the City (Reading Contemporary Television) by Kim Akass, as well as Fashion Media: Past and Present by Djurdja Bartlett (which includes contributions from Anna Konig, one of my favs).

[source: Amazon]

The only book I have on my list purely for pleasure this year is  South and West by Joan Didion, a new release. I’ve never read Didion before, so I am so excited to start this summer. South and West is a compilation of two excerpts from Didion’s never-before-seen notebooks; one of which chronicles a road trip through the Deep South the author took with her husband John Gregory Dunne in June 1970.

The other, the “West” portion of this book, “began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976,” according to its description on Amazon.

“Though Didion never wrote the piece, watching the trial and being in San Francisco triggered thoughts about the city, its social hierarchy, the Hearsts and her own upbringing in Sacramento.”

[source: Penguin Random House]

Next on my list are three informational, work-related books. Making the Case: How To Be Your Own Best Advocate by Kimberly Guilfoyle, one of my favorite Fox News personalities, is a relatively quick read that received amazing reviews from topnotch sources (including President Trump!).

The Inevitable: Understanding The 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly is slightly outside my comfort zone, but according to its description, full of super important information for anyone in the workforce–especially those interested in the tech side of things.

[source: kk.org]

Of course, I am also dying to read Women Who Work: Rewriting The Rules For Success by Ivanka Trump. I read her first book (The Trump Card) last summer, and since then Ivanka has been one of my major role models. So, I’m really looking forward to reading what she has experienced and learned in the time since The Trump Carwas published nearly 10 years ago.

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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

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