My guilty pleasure is definitely swimwear–I own a *ton* of it! This summer I have really been crushing on designer swimwear, particularly Italian labels. Italian swim is flattering, skimpy, timelessly sexy and–most of all–fun! Each designer has a signature pattern that is unique to him/her. One of the most distinguishable is that of Missoni.

Lucky for me, I found this bikini by Missoni for a steal! (Like, under $100.) Similar suits by the same label retail for over $300. It is the prettiest color combo for summer; the turquoise and pink hues look awesome with a tan. And it fits like a glove because the fabric is so stretchy. I am so obsessed! *Insert drooling emoji here.*

Pulling the sides of your bottoms up is a huge trend. Yes, it is flattering because it lengthens the legs, but I can’t help but obsess over the ultra low-rise 1990s/2000s cut. It’s flirty and really stands out without being over the top.

I prefer unlined swimsuits with zero padding over lined and padded swimsuits. The less coverage the better for me! This ‘kini is perfect because it is unlined, not padded and has the tiniest strings to tie it–great for getting a tan!

What swimwear are you loving this summer? Let me know in the comments below, or on IG @maduhlyn_. 🙂

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How fun is Instagram’s new “Ask me a question” feature?! After receiving a few fitness-related questions, some of my followers insisted I put together an updated health and fitness routine for the blog–and how could I resist?! I really haven’t discussed anything like this in over a year, so it is about time I catch all my readers up.

Although I love staying in shape, I am slightly nervous to post anything health-related because I definitely am not a health or fitness professional. I do not feel that the information I have will work for everyone; I can only share what works for me. Of course, I encourage all my readers to consult a physician before upgrading their diets and/or fitness routines.

So, what’s changed?

My lifestyle did a major 180-flip when I decided to give up a full-time freelancing gig. Instead of a work-from-home job that allowed me to travel (both for work and for pleasure) as much as I pleased, I now work Monday through Friday in New York City.

Of course I was a little nervous starting out. For the most part I used to prepare food, eat and work out whenever I felt like it. I thought the lifestyle change would cause a decrease in how much and how hard I work out (and that the potential stress would cause me to binge eat more often). But I was totally wrong! I almost always make it to the gym five days a week (though which five days changes from week to week).

Being healthy and in good shape is really important to me, so I do my best to always make time for either a gym or an at-home workout. But when I am feeling run down, I listen to my body and skip it if necessary. It’s not a big deal and it doesn’t happen often when I am taking care of myself.

Not to mention, I have always been a take-the-stairs kind of gal, so I get a ton of extra exercise I wouldn’t normally be getting. In fact, my walks to and from the train station add up to 30 minutes total per day. I definitely break a sweat on most days, and I’ve learned to love it! It’s really rewarding and WORTH IT because it is part of an exciting career.

In addition to my take-the-stairs habit, I have been a pack-my-own lunch gal since, well, my mom stopped packing my lunch in high school. I bring healthy snacks to work with me every day (nuts, popcorn with sea salt and raw veggies are my favs), and I hardly ever eat out.

If given the choice between sleeping in or going to bed early, I would have a hard time choosing because I LOVE sleep. And having an extra-busy life has made me appreciate sleep so much more. It is so important to your health and your overall wellbeing. I never go to bed past midnight on a night before work. This keeps me energized and focused throughout the day. Plus, lack of sleep causes sugar cravings, and I can vouch for that firsthand; when I don’t sleep enough, I crave candy and carbs like crazy the next day. 

I’ve never been a heavy drinker; three drinks are more than enough to get me buzzed. So, I’ve never had a hard time limiting my alcohol consumption because I’ve never needed to. Since leaving college, I no longer have an excuse to drink on weeknights (and I miss Thirsty Thursday’s terribly), but that doesn’t mean I go crazy every weekend. When the occasion calls for it, I will enjoy a couple cocktails or a glass of wine on the weekends, but that’s only once or twice a month. And hello—drinks in the real world cost upwards of $10, whereas a gin and tonic cost me anywhere from 50 cents to $4 in college.

Surprisingly, a lot is still the same.

My eating habits haven’t changed a bit, with the exception of the times of day that I eat. Now, I have a bowl of oatmeal around 7:30 a.m., as opposed to my usual 9 a.m. when I was freelancing. I’ll eat my snacks throughout the day at work to avoid that too-full, sluggish feeling I get after eating a lot at once, and dinner when I get home from the gym around 9 p.m. This works perfectly for me, and I am never starving or left with crazy cravings at any point.

Like I said, though, my diet in terms of what and how much I eat is still pretty much the same as it has always been. I don’t have any restrictions; I just limit processed and packaged foods, as well as refined sugar. Carbs (including sugar) from fruit, quinoa and anything else natural and nutritious are perfectly fine with me! I eat meat or seafood most days a week, and dairy occasionally and in small portions. And yes, I give into cravings once or twice a week, too (I love fried foods, chicken wings and sour candy).

How do I workout?

It’s cliché, but I just don’t feel like myself if I’m not working out enough! To stay challenged, I have a three-day cycle. On Day 1 I do an hour of varied cardio, 10 minutes of stretching and 10 to 15 minutes of ab exercises. Lately I have been loving Alexis Ren’s video on YouTube, but sit-ups on a stability ball work perfectly fine, too.

I have the flattest feet, so running really hurts my knees and hips. That’s why I love the stationary bike! Over the years I have taken so many cycling classes, which means I really know how to get a good workout when I’m on the bike by myself. To make my workouts as effective as possible, I cycle in positions 1, 2 and 3 (if you’ve ever gone to a spin class, you know what I mean) and increase the resistance throughout.

On Day 2 I do half an hour of cardio (almost always on the bike) plus stretching and a number of exercises from Katrina Brodsky’s pilates-based Curve Builder workout program. Because this program requires purchase, I can’t share any information beyond that; Katrina developed Keller Rose Fitness alongside her personal trainer. It lengthens and strengthens the muscles while toning and enhancing your curves! I love that Curve Builder is easy to do at home or on the go (equipment is minimal).

Day 3 includes weight training. I warm-up with 20 or 30 minutes of cardio, stretch, then head into the weight room. To tone my bod without building bulky muscle, I do light weights (nothing over 120 pounds) and high reps (two to four sets of 15 to 20 reps). If I notice I’m not breaking a sweat or feeling a burn, I increase the weight and/or reps. Mainly, I keep the focus on my back and legs, but I like to work my arms, too.

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Lip tints are one of my favorite products for spring and summer! They require zero babysitting and look really fresh. Plus, they are versatile–you can pair them with any eye/cheek combo, and they work great both under lip gloss or on their own. Personally, I prefer the popsicle-stained appearance over the look of traditional lipstick in the spring and summertime.

Innovative beauty brands like Glossier and Milk Makeup have mastered the just-bitten look in the form of a lipstick or lip pencil, which makes application even easier!

Whether I am heading to work, out and about or spending the weekend relaxing, I tend to reach for a diffused wash of color for my lips this time of year. I have a few favorites in my makeup stash in a variety of bright, summer-ready colors.

Tonymoly Liptone Get It Tint & Get It Tint Water Bar

I picked these up in L.A.’s Little Tokyo neighborhood; I always score the best K-beauty there! In addition to sheet masks, K-beauty has the best lip tints. Tonymoly’s in particular are my favorite. They are long-lasting (like, accidentally-fall-asleep-in-it-and-wake-up-with-it-still-in-tact long-lasting), non-drying/non-irritating and buildable. Plus, the color selection is great!

Orange lip tints are hard to come by, but I can always find a good selection of them at K-beauty retailers like Tonymoly. My favs at the original Get It Tint in Oops Orange and the Get It Tint Water Bar in Orange In Red. Water Bar is unlike any other lip product I have ever tried! It feels cool, moisturizing (almost wet!) and refreshing instantly upon application–and those feelings last despite the fact that the color does not budge! I am always so excited to break these Tonymoly lippies out as soon as temperatures rise.

Glossier Generation G

Gen G is such a fun, user-friendly lip product! (And no, I am NOT just saying that because I’m a Glossier Rep.) I love Crush (hot raspberry pink) and Jam (berry red-ish purple) for the popsicle-stained look. (Side note: Leo is also a great color, but it is more of a nude/brown.)

For a blotted, diffused, semi-sheer look, I apply two to three layers; I use swift swipes like I would any other lipstick–no mirror necessary! And for a bolder look, four layers does the job perfectly. I love this formula because as it starts to fade, it never gives you that messy ring-around-the-mouth. Instead, Gen G fades evenly, just as an actual popsicle stain would!

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During my last trip to an estate sale, I found a two beautiful vintage pieces—a satin dress with a halter neck and a tea-length slip skirt with lace trim. The dress is amazing on its own, but the skirt is really simple, so there are endless ways to style it.

My first instinct was to add a white graphic t-shirt to offset the skirt’s ultra-femme feel; I chose this colorful, 80s/90s-inspired one that’s great for summer and has a fit that I love. Still, I felt a little frumpy in the flowy-skirt-and-baggy-top combo. So the outfit would flatter my figure a little more, I reached for a chunky lace-up belt. The belt’s nude hue kept the entire outfit’s color palette light and airy, which was exactly what I wanted, and a relaxed half-tuck is the perfect balance of boyish and ladylike.

Because I decided this outfit needed some more texture, I slipped into a pair of worn-in leather snake-print booties. I love the earthy Brown for daytime, and these shoes seem to work with pretty much everything! They are my favs for casual, everyday wear.

How do you style yourself for summertime? What are your go-to pieces to wear or styling tricks?

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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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