Saturday, February 25, 2017

S is For Sweater

    It seems like sweater season is almost over and spring is on the way.  Everywhere I look there are early signs of spring.  The trees a full of green buds and clusters of daffodils are popping up in random fields.  But, Nature likes to fool us sometimes.  After several days so warm I broke a sweat and switched to flip flops, I woke up shivering this morning and hoping my garden hasn't been killed by frost.  Spring is putting up a pretty good fight, but Winter has a few more rounds left in her, I think.  That's ok by me.  I love the warmer weather, but with most of my wardrobe in transit for so many weeks, I've missed out on wearing some of my favorite sweaters this year.  One of those favorites is this monogram sweater form Old Navy.  They came out with these sweaters a couple of years ago and as always seems to happen the sweaters that had my initials were all colors I hated.  I loved this one though, so I decided to buy it anyway and if asked what the S stands for I'll answer "S is for Sweater, of course."

Shop the Look:
Sweater from Old Navy

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Make Up Review

Make Up Print Trio, Glass Make Up Holders, & Lipstick Print Available on 

       I've never done a make-up review on this site and the reason is very simple:  I've been using the same brand and colors for over a decade.  In the past every time I visited a make-up counter or a sales rep came to my house, they inevitably recommended the exact same color palette.  So, I chose a reputable brand with the only foundation that truly matches my skin tone and moisturizer that doesn't cause breakouts from being too oily or dryness from being too...I don't know, whatever causes dry skin.  Lately, I've begun to realize I'm in need of a few extras like primer and concealer.  These are the products I tried and the ones I decided to ditch or keep.

    I started by looking for a primer to help with my fine lines.  I liked that this e.l.f primer also has a green tint to correct redness.  After using this product for a b out a month, I had to call it quits.  It feels very oily.  I don't normally suffer from acne, but I had constant breakouts while using this product.  I ditched it and decided to move on.
    From there I went to this Master Prime by Maybelline.  Now this product, I love!  No oily feeling and no breakouts.  Although, I can't tell that it actually makes my make up look better, it definitely helps the foundation to go on smoother than without it.  I bought this product in white and green and can't tell much difference between the two.  There's so little difference in fact that I decided to buy a separate concealer for redness and one for dark circles.  After browsing the entire make-up aisle, I landed on this all-in-one palette by Hard Candy.
    I bought a little pot of yellow concealer years ago during the baby days to help counter act all the sleeplessness and late night feedings.  It's dry and cakey now and in need of replacement.  My favorite thing about this palette is that it has all the concealer colors plus a variety of skin tone colors.  If I buy a light concealer in the winter, it won't work in mid-summer, because no matter how much sunscreen I slather on I'm going to tan.  So, it's nice to have some options to play around with to find the right shade for my skin tone and season.
    In case you're a make up novice and don't remember anything from those grade school art classes, let me give you a little refresher.  This is a color wheel:

    On the color wheel there are color pairs that are directly opposite of each other are called complimentary colors.  When placed side by side in an outfit at the same intensity they tend to create a very harsh contrast so we rarely pair in the fashion world although you'll see them paired in nature all the time (ie: red berries on green trees and purple and yellow pansies, etc.), but when it comes to make up we can use complimentary colors to help cancel each other out.  The pairs run as follows:  Red & green, blue & orange, yellow & purple.  So, for example, to combat redness use a green concealer.  For purple under-eye circles, use a yellow concealer.  Simple, right?  I don't really like to take a big financial risk on make-up because it's so individual.
    I loved the brush that came with the palette.  It's my first time applying concealer with a brush and it was so much better than just gobbing it on with a cotton swab or my fingers.  It does take time for the concealer to set up.  I usually apply it after my primer and then brush my teeth while I wait for it to set up.  If I don't, it smudges off when I apply my foundation, so it's worth the wait and I can really see the difference when I use these concealers.  
    So, if you're like me and wanting to try out some new concealers and primers, I can say that they're inexpensive, and for me the Hard Candy palette and Master Primer by Maybelline were effective.  I can't get behind the E.L.F. primer and so far haven't had great success with any product by that brand.  But, I don't want to end this article on a low note, so here's one last inexpensive new thing I tried and loved:
    This nude Lasting Finish lipstick by Kate Moss has become my go-to for daily wear.  I've never been a fan of lipstick, so when I do wear it it's either bright red or nude.  I don't know why I go between extremes like that but, there it is and this is my new favorite shade of nude.  So, that wraps up my first and possibly only make-up review.  As for where to buy all these things, they're all run of the mill find them in any shop kinds of products.  I hope this has been helpful and happy hunting :)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Worth the Wait: ootd

    I have trouble letting go and I tend to hold on to silly things longer than I should like crushes, sentimental souvenirs, and, yes, the occasional grudge.  One crush that wouldn't fade was for this Two Wheeler Anthropologie dress by Porridge, but I missed it in stores and even years later it was absurdly expensive on the resale sites ($125 for a used cotton dress?  Pass!)  
    It was a wonderful consolation that right about the same time that I began pining for that dress ModCloth started carrying their Bake Shop Browsing dress, so I bought it on sale and have worn it proudly for several years.  (you can see one of the outfits I put together with it here)  Every now and then I'd scan the resale sites for Porridge's version.  I came very close a couple of times, but kept missing the dress by mere hours or pennies.  
    Last week, I happened to catch sight of it in my size on PoshMark just after it had been listed and at only $40.  What was the catch?  Well, the dress was missing three buttons down the front.  Was it still worth it?  Utterly and completely!  The seller was even nice enough to send a lovely note and a little packet that contained one of the original buttons and several more that she thought would be nice replacements.  How thoughtful was that?!  You can see why I love PoshMark .   Not only do they make my fashion dreams come true on the cheap, but the people are the best :D
    Along with this lovely dress, I wore my new Come Ballet With Me flats from ModCloth and my Nila Anthony bag which I use to carry all my camera gear.  I love the flats, the faux suede ribbon in particular makes them very feminine and I've never had a problem with them coming untied, though they are a half size too roomy.  My bag has lasted for several years of constant and sometimes rather rough use, so I'd recommend it should you happen to find it out there on the web.  It has served me well.

Shop the Look:
Two Wheeler Dress by Porridge on PoshMark
Come Ballet With Me Flats from ModCloth
Keystone Nila Anthony Bag from ModCloth
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

An Unconventional Valentine's Day + Amor Dress Review

digital books, vintage pages, and heart shaped papers from

    I've decided to forgo the typical Valentine's Day locations like restaurants and movie theaters in favor of the place that holds all the greatest love stories ever told: my local library.  It's one of those places that I love but rarely visit anymore.  For years I made weekly visits, but then life changed, other things got in the way, and my trips to the library tapered off.  So, today, I've decided to rekindle my romance with reading.
    My favorite books are an odd mix of the well known classics and the little books written by little nobodies that never amounted to much (to paraphrase the movie Penelope).  The 159 year old book written by two loving parents as a tribute to their daughter who passed very young, but lived well and loved much in her brief life has always been one of my favorites in my personal library.  And there is something so powerful in reading the words "Surely you must know..." from Jane Austen's Pride and Predjudice  that make me prefer it to any film adaptation.  It's all here, page after page, story after story, heart after heart.    
    Today as I wander through the aisles of love across the ages, I know that this day causes stress and sadness for as many as it causes elation, but being here, I have an enormous sense of hope for this silly, sometimes cruel world and its capacity and potential for love, fidelity, and kindness.
        Since it is the day we celebrate love, I decided to wear some red on my date with the library.  I bought this dress from AmorDress on etsy several months ago before we moved and had it shipped home.  It has been faithfully waiting for me and this seemed like the perfect day for it.   A little added red from my ModCloth cardi and heels.  It didn't feel like to much of a theme to add the strawberry locket that I made.  The earrings are also my own creation and the locket is now available in my etsy shop,, in either copper or silver.  My way of sharing the love with my readers is to give you a 12% discount in my shop when you use the code blogreader at checkout.  Happy reading, happy celebrating, and much love to you all :)

Shop the Look:
Strawberry Dress from
Charter School Cardi and Sizzlin' Steps Heels from ModCloth
Use this link to sign up and save $20 on your first order
Strawberry Locket necklace available in my etsy shop in copper or silver tone.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Converting That Cocktail Dress

2017 Centerpiece, Personalized Glasses, and Champagne Print from
     Now that the sparkle and glitz have fizzed out and the resolutions are waning, it's time to put those New Year's Eve dresses on the shelf for another year or maybe for good.  But that would be such a shame.  Forever 21 is famous for those short little cocktail dresses and I rarely hit a New Year's Party without one, but I hate to see a gorgeous dress only get worn once and then sit on the shelf for 364 days gathering dust.  Every year I challenge myself to wear my party dresses in a more daytime or work appropriate way.  This colorful little striped dress by XXI caught my eye while I was shopping at ThredUp. I also found this beige Gap sweater on a separate trip and while it's too snug/short to wear with jeans it's great for layering under dresses or for wearing with midi skirts (outfit photos coming soon). 

Shop the Look:
Forever 21 Dress & Gap Sweater from ThredUp
Use this link to sign up and save $20 off your first order
Dynamic Duo Heels from ModCloth
Use this link to sign up and save $20 off your first ModCloth order
Tights from Walmart
Cookie Purse from Ebay

Monday, February 6, 2017

Shooting Stars Dress Review

Night Photo, Silver Star Necklace, and Starry Night Necklace from
    I'll keep today's post short and sweet.  Another  lovely dress from Emily and Fin.  I always look forward to the new prints they bring out each season and I adore starry skies, so this purchase was inevitable.  I waited to buy until ModCloth started their pre-Chirstmas sales, so it was even more of a bargain.  No need to review this dress, it's the same great quality as all Emily and Fin dresses and the same fit as other prints in the Day After Day style.  Love, love love this dress and it's still available at ModCloth. in XXS or XS.

Shop the Look:
Day After Day A Line Dress in Shooting Stars in sizes XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X
Look alike vintage rhinestone necklace from Etsy
Bell Flats by Report

© Bleu Avenue. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.