Blogging Update//Life in progress

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Hello my dear readers. Life has thrown a bit of a curve ball with a product launch at work, and Steeped in Style has been suffering. What doesn’t help either is the continuous snow/slush/rain that makes outfit photos difficult. Enough with the sad trumpets though!

I promise, things will be back to their regular two or three posts a week shortly. In the mean time, I thought I’d give a bit of a Shopping Cleanse update. For those of you who don’t know, I did a little soul searching and decided to halt on the clothes shopping for a month and a half. Let me tell you, it was great to have a friend or two join in the pledge, because it was an uphill battle. But we made it, and this is a practice I aim to do more regularly. It felt good to use the things I have, and save my money for other financial goals.

Practice takes intentionally even in a time of plenty though. My first post-cleanse purchase arrived today, and I found myself attempting to keep two items that were not a worthy fit to my wardrobe. Sometimes we just want more to want more, which is a ugly truth that I want to battle. It took a second opinion from a friend to convince me to return the items.

I always preach adding things to your closet that make you look great and add value to the items you already own. Sometimes you need to do a little self-preaching though, and that’s what went down today.

Thanks for letting me share; seep on the lookout for more Beauty Counter Spotlights and some other style posts in the works. As always, if you have a topic you’d like to see covered, share below in the comment box.

Beauty Counter Spotlight//Luminizer

Touch eclat

Some girls seem to have a perpetual internal glow, regardless of stress, hours of sleep, or weather. How do they do it? I’ll come out and admit that I’m not one of those girls naturally, but I’ve found a solution by the fabulous Yves Saint Laurent.

Enter Touche Eclat. This rockstar little pen, brightens, highlights, and hides (!!) any areas that show fatigue. With a few dots, your skin will glow. I typically do three dots underneath each eye, and around the sides of my nose.

This product is an investment, but will not let you down, that I promise you. If you’re going for a low maintenance look (BB cream, mascara) this is the perfect cherry on top.

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Take care: A few health changes

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There is a natural tendency to push ones self until the brink of exhaustion. The shuffle and expectations of this world naturally wear us down. If one life facet slows, another quickens. Maybe it’s work deadlines, or a stressful family relationship, or a imposing decision on the horizon. Whatever excuse we tell ourselves is always replaced with another. I don’t want to bore you all with the personal details, because this phenomenon isn’t about me. It’s about all of us. And despite the fact that our lives will probably continue to escalate, there are things we can do.

I’ve recently been really encouraged by getting back to simple, simple truths. A phrase that you can digest in one breath, but can echo in your head for a while because of it’s profoundness. I like the idea of having a few mantras, or statements that I can whisper as a prayer. A meditation point throughout the day.

Be gentle to yourself. Listen to the rhythms of your body, and tend to the moments that are out of sync. Change. Do something.

“So what?” you may ask. These words may mean something, but how else can I nurture myself?

If you want action items, this book greatly encouraged me. The New Health Rules is a rulebook for wellness choices that will seem small, but will ripple effect into your whole being. Whole health topics from eating to emotions are covered, with beautiful accompanying photos. I like to read a few pages before bed.

A few more open ended suggestions:

Practice a few yoga sun salutations or hip openers in the morning or night.

Take a bath with Epsom salts.

Drink the juice of a whole lemon in warm water each morning to cleanse your digestive track.

Diffuse some essential oils to energize or unwind throughout the day.

Record what you’re grateful for. Trust me, it will help center your thoughts on the positive.

It all comes down to what you need, and what you can give back to yourself. A change can be as simple as a mental decision to act differently. What that looks like depends on you. Hope this post has encouraged you all.

Style Insight: Belted Scarves

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[Images via here]

Sometimes your closet gets boring. We get it. No matter how organized, curated, and color coded your clothing may or may not be, some days lack total outfit inspiration. Don’t fear though, that’s where a little dose of creativity comes into play.

Enter the belted scarf look. You may have seen this look on other blogs, or Pinterest boards, but it wasn’t until this week that I really became a believer.

First of all, this is a cozy and warm look. You’re basically wearing a blanket, but also retaining some of your feminine curves via the help of a belted waist.

Start with a fitted base. It could be a flowy dress (Hello Olivia P!), turtleneck, or even a more loose fitting top with a tailored bottom. Don’t limit yourself. Dress in what feels comfortable to you.

Choose dramatically. This look doesn’t work with a thin, or short scarf. Think large! Look for something that is at least two thirds the length of your longest layer. Ideally there won’t be too much bulk around the shoulder or waist area, we want this to look long and graceful. Stick with a color palate that compliments your base layer, and don’t fear patterns.

Cinch it. Finish it off with a complementary belt.

I’ll going to be heavily rotating this idea, especially since I’m on a shopping cleanse until March.

Are any of you game to try out this look? Leave me a comment and share a thought or two.

Beauty counter spotlight//Facial mists

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A facial mist is a bit of a luxury item. Spritzing your face with scented mists cant feel a little first-world, but actually is as beneficial as enjoyable. The Evian Facial Spray and Mario Badescu Rosewater Spray are both useful for this winter season that leaves your skin dry and often crusty (gross but true) at the end of the work day. If you’re traveling on a red eye or long flight, these products are also great to refresh yourself with every few hours or so.

The Evian mist is a bit more fine, and covers your face in a more equal area. Use this guy for more serious skin issues. Bonus point: they also are sold in travel size at Sephora. The Mario Badescu option smells so delicious and rose gardenesque with a point and shoot nozzle … I’ve been using at the end of a long day, or first thing in the morning on my way out the door.

For overnight flights, I do the following:

1. Remove any heavy makeup, tone, and heavily moisturize before settling in for a little transatlantic snooze

2. Mist a few times during the flight (think bathroom breaks or after your in-flight movie)

3. If you’re feeling overly moisturized or oily after landing, start fresh with moisturizing cloth

Would you all try these mists? As a little incentive, Mario Badescu is offering up to 20% off online through today!

#SISTakesATrip (Miami!)

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image9 image7 image6 image5 image4Outfit details: Dress: Gap Factory; Espadrilles: Splendid.

Oh the irony. As I’m pulling together this post, the greater NYC are is preparing for a 2-day, 3-foot snow storm. Just looking at these photos makes me want to escape again to the warm sand and sun that is Miami, Florida. I found that one of the best ways to deal with the misery-inducing bland month of January is to plan a trip. Somewhere new, where the temperature is higher than 60, and some sort of body of water is nearby. Perfection.

On this 3-day trip, we spent the majority of our time on the beaches (South Beach, and Key Biscayne) and dining al fresco.

Some highlights include dining in Coconut Grove (here & here), experiencing Cuban pastries, and the crystal blue water. You can’t deny how refreshing it is to jet away and displace yourself a bit. Check back on Steeped in Style this week for one of my new Beauty Counter Spotlights that got me through these and future flights.

Do you have any weekend trips planned? Hello, Presidents weekend is soon approaching!

Steeped in thought//Shopping cleanse

79153f4adb14fc4f7b60672c72e07871Cleanse: To free from dirt, defilement, or guilt; purge or clean.

I’m going to get a bit more personal in this post, which I hope is okay with you all. I want this space to be more than pleats, instagrams, and #ootds after all. I am admittedly a lover of style, and with that shopping. I like browsing stores or scrolling through my favorite online spots. Above all, I love when a great deal and some dreamy new item coincide into some physical form in my closet. There is nothing wrong with shopping in itself. I’ve just become more aware of how I use shopping as a distraction from a true emotion, rather than addressing it. Plus, I’m owning up to making more financially minded decisions.

To start off 2015, a friend and I decided to agree to a shopping cleanse. No shopping until March 1st, which evened out to about 2 months without any new clothing, shoes, or accessories. This does not sound like a long time, but I have to be honest and say that it has already been a true challenge! The personal gain is based on practice and discipline. I want to focus on developing traits and habits that I can be proud of, and responsible choices that are beneficial in the end.

If you’re thinking about doing a similar challenge, here are a few of my guidelines:

Stop yourself before a credit card comes out. I’m still guilty of browsing websites when I have down time, but to help myself, I unsubscribed from the majority of retailers daily emails which removes the temptation from my mind, and has really slimmed down my inbox! Having a friend to do the challenge with can also help when you need a like-minded companion, or someone to talk you off a ledge.

Ask yourself why. If you’re dreaming about a new bag or shoes, get to the root reason. So often the truth is distorted and our perception of the solution doesn’t reflect the actual cause. For me, the majority of times I’m tempted to shop do not come from a place of need. I do not need another pair of jeans, I have 10 already. Could it be anxiety or stress? Are you lonely, or feeling insecure? Prob deeper and solve your problem without tapping your finances.

Don’t wear all your money. I sometimes abide by the mindset of “liking my money to be wearable,” but I’m also discovering the value of saving. For each time I’m tempted to buy a new item, I plan to save that money for other goals I have. Maybe you want to invest in stocks, put money aside for a trip, or build up a emergency fund. Remember that spreading your funds will provide a fuller life than a closet full of clothes.

I’m excited to complete this challenge and look for other areas in my life to cleanse! Would anyone else want to join in this journey?

Just a note that Steeped in Style will still cover style inspiration, beauty products, and outfit posts in the meantime; creative solutions aren’t based on the amount on money you can spend, but on the intuition you listen to! Thanks for your continued support. xo

Natural Beauty Look

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I am a girl who loves to play with makeup. Red lip, fake eyelashes, or the smoky eye, all have their special place in my heart. A dramatic nighttime look is secretly sometimes the one thing that gets me most pumped to go out in the winter.

Sometimes though, the no makeup, natural look is all you need. I prefer this on the weekend (who has time to primp?) or during the week days when I hit snooze one to many times. Here’s what I use to get the look.

For skin – Start with tinted moisturizer or BB cream (I’ve been a big fan of this one for over a year) over the whole face, with a spot concealer and under eye treatment. I just got this YSL Touche Eclat and it works WONDERS.

For brows - I like to take a little time off the routine and just use a tinted brow gel, or Vaseline to lengthen and set.

For eyes – If you’re really feeling ambitious you could use a touch of a nude shadow, and finish it off with curled lashes and natural mascara. I like Clinique Lash power mascara.

For cheeks – Use a little bit of blush to contour and brighten.

That’s it! How do you all feel about the natural beauty look? Any other product to add to the lineup?

Marsala Color Story//Hello 2015!

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I’m an avid Indian cusine lover. The food is intentional, fragrant, and decadent. The traditional Tikka Marsala can be summed up in one word: rich. The 2015 Pantone color of the year, Marsala, is one of the more wearable choices compared to years past as it is closely tied to ethic roots. I already have a soft spot for this hue in the winter months, but am curious about how to incorporate it throughout the whole year with softer colors.

Marsala pairs well with equally strong navys, or more subdued shades of blue (think Oxford), and gray. I also recognize that the last photo is more of a red tint, but I’m so in love with the whole look that I had to share it.

How will you all incorporate this new color in your wardrobe? Or are you convinced that Marsala is just a fancier name for Burgundy …. I guess it’s all in the marketing!

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