Beauty counter spotlight//Facial mists


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!)





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

1208aae6591d017c7bc5b89e82d37002[Image via Pinterest]

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!

8aa27da42d8938bc087be78a92b13fff 036b3f14710d1e176a0bc52207e8725d 81f5a70f66533d22d712d7cf70c916ca 365dc5fe2c0a4564413512e4863eadd9 631d3c7ad722018e96d156c5fa9a766d 099904df07f148eb64f61072c1d7fae9 a1d96c64670a81ffe8878958e6c50654 estilo_para_el_invierno__626376388_765x1200 fef1c072e7adbfb9a8c9531e217d84e0 images-2014-03-top_15_najboljih_street_style_izdanja_sa_ovosezonskog_izdanja_fashion_weeka_4_360221503[All Images via Pinterest]

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!

Like what you see here? Subscribe to more Steeped in Style posts with the button at the bottom of the site, or follow along on Instagram @gemilbourne

Beauty Counter Spotlight//Home Spa

Beauty Counter Spotlight 3

Mario Badescu Skin Care body moisturizer / Drying Mask / Healing Soothing Mask

Hello Steeped in Style readers! Happy New Year to all. I imagine most of you have resolved in some way to take better care of yourself in 2015. I for one, have been trying to get a skin care routine down that is manageable and gives the results I want.

I’ve gone to the Mario Badescu spa in New York City a few times for their famously “matter-of-fact” and reasonable facials. Seriously guys, they start at $65 which is the best offering I’ve found at a service level I can trust. Little by little I’ve tried more of their products and a few have risen to the top for today’s Beauty Counter Spotlight. These products focus on cleansing, spot treating, and soothing.

1. Drying Mask – If I’m dealing with congested pores, or any cystic or hormonal breakouts, this product is great for deep-surface duty. Use this mask twice weekly, for skin that feels (in the best way) purged.

2. Drying Lotion – This was my gateway product, and one of the most well-know and loved MB treatments. Leave this spot treatment on over night if you have any white-heads or erupted surface breakouts. In the morning the situation will be much improved.

3. Healing and Soothing Mask - This is a perfect companion to the Drying Mask (#1) or great on it’s own in the colder weather months. If you’re using the Drying Mask, this mask 1-2 times weekly on alternating days will help replenish and soothe the skin. My skin feels and looks more hydrated after 20 minutes with this treatment on.

If any one suffers from cystic breakouts, the Buffering Lotion is a great product that can also be used with the Drying Mask. These products are really making a difference for me, I’d love to talk with you readers about your experience with these products or any other success stories you’d like to share!

Get the picture//Gallery Wall prints

Get the picture/Gallery Wall prints

Sometimes I go down an etsy spiral. I find one great illustrator, or jewelry maker, whatever the craft may be, and then 30 minutes later I’ve sent myself an email with 10 prospective links. That’s where this blog, and sharing these finds with you all comes into play :)

Whether you are looking for a home update, or great gift idea, there are few things that show as much personality and thoughtfulness as a piece of art. I love the process of finding a piece that either brings humor, beauty, or depth to the room. The prints above are pretty lighthearted and whimsical. They’d be great to add to a gallery wall, or work desk. I’m drawn to bold colors and texture, or hand drawn illustrations in light colors.Β  Basically two ends of the continuum, but lets not focus of design labels.

If you’re looking for more ideas I would check out Etsy, and Artfully Walls, both very fairly priced and inspired. I’m all about supporting less know artists or passion projects which both achieve.

What are you go to’s for design and art finds?

Beauty Counter Spotlight//Eyelashes

photoAn eyelash curler is one of the unsung heroes of your beauty bag. If you’re using a sub par version, you may not even really see a difference. Everything changes though when you come across one that actually works.

The Shiseido curler lifts the whole lash with determination that my last Revlon model could not; it also captures all of my eyelashes from corner to corner which noticeably ups the game. This baby is perfect for a weekend look sans mascara. Or for a regular daily look, I finish things off with Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara.

You can shop it here.

What topics would you like me to cover on the next Beauty counter spotlight?

What to wear to bid Fall adieu?

blog 1 blog 20 IMG_7702IMG_7704IMG_7697


blog 3

[Outfit Details: Hat: Banana Republic (Sold out online); Sweater: Zara; Coat: Thrifted; Jeans: Madewell; Boots: Sam Edelman; Bag: Cuyana]

This weekend I journeyed up to the Hudson Valley in New York. Sometimes you just need to smell some good old country air and listen to some solid Spotify playlists to clear your head.

With the holiday’s fast approaching (sidenote, they’re like here) this felt like one of the last low-key weekends I’d be having for a while. I chose to stick with a pretty dark and rich palate, which I tend to strongly favor in the fall. The turtleneck, skinny jean, and flat ankle boot feels frills free and warm, perfect for an outfit I don’t really want to use any brain power for.

Enter my new favorite hat (by the way, this is a L/XL large for my fellow large headed ladies) and coat and the rest of the day felt entirely before me.

Hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving – hug your loved ones tight and tell each and every one how thankful you are.

Beauty Counter Spotlight // Leather Care

Beauty Counter Spotlight 2
I have this weird obsession with meticulously caring for my leather goods. In fact, just saying the term “leather goods”Β  gives me a tiny shiver of pleasure. I talk a lot about buying quality things (namely leather, not faux) whenever I can, and a part of that is maintenance.

Give your boots one slushy, snowy winter in NYC, and they’d be in your trash pile come April. In comes a small brigade of products that you can use to give protect and nurture your bags, boots, flats, etc. for another season.

I use Scotchgard as soon as a new pair of shoes comes out of the box, to ensure they are water and oil resistant. I use another shoe lotion to moisturize when the leather loses its’ luster. Suede can be notoriously tricky to care for, but many products come with a brush so you can gently loosen dirt and then clean the surface.

All you need is a soft cloth, the right products, and your beautiful leather items will age on beautifully, without the gross city stains you’d care to forget.

If you want to read more, Into the Gloss published a great article with more products right this way.