Belt It

Belt it Dress

belt it dress

Nordstrom dress belted

nordstrom dress, belt it

Belt: Nordstrom | Dress: Nordstrom | Shoes: Michael Kors (on sale), also love these (on sale) | Clutch: Old, similar here, here, obsessing splurge | Necklace: BCBG (old) similar here (on sale) | Earrings: Nordstrom Studs (on sale) | Sunglasses: Chloe (sold out) similar here, here | Lips: Whitening Lightning ‘Sugar Mama’, use code ‘rachel’ for 25% off entire purchase.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is still going on!  This Sunday, August 3rd is the last day to shop the sale.  Click here to view my top picks of the sale.

Some times I fall in love with an adorable dress or top.  Then I put it on and it hangs on my body like a tent.  I have seen some girls wear this style and it looks cute on them.  On me, I feel like I gained 20 pounds.  My body needs a little more shape to my clothes.  Solution?  Belt it!  Instantly I have a waist line again.  Everyone should have a couple belts, these are closet essentials.  Here are a couple of my favorites.

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Dark Spots, Acne Scars, Textured Skin

Sun spots, age spots, brown spots, acne scars, pit marks, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, textured skin… We all have issues with our skin that we want fixed.  But how?  I have to first talk really quick about prevention.  Prevention is so important for all these skin concerns.  Wear sunscreen, don’t pick, healthy diet, drink water, have a good skin care regimen with good products.  Prevention is always easier than fixing a problem.  And never ever use alcohol or products that have alcohol in it on your skin!  Alcohol will never fix anything on your skin, it will only cause more damage and worsen your skin.

So you didn’t prevent, or the problems just happened.  Some times that zit that lasted only a couple days leaves a brown spot for months.  Or maybe you had hormonal acnes that left scarring.  Whatever the case is, I’m sure you don’t like it.  Let’s take care of it!

Clarisonic- Clarisonic is a deep cleansing tool that gets deep inside the pores, thoroughly cleaning the skin and eliminating skin texture.  By cleaning so deeply this prepares the skin to absorb any products you put on, allowing you to get the full benefits of each product you are using.

Glycolic Acid- Your Best Friend!!!  Glycolic acid improves skin texture and appearance.  It stimulates collagen production and elastin fibers, reducing acne scaring, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.  For home use you can get products with 10%-20% glycolic acid.  For higher % of glycolic acid you will have to visit a dermatologist or some estheticians.

Important to know about using glycolic acid:  When any product with glycolic acid is on your skin, this will make your skin sun sensitive.  You must wear a sunscreen if you have any glycolic acid on your skin.  I use my glycolic acid treatments at night before bed.  Then I wash my face in the morning.  This way I’m never out in the sun while any glycolic acid is on my skin.

There are many different types of products with glycolic acid.  The ones I feel are most effective are gylcolic acid peels, retuxurizing pads, treatments (similar to a mask), moisturizer.  Here are some products I recommend:

  • Cane & Austin Retexurizing Pads.  This is my #1 recommendation.  It’s so easy to use and it works!!  All you do is take out 1 pad and rub it around your face, avoiding the eye area.  It will burn or tingle a little, that’s ok.  You will probably be slightly red for a few hours, that’s normal too.  (this is why I do it before bed)  Within 1 week of using it, all the brown spots I had from previous break outs were gone.  And most of my husband’s acne scaring was gone.  We were also using Cane & Austin Eye Cream and Retexurizing Moisture Cream.  I use this every night if I have issues I’m clearing up.  To keep my skin clear I use it 3-4 times a week, at night only.  I never experienced any dryness from using these products.  Not only has my dark spots cleared up, but my fine lines have also gone away and my skin is glowing more than ever.  My skin hasn’t looked this good since I was 18!
  • Ellen Lange Retexurizing Peel Kit.   This peel kit will even out skin tone, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, diminish hyperpigmentation and acne scarring.  Use as much as once a week or as little as once a month, depending on your needs.  You will see results in as little as 1 use and your skin will continue to improve with each use.  Make sure you read and follow the directions that come with the kit.  When applying the treatment, a burning or tingling feeling is normal.  Most likely you will be red for a few hours after, so plan accordingly.  The next day is when you will see results!
  • GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment.  This is a treatment, use just like a mask, to clear up breakouts, whiteheads, blackheads and skin discoloration related to break outs.  This will also brighten and soften the skin.  I would recommend a treatment like this for someone who has a skin care routine that you like, but need that extra boost to improve what you are already doing.

Retinol/Retinoid- Comes from Vitamin A, boosts collagen and speeds up cell turn over.  This powerful ingredient helps to retexurize, even out discoloration, prevent wrinkles, brighten and soften the skin.  You will need to use any product with retinol in it for at least 2-4 weeks to see results.  Retinol can cause redness or dryness.  Using these products at night is ideal.  If dryness occurs, use less often.

I love all of the retinol products by Dr. Brandt.  They are gently, yet effective!  The Overnight Resurfacing Serum and Ruby Crystal Retinol Hydracreme work awesome together to promote natural cell turnover and improve skin texture and tone.  I’ve been using the Dr Brandt Revitalizing Retinol Eye Cream and love it so much!  It gives a natural, healthy glow.  Like my skin is glowing from within!

Both gylcolic acid and retinol are serious ingredients in treating the skin.  They give great results!  But should also be used properly and with caution.  Both can cause redness, dryness or sensitivity.  Introduce only 1 of these ingredients at a time to your skin.  If you are having any negative effects, use less often.  Gylcolic acid and retinol should never be used in the same regimen, but you can use them at different times.  Example: on Monday night you can use all products with gylcolic acid.  Then on Tuesday night use products with retinol.  What NOT to do: on Monday use gylcolic acid treatment pads, retinol eye cream and gylcolic acid moisture cream.  Don’t mix gylcolic acid and retinol at the same time.

Trying to take care of skin that has any issues can be frustrating and difficult.  I want every woman to feel comfortable in her own skin.  If you have any questions leave a comment below and I will try to answer :)

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Be YOU!

I am pretty much a girly girl.  I love makeup, clothes, shoes, handbags, pretty candles, fluffy pillows, anything pink! I love to surround myself with everything pretty.  I find it so fun to get new shoes and figure out what outfits I can wear them with and what lipstick I’ll put on.  I love to get all dressed up to go out.  It makes me feel good to look pretty on the outside.  And I love to help other women get that confidence to feel beautiful.

But something more close to my heart than helping anyone look beautiful on the outside, is to help you know how beautiful you are on the inside.  I believe that true beauty is from within.  And when it shines out, others will find you beautiful.  Forget about all the things that you think are wrong with yourself.  Everyone woman (including me) has sat in front of the mirror and picked out all of the things that you don’t like about yourself.  Some of these things I was born with and I will never be able to change (unless I want to go under the knife… Yikes!).  Let’s be nicer to ourselves!

All the women you see on the cover of a magazine and on the runways, these are not the women you should be looking at to aspire to be.  ALL of them are airbrushed and photoshopped, who knows how many of them are on unhealthy diets, surgeries, procedures, etc to look the way they do.  Instead of trying to look like someone you think is beautiful, you should want to look like you! YOU are beautiful!  You were born such an amazing person!  Don’t let the media or society make you think any different.  You don’t need a new lipstick to be beautiful.  Sure it’s fun and I love putting on a new lipstick.  But the lipstick is not what is going to make me beautiful.

Be who you were born to be, BE YOU!  Embrace everything that you are.  If you are curvy, skinny, dark, light, freckles, wear glasses, short, tall, outgoing, quiet, totally weird…. it doesn’t matter!  Just be you!  Embrace every part of yourself.  Be the best version of you.  Find your inner confidence and rock it out!  Know how amazing you are.  Right now, where you are sitting- you are amazing!  You don’t need to change, just own it.

As women let’s agree to encourage one another to embrace who we are, and not be negative and mean.  We all have enough pressure on us to be a certain way and act a certain way, none of us need any more added pressure or negativity.  Go out today and compliment a woman who is a total stranger.  Go out of your way to say something nice to someone who you don’t normally talk to.  You might make someone’s day :)

You are an original!  Don’t try to make yourself a copy of someone else.  Embrace everything about yourself; the way you look and your personality!  Don’t change who you are for anyone!  Be you and rock it out!

Here is a silly picture of my family :)  Have a great weekend!!!

Family

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Floral Skirt

Nordstrom Floral Skirt

Nordstrom Floral Skirt

Nordstrom Floral Skirt

Nordstrom Floral Skirt

white button down shirt

Nordstrom Floral Skirt

Nordstrom Floral Skirt

Skirt: Nordstrom, also love this (on sale) | Shirt: Zara (old) similar at J Crew | Shoes: Guess (old) similar here, here | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (sold out), similar here, here (on sale) | Bangles (50% off), Earrings (on sale) or these (50% off), similar | Lip: Marc Jacobs Lust for Laquer, 308 Sweet Hearted

This outfit is a little different than what I typically wear.  But there is something so sweet and lady like about it that I just love.  As I was wearing it I felt like a classy lady :)

I have been gone for the last 5 days down in Florida visiting my family and celebrating my sister’s birthday.  I had so much fun!  I love hanging out with my mom and sister.  Just going out shopping with them means so much to me since I don’t see them all the time.  I never want to leave my family in Florida but I miss my kids at home so much.  Maybe some day my heart won’t have to be constantly torn…

One more thing, I recently joined Pinterest.  I’ve been staying up late and getting a little obsessed with just about everything!  Come over and check out my boards and tell me what you think :)

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How to Properly Wash Your Face

Washing your face properly is a basic step in skin care, and one of the most important steps.  If you are using a cleanser that is not also a makeup remover, you will need to use a makeup remover before cleansing.

When?  You need to be washing your face both morning and night.  At night you are washing away all the makeup, dirt, oil, etc that your face has picked up through out the day.  At night while you are sleeping your skin is busy rejuvenating and it can’t do it’s job properly without being clean.  One thing I heard years ago is this- “For every night you go to bed without washing your face you age an extra day”.  That may not seem like a lot. But if you are making a habit out of not washing your face, that extra day of aging will add up quick! In the morning it is also just as important to wash your face.  Like I said, your skin is rejuvenating while you sleep. In the morning there will be excess oil, impurities, dead skin, etc, sitting on your skin that you need to be washed away.  Plus, at night you should be using an eye cream and possibly some kind of night cream, sleep mask, beauty oil or glycolic treatment. All of those things need to be washed off in the morning.

Water?  The water temperature should not be to hot or to cold.  Both extreme temperatures will irritate your skin, causing redness and/or dryness.  A perfect luke warm temperature is what you want.  The luke warm water will soften the pores and make it easier for trapped dirt and makeup to come out.

How?  Get your hands, face and neck wet.  Do not neglect the neck.  Your neck shows age just as much as your face does.  Put some cleanser in your hands, or clarisonic, and massage in upward circle motions over the face and neck for at least 30 seconds, 1-2 minutes is best.  Focusing on the t-zone area, also making sure to get around the hair line, jaw and chin.  Give your face a thorough rinse, don’t leave any cleanser residue.  Gently dab your face dry (don’t drag or rub) with a clean towel.

There are 2 types of skin care products that I think you should spend the money on and absolutely find the right one for your skin: Cleanser and Moisturizer.  These 2 products are used more often that anything else.  They are your building blocks for a great skin care routine. If these 2 things aren’t right, your skin won’t be right.  There is one cleanser that has been my #1 favorite for so long and I absolutely love: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser.  Big surprise right? This cleanser is “for all skin types”, so anyone can give it a try. Maybe my favorite will be your favorite :)

washing face

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is HERE! Let’s Shop!!

“I don’t play sports, the only sport I play is shopping. But there’s a lot of walking involved in that… running sometimes if there’s a sale.”  -Jessica Simpson

Nordstrom has opened their doors to the biggest sale event of the year!!!  It’s Christmas in July for any fashionista!

A little info about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale:

  • Largest Annual Sale Event of the Year of any Luxury Department Store
  • This is New Pre-Fall/Fall 2014 Products, not spring/summer on sale
  • July 18th-August 3rd, prices go back up to regular price on August 4th

I spent several hours at the store during early access trying everything on and countless hours shopping online to bring you the best pieces of the sale.  I have to give a special shout out to these Donald Pliner boots - ah-mazing!!  (they don’t look like much in the stock photo, but in person… awesome fall staple!)  Leave me a comment and tell me what you are buying :)
Here are my top picks for fall from every department!

Women’s Shoes

Women’s Clothing

Handbags & Accessories

Sleepwear, Lounge, Active & Intimates

Beauty Exclusives

Men’s

Kids

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1 Black Dress, 2 Ways…

Black Dress, Denim

Black Dress, Denim

Black Dress, Denim

Black Dress, Denim

House of Harlow Earrings

Loeffler Randall Handbag

Black Dress, Denim

Dress: Nordstrom (only $48) | Jacket: Nordstrom (old) similar here, here (only $58), here | Shoes: Old, similar here, here, obsessed | Bag: Loeffler Randall (Nordstrom Anniversary Sale) | Earrings: House of Harlow (old), similar House of Harlow (Nordstrom Anniversary Sale) | Sunglass: Tory Burch, Tory Burch on sale (Nordstrom Anniversary Sale) | Lip: Whitening Lightning Butter Cream, use code ‘rachel’ for 25% off.

Black Dress & Leather

Dress: Nordstrom (only $48) | Jacket: BCBG (old) sooo similar here, here (on sale), here | Shoes: Lamb (sold out) similar here, here, here, obsessing over these | Bag: Nordstrom (old) similar here, here, here, obsessed | Bangles: Nordstrom | Necklace: Nordstrom (old) similar here, here, here | Earrings: Nordstrom | Sunglasses: Tory Burch | Lip: Whitening Lightning Summer Sun, use code ‘rachel’ for 25% off.

Last week I did a post on the 2nd outfit, click here to view all the photos.  When I purchased this dress my first thought was to dress it up.  But I wanted to live in this dress so bad I found a way to wear it while out running around and doing my errands.  Some of the items from my casual outfit are from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  The sale starts tomorrow, if you are a card holder you can begin shopping now during early access.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2014A little info about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale:

  • Largest Annual Sale Event of the Year of any Luxury Department Store
  • This is New Pre-Fall/Fall 2014 Products, not spring/summer on sale
  • July 18th-August 3rd, prices go back up to regular price on August 4th

I spent several hours at the store during early access trying everything on and countless hours shopping online to bring you the best pieces of the sale.  I will be posting tomorrow with all of my faves from every department. This is the fashion event of the year!

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Skin Care Product Overload!! What To Use & When?

It’s easy to walk into Sephora or a Department Store and get overwhelmed by all the choices of skin care products!  Not only are there so many different kinds of products, but they are all for different purposes.  I’m going to break it down and make it as simple as possible for you.

Makeup Remover-
What is it? Whether it is wipes or a liquid, this is made to remove all the makeup off your face and eyes.
When to use? This is the first step, before you cleanse your skin. Use only when you are wearing makeup.

Cleanser-
What is it? Use to wash the face and neck to get off dirt, oil, makeup and clean the skin.
When to use? Both morning and night. Some cleansers are also makeup removers and safe to use on the eye area, like Fresh Soy Face Cleanser and Purity Made Simple. In this case, you don’t need to use a makeup remover first.  If you are using a cleanser that is unsafe for the eye area or isn’t also a makeup remover, you will need to use a makeup remover first before cleansing.

Clarisonic-
What is it? Gently deep cleans the skin, removing impurities, dirt, makeup and oil.  Cleans 6 times better than just using your hands.
When to use? Use with cleanser morning and/or night.

Toner-
What is it? Delivers to your skin the specific help your skin needs.  There are toners for oil control, minimizing pores, extra deep cleansing, hydrating, etc.
When to use? Apply to cleansed skin, morning and/or night.

Serum-
What is it? A serum will sit on your skin all day and work hard to bring you the results you are looking for.  Serums are made to deliver help to your specific skin concerns. There are many different kinds of serums. There are serums to help with wrinkles, dryness, oiliness, brightening, etc.
When to use? Use in the morning to cleansed skin, before moisturizer.

Moisturizer-
What is it? Applying moisturizer to your skin will bring moisture to the skin, or help to regulate excess moisture; whichever your skin needs. For oily/acne skin you will apply an oil-free moisturizer to help regulate oil and leave an overall smooth finish. For normal, dry, combination skin you will be looking for adding moisture back into your skin.
When to use? Both morning and night. Apply either to cleansed skin, or on top of a serum or toner.

Beauty Oil-
What is it? This is a moisturizer in oil form. Because it’s an oil it’s able to deliver things to your skin in a different way. A beauty oil will give more of a dewy look. I recommend this for dry, normal or combination skin.
When to use? Can be used both morning and night as your daily moisturizer. I like to use it at night for extra moisture. In the winter I will apply my moisturizer then beauty oil on top, before bed, to give my skin all the moisture it needs.

Eye Cream-
What is it? Brings moisture to the eye area, reduces wrinkles, puffiness, dark circles and more.  For what eye cream to use click here, how to apply click here.
When to use? At night only, to cleansed skin before your moisturizer.

Night Cream & Sleep Mask-
What is it? A power packed product that works on improving your skin while you sleep. Whether your skin needs extra moisture, brightening, smoothness, clearer complexion, etc, this will bring it to you in your sleep.
When to use? Use at night, to cleansed skin. Don’t layer a moisturizer or beauty oil with it, use a night cream or sleep mask all by itself to get the full benefits.

Mask-
What is it? A mask is designed to bring your skin any help or improvement or balance that your skin needs. So many different kinds of masks! It’s easy to find one that will help you with your specific skin needs. There are masks for clarifying, oil control, moisturizing, detoxifying, smoothness, radiance, calming and more.
When to use? Use as much as 1 time a week, as little as 1 time a month. Apply to clean skin, let sit for 10 minutes then rinse off. Be sure to read any specific directions of your mask. Follow with your morning or night time routine.

Exfoliator-
What is it? Exfoliating gets the dead skin off the surface, revealing more radiant skin. To read more in depth about exfoliation click here.
When to use? Exoliate 2-3 times a week, after you have cleansed the skin, before you moisturize.  You can exfoliate, then use a mask for a mini facial at home.

Peel Pads & Peels-
What is it? This is more of a clinical level product, most of them have glycolic acid as an ingredient. Peels are made for resurfacing the skin, diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, acne scars; revealing brighter, more youthful looking skin.  Because this type of product is resurfacing, there is no need to exfoliate if you are using this on a consistent basis.  Over exfoliating will only irritate your skin.  I will use peel pads 1 time a week and exfoliate 1 time a week, and that works well for me.
When to use? Use at night to cleansed skin, follow with night time routine of eye cream and moisturizer. Glycolic makes the skin sun sensitive. Be sure to wash your face in the morning to get the product off your face. If using in the morning always use a sunscreen after.

Acne Spot Treat-
What is it? A product that spot treats any break outs or acne.
When to use? Morning and/or night on clean skin, before you moisturize.

You do not need to use all of these products.  And you certainly don’t want to use them all at once.  One night I will use a sleep mask, the next night I will use a beauty oil, and the night after that I will use peel pads.  You can switch it up as often as you want to.  Here is what a morning and night time routine looks like:

Morning

  • Cleanse, with Clarisonic
  • Acne Spot Treat (if needed)
  • Toner and/or Serum -If using together, use toner first then serum. (optional, only if there are skin concerns)
  • Moisturize

Night Time

  • Makeup Remover (if cleanser isn’t a makeup remover)
  • Cleanse, with Clarisonic
  • Exfoliate or Peel Pads (2-3 times a week)
  • Mask (1-4 times a month)
  • Toner (optional)
  • Eye Cream
  • Acne Spot Treat (if needed)
  • Moisturize or Beauty Oil or Night Cream/Sleep Mask

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Whitening Lightning Lip Gloss Colors & Review

 Whitening Lightning Lip Gloss Colors

Whitening Lightning Lip Gloss Colors

Nude, Butter Cream, Sugar Mama, Figi, Raspberry Sherbet, Coral Craze, Rose Hill, Summer Sun (left to right)

Whitening Lightning lip glosses are truly one of the best lip glosses I have ever used!  The color is so pigmented, the texture is so creamy (never sticky!), and it lasts for hours.  Their packaging is genius!  There is a mirror on the side of the lip gloss (make sure to take the clear plastic cover off the mirror before use) and a light inside the wand.  No more dark restaurants trying to reapply lip gloss after dinner and guessing where it goes.

Whitening Lightning Lip Gloss

You can purchase the glosses separately or in bundles.  Purchasing a bundle is a better value: $24 individually, the bundle of 5 is $13.80 each and you get to pick your 5 colors.  Use code ‘rachel’ for 25% off your entire purchase (including bundles), plus any purchase of $75 or more gets free shipping.  They also offer a lip gloss duo, it includes Butter Cream + your choice of either Rose Hill, Sugar Mama or Nude.

My go to colors are Butter Cream & Rose Hill (both created by my sister Jaclyn Hill), Sugar Mama, Raspberry Sherbet, and Coral Craze.  These colors can be worn day or night, with almost any look or outfit.  Fiji and Summer Sun are more bold and look great with a specific look.  I’m obsessed with mixing Rose Hill + Sugar Mama.  It’s a match made in heaven!  If you can only get one, the must have is Butter Cream!

Shop all colors and bundles at Whitening Lightning and use code ‘rachel’ for 25% off!

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – Early Access Top Picks

I couldn’t help but wait up to see all the items for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale load.  I’m loving all the rich colors.  I have so many things on my must have list, I want to share just a few of my favorites!  Keep in mind, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale technically begins July 18th.  Now through July 17th is Early Access for card holders only (this is credit card or Nordstrom debit card).  You can open one at NordstromBank.com or in store any time to start shopping the sale.  Maybe I’ll see some of you in the morning at Old Orchard :)

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