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Filtering by Tag: The Layered Appeal

2 Steps to Longer, Stronger Lashes

Nikki Schuster

THE OUTFIT

THE SHOES | CHLOE: I am telling you, these are a must if you are willing to splurge on flats. They are expensive but they are the most comfortable flats I have ever owned and they can be worn both casually or dressed up. That being said, if you are going to splurge on 1 pair only, don't go with the LIGHT GRAY SUEDE like I did. Suede, especially in a light color, is very delicate and easily stained. I would go with the BLACK LEATHER, plus they are slightly cheaper! Also check out the BURGUNDY SUEDE or the LIGHT PINK SUEDE (the color of this summer!) or the METALLIC SANDAL, which I may have to order myself!

THE JEANS | AG JEANS: These jeans are really comfortable, especially for the girls with more cushion for the pushin'. I don't do cardio, I just lift weights. So when I work out consistently, my butt gets bigger and doesn't fit in some of my jeans. I love these AG Jeans because the allow for a little more room in the hips but still have a slim fit down the leg. 

THE TOP | CURRENT ELLIOTTDespite the cold shoulders, this sweater is so warm! I got mine at Max & Riley on Newbury Street!

THE VEST | LA ROK: Is La Rok even around anymore? I got this vest about eight years ago, but check HERE, HERE, HERE for similar. 

THE BAG | CELINE: I love this bag because I haven't seen this color combo any where else! But take a look at the links below for some gorgeous styles and color options! Or click HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. I can't get enough of THIS ONE!

LONGER, STRONGER LASHES...I PROMISE

We have all googled "How to Grow Your Lashes" or even worse, "Eyelash Extensions" and wondered "how bad could it really be for my lashes? Maybe I should just try it!"

I am definitely guilty of that google search - in fact I'll be getting them for the wedding so stay tuned for more information on that in the coming months! But until then, I want to grow my lashes longer and stronger. The trick to beautiful lashes is simple. 

After years of trial and error, I can confidently say that I have found the loyal solution to your lash dreams! Now let's be honest...your lashes won't look like the falsies you glued on for Halloween, but they will definitely have significant and noticeable improvement. 

So what's the secret? Follow these complicated and time consuming steps (Sarcasm):

  1. EVERY NIGHT: Apply coconut oil to the lash line. 
    • I also apply a liberal amount to the entire lid and coat the lashes themselves with it to ensure they're hydrated.
    • Make sure its 100% organic, nothing added! You can click HERE or grab a jar at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's for $10 and it lasts forever!
  2. EVERY MORNING: Apply Vaseline to the lash line
    • If you are like me and you don't wear much makeup to work, I recommend also applying it to the entire lid for better results. However, do not do this if you wear eye shadow. This could cause the shadow to collect in the creases of your skin and its not a good look. Trust me. If you are trying to grow your lashes for a special occasion, I recommend cutting out the eye shadow for six weeks to help kick-start the lash growth. 

Now, you may be thinking, "That's easy, I can handle those two simple steps!" However, in order for the two step process to work, you MUST abide by the cardinal rules:

  1. Take your makeup off every night...and GENTLY!
    • First of all, stop rubbing your eyes in all directions to remove the makeup!!! Find a makeup remover that works for you. Personally, I like the Neutrogena Cleansing Towlettes because they are moist enough to soak through the mascara without rubbing.
      • Quick Tip: Place the pads on your eyes and apply light pressure for 30 seconds. Allow the product to start working without rubbing. Then you can wipe from the eyelid down in a gentle, slow motion until the mascara is removed. When I say "Removed" I mean "completely gone". If you wake up in the morning with a little black under your eyes, you're shit out of luck, you should've listened to me and I can't help you.
  2. Consistency for AT LEAST six weeks, preferably 3-6 months
    • It takes 4-6 weeks to grow a new lash. The better you take care of them, the longer they grow! So don't miss a hydration session!
    • Prior to the engagement I was very inconsistent. My lashes grew but it wasn't significant. Since we got engaged, I have religiously followed the steps above and sacrificed my eye shadow for the cause. I promise you it is worth it.

A few things to note:

  1. The coconut oil turns to liquid when its warm, so when it is against your skin it tends to be very moist. That it why it is best to use it at night instead of during the day. If used during the day it can cause your mascara to run. If it bothers you at night, just use Vaseline for both steps instead of switching.
  2. If you are a worry-wort like me, stop worrying. I went to an eye doctor, told him about my findings and asked if it was safe. He said not to worry at all because Coconut Oil and Vaseline are harmless so long as there are no additives. He did say its possible that the vaseline and coconut oil could get into my eyes, which isn't harmful but just annoying. He was right, sometimes when I over due it I definitely feel the stickiness but it goes away as the eye naturally cleans itself.

After all these years of keeping my own secret. It is time to share the wealth. In fact, recently, I wanted to ensure I wasn't just convincing myself that I looked fabulous and wanted to confidently persuade you so I offered ('tested') my tried-and-true eyelash secret with my friend at work. I checked in on her lashes weekly and it works! Its not in my head! 

So go get some Vaseline and Coconut Oil and start batting those eyelashes....I dare you!

JORD Wood Watch

Nikki Schuster

With Thanksgiving this month, Christmas in December, Valentines Day in February and Keegan's Birthday in March I have to be on my gift giving game! This year's gifts have to be especially good because he just got me a ring and proposal that surpassed my dreams! 

The issue is, I have been dating Keegan for 12 years so I have already given him every gift or activity in the book...or so it seemed...until I heard about the JORD Wood Watches! Keegan has a nice watch and a watch he uses to workout but he doesn't have a great everyday watch.

I chose the Frankie Series in Dark Sandalwood and Emerald I absolutely love this watch! It is formal enough for work or going out but it is still masculine and completely unique, which is so important! A huge part of what makes people stylish is when they have a unique flair that represents their own personal style. That is why I picked this watch for Keegan, I have never seen anything like it! I even love the broad array of colors and styles they offer! Check out the Men's Watches Here. They also have women's watches..I might have to snag one for myself. Click Here for Women's WatchesThey say the best gifts are the ones you want for yourself ;)

PS: even the packaging is amazing! The box is beautiful and even has a drawer for cleaning cloths, extra links, etc.

Are you in need of a Christmas gift or just wanting to snag one for yourself?

Enter to win a $75 e-gift code to shop the entire site!! All other contestants will receive a $20 e-gift code just for entering!! Interested? Enter here: JORD Wood Watches Giveaway Entry! 

Contest closes November 20th at 11:59PM and both the $75 and $20 codes will expire on January 1st 2017.

**This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

6 Tips for Increasing Productivity

Nikki Schuster

Outfit photos and link below! Also scroll to the bottom and check out my 6 Tips for Increasing Productivity!!

Click the links below to shop the outfit!!

The vest is from Club Monaco and currently on sale, a must if you are in the market for a great trench vest!!

As the Summer disappears into the past and Fall foreshadows our Wintery future, I look forward to a little more free time. With wedding planning in full force, a lot of that time will be reallocated to wedding prep, leaving minimal time for the blog and studying. Among all that is going on, I am working on getting my real estate license and taking the GREs with the hopes of heading off to graduate school in the next year or two. All of this means productivity and organization will be important to ensure I can get everything I need to done. 

6 Tips for Increasing Productivity:

  1. WORKOUT: This is important for many reasons. Among the many health benefits, working out also releases stress, which is important, especially with so much to accomplish over the next year. It also falls under the category of wedding prep as I work towards tightening and toning before the big day. But most importantly, accomplishing that first task in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day and energizes me for the work ahead.
  2. NO MORE SNOOZE: The snooze button only offers instant gratification. After that, it actually makes waking up even harder. Once you are awake, your sleep cycle is broken. Each cycle of sleep in 90 minutes, hitting the snooze button allows you to fall back asleep and enter into a new cycle that you will get 10 minutes into. Waking up in the beginning of the cycle as opposed to the end of a full cycle, could cause you to wake up even groggier than before. Take a look at ASAP Science’s Video  on why the snooze button is bad. The moral of the story is, go to bed earlier or set your alarm for later, but don’t hit the snooze button!
  3. EMAIL ORGANIZATION: I’ve spent my entire working career organizing my emails by categories and sub-folders. This became of vicious cycle of getting behind, drowning in an inbox of various types of emails inclusive of “marked as un-read” and “flagged” for later. “Later” becomes never and productivity ends up at an all time low. But why is something that starts off so organized and productive so impossible to maintain!? Because it isn’t simple. It requires me to pause and contemplate where the email/task should go. It also requires that I remember where I put it, good luck!!! In addition, in most instances, a “pause” is a luxury I don’t always have available to me. That is why I have started organizing my email inbox into the three categories listed below. This new process allows me to easily get rid of unnecessary emails, access follow up items but also maintain and easily view important items in a simple, organized fashion.
    1. OLD MAIL: Emails I have responded to, tasks that I have completed and anything that no longer requires anything of me
    2. FOLLOW UP: My emails or reminders of items I need to follow up with or perform a secondary task later in the future
    3. INBOX (AKA: Important, Needs Response or Action Now!)
  4. 30 MINUTE EMAILS: Dedicate at least two 30 minute sessions to answering emails. Block it off in your calendar so that no one can schedule a meeting during that time. Close your door and turn off your phone. You only have 30 minutes so its important that you stay focused. During that time, you can answer emails, organize and jot down tasks and check the “FOLLOW UP” folder. For me, “out of sight, out of mind” is serious issue. Allotting these two 30 minute sessions to email response and management allows me to catch up on pending items. 
  5. PICK THREE: Pick three tasks to complete for your day and get them done. If you have a large project that will take weeks, dedicate today to accomplishing 5% of that project. Either way, ensure you pick three things and get them done. Three is feasible but it allows you to get at least three tasks completed as opposed to starting many but completing zero. 
  6. SAY NO: I struggle with this all the time. However, in order to get everything done, you have to learn to say no to those people or things that get in the way of productivity. If someone invites you to a meeting or asks you to tackle another project, first assess your ability and availability. If you don’t have the time but you can’t say “no”, say “yes” but I won’t be able to get it for you until Monday. Setting those boundaries allows you to remain productive while accepting new tasks. 

Fall into Autumn for Less

Nikki Schuster

A few weeks back, I talked about transitioning summer outfits into cooler weather in "Transitioning into Fall with Ku De Taand "Romping Around". As we get closer to Fall, “cooler weather” can mean 40s at night, which means warmer transitional outfits! This time, I have paired a Lovers + Friends Maxi Dress with a cashmere sweater. Mine is a vintage Giorgio Armani passed down from my mom, but you can find similar HERE, HERE and HERE. Maxis are great transitional pieces because they provide full leg coverage and when you add a great bomber jacket or warmer sweater, you are immediately ready for the cooler temps! Check out below for a bunch of cropped bomber jackets I am into right now:

Another way to transition is with a denim jacket. I love my old theory jacket from 10 years ago and I still wear it all Spring and Fall. But once the weather turns ice-y, that denim is replaced with thicker, warmer and hopefully water proof or resistant jackets. So check out some cute options below and go ahead and layer ;)

Off The Shoulder

Nikki Schuster

If you are like me, you always over pack. If you are looking for ways to reduce the clutter while traveling, read on!

THE OUTFIT

SHOES: Zara now on sale for $49.99!! Also click HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE for similar

DRESS: Susana Monaco or you can shop it HERE 

SUNNIES: Nina Ricci, but they are sold out. I got them at Neiman's Last Call. You can find similar HERE for only $11!! or you can shop These Dior beauties just because I think they are fabulous ;)

BAG: Imports from Marrakesh this bag has been on repeat since I bought it almost a year ago! The vendor is located in Chelsea Market in NYC, but if you call they can send you pictures of the bags they currently have.

PACKING HACKS:

During the summer, Nantucket is a pretty consistent weekend activity for me. That being said, packing can ruin a good weeknight and over-packing can ruin a normally enjoyable journey. If you are like me and need to minimize the clutter, take a look below at some of my packing hacks:

PACK IN OUTFITS: This means coordinating an outfit for each day and a separate outfit for the night. 

PACK AN EXTRA OUTFIT: Packing in outfits can be hard if you do not know what your plans is, so prepare by bringing one extra day outfit and one extra night outfit. 

DOUBLE DUTY: It helps to bring an article of clothing that can work double duty and be worn casually during the day and then dressed up at night...this article is especially helpful for that "Extra Outfit". Examples:

WHITE PANTS: I always bring a pair of white pants because they are the best option for "Double Duty". You can wear them with a casual shirt for the daytime and then swap the casual shirt for a blouse or layer the casual shirt with a great blazer for the nighttime. 

BLAZER: I have a leather blazer with fringe that I wear pretty much all the time. It is another great option for "Double Duty". I can wear it over a casual day dress and add heals for the day-to-night look. Or I can throw it on over my jeans shorts and t-shirt, add open toed shoes and I'm ready for the bars!

SKIP THE WORKOUT CLOTHES: Let's be honest...you aren't going to workout...and if you really want to, go for a walk on the beach!

BUY MINI TOILETRY BOTTLES: I can't stress this enough. You should always have containers (clearly labeled) filled with your favorite products. This includes hairspray, deodorant, mini toothbrush/toothpaste, samples of your favorite make up, body lotion, face lotion, etc. This is great to have on-call because you never know when you need a little extra volume for your hair or blush when you are tired; but also, it's the perfect grab-and-go toiletries kit for quick weekend trips.  If you go to the travel section at CVS they actually have mini versions of most products for under $3 a pop!!

Lastly, trust that you look good and be confident in everything you put on because confidence is a building block for great style! 

If you have any other packing hacks, feel free to send them my way! Otherwise, I hope these help.

Happy travels!

Wedding Weekend in Ocean City, Maryland (Part 1)

Nikki Schuster

Friday Night

Thinking about getting away for a few days but don't know where to go? Last weekend we went to Ocean City, Maryland for a friend's wedding and had a blast!  Having gone to University of Delaware, Keegan and a lot of our friends knew the area well. For me, it was an excuse to explore Ocean City for the first time!

THE OUTFIT:

DRESSForever 21

SHOESStuart Weitzman from years ago. See HERE for similar and HERE for denim wedges I love!

NECKLACEForever 21There are so many great statement necklaces at Forever 21 right now! It is the perfect place to get a trendy necklace, because the prices are so affordable! Check out HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE for similar! Each one is under $20!!

THE ACTIVITY:

PIT-STOP # 1: THE ROPEWALK

Friday night we went to the Ropewalk to start the evening off with some drinks and appetizers. I had the award-winning Ropewalk Hickory Smoked Victory Wings and a Skinny Grapefruit Crush. The Crush, a Maryland tradition, got me all excited for skinny summer drink ideas (stay tuned for a blog post about those)! The original recipe is fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, triple sec (or sprite), crushed ice and pinnacle grapefruit vodka. Of course, I had to make things difficult and swap out the triple sec for soda water and the vodka for tequila (its a much better hangover). I loved it!

I wish we could have gone during the day because The Ropewalk boasts an expansive sand-covered, out-door area with corn hole and other activities. They also have seating on a porch overlooking the water and live music! Check out their website for more information - The Ropewalk Ocean City

PIT-STOP #2: SEACRETS

After the Ropewalk, we took taxi's to Seacrets, a giant venue with several stages, bars and activities. Fair Warning: Seacrets can get pretty rowdy, so I don't recommend going unless you are dedicated to the debauchery that will ensue.

Seacrets could be your one-stop-shop for day and night drinking, or you can head over late night to finish off the evening. Either way, you have many options to choose from including the Beach Stage/Bar, the Pier Stage/Bar, the Tiki Stage/Bar or the Nite Club. Each location is just how you would imagine. The Beach is a sandy mess of live bands and shoe-less bars. The Pier is dedicated to all things water, with swim-up tables/chairs, lazy river floats and ankle deep dance parties. The Tiki Area is more of an indoor/outdoor spot with protection over your head for a rainy day or when you've endured too much sun. However, the ground is still sandy and the walls are all open. The Nite stage is a little bit of Miami Beach meets Atlantic City...enough said.  

All in all, I think Seacrets is a must-stop for the experience and the people watching - there is never a dull moment! See below for more links to the outfit I wore and a photo from the Tiki Stage at Seacrets!

Be on the lookout for my next blog post where I will talk about what we did the day of the wedding, the wedding itself and what I wore!

Rainy Nights and Seoul Food

Nikki Schuster

THE FOOD:

Looking for a weeknight spot to grab a quick drink and some food? Seoul Restaurant, located at 156 Cambridge Street in Beacon Hill, is a great spot for a last minute dinner date.  The casual atmosphere makes it feel like dining at home, without the cooking or the clean up! 

With all the rain that has been consistently falling on Boston, we couldn't eat at home another night: so we decided to make the trek down the hill to Seoul. We arrived, freezing and wet, so we quickly ordered two glasses of Cabernet, the Ramen with Beef and Dumplings and the Spicy Tofu and Seafood Stew to warm us up.

The food is always consistent and good. It would not be my first recommendation to a first timer in Boston, but it is always a quick and easy option in the neighborhood!

The summers, however, are another story! The restaurant is lined with floor-to-ceiling windows along Cambridge Street that are opened to let in the warm summer air.  The fresh air, plus the Saki-Bombs, makes Seoul a must-stop before a night out in the summer. 

Next time we go, I'd like to try the Korean BBQ combinations...If you get to it first, let me know how it is!

THE OUTFIT:

SHOES: J. Crew from years ago, click the images or links below for similar. P.S. They are made of rubber and waterproof! I love these as a more feminine alternative to rain-boots :) <<SIMILAR: Tory Burch, SIMILAR: Missoni, SIMILAR: Marc Jacobs, SIMILAR: Hunter>>

JEANS: Hudson. <<SIMILAR: Hudson, SIMILAR, SIMILAR: J Brand>>

SWEATER: Hand me down from my mom and the tags are missing. But click below or the links for similar! <<SIMILAR (and my favorite!): Michael Kors, SIMILAR: Rag& & Bone, SIMILAR: Splendid, SIMILAR: RAEY - with lace sleeves!>>

NECKLACE: I just got this from FOREVER 21 - only $10!! <<SIMILAR: Forever 21, SIMILAR: Forever 21>>