Annie Reviews: Santa Maria Novella

I doubt I’m alone when I say I’m a fan of anything that has to do with pampering. Since becoming a mom, though, baths and showers have become purely functional; a five minute rinse just enough to be passably clean. This is why I was stoked when my best friend sent me a birthday package of Santa Maria Novella goods — their Orange Blossom Water and Rose Milk Soap — with a note telling me to make sure to pamper myself. I definitely need the reminder.

Until she sent me this package, I had no idea about Santa Maria Novella, which is one of the world’s oldest pharmacies founded in 1221. I’d say a pharmacy that’s operated for almost 800 years probably has a pretty good idea of how to make a good bath product. The pharmacy originally crafted remedies for use in the Florence monastery, but through the years they gained popularity and became widely used by noblemen and women and was known as a favorite of the Queen of France in the 1500′s. Well, if it’s good enough for her, it’s most certainly good enough for me.

The night I received my package, I decided to go all out. I grabbed a glass of wine, ran a hot bath with some bubbles and added a few splashes of the Orange Blossom Water, which from what I can tell is just sort of an all purpose toner, fragrance and skin softener. It smells absolutely heavenly — very refreshing and light but complex and just smells “expensive”. I soaked in that for a good long time and then lathered up a washcloth with the Rose Milk Soap.

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NYFW Spring/Summer 15 Trend: Matching Lips & Tips

There were several beauty trends that walked down the runway at NYFW this past week. Coordinating lip color and nail color was one that became prominent, especially at the Zac Posen SS15 show. Many people believe this is a great way to create a chic, polished look and it is an easy way to keep a consistent color palette within a look. If you have a difficult time picking out overly glam outfits, you can pair a plain white tee with some jeans and look instantly fabulous with a red lip and matching manicured red nails. I am a big fan of the trend when it is worn correctly, and I’ve chosen some of my favorite shades that can transition you from the end of summer into the beginning of fall.

Zac Posen SS15 via Tumblr

Butter London has recently released a line of “Lippy” products to match every single one of their nail colors, which makes it extremely easy for you to pair your favorite nail color with a matching lip product. Companies like NARS, Estee Lauder, Dolce & Gabbana, and M.A.C, have all created nail polishes as well as lip products that have the same name. If you want an exact match, these cosmetics brands may be a great place to begin — their products are quality and have an amazing range of colors to choose from. These are some of my favorite lip products and nail colors, and they just so happen to pair together perfectly!

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8 Tips For An Easy, Stress-Free Move

I have a love-hate relationship with moving. My inner organizer rejoices at the thought of completely clearing out most of my belongings, while the other (lazier) side of me groans and complains until it’s done. And although my partner and I are only moving four stories down in our current building next month, I’ve moved enough times in my college years to become quite a pro. Here are some tips that I’ve learned firsthand on how to make the most of your upcoming move…

via Three Potato Four

1. Accumulate your incoming mail and make a list of where you need to change your address.

Is your monthly subscription set to arrive soon? How about those bank statements and that upcoming Anthropologie catalog? Make a little list of the mail that you receive regularly and get it updated. Because you’re doing this early, you’re getting a good list of all of the mail that you receive for the month, so you won’t forget anything.

2. Go ahead and go through your closets now.

Chances are, if you’re moving in a month, you won’t be needing your spring wardrobe. Go through your closet and start compiling a donation pile. This way, you’ll be starting at this new place without that clutter and it’s also less for you to pack! Fold your other clothes in the dresser and prepare them to be boxed up—anything that’s hanging can simply be placed in a hanging garment bag.

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Tips And Tricks For A Flawless Long Bob

Normally, the in-between stage of growing out your hair can be awkward. I’ve always avoided cutting my hair short because I dreaded this stage. But recently, I’ve noticed many celebrities and bloggers sporting the long bob—a blunt cut that just brushes your shoulders or collarbones. They’re actually flattering on most face shapes, and you can see in the pictures I rounded up that the long bob works well with most hair textures too (I particularly am a fan of the wavy style). Plus, the style is still long enough to pull up in a ponytail for runs or that second-day, no-time-to-shower look.

via Fashion Tag

But before you cut any inches off your hair, consider these tips and tricks.

1. Your hair texture might change.

I normally keep my hair long, but on the few occasions I’ve cut my hair short, the texture has dramatically changed. It’s usually straight with a few waves throughout, but when my hair is shorter, it’s a lot more kinky and wavy—something I’m not used to and am not comfortable styling. Keep in mind that long hair is heavier and your hair’s natural texture might be weighted down.

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Allison’s Fall Beauty Wishlist

North Texas recently experienced a cold front that had most of Dallas scrambling to their nearest Starbucks in their leggings and quilted vests. And while that temperature drop was short-lived, that little taste of fall weather reminds me that it’s just around the corner. Unfortunately every year when fall arrives, my skin freaks out and leaves me with incredibly oily skin and dry cheeks and temples. Thanks to that premature cold front, I’m already getting ready to take preventative steps before autumn is here to stay. Here’s what’s on my beauty/skincare wishlist…

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Spring ’15 Hairstyles You Can Wear This Fall

If you’re still drooling over the NYFW SS15 collections, you won’t have to wait over six months to wear these runway-inspired styles. There were wearable hair trends in every show ranging from braids and effortless waves to sleek ponytails. If you are looking for a little hair inspiration, check out my eight favorites from NYFW…

T H E  C H I C  T O P K N O T

via Estetica Magazine

I am more than thrilled to see that topknots were all over the runways during NYFW last week. I love this choice of a hairstyle during a fashion show because it avoids any distraction from the hair and truly keeps the focus on the outfit and styling. As a bonus, topknots are also an extremely attainable. For a bigger bun, tease the top of your hair before securing the bun in bobby pins.

S L I C K E D  B A C K

via Washington Roberts

All of the Washington Roberts models wore this teased look which I think is extremely appropriate for a night out or concert. You can achieve this look by teasing the top of your hair as you would with a pompadour. Then slick the sides back and secure them underneath the tease with bobbi pins. This is a great wearable way to achieve that look without leaving the house drenched or looking like you have greasy hair.

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Amy’s End Of Summer Favorites

Fall is right around the corner which means summer is finally coming to a close. Students are heading off to school and leaves will soon begin to fall. Before I start my back to school shopping, I decided to figure out which products I love and which I am going to stop using in the upcoming months. Summer is the best time to try out a beauty product to test their longevity, color, and overall performance. It is also a great time to experiment with new skin care and of course, wear your favorite summer clothes. These products are the standouts of my summer and the things that kept me looking fresh, tanned, and entertained from June until September.

1. Netflix

This summer I spent my days working on school, working on blog posts or working out. Then my favorite part of the day would roll around where I tuck myself into bed and I push play on my favorite show. At the beginning of summer I binge watched every episode of Desperate Housewives in a whopping 27 days. If you have any recommendations for shows that are a must see I would love to hear them; I’m still trying to fill my DH void.

2. Miss Manga Mascara

I have never been a huge fan applying mascara over any other product. When I do wear mascara, I have been reaching for this one by L’Oreal. It gives my lashes nice long looking curl without clumps. After one coat of this mascara I like to apply a coat of another L’Oreal mascara to add extra length. For the summer I particular enjoy this mascara because it is nearly impossible to get off. There is no flaking or smudging throughout the day and it is a great summertime mascara for those who are sweating or outside a lot.

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