Beauty, Boston, Fashion, Promotional

Primark Part II

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DSC_0570Dress & booties courtesy of Primark. Sandro ‘Aida’ cross body bag, vintage necklace, and Spitfire ‘Intergalactic’ sunglasses, NARS ‘Matte Velvet Lip Pencil’ in ‘Damned.’

Just because I refuse to retire my whites and brights after Labor Day doesn’t mean I don’t also love the traditional colors of fall fashion. Burgundy is my absolute fall favorite, and I’m currently crazy about midi-length dresses and skirts, so this cozy ribbed dress with subtle slits was an obvious choice in my Primark spree. For a rougher, more casual look, I’ve paired it with these ultra-cool, Primark embellished rubber booties, but this feminine dress could easily be worn to a family gathering or in a professional setting with a dressier heeled bootie or a classic pump. With more Primark fashions to show you in the near future, it’s safe to say I’m officially suffering from Primania. Thank the fashion overlords that I don’t live so close to Downtown Crossing, otherwise I might develop an actual addiction.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Beauty, Boston, Promotional

Whittl

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Sometimes scheduling and squeezing in salon appointments can be a hassle. “Walk-ins welcome” doesn’t always mean there’s a chair open for you. I have a lot of friends who have irrational anxiety when it comes to making reservations over the phone. And what about that dreaded moment when your nails are drying, and you realize you have no cash to leave a tip? Let Whittl take the wheel: Whittl is a startup site that works with salons, spas and barbershops to not only help you find excellent beauty businesses and services, but also let you book and pay for those services online—including gratuities. To quote their marketing specialist, Whittl is “kind of like OpenTable meets Uber, but for salons.” And guess what? They just launched in Boston.

Whittl’s website is straightforward and easy to use, and even sends helpful notifications to your phone once you’ve made your online request. You’ll receive a text message letting you know when your appointment has been confirmed, a 24-hour reminder, in case you need to cancel, as well as a handy text that lets you know when your appointment is an hour away, in case you’re forgetful or have a really hectic schedule. Your credit card isn’t charged until your services are complete, and you can adjust your tip accordingly. Basically, Whittl helps you do what you’re meant to do during salon and spa services: just relax.

I used Whittl to try a nail salon I’d never been to before, Paradise Nails & Spa, located at 215 Newbury Street. This hidden gem is cozy without being cramped, and offers an excellent range of services. Perhaps the most charming part of Paradise Nails is the husband-and-wife duo who have and owned and managed the salon for almost ten years, and who effectively (and adorably) split their work. The thing about bringing photos of desired nail designs into salons is that those photos don’t typically come with instructions, and every nail technician has his or her own approach to executing nail art. I requested a fairly intricate nail design, and the couple made a point of discussing it with me in detail so that we were all on the same page. I really appreciated that they communicated each step of the process, and loved watching as they took turns completing my fabulous gel manicure while seeing to other customers and tasks. They were both extremely sweet, skilled, and just pleasant in general. They’re also not afraid to offer advice, and thankfully helped me choose a better color scheme than I’d had in mind. Since their space is small and the couple are the only available technicians, I would advise booking in advance with Whittl. I will definitely be using Whittl and visiting Paradise again, and would recommend you do the same!

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Beauty, Fashion, Promotional

Piece, Love, & Flannel

IMG_0356Joie romper, Piece Apparel ‘Providence’ flannel, Jeffrey Campbell ‘Stoppard’ shoes, Brandy Melville tattoo choker, sunglasses a la Nasty Gal.IMG_0404NARS blush in ‘Deep Throat,’ NARS velvet matte lip pencil in ‘Dolce Vita,’ Kat Von D tattoo liquid eyeliner in ‘Trooper,’ Benefit Cosmetics Instant Brow pencil in ‘Medium to Dark.’IMG_0361

IMG_0389Loeffler Randall ‘Mini Agenda’ bag; nail design with matte finish by Cammie at Keiki Salon in Fenway.IMG_0385Sometimes, basics are what take your look to the next, not-so-basic level. That’s essentially how I feel about Piece Apparel’s entire inventory. Every brand and store sells their own versions of the “basics,” and you can wind up swimming in a sea of staples that are almost, but not quite right. Piece Apparel makes quality basics in just the right cuts and colors to round out your wardrobe and step up your style—like their flannels, for instance. In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I’ve spent the last few years totally immersed in the 90s fashion revival, and thus searching for the perfect flannels to complete my updated grunge vibe. A great flannel should be easy to find, but I instead found myself repeatedly disappointed by flannels that were too big, used heinous color combinations, or were smothered in studs and other unnecessary embellishments. The Piece Apparel flannels have a classic feel, and are loose enough that you easily can rock one around your waist or open over a T shirt, but tailored enough to wear it comfortably under a sweater, or tucked into your pants without the hem surpassing your underwear. A pair of tights and a leather bomber will take this look right into Fall.

Need to update your Fall wardrobe? You can use the discount code ANNIE20 for 20% off your next Piece Apparel online purchase! 

Photos by Rebecca Browne

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Beauty, Fashion, Pop Culture, Promotional

Rust Belt Americana

Vintage Junkyard Jewelry by Samuel Sloma

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IMG_0134Rust Belt Americana necklace, BDG Rib-Knit Sweater Cropped Tank (brown), Carmar high-waist jeggings, Sandro booties, ‘Lone Rider’ wool hat & ‘Nita’ shades from Nasty Gal, NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in ‘Never Say Never.’

To be honest, I’m not much a of a jewelry person. I’m always searching for niche pieces that are somehow both simple and strange, which can be hard to come by. But when Rust Belt Americana jewelry designer, Samuel Sloma, and I stumbled upon each other on Instagram, I knew I’d found something truly special. Sloma, a Midwestern picker, hand makes unique, rustic jewelry and watches with vintage materials he collects from old warehouses, five-and-dime stores, and various other unconventional locations. Sloma’s creative mission is “to celebrate American authenticity on a modern stage where the implied and tangible harmoniously collide,” and “to help men and women self-identify with bygone moments in time.” These sentiments, along with Sloma’s promise to send me “something bizarre,” solidified my immediate fanhood.

Sloma’s design aesthetic has this badass, yet elegant quality, making all of his beautiful work extremely versatile. I was so excited to receive my first original Rust Belt Americana necklace, which features a copper piece stamped in 1950 for musician Pat Boone, who charted second only to Elvis Presley during the late 50s. The piece on my necklace reads, “Always your boy, Pat Boone.” My father is a musician, and having been raised on older music, it felt like a cosmic coincidence that Sloma selected this piece especially for me. After years of struggling to find jewelry that suits my style, I’m thrilled to have Rust Belt Americana as my go-to source for cool, one-of-a-kind accessories.

Photos by Rebecca Browne and yours truly

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Beauty, Fashion

I’m So Saucy

You Already Know…

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IMG_0215Cropped sweatshirt & pleated tennis skirt from Nasty Gal, Adidas Originals Adilette Pool Slide sandals, and Oliver Peoples sunglasses. O.P.I. gel nail design by Lauren’s Nails at 164 Newbury Street, Boston.

As far as I can tell, one never stops drawing outfit inspiration from Clueless. I personally watch it very…not sporadically. That being said, Iggy Azalea’s ubiquitous “Fancy” video, which pays major homage to the film’s fashions, has taken my obsession to new heights. And while the iconic yellow plaid skirt set and the, like, really important red Alaia dress are obvious gems worth copycatting, Iggy got me paying closer attention to the amazing black and white “athletic” attire the Beverly Hills girls wear to gym class. So forget pro athlete, and think faux athlete.

Photos by Rebecca Browne

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