Beauty, Boston, Promotional

Whittl

Salon-Booking Made Easy…IMG_0271

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, Boston, Fashion, Promotional

OMG! Nice to Meet You!

DSC_0315-15Crop top by The Hanger, skirt from LF Stores, Phillip Lim clutch, Aldo ‘Istrago’ sandals.

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BostonBloggers2015-TheDangerBooth-44(From left): Sydney, myself, Gabby, Koko, & Miranda.

DSC_0331-18Jenny Bird Palm Cili Collar in Silver.

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BostonBloggers2015-TheDangerBooth-96(From left), Stephanie, Neha, myself, Sydney & Lianna.

DSC_0399-30Eddie Borgo bracelet, Michael Kors watch. Rings (from left): Cartier band, Gamine Zofia Ring Set in Silver, Margaret Elizabeth Faceted Cocktail Ring in Navy, Gorjana Gisele Ring. 356 Lacquer Creme Polish in ‘Alimersai.’

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This past Monday I attended the annual Boston Bloggers Meet & Greet at Audubon with my kickass new crew of blogger friends. Between the drinks, the delicious snacks, and the infamous Danger Booth, everyone had a blast—and since the large majority of the group are female fashion bloggers, the event served as glorious evidence that the catty stigmas of fashion culture are so out. With that said, one still feels some pressure when dressing to impress a group of fellow fashionistas…

Unsurprisingly enough, I went to the event in my favorite silhouette: high-waisted bottoms and a cutaway crop top—and in my favorite color combination: plain old black and white. The skirt’s dramatic asymmetrical hem and the sweatery fabric of my summertime top bring new life to my go-to look, and I went with my bright blue Phillip Lim clutch and Jenny Bird collar necklace, courtesy of Rocksbox, to kick things up another notch. I chose a mint-turquoise shade of nail polish to offset the bag, and added a navy cocktail ring for good measure, also from Rocksbox. If you haven’t heard of Rocksbox, it’s basically like the Netflix of jewelry: with Rockbox, you can rent and try fabulous new jewelry by top trendsetting brands like Gorjana and House of Harlow, and you can purchase the pieces you love for discounted prices. All you have to do is fill out a quick but effective style survey, start keeping a wishlist, and expert stylists will send you three pieces per box in a prepaid envelope, so returns are no fuss. You can return and receive as many boxes as you want for just $19 a month, but you can also get your first month free by using the promo code FASHIONSAUCEXOXO.

As for the gorgeous polish, it’s by Somerville-based 365 Lacquer, a vegan and non-toxic polish company dedicated to making fun colors without harmful ingredients, and without testing on animals. I have to admit, I can be a bit calamitous (by which I mean careless), and have therefore stuck almost exclusively to gel manicures for the last two years, so I felt a bit wary of going back to regular polish. But 365 Lacquer promised a quick-drying, long-lasting product—and they weren’t lying. I’ll admit to a couple of chips within the first 48 hours, but they weren’t caused by faulty polish; so many consecutive gel manicures have left my nails in a slightly weakened state, but on my nails that have managed to stay strong, 365 Lacquer has stayed strong, as well. Plus, they just released a neon collection that’s sure to get you even more excited about summer.

Fashion photography by Miranda Mu | Group photos courtesy of The Danger Booth.

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Beauty, Fashion

Prints & Flower Power

DSC_0947-11 Theory blouse Twenty8Twelve shorts, Brixton hat, Madison Harding sandals fringe purse from LF Stores.DSC_0957-17 (1)

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I visited the SoWa Vintage Market on Sunday, and the warm weather and colorful vintage racks inspired me to break out some funky springtime flare. Much to my delight, today has been even sunnier. After months of pretty much exclusively wearing layers of black, white, and gray, it felt really good to mix these bold prints and resurrect my straw hat and wooden flatforms. Since mixing prints is tricky business, I almost always pair a colorful one with a black and white pattern. To make the whole look more cohesive, I threw on this fabulous magenta cross body bag, which picks up the pinkish accents in my printed shorts. Silky fabrics and fringe accents really capture the spirit of spring/summer. If you want to freshen up your springtime beauty routine, try a swipe of pale pink lipstick, like “Obsessed” by Urban Decay.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Beauty, Fashion, Humor, Pop Culture, Promotional

Taking Bill Murray to Brunch

It’s Monday, so let’s talk about the weekend…

DSC_0827-13Piece Apparel Bill Murray sweatshirt over an LF blouse, J Brand ‘Maria’ skinnies, ALDO ‘Istrago’ heeled sandals.DSC_0814-10

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DSC_0880-Edit-26Oliver Peoples sunglasses, House of Harlow earrings, NARS Velvet Matte lip pencil in ‘Dragon Girl.’DSC_0786-3

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DSC_0881-27Sandro Paris purse, Gorjana rings.DSC_0873-25

Who doesn’t love Bill Murray? Not only is he an accomplished actor who’s consistently made audiences laugh and truly think since the ’70s, but he’s also proven to be one of the most mysterious and spontaneous members of the SAG. It won’t take you much time lurking on Reddit to discover elaborate stories about Bill Murray’s wild nights with unassuming fans who are left baffled by the actor’s nonchalant sense for adventure, and his apparent ability to disappear out of thin air. Between his hilarious days on SNL, to his tender moments with Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation, to his roles in the wacky world of Wes Anderson, I was so stoked to see that Piece Apparel included Mr. Murray in their “Old Man Crew” collection of sweatshirts, which also honors men such as Rod Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, and Johnny Cash.

With respect to Bill’s affection for the unexpected, I decided not to pair my oversized sweatshirt with boxers or my TV remote, and instead dressed it up Sunday-brunch style. In my experience, brunch isn’t such an obviously glamorous occasion. It’s usually a group of hungover friends peeling themselves off their mattresses in the interest of good food, good stories from the night before, and, questionably enough, more drinks. That being said, Instagram and other social media outlets have deemed brunch the official favorite activity of “betches,” and, fortunately or unfortunately, an obligatory photo op. Brunch-obsessed consumers have prompted fashion magazines to address brunch outfits on the regular, and they typically suggest flouncy, frilly ensembles that seem more appropriate for an old-fashioned tea party or somebody’s baby shower. So, if you’re like me, and tend to wake up on Saturday and/or Sunday morning lacking the energy to mix joyful prints, or just want to be more comfy than you ever could be in a strappy sundress, try dressing up your favorite sweatshirt or tee with forgiving stretch-skinnies, a statement bag, and a bold lip. (A good shade of lipstick and big sunnies are the best tools for looking polished when you’re feeling less-than.) I think graphics with a sense of humor, like these other witty tops by Piece Apparel, make the perfect palette for a look that’s chic, but not too serious, which is exactly how brunch should feel when you’re doing it right. For those who feel confident in their styling abilities, add a statement necklace or a Peter Pan collar to further elevate your look. As for shoes, go with something comfortable but sleek. While I personally find these ALDO heeled sandals light as air, if the idea of walking in heels after a long night out makes you want to crawl back under the covers, just reach for your favorite pair of ballet flats or slides.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Fashion

The Craft: How to Create Coachella’s Witchy Vibes at Home

QcHS6ZUXp-SfH0dDssfS221n8vYN-b_BW1it0qS-t1A Equipment Slim Signature Blouse, Kimchi Blue crop top, Emma & Sam maxi skirt, Boyy ‘Slash’ bag, Tod’s boots.z6uO8iyBnlPMhgBJ59Qku1jBGaNG53YtzstpcheassY

MMose8eqxrzC00ujPPtHOL4d3dnk1EeQGPSBITDVnjI Top bracelet from LF Stores, Eddie Borgo cone bracelet, Gorjana ‘G Ring Set’ (left), Gorjana ‘Gisele’ ring (right).D0Gp8NH_D_V7GtH5xmBqETJrxKUYeiPWq9k-UCmyHd8

VbOHfBrs7Opt8BGr8yZBlUPgtb34ctrwNwW54QnP7HcAll street-style enthusiasts know that while Coachella Music Festival is, in fact, a music festival, fashion has come to be the soul of the scene. As social media explodes with photos of Coachella fashionistas, it’s impossible not to feel inspired—by which I mean suffer extreme fashion FOMO. But temperatures are finally rising here in Boston, and there are easy ways to incorporate Coachella style into your everyday East-Coast attire without looking like you’re in costume (or preparing to do drugs).

Snapshots from Coachella will show that many of the most stylish festival attendees have ditched intense neons and instead infused the obligatory festival hippie-chic style with a more muted, ’90s-inspired palette, which caters extremely well to translating these looks into real-life outfits. The overall aesthetic has a bewitched vibe: lightweight black and white fabrics with lace and eyelet details, chokers and lots of layered jewelry…For more inspiration, look to the 1996 cult classic movie The Craft, in which four rebellious, witchcraft-practicing Catholic school girls expertly combine their school uniforms with elements of ’90s grunge and nods to Stevie Nicks. This outfit is all about striking a balance between festival favorites and everyday staples; I give my crop top a dose of class by layering it with a white silk blouse. My tattoo choker and long coin necklace evoke the witchy festival spirit, while my silver collar, sophisticated clutch, and simple black booties elevate the look enough to take it out to brunch or for drinks. The result: No mo’ FOMO.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Fashion

Adidas Classic…Kind Of

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IMG_0441Adidas ‘Trefoil’ tee, Kimchi Blue trousers, Jeffrey Campbell sandals.

Take that Clueless-inspired “faux athlete” look, as I call it, to a dressy-casual dinner or bar scene by pairing an athletic tee with harem trousers and a sleek sandal.

Photos by Rebecca Browne

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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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