MASON PEARSON: WORTH IT?

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Mason Pearson Popular Brush (even comes with a cute little brush to clean the big one)

In a word: yes. I have really thick, fine, long hair and brushing it can be a nightmare. A couple weeks ago, I folded and purchased a Mason Pearson hairbrush. I’d been looking to make the investment for years and I’m so thrilled I finally did. The boar bristles are the ideal medium for evenly distributing natural oils throughout your hair, thereby improving hair health, smoothing, and adding shine. I must say, my hair has never been shinier, or softer. It also detangles like nobody’s business and feels so comfortable on the scalp. I have the Popular model, which is a large, combination (nylon/boar) bristle brush. Find the right model for your hair type here! This is definitely an investment, $100+ for a brush is…aggressive, I know. For me, it’s about cost-per-use. I literally take pleasure in brushing my hair now, whereas I used to avoid the task whenever possible. The initial sticker shock is easy to justify when’s it’s something I’ll use daily for years! Plus, it looks so chic sitting on the vanity 😉

Emily

BOLD SHOULDER

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I’m seriously loving all things off-the-shoulder right now. It’s an almost unexpected way to show a little skin, especially as we (slowly but surely) move to more appealing weather. The silhouette of a billowy top paired with pin-thin cigarette pants and heels is perfection. That said, there’s just something about a peasant top and cut-off shorts, too. Regardless, I think a statement-making top like any of the above can really carry an outfit. Lightly bronzed shoulders and highlighted clavicles are the only accessories you need. Most of these tops are available at Shopbop, and they’re having a huge sale right now! Get up to 25% off items that rarely go on sale. Sizes/styles are selling out, so be quick!

Emily

PRODUCT REVIEW: DIOR CRÈME DE ROSE

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Dior Crème de Rose 

Hi there! Happy Super Tuesday I guess? Do people say that? Anyway, wouldn’t ya know, the day after I talk about how awkward this time of year is, I wake up to snow. I guess it just proves my point. March is weird y’all. Today, I want to do a little product review of Dior Crème de Rose lip balm. While perusing the various and sundry lip enhancing products that Dior has to offer, I bought this thinking it was a lip plumper. I mean the package reads “Smoothing and Plumping,” so I was like “Ok, here’s $30,” because I’m such a practical person, of course. When I didn’t exactly get the Kylie Jenner treatment (but I will when my #kylielipkit comes because I’m nuts and bought one of those too muahaha), I actually did some research, read some reviews, and learned the emphasis is on “smoothing.” This product is meant to nourish and soothe lips, you know, like a typical lip balm. What sets Crème de Rose apart is that it fills in fine lines, leaving lips smooth and full. Though it doesn’t produce the effects of getting shot up with collagen, my lips definitely appeared “plumped” in the sense that they were nourished and looked healthy. It is enriched with Damask Rose essential oil which is incredibly moisturizing and has anti-aging properties. I’ve found Crème de Rose to be a fantastic lipstick primer, especially for matte formulas, as it provides the perfect foundation. I also slather it on before bed for super-soft lips in the morning. So, even though this product didn’t do quite what I expected, I’m a convert. If you’re just in the market for a basic lip balm, you probably don’t need this. However, if you’re looking for a smoothing lip primer that’s also restorative, moisturizing, and anti-aging, put this on your list (and lips too lol)!

Emily

GET INTO THE SPRING OF THINGS

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Spring is such a an awkward season, especially in Wisconsin. Lingering snow sits in sad little puddles while everything it once covered is still dead and soggy (do y’all think I have a gift for descriptive writing or nah?). Basically, it’s just a depressing time of year. I think my view of spring is definitely a glass-half-empty situation. This year, I’ve been brightening my outlook with retail therapy. Honestly, this is probably the most cost-effective version of therapy because copays ain’t free okay people? I digress. There really are so many fun and happy pieces/trends popping up this season. Here is my wish-list!

I hope y’all have a great Monday and Happy Leap Day!

Emily

HIS & HERS: VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT IDEAS

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In case you live under a rock and missed all the heart-shaped crap stores started pushing the day after Christmas…Valentine’s Day is right around the corner y’all. I’m sure a lot of people are rolling their eyes. Hallmark Holiday or not, I’ve always been a fan of Valentine’s Day. It’s the perfect excuse to spoil loved ones and yourself too! Even the bitter bitches celebrating “Single’s Awareness Day” need a little love. So whether shopping for your significant other or treating yourself this year, I pulled some gift ideas for both women and men.

Emily

PANTONE NOT PANETTONE

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Happy Friday!  Today, I was feeling some inspo from the Pantone Color(s) of the Year: Serenity and Rose Quartz! No, not panettone, the dry Italian sweet bread they always have in the gourmet foods section at Marshall’s. Pantone is the international authority on color and forecasts color trends. All the maroons and oxbloods you’ve seen this year? 2015’s color was Marsala. This is the first time there’s been two colors, that’s why it’ll be so interesting to see how designers and consumers alike adopt them. Personally, I love Rose Quartz because I view blushy pinks as neutrals. The same can’t be said for Serenity, it’s just not my fave. It reminds me of the dentist or a bad bathroom remodel in 1983. However, I saw a serenity-hued KitchenAid mixer yesterday, so maybe it’ll take off and I’ll be shocked. Pantone took a unique stance this year, stating the two colors represent social issues and changes. Some say they just want to shill more licensed lipstick at Sephora. Regardless, if you’re looking to take these tints for a test drive, do it with accessories and shoes. Less commitment, y’all (well I guess that Valentino is commitment, but we can make an exception).

Also, hop on over to my Instagram! I’m celebrating the holidays (and hitting 2,000 insta followers! what!) by giving away a pair of Kendra Scott drusy studs. Give me a follow and like this picture to enter! For extra entries, tag a friend in the comments on Instagram and/or subscribe for 10th and James updates (look at the column on the right!). Contest closes Monday at midnight, winner announced Tuesday! Good luck!

Emily

GIFT GUIDE: FOR THE BEAUTY LOVER

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Happy Friday! Here’s a lil gift idea selection for the beauty guru in your life. Whether it be a coworker or your best friend, there’s definitely something for everyone (and every price range). Most of the products work for all skin types, as I tried to feature universally flattering colors/formulas. Don’t go trying to gift someone with foundation y’all. When it comes to beauty, it’s always nice to give someone something they wouldn’t otherwise buy for themselves. This explains the over-the-top Peter Thomas Roth gold face masks. I hope this guide provides some gift inspiration even if you just treat yourself!

Emily

HOLIDAY OUTFIT INSPO

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Hi friends! I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving! So, recently, I’ve been gravitating towards a certain aesthetic when planning several outfits for Christmas/holiday get-togethers this month. I’ve featured this plaid midi skirt from Kate Spade before, and I just can’t get enough. I also love it in cream, as seen on that precious little secretary-style shift dress. One of these pieces just has to make in into my holiday wardrobe, and the odds are certainly in my favor as they’re both currently on sale! Using the inspiration from these pieces, I put together a little image map of items that fit the look. If you live closer to the North Pole, like me, you’ll also need a great pair of tights, so go for the mat opaque 80 from Wolford. They are the Cadillac of tights and you have to just bite the bullet and invest. I like the idea of having a few key pieces and then mixing and matching with classic black basics and gold jewelry. That’s my holiday outfit approach. I know, what a concept, groundbreaking. Anyway, I hope you can draw some inspo for your holiday looks too! Tomorrow I’ll be back with another gift guide, have a great Thursday y’all!

Emily

GLAMBOXES

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GLAMbox Petite

Hi, happy Monday! I hope y’all had a relaxing weekend! Today, I thought I’d share how I store all of my makeup/skincare products: GLAMboxes. If it looks familiar, that’s because it’s the same lucite organizer found in every Kardashian “glam room” ever. Never thought my girl Kim K and I would ever have too much in common, but look at that!

I’ve had mine for several months now, and I love it. The notion of ever going back to a normal makeup bag actually gives me anxiety. GLAMboxes are made of high quality acrylic lucite, so they’re basically like a piece of furniture on your vanity. Each one comes with a sliding divider, an “x” divider, and a brush holder. You can choose between two sizes, and if you want a full or partial lid. I chose the full lid, but I like keeping perfumes and other little things on top, so the lid is folded behind. I’ve seen other organizers for a lot less, but nothing compares to the quality of a GLAMbox. I don’t have to worry about it cracking or discoloring, plus it’s just way more aesthetically pleasing than the plastic boxes on sale at Homegoods. Just being real, y’all. It’s also pretty heavy, so when I pull out a drawer, I’m not dragging the entire thing across the counter. This is definitely something I saved for, and invested in, but it was worth every penny. I just got tired of constantly rifling through my makeup bag and eventually just dumping it all out. With a GLAMbox, everything is visible and everything has it’s place. Their motto is “if you don’t see it, you won’t use it,” and it’s really true. I’m not a naturally super organized person, but this product makes me feel like I am. It’s so refreshing to not have such a cluttered bathroom.

In addition to makeup organizers, they make jewelry and accessory organizers, too! I linked some in the widget below, via Shopbop. If you head to their website, however, they’re currently running a Friends & Family sale! Use code “Friendsandfamily” to receive 20% off everything! GLAMboxes don’t go on sale very often, so now is a great time to treat yourself, or someone else, as the holidays are approaching!

Emily

TRAVEL TIPS

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The weekend before last, I was fortunate enough to visit my alma mater, Baylor University, for homecoming. Some friends had amazing football tickets and it was just a great time sketching around all my old haunts. By “old haunts” I mean we basically went on a tour of Waco Mexican restaurants and it was delicious. Queso anyone? Side note: I don’t care where you’re from or where you’ve been, there’s no place like Texas. It’s God’s country. Anyway, just from my two little trips in the past two months, as well as four years of being an out-of-state college student, I’ve definitely racked up some travel tips. I’m no expert, and I don’t fly on a regular basis these days, but when I do, I’m ready to rock.

1. OVERPACK: Ok, not totally. You’re not Mariah Carey posting up at the airport with $30,000 worth of Louis Vuitton luggage…but then again maybe you are, and in that case, get it girl. When I say overpack, I mean the necessities. Always bring a few more undies, bras, socks, etc, than you think you’ll need. It also doesn’t hurt to have a couple extra pairs of leggings/Nike shorts. Of course, it all depends on where you’re going and the duration of the trip.

2. SAMPLE SIZES: This is a great way to save space in your makeup bag or the tiny sandwich bag for liquids at the airport. Get sample sizes of your foundation/primer/moisturizer, whatever! Just ask at your cosmetics counter and they’ll make you a sample. Free foundation y’all! If for some reason the sales associate is weird about it, just ask for the little container and make your own.

3. VACUUM SEALED BAGS: Especially for a long trip, or if you’re really overpacking, vacuum bags are a godsend. It was basically monsoon-ing the whole time we were in Waco, so rain boots were a must. My mom treated me to some new Hunters, but ya know that new-rainboot-smell? Yeah, I wasn’t trying to mess with my whole suitcase giving off the aroma of new rubber. Instead, I squished them into an airtight plastic bag, saving both space and smells. It was also nice on the way back, since I’d been sloshing around puddles and such, everything was kept clean. Since we were staying with friends, and didn’t want to be bigger mooches than we already were, we brought our own towels. They took up minimal space thanks to the bags. I have these, which don’t actually require a vacuum!

4. BOSE QUIET COMFORT HEADPHONES: They’re pricey, but if you have room in your budget, these Bose headphones are perfection. My boyfriend has a pair, so I typically use his, but I’m definitely saving up for my own. You just don’t realize how insanely loud a plane is until you put them on and enjoy the sound of silence. They’re really nice if you have anxiety about flying, they make the whole experience a hell of a lot calmer.

5. PILL BOX: Rather than carrying around prescription/vitamin bottles, I use a sectioned pill box as another means to save space! Nordstrom Rack always has them near the register, that’s where I found mine! If you’re carrying around controlled substances, keep ’em in the bottles with your name. Avoid being sketchy at the airport y’all, it’s a good rule for life.

6. WET ONES: I always feel gross traveling. Until I have the time/place to officially freshen up, Wet Ones (or Purel) to the rescue! Makeup wipes are also really helpful, and I try to keep both in my carry-on. Also, it doesn’t hurt to make sure deodorant and a rollerball of perfume are within reach!

7. CROSS BODY BAG: If my boarding pass, ID, passport, etc, aren’t compartmentalized, they’ll end up at the bottom of my Neverfull (which should really be called a Neverfindit). I recently picked up this Tory Burch cross body that basically has a built in wallet. It’s small enough that I can just throw it in my bag once on the plane. Essentially, it’s a little sneaky extra bag because officially, I count my tote as my purse, and have an additional rolling carry-on. It seems obvious, but it’s just another easy way to keep everything together so I’m not rifling through my bag like a crazy person at the gate.

8. DUSTBAGS: They come with shoes, bags, and wallets, and let’s be honest, they don’t all get used. That said, put them to work separating clean laundry from dirty. Also, use them for the shoes and bags you’re packing! Like the vacuum bags, they help keep everything orderly and protect against scuffs and scratches. If you’re an responsible adult and actually use your dustbags at home, pick up these for your trip!

9. GATE-CHECK: Take advantage of this if you can. The notion of lugging my carry-on down the aisle and hoisting it into the overhead bin stresses me out. Not to mention, I’m just not that strong. I prefer to gate-check and pick my bag up either at baggage claim or the end of the jetway. Just one less thing to stress about. Or if you’re really bougie, I suppose you could actually check a bag, but like who wants to pay for that? Not this girl.

10. ATTIRE: I know that back in the day, flying was an event, and you dressed for it. Times have definitely changed, and this ain’t the Oscars, honey. It’s acceptable to be more casual at the airport. My grandmother would cringe reading that, but casual doesn’t have to mean sloppy. I typically go with some performance cotton Lululemons, easy on and off loafers, a soft tee, and a flannel. It’s super comfortable but doesn’t look like you’re ready for bed in a big sorority tee. I also never wear eye makeup on the plane, because let’s be real, I’m going to be doing some serious awkward napping and don’t need eyeliner smeared all over my face. Lately, I’ve been getting spray tans pre-travel, so I don’t really wear any in-flight makeup, come to think of it.

Some of these tips might seem obvious, but I hope you found some insight about streamlining your travel experience. On another note, if anyone has any advice on how to unpack after a trip, let me know…I may or may not still be living out of my suitcase from over a week ago…

Emily