beach bag essentials

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Nothing’s better than a perfect day at the beach. The sand in your toes, the sun on your skin, the sound of the waves breaking on the shore while you’re surrounded by good people and conversation. The only thing that can ruin a good beach day is forgetting your beach essentials. Missing a critical item can put a damper on any beach day. Here are a few of my beach day essentials.

Beach Bag: Currently, I’m using a Vera Bradley bag I received as a gift. While I’m not a huge fan of Vera Bradley, I do LOVE this bag for the beach. It’s a huge bag with pockets all along the inside that is great for holding my phone, sunscreen, wallet, keys and everything else.

Towel: I always bring two towels to the beach; one to lay on and one to use post swimming or as a pillow.

Sunglasses: Gotta keep the sun out of your eyes. Right now I’m sporting a pair of Kate Spade cat-eye sunnies that two of my food friends got me for my birthday a few years back.

Sunscreen: I always reach for a higher SPF, think SPF 30 and above. Tiny Tip: Apply sunscreen 30minutes to an hour before you head to the beach, and it will help prevent sunburn better than applying sunscreen when you get to the beach. Plus make sure you re-apply constantly.

Baby Powder: This is a must to get rid of the stubborn sand that sticks to you throughout the day.

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H20: It’s always critical to stay hydrated at the beach especially when the heat and humidity get super high.

Book/Magazine: Nothings better than a good trashy beach read. I can get bored easy at the beach but bringing good reading material to get lost in makes the time pass super fast.

Coverup: I’m the queen of the coverup, and I don’t mean makeup. I always bring a shirt or long dress to throw on at the beach in case I’m getting too much sun and need a break.

Facial Mist: Facial Mist is a great way to cool off during the day. I keep mine in the cooler and spritz on when I get a little too toasty. It’s an easy way to refresh yourself without taking a dip in the ocean.

Hair Tie/Clip: I always need to have my hair up at the beach if not its gets super messy and gross from the heat and wind. I tend to go for a messy topknot or a side braid for beach days. Nothing fancy but I always keep an extra hair tie or clip in my bag for emergencies.

Lip balm: My lips tend to get super chapped from the salt and the heat at the beach, so I like to keep a nice SPF filled lip balm in my bag.

What are your beach day essentials?

xo, Lara

airport style inspiration

airport style

Today is a travel day for me so in honor of travel I thought I’d share some of my favorite airport style inspirations. While I love seeing celebrities on the red carpet, there’s nothing I love more than celebrity airport style. Something about a celebrity’s style, when they’re traveling, is super chic, minimalistic, and inspiring.

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What’s your travel/airport style?

xo, Lara

{all images except first photo are from Pinterest. First photo by ChicandSequined.com}

July favorites

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 Where has the summer gone?! The summer is flying by, and somehow it’s already August. This month my favorites are more focused on non-beauty related items with a few skincare and makeup favorites thrown in.

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The shore.

I’ve only been to the shore a few times this July but every time I go I fall in love all over again. It’s just such a magical, carefree place where I can unwind and let go of the stresses of life.

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Starbucks Cold Brew + YSL Lingerie Pink Lipstick + Louis Vuitton Monogram Key Pouch.

Starbucks Cold Brew is the only coffee I’ve sipped all summer, and it’s incredible. It’s super strong and keeps me wide awake for those dreaded workday mornings.

YSL’s Lingerie Pink is my favorite love/hate lipstick. I love this lipstick when I have some color but hate it when I’m pale as a ghost (which is 99% of the time) but lately it’s been a daily staple.

No joke, the Louis Vuitton Monogram Key Pouch is a MUST have item. I don’t know how I lived without this small leather good. First off it’s super pretty but it’s also extremely useful and makes getting out the door easy since everything I need is all together.

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Margaritas.

Do I need to say more?

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Watermelon.

Watermelon is my favorite summer fruit, and I’ve been consuming it in mass quantities. Love it.

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First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream.

FAB’s Ultra Repair Cream has been my go to cream in July. It’s simple, hydrating and gets the job done. Read my full review here.

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Starbucks Peach Green Tea Lemonade.

Peach Green Tea Lemonade is refreshing and a great drink when you need a break from coffee. It’s been my go-to weekend treat drink.

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Eating Healthy + Donuts.

I’ve been eating a million times healthier this month which means cutting out most treats, but I had a donut a few weeks ago, and it was sooo yummy! Being healthy and achieving weight loss goals is about balance. It’s amazing how much more you enjoy indulgent food when you’re not eating it all the time!

What are your July favorites?

xo, Lara

Favorite Platinum Hair Moments

Pulling off platinum blonde hair isn’t an easy task. While the maintenance of platinum hair is one thing, hello almost constant dark roots, it’s another thing to be able to pull off rocking platinum hair. It takes a special kind of women to wear platinum hair right.

The women who bleach their hair the blondest of blondes are a bold, confident, fierce bread. While many attempt to pull off platinum blonde hair, only a few fully succeed at wearing the look well.

Platinum haired women are risk takers, style-makers, and influencers often leading the pack in terms of style and fashion.

In an ode to platinum hair, here are my favorite platinum hair moments.

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{Image via Pinterest}

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{Image via Oscar PR Girl }

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{Image via Pinterest}

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{Image via Pinterest}

Are you a fan of platinum hair? Would you ever go platinum blonde?

xo, Lara

Chic 101: You Should Never Wear Opened Toed Shoes Without Getting A Pedicure First

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I know the feeling when the weather heats up, and the first thing that pops into your mind is trading in your boots for sandals and flip-flops. I’ve been there, believe me. Your feet that haven’t seen the light of day in a good six months and they’re dying to break free but deep down you know your tootsies aren’t sandal season ready. It makes sense to pretty up your feet before putting them into sandals but it seems that not everyone cares about the state of their feet. In fact far too many people openly wear sandals revealing some nasty looking feet. “Hideous. Hate it. Hurts my eyes.” – Carrie Bradshaw 

So, I’ll say this once and only once, for the love of all that’s chic do not wear opened toed shoes without getting a pedicure first.

It should be a crime to prance around in sandals with unpolished, and unkempt nails. I don’t care if you go get the fanciest pedicure around or give yourself an at home pedicure in the tub make sure you take care of your feet.

You might think oh, no one’s looking at my feet. Well, you’re wrong, I can tell you that people like me are checking out your feet and secretly judging you based on their condition. I know I’m not the only one.

Let’s be honest, feet are ugly and gross so I think they should be taken care of the most. I work hard to keep my feet looking pedicured and well kept. Girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. In fact I hate feet so much that I opt to pay someone else to do the dirty work for me. Hello, $25 Mani/Pedi combo!

Before you even think about putting on sandals this spring make sure your toenails are trimmed and painted. Then make sure that the soles of your feet are washed and scrubbed removing all calluses and dry skin. It’s that simple people; we can all do it.

My simple tip for keeping your feet always looking sandal season ready is to get pedicures all year long. I know it’s a novice idea but just because we don’t shave our legs are as much in the winter doesn’t mean our feet need to suffer as well.

Remember please do something with your feet before putting them in open-toed shoes because I don’t want to have to talk about you :)

I’m not mean, I’m just honest. But I’m actually really nice, promise ;)

xo, Lara

{image via here}

Spring/Summer polish Picks

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Happy May!

The warmer and longer days of springtime have arrived. With the warmer weather comes bright colored manicures and perfectly pedicured feet.

Here in New Jersey the weather has been pretty amazing, and it has me day dreaming of all the pretty colors I will be painting my nails over the next few months. During the fall and winter months, I tend to stick to reds, nudes, and my constant go-to OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark. When spring and summer rolls around I tend to experiment more with polish choices.

During the warmer weather months, I tend to stick with bright pinks and coral colored polishes for my pedicures since they flatter my feet best. With my manicures though I’m all about experimenting with blues, greens, yellows, and every other color imaginable.

What are your favorite nail colors for spring and summer?

xo, Lara

currently coveting…

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Currently I’m coveting everything that comes with the warmer weather. Right now I’m coveting everything from a new scent to pink pedicured toes, bouquets of peonies, a pretty pink yoga mat, blush colored paint and gold prints for my pending room revamp.  That’s not too much to ask for, right?

What are you currently coveting?

xo, Lara

mother’s day gifts {beauty}

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Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching. I had a miniature freakout yesterday when I thought Mother’s Day was this weekend! I had no card, no gift, no brunch reservation but thank goodness I have a week plus to get some plans together.

Shopping for mom’s can be difficult but I always try to think like my mom and make little mental notes of brands she likes and wears. I always love to get my mom a beauty goodie as part of her Mother’s Day gifts because I don’t think she pampers herself enough.

I secretly peeked through my mom’s beauty stash to get some ideas of great beauty gifts for your mom! My mom’s a pretty stylish put together lady, so her collection is full of on point choices.

When buying beauty products with your mom in mind remember these little tidbits of advice.

*Choose skin care, foundations, and concealers that are target toward mature skin. Pick products with anti-aging and hydrating ingredients.

*Choose eyeshadows and blushes that have matte or satin finishes. Anything frosted or with shimmer will settle into fine lines and accentuate wrinkles.

*Choose fragrances that are classics. My rule of thumb is to pay attention to who the fragrance spokesmodel is and make sure she is only ten to fifteen years younger than your mom. The spokesmodel for a fragrance gives a good idea at who the target audience is so you’ll have a better chance of your mom liking the fragrance.

Do you buy your mom beauty gifts for Mother’s Day?

xo, Lara

Did I find my holy grail status concealer?!?

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Everyone has their list of Holy Grail products that they swear are so amazing, and everyone will love. Holy Grail beauty products don’t come along every day in fact HG products are far and few between. Personally, I only have a handful or so of HG products in my collection but I’m always willing to add more if they live up to HG status.

For years, I heard everyone from Kim Kardashian to several YouTube beauty gurus swear up and down that the Clé de Peau Beauté concealer was the most amazing concealer ever.

So one day I got bold, hopped on to Nordstroms.com, hesitantly located the Clé de Peau Beauté concealer and less than ten minutes later my order was placed. My bank account was $70-plus lighter but when it comes to HG beauty products price doesn’t matter.

Days later the heavens opened, the sea parted, my hopefully HG concealer finally arrived.

I ripped the box open, pulled out the sleek and classically packaged Clé de Peau Beauté concealer and joyfully slathered it on my under eyes. That joy didn’t last long, my under eyes looked dry, cakey and hardly resembled Kim K’s perfectly concealed under eyes.

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I was pissed to say the least. $70+ down the drain and all I got were dry, cakey under eyes. But I wasn’t about to give up I was determined to make it work.

First, off I remedied my dry under eye skin because that was my skin’s fault, not the concealer’s. Next, I applied the concealer directly my under eye skin, which help emulsify the concealer making it creamier and easier to blend. Finally, I used my finger to blend the concealer in, instead of using a brush. It was a whole new concealer at that point.

Both times I applied the Clé de Peau Beauté concealer it covered the heck out of my dark circles, but the residual dry, cakey look overshadowed its coverage power.

I’m proud to say Clé de Peau Beauté concealer is an HG product for me, and it’s worth the hefty price tag. A little goes a long way, and the little tube lasts a lot longer than you’d think. I’d say I get three to four months use out of one tube.

This concealer hides by hideous dark circles and helps me look well-rested and awake. Dark circles be damned as long as I have my Clé de Peau Beauté concealer.

What’s your Holy Grail concealer?

xo, Lara

Keeping My Skin Hydrated and Happy

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Dry skin? Check. Hydration wanted? Check. To my dry skin gals out there we suffer from dry skin, dehydrated skin 24/7, 365 so in order to have hydrated and happy skin we have to step up our skincare game to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

It’s important to hydrate from within, guzzle that water! But topical hydration is just as important. My current game plan for hydrated skin consists of masks, creams, serums, gel moisturizer that when use individually hydrate hells-good but when they are layered on top of each other skin nirvana is reached!

First up is an Elizabeth Arden Hydrating Mask I talked about here. It’s not my favorite hydrating mask but it gets the job done add a little oomph to my skin. Speaking of hydrating masks, have you tried the Glam Glow ThirstyMud? You really need to try this mask!!!! GG ThirstyMud is AMAZING! I was skeptical to try this, but it lives up to the hype. Slather it on and your left with glowy, soft, hydrated skin.

Hydrating my skin with a moisturizer is a difficult task since my skin sucks up cream like nobody business so I need something that is powerful and can penetrate my skin with lasting moisture. I tend to go for thick, heavy creams and balms, but the next few products have been game changers for me.

Hands down Ponds Dry Skin Cream was a lifesaver this winter, no really, it saved my skin since I was one step away from my skin cracking into a million pieces from dryness. It’s a simple, effective, and super hydrating cream. More on that later since I think it deserves its own post.

Drunk Elephant’s Marula Oil is the newest addition to my oil addiction. DE’s Marula Oil is a dry oil, that sinks right into the skin, hydrates the skin and wears amazingly under other moisturizers and makeup. See my full review here.

Last but not least is the newest addition to my skincare arsenal Neutrogena Hydro-Boost Water Gel Moisturizer. I can’t speak fully on this since I’ve only had it a few days but so far so good. It’s a light gel moisturizer thats full of hyaluronic acid and my skin is loving it so far.

Keep that skin moisturized and hydrated loves!

What’s your favorite product to hydrate your face? Tell me below or Tweet me @LaraSophia

xo, Lara