The Most Soothing Beauty Product I Used This Week #2

My stress levels and anxiety have been bad lately, and it's showing on my face in the form of breakouts and rough patches of rosacea. I'm currently seeking out ultra-nourishing skincare and taking a break from acids and retinols — sometimes I get so caught up in the idea of a "routine" that I forget to listen to what my skin actually needs. In an effort to be a little kinder to my reddened cheeks, I've been loading up on hyaluronic acid, and my favorite new find is Peter Thomas Roth's Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream ($52). First of all, that name reminds me of pillows and blankets and a warm shower on a cold day.

The texture of the cream itself mimics those things as well — it's a soft, pillowy gel moisturizer that turns into a water-like substance the second it touches your skin. I love a good gel moisturizer, especially in warmer weather. This one has a gentle cooling effect that isn't the same as an artificial, menthol-y tingle. It soothes my inflamed face while plumping my skin and leaving me with a soft, dewy glow — plus, it doesn't pill under my latest favorite sunscreen, Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense ($38). 

Water Drench soothes both my nerves and my face at the same time, which is all I really want from my skincare. 

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Beauty Garbage Review #1

My favorite part of the day is washing off my makeup. Or maybe it's putting on my makeup. Or maybe it's swatching lipstick from the beauty closet at work at 3 p.m. because my back is starting to hurt from sitting at my desk all day. Regardless, I try a ton of product. You would think that means every micellar water I finish or eyeliner that dries out before its prime would run together after awhile, but I have some trouble letting go. Whenever it's time to toss something, I put it in a black canvas bag at the back of my closet for further evaluation at a later date. I'm afraid to trow a product away without fully cataloging how I feel about it. Some may consider it "hoarding" or "refusing to move on from the past by clinging to old makeup removers," but I think of it as important research for my skin care and cosmetics endeavors. However, at this point I have about six months worth of empty containers just begging to be recycled. Something has got to give, hence this new exercise in reviewing products. I'm calling it "Beauty Garbage" because, well, that's literally what it is.

1. Skyn Iceland Blemish Dots: The highest praise that I can give is this: even my fiancé loves these despite his non-existent skin care routine. They are clear plastic dots with salicylic acid that you can wear overnight on your blemishes (or during the day if you don't mind an unnatural shiny finish on your face — you do you). I find that they work best if you have one giant pimple you are trying to get rid of — the nasty  and painful ones that always pop up the day before some big, important event. If pimples smell fear, these dots help you mask the scent.

2. You Are Amazing Smooth It Out Exfoliating Body Wash & Scrub in Coconut Water: A very average, very nice-smelling scrub. It didn't change my life, cure my impostor syndrome, or fix my relationship with my father, but it did give me moderately smoother skin every time I used it, which is all you can really expect for $3.99.

3. Simple Cleansing Micellar Water: This is a solid micellar water, but it did sting my eyes, which wasn't ideal since I kept trying to use it to remove eye makeup. If I got my hands on another bottle, I would try it as a morning cleanser instead.

4. Beautycounter Cleansing Balm: On the other hand, this cleansing balm is an incredible makeup remover. The strong scent was the only downside for me, because I essentially treat my evening skin care routine like an aromatherapy session in that I spend just as long smelling my products as I do actually using them on my face. But in terms of ridding my skin of the day's makeup/general wear-and-tear it was a winner.

5. Unwash Anti-Residue Cleanse: If you have curly hair that acts out like a 15-year-old girl whose mom won't let her go to a party, try this. It makes your roots feel clean but not TOO clean. A great shampoo alternative.

6. m-61 Power Glow Peel: My skin is turning red at the mere memory of these peel pads. That said, they have tons of amazing ingredients like glycolic and salicylic acids and chamomile, so if your skin is less sensitive than mine you might love them.

7. e.l.f Makeup Mist & Set: I suspect that setting spray is a scam, but I will always pay $3 to be able to gently mist my face with something that smells this soothing. I'm impressed the sleek packaging considering how cheap this is, and the fact that it is infused with Vitamins A, C, & E, aloe, and cucumber makes me feel slightly less like I was conned into buying glorified water.

8. Olay Bright-On-Schedule Eye Awakening Cream: This is cheap and feels nice and soothing on tired "early in the morning" or "post-crying about the state of our world for three hours" eyes. What more do you need in a daytime eye cream?

9. Benefit Roller Lash: I'm not overly picky about mascara because I have naturally long lashes and it seems like no matter which one I use it ends up slightly smeared under my eyes by EOD. But roller lash has a unique curved wand that I assumed was gimmicky at first yet actually works. It curls my upper lashes like nothing else (well, I guess a lash curler would probably work better but they look like torture devices so no thanks) and I'm a sucker for the '50s-esque packaging. 

10. Aveeno Positively Radient Daily Moisturizer (SPF 30): I love this moisturizer like you can only love something/someone that knew you when you were 16 — because I have actually used it since I was 16. This is one of those products that my mom gave me when she was trying to convince me to apply SPF to my face every day and I just never stopped using it. Part of that is habit, I'm sure, and now that I work in beauty I do occasionally take a break from it to try other sunscreens and moisturizers and sunscreen moisturizers. But this is still my favorite. I love it for it's unoffensive scent, it's ability to moisturize while blending into my skin quickly, and it's sun-combating capabilities.

I still have a bag full of empty bottles, boxes, and tubes next to me, but in the interest of keeping you coming back for more, I'll leave it at that.

The Life-Changing Magic Of Shopping At Reformation

I have Mondays off from work, which is amazing most of the time. I can't remember what the Sunday Scaries feel like. I get to run errands and go shopping when stores aren't crowded. I can watch Scream Queens and then pretend I didn't watch Scream Queens because no one but the mice that occasionally inhabit my apartment were around to see it. 

But there is a dark side to being home when everyone I know is at work — there is no better time to worry endlessly about things that will probably never happen. And I love to worry. Not in a conscious, "worrying is so much fun" kind of way, but in a "I need it more than breathing" kind of way. I'm as addicted to worrying as I am to drinking coffee first thing in the morning. It's a need. And whenever I have a free day to myself, it's a slippery slope. If i'm not careful, I come-to several hours into a worry coma, having done nothing but play makeup tutorial videos on a loop and swatch my entire lipstick collection while absentmindedly making up worst-case scenarios. Not the most productive way to spend my precious free moments.

That's why, whenever I find myself staring down the barrel of an unplanned nine hours of alone time, I try to get outside and do literally anything. And by "literally anything," I obviously mean "go shopping."

On a recent Monday,  I woke up, had some coffee, and felt an extreme bout of The Worrys coming on. Rather than than succumb to a round of my favorite game, Erin Invents Situations In Which She Could Be Dying, Unemployed, Or Both Dying & Unemployed, I slapped on some under-eye concealer (Glossier Stretch Concealer in 'Light' always) and took the subway to Reformation in SoHo. 

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Reformation is almost more of a lifestyle than a brand — when you're there, you feel like you are part of something. Whether that something is a movement, a lifestyle, or just a group of women willing to drop $200 on a dress because it makes them feel one step closer to being Karlie Kloss, it doesn't matter. What does matter? That the Reformation dressing rooms have the most perfect selfie lighting.

 

I am typically awful at taking photos of myself. I've never been able to master selfies, but there's something about the Reformation dressing rooms, man. On this particular afternoon, I tried on this gorgeous emerald green dress with a super high neckline and a slit. It was unlike anything else I owned, so I naturally took about 800 photos of myself wearing it, and then decided it needed to come home with me. 

Shopping while anxious isn't so much about "retail therapy" as it is about distracting myself from what's going on in my head. I don't find that I buy more when I'm worrying about something (or everything) but in cases like this one, I often buy things that represent a woman I want to be — in this case, someone who wears a tight dress with a high neckline without worrying about whether her boobs look "too big," or worrying about anything at all.

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The Most Soothing Beauty Product I Used This Week (#1)

I have been a bit of A Mess lately, and while some might argue that I should be in therapy, I maintain that I'm just one sheet mask application away from total serenity (and breakout-free skin). The only way I know how to deal with my anxiety is to slap some layers of gunk on my face and hope that process calms me down — which is why I'm starting this new series. I'm calling it The Most Soothing Beauty Product I Used This Week because my favorite products, be they skincare or makeup, tend to be the ones that help me breathe a little easier while I'm applying them. So, without further ado, The Most Soothing Beauty Product I used this week is...

Essence Prettifying Lip Oil in 01 I Care For You, Honey

As a lifelong believer in Vaseline as lip balm, I've been skeptical about the new surge of lip oils that have hit the market over the past few months. But after battling chapped lips for about as long as I can remember, and watching enough YouTube videos raving about them to be curious, I jumped at the chance to try this version from essence.  

It comes in three shades but so far I've only tried this one, which looks really yellow in the tube but goes on pretty much clear. It leaves a glossy, comfortable finish, but to be honest I mostly wear it to bed. What can I say? I enjoy the feeling of marinating in oils as I drift off to sleep — and waking up with soft, flake-free lips, which this has come about as close to delivering as any other balm/scrub/oil that I have tried. I've been known to gnaw the dead skin off of my lips with my teeth, effectively making the problem even worse, so I need all the help I can get in this department.

I'll have to use this for a bit longer before I know for sure whether it holds a candle to my previously beloved petroleum jelly, but so far my lips have never been more comfortable. 

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The Calming Ritual of Skincare

Most fashion and beauty blogs are about the beautiful, highly curated parts of life. I get that — they are supposed to be aspirational. But, to be quite honest, it's part of why I haven't found my groove on this site yet. Most of my days aren't very pretty or carefully styled, and I started this blog so that I could write with honesty about my life and how it intersects with my love of fashion and makeup.

As I write this, I'm wearing sweatpants so old I forget where I got them and a ripped t-shirt I bought at my college bookstore that says "Sarah Lawrence College Football" on the front and "Still Undefeated" on the back (the joke being that Sarah Lawrence College doesn't have a football team). My hair is unwashed, I'm not wearing makeup, and my face is splotchy because I spent half my morning crying for no discernible reason. It's not particularly glamorous, but it's the truth.

As much as I love reading them, I don't really want to write a blog that's only about my favorite beauty products and which shirt I'm most fond of that week. I'm aware that plenty of people think clothing and makeup are shallow interests. I can't count the number of times someone has acted like my full time job as a fashion and beauty editor at a highly trafficked website geared towards women is a fun hobby rather than, you know, a job. But clothing and makeup serves a deeper purpose beyond paying my bills. It's about self care. I'm not talking about the temporary burst of happiness you get when you make a new purchase — I'm talking about the rituals of beauty in daily life.

Nothing is more calming to me than the process of working through my skincare routine, especially at night. I strip off my makeup using a cleansing balm or micellar water (right now it's Simple Micellar Cleansing Water), wash my face with something gentle, like Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser (which has an extremely soothing rosewater scent), swipe Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner across my cheeks, follow up with serum (Glossier Super Pure is the star of my routine these days), and then end with a hydrating eye cream like Yes To Coconuts Ultra Hydrating Overnight Eye Balm and my favorite moisturizer, First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. Some days I even top it all off with a facial oil if my skin is in need of a little moisture.

So, why do I go through this every single night, almost without exception? Is it because I'm vain? I have to admit that I like my face a great deal, but it's not so much about that. The time I spend performing my skincare routine or putting makeup on in the morning is pretty much the only time that I actually relax. My mind stops racing with all the various Things I Worry About when I dip my finger into a jar of soft, fragranced face cream. I'm not reciting my to-do list for tomorrow when I'm massaging an oil into my skin.  These are some of the few moments of mental peace that I experience, and I truly cherish them.

Yeah, maybe I don't need so many different jars and glass bottles on my countertops and spilling out of my medicine cabinet. But if they make me feel even slightly more sane on a daily basis, I'm going to keep using them.

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Winona Forever

I can't remember what the first Winona Ryder movie I ever saw was, but I have been captivated by her, on screen and off, for basically my entire life. She always represented the woman I wanted to be — dark and a little mysterious, strange yet fiercely beautiful. Whether it was Mermaids on channel 11 on a Sunday afternoon at my grandmother's house or Heathers in the living room with my best friends at college, all of her movies influenced me in one way or another, but perhaps most particularly my style.

Tell me you wouldn't wear this off-the-shoulder sweater today.

Tell me you wouldn't wear this off-the-shoulder sweater today.

Winona was a beacon of hope for someone like me; a sign that an odd, bookish girl who liked to be alone more often than not might be considered cool. Sure I didn't feel very cool most of the time (the "cool" kids in movies didn't typically spend lunch period reading books, did they?) but Veronica Sawyer and Lydia Deetz gave me a different model to live by. These characters helped me embrace my weirdness. If a goth teenager with stringy bangs who hangs out with ghosts could become a style icon, what was stopping me? I owe a great deal of my fashion daring to Winona, both the woman herself and the fictional characters she has portrayed.

If her movies helped me navigate growing up in the '90s and early '00s, my obsession has only intensified in my twenties. Adulthood is strange and scary, and at times it can be frustratingly difficult to find the magic I saw everywhere when I was younger. I have to work twice as hard as I ever did to make sure I don't miss out on those moments when the light is just right and you feel like anything is possible. Maybe it's silly, but watching my favorite Winona movies helps remind me who I am. So, too, does getting dressed in an outfit that feels authentic and a little bit daring. Enter: the Free Winona tee.

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A friend who shares my love for the actress bought me one of these for my 25th birthday. I don't think she realized what an important gift it would turn out to be, but this shirt has become the unofficial uniform of my summer. I wore it on vacation in Portland, to the beach in Cape Cod, and a million places in between.

Above is a photo of me freeing Winona on a mountain in Oregon while off-roading in a Jeep which, if you know me, you know that's not A Thing I Do. I'm also wearing LOFT boyfriend jeans, & Other Stories belt, and Lucky Brand vest for some highly uncharacteristic ~sporty~ vibes.

The "Free Winona" shirt is probably my biggest conversation piece. It's extremely similar to the design that Winona herself wore on the cover of W Magazine shortly after she was arrested for shoplifting.  I get comments every time I wear it — from those who get the reference and those who don't. I'm not usually one for the whole "talking to strangers" thing, but I'll happily chat with a fellow Winona fan any day of the week.

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Therapeutic Dressing

I know it shouldn't really matter what you wear to therapy. After all, your therapist isn't there to judge you based on whether you show up in a ripped band tee or a button down and trousers. But if style is the window to the soul, how could your outfit not say something about your psyche? That was the thought that was stuck in my head this morning as a I rifled through my closet in preparation for my first appointment, finally replacing the chorus of "Single Ladies" playing on repeat in my brain since 2008.

It's no coincidence that my wardrobe has suffered during my worst moments of depression and anxiety. I think it's because I take so much joy in getting dressed. Picking out my clothes is like deciding who I want to be for the day. When I just want to be an invisible blob curled up at the edge of my bed, well, I dress for that occasion the way I would dress for any other. 

My point is this: clothes matter. The vibe I wanted to give off when meeting my first potential therapist was that of someone in total control of her emotions, which I recognize is part of my problem. I'm not "totally in control of my emotions" — I have pretty severe anxiety that I've let run rampant for 25 years, and now is so substantial that it basically has a mind of my own. However, I'm also not at my personal rock bottom. I'm doing pretty well these days, and that's part of why I had the courage to go to therapy and deal with some of my issues in the first place.

Since I wasn't about to show up to my appointment wearing the ripped t-shirt and shorts I slept in the night before, I reached into the depths of my closet (it's really dark in there, guys) and pulled out an item at random. It turned out to be this top I had picked up at Urban Outfitters this past winter. I bought it mostly because of the cut, which reminds me of a mod '60s shift dress in shirt form.

Lately I have been playing with proportions because it's an easy way to breathe life into your wardrobe without having to spend a ton of money. I paired the swingy top with  H&M's exaggerated raw-hem flare jeans. I feel pretty cool when I wear them, like Everyday Erin has been replaced by some other more stylish person who wears statement pants like it's no big deal. Since that's kind of what I wanted the therapist to think, it seemed fitting. My shoes were these incredible H&M sandals (silver version pictured here) that I got because I wanted to be the kind of person who could rock minimalist slides.

By the time I finished picking out my outfit I was running late enough that, were I a normal person who realizes their therapist doesn't care about what they look like, I would have run out the door immediately. But me being, well, me, I had to take some time to accessorize. I chose this gold necklace from the jewelry store Satya to serve as a good luck charm of sorts, and my Kate Spade glasses ring, which always reminds me that being my glasses-wearing self is pretty rad. 

I don't always treat my accessories like talismans, but maybe I should more often, because I really did feel just a little bit unstoppable as I went into my appointment. Maybe overthinking my outfit didn't solve all my problems, just like one hour of therapy didn't make me totally zen and ~cured~, but it did help me to feel self-possessed as I prepared to bare my soul to a stranger for the first time. 

The Holy Grail: Supergoop Defense Refresh Setting Mist

Vacation makeup and I have a complicated relationship. On the one hand, I have more time to dwell on perfectly blended eyeshadow application or an elaborate bronzer routine. On the other hand, who can be bothered to do a full face when there's so much relaxing to be done? For summer vacations (and let's be real, what's the point of going away at any other time of year) I've settled on a compromise — I focus on skin. For makeup it's all about a sweep of bronzer (Too Faced has some life-changing ones) and loads of highlighter in any form... powder, liquid, cream (BECCA and Glossier carry my current go-tos). 

As far as skincare goes, one particular product has been the hero of my makeup bag this summer: Supergoop's Defense Refresh Setting Mist, which contains rosemary and SPF 50. I use this stuff religiously even when I'm not traveling. The mini size goes everywhere with me so that I can touch up my sun protection throughout the day without smudging makeup all over my face. However, it becomes even more essential during trips to seaside locales. Since this doubles as a setting mist, it locks my makeup in place on sweaty beach days, prevents me from getting sunburned, and provides a much-needed boost of refreshing hydration. It's like three products in one.

It's official — I'll be repurchasing this the minute it runs out on me.

 

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Old Favorites

There's an oft-repeated piece of advice about wardrobe organization: if you haven't worn a piece in a year you should toss it immediately. I've never been totally convinced. As much as I love buying new clothes, there's nothing like discovering old favorites in the back of my closet and revamping them to fit my current style. I've been reaching for the same pieces over and over (this star-printed Reformation dress has gotten lots of play in the past few months), and I've been in a bit of a style rut.

So, in an effort to rediscover some old favorites, I dipped into my style archives for a recent night out and found a sleeveless dress from the brand Maeve that I hadn't worn in awhile.I remember buying this at Anthropologie some years ago, but I never figured out how to fit in my wardrobe. It's actually a really comfortable and easy piece to wear, but it looks professional — perfect for looking polished but not "fancy."

The details are what make this dress interesting. It buttons all the way down the front and has a tie at the front that cinches the waist, sort of like a fun twist on a typical shirtdress (with excellent twirling capabilities, as demonstrated above). 

On this occasion I opted for comfortable loafers from Aldo — another old favorite — because I knew I'd be walking a bunch. As much as I love heels, most of my days involve some walking or, at the very least, a few trips up and down the subway stairs, and so I'm always in search of versatile shoes that can withstand a heavy dose of pavement-pounding. These have been going strong for a few seasons now.

As for the other accessories, I tried to tie them in with the colors of the dress — a blue and black clutch and a ring with a reddish-brown bead that my boyfriend brought back from a trip to El Salvador. 

Sure, fashion is often about what's "new," but it can be just as exciting to style a familiar item in a fresh way that makes you feel like you just brought it home from the store. 

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Lemonade

I've  been on the hunt for a good lemon-printed piece of clothing for several years now. In college, my best friend had a sundress adorned with the citrus fruit and I was jealous not only of how cute the print was but also how it looked on her. During this period I struggled a lot with body image and viewed it as a deep personal failing if a particular item didn't fit me the way that I wanted. 

I've come a long way in the past six or so years in accepting myself and developing my own sense of style, but the hunt for the perfect lemon print continued. There were a few adorable contenders along the way — a scarf here, a dress there — but nothing topped my instant love for this silk blouse by the brand Equipment, spotted on the rack at Bloomingdale's last month. I haven't wanted to take it off since I first tried it on.

I wore the top on a recent outing to Portland's International Rose Test Garden with a pair of deep red shorts from American Eagle Outfitters and the lace-up sandals that I've been living in so far this summer. I actually forsee an ability to layer the shirt in a bunch of different ways once temperatures cool down, making it well worth the investment.

I've been feeling minimalist accessorizing lately — especially with the lemon blouse, which stands out so much on its own. I really like how this Art Deco-esque Madewell ring plays against the vibrant, floaty fabric of the shirt. Add some classic Ray Bans and a structured Topshop purse and you have an easy summer outfit that will withstand the heat.

I love getting dressed these days and delight in buying fewer, higher quality items that will last. This is partially due to settling into my style, creating a wardrobe I will love for a long time. But it also has to do with how confident I feel. I've finally figured out that if you don't like the way an item looks on you, it doesn't mean there's something wrong with your body. It's about finding clothes that make you feel your best. And if it means several years of hunting for the perfect lemon print, so be it.

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The Holy Grail: Lavanila Deodorant

Deodorant is personal. My first one was that '90s cult classic Cucumber Melon (RIP) from Bath & Body Works that I used long before I needed it just because it made me feel grown up. I remember thinking it would be my signature scent for the rest of my life, but eventually I moved on, and deodorant became an afterthought. Somewhere along the way I lost my sense of adventure when it comes to underarm protection and settled on a generic Dove anti-perspirant. I used it for about ten years straight despite the fact that, á la Marie Kondo, it didn't "spark joy." In fact, it left me feeling pretty dry and irritated.

Recently, however, I decided that my armpits deserved better. Why shouldn't I love my deodorant the same way I love my lipstick collection and my favorite eyeshadow palettes? What's the point of spending money on a product if it doesn't make you at least a little bit happy?

Enter Lavanila's The Healthy Deodorant. I'm not really a natural beauty junkie, but I was interested in finding an aluminum-free product in hopes that it would cut down on some of the discomfort I experienced. This stuff is the real deal. It's moisturizing, comfortable to wear, and long-lasting. 

The Lavanila deodorants come in sleek twist-up tubes so they're great for travel as well. So far I've only tried the "Pure Vanilla" scent in the mini size, but they have a ton of options (I have my eye on "Fresh Vanilla Lemon" next) and a more full-sized version as well.

Bear in mind that these have a less artificial scent than many other deodorants on the market, so you will probably still smell like a human after you put it on — but a human whose sweat just happens to contain notes of powdery sweet vanilla. I consider that a win. 

Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant, $14, lavanila.com

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Summer Is For Lobster Print

Sometimes I like to employ an "absence makes the heart grow fonder" method of shopping where I leave the store without a piece I'm considering buying to see if my desire to own it grows. I've found that there's really no better way to tell whether I can't live without an item than to spend some time away from it.

That's exactly how it went down with the Ahlam Ruffle Tie Top from Club Monaco. I was immediately drawn to the dramatic bow in the back and the under-the-sea print which prominently features lobsters (it also comes in plain white and blue and white gingham) but I was a bit hesitant when I first tried it on. Was it practical enough? Would I get enough wear out of it once the heat of NYC summer really kicked in? 

Fast forward two weeks to when I found myself back at Club Monaco; I scooped up the shirt for 30% off — sales are always a sign, right? I don't regret this purchase one bit. The print is so unique, as is the cut, which is loose and drapey in the front, open in the back.

I am pretty much guaranteed to love anything with interesting back detailing, so that sealed the deal for me. It took me a long time to feel confident in tops like this, especially because I have a larger chest and thus always prefer to wear a bra with decent support. This shirt is great for that because it has voluminous elbow mid-length sleeves and even though the back is open it still provides coverage. It's sexy but not super overt; definitely my style.

I've been pairing it with light wash flared jeans from H&M that are fitted through the thigh, which balances out the diaphanous, flowy nature of the shirt, and some high-heeled sandals for a bit of height.

This is an outfit that calls for simplicity when it comes to accessorizing. A simple red vintage-looking bag (that I actually bought in 2015 at Urban Outfitters, of course) and a purple arrowhead ring that my best friend bought me for my birthday a few years back perfectly compliment the exaggerated silhouettes in this look without being overpowering. 

 

Outfit Details: Alham Ruffle Tie Top, Club Monaco; Kick Flare Ankle Jeans, H&M; Sunglasses, Ray-Ban

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On Adulthood & Shopping

I've been thinking a lot recently about how to build a more grown-up, high quality wardrobe and have adopted something of a "buy less, spend more" policy. Of course that doesn't mean I don't love a good cheap find, but I'm focusing on quality over quantity lately. Which leads me to this: a few weeks ago I walked into a Reformation boutique in Soho and instantly fell in love with the brand's Picadilly dress in the Galactic print. At $198, the dress is a bit pricier than most of the casual items I own, but I can already tell that I'm going to live in it this spring and summer. Plus, I love Reformation's mission statement—creating sustainable, good for the environment clothing. 

The pockets and the stitching remind me of a super hip '50s diner waitress uniform! I love the relaxed-yet-structured silhouette, which makes this a really easy piece to style in a variety of ways. 

It was warm on the day I took these photos, but I knew I'd be outside walking around until late, so I topped the Reformation dress with a denim jacket I bought at LOFT last year and wore a pair of soft brown shoes with flowers etched into the leather for a subtle mixed prints effect. These shoes are ridiculously comfortable and I've worn them to death yet they still look almost good as new. 

Star-printed as it might be, this dress felt like a very "adult" purchase for me. I'm sure it has an awful lot to do with the price, but also the quality and the fact that I love it more than just about anything else in my wardrobe. Hey, if I'm growing up, I guess my closet should grow up with me, right?

Outfit Details: Picadilly Dress, Reformation; Denim jacket, LOFT (similar style here); Shoes, Anthropologie (no longer available); Ring, purse; Topshop (no longer available)

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