Thoughts on 3 High-End Makeup Primers

I’ve tried 3 luxury makeup primers over the past couple of months. Here are my thoughts and experiences:

 

Becca Backlight Priming Filterhere

The ingredients I couldn’t get over: fragrance (a very vague ingredient term used to hide many other ingredients, so you don’t really ever know what the “fragrance” is made of) and sodium hydroxide. I loved the texture so much, so this was really difficult to return. The look was subtle but noticeable, it played well with skincare and makeup, and I looked a bit glowy throughout the day. I would potentially purchase this again with two provisos: one, if I couldn’t find a better natural replacement, and two, just to use in the winter when my skin needs extra moisture.  The color is a pale champagne.  The finish is a glowy satin. The packaging is a gorgeous glass bottle with an excellent pump.

Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primerhere

This smelled better and had better ingredients than Becca, but the texture was very thin which I truly did not care for. It seemed to make less of a difference under makeup than Becca. I loved the ingredients, but felt very indifferent to the actual product.  The color is a shimmy pearl.  The finish is a faint pearly sheen satin. The packaging is very beautiful with silver cap and frosted glass jar with a great pump.

 

Vapour Organic Beauty Stratus Soft Focus Primerhere

Picking this up a great price was truly motivating, but also a gamble. Although I got it at a great price, unlike the other two primers I tried, I couldn’t return it if I wasn’t happy with it. This is the massive downside to purchasing an item you’ve never tried from the internet .  The color is a pale shimmery pink.  The texture is not as creamy and whipped as the Becca, but definitely richer than the Juice Beauty.  The finish gives a matte satin finish to my skin but it isn’t drying at all.  It almost feels like it has silicone in it, but it doesn’t.  It has the faintest of pale pink shimmery undertones, but don’t let that scare you because it doesn’t really show up on the skin that way.  When I remember, I use this one everyday under my makeup. The packaging is the least chic of the three, and plastic.  The pump is lacking because it dispenses different amounts of product with each pump, which is quite irksome. I’m wondering how the pump will work when the bottle is nearing empty.  Bottom line of truth: the product itself is very pretty and adds an extra layer of moisturizing product to give a good base for makeup.  Do I notice a truly profound difference in the way my makeup looks?  No, and for that reason it’s not an essential product for me.  However, it is really nice and I would recommend it the most out of these three for texture, efficacy, and quality of ingredients.

What makeup primer do you use and love?

Graze Snack Box Subscription: A Review

Like most families, we snack around here.  Ideally, snacks are convenient, tasty, moderately healthy, and free of bad ingredients (hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial food dyes, to name just a few).

The problem is, when someone wants a snack, they often don’t want to have to think too hard about what to grab.  Often, we eat fresh fruit as a snack, but there are plenty of times we want something else.  Then there are times when we need a portable snack that can be thrown in a bag.

Ideally, I wanted to find snacks that the whole family would be willing to eat – not just me.  I tried Graze because I had a coupon code for a free 4-snack box.  I like the idea of individually portioned shelf-stable snacks that range from savory to sweet.  They aren’t organic, but they are completely non-GMO, and they do not use artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, or hydrogenated oils.

You can customize what types of snacks you get in the preferences of your account – you can choose to have only vegan snacks, or gluten free, or dairy free, for example.  Also, there is the option of going through the snack list one-by-one and choosing whether you want to “trash” a snack, try a snack, like a snack, or love a snack. This helps customize snack boxes to fit your desires.  In short, you don’t actually get to hand pick the snacks you’ll be receiving, but you essentially narrow the field down to a list of items you are happy with receiving – so the actual box you receive it a bit of a surprise.

As far as frequency of boxes, you can choose to receive a box once a month, every two weeks, or every week.  I currently receive a snack box every two weeks.

I know boxes like Vegan Cuts are quite popular with a lot of people, and I’d like to try that snack box, too – but the month to month subscription is $22.95.  An 8-snack Graze box is $11.99.  So for now, I’m going to stick with Graze.

One complaint I have is that Graze sends a separate Nutritional Information sheet in the snack box for just the snacks included in that particular snack box.  That means that individual snacks don’t have nutritional info or ingredients listed on the packaging.  For me this is annoying, as I attempt to monitor my calories every day and would like to see the product info on the actual snack, not on a separate piece of paper.

The majority of snacks in the Graze menu contain nuts, seeds, crackers, beans, dried fruit, or some “healthy” sweets, like “flapjacks” aka granola bars, peanut butter dippers and oat & spelt cookies.  I like the variety of flavors and spices, as it helps to keep snacks interesting instead of eating smoked almonds or plain pretzels for the 1000th time.

Another very nice focus the company has is that each snack has some kind of nutritional benefit.  Snacks are either listed as 150 calories or less, high in protein, high in fiber, or high in vitamins and minerals – every snack has a positive nutritional aspect.  I really appreciate that.  Sometimes I really need protein, but other times I just want something to munch on that isn’t too high in calories.  The snack boxes give me a little of everything.  I also like that there are some sweet treats available that are healthier than typical grocery store kid snacks. My daughter likes sweet treats, and it’s nice to be able to give her a pre-portioned Graze snack that I can easily see is 120 calories and contains no bad ingredients.

Overall, this snack box is a really convenient addition to my family’s food options.  My daughter, husband, and I all enjoy the snacks which is saying a lot – we are all picky in our own ways and we’ve all had snacks we’ve enjoyed.  So far, not one of our snacks has been thrown away because it tasted bad.  Some items we’ve enjoyed more than others, but overall I’ve been very happy with the selections.   Even if we were to receive a snack that we didn’t like, it’s simple to mark that snack as “Trash” on my Graze profile and I will never receive it again.

Do you subscribe to any healthy snack boxes?  If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments!

Comfort and Wisdom with a Side of Encouragement

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Comfort

A phrase I’ve used to comfort myself many, many times in my life: “This, too, shall pass.”

If there is one thing we can count on in life, it is that things are ALWAYS changing, evolving.  If you let it, that thought can be of great comfort.

The Serenity Prayer is an oldie but a goodie, “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change what I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

Look back in your past at all the pain, anxiety, fears, hurts, and struggles you have had.  And then know that not only have you survived it all, you are stronger, wiser, and even happier because of those struggles.

 

Wisdom

Think before you speak, especially during arguments.

Along the same lines, “Before you speak, ask yourself: ‘Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?'”

Be kind to others, because you never know what battles he or she is fighting.

Would your mother and/or father be proud of the things that you say and do when they are not around?

Our children and grandchildren will inherit this earth.  Let us leave it better than we found it so that they can lead happy lives.

The media unrelentingly exploits the negativity in the world.  There is still so much good and love and progress out there that we aren’t shown.  Believe that it is there, look for it in everyday life and you will see it.

 

Encouragement

Look at what you’ve got and make the best of it.  It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

If you want the world to change, you MUST start with yourself.  In other words, be the change you wish to see in the world.

There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind – C.S. Lewis

 

Natural Foundation Review: Full Coverage

This is the second part of my review of all-natural foundations.  My first post here covered light coverage and medium coverage.  Now we’ll talk about full coverage options in natural foundation. I’ve done my best to place them where I feel they fall in terms of coverage and grading them based on my experience using them on MY SKINTYPE.  I will do my best to recall the performance of each product in the season(s) I used them.  Please don’t be offended if I give your favorite foundation a mediocre score.  Everyone has different skin issues and needs.

I mentioned my skin type in my first post, but as a recap, my skin is quite fair with neutral-to-warm undertones.  My skin type is normal and drier in the winter. I have an occasional blemish.  These points are very important to keep in mind. I am in my 30s.  I’m not 20 with oily skin anymore, and thus do not seek out the foundations I once did.

 

fullcoveragefoundation

 

Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation – [$54 retail] Grade: C

I wrote a whole post about this one, here. This is another hybrid skincare-foundation, which is what drew me to it and convinced me to spend over $50 of my money.  First, I purchased this in the winter of 2015 and I was really struggling with finding a solution to my dry winter skin.  Gressa Serum Foundation was not a good match from the outset, as it is a foundation well known for clinging to dry patches and having a serum-to-powder texture.  That would be excellent if you are oily.  I was exceedingly disappointed in this foundation because it just wouldn’t work with me during the winter and spring when I had it.  It finally was a little better when I used it in early spring, but even then it was still too matte and drying for me.  Also, I purchased shade 01 which was a little too light, but that was before Gressa came out with shade 1.5.  I would not purchase this again.  It is not a hydrating formula and it clings like grim death to any hint of dryness on my face.  I would highly recommend it for someone who has oily skin and likes a matte foundation.

 

Silk Naturals HD Cream Foundation – [$11.99 retail] Grade: B-

Silk Naturals is a brand that saves on advertising and fancy packaging, which in turn keeps prices for their products very low.  Their cream foundation is remarkably affordable for a natural foundation.  I have G20 which is fair with golden undertones, but I can also use their N20 which is fair with neutral undertones.  The shade range is the most extensive of any natural foundation I know.  Some of the claims they make about their foundation, however, just aren’t true in my personal experience.  It does crease some and it definitely will break up on my skin the longer I wear it.  In my experience, this is not a long-wearing foundation.  I wouldn’t want to wear this when I needed my foundation to look great for a solid 8+ hours.  Typically, if I wear this on a work day, it looks kind of wrecked by the time I get home (so, after about 9 hours of wear).  I’ll cut this product major slack because of it’s clean formula, affordable price, and nice coverage.  It does look great at first, but the longevity isn’t great compared to other foundations.

 

Kjaer Weis Foundation – [$68 retail; $40 for a refill] Grade: A

This is my 2nd favorite foundation, behind Fitglow Beauty.  In my opinion, the hype over this foundation is legit.  It’s expensive, but a big part of the $68 is for the refillable metal packaging. For a long time, the foundation only came in about 5 shades, none of which were light enough for me.  However, when Lightness came out I got a sample, and was smitten.  The coverage is buildable up to full coverage, the finish is a beautiful velvet – which is my way of saying “not dewy or matte.”  The wear time is very nice and I don’t recall ever having issues with it breaking up very much.  One caveat – I have not used this in the winter, and frankly, it would probably not be hydrating enough for me to use December through February. I did use it some in the spring and even then I could tell that it would not be the best foundation for me during the winter.  Otherwise, I truly love this foundation for times when I want flawless, beautiful coverage.

 
W3LL People Narcissist Foundation Stick – [$28.99 retail] Grade: B-

To be honest, it has been at least a year since I tried this foundation, and even then I only had a sample.  Nevertheness, I thought I would share the impressions I had of it. To me, the formula was a bit heavy, heavier than Kjaer Weis, say.  If you like that heavy, thick consistency, you’d probably like this.  I couldn’t figure out what shade was best for me and the sample I had wasn’t the right color for my skintone. If memory serves, I had shade 01 and the pink undertones were too much for me while the other shades look like they might be too dark. This is the struggle of foundations you can’t see in person – it’s a gamble when you pick your shade. I love the fact that it is a stick formula, which is so convenient and easy for application. In truth, I can’t remember if this foundation was moisturizing or not.

 

Honest Beauty Everything Cream Foundation – [retail $30] Grade: A

I picked this up at Ulta one day when I had been dealing with a couple of pimples around my mouth (hormonal, no doubt) and I realized I didn’t even own a full coverage foundation.  I swatched it in the store and while the shade Snow did look a little light for my skintone, the others were too dark, and I bought it with somewhat mixed expectations.  On the one hand, I’d heard very good things; on the other, I felt the formula might be patchy or dry.  As of this writing, I have only used this a few times in fall weather, but so far, I love it.  It is very comparable to Kjaer Weis foundation in my opinion – they are both buildable full coverage with a semi-matte finish.  This is the type of foundation that gives you a doll-like perfect skin look.  Now, it did break up around my nose a bit, as well as around my laugh lines, but otherwise, it has done very well for me.  I do not think this will be moisturizing enough from December through February for me, but we’ll see.

 

RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up – [retail $36] Grade: A-

This is like the more emollient, moisturizing version of Kjaer Weis or Honest Beauty Cream Foundation. I use shade 00 which is for fair skin; I find this shade to have warm undertones. This is actually a better choice for me for full-coverage foundation for winter.  I wore this in mid-October on a 70 degree day and had a bit of shine.  Like the other full coverage foundations, it does break up a bit on me around the nose and mouth, and because it is a more emollient formula, it can even smear around the top of the nose, or other places that get rubbed.  Not a huge deal for me because I don’t rub or touch my face, but it does give a good idea of what the foundation is like.  I do not like this under the eyes, but you can spot conceal blemishes very nicely with it.

What is your go-to full coverage natural foundation?  Do you use any of these foundations?  Do you love another natural full-coverage foundation?

Natural Foundation Review: Light & Medium Coverage

Over the past few years, I’ve had the chance to try quite a few natural foundations, all liquid and cream products.  For years, I used Everyday Minerals Semi-Matte Base and loved it so much.  However, as I’ve gotten older, powder-based foundations just aren’t the best for my skin.

I’ve divided the foundations into categories based on coverage – I’ve done my best to place them where I feel they fall.  I’ve done my best to recall the performance of each product in the season(s) I used them.  Please don’t be offended if I give your favorite a mediocre score.  Everyone has different skin issues and needs.

It is also very important to note that I am grading them based on my experience using them on MY SKIN TYPE.  My skin is quite fair and I have neutral-to-warm undertones.  My skin type is normal most of the year and drier in the winter.  I do not have oily skin. I have an occasional blemish and a tiny bit of redness.  These points are very important to keep in mind.  I am in my 30s and am most interested in foundations that have additional skin benefits beyond mere “coverage” – ingredients that hydrate and nourish.  I’m not 20 with oily skin anymore, and thus do not seek out the foundations I once did.

However, I think the information here is usable to anyone who likes makeup and is interested in natural foundations.  There probably is something here for everyone, whether you are oily or dry, or 15 or 60. This post will include tinted moisturizers/SPFs and light-to-medium coverage options.  I’ll post next week with my experiences with medium-to-full coverage foundations.

 

lightfoundation

LIGHT COVERAGE

Coola Unscented Matte Tint SPF 30 – [$36 retail] Grade: A

I love this product especially for summer if you are a bit oily.  It will not cover blemishes or lots of discoloration…but if you’re interested in light coverage then you probably don’t have those issues.  This is a great one-and-done product in that you have the mineral sunscreen but you have a slight tint as well, which helps to blur small imperfections and gives a more even look to your skin. The whipped mousse texture is just amazing.  This would also be the perfect type of product for a tween or teen who is becoming interested in makeup but doesn’t need much coverage.

 

Honest Beauty Beyond Protected Sheer Tint Beauty Fluid SPF 30 – [$28 retail] Grade: B

This is the more moisturizing counterpart to the Coola.  It has the same sun protection, similar coverage, but it’s a more moisturizing product.  I used this last year and had no issues with it at all.  I enjoyed it.  The only problem I had was that when the bottle was 2/3 empty, it was an absolute nightmare to get the rest of the product out.

 

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream – [$39 retail] Grade: A

This is the product I’d be most likely to repurchase if I was currently in the market to buy a tinted sunscreen. I used the shade Natural Glow.  It has a consistency that leaves your skin dewy and moist – not so great in summer if you have oily skin, but perfect for the rest of the year.  It is somewhat comparable to the Suntegrity Tinted Sunscreen, but as it’s a little cheaper, I would probably go with Juice Beauty.  The tint is very minimal – probably more to neutralize any white cast than to add any actual coverage, but if you don’t need a lot of coverage, this is great. It helps to even skin tone, hydrate, and blur imperfections.  I’d attest to those claims.  It also give a very subtle glow to the skin.

 

mediumfoundation

LIGHT TO MEDIUM COVERAGE

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer – [$45 retail] Grade: C-

One of the first liquid natural foudations I purchased. About two years ago I purchased this in the shade Crème.  Although I’m quite fair, I am more neutral-to-warm toned and do not have much pink in my skin.  This color was too dark and too pink to begin with, and I wasn’t a big fan of the greasy texture or the finish, either.  Because of that experience, I’ve never wanted to spend my money on their foundations since.  Although, I love their Pot Rouge blushes and their Lip Glaze lipsticks.

 

Pacifica Dreamy Cover Bare-Faced Serum Foundation SPF 20 – [$17 retail] Grade: B

This foundation is pretty good.  The price point is excellent and it includes SPF 20 – great for those who tend to be a bit lazy about applying sunscreen. I actually used this pretty frequently in the spring and early summer. It blends very nicely and is beautifully lightweight but has surprisingly good medium coverage.  I have just two issues.  The first is that there are only 3 shades.  The lightest shade, Fair/Light, is what I have and it is still a little too dark for me.  The second issue is wear-time.  I always had issues with this breaking up on my chin and around my nose and mouth after just 2 or 3 hours of wear.  However, still a good foundation for the price.

 

Adorn Hydrating Cream Foundation – [$65 retail] Grade: A-

Ouch.  That price.  I have a sample of this, and was completely surprised by how much I loved it.  Then I tried it again and again and still loved it.  The light-medium coverage is very nice, the texture is a light cream.  It is comfortable on the skin.  The finish is velvety – not dewy and not matte.  Oh, so gorgeous.  The shade Fair is a pretty darn good match for me considering this product is available in only five shades.

 

Fitglow Beauty Vita-Active Foundation – [$55 retail] Grade A+

This is my current favorite foundation that I could get away with wearing year-round.  That’s saying a lot!  I have the shade VF1.  It is easily the most hydrating and nourishing foundation I’ve tried. As hydrating as it is, it’s not greasy at all, nor is it matte, nor is it cakey or too sheer.  This is basically my Goldilocks foundation right now.  Bravo, Fitglow Beauty.  It isn’t the most highly pigmented foundation I’ve tried, and there are definitely times I’ve wished it was more full-coverage, but it has enough coverage to work just fine for me.  I don’t think this would be ideal for someone with a ton of texture or inflamed pimples because typically people with those skin issues want something more mattifying and full coverage.  However, if you want something that is basically a hybrid skincare-foundation and you want a skin-like finish with a hydrating light-medium coverage, this one is excellent.

Are you a fan of any of these options, or do you have another light-medium coverage foundation that you love?

Peacefully Handling a Child Being Uncooperative

mygirl

Is it obvious that I totally tried to make a P.C. title to this post?

Parenting is the hardest job I’ve ever had.  Sure, that might not be the case for every single mother on this earth.  But for those mothers who try hard every single day to raise a decent, loving, intelligent, open-minded human being, it is the hardest job ever!

It’s also the most wonderful job I have, truly.

However, I’d be embarrassed and ashamed if people knew how many times I’ve stumbled as a mother.  I try to do the best I can, but the thing is, I’m human, too, and therefore fallible and imperfect.

My daughter is what many refer to as “spirited” – a term used in the book “Raising Your Spirited Child” by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka – a child who is more intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, and energetic than an average child.  It can be a challenge to raise such a child with your wits intact.

An issue I want to discuss is dealing with an uncooperative child.  A more specific example of this issue is getting ready on school mornings.  On a typical morning, I do my makeup, get dressed, feed the dogs, pack my breakfast and lunch, pack my daughter’s breakfast and lunch, and pack my bags for the day.  We have to leave home around 7:30 a.m. so I can get my daughter to school on time (and no, her riding the bus to save time isn’t an option).

In the morning, my daughter is responsible for dressing in her school uniform and shoes, and brushing her teeth and hair.  For years, I’ve had issues with it taking 45 minutes or more for her to accomplish these things, usually with my constant reminders to put on a shirt, or put on shoes, etc. Mornings were frequently stressed because we are always running late for school.  It is an absolute heartbreak for she and I to start our day stressed and mad at each other.

I’ve tried arguing.  I’ve tried yelling.  I’ve tried being calm and sweet.  I’ve tried rationally explaining my cause. I’ve tried emotional teary appeals. I’ve tried rewards.  I’ve tried a fun chore chart.  I’ve even tried explaining truancy. Nothing worked.

At my wits end, I really snapped one day when my mother happened to be babysitting (my daughter’s school was out for the day).  I had said I was tired of my daughter not listening in the mornings.  My mom talked to me and ultimately, gave me a solution:

No arguing, no yelling, consequence based cause-and-effect.  And absolute follow-through.  I took this approach over a month ago, and only had to warn of it twice – and it has worked better than anything else so far.

The first morning I employed this tactic, she was being slow as usual.  She sings, plays with the dogs, or just goofs off.  In a nutshell, I said, “We need to leave in 20 minutes.  If you aren’t ready to leave the house, you will go as you are, even if you aren’t wearing your shoes.  You’ll have to go like that.”

Her response?  Tears, telling me I was mean…you get the idea.  I looked firm on the outside, but on the inside, I felt horrible.  I didn’t let her know that.  All that morning, she sulked and acted as though something really terrible had happened, but she got ready on time without much incident.

Later that day I told my mom how she reacted, and thankfully my mom told me I had done right.  She said most likely my daughter had gotten upset because up until that morning, she knew how things worked.  She could be slow and not get ready on time, and mom would get upset or yell to hurry up.  That’s it.  No big surprise.

When I “changed the game’, there was no yelling or anything – just “get ready or go as you are, no exceptions”.  That was new and she didn’t know how to “play” that call.

A morning or two later, I had to use this warning again.  Get ready on time or you will have to leave the house unprepared and/or undressed.  She got pretty upset again and even said grandma was mean for being on my side, but she got ready.

So far, a few weeks later, I have had far less issues with her getting ready in the morning.  Typically, it’s as easy as firmly but gently reminding her, “get ready” or “we have to leave in 15 minutes” or some variation of that, and she is on task again.

Would I follow through if she didn’t get ready?  Yes.  Because if it happened once and she had to go to school without socks or her backpack, I think it would be the only hard lesson she would need.  I’d be willing to follow through and explain to her teacher so that she understood what happened.

As of yet, I haven’t had to follow-through, except one day when she couldn’t find her sneakers and I made her walk outside onto the porch in just her socks.  She was very upset with herself but didn’t act upset with me.  Unfortunately it was pouring rain and luckily the sneakers were in the car, so I was able to grab them and tell her to put them on while sitting on the porch.  That was a close call for her and she saw that I was willing to let her suffer the consequences.

I think this exercise has taught her self-accountability and responsibility.  It has helped so much but I’ve had to be willing to follow-through.  In the end, it has made our mornings SO much nicer and easier.

How do you peacefully handle tough parenting situations?

If I Had To Replace All My Makeup…

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I’ve always thought this was a fun idea – if all your makeup was suddenly gone, what makeup would you buy, right now, to start over?  Even though my makeup changes with the seasons and I’m always discovering new products and brands I love. Some of these choices are items I know and love, other choices are products that I’ve read enough about to be willing to try them over other options.  These are the items I would buy right now to start over with a mostly low-toxin/natural, cruelty-free makeup collection. 

Face:

  • Foundation: Fitglow Vita-Active Foundation – the most hydrating foundation I’ve tried, excellent ingredients, light-medium coverage, lasting power is very good
  • Concealer: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer – I have major under eye darkness and I tried this one in store and LOVED it.  Even though I have a concealer, I want to buy this one right now.
  • Blush: RMS Lip2Cheek probably in Modest and Spell – never tried these particular products, but I really want to!

 

Eyes:

 

Lips:

  • Lip balm: Hurraw! for basic lip balm

 

What are you favorite makeup products ever?  Do you share any of my favorites?  Please share!

My First Capsule Wardrobe: Fall

Like so many women, I finally reached the point where I was sick of looking in my closet and drawers.  There were lots of pieces, but I felt apathetic about many of them and disliked others.  Why was I holding on to clothes that I didn’t feel confident and pretty in?  It made absolutely no sense that I kept trying to justify items that didn’t make me feel great.  Not “just OK” or “eh, it will do” but great.  Also, as someone who strives to be environmentally friendly, it isn’t right to mindlessly buy cheap clothes just because I can.

So I purged my closet and dresser drawers.  What was left over was scanty.  I started shopping with intention and was shocked at how often in my life I had justified purchasing a pair of pants or a shirt that, even though I didn’t love it, it was worth buying because it was pretty on the hanger, or I wanted a new shirt, or it was on sale at a great price.  I found myself walking out of stores empty-handed more and more because there wasn’t anything I loved when I tried it on.  It was then that it started making sense to have a capsule wardrobe made up ONLY of items that fit well and I felt comfortable and pretty it.  No exceptions.

My wardrobe it is greatly inspired by the foundation outlined by Caroline at the blog Un-Fancy.  A “traditional” capsule wardrobe includes 37 pieces that includes tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and shoes.  A capsule wardrobe piece count does not include other items such as lingerie, socks, scarves, jewelry and workout attire. Coincidentally, my wardrobe came it at a total of 35 pieces – a really nice collection with room for another piece or two if I come across something I love.

6 BLOUSES:

blouses

 

6 SWEATERS:

sweaters

 

7 CARDIGANS:

cardigans

 

3 MISCELLANEOUS PIECES:

misc

 

2 BLAZERS:

blazers

 

6 BOTTOMS:

bottoms

Note: there is an extra pair of jeans shown in this photo, but I’m planning to get rid of them

 

3 SHOES:

  • 1 pair black knee-high boots
  • 1 pair dark brown knee-high boots
  • 1 pair waterproof black ankle booties

2 JACKETS:

  • 1 knee-length mint green dressy jacket-coat
  • 1 chambray lightweight anorak (this one)

 

The task of paring down my wardrobe and adding in pieces I loved, and then taking a look at my “inventory” was very amusing and quite useful to me.  First of all, I feel I do have a certain style and color palette.  I gravitate towards black and pink more than any other colors (I knew that anyway, but this confirmed it again).  Also, I have a lot of classic cuts and styles, but with some nice textures (like lace and chiffon and knits) and a few patterns (like roses and polka dots).

I would call my daily style “business casual”.  I want to look polished and pulled together, but in the office I work, it’s not necessary to wear heels and dress pants.  Typically, my work outfit might be a pair of skinny jeans, a sleeveless blouse with an open front cardigan, and a pair of flats.  Once it gets colder, it might be more like a pair of skinny jeans, a light sweater, scarf, and black booties.  A few years ago, when I was teaching at a local college, my wardrobe consisted of heels, skirts, dresses, and dress pants, because those are the clothes I wore, but as my lifestyle has changed, so has my wardrobe.

My favorite pieces are clothes that are feminine, chic, and wearable.  If I had to pick my three favorite details to find in a piece of clothing, my honest response would be bows, pink, and lace.  The problem is, it’s difficult to find a piece of clothing that encompasses those details that is still work-appropriate and well made.  I think my favorite piece I now own is the sheer black long sleeve blouse with pink lip print and a pussy bow at the neck (shown in the top photo, second blouse from the left).  That piece embodies my style pretty well.

The only piece I can think of that I’d like to add to my wardrobe right now is the perfect long-sleeve black top.  I had one a couple of years ago that I literally wore to pieces.  But because I’m looking for the perfect fit and fabric, I’ll hold out until I find just the right one, or I won’t buy one.

It will be interesting to see how my wardrobe develops for this coming winter, and also into the spring of next year.  If all goes well, I will do a capsule wardrobe post for winter.  Additionally, I plan on incorporating more eco-friendly piece into my wardrobe in the future.  It will be interesting to see how that works, as it’s difficult to find such pieces in brick-and-mortar stores where I live, and I really need to try every clothing piece on before I buy because I am curvy.  Any tips for this?

Do you strive for a minimal wardrobe?