Five Finds | Cute Slide Sandals Perfect for Summer!

Simplicity and comfort--two essential elements that I look for when buying new additions for my closet. When it comes to summer footwear, nothing fits that bar better than slide sandals. Don't get me wrong, I love a cool, strappy gladiator sandal; but there's just nothing more wearable than an easy slide-on choice. When buying sandals this summer, prioritize purchasing a slide and see your investment have a MAJOR return on number of wears! 

Shop five of my favorite slides for summer below, just click the image! Bonus--all under $100! 

1. Matisse Moody Sandal 

Grab these while they are still available in tons of sizes at an AMAZING sale price! I'm a sucker for neutrals and animal prints. Love the black mixed in to ensure these guys will go with everything from denim to a little black dress. You guys might be seeing these pop up in a styled blog shoot soon... *adds to cart.* 

2. Melissa Cosmic Slide Sandal 

While I have never heard of the brand Melissa before, I am glad I ran across these slides while browsing Nordstrom Rack! I love the juxtaposition of the sport tread and black rubber composition with the traditionally preppy tortoise shell. Since these are rubberized, it makes them perfect to head from a day at the beach or pool right into your night time look. 

3. Bueno Shore Thing Slide Sandal

I picked these slides by Bueno up in the camel color the other day at Free People, so I can personally attest to how fantastic these sandals are. I was looking for a standard natural leather slide and these fit the bill to a T. The color is spot on, the leather is super soft and the sole is comfy. Nailed it! 

4. Soludos Embroidered Tassel Leather Slides

To break up the black and neutral tan theme I was getting into with the previous picks, this slide by Soludos is a great way to add some color to your footwear, yet remain versatile. I can see this pair teamed with nearly any summer look--beachwear, white jeans and a black tank, or a romper. At 50% off, you can't find anything wrong with these beauties! 

5. Dolce Vita Pacey Studded Slide Sandal

Jumping right back into black color options, I had to include this amazing pair of slides by Dolce Vita. If something is studded, chances are I am going to be quite into it. Black studded sandals are one of my top joys in life. Dolce Vita is one of my favorite brands of shoes, so these are bound to be high quality. The studs will instantly elevate any outfit! 

The New Essentials | Current Favorites | Beauty + Travel

Lately, I've given in to the temptations of Sephora a bit more than I probably should. Between full-size products I've purchased, samples included in orders and even products I've randomly grabbed at the drugstore, I've found some new gems that have been on high rotation in my beauty routine. Since my life is always chaos more or less living out of my FJ Cruiser caravan with how much I am on the road for work or traveling on vacation, many of these products are geared towards packability, making this post a perfect fit to consider as we enter summer vacation season. Pro tip: click the pictures to shop! Enjoy! 

Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask by Glow Recipe

Glow Recipe's Watermelon Sleeping Mask first came to me as a Sephora sample. I thought it would be a gimmick. My stupidly hydrated (and yes glowing) skin the next day told me I was wrong about that. Long story short, you need Watermelon Glow in your life. If you are living that carry-on-only life like me, you'll be happy to know there is a travel size to bust that post-flight dry dullness. 

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Radiance 

This post could alternatively be titled the glow edit. For me, I gravitate towards lighter weight, products in the spring and summer to achieve that natural dewy look. This Laura Mercier Radiance primer does just that. It has a slight tint and provides a natural glow plus offers outstanding lasting power for foundation. I wear this primer both layered under foundation as well as on its own as it provides a lovely boost to my natural skin. Multi-functional, quick makeup products are a must when I travel--Laura Mercier Radiance goes in the bag every time! 

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat 

To be honest, I am not completely sold on YSL Touche Eclat as the "holy grail" cult classic that some swear by. However, I do find myself reaching for it a lot for two reasons. First, convenience and travel. The packaging is sleek, easy to use, and not messy (since the product is all contained), making it perfect for purses or TSA approved zip-loc bags. Second, it is subtle and lightweight. As I mentioned before, I do not like wearing heavy makeup during the warmer months--particularly concealer. Touche Eclat provides a light, glowing (I know, I know) coverage. Maybe it will reach cult classic status for me after all. 

Pravana The Perfect Brunette 

As the more observant amongst you may have noticed, I am no longer a blonde! I've gone back to my roots (sorry for the oldest pun in the well-worn book), and am now trapped in that sometimes awkward phase of the blonde to brunette process where the newly darkened locks can be a bit unpredictable. For me, this manifested in a horrifying red, brassy tone starting to come through about a week after the initial dye job. Luckily I found Pravana Perfect Brunette products. Just like blondes can use purple toned products to keep their shade icy, brunettes can avoid that uncomfortable orangey red from sneaking in by applying the teal-toned Pravana suite of products. I have the shampoo, conditioner and hair mask. I only use the mask once a week because this stuff REALLY works! I already have broken my own carry-on lifestyle rule to bring these products with me on vacay, they are that good. 

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Sheet Mask

I grabbed this Garnier Moisture Bomb mask while cruising through Wal-Mart picking up last minute supplies for my trip to LA. "Moisture bomb, hmm...I could use a bomb of hydration on my face after a morning of travel," I thought to myself. Impulsively, I threw the mask in the cart, and subsequently into my suitcase. Cue me the next day, on my balcony overlooking Hollywood Hills enjoying an instant skin refresh. Garnier Moisture Bomb masks are a traveler's best friend. The mask is refreshingly cool on the face, and the clean up is easy--simply remove the sheet and massage any remaining product into your skin. Another pro-tip: apply mask in your Uber while en route from airport, and freak out your driver, bf, or anyone around you. 

FYI, if you are interested in my ESSENTIAL PRODUCTS OF ALL TIME click here for that (obviously) still relevant list! 

#TravelTuesday | Eat + Drink In Dallas

In April, we made a quick weekend trip to Dallas. The weekend was centered on celebration (one of Johnny's friends got engaged), so the majority of the weekend was spent with a group of friends eating and drinking. I can't review the city of Dallas as a whole since we didn't spend enough time, but I can give you a quick rundown of some top spots to relax and savor. Also, I apologize for lack of personal pictures on this post--I really didn't take many this trip! All photos below are linked to source.

1. Katy Trail Ice House

 Outdoor drinking heaven at Katy Trail Ice House // Image via  katyicehouse.com

Outdoor drinking heaven at Katy Trail Ice House // Image via  katyicehouse.com

Huge margaritas, even bigger outdoor seating area, dogs galore. Do I need to say more? Go here for afternoon cocktails. 

2. Boulevardier

 Charcuterie Board at Boulevardier // Image via Reddit 

Charcuterie Board at Boulevardier // Image via Reddit 

A more upscale restaurant in an intimate setting--aka, the perfect spot for a romantic dinner. The wine selection is great, and the rustic French food is delicious. I liked the charcuterie board! After dinner, take a stroll through the cute Bishop Arts District. 

3. Velvet Taco

 Tacos at Velvet Taco // Image via CultureMapAustin.com

Tacos at Velvet Taco // Image via CultureMapAustin.com

Holy S^&t. That's all I have to say about these tacos. There is usually a line out the door of this small taco joint, and it is worth the wait. My favorite taco was the Barbacoa, mostly because the tortilla had crispy, melty cheese baked onto it. The loaded tots and elote corn were also faves. Plus, there's always red velvet cake for sale. This place is a must for lunch! 

4. The Old Monk

 Cozy tavern atmosphere at The Old Monk // Image via 10best.com

Cozy tavern atmosphere at The Old Monk // Image via 10best.com

Right around the corner from Velvet Taco is a really cute area called Old East Dallas. It's filled with shops and fun restaurants and bars (I'm still sad we didn't have time to go into the Planet Blue shop). If you are a trappist beer lover like I am, the Old Monk is perfect since it offers a wide selection of Belgian beers. 

5. HG Supply Co. 

 The rooftop at HG Supply Co // Image via Travel + Leisure

The rooftop at HG Supply Co // Image via Travel + Leisure

HG Supply Co. is the quintessential 20-something bar. Trendy decor, fun drinks (try the frozen Moscow Mule) and a rooftop deck. The setting was great for a fun day with friends, and the scene was lively. Lots of dogs here too--10/10 recommend! 

All in all, I was really surprised with Dallas. I wasn't expecting much, but the city was really trendy and aimed toward people in my age group (late 20s). I would definitely travel back for another weekend trip--the Velvet Taco may or may not play heavily into that ruling! 

Ride or Die Essentials | Closet Essentials | Beauty Bar

With every new year, I find myself finding new excuses to buy new items. A resolution of style, so to speak. If you find yourself in a similar situation--wanting to overhaul your wardrobe or beauty routine--read on to discover some products that I literally can't live without, year after year. 

1. White V-Neck Tee 

Anytime I pack a weekend bag, I always include a white v-neck tee. Why? Because it is the perfect outfit-saver. A white tee can take you from day to night--just add a leather jacket! My favorite tee is the Essential V-Neck from Victoria's Secret PINK. It is semi sheer which adds a sexy factor over a bralette and the sleeves are the perfect length (not too short). 

2. Black Skinny Jeans

Like the white tee, black skinny jeans have so much day to night potential. I prefer black denim over traditional blue because it is more slimming, more easily dressed up, not to mention more bad ass. While I have always enjoyed black skinnies on a budget, I splurged on rag + bone this year and will never turn back. The fit is so flattering! 

3. Jergen's Natural Glow Body Lotion

I've been buying this lotion since I was 16--no joke. My skin is naturally olive toned, so I never really get too pale, but the subtle color in Natural Glow give my tone an extra boost during the winter months. It smells great too and the formula has really improved in delivering even color over the years! Only downside is the price, but take it from me, off-brands are not as good. 

4. Over-the-Knee Boots 

If you've been following along here on my blog, you've definitely seen thigh-high boots in plenty of my posts. This is for good reason--they are such a great addition to anyone's closet! When investing, look for a good quality leather, a comfortable heel style and a color that will go with most of your looks (in my case, I ended up buying brown and black, haha). Personally, I love a low, comfy heel so I can take the boots with more outfits from dresses to jeans and a tee. Stuart Weitzman makes the holy grail of OTK boots, and they are so worth the money (especially if you find a good deal on eBay!). 

5. Animal Print Bag

When you think of a bag that goes with everything, animal print styles probably aren't the first things that come to mind. However, I find myself reaching for my jungle-inspired bags more than any others (and that's not just due to my penchant for leopard). An animal print adds a subtle pop of pattern to simpler ensembles and can add that extra bit of edge your outfit needs. Find a shape and print that speak to you and go for it! You'll be surprised how many looks your animal print beauty can tie together. 

6. Black Leather Jacket

What can I say? Words cannot express how I feel about my black leather jacket. It has gotten me through so many lazy quests to find a good outfit. It has given me all the model-off-duty feels. It has just made my life so much better. Buy one now. Invest in a good one. You won't regret it and you'll have it forever. 

7. Little Black Romper 

One time I was talking to my dad about how it sucked he didn't get to wear rompers because he was missing out on the extreme levels of comfort. Quickly, I got a disturbing mental image of my dad in a romper, but in all seriousness, hail to the romper! If you invest in even just one or are an addict like me, you need to have a good black onesie in your closet. Keep the styling simple and the piece will take you from day to night (there and back again, a romper's tale, by Luna Elise?). Ok, clearly too excited about rompers here...on to the next topic.. 

8. Ray-Ban Aviators

The classic green-black lens, gold frame Ray-Ban aviator shades were my first high-end sunglasses purchase. To this day, I still wear them all the time. If you have never invested in a higher end pair of shades and want to do so, please look no further than this style. The color and shape will literally never go out of style! Once you add these to your collection, feel free to get addicted and add all the other fun (yet classic) shapes and colored lens styles to your collection. :) 

9. Kevin Aucoin Contour Palette 

This palette came into my life through a random Sephora binge through the sale section. It was one of those instances where I checked out online, the order total was much more than I had originally planned, and I felt like I made some bad impulse decisions. Happily, I was wrong. This palette has been my go-to ever since! The contour isn't too orangey and the highlighter isn't too over the top, so this makes for a great everyday look. I was not sold AT all by the eyeshadows while looking online, but when I got the palette, I gave them a shot and--you guys--they are amazing for creating a natural smokey eye (which you know I'm all about). For all of my shoots this fall/winter, my makeup looks have been created using this palette so I'll let that speak for itself. 

10. Black Leggings

I'm ending this list with something really basic, but I would be lying to you all if I left it off my essentials! Leggings! I wear them all the time, which is not a surprise, but I wanted to share my favorites for this one. Pictured above are mesh leggings by Alo which have been amazing for travel and weekend trips and everything in between. The mesh gives them a cool vibe, and that means you can easily wear them out as well as during the day! They are a bit pricey, so if you're on a budget, you can't go wrong with the classic Victoria's Secret PINK black legging. I have multiple pairs on hand and wear them at some point literally every day. 

That does it for my top ten essentials! Alternative titles for this post could have been "I Really Love to Wear Black" or "How to Pack Like a Pro for a Weekend Trip." But seriously, add just a couple other things to this list and you will have all you need for a laid-back weekend away. Plus, your S/O will be so impressed by your minimal and efficient packing skills. You're welcome. 

My Skin Care Routine | Beauty Bar

It's the season of New Year's resolutions once again--for better or worse! This year, I am focusing inward and resolving to be more vigilant and aware of my depression. 2016 taught me the lesson that depression doesn't just disappear; it's a beast in the brain that lives there permanently and must be tamed. Seasonal affective disorder can bring out this beast in everyone, so take care of yourself after the comedown from the holidays as we head into the long winter! Surely by now, you are saying to yourself "Wtf, Elise, where's the skincare?" Dear reader, I don't mean to disappoint you. Another beast that must be tamed especially in winter is dry skin. Getting into a good skincare routine is a great external resolution for 2017. Read on to see what works for me and get inspired to take better care of your best accessory--your skin! 

*SIDE NOTE: All of the following pictures are taken by me. All selfies are no make-up, and all of the product shots are no skill, haha. Enjoy :) 

Step 1: WASH OFF YOUR MAKEUP

 A for-real "woke up this way" image filter by the morning sun. :)

A for-real "woke up this way" image filter by the morning sun. :)

I used to be HORRIBLE at washing off my makeup, especially during college. I would fall asleep still in heavy makeup and then wake up, and with a couple touch-ups, rock that second day makeup to class. This was bad for two reasons: first, it's terrible for your skin, and second, I wasn't confident enough to be barefaced around my then-bf or in public. It's a vicious cycle; if you let your skin stay dirty constantly, of course you aren't going to have the glowing, fresh skin that makes you feel confident to go bare. And, ladies, if you are dating a guy who makes you feel like you need to be in makeup 24/7, he doesn't deserve to have you staying over at his house. Long story short, wash your face; it may be a hard habit to get into but your skin will thank you. To wash my face I use Olay face wash and Garnier make-up removing wipes (as you will see through this post, I keep my face routine drug store and affordable for the most part). 

Step 2: Moisturize 

This step is important year-round, but winter is a time when moisturizer becomes even more essential. I moisturize my face twice a day. In the morning, I use Jergen's Natural Glow face lotion and the L'Oreal eye cream pictured above. At night I use a richer moisturizing formula, plus eye cream. Lately, I've been enjoying this L'Oreal night cream with added collagen. For me, I am hoping to prevent wrinkles by taking good care of my skin before they start. Since I do not need serious wrinkle repair, I just buy moisturizers from the drug store. It's affordable and gets the job done. Consistency is key--once you get into the habit of moisturizing your face, you will feel the difference and not want to go without lotion! Don't forget about the rest of your body as well. After every shower, I use Jergen's Natural Glow Firming Lotion

Step 3: Add-On Treatments 

Everyone's skin has its own unique set of issues. Luckily there are lots of products out there to help out your individual need! For me, my top three issues are puffy under eyes, spot acne and face hair.

I was always annoyed by my under eyes crinkling and puffing when I smiled in pictures, so two years ago I started using this roller ball formula by Garnier. It cools and tightens skin when rolled on, which feels great, plus it does fix under eye puff! I use it every morning and night. 

Luckily, acne has not been a big issue for me. Once I went on the Pill back in the day, all mass breakouts stopped. However, I still do get spot acne. About once a month, I'll have a gross spot on my face that requires action. That's where this Clean & Clear Advantage acne spot treatment comes in. I have been using this stuff since college and it is my holy grail. It really does work! I have also used it for body acne when I get a spot on my chest or thighs during sweaty summer runs. 

As I typed "face hair" as one of my skin problems, I laughed to myself at the visualization of having a beard. While the hair situation is great for my eyebrows, it's not so great having that excess peach fuzz that makes your makeup go on less smoothly and can even make you look like you have a mustache--yikes. So, long story short, I shave my face. And this is one of my best skin care tips! And NO the hair does not grow back faster or stubbly. The process is technically called dermaplaning. You use an eyebrow razor (the pink thing in the pic above) and carefully shave your face. Not only will you be amazed at how much downy fuzz comes off, but the process is also extremely exfoliating as the razor takes away the thin layer of dead skin on your face. Studies have shown that this exfoliation can prevent wrinkles and keep the skin looking fresher longer. Take my word for it, your skin will have a new glow and will feel soft and smooth as a newborn! I first learned of derma planing through Carli Bybel's YouTube channel. Click here to watch her how-to video on shaving your face! 

Step 4: Face Masks

 Sorry for my crappy pictures! :) Literally the products I use, though. 

Sorry for my crappy pictures! :) Literally the products I use, though. 

It saddens me how long it took me to start using face masks. I feel like I missed out on an essential chapter of girl-hood. Until now. I bought the Peter Thomas Roth Meet Your Mask set this summer and I was instantly hooked. The set is a great way to start if you don't know where to start with masks. It's only $25 and you get to try six different masks. I went through two of these kits before I narrowed it down to my favorites. Now I love to use the Blue Algae for hydration, the 24K Gold for a gorgeous lift and glow and the Pumpkin Enzyme for exfoliation. I usually put on a mask every evening. The pumpkin enzyme is perfect to follow a demaplane treatment for that extra level of exfoliation! For a more affordable mask option, the L'Oreal clay mud masks are actually very good and available at drugstores. Not only do masks make your skin feel amazing, they also make you feel very glamorous ;) I encourage you to give them a try!

Step 5: HYDRATE

Hydrate should have been step one. This is the most important thing you can do for your body and your skin. Drinking enough water, like washing off my makeup every night, was a conscious choice I made for myself a few years ago and I have been sticking to it. Obviously, water is key. I like to keep a big water bottle full with me at all times. It's easier to drink more water that way as opposed to a glass which you have to fill up all the time. I love my S'Well water bottle because it holds lots of water, keeps it cold and looks cute! 

Coconut water is a hydration game changer. I read an interview with Adriana Lima in which she swore drinking coconut water daily has made her skin as gorgeous as it is. With a reference like that, I had to try it. It might be in my head, but I do notice more of a glow when I drink a glass of coconut water daily. Hard evidence for coconut water is its unfailing ability to make me feel better if I have a touch of a hangover! I recommend Vita Coco coconut water; it is all natural with no additives. Whatever brand you buy, make sure it has no added sugar! 

This may all sound like a lot of steps and products, but once you get into the routine of taking better care of your skin, it will become second nature. Plus, I guarantee you will thank yourself for investing in yourself as you feel more hydrated and healthy and more confident and beautiful fresh faced! If you enjoyed this post for external New Years resolutions, check out my feature post on myrisestory.com which features self-reflection and inspiration to make those internal resolutions come true as well. :)

Five Finds | The Hidden Gems of Walmart

The other day I was unfortunately in Walmart, waiting for my prescription which should take a couple minutes to grab off the shelf and hand to me, but took an inconceivable 45 minutes to fill. During this time, I sleuthed around Walmart, going where most people haven't gone before and I was surprised at what I found. I apologize for the quality of the below photos--they are live action stealth shots. ;) Also, I didn't link any of these finds to the online site because 1) that site is enormously overwhelming and 2) in encouragement of your going out on a Walmart fashion excursion of your own. 

1. Plaid Button Downs

A plaid button down is a fall and winter staple. In today's world of overpriced flannel shirts, Walmart takes a share in the running with these $13.88 gems. I found a variety of cute color combos and the material was pretty soft! Walmart doesn't oversize their clothes, so if you want a baggier look, you will have to size way up on this. Only downside: the material is pretty thin, so this is for style not warmth. 

2. Blanket Scarves 

The scarves of Walmart...surprisingly good! Here I have to relate back to this post I shared last month wearing a scarf from Walmart. So good. The quality is great and the prints are on point. There is no drawback on these, go to Walmart now and get one (or five for the price of one scarf at the mall). 

3. This Soft and Cozy Fleece

For under $10, you can be so warm and cute in this tribal print fleece. I recommend sizing up as much as possible for extra cozy factor. 

4. Faux Leather Backpacks

These backpacks are actually great. No, they aren't real leather, but the lines of the style are on point, and the simple hardware is elegant. This would be a great item to pick up if you've never used a backpack purse before and want to try it out before splurging. It would also be perfect for a vacation where you don't want to haul around an expensive bag but DO want to haul around all your stuff. These guys were $19.97, I believe--literally a bargain bag. 

5. Any Athletic Gear

I love Walmart's athletic ranges! They have so many fun colors and prints. Almost all of my sports bras are from Walmart. I used to only buy Nike, but then I discovered the offerings of Walmart are more comfortable and MUCH easier to take off (you ladies with Nike sports bras know what I'm talking about). The only downfall for me (with my stick legs) is that these items tend to run a little large, especially the leggings in the calf area. 

I saved the best for last...

I had to go over my traditional five finds because....VELVET CHOKERS!! These are so trendy right now. While I have loved the style ever since I saw it hitting the trends, I never owned one for the sole reason that I couldn't justify spending $20+ on a tiny piece of fabric. Walmart just came in and changed my life. Earlier this fall, I also found the ubiquitous leather string bolo chokers at Walmart. Some of these chokers are admittedly a little gaudy (I'm not a fan of the blingy ones), but since they come in sets, you can pick and choose to find the perfect one. If you love the choker trend, but can't stomach the Vanessa Mooney prices, Walmart has made your Christmas wishes come true with these babies. 

Hopefully this post has inspired you to be open minded about fashion, Walmart and life in general. If anything, perhaps it will make going into Walmart during the Christmas rush a little less terrifying since you can go on your own treasure hunt now. :) 

Not Just Another Gift Guide

I follow a lot of fashion bloggers like myself, so I have seen an abundance of gift guides pop up on my feeds lately. There are so many guides out there, and I feel like they are all giving the same kind of presentation. To be honest, I've been a little annoyed with the "gift guide" posts. However, in the spirit of the season, I feel obliged to post some sort of seasonal tidbit. Hopefully these tips will guide you in a more creative direction than the typical for "Mom, Boyfriend, BFF, etc." lists that abound since I will be breaking it down by unique store instead of person. 

Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods has been my go-to for unique gifts for quite some time. This online shop has so many cool products, you will be able to find something perfect and unique for anyone on your list from the beer lover to the map enthusiast. Uncommon Goods will impress your gift recipient as they'll think you took hours finding such a perfect gift--not only are these products super unique, they are also gorgeous pieces that are in most cases handcrafted by small-shop artisans! My favorite of the bunch: The pair of long-distance touch lamps shown above, handcrafted in Kansas! 

Artifact Uprising 

Photos are one of my favorite gifts to give. There is something so unexpected and personal about getting a nice print made as a gift--it's all about presentation. Artifact Uprising takes presentation of photos to a whole new level with their elevated designs. I especially love the clean look of Artifact Uprising's photo books (gifting hack, they offer a photo book formatted for Instagram which syncs directly to your feed!). Every year I get a nice print for my dad of an image taken on our yearly Colorado climbing trip. This year I had the image mounted in the Float Frame, pictured above. 

Candy Club

Candy. Club. The name itself pretty much says it all in why this is a hands down great gift. It's like the jelly of the month club except quite a lot better, because it's candy. Arriving at your doorstep. All year long. Aside from gummies (which I'm obviously partial to), the boxes can contain a range of candy from chocolates to caramel corn. Candy Club offers several levels of plans, so you're sure to find something to satisfy the sweet tooth on your holiday shopping list. 

Mou Footwear

Step aside Ugg boots (pun intended)--Mou Footwear is giving the puffy boot a fresh look. Mou offers men's and children's shoes as well as women's, so you will be able to find unique slippers or boots for everyone on your list. I guarantee once you browse the Mou site, you'll want to put these bad boys on your own Christmas list too! 

ColourPop Cosmetics

These eyeshadows from ColourPop Cosmetics should be on everyone's Christmas list--for beauty junkie friends as well as in your own makeup bag. Not only are the shades gorgeous, but they are for a great cause. ALL proceeds go to No-Kill Los Angeles, an organization that helps homeless pets avoid euthanasia. Since population of homeless animals in LA is so high, pets in shelters have as little as 24 hours before they are put to sleep. NKLA and ColourPop are trying to help these poor little guys buy more time and get homes. This is the best gift of all--gifting AND gifting back! 

Bonus--Gift for Medical Professionals

Not only do I live and love with a doctor, I also have several friends and family who work in the medical field. I have not read "When Breath Becomes Air" (yet), but Kalanithi writes about mortality from the perspective of a neurosurgeon in this nonfiction selection. Mortality weighs heavy on those in the medical field, and learning to live with it is one of the daily challenges. Perhaps this book will convey insight to the medical professional on your gift list. Additionally, I 100% recommend giving books in this sad era of non-readers! 

That does it for my gift guide! I hope it stood out just a little from the crowd. Comment below and let me know what you thought! What is on your Christmas list this year? Make sure to follow me on Instagram and like my Facebook page so you don't miss a thing here on LunaElise--exciting stuff coming soon! ;)

 

 

Revolve Holiday Shop | Style Edit

Once again, Revolve has made event styling easy with its Holiday Shop. I have previously raved about the amazing break down of styles for weddings in the Revolve Wedding shop, and the holiday shop lives up to expectations. It can be tough to figure out what to wear for each of your many holiday functions--cheers to Revolve for breaking it down and playing stylist to curate a selection of outfits for each holiday occasion! Below are my picks from each of the categories on the Revolve Holiday Shop. 

Office Party

 Lovers + Friends Harley Top 

Lovers + Friends Harley Top 

For an office party, you want to keep things classy yet fun. This top by Lovers + Friends (a great Los Angeles brand) achieves that perfect balance. The long sleeves give it class and modesty while the cropped length and deep neckline make it subtly sexy. Pair it with the matching skirt or with black skinny jeans. 

Family Time

 Free People

Free People

Giant sweater dresses--the ultimate winter life hack. As pictured, I would team this one by Free People with over-the-knee boots (flat heel for ultimate holiday comfort), and tights if it was super cold. Since this is technically a dress, you'll get all the benefits of looking nice for family photos while still enjoying the singular comforts of a giant sweater. Added bonus: you can binge on delicious mashed potatoes and pie with no food baby regrets in this little number. 

Friend's Soiree

 NBD

NBD

Assuming the rare chance that your friend decides to throw a bash involving attire other than tacky sweaters, Revolve has you covered. Holiday parties are usually dominated by the seasonal Christmas red frocks, but why not give the sometimes forgotten green a go? Velvet is such a perfect fabric for the holidays with its sumptuous sheen, and this frosty olive color is absolutely to die for. This dress by NBD is perfect for that party where elegance meets vodka shots.

A Fancy Affair

 Halston Heritage

Halston Heritage

If you're lucky enough to have a holiday event on the agenda that is more red carpet than red solo cup, you might as well go all out. This icy silver slip by the classic American designer, Halston Heritage, screams glamour. Amp it up with bold accessories--heels, sparkly jewelry and a fur jacket to give it the look a touch of old Hollywood glitz. 

The Sleepover

 Spiritual Gangster

Spiritual Gangster

Revolve has been thoughtful enough to make sure we are stylish even during a very lazy time of the holiday season--the snow day with your friends, the chill evenings with family after the holiday meal cycle. Spiritual Gangster not only is an awesome brand name, but their "Believe in Miracles" sweatshirt couldn't be more perfect for the holiday season. How freakin' cute are the stars on the elbows?? Throw this on with black yoga pants or gray joggers and you will be recovering from your food coma in style. 

The Holiday Shop: Dresses

If you have browsed the pre-curated collections listed above and just haven't found "the one," don't worry. Revolve also collected a bunch of holiday-ready dresses for us to be indecisive about. Above are some of my favorites from the general holiday dress style edit.

If you guys are anything like me, dressing for events can be stressful because I always want to find the perfect look. As always, I can't recommend Revolve enough for making this process easier. It really feels like you have a stylist at your fingertips! I hope this post was helpful to you guys--please share your holiday looks as we head into the most festive of seasons! Use the hashtag #LunaElise. I would love to see what looks you put together. 

Beauty Bar | Fall Nail Colors

I'm definitely not alone in my love of changing my nail color to fit the seasons. Here's a quick round-up of what I'll be on my rotation this season. 

Lubu Heels - China Glaze

 Image: Amazon.com

Image: Amazon.com

I love black nail polish during winter. Lubu Heels by China Glaze is a black polish with a twist. From a distance, the color looks like a simple black, but in the sunlight you can see tiny flecks of red glitter. It is also very affordable! Get it here on Amazon. 

Gray Matter - Formula X|Sephora

 Image: Sephora.com

Image: Sephora.com

This has been my go-to fall shade for the past year. Sephora's Formula X polishes are my favorite--they are creamy, quick-drying and very pigmented so you don't have to use many coats. Gray Matter is a perfect matte gray that looks chic with any fall look. Shop it and all 100+ shades now at Sephora

Double Down - Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy

 Image: Walmart.com

Image: Walmart.com

I don't usually use metallic shades on my nails, but when the holidays come up I am drawn to the more shimmery shades. I love this copper because it is understated yet still lends you a touch of shine. It's a unique choice from the standard gold or silver and is affordable to experiment with from Walmart

London Court - NAILS INC.

 Image: Sephora.com

Image: Sephora.com

This year I am getting into the muted pastel trend--anything with "dusty (insert color here)" in the description has my attention. Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo named their daughter Dusty Rose in homage of this beautiful color, need I say more? Since this tone is muted and warm, it won't wash out paler winter skin tones. Check it out here

Now and Zen - Essie

 Image: Target.com

Image: Target.com

It's hard to tell from this picture, but Essie's Now and Zen light cement-gray shade has a sage-green tint to it. This is perfect for winter if you don't want to go full into the forest-green polish trend and love a neutral nail. Check it out at Target

Pastorale - NARS

 Image: Saks Fifth Avenue 

Image: Saks Fifth Avenue 

If you've taken even a perfunctory read of my blog, you know I love a trans-seasonal piece. The same holds true with a trans-seasonal polish. Pastorale by NARS can glimmer by the lights of your holiday party just as well as being your toes-in-the-sand color for the summer. It's a little pricier, but you'll use it year-round. 

Dark Forest Green - Burberry 

 Image: Saks Fifth Avenue

Image: Saks Fifth Avenue

Green nail polish is a major trend this year. All shades of forest, khaki and even bolder green tones are popping up everywhere. Personally, I prefer a very subdued version of this trend. If I am wearing green on my nails, I want the color to be just right. I love this elegant deep forest color by Burberry. The green is not jarring but still makes a statement. It doesn't hurt that the packaging is just as lovely as the color! 

I realize in making this list that I left off the essential red nail! However, I feel like everyone has a favorite red that is tried and true for them. I love Really Red by Essie, but I am always open to finding that perfect red. What nail colors are you crushing on this season? Let me know if I missed something amazing. :)

Five Finds | Online Boutiques

I've got to say it--I'm addicted to online shopping. And I know I'm definitely not alone. It is simply too difficult to resist the "buy X amount and get free shipping!!!" quote unquote bargain or the fraction-of-the-cost couture find on eBay. However, with moderation, online shopping is the key to a fantastically diverse wardrobe. Stores from across the globe are available to give your closet a unique boost, no matter where you live. I'm always checking out new boutiques I run across and lately I've found some keepers. Read ahead and hold onto your credit cards for my Five Finds list of online boutiques that have been on my radar lately.

1. The Oxford Trunk

Hate it or love it, your favorite social apps are the best marketing platform ever. Sometimes those "annoying" sponsored posts can lead you to cool stuff! In this case, a sponsored post in my Instagram feed led me to The Oxford Trunk and I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. The overall vibe is West Coast chill meets classic (too perfect). The price point is quite affordable on many of the items, with higher-end pieces sprinkled in the mix. The coolest part? The handcrafted jewelry offers a unique mix of delicate crystals and bold designs. Check it out!

2. Mindy Mae's Market

HELLO affordable basics!! If you are looking for simple, yet chic pieces that won't break your budget, Mindy Mae's Market is something you need to check out. A Facebook ad prompted me to this site, and I saw this adorable leopard clutch on Something Navy's blog--I knew I had to check it out. It's so easy to head to this site and see tons of things you absolutely "need," so proceed with caution. From comfy tees and hoodies to faux leather skinny jeans and booties, this is a must-shop. Added bonus: I love that they use women of various shapes for their models!

3. Effin Shop


Prepare your bank accounts for Effin Shop...you will "need" so many things from this site! I was drawn to it when I saw an ad featuring the beautiful lace dress above. When I scoped out the whole site, I was in love. I was drawn in by a statement dress, and I stayed for the amazing basic pieces. As if you needed anymore reason to fill up your shopping cart, the prices are reasonable as well. If you wanted to create your entire wardrobe at one stop, Effin Shop would be a good choice.

4. Tuckernuck

Tuckernuck would make the list on the basis of it's name alone--so fun to say! However, even with the most banal name, this eclectic offering of traditional preppy pieces and bold accessories would stand out anywhere. While the east coast preppy look isn't necessarily my thing, a few structured pieces can and should fit into any wardrobe. If you are a preppy type, Tuckernuck will be your mecca for '50s silhouette party dresses and collared button down shirts. For me, I can't get enough of the high-quality unique accessories!

5. Public Desire

Rihanna x Puma furry slides, the onslaught of velvet, Kim K's ubiquitous clear plastic footwear--there are tons of trendy looks circling the internet. To score these looks for a fraction of the cost, check out Public Desire. They offer SO many cute styles modeled after the latest trends--all for super affordable prices. This is a must for getting your shoe fix without making your bank account too sad.

Euro Trip | Ten Tips for Packing

It's high time for another list. Summer is approaching and many of you hopefully have plans to go on some big adventures! While talking to a friend the other day--helping her find the perfect backpack (if you have style questions hit me up!)--she suggested I do a post on what to pack for Europe. At first, I thought to myself, "Wow, yikes, that's a tall order," but then I thought about the last time I went to Europe (I was 18) and how dumb I was at packing back then. "I can do better now," my sometimes masochistic mind insisted. And so the challenge is on. Packing for Europe (or any long trip) is a huge challenge. If you're like me, you panic, want to bring everything and end up bringing a hodge podge assortment which frustrates the hell out of you when actually on the road. While I can't list EVERYTHING you should bring to Europe in this post as it would be not only presumptuous but also overly voluminous, I have narrowed it down to ten essential tips to make your adventures a stylish success.

Tip #1: A comfy shoe that does double duty.

If you're going to Europe, you are going to be walking more than you've ever walked in your life! All those beautiful, old cities are just made to be explored. While you're wandering between sidewalk cafes and cathedrals, it's important to have something comfy on your feet. It's also important not to pack too many pairs of shoes as they take up space and weight. Enter the Teva Flatform, your new best friend. The elevated height makes it stylish, while the supple leather straps and foam bed make it comfy. I own a pair and could walk in them all day. The best part is that these could totally team with a cute romper or dress for a fun night out look. When I originally thought of this blog post, I wanted to recommend the Charlotte Stone Amie Sandal. I have this shoe as well and the soles are literally made of memory foam. So comfy. However it is sold out ALMOST everywhere. Except here. They have only a few select sizes, so if you are lucky, snag this one up as an alternative to the flatforms.

Tip #2: LEGGINGS.

Leggings are your best friends for a long trip. They pack up light and small, go with everything and they're SUPER comfy. They will serve you well for the long plane ride, the cooler weather days, and--if you opt for a pair with cool mesh cutouts--they can look great for a night out! Even if you are going to southern Europe or somewhere warmer, it is a good idea to have a long pant option. A visit to Vatican City requires women to have legs covered. This pair by Onzie is affordable and stylish. Alo aslo has some really awesome leggings, but they are a bit on the pricier side. If you choose to check them out, I love Alo's Moto Legging.

Tip #3: Lightweight cardigan or kimono.

Once again we have a piece that meets the three criteria--packable, lightweight, multipurpose. A breezy kimono or cardigan is great to have on hand if the plane ride gets cold, you need to have your shoulders covered (another Vatican thing) or to throw on over a dress or romper to add texture to the outfit. Bonus: it can also be used as a swim coverup when you head to the beach! When choosing a kimono to bring, opt for neutral colors, that way it will go with as many outfits as possible. Gray or tan are great color choices as they are neutral and able to pair with many things. I love this style by American Eagle for a cute choice that will go with everything at an affordable price point.

Tip #4: Opt for a stylish backpack.

Backpacks as purses are in right now, and that's a good thing for your stylish and successful Euro trip! When I went to Europe when I was 18, I had this giant shoulder bag. I packed it full of junk and carried it around everywhere. By the end of my trip, I felt like my shoulder was about to fall off. Plus, the bag I carried was an open satchel style; I owe the fact that I didn't get pickpocketed to some strange stroke of luck. Giant shoulder bags and open purses are big no-nos for traipsing around in the major cities of Europe. Luckily Rebecca Minkoff makes the perfect bag solution. The Julian Backpack features a super roomy interior plus exterior pockets. It's iPad friendly, and really unbelievable how much stuff you can fit in this baby. But the real VIP is the clip on the front of the pack. This clip can attach up or down onto one of two D-rings on the bag. Clip it down for normal wear and you can access the zipper. Clip it to the top D-ring when you're walking crowded streets and the flap covers the zipper, keeping thieves out. With two comfy leather straps on both your shoulders, you can carry your essentials around all day! This bag is a little pricey, but totally worth it. I have the black one and carry it all the time. In fact, I invested in two of these bags. If you are looking to get a great deal, check out eBay. I actually just listed my tan version of the bag (plus tons of other stuff) as I am doing a closet clean out. So ehar9263 is my username and I'll stop advertising and move on to the next tip... ;)

Tip #5: Sundresses for the 'Gram

We've all seen these kind of Instagram posts. The kind where you don't know which to look at first, the awesome scenery or the cute outfit. If you're going on a trip with your girls (or your especially indulging boyfriend), creating cute pics like this is likely to be on the agenda. Luckily, these looks are so easy to create and will fit right into your practical packing regimen. Sundresses and rompers pack down so tiny and are space saving as they are a whole outfit in one. Stick to laid-back casual styles in colors that will pair with many things. That kimono from Tip 3? Throw it on over a dress or romper and you have a completely new outfit. I love how many options there are for sundresses with amazing backs that can help you capture moments like this. Sabo Skirt always has amazing options. Urban Outfitters and Free People are also fabulous.

Tip #6: Minimal Make-Up.

Ok, I don't mean you should wear no makeup all the time while on vacation! Of course there will be times when you want to look your best. However, lugging around your entire makeup drawer just isn't the best choice when you're on the go. My advice, look for palettes to minimize makeup space. This travel size kit by NARS contains blush (Orgasm) and bronzer (Laguna) which are two perfect shades you could probably use the whole trip. Do you usually use two different mascaras and three different eyeliners when applying your makeup? Do some trial and error and practice before leaving so you can bring just one of each makeup product. Invest in a good eye shadow palette that can achieve both day and night looks. I love the Too Faced Boudoir Eyes palette. It comes in a small box and is packed with shades ranging from modest nudes to shimmery smoky tones. This way all your bases will be covered without weighing you down. You don't want to spend your whole trip in front of a mirror putting on makeup anyway, right?

Tip #7: Use your bikini as a bra or top.

When vacationing in the summer, chances are you will be bringing bikinis. In the spirit of the cardinal rule of extended travel--make everything as multi-use as possible--why not put your bikini to work even off the beach? This one piece by Nasty Gal, aside from being fiercely on trend with its low cut back, would look so cute with a pair of high waisted shorts or a maxi skirt. It would probably even look good with those leggings you are going to bring. ;) You don't have to go one-piece to use your 'kini as a top. Check out high neck or longline tops to pair with high waisted shorts. The swimwear brand Blue Life has some amazing pieces that are totally suited to be worn both on and off the beach. I love the Tribal Crop Bikini Top as well as their amazing plunge-front one-pieces which could easily take you from beach to club! While you are checking out Blue Life, make sure to have a look at their lingerie inspired bikinis. While some are a little TOO lingerie inspired for my tastes, many of them (such as the Passion Flower Bikini) are really cute and would be amazing for travel as the top could be worn as a bralette under those cute little backless sundresses! It's all about freeing up one more spot in your suitcase and making your trip that much more organized!

Tip #8: Two-Piece sets are your friends.

Two-piece sets are basically a million different outfits in one. You can wear the matching separates together, of course, but then you can mix and match the pieces with other things! This all white set is great because together or apart, it can go with so many things due to the color and the casual style. My favorite store, Sabo Skirt has SO many matching sets available. From simple ones like this to fun prints and tassels, they will have one that works for you. Personally, I would recommend getting a casual set and a sexy, going out set. That way you have a look for nightlife, but also if you mix the pieces from each set together and with other items, you can have several casual looks as a result! I love either the Edelle Set or the Isle Top and Shorts for a dressier look with casual potential.

Tip #9: Bring the Basics.

Really I've already covered a lot of the basics in the other tips. What I mean here are the outfit foundation pieces that you can fall back on. Clothes you can wear your cute but comfy shoes with, throw the kimono on over, pair with your leggings, toss on over your bikini. Clothes that you KNOW you can count on! In my case, stripped down to the bare essentials this would be a good pair of denim shorts, a classic white tee and sunglasses that go with everything. For shorts, I always recommend One Teaspoon Bandits. Perfect faded washes, slouchy fit...yes. If I am going anywhere for the weekend, vacation, whatever, I never leave home without a classic white v-neck tee--it's one of my life rules! My favorite is the PINK Essential V-Neck Tee from Victoria's Secret. I have gone through so many of these--I wear them so much they literally wear out. Finally, sunglasses. I know it's tempting to take your fun giant blue-mirrored sunglasses on your trip, but how many outfits do they REALLY go with? Try to limit the amount of sunglasses you bring as they are easily lost or broken, and at least toss in one ride-or-die pair like classic Ray-Ban Aviators.

Tip #10: Bring a stunning maxi dress.

At some point on your trip, whether it's a fancy wine tasting with your friends or a romantic dinner with your significant other, there is bound to be an evening where you want to look your absolute best. Nothing makes a more elegant statement than a long, flowing maxi dress. Maybe look for one with more dramatic details than you would normally wear--after all, you are on the vacation of a lifetime! Again, no one does these jaw dropping details better than Sabo Skirt. I love this Indie-Rose Dress from their new formal range. The low back just gets me every time! If you don't find anything you like at Sabo Skirt, other brands like Indah or The Jetset Diaries have really amazing maxi dresses as well.

Hopefully these suggestions give anyone going on a big trip this summer a good starting off point! An extra tip for you before I sign off--plan, plan, plan! Nothing spells disaster like waiting until the night before to pack. (Sidenote, as I write this, I am literally going to Denver tomorrow and will be waiting until tonight to pack--don't do as I do, reader!) As tedious as it sounds, it may help to physically list out and coordinate your outfits to what you will be doing each day. That way you will be able to actually relax and enjoy your vacation when the time comes! Bon voyage!