Links I Love

posted on: Friday, January 31, 2014

• A simple guide to the perfect at-home manicure.
• This Mara Hoffman collection would be perfect for a beach getaway.
• Stunning Oscar de la Renta collection of stationery and invitations.
• This collection of organic and natural beauty products is worth a try.
10 high-interval treadmill workouts to tone up and boost endorphins.
• Lots of fun Valentine's Day inspiration to get in the spirit.
• An inspiring read: 37 truths about life.

What things around the web are you loving lately? I hope you have a fantastic Friday!

City Exteriors + Courtyards

posted on: Thursday, January 30, 2014

Michael Taylor courtyard

Whether it's New York's upper east side, across the Atlantic in London, or in my own neighborhood of Chicago, I always enjoy seeing beautiful townhouse exteriors and tucked-away courtyards. With stunning entrances and welcoming patios, each one of these homes is like an urban oasis. Aren't they beautiful? Which home is your favorite?

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7


Beauty on a Budget: 10 Best Highlighters

posted on: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

In the midst of winter, I feel like my skin can start to look a little lackluster and well, dull. I love the idea of using an illuminating highlighter to create a natural, pretty glow. That's why I wanted to share a few favorite products that highlight skin with a sheer wash of bright, healthy color. (And they're glowy, not glittery - promise!). These 10 products are all under $15 and can be found at drugstores.

Do you use highlighters or illuminators in your beauty routine? If you have any favorite products, I'd love to hear! After trying lots of these, this one ranks best as my absolute favorite illuminator (under $7!). For tips on how to apply, check out this great tutorial.

One: Milani Illuminating Face Powder ($9.79) || Two: e.l.f Facial Whip ($1.00) || Three: Physician's Formula Healthy Glow Palette ($10.98) || Four: NYX Born to Glow Illuminator ($6.99) >> MY FAVORITE! || Five: L'Oreal Magic Lumi Concealer ($10.99) || Six: Wet 'n Wild Mega Glo Illuminating Powder ($3.99) || Seven: Revlon Highlighting Palette ($9.49) || Eight: e.l.f. Essential All Over Color Stick ($1.00) || Nine: e.l.f. Baked Highlighter ($4.39) || Ten: Intimate Spotlight Illuminizer ($9.99)

Browse additional favorites below:

Birthday Festivities

posted on: Saturday, January 25, 2014

sequin dress
Today is my birthday! Thank you (so much!) for the sweet messages and well wishes this past week. Last night kicked-off the weekend celebration with drinks and dinner at one of my Chicago favorites, Pump Room. And tonight, I'm excited to slip into a new dress and heels for my boyfriend's company holiday party downtown. Pretty fabulous birthday weekend, I must say! If you care to follow along via Instagram, I'm sure to post a few fun snapshots throughout the weekend. :)

Thank you again for all the love! I hope you have a wonderful weekend. xo


bright and beautiful on Instagram

posted on: Thursday, January 23, 2014

I have to admit, I'm writing this post with a bit of hesitation. Ever since I began blogging in June, it's been a balancing act of what to share here on the blog, and what things I'd rather remain private. Case in point: Instagram. Up until now, I've used the platform entirely on a personal level, sharing and liking photos with friends, as well as following my favorite brands and bloggers. Because Instagram has become a fun, go-to way to connect and share inspiration, I've decided to open up and share these little snapshots of mine. You can find me at: @bright__beautiful.

When it comes to social media, how do you determine what to share and what to keep private? If you use Instagram, feel free to leave your account name below so we can connect!

Wanderlust: Amalfi Coast

posted on: Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I've had the pleasure of visiting Italy twice, once briefly in 2004 and then again in 2008, but am desperate to return and experience the famed Amalfi Coast. I imagine sun-filled days by the sea and warm evenings dining al fresco. Wouldn't it be amazing to see the coastline by sailboat, explore the Amalfi Drive on a Vespa, walk the surrounding towns, and indulge in daily gelato and vino? I think so!

Have you visited the Amalfi Coast? If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you choose to visit?

Photos via lark & linen.

Tuesday Talk

posted on: Tuesday, January 21, 2014

about bright and beautiful blog
A few weeks ago, I was nominated for a little award by Mary-Katherine. Named the "Liebster" Award (German for: beloved, endearing, welcome), it's given by fellow bloggers to blogs with growing potential. Mary-Katherine put together this set of questions for me to answer, so I'm excited to share a little more about me and my blog. Thank you for the recognition and sweet words, MK!

Birthday Week

posted on: Monday, January 20, 2014

red velvet cupcake
I welcomed my birthday week with a few of my favorites: friends, family, and sweet treats (hello, red velvet!). This past Saturday, we hosted a big housewarming and birthday bash, which lasted into the wee hours of the night. What fun! I'm looking forward to continuing the festivities until my actual birthday Saturday, and sharing the celebration with the ones I love most. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead, too!

Follow along via Pinterest | Twitter | Facebook | Bloglovin'

Blush + Gold

posted on: Friday, January 17, 2014

rose gold fashion
Today's post is an ode to my favorite color combination: blush and gold. Isn't it a match made in heaven? So pretty and ethereal, I hope you enjoy these rosy pieces as much as I do!

One: Gold Leather Clutch (Lilly Pulitzer, $168)
Two: Rose Quartz Coasters (RabLabs, set of two $120)
Three: Bling Cocktail Ring (C.Wonder, $34.99)
Four: Gold Feather Tray (Jayson Home, $48)
Five: Fragrance (Tory Burch, $110)
Six: Peach Coat (J.Crew, $350)
Seven: Crystal Necklace (Kate Spade, $148)
Eight: Illuminating Highlighter (Stila, $22)
Nine: Gold Metallic Heels (J.Crew, $198)
Ten: Table Lamps (Lulu & Georgia, set of 2 $270)

Loving Lately...

posted on: Wednesday, January 15, 2014

tory burch gift
{ a special delivery to brighten a gloomy day }

tory burch calendar west elm tray
{ new year, new calendar! }

latte art
 { afternoon coffee at Eataly }

aerin lauder book
 { Beauty at Home by Aerin Lauder - every page is a treat! }


Home Tour: South Carolina Residence

posted on: Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Today I'm excited to share with you this beautiful Nantucket-style home located near Greenville, South Carolina. If you follow me on Pinterest, you know how I gravitate toward coastal-inspired design with crisp whites, metallic accents, and of course -- great outdoor space. This home has it all. Designed by Linda McDougald Design, I fell in love with this space at first sight. Isn't it beautiful?

Additional commentary from the designer:
With its cedar shake roof and siding, complemented by Swannanoa stone, this lakeside home conveys the Nantucket style beautifully. The overall home design promises views to be enjoyed inside as well as out with a lovely screened porch with a Chippendale railing.

Throughout the home are unique and striking features. Antique doors frame the opening into the living room from the entry. The living room is anchored by an antique mirror integrated into the overmantle of the fireplace.

The kitchen is designed for functionality with a 48” Subzero refrigerator and Wolf range. Add in the marble countertops and industrial pendants over the large island and you have a stunning area. Antique lighting and a 19th century armoire are paired with painted paneling to give an edge to the much-loved Nantucket style in the master. Marble tile and heated floors give way to an amazing stainless steel freestanding tub in the master bath.

View more from Linda McDougald Design | Postcard From Paris >> || boutique || blog || boards ||
Photographs by Rachael Boling Photography.

bright and beautiful by Laura Platt Chicago Fashion Blog. All rights reserved. © Blog Milk