Goop in Chicago

posted on: Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Yesterday, I was invited to tour the goop pop-up shop in Chicago. In case you're not familiar, goop is a lifestyle brand and website curated by Gwyneth Paltrow. The shop, located at 11 E. Walton at the Waldorf Astoria, is goop's third pop-up. (Opening first last year in Los Angeles and then in Dallas.) Having toured the space and learning the vision behind goop, the shop exudes a cool, earthy vibe — but you'll also see tasteful touches of gold, dusty pink, and floral wallpaper lining the dressing rooms. (You can see more photos of the space by Elle Decor and Architectural Digest.) Designed in partnership with Chicago interior designer Kara Mann, the boutique shows styles for you and your home, featuring 3.1 Phillip Lim, Stella McCartney, Carbon 38, and local Chicago favorites like Jayson Home and Heritage Bicycles. Following the tour, I joined the goop team and local Chicago bloggers and editors for a goop-style brunch at the Waldorf Astoria, green juice and all. ;) I can say the morning was an incredible introduction to the brand!

If you're in the Chicago area, pop in soon. The Chicago goop boutique will only be open until May 10 (Monday-Saturday, 10am-8pm and Sundays, 12-6pm). Also, check out Gwyneth's favorite places in Chicago to stay, eat and shop.

Top image by Alaina


posted on: Monday, April 27, 2015

{Thanks to all who participated in my spring giveaway!}

{A healthy and delish start to the day}

{Teaming up with Blohaute to share this pretty hair tutorial}

{Despite morning traffic, I love these city views!}

{A bright pink maxi dress for a night out in the West Loop}

{Celebrating Earth Day with one of my favorite quotes}

{I'm all about pineapple lately... can't get enough!}

{Enjoying weekend brunch at Summer House Santa Monica with family}

{In case you missed it, a coastal-inspired blue and white look}

{Signs of summer along Lake Shore Drive}

Follow the fun on Instagram! You can find me @bright__beautiful — I'd love to connect :)

Romantic Braided Hair Tutorial

posted on: Friday, April 24, 2015

When it comes to my hair, I usually stick to 2 or 3 styles in rotation: long loose waves, a low ponytail, or a simple sideswept braid. So when I had the opportunity to meet with Blohaute this week, I knew I wanted to try something completely different — which is this romantic half-up style with a braided fishtail headband. It may sound complicated, but stylist Amanda spilled some secrets to recreate the look at home. She used the following products steps:

1 | Blowdry hair using a round brush to smooth and add volume to roots.
2 | Once hair is dry, using a 1.5 in curling iron, curl hair away from the face (leaving an inch of hair out at the ends).
3 | Grab a small section from behind the ear and create a fishtail braid. (Fishtail: Separate section into 2 separate strands, grab a small piece from the outside of one and cross over to the other, repeat on the opposite side. Continue all the way down).
4 | Before securing fishtail with an elastic, begin to "stretch" the fishtail by gently pulling each side all of the way up. Stretching will make the braid appear fuller. Secure with elastic.
5 | Wrap fishtail around the head and pin behind ear on the opposite side, forming a headband.
6 | Pin the rest of hair half up around the fishtail.

I'm wearing this lace dress and lip color (#6) in this post.

Gold Home Décor

posted on: Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Gold is in! Whether it's jewelry or home accents, incorporating a few golden touches is a chic and stylish way to update personal style. Here's a collection of gold home décor items I'm loving lately...

West Loop Nights

posted on: Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I wore this pink maxi dress last Friday for a fun night in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood. When I came across this dress on Shopbop last year, I knew it'd become an instant favorite in my closet. In addition to the "Magenta" style here, I also have the maxi dress in another color, "Candy" (as I wore last here). It's a perfect summer maxi that can be dressed up with heeled sandals for nighttime, or worn casually for a day around town, afternoons at the beach or on the water. (Plus, it's under $100 and comes in a variety of colors.) Thank you for stopping by — hope you're having a great week!

Spring Giveaway

posted on: Monday, April 20, 2015

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! In case you missed it, I announced a fun giveaway on Instagram last night — I'm gifting one follower two of my spring favorites: YSL lip color and a Diptyque luxury candle. (Winner chooses the color and scent!). If you're not on Instagram, you can enter the giveaway using the widget below. I'll be announcing the winner on Instagram this Thursday 4/23. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Skin Care Favorites

posted on: Friday, April 17, 2015

Over the past year or so, I've become more diligent with a consistent skincare routine each night to keep my skin looking its best. First, I remove all make-up with one of these face towelettes (I love the pink grapefruit). Next, I'll use this cleanser with a washcloth or this brush, then moisturize with argan oil. And lastly, I'll apply lip balm and this product, if I'd like a little extra glow. Lately I've been wanting to check out the MD Complete skin care line, as I've heard some great things so far. A few additional things are key for me: keeping hydrated (this water bottle is my favorite), nutritional supplements (try these), this top-rated clearing treatment, and consulting skincare experts, as needed. I recently visited my local Nordstrom for a spa facial treatment by Clarins — and immediately noticed a big difference. I'm able to tell my pores appear smaller, blemishes have subsided, and the overall appearance is smoother and refreshed. If you'd like to schedule an appointment for yourself, Clarins is offering discounted spa facials at Nordstrom Michigan Avenue for the month of April. (Click here to schedule.) Do you have any favorite skincare products/tips of your own? I'd love to hear!

DIY Spring Floral Arrangement

posted on: Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Flowers are an instant way to make any home feel fresh and lively. (Especially for spring!). I tend to like a cohesive look at home, selecting one flower type for an everyday feel — gathering a simple bunch of full roses or pretty hydrangea. However, one of my favorite flower shops in Old Town has such a fun variety of unique stems, I felt inspired to try something a little different. I put together a small arrangement with a happy mix of colors and textures, and am pleased with how it turned out! Here's a step-by-step guide for a quick and easy DIY floral arrangement:

1. Gather your materials. You'll need a selection of flowers, a pair of scissors, and a vase. The flowers I used here are ranunculus, tulips and "green trick" dianthus. Yes, there are flower "rules" as to which varieties go (and don't work) together, but I chose these simply because I love ranunculus and was feeling whimsical with a pop of bright green.

2. Trim the stems. Cut at least 1-2″ off the stems at a 45 degree angle, under cool running water. It’s also a good idea to trim stems each day to help the flowers take in adequate nutrients.

3. Start layering. Have fun with it! I typically gather the most full blooms together as the foundation of the arrangement, then add greenery, accents, and of course, water to the vase. 

4. Enjoy! Place your flowers where you can see them in plain sight, so you're able to get the most enjoyment out of them. Bonus tip: here's how you can extend the life of flowers.

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