I've followed Kate Brien and her enviable style for a couple years and I now feel very fortunate to call her a friend after partnering on a few creative collaborations for work. Her Venice home that she shares with her husband was recently featured on Jenni Kayne's blog and I'm taking lots of notes!
Between the holidays and wedding planning, blogging has definitely taken a backseat, but here is what I am currently up to...
Trying: I recently received products from the Goop by Juice Beauty line and have been using them for the past month or so. Favorites so far are the Exfoliating Instant Facial, Revitalizing Day Moisturizer and the Perfecting Eye Cream.
Reading: Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia. His unconventional work philosophies are so inspiring.
Coveting: A pair of Garrett Leight x Clare V. sunglasses from their fun collab.
Listening: I can't get enough of the "How I Built This" podcast. Favorite episodes include: Kate + Andy Spade, Kevin Systrom + Mark Krieger (Instagram) and Dave Gilboa + Neil Blumenthal (Warby Parker).
This post should be titled "What I Wish I Was Wearing" as this is the outfit I wish I was wearing every day during the fall.
3. Khaite Vanessa High-Rise Straight Jean / These jeans have been on my wishlist for a looong time - I love the wash!
4. Toteme Verbier Ribbed Turtleneck / Everything Toteme makes is simple, but with a twist, including this easy to wear camel sweater. The ribbed pattern is a cool update to a classic.
5. Mansur Gavriel Crossbody Bag / I love navy accessories and this bag is perfect for fall and winter. I love how understated it is.
6. No. 6 Fur Slide Clog / I missed out on these last year and am so happy they brought them back!
Oops it's been awhile since I've posted and now it's basically winter. I'm still mourning the end of summer, which is my favorite season and happened to be extra special this year because: we got engaged! Wedding planning is slowly taking over our lives, but I am really enjoying it and wish I could just do that all day. The date is set for next September in LA!
Here are a few things currently on my radar:
Wearing: Now that it's gotten colder, I've been living in these thin wool sweaters from & Other Stories. I love them paired with high-waisted denim and they are great on their own when it's warmer and are an amazing layer when it's colder. I have both gray and navy and recommend them to everyone I know!
Also wearing: I finally bought my first pair of AMO Babe jeans and have to stop myself from wearing them everyday. I got the 'Eclipse' wash, but am already coveting the 'Blue Gem' wash. I wish they would make a deep black wash too!
Loving: I've been following Liz Damrich on Instagram for awhile and was excited to see her Charleston home featured on Domino this week! She's got a killer sense of personal style too and is over on Industry Standard showing off her sweater collection.
Sharing: I recently wrapped up a freelance project that is super close to my heart: Project Battlebox. They send curated boxes to women (and eventually men!) who are undergoing cancer treatments to help make them feel more like themselves and bring some beauty to their battle. I'm so proud of this project and honored that I was a part of it.
Coveting: Every year I add a few sweaters to my collection and this cozy navy number is next on my to-buy list!
Obsessing: I keep going back to look at these beautiful homes in Northern California. I love how seamlessly they fit into their surroundings and the adventurous spirit of them.
I don't wear dresses. Unless it's above 80 degrees and shorts aren't appropriate, you will rarely catch me in a dress. To me, dresses are typically too complicated, uncomfortable and challenging to wear. This all changed when I got the Cienne NY Hudson Dress.
I've been a fan of Cienne since it launched a year ago and was so excited to add this dress to my wardrobe. It is beyond easy to wear, which is saying a lot coming from me. You literally just slip it on and go—and prepare yourself for compliments. Every time I wear it, at least 5 people ask me about it!
I love that it's covered up enough to wear to work, but the neckline and leg slit make it just sexy enough to wear out or for occasions. It comes with a removable belt (and has no belt loops) so you can also wear it loose like a caftan.
The best part about the dress is the fabric—it is so luxurious; it's got a great weight to it so that it drapes beautifully, but doesn't weigh you down. And it doesn't wrinkle, making it the best dress to travel with. I brought it upstate with me and wore it out for my birthday dinner at Gaskins.
For those of you not familiar with Cienne NY, it is a socially-minded and sustainable clothing line that partners with artisans around the world to create beautiful pieces that highlight the textiles they are made from. Every piece is as easy to wear as the Hudson Dress and you can feel good about the brand you are supporting!
Last weekend, a group of friends and I packed our bags and headed for the Catskills. We had all been craving a weekend out of the city and ended up finding the perfect house through Kid & Coe. They have amazing houses to rent, aimed at families with children. We didn't have any kids in tow, but I was assured that Kid & Coe celebrates "kids of all ages" and off we went!
We stayed at the Acra Residence, a house owned by a former interiors editor, and it could not have been more perfect. We loved how much space we had—compared to the city, it was great to have so much room to spread out and rooms large enough to comfortably hold us all for meals and late night games.
My favorite room of the house was the Great Room—a two story living and dining room with an upstairs loft bedroom. Every morning we made a huge breakfast and shared it at a large farmhouse table, and every night ended with drinks and games lasting well into the early hours. We had so much fun in this room and so many memories were formed in such a short amount of time.
My second favorite spot of the house was the outdoor space. The house sits on 16 acres of land, including a huge barn and out buildings. I spent the majority of my time reading outside under the pergola, which ran the length of the back of the house. It was covered in grapevines, which created the most beautiful dappled sunlight patterns, especially in the mornings.
It was the perfect weekend getaway and we are already plotting our next trip back during the fall or winter!
I'm headed out of town for a long weekend and can't wait to relax and spend quality time with our friends.
1. Cuyana Straw Bag / The perfect tote whether you're headed to the beach or the country.
2. Madewell Chambray Cutout Jumpsuit / This jumpsuit looks so easy to wear and pairs well with flats or dressed up with a little heel.
3. Need Supply Off the Shoulder Top / The shirt of the summer.
4. Clare V Le Grand Depart Towel / No one will question what your plans are with this towel.
5. Carrie Forbes Salon Sandal / I love Carrie Forbes' straw shoes and these are extra-special in navy.
6. Solid & Striped Anne Marie Swimsuit / All of my bathing suits are black or navy so I'm forcing myself to try this striped (albeit still neutral) suit.
7. Warby Parker Tilley Sunglasses / These sunglasses are slightly Celine-esque and I love the grapefruit color for something different.
8. Saint James for J.Crew Slouchy Striped Tee / Another striped t-shirt, because summer.
9. Away Carry-On Suitcase / I recently purchased this suitcase and it has completely transformed my packing abilities. It has an amazing compression system that allows me to overpack and still have room! And it can charge your phone—I can't recommend it enough!
I first came across The Stell, an online shop focusing on natural beauty, about 8 months ago when I was in the process of revamping my skincare and beauty routine. I fell in love with their unique product offering and beautiful aesthetic. I have found so many great brands and products through The Stell (like Soul Sunday Ricewash Cleanser, LVX Nail Polish Removing Wipes, Context Moisturizer, and Lauren Napier Cleansing Wipes) and wanted to get to know more about it and the shop's founder, Carol Hu.
WHAT DID YOU DO PRIOR TO STARTING THE STELL? WHAT MADE YOU START THE SHOP?
I studied visual arts and art history in college, and spent several years working in art galleries and with an interior designer. The Stell came from a personal need. Because of my chronic skin issues, I had experimented with natural DIY remedies and searched for products that worked for my skin. At the same time, I was sharing all my knowledge with friends and family. I was basically a personal shopper for everyone I know. Then about two years ago my co-founder and I started toying with the idea of combining that experience with my background in high-end aesthetics and knowledge of clean beauty to create The Stell.
WHEN STARTING THE STELL, WHAT MADE YOU FOCUS ON NATURAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS + BRANDS?
I've battled with skin issues throughout my life and it's about daily maintenance. Certain problems will come and go, but never fully go away. I learned that certain products just didn't work for me. Growing up, I was always told to use high-end products because they were better quality. Now I know that a price tag doesn't necessarily translate to effectiveness. I shifted to using natural products when I started paying attention to the ingredients on the labels. So, when I started The Stell, that was an essential part of our philosophy.
how do you choose the brands that you carry?
Some of the brands are ones my team and I have personally used, others we actually find through Instagram. I think Instagram, as a tool, has transformed the discovery process for us and other consumers. There are so many great clean brands that are independent and up and coming that we otherwise may not have discovered. Some brands we love have a huge cult following, but aren't mainstream. We narrow down the ones we really like and we test them ourselves to make sure they are truly effective and safe.
what are your favorite beauty products / brands?
It's so hard to choose! Every time we pick up a new brand, we all get obsessed. Currently, I am really into Indie Lee's skincare products. Indie's story is so inspiring—she battled a brain tumor that was caused by environmental toxins. From that experience, she created her namesake brand. These products are beautiful, luxurious and effective. I've been slathering on her Squalene Face Cream and Oil. It's noticeably evened out my skin tone, diminished sunspots and the beginnings of any wrinkles. For body, I'm hooked on Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Body Polish. It smells amazing and organic coconut oil leaves your skin super smooth and hydrated. Herbivore Botanicals was actually one of the first brands we started carrying.
what is in your makeup bag / what do you use daily?
My daily makeup routine is pretty uncomplicated. I like my makeup to look natural. Typically, I dab on a little Glossier Stretch Concealer, add some Herbivore Lip Tint to my cheeks, swipe on DiorShow Mascara and finish with Kosås lipstick in Stardust. If I'm feeling bold I use Glossier Boy Brow. I also always keep an extra Cleanse by Lauren Napier Facial Wipe in my makeup bag just in case.
WHAT ITEMS WOULD YOU RECOMMEND SOMEONE START WITH IF THEY ARE THINKING ABOUT SWITCHING TO A MORE NATURAL ROUTINE?
Start with the basics: a great cleanser, toner and day cream. Indie Lee makes a Brightening Cleanser, which is one of her most popular items. Toner is something a lot of people skip, but it's an essential step. It helps minimize pores, adds a boost of moisture when applied to damp skin and helps to further clean skin. It also balances the drying minerals in tap water. Grown Alchemist and Soul Sunday make great toners. Last, but not least, I love Indie Lee's Squalene Facial Cream. It's super light, but very effective. Plus, it doesn't hurt that it has all these great anti-aging properties.
images via The Stell's Instagram
P.S. Stay tuned for an upcoming post with my updated beauty + skincare routine!