Fashion

The Perfect (Bargain) Spring Dress!

Winter must be coming to an end soon (fingers crossed!), so let’s keep prepping those sunny-day styles! Especially on a toasty Summer day, nothing beats an easy breezy sundress.  Cute, comfy, and can easily be styled so many different ways.  I love this gingham number from the trendy and crazy affordable online source Romwe , and you can’t beat its $1o price tag.  Bargain shopping is not my standard specialty, so I get overjoyed when I score something I love for such a steal (and added bonus my mom is proud of me:) The key to success when online shopping at a site like Romwe, is knowing your size, and reading the reviews.  I am wearing a small, and the fit is great.  Not at all tight, making it a perfect choice for a hot day.  The lace up back is adorable, and allows you to custom the fit a bit.  This is my ideal “get ready in 5 minutes” summer outfit…throw on the dress , add your favorite hat, a swipe of lipstick, slip on Vans…and done! For a more dressed up vibe;  I traded the sneakers for a heeled sandal, the hat for a ribbon, and added my go to Levi’s denim jacket.

All photo’s by Olivia Szwarc at Relax, Smile, and Love Always Photography

“Wake me up when summer begins.”

XOXO,

Julz Chez

 

 

Beauty, Fashion

Spring Style Volume 1

It’s no secret Chicago weather is straight up wacky.  Currently wacky…and it’s not the first time the city has played these tricks on us. It is what it is…and that is making life for fashion girls very stressful.  I adore ruffled mini skirts and sun dresses…but the reality of how often they are wearable is something to consider. And there’s the unfortunate fact that my legs are naturally neon white…no one wants to see that. A piece I adore AND wear on the reg…cool pants. Cool pants effortlessly transition to all seasons. Cool pants do not require tan legs.  Also, boys dig cool pants. Boom.

My personal favorite, cool girl pant is a bombshell bell bottom.  I can promise y’all I have tried many brands, and have narrowed it down to a couple of favorites.  Please learn from my money wasting mistakes:) My Novella Royale flared pants are from Free People.  Fits and feels like a buttery soft yoga pant.  Crazy versatile; looks killer with everything from a structured blazer, to a cozy tee.  I am rocking the janis bells in a size small here.  If you are between sizes, I would size up. These sexy suckers are tiny!

I typically roll with a rocker tee and a groovy jacket with my cool pants. But in the spirit of summer approaching, I was inspired to rock all white accents with these babies.  A great white button up is an absolute wardrobe must.  So versatile. That said, I can be a bit of a brat about throwing down on a “boring button up.” I did some serious searching, and this Anthropologie number is perfection and under 100 bucks. Shades and bag by Chloe, Stuart Weitzman boots.

Last but not least…let’s discuss my gorgeous earrings! When OneWild contacted me, I was instantly interested…their brand reflects a fresh aesthetic, love of nature, and desire to empower women through fashion.  They give $1 of every retail purchase to organizations supporting women in need.  If there is ever an opportunity to channel my love of fashion towards a good cause, I feel thankful to be on board.   Bonus…I am in love with these earrings! My ears are crazy sensitive and anything long sadly does not usually work for me.  These babies are so lightweight, you barely know they are on.  The shape flatters every face and hairstyle, and the copper rose gold looks amazing dressed up or down.

“Smile! The only fashion that lasts forever.”

XOXO

Julz Chez

 

Beauty

My Everyday Healthy Makeup Routine

Two of my favorite things in life are makeup and exercise.  One slight problem is that the two don’t exactly go together…not unless you know the tricks of the trade that is:)  A good sweat can be great for detoxing and providing that internal organic glow. But sweat mixed with makeup can cause acne, blocked pores, and congested skin.  This is why if you insist on wearing makeup during a sweat sesh, the right products are so important. I promise I am not about a full face of makeup at the gym (ew). But as a fitness instructor, the gym is such a big part of my life. I need a little somethin’ somethin’ to make myself feel put together. Like I always say…if you look good you feel good!

Luckily mineral makeup, known for it’s breathable natural feel, has been gaining popularity.  I went on a mission to find a great mineral powder, but struggled to find something I loved. Everything I tried provided such minimal coverage, I found myself either being too lazy to bother, or being naughty and using my regular powder. I was introduced to Advanced Mineral Makeup, and it was love at first application! Annie Mayo, the creator of the line, has been a pioneer in the makeup industry since the 70’s. Her makeup artistry work includes the Miss Universe Pageant, countless print-ads, films, and more.  In all her experience as a makeup artist, she always felt there was room for improvement in women’s makeup. As a result, she developed Advanced Mineral Makeup, a line of natural mineral cosmetics. Free of parabens and preservatives, these products will not clog pores or cause break outs. And the greatest part is that the powder provides amazing coverage!  I find myself using it everyday, regardless if I am heading to the gym or not.  My everyday routine consists of the pressed mineral powder in shade Angelina, the pressed mineral blush in shade Pink Candy, and the luxury lip gloss in shade Josephine.  I cannot recommend this line enough! Even if you are not a gym girl, summer/sweat season is approaching, and finding makeup healthy for your skin is critical for everyone.

Below are my daily 5 minute routine essentials. I also like to apply a swipe of Ilary NYC perfume.  I am not a big perfume girl, but I adore this soft and feminine scent, and so does my hard to please Hubs!  Use the code xoxo25 for 25% off your order through the end of April.

My “everyday” look! Photos by Homegrwn Creative. Outfit by Carbon38, use code JULIECHE50 for 20% off your first order.

“May your day be as flawless as your makeup”

XOXO,

Julz Chez

Beauty

Michael Todd Sonic Eraser Review

If you are a regular XO reader (bless your heart), you may have noticed that I’m on a serious skincare kick right now.  Today I am reviewing an extra groovy product.  It’s not a mask, not a cream, not a serum…this is next level y’all.  Wait for it…SONIC technology that can be used safely in the comforts of your home, to take your skin to the next level. Michael Todd Beauty is an award-winning beauty brand that started off with skincare products, but later shifted their focus to the development of functional beauty TOOLS.  When I first discovered their website I was fascinated, and naturally wanted every single device. I started with the SonicBlend makeup brush, and it was love at first use.  This sucker will blend both liquid and powder flawlessly. Check my post Weird Skincare Hacks that work for more deets!

After a month or so of game changing makeup blending, many thanks to my SonicBlend brush, I decided it was time to test a new tool.  Meet my new bestie, the Michael Todd Sonic Eraser. This baby takes your facial massage to the next level.  Wireless and rechargeable, this sleek looking device is clinically validated to apply your skincare products better than by hand to majorly improve anti-aging results. Noticeable improvements in brightness, firmness and hydration are clinically documented at just 14 days. Improvements in fine lines, wrinkles and skin smoothness are clinically documented at 28 days.

After washing your face squeaky clean, apply your favorite serum to your skin, but don’t rub it in.  Grab your friendly Sonic Eraser, and massage the serum in, using small circles.  When you press the device onto your skin, the vibrations activate.  It’s like a MedSpa in your bathroom…so awesome.  Technology allows the beneficial ingredients in your products to break through the skin’s outer barrier and absorb at maximum efficiency.  The device gradually warms up to 107F to open the pores and absorb more product. The heat and massage feels amazing!  The process takes no extra time than you would spend massaging your products in with your fingers, it’s just much more efficient.  It’s also great to do it the morning, as it instantly revives the look of tired skin.

Photos by the Hubs

If you are a fellow skincare junkie and have invested in quality serums and creams, I highly recommend this high-tech device to get the most mileage out of your products.  I have been using my SonicEraser twice a day for two weeks, and my skin looks brighter and clearer already.  Elevate your at home spa experience y’all…you deserve it!

XOXO,

Julz Chez

 

Beauty

The Buzz Behind Korean Beauty, and the Line I Love the Most!

Skin is in, and this girl has the fever.  I am way more into buying serums than skirts lately. I never feel guilty for spoiling my skin, and neither should you.  Great skincare is especially irresistible when there are so many great new lines emerging on the scene, Korean lines being a front runner.  It’s a well known fact that Korean women take great pride in their skincare and beauty regimes. Most Korean skincare uses unique natural ingredients that focus on prevention and improving the skin from the inside out. Today I am sharing my love for Mamonde, a Korean flower-based line that recently launched in the US exclusively at Ulta Beauty. I am personally sold on Korean and flower based! Inspired by the actual Mamonde Garden outside of Seoul, South Korea, these products are all infused with floral essences, such as rose for soothing, hibiscus for moisture, and narcissus for replenishing.  These products are gentle on the skin, smell fantastic, and are affordable.

My favorites that I have tried thus far are from the rose collection, starting with the Petal Spa Oil to Foam cleanser. Double cleansing is all the rage, and this magical formula does the trick in one single step.  The beautifully smelling formula starts as an oil that gently dissolves makeup and SPF on the surface of your skin.  After first massaging the oil into your skin, dry, add a little water, and a foamy creamy lather is formed that removes excess bacteria as a daily deep clean for your skin.  The first time using this product I used way too much, and could have started a foam party in my bathroom! In other words, a little goes a long way. It leaves your skin feeling squeaky clean AND smelling like lovely rose oil.  The best face wash I have used in ages! Next comes the hydrating beauty water to tone, nourish, and hydrate the skin.  Infused with extracts from 100% organic rose, this multi-tasker smells AMAZING. I love that as effective as the product is, it is also very gentle. If toners give you that irritating stinging feeling, this is perfect for you.

Time for the grand finale in the rose series, the petal purifying bubble mask.  Y’all know I am a serious mask-aholic, and have tried countless varieties. The results of a mask are top priority, but the application and experience are also important. You know the ones that suck to take off or smell gross are always at the bottom of your drawer.  And for that reason, I must explain the magic of this mask application.  The pretty pink chiffon-texture feels fabulous on the skin, and it quickly transforms and starts bubbling!  My kinda science…it is so cool!  Formulated with real rose petals, this mask moisturizes while helping to improve skin that’s been exhausted from environmental factors. Awaken a bubbly, rose-kissed glow in just 60 seconds.  And yes you guessed it….it also smells amazing!

Another great product in this line is the Floral Hydro Cream, a water-light, refreshing gel-cream formulated with narcissus extract that deeply hydrates and plumps the skin.  Suitable for all skin types, and recommended for oily-to-dry skin types or during the summer months.  The Calming Hydro Sleeping Mask is another gem that will redefine how you beauty sleep.  I am all in favor of sleeping masks, I find them to be genius.  What better time than a full nights rest to treat your skin? The cool water gel texture of the mask replenishes skin so you wake up to a glowing and hydrated complexion.  If you are new to overnight masks and the idea is daunting,  know that this product is not at all sticky, and quickly absorbs into your skin (not your pillow case).  As deep as my love for masks is, serum is the MVP of any skincare lineup.  Serum delivers concentrated active ingredients deeper than any other product, and can be a skin game changer.  Mamondes Floral Essential Serum blends natural hydrators and antioxidants to balance skin’s condition for a healthy, smooth complexion.

It’s also critical to me that my products are packaged in a pretty manner.  Call me crazy, but I enjoy organizing my goodies on my vanity just as much as I love using them.  This line is packaged effectively and beautifully!  If all these products sounds fabulous and you don’t know where to begin, Ulta beauty carries a couple of great valued gift sets.  The Floral Energy Discovery Set and The Trio Of Multi-Maskers are the two sets I started with and love.

Through years of careful research, Mamonde has discovered the vital secrets of flowers and herbs.  I personally suck at keeping plants alive, but I have been great at using these products regularly, and I can’t recommend them enough!

“Be good to your skin. You’ll wear it every day for the rest of your life.”

XOXO,

Julz Chez

Beauty

Great eyebrows don’t happen by chance, they happen by an appointment at EverTrue!

Confession: my eyebrows were victimized by the 90’s. I know styles change and you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself…but my college photos make me cringe.  Not just because my skin is orange from spending study breaks in the tanning bed (ew ew ew)…but because I have no eyebrows.  I was sadly lacking an eyebrow education.  Eyebrows frame the face, and can make or break your look.  When done right, brows accentuate all the right features, and will give you a polished and more youthful appearance. During the week when I am teaching fitness classes and keeping my makeup routine simple, filling in the brows is still a must.  Without doing so I feel like I look tired, lifeless, and borderline hideous (I know sooo dramatic:)  When I am doing my full on glam routine,  I will admit I can spend an embarrassing amount of time on my brows.  I have gone through phases of getting regular brow tints at Benefit which I love, but the upkeep quickly gets time consuming and pricey.  Cue call in reinforcements…lets microblade these babies!

Microblading is all the rage for a more permanent flawless looking eyebrow. I had it done once before, but it had mostly all faded.  Anytime you are having any kind of med spa service done, it is critical to do your research! Groupons are great for mani pedis, but not when we are talking a long lasting procedure to your FACE.  I noticed one of my girlfriends brows looking fantastic, and she directed me to EverTrue Microblading Salon.  My prior experience with Microblading was just fine, but my experience with EverTrue was next level amazing.  The specialists at EverTrue created the “Bespoke Brow” technique, a very natural, stroke-by-stroke process that is indistinguishable from “real” brows.  The Bespoke brow  treatment uses life-like strokes applied directly to the skin.  The treatment replaces eyebrow pencils and powders, and assures perfect brows all-day, every day.  First they have you come in for a consultation, where you meet with your brow specialist and discuss your dream brows.  I worked with Jasmin Liner  and I absolutely loved her.  I explained the look that I love, and she penciled in my perfect brows with an eyebrow pencil.  This way you know exactly what you are signing up for before taking the official plunge.

~Here’s a before pic I snapped rolling into my appointment

~A peak inside the beautiful space overlooking Oak Street.

~Where the magic happens! A massage style comfy table.

A huge highlight of the procedure…it did NOT HURT!!! And I am a big baby when it comes to pain. When I previously had this service done elsewhere, the pain was pretty brutal.  At EverTrue they have a top of the line numbing cream they first apply.  You relax with complimentary coffee, tea, and a solid selection of mags for 20 minutes while the numbing cream soaks in.  I couldn’t believe it when she started. I actually had to ask…is this it? I was shocked.  I chatted with my brow artist Jasmin the entire time….and if she wasn’t so nice to talk to I could have taken a nap!

~A glamour shot of me and my eyebrows best friend…the magical numbing cream!

~My brow artist Jasmin! I adored her.  In addition to being sugary sweet and making me feel so comfortable, she was also so precise and detailed with my brows.  A true artist! They look so natural and the shape is so flattering on my face.  I can’t recommend Jasmin enough. I do know a few Chicago babes who have had their brows done by different gals at EverTrue, and they are all wild for their brows as well…so I guess you can’t go wrong!

~When you go in for the consultation, a question your artist will ask you is if you have any big events coming up.  This is always a slightly scary question.  I immediately think…oh sweet…I’m fixin’ to look like a freak for a few days before I look pretty. Not true! These photos were taken the very next day.  A bit bolder than I usually roll, but the color gradually calms down as the brows heal.  My husband didn’t even notice! (that’s a good thing:)

~This final photo was taken 4 days after my treatment. Already lightening up and looking more natural.  I LOVE!  And from a proficiency stand point…a fabulous time saver in the morning!

Don’t be shy to reach out if you have any questions…and don’t forget to mention XOXOJulzChez for 20 percent off!

“Eyebrows…the one thing you can get into shape without exercising.”

XOXO,

Julz Chez