Beauty, Fashion, Life

Gilded Glam

A unique opportunity was presented to me this summer that I couldn’t turn down. Chicago’s beautiful and historical hotel The Blackstone invited me to be a part of the hotel’s Gilded Age-inspired portrait shoot for Chicago’s 2018 Project Windows competitionProject Windows celebrates the art of visual merchandising.  This year’s competition revolved around The Art Institute’s new exhibition featuring John Singer Sargent, who was considered the leading portrait painter of his generation.  I was asked to arrive in my personal interpretation of gilded era fashion, for my shoot with a renowned portrait artist and photographer, Ann Latinovich. 

So one hot and steamy Sunday afternoon a few weeks back, it was operation Gilded glam makeover.  I had a vision of wearing all black, a classic red lip, and a sleek simple hairstyle. After tearing up my closet, I finally choose a black lace dress by one of my long time favorite designers, For Love and Lemons.  A modest heel (love these and the price tag), a black fascinator, and my favorite red lip stain by Stila in shade Beso.  I was looking forward to the experience, but couldn’t help but feel a bit nervous since I really didn’t know what to expect.  So what did I do to make myself feel better? Obviously begged my Instagram Husband to come along for the fun!  Dude begrudgingly said yes, and off we went. A gal dressed to impress, and a fellow in a Guns N’ Roses tee (note Madeworn is his favorite rock n roll t-shirt source).

I was in instant awe of the Blackstone hotel as soon as we arrived…it is absolutely gorgeous!  Sophisticated, stylish, and oh so classy.  The rich historical vibes made me feel like I was in Paris.  We met the artist Ann in the beautiful Crystal Ballroom.  Ann was wonderful to work with, so encouraging and made me feel so comfortable.  My Instagram husband was proudly taking videos of the shoot, complete with commentary in his famous Beavis and Butthead voices.  Ann thought he was a hoot…and shocked me by asking him to jump in a couple shots. And then…Dude shocked me even more by happily jumping in!

Thank you to Ann and The Blackstone for an extra special Sunday afternoon. I can’t wait to visit again!

All photos by

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”~ Coco Chanel


Julz Chez

Fashion, Fitness, Life

Stretchin’ for a Cure (in Style)

I am blessed with a tight knit group of best friends who have been together for 20 years.  We were united in college through our sorority, Delta Delta Delta, and have been a united force ever since.  While life has generally been kind to our gang, our gal Lindsay tragically lost her amazing Mom 6 years ago to a rare brain disease, CJD. Like my friend, her Mom was beautiful inside and out.  Mama Kris was always happy, always up for a good time, kind, generous, and fashionable!  Since saying goodbye to her mommy, Lindsay has contributed endless hours volunteering for the CJD foundation. This foundation is building awareness, and hopefully will find a cure to this terrible disease.

I am so excited to be teaching my 4th yoga class in Kris’ memory coming up on September 15th at 1pm, and all proceeds will benefit the CJD foundation.  The class will be held at HiFi fitness thanks to their gracious donation.   All levels of fitness and yoga experience welcome.  The mission of the day is to honor Kris Forward…and she would have wanted us to have FUN!  Out of the area or not able to make it? You can still contribute to this cause by leaving a donation here.

The outfit: what my husband likes to call my Wonder Woman pants are by the designer UltraCor from Carbon38Top is also Carbon38 and is currently on sale. Use the code JCHEZ20 at checkout for 20 percent off. APL sneakers, Jenny Bird hoop earrings.

Photos by Dani Sommerfeld of the great Once Upon a Dollhouse blog team.

“No one can do everything but everyone can do something.”


Julz Chez

Fashion, Fitness


My love affair with Carbon38 lives on.  I can’t get enough.  I never dreamed such stylish fitness gear would exist.  All my spandex dreams came true with the outfit I am sharing today.  Carbon38 not only carries a huge variety of the hottest activewear lines, they also collaborate with designers to offer collections that can only be found at Carbon38.  Kiss the days of awkwardly standing next to a chick in barre class who is wearing the exact same Lululemon outfit you are goodbye!

A while back Carbon teamed up with Jonathan Simkhai and created an insanely high fashion collection.  Simkhai is known for styles that toe the line between strength and sensuality.  Contoured silhouettes, linear structures and unique details.  I was familiar with the designer from reading Vogue for years…I never dreamed I would own one of his fabulous pieces.  It was love at first sight when I saw these lace up corset leggings, but the price tag was too deep for me to stomach for spandex. That leads me to another great thing about Carbon38…sales! They have the best sales! These show stopping leggings are currently available in navy, nude, and black in all sizes at a great price.  Excellent quality; the technical fabric is supportive and the extra high waistband is flattering and comfortable.  The lace-up detail exposes a sneak of skin for a feminine flair.  True to size fit, I am in a small for reference.  I styled the pants with a white off the shoulder ruffle top by Carbon38.  This top is perfection!  It can be worn on or off the shoulders and is constructed from warp knit microfibre that won’t fade, pill, or wrinkle.  Sport it at your favorite group class and be the cutest one in the room, or rock it at your next summer getaway.  Also available in black.  I find this piece also to run true to size, I am in a small for reference.  Use the code JCHEZ20 for 20 percent off your first Carbon38 order.  Other outfit details: Nike sneakers and Jenny Bird hoop earrings.

Photos taken by my girl Dani Sommerfeld of the fabulous blogging duo Once Upon a Dollhouse

“Good things come to those who sweat in cute outfits.”~ ME


Julz Chez


My Everyday Makeup Must Haves from Ulta Beauty!

I am taking a detour from fashion today to talk about another great love of mine, MAKEUP. I love a full fancy face for a glamorous occasion, but realistically speaking those times are rare. I also love products and trying new things. However…I hate a messy vanity.  I have narrowed down my current top picks from Ulta Beauty for an everyday fresh summer look.  In the warmer months, less is more. This look is simple (my mom might argue with that:) and flattering.

SPF! Look no further than La Roche-Posay for the best of the best advanced formulas trusted by dermatologists worldwide.  They offer an extensive line with options for all different skin types.  I use Anthelios 50 AOX Daily Antioxidant Face Serum with SPF 50, and it is AH-mazing.  In addition to protecting your skin from the sun, it is also a powerful antioxidant complex that improves fine lines and skin texture, and corrects signs of aging. The formula is oil-free, super light weight, and makes a great makeup primer.

Concealer- I have been in favor of skipping foundation, and instead lightly applying concealer where it is needed (which is some days a little all over, and that is a-okay:) If you are dry, you may want to try mixing your foundation with moisturizer or your favorite primer.  My go to concealer is Bo-ing Brightening Full Coverage Color-Correcting Concealer by Benefit Cosmetics. I love that this concealer goes on light and creamy, yet magically provides amazing coverage.  $20 for the cute little thing might seem steep, but that cute little jar goes far; I promise. If you are looking for something more budget friendly, but still great. NYX Hi Definition Photo Concealer Wand is fantastic and a whooping $5.99. It too provides great coverage, goes on silky smooth, and can easily be tucked into your handbag.

Bronzer- Next I lightly dust on bronzer for a little summer glow.  I was faithful to NARS bronzer for years, but I recently took the $10 Ulta Beauty Matte Bronzer version for a test run and loved it just as much. Easy to blend, silky smooth, and great natural color.

Highlight and Blush- If you are like me and dig a good shimmer, I recommend Lancome’s Bronze & Glow Palette.  This beautifully packaged palette not only looks great on your vanity, but has rose, bronze, and pearl shades that seamlessly blend.  I apply a bit of the lighter shade under my eyes to open them up, and the bronze shade on my cheeks for an extra glow.  If you are not a fan of shimmer, skip that guy and head straight for blush (I like both:) Blush is a product I don’t believe needs to be fancy. The $10 Ulta Beauty version is just as good as the $40 blushes I have experimented with in the past.  Smile nice and big, and dust those cheekbones!

Eyes!  When applying my concealer I always lightly apply to my eyes for a good base. Next I curl my lashes and fill in my brows.  The $10 NYX Micro Brow Pencil is super easy to apply whether you want just a light fill-in, or to build full-on brows. My current favorite eyeshadow palette is Dose of Colors in shade Sassy Siennas.  The warm matte shades are a peachy mix of rusty hues.  Easy to blend and highly pigmented so a little goes a long way. This is a palette I use a small amount of the lighter shades for a natural daytime look, but also mix the light and darker shades for a sultry evening look. I also love the brush that it comes with.  I like to use the small end to very lightly apply the lightest shade all the way around my eye for a nice symmetrical look.  Seal the deal with your favorite mascara of course.

Lips!  I prefer a good stain that will stick with me for the day and  Dose of Colors Matte Liquid Lipstick from Ulta is my favorite.  It applies as a creamy liquid, but quickly dries to a matte finish.  I love the shade Campfire for a great everyday neutral and it goes so well with the rusty eyes.  I also adore the shade Pinky Promise for a super girly girl look. I believe it to be the most perfect shade of Barbie pink.  Added bonus Dose of Colors is a vegan and cruelty free brand.

Setting Powder- I finish by applying All Nighter Waterproof Setting Powder by Urban Decay. Many days I skip the eyeshadow and lipstain, but I never ever skip this magic.  The weightless powder blurs pores and blocks shine, keeping your makeup flawless all day.  A great item to pack in your purse for a long night out, if you tend to get shiny.

Here’s a few photos of the products because I looove me some pretty packaging. The pretty pink personalized cosmetic bag is by Gigi New York…great quality bags and their option to personalize make it extra special. I’ve said it once and I will say it again, as much as I love applying makeup, I love organizing it and admiring it even more:) The grand finale photo is a sophisticated, seat belted, car selfie….because as I stated in the beginning, this is my everyday makeup routine. Everyday makeup living it’s best life that is:)

“May your day be as flawless as your makeup.”


Julz Chez


Beauty, Fashion

Classic Style

As much as I adore wearing wild patterns and loud poofy skirts, I also love sleek, clean styles.  A great fitting white blouse, classic denim, simple accessories, and a classic red lip and red manicure.  White accents look so pretty and polished, I can’t get enough!  The latest addition to my white accessory game is a Daniel Wellington watch I am featuring today.  The Daniel Wellington watch collection is minimalistic and refined, featuring classic designs with interchangeable straps. I am wearing the Classic Petite Bondi.  Fresh white leather strap and an eggshell white dial oozes style and elegance. I typically steer away from bracelets and watches because my wrist is so small, they usually don’t fit or look too bulky.  This delicate design miraculously fits my wrist, is so comfortable to wear, and looks great.  The simple aesthetic speaks louder than any wild trend.  Use the code JULZCHEZ for 15% off a Daniel Wellington watch.

Photos by Dani Sommerfeld of the sparkly blogging duo Once Upon a Dollhouse.

Outfit details: Shopbop Blouse, Veronica Beard jeans (currently on sale), Gucci loafers and bag, Jenny Bird earrings, Chloe shades,  and my favorite Stila red lip stain from Ulta Beauty in shade Beso.

“In a world of trends, I want to remain a Classic.”~ Coco Chanel


Julz Chez

Fashion, Fitness

Feminine Workout Gear by Carbon38

My love affair with Carbon38 lives on, and I am back to share yet another ruffled spandex situation I am wild for.  Seeing how I spend most of my days in spandex, I love a good variety to pick from.  It’s rare that I purchase an outfit I already own, in a different pattern.  But the last look I shared in my post Becoming a Mazista was so dreamy, I had to pull the trigger on the pastel striped version. Truly cute enough to wear from barre class to out on the town.  The quality is amazing.  The top looks so cute with denim shorts.  The pants are so comfy and suck everything in fabulously.  I’m sporting the street style edition here;  Chloe boots, a Rebecca Minkoff jacket, Anthropologie shades, and my favorite lightweight hoop earrings by Jenny Bird. 

Please note my Hubs is not always the biggest fan of my ruffled tops.  He’s been known to ask me why I am going out wearing curtains.  But even he said…”wow boo that’s a good one!” when he saw me in this outfit.  Score 20 percent off your first Carbon38 purchase by using the code JCHEZ20. All photos taken by the darling Dani Sommerfeld of the great Once Upon a Dollhouse duo. Can y’all believe how cute the outfit looks with this killer car we stumbled upon? The kind owner even gave us permission to go for it! Life is magical.

“Keep your squats low and your spandex standards high.”~ me


Julz Chez