Beauty

Weird Beauty Hacks that WORK

Happy 2018 loves! Today I’m sharing a few beautifying resolutions I have begun, and highly recommend!

Shave your face.

Yes indeed you read that correctly ladies…shave your face.  It makes your makeup go on smoother, your products absorb better, and exfoliates your skin, which is great for anti-aging.  I oddly find myself looking forward to this bizarre ritual, as it feels pretty darn good!  About once a week I shave with Tinkles, which you can find on Amazon.  Tinkles are these tiny cute razors that are gentle and safe for your face. Make sure your skin is dry and clean, the razor is clean, and you have great lighting.  Pull your skin taut, then start shaving downward in short strokes.  When I first read about this “celebrity secret,” I thought there was no way it applied to me. I only have blond barely there hair on my face, that I hardly notice.  But I’m always game to try a new wacky beauty ritual, so I gave it a go.  I couldn’t believe how much hair was coming off…who knew a baby lamb was living on my forehead?! Not only will you remove hair, you will also remove dead skin, hence the fabulous exfoliation.  No fear, your hair will not grow back dark or stubbly.  The gentle razor does not chop hair off like a regular razor, so the hair grows back soft.  Your skin feels amazing after…even my hubs was shocked at the difference (yes I demand he pets my face after:) After shaving, apply a great serum (I’m into Peter Thomas Roth), and moisturize (I love Peter Thomas Roth water quench). Don’t knock it till you try it y’all…this is a game changer for your skin!

Now that your face is as smooth as a baby’s booty, it’s time to more on to the next weird thing that works. Meet your new besties, the Ice Roller and Jade Roller.  Three to seven times a week,  I recommend massaging your face with an ice roller and/or jade roller after cleansing and applying serum and/or moisturizer, to massage the product in.  Facial massage is great for freezing wrinkles, shrinking pores, energizing and tightening.  Stimulating the face muscles with regular massage helps bring oxygen and blood flow to the area, which increases collagen production and gives you that healthy “I just got a facial glow.” I like to think of this ritual as yoga for my skin:)  Store your jade and ice roller in the fridge or freezer for a cooling spa-like experience. Both these devices are inexpensive, and showing your skin some love with the massage is of course free!  Every gal loves a facial, but who want to shell out the money for a pricey spa service on the reg? This is the answer ladies!  I can’t recommend this weird ritual enough.  After just a couple weeks of regular use my skin felt softer, smoother, and less puffy. Jump on it y’all!

Invest in a Sonic Makeup Brush

If you love makeup enough to appreciate the value of a great brush, treat yourself to this tool by Michael Todd beauty asap.  I wasn’t sold when I first read about it; I can blend with a brush or my trusty hands just fine.  But after one use I was hooked.  You kinda feel like you are rubbing a vibrator on your face…talk about a facial massage! In addition to feeling great, the blending brush flawlessly applies make up and fills fine lines, wrinkles, and enlarged pores for a perfectly airbrushed look.  It also helps with improving overall skin health, by reducing clogged pores.  The coverage is much better than a standard brush, allowing you to use less make up during each application. Sonicblend is the first of its kind that applies makeup at sonic speeds of more than 400 times per second and has built in protection against contamination, keeping the brush cleaner longer.  Super easy to use as well. Get it!!!

Clean out your makeup

Cleanse your cosmetics! Crank up your favorite tunes, lay out a big towel, and spread out all your makeup.  If you haven’t touched a product in two years, toss it.  Don’t be scared, its actually quite fun. Any powders or blushes that are broken, toss.  All they will give you is a big headache and a big mess. Mascara and liquid eye liners over 4 months old, say bye bye.  Bacteria builds up, potentially causing infection. Lip, eye, and brow pencils are good for a year.  This is also a great time to give your makeup a solid cleaning. If a pencil is staying, sanitize before tossing in the keep pile. Lipstick and glosses are good up to two years, and can be sprayed with rubbing alcohol to kill germs. Be honest with yourself, just because a product is still good does not mean you need to keep it.  I tossed out so much crap in my recent cosmetics cleanse, and gosh darn it felt great!  Makeup brushes are good forever, just be sure to clean those suckers regularly.  Once you have completed your makeup cleanse, organize your goodies. Congratulations, you now feel like a new and improved woman!

Don’t be shy to hit me up with any questions regarding these weird hacks (again, that WORK!) If any of y’all have a bizarre beauty ritual of your own…I would love for you to share!

“Home is where your makeup stash is.”

XOXO,

Julz Chez

 

 

 

 

Beauty

You can’t buy happiness but you can buy great makeup and skincare products!

There is no better time than the holiday season to spend a little extra time getting glam.  Today I’m sharing my favorite finds from Ulta beauty that would make great last minute gifts for your beauty loving besties, or great gifts for yourself:) Every product in bold pink font is directly linked to shop. Let the glam games begin!

Every beauty girl knows that without great products to keep your skin hydrated and glowing, your gorgeous makeup palettes are good for nothing (so dramatic).  This trio by skin care legend Peter Thomas Roth (my hubs says he’s legit because he has one of those 3 name names;) is all you need.  The cream cleanser gently removes makeup, excess oil and impurities, while moisturizing your skin.  The serum has an intense 75% Hyaluronic Acid Complex that helps replenish the appearance of aging. I was having a serious problem with dryness this Winter, until I started using the cloud cream moisturizer. Attempting to apply makeup to dry skin is the pits.  This moisturizer feels amazing and provides a continuous burst of hydration that lasts up to 72 hours.  Clinique also carries wonderful skincare products at great price points.  The moisture surge line provides supercharged hydration for all skin types.  Bonus….I love the warm nostalgic vibes I get using Clinique.  Brings me right back to my mom taking me to the counter to get my first compact. A very important life milestone:)

There are very few fashion statements that have truly stood the test of time, and red lips are one of them. You know a woman means business when she puts on red lipstick.  Nothing says confidence and glamour like a red lip, therefore finding the perfect shade is critical. This lip prep kit by Mac has everything you need to nail the look, and is available only at Ulta beauty.  The set features three best-selling products to prep, line and define the perfect red pout. The shade is called Ruby Woo, and is a makeup artist favorite for a reason.  The vibrant color looks good on all skin tones. A 52 dollar value for $39.50…yes please!

Give me all the palettes please!  I’m having a serious moment with the brand Too-Faced.  The most fabulous shades…and can we take a moment to appreciate the darling packaging?! A wise man (by the name of Heath who works at the Bloomy’s Chanel counter) once told me if the product packaging doesn’t make you happy, don’t buy it.  I’m with Heath, there is something magical about pretty products displayed on your makeup vanity! The palette to the right is called I want Kandee, and was developed by the beauty blogger sensation Kandee Johnson in collaboration with Too-Faced, and is available only at Ulta Beauty.  15 exclusive satin, matte, and shimmer shades infused with a delicious candy scent.  Below that is the Sweet Peach eye shadow collection; a new spin on neutrals featuring fresh-picked shades of peachy pinks, corals, and bronzes.  This palette is a personal new favorite of mine, the shades are so complimentary and feminine. And you guessed it…it smells like peaches!

The ultimate splurge for all you makeup lovers…three limited edition palettes in one.  Each palette features a different look, and comes with a step-by-step how to achieve the look guide.  Genius! The perfect gift for a makeup loving girlfriend…or yourself (guilty).

Lets take a closer look at the I believe in pink palette (PS I am very jealous of the people that get to create product names!).  It is so easy to get in a makeup funk and do the same thing all the time…getting glam should be a fun and creative way to express yourself and your mood.  The step by step guides that come with these palettes make switching up your look so easy.  I followed the steps and loved the result.  I sealed the deal with Melted Matte long wear lipstick in Tropical Punch. This lightweight, long-wearing formula glides over lips like a gloss, but dries to a ultra-matte finish.  Easy to apply, and such a great pop of festive color!

Resolve to worry less and rock a red lip this holiday season.  From my makeup vanity to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah y’all!

XOXO,

Julz Chez

 

Life

‘Tis the Season to Gift…Stylishly

‘Tis the season to shop…for others!  Every major retail site is oozing with gift guides to lead you along the path to great purchases.  And then there’s the blogger crowd…these fashionable elves have been whipping out endless guides geared for everyone from your bestie and boo, to your dog walker.  And so I felt if I failed to publish anything on the subject matter, my blogger street cred would crumble to pieces. Let the fun begin!

Instead of sharing all the beautiful gifts carried at large department stores (you can check those out anytime), I am sharing my favorite local boutiques to shop, and giving you a glimpse of my gift picks this year.  I get my love of a solid theme from the queen bee of themes herself, my mother.  This first gift is sure to put a smile on any beauty loving girly girl in your life.  Darling rose all day coffee table style book, equally darling drink pink book, rose flavored gummy bears that taste legit like delicious rose, indulgent rose beauty products, a rose candle, and your favorite bottle of rose. All those treasures are linked with online sources, however I recommend my Chicago ladies head to local gift shop paradise, Bow&Arrow Collection. I could seriously live in this store.  Gifts galore for all the ladies in your life (even that friend who has everything), as well as slick finds for men, party goods, and the cutest cards in town.

Art Effect is a Lincoln Park gift shop dream.  Their eclectic collection ranges from silly gag gifts, great kitchen and home goods, designer jewelry, fun finds for children, and so much more.  One of those shops I never leave empty handed!

Alice and Wonder is a local gem that offers contemporary clothing for women at great prices, as well as fun gifts and home accents.  If you are a local Chicagoan I can’t recommend popping by this Instagram friendly spot enough. If you are not local, they offer all their goodies online! Here’s a few favorites I couldn’t resist.  How about those ornaments? Swoon!

Lastly…what’s a great gift if its not adorably wrapped?  This year I decided to step up my game by wrapping all my goodies in coordinating boxes by SugarPaper from trusty Target.  I love how pretty and clean the white and gold looks.  For those odd shaped gifts that make more sense to wrap, I recommend using coordinating paper.  Sugar Paper has beautiful matching tissue paper, gift tags, and gift bags. The coordinating cuteness is irresistible!

Other favorite places of mine to shop for gifts include:

Mulberry and MePerfect for ladies who appreciate the beauty of nice things. Beanies, sweaters, jewelry, and more…not one item in this shop is less than lovely. My favorite local boutique is also available to shop online. My pick of the year…Jenny Bird earrings. My ears are so sensitive I stopped wearing earrings for years until I discovered these.  Lightweight and amazing quality.

Sephora and Ulta Beauty~The ultimate beauty destinations are on fire right now. The best value gift sets of the year. For you mask-a-holic/skin care obsessed gals I recommend this set and this set!

Urban Outfitters~ Great for dudes…records, band tees, funky socks, etc.  Unique beauty products and fun accessories for the ladies.

Anthropologie~ Excellent kitchen and home goods for Moms/Aunts/any lady who appreciates lovely things. I once gifted my mom an Anthro dishtowel and she claimed it to be the best dishtowel she had ever had…and I’m guessing there have been many;) Also pretty jewelry, luxury pajamas, and great bath and beauty products.

Shopbop/East Dane– Stylish pieces for the fashion forward women and men on your list.

Planet Blue– One of my favorite places to shop for boho chic women’s clothing now offers men’s styles as well! The ultimate California cool threads for your beach loving buddies.

I hope y’all’s holiday season is off to a lovely start!  Get to that shopping sooner than later…it would be a tragedy to be rushed and not have time to wrap it up in style.  Crank up the Mariah Carey Christmas beats and feel the love!

XOXO,

Julz Chez

 

Fashion, Life

Support your local girl gang

When I entered the bloggersphere a couple years ago, I didn’t have a clue what I was getting into.  I remember saying to my hubs; “There aren’t many Chicago bloggers…the big dogs are mostly in Cali and NY.” HA! Little me had oh so much to learn. I quickly discovered there are loads of Chi-town blogger bees. Navigating the obstacles of networking and social media in a big city is way scary.  I’ve had the good fortune of becoming great buddies with many fabulously inspiring women to help make the learning process FUN!  Today I’m sharing those babes and their blogs with y’all.

Babe number one is Marlena Begier, the beauty behind  Style your Passion.  We started our blogs around the same time, and refer to ourselves as Blog Wives:)  Marlena is confident, kind, and always keeps it real.

Next up we have digital dolls Caitlin (blondie) and Dani (brunette), the sparkly duo behind  Once Upon a Dollhouse. I was lucky enough to be seated next to these human unicorns at an event last year, and we became fast friends.  They have taught me to always enjoy the art of playing dress up, and that you are never too old to rock a bow, or to coordinate outfits with your best friend. Here they are sporting my husband’s band tees at a makeup party I hosted…genius.  Their glittery personalities are also crazy hard working, and they have turned their blog into a full time career. Goals!

Caroline Taft (brunette beauty far right) is the creator of her fantastic food blog, The Brazen Gourmand.  Caroline is a fascinating gal…she is a U.S. Army Reserves Intelligence Officer, Military graduate, photographer, and blogger!  I was tagged by her in photos from an event she hosted on Facebook, and my mom could not get over how gorgeous her food shots were.  Visit Caroline’s blog for great food inspiration!

Meet Lauren, the bombshell behind her style blog Big Blonde Hair.  Her tagline is, “just a ma’ trying to look like the nanny.” So good. Lauren specializes in celebrity styles and the chicest children’s clothing and decor.  She is also sugary sweet and down to earth.

The way I am looking at this next beauty sums up how I feel about her.  Meet Christine, the creator of Rescue in Style.  Her site is dedicated to spreading awareness of animals looking for homes.  She showcases the animals while rocking great classic styles, making rescuing more fashionable than ever. Genius!

When I first launched my blog I made a rookie mistake…asking a big shot blogger to coffee.  The big dogs are beyond busy AND my gal is also a mommy of two littles. Oops!  Lucky for me, Jen Worman of the glamorous style blog Red Soles and Red Wine, kindly accepted my invite and we have been friends ever since.  In addition to her blog, Jen and her sister share a clothing and accessory line T&J designs.  This girl defines the trendy title “Girl Boss!”

Before I met my newest great blog buddy Ami IRL (in real life:), I was intimidated by her ultra grungy, cool girl vibes.  Turns out she is sweet as can be, and we became instant friends.  This small-town gal, turned Chicago fashionista, has been in the Army for 9 years! Visit her blog Klinkerbell for endless inspiration.

Go ahead and let a big shot blogger (or whatever your field may be) know you love their work….don’t just fangirl from afar. Share the love!  Treat others how you want to be treated. What goes around comes around! I could go on and on sharing great bloggers, so I will cut myself off here.

“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.”

XOXO,

Julz Chez

Fashion, Fitness, Life

Blogversary #2…Stilettos & Sweatpants Style

Happy Blogversary XOXO!  I can’t promise blogversary is a real word…but in the bloggy world it indeed is. XOXOJulzChez has been on tap for 2 full years (plus a few weeks but who’s really keeping track …besides maybe my Dad).  Typically when a blogger’s Blogversary rolls around, girlfriend jumps on the opportunity to break out an extravagant outfit, grabs jumbo balloons as a prop, and rocks out a super special photo shoot. Last year I shamelessly had my XOXO balloons ordered weeks in advance prepping for the big day.  This year I decided to keep it real and do what I like to think I do best…stylish activewear cute enough to also call streetwear. This first outfit is from a new San Francisco based company called KORE collective, where every piece is hand selected by style and fitness expert Kelly Sterling.  There are sooo many options for activewear out there, a site offering select fantastic pieces picked out by a pro makes shopping easy AND successful!  I love everything currently offered on their website, and the models provide awesome styling inspiration.  Janessa Leone hat, Tamara Mellon heels.

In honor of the big blogversary, I have to give a shout out to my fabulous (unpaid) “staff.”  Behind every blogger is a team of lucky folks who that blogger drives insane, but for whatever reason they roll with it.  In no specific order…thank you to my fantastic team:

~Blackie Eugene Chez~ my perfectly overweight cat, who always keeps me company by laying his large body across my lap and my computer while I blog. I couldn’t do it without you Chunky!

~Olivia Szwarc– my great gal pal, and the official XOXO photographer.  She is expecting a baby boy this November, and continues to happily snap ridiculous photos of me AND lets me strip down and change outfits in her car.  Talk about a stellar friend!

~My Mommy– a selfless woman who fills her days by helping others..she will stop whatever she’s doing when I text her, “new post alert Ma!”….and will quickly email me her suggested edits. Sometimes I get weirded out reading blogs with grammatical errors and then I remind myself…not everyone is so lucky to have an Editor Mommy.

~My Hubs~ my man is my number one fan.  He’s been known to shamelessly take my picture in the street on Saturday mornings when I’m dolled up for an event, and he’s still in his robe.  He’s also been known to not only drive me to a bloggy event early on a Saturday morning, but also to pick up multiple blogger buddies of mine, wearing a chauffeur’s hat, AND get out to open the door for the ladies…again, wearing his robe.  What a man what a man what a man what a man what a mighty good man.

Moving along to one more Sporty Spice style look.  Fashion girls are rocking the heck out of old school track pants lately, and I had to give it a whirl. They are surprisingly versatile and fun to style.  Worn with a sleek black turtleneck and booties makes a great pulled together Fall look.  Here I am going casual with a loose-fitted crop top and retro heels.  Akira pants, KORE collective top, Levi jean jacket, Urban Outfitters shades, Stella McCartney bag, and Topshop heels.  My wonderful adopted Chicago Grandma is not one to sugar coat what she’s feeling…she’s been super supportive of my blog from day one, but recently let me know she is OVER my go-to pop the leg up pose.  Fair enough Grandma, I switched it up here just for you.

All photos taken by my girl Olivia Szwarc

Closing thoughts on this blogversary memoir.  Blogging continues to be great creative fun, I adore the inspiring ladies I have met along the way, and I still royally suck at all things “techy.” Goals! Thanks to anyone and everyone who has ever taken the time to read a post or like a pic…I appreciate you all more than you know.

“If you got it flaunt it. And if you don’t got it? Flaunt it. Cause what are we even doing here if we’re not flaunting it?”~ Mindy Kaling

XOXO,

Julz Chez

 

Life, Love

California Girls

Hi y’all!  Anyone that knows me knows I am a big mush when it comes to love. I love love, and the magic of finding someone you don’t know how you ever lived without.  My wedding day will forever be the best day of my life…but I have to make a confession.  My bachelorette party is right up there! I am a girls girl, and am blessed with an amazing group of loyal, long-time besties. We all met in college when we joined the same sorority, and have been a tight team ever since. When my adventurous girlfriend Erin announced Cuba as her bachelorette destination, the whole team was on board.  Hurricane Irma unfortunately was not on board, and the leaders of the planning team pulled together a long weekend in Palm Springs in just a few days. We rented a gorgeous air b&b with a groovy retro vibe, a secluded pool and hot tub, and stunning views.  This post would be painfully lengthy if I shared all the deets, so here’s a peak at some highlights!

Myself and the Bride-to-be happily drinking bubbles at the airport before 8am. California bound!

The fabulous house! We preordered loads of groceries so we could all enjoy hanging out under one roof like the good ol’ days.

Our main party planner, Katie, has a passion for the arts, so exploring a city’s art scene is always at the top of her list when traveling.  She gathered a group of us to head to a quirky town called Slab City to explore Salvation Mountain. It was incredible and unlike anywhere I had ever been. From there we cruised through a crazy outdoor art land known as East Jesus. So much beauty and endless cool stuff to look at!

After an adventure the gang was always on the same page. Straight home to pool party!

A group of us drug ourselves out of bed bright and early one morning to enjoy the sunrise at Joshua Tree National Park.  Nature’s art at its finest, it was absolutely beautiful!

We finished strong with a Temecula wine tour.  This was my first visit to a winery and it exceeded my expectations!

As the great Carrie Bradshaw once said~ “Dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.”

XOXO,

Julz Chez