Fashion

Hammitt Handbag Sale-Bration!

My favorite handbags are on sale! Hammitt handbags are functional and quality bags that stand the test of time. All Hammitt bags are covered for life! The collection rarely goes on sale except for their surprise sale-brations, which is my mission to share today.  There was instant chemistry between me and these bombshell bags; check my past posts Hammitt handbag feature, the perfect clutch bag, and the Hammitt grande finale round up. This is a brand I clearly LOVE!  Here is a peak at my current favorites.

This fashionable backpack is my current everyday bag.  Designed with two zippered compartments, an external cell phone pocket, and adjustable straps. So comfy and chic to carry!

This tote bag is constructed of soft and supple leather, and is embellished with Hammitt’s signature rivet detailing. So comfy to carry, and again oh so chic!

The most perfect suede crossbody bag for fall!

Hammitt is upping the ante on what I call the “adult wallet.” RFID technology helps insulate you from a very particular brand of electronic pickpocketing, called RFID skimming.  A film inside the wallet helps to protect information on driver’s licenses, credit cards, passports, and more. Practicality has never looked so good!

This simple clutch is perfect to toss in your favorite tote. In true Hammitt form….girlfriend is simple, functional, and supa dupa chic!

Last but not least, Hammitt seals the deal by arriving in the most fabulous packaging. A great gift for a loved one!

Photos by Once Upon a Dollhouse

XOXO,

Julz Chez

Beauty

Cruelty-Free & Fabulous: Swirl+Sparkle Brush Cleaner & Maëlle Beauty

I love shopping local and supporting the great local boutiques and designers in town. Recently I discovered a way to do MAKEUP locally! A glam face starts with fresh clean skin and great makeup brushes. Every beauty babe knows a variety of fabulous brushes are essential. We all love building our collection and organizing them in cute containers on our vanity, but who likes to clean them? No one! It sucks…until now!

Say buh bye to the dreadful world of brush cleaning, and hello to the blissful results of Swirl+Sparkle!  This all-natural and cruelty-free product is a brush cleaning game changer. You open the darling little tin, moisten it with water, swirl your brush inside, and watch with satisfaction as the filth washes away…quick, easy, and super effective.

I’ve had the good fortune of getting to know DIY queen Marii Lang, the creator of Swirl+SparkleMarii is sweet as cherry pie and passionate about all-natural beauty products. Girlfriend is a true gem, and I smile thinking of her every time I clean my nasty brushes!

Now that our brushes are squeaky clean and ready to rock, let’s talk makeup.

Maëlle beauty is a fabulous cruelty-free makeup and skincare company devoted to creating the best beauty experience possible.  I was lucky enough to connect with the team behind the brand, and visit their sleek showroom in the West Loop to learn more about the products. The Maëlle team of babes are so lovely and passionate about their line, I instantly felt like their friend! They kindly gifted me a generous box of their goodies, so I could get to know the products and share what I love.

Their color palettes are classic shades that flatter everyone…but they keep you on your toes with interesting splashes such as purple and teal! Here is a run down of my favorite Maëlle products:

Skin Sparkle Face Polish~ A modern exfoliator with no scratchy microbeads is gentle enough for sensitive skin, yet powerful enough to clean away dirt and dead cells. I love using this product before applying makeup. It leaves my skin so smooth and hydrated, makeup goes on beautifully!

Secret IlluminatorA little bit of this magical light reflecting concealer goes a long way. I have been applying a couple dots under my eyes and voila! Dark circles gone and fine lines are blurred.

Sunkissed Bronzer~First of all, this palette is gorgeous! My husband saw it and said he wants to eat it. He is very mature. I am a sucker for a great bronzer and have tried sooo many. Usually the palettes with multiple shades are not my favorite, but these sun-kissed shades seamlessly blend.  An instant boost…this palette will be my pasty skins best friend this winter!

Cheeky Blush~ Again, this palette is sooo pretty! The fresh peachy pink hues provide a natural flush and instant pop of color. I have been applying the Sunkissed bronzer first and topping it off with a blend of the blush shades. Instant California girl glow!

Illusionist Pencilsgreat quality eyeliners with highly pigmented colors that easily build depending on the look you are going for. I have been tight lining the inner half of my upper eyelid, and the outer half of my lower eyelid with the forest green pencil. The two halves make a whole, and the subtle green is striking.

Above & Beyond Mascara – Usually I end up using a couple of different mascaras, as they are all good for different things, but this bad boy does it all, and does it dramatically! Say hello to thick, long-wearing lashes with extra curl, volume, length and hold.  Some days when I am teaching sweaty fitness classes and sport a clean face, I will just apply this and a nude lip. I love the look, and have experienced multiple people inquire about my lash extensions! No harmful extensions needed, and no need to layer it on. One sweep gets the job done.

Clearly Brilliant Nude Tinted Lipsa new staple in my gym bag. I hope I am not the only freak who cannot get behind working out without something on my lips. A piece of the puzzle would simply be missing.  This moisturizing lip tint gives color and shine with a non-stick finish. The creamy lip crayon makes applying easy and fool-proof, no mirror needed. I find it is best to apply to dry lips.  The nude is a a perfect everyday neutral, and I also love the berry for a feminine brighter pop.

~Link to SHOP: https://maellebeauty.com/julzchez

~Code julz10 for $10 off first order

“On a bad day, there’s always sun-kissed bronzer and dramatic mascara.”~ ME.

XOXO,

Julz Chez

Fashion

Forever 21 Finds: Round 2

As promised, I am back  to share yet another Forever 21 fashion steal of an outfit. This pink and black houndstooth dress is super chic, and the price is right at $24.99! Houndstooth is one of the hottest fall trends of the year, and adding a sprinkle of the classic print is an easy way to elevate any look.  I am loving the attached neck tie detail on this dress. I find it Blair Waldorf-esque and oh so polished. Bonus, no necklace needed. The fit of this dress is flattering and comfortable. A great item to have in the closet when you need to pull together a stylish outfit in a pinch!

Step aside sock boots, the slouchy boots that raged in the 80’s got a major reboot this season.  I love the look with a dress or skirt. These black slouch boots caught my eye and I grabbed them to try on with the dress. I was shocked by how great the quality is at such a low price.  The heel height is perfectly stylish and comfy.  If you are looking to try out this trend but don’t want to break the bank over it, I recommend checking out the Forever 21 collection!

PS…I wore this exact outfit to a beauty event recently, and a babe approached me to inquire where I scored my dress. She could not believe it was Forever 21…she thought for sure it was a fancy schmancy designer.  Love!

Photos all by: HUSBAND

“Fashion is the most powerful art there is.”~ Blair Waldorf

XOXO,

Julz Chez

Fashion

Forever 21 Fashion Steals

Forever 21 and I had a solid run, but I thought the jig was about up.  We shared some good times.  I have fond memories of my bestie and I leaving the Woodfield Mall store with indentations in our arms from the ridiculous amount of hangers we would stack upon them.  In a twist of fate at nearly 37 years old, Forever 21 and I are back together.  I am a firm believer the brand has really stepped up their game.  There are loads of legit fashion steals in their Fall collection, and I am sharing a few of my favorites this week.

First up: sweaters.  Statement sweaters, solid basic sweaters, cardigan sweaters…they have it all and at prices you just can’t beat.  The striped guy I am sporting below is so soft and cozy, I could sleep in it.  It has that perfect relaxed fit that makes it comfortable, but not so much that it’s not flattering.

Next up: jeans.  I recently tried on a pair of designer cropped flare jeans that I resisted buying at the time, but have been on the top of my wish list.  True story, these Forever 21 cropped flares are crazy similar for a small fraction of the price. True to size, great quality, great fit…great score.

Last but not least: bags.  If you are interested in rocking trendy handbag styles but are not interested in dropping tons of money, look no further.  Belt bags, structured circle bags, clear bags, bucket bags…again Forever has it all covered at crazy low prices.  I love this chain strap suede belt bag.  It can be worn around the waist or as a cross body.  Great quality, super chic, fits my iphone plus…all for a whooping $14.90!

Photos by: HUSBAND!

Stay tuned for another edition of Forever 21 finds coming later this week!

“I could give up shopping but I’m not a quitter.”

XOXO,

Julz Chez

 

 

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 Annlatinovich.com

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

XOXO,

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.”

XOXO,

Julz Chez