Entries from August 31st, 2012

August 31, 2012

fashionistas on a mission | kansas city, missouri

I have been counting down the days to this post.

Jess of Mimi & Chichi and I have been tirelessly working over the past month to organize our first community event.

Today, I am thrilled to announce “Fashionistas on a Mission,” a fashion, beauty and shopping event to support the women and kids of Rose Brooks Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

fashionistas on a mission kansas city event

Jess and I were chatting one day about all the local blogger events we attend. From private shopping parties to mini fashion shows, we love getting out and participating in our local community of bloggers, models, designers and fashion/beauty enthusiasts.

But it seemed like something was missing. Sure, we get to go to these fun outings, network with people and enjoy a nice evening out in KC. But what if we could do more?

We started playing with the idea of hosting an event, but it had to be something that went deeper than the latest fashion trends or the hottest makeup colors. Sure, we appreciate those things, but they’re just that: things.

We wanted to put together an outing to support the beautiful things in life — local fashion, local shopping and local people — while supporting the people who need to know just how beautiful they are, despite the circumstances.

And that’s what lead us to decide to host an event in support of Rose Brooks Center.

Rose Brooks empowers women and children to live a life free of violence. It teaches women that a life well-lived is made up of respect, love and compassion, and that everyone is deserving of these things.

Last year, I spent a day volunteering at Rose Brooks Center. I worked in Rosie’s Closet, the gently used clothing donation center, and mentored the kids who were at the center that day.

But it was just one day. And oh how I’ve been wanting to do more.

Will this one event change the entire course of humanity? No. But this one event brings the women and children of Rose Brooks Center that much closer to living a fearless life. I sincerely hope to see you there.

We are asking that everyone who attends please bring a $5 donation. Jess and I have committed to matching every monetary donation, up to $1000, in support of Rose Brooks Center. If you’re unable to bring a monetary donation, we hope you can bring an urgent-need item to donate to the center.

Be sure to check out the event page on Facebook to get regular updates, details and sneak peeks at the fun we shall have.

August 30, 2012

beauty scoop | just neem neem cure

A few weeks ago, my face exploded.

Because of stress, poor eating and the general timing of my cycle, my face erupted in more than seven breakouts.

A state of panic doesn’t help with calming the skin, so instead, I took to my beauty stash to do everything I could to treat the blemishes I’d acquired and prevent any new ones from forming during that hectic week.

As you all know, my go-to is tea tree and jojoba. I did several of these treatments over the course of two days, but also decided that my skin may want a shot of something different — something it wasn’t used to using — to combat my breakouts.

Enter neem oil.

Neem oil is similar to tea tree oil in that it’s a natural antiseptic and antifungal. It’s popular in India and especially in Ayurvedic medicine because of its healing properties, but one thing that most people can’t get over is it’s smell.

Straight up neem oil does not smell good. It smells like burnt peanuts and onions and garlic.

I have a small sample of neem soap, a neem and jojoba oil face serum and a neem, jojoba and essential blend. Of these three, only one of them, the last one, smells good.

just neem neem cure

{Just Neem sent me a sample of its Neem Cure oil, which retails for $8.50, to review. Photo Courtesy Just Neem}

Just Neem’s Neem Cure combines neem oil, jojoba oil and a mixture of smell-good essential oils to deliver a potent zit-zapping cure in a bottle minus the stank. I used this, in combination with the stinky neem soap, for four days straight to help calm my skin and shrink my pimples.

It worked.

Did it work better than tea tree and jojoba? I’m not totally sure. I think they were about the same.

But I do think that my skin reacted to this antifungal a lot quicker this time because it was something new (does your skin ever get “used to” products?).

All I did with the Just Neem Neem Cure is stick a cotton swab into the bottle and dab the liquid directly onto my breakouts.

Because Neem Cure is formulated with neem essential oil and jojoba oil, there’s no need to dilute — the diluting is done for you! It takes one step out of my beloved tea tree and jojoba oil process, and I don’t worry about overexposing my skin to a raw essential oil.

My only gripe about Just Neem Neem Cure is its lack of full ingredient disclosure on the packaging. I’m not sure what comprises the “essential oil blend,” which smells very good (floral!). The company website does list an ingredients glossary, but it’s not specific to each product.

Just Neem wouldn’t reveal the essential oil blend to me, and while this is perfectly legal and normal in the beauty industry, I appreciate companies that are transparent in their labeling (besides, if you use lots of essential oils, just list them — it’s the percentages and ratios that really matter!).

I think it would be helpful to update this for those of us with allergy concerns and general conscientiousness toward what we put on our bodies. What do you think?

Have you ever tried neem oil? What are your go-to acne busters? I think neem is going to have a permanent space in my vanity…but I’ll definitely have to mix in some smell-good oils with it!

August 29, 2012

outfit post | campus lace

The teacher man and I live just 45 minutes from our alma mater, but don’t get back to the college town too often now that we’re settled into our home outside of Kansas City.

However, one thing that keeps Lawrence, Kansas, at top of mind (besides basketball!) is our favorite little local restaurant. We follow its snarky updates on Facebook and, I have to tell you, they work at both cracking us up and enticing us to indulge our inner carnivores.

We made it out back to the old stomping grounds on Sunday for brunch and a little post-bacon, sausage and ham stroll through campus on a rainy-then-sunny afternoon.

@kimberlyloc burgundy lace top + black & white printed skirt

{Gold Sequin Hat//Charming Charlie; Burgundy Lace Top//H&M; Nude Tank//Old Navy; Gold Locket Necklace//Donna’s Dress Shop, Kansas City, Missouri; Black & White Printed Skirt//H&M (old); Sequined Oxfords//Von Maur. Photo by the Teacher Man}

@kimberlyloc burgundy lace top + black & white printed skirt

{The wind picked up a bit during our stroll, and while it felt good, it made my a-bit-too-big hat want to fly away! Photo by the Teacher Man}

I picked up this burgundy lace top at H&M on Saturday. I usually shun cropped tops, but I thought this piece would be fun to pair with a higher-waisted skirt or pants to avoid the bare-midriff look and pull together a more casual (loose fit!) lace top look.

And, it was perfect for leaving some wiggle room for my brunch. :)

@kimberlyloc burgundy lace top + black & white printed skirt

{Nail Polish//China Glaze, “Blue Year’s Eve.” Photo by the Teacher Man}

@kimberlyloc burgundy lace top + black & white printed skirt

{Leather Cutout Bracelet with Rhinestones//Francesca’s (similar); Braided Gold Bracelet//Saks Off Fifth, Kansas City, Kansas (similar); Rose Gold Rings//H&M; Interlocking Ring//Forever 21; Gold Wing Bracelet//Donna’s Dress Shop, Kansas City, Missouri; Nail Polish//China Glaze, “Blue Year’s Eve” (similar) Photo by the Teacher Man}

This look is my first attempt at transitioning from summer to fall. I’ve incorporated the big it color of the new season, but in a lightweight, sexy material that is easy breezy for these last few dog days of August. I’ll wear this top again with chocolate brown high-waisted pants, skirts and tights and even layer it over a tight, one-color sweater for added dimension.

How are you handling the summer-to-fall wardrobe transition? Tell me your style secrets in the comments section!

August 28, 2012

style spy | nate from kansas city, missouri

Today, I’m introducing a new post series that allows me to showcase more fashion from around the Kansas City community — and it includes guys, too!

“Style Spy” is devoted to the stylish Midwesterners I encounter every day, from work to play.

I’m excited to kick the series off with a fashionable coworker, Nate, who is a twenty-something, self-described “yupster.”

style spy nate in kansas city

So, OK, what the heck is a “yupster,” you ask?

As Nate puts it, it’s a combination of a hipster and a yuppie.

Yes, he wears fitted jeans.
No, he doesn’t look ironic.
Yes, he cleans up well.
No, he isn’t decked out in 80s-inspired duds.

A “yupster,” in my opinion, is a guy who takes on the preppy look without completely giving in to the J.Crew catalog.

style spy nate in kansas city

I think Nate does a good job of finding quality, American-made clothing and mixing in classic pieces (cardigans, button-downs) with trendier looks (thick glasses).

style spy nate in kansas city

Yes, Nate does need these glasses — they aren’t fake just to look cool. But, unfortunately, I have yet to find someone in my age range who is blinder than me!

style spy nate in kansas city

This will be a never-ending question when it comes to men’s coats and cardigans: Should you leave the top button or the bottom button open?

I always learned that it was the bottom button (I worked in a men’s department in college), but Nate is showing the undone top button here. I think it works both ways on lean body types. No bulges!

style spy nate in kansas city

I like the little pop of color from his button down that peeks out from his cardigan sleeves. Again, a classic look, but it feels fresh on a young professional.

style spy nate in kansas city

I like that Nate’s jeans fit him well, but are not skin-tight. It’s a classic, straight-leg look in a pair of quality jeans that hit the perfect spot on top of his shoes.

And can we take a peek at the shoes for a second? These aren’t offensive boat shoes (sorry, Sperry-lovers), yet have that same, casual cool vibe in a style that is a little more grown-up.

style spy nate in kansas city

Here’s how to get the look:

Shirt // Slim Fit, Banana Republic
Cardigan // Banana Republic
Shoes // Allen Edmonds
Jeans // Baldwin
Glasses // Seraphin
Hair // Chop Tops cut styled with Paul Mitchell Clean Cut Medium Hold

So, ladies and gents, what do you think of Nate’s classic style? I give it an A!

August 27, 2012

beauty scoop | burt’s bees lip shimmer

I love lippies. However, I’m more into glosses and washes than lipsticks.

This is mostly because I’m perpetually late in the morning and can’t devote the time and skill to perfecting a gorgeous, lined-and-filled lip.

For mornings when I just want to slick something on and go, but still look a little put-together, I’ve been using Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Plum.

This bold-for-me lip shimmer delivers a jolt of deep color to my naturally rosy lips, and it moisturizes with shea butter and tingles with a hint of peppermint.

burt's bees lip shimmer in plum @kimberlyloc

{This is a bit of a deeper color than my norm, but it’s so perfect for fall. Photo by the Teacher Man}

I picked up this lippie at Walgreens (it was on sale!) along with a few other random drugstore items. I have always been a fan of Burt’s Bees, though its acquisition by Clorox a few years back concerned me.

Because of this, I definitely proceed with caution when purchasing Burt’s Bee’s products. but for the most part, they seem to still carry on the traditional values set forth by the original owners.

burt's bees lip shimmer in plum @kimberlyloc

{Photo by the Teacher Man}

Also, I appreciate that all the ingredients are listed right there on the skinny little lippie’s packaging. Check it:

Castor seed oil, sunflower seed oil, beeswax, euphorbia cerifera wax, peppermint oil, lanolin, cocoa seed butter, copernicia cerifera wax, shea butter, strawberry seed oil, apricot kernel oil, black currant seed oil, rosemary leaf extract, elderberry seed oil, tocopherol, canola oil, soybean oil. +/-: mica, iron oxides, carmine, alumina, titanium dioxide

burt's bees lip shimmer in plum @kimberlyloc

{Photo by the Teacher Man}

It’s a pretty clean list (save for the carmine, which is animal-derived…from bugs…ew…and the lanolin, also animal-derived…from sheep sweat, essentially) for the low price of $5. Could it be better? Yes. But is it easily accessible in terms of both cost and national availability? Yes.

Guess we can pick our battles.

burt's bees lip shimmer in plum @kimberlyloc

{Photo by the Teacher Man}

I think Anya approved of the Burt’s Bee Lip Shimmer in Plum — do you? The only thing I don’t really like about this balm is that the color distribution is a bit uneven — because it’s a deeper color, it still takes a little perfecting, though it doesn’t require lipliner or a lip brush. Just make sure to apply it while looking in the mirror, as you can easily color outside the lines with this one!

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of the color or if you’ve tried other Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmers!

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