Hi everyone! It’s been a little quiet on the blog as we’ve been enjoying the summer! I know the summer season is close to an end but for me it seems like it just started. I’ll be back next week with some new beauty reviews. In the meantime by popular request I’ve put together a roundup of my favorite sunglasses! I’m sharing the styles and colors I wear the most frequently from Ray-Ban, Tom Ford and Celine. Finding a pair that fits my face size and shape is tricky – most aviators don’t fit well and I still haven’t found a cute pair of oversized sunglasses that are flattering (but they seem to look cute on everyone else!). Here are my Top 7 favorites with style code and color names so you can find the exact same pair in case you’ve seen something you liked on my Instagram stories @beautylookbook.
I bought these in Miami last year at the Celine store and they were quite the splurge but I love them! I had normally gravitated towards brown or lighter pink sunglasses but love how the black color goes with everything. They are round and very sturdy but the lens is flat (while most of the styles I have are slightly curved). I haven’t had any issues with scratches or stretching but I keep these in the case at all times I’m not using them.
Other details above: Top, at the Salty Donut in Miami wearing a tank from Re/Done. Bottom, poolside wearing a Tory Burch Costa Bandeau, older color, similar here
This pair was one of my more trendy purchases. The Celine sales associate recommended this style for my face shape but I didn’t buy them until a year later when I had some Nordstrom notes from points saved up and ordered them from Nordstrom. I love them! I feel like Celine makes really sturdy sunglasses with some weight which makes them feel more luxurious to me. They also make this style in a non-polarized version but in different color variations.
I had these on my wishlist for many many months. I was lucky and found these on sale early in the spring when a number of retailers were marking things down 25% or 30% off site-wide. I saved over $100 off and was thrilled. The size is perfect for me!
I ordered these from Shopbop for the color and love how neutral and versatile they are. The 51mm lens is smaller in width than some of my other styles but still works for my face shape and size. They also make this color in the 53mm Phantos style if you prefer a wider lens.
This is a smaller version of their WayfarerII with a 52mm lens versus the regular 55mm lens. For size, I think both sizes work but I have a slight preference for the wider ones because they cover more of the face and give more shade to the eyes. Larger ones shown if you scroll down to the last photo at the bottom. For the type of lens I don’t have a preference for polarized vs non-polarized lenses and have a mix of both options. I do notice there is a stronger contrast and sharpness in color to what I see with polarized lenses although they tend to be more expensive than regular ones.
This is the style and color I get asked the most about. I think you girls love the brownish/red color of the frames! Anytime I wear them so many of you send messages asking for the style number. I like the shape and style because it’s more round versus rectangular. The color of the lens is almost a happy kind of color when you look through them. As usual with Ray-ban this is also available in a polarized option. If you are looking online and notice prices are different with a certain style – check to see if you’re looking at a polarized option (they tend to be priced a little higher).
These are my most-worn sunglasses. I feel like the polarized version isn’t widely available (except for Ray-ban) but you can still find this in the non-polarized option in a wide range of colors (non-polarized option is also less expensive).
Hope you found this roundup helpful! For me my favorites are from Ray-Ban for the price, quality and classic styles. I do own a few older designer styles from Chanel and Gucci but find I don’t wear them as much anymore and in recent years haven’t really looked into the newer options. If you have any favorites please let me know in the comments! I’m still in search for aviators that work for me – I had a couple of Marc Jacobs rimless options years ago but have worn them so much they are pretty scratched up now and I can’t wear them anymore.
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Hope you are all doing well! Beauty posts to resume next week.
With summer in full swing I thought I’d put together a summer sandal roundup with my favorite nail polish pairings. I’m all about flat sandals for comfort and love how easy they are to wear for a casual summer look. When it comes to shoes I tend to find a couple styles I like and buy them in multiple colors. The basic white, neutral, tan and black colors are the most versatile for me as they’ll go with pretty much any color for outfits.
I’ll make a note on sizing for each style I’ve tried below. I’m usually a 6.5 or 36.5 in most brands for sandals like Tory Burch, Splendid, Joie, Hermes, UGG, Cole Haan. For sneakers depending on brand I usually size up to a 7 in Nike, APL and Saucony. For all of these I either try to shop directly from the brand if I know my size or somewhere like Nordstrom that has an easy return/exchange policy in case the shoes do not fit.
White Wide Strap Sandals + Bright Red Orange Polish
Sizing & Fit: Runs true to size (I wear a 6.5). These are comfortable with a slight cushion in the sole. I’ve worn these out for several hours at a time and love them. No break in period. Strap is comfortable and soft with an elastic cutout in the back strap so it can move with your foot. Also worn in my Miami Travel Diary (last year). They’ve held up really well over time!
Polish:Smith and Cult Poppy Papi* ($18 at Smith and Cult, Beautylish) – Smooth opaque coverage with two coats. It has a slight translucent feel as it is more like a jelly. Love how fast it dries and sets. Reminds me of a slightly more red version of Chanel Espadrilles (discontinued).
Sizing and Fit: True to size with a squared off toe, thin leather lace up style with a cushioned footbed. I normally don’t like square toe sandals but found these super cute! I’ve only had these for about a month now but I love how they feel. Super comfortable and chic! Also available in a few other similar styles Marg (two straps at the front, one buckled ankle strap) and Monty (no ankle straps).
Polish:Chanel Le Vernis in Bleu Pastel* ($28 at Chanel.com, left foot) is one of my favorite light blue polishes. It’s like a soft washed baby blue with a warm undertone. Reviewed and swatched on the hands in this post here.
Olive and June Honest and True* ($8 at Olive and June, right foot) is pretty close in color to the Chanel option, the Olive and June one is a bit deeper and more blue in undertone. Full coverage with two thin coats.
Other Details: Towel by Dusen Dusen (old style), Mita Visor is from Helen Kaminski, Black Sunglasses Celine
Sizing and Fit: True to size, I wear a 6.5. These were quite the splurge and I had them on my wishlist for so long. I splurged on these for my birthday and love them. They have a couple grips on the sole so it prevents you from sliding around on slippery floors or tiles. I think they’re really well made and they aren’t painful on the feet. However there’s no cushion or padding so your mileage may vary on wear.
Polish:Chanel Le Vernis in Cruise ($28 at Chanel.com) is part of the Les Beiges 2020 Collection. So many of you loved how bright and summery this orange was. I think it goes best with white or tan sandals. It has full smooth coverage with two coats. It’s the closest match to the color of a real orange – super glossy and shiny in the finish too!
Sizing and Fit: The Millers fit true to size on me as well, but I can wear either a 6.5 or 7 – both are really close in fit. My right foot is a little bigger than my left foot and sometimes I will opt for a slightly larger sandal if the fit is really close. The Tory Burch Millers are my favorite sandals that I wear almost all the time. The large medallion helps it stay on the foot better than a traditional flip flop and the leather material makes it a little more dressy.
The Bleach color may be a bit hard to find in your size as it’s been marked down on a number of sites so it sold out really fast. The good news is there are multiple colors available (many also marked down) so if you’ve been eyeing these there’s a good chance you can find it on sale! I saw it restock a couple times – so you may want to check back on sites like Nordstrom or Tory Burch.
Some of you have asked whether the regular leather or patent is better. I’ve found the patent lasts longer and is more resistant to wear, however if you get caught in a rain storm (which happens frequently in Florida) they can get pretty slippery on the foot.
Polish:Dior Vernis in Diorcharm 675 on the toes ($28 at Dior) is a pretty bright red coral with a hint of shimmer. I used to be the biggest fan of Dior nail polishes and still think the formula is phenomenal. The new colors seem harder to find these days, most of the fun colors only launch at Dior.com (at least in the US). The formula is a one-coat wonder and I love the brush.
OPI We Seafood and Eat It* ($5.25 at Ulta) is a fun cream coral red color. I think OPI makes some of the best more budget-friendly colors and the formula lasts a long time on me.
Sizing and Fit: Runs True to Size, I wear a 6.5. These are in my Top 2 most comfortable sandals I have. I love them so much I bought a backup pair just in case they become discontinued. I’ve had these for over a year and have worn them almost to death but they’ve held up really well. They have a platform about 1 inch so it’s not too chunky or hard to walk in. The sole molds to the foot giving you support and making it easy to wear. Also shown in a few outfits in my Miami Travel Diary (from last year).
Chanel Le Vernis in Gitane* on the tips ($28 at Chanel.com) is a bold bright red. It’s a true neutral red so it’s not too warm and not too cool. When it comes to red polishes I think Chanel does it best!
Sizing and Fit: True to size, I usually wear a 6.5 in these. This color and style is the one I’ve worn the most. The quality is exceptional and I love how it goes with everything. I’ve worn these so much I have gone through several pairs already – with most people I do think they will last a lot longer. I’ve shortened the life span by wearing these pretty much everywhere – on trips, while moving, in the rain etc. I try to take better care of my other shoes to make them last longer.
Polish:Chanel Le Vernis in Coralium 562 on the toes ($28 at Chanel.com) is my most-worn coral nail polish. Anytime you see a peachy coral on my toes, it’s most likely this one. It has a hint of pink to so it’s not a pure peach/orange. (Also reviewed here.)
Chanel Le Vernis in Turban 524 on the tips is similar but has more pink. I think both of these are my perfect go-to’s for summer. (Turban also reviewed here.)
Polish:Essie U’V got me faded on the toes ($9 at Ulta) is part of the summer Sunny Business collection. It’s a pale lilac color with a white base so it’s pastel. On my fingers it looks paler than on my toes for some reason. If you want a deeper lilac with shimmer the Essie Spring in Your Step is slightly darker.
Polish:Chanel Le Vernis in Camelia* ($28 at Chanel.com) is my most-worn deep pink. It’s a classic go with everything color! I know a lot of you like brighter pinks versus deeper pinks. I think OPI Strawberry Margarita* is a few shades lighter and brighter for the perfect bright summer pink.
Sizing and Fit: Varies depending on style. I took these in a Size 6/36 because the straps fit better on my foot for this color combination and it fits my foot as well. These are the fanciest sandals I own and I was debating whether to buy the leather or patent jelly version (cheaper but slightly different style). I’ve only worn these out one time – I have been waiting for a more special occasion to wear these but we have been staying at home more so I haven’t really taken them out. Can’t wait to wear these more! I find they stay on the foot pretty well.
Polish:Essie Talk to the Sand ($9 at Ulta) is a pale cream with a slight peach/pink tinge. I looked up swatches online and I think it’s so interesting how this looks different on everyone depending on your skin tone and undertone. On me it looks more peach on the fingers, on the toes is almost looks like a pink-white, on some others it looks more peach or beige. It has a lot of contrast with my tan skin tone so if you’re fair it will most likely look less white against your fingers/toes.
Sizing and Fit: These are the most comfortable sandals I’ve ever worn – but they’re more of a casual sport slide rather than an everyday sandal. I have these in multiple colors (like I do with all my shoes) and wear these in a Size 6. They only have these in whole sizes and since I have fairly narrow feet the next size up was too wide for me. In their sneakers I wear a 7 for APL and Nike because I like extra room for movement, socks and swelling with activity. I also bought these for Andrew and he wears a 12 in APL sneakers and the slides – so for him they were True to Size (he’s usually a 12 or 12.5 in most brands).
I’d recommend reading the sizing reviews on their website if you’re a half size. They’re so comfortable I’ve been able to walk long distances in them without any issues. To clean them you can put them in the washing machine or hand scrub the sole if they get super dirty. Just make sure you air dry (don’t put in the dryer).
Polish: Olive and June Honest and True on the left, Chanel Resplendissant on the right
I hope you enjoyed this sandal review and polish swatch roundup! A lot of you have asked for DIY pedicure tips – unfortunately I haven’t found anything that I’ve loved. All my mani/pedis these days are DIY. While I have my hand care routine down, I don’t have a good pedicure routine. I’ll link my tools, top and base coat below. But for scrubs and pumice stones I haven’t found any really good ones yet.
What is your favorite polish color to wear for summer? I think I need to try more purples and perhaps a yellow.
Shoes and Accessories:
Press samples have a * next to them. Other shades purchased by me.
My newest bag addition is the cutest crossbody I think I’ve ever seen from Tory Burch called the Perry Bombe Mini Bag. Last month I received an email alert about the new launch saying it was an in-store exclusive for a few weeks. This happened to be right around my birthday and Andrew thought it would be the perfect gift for me. This is probably one of my smallest bags but it’s so perfect! It has two zippered compartments and a pocket on the bag which is large enough to hold my iPhone X. The length and size is perfect for my 5’3″ frame and I love it to bits!
It’s now available online at Tory Burch and also in other stores like Nordstrom and Shopbop. The Perry Bombe Mini Bag runs at $248 for the leather version. It measures approximately 6.25 inches wide by 4 inches tall and 2.75 inches deep. There is a removable strap that has a 22 inch drop. There are five colors available in Black, Bright Indigo, Daylily, New Cream and Pomander. Some have different colored straps than the body. They also have a few more color/materials in this style. There’s a super cute Perry PVC Mini option and a Canvas Fil Coupe Mini with letters. I opted for the one I felt would be most versatile.
Here’s a closer look at the details and also what I can fit inside.
There are two zippered compartments which run about the same size. On the back there is a flat opening with a magnetic closure. I can fit sunglasses in one side without the sunglasses case plus some lip glosses. Alternatively I can fit in a powder compact with a few small makeup items in one side. One of the compartments has an interior flap on the side that lies flat.
I have a small card case from Gucci (also shown open here in this post) that fits inside perfectly with extra room for a lipstick or perfume. I think it would be more ideal to have a flat card case instead for this style of bag.
How it wears on me below as a crossbody, I’m 5’3″. Wearing ribbed tank from Reformation and Parker cutoff shorts by AGolde (color is Swapmeet). Sunglasses are Celine. The strap is adjustable (and removable) to make it longer or shorter. I left it as it came which is hooked in the middle buckle opening.
There are so many good options from Tory Burch right now, especially if you love minis! I also really loved the look of their Gemini Link Canvas Camera Bag (lower price point with fun prints) and Kira Chevron Small Camera Bag (a more dressy option). I’ve added so many things to my wishlist!
I’ve been using this mini bag for almost a month now. I’m really pleased with the quality, size and shape. The pebbled leather seems sturdy and even though it’s soft it has a rim around the edges to make it seem like it will retain it’s shape well. Even though it’s tiny it works for me when I just need the basic essentials: wallet, phone, keys, lipgloss and sunglasses. I had my eye on the Mansur Gavriel Double Zip Bag for a long time but wanted to see it in person first. The colors that appealed to me the most are in the lamb but it seemed too soft for my preferences. I still haven’t seen it in person yet so can’t really say how soft it is (if you’ve seen it maybe you can chime in). The Tory Burch Mini Perry seems similar but more sturdy with a different finish.
Overall love. I’ve also been eyeing the cream and yellow but for now I’m really happy with the black leather as a versatile option. If you like the idea of a small bag but think this will be too small for your needs I’ve linked a few alternatives at similar price points (ie under $500). They have the McGraw Leather Camera Bag which is a little bigger. They also just launched the Perry Triple Compartment in a small version (really want this!) and a Mini Miller Bucket. I feel like Cuyana also has some beautiful classic options as well, I’m still waiting for our next trip to LA or NY to see the pieces in person.
Do you have or love mini bags? What are your favorites?
Happy Friday! I have an Instagram roundup on some outfits and accessories I’ve been loving lately. A few of you have asked for more info on sizing/scale of the mini bags I’ve posted in a few flatlays so I’m sharing all the details today!
Quick note that a few retailers are having sales going on right now that you might want to take advantage of. Many of my accessories are on sale!
Shopbop’s sale ends April 13th (extended by one day) with code EVENT19 you can save 20% off orders under $500 and 25% off orders over $500
Nordstrom is price matching a lot of the items from the Shopbop Sale (you’ll have to search by brand or product name)
Tory Burch is having a sale event through April 15th, 20% off $200, 25% off $350 and 30% off $500 (there are quite a few exclusions), use code SPRING
J.Crew is having a sale with 50% off sale styles and 40% off everything else, online only with code SALEUPGRADE, ends April 15th (update)
I did a quick series on Instagram Stories about one of my Ark Bags. This one shown above was a gifted dupe and it’s a very well made one. The differences between the real Cult Gaia and this one are slight, I wish I knew where it was from but it was a gift and I’m a little embarrassed to ask! A few of you mentioned you think it’s this one from Amazon or possibly this one from Tuckernuck. Based on what I’ve seen for the bamboo/wood ones the dupes are very well constructed. If I knew where my exact dupe was from I would 100% buy it.
My favorite sandals this season are from Sam Edelman. I bought a couple pairs and these Gala Sandals are on sale at Shopbop. They run true to size and are very comfortable.
I recently rediscovered J.Crew denim, I always thought their jeans were pricey but with the sales it makes them 100% worth it. The 9 inch high rise has a good fit where it doesn’t feel like they are falling off like lowrise ones. No belt needed for this style and at the same time they aren’t too high it makes me feel like I’m wearing pants up to my chest. They’re a little stretchy but still sturdy enough to hold everything up and in! My favorites however are still from Paige in the Verdugo Ankle style (any color). Out of all the brands/styles I’ve tried I think Paige has the most flattering cuts and fit.
My curiosity got the best of me and I felt like I just had to know what the original was like. I bought the real Cult Gaia Ark Bag in the Mini Size Natural Color from Nordstrom (also available at Shopbop) and think it’s SO cute. The real ones have the Cult Gaia branding inside the handle and in between the strips are tiny round beads while the dupes usually have a gap with the clear plastic showing. I’m 5’3″ and find minis fit my frame better in general but they aren’t always practical because of how little they hold. The mini measures 6.25 inches tall, 9 inches long, 2.5 inches deep. (Scroll down for a photo of me wearing the mini.) I think it’s the cutest thing ever and it is big enough to hold my wallet, phone, keys, a compact, sunglasses and a couple lipsticks. I do think the bigger sizes, even the small is more practical to hold more things without overwhelming your frame. I’m keeping the mini I bought and my gifted dupe – think both are the perfect summer bag, even years after it originally launched. If you want something more unique opt for the Tortoise or pretty Acrylic Colors, I love the blue and melon colors!
Quick note on my sunglasses from Rayban, the style code I have is RB2185 and I have the polarized options which are slightly more expensive than the non-polarized versions. I did not realize this until after I bought mine. I know people say polarized sunglasses have better protection for the eyes, but sometimes I don’t like the way they shift colors. I still really love mine and I own quite a few polarized sunglasses. Just wanted to tell you in case you wanted to know or wanted something around $50 cheaper opt for the regular versions.
I’ve had the Staud Mini Shirley bag for a little over a year now and love it! As with the minis vs small, I do like my mini, but the bigger options are going to be a lot more practical. I wish I bought the small size but since I use this for days I only carry essentials. It’s perfect for date nights or quick trips out. It doesn’t have a shoulder strap or long handle to throw over the arm which is the only downside to this style for me. They did just launch another clear option called the Clear Bissett Bag which seems more practical if you need a longer handle to hold over the shoulder or want something a little bigger around.
These style Tory Burch Emmy Sandals run a little small, I’d recommend going a 1/2 size up. I normally wear 6.5 in their millers, with these I opted for a 7. The classic Millers are still the most comfortable as the sole of these are stiffer, but they’re still easy to wear for me.
I bought the AGolde Parker Shorts the last time Shopbop had a sale and this was the first time I tried high rise shorts. They’re on the high side as described but it’s a nice change from the shorter lower waist options I’ve tried. Color shown is Swapmeet which is a lighter blue and they have some fun distressing giving them a more casual vibe. I also love the color Rock Steady which is a more traditional classic blue jean color.
To this day Tory Burch Millers are still my favorite sandals. The sand patent has lasted the longest for me. I’ve worn my others TO DEATH and they are starting to wear, but they have lasted probably 5 years and I’ve worn them EVERYWHERE so I think they were well worth the splurge. My brown leather ones have seen better days – but they have lived through a lot of travel, rain, humidity and moving. I’m planning to repurchase and replace them soon.
Another sale splurge last month was the Clare V Petite Sandy and I did not realize how small it was going to be even after checking the dimensions online. I still love it and think it’s the perfect size for me! (See one photo down to see how small it is.) The larger Sandy is more of what I envisioned this being like though because it’s bigger and has a longer strap to hold over the shoulder. You can buy a separate shoulder strap from Clare V for a lot of their bags which is something I’m considering for my petite option.
Another pair of Sam Edelman shoes I’ve been loving are the Beckie Style in Natural Raffia (runs true to size for me). They have a similar style called Bay Cutout which has solid/smooth leather but I have not tried those yet. The Beckie options are the woven material and it’s very sturdy and comfortable with a slight cushion like the Gala.
By request, a few mirror selfies to show scale of the bags. I’m 5’3″ and 118 pounds (I’ve gained weight with our indulgent Miami vacation eating and have also gained muscle weight with our weight training). The struggle to stay fit is real when there are so many tempting good food places to try when you travel. I’ve been fluctuating like a yoyo.
One last post from Instagram! I mentioned the Anthropologie Cloudfleece top a while back and a lot of you wanted to know what it looked like on. I posted a photo sharing the Mint color. It’s super soft and lightweight and hangs nicely for a relaxed fit. I’m wearing the XS here.
You also wanted to know how big/small the Tory Burch Marsden Crossbody is on me. It measures 9.25 by 5.5 and 1.25 deep. Here it is on me over the shoulder and worn as a crossbody. I wish it had an adjustable strap to make it a tad bit shorter but it’s easy to wear and most of you are taller than me so it’s probably going to be the perfect length! I wear it all the time and it has some slots inside to put cards so you don’t need a wallet. I’ve owned it since last July and it’s held up very well even in Florida humidity and rain.
We had so much fun in Miami I almost didn’t want to come back home! Last weekend Andrew told me he wanted to go to Miami for a spontaneous getaway trip – spontaneous as in “let’s go tomorrow.” I’m normally one who prefers more advance notice but all he had to do was mention The Salty Donut and I did not hesitate to immediately start throwing things into a suitcase. I don’t think I’ve ever packed so fast in my life! If you haven’t tried The Salty Donut in Miami add it yo your list. They have the best donuts I’ve ever had and if I lived in Miami I think eating there would be a weekly habit.
Since moving to Florida so many of you have asked me about packing tips for your vacations. You want to know what to wear, how hot it gets, what sunscreen wears the best, etc. I’ve also received so many questions about the Away Luggage and other accessories like their packing cubes, everywhere bag and backpacks. I’ve put together a travel diary to share exactly what I packed, what I wore and thoughts about everything we’ve tried from Away.
This trip we stayed at the Loews Miami in South Beach. We’ve stayed in a few different areas in Miami before and we really love staying by the beach areas. Other neighborhoods also have their benefits but being in South Beach is so fun. You can literally just stay at a hotel in the area and have everything you need for a fun vacation without a car. We like to get around and since we live in Florida we drove 4 hours from Tampa to Miami. We had a pleasant stay at the Loews! Staff is really attentive, rooms were clean, pool and beach area were really nice. The food and coffee bar were spendy but that is expected in South Beach. We tried breakfast at their Preston’s Market which was pretty good – we ate outside on the covered patio which was really beautiful and relaxing.
This is our fourth trip to Miami and each time we plan a mini vacation. We leave feeling like we should have stayed longer! We’ve already found some favorite eats but force ourselves to try something new each time. That being said, my ride or die must-eats for every trip are The Salty Donut and Panther Coffee in Wynwood. We bought a box of four Salty Donuts and walked over to Panther Coffee down the street for a perfect snack. This round we tried the Guava and Cheese, Coconut Lychee, Chocolate Marshmallow and Traditional Glazed Donuts. They’re AMAZING!
For shopping we stopped by the Glossier Miami Pop Up which was a few blocks away, also in Wynwood until April 28th. Full recap plus haul in this post. If you’re in town definitely visit – it’s super cute!
Just around the corner, Wynwood Walls:
During our trip we did a tiny little bit of shopping. We did a quick stop in the Miami Design District to walk around, window shop and browse. I splurged on a pair of Celine Round Sunglasses which I’m really excited about! There’s also a tiny Aesop Store and Andrew bought a few skincare items to try including the Control Anti Blemish Gel and another bottle of Mouthwash. I had my eye on the Sao Paulo Kit for travel but decided to think about it.
There’s a really cute Taco Truck inside the Miami Design District called La Pollita which has cute snacks and drinks. We were stuffed from food earlier in the day otherwise would have tried the tacos, we took a few sneaky peeks at what other people were eating and it looked and smelled delicious.
Since we stayed in South Beach we spent the rest of our time near the beach areas. This time of year it’s warm but not too humid and the water temperature is so nice to swim in! We love the blue shallow water, it’s one of the nicest places to swim. We rented lounge chairs and an umbrella at the beach. You can also rent them even if you’re not a hotel guest. Policy might be different depending on hotel, but we’ve also found in Tampa a lot of the hotels will rent their beach chairs and cabanas to anyone.
A few more new eats we tried this time included Yardbirds on Leonox Ave and Havana 1957 on Espanola Way. We enjoyed both immensely! If you’re new to the Miami South Beach area, quick note that some restaurants automatically include tip in the bill labeled “Service Charge.” We didn’t realize this at one of the places we ate until after we left and looked at the bill and realized we ended up leaving a seriously hefty tip because we tipped on top of the tip. A few people had mentioned this to me before but I had forgotten about it! I feel like I still have yet to really explore Miami enough to find the best eats. I’d love to explore more of Wynwood though.
Since first discovering Away I’ve now tried their Carry-On, Bigger Carry-On, Medium Suitcase, Everywhere Bag, Packing Cubes and Backpack. Everything has exceeded our expectations in quality and function. I’m an Away Ambassador so the items I’ve featured were gifted but I stand by everything 100%. I have also bought many suitcases on my own to gift to family and it’s been well received, even among the most skeptical and picky ones. Everything has held up really well. My thoughts on each item:
Carry-On Suitcase is best if you’re a light packer or traveling on international flights with smaller suit case carry on restrictions
Bigger Carry-On is our favorite to fly with and travel with in general. Works on flights we’ve flown with Delta, United, American Airlines. It’s roomier than the Carry-On but still fits in the overhead compartments for the listed airlines.
Medium Suitcase makes more sense for us for longer distance trips. We brought this with us on our California trip over the holiday and think it’s much more convenient to have something larger vs. carry ons for our needs. I plan on buying a second one soon.
Everywhere Bag is the best travel bag I’ve ever tried. I normally use my totes and end up stuffing them full. These bags have well thought out storage zippers and pockets as well as a roomy interior. It fits perfectly under the airplane seat in front of you but is roomy enough to carry a laptop and other essentials you might need for on the plane. There is an exterior pocket to store documents for easy access before you get on the plane. It also has a pocket to attach onto your suitcase handle.
Packing Cubes have gone through a couple design changes, the current ones with mesh top are a lifesaver to organize your clothes, underwear, shoes etc and keep them in place. I bought a set for Andrew and he didn’t want to use them. I begged him to try and he’s now convinced it’s one of the best things invented. He can organize all his clothes by type and he loves how they truly keep things in place without shifting.
Backpack is the larger option of the two they carry, this one has three main compartments to store things that allow you to be truly hands free. We love that it’s cushioned and that the base is flat so it can actually stand up on it’s own if you set it down. There are a couple nicely hidden compartment zippered pockets for things like your passport etc. It fits a lot more than we anticipated!
A closer look at the Backpack which now has a personalization option! There are some more of their soft goods you can personalize with 3 letters which I think is so fun. I have my initials on the backpack. We brought it with us to the beach both back home in Tampa and in Miami. It has really well thought out pocket placement so there’s a place for everything. This one can fit a laptop inside as well.
My full pack list linked below, makeup and beauty to follow in a separate post! We each packed a Bigger Carry-On, an Everywhere Bag and shared the Backpack space. Our trip was open ended – we didn’t know how long we’d be away when we left Tampa.
What I packed (including a couple things I didn’t wear but brought just in case):
You always love reading my thoughts on what I brought and what I missed so I’m doing it again! For a very casual laid back last minute getaway I had everything I needed. I still need to find a good beach coverup and an updated beach tote (although our backpack works better than any beach tote I’ve used). I didn’t pack a nice dress for a just-in-case occasion. Some of the restaurants are dressier and require something other than shorts. This round we were ok with everything very casual. I packed a denim jacket and some long denim pants just in case but didn’t end up wearing them. The three pairs of sandals I brought worked perfectly! I probably could have gotten away with just 1 pair of sandals but I like having options for a few days.
If you’re going to be in Florida know the weather can be unpredictable. Bring a few extra sets of clothes packed with you just in case you need to change if you get rained on or sweat too much. When we’re going out to the beach even in Tampa Andrew always reminds me to bring an extra set of clothes to change into. I feel like it’s a bit of a hassle but I’m always really happy when I do have that extra dry clean set to change into. Aside from the obvious good sunscreen and sunglasses, a good hat is a MUST. I really am so impressed with the Eric Javits one I bought – it is large enough to cover the face and has the perfect amount of flop/stiffness with the brim. I’m going to buy one in black too.
Hope you enjoyed this packing post and mini travel diary! We’ve been in Florida for a little over two years now and there’s still so much more to explore. I still want to go to Palm Beach and perhaps Key West again. If you’ve been to Florida what are your favorite areas?
It’s been two years now since we’ve moved to Florida and I cannot believe how fast time flies! It seems like it was just yesterday we drove across country from San Diego to Tampa. It’s been quite a transition for us but we’ve really fallen in love with everything here. We love the beaches, the people and the casual relaxed vibe. Every week I get questions from readers asking what to pack for vacation trips to Florida and my answers usually depend on what time of year they’re visiting and where they’re going. Florida is a big state and the weather varies depending on how far north or south you’re visiting (it’s more humid and hotter the further south you go). There is a long distance between Tampa, Orlando and Miami so temperatures and humidity changes depending on how close you are to the coast. Weather is also fairly unpredictable depending on what time of year. Right now the weather is mild in the Tampa Bay area with temperatures ranging from low 60’s to low 80’s. Last week weather was in the high 80’s! I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom to share some of my go-to warm weather essentials for South Florida.
My favorite layering piece is a good denim jacket. For me the best ones are from Madewell because they come in a wide range of washes and fits whether you want something classic, loose or cropped. Temperatures can change from morning to mid-day to night. Also indoors they love to put the AC on full blast making it icy cold. I like that you can dress up or dress down any outfit with a classic denim jacket. I typically size up for a more slouchy relaxed look.
Good shorts are absolutely a must in Florida. Since moving here I’ve tried so many different brands and styles. For those who want a true mid-rise with a casual look I highly recommend checking out the STS Blue Raw Denim shorts. They’re the best affordable denim shorts I’ve found. Even the light blue distressed ones hold up remarkably well after lots of washes in the washing machine. I also love these ones from 7 For All Mankind and Blank NYC.
A simple small crossbody bag is perfect for just carrying the essentials. When it’s hot and humid out it’s nice to have something light and small that you don’t even notice is weighing you down. I splurged on the Chloe Mini Marcie and love it to death. The Tory Burch Marsden Crossbody is a less expensive alternative and I have also been contemplating the Madewell small crossbody as well for something simple.
The tees and tanks I pretty much live in are the Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck Tank, V-Neck Tee and Northside Vintage Tee. They’re lightweight, super comfortable and come in so many different colors. I am a little embarrassed to admit how many of these I own. They’re great as a casual tee by itself, layered with a sweater or jacket, nice for the beach, also perfect for at-home lounging. They’re not really designed for workouts but sometimes I’ll wear the tank during a run or at home when we’re lifting weights too. I also have and love the Stripe Version.
For shoes I live in the Tory Burch Miller Sandals and Converse Sneakers – they go with everything! I find the classic Converse Chuck Low Tops to be among my favorite and most comfortable sneakers. They don’t give me blisters and are nice to walk in for extended periods of time. I think they’re a super cute sneaker even for the girls who feel like they aren’t really sneaker girls.
One last essential I have to mention is sunscreen. We have tested dozens and our favorite that isn’t heavy, doesn’t smell like sunscreen, has no flash back, is lightweight, easy to apply and also is the best at preventing burn is the Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen. No matter what we try, this is the one we keep going back to.
Outfit details, for sizing reference I’m 5’3″ – petite!
I’m so excited it’s finally sweater weather here! We have hot humid weather almost year round here in Tampa making it too hot to even wear denim jeans most of the time. While I love the sunshine I’m thrilled that it has cooled down enough to haul some cute sweaters. By popular request I’m combining two topics today that many of you have been asking for: best holiday red lips plus a sweater try-on haul.
I’m a neutral lip lover so I was actually really surprised to find how many red lip products I own. I sorted through around 35+ colors and formulas to narrow down my absolute top picks for the best color, pigment, lasting power and a few budget friendly options. I’ll discuss each color with the sweaters I paired below.
Everlane Cashmere Crew + L’Oreal Color Riche Shine
I did my first Everlane haul and picked three styles to try out. I haven’t tried the line before so I relied on online customer reviews for height and weight to decide on XXS and XS depending on style. I lucked out because I’m really happy with what I ordered. For sizing reference I have been losing weight but also gaining a little bit of muscle with our weight training. I’m 5’3″ and currently 114 pounds. I usually wear XS in most sizes, sometimes XXS because I’m on the shorter side.
It’s been a long time since I’ve invested in anything cashmere (again because it’s simply TOO HOT to wear here) so I can’t compare to current styles of other brands. I have tried J.Crew, Vince and Theory to name a few which I’ve loved in previous years. I think the styles I ordered from Everlane are just as good. For the Everlane Cashmere Crew ($100) I picked Light Oatmeal in XS and it’s a PERFECT fit. This is my favorite one of my purchases. It’s soft, lightweight but not tissue thin. I plan on getting a couple more colors. Denim worn are the Paige Verdugo Ankle (for me ankle jeans are the best because I usually don’t have to hem them!).
Up next is the Everlane Cashmere Rib Round Crew ($145) in Heather Grey in XXS. I would have bought XS but one of the models on the website was wearing that size and quite a bit taller than me. I’m happy with the fit of XXS. This is a nice soft semi thick ribbed sweater. It’s one of the ones I was wearing on stories.
I paird this one with the NARS Powermatte Pigment in Starwoman. There are a lot of reds in this formula this one seems the most classic to me (Vain is warmer, Light My Fire is brighter and there are options with either more blue or deeper tones too). This is one of the nicest liquid matte lipstick formulas that is matte but doesn’t shrink my lips to look like raisins. It has excellent staying power and doesn’t transfer on my teeth. (If you want a neutral option American Woman is the best chestnut neutral rose out there.)
Leith + Everlane with Tom Ford Dylan
Tom Ford Lips and Boys Dylan isn’t a new color but remains a favorite for a semi-matte finish. It’s a classic bright bold red with a warm undertone. I’m wearing it below with two sweater colors. A soft nude pink fitted Metallic Pullover from Leith ($49, XS is pretty fitted) that I bought at Nordstrom and the Everlane Cashmere Waffle Crew in Black ($150, XXS) which is boxy but I think has a nice hang to the sides. I like the side slit detail too which makes for a little more interesting sweater.
Another look at the Everlane sweater so you can see the neckline, it’s hard to see the detail but check out their website for close ups which you can see better.
1.State + Pat McGrath Lip Fetish in Wild Cherry
In terms of red lips I don’t think it gets better than Pat McGrath. I could have done an entire dedicated post to swoon over all her lipsticks but wanted to give some other brands and formulas some love. If you feel like you can’t wear full on red lips, opt for a sheer gloss or balm. The Pat McGrath Lip Fetish Balm in Wild Cherry is a great sheer but buildable red. I reviewed it in this post here.
In looking through my closet I find that I own a lot of white tops and sweaters. It’s funny because in San Diego I used to wear all black and grey, or stripes. Since moving to Florida I’ve suddenly found my closet has changed. So many of you have been asking about all the white tops I’ve been wearing. This is a cute one from 1State Convertible Zip Neckline Sweater ($109). This is an XXS and runs big but slouchy. It’s cute to tuck in or belt. I’m not 100% sure I love this style. The zipper is adjustable which makes it so you can wear this a number of ways. A similar option that I have really liked in a tee form is the Free People Nikala Tee which I find has a better fit.
For affordable sweaters that aren’t itchy or scratchy I’ve found some amazing deals from Loft. They have cute cable knit basics. I tried two styles. One is the Loft Textured Button Cuff Sweater in XS ($49.50 but I got mine 50% off, they have online holiday sales so check their site for current code). At $20 it was a steal. This one is a little long for me but on most people I think it will be just the right length. I’m wearing it with the Pat McGrath BlitzTrance Lipstick in Rebel Red which is one of the most fun sparkly blue red lip colors I’ve tried. Full review here.
Loft + Em Cosmetics
Another Loft find is the Cable Knit Trim Sweater in Silvered Heather Grey (XS, $49.50). I could have sized down for a shorter fit but this one is super cute and easy to wear as well. I paired this with the Em Cosmetics True Gloss in Scarlett Knight which is one of the best red plumping glosses I’ve tried. I need to review this formula for you, I have been sitting on all the colors for a while now. It’s been on my to-do list! They have some cute sets for the holiday I think are worth checking out. I have all the colors individually otherwise I would have ordered one.
Sweater worn is the BP Heritage Stitch sweater in XXS. It’s so soft and plush. Unfortunately it just sold out online, but you might want to check in stores to see if they still have some near you. It does run on the large side, I ordered an XXS and it’s very roomy!
Lipsticks worn/featured in this post (all shades are press samples):
Pat McGrath and Tom Ford options swatched next to two of the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution colors. I used to think the Charlotte Tilbury formula was the best, I still think it’s very good, but Pat McGrath’s formula wins 100%.
Makeup breakdown worn in all other photos include:
The best red nail polish I’ve tried is from Christian Louboutin’s Red, although OPI is also a favorite of mine, I just don’t own any reds from them at the moment
I hope you enjoyed this sweater try-on haul and red lip roundup! If you love a good red lip let me know what your favorites are in the comments. I love cozy sweaters and I would haul more if we had cooler weather in Tampa.
I didn’t have time to post yesterday but did not forget my giveaway for the week! One reader will win four Pat McGrath lip products including: Opulence 1995, Opulence Flesh3, winner’s choice of two other lips formulas. Not sponsored or affiliated. Open internationally to those 18 years or older. Simply enter via the widget below. Giveaway runs this week and I’ll pick a winner within 48 hours after giveaway ends and contact via e-mail.