Month: June 2015

Modern Hepburn Wedding Look

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The phrase, “always a bridesmaid, never a bride,” has taken on a negative connotation for years. I haven’t experienced bridehood (yet…) so I can’t speak to the feeling of walking down an aisle – friends and family surrounding you, dad (mom? both parents?) on your arm, walking toward your soon-to-be husband – which I can only assume is magical, but I do know that attending a wedding as a guest, bridesmaid or otherwise, can be just as awesome. Dancing, creative desserts, and festivities aside, being part of a wedding usually means dressing up and stepping out in a snazzier look than normal (unless you wear cocktail dresses on the regular, in which case, you go, Glen Coco). Being asked to be a bridesmaid is an honor that comes with planning, supporting, and of course, choosing a dress. I don’t have it totally mapped out yet, but I’m pretty sure I’m in the camp that says, “let your bridesmaids decide on their own dresses in the color scheme of your choosing.” That way, individuality takes the cake (pun so not intended) and everyone is comfortable and looking fabulous.

I recently had a friend who was put in this exact situation and was on the hunt for a bridesmaid gown in the requested “champagne” hue. She wanted something appropriate for both cocktail attire and July-in-Napa-Valley weather, and she asked for my help. I referred her to Weddington Way, basically the dream web destination for anyone seeking a classic bridesmaid dress, and she found one in no time. Because they primarily filter their dresses by color, Weddington Way was a great first place to look for a dress because my friend’s only parameters were “champagne-hued” and “cocktail attire.”

With July being one of the most popular months to exchange nuptials, I decided to pull my ideal bridesmaid look that centers on a balance between stylishness, comfort, and danceability. You really can’t go wrong with an A-line cut in classic navy. For weddings that take place in the most summery and patriotic of months, this festive look would make a statement that classic Hollywood beauty Audrey Hepburn would undoubtedly agree with.

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1. This polished dress by Weddington Way can be worn over and over again. 2. Crystal ear jackets from Rue Gembon add some edge to the outfit. 3. Add a little sparkle to your wrist with a simple bangle by Nadri. 4. Before you walk down the aisle, who knows how long you’ll be standing in the sun … no squinting with a pair of Clubmaster sunglasses from Rayban. 5. The perfect wedding clutch is not too cumbersome but roomy enough to carry the basics. I love this one from Vince Camuto. 6. Marc Jacobs makes this “new nudes” lipstick that goes on sheer but not too sheer. 7. Bring a roller ball of your favorite fragrance along (mine is Lys 41 by Le Labo) when you need to freshen up. 8. Delays in the wedding schedule can occur and the last thing you want to be is hungry. Health Warrior chia bars are delicious and clutch-sized. 9. Strappy metallic heels, like these from Tory Burch, with a navy blue dress are a match made in summer wedding heaven.

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How to Make Rose Water at Home

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It has been a little while since I have had the time and inspiration to sit down (actually, to stand up and run around my kitchen) and publish a post, but I was so thrilled to find this recipe that I had to share it. Managing my first issue of Willow and Sage magazine has taken up a large amount of my time and, to be honest, creativity, but I feel fortunate and happy to say that I’m working on something that I’m truly interested in. I’m learning about so many different kinds of all-natural ingredients and the benefits they have for our skin, and dreaming up scrubs, face masks, body oils, etc. is just one of the things that keeps me super busy during the week.

The rose water recipe here was originally published in our most recent summer issue of Willow and Sage. I had never really considered the necessity of a facial mist, let alone one as gentle as this. About a year ago, like so many women in their mid-twenties, I started seeing flare-ups of pimples at certain times of the month, which frustrates me to no end because I was lucky enough to make it through my teenage years acne-free. So when breakouts started showing up, in my mind, anything that I  putting on my face had to have heavy-duty ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide that would basically wipe out any bacteria on my skin. While I still use a cleanser with just 1.5% salicylic acid (you can find it here), I have recently had much more success using gentle products with minimal ingredients that won’t affect the natural pH of my skin or strip it of oils that are essential to keeping it hydrated (I case you’re curious, I use this face oil several times a week and this moisturizer morning and night. And I just started using this toner, but so far so good!). While my skin has been looking (knock on wood) awesome for a few weeks, I know that pimples are bound to come back in one capacity or another, which is why I think skin care is always in transition, needing little tweaks now and then to fit the mood your skin and body are in.

Which brings me to this amazing recipe for rose water that I have been using as a facial mist. After washing my face and letting my toner sink in, I have been using this face mist to rehydrate my skin before I apply my face oil and/or moisturizer. This is that super important step that I didn’t think was necessary, but man, do I see a difference when I wake up in the morning! Rose water has so many different, varied uses: face toner, light fragrance, fruit salad additive, and even an ingredient in traditional Russian desserts. I hope to post more DIY bath, body, and beauty recipes, especially ones that I have incorporated into my daily skin care regimen. And (shameless plug) if this sort of thing interests you, you should totally pick up a copy of Willow and Sage – it is so rewarding to work on and even more exciting to share.

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Recipe borrowed from the summer 2015 issue of Willow and Sage

You Will Need

Roses

Saucepan

Filtered water

Strainer

Glass jar with secure lid

Spray bottle (optional)

 

To Make

It’s best to use roses that are either grown in your garden or sourced from a market that does not spray their flowers with chemicals. I picked mine up from our local farmers’ market.

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Pick the petals off of two roses. Rinse the petals in water to remove any dust.

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Place the petals in a saucepan, and add about 2 1/2 cups of filtered water to just cover the petals. Too much water will make your rose water too dilute.

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Cover the saucepan and simmer on a low flame. The water should be steaming hot but not boiling. Allow the water to steam until the petals have lost their color. You will see a little bit of oil floating on the surface.

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Strain the water into a glass.

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Rose water can be used as a face mist, a toner, a light fragrance, or a hair rinse. I funneled mine into a spray bottle, but it can be kept in any container with a secure lid. I added a few drops of tea tree essential oil to the face mist for an extra dose of antibacterial power to keep breakouts away. Be sure to store your rose water in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.

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