Capitol Hill Style

Friday, July 22, 2016 by Belle

The Workday Reading: July 22, 2016

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1) How your morning mood effects your whole work day. (HBR)

2) I bought this Mystique faux-leather bag from Target.  It was worth every penny of that $50 and more.

3) Ivanka Trump’s speech was the highlight of the entire convention.  Sadly, it will probably be the last time I hear gender equality talked about from the RNC stage.  But I pray not.  (Policy Mic)

4) Banana Republic has lovely new arrivals.  This floral wrap dress is a great summer/early fall piece.  And this printed pleat dress is epic; perfect under a suit jacket as day-to-night.

5) Why we let famous women be bullied online. (Rolling Stone)

6) Shift dresses perfect for days when you don’t feel great about your body.  This Mango Essential Jersey Dress has a breezy ease to it.  This Esprit stripe shift from ASOS is great.  Size 14-22?  This lilac ponte shift from ASOS is real cute.

7) Sheryl Sandberg is rethinking some of her advice from ‘Lean In’ since the death of her husband. (WSJ)

8) Don’t like to splurge on makeup? The e.l.f brand makes great lip pencils, gorgeous eyeshadow palettes, and  contour products for $10 or less.

9) The Not-Crazy-Person’s Guide to Online Privacy. No tin foil hat required. (Bloomberg)

10) How cute is this bird sculpture from West Elm?  I want it for my office shelves.

11) Instead of complaining, seven productive things to do when you are annoyed. (Reader’s Digest)

12) 40%-off at Ann Taylor with code SHOP40 until Sunday night.  I had to have this diagonal striped wrap dress and these snake print slingback flats.

*image found here.

Friday, July 22, 2016 by Belle

Nordstrom Sale Review: The Must Haves and Must Gos

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I already posted my picks for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  But I thought for the first day of public access, I would post reviews of the pieces that made the grade and the ones that went back.  And I invited a friend to help me.

My good friend TW and I shop in the same way.  We’re decisive, but also incredibly discerning.  Materials should feel good.  Seams should be stitched correctly.  Colors, fit, and style should all look as good as the picture.  And while we love a bargain, we’re not afraid to splurge a bit for the right reasons.

It’s why we’re both obsessed with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  So here it goes…

TW’s Must Haves and Must Gos

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CeCe Scallop Dress ($118) // Eliza J Bow Dress ($98) // Louise et Cie Leopard Flats ($89) // Vince Camuto Feina Bootie ($99) // Trouve Side Slit Sweater ($46)

The following is a transcript of my post-sale conversation with TW had via text.

CeCe Dress: Pretty cute.  Keeping this one.  Great with tights for work.

Bow Dress: I am actually offended by the quality of this dress.  Offended, I say.  Hideous.  Terrible fabric, and no shape.

Leopard Flats: These are pretty good.  Cute for jeans.

Feina Boots: Surprisingly cute.  Much better than they looked online.

Trouve Sweater: Totally easy sweaters I can throw on with jeans or leggings, a scarf and boots.  Yeah, easy.

Belle’s Must Haves and Must Gos

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Cinq a Sept Harlyn Dress ($264) // Vince Stripe Boatneck Sweater ($196) // Topshop Foil Sweatshirt ($40) // Halogen Long Side Slit Cardigan ($49) // Vince Shadow Stripe Tee ($89) // Ralph Lauren Collarless Jacket ($119)

Harlyn Dress: This dress was cut for a lithe, tall French girl with collarbones that could cut glass.  If that’s not you, move on.

Boatneck Sweater: Love this.  Soft.  Light, but cozy.  Runs a touch big.

Foil Sweatshirt: Darker color in person.  Way, way, way big.  The Nordie’s guide recommended a six, could have fit my boyfriend in there with me.  In the right size, could be cute for the weekend.

Side Slit Cardi: Need this.  Ultimate chilly office/airplane trip sweater.

Shadow Stripe Top: A little thin, but still chic.  I’m going to wear this a ton.  Might also buy the dress in this print.

Collarless Jacket: Darker in person.  (I guess dusty rose just doesn’t photograph well.)  I love a long jacket for work, but this is not that, this is a coat.  Kind of shapeless, a little odd fitting.

Belle’s Great Pieces That Just Didn’t Work

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Milly Mixed Stitch Dress ($263) // Ted Baker Two Tone Coat ($366) // Halogen Zip Detail Jacket ($79) // Eliza J Jersey Sheath Dress ($79)

I really liked all of these pieces, but something about them made them the wrong choice for me.

Milly Dress: Good mid-weight, good style.  But for a long torso-ed person like myself, the waist is in the wrong place.  Cute transition piece.

Ted Baker Coat: Wanted to love this.  Not heavy enough for Western winters.  Style and fit are good.  But rose gold metal is not for me.  Floral lining is kind of off-putting, like bad wallpaper.

Halogen Jacket: Great color.  Excellent drape, and feels well made.  I just don’t have a place for it in my closet right now.

Eliza J Sheath: So slimming. The perfect, “I’m running late, which dress?” dress.  But I own three navy dresses, so not needed.

Thursday, July 21, 2016 by Belle

The Six Products in My Summer Makeup Routine

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From Upper Left, 1. Sigma Bunny Foundation Brush ($21) // 2. Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Foundation ($47) // 3. Benefit Hoola Bronzer ($15) // 4. Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara ($32) // 5. Bobbi Brown Cheek Duo ($42) // 6. Maybelline Color Tattoo Shadow ($7)

1. Sigma’s Bunny Foundation Brush is changing my life.  It gives me smooth, flawless coverage with less product than I ever believed possible.  It also cleans up like a dream.  And despite the name, is cruelty free. If you want a great set of brushes, Sigma’s travel kit is $86 and contains everything you need.

2. My love for Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra Foundation cannot be overstated.  As you know, I have problems with acne, acne scars, and uneven tone.  This medium to full coverage foundation covers everything.  I’ve only had to break out the spot concealer three times since I started using it.  I even bought a lighter shade to use under my eyes in place of concealer.

If you don’t need full coverage every day, I’ve been mixing it with Laura Mercier’s Radiance Primer.  The ratio is 2:1 primer for a dewy, light finish that still covers and evens out skintone like a dream.  Also, if you’re concerned about cost, this technique will make it last forever.

3. Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer is an oldie bit goodie.  So many bronzers have shimmer or an orange base that it can be hard to find a good one.  This is a great one.

I’ve been using it as a contour in the hollows of my cheeks, my temples, and the tips of my nose and chin.  It looks lightly sun-kissed, totally natural, and gives my bone structure more definition.  If you prefer more of a rosy bronze (doubles as blush), try Benefit’s Dallas shade.  Also, I’m applying it with Sigma’s Angled Kabuki brush.

4. I’ve never been a big fan of designer mascara.  It’s expensive, and usually no better than the drugstore stuff.  But Armani’s Eyes to Kill Mascara, different story.

The mascara lengthens and volumizes.  It also separates with zero clumps, zero clumps!  And if you have an issue with smudging, which I always do, there are no smudges, ever.

Now, I understand if you don’t want to make the jump to $32 mascara, it’s a slippery slope.  If you need a drugstore dupe, the Internet recommends L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara.

5. Wearing two blushes seems silly, until you see how Bobbi does it (video link) with her Blush Duo Palette.  The darker shade (plum, in this case) is for the cheekbone, the lighter shade (sand pink) is for the apples.  It gives you a defined, flushed look that makes it hard to argue with her technique.

I apply the dark product with an angled brush, and the lighter one with a fluffy blush brush.  Then, to soften the lines, I buff in Hourglass’s Mood Light highlighter around the edges.  The pinky hue of the Mood Light blurs the lines and blends flawlessly.  Looking for an Hourglass dupe?  Try boohoo’s Get Gorgeous.

6. In the summer, I want easy.  I want light shimmer.  And I want a color palette that looks one step above natural.  So for the eye makeup I like Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eyeshadows.  These are from their Metal color collection, and the hues are Inked Pink and Barely Branded.

I apply the gold hue all over my lids, and the pink into the crease for a bit of definition.  I also set with a translucent powder to prevent creasing.  Prefer powder shadow?  Try Stila’s Oasis and Trish McEvoy Rose Quartz.  Need more definition than pale pink can provide?  I am loving this Bare Minerals Power Neutrals Palette with shades of brown, pink, purple, and shimmer.

So those six products are what I’m using everyday.  I throw in some Tom Ford eyeliner on occasion, or a bit of Lipstick Queen Hello Sailor.  But that’s it.

If you have a makeup product that you’re loving this summer, leave it in the comments.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 by Belle

The Workday Reading: July 20, 2016

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1) Instead of being above “the game,” should we start advising women to play the game to get ahead? (HuffPost)

2) These laser-cut Nine West pointed-toe flats are a great option for work.  These 14th and Union ankle strap pumps also caught my eye.  Good buys for $50.

3) To seem competent, women must be seen as both confident and warm. Ridiculous. (HBR)

4) Want to try the Luna cleansing devices for less?  The Luna Play costs $39 and has 100 uses, so you can test drive the device before deciding to upgrade.

5) Negotiate salary based on what you contribute, not who you are. (Lifehacker)

6) Antonio Melani makes the prettiest work dresses.  Don’t miss this two-tone blue peplum dress, and this green ponte dress looks super slimming,

7) How to accomplish the impossible task of slashing costs and maintaining morale. (Fast Company)

8) Burberry’s leather notebook case is lust-worthy for paper-loving gals.  For something a bit more affordable, try the Graphic Image leather notebooks.

9) Realistic ways to avoid office drama without being a goody-two-shoes. (The Muse)

10) LOFT is having a 50%-off sale.  I picked up this printed cap sleeve blouse and this short sleeve, cotton cardigan to round out my summer wardrobe.

11) Twitter waited too long to address its devolution into troll-dom.  After what Leslie Jones endured on the platform, they closed the account of the primary aggressor, but it’s too late.  (The New York Times)

*image found here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 by Belle

State of the Blog: Bar Exam Break

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Hello, Ladies,

I’m off today because I promised to help a friend improve her writing for the bar exam.  Super smart girl, will make an excellent lawyer, but she’s still struggling with pulling those points.  Back tomorrow and all week with new content.

Enjoy the sunshine!  I’ll have my nose in a book.

xoxo, Belle

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