Wednesday, April 1, 2015

With an Edge

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Trench:  similar here and amazing short sleeved trench | Leather Pants: J Brand | Top: A.L.C. | Spike Necklace: Alex Mika | Choker: Jules Smith | Shoes: Louboutin 'So Kate'

One of my favorite combinations in the world: a classic look with a bit of an edge.

Stay tuned for a lengthy post tomorrow! Showing one look, three ways, accompanied by my favorite makeup looks. 

Photos by Keith Hodne

Monday, March 30, 2015

Laid Back Weekend

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Trench Vest: Theory | Boyfriend Jeans (similar) | Mules: Vince Camuto 'Vestata' | Button Down: Current/Elliott | Bag: Saint Laurent | Sunglasses: Chloe 'Nerine'

Hope everyone had a nice weekend! I wore this easy look which consisted of a messy bun, minimal makeup (some mascara, gloss and cheek highlighter) and the most comfortable outfit: a breezy white button down, boyfriend jeans and a new pair of peep-toe mules, found at Nordstrom. I was initially debating between the ones I'm wearing and these, but opted for the budget friendly version. 

Photos by Keith Hodne | Wall: Love for the People


Friday, March 27, 2015

Back in Black

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Jacket: Express | Jeans: Express | Tee: Express One Eleven | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bag: Saint Laurent

If you follow me on instagram, you might have already seen  me post this fringe jacket. I was pretty excited when I found out since I've been wanting one, but didn't want to spend upwards of $1,000 on one. I wore this outfit out on a date with Keith and paired it with these super flattering high-waisted jeans and a white v-neck from their new One Eleven line. I'm a sucker for a good white v-neck and this one is soft and long enough to tuck into your shirts for that perfect drapey look. The collection is selling out quickly, so click here to get yours now! New styles will be available beginning in June.

Hope you guys have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fresh

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Flats: Nicholas Kirkwood (love them in red) | Sweater: Express | Jeans: Topshop | Necklaces: Dylanex 

Not to start this post off on a negative note, but do you know what I hate more than anything? When a pair of flats gives me blisters!  I feel like what's the point? If I'm going to get blisters, it better be from some amazing pair of heels, not a pair of "comfortable" flats. Well, that is NOT the case with these Nicholas Kirkwood puppies. From the moment I slipped them on, they felt like butter. No breaking in period required. I've been eyeing the white pair since last year and so happy I finally bit the bullet.

Hope you guys have a great Thursday!

xoxo,
Helena

Photos by Keith Hodne


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Glamour

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Cape: Zara (old. last worn here) | Dress: Susana Monaco | Boots: Stuart Weitzman 'Highland' (another OTK alternative here and here) | Bag: Saint Laurent (insane fringe version) | Belt: Vintage Chanel | Sunglasses: Celine | Lipstick: MAC Ruby Woo + MAC Red 


I cannot tell you how many times I've worn a version of this outfit. If I'm going out  and don't know what to wear, I'll throw on this simple turtleneck dress, OTK boots and some of my fav accessories. My best friend (Hi, Susy!) got me this amazing vintage Chanel belt and it's been such a great addition to my wardrobe.


I actually wore this exact outfit to her bridal shower and just for fun, included two pics of my mom and I after the jump.

On another note, I wanted to thank you guys for the feedback on my last skincare post. I tried to answer all of your questions in the comment section, but please let me know if I missed any.


Photos by Keith Hodne


Friday, March 20, 2015

How to Properly Wash your Face {My Journey to Clear Skin}

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I should warn that this is a lengthy post! If you're blessed with beautiful, blemish-free skin, you may want to skip it! If not, continue reading and I hope you walk away with some helpful tips that have helped transform my skin.

Growing up, I've always had pretty good skin. While some of my other teenage friends were cursed with terrible acne, I was one of the lucky ones. At that point, I didn't even think about what they were going through, but now looking back, I could imagine it's one of the worst things for a hormonal, insecure, moody teenager to live through. 

 Then all of a sudden, I turned 25 years old (maybe 26) and it's like a switch went off in my body. My skin started breaking out like crazy. I wasn't doing anything differently, so I wasn't sure what triggered it, so not knowing the culprit was one of the most frustrating parts. Adult acne? hormones? Whatever it was, I was just desperate to know how I can stop it. This was also at the beginning of my blogging days, where I was meeting new people every single day. Horrible. 

 This continued to go on for years. It was never severe, but mild to moderate and consistent enough that it really started to affect my self-confidence in a really BIG way. The first thing I would do is wake up in the morning and run to the bathroom to look at my face. Did my breakouts get better? get worse? Did that "magic cream" zap my pimples away overnight? Most of the time, I'd storm out of the bathroom in a terrible mood. I probably took that terrible mood out on Keith, my family, etc. It might sound petty or vain, but it's the absolute truth.

 I started visiting countless dermatologists and spending hours on the web doing research. I was desperate. I tried everything from birth control pills, OTC gels and creams (Tazorac, Retin-A Micro, etc...), getting facials, antibiotics, Proactiv, with nothing helping. At some point, I was even considering Accutane. I became that girl that started dreading social events, especially in the daytime, because I felt gross. What's a new pair of shoes or a new bag if your most important accessory, your skin, looks bad? I would have done anything, or paid any amount of money if I knew it guaranteed clear skin.

 Then one night, stuck in one of my desperate searches for the magic cure, I stumbled across a couple of videos on YouTube, two in particular, that shed light on so many things (going to share them below and if this topic speaks to you, I highly recommend watching them).  It's also when I first discovered Caroline Hirons, who unbeknownst to me, already had a massive cult following for her incredible knowledge and no BS attitude.

Caroline talks about many products and it can get a bit overwhelming, but after going through all of her posts, I found the few things that have dramatically changed my skin.

THE STEPS
1. No foaming cleansers. Who knew? Maybe you guys did, but I always thought foam = clean skin. That could not be the furthest thing from the truth. A quote from Caroline's Cheat Sheet:

"As a rule - stay clear of 'foaming' on the bottle (there is the odd exception, but they are few and far between) - to get foam you need to use a surfactant - and a surfactant turns your skin alkaline. Alkaline skin is like a petri dish for bacteria. The irony being that so many cleansers pushed on to acne/combination skins are foaming. Naughty, nasty companies should know better."

2. Applying your cleanser on DRY skin. Yes, I know this sounds weird, but this is key. I've learned that when you first apply on dry skin and gently massage into your face for about a minute, this really helps in not only breaking down your makeup, sunscreen and all the grime, but it stimulates your facial muscles. This is what will keep our face looking young and vibrant. As dry brushing and stimulating circulation is key for the body, stimulating circulation in your face is also key. It all begins to make sense! After that, we move on to the step below..

3. Using a cleansing balm. This has been another life changing thing for me. I used to have the same school of thought as so many of you: that applying balms or oils is a bad bad thing and going to contribute to further breakouts. This could not be further from the truth! Trust me! After all my research, I finally took the plunge on this Emma Hardie cleansing balm and although pricey, it's lasts forever and contributes to the most balanced, happy skin. I genuinely look forward to using it on the days that I wear any sort of face makeup, which thankfully, has been less and less these days! This also plays a big role in making my skin look plump and dewy. I cannot stress how much I love this stuff.

4. Using a muslin cloth or as American's call it, a facial cloth, in conjunction with you cleanser/balm. For me, this is a CRUCIAL step. This is THE crucial step! If you're using a balm, a cloth will always be necessary, but honestly, I think it should be necessary with any type of good cleanser. I now believe that one of the main reasons I was breaking out was that I was never completely removing all my makeup. Even though I was pretty crazy about washing my face every single night, wetting my face and slabbing on some cleanser as I've learned, wasn't cutting it.  Now, I apply my cleanser on dry skin, massage into my skin for a minute or so and then wet my cloth with warm water to wipe my face. After that, you can finish off with splashing some warm water to really get the remaining makeup gunk off.

FYI: I use one cloth per wash and then throw into the wash. Don't reuse a dirty cloth the next day.

4. Lastly, after I'm done cleansing, I use my holy grail, miracle product: Biologique-Recheche P50.Words cannot explain what this product, in conjunction with properly cleansing and prepping my face, does for me. However, I don't want to completely overwhelm  you guys today so I'm going to save this for my next beauty post. Honestly, this stuff deserves its own post so please bear with me. 

THE VIDEOS
The top two videos are what started it all for me! 

Caroline Hirons joins the Pixwoo's: particularly from the beginning to the 4:20m. So enlightening and worth watching!

A Model Recommends: from 59seconds to 3m22sec. 

The first two steps of this video are part of my nighttime routine (if you don't want to watch it's the Emma Hardie balm and then the Biologique P50) and then I follow up with a serum, moisturizer and an eye cream.  In the morning (and some nights), I use this cleansing milk (starting out on dry skin!). More on all of this later.

I know this was a lot to process so please let me know if you have any questions! Would love to hear your feedback and if you've dealt with anything similar.

phew! that was long...

Illustration: Lillian Jang for Brooklyn Blonde.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Wardrobe Staple {The Fix}

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Today I'm so thrilled to partner with MyHabit & TONI&GUY as we get ready to welcome spring! I'm sharing one of my wardrobe essentials, my new must-have hair product (TONI&GUY sent me their flexible hairspray and I'm in love) and my favorite ways to celebrate the new season. Of course it involves some of my go-to places for food and cocktails! You can check out the full post HERE

Thank you to MyHabit for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.