Little Joys

I’ve done a few little things over the past week or two that I enjoyed and I can’t wait to share them with you.

One is I finally hit up the new St. Louis Premium Outlets! I’ll be sharing more later but let’s just say this – I loved it! I scored some awesome home goods and clothes at great prices.

Rachael Powell St Louis Premium Outlets

Top: LOFT c/o St. Louis Premium Outlets (price: $12) | Skirt: H&M | Heels: Gift | Earrings: Gift

The second is I got my hair done! I’ve been longing for something a bit shorter lately and wanted to do something with my color. Before this my hair was all my natural color with a bit of dip dye ombre at the ends. I went to my lovely and talented stylist (Kristen Linares) and told her I wanted shorter and maybe darker but other than that it was up to her.

Rachael Powell HaircutThis photo does a great job of showing the lowlights.

She was awesome about talking me through why she was doing what she was doing and asking me if I was comfortable with everything at each step. She recommended I add some chocolate lowlights to make my natural color more rich and give me easy growth patterns so I won’t be in the salon all of the time. The change is super subtle but I love it. My favorite part is people keep complimenting me on my hair and ask if I did something different as opposed to saying, “Woah! You colored your hair!”

What little joys have you had lately?

Sponsored Post: Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

Ok, girls. Let’s get real here for a second. While I try to be as honest and open about my life on this blog as possible, there are absolutely days I don’t take my photo. Most of the time it’s because I’m running late to work or dinner and don’t have time to convince Bill to take it for me. However, there have been days where I had planned out a cute outfit, convinced Bill to take 5-10 minutes before we left to take my photo and then I just didn’t want a photo taken.

All the girls out there know there are absolutely days when you don’t want your photo taken. You don’t want to get dressed up. You don’t want to do anything. I’m talking about our periods. When that time of the month comes I’m more likely to be found curled up in a ball than out and about town getting my photo taken.

cobalt blue lace shirt with button up black circle skirt stl style blogger

That’s why when Kotex contacted me asking me to share my experience with their U by Kotex Sleek tampons I paused.

But then the more I thought about it, that’s a part of every girl’s life. To look stylish every day, that means looking stylish on days when you feel awful – periods included.

steve madden black flats and vince camuto black laptop bag

So here goes world: I have a period and I refuse to let it make me wear sweatpants!

On the day I ‘tried out’ Kotex’s lastest product, I happened to have an early morning bootcamp and a full day at the office. You know what? Just the idea of not letting my period get me down really did make me feel better and got me into some stylish duds.

cobalt lace top st louis style blogger rachael powell

Rachael Powell Style Every DayTop: H&M (Clearance – $5!) | Skirt: TJ Maxx | Flats: Steve Madden from DSW | Bag: Vince Camuto from DSW

Throughout the day, I felt protected (no awkward mirror checks here!) and comfortable.

Get real for a minute, gals: What things make you not want to wear your best? How do you deal with it?

If you’d like, grab a free sample of the U by Kotex tampons and tell me what you think. Even better yet, tell Kotex on Facebook and Twitter.

I wrote this review while participating in a content series through Clever Girls Collective on behalf of U by Kotex, and received products to facilitate my post and compensation for my time to participate. Read more about how I work with brands.

5 Ways to Make Your Beauty Routine More Eco-Friendly

My beauty daily beauty routine doesn’t change very often. When I find a product I like, I tend to stick with it, maybe adding new eyeshadows every now and then. I look for products that work as promised and, hopefully, don’t break the bank. However, one of the things I’ve been looking to do is make my beauty routine a bit more eco-friendly. Natural beauty products have a host of benefits beyond just helping the environment, including being better for your skin.

I met Julie from Blissoma, a St. Louis-based company that produces natural skin care products, at St. Louis Fashion Week and was immediately struck by her entrepreneurial spirit and drive to make beauty more natural.

I reached out to Julie and asked her to share five ways we all could make our beauty routine a little more eco-friendly. Here’s the tips she had to share:

Julie Blissoma Natural Products STL St Louis Beauty Care

Isn’t she stunning?

1. Choose more products packaged in fully recyclable, natural materials like glass bottles and jars.

Plastic bottles can be recycled, and should be, but most of them are not made out of post-consumer waste to start with so it is only part of the recycling chain.  Recycled plastic bottles have to be downcycled, meaning a plastic bottle can’t be recycled into another plastic bottle.  Glass is infinitely and easily recyclable almost anywhere people live.  Glass containers can also be quite classy too, as they have that nice, heavy “real” feel to them.

2. Purchase natural, minimally packaged bar soaps instead of liquid body washes.

A bar of soap is smaller and lighter to ship which saves CO2 emissions in delivering it to stores and does not require a plastic bottle which saves CO2 and plastic on the container as well.  Natural soaps are fully biodegradable which is great for our water supply, whereas a body wash often is not unless it is coming from a truly natural brand that has used biodegradable surfactants.  There are also no extra preservatives in a bar soap which is great for your skin and toxin load, and they can be up to 84% organic.  Liquid washes are generally made from mostly synthetic surfactants and far less plant based materials.

3. Add one new natural product to your routine per month.

You don’t have to switch everything out all at once, and most people won’t.  Having at least one new item in your personal care routine at all times will help you arrive steadily at a cleaner total routine without causing a lot of disruption.  Be willing to try products from smaller companies and order online, as many of the best natural skincare and makeup brands may only be accessible online to many people.

4. Experiment until you find a natural product that fits your desires and needs.

As with anything, it can take a few tries to find the perfect fit. Don’t expect your skin to change overnight if you switch to a natural moisturizer. Give each product a good trial and if you don’t love it, try something else.

5. Join a monthly sample box program to try lots of options at a lost cost.

Paying a low price to services like Eco Emi and Goodebox allow you to receive a monthly box of curated natural samples to find the products you love. Eco Emi includes more than just personal care items so you can try natural chocolates, energy bars, etc. whereas Goodebox is strictly natural personal care items.
Do you use natural beauty products? Which do you love? How did you make the jump?

A Night On The Town

Saturday night, Bill and I had a great evening starting off with an any early play. The play, Good People, was a really interesting looking at the choices we make, morality and poverty. I’d recommend it if it’s playing in your area!

We don’t often go to plays so we decided to get a little dressed up for our night on the town.

I’ve had this dress for so many years I’m not sure anymore where I bought it but I believe I only paid $40 or $50 for it, so it was definitely a good deal that’s lasted me awhile! Paired with a little updo, I felt pretty fancy. I also had a pashmina to keep me warm in the chilly theater.

Purple floral dress

Dress: ? | Tights: Target | Heels: Colin Stuart from Victoria’s Secret | Earrings: custom made from our wedding | Bracelet: gift

Purple Dress back

Easy updo for long hair

This updo was inspired by the amazingly talented Kristen Linares at 13th and Washington. She showed me some simple tricks one night (more to come on that!) and I put them to use on Saturday night. If you’re in the St. Louis area, I highly recommend her skills!

Curls and Ruffles

As I’ve mentioned before, when it comes to my hair, I’m pretty boring. I wear it in ponytails, in top knots or pulled out of my face. Every now and then I may throw in a braid, but that’s about it.

One thing I never do is curl it. Why? I end up looking like Shirley Temple for an hour and then it just doesn’t stay curled and I like I have bed head for the rest of the day.

However, I came across a YouTube video that seemed like just the trick for getting perfect curls without being too much. In addition, the weather has been dry as a bone and I piled on the hairspray so it stayed curled for the half day I had it done. Here’s the video:

 

And here’s my version!

 Top: Forever 21 | Tank: ? | Jeans: Levi’s Outlet | Shoes: Gift

Mitchell’s Makeover: Before and After

Not too long ago I received an email in my inbox from the editor of Cincy Chic inviting me to a day at the spa. That sounds awesome, I thought! What’s the catch?

It turns out the catch was that I had to turn over my looks to the team at Mitchell’s Salon and Day Spa. They would cut and color my hair, do my makeup and prep me for a fun little photo shoot.

Well, while I have loved my long locks over the years, you probably remember a few drastic decisions I’ve made of my own free will over the years. In the past two or three years, I’ve gone from a long look to a short haircut and back again. Once I accepted the color part, I was actually really excited for my spa makeover!

Leading up to the big day, I was pinning images like crazy and decided that I was really interesting in trying a little bit of ombre, while also keeping it somewhat natural looking. The morning I arrived at Mitchell’s, I was nervous and excited and not really sure what to expect.

I was greeted by an amazing stylist named Michelle who is downright adorable! I mean check out this gal’s orange and blue combo!

Michelle made me feel really comfortable and looked at all of the Pinterest photos I could possibly pull up on my phone. She also talked to me about what challenges I have with my hair (flat, thin, won’t curl, etc.) and how I typically wear it (up or straightened). She wanted to be sure that she gave me a cut that would help with some of my challenges but would also allow me to stick with my straightened/pony syndrome.

I came in with my hair in a braid and when I took it out she was amazing at the length I had. She was even more amazed when she learned I had ‘virgin hair’ (her word, not mine), meaning it was color free. This color is all natural, baby! :)

Once she surveyed the landscape, she decided to go ahead and chop quite a bit off before she applied any color. There’s no point it putting on a bunch of color when we’re just going to cut it off anyway! After that, it was time for the color! She applied natural highlights around my face and then began teasing the ends up before applying foils to the ends of my hair. She explained that this allowed her to add ombre without making a direct line across my hair. Subtly is key here, folks!

After all of the foils were applied, I caught up on my Kardashian gossip and snapped this ‘before’ Frankenstein moment photo on Instagram:

I didn’t keep track of minutes but by the time I finished reading all about Kourtney’s new baby and how much she loves Scott, it was time for a rinse! This is always my favorite part of going to the salon and, I have to say, it was just as amazing at Mitchell’s! Michelle’s assistant shampooed me and that girl knows how to work a scalp! :)

Do you see some blonde ends yet? As she was towel drying was the first time I was able to see the color at all. I got really excited, but also had a “Oh goodness, what have I done?” moment.

Then she flat ironed and cut my hair again! I wish I had Michelle to style my hair everyday. She got my hair straighter that I ever have!

Do you see that subtle ombre in there?

It’s a bit more blonde around my face.

Once Michelle had finished her handiwork, it was on to the makeup team. Now, when it comes to makeup, my motto once again is natural. I wear a bit of foundation to even out my skin tone, a little powder to set it, some blush, eyeliner and mascara. If I feel like getting really crazy, I may add a hint of eyeshadow, but that’s it.

My makeup artist, Mera, had big plans for me! :) She wanted to show me how much I could do if I played with more types of makeups. To be honest, I have no idea all of the things she put on me, but I can tell you it felt really natural while wearing it. She really played up my eyes, which was a lot of fun.

Once my makeup was finished, I got dressed and prepared for my photo shoot. I’ve done a few photo shoots before, but I’m usually best with a more journalistic style of shooting. This was very posy so I’m sure the photographer was really struggling with me.

But, without further ado, here are some of my favorite after shots!

Rachael Powell - Makeover After

Rachael Powell - Makeover After

Rachael Powell - Makeover After

Dress: TJ Maxx | Heels: From my wedding

In the end, it was SOOOO much fun! I had a complete blast and love my haircut! Check out more photos on the Style Every Day Facebook Page!

You can also read more about the experience, including the products used on my hair and makeup on CincyChic.com.

Disclosure: I received this experience at Mitchell’s Salon and Day Spa courtesy of Cincy Chic and Mitchell’s. I was not required to write about my experience and the views expressed here are completely honest and completely mine!

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