polarizing plaid

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I like to call this particular wardrobe piece polarizing because among my friends it's inspired a lot feelings. Some good and some bad, lol, as few can decide what they think about it.

It's not a traditionally flattering piece, this dress doesn't hug my curves or showcase my waist, but I loved it from the moment I put it on anyway. I loved the colors and the pattern, the pockets (of course), and the way it was just kind of "there", as its own type of thing. I think it's good for my brain to have pieces where I don't feel beholden to the shrine of "thinner is better", and I'm glad to add this one to my closet.

Dress: Anthropologie (on sale!) ~ Shirt: Ann Taylor (old, similar) ~ Tights: Marks & Spencers ~ Boots: Vince Camuto (DSW, similar) ~ Purse: Urban Expressions (DSW) ~ Sunglasses: Kate Spade

Geek of the Week #32

// I'm more of a 2NE1 girl myself, but this video/song by 4 Minute is really good!

// There is never not a good time for Disney mash-ups.

// I have no real opinions about Amber Rose, but I loved this whole series of gifs about raising her son to be a feminist.

// Another article to add to my list of things I never knew I needed to know.

// I'm not ashamed to admit I'm just not cool enough for Korean spas. I may invest in one of those "Italian towels" though, we'll see.

Fun Posts & Random Finds: I remember watching this in theaters, and even tearing up a bit at the end. NO SHAME! //...Cordy? //The Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin // This really shows the heights of my lame, but I need A Color Story to be available on Android too! // Romance books with female billionaires (and some of my favorite authors!) //Spoiler alert! This is what my BFF's daughter is getting for her first birthday. // I have so many mixed feelings about this article. A Winkle in Time was/is my JAM and while I love and respect Ava Duvernay I'm not sure I event want there to be a movie at all. // "Also, your drinking is a type of witchery that can whip babies into existence out of nowhere."

Clothing & Jewelry: Every time I see these shoes I wonder if I'm cool enough to pull them off. // How can we justify me buying this skirt? // Or possibly this dress. // And maybe this dress too. // If you liked the Seychelles sandals I wore last summer, Anthropologie is carrying them this year! // Love these pants and top from BR. // Actually, I love this whole "ten pieces/ten outfits" article from BR. Thanks for the ideas! // I have mixed feelings about the pattern on this bikini from LOFT, but I'm gonna try it anyway.

back to black

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As weird as it is to say it, or even really to think it, I kind of feel like this post is very "classic" Good Red Herring. It's got my favorite "not-looking-at-the-camera" poses and features some pieces that have been well loved over the years.

I also strangely want to call this the closest I've ever come to an Atlantic Pacific post, which is granting myself a LOT of airs I don't deserve, but this outfit was strongly influenced by things I've seen her wear on her blog. It's like she's in my brain!

 Jacket: Banana Republic (old, also worn here) ~ Sweater: Banana Republic (old, also worn here) ~ Jeans: Joe's ~ Shoes: Old Navy ~ Purse: Georgetown Leather Design (thrifted) ~ Sunglasses: Kate Spade

La Mer Soft Cream Review

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Sometimes I feel like the quest for "good" skin is a never ending journey. I might be getting better at sticking to the products that work well for me (like this Murad cleanser I use in the morning, or this GLAMGLOW one I use at night) but a lot of the time I just end up feeling ok about something. If I'm not seeing an obvious bad reaction, it's probably not hurting my skin but is it the best thing out there? An often unanswerable question.

Lately though I've been dabbling my toes in the even higher department store brands and I have to say that a lot of the time they're worth the money for me. That La Prarie moisturizer I used for a year? Still the single most expensive product I've ever purchased but I don't think I've had one that worked better for my oily skin.

Due to a partnership with Nordstrom Pentagon City I've spent the last month testing what might become my new winter staple, La Mer's Moisturizing Soft Cream.

From the website:

The Moisturizing Soft Cream by La Mer is a luxurious cream that delivers the same radiance and renewal that made the original Crème de la Mer a legend but with a supple new texture. Infused with the nutrient-rich Miracle Broth™, the heart of La Mer’s profound powers of transformation, it penetrates deeply to replenish moisture and strengthen skin. Renewed and energized, your skin looks youthfully radiant.

My experience with the soft cream has been pretty wonderful. It's a nearly unscented gentle moisturizer that I incorporated into my existing skin routine without any signs of irritation. Because I have oily, acne-prone skin I use a combination of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide products to keep it in check which, without a nice hydrating moisturizer, can leave ones skin very dehydrated. Typically I've used a combination of rosehip oil and Keihl's Ultra Facial cream, and I do think this works better.

Using a cotton bud (my hands are clean but being a potted cream I didn't want to risk contamination of a product this expensive) I would scoop out an approximately pea sized amount of the cream each night, put it on the ball of my middle finger and rub the fingers of both hands together slightly. I would then press the cream into my face, making sure to get the areas around nose and cheeks, since that's where I can winter flakes the worst.

There are pros and cons to this routine. Pro, you're using a small amount of product and it's actually quite soothing to close your eyes and gently press the product into your face after you've applied your other skincare products. Con, since the cream is in a pot you have to use some sort of scooper to get it out germ free, and pressing the product into my skin meant that after a couple days I had to start paying particular attention to the area from the sides of my jaw down into my neck, since it was easier to miss them.

But the proof's in the pudding right? Well here's my makeup free face after a little over a month of using the cream.

I took these a couple hours after I'd woken up (to reduce the "puffy from sleep" face) and did my normal morning routine (which does not include the cream).  There's still some residual hyperpigmentation on my cheeks and chin that I'm working to get rid of, and despite a really effective - and consistent - routine, AND an almost full-on halt on alcohol, I still break out in the area slightly.

[[shakes fist at the sky in outrage]]

Final thoughts? It's a really beautiful, luxurious cream. I've genuinely enjoyed using it, and like how it's done a lot to reduce the little clogged pores/white heads I'd been getting on either side of my nose.

Is it worth the price?  That's a bit harder to answer. People find products that work for them at a variety of price points, but for me, I think this is probably the best hydrating cream I've ever tried. It doesn't irritate my skin, cause any breakouts, and has helped me ride the winter tide of freezing temperatures and heated homes/offices. I do consider it worth it. Call me crazy or a buyer of the hype if you want, but I've tried other La Mer products and this is definitely my favorite so far.

Possible Alternatives: Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream, belief The True Cream, Tatcha Supple Moisture Rich Silk Cream, Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè, Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream

*The product featured in this post was provided by Nordstrom for review consideration. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.*