How to Get Holiday Party Perfect!

This post in sponsored by BabbleBoxx.

Holiday Party Picks and Holiday Gift Guide Fashion Blogger

Photos by: Ryan Leone of Black and White Media

It’s the holiday season and that means gifts, parties and more parties. Whether you’re going to a small get together or a lavish formal event, the need to get holiday party perfect is real. Between holiday shopping, baking and decorating, it can be challenging to find the time to prepare for your many holiday appearances, especially if you have two or three in one day.

In order to make your holiday party prep a lot easier (and more fun), I put together a list of my favorite must-have holiday accessories all of which are just as useful as they are stylish. Now let’s get started:

  • Vince Camuto Chelsea Boots: Holiday parties often involve a lot of standing, especially if they’re taking place in a crowded New York City apartment. So you need to find a good pair of shoes that look fab with your holiday outfit and are comfortable enough to stand in for long periods of time. This season, my Vince Camuto Chelsea Booties in cheetah print are it! I wore them to my holiday party yesterday with this fab John + Jenn Red Cutout Dress. I’m really excited to wear them with my skinny jeans or cuffed girlfriend jeans to more casual holiday events. The 1.75″ heel gives me all the style and comfort I need to party all night.
  • Nad’s Facial Wand Eyebrow Shaper:  Do you know that feeling when you’re on your way to a holiday party and your eyebrows are a mess, but it’s too late to make an appointment? Well, I do and I found the perfect solution in the Nad’s Facial Wand Eyebrow Shaper. It’s a great way to clean up your eyebrows easily, naturally and quickly. Its SlimTip Precision Applicator is filled with a natural, non-heat formula that washes away with water for salon-quality results without the hassle or high costs of a salon. The kit includes the Facial Wand, washable/reusable cotton strips and cleansing wipes for fast and simple touch-ups at home.
  • Woosh Beauty – The Fold Out Face: The Fold Out Face is one of my favorite holiday finds ever! It’s an entire beauty bag in one. It’s the perfect gift for the beauty addict in your life or for yourself. If you’re going to a holiday party out of town, the Fold Out Face makes it easy to bring all your makeup with you. This premium beauty kit includes universally flattering eye shadows, flawless complexion coverage, dark and light contouring powders, cool and warm blushes and a must-have highlighter all in one beautifully designed portable palette. The eyeshadows are my favorite. It also comes with a 4 piece brush set for easy touch-ups wherever your holiday adventures take you. Best of all it’s mineral-based, paraben free and animal cruelty free. The Fold Out Face is a $250 value for only $59 making it incredibly economical. Use the code BB15OFF to get 15% off your next Woosh Beauty purchase.
  • ROSÉ RUSH Paris Hilton: This delightful fragrance was inspired by a love story. Its romantic scent is perfect for an evening holiday soiree. It’s floral and feminine, yet sophisticated. Plus, the ROSÉ RUSH Paris Hilton bottle is just as stylish as Paris Hilton herself making it an excellent gift for the Aspiring Socialite in your life.
  • Primal Life Dental Kit: Everyone wants winter white teeth. Not just during the holiday season, but all year round. With the Primal Life Dental Kit, you can whiten your smile naturally. Each kit contains a 100% all Natural Boost Whitening Paste, an LED Teeth Whitener, All Natural Toothpowder and a Charcoal Ion Toothbrush. The Boost Whitening Paste works in partnership with the LED Teeth Whitener to give you a beautifully white smile. The toothbrush is designed to remineralize, detoxify, whiten and strengthen while the charcoal Infused toothbrush binds to and remove stains. I love the unique design of the toothbrush and that the products are all natural. You can get 20% off a future purchase from Primallifeorganics.com with code PLOBOXX17. All products are sold separately as well as in a kit.

I’m super excited to keep the party going! Share your holiday party prep ideas in the comments.

Woosh Beauty The Fold Out Face

Vince Camuto Chelsea Boot

Nad’s Facial Wand Eyebrow Shaper

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but the opinions are all my own.

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Holiday Beauty Gift Guide!

holiday beauty gift guide

Shop the photo: Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Garden Eye Shadow Palette | Bvlgari Splendida Rose Rose Eau de Parfum | Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette Frivoluxe | Sam Edelman Hazel Pointed Toe Heel Black Suede Pumps | vegaLASH Volumizing Mascara  | Photos by: Zarif Taufiq

Beauty products make great holiday gifts! Not only do they bring joy and beauty to the loved one you’re gifting them to, you also don’t have to worry about if they’re going to fit them like you would with clothes. Since everyone could use a beauty refresh before the New Year, I rounded up some of my top beauty gift picks. Happy shopping!

Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette Frivoluxe

Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette Frivoluxe: This palette is beyond amazing! It’s the perfect mixture of everyday neutrals and fun formal colors making it the perfect gift for the beauty addict in your life (or for yourself).

vegaLASH Volumizing Mascara

vegaLASH Volumizing Mascara: I discovered this mascara this year and it’s now my favorite. It’s the smoothest, most volumizing formula I’ve used in a while. Plus, it’s 100% cruelty-free, hormone-free and safe for even the most sensitive eyes. I’m hoping to get another in my stocking this year.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Garden Eye Shadow Palette

Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Garden Eye Shadow Palette: I’m obsessed with this beautiful harmony of four rich shades that seamlessly blend together or stand alone. It’s super high quality and has a silky, lightweight feel on the skin. But, it’s the amazing packaging that makes this the perfect gift. The palette comes in a sleek magnetic case for simple storage and travel.

Raw Garden Eye Shadow Palette Rouge Bunny Rouge

Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Garden Eye Shadow Palette (in magnetic travel case)

FOREO LUNA 2 Professional

FOREO LUNA 2 Professional Dual Motor Face Cleansing Brush: This is great for the people on your list who love the spa. FOREO brings the spa experience home with this luxurious anti-aging face exfoliating brush. Beauty addicts love the experience and swear by the results. It also comes in a FOREO LUNA Mini.

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The Pros and Cons of Rent the Runway Unlimited

Rent the Runway revolutionized the fashion world when they gave event goers everywhere the chance to rent expensive gowns instead of buying them. No longer do we have to drop a bunch of money on a dress just to wear it once, have it sit in the back of the closet for years and eventually throw it out.

They recently changed the fashion industry again when they started Rent the Runway Unlimited. RTR Unlimited allows fashionistas to borrow everyday designer pieces to wear to work, school and play. It also includes any formal gowns you might need too. You can rent as many pieces as you want, but you can only have up to four at a time. So you need to send one back in order to get another. While I love the discovery aspect of my unlimited subscription and that it allows fashion lovers of varying incomes to wear expensive designer styles, like everything else, Rent the Runway Unlimited has its pros and cons. Since I’m kind of on the fence about continuing my subscription, I decided to lay them out.

Parker Green Ryker Dress Rent the Runway

Dress: Parker Green Ryker Dress from Rent the Runway |  Photos by: Zarif Taufiq

Pros

  • It’s Not That Much More Expensive Than Renting One Dress: The last time I rented a single dress from Rent the Runway with a backup size it was $65 and I had to commit to two more rentals down the road. In my mind, if you know you have an event or a wedding that month, you might as well pay $159/month for unlimited and get a bunch of dresses sent to you until you find the one you like. You can also rent casual clothes too and amp up your daily wardrobe.
  • No Dry Cleaning: When you’re done with a piece or outfit, you just drop it off at your local UPS store and order something else. My friends in New York that have to dress up for work always tell me that they love Rent the Runway Unlimited because they used to spend more than $159/month just on dry cleaning. Unlimited allows them to diversify their wardrobe for less than their monthly dry cleaning bill.
  • Fabulous Finds and Discoveries: One of my favorite things about Rent the Runway Unlimited is the discovery aspect. I’ve gotten to experience styles I never would have had access to or thought would work on me. Because it is unlimited, you feel the freedom to explore brands and styles that you’ve never worn before. After a while you start getting a better idea of what brands work best for you. If you really like something, you can buy it at a discount.
  • A Revolving Wardrobe: If you’re someone who easily gets tired of your clothes, Rent the Runway Unlimited gives you the opportunity to mix things up.

Rent the Runway Unlimited Parker Green Ryker Dress

Dress: Parker Green Ryker Dress from Rent the Runway |  Photos by: Zarif Taufiq

Cons

  • UPS Issues: Like with any ecommerce purchase, your order could get lost or stolen. Plus, if you’re not home, UPS may decide to take your order back to the store where you have to pick it up. If you’re like me and you leave for work before the UPS store opens and get back after it closes, then you may have to wait another week to get your clothes. If you don’t end up liking them, this is just more time wasted with you paying to wear nice clothes, but not actually wearing them. If you do have an item get lost or stolen as I have, then you have to wait for to UPS to investigate before Rent the Runway reopens that spot. You then have to call or email them for them to manually put in the order if you want to get something else. It’s super annoying.
  • Missing Sizes/Styles: Like your wardrobe, Rent the Runway’s inventory is constantly revolving. So sometimes the styles you’ve been eyeing aren’t available when you need them or aren’t available in your size. I’ve seen this happen far too often. Sometimes I’ll order an item and get an email an hour later saying that I have to pick another because they don’t actually have it. This is a huge pain point for me. What am I paying for if I can’t get the styles I want when I want them? It’s even more frustrating when all my backup styles are also unavailable. When I have an event that I need to go to, I usually order my outfit or dress weeks in advance and hold on to it to make sure I have it.
  • Customer Service Could Be Better: When I had an item stolen, I ended up on hold for over an hour before I actually talked to someone who could help me. While on hold I did grocery shopping and watched an entire movie. It was ridiculous! I felt like no one was listening and began to question again what I was actually paying for. Once I did get ahold of someone they were super nice and helpful so I will give them that. But, I feel like Rent the Runway is way more focused on gaining more customers than they are on the actual user experience which as a paying customer is disturbing to me. I really wish they made more of an effort to serve the customers that they currently have.
  • Disappointing Deliveries: Half of the items I’ve ordered from Rent the Runway have been great. I’ve gotten to wear some fabulous styles that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford and I didn’t have to worry about closet space or dry cleaning. However, the other half of the items I’ve tried have been incredibly disappointing. They’ve fit poorly, weren’t flattering and despite the designer label were very low quality. I try to send these back as soon as I can so I can get more of my money’s worth out of the RTR experience. However, that means I have to wait two days for the item to get back to Rent the Runway and another two days for my new item to come in. In the meantime, I don’t have any new clothes to wear, but I’m still paying for the service.

While I love how Rent the Runway has leveled the playing field in fashion (not that you have to wear designer clothes to be fashionable, but it’s fun to give them a try), I often feel like I’m paying for the idea of wearing designer clothes, but not actually wearing them. They really need to focus more on the customer experience rather than just getting new customers. It’s an interesting service and when you find something awesome it’s amazing. But, when you don’t it’s just another trip you have to make to UPS. I’m going to keep my subscription until New York Fashion Week in February and then decide.

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I Found my Wedding Dress in Two Hours!

The Bridal Garden Wedding Gowns Wedding Dress Shopping

Yes, you heard me right. I found my dream wedding dress in two hours and I got an incredible deal too! I’m pretty sure this is either a world record and/or the universe telling me that it’s absolutely my time to get married. So far wedding planning has been surprisingly easy. Not only did I find the dress in two hours, we also fell in love with the first venue we saw in the Pocono Mountains!

So here’s how the stars aligned. My mom, sister and cousin came into the city to look at dresses with me one weekend. My friend Tracy joined too. Our first stop was The Bridal Garden, a non-profit dress shop in Manhattan where designers donate their sample dresses when they’re done with them. All of the proceeds go toward supporting education programs for disadvantaged youth. We spent the morning going through bags and bags of dresses and selected a bunch to try on. I knew I wanted a trumpet style wedding dress as that’s what I feel looks best on me, but I was pretty much open to anything. I also wondered if I could pull off the look Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy had on her wedding day. She’s such a fashion icon for me and when you mention that look at a bridal shop, they totally know what you’re talking about.

After trying on a bunch of dresses, I found two trumpet style wedding gowns that I absolutely loved. But, at the end of the day, the Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy inspired dress stole the show. It was a bridal size zero which I never thought would fit me, but it actually did. It’s most likely the one the model wore down the runway. I was hesitant about getting my dress at the first place I looked, but something about it told me it was meant to be. Plus, they don’t hold anything and I’d never see another Anna Maier wedding dress at that price again for as long as I live. So I said yes to the dress, we all clapped, toasted and then went to my Kleinfeld appointment because they charge you if you don’t show up. Even though I already had my dress literally in hand, it was nice to visit the iconic home of Say Yes to the Dress and get the experience. When I heard bells ringing and people cheering every time someone else said yes to their dress, I knew I’d made the right decision. I canceled my other two appointments and had a long brunch the next morning with my family. It was glorious.

I couldn’t be happier with my dress and I can’t wait to share it with all of you on the big day! I still can’t believe that I found the one in under two hours. But, I did and it was magical. Even if you don’t live in New York, The Bridal Garden is totally worth going to for your wedding dress. The deals are insane and they are super nice and knowledgeable. Another similar bridal shop you should go to in NYC is Our Story Bridal. I know a few other brides who also found designer gowns at The Bridal Garden too that they absolutely loved. I guess now I’m one of them.

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Steal vs. Splurge: Camo Skinny Jeans

After almost a decade, skinny jeans are still in style. Since wide leg pants are also coming back, why not put a new spin on the now classic skinny jeans? Camo skinny jeans paired with a good set of heels will immediately make you feel stylish and edgy. Like all basics, skinny camo jeans come at all price points. Here are a couple that I’ve been eyeing.

True Religion Camo Skinny Jeans

Splurge: True Religion Casey Camo-Print Skinny Jeans ($178) from Macy’s

Levi´s 535 Camo Super Skinny Jeans

Steal: Levi’s 535 Camo Super Skinny Jeans ($39.99) from Dillard’s

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