The Ultimate SPF Edit: 5 Face Sunscreens You Need To Own.

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We are midway through summer (gulp) and by this time in the season, I have tried like 100 sunscreens (not kidding) and narrowed it down to provide you this screen-shot worthy essential edit for every sun-drenched situation...Here goes:

Every Damn Day Essential: La Roche Posay AOX Daily Antioxidant Serum SPF50
Light and easy to make part of your everyday skincare routine- this makes putting on SPF just one of those things you automatically are inclined to do each morning. It's all about habits, people. 

Under Makeup Essential: Urban Decay Urban Defense Complexion Primer SPF30
You should wear primer anyway on hot days when you plan on wearing makeup, and this formula is perfection. Minimizes the look of pores and fills in those fine lines for youthful appearance, instantly.

Makeup Free Beauty Boosting Essential: Volition Prismatic Luminizing Sunscreen
It has sold out 6 times already, and I can see why- it leaves skin looking more even and glowy, and it is made with super clean ingredients. If chalky-looking sunscreen is your pet peeve, this is the answer to all your issues- goes on beautifully!

On-The-Go Glow Essential: Supergoop Glow Stick Sunscreen SPF 50
I featured this in my recent Today Show segment- not only do I love the travel-friendly format of a stick, but it is just as glow-giving as my favorite highlighting sticks, but with a big time bonus- sun protection where you tend to need it most- the contours of your face that tend to get the most sun.

Outdoor Activity Essential: Elta MD UV shield SPF 45
Beauty Insiders are OBSESSED with this brand's sunscreens because Elta somehow has figured out how to make a physical sunblock that doesn't clog pores, melt off in the heat or leave skin looking pasty.  It uses Zinc Oxide (the gold standard when you want to REALLY protect your skin) but has formulated it in such a way that it is suited for normal and oily skin. One perusal of the reviews on Amazon validates the accolades this brand continually gets from dermatologists and beauty editors alike. 

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These Readers Trends Are Worth A Closer Look.

I find there to be something so dignified about readers.

The whole process of it – taking the eyewear case out of your bag and cracking it open, slipping on your frames of choice, and seconds later, being able to comfortably and confidently read whatever it is that is in front of you while sporting a totally upgraded overall style, just feels very sophisticated and chic, no?

Just to cover all bases here, in the event you aren’t familiar with reading glasses, (though, currently, 32.1 million American adults report wearing readers – so I’m guessing many of you have a pair or two to your name) - readers are made ready-to-wear with lenses meant for up-close viewing. The magnifications range from +1.00 to +4.00, and the lens power one requires to relieve strain on the eyes is best decided in conjunction with an eyecare provider at an annual eye exam.

When it comes to selecting a pair of readers, the cool thing is that they are typically offered ready-to-wear (yay for instant gratification!), and as far as style goes, there is only one rule to follow, at least in my opinion- and it’s this:

Don’t be afraid to step slightly out of your style comfort zone and go with something that makes a statement.

With that in mind, here is a rundown, courtesy of The Vision Council, of the top trends for reading glasses right now for both men and women:

Get Colorful: Bright purple, citrus orange, fiery red or even an aqua-inspired blue hue are great choices for frames that bring a pop of color into your wardrobe - these options are especially great for those of us who tend to lean toward the more neutral tones from the neck down! Or, go with a color you love but rarely wear - for me, pale pink is always on my fashion wish list, so a pair of frames in this of-the-moment shade is a total win.

Shape Shift: Play with proportion here, and take advantage of the abundance of oversized, geometric and mod round offerings out there. Since reading happens outdoors as well as in, I love the idea of a cool pair of cat eye sun readers for perusing a new book poolside. And for the guys, aviators and Clubmaster-inspired silhouettes are the most timeless takes on throwback styles.

Dote on The Details: Whimsical details add an instant fun factor to frames as we head into Fall - for example, glittery brow bars (like the ones I am currently wearing!), floral prints, double bridges and translucents.  For men, the details are decidedly less “out there” while making an impact up close. Subtle metal accents, futuristic cut outs and, my personal favorite, nature-inspired prints should be on every guy’s radar.

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To check out all of the trends that The Vision Council is forecasting for Fall 2018, click here.

Note: This post is sponsored by The Vision Council, however all views expressed are completely my own.

Matching Sets: A Smart Summer Must Have

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At first, they made me cringe. Now, they make me so damn happy. Because I have come to appreciate just how smart this whole matching set trend is. Not only is a matching set a super easy statement maker, it is a no brainer to throw on and, once you tire of the trend, you are left with two totally great staples that can live in your closet for the long haul.

My love affair with matching sets began as an experiment- I bought THIS and THIS off of my favorite crazy cheap website just to try them out, figuring I would hand them off to one of my girls' babysitters within hours of opening the package. But since they were both under $20, it was an expense I was willing to incur in the name of blogging.

Immediately, I was smitten. 

Then I realized that the LoveShackFancy outfits my friends were wearing (and I was swooning over) also fit into this "matching set" category- meaning the look was just as suited for beach parties and nights out as it was for running errands and hanging at the playground with the kids. And as I began planning my fashion strategy for some upcoming segments and appearances, several polished and office-ish-ready sets caught my eye.

So while I know at first it may seem like a trend best saved for school girls, I speak from experience when I tell you- get on it. Versatility, value, very simple styling-- matching sets have a place in every closet. 

Here are my faves (as seen above, from left to right in each category)

For Play:
Rainbow Stripe STEAL Under $20 / Boho Beach Marigold With Poms / Classic Track Inspired / Sporty Soft Star Print

For Party:
Millenial Pink / St. Barths Floral With Tassel / Red Tank and Maxi Skirt Print / Hamptons Beach Party Perfection

For Profesh:
French Girl Polished Floral / One Shoulder Blue Silk with Asymmetric Skirt / Rainbow Stripe Wrap / Navy Blue Off-Shoulder

 

Mom Notes: To Routine, Or Not Routine? That Is My Summer Question.

As a family, we tend to vary between 2 extremes- out and about til all hours, or homebody hermits all day long. Both my husband and I tend to be all-or-nothing personalities, so, the whole grey area thing doesn't happen much in our world.

In the summer especially- when it stays light until late, and there are just so many things to DO in 12 short weeks- we tend to push the limits of how much our girls can keep up. I have always kind of loved the fact that we didn't adhere to a strict schedule of turning into pumpkins at 7:30pm to get our kids in bed by 8 no matter the circumstances. If we were out at a party and everyone was having fun, we wouldn't keep an eye on the clock. Rather, once we started to see signs of melting, we would exchange a (usually mutual) "roll 'em up" glance and promptly load the crew in the car (or, hit the Uber button- depends on the party).

The pros of this are two-fold- firstly, Brian and I get to enjoy ourselves in a setting with our kids. Secondly, our girls are able to rally and savor the socializing with new friends. Most of our friends out here have older kids than ours- so it is cool to watch them all play together. Plus, while I certainly am not always (or even perhaps often) that cool, laid back mom- in these moments, I sort of am. And that feels pretty damn good. 

The cons? Well, take Saturday night for example. Our neighbors (and closest family friends) had a party. It began at 5, and while most of the other parents with little ones cleared out by 8, we stayed until about 10. The kids were having fun, the parents were having fun, and it was cozy and great. Until we had to extract. And I watched both girls unravel into epic meltdowns that basically slapped me in the face with a "WHAT KIND OF MOTHER ARE YOU?" message. 

So now, mid-way through a holiday week where we have a continuous calendar of parties and opportunities to take the girls along for the fun- I find myself wondering if it is time to start swaying in the other direction- being the "grown up" in the room and keeping to a routine so they are in bed at a set time no matter what, get a healthy night of sleep, and have the highest chance of waking up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to enjoy the next day of summer fun?

Am I raising girls who are adaptable, or am I making them anxious and over-tired in the name of being able to enjoy summer on my own terms?   Most likely there is some grey area in between, but as I said before, grey areas don't come naturally to me, so, there's that...

Do you embrace the idea of "go with the flow" family nights out, or are you more comfortable keeping to a kid-friendly routine when it comes to bedtime consistency? I would love to know and discuss- so comments encouraged!

You Need These High Waist Denim Picks NOW.

Yeah, so remember when high waist denim was considered the ultimate mom-jean-taboo? Poor Jessica Simpson had to majorly take one for the team in 2009 when she sported a pair of high waist jeans on stage and was subsequently skewered in the press. I blame the angle of the photographers (they had to shoot up to capture her, never a good thing) because truth is, few styles of denim are more flattering than high waist ones. 

Why? 

A high waist creates a longer leg, sucks in and totally flattens a belly, and makes it possible to wear more fashion-y cropped cuts on top without sitting on the floor and showing the universe your butt crack.  Oh, and it just looks sophisticated and polished. Tuck in even the most sloppy t-shirt and, all of the sudden, you give off an "in the know influencer" vibe as opposed to a "hot mess mom" one. 

Here are my faves across the board:

1- Jeans: If you follow me on social- or read this blog regularly- the fact that I lead this piece with this style from Madewell should come as no surprise. I own a light, medium and dark wash pair- they stay front and center in my closet year-round. Recently I also added this button fly drop hem pair to the mix and love how it looks with sneakers. This pair from Levi's got on my radar after seeing all the cool California Instagram girls sporting them- I love them for summer because they don't have much stretch in them, they are more of a traditional structured denim and as such, work perfectly with platform sandals and a flowy tank top to create a laid-back surfer girl effect. I have this under $100 pair as well in my arsenal and love styling it with a sparkly party top and sky high sandals because the juxtaposition of the distressed wash and the classic Levi's pockets makes fancy pieces feel more wearable for the "easy breezy but not totally casual" occasions that often happen in the summer months.

2- Denim Shorts: This is my all time favorite high-waist pair- seen in the photo above, and pretty much any other photo where I am wearing a bathing suit and shorts combo because the pairing just always works. Runner up award goes to these super cute cut-offs- the rainbow pocket detail alone is enough to validate owning a pair.

3- Denim Skirts: Deconstructed denim with a super high waist works wonders to create shape in a style that looks totally effortless- this skirt is a winner on both fronts. And you can't beat the cool factor (or price!) of this $60 find that also happens to have a super flattering a-line cut.