Kicking It In The City: New Balance Brings The Heat For Spring

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A few years ago, I would walk around in a dress and sneakers and people would look at me like I was crazy. If you threw on sneakers with your outfit, no matter the brand, observers assumed you were lazy and couldn’t be bothered with proper footwear.

Take it back to Fall of 2014 and fashionistas running between fashion shows in New York were photographed in bright kicks and clean New Balance slip-ons. Suddenly, it became the “it” trend and was the new norm. While a sneaker has always been an essential part of my everyday rotation, I am happy to see people embracing how great a classic sneaker in the right colorway can be.

This spring will be no different for me. While Chicago seems to be stuck in the dog days of winter, the light at the end of the tunnel is near. New Balance makes the perfect classic shoe, with clean colorways to add an effortless pop to any outfit. Grey is my personal favorite color for Spring and it pairs nicely with everything which is great for transitioning from winter’s dark tones to spring’s bright colors and pastel hues.

Many times, I have trouble finding a colorway I want in the women’s sizing. I usually wind up taking home a men’s shoe. You can find out what size you are in men’s shoes, here.

How do you like to style your sneakers?

 

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Alex_NewBalance_3802Photos: Kohl Murdock for StreetStyleChi.com.

This post was sponsored by Finish Line and New Balance.

Foreign Skincare Takes Off In The US

Photo: R29

Photo: R29

Skincare overseas, for example Korea and Japan, is serious business. It is a daily essential that involves many, many steps and is quite exhaustive. Yet, in the US, we are still trying to figure out what the wonder is behind Korean skincare. Beauty blogger Coco Park recently discovered Korean beauty care in her Korean-American boyfriends parents bathroom, and decided to check it out for herself. She went from using only a few products a day…to 17. On her blog, she says that she saw an immense difference in just three weeks, and her red spots and pores have essentially disappeared.

When you think about it, the invasion of Korean beauty products started a while ago. More specifically, in 2011 when companies started introducing the originally based Korean BB cream. BB cream is said to be an all in one product that will take care of the skin. Soon, American companies started producing their own versions, and we have BB creams, CC creams, and so on. As it turns out, this was just the Americanized version of Korean skincare because in the US, we like to keep things simple. In reality, we should also be scrubbing, moisturizing, cleansing, and treating.

Now that the beauty obsessed in the US are starting to reap the benefits of foreign beauty traditions, other interesting new treatments are starting to pop up. Two weeks ago, I got my monthly facial. I was surprised in my sleepy state of mind when something ice cold rolled around my face…under my eyes, down my nose, on my neck…it never seemed to stop. While reading Refinery29 this morning, I discovered that it was an ice roller. Essentially, this is a fancy substitute for throwing some spoons in the freezer. The ice roller can swiftly clean up the look of tired eyes, redness, puffiness, and minor bruising. My first question is…where do I get my hands on one?

For more information on best Korean beauty products, I would check out:

A Beginner’s Guide To Korean Makeup

Soko Glam

Peach and Lily

Photo: R29

Photo: R29

 

Where’d You Get Those?

2003 marked the year Where’d You Get Those? was released, detailing the sneaker culture of New York City from 1960 to 1987. Bobbito Garcia is well respected for many things, including bringing unknown, unsigned, hip-hop artists to light through his shows Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show (Jay-z, Nas, Busta Rhymes…etc.) Garcia chronicles 400 pairs of ground breaking sneakers that have come and gone, but remain classics.

The book is currently available again in a anniversary addition, that includes an updated forward and new sneakers.

You can pick it up through Amazon.

 

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Detroit Made

“Why not accept that manufacturing is gone from this country? Why not let the rust and weeds finish what they started? Why not just embrace the era of disposability? And why didn’t we buy a warmer coat before we moved here?”

These are the questions the team at Shinola ask themselves throughout the long winter. As more and more companies start to move out of the US, Shinola is opening more factories and stores within boundaries; specifically in Detroit and around Michigan. Shinola chose Detroit because they are both restoring beauty and history to something that was once vibrant; in one case, a watch company, and the other: a city.

Shinola started out as a shoe polish company in World War I and World War II, and slowly disappeared. In 2001, after being bought by another group of investors, Shinola decided to try again with luxury watches, leather goods, and now, bicycles that are all produced in the US. They bought a portion of an automotive factory and opened for business. I like Shinola as a company because they truly seem invested in their employees: training them with Swiss partner Ronda AG and giving them a chance to become great at something.

Shinola is one of the few watch makers based out of the US, and gets all of their leather for goods and watch straps from the Horween Leather Factory in Chicago, which is the oldest leather tannery in the US opened in 1905. Shinola recently opened their own leather factory in Detroit, and plans on starting to produce small leather goods through it by the end of the year.

I recently ordered a watch from Shinola, and was impressed by the quality of the watch and small personal touches. Every watch comes with a serial number, and a card with who made the watch. The watches come in beautiful wooden boxes, and really stand out from other companies.

You can check out Shinola on their website.

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Gift Guide: For The Man

 

mens gift guide1. Harry’s Shaving Kit. 2. Lexdray San Diego Pack. 3. Rap Coloring Book. 4. Mr + Muse. 5. Cube Clock. 6. Fools Gold Records IPhone Cases. 7. “My Other Shirt is an Alphet” T-shirt. 8. A Bathing Ape Cork Coasters. 9. Ali 6 Original Painting.

For The Beauty Obsessed: The Gift Guide

 

beauty gift guide

1. “The Little Black Box,” Dream Dry. 2. Rodin Body Oil. 3. Honey Mask, Fresh. 4. Kyril Lipstick, Tom Ford. 5. Santa’s Lip Scrub, Lush.

Homemade Cheez-Its

I have always enjoyed making meals for myself. When I got my first apartment Sophomore year of college, this consisted of tossing pasta with whatever ingredients were in my fridge. I can confidently say that I have come a long way from those days. Now I make homemade chicken pot pie, complicated side dishes, and mac and cheese from scratch. I would never think of going into the frozen foods section or buying something in a box. Crazy, right? My next adventure in the kitchen will consist of simple snacks. I plan on trying these super easy homemade Cheez-Its. If you attempt them first, please let me know how it goes in the comments!

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Ingredients:
8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
1/2stick unsalted butter, at room temperature (4 tablespoons)
1teaspoon kosher salt
2tablespoons ice water

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the cheese, butter, and salt. Add the flour and mix on low (dough will be pebbly). Slowly add the water and mix as the dough forms a ball.
  2. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each into a very thin (1/8 inch or less) 10×12 inch rectangle. Using a fluted pastry cutter, cut the rectangles into 1-inch squares, then transfer them to the baking sheets.
  4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until puffed and browning at the edges. Watch carefully, as the high fat content of the crackers makes a fine line between golden delicious and burnt. Immediately move the crackers to racks to cool.

Five Things You Didn’t Know You Needed

 

 

5 things you didnt know you needed1. Mini Cranberry Bliss Tassel Garland, $25.00. 2. Popcorn Cross Body Bag, $42.00.  3. Break Up Text Paintings, price available upon request. 4. Vortex Pearl Ear Cuff, $28.00. 5. Lela Rose SS15 Water Color Print, $30.00.

The Skinny On Dark Circles And How To Fight Them

Photo: Robert Kneschke

Photo: Robert Kneschke

No matter what we seem to do, dark circles never seem to go away. We have all had the moment of looking in the mirror, and thinking “Holy crap…I look so tired.” One of the problems with having dark circles as a problem area, is that the skin is thinnest in the eye area and therefore harder to manipulate back to normal. The two largest problems with the eye area, are puffiness, and dark circles.

Puffiness

Puffy eyes can be caused by a whole host of things, some large, some small: a nasty sinus infection, crying your eyes out before bed, or simply eating a salty lunch. One of the best things you can do, is drink a lot of water throughout the day to flush out some of the build up.

Sleeping on your side of stomach can cause build up around the eyes. If you wake up with chronically puffy eyes, sleeping on your back may be a quick fix to perfect peepers.

Try not to rub your eyes throughout the day, which can cause the thin skin around the eyes to become inflamed and irritated. This breaks tiny blood vessels around the eye and causes discoloration.

How to fix it:

-Stick two spoons in the freezer. After a solid ten minutes, take them out and slather them in eye cream. Apply under eyes and watch them instantly de-puff.

-A cooling eye mask works just as well.

-Try a targeted eye mask for instant results. After applying eye pads, under eyes are left brighter, smoother, and perkier in minutes. The hydrating pads help to restore water where there may be done, causing puffiness. Plankton extract in these pads has an instant tightening effect.

-If you are a fan of salty meals, try snacking on bananas to balance out the affects of the sodium.

Dark Circles

While dark circles are usually attributed to a late night, they can be causes by much more, and sometimes hereditary. As we get older, dark circles are inevitable no matter how much sleep we get: the skin thins around our eyes, therefore showing more of the discoloration underneath. The elasticity in our eye area begins to lose mass, and shows the outline of the bone underneath, making it look hollow and dark.

Dark circles can take on make different tones, but one of the most common is blue. This is caused from blood pooling around the eyes, and will be most visible in the morning but become less perceptible throughout the day. Brown circles can also be a sign of this. Experts recommend using a soy or citrus bases brightening eye cream to combat this over a few weeks.

“You can fight the good fight on a daily basis by applying night cream. Products with hyaluronic acid will plump the area, hydrating the skin and pushing it up and away from the blood, whereas those containing retinoic acid will thicken the skin to conceal the darkness.” [The Stylelist.]

How to fix it:

-Make up. Choose a concealer that matches your skin tone. Make up artists will tell you to go a few shades lighter, but most of the time, it is not a good look.

-Try using a eye cream with caffeine, which will tighten and lift the eye area. quickly.

-A cold compress or cold spoons will always provide a quick fix.

Four steps to cover it up:

1. Prepare the skin with eye cream. This will bring moisture to the skin and keep it plump, therefore making it a tad bit easier to cover up the veins.

2. Apply your concealer. Choose a concealer with a yellowish undertone to counteract the blueish tinge around the eyes. Dot concealer around the eye area with a small make up brush.

3. Dab concealer. Dab your concealer to blend opposed to brushing it on. This helps to avoid further irritating the gentle skin around the eyes.

4. Apply a powder. Applying a powder to the concealer helps to set it into place. This will help hold the concealer from slipping into wrinkles or fine lines, and prevent shininess throughout the day.

 

 

 

 

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