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  • 02/28/18--16:59: Packing For Palm Springs
  • TOP: Tibi (also love this gingham top!)  | WIDE LEG PANTS: Milly (affordable alternative HERE)  |  DENIM JACKET: Treasure & Bond  |  STRAW BAG: Clare V. (also love THIS ONE)  |  SLIDES: old, similar HERE and HERE  |  BELT: Halogen

    Work has brought us to the west coast this week and I have to say I’m thrilled for the excuse to escape the dreary NYC weather.  Today, I’m wearing these white wide leg pants and this pretty gingham top which I spotted in Nordstrom’s Getaway Guide.  Both pieces seemed perfect for a professional daytime ensemble in sunny Palm Springs, and comfortable to boot.  As things cool off, I have this denim jacket at the ready, which is one of my favorite finds of late.  The wash and cut is perfect and the denim material has an amazing softness without losing its shape.  For under $80, it doesn’t get much better.




    I also packed this perfect striped Rails shirt which will be great for lazy moments by the pool or buttoned-up and tucked into these bermuda shorts. I am all about the bermuda short length going into spring and summer, and can’t wait to wear them dressed up with heels and a blazer for a business casual ensemble.  I also packed this off-shoulder sweater dress which is another adorable (and affordable!) find from Nordstrom’s Getaway Guide which proved to be my one-stop-shop when prepping for the trip.


    If you’re headed anywhere warm soon, check more of my favorites below!

     

    TOP: Tibi (also love this gingham top!)  | WIDE LEG PANTS: Milly (affordable alternative HERE)  |  DENIM JACKET: Treasure & Bond  |  STRAW BAG: Clare V. (also love THIS ONE)  |  SLIDES: old, similar HERE and HERE  |  BELT: Halogen

    Thanks to Nordstrom and ShopStyle for partnering on this post!


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  • 03/04/18--20:29: Monday Memo No. 7
  • JACKET: Veronica Beard  |  PANTS: Veronica Beard  |  SHOES: Gucci  |  T-Shirt: J. Brand  |  SUNGLASSES: Le Specs  |  EARRINGS: Baublebar



    Overnight Spot Treatments

    I read about Peach Spot Dot acne patches for the first time last year in this article on Byrdie and they’ve saved my life countless times since.  As a disclaimer, I don’t have much trouble with acne, but I do have the kind of luck that seems to bring about a spot right before a big meeting or important conference.  These patches are totally mind-blowing and truly zap blemishes overnight.  Run don’t walk.



    Rachel Zoe one-shoulder blouses

    If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know that I’m a sucker for a one-shouldered top.  With eyes on spring, I’m totally salivating over two in particular right now from Rachel Zoe, this gorgeous ruffle blouse and this long-sleeve top with choker detail.  I think they’d be especially beautiful for any brides-to-be at a bridal shower or bachelorette party.



    Purple Shampoo For Blondes

    A reader recently asked about the shampoo I use, and since I have medium-dark blonde hair, my favorite shampoos are those that counteract brassiness.  There are a lot of great “purple” shampoos that allow you to maintain ashy blonde locks between colorings, and right now, my favorites are the Drybar Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo and L’Oreal Paris EverPure Blonde Shampoo.  Both shampoos are sulfate and paraben free, and I use them a little differently: The Drybar version is much stronger so you would only use it once or twice a week when you feel like your hair is really looking too brassy.  The L’Oreal version offers a milder purple rinse that you can use everyday or every other day when your blonde hair just needs a little refresh.


     

    Better Than Dry Brushing: Exfoliating Gloves

    Speaking of being in the shower, if you don’t own a pair of exfoliating gloves, fix that STAT.  We all know how beneficial exfoliation is for the skin on your face, but people all too often forget to exfoliate the rest of their bodies.  Personally, I think this is because most handheld body brushes are just too awkward and exhausting.  I don’t have an hour to lounge in the tub with the damn thing everyday, I want something that’s easy to use and fast.  Cue exfoliating gloves.  There’s no unwieldy brush or pad, you’re able to exfoliate your entire body by just rubbing your skin with your hands.  In doing so, you’re not only removing dead skin cells but you’re also stimulating the lymphatic system.  Another bonus?  These gloves are also the best at removing sunless tanner.  I was initially concerned about drying and/or mildew, but they actually dry really quickly and easily (I just hang mine on the nobs to my tub) and I’ve never seen a trace of mildew.  They’re an absolute must-have for me—I even have a pair in each suitcase to use while on the road.



    The Best Restaurant Recommendations

    When entertaining out-of-town guests recently, we enjoyed dinners at two of our all-time NYC favorites: Rauol’s (on Friday night) and Indochine (on Saturday night).  I happened to mention The Infatuation when discussing other favorites in the neighborhood but was met with blank stares by our friends.  If you live in NYC or Los Angeles, you’re likely very familiar with the best restaurant blog on the planet, The Infatuation.  If you don’t live in a major city, you may not have heard of them, so definitely check them out next time you’re traveling to a new city (especially NYC or LA) and are in need of restaurant recommendations.  They’re constantly expanding the cities they cover, and you can search for restaurant recommendations based upon cuisine, budget and occasion.  I’m always stressed out when readers email or DM me asking for restaurant recommendations in NYC because without knowing your budget, desired cuisine or neighborhood preference, it’s tough to give a solid recommendation in a city with roughly 24,000 restaurants (not an exaggeration, that’s the actual number).




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    BAG: Senreve  |  SKIRT: Victoria Beckham (more affordable version HERE and great black pencil skirt HERE) |  BLOUSE: Diane von Furstenberg (similar HERE)  |  SHOES: Jimmy Choo (sold out, affordable alternative HERE)  |  SUNGLASSES: Le Specs (sold out, similar HERE and HERE)  |  EARRINGS: Vintage Chanel

    The rare and elusive WORK BAG.  Everyone has one, but few are satisfied with (much less excited about) the sloppy jalopy tote that carts their essentials to and from work every day.  I, too, resigned myself for years to the idea that when it comes to work bags, you just can’t have everything.  Either you carry a tote that looks like something you stole from Perry Mason, or you carry a bag that looks fab and just pray your laptop is still in one piece after sloshing around with all of your other personal effects.  It’s form OR function.  Take your pick.  That is, unless you know about Senreve.



    Senreve is a luxury handbag line tailor-made for the working girl.  As you may recall, I shared my love for the Senreve Mini Maestra bag in this post last fall which has continued to be the source of countless questions from many of you.  The most frequently asked question is whether I recommend the Mini Maestra or the regular full-sized Maestra bag (the black beauty I’m carrying today!), so I thought I’d put together another post showcasing the Maestra to give you a better idea of how the two compare.



    The most obvious difference between the two is size.  Despite having the word “mini” in its name, the Mini Maestra is a really nice size.  It can hold a ton (as seen in this post) and is the size I prefer any day I don’t have to cart around my laptop.  However, when the laptop is in play, the Maestra is my go-to.  This not only includes treks to-and-from the office, but as you may have seen last week on instagram and instastories, it is hands-down my favorite travel tote bag.



    As you can see above, the seven interior pockets and dedicated sleeve for securely transporting a 13″ laptop are KEY when trying to stay organized on the road.  But aside from the fact that this beauty can hold a Mary Poppins amount of goods, one of the biggest game-changers for me is the ability to transform it into a BACKPACK.  When traveling, it typically takes every ounce of my strength to manage unwieldy suitcases, so completely removing my carryon bag from one arm/shoulder and turning it into a backpack is life. changing.  My elation is documented in this instagram snapped entering the airport last week (swipe right to the second photo to see it worn as a backpack).



    When using this bag on a typical workday, I usually prefer to carry it as a satchel or a tote as you can see in the photos today.  The ingenious design of the adjustable straps makes it easy to alternate from backpack, to crossbody, to satchel or tote in seconds.  I’m telling you, there isn’t a single design detail overlooked on this bag from the gorgeous pale blue micro-suede interior to the gold feet on the bottom of the bag that prevent it from flopping over when you set it down.  To marry this much functionality with luxury materials (all Senreve bags are made with genuine Italian leather) at a fraction of the price of other designer bags, is truly jaw-dropping.


    It’s really just a question of which color I buy next…  Sand or Mimosa?


    BAG: Senreve  |  SKIRT: Victoria Beckham (more affordable version HERE and great black pencil skirt HERE) |  BLOUSE: Diane von Furstenberg (similar HERE)  |  SHOES: Jimmy Choo (sold out, affordable alternative HERE)  |  SUNGLASSES: Le Specs (sold out, similar HERE and HERE)  |  EARRINGS: Vintage Chanel

    Thanks to Senreve for partnering on this post!


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    Mary Orton of fashion blog memorandum wears perfect workwear classics of pinstripe wite-leg suit, color block black and camel coat, oversized black sunglasses

    PANTS: Roksanda (similar HERE, HERE and HERE)  |  SHIRT: Roksanda (similar HERE and HERE)  |  COAT: Cedric Charlier (sold out, similar HERE and HERE )  |  BAG: Mark Cross (affordable alternative HERE and HERE) |  EARRINGS: BaubleBar (also love THESE)

    These classic pinstripe coordinates were another favorite get-up from fashion week and I have to say, the inexplicable mood-boosting effect a sleek pinstripe has on my psyche almost entirely made up for the fact that it was -800 degrees out and my creative styling skills proved inadequate when trying to rationalize the wearing of a puffer snowsuit as a chic, unexpected fashion week ensemble.


    In my book, you can never have too much of this timeless menswear-inspired print in your closet, especially when it comes to your work wardrobe.  Below I’ve rounded up all of my favorite pinstripe pieces whether you’re looking for a sleek pair of trousers to wear to the office or a killer dress for a special occasion.  When in doubt, wear pinstripes.



    Mary Orton of Fashion Blog Memorandum wears pinstripe pant suit with a camel over coat  


    PANTS: Roksanda (similar HERE, HERE and HERE)  |  SHIRT: Roksanda (similar HERE and HERE)  |  COAT: Cedric Charlier (sold out, similar HERE and HERE )  |  BAG: Mark Cross (affordable alternative HERE and HERE) |  EARRINGS: BaubleBar (also love THESE)


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  • 02/19/18--17:52: Monday Memo No. 5
  •  

    Elemis Superfood Skincare

    I’m thrilled to report that my first big skincare post will be published on the blog this Wednesday, so get AMPED.  I’m super excited to share some of my research and learnings breaking down a lot of the marketing nonsense around skincare, but you’ll have to tune in on Wednesday for the goods.  In the interim, I wanted to share that Elemis just launched their new Superfood product range which I am SO EXCITED to try.  I’ve shared the Elemis Superfood Facial Oil here on the blog and on social about 200 times because it’s been my absolute favorite face oil for years now.  Due to its popularity, Elemis decided to expand it into an entire Superfood range which now includes a facial wash, a day cream and a night cream.  I just got mine in the mail, and will report back!



    Where I get my hair done in NYC

    Since posts on instagram and insta stories always get lost and forgotten, I wanted to memorialize my answer to this frequently asked question here.  I get my hair cut and colored at Fourteenjay Salon in Tribeca.  I can not say enough good things about this salon.  The spa-like ambiance, the friendliest service, the impeccable attention to detail and (most importantly) the absolute best-in-class hair colorists and stylists.  Their motto of “beautiful color begins with healthy hair” rings true in everything they do and I can’t recommend them highly enough.  I will be naming my first-born child Fourteenjay.



    How to Reduce Technology-Induced Eye Strain

    I randomly stumbled upon these glasses on Shopbop and since I spend all day staring at either a computer or an iPhone screen, I thought I’d give them a try.  You can read the complete details here, but in a nutshell, you can wear these glasses at your desk or anytime you plan to be staring at a screen (computer, tablet or mobile device) for an extended period of time.  They reduce up to 30% of blue light emissions that cause eye strain, headaches, and disruptive sleep (hellooooo insomnia!).  I’ve been keeping them at my desk and using them constantly over the last couple weeks and have noticed a huge difference.



    The Perfect Layering Tee, Made Even Better

    Despite trying a million and one different “basic tees” over the years, the J. Crew perfect shirt continues to be my go-to.  I’ve been doing a little spring-cleaning closet purge, and every year I seem to throw out a million of the same cheap layering tees and basics that I snatch up from discount retailers.  I’m always lured by the idea that buying a basic white t-shirt shouldn’t cost more than $25, despite the fact that these tees almost invariably fail to live through their second washing without stretching out or getting a weird, warbled neckline.  J. Crew perfect t-shirts are the exception.  They look brand-spankin’ new after every wash, year after year so I was ecstatic to find that they’ve updated the silhouette to now include a slightly longer sleeve.  I’m always laying this t-shirt under blazers and as you can see here, the extra few inches on the sleeve makes it especially perfect for the office.



    My Breakfast MVP

    I’m always surprised by how frequently I get asked what I eat for breakfast.  Funny enough, I always thought my go-to breakfast was pretty unusual, but in the last several months I’ve been seeing it pop up everywhere—bloggers, celebrities, you name it—everyone is obsessed with GG Scandinavian Crispbread.  I discovered these bread-cracker hybrids when I was living in Copenhagen for a semester in college and many of the Danish girls I lived with ate them every morning.  They’re low calorie, low carb, super high in fiber and while they’re about as bland as cardboard on their own, they are an amazing foundation for healthy deliciousness you can pile on top.  Lately, my go-to combinations have been the following:


    OPTION 1: GG Crispbread, Smashed Avocado, Spritz of Lemon Juice, Drizzle of Sriracha


    OPTION 2: GG Crispbread, Almond Butter, Sliced Bananas, Drizzle of Honey


    They are larger than a cracker but smaller than a piece of bread (about 2.5″ x 3.5″) so I eat two of them in the morning piled high with my favorite accoutrements and I stay super full all morning.  I typically get the plain bran flavor, but also love the raisin and honey as well.

     

     


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  • 02/20/18--18:29: Classic Red Sheath Dress
  • Mary Orton of fashion blog memorandum wears a shoshanna short-sleeve red sheath dress, black gucci shoulder bag, and black oversized cat-eye sunglasses

    DRESS: Shoshanna (sold out, similar HERE, HEREand HERE)  |  SHOES: Jimmy Choo (sold out, similar affordable alternative HERE)  |  BAG: Gucci (sold out, similar HERE)  |  SUNGLASSES: Le Specs


    When all of your friends are enjoying the long President’s Day weekend and you have to head into the office Monday morning, it takes a little extra something to get out the door.  Yesterday’s antidote to my why-the-&$%@-don’t-we-take-President’s-Day-off blues was this mood-boosting red sheath dress.  It did the trick because (a) it’s no secret that I have an addiction to all things red, but (b) I’ve been binge-watching Grace and Frankie and June Diane Raphael’s character (i.e. my spirit animal) seems to be wearing a killer red sheath-red lip combo in every other episode.  So, wearing this ensemble successfully distracted me from the fact that I was heading into the office on a rainy holiday as I replayed all of her inappropriate jokes in my head.  (She doesn’t even have to open her mouth in that show to have me ROLLING on the floor.)  If you would also like to channel your inner Brianna Hanson and/or you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about and just have an affinity for scarlet-hued frocks, I’ve rounded up more of my favorites below for your perusing pleasure…

    Mary Orton of fashion blog memorandum wears a shoshanna short-sleeve classic red dress, jimmy choo mary jane pumps, black gucci shoulder bag, and black oversized cat-eye sunglassesMary Orton of fashion blog memorandum wears a shoshanna short-sleeve red sheath dress, jimmy choo mary jane pumps, black gucci shoulder bag, and black oversized cat-eye sunglasses

    DRESS: Shoshanna (sold out, similar HERE, HEREand HERE)  |  SHOES: Jimmy Choo (sold out, similar affordable alternative HERE)  |  BAG: Gucci (sold out, similar HERE)  |  SUNGLASSES: Le Specs


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    When preparing for standardized testing in school, do you remember how everyone used to say, when in doubt, choose letter C?   Someone, somewhere, decided that option C was more likely than A, B or D to be the right answer, and millions of adolescents (myself included!) blindly followed suit.  Of course, this is utter nonsense, but I’d like to think that the kid who started this myth grew up to be the Chief Marketing Officer for a major skincare brand.


    Most people (myself included!) do not have time to dissect the ingredient list of skincare products and understand, for example, exactly what level of salicylic acid a product must contain to be effective in the treatment of acne.  Most of us are blindly guessing when it comes to our skincare products but unlike staring at a row of lettered bubbles of equal size and color on a standardized test, we’re staring at rows of beautifully packaged products with mesmerizing words like “anti-aging,” “nourishing,” “wrinkle-reducing,” or “skin-clearing.”  How do you know which products present the right solutions to your unique skincare challenges and which are just smoke and mirrors?


    About nine months ago, a friend and I were in my bathroom looking at the line-up of skincare products next to my sink and she began asking questions about the products that I was using.  I had feeble answers for most of them—this one contains SPF because… sun damage!  This one contains retinol because… wrinkles!  The act of having to actually articulate the rationale behind my skincare routine was startling.  My knowledge of products and ingredients was precarious at best and even more concerning was my understanding (or lack thereof) of how each product properly fits into a well-constructed skincare regimen.  Can I use a Vitamin C serum with a retinol?  Should I apply face oils before or after my night moisturizer?  In the sea of marketing gimmicks, skincare buzzwords and one-off endorsements of “miracle” products, how do you discern the real efficacy of a product and exactly how you should incorporate it into your skincare routine?


    That moment was a bit of a wake-up call for me so I began diving deep into the science of skincare and have learned a ton in the last many months.  Starting with today’s post, I’m excited to begin sharing some of my learnings with you, in hopes of creating skincare guides that are practical, digestible and no-nonsense.  After months of research, interviewing dermatologists and pouring over scientific reports, I thought I would kick things off today with the seven skincare myths that I believe will surprise you as many of the things in this list are in direct opposition to what many skincare brands market to consumers.  All of the below information has been verified not only by scientific reports but also by an extremely well-respected board-certified dermatologist who has been practicing for over 25 years.  This dermatologist asked to remain anonymous for professional reasons, which I gladly respected, especially in exchange for his candor on these topics.


    Having said that, it’s important to note that I am not a dermatologist nor am I a physician of any kind.  You should absolutely consult your own doctors when making decisions about your health and skincare regimen as there is a lot of conflicting research out there about the efficacy of certain products and ingredients.  What works for one person may not work for the next, so it’s important to do your own research based upon your own unique skin characteristics.  I hope that the information I share from my research and product testing will simply offer one perspective in the quest to find what’s best for you.


    Without further ado, I give you (in no particular order) my top seven skincare myths:


    Shocking skincare myths


     

    Skincare Myth #1:  Foaming Cleansers Are Good For Your Skin

    This one shocked me.  We’ve been conditioned to believe that the presence of suds or foam is an indication of a cleanser “working” but this couldn’t be farther from the truth.  In order for a facial cleanser to foam like shaving cream, it must contain a surfactant.  Surfactants turn your skin alkaline, creating a breeding ground for bacteria (hello, acne).  If you have acne-prone skin, you should especially avoid foaming cleansers like the plague, despite the fact that many foaming cleansers are specifically marketed to people suffering from acne.  To be clear, I’ve read that there are a few companies who have managed to formulate foaming cleansers with a low pH (i.e. acidic and anti-bacterial), but this is rare and most don’t publish the actual pH of their products on the bottle.  So, the safest bet is to avoid foaming cleansers altogether, unless you’re interested in independently testing the pH of your cleanser at home.



    Skincare Myth #2:  Natural or Organic is Always Better

    This is another super controversial one.  In the movement to eliminate harmful chemicals from the food we eat and many other everyday products, the terms “natural” and “organic” are now widely abused by marketers in an attempt to mislead.  Just because something is natural or organic does NOT mean it is good for your skin.  In fact, there are lots of natural and organic ingredients like mineral oils and certain fragrances that cause serious skin irritation, break down collagen and cause a whole host of other skin issues.  Furthermore, in discussing this with dermatologists, I was amazed to learn that in fact, there are many ingredients developed by scientists (i.e. neither natural nor organic) which are much more potent and effective for skin than natural or organic ingredients.  Of course, there are TONS of natural and organic ingredients that are fantastic, but the main takeaway here is to never simply buy a skincare product because it’s touted as “all-natural” or “organic” AND don’t ever blindly reject another product because it isn’t.  Take a step further and do your due diligence on the ingredients and proven efficacy of the product. 



    Skincare Myth #3:  Rub Product Between Your Hands

    Labels often instruct you to rub the product between your hands before applying, but according to dermatologists, there are virtually no products on the market that actually require you to rub or warm the product in your hands to prepare or “activate” the ingredients.  In most cases, this is completely unnecessary and totally wasteful, as a large amount of the product will be distributed across your palms and absorbed into your hands.  According to marketing studies, this is typically included in product instructions because consumers become more attached to products that involve these types of “ritual” steps.  Nutty.



    Skincare Myth #4:  No Pain, No Gain


    I used to think that a burning sensation following the use of a particularly abrasive facial scrub meant that I had really done a good job of removing dead skin cells.  Like many people, I would also feel the tingling sensation of various skin care products or exfoliants and believe the idea that “you can FEEL it working.”  In most cases, this is false.  According to dermatologists, if you’re in pain or experiencing a burning sensation, you’re likely damaging your skin.  You can thoroughly and effectively exfoliate your skin without causing pain.  



    Skincare Myth #5:  A High SPF Protects You From The Sun

    We all know that Vitamin D is best-obtained through supplements rather than unprotected sun exposure, but there’s a lot of misleading information about sunscreen, specifically what SPF means and how much we need.  To start, it’s important to understand that the sun’s damaging UV radiation is comprised of both UVA and UVB rays.  While most creams and sprays offering sun protection often prominently display their SPF levels, most people don’t realize that SPF only measures protection against UVB rays, and doesn’t measure protection against UVA rays at all.  Moreover, UVA rays don’t cause sunburn—UVB rays do—so by preventing sunburn, products touting high SPF can lead you to believe you’ve been protected from the sun, meanwhile, UVA damage is occurring without leaving any skin-reddening signs.  In reality, UVA rays are extremely damaging because they are a longer wavelength and penetrate more deeply into the skin.  In fact, UVA rays are more responsible for photoaging and are also the primary ray responsible for the development of melanoma.  To prevent against both UVA and UVB rays, you should buy sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and at most 50 (anything claiming an SPF of above 50 is not actually offering any incremental sun protection) AND make sure it also contains UVA-protecting ingredients like zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, ecamsule, and oxybenzone.  Products that protect against both UVA and UVB rays are often called broad spectrum, multi-spectrum, or specifically indicate UVA/UVB protection, so make sure you keep an eye out for those on the label.



    Skincare Myth #6:  Mineral Oil Is Good For Your Skin

    This is mentioned briefly above, but mineral oil is terrible for your skin and should always be avoided.  Thankfully, mineral oil isn’t included in moisturizers as often as it once was, but I still see it often enough to feel it warranted mentioning in this list.  Mineral oil is a proven comedogenic (i.e. pore-clogging) and unlike plant oils, it offers no benefits to the skin.  However, since we often associate the words “mineral” and “oil” with other healthy, beneficial things (like “mineral water” or “facial oils”) it can be confusing to remember that mineral oil itself is bad for your skin.



    Skincare Myth #7:  “I Don’t Have Sensitive Skin”

    I’ve always heard friends describe their skin as “sensitive” and just figured that I had lucked out because my skin has never really had any major reaction to anything and I don’t suffer from allergies.  However, in reality, this means that my skin is just a bit better at covering up and internalizing aggravators, and that harmful, sensitizing ingredients are inflicting just as much damage—damage that perhaps will show up as I get older instead of manifesting itself in a rash right now.  Of course, there are skin conditions such as eczema or rosacea where skin is inherently more sensitive, but everyone’s skin is irritated by bad ingredients, regardless of whether you break out in hives or not.  This is why it’s so important to really understand what you’re putting on your skin.



    I hope you find this information helpful, but it’s really important to note that you should absolutely always DO YOU.  If you’ve used a foaming cleanser or a mineral oil product for years and are convinced it works for you, then by all means, keep calm and carry on with it.  As mentioned at the beginning of this article, this list is based upon my own research, my consultations with dermatologists and my experience testing products on my own skin.  However, you should definitely make your own mind up about what’s best for you in consultation with your dermatologist.

     

     

     


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    Mary Orton wears a velvet self portrait dress with a black peplum leather jacket, chloe waist belt, stuart weitzman booties, and victoria beckham top handle box bagFashion Blogger twirls in a self portrait velvet skirt, Stuart Weitzman Cling booties, and Victoria Beckham top handle box bagDRESS: Self Portrait (love this affordable midi skirt version and this beauty as well!) |  JACKET: Rebecca Taylor  (similar HERE)  |  SHOES: Stuart Weitzman (similar HERE)  |  BAG: Victoria Beckham (similar affordable alternative HERE)  |  BELT: Chloe (affordable alternative HERE)  |  EARRINGS: Alexis Bittar


    First off, I have to say that I am SO grateful for all of your emails, DMs and comments about yesterday’s skincare post.  I’m thrilled that you found it helpful, and can’t wait to share many more!


    I wore this two-tone velvet Self Portrait dress (yes, dress! not skirt!) to the Self Portrait show and since February fashion week can never come without the influx of bizarre weather conditions (it was roughly 35 degrees and pouring rain), I got creative with layering both underneath and on top.  If you check out the dress here, you can see that it’s got a LOT going on, and yet it still looks refined and beautiful.  Self Portrait has that rare ability to basically incorporate everything but the kitchen sink into a design (i.e. pleats, lace, and not one, but TWO different colors of velvet) and then look at the end product and be like, yup, it definitely needs moreLet’s add RUFFLES.  Witchcraft.


    NYC fashion blogger Mary Orton wears a blue green velvet midi dress, black peplum leather jacket, top handle box bag, and retro sunglassesSelf Portrait blue and green ruffle velvet midi dress and Chloe waist belt Mary Orton of Memorandum wears velvet midi dress, black peplum jacket, retro sunglasses, black booties, and top handle bag in the rain with an umbrella in NYC Mary Orton wears velvet leather dress, peplum jacket, and black booties in NYC Fashion weekSelf Portrait Midi Dress and Black booties in the rain in NYC

    DRESS: Self Portrait (love this affordable midi skirt version and this beauty as well!) |  JACKET: Rebecca Taylor  (similar HERE)  |  SHOES: Stuart Weitzman (similar HERE)  |  BAG: Victoria Beckham (similar affordable alternative HERE)  |  BELT: Chloe (affordable alternative HERE)  |  EARRINGS: Alexis Bittar


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    If I had a nickel for every time Rich told me roughly 45 minutes ahead of time that he had invited people over to our place for drinks, well, Jeff Bezos would not be the richest person in the world.  Don’t get me wrong, we both (myself very much included!) absolutely love to entertain, but given my husband’s affinity for extremely last minute soirées, we’ve developed an arsenal of key pieces to have on hand for pulling off the perfect cocktail party in a pinch.  Below, I’m breaking down the nine key serving pieces you need so that all that’s left to do is a five-minute run to the corner grocery for some cheese, veggies and hummus.  Oh, and get booze.  It’s generally bad form to invite people over for cocktails and not serve any actual cocktails.





    1.  Chip and Dip

    We received this Nambé chip and dip set as a wedding gift, and it’s been one of the most heavily-used items in our line-up of serveware pieces when entertaining.  I’m such a huge fan of Nambé’s sleek designs and amazing quality (these pieces still look brand new!) so I’ve bought several additional pieces since our wedding.  Chief among them is this Nambé scoop server from Macy’s because let’s face it, the more dips the merrier.  Both sets are perfect for chips and salsa, hummus and veggies, spinach and artichoke dip, you name it.





    2.  Cheeseboard

    Another must-have staple to have on hand.  Who doesn’t love a little cheese and cracker action?  This cheeseboard has a great built-in cheese knife, but I also love this one.





    3.  Serving Tray

    A serving tray is your entertaining jack-of-all-trades BFF.  Sometimes we serve drinks on it, sometimes we use it for serving hors d’oeuvres, and sometimes we play frisbee with it in the living room when the conversation gets stale.  It does all the things. Whether you need a place to rest bar tools, don’t know how else to serve and display your favorite pigs in a blanket, or are even looking for a chic centerpiece, get yourself a serving tray.





    4.  Small Serving Bowls

    I’m telling you, you can never have enough small serving bowls.  I’m addicted to Nambé and their beautiful pieces with subtle braiding details, so obviously had to go for the bowls that match my chip and dip because… have you met me?  They can hold nuts, dips, pita chips, candies, other small bites, everything.  I think I have at least 6 of these and I still always seem to be running out of them.





    5.  Wine Glasses

    Having cocktail glasses is always a plus, but when in a pinch you can totally use your everyday glasses for mixing a cocktail and no one will punch you in the face.  Wine on the other hand?  You just can’t hand company a glass of Pinot in the same glass that holds your morning O.J.  I have (and LOVE) these Riedel Vinum wine glasses because they’re top-notch quality crystal, but—plot twist—they’re one of the few crystal wine glasses that are DISHWASHER SAFE.  [Insert all of the praise hands emojis here.]





    6.  Barware Set (+ wine openers and bottle openers!)

    Pro tip: If you’re throwing a party and buying a bunch of booze, best to make sure you can actually open aforementioned booze.  This rabbit wine opener was another wedding gift and completely removes the awkward red-faced grunting that typically accompanies trying to muscle open wine bottles.  More recently, I got this barware set from Macy’s that has all of the other cocktail party necessities—knife, bottle opener, double jigger (aka fancy shot glass), strainer (hellooooo dirty martinis), and shaker.





    7.  Cocktail Napkins

    If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that my love for tacky cocktail napkins knows no bounds.  I also love a good cocktail napkin holder like this beauty from Michael Aram.  It adds a little flare to the spread and also prevents napkins from sliding all over the place.





    8.  Coasters

    God help the soul that puts a glass down in my parents’ house without a coaster.  I’m telling you, my mother will nose dive, using her body as a human shield lest one drop of liquid touch any horizontal surface in our home.  Of course, now that I’m low-key adulting and have furniture that I actually care about, well… turns out the apple doesn’t fall suuuuuper far from the tree.  Also, how cute are these Kate Spade coasters?  Just take my money already.





    9.  Appetizer Plates

    Trust me, appetizer plates are KEY.  Here’s why:  if you’re serving any dips or appetizers that involve sauces and also care about your carpeting and/or upholstered furniture, for the love of guacamole, make sure you have appetizer plates at the ready.  When guests are forced to awkwardly reach across a table and plunge that celery stick into a vat of sloppy dip without the safety net of an appetizer plate, odds are 50% of that slopfest is landing somewhere other than their mouth.




     

    Thanks to Macy’s and ShopStyle for partnering on this post!

     


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  • 02/26/18--17:38: Monday Memo No. 6

  •  

    My Favorite Everyday Lip Color (That’s Super Moisturizing!)

    I’ve shared this many times in the past, but my favorite everyday lip color is the Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick that is listed in My Beauty Routine Post.  I constantly get asked about it on social media and get so excited by DMs and emails from readers who have purchased it and become as addicted as I am.  My favorite color is Plum Perfect, but they make a ton of fantastic colors and it’s just the best, most moisturizing, flattering lip color.  It definitely isn’t billed as a lip-plumping product, but perhaps just because it’s so incredibly hydrating, it always seems to have a plumping effect.  Love love love.



    Clear Plastic Bathroom Organizers

    I just bought these clear plastic containers to organize a large medicine cabinet in my bathroom and I don’t know what in the world I was doing for so long without them.  They allow me to organize boxes of cold medicine, eye drops, makeup products—you name it—without living in fear every time I open the cabinet that 28 things are going to fall out.  There are lots of different sizes, and they also stack which makes them amazing for organizing things like lip products or eyeliners because you can get additional storage space and still see everything through the clear plastic.



    Favorite Bags For Working Women

    I always get asked about my favorite work/travel bags (I think I got at least a dozen DMs this week alone), and these Senreve beauties continue to top the list for me.  I’ve posted about them before in this post which features their Mini Maestra bag, but am going to do another post on the full-size Maestra bag which will be my companion on our trip this week to the west coast.  They’re amazing quality, they have a laptop sleeve and tons of other amazing pockets to keep you organized, they don’t LOOK like a stereotypical work bag at all, plus you can wear them FOUR different ways (satchel, tote, crossbody, and backpack).  Highly recommend.



    Where To Buy Funny Cocktail Napkins

    If you missed yesterday’s post on the 9 essential serving pieces to pull off the perfect cocktail party, definitely check it out here!  Many of you know that I’m a sucker for a cheeky cocktail napkin, and I’ve gotten lots of questions about where I find them.  I often spot them randomly in little boutiques and home goods stores, but the selections at Sur La Table and Bed Bath and Beyond are fantastic.  I just ordered these.



    Beautiful, Affordable Spring Clothing

    As mentioned, Rich and I are headed to Palm Springs and Los Angeles this week for work so (naturally) I had to order a few warm weather clothing options for the trip.  I was completely enamored with the current Michael Michael Kors collection at Net-A-Porter which has SUCH beautiful pieces at incredibly reasonable price points.  I ordered this striped shirt dress which is one of those versatile travel pieces that works just as perfectly in a business casual setting as it does on a sunny patio for lunch or happy hour with friends.  Can’t wait to wear it!




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  • 02/28/18--16:59: Packing For Palm Springs
  • TOP: Tibi (also love this gingham top!)  | WIDE LEG PANTS: Milly (affordable alternative HERE)  |  DENIM JACKET: Treasure & Bond  |  STRAW BAG: Clare V. (also love THIS ONE)  |  SLIDES: old, similar HERE and HERE  |  BELT: Halogen

    Work has brought us to the west coast this week and I have to say I’m thrilled for the excuse to escape the dreary NYC weather.  Today, I’m wearing these white wide leg pants and this pretty gingham top which I spotted in Nordstrom’s Getaway Guide.  Both pieces seemed perfect for a professional daytime ensemble in sunny Palm Springs, and comfortable to boot.  As things cool off, I have this denim jacket at the ready, which is one of my favorite finds of late.  The wash and cut is perfect and the denim material has an amazing softness without losing its shape.  For under $80, it doesn’t get much better.




    I also packed this perfect striped Rails shirt which will be great for lazy moments by the pool or buttoned-up and tucked into these bermuda shorts. I am all about the bermuda short length going into spring and summer, and can’t wait to wear them dressed up with heels and a blazer for a business casual ensemble.  I also packed this off-shoulder sweater dress which is another adorable (and affordable!) find from Nordstrom’s Getaway Guide which proved to be my one-stop-shop when prepping for the trip.


    If you’re headed anywhere warm soon, check more of my favorites below!

     

    TOP: Tibi (also love this gingham top!)  | WIDE LEG PANTS: Milly (affordable alternative HERE)  |  DENIM JACKET: Treasure & Bond  |  STRAW BAG: Clare V. (also love THIS ONE)  |  SLIDES: old, similar HERE and HERE  |  BELT: Halogen

    Thanks to Nordstrom and ShopStyle for partnering on this post!


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  • 03/05/18--17:13: Monday Memo No. 7
  • JACKET: Veronica Beard  |  PANTS: Veronica Beard  |  SHOES: Gucci  |  T-Shirt: J. Brand  |  SUNGLASSES: Le Specs  |  EARRINGS: Baublebar



    Overnight Spot Treatments

    I read about Peach Spot Dot acne patches for the first time last year in this article on Byrdie and they’ve saved my life countless times since.  As a disclaimer, I don’t have much trouble with acne, but I do have the kind of luck that seems to bring about a spot right before a big meeting or important conference.  These patches are totally mind-blowing and truly zap blemishes overnight.  Run don’t walk.



    Rachel Zoe one-shoulder blouses

    If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know that I’m a sucker for a one-shouldered top.  With eyes on spring, I’m totally salivating over two in particular right now from Rachel Zoe, this gorgeous ruffle blouse and this long-sleeve top with choker detail.  I think they’d be especially beautiful for any brides-to-be at a bridal shower or bachelorette party.



    Purple Shampoo For Blondes

    A reader recently asked about the shampoo I use, and since I have medium-dark blonde hair, my favorite shampoos are those that counteract brassiness.  There are a lot of great “purple” shampoos that allow you to maintain ashy blonde locks between colorings, and right now, my favorites are the Drybar Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo and L’Oreal Paris EverPure Blonde Shampoo.  Both shampoos are sulfate and paraben free, and I use them a little differently: The Drybar version is much stronger so you would only use it once or twice a week when you feel like your hair is really looking too brassy.  The L’Oreal version offers a milder purple rinse that you can use everyday or every other day when your blonde hair just needs a little refresh.


     

    Better Than Dry Brushing: Exfoliating Gloves

    Speaking of being in the shower, if you don’t own a pair of exfoliating gloves, fix that STAT.  We all know how beneficial exfoliation is for the skin on your face, but people all too often forget to exfoliate the rest of their bodies.  Personally, I think this is because most handheld body brushes are just too awkward and exhausting.  I don’t have an hour to lounge in the tub with the damn thing everyday, I want something that’s easy to use and fast.  Cue exfoliating gloves.  There’s no unwieldy brush or pad, you’re able to exfoliate your entire body by just rubbing your skin with your hands.  In doing so, you’re not only removing dead skin cells but you’re also stimulating the lymphatic system.  Another bonus?  These gloves are also the best at removing sunless tanner.  I was initially concerned about drying and/or mildew, but they actually dry really quickly and easily (I just hang mine on the nobs to my tub) and I’ve never seen a trace of mildew.  They’re an absolute must-have for me—I even have a pair in each suitcase to use while on the road.



    The Best Restaurant Recommendations

    When entertaining out-of-town guests recently, we enjoyed dinners at two of our all-time NYC favorites: Raoul’s (on Friday night) and Indochine (on Saturday night).  I happened to mention The Infatuation when discussing other favorites in the neighborhood but was met with blank stares by our friends.  If you live in NYC or Los Angeles, you’re likely very familiar with the best restaurant blog on the planet, The Infatuation.  If you don’t live in a major city, you may not have heard of them, so definitely check them out next time you’re traveling to a new city (especially NYC or LA) and are in need of restaurant recommendations.  They’re constantly expanding the cities they cover, and you can search for restaurant recommendations based upon cuisine, budget and occasion.  I’m always stressed out when readers email or DM me asking for restaurant recommendations in NYC because without knowing your budget, desired cuisine or neighborhood preference, it’s tough to give a solid recommendation in a city with roughly 24,000 restaurants (not an exaggeration, that’s the actual number). UPDATE: By complete coincidence, it was announced today that The Infatuation has purchased Zagat (!!) from Google.  CRAZY to see how they’ve grown from being a tiny restaurant blog to now being such a huge player while still retaining their unique identity and offering.  Very exciting!




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    Mary Orton carries her favorite work bag wearing black pencil skirt, red blouse, and mary jane pumpsThe best bag for work

    BAG: Senreve  |  SKIRT: Victoria Beckham (more affordable version HERE and great black pencil skirt HERE) |  BLOUSE: Diane von Furstenberg (similar HERE)  |  SHOES: Jimmy Choo (sold out, affordable alternative HERE)  |  SUNGLASSES: Le Specs (sold out, similar HERE and HERE)  |  CHOKER: Kenneth Jay Lane  |  EARRINGS: Vintage Chanel

    The rare and elusive WORK BAG.  Everyone has one, but few are satisfied with (much less excited about) the sloppy jalopy tote that carts their essentials to and from work every day.  I, too, resigned myself for years to the idea that when it comes to work bags, you just can’t have everything.  Either you carry a tote that looks like something you stole from Perry Mason, or you carry a bag that looks fab and just pray your laptop is still in one piece after sloshing around with all of your other personal effects.  It’s form OR function.  Take your pick.  That is, unless you know about Senreve.


    Fashion blogger Mary Orton dresses office appropriate in a black pencil skirt and red blouse with her favorite work and travel bagMary Orton wears a black floral embellished pencil skirt and red blouse


    Senreve is a luxury handbag line tailor-made for the working girl.  As you may recall, I shared my love for the Senreve Mini Maestra bag in this post last fall which has continued to be the source of countless questions from many of you.  The most frequently asked question is whether I recommend the Mini Maestra or the regular full-sized Maestra bag (the black beauty I’m carrying today!), so I thought I’d put together another post showcasing the Maestra to give you a better idea of how the two compare.


    Mary Orton wears a red blouse with a black floral embellished pencil skirt, mary jane pumps, and black sunglassessenreve work bag


    The most obvious difference between the two is size.  Despite having the word “mini” in its name, the Mini Maestra is a really nice size.  It can hold a ton (as seen in this post) and is the size I prefer any day I don’t have to cart around my laptop.  However, when the laptop is in play, the Maestra is my go-to.  This not only includes treks to-and-from the office, but as you may have seen last week on instagram and instastories, it is hands-down my favorite travel tote bag.


    Senreve Maestra work bag with laptop pocket


    As you can see above, the seven interior pockets and dedicated sleeve for securely transporting a 13″ laptop are KEY when trying to stay organized on the road.  But aside from the fact that this beauty can hold a Mary Poppins amount of goods, one of the biggest game-changers for me is the ability to transform it into a BACKPACK.  When traveling, it typically takes every ounce of my strength to manage unwieldy suitcases, so completely removing my carryon bag from one arm/shoulder and turning it into a backpack is life. changing.  My elation is documented in this instagram snapped entering the airport last week (swipe right to the second photo to see it worn as a backpack).



    When using this bag on a typical workday, I usually prefer to carry it as a satchel or a tote as you can see in the photos today.  The ingenious design of the adjustable straps makes it easy to alternate from backpack, to crossbody, to satchel or tote in seconds.  I’m telling you, there isn’t a single design detail overlooked on this bag from the gorgeous pale blue micro-suede interior to the gold feet on the bottom of the bag that prevent it from flopping over when you set it down.  To marry this much functionality with luxury materials (all Senreve bags are made with genuine Italian leather) at a fraction of the price of other designer bags, is truly jaw-dropping.


    It’s really just a question of which color I buy next…  Sand or Mimosa?


    BAG: Senreve  |  SKIRT: Victoria Beckham (more affordable version HERE and great black pencil skirt HERE) |  BLOUSE: Diane von Furstenberg (similar HERE)  |  SHOES: Jimmy Choo (sold out, affordable alternative HERE)  |  SUNGLASSES: Le Specs (sold out, similar HERE and HERE)  |  CHOKER: Kenneth Jay Lane  |  EARRINGS: Vintage Chanel

    Thanks to Senreve for partnering on this post!


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  • 03/12/18--11:06: Monday Memo No. 8

  • WHY YOU SHOULD BE USING SILK PILLOWCASES

    If you haven’t hopped on the silk pillowcase bandwagon it’s officially time to climb aboard.  While I prefer cotton sheets on our bed, I’ve been using this silk pillowcase for the past couple years and it’s completely game-changing.  I’m so committed to my silk pillowcases that I permanently keep one in my suitcase so I can put it on my hotel pillow when traveling.  I know.  What a weirdo.


    But here’s why:  silk fibers are less absorbent than cotton and other fibers, so silk pillowcases help your skin retain moisture and nutrients from the skincare products you apply before bed.  There’s nothing worse than applying a bunch of pricey serums and moisturizers just to have 90% of it wipe off on your pillow at night.  ALSO, unlike ordinary cotton pillowcases, smooth, slippery silk doesn’t stretch and tug on delicate facial skin and doesn’t pull and tangle your hair throughout the night.  I’m telling you, the difference a silk pillowcase makes in reducing (often completely eliminating) bedhead is DRAMATIC, allowing you to maintain your hairstyle for much, much longer.


    I love these silk pillowcases by Slip the best, and they now come in lots of colors so you can buy them to match your sheets!



    MY FAVORITE SUPER SOFT PJs

    While on the subject of sleep, I constantly get asked about the favorite pajamas that I’ve shared many times on instagram.  These Moonlight pajamas by Nordstrom are so incredibly soft, hold up perfectly wash after wash, and are just the most comfortable PJs I’ve ever owned.  I have about 6 pairs of the black set alone, but also have a few other colors as well that I love and am currently eyeing up the pretty grey and white stripe.



    LONGWEAR LIQUID LIP COLOR: PERFECT EVERYDAY COLORS

    You’ve heard me wax on about this NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment many times in the past, especially when looking to achieve the perfect bold red or burgundy lip that lasts all night.  However, I just tried two of their lighter shades as well which has made me love the product even more.  Currently, shade “Get It On” is my favorite for an understated, natural color that doesn’t budge all day long.  I love it so much I also just ordered “American Woman” and will report back on whether it’s a keeper as well!



    WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT BELT BAGS?

    Okay, DON’T PANIC, but one of my favorite trends of the season is a modern take on the fanny pack—the belt bag.  My favorite way to style it is pictured in this shot from fashion week, where you can see I’m wearing this See by Chloe bag over my suit like a waist belt.  Interestingly, I originally purchased it on Net-A-Porter which billed it as a belt bag, but I now see the same bag for sale on Shopbop where it’s described as a cross-body.  Bottom line: if you’re looking to dip your toe into the trend, this bag is a great place to start since you can wear it multiple ways and aren’t stuck with just the belt option.  Regardless of how you wear it, I think it’s such a pretty bag and am currently eyeing it up in dove grey which would be beautiful for summer.



    NEW SERIES COMING SOON

    I’m unbelievably excited to kick off a series of posts soon on a new topic that has been requested by many of you for years and years.  Apologies for the tease here, but stay tuned for all of the details very soon and make sure you’re signed up for Memorandum emails here so you’re the first to know!




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     PANTS (JUMPSUIT!): Veronica Beard (also available HEREaffordable alternative HERE, HERE and HERE)  |  BLAZER: Veronica Beard (also available HERE, similar HERE and HERE)  |  SHIRT: Sold out, similar HERE and HERE)  |  SHOES: Stuart Weitzman (similar affordable alternative HERE, HERE and HERE) |  BAG: See By Chloe (also HERE) |  GLASSES: Garrett Leight

    As indicated in yesterday’s Monday Memo, you know that I’m LOVING the belt bag trend this season.  If you’re breaking out in hives thinking that your mom’s embarrassing fanny packs are coming back, have no fear.  Today’s belt bags are chic, modern takes on the gnarly nylon nightmare that you may have seen growing up and especially when worn at the natural waist, can double as flattering waist-cinchers AND practical carryalls.  From a comfort perspective, I felt like a NEW WOMAN walking around completely hands-free [insert Will Ferrell “I don’t know what to do with my hands” joke here].



    As discussed yesterday, if you’re unsure about whether you can pull off this trend, the See by Chloe bag I’m wearing today is a fantastic bag to start with because you can also wear it as a cross-body or shoulder bag as well (as you can see here at Shopbop).  It also appears that this adorable belt bag by Kate Spade offers the same multi-wear options and both bags are beautiful and versatile regardless of how you wear them.  Especially with warm weather and summer travels coming up, I love the idea of being able to throw my bag around my waist when going through the airport or even dancing at night and wanting to be hands-free.


     

    Belt bag aside, I have to give a major shoutout to this striped Veronica Beard suit.  You can’t tell in these photos because I’ve styled it with a long white silk tunic, but the pants are not pants—they’re a jumpsuit!  I’m completely smitten with the top detailing and can’t wait to wear this jumpsuit solo when temperatures start to rise.  However, I feel like the jacket and jumpsuit together really offer the ultimate day-to-night duo, amiright?  I can’t wait to wear them this summer with the suit jacket during the day at the office and then this beautiful jumpsuit solo when grabbing waterfront cocktails après-work with girlfriends.


    Of course, you also have the option to wear them like I did today with a tunic blouse layered between the suit jacket and jumpsuit as well.  I opted for this look simply because it was a little chilly out, wanted the extra coverage, and ended up really liking the layered look.  But either way, you’ve got options on options!  And, if (like me) your “summer bod” isn’t quite ready for prime time, don’t forget how unbelievably slimming and lengthening these strong vertical lines are.


    What more can I say?  It’s easily one of my favorite suits ever.


     PANTS (JUMPSUIT!): Veronica Beard (also available HEREaffordable alternative HERE, HERE and HERE)  |  BLAZER: Veronica Beard (also available HERE, similar HERE and HERE)  |  SHIRT: Sold out, similar HERE and HERE)  |  SHOES: Stuart Weitzman (similar affordable alternative HERE, HERE and HERE) |  BAG: See By Chloe (also HERE) |  GLASSES: Garrett Leight


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    For most of my life, I’ve washed my face much like you see it done in a television commercial: splash with water, rub some cleanser all over the place (often a foaming cleanser… shudder), rinse it all off, and dry with a towel.  Pretty standard, right?  Well, yes.  It’s standard.  But, sadly, it’s not at all correct.


    In continuation of my skincare series, today I’m sharing the results of my research and testing on the optimal way to clean your face.  After reading up, interviewing dermatologists and testing on my own face for many months, I’ve noticed a dramatic difference in my skin.  All it took was some slight tweaks to both the products I use and the methods I employ.


    Properly cleansing your face is arguably the single most important part of any skincare regimen.  Not only is it important for removing dirt, grime, bacteria, makeup, SPF, and dead skin cells that build up, but it’s also critically important in preparing your skin for the serums, oils and moisturizers that you layer on top.  You could have the most expensive, luxurious skincare products on the planet, but if you haven’t first thoroughly cleansed your skin, none of it will be absorbed.  Might as well save your money for a trip to Vegas to see Celine Dion at Caesar’s Palace.  (Just a suggestion.)


    Think, for a minute, about a large pan you just used for making dinner.  What if you put it in the sink, doused it in water, smeared soap on it and rinsed?  Without actually scrubbing any of the residue off, you’re never going to get that sucker clean.  Similarly, if you’ve spent an entire day with makeup and SPF baking into your porous face, then add in all of the environmental pollutants that collect on your skin over the course of the day, it’s easy to imagine that you need more than a quick slather and rinse to get your skin truly clean.


    Today, I’m going to share the exact methods to thoroughly and properly clean your face, exactly when and how you should be cleansing, and what products you should use to do the job.



    WHEN TO CLEAN YOUR FACE

    You should wash your face every day in the morning when you wake up and twice (DON’T PANIC, I’ll explain in a minute) at night before going to bed.  You should only wash your face more than this if you workout, in which case you should wash it again after sweating.  Pretty simple, right?  Well, I have to admit that some mornings when overly tired or running late, I would often skip the morning cleanse, assuming that my skin was still in pretty good shape from cleansing the night before.  Oh, how very wrong I was.



    WASHING YOUR FACE IN THE MORNING:  SINGLE, GENTLE CLEANSE

    Dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells accumulate on your face during the night so it’s critically important to wash that off first thing in the morning to promote healthy, rejuvenated skin and to prepare the face for the absorption of daytime skincare products (which we’ll get to in a later post).  Since you are not worried about removing makeup or SPF in the morning (for the love of small pores don’t you dare sleep in that gunk), you can use any number of gentle cleansers—but milk, gel, balm or oil cleansers are best.  Personally, I almost always use an oil cleanser and my favorites are the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil, and Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil.

     


    WHY YOU SHOULD BE USING OIL CLEANSERS

    Before we get to night-time cleansers, it’s worth mentioning that if you aren’t using an oil cleanser, you really. really. should be.  Please try to purge from your memory the lifetime of idiotic marketing gimmicks you’ve heard touting “oil-free” products—as if oils were the perpetrators of your skincare woes.  Our skin loves oil and needs it to be healthy, so plant-based oils (not mineral oil!) are AMAZING for skin in both cleansing and treating.  I will cover facial treatment oils (like this one from Elemis that I absolutely live for) in more detail in a separate post, but in the context of washing your face, you should absolutely get on board with a cleansing oil.  Cleansing oils are fantastic at removing dirt and grime because like attracts like—the oils in the cleanser will attach to all of the oil-based bacteria and excess sebum in your skin and carry it away when you wash it off.  EVEN FOR OILY AND ACNE-PRONE SKIN!  Not only are oils better at removing dirt and grime, but they are also much better for all skin types because they aren’t stripping the skin of its natural oils, allowing your skin to stay healthy and balanced.



    WASHING YOUR FACE IN THE EVENING:  DOUBLE UP

    At the end of the day before going to bed, you need to clean your face TWICE: first to remove your makeup and then to thoroughly cleanse your actual skin.  I know, I know, sounds excessive, but it truly makes a WORLD of difference.  Give it a try for a week or two and I can guarantee you’ll notice a change.  If you’re wearing makeup and SPF, those products are formulated to stay put all day, so the first wash is just targeted at removing all of those products.  Once they’re out of the way, you can get in there with a second cleanser and really make sure your pores are unclogged and grime-free.


    In terms of products for each cleanse, I always use one of the oil cleansers mentioned above for cleanse number one because, in my opinion, nothing removes makeup better than oil-based cleansers.  For the second cleanse, you can use any favorite cleanser including balm, milk, gel and oil cleansers.  I often prefer a balm cleanser for the second cleanse, but you can absolutely use the same oil cleanser that you used for the first cleanse a second time (I often do).  Aside from the favorite oil cleansers listed above, some of my other favorite cleansers are CeraVe Hydrating Facial CleanserTata Harper Purifying Cleanser, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Balm and Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm.  This last one by Emma Hardie is quite possibly my favorite, and unfortunately, you can only find it on Amazon and Asos because it’s a smaller UK-based brand.  Huge shoutout to one of my favorite skincare bloggers (and people in general) Caroline Hirons for getting me onto this divine cleanser years ago.  Not only is it amazingly effective, but the texture and smell actually make me feel EXCITED to clean my face and do my night-time skincare routine.  Anything with demonstrated efficacy that also has that effect on the psyche is worth its weight in gold.

     



    TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES TO PROPERLY CLEAN YOUR FACE

    Alright, now that we’ve covered when to wash your face and what products you should use, it’s important to discuss the HOW.  Technique is just as important as having the right products so to make these technique tips easy to digest and quick to reference, I’m categorizing a few Do’s and Don’ts as follows:



    DON’T WET YOUR FACE TO START  //  Always apply cleansing products directly to your skin.  You should never wet your face (or your hands) first.  Whether you’re using a gel, milk, oil or balm cleanser, the cleansing agents in each need to bond directly with the dirt, oil and bacteria on your skin in order to carry them away when you rinse off.  Wetting your face first just allows the water to act as a barrier between the grime and the cleansing agents, rendering them less effective.


    DON’T RUB THE PRODUCT IN YOUR HANDS  //  As discussed in my post about top skincare myths (which you should definitely read if you haven’t!), never rub product (cleansers or anything else!) between your hands before applying to your face.  It’s a completely unnecessary marketing “ritual” step and simply leads you to waste product on your hands.  Apply cleansers directly to your dry face.


    DO USE A WASHCLOTH  //  For most of my life, I was only rubbing cleanser on my face with my hands before rinsing off.  But, harkening back to the dirty, residue-encrusted pan example above, you need something more than just your fingertips to gently scrub the grime off your face which is where a washcloth comes in.  Once you’ve applied cleanser to your entire face, take a washcloth, douse it in hot water, ring it out, and rub your face all over.  You can use a classic cotton terry washcloth, but the more cotton is washed, the more brittle it becomes which is too harsh for your skin.  I recommend using a microfiber or bamboo washcloth which will be effective yet gentle.


    DON’T USE A BATTERY-OPERATED CLEANSING BRUSH EVERY NIGHT  //  I love a good Clarisonic exfoliating cleansing brush as much as the next girl, but you should absolutely not be using one on a daily basis.  Once a week is fine, but harsh scrubs and battery operated cleansing devices are far too rough for your skin.  If you use those every night you’ll be left with dry, damaged skin and likely see rosacea and broken capillaries down the road.  You can achieve the same level of exfoliation by chemical means (i.e. acid toners which we’ll cover later!) instead of such damaging physical means.  I will be doing a dedicated post on exfoliation breaking all of this down, but just know that you should not be using any rough brushes or scrubs on a daily basis.  A gentle washcloth is the best for your skin.


    DO RINSE YOUR FACE  //  This one might sound obvious, but I’m always astounded when reading advice that wiping your face and cleanser off with a washcloth is enough.  I’m here to tell you it. is. not.  Once you’ve covered your face in cleanser and thoroughly rubbed it all over with the washcloth, go back down to the sink and thoroughly rinse your face with warm water.  If you don’t rinse and simply wipe it away with the washcloth, you’re leaving lots of dirt and cleanser residue on your face.  No bueno.



    And that’s about it!  Again, if you’re frustrated with dullness, acne or pre-mature aging, I implore (yes, implore!) you to employ these cleansing tips and I will eat my shirt if you don’t see demonstrable results.  If you have any questions or feel I’ve left anything out, please let me know in the comments!  So excited to continue sharing these skincare posts!

     


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  • 03/19/18--10:10: Monday Memo No. 9

  • PODCAST FRENZY

    Last week I asked everyone to share their favorite podcasts in this instagram post.  I was totally blown away by all of the responses, and am going to summarize all of the recommendations in a post here on the blog soon.  In the meantime, if you’re looking for a new podcast, creep the comments section here for TONS of fantastic recommendations!



    THE BEST AFFORDABLE, NON-IRON CLASSIC BUTTON-DOWN SHIRTS

    I am a bonafide hoarder of white button-down shirts, especially in the spring and summer months when I’m often wearing one to the office 2-3 times a week.  Since they often get stained season to season, I’m always looking for affordable options and recently, I discovered these men’s non-iron button down shirts at Uniqlo which have quickly become a favorite.  As mentioned, they are indeed in the men’s section, but lucky for ladies, they go all the way down to size XXS.  Since the style right now is to be slightly boxy and masculine in silhouette, the fit is absolutely perfect and for under $30, I’ve hoarded them in all three colors.


    FYI, if you haven’t purchased non-iron button-downs before, you’re in for a real treat.  I have lots of similar classic cotton button-up shirts, but the constant need to iron them after every wash means I end up reaching for them much less frequently.  Not the case with these beauties which are good to go after the dryer.  Tuck them into your favorite high waisted jeans, roll up the sleeves, throw a silk scarf around your neck and you’re effortlessly chic.

     

    THE BEST SLEEP MASK WITH CONTOURED EYE CUPS

    Like many people with light blue irises, my eyes are super sensitive so even the smallest amount of light keeps me up/wakes me up.  I’ve tried just about every eye mask under the sun, and finally discovered this incredible $12 contoured sleep mask a couple years ago.  The eye area on each side is contoured outward so the fabric is not pressing tightly against your eyes which allows you to blink freely and open your eyes if you need to.  This also means that when you wake up in the morning, your eyelashes aren’t crimped or bent in weird directions.  If you ever get eyelash extensions, this is also the only eye mask you can use for the same reasons.  Amazon prime this sucker STAT.


    EASTER PUMPS

    My fingers pretty much couldn’t hit the add to cart button fast enough when I first spotted these floral Tory Burch pumps last week.  If they don’t scream Easter, then I don’t know what does.  Can’t wait to wear them all spring and summer.

     

     

    THE PRETTIEST SPRING DRESS (PERFECT FOR THE OFFICE TOO!)

    If you’ve followed this blog for long, you know that Reiss has been a favorite brand since day one.  I just spotted this gorgeous blush pink dress in their new arrivals section and audibly gasped.  It’s such a stunning, classic silhouette, perfect for a dressy day at the office, Easter Sunday, a baby’s baptism—basically any dressy event this spring and summer.  And that back v detailing?  Just icing on the cake.  Reiss typically runs small for me, so I’d suggest going at least one full size up. 

    SKINCARE TIPS

    I was overwhelmed by the positive responses to last week’s post on how to properly wash your face.  I’m so thrilled that these skincare posts are helpful and rest-assured, there’s a whole lot more coming your way!  As I explained in my first post debunking the top seven skincare myths, I feel like consumers are completely inundated by complete nonsense by skincare marketers.  After months of research and interviews with dermatologists, I’m so excited to share my learnings, which believe me, have been as surprising to me as they’ve been to many of you!  It’s not a great feeling knowing that you’ve been doing something as simple as washing your face COMPLETELY wrong your entire life, but better late than never amiright?


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    DRESS: Calvin Klein  |  SHOES: Vince Camuto  |  BAG: Lauren Ralph Lauren  |  SUITCASE: Tumi  |  HAT: Janessa Leone, similar HERE  |  SUNGLASSES: old, also love THESE

    As the Maid of Honor in an upcoming June wedding, it’s been such a treat to relive the wedding planning process over the past several months.  My personal favorite part of the process (aside from choosing the dress of course!) is always the wedding registry because I’ve had a strange obsession with china and serveware since I was a little girl.  Recently, I shared the nine essential serving pieces every host needs in this post, which is a great reference if you’re starting to put together your registry and wondering what pieces you should have on hand to host the perfect soirée at home.  Today I’m breaking down all of the reasons you should consider registering at Macy’s and sharing the details on an absolutely INSANE wedding registry honeymoon sweepstakes that they’re running through March 31st!  By registering at Macy’s this month, you can enter to win an all-expenses-paid honeymoon to the MALDIVES.  All of the details below!!


     


    For the wedding that I’m in this summer, the bride chose to register at Macy’s, and I have been blown away by the entire process.  Of course, I already knew that Macy’s has a spectacular product assortment featuring many of my absolute favorite brands including Le Creuset, KitchenAid, All-Clad, Riedel, Vitamix and Nespresso—all brands that I use every. single. day. from our wedding registry.


    But after going through the process at Macy’s with the bride-to-be, I learned that there are soooo many additional reasons to register at Macy’s.  After your wedding day, newlyweds who register at Macy’s receive 20% off most remaining registry items for SIX MONTHS!  Believe me, this is a KILLER perk to take advantage of when you want to pick up the last odds and ends that your wedding guests didn’t purchase.  We did this for lots of items, for example, I remember we received ten red wine glasses, so we purchased the remaining two on our registry after our wedding so that we had the full set of twelve.   Having that 20% discount is a game-changer, especially after you’ve spent a lot of moolah on the wedding and honeymoon!


     


    When selecting your wedding registry destination, it’s also important to remember all of the other items you’ll be needing to purchase over the next several months for wedding-related events.  By registering at Macy’s you unlock a mountain of other perks beyond wedding registry items like discounts on clothing and accessories for all wedding-related occasions (i.e. outfits for your bridal shower, engagement photos, rehearsal dinner, etc.), luggage for your honeymoon, wedding bands for the big day, and even suits for the groom and groomsmen.  It’s an absolutely fantastic one-stop-shop.


     


    Speaking of honeymoon, if I haven’t given you enough reasons to register at Macy’s already, take note that they’re running a super exciting Honeymoon Sweepstakes this month!  With a qualifying Macy’s registry ($500 minimum value), you can enter to win the ULTIMATE HONEYMOON PACKAGE:


    • A seven (7) night all-inclusive stay for two (2) at the Adults-only Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives
    • $5,000 Cash to put towards airfare
    • $2,000 Macy’s Gift Card
    • 4 Delsey spinner suitcases (2 large and 2 small pieces)
    • NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States including District of Columbia, 18 years and older with a Qualified Registry. Ends 3/31/18. For Official Rules: macys.com/weddingsweeps

    When we were planning our honeymoon two years ago, our first choice was to go to the Maldives, but unfortunately, it was the rainy season so we switched gears and went to the Seychelles.  I’m still absolutely DYING to go to the Maldives and will be endlessly jealous of whoever wins this!!


    Not only will you have accommodations and airfare covered to one of the most insane honeymoon destinations on the planet, but you’ll also have $2,000 buckaroos to spend on whatever you want from Macy’s—items from your registry or cute duds to wear on the trip like the look I’m sporting today which is entirely from Macy’s.


     

    This gingham midi shirtdress is exactly the kind of comfortable, classic piece that I lived in during our honeymoon.  It’s perfect for throwing over a swimsuit for a relaxing day at the beach, but can also take you to lunch or dinner without skipping a beat.  If you’re prepping for a honeymoon, you definitely need a beach bag like this adorable striped straw tote, and a cute pair of espadrilles is a must.  I have to say, I think the Vince Camuto espadrilles I’m wearing today are officially the most comfortable espadrilles I’ve ever worn.


    DRESS: Calvin Klein  |  SHOES: Vince Camuto  |  BAG: Lauren Ralph Lauren  |  SUITCASE: Tumi  |  HAT: Janessa Leone, similar HERE  |  SUNGLASSES: old, also love THESE

    Thanks to Macy’s and ShopStyle for partnering on this post!  All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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    Today, I’m so thrilled to kick off a new series here on Memorandum, one that has been requested daily by many of you for YEARS—a dive into career advice from my early days working on Wall Street to my experiences today running both a fashion tech startup and a fashion blog in New York City.  To kick things off, I wanted to start by discussing a challenge that every working woman faces at some point in her career—how to tell if something is office-appropriate.  Given Memorandum’s roots in workwear, we thought this would be the perfect place to start!


    Did she say “we?”


    Yes, yes she did.


    In addition to sharing my own career tips and anecdotes, I thought it would be even better to have my friend Lauren McGoodwin join the conversation as well.  If you don’t know Lauren, she is the founder of the incredible site Career Contessa where she and her team offer invaluable career tips and resources for working women.  Lauren and I became fast friends after meeting over a year ago when we did a webinar together for her site and I’ve been dying to find a way to bring her amazing advice to Memorandum readers ever since.  


    In this Career Memo series, Lauren and I will be discussing all sorts of job-related challenges that working women face.  Since no two work environments are exactly the same and there’s no one formula for the perfect career path, I wanted this series to be collaborative and conversational with someone whose opinions I truly respect.    


    When it comes to today’s topic—figuring out what’s appropriate to wear to work—there’s definitely no one-size-fits-all uniform.  Nevertheless, as you’ll read below, Lauren and I agree that there’s a universal approach that everyone can take regardless of whether you’re a grade school teacher in Albuquerque, an an accountant in Chicago or an attorney in NYC.



    MEET LAUREN!

    MARY:  Lauren, I’m so excited to collaborate on these posts!  When thinking about sharing career advice and discussing job-related challenges, I knew there would be no better wing-woman than YOU, the queen of career advice!  For readers who don’t know you already (shame on them) can you tell us a little bit about your professional background and how you came to start Career Contessa?


    LAUREN:  I live in Los Angeles, and before beginning Career Contessa in 2013, I worked for many years as a corporate recruiter for Hulu. And before that I was working as an assistant, desperate to try something else. So, I’ve been on both sides of the hiring table and I’m obsessed with helping women build successful careers on their terms. My career advice has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, etc. and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to talk about my favorite topic with Memorandum readers!


    HOW TO TELL IF SOMETHING IS OFFICE APPROPRIATE

    M:  Ok, so needless to say, when it comes to career advice, you’ve got #ExpertStatus.  So let’s dive into today’s topic, shall we? The perpetual workwear quandary of how to determine what’s appropriate for your office.  I think this question is particularly scary and stressful when you’re just starting your career or just beginning a new job and you haven’t yet had the chance to scope out what your colleagues are wearing every day.  Where does one start?


    L:  Starting a new job can be scary—what will it be like!?—and an added stressor is the inevitable question of what to wear on your first day of work. Nowadays, workplaces vary more than ever, which means it’s not always the norm that corporate attire is the way to go. However, there are universal ways to approach this challenge to alleviate your first-day jitters and narrow down your sartorial selection.



    WHAT TO WEAR TO THE INTERVIEW

    M:  I absolutely agree. While there is definitely no dress code across industries, there’s a lot you can do to identify what’s appropriate.  Most frequently, I get asked about what to wear to an interview, and I always advise people to (1) do as much research online as possible; (2) ask friends who work in similar industries about what they wear to work; and (3) when in doubt, OVERDRESS.  


    L: I completely agree with your ideas! When I worked in tech where we had a very casual dress code, I loved to see interviewees dress up a bit more. You don’t have the job yet so make sure you’re still in that “dress to impress” stage. If you’re interviewing in a more creative field like fashion, they’ll often want to see that you fit their “vibe” or culture. For example, I had a friend recruit at Tory Burch back in the day and they totally expected the interviewees to dress similar to the Tory Burch style. For those more creative fields it’s another way of saying “I’m truly a brand ambassador of this company.”



    BEFORE YOU START


    M:  I completely agree.  If you’re working in fashion or any creative field, your appearance should reflect that you have a demonstrable interest in fashion and creativity!  But let’s shift gears here. Let’s say you’ve aced the interview and landed the dream job. How do you suggest people approach dressing for the first days of a new job?  It’s so important to make a good first impression!


    L:  Long before your first day,  there are a few tricks that you can use to help figure out the dress code. The key is to be observant.  If you have an in-office interview, take note of what the interviewer is wearing. Is she super dressed up on a Friday? If so, it’s probably safe to assume that the company expects traditional corporate attire. Before your interview, when you’re walking into the building itself, make mental notes of what other employees are wearing, too. That being said, if everyone is wearing jeans, it might still be best to wait until after your first few days to follow suit (pun intended!).  


    It’s also a good idea to check the company’s social media accounts for outfit inspiration. Does the company post pictures of events on Facebook or Instagram? What about photos on Glassdoor or on company profile sites? Scroll through those feeds to see if you can find any photos with employees, and take note of their clothing.


    Finally, if you are still in doubt, check with HR or recruiting. Call or email your hiring contact and ask if there is a specific dress code for the company or if she can give you an overview of the typical attire.


    M:  I couldn’t agree more.  I think it’s always a good idea to be a little more dressy during those critical first days when you’re meeting people for the first time.  I have to say, I love your recommendation about stalking those company social media accounts! Ahhhh technology. I would also absolutely not be shy about emailing HR or one of your female interviewers asking what people wear to the office.  When I worked on Wall Street I had several new hires email me before they started to ask for advice on what women typically wore in our office and I thought it was a great question! It showed me that the new hires were excited about their first day and taking it seriously.



    THE FIRST FEW DAYS

    M:  Now, many people think that once you’ve landed the job, the tough part is over, but I think your first week or two on the job requires special attention.  How do you think this period should be approached?


    L:  It has been said time and again, but it is always best to err on the side of being overdressed. This is true even if you are working in a more casual environment.  Studies actually prove that it is better to overdress, as your attire can affect your confidence level and the way others perceive you. Since your first week is all about setting great impressions, you want to feel your best!


    During those first few days, watch how top people in the office dress, taking cues from women in management, and err on the side of “dress for the job you want.”  If you feel overdressed on your first day, no worries—just adjust your outfit for the next day.


    M:  Amen!  I think it’s important to note that at this point in your job, you have limited ways to send strong, positive messages to your boss and your colleagues.  Since it’s your first few days, you haven’t had the chance yet to prove how brilliant you are or how amazing you are at the actual job. Instead, you have to send those messages in other ways and presenting yourself well is a huge part of that. Set a great first impression by showing up early, reaching out to introduce yourself to colleagues, asking thoughtful questions and dressing your best.


    THE COMING MONTHS

    M:  Once those first few weeks are in the rear-view mirror, what should women keep in mind about office attire?


    L:  As time passes and you settle into your new position, you’ll start to get more comfortable with the company culture. This is when you can switch things up—within reason. Your early observations (and that phase where you erred on the side of overdressed) will help you choose outfits that adhere to company dress guidelines but still express your personality. So go ahead, throw a bold-hued scarf in there. You’ve earned it.


    M:  I absolutely agree!  Now that everyone knows you and you’ve established yourself as a strong member of the team, you can absolutely get more creative with your work wardrobe.  However, the biggest problem I’ve sometimes seen after one gets comfortable in their role is the steady decline of their attire—especially when it comes to office appropriateness.  For example, let’s say you work in a business formal work environment and  start rationalizing black jeans instead of more professional black wool pants.  Before you know it, those black jeans become black leggings “just this once because I wasn’t feeling great this morning!”  You want to make sure you don’t start down this slippery slope because although you convince yourself that nobody cares, it absolutely sends a signal.  So, I think it’s always important to stay true to those early assessments of what’s appropriate at your workplace.  As long as you do that, you’ll be golden!


     


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  • 03/26/18--12:56: Monday Memo No. 10

  • MY FAVORITE HOUSEPLANTS THAT ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO KILL

    This probably warrants a longer, dedicated post, but if you follow me on instagram stories where you often see peeks of our NYC apartment, you know that indoor plants are my jam.  I’m completely obsessed with bringing greens into a space whenever and wherever possible because from an aesthetic perspective, they can absolutely transform a room.  If you don’t have a particularly green thumb and are worried about upkeep, try one of the following four great houseplants that are nearly impossible to kill:

    • ZZ plants
    • Snake plants
    • Dracaena Marginata
    • Monstera stems

    These plants don’t need much light, and have survived over three weeks without water (while we were traveling) and didn’t wilt in the slightest.  The last on this list—monstera stems—are large beautiful leaves cut from monstera plants that I love to keep in vases around the house.  If you check out the post on my home office here, you’ll see all four types of plants including a monstera stem placed on my desk next to the vase of red roses (also pictured in the image above).  While monstera stems are not a full plant, I include them in this list because they’re super inexpensive (practically every plant store or corner florist in NYC has them) and they last a crazy long time—often as long as two or three months.




    MY NEWEST HANDBAG PURCHASE

    I had the pleasure of checking out Theory’s new spring collection last week and as a long-time devotee of the brand, it was definitely an I’ll take one of everything situation.  However, aside from the typical round-up of drool-worthy clothing, this bag caught my eye and I found myself incapable of leaving the premises without it.  Even in the summer, I always gravitate towards black accessories, so updating their popular black Whitney bag with that tortoise handle?!  Just TAKE MY MONEY ALREADY.  I truly believe that Theory is the unsung hero of the handbag game right now.  Their bags are really beautiful quality (I’ve worn the red one from this post constantly in the last many months!) and are somehow very reasonably priced compared to other luxury handbags.  I have to say, I’m having a hard time not justifying the purchase of this beauty too.




    THE DREAMIEST SCARVES YOU’LL USE ALL YEAR LONG

    My friend Helena just launched the most beautiful line of seasonless scarves.  They come in four stunning colors and are made from top-notch, super luxe cashmere. (Duh, because when it comes to quality HELENA. DOES. NOT. PLAY.)  These beauties are not just for cold weather months, I will be wearing mine while traveling all summer and also can’t wait to keep one at my desk.  Snag one before they sell out and thank me when you’re comfortably enveloped in a buttery cashmere wrap at your desk in July when it’s -50 inside your perpetually over-air-conditioned office.

     



    THE SOFTEST BATHROBE YOU’LL EVER OWN

    The brand Barefoot Dreams seems to be having a moment right now.  Maybe it’s because the Kardashians are obsessed with this blanket, maybe it’s because this cardigan has a casual 15 THOUSAND five-star customer reviews on Nordstrom,  or maybe it’s because they make the softest, most amazingly delicious knit products on the planet.  Who’s to say?  All I’m telling you is that I recently bought this bathrobe and I’ve never been so obsessed with a purchase.  I’ve been coming home from the office and wearing it around the house every night like a geriatric fool.  It is so fluffy, soft, and warm and has that perfect long length which is a MUST.  I bought the navy, but really love the ivory, blush and… well, pretty much all twelve colors.  SO.  SO.  GOOD.



     

    BINGE WATCH: BILLIONS

    If you haven’t seen Billions on Showtime yet, call in sick and don’t go back to the office until you’ve watched every available episode.  The third season started last night and I can’t get enough.  For me, Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis are two actors whose films I will see with no questions asked.  I don’t need to watch a trailer, I don’t need to hear a plot.  If one of these two actors are in it, just tell me the time and place and I am THERE.  Needless to say, having both of them TOGETHER is completely dizzying.  Stop what you’re doing and WATCH.




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