Fall Polish Roundup

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I've been trying to resist the fact that it's fall, but now that it's really here, I can look on the bright side – dark manicures are in full force. My go-to shades for fall are nudes, grays, and burgundy, which are classically seasonal and go with everything from day to night.

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I'm currently wearing OPI Scores a Goal, which is a nice dark raisin color, and for a more dramatic twist I switch to Essie's Wicked — an almost-black burgundy hue. OPI's Taupe-less Beach is the perfect gray-nude, and on the flip side, NARS Storm Bird is a cool, cloudy gray with a beautifully creamy finish. I usually reach for opaque polish, but I do have a few favorite shimmery shades for fall: Essie's Penny Talk and Butter's Chimney Sweep. I'm a big fan of Butter's formula, and have noticed it tends to chip less than other polishes. Sometimes the pricier options are worth it.

So are you embracing fall yet? And pumpkin everything?

Spring Beauty Picks

1) Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, 2) OPI Nail Lacquer in My Vampire in Buff, 3) Chanel Chance Eau Tendre, 4) NARS Blush in Sex Appeal, 5) Library of Flowers Hand Creme in Linden, 6) St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse, 7) Tarte Matte Lip Stain in Lucky, 8) Stila Eye Shadow in Cloud

When it comes to spring beauty, I like to keep things fresh and light. Although I hate letting go of fall and winter colors (I'll miss you, burgundy lipstick!) I think we're all ready for everything to be all flowers and bunnies and sunshine. I know I am.

I always switch out my usual foundation for a tinted moisturizer (this stuff is the best) and add a weekly faux-glow with this St. Tropez bronzer. It lasts for days and has no sketchy orange undertones. As Midwesterners we're all coming out of winter looking like ghosts, so bronzer is the only way I allow myself to start wearing t-shirts! Nude nails look especially great with a little color on your skin.

I save shimmer for summer and opt for a matte blush instead, and pretty peaches are my current favorite for cheeks. I also love the look of a soft neutral or gray eye shadow, paired with a pretty pink lip. This lip stain is like a crayon, and goes on just as easily. I have it in a hot pink color and love how simple it is to use. My hands are always still dry from winter, so I keep a hand creme on hand (hah) at all times. This one from Library of Flowers is divine– it smells like a garden (in a good way). Not to mention the packaging makes it such a visual treat.

What do you change about your routine in the spring? And are you as pale as I am right now?

Fashion Flash

{photo: Allison Carey for the Plain Dealer

I had a little moment in the Plain Dealer yesterday – check out my Fashion Flash feature online here. It was so fun to talk style with the editor, Allison, and to shoot some of my favorite looks. It's inspired me to keep remixing the clothes I have, although I'm already itching to shop for spring. At least there's plenty of time to prepare (sadly).

On the bright side – February is almost half over! What spring things are you shopping for?

Cleveland Style Feature: Georgie & Elaine

As you may remember, I attended a preview trunk show of Georgie & Elaine at Banyan Tree back in April. We drooled over the clothes on the rack, got to meet the designer – Devin VanderMaas, and wondered how to get each and every one of these pieces into our closets, stat!

So it was my lucky day when I got to team up with Maria of the style letters and Jessica Holdsworth for a city-chic Georgie & Elaine shoot. The line is designed by Devin in Cleveland, so it was only appropriate to shoot her beautiful line in some of the city's most picturesque spots. Our fabulous photographers, Justyna Walker and Kassey Sikora, nailed the aesthetic of city romance.

Devin describes the inspiration behind Georgie & Elaine as "that of a real-life fairytale and the desire to share other magical, historic, and wondrous stories of found love." It's a collection for the true romantic, and the clothes reflect that so perfectly when worn by each G&E girl.  

So much, in fact, that I just had to jump around in this gorgeous dress

Lots of giggling going on ;)

On Maria: Amy Tank and Arielle Lace Mini

Left to Right: Elaine Mini Dress; Arielle Lace Mini, M. E. Mattson Dress

Amy Tank - I could honestly live in this beautiful silk tank. 

Strong winds and fountain spray couldn't stop us!

The M. E. Mattson Dress and the Elaine Mini Dress

The second you slip into any of these pieces, you can not only feel the romance, but the quality and care that went into making them. All G&E pieces are made with love in New York City, with mostly 100% silks and natural fibers. The silks, jerseys, and chiffons are soft, wearable, and don't wrinkle — so there's much to love! Not to mention its strong Cleveland roots. You can shop pieces of the collection here and read more about Georgie & Elaine on Facebook

A huge thank you goes out to Maria for the opportunity to be a part of the shoot, to our photographers Justyna and Kassey, and to Devin for giving us the chance to feel the love of G&E! You can check out more favorite shots over on the style letters, and some outtakes are also up here.

Back for Summer: Lake Erie Love Tanks

Happy Monday, everyone! Welcome to summer — I'm so glad we're here!

I'm even happier that my Lake Erie Love tanks are back just in time. This year I brought them back in two new colors, and mixed it up with a marbled fabric and some metallic ink. I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. 

Each tank is capped off with a little anchor on the back for extra cute factor.

The gray tank is a charcoal heather with metallic gold ink — I've been wanting to try this combo for a long time, and it's as cool as I expected. 

I love both colors and seriously can't wait to wear mine for some 4th of July boating! And patio drinking. And biking. Basically all the time.

If you didn't get a chance to grab one last year, now's the time! You can find them over here in the shop, or enter for a chance to win one over on the style letters. The giveaway starts today and ends Thursday 6/27 at 11:59pm. Good luck, and hope to see you all spreading some Lake Erie Love this summer! If you're sporting your tank around town, share a photo and use the tag #lakeerielove on Twitter. I'd love to see how you guys rock your tanks!

the style letters' Re-Launch Party

Last Sunday was the ever-so-awesome Madewell party to celebrate the redesign of the style letters! Not only was it a really fun shopping experience (how can it not be – the clothes are amazing) but everything down the flowers and the macarons complemented the design of the blog. Talk about attention to detail!

The blogger herself, and me — how cute is her map dress? Her dress, necklace, and my chambray top are all Madewell. 

Pink lemonade and pink blooms

A tray of treats – salted caramel and raspberry chocolate!

An array of Madewell's signature piece: the chambray shirt

One of many fitting room shots — I am obsessed with this skirt! They didn't have it in my size, or I would have definitely walked out with it. The two-tone chambray shirt was a definite keeper.

The loot I decided on — some brights, some stripes, some lace, and a few casual pieces

I could seriously shop here all day — I always find something unique, and the quality never fails to impress. It was even better to have a store full of shopping buddies — from Maria's friends and fans, to the amazing Madewell staff, there was someone there to give advice and/or enable your shopping habit.

You can see even more photos of the details and outfits over on the style letters. Congratulations, Maria, on being a super great client, having a brand new blog, and on a successful debut party!

The store we visited was located at Beachwood Place, so if you're local, be sure to stop in and say hello to Jen, Liz, and Bethany!

Blog Design: The Style Letters

A project many months in the making, this week was the official launch of my dear friend Maria's blog, the style letters. Back in January, Maria and I had a conversation about giving her blog a little facelift, and after hearing some of her ideas and inspiration for the look, I was in! I got an instant visual from hearing her explain what she wanted — pretty, boutique-y, blush and coral, touch of sparkle — so I couldn't wait to get started making her blog dreams come true (yes, blog dreams are a thing)!

Maria and I met over many working happy hours (at Beer Engine, and Pier W to name a few) and decided on a logo, business card, and finalized a style guide (above) for her blog and branding. With the need for a web and print presence, we pored over Pantone books to give her a perfectly tailored color palette for online use and printed brand materials.

I dove into the blog template to extend the columns for larger, more impactful photos, and to add in a specialty typeface (Josephin Slab) to make her words shine. For her branding typography, we went with two beautiful classics: Bodoni Bold, and Futura Light.

The entire blog was rebuilt over a fun (and delicious) working session at my house, with more candy than any person should ever consume, a mac and cheese pizza, and some spicy grapefruit margaritas.

The project came together without a hitch (so far!) and I'm so proud to have played a part in Maria's brand new look. You can read more about the process, photographers, and upcoming features on the style letters right here.

We'll be celebrating the launch with a Madewell shopping party at Beachwood Place this Sunday, from 3–6pm. Anyone is welcome to stop by and say hello! Perhaps I'll see you there, and if not, I'll be sharing plenty of photos here, and on Instagram. Cheers to fresh starts!

If you have a blog project of you're own you'd like to discuss, you can email me at novak.rachael@gmail.com.