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Ribbons, Red Lips, & Keeping It All Together

It’s been a crazy close to one of the chaotic years of my life, and with a lot of focus and heart, I managed to keep it all tied together and moving forward. I’ve spent the last five days back home in El Dorado Hills with family, taking a pause from the grind, in order to recharge and ready myself for 2017. I could think of no better theme to roll into next year in than bows, so I saved this look and my matching manicure for the final look of the year.

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A little more back story on the Mandy/bows history: I’ve always been a bow gal, from my early days as a young girl obsessed with Hello Kitty, to an adult who’s constantly inspired by Japanese fashion and beauty trends (…and still awkwardly obsessed with Hello Kitty). Needless to say, if there’s any chance I can put a bow on it, I do.

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This sweatshirt is playful yet not over the top, and not only have I found it a win with my athleisure, I’ve also turned it into an evening staple here in San Francisco. Pair it with a wool mini pencil skirt, or even a big tea length one. Skinny jeans and a long silk blouse under? SLAY.

Best part? It’s under $70.

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I’ve started a yearly tradition of donning this beanie on Christmas, starting with last year, when I found this amazing Kate Spade gem! It’s sadly no longer available, however, I’ve linked an all black version below that’s equally amazing! Everything’s better with pom poms, and they’re even better with veils! It adds a touch of glam to a casual item, and one that I don’t feel bad about wearing out on the town in the evening.

Outfit Details

Sweatshirt: Zeo Ring Belt Cuff Sweatshirt, Storets

Leggings: High Rise Gleam Tight, Athleta

Shoes: Alexander McQueen for Puma Brace Mid Sneaker, Puma, similar pair here

Beanie: Veiled Pom Beanie, BCBG Max Azria

Makeup Details

Foundation: Make Up For Ever, Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation, in Y315

Primer: Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer, in Luminous Light

Blush: Marc Jacobs Air Blush, in Lines and Last Night

Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, Granite

Eyes: Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette, Cool Palette

Lashes: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, Black

Lips: Urban Decay VICE Lipstick, Wonderland

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Leather & Pom Poms

It’s the winter solstice, and the temperatures have been dropping here in the city over the past few weeks, so I’ve been breaking out all of my favorites from my winter wardrobe! I’ve also been giving my favorite 90’s inspired lip shades lots of love lately as well: Urban Decay’s VICE Lipstick in 1993 has been the theme of the week.

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Thanks to Vogue, I had been obsessing all season over The Arrival’s Rainier Leather Moto Jacket, but wasn’t quite sold on the price just yet. When I came across this Topshop lookalike a few weeks ago, I was pumped! It has been on repeat for weeks. Dresses, jeans, athleisure, you name it. It literally goes with everything.

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This pom pom beanie from Forever21 has also been a uniform item these past few weeks as well. It’s simple and soft design gives it a luxe look, and it’s an absolute steal for less than $10! I have one in every color.

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I’ve also been throwing into the mix one of my old faves, the Align II Pants from Lululemon, especially these ones from their current colorway of deep jewel tones. They should really be called the Lazy Pant, as they’re a go to style when you want a fuss free fit and still want to look put together! Who needs sweats when you have these sleek yet comfy leggings?

Outfit Details

Jacket: Maggie Faux Leather Jacket with Faux Fur, Topshop

Leggings: Align Pant II, Lululemon

Bra: Avalon Zip Bra, Michi

Shirt: Caslon U-Neck Tee, Nordstrom

Shoes: Juvenate Sneaker, Nike (on mega sale right now!)

Beanie: Faux Fur Pom Pom Beanie, Forever21

Makeup Details

Foundation: Make Up For Ever, Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation, in Y315

Primer: Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer, in Luminous Light

Blush: Marc Jacobs Air Blush, in Lines and Last Night

Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, Granite

Eyes: Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette, Cool Palette

Lashes: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, Black

Lips: Urban Decay VICE Lipstick, 1993

Photos by my boyfriend, Emil Eklund

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The Hair Product Every Girl Needs

Nevermind dry shampoo, texturizer sprays, or even leave-in treatments- if you’re starting with a poorly maintained dye job, the rest is irrelevant! I’ve been bleaching and re-toning various parts of my hair since high school, and ESPECIALLY as a brunette, if you’re not careful, your ‘do morphs into that god-awful brass tone.

How do I maintain my favorite shades of ash platinum and grey? Purple shampoo.

Seriously. Purple. It’s a thing.

I stumbled upon it while trying to solve my crisis of my high maintenance grey ombré shade three years ago, and have never looked back. It’s seriously so amazing that it’s a product I bring in my purse to the blowout bar. Yeah, not even the least bit sorry.

You may be asking yourself: how does it work for brunettes too, with no blonde highlights? It’s formula is meant to cut the brassy and orange tones regardless of hair shade, so if you’re looking for a more cool toned brown, this is the secret. I am ALL ABOUT cool shades: I currently dye my roots THE BLACKEST of blacks: Blue Black/Level 1.

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The kicker? It is literally $10.99, and found at pretty much any beauty supply store. Take that! Kim and Kendall K swear by Finesse, and I swear by this equally affordable gem.

I use it every time I wash, given that I want a near purple shade of blonde anyway, however if you are just looking for maintenance, every other shampoo or two shampoos is sufficient. Leave it on for 5 min+ for an even more aggressive result.

Say no to shitty brassy tones, and hello to your best highlight or balayage yet. Seriously, do your ‘do a serious favor and get hooked on my holy grail of hair products.

Product Details

Clairol Shimmer Lights Conditioning Shampoo

Clairol Shimmer Lights Conditioning Shampoo & Conditioner Set

Photo by my boyfriend, Emil Eklund

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All Velvet Everything

With the holidays fast approaching and the seriously cold San Francisco winter setting in, I’ve been embracing the season’s top trend of holiday colored velvet items. From booties to pullovers, it makes even the coldest day more cozy, and more exciting with it’s holiday feel.

I am pairing this velvet crew neck pullover from Zara with everything these past few weeks since I snagged it. It’s also under $30! It’s comfy enough to wear from street to studio, and is beyond street worthy, which is key during this crazy busy season of holiday errands and last minute happy hours/spontaneous holiday lunches with friends before everyone takes off for the rest of the month.

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I plan to style it with full mini skirts/skinny jeans and collared blouses for my holiday dinner engagements after my evening classes at Barry’s which makes it an effortless transition from athleisure, meaning less to pack in my bag and haul around all day.

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If you’re gearing up for holiday happy hours/etc post class, this sweatshirt is a must!

Outfit Details

Sweatshirt: Crushed Velvet Sweatshirt, Zara, similar favorite here in blush & black

Leggings: Black Legging, c/o The Girlfriend Collective

Shoes: Juvenate Sneaker, Nike (on mega sale right now!)

Sunglasses: 58mm Original Aviator, Ray Ban in Black/Gold

Makeup Details

Foundation: Too Faced Born This Way, Natural Beige

Primer: Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer, in Luminous Light

Blush: Marc Jacobs Air Blush, in Lines and Last Night

Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, Granite

Eyes: Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette, Cool Palette

Lashes: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, Black

Lips: ROUGE PUR COUTURE Lipstick, Yves Saint Laurent in Fuchsia Fétiche

Photos by my boyfriend, Emil Eklund

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Best in Class: Sweat Friendly Products

During Sephora’s sale for VIB and VIB Rouge customers, I hoarded up like there was absolutely NO TOMORROW. When you power through products as fast as I do given the nature of my job, it’s amazing to stock up at a great price!

Many of my clients at Barry’s ask me HOW THE F$%* my face is still somehow intact after a killer hour in the studio. While some may believe it’s genetic, it’s really not! Outside of application skills (which I’ll elaborate on soon next year in some vlogs!), it’s truly product based. Anyone can have equally great results, and here’s my list of must haves so you can follow suit!

Step 1: PRIMER. PRIMER. PRIMER.

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Just as it is with clothing, it goes without saying that without the proper undergarments, your look is guaranteed to fail. Primer and skincare are key when it comes to maintaining your look for one workout, or a killer 14 hour day. My four must haves are:

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (use as a toner pre-primer)

Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer

Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfection

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (Anti-Aging)

My secrets for a flawless base: apply skincare first! I use the SKII Essence first, applying with a cotton pad. If I have extra time, I press the pads into my skin and leave them in areas where I’m most prone to smearing or oil. LET DRY! Next, apply a primer all over the face, and a special one for eyelids. LET DRY! Proceed with foundation. 

Step 2: Foundation

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A little bit of foundation (or a fuller coverage BB cream or powder) helps mask blotchiness and flush, which helps you look that much more put together after a workout. However- please make sure you wash it off shortly thereafter and reapply to save your skin from impurities and potential breakouts! My favorite non-cakey natural finish/fuller coverage foundations/BB Creams/Powders:

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

Sephora Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

Application: I am a HUGE fan of the Beauty Blender. It can take you from light to full coverage with continued application. You’ll look airbrushed and flawless at the end. It also helps blend in concealer and even out blush application/etc.

Step 3: Waterproof Eye Products

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When it comes your eyes, you need something with a little bit of water resistance. If you are a mascara junkie like myself, you NEED this tube in your arsenal: The Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Genius Topcoat. I am super picky about my mascara, and hate having to swap mascara because of it not being waterproof. This product allows me to rock my Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir while teaching or taking class. If you’re looking for a regular waterproof mascara, as I mentioned a year back in my post on surfing, Tarte makes a BOMB one. Details here:

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Genius Topcoat

Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof Mascara

Self explanatory. Wand away with your fave mascara, let dry, then swipe on topcoat. 

Step 4: Setting Sprays/Powders

I CANNOT. LIVE. WITHOUT THESE.

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Make Up For Ever is one of my go-to brands when it comes to shadows and powders for a reason. They specialize in camera ready performance, so naturally, as a gal who’s in front of the lens a lot, its the obvious choice. I always have their HD Pressed Powder on hand. EVERYWHERE. It sets your makeup and doesn’t disturb it during reapplication later in the day.

I also use a setting spray, especially for a night out that I know will be a sweaty one with dancing, concerts, etc. Urban Decay slays the game with their All Nighter Spray. If you are super oily like me, their De-Slick is equally bomb. No sloppy smoky eyes here.

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Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

Rules: Powder. Be sure to lightly dab with a large powder brush all over. Then, apply a light spray all over! Easy.

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Black Friday: The Athleisure & Beauty Pulse

If you’re overwhelmed by what to look for tomorrow, I feel you!

I’ve rounded up my top picks at some of my favorite athleisure and beauty retailers and their respective promo codes (if any).

Carbon38

Carbon38 is offering 20% off sale and full price items. The coolest part? GUYS are now able to shop here! There’s some LEGIT stuff for guys on here, so if you’re also shopping for someone, check it out too! If you are new to Carbon38 (guys and gals), take 25% off your purchase with my code: MGRAGG50. My fave picks from this year’s markdowns are the following:

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Varley Highland Crop, $42

Varley Terri Crop, $42

Alala Pulse Poncho, $102

There’s more to come tomorrow, so check back to new links!

Nordstrom

You can access their sale right NOW. Nordstrom is having mega sales when it comes to workout shoes, not just their activewear. My new favorite Nikes are on serious markdown, snag ’em right now here! My favorite leggings from Nordstrom are the Zella Live In Leggings, and Alo Moto Leggings, only $30/$79 right now on their site.

 

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Nike

Nike is releasing several retro remakes, to include the 1988 Air Jordan 3 OG. One of the more current and coveted styles that’s also being released is the Zoom KD 9, which I CANNOT wait to snag!

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Athleta

Athleta is offering 20% store wide, and refreshments and other exciting in store surprises, and online will be following suit in their promos. Use code BOOST at checkout online. I’ll be live Insta-story’ing my top picks in store today.

Sephora

Sephora released a lot of amazing gift sets and travel size options of their luxury brands, to include my Rouge sneak peek shown here. OMFG for Too Faced and Urban Decay, two product faves for when I sweat! I’ll be live Insta-story’ing my top picks in store today too.

My other top picks: 

Living Proof Style Lab Kit

Philosophy Purity Made Simple Wash

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The Velvet Edit

As a lover of all things 90’s, its safe to say that I was thrilled to see velvet back on the runways at New York Fashion Week this year. When I found it being combined with track jackets, I was ecstatic! This black and crimson gem of a find at Forever21 is literally EVERYTHING right now. It’s been on repeat all week since I snagged it.

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I also received a pair of leggings from The Girlfriend Collective last week, and had been dying to get a chance to test them out. I know, just when you think you don’t need yet ANOTHER pair of black leggings, hear me out: THESE. ARE. A. MUST.

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From the high quality thick fabric with one hell of a buttery feel against the skin, to the literally perfect design and seam placement, these pants are hands down some of the best I’ve ever owned. Another amazing fact about them? The story behind them. Much like Everlane or Warby Parker, this brand focuses on a direct-to-consumer business model, as well as being environmentally conscious: the material is made from recycled plastic bottles. Additionally they focus on fair trade practices when it comes to manufacturing. They’re seriously amazing.

Another amazing fact? You can snag a pair for FREE with the cost of shipping ($19.95). For FREE you guys. These pants speak for themselves, and I guarantee I’ll be buying more when they officially launch.

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Outfit Details

Jacket: Velour Bomber Jacket, Forever21

Shirt: V Neck Basic T Shirt, Zara

Leggings: Black Legging, c/o The Girlfriend Collective

Shoes: Juvenate Sneaker, Nike (on mega sale at Nordstrom right now!)

Sunglasses: ‘It’s My Way’ 55mm Oversize Sunglasses, Quay Australia

Makeup Details

Foundation: Too Faced Born This Way, Natural Beige

Primer: Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer, in Luminous Light

Blush: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush, Luminous Flush

Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, Granite

Eyes: Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette, Cool Palette

Lashes: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, Black

Lips: ROUGE PUR COUTURE Lipstick, Yves Saint Laurent in Fuchsia Fétiche

Photos by my boyfriend, Emil Eklund