Author: Mandy Gragg

Fashion Friday: Crop Top Americana

The end of spring has been crazy hot here in the Bay Area, so I’ve been getting tons of use out of my crop tops again, which is amazing! If you’re currently planning out your outfits for the 4th of July, throw in some festive crops for a stylish change of pace from tanks and strapless tops.

The trend I’ll be rocking over the 4th will be crop tops with high waisted bottoms, from jean shorts all the way to pencil skirts: I’m loving this light and loose crop from Forever21, and have been pairing it with my favorite high waisted shorts, jeans, and leggings. For the long weekend, I threw my favorite pair of Carbon38 pants into the mix given their perfect ability to be a customizable layer in our sometimes crazy changes in weather near the coast. The side snaps remind me of my favorite breakaway warm up track pants from high school, just way chicer and actually appropriate to wear out in public! Think modern day Sporty Spice chic. Who else was obsessed with those Adidas pants back in the day?

The high waisted aspect of these pants give a more polished appearance than those itty bitty jean shorts but aren’t killer on the heat factor. I’ve actually worn these to a dance class, and they’re pretty damn breathable. They’re a constant staple in my gym bag as well as my regular wardrobe considering how versatile they are.

I’ve also linked some of my top crop top picks for the 4th below so all your style bases are covered. Don’t forget to rock some red lipstick for an extra boost of glam!

Outfit Details

Top: New York Distressed Graphic Tee (other faves here, here, and here)

Pants: Tommaso Pant, Jonathan Simkhai x Carbon38 (20% off with code, MGRAGG50)

Choker: ASOS Choker, ASOS

Shoes: Superstar Rose Gold, Adidas

Sunglasses: Original Aviator, Ray-Ban in Black

Makeup Details

Foundation: c/o Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation, in Color 4.5

Primer: c/o  Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer, in Luminous Light

Blush: c/o Marc Jacobs Air Blush, in Lines and Last Night

Highlighter: c/o  Kevin Aucoin The Neo Lime Light Ibiza

Contour: c/o Tom Ford Bronzing Powder, in Terra

Brows: c/o Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer, in Medium Brown

Eyes: c/o Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

Lashes: Ardell Wispies, in Black

Lips: Patent Finish Lip Color, Tom Ford in No Vacancy

Makeup c/o Nina @ Sephora Union Street

Photos by Rachel of Rachel Radcliffe Photography

The “IT” Shoes You Need To Pair With Your Leggings

If you’re only pairing your leggings with sneakers, you’re missing out on some fun ways to take your athleisure outfits to the next level! I’ve got you covered: the key to successful street athleisure is the right accessories! When you’re brainstorming ideas of what to pair with your favorite luxury activewear, think about the external details: shoes, layers, and jewelry.

In San Francisco, the footwear struggle is real, given the crazy hills we have, so finding a fashionable yet practical pair of shoes is always a challenge. Comfort is key given the amount we walk in this city, so platforms and wedges are always a great idea. I am OB-sessed with platforms in general (blame the 90’s gal in me), so these super chic platform oxfords were the perfect addition to my collection of sneakers and a great way to dress up an otherwise casual athleisure look.

These oxfords are not only gorgeous, they are also comfortable and really light! There’s nothing worse than uncomfortable or heavy shoes, so these are my new go-to’s when I want to make a statement with my shoes. They come in multiple styles as well, and I have linked them all below for you. The best part? They’re less than $40!

Outfit Details

Bra: Crossback Bra, Alala (use code MGRAGG50 for 20% off)

Sweater: Gray Off The Shoulder Sweater, (OLD)

Shoes: Black Platform Oxfords, SheInside (I love my silver ones and sandal ones too!)

Leggings: Ripped Warrior Legging, Alo Yoga (use code MGRAGG50 for 20% off)

Makeup Details

Peel:  Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling, Neogen Dermatology

Eye Prep: 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches, Peter Thomas Roth

Foundation: Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation, Lancome

Primer: Veil Mineral Primer, Hourglass

Eye Primer: Eye Shadow Primer Potion, Urban Decay

Eye Shadow: Artist Shadow Eyeshadow, Make Up For Ever, in Steel and Blueberry Diamond

Eyeliner: Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner, Marc Jacobs, in Over(night)

Mascara: GRANDIï SE Extreme Wide-Angle Extreme Volume Mascara, Lancome in Black

Lashes: Everlasting Lashes, House of Lashes x Sephora

Lips: Cream Lip Stain, Sephora Collection

Photos by Christine of Christine Hanks Photography

Makeup by Elisia at Sephora Embarcadero Center

Sweat-Proof Beauty & Sephora’s VIB 2x Points on Makeup Event

My favorite thing about Sephora is their incredible rewards program that they have for their customers. It’s unlike any other retailer, except for maybe Nordstrom, when it comes to rewards, private shopping events, store events, etc! That said, BIG DEAL ALERT! Usually, 2-3x points are centered around fragrance or skincare, so the fact that double points are being added for makeup is a huge deal.

I tested some new sweat-friendly products last week at my custom makeover appointment at Sephora Embarcadero, and I am so excited to share what I found out with you. If you’ve ever tried new skincare products with your makeup, you know that it can often be a struggle to find products that work well together, and don’t fight each other. I’ve had a crazy-busy few months, so my skin was starting to take a turn. My makeup artist Elisia recommended a brand new product at Sephora, a peel that totally changed the surface of my skin, and didn’t disturb my long-wear makeup routine: the Neogen Dermatology Bio Peel. I am OBSESSED, because it works, and it’s less than $30, which is insane for skincare! It’s a must have. She also prepped my eyes with the life-saving 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches from Peter Thomas Roth. These are addicting, FYI. They de-puff, combat wrinkles, and kick your dark circles to the curb! The cheaper non-anti aging version is also equally awesome.

I also paired several of my go-to sweat-friendly makeup products together for a fun colorful look, and my skin held up perfectly. No streaking, no peeling, nothing. My makeup artist recommended these products for all types of skin as well, so if you’re not oily like me, you don’t need to worry. These products are truly transformational. In honor of this rewards campaign, I’m linking my top makeup products so you can have a starting place for discovering new products that seriously kick some major ass.

If you’re a Beauty Insider, grab some of these products now while you can with the 2x rewards! Happy Friday, and happy shopping babes!

xx- M

Makeup Details

Peel:  Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling, Neogen Dermatology (unreal level of performance, this is a must)

Eye Prep: 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches, Peter Thomas Roth (miracle worker, like above)

Foundation: Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation , Lancome (best sweat-friendly foundation)

Primer: Veil Mineral Primer, Hourglass (best primer ever)

Eye Primer: Eye Shadow Primer Potion, Urban Decay

Eye Shadow: Artist Shadow Eyeshadow, Make Up For Ever, in Steel and Blueberry Diamond

Eyeliner: Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner, Marc Jacobs, in Over(night)

Mascara: GRANDIï SE Extreme Wide-Angle Extreme Volume Mascara, Lancome in Black (best mascara ever)

Lashes: Everlasting Lashes, House of Lashes x Sephora

Lips: Cream Lip Stain, Sephora Collection (best kept Sephora secret!)

Still not sure on what to snag? Shop on your own directly via the Sephora link in the right sidebar, and choose your faves before the 2x points event ends next Thursday.

Photo by Christine of Christine Hanks Photography

Makeup by Elisia at Sephora Embarcadero Center

The Shorts You Need For The Season (and a Gucci giveaway!)

My “girlfriend” jean shorts have been on serious repeat these past few weeks, and this style in particular needs to be in your closet ASAP. The higher waisted fit makes it a flattering fit for any body type, and the well placed and authentically antiquing give them a lived-in feel that’s to die for. The best part about these shorts? They’re less than $20! I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the recent new finds from Forever21, as the quality and fit are pretty amazing for the price these days. Grab a couple pairs for the summer, because why not?

Given the amazing weather recently, I paired them over the weekend with one of my favorite sports bras ever by Alala, linked below, and it was perfect for an afternoon out at the beach. My favorite Nike wedge sandals were a perfect fit for this outfit as well. Since they’re a discontinued style, I’ve also linked my favorite summer sandals so you can achieve the same look.

Outfit Details

Bra: Cross Back Bra, Alala (for 25% off at Carbon38, use code MGRAGG50)

Shorts: Distressed Denim Shorts, Forever21

Shoes: Nike Lunarsandiator Sky Hi Wedge (SOLD OUT), similar here and here

Jacket: Kimono Tricot Jacket, Fenty x Puma

Sunglasses: So Real 48mm Sunglasses, Dior, in Palladium/Crystal (SOLD OUT), similar here and here

Makeup Details

Foundation: c/o Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation, in Color 4.5

Primer: c/o  Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer, in Luminous Light

Blush: c/o Marc Jacobs Air Blush, in Lines and Last Night

Highlighter: c/o  Kevin Aucoin The Neo Lime Light Ibiza

Contour: c/o Tom Ford Bronzing Powder, in Terra

Brows: c/o Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer, in Medium Brown

Eyes: c/o Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

Lashes: Ardell Wispies, in Black

Lips: Patent Finish Lip Color, Tom Ford in No Vacancy

Makeup c/o Nina @ Sephora Union Street

Photos by Rachel of Rachel Radcliffe Photography

Surprise loves!

I’m making it an even happier Monday.

This week, I am teaming up with an amazing group of ladies to bring you an INCREDIBLE giveaway. One lucky reader will win a Gucci Marmont Mini Bag in Light Pink.

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Money Can Buy Lipstick | Coming Up Roses | Glitter & Gingham | Posh in Progress | Blush & Blooms

Pretty in Pink Megan | So Heather | Pineapple and Prosecco | DTK Austin | The Trendy Tomboy

Pine Barren Beauty | Haute Sweat | Rose Gold Lining | Mrs Casual | Sunsets & Stilettos

Greta Hollar | Blondes & Bagels | Glass of Glam | Teddy Bears & Lipstick | The Middle Page

In The Grey | Toreys Treasures | Threads for Thomas | The Closet Crush | Outfits & Outings

Lizzie in Lace | Style Your Senses | Flaunt & Center | A Lily Love Affair | Style Weekender

Boho Style File | Trendy Chickadee | The Beauty Beau | Sabby Style | The Heart of the House

Street Style Squad | Between the Pearls | Audrey Madison Stowe | Dots and Honey | Classy Sassy | Something Dashing

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Use the widget below to enter the giveaway. The more “tasks” you complete, the more entries you will receive. The winner will be announced (on the widget) within 2 weeks of the giveaway ending. The giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada.

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What I’m Listening To This Summer

For those of you that are still getting to know me, you may not know to the full extent of how much I adore music, and making playlists. If you’ve never been to one of my workout classes or an event I’ve hosted, don’t worry, you can still listen along to most everything that’s on my personal rotations of playlists right from your own device too! I’ve rounded up some of my PRIME summer beats on two of my favorite platforms for you.

Summer Sounds

I’m a huge fan of DJ mixes, so if you’ve never ventured off Spotify to explore SoundCloud, you should! There are so many amazing hour long mixes that you can literally cue up and forget, making it easy to enjoy the moment with your friends or even by yourself. These ones have been on repeat in the sunny weekend weather recently! For more of my faves, follow along on my SoundCloud directly here.

 

I’ve also created a Spotify summer playlist (that I edit weekly), perfect for a sunny day at the beach, park, or right at home! Follow along right from this post, or follow this link to follow the playlist right from the app to access it on all your devices.

My Summer Device Must-Haves

I’ve rounded up exactly what I can’t live without this summer technology-wise, and exactly why you shouldn’t either.

Bluetooth Speaker String Lights

Literally THE most Instagrammable thing ever, and perfect for parties. I own two. Not even sorry.

Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth Speaker

I’ve had this since college. The amount and quality of sound that comes out it is unbelievable, and it’s well worth the investment.

Lyrix Jive Water Resistant Bluetooth Speaker

These tiny speakers pack some serious sound, and they’re beach proof.

Apple Watch Series 2

I got one for my birthday this year, and I am totally hooked! Paired with my Bluetooth headphones, gone are the days of having to have your phone in your hand to change music, text, etc, all while being completely waterproof.

Dr. Dre Beats Studio Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

I cannot live without these headphones. I’ve had them for a few years- they’re comfortable, the sound is incredible, and they’re photogenic.

Fashion Friday: That LBD Life

There’s a reason little black dresses are a staple year-round. They just work. When I found this amazing more casual t-shirt dress, I almost wanted to snag two of them because the style was so classic and simple, and knew I’d be getting a ton of wear out of it this season, and maybe even into the fall and winter, given the right pairings!

The mesh details give it a dressier vibe, which makes it the perfect transitional piece between the conference room to an evening out, and even a sunny summer weekend. I have a few events this weekend, and this will definitely be in the mix! The best part? It’s less than $20!

I pulled out my favorite sandals this past weekend, the Lunarsandiator by Nike. It’s such a bummer that they’re not a staple style, as they’re THE most comfortable and versatile shoes I own. They’re an obvious win with athleisure, but also pair well with jeans, dresses, shorts, and really, ANYTHING. I’ve linked a few similar styles below, so it’s still possible to achieve the same look, with the same amount of comfort!

Outfit Details

Top: Tulle Hem Midi Dress, Forever21

Shoes: Nike Lunarsandiator Sky Hi Wedge (SOLD OUT), similar here and here

Sunglasses: Original Aviator, Ray-Ban in Black

Bracelet: Cady Wrap Bracelet, Stella & Dot

Wallet: Wallet: Monogram Leather Large Flap Wallet, Yves St. Laurent in Gray

Makeup Details

Foundation: c/o Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation, in Color 4.5

Primer: c/o  Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer, in Luminous Light

Blush: c/o Marc Jacobs Air Blush, in Lines and Last Night

Highlighter: c/o  Kevin Aucoin The Neo Lime Light Ibiza

Contour: c/o Tom Ford Bronzing Powder, in Terra

Brows: c/o Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer, in Medium Brown

Eyes: c/o Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

Lashes: Ardell Wispies, in Black

Lips: Patent Finish Lip Color, Tom Ford in No Vacancy

Makeup c/o Nina @ Sephora Union Street

Photos by Rachel of Rachel Radcliffe Photography

Fashion Friday: Crop Tops & Back To Black (and Blue)

The temperatures here in the city have been warming up, so I’ve been pulling out my favorite crop tops and maxi dresses recently. I’ve especially been obsessed with the higher waisted trends of jeans, shorts, and leggings, as they’re a perfect pair for crop tops. I also felt inspired to bring back my indigo balayage to shake things up a bit for the summer, and I am absolutely loving it this time around with shorter hair. I’ve always been a rebel at heart, and celebrate my uniqueness when it comes to trends and styles that may be a bit avant garde. Who says you have to look a certain way all the time to be taken seriously? Not a damn soul. Life’s too short to not be yourself, and explore your style.

I’m even going to let you in on a seriously pro tip: If you’re looking for a killer colorist in the city, go see Holly at Lexington Place on Union Street. I’ve been going to her for four years here, and she’s just the absolute best at literally any type of color.

When I saw this particular top at Forever21, I knew I had to add it to my wardrobe: the rock inspired lettering, cut, and most importantly the message. It’s been a crazy busy few months at work, plus working on some exciting new projects for the blog, so it’s been so exciting to watch some goals start to take form.

I’ve also talked about my favorite pair of harem/jogger pants by Philip Lim before, and now you can see exactly why: the flattering cut, neutral color, and material that makes it easy to transition from a more casual approach to a night out. Fancier track pants are a great pairing for more fitted and casual crop top, giving it that effortless yet put together feel. These particular pants are silk, so they make a perfect work staple as well as a trendy and easy to wear casual piece.

What are your favorite ways to wear crop tops?

Outfit Details

Top: Slay Graphic Tee, Forever21

Choker: Night Velvet Choker, ASOS

Pants: Silk Harem Pants, Philip Lim 3.1 (OLD), similar here

Shoes: Superstar Rose Gold, Adidas

Sunglasses: Original Aviator, Ray-Ban in Black

Makeup Details

Foundation: c/o Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation, in Color 4.5

Primer: c/o  Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer, in Luminous Light

Blush: c/o Marc Jacobs Air Blush, in Lines and Last Night

Highlighter: c/o  Kevin Aucoin The Neo Lime Light Ibiza

Contour: c/o Tom Ford Bronzing Powder, in Terra

Brows: c/o Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer, in Medium Brown

Eyes: c/o Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

Lashes: Ardell Wispies, in Black

Lips: Patent Finish Lip Color, Tom Ford in No Vacancy

Makeup c/o Nina @ Sephora Union Street

Photos by Rachel of Rachel Radcliffe Photography