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What to buy during the Sephora sale

April can be kind of a weird month, but one of the highlights for me is always the Sephora Spring Savings event for their Beauty Insiders. If you're in the Rouge tier, you get 20% off your order (and you've already had a head start); starting today, VIBs get 15% off, and regular old Beauty Insiders get 10% off—still nothing to sneeze at. The event runs through the 19th and what's really noteworthy in my opinion is that Sephora has added a bunch of new brands that I'm really excited about. So here are 10 of my favorite products right now—read on for details. 

10 ways to wear white jeans

 When I do a Cheryl's Greatest Hits post, I generally go for 7 ways to wear something, but I love my white jeans so much—and feature them so often here—that I've decided to go for 10 solid outfit ideas (I even had to edit some out). The key piece here is obviously a good pair of white jeans, and my all-around favorite is the power slim straight from Old Navy, which I'm wearing in most of these photos. It's a fit that sadly does not come in white at the moment, but as an alternative, I'd highly recommend the best-selling OG Straight—it's basically the same fit minus the hidden shaping pockets. I love that the denim is thick enough to not be see-through but stretchy enough to be comfy, and I think the straight-leg cut is super flattering. Plus, the price is totally reasonable. Here are all the ways I've styled mine. 

What to wear in April

I know I've made quite a production in my last several outfit posts about how I'm trying to move beyond the whole Dress Like a French Woman™ thing, so I don't want to seem totally hypocritical in sharing an outfit that's completely designed around the pair of Chanel ballet flats I bought myself for my birthday. But it is, and I'm happy with how it came out, so sit back and enjoy as I attempt to rationalize my irrational choices. For one, this is actually a very lizard-brain outfit because it has 1) leopard print, 2) camel, 3) the cashmere maxi cardigan I pretty much live in, and, most importantly, 4) the shoes I've been obsessed with since I was a child. I finally, at the ripe old age of 43, decided to buy a pair, and I love them so much, they may be dictating how I dress for the rest of the season (or at least the entire month of April). Here's how it all came together. 

A letter from the editor

In case you were wondering, the editor is me! Hi, dear readers. I feel compelled to warn you that this is going to be a somewhat introspective and very personal post, but hopefully one that you'll appreciate. I know what you're probably thinking and no, I am not going to stop writing this blog, at least not anytime remotely soon. I feel just as inspired as ever, and restarting Cheryl Shops nearly five (!!!) years ago has given me a wonderful creative outlet that I wouldn't give up for the world. Not to mention, I've met a bunch of friends both IRL and on the Internet, and I love the support I receive from my fellow bloggers, Pinners, and Instagrammers (sorry not sorry, I'm not going to use the I-word). The past year has been the strangest one of my life thus far, and I don't think I would have made it through without you. It has also given me a lot of time to think about where it—and my life—is going, and to become very conscious of how I'm spending my time and energy. So I'm going to make a few changes around here. 

What to wear with a maxi cardigan

As I've mentioned recently, I've been in what feels like a year-long wardrobe rut but maybe that's just been a year-long global pandemic. Either way, I decided I needed some new Instagram inspiration and on the recommendation of an IG friend, I started following @frisky-gatos. She's a thirtysomething nurse in Minneapolis, and she dresses with a quirky yet very strong sense of personal style. Her theory is that you should listen to your most primal "lizard brain" and buy the things you absolutely WANT to wear. It seems very simple and even obvious, but I've found over the years that I've always been chasing some ideal of how I should be dressing—in my very specific case, like a "French woman." Faced with a very black-white-and-gray closet that all of a sudden feels very sad to me, I've come to the conclusion that "dressing like a French woman" is boring, and that such stark neutrals are not actually very flattering against my fortysomething skin. So this post marks a turning point for me. I'm going to start dressing for me—for real this time.

An honest review of Golden Goose Superstar sneakers

I first discovered Golden Goose Deluxe Brand on a trip to Venice back in 2014. If you’ve never been, Venice is like a big circular maze, and while you can generally find your way back (it’s also very tiny), you can also manage to get a little lost, in a good way. So I remember popping into the store and thinking, “These are very cool yet incredibly expensive sneakers,” and going on my merry way. Of course, then I started seeing the shoes EVERYWHERE. I eventually caved and bought a pair, and while I’ve had my Superstars for several years now, they remain one of the most-worn shoes in my closet (and most-featured here on Cheryl Shops). I absolutely love my Golden Goose sneakers, and here’s why.

What to wear on your birthday in quarantine

As I wrote the title of this post, I thought, "Hopefully it will be the last birthday I'll ever have so spend in quarantine." Granted, as far as quarantine goes, it was a pretty glamorous one. In case you missed it, we spent a weekend in Santa Barbara to celebrate my birthday, and it was so nice to get out of our apartment and have a change of scenery. The weather was pretty much perfect, Santa Barbara is a gorgeous place, and I felt very grateful to be able to take a road trip there, safely. We also did a bit of celebrating (e.g. wine tasting) before we took these photos, so let me preface this post by saying that I look a little more, er, relaxed than usual. Then again, maybe it's just because I love my outfit so much ;) 

A weekend trip to Santa Barbara

My birthday is in early March, and exactly a year ago, we spent it in Paris and London. Since that trip—which now feels like a million lifetimes ago—we took a road trip to Big Sur and Yosemite last summer but haven't traveled at all since then. So not only were we both going stir-crazy in our apartment, we were really just wanting a change of scenery for a few days. Luckily, restrictions in California are starting to loosen, so Sean surprised me with a weekend trip to Santa Barbara. It's a town I'd visited a few times for a day trip, but I'd never spent a lot of quality time there. After two full days and three nights, I now understand why Harry and Meghan landed in nearby Montecito. Here's what we did on our long weekend trip to Santa Barbara.

What to wear with a designer hoodie

I know everyone has been wearing hoodies for the last year, and while I've resisted them for the most part, I had a revelation a few weeks ago. I was out walking Zuni when it started to lightly rain, and I happened to have been wearing my Cuddl Duds hooded tee; I didn't have a hat, but I pulled the hood over my head and saved my freshly washed hair from frizzing out. Considering I've lived for more than 7 years in a city that's frequently cloaked in drippy fog, it's kind of amazing that it took me this long to realize the practical applications of a hoodie. But now that I have, I've gone a little hoodie-happy. This is the first of several new hoodies I've purchased, so apologies in advance for the barrage of hoodie-themed posts coming up. Up first is this Isabel Marant hoodie, which I am completely obsessed with right now. Here's how I've been wearing it. 

Get the look: Amal Clooney's moto jacket and skinny jeans

There's been a lot of Gen Z. vs. Millennial beef lately, especially concerning skinny jeans. I'm not sure where or how it all started (maybe TikTok?) but I must say, I found it kind of amusing. I'm a Gen Xer who's always preferred slim or straight-leg jeans (I do own one true skinny pair in black), as well as a firm believer that you should wear whatever you feel good in, so if you're a millennial who loves skinny jeans, then by all means, you should continue to wear them and not listen to a generation that eats Tide Pods and wants to be Internet-famous for a living. Ahem. So, my skinny-jeans-wearing readers, this post is for you. It features none other than international style icon and accomplished lawyer Amal Clooney (otherwise known as Mrs. George Clooney) and it's this month's most-pinned look from my Outfit ideas for ageless style Pinterest board. Let's do it. 

My 2021 birthday wishlist

My birthday is next Tuesday, and it is kind of comically tragic to think that exactly a year ago, I left for a trip to London and Paris. This year, we are spending the upcoming weekend in Santa Barbara, which is about as glamorous as things get nowadays, but I'm very thankful nonetheless. Pandemic aside, the other big difference with my birthday this year is that while I always treat myself to something extra nice, I don't have anything specific in mind this year—yet. Maybe it's because last year's present has not exactly been put to good use (although I'm bringing it this weekend!), or maybe it's because the pandemic has made me realize that I already have everything I need. Kidding! I think it's more that I've been so busy with my new job, I haven't had a lot of time to think about it. But here are a few ideas I've been kicking around—let me know in the comments which one(s) you think I should get!

An honest review of all the Spanx pants

My honest review of Spanx perfect black pants continues to be one of the most popular posts here on Cheryl Shops, and since Spanx just sent me several pairs of their best-selling pants in navy, I thought it would be helpful to do a side-by-side comparison of their top four fits, especially since you can see the details even better. So think of this as a companion piece to my previous Spanx reviews, but please note that while I received these pants for free, the following reviews are my 100% honest opinion, with absolutely no feedback or editing from Spanx. So without further ado, here's my honest review the four most popular Spanx pants. 

How to make your home smell like Santal 33 (for less)

For the last year, I've been spending a small fortune on candles. For whatever reason, burning them—and being enveloped in a gorgeous scent—has brought me comfort. But I've also realized that I'm quite literally burning through money, and also that having an open flame in my apartment for 16 hours a day is probably not the best for one's lungs. We had received a diffuser as a gift (thanks, Christine!) a few years ago, but I've found that most essential oils are either too basic and/or not strong enough for my taste—until I discovered Santal oil from Doratelier on a tip from another blogger (thanks, Katwalk!). This tiny vial of delight has brought me so much joy that I couldn't wait to share all the ways I'm using it to scent my home. 

What to wear on an afternoon date

I recently came to the conclusion that I really miss making an effort to get dressed. My outfits have devolved into this sadly repetitive basic place, which is partly because it's winter but probably more because the days blur together and I feel like I'm in a much more mundane version of Groundhog Day. I miss getting creative with my outfits, and I miss wearing things that bring me joy rather than just comfort. So last Sunday, I decided not only to make an effort, but to wear a carefully planned outfit that made me feel good because I looked good. Yes, it was Valentine's Day, and we went to a fancy restaurant, and yes, I wanted to look good for Sean. But more importantly, I wanted to look good for me, because as big of a cliché as this is, truly you can't pour from an empty cup. So here's how I filled mine.