An honest review of Versed skincare

I am not on TikTok, but thanks to people resharing the most pertinent stuff on Instagram, I tend to find out what's getting a lot of buzz. While there is a lot of dubious information on that platform (ahem, Tide Pods), I appreciate the no-gatekeeping spirit, and once in awhile, you uncover a life-changing gem. Versed is an L.A.-based affordable clean beauty brand that's only been around for a few years but has become incredibly popular on the platform; it's now sold in Target. Most products in Versed's line are under $25, all are vegan and cruelty-free, and they formulate to EU standards, which are the strictest in the world in terms of avoiding potentially harmful chemicals. All of which is great, but that leads us to the all-important question: Is Versed skincare actually effective? I've been using a bunch of their products for the last several weeks and I have some thoughts. While Versed sent all of these products to me for free, the following opinions are 100% my own. Here's my honest review of Versed skincare. 

The best Khaite belt dupes

I saw a meme recently that gently poked fun at Pisces for over-accessorizing, and as a Pisces who loves her accessories, I felt very seen. If had to pick just one accessory, however, I think it would be a belt (although scarves would be a close second, and jewelry doesn't really count as an accessory, does it?). If I'm wearing pants—which I am most days—I'm most likely wearing a belt too. As I've noted before, I have a very short, somewhat thick torso, so they help me balance my proportions and carve out more of a waist. They're one of my favorite things to invest in, and I will gladly splurge on a designer belt (pro tip: they tend to be way more affordable than bags or shoes, and last much longer!). Within the last few years, I've been noticing more and more influencers wearing belts by Khaite, a fairly new New York label that is very successful commercially but maybe not so much critically. I see the appeal—Khaite does classic-with-a-twist very well—but to me, the pieces are incredibly expensive for what they are. Lucky for us, they're getting knocked off left and right, and because there's not anything completely original about the designs (Western-style belts have been around for years!), I don't feel bad about it. Here are my favorite Khaite belt dupes, all under $300. 

What I wore in New Orleans in March

I don't know how nearly a month has gone by already, but it feels like just yesterday we went to New Orleans for my birthday. It's always such a fun city to visit, and it had been eight years since my last trip there. While some of my favorite spots were thankfully as lively as ever (the Carousel Bar is one of my favorite places on Earth), we explored some corners of the city I hadn't traveled to before, which was really refreshing. New Orleans is such a gorgeous, unique place, but it's the hospitality that always keeps me coming back—everyone is always so warm and welcoming and friendly. We spent a long weekend in the city in early March; here's what I wore. 

3 spring must-haves

As of Tuesday, it's officially spring, and for once, I feel like the weather is cooperating. This is the time of year when I start to get really tired of my winter clothes, and while that sentiment isn't quite as strong now that I live in California, I still welcome a change of season, especially when that means lighter colors, lighter fabrics, and cuter shoes. I am still working my way through all of the March fashion magazines—yes, I still read them!—but so far, three strong key pieces have emerged for me. And somehow I managed to combine them into one outfit. Here are my must-haves for spring 2024. 

An honest review of Veja V-10 sneakers

I've never been a sneakerhead, but in the last several years, sneakers have become my most-worn type of shoes. Since I don't go into an office every day anymore—and since I spend most of my day at home, inside—my style has definitely become a little more casual. Thankfully I'm not alone; there seem to be more sneakers on the market than ever, at every price point (even by luxury brands like Dior and Chanel). I've been slowly building up quite a wardrobe of sneakers—everything from classic Vans and New Balance to higher-end designers like Isabel Marant and Chloe—but I hadn't considered Veja until someone in one of my subreddits declared that Golden Goose sneakers were out and Veja sneakers were in. All of a sudden, I kept spotting Veja everywhere, so I decided to see what the hype was all about. Read on for my honest and unfiltered thoughts on the brand. 

My 2024 birthday wishlist

Whenever I create my birthday posts, I like to look back on the previous year and see what I ended up getting. (Update on 2023: two of five items received, plus one more in progress.) Turns out these posts have some pretty strong manifesting powers, and who am I to argue with that? In the spirit of abundance, here's what's on my wishlist for this year. 

The 5 accessories I'm wearing the most

Of all the famous quotes Coco Chanel dropped in her lifetime, for some reason, people tend to remember this one: "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off." It's solid advice, but if you like accessories as much as I do, it can feel a bit stifling. (And frankly, I prefer "The best things in life are free. The second best are very expensive," which is 1000% spot on.) I truly believe that accessories can make your outfit: a strategically placed belt can transform your entire silhouette, the right earrings can light up your whole face, and never underestimate the power of a chic scarf. I do agree that too much can be...too much, but when you find accessories that you love, a little can go a long way. So with that in mind, here are the 5 accessories I'm wearing the most in 2024 (so far).

The best straight leg jeans of all time

As I've noted several times in the last year or so, we're in the middle of a silhouette shift from skinny jeans to wide-leg jeans, and for some of us, it's been a bit rocky. Honestly, I was happy to see skinny jeans go—I owned several pairs over the years but was never a huge fan; I have very bony ankles and if my jeans are too fitted there, they make me look awkwardly out of proportion. I like wide-leg trousers in general (shout out to the Madewell Harlow pant, one of my best buys of 2023), but because denim is such a thick fabric, any sort of slouchy or relaxed jean can be tricky to pull off. That hasn't stopped me from trying (check out this post at your own risk) and still probably won't in the future, but I recently came to the conclusion that straight-leg jeans just work so much better for my body type, so until I find a fit that I like even more, I'm just going to stick with them. I have three go-to cuts from three different brands; read on for my honest opinion on the best straight leg jeans out there.

What I wore in New York City in January

It's wild to think that a little over 10 years ago, I left NYC after 14 years to move to San Francisco. In those years since, I've been back to visit at least once a year (even in 2020, before the pandemic), although usually in summer or fall; I am the first to say that living in California for the last 10 years has definitely made me much less tolerant of actual winter weather (I do not miss it in the least). That said, I will never turn down a free hotel room in Manhattan, so when Sean had a last-minute work trip come up, I decided to join him. What was meant to be a super-quick 2-day trip turned into a really regenerative 4-night trip (thanks to Alaska Airlines for canceling my flight home!), and in spite of the COLD AF weather, we had one of our best NYC getaways ever. Here's what I wore in New York City in January. 

An honest review of One Love Organics

The concept of clean beauty—products formulated without potentially harmful ingredients—has been around for several decades, and while the market has been flooded in recent years, I always enjoy seeking out new and independent brands that are bringing something fresh (and effective) to the table. One Love Organics is not necessarily new (they've been around since 2010) but unlike some of the bigger brands that have sold out to, say, Unilever, you get the impression that they're still a founder-driven company focused on making really effective, cleanly formulated products. I've had the pleasure to partner with them a few times on social media but wanted to share my frank and unfiltered thoughts on their products. While I received all of the following items for free, this is an unsponsored post, and all of the following opinions are my own. Read on for honest reviews of One Love Organics products. 

How to do latte dressing

Within the last year or so, I started to notice that the color black has begun to look very harsh against my complexion. This is unfortunate because I like wearing black (it goes with nearly everything!) and have a lot of black clothes (it always goes together!). So I've been trying to incorporate lighter, softer colors in my wardrobe—when I'm about to buy anything for my upper half in black, I have to stop and ask myself if it comes in another shade—and thankfully for me, a trend of sorts has taken hold in the last few months, called latte dressing. While I'm generally quite choosy about which trends I do and don't wear, latte dressing is one that I can totally get behind. Here's how to do it.

The best things I bought in 2023

In starting to plan the year ahead, I decided to take one look back at 2023 and realized there was a new idea there—I've never done a recap of my favorite things that I actually bought. I'm not including anything I received for free; these are things I spent my own hard-earned dollars on, and more importantly, these are things that I wear all the time, use all the time, or simply bring me joy. Here are my best buys of 2023.