Review: Sugarlips Window Embers Top

Our personal style often comes in the form of a contradiction: boho glam, sporty & chic, classic yet trendy. Stylish e-tailer Sugarlips’ descriptor is no exception. “Flipping” through the site is the equivalent of raiding the closet of your slightly older (and sartorially wiser) cousin, who somehow manages to make an embellished peter pan collar look tough. Simply put: “the edgy girlie girl.”

Needless to say, when the generous folks at Sugarlips offered to send me an item of my choice I was thrilled. After mentally and physically bookmarking a long list of items, I chose the Window Embers top – a flirty, burnt orange peplum covered in small, flattering pleats. I should preface this by saying that I am well aware of the current popularity surrounding the peplum. One might even go so far as to call it a “peplum frenzy,” as you rarely walk into a clothing store these days without seeing at least one rack of artfully flared fabric. I, however, had yet to take the plunge. I’d been tempted – sure, but the thought of accidentally drawing attention to my hips scared me straight and my courage maxed out at gentle a-line.

When my package from Sugarlips arrived I noticed a few things: one, this was definitely a quality item. While the back of the top is quite sheer, the front (and entire peplum) contains an added layer that gives the shirt a little more heft. It’s 100% polyester, so it has a bit of give to it and should keep its shape quite nicely. The color is indeed in the orange family, coming closest a burnt sienna, which is lovely for the cooler months. I hesitantly ordered a small, as I am usually right between a small and a medium, but the top fits perfectly. The zipper up the side is helpful, considering the seam where the peplum begins does not stretch at all and hits right at the waistline. I chose to style my new shirt with my classic Gap jean jacket, recently purchased and admittedly perfect Club Monaco Alexi Pant, my Bass & Co suede ankle boots and an H&M fur vest since it’s still pretty chilly out there (evidenced by the snow.)

Sugarlips Day&Night
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Other options? When it comes to styling for daytime, I love paring the Window Embers top with colored denim in similarly rich shades and gold accessories. Lace-up booties and a simple leather tote draw attention to the delicate details without clashing. For night, I like the idea of throwing some leather into the mix, along with colorful accessories and printed pumps – a pair of edgy, Art Deco earrings keep things interesting. Interested in your very own Window Embers top? Head over to the Sugarlips website and take a peek at their adorable merch – I’ve got my eye on the Signed By Scarlett dress & Frolic in the Forest top…happy shopping!


Best Beauty Gift Sets for Giving

Beauty Gift Sets
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When it comes to last minute shopping, my go-to gifts are almost always beauty related. Whether it’s stocking stuffers for mom or that secret santa you just can’t crack, a pretty little box o’ beauty is enough to make any girl swoon. Make no mistake – one size does not fit all. Would you dare give your au natural sister a set of artificial skincare products? I think not. The good news is that during the holiday season our favorite brands really lay on the loot, most offering stellar deals & discounts. The bad news? All those gift sets can be a real pain to weed through. I’ve pulled my favorite into one collection, as has fellow OTY Expert Heather. Don’t forget to check out what our community members are quick to pick when it comes to gifting. Read of for a taste of the magic.

1. For the Flower Child: Claudalie Divine Oil Set
If the aforementioned crunch rang any bells, try grabbing this gift set from Claudalie. The company prides itself on creating a natural and environmentally friendly product, and for each Divine Oil that is purchased a tree is planted in the Amazon.

2. For the Lipstick Lover: Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tar
Beauty blogs are a buzz with this infamous product. Combining the “longevity of a lipstick with the easy application of a gloss,” this Lip Tar gift set is not for the faint of heart.

3. For the Beauty Beginner: Sephora Prestige Luxe Brush Set
If you’ve got a buddy who just needs to go back to basics, surprise her with this excellent brush set – it’s amazing what a great set of bristles will do. It’s pricey, so reserve this pretty prez for those you truly adore.

4. For the Hard Worker: L’Occitane Hand Cream Bouquet
Winter can be tough, and it’s even tougher on our hands. I never leave the house without (at least) one tube of hand lotion. Gift this yummy set of mini hand creams (in scents like almond, mango and rose petal) to keep her running smoothly.

5. For the Nail Art Enthusiast: Sephora by OPI Tinsel Town Collector’s Set
You know that friend whose nails are always polished to perfection? Well I bet she’d swoon over these dazzling shades from Sephora by OPI, packaged in miniature bottles that help avoid the dreaded dry-out. Conveniently, OTY is giving this set away in our holiday nail art contest, so shoot us an entry and you just might win it for free.


This Weeknd: 12/14
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Make: DIY Gift Tags
Though I might be in the minority, I find the annual task of purchasing holiday cards to be one of the most enjoyable parts of the season. I could spend hours in the local Papyrus piling boxes upon boxes of cards onto the checkout counter. Needless to say, I’m left with an awkward amount of leftovers each season. The solution? Trim your favorite designs into gift tags! If you’re like me you’re constantly running low, and finding (cute) gift tags don’t come cheap – so start snippin’!

Snack: Peppermint Bark Popcorn 
In need of a healthy(ier) snack to dole out during the holidays? Look no further. Cookie and Kate has whipped up a batch of treats that are a little lighter than your average christmas cookie. Salty, sweet and everything in between, this snack will quench your craving for chocolate without giving you a stomachache.

I love a good party dress as much as anyone, but why not try spicing up a pair of pants for your weekend shindig? These satin haram-esque trousers will have heads turning, especially when paired with art deco accessories and a sultry smokey eye. Lest we not forget to channel Miu Miu with a sparkly shoe – because nothing gets you going like a little glitter. Click the collage above for info on picking up these gorgeous pieces.

Watch: The Family Stone
There’s a tradition in my house when it comes to festive films. While we all have an appreciation for classics like It’s a Wonderful Life, when the snow starts falling I prefer a more contemporary take on the holidays. If you have yet to see The Family Stone, all I can say is: you’re in for a treat. Starring Diane Keaton, Luke Wilson, Rachel McAdams and SJP herself, Family Stone will make you laugh, cry, and most of all – it will make you thankful for what you’ve got.

Weekend: 12/7
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Make: Grilled Asparagus Tartines with Fresh Ricotta, Pesto & Scallions
Whether or not your an avid host, once the snow starts falling and the lights start glittering it’s tempting to throw your own soiree. The first and most obvious question – what to serve? All I have to say is thank god for these magical asparagus tartines. So fresh. So creamy. And most importantly, so easy to assemble. So light a fire, put on some music and bring out a tray of these suckers. Your guests will hardly know what hit ‘um.

Paint: Holiday Nail Art
Since it’s the season of giving and all, OTY has decided to get in on the action with our first ever(!) beauty giveaway. It’s simple – send your most festive nail art creations to our Instagram account, @OTYgrams, with the hastag #OTYnailed it. Once you’ve submitted your photo, you will be entered to win our fabulous prize: a Sephora by OPI, Tinsel Town Collector’s Set. Check our collection to see how OTY’s very own Experts are stacking up to the challenge.

I’ll be frank – finding a holiday frock when you’ve got an impending deadline can be less than fun. The annual office party, meeting his or her parents, entertaining your crazy (god love them) family – the events this month are endless. So before you’re caught without something fabulous in your closet, why not start shopping? I love love love thisilk green number with a pair of black leather ankle boots. It’s perfect for mingling with your coworkers, and throw on a red lip and some sparkly shoes and BAM – you’re ready for the mistletoe . Plus, what screams “cheer” louder than Kate Spade? Her fragrance, Twirl, is equally as bubbly as the champagne you will (hopefully) be sipping. Click on the collage above for more details.

Watch: Playing for Keeps
When I head to the theater this holiday season, I’m looking for award-winning performances, mind-blowing special effects…and a little eye candy. While I can’t see Gerard Butler’s newest flick, Playing for Keeps, sweeping the Oscars, I will admit to enjoying watching this undeniable hunk kick around a soccer ball. What’s wrong with a little light-hearted fun at the movies, anyway? They can’t all be Lincoln – and hey, we wouldn’t want them to be.

This month there are many things to love about Westchester, a county just outside of NYC. Whether you’re after unique gifts, fun flicks or an intimate music hall, the Hudson Valley offers something for everyone. This December, I’m looking forward to seeing Ingrid Michaelson at a nearby venue after enjoying some delicious local eats. Check out my full December collection for more details on the best of Westchester, NY.

December: Westchester Guide
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EmilyBeeSHOP: This month I’m all about grabbing gifts from The Glass Onion. Stocked with one-of-a-kind jewelry and pottery, this little boutique is perfect for picking up hostess gifts.
EmilyBeeWEAR: Stackable rings are all over my December radar. Cute shop Catbird in NYC is chock full of tiny gold bands that are great for layering in all sorts of combinations.
EmilyBeeTASTE: Sweet Grass Grill is fresh, locally sourced food right in the center of Terrytown, New York. Their menu is crafted from farms all over the area, making it a great option for a healthy dinner out.
EmilyBeePARTAKE: I can’t wait to see Ingrid Michaelson at Terrytown Music Hall this December. The venue has been alive and well for 125 years, making it a cozy spot to catch an astounding number of impressive acts.
EmilyBeeINSPIRED: Jacob Burns Film Lab is my favorite place to see movies that don’t make it to the big(ger) screen. This December their doing a rundown of all the flicks they missed out on throughout the year, including Moonrise Kingdom & Holy Motors.
Give in This Weekend:11/30
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Munch: Red Velvet Black and White Cookies
Now that we’ve all recuperated from last week’s turkey overdose, I say it’s time to jump right back on the holiday treat bandwagon – starting with these mind blowing red velvet black and white cookies. Considering these babies are essentially my two favorite cookies rolled into one, I am powerless against their cakey consistency and cream cheese frosting. If you’re hesitant to whip up these bad boys, consider this: has Joy the Baker ever let us down before?

Enjoy: Time in the Tub
This week during my usual 2am Pinterest binge, I came across this absolutely stunning, yet minimalist bathroom. Those hardwood floors, that fabulous light fixture – the list goes on. To no one’s surprise, this elegant bath belongs to none other than Jenna Lyons,  Creative Director for J.Crew. Though we don’t all have bathtubs that could double as Olympic swimming pools, we might have the more modest version. With November quickly becoming December, I suggest you get some alone time in while you still can. Don’t forget to pick these up for some added decadence.

I’m not usually one to gravitate towards florals, but I would be lying if I said these patterned trousers didn’t elicit some appeal. Paired with a silk tank & statement necklace, they become surprisingly sophisticated. I’ve added stackable rings (my new obsession) and a sequin jacket if you’re feeling fierce. Oh, and can we talk about that bag? Forget it, I’m adding this entire ensemble to my wish list. Check out my OTY collection for details.

Read: Grace: A Memoir
Considering the slew of Instagram photos this book has starred in lately, I can safely say I’m not alone in my mention. Former model and current Creative Director at Vogue, Grace Coddington has quite a story to tell. Her inspiring photographs transport us to a different world each month, helping to make at least a taste of fashion affordable for all. The memoir makes a great gift for that fashion forward friend on your list – that is, if she hasn’t already snagged it for herself.


How We Beat the Holiday Beauty Blues

OTY Holiday Beauty
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It’s no secret that the holiday season takes a toll on our minds (helllllo relatives) and our bodies (helllllo Christmas cookies). If you’re a product junkie like me, you may find yourself digging through that suitcase you call a makeup bag in search of the few items that will keep you sane in the coming weeks. December comes chock full o’ cocktails and chaos, causing everything from under eye circles to a lack-luster complexion. Whether you’re suffering from flakey skin or stinging cuticles, there are a couple old standbys to help ease the pain. Personally, I’m not sure what I would do without Dr. Perricone’s Super Hyper Hydrator. This is the moisturizer to beat all moisturizers. Not only does it smell good enough to eat (coconut, anyone?), but what you’re smelling comes from naturally derived extracts and oils. And forget about greasy residue – after leaving its adorable glass jar, it sinks right into my skin never to be seen again.

So now that your skin is happy, how do we solve the aforementioned holiday dilemmas? Well, our OTY experts have gone on record with their most trusted products. I’ve also taken the liberty of assembling a little collection of the top ranking holiday-themed items from across the beauty board, incase you’re in need of some additional inspiration. Because, unlike the above image implies, it does not snow beauty products. But don’t worry – we’re working on it.

WWR: 11/24
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  • Who knew Google could be so poetic? Sho & Tell shares their latest search engine find.
  • Smitten Kitchen offers up the recipe for  a (nearly) guilt-free post-Thanksgiving salad.
  • …While Oh Joy insists we enjoy something a little more sinful.
  • Penny Pincher Fashion has taken a trip to Emerald City – and we’re right behind her.
  • The Glossarie lists her best beauty finds leading up to Cyber Monday.
  • The Senses Five rounds up Five Senses Friday with roasted strawberry cake and seemly perfect perfume.
  • Sacramento Street lists her four favorite way to stay comfortable without sacrificing style.
Recoup This Weekend:11/23
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Sip: Mint Rooibos Dextox Tea
Whether or not you spent most of the recent holiday in the kitchen, you’re probably still feeling the effects of that pumpkin pie and cornbread stuffing. To ease the pain, try brewing this simple tea to settle the stomach. Since it’s high in antioxidants and flavonoids, your skin will reap the benefits as well. So, when you wake up glowing tomorrow morning, feel free to thank me (or Elizabeth, author of favorite blog: Beauty Bets).

Listen: Celeste and Jesse Forever Soundtrack
If you missed this gem of a film when it hit theaters, you can still grab a piece of the magic via its excellent soundtrack. A combination of funk, hip hop and indie soul, this mix will have you tapping your feet all the way through. If you’re looking for an easy (and free) way to enjoy it, check out 8tracks for a simple way to stream.

Though the peplum can be tricky, it’s hard to go wrong with this flattering forest green number. Put on your dancing shoes this weekend (or at least some striking mustard pumps) and head out with a leopard handbag and a statement lip. After spending Friday night in your PJs with post turkey fatigue, it’s time to turn off your TiVo and re-enter the world in style.

I can’t seem to get enough of Daniel Day Lewis (and neither can the Oscars), so I’m a purchasing a ticket to Lincoln ASAP. If you’re looking for a few hours of peace, cart the family along to this educational flick and enjoy two hours and 30 minutes of DDL’s  most impressive role yet.


Face Oils for Every Complexion

Face Oils
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We’ve heard it time and time again- when it comes to beauty products, choose oil-free. For those of us dealing with acne, this was more of a requirement than a request. So when the market suddenly flooded with oils claiming to not only moisturize our skin, but unclog pores, reduce redness and increase collagen production – we had to wonder. Compared to creams and lotions, which often use wax to retain moisture and protect against the elements, oils help to naturally nourish your skin’s outer layer without preventing moisture absorption. With the popularity of these products steadily increasing, it’s about time we checked some of them out. Whether you’re suffering from an uneven complexion or the effects of aging, you’re bound to find an oil that suits your skin type. Don’t forget to check out my OTY collection to see what other oils made my list.
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