Lets Talk Sunscreen

Sunscreen.  It becomes our second skin in the summer months.  Aside from it being the most important product you will put on your skin to protect it from aging, it is the single most critical step in preventing skin cancer.  This is not news to most of us.  What you may not be aware of is the astounding amount of chemicals found in most sunscreens today.  It is alarming and, quite frankly, irresponsible for many popular brands (yes, even those brands which tout an “all natural” ingredient list) to put these so-called chemicals into the very product we’re applying on our entire bodies. *The EWG recommends that we avoid sunscreens which have oxybenzone yet many of our sunscreens contain this chemical. The EWG also states that “several common chemical filters appear to be endocrine disruptors”. Great.  Just what we need. It’s MADDENING!

The solution? (Cue the chorus of angels) A NON-TOXIC, non-irritating, physical blocking sunscreen from Beauty Counter.  It contains non-nano zinc oxide and titanium oxide, which sit on the surface of the skin and physically bounce or reflect sun’s rays away from the skin, hence the term “physical blocker” (ie: it does not get absorbed into the skin). It is broad spectrum, which blocks both UVA and UVB rays. It is the ONLY mineral sunscreen we’ve tried that actually rubs into our skin and leaves no white residue.  After wasting a lot of money on other mineral sunscreens which made my entire family look as though we had just smeared Desitin all over our bodies (talk about annoyed young boys), I nearly gave up. Then, my friend recommended Beauty Counter. I have to admit I was skeptical based on my experience with so many other “natural mineral sunscreens” but I decided to give it a try anyway. And I’m glad I did.  I have never purchased another sunscreen since (aside from a tinted sunscreen from Skinceuticals, which I will highlight in a future post). These three Beauty Counter products will be mainstays in our beach/pool bag, my car, and even my husband’s golf bag … I have them stocked everywhere! See links below for easy ordering.  I have all 3 of the products on hand at all times but if you’re looking for a place to start, I would order the tube and face stick.

Link to Beauty Counter Sunscreen (tube)

Link for Beauty Counterface stick

Link for Beauty Counter body stick

Below is a list of additional Beauty Counter products that I can not live without (unrelated to sunscreen). It’s important to note that Beauty Counter is a non-toxic company, who is committed to a health and safety standard that goes well beyond what is legally required in the US. Their “Never List” is made up of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals that they will NEVER use in their products.

Charcoal face wash bar

Makeup remover wipes

Rosewater Facial Mist

Peppermint Lip Balm

*Link to the EWG article 

**I am not a physician and I am not offering medical advice.  It is important to check with your doctor before using a recommended product.

**Please follow instructions on sunscreen label.  Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours and after swimming for extended periods of time and/or toweling off. Always follow the detailed instructions first and try to stay out of the sun between the hours of 10:00 am-2:00 pm.

Grab Your Hats … Its Horse Race Season

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Kentucky Derby, Devon Horse Show, Belmont Stakes, Preakness Stakes, Grand Prix, the list can go on.  They are the most popular horse shows and horse races of the season and you may have already heard the buzz begin. There are horse shows, race viewings, travel plans to the best race tracks in the country and parties galore. The only problem surrounding the pretty invitation you received in the mail (ok, the one you received via evite or paperless post) is the first question that runs through your mind … “What am I going to wear?” and better yet, “WHERE am I going to find a hat or fascinator?”  Believe me, you don’t want to end up at a mall kiosk searching for one.  I had tried that once and failed miserably.

Well, I’m here to tell you that I have a solution.  An elegant, perfectly sophisticated, “Meet Me at Kensington Palace” solution.  I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Amy Holzapfel.  The creative director and genius behind, ‘Ella Grace Custom Hats’.  She launched her company as a result of her love for creating timeless, fashion forward pieces for her clients to wear to special events. Her impeccable designs mimic the beauty and uniqueness of each of her clients.  And believe me, the second you try on one of her masterpieces, you are catapulted into high fashion and could hold your own at a Royal Wedding next to the likes of Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton.  Take a look at a preview of Amy’s one of a kind creations by simply scrolling through the icons above. Click HERE for a direct link to ‘Ella Grace Hats’ website.  You can rent or buy any hat or fascinator, which range from $150 and up.

Photo: Megan Tidmore Photography Outfit: Victoria Beckham for Target Makeup: Darci Henry Hair: Ariel Katrina
Creative Director and Designer, Amy Holzapfel, pictured on the right. Photo taken at ‘Ladies Hat Day’ at Devon Horse Show where I won runner up for “Best Hat to Toe” look, which can be attributed to Amy’s gorgeous black and white hat that we styled with my outfit.
Pictured: Alison Rose, Stylist Ashley Meyers, designer for Ella Grace Hats, Amy Holzapfel (pictured in red and white), Melissa Tabasso. Photo: Megan Tidmore Photography

 

 

Stand Out Jackets

It is no surprise that in the Northeast winter and early spring months, our jackets become our whole outfit.  It’s the first thing that people see, the first style impression you will make, and likely the ONLY ‘outfit’ you’ll wear while running errands around town.  It’s simply too cold to take your jacket off in many circumstances.  I’ve been sitting in front of my fireplace as my two boys play outside in the drizzly rain for 3 hours (#nolie) and I haven’t taken off my fuzzy ‘blanket coat’ the entire time.  And no, I’m not planning to head out there any time soon today.  I’m holding the fort down as close to the fireplace as I can get.  Yet, still, I’m wearing my jacket.

I’ve shared before that bargain shopping for designer items is invigorating to me.  There is nothing quite like finding a designer item you love, for a price that is far below the retail price.  When I discovered The RealReal was having a capsule collection with The Kardashians, I was forced (ok, could not resist) to check it out.  And I’m glad I did.  This military inspired jacket designed by MiuMiu was part of Kylie Jenner’s closet and has a Chanel/Balmain-esque feel.   The fabulous boucle fabrication and gold button detailing are reminiscent of a designer runway.

For those who aren’t familiar, TheRealReal is a designer, second hand online shopping destination where you can find gently used designer items such as Chanel, Hermes, Prada, Carolina Herrera and more.  It is AMAZING! Why spend full price when you can find designer duds for so much less?

St. Michaels, MD.  Yes we were freezing the entire time and yes it was the end of April 

This is another designer, who I have been following for years and have coveted a jacket from (pictured above).  Nicole Benisti knows how to do casual, everyday fur in the coolest way possible (can I get an AMEN?). I finally ordered one this winter when two of my old coats had seen better days.  I am so happy I took the plunge! I can wear this jacket to -15degrees.  YES! -15degrees! With this winter still going strong, this jacket has earned its weight in gold.  And yes, it’s true, you really can wear this in frigid temps and manage to stay warm. Check out the blue fur on the hood! There are several colors to choose from and all are equally as beautiful. Happy Shopping!

I’ve linked a few  jackets on sale below.  If you’re anything like me, you love to buy end of season sales so you’re ahead of the game when the next season begins …

 

 

 

 

A Vintage Holiday

Film photography courtesy of Ashlee Mintz Photography
Dress Rachel Zoe, Makeup Shimmer & Spice, Hair Concierge

Around this time last year, I did one of my favorite shoots to date.  Another local fashion stylist, Ashley Meyers, and I had an idea to create a vintage shoot.  Everything you would imagine for a holiday party would be front and center … lights, a Christmas tree, fresh sprigs, a gorgeous table setting, Christmas music and, of course, vintage fashion.  We rounded up another local blogger, Lindsey Schuster of ‘The Mother Chic,’ and an amazing team of makeup artists and hair stylists to be part of the shoot and away we went!

Ashley set the stage in her beautiful home
Around the table in Ashley’s vintage dresses. Look at the feathers around the sleeves on the red dress I’m wearing … just fabulous!

Laughing so hard I scrunch my nose. Not the greatest photo of me but so worth the moment.
Decorating the tree

As I sit and look at these photos one year later, I realize there is a peacefulness and stillness about them.  As I imagine it, living back in ‘vintage times’ of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s would have a different feel than todays device-driven, internet crazed generations. Even though I appreciate very much all that technology offers us, I often wish we could go back to a more simple time.  A time when eating dinner together as a family was paramount to running around to sporting events, practice, or a PTO meeting.  Last year, I wanted to give the gift of time … more time with my husband, more time with our two boys, more time with family and friends.  I will admit I did NOT do a good job of providing more time for anyone … in fact, I have never felt more spread thin than I have this past year.  As we approach the new year, I challenge myself and I challenge all of you to give the gift of time and to slow down.  Slow down enough so that you may be present in every moment (ok, most moments … we’re human) and with every breath. Do more yoga, practice meditating, pray … do whatever fills your soul with more peace.  Be enlightened and more patient … with family, friends and, more importantly, with yourself. As we say goodbye to 2017, lets look upward and onward.  Lets conquer some of the goals we set for ourselves in 2018 and lets support each other along the way. Yes?

 

For Love and Lemons

It seemed to me that this was THE perfect jumpsuit for Italy.  It is reminiscent of my Grandmothers “house coat,” as she liked to call it, and evoked memories of making gnocci with meat sauce and pizza fritte alongside her on Sunday afternoons.  And what else would lemons remind you of if not the sprawling landscapes of the Tuscan hillside and the acres of lemon trees found throughout one of the most beautiful countries in the world? Besides being arguably one of the healthiest and tastiest fruits, they happily remind me of Grandma … and Italy.

W Hotel Times Square

Unfortunately, this exact jumpsuit by ‘For Love and Lemons’, sold out quite possibly the same second as I hit the ‘check out’ button and, therefore,  I was not able to bring it to Italy.  After waiting a few weeks for it to come back in stock, I was able to wear it on a recent trip to New York City and, as it turned out, it was the perfect outfit for a hot, summer day in the city.  I was stopped at least three times about this jumpsuit while walking the streets of NY.  It has since been RESTOCKED (yay!) and I have linked it below for you.  I’ve also added similar styles and price points for every budget.  If you don’t currently own a jumpsuit, I would encourage you to start here!

For Love and Lemons Limonada Jumpsuit – Revolve Clothing
For Love and Lemons Limonada Jumpsuit – Shop Planet Blue
Aéryne Lemon Print Jumpsuit
Moon River Ruffle Romper Lemon Print

My Skin Care Secrets

When I was the ripe old age of 18 I asked my doctor if I should start using anti-aging creams/serums in my nighttime skin care ritual.  After gasping, and somewhat laughing at me, she told me I was WAY too young to start using anti-aging products. Although I didn’t start incorporating anti-aging products until much later, it was always on my radar because I believed it was never too early to start defying the odds of gravity!

I have never had any injectables even though the “11’s” in between my eye brows scream at me to get injected with Botox.  I am not claiming I will NEVER get injected with something and I certainly don’t think there is anything wrong with it but, as of right now, I’m pushing back.  I am trying to age gracefully with the use of my anti-aging products, which are mostly by the skincare brand, Skinceuticals.  This is my favorite skincare line of all time and, in my opinion, is the most efficacious when it comes to prevention and correction.  My inimitable aesthetician, Sue Mottola, got me hooked on several of these products ages ago and I can’t wait to share them with you.  I literally smear them on from hair line to chest line, without fail, in both my morning and evening skin care routine. Ok.  Here it goes …

  1. C.E. Ferulic – the single MOST important of all of the products!  If you only start with one product, I suggest getting this one.  It has won beauty awards an impressive 24 times and is constantly featured in magazines.  It is a vitamin C serum that improves appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and loss of firmness.  It also brightens your skin’s complexion! Apply it in the a.m.
  2. Retinol (not pictured) – another important product in my skincare regimen. This helps to diminish appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, skin discoloration and uneven skin tone.  It may cause irritation and peeling of the skin but it will make your skin so glow-y and bright.
  3. A.G.E Eye Complex – Do you want to fight crow’s feet, dark circles and puffiness? Then you need this gem of an eye cream. Love it!
  4. Triple Lipid Restore – A-mazing moisturizer! It took me a long time to find a moisturizer that I loved but when I tried this, it was like butter on my skin. It helps promote your skins natural self repair while smoothing skin, reducing pore size and improving overall radiance of your skin.

5. You should all know by now that sunscreen is vital to our skin health. This tinted sunscreen has 100% mineral filters providing UVA/UVB broad spectrum protection. I bring it with me everywhere, including the beach and put it on 365 days a year.  I also use the eye defense sunscreen, which doesn’t migrate or burn your eyes.  I use both of these products on our two sons (and my husband) all summer long because it is the first sunscreen that didn’t burn and itch their sensitive skin and eyes.

6. Last but not least, regular facials are a must! I try to go every 6-8 weeks but I go more often when I’m having difficulty with my skin.  Fortunately, I discovered my aesthetician, Sue Mottola from Wildflower Day Spa in Devon, PA, and have never looked back.  She is a retired lawyer, she is smart as a whip and I’ve never ever ever ever had a facial as good as this.  Her facials last an astounding 2.5 hours (#truth) and she includes microdermabrasion as part of every facial.  Talk about getting your skin smooth and radiant! If you’re local and can schedule an appointment with her, I would highly recommend doing so.  Meet Sue below …

As you can see here in this photo, my biggest problem is hyper-pigmentation.  I have little dark spots on my cheeks and forehead, which intensify in the summer months when my skin is exposed to the sun. Even with sunscreen and a hat, remember that the sun will find you. Sue has helped lighten these spots tremendously and the Skinceuticals products have worked wonders. The only problem with hyper-pigmentation is that new spots keep surfacing and any damage that is deeply rooted will keep making  it’s way to the surface of my skin.  All those years I spent baking in the sun wearing no sunscreen have finally caught up to me! With the use of my products and regular facials with Sue, we are fighting against these pesky dark spots and lightening them one day at a time.

Photos by: Lindsey Clark Photography (@takeitoutside)

To buy products or to make an appointment with Sue : 610.341.9444 or 484.354.4072

Online shopping links:

C.E. Ferulic

Retinol

A.G.E. Eye Complex

Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2

Physical Fusion Sunscreen

Physical Fusion Sunscreen for Eyes

 

Chic By Alison Rose Featured on The Zoe Report

I am beyond excited to share my feature in the online magazine, ‘The Zoe Report’.  The inimitable stylist, Rachel Zoe, has long been my style muse since her days styling the Backstreet Boys in the 90’s! It is such an honor to be recognized in this major fashion and beauty magazine. A special thank you to Lindsey Clark, my friend and photographer, who helps make our photo shoots creative, care free and crazy fun all at the same time. I couldn’t have done this without you! Click link below for full the feature. If you haven’t subscribed to my blog yet enter your email on the right hand side of my main page.

Direct Link to my feature in ‘The Zoe Report’

xo

Alison

Ready For My Close Up With Luminess Air

I recently had a night out on the town and needed to (ok, WANTED to) have flawless looking skin that would last the entire evening but also look natural … like I wasn’t wearing any makeup at all. In the past, I have shared with you my love for the Luminess Air Airbrush Foundation System. It is, by far, the lightest and most breathable foundation I have used.  It doesn’t crease like other foundations (finally!) and camouflages dark spots better than any cover up I’ve used. I had always used the foundation alone until I received the Airbrush Essentials Kit, which arrived just in time for my event. I was chomping at the bit to give it a try and I’m so glad I did.

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(How pretty is this system? I chose turquoise but it also comes in white and black)

The essentials kit contains products called “Eraser”, “Xout” and “Porcelain” — you may be hooked just from the names alone and you should be.  These 3 items elevated the look of my skin and enhanced the “blurring” effects of the foundation.  I’m talking reducing pore size, evening out skin tone, reducing appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and illuminating the skin for a “soft focus” effect.  This stuff is A-MAZING!

 

 

 

Each item should be applied under the foundation and is specially formulated for buildable coverage that doesn’t become cakey (hallelujah!). The result? Less foundation and a full coverage look.  A win-win in my book.

Oh, I should mention … this is so easy to use that even the most inexperienced users will have no trouble operating the system.  It comes with a video which explains everything from instructions on how many drops of foundation to use, to how to clean the tubing.  Watch it! It will explain everything!

If you want to try it for yourself, the production team at Luminess Air has graciously offered my followers a discount.  Click here for 20% off your order!

These photos have been untouched.  No editing, no filters.  I had a makeup artist apply my makeup for this event but I have used the airbrush system myself numerous times. You do not need a makeup artist to apply it!

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Anthropologie Hot List

Many of us rely on Anthropologie for their unique selection of clothing, mixed price points and amazing customer service.  Beyond that, the possibilities are endless when you walk through the door.

Recently, I spent an evening with fellow local bloggers and the personal shoppers at Anthropologie in Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia. Our goal for the evening? To create unique holiday looks that spoke to our own personal style.

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Above I’m wearing a dress by Tracy Reese, which I had purchased at the Anthropologie in King of Prussia. I immediately fell in love with the lace fabrication and versatility of the dress. It came with a black slip dress underneath but I decided to style it with a bodysuit, jeans and over the knee boots. If I had only one piece of advice for people it would be to tap into your creative side and think outside the box when styling your outfits. You don’t have to wear an outfit exactly the way they style it in the store or catalog. There are so many ways to wear this dress, which I will feature in my blog soon! To order this exact dress, click here.

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Ok. Bomber jackets. When this trend first hit the streets I was not a fan and thought I wouldn’t wear a bomber jacket after their stint in the 90’s.  But then,  they started designing them with embroidery and appliqués —> hook, line and sinker. The one I’m wearing here is A-MAZING! Shop it HERE!!! !!!!! If you’re a hat person and want to change things up from the common floppy hat trend, try a beret! They are so Parisian and so chic. Shop a similar one here.

I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite bomber jackets for you to shop:

My fave! A colorblock vegan leather bomber!

Another embroidered option – chic and trendy

Love the cutouts on this one

My fave layering bandeau!🙌🏻

Of the moment VELVET!

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OTK Roundup

Over the knee boots are a must this season.  They have been in stores for years and they don’t show signs of disappearing any time soon.  In fact, the silhouettes keep evolving and the lengths keep moving further and further up the thigh.  I’ve had mine for years and I am so pleased that, once again, I can wear them all winter long. This is not my first post on over the knee boots and, truthfully, I hope I can post another one next year.  I just can’t get enough of them!

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The grey suede stilettos I’m wearing in these photos are from the incredibly chic brand, M. Gemi.  I instantly became a fan of their brand when I discovered their 100% Italian leather, hand-made designs on Instagram. It’s hard to find impeccably designed, luxurious shoes at an attainable price point these days but M.Gemi is changing that for consumers.  They offer their shoes directly to customers, cutting the middle man out, which means you get an insanely gorgeous pair of leather shoes (including the soles) for an insanely reasonable price. Plus, when you use my code alison143, you get an additional 20% off 🙂

Shop M. Gemi here.

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Over the years, I have invested in more than one pair. Pictured here are a stiletto and a 1/2 inch heel but most recently I purchased another pair in an of-the-moment block heel. There are an infinite number of ways to wear them from skinny jeans, shift dresses and rompers to long oversized sweaters or oversized blazers.  In the winter months, you can essentially wear them as tights if you buy a pair that are extra tall.  The pair you see pictured below are designed by L.K. Bennett and I’ve worn them more times than I can count.  At this point, my cost per wear has to be a negative number and since they are a flat boot, they have been eternally versatile –> meaning, they were worth every penny! If you’re ready to take the plunge, invest in a pair that fits your personal style so you can get as much wear out of them as possible.

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Our little buddy, Fenske, paying us a visit during the shoot. So cute!

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Links to a few of my favorite OTK styles:

Calvin Klein (sale)

Marc Fisher

Dune London (very similar to my M.Gemi’s)

Marc Fisher (flat option)

Stuart Weitzman (Splurge! I LOVE this pair)

Navy Velvet (of the moment fabric!)

Stuart Weitzman (Splurge in Velvet!)

Ivanka Trump Burgundy mid heel

Dolce Vita (flat option)