Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cheap Thrills: Tips & Tricks for Winter Skin

A few quick tips before heading into the weekend. Yes, the weekend :)

My winter skin is a struggle. Much drier and rougher, and my color feels so pale and dull compared to summer months.

I am on the hunt for easy, affordable ways to brighten my skin at home, so I have been trying out a few things behind the scenes.

Now this may seem crazy, but there are a few things in your own kitchen that are surprisingly great fixes for this time of year. Best of all, completely free (if you are already own them, which I assuming most people do).

So here you go:

1. Baking Soda: Not just for baking...anymore.  Baking soda + water = a perfect exfoliant. Take a small bowl and mix 3/4 baking soda with 1/4 water.  Use the mixture as a scrub 1-2 times per week, and I promise you will see a difference. This formula is no thrills: no great smell, no "miracle" promises, and no high price point.  But, it will get rid of skin flakes and leave you feeling squeaky clean.

2. Olive Oil: Yes, olive oil.  Its amazing.  I swear by it.  You will smell like dinner but your skin will thank you.  Olive oil is rich in natural nutrients and an ingredient found in many luxury beauty products.  A dab of this a few nights a week will cure dry patches and leave your skin softer and clearer in the morning.  Make sure you have completely washed your face before applying, and apply sparingly, but if dry skin is your issue, this may be your solution.

3. Toner (in a new way): If you use toner (I use the St. Ives Exfoliating pads from a previous post), try this--instead of toning POST shower, tone in the shower.  Immediately following turning off the shower, keep your toner in the shower and use it now.  The humidity in the air will help the product absorb faster into your pores.  Ultimately, the toner works faster, and leaves your skin refreshed and ready for lotion, makeup, etc.

Just a few tips and no real pictures tonight, because J needs the computer back (and cannot believe I am recommending you use olive oil on your face, but it really works, I swear).

Enjoy your Fridays!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dog Days: Roo McGoo, the Super Pup

Roo is a super hero.  My super hero. And today, he is Barley's, too.

This morning Roo did what he does best.  My Roo is a very special dog.  He is the most loyal animal of all time.  He would much rather be by our sides then out exploring.  He hates the dark (won't even step off the deck at night), and he is protective of what he loves.  He isn't perfect, nobody (or animal) is, but he comes damn close.

So this morning before I left for work, I let Roo and Barley out in the back yard, which is completely fenced in, to run around before I left. Not even 15 seconds later I heard an extreme, high pitched yelp coming from the back.  The bark was so distressed that I immediately knew something was wrong and my stomach sank as I rushed to the back door.

When I opened the door I saw Roo still yelping on the deck and looking towards the fence that connects the back yard to the street. Somehow the fence was open and Barley was gone.

I started screaming Barley's name, as Roo continued to bark, and the two of us ran to the front yard where Barley was doing her slinky walk (her low walk/crawl she does when she knows she has done something wrong). But she was completely fine and close to home, and thanks to Roo, had not had the time to go exploring our new neighborhood (or worse).

I often forget that Barley is still a baby.  She is not even two and can often be the complete opposite of Roo: LOVES adventures, enjoys her freedom, and always wants to see things for herself. This is where they balance each other out.  Almost like a relationship. And today Roo knew immediately when his sister needed him, and was smart enough to know that he needed me to find her.

These two never stop surprising me. And I am so glad they have each other.

Much puppy love <3.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Drugstore Recap: November

Its up!

A bit of a slower week on 7 & 7 due to the holiday and starting my new job yesterday.  But the Drugstore Recap is back and I think this month is looking pretty beautiful.

I don't think its just me when I say this, but drugstore products are stepping up their game.  They are getting better, more innovative, and more competitive to luxury beauty items without raising their costs. I am impressed. I have seen better lipsticks, hair care products and more natural wear foundations in recent months, and I hope this trend continues! It doesn't feel quite as guilty when you buy when it comes for a fraction of the price.

Here are my picks for this month (all photos taken from my iPhone so I apologize for the lack of image quality this week)

Physician's Formula Happy Formula Glow & Mood Boosting Blush:

I found this blush a few weeks ago and am very impressed.  The color is a pale pink/tan (I have the Natural shade), and the color is just that, natural.  This is the perfect blush if you are looking for a little pick me up early morning or mid day (will also help matte out oily skin), and does not leave you looking streaky or overly made up. This is also a great blush for layering as it is light enough to apply throughout the day without worrying about build up. I have no idea what the name is about, don't expect to have this blush suddenly make you love Mondays as much as you love Fridays, but at least you will feel good! Here is the Ulta link for more details on the product, but to date this is the best drugstore blush I have found: Physician's Formula Blush

Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick:

I found this little gem at Target last week.  Since this is a new product, I am not sure how many other retailers are currently carrying it. The claim for this lipstick is that it lasts 16 hours and has more of a matte finish.  This little product does have some staying power (I would say about 4+ hours in between applications), and goes on very smooth and silky, drying to a pretty stain that can be touched up throughout the day. The color selection is spot on.  Very natural and perfect for winter (more berry toned hues).  The color I purchased is Supermodel, and its a pretty wine colored shade that helps me not feel as pale this time of year (pinks and nudes do nothing but wash me out right now).

Here is a picture wearing it:

Any my friend Taylor is obviously gorgeous
One thing to note, as I find with most Revlon products, the lipstick can be drying (especially if your lips tend to be on the drier side).  I would layer a balm or gloss over the lipstick to avoid any drying proactively.  Otherwise, I am really loving it. Here is the link for more product knowledge on Target's website: Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede

Pantene Expert Collection AgeDefy Advanced Hair Thickening Treatment:

I have been using this product for 3 weeks now (I was lucky enough to snatch it early while still in Cincinnati).  This is a brand new product from P&G that is not available at all retailers yet (it is on, and I will include product information at the end of the post). AgeDefy promises to thicken your hair, and at a rapid rate, improving overall hair health and quality.  Now I know that I do not necessarily have "aging" hair, but I was curious to see how this product worked after hearing early rave reviews.  I have ALOT of thin hair (an oxymoron for sure), that is damaged from years of highlighting and straightening.

My results after using regularly? My hair does not seem overly thicker, but it does seem healthier.  This product can almost double as a style extender.  It keeps my hair looking better between washes, holds style better (ie. curling it), and makes it much smoother and more manageable on a daily basis. It has become a regular in the morning routine (you can use it on wet or dry hair), and I am eager to see if the results hold. Less frizzy hair is always okay with me. For more details, click here: AgeDefy Thickening Treatment

It has been a good month for Drugstore shopping and a busy month for me! As always, thank you for reading and for your feedback--I love hearing from you!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Naked Palette Giveaway

And the winner is...

Lauren Elder! 

Congrats Lauren and please send me which Naked Palette you would like as well as your address to my email,!

Thank you to all of you who participated in this giveaway, the winner is always selected randomly and I will continue to do giveaways frequently. I appreciate your love, support, and readership, and I hope you all had a nice and relaxing Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Jump On It

I have a deep love for jumpers, jumpsuits, rompers.  I don't know why.  Maybe because they are so easy to wear, you literally have to think about putting on one thing versus three or four. Or maybe it is because they can be so versatile, carry you through the seasons, and can go from casual to elegant in a flash. I just love them.

Now I know that not everyone feels this way about jumpsuits.  It could be a free of screaming "I LOVE THE 80's", or maybe you just don't know the best way to style one without being reminded of a 5 year old. I get it.  One piece outfits are not the easiest to put together until you are comfortable with the idea of wearing one. Hopefully this post helps ease the comfort level a bit.

The below jacket is, wait for it....

Labworks for Target (again because its amazing!).  It very much resembles last years Rag & Bone jacket that many a celeb was wearing:

Case in point- Emma Stone (major girl crush)

Anyways for a fraction of the cost, this versatile sweater/jacket is worth every penny.  It would look adorable with jeans and flats, or black skinny pants and heels for a night out. Style with a dress or tailored skirt for an office appropriate look.  The possibilities are endless.

I paired the jacket with a jumpsuit because I wanted the contrast of the flowy pants with the fitted, cropped top. I also struggle the most in my wardrobe with "going out looks".  Having been in Corporate America since graduation, I often tend to buy work appropriate clothes or more casual wear. For me, this looks is perfect for going out.  Easy, classic with the black and white, but still different and unique.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The 7's: In Decorating

I never really gave a Seven & Seven view of our old apartment in Cincinnati (which I really did love). The building was a National Historic Landmark, and while it needed an upgrade in some places, I always loved its charm. So now that we are in our first house (still renting, but it feels like an upgrade!), I wanted to take a post to talk about my love for decorating and show you some pictures of how things are coming.

For this move, I am very happy to say that the only money we spent on the house was new paint in a few rooms.  Other than that, we did not buy a single thing!  It is amazing to see what a little paint and rearranging of your furniture can do. My mom gave me advice a few apartments back when she said "Never buy for this apartment now, buy for the house you want one day".  And this is so true.  Instead of spending money on pieces or items that may only work for your current home, either save your money and wait, or buy items that can easily transfer from home to home, style to style.  I know that Justin and I have moved more than the average people our age, but its still a great moto to shop by when decorating at a young age.

Along with some pictures, I wanted to give you my 7 Rules of Decorating.  I know that not everyone has my style, but hopefully you can translate some of these tips into your own and recreate for your current living space.

  1. Your home should be a reflection of yourself.  If you look around, and you don't see YOU, change it. What is missing that is unique to you as an individual? Showcase it.
  2. Everything has its place.  If you can't find a "home" for something, it probably means you don't really use it that much. Cleaning out and donating old items to charity is a great way to start fresh.
  3. Decorate with staple items.  For me, this means books, picture frames, vases, and even coasters. Stack books together to give height to an arrangement, and use items that sit out every day (like coasters) to say something creative about your style. 
  4. Always have fresh flowers.  I have discovered that the cheaper the flowers at your grocery store (mums, daisies, etc.), the longer they last.  Cut the stems at an angle and fill the vase will luke warm water.  Add a little sugar or flower food to keep them alive days longer.
  5. Master the 10 minute clean.  Know what you can clean in 10 minutes and what you need to "pick up" to keep your space looking tidy and organized. 
  6. Do not be afraid to mix patterns and prints. If you can't take a risk in your own home, where can you take it? Everything doesn't have to match to look great together. 
  7. Highlight what you love.  A framed photo from your wedding, a hand me down piece from your grandmother, whatever it is that is special to you, keep it out and let it tell its story.
A huge thanks to my mom for all of her decorating help this past weekend! She can really work wonders on a room, thank you!! :)

Dining Room with Mix Matched Chairs & Benches

Guest Bedroom--Full of Stripes! 
Living Room

Old Window Frames Backed with Fabric & Wallpaper--easy DIY

Orange & Grey Mix with Fun Zebra pillows

Nautical Inspired Shower Curtain

Office Desk with New Grey Paint 

Monday, November 19, 2012

24 Shades of Anything But Grey

For the month of November, I am reviewing my go to palettes, Urban Decay's Naked 1 & Naked 2. I honestly do not use any other eye shadow products other than these palettes because they are that good. No matter your skin tone, eye color, etc, there are 12 shades per palette that give you plenty of room to mix and match, try and re-try. And, they last, forever.  You can see below that my palettes are looking a little worn because I have been using them every day.  With a little primer & mascara, these 2 palettes can create a wide range of looks to dress your makeup up or keep it simple & pretty.

And a reader treat.  To help you feel glam & gorgeous for the holiday season I am giving away 1 Naked palette to one of you. Or, this could be a great holiday gift for someone you think deserves a little pampering!

To enter the Urban Decay Naked Palette Giveaway:
1. Please send me an email to with your full name and which palette (either Naked 1 or Naked 2) you would like to win.
2. The giveaway will close at 5 pm EST on Thursday, 11/22 (Thanksgiving).  A winner will be selected at random and announced on Seven & Seven on Friday, 11/23.

Now for the difference in palettes:

Naked 1: 
The original Naked palette contains more earth tone based shades.  The colors blend well and work nicely together, and all shades are neutral enough to wear to during the day. This palette contains some of the staple Urban Decay colors, such as Half Baked (a pretty tan), Darkhorse (a darker copper), and Toasted (a burnt pink). My personal favorites are Vigin & Sin (the two lightest shades in the palette), as they are versatile enough to wear alone or to be layered over darker shadow for a more toned down appearance.

Naked 2: 
This palette has always felt a bit more fun to me.  The shades are built off more pinks and creams, and a few of the darker shades are more suitable for a night out than a day in a cubicle. Half Baked still makes an appearance in this palette, and some of the newer introductions, Verve (a shimmery silver), Foxy (the perfect beige/cream), and Blackout (also doubles as a fantastic liner), are beautiful additions that help add a dynamic edge to any look. Naked 2 is my personal favorite, but the choice is yours!

Both palettes retail at Ulta and Sephora.
Also, to avoid missing any future giveaways or updates from Seven & Seven, be sure to sign up for email alerts on the homepage of

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Back in Action

The title of this post means so many things.  Seven & Seven is back in action, the camo pants are back in action (I felt you all needed another shot at being convinced that camo is cool), and our lives are starting to feel back in action, too. Goodbye Off Week of Moving & Stressing, and hello Thanksgiving!

I, like most of us, love to re-wear and need to re-wear clothes.  So while you have already seen the camo pants paired with a bright color, I wanted to tone it down a bit with a more neutral look. I love a chunky knit for fall/winter paired with a fitted pant to contrast the bulky-ness. This sweater will become a staple in my wardrobe because I am obsessed with the fun turtle neck, the elbow patches, and the classic cut. You will see it again!

Also, since age of 3 when I first sprouted hair (yes, 3, I was a late bloomer ha), I have had a special place in my heart for headbands. Headbands are my personal cure for 2nd day hair. A little dry shampoo + a headband = things look much better. So welcome to the blog headbands, I know you, too, will be back soon.

New pictures shot in our MICHIGAN backyard!

Pants: GAP, Sweater: ASOS, Boots: Mango, Lipstick:  Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Matte in Wine Not (010)

Similar Sweaters found here:
Forever 21 (amazing price point)
Piperlime (short sleeve alternative)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Pretty Winner

For the October giveaway, I did a bracelet offer from the Etsy shop, Glamour Me Jewels.  One of the contest winners, Cathe, was lovely enough to send me some pictures of her wearing her new bracelet.

1. She is adorable! Loving how she styled the bracelet. 
2. This is my favorite part of the blog--if you ever use any ideas from here that inspire you, please send them to me.

Stay tuned for the November giveaway coming shortly, and as always, THANK YOU for reading!!

Slinky, Slouchy Sweater

So everyone has an off week, and this week is mine, 100%.  Between packing, moving, interviewing, and trying to help everyone adjust to our new lives in Michigan, I am pretty tired. I apologize for the lack of posts this week.  Seven and Seven will back to normal soon.

The best parts of the week: the puppies love their new yard, my new sweater from Target came, & I potentially have a new job!!

The worst parts of the week: I broke my glasses, I locked myself out of the house for 2 hours today in nothing but a t-shirt & yoga pants (I really am losing it), and I miss my Cincinnati friends.

Anyways, enough about me, more about Target & the Labworks collaboration.  If you haven't checked out this online exclusive yet, please do.  Its amazing.  The quality, the designs, the price point, all spot on.

Like I said upfront, its my off week, so don't judge a book by its cover on this one because I am not really doing the Labworks collection justice in these pictures. Check it out for yourself. I think you will be happy, Labworks for Target .

Much love from Michigan!

Sweater: Labworks for Target, Jeans: GAP, Plaid Scarf (old), Glasses (now broke)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cabin Style

I decided to take full advantage of our time in Tennessee to get some weekend outfit shots up.  I could not believe how beautiful the weather, mountains, and of course, my friends, were, and I think these are some of the best pictures to date on Seven and Seven. If only it could always be this gorgeous outside! But I guess it makes you appreciate this warm weather even more.

More on the actual weekend to come (and if you love ribs stayed tuned for a special Man Cave section). A huge thanks to Alaina, Christie, and Brooke for being fantastic models.  Really thankful that I had one last weekend with you guys before this move to Michigan. All the love in my heart :)

As this was a laid back weekend, the featured looks are casual, but still pulled together and fun.  Hope you all had great weekends as well!

Look 1: ASOS African Tunic, found here, ASOS Africa Print Tunic, Rag & Bone jeans, old Todd boots, old Marc Jacobs bag, and Glamour Me Jewels bracelets

Look 2: Anthropologie t-shirt, Current/Elliot boyfriend jeans, Lululemon scarf, J Crew vest, and DVF sunglasses

And I was loving on some of my friend's picks for the weekend, here are my favorites:

Alaina's adorable camo t-shirt (Gap)

Christie's fun Etsy rings--I adore these!

Brooke, Piper, Madewell & Frye

Other great moments that sum up the weekend: 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Direct Compare

Not the beauty post for the month of November, BUT an added bonus, kind of.

I have been searching for a drugstore foundation that could compare to my love of Urban Decay's Naked Skin because I wanted to be able to offer all of you a product that was just as great, without the cost. While I absolutely love UD's Naked Skin, it is hard to buy an expensive foundation for the changing seasons, when your skin may be drier, paler, or just overall, different than your summer skin. I really don't have the budget to buy Naked Skin multiple times a year, so here is my solution:

I have now fallen in love with L'Oreal's True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup. It, for me, does not replace Naked Skin, but offers a great alternative at a competitive price point.  Plus, the formulas are different, with different benefits. And for me, this means one might work better on a certain day vs. another.

Now the scary part. I felt that I couldn't review this product, and show you the differences without doing a direct comparison between no makeup face vs. UD Skin vs. L'Oreal Lumi.  Seven & Seven is a place of no judgement.  So while no makeup is not a look that I want to put out there for the world to see, I also don't want you to buy something based on my words alone, I wanted you to see the difference.

And I know I make a "makeup face", obviously, but this pictures aren't about that.

Nothing but clean
As bare as it gets.

So my bare skin is clear a little uneven with color/freckles/etc. But here you have it, a close up.

Now for the UD Naked Skin shots: 

With the UD Naked Skin, my skin is more matte, even, and smoothed out. My makeup holds all day, really 12+ hours.  My one negative is that its slightly dark for me for winter (I wear shade 5.0), but overall, this is a fantastic product. 

Now the L'Oreal Lumi shots: 

With the L'Oreal Lumi, my skin really is more dewy and luminous.  You can see this foundation reflects the light in a way that is very natural and pretty.  The finish, for me, is better for the winter months when my skin is too pale for heavy makeup and drier than the summery, more humid, time of year. The staying power is not as strong as the UD Naked Skin, but overall it gets the job done.

So maybe you like one set of photos more than the other, maybe you hate both, totally fine.  Like I will continue to say a million times over, I am not a model, not an expert, just a girl who is super passionate about sharing my loves and what works for me. Take it for what it is, but both of these products have my grade A recommendation.

All photos taken with my iPhone, no editing, no enhancing.  Also, if you click on any of the pictures they will be enlarged (in case you want a real good look haha).

L'Oreal Lumi Foundation in W4, Natural Beige Warm: $12.95
Urban Decay Naked Skin in 5.0: $38.00