SXSW Style


Good food, great music, cheap beer, sunny weather…sigh…I am so wishing I was in Austin this week for South by Southwest.  The mere thought of it makes me giddy for springtime and outdoor concerts.  Just because I’m not in the great state of Texas this week doesn’t mean I’m not day dreaming of  wandering down 6th street and getting breakfast tacos at Kerbey Lane.  And I’ve got to have something to wear in my daydreams, right?!

Anyone lucky enough to be in Austin this week?

BB Dakota dress / OPI Do You Think I’m Tex-Y / NARS Mexican Rose / Free People Trust Bracelet Set / Frye Carson Button Booth / J Crew Straw Trilby Hat / Toms Sunglasses

Skincare System Review: Somme Institute Skin Care

A few weeks ago, Product Girl was approached by Somme Institute to give their 5-step skincare system a try.  I’m fairly simple (ok, boring) when it comes to washing my face and I thought this would be a great opportunity to introduce myself to a regular skincare regime a tad more sophisticated than “lather, rinse, repeat.”

Somme Institute was founded by a group of dermatologists back in the 90s and after years of testing and trials, they have developed what they call Molecular Dispersion Technology or MDT5 for short.  According to the company’s website, “Somme Institute was created with the intention of making perfect skin an attainable goal” and that “Skin care companies should deliver the claims they promise.” Amen! 

Somme Institute says that MDT5 “allows full vitamin absorption by the skin to:

  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Repair sun damage
  • Even out discoloration and brown spots
  • Treat moderate to severe acne as well as rosacea
  • Dramatically improve the skin’s tone, texture and clarity”

The system includes five different products and lots of literature detailing each product, ingredients, what it’s purpose is, etc. I’m going to admit – I didn’t read even half of it but the products also came with a simple card that has colored dots which correspond to each step.  I tucked the card in my bathroom mirror for easy reference so I know the order in which to use the products – now this is the kind of simplicity that is right up my alley!  The five steps include:

Step 1: Nourishing Cleanser (non-foaming/non-irritating) 

Step 2: Transport (gentle exfoliant)

Step 3: Serum (with Vitamin C)

Step 4: A-Bomb (moisturizer with Vitamins A and E)

Step 5: Double Defense (SPF 30+)

I’ve also tacked on a sixth step which Somme Institute simply calls, Eye, a delicate eye cream which claims to improve skin discoloration (something I struggle with), tone, texture and clarity.

After just my first use, my skin felt very supple and moisturized – a difficult feeling to achieve in this dry Chicago winter weather. I’ve haven’t noticed much of a difference yet in my rosacea, acne or skin tone yet but I am going to continue with this for a few more weeks….stay tuned for my final review!

Super Bowl Style

Wardrobe malfunctions, botched Black Eyed Peas songs, talking babies and men in tights – yep, Super Bowl Sunday is just a couple days away.  Can’t decide who to root for but still want to dress for the occasion? Lucky for you the New York Giants and New England Patriots have nearly identical team colors so you can still be in spirit without choosing sides.  Check out my style picks for the most watched TV event of the year and if in doubt, stick to reds and blues. I guarantee no one will know you’re only at their viewing party for the beer and halftime show.

I’m lucky enough to be heading to Indianapolis for the game this weekend and I don’t know which performance I’m most looking forward to – Tom Brady’s or Madonna’s. Either way, I can’t wait!  Will you be watching the game (or at the very least the commercials) this Sunday?

Clockwise from top left: Splendid sweater; Super Ciccio Eyeglasses; J Crew bracelet; J Brand Jeans; Rouge Dior Lipcolor; Butter London in Royal NavyBuxom Mascara in Blue Noir; Rebecca Minkoff MAC

Ski Weekend Packing List

I’m heading to Breckenridge this weekend and to be completely honest I think I’m more excited for the après-ski drinks than the actual skiing part. This is probably because I possess the skills for the former, not so much the latter. Even though I’m not much of a skier I’m going to take the “fake it ‘til you make it” approach and at the very least try and dress the part while in the Rockies!  I’ve packed cozy neutrals: slouchy sweaters, knit leggings, boots and basic accessories. When it comes to makeup, it’s all about moisture and SPF protection!

What are your must-haves when you hit the slopes, or if you’re like me, the ski chalet?

Clockwise from top left: Madewell Trapper Hat; A.L.C. Cropped Sweater; Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Tint; Sperry Trinity Boot; Gorjana Graham Leather Studded Wrap; Ray-Ban Sunglasses; Josie Maran Argan Oil

Emily's Picks for Golden Globes Best Dressed

The Golden Globes – it’s as classy an event as, say, the Oscars but less pressure and more alcohol served means my favorite red carpet of awards season! Anybody else surprised at the lack of fashion disasters last night? So many elegant looks it was difficult choosing my “best dressed” list but I think I’ve whittled it down to my top three looks of the night.

Claire Danes. Far and away my favorite look of the night.  Claire is sophisticated and polished from the front with the open back a sexy surprise.  I love that she kept her hair and makeup simple with an easy up-do and classic red lip. She is absolutely stunning.

Emma Stone. I am a big fan of Emma’s red carpet style so i could not wait to see what she would don for the Golden Globes.  She did not disappoint. Emma looks effortlessly chic and sexy in her eggplant Lanvin gown.  The shoulder detail and belt were refreshing youthful touches and love the  smoldering eye makeup that completed the look.

Adam Levine. Full disclosure – my affection for tattooed rockers may have something to do with my third pick.  There are two categories men fall into at awards shows: Boring or Whacky (ahem, Johnny Depp).  Adam Levine was anything but boring in his classic ensemble.  He wears a tux well. Very well.

For more Product Girl Golden Globe coverage, check out this post!

Brighten Up With Neon!


It’s that drab time of the year when the snow has lost its luster and the magic of the holidays is now a distant, faded memory. I don’t know about you, but I’m itching for spring to arrive – warmer weather, longer days and of course, Spring 2012 collections. Although spring is still a few months off I’m already ditching my winter greys and beiges and injecting some color back into my wardrobe and makeup routine. The spring trend I’m looking forward to most this year? Neon!

To avoid looking like an extra in Jessie Spano’s “Hot Sundae” music video, gradually introduce neon into your look with a bold accessory such as a belt or bag and work your way up to a bright blazer or blouse.  And when it comes to makeup it is possible to rock the neon trend without feeling like the little girl who got into mom’s 1989 makeup case. Nail polish is always a safe way to try a new trend without the commitment and I’m loving the colors from Bobbi Brown’s “Nudes and Neon” collection – they are fun without being too loud.

Check out the neons I’m loving right now and get ready to kick the winter blues to the curb!

Clockwise from top: Deborah Lipmann Nail Colors; Adia Kibur Chain Link Necklace; Lip gloss from Bobbi Brown’s Neons and Nudes collection; Madewell’s Serpentine Skinny Belt; The Fluoro from Cambridge Satchel Company; NARS Blush in Gaiety

What to Pack for a Warm Weather Getaway

As much as I love living in the Midwest, the winters are harsh and I always look forward to spending the holidays with my family in Florida.  I can’t wait to trade-in my winter coat (which some have mistaken for an extreme-weather sleeping bag) for some flip-flops.  Since Thanksgiving I have been setting aside what I’ll be packing in excited anticipation of my trip.  Below is a list of what will be in my travel bag (while leaving room for some vacation shopping!) Are you heading someplace warm for the holidays?

 1. I’ve been wearing Toms shoes for years because I love how comfortable they are and it’s easy to justify buying a pair of shoes when your purchase helps someone in need!  I love the colors of this striped pair, which will look great with jean shorts and a tank or short sundress.

 2. I love being tan just as much as the next sun-worshipping gal, but is important to protect skin from damaging rays.  Clinique has great sunscreens for face and body that won’t clog pores or leave you feeling greasy.

 3. I’m glad the chambray shirt is making a comeback – it travels well and can be paired with anything. I’ll use it as a beach cover-up or tie it up over a maxi dress and add some bangles.

 4. I don’t like to wear a lot of make up when I’m on a vacation…skin needs a break too!  Korres Lip Butter in Jasmine is ultra-moisturizing and gives lips a natural-looking tint.

 5. I hate spending time blow-drying my hair – especially in hot climates when it’s just going to frizz up.  Bumble and Bumble’s Curl Conscious Reactivating Mist is a must-have for my travel case.  This spray works with hair’s natural wave to give soft curls. I just spritz it on damp ends and go, no heat or styling required!

 6. J. Crew knows what it’s doing when it comes to bikinis. Their shapes are classic and colors can easily be mixed and matched for a new look.  I love pairing their basic blues with printed styles I already own.

Emily's Stocking Stuffers

Growing up, the one thing I looked forward to most on Christmas morning was opening my stocking. At the crack of dawn my sister and I would rush downstairs to the fireplace where our stockings hung to find out what treasures and trinkets awaited us.  Now that I’m all grown up (or so I like to say), I love shopping for creative stocking stuffers for my friends and family – pocket-sized goodies that are a bit quirky and unexpected, but still practical.  Below are some of the items on my list this year…what’s on your holiday shopping list?

 1. For my sister – L’Occitane Hand Indulgences Trio. This limited-edition set comes with three shea butter hand creams inspired by Africa; Desert Rose (Morocco), Hibiscus Flower (Egypt) and Cocoa Flower (Ivory Coast).

2. For mom – Kate Spade pouch.  A glitzy way to help mom dress up her cosmetics without being too over the top.

3. For my colleagues – Rad and Bad Sticky Flags. An edgy take on the boring office item, these sticky notes let you flag things ‘Hot or Not,’ ‘Dope or Nope,’ ‘Mack or Wack.’

4. For the jet-setter – Coach Travels Key Ring. Remind your on-the-go friend of places she’s been…or wants to go!

5. For the glamour girl – Essie Cocktail Bling. The name says it all – a cool and stylish color for the winter months.

6. For roommates – Marc by Marc Jacobs Heart Earbuds. A sneaky (and chic!) way for her to make the switch from those blaring iPod speakers to more apartment-friendly headphones.

7. For me! – honeydew intimates.  Sexy and comfy at the same time!

Holiday Party Pairing

It’s the holiday season! And with more parties to attend than a college freshman, I’ve found myself on a frantic hunt for the perfect outfit – one that puts me in the Christmas spirit but doesn’t make me look like Santa’s mistress (read: must avoid faux white fur trim and black patent leather belts). I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the predictable red and green ensembles that overpopulate holiday soirées.

This year I’ve decided to save some cash (and time) and recycle an LBD that’s already hanging in my closet. To switch up the look, I suggest pairing your LBD with a bold accessory such as patterned tights, a statement necklace or a sparkly clutch. To add a pop of color to my outfit, I’ll be wearing my LBD with Sam Edelman’s Portney Pump in Watermelon – a fresh take on the candy apple red that is so common this time of year.

And a must-have for any holiday clutch is the NARS Danmari All About Cheeks Palette. In my opinion, NARS can do no wrong when it comes to blush and bronzer.  This palette includes some of their best colors which flatter almost every skin tone and are sure to give your winter skin a much-needed color boost.  It comes with six lust-worthy shades: Hungry Heart, Super Orgasm, Desire, Casino, Orgasm and Sin.

So, what will you be wearing to your holiday parties?