To close out the year, I simply had to do a post on some of my favorite discoveries of 2017.
Usually, I would do a round-up of fabulous gifts and chic product recommendations, but this year, I’m reflecting on the things that opened my eyes and heart in a different way.
Today I’m talking about a mix of the tangible and intangible items that made an impact on me in 2017.
This is a bit biased, because, of course, I now work for DERMAFLASH, but it’s by far, been the most significant product discovery of the year because it has changed my life in every possible way. I had no idea that when I met Dara Levy, the founder of DERMAFLASH, on my birthday of this year, that one meeting would completely change the course of my life; but here I am! As an editor for over a decade, it was never part of the plan to go in-house and work exclusively for one brand, but I believed so much in this one, that I moved to Chicago to do just that.
This secret weapon does so much more than instantly remove peach fuzz and dead skin–it improves confidence, skin tone and overall radiance. I speak from the heart when I say that DERMAFLASH is life-changing, and I love sharing the magic of this brand with women everywhere.
Rag & Bone Jeans
Anyone who knows me well knows that I rarely wear denim. That has absolutely changed since moving to Chicago and discovering one particular pair of Rag & Bone high-waisted skinny jeans that fit me like a glove.
They are classic and flattering and can easily be dressed up or down and always make me feel like a million bucks. They’re perfect for travel because they are very lightweight and never lose their shape, and just so happen to also look good with flats, heels, boots and sneakers.
I think so.
Derek Lam 10 Crosby
Thanks to the genius that is Rent the Runway Unlimited Membership (see below), I’ve been able to step up my style game and try out new designers that I normally wouldn’t have.
The past few months, I’ve simply fallen in love with experimenting with different pant silhouettes, and Derek Lam 10 Crosby’s styles happen to fit my bod like a dream.
I’ve worn cropped flare trousers and slinky pajama pants by the designer, and I just can’t get enough.
Bright Endeavors Candles
Now that I live in Chicago, I’m all about adapting and supporting my new city.
I discovered an inspiring organization called Bright Endeavors, which gives job training to young women in Chicago. The company creates wonderful soy wax candles that are handcrafted and signed by participants on a path towards professional success.
I own the Bright Endeavors Chicago candle, which comes in two sizes: retreat tin ($12.99), and spa tin ($7.99). The Chicago candle warms my Glam Pad with clean bergamot, jasmine, and gardenia with a woody base note.
All Things French
It’s true. I’m an absolute Francophile now, and I’m not ashamed of it. I adore and obsess over everything I see referencing Paris of the French lifestyle, as it recalls my short time living alone in the city, embracing every second of freedom I earned to be there.
I have a gorgeous framed print in my Chicago apartment that says “I wish I were in Paris” and I look at it every day.
I wish I could reset time and do it all over again, and maybe one day, I will–but until then, I’ll always have Paris, and will continue to collect little trinkets that make me smile along the way.
New York City…all over again.
I have always had a love/hate relationship with NYC. To me, it’s like an abusive relationship that I can’t seem to get out of, and a part of me will always lust for it. That being said, I will always be an LA girl through and through, but I find the most of my drive and ambition is fully rooted in my NYC start.
To level set this– I have successfully moved in and moved out of the city twice in my life, and even lived there during 9/11 in all of its infamy when I was only 18 years old. I started my career there, met some incredible contacts that I’m still tight with today there, and always find myself back there for fashion, friends or both.
I took a hiatus from the city for a few years, and hadn’t visited in a while, and suddenly this year, I found myself there a handful of times for quick work trips…and fell in love with Manhattan all over again. I have a quote that I ripped out of a magazine probably 12 years ago that says “New York is where you go…to become the person that you’ll be.”
This is so very true for me, and I am constantly invigorated every time I’m walking the streets of the city. NYC has changed so much over the years; but in actuality, so have I.
The last two times I lived there, I was so fed up with the negatives of the city, and now I see everything with a fresh perspective. I also think living in Europe in my 30s has broadened my appreciation for a different kind of lifestyle and NYC serves up just that. I have to say, the best part of moving to Chicago is that I’m a just a short flight away from New York now.
Rent the Runway Unlimited Membership
One of the best things about living in Chicago is my close proximity to the Rent the Runway boutique, where I have since frequented countless times this past quarter. I joined their Unlimited membership and have been loving this awesome program for months now. I can rent and rotate items to my heart’s desire, which has been an incredible luxury given the amount of events and parties I attend.
I also rent casual items for everyday glam looks at the office, and have discovered some pretty fabulous items, like this cutout dress by Cushnie et Ochs (pictured below.)
All of the fashion fun without any of the financial commitment!
New Friends…and Old.
With all of the change I experienced in 2017, I also felt like I discovered who my real friends are while discovering some new ones along the way!
I was blessed beyond belief to meet incredible new pals in London, whom I’ve stayed close to ever since; and still can’t believe how fortunate I am that a few of my current co-workers have become more like family than colleagues. Moving to a new city where I didn’t know a soul was certainly not easy–but this trusted tribe of girlfriends (or sisters, more accurately) has been the sweetest silver lining.
And finally, I cherish my friendships from years and years ago. These bonds have only grown stronger as we’ve transitioned to new stages of life, lived in different cities and more; but despite it all, it’s like no time has passed at all.
Here’s to more blessings in 2018–I’m a lucky girl, indeed.