9.30.2014

Lionesse Beauty Bar + Giveaway

When it comes to my everyday beauty routine, my time and focus is usually spent more on my hair than on what goes on my face. I thank the good Lord above for blessing me with the thickest, longest and most versatile hair possible. While it may look great most of the time, it doesn't come without a lot of upkeep and management. I mean my hair is literally as thick as a horse's mane... don't believe me, ask both of my hair stylists who get an arm workout every appointment. 

So when it comes to the types of tools and products I use, I always look for items that can tackle the thickness and length. I rarely straighten my hair, but when I do I look for a straightener that can get extremely hot and one that doesn't require my arm to fall off from having to go over the same strand of hair ten times. That is when I ditched the cheap straightener for a professional approved flat iron. 

Lionesse Beauty Bar has several ceramic irons to choose from, in a variety of colors. I received my new tool a few weeks ago and have been itching to try it out. Its been so long since I wore my hair straight, so I was even more eager to see how long my hair had gotten. I've used those cheap irons in the past, that leave plenty of creases and wrinkles in my hair. I hate having to go over a strand multiple times, as that weakens and drys out my hair. With my Lionesse iron, I cut the amount of time it took to straighten my entire head of hair... in half!



The inner LEO in me was ecstatic that the Lionesse iron saved me so much time. I even got a few extra minutes of Today Show watching in before work. The feel and look of my hair was even better... I literally couldn't stop running my hands through my hair. Probs not the best thing to do, but it was so smooth!


The Lionesse hair iron made such a wonderful impression on me, that I'm giving away ONE CERAMIC IRON (as pictured) to a lucky First Impressions reader!! Want your hair to be silky smooth and cut down on your primping time? Then enter the giveaway below!! Also be sure to checkout the whole slew of other Lionesse Beauty Bar products. Everything from hair products, makeup, skincare products and more!

Lionesse Beauty Bar is a luxury boutique offering high-end beauty products and professional makeovers. Their stores are located in California, Las Vegas, Canada and Singapore. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* This post is sponsored by Lionesse Beauty Bar. Product compensation was given for this post. Opinions, content and photos are that of the writer and are not associated with Lionesse Beauty Bar. Kristyn appreciates you supporting the brands that keep First Impressions going.

** Giveaway is only open to continental United States. So sorry loves, international shipping ain't cheap.



kristyn
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9.29.2014

Over the Weekend, Warming Up the House


If you followed along on Instagram last week, I shared some sneak peeks into my newly decorated (and new) apartment. All of this was leading up to the big house warming my roommate and I hosted Over the Weekend. About twenty of our closest friends came over for a fun night of hanging out and warming up the new apartment (not sure what that saying means anyways). We definitely broke in the new apartment with plenty of fall flavored foods and drinks, stocking the bar cart (thanks y'all), watching football and having everyone reassure our decorating decisions (double thanks).

In case you missed the sneak peeks via Insta this past week, here they are in all their glory (and much larger versions). 

Is there anything I missed last week? Let me know if there's a room or space you'd love to see!
It might just be featured next on Instagram! Happy Monday Y'all!





kristyn
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National Coffee Day, Favorite Mugs

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Happy National Coffee Day my caffeine lovers! I for one don't know where I'd be without my morning  cup of Joe. It's crazy to think I went 23 years without a single cup of coffee. Yep, I made it through two-a-day swim practices and four years of college without it. Now my mornings consist of a Starbucks run for my PSL or dirty chai, or making a fresh cup from my Keurig. No matter how I get my caffeine fix, I use one of my favorite mugs to drink from. Above are just a few I love!

Happy Monday friends!

kristyn
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9.26.2014

SoulCycle Launches Breast Cancer Initiative


It's no secret that my favorite month of the entire year is almost here. To me, October is the month that finally makes it feel like fall. However, the tenth month of the year isn't just about the cool weather, pumpkin spice recipes or the fall fashion. The most important aspect of October is that it is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Over the next month, you'll see hints of pink worked into just about everything. Whether that's pink ribbons worn by football players on the field, pink jerseys for sporting events, pink Starbucks cups or even pink balloons filling the ceilings of stores across the country. One such business is taking the awareness a step further, by sharing a guide they developed to educate women on the recommended steps for a self exam. 

SoulCycle, the leading indoor cycling brand, has developed a "Save Your Soul Facts" graphic, that teaches women how to self exam themselves in the shower, in the mirror or lying down at home. SoulCycle founders Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler felt the urge to reach out and educate their more than 10,000 riders who visit SoulCycle studios all across the country each day.

Between October 1st and 7th, SoulCycle will provide complimentary "How to Guides" at studios nationwide. You can visit your local studio to pick-up a guide, or find the graphics permanently displayed in all studios' showers.

For some, the topic of breast cancer may be hard to talk about. While I personally have never been affected by this horrible disease, there are millions who have or will in the future. It's a topic that needs to be discussed, and women all across the world need to be educated on how to detect signs early. I love when a business goes above and beyond their daily routine, to educate their customers on ways to stay healthy and safe. SoulCycle is just one of these companies.

Visit SoulCycle's website for more info and to sign up for your next class. You can also find the studio closest to you to pick-up your complimentary guide next week!

kristyn
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9.25.2014

Gladiators... Olivia Pope is back!

**Image Via

Okay so it's probably very cliche that my favorite TV shows are Homeland, House of Cards and Scandal. Yes, I do live and work in Washington, D.C. No, I am not a fixer, nor do I work for the president. It's just something about being able to relate to these show's plots in some way, that makes them so exciting and enticing to watch. Of these three, my favorite is probably Scandal.

What do I love more than the edge of your seat drama these shows offer? The fashion. Olivia Pope has become a true fashion icon; donning some of the most drool worthy articles of clothing I've ever seen. While I just die over her white Burberry coat, my young professional salary unfortunately does not allow for it in the budget. Since becoming a Gladiator (fan of the show) myself, I have longed for affordable clothing options that mirror the stylish wardrobe of Olivia Popes'. Well my friends, dreams do come true. Kerry Washington (aka... The Olivia Pope), Scandal's wardrobe designer and The Limited, all came together to design an OP&A (Olivia Pope & Associates) worthy collection. You too can walk the streets of Washington, D.C., or wherever you're from, looking as stylish as the elite fixer herself. Below are some of my favorite pieces from the 40+ collection.

P.S. If the fall collection isn't enough, an entirely separate 40+ collection for winter will soon be released.

P.P.S. Scandal premiers tonight on ABC. Get your long steemed wine glasses and cream pj's ready Gladiators!!

Jackets


Extra


kristyn
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9.23.2014

Happy Fall Y'all!


For WEEKS I have been talking about my love for fall and how I couldn't standddd to wait any longer for the BEST season of the year. Well my friends, it's finnallly here! While some may argue the official arrival of Autumn was yesterday, my Kate Spade planner told me otherwise. So, according to the written word (cause we must abide by whatever Kate Spade says right?), today is the FIRST official day of Fall!! 

The next two and a half months will be full of fall Pinterest DIYs, trying to find any way possible to add pumpkin to every recipe possible, burning through numerous pumpkin scented candles, maxing out your credit card on PSLs from Starbucks, and taking as many trips as you can to the local Pumpkin Patch. Maximizing every minute of fall will be my motto, so I put together a list of things I hope to do before snow hits the ground (and I start whipping out the Christmas decorations... sorry Thanksgiving!).

Apple Picking at Butler's Orchard // Ever since I moved to D.C., it has been a fall tradition of mine to head 45 minutes outside the city to this hidden-in-the-woods farm. You can pickup all the fall essentials... everything from home grown produce, colorful mums, fall decorations, homemade apple pies, and you can even pick your own apples or pumpkins.


Roast Homemade Pumpkin Seeds // One day I will get these darn things right. I attempt every year to roast my own pumpkin seeds, but to no avail they're always burnt, dry or taste terrible. After scouring Pinterest, I hope to finally make an edible batch this year.

Burn as many Yankee candles as possible // My favorite scent for fall? Spiced Pumpkin

Pumpkin Everything // I will swear by this pumpkin bread recipe, which was first introduced to me by my dear friend Ashton. First and foremost, the recipe belongs to the queen of the kitchen herself, Ms. Paula Deen. It has all the right flavors, mixed with plenty of that good ole butter. The great thing about this recipe is that you can make it into a pumpkin loaf, cupcakes, pumpkin bars or mini bread loafs. I've made each one using this recipe, all you have to do is adjust the cooking time.

Carve pumpkins with friends


Find a creative costume for DC's Nightmare on M Street and Halloween // If you live in the area or will be in D.C. on Saturday, October 25th, you most definitely cannot miss this bar crawl through DuPont. The LARGEST East Coast bar crawl, Nightmare on M shuts down half the city. More than 30 bars in the area deck out to the nine's in halloween decor, going all out for one of the largest Halloween parties in the country. Purchase your tickets here.

Watch Hocus Pocus // Most of all, I look forward to those cool fall nights in, sipping on some spiced apple cider and watching my favorite Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus. It's only the best Halloween movie ever made... uuuhh duhhh (well besides Halloweentown). #DisneyWeLoveYou Sorry to tip over your cauldron, but the rumors of a sequel are unfortunately not true.

Host a Friendsgiving // This little event keeps getting more popular each and every year. Last year, about thirty of us packed into a friend's house, potluck style, to celebrate Thanksgiving a few weeks early before heading home or out of town. It's a fun way to get all of your close friends together, enjoy a smorgeous board of food, and truly be thankful for the good friends you've made. 

What are some of your favorite fall activities?

kristyn
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9.22.2014

Over the Weekend, DC's Wine Country

Over the Weekend the new apartment finally started to look like a home. My roommate Liz and I spent most of our Saturday afternoon shopping at some of our favorite stores, stocking up on all the home essentials. We are gearing up for a fun house(apartment)warming party next weekend, so we had to pickup the finishing touches. Now that things are finally starting to come together, I plan to share some peeks into our new place via my Instagram this week. So make sure you follow along for some home decor inspo and to see what made us #homegoodshappy! 

Now on to the regularly scheduled programming... an all new Over the Weekend.
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One thing I love about living in Washington, D.C. is how centrally located I am to so many places. Whether you head north to Philly or South to Richmond, there are plenty of cities that are within a few hours drive. Once such city is Leesburg, Virginia. Over the Weekend, my roommate and I decided to take an impromptu day trip to " DC's wine country." I mean Liz and I do love a good glass of wine, so why not sample some of what the local wineries have to offer.

We first made a stop in historic downtown Leesburg. This quaint little town reminded me of Tennessee; with the white picket fences, town square and colorful homes. The entire downtown area, about three or four blocks, was shut down Sunday for an afternoon art fair. There were lots of mom-and-pop shops and cute little cafes to eat lunch in. After a necessary food break, Liz and I headed off to our first winery.


Breaux Vineyards is about 20 minutes from downtown Leesburg and one of the largest vineyards in Virginia. The 404 acre estate is nestled between the hills overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. The  main house, where the tasting room is located, has an Spanish feel to it and the landscape makes you feel like you're hundreds of miles away from D.C. We sampled eight different wines made right there at Breaux Vineyards. My favorite was their Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.



The next vineyard we went to was Hillsborough, which is only about a five minute drive from Breaux. I thought it was nice that they were so close together, which made it super easy to visit more than one. Hillsborough was the smaller of the two, but was situated a little higher up on the hill. The views were a little more impressive at Hillsborough and I thought the decor resembled that of Napa Valley or a vineyard you'd see out in California. I loved the draping vines that covered the sitting areas and porches. We did a wine tasting at Hillsborough as well, and my favorites were the Rose and their dessert wine.



Both wineries made a wonderful impression on me and I already cannot wait to go back. If you're looking to take a day trip of your own, make sure you checkout the Visit Loudoun guide for everything you need to know on DC's wine country.

Disclaimer: I HIGHLY recommend you charter a bus, take an Uber or find a designated driver for this day trip. You may plan to only "taste the wine," but sometimes it's more fun and safer to let someone else do the driving for you!

kristyn
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9.19.2014

Big Orange #OOTD Friday





Button Down / Jeans / Necklace (old, Eastern Market) / Mocs / Bag
Photography by Meaghan / Makeup by Angela from Bluemercury

#TGIF friends!! Even though my Volunteers are experiencing a bye week with no game tomorrow, I decided that I could still celebrate Big Orange Friday today. Every Friday of football season, VOLS fans across the country don their orange and white in celebration of that weekend's game. It's a tradition that has grown over the years, and one that I carried with me all the way to Washington, D.C.

I found this perfect checker print button down from Nordstrom (secret: it's actually a boys shirt in the largest size available) and paired it with my favorite Levi skinnys. We're still experiencing some summer like temps, so it's still a tad early for the faux fur vest or boots. For a warmer weather approach, I threw on a fun pair of flats and a bold necklace. I am obsessed with these cheetah print mocs and have already worn them to death. Maybe I should have bought two pairs for when these are worn out? I digress. I just love this outfit combo, which is perfect for early fall - all the way to end of season games. Throw on a white sweater or fur vest for cooler weather and slip on your fav pair of boots! When it comes to game day attire, or Big Orange Friday in this case, I like to go for something versatile and choose pieces that can be mixed and matched throughout the season.

Do you show your school pride the Friday before the big game? Comment below... would love to hear how you tie in your school colors on this casual Friday!


kristyn
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9.18.2014

A New Found Love, Leather Everything

Leather

A year ago you probably couldn't pay me to wear all leather leggings or ever find me in a faux leather midi skirt. It just wouldn't have been an article of clothing found in my closet. However, the more I get into the DC fashion scene and the more I listen to my dear friend Meaghan, I have quickly hopped on the leather bandwagon train. I recently filled my Ann Taylor cart with this beauty, these gorgeous pumps and the ultimate leather jacket, growing my leather collection by three. Okay, so I didn't own any before this, but I now have a new found love!! This Southern girl is widening her fashion spectrum and adapting a little more of an edgier side. Don't worry, you won't be seeing any of those darn ear cuffs or dark lipstick on me... like ever. So maybe when I say widen, it's more like an inch than a mile. Any who, as the leaves begin to fall and the temps get cooler, I look forward to implementing as many leather pieces into my wardrobe as possible. 

kristyn
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9.16.2014

Bluemercury turns 15!


When it comes to beauty products, I honestly do not have an extremely lengthy routine. I use very few products and tend to have the "what ain't broke, don't fix" approach to adding new items into my beauty regimen. A few weeks ago I received a few skin care samples (thanks Brooke!) to try from a local beauty store, Bluemercury. I decided to try out the items she sent and fell in love with Bluemercury's own skin care line, m-61. Since I just loved the new products, I couldn't wait to get over to their flagship store right here in Washington, D.C. to help celebrate Bluemercury's 15th Anniversary this past Saturday.


I spent the morning trying new products, getting a mini-makeover, meeting the Bluemercury team and developing a new love for a lighter blush and brighter lipgloss. My stylist Angela showed me some makeup samples that worked better for my skin tone and made my eyes pop. I couldn't believe the difference a softer blush and brighter lip made in my facial appearance.




After my fun and pretty much life altering makeover, I headed outside with my friend Meaghan for the dedication ceremony for Bluemercury. Marla Malcolm Beck and her husband Barry Beck started Bluemercury 15 years ago right here in Georgetown. Fifteen years later, Bluemercury has grown to more than 55 stores across the country and 600+ employees. I just love a good family grown business story, and even more that the nation's largest and fastest growing luxury beauty retailer and spa started right here in Washington, D.C. 

Bluemercury sells everything from their own skin care line, to the well-known NARS brand. They also have a pretty large selection of candles and incense to choose from as well.

I just had a fab time Saturday morning, and loved the goodie bag, Georgetown cupcakes and mimosa bar! I'm so glad I opened the door to trying new products and learning better steps for my beauty routine. Sometimes the "what ain't broke, don't fix" approach isn't the best way to go about taking care of yourself. There's always new brands to try, that can be even better for you and your skin. So be sure to checkout your local Bluemercury store for all your skin care needs!

kristyn
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9.15.2014

Over the Weekend, She's Adding the E!


Over the Weekend I helped host an engagement party for two of my dear friends, Ashton and Ryan. I've known Ashton since birth, and Ryan was one of the first people I met when I moved here to DC. So I couldn't be happier that two of my best friends will be tying the knot!


To help celebrate their engagement, several of us got together to organize a night to remember at one of our favorite places in the city, Mission DuPont. They had the whole top floor reserved for us, tables setup for food and cookies, and plenty of space for the 70+ guests. Almost everyone that Ashton and Ryan knows in this city attended the party. We all enjoyed some great chips and salsa, delicious margaritas and melt in your mouth cookies. Guests signed their well wishes for the couple on photo mats, that my friend Alex then framed with photos from their engagement.

One of my favorite aspects of the event were the cookies that we had made from Monumental Sweets. Brie, the creator and baker behind these amazingly delicious creations, owns her own cookie business right here in Washington, D.C. Brie pretty much had free reign on the design of the cookies, but I gave her a few details about the couple. I mean the end result was just wonderful. Everyone at the party raved about the cookies, so much so that no one wanted to eat them, ha! Brie hand does every single cookie, and has an entire arsenal of designs she can create. Please checkout her Facebook page and reach out to her for your next event if you're in the area! Trust me, these Monumental Sweets will definitely make a great impression with everyone at your gathering!




The evening's hosts with the Future Mr. and Mrs. Davies!!


kristyn
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