little red's well

distilled style. fill your well.

warby parker’s beacon collection

Raven needs new sunglasses badly (I think I’ve mentioned this before). He’s wearing $5 H&M frames from our trip to Puerto Rico almost 3 years ago. When we were talking about the kind of glasses that would work for him, he wanted to make sure that whatever the style, they didn’t come with a hefty price tag. Enter Warby Parker.

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The brand is committed to making affordable designer quality eyewear (glasses and sunglasses alike), and incredibly donates glasses to countries where access to eyewear is limited and sometimes nonexistent.

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Today marks the launch of their Beacon Collection, and I think we’ve found a winner for Raven (and perhaps myself?). The frames are deliciously stylish and easy to wear; they were created to inspire spontaneous late night adventures that last until dawn (an inherent and magical quality of New York).

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The collection’s colors are spot-on perfect for summer, I’m loving the Nancy frames in Lemon (pictured above).

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I think Raven could rock the Ingram frames (above) but in Tortoise.

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To view the full collection, click here for sunglasses and here for eyeglasses.  I would love to hear what you think – let me know :)

xo

 

images by Petra Collins, used with Warby Parker’s permission.

 

how to: identify classics you already own

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Almost daily on the internet, one could find any number of articles about classic pieces (or as my SIL calls them, HQB’s – high quality basics) that every woman should own.

These articles are important, don’t get me wrong! But, as with any exercise, you have to start by looking in before you can look outward (can I get an Amen??). So, before you start trolling the web for white button downs and blue blazers, let’s scope out what you’re already workin’ with.

1. Don’t judge your wardrobe. So many times with clients I hear “I know, I know, I don’t even know why I own that…” before I even say anything. Hold up a sec, friend! Quit doling out judgement and put on your thinking cap. The good stuff is in there, you just haven’t thought of it yet. Obvious: the  Polo button down from HS with pit stains. Yes, it’s RL, and yes, it gets donated. Not so obvious: that weird tunic that you love but have no idea how to wear. Put it on, and start imagining what it would look like if it were shorter, tighter, without that appliqué rose. Got it? Now put it in the save pile and take it to be altered stat.

2. Classics don’t have to be black and white (PUN). Though black and white do go with everything, don’t feel the need to rid your closet of every other color. Those silk jammie pants from a couple years ago work great with a chambray button down, at the beach, and with some heels for going out. They’re patterned and loud, and that’s a good thing.

3. Your jewelry is part of your closet, too. You don’t need 75 H&M statement necklaces. What do you wear out of those 75? What did you wear in the last month? Keep those, and then ask yourself if any of your friends would wear what you plan on selling / donating. Every time I clean out my closet, I invariably find stuff that my best friend Gill would love. I’ve been right every time (she has the most wonderfully imaginative sense of style ever).

4. No, you don’t need an LBD. If you’re an actress, you might not ever wear a blazer. A blazer is a classic piece of clothing, but don’t get one just because every article aimed at the corporate gal says you need it. If it makes more sense for you to invest in an amazing pair of heels that you can wear to auditions, then do that. Don’t let society pigeon hole you (steps off soap box).

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5. Less is more. Build your closet. As with anything, stay true to your style. If you’re a t-shirt and jeans kind of gal, get some amazing Rag & Bone denim. If you wear dresses every day, hit up a department store and treat yourself. The goal is to invest in pieces that you’ll still wear in 10 years, or will eventually be stolen out of your closet by a daughter, son, niece or nephew.

 

photos by Ashley Caroline Photography.

outfit: sky high solution

Does anyone else have a heel problem? I’ll be the first to admit, I rarely ever wear them. Whereas I used to wear stilettos every day in high school, now I wear 2 inch heels at most, anything higher and I throw some flats in my bag juuust in case.

My high school self swore I would’t end up this way, but what can I do? I feel more comfortable in flats. Today though, I’m wondering if the problem is not the shoes, but the entire outfit. So, what if we wore heels with a killer casual ensemble? Maybe we can psych ourselves out. Check it:

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I love this summer look of a loose fitting tee, some ripped up boyfriend jeans, and a knockout pair of pumps. And just in case you’re wondering how this get-up works for those of us who are flat-inclined? Gingham checkered D’Orsay flats are the answer (though Birks, grecian sandals, and Toms work, too). Throw on some flowered sunnies to shade your eyes from your own hotness.

Hmm, would you try this?

weekend recap

Whew! What a weekend! I just got back late last night and I am filled to the brim with lovin’.

Friday night Charlie and I packed up my car and headed to CT for the night.

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Isn’t my parents’ backyard dreamy? Charlie and I spent a couple hours outside on Friday afternoon; me doing a little work / a little nothing, him galavanting through the woods and chasing birds.

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After a relaxing afternoon, I headed to my sister and brother in law’s house to hang with my nephews and have pizza and beer. This is Alex, the most Irish baby on the planet. I got to put Alex’s older brother, Owen, to sleep that night, and as we sat in the rocker, I felt my heart almost bursting. I swear, being an Aunt is the best feeling in the world.

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Saturday morning started bright and early. I decided to take a selfie in this gas station bathroom in New York. Very typical behavior. My good friends and neighbors, Stephanie and Patrick, decided to have their wedding a Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz. The drive was spectacular, but the venue…

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The venue is so exceptional. Nestled in Mohonk Preserve, the house is really a resort – all meals are included as well as most activities; hiking, canoeing, yoga, horseback riding, the list goes on. It’s the perfect backdrop for a wedding, and I had a total blast assisting my friends in their special day. Their family and friends were the most fun loving group of people, it didn’t feel like work to me at all. More snaps of the day are on my Instagram account :).

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Yesterday, I headed home early (I stayed at the cutest hostel in New Paltz, I recommend it for an inexpensive, comfy stay!) to get back to Charlie and spend the day with my nephews. After dinner we rushed home to be with Raven, who we missed desperately. Needless to say, the weekend was a total success, as is evidenced by my enormous cup of coffee this morning. Bring on the week!

xo.

 

picture of the week [6]

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This guy has the right idea, no? Though I have a busy (exciting!) weekend ahead of me, I’m looking forward to spending some time lazing around at my parents’ house this afternoon, and then having a dinner date with my dad.

What are you guys up to this weekend? Follow along on with my Instagram, there will plenty of gorgeous wedding goodness to see! Here are some links from around the web:

Don’t forget about the SeaAndCake coupon code, good until July 31st!

Nordstrom is having an enormous sale. I got these.

Obsessed with this gorgeous blanket (would be great for the beach!) and its good cause.

Wash your hair with beer.

My pale legs are loving this sunless tanner.

This house is decorated so beautifully.

 

photo via.

suits me

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I’m going to a wedding this weekend, and though I’ll be working, when I came across this picture, I fell in love with the idea of a pant suit / set as an alternative outfit choice for a wedding guest. Think of how awesome it would feel to be completely comfortable all night, and still be able to pull off lookin’ fancy. I’m sure the above set costs more than the contents of my closet combined, so here’s my take on the look:

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top // pants // shoes // necklace // necklace

The key to making this work look is having the same color palette for both the top and bottom piece, so it looks more like a set. Patterns do not need to match, in fact, I’m kind of loving the clash here. Pants could be jacquard style, cropped trousers or skinny. Top should be boxy and silky. Fold in a pop of color on your feet or your lips, and accessorize to your liking – how perfect is that turquoise for summer??

Would you try this look?

 

top image via Pinterest.

on vegetarianism

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When I was 20, I spent my summer at the dog park in Union Square. I was interning for the summer at a theater, living in a windowless room in Astoria and sharing an apartment with a couple with whom I didn’t get along. It was a pretty lonely existence. On my walk to the train, I would stop by the dog park and watch the dogs romp around. Sometimes I would chat with the owners, sometimes I would play with the dogs, but most of the time I would silently observe.

Lonely though it was, that summer was a life-changing one for many reasons, least of all my decision to stop eating meat. When I returned to school that fall, I announced to my friends that I wanted to become a vegetarian. They all laughed in my face, no one believed I could do it (myself included). Truthfully, I had many slip ups. Drunken college evenings would end with a trip to the student union and next thing I knew I would find myself eating a bacon, egg and cheese bagel sandwich (bagel bombs from GQ, as we would call them). My 21st birthday culminated in myself and two friends hurtling down the street toward a McDonald’s, where I had my last cheeseburger ever.

I’m not a traditional vegetarian in any sense (but then again, I guess, who is). In fact, technically I’m a pescatarian, but I don’t use that word. People – and when I say people I’m completely generalizing – are uncomfortable and displeased at best when they find out someone doesn’t eat meat. It’s not, by definition, “normal.” The questions can’t come fast enough. Why? Health reasons? Ethical reasons? And my favorite, “Oh, you eat fish/eggs/milk/cheese? That doesn’t count.”

My response is always the same: I’m a vegetarian because I don’t believe in the way we do it here. “The way” being our inhumane manner of raising and slaughtering animals for consumption, “here” being the US. I like meat, I just don’t eat it. If I had the guts to kill it myself, I would. Do you see how this drives people up a wall? Even typing it out, I know how polarizing it is.

I’m not trying to change anyone but myself. I would love to see my friends and family swear off meat. Heck, I would love to see myself swear off leather goods and eggs, dairy, and fish. I’m not perfect, and this is what I believe. Whenever someone challenges me, I pose the question, “How are you demonstrating your beliefs each day? This is mine, and this is how I practice it.” It doesn’t make people feel any better, but it gives me a respite from the guilt I feel about not being able to fit exactly within the confines of the word vegetarian. And despite people’s opinions, I will keep on keepin’ on with my own definition of the word.

I grew up in a meat lovin’ family, where I would ask my mother nightly over dinner, “Mom? What animal is this?” I’ve always felt connected to animals (sometimes more than people), and all my trips to the dog park that summer shook something loose in me. I haven’t eaten meat in almost 9 years. This post isn’t meant to make you feel guilty, change your mind about your diet, or admonish you if you’ve ever asked the above questions of a vegetarian you know. It’s meant to inspire thought, and if nothing else, a trip to the dog park.

I would love to hear your thoughts – good, bad, or ugly. Feel free to comment or shoot me an email at littleredswell AT gmail DOT com!

 

products i love

Good morning, friends! If you follow me on Instagram (and if you don’t…why not?), you know I frequently do small posts about my favorite products. I love trying new products (I’m a huge Birchbox fan!) and I wanted to do an all encompassing post here. Behold, my beauty roundup!

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So, I like to think I’m a low maintenance gal, but looking at that spread…I know I’m not. However, I do like to keep it simple, and here’s what I do…

In the Shower:

I don’t wash my hair much, but Amika Color Pherfection Shampoo is my go to when I do. I’ve been using it since last fall, and I can’t get enough. Like I mentioned here, I think the key to making your color stick around is not washing your hair much, but I love the way this shampoo smells, and it’s made in the USA without any scary ingredients! I’m a recent convert of the Clarisonic, and I’m completely hooked. It gets every last speck of dirt, makeup, and oil out of your skin. I highly recommend it, you can usually find it for much cheaper on Gilt, Ruelala, or Hautelook. I’ve also started using Frank coffee scrub twice a week; it’s an all natural scrub that not only exfoliates, but reduces cellulite and clears away acne. I’ve used it three times and I can absolutely attest to its magical powers. My skin is definitely more smooth and the pesky/gross breakouts I get from working out are gone.

In front of the mirror:

I’ve been using S.W. Basics’ oil makeup remover for a while now; it doubles as a light moisturizer and the company is BK based! If you don’t like oil based products, this might not be for you; it’s definitely oily (but I love it!). Coola is the best all natural sunscreen; this product also acts as a tinted bb cream, meaning it reduces the appearance of pores. It would be especially great to use on vacation when you might not feel like wearing any makeup. Speaking of, my absolute favorite makeup companies are Josie Maran and tarte. Tarte has the best amazonian clay bronzer with no sheen to it, so you simply get a clean bronzed look. I put this on over foundation, though you don’t really need to. I use Josie Maran’s nude eye makeup palette for plenty of simple, neutral shimmer. And tarte’s lights, camera, flashes is the best mascara I’ve ever used, period. I’ve tried every mascara out there (from Maybelline to Benefit) and I can honestly say this product stands on its own. I use Chantecaille’s gel eye liner when I want dramatic eyes – I’ll be doing a fool proof cat eye tutorial soon!

Underarm:

It makes total sense that I would have a category just for my pits. My underarms sweat a lot, and I love DermaDoctor’s MEDeTATE wipes. If I have something serious coming up (an interview, an important night out), these are the best for making sure my sweat stays in control. I searched for a while for a deodorant that’s cruelty free and actually works, and LaVanilla is the best I have found thus far. It’s all natural, which usually means it does nothing, but this scent (I use lavender) smells great and it has only failed on me in the sweatiest of circumstances.

There you have it! I’d love to hear your thoughts – what are your favorite products?

 

image is my own. all products mentioned in this post are cruelty free with the exception of DermaDoctor MEDeTATE wipes.

monday wishlist

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Monday usually means I’m wishing I was back at Saturday morning, lazily eating a bagel and planning the weekend. Mondays for me usually involve a lot of wishing / dreaming. Here’s a list of what I’m dreaming about: A gauzy  white shirt  for colder nights at the beach house. Blinged out ear cuffs to take an outfit to the next level. A classic gold watch with chartreuse accents. A pretty striped top with a boxy fit (perfect to pair with short cut offs and grecian sandals). Jacquard pants for date night.  Double duty bright sneakers for working out and pairing with a summery dress.  Rouge colored sunglasses to go with that gauzy shirt. A green blouse to transition from summer to fall.  A cute water bottle to stay hydrated on the go. A pretty faux fur wallet.  This clear pouch to transfer essentials from one bag to another. Cozy jammies for warm nights.

Happy Monday, friends :)

the best gin & tonic you’ll ever have

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What better way to celebrate the weekend than with a delicious cocktail recipe?

If you’ve been reading LRW for a bit, you know how passionate I am about gin. Some people say it tastes like Christmas trees, but I love it so. Growing up, my mom and her best friend would always make g&t’s after a day at the beach. They would look at each other from their beach chairs and say: “The limes are calling!” That was their signal, and a good gin and tonic is pretty much the only cocktail my mom drinks. So, perhaps my love of gin is genetic.

It’s really not a hard drink to make, but I wanted to share my recipe just in case. First of all, Barr Hill gin is the most delicious gin I’ve ever tasted. A bartender down the road at The Sparrow made me a cocktail with it last summer and I’ve been obsessed ever since; I only recently found it at the liquor store (thank you, Astoria!). Barr Hill is made with raw honey in Vermont…need I say more?

I make my G&T’s with lemon, not lime. I don’t know how I got started on this, but it’s delicious. Won’t you give it a try?

Allie’s G&T

1-2oz Barr Hill Gin

4 oz Tonic

2 slices lemon

Chilled cup of ice

Fill a fancy glass 3/4 of the way with ice. Drop in 1 slice of lemon. Pour 2-3 fingers worth of Barr Hill Gin over lemon and ice (adjust amount of gin depending on how good/bad your day was). Fill the remainder of the glass with Tonic (any will do). Squeeze 2nd lemon over the drink, drop in, and enjoy on the couch / on the lawn / on the porch / at the beach / by the fire.

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Happy Friday!

 

all images are my own.

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