Here’s the Brightside

Brightside Boutique, Jac Vanek image via shopbrightside.com
 Brightside Boutique, Jac Vanek image via shopbrightside.com
Brightside Boutique, Jac Vanek image via shopbrightside.com

Brightside Boutique is a shop based in Federal Hill, Maryland with another location right across the harbor in Fells Point. (Don’t worry you don’t need to be in the DMV to snag goodies like those pictured here.) The hard working and fashion forward chicas at Brightside do the hard work for you and sniff out the best brands like Free People, Voluspa, Jac Vanek and QUAY Australia have to offer and put it all together in super chic shop that you’ll never want to walk out of. If you aren’t located in Maryland, you can always check out their website here, with a super clean and modern layout, it’s easy to want absolutely everything. You know how there are those websites that you totally want somebody to see you on over your shoulder because it would make you look cool? This is one of those websites. You can feel comfortable knowing that by shopping their collections you will end up with high quality hard to find items, that are sure to be the envy of

Support Your Local Girl Gang, Social Decay for Brightside Boutique image via shopbrightside.com

all your friends. The shop is constantly getting new goodies so be sure to check in with them on the regular to keep up and to get all your favorites before they sell out. Since there are always new items coming in you can trust that Brightside will always have what you’re looking for to put your own personal twist on the most current fashion trends. They maintain a unique balance between bigger brands like Free People and smaller brands like Social Decay to give the well informed shopper the best of both worlds. Brightside Boutique caters to the modernists, the visionaries, the ones with something to say, and the ones like me who just like cool shit.

Check them out online here, Shopping, Brightside Boutique , Boutique, Social Decay, Jac Vanek, QUAY Australia, Free People, Voluspa, Maryland, MD, Baltimore, Federal Hill, Clothing, Clothes, Cool, Online, E-Store

Shine Bright Like A Socially Responsible Diamond

Follow your Love Diamond Ring, credit: followyourlove.com

Fun fact dudes: diamonds aren’t actually that rare. De Beers has carefully restricted the supply of diamonds since 1888 to sit just under the rate of demand. When diamond engagement rings gained widespread popularity in the 1920s their plan paid off and the price of a diamond shot up faster than a junkie in a safe house. Now it’s a well-known fact that a large portion of the

Follow your Love Diamond Ring via followyourlove.com

worlds diamond supply comes from South Africa, but what a lot of brides to be magically forget is how many people shed blood, sweat, and tears to put that rock on her finger. While the term “Blood Diamond” may sound sexy and edgy, it is anything but. South African war lords use 21st century slave labor to mine diamonds which end up in the hands of jewelers who then turn a blind eye to the diamonds checkered history. Luckily the world was graced with Murad and Nataly Osmann, the couple that brought us the #followmeto phenom on Instagram. They’ve decided to take a dive into jewelry making in addition to their sensational photography. The Follow Your Love jewelry company specializes in cruelty free, lab grown diamonds. Rest assured, a lab grown diamond is still structurally, chemically, and visually identical to a “normal” diamond but does not come with the social and environmental pitfalls. A lab grown diamond is actually more flawless that a “normal” diamond because no conditions exist to create flaws, for example, unpredictable temperature changes, introduction of unfavorable elemental exposure, or the enslavement of a state’s indigenous peoples for monetary gain. Y’know, science-y stuff. On top of the promise of

Lotus Pavé Ring via followyourlove.com
Lotus Pavé Ring via followyourlove.com

a clean conscience, Follow Your Love has a stunning portfolio of designs, and a ring for every style. Perhaps the most beautiful of the options is the brand’s line of exclusive, one of a kind, lotus flower inspired engagement rings. (If you’re not ready for that kind of commitment you can get the design as a pair of earrings.) To top it all off a Follow Your Love ring will set you back by about 20-30 percent less than a ring of comparable quality and size from other jewelers. The stigma that follows around lab grown diamonds is that it is unromantic that the stone was formed in a couple of days vs millions of years. I, however would rather be able to sleep soundly knowing that no one whipped an 11 year-old to death for someone else’s idea of romance.

Check them out online here, Follow Your Love, Jewelry, Engagement, Love, Ring, Diamond, Follow me to, Murad Osmann, Nataly Osmann, Photography, Instagram, Wedding, Earrings, Lotus

Shopping for a Cause

Causegear wristbands promoting 5x jobs image via causegear.com

Everyday another company pops up with the goal of giving something back to the society from which it was formed. But only on rare occasions does something truly and uniquely good come from the minds of one of the 7 billion of us. One such gem is a company that goes by the moniker Causegear. With a wide variety of items from bracelets to laptop cases, Causegear designs all of their goods in Chicago and then handcrafts them in India using the 5x

Causegear wristbands promoting 5x jobs image via causegear.com
Causegear wristbands promoting 5x jobs image via causegear.com

employment model to help lift up as many of the world’s 2.8 billion impoverished people as they can. In doing so, Causegear is rescuing many from a life of modern slavery, prostitution, and pan handling.  5x jobs entail paying an employee 5 times the average wage so that a crafter can realistically support themselves and 3 others with the food, water, clothing, housing, medical and educational supplies they need to not only survive, but prosper. These jobs serve as an efficient alternative to handouts and provide a dignified way for impoverished people and their families to thrive and handle the ever rising cost of living. To give you some perspective on how you can have a direct impact, 1 Causegear purchase, on average, provides a day’s worth of life’s essentials for 4 people. You read it right, 4 people. Causegear gives an ASTONISHING 90% of its profits directly to the crafters. So you take home an awesome handcrafted new book bag or laptop case and support a family at the same time. When 25% of the country shifts as little as $65 in fashion and accessory purchases to 5x companies like Causegear, 1 million lives will be transformed for the better. And unlike other charitable organizations that claim your money is going, “where it’s needed most” *cough cough* CEO’s pockets *cough* Causegear shows you exactly where it went. Each and every Causegear product has a tag affixed to the inside with the face of the person it was handcrafted by. In addition to the cool block print style portrait, you get to learn the name the name of the person who made your item and find out

Just some of the Crafter Profiles you can check out online at causegear.com image via causegear.com
Just some of the Crafter Profiles you can check out online at causegear.com image via causegear.com

where you can read their story. It’s so refreshing that a company has finally added a human touch to the items we use every day without a single thought as where they came from. The ever expanding inventory includes a different shoulder bag for every day of the week and any activity you could need it for. In addition, they carry some other smaller accessories like laptop cases and bracelets. Every piece is made by hand ensuring the highest quality in addition to being well designed, timeless, and available in a bunch of colors. You can be sure when you order anything from Causegear it will be well worth the money, you’ll get an awesome bag and feed a family and in 2016 that’s pretty much the ultimate multitask.

Check out Causegear online here, Causegear, 5x, charitable, book bag, backpack, purse, shopping, human justice, accessories, totes, tees, change, rescue, 

Beauty Status

Does somebody near and dear to your heart play hockey? Is he actively trying to break his twig just so he has an excuse to try out one of the new

Limited Edition Beauty Status Hockey Sweaters
Limited Edition Beauty Status Hockey Sweaters via https://www.instagram.com/beautystatushky/

Bauer Supremes? Never once called hair anything other than lettuce? Are you an awesome gift giver, constantly in search of good hockey themed gifts that aren’t cheesy, crazy expensive, or too on the nose? Yeah me too. I’ve found the perfect balance in an online store called Beauty Status Hockey Co. Bear with me I promise they don’t sell makeup, although would it really be so terrible if they did? I don’t think so. One of the reasons the e-store so wonderfully refreshing is that every item in it is puck-bunny approved. I’ve been through the whole site, over the course of a few years and there’s never anything questionable (read: nothing you wouldn’t want to be seen walking next to in public.) Each item is ready to wear featuring a creative and artistic design in colors that are universally flattering, all at reasonable prices.  A quick glance at the wares up for grabs will clue you in that the company was founded in Minnesota, the land of 10,000 rinks. Founded in early 2009, the owners decided it was time to turn their love of the game and the lifestyle that accompanies into a brand that can be worn proudly by beauties everywhere. They offer a full line of clothing and accessories including, tee’s, hoodies, sunglasses, wristies, watches, and assorted items like a

Top Cheddar, Beauty Status Hockey
“Cheddar” by Beauty Status Hockey via http://beautystatushky.com

really cool hockey puck that’s been creatively converted into a bottle opener and flags for zhuzzing up the basement. Perhaps my favorite items up for grabs are the buckets. (read: hats. There are hockey lingo cheat sheets all over the internet sister you’ll get it) The company offers hats in snap back, trucker, and baseball style so there’s something for everyone. But more importantly, the designs and construction are great. Each one features a subtly awesome logo in a rich color to class up even his oldest lucky game day t-shirt. The hats read fashion, not “I’m a walking advertisement” as hats so easily do. If you’re still new to hockey shopping fear not, Beauty Status will keep it easy for you, and in the likely event that you find everything absolutely amazing and can’t decide what to purchase there’s always the option of giving an online giftcard so he can decide himself. He’ll blow through it faster than you can go through an Ulta gift card. Check them out online here!

Beauty Status, Hockey, Hockey Lifestyle, Off-ice gear, FTB, For the Boys, Lids, Hats, Hoodies, Tops, Shirts, Clothing, Wristies, Wrist bands, Clothes, Beer League

Derek Lam’s New Perfume

Drunk on Youth 10 Crosby Derek Lam
10 Crosby Derek Lam
10 Crosby, Derek Lam

Every now and then the world is graced with a truly exceptional fragrance. On the fifth day of the fifth month in 1921 Chanel released the perfume that would change the face of the industry. Chanel no. 5, heavy in aldehydes signified a modern, confident woman in its day, and is still regarded as the world’s first iconic fragrance. 1994 we were taken aback by the salty masculine tone of Calvin Klein’s CK One, reminiscent of the vibes put forth by Chanel no. 5 so long ago. Today, our little blue planet is on the cusp of the next game changing olfactory treat. Derek Lam, an American fashion designer, is releasing a line of exceptional perfumes. The Derek Lam 10 Crosby series contains 10 scents ranging from florals to musks to fruity freshness. With ten choices, there’s a selection for everyone. My personal favorite is called Drunk On Youth. It’s got a light, romantic style with honeysuckle and crisp apple notes. It smells like a better, fresher version of clean. But what’s really new wave about the whole project are the product specs. I’ve bought more than one bottle of perfume that’s only applicable to one situation on a particular evening, or vice versa, bought a whole bottle of something that smelled way better in the store. The other end of the spectrum is when you’ve got a bottle of something you really love and you can’t stop blowing through it. 10 Crosby has eliminated all of those problems.

 

 

Drunk on Youth 10 Crosby, Derek Lam
Drunk on Youth, 10 Crosby, Derek Lam

You can purchase a sampler style set with vials in either .07oz or .25oz sizes. And when you inevitably fall in love with any or all of the scents, you can purchase larger bottles in either 1.7oz or 5.9 oz sizes. Way larger than any other designer perfumes. Now you can wear your favorite scent everyday instead of saving it for special occasions. On top of it all the package design is super modern and will look amazing on any counter, vanity or dresser. Perhaps the best indicator of how luxe a product is, aside from the materials it’s made out of, (which are top of line line by the way) is the weight of the product. How it feels in your hand, and here, Mr. Lam excels. 10 Crosby is nothing short of just that, a perfect 10.

 

Get yours online here, Derek Lam, Perfume, Luxurious

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Totes Wonderful

Tim Eads Weekender Bag
Tim Eads Weekender Bag

I’ve always held a soft spot for small business. Nothing is more inspiring to me than a person with a dream and the courage to pursue it. If only we could all be so brave. Enter Tim Eads, an artist and fashion designer from Denver City, Texas who now lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eads finds motivation in his desire to help people reconnect with our natural sense of wonder. Something I would say he’s accomplished quite masterfully. His work includes a line of tote bags that can be described as nothing short of a treat for the eye. Every bag boasts a high contrast color scheme and thrilling pattern that encourages fashion experimentation. They are big, they are tough, and they are beautiful. Great to take with you on a day or weekend trip or just to drag your laptop to and from

Tim Eads Tote Bags
Tim Eads Tote Bags

work. Bottom line, Tim Eads does not make bags for boring girls. In addition to his totes he also makes smaller pieces suitable to be used as change purses, pencil cases, or whatever innovative purpose a fashion forward person could think of. Every bag is hand sewn in Philadelphia USA from different sections of a giant fabric swatch, ensuring that every single bag is completely unique. Nothing is mass produced and he changes up his color schemes and patterns regularly so each bag is part of a limited edition series. While you’re on the site shopping for yourself, you can also grab one of the men’s graphic tee’s available for a man in your life that needs to shake up his day to day routine. You would think that since every product is made in America in small batches from high quality materials that to own an Eads would cost a fortune, but he offers up these little pieces of his heart to the public for less than $100. A price that I personally guarantee is an absolute steal. Go ahead and brighten up your closet while letting Mr. Eads help you reconnect with you sense of wonder.

Check Tim’s work out online here, also at 5×5 Gallery here, Tim Eads, Fashion, Totes, Bags

Just Keep Swimming

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 11.04.30 PM
Allie Elle Swimwear

We don’t know much about Allie Elle Swimwear, the **BRAND NEW** swimwear company based out of Baltimore, MD yet. Only that they are opening on the 13th of June. The all American brand specializes in handmade, reversible swimwear in exclusive prints made out of recycled fabrics. It just keeps getting better too, the brand uses real women to model their swimsuits, and (peep this breath of fresh air) NO PHOTOSHOP! The prints and colors are beautiful and completel

Allie Elle Swimwear
Allie Elle Swimwear

y unique. Past all of that good stuff, each 2-piece suit is reversible and cohesive, so you’re really getting 4 for the price of one. Imagine the space you’ll save in your suitcase! One of the most rewarding ways to spend your hard earned dollars is to buy from small businesses. I, for one, am very excited to order an Allie Elle swimsuit for myself when the shop opens up!

Check out Allie Elle Swimwear on Instagram here and online here, Allie Elle Swimwear, Swim, Bathing Suit

Eye Candy

It is a widely known warning, never ask a woman with winged eyeliner why she is late. Timed winged eyeliner application could be an Olympic sport. I would certainly not qualify. However, it is a tried and true method of beautification that is here to stay simply because it’s so versatile. Cat eyes can be exotic, sexy, cute, edgy, classic, or graceful and the list goes on. Which is why when shopping for the perfect product for the job we are exceptionally selective, and rightfully so, the skin around the eyes is exceptionally fragile. We want something darker than a cat’s soul, so easy to control a child could use it, and so tough it wouldn’t budge in a hurricane, but at the same time we want it to be gentle enough to wash off without a fight when its time, solid enough that it doesn’t dye our skin, and thin enough that it doesn’t glom onto our eyelashes and make us look like the creature from the black lagoon. Eyeko, a London based cosmetics company with a really cool website, has captured my heart. Their line of felt tip liquid liner pens are made with water, conditioning algae extract, and black magic. Literally they stock a product called black magic, it includes a special blend of ingredients to help st

eyeko black magic liquid eye liner
eyeko black magic liquid eye liner

imulate lash growth while the user is wearing the product. They’ve been featured in numerous acclaimed fashion magazines for their quality formulas. I was able to maintain a smudge free look for 12 hours with minimal flaking. Toward the end of the day I did start to see a little over all fading, but at the end of my test run, it all came right off with a little face wash and water. I had done a little research before purchasing anything from Eyeko, consequently I had high expectations and they delivered. Doing cat eyes is usually like pulling teeth, but thanks to them it’s been dialed back to pulling eyebrow hairs.

 

Shop online here, Liquid Eyeliner, Makeup, Cosmetics, Black Magic, Fashion Magazine, Cat Eyes

The RealReal Good Deal

Um, hi $50 Prada, is that you $40 Givenchy?…it’s me…I love you. Oh it’s real, this is not a drill. TheRealReal.com is where a stylish girl’s dreams go to flourish. Nowhere else on the internet will you find certified authentic designer goods at such amazing prices. It’s an online consignment shop for all things chic ranging from home furnishings and art to high end fashion and jewelry and everything in between including handbags and sunglasses. If you dream of Dior or Carrie Bradshaw is your spirit animal and you like to support small business and individual sellers, this is the shop for you. The site has high end exclusive vibe; you have to sign up just to browse. Stay with me now, its %100 free they won’t even ask you for credit card information until you make a purchase. Having to sign up for this particular site is kind of great because you’ll receive messages about special sales on items you’re interesting in. Imagine the $1,400 Vuitton Noé bag you’ve been Louis Vuitton Monogram Mini Noé Bagcoveting for three years. You’ve researched this bag; you know that the design was conceived in 1932 by Gaston-Louis Vuitton himself for the Chef de Cave of a champagne company. You buy outfits to match it for when that day comes that you finally own this bag. You’ve scoured eBay and Amazon but you can never be sure about the condition or authenticity. It’s no small matter, if this unicorn exists anywhere on the internet you want to know about it. The bag goes on sale for $850 for 24 hours only on TheRealReal. Well, it’s a good thing you took my advice and signed up because otherwise you would never know that this %100 guaranteed authentic, like new condition gem was going for just under %50 percent off. And you would potentially have to go years longer without that bag. Everybody has that ‘thing’, the item that they almost irrationally lust after. The item that has them convinced that, ‘If I had it, everything would be better.’ That’s just the power that high fashion can occasionally have. TheRealReal gives a user unprecedented opportunity to discover new designers and acquire pieces from the ones you already love without destroying your savings account.

Visit TheRealReal here, for all your high end fashion needs!

The RealReal, Fashion, Shopping, Clothes, Art, Consignment, High End, Designer, Exclusive, Decor