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A Definitive List of 6 Contemporary Brands You Should Never Pay Full Price For

While I wouldn't call myself a habitual off-price shopper, an expert shopper I am - that I'm confident in. I'm a member of every imaginable flash sale site, I hit the sample sale rounds in NYC regularly, and scan the racks of my local TJ Maxx more often that I'd like to admit (#maxxinista alert!). And through all of that shopping, it's become glaringly apparent to me that there are several well-designed, well-loved contemporary brands that I'll never need to pay full price for - including several of my go-to brands. Whether it's because their mark-up is extreme, or they're over-producing, with rare exception, these are the brands that you can ALWAYS find off-price, regardless of season:

  • Theory - regular appearances on flash sale sites, today Rue La La
  • Helmut Lang - be it at the Woodbury Common outlet or this week's sample sale, can always be found below retail
  • Equipment - see The Outnet's assortment today alone
  • Joie - sample sale is the stuff of legend, with pieces beginning at just $20
  • Current-Elliott - As a sister brand to both Joie and Equipment (#themoreyouknow), see above
  • Vince - generally fills the racks of my local TJ Maxx, with frequent appearances on flash sale sites


Closet Control: CottonBin

As some of you may know from my tweets on the matter, I've been, theoretically, making a more concious move to minimalism in my life. I feel overwhelmed by STUFF (HELLO, see evidence above - a recent and thoroughly embarrassing snap of my closet), yet it's hard to let go of once-loved pieces, particularly those in amazing, like-new condition. Thankfully, CottonBin hit my radar and while I might still consign my pristine designer handbags and shoes, this start-up - essentially an online boutique populated with amazing pre-loved apparel - allows me, and more importantly YOU, to easily swap gently worn pieces from both contemporary and designer brands for Points. POINTS that can then be banked, and used to shop a glorious online selection - think a clothing swap party...but online and with stylish babes like you situated all around the country.

I just packed up a tear-proof envelope (which came complete with pre-paid shipping label) myself this weekend, and tucked inside were pristine pieces from brands like Vince, Theory and J. Brand. On site, you can shop by style, brand, size or color - there's a wide variety of pieces perfect for summer that I'm currently eyeing - like this floral top from PJK, perfect with cut offs or white denim!

If you, like me, need to exert control over your closet, learn more and become a CottonBin member > here! New members receive a FREE month of membership AND a free swap kit to make closet-cleaning as easy and breezy as possible.

While all opinions expressed are my own (as always!), this post was produced in partnership with CottonBin.

Trend in the Making: Jewelry-Inspired Temporary Tattoos

Sundays remain my favorite day of the week, and today, I spent the afternoon blissfully soaking up the sun in Hudson River Park with two friends, one of whom arrived with the most beautiful, delicate, gold temporary tattoos on her wrist and ankle. Created by Flash Tattoos, these jewelry-inspired transfers feel gloriously summery and sexy.

Available in thematic sets ranging from subtle to bold, ethnic to biker babe, I love the idea of layering these under your favorite jewelry pieces to add an element of surprise. 

Flash Tattoos are easy to apply, though as is often the case, four hands will serve you better than two. Simply position the design carefully against clean skin that's free of oils, and press with a wet cloth to transfer. Let the design set for about 10 minutes, and with proper care - oil-based body washes, sunscreens and moisturizers are the enemy here - Flash Tattoos wll last anywhere from 4-6 days.

Shop Flash Tattoos (sets range from $22 -$30 depending on intricacy of design) here, or bookmark these stunning, signature-inspired styles from jeweler Jacquie Aiche - they're currently sold out.

#ShareBeautyContest with Regency Beauty Institute

While we all know that I'm obsessed with my hair, it's pretty unusual that I experiment with it - in fact, my barely noticeable highlights are kind of as wild as I get. But Regency Beauty Institute has partnered with the fine folks of Refinery29 for a series of #ShareBeautyContest challenges - and in support, I've mixed up my style signature with the "Textured Swoop" - an Elvis-inspired volumized look, seen above. A little bit rockabilly and a little bit punk, I'm feeling it and wildly, it took just 3 products - Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, Original Mineral Style Guru Styling Cream and Sally Hershberger Major Body Dry Style Hair Spray - 1 bobby pin, and 5 minutes to create.

The #ShareBeautyContest challenges rotate weekly through August 13, and the grand prize winner will be awarded all things pampering - including a $1,000 Sephora gift card and a full beauty makeover in your city. And all you need to do to enter this week's challenge is:

1) Recreate your own version of the above "Textured Swoop" look
2) Take a cute Instagram photo snap of your hair look
3) Hashtag the photo with #ShareBeautyContest - and while you're at it, why not follow and tag @RegencyBeauty and @Refinery29?

All the deets are here - now go forth and Share YOUR Beauty!

While all opinions expressed are my own (as always!), this post was created in partnership with Refinery29 and Regency Beauty Institute.

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