Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Truth About Growing Out Your Eyebrows

Head to Toe: Hat, Verloop // Sweater, Moon River // Bag, Lulu Dharma // Jeans, H&M // Sneakers, New Balance.

When I first moved to New York two years ago, I desperately wanted to achieve the full-browed look the cool Brooklyn girls around me were sporting. So, eyebrow pencil in hand, I began the long and painful process of growing them out. I followed the golden rule prescribed by experts: Do. Not. Pluck...I filled in holes and wore strategic shadow to cover up the patchiness. A few months in, I went to a brow bar to get them professionally tinted and shaped, urging the specialist to keep them as full as possible. She recommended castor oil at night to help stimulate growth in the spots that were still patchy but warned that in some cases, the root is fried and the hair may never grow in.

She was right. Two years later, my brows are more full, certainly, but there are definite spots where the hair just never grew back. (I haven't plucked a thing besides a few very stray hairs since.) When I came across the Vogue article, "A Cheater's Guide to Growing out Your Brows in 2018," I was piqued. The article mentions the steps I followed and warns of that awkward phase when your brows grow awry. The author notes that the growing out process can take months and up to a full year but never mentions the caveat that the hair may never come back at all.

In fact, all of the beauty articles I've read tell the same story: Suffer a few months of awkwardness and afterward you'll look like Cara Delevingne. Is this to sell eyebrow pencils or to keep threading salons in business? I'm not sure, but I want to arm you with some information if you're thinking about growing out. If you're a twenty-something like me and came of age in the 2000s—when Sex and the City thin arches were in fashion—and got frequent cheap wax jobs at nail salons, the truth is your brows will probable never grow in entirely. But that's okay. Eyebrow pencil/shadow/gel is your friend, and it's relatively cheap.

Right now I'm using It Cosmetics Universal Eyebrow Pencil and Chella Eyebrow Defining Gel (which came in my Birchbox), but I also love the E.L.F. Eyebrow Kit which is literally $3 at the drugstore. While you're there, grab some Castor oil and give the technique a try. Worst comes to worst, it doesn't work and you have it on hand in case of a bellyache. What's your growing out experience? Share your brow philosophy in the comments below.
Left to right: before eyebrow product, It Cosmetics pencil,  Chella gel, after product.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Pink Shearling and 28 for 28

Head to Toe: Sweater and button-down, thrifted // Coat, Opening Ceremony // Jeans, Buffalo Exchange // Booties, Dr. Scholl's // Bag, Deux Lux

This past Sunday was my 28th birthday. I had the most lovely weekend celebrating in the city and am feeling better than ever about the year ahead. While I don't think I feel 28 (shout out to my massage therapist who told me I look 22 on Saturday), I know it's a significant year for me, and will always be the age when I said "I do." I didn't make New Year's resolutions this year, but I thought 28 was worthy of some general goals and reminders for self care. So here we go:
  1. Drink less.
  2. Cook more.
  3. Get manicures.
  4. Take baths.
  5. Blog more frequently.
  6. Wear sunscreen.
  7. Plan a cute outfit on Mondays.
  8. Neck moisturize.
  9. Use masks.
  10. Instagram said masks.
  11. Indulge in semi-monthly massages. 
  12. Exercise regularly.
  13. Go to bed earlier.
  14. Get up earlier.
  15. Snuggle with dogs.
  16. Send birthday cards.
  17. Write thank you notes.
  18. Say no.
  19. Say yes.
  20. Apologize less.
  21. Donate excess.
  22. Go for walks in the park. 
  23. Take breaks from social media.
  24. Buy flowers.
  25. Clean closets.
  26. Abandon bad books.
  27. Eat, drink and be married.
  28. Wear more pink.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

2017 Year In Review

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When the year stretches into December and holiday stress piles up on short, cold days, it's easy to crave that fresh start January promises. This past year had its share of personal challenges for me. Career-wise, the publishing industry is going through tough times, and I certainly felt the effects. I pushed through, picked up some side hustles and am starting 2018 is a new position at a thriving luxury magazine. 

January certainly delivered on its promise for a fresh start for me, but I don't want to harp on the hiccups of 2017 because there were so many awesome moments. I think it's easy to count down to midnight and wipe away the bad tweets times, but I don't want to be dismissive of all the great things the past year provided. Below, I'm rounding up some of my favorite milestones—and outfits—from 2017, which set me up for a promising year ahead. Happy New Year, fashionistas!
  • Sean and I took our first trip to Europe together, visiting Paris and Milan.
  • I styled a bunch of fun photo shoots, including one with live piglet models. (Life goals, just saying.)
  • Sean proposed and I SAID YES!!
  • We took a week on the beach in Virginia and nailed in our wedding venue.
  • I scored quite a few front row seats at fashion week and got to interview Kristen Cavallari. 
  • We had our first Halloween party (something I've been wanting to do for years) and it was a rave success.
  • We spent Thanksgiving in Virginia, enjoyed family time and said yes to the cake!
  • My family traveled to NYC for Christmas, and we hosted our first holiday. Cornish game hens got five stars.

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A post shared by Annie Loynd (@style_me_annie) on

A post shared by Annie Loynd (@style_me_annie) on

A post shared by Annie Loynd (@style_me_annie) on

A post shared by Annie Loynd (@style_me_annie) on

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Before The Freeze

Head to Toe: Sweater, Evidnt // Skirt, The Fifth Label // Coat, BA&SH // Booties, Dr. Scholl's

What is that? A sliver of shin showing? Okay, you got me, these photos are a few weeks old, i.e. pre "bomb cyclone." It has been a very chilly, snow-covered 2018 so far, so I've been in full-on hibernation mode and haven't taken any blog photos. These were shot over Christmas break when my family came to stay with Sean and I in NYC for the holiday. It's been a wonderful whirlwind of a month, but I'm ready to settle in (and yes, hibernate) for a little while.

I haven't written down any resolutions, but my mind's been preoccupied with how I want this year to look. It's certainly going to be a busy start—our wedding is in April, and I have some other career news to share soon—but full of some awesomely exciting times. In the midst of determining whatever my resolutions might be, I keep thinking of this quote by Gretchen Rubin in The Happiness Project (which I read years ago and am contemplating revising): "The days are long but the years are short."

It's so true. Last year was full of some long, trying days (and lots of wonderful ones), but it seemed to go by in a flash. More than anything, I want to slow down and enjoy this time in my life, which you only get once. I think the first step is to cut out the background noise...Today, I unfollowed about 50 accounts on Instagram. It was a small gesture but felt surprisingly freeing. I guess that's my first resolution, to simplify. Stay tuned for what else I come up with for 2018. What are your resolutions?