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The Overpacker’s Guide to Travel Style: Guest Blogger

For June, our theme is wanderlust and we could think of no better person to wax poetic on foreign adventures than Kate Thorman, a professional travel writer. Kate’s impressive credentials include being an editor for Mr. & Mrs. Smith as well as the host/producer of the web-based travel and food program The Innocents Abroad. (In fact, she’s actually the cofounder of the show’s production company Abbott & West.) If you think you had the itch to explore before, we can guarantee that you’ll be ready to pull the trigger and book your next plane ticket after reading her travel-savvy posts this week. 

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After too many trips lugging a 50-pound bag from bus to subway to walking across a city, I realized I had to pare down my packing. I certainly don’t abide by the ‘leave half of what you want to take’ rule, but I do have a few pieces that I use as a base for each trip. Sometimes, on a quick trip, I might even just stick to these basics:

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Do You Have A Signature Lipstick?: Guest Blogger

As soon as we came across Rachel Phipps’ lifestyle, foodie, and travel blog, we knew we were hooked. It sent us down the rabbit hole to The Glossy Guide, a beauty blog created by the British style maven and her best friend. From secret steals to haute products, she’s sharing some of her best insights here with us this week!

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Everyone is always going on and on about how you should identify your signature scent, but it’s really more important to find your perfect lipstick. I discovered mine when I was 17 and while I love playing around with bright retro reds, deep vampy burgundies, and pretty pinks, I always go back to my signature shade: MAC’s Satin lipstick in Brave

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Summer Shrimp Salsa: Guest Blogger

As soon as we came across Rachel Phipps’ lifestyle, foodie, and travel blog, we knew we were hooked. It sent us down the rabbit hole to The Glossy Guide, a beauty blog created by the British style maven and her best friend. From secret steals to haute products, she’s sharing some of her best insights here with us this week!

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Salsa in England is something that comes thick and red in a jar, and you don’t find it in the refrigerator section. After moving to the West Coast and discovering delicious tubs of fresh and traditional salsa to scoop up with tortilla chips, I soon set out to make my own variations. This version was inspired by some shrimp tacos I had in Santa Monica.

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5 British Drugstore Beauty Brands to Stow in Your Suitcase: Guest Blogger

As soon as we came across Rachel Phipps’ lifestyle, foodie, and travel blog, we knew we were hooked. It sent us down the rabbit hole to The Glossy Guide, a beauty blog created by the British style maven and her best friend. From secret steals to haute products, she’s sharing some of her best insights here with us this week!

While my first beauty experiments from my early teens came from samples my mother gave me from her “Clinique bonus time” hauls, many of my first pocket-money beauty splurges were on some much-loved, iconic British drugstore brands. Here are five of the best mass brands to check out the next time you visit us across the pond!

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Thyme Infused Homemade Lemonade: Guest Blogger

As soon as we came across Rachel Phipps’ lifestyle, foodie, and travel blog, we knew we were hooked. It sent us down the rabbit hole to The Glossy Guide, a beauty blog created by the British style maven and her best friend. From secret steals to haute products, she’s sharing some of her best insights here with us this week!

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Aside from Pimm’s (obviously), one of the hallmarks of an English summer is a big jug of iced homemade lemonade. I remember my mother making it after lunch and bringing it out to me on the patio where I was doing the homework I was set to do over the break. To make my version a bit more grown up without the edition of alcohol (that is what Pimm’s is for!), I’ve infused it with thyme. 

  • 6 Large Sprigs Fresh Thyme (plus extra to serve)
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 4 Large Lemons

Boil one cup of water and pour over the thyme sprigs in a heatproof bowl and leave to infuse for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile squeeze the lemons. Remove the thyme sprigs and add thyme infused water to the lemon juice. Add the sugar and the remaining water to a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon and thyme water and allow to cool in the fridge before serving. Enjoy!

This recipe makes about 2 pints (1.2 litres) and is best served over ice and with a sprig of fresh thyme in each glass. 

Click here for more grown-up drink ideas. 

How To: Skull Nail Art: Guest Blogger

If you’re into nail art, then you’re probably familiar with Chelsea King’s designs. As the artist behind Chelsea’s Get Nailed, this nail-addict-turned-blogger somehow finds time between classes at UC Irvine to produce nail art tutorials, sell her own press-on nails, and post her intricate and inspiring manicures. This week, Chelsea is offering up her best nail tips and a few exclusive (and pretty awesome) nail art how-tos for beginners and experts alike.

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This skull design was inspired by those Alexander McQueen scarves that I have been lusting after for ages. A skull on your nails can be transformed from rocker to girly depending on what you pair it with. Adding studs can make it look super punk, but adding florals can tone it down to look cute.

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Household Nail Art Finds: Guest Blogger

If you’re into nail art, then you’re probably familiar with Chelsea King’s designs. As the artist behind Chelsea’s Get Nailed, this nail-addict-turned-blogger somehow finds time between classes at UC Irvine to produce nail art tutorials, sell her own press-on nails, and post her intricate and inspiring manicures. This week, Chelsea is offering up her best nail tips and a few exclusive (and pretty awesome) nail art how-tos for beginners and experts alike.

A common misconception for nail art is that you need fancy and expensive tools to do it. Not true! There are tons of items lying around the house that you can use as substitutes to get some art on your fingertips. The trick is to just be creative.

Dotting Tools

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Dotting tools are an important staple to have in any nail artist’s tool kit. You can find a set of dotting tools online for less than $5, but if you’re in a pinch, any of these items work just as well.

A toothpick is a very inexpensive way to create tiny dots on your nails and it’s also very useful for picking up rhinestones and glitter to place on your nails. If you want the dots to be a bit bigger, a bobby pin will do the trick. Regular or mechanical pencils are also a quick way to replace dotting tools.

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How To: Monochromatic Color Block Nail Art: Guest Blogger

If you’re into nail art, then you’re probably familiar with Chelsea King’s designs. As the artist behind Chelsea’s Get Nailed, this nail-addict-turned-blogger somehow finds time between classes at UC Irvine to produce nail art tutorials, sell her own press-on nails, and post her intricate and inspiring manicures. This week, Chelsea is offering up her best nail tips and a few exclusive (and pretty awesome) nail art how-tos for beginners and experts alike.

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A popular nail art trend this summer is the color-blocking mani. Here’s how to take it up a notch by using a monochromatic color scheme and some studs! For this design, chose three colors in the same color scheme, ranging from dark to light.

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My Favorite Nail Products: Guest Blogger

If you’re into nail art, then you’re probably familiar with Chelsea King’s designs. As the artist behind Chelsea’s Get Nailed, this nail-addict-turned-blogger somehow finds time between classes at UC Irvine to produce nail art tutorials, sell her own press-on nails, and post her intricate and inspiring manicures. This week, Chelsea is offering up her best nail tips and a few exclusive (and pretty awesome) nail art how-tos for beginners and experts alike.

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One of the most important ways to make your manicure look beautiful is taking care of your hands, cuticles, and nails. Using great products can improve how your nails look and can get your polish to last longer. Over time, I have used many different products, and here are some of my favorites!

1. CND SolarOil: I love this cuticle oil because it doesn’t make my cuticles greasy—and it smells great.

2. Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream: Just recently I started using this product and it’s amazing. I really have noticed a difference in my skin. It goes on very thick (almost like Vaseline), but instantly replenishes moisture.

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How To: Chevron Nail Art: Guest Blogger

If you’re into nail art, then you’re probably familiar with Chelsea King’s designs. As the artist behind Chelsea’s Get Nailed, this nail-addict-turned-blogger somehow finds time between classes at UC Irvine to produce nail art tutorials, sell her own press-on nails, and post her intricate and inspiring manicures. This week, Chelsea is offering up her best nail tips and a few exclusive (and pretty awesome) nail art how-tos for beginners and experts alike.

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Chevron nails have always been a favorite of mine! Take them to the next level by painting in this intricate pattern. You can use as many colors as you like, and either do it as an accent nail or on every finger for a crazy-impressive mani!

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