splurge or save: the red statement envelope bag

splurge or save red envelope handbagA red statement bag has been on my shopping list for awhile now and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen that I finally bought one! I love my new Rebecca Minkoff zipper trim envelope handbag. The hot red color puts a smile on my face, and the straps can be removed to convert the handbag into a clutch. I was doing some shopping when I saw a similar red envelope bag at Forever 21. It is slightly larger to fit your wallet, sunglasses, and the rest of your daily essentials. That in combination with the deeper red color with a fun floral interior makes it a great alternative, so I felt compelled to share. What do you think? Which do you prefer?

splurge: Rebecca Minkoff: $225, save: Forever 21: $20

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day to night makeup in 3 easy steps

day to night makeup in 3 easy steps Image via Elle UK

It’s been unusually warm and sunny in SF these past few days. When the weather is this nice, I like to make plans to meet up with my friends after work. That usually involves at least some freshening up. Forget washing off all your makeup and starting from scratch. Taking the conservative and polished office makeup and translating it to an evening look is easier than it seems and can be done in 3 easy steps.

simple day to night makeup
Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Powder
MAC Penultimate Eye Liner
BITE Beauty Lip Cream in Crianza

1. Freshen up the skin with either blotting papers or touching up with some pressed powder.

2. Define your eyes with an eyeliner. A pen liquid liner works best to get that precise application that will widen your eyes. You can create a minimalist eye makeup look or even go for a cat eye.

3. Lastly, add a bold lip color to complete the look. A deep shade or orange shade is pretty and totally summer evening appropriate.

Do you have any other day to night beauty tips? I’m curious to know in the comments below. icon

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sasstress sale alerts

Early spring is usually not the best time to shop the sales. Typically you’ll just find expired trends, but as with everything there are exceptions. 3 of my favorite stores are having sales right now and are totally worth checking out — in particularly Sephora, which is having a very rare store-wide sale until April 10th!

I also added some of summer-ready picks. Very tempting!

Sephora: 15% off everything beauty insiders with the code “ticket”
Shopbop: a huge selection of designer clothes from 30-70% off
AllSaints: mid-season sale up to 40% off%

 best of sale via beauty and sassSephoraTria Hair Removal Laser // NARS satin lip pencil in Mandarin Orange (tempted to get another orange lipstick!) // Marc Jacobs nail laquer in magenta violet (color of the year!) // Bobbi Brown summer bronzer // Escada Cherry in the Air travel spray
iconShopbop: Michael Kors block sandals (one of my 4 spring shoe trends to shop now) // IRO.JEANS skinny jeans in pink
AllSaints: AllSaints python flats

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morning energy smoothie with peaches & raspberries

raspberry peach energy smoothieI had a great time at my triathlon training camping trip this past weekend, but I have to admit – I’m tired! There was a lot of preparing, road tripping, setting up and sleeping in a tent, and getting a few workouts in. After a weekend like this, I definitely need that extra boost of Monday morning energy with my newest smoothie recipe.

I’ve been wanting to use green tea in my smoothies for quite awhile but none of them tasted quite right. Green tea mixed with greens and low sugar fruits makes for a very tart smoothie, which I don’t like. I switched up the ingredients a few times until I landed on this recipe. I use my favorite fruits – raspberries and peaches and combine them with green tea for that energy boost and balance it with some vanilla protein powder. Not only is it a great morning energy drink (and a good replacement for coffee), it is delicious!

Ingredients (1 serving)
3/4 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup frozen peaches
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (it should be 1/2 the serving size – check the protein powder you’re using since it sometimes varies)
green tea

1. Prepare 1 cup of green tea
2. Combine the raspberries, peaches, and protein powder in the blender.
3. Pour the green tea on top and turn on the blender to high speed. Allow it to blend until the raspberries and peaches are completely crushed.
4. Pour into a cup and serve.

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first friday april inspiration

The end of April will officially mark the one year anniversary for this blog! Can you believe it’s been a year? It’s funny looking at some of my old posts when I first started writing here. So different than what I usually post these days.

A lot changes in a year, and one thing I’ve been working on for the last few months and should be ready by the end of this month is a website redesign. I’ve been wanting to move to a self hosted site for some time now, to customize the website, improve navigation, and just make it a little more pretty. And I’m so excited that the final design is almost here! Just a quick peek of what the site will look like (of course the big reveal will come the day of the launch):beauty and sass

I’m still working on all the details for the design and the transfer, so more exact timing and other info to come this month. April will mostly be focused on getting this redesign ready for you, but along the way you’ll continue to see some more recipes, personal style, spring shopping, and beauty tips.

you can do anything but not everythingAs you’re reading this, I’m traveling down south for a triathlon training weekend with my tri club and I’ll be doing my first triathlon in just a few weeks. Unfortunately, with all I have going on with the redesign, contributing to Brit + Co., and starting a new full-time job, my triathlon training has suffered. But I am doing the best I can and so my mantra for the month is “you can do anything, but not everything”. I’m trying to not be so hard on myself for not being in the shape I wish I was.

I hope you have a great weekend while I’m off the grid camping and training. If you’re looking for some weekend reading, check out some of my recent Brit + Co contributions:

Turn It Up: 10 Recipes That’ll Make You Want To Eat Turnips
10 Ways To Wear Tulle Without Looking Like a Ballerina
14 Green Tea Recipes That Go Beyond The Teacup
brit + co contributions

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layering the dress

prada sunglasses, lace, zipper via beauty and sassMaje and Sandro were two of my staples when I lived in Europe, so naturally I had to stop by those stores when I was in Paris last summer. I spotted this simple sleeveless black dress at Maje (that I pulled a lace top over for the pics) and loved the zipper detail and “fit and flare” silhouette. After much internal debating, I couldn’t justify the price because I couldn’t really think of anywhere to wear it to. How very practical of me, right?

Much later on I was “window” shopping at Bloomingdales in SF when I stumbled upon the Sandro & Maje section. I had no idea those brands were even available in the US! And to my delight, my Maje dress was there, on sale, and soon after, in my closet. I wore it to the little I could, but it mostly sat there… for awhile, a long while.

Typically when I shop, I buy items that can be worn for multiple occasions or in different ways. I was recently very inspired by one of my favorite bloggers layering techniques and have been pushing myself to be more creative in my styling. As I was doing some spring closet cleaning, I experimented with this Maje dress and realized it could be worn in so many different ways: with a denim jacket and flats to make it more casual, a sweater to accentuate the flared skirt for day or night, or even some opaque tights and a layered top to make it work appropriate (which only works depending on your office dress code and environment of course). Here I just layered on a lace crop top to give the dress a different feel on a cool but sunny San Francisco day.

By the way, everyone always asks me about these Prada sunglasses and I just noticed that they are now on sale!

maje front zip dress with lace crop top via beauty and sassMaje front zipper dress (very similar Maje dress here and I’m tempted by this other front zipper dress) // H&M lace crop top (old but Forever 21 has a similar lace top in a variety of colors – only $9!) // Diane Von Furtsenberg satchel // J.Crew leopard wedge pumps // Prada sunglasses (ON SALE!) // Swarovski earrings // MAC lipstick in Dubonnet

leopard wedge pumps via beauty and sassprada sunglasses via beauty and sassdiane von furstenberg bag with lace top and maje dress via beauty and sasslace dress with leopard wedgesPhotos by Dan Johnson

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an easy and cheap cleaner for your not so cheap makeup brushes

DIY makeup brush cleanerThere are those beauty products we buy and use up almost too quickly. Then there are those that we buy and use so little that they feel like a waste of money. Makeup brush cleaners are one of those. I’ve never been able to use an entire, or even half, a bottle before it “expired”. So, I’ve stopped buying them completely.

I shared my list of makeup brush essentials here a few weeks ago so now it’s time to also share my tips on taking care of those brushes. While great brushes make it easier to apply makeup and are totally worth the investment, they can also be bacteria traps and cause breakouts and irritated skin without the proper care. So, regular cleaning is mandatory (ideally once a week). Instead of the wasteful makeup brush cleaners, here is an easy do it yourself makeup brush cleaner that I’ve learned from makeup artists throughout the years.

By the way, for the shampoo and conditioner you can use the cheap stuff. Leave your pricey salon products for your hair only. A moisturizing body wash can also work.

What you’ll need:
1 teaspoon of shampoo
1 teaspoon of conditioner
hot water in a bowl
room temperature water in a bowl
paper towelsDIY makeup brush cleanerWhat you’ll do:
1. Mix 1 teaspoon shampoo with 1 teaspoon conditioner. The shampoo will wash the brushes while the conditioner will help keep the bristles soft.
2. Take a brush and directly dip into the shampoo and conditioner mixture.
3. Carefully dip the brush bristles into the bowl with hot water. The metal should not go into the bowl as the heat may weaken the adhesive and your brush hairs may start falling out.
4. Gently wipe the brush on a paper towel to remove the makeup from it. If after a few swipes you still see a lot of makeup, you may want to repeat the step 3.
5. Take the clean brush and place into the cup or bowl with the room temperature water.
6. Repeat the steps with all your brushes and then let the brushes sit in the cold water for another 30 minutes.
7. Remove the brushes out of the cold water, gently dab off any excess water with a paper towel, and let them sit until they dry.
simple DIY makeup brush cleanerDIY makeup brush cleaner

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