#INSPIRED : Venice Pink

The warm weather and sunshine have been making it almost impossible difficult to focus at work, especially after coming back from a long weekend. I look out the window and all I can think about is lounging on a beach in Maine , floating down a river in Dordogne or riding my bike along the Canal du Midi in Toulouse instead of sitting here glued to my open-space-cubicle-esque thing on the 25th floor in Lower Manhattan.

To get through my pre-vacation funk, I’m taking a mental vacay to Venice. I may not be able to hop on a plane to Italy, but I can snag a little piece of Venetian-inspired heaven with these bright pieces.

#Inspired: Venice Pink | Notes From the Back Row

 

 

1. Floral Jacquard Dress, $162, ASOS Salon, ASOS.com; 2. Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée, $22, Josie Maran, Sephora.com; 3. Cutout Flat, $40, Modcloth, Modcloth.com; 4. MacBeth Orangey-Coral Nail Lacquer, $15, Butter London, Sephora.com; 5. Crossbody Bag, $280, Kate Spade, Zappos.com; 6. Ile de Panthers Tote, $317, Longchamp, AvenueK.com; 7. Ambroise Slippers, $230, Chatelles Paris, Mychatelles.com; 8. Pink Ombre Shirt, $158, Frank & Eileen, Farfetch.com; 9. Floral Pencil Skirt, $42, River Island, ASOS.com; 10. Carroll Park Penelope Satchel, Kate Spade New York, KateSpade.com; 11. French 65 Nectar Pink Heels, $180, Whistles, ASOS.com; 12. Rose Boudoir Lip Color, $28.50, Lancôme, Sephora.com; 13. Slingback Flats, $25, Topshop, Topshop.com; 14. Paisley Shirt, $266, Etro, Farfetch.com; 15. Skull Clutch, Alexander McQueen, AlexanderMcQueen.com; 16. Floral Mini Dress, $1,850, Erdem, Net-A-Porter, Net-a-porter.com; 17. 2Jours Bag, $2,350, Fendi, MarissaCollections.com 

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Best of Resort 2015

When Resort rolls around in the retail world, there are usually a few things that we’ve all come to expect — red, white, blue and stripes. You can always find great staple pieces, but for me, I want something a little more interesting and edgy. Enter Resort 2015 with its blue and white tie-dyed trenches, bold colorful stripes, boxy shapes and statement-making prints. Forget everything you know about resort collections of the past — designers have started to recognize the importance of cruise collections for their customers, who see them as a way to update their wardrobes mid-winter before the release of the spring collections. For us, this means more diverse collections that stand on their own right, rather than boring pieces that will barely hold our interest until Spring. So get excited!

Here are some of my favorite looks from the Resort 2015 runways.

Photos: Style.com

#STYLED: Independence Inspiration

It’s Independence Eve! So to get you in the patriotic spirit, I’ve rounded up some stylish red, white and blue accessories that are sure to keep you looking super chic no matter how you choose to celebrate.

4th of July Accessories | Notes From the Back Row

 

1. White Leather Backpack, Grafea, $324, ASOS.com; 2. Striped Bikini, Heidi Klein, $266, Matchesfashion.com; 3. White Sunglasses, Le Specs, $80, LeSpecs.us; 4. White Leather Espadrilles, Club Monaco, $150, ClubMonaco.com; 5. White Buckle Booties, Loeffler Randall, $198 (sale), LoefflerRandall.com; 6. Floral Print Trainers, Vans x Liberty London, $60, Vans.com; 7. Blue Specked Sunglasses, Thierry Lasry, ThierryLasry.com; 8. Tie-dye Ankle-Wrap Sandals, J. Crew, $148; JCrew.com; 9. Red, White and Blue Drop Earrings, Bauble Bar, Baublebar.com; 10. Flamingo Tanksuit, Princesse TamTam, $159, Madewell.com; 11. Gem Zip-Top Clutch, Accessorize, $59, Accessorize.com; 12. Red Cat Eye Sunglasses, Alexander McQueen, $355, Bloomingdales.com; 13. Wedge Sandal, Kate Spade, $99 (sale), Nordstrom.com; 14. Fold-Over Zip Wristlet, Henri Bendel, $64 (sale), HenriBendel.com; 15. Tile Print Lonline Bikini, Topshop, $72, Topshop.com

#BeautyCV: Talking Beauty with Alessandra Pope

Beauty CV | Alessandra Pope | Notes From The Back Row

I caught up with Alessandra Pope, International Marketing Director of MODO Consulting in Madrid, Spain and author of the blog Native of the North, to talk all things beauty. For this globe-trotting beauty, keeping her look natural and low-key is essential for her busy lifestyle. Read on for her beauty must-haves and super simple make-up routine.

What’s in your make-up bag?  I use very few products, but the ones I have on hand are: NATYSAL Rosehip BBCream; YVES ROCHER bronzer powder; Sephora lash plumper ultra black; Sephora Crayon Contour Eye Pencil – Waterproof; The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Moisture SPF 15.

What is your daily hair and beauty regime?  Nonexistent. I shower, then apply make-up quickly before running out of the door — usually with wet hair. My hair dries straight and no matter what I try to do with it, it’s pointless . . . so the bun, high pony or down are my go to do’s. 

What is your signature day-to-day look? Simple. Most days I just put on mascara and don’t bother with the rest and I  am ready to go.

Which products can’t you live without?  I would say a moisturizer with SPF . . . but other than that, nothing really. I feel comfortable with or without make-up, but I suppose my mascara always makes me feel a little bit better! 

What’s the best beauty advice anyone’s ever given you? Moisturize.

What would you never put on your face? Liquid foundations. They’re like a mask. I simply use BB Cream on red spots or for the bags under my eyes. But I NEVER put it all over face as if it’s a layer of skin.

What is your go-to look for a night out? A bold, traditional red lipstick.

What are your thoughts on plastic surgery and other procedures? I’ve had surgery on my nose. I had a large bump shaved down when I was 18 years old.  I think that if you’re doing it for you, it’s the right thing to do. But it should never be because anybody else wants you to do it or you think you’ll make others happy. Several of my friends weren’t happy I got my “nose-job” but hey, it was for me at the end of the day and nobody else so I remain happy with my decision.

Who’s your beauty icon? Nobody.

What are your beauty sins?  I don’t always take my make-up at night before going to bed.

Any memorable beauty disasters? Maybe it’s because I don’t really care, but nope!

Must-have beauty product for summer? Moisturizer with SPF. Protect that skin!

 

Check out Alessandra’s blog Native of the North where she’ll give you the lowdown on cities across the globe with all the best tips and must-see places from the people who know it best: the locals.

#Styled: Lemon Love

Nothing says summer quite like a punchy print. This citrusy skort makes me think of dreamy afternoons strolling through the cobblestone streets of a small town on the Amalfi Coast, sipping limoncello and basking in the warm Italian sun.

Style Inspiration | Lemon Love | Notes From The Back Row

 

1. Straw Fedora, $34.30, ASOS, ASOS.com; 2. Boxy Panel Shirt, $34, New Look, NewLook.com; 3. Pandora Clutch, $1,095, Charlotte Olympia, Farfetch.com; 4. Lemon Print Skort, $68, Topshop, Topshop.com; 5. White & Silver Sandals, $49.95, Faith, ASOS.com

Sip On This: My Favorite Summer Cocktails

Wine is without a doubt is my drink of choice; nothing really beats a full-bodied red on a crisp fall evening or a bright rosé  on a hot summer night. But with the abundance of fresh fruits and herbs available during summer I can’t resist the occasional cocktail, especially when it’s made with muddled berries or herb-infused simple syrup. I’ve rounded up some of my favourite mixes (plus a few I’m dying to try!) to get you in the mood for summer. Click each image for the full recipe.

 

Bottega Veneta Video: Pre-Fall 2014-2015/ La pré-collection Bottega Veneta Automne-Hiver 2014-2015

Bottega Veneta just released this dramatic promotional video showcasing it’s 2014-2015 Pre-Fall collection, which is in stores now. The collection has a diverse mix of colors and prints, my favorite being the splashes of gold, silver and copper on beautifully draped maxi dresses, tailored pants and simple shift dresses.

22 Must-Have Beach Bags

Heading sea-side with your day-to-day tote may not be the best idea – you know how post-beach you always seem to find sand in the weirdest places? – well imagine that scenario in a place you can’t really rinse off in the shower, i.e. your work tote or purse. But that doesn’t mean you should start stocking up on plastic Costco bags either. These 22 carryalls are guaranteed to get you through this summer in style.

Beach Bags | Notes From the Back Row BlogBeach Bags | Notes From the Back Row Blog

1. Halsea Dunes Everyday Tote, LOVESURF $110 2. Striped Sisal Tote, Onigo $58 3. Louisa Tote, Joie $82 4. Seaside Striped Tote, Forever21 $15 5. Animal Print Tassel Trim Beach Bag, River Island $56 6. Becah Tote Bag, Victoria Secret PINK $19 7. Metallic Popham Beach Tote, Seabags $160 8. Straw Bag, H&M $35 9. Keeva Large Tote, Sole Society $70 10. Hibiscus Tote, Banago $118 11. Sail Away Shopper, Talented Totes $38 12. Boho Embroidered Bucket Backpack, American Eagle $29 13. Double Handed Large Tote, Outdoor Products $285 14. Nappa Beach Tote, Calypso St. Barth $275 15. Corsica Tote, Natalie Martin $195 16. Seabreeze Tassel Beach Bag, Monsoon $54 17. M. Carter Wave Tote, Madewell $75 18. Weekender Tote, Apple & Bee $135 19. Embroidered Chambray Backpack, Bluma Project $128 20. Large Canvas Tote, Emilio Pucci $474 21. Outlet Flea in Scarlet, Fleabags $440  22. Matilde Canvas Tote, Clare Vivier $198

Summer Style: The Midi Skirt | Notes From The Back Row

Easy Summer Style: The Midi Skirt

The midi skirt – a piece I thought I would never wear, that is until I saw this photo. Just the word midi made me cringe. I couldn’t get beyond images of librarian-esque ensembles (read: the preferred outfit for 95 year old grandmothers or your mother’s 2nd grade teacher) with kitten heels (or orthopaedics if we’re being honest) that just scream conservative. Totally ridiculous, but there it is.

I HAVE BEEN MISSING OUT. Midi skirts can look amazing if simply paired with the right pieces. Just throw on a simple tee and a pair of killer heels for a look that is effortlessly cool. A leather jacket (for when it gets cool) and bold accessories like a statement bib necklace or cuff will give the look an edgy upgrade.

I love the casual, modern edge a t-shirt adds, preventing the skirt/heel pairing from looking overly feminine. This is definitely being added to my list of summer go-to’s.

Midi Skirts | Notes From The Back Row

 

1. Hugo Guiness for J.Crew “Yes” Linen Tee, J.Crew, $49.50; 2. River Island Beige Two-Tone Pleated Midi Skirt, River Island, $24; 3. Charles David “Integrity” Sandal, Nordstrom, $200; 4. ASOS T-Shirt in Pastel Floral with Malibu Print, ASOS, $34.30; 5. Ellie Colour Block Pleat Skirt, Whistles, $195; 6. Julianne Hough for Sole Society ‘Sadee’ Sandal, Nordstrom, $69.95