Holiday Gift Guide under $50

You have your list of people to buy for, and we have the gifts. This holiday season, shopping just got so much easier (and cheaper). Here are ten items we personally love and use. Everything is under $50. We girls don’t always want to splurge on an expensive hand cream or body scrub, which is why these reasonably-priced items made it on our list:

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Herbivore Coco Rose Body Polish: $36

An extra scrub never hurt nobody.

Frank Body Original Body Scrub
Frank Body Original Body Scrub: $16.95

Smooth skin is trending.

 

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Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm: $27

Just purchased one myself.

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Nars Afterglow Lip Balm: $28

Flatter up.

Urban Outfitters P.F. Candle Co. Amber Jar 12 oz Soy Candle: $28
Urban Outfitters P.F. Candle Co. Amber Jar 12 oz Soy Candle: $28

Can never go wrong with a candle.

Cute Winter Scarf
Mango Fringed edge scarf: $39.99

It’s scarf season. Yay!

Goop "The Martini" Emotional Detox Bath Soak
Goop “The Martini” Emotional Detox Bath Soak: $35

Zen zone.

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Anastasia Beverly Hills, Inc.  Brow Wiz: $21

Eyebrows on fleek.

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Frank Body Cherry Bomb Lip Balm: $14.95

Chapped lips? Not anymore.

Texture Spray
The Dry Bar Triple Sec: $26

She doesn’t know this  exists.

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Sephora Invisibobble Slim The Elegant Hair Ring: $8

Save that blowout.

<3

Nadia & Caroline

 

8 Best Coats to Buy for Fall Season

Chicago winters don’t leave us with much time to enjoy fall and everything that we have in our closets in the summer. We switch from cardigans to puffy winter jackets within days, sometimes even hours. This doesn’t mean we don’t shop for things we truly love: trench coats, overcoats or faux-fur jackets.  Here is what I’ve had my eyes on for the past month or so:

Mango Unstructured Wool-Blend Coat ($229.99)
Mango Unstructured Wool-Blend Coat ($229.99)

You will never get tired of  this coat.

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Zara Faux Far Coat ($169)

Hear out fashion people: this one is a must have.

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BB Dakota Bradshaw Leopard Faux Fur Coat ($158)

You can’t call yourself stylish unless you have one of the above in your closet.

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About Us Amanda Plaid Coat ($94)

Just a pinch of classics.

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Arket Wool Trench Coat (£250)

Warm is the new stylish.

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Topshop Big Borg Coat ($160)

Got a personality? Get this coat.

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J Crew Daphne Topcoat in Italian Weed ($325)

Yellow is going to be a trend this spring so be ahead of the trend….plus it’s on sale.

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Stine Goya Concord Faux Fur Coat ($580)

You always need at least 1 coat that is another color other than the neutrals and classics.

Your Instagram feed will thank you.

Love,

Nadia & Caroline

 

My Green Peel Experience

My Green Peel Experience

My first-ever green peel experience was an EXPERIENCE, to say the least. I honestly did not research much about green peels before giving it a shot. My reason for trying it was because of all the good things I heard about it from friends who had done it in the past. First, let me start by talking about the purpose of this beauty procedure.

The goal of a green peel is to help renew your skin completely. It is an herbal massage that deeply exfoliates your skin and infuses it with nutrients so that your skin gets a fresh start. The formula has a mixture of eight carefully-selected herbs containing enzymes, minerals and vitamins, which are rubbed into the skin. When the peel is done, you are basically left with a new layer of skin.

The process: the mixture is intensely massaged into your skin for about 3-8 minutes (no more, no less), according to the esthetician. The massaging action combined with this mixture was painful. I am not going to lie because I wish someone would have told me that beforehand so I knew what to expect. Needless to say, I could only handle three minutes of it. After the ‘exfoliation’, a cooling sheet mask is applied to calm your skin for about five minutes. The worst part about the experience was probably removing the mixture and having the moisturizer and BB cream applied. When the mixture is removed, your skin is raw, which is what causes the discomfort.

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Aftercare: I couldn’t wash my face for three days in order to let the mask do its work. Once your face is washed, any remaining product is removed, which is why it’s important you let it sit approximately three days. Yes, you got it right: no face washing for 3 days!

Is it worth it? I would say yes. It wasn’t the most enjoyable procedure to go through, but I would do anything for my skin to look more clear and glowy. If this is something you have been considering I suggest to look up results from the green peel, you will see how it drastically changes people’s skin for the better.

Love,

Caroline

Only a Few Reasons Why You Must Read “The Archetype Diet”

Only a Few Reasons Why You Must Read “The Archetype Diet”

I was excitedly awaiting the arrival of this book, ever since the moment I received the confirmation email saying “Your order has been placed”. “The Archetype Diet” is a wellness and nutrition book designed for “every woman who has felt the pain of not enough – not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not important enough, and not different enough. You are not alone”. I was sold ✨

While I didn’t purchase this book to help me lose weight, I did want to understand how I can feed my body better considering its unique chemistry 🔮 I am a huge believer that people process foods differently. There’s no “one size fits all” diet in my eyes. In this book, @danajames will tell you so much about vegetables (yes, even the ones you don’t eat), how self doubt and low self esteem can sabotage your efforts to lose weight, how your past shapes your relationship with food (and what you can do to change that), along with everything that you didn’t know about proteins, sugar and fats. She also talks about meditation, insomnia, and how to fix it 💡

Author @danajames divides women into four categories: the Nurturer, the Wonder Woman, the Femme Fatale and the Ethereal. You will identify your archetype by taking a quiz. My results felt so true to me. Once I read mine (turns out, I’m a Wonder Woman), I was shocked by how precisely she described my personality, especially when it comes to my relationship with work and food 🌿

To all of my ladies out there: Read this book

Love, N.

Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Superfood Cleanser

Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Superfood Cleanser

Let me introduce you to the first product I’ve tried from The Youth to The People: Superfood Cleanser.

🌿This one is super light, it is only foaming due to my hands working air in and not from the formula, which means there is no place for chemicals.

🌿It’s not perfumy which is definitely something to avoid in your skincare products.

🌿The formula is super gentle, which won’t melt your make up away in 30 seconds for that reason I only use it in the morning.

🌿The cleanser contains clean and effective ingredients, and for the girl with oily acne prone skin you couldn’t ask for better ingredients than kale, spinach, and green tea🍵.

Btw it’s constantly out of stock, I guess that says something about the product as well. 🙌🏼 Have you ever tried it?

Love,

Nadia

Everything Your Mom Didn’t Tell You about Antioxidants

Everything Your Mom Didn’t Tell You about Antioxidants

One of the most important ingredients I like to see in my skincare products are antioxidants. That is why I picked out this PM Serum by 100% Pure. I’ve gone through the whole bottle, which in my book means the product turned out to be worth the money. My favorite part was how lightweight it felt and how glowy it made my skin look the next morning. ⁣⁣But today is not about reviewing a product. Instead, we’re going to talk about antioxidants and why they are so beneficial for your skin. Here are some key reasons why:⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

🌱 it has been proven that antioxidants are your dominant weapon against free radicals, which are your skin’s worst enemy; ⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

🌱 they promote an even skin tone and firm your skin; ⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

🌱 people with acne-prone skin will find them useful for treating scars; ⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

🌱 antioxidants are essential anti-aging ingredients in skincare (this is my favorite part);⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

🌱 they protect your skin from UV rays;⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I’m a huge believer that it’s not only about the quality of the skincare products we use, but that it’s also important to watch what we consume. You can find antioxidants not only in skincare products, but also in your grocery bag. Blueberries, red peppers, avocado, watermelon, green leafy vegetables, nuts, oranges, sweet potatoes and green or black tea are a great place to start. ⠀⠀⠀⠀

Love,

Nadia

Shop with Us this Black Friday

We are just one day away from Thanksgiving. Not only that, we are two days away from Black Friday. How exciting! We spent some time making a list of retailers that are having major sales, along with some pieces you should check out before hitting the “place the order” button.

My favorite stores to buy from on these days:

Zara: they don’t announce their sale until right before. Although, it’s good to remember in the past years they have always done 30% off everything starting Thanksgiving night. Our Picks: Studded Faux Lather Skirt, Side Stripe Sweater, Coat with Wrap Collar, Animal Print Sequin LeggingsContrasting Faux Fur JacketSequin SkirtCable Knit SweaterSparkly Velvet Bodysuit, Hooded Sweatshirt.

H&M: 20% off winter essentials.

Nordstrom: now through November 26th up to 60% off.

Topshop: The Topshop discount includes 50% off coats, knitwear and party-wear and
20% off jeans starting Monday and Ending Friday. Our Picks: V Cropped Cable Jumper, Long Sleeve Snake Funnel Top, Brushed Check Blazer, Leopard Print Box Pleat Midi Skirt, High Neck Rib Midi Dress.

Mango: haven’t announced their Black Friday sale yet but they are offering 30% accessories until Thursday. Our Picks: Faux Fur Jacket, High Collar Sweater, Zebra Textured Sweater, Funnel Neck Sweater, Metal Thread Sweater, Ribbed Midi Dress.

Storets: offers up to 70% off.

Vince Camuto: 40% off your entire purchase and 50% off Cheera Boots.

Hope you get to everything you want!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Love,
Caroline

WorkParty: Stay Inspired

WorkParty: Stay Inspired

      I’m from a generation that was supposed to grow up on books like “Lean In”, but something didn’t really click between us. I’m from a generation that was supposed to get everything clear after reading “Leave Your Mark” or “If You Have to Cry, go Outside”, but I don’t think we were on the same page. But that’s only because my generation was meant to “WorkParty”.

     “WorkParty” is a book by Jaclyn Johnson about women redefining the meaning of work, on their terms. I know you might say there are dozens or even hundreds of books like this one, and all of the authors generally talk about the same thing, but in a different way. This is exactly how I first looked at it, but on the other hand, the entrepreneurial world is changing so fast, social media has been so influential that every author can teach you something new. 

     I had the pleasure of meeting Jaclyn on her “WorkParty” tour in Chicago about a month ago. “WorkParty” was the first book that I ever had signed by an author, and yes I’m the kind of girl that waited in the line just to say hello to someone who shares my vision of success and work. I don’t want to spoil the book for you because it just wouldn’t be fair. You have to read it for yourself. You will find things that are relatable, and things that are not…but perhaps only because they are not relatable to you just yet. That is what I caught myself thinking about while reading it. I almost wanted to turn some of the pages, but just because I’m not there yet doesn’t mean I will never get to that point.

      I’m here today to share some of my favorite quotes by Jaclyn. Not only because they’re good, but also because maybe it will give you the push to add this one to your reading list. Let’s do this: 

People are a company’s best assets, so take your time in developing them, and once you find the “the one”, help them grow.

Treat every woman like she has the New York Times on speed dial.

 

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You will make money and lose it, and as a female boss, you will begin to reconcile your femininity with your bossness because culturally you will find out those things do not always go hand in hand.

The harder I work, the luckier I get.

 

If you want to succeed, you have to be able to break from tradition fearlessly and sometimes recklessly.

Love,

Nadia

How to Stay Productive When Working Remotely

How to Stay Productive When Working Remotely

     Not in million years would I have thought that working remotely would be a possibility for me. But, those are just the perks of our generation that we all should be grateful for and I hope everyone who reads this can experience that one day (including my NDS partner, Caroline). The real question is, how do you stay organized and still get everything accomplished with all of the freedom that comes from the blessing of “working remotely”?

          I will be honest, it ain’t always easy. If I’m going  to be completely honest, I am still figuring out my way in this 100% digital workspace. Today I’m going to share a few things that have been working for me so far:

        1. Working from Home: For anyone that has tried it, you likely know about all of the distractions that come along with working remotely. Things that can help you stay in check include starting your day by taking a shower and making your bed. Working in pajamas doesn’t bother me, but I certainly can’t work from my bedroom. Don’t skip your usual routine just because you are staying at home. The only thing I would suggest is skipping your makeup, and instead try a mask so your skin gets some benefits while you work, too.

          2. Coffee Shops: I love coffee shops. If I had to pick the perfect place to work from, it would absolutely be the coffee shop. The atmosphere helps me to stay focused. I had to try a few in order to find the one that works best for me. Call me picky (well, maybe because I actually am!), but the music has to stay at a certain volume, seats have to be comfortable, and having healthy snacks available is always a plus. You don’t always stumble upon a coffee shop that has that, and there is nothing worse than being overly caffeinated and hungry. So make sure to bring some snacks with you if you know that the coffee shop doesn’t offer it.

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      3. WeWork: This is also a great option. Where do I begin? I think those three months that I worked from a WeWork location were the most productive months ever. For those who have never heard of it, WeWork is a shared workspace for people that work remotely. You can rent a dedicated office or try one of their first come, first served desks for a lower commitment. The atmosphere has my working mood on point. Everyone there is extremely quiet and respectful of your space, so there are literally no distractions. You have a separate space for phone calls, which helps you maintain some privacy, and you won’t risk annoying people around you while you chat on the phone.  Plus they usually have free coffee and beer…I mean, you pay a decent amount of money for the membership, so that’s one of the ways it pays off. Also, many are open 24/7, unlike your hometown coffee shop.

      4. Prioritizing is important. Whether you are working from home or a coffee shop, the only way to get things done is to actually be doing something. Prioritizing is the key, and what really works for me is writing everything out. Plan your goals for the week, and then for every day. Having a game plan ahead of time will help keep you organized as the week unfolds, since distractions tend to pop up along the way. I always try to plan at least a day in advance, adding things to my list as the day progresses.

     5. If you work from home, create a dedicated workspace. There is nothing better than having everything you need handy and your desk cleared off. But if you have a million projects going on, good luck with that one. I’m praying for this to happen for me, since my desk can is home to everything from magazines to measuring tape, and sometimes even fabrics. But I do feel more productive when everything gets cleared off, that I can say for sure.

     Share in the comments what tips have been working for you, and hopefully we can learn from each other.

Love,

Nadia

 

Everything You Need to Know About Create & Cultivate Conference

Everything You Need to Know About Create & Cultivate Conference

       Create & Cultivate is a conference with dozens of inspiring female influencers and entrepreneurs. For the most part, this conference takes place in big cities, and I was thrilled when I found out it was coming to Chicago! I bought my ticket right away before they sold out, which happened super fast. So if you are planning to go next year, please make sure to buy your ticket right away. The hype around this conference is huge, which means tickets are only available for a short period of time.

      One of the reasons that I’m here today is to shed some light on what this event is all about, what to expect, and how things actually proceed. I would have loved if someone had shared those tips with me before my first conference. Ready! Set! Go!

        Pre-conference:

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#ootn: Zara black one shoulder shirt, Zara jeans, Nordstrom shoes, BaubleBar necklace, & Zara bag

      A week before the conference, you will receive a box containing all the things you will need for the day of the event. This includes: a badge with the track you will be on (track 1 or track 2), your mentor card with the name of your mentors for that day, a pin to wear, and a card explaining what you should bring with you the day of the event. The day before the actual conference, you get to go to the happy hour where you can network with fellow attendees. Technically, that gives you  two legit days getting to know people in the beauty and fashion industry. Isn’t that amazing? You will need to bring your badge or show you email confirmation along with your license upon arrival.

        The day of the conference:

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Guest Speakers included: Shay Mitchell, Jaclyn Johnson, Marianna Hewitt, Whitney Port, Chriselle Lim, Ashley Tisdale, Jennifer Hudson, & Alli Webb from Drybar

        Check-in time is from 8 to 9am. The minute I heard the time I was like OMG, that’s so early! But these are the things you do for success :). A huge line shouldn’t surprise you since everyone is getting there practically at the same time, so just be patient and use it as another chance to network with people around you.

       There will be two tracks going on at the same time the entire day, each switching stages with different speakers. Track one was more business oriented and the speakers were mainly focused on finance. One of the most memorable ones for me was Vital Proteins. Meanwhile, track two focused on creating content and influencer marketing with speakers like Whitney Port and Chriselle Lim. If you want a good seat in the front, I would suggest waiting in line early to walk into the next track because space fills up really quickly.

     There are plenty of vendors to keep you entertained if you aren’t interested in listening to certain speakers, but if you are like me and wouldn’t want to miss any speakers, don’t worry. There is a break time for you to explore all the vendors! Besides that, you will receive a swag bag with so many products from the vendors, so make sure you either bring a bigger bag with you that day or grab a bag one of the vendors are handing out so you can carry everything! Side note: You won’t get your swag bag until you leave so you don’t have to carry it around the whole day.

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Vendors at the conference included: Living Proof, Nordstrom, Big Sexy Hair Products, Sephora, JC Penny, McDonalds, Sweet Greens, La Croix, Oui Atelier, Kombucha, Vital Proteins, WeddingWire, & Bic Soleil

        Side note: there is also breakfast in the morning, lunch, and evening snacks so you won’t starve!

        Okay, last but not least! BRING YOUR BUSINESS/CONTACT CARDS WITH YOU. There is so much networking to be done at these events. Don’t be shy to talk to anyone or ask for their business card. Everyone is there to learn, and learning involves making new connections and developing relationships with people. FedEx can make the most simple business cards for you to bring to the event. Even if you don’t have a business yet, you can always have ones made that just have your name, email and phone number on it. You don’t want people to have to find somewhere to write it down when you exchange information. (That’s just not professional.) Business cards are the most efficient way to go.

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This is talent right here. La Croix had the talented artist Lindsey Kate drawing everyone who came up to their booth. She is a Fashion Illustrator.

That’s it for now! If there is anything you would like more insight on from the conference, just comment below!

XOXO,

NDS duo