With fall fashion in full force at all my favorite shopping destinations, it seems that my shopping list is looming larger than ever. There is an endless amount of items I want to own right now, but if we’re being honest here, I’m really only down to spend my money on a select few investment pieces that I can be sure will long outlive the current season. To know for sure whether an item is worth my hard-earned cash, I prefer to see it in person, feel it with my own two hands, and try it on to make sure it fits with my style.
To do so, I made a recent trip to The RealReal‘s Los Angeles outpost, where I tried on the most luxurious designer bags, shoes, coats, and accessories that the store had to offer. The goal? To find a few timeless investment pieces that would fulfill my shopping itch and also hold their value. Of the plethora of pieces I tested out IRL, I reasoned with myself that there were only seven I’d invest my money in today. Curious to know which were the best designer investment pieces that made my edit? From a classic Chanel crossbody to the Manolo Blahnik heels Carrie Bradshaw would be all over, scroll down to discover and shop each item along with similar styles.
Are you ready to hear a “fun” fact? Over 415 million people have rosacea worldwide (me being one of them). There are over 16 million people in the U.S. alone. Characterized by easily flushed skin, redness, and small red bumps on the face, rosacea is a skin disease often mistaken for acne or other skin conditions and is one of the hardest to diagnose and treat. So when I was given the chance to do a six-week skin boot camp with Sonya Dakar (one of L.A.’s top estheticians) to help treat my rosacea, I leaped at the chance.
Sonya has been transforming and treating skin for over 30 years and counts Gwyneth Paltrow, Brittany Snow, and Sophia Bush as clients. She also developed a skincare line with pure, clean ingredients to help people at home keep their skin looking and feeling its best. She’s an expert when it comes to treating rosacea, acne, and eczema, so I knew I would be in good hands when embarking on this six-week program.
Keep reading to find out what Sonya did to help calm my rosacea, as well as the genius skincare tips I learned for my at-home routine and the lifestyle changes I’ve implemented to keep my rosacea at bay.
Let’s back up for a second and explain a bit more about rosacea for those unfamiliar. Rosacea often begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people, with red blotches appearing on the cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. It’s typically genetic, but there’s no test to determine if the symptoms someone is experiencing are indeed from rosacea. It’s commonly misdiagnosed, and equally frustrating is its erratic nature (better known as “flare-ups”) that can be triggered by both internal and external factors. External heat and the subsequent dilation of blood vessels are often linked to rosacea flare-ups.
It’s not just a cosmetic thing though, as the flushing and redness also cause an intense feeling of heat just underneath the skin, almost the way your skin feels after a sunburn. So people who have rosacea deal with not only the external appearance but also the internal irritation.
Sonya’s skin boot camp program combines in-office treatments like diamond peels, oxygen facials, LED light therapy, extractions, and facial massage with at-home products and lifestyle changes to improve and manage your skin condition. Each week, she rotates through a few different treatments during your hour with her and then sends you home with the regimen she wants you to use, such as her sensitive skin–friendly Omega Oil and Sensi Wash. The Organic Omega Booster is actually the number one product she would recommend to anyone with rosacea, as it contains flaxseed oil, which is rich in essential fatty acids. This makes it super effective in soothing skin, reducing redness and inflammation, and calming any itchiness.
She also discussed at length with me the lifestyle factors that could be making my skin condition worse. For example, hot yoga and saunas are huge no-nos for rosacea sufferers. Any type of intense heat (including that from the sun) is going to irritate and inflame your skin. Another big one is caffeine—too much of it not only dehydrates your body (which is going to affect your skin), but it also causes the skin to flush more easily. This was one of the biggest changes I needed to make as someone who loves cold brew. Sonya recommended not ditching the habit completely but limiting it to once daily and making sure I drink a ton of water to remain hydrated.
After spending six weeks sticking to my recommended skincare regimen, visiting the Sonya Dakar skin clinic, and eliminating triggering lifestyle factors, my skin is the calmest it’s ever been. My flare-ups have been relatively nonexistent, and there is significantly less redness in my skin. I believe it was the combination of things Sonya recommended to me that made my skin look and feel so much better, not just seeing a professional for treatments weekly. If I had gone in to see her and then went back to living my life the way I had been before (with a combination of hot yoga, coffee, and irritating skincare products), I wouldn’t have noticed the major shift in my skin.
Below I’m outlining the biggest takeaways from my time with Sonya that I will continue to apply in my daily routine and that anyone can incorporate into their own to help calm their skin.
1. Avoid or limit external triggers.
As I’ve mentioned, rosacea flare-ups are caused by both internal and external triggers, so eliminating or reducing these is extremely important to keep your skin calm. The most common external triggers include the following:
Sun exposure: While the sun’s UV rays can cause much damage to skin and worsen rosacea, the damage to blood vessels throughout the face is the most serious concern—often causing mild rosacea sufferers to progress quickly into the moderate-to-severe stages. It’s worth noting that even short-term exposure of 20 to 30 minutes can worsen a rosacea flare-up.
Windy, cold, dry weather: These are brutal stressors on the skin and can easily escalate even the mildest case of rosacea.
Saunas and hot baths or showers: Though these are quite enjoyable, the prolonged contact with heat will further dilate capillaries and aggravate rosacea.
Cosmetics and skincare: Especially those containing alcohol, sulfates, menthol, fragrance, or other known skin irritants.
2. Reduce internal triggers.
Internal triggers are just as detrimental (if not more) as external. Things like stress and anxiety are known to heat up the skin, while things like alcohol are going to cause instant flushing. The most common internal triggers include the following:
Stress and anxiety: These are the top internal triggers for rosacea flare-ups. Stress distorts the body’s ability to monitor and control proper function. Any pre-existing conditions are often made worse by prolonged stress.
Alcohol: Alcohol dilates blood vessels, which will make a red face look redder. Red wine also contains chemicals called tyramines—a compound that dilates vessels even more. Close to 90% of rosacea patients who have limited their alcohol consumption have reported a reduction in the frequency of flare-ups.
Spicy food: Sriracha and other spicy foods cause flushing and dilation of capillaries, which amplifies a rosacea condition.
Medication: Certain medications throw your body off balance, which in turn can cause flare-ups.
3. Be specific when picking out skincare products.
Don’t be afraid to use skincare products with rosacea. Just make sure you choose formulas and ingredients that will help your skin. It isn’t enough to just cleanse and moisturize with gentle products. The goal would be to create a regimen with products that will help your skin become healthier over time. You want to choose products that will help decrease inflammation, fight free-radical damage, improve the skin’s barrier, and boost collagen production. These are the ingredients to look for when shopping for products:
4. Avoid ingredients that will irritate sensitive skin.
Avoid products with harsh, drying, and irritating ingredients. This means no glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, hydroquinone, sulfates, and detergents. All of these will strip, thin, and irritate skin and trigger rosacea flare-ups.
Following these four tips will improve your sensitivity and reduce the frequency of flare-ups. I was shocked (and stoked, TBH) at how much my skin improved by making a few small alterations in both my skincare routine and lifestyle.
We talk a lot about style from around the globe here at Who What Wear. There’s just something about the looks of foreign lands that never ceases to pique our curiosity. From the polished notes we see in British fashion to the romantic details French girls love to the Scandinavian girls who seem to start every major trend, there are so many covetable aesthetics out there.
But today I’m focusing on the group I consider to have the coolest style in the world: Italian women. There’s just something about their bold, alluring style that I find myself wanting to emulate constantly. If you take a look at all of the fashion people I follow on Instagram, Italians make up the highest percentage. To dig deeper into what makes their style so special, I tapped a few of my favorite style influencers to reveal their best outfit tips. Keep reading to find out the four style mistakes Italian women never make.
“I think Italian girls are not afraid to take a risk, they know how to mix colors and prints which is not always easy,” says Amina Muaddi, owner and designer of her eponymous shoe label (which just happens to be worn by every cool girl on the planet, from Rihanna to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley). They never shy away from color, which is what makes Italian-girl style so fun to admire.
Italian model and fashion influencer Erika Boldrin explains, “Italian girls never overdress.” They know how to strike the perfect balance when putting together looks, which means pairing printed pants with a basic tank or letting the accessories do the talking while keeping the rest of the outfit simple.
While some fashion cultures want to dress down a party piece for daytime by layering over pants or with a turtleneck underneath, Italian women disagree. “Italian girls wear party dresses only after dark,” says Erika. However, once the sun does go down and the party dresses do come out, the Italians go all out—feathers, metallics, sequins, and the like.
Italian women know the importance of striking the perfect balance of skin—they tend to choose one way of showing skin and stick to just that area. Influencer and singer Patricia Manfield explains: Italian girls “Never overdo it, nudity-wise, and they’re subtly sexy—it’s either a crazy slit with the whole front covered or the other way around. Or sometimes they like a boss suit with no top under the jacket.” The key is to pick one area to expose and balance it out in the other areas.
While each new season brings fresh, exciting trends, there are certain fashion basics that resurface year after year, and outfits wouldn’t be the same without them. As much as the fashion world loves something new, it’s pretty much married to a few tried-and-true wardrobe staples.
These pieces act as the foundation to every good outfit, and fashion people break them out year after year the moment the seasons change. Since fall is right around the corner (September 23 everyone, mark your calendars), I figured we should highlight them. From cozy cardigans to timeless trench coats, these are the five fall basics every fashion person will be living in faster than you can say pumpkin spice latte.
Cardigan sweaters are the grandma trend that fashion girls can’t get enough of. Every fall, they’re worn either as sweaters or tied around the shoulders—and this year will be no different. The touch of texture elevates every outfit.
This year is going to be all about loose trousers specifically, but every year around September the fashion crowd breaks out the khaki-colored trousers for the perfect fall pant. They look just a touch more polished than jeans but are still beyond easy to create outfits with.
Trench coats may sound boring, but they’re actually the ideal third piece. Even your cliché jeans-and-a-tee outfit becomes instantly cooler when you throw a timeless trench coat on top.
A blazer might actually be the most-loved fashion-girl jacket of all time. They add instant polish to your look, can go from day to night with ease, and just make you feel like an all-around boss when you wear one. Throw one on top of jeans, trousers, or dresses for an outfit that will always be considered cool.
No fall wardrobe is complete without a pair of black ankle boots. Whether they’re sleek, clean Chelsea boots or thick, chunky Doc Martens, black ankle boots will forever be the number one fall shoe.
It sounds contradictory, but sometimes it’s the simple (often called “boring”) outfits that are the chicest. There’s something about clean, minimalist outfits that I’ve always been drawn to because they always look expensive. Think about it. Is there anything more effortlessly cool than a really good jeans-and–T-shirt outfit? Exactly.
This fall in particular, I’ve found myself saving outfit after outfit with one thing in common: a neutral color palette. If you take a look in my Instagram saved collections right now, you’ll notice sea of white, black, brown, and various shades of beige. My entire feed seems to be flooded with outfits that you can easily re-create on a budget. The key is to stick with a totally neutral color palette, and your look is guaranteed to feel luxe. If you don’t believe me, simply keep scrolling to see a highlight reel of my 26 favorite expensive-looking fall outfits that are all made up of neutral pieces, and prepare to be converted.