A Casual Winter Outfit and A Q&A

February 13, 2018

Barbour Quilted Jacket I wit & whimsy

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Q&A so I’m excited to share some of the most recent questions I’ve been getting! I always love hearing what you guys ask me so keep the questions coming. A quick reminder that you can easily send me questions via this form!

Let’s get to ’em…

Barbour Casual Look I wit & whimsy

Have any tips for protecting my shoes in winter weather?

YES! My cobbler pointed out to me that a lot of shoes don’t come with a protective rubber sole on them. Without one, moisture can seep into the sole and do major damage. When you get a pair of shoes you plan to wear in weather, take them into a cobbler and ask for a protective sole to be put on them. This will also add some traction so you don’t slip and slide as much in rain or snow. Finally, I always ask that my suede boots/booties be weatherproofed when I take them into a cobbler. You can also do this at home by buying a can of Scotchguard. Both of these moves will prolong the wear of your shoes. And if you live in New York I can’t recommend Firm Shoe Repair on 4th Avenue and 12th Street enough. They are magicians and I’ve been taking shoes to them for over six years. They always go above and beyond. (The booties in this post are a great case study. I bought them back in 2012 and have had them re-soled twice but still wear them a ton thanks to taking them to my cobbler!)

I’ve been hearing a lot about protecting skin elasticity. As I start to feel my skin aging, are there things I can do to avoid losing skin elasticity?

I hear you on this because as we get older our skin becomes less taught. Keeping skin hydrated is definitely key and then you can also look for products that help boost collagen. Collagen keeps skin firm! (I’ve heard good things about Vital Proteins’ edible collagen.) Finally, I found this blog post from one of my favorite aestheticians in NYC and she shares ways to improve skin elasticity with what you’re eating!

Barbour Jacket Casual Look I wit & whimsy

Could you share more details on what you changed to drop the 5-6 pounds you mentioned. I am disciplined Monday through Friday with workouts and healthy eating and then the weekend comes…my kryptonite! Appreciate any tips.

(As background, I had shared in my 2018 goals post that I was able to lose about 6lbs in about 6 weeks prior to my 10 year college reunion.) I am generally great at getting in my workouts (taking classes via ClassPass has majorly helped me! If interested in trying it out you can get $40 off with this link). That being said, food is generally my downfall. I love pasta, I love sweets and I love dairy.  So when it came time to drop a few lbs before my reunion I cut out gluten Monday through Friday and also largely eliminated sweets. (I didn’t kill myself over it so if I was out with friends and we were going to split a dessert, I’d have a few bites.) I also limited my alcohol intake. The largest factor for me is limiting gluten though. Every time I do this I see myself lose a few pounds within two weeks. Doing this ensures I am making healthier choices when cooking at home or when eating out. I’ve been doing this since the start of the new year as well and it’s been super helpful. As far as weekends go – I’d recommend allowing yourself one cheat day/night. So if you have fun dinner plans on Saturday – order what you want and don’t limit yourself! Just keep yourself in check Friday night & Sunday as a result. You’ll feel less like you’re missing out. I will say it takes me about 2 weeks to feel the effects of limiting sugar and alcohol. Those first two weeks are SO hard! But then my body sort of resets and begins craving them less. Other key tips? Don’t keep the sweets or other foods that are your downfall in the house! This helps me so much! Also if you feel a craving strike, try this tea. I really have found it helpful + satisfying to distract me from any cravings. Hope these tips help! Finally, I have found the scale I talked about in this post so helpful!

I am completely overhauling my skin and beauty routine to be all natural – Do you have any favs? I’m deep Into research right now.

This is something I’ve been trying to get into myself but am still not anywhere near to being 100% clean in my beauty routine. That being said, I do have some favorite products that are natural / clean. You can read about them in this post. I really, really love the Tata Harper line overall and also RMS Beauty. The products are clean yet effective and you don’t feel like you’re sacrificing anything. Additionally, I find a lot of helpful information on this topic on The Moment and Because I’m Addicted. Finally, I love Credo Beauty’s selection so check out their offerings!

Any recommendations for skin products to help with getting the after-zit redness to heal?

I swear by this Mario Badescu stuff! It really goes to work quickly. When I have a more scabbed over zit I combine this powder with Bacitracin before bed and find that the combo really heals things more quickly. The healing powder can also really help when trying to disguise a zit before going out in public.

Casual Barbour outfit on Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy

 I know you always talk about being a “denim girl” but can you share the brands or styles you most wear? I’d also appreciate an option that is under $150.

Through and through, I do love my jeans! I have too many pair as I love having options but I do play favorites with some. My go-to this time of year are the Rag & Bone skinny jeans as I love the fit and they tuck into over the knee boots really well. (Rag & Bone jeans have this great way of making you feel skinnier). Another designer brand I love and only just discovered two years ago is MOTHER. I love the three pair I have by them as they really fit so well & offer more on-trend styles. This is the pair I wear the most though.  I also think J Brand does great jeans and the pair I have from them I wear all the time: This pair of black jeans is on non-stop rotation all fall & winter. The best affordable denim I have found is by Madewell & Topshop. I have this Madewell pair and love the high waist fit that tucks everything in. A friend of mine has these & they always look so good & this pair is next on my list after seeing my friend Blair wear them on repeat. Topshops’ denim is great quality for really good prices and this is my favorite pair. Their sizing is strange though so if you have questions just virtual chat with a Nordstrom rep and they’ll help you! I did that and they determined me as a 30×30 (my usual denim size is 28.)

I want to do more things to make my skin feel better & I am stressed about some wrinkles on my forehead. ALSO I STRUGGLE sometimes with break outs in my chin area. Reading some things/looking at your blog, I think I want to get in the (nightly?) serum game, and maybe the toner game? I def don’t want to spend insane amounts of money right now, but if there are products you really swear by, I’d love to know!!

Ok, where to begin!? First things first, chin breakouts are hormonal so may continue to happen particularly around your period but you can help keep them at bay by using an exfoliating serum like glycolic acid serum or Biologique Recherche PW50. I started using the latter religiously the last few weeks after hearing all these beauty editors talk about it and I swear my skin is soooo glow-y now. (You can read more about it here.) Do NOT use it with glycolic at the same time or your face will burn off :). Not really but like, it will feel like it is. I love the BeautyRx glycolic serum and use it on nights I don’t swipe on the Biologique Recherche stuff. You could also try a glycolic peel which I do once a quarter. You can read more about those here.

I cannot recommend toners enough. Frankly they get every last molecule of dirt/oil/makeup off that cleansing doesn’t and ensures skin is able to breathe. The Mario Badescu ones are great. I use this one (on my face) and this one (on my chest) but they have other options too depending on your skin type.

As for preventing fine lines / wrinkles…VITAMIN C!!! I put it on every single night to ensure preliminary signs of aging aren’t getting worse. The Skinceuticals one is great but Mario Badescu’s is much more affordable and probably just as effective. I used it before I got my hands on the Skinceuticals one. Also for anti-aging: HYDRATION, HYDRATION, HYDRATION! I didn’t use a moisturizer in the morning for years and feel like an idiot because dehydrated skin shows signs of aging faster. I recommend using a different one at night that’s heavier and can get to work while you sleep. And of course don’t skimp on the SPF.

There you have it! Thanks so much to all of you who submitted questions!! I love doing these Q&A posts so much 🙂

Barbour Jacket (c/o) // Jeans // Booties // & Other Stories Sweater (so many good gray sweaters here!)

p.s. past Q&As here & here.

[Bekka Palmer Photography]

comments +

  1. Claire says:

    Love this Q&A post!! Agreed, you’ve got such a lovely glow on in these photos! That first shot, positively luminous!!!! I feel I always exfoliate too much, strip away too much moisture, tone it up, add back more moisture and end up with blemishes anyway. Clueless as to when the serum and Vit C come in to play for a simple routine… your thoughts on the product order? I swear if I don’t have a system I WILL burn my face off. . And then I’ll still break out. 😉 Thanks for any pointers!!!!

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