Tag Archives: Boston

#BostonStrongerThanEver

Boston Skyline Illustration // shell chic'd

Boston will run today, because it’s what this city does. Good luck to all of the runners, and thank you to all of the volunteers. Big hug especially to BBF [best blog friend] Alex as she powers through 26.2! Happy Marathon Monday, friends!

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Getting Fresh + Pretty with Prettyology!

Julie Michaud Prettyology Boston

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting Newbury Street’s Julie Michaud Prettyology, and I could not have been more impressed! This beauty lab is all about the face:: stop in for skin care, makeup application, eyelash extensions, brow tweezing… pretty much everything I can think of that I would ever need to do to my face.

Pink Walls // Chandelier

I spent my Saturday afternoon in the lab, being pampered with a facial + eye makeup application. Their facials mean business y’all. This is not at all to say it wasn’t incredibly enjoyable and relaxing, but my Skin Warrior treatment felt more like a dermatologist appointment than any old spa experience. I learned so-darn-much about my skin, and found out I’m doing a lot wrong [#oops!]. Lead Medical Aesthetician Jen Chiocchariello is a master of the face, and fixed up my winter-tormented skin while teaching me a ton of new things as well [good morning, warm lemon water with breakfast].

Prettyology Makeup Review

Then it was off to the darling Shalyn Brooks to test out The Eyes Have It– a half-hour eye makeup application that made me feel so glam, despite the rest of my face being super moisturized and embarrassing post facial extractions! [evidence here]. Shalyn got me to try something out of my normal routine, without forcing me to totally leave my comfort zone. I can’t wait to go back and get my eyes done before weddings + other events in the city this summer.

Boston Newbury Street Makeup Application/Lessons

All in all, amazing experience. This is so much more than your typical spa/salon.

And special Boston perks right now: All Boston Marathon runners receive 25% off all products, skin treatments, brow shaping, or makeup services. For anyone who purchases products, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to The One Fund for the entire month of April.

Where to buy makeup in Boston

Makeup Brush Organization

Galley Wall

[ I'm sorry I just can't get enough of this beautiful space! ]

Prettyology Facial / Makeup Review

Please do let me know if you stop by!

[ Julie Michaud Prettyology ]
[ 18 Newbury Street ]
[ Boston, MA  02116 ]
[ 617.262.1607 ]

Full disclosure: I was treated to my services at JM Prettyology; all opinions expressed are my own.

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Farm & Fable

You guys. I have discovered my new happy place.

Farm and Fable Boston

Farm & Fable is a new[ish] vintage cookbook and kitchenware store in the South End [if you like Anthropologie's home section, you'll never want to leave this shop]. Owner Abby hosted the best little get-together for some Boston Bloggers in the space, and I already can’t wait to get back there.

Vintage Cookbook Kitchen StoreWe made mulled wine + spice sachets and just had the best time. I’m dying to return for one of Abby’s cooking classes or Cookbook Club! This is a Boston gem really not to be missed.

I should mention they carry new cookbooks in addition to vintage ones, so please oh please for the love of all things holy and endangered, buy your cookbooks at a place like this. There are so few independent bookstores left and it hurts my heart to hear you say that you can get it cheaper on Amazon! #shoplocal

[ Farm & Fable ]
[ 251 Shawmut Avenue ]
[ Boston, MA  02118 ]

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MiniLuxe’s #MiniFacial Review

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Not gonna lie, it’s been a stressful month… or two. It has been quite a stressful winter in general actually, and I’ve been in a bit of a tense funk. So when MiniLuxe offered me the opportunity to try out their new MiniFacials, I jumped on the opportunity.

At just 30 minutes in length, they’re not so long that you need to reserve a good chunk of your day [heck, you can squeeze one in during your lunch break!], but are just long enough that you totally kick back for that half hour and unwind in total bliss. Not to mention, have all of that dry, chapped winter skin tended to!

MiniLuxe Facials

Like I experienced at Drybar, I thought it was so fun to be able to “pick your poison,” if you will: If you’re primping for a big night, go with the “Pre Party Prep” to energize, hydrate, and brighten your face, or if you’re an exhausted pulling-all-nighters student or wild party animal, opt for the “All Nighter” to cool your skin and de-puff. Tons of additional options are available for whatever your skin needs– I myself went with the traditional “Detox Diva” and felt uh-mazing walking out of there.

MiniLuxe Boston

All MiniFacials include a hand/neck/shoulder massage [hi, my favorite part], as well as vitamin- and nutrient-packet serums and moisturizers. Since they are mini facials, there’s no extracting blackheads or any of that, but isn’t that the least enjoyable part anyway?! For $40, they are the perfect little indulgence. Easily 30 of the best minutes of my month :)

MiniFacials are currently available at all MiniLuxe locations except for Brookline. It’s a wonder I haven’t already booked my next one! (or few…)

Full disclosure: I was provided a MiniFacial free of charge. All opinions expressed are genuine and my own.

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App Review: Boutikey

Boutikey App Review

Unless they have to do with photo editing [hello Waterlogue], I’m always a little hesitant to download any new apps, even if they’re free, simply out of fear of cluttering my iPhone.

BUT I’ve found a new shopping app that is kind of really necessary to have on hand: Boutikey.

Boutikey Logo

You all know I love to shop locally, and am especially into supporting local Boston boutiques [Britt Ryan, In the Pink, No Rest for Bridget, Savas Studios, etc etc.]. Like any smart shopper, I try to keep up with their sales, but when you follow some via Twitter, some via Instagram, some via email, and so on, the notifications get lost, and you just don’t hear about their specials like you would from, say, J.Crew.

Boutikey is streamlining the process and making super easy for you to connect + keep up with your favorite local boutiques. It’s a FREE app that allows you to follow the stores, hear about their current sales and promos, check out their current items and new arrivals, and–most fun and exclusive to this app–earn loyalty points for shopping there, ie. receive a pair of earrings for every $100 spent, or spend $150, get 20% off. It’s like FourSquare met Instagram and had a really fashionable, wallet-savvy baby.

Best Boston Boutiques

There are over 40 boutiques currently enrolled, including some of my personal favs: Mint Julep, Sail Loft, Heart & Sole, and Crush. Another great feature? GPS functionality. So when you’re out blindly shopping, Boutikey will let you know which stores are near, and where you can find the best deals.

Boutikey is currently available for iPhone + is coming soon to Android. And they are growing every day– be sure to visit their website, tell them what boutiques you want to see on the app, and you could win a $100 gift card.

Full disclosure: I am receiving no compensation for this review– I’m having that much fun with it! Let me know if you try it out xx

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Friends + Fun at Pasta Beach

Pasta Beach Boston

Right before Thanksgiving, I had such a fun the best night out with some Boston Blogger gals, wining and dining at Boston’s Pasta Beach on the waterfront. The story behind this dee-lish restaurant is enough to make your heart flutter. American girl moves to Italy. Girl meets boy. [Italian Boy]. Girl + boy marry. Girl + boy raise children in Italy but spend summers in America. Girl + boy + children cannot live without the taste of Italy here. Alas, Pasta Beach was born.

Asparagus Prosciutto Parmigiano Pasta

Tagliatelle agli Asparagi e Prosciutto 

I’ve been incredibly lucky in that I’ve visited Italy myself twice, and while I love a good North End dinner over here, my meal at Pasta Beach was the first in years that really reminded me of the authentic Italian I tasted in Rome, Florence, and Tuscany. So fresh, and while understandably filling, not too heavy by any means. You can just taste the quality in the meals here.

Margherita Pizza Pasta Beach

I usually never opt for Margherita pizza and prefer more toppings [go big or go home right?], but this one had so.much.flavor. on its own that no additional toppings were necessary!

Authentic Creme Brulee

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse // Creme Brulee

Boston Blogger Events

Bloggers will be bloggers! Lovely Smita + Rachel

It was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time, and instantly took me back to my studies in Italy. Many thanks to Susie, Gianni, and Tyler for hosting us, and Elizabeth for setting this up!

[ Pasta Beach ]
[ 30 Rowes Wharf ]
[ Boston, MA 02110 ]
[ 617-439-6900 ]

Pssst! Any Rhode Island folks here? You must also visit their location in Newport!

Read the rest of our group’s reviews here::
Alex, Literally, Everything
Ana, Scavengenius
Elizabeth, Little Moments of Happiness
Janee, Yellow Bird Yellow Beard
Rachel, Postcards from Rachel
Smita, Hogger & Co.

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Holiday T-Straps & Travel (+ an UBER discount for you!)

gold glitter shoe guide

Some years, even more exciting than picking out a holiday dress [or skirt or sweater!], is picking out festive shoes. I say, the more glitter, the better…!

Glitter Shoes

Soft Gold Metallic Patent, Type Z, $40 | Cava T-Straps, Anthropologie, $298 ]
[ Etta Sequin Pump, J.Crew, $350 | Ramiro Boots, Steve Madden, $50 ]
[ Charm Heel, Kate Spade, $325 | Women's Glitters//Youth Glitters, TOMS, $54 ]
[ Glitter Slipper Shoe, London Rebel, $26 | Glitter Lace-Up Shoes, F-Troupe, #200 ]

The only downside to fun holiday party outfits + show-stopping shoes? The uncomfortable walks home. I’m a big fan of Uber all year round, but I especially take advantage of this taxi app during the busy holiday season when I can’t be bothered to wait for the unreliable Boston transit system, or when I need to splurge on a cab ride home to save my heels :)

Uber Discount Code

Except here’s the kicker: Grabbing a taxi with Uber is not much of a splurge at all– I’ve easily saved money using it!

If you’re new to Uber, just know this: It’s a smartphone app that uses a GPS system to find you a cab closest to your current location. Registration is free, but you enter your credit card information from the start, so there is no actual money exchange during your ride. After your ride, your card will be charged [tip included!], and it rounds down to the nearest dollar. SEE-YA drivers who claim they can’t take cards– this is finally no longer a problem with Uber! Plus, sharing a cab with friends? There’s an easy fare-splitting option [this is news to me too!].

Uber is offering new riders a $15 credit(!) with code ShellChic13, and with extra minutes being sparse in during the holiday season, what better timing? Yes, I receive a credit if any of you sign up [the same commission every Uber rider receives for referrals], but pay or no pay, I can honestly say this is one of my top three favorite phone apps [it's available for iPhone + Android!], and while it has saved me from a lot of Boston-specific transportation headaches, it’s available in tons of other cities all over the world as well.

Enter the code after downloading the app on your phone, or sign up on a computer here.

Are you using Uber to save time and save your shoes? If no, seriously– why not?!

Fine print: “ShellChic13″ code is valid for $15 toward a new user’s first ride taken with uberX or UberBLACK and is not valid on rides with uberTAXI.

Extra fine print: Who uses uberTAXI anymore anyway? uberX is totally the new way to go! Contrary to popular belief, it is super safe and much cheaper. 

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Britt Ryan Holiday

Britt Ryan Holiday 2013 Review

Bold prints. Classic shapes. Feminine details. Local brand. Does it really come as any surprise that I am thrilled to be working with Britt Ryan this season?!

I’ve partnered with Britt Ryan’s signature store, conveniently located here in Boston on Newbury, to show off some pieces from their stunning Madmen-inspired holiday collection. But first, in case you haven’t been in, I want to reveal how darling the boutique itself is. It’s pretty much like taking a step into my dream walk-in closet…

Britt Ryan Newbury

girly dressing room

Pearl Bubble Necklace; Gold Sequin FLutter Sleeve Dress

ribbon hangers

blue bangle bracelets

Birdcage Jewelry Case

You all must know by now that I can’t resist a little black dress [I think they are the ultimate investment pieces; example a + b], so when store manager Christianna handed me this one with beaded details and a big ol’ bow, I swooned.

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[ Draper Dress, $238 | Cream Cuff, $24 ]

Black Bow Dress

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Bow Collar Dress

pssst! And if you’ve got longer legs than me, it’s even more stunning!

I’ll be sharing more party-perfect looks from Britt Ryan this month + next, and if you’re not in the Boston area, don’t panic! Britt’s designs are sold in boutiques all across the US [click here for a full list], plus online at Tuckernuck [another favorite of mine!].

If you buy or order [anna@brittryan.com] from the Boston store, be sure to mention shell chic’d for 10% off your purchase! Holiday season is here you all—time to start stocking up on glittery essentials :)

[ Britt Ryan ]
[ 291 Newbury Street ]
[ Boston, MA ]
[ 857-284-7196 ]

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Head of the Charles 2013

Head of the Charles Instagram

One of my favorite fall traditions, aside from apple picking and trips to Salem, is heading over the river to Cambridge to watch the Head of the Charles Regatta. Whether or not you’re a fan of crew, there’s something for everyone on the race grounds.

Head of the Charles Regatta

I remember high school friends making the trek to Boston every October to participate in the Regatta. Even though I wasn’t a rower myself, I remember being so excited at the prospect of getting to go watch one day once I moved to Boston.

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watching the head of the charles from the bridges

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Brooks Brothers is a HOTC sponsor, and their two tents—one by the finish line and one by Harvard’s Weld Boathouse—are not to be missed for themed apparel and gifts!

Brooks Brothers at Head of the Charles

what to wear to a boat race

[ outfit details ]
Sweater, Polo Ralph Lauren [similar 12 ] | Gingham Shirt, J.Crew Factory [now on sale!] | Skirt, GAP | World Watch, Urban Outfitters | Rope Bracelet, Kiel James Patrick | Tote, Longchamp | Boat Shoes, New England Outerwear

fall layering in boston

map watch

boat shoes made in new england

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[ activity summary ]
who:: Something for all ages; if you go with a group, be ok with splitting up!
what:: Watch the races; eat fried food, chowdah’ in a bread bowl, and Wild Bill’s root beer at the Weld Exhibition on the Cambridge side; shop for limited-edition goods at the Brooks Brothers and Sperry Top-Sider tents + others at the Rowing & Fitness Expo by the finish line on the Boston side.
when:: The penultimate full weekend of every October
where:: All up and down the Charles River, on both the Boston and Cambridge sides. I think it’s most fun to watch the races from the bridges! View a full map here.
wear:: Clothes comfortable for walking around + sitting in the grass; boat shoes or rain boots/Bean Boots if the conditions are muddy [they often are!]

Have you been to the regatta, or other boat races? What are your favorite things to take part in?


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A Stroll Around Beacon Hill

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A few months ago, I was asked to participate in BostInno’s Fall Lookbook, and I’m so excited to finally be able to share all of the photos today! [ You can see the BostInno feature here. ]

Acorn Street Beacon Hill

I knew I wanted to share the classic style of one of my favorite Boston neighborhoods, Beacon Hill. I could spend hours in this corner of the city, anytime of year [it's definitely the location of my dream home], but I especially adore it during the fall. The crowds have calmed down, and it’s beyond picturesque for strolling around, latte in hand.

Black Scalloped Dress

[ outfit details ]
Scalloped Dress, J.Crew [similar 1; 2] | Trench Coat, London Fog | Pearls, vintage [similar] | Earrings, Pistachio via Mint Julep | Knot Bracelet, Oh Buoy Boston | Clutch, vintage Coach [similar]Ballet flats, Kimchi Blue

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Hair by BeStyled Blow Dry

My curls are courtesy of BeStyled in Chestnut Hill— read my review of the new blow dry salon here!

Beacon Hill Macarons

London Fog Tan Trench Coat

I think one of the ultimate outwear investments for New England gals is a good trench coat. They’re classic, and incredibly versatile. I love this London Fog one with its removable liner for extra cold days— it can take you from 65 degrees and drizzling to 30 degrees and snowing!

Beacon Hill Fashion

[ neighborhood summary ]
who:: There is a romantic feel to Beacon Hill, but it’s just as fun for girlfriend brunch-and-shopping dates, or strolling on your own.
what:: Lots of history [Nichols House Museum; Museum of African American History], shopping on Charles Street; coffee breaks in cafes, and Acorn Street— the most photographed street in America!
when:: Anytime of year, though crowded on summer weekends and slippery in the winter!
where:: Breakfast at The Paramount | Coffee at Cafe Vanille | Macarons at Beacon Hill Chocolates | Dinner at 75 Chestnut
wear:: Beacon Hill is chic. Rarely do I walk around this neighborhood and find folks underdressed. That being said, it is full of cobblestone streets and—obviously—hills, so avoid heels and other uncomfortable shoes!

bonus (in the spirit of this week!):: You aren’t a true Bostonian unless you can claim you’ve done Halloween in Beacon Hill… or at least stopped by for a glimpse of John Kerry greeting trick-or-treaters at his home in Louisburg Square :)

What are your favorite things about Beacon Hill?

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