Talk To The Art: Affordable Art Sites

Plain and simple: no room is complete without art. It’s just four walls and some furniture until you add a few inspiring pieces that bring it to life – give it it’s own voice and personality. I am very a visual and expressive person (if you haven’t noticed). I speak my mind and have no shame in doing so. And I think that’s exactly what art does. It speaks without any words – its confidence can’t be shattered.

Moral of the story – I really like art. However, I understand that collecting art is an expensive investment, especially if you are looking at valuable, original works and hoping to purchase them right off the wall.

Luckily, there are so many online art boutiques and sites that offer unique and affordable pieces. No matter your preference, artist or collecting style, I can guarantee you can find artwork from these sites that will suit your space. Switching out artwork in your home, office, or storefront, is one of the simplest ways to redecorate in a pinch. If you are an aspiring collector or you are hoping to refresh your walls, I have gathered my favorite places to browse (without putting on pants) and purchase art work.

Society6

If you haven’t heard of the site Society6, don’t talk to me. It’s the sickest site for all things art and home decor. Thousands of artists from around the world sell their original art as fine prints, apparel, tech and home accessories. I love knowing that I am supporting an  international community of talented creatives. This site is perfect for eclectic styles and likes to switch up their art collection frequently. They offer a massive assortment of affordable prints to create the perfect gallery wall. They also offer a membership program to loyal customers.

Minted

Minted is another wonderful site that supports independent and emerging artists from around the world. I especially love this site for large prints. Masculine, eclectic, pastel, mixed-media, you name it – Minted has just about everything you can think of. The site  constantly holds design competitions where the community casts a vote on which pieces should be sold. This results in an infinite collection of work to browse through at an affordable price.

One Kings Lane

Okay, so this one is pretty well-known. But still just as awesome! If you’re a newbie to the art world, One Kings Lane is a great recourse for starters. They offer style expertise from their professional design team and offer a lot of great design inspiration. Everything from black and white photography and watercolors to mixed media and eclectic works, One Kings Lane has something for everyone.

Artfully Walls

Another great web spot for inspiration, Artfully Walls is amazing. This site is great for the art collector novice and enthusiast alike. They have a crazy huge collection of unique pieces from around the globe. Plus if you’re a huge app person – their app makes mobile shopping ridiculously easy!

art-wall

art-wall-inspiration

art-wall-inspiration1

art-wall-inspiration-2

Manly Moisturizing: Hydrating Skincare Tips for Winter

Ever wonder how a woman’s skin is always so smooth? My fellow males, I’ll let you in on a little secret: never – I repeat, NEVER underestimate the power of a moisturizer. Think of our skin as a pair of leather shoes. Try wearing those babies for a few months without conditioning them and see what happens. Over time, even our Salvatore Ferragamos lose their shine and end up covered with cracks, deep crevices, and general wear. And calfskin is much more resilient than our skin.

My point is, our skin – especially in the winter – needs ample hydration. Whether we admit it or not. For men, it takes very little to make a big improvement. Even the toughest dudes need a little pampering. Here I’ve rounded up some quick and easy tips to master the art of hydrated skin – and the best products to maintain it. I promise, they’re a step up from your bar of soap.

Throw Some Shade, Add SPF

Moisturizer is the anchor to keeping your skin healthy – it minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, strengthens the skin, and makes it more resilient to outside factors. Throw in a little SPF and you’re also reducing the risk of skin cancer, precancerous change, and premature aging of the skin. Basically, by choosing a daily moisturizer without SPF you’re being just plain stupid.

My Picks:

Anthony Oil Free Facial Lotion, $33

Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer, $48

Eye on The Prize: Eye Cream

Sadly, the skin around our eyes doesn’t lie. While you may tell everyone at the office that you went to bed at a reasonable hour last night, the bags under your eyes are saying otherwise. This area is also one of the first to show unwanted signs of aging – dark circles, crows feet, sagging. Luckily, eye cream was invented to ward off Father Time, The Sand Man, and last night’s The Office-binge on Netflix.

My Picks:

Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer, $20

Origins GinZing Eye Cream, $30

Lather, Rinse, Repeat (With Moisturizer)

The best time to apply lotion is when your skin is in a humid environment. And what better occasion to lather up on the moisturizer than after a steamy shower? A combination of hot water, bar soaps, and dry air can take a toll on our skin. By putting on lotion immediately after we hop out of the shower, we are locking in that hydration and avoiding the dry air.

My Picks:

Lubriderm Men’s 3-in-1 Lotion, $7

MenScience Advanced Body Lotion Ultralight, $22

Put Your Skin To Rest: Night Time Routine

Just like you brush your teeth every night before bed (I hope), moisturizing should be held to the same standard. While we sleep, our skin is in reparative state – aka it’s sleeping like the rest of our body. And because of this, our skin isn’t exposed to environmental stressors that age the skin. By adding a moisturizer to our night-specific skincare routine, we are repairing skin, while reducing oily skin and breakouts. Basically, just moisturize dude.

My Picks:

Baxter of California Night Cream AHA, $26

Clinique Turnaround Overnight Revitalizing Moisturizer, $40 

10 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Actually Keep

I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but you know how the holidays can be. Hope you all didn’t miss me too much! In light of the New Year, I want to dedicate to today’s post to resolutions. I’m not talking about crazy and impractical goals like “I am NEVER going to eat chocolate again.” Alright for some people that may be plausible, but you get the picture.

After the holidays robbed our bank accounts and added 5+ pounds onto our physiques, New Years could not come at a better time. While NYE is a celebration of the passage of time and coming of a new year, it also gives us the chance to hit ‘reset’ on our lives. But by making unrealistic goals, you will only let yourself down. We need goals that we can rely on and better ourselves from.

A year ago, I was in a very different place in my life. I felt lost and disconnected from who I wanted to be. On January 1st, 2016 I vowed to workout everyday, pursue my dreams, and live an overall more rounded life. And I did just that. Not only did fitness become a part of my daily regimen, but I also started Well-Tailored Life.

This year, let’s reach our goals together. Check out my list of New Year’s Goals You Can Actually Keep below and join me in my 2017 resolutions. Let’s do this!

10 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

  1. Write a happy thought every morning when you wake up
  2. ‘Unplug’ for at least 1 hour a day to reflect.
  3. Turn off all lights when you leave your home
  4. Put away $20 a week to save up for something
  5. Opt to take the stairs instead of the elevator
  6. Stop procrastinating and make a To-do list
  7. Spend more time with family
  8. Drink 8 glasses of water a day
  9. Get more sleep
  10. Learn something new everyday

Men’s Guide to Winter Hats

So we have yet to experience any terrible winter weather here in my home of Chicago, although we are notoriously known for our awful winter weather. The inevitable is looming, and I have already begun to invest in some staple winter essentials; above all being hats. Here are some of my favorite hats currently in my closet, as well as some of the styles I can only hope will make winter a little less frigid, and a lot more stylish. Looking good when you’re freezing cold can be tough, but it’s not an excuse not to!

Barbour Castleside Wool Beanie |  $59

This beanie is the perfect everyday winter hat to grab on your way out the door when it’s a little bit colder than you expected. Knitted and made from 100% wool,  it is crafted in Scotland where they know a thing or two about it being cold. This Fair Isle design styles a warm and cozy hat you’ll have forever. 

All Saints Charge Trilby Hat | $70

Made from wool, with a fully lined interior, this hat is perfect for dressing up a day-to-day outfit. Casual, but with a slight elegant flair, this is one of my favorites. Trilby hats never go out of style, and you must have one as a winter essential.

Zara Camouflage Hat | $17.90

This hat is not only functional, but it’s stylish too! The multicolor camo knit is a great everyday piece. Throw it on when you’re going for a run or pair it with a trendy leather jacket for a night out with the guys. 

John Varvatos Jacquard Knit Hat | $198

A crafted wool-cashmere blend, this hat is a fearless take on a classic style. Not many guys are bold enough to rock leopard print, but I don’t care because I LOVE it. Its sophisticated subtleness is what makes it so unique. I wear this almost every day. 

Ted Baker Charlie Knit Beanie | $75

Seriously, you can never have too many beanies. Girls have it easy with the long hair, but us dudes need to worry about our ears freezing off. This Ted Baker hat is awesome. The pompom adds a hint of whimsy to a cashmere-softened cable-knit beanie that makes for a smart seasonal staple.

H&M Wool-blend Cap | $12.99

Okay – not necessarily a winter hat, but this wool blend cap is a classic. Once you get over the vision of the ‘Newsies’ boys, you’ll wear this all the time. It’s the perfect way to dress up an outfit while looking like a old school newsboy.

Carry On Essentials

I don’t know about you, but I’m planning to jet off to warmer weather as soon as the frigid Chicago winter hits. Goodbye Chiberia, hellooo Mr. Sun.

When it comes to preparing for a trip, packing is relatively easy. Especially for guys. Whether for business or pleasure, your wardrobe will just come naturally depending on the destination. But when it comes to what to bring on the plane in your carry on, things can get tricky.

You have to follow specific guidelines and make sure all of your products are less than 3.4 fluid oz (how they got that number, I will never know). Lucky for you, I’ve pulled together my go-to carry on checklist to survive your next flight.

carry-on-essentials

  1. Lightweight jacket | Orvis Travel Jacket, $169 | orvis.com
  2. Face wipes | Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes, $24 | birchbox.com
  3. Portable phone charger | Slim Marble Portable Charger, $24 | urbanoutfitters.com
  4. Dry shampoo | American Crew Boost Powder, $10 | amazon.com
  5. Cordless headphones | Beats by Dr. Dre Wireless Earbud Headphones, $140 | bestbuy.com
  6. Neck pillow | Any airport newspaper stand
  7. Lip balm | Kiehl’s Facial Fuel No-Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm, $9 | bloomingdales.com
  8. Toothpaste tabs | Lush Miles of Smiles Toothy Tabs, $20 | amazon.com
  9. Sunglasses | Ray-ban Clubmaster Sunglasses, $150 | macys.com
  10. iPad | Apple iPad Pro in Space Gray, starting at $600 | apple.com

Fresh Cut: 5 Hairstyles For Fall

Fall is a time for new beginnings giving you the perfect excuse to up your game and change your look. And what better way to start the season fresh than with a fresh, suave ‘do? Hair, while we may take it for granted, does much more for us guys than we think – it’s transformative.

In an effort to compile a list of my favorite men’s hair trends for this season, I realized that I am no hairstyling expert. So I called on the help of someone who is: Adam Bogucki. Owner of West Lakeview’s Lumination Salon and hair industry veteran, Adam is one Chicago’s favorite forward-thinking groomers with over 12 years of experience.

With Adam’s expertise, I was able to narrow down my list to the top 5 haircuts to start the season off on top.

1. Caesar Cut

Named after ancient Roman emperor Julius Caesar, this haircut might be my all time favorite. Synonymous with the ‘french chop,’ the Caesar cut boasts shorter sides with similarly cut locks on top. Not only is this style a classic (literally), it is also extremely versatile and low-maintenance.

2. Shaved Head

While I definitely appreciate the recent direction change in men’s hair trends, the shaved head is always a go-to. Shorter than the caesar cut, the shaved hairstyle has been around since the days soldiers were having it out on the battlefield. This hairstyle has evolved from the utilitarian buzz cut into a modern bad-ass look with (surprisingly) endless options.

3. Puffy Undercut

Although a popular Red Carpet style for the last few years, Adam says “the undercut is here to stay.” There are many ways to alter this look to make it unique. My favorite happens to be what has been dubbed the ‘puffy undercut’. With long locks on the top of your head, the sides and back are buzzed down. This look “provides easy volume and styling versatility,” for an effortlessly cool look.

Adam’s Pro Tip: Excellent for all hair types, try styling the hair on the top of the head forward for a different look.

4. Side Part + Medium Fade

Similar to the undercut, this suave haircut is consists of longer hair on the top of the head which is neatly combed over into a side part, while the hair on the sides + back is kept shorter with a gradual fade transition. As one of the most popular hairstyles he’s cutting this season, Adam said, “the classic look of a side part, but dropping the fade a little lower makes the look very trendy.” The perfect combination of Jay Gatsby debonair and Justin Timberlake cool.

Adam’s Pro Tip: Style with gel for a sleek look or blow dry and add paste for a rougher finish.

5. One Length

“Simple, easy and relaxed,” Adam says that this look is another popular one for fall 2016. For guys who need a low-maintenance look, the one-length haircut is masculine and clean.

Adam’s Pro Tip: Simply add a grooming cream or paste on your way out the door and you’re set.

Grooming 101

Simply put – grooming is an art. With the recent resurgence of facial hair and suave ‘dos, your morning routine is more vital than ever. While contradictory, it takes time and commitment to master a seemingly effortless balance between sexy scruff + well-kept.

I’ll be the first to admit that rolling out of bed sounds existentially more appealing at 6am. But I hate it to break it to you – we should never compromise the up-keep of our money maker. Appropriate grooming habits not only give you a boost of confidence, but it also becomes an element of your personal aesthetic.

There is certainly no manual on how you should groom yourself. So in pursuit of helping the fellow gentlemen improve his mourning routine, I’ve put together a short list of my favorite grooming essentials.

Face Wash: Jack Black Daily Facial Cleanser, $19Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser Photo Courtesy of NordstromIf you’re looking for a good facial cleanser, lather on this baby to start off your daily morning routine. Jack Black’s dual purpose 2-in-1 cleanser and toner is jam-packed with natural moisturizers leaving your face smooth and shave ready.

Shaving Cream: The Art of Shaving Shaving Cream, $25The Art of Shaving Shaving Cream, Photo Courtesy of www.ParisGallery.comWhen it comes to shaving, you might as well listen to those who the company who has turned shaving into an art. Yep, the guys over at The Art of Shaving definitely know what they’re doing. The aromatherapy-based products not only leave you smelling like a freshly-shaven lumberjack who just rubbed pine on his face. In other words: utterly masculine. Personally, I’m a huge fan of their shaving cream. The rich and foamy lather helps protect your skin from irritation by improving razor glide and leave your face silky smooth.

Moisturizer: Kiehl’s Facial Fuel, $25
Kiehls Facial Feul, Photo courtesy of VergeMagazine.co.ukThis skincare company that began as an old-world apothecary clearly knows what they’re doing if they’ve been around (and prospering) since 1851. Kiehl’s Facial Fuel with SPF 15 is a vitamin-enriched and energizing non-oily facial moisturizer. Apply this hydrating lotion in the morning to invigorate your fatigued skin.

Hair Wax: Blind Barber 60 Proof Hair Wax, $18

Photo Courtesy of pomades.comNow I’m not always into hair products – especially when they leave your head looking like a helmet. But I’m all for formulas that will style my hair without weighing it down. This hair wax is light-hold with a matte finish. Rich with nutrients, this hair wax is light-hold with a matte-finish. With just a dime-size dollop, apply the hair wax liberally throughout your hair to create a polished and weightless style perfect for that effortless look.

Kimski: KoPo Infusion

Ever heard of a Polish-Korean infused restaurant? Me neither. That is until I visited Chicago’s Kimski’s last week. If you are a little unsure of this interesting food combo, let me be the first to put your hesitations to rest. The seemingly unfitting heritages make for a mouth-watering menu. I mean, Polish sausages with Korean condiments – what more can you want? Maybe I am a bit biased given my Polish roots, but I can assure you that this infusion eatery is delicious.

First let’s talk food: Chef Won Kim, Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen champion has seamlessly blended the two cuisines. From vegetarian potski and bulgogi cheesesteak to Kopo Wangs and polish sausages, Chef Kim has integrated the two traditions into a truly soulful and unique menu. I went for Maria’s Standard – a smoky Polish sausage with garlic and spice remixed with soju-mustard and tangy kimchi kraut. The sausage took me right back to Poland, something my Mother would have loved to hear!

Located in Bridgeport, Kimski is a counter at Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar. The half-Polish and half-Korean brothers who own the joint, Ed and Mike Marszewski have created the perfect blend of a diver bar and warehouse feel ambience. Wood paneling, yellow bar stools, vintage chalkboard menus, and a lively crown give it the perfect hometown feel.

So if you ever find yourself craving something with an Asian tang and that smoky Polish flavor, you know where to go. I know I certainly do!

Masculine Man Bags

Don’t leave the bags to just the ladies, every man needs some sort of sac for when we have to carry more than just our credit cards. Man bags don’t need to be feminine or purse-like, they are best when subdued and masculine with a touch of vintage mystery.

Whether for business, travel or fashion, there are four main types of man bags every gentleman needs in their closet:

THE BACKPACK

e81544ce3fa8318d48e1903a472178a9_1024x1024

A backpack is a must for overnight trips or a gym bag alternative. Go sporty with a pack like this one from Herschel or stay classy with this leather accented from one Tumi. Just for fun, take a step out of your comfort zone with this modern, roll down pack from Sons of a Trade.

THE MESSENGERfossil-navy-graham-canvas-messenger-bag-blue-product-0-266327878-normal

Convenient, stylish and a must have. The perfect in-between for when you aren’t at the office and you don’t need the capacity of the duffle. The messenger bag is the most underrated of all the man bags. Make sure to not go too bulky and distressed to avoid looking dragged down, just the perfect amount of vintage and wear will work.

THE DUFFLEPhoto Courtesy of Sportique.comThe second must buy man bag is a duffle. Your duffle bag no longer needs to be your D.U.F.F. The most necessary bag for traveling, your duffle must be ready to impress. Look for classic shapes with canvas or leather accents to avoid hiding your beat up duffle bag the next time your at the airport.

THE BRIEFCASE70324-main-001_1The most common man bag, the briefcase, is next on my list. A briefcase can go south fast when you start to value practicality over style. Avoid the synthetic, acrylic and multi-pocketed and go for the leather, classic and well-organized. This grey, canvas one from Tumi is sure to stand out and impress.

DSC_9744 1

 

Lemon Blueberry Tart

The fruit tart is the perfect summer confection. A little sweet but not too sugary, you won’t feel weighed down with this delicious dessert. The best way to make a tasty tart is to pick fresh fruits in season. A tart is versatile enough that you can top it with almost anything.  From classic flavors like strawberry rhubarb to contemporary flavors like passion fruit and blood orange, you can customize this dish to your taste buds.

A lemon blueberry tart is my absolute favorite to get that summer feeling inside and out. Something about the juicy, fresh blueberries on top of a lemon flavored custard makes my heart sing. The best part about these tarts is that they are no-bake, so you don’t have to add to the summer heat with your oven!

This recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream and butter for you all looking to indulge. However, if you would like a lighter version change out the heavy cream for some plain greek yogurt and replace the saturated fat of the butter with an unsaturated version like coconut oil.

LEMON AND BLUEBERRY TARTLETS
Serves: 6

  • INGREDIENTS:
    • 2 cups (240g) graham crackers/digestive biscuits, crushed
    • 1 stick (113g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
    • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
    • Zest of 1 large or 2 small lemons
    • 7oz/198g condensed milk (half of a can)
    • 2tbsp lemon juice
    • 1tbsp powdered sugar, sifted
    • 1 and 1/2 cups (225g) fresh blueberries
  • DIRECTIONS:
    • Place graham cracker crumbs into a medium sized bowl and pour the melted butter into the bowl. Mix this until crumbs are coated.
    • Spray 6 individual sized tart pans with cooking spray.
    • Place 2 heaping tablespoons of the crumb mixture into each tart pan and press firmly, bringing the base up the sides to be level with the top of the pan.
    • Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
    • Once chilled, make the filling: place the heavy cream into a large bowl and whisk until soft peak stage. You want it to hold its shape when you remove the whisk, but the tip of the peak should bend over on itself.
    • Add the lemon zest, condensed milk, lemon juice and powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.
    • Spoon around 2tbsp into each chilled tartlet and use the back of the spoon to smooth the filling. Fill each tartlet level with the top of the base.
    • Place them back in the fridge for 1-2 hours until set. They won’t completely set, if you dig a finger in you will make a dent, but they should be firm if you touch them lightly!
    • Once chilled, place fresh blueberries all over the top of the tartlets.
    • To serve, dust them with icing sugar and place a small wedge of lemon on top.
    • You can keep these covered in the fridge for up to 2 days. Serve chilled.