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Ask Jess: Is Chicago safe/open enough to visit? Also, composting, summer dresses, and a new clean foundation

Is Chicago safe enough to visit

Dudley Stephens sweatshirt (size up if in between sizes!), old hat + leggings, Rug (on sale! It’s indoor/outdoor), similar chairs, old table 

Ask Jess: Is Chicago safe/open enough to visit? Also, composting, summer dresses, and a new clean foundation

We’re back with another Ask Jess! Which honestly, I meant to publish yesterday, but if we’re being real here, I’m struggling with both being in the headspace to write content at the moment, and also the fact that, I don’t know––I just don’t know what kind of content “feels” right to post right now. There are so many more important things to focus on, but at the same time, I know we all need some lightheartedness to keep us going. I’m struggling with the balance as we move forward here, thus why my posting might be a little erratic lately. (Sorry!) 

Sooo…that being said, today I thought it would be fun to answer another round of reader questions! Let’s jump in. 

If you went back to March and quarantine just started, what would you do differently and why? 

Honestly I don’t think we’d do anything differently! We started quarantining pretty early by most people’s standards. We were supposed to fly to Florida the weekend things started shutting down in March. And I’m glad we made the decision to stay home. We were very cautious and I’m also proud of us that we made the best of our situation and really enjoyed spending a lot of quality time together. 

Thinking of driving to Chi for a road trip. Is it worth it? Is enough open? 

I definitely think so! There is a lot to do in Chicago right now because it’s summer, and can definitely be tailored to your level of comfortability.

So many patios are open, there are plenty of parks to socially distanced picnic in, many farmer’s markets are opening, and the weather is nice to allow for tons of walking. (FYI, Choose Chicago has a great list of what restaurants are open by neighborhood for outdoor dining!)

Also worth noting that Chicago is now moving into “phase 4” which will pretty much open the remainder of the city. I have mixed feelings about this and I personally wish they would slow things down a little, but again, it’s really going to come down to your comfort level. That being said, social distancing and mask-wearing is still imperative here and is expected and enforced. (FYI, the Tribune has running daily virus updates, so check there to stay up to date before/during your trip.) 

All in all, yes, overall, I give Chicago a thumbs up for ease/ability to have fun while staying safe. 

What are your favorite flowy dresses for summer? (Petite options welcome!) 

Ok so my latest favorite, if you are wanting a budget buy, is this recent Amazon find. It is SO flowy (literally does not even touch your body ????) so I’ve been LIVING in it ever since I got it! (It’s a midi on me but will be cute as a maxi for petites!) I also have my eye on this super comfy loose maxi–I love the striped one! I think it would be cute knotted if you need to shorten!

If you have a little more to spend, I love this flowy dress from Tuckernuck! The perfect house dress that can easily be dressed up for dinner, or thrown on over a bathing suit! I love this short chambray popover dress that is loose and airy too!

Madewell also has so many awesome flowy dresses AND they’re all on sale today! (And many come in petite, too!) How cute is this flowy yellow gingham midi!? I love this blue and white striped flowy midi especially! I also love the print and the beautiful cornflower blue color of this ruffled midi

Another brand I love for summer dresses is FarmRIO! (Sold at ShopBop and their site!) Also, for every purchase made, they plant a tree in the Amazon rainforest!

Have you tried the new Beautycounter Skin Twin foundation? How’s it compare? 

YES. The new foundation is AMAZING. I had planned to do a full review when it came out and I’d had a chance to test it out, but obviously, more important things took precedence in my recent content and I haven’t done a full review yet. So, here’s the short of it: I feel like it’s so, so hard to find a good, clean foundation and this one FINALLY nails it.

I have dry skin (which can be emphasized by a lot of foundations) but also like a fuller coverage product that doesn’t LOOK like you have makeup on. (Which is very hard to find, even from a non-clean brand, haha!) This accomplishes all of those things, I think because it has tons of hyaluronic acid! It has a lot more (very buildable) coverage than their original foundation. This looks and feels like a tinted moisturizer on, but has the coverage of a traditional foundation.

It looks so natural that oftentimes I don’t remember if I have it on when I go to wash my face at night, and the only way I can tell is if my skin just looks too good to be true. ????

Another big win: They also have a MUCH wider range of colors to represent many more skin tones and shades which I was very happy to see. (I still wear my regular colors, I have both Linen and Sand and mix the two depending on how tan/pale I am.) 

All in all, I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy with a foundation. 

Random, but do you like your composting service? 

Yes! WasteNot is the best! They give you a bucket that they pick up and drop off on a biweekly schedule (you can schedule more frequent pickups if you need) right from your front doorstep!

They also gave me a code–JESSKEYS–you can use for a discount! (It’s good for one free pickup which basically means it’s half off your first month if you do bimonthly pickup!) They’re such an awesome local company, and they were founded by high school students! They are only local but you can definitely google composting services in your area if they don’t offer them through the city. (Sadly Chicago does not!) 

That’s all for today! Thanks to all who submitted questions over on IG stories! See more Ask Jess posts here

Also check out: Antiracism in the long term: 15 actions to take today and tomorrow and  30 Black Owned Brands to Shop Today and 10 Random Thoughts