Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pale Is the New White

Hiya', chickadees! Are you keeping cool in the light summer frocks that are finally popping up in stores en masse?

With more of your skin exposed in strappy dresses and sleeveless knit tops -- and in light of May being National Skin Cancer Awareness month (umm, let's ignore the fact that May is nearly over) -- I want to share a few of the products I use to trick people into thinking I can actually spend time in the sun with burning. Hey, I'm not complaining. If we have learned anything from Twilight (and the Olsen twins), it's that pale is IN.

Cheek Stain
From March through October, I use cheek stain in lieu of blush 100 percent of the time. It creates that natural-looking flush that you get an hour after sun exposure -- without you actually having to go outside. I use Benetint, a dual lip and cheek stain from Benefit, and the price per wear is insanely good. Even using this everyday, a bottle will last several months.
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Lip Gloss
So if you're female and breathing, chances are you've made a trip into Sephora at least once in your lifetime. Not only am I a huge fan of Sephora, I actually really love their collection lip gloss, specifically the Super Shimmer Lip Gloss in Bronzed Beauty. Even being as fair as I am, this rusty red color complements my skin because it goes on so lightly, so it looks very natural.
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Bright Nail Polish
This summer, light pinks and peaches are definitely colors to look for in clothing (blog post on all of that soon to come!). But, for your manicure, I recommend punchy-hued colors, such as orangey-reds, deep melons, and bright pinks and purples. It sounds silly, but it will actually make your skin look brighter! My personal fave for nail polish is OPI, and something like the summery red below looks fabulous on. (The color is called Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do It.)
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Obviously, never forget to apply sunscreen or a daily facial moisturizer with SPF if you are out in the sun. And always smear on some lip balm with SPF before applying any color to your lips. Get ready for some summer fun, ladies! Blog ya later!   

Monday, May 17, 2010

Style Diary -- Retro-Inspired Romper Ensemble

There's something about the summertime that makes me want to run around barefoot and wear flowers in my hair. I have Rachael Yamagata's "1963" playing on repeat, and I constantly feel the urge to sit on my porch with a glass of iced tea, poured from a ceramic pitcher shaped like a watermelon that I found at a garage sale.

Maybe this ultra-casual attitude and the reminder of all things old-fashioned is behind the desire I have to mix a ton of retro-inspired styles together. But the piece that I am centering everything around is this Mossimo Supply Co. seersucker romper, because -- let's face it -- when you can wear clothes that are as comfortable as pajamas and look fabulous, why wouldn't you?

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What I'm Wearing
Out in the sun, I'm pairing this item with a colorful crochet bikini of the Ashley Paige persuasion, but I actually found mine at Old Navy for $12.50 a piece. I've never worn a crochet swimsuit before, but everytime I look at my new one, I imagine it being something my mom would have worn when she went to Hawaii in the 70s. (I have an adorable photo of her from that trip in which she's sporting heavy bangs and a knit halter.) I'm also adding a pair of Tom's Shoes in a purple Tangier print, which resembles a less-severe tie dye pattern. 

Where to Buy
Price: $19.99

What would you pair with this romper? Post a comment!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Heat Up Your Office Attire

Hola, chickadees! I know it's only mid-May, but as the temperatures rise above 90 degrees in Austin, all my blog ideas seem to be centered around the summer season.The bad news is that grown-ups don't get summer vacations, but the good news is that summer is by far the least expensive season to purchase clothes!

However, if you're like me, you probably haven't taken the opportunity to create and/or purchase your summer wardrobe for the office yet. With that in mind, I've come up with a few ideas on how to transition your work attire without breaking the bank. (All of the items I mention below cost 30 dollars or less!)

You Own ... A black/grey/navy wrap dress (with or without a collar), which serves as your go-to presentation day outfit.

You Need ... A lightweight, colorful scarf. Not only will you stay warmer within the frigid office thermostat settings, you'll add a much needed pop of summer color to your ensemble ... for as little as 10 dollars. 
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You Own ... An oxford shirt and black/grey dress pants. Any mix-and-match combination of colors serves as your everyday ensemble.

You Need ... A skinny leather belt in a punchy hue. And no, this doesn't mean you need to wear shoes in the same shade.

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You Own ... A dark pencil skirt and thin sweater or cardigan thrown over a white camisole.

You Need ... A ton of chain necklaces. The metallic color brightens up the outfit -- and it's something you'll be able to wear throughout the year (as I talked about recently in a post on metallic shoes). You can also substitute the chains for multiple strands of pearls, as long as your sweater or cardigan isn't white.

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You Own ... A T-shirt and jeans, because you work in an ultracasual office or from home.

You Need ... A white or light-colored blazer to throw on when you do have meetings. The light shade will make your outfit crisp without creating the stodgy effect you have come to avoid. Don't forget to roll up the sleeves!

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As temperatures continue to rise, stay tuned for some summer-related Style Diary posts! Blog ya' later!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring for Shoes that Last 'til Winter: Three Rules for Three Shades (Part 2 of 2)

Hey chickadees! It's been awhile, but I'm ready to finish my rant on spring shoes. By now, hopefully you have noticed that you can go glitzy or casual in each shade and spend as much or as little as you like. If you're a gal like me, you're looking to be as economical as possible so you can make BIG purchases with ease, such as signing up for a marathon training program (!!!). True story. I'm officially nuts.  

1) Keep It Classic with White
If you're going to go white this year, keep in mind that you're only going to be wearing them for a few more months. So, forego the ultratrendy styles and look for something that's going to be relevant next year.

If casual is the name of your game, my recommendation is buying something in canvas, specifically the Chuck Taylor All Star from Converse. They are playful, inexpensive, and something you can throw in the washer to keep clean for next spring. 

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If you want to put a bit more bling in your step, go for statement jeweled sandals. (Editor's note: When I say, "jewels," I do not mean "rhinestones." The last time I bought shoes with rhinestones, I was shopping for senior prom, and it's going to stay that way.)

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What I'm Wearing
I'm going the casual route, so I'm throwing on a pair of Chucks with my chambray shirt from J.Crew, a liberty floral skirt, and that gold watch you all know I love.

2) Hide Those Toes in Metallics and Nudes
Because these colors aren't super light or dark, metallic- and nude-colored shoes are  the best transition shoe to get you from spring to fall. (And if you live in Texas like moi, they'll probably carry you into winter, also.) With that in mind, my advice is to skip open-toed anything in these shades and purchase simple flats or pumps. You'll survive the summer, because neither flats nor heels require tights (but both look great with them when the weather is finally right).

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(brand: rsvp)
What I'm Wearing
Despite only being 5'0'', I gravitate toward flats, so I'd pair a pretty nude or light gold pair with my denim leggings and a breezy top for the next few months. When it gets cooler, I'll swap the top for a vintage men's oxford shirt.

3) Add Socks and Knee-Highs to Camel
How adorable are ankle socks and knee-highs? Umm, sooo adorable. Whether you purchase chunky sandals like these Chinese Laundry Bellflower sandals I featured in my last post or something close-toed like the Steve Maddens pictured below, you can't go wrong with adding colorful ankle socks or knee-highs (although I recommend solid colors only) when you're frollicking in a cute skirt that hits above the knee.

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What I'm Wearing
My plan is to pair a pair of Oxford shoes in camel with my J.Crew knee highs (any color would look fab) and a black slightly pleated skirt (that's right, chickadees, I'm pairing brown and black) with a white men's Hanes tank and a grey men's cardigan.

The "100-50-25" Where to Buy
Whew! OK, I'm exhausted. Off to run, but not in any of these shoes. ;)