For vests this fall, go long

What do you think of the long vest trend this fall?

Several celebrities have been sporting the look, with long vests resembling sweaters and jackets minus the sleeves. Materials range from leather to cashmere to linen, and the look can be dressed up or down for the right effect.

Check out this leather vest by Vince.

vince

 

Vince long leather vest, $318 to $795 at Saks Fifth Avenue

While going without sleeves may not work come winter, it can be the perfect layer as we step into fall and you need just a bit more warmth, but not too much. Of course, I think the long vest is mostly about style and just a little bit about layering for warmth, don’t you?

A long vest can add a splash of pizzazz to an outfit, whether in a fun plaid or a two-tone style like this one from Alice + Olivia.

alice_and_olivia_emeldatwotonefoldedcollarlongvest_blackcream_1_1_1

 

Emelda long vest, $440 from Alice + Olivia

It can also act as a nice contrast piece, such as adding a layer of dove gray over a black blouse or a streak of black over a white top.

While the key factor in a long vest is that it is long, there are so many styles to choose from, depending on your tastes and what flatters best.

You can go for something long and flowy or more structured, like a belted trenchcoat without sleeves.

This vest from Neiman Marcus drapes softly.

nmarcus

 

Long cashmere vest, $325 at Neiman Marcus

This double-breasted wool blend vest from rag & bone gives you the bold lines of a men’s vest but with a more feminine cut.

ragbone

 

rag & bone’s Faye long vest, $575 at Nordstrom

I think long vests work best with leggings, skinny jeans and the like. You have to be careful a skirt or dress doesn’t add a distracting variation in hem length or create an odd effect if the skirt and vest both stop at the exact same point. But, that said, there are ways to wear a long vest with a dress or skirt as long as the lengths don’t compete. A shorter dress can work with a longer vest or a long skirt with a shorter long vest, for example. That’s something that may just require some experimentation.

And, after all, isn’t trying something new half the fun of adding a new piece like this?

Posted in Blog, Fashion | Leave a comment

Fabulous hair for summer to fall

Last week I mentioned some ways you can extend a little bit of summer into fall or bring fall pieces into your warm-weather wardrobe during these weeks of transition from late summer into fall.

This week I thought I would add a few ideas for some summer hairstyles that work beautifully into your fall plans. These fun updos work just as well (and are just as easy!) when there’s a touch of crispness in the air.

The upswept ponytail

You’ve probably seen this trick before, but it bears mentioning: You can add some nice volume to your hair by building a single ponytail with a few steps.

First, pin the top layer of your hair out of the way. Then, gather the bottom layer of hair into a high ponytail. Backcomb the top to give it some volume and then bring it together with the ponytail already in place. The look is a fuller ponytail with some nice height on the crown of the head.

cf3b4bb6ad3177137d52ad51337eac05

This tutorial from Norwegian blog Gil Makeup gives you step-by-step instructions.

The reverse side braid

Here’s a favorite of mine for when you want something sophisticated yet casual (yes, it can be and is both things!). The looseness of the braid creates a soft look while pulling your hair away from your face. If you’d like, you can dress this up with a silk scarf or simply wear it with a single rubber band at the end.

Reverse side braid

For the instructions, check out my post here.

A messy bun

This is another tried-and-true updo that can be dressed up for fall with the addition of a headband or fancy barrette. Because it’s meant to be a bit unkempt, it’s a quick fix for an early fall morning, while still looking like you spent some time on your hair.

JH Hair Tutorial

This tutorial from the Three Sweet Peas blog shows how quick it is to put this ‘do together.

Posted in Beauty Tips, Blog, Hair, How To | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

End-of-summer style

While kids are heading back to school, we all need a little advice on how to transition from summer to fall — including with our wardrobes!

This in-between time is the perfect time for layers, but also for having a little fun with stretching summer pieces into the fall and sneaking in fall pieces before those first leaves turn on the trees.

Here are a few tips to make your summer-to-fall transition both easy and fun.

Dollarphotoclub_66320725

* A quick and easy way to stretch a little more time out of that summer dress is to put on opaque tights and carry along a light cardigan or blazer.

* Layer, but be careful of layering the short-sleeve top, long-sleeve shirt, scarf, sweater and jacket. Too many layers can look sloppy.

woman legs in high heel golden sandals sit on stairs, outdoor shot

* Keep wearing your sandals, if you can. There’s no reason to put sandals away at the end of summer if it’s not cold and rainy yet. Sandals will add a bit of whimsy to the slacks and more structured skirts of fall. If it gets cold and rainy quickly where you are, count yourself lucky — it’s time to don those boots! Cute ankle boots are perfect for moving into fall.

Detail of a woman posing in the city streets

* Pair your fun summer prints and flirty shirts with jackets and slacks in more subdued hues or pair a colorful dress with more autumn-toned accessories to add a splash of summer color as you transition into fall.

beautiful blond business woman in summer coral dress

* Wear scarves that will help you warm up a summer top or dress just enough to keep wearing it a few more months.

Beautiful red-haired girl at grass

* Moving into fall is also a nice time to move from the more minimalist summer style to adding a few more accessories. So try layering a couple necklaces or stacking some bracelets. Just remember to not overdo it!

What are your favorite end-of-summer style tricks? I’d love to hear them!

Posted in Blog, Fashion, Trends | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Make a marvelous match

Selena Gomez in matching makeup, Courtesy of Harpers Bazaar
Selena Gomez in matching makeup, Courtesy of Harpers Bazaar

I keep seeing various celebrities noticed for the way they matched their lips to their dresses or their eyes to their shoes.

This picture from Harper’s Bazaar of Selena Gomez’ deep burgundy lips with her dress is just one example of how stunning it can be when the match is done right.

This isn’t necessarily a new trend, but it is one you can take advantage of if you keep a few things in mind.

To play it safe, choose one feature to make the match, whether your lips, eyes or cheeks. Keep the rest of your makeup on the neutral side. Occasionally, you can get away with matching lips, eyes and shoes or nails, dress and lips, but that runs the risk of too much matching, so be sure to look at it all with a critical eye.

One main rule of thumb is you don’t have to go for an exact match. Often, you shouldn’t.

If the accessory or clothing you’re matching is more subtle in shade, you can go with a slightly richer or darker hue to really draw out the color. If you’re wearing something with several colors, pick one or two to highlight.

How you apply your makeup can also make a difference in how successfully you manage the look.

Fashion portrait of elegant woman with magnificent hair

You don’t have to match a green dress with a heavy green eye, but a touch of green liner or a sweep of green-gold shadow in the corner might be just enough to pick out the color while keeping the look sophisticated.

At the same time, a red dress paired with bold lips in a slightly deeper red can make a statement.

Remember, too, it doesn’t have to be your clothing that you match. You could match a clutch, your shoes or the tones of earrings or a necklace. Metallics are a fun way to highlight eyes and accessories when you’re matching.

While it takes a light hand to get this look just right, it’s worth it to have a bit of fun and try matching your makeup every so often.

Here are some other pictures of celebrities who got it right at Harper’s Bazaar.

Posted in Beauty Tips, Blog, Eyes, Face, Fashion, Lips, Makeup, Makeup Tips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Fun end-of-summer prints

Prints are in this year, and summer can be so much fun for bold, colorful patterns and prints. While many of these carry over into the fall, there’s still time to try out something new for summer. Here are a few fun prints that caught my eye.

Draper James Printed Hawkins Dress

DR0016_peachtree_front_60

 

Printed Hawkins Dress, $200 from Draper James

Reese Witherspoon’s new line of clothing, Draper James, is full of fun patterns, from gardenias to peaches to plaids and other prints. The bold peach print on this dress can also be found on handbags and shirts.

Trina Turk Griffin Dress

TD156505_MLT_FRONT (2)

Griffin Dress, $268 from Trina Turk

I love Trina Turk’s fun prints for summer. This year’s summer dress collection features this colorful floral jungle print.

Ralph Lauren Floral V-neck Dress

pPOLO2-21097705_standard_t240x400

 

Floral V-neck Dress, $50 on sale from Ralph Lauren

The vivid floral print on this Ralph Lauren dress complements the heat of summer with its bright hues.

Joie Nahal B Dress

nahalb_dress_3353d1883b_caviar_2

 

Nahal B Dress, $338 from Joie

Prints can, and will, carry right through into this fall. The more subdued tones of the feather pattern on this Joie dress means it can add a spark of interest this summer while not being too loud for fall.

Go enjoy those prints as you enjoy the end of summer!

Posted in Blog, Fab Finds, Fashion | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer sandals with style

If you’re like me, you probably pulled out your favorite sandals as soon as summer began. But as August approaches, there is still plenty of time to get the most out of your sandals — or maybe pick up a new favorite pair!

This year’s trends give you a variety of sandal styles to choose from, ranging from flat soles to platform heels. Here are a few that stand out for any occasion.

The Slide

Ever popular as a casual sandal, that’s no reason the humble slide can’t also serve as a dressier sandal.

tulum_sco-1987_black_top

 

Tulum sandals, $140 at Joie

The Gladiator

This look can go for the extreme wraps all the way to the knee, but can also translate into a few more subdued ties and cords around the ankle.

q4578_bkbk_a0

 

Nillie sandals, $139 at Coach

The Block Heel

Always seen as a good business casual look, the block heel dresses up a sandal while keeping it practical.

504102419_2_shoefrontqtr

Alexander Wang Cole slingback sandals, $525 at Barneys

The Platform

For when you want something that hearkens back to the ’70s, but with a modern flare.

NMX2Q73_mk

 

Charlotte Olympia geometric platform sandal, $1,195 at Neiman Marcus

The Metallic Fringe

This sandal brings together two of this year’s trends, metallics (found on everything from makeup to footwear) and fringe or tassels. In this case, the fringe is made of metal.

10945018_4533352_1000

 

Giuseppe Zanotti Design fringed sandals, $1,218.75 at Farfetch

If your feet need a little pampering to show off these new sandals, be sure to try my DIY pedicure tips!

Posted in Blog, Fashion, Feet | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer flight plan: Carry-on bag essentials

It’s the middle of summer, and that means time to travel! But for those of us taking long (or even shorter) flights this summer, figuring out everything you need for when you get there can be a chore. That’s why I’ve offered some advice on packing for a trip in previous posts. But this year I started thinking about what you might need on the plane or perhaps right after you get off the plane before you fetch your luggage. Then there’s the question of what happens if your luggage takes a few days to catch up with you (not that I wish that on anyone!).

So here are some things you might want to pack into your carry-on bag just in case!

A change of clothes

Luggage can get lost. Imagine spending a day or two wearing only the clothes you wore on the plane. To avoid that fate and be able to change into at least one clean outfit, keep a part of your carry-on bag for a change of clothes. I personally like something that doesn’t take up much room in the bag but is versatile. A dress that packs well and won’t wrinkle is a good choice, such as this prAna Holly Dress from REI.

fb789659-1b95-4ee1-b47c-89cad235fd2c

 

prAna Holly Dress, $85 at REI

A scarf, light jacket or shawl

Hair a mess from that barely relaxing nap during the flight? Spill something on the front of your blouse? A silk scarf takes up hardly any room in your bag and can be used to remedy so many things. A light jacket, sweater or shawl will help if the flight is chilly.

I like the versatility of a wrap that is big enough to warm your arms, become a hood over your hair or wrap around your neck, such as this tissue-weight wool and cashmere wrap from Nordstrom.

_9659022

 

Tissue-weight wrap, $98 at Nordstrom

A charger

Bring along a small charger pack that can charge your phone or tablet when they (inevitably) run out of power in the middle of the flight. Something like the Powerpro 6000 from Urge Basics can give you enough power to charge two devices using its two USB ports and fits in a pocket. It also may not hurt to pack a small notebook and pen, just in case your cell, your tablet and your charger all run out of power.

UG_PB6000_BLK__17843.1409251307.500.659

 

Powerpro 6000, $35.99 at Urge Basics

Healthy snacks

Throw a bag of trail mix, your favorite protein bar and some fresh fruit (apples travel particularly well) into your bag. You never know when there may be delays and where, and you may be very grateful for having something you can eat quickly and feel good about what you’ve eaten. Avoiding too many salty foods and alcohol before and during a flight also can help keep you feeling your best.

Water!

I know you can’t carry water through airport screening, but you can bring along a cute refillable water bottle, such as this one from Kleen Kanteen. More and more airports are adding water fountains that have a water bottle filling station, making it easy to fill your water bottle quickly and stay hydrated for the flight. Air travel can be dehydrating, so water is essential.

K40CPPL-BRS

 

40 oz Classic, $28.95 at Kleen Kanteen

Moisturizer

Of course, your skin will probably need extra moisture too after all that time on the plane. Flying can lead to dull, dry skin. Keep a small bottle (remember, airlines allow up to 3.4 fluid ounces per container) of skin oil to apply during the flight or after. Boscia’s Tsubaki Beauty Oil comes in 1.7 oz bottles and can be blended with moisturizer or foundation.

s1494517-main-hero

 

Boscia Tsubaki Beauty Oil, $46 for 1.7 fl oz at Sephora

Remember your lips, too! Bring along a lip balm that will keep your lips feeling moisturized during the flight.

Any toiletries you bring should be packed in a 1-quart clear plastic bag that you can easily remove from your carry-on as you go through security.

Cleansing wipes

On some international flights, you might be lucky enough to receive a warm, damp washcloth to freshen up, but don’t bank on it. Bring along some cleansing wipes to refresh your face and neck after a long flight.

Makeup essentials

Makeup will require touch-ups at the end of a flight, so bring your basics along in your carry-on bag (this also will be invaluable if your luggage is lost). A tinted moisturizer, such as 4-in-1 Tinted SPF 30 from Beauty Bioscience, some mascara and your favorite lipgloss will give you a quick pick-me-up at the end of the flight.

product_image_4IN1T30

 

4-in-1 Tinted SPF 30, $75 for 1.7 fl oz at Beauty Bioscience

Here’s to worry-free travel this summer!

Posted in Blog, How To, Must | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The basics for trying new skincare products

beautiful girl with cosmetic creamI know how tempting it can be to try out new skincare products as they hit the market, but there are some basic rules to keep in mind when trying something new.

One of the hardest parts about switching up your skincare routine is finding the products that work best for you. Too much switching between products can irritate your skin and leave you uncertain about whether the problems are with the product you’re using, the previous product or something else entirely.

So if you do try something new, try adding it gradually with one new product at a time. See how your skin reacts to that product and, if there’s a problem, give your skin a break of a few days before trying anything else.

When adding new skincare products, do your research, then ease into using them and stick with it!

The Basics

* Research everything — including how it feels and smells

You may like what a serum, lotion or cream is promising, but if it’s tacky and doesn’t spread well or smells too citrusy or leaves your skin feeling greasy, you may stop using it soon after you start. So while researching what a product will do and how is important, it is also important to know how it is going to look, smell and feel.

Samples are a good way to answer that question. Or you can try online reviews and resources such as Sephora’s Skin Care IQ or the reviews on sites such as totalbeauty.com or xoVain.com.

* Test it and ease into it

For any new product, do a 24-hour patch test on the inside of your wrist or lower side of your cheek to see how your skin will respond to it. A great way to do this is with a sample or tester. It won’t show you if the product will give you results over time, but it will show if you have a reaction to something in the product.

Some products will cause some redness at first, because of the way they work. This is particularly true for products containing retinol. Retinoids cause the body to shed old skin cells, promoting growth of the new skin cells beneath, thicken the skin and reduce the breakdown of collagen. They cause peeling and redness in the first few weeks.

Instead of slapping a large dose on at once, try a little bit. You should only use a pea-sized amount, according to dermatologists. Ease into it, using the retinoid product every other night at first. You can find more on this approach in this article about retinoids at WebMD.

If any product appears to be significantly irritating your skin, stop using it and talk with your dermatologist.

* Give it time

Many products need time to show results.

The rule of thumb is to give it a month to see if it is making a difference. Some products will start to show results during that time, but others may take a few months for a full effect. Take a look at the packaging or online to see how long the manufacturer recommends. Of course, if you’re not seeing results after a few months, it might be time to call it quits and try something else.

I hope these tips help you get the best results the next time you try out a new skincare product!

 

Posted in Beauty Tips, Blog, Face, How To, Skin | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Healthy Summer Hair

Woman, fashion, model.

While you may be thinking about taking care of your skin this summer out in the sun, don’t forget about your hair! Hair can take a beating in the summer with sun, saltwater and chlorine often the main ingredients of summer fun.

But you can keep your hair healthy and looking its best by keeping a few things in mind.

Condition

This is not the time to cut back on conditioning. Keep hair moisturized to keep it healthy and protected.

woman's head with mask on her hair

You might want to check out a cleansing conditioner that doesn’t strip away the natural oils from your hair the way shampoos can.

WEN Sweet Almond Mint cleansing conditioner is one to try.

Sweet-Almond-Mint

 Wen Sweet Almond Mint cleansing conditioner, $32 for 16 oz at Sephora

Really condition

Summer hair benefits from a bit of extra pampering, especially after a trip to the beach or repeated dips in the chlorinated pool. A hair mask can help to restore some moisture to dry hair and improve texture and shine.

Try something like Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask.

intensehydratingmask_320x304_1

 Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask, $54.40 for 16.9 oz

Dry carefully

Air dry as much as possible, or blow dry those locks with the heat low. Less heat means less damage, which is especially key in summer when the natural elements are doing their best to wreck your hair.

If you blow dry a lot, use a protective spray or serum to prevent damage, such as Oribe’s Balm d’Or heat styling shield.

cr_balm_dor_1

 

Oribe Balm d’Or heat styling shield, $43 for 3.4 fl oz

Grab a hat

It’s not just your skin that the sun’s rays damage — they can hurt your hair, too.

So a hat is key when spending time in the sun. Keeping out of the sun will help your color to last longer as well.

Portrait of happy young woman in swimsuit and beach hat

When going without a hat, take along a protective spray, such as Clarins Sunscreen Care oil spray. This SPF 30 spray can do double duty to protect both skin and hair.

0145610_original_original_1

 

Clarins Sunscreen Care oil spray, $36 for 5 fl oz

Posted in Beauty Tips, Blog, Hair | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great legs for summer

11265220_894287217276985_36843737_n

Summer is the time for shorts, skirts, dresses and, yes, swimsuits. So your legs are center stage this season.

So much exposure means you want legs looking their best. Here are a few of my tips to get those legs in shape and ready for whatever you’re wearing this summer.

Exercises

Of course, legs that look good start with strong, toned legs. Some great activities for toned calves and thighs include walking, running, biking — even a night out dancing.

Specific exercises that target leg muscles can create even better results. One of my favorites is step calf raises, where you stand with your toes and balls of your feet on a step and your heels balanced off the step. Lower your heels and then raise them back up. This is a great stretch and helps tone calf muscle.

You can find other leg exercises online, such as these from Cosmopolitan.

Pampering

Now that you’ve been working on the muscle beneath, it’s time to take a look at the skin on your legs. Perhaps it needs a bit of pampering to look its best. Some of the basics apply: Exfoliate to remove dry and dead skin cells; moisturize to keep skin soft and supple.

Try out this exfoliating scrub recipe from Bakerette.com a couple times a week.

1-1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup oil, such as olive or coconut

3 Tablespoons of lemon juice

Mix it all together, soak your legs in a warm bath for about five minutes and then rub the exfoliating mixture on your legs. Rinse. Repeat.

Then moisturize with your favorite lotion or cream.

Concealing

Finally, even if your legs are well-exfoliated and moisturized, they may need a bit of help to look their best. Spider veins, varicose veins and other blemishes can make you self-conscious when you want to step out with bare legs.

Beauty Bioscience recently launched our Leg Perfector, a product that not only makes legs look better, but actually improves their appearance over time.

beauty-bioscience-leg-perfector-d-20150427151341063-346260_491

With these tips, you can go out and enjoy the best of summer with legs ready to be seen!

Posted in Beauty Tips, Blog, Body | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment