Summer trends: Lacy, light and printed tops

It’s time for summer tops!

Whether you prefer your shirts blousy or structured, sheer or solid, you can capitalize on this summer’s trends to find the right look for you.

The nice thing is that many summer tops pair well with cotton pants or a fitted skirt in a pretty print — or your favorite shorts or jeans. Many summer blouses can dress up just as easily as they dress down.

Here are a few to look for this summer:

Feminine and light

Lightweight fabrics are the way to go during the summer months, and this summer feminine, flowing tops are the perfect look. Muted pastels are in, as is basic white. The nice thing about a lightweight blouse is that you can opt for sleeveless, short sleeved or long, billowy sleeves without being too warm.

Look for tops that have something special going for them — something that draws the eye — whether a ruffle, drawstring, buttons or a fun print.

This cute peasant blouse from Alberdi meets several of those criteria!

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 Alberdi embellished cotton peasant blouse, $350 at Calypso St. Barth

 Lace

Lace is perfect for summer and pairs well with other fabrics. While sheer is in this summer, there are plenty of lace tops where you can leave the house feeling cool yet covered, such as this one from Zadig & Voltaire.

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Zadig & Voltaire lace-trim sleeveless voile blouse, $328 at Neiman Marcus

Prints

Speaking of pretty prints and patterns, they are in this summer for tops and bottoms. A floral print in bold colors or something asymmetric in its pattern will keep the top looking fresh and updated.

This silk caftan blouse from Roberto Cavalli incorporates the soft, flowing lines of this summer with a semi-sheer silk in baroque prints.

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Roberto Cavalli print silk caftan blouse, $1,250 at Nordstrom 

What’s your favorite top this summer? I’d love to hear what you’re wearing!

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Summer Beauty Essentials

It’s summer, which can mean glaring sun, drying heat and the challenge of looking fresh as you face the outdoors.

During the summer months, it’s great to have a few essentials to streamline your routine and keep you looking your best. Here are some beauty essentials that can go a long way during the summer.

Tinted lotion

Summer skin needs pampering and moisturizing. And summer calls for less and lighter makeup.

A quick way to moisturize, conceal and make sure your skin is protected from the intense rays of the sun is with a tinted lotion with SPF.

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Beauty Bioscience’s 4-in-1 tinted SPF 30 can be a quick addition to your morning beauty routine that locks in moisture, gives you sun protection and lets you skip a foundation layer. Some powder, a brush of mascara on your eyes and splash of color on your lips, and you’re ready to go.

Finishing powder

To avoid beading with sweat, go for a lightweight powder, such as Bobbi Brown’s brightening finishing powder. The powder keeps skin fresh and dry with a healthy glow.

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Waterproof mascara

For summer, perhaps more than any other time of year, a waterproof mascara is a huge plus. Sure, it keeps your mascara from running while you’re in the pool, but it also keeps your look together when sweat is threatening to ruin it.

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Merle Norman Lash Lift waterproof mascara does the job while covering evenly.

Pink or nude lipstick

I mentioned a few weeks ago how much I love pink and nude lips for summer. This is another beauty essential that will get you out the door quickly in the morning or perk up your look at any time during the day.

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I especially like a pale pink lipstick that brightens up your face and brings out a glow to your skin that’s perfect for summer. Tom Ford Lip Color in Blush Nude is one of my go-to lipsticks in the summer.

Hair serum

If humidity is getting the best of your hair this summer, a little serum may be just what you need to round our your summer beauty essentials.

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Oribe makes great products , and their Smooth Style Serum provides both moisture and hold, babying your hair with exotic oils. You can use it as part of your styling routine or as needed throughout the day to tame the frizz.

Let me know the summer beauty essentials that keep you going!

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Stay-cool style for the workplace

A few weeks ago, I brought you some tips on how to dress for that job interview.

As hot temperatures roll in, I wanted to talk about dressing for work while staying cool — something that can be accomplished with style.

While it may be tempting to throw on a strappy sundress to beat the heat — and while that may be appropriate in some workplaces — here are a few things to keep in mind for keeping your look professional.

Lighten up

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Openwork Linen Blazer, $148 from Anthropologie

This is true for colors and fabrics. This time of year is the perfect time to step away from a more structured suit to linen or cotton jackets and slacks.

Creams, khakis and light grays all lend a lighter look to your wardrobe, and you can move away from a more tailored suit to something that drapes more loosely.

If you’re going for short-sleeved blouses to beat the heat, a linen jacket can be the perfect way to layer for air-conditioned buildings and keep you looking professional.

Dress for summer

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Mode Dress in white seersucker from Hadleigh’s

Dresses are always a quick way to get ready in the morning. While you may want to avoid gauzy summer dresses in an office environment, this is the time of year to bring out dresses in brighter colors and in summer-weight fabrics.

I love dresses with something extra, such as a wrap-around obi belt (see some tips on how to wear belts this summer here), a flared collar or buttons. Take the trendy shirt-dress and put it to work this summer!

Dressy sandals

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Margo leather sandal, $128 from Ann Taylor

As long as open-toed shoes work for your workplace (and keeping up your pedicure is a must!), there are so many ways you can augment your business attire for summer. Go for sandals with a little more to them — you don’t want to step over the line toward something that more resembles a flip-flop. Something with a wedge or block heel may be the way to go.

Do you have other ways you like to beat the heat while looking your best? If so, I’d love to hear them!

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Selecting Fabulous Summer Sunglasses

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With summer right around the corner, you may be needing some new sunglasses soon. I love a great pair of shades by the pool or around town. For me, oversized frames are the way to go. (I bought the Cutler + Gross shades I’m wearing in the picture above just last week at their store in London!) The nice thing about this summer’s trends is that they support healthy eyes in fun and fashionable ways.

Here are a few things to look for in sunglasses to protect your eyes (and a few examples of frames as well!).

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Marc by Marc Jacobs, $120 at Nordstrom

Look for UVA/UVB protection

Just because sunglasses are tinted, that doesn’t mean they’re protecting your eyes! A clear coating to protect against 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB light is a must. The protection will guard not only your eyes, but also the delicate skin around them.

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Vogue Eyewear

Block the light however you can

Wraparound or glasses with large frames are the best for giving your eyes the most protection. Smaller lenses let rays sneak around and into your eyes.

You can find oversized frames in a variety of shapes, including round, cat-eye and rectangular.

Giant frames not your style? Pair the style you like with a floppy hat to shade your eyes better.

Not a glasses person? You may miss out on the fun of a new pair of sunglasses, but you have the option of contact lenses that will protect your eyes. These lenses are offered at different levels of protection for general use and for particularly bright places, such as mountains and beaches. They also can be paired with sunglasses for added protection.

The good news is that oversized frames are in this year, so you can protect your eyes in style.

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Tom Ford “Ivanna,” $395 at Nordstrom

Consider colors

Bright-colored lenses are popular this year, but the color you choose may have to depend more on why you’re wearing them rather than what you’re wearing.

For driving, you might want to consider gray, green or brown lenses, which don’t distort the colors of traffic lights the way yellow or pink does.

If you want to go bright, maybe focus on bright frames, whether popping with primary colors, rocking a colorblock or in bright white, another trend for this summer.

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Gucci, $395

Enjoy the sunny weather while protecting those eyes in style!

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Summer favorites: Nude and pink lips

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I love shades of pink for summer lips!

I love the look of nude or pink lipstick, especially for summer when fresh faces are the way to go.

The lovely thing about choosing a shade the complements your skin tone is that it can wake up your face in the morning — or at any time of day! — with just a touch of color and not much else. So it’s a quick way to brighten up your look and your day.

Nude and pale pink shades also work well with stunning eyes, letting those eyes stand out while keeping lips simple.

There are so many great shades to choose from, especially now that nude lips have become a fashion staple. There are options from matte lipsticks to quick-fix lip glosses. The nice thing is you can get the look you love on any makeup budget.

So choose a nude or pink shade you love and keep it in your purse. This could easily be your go-to all summer!

 

Here are three of my favorites:

Tom Ford Lip Color in Blush Nude, $50

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Cover Girl Colorlicious Lip Gloss in Give Me Guava, $6.60

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MAC in Angel, $16

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Making a pretty ponytail

Last week I talked about the waterfall braid, but this week I want to go back to a tried-and-true summer style: the ponytail.

Yes, there is no need for a tutorial on a ponytail. With a brush and an elastic, you have all you need. But there are quick ways to create ponytails that have a little more going for them than your basic pony.

Here are a few I love for this summer:

Twisted side ponytail

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This side ponytail with twists from Luxy Hair is a cute way to make a summer ponytail stand out from the crowd.

Low woven ponytail

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This low woven ponytail from LuLu’s makes a ponytail fancy while still fun.

Topsy tail redux

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I like that this grown-up ponytail from Camille Styles’ site goes from basic to bold with just a couple of flips around the elastics.

Do you have a favorite ponytail trick? I’d love to hear it!

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Summer waterfall braid

For summer, I love hairstyles that give you simplicity while looking a little more fun.

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Source: PopSugar

So today I want to put the spotlight on the waterfall braid, which works just as well on mid-length hair as it does longer hair. You can even use it on shorter hair by incorporating longer bangs that hit around your cheekbones or starting right behind your bangs. I like this style because it is something cute and different while achieving one of the main objectives of most braids and updos — getting your hair out of your face and out of the way.

The nice thing about a waterfall braid is that you can do it on one side or both, curled or straight, depending on the look you want. And it works just as well with a flowy sundress as it does with jeans.

There are some great tutorials online for the look, which can be rather simple to do. If you can French braid your hair, you’ve got this one!

Since photos always help with these things, here is how it looks during the braiding in PopSugar’s easy waterfall braid tutorial.

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Here’s the basic approach:

Part your hair and take up three sections as if you’re going to French braid parallel to the part.

Braid the first two sections, but let go of the piece you cross over from the top so that it hangs down. Cross the bottom piece over the section hanging down and gather a new piece from the bottom.

Repeat.

You can stop after braiding a few times and secure it with a barrette or bobby pin or finish up the entire braid and secure it with an elastic.

If you want to braid both sides with a little more pizazz, try this PopSugar tutorial instead.

For a video tutorial on how to do a waterfall braid on yourself (that shows how it can work with short hair as well), check out this video from CuteGirlsHairstyles.

The folks over at CuteGirlsHairstyles.com always seem to find ways to push the envelope on braids, including this easy loop waterfall braid

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and this scissor waterfall that incorporates a fishtail braid for when you’re wanting something striking (and much more challenging!).

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Next week, I’ll bring you tips on a style to get your hair up and off your neck for those sweltering summer days!

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Haircuts to fit your face

 Hair stylist with client

The trend for spring and summer seems to be geared toward longer hair, though the perennial allure of the face-flattering bob keeps it popular and summer is often a time for trying something shorter.

However long you wear your hair, there are certain tips for finding a cut that best fits the shape of your face. So, as you look over different haircuts before your next visit to the salon, here are a few tips on what to look for (and what to avoid), based on the shape of your face.

Woman head being measured by beautician hands

The first trick, then, is figuring out your face shape. Sometimes this takes just a quick look in the mirror to decide if your face is round, oblong, heart-shaped, square or oval. Sometimes, it can be a bit trickier. If you want to use a bit of technology to figure out the answer, try the face-shape tool on UKHairdressers.com. Upload a photo, click to measure a few areas and the site will quickly identify the shape of your face as well as offer up some suggested haircuts.

 

In general, here are my tips to keep in mind when looking for a new cut:

Round

If you have a round face, you want to avoid haircuts that make your face look even rounder. So avoid cuts that hit right at your chin, instead opting for something a bit longer. Also, avoid lots of curls and stacked layers that could make your face look wider. Go for longer cuts with layers at varying lengths or go shorter with a cute pixie cut.

Oblong

Styles that give your face more width are actually a plus for oblong faces, so you can look great in the cuts those with round or square faces should avoid. Blunt bangs and chin-length bobs work great on oblong faces, as do longer cuts with loose curls to add dimension.

Heart

The wider forehead and smaller chin of a heart-shaped face begs for longer bangs and tapered cuts for hair of any length. Avoid blunt cuts, which are too angular for your face. A long bob works well or a shoulder-length cut with loose curls to soften the look.

Square

Because a square face balances a wide jawline against a wide forehead, look for cuts that lengthen, such as longer layers and side-swept bangs. Avoid the blunt bangs that work well on oblong faces but add too much width at the top of square faces. Instead of a blunt bob, which carries the same dangers for square faces as it does for round, try an angled bob, with the front slightly longer than the back. Layers at varying lengths, no matter how long or short your hair, will add a softness to your face.

Oval

As with hats, oval faces can wear different hairstyles without too much fuss, due to the balanced nature of an oval face.

In the coming weeks, I’ll bring you a few ideas on how to wear your hair this summer to keep it looking fresh and fabulous while keeping it up and out of the way.

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Subtle hair for summer

As we head toward summer, this is the perfect time for thinking about changing your hair. While a new cut can always be a great way to step into a new season, let’s not overlook what a new approach to color can do for your hair.

The good news is that subtle is in this year in so many ways, which means that changes you make don’t have to cause jaws to drop in order to turn heads. A top look for hair is the subtle ombre approach, which takes the more in-your-face ombre pairings we’ve seen (pink and blonde? black and platinum? bright red and black?) and tones them down into a more natural look.

Subtle ombre creates a more natural look. Source: L'Oreal
Subtle ombre creates a more natural look.
Source: L’Oreal

 

This trend showed up last year, but it still holds for this year as hairstylists emphasize more natural looks and subtle shades. (Think of the babylights trend, which uses smaller sections of hair for highlights to give you more natural, sun-kissed tresses reminiscent of childhood summers)

A more subtle ombre can mean just letting the roots grow out. If you’ve got a good mix of highlights and lowlights that complement your natural hair color, this can all become part of your look even as you stretch out time between visits to your stylist.

But the look can also be very intentional, while keeping a natural feel.

L’Oreal has an entire page devoted to the ombre look (from classic to bold to subtle) and how you can achieve it at home.

The idea this year is to move away from all dark on top and all light at the ends, instead working highlights lower down on darker hair, to give it a more subtle and sophisticated effect.

Light ends and darker roots work great when put up in a braid, wrapped into a low chignon or pulled back into a ponytail. The variation in shade also can look nice with hair down in soft waves to reflect its more casual feel.

If you decide to go for a new cut instead of switching up your color this summer, stay tuned. Next week I’ll suggest some of this year’s haircuts to best suit the shape of your face!

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Make an interview all about you

Business Woman

 

This time of year often marks the point when college students are beginning the search for jobs, though, as anyone knows, job searches are a year-round endeavor.

Lately, I’ve been reading tips about how to look your best for an interview, and I wanted to share a few thoughts on the subject.

The most important part of a job interview is keeping the attention on you — not on what you chose to wear that day or how you fixed your hair. Everything — your makeup, your clothes, even your accessories — should work to put you forward in the best light possible so that what you’re saying during the job interview can make the best impression.

Unless your new employer encourages creativity in dress — something like a tech start-up firm or art studio, perhaps — the key is subtlety.

That is true for both your clothes and the makeup you wear to the interview. When in doubt, go for more conservative hues in clothing, such as black, navy or tan, and keep your makeup subdued.

Then you can find a way to make the look stand out without shouting.

For example, a black suit paired with a mint green blouse or a beige top overlaid with a colorful scarf can add a splash of spring color without overpowering the look.

The same is true for makeup. You can emphasize one feature, such as an extra pop of color on the lips or sweep of shade on the eyes. But still, it is best to err on the side of caution. Bright red lips and heavy eyeliner may not go over well. You want the people you speak with to focus on you, not the makeup you’re wearing.

I know I keep coming back to nude nails, but this trend once again lets you look sophisticated without having nails that become a distraction during the interview. Nails should be well-shaped and freshly polished in a neutral shade or even with just a clear topcoat.

Don’t neglect your accessories. Shoes in particular can make a difference in how your whole look comes together. You want clean, unscuffed dress shoes. Your sandals may be adorable with your selected outfit, but there’s a chance they may not be allowed in the company’s dress code and they lack an air of professionalism. Instead, go for a pair of flats or low-heeled pumps.

Jewelry also is best held to a minimum. Think about possible pitfalls, such as several bracelets clanking together or long earrings swinging too much. Again, jewelry should be a part of presenting you, not draw too much attention to itself.

Revisit this chart for ideas on the best necklaces to pair with your blouse or dress neckline.

Finally, a practical briefcase or tote can be handy for keeping any paperwork you receive during the interview process and keeping your notebook at hand for anything you wish to jot down. This piece shouldn’t draw too much attention to itself, but you can have a little more fun here with patterns or color.

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Kate Spade Emma Lane Maya shoulder bag, $248

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