Fast fashion: Scarves for fall

The fall scarf is a great way to make most anything in your closet feel like something new and fresh, while also keeping away the chill on fall mornings. Ranging from neutral cashmere to bold patterns to painted silks, there’s something for everyone to add to their wardrobes this fall.

A real head-turner is the blanket scarf, which builds soft bulk around the neck and creates a both cozy and chic look.

blanket wrap

Collection XIIX blanket wrap scarf, $32 at Nordstrom

And, while half the fun is finding the right color, fabric and pattern, the other half is deciding on the best way to tie that new scarf to show it off.

You need only look at all of the tutorials and tying guides online to see that each scarf can be tied in several different ways — and different scarves lend themselves to different knots and drapes.

Nordstrom has a couple videos showing off different types of scarves and ways to tie them. A couple of my favorites from this video are the triple twist and the braid.

The Braid

In fall and winter, the French twist is a good bet, since the knot quickly fills in the neck of a jacket or coat with a splash of color, but still looks lovely with a variety of tops once the jacket is removed. The Texere Silk tying guide has the French twist as well as several other patterns that work great for when you need a scarf for a splash of color or bit of warmth, but won’t be hiding it beneath a bulky jacket.

french twist

And an infinity scarf gives you style without any tying at all!

mini dot infinity scarfTory Burch mini dot infinity scarf, $175

Want more ideas? Check out Nordstrom’s video on 16 different ways to tie four kinds of scarves.

Or, check out a blog post I did back in 2013 on spring scarves. I’d love to hear some of your favorites!

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Think pink for breast cancer awareness

Challenge your friends to wear pink this month!
Challenge your friends to wear pink!

I’m wearing pink this month as part of the Bag Snob Pink Challenge campaign to raise breast cancer awareness. The challenge is to wear something pink every day in October and donate to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation at

I hope that by wearing pink we can be a part of keeping the conversation going about breast cancer, encouraging women to get mammograms and raising money for further research.

If you want to learn more about the challenge, check out #BagSnobPinkChallenge on Instagram and Twitter!

During the month of October, Beauty Bioscience will donate a portion of its proceeds to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. As a company, we are committed to helping fight a disease that affects one out of every eight women during the course of her lifetime and helping further advances toward a cure.

The pink ribbon campaign started with the Estee Lauder Companies and Self magazine collaborating back in 1992. The creation of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation followed in 1993.

This year, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation plans to award more than $47 million in grants to more than 220 scientists around the world.

Here are just a few of the Estee Lauder Companies’ brands raising money this month:

Modern MuseThe new Estee Lauder fragrance, Modern Muse, is available in a limited-edition solid perfume compact. Estee Lauder is donating 100 percent of the $49.50 retail price to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

bobbi-brown-1The Pretty Pink Ribbon Lip Gloss collection has four different pink lip glosses and costs $60. Bobbi Brown will donate $12 from the purchase price to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

tom-ford-1Tom Ford Beauty has committed to donate $50,000 this year to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, no product purchases needed.

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Fall brings simple, beautiful nude nails

Two things I love: white hydrangeas and nude nails in a shade from OPI that reminds me of cashmere.

It’s wonderful to see the nude nail is in style this season. OPI’s “Go For It” is one of my favorite colors for nude nails. I love the soft, peachy pink of the shade.

This season, the trend is natural elements to offset or highlight accents. So faces are minimally made up with a touch of metal around the eyes or lips, and nude fingernails add a lightness to the heavier fabrics and darker colors of fall wardrobes.

Another benefit of nude nails? They’re great for showing off a lovely piece of jewelry. In the photo, I’m wearing a Lia Sophia ring that pairs beautifully with the understated simplicity of the nude nails.

This look actually has a variety of approaches, and the fun part is figuring out which one best suits your style.

Here are a few tips:

Color – Nude colors range from pale pinks to creamy whites to buff beiges and deep browns. Besides choosing the color that works best with your skin tone and clothing, you have the option of translucent colors that let your natural nail show through or opaques that stand out — and conceal — a bit more.hippxrgb_tints_foundation

Base coat – If you want to show off those nails, but worry about ridges or discoloration, pick out a basecoat in your skin tone that can even everything out and give you a great starting point. HIPPxRGB offers a line with four different colors to get the right base coat match, and offers a coordinating topcoat to complete the look.collection_luxeffects_sparkle-on-top

Top coat – I love nude nails without any embellishment, finished off with a simple, clear top coat for a bit of shine. But if you want to carry the metallics trend to your nails, you can always have some fun with the top coat. Several brands are offering shiny top coats with a hint of sparkle, such as Essie’s Luxeffects Glitter Top Coat, seen here in the holographic “Sparkle on Top.”

If you need a few reminders on getting those hands in the best shape to show off your nails, just check out my previous post with tips for healthy hands.

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Gentle tips to pamper hands

photo credit: SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget via photopin cc
photo credit: SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget via photopin cc

Your hands take a beating throughout the year, but fall and winter can be particularly brutal.

The cooler, drier weather and the constant washing and use of hand sanitizers to avoid coughs and colds can quickly dry out and irritate hands, resulting in cracking skin, rough cuticles and redness.

A few quick precautions can help keep your hands in the best shape possible this season.

Wash with warm or cool water: First, try not to wash your hands in scalding water. Studies have shown that cold water is just as effective at getting rid of germs when you use soap and wash for long enough (about the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song). A gentler temperature will help keep the skin on your hands from becoming dry and irritated.

Choose a gentle soap: That harsh detergent soap or the pink liquid soap found in many public bathrooms can quickly strip the oils and moisture from your hands. At home, pamper them with liquid hand soaps that include oils for your skin, such as coconut or olive oil. Avoid ones that have chemical detergents, particularly sodium lauryl sulfate, since those ingredients can be harsh and drying on hands. Another solution is using a gentle bar soap instead of liquid soap in your home. And, while you’re looking at your hand soap, make sure the soap you use in the shower is equally gentle!

Lots of lotion: If you’re having trouble with cracking and bleeding, try some of the lotions meant to address just that. Lotions with colloidal oatmeal can soothe and relieve skin by lowering its pH level. Thicker creams contain less water and more oils, which can help moisturize better. Some medicated hand creams can help cracked and bleeding hands heal faster. Apply lotions after washing your hands, before you go to bed at night and anytime they feel like they need it.

Get some gloves: Remember to protect those hands in the first place with latex gloves when cleaning at home and, as it grows colder, gloves to protect your hands from the elements outside. For hands that need some extra care, try applying lotion at night and wearing a pair of gloves to bed.

Once those hands are feeling healthy and looking better, you can start thinking about your next manicure. In a few weeks I’ll share how to get the nude nail look that has been so popular this year!

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Build a beautiful reverse side braid

Reverse side braid
Reverse side braid

Braids are a great way to pull hair away from your face while adding a touch more sophistication than a plain ponytail. This year, braids have been everywhere, ranging from a quick French braid to the more complex hair artistry worn to black-tie affairs.

At the glamorous Met Gala earlier this year, celebrities wore a variety of braids, including Emma Stone with a messy side braid, Gabrielle Union’s crown braid and Joan Smalls wearing a sleek fishtail braid.

I wanted to share a style that I love for getting long hair out of the way and looking cute with just minutes of preparation.

My favorite quick hairstyle of the moment is the reverse side braid. This look is soft, with gentle flyaways helping to make the look rather than detracting from it. This is one you can easily do on your own hair, finishing the look with a simple elastic band or loosely tied ribbon.

Here are some tips to get the look:

First, use texturizing spray to build in some volume at the roots of your hair. I’ve mentioned before that I love Oribe dry texturizing spray.

Then, start to loosely sweep the hair over to the side, pulling it all to the side where you want the braid.

When you do a regular braid, you split the hair into three sections and then pull the outer sections over the middle section. For a reverse braid, you simply do the opposite: Pull each outer section under the middle section to create the braid.

Secure the bottom with an elastic.

To build some width to the braid, gently tug at each section as you work your way up the braid, which will widen and flatten the look of the braid.

That’s it! Set it with some hairspray, and you’ve got a beautiful reverse side braid!

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Big, bold earrings make a statement

When it comes to earrings this year, the look is big and bold with geometric patterns. Pendant earrings and large hoops are in, as are wraps that envelop the entire ear.

And at least one of the earrings is large if the runway models are any indication, bringing to mind the asymmetrical style of the 1980s with one large earring dangling from one ear while the other sports an understated stud.

Whether you go for a more conservative look or want to try some of the showy earrings seen in the fashion shows, here are a few that seize upon this year’s trends:

As far as bold statements go, check out this brass Gold Leaves cuff-to-post earring.

cufftochain earringHaati Chai Gold Leaves cuff-to-post earring, $168 on

This single dangle earring, inspired by the works of artist Joan Miro, brings out geometric shapes in yellow, red and black with acrylic and metal elements.

miro earringBold Miro earring by Sheyne Design, $17

For wraps, the variety ranges from fierce dragons to cute kittens gamboling around your ear. I like the shape and design of ear cuffs from Vita Fede, such as these Crystal Teardrop Cutout pierced earring cuffs.

NMY1Z13_mkVita Fede Crystal Teardrop earring cuffs, $300 at Neiman Marcus

For pure elegance, check out these geometric Art Deco earrings with approximately 4 carats of diamonds set in platinum from William Noble Rare Jewels.

art deco earringsGeometric Art Deco earrings, William Noble Rare Jewels

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Finding your favorite boot

Of everything I like about fall fashion, one of my favorites has got to be boots!

Boots give you a chance to pair comfort with style and can look great with a skirt or pants to dress up or down.

But the challenge always lies in how to pick out the best pair. Boots that look perfect on the sales rack or in a picture may look much less than perfect on your feet. There are two main things at work when choosing a boot: The length of your legs and the shape of your calves.

Here are a few tips that I find helpful to keep in mind when shopping for boots:


Knee-high boots tend to work well on most legs, no matter how long or wide. It may take some trail and error, but once you find a pair that fits you well, you’ll find that the length is particularly flattering on all body types.

Lombardia Suede-back knee boot

Alberto Fermani Lombardia Suede-back knee boot, $303 at Neiman Marcus

For longer legs, you can go even higher with over-the-knee boots. For shorter legs, a mid-calf or ankle boot will help lengthen your leg, particularly when worn with a pair of leggings the same color as the boots.

Those with wider calves should avoid boots that cut across the widest part of the leg, such as a pair of motorcycle boots or some combat boots, going either for a higher boot with some room in the calf or an ankle boot. Those with thin calves, on the other hand, may want a close-fitting, taller boot that won’t gap away from the leg or an ankle boot.


Boots range from flat soles to stiletto heels, so you have a wide range of choices. A thin heel works best with a thinner frame, while stacked heels work better with those who have curves from hip to ankle. A wedge heel can work with most body types, since wedge heels can be both wide or narrow. Flat soles, not surprisingly, do better on longer legs, while a platform wedge can add desired height if you’re shorter.

Via Spiga lace-up wedge

Via Spiga lace-up wedge booties, $275 at Bloomingdale’s


Leg shape affects the amount and type of details you want on your boots as well.

Details that wrap around the boot horizontally (such as straps) help add width and definition, something you may want if you have thin calves but want to avoid if your calves are wider.

Burberry House Check Detail Riding boots

Burberry House Check Detail Riding boots, $895

Those with shorter legs may want details that draw the eye upward, such as vertical zippers or laces.

As a rule of thumb, the longer your leg, the more decoration you can get away with on your boots (even patterns, like we’re seeing more of this year). Boots with fewer accents will create more of an illusion of length.

It can be taxing to find that perfect pair of boots, but it’s a great feeling when you find the perfect pair. Hopefully, these tips will help you choose the best pair for this fall!

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Fabulous Fall Footwear

In footwear this fall, the trend seems to be going in two directions.

If you are looking at boots, the styles have grown a little tougher with serious straps and studs on ankle boots and combat boots paired with skirts.

At the same time, dress shoes are grabbing hold of the trend of adding a flash of metal or color (or both) to the more neutral colors of fall.

When it comes to boots, these Valentino “Rockstud” booties in calfskin leather have the straps and studs while still keeping to a more feminine line with that thin heel.


Valentino “Rockstud” booties at Nordstrom, $1,375

Of course, if you’re feeling the need to pair a midiskirt with some combat boots, you can’t go wrong with Doc Martens, which have been the combat boot of choice for years. And some in the company’s new fall lineup look like a lot of fun. Check out these violet Pascal boots in “mirror shift suede.”


Doc Martens Pascal boots, $135

As for dress shoes, the touch of sparkle or metal feels like a great way to jazz up a little black dress for the evening. A touch of metallic lipstick or eyeliner and a sharp pair of shoes are all you need.

This Casadei Evening pump comes in black suede embellished with Swarovski crystals and metallic elements for that sparkle and shine.

6505N163.EW0QUEE_045_14 (1)

Casadei Evening pump, $2,500

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Fall beauty: Sparkly eyes and natural faces

Makeup this fall is all about a splash of color and shimmer.

The fresh, clean look of minimal makeup or neutral tones on cheeks is made to pop with color focused on eyes or lips, often in metallic hues.

I love the way a smudge of silver can brighten eye makeup, particularly when it is applied close to the inside corner and in the center of the eyelid. A bronze tone can carry both eyes and lips, while a little gold eyeliner applied sparingly over your regular eyeliner can take your eyes from work to weekend in one quick sweep.

I’ve found a few fun ways to dress up eyes this fall.

Check out this quick video tutorial from Makeup by Siham to give eyes a silver, smoky look.

Makeup by Siham tutorial

Or, if you’re feeling more colorful, look at the way the blue, black and glint of gold give an almost peacock effect to this eye artistry.

Colorfuleye 5
Makeup by Siham tutorial

One reason sparkly, colorful eyes work is because they are set off against the blank canvas of a minimally made-up face.

To get that more natural look with the appearance of flawless skin, start first with a good skincare routine, including cleansing and moisturizing your face. Then cover blemishes and go light on both the foundation and powder to cover your face without caking on makeup. You can stop there or use a light or warm blush on your cheeks for a little more definition.

I like this quick tutorial from Sephora with some good tips on getting that “no-makeup look.”

Sephora “No-Makeup Look” tutorial

Then the only thing you have to worry about is where you want to draw attention with color!

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Infused water: A delicious way to a healthy you

photo credit: <a href="">forayinto35mm</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>
photo credit: forayinto35mm via photopin cc

If you’re going to pick up something to sip during the day, the best way to go is a bottle of water. After all, water does great things for your body, including your skin.

According to Kaiser Permanente, water is the best choice for keeping hydrated because it’s free and has no sugar or calories. Kaiser recommends having a glass of water first thing in the morning and keeping a water bottle with you throughout the day to stay hydrated.

Drinking water helps your body flush wastes and even keep at the right temperature. When it comes to beauty, water helps keep your skin hydrated from the inside out, something that can help fight flakes and wrinkles.

But, still, there is often the lure of the fizz from a soda can or the sweet mouth-feel of one of the many bottled juices you can find in the supermarket. When you want something a little more tempting than plain water, infusing it with fruit or herbs can do the trick.

Infused water can give you the hydration you need with a little added flavor. Try out some of my favorite combinations with filtered tap water or, for some added pizzazz, some sparkling water:

* Sliced cucumber and fresh peppermint leaves

* Sliced lemon, lime or orange (or all three!)

* Blueberries and blackberries with lavender

* Lemon verbena and peppermint

* Sliced grapefruit and rosemary

* Chunks of watermelon and fresh basil leaves

Recipes usually need about four hours of soaking time, but can be mixed and kept in the refrigerator overnight for full flavor the next day. You can use an infuser or strainer to avoid herbs and fruit chunks floating around in your water.

And feel free to experiment with new flavors you might enjoy, such as adding in green or red rooibos tea to some of these combinations. I’d love to hear some of your favorites!

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