Friday, January 19, 2007

Layering: Some Basics

Last week I talked about all the cool reasons to layer...this week I'll cover a few of the basics to remember so you look chic.

Thicker textures on top The thinnest garment should go closest to your skin. Let's not have cable-knit sweaters under light teeshirts, mmkay?

Tissue-weight=intended for layering Some manufacturers are making lighter-weight tops that are specifically designed for layering. This ruched tee is perfect paired with a camisole.

Don't do too much. Stick to colors that blend well. Don't wear lace and sequins and ruching all together if you can avoid it. If you're wearing something that highlights your assets on top, stick with neutral bottoms.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Golden Globes Ooh's and Ew's

The Golden Globes officially kicked off the Red Carpet Season, offering plenty of "ooh's" and "ew's" to be shared by all. Unfortunately though, there were far more "ew's" that "ooh's." A major, yet Oscar-06 recycled, theme surfaced with white gowns, most of them taking the form of a bedsheet (see Salma Hayek, Drew Barrymore, and Heidi Klum). But it was the jewel-toned dresses that shone the brightest.

The "ooh's"

Yellow is not an easy color to pull off, but Reese Witherspoon, in a Nina Ricci frock, positively glowed. Her skin was rosy and brilliant, and her hair shiny and glazed bright blonde. Reese was a walking yellow diamond.

America Ferrera has split-personality disorder, and it's name is Ugly Betty. However, Ugly Betty was nowhere to be found on the red carpet. At only 22 years old, she's ushering in a promising career in silken style, choosing a classy and flattering gown by Brian Reyes. I love the half-cap sleeves and how the indigo dress hugs her curves nicely, but her big smile was the best accessory of all.

Hail, hail, the Queen of the red carpet! Helen Mirren appeared in a navy Donna Karan gown, befitting of her royal role. She's so lovely! Helen teaches a Fashionista a good lesson, proving that age and beauty are not mutually exclusive.

Cammy's bringin' sexy back, and it's in the form of Valentino couture. It won't be a popular choice, but I gotta give the girl credit for understanding how to dress her lanky frame. She looks like old Hollywood glamour with her jet black hair and starlet makeup. My only complaint is the random strap. The dress could stand alone.

Honorable "ooh's"

If it's possible to make a statement with no color, then Kate Winslet succeeded in a elegant Azarro gown.

Rachel Weisz dazzled like a ruby in a classic Bill Blass strapless dress.

Senorita Penelope Cruz sashayed in a frilly Chanel couture accoutrement, designed by her good friend, Karl Lagerfield.

Katherine Heigl reminds me of the original Barbie. You know, the one that was the caberet singer with the mermaid-style black dress and bouncy blonde coif. Her Escada piece is fabulous, yet safe.

The "ew's"

The resident red carpet pucker pout, Renee Zellweger, didn't disappoint with her impression of "bitter grapes." Her scowl was so distracting, that I forgot to complain about that horrid dress.

To the left, to the left. Every sequin you own on the dress to the left. Way to be original B. We've never seen this dress on you before. And the way they greased you up, I'd swear you were made of plastic.

Yawn...... Evangeline Lilly...... blah, blah, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz......

And the award for the "Most Overrated Couple of the Year" goes to... Brangelina! You'd think that with Malibu Ken on her arm, she'd be a little less frigid and a little more ecstatic to be there. Would it kill you to smile, ice princess?

Yodelee-he-hoo! Heidi, did you buy your clip-on braid at the mall kiosk?

Gals, Sienna is a spring chicken of only 25, but do you see how she's got some premature aging in the form of crow's feet around her eyes? That's what smoking does to you. Give her ten more years and she's going to look like an old woman. Don't do it gals. Hit the nicotine now and you'll hit the botox later.

Photos courtesy of Eonline, Yahoo News, and PopSugar.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Choosing a signature look

As fun and creative as fashion is, from time to time, I think we all fall into a uniform of some sort for a variety of reasons: we know what looks good on our bodies and choose to stick with that, or we're too darn busy/tired/distracted to care about fashion at the moment, or we're stuck in a school or job that demands a certain look.

Sometimes it can actually be a relief to have a uniform, a sort of signature look. Trends can come and go, but our unique take on fashion--something we love despite what designers demand we love--remains.

The most important thing when choosing a signature looks is to love it and own it. If you're not a pearl necklace kind of girl, don't start copying Coco Chanel (left). Wear orange--if you love it--even if everyone else is wearing black. Feel comfortable in your own clothes and really love what you're wearing, and you are always making the right style choice. Heck, you may even start a fashion trend.

You may want to choose a signature accessory: a certain style of earrings or necklaces, perhaps, or some sexy cat-eye glasses. Your accessory could be as broad as leather purses of all styles and colors or as narrow as pink shoes and only pink shoes. Of course, a signature look doesn't have to be about accessories. It could be a fabric (cashmere) or a color (green) or a style (pencil skirts), etc.

Whatever you do, choose something that highlights what is positive about you. If your eyes are your best feature, don't cover them up with sunglasses--wear chandelier earrings to draw attention to your exquisite peepers.

Feel free to borrow from style icons: pearl necklaces, little black dresses, oversized sunglasses, a classic trench. Just don't feel the need to get super skinny or to smoke. We all have our limits! And don't worry about wearing a name brand either.

The nice thing about a signature look is that you are still expressing your chic, creative point of view while your wardrobe is comfortable and easy-to-assemble. It makes shopping more simple, too. You already know what works for you and what to purchase.

Of course, don't be afraid to experiment. Be open to changing your look; after all, we all grow and mature. What worked for you five years ago may need some tweaking--or a complete overhaul--today.

Monday, January 15, 2007

She's "naturally" beautiful!

You already have environmental pollutants seeping into your skin each day---why enable more by using cosmetics and beauty products contaiing harsh chemicals, many of which you can't even pronounce, much less spell. Lucky for you, new brands of eco-friendly cosmetics and "green" beauty products are available. These certifiably organic products not only shun ingredients like petrochemicals, synthetic preservaties, mineral oils, pesticide residues and genetically modified additives, but even support local communities where they are produced.

Dr. Hauschka Skin Care uses a high-quality alcohol distilled from vegetables and grains, instead of the isopropyl alcohol usually found in beauty products. Try the Facial Toner, containing Anthyllis extract, to reduce swelling and redness.

Juice Beauty uses an organic juice-base formula rich in antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients, and hydroxy acids, instead of a typical water-base formula. The Green Apple Nutrient Mask is a new way to get your vitamin C in the morning!

EO relies solely on word-of-mouth advertising, and fill and package their products in-house. Their Lip Treatment not only treats a dry, flaky pucker, but is the first USDA-certified organic lip balm.

Organic Fiji utilizes 100 percent certified organic coconut oil from one of the world's only certified organic coconut plantations. Use the Coconut Oil to promote natural healing and vitamin-rich moisturizing properties. It even comes in a variety of scents!

Remember to be careful when shopping for organics. The government hasn't outlined comprehensive natural beauty product standards yet. Some products that are labeled "organic" or "natural" may indeed contain small amounts of authentically natural ingredients, but also contain harsh chemicals. Do your research and read the label.

Additional "organic" manufacturers:

Pangea Organics

Mineral Basics

Living Nature

Afterglow Cosmetics


Mundo Products

Burt's Bees (most of their ingredients are natural)

Products linked to online vendor.