Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Back to School

July is almost over, can you believe it? For students, that means the back-to-school season is nearly here. Although I'm no longer a student, I can still feel the anticipation and excitement in the air. The end of summer conjures up fond memories of shopping and styling new looks for the school year. It's all about looking effortlessly chic, being confident, and having fun with new twists on fall fashion. Plus, who doesn't love to see the new fall arrivals that hit the racks this time of year? 

This fall, I've teamed up with Sears to showcase my take on their Back To School, Back To You theme by styling a back-to-school look featuring my favorite trend - fall florals. One glance into my closet will reveal that blooming bouquets rule; they've always appealed to my sartorial senses. 

For fall, I'm especially drawn to darker, moodier florals. Not sure how to style flower printed pieces for fall? If you're brave, mix florals with plaids for an updated take on grunge, or opt for an understated vibe by anchoring florals with solid separates such as moto jackets, cozy cardigans, dark denim, cute boots, and sleek blazers. 

Using fall florals as my back-to-school theme, I styled a relaxed head-to-toe look with some top picks from the Here + Now department at Sears.  The hard part was narrowing down my favorite floral pieces because fortunately, there was an abundance of choice in my Sears store. After trying on a few looks in the fitting room, I went with my instinct and based my look around this floral print jumpsuit

Sears Style floral jumpsuit with Bongo cardigan and Seventeen western ankle boots, #SearsStyleFind
Sears Style floral jumpsuit with Bongo cardigan
Sears Style floral jumpsuit with Bongo cardigan and Seventeen western ankle boots
Sears Style floral jumpsuit with Bongo cardigan
Rag & Bone Harrow inspired western boots by Seventeen at Sears
Sears Style floral jumpsuit with Bongo cardigan and Seventeen western ankle boots

Outfit c/o Sears: Metaphor sunglasses, JWK floral jumpsuit, Bongo cocoon cardigan, Metaphor studded cross body bag (similar version), initial bracelet, and Seventeen microsuede Western ankle boots

As soon as I spotted the floral print jumpsuit, I knew it had to be mine. The relaxed fit, pockets, and lace trim instantly drew me in. I envisioned wearing it for summer with strappy sandals, a sheer kimono jacket, and stacked bangles.  For my fall back-to-school inspired look, I'm wearing it with a cocoon cardigan, studded crossbody bag, and Western ankle boots. The comfort factor of the jumpsuit rivals that of pajamas, making it an obvious choice for casual days. If I were a student, it would be a top pick for my first day back at school.

For more back-to-school fall floral inspiration, have a peek at my Pinterest and Instagram photos. 
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The hottest trends, celebrity style and fashion tips you can afford to try. 

Compensation was provided by Sears via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sears.

Friday, June 27, 2014

4 Summer Beauty Hacks

Let's talk summer beauty! When this time of year rolls around, higher temperatures call for an updated beauty routine to deal with the elements. When it comes to makeup and skin care, I always opt for lighter makeup application, staying hydrated, and fast hair removal. I'll be sharing four of my summer beauty hacks and trusted rituals to help me stay cool through the warm and sunny days of summer. 

favorite summer beauty products: Veet hair remover cream gel, Avene thermal water, Yes to Grapefruit CC cream

First up is my favorite way to cool off after a workout or during an especially hot day. I simply stash a bottle of thermal water spray in the refrigerator and spritz my face to cool off. It's refreshing, good for your skin, and most of all, it feels amazing! Quick tip: it also helps to set makeup and soothe irritated skin.

While thermal water spray keeps my skin hydrated, drinking plenty of water is also key to avoiding dehydration and having beautiful, glowing skin. I like to slice cucumber, lemon, or strawberries and toss it into my cold water to sip throughout the day. The subtle infusion of fruit flavor encourages me to drink more water, and it is really refreshing when temperatures rise. Bonus points for sipping it from a fun floral Thermos.

The minimal route is the way to go when it's so hot that products can melt off of your skin. Less is more is my motto for summer makeup! A product that does double or even triple duty always gets my vote. I adore my CC cream because it's 95% natural, has SPF, moisturizes, brightens skin, and provides a sheer layer of skin-perfecting color. It gives my skin a natural glow and is great for days when I'm pressed for time and don't want to wear concealer or foundation. 

Hair Removal
With warmer weather comes the opportunity to show more skin by wearing cute rompers, skirts, dresses, and shorts. While this is something I look forward to, hair removal, on the other hand, is something I don't look forward to, since it can be time-consuming and painful. For me, having smooth and soft skin is key to feeling confident in summer's skin-baring styles. I recently tried Veet® Fast Acting cream gel hair remover and found it to be both fast and easy. Just apply it, wait five minutes, use the spatula to remove it, and rinse. It's that simple. No harsh smell, no pain, and smooth skin for days! While waxing and shaving can cause irritation, this cream gel is easier on my skin. I won't miss my razor at all. 

Read about more beauty products I can't live without and see more inspiration on my Pinterest Bold Beauty board!

Veet fast acting cream gel hair remover review

Veet® helps you feel smooth all summer long. 
There's nothing like the feeling of freedom that summer brings. 
veet logo

Compensation was provided by Reckitt Benckiser via MODE Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Reckitt Benckiser.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What To Wear on the 4th of July

With the official start of summer just days away, I'm anticipating long, sunny days and fun outdoor activities. This time of year is one of my favorites. Just knowing that the sun sets well past 8pm makes me happy.

As June comes to a close, it's also time to start thinking about the 4th of July.  Whether you're hitting the highway for an Independence Day road trip, getting together with friends for a parade or barbecue, or watching fireworks with loved ones, I've compiled some outfit ideas to help you celebrate in stars and stripes and pay tribute to Old Glory.

Click each item to browse and shop all American style.

See more 4th of July outfit ideas:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How To Wear High Waisted

How time flies! It's been seven years since I first published my style tips on how to wear high waisted. Many fashion trends have come and gone since then, and not surprisingly, high waisted styles are back in the spotlight. As a fan of higher rises, I've shared my take on the trend with high waisted palazzo pants, skinny denim, and printed jeans on my personal style blog The Key To Chic. Here's a quick look at how I've worn high-waisted styles throughout the years.

 how to wear high waisted by Fashion Trend Guide

So without further ado (and hopefully, with improved writing skills since I first shared my advice in 2007), here are my updated tips for how to wear high waisted:

Fit is first. Achieving the right fit is key to pulling off high waist styles with panache. The waist should be fitted but not tight. Conversely, the waist should not be too large with gapping in the back. If you're wearing pants, denim, or shorts, the hip and thigh shouldn't tug or create excessive horizontal creases. In the fitting room, make sure you can comfortably sit down. 

Choose fabrics that flatter. Ideally, you want some stretch, but not too much. High waisted jeans that stretch up a size and become baggy are undesirable, so look for fabric content with no more than 2% spandex or lycra so that it will retain its shape.

Pocket placement matters. When choosing high waisted denim, look for back pockets that aren't too big or too small for your backside, as they can create the illusion of a bigger butt. Back pockets that are placed above your leg crease will ensure that you don't appear to have a saggy bottom. Among my preferred brands are J Brand and Cheap Monday for their flattering fits and comfortable fabrics. 

Get longer legs and score style points. Fortunately, high waisted styles visually elongate the legs, so to enhance this effect, pair your wide-leg or palazzo styles with height-boosting platforms or wedges. While I love wide-leg styles with heels to counteract the volume, I think skinny-fit bottoms look chic with flats and low to medium heels (under 3"). I find that cropped, high waisted denim is elegant when paired with a tucked-in blouse and pumps or ballet flats. A flash of skin at the ankle can also elongate the leg when it comes to wearing cropped, high waisted skinnies. 

Show off that waistline. If you're wearing a long, loose blouse, then tuck it in and pair it with a skinny belt to highlight the waist. Experiment with half tucks and partial tucks (see J.Crew for inspiration) if you desire a more nonchalant look. If you're more daring, pair your high waisted bottoms with a crop top to show off your midriff. Still stumped on how to style your shirt? Button-front tops look cute tied in a knot, as I did with my chambray shirt above on the lower right.

Picking prints and washes. When it comes to high waisted denim, dark washes can be dressed up more easily and are more slimming. Treatments such as whiskering and fading draw attention to the areas in which they are placed. For printed bottoms, horizontal prints can be harder to pull off, as well as larger prints. Opt for subdued color schemes, vertical print placements, or smaller prints if you want a visually slimming effect. 

See my favorite high-waisted styles:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

National Splurge Day - 5 Stylish Buys

Shopaholics, mark your calendars! Did you know that June 18 is National Splurge Day? Could there be a better holiday for anyone who loves to shop for extravagant items? It's all the inspiration I need to daydream about luxurious purchases. In case you have the urge to splurge on something stylish for yourself (or a lucky loved one), I've got a few ideas to suit a wide variety of budgets. If you're looking for a small splurge or a sizable splurge, here are my picks, ranging from a chic lipstick under $50 to gorgeous ankle boots under $900, and a few things in between. Click each item to browse and shop.

More splurge worthy ideas at a variety of price points:

Monday, June 2, 2014

8 Beauty Products I Can't Live Without

Let's talk beauty! Since I'm a clothes horse, much of my shopping involves apparel and accessories, but I'm always on the lookout for beauty products that help me to look and feel my best. I've been known to be fiercely loyal to a brand or product once I discover something I love, and today, I'll be sharing eight such products and why they've stolen my heart. 

top beauty products Klorane dry shampoo, Avene thermal water spray, Urban Decay Naked Basics, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer, Sally hansen Airbrush Legs
1. A great moisturizer should be exactly what Yes To Tomatoes Skin balancing Moisturizer is: natural, non-perfumed, non-greasy, and effective. I've been using this one for over two years and it's the only thing that works for keeping my forehead and hairline from getting dry and irritated.

2. Is it possible to have an effective hairspray that doesn't turn your hair into a dry, crunchy mess? I'm reminded of the good old days when I used Aqua Net for ultimate volume and hold. Things have changed since then, and this Elnett hairspray by L'Oréal does the trick, and just like the bottle says, it disappears with the stroke of a brush. No dry, crunchy hair, ever again. I like to create beachy waves with a 1.25" curling iron, spritz this on, and then brush it out for soft waves that last for days. Fun fact: I once traveled from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires (13 hours of flight time not including the layover) after using Elnett on my sideswept bangs, and when I finally arrived at my hotel many hours later, my hair was still in place! Yes, it's that good.

3. Instead of self-tanner, I really love Sally Hansen Air Brush Legs. They now make it in a non-spray bottle and without shimmer, so it's much less messy to apply and less sparkly than before. I mix some into my regular body lotion for subtle glow on arms and legs during the warmer months. I give it major bonus points for being waterproof. Tip: allow it to dry completely before getting dressed. 

4. Few products can conceal a blemish or the telltale signs of a late night/early morning better than Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage concealer. After a Sephora sales associate recommended this and applied it on a blemish, I was sold on its ability to turn my volcanic blemish into an invisible little secret. It has a thick texture, so it needs to be blended completely, and it comes with two colors so you can customize your shade. 

5. Not yet ready to commit to the popular Urban Decay Naked palette, I bought the lower priced Basics palette instead. The neutral and matte hues are perfect for creating a light and natural day look, or a dark and smoky evening look. I use the lightest shade to highlight the brow bone and inner corners of the eye. I adore it because the shadow is long-lasting and doesn't crease easily. 

6. Having tried quite a few dry shampoos, I've found this paraben-free one by Klorane to be one of the best. It has oat milk, is very gentle, it's unscented, it absorbs oil quickly, and it saves me so much time on second and third hair days. I massage my scalp after applying it, and then brush my hair with a boar bristle brush for extra volume. 

7. Avène Thermal water spray might sound like an unnecessary indulgence, but once I started using it, I couldn't imagine life without it. It's a versatile product that I store in the fridge and use frequently to set my makeup, soothe irritated skin, or cool off on a hot day. It's also perfect in the travel size for staying moisturized on long flights.

8. What's great about Nars the Multiple in Orgasm isn't just the universally flattering shimmery shade of pink it imparts, it's the fact that in addition to a great cheek color, it can also be used as a lip color, making it perfect for travel. The subtle shimmer makes a cheek highlighter unnecessary, too. Triple win!

For more beauty ideas and inspiration, follow along on my Pinterest Bold Beauty board!

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