Blog Archives

Unpredictable: Sass & Bide

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sass & bide is the namesake label of Sarah- Jane Clarke (sass) & Heidi Middleton (bide). A former accountant and advertising art director, the label offers a full range of women’s ready to wear, denim  & accouterment collections. Bold yet free-spirited, you can always find unique pieces in their collections.

The In Love With Romance Snake Chain Harness is a good example. Full bodied jewelry that can be worn over tees, dresses and jackets. Novel and unpredictable, the label is awfully fun to follow.

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Nail Jelly: American Apparel Sheer Nail Lacquer

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American Apparel’s “Sheer” Nail Lacquer collection offers six beautifully bold glosses named after beloved California beaches. While the shades are uber vivid, they are sheer enough to layer, mix and match.

Moonlight Beach: royal blue

Redondo Beach: sky blue

Pacific Beach: turquoise

Zuma Beach: green/chartreuse

Manhattan Beach: fiery coral

Summerland Beach: light peach

The formula is thin but very pigmented. In about three coats – you can get full coverage. However, I love the one-two coats for a sheer jelly-like effect and sheer wash of color. Drying time is quick with a glossy finish. The formula has an average lifespan… a couple days – but chips are easily corrected with a brush-over as this polish is great for layering.

The new sheer lacquers are cruelty-free and available in retail American Apparel stores or online here.

Spring Shoe: Single Strap

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Showcased in many Spring and Fall runways is the single strap heel. Also known as the ankle strap, these shoes are classic, simple and chic.

The ankle strap heel can be found in a multitude of variations. From chunky heels to ornate details, this strappy heel is super versatile and wearable.

I love the simplicity of the single strap. Even in bold and bright colors, the design is classic. This shoe can be worn with everything. Great when wanting to show-off some leg, the small detail makes any pair of shoes slightly more flattering. The strap draws attention to the ankle, the thinnest part of the leg. Thinner = longer in this equation.

Available in a wide array of colors and styles, here are a few of my favorite single strap heels:

Alexander Wang ~ Antonia Sandal: $495.00

Manolo Blahnik ~ Chaos Cuff Sandal: $695.00

Prabal Gurung for Target ~ Ankle Strap Pump: $39.99

ASOS ~ Hollywood Heeled Sandals: $69.83

Spring Beauty: Mint

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Minty-fresh hues are not just for fashion, apply them to your beauty routine as well. Not only is it a fun pop of color, but this pale, cool-toned color has an immediate brightening effect.

Apply it all over the lid for a sheer wash of color or try the “Thin Mint” and line just under the eyes for a bright and instantly awake look. Both drugstore and luxury brands have a wonderful selection for a “Minty Mani” but if you feel bold and daring, wear this amazing Lime Crime lipstick in “Mint To Be.”

Here are a few of my favorites:

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics ~ Cosmetic Glitters in Mint: $14.00

bareMinerals ~ Velvet Eyeshadow in Velvet Pistachio: $14.00

NYX Cosmetics ~ Jumbo Eye Pencil in Horseradish: $4.50

China Glaze ~ Nail Lacquer in Re-Fresh Mint: $7.50

NARS Cosmetics ~ Eyeliner Pencil in Parrot Cay: $22.00

Illamasqua ~ Cream Pigment in Bedaub: $26.00

Lime Crime ~ Opaque Lipstick in Mint To Be: $15.99

Stila ~ Eye Shadow in Cha Cha: $18.00

Ellis Faas ~ Creamy Eyes in E117 Mint Green: $36.00

Currently Coveting: Sass & Bide

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Currently coveting…obsessing…longing for Sass & Bide High & Higher Shift Dress.

Australian brand, Sass & Bide give the classic black cocktail dress a bold and modern update. The flattering shift silhouette is punctuated by fluorescent-orange and silver panels and sparkling sequins. Finished off with metallic party shoes…

NYE option???

Have a wonderful weekend!

~ Ashling

Four Favorites: Red Lipstick

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As the seasons change, the reach for a red lipstick grows closer. Unfortunately, many women are scared of scarlet. I believe there is a simple adjustment period or rite of passage, when wearing a bright lip. Just like anything else, to diverge from our comfort zone is an uncomfortable feeling. Try this: When home alone, cleaning house, reading a book, watching television – apply your bright lip and test-drive for the day. Let your eyes adjust to the unfamiliar look and I promise it won’t be so shocking next time.

Tips on Application: HOW TO: PERFECT RED LIPS

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Chanel Rouge Coco in Gabrielle: My all-time favorite. A bright blue-based red with glossy sheen. The Rouge Cocos’ are extremely moisturizing and allow you to wear both a sheer or heavy red lip.

NARS Semi Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red: NARS best-seller, Jungle Red is bright and bold. If you want to commit to a “Gwen Stefani/Rita Hayworth” red lip – this one’s for you.

YSL Rouge Volupt in #18 Red Taboo: Cool-toned red with a hint of raspberry. The Rouge Volupt lipsticks are comfortable and light on the lips. Extremely pigmented, long-lasting, uber-creamy and incredibly glossy.

Tom Ford Lip Color in Scarlet Rouge: The classic brick red. For those still uncomfortable wearing the bright lip – this is your training wheels. Deep and luxurious – the color is beautiful and sophisticated – the formula is hydrating and long-lasting.

Style Your Stems: Floral Pants

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Style your stems in floral prints and patterns. A fun and fresh way to wear pants, these bold and colorful botanicals are truly statement-making.

With a little structure, these pieces look ultra fresh and modern. Don’t complicate things with a game of layers. Keep it simple. Try a cropped sweater or delicate tee for an effortless daytime look and silk cami and blazer for night. Add a great pair of sandals or heels and you have created the 1/2 & 1/2 (part elegance/part edge).

Here are a few beguiling blooms for inspiration:

Zara ~ Cropped Printed Trousers w/ Zip: $19.00 (sale

Tibi ~ Floral-Print Silk Crepe De Chine Pants: $330.00

Ella Moss ~ Rosa Flora Pants: $148.00

DKNY ~ Printed Stretch Silk Crepe De Chine Pants: $245.00

Cynthia Rowley ~ Zigzag Floral Bonded Leggings: $225.00

Bewitching Baubles: Bib Necklace

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Make a statement this season with a bright bib. A bib necklace combines layers of intricate beads and jewels strung across the collar bone, high on the neck. Bibs can incorporate many materials and textures to create a bold, multi-layered, eye-catching piece.

These colorful, chunky necklaces easily enhance any outfit while still remaining elegant. Pair with simple tees or tanks to effortlessly renew a tired outfit. Or wear with your favorite, “worn a million times” dress for a new and fresh look.

Available in all shapes, colors and sizes, a bib necklace is a great piece to have on-hand when an outfit feels a bit dull. Here are a few of my favorite bewitching baubles:

BaubleBar ~ Summer Princesse: $38.00

Adia Kibur ~ Short Neon Stone Necklace: $54.00

Zara ~ Strand Necklace in Shiny Golden Colors: $25.90

J.Crew ~ Cabochon Fan Necklace: $150.00

Ann Taylor ~ Sunburst Necklace: $59.99

Kate Spade ~ Painted Jewels Necklace: $198.00

Easy Breezy: Summer Scarves

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This summer leave your statement necklace at home and add a splash of color with a lightweight scarf. This finishing touch is versatile, vibrant and adds an extra layer of style to any look.

From bold, graphic prints to floral bouquets, adding something extra to your ensemble has never been easier. The breezy, effortless nature of a lightweight scarf is perfect for summer. It pulls together a chic look and also acts as an extra layer of sunscreen. Functional and versatile, here are a few fresh new ways to wear your scarves this summer:

Turban: Take a long scarf and tie it into one knot on your forehead, then cross the ends around each other and tuck them in place behind your head. (This look is great for bad hair days)

Mini Caplet: Fold the scarf in half, diagonally, and tie the ends together around your neck – scarf should be draped on shoulders.

Belt:  Tie scarf around your waist or weave through belt loops to cinch the waist.

Experiment to find new ways to wear your favorite scarf: twist, braid, tie two scarves together… Here are a ton of different scarf options to choose from, separated into four categories: Stripes/Florals/Brights/Graphics.

STRIPES:

Mango ~ Cotton Sailor Style Foulard: $19.99

Juicy Couture ~ Chevron Striped Scarf: $68.00

J.Crew ~ Lemlem Gama Gauze Scarf: $125.00

Marc by Marc Jacobs ~ Jacobson Striped Modal Scarf: $180.00

FLORALS:

American Eagle ~ AEO Floral Scarf: $24.50

Forever 21 ~ Floral Scarf: $8.80

Rebecca Minkoff ~ Floral Explosion Silk Scarf: $210.00

J.Crew ~ Printed Summer Scarf in Bold Orange: $59.50

BRIGHTS:

J.Crew ~ Italian Summer Scarf in Belvedere Red: $45.00

Love Quotes ~ Knotted Tassel Scarf in Sunshine: $88.00

Mango ~ Basic Cotton Scarf in Mint: $19.99

J.Crew ~ Italian Summer Scarf in Brillant Purple: $45.00

GRAPHICS:

ALDO ~ Draughon: $22.00

Lucky Brand ~ John Robshaw Vines Print Scarf: $34.99

Tory Burch ~ Ikat Scarf in Turquoise Lucio: $155.00

Tillys ~ Aztec Pattern Scarf in Navy: $9.99

Tropical Inspiration: Aqua Eyes

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Bold, turquoise green eye makeup is a perfect summer look. Tropical inspiration from ocean blues and palm frawn greens will make any eye color pop. This color family come in all sorts of textures and consistencies, choose from metallic, shimmering or pastel shades.

Aqua eyes is great look for both day or night. Start with a vibrant turquoise or shimmering green powder or cream eyeshadow and apply all over the lid. Build for more color or leave for a sheer wash. If you don’t want color on the entire lid, try a simple liner. Draw a thin or thick line on the upper or lower eyelid. For true vibrancy, first line the eye with a white pencil and go over with your favorite kohl, liquid or gel liner. This will bring the color to life.

Brighter colors tend to have more pigment and last longer on the skin – so less is more. It’s easier to build color if more is needed,  but harder to remove color if you put too much on.

Here are a few of my favorite tropical-inspired products.

Dior ~ Croisette Edition: $60.00

NARS ~ Shimmer Eyeshadow in Tropic: $24.00

Make Up For Ever ~ Aqua Eyes in 7L – Turquoise: $18.00

Urban Decay ~ 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Siren: $19.00

YSL ~ Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Waterproof in Majorelle Blue: $30.00

MAC ~ Fluidline in Waveline: $15.00

Maybelline ~ Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow in Tenacious Teal & Edgy Emerald: $6.99 (each)

Smashbox ~ Limitless 15 Hour Wear Cream Shadow: $19.00

Summer Makeup Collections 2012

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Summer Makeup Collections are my absolute favorite. The bright colors and fun, free-spirited nature embody what the summer should resemble. The color-palette in these collections are always inspired by some exotic destination and being swept away to a beach with blue skies, hot sun, pristine white sands and tropical surroundings. The following six collections embrace summer with delightfully sunny shades, bronzed/sun-kissed skin and vibrant bursts of color.

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Summertime De Chanel 2012 is currently available online and at your local counters. Peter Philips, Creative Director of Chanel Makeup, replicates the natural glow of radiant, sunbathed skin. The collection includes two bronzers, an eyeshadow duo, eye crayons, lipsticks, lipglosses, and nail polishes (all limited edition). It is saturated with luminous bronze, gold and copper shades with a pop of coral perfection.

Must Have: Soleil Tan de Chanel & Rouge Coco Shine in En Vogue (bright coral)

Dive into summer with Yves Saint Laurent Summer Collection 2012. Available online and at department store counters May 2012, the collection features both limited edition and permanent collection items. The collection consists of universally flattering hues that aim to boost the radiance of the complexion and emphasize natural beauty.  The collection combines discrete nudes infused with subtle shimmer and pops of aqua blues.

Must Have: Mascara Volume Effets Faux Cils Waterproof in Majorelle Blue

Dior Summer 2012 Croisette Collection is a magnificent compilation of limited edition and permanent items available May 2012. La Croisette is French for Little Cross Drive, the name of a prominent street in Cannes that stretches along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. This collection is inspired by a walk down the famous La Croisette, the colors of the seaside mixed with the glamour of the French Riviera. The Croisette Collection interlace tranquil aquatic shades with soft pastels and shimmering silvers.

Must Have: 1-Couleur Eye Gloss in Sunset & Tan

Guerlain + Emilio Pucci Terra Azzura Summer 2012 Collection is now available and is exclusive to Sephora and Nordstroms. Guerlain teams up with Italian fashion house, Emilio Pucci for a new color range that is inspired by “summertime on the Italian Riviera”. The collection features a bronzer/blush palette, an eyeshadow quad, a mascara, three lip glosses, two nail polishes, a blush brush and Guerlain’s famous powder pearls (Meteorites Perles d’Azur) packaged in and designed by Pucci.

Must Have: Meteorites Perles D’Azur

NARS 2012 Summer Collection is available now online and wherever NARS is sold. The collection features intensely pigmented earth inspired hues that are spiked with a bit of shimmer to illuminate the complexion and create a healthy glow. From icy peach to terracotta this collection is extremely chic and versatile.

Must Have: Liberté Blush

Thakoon for NARS Founder and creative director Francois Nars has partnered with fashion designer Thakoon Pachnigul to develop a limited edition nail polish collection inspired by Thakoon’s Spring 2012 collection shown at New York Fashion Week. The new polishes include 6 bright colors that were inspired by the spices found on Indian markets – bold, spicy and vibrant.

Must Have: Koliary Nail Polish  (cyan blue)

Set sail for summer with MAC Hey Sailor! Summer 2012 Collection. Available May 24 (North America), May 2012 (International) this entire collection is limited edition. Hey Sailor! is a nautical-inspired collection combining vintage pin-up looks with nautical/aquatic shades. Decked out with stylish sailor-striped packaging the collection features a fleet of eye shadows, lipsticks, lipglass, powder blushes, pigments, Powerpoint eye pencils, Pro Long Wear lip pencils, nail lacquers and a new mascara – Zoom Water Fast Lash. Also featured in the collection are a boat-load of bronzing powders, Pro Long Wear bronzing powders, High-Light powders, MAC to the Beach body oil, Suntints and a new face blender brush 167SH.

Must Have: Zoom Water Fast Lash Mascara

Right Brights: J.Crew Toothpick Jeans in Garment-Dyed Twill

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A great departure from primary colored-denim, J.Crew’s straight leg “Toothpick” jeans are available in an array of color-burst shades. From bright papaya, neon persimmon, light citron, festival green to standard white, these jeans will brighten-up any wardrobe.

These jeans are extremely soft and comfortable. The skinny style has a flattering fit and the soft stretchy cotton provides a magical slimming effect. The ankle length accentuates spring style for wearability all-year-round.

When wearing bright jeans and denim, your legs are the focal point. The safest way to wear bright denim jeans is to pair it with tops, cardigans and tees in neutral colors. Feeling bold and playful? Try pairing your bright denim with an added burst of color. This can be as subtle as an accent cotton scarf or as bold as color-blocking with a cotton tunic in a contrasting color.

Caring for Colored Denim: From J.Crew: The nature of this product may result in color transfer- we suggest laundering them at home before wear.

Break out of your usual blues and opt for bright and cheery denim.

Festive Fingernails: Best Red Nail Polish

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Red nail polish is a constant around the holidays. This bold color is festive, classic and timeless. However, not all reds are created equal. To find a red hue that complements your skintone follow these simple rules.

✳ For dark or golden skintones:  bright, true reds look best.

✳ For pink undertones: lighter, orange-reds – will make skin look less ruddy.

✳ For pale skintones: the contrast of a blue-red is striking.

Red nail polish has a tendency to stain your nails. Apply a base coat first so your nails are protected from unwanted and hard to remove stains.  Here are five red nail polishes, every girl should own:

Chanel ~ Dragon: $25.00
OPI ~ Big Apple: $8.50
Revlon ~ All Fired Up: $4.79
China Glaze ~ Ruby Pumps: $6.50
Nars ~ Jungle Red: $17.00

Matte Finish: Nars Pure Matte Lipsticks

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Nars Pure Matte Lipstick ~ Carthage

In lip products, matte textures tend to look more natural than shine and shimmer. This is especially true in photography and video. They also last longer on the lips and seldom feather.

Matte-textured lipsticks as well as long-wear can be incredibly drying on the lips. Nars Pure Matte Lipsticks contain mango butter that provide moisturizing properties to repair dryness and scaling. However, I would not constitute this as a moisturizing lip product, but increasingly better than others I have tested.

Nars Pure Matte Lipsticks are incredibly pigmented and provide amazing color pay-off. They are available in eleven shades from nude to full-bodied reds. Carthage is my current favorite, the most obnoxious hot pink.

Matte lipsticks are a great buy, the pigments are bright and bold and if a little shimmer or shine is needed, just add some gloss.

Tip: Avoid over-applying lipstick, the more you wear, the heavier it looks and the quicker it will wear off.

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