Everyday Essentials: Must-Have Neutrals
Everyday makeup that makes your daily routine quick and effortless begins with neutral eyes.
Neutral Eyeshadows do not have to be boring. Sure they can contour and accentuate the eyes for a natural-look. But they can also enhance any smokey eye, hide flaws and/or be used to contour and highlight the face, fill-in brows and brighten the under-eye.
Here are a few of my must-haves:
MAC – Brule
Chanel – Lotus
Urban Decay – Naked
MAC – Uninterrupted
NARS – Bali
Bobbi Brown – Grey
Five Favorites: Wedge Espadrille Sandals
The wedge espadrille is the perfect compliment to summer. Comfortable and versatile, these sandals provide the hight needed paired with comfort. The rope detailing couples well with casual and dressy styles and remains durable year after year. Available in different styles and colors, the platform wedges will flatter all summer long. Here are a five favorites for summer:
Topshop: Whispered Sandal – $84.00
Michael Kors: Giovanna Wedge Sandal – $134.95
Jimmy Choo: Pallis Wedge Sandal – $450.00
Delman: Trish Sandal– $250.00
Dolce Vita (DV): Tarry Sandal – $59.60
Unrequited Love: Tassel Jewelry
A more playful take on statement jewelry has been popping up in the form of swingy tassel earrings, bracelets and necklaces. The global-inspired look is available in a multitude of colors, lengths and styles. From colorful bracelets and shoulder-grazing danglers to simple rope pendants, finding a piece of tassel jewelry to fit your style and budget is a cinch. Here are a few favorites.
1. Isabel Marant: Asphalt Cowboy Necklace: $342.00
2. Max & Chloe: Ali NY Silver Traveler Tassel Earrings: $60.00
3. Lucy Folk: Jasmine Flower Braided Bracelets: $72.00
4. Max & Chloe: Ali NY Gold City Tassel Belcher Bracelet: $70.00
5. J.Crew: Double-Tassel Necklace: $62.00
Spring Shoe: Single Strap
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
Casual Khaki: The Boyfriend Chino
A great alternative to jeans is the slouchy boyfriend chino. This versatile style pant lives in a casual environment but with a few fancy basics can also be spruced up.
I love these pants ‘banged-up’ a bit. With some distress, worn spots and/or small holes – they look ‘lived-in’ and not as stiff/starchy.
Casual pairings are a cinch, as you can wear with anything – similar to denim. Dress-up your boyfriend chinos with fancy basics: beaded top, black blazer, sky-high pump.
Available in all colors and prints (camo!), here are a few favorites:
AG Adriano Goldschmied ~ Cropped Boyfriend Khaki Pants: $205.00
Vince ~ Boyfriend Trousers: $195.00
Current/Elliott ~ ‘The Buddy’ Print Twill Trousers: $238.00
Rag and Bone ~ Portobello Pants: $176.00
Old Navy ~ Boyfriend Skinny Khakis: $29.94
Wardrobe Staple: Denim Jacket
The denim jacket is an easy piece to grab on your way out the door. Versatile and basic, the denim jacket will transition from season to season with effortless style.
The denim jacket is no longer limited to different washes of blue denim. The trend has evolved into prints, colors, proportions and textures. Available in cropped, leather, tweed and jersey detailing, fur, moto style, western style, stud and spike embellishments, floral and leopard print the design elements are endless.
Pair your denim topper with everything from maxi dresses to leather pants. Or wear as a layering piece under a blazer or over a hooded sweatshirt. Whatever style you choose from the basic blue to fancy floral, the denim jacket will always be a wardrobe staple.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Current/Elliott ~ ‘The Snap’ Stretch Denim Jacket: $274.00
Haute Hippie ~ Washed Floral Denim Jacket: $285.00
Rag and Bone ~ Leather Sleeve Jean Jacket: $495.00
Urban Outfitters ~ Silence & Noise Cropped Denim Moto Jacket: $79.00
By Zoe ~ Mickey Jacket: $172.00 (sale)
Bewitching Baubles: Bib Necklace
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
5 under $50: Summer Dress
Take the guess-work out of summer outfits. With the simple summer dress, one can quickly and casually throw it on all summer long.
Look for universal prints and colors. If you choose a more trendy version, i.e neons and/or bold prints, it will be more recognizable and you will not get as much wear out of it. Let the summer dress be the base of any ensemble and change it up with different pairings: jackets, scarves, layers (crop-tops/slouchy tees) and accessories. These dresses will be in your closet for numerous summers to come. Here are five favorites all under $50.00.
Volcom ~ Festivus: $45.00
Element ~ Robin Striped Dress: $44.50
BB Dakota ~ Dora Stripe Dress: $49.00 (sale)
Hive & Honey ~ Floral Blousant Dress: $39.99 (sale)
Forever 21 ~ Casual Chambray Dress: $15.50
Statement Sandals: Graphics
From abstract florals to eye-catching ikat, summer sandals are getting graphic. Found in an overwhelming array of colors, styles, prints and patterns, complete any outfit with a bold statement sandal.
Keeping it neutral. Make these statement shoes the focal point of the ensemble by keeping the rest of the pieces neutral and/or monochromatic.
Mixing prints. Sometimes the best combinations are the ones that do not seem suitable. There are no rules here, only to look for prints and textures in complementary color families. The pieces do not have to coordinate exactly, but there should be a common theme.
Spice up your wardrobe with some vibrant graphics. Here are few of my favorite stand-out sandals.
Zara ~ Fabric Sandal: $99.90
Theodora & Callum ~ Hippie Heel: 229.99 (sale)
Loeffler Randall ~ Dita Platform Pump: $425.00
BCBGeneration ~ Hosanna: $87.99 (sale)
Alice + Olivia ~ Juliet Platform Wedge Sandal: $295.00
Cynthia Vincent ~ Naomi Aztec-Printed Platform Wedge Sandal: $197.00 (sale)
Layering bright eye shadows, liners and lipsticks can result in a fun makeup look that’s right on trend for the season. Just like colorblocking clothes, there are a myriad of possibilities one can create with makeup as well.
There’s a much-heralded rule in beauty that if you do a bold eye, the rest of your makeup should be neutral. With colorblocking, this rule does not necessarily apply. The bright colors will play off each other and make your features pop.
Throw all traditional “rules” out the window and be creative. A lot of these looks are used in editorial or runway features, to make it wearable stick to only two areas of the face, i.e. eyes/lips, cheeks/lips. Tone down the colors and heavy-handed application for a sheer wash of color. This will create a more modern and everyday look.
5 under $50: High-Low Skirts
A new style trend for skirts this spring/summer features a unique high-low hemline. The high-low hemline, short in the front/long in the back, is like wearing a mini-skirt and a maxi-skirt all-in-one. This playful look shows the perfect amount of skin without being too daring.
This style is uber flattering on any body shape. The asymmetric hemline creates a lengthening effect that instantly makes legs appear longer. Showing-off a little leg can be an effective way to elongate the entire frame.
Styling these skirts is simple. Depending on the color or print of the skirt, it is always safe to coordinate with pared-down basics. Try a simple tee, tank or my favorite – a slouchy grey sweatshirt top. The high-low hemline provides the perfect showcase for this season’s quintessential shoe. Show off your favorite flats, sandals, wedges or booties.
The high-low skirt is available everywhere in a multitude of colors, prints and textures. Here are 5 under $50:
Zara ~ Skirt with Asymmetric Hem: $39.90
Asos ~ River Island Heart Hi-Lo Midi Skirt: $38.27
Express ~ Hi-Lo Hem Maxi Skirt: $49.90
Forever 21 ~ Sheer Floral High-Low Skirt: $19.80
Nordstrom ~ Rubbish – Asymmetrical Circle Hem Maxi Skirt: $42.00
Flat Frenzy: J.Crew Ballet Boutique
J.Crew Spring/Summer 2012 launched an exquisite ballet collection “The Ballet Boutique.” The collection is filled with suede, leather and raffia designs, available in a variety of colors, textures and adorable embellishments.
The Cece design is handmade in Italy and constructed for comfort and style. Dubbed as their official “commuting shoe,” these flats have added padding, an elastic top, a shock-absorbing rubber sole and an interior wedge design for additional comfort and control. Fabric swatches, Pantone cards, art books even candy was used as inspiration to create one-of-a-kind colors.
Embrace this hot season trend without sacrificing comfort. With multiple styles and colors, and a price range of $58-$250, everyone is able to join the flat frenzy.
5 under $50: Wedges
A warm-weather staple, wedges are comfortable, stylish and wonderfully chunky. Available in multiple textures, colors and prints at these prices you can have them all. Live on the ‘wedge’ with 5 under $50.00:
Charlotte Russe ~ Cross-Front Strappy Cork Wedge: $35.50
Charlotte Russe ~ 2-Band Wooden Wedge Sandal: $36.50
Piperlime ~ Qupid – Katrina: $49.00
ALDO ~ Ellingwood: $35.00
Piperlime ~ Michael Antonio – Goldy: $49.00
Tailor Time: Boyfriend Blazer
Time for Spring Cleaning. Instead of giving away staple pieces in your closet, alter them. With a small tweak, these items can be born again.
Almost everyone has a black blazer in their closet. Give this blazer new life by simply adding material to the collar. Check out your local fabric store and look at different textures and fabrics; leather, pleather, suede, jersey, corduroy, sateen, velvet. Experiment with patterns and colors, maybe opt for houndstooth or brown distressed leather. The possibilities are endless.
When altering a piece of clothing, I suggest first asking your local tailor for two quotes – with and without materials. When happy with the price and materials used – you just created a brand new blazer.