I realize it’s been MONTHS since my last blog post, so I apologize to my readership and clients! I promise I haven’t dropped the ball completely on ACC’s blog and certainly haven’t forgotten about you – it’s just been crazy the last couple of months around here. I can’t complain – between new clients, lots of travel, spring/summer shopping appointments, photo shoots, bridal trials, and the advent of wedding season – I’ve been more than busy (and am so grateful for every minute of it). I can’t wait to share with you some of the exciting projects I’ve been up to, but will leave that for a later post. Stay tuned for a big announcement coming soon! On that note, there will be plenty of social media updates and fresh blog content for all of you in the near future; I promise it won’t disappoint.
We’ve been privy to torrential downpours here in St. Louis, which makes work interesting (nothing worse than a stylist in heels, in the rain, trying to balance an umbrella with five shopping bags, a purse, and three hanging dress bags – not a pretty sight, I can assure you). St. Louis is wet and wild right now, and from what I’ve heard from my clients in Nashville & Alabama, rainwear is not only a necessity, it’s a way of life.
So when the elements are accosting you, the goal is to look like this:
(Not kidding – this is what I look like, and more accurately, how I feel, when I get caught in the rain without an umbrella or rain coat. Grrrr.)
This post was inspired by the thunderstorm I awoke to early this morning at 5:45, and by a recent shopping trip to Gus Mayer (in Nashville) with clients. Their rain coat selection is fabulous! One of my clients actually bought three sophisticated and feminine rain coats – and these aren’t your standard sporty flavor.
Moncler Reversible Raincoat with Animal Print Hood ($1,150) (An investment, but a timeless print, and it’s so versatile being reversible).
Calvin Klein Hooded Trench Coat, $178 (love the color for spring/summer)
Hornbaek Hooded Raincoat (Ilse Jacobsen), $329 – comes in an array of colors!
Dawn Levy Kendra Belted Rain Trench, $350 (classic in black or red)
With countless options for polished and pretty rain coats, what excuse do you have for not staying dry – and stylish – in this weather?
*stock photos courtesy of Google*
These are a few of my favorite hair and makeup looks from Spring 2013 runway shows (Paris, Milan, London & New York). I love incorporating new styles while I’m working, especially during conceptual shoots or bridal trial runs. It’s always refreshing to change up your look, and what better time to try something new than spring?
La Vie Boheme Fishtail Braids at Tory Burch
Tory Burch Spring 2013 (photo credit: Getty images). This is a regular fish tail braid just pulled out a bit and textured; the key is not keeping it too perfect.
Peek-a-boo braids at Herve Leger (photo credit: imaxtree). A sleek, grown-up version of the braid.
Teal eyeliner at Stella McCartney (Photos: WWD/Kyle Ericksen, Fairchild Archive (8), WWD/Kyle Ericksen). A bit of blue-green metallic liner is used in the waterline, with a little black liner on the upper lashline, as well as a couple coats of mascara. Keep the rest of the face matte and simple with a pale pink cheek and lip.
Copper shadow at at Chloe (Photos: WWD/Kyle Ericksen, Fairchild Archive (8), WWD/Kyle Ericksen). Chloe makeup artists winged out the copper shadow, but another way to try copper shadow is in a day-time smokey eye look (swept all over the lid and on the bottom lashline).
Jenny Packham’s rolled ponytails (twisted sections) (from jaaaat.com).
There’s no excuse to wear basic ponytail styles anymore with looks as pretty as this! Gather hair to one side, and start twisting the hair near your temple by your hairline. Bobby pin sections as you go as you twist backwards and across the nape of your neck. Secure with a clear elastic or a large Bobby pin.
Fuschia Lipstick at Dries Van Noten (photos via madisonmag.com.au). Hot pink and deep fuschia are universally flattering tones, from fair skin to deep ebony.
Balenciaga half-back hair (from here). A sweet twist on a classic style.
Fresh-faced, barely there makeup at DKNY (from here). For those “look like I rolled out of bed without trying” but-you-really-did-try days.
Which trend is your favorite for spring?
Brides often request a “natural” makeup look when I am doing their trial runs – many women want to look like they normally do, but still fresh-faced and bridal.
This normally entails a pretty cheek, a soft eye done with neutrals (bone, taupe, champagne, browns, etc.), false lashes and a glossy pink or peachy lip, depending on the bride’s eye color, face, etc. I always encourage brides to wear false lashes, as makeup does not read as dramatically in wedding photos as it does in person. Lashes give your eyes more definition without adding more pigment and/or makeup.
A perfect example of how makeup reads in photographs – look at my bride Shannon’s makeup here:
(First of all, isn’t she absolutely gorg?!?) Photos by Mike Cassimatis
Shannon wanted a very dramatic, dark smokey eye look. On her wedding day, we actually “amped up” the darkness and volume a little more and added a fuller, longer false lash. I also used copious amounts of blush (Nars “Orgasm”) at the bride’s request. In person, the look was very striking and was what would be considered by many as being a very dark smokey eye (dare I use the word “heavy”). She also had a LOT of blush on. My point? In photos, the eye makeup looks like more of a medium smokey eye and while her cheeks have color, the blush isn’t overly emphasized or cakey. Why? Because makeup and color never reads as dramatic in photographs! For this reason, I always emphasize the need for a bride to be willing to try a little more makeup on her wedding day and step it up a notch or two. Falsies help with this – as does the addition of a little more blush, liner, and a more pigmented lip.
Meghan, another beautiful (and so sweet!) bride of mine wanted a very natural look on her wedding day. The look is still flawless, glowing and bridal, but not as dramatic as Shannon’s.
Simply beautiful! Photos by Justin Demutiis
However, as you can see here, lashes and liner define the eyes without using a smokey, dark effect. Airbrushed foundation and a couple of other secret tricks of mine make the skin look flawless and dewy.
Remember, be willing to step it up a little more than your everyday routine when doing your makeup trial run. If you don’t normally wear blush, wear it. If you don’t normally wear eye makeup, ask for a natural eye with matte neutrals and be willing to try false lashes. The results are stunning, as you can see!
To see more of these gorgeous brides and my work, follow me on Facebook by liking “A Chic Critique.”
In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought I would do a post on all things pretty in pink. These limited edition items will have a proceed of their sales donated to breast cancer research and awareness. Some of my clients (and good friends) are breast-cancer survivors, so it’s a cause that is near and dear to my heart.
Bobbi Brown Pink Peony bronzer, $45 (for a natural-looking, rosy glow)
Clarisonic Pink Mia Skincare Brush, $119 (a MUST for every woman’s skincare regimen – deep cleanses, exfoliates, helps minimize fine lines & wrinkles, helps skin absorb more products like serum, etc.)
Rebecca Taylor Silk Top, $225 (100% of proceeds donated)
Orly You are Not Alone Polish, $5
Subtle Luxury Peachy-Pink Glitter Scarf, $56 (feminine, lightweight, & cool – my personal fave!)
Tory Burch Pink Double Wrap Stud Bracelet, $95
Kendra Scott Grayce Statement necklace in Petal, $245
Show your (fashionable) support this month for a wonderful cause.
Currently obsessed with and loving these items & products right now:
Lorac Front of the Line Pro Liquid Liner in black ($23). Here’s the scoop – this very, very fine tipped liquid liner pen is virtually error-proof. If you’re seeking a liquid liner that allows for easy application and precision, give this one a shot. The perfect flick, I might add, is totally achievable with this product.
Dior Addict Ultra Gloss ($28) – a MUST in my makeup kit. The perfect consistency, stays put, gorgeous color selection, and not too sticky. It also has the most beautiful hint of sheen & shimmer. If you’re not into dark matte burgundy or red lips for fall, don’t be ashamed (not every trend is for everyone); this product is on the lighter side, but pigmented enough for more coverage in the fall. (My suggestions? Try black tie plum, evening rose, red dress or mauve accent for fall on top of nude lip liner).
Obagi Clenziderm MD Pore Therapy (2% Salicylic Acid Tone). A colleague/good friend recommended this product recently, and I can’t get enough of it. I’m a Nazi with my skin, and I’m always considering new products to add to my daily regimen. This one? A must. If you constantly struggle with shine or oiliness throughout the day (guilty as charged), mattifying primers and oil-control makeup products don’t always do the trick. You can always count on Obagi to make pharmaceutical-grade, top-of-the lines products, and this one seriously helps with minimizing oiliness, tightening my skin, and minimizing the appearance of pores. I put it on once a day before I put on my makeup – you know it’s working when you feel the burn. (P.S. – I don’t recommend this to those of you with dry skin or dry patches).
You need one of these in your closet for fall. A ruched or shirred, fitted knit dress – easy, sexy, sophisticated, classic. Why? Uber-flattering, and easily transitions from day to night. Get one. (Casual ones like this Helmut Lang or this BR dress can be worn with suede booties or riding boots, a killer scarf, and a leather jacket on the weekend, and a longer one like this would be office-appropriate with a blazer, opaque tights, and pumps).
Screaming my name for fall (wine & maroon colors are huge this fall, but this one also acts a neutral). Minkoff, $525
If you know me, this one’s a no-brainer.
Peacock/teal is another color that is reigning this fall. Suede closed-toed pumps are a great way to inject a pop of color into your wardrobe. (Boutique 9 Kya Suede & Snake print pumps, $150)
P.S. – Apologies for the lack of posts lately – I’ve been traveling for fall styling/shopping appointments, churning out Look Books, and to top it off, it’s wedding season! ‘Nuff said.
I don’t know about you, but this girl is over-the-top giddy with anticipation for the impending arrival of fall. What’s not to love? Cool weather, football games (let’s be honest – I’m indifferent about the latter, but I do love tailgating with friends), boot season, scarves galore, my birthday, leggings & tights, and neutral nail polish!
The two reigning nail color palettes for fall? To put it Harper’s Bazaar’s way, “dark and stormy,” and “pretty in pales.” Designers featured a strong, yet feminine, aesthetic when it came to nails for fall 2012 runway shows.
Karen Walker :: photo courtesy of CND
Catherine Malandrino :: photo courtesy of CND
Nahm :: Photo courtesy of CND
Dark & Stormy
Pretty in Pales
Which color palette is your fave? I like both – I can see myself sporting both the marshmallow white (love) or a dark, silvery pewter gray.
(nail images via google)
One of the salient color palettes from fall 2012 runway collections was composed of burgundy, merlot, crimson, and maroon shades. From Tibi and Peter Som to Jill Stuart and Alexander Wang, these colors are bold, chic, and ubiquitous for fall. Sophisticated and classic, this trending palette looks beautiful used on structured handbags, tailored pencil skirts, suede pumps and chunky knit sweaters.
From top left, clockwise: Cynthia Rowley, Richard Chai, Tibi, Peter Som, Jill Stuart, Steven Alan – demonstrating the color on some outerwear pieces
Extremely versatile and universally flattering, this shade will perfectly compliment any fall ensemble. I love it paired with charcoal or tonal grays, and it also looks regal next to camel.
Here are some of my favorites for fall:
Elizabeth and James “Rex” Blazer, $395
Marc by Marc Jacobs “Stick” Skinny, $169
Emilio Pucci Fedora, $390
Sigerson Morrison “Vintage,” $495
Chloe Paraty Medium Leather bag, $1,895
Helmut Lang draped jersey dress, $295
I’ll have this last one for my birthday, please. Could live in this for fall – figure-flattering and great for day-to-night. Add opaque tights and a draped blazer for work, or a tough leather moto jacket and stiletto booties for a night out.
You can never have enough wine, in my opinion. Am I right?
Stay chic (and stay tuned for more fall 2012 trends),
I received a lot of positive feedback from clients, family, friends and readers a couple of weeks ago after posting my first makeup vlog; hopefully, this second one isn’t as choppy. This is a soft, smokey brown & bronze eye makeup look: totally versatile, easy-to-wear, and works well with any eye color (hazel, green, blue or brown). I love this look for a summer cocktail party, date night, or girls’ night out. Watch until the end of the video to get a list of all products used – if you happen to be curious.
(And a very special thanks to K-Fitz for all of his help editing this one).
Nordstrom’s Anniversary sale is going on today – have you checked it out? On my list of fall wantsies is this pair of Vince Camuto Brooklee boots. Originally $258.95, now $169.90! The rich cocoa (seen pictured) would be my pick because it’s a great neutral brown and uber-versatile, but unfortunately, it’s sold out in my size. Still available in molten/dark brown and black, however! I’m having visions of wearing these this fall with leggings and blazers, as well as flowy short dresses.
A Chic Critique Happenings:
A personal shopping appointment with one of my fabulous clients (and favorite persons) at Nordstrom. Look at that happy face – can’t wait to share more pictures of the looks I styled for her!
Bridal trial run for a wedding in September in the Bahamas…how beautiful is this bride?!
I’ve been wearing these “milkmaid” braids every so often; I love how effortless and bohemian-chic this style is. It’s also SO easy to do.
How-To: Milkmaid Braids
Part your hair as your normally would (down the middle or on the side) and separate your hair into two sections. Leave a couple of pieces out around your face (I left my fringe/bangs out). Braid each section (keeping the braids low and behind your ears) and secure with clear elastic rubber bands. Take one braid and lift it over and across your head, securing with a couple bobby pins. Take the other braid and do the exact same thing, but on the opposite side of the head. Tuck the end of the braid into the other braid, hiding it, and secure it with bobby pins. Take 3-4 bobby pins and secure the braids on each side, making sure the braids are kept in place. This whole style takes 5 minutes to do, and it’s perfect for 107 degree summer weather.
I’ve had several clients and friends suggest that I start doing makeup tutorial vlogs (video “blog” entries) for sometime now, but haven’t had the time needed to edit the videos. I finally sat down, started a You Tube channel, and starting filming! I’m SO excited to have another (more interactive) avenue through which to share my favorite products, style tips, and makeup suggestions.
Sidenote: Please bear with me, as I am CLEARLY a novice when it comes to video editing and production (style gods, help me). The effects and production/editing are still very rudimentary, so I apologies for the choppy editing and shoddy video work. HD video is in the future, and I can promise you, more polished, clean-cut videos are as well. This was my first time EVER making a video.
Now onto my first official vlog & makeup tutorial – “Easy, Everyday Makeup Look in just 5-10 Minutes”.
(If the text cuts off on your screen, click on the video to enlarge it or go to youtube).
What makeup videos would you like to see? Do share!