The holidays can seem very overwhelming, especially if you have a long list of loved ones to shop for. Here’s a quick guide so you can feel confident giving a fabulous gift for those special ladies in your life:
For the Tech-Savvy
This great clutch is not only sleek and fabulous (I love the embossed studs!), but it actually charges your phone! With a built in phone charging pocket, you can just slip your phone in and keep it charged all day! At night just set your purse down on its charging mat and you’ll be ready to go by morning! Give Simple has a version as well, but I’m partial to Everpurse’s convenient charging mat and larger size.
For the Party-Goer
Attention Men: High heels can be very uncomfortable… especially if we’ve been wearing them for an extended period of time (like work or a holiday cocktail party)! I have a pair of fold-up flats and I’ve used them so many times, I’m in dire need of replacements. This adorable pair is definitely on my wish-list. The basic nude color is versatile and will match just about anything, and the sparkle is perfect for these drab winter months. And here’s a bonus – the foldable shoes set includes two satin pouches: one to hold your footzyfolds, and the other to store your uncomfortable shoes/high heels! Score!
For the Beauty-Queen
Trips to the salon are great, but who has time to keep going back to get that killer blow-out? The answer? When it’s this time of year… nobody. Help your salon-happy lady save some precious time with perfect blowout kit.
It’s winter, and with the furnace working over-time this season the air can get pretty dry. This time of year women are lathering on lotion and exfoliating like crazy. When it comes to exfoliating and getting your skin from dry and flaky back to gorgeous and glowing, Clarsonic is where it’s at. I love the pretty Amethyst color, and this particular model is smaller and more travel-friendly.
For the Outdoors Lover
This jacket is simply adorable. Whether the lady on your list is going skiing, ice-skating, or even sledding with the kids this jacket is just perfect. It’s waterproof, breathable, and it looks fabulous.
If You Really Want to WOW Her
This gorgeous bangle bracelet is sure to have that “WOW” factor. It’s incredibly beautiful design and classic platinum and diamond setting will turn this gift into a beautiful family heirloom.
For the Wine-Lover
Send your favorite wine lover on a tour through the Hahn vineyards of Monterey, California. They’re sure to toast your good taste when they uncork the award-winning, stylistically complex Hahn Estates wines selected for this beautiful gift basket.
For the Teenager
Beats by Dr. Dre Pink Pill Speaker – $200.00
Wireless and cord-free, this portable speaker is a sure-fire hit. Despite its compact size (it’s small enough to fit in your hand), the Pill will surprise you with its amazing audio backed by the power associated with the signature Beats By Dre sound.
Bring back the days of the good old Polaroid with this awesome gift. I have the larger version of the Instax Camera and it’s one of my favorite gifts that I’ve ever received! This compact version prints credit-card sized photos and it’s easier to take around with you. It also comes in a variety of cool colors! Bonus: If you’re a DIY kind of person, this fabulous photo frame is a great way to show off all those new Instax pictures. The friend that gifted me my Instax camera gave me a frame for mine as well. He used this site’s instructions but opted for a more rustic look with a distressed wood frame for mine.
For a little perspective, the white version of the pink Instax above is on the left, and my larger camera is the black one on the right. My friend Jess got the small white Instax and absolutely loves it.
For the Fashionista
Who doesn’t need a good wardrobe for the holiday season? Your fashionista will be sure to thank you for this stylish gift. Annie will go through your fashionista’s closet – editing their wardrobe, putting outfits together, and showing them how to get more use out of their existing pieces! After the wardrobe edit, Annie will evaluate what pieces are needed to round out their wardrobe and make it fabulous and functional. Annie will help polish each look, customizing every outfit from your earrings right down to the shoes. Give Annie a call and give a wardrobe edit gift card this holiday season. Bonus: I’ll probably be helping make your fashionista’s wardrobe superb. Two heads are better than one
Make sure to check out next week’s post with our Gift Guide for Him for more holiday gift ideas!
And remember – life is too short to be anything but fabulous!
For me, winter goes hand-in-hand with cozy warm fires, big comfy sweaters, and mountains of lip balm. Honestly, I can’t seem to ever apply enough. I’ve tried them all; EOS’s cute little spheres, Burt’s Bee’s minty freshness, Blistex’s many, many varieties, gold, old ChapStick, and everything in between. Ultimately, it’s a challenge to keep my lips from drying out and cracking. Living in Indianapolis, I thought the weather there wreaked havoc on my skin and lips, but Saint Louis seems to be taking first prize for drying me out (Eeeek!). So I decided to fight back by not only curing my own dry chapped lips, but making this week’s post about how to keep your lips moisturized and happy. Let’s banish those winter lips for good!
Step One – You’re using sugar for what?!?
To keep your lips gorgeous and kissable when the weather seems set on chapping them, you’re going to need to start with a good base. That means we have to get off all that dry, cracked skin that’s getting in the way. I went with a homemade lip scrub with ingredients I have here at home.
Alexa’s Sugar-Sweet Lip Scrub
2 tsps of Brown Sugar
1 tsp of Honey
1 tsp of Coconut Oil
Add the ingredients together on a small plate and smash them together. Use a small fork (I started with a spoon, but found it just wasn’t getting the job done) and mash the ingredients together and mix until you don’t see any more clumps of brown sugar or coconut oil.
**Tip – the coconut oil is hard to scoop out of the jar when cold (you can store coconut oil in the fridge to keep it fresh longer). It will look like the image on the right and be just a bit softer than a crayon. Zap it in the microwave for 25 seconds and it’ll loosen it just enough to make it scoop-able.
That’s it! Easy, right? And there is PLENTY here for many, many uses. You only need about a pea size drop on your finger to get the job done.
Of course if you’re on the go and don’t have time to whip up a homemade scrub, I’m a fan of this one from Sephora:
Step Two – Hydrate
Now this is the part that I didn’t attempt to do myself… though my nine year old sister pleaded otherwise. Making your own lip balm is a bit trickier than the super simple scrub. Here are my two top picks to keep your lips healthy and protected:
The first one is one that I haven’t personally tried yet but I’m anxious to pick up a tube. I’ve heard nothing but raving recommendations and you can’t seem to find a bad review of this product anywhere.
The second is a hardcore moisturizer. You can even use it on elbows and knees to relieve dryness (and the minty fresh scent make it a definite favorite!).
Voila! You now have gorgeous silky smooth lips. Repeat the lip scrub about every week or as necessary and keep applying that lip balm. In addition, here’s a bit of parting advice: invest in a humidifier. Cranking up the heat to keep you warm and snug also zaps the moisture out of the air. If you run a humidifier – not only will you breathe easier – but your skin, lips and even your hair will thank you! And drink LOTS of water!! Most of us don’t get our 2.2 liters a day, and it’s never been more important. So go grab a water bottle and your lip balm so you can keep those lips kissable!
Now your lips should be mistletoe approved just in time for the holidays!
Follow this process and see for yourself.
Life is too short to be anything but fabulous.
Photo Courtesy of City. Lights. Change.
One of my favorite trends this season is Winter White. This time of year everyone seems to naturally drift towards darker, heavier colors. Winter White is a beautiful and chic way to mix up your wardrobe and stand out from the crowd.
If you’re new to wearing white after Labor Day, there are just a few simple tips to incorporating the trend into your fall/winter wardrobe.
- You don’t have to go for a true white. Off-whites, creams, and ivory will be easier to style in the chillier months.
- Stay away from thin, light fabrics. These can quickly make your garment look like it belongs in a different season. Try thicker knits, cashmere, twill, wool, heavy lace or fur. These fabrics will not only make the trend easier to wear, they’ll keep you nice and snug while temperatures drop.
- If you’re set on wearing something that looks borderline summery, make sure the rest of your outfit is decidedly fall. Add things like chunky scarves, boots, and incorporate those heavier fabrics.
- Don’t get caught up on matching your shades of white. It will add texture and depth if you’re not all matchy-matchy.
Here are some of my favorite pieces in Winter White:
BCBGMAXAZRIA Coat – Asymmetric Belted Fur Collar $468.00
Nonoo Sweater – Winter White Cable Knit $595.00
BCBGMAXAZRIA Jacket – Boe Moto $268.00
Now, I can still hear some of you thinking, “That Burberry London coat is fabulous, but I just don’t know – my mother always said not to wear white after Labor Day.”
The old “No White After Labor Day” adage is gone with the wind, ladies. You don’t have to just take it from me – in the 1920’s Coco Chanel wore white suits year round. Even the Emily Post etiquette experts agree that white in winter months is no longer a “fashion faux pas.”
So pull back out those favorite pieces and incorporate them into this season’s wardrobe. You’ll be glad you did.
Life is too short to look anything but fabulous.
I’m happy to announce that I have a new intern working with me, Miss Alexa Raye. It’s an understatement to say I’m in need of her help with my photo shoots, shopping appointments, and look books; her timing in reaching out couldn’t come at a better moment! In addition to assisting me and training, Alexa will be regularly blogging once a week, so look for weekly style tips, fashion posts, and trend stories.
A little background on Alexa:
Alexa and I share a love of leopard prints and accessories, wine and nude heels, so what more could a wardrobe stylist ask for in an intern? In all seriousness, she’s hard-working, passionate and shows a very promising style intuition that we both hope to sharpen and develop even more. I’m excited to have her on my team!
Welcome aboard, Alexa!
Leather peplums, leather epaulettes, and leather tuxedo stripes. What do these all have in common? Move over, dresses and jackets! It’s time to make room for this season’s set of leather newcomers – and this fall, it’s all about the details.
Theory washed-leather peplum top, $485
Joseph Breton Top with Leather lambskin elbows, $215
Rebecca Minkoff Telescope Leather Pants, $398
Neil Barrett Powder Washed Leather Vest, $1284
The Kooples Leather Detail Sweatshirt, $240
I’ve had a couple people ask me how to do the leather trend in a way that’s, well, less “dominatrix,” and more “user-friendly.” Many women feel apprehensive about wearing leather pants or leather dresses, so these detail-oriented pieces appeal to those who’d like to try the trend, but are cautious or unsure about wearing it head-to-toe. Try a leather elbow patch or sleeve detail, or a peplum leather top underneath a blazer! I’m a fan of the leather tuxedo stripe, in particular – a great update for your basic black ponte knit pant or skinny jean.
I can’t get my hands on these items fast enough! I just emailed two of my clients this morning to order their Minkoff Telescope pants (the perfect equestrian leather-blend pant), and another I think would love The Kooples sweatshirt (which I want myself).
Rock on, fashionistas.
I’m a nail-polish junkie, and regularly get my color changed. With bi-monthly visits to the nail salon, it’s easy for me to get tired of all the repetition! How many grays, beiges, taupes and olives combinations can one girl try? We’ve all been there, done that. There are some new polishes in town, and I think it’s time to get acquainted. This season’s palettes are edgy, cool, and perfect for your favorite fall ensembles.
Black is back! (picture from Nicole Miller) Try a half-moon manicure if you’d like to try something new. La Perla, Mara Hoffman Oscar de la Renta runway models sported silvery accents, black & white styles and even checkerboard patterns.
Metallic Metals. Runways hit the gold-mine this year with every precious metal shade – pewter, silver, copper, and gold galore! Rebecca Minkoff and Monique Lhuillier were a few designer to feature this luxe palette.
Nail Noir. While black might be the leading lady, the supporting cast includes other vampy, deep shades including midnight and navy blues, oxblood and ruby, and forest & emerald greens, as well as deep amethyst and plums.
What shades will be you sporting this fall?
Oxblood, burgundy, crimson and merlot – what do they all have in common? These sinister deep sister-reds are yet again one of the dominant color palettes for fall 2013.
Onto my favorite picks:
McQ by Alexander McQueen Leather Peplum Top, $825
Joie Dalton High Heeled Bootie, $295 (um, kind of obsessed with these)
Lovely Birds Hats, Biarritz Hat, $133
McQ by Alexander McQueen, Swallow-print wool blend scarf, $300
image via here
This wine-colored (equal parts brown, purple and red) hue was also a special beauty guest backstage at Dannijo, Cynthia Rowley, Honor, Naeem Khan, and Reem Acra. Look for crimson lip stains & nail varnishes trending this fall – I’m a shellac junkie, so it’s one of the first fall colors I’ll be sporting.
What color trend are you loving for fall? Navy, hunter/emerald green, oxblood?
Stay tuned – exciting news is around the corner!
One of my favorite trends for fall this year is the military look – structured fatigues, hardware and belted detail, vests, and shades of olive. This unisex theme is tough, edgy, and made a strong presence during fall 2013 shows at NY Fashion Week.
Timo Weiland (WWD/Robert Mitra), Prabal Gurung (WWD/John Aquino), Richard Chai Love (WWD/John Aquino)
Make this look work for you by pairing feminine accents with military-inspired pieces – feminine cuts and tailored pants, or olive/khaki next to lace.
Here are some of my picks:
These are all great transitional pieces as well. Many stores & designers are coming out with simple fatigue, lightweight jackets that are perfect for layering with a scarf this fall – for a minimal investment, you can add one to your closet (if you don’t already have a few). Splurge on the structured wool overcoats and leather pieces.
I’ve always wished I could have a Scottish “coat of arms” in my family, but alas, I don’t think the Heywards have any fair-isle blood in our family. Thankfully, I can emulate the ancient styles today – in a more modern way, of course – with the abundance of plaid and tartan available for fall (and houndstooth, plaid’s cousin).
Enjoy a little runway eye-candy & inspiration before seeing my favorite plaid picks for fall…
Clockwise from top left: Saint Laurent, Sacai, Aquilano e Rimondi, Celine, Victoria Beckham, Fausto Puglisi, Moschino Cheap & Chic, JC de Castelbajac, Stella McCartney (collage via here)
My tips for wearing plaid? Steer clear from any head-to-toe ensembles (re: Cher, circa 1996, in “Clueless”) so as not to look dated. This trend can easily overwhelm if styled too liberally. Think classic, as in overcoats/outerwear, and basics pieces, like pants, sheath dresses and pencil skirts.
Vince Camuto Plaid Pencil Skirt, $79 – a great fall staple, and affordable price point.
Smythe Elbow Patch Hunting Jacket, $595
Rails Shirt, Hunter Plaid, $128. Perfect for weekend wear with tall riding boots and leggings or skinny jeans.
Plaid Trench, $175, BR
4 Collective Flirty Plaid Dress, $285
Stay chic – fall is almost here!
(Trina Turk, Oscar de la Renta, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors via here)
This classic print is one of many that were featured on the runway for fall 2013 collections (others being animal print/cheetah/leopard and plaid). I like to call houndstooth the “comeback kid” (it was prevalent in the 90’s, although it remains a timeless print). It’s perfect for the office or for weekend wear – a HS blazer can be worn with a pencil skirt and opaque tights to work, and remixed later in a more casual way with jeans or leggings. Here are a few of my favorite pieces:
A) Calvin Klein houndstooth coat, $139 NOW THROUGH AUGUST 5th through the Nordstrom ANNIVERSARY SALE! Normally $210. B) Nine West houndstooth flat, $69 C) Theory mini houndstooth trousers, $355 D) Tibi houndstooth sweatshirt, $295 E) Marc by Marc Jacobs silk/modal houndstooth scarf, $160 F) Paul Andrew Sohelia Houndstooth Pointed-Toe pump, $1095 G) Michael Kors houndstooth pattern dress, $775
Someone’s got her eye on that multi-colored Marc Jacobs scarf (I’m a scarf whore, don’t judge me).