Guest Post: Look to the Stars

By |December 15th, 2011|Guest Blogger|

Celebrities are always a step ahead of the game when it comes to hairstyles and fashion, thanks to free “samples” from designers, so it makes sense to look to those in the spotlight for up and coming trends.  Whether you’re looking for the perfect outfit for New Year’s Eve or just adding a few items to your wardrobe, take a look at these five trends celebs have been seen sporting lately.

1. Jewel Tones

Rich, vibrant, saturated colors have been seen on everything lately – from eyelids  to clothing, and even nail polish.  Need a little inspiration?  Browse through your grandma’s jewelry collection and draw ideas from your favorite pieces.  Does the richness of the ruby catch your attention?  Or perhaps the deep, dark shine of the sapphire?  Find the color that speaks to you and make a bold statement by incorporating it into your apparel.

Jewel-toned eye makeup is making a major comeback as well.  The bold look adds drama to the eye, with a smoky application of the rich, pigmented colors.  Emerald green specifically, has been touted as the season’s “it” eye accent color.  Pair it with a dark crimson lip color and you’ll be the hit of your next holiday party.

2. Animal Prints

Though animal print may be considered “tacky” to some, it’s back with a vengeance.  Leopard print is particularly hot and can be found on anything from apparel, to tights, and even shoes. Celebrities have recently been seen wearing the stylish prints on the red carpet, at parties, and even in their casual everyday wear.  Adding a pop of animal print does wonders for an otherwise drab outfit. Just make sure to use animal print responsibly – overdoing it can take you from fashionista to fashion disaster very quickly.

3. Autumnal Tones

Earthy colors are on the rise this season, inspired by the warm, spicy palette of fall.  Mustard yellow is a current favorite, and celebrities are particularly loving cardigans and other knits in the vintage hue.  Adding a scarf or handbag in the color will instantly put you at the top of the trends.  Embrace the retro vibe the deep shade of yellow brings by trying pin curls on your hair or wearing red lipstick on your pout.  Spicy shades of red, sunset orange, cinnamon, and yellow-greens are all excellent choices.

4. Faux Fur

That’s right, fur is back, but not in the head-to-toe, Cruella DeVille sort of way.  Instead, it’s appearing on vests, coat collars, gloves, and hats.  Fur adds an air of cold-weather charm, while keeping the iconic look of wealth.  Pair a furry accessory with jeans and a simple tee to create an appealing mixture of retro and glam.

5. Fair Isle

This traditional knit stems from a small island north of Scotland.  Once again the trend is nothing new, but rather a resurgence of an age old fashion. We’ve been seeing this type of sweater in ski shops and woodsy towns for years, but only recently did it make its way mainstream. Try layering the rustic sweater over a collared dress shirt. The juxtaposition of contrasting styles works together to create a high-fashion ensemble.  The look works for males, females, children, and even the occasional pooch. Wear this Scandinavian-style sweater with some lace-up snow boots to complete the look.

Follow this five simple trends and you’ll be looking like a star in no time.




About the Author:  Lisa is an avid yoga enthusiast who enjoys writing in her spare time for Usdirect.com.

Guest Post: Why Don’t You Try It?

By |July 21st, 2011|Beauty Buzz, Guest Blogger|

They say good things come in small packages, but in a society where we’re always stressing bigger, better, more, more, more, sometimes it seems hard to believe.  Luckily, Stephie is here to remind us just how great the “little things” really can be.

I die for beauty product samples and recently Sephora has been on a tear!  A number of very exciting minis have overhauled my usual summer skincare and makeup routine. A Beauty Insider VIP-sized sample of DDF Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Moisturizing Dew is my new defacto nighttime summer moisturizer. During the winter, I opt for a thicker formula, but this one is truly hydrating without leaving my face an oil slick. It’s heavy duty moisture without the weight. For seriously sticky days, I turn to Elemis Daily Shine Control, a treatment moisturizer for oily to combination skin that fights shine while it moisturizes.  Two birds, one sample.

Of course, all of this goes under Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20, or what many beauty buffs would call the best all-around light coverage product on the market.  Speaking of SPF, a facialist recently told me not to use SPF 15, but  rather 50 on my face, neck, décolleté and hands every day to prevent aging. I took SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 for a test drive.  Not only does it not stink, but it also goes on (YES, girls) in a strangely accurate human skin color not that creepy pasty white.  SkinCeuticals avers it a “universal tint.”  Somehow I believe it.

Sephora hit a sour note with a Father’s Day promotion giving samples of men’s products. Who gifts dad three tiny tubes of random skincare? Awkward.  Rather than waste these samples, I selected a few men’s cleansers I could test myself and compared them with a Kiehl’s specimen stolen from my husband’s drawer (he only gets one). The test confirmed that although men’s cleansers can be truly awesomely gritty (Clinique Skin Supplies for Men Face Scrub) and wonderfully experientially tabacco-y (Kiehl’s Energizing Facial Fuel Skin Buffer for Men) or energizing and brightening (Anthony Logistics for Men Facial Scrub), there are simply no men’s cleansers that can remove eye makeup- ya hear that Adam Lambert?

Forget a chihuahua in your handbag: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser is an eyeliner-wearing lady’s best friend. It is also somehow gentle enough that if you left a smidge on, it would be good for your complexion. It has a lovely scent and a famous gelatinous texture (if you tapped a bowlful, it would jiggle). It’s better than anything the boys have got, trust me.

Summer means light and fresh for color on the face too.  Guerlain Terracotta Skin Healthy Glow Foundation is the only bronzer that doesn’t look dirty on my very fair pink-undertoned skin and a Sephora sample is what introduced me to it, (kinda makes up for the father’s day weirdness). Fear not: this gel formula did not make me look like I walked into a dusty clay factory, like some powder bronzers – it actually made me look tan (what a concept)! Smashbox O-GLOSS
Intuitive Lip Gloss provides a pretty pink counterpoint. The O-GLOW (cheek version) will not work if you pile on hydrators, sunscreens and tinted moisturizers like I recommend above, because it needs to come in contact with both bare skin and air to work. But, O-GLOSS provides that magical same out-of-thin air magical fuschia branded just for you – it works with your lip chemistry to create a shiny, entirely non-sticky “custom shade of pink” (usually in the hello-kitty cuteness category).

Now get your summer sampling on and don’t forget to wear your sunnies!




Guest Post: Why Did You Wear That to the Airport?

By |December 30th, 2010|Guest Blogger|

This is travel season, and while I probably should have asked our guest blogger to write this sooner… better late than never.  This week we are being blessed with the wise words and comedic social commentary of Stephie Rojas the National Director of Digital Publishing for wheretraveler.com and all around fashionista.  To say she knows a thing or two about traveling in style would be an understatement.  Please read on to avoid being “that girl” at the airport.

I’ve seen and not cared about various sundry accidentally left behind in the bins at the end of the airport security line – a Saudi Arabian passport, Kardashian-style bedazzled earbuds, colorful guidebooks to fascinating places. But when I saw a bracelet abandoned in the bin, I did a big ole airport line no-no: I stopped.

It was nothing special; it was a scratched sterling silver cuff in a patently uncool shape. It had some Native American etching and I wondered whether it was someone’s souvenir from a meaningful trip to a real Reservation, a thrift store find, or a fugly gift (pretend smile, “thanks Nana”, etc.). I considered tapping the TSA grouch on the shoulder, puzzled by what kind of woman owned this heavy metal, let alone brought it to the airport. Did she actually want the forgotten beast on her trip enough to intend putting it through the scanner rigmarole or did she put it on today in a cloud of brain fart?

It’s the only time I’ve ever taken pause in the horrible line; I usually try to get the heck out of dodge as fast as humanly possible. This time, however, if I hadn’t had a no-nonsense husband in tow urging me along, I might have held it for a few minutes to wait for her to jet on back. I thought, this must be special to her – and these TSA jerks are kleptos.

It got me thinking about what sort of turkey wears silver through the scanner? And what smarter choices are for airport attire.

What not to wear to the airport:

  1. Any low-rise pant: You will be bending over to get your shoes back on, fetch your luggage off the conveyor belt, or grab your carry-on from the seat in front of you. (Said no-nonsense husband is fond of saying “ping” and pretending to put a quarter in my crack when he sees such rare cleavage).
  2. Difficult shoes. Don’t be the dork unlacing your hightops, or, like my mom, the lady asking the guy behind her to help remove the darn cowboy boot she’s breaking in. (Apparently, when it came off, the guy predictably and hilariously flew back onto his butt and was then obliged to help her with the other).
  3. Your four- or five-inchers. You might have to break a sweat and actually run to your gate. If you really love your daily height (I can’t blame a girl), three inches are plenty of fabulousness for the airport. See: any 3-inch heeled Louboutin.
  4. Any bottom than needs a belt. Don’t make the security officer unnecessarily witness to your very cute, but very private navel.
  5. A buttoned suit jacket with a spicy little cami peeking out. The TSA grump will ask you to take your jacket off. This happened to me once on a work trip, and all I had underneath my Theory blazer was a lacy little Leigh Bantivoglio slip that shed too much airport fluorescence upon my brassiere.
  6. Metal accessories. Put that junk on when you get there.
  7. Sweats of any kind on Earth. Grody.
  8. A Gulpie. You knew you had to toss it right?

What will make your trip easier:

  1. Something breezy and elegant with no metal hardware. For you schlubs out there, remember the airport is a public effing place. Think good jeans with an easy, wrappy cashmere cardigan, or a tee by The Row with a good scarf. Look for good basics from Vince or Autumn Cashmere.
  2. If you must, zhuzh it up with one light, durable key accessory without a giant clasp to betray you in the metal detector, like a wooden beaded necklace from Lee Angel. Do you want the TSA’s new extra special nudie body scan? Don’t volunteer yourself with too much Alex & Ani on your wrists.
  3. Flats. London Sole offers bi-tonal colored-toe numbers that look totally Chanel.
  4. Extra clean pits. I know your 5:55AM flight is early. You will be in a crowded space. Make WhyDid proud and smell like soap.
  5. A convenient wallet. Don’t pick that fantastic but complicated bag with a million hidden compartments, or hold up the line because you had to put all your other stuff on the floor for a two-handed license-finding solution. This makes you look like a dope, and more specifically, invites “ping” situations. Class it up and have your ID handy.
  6. A looky-loo at Wheretraveler.com, this guest blogger’s home base, with local listings written by pros, not random complainers who heart nasty reviews. Plus in 2011 Wheretraveler.com is giving away trips for 4 to Orlando, Miami, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York, and Oahu!
  7. Pants that fit. You will be sitting for hours and nothing says, “Hello, Fat Day Right Over Here In My Pants!” more than unbuttoning that top jean button.

So now you’re all set to travel like a pro. Please don’t be “that girl” in front of me in airport security.