Forbidden Fruit

red-lips

With Halloween behind us, wintry glam is here to stay. One of my favorite trends for the season is a glossy red lip. Don’t be shy. I’ve done the testing for you–all you have to do pucker up.

mac

A creamy formula on the pinker side of the red spectrum — MAC’s Sheen Supreme lipglass in Gwi-Yo-Mi is divine. $20, maccosmetics.com

nars

For the lipstick girl who prefers highly pigmented colors, this stick from NARS is perfection. Add a clear gloss over it for megawatt shine. Lipstick in Heat Wave, $26, beauty.com

duwop

In a hurry? Tube gloss is for you. DuWop Venom Gloss in Tulip also creates a fuller look for super-luscious lips. $18, beauty.com

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Outfit Ideas: A Black Dress in Summer

There’s nothing I love more than a sweet black dress with black tights and low heels on a crisp fall day. But with the onset of summer, I’ve been all about pastels, florals, neons and whites. However, last week’s Target visit led me to purchase this unnecessary but adorable, little black dress. Its white metallic pattern and Peter Pan collar made it simply irresistible. And while it’s an easy sell for any cocktail party, black doesn’t necessarily work in a day dress this time of year. Wait four months to rock this one before 5pm? No way!

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Please excuse the lack of makeup; I do mine in the car on the way to work.

Tuesday morning, I pulled it on and actually liked the way it looked with bare legs. First envisioning flats, I soon decided that sandals were wrong and my go-to Ferragamo’s made the look too “cool-weather.” Alas! Out came the cork-bottomed peep-toe Cole Haan’s I scored recently, followed by some dangling silver earrings and a pop of red lipstick. (Maybelline Color Sensational in Neon Red, if you’re curious).

redThe look earned multiple compliments and definitely made me feel secure that the little black dress can, in fact, do double-duty for day…even under the Texan sun.

shoes

Cole Haan Mariela pump, on sale now for $169 at zappos.com

 

Outfit Ideas: Meet the Heat

hot-pink-jeans-street-style

Photo courtesy of blog.denimtherapy.com

It is scorching in Texas! We’ve been in the high 90’s all week. And while this Long Island-born tanorexic has never shied away from warm weather, there’s a major difference between hanging poolside in a minimal amount of fabric and having to put on an actual outfit, go to an office, and be a professional person. Eek!

Breezy summer dresses are fun but we need to make sure our hemlines aren’t too short. I’ve seen some pretty interesting looks going on lately in the corporate cafeteria. If you’ve got the legs and the confidence and want to rock a micro-mini skirt to work, girl, go for it. But I am just a tad too buttoned-up in the personality department to wear the same thing to the office that I would at a barbecue. Call me provincial if you must.

How to survive the summer heat and still look stylish? I’m learning by experience and am certainly no expert yet. While those New York summers blazed, and the subway was truly unbearable, I’ve never lived in a place that reaches 110 with any frequency. Here’s what I’ve picked up from the chic locals:

1. Open-toed shoes are a must, but keep them classy. Flip flops have no place in your office, so leave them at the door. But sleek sandals with plenty of room to breathe will keep your look professional and comfortable at once. I recently nabbed these BCBG numbers at the Bloomie’s outlet and I’m obsessed:

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Harry never misses an opportunity to jump into the photo…

2. Cotton. Cotton. Cotton is your very best friend. It breathes, it forgives you if you sweat, and it cleans easily in the washing machine for frequent wear. One of my current go-to’s is a Joe Fresh trapeze dress from JCPenney that’s white with navy stripes and does not hug the body at all. Perfect for the scorching temps and totally cute with a low pump and red lipstick. I also like to dress it up with a punchy pair of platforms.

joefresh

Now on clearance for only $13.99, jcpenney.com.

3. We’ve spoken about maxis and the fact that I don’t like them. Well, if politicians can change their stances seasonally, I see no reason why this fashion blogger can’t. And so I will now reveal that I am developing a rather massive crush on the maxi. I still believe that one must always turn around and check out her toosh in the mirror before leaving the house in her maxi–many of them are made of such clingy fabric, you can see everything on the rear-end. Yikes. But a nice sturdy material and great fit? Perfect for summer heat at the office and can be professionalized instantly with the right accessories.

b&w

This is a great fit in a maxi for a more casual work environment. If your dress code is stiffer, pair with a black cardi or cropped blazer and heels. Still more comfortable than sweating in a poly blend fitted number! Aqua, $88, bloomingdales.com

Here are some more inspirational photos of summer looks that work at the office. Share yours with me, too!

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Easy Tip: Smooth Your Lip

imagesWell, yes, this advice works well on both lips, but for rhyming purposes I left it singular above. Apologies. In any case, I’m sure I’m not the only one who is finding her post-winter lips in disarray. The forced air heating and constant licking may be things of the past, but my lips take a long time to heal and also become sensitive in sunlight, so it’s an uphill battle getting them soft this time of year.

In my former life as a major lipgloss junkie, my constant reapplication made for a generally smooth situation. But these days I tend to favor lipstick that will hold its color for hours, letting me feel pretty through the morning and then again in the afternoon with little thought or effort. I only really wear lipgloss for a night on the town when I want to look extra juicy and don’t mind putting on a new coat after every cocktail. But lipstick, especially of the matte variety, can look cakey and not its best if you’re starting with a dry base. Here come the solutions:

I’ve shared this hint before, but exfoliating your lips is so easy. Just take a toothbrush, wet the bristles in warm water and brush your lips. Pat dry with a hand towel and smooth on some Karmex, Rosebud salve, or another moisturizing treatment. Do this twenty minutes before you leave the house. Then, on your way out the door, apply two coats of lipstick and you’re good to go.

inparis

here’s me in paris this past weekend with just a swipe of revlon super lustrous lipstick in primrose, my ultimate favorite.

For ultra-moisturizing, non-glossy color options, scope out the slew of lip products new to your nearest makeup counter or drugstore aisle. I really like Revlon’s Just Bitten Kissable balm stain in Darling, a lovely lavender. Maybelline Baby Lips is a great option, too. If you’re up for a splurge, I recommend the entire line of Chanel Rouge Allure lipsticks, which are creamy and rich. The pigment lasts hours without drying your lips in the slightest, and men adore this look. For an affordable stick, the one I’m wearing in the photo above is another Revlon product, Super Lustrous lipstick in Primrose. It happens to be my beau’s fave.revlon

For extreme cases, you can’t go wrong with Vaseline or Aquafor morning and night. Just make sure not to let it spread out to your upper lip or chin while sleeping, as the excess oil can cause pimples. Now, go out and find somebody to kiss!VPJ

Makeup Looks: Rock Red Lips Right

Thank you, ELLE, for the photo.

Ah, red lipstick. How I love thee. How I question your ability to stay put, and flatter my pout, without being too much…

Red lips are classic, bold, feisty, and fun, but they can be a hassle. To pull them off well, you must remember the rest of your face; red lips with crazy eye makeup is just too much. That said, if you have blemishes or undereye circles, you need to wear some makeup aside from your lips or the red will just bring out the imperfections. Sigh!

I have a Revlon hue that I really love, so I set to work building a makeup look around it that would make my eyes pop and conceal any skin problem areas while still letting the lips do the talking. We were headed to a Fashion’s Night Out in Dallas, a somewhat glam but not over-the-top event. I wanted the lips to look good, but not to overpower the dress, of course.

I was having a particularly bad skin day, so I prepped my face by applying a light oil-free moisturizer first and letting it dry. Then I applied Clinique Acne Solutions liquid foundation to my entire face, a bit heavier on the trouble spots. For maximum coverage of the blemishes, I used Diorskin powder foundation in place of concealer. I finished off with this great MAC blush to warm up the cheeks. I personally find that bronzer + red lips is a bit much.

Then I used a mix of brown, gold and cream eye shadows to brighten up my eyes without a seriously smoky effect. To make them pop, I added a narrow line of black liquid liner to the tops and a surprising punch of blue liner to the lower lids for something extra. I finished off with two coats on top and bottom lashes of this high-gloss mascara from Maybelline.

The finishing touch, of course, was the lipstick. Apply red lipstick from the center of the top lip out, making sure not to go outside of your natural lip area. If you create an uneven line or go outside your lips, clean up with a Q-tip dipped in makeup remover. Easy! I like a creamy lipstick like this one with plenty of pigment; it is not drying like a matte stick, but it has serious staying power for kissable red lips that last all night.

The look:

The toolkit:

From top: Eyes by Design shadow palette in Bronze, it Cosmetics powder brush, Revlon Super Lustrous Creme lipstick in Fire & Ice, Christian Dior’s Diorskin powder foundation (used as concealer), CVS brand shadow brush, Essence metallic eye liner #5, MegaEyes liquid liner in black, Maybelline Turbo Volum’ Express in black, Chanel soft touch eye shadow in Blazing Gold, MAC Office Hours blush in Rosy Outlook, Clinique Acne Solutions liquid makeup.

The on-the-go kit:

Who has room in her purse for a million products? Streamline a look by bringing just the essentials– in this case, the same blak liner, red lipstick, and mascara I’d used prior in case anything rubs off. Also, the Clinique foundation to use on spots as they emerge throughout the night, and I toted an Estee Lauder cream shadow for easy application on-the-go.

The late-night shot:

I was pleased that the look held up for a good three hours with no need to touch up. Even after a few of those delightful complimentary champagnes 🙂

Black and white and red all over!

How to summer-up your nighttime outfit without the need of florals, beige stilettos, or a white leather bag? Why, with a punch of red, of course. Scope out these super-cool black and white dress-up ideas, and picture them paired with a cherry gloss when needed. Time for your close-up, yes?

Punk Princess:

She works in the red with her HAIR. Love it!

Preppy Diva:

Orangey-red on the hem and in the heels makes a bold statement, but her outfit remains Pure Class.

Vampy Seductress:

Red lips and red tights? She’s got it down.

Girly Country:

Laid back and subtly feminine with open back, A-line skirt and sleek red belt. The cowgirl boots are a nice touch, too.

 

Drugstore Digging

Duane Reade is having a major cosmetics sale right now. Or, at least, the Duane Reade on 46th and 2nd is. Here’s the thing; drugstore cosmetics are always affordable, but when they slice ’em down to 50% off, it’s seriously time to roll up the sleeves of your winter coat and figure out which new shades of lipstick you need to try. In any case, the sale got me thinking about drugstore beauty. It’s a sad fact that the La Mer and Bulgari creams, the Kiehl’s masques and the Dior mascaras cannot be harbored in bulk anymore. They are specialty splurges I treat myself to once or *maybe* twice a year, and the majority of what I’m refilling the cabinets with is unfortunately quite cheap.

Think you can't be this on-trend with cheap makeup? Think again.

But is it really all that unfortunate? When you look around at all the beautiful women in this city, the mind starts to ponder. Sure, most of us have a really special lipgloss in our treasure chest, or swear by a certain serum that, at $100 (or more) a bottle, cannot be outdone. But for the most part, aren’t many of us existing almost exclusively on affordable products? In other words, I think I’ll be just fine… for now.

*All products below can be purchased at drugstore.com; all photos courtesy of drugstore.com.

Best Remedy for Chapped Lips:

Whether you prefer the classic beeswax or honey flavor, this 100% natural balm will heal your pout in days. And at $2.99, it's a total steal.

 Best At-Home Manicure:

This LED-activated OTC gel polish will last for weeks and every single one has a fun name like "Thank You Thank You" or "Paparazzied." Red Carpet Manicure polish, $9.99.

Best Name-Brand Hair Product Line:

Sally Hershberger is as famous as she is for a reason. Her product line is just as genius as she is. I like this wavy hair shampoo and conditioner; it keeps my waves fluffy and loose, without the frizz factor. $9.99.

Best Expensive-Looking Lip Product:

Maybelline ColorSensational Lipstick is rich, reflective, and long-lasting. I love the pinks and reds, of course! $7.49.

Hands-Down Best Mascara (Even when compared with Dior!):

I've always been faithful to Volum' Express--the Falsies version is like that, only better. $6.59.

Best Cheap-o Makeup Tool:

This eye shadow brush works like a charm, and is only $1.49! Unbelievable.

And, as for that sexy photo above… all it takes is this:

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Covet, $18, beauty.com.

L’Oreal Voluminous False Fiber lashes kit, $12.76, drugstore.com.

Yes to Carrots C Me Shine lip gloss in Nude, $6.49, drugstore.com.

Essie nail polish in Trophy Wife, $8, essie.com.

Yes!!