27 September 2011

Revlon Pedi Expert Review

Let me start off by saying that though I've had them, I'm personally not a fan of pedicures, so perhaps my review may be considered, by some, to be somewhat biased. With that being said, I think the the Revlon Pedi Expert has a salon pedicure beat!

It's similar to a Ped-Egg, which I was going to reluctantly break down and purchase, but then found this instead. I don't have terrible feet, but in the last couple of months, they've become a bit bad, so to speak. I have calluses from the pressure of walking in 3-4 inch heels almost daily and suddenly my heels became a bit rough and flaky. Although, I don't typically buy into those "as seen on TV" products, I was going to break down and buy a Ped-Egg because all of my salt scrubs, pumice stones and nights of Vaseline coated feet clad in socks weren't helping the cause. 

I picked up this little pink contraption at Walgreen's for about $10. You use the bladed side on dry feet to slough off the dead and hardened skin. Unfortunately, all of the shavings aren't captured very well in the lid portion, so I suggest that you lay down a piece of newspaper for easy cleanup. I would suggest to Revlon that they adjust this minor flaw in an otherwise great little product. So, up until this point, it performs pretty much like the Ped-Egg, but here's what sets them apart...the Revlon Pedi Expert has another attachment with a buffer that allows you to smooth away any remaining roughness. After a few mindless minutes spent sloughing and buffing while watching TV, I was introduced to what felt like brand new feet! I was seriously impressed!

To add a cherry on top, I then moisturized with Vaseline and tossed on a pair of socks - the next morning, the result was baby smooth feet. I love this thing so much I wish I had purchased two in case they stop making them!

So trust me divas, if you want to keep your soles in tiptop shape during the winter months and save some money (since the holidays are close) pick up a Revlon Pedi Expert on your next errand run.

*Note* This was not a paid endorsement and all of the opinions were solely my own.

26 September 2011

Fashionable Fall

Be fashion forward and simply chic this fall with a look inspired by Lala Vasquez-Anthony. Lala pulled her look together with leather leggings, an elbow length cape and suede over the knee boots paired with minimal accessories. The neutral camel tones kept the sexiness of the look at bay and upped the class factor.

Fashionable Fall

08 September 2011

DD's Style File - Red & Gray

The weather has been a bit crazy to say the least... It was nearly ninety degrees and humid for two days then suddenly dropped to a chilly sixty and cloudy. Needless to say, this is the induction to fall, which means it's time to rehaul my closet and start bringing in the cold weather essentials. 

The change in weather gave me the opportunity to rock some of my most recent purchases, that also happen to be items I got to cross off my "covet list".
Gray "sweatshirt" blazer - The Limited
White button up shirt - JCPenney
Red ankle pants - The Limited
Black woven belt - vintage
Black peep toe booties - Target
Black leather handbag - B. Makowsky
Necklace - Macy's
Earrings - The Limited
Sunglasses - Nine West
Band Aid on my wrist...courtesy of my doctor's office
I had been wanting a gray sweatshirt-like blazer for forever, as well as a pair of cropped red ankle pants, both of which I was able to find within the last month (hugs & love to The Limited for this).

07 September 2011

DD's Spotlight on Fabulous - ARISE Magazine

This post just screams fabulous, because it's all about online style magazine, ARISE.

Editor of ARISE, Helen Jennings, is obviously proud of Africa's first and foremost international style magazine, which touts African achievements and positive contributions in the worlds of fashion, music, culture and politics while providing a positive portrayal of the continent and highlighting its place in contemporary society. Jennings states that ARISE is "like no other global glossy."

Arlenis Sosa on the cover of Issue 13
 With articles and interviews on celebrities like Liya Kebede, Jay-Z, Alek Wek and Alicia Keys, it's obvious that ARISE stays abreast of what's hot. And their striking fashion spreads tell a story about what's relevant to the young and fresh. ARISE, which is a quarterly published magazine sold in over 20 countries, "targets a discerning, Afropolitan readership who share an interest in the cultural and social developments coming out of the continent. The magazine’s mix of fashion, music, sport, film, art and politics appeals to young, educated and affluent readers who demand to be the first to know about what’s hot and what’s important in Africa and around the world."

Being that variety is the spice of life, I believe that this magazine would fare extremely well in the States. Women, and men, of all backgrounds who are lovers of fashion and culture are often hungry for new inspiration and I believe that ARISE can definitely rise to meet that demand.

ARISE unveiled a fashion collective at 2009's New York Fashion Week and is scheduled to return this year to present their 2012 spring/summer showcase. Unfortunately subscriptions to ARISE are not yet available here in the U.S., so I haven't had the chance to peruse its glossy pages *sad panda*, but you can find them on Facebook and check out more here.

Model Ubah Hassan on the cover of Issue 8

06 September 2011

White After Labor Day - Do or Don't?

To wear white or not to wear white???

That is the question for many ladies after the Labor Day holiday alludes to the conclusion of the summer season, especially for those of us in the Midwest and Northeast. You can find a varied number of opinions across the world wide web, stating rules of strictly no white after Labor Day to no white from the waist down to just no white shoes.

I say "yes!" to white in fall and winter, as I happen to think that white always looks uber chic and classy, and the color can transition wonderfully into the cooler months. Try it in pieces like white jeans, white blazers, chunky white cable knit sweaters and who doesn't love a beautiful white wool coat?!

With just a few hard and fast rules to abide by, you too can rock white:

1. Fabric - Put away your lighter gauzy, flowy and linen fabrics and replace them with heavier, chunkier knits and just weightier materials in general. It keeps the look season appropriate.

2. Balance the bright - Look to warmer shades of gray, aubergine, taupe, brown and black to balance out the brightness of your whites. Or go monochromatic with a white winter coat, gloves and beret.

3. Color scale - Try out creamier "winter whites" and not just your starch bright whites. In cooler temps, put away your light washed denim and pair whites with denim that has a darker rinse for an overall richer, warmer look.

4. Pairing - When wearing whites in chillier months, pull your look together with weather appropriate pieces. Instead of peep toes with those fabulous white jeans, wear a killer pair of boots, a leather jacket and an infinity scarf. Swap out the tanks you use for layering and instead try a white button up shirt or turtleneck.

Eva Marcille

Zoe Saldana

Rachel Bilson

Over the spring/summer months I gushed about my love affair with the white blazer (here and here) and lucky me, I also recently scooped an awesome white blazer in the Macy's juniors department that's a heavier knit that I can wear in the cooler (ok, colder) months. I plan to pair it with dark skinny jeans tucked into boots and medium rinse boyfriend jeans and shoeties.

How about you?

16 August 2011

Going Green

The color green doesn't just have to make you feel froggy, take a style note from Sanaa Lathan who looked resplendent in a figure flattering Haute Hippie dress at a recent event. With a few remaining dog days of summer, hit the town in gorgeous green paired with a pair of spicy leopard pumps.
Sanaa Lathan - Haute Hippie

Oasis summer evening dress, £30
Zara leopard print shoes, $20
Wire bracelet, $18
Silver earrings, $18
Bare Escentuals bareMinerals 100% Natural Lipgloss, $15

If the real deal is more your speed and perhaps money is no object, you can get Sanaa's actual dress at Nordstrom for a mere $445.

15 August 2011

Revlon Precision Lash Adhesive Review

I've posted before about my love for false lashes (read it here), but what I omitted at the time was my...um...dissatisfaction with the lash glue. I originally chalked my issues up to being a rookie and being an oily skinned girl and determinedly pressed on. I had issues with how long I had to wait before the glue was tacky enough to adhere, so if you attempted to place it too soon, it would slip and slide across your eyelid...which would conveniently wreck your eye makeup. And even if I got them on without application issues, there was always the concern that the glue wouldn't provide enough hold for longer than a couple of hours. I soon realized that neither of those things were really the cause of my problem, it was poor quality glue.

Enter Revlon Precision Precision Lash Adhesive to my rescue!
With it's brush applicator, it gives you great control allowing you to coat the spine of the lash and not the lashes themselves and add just that needed bit of extra adhesive to the ends. The product appears white or clear on the brush, but applies in a pretty sparkly blue shade. And there's no need to wait! It's actually best that you don't, in my opinion. You can immediately begin to apply the lash to your lash line and in the time it takes you to finish the application on your other eye, the glue has dried and adhered the lash securely. And don't worry, it dries clear.

And let me say that I'm super impressed! The hold felt way more secure than it had ever had before. I feel my first test of the product put it through it's paces - I used it to apply my lashes for a wedding I was attending. It was outdoors, ninety degrees and humid beyond belief. The indoor reception was attended by upwards of 400 people, so the air conditioning felt virtually non-existent. And just so you understand, not only am I naturally oily, but I perspire rather easily... So, I tossed the tube in my clutch, just in case I happened to need it for an emergency lash fix.

I never needed it.

I ultimately wore my lashes for 8 hours without issue. As I removed my make up they did peel off, but not without quite a bit of tugging and after a day like I'd had, that's saying a lot!

I found the tube at Walmart for less than five dollars, so I bought two - just in case I really liked it and it was discontinued before I got another one or in case it dried out too soon or something, I'd have a backup.

And if all of that wasn't enough to sell you on it, it's also latex free for any of you divas who have an issue with latex allergies.

09 August 2011

DD's Style File - Oranges & Bananas

The outfit I wore to work yesterday was probably a tad unconventional when it came to color pairings, but for some reason, it just kinda worked for me. Before dashing out the door in the morning, I ignored the urge to don a shoe that more closely matched my belt and went totally in the opposite direction.

Beige orange dot top - Zara
Tan skirt - The Limited
Brown and rust earrings - Unknown
Belt - Burlington Coat Factory
Cognac leather handbag - TJ Maxx
Yellow peep toe slingbacks - Macy's
Sunglasses - Dot's
I've mentioned my love of polka dots before, so it's no surprise that I snatched up this beige top with peppy orange dots. The shoes are an item that I can finally cross off my "wardrobe need" list, as I've been hunting for a pair of sophisticated yellow pumps for literally ages. And there they were, in my size, perched on the clearance rack at Macy's waiting for me to find them - and I wasn't even shopping that day, just perusing. And with a color description of 'banana' how could I possibly leave them behind?!

I admit the overall look may have had something about it that was a bit quirky and offbeat, but I liked it!

04 August 2011

DD's Style File - The Joy of Cotton

Some people love lace, some love silk...which I agree are quite nice, but me? Call me crazy, but I love cotton! I always love the clothing in the Cotton commercials, like the ones with Zooey Deschanel singing "The Fabric of Our Lives."

This particular look came about as I, exhausted and sleepy, tried to be good and pick out my work clothes for the next day before hitting the sack...and voila! 

White poplin button up shirt - JCPenney
Light blue striped skirt - Forever 21
Mustard stripe belt - Unknown (off some other dress)
Camel tassel shoes - Charles by Charles David
Silver earrings & bracelets - The Limited/Tiffany & Co.
Sunglasses - Charlotte Russe
For me, this is a quintessential summer outfit, that's breezy yet professional.  I always seem to end up loving the "accidental" outfits the most and this one can be added to the list. The simple soft cotton button up and a seersucker print skirt made me feel like I should be traipsing through the promendade in a Cotton advertisement!

03 August 2011

VH1's Single Ladies

I wasn't immediately impressed with the first episode or two, but since then I've become a devoted fan of VH1's first scripted show, "Single Ladies." This comedic drama starring Stacey Dash, LisaRaye McCoy and Charity Shea as three best friends experiencing relationships, sex and love in the city of Atlanta. Also, co-starring Christina Carter.

I raise my hat to VH1 for their efforts with this show, especially in an era of reality TV (one of my guilty pleasures...), they have created a noteworthy show with an entertaining storyline that's interspersed with eye catching fashion, hot music and lots of celebrity cameos. All of my favorite things!

I am personally smitten with the wardrobe of Stacey Dash's character, Val. And here are a few posts for by fashion bloggers caught up with the "Single Ladies" wardrobe just as much as I:

I loved Val's colorblocked bow skirt outfit in episode 7, how 'bout you? Style Me Prissy has the scoop!

Fashion Bomb Daily gives us the breakdown on each character's style and how you can get it!

Who's responsible for the fabulous looks on the ladies of "Single Ladies"? Confessions of a Glamaholic has to the one on on with wardrobe creator Anthony L. Williams!

02 August 2011

DD's Style File - Nautical Interpretation

I've done prior posts on the nautical trend (here and here) and it's one I believe never seems to go out of style because it's inevitable that you'll see it reappear on runways. So, for this edition of Style File, I'm posting an outfit that I wore to work that's my loose translation on the trend.

Navy striped ruffle top - H&M
Tan paperbag skirt - Zara
Denim sandals - Payless
Red leather handbag - Foley + Corrina
Gold necklace - Burlington Coat Factory
Rings and earrings - Express
Sunglasses - Charlotte Ruse
Sometimes I just throw things together and the end result turns into one of my favorite outfits. And this would be one of those. The fabrics were all easy and comfortable, even down to the sandal which was a casual blend of a dark knotted denim with a cork bottom. I didn't love the skirt so much in the store, but got it anyway and now I adore it. And of course, the girly ruffle shoulder detailing is right up my alley.

I'd been lusting after a Foley + Corinna tote for ages, and this bag is one of my most recent mini splurges. Thanks to an announcement post  by the Budget Babe I was able to snatch one up at a Gilt Groupe sale (thanks Dianna!). I was a bit too late to grab a mid city size, so I reluctantly went for the disco. I say "reluctant" because I'm a big bag kinda girl (like I carry my whole life around in my purse), so going to a much smaller sized bag I felt would be a challenge and I was worried that perhaps I wouldn't use it as often.

Well, color me surprised because I love it! I do wish it was just a tad larger, perhaps big enough for one inner zip pocket for my cell phone or whatever, however it still works. Keep in mind that my wallet is kind of mammoth, so if I scaled back on that, I'd have way more room. But since I'm stubborn I force them to work together.

I don't use this bag every day, but I'm always looking for an opportunity to carry it. And another great thing is that I was able to kill two birds with one stone - cross an item off my "lust list" and try something new, which is a crossbody style. Last month, I encouraged you all to test drive a crossbody and I'm here to say that I've become a convert because they are a must for shopping! By keeping my hands and arms free and my money close, it's a win win.

01 August 2011

Spots & Dots

I consider myself to be rather fashion forward, but some risks are pulled off better by some than others. So, although I'm enamored with polka dots and practically obsessed with leopard print, I'm not exactly confident that I can pull them off together. However, I've seen it executed beautifully and I'm kinda loving it!

As seen here, on the Dolce & Gabbana fall 2010 runway:

In my first post on print mixing, I discussed pairing florals with stripes and polka dots, too (read it here). But where those combinations are more on the sweet side, I think this collab has a bit more spice.

Alexa Chung

If like me, you're drawn to this look, but not yet ready to dive headlong into its unconventional pairing, here are a few of my personal suggestions for taking baby steps:

1. Let one print be the dominant - I suggest going with the dots, because it's less attention grabbing than a full leopard dress. But go for a more subtle print with small dots and pair with pumps or flats in the animal print.

2. Pair in small doses - Instead of going full out with larger pieces, use minimal material and try dotted shorts and a spotted tank under a solid cardigan.

3. Pair in even smaller doses - If going full on with this mix isn't quite your speed yet, incorporate it into your look with accessories such a s a killer leopard print bag intermixed with an adorable polka dot pump or scarf.

Spots & Dots - 1

Emily and Fin slip dress, $78
Vero Moda Very jacket, £27
Nayeli high heel pumps, $30
With Love From CA layered chain necklace, $9.50
Nine West beaded hoop earrings, $24
Wide black belt, $11
Purse Boutique: Taupe Oversized ''Savitha'' Hobo Vitalio Handbags,..., $50

Spots & Dots - 2

Black cardigan, £28
Sheer blouse, $33
H! by Henry Holland polka dot shorts, £22
Bangle bracelet, $28
Carolee gold stud earrings, $24
Dorothy Perkins black belt, £15
Purse Boutique: Red Alligator ''Glossie'' Satchel Purses by LYDC, $50
Merona Maribel Peep-toe Wedges - Black, $28

Spots & Dots - 3

Great Plains white t shirt, $16
H&M boyfriend jeans, £20
Via Spiga nude pumps, $100
River Island shoulder handbag, £40
Urban Outfitters stainless steel watch, $28
Juicy Couture silver bracelet, $42
Good Charma heart bracelet, $30
G by Guess silver earrings, $15
Forever21 square sunglasses, $6.80
Aqua Girls' "Boyfriend" Blazer in Navy, $41
Neck Scarf With Large Polka Dots, $13

26 July 2011

Taming the Wild

Animal prints never seem to go out of style and you find them on runways year after year, especially leopard print. If you acquire the right piece it can last you throughout several seasons, and as the weather changes a few simple tweaks can help you transition it easily. A great way to start would be with a skirt. Depending on the style it can be dressed up for work or a night out and dressed down for more casual outings.

Sienna Miller

Khloe Kardashian

Miranda Kerr
Leopard print works as both a great neutral base and obviously a print. To tame the sexiness of the print, you can tone it down with other neutrals like white, ivory, black or brown. But leopard also plays well with brights like orange, turquoise and red in particular. Depending on the length of the skirt, shoe height can be left up to you, though it will always look great with pumps and heeled boots in cooler months.

Most office friendly styles would be a pencil or a fuller A-line skirt and if you need to keep the attention to a minimum, go with the uber chic and classic styling of a white button up shirt, a red belt and modest black or nude pumps. 

Here are a few other styling inspirations that I hope will inspire you:

The Cat's Meow

Miss Selfridge black jacket, £30
Minuet petite, £19
Zara heel pumps, $50
Miss Selfridge body bag, £25
Stackable jewelry, $28
Bee Charming disc jewelry, $44
Loren Hope vintage look jewelry, $88
Blu Bijoux black jewelry, $18
GUESS black and white sunglasses, $50
Switchblade Stiletto Leopard Waist Belt Pencil Skirt on eBay!

Here Kitty, Kitty

Cotton cardigan, £18
Tusnelda Bloch wrap shirt, €30
River Island brown skirt, £30
Deva peep toe shoes, $79
Nica tan handbag, £28
Disney couture jewelry, $31
Dorothy Perkins metal earrings, £5


Missoni lightweight sweater, $96
Wet seal, $19
Dorothy Perkins t strap sandals, £16
Steven by Steve Madden tote handbag, $98
French Connection multi strand necklace, $41
BCBGeneration hardware jewelry, $18
Braided bracelet, £6
Oasis chocolate sunglasses, £13

Happy Shopping!

25 July 2011

A Trip Down Memory Lane

On Saturday's episode of E Entertainment's Fashion Police, Giuliana Rancic wore an eye catching two tiered accordion pleat maxi dress in a beautiful tangerine color, a vintage piece from Metro Trading Post.

The dress was reminiscent of two of my favorite Halston Heritage dresses that Carrie wore in last year's Sex and The City 2 movie. They were all the rage then and I think Giuliana made them definitely worth revisiting!

The dress with it's airy fabric and easy movement is perfect for a summer day of shopping or an evening dinner with friends. The flowy shape of the dress is very forgiving to parts of the body you may want to conceal while highlighting your great collarbone, back and arms (and legs if you go for a shorter version). 

Here are a few budget friendly options that could work for you:

Animal Accordion Pleat Dress
$22.80 at Forever 21

Ali & Kris Draped Ruffle
Empire Mini Dress
$23.99 at Macy's

Gabriella Rocha Flapper Dress
$51.00 at Zappos
Warehouse Cape Maxi Dress
$41.37 at ASOS

Darling Ruffle Chiffon
Dot Dress
$28.50 at A'GACI

Coral Accordion Dress
$27.99 at Ami Clubwear

21 July 2011

The Brush Breakdown

Have you ever been overwhelmed by the world of makeup brushes? With specific brushes for bronzer and a separate one for blush, fan brushes and kabuki brushes, it's hard to keep them all straight and remember what's used for what. Especially if you're just becoming interested in makeup.

I'm here to tell you that it's really not all hype. Using the proper brush when applying makeup can make a world of difference in the end result. If you don't use brushes, beyond the chintzy ones that come in the packaging, I encourage you to add a few good brushes to your makeup arsenal.

And if you're confused about what they're all for, Lauren Conrad and the beauties over at The Beauty Department are here to help. They've created a two part post that breaks down what each brush would best be used for and the best type of brush for a particular job. You can read Brush Class here, Brush Class, Part Deux here and the third installment which covers eye brush here.

But don't forget that the quality of the brush is important too! You don't have to spend big dollars on top of the line brushes, you can find good brushes through Sonia Kashuk's line at Target and even local drugstores, like the Essence of Beauty brand at CVS.

20 July 2011

DD's Style File - Vintage Feel

I have another Style File installation for you today, I know it's not like me to do them back to back, but I I decided to just go with it. *smile*  Ironically, in both of this week's posts I am wearing pieces purchased  at my favorite retailers, Zara and H&M. Which makes me even more eager to shop at Suddenlee, the retailer I posted about here.

Until then, here I'll sit with bated breath...

Ok, back to the clothes.. So there's nothing actually vintage about this outfit, but despite the more contemporary design of the sandal, the cut of the tank gave me a classic impression along with the color combination of a cream base sprinkled with navy dots.

Cream and navy dot top - Zara
Navy circle skirt - Chadwick's
Cognac belt - Unknown
Tan sandals - Marshall's
Blush shades - Charlotte Russe
I'm drawn to sweet details, so the left shoulder of the top adorned with a modified two layer bow is what drove me to buy it.

This outfit definitely worked well in the outside temps as the top didn't cling in the heat and the skirt was a very lightweight cotton. Unfortunately, I'll be scouring sites for a new navy skirt, as I had to do a bit of a squeeze to get into this one this year. Darn those cursed doughnuts! 

19 July 2011

DD's Style File - A Lil' Bit of Glamorous

For today's edition of DD's Style File, I'm posting an outfit I wore to the office yesterday. And honestly, I can't say that I loved it, but people seemed to like it and I received several compliments during the day (which are always greatly appreciated), so I decided to do a post on it.

When I picked the outfit that morning, I thought the soft pink of the top with the black trimmed ruffle shoulders created a nice contrast and a bit of glam when paired with my patent bow pumps. I threw on a pair of "Audrey-esque" shades and my favorite chunky necklace and I was ready for the day (and the heat!)

Blush ruffle top - H&M
Black skirt - The Limited
Black bow pumps - Jessica Simpson
Black belt - Unknown
Black & white pearl necklace - NY&Co
Earrings - TJ Maxx
Although we got off to a soggy, delayed start to summer, I certainly can't complain now! It's been humid and 85 degrees and above every day. It just presents a bit of a challenge when dressing for the heat. Cardigans and lightweight blazers are a necessity in the blustery air conditioning of my office, but breathable, easy fabrics are a must for the blazing sun outdoors....but I fear that I'm halfway through summer and I'm running out of weather friendly options!

18 July 2011

DD's Spotlight on A'GACI

A'GACI is a contemporary retailer who touts themselves as a "one stop shop" for the modern, trendy and glamorous.

With offerings of mini skirts and body conscious dresses it's evident that they have a centralized focus on attracting juniors, but with their wallet friendly prices I'm sure many of you ladies can still find items to incorporate into your wardrobe.

A'GACI has 40 stores nationwide and has had their fashions featured in Lucky and People Style Watch. Though this retailer is new to me, after perusing their site I find that some of their pieces are eclectic and offer an almost unique appeal. You can even find classic pieces like wide leg linen pants, which are always a wardrobe essential. And though the quality would likely not be on the level as a pair purchased from Macy's, they can certainly be casual foundation pieces that you rely on for brunch, shopping and family outings.

Smocked Linen Pant
(available in black, olive & taupe)

Long Cuffed Denim Short
Now $10.75

Medallion Kimono Boat Neck

Ethnic Filigree
Large Pendant Necklace

I got more of a vintage vibe from some of the offerings in their "Boutique" section, which I think had a bit more of a grownup girly appeal, though take note that the regular priced items are a tad higher:

Polka Dot Smocked
Tube Hi-Low Dress
Ruffled Zipper Back Cami

Vintage Crochet & Linen

Cowl Neck & Chiffon
Sleeveless Top

 A few of their items caught my eye, so I am curious... How about you? With the likes of H&M and Forever 21, would you be interested in shopping another juniors retailer? You can check them out here.

Have you shopped A'GACI before? If so, please post a comment I'd love to hear your thoughts on clothing quality and sizing.