I have recently figured out the best way to apply nail polish to avoid chips. It works for almost all brands, as long as you ensure to take the time to apply a base and a top coat. This is my first video for you guys! So let me know what you think, and if you’d like to see more!
Your accessories can make or break your outfit. They’re the icing on the cake; you can’t finish your outfit without accessories. Did you know that there are a few outfit add-on’s that should every women should own? Below is a list of 13 Accessory Basics Every Women Should Own and rotate into her everyday wardrobe.
1. A Brown Belt
2. Black Braided Skinny Belt
3. Black and Brown flats
4. Black pumps
5. Black and Brown boots
6. A black scarf
7. A printed scarf
8. A short silver and a short gold necklace
9. A long silver and a long gold necklace
10. A Black and a Brown Purse
11. Opaque black tights
12. Clear nail polish and red nail polish
13. Your favorite pair of sunglasses
I recommend that all ladies try own most of these items. They wont ever go out of style if you keep them simple, so spend a little extra on quality. If you’re purchasing trendy items I recommend not spending too much, because you never know how long you’re actually going to wear them.
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I’m always on the hunt for great jeans. With denim being such staple in my wardrobe and I’m sure your’s too, I think they should be trendy, comfortable and affordable. When I go shopping here in Vancouver, I have a few staple stores that I head to when looking for jeans.
1. Top Shop
Top Shop’s denim ranges from $60-$90, which is a very fair price for denim. At The Bay, in downtown Vancouver, the Top Shop store is located in the basement, and their denim is nicely organized in one section of the store. They have a ton of different colours, their skinny jeans are actually skinny no matter what the waist size, (being curvy, I find a lot of denim makers think the larger the hip the fatter the legs, which makes for more of a straight leg than a skinny leg!) and they have great stretch with lots of different rise options. If you’re looking for high-rise jeans, this is the place to go!
H&M is great when you are on a budget. Their denim ranges from $20-$60. At that price, you can’t go wrong! They have lots of trendy styles, and a variety of different fits. The main disadvantage when denim shopping at H&M is customer service. Trying denim is like trying on bras, you don’t want to be constantly running in and out of the change room hunting for your size, that is the job of the sales person! However, the reason H&M keep their costs that low, is partially because you are paying for something to be mass-produced with minimal sales costs. So, just be prepared to hunt down styles on your own when at H&M. I’d also suggest bringing all the sizes you think you might need into the changing room with you, just so you don’t have to keep running all over the store while trying on.
3. Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters in the place to go for high fashion, trendy jeans. They do not carry a ton of basics. But that’s not really their specialty! Their in-store brand, BDG ranges from $40-$70. They also carry other brands like Cheep Monday, Levi’s and Silence & Noise. What I like about Urban Outfitters is that I know I can find styles that I see in magazines. They’re really on top of trends. The only issue for I’ve noticed with their BDG denim is the fact that the fit isn’t consistent. Some washes have less stretch but are still labelled to have the same fit. Ultimately, Urban Outfitters is a great first stop since they have such a huge selection with a wide range of fits and styles!
Here are a few final tips when denim shopping:
- When trying on denim, always ask the sales associates if they stretch out. Most denim these days has spandex in it, which is great, but often can lead to stretching up to 1-2 full sizes! If it has a large percentage of stretch, (look at the label, anything above 3% is pretty high) then try to go down a size.
- Always fit your denim to the widest part of your body. If that’s your booty, then make sure you invest in a good, cute belt, as I’m sure you’ve experienced a bit of gaping at the waist. Also, try different rises, as this may help eleviate the gaping problem!
- If you have any insecurities about your stomach, or you just don’t like pulling up your pants all day long, you should consider buying a higher rise. You don’t HAVE to tuck your shirt in with this style to get the benefits of your denim holding everything in for you! Although, it does look pretty cute with a tucked in top!
- As soon as you purchase, walk your new pair over to your nearest tailor. All shopping malls have a tailor! The chances of your denim being the perfect length are very rare. You want your jeans to graze the floor when barefoot.
- Consider how skinny the calves are, and how you want to wear this pair. Do you want to tuck them into a cute pair of boots? Then make sure they stay skinny all they way to the ankle. No one likes uncomfortable bunching inside their boots!
- Right now, skinny jeans, vintage flares and straight leg boyfriend jeans are in style. If you are still wearing your mid-rinse boot cut jeans, please donate them! EVERYONE can wear skinny jeans, you just have to find the pair that’s right for you, and style it with the perfect top! See my previous post here for more details and here, for styling tips.
Where do you like to shop for jeans? Have you ever dared to purchase a pair online? If you want more shopping tips and ideas please take the time to follow me on Twitter!
“I’m liking the new crochet cowls with the big wooden buttons, but how or what do I wear them with?”-Jamie-Lee
There are a few things to think of when purchasing a cowl. Here are my questions for you:
1. Are you wearing it for warmth from the outdoors?
If you are from a cold Canadian province, you may want to consider wearing a nice chunky cowl. If it’s large enough, it could be multi-purposed into a hood, and if it’s wool, it wont absorb wet snow or rain. That is something key to look for! But don’t match this cowl to your outfit, match this cowl to your coat, because I’m sure it will be too warm indoors for you to want to rock a heavy wool cowl.
2. Are you wanting to make a fashion statement?
If you are wearing your scarf to make a statement, then you WILL want to match your outfit. Go for something that is a bit more lightweight. The challenge with wearing cowls with your outfit, is that they tend to work like a turtle neck, which aren’t the most flattering look. If you have a lovely long neck, you can get a cowl that is shorter and goes up to your chin. If you aren’t blessed with a long neck, go for the more flattering alternative, an infinity (or circle) scarf. You can wrap it longer, and still show some neck with this look.
3. Are you sensitive to fabrication?
This is something logical to think about. Can you handle wool that close to your face? If you can’t, consider looking for something softer like silk, cotton or cashmere. They’re harder to come by, but they’re out there! And, if you’re wanting something trendy that will only last for one season, by all means, do acrylic. Acrylic is a cheaper synthetic fabric that pills, but if you’re dollar conscious and not concerned about longevity then acrylic is for you.
My last few tips:
- I’d suggest getting a colour that brings out your eyes and flatters your skin tone, especially since it’s so close to your face.
- Scarves like these are casual, so don’t wear it them with your pretty party dress! Pair with your favorite jeans and a T, and make sure you play up the arm candy! You can get some cute bracelets if you click here.
- If you’ve got long hair, chunky scarves look better with your hair up, if you have shorter hair, go nuts!
- Most importantly, have fun with fashion. You don’t need to over-think it. If you feel good, then you probably look good too!
The last three images were provided by my new favorite Etsy store: Yokoo.
Last but not least, if you haven’t checked it out yet, click on my page BY Black is the New Black. I’m showcasing a few of my creations that are available for purchase too!
Peplum dress, 130 CAD / Embellished top, 79 CAD / AllSaints leather biker jacket, 545 CAD / Rich & Skinny super skinny jeans / Mid heels, 395 CAD / Leather shoes, 89 CAD / Alexander Wang leather tote bag, 915 CAD / Alexander McQueen enamel jewelry, 125 CAD / CÉLINE sunglasses, 275 CAD / Wool hat, 51 CAD / NARS Cosmetics matte lipstick, 25 CAD
I’m sure all of you have tried and true products or tools that you use on a regular basis. I thought I’d share with you 10 Things I Can’t Live Without:
1. My Clothes Steamer
A steamer makes life so much simpler. I never think twice about buying anything due to the fabric, because I know it just takes 2 min to steam it before I step out of the house!
These days you can purchase hand-held steamers and they actually work quiet well! I take my hand-held steamer while travelling and its great! Who still irons these days?
2. Sephora Pore Cleansing Pad
This little baby is a miracle worker on my skin. I use it every night before bed, and I now never have flakey skin! I wrote about the details of this product a while ago, check it out.
3. Ojon Damage Restore Instant Restorative Hair Serum
This stuff works wonders. I have platinum blonde hair, and this is one of the best things to tame my ends. I use it after every wash to smooth out the cuticle.
4. MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation
I’ve been using this product probably for 8+ years. I love the texture, and the coverage. It’s light like a powder, but you can build it up to cover like foundation. I have also recently tried All In One Face Base from The Body Shop, and it is a very close second. It doesn’t have quite as good coverage as Studio Fix but since using it, my skin has cleared up a bit more…so depends which you prefer!
5. Quo Cosmetic Applicators or Q-Tips
These never ever leave my beauty routine. The Quo Applicators look similar to a Q-Tip, but one side is pointed and the other is flat, like an eye shadow brush. I use these bad boys to spot remove make-up, help repair a cat eye or create a smokey eye with shadow. These are a must have tool.
6. Mineral Oil
I’ve been using mineral oil to shave my legs for years, and it is the only thing that doesn’t dry them out. Not only does it help give you a smooth shave, but the oil also increases the longevity of your razor. Just put a few drops in your hand and smear all over your legs for a silky smooth finish!
7. Stila All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner
I love the look of the classic cat eye, and I’ve searched and searched for the perfect liquid formula. I love the Stila liner because it stays on all day, dries quickly, and the pointed felt tip makes it easy to apply.
8. Make Up Forever HD Microfinish Blush
It’s no secret that I have very fair skin. I embrace it, but I NEED to wear blush without looking like a ghost! This blush is amazing. It’s a cream blush that is highly pigmented, so you don’t need to use much to get the impact. This stuff never seems to run out and the best part is, it lasts all day! Make sure when you are applying it goes under your powder but over your foundation.
9. Klorane Dry Shampoo
It’s cheaper than the products you find in Sephora, and you can find this brand at most drug stores. This dry shampoo doesn’t leave your scalp white and helps absorb the oil for a full day or two. It’s a great refresher if you don’t like to wash your hair every day, or if you have more of an oily scalp. I use dry shampoo because I colour my hair and it’s not heathy to wash everyday, but my scalp is still quite oily and this dry shampoo prolongs my colour and keeps my hair looking fresh. I especially recommend it if you have bangs! ‘Cause oily bangs are the worst!
10. True Blue Spa Super Softening Hand Lotion
I’ve been using this lotion for years, and I absolutely love it. It is really rich, and doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily. I use this lotion as a part of my nighttime routine, just before going to sleep I lather up and don’t massage it all the way in, this lets it absorb throughout the night. If my hands need some extra moisture, I’ll wear spa gloves and load up on the lotion while sleeping. When you take the gloves off in the morning my hands are silky smooth! You can find this lotion at Bath and Body Works.
What are a few of your favorite products? Are you loyal to certain brands or do you like to try new things?
“I have a short torso…So there are some clothes/accessories that are not nice on me, like as belts, I feel that they shorten my body. What can you recommend to lengthen my body?” -Sophie
The best thing to remember about having a short torso is means you probably have long legs!! Lucky you! Something lots of women wish they had! Just remember to play up your favorite features like your legs and show some arm too. Skinny jeans are your best friend!
Here are a few tips when looking to elongate your torso:
1. When buying jeans or skirts look for low-rise.
A pant that sit lower on the hip will give the illusion of a longer upper body. If you are concerned about showing bum, there are a lot of brands of denim that create a higher back and a lower front. This is also where you should be wearing a belt, on your hips, not your waist.
Avoid the high waist trend, as well as tucking in your shirt, this will only shorten your body.
2. Wear longer tops with vertical patterns.
Look for tops that sit below your hip, and flow away from the body. If you find a top with a vertical pattern that will also make your torso look longer. Another added bonus would be a long necklace to draw the eye downward. V-necks will also look great on your physique!
Look for outfits like this; the chevron pattern slims, the deep V elongates and the necklace draws the eye to the middle and downward. Just make sure you are wearing your longer tops with skinny jeans. If you try to wear them with boot cut or flares, it will ruin the proportions!
3. Think about the accessories you’re wearing.
It all comes down to the finishing touches. Avoid wearing choker necklaces, or belting your waist. Instead look for long earrings, longer necklaces and belts that sit on the hip. Don’t forget to think about your purse! Wear a style that has a longer strap or a cross-body purse, so it sits on your hip, rather than under the arm.
4. Wear Statement shoes.
A monochromatic look will be elegant and flattering on your body type, accentuate this look with killer shoes to draw the eye downwards. Have fun with this look by matching your shoe to your lipstick or purse!
Here are some styling inspirations from Kate Moss. Yes, the model Kate Moss as the same body type as you! A lot of models have longer legs and a shorter torso!
Hopefully this inspires you to create that perfect outfit. I know this could be a challenge, but you can make it work! Look to stylings from the 1920′s and 1930′s for further inspiration.
1. Always Wear Sunscreen
I don’t care if you’re going outside for 10 minutes or 10 hours, sunscreen is incredibly important. It can save your skin from wrinkling, it can save your skin from dark spots and it can save your skin from cancer! Now a days, you can get sunscreen in your facial moisturizer and foundation, so ladies you have no excuse not to take care of your skin!
If you are out in the sun and dying for a tan, sunscreen will protect you from harmful rays, but you will still get colour! Don’t forget that self tanner can be your best friend too!
(my favorite self tanner)
2. Only Wear Flip-Flops to the Beach
Flip flops are comfortable and have many uses; at the beach. When you live in a city, or if you’re walking in public no one wants to hear the flop flop flop while you walk. Not only do they sound annoying, but they look super casual. With many sandal options out there, keep your flip-flops at the beach! (Men too!)
3. Think Twice About the Length of Your Shorts
Ladies, just because you have killer legs, doesn’t mean the whole world needs to see them. I suggest always do the bend-over test in the fitting room, if you can see your bum when you bend, DO NOT BUY. You also don’t want your shorts stopping at the widest part in your thigh, so think twice when buying super short shorts. Universally the most flattering length is a 1-3 inches above the knee.
Men, when buying shorts, think about your height. The look of shorts appear cut your leg in half, so if you are under 5’9″ think about wearing a short that is quite a few inches above the knee. A slimmer Euro style is more flattering on a shorter, stocky build. If you are tall, you can wear the longer lengths. I usually see men wearing shorts that are too long, or too wide. Please don’t make this same mistake! Buy shorts that fit similar to your jeans, and think about where you are wearing them. Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you can wear your shorts to all destinations!
4. Men, No Socks and Sandals, or Loafers
This ties in with our previous rule…Men, NEVER EVER wear socks with sandals and NEVER EVER wear socks with loafers. If you decide to cuff your pants, it’s best to expose a bare ankle.
Are you concerned about smell? Think about the quality of shoe you purchase when going barefoot. Either get a fabric that can be washed or a something natural, like leather. You can put a deodorizer in your shoes nightly to keep them smelling fresh or you can purchase some insoles that help absorb sweat and are washable.
5. Beat the Heat With Icepacks
I live in Vancouver, and often it doesn’t get super super hot here, so most places do not have air conditioning. However we do get some crazy heat for a few weeks in summer. Have you tried sleeping in the heat of the summer? It can be impossible. The best thing I’ve learned is to always keep ice packs in the freezer. I wrap them in dish towel and rest them on either my forehead, back of my neck or on my feet. It soothes the overheating and can let you rest at night!
6. Avoid Too Much Alcohol in the Sun
Alcohol is dehydrating, so if you are planning on drinking in the sun, (and who doesn’t?) then alternate with a cup of water. You can get the effects of alcohol much faster if you are in the sun, or you could suffer from dehydration within a few hours, and no one should have to experience that!
7. Always Stay Hydrated and Snack
As noted above, if you do not stay hydrated while outdoors you can become exhausted and dehydrated. Dehydration and exhaustion can bring on major flu symptoms, and you don’t want to ruin summer fun being locked in the bathroom!
I know for myself, I often forget to eat when I am at the beach or lounging outdoors, but even if you don’t feel like eating too much, it’s always good to have small snacks throughout the day. It will help keep your energy levels up so you can avoid the heat exhaustion.
What are your summer rules or tips to live by?
Being from Vancouver, I always think about layering- even in summer! This summer is the summer of denim! I love the look of layering with a denim shirt on men and women. Here are a few tips, when wearing a denim shirt:
- Do not try to match your denim! If you have a light top, wear a dark bottom and vice versa.
- Denim shirts look great layered with coloured or patterned pants. (And then look at that- you’re rocking TWO trends!)
- To make it seem more like a jacket or cardigan, wear open. To give more shape, button the bottom few buttons up.
- Try cuffing the sleeves, especially if you’re wearing the denim on denim look.
“How long do we hold on to much loved and worn clothing – and if in good condition because of the fashion cycle of trending to come back around?? I have some classics, and I wish Mom had saved me some gear from the 60/70s era …” – Jude
Knowing when to keep or toss an item can be a tricky task, especially if they are sentimental items. There are a few factors to think about when keeping clothing and the first and unfortunately the most important one is the first one:
1. Do you have the space for it?
If you live in smaller house or condo, this can pretty much dictate how much you can keep. Over the years and moving multiple times have made me slowly toss more and more. However, I do still keep one plastic bin with my most sentimental items. For more tips, see below.
2. Why do you want to keep it?
Did you see your Mom wear something often and you want to keep the memory of her? Did you wear something when you were the happiest in your life and want to hold on to that feeling? Or, do you plan on wearing these items again? If you want to hold on to memories or emotions, don’t discredit photography. You could create a scrapbook of you and your Mom or Grandmother wearing all their favorite clothes, or create a collage of these photos and hang them in your bedroom, for a creative space saving way to remember.
If you have the dream of passing a few pieces of clothing on to your children or grandchildren, keep in mind quality and wearability. You don’t want to hang on to something that is just going to fall apart, and you probably don’t want to hold onto something that is too “literal” on trend. (Example: fortrel orange floral bell bottoms- those never came bac in style!) Even though fashion often has influences from past decades, it rarely is an exact replica. Think about fabrication, colours and pattern. You’re best saving items that are more neutral in colour and pattern, and stick with classic fabrics such as cotton, jersey or silks.
3. Will you or do you still wear it?
If you are still wearing certain retro pieces then by all means, keep them! If you truly have feeling you will wear these pieces at some point in your life again then keep it. If you’ve found you have kept a sentimental item for over 6 years and haven’t touched it, you are most likely not going to wear it again. If you are holding on to your own personal clothes and haven’t worn it for over 1 year, toss it. My biggest advice is: wear and buy clothes for the body you currently have, not the one you hope to have or used to have!
If you decide to keep your clothing, here are a few tips on storage:
- Always store in plastic air tight bins. This way they won’t attract moths and will keep out moisture.
- Try storing in vacuum sealed bags to save even more space, and tuck the bags under your bed.
- If you have room in your closet to hang these clothes, cover them with a garment bag to ensure you don’t snag or accidentally stain them.
- Store with cedar chips or dryer sheets to keep that musty smell out, and wash or dry clean every other year.
Hope these tips help you to decide on whether or not to keep or toss those clothes. Don’t forget, if you decide to toss, there is always a charity or good will store willing to take clothes!
A t-shirt and jeans is pretty much my go to staple. The last time I was shopping with a friend she said “You always look so put together! I don’t think I’ve seen you wear the same outfit twice!” I laughed and replied; “All I wear is a t-shirt and jeans! I just accessorize it different every time.”
Above are three different looks with the same foundation. This is to show you how you can change up some basics and make each look different and unique!
Outfit One: This look is a little bohemian. Tuck the tee in to show off the belt, and wrap that scarf! I like to change-up my nail polish too, and I love how this poppy red adds some colour to the outfit!
Outfit Two: This is a slightly more dressed up version. A good boyfriend blazer and some heels can really step it up a notch! Add some killer jewels and you’ve got a great outfit for a night on the town!
Outfit Three: Your new summer look. The button shirt is now the new cardigan. Cuff up the sleeves and wear it open and you’ve got a light summer cover up. I love adding the pop of neon with grey and white too. The blue nail polish is fun for adding a contrasting colour to the yellow.
Which is your favorite tee and jeans look?