Monday, May 14, 2012

Beautifully Well Prepped

Piggybacking on my previous post, I wanted to show what beauty products I used to compliment my preppy look.

To compliment this preppy outfit I posted previously...

Kate Spade Skirt
J.Crew Top

I went with a juicy pink lip. I found that the products I used were sheer enough and delivered just the right amount of glossy color to not compete with the outfit, but compliment it. 

Revlon lip butter in 090-Sweet Tart
Korres Lip Butter Glaze in Pomegranate

I am pretty sure I have mentioned in several posts far back about how lovely the Korres lip butters are. They are soft and moisturizing and now so much better that I don't have to dig my finger into the pot! I used a bit of this later on in the day, but I started off the day by applying the Revlon Lip Butter in Sweet Tart lightly to the bottom lip and then blending it with my fingers to give a soft wash of color. For a high-end makeup snob, I must say these Revlon Lip Butter's really do live up to the hype they are getting online. They are lovely! My only qualm is that I think you need to apply them to well moisturized, and exfoliated, lips. One would think the "butter" part of the name would mean them to be super moisturizing, but I didn't really find that. They are not drying by any means, but I think they have the tendency to go gloppy in certain places on the lips if your lips aren't exfoliated or moisturized first. So I used the "Mint Julip" lip scrub by Lush and let a lip balm set on my lips while I did the rest of my makeup, and it turned out great! 

This isn't artistic as much as it is an awkward picture. Hah! I had forgotten all I learned in my photography class in art school, but it is coming back to me, slowly obviously. This is the Revlon lip butter lightly applied on my lips with a very light hand. Sunglasses are the "Noir Catwalk" sunglasses by Miu Miu in the tortoise and blue combination. My favorite sunglasses this season for sure. They aren't super easy to find, I got mine at a Miu Miu store a long time ago, but you can get them at Saks here

Which lip butter color is your favorite? Which one should I get next? 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Well Prepped

Over the weekend, before the weather reverted back to the rainy cold we are experiencing today, I was able to bask in the sunshine walking myself around the city. Note to self, it is very hard to get run-of-the-mill errands done when you live smack dab in the middle of the shopping center of the city you live in. I went to the bank for a deposit and somehow came back with less money. Hmmm...

Zara, I think you have something to do with it.

As a stylist, or perhaps as a crazy person, I wake up and a mood strikes me as to what "look" or facet of my personality I want to play that day. I was in a preppy mood that day, and so venturing into the Zara on Walnut street had me immune until the sweet print, pleats and peter pan collar of this number had me sold.  The dress itself also comes with a ribbon belt, although I recommend if you get it to throw that away (it is flimsy looking) and add your own black belt. It will elevate the whole dress and make it look more expensive. I am also now on the hunt for a clutch or pair of pumps in that lovely blue to add a punch of color to the outfit. 

The outfit of the day that I was wearing when I was experiencing temporary amnesia and bypassing my bank and pharmacy for Zara and Anthropologie, was equally as expressive to the preppy side of me. 

Kate Spade Skirt
J.Crew top -link here

Black, navy and white horizontal stripes in a surprisingly flattering silhouette were popped with a bright burst of color in a very comfy knit top from J.Crew. Perfectly preppy, if I do say so myself! 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hunger Games

While the movie and book are most obviously what one would think of when espousing the phrase "hunger games" in mixed company today, I can't help but think of all the gorgeous shades of color that are on trend for spring and summer that make me positively drool with excitement.

A burst of bright citrus in patterned silk by Rebecca Taylor and a soft, creamy mint tweed by Tibi are some of my favorite trends come to life (in my closet!) for this spring and summer.

As a stylist, I should perhaps grab my napkin and choose sides on which of the color palettes (the saturated bright neon hues or the soft, sorbet inspired pastels)  I like best for the upcoming warmer months, but it feels to me like choosing between your children!

How do you choose?! 
Coral-Aqua from Bloomingdales
Silver-Club Monaco

The above is a picture of some of the clothes on my hanging rack in my bedroom (I personally, as well as my city apartment, love you Container Store!) where I hang my newest wardrobe additions, as well as clothes I find inspiring for styling. I adore the neon, bursting with bright color even more so in real life, of the pink gathered linen J.Crew in a comfortable relaxed silhouette that I had to have it; and will be back for the bright yellow as soon as I walk myself up to the store in the city. The coral tangerine of the Aqua (available at Bloomingdales, and super affordable!) pleats is positively juicy and screams for bare legs, a good spray tan (Skin Palette off Rittenhouse for those near Philadelphia is worth every penny) and makes me long for a trip to a white sand beach somewhere where that color is the same as the little umbrella's floating in some oversized, fruity cocktail. The brights this season definitely have me salivating. 


But then you have the beautiful muted neutrals of the season that get me equally as hungry for summer. While this soft grey might not conjure up notes of anything confectionary,that one would immediately want to eat at least, the soft neutral and pastel hues of the season are still equally as delicious. They also pair beautifully with a bright pop of color, as shown by my new Prada bag (I am convinced light grey is the perfect neutral for spring and summer) and an adorable bright belt procured on my recent "brights" binge from J.Crew. 

I suppose my wardrobe pictures to come on this site will be a bit of a polar medley of "Bag-of-Jordan-Almonds"pastels, soft neutrals and mixes of brights and neons. I refuse to choose, with all the choices for color this season fueling my fashion hunger to the extreme. Not Capital extreme, not yet at least! 

"A Crewed Interest" buy Essie

As for today, I did make one choice when it comes to spring color choices, and am loving the creamy pastel shades like the one above by Essie. They are quite the pain to get to not streak or smudge, but I for one am willing to have my manicure lady sigh in frustration a little longer for such a pretty result. 

Pastel, bright, neon, or neutral? What makes you most hungry to wear spring fashion?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dressing Successfully

For those who want to see what I wore to the Women Who Rock event for Dress For Success, here it is. Clearer, more artful and less terrible mirror-y pictures of OOTD's in the future, promise.

Dress-Max Mara
Watch-Cartier, small "Santos Demoiselle" in stainless
Bracelet-Hermes Narrow "Cic H" in white
Shoes (not shown)-Christian Louboutin "You You 100" in nude
Bag (not shown)-Givenchy
The real standout of this outfit is perhaps one of the more simple of my purchases for this spring and summer. While espousing my love of neons, pastels and overall "color, color, color", the simple black dress by Max Mara proves to me that no matter what color is in, black will always be in, or back, depending on how you look at it. 

You can look at the full dress and shop for it here

Looking at this dress, I had to have it. Cinched by a neutral brown belt that accents the whisper of brown patina and texture on the beautiful pieces' sharp pleats, I am smitten, and also now have a dress that is so classically gorgeous that I will be able to wear it for years to come. Talk about successful dressing! 

A Fashionably Good Cause

The "Women Who Rock" event held for  Dress for Success, with help from Philadelphia's Classic Rock Station 102.9 WMGK and the Parx Casino. Echo (beautiful things here) even donated those fabulous scarves! 

April is flying by much more quickly than I like to imagine. It is one of those month's where the weather changes almost hourly and you find yourself manically trying to figure out what the heck to wear to keep up. I, for one, get very excited on the warmer of the April days as I am able to lasciviously quench my thirst for wearing the new, lovely summer items hanging in my closet. I also then subsequently sulk when the weather changes itself on a dime and I have to pull denim or a sweater out of the closet.

While April may make it hard to choose what to wear on a daily basis, it also National Volunteer Month here in America, and is a good month to highlight a charity that does such a brilliant job of helping women in need that it turns the sometimes frivolous dilemma of  "what to wear" in everyday life turns it into very profound and important life-changing help that meets a very important need in the communities in which it serves.

Dress for Success (national link here) is an international organization that has more than 110 affiliates in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Poland and the West Indies.  It is a charity one might have casual knowledge of, knowing that they accept donations of new or gently used professional clothing to give to women in need for job interviews and employment.  But this charity is more than that, and as they are quoted in literature I received, they espouse that they not only provide women with professional clothing, but "the one true gift that they receive cannot be placed in a bag." Or perhaps their help extends so far beyond just clothing donation, that there isn't a shopping bag large enough to fit.

I was inspired by the idea behind National Volunteer Month to write an article for my job as the Philadelphia Fashion News Examiner for the Examiner Online (my link here) to highlight a charity that dealt with issues surrounding the topic for which I write about. While fashion might send people into notions leaning toward "frivolity" instead of "fastidious social importance", what Dress for Success does squelches those leanings quite quickly.

I found my Philadelphia division of Dress for Success (their website here) and through a simple email inquiry about attending an event they had last Saturday and was met with warm, professional and immediate response from the Philadelphia Executive Director no less, Ms. Cecilia M. Lusardi. I attended the event at the Parx casino, entitled "Women Who Rock" (more information about the event here), which was held with the help of local classic rock station WMGK 102.9 (link here). They set up a tent inside the doors, collecting professional clothing donations that quickly filled the back of a large moving truck, provided information about the program, as well as overall showcased how much they have helped women in need in the Philadelphia area. That number in the Philadelphia annex alone is over 600,000 since starting in 1997, and in 2010 alone they helped 60,000 women with not just suiting and clothing services, but career counseling, an Entrepreneurship and Scholarship Program, a Going Places Network and Professional Women's group to help find and retain employment, and even a financial services center to help with issues surrounding financial literacy, financial matters and the improvement of credit.

 (l) Dress for Success Volunteer Lisa Sinclair, (m) MGK promotions employee Tina Basham, and (r) Philadelphia Dress for Success Executive Director Cecilia M. Lusardi. 

I was only there a short time with a small bag of donations of my own, but was immediately blown away by the kindness of the volunteers, Ms. Lusardi herself and all those that donated clothing. Weather it was the small donation brought in by women and men like myself, to the true dedication of the volunteers in helping to make a difference in the lives of Philadelphia women, to stories of those donating literal car full's of clothing, it was an afternoon for which I have never been more thankful to have discovered Urban Decay's Cannonball waterproof mascara (seriously, that stuff is great..and doesn't move!). A prime example of the mascara's staying power was learning about a man who pulled up to the event with his van literally completed filled with clothing for donation. He told the staff that his beloved wife passed away in September of last year, and due to grief was unable to even go into her closet, let alone throw things out. He instead loaded up her things into his car and donated them to the cause, saying that now at least he knew "they would be going to a good cause." That gentleman could not be more right. And I not able to be more thankful to have attended, donated, been able to write about, and hopefully in the future, volunteer my services to such a waterproof-mascara worthy cause.

Dan Fein, Promotions Director for WMGK, filling the truck with donations!

I hope everyone will think about visiting your local division of Dress for Success to see how you can help. It was a charity born out of the true altruistic nature of a law student and her $50,000 inheritance from her great-grandfather. We could all use a little more of people like that in the world, and we all know that some good old-fashioned altruism and volunteering never goes out of style.

My article about Dress for Success and the event on the Examiner coming soon!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Back Again!

I gleaned some very exciting (and beautiful) things for my closet while I was away! 

Hello Everyone!

I have decided to keep up with my blog after a long hiatus. I have since finished fashion school, moved to the lovely Rittenhouse area of Philadelphia, obtained a job as a personal stylist for a luxury department store, and now am working as a full-time freelance stylist as well as employed as the Philadelphia "Fashion News" Examiner for! My first article, on spring and summer fashion trends, has been published and you can find my writing through this link if you are interested.

Sharp white pleats in this dreamy, soft silhouette Alice and Olivia make me wistful, and excited, for warmer weather

I will translate all my articles to some very interesting posts on here and I am thrilled to share all of the exciting happenings I have experienced in my career in the fashion and beauty world thus far!

More fashionable gleaning ahead!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Great Crab Cake Test and Crab Snobbery at Its Best

I love cooking, and love crab cakes. I also have a ridiculously high standard when it comes to defining what a true "crab cake" is. I went to, lived, and ate too many amazing crab cakes in the Maryland region to not have converted to being a crab cake snob. Crab cakes contain the best jumbo lump crab and the smallest amount of filler (mayo, a little seasoning or a few breadcrumbs) just to hold it together. It's all about the crab.  But since I only had one container of jumbo crab in my fridge the other day, I decided to do a test.  I tried Barefoot Contessa's (my favorite Food Network personality ever..the woman is FANTASTIC) crab cake recipe which, gasp, is mostly vegetables and filler rather than crab. I needed something that would stretch the crab and make a meal for myself and my very large, hungry boyfriend. While I felt like I was somehow cheating on the entire Baltimore/Chesapeake Bay region, but I did it anyway...

This is how it went...

Chopped a ton of veggies for the cakes

I chopped a ton of veggies for the filling. It included several colors of peppers, celery and red onion. 

This was the seasoning for the filling. It included Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, capers and good ol' Old Bay. I also used Panko breadcrumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs that are lighter and crunchier than regular breadcrumbs) to replace the white bread you are supposed to use for the filling. 

I sauteed the veggies with the seasoning until they were slightly soft, but still crunchy. 

Then I added the veggies to this gorgeous Jumbo Lump crab, a little low-fat mayo and the breadcrumbs. I made them into slightly small patties and cooked them in a bit of olive oil. 

Here is the recipe if anyone is interested! ---->Crab Cakes And here is the final product along with an arugula salad I put together with a light, fresh lemon vinaigrette (lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and olive oil)

The result? I liked them. The veggies were crunchy and the seasoning made for a lot of flavor throughout the cake. I have rarely found a Barefoot Contessa recipe that doesn't work. I think these would be especially yummy if you made them super small and served them as an appetizer for a dinner party.  I don't really consider these true blue "crab cakes",  but I think it's a good option for people trying to stretch expensive crab, people that like a lot of filling with their crab, or even people that would leave the crab out and make a yummy veggie patty. They were very tasty.  Just not a true crab cake : )

Make anything yummy recently?