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8 Must-Have Pieces for Your Winter Wardrobe

Ah, the crisp, cool air…the changing leaves… the pumpkin spice EVERYTHING! Winter is on its way, and you have just enough time to start adding some pivotal pieces to your wardrobe that keep you not only warm, but looking fabulous! By incorporating just one or two of these, you can breathe new life into your existing wardrobe and create some WOW this Winter.

  • High-heel booties – You’ve seen them everywhere lately, and with good reason. Whether platform, peep-toe, or lace-up, these booties pair well with so many wardrobe staples: skinny jeans, cropped boyfriend jeans, pencil skirts, circle skirts with tights…the list goes on and on.
  • Low, chunky-heel booties – These are an absolute must if you intend to rock the leggings-and-oversized-sweater look (and let’s face it…who doesn’t?) this Winter. They can add a bit of “edgy” to any outfit, and even look fab with tights and a flowy circle skirt (try to keep the shirt/sweater more tailored and form-fitting though, to avoid looking sloppy).
  • Leather-look circle skirt – No need to break the bank on this one… you can find circle skirts that look amazingly like leather, for a fraction of the price. Just make sure the fit isn’t too tight at the waist. A properly-fitting circle skirt should fall gracefully from your waist; one that is too tight will balloon out and can look completely unflattering. It’s best to pair it with a more tailored top/sweater (a nice contrast to the leather would be a lighter, more lady-like top). Complete the look with tights and either chunky, low-heel booties or taller low-heel boots and your adorableness will be unstoppable.
  • Quilted biker jacket – Again, if you don’t have a Kardashian budget, no worries! There are plenty of leather-look options out there. The important elements will be the quilting and the “biker look” (some studding, zippers, “moto” padding, etc.). These jackets can work with almost any outfit, from plaid shirts and skinny jeans to girly dresses and tights. You decide how much “edge” to the outfit with the boots and accessories you add.
  • Camel coat – A classic in any era, you just need a camel-colored coat in your life. Period. Whether it’s this season, or next year, or the year after, a mid-length or long-length camel overcoat is perfection. Usually found in wool, and either belted or buttoned (or both), this will literally go with just about everything. Dress it up, dress it down, the camel coat will never disappoint.
  • Puffer jacket – If you want the ultimate in form and function, go for the puffer jacket this Winter. Usually filled with down or a down-alternative, you will be sure to stay toasty warm. Pair it with skinny jeans and a fitted top, or an oversized sweater and tights, the puffer jacket is one of those items you’ll be seeing everywhere (and hopefully your closet).
  • Drape-front jacket – The perfect blend of tailored structure and flowy softness, the drape front jacket is fantastic. One of the biggest trends we’re seeing this season is the shearling (or faux shearling) drape front. Since the jacket is a bit loose (usually doesn’t have a front closure to nip in the look of the waist), it’s best to pair it with more tailored pieces.
  • Aztec print anything – The trend we loved in Summer has stuck around for Winter this year, and we couldn’t be happier. You can find Aztec prints in leggings and tops, but the one we love most is the oversized cardigan! Perfect for lazy Winter days, running errands, or keeping cozy on movie nights out, you can’t go wrong pairing it with tights, a semi-fitted top, chunky scarf, and knee-high low-heel boots. What a fab look!

 

The Scoop on Cream VS Powder Eyeshadow

As women, we like choices (we pretty much demand them). And in terms of makeup choices, there are literally thousands of makeup products on the market. One of the most popular today is cream eyeshadow. I’m sure you’re more than familiar with its predecessor, powder eyeshadow, and cream shadow is not meant as a replacement for it. But they are obviously very different formulations, and best suited for different individuals and occasions. So what is it and how is it different?

Not only is cream shadow obviously a different formulation from powder eye shadow, it is more versatile. Cream shadow can actually sometimes double as a shadow base or lid primer, as long as you check the label (it will specify use as a base). This is perfect, especially if you are attempting makeup for hooded eyes. Since the hooded eye has a slight overlap of skin onto the lid, ordinary powder shadow and regular kohl liner can often be rubbed off within a matter of minutes after applying. Talk about frustrating! The best way to utilize cream shadow as a base is to pick a color complimentary to the powder shade you will be using. For instance, if you’re going for a simple smokey eye in browns, start with a shimmery taupe cream eye shadow (some excellent picks would be Clinique Touch Base for Eyes in Uplighting, Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in 15 Taupe, and Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe. But if you really want to pop your eyeshadow color, choose a white cream base for the lid. Any color will look bold and vibrant over that.

Cream shadows also come in very matte colors that mimic various skin tones (such as Laura Mercier Eye Canvas, Lancome Aquatique Waterproof Eyecolour Base, and L’Oreal Magic De-Crease Eyelid Primer). Such creams are mainly used as eyelid “primers,” which act to smooth out the eye area, and provide an even canvas on which to create your eye makeup masterpiece. These matte skin tone finishes can be used to anchor any color powder eyeshadow to make the powder shadow “read true,” as opposed to the bolder or vibrant examples with colored primer bases above.

Cream eye shadow in a darker color can also be used alone to create wonderful smokey eye looks. They are easy to blend, easy to drag down under the lower lash line, and easy to smudge, for the ultimate in smoked-out sexiness. And as long as the formulation is long-wear, your smoky eye should last all night!

Powder eye shadow, on the other hand, is like a comfy pair of jeans. The ones you could never do without. You know just how they will fit, and just how to work them. You also know their limitations. Matte, shimmer, glitter, holographic, baked, loose, and pigment…powder eye shadow has come a long way, in the past 10 years alone. But basically, it is what it is. You know how you can use it, and you also know how long it usually lasts on your lids (All through the work day? What about a humid summer afternoon? A party night of dancing?). So yes, powder shadow, when worn alone, does have its limits. But one thing powder shadow can do is double as some of the best brow powder around! MAC shadows, in particular, have dozens of suitable “brow shades” of eye shadow (such as MAC Charcoal Brown, MAC Omega, and MAC Brun).

Basically, what you’ll find is that it’s impossible to say that one is better than the other when comparing powder to cream eye shadow. They are both amazing and useful in their own ways. And when used together…they create an unstoppable, unyielding, undeniable eye makeup tour de force! In the end, you’re the one who wins, since you get to use them both!

 

Effortless Ways to Mix and Match Color like a Pro

You’ve got some great pieces in your wardrobe. You know you do. So then why is it that every time you open your closet, you either A) find you have absolutely nothing to wear, or B) stick to your same ol’ “safe” outfits. It might all come down to a very simple reason: you are not taking full advantage of color matching. Once you start looking at colors, and new ways to combine them, a world of possibilities with your existing wardrobe will open up before your eyes!

  • Complimentary Colors – Unless you remember high school art class, you might need to get on Google for this. On the color wheel, a complimentary color is one that can be found directly across from your current color, and it is combo guaranteed to look fab. See? It’s science!
  • Think Ombre — Admittedly, this is the easy way out, but it will work in a pinch. It might even get your color matching juices flowing! Just as ombre uses varying shades of the same color, try pairing differing hues of the same color in pastels, jewel tones, earth tones, etc.
  • J. Crew Cheat Sheet – When in doubt, hit the catalogues! It works to find inspiration in almost anything… decorating, interior design, gardening…so why not fashion? J. Crew in particular is fantastic at coordinating items resulting in the most beautiful array of colors and patterns you’ve ever seen! It’s almost guaranteed that even if you don’t have the exact pieces J. Crew is using, you most likely have the colors. So look at how their experts are pairing the colors, and follow their lead.
  • Look to Your Prints – Some of your favorite, most unlikely, most delightful color combinations might be hiding right in front of your eyes! Maybe it’s in your closet, or your accessory drawer, or maybe it’s something straight from a fashion mag or your favorite designer’s runway show. Prints! You know ‘em, you love ‘em…and they can unlock all kinds of winning color combinations for you. Also pay attention to the proportion in which each color is used. Make the most-used colors the inspiration for your big pieces, and let the lesser-used colors inspire you for small pieces and accessories.
  • Black and White – It’s classic for a good reason: it works! Pairing black and white is not only striking, but it works on a scientific level, since these two colors are opposites on the color wheel. And they also combine to provide an epic base for adding a pop of color in shoes, belts, jewelry, bags, and other accessories (just do us a favor…don’t take it too far and go all Cruella Deville on us).

 

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