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Sure, that Aztec-print poncho looks fab…but is it going to keep you warm? And that faux-leather biker jacket would really add some edginess to your outfit…but will you end up shivering? Let’s face it, you may be more concerned with wow-factor than warmth, but clattering jaws and having your arms bundled around you does not make the best fashion statement. So wouldn’t it be smarter to be warm and stylish at the same time? We think so…and here’s how!
- Base layers – Ideally, these layers will not be seen, but will definitely be felt. As in warmth. Base layers will help to keep in your body heat, so they will never use 100% natural fibers like cotton (which does not retain heat). The best base layers will be thin and made from breathable Merino wool or synthetic fabric, but wool is better for extreme cold climates.
- Light outerwear – If you plan to be out walking more than inside sitting, you might be able to layer on a heavier sweater here…but if you will be going in and out of the warmth of the inside, you probably want to add a tank top and a lighter sweater (the tank can always be discreetly removed if necessary). It may seem strange to layer a tank over a long sleeved base layer, but the goal is to keep your core warm…and no one is going to see these under layers but you.
- Overcoat – We discussed the best coat shapes for your figure in a previous article (here), but in terms of warmth, this layer will be the one where you can make the most impact, both with style and If going more casual, look for parkas, quilted puffer jackets, thick ponchos, and duffel coats. If you’re after a dressier style, opt for pea coats, wrap coats, structured trench coats, and swing coats.
- Hat, gloves, scarf, socks – Here too, you can add loads of style while adding warmth. Hats are not only cute, but completely practical, since they help to keep your body heat from escaping from the top of your head. For a casual look, go for a slouchy beanie or floppy wide-brim, and for a sleeker, sophisticated look, try a structured fedora or cloche. Gloves are also a must in cold and windy climates…knits for casual looks, leather for dressier outfits. A scarf can add a pop of color or pattern while keeping you cozy too. And if you are wearing closed-toed shoes (and in very cold climates, you should be), be sure to wear thick, warm socks with boots.
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!
With colder temperatures fast upon us, it’s finally time to break out those gorgeous chunky knit sweaters! A long-time staple of winter wardrobes, the chunky knit is indispensable for not only staying comfy and cozy, but for looking fabulous in the process! Sure, you can pair it with the standard skinny jeans and fleece-lined boots…but if you’re looking for other ideas to make the most of your chunky knit while the weather permits, then step right up!
Wear it with…
- Leather pants and stiletto boots – Since the chunky knit sweater adds considerable bulk to any outfit, it’s important to try to balance its soft shape out with more form-fitting, tailored pieces. That’s why the leather pants and sleek, stiletto boots work so well. And no need for real leather here, faux leather pants or leather-look leggings will do the trick.
- Circle or skater skirt and low-heel ankle boots – This would work best with a cropped chunky knit sweater. And the reason this works is because, though the skirt is full, the waist is nipped in, and the length/fullness is short. The bulk of the sweater is therefore balanced. And low-heeled ankle boots add a nice edginess to the feminine shape of the skirt.
- Leather mini and brogues – When we say “mini” here, we don’t mean one of those ultra short, ultra form-fitting body-con ones. A little bit of “wiggle room” is ok here, but just make sure the shape of the skirt is straight or A-line to again balance out the soft bulk of the sweater. The sweater can be cropped, or, if longer, use a “half tuck” technique to show your waist. Pair it all with opaque tights and super cool brogues. This menswear trend looks fantastic with tights!
- Cropped boyfriend jeans and peep toe booties – This is perhaps the most relaxed of all the looks we’ve covered, but that’s not to say it’s sloppy! Even though the jeans are looser than fitted, the legs narrow as they approach the cropped ankles. And since you will be wearing either a cropped sweater or using the “half tuck,” your waistline will still be visible as well, so there will still be some definition. The peep toe booties add a delightful feminine touch, as well as some flattering height.
- Leggings and knee-high boots or combat boots – A winter classic, you can never go wrong with this combo! The leggings mean that you can go quite bulky with the sweater, wearing it long and loose. The slight bulk from the knee-high or combat boots (think Doc Martens) will help to avoid you looking like your torso is balancing on two spindly coffee-stirrers.