Friday, March 30, 2012

Colored Denim

Colored Denim
"Who needs a fun top when you have fun pants?"  

If you read my blog you might notice that I'm not all that over-the-top.  I like fashion statements not fashion "slaps in the face".  And colored denim is a really fun and easy way to make a fashion statement without getting those unwanted second glances (when the double-take is followed by the unmistakable "bad smell" disapproving face squish).  

I definitely took the easy route with this outfit by pairing bright blue bottoms with a white t-shirt.  This isn't the most fashion-forward look but it's one that any girl could pull off.  

The Basics to Building A Colored Denim Look:
1.  Build off of your statement piece. (In this case; pants) 
2.  Make a definitive choice on your top before adding accessories. 
3. Add accessories that make the clothes look good on YOU.  For example: I felt weird without the belt, I needed to add it in order to create a break in the hips.  Another asset accentuating accessory could be a necklace if you have a great collar bone or earrings that compliment your face shape.
  Braided tan belt & a gold double-knuckle ring.
My go-to-gold tan Michael Kors flats.

Tips for Picking Tops:
- White or neutral variation is always a good fall back.  
- For a unique look pair your denim with a top that is a few shades lighter.  
(Focus on finding a less saturated hue, not a lighter version of a similar color)
- A pattern top with complimenting colors and simple styling will give your that "off the runway" look.

Tips for Pulling Off Colored Denim:
- Make sure your pants fit.  Seriously.  Try sitting in them to make sure you aren't hanging out in the back!  Nothing makes your look worse than clothes that don't fit.
- I'm 5'10'' so making sure pants are long enough is essential.  But NOTE: the pants I'm wearing are skinny jeans.  They were too short on me so I cuffed them into capris.
- Before buying a crazy color seriously ask yourself if you would wear it or not.
- To avoid frustration, either buy a top to wear with your jeans at the time of purchase or have one in mind from your closet before you buy.
- Bright blues are a great place to start if you want to test the style before committing to that awesome pair of raspberry red skinny jeans!

My colored denim: only $14.99 from TJMaxx

Some stores I like that carry colored denim at affordable prices: Target, TJMaxx, Macy's and Lucky Brand.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

My $6 Felt Hat

Today's blog post is all about me.  At least that's the impression you might get from my Mac Book Pro Photobooth photo session.  (Sorry in advance for plastering my face all over the post!)  But really, today I am tackling a Spring trend that can cause a real headache for some... pun-intended.  

Chic Hats in Smoldering Hues

I can't honestly say that this "trend" is trending... But I feel like I have seen it everywhere!  Especially with '70's flares and prints coming back around!  Call it a style foreshadow if you will.  For a celebrity reference for "chic hat" ideas my advice would be to google "Jlo in hat" and see what you find!  Personally, I feel weird in hats but I really want to be able to wear them.  The trick is finding a hat that actually looks good on YOU. 

Hats are kind of like sunglasses and you can't expect to buy one without trying it on first.  

My experience proves that you'll know if you like the way it looks or not the first second you look in the mirror.  You'll either think, "woah, I didn't expect to be able to pull this off!" or "eh, it looks ok but why does it make my head look funny?"  Only buy it if you think the former.  So, if there's no mirror in the hat department then I suggest you go find one!  

Since finding a hat that looks great is tough you want to make it go as far as possible.  I literally just stumbled upon this hat while walking into the mall through the Jcpenney's entrance.  It was $6 and just screamed, "try me on."  Success!  I found a chic hat in a great color that need just a little primping to look perfect.  So, here's how to accessorize a hat:

I have a lot of cute stretchy headbands that I hardly ever wear.  My guess is, most girls do!  They're cheap, easy to find and a really simple way to do your hair.  So I thought, "why not use them to change my hat?"

Plain hat.
Silver braided headband.
Beaded knot.
    Boho braided headband.  
Pretty Sequins.

One $6.00 hat ~ Six different ways! 

Tips for pulling off a hat:
- Utilize it!  By that I mean wearing a hat to an indoor event is pointless. But if you wear it to a picnic or to lunch during sunny days then you are not only stylin' but shaded.  
- Keep your makeup light and pretty because shadows over harsh and dark makeup can really create an intensely dark look.  
- Wear your confidence piece!  Whether it's a great pair of jeans or heels, wear it to help boost your confidence level while rocking a hat.
- Everyone knows you're wearing a hat.  Trust me, they didn't miss it.  You don't need to draw a lot of attention to it.. or yourself!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

If You Can't Handle The Heat... Get Out Of The Yoga Studio!

Hot Yoga

DISCLAIMER: I am not a "yogi" and I definitely am not as amazing at yoga as the people out there who study it for years!  I love the workout, the sweat, the stretch and the peace of mind I feel after!  So, this is not coming from a pro... Just a random chick who likes hot yoga.
I've been going to hot yoga (different than Bikram yoga, I believe, because the practice is just done in heat) classes on and off since high school.  Only recently have I been learning to breath better and use my breath to push through hard poses.  All this sounds very "yogi" but truth is, I don't care about my third eye, I just want to be toned!  But I do love the heat part and getting to sweat out all your toxins.  Every time I go with a new person they almost always fall in love with it.  
Well, today during yoga class someone actually walked out in the middle of the practice!  I wanted to shout at the person and say, "you just did all the hard stuff and you're leaving before the easy stuff??"  Then I realized that people probably have no idea what to expect when coming to a hot yoga studio... So I'm going to tell all of you my tips for making it through and actually enjoying hot yoga!  Even if you don't buy into the whole "mind's eye" concept. 

What to expect:
It will be hot; above 90'F!  Good news is that it's not a sticky humidity feeling, it is much more like a sauna.  Get there a little early so that you have some time to adjust to the heat and sign up.  Most classes are an hour or more.  Stretch until your class starts!  The heat seriously helps to release tight areas.  Lay out your things near your mat, grab a block and just "get present".  
When your class starts, usually in child's pose, your teacher will start to instruct you on how to breath.  You breath in and out through your nose.  
Breath IN for length and OUT for openness 
You will sweat.  A lot.  You will sweat more than any other workout!  Just accept it and know that your clothes will be drenched and so will everyone else's.  Most yoga consists of a "strength" section where you do a lot of arm work and downward dogs.  This is where you will start to feel the cardio part of hot yoga.  Small movements will get your heart rate up and stay up.  Then there is a balancing section followed by back bends and sometimes abs.  The sessions I've been to, the teacher will come around and help you moderate poses.  They might touch you, and no you don't have to apologize for being sweaty!  The good news is that after the "strength" section most teachers mix in rest periods throughout the rest of the practice.  But know this, YOU CAN ALWAYS TAKE CHILD'S POSE whenever you need a rest.  You can always pause to wipe some sweat away and sip your water, too!  The end of the practice is the "sweet spot" is because you literally get to lay on the ground and knock a few minutes out of the way.  There are almost always a few men in each class, so guys, don't be shy!

What You Need:
- Yoga mat (most studios also have them available to rent)
- Hand towel (to wipe away sweat)
- Water bottle
- Mat length towel
- Dry t-shirt for after
- An open mind!
** I recommend "thirsty towels" for hot yoga.  They absorb a lot of sweat and stay pretty dry.  I have a hand towel one and a mat length one.  I lay the mat length one on the mat before I start and just leave it there the whole practice.  I use them to dry my dogs after their baths too!

My Tips:
- If you can, avoid chugging water during the workout, small sips are better.  I actually will feel kind of sick if I even sip water, so I just save it for after.
- Get over the fact that you're going to look like hell when you leave.  Make time for a shower before you have to be anywhere else.
- I wear old dance leotards and tighter workout capris.  Some girls wear sports bras, some people wear shorts, it's just a matter of what you're comfortable in.  But don't wear baggy clothes!!! 
- Participate in the "OHMs" because it does kind of wake up your body a little bit.
- Try getting out of your own head and attempt the breathing whenever it feels comfortable to do! I find that breathing helps the most during sequences involving plank and upward dog.  

Shout out to my favorite hot yoga studio!
Amazing Yoga- South Side! (Pittsburgh, PA)
(they are also in Wexford and Shady Side)
They always make you feel welcome and the teachers are always so great!  

UPDATE: I have been informed that Bikram is a whole different "hot yoga" practice in and of itself and it's done on carpet... So, good luck with that one everyone :) I'll stick to my hot vinyasa!

Anyone out there love yoga and really appreciate the practice?? I want to hear from you!  I want to know what it is that draws people to these retreats and what makes people so dedicated.

Thank you for reading my blog! Please follow me for email updates and also, follow me on Twitter @soiree_bisou !!

Monday, March 19, 2012

BB Cream!

Amazing beauty product alert!!!

Garnier Fructis BB Cream
I know what you're thinking.. What the hell is BB cream??  Well, I did a little light Googling and found out that the BB stands for "Beauty Balm".  This one product does all kinds of great things for your complexion.  There's SPF 15 (and YES we all need to wear a little SPF) but my favorite part is how it is a tinted moisturizer!  If you have relatively good skin and don't rely on heavy foundation to get full coverage then let me introduce you to your new BFF... If you DON'T have awesome skin and need a little boost then this product is also for you!  With acne fighting properties on it's long list of benefits this cream also serves as an amazing primer!  The main purpose of this product is to ultimately give you an even skin tone and a fresh glow.  BB creams also work as a correcting agents so you aren't masking anything!  You are actually fighting your problems while still looking great.  I have been a huge fan of tinted moisturizers for a long time.  Now, I can use my staple beauty product and get a lot more than just great coverage and moisture out of it!  Anything to get girls to moisturize! (Seriously, use lotion and take a multivitamin and you will notice a huge difference in your skin)  Anywho, enough lecturing... Here's another really great tinted moisturizer.

Cargo SPF Tinted Moisturizer 
(note: this product is ONLY tinted moisturizer and SPF, it does not have all the other benefits of a BB cream)  

Tinted Moisturizer Tips:
- Buy the right shade (just pay attention to what you're grabbing off the shelf)
- Apply (first) with a foundation wedge
- Don't neglect your hairline, neck line or under your brow bone
- Allow a few minutes for the moisturizer to set in and dry (it does have a light fragrance to it but that dissipates as it dries)
- Follow up with your powders and bronzers once dry to help set the BB cream 
- DO NOT cake it on!  This is not foundation, it is moisturizer so if you use too much you'll feel oily and gross

Now go get amazing skin!  The BB Cream is sold at places like Target and drugstores for about $12.99.  The Cargo tinted moisturizer can be found at Ulta.  Sephora carries some of the Cargo line (which I recommend) but Ulta has a much bigger selection of it!  Also, the Cargo tinted moisturizer comes in a few different bottle shapes.  

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Get Shellacked!

I HATE acrylic nails.  I hate the way they feel, the way they look when your nails grow but mostly how much they screw up your natural nails.  If you don't have the cash to keep up with acrylic nails I would say to just stay away!  With that being said, I was kind of hesitant to try the new "UV" shellac nail polish because I heard that it has a similar affect on your nails.  I also hate trying to keep up with my half-ass manicure I did while running out the door...  So, I went ahead and got shellacked.  
Yes, I am holding my remote but check out the chip free nails!  It's going on six days now and I am already impressed.  For starters, I was wrong about thinking that it would ruin your nails.  Whoever told me that was wrong because I actually think this polish could help your nail's health.  In other words, by having polish on at all times your nails are less likely to be dry and brittle.  More good news?  It doesn't take any longer than a traditional manicure.  Your polish is bone dry and smudge proof before you walk out the door and dig for your keys only to end up with a chunk of polish missing.    

What should you expect?  Basically, what your manicurist will do is start with a typical manicure and clean up your nails and nail beds.  Then they apply a bunch of different special polishes and you alternate putting your nails under a UV light to dry and getting another layer put on.  Then after a few minutes of final dry time, they wipe your nails with a cloth and BAM!  They're dry.  Two weeks, no chipping!

Ready to get shellacked??  Go to the right place because, like acrylics, some manicurist can screw this up leaving you with thick, chipping nails.  I recommend California Nails in Wexford.  It is located in the new plaza with the new Market District!  $35.00 for a shellac manicure and ask for Kimy, although everyone there is great.  (If you're not in Pittsburgh read around for some good reviews before committing to a place!)  Also, check Living Social and Groupon for deals!

Thank you for reading my blog! Please follow me for email updates and also, follow me on Twitter @soiree_bisou !!