Sunday, July 29, 2012

Miami Fashion, Redefined

I am a city girl. Instead of lounging on a beach, my trips are most often marked by hours spent at a local Impressionist museum. And I pack accordingly – pretty dresses, flats for tons of walking, chic jewelry, a unique bag, and a scarf or two. Identical to my normal New York City style, really.

As such, I didn’t quite know what to expect of Miami, a trip planned with a bunch of fun ladies to celebrate one’s impending nuptials. What initially came to mind? Lots of gold. Of course skin baring outfits. And BRIGHT colors. So bright, it hurts your eyes, bright. Fluorescent bright. Crazy neon bright.

And I so can’t do neon.

So what to pack? I was flummoxed. My lovely friend came over, God bless her, to help edit my existing wardrobe a bit (or, as I like to call it, dress-up time with a glass of wine).

And what we came up with WORKED.

A lot of pieces I already owned – a tight black Victoria’s Secret dress with a bombshell bra handily built in (see me, third from the left - accessorized with a ModCloth gold and pink sequin bag and gold Payless wedges). A festive peplum halter dress, also from Victoria’s Secret. And anything and everything paired with a sweet pair of Seychelle’s gold glitter kitten heels, previously acquired from - they go with IT ALL.

To fill in some gaps, I did acquire a few new pieces that proved perfect.

A Forever 21 pink peacock print dress was mailed to me post-haste - swingy and flirty, I paired it with a lacy black F21 bra and Mia's Orchestra tie-up gladiator sandals in stone.  With hot pink lips and nails to boot (Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm in Sweetheart is my new very favorite lipstain), I was up for anything.  And a moment I'll never forget in said dress?  Dancing on a table (sober, I might add!) with confetti raining down from the heavens and sparklers everywhere, outrunning the night with my loves.

Similarly, Forever 21's Triangle Drawstring Dress in black was an exceptional travel piece.

Paired with the same gladiators, I felt comfortable without having to resort to dull sweatpants.  And, although I wouldn't normally wear it with this outfit, my red tasselled Melie Bianco satchel was a great, upscale beach bag alternative in a more wearable color for me.

Another revelation?  Anything that seemed too ‘tame’ was instantly updated by gold. Lots and lots of gold. A big, gold necklace draped over a Victoria’s Secret bikini with a chunky gold ring. Or over a cover up with gold wedge sandals. Accompanying the Victoria’s Secret little black dress. It was instantly classic, chic, fun – MIAMI.

So, the best things I took away from this trip?  Well, for starters, always look in your own closet first before going on a vacation outfit rampage.  When you actually analyze the things you do have, you invariably realize you don't need to scoop up as many pieces after all (and side note, ladies: why do we feel this burning ache, anyway, to buy a ton of new clothes for trips to cities where people have never even seen our everyday outfits?  Hmmm.). 

Secondly - Bling.Updates.Everything.  Seriously.  Put a crazy pendant on with any plain old thing, and you've got yourself an outfit.

Also notable: you can't judge a town by it's purported fashion.  All the notions we had pre-trip of everyone in hot pink minis?  Yeah, no one dresses like that.

And most importantly?  Fashion is fleeting and ever changing - but time spent with wonderful, lifelong friends?  Well, it's just indispensable.

(Special thanks to my dear friend, Jen, for letting me use oodles of pics.  And yay to my friend, Christine, the soon-to-be special bride!).

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Black bombshell dress,
Gold  + pink sequin bag,
Gold wedges,
Peplum halter dress,
Seychelles gold glitter kitten heels,
Peacock print dress,
Black lace bra,
Gladiator shoes,
Triangle drawstring dress,
Melie Bianco bag,
Necklace, gift

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer Eye Candy: Focus on Eye Shadow

I am a thrifty lady.  We all know this.  But the one purchase I tend not to scrimp on is makeup.  Drugstore finds in the past just haven't really floated my boat; yeah, they 'work' - but the eyeshadow invariably fades faster, the mascara tends to lengthen just a little bit less, the lipstain wears out just a smidge sooner.

In that spirit of reluctance, I went to my friendly neighborhood drugstore yesterday to try to scoop up a cheap mascara for an impending trip to Miami (the last time I tried to carry on a bag, airport security snatched away my pricier makeup, and didn't even acknowledge my "But they're expensive!" pleas).  While I ended up selecting Maybelline Falsies Flared (not yet tried; it's staying in the packaging until I get to Florida to avoid said makeup plundering), I did find an amazing eye shadow quad - Maybelline's Eye Studio Eyeshadow in Irresistibly Ivy.

I couldn't resist the gorgeous colors - a shimmery champagne, copper, teal and bronze - and at just over $9, I thought, well, why not?

Although I'm not too big on makeup for work, I gleefully pulled out my new purchase this morning to give it a whirl.  And I wasn't disappointed.

The shadow is so rich, with a deepness I don't usually associate with drugstore finds.  There's just the right amount of glitter; it shines without being garish.  And, ever a fan of teal + orange lately, I swooned over the color pairings.

Eight hours later, the look is still vivid (I used just a dab of Benefit's Stay Don't Stray primer first).  I don't need to reapply before my lady dinner date tonight, and, since the pigments are so intense, I only needed to dab a small amount on, with a little finger blending for that perfect smudge.

The verdict:  The colors are on point for all the fun we're sure to have in Miami.  And the application is so quick and easy that it'll be a blessing for my ever-frenzied pre-commuting morning ritual. 

So, off to a lovely bachelorette this week!  And, hopefully, more frequent posts upon my return!  This summer has been a flurry of trip planning, weddings, summer shenanigans and 30th birthday chaos (that's right - the Big 3-0!), but I'm bursting with shopping + present finds.  And be sure to check back for an exciting venture that's been in the works the past few months that you're sure to adore!  I'm really thrilled about it, and I know you will be too.

Have a ball, and stay oh so cool in the meantime!

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