Fashion

Teen Spirit At The Teen Choice Awards

The Teen Choice Awards celebrity red carpet arrivals exuded teen spirit. My favorite look of the night were the cropped ensembles that have been turning up at every fashion event for quite some time. There was something special about the choice of this look for this particular event. 

It reminded me of my cropped cheerleading uniform I wore as a teenager in high school and the joy being part of the squad brought me. I enjoyed reminiscing about my early years through watching the red carpet coverage and am loving how all the trends of that time are back again. 

I have attached photos below of my favorite cropped looks from the awards that range from a sliver of skin peeking out, to full taunt tummy baring boldness. I purchased a cropped top and A-line skirt by the brand Parker that highlights a tiny sliver of skin, but I encourage you to be a daring as you like. Have fun with this look and be on trend. 

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Fashion

James Bond, Or Dressing Like Him

There is just something so sexy about a well dressed man. I love a man in a suit. He exudes power, confidence, and mystique. It must be all those James Bond movies that get a girl’s mind wandering about what the guy does for a living, how he has such impeccable taste, and how good she would look on his arm. 

I used to style men for fancy men’s magazines and picked up a few tricks of the trade to help guide a man into this fashion direction. First, tailoring is everything, so make friends with a great tailor and get the fit right. Second, accessories and shoes are a must and should not be skimped on. When dressing for success, shell out the extra cash for quality and you will be glad you did. Ever hear of the phrase, “dress for the job or life you want,” well there is a reason for that. Make no mistake, I am not suggesting you beg, borrow, and steal to achieve this look. Get what you can afford, or wait for the luxury brands to go on sale, but the brands I love are certainly worth it and make my heart go pitter pat. 

John Varvatos makes amazing suits. I love that they are slimmer cut and more often than not, have a bit of fashion forward appeal in the details. It may be a sheen or a pattern that makes it a little rock and roll, but in the best way possible. The three piece options are so versatile as you can lose the jacket and go for the vest, tie, pant look, with a signature Varvatos sleeve roll on the shirt, for a more casual, dressy look. The black tux with a skinny tie is also one of my favorite looks of this line because it is classic with a touch of edginess that keeps this brand anything but run of the mill. 

Theory has the market on the affordable, off the rack classic, well cut suits. I love the color selection this line offers as well, in particular the light beige and navy suitings, perfect for summer and fall. The fit is slimmer and has a bit of stretch, making it comfortable and able to maintain its shape. The jackets pair well with jeans, to keep this suit multi faceted and well worth the price. 

Tom Ford. That is all. Just kidding. Tom Ford is the epitome of luxury. There is nothing sexier than a suit by Tom Ford, except who is wearing it. There is nary a red carpet where this brand is not credited. All of Hollywood lusts after his suits and in fact, Daniel Craig wore them in the James Bond movies. The fit and luxurious materials that compose a Tom Ford suit make all the difference. I also love how many of his designs feature bold prints, colors and accents. Even his bow ties are highly sought after. Which reminds me, I actually know how to tie one! 

No matter which brand you end up purchasing keep in mind the fit is the most important. If you must get a budget brand, please take it to a great tailor and alter it to fit you seamlessly. You will still look like a million bucks and your secret is safe with me. Add a little flair, not the ‘Office Space’ kind, by having fun with the tie, socks, and maybe even the shoe. Put your special twist on it and step out the door to wine and dine your special someone or close that big deal. 

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Beauty

Dry Shampoo Debate

There is one beauty product that is a lifesaver. It is dry shampoo. There are countless brands on the market, but few that I can truly count on. This post contains my favorite brands and why.

I was first introduced to dry shampoo as a styling product when I walked in a friend’s fashion show many moons ago. The brand was Bumble and Bumble and it was a brown colored spray that added grit, which made my hair super voluminous. I used it to bump my hair up, ready for a night full of dancing on the tables at the clubs.

When I started managing a high end salon in LA, I was introduced to the time and ‘lifesaving’ Oscar Blandi pronto dry shampoo. I like the loose powdered version that you shake out either onto a brush or apply to the roots with your finger tips. It has a light citrus scent that helps perk you up in the morning. This specific brand of dry shampoo really absorbs the oil at the roots, which refreshes your blowdry and helps you skip a shampoo if you are in a pinch. Make sure to rub the powder in completely to ensure you don’t end up looking like you are Marie Antoinette. But do eat the cake. 

I also like Serge Normant dry shampoo, which does absorb oil, but I prefer using for styling. It is known for its unique formulation using cedar bark extract. This product comes in spray form and you need to shake well and hold it several inches away from your roots during application. After spraying into roots, you can tease with a teasing comb to achieve additional volume before or/and after application if desired. Make sure the product is absorbed into the roots. You can also toss your head back and spray into the end of the hair for added oomph. The result is cover of Cosmopolitan ready hair. 

I was recently introduced to Kevyn Murphy Fresh Hair dry shampoo and it is a happy mix between the Oscar Blandi and Serge Normant dry shampoos. By this I mean that it has a lovely scent, absorbs oil, and adds a little grit for volume. This is an all around good choice for a dual purpose product. I like to spray into roots and work it in with my fingertips, then tease the areas I want added volume in. Or if I just need a little refresher at the end of the day, I toss my head back and give my hair a little spritz at the roots and the ends. Make sure to shake well before spraying. 

I honestly find a place in my beauty regimen for all three of these dry shampoos. They all serve a different purpose for styling. Dry shampoo has saved me countless times when running late to work or dashing home to quickly freshen up for an evening outing. Trust me, dry shampoo is worth the investment and time spent on practicing and perfecting the application you like best. If you have darker roots or hair like I do, do not be shocked when the spray is white. It will and does work for darker hair colors. You just need to get the application right and you will be well on your way to shaving off time of your beauty schedule and actually being on time for that hot date. 

Oscar Blandi pronto dry shampoo retails for $11 and can be purchased at 

http://www.sephora.com

Serge Normant dry shampoo retails for $25 and can be purchased at 

http://www.sergenormant.com

Kevin Murphy Fresh Hair retails for $25 and can be purchased at 

www.kevinmurphy.com.au

 

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Fashion

Distressed Denim

Isn’t interesting how we pay lots of money for jeans that are destroyed? My parents are always still mind boggled as to why I want jeans like this. Well, I do want jeans like this and love the broken in feel of destroyed denim. The key to getting the perfect pair of these jeans is the placement and amount of rips, tears and fraying.

I have several pairs all with varying amounts of destruction. My favorite brands of denim with this look are Hudson, American Eagle, J Brand, and Frame. Although I do not own any of the famous ‘Le Color Ripped’ Frame denim yet. 

The Hudson Nico distressed denim have minimal distressing and are so comfortable on the account of stretch woven into the jeans. My American Eagle pairs are ripped in the best areas and get better and better with each wash, as they have become more destroyed with time. J Brand makes some great options that have rips at just the knee and around the pockets, which makes for an easy way to break into this trend. The Frame ‘Le Color Ripped’ denim are slashed from the upper thigh to the knees. These are definately more sexy and a tighter fit as well. I have had my eyes on these for a while and many of my friends own them in both black and white. 

Hudson Nico Mid Rise Distressed jeans retail for $198 can be purchased at American Rag Cie www.amrag.com 

American Eagle Destroyed Jeggings retail for $49.95 can be purchased at 

http://www.ae.com 

J Brand Cropped Destroyed Skinny Jeans retail for $218 at can be purchased at

http://www.neimanmarcus.com 

Frame Le Color Ripped Jeans retail for $199 and can be purchased at 

http://www.singer22.com

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Beauty

‘Candidly Nicole’ Crown Braids

Crown braids are braids that form a cirle around the perimeter of the head. It lays on top of your head as a crown would. This style is very whimsical, romantic, and nicely frames the face. You can even add flowers to it to make it extra special. 

When I was managing the Andy Lecompte Salon, one of our clients, Nicole Richie, was filming her show ‘Candidly Nicole’ at the salon and decided to have a “Braid Off” bewtween she and top hairstylist, Andy Lecompte. I was selected as Nicole’s hair model for the competition. It was on! She chose to braid my hair into a lovely crown braid, leaving a few pieces out around my face for a more ethereal look. I was super impressed by her braiding skills and knack for twisting my hair into the awesome hairstyle in mere minutes. This girl has some serious talent and is hilarious too! 

I had so much fun that night, and to find out who won you will have to log onto the webisodes for ‘Candidly Nicole’ and watch the extended footage for the results. Her show has now been picked up by VHI so be sure to watch Thursday nights at 10/9c. 

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Fashion

The Perfect Black Lace Bra

Every woman should have a pretty black lace bra. Black is such a staple in the wardrobe and now days can go under everything. It is the new neutral.

I most often wear my black lace bras under white tanks or tees, meant to be seen, but not in a vulgar way. More of in an edgy, modern rock way. This look is the new LA uniform of sorts for all my friends. A great go to casual, but cool outfit to wear out.

My favorite brands are Calvin Klein, Elle Macpherson, and Cosabella. Calvin Klein and Cosabella make beautiful, soft cup bras that are super comfortable and easy to wear with many sillouettes. Elle Macphearson makes a lovely, underwire version that is sheer with stripes through the cups.

I find myself reaching for these bras most in my drawer and have recommended them to countless friends. The price point on these are great and they are made to last. Look out for sales and snag these bras that are black lace perfection!

Calvin Klein Black Label Unlined Wireless Bralette Bra retails for $48 at can be purchased at

http://www.bloomingdales.com

Elle Macpherson Sheer Ribbons Underwire Bra retails for $59.95 and can be purchased at

http://www.ellemacphersonintimates.com/au

Cosabella Never Say Never Sweetie Bralette retails for $52 and can be purchased at

http://www.nordstrom.com

 

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Beauty

Let’s Hear It For The Boys

This post is dedicated to a few products geared toward men. My guy friends often ask me for recomendations on hair products and I have two that I recommend all the time.

Osmo clay wax is a great pomade styling product that has a matte finish and provides just enough hold to get you through the day. It is best for short to medium length hair and contains beeswax to create thickness and texture. It works best when you warm it up between your fingers before applying it to the hair.

Oribe Signature Shampoo is the shampoo that I tend to gift the guys in my life. I love the masculine, chic bottle that it comes in and it smells great. It contains watermelon, lychee and edelweiss flower extracts that protect the hair from becoming dry and damaged. The bottle looks super fancy and James Bond-esque in the shower and will work equally as well for your girlfriend or boyfriend’s hair, so do share.

Osmo Clay Wax retails for $19.99 and can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com

Oribe Signature Shampoo retails for $36 and can be purchased at http://www.oribe.com

 

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All Things Foodie

Duff’s Cake Mix

I love the Food Network and even torture people at the gym by requesting it to be played on one of the televisions in front of my cardio machine while trying to get down the pounds. I realize it is a bit masochistic to watch these shows that highlight delicious, fatty foods while at the gym, but I still do it.

One of the shows I loved is “Ace of Cakes” with Duff Goldman. Every episode featured outlandish cakes being constructed and delivered to a party. I am a baker and love sweets, so my attention was fully captured. Duff opened up a bakery in Los Angeles on Melrose Ave and I knew I had to check it out. So I figured what better time to round up the girls and decorate cupcakes, than Super Bowl Sunday. Now before you think I am being sexist here, we did it early enough to still catch the game and it was not super busy that day, so we had free reign of the fondant and sprinkles.

Duff’s bakery in LA is named “Duff’s Cake Mix” and you can decorate cakes, cupcakes, grab coffee, and indulge in treats. We opted to decorate cupcakes and bring them to the Super Bowl parties we were attending. Everyone wins.

It was insanely fun letting our creative sides run wild. Seeing everyone’s resulting artistic creations was so amazing and even funny. I loved mixing it up, no pun intended, and doing a different activity than we normally do as a group. It would also be perfect for a children’s birthday party or even a date. You must reserve your spot and there are rules that apply. On the weekdays all size groups are welcome, but on the weekends you must be a party of 6 or more to reserve your spot. They will give you all the materials you need to complete you cake or cupcakes.

I also have to give a special shout out to their “Cake in a Jar.” My favorite flavor is Confetti. These are little jars with a twist off lid that alternate layers of cake, sprinkles, and frosting. Um…yes please! I have gotten them for friends for birthdays or just because and my friends have done the same for me. These are affordable little surprises at $5 each and can really brighten someone’s day. In fact my BFF, Sarah, left one at my house for me today, which inspired this post. For all you LA natives, forget about the calories for 15 beautiful minutes while you savor every last bite.

You can visit the bakery at 8302 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 323-650-5555

http://www.duffscakemix.com

 

 

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Fashion

Embellished Jackets

I am like a squirrel. I love all things that sparkle and shine and tend to hoard them. I am always on the lookout for a great embellished jacket. Tossing on a fancy jacket is a great way to dress up an outfit from day to night.

I often will wear a white or black tank with ripped jeans during the day and toss on a beautiful jacket in the car on my way to a date or drinks meeting. It changes the look of my outfit in an instant, making it more glamorous and suitable for night.

I love shopping for vintage or second hand versions because you can often find these gems at a fraction of the original retail price. My favorite places to hunt for these jackets are Wasteland, eBay, or my grandmother’s closet. I also like to shop for new glistening jackets because the cut on these tend to be more modern and feel fresh.

One thing I am adamantly against is breaking out your bedazzler and having your way with a black blazer. Save the swarovski sewing for the pros, and if you must, pony up the money and look at it as an investment piece. You will find yourself gravitating toward it more often than you think.

Find one this week and watch the compliments roll in.

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Uncategorized

Paleo Banana Bread

I have so many friends that abide by the Paleo diet, so being a people pleaser, I wanted to try a recipe that they could indulge in. I originally saw this version of banana bread on a friend’s facebook page and she said it was amazing, so I gave it a shot.

The bread turned out super moist and more hearty than traditional recipes. I loved it so much that I actually prefer it over my usual banana bread. Sorry Mom! A little tip to make things super easy is to buy premade cashew butter if possible. I buy mine at Bristol Farms for around $6 a container and the portion is actually the exact amount I need for the recipe. If you do this, skip steps 1 & 2.

What you will need:

Heat oven to 350 degrees, hand mixer, measuring cups, teaspoon and tablespoon measuring spoons, bread pan (mine is pyrex), coconut oil spray, a cooling rack, a knife to cut.

Ingredients
For the bread
  • 3 medium bananas (you want them brown and spotty)
  • 1.5 cups roasted unsalted cashews
  • 1 cup almond meal/flour
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pull out your handy dandy food processor.  Add your cashews to the food processor to grind down.
  3. Once your get a fine cashew meal, add your walnut oil while your food processor is still on until you get a cashew butter. OR use store bought cashew butter. 🙂
  4. Then peel your bananas, roughly break them up, and add to your food processor with your cashews. Turn your food processor on and let combine for a minute or so until you have a soupy paste.
  5. Now in a large bowl, whisk your eggs, then add your cashew/banana mixture along with almond meal/flour, baking soda and powder, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Mix to combine until you get a batter.
  6. Grease a bread pan with some coconut oil. I used a loaf pan that was 9.3×5.2 inches (weird numbers) and it worked well. You could use smaller for taller loaf of bread, just may cook differently.
  7. Pour batter into your greased loaf pan. Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until bread is cooked through and the top of your loaf has a bit of a “crisp” to it.
  8. Let bread cool for about 10 minutes.
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