Chapped Lip Champion Thursday, Dec 16 2010 

Every year, winter rolls around, and we break out our toasty coats, scarves, gloves, hats and boots to keep our bodies toasty warm. However, we might be forgetting one very important part of our winter well-being: our lips. We all feel that sting of bright red lips after walking outside in the wind and chilly temperatures. To keep your lips lusciously moisturized and mistletoe-ready, I have compiled a list of my favorite lip protection available. These all have SPF, to prevent sunburn once the snow arrives and we have to worry about sun reflecting, and these are all available at CVS or Walgreens.

1. Chapstick: The Original

(image courtesy of zipstick.com)

How can you go wrong with the word “chap” in the brand name? Chapstick provides great coverage to keep your lips protected from the bitter winds. You can color-coordinate with the cherry flavor, or blue, black and green labels. Quite the festive option. The downside? I’ve found that you need to re-apply very often to keep reaping the benefits.

2. Nivea: The Luxurious Option

(image courtesy of flikr.com)

Nivea offers you many sexy, shiny options of lip care. Not only do you get moisture, but many Nivea tubes offer “shimmer” or “hints of color”. A perfect option to throw in your purse when you want the effects of lip gloss but the protection and comfort of a comforting balm. Con? These sqeuuezy tubes are super tiny and you don’t get a lot of bang for your buck. Be ready to shell out the big bucks if you want a different flavor for every coat pocket- otherwise, ask for these for stocking stuffers!

3. Blistex: My Personal Favorite

(image courtesy of gosale.com)

Remember when Rachel went to the hospital on Season One of Friends, and Monica was helping her fill out the form so she asked if she was on any medication? “No. Oh, wait, yeah- Blistex!” Rachel Greene obsession aside, I can vouch that Blistex is incredibly addictive, due to its yummy flavors and scents, plus the fact that it lasts longer and keeps your lips looking soft and pillowy all day long. They have some great variations on the classic, though, like “Silk and Shine” and my most recent discovery, “Deep Renewal”- each flavor is a little different and is such an indulgent way to keep your lips happy all winter.

So what’s your favorite? Whichever protective coat you slather on your lips, make sure to mix up your repertoire and keep a variety of flavors around for the holiday season. It’s okay, we all admit we like the yummy ones better because of their “taste”, even though its make-up and not food. Enjoy!

Fresh Face Forward Wednesday, Dec 15 2010 

With the Fall season in full swing, it’s time to bid adieu to the fresh, sun-kissed faces free of foundation. The cooler weather means our summer tans are fading faster than Hollywood marriages (Courteney and David, soo sad). The best way to combat the chilly days devoid of natural dewy color? A deliciously light foundation to help punch up your daily look. There are so many different choices out there on the luxury end, and also of the CVS variety to help you put your best, most flawlessly covered, freshest face forward this Fall.

My current fave is Chanel Pro Lumiere in Matte. It gives that perfect little glow of freshness that doesn’t make you look caked and buried under layers of harsh makeup. This “professional finish”, as the advertisers and make-up artists behind Chanel will tell you, lasts all day-and will survive the craziest night out without touchups in the bar bathroom.

(photo courtesy of chanel.com)

Another classic I always rely on is Shisheido Lifting Foundation. No, not just because Angelina Jolie was their spokesmodel. I use this foundation for more of a “dolled up” look, like Christmas parties where they will be lots of photos or a big date night. However, it’s great for day time too because of the strong SPF. Perfect for the transition to Fall weather when that sun can still sometimes be pretty strong on the walk across campus. Also to shamelessly promote Shisheido for one more sentence, their website has a great tool where you can select your own perfect color of foundation- I strongly recommend doing this or visiting your local Sephora or department store counter before investing in any foundation.

(photo courtesy of shisheido.com)

Looking for a cheaper version just to throw in your travel bag? That’s where I keep my CG Aqua Smooth foundation by CoverGirl. It has great SPF and goes on really lightly for a makeup-free look. This is technically more of a “tinted moisturizer”, but it still accomplishes all the great fresh face goals of a foundation, especially for those with sensitive skin.

(photo courtesy of covergirl.com/products)

So hit up the make-up counter at your favorite shop, and next time you get a facial (maybe time to start dropping hints for gift certificates for Christmas?), ask your facial care professional which foundation is best for your skin type. But before you lay down any money for such an important purchase, test the foundation out on the inside of your wrist before applying it to your face. This skin mimics the tone of your face the best, and if you do happen to have an adverse reaction, no one will notice. So enjoy the make up shopping!

To Legging or Not to Legging? Monday, Dec 13 2010 

There’s no denying it: leggings have emerged from the vault of 80’s fashion, and they are here to stay. Tricky part is, how to work this trend without crossing over into a Striperella Spandex quagmire. There are a few rules to keep in mind and some great options to keep your legs warm and fashionable for Fall.

  1. 1. Cover the Caboose– This most important rule seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many bare derrieres I’ve seen strolling across campus, confident as ever even without backside coverage. The idea is to keep a sleek, streamlined look of comfy leggings under a nice tunic or jacket, neatly tucked into boots. Not in lieu of regular pants. If you want to go the black knit pant route, there are plenty of great yoga pants options out there- victoriassecret.com is my favorite. If you are going to brave the legging look, be sure you choose an oversized Tshirt or long sweater that adequately covers everything. It’s just not a cute sight to see unsupported, uncovered, clingy leggings clutching to your bottom. Do yourself a favor and err on the side of length.

(photo courtesy of victoriassecret.com.clothing)

2. Color Me Basic- Yes, leggings have returned to our staple wardrobe, but the vibrant, fluorescent neon colors are firmly stuck back in the 80’s, thank Coco Chanel. Keep that in mind when selecting your outfit- stick with black, dark grey, charcoal or brown hues that flatter your lower body and easily match an array of choices. Keep the creative color bursts for your statement sweaters, yummy scarves or even bold camisoles peeking out underneath a blazer. This is an easy way to keep the legging look very flattering, sophisticated, and modern.

(photo courtesy of viktorviktoria.com)

3. Riding High- Another important part of leggings is that they stay neatly tucked in to aforementioned boots. Now, I’m not a fan of stirrup pants at all- some 80’s fashions should never be revived- but Rachel Zoe has opened our eyes to a great alternative, available from Alexander Wang, that will keep your leggings perfectly in place under your fabulous fall boots when you’re running around all over campus.

(photo courtesy of rachelzoe.com)

4. Leather Love- A sexier option for a flashy night out, these “liquid” leggings add some pop and shine to any outfit. This can very easily be confused with a stripper look, so be sure to keep it conservative on top and pair these with your favorite pumps for a dazzling night on the town.

(photo courtesy of http://www.kaboodle.com)

So there you have 4 easy rules for rocking the legging trend all fall- remember to stay nice and covered up. Keep cozy this fall with leggings under a big yummy sweater and camisole, or style it up with a sharp blazer and fabulous boots.

Jersey, Jersey Friday, Dec 10 2010 

Sorry, this isn’t about New Jersey. No offense to Teresa Guidice or any other Garden State dwellers. This is a little ode to the wonderful bedroom fabric that is jersey.

Our beds should be the center of our universe. Even if you’re not a “bed” person like I am, who does homework and eats soup and watches re-runs of Glee on hulu.com on or in their bed, your bed should be a haven of comfort and happiness. The coziness of a cloud. The warmth of a hug. The snugness of a cocoon. How does one achieve these heavenly attributes in your own bed?

Easy. Indulge in the softest of sheets. My personal favorite fabric for bedtime warmth? Jersey.

I have no idea what it’s made of, how they make it so soft, or where it comes from in the world, but I do know where you can get it: the answer is anywhere. It is so easy to find- and not expensive at all. Check out Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, or of course, Pottery Barn for the latest in cozy, stretchy luxury for your nighttime or napping needs. They come in fantastic colors- currently I curl up on a magenta pillow that contrasts with lime green sheets with a pink trim.

(photo courtesy of bedbathandbeyond.com)

Runner-up for softest sheet fabric: Bamboo! Crazy, yes, but I was shocked to learn that sheets with just a hint of bamboo in their texture get soooo much softer each time you wash them. This is true of all sheets, but especially easy with the special bamboo sheets. These are a bit harder to find, but worth the search. I found some great ones at Bed Bath & Beyond, but not every location carries the best selection.

(photo courtesy of brookstone.com)

ATTENTION FRESHMAN: you do NOT have to buy the sheets from the catalogue that Loyola sent you. We all did it, and now I’m stuck with a collection of paper thin pink and peach sheets that are so scratchy that I’ve banished them to the bottom of my sheet supply pile. I know Loyola told you that “regular sheets don’t fit our beds!” in a warning font, but don’t fret, if you just look for sheets marked “Twin Extra Long” at Pottery Barn or anywhere else, and select your own scrumptious linens. Upside: be eco and save those scratchy sheets once you’ve replaced them with a much more plushy option, and use the old ones to protect furniture when you paint your own apartment one day!

So, the cooler weather is here, so now is the best time to stock up on the yummiest sheets out there. What’s better than crawling into a warm, comfortable, and glamorous bed after a long day? Find your perfect color and coziest fabric, and hit the sack in style!

Excessories Friday, Dec 10 2010 

We’ve all heard the famous quote by the immortal fashion genius Coco Chanel: “Take one thing off before you leave the house”. While that brilliant mantra still rings true and can help you avoid looking like you raided your mom’s closet while playing dress up, this fall it’s all about layering multiple accessories over minimal clothing. So this season, that “one thing you take off” is referring to an article of excess clothing.

(photo courtesy of qvc.com)

With the hot, humid weather of Baltimore still drenching us in sweat whenever we venture out from our air-conditioned dorm room caves, it’s important to stay cool and casual for the beginning weeks of the fall semester. However, it can be hard to look glamorous walking across the Quad in cut off jean shorts and a thin T shirt.  And the most flattering of colors, quintessential black, draws the sun when it’s strongest and can cause heat stroke in seconds in this heat. But no need to suffer under sweltering layers in order to stay stylish!  An easy way to keep your look fashionable without piling on layers of heavy material is to pile on the accessories, or as Rachel Zoe likes to say, excessories.

 

Excess is never enough! When in doubt, add more bling! Loading up on some eye-catching, flashy cocktail rings is an instant, icy-cool way to feel a bit sparklier as you start the fall season. Throw on a lightweight, bright colored scarf to dress up a tiny  tank top (that can also help keep you from freezing in some overly chilly classrooms).  A floppy straw hat can shield your face and eyes from the sun glaring across campus while still showing off your perfectly tanned shoulders. If you perfected the sun-kissed highlights in your hair and don’t want to hide them with a hat, try a turquoise or fuschia barrette or clip to hold your hair off your face. Bright, bold colors will evoke the natural colors of a summer sunset and keep you thinking of those blissful summer evenings. Your favorite beach cover-up or caftan from summer can double as an oversize, flowy top over white shorts- just be sure to remember a camisole underneath and of course, matching earrings to take the look from poolside to Poetry class.

Also, add some glitz to your note-taking in class with a colorful gel pen or even a fun feathered creation, a la Cher Horwitz in Clueless. These are all funky ways to express your personal style without burying your overheating body in yard of excess fabric. No need to sacrifice style on these hottest of days- just throw your hair back in a ponytail and let your “excessories” be your fashion statement.

(photo courtesy of http://www.searchingforstyle.com)

Even though the thermometers are cracking from the unbearable heat, you can still look effortlessly chic, and remain cool. Use accessories this season to help you transition from the endless summer days of bikinis and board shorts on the beach into the crisp, fashion-forward mindset of fall. Enjoy the sun while it lasts- the fall boots, sweaters and leather jackets will be here before you know it!

I’m Back! Friday, Dec 10 2010 

Bon Jour Friends!

Sorry I disappeared from this blog for a while…if you want to see what I’ve been up to, please visit http://www.loyolalooks.wordpress.com.  I didn’t venture far-I was just hard at work keeping up with Loyola’s beautiful online fashion magazine:)

But I’ve decided that I should have an online “portfolio” of all my writing as well. So I’ll be compiling some of the articles that I have written for LoyolaLooks over the last few months, as well as fresh little updates here and there.

Good to be back!

 

Bisous xx