Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Classic Style: Clothing For Stylish, Practical Women

Classic and Stylish Clothing from EXPRESS

This past month I've purchased three black dresses. Boring. I can't help it, tough. I like clothes that I can wear all the time, regardless of what season it is. Once in awhile I'll buy something from Forever 21 that's trendy, but the majority of time I'm in search of something that's comfortable, classic, stylish, and practical. Even when I worked at Contempo Casuals and Wet Seal, I was still shopping in places like Ann Taylor or EXPRESS.

Speaking of, if you're like me and are looking for clothes that can be worn again and again, check out the new pieces from EXPRESS pictured above. All of these pieces can be worn now...and later during the fall.

I really like the black draped mesh mini skirt. Wear it with a tank top and sandals now...then transition into fall with a long-sleeve blouse and tall boots for winter.

Here are some other pieces and looks I came across that offer style, yet are classy and timeless...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spa Review: Clarins in Bloomingdale's (Fashion Valley Mall)

Recently I was invited to experience the new Clarins Spa in Bloomingdale's at the Fashion Valley Mall here in San Diego. I didn't expect very much because after all, it's a spa in the mall. Little did I know that I was in for a treat!

Before my appointment I decided to do a little research about Clarins spas and discovered that the company believes in manual skin treatments, meaning that they don't use any machines at all. Every treatment is performed with the hands and fingers of the esthetician. I also learned that back in the 1950's the founder of Clarins, Jacques Courtin-Clarins, had created these new message methods using 100% pure plant extract treatment oils.

Annie, the esthetician who gave me my facial, asked me a few questions and assessed my skin. She told me that I had great skin - that it had good elasticity and moisture. She could tell that I drank alot of water. I expressed concerns about the lines in my forehead, so she told me that she would pay attention to that area during the treatment.

As I said before, I wasn't expecting much from this facial. Then I realized that Annie has this healing touch that I can't even describe.  I found out that she was trained by the Clarins' international trainer who came all the way from Paris to teach Annie about all the treatments.  I could tell that she was trained well.  Not only did she gave me a facial, she gave me a shoulder massage, a head massage, and a hand massage. I was so relaxed that I dozed off. I walked out of that room on cloud 9!

There are several facial treatments that you can choose from, plus you have a choice of a 1 hour treatment ($75) or 45 minute treatment ($50). With the one hour treatment you get the plant mask and hand massage.

The Clarins Spa treatment room was very relaxing with its soothing music and candles. Except for the occasional chatter that I heard outside the room from store patrons, it was still a nice experience. I love the idea of being able to get a treatment and then go shopping afterwards. Shopping is SO much more enjoyable after a relaxing facial and massage.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Karl Lagerfeld:  Inspiring Us to Channel Our Inner Fashion Icon

The marriage of fashion and art has always been...and always will be.  After all, fashion is a manifestation of one's creative vision, which is in essence, a work of art.  I believe that some designers are more creative than others, and therefore, more artistic.  However, every designer has their own unique vision and we shouldn't take away from that.  There is one designer who many consider to be utter genius when it comes to blending art and fashion:  Karl Lagerfeld.

Karl Lagerfeld is our modern-day Renaissance Man - a fashion icon turned super-hero, if you will. He saves the fashion world from boredom with controversy, inspiring photography, and poetic sound bites. His uncanny ability to turn the mundane into a work of art ceases to amaze even the most talented artists.

Describing Lagerfeld as a prolific fashion designer is a mild understatement.  From Chloe, to Fendi and Chanel, he has churned out enough designs for ten lifetimes.  What makes Lagerfeld a true artist, though, is his knack for pushing the boundaries and challenging people to think outside their comfort zones - like the time when Anna Wintour walked out of his Fendi runway show because he used strippers to model his collection.

The one thing, though, that many find intriguing about Lagerfeld is his trademark outfit: White button-down shirt, black tie, and black suit.  How could a man so creative get caught up in a fashion rut?  Save for the occasional accessory change, he's practically worn the same outfit for years.  But then, maybe he would rather use his creative energy on those remarkable runway collections and backdrops.

If a woman were to channel her inner Karl Lagerfeld and have a trademark outfit, what would it be?  The first thing that comes to mind is the little black dress.  You can never go wrong with the LBD.  If Karl can pull off wearing black for all these years, why couldn't a woman do it with the LBD?

Black Dresses by Express at ShopStyle

(Smocked black strapless dress from EXPRESS)

I love this black dress from Ann Taylor...

Black Dresses by Ann Taylor at ShopStyle

So, if anything, today is that day to take inspiration from Karl Lagerfeld.  Look deep within you and find that inner fashion icon or artist who has been waiting to make his/her mark on the world.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Skincare Advice From Grandma

Skin Care Advice
"Always take care of your skin and don't wear alot of makeup or else you'll end up with wrinkly skin," my friend's grandma told me one day while she was babysitting me.

I just sat there, nodded my head, and didn't say anything. After all, I was only six-years-old at the time. All I cared about was whether or not I she was going to let me watch TV. Now thirty years later and grandma's advice is echoing in my mind as I write this.

Up until about a few weeks ago I didn't have a set skin care regimen that I followed consistently. I've always been very good at washing my face at night, that much I can say. No matter how tired I am, I still get up to wash my face.

However, now that I've got these small lines in my forehead, I'm beginning to pay more attention to how I'm taking care of my skin. I've come up with a new daily skin care regimen, and so far I'm noticing improvement in my skin tone. So, here is what I'm doing now...

Morning Skin Care Routine:

1.  Wash my face with Laszlo Blue treatment bar - I like how this makes my skin feel squeaky clean. No soapy residue feeling. It's supposed to help you get smoother, firmer skin.

2.  Apply Avalon Organics Lavender Renewal Facial Serum - My face tends to get red and blotchy at times, so this is good therapy for my skin.

3.  Finish with Aveeno's Positively Smooth facial moisturizer - I have combination skin, so I like that this moisturizer doesn't make my face break out.  My face feels very soft and supple now. 

Skin Care Regimen
 Night Skin Care Routine:

Femme Science Age Control
My nightly routine is basically the same, except that now I'm trying out Femme Science's Age Control treatment.  Instead of applying the Avalon facial serum like I do in the morningI put this on before the moisturizer.  Age Control is supposed to "preserve the radiance and beautiful complexion of youthful skin".  Femme Science is a fairly new skin care line that is targeting young women who want to combat the first signs of aging.  That would be me!

So far I'm happy with Femme Science's Age Control.  Along with everything else I'm doing like drinking plenty of water and eating healthy, I'm beginning to notice how much more radiant my skin looks!  I don't even want to wear any foundation.  So, we'll see how this new skin care regimen works for me.  For the past couple weeks I've been really good at following it...

Keep in mind that everyone's skin is different, so you will have to assess your own skin and develop a regimen that is specific to your needs.  

    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    Giving Makes You Beautiful

    "Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love." --Lao Tzu

    Giving is not only good for the receiver, it makes the giver that much more beautiful. Whether it be a compliment because you like someone's outfit, a friendly smile to the neighbor who looks like she's having a bad day, or giving to a good cause...those kind acts allow you to share good vibes with the community.

    Everyday I make it a point to ask, "What can I do today to be of service to others?" I spend a great deal of time thinking of ways to give back and share my talents and gifts with those who may need it.

    When you give to others, your body releases endorphins which make you feel good. You're're happy...What could be more beautiful?

    So what can you do to be of service to others? Well, this coming Monday, June 14th, it's your chance to give to a good cause. Nexcare Brand and America ’s Blood Centers have partnered for the second annual give program, a nationwide blood donation initiative kicking off on World Blood Donor Day. This campaign starts on Monday and runs through Sunday, June 20th. Find out more by visiting: