High Fashion and Beauty Tips on a Budget

High fashion – what does it mean? Is it the vintage dress you purchased or the couture you snapped up during Paris Fashion Week? Is it the makeup counter or the latest in organic, chemical free, coeliac-friendly eyeliner? Or is it the DIY dress you crafted out of patches, old material and threads of fluff?

The truth is that it can be all this and more. While the catwalk are brimming with avant-garde styles and designers, the high street can offer replicas at cut prices.

With that in mind, what can you do to make the cheapest styles look like the height of fashion?

The right start to your day

You wake up looking bloated, tired, haggard and a bit like 20-tonne granite sandbags have been placed under your eyes. It’s not a start to your day that screams style, is it?

But that grim feeling doesn’t have to last long if you’ve got the right level of cleanliness at your disposal. So climb out from under your blankets and follow these tips to feel classy come morning.

To start with, throw those expensive beauty products in the bin. They’re brimming with chemicals that could strip the skin or scalp of its many nutrients.

Instead, invest in sodium free shampoo and a chemically neutral body wash. The lack of additives rubbing into your skin will make it look better with every new day you wake up. Top this effect off with a pint of water every morning. It’ll take the edge off your morning coffee and give your skin an extra boost.

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Color is king

You’ve probably seen fashion victims wearing colors more garish than a neon Dulux wall chart with sick on it. Pity those poor souls who can’t coordinate colours – just make sure that pity isn’t reciprocated.

Matching the right colors is the key to making even the cheapest outfits look like they were cut by Ralph Lauren himself. Loud primary colors must be offset by a cheeky pattern or quiet colour to tone the outfit down.

Think of mixing the right colors as like walking a dog – sometimes you have to let your dog roam free, but other times that hound has to be held on its leash.

DIY

Trying to define genius in design is like trying to hold an abstract concept in your hands. But at least one factor is easy to put your finger on – personality.

Provided, personality shouldn’t be a difficult thing to find. The craft is the tricky part.

So pick up a few high street items of clothing and see what alterations you can make to give it your unique touch.

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Christmas Outfit Ideas: Look Ho-Ho-Hot!

With Christmas so close that we can almost smell the turkey, it makes sense to start planning your outfits in advance. This way, you’ll have one less thing to stress about when important events roll around. Christmas eve, Christmas day, and boxing day and the 3 most important days for fashion during the festive season. You’ll probably have a work party to go to too, so you need a few different outfits to pull out of your wardrobe when the time comes. Use some of these Christmas outfit ideas to help you decide what to wear:

The Christmas Work’s Do

For the Christmas work’s do, you probably need something sparkly to get everybody in the Christmas spirit. However, it depends on what you’re doing. If you’re having a full on party, you can afford to dress in a sequined cocktail dress and heels; go all out with your outfit! If you’re going for a meal and a casual drink, you’ll want to dress down a little. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make an effort though! Try wearing a shimmer top and a more understated skirt, with shoes of your choice. Brogues are great, as they are still going out shoes but they won’t kill your feet. Perfect for a more casual affair!

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Christmas Eve

Most people go out for a couple of drinks Christmas eve. This is probably because Santa will soon make an experience so this is the only way they can sleep from the excitement (or is that just me?). Either way, you have a few choices for your Christmas eve outfit. If Christmas eve is going to be a big night out, then I recommend either wearing a nice dress or a nice top with fitted trousers. Pop on a pair of your best heels to elongate your legs, and maybe even a red lipstick. If you’re not going ‘out out’, then why not wear a cute Christmas jumper with a pair of your best jeans or leggings? Everyone needs a Christmas jumper in their winter wardrobe!

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Christmas Day

The day we’ve all been waiting for! It’s always nice to dress up a little on Christmas day. I like to wear my Christmas jumper for the year tucked into a nice skater skirt, with a pair of tights and some flat dolly shoes. This way, I’m still comfortable but I look like I’ve made an effort. Boots are a good choice too, as it’s always cold outside on this day. Download an app like JustFab for boot inspiration. You could even accessorize your hair with a flower crown.

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Boxing Day

Boxing day is a day when most of us relax and take it easy. You’ve probably had a new pair of pyjamas for Christmas, so why not just wear those all day while you work your way through the Christmas chocolate?

Unless you’re going to a family member’s house, in which case I think a nice top and some jeans would do. If you want to make things more interesting, mix texture and pattern to create a funky look. Also, try a new scarf in a classic design for style and warmth.  Maybe even wear something new if you’ve had it for Christmas!

here’s a knit scarf I like:  knit scarf nero

Solange Knowles and Alan Ferguson Wedding Photos

There’s something to be said when you dare to be different. Today, Solange Knowles married her long time sweetheart Alan Ferguson. Based upon the photos below, she chose a modern, minimalistic style which has inspired “creative spirits” everywhere.

 

The most unique element about the wedding was the entire wedding party wearing all white. Solange has always been known for her artistic style with beautiful natural hair and her fashionable photos.  And we can’t get enough of her white pantsuit.

What an inspirational non-traditional way to say your vows. And that my dears is how you “break the internet!”

 

 

Winter Wardrobe Shopping Tips

It’s time to go shopping for a brand new winter wardrobe. But wait, you shouldn’t just go crazy, scanning your bank card at every given opportunity. If you take that approach, you can bet you’ll end up with a load of items you didn’t really need. Not to mention no money left! Consider these things before you go shopping so you can come home with the best haul:

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From Glitter Guide.com

 

 

Things You Already Own

Do you already have winter items you can wear again this year? You may have a quality pair of boots, some jumpers, jeans, tights, and other items that you’ve had in the past that will still do this year. Obviously you want to change up your look, but it’s easy to make old items look new if you style them properly. Go through and decide which items you’d like to keep and which you’ll give to charity. Try not to be a hoarder. If you haven’t worn something in a while, get rid of it to make room for new stuff.

Transitional Summer Items

You’ve probably got summer items that you can make work for you in winter too. Skirts and shorts can be worn with tights. Vests can be worn under your jumpers or layered with cardigans. Work out what you’ll still wear this season. Get rid of the stuff you won’t wear or put it in storage for next year.

Seasonal Items

Whether you like to make the most of your current wardrobe by reusing things or not, everybody can afford to buy a few new seasonal items when shopping for their new wardrobe. This might be the season’s pair of ‘It’ boots – the thigh high style. Or it may be a cosy cowl neck jumper. Personally, I buy myself a new winter coat and a few jumpers each year. You’d never know I was wearing old jeans, tights, and skirts with them. By doing this, I’ve ended up with quite a collection of coats and jumpers. I made sure that they will last me a good few years too, so I always have a wide range of coats to choose from when I’m going out! A couple of new items will bring your wardrobe up to date. There’s just no need to go mad and buy everything you see! Click here for inspiration. If you make sure the items you buy are versatile, they’ll last a long time and go with a lot of different things.

Your Budget

If you go shopping without a budget you’re doomed from the start. You need to know how much you are able to spend on your new wardrobe so you can think of the garments that are the best value for money and purchase them accordingly. If you can, remember that less is more. Bya few items that are high quality and will last you a while, rather than lots of items that are low quality and won’t last you past this year.

Consider these things, and you’ll have a high quality wardrobe that will last you for many winters to come!

The Real Talk Show Celebrates Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Video Clip

The Real Talk Show has become one of my favorite guilty pleasures.  All of the cast members have wonderful personalities, topics are on target with today’s new woman, and they “keep it real!”  Each day there’s a different surprise and we can’t forget about the fashion and beauty tips.

Most importantly, there’s always an opportunity to laugh and maybe even shed a tear with each episode. Today, the ladies looked “pretty in pink” as they celebrated Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Also, catch the clip below:

 The Real Goes Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

[youtube height=”480″ width=”853″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlESVaBTj8I&list=PLEkAGgXc-ycX6RQRCwM_4yDmxJ5dbFGkX[/youtube]

Quick Fall Decorating Tips and Photos via Pinterest.com

Fall has finally arrived which means that it’s time to put out our new decor. And this is actually my favorite time of the year, with warm memories of drinking pumpkin spice coffee, picking out Halloween costumes, visiting the local pumpkin patch, and enjoying my mother’s delicious Thanksgiving feast.

 

When deciding to decorate, a few quick tips can get our creative juices flowing and bring joy to our homes. For starters, one must decide on the look they’re trying to achieve and the area in their home they would like to showcase. Personally, I always like to accent my front door, dining table, and entertainment unit.

 

Beautiful Fall Decor
Beautiful Fall Decor
Beautiful Fall Decor
Beautiful Fall Decor

 

Below are Quick Tips for decorating your home with Fall decor in just 30 minutes or less:

 

1. Visit your local craft store, discount store or dollar store for items. Normally around this time of the year companies will share coupons or run sales on Fall products.
2. Decide on the theme for your home – whether you love pumpkins or leaves, using a theme can serve as a great guide.
3. Always start with a budget! And this can vary depending on your lifestyle but operating without a budget can yield poor results and over spending.
4. Use unconventional ideas to gather supplies. Items can be found in your backyard such as leaves, acorns, sticks, wood chips, and tree bark.
5. Spruce up an old wreath with a simple bow or (again) leaves from the landscaping. Don’t forget to use garland on the fireplace mantal. You can create look this with leaves or purchase from a craft store.
6. Additional Fall decorating tips are: purchase a new place setting and add to the look with a table runner and candles; find creative ways to decorate a pumpkin with sharpie pens or decoupage.

 

And if all else fails, look at the nature around you for inspiration…it’s our best teacher!

 

Additional Inspiration

Photos are from (click here) Pinterest.com

 

 

Letoya Luckett – Photo of The Day

Style + Life + Fashion’s Photo of The Day goes to Letoya Luckett. How cute are those lavender sunglasses, hipster hat, and gold accessories.

The lesson learned – a pop of color can transform any look! And don’t forget to have a fun attitude to match.

 

Ashley Martini – Is Your Wardrobe Stressing You Out and Style Tips

Ashley Martini
Ashley Martini

 

As if there weren’t enough to worry about in day-to-day life, people often find themselves frozen in front of their closets during the morning rush, panicking about what to wear.

“I think everyone has that terrible feeling of insecurity from time to time when you just know you have on the wrong outfit – as if it’s not just your clothes that are frumpy and outdated, but you, too,” says styling consultant Ashley Martini, author of the new book, “Styletini,” and founding member of Martini Fashions, (www.ashleymartini.com).

“Unfortunately, in today’s society, people do judge books by their covers – and perception is reality. You can sense how people respond to you, especially in relation to job opportunities and relationships.”

Getting your outfit right can be challenging, she concedes. People want to be confident yet comfortable; up-to-date yet not necessarily “hipsteriffic;” professional but not overly formal. Most have a favorite outfit or two, but those get old quickly when worn twice a week.

“One of the first things you should understand is that your criteria really isn’t conflicting – you can be stylish, professional and comfortable, all with that stamp of individuality,” Martini says. “You just have to know what to look for.”

Martini talks tips to take the stress out of the morning dress hour.

• Not all trends work for all body types. “You have to be honest with yourself; skinny jeans may not work for you, and forcing yourself into a pair that’s semi-workable is not the best way to optimize your closet,” she says. “The trendiest thing any individual can do is answer the question: Is it flattering?”

Women have six basic body types: triangle, narrow above the waist and wider on the bottom; inverted triangle, with fuller shoulders and chest and slim hips and thighs; rectangle, also known as athletic with little definition in the waist and hips; diamond, high-sitting, full stomach with wide hips and full thighs; apple, similar to diamonds, but with a lower-sitting stomach – also know as oval-shaped; hourglass, with equal upper and lower halves with well-defined waists.

• Know your measurements! Measure the parts of your body that most define your shape: your hips, shoulders, waist and bust. Wear underwear (but not shapewear) when measuring hips, and wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips and butt for the most accurate measurement. Don’t tug too tightly or loosely when measuring; the number in the center front is your hip size.
To measure shoulders, keep your back straight and your shoulders relaxed, and extend the tape from the outer edge of one shoulder to the outer edge of the other.

To measure your waist, bend forward and note where your body creases – that’s where to measure.

For bust, wear a top without a bra, which often alters measurements. Wrap the tape across your back and under your shoulder blades and arms – and around the fullest part of your breasts.

• Own your plus-size, petite or tall body. You’ve probably heard the statement, “Real women have curves.” Yes, they do, but there are also real women with smaller busts; long and lean women, and some built like the ancient fertility goddess statues. All of us are “real.”

One tip for plus-sized women: highlight your assets — shapely legs and well-toned arms are meant to be flaunted. Petite women: Opt for pieces that come in naturally shorter lengths, such as cigarette pants, knee-length or higher skirts and three-quarter and shorter sleeve tops and jackets. Showing more skin will make your limbs look longer. Tall women: Wear high heels if you want to — just because you’re taller doesn’t mean they’re off limits.

About Ashley Martini

Ashley Martini, styling consultant and founding member of Martini Fashions, LLC, discreetly assists both men and women in unearthing and exhibiting their inner beauty through style, fashion and the top trends. Ashley is the author of the new book on style, “Styletini,” (www.ashleymartini.com). A business graduate of Lynn University, she specialized in fashion marketing and merchandising. She also completed her master’s degree in business with a focus on international business, and studied abroad in the world’s fashion capital, Paris, with a concentration in fashion styling and trend forecasting. She worked as a styling intern with Jennifer Lopez’s fashion company Sweetface/JustSweet/JLO, and earned numerous fashion awards.

 

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Ross Dress for Less – My Personal Summer Style and Photos

Let’s be honest, everyone likes to shop at Ross Dress for Less.  Fashionistas can find designer labels for a discounted price and it really doesn’t get any better than that!

To jumpstart their new campaign, the brand asked shoppers to like their Facebook Page and participate in a Summer Style Quiz.  The quiz was a fun addition to their campaign and I discovered that my personal summer style is the Social Butterfly.  Being a Social Butterfly means I enjoy wearing maxi dresses, embellished sandals, oversized sunglasses, and large tote bags.  

Ross Summer Style
Ross Summer Style

I had the opportunity to visit my local Ross and purchase a few pieces for my wardrobe.  I was happy to see all of the Summer hues and trends for shoppers to select.

Pink Betsey Johnson Handbag
Pink Betsey Johnson Handbag
Aztec Print Leggings
Aztec Print Leggings
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Black Booties with Gold Zippers
photo 2 (2)
Coral Shift Dress
photo 1 (2)
Gladiator Sandals

As you can see from the previous photos there’s a wonderful selection of merchandise.  If you’re a classic fashionista, one can find a corporate pantsuit and if you’re a trendsetter, one can choose from the leggings department.  To make sure you’re selecting the appropriate size don’t forget to visit the fitting room to try on items.

Visit your local Ross Dress for Less to enhance your wardrobe and find your summer style!

Cut Out Maxi Dress
Cut Out Maxi Dress

If you like this post, click here: Ross Dress for Less – Show Off Your Shoes Selfie