Five Questions with Style and Cheek

I’ve decided to make Style and Cheek more of a multimedia experience, so last week I bought myself an HD webcam. This week’s video is a bit of trial run and features some “getting to know you” questions from Dan. Also, we did the video and didn’t realize we weren’t recording in HD. Next time! We definitely haven’t found our groove yet but look for more videos from me on my YouTube channel and here on the blog.

Here is a summary with timestamps of the questions Dan asked me:

1. What is your current favorite style trend? start time – 00:24

2. If you could raid any celebrities closet, who’s closet would you raid? start time – 01:05 (Article I refer to in video: Erica Pelosini Part II on The Coveteur)

3. What’s the one piece of clothing or makeup you couldn’t live without? start time – 1:38

4. Why do you love purple so much? start time – 1:53

5. Who is your favorite Character on Mad Men? start time –  2:29

Even though I wasn’t surprised by Dan’s Mad Men question, I had too much Peggy/Stan on the brain from last week’s episode to remember Joan. She’s an obvious favorite. I also wish they’d bring back Bob Benson. He was great. For more fun Mad Men recaps and Mad Men Style recaps check out Tom & Lorenzo – they’re fantastic. and yes I definitely pronounced The Coveteur wrong. Oh well.

If you have any suggestions for future videos please feel free to leave comments either here or on my YouTube channel.

The Makeup Lady – Spring Legs

The Makeup Lady

Are you embracing the warmer weather with skirts, shorts, and dresses? Are your legs blinding young children? Are you afraid to show off your legs for fear they are scaly and someone will mistake you for a piece of sand paper? If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then you’re me. I threw on a dress at the first sight of 70 degree temperatures but my legs were not prepared. I know I resemble a pasty ghost but my legs were close to translucent. They shocked everyone, including me, with how little color seemed to be non-existent on my skin. Adding to that, they were in desperate need of hydration. You try applying lotion every single day when you have a growing melon on your front side. It ain’t fun. My legs were long overdue for some special treatment. Don’t worry, Spring legs are just around the corner with the help of some of the products below. I’ve got you covered from exfoliates, to oils to lotions to foot scrubs. Next, you’ll be out the door waiting in line for a pedi.

The Makeup Lady - Spring Legs | Smooth Legs

1. St. Tropez Self Tan Perfect Legs Spray – Give your legs a kickstart to summer with a light application of this self tanner. Designed for your legs, it gives the perfect hint of color without over doing it. The last thing you want is to look like your legs were in Cabo while your face was in the North Pole.

2. Essie Leg Room Softening Foot Masque -  From the Essie Spa line, this foot masque helps to draw impurities out of your skin while giving youtr tootsies a soft, exfoliated feel. Your feet will likely need this before slipping into sandals for the first time.

3. Caudalie Divine Leg Tinted Body Lotion – If you’re scared of a self tanner, then try this product. It gives a subtle golden glow to your skin and the best part is….it rinses off in the shower. No long lasting color that you get from a self tanner. It absorbs quickly and smells like grapefruit.

4. NARS Monoi Body Glow II – Body oils seem to be a scary thing for most. The last thing you want to achieve is a slippery slick mess on your skin. The NARS Body Glow leaves your skin feeling silky smooth without the mess of a regular oil.  Body oils have a lot of great benefits because they tend to be more pure than lotions. Plus it gives off a slight fragrance so think of it as a two in one.

5. Aveda Foot Relief Cream – I’m not a huge fan of Aveda products but this one I do love. It’s great for all year round to give your feet and ankles the much needed hydration they need. If you suffer from cracked heels, give this product a try.

6. Philosophy Amazing Grace Firming Body Emulsion – We all know my love for Philosophy products and it still rings true with this body emulsion. I received a sample to try and oh my goodness….heaven.  Baby soft skin was achieved when I used this product. I use it mostly on my legs and thighs, because let’s face it, baby weight takes its toll on your thigh area.

7. Bliss FatGirlSlim – This product tends to get a lot of flack based on the name. No it’s not a weight loss product and no it will not give you Gisele Bündchen thighs overnight. But it will help to smooth out the surface of your skin and reduce the appearance of dimples. Say What?! Yes, I said it. Caffeine in the cream firms your skin leaving it less dimply and more model like. Now that I can get behind.

8. The Body Shop Peppermint Cooling Pumice Foot Scrub – Peppermint is typically found in foot products due to its cooling and refreshing quality. The pumice in the scrub leaves you with sandal worthy skin. Try using this up on your ankles and onto your shins to make sure you’re really exfoliating those rough patches.

- Jamie of The Lady and The Beard

HSWI April 2014

Jamie asked if I would cover ‘pink business casual’ during this month and at first I had no idea how I’d do it. Like she said in her email, the question is how can you wear pink to work without looking too over the top or trendy? This was exactly what I was worried about as I went about creating these collages because pink really doesn’t translate to the workplace in my mind, but that’s more due to my fear of pink than it actually working in a businessy outfit. It’s really about choosing the right shade of pink in the right fabric to stay workplace appropriate. Too bright or too casual and you’ll look like you’re trying too hard or not at all. Both should be avoided. Pink is a fun color so you should be able to wear it to work, but not without limitations. Here I’ve given you two looks, one a little more dressy than the other, that should point you in the right direction for business casual pink.

How She'd Wear It with Style and Cheek - Pink Business Casual

1. Kate Spade New York Gayla Sunglasses

2. Coach Bleecker Cooper Satchel In Perforated Leather

3. Equipment Slim Signature Blouse

4. MADEWELL Backcountry Belt

5. Marais Wild Love Pony Hair Flat

6. Dean Davidson Small Ingot Earrings

7. J.Crew Minnie Pant In Stretch Twill

I love the idea of pairing pale pink with burgundy. It’s a natural feminine color combination that is perfect for spring (or fall). And what is more workplace-friendly than slacks and a blouse? Throw on some leopard print ballerina flats and some brown leather accessories and you’re a walking model of ladylike authority. But let’s take a quick timeout. It is really hard to find deep dark brown leather items for women. Why do men have a monopoly on all things mahogany? Gripe complete. Burgundy and earthy tones like brown and tan are a great combination that I’ll always come back to, so the pink here really serves to make the outfit more girly and fun.

How She'd Wear It with Style and Cheek - Pink Business Casual / Professional

1. Mango Silk Cotton-Blend Plumeti Blouse

2. Michael Kors Camille Mini Chronograph Watch

3. Zara High Heel Pointy Shoes

4. Tory Burch Naomi Stud Earrings

5. Zara Midi Pencil Skirt

6. J.Crew Schoolboy Blazer In Navy

7. Coach Madison Caroline Satchel In Textured Leather

The pencil skirt, blouse, blazer combination is a classic. What really makes outfits like these work is the give and take between buttoned up and feminine pieces. You’ll look and feel like a boss but you’re still in heels and a skirt. That’s a powerful thing. There are a lot of ways you can go with this look but I went with a Mango blouse with texture and an almost-riding jacket from J.Crew. You’ll want the pink skirt to be the primary focus so be sure to tuck in your blouse and pick a blazer that is cropped just around your beltline. Heels and gold accessories complete the woman-in-charge vibe of this look.

- Julia of Style and Cheek

Pinterest Picks – The Coveteur

I’m obsessed with The Coveteur. If you don’t already know, The Coveteur is the best site out there is for celebrity personal style. They take you inside the homes and closets of fashion celebs for candid, but beautiful photos and interviews. It’s amazing to see different sides of people I already admire, like Mary Katrantzou, a fashion designer who uses the most ridiculously cool prints, or Lisa Eldridge, one of my favorite makeup artists to watch on YouTube. Though all talented individuals, there’s so much variety to the types of people The Coveteur chooses to interview, everything from designers to illustrators, models and bloggers. It’s not only a ogle worthy site, it’s informative. Plus, their site is shoppable. What more could you want?

It would be a dream to work with The Coveteur or be featured in an article. Their photos are so crisp and beautifully styled. Oftentimes style websites lack variety to the look and feel of their articles; whether that’s because it’s easier to gravitate to only like-minded individuals, or just the limits of the stylist or photographer, there’s a lack of individualism. Whereas with The Coveteur, you can tell it’s their shoot because of the quality of the images and specific styling techniques, such as how pieces are laid out, but overall the tone of each article and photos within really are determined by the subject‘s style and personality. Take the initial picture for example, of Erica Pelosini’s gorgeous gold Christian Louboutin shoes and compare it to the last photo of Josie Maran in the garden with her little girls. Erica is obsessed with high fashion pieces and has a shoe collection that’s to die for so the The Covetuer focused on this girl’s amazing closet. Josie on the other hand is very into living a healthy lifestyle and her style is ‘eco-minded’. The photoshoots for these women are both droolworthy and high quality, but their style couldn’t be more different. I think that’s what makes a website like The Coveteur so good, having that versatility and openness for varying styles.

Erica Pelosini Part II | The Coveteur

Lisa Eldridge | The Coveteur

Mary Katrantzou | The Coveteur

Alessandra Ambrosio | The Coveteur

Getting Ready with Jamie Lee Reardin | The Coveteur

Josie Maran | The Coveteur

images via The Coveteur - Erica Pelosini Part 2 // Lisa Eldridge //Mary Katrantzou // Alessandra Ambrosio // Getting Ready with Jamie Lee Reardin // Josie Maran

Fancy Friday – Fancy Florals from Net-a-Porter

Img5502236_n

When I saw this photo of Rashida Jones wearing a Tory Burch floral slub-faille dress I immediately knew I wanted to discuss fancy florals on the blog. And I mean seriously fancy, bank account breaking florals.  Droolworthy is what we’re going for; from a yellow Oscar de la Renta botanical print dress fit for Mad Men, to an unexpected tropical print from Dolce & Gabbana with a silhouette that calls for flat Grecian sandals, braided updos, and coin jewelry (a la their spring 2014 runway show). And it goes beyond just the names of the designers, or even the gorgeous floral prints. You can tell by the structure and cut of each piece that it’s quality. That is why I love posting these pieces because they are truly well made, beautiful pieces.

I like to imagine, like Rashida Jones, that I’m sitting next to the runway wearing one of these floral frocks. What would I pair it with? While I love Rashida Jones’s glasses, navy nails, and poppy lipstick, I didn’t like her bag choice or the heavy black cage heels she wore. Maybe I’m too matchy matchy but I’d go for gold single strap heels. Just imagining these looks is fun enough for me. Eh ok I’m lying! If I had the opportunity to wear one of these fancy floral options I would.

Tory Burch Kaley Floral-Print Slub-Faille Dress

Tory Burch Kaley Floral-Print Slub-Faille Dress

RED Valentino Pleated Floral-Print Cotton Skirt

RED Valentino Pleated Floral-Print Cotton Skirt

Matthew Williamson Floral Haze Jacquard And Silk-Organza Dress

Matthew Williamson Floral Haze Jacquard And Silk-Organza Dress

Lela Rose Floral-Print Satin Skirt

Lela Rose Floral-Print Satin Skirt

Oscar de la Renta Printed Stretch-Cotton Twill Dress

Oscar de la Renta Printed Stretch-Cotton Twill Dress

Dolce & Gabbana Floral-Print Twill Mini Dress

Dolce & Gabbana Floral-Print Twill Mini Dress

Three Style Shot Tips

This past weekend Dan and I went scouting for places to shoot some style shots and showcase a few of my newer pieces. It was as much an excuse to be outside in the beautiful weather as it was to hunt for interesting spots to take pictures. Dan knows a lot more about photography than I do but he’s still not the most decisive photographer, so we normally end up messing around and taking as many pictures as we can in the hope that I don’t hate all of the pics. But because I don’t own a DSLR of my own, we decided that in order to get the best results from the remaining time we have with my Dad’s camera, that we should have a game plan before we actually commit to a shoot location. Surprise, surprise a few of the test shots weren’t bad!

Cherry blossoms at the park, picking great locations | Three Style Shot Tips

Like a lot of you out there, I’m extremely hard on myself when it comes to what I think is an acceptable “publishable” pic. It’s too easy for me to focus on the flaws. If things could be better with a picture then I’m not going to want to post it. What that means is that because I’m such a perfectionist I haven’t kept you guys up to speed with what’s new in my closet. Weather permitting, hopefully that will change because I’d like to get some outdoor shots of the new dress I got from Free People. But what are the keys to a successful personal style photo session?

Standing by a fence, making use of space and light | Three Style Shot Tips

Free People Ribbed Up Maxi Cardigan – I’ve been living in this. I call it my superhero sweater.

1) Have a (flexible) game plan – it’s easy to pick up a new jacket or skirt and think, “I’m gonna throw this on and snap some shots”, but if you really wanna put your best foot forward you’re going to want to thoroughly plan your look from head toe, and not just for one type of light or one type of setting. If I’ve learned anything from the few shoots I’ve done it’s that you don’t really know what to expect until you’re out there snapping away. You also don’t want to look miserable if it’s colder or brighter than anticipated (you see how I’m using my sweater as a blanket and look pretty…chilly?). Give yourself a lot of options – bring a few choice companion pieces to stay on track but also mix it up to really find what works. If this means bringing a bag of extra clothing or shoe options with you, then do that.

2) Lighting can be your best friend or your worst enemy. This obviously varies from person to person but play around with what light is most flattering for your skin and makeup combinations. Then, and only then, consider what light works best with the colors of the pieces you’re putting together. Dan is my light guru. Before him I think I thought that more sun automatically equaled better light. And while that is actually true most the time, shadows and the angle of the light are just as if not more important. Basically you don’t want to shoot in direct sun while the sun is right above you (midday). Shadows add definition and character to pictures, so play with them. However, the best time to shoot is usually early in the morning or right before sunset – aka the ‘golden hour‘.

3) Framing is extremely important. What’s behind you? How tight of a shot do you want? What depth of field is the most flattering? The most interesting? People love crystal clear, beautifully focused photos, where every detail no matter at what distance is crisp and in focus. There is definitely a context for pictures like these, but they’re boring. Shifting the depth of field to only focus on the pieces you’re trying to show is the easiest way to add emphasis to the composition of a photo. Plus – not every picture needs to be perfectly centered. If the backdrop to your shot is a beautiful landscape why not put that landscape to work for you and bring it into your shot? And always try to keep the texture and color of your outfit in mind when picking a suitable shot location. Contrasting the style of your look with the context of the photo can really work but it can also be distracting or even take away from the quality of the pic. SO in short, don’t try to make every shot like a retail website: centered, focused and squared. Have some fun.

I’m certainly no expert on most of these points, and really I’m only repeating a lot of stuff Dan has told me, but I’m excited by the possibilities of future photo shoots now that I know that the style of your photos is just as important as the style in your photos.

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