The study of your personal style

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Flash Forward to Fall

Black and Gray take a back seat to this falls bedazzling JEWEL tones. Shine, shimmer and radiate royal luxury in RICH velvet, soothing suede or ruffled  layers of the finest silk.

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Studs aren’t just for belts anymore. HEAVY HARDWARE has hit the scene. Channeling an Iron Maiden elegance with tough edges, we’re all zipped up in GROMMETS, Studs and smooth biker chic leather. From cuffs to killer heels it’s time to get tough and be strong

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MENSWEAR has made appearances every fall, but perhaps this year it’s making an even grander arrival with tailored jackets, structured hats and shoes that feel  all together Diane Keaton in Annie Hall. Contrasting sharp shoulders and  polished power with slouchy oversize shirts and penny or tuxedo loafers- it’s more than necessary to raid your boyfriend’s closet.

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Easy Breezy Beautiful

How we present ourselves to the world is ultimately what we say to it. Fashion is not just about the clothes that we put on our backs or the shoes that adorn our pretty polished feet. “Fashion is in the air, it is brought in by the wind, one feels it coming, breathes it in, it is in the sky and on the pavement, it depends on ideas, customs and happenings.”

So poignantly espoused by none other than Miss Coco Chanel herself, fashion is about style, artistry and how we take outside influences to shape who we are and put ourselves together. Our face, our presence, and the presentation of ourselves has as much to do with our “look” and impression as does the LBD we choose to wear to the party.

To that end, one of my new favorite products of late- one that comes highly endorsed by local celebrity make-up maven and stylist Rachel Reiman, is the newer Lash Blast Mascara by CoverGirl. The big bright orange tube could quite possibly be the best mascara on the market. I know, I was skeptical too.

Quite the discerning make-up connoisseur, I am usually more than turned off by the budget beauty aisle at the local Walgreens and am not one to be swayed by all these new fangled lash extending wands, exclusive lower lash technology, or the promise of bigger, bolder lashes. I stick with what I know works and/or have been using for years. No celebrity, no Kate Moss or Drew Barrymore, the face of the new Lash Blast advertising campaign, was going to sway the all-knowing Chanel and Dior mascara loving me!

However, after a personal consultation, make-up lesson and tips/tricks session with Rachel, who’s made up the faces of the likes of Alicia Keys, I was persuaded to try her recommendation. She expertly informed me that the quality of the mascara really has more to do with the applicator/wand and the age of the product, than does the brand name. Most mascaras, she mentioned, are made of the exactly the same ingredients, and apparently, we should also be throwing out our mascara every two weeks (due to bacteria and product life). OOps, I’ve held onto some of mine for almost a year… yuck!

So what makes the Lash Blast truly shine? The wand. Using a new type of never before seen plastic applicator, the wand prevents clumping, goes on super smooth and delivers on the bold lash blasting promise. The best part? The price. Available at your local Walgreens for an easy, breezy and beautiful $8.49, you can afford to replace it every two weeks like you should. Thank you Rachel!

Celebrity Make-up and Fashion Stylist Rachel Reiman: offers professional training seminars, make-up 101 classes and more. You can contact her at P: 312.961.0577 or visit www.rachelreimanconnor.com

All About Nude

nudesNew seasons mean new shoes. And for the next months ahead, nude is all the rage. Kick it into high gear this summer with some fab new leg extending nude shoes. We are dying for these Calvin Klein high heeled friends . On trend, you’ll be walking tall- especially because these babies help make your legs look longer and leaner, which is something all us ladies want come warmer leg baring weather.


Baubles on a budget

Looking for a quick, chic and budget conscious way to pull any outfit together? One-word ladies: accessorize! A hot necklace, fabulous earrings, or a bold cocktail ring punches up your oldies but goodies – adding glam to even the simplest looks, with out breaking the bank.

Lacking the buco bucks as usual, I spent months of pointless pining over the Van Cleef and Arpels “Magic Alhambra” collection which I could never afford. Recently sported by none other than Gossip Girl’s, Lilly Bass, I went out on a mission to find something similar in design and quality that was more in my price range. After a bit of discerning digging, I finally scored 2 pieces both in the Downtown Loop and in the ‘Burbs. Victory!

Carrying pieces modeled after iconic designers and displaying an eye for what’s hot now, there are two Chicagoland haunts that are must stops for those looking to add some extra splash and sparkle to their wardrobe. Offering a range of exclusive pieces and prices ($15-$100) there’s a little bit of glam for everyone.

Located off lower Michigan Ave, Temptation’s II is littered with a myriad of small and intriguing goodies. From the array of fabulous sunglasses, rings, earrings and necklaces, I find it hard to leave the shop with out picking out at least 1-2 unique pieces, especially when they offer you shopping trays! Trust me, you need them. Here, among other things, I selected the mother of pearl “Van Cleef” necklace, which is also available in black and set me back about $80. Wrapped up in special paper and neatly tucked inside a little paper bag, I felt like I was opening present when I returned home from my mission.

Also boasting an impressive array of accessories, clothing, and unique gifts is nationwide and local boutique, Francesca’s Collections. One of the best things about this little shop is that their merchandise is always changing and each visit offers something completely new and inspiring. Plus, they’ve always got great sales! However, I’ve been burned by not buying something immediately, so fashionista beware, things go fast and their return policy is store credit only. Setting me back a mere $20, I elected to purchase a turquoise “Van Cleef” version necklace, also available in coral and black with earrings to match.

Upon purchasing, I found both the “Van Cleef” necklaces to be very reasonable in price for the craftsmanship, quality and resemblance to the original. And the best part? I’ve received several complementary comments. Mission accomplished.

Up next, I’ve got my eye on the latest designer collection for Target. Erickson Beamon’s bold baubles are still in stock , but will most likely be gone after June 26th. Mark your calendars ladies, these candied accessories are sure to go fast!

For more info:
Temptation II
316 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 920-0299
Francesca’s Collections
Deer Park
20530 N. Rand Rd, Ste # 344
Deer Park IL 60010
(847) 726-2363

All Lacquered up

purple-nail-polish1Taking cue from our childhood candy necklace treats, colors for spring are a bit more chalky, fun and fresh than the darker and grayer shades of late.

And, if you haven’t heard, OPI has partnered with Sephora launhcing an exclusive new line of the same great no-chip quality polish available in a range of fun and up-to date colors.

Love it or hate it, I predict we’ll be seeing a lot more of this as the warmer months approach.

Just check out the latest looks from Gap- and the punchy pop of OPIs new South Beach Collection

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To Jump or Not to Jump

16p10tblk_thumbThat is the question this spring. Quite the little gems, these “play” things are all over the run-way for this spring, and that’s exactly what I’m hoping to do in them- play. Perfect to go from day to night, it’s one of the chicest buys for spring this year. With layering potential and a limitless canvas for the fab belts of late, it’ll take you right into fall, which is good news for any fashionista in these economic times. Perhaps even better, is the price. You can snag one of these babies for $80, available at my favorite British import, Top Shop www.topshop.com. Yet, while this 80s inspired look holds year-round chic appeal, unfortunately, like many other 80s fads, I predict that the suit may not “suit” everyone.