fashion. wine. design... and my life.

Posts Tagged ‘fashion’

RED lips are…

In Uncategorized on March 6, 2014 at 2:40 pm

redlipSophisticated.  CHIC.  Classic.  STRIKING.  Powerful.  Timeless.  Utterly SEXY.

And… ABSOLUTELY, one of my favorite things!

What I know to be true is this:

E V E R Y woman can wear a red lip.

and…

E V E R Y woman should have at least one kick ass tube of red lipstick that effortlessly compliments her complexion.

Can’t believe that since starting this blog in 2011, that this is only my second post on the subject.  Considering how long I have been attracted to red lips, it should have been my introductory post, as well as every other post there after.  Ladies (and gentlemen) the passion is serious… I am a hard core fan.

HARD CORE!

There is no special occasion needed for me to don a red lip.  Haha — just ask my children.  5:30am in the morning, still wearing my pj’s, making lunches for school?  Check.  Off to work, or dinner with friends?  Check.  Sitting around the house with my husband?  My traditional “MD to Italy”  wine Skype session with my BFF? Or my favorite stella & dot Insatgram shots?

Check… check… CHECK!

I honestly don’t think about the occasion or the action of applying the lipstick — I just do it.  Kinda second nature for me now, eh?  Breaking it down to elementary terms:

red lips, simply make me happy.

Something about seeing my lips painted red… it provides an immediate energy.  And don’t even get me started on the energy that erupts upon seeing another woman wearing a stunning red lip… especially when she got it right!  Haha — it makes me wanna walk up to her and scream “DAMN!” while giving her a hearty high-five!

Several women have left impressionable and memorable “red lip” moments.

In college, two of my friends named Jane and Kim kept my eyes alert  — I watched (and still do via facebook posted pics), better yet, studied their precision and technique.  Currently,  Ms. Tracee Ellis Ross (who has forever reminded me of my baby sis), constantly keeps my heart fluttering.  She is my newly crowned “red lip icon”… the QUEEN; for she ALWAYS gets it right!

But hands down, my late grandmother, Ruth E. Brown gets all of the credit.

She was/is my first memory — my inspiration and teacher.  The absolute EPITOME of a red lip and my sustained standard for judgement when making my determinations.  Wonder if she knew just how many times I practiced with her lipstick and then carefully wiped away ALL evidence of any tampering.

Her influence created yet another lover of reds…. and I’m thinking that my grandmother would be proud of my endeavors.

Through research and experimentation, I have discovered what works for me.    In a true “pay it forward” fashion, I’m sharing my learnings with the hopes that another woman might become newly acquainted with her favorite red lipstick.  And of course, sport a gorgeous RED lip!

So…. what I have learned over the years boils down to three things:

ONE.  Only wear reds that suit your skin tone.

Why bother with anything else?? Just in the same manner that we dress and wear clothes that flatter our body shape, the same holds true for make-up/red lipstick.  If you are uncertain about your skin tone/undertones, for a minimal fee at most department stores, you could get a professional consultation.  For me, cooler reds (ones with blue undertones) suit me perfectly.  And since making that discovery — I stay in that color lane and I do not stray.

My favorites?

The unbeatable BEST, knock it out the box, works EVERY TIME color is MAC’s Ruby Woo.  I have YET to meet a woman who couldn’t wear this color.  It is like blood type O+… it is a universal donor!  Trust me and just do as I say…  IF you don’t own it, you need to order this color – ASAP!  You can wear it alone, or, you can use it as a base for other colors.  It is long lasting and it yields the most  the intense, bold red color is scrumptious… and damn near unforgettable.  Ruby Woo is the Ironman of all red lipsticks.  It just is!

Another favorite is Chanel 99 Pirate.  It reminds me of Ruby Woo… just a smidgen creamier.  The color is vintage and sleek.  #99 is so very old Hollywood… big sunglasses and head wraps.  An elegant color, but packed with attitude!  While I have worn this color alone, I mainly use it as the top layer over Ruby Woo.  The two lipsticks combined are a beautiful marriage and the color that is produced is exceptional.

SECOND.  The application process shouldn’t be painstaking or tedious.

When it comes to make-up, especially lipstick, you can Google search scores of ways to apply.  I’m not a make-up artist… but what I do know is that:  if it involves more than “apply lipstick to a clean lip”,  I am NOT interested.

The easier the better… clean lip, a very, very, very light amount of lip balm as a conditioning base and then apply your rep lip color.  BAM – that’s all she wrote!  Side note though.  If you apply a coat of red, blot/purse lips on a paper towel and then reapply your red… you will have a longer lasting lip.  I’m just saying…

THIRD.  Keep your red lip matte and refrain from adding gloss… you know, GLOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

No “wet-n-wild” lips please.  Otherwise… well, you run the risk of possibly looking a bit too scandalous suggestive racy risque?  And just like Forrest Gump… that’s all I have to say about that.

To all of my fellow red lip lovers, I do hope you concur.

RED lips are…

Fabulous and a must for all women.  And please… don’t just wait for a formal affair to dazzle.  Grocery store?  Check.  Picking the kids up from school?  Check.  Running shoes and work out clothes?  Check. (Seriously… check out #redlipfit)  Any place and any event — add a POW and show off your red!

And for all who are curious.

YES… I did have red lips on as I typed this blog!

redlip2

Cheers!

-k

A rebirth on a birthday…

In Uncategorized on February 7, 2013 at 11:07 am

IMG_8097I did it because I was curious.

I did it because part of me was a stranger.

I did it because I craved a change.

I did it because it was honestly long over due.

And, by doing so, I wanted my actions to be a bold and brave example for my children… especially my daughter.

What pray tell did I do?

Haha… not groundbreaking news in the least.  But for me, a rebirth of sorts.

I have decided to stop using relaxers and chemically straightening my hair.  I am joining the ranks and “going natural” — you had better believe, I am ready for my natural hair texture to make its debut!  Obviously, in order to sport my natural texture, that relaxed stuff has got to go. Hmmmm… time for a transition.

Like the many who have made and will make this transformation, each transition method is incredibly personal and varies.   For me… I tend to air on the side of impatience.  Once I finally committed to the decision, I wanted to start from scratch.  A quicker and more noticeable metamorphosis was the goal.

So…

I shaved my head.

It sounds so matter of fact, eh?  Straightforward and unemotional, “I shaved my head.”  So not the case.

It has been years in the making.  Years of contemplating.  Years of changing my mind.  Years of being curious as to what hair texture resided under all of that relaxed hair.  Years of pondering — would I even be able to style the mysterious curls that would sprout without a relaxer in my hair?  Years of not being ready because I was concerned (truth be told… fearful) of what others may think.  Years of wondering how I might be perceived without my relaxed hair.   Years… years… YEARS!

Actually, last year, during a week-long birthday trip to Paris, I was “this” close… “this” close to making the transition and shaving my head.  I never mentioned it to anyone… not even the girls that accompanied me on the trip.  I was going to wait for my birthday and just do it.  Considering that I adore aesthetics, a “story” and creating “moments”… you would think that the scenario was ideal.  Naaaaah.  I chickened out!  I just wasn’t fully committed to my decision and still unnecessarily anxious as to what people would say.

What boggles my mind is that in other areas, I would say that I certainly display confidence and can be exceedingly vocal with my opinion.  With my relaxed hair, I have never been shy… I am not timid about cutting it or even experimenting with color.  Ahhhhhhh… I do adore vibrant shades of red!  But walking away from a relaxer and NOT chemically straightening my hair — it would just stop me in my tracks.  Being afraid of the unknown, literally stopped me in my tracks!

As a five-year old child, my mother started using a relaxer to help her manage my thick head of hair.  A head of hair that drastically differed from her very fine curls.  It was what I knew.  Continuing into adulthood, I maintained what my mother established.  And when my daughter’s thick curls grew thicker, I would sometimes reach for a children’s texturizer  to assist me as well.  Truth be told… I loved the look of a relaxer in my hair and I liked the styling options.  But… decades and decades of chemically straightening my hair has resulted in damage, breakage and thinning.

Now, I desire a change.

The courage has been slowly churning and brewing inside… and just like a roller coaster cranking up a hill, now it’s time for the ride!  It’s kinda like one of those bucket list items and going against the norm.

Unlike last year, when I attempted to make this change, I did decide to discuss my intentions.  I talked to my baby sister.  I value her opinion and had questions  about her natural hair and her experiences.  In an effort to possibly gauge the reaction of people in my corporate interior design environment, I mentioned it to a co-worker who has been employed with the company for a considerable amount of time.  I also talked to my husband and my two children.  I knew that my husband would be supportive and in my corner.  Being 14 and 12, I was uncertain as to how my children would respond.  Questions and answers… more questions and answers, not about me wanting to refrain from relaxers, but about how I might look with my shaved head while my hair grows back.  Haha… kids, eh?!  To the rest of those very close to me, I remained quiet.  I think I just wanted their raw reaction… either once they saw me, or when they read this blog.

I will say that I  also did a fair amount of research…

Google, scores of YouTube videos, facebook pages, blogs, hair product websites.  SO much information available.  Happily, I have made several discoveries!  Nine new products purchased from Carol’s Daughter and Ouidad.com are sitting on my bathroom counter for my daughter and me.  I registered at Curl Box and  I am just waiting for them to extend the invite.  I started following…ahem, actually addicted to Whitney and her Naptural85 blog, vlog and YouTube channel.  Her natural hair transition commenced in 2008.  From the videos that I have watched thus far, her time-saving tips with make my transition a breeze and will easily aid me in taking better care of my daughter’s gorgeous head of hair.

So today, on my 43rd birthday, I am happily welcoming this brazen attitude towards my new hair journey.

Don’t get me wrong… there is still an element of nervousness.  Knowing that today was the day, I woke up with butterflies in my stomach.  Game day, eh?!  All of the hair routines that I have comfortably established and that are second nature… they have got to shift.  But keeping it really “real”… the nervousness truly stems from me wondering what will be my reaction to my newly shaven head?  Liberating… is what I was told by a girlfriend who shaved her head decades ago.  Hmmm… will I feel liberated?

It’s game day… game day… game day!

The kiddos are at school and my husband has taken the day off of work to share with me… create my “story” and share this “moment”.

Together… we shaved my head!

Haha… kinda romantic, eh?!

Scissors in hand, he made the first snip.

Snip. Snip. Snip!  It was then when anxiety began to lessen.  By the time he used the clippers I was at ease.  BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.  The sound filled the bathroom.  Interesting sensation having one’s head shaved.  My very first exposure to clippers was a mixture of comical and (as my girlfriend mentioned to me so many years prior) liberating!  All of that hair falling… and (as I do, keeping it real) all of the dry flaking skin scattered all over me and on the bathroom floor… thirty minutes later, I was in awe of this new look.  My new look.  Bold and sexy.  WOW, who knew I had such a cute little head!  I can’t stop touching it.

Talk about new experiences… the shower afterwards was so refreshing.  I have never…EVER felt the spray of the shower head directly on my scalp.  No hair… just scalp!  This is my new world, eh?  Or at least until it begins to grow back.  Haha… and until it grows back, my husband and I are twins!

You know what I am really wondering?  How long will it take to grow enough hair so that I can color it red?  Haha… I never said that I was walking away from the color… and with my new curls, I am certain that I will love it even more!  I’ve just gotta find color that is fitting for my new texture.

shavedHappy happy birthday to me!

I couldn’t think of a day more fitting to make this transition.  My rebirth on my birthday.  Hmmmm, now when my kids get home, I wonder what they will say?

Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted!

Cheers!

-k

…and with this, my fashion feet stay firmly planted!

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2012 at 10:13 am

Funny how such simple thoughts can easily transition into something so significant.

You know… thoughts that to others my appear trivial.  Frivolous thoughts that we often apply to our lives subconsciously and somehow they evolve into these self-imposed rules… rules that we abide by with resolute dedication.

Haha… things like which direction to place the toilet paper on the holder (ahem… flap OVER in my house), what color dishes you purchase (only white for me for I love the way the clean canvas shows off the food) or what sock/shoe goes on first (left for me… always left).

I tend to do this MORE than I care to mention.  My friends would probably blame it on slight obsessive compulsive tendencies… but I’m going to chalk it up to me… just being me!  If I had to apply a ratio, I would say that for the most part these self-imposed rules air on a quirky side and truly are only beneficial to me.  However, there are moments that merit an “ah-ha”… and these are the moments in which I feel compelled to share.

In writing my last blog, I stumbled upon yet another “note” written on Sunday, 15 March 2009.

Titled “Random thoughts regarding fashion…” I posted it on my facebook page, unsure of how it would be received.  Surprisingly, those self-imposed rules generated a healthy response. Hmmmmmm… perhaps I was onto something and had I listened to the advice of others, kishafwd.com could have been established much sooner, eh?!

Not a surprise when I say that in revisiting that post, it all still rings true today.  Actually… and I say this emphatically, I would say that when it comes to those fashion rules, I am steadfast.  Unwavering.  Haha… completely committed!

Soooooo, since I shared before, I eagerly share again.  The camaraderie of womanhood is and has always been the muse.

3 years later, here it goes again… but, since I do have those “mild” obsessive compulsive tendencies, I have added just a few thoughts (possibly slight interruptions in the original flow of the post)… all noted by the italics.

—————–

Random thoughts regarding fashion…

For whatever reason, I have this overwhelming desire to write (as if I were this “in demand” stylist) a “real woman’s/on a budget, but I want to look fabulous” guide to fashion. Chuckle, if you must, but after reading, I do believe, that even the most hard to win critic, will walk away with a tip… or two.

I know, I know, you have read them in all of the magazines…

The essentials we all must own, the top 5, 10, 15, 25, gazillion things that everyone must wear… and most of us (me included) are somewhat addicted to the television shows, that steer the lost into the light… cough, cough “What Not To Wear” cough, cough…(for the record, I adore Stacy London and Clinton Kelly and would embrace an opportunity to chat with them both).  So check this out, I DID meet Stacy London, 15 April 2012 and she is just as energetic and spirited as I had imagined!
Nonetheless, we read, we watch, we try and wonder… whose advice do we follow, who is right?
All of them? None of them? Some of them?

The answer: they all have something to offer. And it is just that simple.

So ladies, if it were to have a title, let’s just call it “After a bit of trial and error, Kisha recommends…”

· First and foremost, be honest with yourself, without guilt or shame and learn your body type.  Embrace your assets and STOP worrying about what you don’t have.  Apple, pear, hour glass shapes… narrow hips, full hips, long torso, short torso, fuller breast and smaller breast… we learned in our middle school health classes that we were built differently.  So, discover what do you have.  Study your nude body in the mirror, jot down a few notes and let that be your roadmap when investing in your wardrobe. The result… all future purchases will only accentuate the positive!

· Once you figure out what is going to work for you, the next objective is to find who sells it!  You probably already know this, but it is worth repeating… every store is not going to work for your body type.  AND, there are probably stores that will work best for you when you are looking to purchase bottoms and others, which you will go to when needing tops.  This you will only discover by trying on, trying on and more trying on… perhaps a bit tedious in the beginning… but the payoff, once you discover “who” is for you… priceless!  All I will add is this:  Ladies, as we age… we must be willing to let go of some of the stores that no longer cater to our MAGNIFICENT age and body types.  There is a sophistication and incredible beauty in becoming older.  Our wardrobes should reflect that attitude.

· Invest a bit of extra money, in pieces of clothing that work for you and are a necessity for your lifestyle. We all have our favorite “inexpensive” store that we frequent for that one piece, for that one event… but, we do so knowing, that after a few washes, that item has a short lifespan in our closet. But, for those key items that we need for work, or home, or all of the after work cocktail parties – spend a bit more, invest in garments made with higher quality fabrics, launder them properly and you will quickly see your hard earned dollars go further.

· Own jeans that flatter your shape.  Can I say that again… own jeans that flatter your shape.  Yes, this can be grueling (no joke)… Make a decision as to how much you are willing to invest, do a bit of online research and take a friend (who will be honest) with you when you trying on the various styles.  Be patient and you too will have your “ah ha” moment.  And, if you already have that brand loyalty, and they work for you… stick to it and invest in several pairs.  A nice slim fitting jean in a dark (mildly distressed) wash takes me there!!!! YOWZA!

· With that said, and for those that know me, you will understand this next statement…
Once you find an item that works for you, purchase it in ALL of the colors that flatter your complexion.  And, before you think it… no, this will not lead to a boring wardrobe.  You have found the perfect fit of black pants… well; do they come in chocolate or charcoal? You found the ideal wrap sweater (my personal “I can’t live without”…gosh, truth be told, the list continues to grow and occasionally gets tweaked.  But I would have to add that adding pops of animal print is a beautiful thang!) get ALL of the colors that suit you… not your friends, not the photo in the magazine, but you… only you.  The fun comes in how you mix and match… reinvent the wheel, the “color wheel” that is! If you don’t own one, visit your local art store and for a few bucks, you are on your way to creating magnificent color schemes within your wardrobe.

· Last, but certainly not least… do not forget the accessories!
This is the ooooohh, laaa laaaaaahhh to defining your signature style.  How many ways can you reinterpret denim and a white tank… countless, because it is all about the accessories!  And, just to be clear, I am speaking about the shoes, the bag, the coat, the scarf, the jewelry, the shoes, the blazer, the tote, the earrings, the bracelet… do it right, and this will keep your secret “fashion” admirers wanting more, more and more.  The lovely part about accessories is that they come in a variety of price points… and often times, if implemented correctly in your wardrobe, the least expensive of accessories, look like a million bucks!  What a segue (and a shameless plug)… specking of accessories, I just celebrated  my one year anniversay as a stella & dot stylist.  Check me out at:  www.stelladot.com/kbr and www.facebook.com/kbrstylist   Not that I am pushing my favorites on anyone (which is why I haven’t mention any of my favorite stores… fashion is truly subjective and, truth be told, my favorites may not work for you body type) but… blazers are a nonnegotiable. They come in a variety of cuts and work for practically everyone!  As you build you accessory wardrobe, concentrate on what you determine are your staples… then from there, the sky is the limit!  Seriously… a structured blazer is a fashion lifesaver.  EVERY WOMAN should own at least a classic black blazer!

Not to be interpreted as a sermon… just me, spreading some love to my fellow girls.
It is important that we all feel simply amazing in our unique skin.  So, if my random thoughts gave you any insight… then I am humbled.  Perhaps, as you are shopping, you will chuckle and think of me as you are looking at yourself in the mirror, trying on one of your “new” favorites!

And there it is.

And, for the record:  Yes… to these rules I am forever loyal!

Cheers!

-k

Soaring with a scarf!

In Uncategorized on April 1, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Ok…

Perhaps you aren’t literally soaring.  But, an elevation?  Yep… that is pretty much guaranteed.  And all it takes is a scarf!

Matter of fact – its elevation in an instant.

A scarf is one of the easiest and quickest ways to add some sizzle to your outfit.  Defines your look, eh?  Adds the flair, polishes your appearance and creates your individual fashion statement.  A scarf is probably one of the most brilliant accessories, for it speaks to a multitude of styles.  Even the simplest of outfits benefit… whether be it easy-breezy casual or refined and sophisticated, a scarf is the ideal option for adding life and interest to the clothes you don!

What kind of scarf?

What color?

What style?

Damn near anything will work… and with just a smidgen of creativity in your application, the sky is the limit!

Now that spring has sprung, we have shed our heavy clothing — especially our bulky chunky-knit and wool winter scarves.  The tress have buds, the flowers are producing vibrant blooms, the birds are singing…. the air is refreshing and the sun is beaming.  A sense of newness is indicative of the season and naturally it is reflected in our wardrobe.  A fresh perspective is the mindset… and with that, we are all scurrying to create our signature spring looks with both the items that we are purchasing in stores and unpacking from our storage bins.

Pssssst… five letters;  S-C-A-R-F!  As you pack away your winter version, now opt for a lighter weight!

This clever piece of fabric is the answer to any fashion dilemma… and it doesn’t hurt that fashion designers constantly dote on their versatility and chicness.  Sooooooooo many amazing colors, scores of patterns – not to mention the various shapes and fabrics available.  What is not to love?  I tell you… I am sold, sold, SOLD!

Nothing top-secret about what I am sharing.  Scarves are popular.  They have a strong presence in the fashion industry and the movie stars, whose images are constantly captured by the paparazzi, definitely drive home that fact.  The scarf, effortlessly draped around a neck, looks fabulous on both males and females!

Loosely wrapped or tightly knotted, scarves around our necks is the most common way to sport the look.  Haha – there are some people that just seem to pull this look off with ease and then, there are those who make the look appear forced — almost as if they are constricted.  Humph… I’m thinking that they are just in need of more practice, eh?

Because a scarf… especially one tied around your neck, works on us all!  That “one size fits all” concept, ya know?!

But there is more than just your neck!  Perhaps my fellas aren’t wearing them in this manner — but a scarf around your waist, tied on your purse or tied on your head can also produce some incredibly fashionable results!  Again… elevation in an instant!

A scarf tied on my head is my latest obsession.  I love it tied in a manner reminiscent of a vintage film star (YES – with my big sunglasses) or a calypso girl, with the knot askew and the tails of the scarf hanging over my shoulder.  Hey, it’s my thing.  Even more so now, thanks to one stunner of a CHANEL scarf.  Haha – the colors alone make me weak.  Sigh…

So the gist it this:  have some fun and try a scarf!

Betcha it will make a difference.

New to the whole scarf experience?

Ah-ha!

I found a link that is perfect and full of tips — 37 to be exact — you got it, 37 ways to tie a scarf!

This spring and summer, I know what will give my outfits a punch and keep me soaring…

what about you?

Cheers!

-k

Mine are magenta!

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Fuchsia, hot pink, raspberry… pinkish purple.

Call it what you want… but mine are magenta and they are snazzy!

If you haven’t heard by now – colored denim is all the rage for the spring and summer.  Everyone… and I mean EVERYONE has created their version.  With styles and price points ranging from couture level to JC Penny and Target – colored denim definitely has a presence.

A nod to the colorful 1980’s?  Of course… but the 2012 editions have been revamped and are refined.  The updated styling options of pants, shorts, skirts and jackets are vast and not just for women – YES FELLAS, you too can sport this look!

Male or female, don’t be shy.  Why not have a bit of fun and embrace this colorful craze?    The color selection is so broad – surely your favorite color can be found.  It’s an easy way to wake up your trusty neutrals or, if you prefer a bolder approach, the perfect pairing for other colorful items — what a punch, eh?  Yes, I am your pusher, for I say dive in!  Don’t deny yourself!  Finding a pair (or two) can easily be accomplished… the only difficulty you might encounter is ensuring a proper fit for your body type.  Wait — that’s another blog topic, eh?

My story…

Since I adore my fashion magazines, especially InStyle and Lucky, I am constantly thumbing through the pages to see what will be the “look” for the season.  Rewind back to the January magazine editions… that’s when I first stumbled across the images of colored denim, all of the ads, the styling options — and that’s when I saw my magenta pants!  Wow – the hairs on my arms stand up when I think about it.  Those damn pants were hot… they spoke to me – “Kishaaaaaaaa… this is all you!  Kishaaaaaaa… we are meant to be.  Kishaaaaaaa… you have got to have me.”  Haha – seriously, that’s what they said!

Immediately, I was in love!  I envisioned myself wearing them –  in a matter of seconds, I know that I complied at least a week’s worth of different outfits.  Those damn magenta pants… they consumed me.  I was weak – I lusted after those pants!  I know… craziness!  The things some do for fashion, eh?

Sooooo…

After a few months of being frugal and patiently waiting for a sale, I finally invested and got my pants.  Score!  Even at full price (since the sale on these puppies never came) I am still elated — the fit is pure perfection!  As I shift from side to side in the mirror admiring the fit of my new Always Skinny Skimmer jeans, all I can think is – gotta love GAP denim!  What is it about their denim???

Actually, let me not pretend like I don’t already know the answer to that question.  Considering that I was employed with the company  for almost 10 years, I know that at GAP, they get denim right.  A variety of fits to suit the body types and style preferences for both men and women, several options with denim washes and a moderate price point… GAP denim is just classic.  Trust me, if you enter that store with a need for denim and the patience for trying things on — walking out with a great fitting pair of jeans is guaranteed!  GUARANTEED!

Just two little secrets to share:

  1. Have an open mind on sizing  – let the fit on your body be the guide, rather than the size on the pants.
  2. When trying on, take multiple items in the same size with you in the fitting room.

GAP, as with all retailers, has an allotted size variance during manufacturing.  Hmmm, if memory serves me correctly, it is 1/4″ … or is it 1/2″  — bottom line, the same size can vary in fit.  So, for example, if you are a size 8 — take all the 8’s in the fitting room.  Pay attention to the fit of each – SERIOUSLY – there is one that is bound to fit better.  My magenta pants… I tried on 3 in the same size — what is that saying about the third time is a charm?  Yep.  Number 3 was the one!

Perfect timing for the arrival of spring, eh?  Hey, if you haven’t even or ever considered colored denim – it’s not too late.  With all the press centered around this color trend, I am pretty certain that the stores will continue to replenish their inventory.  With a quickness!

As I tear the tags of off mine, I am smirking at this… my hang tag reads:

“Don’t be afraid to show some skin… a little bit of ankle and a whole lot of attitude!”

Those damn magenta pants… we are about to have some fun!

Cheers!

-k

Finding “your” shade.

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2012 at 12:47 am

At times it could feel like finding a needle in a haystack.  Almost  impossible!

For the longest, those were my sentiments regarding finding the perfect shade of red lipstick.  Back in college is when it began.  Basically, it was trial and error.  Playing around with lip colors, experimenting with an assortment of shades… pretty much, just trying to find ones that worked with my complexion.   Some successes and even more fails – but eventually, I recognized my pattern and made a very fashionable discovery…

I LOVE RED LIPSTICK!

What a sexy color, eh?!

Starts off as seduction in a tube… then, with the right application on your lips, it turns into pure fire!  Come on now fellas – you know that you are intrigued by this look.  Ladies – when it’s done right, red lips are guaranteed to turn heads!  Don’t even get me started… red lips exude glamour, incite mystery, scream sophistication and yes… sometimes whisper risqué.  They evoke an attitude – no – they ARE an attitude.  An attitude that any woman can easily possess… it all rests in finding your perfect shade!

Ah’ight now ladies – what took me years and years to learn, I am giving to you in one sentence; the trick to finding your shade of red is simply determined by your skin tone.  To be exact, your skin tone temperature which is determined by your undertones.  Are you a cool?  Or… are you a warm?  Google it — the tests and quizzes that can be found are endless.  But the long and short of it is this:  red lipsticks are divined into two categories – cool shades that are blue-based and warm shades that are orange-based.  Generally, the rule is that blue-based reds flatter specific skin tones as do warm-based reds.  Soooo… if you have  a basic understanding your skin tone then you will be able to identify the red color category that suits you best.

Right?

Right!

Me?  All of that experimentation helped me discover that I lean towards blue-based reds.  Haha – and my preferred brand for that “knock ’em dead” red… MAC.  My red collection?  6 MAC tubes that I keep in rotation.  And out of them, there is one that takes the lead… it is my weakness — Ruby Woo (http://www.maccosmetics.com/products/spp/shaded.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID=CAT168&PRODUCT_ID=PROD310&SKU_ID=SKU1136).  This is truly a universal color.  Whether cool or warm… I can’t say that I have met a person that the color didn’t compliment.  A vintage color, great matte finish and long wearing.  Can you tell?  Ruby Woo has wooed me!

MAC should be proud for I definitely promote brand loyalty.  But recently…

I did stray and try something new.  Haha – I think lured is more appropriate.  For months now, I have been tabbing pages in my fashion magazines – dog earring sensational ads for red lipstick that seemed to be calling me to come hither.  Always the same ad for the same brand.  Since I am already a brand ambassador for the fragrances, I guess it was just a matter of time before I delved into other products.  And so it is… this girl’s added a 7th tube.  How fitting that it is the 7th addition… my favorite and lucky number!

My new shade?  CHANEL’s Lune Rousse (Red Moon)… and for the record, it has me captivated.  Compared to my beloved Ruby Woo, this is a much deeper red.  Equally as flattering, this blue-based red is a modern day version of what on-screen stars wore in those classic black and white movies.  Without a doubt, I could easily see Bette Davis, Ava Gardner or Joan Crawford applying this sultry color to their lips!  I’m sold and easily offer my recommendation… apparently I am not alone.

Lune Rousse is currently sold out on CHANEL’s website.  For my search, I went to two major department stores, both sold out.  Thank goodness for UPS… my tube – compliments of a Oregon Nordstrom.  Who knew lip color could be that popular…

Interested in my new find?  Looks like you are going back to Google  (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?client=safari&rls=en&q=lune+rousse+lipstick&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=6035504906788449720&sa=X&ei=lXgjT6PcEufz0gGu6IDfCA&ved=0CFIQ8wIwBg#ps-sellers).  Haha- such a long link for such a little tube, eh?

There is something hypnotic about lips painted red… especially when the lip color is your perfect shade.  I’ve found mine — what’s yours?

Initially, the search for the right red might appear arduous, but with patience and persistence…

it’s worth it.

Cheers!

-k

My No. 2 pencil… is a skirt!

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm

The most common pencil for taking standardized test, eh?

Best friend to both students and teachers, the ubiquitous No. 2 pencil is an unquestionable “must have” for every school year.  It’s pretty much a no brainer – this slender tool is a downright nonnegotiable!   At least one will be  found in every child’s backpack and desk… the trusty No. 2 pencil is not only practical but it is guaranteed (with the broad assortment of stylishly colorful designs) to be the most fashionable element in the pencil-case.  In its own right… a timeless classic!

Classic…

Slender…

Timeless…

These words ring true to yet another type of pencil.  Haha – I am just putting it out there – when thinking of that “must have No. 2 pencil”, this is by far my favorite interpretation and my downright nonnegotiable.  My practical tool for any time of the year… the simple, elegant, understated and ageless pencil skirt.

I bet you would consider me crazy if I told you that those skirts make me week in the knees.  Humph… then I would respond by saying what’s crazy is any girls’ closet that is void of one!  Who wouldn’t want a garment that was versatile, sleek and highlighted their silhouette?  I am encouraging everyone to jump on board.  The pencil skirt is a fashion staple that suits many shapes – can I get a “Hallelujah” – for it is not just reserved for the girls shaped like pencils!

Christian Dior’s 1940’s design introduced the world to this curve hugging show stopper.  This straight, slim-fitting number is, in my opinion, a woman’s secret weapon.  An item that not only flatters your figure but elevates your wardrobe by offering countless styling options — that’s damn near magic, eh?!  Oh glorious pencil skirt, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways!  I love you with flip-flops and a bright tank top… with sandals and a sheer blouse… with pumps and a structured blazer… even with boots and a chunky sweater.

Don’t even get me started on the most popular style and what Tim Gunn (www.facebook.com/TimGunn) would most definitely include on his list of 10 essentials — the “black” pencil skirt.  Seriously, it’s a chameleon.  It can be smart and savvy for the business woman, carefree and comfortable for those easy breezy ladies, and super sexy for the socialite club-hopping diva!  Like I said… truly a secret weapon!

Available in an array of fabrics and an even greater color and pattern selections, the pencil skirt is a work of art.  Animal print, charcoal gray, black, white, citron, banana yellow, turquoise and poppy are just a few of the styles that I own and keep in constant rotation – so I speak from experience when I offer this one tip…

The trick to looking great in your slim-fitting pencil skirt is paying attention the fit and not wearing it so tight that it appears painted on.  A tailored look is what you seek.  The skirt should hug your curves and have a little give.  This means that you just might have to ignore the size label inside of your skirt and opt for a smaller, or larger size to achieve the ideal fit.  With the construction of a pencil skirt, this should be easy, especially since you have leeway with where the skirt can rest on your waist.

And it’s just that simple.

Since I am sharing…

take a peek at these links  — five of my favorite spots for pencil skirt shopping!  These stores tend to be incredibly democratic with their fits, have both classic and trendy selections, and a range of price points for the savviest of shoppers.

www.jcrew.com, www.thelimited.comwww.anntaylor.com, www.loft.com and www.bananarepublic.com.

I am looking for feedback ladies.  Surely I am not the only one singing the praises of the pencil skirt!

Or am I?

Cheers!

-k

Closet Combat… will I ever reign the victor?

In Uncategorized on December 23, 2011 at 9:04 pm

As it stands, I am waving the white flag.

This battle – better yet, war – will it ever cease?  I am weary… completely exhausted from the fight.  My arsenal depleted.  All creative tactics and maneuvers outsmarted.  Damn you closet!  When will you let me win?  All I want… SERIOUSLY, all I want is a little organization!

Embarrassed to admit this… but my closet is out of control.

Not because I have an abundance of garments and accessories, but because I have yet to master a system of organization that suits my needs, style and personality.  Sigh… it’s a shame, eh?!  Sad and humorous, right?  Haha – me – a self-proclaimed fashionista, I have absolutely no fashion sense when it comes to maintaining my compact 72″ x 60″  walk-in closet.  Hands in the air… I need some help!

Don’t get me wrong, I have had scattered moments of triumph.  Very short stints, usually achieved by soliciting (or bribing) a partner in crime.  As a matter of fact, a few months before my sister moved to Alaska, she helped.  I know when she sees this current picture of my closet, she is going to shake her head in disgust.  Faint traces of our… ok, her work remain.  Hey… I try.

Come on now… I am a designer.  I possess the basic fundamentals and smarts necessary to accomplish this task.  My strategy, my closet 1, 2, 3’s?  I group like items together.  Within the groups, I categorize by color.  And  for aesthetics, you know, a nice visual effect (mainly to pacify the “Mommy Dearest” in me) I only use wooden hangers.  Apparently, my system isn’t working.  Since I am tired of the piles of shoes on the floor, the stacks of bunched sweaters, jeans in toppled piles and accessories leaking from every shelf… I’m thinking that it is about time for a revamp – maybe even add the 4, 5 and 6?

Hmmm,  I don’t mind being a charity case.  I am open for volunteers with outstanding organizational skills.  Hey now, those that assist never walk away empty-handed.  Trust me, you will be gifted.  In my closet, there  is always something that I am willing to part with… you know the adage about one man’s trash?!

Honestly, I think I need professional help.  Something like AA for closest junkies?  “Hi, my name is Kisha and I’m a closet-holic.”  Or maybe my cutie pie and one of Oprah’s favorites, Nate Berkus?  Perhaps he will swoop in, give my disheveled closet a swift karate chop, wave his magic wand and “poof”… closet utopia!  Pffftt… a pipe dream, eh?  Surely no one wants to tackle this monster… I know I don’t.

So what’s a girl to do?

Probably a more realistic approach:  me, just sucking it up.  I need to roll up my sleeves, pull myself up by the bootstraps and simply jump in.  Or… call and partner with the real pros!  This is where I rely on my BFF – Google!  Do you know how many results the words “closet organization” yield?  Enough to make your head spin!  Easy Closets, Closet factory, Closets by Design, Closet Maid, California Closets, The Container Store… AHHHHHHHHHH!  HELP!

Ok… ok… ok.  I can do this.  Let’s put it in perspective – I mean I have delivered two babies – this closet thing should be a breeze.  I am going to mend my wounds, polish off my battle armor and go back in with a new plan of attack.  Resolve.  Determination.  Game plan:  rally the troops and find some help.  Victory in numbers, eh?  Let the research commence, for one of those website will be utilized!  From my initial research, many offer a free consultation — whew, that’s a start in the right direction!

Surely, someone out there in my blog world must have a similar war story.  Closet combat tales must be shared.

Well… wish me luck as I take on the beast.

In battle position and taking a very deep breath…

I’m going in.  I’m going in!

Cheers!

-k

S-W-A-double G-E-R…

In Uncategorized on December 3, 2011 at 7:27 am

Confused?

Spell it out… S-W-A-G-G-E-R.

Swagger.  What a word, eh?  Unintentionally, this word seems to make a daily appearance in my conversations and my internal thoughts.  A few in my circle often debate the term – attempting to establish a definition and clarify examples of the “who” and “what” that encompasses swagger.  Subconsciously, I even find myself being a critic – evaluating individuals and their actions… secretly grading them and tucking away my rankings of who does and does not possess that enigmatic swagger.  An innocent activity that may appear strange to you, but it does manage to pacify my curiosity.  Ultimately, I am on the prowl for examples.  The term is incredibly subjective and my mission is to simply keep discovering… “what is swagger?”

Haha… in his latest song “Otis”, rapper Jay-Z says that he invented it.  His proof — a clever flaunt of a lyric from a song written some 10 years prior.  Brazen?  Perhaps… but even with knowing that he speaks figuratively, his wit and confidence makes me inclined to believe his claim.  The makings of swagger, eh?

By definition, swagger means to walk or behave in a very confident and typically arrogant or aggressive way.  It is also defined as a confident gait, boastful or conceited expression.  For me, I have sifted the definition and use the word when referring to men and women who have presence and display confidence… actually, they spew confidence… and be it an oxymoron, it is a subtle spew.

Trust me… I know.  The word is definitely debatable.  Many, many… MANY glasses of wine have been consumed discussing its implementation.  It makes for a fantastic “dinner with friends” conversation and when you start to dissect what others characterize as swagger, the word just becomes even more fascinating.

Hmmm… am I obsessed?  Yes.  Yes I am.  I am intrigued by the word and those that I deem to have swagger.  Blame it on me being a people watcher – I easily become engrossed in watching how people present themselves – with their appearance, actions and especially their vocabulary.  Surely, I am not alone?  I think it is simple human nature to watch others… observe, take notes and discreetly evaluate our findings.

So…

What is it about swagger?  Is it just me or do you too find it attractive?  What about sexy?  Does having swagger make one more appealing, interesting… more magnetic?  Is swagger energy?  Is it attitude, posture, stride, or merely attention to detail?  Is swagger innate or learned?  I’m thinking that it is a combination of all of the above… and much much more!

In my opinion, swagger is a brilliant  7 letter word that is used as a calibrator.  A gauge for allure and sometimes a gauge for tempt.  I would say that you are fibbing if you say that you don’t desire a bit of swag.  Haha – to quote my brother, “it is a beautiful thang!”  Being honest, we all know that the unfortunate truth is not everyone has swagger — but  for those that do possess it, a covert exhibition is just as enticing as the expected overt display.

If I didn’t think it would bore you, I’d list some of the swagger criteria on my gauge.  Better believe that I have an index – one that is filled with staples but always open for tweaks and additions.  Swagger makes me raise an eyebrow.  I love it when women and men are in tune with themselves… when it radiates — you know, they get it!  Back to one of my favorite terms… it’s just spicy!!!!

On a keeping it real note – my criteria is not solely superficial… there is something to be said for a man or woman who is genuinely kind, has an unselfish heart and a strong love of family and friends — now that too is swagger, eh?!

Leaving you with this, because I have no qualm sharing  – and who knows, you just might be wondering…

The answer is yes.

When critiquing myself, I side with Jay-Z…

I might not have invented it… but I do believe that I definitely have swagger!  (wink wink)

Do tell… what about you?

Cheers!

-k

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe…

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2011 at 10:00 pm

…catch a coat by the toe?!

Yep…

Considering that I have a fondness for coats, I am thinking that some might conclude that this children’s counting rhyme is the process in which I determine my outerwear selection for the day.  Guilty.  I admit, there is an overindulgence.  However… without hesitation I promise you that I would never rely on such  foolish antics.   Haha – all dedicated to a love of style, fashion and that finishing touch (like the cherry on the top of your sundae) that makes your ensemble pop!  Didn’t you know… there is and always has been a method to my madness!

Ecstatic that the crisp days of fall now allow for this layering option.  Naturally, as we all know, the intent of our coat is to provide warmth — blah, blah, blah.   Ladies… and also gentlemen, I ask this:  what better way to express yourself, complement your outfit AND accentuate your silhouette than the contours of a coat?  Perhaps, when it comes to colors and styles, my male friends might find their shopping options more limited than my female companions.  Hey, bottom line is this:  coats are a powerhouse.  They add an instant “wow” factor and simply show-off your style… your presentation!

Not appear over the top but you have got to agree with me… there is nothing more disheartening than seeing someone in a an ill-fitting coat or one that is totally inappropriate for their outfit.  Makes me cringe… ok, maybe “cringe” is too harsh – but it’s just wrong… all wrong!

Sooooo… allow me my platform.  For surely you have got to know that I have a few friendly suggestions!

Since it inevitably is all about attention to detail, here are my never fail, sure-fire, top three requirements for any coat that I add to my wardrobe.  Haha- not even hinting that anyone should follow suit — I’mmmmmmmmm just saying.

#1 — Function and Fit.  From a practical stance, the chill in the air makes it necessary to don a coat.  Your lifestyle, profession and location on the planet, will drive your outerwear selections.  It’s not secret and absolutely expected.  Knowing that you need a coat, covering the basics and smart shopping are the general rules that everyone knows, eh?  So, knowing how you want the coat to function should be key and determine the fit you need when purchasing.  Are you investing in a big puffy coat that you need to be layered over thick fleece clothing, a classic trench coat to be worn over a suit jacket or a structured pea coat to be paired with a sweater?  Bottom line… a coat that is too tight or too big is just NOT a good look!

#2 — Pay attention to your physique.  We know that our body size and shapes play an important role when selecting suits, shirts, skirts, dresses and my favorite – jeans!  So, why should the rules shift when buying a coat?  They don’t.  Certain coat shapes flatter the tall as well as certain shapes flatter those that are shorter.  Weight and where you carry your weight always plays a part… and for my ladies… our “girls” can make or break the look of a coat.  Not going off on a tangent here… summing it up with my steadfast rule – know your body/what works for you and accentuate your positives!  ALWAYS!  EVERYDAY!

#3 — Embrace your inner fashionista (haha -or fashionisto).  Coats can be so stylish and I love how they  “hint” at the outfit that lies beneath.  Have fun and try an unexpected style or color… maybe a lil’ fur around the collar or detachable collar, maybe even unexpected details on the cuff , buttons… even the lining!  Play around with pattern and texture… leather, wool, houndstooth,  – it’s all so irresistible.  Why not make a statement?  Why not add some swagger?  Trust me – catch a glimpse of yourself in a coat that has an extra dose of panache and I guarantee that you will stand a few inches taller AND have more peep in your step!  Haha – and if you are like me… don’t forget to pop your collar!

It has to be evident… I do have an appetite for an unforgettable coat.  But then again… I do like presentation!  Happy if you take heed and implement my 1, 2, 3’s.  Not that difficult and for many probably a shared rule of thumb.  At any rate, I am looking forward to adding to my collection – this season’s must have is a winter white stunner!  Still on the prowl — I’ll let you know when I find the right one!

Cheers!

-k