Tag Archives: black

Black on Black

Hello my lovely stylistas! Today I had to decide whether or not to renew my domain, and after much thought I decided to give it another year. My new position has me very busy, especially with the holidays, but I really want to make the time to continue blogging (and hopefully with much more frequency).
Today I want to discuss the “Black on Black” trend. In my job, I have to wear black head-to-toe every day. While I was fine with this as I wear black most days, I have found it challenging to keep it fresh and new. I came across a wonderful article at PopSugar about this trend and I am feeling quite inspired.

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Anne Hathaway looks amazing in this black ensemble. The form-fitting dress is sexy and the longer hem makes it classy. Add a little fur jacket, suede bootie, neutral lip, and simple jewelry, and you have the perfect outfit for all your holiday parties.

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Gwyneth Paltrow is always chic. She makes what could be a very casual outfit into something fabulous. A tailored jacket, tank, and silky trousers are instantly raised to a new level with the addition of fringed heels.

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Kristen Stewart has really become a fashionista. Leather dress paired with quilted leather jacket (great idea to add a different texture when wearing similar fabrics) is biker chic and a strappy bootie is so, so sexy. Add smoldering makeup and you have an urban uniform that will keep you rockin.

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Karolina Kurkova also opts for leather. A pencil skirt and fitted bomber jacket make a terrific pairing and a simple pointy heel adds sophistication. Swipe on a burgundy lip and you are right on trend.

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I adore this look worn by Olivia Palermo. I would absolutely wear this to work. I’m a huge fan of layering and this is done just right. A long trouser, stellar heels, and black pearls complete the look. It’s classy, trendy, and fun.

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Victoria Beckham always gets it right. A cropped blazer with a tired miniskirt is flirty and fun and the only accessories you need are a dangerously high bootie and little box clutch.

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Taylor Swift is sporting my usual work look. Cropped black pant, peplum top, little heels (or booties now that’s it’s cold), and a red lip. Simple, elegant, and fabulous.

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Stacy Keibler has my second favorite work look-leggings, long top, and a shorter layering piece. Adding a colorful clutch adds interest to an already stunning ensemble.

You can never go wrong wearing black-on-black. It’s always perfect for every and any occasion. You will look classy, chic, and sophisticated.

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Belly Up To The Barre

Regardless of how you felt about “Black Swan” (I loved it), there’s no denying the fact that it sparked a workout revolution. Woman all over the world were suddenly flocking to ballet studios in order to achieve a dancer’s body, and the phenomenon that is the “barre workout” was born. Barre workouts actually go back over three decades when Lotte Berk created her method, but in recent years they’ve taken on a whole new persona.
So, what exactly is a barre workout? It is a combination of ballet, yoga, and pilates with bursts of cardio thrown in. You will firm, tighten, tone, and streamline your physique without adding bulk. The workout incorporates the use of a ballet barre (or chair) for support and resistance, light arm weights, and depending on the studio, balls and resistance bands. The results are amazing-narrow waistline, lifted butt, lean thighs, and sculpted arms-a dancer’s body.
But let me be clear-this is NOT an easy workout. You will feel muscles you never knew existed. Your legs will shake like jello and just when you think your done with a move, the instructor will cry out to “give me one more inch” and the count begins again. You will be sore, you will want to give up. I know because I did give up, but not any longer. I am so committed to barre workouts that it is all I think about. I am determined to have that dancer’s body in time for my 25 year high school reunion this summer (I know, I’m old). Lucky for me, there are more and more barre studios opening in Minneapolis and the amount of dvds is staggering. I’m going to introduce you to some of the studios in the metro area and one of my favorite dvds.

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Align Pilates 3021 Holmes Ave. S. Minneapolis

This is the one studio I have actually been to. I purchased a Groupon last summer that entitled me to 4 barre classes at Align. It’s a beautiful studio located in the heart of Uptown. I expected more of a ballet class, but what I got was a heart pumping, leg shaking, muscle burning 60 minutes of the most intense exercise I had ever experienced. From the first beat of music (which is awesome-can you say Florence and the Machines?), we were moving and sweating and grimacing. Co-owner Adrienne Fitzmaurice put us through the paces and was both encouraging and tough. She motivates you and inspires you, all while correcting posture (very important) and pushing everyone to give more. I left there exhausted but with a smile on my face. I scheduled a private session with her to make sure I was doing everything correctly and she was fantastic. After my four sessions were up I had to quit going (no job), but boy did I miss it.
Align offers several barre classes as well as pilates and yoga. This May they will have a six week Barre Basics class, which is perfect for the barre newbie. You’ll learn all about barre and how to perform each move effectively. In July they will offer a weekend-long barre teacher training (my dream) for those interested in taking things to the next level. Scheduling can be done on-line, and believe me-those barre classes fill up fast!
For more information, please visit Align Pilates

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The Barre 539 Lake St. E. Wayzata

This studio overlooks Lake Minnetonka and features beginner and more intense classes. They also offer childcare, which is perfect for mommies.
For more information, please visit The Barre

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Balanced Barre and Pilates 240 Minnetonka Ave. S. Wayzata

Also located in Wayzata, this studio features the Barre Amped method, which you can also find on DVD.
For more information, please visit Balanced Barre and Pilates

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Pure Barre 5620A W. 36th St. St. Louis Park

Pure Barre is probably one of the most recognizable studios in the country and they have finally come to Minnesota. Newly opened in St. Louis Park, classes are filling up quickly. You can also find a huge collection of Pure Barre dvds.
For more information, please visit Pure Barre Minneapolis

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Barre Bliss 2920 Bryant Ave. S. Minneapolis

Also located in Uptown, this studio focuses on barre and yoga, as well as family classes. Childcare is an added bonus. They, too, will be offering teacher training in June.
For more information, please visit Barre Bliss

For those of you that don’t have access to a barre studio or can’t handle the price tag (classes usually start at $20 an hour, but packages are available), there are oodles of dvds out there. I have purchased and tried almost every brand out there, but one of my favorites is Tracey Mallett’s Booty Barre Total Body.

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Total Body $15.99 available at Tracey Mallett or Amazon

The main reason I love this DVD is because it utilizes the ballet barre more than most, and that’s my favorite part (not to mention my barre is heavy and if I drag it out, I’d better use it). Tracey is an international fitness and wellness expert, dancer, choreographer, and a master pilates instructor (so she knows her stuff). This perky Aussie is fun to watch, very clear on her instruction, and motivates you to keep going. Another thing I love is that all you need is a chair and some light arm weights. She has someone doing modifications, which are easy to follow, and the girls all have different body types.

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The girls from Total Body

I really love this dvd and while it’s hard, it’s also really fun! Tracey has many, many different videos, so no matter what kind of exercise you like, there’s one for you.

I hope this has given you some insight into the world of barre workouts and has inspired you to give it a try. The results can be outstanding, as long as you stick with it. I can tell you I’m down 5 pounds in one week from walking and doing barre, as well as really paying attention to calories in and calories out. I can’t wait to see where I’m at next Friday!

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Parisian Chic At Ann Taylor

I have to tell you, I am dying over Ann Taylor’s fall 2012 collection. When I saw the photos I was absolutely gobsmacked! Where did this come from? Have I been missing out on fabulous pieces? I admit, I have not been in Ann Taylor for years. It’s always felt very business lady to me, but not anymore. Inspired by head designer Lisa Axelson’s trip to Paris, this collection screams parisian cool girl. Featuring animal prints, pencil skirts, boxy gamine peacoats,cropped fur jackets and capes, and amazing accessories, there really isn’t one piece I don’t want. And don’t even get me started on the black and white wedding collection. I just hope someone gets married so I have a reason to buy one of the glamorous party dresses. Here is a sneak peak, featuring my favorite items.

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Love this dress. The silhouette is perfection!

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Tweeds with lace is so sexy!

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The details, like the back bow, are really what makes each piece special.

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The flare on the bottom of the skirt turns it from corporate to playful.

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The cut and color of this coat is amazing.

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Swing coats are always a very good thing.

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A longer sleeved shift dress-perfect for fall and winter events.

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Hello Paris!

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With heels or boots, this dress is a must-have for me.

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Super cool girl, not working girl. Ann has got some edge!

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Where do I even start? This is a Megan outfit personified.

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Each look is styled so well. The accessories are stunning.

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The satin cuffs, the bracelets, the color…

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I love that they’ve done a thicker heel.

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One of the many shoe tables. One of everything please!

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A winter wedding, a fabulous dress.

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There are no words…

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And just the right accessories…

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A stunning little black dress that works all year long.

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For work or special occasion (I adore the bow)

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A view of the wedding collection.

All pieces will be available Fall 2012 at Ann Taylor

For more photos and information, please visit Fab Sugar

So, are you as blown away as I am? I cannot wait for fall. Ann Taylor has truly become a fashion force to be reckoned with.

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Outrageous Lashes

Another day, another new mascara. They pop up constantly and, of course, I have to try them all. My latest experiment was with the new Sephora Collection Outrageous Mascara. This is a volumizing mascara that is supposed to give you pumped-up, glamorous lashes. What sets it apart from other mascaras is the triple loaded brush. It coats lashes in one stroke for a luscious look (it really does only take one coat). I would recommend wiping the brush a bit before application. As with most fat brushes, they are a little big for my eyes and can get a bit goopy, so less is more. What I really love about it is the color. It is a very rich black and the formula contains Hyaluronic Acid, which is known for it’s moisturizing properties. The brush is good and can be used in a couple of different ways. Use the reservoirs to intensify lashes root to tip. You can use the “spiked” areas to separate and define lashes. Or you can achieve a curved effect by pressing brush lightly to the upper tips of lashes. Did it give me “voluminous” lashes? Not to the extent I would have liked, but the color was dramatic and my lashes definitely stood out. They just didn’t look as thick as I’d hoped. I didn’t find any smudging, but there was a little flaking. Overall, it’s a good mascara, but it just wasn’t as “outrageous” as I wanted.

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Sephora Collection Outrageous Mascara $15

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Style Inspiration-Natasha Poly

My style inspiration this week is model Natasha Poly. You may recognize her from the ad campaigns she’s done for Gucci and Fendi, but you’ve definitely seen her work for Victoria’s Secret. I just really dig her style. She wears a lot of black (which I can relate to) and always manages to look edgy and cool.

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I love all black. It always looks stylish and I really like that the only splash of color is her Chanel bag.

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Super cool motocross jeans and an awesome leather jacket.

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This is how I roll most days. My favorites are off-shoulder sweatshirts and skinny black bottoms.

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Another one of my favorite looks. A long, colorful cardigan with black leggings and an awesome pair of boots.

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Shopping at Chanel in fur-my dream day!

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She is simply stunning. The leather jacket and black booties rock!

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The colors and print make this mini dress stand out, and paired with black tights gives it an edgier look.

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The famous Gucci ad. She has a real Lauren Hutton vibe going on.

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Recent ad campaign for Fendi. This ad caught me eye immediately. The styling is perfection.

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Flawless face. Oh, to be young….

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Simple dress, gladiator sandals, and sunnies-basic, easy, and fabulous.

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Natural beauty is always best. Let the real you shine through.

Natasha really shows that you can dress all in basics, add an awesome shoe or boot, and you will look like a fashionista. Sometimes, simple really is best!

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Black Honey

I started wearing Clinique’s Black Honey over ten years ago. Back then it only came in their Almost Lipstick formula and it was my signature color. I loved the color (a deep, blackened raisin) and the feel. Fast forward a decade and now this color has a cult following. Why? Because it truly does look great on everyone. It does not matter what your individual coloring is, this will look amazing on you. I hate to admit it, but I had kind of forgotten about this unique lip shade until I started going through my new magazines. The ads are everywhere and it got me thinking-“Why did I abandon Black Honey?” I guess I just got caught up in all the new goodies that are constantly hitting the market. I pulled out the tube I had tucked away and tried it on. Perfection! And after looking into it, I found this color is now available in many different options.

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Black Honey Almost Lipstick $15
The original, this lipstick is really more of a balm. Transparent pigments merge with your unique, natural lip tone to create a color that is all yours. It’s sheer, glossy, and very lightweight.

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Black Honey Lip Duo $21
This is a two-sided gem. Almost lipstick is on one end, and on the other you have Long Last Glosswear. Worn separately or together, you will have beautiful and moisturized lips. SPF 15.

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Black Honey Superbalm Moisturizing Balm $15
This is a high-gloss balm that instantly relieves dryness and leaves you with radiant lips.

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Limited Edition Black Honey Shimmering Tones Powder $32.50
Inspired by the lip color, this brick can be used as a blush, eye shadow, or all around face brightener. Gorgeous!

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Black Honey Glow ($48.50 value) $28.50
This set contains four products to create the ultimate Black Honey look. Set contains Color Surge Eye Shadow Duo, High Impact Mascara, limited edition Black Honey gel blush, and Superbalm.

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Black Honey Gradient Powder Blush $29.50
This powder is great because it can be layered for a more dramatic look, or one sweep can create a natural flush.

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Black Honey Brush-on Cream Liner $15
A creamy eyeliner that is perfect for creating a smokey eye. This is a brownish raisin color.

All products available at Sephora. Most are available at Clinique or major department stores

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Loungin’ in my Black Honey Almost Lipstick

Whatever product you choose, I can guarantee you will not be disappointed with Black Honey. It’s delicious!

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Kajal Me

Do you remember in “Sex and the City 2” when the oh-so-stylish Carrie Bradshaw purchased a unique eyeliner in the Souk? And then she lined her eyes as black as night for her ill-fated meeting with Aidan? Well, that was Kajal eyeliner and it’s sweeping the States in a big way.

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Carrie with her kajal eyes

Kajal has been used for centuries by women in India and other Eastern parts of the world. It is a richly intense black ingredient that delivers stunning definition and the cone shape enables the product to glide effortlessly. The result is very defined and contoured eyes.

Estee Lauder’s Intense Kajal Eye Crayon is a creamy crayon that creates intense, smoldering color in one single stroke. It blends very easily and can be used as a liner or smudged for more of a shadow. For added drama, try lining the lower inner rim of the eye.

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Estee Lauder Intense Kajal Eye Crayon $22
available at fine department stores

Many of the drugstore brands are introducing Kajal liners to their repertoire. A great (and more affordable) option is by Loreal. It’s every bit as good as the Estee Lauder crayon.

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Loreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner $8.95
available at major drugstores

There’s nothing I love more than a smokey eye. It’s very glamorous and can really make your eyes pop. Unfortunately, I’ve never mastered the look. I have trouble wearing eyeliner (my eyes are shaped weird and it ends up on my brow bone), but this does look amazing and would be very fun to play around with. A smokey eye can be very sexy, and the Kajal eye is one step above that. It’s SMOLDERING!

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