beauty, fashion, hair, home & art, inspiration, lifestyle, makeup, styling guides, trends

2014 Pantone Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid

Many of us decide on a color to incorporate into our outfits based on our moods; and others love following what’s in and trendy for the year, specifically by using the Pantone color system.

Pantone is the global color authority and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, from fashion and beauty to interior decor. If you watch Project Runway, you’ve definitely seen a few challenges inspired by a Pantone color of the year. The goal is to direct and study the way color influences the human thought process as well as our emotions and physical reactions. This definitely plays a vital role in the fashion industry as the color you’re wearing can absolutely set the tone for your mood.

With the New Year right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking fresh and deciding how we’re going to include new trends into our wardrobes. The 2013 color of the year has been Emerald; Pantone stated that it “served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity.” What do you think of that? Has it been a blooming, prosperous year for you? Don’t fret if it hasn’t been, since the 2014 color will be Radiant Orchid. Reaching across the color wheel to spark the imagination, the bright pigment symbolizes an invitation to innovation. It encourages you to expand your creativity and uniqueness, which is essential nowadays, as we all know. Radiant Orchid is a beautiful harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, inspiring confidence and showcasing joy, love and health.

For the fashion world, Radiant Orchid’s rosy undertones illuminate the skin when worn by both ladies and gents. A showstopper, the color was seen all over the Spring and Fall 2014 runway shows. Keep your eyes peeled as Radiant Orchid will carry its way into men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories as well as beauty, decor and even food throughout all of 2014!

I definitely feel that this color is perfect for the New Year’s goals I’ve been setting which are all focused on trying new things and above all, being [and staying!] confident. Let’s plan from now with inspiration from fashion, makeup, decor and more. For even more to fuel your imagination, follow my Pinterest board where I’ll be pinning my favorite Radiant Orchid findings throughout the year. Share in the comments below how you’ll be incorporating the gorgeous hue into your year!

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fashion, inspiration, lifestyle, reflections

Must-Reads for Fashion & Style Enthusiasts!

I’m a huge list-maker – wishlists, to-do lists, to-buy lists – you name it, I’ll have a list on it! During this time of year, I make sure to have a diverse wishlist for myself to share with friends & family (especially since my birthday just passed and the Holiday season is officially here – it just makes it easier, y’know?). This time, I figured it would be nice to create wishlists that even you can use!

I was recently gifted a book from my wishlist that I’m so incredibly excited to read: Fashion 2.0: Blogging Your Way to The Front Row. I started this blog with that goal (to push it to bigger & better things) and ever since the blogging industry has blossomed tremendously, I realized I needed a boost and a little help to get there, so this book will definitely come in handy!

Here is my list of must-reads for Fashion & Style enthusiasts all around, from informative guides and history lessons to stories with a fashion setting! These are in no particular order and are amongst the top-rated in their categories.

1. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

Because obviously. I mean honestly, if you haven’t read this book and/or watched the movie, you absolutely need to do so. Right now. I mean it!

2. Tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker by Manolo Blahnik / Tale of Sleeping Beauty by Christian Lacroix / Tale of the Empress’s New Clothes by DVF

Christian Lacroix, Diane Von Furstenberg and Manolo Blahnik took a few spins by bending their careers to the plots of these classic fairytales. The fairytale stories come with some of the most beautiful illustrations you’ll lay your eyes on. A lovely addition to your bookcase! 

3. Closer By Scott Schuman

Though “Closer” mostly consists of photographs, it’s still a must-have, especially if you’ve been a follower of Scott Schuman since the beginning! The pioneer of street style photography, the book is filled with a collection of his best work to help you better understand where his journey all began. 

4. The Beautiful Fall by Alicia Drake

The scene is 1970s Paris, and the story explains the rivalry between two of fashion’s most influential men, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. The feud – which you may not have known of beforehand – reveals a tale of social ambitions, beautiful fashion and raw talent. Truly inspirational! 

5. If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You by Kelly Cutrone

Fashion is a tough industry, and famous PR maven Kelly Cutrone tells it like it is, because who else will? Some may find her too harsh but I love her blunt, honest personality. The memoir details a sometimes brutal industry and how Cutrone rose to the top with nothing standing in her way. 

6Fashion A to Z by Alex Newman and Zakee Shariff

Bringing together all the key words commonly used in colleges and in industry, this fashion reference book is beautifully illustrated with diagrams and drawings of fashion details and costumes that bring the subject to life.

7. Vogue: The Editor’s Eye by Conde Nast

This essential coffee-table book showcases the work of eight of Vogue‘s most legendary fashion editors, pairing beautiful photographs (by the world’s most renowned fashion photographers) with exceptional interviews with each editor.
We can talk about Alexander McQueen for hours on end, as there’s so much to be said about the life and beautiful work of the legendary designer. This book breaks down his collections and reveals the often-personal inspiration behind his visions. 
Let this book be the illustrated Iliad to the men in your life looking for a boost in their style endeavors. Owning this sends a very clear message to those in your life… that you know what’s up.
The perfect companion for any fashionista – or anyone interested in a better understanding of the fashion world – this book covers 200 years of fashion history, perfect for both fashion enthusiasts and a general audience.
Rachel Zoe has been one of my biggest inspirations for as long as I can remember, so it’s natural that this book is on my list! Hollywood’s hottest celeb stylist, Rachel Zoe shares insider tips to the art of a fashionable, red-carpet-worthy lifestyle. 
This is the first book I was gifted upon discovering I wanted to take fashion seriously, as in delve into a career path. An absolute must-read for anyone interested in fashion, the book is filled with inspirational stories from aspiring designers, stylists, editors, photographers and models all about how to journey into a fashion-filled life.
Do you own any of these books? Are any on your list or do you have any that you’d like to share?

lifestyle, reflections

How to be More Confident

This isn’t exactly a *fashion* post but it can certainly have an effect on the way we showcase fashion and style in our everyday lives.

I’ve been somewhat of a reserved person throughout my life, and it wasn’t until I moved away from home a few years that I broke out of my shell and learned to be a social butterfly, feeling more confident with myself. I still actively work to improve my social skills and self-confidence, qualities that I feel everyone should possess to their greatest capacity. This isn’t easy, of course, especially with the media nowadays and how it can alter one’s perspective on self-image; but it is definitely doable / fixable.

I’ve compiled eight useful tips on how to become more confident in the way you feel and how you present your self, as well as when conversing and interacting with others. I hope these pointers benefit you in some way or another – please let me know if they do or if you have any methods of your own that you’d like to share!

Practice confident body language.

Body language can make a huge difference in the way others perceive you as well as how you feel. Even faking confident body language will eventually lead to actual self-confidence – I’ve tried it, it works. This means you should strike your Wonder Woman / Superman pose, stand up straight, push your shoulders back, puff up your chest, and throw your hands on your hips (how many times have you heard a few of these remarks from your parents?! I know I have plenty). I’m serious, though; take up as much space as you can. This strong, powerful stance will make you feel confident even when you aren’t. Don’t slouch or drop your chin or you may lose that confidence and it will show. 
Make eye contact and hold it.

I’ve had someone say that I look at people too much when I talk to them, but I never understood this or saw it as a negative thing. Where am I suppose to look? Off in the other direction? I find that awkward and quite rude. Don’t be the first person to look away in a conversation. It might sound strange to just stare into someone’s eyes, but I’m not telling you to do it as if you’re reaching deep into their soul. What actually IS creepy is making eye contact and quickly looking away. This will make it seem like you’re lying about what you’re saying or you’re nervous/ashamed. (you know those with ‘shifty eyes’). 
Smile.


I’ve also had someone say I smile too much or at random times / people; and again, what is wrong with being a pleasant, happy person?! I don’t see any harm in smiling often so long as you’re not… well… being a creep about it (super long stare + eerie smile = eh, no). With that said, be sure to smile, not only with your mouth, but your eyes as well (someone once told me I had smiling eyes which I found to be the absolute sweetest remark!) This is not something you should fake, however, like body language, because one can easily tell a fake smile apart from a genuine one. For instance, can you tell which of the above is my genuine smile versus a fake one? I really hope so or this is just awkward… But the key to displaying an honest smile is to actually have something to smile about. For me, call it cheesy but I smile about, well, life, which is probably why I smile so often! I don’t exactly need a specific reason; but when there is one, you’ll get a huge one from me. Think happy thoughts. Kittens (that gets me big time). Your love. Your favorite vacation spot. You get the idea! If that seems too difficult for you, fake it until you convince yourself you are happy (it has to work). 
Don’t nod and fidget.

A confident person doesn’t fidget. You don’t see James Bond playing with his cuff links. Similarly, don’t nod your head so much when someone is talking to you. It makes you look desperate to appease them. Instead, keep eye contact and smile.
Pause before speaking.

This is something I need to work on more. It’s not that I intentionally want to interrupt someone, but I get so excited with my thoughts at times that I tend to blurt them out before waiting (oops). We need to process what our sender is saying before we proceed to respond. Take two seconds to sort out what has been said, and let yourself react afterwards (facial expressions tell all). You will come across as more sincere and a great listener, instead of a passive one who is simply waiting for your turn to speak (which is a big no-no!) 
Let others impress you. This will in turn impress them.

Everyone likes to feel good about themselves. That’s the whole point of this post after all! I make it a priority to ask about others’ day and not be shy about giving out compliments. Make it a priority of yours to actively listen to what is being said as well as how it’s being said, and respond accordingly. Practice this when you’re ordering coffee or buying groceries by asking the cashier how their day is going and/or complimenting them on something. If you mangle the interaction, no worries, you try again next time!
Dress nicely, walk like you own the place.


American businesswoman and founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics once said “While clothes may not make the woman, they certainly have a strong effect on her self-confidence, which, I believe, does make the woman“. I couldn’t agree with this more and they’re words I (do my best to) live by everyday. Whether you like it or not, people make their initial judgements about you based on your body language as well as what you’re wearing, so… you better make a damn good impression! Fashion (or rather, style) is something each individual possesses uniquely, though, so wear something that you feel comfortable in. Now this doesn’t mean you should slack off and wear sweatpants everywhere you go because they’re, well, comfortable (seriously, don’t do it). Don a new pair of heels or a classic LBD and own every step you take in them as if you’re walking a runway show (I love how supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio – above – always makes a grand entrance on the runway with her hands in the air, pretty much demanding attention – in a good way of course). Not saying you should strut around in a bikini, but demand the attention of others and don’t be afraid to show own it and show your confidence. I’ll go more into detail on dressing to feel more confident in another post since that’s a very lengthy topic that I’d love to dive into!

Exercise.

Another goal of mine that I have quite the difficult time sticking to is exercise, mostly because I’m very picky about which forms I decide to partake in. I promise you though, if you stick to some sort of routine, you will look better (obviously) but feel incredible as well, which is the key here. Exercise is one of the greatest ways to boost your self-esteem, as it does a great job in making you look great as well as stay energized, releasing endorphins to make you happier and feeling more alive. Start with the basics by running, doing some sit-ups and even meditating or practicing yoga (which I love).

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lifestyle, sunday finds

Friday Favorites

Despite this gloomy weather, happy Friday! I’m actually off of work tonight and have no plans thus far… maybe that calls for some spring cleaning? We’ll see! Here are five things to know this afternoon!

  • Come out to Style Etoile tomorrow from 10am-6pm for an exclusive shopping event and the chance to meet Martí (whom I currently intern for!) – designer of luxe tailored essentials – as well as styling duo Natalie and Christina Albina! You’ll be able to preview new collections and take advantage of sample sale prices! Trust me… you don’t want to miss this – the pieces are amazing.
  • Speaking of Martí, we are having a giveaway! Simply ‘like’ our Facebook page for the chance to win this amazing leather jacket pictured below (retailed at $500!). Once we reach 500 likes, one lucky winner will be announced! Good luck! 

  • If you know me well, you know my obsession with anything princess-like. Well… Marc Jacobs just launched a pair of beautiful transparent pumps that has my inner fairy princess calling out to! What a major update on Cinderella’s magical slippers! I’m in love ❤ Get them here

  • A little while back, I shared my top fashion apps for the iPhone. The list, however, keeps growing, as tech-savvy folks come up with fresh unique ideas, such as Trendabl. Just like Instagram, but for fashion, strike a pose or post a picture of something you must share, and voila! Plus, you can follow our favorite fashion-forward icons including Michael Kors, Diane von Furstenberg, and Barneys NY! My username is Danah (:
  • In fashion, you can often depict one’s ‘fashion personality’ by their choice of shoes and handbag, with their bag being more crucial since it is probably the one fashion item we consistently wear the most. Refinery29 highlighted six common bags… and personalities they reveal. Which bag are you?! I’m a mixture of a Celine Luggage Bag Tote and a Cambridge Satchel Company bag. 
What is everyone doing this weekend? I’m going to try my best to make it to the Style Etoile event before work, and the rest of my weekend will most likely consist of relaxation, which I strangely need a lot of lately.

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lifestyle, sunday finds

Friday Favorites: Fashion Apps

If you haven’t yet discovered through my previous posts, I’d like to consider myself as being pretty geek-chic-savvy! However, I’m definitely still a (slight) newbie to iPhone land! Since I’ve gotten my iPhone a few months ago, I’ve been discovering so many new fashion apps that I don’t know what to do with myself (seriously… I’m obsessed with my phone at the moment). If you’re as sartorially savvy as you are on the ball when it comes to technology, then you are in luck! I’ve downloaded every (free) fashion-themed app available on the market, and narrowed it down to four that I feel any fashion enthusiast can greatly benefit from or simply have fun with. Read on and get yourself tapping away!


Snapette

For: The Power Shopper
Works With: iPhone, iPad, & iPod Touch

If Gossip Girl was a fashion app, this would SO be it. The brand-new app basically enables you to blab to the world all the fancy and tempting fashion finds you spot while shopping. Simply snap a pic of an amazing pair of pumps or a to-die-for handbag, tag its brand, list its price, and location you found it, and share the news with other snap-happy shopaholics! Connect your app to your Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr accounts to receive hot points in votes and to lust over products with other stylish people!

Pose

For: Fashion Bloggers & Fashionistas!
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Anytime you’re feeling fabulous with that super stylish new outfit you’ve just pulled together and don’t have a street style photographer on hand, simply strike a Pose with this app! It’s best described as a user-generated street style site a la Lookbook.nu/Chictopia, but in real-time. Pose, snap, and tag brands if you’d like, and a statement caption. Then sit back and see how many fellow ‘posers’ love your look!
The OutNet StyleCred

For: Aspiring Stylists
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

If your dream is like mine to be the next Rachel Zoe, then this app is perfect for you! Test your styling skills by putting together head-to-toe looks using the online retailers abundance of clothing, shoes & accessories. If your friends and followers like what they see, they can click to purchase any item in the mix and you, the stylist, will snag $30 in store credit for each new item bought! Win-win!

Poshmark

For: Every fashion enthusiast
Works With: iPhone
I absolutely love Poshmark, mainly due to the fact that I feel like I’m friends with everyone who is on their, regardless of whether or not I actually know them! The founders and the community make it super exciting by hosting shopping parties, allowing you to sell items straight from your closet, shop with confidence, and connect with others in the Poshmark fashion community. With creating a listing of an item you want to sell, you can even edit the photo with fun filters to make your piece stand out even more! Think of it as your own little fashion eBay, except more close-knit and with real-time parties! I have one listing so far, a pair of Baby Phat shoes (go buy them!)

What’s your favorite fashion app from the ones listed above? Are there any that
 aren’t listed that you love using? Share your thoughts in the comments below 

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