New Nude. Or Not?

We come in some many different shades and colors.

From pale ivory skin of Lily Cole to the warm deep brown of Ajak Deng and everything thing in between. The different shades of all of us is what makes everything so breathtakingly beautiful to behold.

My question is this:

Is it too much to ask for a version of nude that is actually nude on my skin?

I have a plethora of "nude" shoes, bags, and underwear in my closet which are no where near the color of my skin.  I am a dark brown girl; not cream or warm tan. I'm grateful that at least underwear have become a more accommodating with their shades of nude in recent years but...

My goodness! What's girl to do to get a good pair of truly nude heels in her closest? Do I have to by six different nude-looking lip colors to find one that only semi-looks right on me if I mix it with something else? The nude trend has been pretty persistent over the past couple of years. I would have thought that, by now, designers would get hip to the complexion game and be a little more giving with their offerings. Why no variation?

I love my nude clutch. I love my nude pumps. I love my nude platform wedges. I love my nude booties. I love my nude platform pumps. I really really do. They are, by far, my go-to shoes and accessories most days.

I just they were a little bit more truly nude on me.

Medium Rare

Brunch is one of my favorite meals and Medium Rare knows how to do a great brunch. Nestled in a quiet corner in the Cleveland Park area of DC, this magnificent eatery is probably one of the best brunches in DC.

Their two course brunch menu comes with a myriad of unlimited breakfast drinks (i.e. including mimosas, screwdrivers, bloody marys, etc) for one well-priced rate. I paired the fruit parfait with their signature steak and eggs and it was absolutely everything I never knew I needed as 12:30pm on a Sunday. Between the ambiance, great staff, and delicious food, Medium Rare definitely earned a spot on my Favorite Eateries list. I can't wait to go back!

3500 Conneticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Located right across the street from the Cleveland Park stop on the Red Line

Shala Monroque [STYLE ICON]

Nina Garcia's Decoding Style

Nina Garcia has a webseries on YouTube that is absolutely fabulous! With each mini episode (each is no more than 5 minutes), she works with a client to help define their style according to their personality and what works best for their life. She gives great styling and fashion tips along the way. I ran across an episode on Nina's Tumblr page and thought I'd post all 6 episodes here. Feel free to checkout more videos and subscribe to AOLonStyle.

2013 SAG Awards

I can't tell you the last time I watched and enjoyed and actual award show. I'm not really here for accolades given to movies, shows, and actors I never heard of and my favorites being snubbed (I love you Leonardo DiCaprio!!). Nevertheless, I always tune in for the red carpet experience. I love seeing the glitz and glamour of the night.

I was a little underwhelmed and lightly disappointed by most of the red carpet styles at this year's SAG Awards; I'm assuming the stars are saving their best pieces for the Oscars (I must note that the stars were shining at the Golden Globes though). While the ladies and gentlemen did look good, not too many looks had me gasping for air. I just wanted a little bit more. Either way, below are a few of my favorites from the night.

Kerry Washington in Rodarte and Fred Leighton
Kelly Osbourne in Jenny Packham
Marion Cotillard in Dior Haute Couture and Chopard

Angelo Flaccavento [STYLE ICON]

A freelance journalist who has contributed to Dapper Dan and GQ Italia, Mr. Angelo Flaccavento is a mainstay at fashion shows around the world. He has a uniform style which usually always includes him being seen in meticulously tailored blazers, smart & stylish glasses, a well-trimmed beard, and an array of bow ties with a journal close in hand. I love the style profile Scott Schuman did of him on The Sartorialist as well as his amazing interview for Pizza Digitale. Mr. Flaccavento is a style bar standard when it comes to menswear.

Who is Stella Jean?

This morning, I woke up to the most beautiful spam of tailored tribal prints juxtaposed structured feminine pieces. All I could think of was ... "Who is making this masterful magic?"

Stella Jean F/W 2012-2013
Stella Jean F/W 2012-2013
Stella Jean F/W 2012-2013

Frames for Your Face

Do you know what kind of frames best suit your face?

For many years, I constantly bought pairs that I thought were cute and would look decent on me just for me to hate them after the first or second wear. Also, because of the low retention rate of my frames, I never invested in any high-end frames no matter how obsessed I was at the moment. Somehow, over the past couple of years I have managed to hold on to a few frames and have created a slight collection. Ironically, I only wear two consistently.

I finally think I'm starting to finally understand what styles best suit my face. I have this mostly-oval-yet-slightly-round thing happening and, thus, find that over-sized frames or angular frames (i.e. wayfarers) suit me best. As much as I want to try a cat-eye frame, they just haven't proven to be in my best interest.

Do you know what frames suit your face best? Here's a quick guide:

Styling: Mixed Prints

It only makes sense that I follow up the post on Solange's amazing mixed print style with a couple of simple and easy styling options for how you can achieve you're own mixed prints looks. Remember, try to keep the prints within the same (or within a harmonious) color palette and play with different sized prints, patterns, or textures. Click on the links beneath each set to get access to names, stores, and prices of individual items. 

The Art of Mixed Prints

Solange for Madewell Fall 2012 Campaign
Solange for Madewell Fall 2012 Campaign
At this point in our lives, it should be readily apparent to every one that Solange Knowles is one of the premiere Mixed Printresses of our time. She often provides us with extraordinary, and easy to duplicate, mixes such as various sized leopard prints or stripes paired with ikat prints or florals paired with polka dots.

The Short Suit

Akris, Bottega Veneta, Jason Wu, Wes Gordon, Erin Fetherson [source]

While Bey's shorts may be a little too short to be worn in most office settings, her feminine and flirty short suit is a great look for a dinner and show or hanging out with the girls. Runways from Jil Sander to Carven to Yves Saint Lauren showed various iterations on their runway and everyone seems to have instantly fell in love with the ultra-feminine take on menswear.

EVCO is Great For Your Skin

Made from the meat of the coconut, coconut oil is solid, white, and waxy below 76 degrees fahrenheit. Above this temperature it melts in to a clear oily liquid.

While extra virgin coconut oil (EVCO) is known to have amazing hair benefits (click here for some knowledge), one lesser known fact is its awesome skin care benefits. Because of its highly antiviral, highly antibacterial properties, coconut oil cleanses your skin and treats your acne and skin infections naturally and safely. People who have used coconut oil to treat acne have reported that their acne have nearly all stopped or hardly form and that the duration of their pimples lasts only about a day or two. They also report far fewer outbreaks happening at all. A recent pimple outbreak reminded me of the skin benefits of the oil when I put some on a pimple before bed and woke up to severely reduced in mass a pimple on my cheek. While my pimples tend to last for about a week (if untouched; I sometimes many times pop them by day 3 because I really cannot...), this one cleared up in 3 days. And my blemishes are lightening up.


How do you use coconut oil to treat your acne and/or blemishes? 
  • Purchase organic extra virgin coconut oil. 
  • Start massaging it in to your skin daily 
    • best to wash your face very well or apply it after a shower.
  • Add coconut oil to smoothies. 
    • i.e. blend 8 ounces yogurt, 4 ounces fruit, 1/4 cup milk, and 2 tb coconut oil.
  • A tablespoon or two a day of extra virgin coconut oil to take as a supplement to your diet.

I usually purchase mine from The Vitamin Shoppe or Wal-Mart (in the aisle with vitamins), but I've recently found that Amazon offers great prices as well. An organic and inexpensive product, extra virgin coconut oil is an essential tool in every person's beauty arsenal for healthy skin.

Esther Quek [ICON]

It's really hard not to notice the pixi cute and tailored menswear influences paired with 5" stilettos. The first time I saw a picture of Esther Quek and her platinum blonde pixi, I made plans to cut off my hair (and followed through with it a few weeks later). She is captivating.

Otra Revolucion

Shop Your Closet

Effortlessly mix and match key separates to create different looks. The FLOTUS created two distinctive outfits using her marigold J. Crew cardigan by swapping out a print skirt and shell for bright cobalt-blue denim. Here are a few quick and easy ideas that can take your closet to the next level.

Rihanna and her Erva Tote
Take inventory of your closet so you know what’s in there. Take out the top pieces in your closet that you love, not necessarily things that you wear all the time. Let go of pieces that are outdated, the wrong size, or unflattering for your skin tone and body type. Try to lean more toward things you’ve had and loved for a while, not just your newest and trendiest acquisitions. Imagine your closet as the perfectly edited boutique where every item fits and flatters just you.

Know Your Body Shape

All and all, there are approximately 12 different body shapes that women often come in. I've decided to list and describe the most common ones in order for you to realize your own body shape. Once you realize your type, it'll be much easier for you to find different clothes and styles that best complement your shape. In future post, when describing different key elements for one's closet, I'll attempt to find different styles of that item which work well for each body type.

Top Heavy 
These women tend to have broader shoulders and/or bust and narrower hips, and do not usually have a clear defined waistline. If your blouse size is larger than your skirt size, try tailored crisp styles - dark jackets and pale trousers, straight skirts, leggings, waist jackets and simple neck lines. Avoid smock-style dresses and blouses that hang directly from the bust. They make you look large in places where you are not. Instead, opt for clothes with under the bust shaping to show off your curves.

 Balance out your bottom half by donning a floaty skirt neatly cinched in at the waist with a belt.

Apple shaped women have a thick waist and often have little or no definition. Avoid skinny trousers and jeans. Instead, try flattering loose leg trousers that are simple with no detailing around the hips. Don't be tempted to wear pencil skirts - instead, choose a flat, pleated style with a front band that will hold in your tummy.

Gabby Y Emilio

Spring Awakening

Mixed Metals

In the past, I've kept my gold-, silver-, and bronze-toned jewelry strictly quarantined for fear of clashing... silver accents on a sandal meant silver jewelry and silver accents on my purse. I would even fret over the tiniest details, like whether the grommets on my jeans matched the hardware on my sandals. I really did a lot but... I think that just the general mindset. The fashion rules can be rather taxing at times.

But, thanks to street style blogs and more realistic and carefree inspirations, fashion has becoming a little less constricted...

Mixed Metals

There is something about the contrast of different shades and patinas of metal that has that exotic, worldly, bohemian feel. I love eclectic, bold, and carefree vibe. Fashion should be fun, right? Even better, for practical types like myself, it matches everything!

Who doesn't love convenience??

May your days, nights, and dreams be filled with mixed metallica schemes.