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Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday's Always a Good Day...

...well, most of the time. It's actually thundering and pouring rain right now, but (lucky me) I got to enjoy the sunshine while it lasted. This morning after a doctor's appointment, I was near the mall, so I stopped in to browse one last time before this upcoming weekend's Vegas trip. I was ecstatic when I found the perfect dress to wear to NAHA. I'll post photos of the what final outfit looks like when I put together my Vegas post, so be on the lookout when I come back from Nevada!

In the mean time, here's some other goodies I found today when I was shopping...
yellow top: bar III at Macy's. orange dress with black belt: Forever 21. tan top: Forever 21. orange shorts with brown belt: Forever 21. gold necklaces & yellow/chain bracelet: Forever 21.

It's obvious what kinds of colors and textures I was drawn to today - lots of summer fabrics and styles with the edge of autumn's colors and shapes. We're almost in between seasons when it comes to fashion, so it's awesome to see the styles transition in all the stores and magazines right now.

I'm also crazy about red lips at the moment. My favorite lipstick for this look is Russian Red by MAC. It lasts forever and adds a little unexpected pop to your summer makeup look. It may be a little too bold or matte for some, but if that's the case, there are lots of sheer red lipglosses that still give you a sexy red kisser while keeping it more on the natural side. My choice for lipgloss is Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in Little Red Dress, which has just a hint of shimmer and goes on beautifully. Below, I'm wearing Russian Red by Mac.

Hope everyone is staying dry in this crazy weather! Happy Monday! 

Natalie Delaine

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Goodies & Layering Jewelry

This afternoon, I came home from work and there was a sticky note on my door saying that UPS came by and left a package for me in the office. My first and only thought was, "SHOES!" - and yes indeed, my Jeffrey Campbell Lita boots have arrived! After picking up my package, I checked my mailbox, and to my pleasant surprise, the new Urban Outfitters catalogue was staring at me. New shoes AND new reading/obsessing material. Not such bad things to come home to.

Clearly even the shoebox is a work of art, complete with its own kitschy crossword puzzle. Love it.

They're perfect! And SUPER comfortable. I remember reading in reviews online how comfy these shoes are, but seriously, when you put them on, you forget you're wearing heels. Until you stand next to someone in flats, of course... in which case, you're quickly reminded how huge of a platform these shoes actually have. I am already obsessed and cannot wait to wear these with something fabulous.

One more thing I'm stoked on right now is my new Michael Kors rose gold watch, which I just purchased yesterday. I had been wanting a gold men's-style watch for a long time, but I could never set my heart on one in particular until I found this gorgeous thing. I can already tell you that I'll probably be wearing it daily, because the rose gold is so versatile and can be paired with just about any other type of jewelry. 
Speaking of jewelry, I've been seeing lots of layering with bracelets and necklaces everywhere lately. So today I threw on a few bracelets with my new watch, and voila - instant eye-catching goodness. 

From left to right - Grey and gold grommet bracelet: my boyfriend's. Grey braided/beaded bracelet: Banana Republic. Rose Gold watch: Michael Kors. Pearl, rhinestone, and chain bracelet: Forever 21. Pink and gold Indian-style bracelet: Banana Republic.

I so love this look. It draws attention to the arms, which are such a sexy part of the body, especially during summer when you can get away with wearing arm-bearing clothes on the regular. Embrace this look and go dig through your jewelry box... Start layering, and you might be surprised by all of the cute combinations you can come up with. The more bracelets, the better. That's the whole point of this look - it's unexpectedly adorable.

Hope everyone is having a happy Wednesday!

Natalie Delaine

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bare Midriffs & New Nails

Alright, so typically, when I hear the phrase "bare midriff", the first thing that comes to mind is the tacky 1990s-style bare midriffs that we all could have done without. But this summer, the bare midriff has made a comeback, in a much more tasteful, stylish light. At first I was afraid of the idea of showing a little bit of tummy skin, because like most girls, I do get insecure sometimes. Once I tried it out, however, I became hooked.
The trick to getting this look right is to choose tops that are more loose-fitting, because it gives off more of a hippie vibe as opposed to a little-too-close-to-skanky vibe. There are some tighter fitting tops that can be an exception to this rule, but they either need to be paired with jeans or long skirts, rather than shorts or mini skirts, to keep the sexiness at a good level and to still leave something to the imagination. No one wants to see you walking around half-naked looking like you just stepped out of the pool, rather than a fashion spread. Here are a few tops that I purchased this year that have been staples of my weekend wardrobe for summer.

Black and white striped sweater: Mink Pink from Macy's.
Red tank: Urban Outfitters
Yellow top: Free People
Jeans: Express
I've become a huge fan of this look. It makes me think more "1970s hippie-chick" rather than "1990s raver-princess", which is a great thing. Also, the best way to play off the look is by not showing more than a few inches of skin. Once it gets higher than that, it starts to look borderline tacky. So just keep it simple and add a little bit of subtle sex-appeal to your outfit... it's summer, you're allowed to show a little more skin!
To be more work-appropriate, pair these types of tops with high-waisted pants, which are also making a big comeback this season.

This morning I went to see my nail tech, and she did a fantastic job giving me a new custom glittery coral/pink solar color!

I decided to stick to the ring finger trend and paint just those nails a different color when I got home. I chose another glittery pink, but a much softer version. I love the way the two colors look together.

Ring finger polish: Princesses Rule by OPI

I'm about to head to mall to do a little browsing for NAHA. I now have 12 days left, so I need to get down to business and find something to wear! Hope everyone is having a happy Monday!

Natalie Delaine

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Jeffrey Campbell, I love you.

I just have to share with the world my newest obsession. I've been searching high and low for the perfect platform lace-ups, and alas, I've found 'em. They aren't even "mine" yet, seeing as how they've been shipped and haven't arrived at my apartment, but I can already tell you I'm in love.

These are the Lita by Jeffrey Campbell, in taupe suede. I've read raving reviews on how comfortable and lightweight these shoes are, despite the chunkiness and heavy look. They're exactly what I've been looking for and I cannot wait to wear them when they get here! I'm headed to NAHA in Las Vegas in two weeks, and as silly as sounds to base an entire outfit around a pair of shoes, I believe it is completely necessary, as these are amazing. I can't wait to show off these bad boys.
Check out Akira's website. Their prices on Jeffrey Campbell are awesome, and they ship super quickly. I ordered two days ago, and yesterday they were already marked as shipped!
You better believe I'll be posting photos of these as soon as they're on my feet.

In related news, I still have yet to find what I want to wear with them! I'm thinking a simple dress of some sort, but even after scouring the Galleria on Thursday night, I can't find anything that seems to be right. I've only got fourteen days, so wish me luck!

I have one more goodie to show off today... my new pair of vintage eyeglasses. 

I've had these for a few weeks now, but I've just lately been wearing them a lot more often. I usually wear contacts, but on days when I don't feel like taking the time to put them in, I can slip these on and instantly feel a little sexier. They give off a cool 1960s vibe, and the shiny silver makes them super unique, as most cat-eye glasses we see nowadays are black. These were definitely not what I expected to find when I was shopping for new glasses... but I'm glad, because they're way better than what I had in mind originally. I walked into Smith Opticians and immediately knew that this was the perfect place to find a new pair. 
If you're living in the Houston area and are in the market for a new pair of specs, I highly recommend Smith Opticians. They are very helpful, very quick to get your glasses filled with your prescription, and best of all, very reasonably priced. I was very impressed to find out that in addition to carrying new brands and styles, they have an entire room dedicated to true vintage specs that you won't find anywhere else. I must say I was very pleased with my experience there.

Hope everybody's having a fantastic weekend! I'm about to kick back and relax with the latest issue of W and daydream about my Jeffrey Campbells... again. 

Natalie Delaine

Jeffrey Campbell image via Akira.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nail Trend!

Anybody who hangs around me knows that I am generally a big fan of change. I change my style, I change my hair, and as a personal rule to myself every two weeks, I change my nails. This week I tried a nail trend that I've seen all over the place lately, and I must say that I'm a fan. 
The idea is basically to have all of your nails painted one color except for the ring fingers, which are to be painted a different color, or embellished with some sort of design. I haven't ventured into adding designs to my ring fingers yet, but I did test the waters with something very basic. I had my nail technician shape my nails with a custom solar coral/orange color, and when I got home, I painted the ring fingers with one of my favorite summer polishes, Orange 7 by Urban Outfitters. Here's the result!

Kind of quirky, but very cute. The look is simple, yet still different enough to catch the eye. Plus I love this color combination. It reminds me of Dreamsicles, which were always a favorite of mine during the summers growing up.

Here's the polish... It's become one of my go-tos for a soft, girly look.

I've noticed that the trend definitely works best if you stick within a certain color or tonal family, which is why I think the two oranges work well together. In the fall or winter, the look would be sexy with deep, gem tones.
This trend is so easy that anyone can do it. It adds such a unique touch to an everyday look.

Hope everyone's having a beautiful Wednesday! Treat yourself to a humpday cocktail... and go paint your nails. 

Natalie Delaine

Monday, July 11, 2011

5 Things...

I'm feeling very simple and basic today, so I figured it'd be kind of fun to spotlight five simple things that made me happy today.

This antique-y lamp is one that I actually found sitting outside by the "to-be-thrown-aways" at my apartment complex. Before any of you assume I'm a crazy hoarder, I can assure you I'm not! But I loved the color and the old-school feel about it. Its lampshade was pretty beat up, so I chunked it and found a brand new one at Target that looked almost identical. The lamp has such a cozy, grandma-feel to it while still being pretty and adding something different to the room. I think it makes a great addition to my living area, at least for the time being!

These little suckers are awesome. They're called Spin Pins and they're made by Goody. They're meant to hold your hair in place when wearing bun-styles.
Anybody who knows me knows that I've been trying to grow my hair out for months and months now, and it's finally long enough to style several different ways. I bought the Spin Pins a while back, but my hair was still never long enough for a bun. Today, however, I finally got to try them out. I was a little skeptical at first thinking they wouldn't secure my hair well enough, but after wearing them in my hair for the entire afternoon, I'm officially sold. They were only $7 and they come in different shades to match the lightness/darkness of your hair. I chose the dark brown, obviously. 
The best thing about them is that it literally took me fifteen seconds to style my hair today. I gathered my hair into a low ponytail and twisted the hair into a bun close to the nape of my neck. I then grabbed one pin and twisted it into the bun vertically from the top, like you would a screw, and then twisted the second pin into the bun vertically from the bottom... and voila! Bun achieved!

The third thing on my list today is super-simple and very minor compared to the others, but I love this for summer: forgoing eyeliner when putting on my makeup in the morning. I am usually the type of person who has to have on eyeliner every day in order to feel like my look is "finished", but lately I've been skipping out on the eyeliner, and I'm actually loving the results. It looks fresher, more awake, and unlined eyes look even bigger, which is never a bad thing when it comes to playing up your features. Plus it's nice to have one less step to mess with when going through my everyday beauty routine. Just a few sweeps of mascara and some brightening cream under the eyes and you're set.

Every house/apartment needs flowers somewhere. 
My mother always kept plants and flowers around the house, and it brightened up the look of our home. These orchids are gorgeous in my living room, thanks to my amazing boyfriend for bringing them home to me a few days ago. I love that they aren't a typical type of flower that you'd see in someone's home, but they're oddly fitting for my apartment!

Last, but not least, I am definitely in love with my new hot pink and white Kate Spade Seersucker Patent Vionette. It's the perfect size to carry my essentials, and although I've been wearing it mostly as a cross-body, its chain can easily be tucked inside (without taking up much space) to carry the purse as a clutch instead. I spotted it a couple weeks ago during a day-trip to the Galleria and when I saw that it was on sale, I felt it calling my name even more. 

Hope everyone's having a happy Monday! I'm excited to make breakfast for dinner tonight. Pancakes, bacon, eggs, and mimosas. Nothing wrong with a little backwardness to quirk the day up.

Natalie Delaine

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Perfect Platforms

Welcome to my first POP post! Since I'm not 100% sure where I want to start with all of this, I'm just going to go ahead and jump into it. Generally, things turn out more fun that way anyway! 

Today I want to share my current shoe-obsession. Platforms are nearly all I have my eye on right now. I'm crazy about the chunkiness and the amount of comfort they give compared to other heels. These Aldo gems give off such a sexy, playful 70s vibe, and I couldn't resist adding them to my ever-growing (and almost unnecessarily large) shoe collection... but aren't they perfect?? With shorts, dresses, and even skinny jeans, I'm going to be wearing these a LOT.

Another pair I purchased a little earlier this summer, also from Aldo, I fell in love with because they're the perfect tan summer wedge. Not too dark, not too light, and insanely comfy, which is a big deal for me. As a hair stylist, it's hard to find heels that can carry me comfortably for my 8-hour workdays, but these puppies fit the bill.

There's also options for the days we still want to look cute, but need a little more practicality. With just a hint of platform and a cute rope-wrap on the soles, these sandals from Urban Outfitters are perfect for pairing with a summery, lightweight top to run errands, or even with a swimsuit and a flowy cover-up for a day at the beach. As you can see, I've worn these out a little bit (okay, more like a lot), but they're awesome summer shoes and they've been a staple for me.

Since today and tomorrow are my days off, I'm trying my best to enjoy them. First thing this morning, I got to lay out by the pool with a morning cocktail and catch up on some reading. It was exactly what I needed to start my weekend. I'm not looking forward to grocery shopping in a couple of hours, but it's much needed. Hope everyone is having an awesome weekend!

Natalie Delaine