Hoop Earrings

Hoop earrings are one of the hottest trends this season. Gold are the most popular, but silver works too.


Summer Dresses

Every girl needs a sundress to celebrate the warm weather with, but this year you might want more than just one! One of the hottest new trends right now is to wear a dress for every occasion. Dresses are now so popular, you can find all sorts of styles everywhere and for relatively good prices, too.

Here is a basic glossary of what's new out there right now:

The kimono dress:

This romantic line is great for curvier figures and for hiding that tummy. The kimono sleeves are very graceful and perfect for a cool evening. This particular one I found at Target for only $25.

The shift dress:

For a more tailored look, try the shift dress. Inspired by the sixties styles, this dress, although stiff, can be very feminine if it is paired with some feminine sandals and cut from eyelet material (as seen above). Fewer figure types can pull it off, though. If you have slender legs, the pear shaped women could get away with it, and of course, small, petite women, with less curves would look adorable in it. This dress is from Banana Republic for $148.

The shirt dress:

Like the shift dress, this dress is a very cute, but stiff look, nevertheless, it can be a bit more forgiving than the shift dress, depending on the length you buy it in. Knee-length is the most flattering, but all the latest cuts are coming in shorter and shorter lengths. For we moms, I definitely recommend the longer, more practical cuts.

The babydoll dress:
Dress below found at Old Navy for $20.

All the fashion experts are claiming that the babydoll dress pretty much flatters every figure, but I think they just mean that the dress hides every figure! I'm sure the teenagers look adorable in this, but if you aren't a celebrity, I can't imagine this looking very practical on a regular gal unless she were beachside. This look is the new alternative to the tank top/denim short look. Dress is from Gap for $24.

The bubble dress:

The bubble dress is more of a party dress and should be worn only by people who normally wear outfits that make a fashion statement. I doubt the bubble dress will stay around very long, as each time it has been introduced, it lasts for less than a season! To wear it to its best advantage, be sure to buy one with less bubble and with a very plain, no-detail bodice. This dress can be found at Gap for $20.

Fifties inspired dress:

I hope to see more of this style around. Proper and feminine, it is very flattering with it's A-line, knee-length skirt, and fitted bodice. This dress is from the Isaac Mizrahi line at Target for $40.

Long halter dress:

Reminiscent of the 70's flower children, this long dress, with its graceful silhouette, is suitable for taller women, as it would only dwarf a petite woman. Target has smocked long dresses, spaghetti strapped long dresses, and halter long dresses like the one shown here for only $25.

Keyhole smocked:

Smocked waists, smocked busts, and smocked hipster dresses are definitely one of the big looks this summer. I prefer the smocking to be right at the waist, as it is the most flattering. Most every figure should be able to wear this comfortable dress beautifully. This dress from Gap is $35.

Tent or "trapeze" dress:
Dress below found at Banana Republic for $168.

Dress below found at Gap, $30.

These dresses are being seen on celebrities everywhere. I'm sure celebrities love this dress because they can finally attend fashionable parties without worrying about how flat their tummies are, how big their boobs are, or how cellulite-less their thighs are. Obviously, this dress hides a lot. Whether it is flattering or not is up for debate. And yes, this cut is the same as the babydoll, except it's made of nicer material so that it can be dressed up more.

The wrap dress:

The wrap dress has been around for a few seasons now. It looked great this winter on most body types, and is still looking good for the summer! Target is selling this dress by Isaac Mizrahi for $35.

Tailored sheaths:

This classic cut will never go out of style, but this season opt for this classic dress instead of those black pants. Isaac Mizrahi designed this dress for Target shoppers for only $45.


Summer Bottoms

For so long picking the right "trendy" bottom to pair with the latest top seemed pretty basic. We all pretty much wore lower-waisted bootcut pants, low-waisted A-line skirts at varying lengths, and if brave enough, the cut-off shorts. But this year, pretty much every cut has been thrown at us. There are the new high-waists, the skinny jeans, the bermuda shorts, the city shorts, and the wide legs, with variations of everything in between.

While the low-waisted bootcut pant pretty much looked good on everyone, these newer styles are pretty tricky to pull off. Like say, the high-waisted pant.

Come on…are those really that attractive? Now if you have a super long torso, an itty bitty waist, no curves, and not a trace of a belly, then maybe you can pull it off, but even then…I’m not so sure:

If you really want to try this new fad, try it this way:

The big belt helps to elongate and trim your waistline, looks very polished and classy, leaving no room for frumpy. It also draws attention to your waist, and away from that tummy!

Or what about those skinny pants? Not everyone should be caught squeezing into these! Please tell me Scarlett just doesn’t look the greatest here:

But hey, if you aren’t as curvy and pair the pants with a tunic top, I’d say the look is super cute!

Now here is a jean we might all be able to go for:

Looks like you can hide all your flaws in these medium waisted, wide leg jeans. Just be sure to remember to wear your platforms, since the bulkier leg needs a longer silhouette.

Here’s another “in” look that only those with gorgeous long legs can really get away with:

For the rest us. . .please hide those dimply thighs and opt for the equally stylish look of the Bermuda short:

If you are short, the Bermuda short may just make you look that much shorter, but you can pull it off if you pair it with heels and a shirt that covers the waist so as to elongate the look of your torso (don’t even try high waisted Bermudas if you are short and have a short waist).


I love my...

Blistex "Silk and Shine" chapstick. When I don't have time to put on lip gloss or lip stick, I'll just rub some light concealor over my lips and glide this across them.
My friend actually bought this lotion for me in "grapefruit" as a gift. It's by far my favorite "shimmer" lotion! It's not too shimmery while still giving you a nice summer glow, plus it smells amazing!
Since I'm only 5'1", anything with a bit of height is good for me. I LOVE to wear flip flops in the summer and these are really comfortable and as casual as a flip flop, while still giving me the height I need. I also love my lace boyshorts from Victoria's Secret (I decided against posting a picture of them:). I love the no-panty-line look they give me under clothes while still being very feminie and sexy.


Updating Your Look

An easy way to update any outfit is to add a belt. So go through all the clutter in your closet and pull out all the belts you've accumulated over the years and start adding them to your outfits. Like, if you have a plain shift dress, cinch it with a belt; or if you have a long t-shirt, add a hipster belt; or even if you have a formal dress, you can try adding a belt to give it a new look. Of course blousy or trim tunics are all being worn with belts now too. Whether you use a big belt right at the waist, a small tailored belt, or a funky hipster belt, they all seem to do the trick. See pictures below:

Just be sure to keep in mind that each figure type requires a different kind of "belted look." For instance, hour glass figures look great in the big belts that are right on the waist. Pear shapes should shy away from hipster belts, and fuller women, or more curvy women should stay away from small belts (like in the middle picture above).

Fore more belt ideas, go check out what In Style has to say.


In Style for free

If you like reading about fashion and beauty, you might want to take advantage of In Style's free trial issue offer. You give them your name and address, and they will send you a free magazine. Later they will send you a bill so you can subscribe to the magazine for a whole year. Not to worry, though, all you have to do is call and cancel the subscription, and you will not have to pay for any subsequent magazines. But hey, why pass up a free beauty mag?



I really do like eyeliner. I like the soft tip pencils and the liquid liners. I've recently started using my liners in more then just above my lash line. I can give my eyes a really dramatic look by applying my liner to the inner rim of my upper and lower lashes. Here's a small tip though: if you are going to apply liner, you should always start on the outside corners and work your way inwards.
The one thing bad about eyeliner is it can get a little time consuming. You really do have to be careful so as not to make mistakes, and using it every day really isn't appropriate. So what I've started to do is just use my eye shadow colors as my eyeliner. My favorite color is a deep purple that almost looks brown/black once applied. Using it as liner on my upper lid gives me a very subtle, smokey look that appears effortless (see picture below, and no, that is not me). I also like to use a lighter shadow (often with a bit of shimmer to it) under my lower lashes to help open my eyes and make them appear brighter.
What are your favorite eye shadow tips?


Fragrances for less

I've never been one to really get excited about a new fragrance, but my husband loves for me to have the latest scents and use a different one almost everyday! Because the scents he likes usually cost at least $60 a bottle, he found an easy way to fix this problem. He goes to a fragrance store at an outlet mall and buys the sample sizes for $4-$8. He bought me the following samples over Christmas, and I still have over half a bottle left of each!


Texture and Shine

I have chin length, slightly layered hair. I usual flat iron it to give me very straight styles, though sometimes I'll flip out the ends and/or turn them in, depending on my mood. Regardless of my style, though, I do want texture without being too funky, since, after all...I am a Mom.

My stylist recommended I use "Being Undressed" by RUSK. I like it. It keeps my hair nice and shiny without looking overly glossy, greasy or leaving me with "crunchy" hair. However, the goal of my RUSK product is not to give me crazy texture or a lot of scuplting ability, and it's a little too expensive for my budget.
So last night, while shopping at Target, I decided to check out Pantene's new styling products. The price is doable and the results are awesome! The "Texture and Shine Defining Pomade" does exactly what it says it does. I just used a pea-sized amount and ran it through my freshly styled hair. It gave me more texture and shine then my previous brand I used ever did, while still leaving my hair non-greasy and non-crunchy! I'm so excited about it!

If you have short to medium hair with layers, you definitely should try this (if you haven't already). Even if you aren't planning on styling your hair, I'd recommend running a bit through your hair after a blow dry or after the second day of unwashed hair to give yourself a nice healthy looking shine.


Baby, take care of your back

Something I never really think about caring for is my back. Sure I wash it, dry it, occasionally lotion it...but that's about it. That is until summer comes around and people actually start seeing my back.

So, I've started a pursuit of looking for some good back products. Sephora sells my favorite brand of face moisturizer: "Stila". It gives a hint of color while moisturizing and offers a bit of SPF protection.
They also sell "Sun Shimmer Dry Oil", which I am just dying to try. According to the blurb on the website it is supposed to spray a light shimmering oil to give you a natural hint of shimmer while moisturizing your back.

I don't have a bad back, but every now and then I can feel little bumps and even back acne. I've read that avoiding really tight workout clothes can help keep your pores from getting clogged, and that you should always shower right after a big sweaty workout. It's also important to give your lovely back a good scrub at least twice a week (aside from just regular washing).
Anything special you use on your back? Leave a comment and let us know!


Time to go for a run...

Being top heavy, I find it almost impossible to do any kind of running or high impact exercise or sports. Nevertheless, lately I've really been trying to lose the weight I gained during this past pregnancy and feel like running might be the only way to whisk that off. I decided to start the impossible task of finding a bra I could run in. Having a very small back with a bandsize of either 30 or 32, but being fairly big busted (a D or DD), I doubted I would find anything.

I went to a L'eggs, Bali, Playtex, and Hanes outlet store the other day to see if I could find something. The gal at the store recommended the Champion Action Shape bra, but inwardly I scoffed at her, thinking it didn't look like it would work for me. After all, it was knit and anything stretchy means it's not gonna hold me in!

Due to her urging, I finally gave in and tried it on. To my surprise I found that the underside of the garment has a non-stretch, breathable material that doesn't budge, while the outside knit just covers what is inside. The straps are adjustable and will not slide since they are heavy-duty velcro. It's not a pullover either, so you can adjust the band size as well with heavy-duty hooks. The best of all is that the sizes start in a 32 C through 32 DD (they also have bigger bandsizes as well)!!!

The one drawback is that the cheapest you can find them for is about $30 on either Amazon or the Ones Hanes Place catalog (or outlet if you have one nearby). Let me tell you, though, it is completely worth it. I went for a run in mine last week and my back actually felt good after the run! If I could afford it I would buy at least three more!


A Trip to the Supermarket

Most women love to shop at the mall, a popular outlet center, or a cute little trendy shop they found hidden in a quaint town. I'm a Mom now, though, and running errands at the supermarket or picking up a few things at a pharmacy is about the extent of my shopping exploits most of the time. So instead of shopping for cute tops, the perfect jean, or an adorable purse, I now am content to browse the beauty sections of my neighborhood grocery store or pharmacy.

I love experimenting with new shampoos, face washes, lotions, and whatever other beauty products I can get a good deal on. However, there is so much to choose from, sometimes I don't know where to start. I've finally found a few "tried and true" items that I thought I'd mention here. . .

Aussie "scrunch" hairspray really adds volume to your hair if you are trying to tease your hair for an updo, or just leave your hair down with a natural wave. Plus, it's only about $3 or $4.
Jergens natural glow products are a must have for me since I don't have time to tan anymore. I haven't found that it really "firms the skin" as it claims, but it definitely gives you a natural looking tan that does not smell and is easy to use. For those with super dry skin (like me), it actually keeps your legs moisturized just as well as the top brands. You can get it at Wal-Mart for around $6. They also have a special natural glow daily moisturizer for your face with SPF 15. I haven't found the face lotion to be too much different than the body, but if you are picky about what goes on your face, get the face lotion to match.
This next product is my favorite find because I could normally never afford salon quality shampoo until now. Umberto Giannini now makes a "minis" line for only $2 or $3 a bottle. This particular shampoo supposedly "creates" curl, not just "enhances" what you already have. The bottle claims that it can give waves to people with straight hair. I think I have fairly straight hair, so I thought I would try it and see if the claim was false or not. Sure enough, I woke up this morning with some beachy style waves, and a few soft spirals around my face! For only $3 it is definitely worth a try (oh and it smells great!).
Yes, I had to get the "curl creating" gel to match.
My favorite anti-frizz serum is Garnier Fructis' Sleek & Shine. Only a few dabs of this on bed hair and it looks like you've spent hours styling it. When I don't have time to style my hair (which post-baby seems to be just about every morning), I just smooth this all over my hair and I'm done.
As a mom, anything you can do one handed you learn to do. That's why I now buy daily cleansing cloths to wash my make-up off every night. I happened to buy Biore's brand this time around, but I'm sure any brand works well enough. Washing my face only takes me a few seconds and I can do it without a sink and while holding my baby! What products have you found work best for you? I'm always up for trying something new.


The Big Bang

I'm always on the lookout for quick and easy ways to keep my hair up-to-date without having to cut off the length, or don a crazy new style, that will take me little effort to upkeep or style.

After doing some research, I found that the "big bang" is now pretty popular among celebrities. I figured this would be the perfect answer to keeping my hair out of my face (something I greatly need to do now that I have a little one always grabbing my hair), updating my look, and giving me something new to play with. My goal was to look a bit like Halle.

Unfortunately, my brother mentioned that I looked more like the shaggy-haired female dog in Lady in the Tramp who sings about the Tramp towards the end of the movie. Not really the look I was going for.

I forgot to figure that you really have to have just the right face shape to pull off Halle's look and even then, it's debatable whether Halle really looks that great in them.

Now Reese looks adorable in hers, but her heart-shaped face can handle the bang to porportion her prominent chin, and she pairs the bangs with long, layer-less, straight hair which takes away the "shag factor" that would be best to avoid.

But as my sister always says, almost any cut can look great if you style it right. So I figured I better check out how other celebutantes fix their bangs and based on the ideas I get, change the way I wear mine.

Zooey Deschanel has pretty much always kept her bung chunky, regardless of what is in style or not, and she always looks cute in hers. Unfortunately, if you have a short forehead like me, this is just be a bit much.

Chloe's bangs are similar to Zooey's, except her overall look is kept sleek, polished, and dramatic to match the bold statement of her bangs. Definitely not a look I could pull off, but makes an easy-to-achieve fashion statement for those brave enough to try.

I like how Paris, like Reese, keeps the rest of her locks long and straight to contrast her chunky bangs, but again, if you have a smaller face, like I do, this still won't work. One thing to note, though, is that she proves that you can sweep the chunky bang to the side without losing the bold bang look.

Mandy's bangs were exactly what I was looking for. Not as dramatic as the side bang that has been popular for so long, but definitely not all straight and pulled forward like the bold bangs that are trying to make a comeback. This look does not overpower her delicate features, and highlights her cheekbones by pointing towards them. Yes, Mandy, I like your bangs.

Here is more proof that sweeping a heavy bang to the side is just as fashionable as the straighter, bolder bang. Looking suave, I must say.

After brushing my bangs to the side, I don't think I look quite like the dog on Lady and the Tramp anymore.

So. . .if you're looking for something new and fashionable, but appreciate long locks, try snipping some heavy bangs, and then whether you wear them straight or swept to the side, you're sure to be in style this season.

Go here for tips on how to cut your own bangs.