Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekly Manicure: Rawr

While I enjoy the options and creative possibilities that nail polish allows I have not yet perfected the manicure process to the point where I can avoid chipping. I think I am in line with what most would consider “best practice” but, still see my manicure falling to pieces (literally) after two or three days. What advice would you have to create or maintain a long lasting manicure? I’d be happy to put this into practice next week when I sit down and do my nails.

Based on this seemingly inevitable manicure disappointment over the past two weeks I have decided to go with Sally Hansen Manicure Strips this week to avoid (almost) immediate chipping. I picked this specific pattern up on complete impulse when I saw it at CVS. I just can’t ignore that lipstick nail polish effect especially when it’s something new and exciting. There have a bunch of fun colors/patterns in this Rock of Ages collection but, Rock N' Roar was the only one calling to me as I glanced over my options. Who can resist a good animal print? That’s right, nobody…

Ironically Sally Hansen Manicure Strips would be against the “advice” of a mall kiosk person I met last weekend. Let me set the scene: I was shopping with my cousin and giving consultative wardrobe advice. As we were crawling the malls near her I spotted a kiosk that sold Incoco strips and Konad plates. I was super excited because I haven’t had the option to buy either in person yet. When I walked over to browse I was immediately assaulted greeted and the salesperson asked if I wanted to try a sample. I said yes (to a Konad design) but, she assumed that I meant the Incoco strips and proceeded to try to remove the polish (gasp) I had on my nail.

The crisis was averted and she stamped my nail, it came out really well. I suggested that my cousin try the strips because of their convenience and ease of use. While I tried to tell my cous about my personal experience with Incoco the conversation was peppered with comments from the sales person. While I said they were similar to Sally Hansen she insisted they were nothing alike and that Incoco is superior. When I said they were both nail polish strips she said Sally Hansen was plastic and Incoco was seven layers of polish. When I said that they lasted for at least a week she insisted that it was more like 14 days. The only thing that she didn’t contradict me on was when I said that there were a lot of great patterns on the website. It was a very awkward experience especially since I am familiar with/an advocate of Incoco nail strips.

While I went Sally Hansen this time around I think my nails came out pretty well, don’t you?

Do you utilize manicure strips or do you think they are just a passing trend? If you do are you a Sally Hansen or Incoco person or do you use some cool new thing that I’ve never heard about?

April 20, 2012: Work From Home

Since I worked from home there is no fun trend that I found hanging out in my closet. Yes, you heard read right... worked from home. It's not something that happens all the time but, when it does it is pretty nice! 

I've Got A (Pastel) Colored Blazer and Metallic Shoes

I'll be honest when I first but this outfit together it reminded me SO much of the 80's but, then again so does neon, printed pants, and geometric prints. What's old is new again... Do you think is outfit is too retro or just modern enough?

In the search for (even) more professional clothes my Mom took a trip to the local thrift store and picked up some suits for me; Yes, one of them was a pink suit. I'm not sure that I would ever wear the blazer and skirt together (so pink) but, at the same time through this blog I've learned to never say never about fashion. I'm doing things (style-wise) all the the time that I never thought that I would. Yes, I'm talking to you skinny jeans
  • Top: ivory shirt with crochet embellishment with a tank top underneath for the modesty; pastel pink blazer, Jones New York via Unique Thrift Store/Mom
  • Bottom: gray pinstripe skirt, Calvin Klein via Loehmanns (part of this suit)
  • Shoes & Accessoriessilver Stella wedge pumps, Seychelles via DSW; silver bead earrings, Tiffany & Co.; Neverfull GM, Louis Vuitton/gift from BF

Items from this outfit are previously seen and remixed here and here.

April 18, 2012: I've Got Orange and Metallic Shoes

It seems to me that this season there are alot more trendy colors than there are styles. I'm definitely ok with that since it is much easier to find a shade range or select color than a specific type of clothing in ones own closet. Do you agree?

Items from this outfit are previously seen here, herehereherehereherehereherehere and here 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 17, 2012: I've Got (Pastel) Yellow

As I have said before pastels are something that always make me thing of spring, warmer weather, easter, etc. While I would still wear pastels even if they weren't trendy it's nice that they are. What I found the most difficult about this pairing was the fact that a pastel yellow eyelet lace skirt might not be the most office appropriate thing but, paired with a blazer I think it's passable... what do you think? 
  • Top: white short sleeved sweater, LOFT (same shirt different color here, here, and here); khaki safari blazer, LOFT  (same jacket different color hereherehereherehere, and here)   
  • Bottom: yellow eyelet lace skirt, GAP
  • Shoes & Accessories: nude patent leather pumps, Apt. 9 via Kohl's; shell hoop earrings, Charming Charlie/gift from Cousin V; silver watch, Fossil; Neverfull GM, Louis Vuitton/gift from BF   

Items from this outfit are previously seen and remixed herehere, herehereherehereherehereherehere and here 

Friday, April 20, 2012

April 16, 2012: I've Got Polka Dots

What happened to me this week? O, just life but, it’s no biggie. I’ve still be writing post (sort of) and will be sorting them out and posting this weekend. I still shopped my closet for trends all week and I’m going to share that with you! Sorry I didn’t get the Linky up if you wanted to play with me but, if you shopped your closet for trends let me know in the comments. I would love to check it out.

One of my favorite trends for spring ever is polka dots. It might not always be at the forefront of style (like it is this season) but, no one is ever going to say that polka dots are wrong. If they do they’re wrong… just saying.
  • Top: blue and white polka dot shirt, Old Navy (same shirt different color herehere, here); gray plaid blazer, Jones New York via Mom
  • Bottom: black pencil skirt (with pockets), Old Navy
  • Shoes & Accessories: black pumps, Nine West;  pearl earrings, birthday gift from Mom via Macy's; citrine and sterling silver ring, Designs by Terra via International Gem and Jewelry Show/gift from Mom; silver watch, Fossil; Neverfull GM, Louis Vuitton/gift from BF

Items from this outfit are previously seen hereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehere,hereherehereherehereherehere, here, and here

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Weekly Manicure: Mint Sorbet

While I don’t own any mint colored clothing it is one of the Spring 2012 trends that is calling out to me. I was trying to think of a (cost-free/low-cost) way to bring more mint into my life when I remembered Essie Mint Candy Apple polish. That would be the perfect way to incorporate the mint trend everyday next week without breaking the bank or buying any new clothes. With no time to order, I decided to stop by my local CVS and see what I could find in their beauty department.

As expected I came across a few similar shades of mint green from Revlon and Sally Hansen. While I was excited that my plan was coming to fruition I was also overwhelmed with all the choices; Did I want Revlon Minted? How about Sally Hansen Nail Growth Gentle Blossom? Perhaps Sally Hansen Smooth & Perfect Color + Care in Sea? So many choices! I’m glad I stopped with those two brands. I ended up picking Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Mint Sorbet. Why, you might wonder? Because, it was the cheapest one they had by a (considerable) margin; It was only $3.59, about half the price compared to other iterations of mint and most decent quality nail polish in general! I found it in a commonly overlooked place, at the bottom of the shelf. Don’t let stores trick you into buying the first thing you see! Take time and look high and low (literally) the best deals are normally in places that you wouldn’t check at all!

What spring trends (nail polish or otherwise) are you most excited for? 

Friday, April 13, 2012

FBFF: Fitness?

I’ll be honest I was hesitant to post about this FBFF topic. As you might have guessed fitness is not a focus in my daily life. Frankly, there are days it doesn’t get a moment’s consideration. While I would love to be fitter and dedicated to exercising more at all I don’t know where to start.

Image courtesy of Little Things of My Little Heart

I am not the person who wants to go to the gym; I am ridiculously self conscious even though I know no one is really paying attention to me. I don’t have friends who would make practical fitness buddies, many of them are in shape and all of them live far enough away that it isn’t convenient. I used to be really great at working out at home (woo hoo Tae Bo) but, as you might have noticed from the dated reference that was some time ago… Another major challenge is the fact that I barely have time to do my laundry/groceries/blog so when am I going to find time to exercise? 

All the excuses legit reasons aside fitness is something that I need to be more consistent about. I honestly want to go out and be active. There are plenty of ways to be get and stay in shape that do not require a gym. I really need to work it out because it would be good for my health, my energy levels, and myself overall self!

What are some tips and tricks do you have to work fitness into your busy schedule?

April 12, 2012: Great Hair Day

I’ll be honest I had a rough time sleeping the night before last so yesterday morning as I rolled out of bed and grasped at piles of clothes to put together an outfit for work I was less motivated by style and more so by function. In the end I am thoroughly unimpressed with my selection for today but, it’s clothes and it served the purpose.

On the other hand I will tell you something I do love about my look today, you guessed right: my hair. It is straight, relatively not frizzy, and shiny like whoa with very few split ends popping up. How did I achieve this follicular fluke? An extreme amount of deep conditioning! I spent the past two days conditioning my hair with my fav product, Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment then I did a leave in deep conditioner in the shower; I was not messing around! I am so thrilled with the results but, I don’t think this can be a regular thing. Tell me about your last great hair day.
  • Top: ivory tank top, LOFT (same shirt different color here) with another tank top underneath for the modesty; green khaki blazer, GAP
  • Bottom: brown knit pants, New York & Company
  • Shoes & Accessories: silver hardware embellished flats, Preview via Nordstrom Rack; shell hoop earrings, Charming Charlie/gift from Cousin V; Neverfull GM, Louis Vuitton/gift from BF   

Items from this outfit are previously seen and remixed here, here, hereherehere hereherehereherehere, and here.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 11, 2011: Pattern Mixing Forever

One of the things that this blog and blogging community have given me (and I am most grateful for) is a variety of completely different perspectives on how to pair pieces of clothing from my closet together. Old me would have focused on pairing things that were very matchy matchy together thinking that it would make an amazing outfit. Throughout this experience I’ve learned that while being simple or classic is ok it is also great to break out of your comfort zone and push you personal style boundaries.

For me one of the most concrete examples of this was pattern mixing. I know I have sung it’s praises before but, yesterday the realization of how much this expands the potential of my wardrobe became completely clear to me all over again. Prior to this experience I would have never paired this gray and blue plaid blazer with this pink and navy striped shirt, craziness. Let along pairing the two pieces with a black skirt. I might have gone blue or gray but, not (gasp) black. The possibilities are endless, I really could keep remixing forever! It’s nice to have these moments where the possibilities are endless…
  • Toppink and blue striped t-shirt, Old Navy; gray plaid blazer, Jones New York via Mom
  • Bottom: black pencil skirt (with pockets), Old Navy
  • Shoes & Accessories: black pumps, Nine West;  silver bead earrings, Tiffany & Co.; silver watch, Fossil; Neverfull GM, Louis Vuitton/gift from BF

Items from this outfit are previously seen and remixed  here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April 10, 2012: Everybody, Everywhere Is In Pastels

Image 4554

I didn't forget about you yesterday. I was actually feeling a little under the weather and didn't make it into the office. Easter was a great day full of fun with friends and family and unnecessary amount of food... let me stress the unnecessary part. I ate until I was about to explode and was feeling pretty under the weather yesterday. In the future I need to remember to eat with my tummy not with my eyes, life lessons people...

On another note, I know pastels are one of the things that I can be wearing next week but, all the cool kids are rocking this trend and I don't want to be left out. Pastels are one of those things, on trend or not, that always remind me of spring, warmer weather, and all around good times. 
  • Toppurple scoopneck sweater, GAP outlet (same shirt different color here, here, and here) with a tank top underneath for the modesty; black blazer, Ann Taylor via Melissa
  • Bottomgray, black, and white skirt (with pockets), Mossimo for Target
  • Shoes & Accessoriesblack pumps, Nine West; Amelia Earrings, Stella & Dot; silver watch, Fossil; Neverfull GM, Louis Vuitton/gift from BF

Items from this outfit are previously seen herehere, here, here, hereherehere, and here:

"You've Got This!" Week Spring 2012

Yeah it's that time again! While in prior "You've Got This!" Weeks the main purpose was to help me quell the urge to shop for new trends this season it's a preemptive thing! I haven't really had much time to think about shopping I've been so busy Have you invested in any trends yet? I know other people have been doing some similar theme weeks but, since I've been doing this for myself since the inception of 260 Days, No Repeats I want to stick with it! I hope you will join me.

The Linky made participating so much easier I will put one up everyday next week starting Monday and if you want to participate you can just link up! Just leave me a comment so I know you're in, grab the banner, pick some trends, and work with what you've got! I'm sure you have things in your closet that fit the trends so put some fantastic outfits with your stuff. No buying anything new!! I know you've got this...

Here are some spring trends to be inspired by next week:
  • Polka Dots
  • Neon
  • Pastels
  • Mint
  • Mesh 
  • Sporty
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Orange
  • Printed Pants
  • Colored Blazers
  • Jumpsuits
  • Tie Front Blouse
  • Fringe
  • Yellow
  • High-Low Hems
  • Geometric
  • Colored Leather
  • Metallic Shoes

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

There is no reason to break tradition now, time to share my Easter outfit. Last weekend, in all the hubbub of my normal life I got a text message from my mother informing me that the Easter color was lilac… Can you see my unamused face? I’m sorry, I’m a little scarred from all the years of posing for portraits with my brother in matching ensembles or going to crowded public places wearing identical outfits. Perhaps, we were easier to find that way (I think) but, I digress…

When I received the message I had no idea what I was going to wear and just hoping I could find something in my closet and I did! Unfortunately for my mother and her matchy matchy schemes it’s not lilac. I was hoping to be able to squeeze into this last minute wedding guest dress but, have gained enough weight that’s it’s not the most flattering ensemble. It wasn’t hopeless AKA I could still zip it up but, I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of wearing it to church or to brunch/dinner afterwards. Maybe next year. What are your plans for this holiday weekend?

This dress, on the other hand, has been sitting in my closet forever! I got it on super sale clearance (read: $9.00) when Target was phasing out the last of the Isaac Mizrahi line. I haven't had a good occasion to wear it but, could not bring myself to get rid of it. I'm glad I held on to it because it works for this occasion. Do you have pieces like that in your closet? 
  • Top: ivory lace dress, Isaac Mizrahi for Target with a tank top underneath for the modesty; black cropped jacket, Express
  • Shoes & Accessories: black patent leather t-strap pumps, LOFT; rhinestone earrings, New York and Company/gift from BF's parent's; black plume brooch, Stella & Dot; black cat eye sunglasses, Enzo Angiolini; purple patent leather tote, Coach

To: You
From: Iris

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Weekend Wear: International Gem & Jewelry Show

Today I took my mother to the International Gem and Jewelry Show in White Plains. We had a great time! If you have nothing going on tomorrow you should totally head to the Westchester County Center and check it out. With prices starting as low as $2.00 there is something for everyone! You can also come across some fantastic one of a kind pieces like the ring my mother got me, love it! 

After we went to the jewelry show we grabbed lunch at one of my fav spots, Panera. I can't get enough of the creamy tomato soup. Mom took the outfit pictures today, it was an interesting process. She is half a foot shorter than me so the first few pictures were from completely different than BF who is taller than me. We worked it out! Have you done anything fun this weekend so far?

  • Toplilac and white striped t-shirt, LOFT; khaki green blazer, GAP
  • Bottom: denim pencil skirt, Torrid
  • Shoes & Accessories: brown topsiders, Kimmie Smith for Sebago courtesy of Sebago via Robert Verdi's Luxe Lab; mother of pearl earrings, Elizabeth Showers Vintage; gray scarf, H&M; mockingjay pin, NECA via eBay; citrine and sterling silver ring, Designs by Terra via International Gem and Jewelry Show/gift from Mom; purple patent leather tote, Coach

Weekly Manicure: Ombre

According to one of my fab friends who works in the magazine industry at very well know beauty/fashion publication nail polish is the new lipstick! What do I mean by that? Well, back in earlier recessions Leonard Lauder (chairman of Estee Lauder), consistently found that during tough economic times, his lipstick sales went up. Basically, we as consumers turn to less expensive indulgences, such as lipstick, when we feel less than confident about the future. Therefore, lipstick sales tend to increase during times of economic uncertainty or a recession. It has been a reliable measure over the years but, in this current economic mess that we find ourselves in it’s not lipstick that we are splurging on it’s nail polish and other manicure tools AKA the "lipstick effect" Do you think you are part of this phenomenon?

I can say that I am part of this trend without even realizing it. More recently I have been putting time and a little monies into my own mani/pedi fun. I am consistently disappointed when I splurge on a manicure at the salon only to have it chip within a day or two. Why bother spending the money on that when I can do it myself? And why not share it with you? I am always trying to spice it up so there will hopefully be some things that help/inspire your own manicure fun.

This week, I decided to take some inspiration from the official start of spring and do a manicure with one of my new fav warm weather colors, lilac! This is also in keeping with what my mother had planned for the family’s Easter ensembles, more on that later... I wasn’t sure if I should keep it simple or try something fun with it… I decided to try something new and attempt an ombre manicure. As I’m sure you know ombre is one of my favorite things and I’ve been watching video after video on how people make it happen… why can’t I? I used this ombre manicure tutorial from lizzypunch, it was the simplest to follow in my opinion and didn't require lots of polishes, sponges, etc.

The first step to a good long lasting manicure (ombre or otherwise) is starting with a very clean slate. It helps the polish to adhere to your nail.

I followed the steps that had been lined out in the tutorial but, there were a few tweaks that I would definitely stress. One of two drops of clear nail polish with a little color will work for every two/three nails but, I had to mix up a a few batches while I was in the process of doing the manicure. Also, a piece of aluminum foil works just as well as a small plastic container for your palette. 

This is the first layer which is 4/5 drops of clear nail polish mixed with 3/4 drops of color polish. One of the reasons why I might have had some challenges with this was because the polish is already a little sheer. You have to play around with your polish until you find the level of translucency/lightens that works for you.


For the next layer I used a few more drops of the lilac polish to deepen the color on top of what I had used for the first layer. I only painted that shade on half of each nail to give the fading ombre effect. It didn't really come out as definitively in this picture but, you can definitely make it out in the right light.

This is the finished product. I just used the lilac color without any additional clear nail polish for the tips. I also put a top coat which really helped smooth everything out but, only for the nails where I was able to go through the process quickly.What do you think of my ombre manicure?

Some nails came out more blended than others but, this was my first attempt at the ombre manicure. Have you tried it before, how did it work for you?  What do you think of my end results? Yes, I also did my toesies but, not in the ombre fashion. I don't think there is enough "canvas" to work with for that. They had to settle for a coat of Dr. Remedy's Lively Lilac.

Friday, April 6, 2012

FBFF: Easter

For me Easter is a time for family and I can’t think of a more appropriate way to state it. Also: pastels, chocolate bunnies, and weird marshmallow birds… But, seriously every year it has been a Sunday where we spend the whole day (part of the day in recent years) together and enjoy each other’s company.

I would say the vast majority of people perceive New Years as the time for a fresh start but, for me I think Easter shares that property as well. It is a time of re-birth in nature and potentially in you! Also, this fantastic warm weather does wonders for my mood. 


What does Easter mean to you?

April 5, 2012: Impromptu Girls Night Out

Today is my Friday and I am so excited! What are my big plans for tomorrow? O, nothing just hanging out because my office is closed! I have some personal errands to run but, it’s ok because there is all the time in the world all day to take care of them. Did I mention my excitement? Yeah… The temptation to wear skinny pants and a comfy, flowy shirt was overwhelming but, I resisted. After all, I am trying to be the most professional me that I can be!

What I was most excited for was 5:00. I have been doing things after work pretty much every night this week so far and am excited to head home and take it easy! What ended up happening was something totally different but, isn't that always the way? Some of my co-workers were meeting up at a place really close to my house so I decided to join them for a bit which turned into longer... good times! Do you have any fun plans for this holiday weekend?
  • Top: aqua dolman sleeve top, Old Navy with a tank top underneath for the modesty; black safari jacket, LOFT (same jacket different color herehereherehereherehere, here, here and here )
  • Bottom: gray pants, New York & Company
  • Shoes & Accessories: black pointy toe flats, Audrey Brooke via DSW; gray shell earrings, gift from BF’s parents; silver watch, Fossil; Neverfull GM, Louis Vuitton/gift from BF

Items from this outfit are previously seen and remixed here herehereherehereherehere, here, here, and here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April 4, 2012: Positive Role Model

First of all I just have to tell you that my outfit last night was totally acceptable. I was definitely the only one who was over thinking it since it looked like most people just showed up in what they wore to work that day. What was even more amusing to me was that the woman giving the lecture, and a few people in the audience, were dressed in black from head to toe. Wait! Hold on. Just kidding, there was some gray in there as well… We could have matched if I had gone the cliché artist route but, I’m glad I strayed away.

In other news, I have taken on a new responsibility in my personal life. In addition to everything else I have going on I have decided to be a mentor with an excellent charity organization the helps people with their job search. I thought that a few hours a week of my time to answer some questions/give guidance is nothing if it makes a positive change in someone’s life. Hopefully it does! Bonus: tonight I think there will be pizza (provided by them) and cookies (provided by me)!

One of the things that the facilitators of this program stressed was the importance of wearing professional attire to set a positive example for the mentees. I'm sensing a trend and I could not agree more. This dress came to my rescue this morning last night while I struggled with finding a comfortable/professional outfit to wear. Dresses = The Best!
  •  Top: ruffle front cotton dress with pockets, with a tank top underneath for the modesty; black blazer, Ann Taylor via Melissa
  • Shoes & Accessories: black patent leather t-strap pumps, LOFT; Amelia Earrings, Stella & Dot; silver watch, Fossil; Neverfull GM, Louis Vuitton/gift from BF