Winterize Your Beauty Regimen {Guest Post}

It’s officially my favorite season – autumn. The brisk morning air and the colorful foliage mean it is time to make adjustments to not only your wardrobe, but your beauty regimen as well. 


The key to keeping your tresses healthy during the colder winter months is to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Hair strands get battered in the winter months by the cold temperatures, and from being snagged on wool hats and scarves. During the winter, be sure to deep condition hair at least once per week and use a heavier moisturizer to help curb breakage. If that seems like too much work, then protective styles like braids, twist, and weaves would be good options! 

Recommendations: Qhemet Biologics Olive & Alma Heavy Cream, Shea Radiance Nourishing Hair Repair Cream, Jessicurl Weekly Deep Conditioning Treatment, Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle Treatment 


To protect your largest organ from the winter weather, the key is yet again to moisturize and do it A LOT! Water is key. Start by making sure to drink tons of water throughout the day, but you should keep steamy hot showers to a minimum. Winter is the time to use a thicker moisturizer on your skin. Two great natural options are 100% pure coconut oil and 100% shea butter. For your lips, be sure to exfoliate with a sugar scrub and to apply shea butter or good ole Vaseline to keep them soft. And one more thing: don’t forget the sunscreen just because it’s winter. 

Recommendations: Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Basin White Sangria Lip Scrub 


Nails take a battering during winter as well, and need to be replenished. Always wear gloves when outdoors to protect your hands from the constant climate change of going from indoors to outdoors. Keep a hand cream in your handbag and moisturize after every time you wash your hands, and every time you come indoors. Once per week, in order to soften hands and strengthen cuticles, soak hands in a small bowl of olive oil and lemon juice for 5 minutes. 

Recommendations: Eos Hand Lotion, Vaseline Total Moisture Healthy Hand Conditioning Lotion, Eucerin Plus Intensive Repaid Hand Crème 

Photos via Pinterest {1, 2, 3}

 AB describes herself as a “funky, intelligent, amusing, natural girl” who shares her musings at her personal blog,..East of the Mississippi. She also uses her feminine point of view to counter the masculine opinions of her male BFF on topics like dating, relationships and online etiquette on a second blog, Friends Don’t Let Friends; where the “he said, she said” style banter incites plenty of laughter and discussion in the comments. 

Fall Trend Guide: What You Should Buy Now {Part II}

While you're plotting out your fall wardrobe, take a minute to review some of this season's trends and think about how you can incorporate them with your classic pieces for a fun twist that keeps your closet fresh and exciting. Here are 5 fall trends you should buy into now:

Above trends {clockwise from top left}:

Leather Dresses – Leather A-line skirts were a major trend in 2002 (I remember because I bought a may-jah bubblegum pink one that I loved but never actually wore), and leather gets another feminine update this fall in gorgeous dresses. From sheaths to shirtdresses, there’s a leather style that pretty much anyone can pull off. Just keep accessories minimal and let the dress do the talking.

Jumpsuits- Trade in your shorts playsuits for gorgeous pants jumpsuits. They’re easy to throw on for casual encounters, and to dress up with accessories for a night out. I particularly love the 70s feel of a jumpsuit with a wide leg that falls past the shoe.

Jewel Tones – The leaves are bathed in color, why shouldn’t you be? Try trading muted colors for vibrant jewel tones in shades of pink, orange, blue, purple and teal.

Peplum – Give your LBD some flare with a peplum waist, then add funky accessories and a standout shoe like this leopard print bootie.

Color Blocking – A multi-hued dress takes the guess work out of the colorblocking trend, and a jacket in a solid color can anchor your look and make you feel totally polished.

Which of these trends will you shop for fall?

Images via FabSugar

Snagged: Peplum and Pretty Things

This weekend was very much about simple pleasures, and quality time with The Kid: we ran 3.5 miles together in the beautiful weather on Saturday; I cheered on his fantastic performance at his football game that evening; and on Sunday we padded around the house, catching up on our favorite TV shows, napping and enjoying the cool fall breezes from the open windows and balcony door. 

I did have some lovely, stylish deliveries waiting for me when I arrived home from work on Friday, and I'm excited about my pretty new acquisitions. 

 I've been drooling over this teal peplum tutu top from Asos for forever, and finally snagged it! 

'facets ring' - Jill Zarin Jewelry Collection (c/o)

'coming up roses' beaded bracelet - Debbie Merle Designs (c/o)

I am looking ahead at an especially busy week, as I'll need to work ahead in preparation for my trip to Atlanta this weekend to attend 'Fro Fashion Week. 'Fro Fashion Week is a series of events and workshops celebrating the natural hair community, and this will be my first time attending--and my first time in Atlanta in ages--so I'm looking forward to it. 

Hope you have a productive week, with something fun to look forward to this weekend as well.  

3 Fall Lipsticks for a Pretty Pout

Now that summer is behind us, we can put away the sheer and minimal glosses that are so much easier for a natural summer look; and go for lush lipsticks with full on color.

Deep purples have been my favorite ever since Nia Long puckered with them in the “Love Jones” / “The Best Man” era. She proved to me that browner skinned girls with dark hair could definitely pull off vampier shades while still looking super chic.

Covergirl Queen Collection in ‘Fine Wine’ - covergirl.com

A red lip is a classic statement and there are so many shades to choose from. If you’re looking for more of an everyday red, a deeper hue in a matte finish is the way to go.

MAC Styleseeker Mattene Lipstick in ‘Camden Chic’ - maccosmetics.com

A shimmering orange is so seasonally appropriate--and it could be a fun break from your regular pinks and neutral shades.

NARS Lipstick in ‘Beautiful Liar - Spiced Coral’ - sephora.com

Well-Organized Living Space: Ways to Update Your Home for Fall

Often, when the seasons change, I too start to feel a need for change. It isn’t usually a desire for anything drastic, but instead a gentle tugging at my feminine need to nest. This is about the time that I begin to clean and reorganize closets, rearrange furniture and add seasonal accents—subtle touches that make my living space continue to feel cozy, inviting and inspiring. It is very simple to update your home for fall, refreshing your environment and allowing it to continue to be a peaceful haven.

Reorganize your closet. Have your closet make sense for your lifestyle and the weather by pulling out summer items and beginning to replace them with light fall attire like thin sweaters and cardigans, long sleeved tops and sweater dresses that you can wear sans hose. Additionally, decide if you want to organize your pieces by color, style, brand, etc. and make that change. You’ll start to get a fresh perspective on all your items as you see how they can be mixed, matched and layered; and this will reveal any holes in your wardrobe or staples that need to be replaced. If you’re feeling like a total closet overhaul, try using fresh storage accessories, like a new shoe rack or uniform hangers throughout.

Toss things that you no longer need or don’t use. It’s easy to acquire lots of items that kind of pile up and take up space, without being functional or useful--like paperwork, old magazines, expired mail and even clothing and shoes that we no longer want. Take some time to organize your important papers and mail in a Pendaflex filing system or your file cabinet and recycle the rest; and give those clothing items to goodwill. Why not choose your favorite magazines to arrange neatly on tables or bookshelves for display? You’ll breathe easier without all the extra clutter.

Change out your bedding and buy new pillows. Bedding gets worn very quickly and easily through nightly use. Update your sleeping quarters by bringing in a different set of sheets, as well as new and fully stuffed pillows. And, if you really want to give the entire room a fresh look, switch out your comforter for a richer fall color like chocolate, deep purple, forest green, mustard, oxblood or pumpkin.

Toss lush throws casually over your bed and chairs. Sometimes nothing feels better on a cool day than curling up for a few moments, lazing with a warm mug of your favorite beverage and a good book. Keeping throws draped lazily over your bed, or chairs in your home, makes warming up that much easier.

Update your accent pillows. Make simple updates to your décor by switching out your current throw pillows for new ones! Find new colors, patterns and styles that speak to you and adorn your sitting areas with them.

Add lighting. Since it gets dark so much earlier in the cooler months, why not bring additional light into your home? If you’re someone who tends to feel cheerier when there’s bright light surrounding you, you’ll love finding cool lamps and light fixtures that give your home a luminescent glow even when it is darkest outside.

Add fall-scented candles. Celebrate the season by bringing in fall fragrance in the form of deliciously scented candles that permeate each room. The aromas may even incite pleasant fall memories, making you feel instantly more peaceful and calm.

Photos: {1, 2, 3, 4, 5}

Fall Trend Guide: What You Should Buy Now {Part I}

With the change in season and temperatures, comes a change in the way we view our style. The opportunity to add layers and texture to signature style becomes rampant, and the idea of snuggling into cozy fabrics feels that much more appealing.

While warmer richer colors begin to be displayed as a signal of this change, bright color remains a staple as well--and a way of not taking the season so seriously.

While you're plotting out your fall wardrobe, take a minute to review some of this season's trends and think about how you can incorporate them with your classic pieces for a fun twist that keeps your closet fresh and exciting. Here are 4 fall trends you should buy into now:

Above trends {clockwise from top left}:

Navy + Black - Primary color combinations are an easy way to give an all black outfit a subtle "pop".

Oxblood - this season's color du jour. It is present in everything from clothing to accessories to lipstick and nail color. Love it in this cropped leather jacket.

Print Mixing / Texture Layering  - Solange nails two trends in one by rocking her silk polka dot blouse with a tweed pencil skirt. 

Printed Pants - Style blazer Jenna Lyons and blogger Kelly Framel show us how to wear printed pants (hint: the simple menswear inspired shirt keeps it from getting too cheeky).

Which of these trends will you shop for fall?

Images: {1, 2, 4} {3}

Perfectly Priced: Color Block Dress at Kohl's

"Werk" your office style when you saunter in wearing this pretty AB Studio color block sheath dress. The color block trend is still going strong through the cooler seasons and into spring/summer 2013, so this dress has a bright future ahead of it.  Perfectly priced at $36 on sale now at Kohl's.com (regularly priced at $60). 

And thanks to the lovely people at Kohl's, I am able to provide you, dear readers, with access to their new exclusive 10% off code. Use code UBLOGTEN to save, now through October 24th. Bonus--this can be used in tandem with one other department code for even more savings. 

AB Studio Color Block Sheath Dress - Kohl's

Savvy Style Chat {Alyson, The Average Girl's Guide}

Savvy Style Chat is a monthly series, featuring ridiculously stylish, savvy women with great stories to tell. For our September Chat I present...

Alyson / The Average Girl's Guide / TheAverageGirlsGuide.com

Statement necklace, bright cardigan and jeans. This is my style (I call it casual chic).

What is your full time gig? 

In addition to blogging for The Average Girl's Guide, I own a PR/marketing/social media company in South Florida. 

How does being a mom affect your personal style? 

Being a mom has added a level of practicality to my wardrobe. I opt for flats so it's easier to carry my girl, and also stick to pants so I can head to the park or out without worrying about a restricting or too-flowy skirt or dress.

What other endeavors do you participate in and how do you transition your wardrobe throughout the day to meet the needs of these various roles? 

I volunteer with a few local charities, and am also a member of the area Chamber of Commerce. On days with after-work commitments, I typically dress up a bit more at the start of the day so I don't have to worry about any quick changes. However, sometimes I swap out my shoes and always bring make-up for a little touch up.

When I need to don a blazer for work, I like to let my personality show. Pattern mixing is one of my favorite ways to do so. 

What are your favorite colors or textures to incorporate into your wardrobe? 

Hot pink. As a redhead, I veered away from red, orange and pink for years. In my mid-20s I started to experiment more with color and haven't looked back. I'm also adoring lime green and pops of cobalt.

What is your most favorite piece in your wardrobe and how often do you wear it?

It depends on the time of year, but when an obsession strikes expect to see it frequently. In the summer it was my Old Navy pink rockstar skinnies. Now? My new leopard heels and this Tinsley Road vegan leather dress. 

What role do accessories play in your style? Do you prefer tons of jewelry, or just a few staple pieces? 

HUGE. I never change out my earrings these days, however, necklaces can instantly transform my outfit. A neutral, casual outfit can become smokin' with just a few key additions.

These burgundy coated skinnies are a fav new purchase from Kohl's. I adore how accessories change up the look.

What is your beauty routine like, and what product(s) can you not live without right now? 

I now wash my hair every three to four days, which saves huge time. Otherwise, expect it in a top knot. When it comes to make-up, I stick to the usual with more eyeliner and blush than I've used in years past. Favorite: Maybelline bouncy blush. Great, lasting color. Killer price point.

Where do you go to get inspired? 

Like everyone, Pinterest is the best and also helps keep my inspiration and ideas organized.

What’s the best piece of style advice you ever received? 

Be true to you. If it's not your style or if you don't look amazing in it, pass. 

Fall Trend: Brocade Dresses

Print will continue to be a major trend for fall, with sweet tiny florals and prints on delicate, airy materials being replaced by their bolder, larger cousins on heavier fall fabrics.  Brocade, with its European pedigree, continues to be woven in rich fabrics with raised design; but gets an update in addition to its traditional gold and silver and explodes with color and fresh patterns--making it a print du jour for this season. 

Do brocade-on-a-budget when you shop these gorgeous dresses at Modcloth. 

Clockwise from top left: 
Classic stunner dress in brocade $99.99
Different brush strokes dress - $94.99 
One in the flame dress - $72.99
Gilding a mystery dress - $127.99 

Perfectly Priced: J Crew Sweater

Start your fall sweater collection with this cotton candy colored confection from J. Crew. Stripes are a closet staple, but the pop of pink makes it girly and fun. Perfectly priced at $29.99, this scoop neck top is a sweet deal. 

Printed colorblock stripe top - J. Crew

*this top has sold out at the J. Crew site since this post was published.

Fashion's Night Out 2012

It seems that this short week has flown by with my barely getting a task in edgewise! I'm a bit sleepy, but I'm powering through the day in anticipation of attending Fashion's Night Out 2012 tonight in Baltimore! I'll be location hopping, starting out at Towson Town Center's event, then heading downtown to Power Plant Live for Baltimore Fashion Alliance's shindig. If you're local and you spot me, give me a shout! I'm so excited to hang out with fashionable types, and to spend time with my boo AB, who I am dragging with me for the festivities.

Are you attending any FNO festivities in your area tonight?

Style Savvy Wedding Weekend

So much fun was had this past weekend! It was the wedding weekend of two great friends, and they had a beautiful, picturesque ceremony in a garden, under a gazebo. 

It was wonderful to celebrate their love with all my best girlfriends, and our significant others. I was a hostess at the wedding, and because I am all about the event business (it's part of what I do for a living), I worked three flights of stairs--in an almost 7" heel I might add!--to make sure I did all I could to help Mr. and Mrs. C have a fantastic day. I looked fabulous, though my feet and leg muscles were pretty pissed at me by the end of the day. A small price to pay!

Face - concealer: Makeup Forever #14 / foundation: Covergirl Clean Sensitive Skin Pressed Powder in 'Tawny' (also mentioned here/ brows: Anastasia brow wiz in 'Brunette' (also mentioned here) / lashes: Estee Lauder primer + mascara + binding formula in 'Rich Black'  / liquid liner, eye shadows: ELF Cosmetics / lips: MAC 'Tanarama' with Stila 'Starfruit' gloss / bronzer: Stila

my bridesmaid besties in Vera Wang; on me - dress: Express / belt: White House Black Market

The Kid, The Honey and I also managed to squeeze in a fun Italian dinner together consisting of great pasta, pizza, seafood and peach sangria for me. I'm exhausted, but grateful to have been surrounded by so much love and to have had such an amazing long weekend.