A series of new designers presented their Spring Summer 2016 designs at The Launch this past fashion week, and I was lucky enough to be invited! Held at the Grand Soho Hotel, the event was was ultra swanky and filled with forward-thinking fashionistas. I had a blast chatting with other bloggers, and sipping organic ginger ale before the shows. Once the designers began their presentation (a total of four shows) we gathered around the runway in awe of the collections. Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the respected designers, as well as what I wore to the incredible event. I hope you enjoy!
Paris. I mean what can I say, it is every girl’s dream to be whisked away to the most romantic city. The food, the culture, the atmosphere, the language; everything about Paris is well, magnificent.
This past visit was nothing short of exceptional. A good friend and I stayed in the ultra posh neighborhood of Le Marais. If you are visiting and want a truly Parisian experience, I highly recommend staying in this neighborhood. It was so much fun to get lost in the neighborhood coming home at night. Walking down the narrow streets in the rain passing by cafe after cafe, and boutique shop after boutique shop. On any given Tuesday, we watched as the locals sit unbothered at 11pm, having a drink while catching up with a friend. It filled my heart.
One of the biggest decisions we made on the trip was to do the ultimate dream… A photoshoot in front of the Eiffel tower. Days leading up to the shoot, we looked all over Paris for outfits and jewelry. We found the prettiest dresses in a cute Parisian shop. At one moment while trying on looks, my friends whispers to me through the velvet curtain “Ellese, we are in Paris trying on dresses in a vintage shop”, neither one of us could stop giggle with pure excitement that this is actually happening.
On the day of the shoot, we woke up very early to rain. That didn’t stop us. After all isn’t it even more romantic to see Paris in the rain? we put on our outfits, did our hair and makeup, and then added an extra layer of clothing to protect us from the cold, wet weather outside. we scurried to the nearby train and road with all the locals heading to work. I can only imagine what they were thinking when they saw these two American girls all decked out on this commuter train. But it didn’t matter. The only thing that matter was, we were actually going to achieve this beautiful dream of ours.
We got off at a stop that is a little further away than the Eiffel tower. A day in advance, we stocked out where we could get a clear photo of the Eiffel Tower in the background. Once there, we began to setup and stripped down to our dresses to start the photoshoot. Since it was raining, there were only a few tourist. Our biggest audience were the national guards who watched the area. They did stare quiet heavily, but never bothered us. In fact, we felt rather safe having them around while our belongings sat to the side.
My friend snapped these photos while it poured, juggling an umbrella in one hand and her professional camera in the other. About 15 minutes later, it was her turn. I bundled up as she changed. She handed over her extremely expensive and heavy camera. “Have you ever used one of these?” she asked. I shook my head and said “Nope” but what better time to learn than now while standing in the rain in Paris.
I juggled my umbrella while snapping photos, just as she had done for me. In the end, we have these incredible photos, and more importantly, these irreplaceable memories of that one time in Paris.
Feel free to visit my friends blog, Fabulizza, to learn how you can replicate this photoshoot on your next trip to Paris!
My favorite time of the years is upon us! I thought I would share five brands that you absolutely need to know to make this fall that much better. From forward-thinking, to fun designs these brands will brighten the crisp fall days ahead. Enjoy!
Gorjana: I am a fan of any brand whose slogan is live love layer. Gorjana jewelry is simple, delicate, yet absolutely stunning. I had the opportunity to meet her last year at a rewardStyle meetup. She and her jewelry were such a delight in person.
Rebecca Minkoff: We all know Rebecca makes some of the most beautiful handbags, but did you know that she makes some amazing shoes to match? Her fall boots are to die for. I mean, just look at those thigh-high fringe boots!
Revolve clothing: I am obsessed with Revolve Clothing collection of fitted knitted midi dresses for fall! They are perfect to dress up or dress down. I love them the most for the mere fact that all you need to do is throw one on with heels, and you have a complete look.
Tibi: The colors Tibi uses for fall are perfection! I love the deep evergreen and plum hues. Plus the tie details and the draping for each garment are impeccable. This brand is great for classic fall looks.
Zimmermann: Grey never looked so good. I love the way Zimmermann infuses muted tones with high-quality silhouettes and fabrics. The grey felt brim hat and tassel shoes are some of my favorite pieces from the fall line.
I am still dreaming about all the designs and clothes I saw during New York Fashion Week. One of the most incredible presentation was the ever so flirtatious yet elegant designer, Doré. Held at the spectacular Gramercy Hotel, a line of beautiful models showcased the vibrant Spring/Summer 2016 line.
Doré began designing for dance students using the finest fabrics, as well as construction to withhold movement of the dancers. They easily flourished into providing beautiful ensembles for figure skaters, ballroom dancers and the like. They have been a featured designer on the hit show “So you think you can dance”. I felt very honored to see their upcoming line and spot a few pieces that I would wear every day, dancing or not.
My top two favorites from the line were the black tulle dress with the beautifully embellished top in the first two photos. As well as the long, exquisitely draped red dress in the last two photos. Do you see a favorite you would wear? Let me know in the comments bellow.
There is only one person I trust when it comes to getting my makeup done, Sophia Joseph. The most talented professional makeup artist and friend graciously spent time disclosing her secret beauty tips and tricks of the trade. You have no idea how excited I was for this interview!
Q: To Start, where should someone begin when it comes to makeup? Any area we should master first in makeup application?
A: Well it would depend on the amount of experience one would have. There are many phenomenal makeup artists that were self-taught, picking up tips and tricks along the way. As for myself, I took a course in makeup artistry. I had little to no experience in makeup whatsoever. I wanted to learn every inch of the art of makeup from the history of makeup to proper makeup application, face structure, skin, set ethics, and building a business from the ground up. The first area I would suggest someone to master is the art of communication. Is is so important to listen to your client and to be sensitive to their needs. You have to build a trust with them. Once that is established, you are then perceived as someone they can count on and most importantly respect. That is something to have in this business and in life general. Secondly, I would advise learning basic beauty makeup. It is the foundation to all makeup application whether bridal, special effects or any other kind of makeup, you have to be able to create a flawless face.
Q: What is your absolute favorite makeup brand? Brush brand?
A: I get this question a lot. I do not have a favorite brand, I do however, have a lot of favorite products from many different brands. I’ll give you a list of my top five favorites:
RCMA foundation cream palette: this is a God sent I can create so much looks with this palette. Full to sheer coverage, contour, bronzer, color correct the list goes on.
Inglot eyeliner gel: this a must have for anyone who is having a problem with eyeliner not lasting through out the day. This bad boy once set is not going anywhere, but you defiantly have to work fast. my favorite colors are Gold (95), Black (77), and White (76).
MAC pigment in Vanilla: I adore this pigment I use it as an eyeshadow, face highlight, nail polish, or mix with body cream and use as a body highlights for an editorial look very versatile product.
Eve Pearl Invisible finish powerless powder: control shine amazingly when I first use it I was like “oh my God this is magic”. When used on clients or myself I do not have to reapply as often or at all. It great for all skin tones and complexions.
Q: What trick do you use that most people wouldn’t think about doing when it comes to makeup?
A: After I apply foundation and before I set the makeup with powder I like to blot. I take apart a 2ply Kleenex tissue and blot the entire face removing any excess makeup this helps the makeup from creasing and looking too caked on. Once I am done bolting I then go ahead and set my makeup. If I feel that I’ve removed too much makeup I pick up my brush or sponge that I used to apply foundation with product still on it I and go over areas where I lost little coverage.
Q: What makeup trends are you loving right now? Hating right now?
A: I am loving the clean look that I have been seeing on the fashion runways the past couple of seasons. A fresh dewy skin is by far my favorite makeup to do. I am really disliking over done brows. When it comes to brows, unless you are going for an over done editorial look, my advice is to use light strokes and a color that is one to two shades lighter than your natural hair color. If you’re a blond use light to medium taupe shades.
Q: Who is your beauty role model?
A: One of my favorite beauty role models is Pat McGrath. I absolutely adore her work. I draw inspirations from many of her runway looks she has created, and I cannot wait for the day to meet and work side by side with her. Pat McGrath is a living legend.
Q: How can someone create a glam look on a budget? Any tips in where to find quality products at an affordable price?
A: Creating a glam look on a budget is a lot easier than people think. I also say “it is not about the products but about the technique”. Once you know how to use a product correctly you can have a finish face that look as if you used products that cost hundreds of dollars when in reality it properly cost maybe $40 and will last you six months to a year depending how often you use the items. Checking out your local drug store like CVS or Rite Aide. They are great places to find affordable makeup and usually have awesome sales (BOGO). Some drug store brands I like to use for a glam or any look are:
Q: What are three beauty products (hair, makeup, brushes) essential for your everyday use?
A: My three beauty products to have are hairspray even when there is a hair artist on set I always walk with extra hairspray and pin in case I have to tame a section and the stylist is not available at that particular moment. Second would be press powder to remove any shine that I would get throughout the day. Lastly, my MAC 217 blending brush, I love this brush I have about ten duplicates including Sigma and other nameless brands. I use this brush to apply eyeshadow, blend eyeshadow, buff in concealer and foundation around small areas, and to also set the makeup with.
Q: What is the most exciting experience you’ve had as a makeup artist?
A: Tough question I feel that every experience I’ve had thus far has been exciting. But I do remember early on into career when I had just finished my Makeup course and I was doing my second fashion show for charity. I was still so green and inexperienced I was worried that I would not be able to perform on a level that was expected of me. However, I had to subside those thoughts because that was not the place nor the time to panic. So I start doing what I’ve learned and what I’ve practice, as I contained to work on my models one after another I turned around to observe my environment I notice I had a line of models waiting for me to do their makeup. I really had no clue where this line came from. There were several other makeup artist working there as well. One model told me once she got into my chair that she was watching me and she loved the makeup I was doing and she wanted only me to do her makeup. I felt extremely flattered, humbled and blessed that she found my work beautiful and just moments before I was having a silent panic attack. From that day on I believed in myself and had more confidence in my work. If I ever have self-doubts I always say to myself “I was chosen for a reason, they like my work and they believe in me, now I have to believe in myself”. When you have a passion for something, nothing should hold you back from achieving it even if it’s yourself.
Q: What can we expect to see from you in the upcoming year?
A: In the next year I am definitely going to continue building my clientele and my portfolio. I plan on branching into bridal hair and makeup artistry I want to build a network for that, as well as continue doing editorial work which I also love to do. It allows me to do something different and think outside the box. I also look forward to booking work international. I’ve never been out the country for work, so I cannot wait to experience that.
Happy Friday! We made it to the weekend, and now it is time to take a breather. I don’t know about you, but this has been one busy week. I am looking forward to slipping into super comfy clothes and watching some really bad reality shows on Bravo.
Today I want to share some tips on how to create a fun casual Friday look that is sleek, timeless, but still has that designer edge. If you know me even a little bit, you know that this is my ultimate go to look. I love clean lines, no fuss accessories, and black denim.
So, how do you get the look? Really easy. I took one main designer and matched my outfit around that piece. As you can see I went with my all time favorite Chanel black quilted purse. For an alternative, more affordable quilted purse, click here!
The other recognizable brand I am rocking are my Ray-Ban shades. That’s it though for brands! A great tip is to never mix too many designers and labels in one outfit. It becomes a little overwhelming otherwise.
For colors, I went with monotones to create a sleek, NYC vibe. The V-neck long sleeve shirt and black denim pants I found at Old Navy. I suggest tucking in your shirt to instantly kick the outfit up a notch without much effort involved.
Of course, the shoes are from dollhouse, but you can get an even more killer pair here by Jeffrey Campbell. I pulled my hair pack into a loose ponytail to match the simplicity and clean lines of the look.
Obviously this is a look that goes beyond casual Friday. Comment below on how you style a simple look. Follow along and make sure you subscribe!
During NYFW, I attended Lulu*s Style Studio, and then immediately proceeded to fall love with the brand all over again. The event easily became my number one highlight during the week-long celebration of fashion. Lulu*s went above and beyond decorating three floors full of beauty goodies, drinks, and of course loads of clothes to browse through.
A major plus was how incredibly friendly all the attendees and staff were. More amazing was how each girl looked absolutely stunning despite the torrential downpour happening outside. Everywhere I turned, I was greeted by big time bloggers and YouTubers, who were mingling and enjoying the night as well. My kind of heaven.
On the top floor, I had a chance to browse and snag a couple pieces from Lulu*s clothing line. One piece in particular that I took home was this gorgeous leather jacket. I literally ended up wearing this piece to every event thereafter (stay tuned for a featured post). It is truly the perfect fall jacket.
Additionally, there were a plethora of Lulu*s favorite beauty brands at the event. Shockingly the majority of the beauty products were made san parabens, and of high-quality natural ingredients! Mind Blown.
To me, the night was perfection. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off my very first NYFW!
It is time for sweater season! I am excited for the cooler weather and the chance to wear some extra comfy leggings. However, I am not quite ready to switch out my sandals. Not just yet. Give me one more weekend, please!
Wearing My absolute favorite sweater I found in Quebec City by Contemporaine, here is a similar style from Boohoo. Leggings from Zara Basics. The purse is Saint Laurent, a more affordable option can be found here. Shoes are Dollhouse, a similar style by Jeffrey Campbell.
Hi Friends! This year has been the year of travel. Starting with a cross-country move, to visiting Quebec for the holidays, spending time in Florida for the winter, all the way through to my one-month travels in Europe. And the year is not over yet! I have one more trip up to New York for Fashion Week, and I am preparing my carry-on bag as we speak.
Usually something is forgotten in the mix of the excitement, so I thought today it would be fun to list all the essentials I bring with me as my airplane carry-on. These are necessities I would pack whether it is a short trip up the coast or a long trip across the pond. Equally beneficial for both types of travelers.
For starters, I have to have a bag that is going to fit everything! I fell in love with this Henri Bendel weekend bag for two reasons. First, there is a separate compartment below for added space. Secondly, it zips all the way close on top making sure nothing spills out. I also really love the fact that the straps are adjustable which helps when I want to wear it cross-body, on one shoulder, or use the handles to give my shoulders a break. The leather detailing on the bottom of the bag, handle clasp, and tasseled zippers are a nice touch of luxury.
Once I have my big bag, it is time to pack! Here is everything I place inside:
The most important is my wallet (also from bendel) and some sort of ID. I can’t fly without them!
All my electronics. iPhone, iPod, Kindle. Plus the charges for each. I made the mistake of not bringing chargers and was stuck in the airport for hours due to a blizzard. Needless to say, I overspent on chargers to keep my electronics running.
Snacks. My absolute favorite plane snacks are Combos and Sprite, but some sort of trail mix is also a great thing to have on hand.
Altitude sickness meds. I am a lost cause without these!
Magazines. I overload on entertainment, I never know what I am going to be in the mood for. So I might as well have it all!
Headphones. A definite necessity to listen to music or movies on the plane.
Sunglasses. Especially if I am going to a sunny place like LA. I love these Fendi sunnies, they are just super fun.
Sandals or other weather appropriate gear for where I am heading. I might go straight from the airport to an event and like to be prepared.
My favorite Paraben free deodorant, lip balm, makeup, and hair ties! These are great especially for longer flights to touch up once landing. I keep them in my DVF makeup pouch.
Business cards and a small notebook. I never know who I am going to run into on the plane or in the airport. Best to be prepared.
A sweatshirt because I get cold really easily on planes! Not photographed because I usually am wearing my sweatshirt through security.
Let me know in the comments below if you want a list of items I bring with me in my checked suitcase as well!