Sunday, August 19, 2012

NYC Trip in Instagram Pics

I heart New York. Brooklyn in particular. It's my second home. I try to get back as often as I can and luckily I got to go back recently for my godson's birthday party. It wasn't a trip intended for shopping, but I couldn't go to NYC without at least taking a look into the stores. It is the fashion capital of the country after all! Here's a quick peek into my trip!

1. I stopped into Aldo to take a look at what's hot for the Fall and there was studded detailing EVERYWHERE! I'm absolutely in love with those tan smoking flats (which by the way are also everywhere) in the front!

2. You guys already know how much I love Sephora. I never make a trip to New York without stopping in. The Times Square store is an entirely different experience than your average store. They have a DJ and everything so you can rock out to Rihanna while you shop!!

3. I took a trip to my old block. My time in New York had a lot of influence on my style and I have so many great memories there I had to post this pic.

4. I took the opportunity to edge up my look a bit being in New York and all, with a shredded sweater, a chain link necklace and my Urkel glasses added to a pencil skirt. What do you think?

I am so looking forward to my next trip back. Gonna have to make that one a shopping trip for my back to basics project!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back to Basics - Cardigans

I'm at a fashion crossroads, so to speak. I'm caught somewhere between sundresses and sweaters: dreading the end of the Summer but getting ready to welcome Fall. The mornings are getting colder and the daily temps are getting lower so there's no denying it; but I'm not quite ready to let go.

As I've told you before, I recently lost a lot of weight so none of my clothes from last year fit anymore and as the change in seasons looms closer, I've found myself completely unprepared! The idea of having to purchase an entire Fall wardrobe is extremely overwhelming if only from a financial standpoint, so in the interest of maintaining my sanity, I've decided to start with the basics and build from there one item at a time. I'm going to kick off my search with cardigans.

I love, Love, LOVE cardigans! They're so super versatile. You can wear them in transition season in the morning when it's cooler and take them off in the afternoon when it warms up and during the Fall/Winter they're great for layering without adding too much bulk. I don't think a girl can ever get enough cardigans! Here are some of my current favorites.

Where to buy it left to right:,,,,

Monday, August 13, 2012

Optical Illusion

Part of the trick to be being a fabulously fluffy fashionista is to know your body type, recognize your flaws (we all have them), dress to accentuate what you love and camouflage what you don't. I'm obviously a PSP, but I'm pretty much straight up and down with almost no hips (again, know your body type!) so I try to wear things that accentuate the waistline to add curves where I don't naturally have them.

The style is called an Optical Illusion Dress and my big introduction to this silhouette like most everybody else was on Kate Winslet in a Stella McCartney dress. Doesn't she look amazing???

The trick to this dress in the curvature of the interior color. By adding the curve to the dress itself, it draws the eye inward and makes you appear slimmer in the midsection giving you that knockout, hourglass shape that will have you looking and feeling like the sexiest girl on the block. I don't know about you, but I'll take all the curves I can get! I must say, very few dresses I own get me as many compliments as this one. Bombshell away!!!

Black Illusion Peplum Dress


And I am absolutely OBSESSED with this colorblocked one from Ashley Stewart!!!

Sheath Dress



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Taking It All Off

I wear A LOT of makeup. I mean primer, foundation, concealer, pressed powder, lipstick, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, the whole shebang. Every day, everywhere: to work, to the grocery store, to the mailbox, need I continue on? And because I wear so much, it becomes super important, especially in the interest of getting and maintaining healthy skin to make sure that I'm effectively taking it off every night. Blocked pores and acne aren't a good look on anybody! And just like I have a routine in applying it, I have my routine for removing it and it involves a trifecta of products I couldn't live without.

I start by using an eye makeup remover (notice everything I use is specifically oil free as we know my issue with acne) to gently remove makeup without having to pull or scrub or tug at my eyes; they are after all, the first place to show age. This one by Neutrogena even removes waterproof mascara with ease which is a big part of why I love it. Then I remove my lipstick or lip gloss with an oldie but goodie: good old fashioned baby wipes (trick I learned at the MAC Counter). And I don't bother with the expensive kind either. As you can see, these ones come from Family Dollar. They work perfectly to completely remove the color, are obviously super gentle since they're intended for babies and only cost $1.79! Finally I finish up with these Neutrogena cleansing wipes that have an amazingly addictive fresh grapefruit scent!

I know it seems like a lot of work, especially since all of this is before I even think about washing my face, but trust me, all those experts are correct in saying that sleeping in makeup is one of the worst things you can do to your skin. I'm speaking from experience here. Your skin needs time off to breathe to be at it's best and how else do you expect all of those creams and magic potions that we buy for our faces to work if they never get a chance to reach your skin? Makeup is great, but there's nothing like having beautiful luminous skin of your own underneath it all. With a payoff of a flawless complexion, it's worth the effort!


Monday, August 6, 2012

My Proactive Journey - Day 14

My Skin on Day 14

Finally, FINALLY my skin is going back to normal! My original plan was to post pics every seven days over the course of my entire journey but my skin looked so bad on Day 7 that I couldn't bear to look at the pictures myself much less share them with you. It actually looked worse than it did on Day 1! It was awful. But I called the company and they said that it's perfectly normal for it to get worse before it gets better. They said that it's because the system is working to pull out everything, including what's under the surface to completely clear your skin and I guess they were right. Here I am in Day 14 and I can finally see my forehead again! I can't say that it's completely fixed everything and now I have some new marks that I'm going to have to work to get rid of, but there's definitely been some improvement. I'm on my way!

Here's the side by side comparison. The one on the left is Day 1

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My Weekend in Instagram Pics

I had a pretty good weekend. Decided to take it easy and relax because we had the three "H"s in effect: Hazy, Hot & Humid! I ordered Twilight: Breaking Dawn on Pay-Per-View, hunkered down with lots of Crystal Light Pink Lemonade and relaxed in-house for the most part. Here's what else I managed to do.

1. I made a trip to one of my absolute favorite places in the world: the M.A.C. Counter where I was introduced to our newest friendly neighborhood makeup artist named Tricia who was beyond knowledgeable about everything. I can't say enough great things about her! I spent almost 30 minutes talking to her about different products and she set up a file for me so that come Fall when it's time to switch to my non-tan makeup she already knows what I need!

2. I made the switch from brunette back to blonde to close out the summer. I always like to go lighter in the summer and then darken it up for the fall. My hair color is usually directly connected to the amount of sunlight; the lighter it is outside, the lighter my hair is. I figure the color will last about a month which is just about to the end of the summer. I had to go blonde at least one more time! What do you think?

3. I spent a LOT time in and out of different dressing rooms. I went out to do a little recon and see what kinds of things are going to be hot for the fall. What do you think of the dress? Looks like animal print is going to be on-trend for Fall again!

4. I finished up with a D.I.Y. Watermelon manicure that I saw in Glamour magazine. It was just O.P.I. Strawberry Margarita polish for the base and green and black nail art pens for the rind and the seeds. I wish I was neater about doing it but I'm still trying to master the pens. All in all, I'm happy with the results though.

Hope you all had a great weekend. Gonna put a deep cleaning mask on and settle in to get myself ready for the week ahead. Hope you all had a great one. See you on the flip side!

xoxo ~JuJu

Thursday, August 2, 2012

1 piece / 2 ways - Pencil Skirt

So my goal in 1 piece / 2 ways is to take one item and remix it to get two completely different looks out of it. For all of us girls on a budget, the ability to make several outfits out of each piece is essential to making those dollars stretch. This time's comparison is with one of the most versatile pieces you'll ever own: a pencil skirt.

Take 1

I wore this for a day that I spent just running errands. It's a super casual (for me) mix of a pencil skirt, a t-shirt (featuring the one and only Marilyn Monroe), flat sandals and a crossbody bag that left my hands free for shopping ease! For jewelry I kept it really simple with just an unfussy necklace. It took all of 10 minutes to throw the outfit together but it still looks like an intentional put-together look.


Take 2

I swear, I don't know how other people get by without a pencil skirt or two in their lives. I could never go back to living without them! This outfit was just the skirt paired with a short sleeved button-down, a belt at the waist (of course)and peep-toe pumps. For jewelry, I added a handful of silver and black bangles and a matching pair of the giant "Basketball Wives" hoop earring that are all over the place. Granted, the jewelry wouldn't work in every work environment but that could easily be adjusted to fit yours. It's sexy and it's vampy but it's still work-appropriate. It's the best of both worlds!

Skirt - Forever 21+ - $10.00

Here's a similar one, just in a different color. Sadly, my red version is sold out!

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