Perfect Pins: Nailed It

Sunset Nails (Source

You'd never be able to guess from how my nails look now, but I used to be a seriously crazy nail-biting problem. Of course, I've been able to kick that nasty habit to the curb and cultivate my cuticles. So it's only natural that lately I've been obsessed with nail polish trends and experimenting with ways of making my hands pop! 

I've been looking to Pinterest for inspiration and love how creative people can get with a few bottles of polish.

Here are some of my favorite nail styles, all courtesy of fellow pinners.

Black nails with a gold shimmer (source)

Nails inspired by everyone's favorite heels (source)

Ombre blues (source)

Mexican blanket nails! (source)

Neon orange* (source)
*TIP: neon nails immediately make you look more tan; Perfect for summer!

I'm really loving ombre nails and neon French tips right now. What are your favorite nail trends?

Birds of a (Pink) Feather

Necklace: Topshop
Lipstick: Tom Ford
Shoes: Sophia Webster
Dress: Anthropologie
iPad Case: Tory Burch

In the heat of summer it appears we have much in common with the wild animals of the African savannas. We flock to watering holes (pools, lakes, oceans, rivers) to refresh and replenish our thirst (preferably with cool tropical drinks and trashy novels to keep us company). It only makes sense that we draw inspiration from one of the inhabitants of the African plains - the mighty Pink Flamingo!

I'm always a fan of pink (it comes with the fashion barbie territory) and I love a good novelty print, so these flamingo picks are a match made in heaven. But seriously, I've been seeing birds everywhere I go. At Topshop last week there was a whole shelf of flamingo jewelry, and Tory Burch has a whole collection of flamingo-print clothes and accessories (in hot pinks and in cool blues). Or, if you just want to emulate the beta-carotene pink of the fancy birds, Tom Ford has a lipstick color inspired by flamingo plumes! 

LA Story: the new california style

Rebecca Minkoff Resort 2014 looks

I've always been a California girl, born and raised in San Diego and now studying in Los Angeles, but recently I've been truly understanding how varied California can be (it is the 3rd largest state and the most populous) in terms of geography, cultural activity, and of course fashion. 

A decade ago most people would define Los Angeles style as glamorous and excessive. Brand names, revealing cuts, lots of gold and jewels. Ten years ago, Paris Hilton reigned supreme. The weekend wear of every Pretty Young Thing was a hot pink terry tracksuit from Juicy Couture. You were no one if you didn't have a Louis Vuitton or Gucci monogram-print leather bag. 

Paris Hilton and Jennifer Lopez in the early 2000s

Fashion in the celebrity center of the world was about visibility, about letting everyone know that the bag you were sporting was expensive and made by a designer that mattered. Status was everything. And status had to be visible.

But the Hollywood style has changed drastically since 2003. Sure, there are still women who cling to their sexualized bodycon dresses and high slits and designer logos, but the new guard of Hollywood style icons are more laid-back. They wear vintage, no-label items. They don oversized knit sweaters and flowing maxi dresses as freely as they slink into mini dresses. They still show off skin, yes, but that's because it's constantly 75 degrees and we like having our legs bronzed and our faces freckled.

The new Los Angelina (no, not of the Jolie-Pitt variety) wears understated (but still incredibly fashion-forward) clothes from up-and-coming designers that could be from almost anywhere (but anyone who knows anything about clothes knows these outfits still cost a lot of money).

 
For me, the Rebecca Minkoff presentation represented the new wave of California Style

She is concerned with her appearances and applies her makeup like a pro but doesn't always wear foundation or leaves her hair in messy waves after a trip to Manhattan Beach.

She is concerned with practicality and sustainability. When it's hot she takes off her ombre flannel and ties it around her waist in an organic but incredibly awesome style statement. Sometimes she wears flats, or T shirts - things that look good but also feel good.

She is laid-back without sacrificing her looks, and she knows that you can look amazing without putting painstaking effort into her outfits each morning.

She is not afraid of color. She wears blues as bright as a sunny day and pinks rich as a California sunset. She's not afraid of mixing prints and she never worries that she isn't "matching" because she decides what works for her. She is in control.

There's still a bit of the 2003 version of the Hollywood lady in this girl. She still loves those silly oversized sunglasses and she still appreciates the classic allure of a bodycon dress or a sneak of cleavage. But she'll wear T shirts just as often as mini dresses, and she'll look good either way.

runway report: solutions for bad hair days

Hair can be a beautiful thing.

It can be so malleable, manipulated into any shape or form we desire of it, transformed from a million strands of dead skin cells (let's call it what it is) to glorious locks of beauty and style.

Some days. Some days, hair will cooperate with the brush, the styling gel, the curling iron.

Other days...well, thank the lord people invented ways to cleverly evade a bad hair day.

Roksanda Illincic; Mother of Pearl; Issa; Giambattista Valli

Yes, what a joy it would be to have luscious waves every day of the year, but sometimes the elements prevent us from perfect Disney Princess Status Hair - the elements ranging from the fire of the flat iron not being strong enough to tame kinky (and not in the fun way) hair to the act of oversleeping.

Usually I resort to a ponytail or a messy braid (I always get compliments on my artistically "imperfect" side braid; little do they know it's simply because I'm not that good at braiding my hair) but sometimes there's not enough time to pull off an elaborate updo and other times I simply lack the energy.

What else can I possibly do to save my tresses from this mess(es)?

Well, 2014 Resort shows from Roksanda Illincic, Issa, Giambattista Valli, and others have brought about the return of the headscarf as a perfectly stylish solution to unruly hair. And the different interpretations of the headscarf prove that the look can work for any woman. Go upscale powerwoman and channel the Roksanda Illincic look; or downtown hipster by drawing inspiration from the Mother of Pearl outfit.

So the next time you find yourself waking up to out-of-control hair, why not tie it up in a pretty silk scarf!

we need to talk about: givenchy resort 2014


Let's be honest, I'm a sucker for expert drapery, and Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy knows how to turn fabric into sculpture, into true art. Someone who can create both streamlined and full silhouettes, and who understands fabric so well...ugh, I just love it so much.

There is something more lighthearted in the 2014 collection, too, which may be why I am so impressed. Lighter colors, florals, lace - Style.com called it "upbeat" and "optimistic" - and we all know what a sucker I am for optimism.

My favorite piece is probably the seemingly simple, classic trench coat with a pop of bold pattern and color thrown in by way of a floral lining and matching printed boots. After all, the Givenchy girl is never normal and always has something up her sleeve.

What do you think about the Givenchy resort collection?

Fab Find: J. Crew-inspired Necklaces


Lately I've been obsessed with the fun, colorful costume jewelry that J. Crew has to offer. Colored crystals, shiny metallics, and bold enamels - what's not to love? 

Well, there is the price of J. Crew jewelry (and a lot of jewelry in general - I'm looking at you, Banana Republic, Anthropologie, and basically every store that I shop at with cool but overpriced jewelry) and if you don't hit the store on a sale day like I did when I found the above necklace (which is still a pretty modestly sized piece, PLUS it was an additional 15% off thanks to my student discount) it can be hard to find a fabulous necklace on a dime.

So imagine my delight when I was recently informed that there are artists on Etsy that make similar-style jewelry to the looks at J. Crew! 

There are plenty of cool statement necklaces for a much more affordable price on Etsy. Just look up "j. crew necklaces" and you'll find dozens of pieces. Here are some of my favorites.





Beaded bib necklace, $17 by FUNLY899


Bubble beaded statement necklace, $43 by Audrey Jewelry


Of course, sometimes nothing beats the original. Here are some necklaces from J. Crew that I just cannot get enough of (including the one I own, if you like it too!)


Crystal Drops Necklace ($119); Pearl Twisted Hammock Necklace ($98); Crystal Feather Necklace ($58)

So which do you prefer? The less-expensive Etsy jewelry or the J. Crew originals? Do you think costume jewelry tends to be a bit overpriced? Where do you find your jewelry?

Relax; Take it Easy

the laid-back luxe of the Resort 2014 collections

Though shown during summer when baring some skin is an expectation, resort clothes are meant for those mid-winter getaways when daydreams of cutoffs and tank tops ravage our minds until we just have to escape to some exotic locale for a break from the cold. So naturally, designers revel in letting their ladies show off a little skin.

Of course, the old mini-skirt and spaghetti strap have tired out, and in there place a new crop (pun unintended) of styles that allow women to show off their figures, get some sun, and look absolutely fresh.

the mesh dress
Derek Lam; Burberry Prorsum; Jason Wu; Elizabeth & James

Not for the faint of heart, the mesh dress is perfect for the confident woman looking to show off some curves. To keep this look understated rather than overt, opt for a longer length and wear an appropriate amount of coverage underneath (I like the bandeau & boyshorts combo that Derek Lam is showing) if you aren't up for the bare-it-all nature of the Jason Wu lace dress.

 the crop top
Thankoon Addition; Theysken's Theory; Phillip Lim; Organic by John Patrick; Calvin Klein

The crop top has been present since the spring collections, but don't expect it to go away anytime soon. The great thing about the crop top is it's pretty versatile- you can show an inch of skin like Phillip Lim, or bare your crunch-perfected abs a la Theysken's Theory style. When wearing a shrunken top, remember to balance out proportions by pairing your crop with heavier, looser pieces for a more streamlined look. 

the cut-out

Balenciaga; Versace; Cushnie et Ochs; Proenza Schouler

If the crop top is baring it all, the cut-out is it's girl-next-door cousin. With a cut-out piece, you still get to show off some skin and look fabulous, but without the serious ab preparation a crop top may require :)

Are you excited to try these trends or are you gonna leave them to others?

Bloglovin and Facebook Pages

A little late (but better than never!) I just joined Bloglovin so follow The Fashion Barbie there too!

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AND I recently made a Facebook Page for my blog, so if you desire, like that too!

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One thing that I learned today is that red lipstick is not for the faint of heart. While venturing to Sephora at the Beverly Center to restock on eyeliner and powder, I decided to test out some bright red lipstick - the place I'm working at is having an opening party tonight and as the door girl I decided to find something that would really make a statement. 

The salesgirl suggested an orange-red color by Make Up For Ever and a matching lip liner and immediately I fell in love. She told me most women are a little afraid of red lipstick and usually chicken out and that I was one of the first people she has ever helped that was immediately enamored with such a bold color. 

Then again, most women aren't so comfortable making a lot of fashion statements. It's funny, how people are almost shocked with the outfits I wear and the general effort I put into presenting myself well because so many people are afraid of fashion and being noticed and wearing red lipstick.

But not me! The second I put that color on I was in love, and I kept it on for the remainder of my time browsing around the Beverly Hills shopping center.


The secret to a bright lip: lip liner and a lip brush. When trying to pull off such a bold hue, precision is key. Line the lip first and then go back and color in the rest of the lip. 

If you hope to try a red lip for a longer event, you can even line the lip and then color in the entire lip with a liner, then apply a coat of lipstick. Your lips will absorb the color of the liner more, for a long-lasting result!

And of course, you must be confident when rocking the red. This color is not for the faint of heart, so you can't be shy when wearing this daring color!

So have I convinced you to try a red lip?