Category: Fashion & Beauty

5 Tips for Styling Unique Outfits for Every Holiday Party

The holiday season, if you have not noticed, is fully upon us. Some enjoy this time of year for the festive atmosphere, glittery decorations, and spiced drinks. I like it because holiday time means party time, and party time means it’s time to start assembling outfits!

I have a handful of holiday events to attend over the course of December, and I’m quite intent on wearing a unique, festive frock to each. I reached out on my personal Instagram to see if my friends would be interested in seeing a lookbook of the outfits I plan to wear throughout the month. I received an overwhelmingly positive response, so that will be coming soon, but I also received a suggestion from a lovely highschool friend to share my tips on assembling holiday outfits. 

I thought that would be a great precursor to the lookbook, so (1) y’all could understand the method behind the outfits and (2) I could get my creative juices flowing before embarking on the lookbook. So, here we go, my five tips for putting together outfits this holiday season.

Pick a Theme

Listen, you’re on your way to a holiday party you’ve already had to pick a Secret Santa gift and a potluck dish for, you don’t need to make any other hard decisions. Help yourself choose an outfit by narrowing the scope of possibilities.

An easy way to do this for holiday parties is to decide if you’d like to follow the standard whatever-holiday-you-celebrate color palette (such as red and green for Christmas) or if you want to go rogue and pick another color off the rack. Similarly, you can pick a texture, fabric, or print you’d like to feature and begin building from there. 

Featured items from left to right. First outfit: sweater, skirt, clips. Second outfit: blouse, skirt, earrings. Third outfit: blazer, pants, shoes.

To use a personal example, I have a great deal of red and green in my daily wardrobe. Yes, those would fit the Christmas color theme, but since I have so many pieces, it might be hard to decide on just one. Instead, I can focus on, say, the blue items in my wardrobe I use less often and build from there. Or I might decide that I’d like to include velvet in my outfit and see where that leads.

Setting guidelines for yourself also turns the process of getting dressed into a bit of a game, which makes it all the more satisfying once you find an outfit that successfully fits all your parameters.

Give New Life to a Favorite Piece

I’m a huge believer in confidence superseding style. Exquisite clothing and luxe fashions are nice, but there’s a certain je ne sais quoi that comes with comfort and authenticity. So, if your goal is to look good at a party, wear something you already enjoy wearing.

“But Kathleen,” you say, “I wear that piece every week. My friends/family/coworkers have seen it dozens of times. I wanted to wear something different!”

Solid argument. I’d feel the exact same way, which is why I recommend reviving the piece by pairing it with something a little different. This could be an item buried in the back of your closet you’ve forgotten or something borrowed from a friend.

Featured items from left to right. blouse, shoes, skirt, shirt, necklace.

I, for instance, picked up a black skirt a few months back that I cannot get enough of. I wear it at least once a week and have definitely been known to shoe-horn in second and third wearings. I know I’ll feel great if I wear this skirt, so I dug through my closet and found a sheer black polka dot top that hasn’t made an appearance in a few months. Pair the two together and– BAM never before seen outfit. I also took a peek into my brother’s closet and found this checked button-up to style with the skirt in case I’d like to wear it twice this holiday season.

Swap Black for Color

No hate to wardrobe staples like plain black bottoms/tops or denim, but, if you’re looking to quickly spice up an outfit, you might want to consider an upgrade. There are a couple of ways you can do this such as picking a different neutral color. See if an olive green, a burnt orange, or a mustard yellow would complement the look. Second, choose colors that accent your statement piece because they either match or contrast the statement piece. 

Featured items from left to right. First outfit: sweater, skirt, jeans, purse. Second outfit: sweater, skirt, shirt, earrings.

I’ve provided two examples for this tip. In the first, I went from pairing a graphic leopard print sweater with simple black jeans to an emerald green velvet skirt. In the other, I swapped a simple black top for a burnt orange sweater.

Go Hard with Pattern Mixing

This next idea takes the prior tip and turns it up to 11. We’ve abandoned all solid colors and eschewed the idea you’re only allowed one statement piece per outfit. All that exists now are patterns and we will make them go together, no matter what your mother told you about mixing polka dots and stripes.

Pattern mixing is my happy place when it comes to fashion. I strive to include some aspect of it in my outfits every day, so I’ve gotten to the place where I’m comfortable pushing the envelope. I know not everyone has established that level of comfort with it, though, so here are some easy tricks to get started:

Featured items from left to right. First outfit: blouse, skirt, earrings. Second outfit: blouse, skirt, shoes. Third outfit: blouse, pants, earrings. Fourth outfit: blouse, pants, shoes.

  • Pair solid colored lace with another pattern (ex: a white lace top with snakeskin bottoms)
  • Pair patterns in the same color family (ex: a black and white floral top with a black and white houndstooth bottom)
  • Pair small patterns with big patterns (ex: a dainty polka dot blouse with large windowpane bottoms)
  • Pair a neutral-colored pattern with a bright-colored pattern (ex: a leopard print top with a red plaid bottom)

Pick a Monochromatic Silhouette

If loud and proud outfits aren’t your thing, jump to the opposite end of the spectrum and don a full monochromatic look. It’s simple and chic but can make a big impact if you choose bright or rich shades. If you choose to go head to toe neutral, this look makes it easy to go big with accessories or makeup without overloading your look. A few keys to keeping this outfit interesting are:

  • Choose cuts and silhouettes that compliment your figure
  • Wear a variety of shades in your color of choice
  • Wear a variety of textures, fabrics, and even patterns in your color of choice

Featured items from left to right. First outfit: sweater, skirt, purse. Second outfit: blouse, skirt, shoes.

For instance, I put together an all-black outfit that mixes a knit pencil skirt with a fuzzy sweater and patent leather heels. For my second outfit, I chose a completely green mix of a velvet shirt, patterned top, and snakeskin heels.

And there you go! Five basic tips for putting together show-stopping outfits for any holiday soiree. Let us know how you make these tips your own by tagging @thepostrider on Twitter and my personal account @risetothesun on Instagram.

Zodiac Beauty Series: Taurus (April 20-May 21)

Photo credit: Pinterest

How are we all feeling now that Aries season has come to a close? I’m going to assume mad hype from Aries’s ceaseless energy, but perhaps a little weary, as well. After all, even the jauntiest of adventurers need to rest every now and again, and there’s no better season for a little R&R than the current Taurus season. All that’s left to do is create a romantic, earthy makeup look to match it’s luxurious and grounded energy.

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Zodiac Beauty Series: Aries (March 21-April 19)

Photo credit: Pinterest

I’m nothing if not two things: (1) a wannabe beauty maven and (2) a devote astrology nerd. I mean, seriously, makeup tutorials? I watch them. Zodiac dates? I know them. Cutting edge cosmetics? I review them. Astrological birth charts? I read them. Winged eyeliner? I attempt it. A vaguely presumptuous but nonetheless intimate understanding of acquaintances based on their birthdays? I got it.

So in this brand new “Zodiac Beauty Series,” I’m combining my two passions into 12 distinct articles featuring makeup ideas for each of the zodiac signs, inspired by the signs’ own characteristics.

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10 Spring 2019 Beauty Trends You Can Achieve with Green Beauty Products

I was a proud subscriber of Seventeen Magazine for a good half dozen years or so from my tweens to mid-teens and, as such, have always considered myself “hip with the trends” to a certain degree. I mean, all it really takes is flipping through two or three “Back to School” issues to realize that denim is, and will forever be, “in for fall.”

That being said, I have dipped out of mainstream beauty trends over the past few years as I’ve replaced my old sold-at-Sephora favorites for niche green beauty staples. As spring peaks it’s head over the horizon, however, I thought it might be fun to get back in touch with what mainstream designers and brands are wearing on their face for the Spring 2019 season and see how much of it I can recreate with green beauty options.

Just as my time with Seventeen taught me to expect, looks for spring are largely light, airy, and clean. Dewy skin and little-to-no mascara make for some youthful, almost ‘70s “peace and love” sort of vibes, while bright swatches of color across the eyes and nude lips act as a modern take on ‘60s mod makeup styles.

Overall, nothing astoundingly revolutionary, but plenty that can be captured with green beauty products:

1. Brushed Out Brows

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Credo, Plume, Beautyhabit

The Trend: Eyebrow trends of the past few years have been boggling to say the very least, with Instagram artists popularizing their infamously chiseled brows, while avant-garde cosmetologists tried to make wavy brows a thing. This season, brows are getting a well-deserved break and returning to their natural form of thick and bushy, though no-less immaculately groomed.

The Brands: Monse (pictured), Tom Ford, Julien Macdonald, Nicole Miller, Oscar de la Renta

The Products: Thin-browed individuals looking to bulk up their natural brow game can turn to PYT Beauty P.O.V. Eyebrow Pencil, which can be used to both shape the brows and sketch on realistic looking hairs to add the illusion of volume. Those with well-endowed brows, on the other hand, will find a friend in Plume Nourish & Define Brow Pomade which quickly and easily shades brows into place while filling in any sparse patches. Need a quick spruce up? Ilia Essential Brow Gel brushes brows into place with just a few flicks of the wrist.

2. Barely There Mascara

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Ere Perez, Root, Amazon

The Trend: Ask a handful of a makeup-wearers on the street what their go-to beauty product is– you know, the one cosmetic bag staple that instantly makes them feel put together– and the response you’ll most likely get is a resolute “mascara.” This spring, stylists are bucking the big lash trend for sparsely adorned eyes that won’t smudge in the impending heat.

The Brands: Emporio Armani (pictured), Giambattista Valli, Cedric Charlier, Area

The Products: If the goal is goop-free but perfectly curled lashes, you’ll want to swap your usual mascara formula for a lash curler and Ere Perez Aloe Gel Lash & Grow Mascara, then buff a taupe colored shadow into your crease, such as Root Pressed Eyeshadow in Duke, to add some definition to the eye. Really can’t part ways with your wand? Opt for a brown formula, such as Mineral Fusion Lengthening Mascara in Rock to keep your long lashes looking mellow.

3. Bright Red Lips

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Gressa, RMS, Y et Beauté

The Trend: Honestly, is there ever a bad time to wear a red lip? Stylists are keeping this classic look in the running for spring with bright, opaque reds in a variety of finishes. Ere of the side of simplicity with the rest of your makeup to keep things bright and simple for spring.

The Brands: Escada (pictured), Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Burberry, Ryan Lo

The Products: It’s hard to beat Y et Beauté’s comfortable matte formula in No. 21— a vibrant, pinky-toned red blossoming with red carpet appeal. RMS Beauty Wild Desire Lipstick in Rebound is also an accessible blue-toned red that would work on cooler skin tones. Those looking for a little sheen will enjoy Gressa Lip Boos in Aux Rouge.

4. Bright Eyeshadow

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Gressa, Credo, Alima

The Trend: Bold beauties will feel at home wearing the striking, single-color eyeshadow trend that cropped up on runways this season. All it takes is a vibrant bright color and a thick brush or, heck, even your finger, to pack it onto your lid– very little blending required.

The Brands: Rodarte (pictured), Erdem, Byblos, Lutz Huelle, Paul Costelloe

The Products: Gressa has your back with its Eye Tint in Envee— a grass green shade perfect for haphazardly packing all over the lid. Aether Beauty Crystal Grid Gemstone Palette offers a one-stop shop for a handful of punchy colors while Alima Pure Pressed Eyeshadow in Siren is an easy place to start for those just beginning to play with color.

5. Glowing Skin

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Vapour, Beauty Heroes, W3ll People

The Trend: Several artists eschewed full-coverage foundation for dewy looks with an angelic glow. Some even went completely foundation free, relying on blurring primers and concealer to brighten up model’s faces.

The Brands: Noon by Noor (pictured), Brock Collection, Michael Kors, Balmain, Proenza Schouler

The Products: Vapour Beauty Stratus Soft Focus Skin Perfecting Primer can be used sans foundation to provide a gentle soothing effect to the skin, while W3ll People Bio-Correct Multi-Action Concealer can be used to spot correct dark circles and blemishes. A serum highlight, such as Maya Chia Highlight of the Day adds a lit-from-within radiance.

6. Gold Eyeshadow

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Credo, RMS, Zuzu Luxe

The Trend: Spring runways saw gold eyeshadow being used as both a glowing eyeliner option and quick, yet radiant, eyeshadow look. It’s a great alternative option for those who tend to stick to neutral shades on the eyes and play up other areas of the face.

The Brands: Temperley London (pictured), Monse, Kim Shui, Adeam

The Products: When it comes to green beauty shimmer eyeshadows, RMS Beauty Eye Polish has the game on lock. Lunar is a lovely, cool toned gold that would brighten up any complexion. Alternatively, the recently dropped Crop Natural Bio Metal Liquid Eyeshadow in Gilded provides a deeper golden hue. Those who prefer powder eyeshadows should check out Zuzu Luxe Eyeshadow in Egyptian Gold whatever in whatever for a buttery formula that can be used on a pencil brush to line the eyes.

7. Just-Bitten Lips

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Credo, Vapour

The Trend: Runways of lightly stained lips stirred up thoughts of hand-picked berries and popsicles straight from the freezer. Mostly appearing in warm pinks and berry tones, this trend provides an easy way to wear color without having to worry about touching-up throughout the day.

The Brands: Badgley Mischka (pictured), Paul Costellow, Jonathan Simkhai, Kim Shui, Brock Collection

The Products: To achieve this look, tap a creamy but deeply pigmented product, such as Rituel de Fill Forbidden Lipstick in Love in Madness or Vapour Siren Lipstick in Coquette, onto the center of the lip. Kjaer Weis Lip Tint in Sensuous Plum is also a good option for blackberry-hued stain.

8. Nude Lips

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Goop, Kari Gran, Ayla

The Trend: Some stylists chose to “detox” from the richly hued lip looks often popular in the fall and winter by staying away from pigment, entirely. A swipe of balm or gloss was enough the give the lips a healthy sheen and compliment other aspects of the makeup.

The Artists: Michael Kors (pictured), Bora Aksu, Arthur Arbesser, Versace, Giorgio Armani

The Products: Olio E Osso Lip & Cheek is often touted as one of the most nourishing green beauty lip balms, while Kari Gran Lip Whip in Shimmer adds a fuss-free glint to the lips. Really can’t give up your lipstick? Kosas Cosmetics Weightless Lip Color in Undone is an infallible my-lips-but-better option.

9. Peach Everything

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Antonym, Kjaer Weis, Root

The Trend: Are any of us really surprised that peachy hues are back for the warmer months? They provide the most irresistible sun-kissed glow whether placed on the eyes, lips, or cheeks that just begs to be worn while on vacation.

The Brands: Antonio Marras, Altuzarra, Genny

The Products: Want an easy single-product look? Buff Antonym Baked Blush in Peach along the highpoints of your cheeks and all over your lid. Alternatively, Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Sun Touched is just darling when patted into the apples of your cheeks, and the shimmery Root Loose Eyeshadow in Ginger adds an alluring sparkle to the eye.

10. Touseled Hair

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Credo, Rahua

The wet hair trend has dripped it’s way down runways for long enough! This season, stylists have decided hair is finally allowed to be worn dry again, and is making its return in barely brushed waves.

The Brands: Genny (pictured), Jeremy Scott, Kate Spade, Nicole Miller, Coach

The Products: Captain Blankenship Mermaid Sea Salt Spray is a long-standing green beauty favorite when it comes to achieving slightly messy waves. Those with curly or frizz-prone hair, however, might prefer the deeply nourishing and effortlessly taming Rahua Control Cream Curl Styler. Or, if your waves have a tendency to fall flat, try a few spritzes of Josh Rosebrook Lift.

Product Review: Kosas Makeup Color Trifecta Weightless Lip Color Trio

Lip colors have been the bane of my makeup bag since the very beginning of my makeup-wearing days. From texture to tone to staying power, it seems like they’re the hardest product to get right, and, when they’re wrong, there’s no working with them. You can’t blend them to oblivion like you would an off-color foundation,  powder them down like an oily concealer, or spritz them like a chalky eyeshadow. If it’s not working perfectly, it’s stuck to your teeth, bleeding outside of your lip line, sticking to your hair, making your teeth appear yellow, etc. etc. etc.

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Product Review: Ere Perez Eyeshadow Palette in Gorgeous

This may come as a surprise to those who know me as the floofy-haired, pencil-skirted, red nail-polished vintage-vixen-wannabe I present as today, but I was a pretty frumpy lady up until high school.

I mean, I remember wanting to embody the stereotypically feminine essence of beauty when I was very young (in fact, I was pretty miffed when my mom wouldn’t let me wear proper high heels to my first communion), but a combination of budding body dysmorphia, early puberty, and general adolescent awkwardness caused me to shun and shame that desire for a good many years. Instead, I spent the majority of my adolescence hiding away in cargo shorts, baggy t-shirts, and New Balance sneakers. Slowly, and over many years, I began to chip away at my insecurities to find my way back to my Hollywood starlet self. The first step along that journey began with the Christmas present of a 32-pan generic brand eyeshadow palette that, while stiff and poorly pigmented, contained every color imaginable and let me mix and match my way back to my expression of femininity.

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