Update the Mix: Fringe Benefits

Fringe | Fashion Week | Rebecca Minkoff Fall 2015

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Above: Rebecca Minkoff Fall 2015: NYFW- February 13th, 2015

I’m pretty sure I’ve always had a thing for fringe.  I remember my grandma having various fringe-y tablecloths and curtains, and me loving the feeling of running my fingers through the tassels; twisting them, swinging them, twirling them.  So imagine my excitement when the piecey pieces started showing up on runways (above) and from our favorite accessible stores like Zara and Asos!

I’ve owned a few fringe pieces for awhile now, and every time I wear them, I just get happy– it’s something about the movement and the bohemian, carefree flair that simultaneously satisfies my obsession with texture in an outfit.  When one of my all time favorite designers, Rebecca Minkoff, showed lots and lots of fringe on her runway today, at New York Fashion Week, it solidified for me that this trend would be around for at least another few seasons.  The looks shown above show fringe in its finest iteration: styled with 70’s downtown flair, with lots of maroons, deep golds, and of course black.  And no need to wait until next fall! Get some of these fabulous tassels in your mix NOW– I promise, they up the fashion factor of any outfit.

See below, some of my favorite fringe pieces in my current rotation:

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Black fringe wrap skirt: Zara

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Black metal chain fringe tank: Zara

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Black swing sweater with leather fringe: Saks Off 5th 

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Black pebbled leather crossbody bag with gold chain (“Disco bag”) : Gucci 

Shop my personal fringe picks below- these will work now, for spring, and into next fall, so don’t be afraid to take the plunge now!

Hope you enjoy your “fringe benefits” 😉

xo,

Christine

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The Kooples top
nordstrom.com

5 48 black pullover
saksoff5th.com

Zara
zara.com

Proenza Schouler leather purse
bergdorfgoodman.com

Rebecca Minkoff fringe purse
rebeccaminkoff.com

Mix List: Under $200 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas <3

last minute Valentine's gifts $200
Last minute Valentine’s Gifts to Give or Get
Valentine’s Day is such a divisive holiday: Some of us love it and look forward to it, others loathe it, and some are indifferent to it (like my parents, who, when I asked them what they were doing for the holiday next Saturday, replied “We’ve been married for 40 years, so nothing special”).  I guess I’m somewhere in between “loving it and looking forward to it” and “indifferent”– until my parents’ response got me thinking– if you’ve been married for 40 years (#goals) or even only for a few months; if you’ve only gone on a few dates with someone, but felt a spark; if you’re single and loving your independence, or single and hating every minute of it, why NOT celebrate the idea of LOVE (or at least the prospect of it!)?!
Anyway, so that’s pretty much where I’m at right now, in terms of Valentine’s.  With a week to go, here are some fantastic last minute gift ideas, all at or around $200, to give or to get, that are sure to give you, or someone you love, the warm and fuzzies ❤
Shop the links below; or forward this post to your personal cupid!
xo,
Christine

As Good as Gold

My Daily Gold Mix

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Gold has always been a core part of my personal style– I’ve even had students of mine comment that I’m like a “mini Mr. T” (a compliment in my book!).  There’s something about the combination of warmth and shine that draws me to it every time…golden touches, or what I like to call my “little gold mix”, make my daily outfits feel complete, put together, and add just the right amount of “richness” to a look.  In fact, I take my gold accessories so seriously, that for our last wedding anniversary, my husband got me a new wedding band, in gold of course.  When we got married, my original wedding band was the classic diamond eternity band that “everyone” had/wanted.  But it just never meshed with my personal style, and just never fit in with my daily gold mix, especially my rings.

Since clearly gold is a major part of my personal style, and of course, the namesake of this blog, I figured I’d share my favorite pieces, the golden touches that make me feel like me!

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Cuffs, from top down: Vince Camuto via Nordstrom | J Crew

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Cuff: J Crew | Ring: Madewell

Gold cuffs, like my favorites above, bring the gold accessory game completely up to date.  While daintier gold jewelry will always be classic and timeless, it adds a more feminine or romantic touch to a look.  Chunkier, sleeker, more architectural pieces like these cuffs, with their more minimalist sensibility, make an outfit feel edgier, more contemporary, and very modern.

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Two-Tone watch: Michael Kors | Gold link bracelet: J Crew | Pave link bracelet: J Crew

When I picked out this two-tone watch from Michael Kors, I actually chose it over the fully-gold version because it adds dimension and interest to my otherwise all-gold look…it’s a little more “menswear” (which I love).  These two bracelets from J Crew are ALWAYS on repeat.  They are not only comfortable to wear, but add a more classic look to an outfit, if I’m not in the mood to do edgy and sleek.  They pair well with other bracelets on the same wrist, to get a layered look.

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Rings, clockwise from top left: Infinity ring: Gorjana | hammered gold single band: Brooklyn Flea Market |Wrap ring: Madewell |Gold and silver bar ring : Madewell | “V” rose gold ring: Shashi via Shopbop | Gold pyramid wedding band: custom made by my husband’s jeweler |Set of 5 Stacking rings: Gorjana via Nordstrom

We love manicures because they help our hands make a great first impression.  I feel the same way about rings.  We, as well as pretty much EVERYONE we interact with, see our hands all day long– why not decorate them?! Seriously though, I love the toughness that lots of stacked rings gives a look…especially when it’s the perfect ring mix of dainty and edgy, sentimental and symbolic.  There are so many great rings out there now with meaningful symbols– like the infinity symbol on the Gorjana ring above.  Flea markets and antique fairs are also great places to find unique pieces to add to your ring game…and then you also have a great story to go with them!

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Studs, clockwise from top left: Hashtag earrings : C Wonder (sadly, no longer available) | Pave bolt studs: Rebecca Minkoff via Piperlime |Wishbone rose-gold studs: Club Monaco |Pave star studs: Club Monaco | Pave gold bar earrings: Sugarbean via Nordstrom

When I was a teenager, I was pretty much your standard goody-two-shoes…the extent of my “rebellion” was getting multiple ear piercings (three on my left ear and TWO [uneven = even more badass] on my right) at some shady storefront in the West Village.  I loved collecting random little studs, mostly peace signs, hearts, and flowers (typical 90s girl) and mixing them up in my five holes.  Since then, I’ve let all but one hole in each ear close up, but I still definitely have a penchant for fun, meaningful, interesting, hey-let-me-take-another-look-at-your-earrings studs.

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Clockwise from top: Love script bracelet, diamond clover necklace and “C” monogram necklace: all Jennifer Zeuner via Shopbop

Last but not least, these three pieces are arguably the most special and sentimental to me; I’m so glad I have them in gold, because I can layer them with all my other favorites.  All three were gifts from Tim (my husband), for various Valentine’s Days or birthdays.  Jennifer Zeuner makes THE BEST interesting gold jewelry, and the pricing is not bad– usually ranging from $100-$500 per piece, which make them perfect for special occasions or gift wish list items!

So that’s it…my most treasured golden touches! If you’re a self-described “not a gold person”, I hope this encourages you to try it…and to add a little gold to your personal mix 🙂

<3,

Christine

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Beauty Mix

Classic Nail Color Favorites

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From top left: Essie, Sand Tropez | Essie, Romper Room | Deborah Lippmann, Don’t Stop Believin’ | Deborah Lippmann, It’s Raining Men | Essie, After School Boy Blazer | Deborah Lippmann, Stormy Weather | Essie, Hors D’oeuvres | International Nail Manufacturers, Out the Door Top Coat

While I love trying out new nail polish colors, I really do find myself going back to the same few colors, what I like to call my “personal classics”– what I find to be the best shades in each color “category”.  Like you, I’ve probably tried 857 different brands, colors and formulas over the years,  and when it comes to manicures, hands down, the ones featured above are my favorites!

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1) Best Nude/Neutral Shade: Essie’s Sand Tropez:

Sand Tropez is great because it’s the perfect balance of creamy pastel-ish nude, with no yellow or dirty-looking undertones.  Two coats gives an opaque, very creamy finish that pretty much goes with everything.  This color is great as a base for glitter, sparkles or any cool ombre effects you may do on top if it.  Flattering for all skin tones, Sand Tropez is the essential “minimalist look” polish.  Also, it happens to look great with gold jewelry (a must for me!)

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2) Best Pastel Pink: Essie’s Romper Room

I am very particular when it comes to pink nail polish– it has to be the perfect creamy, white-based pastel (Romper Room! ) or neon …anything in between reads too Barbie / 80’s.  I love this color because it’s only a few shades over from white…again, no yellowish undertones and two coats gives an opaque, almost chalky (in a good way) whitish-pink look that really pops against your skin (even in the dead of winter when your skin hasn’t seen the sun in months).  Essie’s Fiji is a great runner up to Romper Room, but it is definitely more PINK than white.

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3) Best Orange-toned Red: Deborah Lippmann’s Don’t Stop Believin’

Besides it having the greatest name EVER (my wedding party walked into this Journey classic!), Deborah Lippmann’s orangey-red is probably my favorite nail color of all time, and my consistent go-to year round.  It’s great in the summer with a tan, when it reads more tropical, bright orange, and also in the winter, as a much needed pop of color when your’e wearing more neutrals like black, grey and camel (on repeat).  Deborah Lippmann’s polishes are a little more expensive, averaging $18 a bottle (I get mine from Nordstrom or Sephora)– but they last REALLY long and paint on so much easier than cheaper brands– I swear, in this case, your get what you pay for.   Again, two coats for the perfect, opaque poppy-red!

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4) Best Classic Red: Deborah Lippmann’s It’s Raining Men

If you’re looking for the best all around classic, timeless red, this is IT.  It’s a blue-based red, which is flattering on all skin tones year round.  To me, some red polishes can seem cheap or cheesy looking…but this color is nothing but rich and perfect!  It’s like the little black dress of red polishes.

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5) Best Dark Polish: Essie’s After School Boy Blazer

The word that comes to mind with After School Boy Blazer is “inky”…do you remember when you were a kid and your pen would leak ink on your desk and it would smudge and get all over everything and you’d find that deep, deep dark blue color on your clothes and papers for weeks after?? That’s this color.  It paints on super easily (more than some other Essie shades) and comes out really dark even after only one coat (although two coats are pictured here).  It’s kind of a violet-navy-blue…really different than most other dark shades out there.  Try this if you’re a fan of OPI’s Lincoln Park or Siberian Nights– I find this to be better than both!

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6) Best Grey: Deborah Lippmann’s Stormy Weather

Grey polish is my other favorite color for my nails– I’ve tried at least 50 shades of grey (lol…had to!) over the years, and keep coming back to this one, partly because of the quality of Lippmann’s polishes.  Stormy Weather is from the Narciso Rodriguez collection, and definitely has the same feel as the designers minimalist, architectural sensibility.  This color is deep and and edgy and  has definite greenish undertones, rather than a blue-base like many other grey polishes do.  A “dark slate” is a good way to describe it– two coats needed for a solid opaque finish.

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7) Best Glitter/Sparkly Polish: Essie’s Hors D’oeuvres

Other than having the most annoying name to spell (they couldn’t have called it “appetizer”?!), this sparkly polish delivers the most solid coating of gold glitter with some sporadic larger silver sparkles.  It paints the glitter/sparkles on pretty evenly, and after just two coats, your nail is pretty much covered (see above), whereas many other glitter polishes are sub-par and skimpy when it comes to glitter distribution (mostly clear polish, very few sparkles).  Hors D’oeuvres is also great over other colors for an ombre effect– is use it alot on the bases or tips of a Sand Tropez or After School Boy Blazer mani.

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8) Best Top Coat: INM’s Out the Door & Base Coat: Orly’s Bonder Rubberized Basecoat

Out the Door is without contest, the BEST topcoat EVER.  It’s like magic in a bottle.  I recently shared this find with a professional makeup artist at a destination wedding, and after witnessing its supernatural protective and quick drying powers, she made it a point to keep it in her arsenal. This is the preferred top coat of most quality/luxury manicurists and with good reason– unlike many other “quick dry top coats” that may dry quickly but chip easily, Out the Door has your manicure lasting for at least a week, easily– and it’s super shiny too! Drying time is legitimately 15 minutes, and you’re able to function normally (blow drying hair, fishing around in wallet, cooking dinner etc.)

Orly’s Rubberized Bonder is my favorite basecoat, because it paints on extremely thin, and doesn’t add a bulky layer to a manicure like some others do.  It smooths out the nail, and really does protect it from the discoloration you can get from dark shades or the staining from red polishes.  Both of these, along with most of the Essie colors featured here , can be found at most drugstores, ULTA, or beauty supply stores.

Who knew there could be this much to say about nail polishes?! I guess I’ve always had a thing about picking the “perfect” color though…even as a kid, I remember having clear Do’s and Don’ts about which crayons in the Crayola box were appropriate to use under certain circumstances.

Enjoy, and hopefully this gave you guys some ideas for your next mani!

<3,

Christine