Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fresh take on the '90s

It's all about the '90s and has been for a few seasons now. At this point, I kind of consider Phoebe from 'Friends' to be my style guru. I kid, I kid. But seriously, stuff I've been seeing lately is giving me a lot of deja vu.

Fur jacket - ASOS Curve: sold out; Fringe jacket - ASOS: found here.
I was just a kid during the '90s, but one of the things that define the decade are the over-sized clothing, bold prints, and bright colors. I love fashion's current nod to the '90s that is reminiscent of the era without being too literal. So, for your viewing pleasure, I've compiled a list of my favorite '90s-inspired looks of this season and seasons past along with helpful do's and don't's. Enjoy!

Chunky Jewelry

Bamboo earrings will always be in style to me...
Necklace from ASOS, found here.
The '90s gave rise to statement jewelry and the tradition has continued on today. Chunky jewelry is an easy addition you can add to a casual outfit that will take you from meh to fab. Now, you've gotta love statement jewelry, but be careful not to over-accessorize. Instead of opting for a chunky necklace and chunky earrings, choose one or the other.

Old school Claire Danes = so cool
Both dresses are from ASOS. Sorry I'm so obsessed, but there clothes are so awesome.
For obvious reasons, going completely 'My So-Called Life' with your outfit might not be a good look. It'd be way too casual for anyone over the age of 17. Today, the key to successfully rocking over-sized looks is adding some glam. Add a long necklace, some bracelets, heels or summer boots, and a bowler hat to your over-sized ensemble. Going too casual will just make you look like you don't care.... kind of like Jordan Catalano and Angela Chase, the King and Queen of Not Giving a Damn.


Ooooooohhh... On the TLC tip!
I'm not even sure if bright colors are necessarily "in," but who cares? I love to stand out from the crowd! TLC tried to jam as many colors as possible into one outfit, which was awesome at the time; but alas, times are changing and dressing like that outside of a '90s party might get you some funny looks.

Sleeveless top: F21+; Blue dress: SimplyBe; Yellow skinnies: F21+
In order to not be a colorful mess, opt for black elements in the rest of your outfit to balance out the brightness. Bright top? Wear black pants. Bright blue dress? Wear black shoes. The models above are actually styled quite nicely. Follow their lead.

Patterns & Prints

Blue printed pants from Joe Fresh; Printed blouse and mixed pattern top are from Duro Olowu;
and Lisa Bonet, blowing my style mind.
Between Anthropologie, and JCP's Joe Fresh and Duro Olowu's collections, I am spoiled for choice when it comes to patterns and prints. These brick-and-mortar shops are serving it up! I know some of you are averse to patterns, but they really do spice up an outfit. With patterns and prints, there are many options, but here are two simple style tips: (1) pair a printed pant with a solid top, plain shoes, simple make-up and simple jewelry, or (2) go crazy, Duro Olowu-style, and do a head-to-toe printed look, but simplify the rest of your outfit so it doesn't look too busy. Just grab your favorite oxfords and a neutral clutch and you're good to go. With so much going on with the prints/patterns in your outfit, everything else should be pattern-less.

I love all of the '90s trends that are creeping back, but my favorite trend du jour is patterns. I guess that's not much of a surprise, huh?

Which revamped '90s trend is your favorite?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Everything You Need to Know about Protein

Why Protein Is Important

Our hair is made up of proteins, lipids, water, and trace elements. Protein is essential to the health of natural hair, helping our hair feel strong and soft. Protein treatments can help your hair retain moisture, improve elasticity, and tend to add shine. If your hair is damaged by heat or chemicals, protein will help restore your hair by filling in the gaps in the cortex.

When to do a Protein Treatment

Use a protein treatment if your hair feels dry and brittle or if you have fine or damaged hair. Even though my hair is coarse, each individual strand is actually quite thin. I give myself a protein once a month. Afterwards, I notice my fine strands feel stronger, my hair feels thicker, and it retains moisture much better.

What You Should Look for in a Protein Treatment

Protein treatments often contain one or more of the following:
  • Hydrolyzed proteins - penetrate hair; add strength and shine
  • Collagen - improves hair elasticity
  • Keratin - strengthens hair
  • Wheat protein - strengthens hair, helps retain moisture
  • Soy protein - attracts moisture to hair
  • Silk protein - softens hair
I would suggest using a protein treatment that has at least two types of the protein mentioned. My favorite protein treatment actually contains hydrolyzed keratin, wheat protein, and egg protein. 

Protein Sensitivity

So you do a protein treatment, and instead of the moisturized, soft hair I've been describing, your hair is dry as straw. If this happens, you might have thicker, healthier hair that doesn't need protein. (Keep in mind that when I reference "thick hair," I am referring to the thickness of individual strands, and not to the density of one's hair.) Thicker hair is more susceptible to protein sensitivity than thinner hair. Protein lives in the medulla, or the innermost layer of the hair shaft. The medulla is often fragmented or absent in thinner hair and is complete in thicker hair. Because of this, thicker hair can easily "overdose" on protein, while thinner hair usually benefits from it.

What about Henna?

If you are sensitive to protein, an alternative is to do a henna treatment. I've used Lush (Caca Rouge Mama) in the past, and the results are comparable to a typical protein treatment. For obvious reasons, I have to say I prefer a standard 20-60 minute protein treatment over a 10-12 hour henna treatment. But nonetheless, if you're looking for stronger, more moisturized hair and if your hair hates protein treatments, henna may be for you.

Do you do protein treatments? Have you tried henna? What difference have you noticed in your hair?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Suit & Tie

ATTENTION PLEASE! The female suit is BACK, but with a twist! Ladies, it's all about the statement suit! Don't believe me? Ask Solange.

Fly as she wants to be!

I absolutely love Solange's style; she is definitely a fashion inspiration for me! So when I saw this suit on ASOS Curve's website, I nearly broke my promise to myself to not buy anything online during Lent.

ASOS Curve printed jacket and pant.

If you work in a pretty casual office, you'd probably be able to get away with any of the above suits without getting the stank eye from managers. But still, those suits are more fun than professional. Now that I'm in my mid-20s, clothes that can double for work and play are an added bonus. So in keeping professionalism in mind, I decided to wear this to work earlier this week:

Glasses: Zenni Optical; Necklace: JCP - similar here; Plain white tee: ASOS Curve

Just the right level of "fun" for the office.

Pants: ASOS

Blazer: F21+ - similar here

The simple colors and lines make it professional, and the monochrome stripe on the pants make it fun. I got tons of compliments that day, so the outfit will definitely be a repeat offender!

What are your thoughts on statement suits? Do you think they can be professional, or are they inherently casual?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Product Review: Dr. Ivy's Skin Care

Hi beauties,

I was lucky to receive three free samples of Dr. Ivy's Skin Care all natural body butters! I know what you're thinking: "Isn't this a hair and fashion blog?" You're right, it is! But I'm a huge proponent of natural products for your hair and body. And thus, here goes my review:

Over the past few days, I tried each body cream and rated it based on three criteria:
  1. Smell;
  2. Spread (how much/little I had to use to feel moisturized); and
  3. Overall moisture (how moisturized I was at the end of the day).

Smell: I wish it smelled fruitier; I want to be transplanted to a tropical island when I open this!
Spread: Absolutely lovely! A little goes a long way and a small jar will definitely last awhile.
Moisture: GIRRRL! My skin was still very soft at the end of the day.

Smell: There's a very subtle milk scent that wouldn't interfere if you are layering scents. I can't wait til there's a "honey" scent for sale!
Spread: This one wasn't as thick as the Tropical Delight and therefore, I had to use a little more.
Moisture: Medium. I tend to have dry skin in the winter and I can see needing to reapply during the day. This one is probably best suited for Spring and Summer months when my skin isn't as dry.


Smell: This was unscented, though I really liked the barely-there smell of oats! It smells like Sunday morning. I love it!
Spread: Medium-High. It's somewhere between Milk & Honey and Tropical Delight.
Moisture: My skin was soft at the end of the day, which was great.

Overall, my favorite was Dr. Ivy's Tropical Delight. I typically use Nivea Body Lotion for Dry, Rough, Skin, and Dr. Ivy's was on par with that. Buy Dr. Ivy's products here & tell me what you think!  

Use the coupon code "POMPADOUR" to get a 10% discount off Dr. Ivy's all-natural body butters!