Beauty Buy: Big Girl Cosmetics Lipstick in Yum

Love, you guys. L-O-V-E. I always have the hardest time finding the right shade of lipstick that looks good and feels natural, but still gives me a pop of color. I mean, Big Girl Cosmetics might as well write on the lipstick, “Courtney, we made this shade (Yum) just for you.”

photo 2z1_lipstick pic
Product image courtesy of Big Girl Cosmetics

Wrap Up in Winter Coats

It has finally grown a bit chilly in Los Angeles. Since we never seem to fully dive into winter weather here, a heavy winter coat isn’t always necessary. But who can resist—especially with these cuties that I found on Polyvore.

Winter Coats

Busting Out: Some Love for Ladies Who Are “Blessed with Chest”

Up until about, mmm, sayyy, four years ago, I had huge boobs. Like, HUGE. But it’s not like I was enjoying some super hot Sophia Vergara-like existence. Life was not about looking curvacious and cute in sexy clothes. No—my back and shoulders were constantly in pain at the end of each day, when I would have to lie down and give my body a rest from the extra weight I was carrying around on my chest.

Small boobs on my wedding day! No back pain, just fun. Photo by Danielle Capito Photography
Small boobs on my wedding day! No back pain, just fun. Photo by Danielle Capito Photography

Ever since they cropped up at the age of 13, my boobs were a constant hazard. It was awkward being so young with such an adult physique. There was a lot of staring and teasing in school, and I didn’t know how to handle this “development” much better than anyone else knew how to ignore it. What made it even more of a challenge was being required to wear a uniform everyday that included button-down shirts, and as ladies with big boobs will tell you—button-downs are impossible. You have to buy them big enough to not bust open, and at that point you look like you’re wearing a garbage bag. SO FREAKING FUN, let me tell you.

Anyway, clothing was a constant challenge. Most shopping trips ended in tears because I just wanted to look cute and dainty like my friends, but it just wasn’t going to happen. There weren’t a ton of options then besides just buying bigger (too big) clothes. Finally, in 2009, after talking about it for years, I had a breast reduction and went from about an F cup (by this time, my boobs had continued to grow since high school and college, when I had been a DD) to a modest C cup. After some weight loss, I’m now a B cup and couldn’t be happier—it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

But, this post is for those big-breasted women whose pain I felt. I wish I’d had a resource when I was in high school on the best chest tamers. For those who are lucky enough to be able deal with this problem with today’s technology, below are some links to help with everything from clothes to bras to bathing suits (and, of course, the Sophia Vergara collection).

Stuck in a Fashion Rut—How to Break Out

IMG_2655

Ugh, I’m bored. I’ve been stuck in a rut with my daily routines for a while, and it’s time for that to change. Mostly, I’ve been wearing the same clothes over and over and over again.

Now, I can’t exactly afford to go on some wild shopping spree, but I can liven things up. I always recommend investing in slightly pricier, but much nicer pieces that will last forever, but in situations like this, we can take a pass on that advice.

I love heading to Forever21 and H&M to spice things up. So cheap! So cute! But I’m not really talking about the clothes. I’m talking about the accessories. They will doll up your drab outfit in an instant! Pictured are some of the gems I’ve found recently.

What do when you find yourself in a fashion rut?

Fixing L.A. Fashion Week

Here’s the thing about Los Angeles Fashion Week: It doesn’t exist. At least, not in the traditional (and much more respected) format that we have come to know from Mercedes-Benz fashion weeks in New York, Paris and the like.

DSC_0021
The scene at Designer & The Muse, which kicked off L.A. Fashion Week Oct. 3 at Sofitel Beverly Hills’ Riviera 31 Lounge.

But it did exist at one point, most recently in 2008, when Mercedes-Benz, IMG and Smashbox studios were on board and uniting the industry in L.A.

Since those three left the scene, there hasn’t been an official fashion week. Style Fashion Week L.A. has come close, and Concept L.A. isn’t far behind, but we don’t have anything that really puts us on the map of “must-attend” runway shows. To sum it up politely: No one cares about LAFW.

This is a large part of why I started Fashion Maven Los Angeles; there are plenty of talented Los Angeles-based designers, and they deserve to be highlighted, singled out, shown as unique.

But others have their own reasons why LAFW isn’t influential in the industry (to the point where we’re almost a joke). Writing for Los Angeles Magazine, Linda Immediato points out:

“The idea behind fashion week is to create a platform for designers to present their collections to buyers who enable supply and to media editors who selectively create demand. And let’s forget for a second that, when it did happen, L.A. Fashion Week took place a month after designers have already shown in NY, Paris, London, and Milan and that buyers have by now already bought and editors have already published their trend reports. Some critics have argued that an LA Fashion Week can’t help but be irrelevant because of when it did/would fall in the calendar. Nowadays, some West Coast designers show in NY and then go to Project or Magic in Vegas to show their collections to West Coast media and buyers there, though the clothes hang on racks instead of models and the vibrancy and excitement of a runway show is missed.”

Be sure to read her entire article, because she hits the needle on the head. But not all hope is lost. There are plenty of great things about our unofficial fashion week. Though it’s rather fragmented, this leaves plenty of opportunity and time to attend shows. Plus, we use models who lean more toward the California aesthetic: curvy, tan and happy. No grumpy, hungry facial expressions here.

Tell me—what do you think about LAFW and how do you wish it could be different (if at all)?

Wardrobe Update: From Summer to Fall with 3 Easy Pieces

Finally! Fall is here! For most of you, it arrived weeks ago along with red and orange trees and maybe even an early dusting of snow. But here in L.A., today finally feels like the day that fall has taken root, with (slightly) chilly weather, shorter days and palm trees that stay the same color year-round.

So, it’s time to transition your summer wardrobe into fall. For us on the left coast, that means dressing for weather that is in a weird in-between, goldilocks kind of stage: not too hot, not too cold—just right. It’s easier than it sounds, though, and you only need three items that to make a huge—a whole season’s worth—of difference.

1. Boots, Boots, Boots!

353407-01-1_589x860Let’s start with my (and probably everyone’s) favorite: boots! boots boots boots! They are so easy and make every outfit cute with just the right amount of sexy. Boots are perfect over jeans or tights if you’re working with a skirt, all of which you have left from your summer wardrobe. They go to work, they go to the bar, they go on dates. Just go get some boots! This year, I chose Valletta black boots with a little hardware from justfab.com. These are just to-the-knee boots, but the big trend this fall will be over-the-knee boots, so don’t be afraid of a little bit of the dramatic.

2. A Blazer with Something Special

image1xlFor the past few years, we’ve all been wearing the usual black blazer, maybe sometimes venturing into navy or white or even a tuxedo fit. But this season, let’s try something new with a patterned blazer like this one from Asos, or maybe one with leather accents from Yigal Azrouel.

3. A Satchel Bag

Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 10.20.18 AMYou’ve heard me sing the praises of the Cambridge Satchel before, that’s no surprise. But it doesn’t have to be from Cambridge; Topshop has a really cute one in vinyl. Or, if you have money to burn, 3.1 Philip Lim has an adorable Pashli satchel that is just the right size.

How to Wear Fall 2013 Trends

Here’s the good news: You’ve got a lot (a lot) of options for choosing what trends to incorporate into your wardrobe this fall. Possibly too many? Eh, no matter. This season’s looks are so varied that you can wear multiple trends with one piece of clothing. But don’t go overboard—as fun as it is to be on trend, it’s even better to take just a little bit of trendy and then blow it up with your own style. My favorite thing to do is start small and then grow from there.

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 4.51.01 PM
Pictured, clockwise from left: IRO Chunky Sweater; N°21 Tartan Mini Skirt; Emilio Pucci Over-The-Knee Boots; H&M (Fake) Fur Necklace; Cambridge Classic Satchel

Fall Trend: Thigh-High Boots

After a few winters full of ankle boots, we finally get to add some drama to our wardrobe with the simple move of slipping into thigh-high boots. Be careful here: If you combine thigh high’s with a mini and a crop top, then you’ll look more go-go dancer than a chic woman of style. Pair the boots with tights, then a mini and a floppy, wide-brim hat to find a happy medium between the two. Don’t forget to include a top that fully covers your torso.
Double-Duty Trend: Leather Thigh-High Boots

Fall Trend: The Satchel

And to be more exact, Cambridge satchels. They are classic and worth the investment. Choose any color, and you’ll love it forever because though the trend may be a satchel style, a Cambridge satchel is more than a trend—it’s timeless.*
Double-Duty Trend: Emerald Green Cambridge Satchel
*No one paid me to write that. I swear, they’re just that amazing.

Fall Trend: Tartan Punk

We saw tartan become popular a few seasons ago, but this time it’s more associated with a punk trend than grunge. And you don’t need to go full-on punk—just a little bit’s enough to get the message across.
Double-Duty Trend: Tartan Punk Mini Skirt

Fall Trend: Statement Necklace

I know, I know, we’ve been wearing statement necklaces, for, like, everrr. But there’s a good reason: They look amazing! Really, I can’t stress this enough because it’s my favorite thing, to stand out with a statement necklace.
Double-Duty Trend: Fur-Covered Statement Necklace

Fall Trend: Chunky-Knit Sweater

OK, I admit that I’m throwing this in the mix because chunky knits were all over the runway for Spring/Summer 2014, but it’s winter, guys. Of course, we can wear our chunky knits a bit early.
Double-Duty Trend: Winter White Chunky-Knit Sweater

 

LAFW Kicks Off with Designer & The Muse at Sofitel Beverly Hills

October 4 held a few fashion surprises during Á LA Mode Productions’ Designer & The Muse event, when Los Angeles’ most fabulous designers gathered, bringing with them the people who inspire their designs. This was all to kick of Los Angeles Fashion Week, and it was a great night! Plus, it’s the second time I’ve been to an event at Sofitel Beverly Hills’ Riviera 31 Lounge, and it’s always morphs into the perfect setting.

12 Rules of Fashion I Wish I Had Known in my 20s

So, I’m there: I’ve made it to my thirties. It wasn’t scary; It wasn’t sad. It just was. Because, really, there’s not much difference between being 29 years and 364 days old and being 30 years old. But, I will admit, there is a major difference between how I dressed throughout my twenties and how I dress now. To help you avoid these same mistakes, I thought I’d compile my (hard-learned) wisdom of age (“age”).

This might be my (sister's) best fashion choice when I was younger.
Possibly the best thing I’ve ever worn was this junior bridesmaid dress. I would have worn it to school if my parents had let me.

1. Don’t buy a size you’re dieting to be someday.

Oh wow, my closet is full (well, half full) of clothes that I fit into for like one really good, super skinny, pretty dehydrated day. I mean, I won’t get rid of them because I still have a goal weight (just like everyone does, right?), but I could have saved a chunk of money if I had just been more realistic about my dieting practices—and bought shoes instead! On this note, don’t try to squeeze into a size you aren’t. It more often than not results in a squeezed sausage effect that no one likes. Or wants to sleep with.

2. Buy less for more and wear it longer.

I, like many women in their twenties, worshipped at the altar of Forever 21 throughout most of the decade (and even Charlotte Russe in high school. Remember that store?). But, what I should have done was put money aside from each paycheck, just a little, and saved up to buy one nice, pricier item every 6-12 months, then filled the rest of my wardrobe with less expensive basics (casual shirts, jeans and flats, always, from Gap or Banana Republic) each season. After a couple of years, you end up with some envious pieces, a killer wardrobe and a distinctive style. Just saying: Put down the floral crop top that will shrink to the size of a onesie after a single wash. It’s not worth your $3.

3. Stand up straight.

There is nothing that bugs me more looking back at pictures of myself from a few years ago, when I was actually wearing a cute outfit (or hell—my WEDDING DRESS) and wished someone had told me to stand up straight. I know I look about 5 pounds heavier than I actually was just because I didn’t notice I was slumping my shoulders. Important advice from my ballet teacher: Pretend like there is a string running up from your spine through the top of your head and pulling you straight up to the sky. It works. Do it, younger me.

4. Be bold.

I spent so long being scared to wear anything that was too brightly colored, or too voluminous, or too structured, or too has-a-crazy-print. I should have just taken the plunge and worn those super fun clothes because, I promise, no one is judging. (OK, some people might judge, but they’re boring anyway so who cares what they think?) It’s not that I was young enough to take fashion risks and I’m too old now that I’m 30; it’s that I feel confident being bold just now, when I should have always been—I could have looked way cuter way earlier.

5. It’s OK to dress up when no one else does.

This one I actually figured out a few years ago, before I was done with my twenties for good, and it’s a useful lesson. People will look at you weird (with the side-eye) for being underdressed, but they will be envious of your confidence if you’re overdressed. Nothing wrong with it.

6. Keep your shoes and purse in top shape.

This is a lesson for which I can thank my mother, who has always been full of fashionable advice. Particularly when you’re going into an important meeting, like a job interview, which will happen often in your first decade out of school—you should be acutely aware that you are being judged on your looks. Obviously, you’re also being judged for other things, like talent and hard work, but you won’t get far if you don’t look polished. Whether or not that’s how it should be doesn’t matter—that’s how it is. So suck it up and buy new heels, whether or not you want to.

7. Shop your budget.

Don’t spend yourself into debt. That handbag you’re in love with now that will cost half your rent won’t be as special next year while you’re struggling to pay off your credit card bill. Seriously, walk away.

8. Don’t wear a jean skirt. EVER.

All of us—ALL OF US—are, at any given point in our twenties and probably most of our teens, too old to be wearing a jean skirt. Especially if it’s a cutoff. Have some self-respect, ladies.

9. Wash off your makeup every day and use a face lotion with sunscreen.

It only takes a few extra minutes at the end of the night, and you can even do it while wasted on a Saturday evening! You won’t see the effects of your good habits for a few years, but I promise, the time spent is worth it. Oh, and while I’m here, another piece of beauty advice: Quit smoking. Yes, being a “social smoker” is still terrible for your health. And maybe go to yoga once in a while.

10. You don’t have to look perfect all the time.

You don’t. You really, really don’t. This is a huge perk of living in Los Angeles, that most people are casual and the uniform de rigueur seems to be nice sweats. I especially take advantage this on Sunday mornings at brunch: yoga pants, sunglasses and a hat. Can’t miss.

11. Choose a signature piece.

Oh, this is my favorite. Each year, I put some extra cash into a nice, noticeable necklace. The last two years have been big and chunky and have come with endless compliments.

12. It’s OK to make fashion mistakes.

Because, the worst thing that happens is in 10 years (or sometimes two), you look back and laugh. Seriously, the fashion police aren’t an actual thing—no one will send you to jail.