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Entries in Personal Style (4)


Stylish HALLOWEEN inspiration at FASHION FOCUS Masquerade

Well, look at that... Halloween's almost here! Do you have a costume yet? If you're still hunting for inspiration, I think I found it Saturday night at the Fashion Focus event, Via del Corso Masquerade, held at Fiat of Chicago.

While I was there covering the evening's festivities as the eyes and ears for The Printed Blog, I couldn't help but pick up some costume tips. Forget the pre-packaged Sexy Nurse/Devil/Schoolgirl from your local pop-up shop. The most stylish models (and guests!) at Via del Corso were sporting three things:

1) A mask. The more unusual, the better
2) Memorable hair, ranging from simple streaks of color to poofy wigs made of colored cotton.
3) A killer outfit. This is the time for something glam and over-the-top, yet comfortable, since Halloween celebrations have a habit of morphing into multi-venue nights.

A few of my favorites:

GUESS WHO, on the right? ;)

Besides the juicy people watching, Rosemary Fanti was on site creating her beloved fashion illustrations, and Das Foods set up a delicious candy bar, including their "Man Bait" bacon/maple lollipops. I admit, I took one for the road and had it for breakfast this morning.

And the performers! Just look at these costumes! Their detailed corsets (like the one shown above, from Romantika) and elaborate masks were so eye-catching. The trick to making a costume look expensive are the little details, like luxe fabric and lace.

As fun as the performers were, the highlight of the evening were the three fashion shows, hosted by Whitney Reynolds of NBC 5.

No, that's not Whitney's dagger - just a model who's prepared for an emergency.


Ok, is everyone seated?


Enough waiting, on with the show! I hope this inspires you as much as it did me.

photos: Dean Paul

bottom row of photos: Dean Paul

photo: Dean Paul

Happy Halloween!


Five tips for trying a NEW LOOK, inspired by MasterCard "PRICELESS CHICAGO"

Neiman Marcus popovers and consommé. More, please!Recently, my friends at MasterCard invited me to enjoy one of their "Priceless Chicago" experiences. Would I like to spend the day at Neiman Marcus, eating lunch at The Zodiac, getting a facial, and playing with makeup and clothes? Why, yes. Yes, I would.

Priceless Chicago experiences cover every interest from concerts to cuisine, with the schedule continuously updated. As many of you know, I'm the editor of the fashion/pop culture site You Know You Love Fashion and I decided to turn my Neiman Marcus Day of Pampering into a mini style session, based on TV's hottest heroines of the season.

(Incidentally, I recently saw a funny quote: "I wish I were as proud of anything as when people who don't watch TV are when they proudly claim that they don't watch TV.")

The details of the looks I chose are over at You Know You Love Fashion, but if you're thinking of trying a new look this season, here are a few tips to remember:

1) Stick to colors that flatter you. I have recently come to terms with the fact that unless I have a tan, I just can't wear a black turtleneck. It's too much black too close to my fair face. So, no Audrey Hepburn fantasy for me. Speaking of color...
2) Experiment with color in unexpected places. Yes, I'm talking about colored pants, and yes, you can wear them even if you're past your twenties.
3) Look for interesting details outside your norm. For instance, leather trim - real or faux - is huge this fall.
4) Try a subtle change in your hair. I feel ten times sassier with my new bangs! (Uh-oh.)
5) Switch up your makeup routine. Stuck in a smokey eye and lip gloss rut? Try a sharp cat-eye liner with a matte lipstick in a similar color as your gloss. It's a different kind of drama.

Me, sporting a daring new Trish McEvoy lipstick (hmm...what do you think?) and surrounded by gorgeous clothes inspired by this season's fall TV line-up. See the details of this collection on YouKnowYouLoveFashion.com.


Makeup KITS for BUSY Days

wedding makeup kits

I don't remember the date specifically, but this Chicago Tribune article claims that Liz Claiborne's "Season of Color" compact came out in March of 1993. I'm guessing I received it as a birthday present the following month. This Swiss Army Knife of beauty was my makeup BFF for a solid year after that. 

With holes at the top for lipstick, mascara, and applicators, the flippy compact also contained eyeshadow, blush, and two mirrors on the inside. No bigger than a deck of cards, it was complete enough for full touch-ups after gym (or English, or band, or anytime I opened my locker...ok, I was one of those girls who never passed up an opportunity to fluff).

High school is long past, but busy days (wedding days!) still call for powerful makeup kits. While I haven't seen anything like "Season of Color" since, here are four compacts that pull double duty with aplomb.



The Clinique and Trish McEvoy compacts are the most complete of the bunch. Of course, Bobbi Brown's Shimmer Bricks are well-known and adored. You can brush over the entire brick for an overall glow, or use an applicator to swipe just specific colors for highlighting, eyeshadow, blush. The POP compact has similar uses, plus features the sweet butterfly shape. Have you seen any other versatile compacts?


{personal style} SECRET weapon for SHOES

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that a few personal style posts will be popping up on the site. Ready? Here's the first one, and it's my number one secret weapon:

Band-Aid Blister Blocker. Buy it, use it, love it.

Honestly, it's amazing, and I don't use that word liberally. I've worn the heels at left for 8+ hours with no blisters, thanks to a quick swipe before slipping into my shoes. It also passes muster with some d'orsay pumps with a very deep cut in the vamp, plus a pair of riding boots that always rub my heels. Magic, I tell you!

Note that this is a preventative measure. If you already have a blister, it's not going to help you. Apply it anywhere your shoe will touch your foot (well, not the sole) and I promise you'll avoid the ugly day-after-bandaid routine.

You can get it in the footcare aisle at any drug store, or online at drugstore.com.

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