The minute I saw this sleeveless top with the roll neck it reminded me of something Jackie Kennedy Onassis would have worn. As one of the most undeniably great style icons in history, I had a picture of her in my minds eye wearing this top with big over-sized sunglasses. This vision firmly transferred itself in my head as me, minus the Manhatten penthouse and the 325 ft yacht!
The fabric is a woven polyester/spandex mix providing a crepe texture and a super comfortable fit with just enough stretch. The fabric weight is such that the wide neckline with fold over collar sits perfectly without collapsing and the straight cut of the body hangs flawlessly covering a multitude of dinner and cocktail sins!
Tried and tested, I washed this top on a cold gentle cycle with like colors, dried it on a very low heat for a short time and it came out like new. It may require a light press, which I did on the reverse, a habit I have so as not to create shine on the garment face.
This is a top that will ease it's way into fall simply by pairing it with a blazer or a long cardigan. I love not having the bulk that sleeves add when wearing cardigans or slim fitting jackets over a top. It also comes in black and it's inexpensive enough to buy both color ways at only $24.99 each!
Paired with ankle length skinny jeans the overall look is balanced. The extra leg length, rather than a capri or cropped style creates the illusion of being taller especially when the top is longer as in this case. Sky high stilettos help with the altitude too! These AG jeans are my absolute favorite brand by far for skinny jeans. They are still selling like hot cakes and they're definitely worth the investment from both a comfort and style perspective. Consider also wearing this top with long flared pants or a mid length pencil skirt for a smarter formal look.
Pearl earrings and bracelet are my preferred choice of accessories to heighten the sophisticated feel and to temper the distressed jeans. Plus the silk scarf tied around the handbag throwing a little pattern and French chic in honor of Jackie's descent on the side of her father!
Jackie proves that classic never goes out of style!
Thank you for stopping by lovelies!
Who doesn't love getting a manicure and pedicure? Hands and toes primped, pruned and nails painted to perfection leaving little jewels atop each digit like shiny bling! And if that weren't enough, the benefit of sitting back, being pampered, reading a trashy magazine or just people watching lost in your own thoughts, ah... bliss!
Sadly it is yet another maintenance regimen adding to the monthly midlife beauty bills along with hair, skin, makeup and the endless treatments and products that we find essential to remain feeling gorgeous at this age in life!
Now enter the gel manicure, raising the price of our little luxury by at least $15, almost 100% in some cases. It's benefits: it doesn't chip; it lasts two weeks; stays shiny and you don't have to wait for it to dry since it dries under a lamp almost instantly. The disadvantages are that you cannot take it off yourself. The nail lacquer has to be filed off, soaked in an acetone bath and wrapped in foil for 10 to 15 minutes. Then it has to be chipped away from your natural nail, ouch, just writing this is making me cringe! Your own nail is left soft and fragile, the top layers buffed down so the gel adheres, and weakened by the rock hard substance that is gel polish.
I've had a total of two gel manicures and that was more than enough. I've been blessed with strong healthy nails, but I had to wait several weeks before having another manicure so that my nails could recover from the damage one gel manicure could impart.
Don't get me wrong, the gel manicure is the perfect answer to a two week vacation or an extended trip out of town, especially if you're going on a safari!
In my line of work, I want my toes and fingers to look their best all the time, God knows my toes need all the help they can get! I also want to keep them strong and healthy, and I don't want the maintenance costs to break the bank.
Tip 1 - Forget the Gel
Introducing OPI Infinite Shine Products. This line is long-lasting and harder wearing than regular polish and is a much simpler and faster process than applying gel and a lot less damaging. It's a step up from regular polish. It brings the price of your mani/pedi back down to the regular price but salons do charge an additional fee for this product, in the case of my salon, an additional $5 is added to a manicure or pedicure treatment. Not so bad compared to the gel price, but it still mounts up if you're wanting to visit your salon regularly.
By avoiding the gel manicure, you're already on your way to restoring your nails back to their former glory. Now to restore your price per treatment back to it's former glory - the original cost of a regular manicure or pedicure.
Tip 2 - Avoid Paying the Upgrade Fee
Visit your local Ulta or Sally Beauty supply store, and purchase the Infinite Shine Primer and Gloss Brilliant lacquer for yourself. These are shown above. The clear is the primer and the black bottle the glossy top coat. Note: the OPI Infinite Shine Product line has silver top bottles, including the colors. If you purchase your own products, including your favorite color and take these with you to your salon, you should only have to pay the regular manicure pedicure price, with no extra fee.
Tip 3 - Using Regular Colors
The Infinite Shine product line doesn't carry every OPI color, like my current favorites "Let's be Friends" and "Stop it I'm Blushing"! Don't worry, just use the OPI Infinite Shine Primer and Gloss top coat with your regular color and you'll still see the benefits, including no extra fee at the salon if you take in your own Infinite Shine products.
Tip 4 - Cut out the Unnecessary
Pushing back and snipping away cuticles, digging around the nail bed and buffing nails is all well and good once every few weeks. All these procedures are usually a normal part of the average manicure or pedicure treatment at most salons.
The cuticle is an integral part of the digit. It's the only barrier between your nail and the inside of your finger, it's sort of like the seal around the door of the refrigerator. If it's lifted or cut back too far, the protection is compromised and bacteria can get in and very quickly turn into something nasty and painful. My advice is to keep the cuticle pushing and trimming to a minimum, just enough to keep it tidy.
On that basis, there should be no need to have a manicure or pedicure every time you go to the salon to have your nails painted. Ask for a "Polish Change" in between visits. A polish change at my salon for finger nails is $7. A reputable salon will include filing the nails to even up the shape, removal of the previous color, and a repaint in the color of your choice.
Boom, you have just reduced the price of an unnecessary manicure to the price of a tall vanilla latte, and your nails will thank you for it!
The gel treatment, although it doesn't chip and retains shine, does show a distinctive regrowth in several days with a gap forming between the cuticle and the start line of the lacquer as the nail grows out. This can be irritating and cause fidgeting with the uneven surface on the nail.
The regular treatment using Infinite Shine products is not as hardy as the gel, in that the possibility of chipping and wear is more prevalent. However, for $7 you can get a Polish Change which takes fifteen minutes or so, and your nails are as good as new.
You can click the thumbnail link below to purchase your Infinite Shine primer and top coat as a duo pack and save $5 on purchasing them separately!
I wish you a wonderful weekend, and thank you for stopping by!
My husband suggested I do a movie review for the blog. He recommended Atomic Blonde for a number of reasons: 1 - the strong woman portrayed in the main character, 2 - the fashion and style, and 3 - the music from the eighties! He failed to mention the main reason, 4 - he really wanted to see it!
He had me already with the title! Reasons 1 through 3 were right up my alley. I was excited to do this, couldn't wait. If I'd have known about reason 4, I would have re-considered this whole idea. I was double crossed, but now I've seen it, so here it is!
Keeping up with the fast pace of fashion on a modest budget is a challenge to say the least. Just when you think you're covered with an outfit for every occasion, at the sight of an invitation to something you suddenly find yourself with nothing to wear! Have you ever pondered your closet and wondered if you hadn't bought so many clothes you could have purchased the Louis Vuitton purse or the Gucci shoes, probably yes! Well you still can, at a fraction of the cost. With a few extra pennies from heaven to help keep your closet current, consignment may keep the fashionista in you afloat!
A floral wrap dress is the ultimate favorite for comfort, effortless style and summer chic. The simplicity of a one piece garment begs only the question of what accessories to add. Easy to pack and lightweight, so no worries on exceeding the weight limit for checked baggage if you're travelling, plus they need little or no ironing when you get to your destination. Cosy it up with a scarf in the evening, a denim jacket or even a leather jacket during the cooler seasons. Plus, a wrap dress accommodates both our fat and thin days with ease, and who doesn't need clothes that do that?
There are some things in fashion that I've loved since I can remember despite the coming and going of current trends. Whether considered by those in the know as "in" or "out" I couldn't have cared less, I've been wearing pink since I was able to buy my own clothes, and animal prints have never really been out of fashion. I've undoubtedly made adjustments over the course of time yielding to a particular hue of pink or a varying print of leopard in order to stay on top of my game, but never have the two favorites waned.
There are very few clothes that are comfortable to wear during the middle of the summer in Arizona, and very few clothes is about all that is humanly possible to handle when the temperature soars from anywhere between 105 to 120 degrees with the addition of humidity which increases during the monsoon months of August and September.
Pants are the last thing we normally contemplate during this season, but here's a pair that can happily take you from day to night without feeling that you're wearing pants or anything at all for that matter. They're light and airy, loose fitting, comfortable, don't crease, don't stick or show perspiration. Another great find from H&M at only $19.99 and they're bound to hold their own through a couple of seasons if not a couple of years.
If you've been toying with the idea of investing in some gingham to actually wear instead of lining your picnic basket with or laying it over your kitchen table, then consider a cute off-the-shoulder top such as this. Black and white seersucker gingham, light weight, hangs perfectly and has all the bells and whistles... literally! Bell sleeves, bow ties and whistle worthy off-the-shoulder. Whoot whoo! This top is from H&M and available in some stores but is sold out on-line. If you're signed up to receive the Above and Beblonde Newsletter, just enter your e.mail in the side bar and I'll let you know as soon as it's restocked.
Wow, who'd have thought eyelashes could be life changing! If you've ever wondered what's involved in having eyelash extensions, what's required on an on-going basis and whether you should take the plunge or not, then you need to read this. If you want a real reason to justify saying "I woke up like this", and you're looking to amp up your "hello gorgeous" factor all whilst wearing no makeup, then this is the beauty regimen for you.
Here's a romper that transcends age. I officially name it the "wide leg romper". The style is misleading, looking more like a dress, the perfect sundress that's mini but not minuscule. This little cutie, the Palma Romper from Anthropologie allows you to go romper all you like without the fear of losing your dignity and it has more than it's fair share of stylish details. But best of all it's currently on sale at 50% off and is still available on-line as well as in some stores.
There's something summery about clothes that billow in the breeze, loose fitting yet drape the body just enough to float airily and swing effortlessly as we walk. This Valerie Stevens blouse, courtesy of Stage Stores has it all, plus it's perfect for the soaring Arizona temperatures, and the best part - it's currently on sale for $9.99. Click on any of the pictures below to take you right to the store whilst it's still available.
White jeans are the go to when all else fails no matter the time of year. If it's cold outside they're considered winter whites and a wardrobe staple during the warmer months - the essential summer whites. Easy to wear, easy to pair with any color, can be dressed up or down and look glamorous, chic and cool.
Going in search of jeans can be a daunting task, not least of all the "great white" jeans. Here are my favorites, some that I own and some that I'd like to own! I hope you'll found some ideas worth trying.
Pilcro Script High Rise Capri
To start my Memorial Day weekend in style, I attended the official launch for the opening of the Tom Ford cosmetics counter at Nordstrom Scottsdale, located in the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall in Arizona. I was invited to have my makeup done and meet Allan Aponte, Tom Ford's National Artistry Executive, and of course the lovely staff whom I have come to know over the years due to my love of Tom Ford perfumes, specifically Black Orchid. I've long since been a fan of Tom Ford cosmetics, his lipsticks are one of the few that don't dry my lips, and the nail color lasts without chipping for days beyond other brands.
When a dress works in a casual setting, a smart setting and a few more in between you've got a pretty good deal. This Zara dress is the perfect style to turn into a host of different looks effortlessly and effectively and it's less than $50. But, you can just as easily take a plain dress you may already own and turn it into a stylish chameleon with a few tricks and inexpensive accessories.
Beside the obvious things like cleaning the house from top to bottom, the patio furniture, manicuring the garden, there are a host of other things you can do to make your guests feel loved and welcome. I moved to Arizona from England in 1999, so I've had more than my fair share of guests come off an eleven hour flight to visit me and inevitably stay at least two weeks to make the long journey worth their while! The truth is I love it, so I do everything I can to make them a return visitor - having a background in the hotel industry helps!
The Guest Bed
Karen Serino is a life and style blogger, sharing fashion, fitness and fun for youthful women in their forties, fifties and beyond.
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Click the picture below to see my interview with the lovely Jonet Wooten from Fabulously Chic Over 50