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Friday

New Year's Eve: Glamour Edition

On the last night of 2011 you want to make sure you have the perfect look. You’ve got a killer outfit, shoes and a party ready mani-pedi, the only thing left is to finish off your New Year’s looks with gorgeous, attention getting hair and makeup looks!

We’ve compiled a list of hair and makeup ideas perfect for any fashionista’s big night. Whether you’re planning a glamorous New Year’s Eve out or a quiet night with close friends, these looks are great for whatever you have planned when the ball drops.

Retro waves
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Retro glam waves are classic and flattering on almost every face shape. To get this look, apply some volume boosting mousse to damp hair and blow dry upside down. Take a one inch barrel curling iron and curl one to two inch sections away from your face. 


Gently comb through curls and make sure to comb hair into a deep side part for a more glamorous look and added volume. Apply a medium hold hairspray and you are set to wow at any party.

Top Knot Ballerina Bun
Slicked back hair draws attention to your face. It’s edgy and perfect for a New Year’s out on the town, especially if you’re planning on dancing all night. Comb a gel or smoothing serum through straight hair and tightly tie into a ponytail. 


For a more high fashion look, secure the ponytail on the top of your head. Then take the loose hair and wrap it around the ponytail and secure with bobby pins. Finish it off with hair spray and smooth down any fly-aways.


Side ponytail


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A wavy side pony is the perfect balance of effortless and glam. It’s easy to do an appropriate no matter what your New Year’s Eve plans. To achieve the loose wavy look, take hair and curl with a one inch barrel curling iron. Then secure hair to one side with a clear elastic, letting some pieces fall out to frame the face; remember it’s alright if it looks a little messy. 

Then take a piece of the hair and wrap it around the elastic and secure with a bobby pin. For a sleeker look, straighten hair and apply a smoothing serum to prevent fly-aways. Secure hair to one side with a clear elastic and take a loose piece of hair and wrap it around the elastic. Secure any pieces that may have fallen out of the ponytail with bobby pins.

Bold Red Lips
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A red lip never goes out of style. It’s classic and appropriate for any occasion. Be sure to find a red that complements your skin tone. Tanner and more olive toned complexions look best when paired with warmer reds. If you have fairer skin, stick with cooler red tones. 

Start by applying a balm to your lips to keep them moisturized. To ensure a perfect line, outline lips with a red lip pencil before filling in with the lipstick. If you like a more matte look, leave it as is, or coat with a clear gloss for added shine.


Smokey Eyes
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A sexy smokey eye is perfect for a New Year’s out at your favorite hot spot. To get this look, apply a base all over your upper and on your lower eyelid that is one shade darker than your skin tone. Then apply a dark brown or black pigment to your outer lid corner and crease and blend it in. 

Line your upper lids with a black liquid liner and your lower lids in a coal pencil for added drama. Add a couple coats of black mascara and you are ready to go. 

Iced Metallics
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Tis the season for fun, winter inspired lids. Embrace the December frost with iced out metallic eye makeup. Prep lids with eye lid primer and apply a crème eye shadow in either silver, white, or ice blue pigments. Apply a white eyeliner to your lower lids and inner corners for a brightened effect and add a coat of mascara to finish the look.

With these looks, you will be sure to wow at any party or event this New Year’s. Be safe and have a fun and festive holiday fashionistas!

Vanja Veric 

Wednesday

Phoenix Blogger Series: The Scottsdale Fashionista


Karen McKnight, also known by her blog alias, The Scottsdale Fashionista, has one of the more popular blogs in Phoenix, averaging 25,000—30,000 page views every month.

“It’s just amazing to me that it all started with zero,” said McKnight.


The Scottsdale Fashionista, a fashion-based blog has been up and running for about a year and a half now and McKnight likes to think her combination of humor and fashion keeps readers coming back for more.

“I try to keep the blog entertaining, I write funny posts too,” said McKnight. “Every once and awhile I will write about doggy yoga or something like that, the blog is really half fashion and half entertainment.”

The Scottsdale Fashionista features original content four to five times a week and looks at women’s fashion trends worldwide but also brings it home by highlighting the local fashion scene in Arizona.

McKnight prides herself on the relationships she has been able to build with the local fashion scene, making her one of the more recognizable fashion bloggers.

“Although it took me a year, I am now the only blogger in the city who is allowed to go into Nordstrom in Scottsdale Fashion Square and take pictures,” said McKnight. “I have worked really hard to establish my contacts and make a good name for myself.”

McKnight cannot only be seen writing for her blog, The Scottsdale Fashionista, but she is also a free-lance writer for various publications like Runway Magazine.

With all of the writing she has published, McKnight still finds new inspiration and says she always has about 25-30 blog ideas in her head at all times.

“I love writing,” said McKnight. “And the beauty about fashion writing is that the industry moves so quickly [that] you always have plenty to write about.”

Along with updating her blog weekly, McKnight also uses other forms of social media like Twitter, Facebook and most recently a Tumblr blog.

“I take a lot of pictures that I don’t always get to use on my blog and that is what is great about Tumblr,” said McKnight.


The Tumbr blog should be up and running the first of this next year.

Facebook.com/ScottsdaleFashionista for Mcknight and all of her fashion news.

Haley Buntrock
Vice President

Monday

New Year's Eve: Style Edition

We all know that New Year’s Eve is the most fabulous night of the year so it’s essential that you celebrate by wearing something truly spectacular.  And since the biggest parties of the year are happening on this night, here’s how to really make an entrance in style.  

Whether you’re ringing in the New Year by attending a fancy soiree or spending the night relaxing on your sofa, here are a few looks that will make your night extra special.

First, amp up your casual night out by wearing a flashy Dolce and Gabbana blazer and Alexander McQueen corset top coupled with hot electric blue high rise shorts and a platform ankle boot.  

To really complete the look and add a bit of warmth to this chic outfit, throw on a pair of sheer or lace black tights. Finish it off with a royal blue cuff bracelet and some zestful feathered earrings.

Get a little hip with these sophisticated yet funky, cropped suspender pants. They go just perfectly with a pair of Giuseppe Zanotti black suede high heel booties.  Spice up this outfit with a few splashes of bold red. Throw in a few gold chains and of course the classic red Chanel nail polish. This outfit will capture everyone's attention.

And finally, for the more extravagant parties, add a little spunk and pump up your wardrobe’s glam quotient with this short, black dress with a sweetheart neckline and a feather-embellished skirt paired with gold Zoe B. drop earrings and black satin and gold Betsey Johnson wedges. 

New Years Eve

Ring in the New Year right with these stunning looks. There’s no way you won’t stand out in that crowd when that clock strikes twelve.

Brooke Weathersby

Friday

White Elephant Party Gift Guide


At some point in every girl’s life, you are invited to participate in a White Elephant Gift exchange. It’s difficult to know what type of gift to bring to such a party, since you have to select an item that appeals to a variety of people. Most hosts will set a spending limit, and then let guests’ imaginations run wild!

If you are unfamiliar with the game, everyone
sets their wrapped presents in the middle of the room and draws numbers. As people begin unwrapping the random gift they have selected, the real fun begins as other participants “steal” the best presents from the original owner. This goes on until every member of the game has a present.

We’ve compiled a couple gift ideas that are guaranteed to impress any fashionista in your group of friends and will have them “stealing” gifts all night long.

1. Gloves and scarves will keep your friends warm and fashionable, especially when fun details like fur and sequins are added. These gifts are the perfect balance of fun and practicality.

2. Statement watches are a must for any girl on the go. Party guests will go crazy for any featuring animal print or rhinestones to complete their holiday looks.

3. The mini-emergency kit contains a variety of items such as dental floss, a nail file, stain remover and so much more to combat the daily “emergencies” all fashionistas are sure to run into.

By following this gift guide, you can rest assured that your gift will capture the hearts of your fellow party-goers and win you the title of Most Fashionable Gift Giver. Now all you have to do is add a bow!

Lindsay Viker

Wednesday

Phoenix Blogger Series: Fashion Route


Phoenix, a major metropolitan area, is home to many up-and-coming brand name stores, boutiques, vintage shops and even fashion bloggers. Kristianne Young, owner of the blog Fashion Route, is a seasoned fashionista with a wide range of accomplishments.

Already having interned with a fashion designer and interviewed bands such as Switchfoot and Paramore, Young’s skill has landed her with the position of fashion and beauty blogger for a regional magazine. Her blog, Fashion Route, continues to be read by many with posts ranging from vintage fashions to career advice.

Kristianne Young
Photo courtesy of Fashion Route


Young’s fashion advice makes her blog unique to others, since she goes in-depth on personal experiences and trials and tribulations through her fashion journey.

“If you still want to love fashion 20 years from now, take a break and do something you enjoy every once in a while,” says Fashion Route.

The blog suggests watching a movie, reading a book, getting a message, or simply going out with friends as practical ways to relive stress. She encourages an abundance of exercise and sleep, as well as making productive career choices.

“Saying yes to everyone and everything that comes your way can result in a very sleepy, grumpy, and less productive you,” says Fashion Route.

Aside from her practical advice from the business perspective, Young offers a multitude of fashion posts that include outfit-of-the-days and favorite runway looks.

One of her pre-Thanksgiving posts offers the “beauty edition” of her 2011 Christmas list. Stylish items such as the YSL Holiday Nail Trio and a Laura Mercier Bath duo are pictured. These also serve as useful gift suggestions for those in need of some tips. 

Young continues her business-savvy expertise with a post dedicated to “getting started” in the fashion industry. 

Fashion Route’s three steps include “write a good resume,” “do your research” and “be proactive.”  With these hints to success, she closes, “And remember…any experience is good experience.”

           

Isabelle Novak

Monday

Steal the Street Style of the Stars



We have all seen the photos of celebrities on their days off wandering the streets of LA or NYC in casual, yet stylish outfits. Their looks are effortlessly chic, allowing the stars to be comfortable while still looking their best for the paparazzi.

The “perfectly undone” look is easy to achieve if you stick to wearing flattering basics with one or two trendy pieces, such as a bag or piece of jewelry. Natural hair and light make-up complete the effortless look and keep celebs looking refreshed and relaxed.

http://www.theblackstiletto.com/bloggerimages/celebstyle3.jpg


Imitating a star’s street style can be a great way to enhance your day-to-day looks. Who, What, Wear TV suggests finding a celebrity with a similar body type to know what will look good on you.
“No matter how trendy something is, if it's not meant for your weight or height, it won't look right,” creators of Who, What, Wear Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power, said.

Various websites and fashion blogs will also take a celebrity’s look and find look-a-like pieces at more affordable prices. This allows fashionistas to try fun, new looks without having to drop cash like a movie star.


 Celebrity style is great inspiration, but always remember to put your own spin on an outfit to keep it original and fresh!

Lindsay Viker

Friday

Sibling Holiday Gift Guide

Remember the days when giving your brother or sister a gift consisted of writing your name on the tag of whatever Mom or Dad bought, sticking it under the tree and calling it a day? 


Well now, the notoriously hard to shop for brother and hard to please sister are your responsibility, but what how will you wow them this holiday?


Christmas is quickly approaching and if you haven’t thought about what to get your sibling the panic has likely set in. The holiday gift-buying season is officially on, so take a look at our fabulous gift guide for all siblings, any budget and any style.
Whether it’s your brother or your sister you are shopping for, I’ve rounded up nearly twenty of the season’s hottest gifts for the sibling in your life.


For the sisters we’ve included items ranging from cute charm necklaces by Scotch & Soda Amsterdam Couture to the season’s most trendy pieces. Big and little sisters alike will appreciate these gifts. 


For those forever-stubborn brothers we’ve included things from a quirky iPad arcade to a snazzy bow tie.

For the active sibling, a beach cruiser or a longboard.

For the fashionistas of the family, how about a Philip Lim reindeer wool sweater for the ladies or for the gentleman a pair of brand new tortoise shell Ray-Bans?

For the sibling who can never quite make it on time to the family dinner, it’s time for a new excuse, because the brand new 4220 Nixon watch will keep him or her right on schedule.


For the tech savvy sibling, Kate Spade New York has dressed up functional cases with signature colors and playful designs. Each one promises to spark a smile every time you pull it from your bag.


Scarves are always a great go-to gift and this bajra scarf from intermix.com is simply beautiful: clean, lightweight and something you could throw on with just about anything. 

When the family is home for the holidays and the noise is at its peak, there’s no need to fret, with the fashionable efficiency of these headphones by Marshall, the noise will be kept at bay.

With all these hot gifts and great inspirations, you can’t go wrong this holiday season. 

So take a gander and get to giving.



Brooke Weathersby

Wednesday

Phoenix Blogger Series: Style Sizzle

The fashion scene in Arizona has always been disregarded, but in recent years fashion blogs have popped up and made a name for themselves as well as a name for the state they live in.

Arizona is no longer a denim cut-offs and tank-top state, we now have trendy boutiques and high-end stores like Barney’s, thanks to fashion bloggers.

One notable fashionista is Marlene Montanez, curator of “Style Sizzle”. Montanez created “Style Sizzle” nearly two years ago as a way to “showcase (her) own personal style as well as the stylish side of Arizona living.”


Marlene Montanez of Style Sizzle
Photo courtesy of Style Sizzle
The blog is primarily fashion driven, though it also features posts on beauty and bridal.

“I actually love doing beauty product reviews and am obsessed with all things beauty but my blog is mainly fashion-focused. Go figure,” said Montanez.

Montanez believes that the fashion scene here in Arizona has changed drastically and hopes that her blog shows it’s readers that they can be as fashionable here just as those who live in a larger city such as New York or Los Angeles.

The blog is updated with new posts almost daily, which leaves many to wonder how does one writer come up with so many ideas.

“A lot of my posts come from conversations in everyday life. Like my ‘Are French Manicures Out of Style’ post, which sparked a lot of comments on my blog and is still one of my most highly-trafficked posts, was born from a conversation I had about it with a friend of mine,” said Montanez.

What makes “Style Sizzle” stand out from other fashion blogs is that Montanez is a journalist who has interviewed countless names from the fashion industry, including Christian Louboutin and Tim Gunn.

Her work has also been published at Arizona Foothills Magazine, Arizona Bride and The Fashion Spot.

Cortney Kaminski
President

Ps - A cool factoid for those of you who are Cronkite students, Montanez graduated from there in 2005!

Monday

DIY T-Shirt Scarf

As a college student, I am always on a budget. Even when I get the odd card from a generous relative with money in it, it always seems to disappear in a few days, mostly for food. I am always looking for ways to spruce up my wardrobe without spending a lot.

Coming from Michigan, I thought there was no way I’d need things like scarves to keep warm. Recently Arizona has taught me that I was wrong. So, with my strict budget, I thought I’d show you all how to make a scarf. 

It isn't too difficult to do and only takes around 15 minutes. The best part of it is the cost, which for me was nothing. You could get a t-shirt from a thrift store and the cost would still be very low.

To start you’ll need a shirt, it can be plain or have a design, anything goes.


Step one: Cut the shirt from armpit to armpit. That part can be discarded. Then cut off the hem of the shirt. Don't discard this, it will come into play later on. 


Step two: Flip the shirt so the seam would be the top and bottom. Cut the shirt into strips. You can measure them if you’d like, but it isn’t necessary. You will want to leave about an inch of space at the top.


Step three: Stretch out each strip, you can do this individually or all at once. The more you stretch a strip, the longer the end product will be.


Step four: This is where you can get creative. You can braid a section of the scarf, then tie it using the hem and leave the rest of it loose, or you can leave it as is. I chose to wrap the hem around the section that was originally at the top of the shirt and then tie it off.

The finished product will look like this:


It’s the perfect fall/winter accessory for any young adult living on a budget. It’s not time consuming, it’s fashionable and it costs next to nothing. 

Kyra Wennersten
Photo Credits: Kyra Wennersten

Steve Nash Introduces Clothing Line

Phoenix Suns point-guard Steve Nash recently launched his first clothing line, Steve Nash Collection, which features dapper menswear ranging from blazers and three-piece-suits to bowties and cufflinks.  The line was developed in tandem with Canadian-based Indochino, one of the largest in-line retailers for custom suits.

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"I'm proud to announce my own line of custom suits from @Indochino . . . I have been wearing @Indochino suits for three years and have recently joined the company as a proud investor," tweeted Nash, one of a rising influx of athletes dabbling in fashion.


For those ballin’ on a budget, Nash’s chic designs seemingly outfit only the affluent, yet are affordable for those consumers who are more economically contentious. The collection includes pieces like $79 long-sleeve button downs, $329 camel and navy peacoats and $399 shadow-plaid suits, each reasonably priced for the rich wool, mercerized cotton and cashmere fabrics woven to create the garments.

In celebration of the new collection, Nash and Indochino teamed up to create “The Steve Nash Experience” Facebook contest, which invites participants to ‘like’ their page to win a $4,000 experience including round-trip airfare to Phoenix for two, two custom suits from the Steve Nash Collection, $500 spending money, two tickets to a Phoenix Suns game (fortunately the NBA lockout has finally ended, squashing speculation that the winnings wouldn’t be redeemed until 2013) and a meet-and-greet with Nash himself.


The lockout drove some players to seek over-seas contracts and other forms of employment, but it didn’t have the same effect on Nash who traded in his trademark greasy mop of hair for a Pat Riley-inspired hairstyle while also replacing his eco-friendly tees with ascot-ornamented blazers.  Move over Amar’e Stoudemire and Kevin Willis, there is a new designer on the runway.

Jessica Abercrombie

Friday

Women's Gift Guide

The holiday season is a time to celebrate and show others how much you care about them. However,
being a college student during the gift-giving season may seem more stressful than upcoming finals.


But with a little bit of holiday magic, smart fashionistas can still show off their style and not break the
bank by buying more economically smart versions of gifts for their family and friends.


One of the number one must-haves to warm up this season is the circle scarf. Runway models currently
sporting this comfortable piece know how versatile it can be. A designer who currently features
the scarf in their line is Versace, listing the retail price at $340. Forever 21 recognizes this popular
trend and offers a bargain price of just $12.80!
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Another high-demand item is the neon fair isle sweater. Bargain hunters can buy this look for just $39.99 at American Eagle. Compared to about $89 for a comparable sweater at Guess.
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A great gift idea for a plethora of styles is the bright beanie. This trendy hat adds warmth and cheer to
any wardrobe during the cold weather. It is also ideal for a variety of age groups. Fashion designers
who have recently incorporated this beanie into their collections include Calvin Klein, Ugg, Ed Hardy, etc. Find this steal at Wet Seal for just $10.50!
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Finally, a creative gift that can appeal to any woman: a pair of cute, fuzzy slippers. This is the present
that can be worn on an everyday occasion in the comfort of your home. Burberry created an adorable
house slipper listed at $295, but the money-savvy shopper can find this cozy option for simply $9.99 at
JC Penney!
Photo Credit
Sarah Stecko

Wednesday

Online retailers offer variety through mass expansion

JewelMint, an online jewelry membership company designed by Kate Bosworth and celebrity stylist Cher Coulter, offers one-of-a-kind intricate pieces at a low monthly cost.

Unlike other online retailers, this trendy company recommends jewelry items to fit individual style through a personal style quiz. The outcome is a virtual showroom filled with trendy yet timeless jewelry of the highest quality.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s T-shirt company, StyleMint, follows the same innovative technique as JewelMint.
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“StyleMint is the brainchild of fashion designers and style icons Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen and parent company BeachMint,” says StyleMint’s website. “StyleMint offers members a revolutionary online shopping destination with the unrivaled experience of a personal stylist.”

With shirts ranging in color, pattern, style and material, StyleMint provides an outlet for those searching for the perfect everyday top.


After the success of StyleMint, JewelMint has expanded with two other types of stores.

Jessica Simpson recently launched BeautyMint, a personalized skincare line, in late October.

“In BeautyMint, she discovered the value of personalized skincare that matches targeted solutions with specific skin issues and goals,” says BeautyMint’s website. “Now, she wants to share her discovery with you.”

Simpson paired with skincare expert Nerida Joy to create a line of customized lotions and washes with natural derivatives. Their “Skin Care Consultation” serves as the deciding factor on what products will suit individual skin needs.

For those prone to eyeing the shoe department of their local clothing store, ShoeMint is a dream come true. With designs from Rachel Bilson, an already acclaimed fashion designer, the store launched on November 25th.
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Similar to the other successful “Mints,” ShoeMint fits the individual’s personal style and budget!
Through these modern answers to efficient and costly shopping, fashionistas can reap the benefits of celebrity designs for less.  

Isabelle Novak

Phoenix Blogger Series: Global Runway


As many of us know, the fashion world is not confined to the depths of our closets, but instead is an endless runway of those who walk it, those who admire it and those who report on it.

Fellow Arizona Fashion blogger, Sarai Cervantes of Global Runway, took the time to meet with me to discuss a few of her motives behind creating her own online canvas dedicated to the fashion world. 

Having been an avid blogger since 2009, Cervantes has only continued to build up her portfolio, establishing a reputable name for herself among many other fellow bloggers. It wasn’t until just recently that she began posting anywhere from 6-8 times a day.  

“The comments push me to blog more. Whenever I hear back from readers, it helps me to keep going,” Cervantes said.  

Access to prominent fashion magazines and websites allow for knowledge of the latest trends; however this information is not limited to just these outlets. Today social networking has created a vehicle for anyone who demonstrates the tiniest flare in an area of interest, enabling them to share with others their ideas and opinions in an easily obtainable way.

Cervantes is not alone in the fashion blogging network, but she most definitely offers a fresh and innovative take on it.

“It’s usually always the same fashion shows - Milan, London, Paris, New York. I wanted to incorporate global runway shows that people might not necessarily know about such as Argentina, Brazil and the China Fashion weeks.” Cervantes said.

Hoping to further pursue her enthusiasm for anything and everything fashion, Cervantes continues to attract a following in the hopes of someday transforming her blog into an online magazine. Cervantes expresses the many rewarding opportunities she’s had.

“I think it has helped me to attend more events in person, which then helps me to meet more people and make more connections.” Cervantes said.

Not only does Cervantes feel that what she does is extremely self-rewarding, but is also extremely worthwhile.

In asking her the best approach to becoming further immersed in the fashion world, she said, “Contacting public relations of different brands are helpful because they are able to send information about possible events to attend.
It is important to look outside our own personal spheres of influence and gain perspective through expanding onto other connections. Cervantes has allowed for this to take place in her own selfless efforts to create an oasis of information for others with similar passions to enjoy and appreciate.

We may just come to find that our ability to connect the dots within society is actually our most flattering accessory.

Avery Robrock