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Take Your Wardrobe from Sweet to Sophisticated in 3 Easy Pieces

If you’ve followed Faux Fancy for a while, you know that I have a penchant for girlier clothing items, from full skirts to frothy pastels. Recently however, all of this girliness has begun to feel a bit too sweet.

I turned 30 last year, and I’m loving this time in my life -- and I’m ready for a wardrobe that’s more fitting of this wiser, more confident and exciting time. I’m striving for a little less ingenue and a bit more leading lady.

Don’t worry, I don’t plan on overhauling my closet entirely. However, there are a handful of items that you will begin to gradually see more and more of in upcoming posts.  

Here is a quick roundup, as well as tips to help those of you who are also craving a slightly more grown up look, whether for a single event, to button up a bit during fall, or for a complete wardrobe refresh.


Lengthen and Slim Those Skirts

The Inspiration: Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham is living proof that a longer, slim pencil skirt can be every bit as feminine and sexy as a shorter, fuller version, but it’s endlessly chicer. They also provide a much trimmer and more streamlined silhouette.

Below-the-knee hemlines like those Victoria are rocking above are a bit extreme for me -- my ideal length would hit right at or at the middle of the knee.

H&M Crêpe Dress in black, $30 at

ASOS High Waisted Pencil Skirt, $39 at

Don’t be Afraid to Wear the Pants

The Inspiration: Olivia Palermo

Whether getting ready for a big meeting or a night out with the girls, the wardrobe conversation always goes the same way.

“Kristen will obviously be wearing a skirt or dress . . . what’s everyone else wearing?”

Not that I don’t own my fair share of pants -- they’re just not my go-to piece of attire. I love Olivia Palermo’s lean, slim pant silhouette, whether ripped casual jeans, jewel-toned trousers, leather sleek leather stunners or dressier dark denim.

My shopping in this department will have less to do with the pants themselves, but the tops to turn them into outfits -- the tops are the gaping hole in my wardrobe.

Banana Republic, Sloan-Fit Faux-Leather Ankle Pant, $110 at

Zara Medium-rise coated slim-fit trousers, $70 at

Old Navy Women's The Rockstar Distressed Skinny Jeans, currently on sale for $25 at OldNavy.Gap.Com.


Rock a Collar

The Inspiration: Too Many to Name!

Weather layered beneath a sweater (preferably one with a bold color or contrasting pattern), tucked into a pencil skirt or crisp and loose with a pair of distressed jeans, a good collared shirt offers a variety of sartorial options.

I’m definitely looking for an assortment of shirts that can fit numerous wardrobe needs.

H&M Patterned Blouse, $25 at

H&M White V-neck Blouse, $20 at

Forever 21 Gray Collared Chiffon Blouse, $15 at

Zara Long-Sleeved Blouse in Yellow, $80 at

What about you? Are you ready for a wardrobe updated of your own?

- Kristen



Kristen’s Top 5 Fave Beauty Vloggers

We’re pretty major YouTube fans over at Faux Fancy. It’s such a wealth of entertainment and inspiration. And when it comes to beauty tutorials, there isn’t a more powerful medium than video.

Beauty vlogs are a fantastic source of step-by-step beauty tips, whether you’re looking to address a specific beauty conundrum, or you’re just looking for a new look to rock on Friday night.

I subscribe to dozens of beauty vloggers, but there are a handful that I find myself going back to again and again.

The vast, vast majority of beauty tutorials and tips work for all skin types, with the slightest of variations. However, I do find it helpful to view tutorials from women with darker skin tones as well, as I can directly purchase more of the specific product shades they use.

So, without further ado, here are my current top five fave beauty vloggers on YouTube, in no particular order.

Patricia Bright

(YouTube: BritPopPrincess and BritPopLife)

London-based vlogger and blogger Patricia Bright creates easy-to-emulate beauty and hair looks on her YouTube channel. I love how uncomplicated her tutorials are, that they’re typically very quick to achieve, and that they often include affordable products.

In addition to fantastic beauty and hair tutorials and fashion hauls, Patricia and her adorable husband Mike regularly post vlogs of their travels, antics, and everyday life in London, which are incredibly entertaining.

Patricia’s warm, often silly and incredibly approachable nature make every tutorial seem all the more achievable, and makes the videos themselves addictively watchable.

Shirley B. Eniang

(YouTube: ShirleyBEniang)

Shirley is another fantastic London-based vlogger and blogger whom I absolutely love. Shirley features beauty, hair and fashion tutorials and videos, as well as wonderful tips around home organization, skincare and overall life improvement.

Shirley does an amazing job of creating glamorous looks that are incredibly easy to re-create. She also offers several videos for those just getting seriously into makeup, from brush recommendations to foundation and contouring tutorials.

Like Patricia Bright, Shirley has an incredibly warm, friendly, best friend type of vibe, which makes sense, as she and Patricia are actually long-time buddies.

Teni Panosian

(YouTube: MissMavenDotCom)

Teni is a gorgeous LA-based vlogger and actress who is completely self-taught in the art of makeup.

Many beauty vloggers tend to create overly intense and extreme makeup looks that aren’t realistic for everyday women, or that are simply too overdone for most occasions. Teni is highly talented at creating hair and makeup looks that are glamorous and sophisticated without looking as though you spent way too much time on your face. She also creates several polished yet discreet office-appropriate makeup looks.

Teni has a really sweet and intelligent demeanor, and fosters dogs when she isn’t vlogging. What’s not to love?

Camila Coelho

(YouTube: MakeUpByCamila2)

Camila is a Brazilian vlogger based in the U.S. While she does often create natural hair and makeup looks on her YouTube channel, my favorite tutorials from Camila are of her perfect, playful, party-ready bombshell looks.

And as a bonus, Camila ends every video by teaching her viewers a word in Portuguese. And if you’re fluent in the language, you can check out her original YouTube channel, here.

Michelle Phan

(YouTube: MichellePhan)

Michelle Phan is probably the best-known beauty vlogger in the universe, having catapulted beyond YouTube to her own cosmetics line with L'Oreal, Em, endorsement deals with Coca-Cola, and a book coming this fall.

Michelle is a complete chameleon when it comes to the looks she creates, from perfect girl-next-door looks for an afternoon date to totally transformative event and Halloween makeup. Michelle is a true artist, and her videos take viewers every step of the way.

In addition to her makeup looks, Michelle also posts several videos dedicated to self-empowerment, confidence and living a positive life.

Who are some of your favorite beauty vloggers?

- Kristen



Five Step Summer Beauty Check-Up

Hi lovelies -- hope you’re having a fantastic summer! Of course, all of the days with your hair under the sun and your feet in the sand can start taking their toll by August. Here are five of the most common summer beauty ailments, and products that can help you cure them.

Dry, Damaged Hair

Your mane can often use a little extra TLC in the summer, thanks to the sun, chlorine, and additional heat we often use to beat it into shape. Using a good, moisturizing hair mask once a week can do wonders to restore your locks to silky, manageable glory.

Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask, $6 at

Summer Breakouts

Sweat, sunscreen and the additional oil brought on by all of the heat and humidity can lead to more blackheads and breakouts than you usually experience. Switch to a daily cleanser or scrub with salicylic acid to keep breakouts at bay, and a spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide to treat any current flare-ups.

There are a few helpful things to note when it comes to products with benzoyl peroxide. The most important thing to look for is the percentage of medication in your product -- I usually opt for a treatment with 10% benzoyl peroxide, as it provides a high-strength dose, regardless of the brand. This ingredient also has the tendency to bleach fabrics, so if you have colored towels or pillowcases, it might create spots. White towels and sheets will be your best bet during the treatment.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub, $9 at

Target Up & Up Maximum Strength Acne Medication, $3.50 at

Fried Feet

Unless I’m traveling for several days at a time and decide that gel mani is in order, I typically opt to do my nails at home rather than in a salon. However, running around in sandals and outdoor activities in sneakers can lead to rough, tired feet. I like to treat myself to a midsummer professional pedi to clean everything up.

Or, if you opt to pamper yourself at home, a good pumice stone, exfoliating scrub, moisturizer and cuticle trim can make quite a difference.

Earth Therapeutics Foot Doctor Pedicure Kit, $25 at

Foundation Mismatch

If you’ve gotten a bit of sun this summer, there’s a good chance your skin has deepened beyond your usual foundation shade. How to tell? Take a dab and smooth it along your jawline. Does it disappear into your skin? Does it look lighter than your neck? Take a trip to the store to see if your fave foundation is available in a darker shade, and give it the jawline test as well. Sephora even offers advanced technology to pinpoint your exact skin tone, and the cosmetic brands that offer your ideal shade.

Sephora Color IQ

Dry Skin

The warmer weather and extra outdoor time can also wreak havoc on your skin. Rough patches on your elbows or knees? General dullness to your skin? Not to worry, there’s an easy, two-step solution: exfoliate, then moisturize. To get the best bang for your buck, opt for a body product set that comes with a skin scrub and a ultra-moisturizing body butter, and treat yourself to an at-home spa sesh.

The Body Shop Shea Bodycare 3pc Gift Set, $30 at

Enjoy the rest of summer!

- Kristen


How To: Eyebrows


The Greta, the Brooke, the Cara...eyebrows have been defining major makeup trends for years. And they've been having quite the comeback in recent seasons! I didn't notice just how much eyebrows can shape a face until I started experimenting with my own. High school was the over-plucked stage, college was waxing and my professional years introduced me to shaping. Then came the products.

Today, I have a few versions that I create depending on the look I'm going for. It is, without fail, the staple element in both my no-makeup makeup look AND my full-on-makeup look.

The key products that I keep on hand: a precision pencil, a spooly, brown eyeshadow and a sharply angled brush. Tips: 1- you do not have to spend $$ to get a good powder option, mine was $5. 2 - try a liner brush instead of a brow brush, as it gives you even more control. 3 - keep the inside lighter  and the arch darker to give a natural look. 4 - blend, blend, blend so it doesn't look painted on. 

I did one eye each way and share the steps to accomplish them. Overall, go slow, routinely check your work in a fullsize mirror and try different looks. I recently started using Benefit Gimme Brow - a new product that's perfect for 30-second brows. Review coming soon!

Right Eye: Precision pencil with spooly (Anastasia Brow Wiz in Caramel)
Start with the thickest part first, normally the arch
Make small flicks
Erase mistakes with the heat from your fingers
Use the spooly to blur the product into your brow

Left Eye: Brown eyeshadow with angled brush (Wet n Wild Sweet as Candy Trio, Sephora angled liner brush)
Experiment with eyeshadow shades to find the right one (narrow a few options that add more or less definition depending on the look you want)
Pick up a light amount of product, tapping the brush to avoid grabbing too much powder
Press into your brow, wiggling slightly to avoid sharp lines - you don't want to look too drawn on

 - MK




What to Wear On a First Date (Plus Five Summer Date Outfits Under $100)


Whether you’ve got a big date on the horizon or are in the initial phase of building out your OKCupid profile, chances are the outfit for that pivotal first date is on your mind. Not to fear -- Faux Fancy has three solid tips to help you look and feel your best on your date, as well as five perfect summer date outfit options under $100.

1. Be Yourself.

If you literally never wear dresses, or you gravitate toward bold outfits with a lot of personality, your first date is not the time to put on something drastically outside of your style. Not only will you feel uncomfortable in a look that’s just not you, you’ll also be starting your potential relationship from an inauthentic place. You don’t need to pretend to be anything but your fabulous self -- you’re worthy of being loved for you, just the way you are.

2. Flaunt Your Favorite Feature.

Do you love your arms? Like your hourglass figure? Have legs for days? Got an ass that won’t quit? Find a first date look that flaunts that feature. Just make sure to keep it classy -- if you’re looking for a long-term relationship, don’t wear something that screams one night stand.

3. Wear Something That Makes You Feel Confident.

No matter how much your friends or the salesperson oohed and ahhed over the ensemble you put on in the dressing room, if you know you’ll be tugging at the hemline or adjusting your cleavage all night, you’ll never be comfortable. Besides, you shouldn’t be wasting your date worrying about your outfit -- you should be focusing on whether the person across the table from you shares your values and interests, and how you feel around him or her. So be sure to put something on that makes you feel like a million bucks.

Not finding anything that fits that description in your closet? Here are five new date outfit options under $100.

Why It Works:

This dress is a perfect combination of sexy and classy, conservative enough to wear to work with a jacket or cardigan, and then run to a happy hour date minus the jacket/cardi. The wrap shape is flattering for nearly every body type -- accentuate your waist even further by adding a thin belt at the waist.



Why It Works:

A sexy jumpsuit provides a versatile go-to base layer for a multitude of date-night looks. The fitted top and belt at the waist give the illusion of two pieces, as well as provides definition of your figure. For a racier, low-cut number like this one, pair it with a slightly boxy cropped jacket to provide a bit of extra coverage. Not comfortable with the cleavage on this one? ASOS offers a number of jumpsuit options, here.



Why It Works:

The just-structured-enough tailoring of this dress is incredibly figure-flattering, and the light color combination will work just as well for day dates as dinner dates. Top it off with a jacket, and it will also play well in chillier months, too.



Why It Works:

Summertime day dates can pose a sartorial challenge. You want to look pretty and put-together, but not too formal. Depending on where you live, keeping cool can also be a problem. This breezy cut, with its tie-front waist and flowy skirt, will keep you comfortable and feeling beautiful. Not to mention eye-catching, thanks to the fetching print. Pair it with a denim jacket to combat any overzealous AC situations, or to add a bit of extra coverage.



Why It Works:

The faux-wrap styling and romantic plum color are both sexy and universally-flattering. And the longer sleeves will help if you’re aiming for a more conservative look, or if your arms aren’t your favorite feature. Push them up a bit to show a bit of your forearms, and pair them with a pair of killer heels to amp up the sex appeal.



Happy Dating!

- Kristen