People with rich complexions are blessed with a natural SPF due to the pigment melanin, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t wear sunscreen. No one is invulnerable to the sun’s harmful rays, and although dark skin people are not as high-risk as their fair-skinned counterparts, all complexions can burn and have a risk of getting cancer. So, what’s a dark-skinned beauty to do? Apply sunscreen, of course! If your skin color ranges from tan to olive to deep dark brown, there is a new fabulous sunscreen available specifically formulated for dark skin called EXTRASHADE. Infused with a combination of vitamins, botanical extract and antioxidants, EXTRASHADE, focuses on repairing sun damage instead of just preventing sunburn. When dark skin is damaged, more melanin production is triggered, which causes uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation. The powerful combination of ingredients in EXTRASHADE protects the skin from sun damage, hydrates, prevents discoloration, and helps existing marks from becoming darker.
EXTRASHADE Daily Defense Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 can be purchased online for $33.00 here»
Fashion brand Brooklyn Industries wants to send you on an 8-day adventure to Ecuador, where you will be able to explore the Galapagos Islands, hike through the Amazon Rainforest, or enjoy ceviche on the shores of the South Pacific Ocean. In addition to fun activities, the lucky winner of the will have the opportunity to savor local dishes, and hear locals tell stories about Kichwa myths and culture. Ready to trade in overcrowded beaches to awaken to the sound of the rainforest every morning? Enter here. Contest ends August 8th.
Ashley Williams, the brainchild behind online fashion boutique, Couture Luv, didn’t always want to work in the fashion industry. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, she was on a career path of becoming a lawyer, until she realized she had a strong desire to combine her love of styling with her desire to be an entrepreneur. Williams now exercises her instinctual knowledge of what women are looking for in terms of fashionable clothing and affordable price points with her online clothing boutique, Couture Luv.
From trendy tops to colorful leggings, the online store, which launched in March of 2012, offers pieces that super chic and trendy, and feature unique clothing and accessories that you are going to “luv.”
How did you decide on the name?
Because of the love I have for couture and vintage fashion, I decided upon the name couture. Luv is because of my personality and how I present myself. I am a very ‘luving’ and caring person. I have a deep yearn in my heart to help others, and the best way to help is to spread the luv.
What motivated you to start your business?
My love for fashion and design lead me to starting my own business. I loved to style others based on the things that make them unique. I always feel that how a woman feels inside should be reflected through her clothes, so I wanted to start a store that carried things that could be beneficial to all women in their own unique ways.
How did you come up with the concept for Couture Luv? Any specific reason behind why you choose to use “luv” vs “love”?
I chose ‘Luv’ instead of ‘Love’ because I thrive to be unique.
Is this your full-time job?
Yes this is my full-time job.
Do you have any employees?
No, I do not currently have employees. I only have interns who are working towards a career in the fashion industry. I do look to expand in the future.
How do you find the models for your website? What do you look for when selecting someone to model the clothes?
I have not held any model searches, I hand-pick my models randomly. I see someone walking in the mall and find the perfect model. When selecting models I look for everyday body types. I don’t typically cast models who are a size two, because the majority of women aren’t that size. I try to find models people can identify with. I love all nationality and races. I thrive for diversity when choosing models. I am currently searching for plus-size models. Finding plus-size models is my biggest challenge when searching for models for the site.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of launching the site so far?
The most rewarding aspect from Couture Luv has been the positive feedback I’ve gotten from my happy customers. Just knowing I made someone’s day, is very rewarding for me.
What has been the most challenging aspect?
The most challenging aspect has been marketing the brand.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from within. The artist that lives within me paints the pictures that I bring to light.
What is the company’s best-selling item(s)?
All of our unique tights/leggings are most popular right now.
What do you look for when selecting items for the website?
Sometimes I look for creativity and sometimes I look for simplicity; it depends. My fashion intuition has many different sides and angles. I look for everything from bright neon colors, strips, and patterns; to old English button ups, and pearls. I like to be out-of-the-box.
Do you have any advice for young women looking to start their own business?
For young people wanting to start a business, my advice would be to be determined and unafraid. You have to market yourself well, sell yourself and your brand. I am very open to others emailing me with questions about my success in such a small time frame.
Are there any special promotions going on now that you would like to highlight?
In July 2012, I am giving a percentage of my sales to the Barack Obama campaign 2012. I would love for everyone to come on-board in knowing we’re supporting a good cause. We also do hour deals which there are promotion code discounts from 10% to 50% that is available to those who are following us on twitter. ‘Fam28′ is the permanent code that will give you 10% of on every purchase. This code can be obtained once you register with the site. The code can be re-used.
Is there any additional info you would like to provide me with?
Our slogan is ‘Pretty Girls Rock’. We are a vendor at many events in the South Florida region, so if anyone is in area, they can find out where we will be selling from our Facebook page. We update regularly.
Follow us on twitter: @Coutureluv1
Yesterday I attended the press preview event for Redken’s new Semi-Permanent Smooth Lock in-salon service and retail line. This innovative new salon service and at-home regimen will be launching in early July, just in time for the summer when hair is most vulnerable to frizz. Whether hair is straight or curly, the 2-step heat-activated service is able to smooth strands, for a frizz-free result that lasts up to 10 shampoos and cuts styling time almost in half. Smooth Lock is not a straightening system; instead, it temporarily relaxes hair using a combination of heat fuse complex, almond oil and Interlock Protein Network (technology that delivers proteins to repair hair from the inside out). The result is silky smooth, manageable hair that’s easy to style.
This system is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to spend a laborious amount of time damaging their hair with hot styling tools in an effort to eliminate frizz. I’m excited about this service because I spend hours straightening my naturally curly hair, and as soon as I go outside, my perfectly polished locks channel their inner Diana Ross and I’m back to square one. Since, the heat fuse complex creates a protective barrier against humidity, I won’t have to worry about this problem anymore (I love you Diana, but I can’t rock an afro of curls at work!).
The Semi-Permanent Smooth Look Technique is not just valuable to people like me who want to smooth out their curls; it is also useful for women who wish to have curly or wavy hair. There are currently four different service options offered: The Ultra Straight Technique, The Curl Refining Technique, The Smooth Wave Technique, and an Express Smooth Service. The entire smoothing process takes about 45 minutes, and can be performed very 3 to 6 weeks.
Relaxed tresses can be maintained at home with The Smooth Lock retail line, which features heat-activated formulas, including Heat-Glide leave-in protective smoother, which reduces frizz by 92% and lasts up to 48 hours. The products can be used alone, or in combination with the in-salon service, and range in price from $15-$17.
Click here to locate a Redken salon near you»
This summer escape to your favorite beach destination with the Sea Class Collection by Finn & Company. Finn & Co is a luxury skin care line produced by a mother/daughter team based in Maine. The duo creates products for women who would rather care for their skin naturally, and avoid the risk of procedures to look youthful. The company’s aromatic Sea Class collection contains two fabulous fragrances: Black Sand and White Sand.
I absolutely adore the White Sand collection. The lightweight Body Cream ($48) melts onto skin and instantly hydrates it. It has a refreshing aromatic citrus undertone, and when used together with the fragrance spray ($36), the sweetly perfumed scent lasts all day long. I receive tons of compliments from strangers whenever I use the White Sand products.
Sugary-sweet isn’t your preference? Then try the products in the Black Sand collection. Black Sand has a soft musky scent, that’s very soothing. The Black Sand Body Cream ($48) feels a little bit richer than the White Sand, for those of you who prefer a little extra hydration.
The body creams for both fragrances are infused with exotic coco butter and apricot oil, so they walk a fine line between being body oil and lotion. This isn’t a bad thing. The oil base of the creams allows them to dissolve into skin for a surge of moisture; and, there are no worries of streaks and no need for vigorous rubbing to get the products absorbed. Best of all, they are great for all skin types. To learn more about Finn & Co click here»
Father’s Day is just a few short days away and, guess what? I still haven’t found anything to get my dad – a man who owns everything! And, I mean everything. For his birthday a few months ago, my sister and I pitched in to get him a Kindle Fire, so I’m not sure what present could possibility top that. Shopping for men is hard. For females, all we need is a gift card to a spa or favorite store, and we will all have smiles on our faces. But, men, they are tricky creatures. Anyway, here are a few fabulous options any day would love.
For his skin
Nowadays, men really are paying attention to their skin, and there’s nothing wrong with that! A good skin care regimen is something both men and women should have, because after all, the first thing a people notice about a person is their skin. Set your dad up for complexion perfection with Kiehl’s Sky Flyin’ Foaming Multi-Gel ($19), a foaming gel product enriched with bamboo, lemon and orange fruit extracts, that does double duty as an effective cleanser and shave gel in one.
For his job
Get dad an ultra-functional bag to easily transport his work necessities to and from home. This water-resistant Modern Waxed Canvas Messenger Bag by Brooklyn Industries is trendy, yet masculine. The bag features a padded laptop sleeve, flannel lined interior and three exterior pockets.
For his wrist
Give dad the gift of time, with a brand spanking new watch. If your dad is into bling, then he will love this Ecko Unlimited – The King Boxed Watch Set. The set comes with two link bracelets with crystal detailing to use with a stunning silver/black dial with 3-hand quartz movement.
For his feet
Give dad something soft and comfortable to slip his feet into after a long day at work. Acorn’s Men’s spa slippers contains memory foam that conforms to his feet for a super comfy feel. What I like the most about these slippers is that you have the option to personalize it with his initial.
Beauty brand Kiehl’s Since 1851, has skeletons in their closet. Well, okay, they don’t actually hide them in their closet, but skeletons are on display inside Kiehl’s thirteen New York metro area stores from June 2 through July 14th. The skeletons are a public art installation in celebration of the brand’s newest global program Meet Mr. Bones, a philanthropic partnership with celebrity influencers from all genres including Alicia Keys and Padma Lakshmi, who designed their own Mr. Bones for each store. For their participation in the project, $200,000 will be donated to organizations supporting Children, the Environment, and HIV/AIDS causes worldwide. At the end of 2012, each of the Mr. Bones created by their celebrity masterminds will be auctioned off to further benefit each charity.
Where did Mr. Bones come from? Mr. Bones, a life-sized teaching skeleton, became the brand’s mascot when founding family member, Aaron Morseduring, used an actual human skeleton to educate patients on various ailments and how Kiehl’s pharmaceutical remedies would help them. Now, Mr. Bones is a permanent member of the Kiehl’s family.
Get in on the action, by visiting a Kiehl’s store near you, where you will have the opportunity to instantly win prizes if you participate in a complimentary skin care consultation, 20-minute facial, or make a purchase. You can also tweet to win by tweeting your “check in” at Kiehl’s or photo of Mr. Bones from any retail store to @KiehlsNYC and include #MrBones and #KiehlsGives.
Prizes include Kiehl’s gift cards (valued from $25 to $500), full-size Kiehl’s products, T-shirts, and a dermatologist visit with Kiehl’s consulting dermatologist Dr. Adam Geyer. In a game of chance, guests will get to choose a Kiehl’s packette sample from a variety of choices. A total of 206 prizes will be given away – apparently that’s how many bones are in the human skeleton. Who knew?
If you can’t make it to NYC to meet Mr. Bones, you can head on over to Kiehl’s interactive Facebook page to design your own skeleton, while learning more about each celebrity partner and entering to win cool prizes. The skeleton you create can be saved to the Kiehl’s gallery and shared on your Facebook page – now that will make a cool profile photo.
On Thursday, June 6, 2012, I attend the Spring/Summer 2013 preview fashion show of emerging fashion designer Caitlin Kelly on the Rooftop Solariam of TF Cornerstone’s 2 Gold Street in Manhattan’s Financial District. Set against the iconic backdrop of NYC skyscrapers, the fashion show featured Kelly’s four high-end mini swimwear collections: Maritime, Saraswati, Morgandy and Naima.
Kelly’s Designer Swimwear line caters to everyone – women have chic convertible bikinis, monokinis, one-pieces, and cover-ups to choose from; and, there are a variety of sophisticated swim trunks for men. Solid colors dominated the runway, but were vivified with intricate designs of lace, grommet detailing and pops of vibrant colors. These stylish creations managed to transform the association of swimwear from simple beach attire to fashion statements. Kelly’s swimwear designs are the kinds of pieces you wear when you attend a fabulous pool party and want to look unbelievably sexy while showing off your high-style sensibility. And why wouldn’t you? Doesn’t everyone own a convertible lace bikini?
Water can’t even wait for the designer’s swimwear to make it to the poolside; raindrops staring falling from the sky immediately after the last look got to the end of the runway.
*All pictures (c) Delialicious Picks
It’s official, nude nails (aka foundation nails), are hot in 2012. Flesh-tone nails were prevalent on the runways of Fall 2012 Fashion Week, but made an even stronger appearance on the runways of Spring 2012. It’s a very easy-to-wear tread, often seen on Kate Middleton, but, as much as I am a fan of this chic nail trend, I have my hesitations. Why? Because the right way to wear this new craze is to choose a color that most resembles your natural skin tone, which, in turn, makes you look like you have plastic doll hands. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Barbie, but I’ve never been a fan of her nails. Something about her corpse-like missing fingernails has always tormented me to the point that I started stealing my mom’s red nail polish to give every doll I owned the manicure they desperately needed. So, the best way to upgrade this trend is to do what Barbie would do (if she had nails) – add some sparkle.
Here’s what I used to get the look:
Konad Image Plate M57
Konad Double Sided Stamp Set
Sephora by OPI Base Coat
Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Polish: Duchesse Lace*
Essie Nail polish in Licorice
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails, Clear
*This color has been discontinued. You can use OPI Did You ‘Ear About Van Gogh? as an alternative, or your favorite shade of nude nail polish.
Step 1: Begin by using a base coat to smooth out and protect nails.
Step 2: Apply 1-2 layers of nude nail polish and wait for nails to completely dry.
Step 3: With black nail polish, use the Konad Double Sided Stamp Set to imprint the basket weave design located on Konad’s Image Plate M57. The instructions on how to do this come with the kit and are very easy to follow. Basically, you put nail polish directly over the design, and use the scraper to rub of excess nail polish. Then, you roll the stamp over the design, and gently roll the stamp onto your nail. Trust me; it’s a lot easier than it sounds!
Step 4: After the black nail design dries, apply a top coat, which will also serve as your “glue” for the rhinestones. Quickly add the rhinestones individually on each nail.
Step 5: Finish with a coating of nail hardener for a long lasting manicure.
Nude nails are great because they go well with almost every outfit, and you don’t have to go see a professional manicurist if you want to update the look from bland to glam. All you need is a little bit of creativity and the right tools, and your nails will look amazing.