Friday, January 13, 2017

2017 Wedding and Event Trends

Although I am not getting married in 2017, I still find wedding trends fascinating. Why? Because they are usually the event trends as well, and darn right I am interested in those. I love pulling a new color scheme or entertainment idea from the bridal scene and adapting it for the private party stage.

I absolutely love throwing a party that my guests will remember. My husband and I host multiple events throughout the year, each with a particular theme, signature beverage and decor. I have sent invites on boxes of candy and mini bottles of wine, created edible necklaces and snackable shot glasses for guests, and had goodie bags that made attendees feel as if they just stepped off the red carpet.

I recently had the privilege of attending BrideStyle17, a Live LookBook Trend Party at the so-chic-it-hurts DL Loft in Lincoln Park. DL Loft is owned by Debi Lilly of A Perfect Event, who was named one of the top Wedding Planners by Martha Stewart. THIS woman knows what it takes to host a memorable moment, and she is one of the most genuinely pleasant and kind people I have ever met.

White Pillar Glow

Upon entering DL Loft, the staircase is often lined with glowing hurricanes or lanterns that house simple white pillar candles. Many underestimate the power of lighting- as long as children are not present, I try to include candles in my decor. They are much less expensive than other decor and add a special glow.

Oversize Balloons

Although many shy away from balloons unless they are hosting a child's birthday party, Debi dotted massive ones strategically throughout the party space. She used clear line to anchor them, then wound greenery around the line. The vertical greenery added to the English Garden feeling of the party, and the balloons added a touch of whimsy set against the dramatic crystal chandeliers.

English Garden Theme

Yes, flowers for spring. I know, florals are in style every spring, it is just a matter of the size, color, and presentation. The theme at DL Loft was reminiscent of an English Garden- massive blooms in blush, cream, white and pink arranged with winding greenery and draped ivy. Flower garland graced a vintage mirror on the wall, and the windowsill was laced with branches full of ivy green leaves. Flat, round vases were filled with leaves and lilies paired with roses and greenery spilling over the edges, then accented by vintage candles in varying heights and patterns.

Pretty in Pink Plates

One of the first things that I noticed when I walked up to the food presentations was the perfectly pink china pattern and blush plates. Mixing and matching patterns is such a huge fashion trend, and it can carry over into events seamlessly. The Festive Frog is a tableware and barware rental company...but this description does not do them justice. They collect large quantities of single patterns as well as those that play well together. Since they couldn't find enough vintage inventory for larger parties, they have started creating their own patterns. Debi is the master of mixing and matching patterns, so it is only natural that she brought in The Festive Frog team of Kendell and Jane to provide unique tableware designs.

Mediterranean en Masse 

I am thrilled that the days of heavy dinners at events are coming to pass. Olive Mediterranean Grill presented a gorgeous spread of every imaginable Mediterranean spice and scent. From giant bowls of Basmanti rice to succulent chicken kabobs artfully poking into a pineapple, this was the freshest food I have ever experienced at an event. Warm falafel, creamy hummus, and giant, ripe olives dotted the table as well alongside freshly baked pita bread. This allowed people to graze and snack as opposed to filling up on heavier dishes. They have locations in Evanston, Lincoln Park, River North and the Loop.

Romantic Braids

Bridal hair no longer means masses of romantic ringlets. Kate Johnson Artistry Bridal Team was on hand to show all of the braid styles that have conquered the scene. From half crowns to center dutch braids, they easily transformed my fallen curls into something stunning.

Edible Floral Decadent Desserts

When I asked Toni of Toni Patisserie what the 2017 dessert trend was leaning toward, she commented that edible buttercream flowers were back in. After years of more architectural and geometric designs on cakes, updated florals (meaning- more than just roses) are dominating the confectionery landscape. I also spied a chalkboard design on one of her cakes- genius! Toni also added lighter-than-air macrons, mini hand pies, and flower-adorned cupcakes and cookies. Her original location is in Hinsdale, and also has a Chicago cafe.

Overall, 2017 is heading toward romance, blush, statement florals, and lighter fare...and I can't wait to see what the spring and summer brings! Thank you to Debi Lilly for including me in this gorgeous, yes perfect, event.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

How to Apply Mascara to Look More Awake

As a mom of two preschoolers who are constantly playing musical beds in the middle of the night, I am tired. And I know I look it. This is why I employ beauty techniques such as ingeniously applying mascara to make me look more awake even if I am about to drop face down into my afternoon macchiato.

I put together a short video on how to apply mascara to make you look more awake- something I am sure we could all use. Whether you are in your 20s, partying until all hours of the night at Hangge Uppe (oh the days!) or a mom on rotation with sick kids all night, this method works to brighten your eyes and lift those tired lids!

Step 1

Prep your eyes with Visine. Yes, sounds ridiculously easy, but having bright white as a contrast to your eye color (instead of bloodshot) will go a long way to making you look awake. And if it reminds you of your wake and bake days, be it.

Step 2

Grab that eyelash curler. Nudge it right to the tips of your eyelashes and pump it open and closed a dozen times. If you clamp it down and wait it will create a crease instead of a curve (thanks Stephen Dimmick of Daily Dimmick for this tip!). Repeat mid-lash and at the very root of your lashes.

Step 3

Grab a volumizing mascara like the new Maybelline Colossal Big Shot that I received to review recently. This mascara delivers a heft dose of volume in just one coat, or maximum volume with a few coats. This is my new go-to everyday mascara- it doesn't flake, clump, and stays on all day.

Step 4

Take the wand out and wipe the goop off the end. Place the wand parallel to your lash line at the roots and wiggle back and forth. Gently blink your lashes to apply. Repeat for all lashes. For a doe-eyed look, direct lashes out toward your cheekbones. For a more awake look, direct lashes in towards your nose.

Step 5

Hold the wand so it looks like you are going to poke yourself in the eye. "Paint" any lashes you missed, like the ones on the very edges.

Voila! Instant awake! Thank you to Influnster and Maybelline for sending the complimentary sample of their new mascara. Cheers to looking more awake and surviving on the minimum number of hours of consecutive sleep humanly possible!

Friday, December 30, 2016

New Years Eve Accessories and Up Dos

Yesterday I posted my New Years Eve outfit from OMONI BOUTIQUE, but the post was waaaay too long to talk about accessories as well. Today- you get the little details that pull the look together!

As for the bag, I love the unique shape of this one from Ella Louvi. The chain is adjustable so you can even transform it into a cross body if you are on the move. This one holds a TON of goodies- from my iPhone to my mini eye shadow palette from Stowaway to a mini bottle of vodka...just kidding. Kind of.

Style Tip: If you are going to be dancing, don't bring a clutch. A sleek crossbody is the way to go...just make sure it isn't a clutch with a chintzy chain. *Shudder*

Since the outfit is already a showstopper, I opted for basic (but not boring) large oval Nouveau Earrings from Park Lane Jewelry; shop with Julyn...she is the queen of bling! With a high neck and a low back, no necklace is needed. 

Style Tip: Don't add a long necklace when wearing a high necked shirt. You will look like a priest with a rosary. Not the look you were probably going for, eh?

The nail polish is a rose gold from Trust Fund Beauty called Champagne Socialite. I didn't want to go solid gold- totally too matchy-matchy with my outfit so I went for a slight rose gold hue. This is my favorite posh polish brand not only because of the clever names ($12 Latte and Resting Bitch Face are my front runners), but this stuff actually lasts. They are more of a shimmer than a glitter for an updated party polish that looks more society queen than tween. 

  Style Tip: If you go full on glitter on your nails, make sure you are truly covering your whole nail. This recent breakthrough on how to apply glitter polish rocked the beauty world in 2016. Mind blown.

As for the ring, I wanted something bold because the rest of my jewelry was fairly tame. A cocktail ring has Look-at-Me, I'm-a-Rebel origins. During Prohibition, a carefully crafted cocktail was a status symbol. Women donned big baubles on their fingers in order to draw attention to the fact that they were rocking a Gin Rickey. A cocktail ring begs to be taken out on NYE, so why not buy one you love and make it a tradition?

Mine is from Bombay Taxi Boutique, an amazing online and pop up store full of affordable luxury pieces brought stateside from India. These pieces are incredibly unique, all named after Bollywood actresses to showcase the showstopping nature. One of my BFFs Shibani Faehnle founded Bombay Taxi in 2015 borne from a love of jewelry and Indian culture. Stay tuned for an interview with her in 2017!

As for the hair style, I wanted something EASY that I could do myself that was off my neck to showcase the back of the halter. Something that didn't involve heat-related tools or crazy intricate braids that I would have to try 20 times to make look halfway decent. I Pinterst'ed this style and was thrilled with how it turned out.

I don't make it a habit of using images from other bloggers on my site, but I could NOT find the original post for this up do and I SO wanted you to see how it was done! The Beauty Department, please let me know if I can link this up! I searched the whole site and could only find this image via Pinterest. I used Living Proof Full Body Volume Blast to achieve texture at my roots (MIRACLE worker for thin hair), clear elastics to separate, and blonde bobby pins to secure. SO EASY.

Skip the salon, pour a glass of bubbly and do this at home!

Cheers to a fabulous 2017!