The Ponytail Trend of 2012–From Messy to Sleek With Pravana Hair Care

Thought ponytails were long-gone and departed?  Only for toddlers and yoga class?  Not precisely.  Create something ordinary with those lustrous locks of yours.

Keep it simple, timely, and classy with this effortless updo.  Yes ladies, the ponytail trend is back…or continues to remain admired.  The high ponytail isn’t only being rocked on the runway this season.  It seems to harmonize well with a tasteful Valentino evening dress and pair of patent leather Louboutins.

Ponytail No.1 Seeking sleek? Achieve this smooth look with Pravana’s Relax Straightening cream.  First, straighten the entire head of hair with this cream to get that smooth finish you desire.  Then, finish off the sleek elegant ponytail by applying Pravana’s Finish Rock Hard Mist to scalp portion the head, followed by a comb-through.   This graceful and chic pony will have heads turning…literally, in yearning for a similar look.

Ponytail No. 2 Not into tight, sleek updos?  Prefer something more casual, maybe even messy?  Then my suggestion is to sport a low ponytail for a more relaxed, informal look.  Don’t stop here, create that natural, beach-hair look by applying Pravana’s Curves Curl Enhancer.  Define your natural wavy or curly hair while adding a light bounce with this particular product.

Want these looks to last?  Sustain your do with Pravana’s Super Shape Hair Spray, applying to wherever you desire no follicle movement.  I recommend spraying closer to the roots for Pony No. 1 and closer to your ends for Pony No. 2 in order to keep your roots and all hair prior to the tie, looking soft and loose against the frame of your face.  This long-lasting, lightweight spray assist in keeping either that lady of luxury…or lady of leisure look you crave.

What do you think about ponytails?  Would you or do you wear them?  Which style of pony do you prefer?

Posted by Briana McGee

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Asia’s Retail Trends: Korea Craves Luxury Brands

Costs are high and purchases are sought after elsewhere.

In attempt to keep the Korean market profitable, a budding number of consumers are making their luxury brand purchases elsewhere…the European markets.   It has been noted that in Paris there is almost a 1 million won (when converted is approximately $1,000) difference in the price of a particular consumer’s Chanel bag sold in Paris and those sold in Seoul.

However, the majority of luxury brands, aside from just Korea and other Asian countries, have also maintained a price increase of particular retail products. This is due to the elevated cost of material foreign exchange rates.

For clarity and illustration, Chanel of France has increased prices by well over 20 percent this past year.  As for further illustration, the infamous 2.55 quilted Channel bag we all have seen and salivated over sells for 6.07 million won ($6,700) in Korea, while correspondingly in the US and France is price sits at 4.85 million won and 4.71 million won.

Where do we spend our money? Studies have revealed that Luxury brand handbags accounted for 6.2 billion won…This being the uppermost increase.  Then, followed by watches with 1.7 billion won and alcohol with 500 million won.

An increasing number of tourists would like to enjoy the immunity of tax exemption.  Wouldn’t we all? Yet countless travelers attempt to evade paying taxes, resulting numerous dishonest tricks, which are then exchanged online.

It is not uncommon for individuals to pull some shenanigans with a friend or partner by switching their purchased items to make it more difficult for customs officials to track down the initial buyer.

From Paris to Seoul…with cheaper prices accounting to lesser amount of taxes, purchasing your desired luxury brand abroad seems to be the trend for Asia, Korea more specifically.

What do you think of making these luxury brand purchases abroad?  Is it a smart decision?  What do you think of the trickery attempted by consumers when dealing with customs? 

Posted by Briana McGee

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Fashion Trend for Winter 2012: Leather

It’s not just admired among handbags, boots, and belts anymore.  Yep, leather skirts, pants, dresses, and of course jackets are a reappearing trend as well…And not just among the Harley crowd.

Luxury Brand Ellie Tahari has quite an array of leather this season.  My personal favorite is the black butterfly-style leatherEmma Jacket, currently marked at half its original ticket at $499.  Its ruched, bold shoulders tie in nicely with the similar pattern draping its front zippers.  With this decadent leather detailing, you won’t need many accessories, if any, to make a statement with this jacket.

If you want something really daring this season to make bold declaration, check out this extraordinary catalogue leather favorite, the Everette Skirt, designed by Ellie Tahari as well. Also marked at half it’s original ticket price, now just shy of $500, pair this piece with a fashionable blouse and perhaps more leather.  My personal preference would be leather knee-high boots or perhaps the leather jacket referenced prior.

Is black leather too audacious for you?  Want to try something a little more elegant and delicate to keep up with the winter trend this year?  Try designer Tahari’s leather Georgia Skirt.  With an affordable price point of $399, this classy piece emanates a vintage feel.  If you consider yourself a classic beauty, this may be the piece for you!

Keep it distinctive and daring this season…take a gander at Ellie Tahri’s striking leather collection this winter!

Are you a fan of leather?  Is it too making too much a statement for your wardrobe?  Or is it nice classy and fabulous touch to 2012’s winter wardrobe?

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Get Your Groceries Delivered to Your Doorstep! And Shop From Your Mobile Phone With AmazonFresh!

Along with keeping up with the resolutions of the new year, not only comes staying physically fit through exercise, but by way of healthy eating as well.  Not to say that either of these practices are obligatory, yet combing both actions is the most efficient way to a healthier and better looking body.

What’s cookin’ in your kitchen?  Don’t have time to grocery shop?  Check out AmazonFresh.  Many of us have ordered books, movies, electronics, household resources, etc. from Amazon. (www.amazon.com) However, AmazonFresh is pioneering a new grocery trend.  Order your groceries online from your home computer or even on-the-go with your AmazonFresh mobile application!

Avoid the hassle of crowds and long lines at the grocery store, and search through an assortment of household products, health/hygiene products, groceries, etc.  Now combine your Amazon shopping cart with your AmazonFresh cart and get everything you need, all at the click of a button!

AmazonFresh offers fresh fruits and vegetables and about 15,000 nonperishable choices of groceries as well.  And how can you beat a free delivery offer??

Each customer has the delivery option of either the Pre-Dawn Delivery Process or (which is before 6 a.m.) or sometime throughout the day at Doorstep Delivery option.  Specific zip codes do apply for the mentioned services.

What do you think of the AmazonFresh Service? Would you rather go to a store and grocery shop the traditional way, or do you prefer this technologically innovative option? 

Posted by Briana McGee

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Enlarge Your Assets: Broaden Your Fitness Equity

It’s a New Year and it’s time to start saving and building equity…in our bodies.  Fitness and physical health is parallel to building credit.  The more time and effort we invest at the gym or staying active in any which way, is in essence comparable to the money and efforts we invest into our savings, NASDAQ, etc.  The more invested, results in more value, greater credit and more equity; in other words, the more invested equals greater physical and mental health as well.  Neither of these assets come about without action.  Each individual must start somewhere, and sometime…why wait?

So you’re not into pumping iron at the gym or running endless miles on the treadmill…Check out the various nature of classes that majority of gyms have to offer.  Case in point…

  1. Boot Camp Classes offer a blend of circuit training exercises and aerobic activities, essentially giving you two workouts in one.  With constant cardio and an elevated heart rate, these concentrated classes will have you looking and feeling your best in no time.  Among these full-body workout classes, expect to burn 400-600 calories, using boxing drills, free weights, jump ropes, etc.  Now how’s that for an entertaining workout?
  2. Cycling Classes are better suited for those who are searching for something a bit more motionless, and less bouncing all over the place.  Don’t let this fool you regarding the level of intensity and exertion put in.  Pedal your little heart out; all the while burning an immense amount of calories, lowering your total cholesterol, decreasing stress, reducing the risk of certain diseases, and improving overall heart and lung health.
  3. Water Exercise Classes aren’t the most prominent of classes offered at gyms.  In my eyes it’s almost like a hidden treasure that has not yet been discovered.  Thus, I have deliberately saved the best for last.  Have you ever caught yourself checking out a swimmer’s body and saying to yourself, “gee, I wish I looked like that!”  Evidently, swimming has proven to be one of the most superlative of workouts, as far as toning your body, reducing body fat, improving flexibility, and building strength.

Leave your boredom behind when attempting to build that fitness credit line this year.  Each of these three types of classes will keep you absorbed and motivated.

Do you agree with the idea of fitness being comparable to credit and equity?  What are your thoughts? Do you have a favorite type of class or workout you prefer to keep amused?

Posted by Briana McGee

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Top 3 Luxury Spas in NYC

Want to escape?  Want to take a long vacation away from the rambunctious children and pestering adults at work?  Maybe it’s not just an escape or a vacation you yearn…maybe you just want peace in the place you call home.  With a restless city like New York, what more could you need than a grandeur spa to absent yourself from the pandemonium and unwind for a few hours.

Turn off your cell phone, flee all your responsibilities and enjoy the most luxurious spa of the Upper West Side, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental.  If ‘expenditure’ isn’t in your vocabulary, by choice…then The Spa at Mandarin Oriental is the spa for you.  With it’s astounding views, being ranked the most costly and exclusive spa in NYC, is no revelation.  Located adjacent to Fifth Avenue shops and Broadway theatres, this Asian-inspired sanctuary has over 250 rooms, each offering an enticing aura, along with the choice of overlooking Central Park.

Want to head east?  Head to Exhale Upper East Side Spa.  Known for their power facials, Exhale on the Upper East Side is notorious for their idiosyncratic approach to exercise.  This spa creates more of a physical atmosphere, from stretches to yoga…to Pilates and core conditioning.  Aside from the power facial, which includes:  exfoliation, light therapy, an exclusive Japanese enzyme treatment, and a particular Kahina Argan oil, which guests allege leaves a lasting glow; Exhale is for those seeking active rejuvenation.   And believe me, I am a firm believer in the phrase, “to each their own!”  Whichever style spa, best suits you, is the right choice!

Enter Midtown Manhattan…The Peninsula Spa by ESPA appeared on the beauty scene for the first time in the 80s under an alternate name, The Peninsula New York, as ‘the first high-profile urban hotel spa’ in New York City.  Salvaged in January of 2009, The Peninsula Spa by ESPA tenders an aromatherapy steam shower and whirlpool bath, yet is most infamous for its Deep Tissue Experience, or therapeutic massage.  This tri-level retreat will leave you feeling nothing but tranquil, serene and composed.

Feeling a little stiff?  Maybe like your missing that glow to your skin?  Check out some of New York’s top luxury spas!

What’s your favorite spa New York has to offer?  What’s your favorite treatment? 

Posted by Briana McGee

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Footwear Trend for 2012: Suede Textiles

Is it patent leather? Is it sequins? Nope, this year it’s suede.  And no, I’m not talking about a handbag or a tutu…and definitely not living room furniture.  The footwear trend is ever so changing just as every other trend in the world.  As for 2012, suede pumps seem to be ‘kicking’ every other shoe style in the butt, no pun intended.

I’m a sucker for exceptionally tall heels and wrap-around ankle straps.  That’s why I love these multi-colored, suede Yves Saint Laurent Colorblock Sling Pumps.  With this conceptual chunking of colors, these platform pumps, priced at $995, are best paired with a solid colored ensemble.

Not into crazy colors or 6” heels?  Take a peep at these Diane von Furstenberg ‘Elsa’ Heeled Sandals, moderately priced at $375.  This suede footwear possesses an ultra-modern heel, adding a slight sexiness to a casual luxury outfit or black slacks.

Keep your feet warm and looking grand with these MICHAEL by Michael Kors ‘Berkley Open Toe’ Pumps.  Although a sling-back style shoe, the toe faintly resembles that of a bootie style almost, with a bit of a ‘peep,’ or opening.  With the neutral camel color chosen and the affordable price tag of $159, these Michael’s are a season must-have.

Do you have a favorite style of suede pumps this season? If not suede, what’s your preferred textile?  

Posted by Briana McGee

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Jewelry Trends of 2012 Pantone’s Hottest Color for Spring: Tangerine Tango

Pantone’s Hottest Color for Spring: Tangerine Tango

The rays of the sun are soon to shine.   The bronze tones are soon to appear on the skin.  And most importantly, the fabulous colors of the year, and more specifically of the season, are soon to come for play when accessorizing out wardrobe for spring of 2012.  Tangerine Tango has been selected as Pantone’s hottest color for spring of 2012.  When viewing the color pallet on pantone.com, it is not your archetypal tangy orange color you’d imagine, I would go as far as categorizing it closer to a coral color tone.

This spring, pair Aurelie Bidermann’s Enamal Choker Necklace, priced at $3,365, with a simple, white classic day dress.  Head to the beach or pick up your shopper.  You can’t go wrong with this vibrant color.  This unique piece is modestly deeper toned than Pantone’s more muted ‘Tangerine Tango,’ yet still lies in the shade’s vicinity and spring’s prevailing style.

Another adored piece I marvel at is this very natural looking Jasper Necklace, at a more affordable price point of $395.  The stone motif also resembles that of the coral motif in the previous jewelry piece, emanating that outdoor, beach feel.  These patterns and color combinations are the hottest jewelry trends we will see ubiquitously in spring of 2012!

To conclude my favorite tangerine tango toned items for spring, I found this atypical Marc by Marc Jacobs Star-Sliced Bangle.  Paired with a more edgy ensemble, maybe a black sweater dress, tights, and a pair of black leather boots, this piece price is quite easy on the pocket at $48.

Just as the sun continues to shine each spring, so do the warm tones in our wardrobes and accessories.

Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry in your closet exhibiting this Tangy Tangerine Tone?  Or do you have a substitute spring favorite color for 2012? 

Posted by Briana McGee

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Baseball Wives: The Newest Addition to the Housewives Hype

VH1 has welcomed a new addition to the Housewives family.  The first season of Baseball Wives aired for the first time on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 9PM ET/PT on VH1.  The wives and ex-wives of former, professional baseball players have all come to town, Scottsdale Arizona, home of the baseball world’s spring training.  With such glamorous, carefree lifestyles, contradicted with heaps of heated drama, these wives have everyone sitting at the edge of their seat!

This sassy six, envied by all, even their supposed closest circle of friends come together to form a dynamic team of their own for their debut of their new show.

Meet the Cast:

Cynical and foul-mouthed, Anna-Benson, wife of retired pitcher KrisBenson is also a mother of four.  The former FHM model’s brutal opinions and honest persona undeniably bring a zest to the show!

Erika Monroe Williams, prim and proper news anchor, and wife of former All-Star 3B Matt Williams, Erika has been deemed as the ‘stepford wife’ of the show. Stepmother of three, and one of her own, Williams still seems to keep it sane for the sitcom.

Life experienced, Chantel Kendall, recent ex-wife of Kansas City catcher, Jason Kendall, has seen it all, and is no shielded stepford wife when it comes to this home plate.  Her struggle with drugs and poverty and previous life have only led her to become the kind-hearted devoted mother she is today.

Tanya Grace, ex-wife of retired 1B Mark Grace, brings the flirtatiousness to show, along with per party-girl guise.  Fun-spirited and light-hearted Tanya is a lover of golf, and a lover of love, in search a male partner to share the swing with.

Supermodel and bronzed beauty Brooke Villone, wife of relief pitcher Ron Villone keeps grounded despite her self-made success.  Don’t worry viewers, Brooke likes to have a good time like we all do and lets loose this season for some wild entertainment.

Jordana Lenz, ex-girlfriend of Milwaukee outfielder Nyjer Morgan, concludes this sassy six-pack of ‘wives.’  Although teased for being ‘just a girlfriend’ in the show, Jordana reminds us that each of these wives were once ‘just girlfriends as well.’  It’s a tough crowd, not only for the men in the baseball world, but for the women standing by their side.

See what’s on the next base for these ladies as the season heats up!  Check your local listings or visist www.vh1.com for showtimes.

Is the ‘housewives hype’ getting old?  Or is it a guilty pleasure and we secretly love to indulge in?

Posted by Briana McGee

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Military Manifestation Remains Fashionable

This Year’s Must-Have Style Jacket for Winter: Double-Breasted & Mandarin-Collared Pea Coat

What’s popping this New Year?  Well, I’m no club connoisseur, nor am I champagne expert, but I can tell you what 2012’s must have jacket for winter is, and what’s popped–is the collar.  Okay ‘popped’ may be stretching the vernacular a tad too far…but a turndown collar is just one of the trend details for this year’s must-have winter coat.  The military manifestation has survived the runway.  Typically, trendy wardrobe items are short-lived, yet this isn’t the case for the good ol’ dusty pea coat you’ve had hanging in your closet for the past decade.  Take a look, and make sure it’s ready to keep up with all the rage of paparazzi fashion snapshots of your favorite celebs in Elle or Vogue.  Is it double breasted?  Or does it have a modern Mandarin collar?  Maybe both?  If you said yes to at least one of the aforementioned questions, then you are ready to hit the streets with no shame.

One will never encounter a wardrobe malfunction with an all-purpose, chic coat such as this Burberry London poplin double-breasted long trench.   Lined with a polyester-cotton combo and what could be considered a modern mandarin, turndown collar, this trench-style pea coat is appropriately priced at $1,195.

Another stylish pea coat taken back to the naval roots, replicating uniform similar to that of a sergeant, is this Elie Tahari Jackie Double Breasted Asymmetric Neckline.  With a more affordable price, just a few bones short of $400 on sale, pair this abstract, yet mellow-toned wool coat with a pair of black jeggings and knee-high flat boots to head out the door and your set!

Black to basics.  You can never seem to go wrong with the color black to cover your basic wardrobe pieces.  And what’s preferred more basic than price?  With a price point just shy, of $200, this Kenneth Cole Reaction Coat, Stand Collar Classic Wool Blend Trench  is without qualm, a season must-have.

Headed to the office…or maybe that trepid interview…or perhaps off to a day filled wtih errands and a nerve-racking lunch date? Throw on your standard military-style pea coat with its double-layered breast and modern, mandarin collar…Trust me, you can’t go awry at any juncture when these nautical details are abided by, alrighty Captain!?

What’s your favorite luxury brand of military-based winter coats? What do you like to pair your favorite naval pea coat with? Do you have a preferred alternate style of coat for this winter?  

Posted by Briana McGee

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