Tag Archives: MomStyle

Special Event Makeup, #MomStyle!

Thanks to Walgreens for underwriting this post. I was paid as a member of the Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all mine. Visit http://www.discoverbeautywithin.com/.

Back in the day – before kids – I had the luxury of spending hours getting ready for special events with my friends. We’d all gather at someone’s house or a hotel room, and do our hair and makeup together, consult on attire and jewelry, drink Champagne… basically starting the party mid-day!

Now that I’m a working mom, I don’t often have that much time before a big night out. I’m either getting ready before the babysitter comes (aka, with kids hanging off me), or rushing home to get ready after dropping the kids off with my folks. Or like this past weekend, I had exactly 45 minutes between getting home from work and when the school auction started.

Here’s how I get fabulous special event makeup when I don’t have much time:

1. Start the day with a fairly neutral base. This makes it easier to add on some drama right before the event. I’m not one to go the whole day without makeup {shudder}, so keeping it neutral gives me some polish during the day, but I’m not competing with the “base” when getting ready for going out.

Emerald green on the lids and crease, with a more olivey-green added in the crease for depth. Oh, and wrinkles.

2. Play with color! I love all the advertisements for bright, colorful smokey eyes, but since I’m old not in my early 20s, I’ve never felt like that was an appropriate look for me in everyday life. But an evening out is a perfect time to play with color, and it’s high-impact! Especially with only about 5 minutes to take my look from daytime to evening, a couple swipes of bright color go a long way!

3. Stock up in advance on some fun, inexpensive eyeshadows in fun colors. I buy the crazy colors at the drug store because they are so well-priced! I can be more adventurous in choosing colors when I’m not spending an arm and a leg for each one.

Smokin' eyes! I pulled the eyeliner and shadow pretty far out beyond my actual eye to make it more dramatic for evening and pictures. A couple extra swipes of mascara finished off the look.

4. Go darker than you think you should. Most of us aren’t photographed often in our everyday lives, but at special events, everyone has their cameras out. I make everything just a little bit darker than I think I should, and it pays off in the photos. I pay particular attention to my eyes, as I think they are my best feature.

Me at the auction with my beautiful friend (and one of my running buddies!) Annie.

5. At the end of the night, absolutely positively remove all your makeup. I know people who never remove their makeup before going to bed. Do you WANT to lose your eyelashes? It’s more important than ever to remove it all when you have dark colors on unless you want to wake up looking like a raccoon with ruined pillowcases! I use Neutrogena oil-free eye makeup remover, which works really quickly and efficiently.

Here are a few silly pics of us (my running buddies and good friends, Annie & Mary)  in the photo booth…


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The One Where I Embarrassed Myself On “Casual Friday”

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It was 1995, and I was working at a PR firm. Our new client, Starbucks, had flown me and my colleague up to Seattle to participate in an extensive brainstorming workshop and “coffee school.” I was so excited, and thrilled to be included. Starbucks had regional PR firms all over the country, and about 12 of us reps were at this workshop. What an honor, right? Day three was a Friday, and our “handler” had assured us that “Casual Friday” would be in effect.

Let me remind you about fashion for a 26 year old in 1995. Friends had been on the air for a good year, and had practically become a way of life.

So yeah. I wore overalls to casual Friday at my big client. With the hotshot PR folks from New York, Chicago and Atlanta. Granted, I had a cute neck scarf – no plain t-shirt for me. But oh, the horror. Everyone was – of course! – in khakis and capris. One gal actually said to me, “Wow! You really took ‘casual’ Friday seriously!” My only consolation – which I tried to OWN, DAMNIT – was that I was the youngest person there by a few years and should be granted some fashion leeway. But my goodness, I didn’t wear denim again for years. I’m still mortified when I think about it.

I swore to err on the side of overdressed rather than underdressed from then on. And I don’t think I ever wore those overalls again! Today, even Levi’s is marketing a cute new set of overalls, but I can’t bring my self to go there. Maybe I’m just too old or too scarred to participate in that trend again.

I’m comfortable wearing denim now, but I tend style my jeans on the dressier side, even when running errands with the kids on the weekends.

My ideal jeans weekend style, whether I’m going to a movie with the kids, grocery shopping, or hosting a playdate: Dark-wash jeans, highish heels, anything other than a t-shirt, and a cashmere sweater wrap. My favorite jeans are mid-rise, straight leg with a dark wash. They are very flattering, I can wear them with anything, and I keep the hem long so I can wear them with heels. Yes, heels on the weekend. That’s what keeps my jeans from being too casual! I always aim for a pop of color, too. I’m loving tangerine lately, although I tend to choose green a LOT. Here’s my typical weekend uniform:

Style my jeans: weekends

Do you ever worry about jeans being too casual? Am I the only weirdo who is afraid of being underdressed again? I want to see how you style your jeans, and/or your best mortifying story of being inappropriately dressed!!


I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


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#Strut, The Fashionable Moms Show

For the first time, one of the fashion shows at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City focused on style for moms. Real moms, some of them professional models but most of them bloggers, walked the runway in various styles, from maternity to casual dresses to cocktail attire.

I was very excited about this, not only because I’ve met some of the bloggers involved (and they are VERY fashionable), but because I’m a firm believer in “MomStyle,” that effortlessly stylish place that exists between yoga pants and work attire.

But to be perfectly honest, I didn’t think the fashions chosen were particularly inspired based just on the video. The moms all looked great, but I thought the “collection” lacked a theme or a vision, you know – like “that effortlessly stylish place that exists between yoga pants and office attire.”

But then I saw some of the stills from the show, and everything looked amazing! Interesting separates, great accessories. So I’m not sure why the video only seems to show the last little bit of the show. I want to see more! Maybe next year I’ll get to attend the actual event. There’s an idea!

I love the concept of this show. I hope there is more attention given towards easy, chic fashion that works in a busy mom’s life. It’s a start, right?

Here is the show. Tell me what you think! Strut, The Fashionable Moms Show

And here are a few of my favorite looks from the stills, thanks to Vera Sweeney from Lady & The Blog for posting the pics:

Nothing like some bright pants to make an outfit pop!

The striped jacket makes the green-on-blue possible, and I love the possibilities of this outfit. Well played, Vera!


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Pajama dressing? I can get in to this.


I’m always looking through the runway shows to see what trends can be interpreted for my life. Sometimes I can just pull some things out of storage, or buy one or two inexpensive pieces to update my wardrobe and keep me in style. One trend that popped up several times in the Spring ready to wear shows was loose, flowy fashions otherwise known as “pajama dressing,” according to Rachel Zoe’s team.

Now… I am not about to go out and buy some pajama jeans. Seriously, I’m not. But loose, elegant clothes that look chic? Sounds like perfection to me! I’m always in search of what I call #MomStyle: effortless fashion that resides somewhere between sneakers and high heels. Between yoga and the workplace. It’s casual yet chic, effortless yet pulled together. You with me?

So “Pajama Dressing” seems like it might work for me – the key would be to keeping it looking neat and not sloppy. Here are a few looks from the runways:

Doo.Ri – Spring 2012 Ready to Wear

I like the simplicity and the silhouette of that black jumper. So chic and easy, and it’s casual without actually looking like pajamas.

ADAM • Spring 2012 ready-to-wear

I am a complete sucker for polka dots!

ADAM • Spring 2012 ready-to-wear

OK, I think that floral number looks a little too much like actual pajamas. Complete with the nightmare of an exposed breast. Go back to sleep!

So… How to translate this trend into real #MomStyle life? I don’t currently have any palazzo pants – who knew that was coming back? But I do have a pair of purple silk pants that I picked up at a Naked Lady Party.

My purple silk pants look nothing like this. I promise.

I’ll play around in the closet and let you know what I come up with for my actual purple pants. In the meantime, here are some other pajama fashions I found around the web:

I'd style this with a silk blazer with the sleeves rolled up, and some long necklaces. For a more casual look like going to the farmers market, maybe just a big scarf wrapped around the neck and a fun hat.

Rory Beca Women’s Drawstring Waist Jumpsuit in Black

I really. really. love these pants! To balance all the crazy drapey pockets, I'd wear this with a simple, close-fitting silk t-shirt or tank, and keep the shoes low and simple as well. Love!

DKNY Women’s Silk Khaki Cropped Cargo Gaucho Pants with Sash

What do you think? Can you imagine working a little pajama-esque style into your spring wardrobe?

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Amenity Shoes: Perfect #MomStyle?

My early morning runs often take me my Amenity Shoes on NE 41st just off Fremont in Portland, Oregon. My girlfriends and I often stop to gawk at the shoes and boots in the windows, but I’ve never actually gone in the store. Between work and kids and everything, I just don’t get out shopping very much! Plus I’m frugal as all get out, so that doesn’t help.

But today I saw such adorable shoes that are just what I’ve been looking for, so I just have to go check them out! For years, I’ve been looking for “in between” shoes. Shoes to wear to the farmers’ market, to the library with the kiddles, on weekends, on a casual date night… More stylish than sneakers or sandals, not as fussy as work shoes. I call this limbo place “MomStyle,” and I apply it to all areas of fashion and beauty. But clothes and beauty products haven’t been as hard for me to nail down that limbo area as shoes have been. I have yet to find my perfect MomStyle shoes.

Until today! I think Amenity Shoes has stocked a slew of perfection just waiting for me and all the other stylish moms in Portland.

I took a few pictures from the window so you can see what caught my eye from the sidewalk!

These red shoes caught my eye from the sidewalk. I need every pair in this window, I'm telling you!

I love that these shoes are fun and interesting, have a bit of a heel, but nothing precarious. Perfect MomStyle! I would wear any of these with neutrals, jeans, a dress & tights, even to work.  I’m in love!

These will all be fabulous when the rain stops... You have got to love a wedge for carrying you all over town being super mom!

I’m making a strong effort to actually go inside the store soon. I’ll report back on what I find!

Yours in {mom}style,


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#MomStyle Essential: Sale Sweaters at @Loft

“MomStyle” is my definition of the easy, breezy fashionable place that resides somewhere between yoga pants and professional/work wear.

As a mom, I often have only a few minutes in the morning to get dressed. But as a woman, I want to be stylish and fashionable. So I look for clothes that aren’t just clothes, and use accessories to take it up a notch. My innate frugality keeps me shopping at second hand stores, Naked Lady parties, and the occasional Nordstrom Rack splurge.

One retail shop I’m always keeping an eye on is Loft. Their clothes fit me well, and are fairly timeless. And often on sale! I just saw a big sale on sweaters (use code: SPRINGSALE for add’l savings beyond the clearance sweaters) and wanted to share. A pretty sweater is great for layering, and can transform “pants and a t-shirt” to a put together “outfit.”

As Anna told me one day when I expressed that I needed to put on clothes, “Mama, you don’t need clothes. You need fashion!” I couldn’t agree more!

I love the look of this "Cozy Cable V-neck Sweater (now only $14.98) over a ruffle-front buttoned up shirt. But what's up with the crotch of those pants? Does that look weird, or is it just me?


Removable faux-fur collar cardigan (now $19.88) How cute over jeans or leggings?


Pleated Grosgrain Trim Cardigan (now $14.88) I love the pretty detail on this, and since "pretty" and feminine are official trends of Spring 2012, what better way to add a great layering piece while staying on trend?

Yours in style,


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MomStyle Accessory: the big scarf!

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I found this one for sale online, only about $12 and claims to be "Pashmina & silk." Who knows what it really is, but it's a good price!

Good accessorizing can take an outfit’s statement about you from, “I put on clothes.” to “I am intentional about my appearance!”

My winter go-to is a “Pashmina” shawl. I have many colors and different weights, and I wear one nearly every day. It’s such a versatile and functional styling piece that I can hardly walk out the door without one.

Pashmina comes from the Persian word “pashm” which means, “wool.” Pashmina is not actually an internationally recognized fiber, it is a marketing term used to describe different products. Sometimes it is cheaper standard wool treated with resins to make it softer. Sometimes it’s not even wool, but acrylic! Always check labels, as anything with actual wool in it will be labeled as such. Cashmere is the fine wool produced by goats in cold cold high altitudes, and that term is regulated – like Champagne!

I choose a wide shawl instead of a narrow scarf because I can do so much more with it. Since I often use it as a scarf, however, I sometimes refer to it as such. Just know, for the sake of this post, I mean shawl!
I typically start the day with one wrapped around my neck a few times, like a typical scarf. My office gets fairly cold (maintenance is still trying to figure out why the air conditioning comes on at 11 a.m. regardless of the temperature), so the Pashmina gets unwrapped and used as an actual shawl or blanket while I’m at my desk. Our main conference room is always super warm, so off comes the scarf. So versatile!

affiliate linkThey are not just functional, though. I like adding a pop of color, and sometimes I feel like I need something long and drapey to finish an outfit. Or hide behind. You know what I’m talking about! As I mentioned earlier, accessorizing can make all the difference in an outfit.

Here’s my styling tip: Instead of letting the ends hang straight, which kind of cuts across the body, make the scarf longer and hang the edges diagonally. Here’s how:

Here's a typical scarf tie, with the edges hanging straight across. It's fine, really!

1. Hang it from your neck without wrapping it around, so the ends hand pretty evenly in front of you.

2. With each hand, grab the opposite long edge.

3. Pull!

Now your scarf is longer, it’s hanging on the bias so it looks a bit fuller, and the edges are hanging at diagonal angles instead of straight across your body. I think it looks better this way, and you can now wrap, twist or tie it however you like.

See how much longer it gets? I think it's prettier and more flattering!

PURCHASING TIP: Some shawls that have not a hair of actual Cashmere wool in them are marketed as “Pashmina” when they are really viscose. Anything with actual wool in it has to be labeled as such, so look for indications of “70% Cashmere/30% silk” as opposed to, “100% pashmina” which could in fact be anything. For the price, I’m willing to buy and wear other wool blended with silk and marketed as Pashmina, but I really prefer not to wear the completely artificial ones. They pill up easily, and are often treated with weird chemicals to make them softer.

CLEANING TIP: Cashmere can be washed! Put each piece in a mesh bag and wash it in the washing machine on the gentle cycle, with only cold water. Use baby shampoo instead of detergent. Pull them out of the washer immediately so they don’t sit there on each other, and then dry flat. Voila!

TRAVEL TIP: When flying, the shawl can be rolled up as a neck pillow, or serves as a much-nicer-than-airplane-issue blanket.  Or both – just bring multiples!


Filed under Fashion, Travel