Entries from February 28th, 2012

February 28, 2012

natural beauty buff | cecilia wong, cecilia wong skincare

One of the best parts of my freelance beauty editing gig is testing new, niche products that hit the market. One of my favorite new lines is Cecilia Wong Skincare, a holistic collection with a small but mighty lineup of good-for-you products.

Created by Hong Kong-born, New York/New Jersey-raised skincare expert Cecilia Wong, this line reflects Cecilia’s belief in a clean beauty regimen that harnesses the power of organic ingredients. You won’t find parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals or artificial colors in her pared-down line of superb products. What you will find are organic herbs, oils, seeds and botanical blends that smooth, brighten and firm the skin, leaving you glowing.

cecilia wong skincare natural beauty buff

{Cecilia Wong offers signature facials at her skincare salon across from Madison Square Park in New York City. Photo Courtesy Cecilia Wong}

Cecilia and I connected so I could find out a little more about what she uses to achieve a radiant appearance. Here’s a peek at what she keeps in the travel kit inside her Gucci Sukey purse as well as in her bathroom vanity area. (The items I’ve starred indicate items I also use and love as well.)

cecilia wong skincare travel kit

{Cecilia keeps the essentials in her travel bag inside her purse: Jurlique hand cream; L'Occitane lip gloss; her own black currant serum; and her own toner mist. Photo Courtesy Cecilia Wong}

Inside Cecilia’s Purse

*Cecilia Wong Skincare Rejuvenating Toner Mist

“My Rejuvenating Toner Mist hydrates and cleanses my skin throughout the day. I have acne-prone skin and since the toner was designed with probiotics, it kills all bacteria on the skin. I carry it in my handbag and also have one in my bathroom.”

*Cecilia Wong Skincare Reviving Black Currant Serum

“My Black Currant Serum is supremely hydrating, has anti-aging properties and is chock-full of antioxidants. I carry a travel size in my handbag that I use for my cuticles. I have one in the shower, which I use for my body and hair, and of course, one in my bathroom which I use on my face.”

L’Occitane Pivoine Flora Lip Shine Brun Lip Gloss

“I love the subtle scent of this lip gloss. It’s hydrating and creamy, and doesn’t taste like chemicals. Also, the color is just beautiful!”

Jurlique Rose Hand Cream

“I wash and sanitize my hands a lot, so they get very dry. I make sure to moisturize after washing my hands — every single time. And this hand cream is perfect. It’s super hydrating, not sticky and has an amazing subtle scent. I carry this is in my handbag and keep one next to the sinks in my kitchen and bathroom.”

Inside Cecilia’s Bathroom

Jo Malone Wild Bluebell

“The subtle, clean floral scent is amazing. I carry a sample in my handbag and keep one in my bathroom.”

Korres Wild Rose Compact Powder

“Light and natural, this face powder never looks cakey! I love that it has anti-aging properties!”

Tarte multiplEYE lash enhancing liquid eyeliner

“It doesn’t smudge! The color is vibrant and I know it’s full of good-for-me properties.”

February 27, 2012

beauty scoop | jing ai organic & natural cosmetics masquerade concealer

I started using Jing Ai’s Masquerade Concealer in November 2011 and have not once reached for my toxic tube of former concealer for better coverage or easier application.

jing ai masquerade concealer

{I received a sample of Jing Ai Masquerade Concealer in Vanilla Cream and Indian Princess. I've been wearing Vanilla Cream and will probably transition to Indian Princess this summer. Photo Courtesy Jing Ai}

Jing Ai natural concealer has certified organic coconut oil, cocoa seed butter, wild rose flower oil and Champagne grape oil as well as beeswax and shea butter.

This means that in addition to providing amazing coverage (I think it’s better than Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage), it is treating my skin with beneficial oils and butters to soften the delicate undereye area and blemish spots.

I like to apply it with my ring finger by lightly dabbing it on to the dark circles under my eyes and directly onto problem areas. I start small, working up the layers of coverage depending on how little sleep I got the night before, until my skin appears flawless, never cakey. I dust a bit of loose powder to set the concealer and look well-rested and ready to go!

My only gripe about Jing Ai’s Masquerade Concealer is that currently, it’s only available in two shades, Vanilla Cream and Indian Princess. However, because Jing Ai founder Donna Cristino is showcasing her line at an exclusive Henri Bendel trunk show this week before jetting off to the CEW Beauty Awards, I imagine she will need to expand her line and color options very soon — I predict Jing Ai is going to be the buzz in natural cosmetics this year!

A pot of Jing Ai Masquerade Concealer costs $25 — comparable to popular luxury brands’ prices without the parabens, petrochemicals and nasty preservatives. If you’re going to splurge on a good concealer, why not spend your money on ingredients that actually do something great for your skin? I’ll take roses and grapes over chemicals and coal derivatives any day.

What concealer do you use? Do you like trying new products when it comes to important staples such as concealer, foundation and mascara? Tell me what you know in the comments section.

February 26, 2012

outfit post | fashion frontline

Yesterday Jess and I experienced Kansas City Fashion Week from the frontlines — both at the event and outside of the event.

Watching from row two (behind these two adorable fashionistas), we oohed and ahhed at some daring designs (check out my Kansas City Fashion Week post), but before we took our seats, we had our own shoot with Fox 4 News and, of course, Jess’s photog-husband, P.

Check out my Facebook page for fun outfit outtakes and girlie pics — we got a little silly this round.

kimberlyloc kansas city fashion week outfit{Jacket//The Limited (similar); Floral Tube Top//Forever 21 (similar); Teal Jeans//New York and Company (similar); Leather Peep-Toe Booties//Vince Camuto via Dillard’s. Photo By P}


Though it’s a bit colder, the lack of strong winds and appearance of clear skies and sun was enough to make me justify getting into a bright spring ensemble for the spring/summer 2012 Kansas City Fashion Week show.

I loved pulling together my two favorite colors, red and teal, without looking like a tropical holiday tree. The white floral top brought it all together and the camel-colored, soft leather booties grounded the look with warmth.

kimberlyloc fashion frontline

{Raw Stone Ring//Masons Boutique, Fayetteville, Arkansas}

kimberlyloc fashion frontline

{Crystal Waters Nail Polish//SpaRitual}

What warm-weather pieces are you teasing Old Man Winter with these last few weeks before the official onset of spring? What trends are you incorporating into your wardrobe? Tell me what you like in the comments section.

February 25, 2012

kansas city fashion week spring 2012 favorites | kansas city, missouri

Bursts of color, texture, pattern and pizzazz filled the ballroom at Harrah’s in North Kansas City during Kansas City Fashion Week.

My favorite designs to come down the catwalk displayed edge, risk and unique points of view.

Some were tamer than others, but with clean lines, flattering shapes and timeless appeal. I can’t wait to see more to come from the creative minds behind the pieces below — and I can’t wait to introduce a few of these items to my wardrobe.

BMDesigns Kansas City Fashion Week

{I loved this look from BMDesigns. This is something any woman can easily incorporate into her closet. Photo By Jess Afshar}

Influenced by her time studying fashion abroad, designer Brittany Davidson of BMDesigns creates sophisticated women’s wear that is appropriate for ladies in their 20s to late 30s. This outfit caught my eye because of the volume on top and the sleek, sexy silhouette on bottom.

haus designs by sierra moses kansas city fashion week

{I’ve been incorporating more purple and fuscia into my wardrobe, so when this sexy, classy dress from Haus Designs came down the runway, I immediately perked up.}

haus designs by sierra moses kansas city fashion week

{We’re going to keep seeing colors inspired by the sea going into spring and summer 2012. I loved the high waist and sunny yellow in this outfit from Haus Designs. Photo By Jess Afshar}

Pieces from Haus Designs by Sierra Moses command attention from the moment the model hits the runway. Created by Sierra Moses, Haus Designs’ aesthetic is rooted in power, strength, femininity and fit. I appreciated the bold colors, flashes of skin where appropriate and delicate tailoring to the curves of a woman’s body.

kalyn valliere kansas city fashion week

{Inspired by the silhouettes of the 50s, this one-piece swimsuit by Kalyn Valliere brings a bit of glamour to the surf and sand. Photo By Jess Afshar}

kalyn valliere kansas city fashion week

{I couldn’t take my eyes off this goddess as she floated down the runway in a cotton-mix cover-up and high-waisted swim bottoms. Photo By Jess Afshar}

Drawn to the spa and resort lifestyle, young designer Kalyn Valliere plays up women’s best assets with her flattering and sexy swimsuits. Valliere, who just arrived back in Kansas City from New York Fashion Week, featured looks that show off the buffest of bodies as well as more conservative but just as sexy suits that any woman could wear.

sushe by j. tracey kansas city fashion week

{Printed pants and tangerine, the color of the year, turned heads thanks to this combination from Nebraska designer SuShe by J. Tracey. Photo By Jess Afshar}

If you want to integrate color and patterns into your wardrobe, SuShe by J. Tracey can show you how. The Nebraska designer took risks with jaw-dropping hues, outrageous prints, vintage-inspired sequins and sizzling stripes. She knew how to have fun with fashion, and if you want to step out of the neutral zone, try taking something that SuShe showed and updating your wardrobe.

bridedoll by caroline williard

{For someone who loves symmetry and balance, this dress from Bridedoll by Caroline Williard caught me off guard — in a good way. Photo By Jess Afshar}

A pop of precious metals never hurt anyone. Bridedoll by Kansas City native Caroline Williard showed a low-cut white dress with a surprising gold sleeve that you couldn’t help fawning over. I’d take this motif into makeup and accessories — how fun would it be to complete this look with two different-colored shoes and a bit of eyeshadow artwork on just one eye?

kms couture presents american trash kansas city fashion week

{Made of recycled and repurposed materials, this bright dress from American Trash was the star of the show. Photo By Jess Afshar}

Appealing to the greenie in me, KMS Couture Presents American Trash was easily my favorite clothing collection from Kansas City Fashion Week. While most of the pieces weren’t necessarily items I’d be able to pull off in my typical workweek, I appreciated the thought leadership in design around what eco-friendly fashion can really accomplish. Designer Katherine Swanson dismisses the idea that green fashion means wearing beige, green and more beige — with the superstar dress above serving as the conversation starter about what it means to reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink.

house of cochon jewelry kansas city fashion week

{Accessories hold a dear spot in my heart. Jewels from House of Cochon was the highlight of my Saturday.}

kimberlyloc and house of cochon jewelry kansas city fashion week

{This was one of my favorite pieces from the House of Cochon collection. Love the feathers and jewels. Photo By Jess Afshar}

My accessories table overfloweth with jewels and sparkly things. When I saw the House of Cochon collection, I was blown away by the Jackson Pollock-inspired line by self-taught designer Courtney Perry. She blended feathers with stones and springs to create a free-moving, free-thinking collection that takes center stage when combined with a basic outfit. I can’t wait to add a piece from this collection to my own personal bling box.

What were your favorite looks from Kansas City Fashion Week? (Be sure to check out some additional photos on my Facebook page, the Kansas City Fashion Week Facebook page and on Mimi & Chichi’s blog.) Are you more inspired to discover what local talent is brewing in your own area? Tell me what you’re craving for spring in the comments section.

February 24, 2012

kansas city fashion week | kansas city, missouri

Though most fashionistas are coming off of the highs of New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week, here in the Midwest, a tight-knit fashion community is coming together this weekend to celebrate Kansas City Fashion Week.

kansas city fashion week

{Can’t wait to see all the gorgeous designs and models come down the runway. Photo Courtesy Kansas City Star}

Tonight, Jess of Mimi & Chichi and I will view collections from 22 local designers as they send more than 200 models down the runway at Harrah’s North Kansas City Casino ballroom. We’re excited to see what Kansas City has to offer and share our experience with you via our blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Here’s who we’ll be style-stalking tonight:

Featured Sponsor Boutique

Watercolors High Fashion

Emerging Designer


Featured Designers

Haus Designs by Sierra Moses

Oblivion Clothing



Evil Pawn Jewelry

February 22, 2012

holland: opi spring 2012 nail polish

When I think of Holland, coloring-book images of vivid tulips, windmill-dotted hillsides and wooden shoes come to mind.

When I look at OPI’s spring 2012 nail polish collection, the mix of sophisticated neutrals and saturated brights paint the images in my mind.

opi holland spring 2012 polish collection

{Top row, from left to right: Gouda Gouda Two Shoes, Wooden Shoe Like to Know, I Don’t Give a Rotterdam, A Roll in The Hague, Pedal Faster Suzi, Dutch 'Ya Just Love OPI. Second row, left to right: Thanks a WindMillion, Red Lights Ahead…Where?, Kiss Me On My Tulips, Vampsterdam, I Have a Herring Problem, Did You 'ear About Van Gogh? Photo Courtesy OPI}

“Holland has a very unique, vibrant beauty to match its open-minded nature,” says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI’s executive vice president and artistic director. “Spring is the season of color, and the Holland Collection provides an array of pink, coral and orange hues that capture this energy. The bright lacquers are married with neutrals in new variations like red clay and sea green.”

I’ve swatched all of the shades from this collection and have sported two full OPI Holland mani/pedis so far. My picks to date? “A Roll in The Hague,” a frisky little orange, on my toenails, and “Red Lights Ahead…Where?,” a coral-red, on my fingernails a few weeks ago.

I did my own mani/pedi, and what I love most about these polishes are 1) the color payoff is amazing — so vibrant!; 2) the “ProWide” brush makes polish application a snap — no streaking!; and 3) OPI nail polishes do not contain DBP, toluene or formaldehyde.

The drawbacks? Well, with such vibrant colors, sometimes your nails stain. I’ve been polish-free on my fingernails for a few days now since removing “Red Lights Ahead…Where?” and am just now seeing a return to a normal, non-red-tinted nail bed.

So, do you need every polish in the Holland collection? Maybe. Maybe not. In addition to the two I’ve already worn, my other personal favorites from the collection include “Kiss Me on My Tulips,” a sassy hot pink; “Thanks a WindMillion,” a breezy sea green; and “Wooden Shoe Like to Know?,” a shimmery chocolate-brown.

Which ones do you like? Are you willing to throw down $8.50 a pop for some dreamy Dutch polish? Tell me your faves in the comments section.

February 21, 2012

natural beauty buff | spirit demerson, spirit beauty lounge

I have a pretty big girl crush on Spirit Demerson. She’s the brains and beauty behind online natural product retailer Spirit Beauty Lounge, and I’ve been privileged to work with her and her team for the past five years in both my past career and my current freelance gig.

spirit demerson spirit beauty lounge

{Isn't she gorgeous? Photo Courtesy Spirit Demerson}

Everything Spirit curates for her site has to pass a vigorous test, and it makes me feel eco-confident about shopping on her site. I don’t have to worry too much about anything I put in my shopping basket because I know Spirit’s standards meet my own for natural and organic beauty products.

Even though I can peruse Spirit’s site anytime of the day, it’s only every once in a while when you can actually peek inside someone’s purse and see all the beauty loot. I asked Spirit to snap some pics so I could share with you just what this natural beauty expert keeps in her purse, dopp kit and apartment. The items I’ve starred indicate items I also use and love as well. Enjoy!

beauty products inside spirit demerson's purse

{Spirit's purse is way cleaner than mine, but stuffed with just as many beauty products! Photo Courtesy Spirit Demerson}

Inside Spirit’s Purse

*Widu Wooden Bristle Brush Travel Modern

“Beautifully designed, great for your hair and scalp, sweatshop-free and entirely FSC-certified wood!

Baby Baggu Reusable Shopping Bag Magenta

“Always BYOB!

Apt 5 Go Green Facial Tissue Pocket Pack

“I stock up on these at Duane Reade and stuff them in every coat pocket and purse.

*Apple iPad 

“I get maybe 20-30 different magazines and rags every month that I can now read on my iPad! SO much less paper!”

Kjaer Weis Lip Tint Compact in Goddess

“The most beautiful cherry color — if I need to go from day to evening in a flash, all I need is this.”

*Ilia Pure Lip Care in Arabian Nights

“I can apply this 20 times a day and still my lips will never feel dry like they can with other lipsticks and tinted lip balms!


RMS Beauty Lip & Skin Balm

“I use this for anything from lips to hair to nails.”

Amala Hydrating Hand Cream

“The unfortunate washing-of-hands-with-public-restroom-soap never fails to leave my hands dry. This is the best non-greasy hand soother.”

Priti Crystal Glass Nail File 

“I’ve always had fragile nails. I love that this doesn’t rip them to shreds — I can even use it while they’re painted.”

Vive Sana Solar To Polar Ultra

“Sunscreen is totally non-negotiable for me. I simply won’t go without it. This is the highest natural/organic SPF you can get without looking like a geisha.”

*Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence 

“I use this as a cleanser, toner, moisturizer or anytime-refresher as needed!”

Raaka Chocolate

“Pretty little delicious organic virgin chocolate. For two reasons: 1. Personal chocolate emergencies. 2. I discovered these make great little gifts on the fly — for a hostess you didn’t expect to visit or an especially charming server. It’s nice to always have a small gift you can give.”

Tata Harper Aromatic Irritability Treatment

“I often wear this as a perfume, but I really do whip it out whenever I get stuck in a long line or am getting frazzled, and it works! There’s no way to be crabby when you’re smelling something this good.”

spirit demerson spirit beauty lounge dopp kit

{When Spirit's on the go, she stashes these essentials in her Hammocks & High Tea dopp kit. Photo Courtesy Spirit Demerson}

Inside Spirit’s Dopp Kit

“I actually often think of travel as a time to take a break from my normal beauty routine. I usually only bring my essentials, which is probably less than a quarter of what I use every day at home.”

Acure Organics Travel Size Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Hair Care Duo

“My hair isn’t very cooperative when I don’t have all my tools and products and shower filter. I have to at least bring my own shampoo and conditioner or I’ll be a mess.”

Vive Sana Solar To Polar Ultra


*Kahina Giving Beauty Cleanser and Argan Oil 

“A gentle cleanser and a little argan oil go a long way. I use the facial cleanser as a non-drying body cleanser, too.


Aromatherapy Personals Jet Lag Relief

“Thank goodness for this! I use it every day when I go back to Cali (from New York) to keep me normal.”

*Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence 

“Always great for travel.


Soapwalla Kitchen Deodorant Cream

“I simply don’t find that anything else works for me as well as this does. I love it and wont go anywhere without it.”

*Pukka Teas

“I’ll have one on the plane or steep them overnight in plain water. It’s such a comfort.”

Hydrea London FSC-Certified Rubber Grip Bath & Massage Brush

“The one beauty regimen I always try to keep while traveling is daily dry brushing. It’s even more important while traveling as the lymph and circulation can become so congested.”

spirit demerson spirit beauty lounge at home

{This is the next best thing to snooping through Spirit's New York bathroom. Photo Courtesy Spirit Demerson}

Inside Spirit’s Apartment

I collect rare and vintage fragrances. You might be surprised how much they resemble the beautiful organic fragrances we carry today, from Honore des Pres, Tsi-La Organics and A Perfume Organic.

I love my Crystal Quest shower filter! I actually had to go a day without it recently while I was waiting on a replacement, and my skin shriveled up and my hair frizzed like I haven’t seen it for so long. I was itchy all day. The thing really does improve the water.

For my daily skin care I use Tata Harper’s entire line with the Intelligent Nutrients Plant Stem Cell Science booster.

I keep the Lotus Wei Infinite Love Trio on my nightstand. Every bedroom needs infinite love, right?!

February 20, 2012

outfit post | walk on water

It was a particularly chilly day (don’t let the sunlight fool you) when I got together with Jess and P to shoot this outfit post. I couldn’t help but laugh at the silly geese walking around on the frozen pond near the much-warmer apartment.

I’m sure those geese were laughing at me for attempting to soak up the sun in a striped dress and lace leggings in the middle of February in Kansas City.

kimberlyloc outfit post{Scarf//The Limited (similar); Cardigan//Gap; Belt//Gap; Striped Dress//Target (similar); Lace Leggings//Forever 21 (similar). Photo By P}

I’ve worn an iteration of this outfit to work before, sans cardigan, during warmer temperatures. Because we’ve been having an odd winter in KC, it hasn’t been completely foolish to wear something like this…indoors. I like the mix of patterns, textures and colors that keep this outfit interesting.

kimberlyloc missoni for target shoes{Heels//Missoni for Target. Photo By P}

I love bringing texture down to the toes. These Missoni for Target heels (remember that madness?) don’t disappoint!

kimberlyloc outfit post snake earrings{Snake Earrings//Adorned Boutique, Lawrence, Kansas; Eyeliner//Chanel Intense Eye Pencil in Noir; Blush//Josie Maran Cream Blush in Sunrise; Lip Color//J.R. Watkins Scarlet Sunset Lip Tint. Photo By P}

I wanted to toughen up my soft makeup look and girly cardi/scarf with an unexpected sliver of snake on my ears. I got these earrings at Adorned Boutique in Lawrence, a favorite of mine and Caro’s.

How do you play with patterns, texture and color? Have you been having a tough time dressing for winter, or has it been mild for you? Tell me some of your winter style secrets in the comments section!

Don’t forget to check out the outfit outtakes in the “style” and “girlies” photo albums on the kimberlyloc.com Facebook page!

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