Entries from August 31st, 2012

August 31, 2012

fashionistas on a mission | kansas city, missouri

I have been counting down the days to this post.

Jess of Mimi & Chichi and I have been tirelessly working over the past month to organize our first community event.

Today, I am thrilled to announce “Fashionistas on a Mission,” a fashion, beauty and shopping event to support the women and kids of Rose Brooks Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

fashionistas on a mission kansas city event

Jess and I were chatting one day about all the local blogger events we attend. From private shopping parties to mini fashion shows, we love getting out and participating in our local community of bloggers, models, designers and fashion/beauty enthusiasts.

But it seemed like something was missing. Sure, we get to go to these fun outings, network with people and enjoy a nice evening out in KC. But what if we could do more?

We started playing with the idea of hosting an event, but it had to be something that went deeper than the latest fashion trends or the hottest makeup colors. Sure, we appreciate those things, but they’re just that: things.

We wanted to put together an outing to support the beautiful things in life — local fashion, local shopping and local people — while supporting the people who need to know just how beautiful they are, despite the circumstances.

And that’s what lead us to decide to host an event in support of Rose Brooks Center.

Rose Brooks empowers women and children to live a life free of violence. It teaches women that a life well-lived is made up of respect, love and compassion, and that everyone is deserving of these things.

Last year, I spent a day volunteering at Rose Brooks Center. I worked in Rosie’s Closet, the gently used clothing donation center, and mentored the kids who were at the center that day.

But it was just one day. And oh how I’ve been wanting to do more.

Will this one event change the entire course of humanity? No. But this one event brings the women and children of Rose Brooks Center that much closer to living a fearless life. I sincerely hope to see you there.

We are asking that everyone who attends please bring a $5 donation. Jess and I have committed to matching every monetary donation, up to $1000, in support of Rose Brooks Center. If you’re unable to bring a monetary donation, we hope you can bring an urgent-need item to donate to the center.

Be sure to check out the event page on Facebook to get regular updates, details and sneak peeks at the fun we shall have.

August 30, 2012

beauty scoop | just neem neem cure

A few weeks ago, my face exploded.

Because of stress, poor eating and the general timing of my cycle, my face erupted in more than seven breakouts.

A state of panic doesn’t help with calming the skin, so instead, I took to my beauty stash to do everything I could to treat the blemishes I’d acquired and prevent any new ones from forming during that hectic week.

As you all know, my go-to is tea tree and jojoba. I did several of these treatments over the course of two days, but also decided that my skin may want a shot of something different — something it wasn’t used to using — to combat my breakouts.

Enter neem oil.

Neem oil is similar to tea tree oil in that it’s a natural antiseptic and antifungal. It’s popular in India and especially in Ayurvedic medicine because of its healing properties, but one thing that most people can’t get over is it’s smell.

Straight up neem oil does not smell good. It smells like burnt peanuts and onions and garlic.

I have a small sample of neem soap, a neem and jojoba oil face serum and a neem, jojoba and essential blend. Of these three, only one of them, the last one, smells good.

just neem neem cure

{Just Neem sent me a sample of its Neem Cure oil, which retails for $8.50, to review. Photo Courtesy Just Neem}

Just Neem’s Neem Cure combines neem oil, jojoba oil and a mixture of smell-good essential oils to deliver a potent zit-zapping cure in a bottle minus the stank. I used this, in combination with the stinky neem soap, for four days straight to help calm my skin and shrink my pimples.

It worked.

Did it work better than tea tree and jojoba? I’m not totally sure. I think they were about the same.

But I do think that my skin reacted to this antifungal a lot quicker this time because it was something new (does your skin ever get “used to” products?).

All I did with the Just Neem Neem Cure is stick a cotton swab into the bottle and dab the liquid directly onto my breakouts.

Because Neem Cure is formulated with neem essential oil and jojoba oil, there’s no need to dilute — the diluting is done for you! It takes one step out of my beloved tea tree and jojoba oil process, and I don’t worry about overexposing my skin to a raw essential oil.

My only gripe about Just Neem Neem Cure is its lack of full ingredient disclosure on the packaging. I’m not sure what comprises the “essential oil blend,” which smells very good (floral!). The company website does list an ingredients glossary, but it’s not specific to each product.

Just Neem wouldn’t reveal the essential oil blend to me, and while this is perfectly legal and normal in the beauty industry, I appreciate companies that are transparent in their labeling (besides, if you use lots of essential oils, just list them — it’s the percentages and ratios that really matter!).

I think it would be helpful to update this for those of us with allergy concerns and general conscientiousness toward what we put on our bodies. What do you think?

Have you ever tried neem oil? What are your go-to acne busters? I think neem is going to have a permanent space in my vanity…but I’ll definitely have to mix in some smell-good oils with it!

August 29, 2012

outfit post | campus lace

The teacher man and I live just 45 minutes from our alma mater, but don’t get back to the college town too often now that we’re settled into our home outside of Kansas City.

However, one thing that keeps Lawrence, Kansas, at top of mind (besides basketball!) is our favorite little local restaurant. We follow its snarky updates on Facebook and, I have to tell you, they work at both cracking us up and enticing us to indulge our inner carnivores.

We made it out back to the old stomping grounds on Sunday for brunch and a little post-bacon, sausage and ham stroll through campus on a rainy-then-sunny afternoon.

@kimberlyloc burgundy lace top + black & white printed skirt

{Gold Sequin Hat//Charming Charlie; Burgundy Lace Top//H&M; Nude Tank//Old Navy; Gold Locket Necklace//Donna’s Dress Shop, Kansas City, Missouri; Black & White Printed Skirt//H&M (old); Sequined Oxfords//Von Maur. Photo by the Teacher Man}

@kimberlyloc burgundy lace top + black & white printed skirt

{The wind picked up a bit during our stroll, and while it felt good, it made my a-bit-too-big hat want to fly away! Photo by the Teacher Man}

I picked up this burgundy lace top at H&M on Saturday. I usually shun cropped tops, but I thought this piece would be fun to pair with a higher-waisted skirt or pants to avoid the bare-midriff look and pull together a more casual (loose fit!) lace top look.

And, it was perfect for leaving some wiggle room for my brunch. :)

@kimberlyloc burgundy lace top + black & white printed skirt

{Nail Polish//China Glaze, “Blue Year’s Eve.” Photo by the Teacher Man}

@kimberlyloc burgundy lace top + black & white printed skirt

{Leather Cutout Bracelet with Rhinestones//Francesca’s (similar); Braided Gold Bracelet//Saks Off Fifth, Kansas City, Kansas (similar); Rose Gold Rings//H&M; Interlocking Ring//Forever 21; Gold Wing Bracelet//Donna’s Dress Shop, Kansas City, Missouri; Nail Polish//China Glaze, “Blue Year’s Eve” (similar) Photo by the Teacher Man}

This look is my first attempt at transitioning from summer to fall. I’ve incorporated the big it color of the new season, but in a lightweight, sexy material that is easy breezy for these last few dog days of August. I’ll wear this top again with chocolate brown high-waisted pants, skirts and tights and even layer it over a tight, one-color sweater for added dimension.

How are you handling the summer-to-fall wardrobe transition? Tell me your style secrets in the comments section!

August 28, 2012

style spy | nate from kansas city, missouri

Today, I’m introducing a new post series that allows me to showcase more fashion from around the Kansas City community — and it includes guys, too!

“Style Spy” is devoted to the stylish Midwesterners I encounter every day, from work to play.

I’m excited to kick the series off with a fashionable coworker, Nate, who is a twenty-something, self-described “yupster.”

style spy nate in kansas city

So, OK, what the heck is a “yupster,” you ask?

As Nate puts it, it’s a combination of a hipster and a yuppie.

Yes, he wears fitted jeans.
No, he doesn’t look ironic.
Yes, he cleans up well.
No, he isn’t decked out in 80s-inspired duds.

A “yupster,” in my opinion, is a guy who takes on the preppy look without completely giving in to the J.Crew catalog.

style spy nate in kansas city

I think Nate does a good job of finding quality, American-made clothing and mixing in classic pieces (cardigans, button-downs) with trendier looks (thick glasses).

style spy nate in kansas city

Yes, Nate does need these glasses — they aren’t fake just to look cool. But, unfortunately, I have yet to find someone in my age range who is blinder than me!

style spy nate in kansas city

This will be a never-ending question when it comes to men’s coats and cardigans: Should you leave the top button or the bottom button open?

I always learned that it was the bottom button (I worked in a men’s department in college), but Nate is showing the undone top button here. I think it works both ways on lean body types. No bulges!

style spy nate in kansas city

I like the little pop of color from his button down that peeks out from his cardigan sleeves. Again, a classic look, but it feels fresh on a young professional.

style spy nate in kansas city

I like that Nate’s jeans fit him well, but are not skin-tight. It’s a classic, straight-leg look in a pair of quality jeans that hit the perfect spot on top of his shoes.

And can we take a peek at the shoes for a second? These aren’t offensive boat shoes (sorry, Sperry-lovers), yet have that same, casual cool vibe in a style that is a little more grown-up.

style spy nate in kansas city

Here’s how to get the look:

Shirt // Slim Fit, Banana Republic
Cardigan // Banana Republic
Shoes // Allen Edmonds
Jeans // Baldwin
Glasses // Seraphin
Hair // Chop Tops cut styled with Paul Mitchell Clean Cut Medium Hold

So, ladies and gents, what do you think of Nate’s classic style? I give it an A!

August 27, 2012

beauty scoop | burt’s bees lip shimmer

I love lippies. However, I’m more into glosses and washes than lipsticks.

This is mostly because I’m perpetually late in the morning and can’t devote the time and skill to perfecting a gorgeous, lined-and-filled lip.

For mornings when I just want to slick something on and go, but still look a little put-together, I’ve been using Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Plum.

This bold-for-me lip shimmer delivers a jolt of deep color to my naturally rosy lips, and it moisturizes with shea butter and tingles with a hint of peppermint.

burt's bees lip shimmer in plum @kimberlyloc

{This is a bit of a deeper color than my norm, but it’s so perfect for fall. Photo by the Teacher Man}

I picked up this lippie at Walgreens (it was on sale!) along with a few other random drugstore items. I have always been a fan of Burt’s Bees, though its acquisition by Clorox a few years back concerned me.

Because of this, I definitely proceed with caution when purchasing Burt’s Bee’s products. but for the most part, they seem to still carry on the traditional values set forth by the original owners.

burt's bees lip shimmer in plum @kimberlyloc

{Photo by the Teacher Man}

Also, I appreciate that all the ingredients are listed right there on the skinny little lippie’s packaging. Check it:

Castor seed oil, sunflower seed oil, beeswax, euphorbia cerifera wax, peppermint oil, lanolin, cocoa seed butter, copernicia cerifera wax, shea butter, strawberry seed oil, apricot kernel oil, black currant seed oil, rosemary leaf extract, elderberry seed oil, tocopherol, canola oil, soybean oil. +/-: mica, iron oxides, carmine, alumina, titanium dioxide

burt's bees lip shimmer in plum @kimberlyloc

{Photo by the Teacher Man}

It’s a pretty clean list (save for the carmine, which is animal-derived…from bugs…ew…and the lanolin, also animal-derived…from sheep sweat, essentially) for the low price of $5. Could it be better? Yes. But is it easily accessible in terms of both cost and national availability? Yes.

Guess we can pick our battles.

burt's bees lip shimmer in plum @kimberlyloc

{Photo by the Teacher Man}

I think Anya approved of the Burt’s Bee Lip Shimmer in Plum — do you? The only thing I don’t really like about this balm is that the color distribution is a bit uneven — because it’s a deeper color, it still takes a little perfecting, though it doesn’t require lipliner or a lip brush. Just make sure to apply it while looking in the mirror, as you can easily color outside the lines with this one!

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of the color or if you’ve tried other Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmers!

August 24, 2012

model makeup | kansas city fashion week kickoff at saks off fifth | kansas city, kansas

As the only beauty blogger in the group of fashion bloggers who styled it up at the Kansas City Fashion Week Kickoff Party at Saks Off Fifth last night, I completely geeked out over the gorgeous looks the talented Mieisha Chaney completed for our models.

Of course, I’m partial to my girl April’s glowing face.

I asked Mieisha for a smoky eye that incorporated the colors in her denim and accessories paired with a simple nude lip. I also wanted some bold eyebrows (Remember the Chanel runways back in February? It was all about eyebrows!) to help frame her face.

april kansas city fashion week makeup

I absolutely love the way her eye color plays on the colors in her headpiece — looks so fabulous against her skin!

Here are the other looks from the evening’s style and makeup session:

bright red lipsteal eyes

Erin’s model sported bright red lips to offset the menswear-feel of her outfit while staying true to the glam, classic look of the fur she wore.

Jess’ model rocked the Icelandic look with frosty teal eyes that truly popped.

oxblood lipsfresh face

Meggy’s model showed how fall’s hottest color trend, ox blood, commands attention while still looking polished and sleek.

Kristina’s model demos the fresh-faced, feminine look with bubble gum-pink, glossy lips and light blush that allows her perfect skin to glow from within.

What beauty looks do you love? Tell me in the comments section which one you’re going to try next!

August 24, 2012

model style | kansas city fashion week kickoff at saks off fifth | kansas city, kansas

Last night’s Kansas City Fashion Week kickoff event at Saks Off Fifth in Kansas City, Kansas, was beautiful chaos.

Models and bloggers arrived between 5 and 5:30, and us blogger gals took over the racks and employee break room to get our models ready to be styled- and prettied-up for the charity shopping event to support Wayside Waifs and the upcoming Kansas City Fashion Week.

I chose April, a tall, stunning beauty with no hair, legs that are miles long and size 11-12 feet to be my canvas for the evening.

april and @kimberlyloc kansas city fashion week kickoff at saks off fifth

{Got her into some clothes, but how should I make it truly a “kimberlyloc” look? Photo By Jess Afshar of Mimi & Chichi}

More Than “Just Fashion”

While I was itching to get her back into the makeup chair, I knew that her look would be dictated by the story I wanted to tell on her body — and also the story that I wanted to tell about her.

April and I chatted as we walked around Saks Off Fifth together, and she told me that she decided to get rid of her hair when a close friend/family member’s child got sick with cancer.

I could have died. What a display of inner beauty to complement her obvious outer beauty!

April also told me how she got into the Kansas City fashion scene; she was at a local club when another local fashion scene mover-and-shaker spotted her and invited her to come out for some of the local events.

A Newly Spotted Star Shines

Knowing all of this, I was inspired to create a tough, edgy, yet glamorous look for the nightclub-hopper-turned-model. Here’s my urban, downtown vision for April:

april kansas city fashion week saks off fifth styled by @kimberlyloc

At first I was ready to put her into snakeskin-print skinnies, but when I saw this Fendi top, I knew this was the piece to build the look around. Soft, dark leather is perfect for fall (and Fendi never goes out of style). The playful ruffle in the front softens the badass leather look without making the piece extremely girly. Perfect for a cool, autumn evening out dancing!

april kansas city fashion week styled by @kimberlyloc

April slid into these low-rise, eggplant-colored Paige denim jeans so easily — and the girl tells me she never wears low-rise OR skinnies! Sigh. If I had that body…I’d be living in these!

I rarely ever wear belts around my hips, but I wanted something blingy to break up the outfit and draw the eye to April’s trim physique. I snatched this braided Michael Kors belt to pick up the same metallic shine from her headpiece and eyeshadow.

april kansas city fashion week saks off fifth head scarf and jewelry styled by @kimberlyloc

Can we talk about this headpiece for a second? W-O-W. Girlfriend pulls it off like nothin’ but a bird sittin’ on her head, what what. I adored the simple, shiny headband but knew I wanted to jazz it up with a statement headpiece — you can’t make a bigger statement than peacock on the cranium! And with a head jewel like that, there’s no need for earrings.

april kansas city fashion week saks off fifth styled by @kimberlyloc

However, in true kimberlyloc fashion, I had to load her up with a couple of bangles (aka jingle-jangles, as the teacher man calls them). I snuck my snakeskin print in here (another huge trend for fall —reptile!) without taking too much attention away from the darling leather top. I just like the extra pop of color it offers on her skin as well as a dimensional effect for her long, lean arms.

april kansas city fashion week saks off fifth styled by @kimberlyloc

Everyone knows when you’re out at the club you need a simple clutch — no big purses allowed! I loved this Badgley Mischka bag’s oversized tassels and the soft eggshell color. Talk about an easy-to-wear-year-round piece.

And of course, I can never leave the house without at least ONE big ring, so for her outfit, I chose a moonlight-colored one to contrast with her mocha skin.

april kansas city fashion week saks off fifth boots styled by @kimberlyloc

When April arrived to the store, she was rockin’ sky-high heels. I knew I needed to give the girl’s tootsies a break. While it was a challenge to find larger shoes, I was able to get these size 11 Lucky brand short boots in a gorgeous shade of aubergine onto her feet. I love that the shades of the jeans and the boots are giving this sort of ombre effect down the line of her long, long legs.

april kansas city fashion week saks off fifth leather fendi top styled by @kimberlyloc

Aww, back to the Fendi shirt. I love it so much. The fit is slim and sexy, and while she’s so covered up in this outfit, you can play with the sex appeal a bit in the back…

april kansas city fashion week saks off fifth unzipped leather fendi top styled by @kimberlyloc

…kinda like this. She walked around the store like this through the end of the night (gotta let her cool off!), but I could see this look at the nightclub or, if it were zipped up on top and let loose on bottom for maybe 1-2 inches, a sweet little flyaway effect to show off the belt or even a fun brooch on the back beltloop.

Be sure to check out more pictures from the event on my Facebook page!

Also, be on the lookout for more styles from other participating bloggers, including Mimi & Chichi, Chasing Davies, Simply Bold and Pretty, Polished, Perfect.

August 23, 2012

kansas city fashion week kickoff at saks off fifth | kansas city, kansas

Though fall beauty trends have been at the top of my mind, tonight I’m switching into fashion mode as I prep for the Kansas City Fashion Week Kickoff Party at Saks Off Fifth at the Legends in Kansas City, Kansas.

KCFW Saks Off Fifth Kickoff Party

I’m excited to style my very own model tonight (as will my girl Jess of Mimi & Chichi; Kristina of Simply Bold; Erin of Pretty, Polished Perfect; and Meg of Chasing Davies) in some chic yet oh-so-affordable threads and jewels from Saks Off Fifth.

The last time I was there for a fun blogger meetup, I scored this, this, and these, and hopefully tonight, I’ll find some more treasures amongst the beautiful models, bloggers, photographers and shoppers roaming about.


{There’s sure to be a gaggle of beautiful bloggers tonight. Come shop with us!)

Also, guys, you should join too — there will be whiskey…the best whiskey ever…Kansas Clean Distilled Whiskey!

Everyone’s invited — hope to see you there! If you make it, be sure to say hi…or at least tweet me so I know to come say hi to YOU! :)

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