If you’re the type of woman who enjoys getting her nails done or doing them herself to match mood and season, then you will love these 12 Holiday nail designs curated just for your to consider before you get your next set or design or paint your nails yourself again.
This Year, athleisure and loungewear will be big but there are other options to Lululemon
It’s official. With rising cases of the novel coronavirus, a lot of us will not be going anywhere this Winter to stay safe. In fact, everyone may be holed up at home.
The new normal for the season
As a consequence of the ongoing pandemic, a lot of restaurants, entertainment and other activities have been canceled, postponed or suspended. This shift will leave little opportunity for people to dress up. Alternatively, this opens up a market for the leisure wear industry.
Therefore, people will be trading in their club wear for sweats. If you’re considering getting clothing for a significant other, sister, teacher, nanny or sitter, friend or any other woman on your holiday shopping list this year, I’ve got the run down on the top brands in this sector of the fashion industry.
Lululemon isn’t the only game in town
Arguably, Lululemon is the most well known brand of athleisure, yoga and lounge wear but it is quite costly. It has a problematic history but still remains the go-to source.
But there are other options. Here are 9
ADAY adopts a ‘less-is-more’ approach and a design ethos based on seasonless pieces and sustainability to offer everyday, athleisure-inspired clothes that are both performance-driven and stylish.
Every ADAY piece of clothing features novel technical material properties (sweat-wicking, quick-drying, UV- and chlorine-protected and wrinkle-free).
Ivy Park offers high-fashion meets high-tech performance wear by Beyonce. The collection of activewear is effortlessly cool and includes everything from sports bras to leggings, crop and oversized sweatshirts, bodysuits and more. She recently partnered with Adidas on a collection.
The Ivory Lane Collective, or IVL Collective for short, is fastly becoming a leader in women’s athleisure wear. Their activewear collection includes everything from cute leggings to tanks, tees, and jackets.
Nike One of the most successful and recognisable sportswear brands in the world, Nike offers everything from quality shorts and t-shirts to shoes and socks that are both fashionable and functional. The brand also sells a lot of high-quality gym gear for your home..
Under Armour The American sportswear label Under Armour launched in 2016 Under Armour Sportswear (UAS), a premium athleisure range designed by Belgian designer Tim Coppens. UAS fuses high-performance sportswear designs with an elevated sartorial touch. They have really cute and sexy gym clothes on their website.
Adidas is a sportswear powerhouse that combines quality and style to create modern, street-savvy active wear. The active wear brand’s signature three-stripe motif has gained iconic status in popular culture.
A 10 year veteran influential lifestyle, parenting, small biz, beauty and tech blogger, Jay Jay gives you the information, news, deals, steals, inside scoop and knowledge, straight, no chaser! Follow her on social media @JayJayGhatt
Here are all the best beauty and fashion Cyber Monday deals I have my eye on:
Dyson Air Wrap
The Dyson Airwrap Complete styler is engineered for multiple hair types and styles. Featuring Coanda air styling and propelled by the Dyson digital motor, users can curl, wave, smooth and dry with no extreme heat.
Relax into the soothing yet stimulating heat of the Infrared Sauna Blanket V3 from Higher Dose. This premium, non-toxic sauna blanket detoxifies the body, delivers nutrients to muscles, and boosts metabolic rate. Designed for home use or while traveling, it’s constructed with a layer of healing amethyst and tourmaline to deepen the benefits of infrared, a clay layer to generate negative ions, and a charcoal layer to amplify detoxification.
Smallable isn’t having a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale but it’s always a good place to shop to support smaller, rising, fair trade merchants that sell organic, eco-friendly and sustainable baby clothes and furniture and women’s fashion and accessories.
I purchased the Under Armour sports mask for my athelete sons and myself as we all ventured back onto practice and training fields this fall. It hasn’t been a disappointment and keeps us safe and secure. It also looks quite fashionable.
The mask is on sale as part of Under Armour’s Cyber Monday Sale today!
Treat her with a collection of exquisite chocolate from New Hampshire-based L.A. Burdick Chocolatiers Burdick Critters Collection. All the critters are made individually by hand, meaning each is unique and no two are alike. Includes wood box of 16 Chocolate Mice, wood box of 9 Chocolate Snowmen, wood box of 6 Chocolate Pigs, wood box of 9 Chocolate Penguins, and 1/4 lb. Everyday Chocolate Assortment.
Go up in budget with the Epicurious Collection for $350
The performance jogger by Vuori is slim but relaxed fit with a slightly cropped leg, side pockets and a drawstring. Designed with their softest premium stretch fabric, they’re your new go-to. Great for traveling, yoga, training and chilling. It comes in a variety of colors and shades and in sizes XXS to XXL.
If your rich misses is like a lot of women who enjoy fragrant homes, then she will thoroughly enjoy filling her abode in this intoxicating signature scent behind NEST New York’s iconic fragrance which is a blend of pink pomelo grapefruit with watery green notes, lily of the valley and coriander blossom. The Classic Candle is meticulously crafted with a proprietary premium wax formulated to burn cleanly and evenly, while the Reed Diffuser is made with the highest quality oils to release continuous fragrance for 90 days, uninterrupted.
Your receipient will love to lay her head down and protect her crown with a silk pillow covering. It is a brand of silk cases recommended by dermatologists, hairstylists & beauty experts and is made of the highest grade (6A) long fibre mulberry silk, and without the use of dyes.
If you’re seeing this on Cyber Week 2020, get 25% off with the code Cyber at check out.
The eco-conscious beauty buyer is wary of essential oils, chemical perfumes, dyes, fragrants and alcohol that are all horrible for the skin and so she is drawn to lines like Drunk Elephant which has combined sample sizes of all its best sellers into one kit it calls The Littles.
Any dress in any print from Boden could be worn at a variety of events, openings, meetings, formal or informal outings. This Mila Midi Dress with its colorful and attractive stripes would do perfectly!
It’s practically half off down from $198 right now but not sure how long this will last.
The Yeti ramblem with the megslider lid is the perfect gift for a coffee or tea drinker or anyone who loves to sip slowly because it keeps hot drinks very hot and cold drinks super cold for long periods of time. It’s a winner that I’ve personally enjoyed and highly recommend.
In fact, each year, we see more and more families, large and small, outfitting themselves in matching pajamas and taking a photo to share in their social media fees and in their annual Christmas card or just for “The Gram”.
Celebrities Love This Trend
Celebrity families like The Currys, The Harts and more have been posting up on social in their chic coordinated sleepwear. Snapping a photo with the entire family has almost become the cliche yet obligatory new Holiday season trend.
Next week is Thanksgiving in the US and this year, health experts and government officials are recommending that everyone forego the large family gatherings with out-of-town guests and instead have a small private meal at home with just the immediate family.
Those of us planning on adhering to this suggestion will spare ourselves the hassle of getting dressed up to join others or invite others into our home. While going total casual and having Thanksgiving dinner in our PJs would be fun, there is a less lazy route: dress in a shirt dress in flannel material!
It’s soft, and the Buffalo check is homey. Slip on a pair of cozy ballet slippers and you’re good to go and don’t have to worry about what to wear for Thanksgiving this year.
The Universal Appeal of T-Shirt Dress
The shirt dress with a collar universally flatters all shapes, body types and silhouettes, even expecting mamas-to-be. In fact, the easy-to-wear versatile silhouette is appealing in case you plan to take photos for the gram.
You can actually put some effort into the endeavor by wearing a tee shirt or turtleneck or camis underneath it.
Land’s End makes a long-sleeved flannel knee-lentgh belted dress. The material is soft and made of quality material that are well stitched and runs for just $49.97 In addition to the Buffalo check pattern, it comes in other patterns as well. The belt is also removable.
If I were splurging, I’d invest in Salvator Ferragamo Joy Ballet Flats, to wear to Thanksgiving dinner this year, but sensibly, Vera Wang‘s affordable Simply Vera‘s Berner Women’s Flex Round-Toe Ballet which is a modest $17.99 is a better fiscally more responsible route.
OTHER PLAID SHIRT DRESSES
OTHER BALLET FLATS
Upgrade the Basic Look
To upgrade this super casual look a bit, tie your hair in a bun, drape a scarf around your neck and swap out the ballet flats for pumps or booties.
I like the H&M woven scarf which runs just $12.97 and I think is on sale this fall for like $10!
I like to mix up original items. I’d swap out the original belt with belt more edge like the handmade leather wrap belt by Ada.
Wearing pumps is cool if you’re a heel type of woman. They are conservative yet still always on trend and you can get them in a low heel too. I prefer booties. My fave booties are peep toe ones though they require you to have your tails polished and well pedicured.
I like Michael Kors Blaze Peep-Toe Leather Booties!
Ditch the Plaid and Upscale It With a Wrap Dress
If you’re from one of those families that do not “do casual” for major holidays and you treat Thanksgiving meal like a formal occassion, you can still be comfortable and shi shi at the same time by opting for an elegant wrap dress instead of a t-shirt dresss.
A knee length of longer version of the dress would also make it more dressy. Wear your nice pearls and switch out the pumps for elegant heels or a nice pair of calf or knee-height boots. .
I like Dress Barn‘s striped cotton faux wrap dress which is currently on sale for $44, down from $75.
A String of Pearls or A Necklace Upgrades The Look
I am obsessed with the Wolfe Back Pearl by jeweler Serefina is exquisite way to show off a toned back. Dotted with baroque pearls, this necklace is perfect to drape for a showstopping back detail. It’s only $69 which is a steal in my book.
I also love layering in the fall. In the office, it’s silk shells under caridans and comfy sweaters. For my go-to-casual layers, I usually start with a tee shirt then top that I’m opting with a red plaid cropped tie shirt. Plaid hopped back into season as a fashion fave for all year a few fashion seasons ago.
It’s timely because wearing plaid is very common and fits into the fall season of Harvest festivals and visits to the orchard to pick berries, apples and other seasonal fruits.
Because it is quite crisp out there, I dig out a long ribbed grey duster sweater out of my closet. The length of this cardigan adds an extra layer of style and sophistication to the functionality of keepign me warm in cooler days.
A baseball cap is great to hide a messy bun underneath.
Finally, instead of boots when it’s not too cold out, I opt for my quilt patent leather loafers by Sperry. You can get a similar style from that brand here for about $80 HERE! These shoes last a long time and look very well constructed and are an excellent investment!
I can remix this look by changing what’s underneath and pair the cardigan over top of a black wrap dress that I wear with black tights and pointy-toed black pumps!
For a total of 4 pieces, I can have a chic and fashion forward weekend! Try this look for yourself and connect with me at @Bellyitch on all the socials and tag me in your fave fall look!
During the current pandemic, a lot of people are using their extra time cooped up at home to do thorough cleaning of junk stored in their closets, attics, garages and basements and to redecorate and upgrade existing spaces or to expand and enhance their outdoor living spaces.
I am on that bandwagon and recently, I decided to finally upgrade the drab first floor guest room in my home which my daughter has been staying in as her personal bedroom. It lacked design and looked pretty rundown.
I wasn’t going to do it alone. My daughter had to put in some sweat equity into this project. I let her pick out the base color.
When I was a kid, my favorite color is purple and my daughter also considers that shade one of her faves so she decided that she wanted to have the walls painted purple. Purple is a color or royalty and is associated with celestial beings like the stars and the moon so we gravitated to that theme for the room.
The total cost for the remodel: $500! Can you believe that?
My first investment was on good quality paint so I invested in the PPG Timeless brand which can cost up to $100 per gallon but gets great reviews because you only have to use one coat.
The paint has a primer built in and is supposed to go on even and smoothly so you do not need to apply a second coat at all. It was a little bit pricier than basic paint but still reasonable at $50, after shipping and tax for the gallon.
Next: Paint essentials!
Home Depot sells a reasonably priced paint kit that comes with a tray, liner, a couple of brushes, rollers and an edge brush for about $15! That’s a steal and while not professional quality, it was perfect for a small DIY job in a home.
Furnishings and Accents
We decided to keep some of the existing furnishings in that room or use some of the items I have picked up from Christmas bazaars and thrift stores here and there. Pre-Covid era, I used to like to purchase items that are heirloom quality or top quality when I see them when out and about thrifting or visiting yard sales on the weekends.
For example, I got the lamp and curtains in this photo above from a consignment shop nearby for about $7 each, or $15 total and I purchased the Ikea desk second hand for $20 from a local seller using Facebook Marketplace. It was in perfect shape!
I had previously purchased a used office chair from the same guy and he offered me the desk though he hadn’t listed it at all. Sweet!
In lieu of just an accent wall, we decided to paint the entire room purple.
Unfortunately, we discovered when we were done that the deep eggplant color was too overwhelming and too dark. My daughter and I decided to balance the dark wall with white or light colored linen and decorative accents.
I got a bed in the bag at Marshallsfor about $60 and it included two accent pillows, a comforter, a flat sheet and fitted sheet, a sham pillow and a pair of pillow cases. We got it in queen size which is the size of the bed in that room. Kohlsalso sells these bed in bags for twin, full, queen and King sized beds starting about that the price I paid as well.
We diluted an entire wall by purchasing a white tapestry linen in a paisley print to drape that side of the room. It was only about $20 and was a popular brand, Ralph Lauren though Dormifysells plenty starting at just $11 for quality linen!
We let the celestial print in the bedding and tapestry drive the the theme and hung accent string lights from the ceiling and framed the wall and artwork framed in white with lights. The lighting also helped soften the dark colored purple walls too.
DIY Dresser Update
There was dark furnishings in the room before that we moved them out and to further lighten up the room via furniture, I decided to DIY spray paint a brown dresser in the room white. It was a bit of task because I did not have an electric sander and did not put enough energy sanding it with sand paper.
As you will see if you watch my video documenting the makeover, it was initially, a disaster because the first coat of chalk spray paint I purchased just ran over the sheen of the original paint job. Ugh!
I went to YouTube and found a video of a young lady, Desia Jean,who painted her furniture but who decided to skip the step of sanding it down first. I followed her lead and learned from her mistakes and subsequently, headed back to the store to pick up two more cans of semi gloss and that worked!
I really liked how the final paint job turned out. The paint was distributed evenly and without the blotches and sheer patches that were visible in previous coats. Phew! I had to have patience and trust the process!
I got new drawer pulls at the home design store that had a Victorian look to them for about $2 a knob (or $8 total) to tie in with the purple, mystical, celestial theme I was going for with this room makeover.
Luckily, I had already purchased some framed crafty cloth art work with green and purple in them which tied in well with the color scheme.
I went to Lowe’s and purchased a lamp shade a rustic old lamp we had in the basement for about $30 and we kept a steel grey side table that was in the room before because it blended in better with the new aesthetic than the old wooden chest and side tables that were in the old version of the room did.
Decorating the Walls
While we were shopping for the linen and accent pieces, we found a large canvas sketch of a woman’s back and I thought it matched perfectly with a framed sketch of a ballerina’s back I had in my first apartment after college.
I fetched my old artwork from the basement and hung it up next to the white canva and framed it with the star string lights. Together, the grouping matched perfectly.
We got three other pieces of white framed artwork that cost about $15 each.
Finally, we picked up a couple of accent area rugs in white with a print and a light gray one at TJ Maxx for about $20 each and found the same brands online for similar price or slighty higher so I felt I got a steal, as usual!
I got wooden letters from the home modeling store and painted it white with the left over spray paint. The cost of the letters were abour $30 and the Command strips ran us about $20 for a few packs to hang up everything.
I got replacement blinds for about $40 for the pair at Home Depot as you can see in the video, the ones in the room in the before images was beat up and a hot mess!
The total output for the entire project is about $450 and maybe a little more. We love how it came out and it is a far cry from how it looked before! You’ll see it in the video of the project below but first a few other photos:
Halloween will be different this year so you may want to experiment with fun ways to dress up your face and nails to dazzle friends and those you encounter at work or while out and about. As I posted in my last post about Halloween for kids, another option is to just do a fun panedmic-era photo shoot and post up the photos on social media to share with famiy and friends.
Find design source from my Halloween Nails Group board HERE!
My fave Halloween eye make up look is this one right here which includes bright sunset eyeshadow look that I found years ago and blogged about and shared in a now, popular and widely shared pin.
Finally, I assmebled 20 of my fave Halloween themed nail art designs on my group DIY and Nail Art Board (click here for source) and am sharing the images below to give you ideas.
Dark skin women nail inspiration images are hard to come by.
Before you head to the nail salon or purchase a nail polish color, often times you want to see how it would look like completely on your skin tone. Obviously, you cannot uncap a sealed bottle and paint your nails in advance. Therefore, you either have to guess and hope it comes out fine or, alternatively, you search online for images of women with similar complexion that you have in the colors in the nail polish you’re interested in purchasing.
As a person with dark skin who loves to switch up her nail color, I’ve found it challenging to find images of women with darker skin tones on Pinterest and other visual search platforms that feature fashion inspos.
As such, I decided to curate some photos and feature myself in the nail color in consideration of other women out there like me who similarly struggle in this arena.
1. Mint green or aquamarine
Mint or Aquamarine is a cool attention grabbing color. This shade contrasts well against dark skin and stands out for sure. It’s one of my faves to rock especially on vacation or during the Spring when looking to switch up the wardrobe for warmer months.
You gotta love the stark contrast of white against dark skin. It stands out as much as mint green but is not as flamboyant a shade. White looks classic and can be worn in corporate and traditional work settings.
With brown being so close a color for brown people or deeply tan and olive complexioned people, it makes sense that this hue complements well with their skin. This axiom is true for light brown to darker brown shades of this nail color. All aspects of the spectrum work!
Dark green is also a complementary color to deep tan and brown skin so you cannot go wrong painting your toe and fingernails in this shade. It’s a wonderful tone for the Fall and Winter months for those who live in seasonal climates.
Sunny yellow can brighten the mood. It’s a bold color that is so vibrant it will steal all the attention. It may be too bold for conservative settings but for anyone who wants to mix up their style and elevate their fashion level, this is the perfect pick!
Grey is a natural and neutral shade that is still dynamic albeit in a very subtle yet classic way. Grey also complements any skin color from pasty white to blue black. All complexions work well with grey.
Another earthy warm tone is wine, magenta or burgundy. This hue is beautiful and classically attractive and is a good shade for work and formal events. They work on short, medium or long nails.
I love the stark complement of a dark blue nail polish against the rich hue of melanin enriched skun. Whether your nails are long or short, this color is a beautiful shade for modern women.
You can wear a metallic gold or a softer matte or muted version of gold and know you will look polished and well put together. Gold is an understated shade but can be ornate at the same time.
I love this shade of blue because it always turns heads. It makes me happy and lets the world know you’re upbeat and ready to capture the day. Okay, maybe that is overstating things a bit but turquoise is a wonderful color.
A traditional feminine color is pink and out of all colors, I think this hue of nail polish is the most vibrant for dark or very tan skin colors. You can match your make up easily in pink. Whether baby pink or hot pink or blush pink, try it in every shade.
This is close to blue and purple and for that reason is very fun shade of nail polish. In Autumn, indigo nails go well with your warm scarves, layers and boots weather.
Orange is another warm tone that I love. You can try lighter shades like Sherbet or mid range orange in Tangerine or super bright Neon orange. All shades complement well with melanin rich skin.
When I think of Winter, I think of candy apple red nail polish. This color looks great on any complexion and especially on highly melanated skin!
Peach is a lovely Summer color. It’s light and airy and complements darker hued inviduals perectly!
16. Neon Green
This exotic color looks great on dark complexions. It is so outrageous on anyone so don’t be afraid to be confident and go brave in this!
A clear top coat or a very pale pink that resembles the nail bed flatters all shades and colors.
There you go! Go brave or go natural! Have it your way, ladies!