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Hot Heels!

17 Jan

Looking to add some sizzle to your style?


Steve Madden

Swapping out the sneaks or flats for some height will make an instant impact.  I hit Steve Madden, BCBGMAXAZRIA and Aldo to check out the latest looks.

An animal print, heeled bootie, like the style below from Steve Madden, can elevate a denim and casual, long sleeve tee look and play equally well with a skirt or dress.

Show your wild side

Show your Wild Side

Need some inspiration for a night out? Check out these pairs from Steve Madden.  While each look clearly has its own personality, they’re all about detail… lots of detail.

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Steve Madden will get your ready for a night on the town!

Black and gold, paired together, as seen on the buckled cut-out bootie above and on the looks below from BCBGMAXAZRIA, are hot coupling!

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There are shoes that become accessories to outfits and outfits that accessorize shoes. There’s no doubt —  a pair like this one deserves to inspire the rest of your outfit. Note the merge of ladylike and mod detail with lace and studs.

Ladylike Meets Mod

Ladylike Meets Mod

Here’s another take on the lace look from BCBGMAXAZRIA.  These pumps exude elegance.

A twist on traditional

Exudes Elegance

Next stop — Aldo. Love the buckle detailing.  An unexpected color like merlot can almost be treated as a neutral. It pairs well with black, brown, grey, navy and a number of other hues. This look almost feels like the merging of a bootie and pump.



Have the winter blues? Combat them with more blue! Cobalt is getting lots of mid-winter play and popping up in clothing and accessories.  This standout style is also from Aldo.


Pop of Cobalt

Here’s another twist on an animal print look. These booties, with a zebra patterned heel, also feature a stylish open toe.


A Touch of Zebra

If any of these heels could move into your closet, which ones would you pick?


GURU Style Star: Allison Melocik

16 Jan

Chances are you won’t guess why Allison Melocik chose to wear this outfit today…

Meet Allison Melocik

Meet Allison Melocik

On the day we met, she and her grandmother were walking through the mall after having lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.  Allison selected the outfit for this day, because it was from her grandmother.


 Allison’s chambray button-down and plaid skirt are from J. Crew. Her tights are from Nordstrom Rack.  Her boots, with exposed zipper trim and red piping, are by Steve Madden and from Macy’s. Allison’s infinity necklace is from Tiffany & Co.  Her bag and watch are both Fossil finds. Allison’s layered bracelets are by Alex & Ani. Some of them are from Nordstrom. 



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Describe your style.

Whatever I like. Whatever catches my eye. I like patterns.

What are your favorite stores in the mall?

Free People and J. Crew. I do mix stuff from those two locations.

What trends are you enjoying most this season?

I like bright colors. Big Sweaters.

Who is your style icon?

I don’t have one. I just wear what I like. If it catches my eye, I’m going to wear it.  

If you could go back in time to any decade for the style, which one would you pick and why?

Probably the 1970s, where they just wore the sweatpants and leg warmers all day. That would be pretty awesome.

Here are links to some recent GURU Style Star posts: 1/9 William Daly and 1/2 Whitney Neale

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15 Jan

I’m excited to announce that this blog is getting a MAKEOVER!

The blog will be down for a few days of  beauty treatments starting on/around Saturday, January 18th and will return with a fresh, new look. I can’t wait to show it to you!

The blog will be back up a few days later. You watch for the announcement of its return on Towson Town Center’s Facebook page.

Hot Hair Looks: Tips from Bubbles!

15 Jan

I don’t know about you… but I’m in a hair rut. The most exciting thing I ever do is move my part from center to side and back again.

If I’m feeling tired, you’ll know — because my hair will be in a pony tail.

Hot summer day — a top knot.  And, if a few misbehaving strands hit my eyes, I trap them in a mini clip.

I hit Bubbles the other day to get some simple how-to hair tips. Here’s the before pic. I asked for an idea for a new look that would take just five minutes or less.

My daily style

My daily style

I think my jaw dropped when stylist, Nitza Parker, said she could give me curls in just five minutes.

She used these clips to separate my hair into sections.

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After sectioning my hair, Nitza wrapped a few strands at a time around a curling wand for a few seconds to create instant loose curls.


Wrap hair around the wand for instant curls

Using a wand over a standard curling iron helps avoid those “prom” style tight curls.  Here’s the final look. If you want to soften the curls further you can comb it out. Depending on your hair type and texture, it will hold the curls differently.


The final look

Nitza advises using a heat protectant product on your hair first before using a wand or curling iron.  A hair wand works well on a range of hair lengths — from a short bob to longer tresses.

Nitza agreed to show off another easy do.  This time, on her hair. She already has a head of gorgeous curls!

Meet Nitza

Meet Nitza

Here’s how to do a fast braided bun. First step is to do a single braid.

First do a single braid

First do a single braid

Then, twist the braid into a bun and fasten with bobby pins as you spiral the braid.


When you get to the tail, twist it, then tuck it into the bun and fasten with a final pin.

Twist the tail and fasten with a bobby pin

Twist the tail and fasten with a bobby pin

Here’s the finished look.


Do you have any tips for fast hair dos? Let me know…

“Four Truths and a Dare” at SEPHORA! Plus, a special treat with purchase for 10 people

14 Jan

Forget about Truth OR Dare.

In this case it’s Four Truths AND a Dare and refers to a collection of oils for your skin at Sephora.

Let’s start with the Dare — “Dare to Oil.” If you have oily skin, you may assume that you could never use oil on your skin. That’s one of many misnomers about oil, reports manager, Amber Wilhelm.



A number of cultures around the world have used oil for centuries, shares Amber. When you walk into Sephora, you’ll find a display touting four truths about oils.

Truth #1  — you can cleanse with oil.

Truth #1

Truth #1

It never would have occurred to me that you can wash your face with oil. I had only heard about its moisturizing properties (we’ll get to that later). I took home a sample of the Boscia Tsubaki Cleansing Oil-Gel and am hooked. It’s gentle and has a subtle refreshing scent. A tiny bit goes a long way.


Oil Cleanser

“It isn’t going to strip the skin of the natural oils. It’s especially great for someone on an acne medication, someone who has really sensitive skin, or someone battling winter dryness,” describes Amber.  This oil not only cleanses but also serves as a makeup remover and is hydrating.

Truth #2 – “You can fight oil with oil.” Amber admits that because she has oily skin, she was afraid to try oils at first. She explains that our skin recognizes the oil products as being its own oils. If you have oily skin, she says the oils can help make your skin less oily and can help fight clogged pores. If you have dry skin, it can help hydrate. The oils serve as a balancing tool, depending on your needs.

Truth #2

Truth #2

When I mentioned to a few people that I was trying out oil products, the first reaction tended to be “Will it make your skin greasy?” That’s the subject of Truth #3. I confess I had the same concern. Sure enough, my skin seemed to inhale each of the oil products I tried without any greasy shine.

Truth #3

Truth #3

One friend even asked if I started doing something different with my makeup. The only shift I made was adding in oils to my routine.  I think it’s the glow I received from trying out the fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil, which contains a number of oils including Seaberry, cranberry seed, camilla seed, grape seed and sweet almond. Seaberry oil, which is from Siberia, has long been used as a natural cure. In fact, the co-founder was treated as a young child with Seaberry oil to help heal a burn.  

Boosts Radiance

Boosts Radiance

Oils also have anti-aging properties. Some products are more geared in this direction and are packed with anti-oxidants to help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If you are looking for an anti-aging oil, be sure to specifically mention that to a Sephora skincare consultant. That’s Truth #4.


Truth #4

Amber reports that she noticed that the oils have helped to soften the appearance of fine lines. She also shares that the Josie Maran line of oil products was inspired after the model met a woman in Morocco who was in her 70s but looked three decades younger. It turns out she was using oil based products.

Josie Maran’s Argan Oil can be used on the face, hands, body (try adding a few drops to your bath) and even scalp. It comes in a light and regular formula.

Available in regular and lighter formulations

Available in regular and lighter formulations

GURU TIP: You can use the oils on their own or you can add a few drops to your current moisturizer or face wash. It’s all about experimenting to see what works best for you.

If you take up Sephora on the Dare to Oil challenge, a skincare consultant will help you figure out which ones will be best for you. You can pop in and experience a Skincare Consultation Service with oils and other skincare products and take home a sample.

Plus, the first 10 people to mention the GURU when making ANY purchase at Sephora will receive a deluxe sample bag of oil products. Must be 18 or older. Good while supplies last.

GURU Spotlight: Boxy Styles

13 Jan

Boxy silhouettes are an emerging trend! We’re seeing this cut for winter and it is sure to springboard into warmer weather (yes, it’s not that far off in the future!).

Have you seen the Pretty Little Liars Collection at Aeropostale? This collection, inspired by the hit show, features several boxy jackets.



The styles in the collection are created with different characters from the show in mind. This navy cropped jacket, with white piping, can take you through the rest of winter and into warmer temps. Wear it casually with a plaid or other patterned button-down, a sequined tee, or put it to work with a more conservative top for a casual Friday. It has a boxy shape when worn open. Or, button up for a more fitted silhouette.

Boxy & Cropped

Boxy & Cropped

Neutral is nice, but bright is bold! A boxy faux leather jacket, like this one, is a fun accent piece and can pair with more colors than you may first imagine. Turquoise plays well with neutrals along with many brights! Think canary yellow, orange, even red.

Faux leather is hot in colorful hues!

Faux leather is hot in colorful hues!

Check out this fun topper. It plays well with just about any dress or top.


Alternative to the classic cardi

Forever 21 is also featuring the boxy silhouette. An animal print jacket like this one can take any outfit from ordinary to standout. Wear it now in place of a sweater and as outerwear as we get closer to spring.

Statement Jacket

Statement Jacket

Cheers to three trends in one — boxy shape, animal print and sequins. Wear a cropped sweater like this one from Forever 21 with any color long sleeve fitted tee.

Fun layering piece

Fun layering piece  

The boxy trend is also turning up at Gap. Note the cut on this casual colorblock sweater. It’s available in multiple hues.



A touch of grey adds a softness to your wardrobe. Like some of the other jackets, one like this can be used inside now and outerwear later.


Some of the boxy styles are more form fitting than others.

GURU Tip: If you’re doing a looser boxy top, balance the style with a fitted bottom.

What do you think about this trend?

Eye on Embellishments!

10 Jan

Embellishments are EVERYWHERE!

I’m not talking about fictitious additions to statements made in conversation, but the sequin and stud kind.

If your winter wardrobe and accessories could use a makeover, try mixing in some embellished pieces. You can take on this trend full force, as seen on the denim below, or if subtle is more your style — there are also toned down takes on the trend.



Jeans with embellished back pockets are hot sellers at Buckle!

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You can schedule a free appointment to have a Buckle stylist help you find the most flattering denim fits for you.  After you share your style and sizing, you can arrive to a dressing room full of possibilities — including tops and accessories to mix in with your jeans.

At Buckle, you’ll find sequins sprinkled everywhere — on shoes, belts, and tops!

Traditional with a Sparkly Twist

Traditional with a Sparkly Twist

Check out these belts! The key is to not go overboard. If you do a sequined belt, I would save the sequined top or shoes for another day.



One of many sequined tee styles at Buckle

Sequins instantly elevate a tee. The sequined tee trend continues at Love Culture. This top takes on two trends. Animal prints, as in the animals themselves and not just leopard print, are IN this winter. They’re popping up on tops and sweaters.

Show your wild side

Show your wild side

Embellished tees pair well with leggings.


Go geometric!

Feeling adventurous? Try out an embellished mini. Add on a simple top, opaque boots, boots and you’re good to go!

Pair with a solid top

Pair with a solid top

If you want to go for a more subtle take, how about a studded handbag or clutch. I spotted these two in the sale section at Love Culture.


Simple & Studded

Love sequins? Head to Express. 



GURU Tip:  Take your outfit from desk to dinner by starting the day in black pants and cardi or blazer. Shed the work style tops for the evening and rock a standout sequined or studded top. No one will know your wearing the same pants.


Embellished with mini mirrors

Embellished with mini mirrors

If you could add any of the pieces from this post to your closet, what would you pick?

GURU Style Star: William Daly

9 Jan

 This week’s GURU Style Star describes his style as “vintage with a modern twist.”

Meet Goucher student, William Daly! He’s had a teacher call him 19th century. Fellow students joke around and call him “professor.”


William Daly

William’s khaki’s are from Vans. He liked the two pairs he bought there just before the holidays so much that he came back to the mall for two more on the day I met him. This time, he saved $20 on each pair, thanks to promotional coupons he received after his first purchase.


Purchase from Vans

William scored his oxford shoes at Nordstrom. His belt is J.Crew. His jacket and vest are thrift store treasures.

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Vintage Style with a Modern Twist

Here is our Q&A.

What is your favorite store at Towson Town Center?

Right now, I like Vans a lot because of all the deals. They have some of the best fitting pants that I’ve tried on in a while.

What trends do you like?

I’m hoping vests will make a comeback. I love vests.

Who is your style icon?

I like the Mumford & Sons (An English folk  band).  They are really good at bringing back pieces that might seem dated individually but incoroproating them in more of a modern style. They wear a lot of vests and bow ties.

If I gave you $1,000 to spend on anything at the mall, what would you buy?

I would like to get 100 $10 gift cards and give them out to people in the mall… If I could add an additional stipulation, I would tell them to spend $5 on themselves and $5 on someone else…

Here are links to recent GURU Style Star posts. Click here to see the entire archive.

1/2 Whitney Neale 


Pictured Top Left to Lower Right:  12/19 Vanesa Nadolny, 12/12 Katrina Brock, 12/5 Samantha Kosmas, 11/21 Sam Armstrong, 11/14 Maria Staffer and 11/7 Madison


November & December 2013

November 2013

November 2013

I’ll be back next Thursday with the next GURU Style Star post. If you think you should be featured here, please leave me a comment.

Time to SAVE!

7 Jan

Now is the time to make your wardrobe MULTIPLY for a STEAL!

I’m seeing signs for 40, 50, 60 and even 70% off all around the mall!

 To give you an idea of the kinds of deals you can score, here are just a few of the bargains I spotted when I went shopping.

Starting at Ann Taylor, a number of sale items are an additional 50% off the already discounted price.

This little black dotted dress was originally $149, then marked down to $124.99 and now $62.49!

Ann Taylor

Ann Taylor


A closer look

Animal print is on trend and timeless. This cardi is now just $29.99, down from $79.50.


Just $29.99

I had to take a double take at the price on this fun tee. It’s $11.49.


Marked down to $11.49

At The Limited, you can save up to 70% off original prices.

The Limited

The Limited

This Asian inspired sheath started at $98 and is down to $39.99.


This studded top is marked down to $19.50 from $34.95 and comes in multiple colors. A top like this one is an easy layering piece and can be worn year-round.

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At Talbots, you can cozy up in a cashmere sweater for just $71.99! They’re 40% off the sales price of $119.99 right now and  started at $139.00.

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Plus, enjoy an additional 40% off on a number of sale styles.

Guys can also scoop up cashmere for a steal at Men’s Wearhouse. The cashmere sweaters are regularly $249 and down to $79.99.


Men’s Wearhouse

Plus, along with the cashmere deals, merino wool sweaters on this table are marked down to $39.99 from $79.99!

Major Markdowns!

Major Markdowns!

When it comes to markdowns like the ones we’re seeing right now, quantities are limited and deals change often.

Let me know what you score!

Seasonal Menu at P.F. Chang’s

6 Jan

Is trying new things on your list of New Year’s Resolutions? It’s the perfect time to try a new dish.

P.F. Chang’s offers seasonal menus throughout the year. The latest menu is here until 1/27. It’s all part of an effort to use ingredients when they are at their height of flavors.

While you may be tempted to stay loyal to your menu favorites, it’s fun to shake things up. Here are three dishes I recently tried.

The Harvest Vegetable Quinoa “Fried Rice” stars wok-roasted red quinoa and is served up with spiced butternut squash, brussel sprouts, wok- charred corn, snap peas, carrots, zucchini and diced green apples. It all gets topped with a sunny-side egg. Before you dig in, you’re encouraged to quarter the egg and mix it in as a dressing. It’s cold weather comfort food, yet surprisingly light. You can also order it gluten free.

Harvest Vegetable Quinoa

Harvest Vegetable Quinoa “Fried Rice”

The Crispy Korean Chicken Wings make for a sweet presentation and are served “lollipop style.” Unlike other wings, the messy finger factor is gone. The wings are done with a spicy chilli sauce and a light scallion and sesame seed coating.


Crispy Korean Chicken Wings

Salmon is one of my favorite foods. I could eat it different ways multiple times a week and never get bored. The Chef’s special dish is the Miso Marinated Salmon. The salmon is marinated in miso for 24 hours and served in a warm Dashi broth with grilled bok-choy. This special dish isn’t on the menu, but you can order it for a limited time. I’m told it will be around beyond the other seasonal items.


Miso Marinated Salmon

Have a sweet tooth? Consider sharing the Vanilla Bean Bourbon Milkshake for dessert. If you’re thinking it’s too cold outside for a milkshake, this one has a warming factor. The warmth of the bourbon counters the coolness of the shake. The shake features a blend of vanilla bean ice cream, bourbon, graham crackers and honey. It’s garnished with a honey graham cracker-pop.


Vanilla Bean Bourbon Milkshake

P.F. Chang’s first started offering seasonal menus last year.

What is your favorite menu item at P.F. Chang’s? If you could try any of the dishes in this post, which would you pick?

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