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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?

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!

GURU Style Star: Whitney Neale

2 Jan

I’m a big fan of pattern play! This week’s GURU Style Star, Whitney Neale, pairs a paisley print top with a pony hair, animal print bag!

GURU Style Star: Whitney Neale

GURU Style Star: Whitney Neale

Whitney scored her paisley top, faux leather skinnies and her on-trend belt at H&M. The faux fur vest is Forever 21.   Her key pendant is from Tiffany & Co. and her watch is Michael Kors.  For a comfortable day shopping, she finished her look with Tory Burch flats from Nordstrom. 

Whitney Neale


Read on for our Q&A:

What words describe your style best?

Trendy, fashion forward, chic fashionista.

What is your favorite store at Towson Town Center and why?

Probably  H&M. They always have good sales. I definitely like their styles. You can go from casual to night out.

What are your favorite trends of the moment?

I do like print on print — Mixing paisley with the animal print. I just have a fetish for shoes. The tall boots. I’m really into the over the knee boots right now.

What is the best piece of fashion advice you’re received?

Don’t be afraid to step out of your box. A lot of people don’t like to wear a lot of colors or mix colors.

What is the most treasured item in your closet?

I have some Givenchy boots. They come up above my knee and have a little wedge heel. I love them. They’re versatile; you can wear them in the winter or the spring. You can wear them with a dress, leggings or shorts.

What is your fashion resolution for 2014?

I always buy shoes. I feel like I have a lot of shoes but I don’t have a lot of clothes. To focus more on clothing pieces and not shoes.

Here are links to recent GURU Style Star posts:

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

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Check out the full gallery of GURU Style Star posts here. 

And the color of 2014 is…

1 Jan

Cheers to 2014!

Perfect timing to introduce you to the color of the year — It’s Radiant Orchid.

Each year, Pantone, the world’s leading authority on color, names a color of the year. Emerald reigned in 2013.

“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm,” you’ll read on

Color of 2014

Color of 2014

The color is already debuting in collections in stores at Towson Town Center, and I’m sure we’ll see even more of it as we move toward spring.

It’s turning up in multiple vibrant floral prints at Lilly Pulitzer. This is the Del Ray Tunic in Mai Tai.


Lilly Pulitzer

Radiant Orchid is also featured in another pattern of the Del Ray Tunic. This is Trippin and Sippin.

Fun Floral

Fun Floral

Free People has this trendy tunic in multiple colors, including one in a similar shade to Radiant Orchid. It’s the kind of layering piece that you can wear in any season. Wear it with a tank underneath and a cardi on top now and just with a tank or cami later.

Free People

Free People

I found a similar hue at Sephora. Nails are a great way to experiment with a new color without making a full outfit commitment.

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Similar shades to Radiant Orchid are also getting play as accents on sneakers! Check out these purple accented picks from Lady Foot Locker.


Lady Foot Locker


Take a Fashion Forward Step

Are you planning to rock Radiant Orchid? What do you think about the color of 2014?

New Year’s Eve Accessories!

30 Dec

Ready for New Year’s?

Plans in place, check. Outfit, ready to rock.

How about the accessories? Accessories add instant impact to your look. Whether you are buying a killer outfit for this New Year’s or are shopping your closet, accessories can dress up or down your look, inject a touch of your personality, or can even make a simple t-shirt glamorous.

At White House Black Market, I spotted these sequined pumps. Pair a shoe like this with anything from denim to a dress. Even if you’re going to a casual event, adding on shoes like these to jeans and a simple top, will make an outfit you would wear any other day look completely different.

All that Glitters

All that Glitters

There is also a coordinating clutch.


A pop of sequins

White House Black Market also features a number of statement necklaces. They’re the kinds of pieces you can wear on New Year’s and will give you much mileage beyond.

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Next stop on our accessories shopping spree, Express! Check out this eye candy! And, these are only a few of the many sparkly clutches and wristlets you’ll find in store.



If your outfit is all about sequins, how about going for a pair of statement earrings instead of a necklace? I spotted these at Express.

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Statement Earrings

Black paired with gold is an on-trend fashion statement. At Laila Rowe, the two tones team up in numerous statement pieces. Here are just a few of the necklaces that showcase the trend.

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Black & Gold: a hot coupling!

Are you planning to go bright and bold with your outfit? Complement a bright color with a simple piece of jewelry, like this stunning gold toned necklace, also from Laila Rowe.

Simple and Stunning

Simple and Stunning

If you’re still shopping for an outfit, here’s a link to some ideas from around the mall.


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